Consistency with Small Changes with Thomas Hemingway, M.D.

By March 9, 2024

Power of Electrolytes

In today’s episode of the Keto Diet Podcast, we’re diving deep into parts of our lives that we each want to change – some big changes, and others smaller. But the same truth remains… change takes time, and it also takes planning. Let’s unpack some of the simplest ways to make lasting changes, that stick for life!

Dr. Thomas Hemingway is a medical professional with a profound interest in the importance of sleep for overall health and well-being. Early in his career, Dr. Hemingway subscribed to the once-common notion that sleep was not a critical component of a productive life. His perspective shifted dramatically following the groundbreaking research by Dr. Jeffrey Illif and Nattergard at the University of Rochester in 2006. The discovery of the brain’s glymphatic system unveiled the crucial role sleep plays in maintaining mental health.

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Transcript

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:00:00]:

I had it ingrained in me that sleep was not that necessary and part of it in those days we just didn’t understand. Fortunately, since at least 2006, when Dr. Jeffrey Illif and Nattergard out of the University of Rochester came up with this whole process that we didn’t appreciate before called the brain’s glymphatic system, which is basically the process that flushes out all the tox sins that build up and accumulate throughout the day and gets rid of them. And we take out the garbage, so to speak, and we flush the system. We flush the brain of all these irritants, toxins, et cetera. This only effectively happens while we sleep.

Leanne Vogel [00:00:37]:

Welcome to another episode. I’m so glad that we get to hang out today. Thanks for bringing me into your day. Today we’re talking about changes, how to make lasting changes, and why it’s so important to bite off what we can chew thoroughly and consistently. So we’re going to be talking about sleep. We’re going to be talking about stress and workouts and eating. We’re going to really be just busting through some of the reasons why we have a hard time sticking to our goals and how to optimize our health one step at a time. From sleep, food, movement, energy metabolism, gut health.

Leanne Vogel [00:01:12]:

We’re breaking down all of the big components so that you can be really spot on and adjust as you see fit, as opposed to kind of flailing over your health, which I know many of us do. Our guest today is Dr. Thomas Hemingway, who’s a holistic and integrative medical doctor who lives and shares his personal and professional philosophy of prevention over prescription. He has the goal of saving 100 million lives by optimizing health and wellness through natural means. His book, preventable five powerful practices to avoid disease and build unshakable health, describes the foundational principles of creating solid, lifelong health and avoiding the leading causes of death worldwide. He also loves sharing this message in his top rated health podcast, Unshakable Health. I’ve been on his show I think at least once, maybe twice, where he is also known for distilling down the latest medical knowledge and science into easily digestible and actionable steps that can change our lives in the present and future. He is also a husband and proud father of six wonderful humans with whom he enjoys spending time in the outdoors, surfing, snowboarding, skiing, hiking.

Leanne Vogel [00:02:24]:

Every time he’s on a story, he’s in a different place. So super fun. His website is Thomas hemingway.com and his book is thepreventablebook.com. Okay, let’s cut over to today’s episode.

Leanne Vogel [00:02:40]:

Hey, my name is Leanne Vogel. I’m fascinated with helping women navigate how to eat, move and care for their bodies using a low carb diet. I’m a small town holistic nutritionist turned three time international bestselling author turned functional medicine practitioner, offering telemedicine services around the globe to women looking to better their health and stop second guessing themselves. I’m here to teach you how to wade through the wellness noise to get. To the good stuff that’ll help you achieve your goals. We’re supporting your low carb life beyond the if it fits your macros, conversation, hormones, emotions, relationship to your body, workouts, letdowns, motivation, blood work, detoxing, metabolism. I’m providing the tools to put your motivation into action. Think of it like quality time with your bestie mixed with a little med. school so you’re empowered at your next doctor visit. Get ready to be challenged and encouraged while you learn about your body and how to care for it better. This is the Keto diet podcast. Hey, Dr. Thomas, how are you?

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:03:50]:

Oh, man, I’m doing great, Leanne. So nice to be here with you. Thanks for having me on.

Leanne Vogel [00:03:54]:

Yeah, of course, of course. Anytime. You are just a blast to chat with. I can’t wait to go through all the things we have planned in a couple of moments. Just tell us what lights you up and why you do the work that you do.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:04:07]:

Oh, my gosh. A couple of moments. That might be hard, but yeah, just a quick kind of what makes me tick, what gets me excited. Well, my traditional training is in western medicine, and so I spent a couple of decades working in hospitals, clinics, ers especially. I’m board certified ER doctor. But what got me really kind of back to my roots, if you will, because as a kid, I was always super holistic, super interested in how the body ticked, what made it work, what was the nuance at the microscopic level, all those things. But then in medical school, it was pretty rote. We got the traditional teaching about physiology and pathophysiology and what’s disease, and then sort of the knee jerk treatment to disease, which most often, sadly involves pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:04:49]:

And about a decade ago, I was working, and I was in the ER, where I was spending a lot of time working, helping folks there. But what started to happen more and more frequently, which was really weird, because first time in my career, really, that people were coming in younger than I now, mind you, I’m in my time. I’m turning 50 soon, but folks were coming in with first time heart attacks, first time strokes, all sorts of autoimmune conditions, cancers and things, and many of them were younger than I. And I’m thinking to myself, holy crap, what is going on here? When I did my medical training 20 years ago, every heart attack patient I saw was in their. Nobody in their, like, what gives? What’s happening? What’s going on with our society? And I just felt like we are sadly avoiding the real problems that are literally staring us in plain sight. The most common illnesses out there are almost entirely preventable things, like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, the number one killer in women and men, of course, worldwide, is literally taking us at a younger age each and every year, and we got to do something more, we got to do something different. And so I just got really passionate about helping people dig a little deeper, get to the root of what really causes illness in the first place, and then not only help them to literally cure their disease, but prevent a lot of this from ever occurring in the first place. So that’s what lights me up.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:06:14]:

That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. That’s why I love to do this and share this and work with people, because, really, there is so much within our power, under our control, way more than we could ever imagine. Over 90% of all health conditions literally depend on us. The so called epigenetics of what we get to control the things under our control, not just those genes that our parents gave us. We can’t just blame them for everything. And so it’s exciting, it’s empowering, and just lights me up.

Leanne Vogel [00:06:39]:

That is awesome. And so, a little, I’m sure there are people that just heard that, and it’s so encouraging. And also, you said real problems, like the preventable things, diabetes, heart disease. What do you think is driving these things? Like, you’re seeing younger and younger people come in to see you, and you are seeing people in the hospital.

Leanne Vogel [00:06:59]:

And so what do you know to.

Leanne Vogel [00:07:01]:

Be true now of what’s happening to them? Why are they getting younger and younger? What are some of the components?

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:07:06]:

Yeah, I would say everything boils down to inflammation. Inflammation is at the root of just about every disease known to man, from heart disease to cancer to diabetes. Obesity, in fact, is an inflammatory condition. Even what goes on upstairs, our mental health challenges, whether it be anxiety, depression, that is literally inflammation of the brain. And the primary driver of this inflammation is the stuff that we do or don’t do. And it starts with what lies at the tip of our fork. It literally starts with what we eat each and every day, and then what we do and we don’t do with respect to our movement, our sleep, our stress optimization, all these other factors. But food is a huge part of that.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:07:45]:

It literally can turn on or off genes and can govern whether or not we get this inflammation, which leads to all these conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, neurodegenerative conditions, and mental health disorders. I mean, it literally starts with inflammation.

Leanne Vogel [00:08:00]:

And how detailed do you feel the diet needs to be? Because a lot of people listening to this podcast are pretty familiar with keto, and they’ve maybe been eating keto for at least a couple of months or low carb, and they’re still dealing with inflammation. Do you think that’s because there could be other things going on, or do you think that a keto diet isn’t a keto diet, like, there can be all different types, and inflammation can still exist in that paradigm?

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:08:26]:

Yeah, no, I think it’s a little bit of both. There’s kind of the keto. There’s sort of a dirtier version of keto. There’s a cleaner keto. I think if you just really try to focus on whether it be keto or whatever diet you are doing, as long as you’re getting real whole food ingredients, what I like to call just the single ingredient food stuff that doesn’t need a label. Right? It doesn’t need a whole ingredients list of 50 things. It literally has one thing you look at. It’s a grass fed steak, or it’s well raised eggs, if you eat eggs or poultry or fish.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:08:56]:

I love wild caught fish. It doesn’t need an ingredients list. And I think what’s interesting, and I’ve kind of seen this over time, one of the first, and I think most of your listeners and viewers will be familiar with the Atkins diet, for example, one of the original kind of ketogenic diets. And in those days, there wasn’t a lot of focus so much on quality of the food, so much as just the macronutrient profile. Right. We were shooting towards elevating the amount of fats that we were eating in our diet. We weren’t focusing so much on what constitutes a healthy fat versus a garbage fat, if you will. And so it’s about the quality, I think, more than, more often than not, that will ultimately contribute to inflammation or not, because there is definitely sort of a dirty way to do keto, and there’s a cleaner way.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:09:42]:

Right. If we’re just buying the pork rinds at the store, that maybe have seed oils in them and other kinds of garbage that they throw in there. Or if we have a pork rind that literally just says the Pork meat and then salt, it’s like, okay, well, I understand that ingredient. There’s two things in there. There’s salt, and then there’s the pork. Okay, that makes sense to me. So I think quality does matter. And if we go back to sort of the original source, which is a single food, whole food ingredients list, and then comprise whatever macros are making us thrive, I think that’s a great place to start, kind of eliminating all the noise and all the extra ingredients, as well as those that aren’t so healthy for us, like casito oils, for example.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:10:21]:

As far as non healthy fats, completely.

Leanne Vogel [00:10:23]:

And what I’m really hearing from you is simplicity. It’s that food is medicine approach. And I think a lot of people can get really hung up on if it fits your macros and all these little details, when ultimately what you’re saying is the less ingredients, the better. The more natural, the better. And by doing this, it can influence energy, clarity, weight loss, and some of those. Well, and inflammation is really how we.

Leanne Vogel [00:10:46]:

Got started on this topic.

Leanne Vogel [00:10:47]:

Did I get that right?

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:10:48]:

Yeah, totally. The simplicity is right there. I mean, if you go to the source, whether it be with your healthy fats, your healthy proteins, you go right to the source and you kind of get rid of all those extra ingredients, which happens with almost anything you can get at the grocery store that comes in a bag or in a box or with a barcode. Like I always like to help people remember it. That simply is, avoid the three b’s. Just go to simple whole foods, single ingredient foods that are hopefully well raised as well and procured in a way that is humane and all of that sort of thing. You can’t go wrong. I mean, that’s what our ancestors did millennia ago, and they never died of heart disease.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:11:28]:

Maybe they had an infection because they didn’t have antibiotics, but that’s a whole nother story.

Leanne Vogel [00:11:32]:

It really is. So how is this approach different to dieting? You talked a little bit about just if it fits your macros when it comes to keto, you’re really just thinking, how can I hit my fat amount and not really caring about quality, other factors in relation to food as medicine, that then maybe takes a different approach to a standard, quote unquote diet.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:11:53]:

Yeah, I would say the other thing that I like to focus on in addition to quality macros is the timing of your food. Right now, one of the biggest plagues that really is occurring with society today is we, as humans, tend to be eating every hour that we are awake. So if you think about it, we’re awake, on average, 16 or more hours a day. And the latest research shows that we literally are eating upwards of 16 plus hours a day. And so we’re never giving our bodies a break to do what we really need as far as to refresh the system, to cleanse ourselves, to dump all the toxins that we’re exposed to on a day to day basis. And we’re not allowing time for our metabolism to really work and to work smoothly to assimilate all of these nutrients that we’re taking in. Because what we didn’t understand maybe a decade or so ago was that this is a really taxing process. When we eat and we metabolize our food, first we got to digest it, we got to break it down, we got to assimilate it back into the proteins that we need to build, whatever it may be within the cells or the intracellular organelles.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:12:54]:

This whole process is super energy intensive. And if we’re doing it all day long and we never give our bodies a break, this is actually a driver of chronic stress and inflammation right then and there, our bodies actually need time to flush, to take out the garbage, so to speak. And this is kind of a topic I love to kind of elaborate on a little bit, because most people have heard of, for example, the phenomenon of autophagy. Right. There was a Nobel Prize given, I think, about six years ago for the work on autophagy. And that is a process that we really, really want. Like, this is something that will help us so much, but it can’t happen if we’re eating all day long, it just cannot happen. The physiology does not allow it to happen.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:13:33]:

And so taking breaks between meals or even doing a little bit of a kind of a circadian fast is what I like to call it. I think the intermittent fasts is kind of misunderstood because there’s so many varieties out there. People hear that word, and they’re like, okay, I got to go 1618 20 hours before I eat, and I got to do this omad thing, and they just overcomplicate things. And I think what we really need to focus on is we just need to allow our body to take a simple break, hopefully at least 12 hours every single day. And then if we can do some prolonged fast once in a while, maybe a couple of times a month, we’ll do a 24 hours, 48 hours, even 72 hours, that’s extra bonus points. And that’s really where the autophagy and the magic happens. But just simply taking a break and not snacking all day long, which is sadly what a lot of nutritionists and physicians still teach, that you got to eat every two to 3 hours, that’s what keeps your metabolism going. Malarkey.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:14:23]:

That is not a great way to go. Timing is important too. Timing matters completely.

Leanne Vogel [00:14:30]:

And another simplicity. We just finished talking about food as medicine and the least amount of product like ingredients, the better. And now we’re into fasting, which really sounds like more of a natural process. Any tips? Because you’re saying just don’t eat for 12 hours if somebody’s listening where that seems absolutely impossible. Do you have tips in order to get started with more of that natural process? Because I know for us, we’ve been doing this a really long time. Fasting 24 hours, not a big deal for me, but when you first get started, it can be kind of overwhelming. And you’re hearing just fast through the night and you’re like, I don’t think I’m going to make it. How do we start to incorporate that? Slowly?

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:17:04]:

But then later, midway through the month, when it’s time for ovulation, you’re not going to want to push yourself so much, and especially not at the end of the month, right before your next period, when we may have a little bit of pms or what have you. You definitely don’t want to be pushing your fast at that point because your body naturally is in a little bit of an insulin resistant phase there and you’re craving carbs and things like that. But I really feel like the twelve hour starting point is pretty doable for just about any of us. And if you’re only at the eight right now, just try to add 30 minutes once a week, and then by the time a month or so has happened, you’re already into your 12 hours. And then if you want to extend that based upon the time of the month or whatever, you should be able to do that. So that’s kind of the easy starting point.

Leanne Vogel [00:17:46]:

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Leanne Vogel [00:18:36]:

At 1500 degrees, you can get that perfect, delicious crust on both sides of your steak without overcooking it. And the steak is incredibly juicy and flavorful. There is truly nothing like this grill, and this really is the future of grilling. I’m really just sitting here salivating, thinking about these darn steaks. You can use the code KDP to get you $150 off Schwank grills. Go to schwankgrills.com. That’s S-C-H-W-A-N-K grills. And use the code KDP for $150 off.

Leanne Vogel [00:19:11]:

Yeah, I love all of those tips. I myself constantly forget that the cycle will change our ability to take on carbohydrates or fast. And how many times I need to be reminded after know done a carb bomb in the morning before a workout. And it’s day two of my cycle, and I’m like, oh, I don’t feel so good. It’s like, yeah, of course, Leanne, because it’s day one or two of your cycle. So, yeah, that stuff really does make a big difference. So we’re talking a little bit about fasting here, and you mentioned metabolism. Are there other ways that we can boost our energy and metabolism through this simple process?

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:19:46]:

Yeah, I mean, a simple, simple hack that. It almost sounds too simple. It sounds ridiculous, is just drink more water. And what I mean by that is just make sure that you’re hydrated. Most of us go throughout our day a little bit dehydrated. And so what I would ask all of us to do as our morning routine, like, literally, one of the first things you do when you get out of bed, drink 1617 18oz of water. Like, start your day with that, and then you’re already winning. And it’s that easy, because when you’re hydrated, everything works better.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:20:17]:

All of the metabolic machinery that you have, like, literally everything just works so much better, so much smoother. And there’s even this process that, I mean, it sounds kind of real scientific, but it’s basically water itself. Just the act of drinking water can actually speed up our metabolism a little bit. Can increase our metabolism’s ability to function and function well. And that’s just called thermogenic effect of water, basically. And so when we consume or drink, I should say water that actually will boost your metabolism. I just recommend that you stay on top of that throughout the day. And the other thing is, most of us kind of have this notion that we might go a couple of hours after a meal, and then we feel like, oh, maybe I should eat a little something.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:21:02]:

I’m feeling, like, that urge. I’m feeling a tiny bit hungry. Well, I would ask you the next time you feel that instead of reaching for any kind of a snack that might provide any calories at all, just drink a full glass of water. Drink 12oz of water when you feel a little bit hungry. And most of the time, that hunger dissipates, because the area of our brain called the hypothalamus is what responds to both thirst as well as to hunger, and the signals often get crossed. So, in other words, when you may just be a little bit thirsty, your body’s trying to say, hey, drink a little bit more water. Leanne, you’re just a little bit dehydrated. You’re getting on the verge of that 2%, and you’re going to get a little bit of brain fog.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:21:40]:

You’re not going to be as sharp and clear. You’re not going to feel quite as awesome. Just drink some water. But sometimes those signals get crossed and you feel like, hey, Leanne’s a little bit hungry. Maybe I should grab a snack right now because my energy is dipping a little bit. So next time you feel that, just drink a full glass of water, and that could be the game changer for you. So thirst is something that fortunately, we all have, but that signal can get crossed with hunger. And so if we stay well hydrated, not only do we get that little bit of a metabolic boost, like I mentioned, thermogenic effect of water, but also it just helps everything work that much better, more smoothly in every respect.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:22:17]:

So hydration is one of those secret sauces that sometimes we fall back on a little bit because we get busy, we don’t think about it. We’re not carrying our water bottle around with us wherever we go, or we just forget. I always have something to drink right on my desk. I mean, always, 100% of the time in my car, same thing. I got a water bottle that lives there. I got a glass water bottle pretty much everywhere in the house, and it’s always staring me in the face. So it’s a little bit easier. But before I did that, I had the same exact thing.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:22:46]:

I’d feel a little bit hungry, and I’d be like, do I need a snack, or do I just need a full glass of water? So next, try that full glass of water and see if that works for you. But simple act of staying hydrated could be a real game changer for you, and it actually helps your metabolism, too. So bonus right there.

Leanne Vogel [00:23:03]:

Yeah, completely. I started doing that about six months ago when I got hungry. About an hour or two after eating, I started drinking water, and now I’m up to a gallon of water a day consistently. Just making that simple switch, so that was a really big deal. And a little tip for those that keep water bottles in their car and around, just don’t forget to bring your water bottles in and clean them, because I can’t tell you how many times we have some issues. I’ll chat with clients and go through details, and they have gut issues going on.

Leanne Vogel [00:23:33]:

I’m like, how often do you clean your water bottle?

Leanne Vogel [00:23:35]:

It’s like, I don’t clean it. It’s just water. So make sure to clean your water bottle. Okay, so we’ve talked about food. We’ve talked about fasting. We’ve talked about drinking water. Where does movement fit into all of this with the metabolism? And is this something that we should prioritize right away, or what are your thoughts on movement? You mentioned walking a little bit ago, but how does this influence our metabolism?

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:24:00]:

Oh, my gosh. This is a huge lever for us, but it’s not in the way that you would think. So traditionally, and this is one of my biggest pet peeves with sort of western medicine and just a lot of the health, old school, I should say. Health advocates out there, they always say, all you got to do is exercise more and eat less. That’s it. It’s a simple formula of life. It’s, like, not that simple, actually. And what’s even more interesting, and it’s the reason I talk about food first, is that really, in truth, food is, I think, in my humble opinion, probably the biggest lever that we have control over each and every day.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:24:35]:

And it’s really difficult to exercise our way out of a really crappy diet. So, in other words, exercise movement is super, super important, but you gotta have a real whole foods diet to start with. It’s. No amount of exercise is gonna cancel out all the negative effects of a really crappy diet. My favorite example of this was, I don’t know, about a decade ago, I was at Disneyland with my kids, and I got six kids, and I just happened to notice this guy had a shirt on that had, like, a really know, power lifter type on there. And it was actually a power lifter with the head of a raccoon. And it said, I work out so that I can eat garbage. And anybody that’s ever seen a raccoon, those guys will blast open the garbage cans.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:25:20]:

They’ll eat anything and everything. And this is, sadly, the wrong message, and it’s a common one out there. People just think, oh, well, I can eat that candy. I can have this and that, because it doesn’t matter. I’m going to work off the calories. Food is way more than calories. Food is information. So you got to start with the whole foods, real foods, first.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:25:37]:

But movement is so critical, because what most people don’t realize is it doesn’t exactly follow that first law of thermodynamics that we learned in chemistry class in high school, where it says matter and energy for that matter cannot be created nor destroyed. It only changes form. Well, actually, what’s cool is if you move your body, you can actually generate even more energy than you’re expending. In other words, you think, oh, if I do so much, say, a cardio workout, or I do some weight training or resistance training for 30 minutes, I’m just going to feel more exhausted and tired afterwards because I used up so much energy to do that wrong. You actually feel better. And anybody that does this knows how they feel. They feel great. They feel just really just animated and active and vital after you exercise, provided you’re not exercising for three or 4 hours in a row, like, that’s going to be a little bit too much.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:26:29]:

And then, yeah, you’ll feel drained. But if you’re doing that movement, it does a couple of things for your body, even down at the cellular level. It actually causes those energy powerhouses called the mitochondria. It causes them to grow, in other words, increase in size and also replicate, so you get more of them. So it’s one of these really cool, sort of physiologic lessons, is that when you move your body, you’ll actually be able to generate even more energy each and every time. Because you’re doubling your mitochondria and you’re also growing them, they get bigger. It’s kind of like muscles, right? They use it or lose it. Well, you’re exercising those mitochondria every time you are doing some kind of movement in your body.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:27:10]:

And it can be super simple, like, we talked about can be a simple walk. It doesn’t have to be fancy. I personally do not have a gym membership. My wife does. She loves the gym. She’s kind of a gym person. I just never have been. I like to do stuff outside, go for a walk, go surfing, go skiing, go for a hike, whatever mountain bike.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:27:30]:

I love to be outside. And I do have some weights around the house that I lift, and I have a weight bench and things like that, but I’m not a gym guy. But what I know is that if I make it a priority to move my body throughout the day, it makes a world of difference. I mean, here’s a simple example. Right now, we’re talking. Leanne, I’m not only standing up and talking to you, but I’m actually standing up on one of those funky. It looks like a surf know, some people call it a wobble board or a surf trainer or whatever it is, but I can move around in all different directions while I talk to you, and that is not only forcing me to get a little movement in while we chat, but it’s also increasing my ability to my neurons that tell me where I am in time and space. It’s helping me with my balance.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:28:12]:

It’s helping me with so many other things, and it is so simple. The other thing is, just put a box on your desk and make it a standing desk. Go with a normal desk on top. You put a box, then you put your computer on that, and you stand up. Stand up while you’re at work. Simple, simple things that don’t take a lot of money or thought literally. A box on your desk can make a standing desk, and you can simply do that, and it’ll change the game for you. You’ll have more energy.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:28:39]:

You can tell your boss, I know it looks funny, but I’ll actually be more productive, I promise. The studies prove this, right? You’ve heard of the sitting is the new smoking thing? Well, it is in the sense that every recent study, looking at the amount of hours that we sit in a day, correlates exactly. It’s a one to one. It’s a direct relationship, as we call it. The more hours you sit, the more likely you’ll have all these chronic illnesses that we’re trying to avoid. Right? The diabetes, the cancers, the heart disease, all of that goes up with the more hours you sit in a day. So you got to move your body. You got to combat that, and it can be done really easily without a gym membership.

Leanne Vogel [00:29:12]:

That is awesome. I switched over to a stand up desk probably about eight months ago. And it took me some time to get into the groove. And I’m doing it right now. I’m standing, but I find when I really have to concentrate, I have to sit down. I don’t know what it is. It’s just if I’m really happy, I can’t. But if I’m talking or interacting or things like that, I can stand.

Leanne Vogel [00:29:34]:

So I love the idea of a balancing board, and I think I’m going to incorporate that next because that is such a great idea. That is such a great idea. I love that idea. Okay, another piece to this, because you mentioned mitochondria, and we haven’t touched on this yet. Sleep, it’s a huge problem for so many women, especially either not able to fall asleep or waking up in the.

Leanne Vogel [00:30:00]:

Middle of the night.

Leanne Vogel [00:30:01]:

What’s going on with our sleep and how can we improve it?

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:30:04]:

Oh, my gosh. Sleep. This is one of those, I think, secret weapons that we can all access relatively inexpensively and really freely in most cases. But first of all, we just have to decide that we’re going to make it a priority. And I’ll be honest, I was the biggest offender for many years, actually, decades, in fact, where I did not prioritize my sleep. And part of it was just in the training that I got, I was basically told that every hour I slept I was missing something in the hospital or the ER or whatever, and so I should try to sleep as little as possible. So I just wouldn’t miss that particular case that came in the middle of the night or that emergency or that trauma or whatever. And so I had it ingrained in me that sleep was not that necessary.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:30:50]:

And part of it in those days, we just didn’t understand. Fortunately, since at least 2006, when Dr. Jeffrey Illif and Nattergard out of the University of Rochester came up with this whole process that we didn’t appreciate before called the brain’s glymphatic system, which is basically the process that flushes out all the toxins that build up and accumulate throughout the day and gets rid of them. And we take out the garbage, so to speak, and we flush the system. We flush the brain of all these irritants, toxins, et cetera. This only effectively happens while we sleep. And there’s phenomenal YouTube video out there. You can google Dr.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:31:26]:

Jeffrey Illif I-L-I-F-I believe, or just lymphatic system. And it’s really phenomenal, the work they did, but they showed how important sleep is. And so now at least we have a better understanding of why we need to sleep. And I would say the first piece of advice I always give people to help them have the best night’s sleep actually starts first thing in the morning. So if you get up within an hour or so of sunrise, I would encourage you to take two minutes and go outside without sunglasses, please go outside and just go for a quick walk. Whether it be around your house, just in your yard, or one lap around the neighborhood, or if it’s on your way to work or whatever that looks like in the parking lot at work, get there a few minutes early, like whatever that looks like in your situation. If you can get outdoors for about two or three minutes in the morning and let that natural sunlight hit your eyes, the back of the retina. You have these photosensitive retinal ganglion cells that help set your circadian rhythm if they see natural light.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:32:57]:

Also, if you like to have a drink at night or whatever, just don’t make that the norm, because most of us know this. But alcohol gets you to sleep quicker, but it tremendously affects the quality. It wrecks the quality of your sleep. Plus, you’re going to be up and you’re going to be peeing in a couple of hours anyway. It’s real. The struggle is real. Alcohol is certainly a toxin, and it definitely really wreck your sleep. And so try to avoid that for the most part.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:35:01]:

Guys and gals alike. You go out to eat, you’re with friends, you’re up a little later, you have a later meal, and then you crash out because you eat a big meal and it’s like, whoo, you’re kind of tired, like after the Thanksgiving meal type of thing. So you go to bed, but then you wake up an hour or two later and you’re like, oh, my gosh, I am not feeling amazing. You have a super unrestful sleep. And that’s because for two reasons. One, as we talked about, the food itself, when you digest it, assimilate it, break it down and all of that, it’s super taxing. It takes a lot of energy. But also you’ll often have this kind of reactive hypoglycemia after a big meal.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:35:34]:

Like that. And so your body notices the fall in both glucose and insulin. About one and a half to 2 hours after your meal. And it’s like, hey, you might be getting a little hungry. And you wake up and you’re like, that is the weirdest thing ever. I ate this huge meal and like, I’m feeling a little bit like I want to grab a snack right now. So you wake up for that. Having a window, I like to shoot for 3 hours of not eating at least anything with calories.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:35:56]:

If you want to have a tea at night or something like that, that’s not going to have calories or that’s not going to have caffeine in it, then that’s totally cool. I’m totally up for that. Water, whatever. Just don’t drink a lot, especially if you’re getting closer to beyond. You don’t want to drink too much at night. You’re going to get up and pee, especially if you’re a dude. I know I do. So I don’t drink a lot at night, but food curfew is really important.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:36:17]:

The second thing, which I feel is harder is a device curfew, right? The tv, the cell phone, the iPad, the Kindle, like, whatever that is. You got to turn that stuff off. Ideally 2 hours before bed. Honestly, that’s really hard for most of us, even me. I do a bunch of work from home these days, and so my sort of threshold is 1 hour before bed. So start with that. If you can extend it to 2 hours before bed, even more golden. And the reason for that is obviously most of these devices emit wavelength of light in the blue light spectrum, which really jacks with your circadian rhythm.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:36:53]:

And basically, it basically precludes or prevents the typical nighttime rise in melatonin, which helps you get ready for sleep. And so if you’re staring into a screen of any kind, I don’t care if it’s on that special nighttime mode or whatever, it’s still going to be emitting some blue light and it’s delaying that release of melatonin. And so your sleep is going to be a little bit off. And so try to set the goal of 1 hour because I feel like that’s totally doable. And then when you achieve the 1 hour mark, see if you can go 2 hours with no devices prior to bed. And what’s really cool about that is it forces you to be a little bit creative. Well, what am I going to do? I’m not going to be watching tv. I’m not going to be on my phone checking my messages or Instagram or whatever it is that you’re checking on your phone, emails.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:37:37]:

I have to do something else for me. I love to read at night and it’s really funny because my wife, she cracks up. I literally sit. I have this chair next to a fireplace at home where I have one of these old school like headlamps that use for camping. But it’s a red light headlamp, so it sends off just red wavelength light. And I sit in my chair and I’m reading a book with my headlamp because all the lights in the house are off and I’m just reading by red light. And that’s not going to mess up my circadian rhythm like blue light or just your household, especially if you have led, please turn that stuff off at night. Or if you have a dimmer, try to start dimming those things down a couple of hours before bed just to kind of get your body ready for bed.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:38:18]:

:

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:38:42]:

And so another little hack that a lot of people will try is this notion of having sort of a nighttime dump, if you will. And I don’t mean a physical dump on the toilet. I mean sort of a brain dump, a mental dump where you just take a piece of paper or a notebook, journaling, whatever works for you, and you just write all of the stuff that’s on your mind, whether it be remembrances of the day, like a journaling type of thing, or just anything and everything that comes to mind. So you can kind of dump that so you’re not lying in bed thinking about all of the things, whatever those things are. Do a little mental dump before bedtime. And then if you like doing the journaling thing, write in your journal. That’s a good way to spend that one to 2 hours before bed. I love doing a little gratitude journal.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:39:20]:

I feel like that’s super helpful for me just to kind of get into that zone where I’m feeling restful, peaceful, in sort of that good frequency, if you will, or other things people love to do, things like hopping in a warm bath and just kind of. You can read a book, you can listen to music, just whatever really helps you kind of settle down, find what that is, and then make it a routine for yourself. And then once you got that solid routine, it can help you tremendously. I mean, there’s lots of other stuff you can do, different nighttime supplements and things like that. That may be helpful. But I think starting with a really basic routine that you can duplicate every day, that’s the biggest game changer. And it all starts in the morning, first thing in the morning, with that exposure to natural light, it can be that simple.

Leanne Vogel [00:40:07]:

We know that we lose muscle as we age and that this loss massively affects our ability to function. Like I’m talking basic tasks here, muscle is important for protecting our joints and also keeping our metabolism revving. Basically, you want muscle, and unfortunately, a lot of us just don’t prioritize muscle maintenance or see it as an importance. And you may also be cringing at the idea of going to the gym and being able to maintain that muscle consistently. Yes, active moving is super good, and there’s really nothing like it when it comes to the mood boost of pumping iron.

Leanne Vogel [00:40:46]:

So when I share about eurolithan a.

Leanne Vogel [00:40:49]:

I am not saying just to do this. And you can maintain your muscle without movement. Well, I am saying that because urolithin a does do that, but I think pairing urolithin a with exercise is likely the best path forward. So I started taking a product called mitopure to boost my performance and improve muscular strength. And mitopure has 500 milligrams per serving of eurolithan, a postbiotic shown to have major benefits to significantly increasing muscle strength and endurance with no other change in lifestyle. Yes, you heard that right. I just said that it has major benefits to significantly increase muscle strength and endurance with no other change to lifestyle. It gives your body the energy it needs to optimize its cellular power grid through boosted mitochondrial health without changes to lifestyle or diet.

Leanne Vogel [00:41:51]:

Now imagine what it could do with your low carb diet and a walking goal or a lifting goal a couple of times per week. It took me a long time, like a couple of months, to introduce mitopure to my day because it’s so strong. Every time I took it, I almost had too much energy, so I really.

Leanne Vogel [00:42:10]:

Had to titrate up.

Leanne Vogel [00:42:11]:

Mitopure is the first product to offer a precise dose of urolithan a to upgrade mitochondrial function, increase cellular energy, and improve muscle strength and endurance. They’ve created three ways to get your daily dose of 500 milligrams of eurolithan A in their product, mitopure. They’ve got a delicious vanilla protein powder that combines muscle building protein with the cellular energy of mitopure. Now, this product does contain whey protein, and then they have a berry powder that easily mixes into smoothies or just about any drink. This is dairy free. And finally, the soft gels, which is what I prefer because it’s just easier. This is also dairy free.

Leanne Vogel [00:42:54]:

I love the starter pack idea, though.

Leanne Vogel [00:42:56]:

If you can handle the dairy. The three forms of mitopure to play around with, which one is your favorite? Top notch. So, timeline, the creators of mitopure is putting together a sweet little offer for you. 10% off your first order. So if you go to timelinenutrition.com kdp and use the code KDP, you’ll get 10% off your order. Again, that’s timelinenutrition.com kdp. I recommend trying their starter pack with all three formats and picking out your best format. Again, that’s timelinenutrition.com slash kDp.

Leanne Vogel [00:43:36]:

I have the exact same red light headlamp. I feel like your wife and my husband could share stories about all the silly things they see us doing, because Kevin came outside and I was sitting on the porch with my red light, like, cuddled up, looking at the stars, and he’s like, what are you doing?

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:43:54]:

Yes. Getting ready for the best night of sleep ever.

Leanne Vogel [00:43:57]:

I really slept well that night. So there you go. I guess the last piece is stress. Like, just the go go. And even our diets, all the things that we’ve shared today can cause stress. How do we manage this? What is the body doing when we perceive stress? And how can we lower this issue or even take it seriously? A lot of people say, like, I know I’m stressed. I just can’t change anything. So it is what it is.

Leanne Vogel [00:44:24]:

But what are your thoughts on stress?

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:44:26]:

Oh, I love that I can’t change anything. Well, I’m going to relay a study here that will change your mind right now if you’ve ever thought that I can’t change anything. So, one of my favorite studies of all times, especially with respect to stress, comes from the Journal of Health Psychology in 2012. And this was Dr. Keller and colleagues, and they had an n or a study population of over 180,000 patients. So huge, huge cohort. They followed them for a couple of decades, and what they were specifically looking at in this study was their stress and so what they did at the onset of the study, they said, okay, we want you guys and gals to rate your stress. Is it a high level of stress, a medium level, or a low level of stress? And they had to kind of decide if their lives were high, medium, or low level of stress.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:45:14]:

And so they rated that. And then over the duration, the couple of decades of the study, they followed them to see if they got chronic disease like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, whatever. They followed all these things. And then, obviously, if they died, they made a note of that. And so at the end of the study, they were like, whoa, this is super interesting. So what we kind of thought was true, in other words, that the more stress you had, the more health conditions you had, the sooner you died. All of that was only partly true. So what was kind of cool was in this group where people rated that they had the highest level of stress, it was only the people in that group that believed that stress was bad for them that had those conditions.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:45:54]:

It was sort of like a self fulfilling prophecy. The people that say, oh, this stress is going to kill me, well, it might. Or this stress is going to give me an ulcer. Well, it might. If they believed that the stress was negative and that it could adversely affect their health, then they had a higher likelihood that this would happen. But the opposite of that also occurred. In other words, in that high stress group, there were a group of people, a subset, that believed that stress could be good for them. It could be growth promoting.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:46:23]:

It could be something that would propel them into future success, because they may use it as a growth experience, an opportunity to learn, grow, achieve, pivot, whatever that was, they did not believe that it was inherently bad. And those people, though, they had a very high stress life for them, interestingly enough, the stress was protective. In other words, they had less incidence of chronic disease. They actually lived longer. And so having this high level of stress for them, because of their belief, was actually protective. So, to the person who has ever thought, oh, I just can’t do anything about it, you actually can do a lot, and it starts right between your ears. What you may not be able to do is affect sort of all these global things that are happening around us that cause us to have a lot of stress that’s beyond your control, totally fine, right? The last three years of the pandemic, it’s like none of us would have predicted that or wanted that or whatever, but how we chose to respond to that made all of the difference, whether we had to pivot in our business, we had to go from brick and mortar to online or whatever that looked like in our case, taking that same stress that we all were exposed to and using that as a growth promoting experience, as opposed to just that typical stressful, what we would call in sort of physiology, the sympathetic nervous system response, that fight or flight, that it’s good that we have it, especially if we’re being chased by a lion. But if we’re just being exposed to all of the different things that happen in our lives, if we always have that system, the sympathetic sort of fight and flight system going on, that can be significantly damaging to our health all the way to the metabolism, even down to the very mitochondria that we were talking about earlier, stress can negatively impact that.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:48:07]:

And so the cool thing I want everybody to learn just right here now, today, that you actually have control of the meaning that you attach to whatever stressful event happens in your life. And we will all have, and we, many of us have had significant stressors in our lives. And it could be a family or loved one, family member, loved one that we lost, or it could be illness, it could be loss of a job, whatever that is. We all will have things that happen, but we get to decide how we will approach that, the meaning that we’ll attach to it and whether we choose to grow from it or just allow it to negatively impact us. So that’s number one. And then there’s lots of cool things that we can do, as you say or said earlier, to manage the stress. I like to use the word optimize stress because I just think it has a more positive connotation. Manage just sounds like, oh, we just have to deal.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:48:56]:

And I’m more about healing than dealing. I think we just need to figure out how to heal and move on and not just deal. And so optimizing our stress can look like what we spoke of as far as the meaning that we attach to it, but also in the things that we do. So whether that be breath work, for example, I love taking a couple of moments, and for me, I’ll be honest, I’m not a big meditator. I’m not going to take 30 to 60 minutes and just allow myself, and I do occasionally, but I got six kids and I work a couple of jobs and I like to get up early to do all sorts of things. So I take two or three minutes, sometimes five or ten, and I just breathe. And often I’ll go outside and I’ll do that simultaneously while I’m getting my light exposure, while I’m getting my movement, because I’m walking, but I don’t bring my cell phone. I just allow myself to soak it in, to soak in the light, the sounds, the colors, or absence of color, if it’s fall or winter, whatever that looks like, and I just breathe, and that can be magic.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:49:52]:

Just as simple as six, five, or six breaths. That’s like a minute of meditative time, mindfulness time. We can all figure out how to incorporate that into our lives, right? Even if we have to go into the bathroom and pretend we’re on the pot. Like, just take a minute or two to yourself a couple of times a day and just breathe. And you can use whatever technique you want. You can use the box breathing. There’s so many techniques out there. Just pick whatever works for you, but just close your eyes, put your hand on your heart, just breathe five or six times, boom.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:50:18]:

A minute has gone by, you’ve refocused. Your physiology has completely changed, and it can make such a difference, and it doesn’t have to take an hour. And then there’s other things, of course, that we can talk about with stress optimization, as far as movement can really be helpful for stress optimization. That’s one of my go to’s. If I’m super stressed and it’s like I need an adult timeout, I may take a few breaths, but I may just jump outside and go for a quick walk around the block. Take a walk or jump on my bike or skateboard or whatever I can do quickly in a couple of minutes just to move my body and just kind of get my wiggles out, because I think most adults need to get their wiggles out too. It’s not just the kids, but that moment of movement can be magical in changing the physiology, changing whatever stressful situation hits. So those are kind of know, quick and dirty how to optimize stress in your life right there.

Leanne Vogel [00:51:08]:

I love it all. Dr. Thomas, you’re amazing. Thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing with us how to optimize all these areas of our life and give us really simple tools. That’s what I love about what you share. Where can people find more from you?

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:51:22]:

Oh, thank you for that, Leanne. Easiest place is on my website, Thomas hemingway.com. So it’s just my name, Thomas, and then Hemingway spelled with one m, just like Ernest spelled at Thomas hemingway.com or on Instagram. Dr. For Dr. Thomas Hemingway. And I also have a podcast, Unshakable Health, which you were on already. It was an amazing episode, so follow me there as well.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:51:44]:

And then my book is called preventable five powerful practices to avoid disease and build unshakable health. You can preorder that today and it will be available the back half of February wherever books are sold. And you can check it out on my website, Thomas hemingway.com, and even preorder today. So thank you for that.

Leanne Vogel [00:52:01]:

Oh, of course, yeah, you’re welcome back anytime. Thanks again for hanging out with me.

Dr. Thomas Hemingway [00:52:06]:

It’s been so much fun and just want to say mahalo as we do in Hawaii. And a big aloha to everybody out there. Thanks for listening.

Leanne Vogel [00:52:14]:

I hope you enjoyed our time with Dr. Thomas Hemingway again. You can connect with him by going to Thomas hemingway.com and I hope to see you back here for another episode of the Keto Diet podcast.

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Happy Keto Body Promotion - 12 Week Video Program

Hi! I’m Leanne (RHN FBCS)

a Keto Nutritionist, host of The Keto Diet Podcast, and best-selling author of The Keto Diet & Keto for Women. I want to live in a world where every woman has access to knowledge to better her health.

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