What’s the biologically appropriate diet for human? Can you chow down on steak every meal, and expect to get results?
I have a very special episode of the Fat-Burning Man show for you today.
I like interacting with you folks, and I think it’s quite amazing that with today’s livestreaming technology, people from all around the world can join in and ask questions and interact with me in real time.
In this particular Q&A session, we had a few familiar faces show up in the livestream comments, which I’m very happy to see, including Kurt Morgan, my contestant and teammate on the ABC TV show a few years back, who dropped a whopping 87 pounds in 14 weeks with the Wild Diet.
Within an hour of posting this video, we already had a few thousand views, so hopefully you’ll dig this livestream. I recommend a lot of the books that I’ve been reading recently that have made a big difference in the way that I think, and I even go on a few rants.
In this Q&A, I chat with you folks about:
- Incorporating kettlebells into your workouts
- What carbs I recommend
- Protein bars and protein powders, and if they’re worth it
- Why the carnivore diet is so popular on the internet right now
- And tons more
Alright, are you ready for this? Let’s go see what questions you guys have.
Livestream Q&A With Abel
Ok, this first question is from Claude who asks, “What gave you the inspiration for Future Greens?”
Future Greens is right here, and there are a number of things that gave us the inspiration. Number one, Alyson and I have been traveling for a long time, as a lifestyle, and it’s not always easy to get the perfect organic or wild salad, fruits, veggies.
Perishables can be hard to get on the road. And so for a long time we had been putting various superfoods and things that are supposed to be extremely good for us, powders, super fruits from all over the world, and various things like that, together.
We’d be throwing them into our smoothies to basically make real food supplements for ourselves. But it was really expensive, it tasted pretty bad a lot of the time, and it was also messy.
So Future Greens is a combo of over 20+ different fruits, veggies, and adaptogens and various supplements that we had been putting into our smoothies for a while, but this is a concoction that actually tastes good just in water.
You can use it in smoothies, you can actually even use it in some no bake cookies, which we’ve done on the road many times, but it’s something that I believe I could take for the rest of my life.
I was basically looking for a way that Alyson and I could have our own family company, and be our own sponsors so that we would have control over our own message.
Because unfortunately when you deal with big networks, partners, or outside sponsors, sometimes it can influence the message. And I didn’t want that to happen.
So, I was looking for the things in our lifestyle that we would feel confident taking every day that would improve our health, and act as health insurance against the pharmaceutical industry and the healthcare industry, which I really don’t want to have much to do with in my own life, because I’ve been mistreated in the past and a lot of other people have been mistreated by that industry.
Focusing on nutrition is one of the most important things that you can do, and there are certain nutrients that we know we all need. Many are in Future Greens.
Very few people debate that veggies and fruits, especially organic ones, are good for us, and this is a way to get a lot of the nutrition without the sugar, for example, in the fruits.
There’s less than one gram of sugar, you can mix it in water, you can take it on the road and we really like that.
These are all health supplements that Alyson and I have been taking for years and we found a way to basically bring our favorite ones to you through Wild Superfoods.
We look forward to bringing a few more out in the months and years ahead. I’m not going to spoil the fun yet though and announce what those are.
So, if you’ve tried Future Greens, let us know how you like it because Alyson and I tried so many different powders, greens powders, reds powders, veggie powders, fruit powders. Most of them taste like fish tank. Ugh!If it doesn't taste decent I'm not going to take it, especially not every day. Click To Tweet
And I’m not saying that you should take Future Greens every day or certainly that it should replace vegetables for you or anything like that.
I stand by every single word in the Wild Diet and what I put out there to the world.
So, you do need that positive foundation of good eating and a healthy diet. I don’t think supplements can ever replace that.
That’s why they’re called supplements. But especially in the imperfect world that we’re living in now, when you don’t have access to fresh foods with a whole bunch of vitamin D3, A, minerals from all sorts of various fruits and veggies; that stuff can be hard to get in this world.
And especially with the increase in hurricanes and natural disasters, which has affected us personally, and with the break down in some of the infrastructure, I think it’s really more important than ever to have reliable nutrients around, especially shelf stable ones.
So, Future Greens, Vitamin D Stack, Mega Omegas, and Probiotic Spheres to a lesser extent because they need to be refrigerated, those are all things that we like having around personally.
And learning everything that I have over the years about health and also talking to my mom Angie who’s been on the podcast and is a holistic nurse practitioner, and herbalist, Future Greens and some of the other products that we’re putting out, we really believe in and it’s what we take every day.
And we’re not crushing it. We’re not doing this for money and making a whole bunch of it.
The idea is that if there are enough people who follow us and they’re interested in things like Future Greens and other things from Wild Superfoods, we can be our own sponsor basically and about break even and maintain the independence that I think truth requires.
So anyway, that’s a very long winded way of bringing you up to date on the backstory of Future Greens. And there’s a lot more to the story, it’s been going on for a long time.
We wanted to honestly get some of these out there to you guys way back in 2014 and 2015, but I think it’s really important to do it right, which often means doing it slowly, a lot more slowly than perhaps you were hoping for or planning on.
So, thanks for bearing with us and believing in what we do.
Honestly, in the world today, it’s very bizarre doing the right thing, and being non-hype-y doesn’t necessarily get you rewarded on social media these days.
It’s been a wacky and crazy adventure, but all I can say is that it’s really nice to feel somewhat settled again.
Now we’re in Colorado, before we were in Texas for almost 10 years, but we’ve got solid internet, we’ve got a nice studio to work in and record in and I’ve got a whole bunch of interviews set up with a lot of people who I think you’re really going to enjoy, including JP Sears, Arthur Haines, and tons more.
Some of my friends from way back in elementary school, high school and college who have grown up to be coaches, Olympians and educators, they’re going to be coming on the show, too. I’m really excited to talk to a lot of them.
Alright, let’s get to another question.
Michael asks, “Do you utilize kettlebells in your workouts?”
Yes, I do.
I have a go-to workout that I’ve been doing for as long as we’ve been in Colorado, but I’ve been increasing because the elevation here at 8,000 feet makes it much more difficult to do a normal workout that you might do at sea level, especially if that’s what your lungs are used to.
So, when I was getting back into building up strength and the ability to do sets or at least the same amount of reps in the sets that I used to be able to do at sea level in Austin.
It’s a 70 pound kettlebell that I use most of the time. I also have a 50 pound, 60 pound and 30 pound kettlebell. And most of the time what I’ll do is I’ll do a squat and press with the 70 pounder about 20 or so times, and I’ll do about 3 sets of that.
This is for what I call Monster Lift Monday, which I just did yesterday. So, that’s one piece of it.
Oftentimes I’ll do one handed rows, bent over rows. I can’t really demonstrate for you here at my desk, but bent over rows with the kettlebells in one arm.
The kettlebell swing of course is wonderful for your back, your legs. Kettlebell is an awesome piece of equipment because it lasts forever.
We’ve taken several of them in the back of our truck on road trips, drove them across the country and just used it whenever we feel like we need a little bit of strength workout.
Especially when you’ve been sitting for too long, it feels really nice to use your legs, and get the blood flowing again.
Ok, so the other pieces of that workout. I like switching between the kettlebells and then I have two 52.5 pound free weights.
So, if you lift them together, one in each hand, it’s a little over 100 pounds, and I find that with the 70 pound kettlebell and the two 50 pounders, you can do a whole bunch of different exercises.
I’ll vary it up a little bit, but usually it’s some sort of deadlift, some sort of squat and I’ll do two or three different sets, basically until I don’t feel like I can do anymore, but usually not to full failure. I don’t want to injure myself.
I’ve done that enough especially when I was younger, and fortunately I’ve been really good about not getting injured, especially when I’m working out at home.
Kettlebells are some of the best bang for your buck. Some of the best ways you can use your time. Not everyone can hire a personal trainer.
I don’t even bother doing that, and I don’t really go to gyms. But if you can get someone who knows how to move correctly to help you, that’s really important when you’re doing exercises with free weights, especially once you start dealing with the weights above 30, 40, 50 pounds.
You can really hurt yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing. So, it’s important to focus on correct form.
And the good news is that, depending on what exercise it is, you can usually find very good explainer videos. In the FatBurning Tribe we have a lot of videos showing different exercises and how to do them.
But start slow, and know that any time you’re moving weight in a way that’s not hurting your joints and not hurting the alignment of your body, any time you’re moving weight, you’re getting a little bit stronger.
So get out there and move the way that you like it. Don’t feel like kettlebells are the perfect way, or only way of exercising.
We should all be moving, building strength, building speed, endurance, dexterity, all these things, hopefully for our entire lives. Keeping all of those up, that requires a lot of different kinds of working out.
Free weights and kettlebells have always been my favorites, combined with sprinting, pull-ups, pushups, and simple things like that.
Because it doesn’t take a whole lot of money, it doesn’t take a gym membership. I can do it from home and I’ve been doing those very exercises for years, and I feel good.
I feel relatively cross-trained when I keep those squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, pushups, rows, and the full body workouts. When I keep those up, I feel balanced, I feel symmetrical. And that’s really important and it helps you from getting injured.
Alright, let’s see what else do we got here?
Casey asks, “Who do you read and follow?”
Well, one of the reasons I really enjoy doing the podcast and putting out the health information is because I literally read the guest’s entire book.
Or if I have 6 – 8 people that I’m recording with for my podcast that week, I’ll read 6 – 8 books over the course of a few days and just absorb it.
And so when I’m talking to the people who are on my show, in a lot of cases, those are the books that I’m reading, especially right then when it’s fresh in my mind.
And honestly, I read a lot about eastern philosophy and music.Combining healing with music is something that I'm really into right now. Click To Tweet
Some of you may remember that coming up on 10 years ago when I first moved to Austin, there was an apartment fire and I lost everything, which was all of the books that I was studying, all of my musical instruments and all of the art that I was working on, my poetry, etcetera.
But one of the cool things is that I recently found a list of some of the books that I had studied at Dartmouth with some of the music and technology professors. Books about psychoacoustics, about how music and sound is generated, and the perception, the way our brain perceives it.
So, I got this whole list of books about psychoacoustics and about how sound affects us. And so, obviously doing what I do, that’s very interesting.
I can’t necessarily say that that will be the most interesting thing to people who have different interests who are out there listening, but I can say that every time I learn about a new subject or a new topic, or every time I learn a new instrument, it makes me better at the other ones, too.
You learn something across all of these different genres and modalities, and I think that’s really important. It’s like cross-training for your mind.
And as far as who I follow, I try not to use social media all that much as someone who’s spending time consuming it.
I try to create more than I consume.
But I follow a lot of my old friends. I like keeping up with the human relationships.
I’ve grown a little tired of all of the hype, especially in this day and age video is so overhyped and so saturated and there’s so many people saying so many things, it’s hard to know what’s true.
And so, honestly, I’ve gone back to some of my oldest teachers who have now become friends and I enjoy, like on the podcast, talking about big ideas with them.
It’s a really good question—who do you read and follow? Because I think it’s one of the most important things to think about today—who are you letting in? Who are you spending time with?
With your consciousness, what are you absorbing from them, what are you learning or not learning? Are you dropping the ball because of their point of view or their world view?
One great piece of advice that came out during the podcast that I just recorded with Ryan Lee is that the complexity level of everything now is just over the top insane.
And so, oftentimes the solution is simplifying. Maybe it’s not as much about who you specifically follow or how many people you follow, it’s more about pruning out all the things that aren’t serving you anymore.
And that’s what Alyson and I try to do quite often. Not that we unfollow people from Facebook and Instagram or what have you, we just don’t really use Facebook and Instagram in the sense that we’re just scrolling through the news feed all the time. We might go there searching for videos from one of my favorite instructors.
For example, one book that I would recommend to anyone who, even if you’re not a musician, is called Effortless Mastery by a musician named Kenny Werner, and he teaches at Berkeley.
He actually said yes to come on the podcast, so hopefully we’ll be able to record that in the next month or two. But basically, I’m using the example of a musical instrument, but this can really be applied to athletics, to your work, or other areas of your life.
Most people who are overeducated, especially if they went to music schools for instance, say they studied classical violin, when they approach the violin your heart rate starts going up, you’re bringing all this baggage, you feel freaked out and as soon as you start playing that emotion comes out because you have all of these attachments to: What will my teacher think? Am I being judged on the way that I play? Do I sound good?
There are all these logical things that are messing with your brain, such that you don’t think that you sound good anymore.
Or that could be applied to a workout where you hope you’d be able to do this many reps at this weight and you just can’t.
But anyway, it’s all about reexamining your relationship with your instrument and hopefully turning it into a piece of you.
Sounds a little woo woo. But the music can just flow through you from your emotions, instead of from your head and using all that baggage that you’ve learned over the years.
And that applies to every time you walk up to the fridge, too.
It’s almost like when you become aware of the way that you’re approaching anything, walking into a room, walking up to the fridge, showing up at your workout, it’s all about your mental attitude and your mental preparedness.
And that doesn’t always mean being hyper masculine and super intense and super logical, super disciplined.
In fact, in a lot of cases, it means letting up on the gas a little bit, tapping the breaks and increasing your own sensitivity.It's not always better to play louder and faster. Click To Tweet
I mean, most of us should know that, but that’s the way that most ego-based music is played.
So anyway, I’ve rambled on for quite a while about that, but Effortless Mastery is the name of the book, go check that one out. It is absolutely wonderful.
Alright, let’s see what other questions you have.
Oh cool, wow. Jim just got a whole six month supply of Wild Superfoods probiotics. Jim, please do let me know how you like that. And remember, it works best when you take it with meals, so that you can get some of the prebiotics at the same time.
Oh, Claude says that you liked Future Greens. That’s awesome. We’ve actually heard that a lot of kids like the taste which is a very good sign, especially because there are things that are good for them in there. And that doesn’t always happen.
Thanks, Kurt. Kurt likes the Future Greens. Oh, you guys are awesome, I really appreciate that.
David asks “Protein bars and powder: Good or bad?”
Protein powder is not something that I would describe as a whole food.
It’s almost always going to be better, I believe, to get nutrition from whole foods.
You know for example, I would prefer a salad to Future Greens. Like a giant salad, that’s just not always in the cards, you know what I mean?
So, let’s start with protein powder, because it’s a little bit simpler. It’s not really that natural.
We get sent so much protein powder, I cannot even describe how much of it we have right now, let alone how much we’ve gotten over the years.
You can imagine being Fat-Burning Man what stuff we get sent. But even in the protein powders that I’ve opened, it’s like literally, I have one that has been open for a year and a half, and I still haven’t gone through the whole thing.
It’s like chapstick. I don’t use up a whole chapstick. It takes forever. Protein powder, I just can’t think of a good reason to take it.
The only thing that we do with protein powder, really, is sometimes I have one that I enjoy, that’s kind of chocolate flavored and I’ll put it in hot water, and that will be a hot chocolate in the afternoon. Kind of as a way to break my fast.
I think it can be a convenient way of getting some sort of sustenance and some amount of protein, even if you’re on the move, or you don’t feel like cooking or cleaning up, that can be kind of handy.
It’s more of like a tea or a treat or something, so it takes me forever to go through the amount that most people must be going through this stuff.
I don’t think protein powder is particularly good for us.
Obviously, there hasn’t been a whole lot of deep science looking into long term effects of all the various proteins that we could have, but I could say almost every time that I choose and prefer whole food protein or fasting.
And as far as protein bars go, I might have them every once in a while as a treat, but that’s what they are. They’re a treat, they’re a candy bar, they’re not a protein bar.
If you look at most of them, they have more sugar than they have protein. And so, is it serving you? I don’t know. Is a Kit-Kat serving you?
Maybe if it’s post-workout, and you’re treating your hunger pangs a little bit, but I’ll take the home baked cookie from Alyson every time.
So we really try to focus on whole foods, if we can help it.
And when you’re on the road, I find that it’s a lot easier to get protein than it is to get fresh good organic veggies.
I don’t want to rip on anyone who finds success using protein powders or protein bars. I know there are a lot of people out there.
But personally, I prefer real foods and even when I have a ton of protein powders around, really expensive ones that are full of all sorts of different things, I still don’t use them all that often. With some exceptions, some are better than others.
Oh, is that Alyson here?
Alyson: Do you want coffee?
Abel: Ya, I’ll have some coffee. Thank you.
Thomas Talbot is teeing this one up: “Thoughts on the carnivore diet.”
Oh boy. The carnivore diet? Sounds appropriate for cats.The carnivore diet? Sounds appropriate for cats. Click To Tweet
As far as humans go, I don’t see the benefit for most people.
Here’s the thing. There are always going to be benefits to eating certain ways for certain people with very specific conditions.
For example, if you have a whole bunch of different gut issues, then perhaps it makes sense to work on those first before eating a whole bunch of fiber and a whole bunch of fruit and fresh veggies. Right?
So, not eating fiber and veggies could be beneficial until you get that gut thing sorted out, but also maybe not. It’s hard to say.
When you kick out everything that is not meat, which is what I assume a carnivore diet is—and if it’s not then that’s a really stupid name for it—but if that’s what it is, and you’re only eating meat, then how sustainable is that?
What are you going to do when you want a beer, what are you going to do when you want some popcorn or cookie?
If you’re a hardcore keto and you can only have less than 20 grams of net carbs a day, how are you going to eat your vegetables?
Are you going to feel guilty about eating a salad or an apple?
Are you kidding me? How is this health? How is this balanced?
Why is this getting so much traction right now?
I can tell you why. It’s because “carnivore” is a cheap word to buy on the internet.
So if you are a marketer or an advertiser, you can spend pennies on the dollar than what paleo or gluten free would cost to advertise.
So you can get these trends to explode really quickly because the words hadn’t been that popular on the internet yet in that way.
That’ll change and be replaced by something else soon. But what we don’t want is to regress, right? We don’t want to say, “Eating fruit and eating vegetables is bad.”
So, with some exceptions, I think it’s good to take a break from almost all foods for some period of time, just as our ancestors did.
I don’t think that most people will benefit from being a carnivore for the rest of their lives.
And I just could not ever imagine doing that to myself, doing that to the people around me, clearing the hallways.
Anyway, I think it’s so much more important to have a balanced way of eating and a balanced way of living.
You don’t have to call yourself a carnivore. When people ask me how I eat and they don’t necessarily know what I do, I don’t say, “I follow The Wild Diet.” I don’t say, “I’m wild.”I'm a human. I'm eating food. Click To Tweet
We should all get rid of these silly labels and, hopefully, learn how to eat in a balanced way again.
I know I’ll probably get some hate on the internet for ripping on keto and carnivore as I have recently, but I don’t want people to lose sight of the message that it’s not about the next big hype-y thing.
It’s all about educating yourself and learning how to eat and live well. And we all need each other to learn how to do that.
No one’s perfect. I certainly do not know everything, but I can guarantee you that the people who are putting a lot of juice behind the carnivore diet right now don’t know everything either.
And it’s really easy to have a lot of success doing something that’s out of balance at the beginning, especially if you’re losing weight.
You can lose weight in all sorts of different ways. Most of them are not healthy at all.
The real challenge is finding a way to be happy, satisfied, full of energy, in a way that’s sustainable and balanced for you and for the people around you. And it’s always going to be a moving target.
A quick question from Kelly: “Hi Abel. Could you share what a day of eating looks like for you? What carbs do you feel are the most beneficial to work for your body? I have lowered mine recently due to keto. Thanks.”
I don’t really think about carbs and protein and fat that much, honestly. I don’t count.
I don’t worry about the carbs that I eat, so a typical day of eating will be, I will have tea or coffee with maybe a bit of fat including some, like I might have Mega Omegas or Future Greens. That’s kind of the first thing that I have that day, which might be in the mid to late afternoon.
But before that, right now, I’m having coffee and it has Kalona SuperNatural grass-fed heavy cream in it, which is one of my favorite tasting heavy whipping creams. And so I’m having a few hundred calories of that in any given day, depending.
Sometimes I’ll drink it black, it depends on the coffee.
But for the most part I’m not really eating solid food until after 3:00 PM.
Alyson tends to eat before that. It’ll usually be more like midday or she’ll have some snacks. We’ll have her on the podcast, and maybe even a livestream some time soon so she can answer specific questions for the way that she eats because it is different from the way that I eat, slightly.
But suffice it to say, a lot of times we’ll start off, Alyson and I will at the same time have some bone broth to kinda get things going. Then usually some Future Greens. I like to snack on cucumbers, carrots, green apples, things like that, before we have our main dinner.
And as far as carbs go, recently Alyson’s been soaking a lot of oats and making chocolate chip cookies and also non-sweetened cookies for humans as well as for some of the animals that live around here as treats, including our dog, who just loves it.
So I like, and maybe part of this is my history of being a runner, I do like oats, the thick oats that are really fibrous, especially when they’re in treats. So that’ll be one of the ways that I get carbs.
It’s really easy to get green plantains, throw a couple of eggs into the blender, and that’s your batter. You pour it on, fry it up, you’ve got pancakes and you can use those pancakes as buns either for breakfast sandwiches, which we do all the time with bacon, cheese, and eggs.
Or you can even use them for burger buns, or just eat them straight up. Green plantains are very high in resistant starch.
Here’s one way I think about it, I only really have carbs for one meal a day, and I tend to not really have that much sugar. For the most part, I stay away from high glycemic carbs.
And usually when I want some, it’ll be in the evening and I don’t get hungry until I start eating that day for the most part, and that’s a big reason why I fast.
It can take a while to get used to it, but once you do, a lot of people report feeling the same way. You can have a bit more fun with your meals later on in the day if you haven’t been eating for the majority of the day.
So that has been working well for me. It doesn’t work well for everyone, so you really want to try various things to see what works best for you.
But suffice it to say, carbs, the most beneficial carbs, would definitely be veggies and fruits, I would say. In that order.
The green, fibrous veggies and colorful fibrous veggies, I try to eat unlimited as many as I can or as many as I want and feels appropriate.
And then as far as carbs go, they tend to be treats and I might have a few after my workout and I tend to work out in the afternoon.
And then there are a few carbs in chocolate, but even when I’m eating chocolate, I like the really dark stuff. I like the 80, 85 or darker. There’s this one bar that we have right now, it’s 92%. That’s just so good and so flavorful.
So anyway, your taste kind of change over time. And if you can get off the sugar wagon, off the carb wagon, it’s great that you’re doing a short term, but don’t feel like you need to stay away from carbs and fear carbs forever because that’s not really a healthy way of thinking about it.
Food is here to nourish us and to give us life and energy, and it’s not really beneficial for most people in the long term to vilify a whole food group, like carbs for example.
I think it is fair to vilify things like processed sugar, I think that’s different.
But when it comes to things like carbs, don’t overthink it. Don’t worry about it too much. Focus mostly on getting your body enough nutrients and enough food to feel energetic and to feel good.
Thank you all so much for joining me on this livestream.
Hopefully, we’ll be doing a lot more of these working out the kinks and I really appreciate you all joining in.
And if you’d like to help support us or you’re interested in more, check out fatburningman.com for over 250 episodes of The Fat-Burning Man Show. Plenty of recipes.
Check out abeljames.com for all of the new virtual reality adventures with Abel and Improv With Abel music video series. And then check out wildsuperfoods.com if you’re interested in Future Greens or any of our health supplements. If you’re interested in helping to support us, you can buy something from Wild SuperFoods or you can check out the little shop on our website.
And if you don’t want to drop any cash right now or you don’t have any to drop, we have so much for free.
Just sign up for the email list and we’ll fix you right up and send you the best cookies recipe you’ve ever tried.
Thank you all so much. We’ll see you all next time.
Before You Go…
Let me ask you a quick question. Do health supplements really work?
After testing many hundreds of tonics, supplements, powders and potions, over the past seven plus years, my wife, Alyson and I have found very few companies that we actually trust.
Massive faceless corporations seem to be running the show, often prioritizing profits well above our collective health.
Many supplements in stores and online, are of extremely low quality, are ridiculously overpriced, and some don’t even contain the active ingredient they’re supposed to be selling. We all deserve much better.
That’s why my wife Alyson and I created Wild Superfoods.
We’re a small family business and we take our own products daily because we think they’re the best out there.
Our Ultimate Daily Bundle provides you with a complete supplement regimen that you can trust to deliver maximum health benefits, without the guesswork whether you’re looking for Mega Omegas, Vitamin D Stack, Probiotic Spheres or Future Greens, our cutting edge supplements have you covered.
And as a listener of Fat-Burning Man, you can save over $80 on a one-time purchase, or save over $128 when you select Subscribe and Save. All you have to do is head on over to Wildsuperfoods.com.
And as always, if you don’t love any of our products from Wild Superfoods, then you get your money back.
Thanks for listening! Here’s to your health!
What did you think of this Q&A? Leave me a comment below to share your thoughts!