Did you know that over 600,000 people die of heart disease in the U.S. every year?
That’s an astounding 1 out of every 4 deaths.
Well today we’re here with one of my dear old friends from Austin, Texas, Mr. Carl Swanson, a man who somehow stubbornly survived 5 heart attacks and turned his health around.
Carl is a former army Scout for a tank battalion with the 9th Infantry Division, he’s worked for Dell and CNN, and is a self-starter who’s done everything from being a tour guide, owning a food cart, and even starting a cheesecake business.
And no joke, Carl’s cheesecakes are some of the best I’ve ever had—you’ll hear a bit about that on today’s show.
We’re chatting about:
- How to reclaim your health after 5 heart attacks
- Food and service entrepreneurship in Austin, TX
- Ham Jam, a community-food music-based get together
- Why we should embrace our weirdness
- The secret to the best cheesecake in the world (and a recipe!)
- And tons more…
Let’s go hang out with Carl.
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Carol Swanson: How to Really Live Like a Free Agent
Abel: Alright folks, Mr. Carl Swanson is a former CNN host, hot dog cart entrepreneur, heart attack survivor, rabble-rouser, and professional cheesecake maker.
He’s also a long-lost friend from Old Austin. Carl, thank you so much for joining us, man.
Yeah, absolutely, my pleasure dude.
I’m like grinning ear to ear. It’s so good to see you and to be able to interact with you again.
Abel: Me too, it’s been far too long.
But obviously we’re in quite different places. I’m up here in the Rockies, you’re in Mexico now.
But let’s just start with the fact that you’re still alive. Because as I understand you’ve had 5 heart attacks now.
Abel: But you look as good as I’ve ever seen you, for sure. So catch us up, let us know how you’re doing.
I’m doing great. I had a triple bypass in November, like three years ago. And this is really weird, dude.
I was in a large blue retail outlet. I don’t want to endorse anybody from Benton, Arkansas, but I was back in the shoe section, right?
And all of a sudden I was like, “God, yikes, I’m having a pretty good one here.”
So I thought about it, I said, “Man there’s no way in the world I’m going to die in the shoe department of Walmart looking up at a bunch of people’s nose hair and grackles up on the rafters.”
Abel: Oh, grackles. They sound like car alarms, those birds.
So I grabbed a cart and I used it as a walker and I was like, “I’m going to go outside and if I drop dead the last thing I can look at is the sky and not the rafters.”
So I got outside, I called 911, and then they came, picked me up.
I was standing there when the ambulance came.
They were like, “Who called?”
And I was like, “Me.”
And they go, “What are you standing up for?”
“Well, I was going to walk over and get in.”
So I get in and go to the hospital. Turns out, yeah, a pretty good heart attack.
So they say, “We’re going to give you a triple bypass.”
And I was like, “No problem.”
The one thing I did tell my doctor though is, “I’ve had this hummingbird deal in my life. And, weird story, but the first tattoo I got was a hummingbird from the NASCO, Lyon Centre.”
I have it right down here in the middle of my chest and I told him, I said, “Look,” I said, “After this surgery, it better look the same as it did before.”
I said, “Because you can cut and go in from the side or something, but I don’t want you messing that up.”
And it actually worked out, dude. There’s just a little tiny glitch line.
Abel: No way!
Yeah, but they had my heart stopped for four and a half hours.
So I’m in the recovery room, and I’m talking to my nurse, because I’m obviously not dead, and she looks pretty good.
So we’re going back and forth and she goes, “Are you from the valley?” Because this was down in Brownsville.
And I said, “No, I just moved back down here from Austin.”
She goes, “Oh, we used to go to Austin every week.”
I said, “What did you do there?”
She goes, “Oh a friend of mine had a bar up there.”
And I said, “Oh, what was the bar?”
And she goes, “The Apple Bar.”
And that was right down the street from where I had the hot dog cart.
So I said, “Yeah, right next to The Onion, the pizza place, right?”
And she’s like, “Yeah.”
I said, “Well you know the hot dog cart, down on the corner?”
She goes, “Yeah.”
I said, “Well that was my hot dog cart.”
She says, “You’re joking me. I go by there every weekend.”
And I was like, “Yeah, you kinda look familiar.”
So they take me out of the room, the ICU, and bring me to my room and then they’re like, “Well take it easy, but as soon as you feel like it, you can get up and walk around.”
So they leave the room, I was like, “Yeah.”
So I got out of bed about four or five hours after the surgery, and I was walking down the hallway, and a nurse at the nurses’ station says, “What are you doing?”
I said, “You told me to get up and walk,” I said, “So that’s what I’m doing.”
She was like, “Not today, we thought… ”
But I don’t know it was a pretty cool experience and a small world.
So when I’m getting discharged from the hospital, the doctor tells me, “Okay, look, you have to sleep sitting up in a chair for at least a month because we split you open and, yada, yada, yada. Don’t pick your arms up over your head, don’t pick up anything over five pounds, for at least two and a half or three months, and blah, blah, blah.”
And I was like, “Okay, sounds good.”
And three weeks later, I was dragging a 65-pound suitcase through the airport of Mexico City and I thought I was having another heart attack.
I was like, “Oh my god, I can’t breathe,” and then I was like, “You’re at 7800 feet dummy.”
And I said, “Cool.”
So that was it, three weeks after I had open-heart surgery I moved to Mexico.
Abel: You’ve always struck me, Carl, as someone who creates your own destiny. And I think that seems to be a really rare thing, no matter what timeline you’re living in.
I want to say that it’s even becoming more rare these days in some ways.
Tell us about that. How are you living your life? Why did you decide to leave?
I don’t know, I’ve just always done what I wanted to do.
When I moved down to Mexico everybody said, “Oh my god, you’re so brave, blah, blah.”
And I was like, “I packed a suitcase and got on a plane. How is that brave?”If you want to do something, just do it. Click To Tweet
I decided to move to Mexico and so I just packed my suitcase and came down here.
I was doing really well, working at Dell, and some guy started cussing at me on the phone.
And I was like, “Yeah, you know what? Let me show you how to cuss somebody out.”
So, I went ahead and gave them a couple of pointers, kicked them over to Michael Dell’s personal extension, and walked out.
Grabbed my BUNN coffee maker and walked out, and I went out and bought a hot dog cart.
Abel: Wow, I didn’t realize that it was right after working at Dell that you did that.
Oh, yeah, yeah.
Abel: Is it because you didn’t want to work for the machine anymore?
I’m a horrible employee, but I’m a really good boss.
So I always figured it was better to just work for myself, in that way. I get along so well with my employer, that it’s just, you know.
I mean, I’ve had real jobs. I was a drilling fluids engineer. I went from parking cars to drilling oil wells and gas wells in Texas, which is pretty cool.
Abel: And so, for people who are listening, the way that Carl and I met was just literally a few days before my apartment and everything was burned down in Austin.
You were driving a cab at the time, and shortly thereafter, you bought your own.
Abel: SUV, right? And you were driving us around that way.
But anyway, I would see you a few times a week, because I’d be playing gigs and shows and going back and forth from there, and especially going out. Being picked up late at night.
And so, I saw you more than some of my best friends in Austin. And so, I really love that we got to know each other that way.
But I have to say, at the very beginning, especially, you had so many stories from so many different places.
And I’m just like, “Is this guy for real or is he just making all of this stuff up?”
Because, “How can someone live in all these places, experience all these different lifetimes, and learn all these different things?”
But what it really was, is you were just one of the first real true free spirits, I think I ever met.
Yeah. Dude, I can’t explain it. I’ve just always done that.
I was in English class in high school and one of the hottest girls in my class stood up and said, “Well maybe Hamlet had some kind of venereal disease that was affecting his mental process.”
And I left. I swear to god.
I looked at my friend, Bobby Augliero, captain of the swim team, and said, “I’ve had it with this. I don’t need to know this.”
And I got up and walked down, dropped my books on the guidance counselor’s desk, and walked down and joined the army.
And two weeks later, I was gone.
I think my cousin Julie said it best.
She said, “Every time somebody asks you, ‘Hey, do you want to?’ you’ve always said yes.”
Because, look, you could die any second. Trust me.
And I’ve been shot, been in car accidents, motorcycle wrecks, the whole nine yards, but as long as you’re here, you may as well experience as many things as you can, right?As long as you're here, you may as well experience as many things as you can, right? Click To Tweet
I joined the army. I did three years. I got out of the army when I was 20 years old. I couldn’t even go buy a beer.
And I was already done in three years. But I don’t know.
It’s like, if you go to a buffet, right? You get the biggest plate you can to take a bite of everything.
Don’t, “I’m just going to have the watercress and some diet Ranch dressing please.”
I’ve had a wonderful life.
I got to experience so many things, and I’ve got to interact with so many people.
When I had the hot dog cart, I was originally set up behind Danton’s.
Yeah. And I would tell the musicians, “Look.” Because they load up right there by the cart.
And I said, “Look, I’m not paying, but I’m hearing your music. So as long as I’m here, come on out and you can eat for free.”
“Sit down while you’re loading out and get something to eat and have a nice water, and just chill out.”
Hell, I know everybody from Robert Duvall, because he used to go in there with Billy Joe Shavers and stuff.
I’ve fed a bunch of people. And the good thing about that, like Robert Duvall.
I’m sure when people recognize you in public and stuff, they come up and say, “Oh, I love your videos. Thank you so much. Yada, yada, yada.” Right?
But we didn’t interact like a fan or something basis. We would just sit around talking like regular people.
Abel: Yeah, I remember you picked me up and you were just like, “Yeah, Robert Plant was back here just the other day. It turns out he’s a really cool guy.”
Yeah. That was funny, man.
I used to work at, and help the people at Uchiko, right?
So Robert Plant was out there and he had a couple of drinks.
He said, “Do you have a car service?”
And the waitress said, “Oh, we got better. We have a Carl service.”
Abel: I never thought about that. That is very close to car, isn’t it?
Yeah. So they called me, “Hey, Carl, you want to pick up Robert Plant?”
“Yeah, sure. I’ll be there in five minutes.”
So he’s out in front. I pull up in the Expedition. I get out, walk up. Because he was talking to a bunch of people.
And I said, “Yeah, Robert. I’m Carl. I’m going to be driving you. I’m right there. Do what you need to do, just come on over when you’re ready.”
So he’s talking to some more people in the valet, and he walks over and he’s getting in the Expedition and some guy comes running up.
And he goes, “Man, I hate to do this, but god, I love you, man. Thank you so much. You’ve done so much, man. You rock. Yeah.”
And Robert Plant is, “Yeah, thanks.”
Closes the door and I looked at him, I said, “God damn, I hate that.”
And he goes, “What do you mean?”
I said, “Man, I can’t go anywhere without that happening.”
And he just started busting up.
I think the first time you and I actually met, you were just walking by the cab.
I had a regular in that building across from your place that burned.
And you guys were just walking by, and I think I said something like, “You have a good week,” or something.
Abel: You picked me up. You probably did. Just catcalling on the street or something, and then I hopped in.
Then we became, what was it? Good five years, I think, you were driving me around on pretty much a weekly basis.
Carl’s World Famous Cheesecake Recipe
Yeah. You had one of my cheesecakes.
Abel: You made the best cheesecake I had ever tasted in my life.
There’s so much to talk about here, but yeah, let’s go into that a little bit.
One thing that’s always struck me, is how different your life path has been from all the things that you’ve done.
You just kind of bounced around from one thing to another. From the outside looking in, anyway, it looks like that.
But tell us about that little cheesecake enterprise, and also the secret to the best tasting cheesecake.
Well, if you want, we can go ahead and post the recipe.
Abel: Oh, that’s a great idea. Yeah, let’s definitely do that.
- 2 cup graham cracker or cookie crumbs
- 6 tablespoon butter, melted
- 6 tablespoon sugar
- 4 8-oz packages of cream cheese (NOT Philly)
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 8-oz vanilla or plain yogurt (or any flavor yogurt you want the cake to taste like—Key Lime, Dutch Apple, etc)
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Mix crust ingredients together, and spread around the bottom of a 9" or 10" spring form pan evenly and tamp it down with something flat. (Morton Salt boxes work pretty well.)
- Bake at 325°F for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven, set aside, and preheat oven to 450°F.
- Mix the cream cheese and sugar really well, scraping the bowl a couple of times to make sure you get everything mixed.
- Add the eggs one at a time, and mix in really well before you add the next one.
- Add the yogurt and mix well.
- Pour into the spring form cake pan, bake at 450°F for 10 minutes.
- Reduce oven temp to 300°F and continue to bake for about an hour.
- When it’s done, the top will be brown and it should rise up out of the pan a little. To check if it’s done, just tap the oven rack it’s on and if the middle is set firm, take it out.
- If you have a broiler you can toast the top of it under the broiler, like a marshmallow, it keeps them from splitting and if you put something on top of the cake it'll hold it there instead of it running off the side. Just keep your eye on it, you might have to rotate it slightly to make sure the entire top gets browned evenly.
- Let it cool for about an hour, then put it in the freezer (in the pan) overnight and take it out of the pan the next morning while it’s still frozen. It’s a LOT easier to take out of the pan if frozen, trust me.
- Let it thaw out and eat it.
I was sitting there one day relaxing and I just kind of got a munch going and I was like, “Oh, man. I’m hungry, what?”
And I was watching TV, and this Sarah Lee commercial came on, and I was like, “Bingo. Cheesecakes.”
So my mom and dad had given us a springform cake pan, and I walked out and I opened it up and there was everything I needed in the icebox except for sour cream.
But we had yogurt and I was like, “Boom.”
I substituted yogurt for the sour cream in a regular cheesecake recipe, and I took a slice into the lady at the restaurant I worked at.
The lady owned it, took a bite and said, “Who made this?”
And I said, “I did.”
She goes “We’ll sell these, to hell with Cisco.”
And that was it.
So I was waiting tables and I’d tell people, “By the way, don’t get stuffed because for dessert we have a raspberry chocolate chip cheesecake. It was just baked last night and it’s delicious.”
So I was selling the restaurant four or five cheesecakes a day.
And then I was selling all those cheesecakes.
So, I sold it to the restaurant and got paid out, and then I was selling them and putting them on my bill and getting tipped out on, so it was great.
Abel: That’s entrepreneurship right there.
One night, some guy just said to me, he goes, “Man, why are you waiting tables? Why aren’t you just selling these?”
So I decided go to the big restaurant on South Padre Island, it was Blackbeards’.
I took one over to Blackbeards’, and Lou and KC, the owners took a bite and said, “Yeah, we’ll sell these here.”
So that was it.
I got them in all the hotels, all the restaurants on South Padre Island.
I was working all night at the commercial kitchen in my guest house. And that’s what I did.
And during the cheesecake business, that’s also when I was working at CNN.
Abel: Oh, that was the same time.
Boy! CNN, wow. They’ve changed considerably over the last 10 years.
CNN Talkback Live
Abel: So tell folks a little bit about what you did, because I think this is fascinating.
Most people don’t realize that the Internet hasn’t even been around like that long, right?
You had something to do with the Clinton debates, right?
Not the debates. This is one of the funniest things ever.
Okay, CNN had a show back in the day called Talkback Live, and they were the first actual interactive show.
We would go on into a chat room on CompuServe, and we would take comments from the chat room and post them on a banner on the Talkback Live’s live screen for people in the audience, the studio audience.
So it was really interactive because they’d take comments off and they discussed it on the show, and all that stuff.
And it’s kind of funny, I look at places like, I don’t know, a sports show or something, and they have little comments from Bob in Omaha, saying “Blah, blah, blah.”
Dude, I was doing that in 1993.
So eventually in about 1997 or 1998—the show was on for eight years—we had the first ever, first and only live, presidential interactive chat.
And this is back in the day when there were 23 million people on the internet in the United States.
Anyway, it turned into this kind of interesting deal.
I was working remotely out of my house over the computer. I was one of the moderators of the chat with Bill Clinton.
So a friend of mine had mistakenly given a voice to an impostor President Bill Clinton, so both of them had a deal there, right?
And there were like 18,000 people in the chat room and it was a big deal back then.
Somebody asked a question, “What would you like to see the internet used more for?”
And the fake Bill Clinton made some inappropriate comments.
Abel: You’re sure it was the fake one?
Well, yeah. Because the first part of what he said was really off the hook, and then was kind of like related to watching Baywatch.
But so it went out, ABC, MBC, CBS, was all going, “Oh, CNN got hacked.”
Well, we didn’t. Because CNN didn’t run the web server, there was a company that we used for that, and they got all ticked off.
And they said, “We did not get hacked.”
So I fell on the sword. I didn’t want my friend who made the mistake to get fired, because I already had another job, right?
So I said, “Well, I did it. I went ahead and voiced for that person and that it was my mistake.”
And as a matter of fact, about three years ago, there was a web page up with the transcript of the conversation from the chat page.
Abel: Wow, that’s crazy.
Yeah, that was pretty funny.
How to Make a Profit by Not Charging People
Abel: So, another part of entrepreneurship, or kind of creating your own destiny piece of this, is that when you had the hot dog cart and then also when you had the SUV, you didn’t charge.
How does that work? That you can start businesses where you don’t charge people?
Okay, look. This was the deal with the hot dog cart. For the first three years, I charged people three bucks for a hot dog.
But I told them if they didn’t like it or didn’t think it was worth it, I’d give them their money back.
And I was also kind of a hot dog nazi because I had a hot relish that I made. And I’ll put that recipe up on your web page, too.
Abel: Please, yeah.
- 3 - 4 habanero chilis
- 3 - 4 serrano pepper
- ¾ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- ¼ cup green onion
- 10 pounds sweet yellow onion (10-15 Peruvian, vedallia or something similar)
- Add the habanero chilis, serrano peppers, honey, garlic and green onion to your food processor, and puree the crap out of that, and I mean liquify. Set aside in a bowl.
- Finely chop 10 pounds of sweet yellow onions... don't puree them, but you want to chop them almost to that point.
- Mix and eat. Adjust the heat to your personal preference
And I put a lot on the hot dogs, right?
So I decided after three years, I’d have a customer appreciation night but it turned out to be one of the coldest nights in January. And I only saw about, probably 50 or 60 of my regulars.
So I did it the next weekend to try and get the most, and it rained.
At the third weekend, the end of the night I was counting my money and I was like, “Man, I’m still doing okay.”
And what I would tell people when they’d ask me how much is a hot dog, I said, “They’re not free. I do not work for tips. You pay me what you honestly think it’s worth. Whatever that is, I’m fine with that.”
And it was kind of nice, but it was kinda creepy in a way, right?
Abel: It’s a little creepy, yeah.
Well, it’s a simple statement. Pay me what you think it’s worth.
And I also kept all my money in a jar on top of the cart because I didn’t want to wash my hands 300 times a night.
I let people pay whatever they want, make their own change and everything.
And I don’t know. It was a little bit sad that people were like, “Okay, look. I put in $10 and I took out six, so I gave you $4.”
I’m like, “Dude, relax.”
Because I tell people, “Look, if you have to rip off the hot dog guy, you got bigger problems than I deal with.”
And I think if you give people the opportunity to do the right thing, they’ll do it 99% of the time.If you give people the opportunity to do the right thing, they'll do it 99% of the time. Click To Tweet
And if somebody didn’t pay for a hot dog or something, the next guy would, so it didn’t really make that much difference to me.
Abel: Yeah. It’s gutsy in a lot of different ways.
And I think, it doesn’t necessarily pay off right away, but eventually, it does.
It’s a whole different way of thinking about the world. It’s like, “It’s my hot dog cart. I can do whatever I want”.
Well, when I first set it up, I never told anybody. I never asked anybody, “Do you want a hot dog?”
It was a hot dog cart, there were hot dog buns, it had a big light.
I figured they could probably figure out what’s going on here, right?
So, if I made eye contact with people walking by, I just said, “Hey man, did you have a good week?”
“Cool. Have a good night. Have fun.”
People looked at me, and then they go by, and pretty soon just, “Hey, what do you got?”
Somebody had stopped by.
But I never said, “Do you want a hot dog?”
Abel: Yeah. Well, people don’t talk to each other anymore, you know?
I’m sure that’s why I originally got into your cab, because I was used to being picked up from the airport. And like, the cabbies usually don’t say anything to you, you never talk to them or whatever.
And I think Uber has kind of become that, too, all these ride-sharing things.
Abel: One of my favorite things about hopping into the SUV with you is that I’m getting in with a friend every time. It should feel like that.
I’m putting my life in your hands, like any of your regulars were.
Abel: I guess they were eating your hot dogs, too. But certainly when they were being driven around.
It’s true, and I took all that into consideration first and foremost, man.
Abel: Yeah. But it’s a very human thing. It’s still transactional, I guess, but it’s a very human transaction, right?
And it’s still entrepreneurial, but not typically so.
Right. Well, look this is one thing I found out.
Everybody that you ever meet and interact with has something to teach you, if you let them.
If you’re open enough to understand what they’re doing.Everybody that you ever meet and interact with has something to teach you if you let them. Click To Tweet
And I might get a little verklempt, but…
I had a regular at the hot dog cart.
See I told the homeless people, “Look, I’ll go ahead and feed you.”
Because apparently, crack dealers don’t take quarters.
Because they were always trying to, “Hey man, I got $4 in quarters. Can I take four bucks out of the tip jar?”
And I’d be like, “Whatever.”
I guess they don’t have to do laundry or whatever.
So I had this one guy and I used to call him Stinky. He was a nice guy, but he got a little ripe.
So what I told them was, people basically was this, “You can have free hot dogs and I’ll give you iced water, but you can’t bug anybody on this block.”
“You can’t go to the street bar and bug people, you can’t stand up in front of Antoine’s. And if I hear that you are, you don’t get anything else.”
Which was kind of cool because actually, 99% of them respected it.
One day I was sitting there and Stinky came up, going by.
I said, “Hey Stinky, how you doing?”
And he turned around and he looked at me and he said, “You know, I have a name.”
I never felt like a bigger jackass. So I said to him, I said, “What’s your name?”
He goes, “Donald.”
I said, “Donald, I’m Carl Swanson.”
And we’re still good friends till now.
Abel: Wow. I love that.
Yeah, it was just kind of weird because you figured you’re not going to learn a lot from homeless people other than how to come up with a boosted GPS or whatever, right?
And the way he just turned around.
I used to tell him and his friend, Nada, they used to call him 50 cents.
So I told him I said, “Look,” I said, “Between you and your buddy Mike, you’re making enough money that you could, at that time, rent a two-bedroom apartment. You don’t have to be homeless, you can do the exact same thing but go home to an apartment and keep your beer cold in the icebox.”
And they eventually actually went and did that.
Abel: No way.
Yeah. Because I said, “On a good night, how much money do you make?”
He goes, “On a good night I can make over $100 bucks.”
So I said, “What do you make on a bad night?”
And he said, “$40 or $50 bucks.”
And I said, “Well dude, between you and Mike, you’re making $3600 bucks a month.”
Abel: That’s not bad.
I said, “There’s no way in the world you can drink that much beer.”
I said, “Why don’t you rent an apartment. Keep doing exactly what you’re doing.”
Snd he actually ended up doing that.
Abel: That’s so cool. Back in the day when you could afford to live in Austin.
Abel: That place changed.
One night I was driving Will Wynn and I think it was Wendy Davis in the cab.
And Will Wynn and I get along fine, but the changes were beginning in Austin.
And he said, “Boy, Austin is going to be a beautiful city or a great city.”
And I said, “Man, it’s going to be a horrible place to live.”
I said, “Austin is a perfect great town. It doesn’t need to be a city.”
I said, “It doesn’t need to be Seattle, or Portland, or Denver, Baltimore, Chicago or Philadelphia, or St. Petersburg, or Los Angeles, San Diego. No place. It needs to be Austin.”
And when I first got to Austin, I thought, “I’m going to live here for the rest of my life.”
Abel: Yeah, me too.
And when I left Austin, I just could not believe what had happened to that town in that short period of time.
Abel: Was it like 2014, 2015? When did you leave Austin itself?
Gosh, it was so long ago. It was early 2014, late 2013.
Abel: Okay, yeah.
One night I just said, “That’s it, man.”
I know the deal. Packed all my stuff up in my Expedition and headed down to South Padre Island.
Abel: How many people do that though?
I chose Austin because it was such a great city. I didn’t get a job and then move to Austin.
It was like I was shopping around. I went to Boulder and I went to San Diego and went to Austin.
It was like, Austin’s got the music scene right now.
This is 2008 right after Katrina happened, a lot of New Orleans’ musicians came.
I was playing sax with a bunch of New Orleans groups and stuff. It was a cool time.
But by the time 2013 – 2014 came around, more than half the places where we played shows had turned into parking lots, or luxury hotels, or something else that no one who lived there could ever afford or want to go to.
I went on a tour of the City Hall one time and they took us into the meeting room.
They were talking this, that, and the other thing.
And then the lady giving the tour pointed up at the light fixtures and they’re copper and there’s six of them in the room, they cost $18,000 a piece.
And everybody is like, “Oh, they’re so pretty.”
And I said, “Who in the hell in their right minds would spend $18,000 for a light fixture in a public meeting room?”
And the lady goes, “Well, they look like clouds or bats.”
I said, “They look like $18,000 worth of crap.”
And I just, I can’t believe it. Toby Futrell was the city manager. And I think it was right about the time that you were there.
And she’s the one who decided, “I want South Congress to look like trendy California style shops.”
And I offered to drive her in the cab for free to California, because if that’s where she wanted to live, I’d be more than happy to take her out there.
She was a city manager, and when she retired her severance package was $571,000.
Abel: Oh my god.
For a city manager, okay. Her pension is $18,000 a month.
Abel: One light fixture a month.
Yeah, yeah. She could light up the whole city.
And it’s just, all the horror movies like Blade Runner that everybody loves is this dystopian future where everybody lives in these units stacked on each other, and that’s exactly what’s happening right now.
The cities are becoming competitions to see how many people that they can get to move there.
Abel: And how many Amazons they can get there, and how many Dells they can get there, and how many other things like that.
But not how many good people, not how many communities. You know what I mean?
Well, there is no sense of community anymore in the United States.
Abel: There was. That’s why I moved there.
You were in my community and all the people we knew. We could afford to live there, and do art, or work jobs that we want to.
We didn’t have to be slaves to some gigantic silicon machine, which is kind of what it turned into.
Well, okay look. You know the 360 Tower?
I used to drive four people from there. And two of them lived on the same floor and none of them even knew each other.
Abel: Wow. Yeah, I mean that’s exactly what happened.
Because no one who used to live there can afford to live there anymore.
The place that burned down where you first picked me up or dropped me off, that first time way back.
Well eventually, with Alyson, I moved back to Austin for just a year. I think it was in 2016, or maybe it was 2017.
And the place that we lived, yeah, maybe it was a little nicer but it was about the same square footage and it didn’t even have as many walls. And it cost three and a half times more than I was paying.
Abel: Five years before or something like that, seven years before.
And so what that did is it made it so the noncorporate people couldn’t really create a culture anymore. They had to move somewhere else, which broke up that whole thing.
It doesn’t sound like something that would usually belong on this podcast, necessarily.
But I think what got kicked out was these bring your own food, or bring your own cheesecake, bring your own salad, bring your own guitar, bring your own whatever, little parties.
Where 20, 30, 40, 50 people in Austin would all get together, share food that they made, no one would charge anything, or maybe you drop five bucks in if someone got the keg or whatever.
But that was why I moved there and within less than five years, that was gone.
And remember the Ham Jam, the music Ham Jam?
Yeah, I remember, dude.
Abel: So the Ham Jam, for people who are listening, was a community-based thing where basically this one dude in Austin, who had done quite well for himself had this big house with this wrap around porch and multiple levels.
He’d cook up a few hams and just invite musicians to come jam for hours.
And I went to that a whole bunch of times.
And then that kind of community-food music-based thing, I couldn’t find it anymore, pretty much after you left around 2013 – 2014.
Leeann Atherton is a musician in Austin and she still has barn dances at her place.
Yeah, which are really cool.
Man, I’ll tell you what, the first time I walked into her place, I had a really bizarre, almost a lucid dream flashback type thing.
She had a barn and just a little stage in her backyard and a regular sized lot, I guess, or maybe a lot and a half.
And I walked into her barn and I looked up in the back corner and it was almost an exact replica of the garage, of the cottage that I lived in when I was a kid in Connecticut.
We used to go to the beach every summer, live in a cottage in Madison, Connecticut and it was like the Pennzoil can and the funnel with everything. And I looked, and I was like, “Damn.”
It was kind of weird, but, see, this is the deal.
People have to have a common cultural association to get along.
People are related to the best. They want to associate with the best.
And they do that in everything. “Oh, the band I go to, they’re the best. And oh, my BMW is the best, and my apartment building is the best, and my high school was the best, and I went to the best college.”
And that’s cool, that’s just human nature.
But that’s one of the things that… Okay, it’s like religion, a lot of people make fun of religion and stuff. But it gives people from disparate cultural and ethnic backgrounds something to associate.
It’s a common cultural association.
So people from, like I said, with nothing in common, they can all go to church and maybe for that time at least in church, these are all our brothers, right?
America’s Cultural Allergic Reaction
One of the things that I learned when I was working at CNN, we had Rodney King riots.
Okay, 57 people got killed in those riots and it was Blacks fighting Asians, Hispanics, and Whites.
And I don’t think people realized how violent that really was.
But a couple months later, there were Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians all sitting together, watching a Lakers game and they were all fans because they had that, “Oh, he’s a Lakers fan.”
If two guys walked into a bar and one had on a Dallas t-shirt and the other had on a Broncos t-shirt, there’d be a fight.
“That’s not our blah, blah, blah.”
But if two guys just started talking and said, “Man, I love the game of football.”
“Yeah. Me, too.”
That way you can say, “Well, I like Denver. Well, I like Dallas,” without hating each other.
When I worked at Dell, one of the reasons that I did so well is I got there an hour early every single day.
I got there at 6:00AM and I read newspapers from Denver to Seattle to Chicago, Trenton New Jersey, all that front page stuff, whatever.
So I get a phone call, and, “Where are you from?”
“I’m from New Jersey?”
“Oh, I heard your mayor’s son got arrested this morning,”
And you go from being just some voiceless jackass in Texas—”Oh I talked to somebody in Texas”—to a homeboy.
And so that was one of the reasons I did so well at Dell. Because instead of just talking to somebody on the phone, I was talking to a homie, we had something in common.
So the thing that bothers me and one of the reasons I left the country, is that Americans don’t have a common cultural association as Americans anymore.
People are breaking down into individuals.
Everybody’s got their glasses, they drive around in blacked out cars, they’ve got their earbuds in, their hoodies up, right?
And predictably, human beings, it’s kind of weird, the same people who do that are the same people who complain about people being in solitary confinement in prison. But they live in solitary confinement.
And what happens is, the predictable outcome of human nature when put in that kind of situation is violence.
We get to the point where we’re scared of everything, and when people are scared, they react violently.
Americans fight all the time about everything. And the thing that really kind of ticks me off is that it’s mostly done by establishment media.
They promote all social narratives that pit people against each other.
And the thing that’s so aggravating is it’s incredibly destructive to do that.
But it’s also incredibly easy to give people something, a common cultural association so that people get along.
Abel: The Ham Jam.
Yeah, absolutely, right?
And that’s what’s aggravating for me.
When I go back to the United States to recharge my Visa every six months, I go there for two days. I stay at my friend’s house.
Abel: It’s toxic right now. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of things, but in my lifetime, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a culture so toxic as America is right now.
You know what? I don’t think the culture is toxic.
I think people are having an allergic reaction to it.I don't think the culture is toxic. I think people are having an allergic reaction to it. Click To Tweet
Abel: Yeah, that may be true. I think you’re right.
People aren’t doing it on purpose, but it is happening.
Right, right. And to me, moving everybody into cities, stacked on top of each other, making sure nobody gets along or whatever.
That’s what they do in dystopian police states, basically.
Abel: Totally. Yeah.
“Well, you guys are always fighting, so we’re going to have to take care of you and protect you from yourselves.”
And I’m sorry, people might think I’m crazy, but that’s what I see progressing.
I’m 64 years old and the America that I was born into and grew up in was radically different.
Even as late as 2000, people could disagree without hating each other.
Abel: That’s true.
And one thing I used to always say on CNN when I was in there was, “Look, the way that you discuss things with people without getting mad is saying that we both want to achieve the same things.”
We all want better schools, better jobs, safer, cleaner air, all that stuff. We just disagree on how to get there.
But if you focus on the point that you share, that you all want to have the same outcome, it’s easier to disagree without hating each other.
And they pretty much deliberately remove that from the discourse.
Abel: Well, and even at this point on the internet, puffing up both extreme sides, even though they’re not actual people. It’s AI and bots that are driving the ideas.
And I brought this up on the show before, people eating paleo or keto or vegan or whatever you want to call it, it’s like, yeah, there are differences between how you eat.
But number one, who cares?
And number two, 80% of what we’re talking about here, if you’re doing it right, is going to be the same thing.
You’re all health nuts who care about health, let’s agree about that.
Because we’re a minority, we’re a fluke, we need to band together.
Well, when I was selling cheesecakes at the restaurant before I started doing a deal, I’d tell people, “We have cheesecake.”
And they’d say, “Do you have diet cheesecake?”
And I’d say, “Yeah, as a matter of fact, it’s excellent.”
I said, “It tastes exactly like the regular cheesecake and has a third of the calories.”
And I’d say, “I promise, It tastes exactly like the regular. And if not, it’s free.”
And they go, “Okay, no problem.”
So, I’d go out back and I’d cut a real thin slice off it, and I’d go out and say, “Here’s your diet cheesecake.”
And they’d look at me and go, “Well, that’s no diet cheesecake.”
And I’d say, “That’s one size. That’s the other, that’s diet.”
And the other thing I used to always tell people is, “Nobody dies healthy, you may as well die happy.”
Making the Health Shift
Abel: Well, let’s talk about, I don’t go on social media very often, but when I do, I’d look for my old friends and see how they’re doing and that’s how we reconnected.
And one of the things you posted about was how, I believe the doctors told you that you were going to lose all your toes, you’d have to get them all chopped off, right?
Well, yeah, they said I had diabetes.
Abel: Yeah, oh, okay.
And I’ve got a bunch of friends with diabetes and they’re like, no more sandals for them because they just fall off… And they do.
That was one of the biggest things, was your eyes going blind.
I’ve gone through so many things and I’m still alive.
Apparently, it’s going to take pretty much an act of God to kill me, right?
Not that he hasn’t tried.
So I figured if I’m going to be around for a little bit longer, I would rather not have doctors chopping my toes and fingers.
And, “Oh, it’s just below the knee.”
I was like, “Oh great. I can be a pirate on Halloween.”
So, I stopped eating carbohydrates.
And I don’t know, it wasn’t that difficult.
Abel: This was how long ago? A year ago or something?
About six months ago.
But my hemoglobin went from 6.9 to 6.1.
My doctor at the VA said, “You don’t even have to take metformin anymore. You’re prediabetic, but you’re not diabetic.”
I’m still ugly, but I take up a lot less room.
Abel: How much have you lost?
I’m at about 200 pounds right now, and I was about 270 when I moved down here.
Abel: Wow.I went from a 44-inch waist to a 32-inch waist. - Carl Swanson Click To Tweet
Abel: Wow, that’s so crazy. You must feel a lot different.
Yeah, I worked all those years as a valet. And when you’re a valet parker you use your left leg to get in their car, so my left knee is shot.
Abel: Really? From the valet?
Oh yeah, I ran the biggest valet parking service in Denver, Colorado.
Abel: Oh my gosh.
Yeah, yeah. I was bartending, somebody said, “Hey, can you help me tonight. I’m parking cars.”
And I was like, “Sure.”
And I went over and I did that, and I was like, “I’m not bartending anymore.”
It was great. I got to drive. Lyle Alzado had a Countach.
He was like the first 50 people in the United States to have a Lamborghini Countach.
And he came in, and I said, “Man, you know, I’m going to take it down.”
Have you been to Denver?
Abel: Oh yeah, yeah, we live like an hour from Denver now.
Right, well Cherry Creek Drive, right? It’s a beautiful, long flat straight race track.
And I said, “You know, I’m going to take it down to your restaurant and back.”
He goes, “Go ahead”.
So, I got to drive Lamborghini Countachs. It was great.
It was unbelievably a wonderful deal.
Abel: Worth it for the bum knee. But let’s talk about the carbs.
Because a lot of people might not say that it was easy to cut out carbs, just kind of do it six months ago, and then lose what, 70 plus pounds or whatever.
But when people do decide to do that, that is kind of what often happens, they start to lose a lot of weight.
See that’s what we were talking about.
People get into these little social narratives, “Oh, it’s hard to lose weight. You have to go on a diet, and you have to talk to somebody, and there has to be a counselor, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
All you have to do is decide to do it.
I decided to stop.
And it’s like anything else. Any time you make a fundamental change in your life, you think about it, you try and talk yourself out of it for as long as you can.
And then one day you finally just say, “Well, hell with it. I’m just going to go do it.”
And when you make a decision to do that from that point on.
It’s like, when I quit smoking cigarettes.
Like with the carbs, instead of saying, “Oh, I can’t eat sugar anymore, or I can’t eat cookies, or I can’t eat chocolate.”
I just say, “I don’t eat sugar anymore. I don’t drink Coca Cola.”
Abel: Yeah, that really helps.
I drink water and coffee.
Abel: That sounds familiar.
Well, but see, the words that you use to describe events to yourself have incredible power and incredible meaning, right?The words that you use to describe events to yourself have incredible power. Click To Tweet
And when you make a decision in your mind, “I’m not going to drink alcohol or I’m not going to smoke tobacco anymore.”
Once you make that decision, you don’t do it anymore.
I have a real problem with 12-step programs because the fact is, a person is powerful over everything in their lives.A person is powerful over everything in their lives. Click To Tweet
They have a decision to make, and they have the ultimate authority.
In a 12-step program, “Oh, you can’t hang out with your old friends or you can’t go to a bar. You have to apologize and grovel, and you have to self-identify as an alcoholic, or a coke head, or something.”
To me that’s ridiculous.
Abel: Yeah. Well, it could be dangerous, too, if you’re assigning that addiction to one thing, and then saying I’ve conquered it, while you’re secretly addicted to something else.
A lot of people, for example, quit tobacco and then they go straight to sugar, or straight to something else.
But they’re like, “I’ve conquered my addiction.” No, you’ve just moved it.
Yeah, it’s like the old AA meetings man, everybody is in there, chain-smoking Marlboros and Chesterfields, “At least I don’t drink.”
Hey, you got another bogey.
It was just like, “You guys are crazy.”
Once you decide to do something, you do it.
And once you decide to make a change in your life, it happens.
One of the things that I’ve been struck with, in my life out of my own experience, and seeing all my friends and everything, is the power of the human mind.
Okay? This is my philosophy. The future never gets here.
It’s like my date with Sheryl Crow. It’s going to happen soon.
And the past has already happened.
And if you’re honest about the past, it is what it is, and the only thing you can do to change the past is how you look at it, okay?The only thing you can do to change the past is how you look at it. Click To Tweet
You can look, “Oh, It was a horrible event.”
Or you can say, “Well, at least blah, blah, blah.”
It can either be positive or negative, and you define that.
But the moment that you’re in is your life.
Because it’s the only thing you ever really own is the moment that you’re in right now.
The only thing you ever really own is the moment that you're in right now. Click To Tweet
And you can decide to be positive, you can decide to be negative, you can decide to be angry or mellow, or whatever you want to do.
And that’s what I try and keep focusing on in my life.
Abel: Yeah. Well, one thing I’m realizing is that if there is kind of a running theme to your different careers, and what you’ve done, it’s that you’ve had the freedom to have conversations with cool people.
Abel: Pretty much all day, all night, whenever you want. And how many people get that today? They really don’t.
I have to be honest with you, man. I have met, and actually had discussions with probably well over 100,000 people in my life.
And my aunt Josephine told me, she goes, “The thing I like about you is you give a crap it doesn’t work.”
And I said, “What do you mean?”
And she goes, “You will say whatever you want, and you don’t give a crap if anybody likes it or not.”
And I’ve never been afraid to walk up to anybody and start talking to them.
That’s how I met Robert Duvall and I gave him a hot dog.
You just talk to people.
Sandra Bullock was dating Bob Schneider for a while.
Abel: I didn’t know that. That’s a really funny combo.
And she walked around going into Antoine’s and she goes, “Oh, you must be the hot dog guy.”
And I said, “Oh, you must be that actor chick.”
We just got along great, man.
Abel: Well, she had her own little cupcake thing going in Austin for a while, I think.
She did. The best. It was an unbelievably good restaurant.
Abel: I went there a few times. Yeah, it was good.
I ate there four or five times and, you know, it wasn’t just good. I was always impressed.
I was like, “Man, this absolutely always felt like it was worth going down here.”
But, I don’t know. The hot dog cart I think was the best experience I had in my life.
Abel: Is that right?
Well yeah, because like I said, I got to meet so many people.
I had a guy, he was standing in line and he goes, “How much is your hot dog?”
And I said, “It’s three dollars.”
That’s when I was selling them.
And he goes, “Ah, I only have a dollar.”
I said, “Don’t worry about it. Give me a dollar and pay me the two dollars next time you see me.”
And he goes, “Well, I live in Austria.”
And I said, “Well, I live in Austin, so I win.”
And he goes, “Why would you do that?”
And I just talked to him.
I said, “Look, dude, if you give people the opportunity to do the right thing, try and chill out, you know, it’s not all that important.”
We had a discussion.
So, two years later, I look up in line and the guy’s there and we make eye contact.
He goes, “Do you remember me?”
I said, “Yeah, you’re that guy from Austria who owes me two bucks.”
And he was like, “Whoa.”
But he came up and he actually said, “Dude, I want to thank you.”
And I said, “For what?”
And he goes, “The last time I was here, my business was doing crappy. I had a bad attitude, my wife and I were thinking about getting a divorce, my parents wouldn’t talk to me.”
And he goes, “You talked to me for 15 minutes, man.”
And he goes, “Now my wife and I get along, my business is kicking ass, my parents think I’m their long-lost son.”
And he goes, “It’s just, I listened to you and how you looked at things and I tried to adopt a little bit of that into my life.”
I thought that was cool that he came back and said thanks, you know.
Abel: Yeah, but that’s how it works. That’s how it works.
Yeah. It’s a ripple, man, and you’d never know.
Like if you just smile at somebody. “How are you doing? Did you have a good week?”
And when they walk around the corner, they might smile and somebody else might see them smile, right?
And they’re like, “Yeah, wonder what they’re happy about.”
It has an effect, you know.
Everything that you do can have a really profound effect on a lot of other people.
And it can be positive or negative, but if you do it in a positive way, I think, it’s a cool deal.
And that’s one of the reasons that I’m so upset about what’s going on.
I’m seeing humanity torn apart and pitted against each other.
And it would be so much easier just to have everybody getting along.
Abel: It would. It’d be so much easier.
Yeah. And it’s easy.
You generate so much negative energy being angry all the time. And I mean, why?
Abel: Yeah, looking at your life you’ve got plenty to be angry about if you chose to be angry about it.
I choose to be sarcastic. Which is a lot more fun.
But a lot of times in people’s lives, when they get really anxious, I told this to a lot of people in the cab.
I’d pick somebody up and go, “Hey man, you’re having a shitty day, what’s up?”
“My old man, my boyfriend, I hate my dog, I hate my cat, this, that and the other thing.”
And I used to tell them, “This is the simplest analogy I can give you, man.”
Say you have to be somewhere in 25 minutes, and it’s a 20-minute drive and you can’t find your car keys.
And you’re like, “Oh my god, where the hell are my car keys?”
And you’re running around, and you’re looking under stuff, and you’re freaking out, and checking your pants for the 10th time, and looking in the bathroom, behind the toilet and the kitty litter box.
And then you take a second, you go, “Oh sh!t, they’re on the kitchen table.” Right?
And the minute you walk in the kitchen and you pick up those car keys, all the negative energy, all the anxiety, everything that you were feeling just before that is like, poof! Gone.
Like Keyser Soze, man, just poof!
Off into the wind and then you go out the door, you get in your car and everything’s cool.” Right?
And I think a lot of times, I think people like you, I think you helped a lot of people remember where they put the car keys, right?
Abel: I hope so.
Yeah, because you’ve changed a lot of people’s lives, dude, with the whole Paleo deal and the whole nine yards.
You decided that you were going to do that. You decided that you were going to have a beneficial effect.
And I know because I was driving you around at the time that you didn’t do it for the money.
Because one day you said, “Dang, I just found out that I could have made like 3 million bucks last year.”
And I was like, “Yeah, here’s something like that.”
And I was like, “Yeah, but you didn’t and you’re still sitting next to Alyson and you’ve got a nice place.”
So I know that you didn’t do it for, you know, for the money.
Abel: I do it for the meaning.
Yeah, it’s like, “Look, man, it’s not hard, you can do it. Anybody can do it. Change your mindset and you can do anything you want.”Change your mindset and you can do anything you want. Click To Tweet
And I think you’ve done that to a lot of people.
Abel: Thanks man.
And not only have you benefited the people, but everybody they know have been benefited too, right?
Abel: I hope so. I really do.
Well, I see it as passing it forward. And you met me at a really interesting time.
It was about to be the worst of my health and kind of the worst moment of my life.
Like right after that fire when I lost everything, I had to cancel all my gigs, so I lost my saxophone, I lost the CD I was working on, I lost all my guitars, I lost all my work stuff, I lost all my college stuff.
And I was just trying to get my life together, and the State Farm insurance people wouldn’t give me any of the money that they owed me.
And I didn’t have a mailbox because it burned down, so I couldn’t get any of my files.
And at the same time, it’s like, doctors are coming at me trying to medicate me with all these pharmaceuticals because my health is falling apart.
And so having been there, it’s like, I don’t want anyone to be there, you know what I mean?
Having experienced that and seeing the other side, it’s like getting out of it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was, it was just a matter of doing the right thing.
That’s it. And that’s how you benefit people.
And I try and do it, too, but I don’t have the audience that you do. But look, if you decide to do something, you can do it.If you decide to do something, you can do it. Click To Tweet
Every massive change in somebody’s life is because they decided to do it, okay?
And you decided to make yourself better, and in doing so, you were an example to other people.
And they said, “Well look. Look at this dude, he’s from Austin, if he could do it, I could do it, right?”
It’s like when I give out the cheesecake recipe, I tell people, “Look if I can cook ’em, it’s no big deal.”
But it’s the truth you’ve had a real positive impact on a lot of people’s lives.
And not everybody because some people, “Oh, look.”
Dieting is funnier, changing your lifestyle is funny. Well, see, this is different.
Dieting is not changing your lifestyle, dieting is adopting a behavior that you didn’t really agree with.
Abel: That’s rare.
It’s like joining the Cub Scouts. I have to go every Wednesday. Right?
Abel: It is, yeah.
And eventually, you don’t go on Wednesday and that’s it, and eventually you sit there on a diet and go, “I want a pizza.” And they get off of it.
But when people do a lifestyle change, when they make a decision, “I don’t need pizza anymore.”
I order pizzas here, but I just eat the toppings.
Abel: Is that true?
Yeah, because like every three or four months, I’m like, “I had already… ”
So, I go get a pizza and I just eat the toppings because there’s no carbs on the toppings.
Abel: I like your style, Carl. You can do whatever you want.
Well, see I got a little bit of Asperger’s, so.
I always look at things from a little bit of a different angle.
Abel: It helps. Embrace your specialness, embrace your weirdness, and all the things that make you who you are.
Well, look at it this way, sometimes you can be confronted by a huge obstacle in your life.
And you think, “Oh, there’s no way.”
And then somebody will come along and change your perspective, and you look back and it’s just a little tiny piece of sand.
Abel: Yeah. It’s just a fact that you’re looking at it from a slightly different perspective, and it gives you a clarity of mind.
It’s not insurmountable. You’re insurmountable. You can do anything.You're insurmountable. You can do anything. Click To Tweet
And if you get just a little bit of a different perspective, man, it’s a piece of cake.
Abel: You’re so right about that. And I think you’ve given a lot of people a different perspective today.
But, I can’t believe we’re already out of time, but I would definitely love to have you on again, Carl, because there’s so much wisdom here.
And I think America is losing sight of a lot of the, really, the common sense stuff, or just that slight oblique angle that you just mentioned, where you take a step back and you look at things again.
It’s like, “Am I really living a life that I want to be or am I just doing all of this stuff and trying to keep up?”Am I really living a life that I want, or am I just trying to keep up? Click To Tweet
Right, right. You’re here for X amount of time and you could go at any second.
So you may as well smile.
When they find your body they should think, “What the hell is he laughing at?”
Abel: Yeah. He’s laughing because he didn’t die in a Walmart.
That’s right, in the shoe section.
Abel: So Carl, where can people find you and what are you looking forward to, what are you working on?
Well, I’m not working on anything right now.
I’m working on being the only gringo in Mexico, where I don’t have to talk politics or talk football or baseball with anybody.
I’m just, I should have moved here like three minutes before I met my ex-wife.
But then, see this is the deal, I never would have met you.
Where you’re at today, you’re meant to be here, and if you had changed anything in your life up to this point you wouldn’t be where you are today.
Abel: If I hadn’t met you, I wouldn’t be here. And I do believe that you were and still are a mentor of sorts, especially at a really vulnerable time in my life, and I appreciate you.
I reminded you of stuff that you already knew, brother.
Abel: Sure, maybe.
No, I’m serious, man. The important things in life can’t be taught, they have to be learned.
And the best way to learn them is that you have to realize that you already know that. Right?
I didn’t do anything, I reminded you of who you were, brother, and that’s all.
Abel: Right now you’re doing it. Well Carl, thank you so very much for joining us on this show. We’ll have to have you on again soon.
Yeah, it was great, thank you so much, take care.
Before You Go…
Here’s a quick review that came in from Adam. He says:
“Down 35 pounds and off my blood pressure meds thanks to this podcast and The Wild Diet book.
I really like how you get different points of view. This was the first podcast I ever downloaded and that was after the show with Shaun T. Wish I had found it sooner.
Thanks for everything.” – Adam
Well, Adam, thank you so much for the review. That’s crazy to hear that this was the first podcast that you ever downloaded.
But yeah, of course, Shaun T is a good one. And that reminds me if you’re listening to this show and you’re not aware, we’ve been doing this for a long time, coming up on 10 years now.
There are more than 300 episodes. So if you came in for the Shaun T episode, then presumably you’ve listened to the episodes since, but there’s a heck of a lot before that, that will still be relevant.
The way that I’ve recorded this show is that if people listen to it 10 years from now, hopefully, it will still be just as true and just as relevant.
Of course, we learn things as time goes on, but also there’s more misinformation as time goes on.
And sometimes you have to look back when things were clearer.
So, going back to the interviews, the past interviews that I did in 2011, 2012 or 2015, or 2018, or even 2020, depending on when you’re listening to this in the future, can be very beneficial.
So, don’t forget, load up on all the episodes of this podcast, whether you want to watch the video interview, we’ve got that for you, without outside advertising. We also have the audio and we have full transcripts written up of pretty much every show.
So, whatever way you want to consume it, if you want to boost your immune system, if you want to boost your performance and you want to enhance your recovery, these are kind of all of the same thing, you have to follow the same advice, and it’s a very holistic approach.
So, don’t be afraid. Go back to 2012, listen to some of these interviews. They are still extremely relevant.
So, thanks again for the review, Adam, and thanks to all of the rest of you who have left reviews or told your friends about this show.
It really helps when times are hard. So, we appreciate every little bit of support from you folks.
There are a lot of announcements coming up soon. If you would like to support this show, I don’t want to spoil it yet, but there are many things in the works for this year.
So be sure that you are subscribed to us everywhere you can on social media—@fatburnman on Twitter, Abel James on Facebook, @fatburningman on Instagram, Abel James on YouTube—sign up for the newsletter, podcasts, and all the rest of it. Please follow and subscribe and tell your friends.
And if you’re in the U.S. and you’d like to support this show, and you’re also looking to stock up on the very best health supplements around, then be sure to visit WildSuperfoods.com.
You can get probiotics, shelf-stable fruits and veggies and superfoods, omegas, and many, many more. (Exciting announcements coming soon!)
Just go to WildSuperfoods.com. When you sign up for the Subscribe and Save, not only does every dollar help support this show, but you also get free access to our coaching community, The Fat-Burning Tribe.
And like I said, these are the best health supplements around.
So be sure to go to WildSuperfoods.com.
And then one more quick reminder about my new book, especially for our international friends and listeners and anyone who might be bored to tears right now, you can pick up my #1 international best-selling book entitled Designer Babies Still Get Scabies.
If there were ever a book to help you giggle through the apocalypse, this is it. You can check it out at DesignerBabiesBook.com.
So if you’re feeling a little bit bogged down by the negative news and media, this can help relieve some of the tension.
And reading these poems to each other can be extremely fun and silly. We’ve done it with our families.
But, also, if you dig audiobooks, I really put my heart and passion and hard work into this one.
Here’s what Dr. Srini Pillay, Harvard neuroscientist and past guest of The Fat-Burning Man Show says about my new book Designer Babies Still Get Scabies:
“Abel James shares his playful and satirical side through remarkable poems that make you laugh out loud. It’s as if you’re reading a limerick while also feeling like you might just have entered the mind of a brilliant commentator on society and life.
The poems feel like a tease or tickle from someone you love. If you want to feel loved or smarter, or laugh a little harder, get this book.”
So be sure to pick up your copy of my new book, Designer Babies Still Get Scabies, over at DesignerBabiesBook.com.
What’s your favorite Cheesecake recipe? Did you enjoy this conversation with Carl? Drop a comment below!
Vrishen Kumar says
Very Good Article
Alyson Rose says
Thank you, Vrishen!
Love this interview with Carl. What a great storyteller he is. There’s so much wisdom here. And now I have a hankering for homemade cheesecake. 🙂