What are humans actually meant to eat?
It’s a very complicated question these days.
But today we’re here with my new friend, Brian Sanders, a health coach and host of the Peak Human Podcast, as well as the filmmaker behind the documentary Food Lies.
He’s here to talk about the misinformation in the world of nutrition, and what we should be doing and eating instead.
On this show with Brian Sanders, you’ll learn:
- The science behind what humans are meant to eat
- A unifying theory that pulls paleo and vegans together
- How to sustainably source food
- And tons more…
Let’s go hang out with Brian.
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Brian Sanders: Ditching Dogma and Eating What’s Good for You
Abel: Alright folks, Brian Sanders is a health coach, and the filmmaker behind Food Lies. He graduated from UCLA with a Degree in Mechanical Engineering and then turned to technology and sold an app company.
He spent the last year and change obsessing about health and fitness, and he’s here to tell us what he’s found.
Brian, thanks so much for coming on, man.
Thanks for having me, yeah. This is my life, I love talking about all this stuff.
Abel: I’m fascinated to hear what you have to say about all this because I’ve been steeping in health for a while now.
It’s hard to know what your blind spots are, and it’s always interesting to talk to people who are coming in and seeing things with a fresh perspective.
So what do you see coming into this?
Yeah, I do realize that I’m the new guy on the block. I’ve been doing it casually for about four and a half years, but a year and a half really is when I quit my job and I’ve just gone full-on, 24/7.
I’m up at midnight on a Friday night just banging away, watching lectures and taking notes.
Abel: That’s awesome.
Yeah, and actually I caught an old podcast with you and Nora Gedgaudas, and that was in 2012, and I’m like, “Oh man, I’m the new guy.”
And she’s been doing it for much longer. She was talking about 20 years prior.
Abel: Oh sure. I was the new guy in that interview in 2012.
Exactly, so I understand that I’m kind of coming at this new, but then I think it’s given me a pretty fresh perspective on things, and I think my background in Mechanical Engineering helps.
I have this sort of unbiased approach, the scientific method. I just want to know the answers, I want to know the root cause of things.
I think a lot of people in the mainstream world of medicine and nutrition, they’ve lost their way on what is that root cause, or they skip a whole part of history.
They’re like, “Well, I learned this in medical school.”
I’m like, “Well what about evolution? What about all of human history? You kind of skipped over that part.”
A lot of times they don’t even think about it in a simple logical sense.
It’s like, “Wait, why are we trying to prove that fat is bad when for all of history, fat was good?”
The simplest things are overlooked.
So hopefully, I’m part of this new wave. In the nutrition world, all this stuff has to continue advancing.
And so hopefully I carry the torch and keep it going and take over where people left off.
And basically, my focus has been around everything we got wrong. The film is called Food Lies.
You have a similar story to me. You’re like, “Hey, everything I was told is wrong. I did the opposite, and I got a lot healthier.”
So that’s where I’m at. Everyone has their own journey. I discovered that for myself, and then went back and did all the research to confirm it.
Abel: I was listening to you on another podcast and you mentioned that another reason you’re doing this is because of family concerns.
I think a lot of people can relate to that, because you do need some sort of impetus to be this obsessive about health. Trust me, I know.
And sometimes it’s making good out of a bad situation, right?
Exactly, that was a huge thing for me, a big step in my life.
I was 31. I thought of myself as a pretty young guy, and I had a whole life ahead of me. But my dad passed away from prostate cancer, and it was at the same time that my mom was progressing in Alzheimer’s.
It was just such a wake-up call.
It’s around this same time, hitting my 30’s, when I can’t just eat whatever I want anymore. You have to take a look at what you’re doing, and you can’t just be a kid anymore.
So it was this big growing process, and I started to look at diet more. Many people listening to this understand that these chronic diseases are related to diet. But the mainstream public doesn’t understand that. And I didn’t understand that.
So I’m like, “Okay. My dad died and my mom has Alzheimer’s. That can’t be normal. This isn’t what our ancestors experienced.”
So yeah, and it was around the same time my friends were getting into this ancestral health stuff, and they were losing weight, and then I realized, “Wait, I’m a little pudgy.”
I always thought of myself as an athlete and I stayed in shape and all that. But looking back, I’m like, “Wow, I didn’t look great.”
And, so, yeah, I just went down this path and found out so many things.
A lot of people come to this by having a wake up call, of like, “I was 100 pounds overweight and then I figured this all out.”
Or they have these extreme stories. But I think it’s valuable to know that I was in pretty good shape, I didn’t think I had any problems.
I was like, “I am fine.”
And then I started going lower and lower carb, and I remember the moment when I actually got fat-adapted.
I was like,”Ok, I’m going full-in. I’m taking this seriously.”
It was a whole new world. And I think that’s really important because so many people just think that this is how life is.
“Oh yeah, I’m just tired every day, this is just how I feel.”
I actually had chronic overuse injuries. I had carpal tunnel type stuff with my wrist and my arm. It was all in my whole arm when I worked in the engineering world.
It went on for nine years, I was in a cast for a while. No one could cure it.
They just try to give you medications. I refused them, thinking “Well, I’m just going to barely be able to use the computer for the rest of my life.”
Then after a few months of being fat-adapted, losing all the grains and sugar, the pain went away.
I couldn’t believe it. And not only that, I was feeling better and had more energy.
And this thing that I thought I was going to live with forever, it went away.
I even did a test last year at the Super Bowl, over a year ago.
I had all this left-over junk food around my house and we had a Super Bowl party. I started eating some of these bad foods again, and the pain came back in my risk.
Then I stopped again, and the pain went away.
So, yeah, that’s my story. That’s what got me going on this, and it leads into the film more.
I’m of the age where I have to, and a lot of other people too, have to look after their parents in poor health.
So not only are you in your 30s experiencing a need to focus more on your health, but then all this bad information we’ve got over the past 50 years, our parents are suffering those consequences.
So we’re this new generation of people who are just coming in and dealing with it, and that’s a big part of the film. We’re following around a woman in Los Angeles who’s 35 and her dad just died of cancer, and her mom has type 2 diabetes.
It’s amazing that she’s in a very similar situation as me, and we have to figure this stuff out together so we don’t fall to the same fate.
We have to undo the damage that has been done, so that’s a big theme in the film.
Abel: Yeah. One thing I talk about is if you’re going to try to be healthy, it’s mostly about self-defense.
It’s not about coming up with some great, wonderful diet that’s completely unique, and this really specific thing.
It’s more about blocking out all of the misinformation and the propaganda and the nonsense from almost every direction, and then existing in your own little health bubble. And you get to define what that is for better or worse.
Absolutely. And we both agree, it’s so much about what you cut out more than even what you take in, that’s the biggest change.
What to Take Out of Your Diet & What to Add In
Abel: Yes. So what were the things that surprised you when you took them out and got better?
Well, I didn’t realize it could make that big a difference.
You just think, “Oh well, yeah. I mean, it’s just a piece of bread. We’ve been eating bread forever.”
Or I’m like, “Oh yeah, it’s just once a day.”
So for a couple of years before I got fully fat-adapted, I was eating just two pieces of bread per day. Or one tortilla per day. And I felt okay.
But when I took that out, there was this whole new level. And I’m not gluten-intolerant, or anything like that. I’m fine with any foods.
But I made the decision to take out this one last thing, and it’s amazing how big of a difference that can make.
I think so many people out there, they think they’re fine and they’re not.
Abel: Fine is a dangerous word. Especially in America.
I was “fine” before I went through all of this. And at the time, I didn’t realize that was at the lowest of my health. Certainly in the past 10 years that was the lowest of my health.
But you’re numbed to your own pain. You can kind of only be in pain about one or two things at once, right? And then the rest goes numb.
And so that’s what I mean about your blind spots. What were some of the blind spots you didn’t realize you had?
Yeah. I think energy, hunger and appetite regulation. That’s another big one I’m getting into.
Actually, I was just doing some health coaching on the way back here. We’re following around this woman, Adele, and she’s doing amazing. You can look her up on Instagram or you can go to Food Lies on Instagram and see her.
She is doing so well, and she is just talking about how, “I’m not hungry anymore. I’m not a slave to food.”
That’s so huge.
You can go on that diet. There’s a million diets and many of them work, but they may not work long-term, and they’re probably not going to help you with your appetite or your cravings.
So many people I’ve talked to say, “Yes, I’ve lost weight other ways, but this is how I am free from food addiction for the first time in my life.”
And that’s a powerful thing to me.
You don’t even know you have this food addiction, it’s a blind spot or you think, “I just have to eat sugar.”
I’ve seen people just completely free themselves from this sugar addiction.
That’s just the most powerful thing to me, is that your relationship with food changes.
Abel: I remember I used to be a little bit more cranky, too, and just low on energy.
I didn’t feel cranky at the time, I wouldn’t describe myself as that. But looking back, I was certainly more cranky than now.
And I remember when I first became fat-adapted, a mental calm that I wasn’t used to came along with the feeling of, “Oh, I’m not craving food all the time. I’m not in this hungry state, this state of needing something from the outside world to make me feel okay for a minute.”
It’s more just like, “Oh, I feel fine now.”
I haven’t eaten today, and that’s pretty typical during the day for me, especially on days that I record podcasts. And it feels totally different than it did when I was chewing on something every hour or two because I felt like I needed to.
Yeah, and that’s what you can’t really argue with. It’s interesting.
That’s what Dr. Dom D’Agostino says. I’ve talked to him a few times. But then there’s the opposite point of view, if you know Stephan Guyenet.
He just had a big debate with Gary Taubes on the Joe Rogan podcast.
I did an interview with Stephan a few weeks earlier. I was like, “Oh, so have you ever even tried low-carb or been fat-adapted?”
He’s like, “Yeah, it was great. I did it years ago, and I was never hungry. I could fast very easily.”
And I was like, “Yes, so what’s the problem?”
And he’s just like, “Well, I grow my own food.”
Everyone has their own ideas. And it’s just when people can’t accept certain things that really work for them, and they’ll just go on with the science,
They’re like, “Oh well, science shows as long as you equate for protein and you equate for calories, then fat or carbs don’t matter.”
And I’m like, “Maybe that’s true. Yes, I’ve seen those studies.”
But what really matters is the real world. And if you’re telling me that you can not eat and be totally fine, and we know that that’s beneficial, then I don’t know why more people aren’t embracing this.
Abel: People wield supposed science like a sword, but science is not perfect. And it really only deals with the material world.
The placebo effect is completely thrown out, whereas the placebo effect is our free will. That’s like the only thing we have in terms of trying to decide how to take control of our own health.
You’ve got to believe it, you’ve got to want it, and then you have to realize that it’s not necessarily complicated.
You just have to deal with a lot of misinformation and baggage from all sorts of different directions, and then just eat your vegetables still, and not be freaked out by your food.
It’s like the situation that we’re in when we come to the dinner table—if we even go there anymore—is so alien to our ancestors. Alien even to our grandparent’s generation, certainly our great grandparents.
It’s like we’re basket cases. So you must have reasons to be optimistic, right? What do you see?
Yeah, I am pretty optimistic. Although it’s hard sometimes because it seems like everyone’s against us.
It’s like this anti-meat agenda is against us—vegans come out and find me because I’m more in the public eye now.
So sometimes, it seems like it’s hopeless, but then you also see the other side. I’ve talked to farmers, the big farmers who do regenerative agriculture.
This one guy told me that he was consulting with a major food company to try to get more of this regenerative farming meat out there. They understand where the tide is turning.
I can’t name any names, but these giant companies understand that the consumers want something, so they need to give it to them.
They want something that’s regeneratively raised. They’re on to that, so that’s really promising to me.
I shot some film in grocery stores. I was trying to find low-fat products for the film to show where all this went wrong, and that’s been sort of undone.
I was in the freezer section, and none of it said “Low fat” anymore. It’s all focused on protein, saying, “High protein” or “20 grams of protein.”
The messaging has changed to protein, so that’s awesome. I think we’re finally getting past this low-fat craze.
But I’m more worried about the big media corporations, they’re still just so against this message of high fat and low carb. And you’ll see these articles saying, “Keto is dangerous.”
Jillian Michaels out there are like, “It’s so dangerous to eat this way.” Or “You’re cutting out a whole essential nutrient.”
And it’s like, “No, carbohydrates are the one non-essential nutrient.”
Abel: That’s true.
So yeah, it’s just weird trying to figure out why the mainstream is so against this.
Part of it, I guess, is that their bills are paid by these big food companies.
Yeah, what do you think about why are people so resistant to this stuff?
The Importance of Ditching Dogma
Abel: Capitalism at work, maybe. There’s no real incentive.
It’s a lot of work to actually be healthy, and most of the misinformation is out there, it’s so deeply entrenched, kind of like science. And it takes 10 or 20 years to accept anything.
It took the food marketers 10, maybe 20 years to get rid of the low-fat thing because that never worked anyway. There’s just so much misinformation.
Oh, here’s an example. When I go and look for flights, I have no association with it, but I just go to Kayak, because back in college or maybe just after, it was just like, “That’s the place where you went to get the cheapest flights.”
Then I came across this article that said there’s a better website to go to where you get cheaper prices, or whatever.
What surprised me is that it never even occurred to me in those 10 years to go to a different website.
And I think that’s an example of, “Oh, I found my health food and it’s this.” Or “I found my diet, and this is who I am.”
Then it’s difficult to get out of that.
So if all of society is wrong about how we’re supposed to eat, and it’s compromised by all these people who are trying to sell us products, then it’s difficult to get recommendations for any sort of diet that gives you your power back, that makes it so you don’t need to buy something from them anymore.
It’s like, you can chill out and eat some nuts or eat some veg, or not eat anything, and feel fine.
Whereas if you’re hooked on their stuff and you’re doing whatever Jillian Michaels is saying… That’s one of the reasons I started this podcast is because all these talking heads are completely bought out by these giant corporations.
They’re just talking heads, they’re just puppets. They’re not giving you health advice, they’re giving you marketing.
And I think it’s really important that people like you are doing work now out of passion, because I assume there aren’t puppeteers pulling your string telling you, “You can’t say that. You have to sell this and make these advertisers happy.”
Well, exactly. I’m 100% independent. I’m going broke doing this. This is definitely my passion.
I’m out there, I have no advertisers. I have my own podcast called Peak Human and there are no advertisers ever.
I haven’t taken any money from anyone in the film, outside of individuals, so I’m trying to do this really on a grass roots level.
And the community has been so awesome. It’s amazing.
People coming out of the woodwork and making big contributions and supporting and sharing. I love this community so much, and I didn’t even want to work with a big company to help me produce it.
It’s really hard to make a film.
I almost went with one company but then we started having these meetings. And like, “Oh yeah, we could do this and then we’ll have this.”
And even though they have no ties in the food industry, they still want to put their spin on it to sell their own ideas.
So I’ve really resisted that, and just focused on communicating what I’ve learned, and that’s it.
I think I’ve been really unbiased in this. Everyone thinks they’re really unbiased, but my whole goal is to look at all sides of this, and it’s almost maybe at a detriment at times, because I’ll go on the podcast and I’ll have people I don’t agree with, like Stephan Guyenet.
And then afterwards people are like, “Oh, why do you have Stephan on? He’s the same old guy.”
Like no, he’s an interesting researcher and he has some interesting ideas, and I’m going to look at all the sides of this. That’s how the film is going to be.
Maybe I was sort of biased when I started down this route a year and a half ago, where I was like, “Oh carbs are the worst. No one should ever eat carbs.”
And then you kind of have your own journey of realizing that there’s more to the story. There’s context, right?
There’s so much context, like what kind of carbs, and what are your goals? Are you an athlete? There are millions of inputs.
So I think now I’ve come around to this really all-encompassing view of nutrition, almost like the unifying theory of nutrition.
I talk about how you can go down different paths, and you can be healthy down a more vegan route, maybe. But I don’t think anyone should avoid all animal foods.I don't think anyone should avoid all animal foods. Click To Tweet
But you can be healthy on a plant-based diet or you can be healthy on a meat-based diet. You just don’t get stuck in the middle, don’t be like most of America eating 40% carbs, 40% fat. You know what I mean?
So people can go down these paths that actually have these unifying themes. They’re avoiding a lot of the same things. They’re avoiding processed foods, they’re avoiding vegetable oils, and sugar. And they’re implementing healthy habits.
Of course, all of the lifestyle changes of working out, better sleep, lower stress. There are a million things that aren’t related to just not combining fat and carbs together.
And I had this realization. I was like, “Wait, so why do people who use the potato hack lose weight?”
You heard about the potato diet? I’m like “That’s weird.”
Or the high starch diet. These people are eating almost nothing but rice, and they’re losing weight.
And then you realize that the body has these different mechanisms and there’s different things going on. It’s not just that carbs are bad, it’s that there’s a lot more to it. And you can go down these different paths.
So I think that’s going to be good for a film, to understand that this isn’t a one-sided propaganda piece.
What the Health is a vegan film that really made me start this project.
A year and a half ago, I watched that film, and I was like, “I can’t let this happen.”
You can’t just make a film about this. Barely any of this is true.
I love The Magic Pill, Pete Evans is great. It’s a great film which started getting this message out there.
But I did look up criticism of it, and some people said, “Hey this is kind of just like a propaganda piece.”
But on the other side, they’re saying Keto is the only way to go. And then maybe they had these transformation stories that were a little too unbelievable or making too big a claim.
Just like, “Oh you can cure autism in 10 minutes with just a stick a butter.”
I understand how the science works. I’ve been to many conferences about the science of epilepsy and using a ketogenic diet as medical therapy to help reduce brain tumors. There’s all this stuff that ketogenic metabolic therapy, a true Keto diet can do.
But I don’t want to throw that out in the film to the mainstream where they’re just like, “What, is this supposed to be some magic pill?”
I don’t want to be that extreme and make too bold claims.
So basically to wrap it up, the film will look at both sides of nutrition, it’ll show what the unifying theories are that makes people healthy.
But I do make a conclusion. You can’t have a good film if it’s just like, “Hey, do whatever.”
But what it really boils down to is we look at six main lines of evidence over all of history.
We look at evolution, biochemistry, epidemiology, randomized controlled trials, genetics and the gut biome.
If we look at all these things we’re going to make some conclusions about nutrition and the best way to do it.
We know there are different approaches, but what’s awesome is they all line up on this high-fat, low-carb approach.
It’s all about nutrient density. You can’t argue with nutrient density. That’s the amount of bio-available essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
So if you look at it from that standpoint, then you’re ending up with a high-fat, low-carb diet. You’re ending up with no carbs, eating and a lot of animal foods, and vegetables, and low sugar fruits, and nuts, stuff like that.
You can look at it a million ways and it all comes back to the same way of eating, this nutrient-dense, high-fat, low-carb approach. There’s no holes in it. Look at all the evolution.This ancestral health movement is all we've been doing forever. Click To Tweet
You can look at modern biochemistry, it still works. Some of the epidemiology doesn’t work, but I show why that doesn’t work in the film.
We can see why these food questionnaires or these Harvard Public Health biased plant-based help us. Epidemiology shows correlations and they try to make it into causation.
And so, yeah, basically, there’s a lot of holes if you look at other dietary approaches, especially veganism. And there’s no holes at all when you look at our approach.
Abel: Well, unless you’re looking at it with a compromised gallbladder, or with specific medical conditions.
I think it’s important to bring up the way that I eat, more as a function of what fat is, because it’s higher calorie right?
Nine calories per gram of fat, as opposed to four or five calories for protein or carbs.
If you’re our ancestor or an animal, historically speaking, that’s where your energy comes from.
It’s not about being high-fat as much as that’s baked in, you know what I mean? It’s not some diet.
I was a vegetarian for years and even a vegan for a very short time, but it’s come out over and over again, especially in this age of influencers that we live in.
I don’t know if you saw this, but this was blowing up the internet, about this giant Instagram influencer who is famous for being vegan and putting out all these vegan products and making a bunch of money from it. Except she accidentally posted a video of herself eating fish, which is not vegan.
So when something like that happens, does that mean she was never vegan?
And the backstory is that it was because her doctor told her she needed to eat more protein.
She stopped ovulating and started having actual physical problems from this diet. A diet that’s making her rich and famous supposedly, but then she’s locked into that until it was exposed.
I don’t want to say that you have a perfect diet, or that I do or anything like that, but that’s not how diets work.
It’s not like you have this one thing and it’s like that forever, whether it’s not eating meat or something else. It’s a moving target.
Our bodies all have different needs, we have different goals. And it’s like, if I’m running 30 miles a day like I used to, then I can polish off some carbs and it’s going to be alright. And everyone has that choice.
And so we need to acknowledge that just because you eat this way and I eat this way, it doesn’t mean that vegans are wrong. And it doesn’t mean that Paleo people are right, or that Keto people are right. It’s like, we all agree about most things.
If you’re doing an ancestral diet correctly, I believe it’s primarily plant-based volume-wise, and then it’s fat-based calorie-wise. But, I mean, that’s just not catchy.
Yeah, that makes sense. You could be getting over half your calories from fat without even eating that much fat, because it’s so dense with calories.
And actually, I meant that there’s more of a framework that we land on, not a diet that we land on.
So I do agree with you, everything you just said, 100%.
So I’m not saying everyone needs to be high-fat, low-carb, exactly how I do it.
There’s a framework that means embracing fat, to some degree, however much that is. It’s a framework that embraces all foods, it embraces minimally processed foods.
So it’s this whole framework, and The Wild Diet fits right in, and the Weston A. Price diet fits in, Pescatarian fits in. And that’s kind of the conclusion at the end of the film.
We land on it, and you need to customize it to your needs. And that’s going to be fluid. And yes, there’s a lot of context.
Abel: Well, even to that point, I remember a while back, Tony Robbins had a bunch of health issues from being pescatarian, specifically, because of all this heavy metal toxicity.
And so that’s another point—is eating mostly plants plus fish a healthy diet? Yes… until you’re overloaded on all these heavy metals, because we live in the real world.
And so, even if you are vegan, the best option might not be plant-based, or whatever.
So we need to be a little bit more compassionate, I think, with ourselves and with each other, and be like, “Alright, we’re all kind of in trouble here.”
No one has all the answers, but let’s do the best we can.
There are certain foundational principles that we can pretty much all agree on.
Absolutely. I don’t like people who get into this health world, saying there’s only one path.
Like vegans, they say this is the path and they ignore all the other ways to do things. Or someone who’s thinks only calories matter and only science matters.
I haven’t encountered a lot of people that really embrace all paths. What I’m trying to do is to get all sides, like don’t get wrapped up in your own way of thinking. And that’s a huge problem, it’s almost against human nature.
It’s like, “I figured this out. This is the way I do it, I use Kayak, this is my thing.” Or, “I’m vegan. This is my thing.”
You realize that you have to be more open.
Abel: Yeah, maybe there’s a better website than Kayak, you never know.
Abel: You said one thing actually in what you sent over to me. Blinded by your tribe is where a lot of people are at right now, and they may not realize it. Like how I was blinded by Kayak.
But you should always look at where you’re at, and often times the issue is that you don’t realize where you’re blind.
Yeah, and I don’t have a problem with vegans. I don’t have a problem with people eating whatever they want.
But I want people to be informed, and I think these tribes form and then they become activists.
That’s something that I’m getting into. I want to go against is these activists that are trying to push things on other people.
Like the EAT-Lancet thing. They’re like, “This is a diet for our planet. It’s the planetary diet, and this is supposed to help.”
And it’s actually not based on that much evidence, and I think they got the environmental factors wrong.
I have a lot of science and people talking about the environmental side, too. And it’s not what we think. You can make a case for animals helping the environment, right?
Abel: Absolutely, yeah.
If you’re raising animals properly, it is absolutely helping.
Abel: If you’re raising animals instead of humans, then definitely. 😉
If you’re getting that soil to actually grow and become more nutrient-filled and get more top soil, then yes, we’re helping.
The planet can sequester more carbon, they can do a lot of things.
So that’s what I have a problem with—these activists of any kind, people who are pushing their agenda to try to change you when they’re looking at it from their one side.
And then these guidelines go into schools, nursing homes, hospitals and the military.
So it’s not just, “Oh, I’m just going to eat my version of my tribe’s diet and I’m by myself.”
It trickles down into society and then we have school lunches that are a joke. And people send me pictures of hospital food, and it’s a complete nightmare.
How am I supposed to heal?
This is a time I need to be healing, and the hospital tray is a pure nightmare. It’s just processed food with no nutritional value, and it’s low-fat yogurt, bread with jam, and orange juice.
I would never eat that. I would fast before I ate that.
I don’t want to make some anti-vegan film or attack people, but I try to go against some of this propaganda that a lot of people have heard in the mainstream.
Abel: There’s a lot of it out there. But one reason that people do align with tribes is because of the social support.
It is so hard to do your own thing in this culture that we live in, when social media is attacking you all the time, and various people are thinking that their way is right.
So that’s one of the other things that happens, what if you are vegan or vegetarian, you’re part of that tribe and you’re rallying for that, but then your doctor tells you that you need to eat meat.
Do you keep lying to your friends? Do you have to give up your tribe?
I’m not against vegans either, but that’s the idea that you can never stray out and eat anything that is animal-based protein.
It’s scary to sign up for as an activist for the rest of your life, because what are you signing up for? And how much do you really know about it?
I don’t know enough about anything to sign up for that, right?
Exactly, yeah. I just want to give people information. I think a lot of it is they don’t have the right information, and you’re blinded, and you go down these routes and many people come to a more high-fat approach from vegan.
Because they’ve ruined their health, and they find that they’re healing themselves.
And so, yeah, they tell me these stories. I’ve done podcasts. Lierre Keith is amazing, if anyone’s read The Vegetarian Myth?
Abel: Yes, she was on this show a while back, too.
Oh awesome. So many people that have found the light, and it’s just about information.
So just making that available to people, so they can make their own choices and not to get too wrapped up in any one way of thinking.
Abel: Traditional media is all about getting you to think in one particular way. But when you make a film, it’s not. You’re able to choose what your thesis is and how you communicate ideas.
But I would imagine from your perspective, you can see that big media doesn’t work like that.
Yeah. Basically, it’s a whole new world where you’re answering to no one.
It’s great to just have the freedom to talk about what I’ve actually learned and not have to worry about advertisers. Or people above me trying to tell me what to do.
So, I don’t know, it’s very freeing.
Abel: It’s a rare thing, it really is.
As listeners of this show know, I was on ABC television and I’ve done some other stuff with big organizations. And having the freedom to speak your mind without being censored is a rare and beautiful thing in this world.
But it’s something that you really need to realize what it is, and then try to protect it with everything that you can.
Because if you’re trying to make a documentary or a feature length film, people are pretty quick to hop on board and try to take your free speech away.
It’s like, “Here’s all this money. I’ll take that. You can’t say this anymore.”
And I’ve just been really discouraged by how much of that I’ve seen in the book publishing world, and the TV world, in movies, documentaries, what have you.
So anyway, props to you for doing your own thing and going broke over it. Because that’s kind of what it takes, especially with these massive projects.
Yeah, definitely. It’s not always fun, but yeah I believe.
Abel: It’ll work. When I started this show, I basically didn’t have any money coming in and I was working a separate job just to make sure I could do this and keep it, and not be poisoned by these puppeteers, or what have you.
It’s tough to make it work over the years. You have to say “no” to a lot of things and a ton of money, but that’s kind of great, too.
I’m sure that your work is going to be so much more meaningful because of that.
You may have your own agenda—we all do, and we have our own blind spots—but you can make your own thing that can affect people in a natural way, hopefully.
And to anyone out there listening, do that project. Do it.
Yeah, definitely. It’s so fun to wake up each day and do something you believe in.
So, yeah, to anyone listening, it doesn’t have to be about health or nutrition.
I love that message of just finding that thing that maybe isn’t going to make you money, maybe it’s not going to make you money for a couple of years, but it’s a good hobby, and it gives you purpose.
Where to find Brian Sanders
Abel: It’s a calling for sure.
I can’t believe it, but we’re just about out of time. But before we go, Brian, could you tell folks a little bit more about your film as well as where they can find you?
Definitely. The film is called Food Lies, and you can find more about it at foodlies.org. And you can help support us on Indiegogo.
The film is in demand and you can still pre-order a copy. We need that because our goal is not what we actually need to make the film.
It takes so much money to make a film. We want to do animations and professional graphics, and just make it look awesome.
And really my whole goal is like, not everyone’s going to do all the research that I was able to do. I work until midnight on Friday nights. I’ve watched lectures, I’ve read 100 books. I’ve done a million things.
So what I want is to give people a 90-minute audio-visual thesis. Show your family and friends who didn’t do all this research, who don’t listen to these podcasts, and just lay it all out.
You’ll get it. They’ll walk away and be like, “Wow, everything I knew is wrong.”
And the best way to do that is with a feature length documentary.
So yes, foodlies.org. And you can also find me on sapien.org. I’m trying to do a much bigger thing here, go beyond the film and build technology to help doctors and patients and health coaches communicate.
You’re probably familiar with Virta Health. Virta’s making some awesome technology that helps reverse Type 2 Diabetes, and basically put it into remission.
They’re using technology combined with an app and a smart scale. So we’re doing the same thing and giving it to people, and we’re even trying to help the farming world one day change the way we grow food and stop mono-cropping.
Let’s get back into these mixed farming methods.
Sapien is a company I founded with a doctor and the producer of the film, which is a friend of mine I’ve known for years. And we’re trying to do all of this, and we’re already planning the second film.
But basically this is more of a life’s purpose and a life vision to make Sapien into a much bigger thing. So feel free to support me over there.
Abel: Awesome. Brian, you’re doing great work, man. I can’t wait to see how the film comes out. We need more people like you, that’s for sure. Thanks for coming on the show.
Alright, thank you.
Before You Go…
Here’s the review of the week.
“Hello Abel, my name is Pablito. I’m from Argentina living in Florida. I discovered your podcast by luck, and I feel grateful for it.
I was having food hate because there are so many conflicting points of view that really made me hate food. I was always tired and I’m overweight but I lost 14 pounds by starting to intermittent fast and going back to basics.
Thanks for the guidance through the podcast, and looking forward to your book that should be arriving soon. May you be happy and joyful.”
Thanks for writing in, Pablito.
Oh man, I just love getting notes like this, especially because you raised such an important point.
It’s not from finding this crazy new thing that’s going to be the magic bullet and solve all your problems. It’s by going back to basics and learning how to intermittent fast, which is basically doing nothing, right?
If you’re thinking about your relationship with food, it’s akin to unplugging from your devices, tech and the Internet. It’s taking a break.
It’s really important.
And then, focusing on the basics is so much more important than going down some new rabbit hole and trying to find this perfect new carb or supplement or protein type or amino acids, or whatever.
Those special new things may seem super exciting at first, but it’s really by embracing the basics and getting a good foundation for health, and then practicing good self-defense that you get to experience health for the rest of your life.
But you have to keep your eye on the ball.
My folks are in Florida, too. If you’re anywhere by St Augustine, maybe you’ll see them playing bluegrass tunes at the Farmer’s Market. But, may you be happy and joyful, as well. Thanks again for writing in.
If you’d like to share your story, the easiest way is to subscribe to the newsletter, and just reply to the email I’ll send you when you signup.
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We can only ship the U.S. right now, but hopefully we’ll be able to expand to other territories in the coming months and years.
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What did you think of this show with Brian Sanders? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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