[MUSIC] Standford University Hacking consciousness session number eight really delighted to see everyone here today and it’s quite an honor to basically welcome our wonderful guest Dr Pamalo peak thank you so much for making the trek here, despite sort of all that’s going on in her life, very busy life So I’m pleased to welcome her, and give her a round of applause before I give her bio [APPLAUSE] Thank you so much, no, no, no, no Thank you So quick logistics thing, if you’re taking a class for unit, the code today is health, and speaking about health, it’s a big personal basically what is that called? Passion, that’s right That’s the word I was looking for It’s a big personal passion of mine In fact that so much so of a passion, that I started a company around it The company is called Oh My Green, we provide taste tested Healthy snacks to companies and the reason why i started it is I always looked at what have I been complaining most about? And I realized that ever since I moved to this country I complained about food the most I realized that I grew up with an amazing now 80 year old grandma in Berlin, Germany that is a medical, or retired medical doctor and for more than 30 years she’s actually tended to an organic garden and whenever I would come over to her house she’d pick fruits and vegetables from the garden, she’d tell me about the difference between a gravenstein apple or a Fiji apple, take those fruits and vegetables bring into her kitchen and then cook with them, and then the family would bond Around the dinner table and at the dinner table she would always tell me, what you put in your body directly affects your health and your well being, and that message really stuck with me, and I couldn’t just eat any sort of processed food You know, when you go into a regular supermarket a lot of the stuff that you eat there is highly processed It’s injected with, you know, pesticides It has genetically modified Organisms in it and that whole realization make me want to start this company essentially So Dr. Pamela Peeke is going to talk to you about health today and she has quite an amazing bio So I thought I’d do something little bit differently Instead of giving you the highlights, I thought I’d actually read something to you So get a bit more of flavor of where she’s coming from All right, here it goes, Dr. Pamela Peeke, is an internationally renowned physician, scientist, and expert in the fields of nutrition and fitness, and Dr. Peeke is a Pew Foundation scholar, in nutrition and meta, metabolism, assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Maryland and fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Sports Medicine While senior research fellow at the NIH, Dr. Peeke was the recipient of the National Health Research Science Fellowship and Intramural Research Training Award where she helped identify the relationship between chronic stress and intra abdominal fat Dr. Peeke is a senior editor for the women’s health section of the newest edition of the Lifestyle Medicine textbook Dr. Peeke has teamed with the Surgeon General to create the Surgeon General walks for a healthy and fit nation She’s a member of the Maryland Governor’s Council on Fitness and as National Spokesperson for the American College of Sports Medicine Exercise is Medicine global campaign Dr. Peeke is a regular in studio medical com, commentator for the national networks and is a monthly columnist and a contributing editor for numerous national magazines including prevention and fitness Dr Peak is the chief lifestyle expert for web MD’s 90 million members and as chief medical correspondent for discovery health TV where she’s featured in the award winning national body challenge series as well as her Could you survive? Doctor Peeke, New York Times best seller, best selling, author, including her latest book, The Hunger Fix, which was recently launched on the Katie Couric show, and which is the first consumer book describing the signs of food and addiction Doctor Peeke is a senior science advisor to elements behavioral health, one of the country’s largest addiction and eating disorders centers, where she is creating the first programs to tackle addictive eating behaviors Finally, Dr. Peak was just named to the boards of the National Senior Olympics and will be a competitor in the triathlon in 2015 Quite the bio So please welcome Dr. Pamela Peeke [APPLAUSE] >> I have to fess up right away, I have three degrees from Berkeley And I just got through coming back from Berkeley over the weekend, where my niece just graduated So there it is, but you guys are okay too [LAUGH] kind of of, there it is I’d like to know a little bit about who’s in my class if you don’t mind
So, I’d like to, if you could, look up from your computers, and just tell me if you’re and undergrad Any undergrads? Cool, why you taking this course if you are an under grad just throw it out, why is this, why you signed up for Go >> [Inaudible student answer] Cool >> I’ve been thinking a lot of these things for a few years now >> Cool All right what’s your major? >> Computer Science >> Boy let’s see now, Computer Science consciousness, wow Wow Okay, that’s a good one We used to say it was a stretch, but now we’re, we’re seeing that it is not anymore How about you? You, back there? >> [Inaudible student answer] >> Cool, and what’s your major? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Hm? >> Philosophy >> I lasted one semester in philosophy, man They ask me why, one more time >> [LAUGH] [LAUGH] Like please, I just, you know, can we just move on? Okay Excellent, wow How about? >> [Inaudible student answer] >> Cool Awesome, you know, there’s a huge component that we’re, that, that’s expanding, yeah, in the field of psychology for sure There’s absolutely no question How many of you know what the word epigenetic stands for? You will when you blast out of here today, and that will be a huge gift to you, because it’s going to be literally the wave of the future I’m an NIH based scientist and you’ve heard of the genome project? You know and this is kind of where we do the laundry list of genes and that turned out to be the biggest bore of the planet but whatever, we now know where are the genes are Then the next question was so who cares? This is where we stumbled upon probably the biggest thing in science especially as it’s going to be applied to what we do here for this century When you leave here, your mind will definitely be blown I come in with armed and dangerous, locked and loaded with science I like to be able to translate enough so that you can have a little bit of fun with it, and when applying it to this arena We, we, you’ll, you’ll see that there is some tremendous potential for its personal application to you as well as what you’re going to be doing in your own, hemispheres of, of study Now, if you’re not an undergraduate, are there any graduates in here? Okay, why, way in the back Why are you doing it? What do you care? >> [Inaudible student answer] >> Cool How about you? >> So I am studying business right now >> You’re studying? >> Business So this seemed like totally different, but I studied science undergrad >> You have no idea how powerful the relationship is between what you’re going to be, what you You have been learning about and what you’re going to learn about today to business, it’s very, very profound, you’ll see All right? How about you? >> Me? It’s a credit [LAUGH] >> We’ve been there >> I’m not actually taking it for credit And going to move my career, so I’m interested in consciousness, meditation >> Very good >> So he’s really interested in something called executive coaching I’m on faculty at the Harvard institute Institute of coaching and what we do is you know. what looking at all of these issues as a applied to every level of coaching whether it’s executive wellness which is one of the biggest new sectors or otherwise and so that obviously has you know great application. If you are not a graduate student or undergrad So what the hell are you? What are you left?
You have community people and so who’s from the community? All right, very nice All right, why are you interested? >> My background is actually in nutritional science also. I go to Cal >> Go Bears So sorry, had to say it once >> And I think, what with, the changes that we’re seeing I, consciousness I think is an important aspect in people It’s part of wellness, yeah, yeah, yeah, just like a holistic approach to Cool, absolutely [LAUGH] >> Not working for a while and then [INAUDIBLE] [INAUDIBLE] So you have a chance to be able to kind of delve into it a little bit more Mhh-mm, right Cool Cool How many of you meditate? If you don’t that’s chill I didn’t meditate til five years ago, I’m a quintuple A personality, and it, you know, it took a [LAUGH], it took a, a village to get me going on this which I’ll explain But one of the things you’re going to You’re going to find is that is probably one of the most powerful ways to be able to power up the most important piece of your brain I don’t care what you’re studying whether it’s business, it’s computer sci or the rest of it, you can’t do anything without a powerful prefrontal cortex and it’s right Right behind your forehead, and the grand majority of people, especially in neuroscience had no clue as to the power of what was going on there until, seriously, the last six years, and so, a lot of what we’re going to talk about is, is kind of ramping you up to speed here so you understand how all of this sort of interconnects one way or the other Why are you here? >> Just explore whole new ground >> Cool Good Be a student of life, it’s one of the most important things you’ll ever do, and I want to thank my wonderful host and the person who put this class together I will tell you, that, you’re ahead of Berkeley on this one, and that’s so bizarre Because I thought Berkeley for sure would, you know, whatever, but we’re going to get you over to the, the other campus, in no time at all I’m, I actually am going to be using this new science that I’m I’m going to be describing, as an example of how you apply the, what I’m going to be describing, and what I’d like to do is do a little bit of interactional thing too I, I don’t like to pontificate I like to have some fun when we’re doing this, and you know for years and years I’ve been watching my patients in clinical trials and also in my own practice Sound like a bunch of little druggies They would say, gosh I need a hit Withdrawal’s hell Where’s my fix? And I thought, geez I got a bunch a coke heads in here, and it turns out they were talking about cupcakes, pizza and I thought this can’t be real This is before we really had the hot science now that we do, but most of us as national experts would sort of quietly hide out in the corner somewhere in annual meetings where no on can hear us and look at each other going, “is it really something to this,” and finally we have a hero and that turns out to be one of the most brilliant scientists on this planet and that’s Dr. Nurovolcal Who is the director of the national institute of of the drug abuse of the NIH, and it was she who actually broke the code in the early 2000’s and then we started Building up more and more data to find out that it wasn’t just about certain funky foods that were doing this to our brains It was about the fact that we just plain live addictive life styles Feel a little hooked, do you? I did, I’m a TED pre, presenter and I did a TEDX, for For Wall Street, this past October at the New York Stock Exchange, and there I was, a face with 500, you know, hedge fund, founders and all the rest of it, and this rather interesting ballroom looking thing, and it was amazing hah, because I was staying down at Wall Street, for the event, and there’s a bar every 20 feet
And, but it’s a really nice bar You know it’s like wood carved and really expensive and gorgeous looking and in boutique-y hotels and that, but there’s a bar every 20 feet And many of these guys and gals, mostly guys, you know, didn’t realize the kind of life they were living When I finished my, my TED it was very interesting I was like, you know, besieged by all of these, you know, happy campers and one of them walked up to me and says, well I’m down off cigarettes, I was doing the three packs a day, says I’m off em, I’m off em Says I’m off alcohol too, that was a bitch And he says, but you know, now that I’ve heard what you’ve said he said, I, I, you think it’s really unusual to start your day, in the shower, with a full on Coke? In the shower? He just keeps a bottle there, I mean, why waste time? And then he goes and he does two, six packs a day And what he did was he transfer addicted He says, but it’s just Coke, really? Can you say science fair project? And you know, I’m not one of these demonizers, I just give you the facts, you know, you’re the ones who make the decisions Science fair project or natural food, your choice It’s also another thing I told him I said, well, you know, it’s time you weaned yourself off this stuff He says, Monsters and, and, and Red Bull won’t work either? I said, really? Seriously? [LAUGH] Read the label! If it looks like jet fuel, it is Get it? And he was a riot, but he was very good So what I’m going to describe are some sort of interesting things I use this whole issue of Food and Addiction because I want you to understand why the 11th, when, when you have that the 12 step for addiction in general, which was written back in the 1930s Number 11 was meditation, and this is long before we had Fancy Schmancy PET scans and stuff that you’re going to see They just sort of said, I don’t know, it sounds like a good idea I feel pretty good and I feel like I could rein in all these bad boys every time I do meditation, it was sort of a generic meditation Well, now we’re going to understand a little bit more about why that’s happening So we’re going to blend food addiction science We’re going to blend in epigenetics And we’re going to try to put all of this together so you walk away saying, damn, that’s interesting How about we listen to what addiction sounds like >> I’m negative and I’m dark I don’t want to be bad But I want to hang out with my good neighborhood alone, that’s the same thing, but I couldn’t just leave it alone up here, right? It can kill anything, and it’s killing me too I wanted my soul alive, I don’t want to die I’m afraid of dying because I’m not this, I’m a horror, and I’ve been, I’ve been wow I’ve been This is some interesting stuff I’ve been I had to take some drugs for six days And for me that’s a miracle I was lying and everybody else thinking I’m sober I’m not >> That was back in September, and in September he also was finishing his book which, which came out And he’s still clean which is a huge miracle But I wanted you to hear the pain that went behind that, and I find it absolutely fascinating that he kept banging on his pre-frontal cortex, saying oh it’s trying to kill me, no it’s, it’s, what you’re going to find is it’s grossly impaired And the reason why I am hankering on the pre-frontal cortex is because, guess what happens when you meditate I’m not telling you yet So, now we have a lot of voices, joining us of course scientists now who have made it exceptionally clear that there is something up with all of this well, well of course Michael Poland over here from UC Berkeley [LAUGH] I’m, I, I didn’t Come on He may have wrote The Omnivore’s Dilemma and all the rest of it And, of course, you know, we have Ludwig from Harvard And, and Lustig from UC San Francisco And these are the, the sugar guys, which we’ll get to Dave Kessler is my dear friend When I wrote The Hunger Fix, which is the consumer book on this, Dave was quoting that from his original book, The End of Overeating, obviously a joke But he was one of the first people as a former FDA commissioner to really say, you know I don’t know there’s certain foods, it’s not apples that seem to kind of get people into these addictive like behaviors, what’s that about?
And of course Dr. Volkow from the NIH, Dr Gold University of Florida, Gene-Jack Wang, there’s a mother who couldn’t decide so his name is Gene-Jack Wang And probably one of the most brilliant scientists in the field is Nora’s right hand guy, Nicole Avino from Columbia, and of course Kelly Brownell is one of the big public policy guys, so I’m just saying if this is all true, we’re all in trouble There’s a movie that’s out know If you’ve seen it, you should This really pretty much describes every a lot of what I’m talking about, but takes it into a very personal level It literally just came out It’s a documentary and it’s a, a open in, in, I, I would say the grand majority of the big cities It just opened up about two weeks ago or so And so that’s a little heads up Now all of a sudden, we’re got books upon books coming out This is probably, one of the best ones just looking at the industry And this is Michael Moss, a Pulitzer Prize winner, blew the top off What Happened in the Meat Industry decided to go after Salt, Sugar and Fat, and discovered really amazing things like, they’re playing with you There’s something called the bliss point, did you ever notice how, yo know, we’ve all sort of blasted through bags of Cheetos and all the rest of it that they melt in your mouth and they really hit your brain quick They do that for a reason and, multiple millions have been spent on the research that it takes to be able to hit the bliss point in your brain, which you’ll see, as quickly as possible so you’ll want more And so he was the one who described the politics of what happened behind that Delightfully when my book came out right a month prior to that, Sometimes There Is A God, the textbook came out and this is 66 chapters, meant for the professional, it’s not a consumer book on everything from clinical studies to basic studies and all the rest of it, it’s really hot And it has for all intent purposes some of the most bleeding edge research in the field really linking the relationship between certain food like products and addiction And obviously the work done by Lustig on sugar, we even have, you know, celebrities kicking it in there back and forth We have more and more of this going on But here was something that I thought was really quite fascinating I was in a meeting, it was called Weight of the Nation, we have it every two years in Washington D.C and at that time Secretary Sibelius was attending And is one of the key noters and then she said something and I think my dropped my iPad and when she said it because I had no idea she was going to say that >> It;s not that any combination of factors For some it’s an addiction like smoking For others it’s a lack of fresh fruit >> Say what? >> And vegetables near the home And the point is you need to meet the people who were there And use every tool that we have >> So for the first time in history a government official at the level, any government official actually said the word addiction in association with food at which point in time the food industry you know had a seizure is saying you know we’re in trouble now And there you have it But it’s kind of fascinating, they say, wow, it’s, it’s made it all the way to the top Do a lot of people think that there’s a, something addictive about all of this? Absolutely, globally, 80% of people believe that sugar is addictive And this is refined sugar Everyone had that feeling Does it affect everyone? Of course not Does everyone meet criteria for a serious problem with food addict No, grand majority of people are on the launch pad, but they don’t meet criteria But people really believe inherently, there’s a little issue here, and of course we now have all kinds of you know groups showing up And what’s also interesting is, we’re finding out something quite fascinating There was an article that literally just came out, not kidding you It just came out Within the last seven days So get this And this is Ludwig’s work at Harvard And what he actually said what’s this he said, I think I’ve figure something out and this is the way it goes And I, you should know I’m a fat cell physiologist, this is what I did most of my work with And so I was waiting for someone to finally get this and maybe take it national and I think what we may have finally added that little piece of the puzzle he said look here Every single fat cell looks like a soap bubble if you go to my Facebook you can see all of this, just
go to Dr. Pam Peeke because I’ve made it very clear there with some very pretty pictures and all the rest of it So every fat cell has an entry way and an exit way All right, and it’s controlled by a separate enzyme So you’re either storing it or you’re releasing it I mean really, that’s kind of what fat cells do, they sit there they store, they release, and they have a nice day Now, when you have refined sugars, specifically They jack up insulin Insulin, mind your insulin, this is what the article was about When you jack up insulin, what do you do? This is quite fascinating What you do is you turn on fat storage and completely turn off fat release Now, as a survival mechanism it’s perfectly fine But when, but can you imagine for a moment if you’re just sort of zipping through the day, constantly grazing on refined sugar, and it’s just sort of everywhere, you know you’re picking at it and messing around, what did you just do to that fat cell? You kept it turned off from fat release, so honey you could exercise all you want to, oh you’ll get a little bit of fuel out of there But nowhere near as much, if you weren’t grazing on refined sugar So we just figured out why so many people are so you know, just so frustrated They go to the gym, they pay through the nose And there hm, like this and they go home and they have more refined sugar And they’re still not dropping weight That’s because all your fat cells are locked up You just locked them up And we, we saw this many years ago But now we finally put all the pieces together And, and this is just a huge piece And you can Google this, and the New York Times, this was a big piece in the in the Op Ed section, it’s called Why Are We Always So Hungry And the joke is, why should you be so hungry when you have all this excess fat on your body? You just use it But you can’t You locked it up So it’s sort of fascinating how the whole thing’s beginning to come together And, you know, it’s obviously these ultra-processed, refined, manufactured foods They’re getting us into trouble Now, why is that so? Why don’t we just sort of become blueberry heads, you know? Doing blueberries I mean, you know, and, and, the reason why that doesn’t work is because yeah, they’re rewarding There’s a reward center in your brain Now we’re going to be getting into this whole consciousness, and going into the neuroscience way There’s a reward center in your brain, it’s very important Now there’s two reasons why you and I are here today Just two Sex and food, not necessarily in that order [LAUGH] Now sex I’m not dealing with 50 Shades of Gray took care of that quite nicely I’m not even going to go there Sex for all intents and purposes is still sort of the same thing Yeah, all these years All right If we did not find eating and sex to be rewarding, we wouldn’t do it, and then we wouldn’t be here We actually have taken mice, transgenic mice, and we’ve done a knockout on the genes that basically form pleasure in association with eating What did the mice do? They just sit there and starve to death They look at it like a lump of coal, they could care less Like what? If you don’t have reward in what you do every day, you do not do it Now, we have all kinds of weird rewards Who really loves to brush their teeth? Is that rewarding? No sort of, I don’t know, it’s kind of nice to have a fresh mouth But on the other hand, I discovered at a very young age the real reason why I did it is I didn’t want to pay a mortgage to a periodontist somewhere I just wanted to get done with it So my reward was, was a very different kind of reward It wasnt necessarily blissful, but I got the message loud and clear When I, I have two master’s degrees from Berkeley, that I got before I went to medical school in each case I had to do, you know, statistics and really fun stuff To you know, to grind it out Was I finding that particularly rewarding? And no but I found the master’s degree to be rewarding You see what I’m doing? I’m just sort of coming down the pike here So I’m putting all together, action consequence So for, just think about it for a moment From the moment you wake up, every flippin thing you do was associated with reward It is it has to be some nuance on reward so foods got to be rewarding So lets just say as a zillion years ago and I’m out there and I’m foraging and I’d see the blueberries, and I eat them for the first time I have a blueberry, and what is my nucleus accumbens do up here in the reward center, it lights up like Kyoto at night time
Like yeah man this is good You form a memory The memory is permanent So the next time I see blueberries man this is good Let’s do that one again And your brain and your body are in sync I’ll only eat when I’m hungry All right and there’s not a whole lot, there’s not like nine zillion blueberries falling out of the sky It’s just, I got to forage I’ve got to work for these babes There it is All right So in the reward center of the brain you have reward Dopamine, the neurotransmitter that’s in charge of reward basically increases up to certain levels of, wow blueberries Let’s do that We like blueberries This is a good thing right, and then down you go again And you feel good it’s like wow this is pretty good What happens when you have that birthday cake once a year? You know, where someone’s layering all that crap on the top it And it’s perfectly fine I mean birthday cake’s cool, it’s once a year, who died? Come on So you have a piece of it And all of a sudden, here’s the blueberry level All of a sudden you’re like zipping right up here to the über level! You know, over the top Man, this is like super good! And then it comes down again Now the brain during this time is a little overstimulated Whoa What’s she doing? What the hell is she eating? Like a lot of refined whatever in, in, in fats and all this stuff who the hell cares Because you only did it once And then you bring it back down again So the brain can handle that, it’s like whoa little over stimulated but I’m good We’re all right, okay we’re good What does methamphetamine do Where do you think, okay here we are at the blueberry level I can’t even reach that high How about cocaine? Right? So now we understand why the brain cannot handle consistent and regularized over stimulation like that Be it from chemicals or whatever, it just can’t handle it And it will do something and you will see, to be able to help you survive and by doing so it starts the cycle of addiction It’s really quite fascinating So when I bring up what kinds of foods may be addict, well duh, you know it’s the ultra processed foods mostly because most, all the natural foods hit you at the blueberry level It’s where they hang out This is normal The brain is, aw yeah this feels good Bring it down We can do this Bring it down You know like this You just can’t keep doing that All right, because then you’re going to get kicked in the face and you’ll see why very shortly All right, now could you over eat and become as it were someone who demonstrates addictive like behaviors with natural food? Sure, how about bread and butter, right? And a lot of people will just sort of plow through loaves And, and they can’t be safe within, you know, a hundred yards of, of bread Okay, I’m good with that Or, it could be anything But the grand majority of natural products don’t do this to you They just don’t So, you take a natural product, like the The, the Cacao there it is, it’s the cocoa and it becomes cocaine We just process the hell out of it, so if you want to see ultra process there it is Well there’s ultra process too right, perfectly normal and we add a few little interesting ingredients and this our little friends All right? So we’re kind of going from one thing to another I don’t see a whole lot of people you know like doing corn in the corner, right But how many Cheetos bags have we plowed through, you know, during finals week And there’s a reason why, and they just love it, that you buy as much as you do It’s the bliss point Next time you see those little things say someone paid multiple millions to mess with my brain and to high jack my reward center, because that’s precisely what they’re doing Oh this is my all time favorite There’s not a single natural ingredient in these things and they’re back again Jesus, somebody bought Hostess Don’t they understand? Okay I’m okay now I just had to take a breath There’s three kinds of rock in there There’s petroleum, see that white stuff? That’s not cream I don’t know what the hell I think that’s in a sewage ditch somewhere I, I, I don’t know where they got it from All I know is when you read the side label, I’m a scientist, I don’t even recognize half of that Okay If it looks like jet fuel, it is If it doesn’t melt in a 1,000 degree oven that’s a bad thing What is it doing in your intestines? And most of this stuff is getting stored in your fat Want to hear something really wild? Do you remember the Myanmar disaster, you know, the tsunami, remember that horrible thing that happened Do you remember that Thousands, thousands of people died It was a terrible disaster Friend of mine is a pathologist
You know, he’s a big volunteer, went out there to help out you know, to identify bodies And you know, I’m part of a whole group that likes to do that a lot To go out and do some medical something or the other with these things But he’s a pathologist And he came back, he said Pam I, I just got to tell you I always know who the people from the civilized societies are out there, when we’re identifying bodies, versus the indigenous populous who eat natural foods Do you know where I’m going on this? Okay, because the indigenous populous, they tend to decompose very quickly, nature to nature And the others just sit there Think about that They’re preserved, you get it? That was kind of weird I couldn’t finish my dinner I said thank you very much Okay So at the same time, we also don’t want a lot of variety, so there’s your variety Just give me one thing, do you ever notice that? Just like can we keep things simple here? I don’t need this, but there it is, and so what does that do? It messes with your brain Whoa, trigger cue, trigger cue One of the things that Dr Valko discovered first on, was it was fascinating When you’re finally kind of getting to that place where you feel loss of control around this stuff, and back and forth, guess what? When you’re really starting to do the addictive like behaviors, it’s not consuming it that’s the Mac Daddy here It’s thinking about it It’s anticipation We’re going to go to a cupcake shop You know, there you are And when you actually eat it, it’s like, eh How about another one, and another one So it was the cue that actually did that We’ll see more And then of course, we’re cued out everywhere Everything is called Krave Everything Okay And then the portion thing And obviously we can score food all the time There’s actually a, a spectacularly brilliant scientist on the Stanford campus who I have been following for years and is a colleague His name is Robert Zapolski And if you have not read his work, read it He’s spectacular He’s a McArthur fellow and his Seminole work Which I just, I mean I’ve read all of his stuff And he also writes monthly for the Wall Street Journal He’s a spec, he, he’s just a superb writer which is really amazing too In addition to being a great scientist It was Why Zebras don’t get Ulcers, was his first big best seller And he explained the nature, the natural form of stress per say And it was interesting He goes into a lot of this issue of how stress itself, once it’s ignited will actually launch a horrendous stress or cortisol-initiated appetite, something that nothing can stop, it’s very difficult So you end up doing this, you start building up over the years how much refined sugar you actually take in And so it’s, it’s interesting When all of this was going on, of course, you know, I’m practically popping Prozac to get through the science Going geez this is like a downer man [LAUGH] It’s like, how do we get ourselves out of this mess? We’ve been at this for a long time How do you do that? You see my, my rewards center has been hijacked My prefrontal cortex, which will see is now impaired, it actually is organically impaired The reward center is organically altered How, how do we undo all this? And just when we were you know, ripping out our hair and thinking well, a very strange thing happened And then it was an extraordinary thing to save the day And that was the birth of something called Epigenetics Now I was weaned on DNA is destiny, right? You’ve heard that, DNA is destiny Well to a certain degree it is, but I can mess with you So I’m 5’9″, right? I, I, I got good nutrition as I was growing up and, you know All the usual supportive stuff So, my family is very tall, right? And my baby brother is 6’7″ To give you a small clue So, my genes are all going to the tall place What if, however, I was born in Romania, 20 years ago? When they took kids and basically slapped them in orphanages and they abandoned them Do you think I’d be 5’9″? I don’t think so And, how did that happen?
I should have been 5’9″, my DNA was all about 5’9″ Well as it turns out now we understood what happened And now you will too Because you see, DNA is not destiny anymore Only in very, in a small number of cases is it, and those are life-threatening diseases, for which we still do not know how to deal with Tay–Sachs and others that with, that we’re born with But outside of that, we can mess with you These are fat cells from my lab These are actually mouse fat cells And what you see here is you see the cell wall, all lipids, beautiful lipids And you actually see, the nucleus, and it’s dividing already It’s kind of neat And, what we began to realize was, wait a minute now What’s controlling all of this? These divisions The ability to be able to change the very presence of x number of fat cells The ability to control the percentage of fat cells Can we mess with this somehow? Well, one of the things you learn about science, is that all great science, especially amazing science That changes the world, actually occurs by sheer serendipity You know penicillin, wow what’s that stuff growing off on this agar plate hm, smells weird Okay, that’s how it all started Same thing happened in the laboratory of Doctor Randy Jirtle Randy was was, was at Duke University at the time And he was playing around with certain mice These are Agouti mice These mice were basically, condemned from the beginning In their genome and we now know how to pin point this is the agouti gene Now, this agouti gene is, is a gene, when fully activated will color the mice yellow It’s a bio marker, and they’ll be obese and they will die early from the usual suspects Cancer, heart disease, and diabetes It’s kind of a bum life basically So, what he decided to do, was he said you know I know where the agouti gene is I wonder whether or not I can mess with it He was just sort of doing one of those, I’m bored today let’s mess with it And he heard that perhaps a methyl group CH three, could be used to be like an on and off switch on that gene Could he actually change the destiny of these mice, who generation after generation after generation all look like this and all die early So he decided he want these, he said I’m going to do something real simple I’m not going to have them meditate They’re not going to do exercise, forget all that stuff I’m going to do one thing, I’m going to take the females, right and, and the males, and who are going to become, you know basically, parents and pregnant, and I’m going to feed them greens Now greens, in case you didn’t know it, are absolutely jam packed with methyl donors Kale is a big boy, after all my lectures kale sold out everywhere [LAUGH] >> But it, it’s so true And he just decided, you know I’m going to throw a bunch of greens in there And I’m just going to see whether or not it makes any difference That’s all he did So, he gave them, for all intents and purposes Folate, B-Vitamins, the greens That’s what, that’s what you get out of greens And then he just decided, okay, fine And the good news is, the gestation period is only nine days, or so And so, they waited around because scientists have no personal life We just sit around waiting for mice to have babies I mean, this is kind of where it goes It’s pathetic but it works Great science And one Friday night there he was kind of staring down there at the cage, and the babies were born Huh, it’s that cupcake keep showing up? I don’t know why It’s that crafty assistant of mine keeps doing that to me And the babies were born And that’s the birth of epigenetics, so when he found this, they were born lean, brown, and lived forever He thought now wait a minute, whoa, what’s happening here? So he went right into, the baby’s Or the pups a goody gene, knows where to find it, real easy to find And what do you think he found?
That little hummer was turned off It was what we call, methylated Whole bunch of methyl groups just, you know, kind of, piled on top of that gene, and said uh-uh, we aren’t doing this anymore And that was it Turned it off Well needless to say, this was, this was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2007 You get the point? This is, like, really hot new stuff Ever since then, we now have the epigenome project Remember the genome project? So last year, we don’t do that anymore We’ve already done the genes Now we have the epigenome project And in this case, what we do is we actually now look at all kinds of what we call loci or collections of genes, and we say to ourselves, I wonder how I can mess with those by doing certain interventions Here’s what we found In meditation, I’m just going to that for a second, because I’ve just done nutrition here, and I’ll get to I kind of do what I love to call mind, mouth, and muscle The older you get the more you alliterate to remember anything So, we’re going to go quickly now to the mind place When you do meditation on a routine basis, in this case it was work that was done with very simple mindfulness the, this was the very first group that had done this And what they found was that they look at specific genes, they just choose them A whole group of genes that have to do with inflammation Now inflammation’s a bummer in the body, because it’s the basis of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease I don’t know if you know this, but they’re all inflammatory diseases, we now understand that So you don’t want to walk around inflamed, this is a bad thing, you want to be anti-inflamed So, they decided to look at those specific loci And what they did was, they had people who just, you know, controls who basically were just beginning to meditate a little bit Then they look at people who had been regular meditators on a routine basis, and they look specifically at these loci What do you think they found? Well duh, you know? They found that the people who’d been meditating actually changed gene expression See now, you’re not changing your genes, okay? You’re genes are sitting there They’re just sort of sitting there But they have potential Republican, Tea Party, Democrat, they’re just sitting around going, you know, like, where are we going? Now some of the genes have a little bit of a tendency, you know, the genes in Texas are going to go to the GOP thing, right? Right The genes in California, a little bit more Democratic Maybe a lot of Democratic Depends But they sit there with potential Your choices in what you do, determine how that gene therefore is going to communicate to the rest of the body So I’ll give you an example If I say, oh, I’m going to grab a Twinkie I, I keep hammering Twinkies for the obvious reason So a Twinkie, Michael Poland, you know, calls these kinds of things food like products I said Michael let’s just cut to the chase They’re science fair projects, come on, you know So we’re going to grab a, and there are these things called histones, these little proteins that basically just keep hanging out around each gene And they watch what you do You want to keep your histones happy And when they say, oh man, she’s going for the Twinkie! Right, this is not good So then, the message that the gene then gives to the rest of the body, is erode immune function Set up allergic reactions, increase inflammation I grab an apple instead Thank god, she’s grabbed it, she’s seen the light All right, so now I’m going to have an apple, and now when I do that, I immediately change the sentence again, and that whole expression to rest of the body is altered Now it’s flooding the body with phytonutrients, plant nutrients, with vitamins, minerals, fresh water from the fruit itself, fiber, etcetera etcetera So what do you think’s going to happen? You know, you, you obviously have a better end to that one and obviously it’s anti-inflammatory at the same time So all of these things are good That’s how this happens Do you understand how empowering this is? You understand how powerful this is? This is huge! We used to think we were imprisoned by our own DNA No, no, no, no Turns out we have a huge say in what happens, with our own genetic expression So I would say eat your greens, change your genes expression Okay? Not a perfect one, but here we go, all right? Let me see if I can get this thing to go, here we are
Did it go? Have to aim just right There we go So this is what it looks like Here comes the methyl group, it’s like wow Here’s an agouti gene, let’s attack this little mother Okay, we’re going to go right in there We’re going to change the conformation At the same time, soon, soon, soon as we keep doing this we keep wrapping that DNA in those genes The histones come along saying, she chose the apple, we’re all happy Then that helps to repackage that entire gene And then what you do, is you wait for those histones to continue to do that again and again They did their job You have a completely different message Now, I’ve made this ridiculously simple, because it’s not just one gene There are a whole bunch of genes There’s no one addiction gene There’s a whole bunch of them that interact constantly So here’s the new way to look at this Genetics may load the gun, but epigenetics pulls the trigger Get it? You see how cool that is? So, every single thing you do in terms of your, your choices in lifestyle, that means things from, choosing to be able to learn to be more stress resilient, take a moment, etcetera etcetera, are effecting huge outcomes throughout the body This isn’t a blow off, this isn’t some earthy crunchy moment, this is hardcore science and we’re drilling down to the genes I mean, how cool is that? Used to before, there were like black boxes all over our body We just honestly didn’t know Now we do We’re smarty pants And now what we’re doing is we’re trying to help you understand how this works, but I must also tell you there’s just one other layer of complexity to this Remember when you said a long time ago, you said, well your mother said you are what you eat? And this is exactly what Michael was saying, you are what you eat, well you’re right, you know like, I just explained that didn’t you, didn’t I? I mean I, didn’t I just say you are what you eat and all that, and that’s fine But you’re also what your parents ate You just saw that with the agoutis And here’s the other part You are what your grandparents ate From what we see now, it’s at least two generations that are affected And the only reason why we don’t know any more is because we haven’t kept stats Now, it’s cool that the people in Sweden and the Netherlands, but especially Sweden, I don’t why but they like, love to study their population up there Maybe there’s just you know, long winters, nothing better to do, they just keep stats, I don’t know All I know is some of the best demographic and epidemiologic data comes out of Sweden, because they just study themselves to death They’ve looked at twins and, you know, whole populations, generations, and thank god for that, because here’s what they found When there’s feast and famine in a particular area, and this was a, a very famous study of a place called Overkalix in Sweden And what they found was that when there is feasting going on, yes they, you know, the farms are going great and everyone’s eating well and all the rest of it When that’s going on, what do you think’s happening with the grandchildren? And the children? Think they do well? Now I want you to, obviously this is a trick question So, what happens if there’s famine? Do you think they do well? Think those kids were living longer, because there’s famine? Living shorter lives, because there was famine on the part of their grandparents? Or their parents? Now come on now, crank it up >> They would become more resourceful >> Okay say it again? >> They become more resourceful >> Okay so during famine, you said the kids and the grandkids would become more resourceful, okay So when you say resourceful, we’re going to go deep into their biology This isn’t just psychology, this is biology because you’re absolutely on the right track >> They’re not obese >> Thank you The kids, which, what’s interesting is the kids who suffered from famine do not become obese or overweight two generations later Why? Hello
Think You’re my undergraduates Of course, epigenetics kicked in What happened is, the, the body said damn, there’s no food Go into famine mode, the metabolic rate plunged, to allow them to live and survive, the body is awesome What’s the number one prerogative of the body? Survive It’ll do some funky things to keep you alive So what did it do? Obviously, the metabolic rates change, they were able to survive, they did not become obese That’s the good news, there’s always a, you know, funky news on this, there’s a balance They were also more depressed and more inclined to commit suicide, so it’s kind of like okay, well that’s interesting All right, what happens if your parent, your grandparents and your parents went through feasting? Everything’s fine The farm is just full and we’re all happy and life is wonderful What happened to them? They actually did very poorly They became obese and overweight They didn’t have that inner conditioning for famine, and they basically died from the usual suspects and that’s what feasting does So feasting without any of the balance, it’s kind of a wild parade out there My feeling is because they only collected data from these two generations, that we don’t have any other this data, I mean that data is kind of parsimonious I’ll put money on it, that epigenetics has been going on for a hell of a long time, what do you say, it’s more than two generations, I’m just doing the science based part of this During World War II there was a part of the Netherlands that was cut off by the Nazis This was to punish the people in the Netherlands for having helped the Allies And during that period of time it was called the hunger winter, they cut them off and they, these people were fed only 500 calories They can only find 500 calories a day Newsflash Your brain needs four to 600 calories a day just to function Okay? 20,000 people died, by whatever count we had What happened to those people? The same thing right? Depression was what happened with the children and the grandchildren, the rest of it, what happened with the Holocaust, was the same thing So you see, it just follows generations In the body and the mind, the body mind, which is a unified, you know, entity, goes through extraordinary changes during this time So I’m just telling you, this has been going on for a heck of a long time And you are the sum total of what happened And you have huge potential to change that as well So, let’s go back again What’s epigenetics then? It’s every thought, every mouthful, every step changes gene expression and alters your destiny That cool? You like that? All right Now let’s, let’s go into the mind again So this is a very interesting experiment that just happened in October And I did a very entertaining ABC Nightline on this piece And this is from the University of Connecticut, where they took rats and they decided to use epigenetics and they went into the reward center of the brain In the reward center of the brain they found one gene That’s all they wanted to find One hot gene CFOS, C-F-O-S That we’ve used a lot It basically ignites when you get a reward right? Go, you all got an A, CFOS is ignited, right? That’s what we find So they decided to go ahead and expose him to morphine and to cocaine And what they found was that the CFOS obviously lit up They like that stuff Then they decided, just for the hell of it to feed him something that was a processed sweet And probably knowing that it was going to end up in the media, they chose an Oreo Now look, between you and me, without Oreos I never would’ve made it through Berkeley so, you know And, and so does this affect absolutely every person on the planet? No, but this was quite fascinating So they had the the rats, and I’m not kidding you when I tell you that you can look it up I’m not making this up The rat ripped the cookie apart, went for the filling [LAUGH] I mean, the only thing that was missing was the milk You know what I’m saying here? I mean if they had the milk he probably would have figured that part out too Take a little mouth, and you know, dip it in the Anyway, so, went right for the filling, because they’re not idiots And so and then they ate this, and what do you think happened to CFOS? Okay, so A, there’s your first choice It didn’t ignite at the level of morphine and cocaine Who believes that? All right So far my lecture’s very successful Number two, it, it equaled that of morphine and cocaine Okay We’ve got some takers on that
It was greater than morphine or cocaine, it was greater, and that was, that was the reason it, it landed on the news Now there’s nothing wrong with the Oreo, I mean if he had an Oreo, it no means going to grow a third arm or something, but these people plowing through this stuff on routine basis were running the problems, and so what we found was that, in basic science, we have found that refined sugar, just plain old sucrose in the, in the water bottle, when, when rats, are utilized in this, animal-based experiment that refined sugar is more addictive than cocaine Do you understand what I’m saying here? You know, I’m just a scientist I’m a messenger here So, what’s going on? How, what are we doing here? Does it make everyone go out there and, and develop immediately addictive behaviors? Of course not But it does to a hell of a lot of people Why? Because they’re overexposed to this stuff on a routine basis And it’s found everywhere Salad dressing, ketchup, it’s a little sneaky thing And there it is And that’s, that’s one of the reasons why, one of the things we have to do is, is draw upon some innate powers that we have, to be able to say vigilant, present, and to be able to reign in impulsivity when we can So can people be addicted to this stuff? Absolutely Now, I’m going to, [SOUND] I’m going to take you over to where the fun starts All right? The work that Doctor Volkow did was to show that in the brain itself, in the reward center, things like drugs are simple You just give a drug, it goes directly to the nucleus acccumbens and it does its thing Whereas when you have things like food, you have everything, neurotransmitters, hormones You’ve got multiple layers of the brain involved The prefrontal cortex, the smarty pants up there, saying, what am I supposed to do with all this? The amygdala, the fight and flight response The cortisol I just mentioned And it goes on and on It’s very complex Okay And it’s so complex that what they, this, this is from Volkow’s work, that we have these what we call layered architectural connecting nests that are combined, they come together and there’s all of this going on This is why we’ve just discovered of late, how terribly complex the issue of reward actually is, especially with regard to food Drugs are very simple All right, here we are >> [INAUDIBLE] >> You know what’s really cool about her, she’s Leon Trotsky’s great grand-daughter So, what you just listened to is Russian with a Spanish accent She’s, she’s one of my neighbors in Bethesda, and, she’s, she’s absolutely brilliant She’s also, you know, I told you all great science happens for a reason She’s a chocoholic, and she was always fascinated as a psychiatrist with why she was and this is what really started her on this whole thing It’s always something wild, it really is So, what she basically said was, you know, it makes sense This reward center What do we find rewarding? You know, it’s so funny but I think about meditation many people kind of roll their eyes and they say, you know, it’s like one more thing And it, where’s the reward in it? Well, there’s a hell of a lot of reward, because one of the first things you’re going to find, is you change your own gene expression, when you do this When you do something transcendent especially I just tend to, love that level of, of meditation You know, as someone who does a lot of athletics, I used to think that meditation was basically taking the five mile run That’s one form, it’s just sort of, you know, I’m out there and I’m kind of zoning out And that’s good, but there’s another layer, that goes much, much deeper And my little friend who does the business major over here What’s really interesting is the grand majority of people who are now leading fortune five hundred companies, are meditating And they are meditating because they know that the only way to stay
on track, the only way to be able to tap into creativity, organization, strategy at the highest level is to be able to power up your prefrontal cortex as best you can and anyone who’s not doing that is a fool Let me show you what goes on, you know, in two places in the brain The first place in the brain as I mentioned to you before was the, reward center This is some of the most beautiful stuff done by Volkow, in the, mid 2000s And what she did was she took a normal person who does not meet any criteria for addiction and here’s like three left in the United States but there it was, a normal person, kind of overuse our normals here, and then we have someone who is clearly cocaine addicted and someone who meets criteria for food and addiction We have something called the Yale Food Addiction Scale now and this has been, pre-reviewed and published, by my wonderful colleagues up at the Rudd Center in, at Yale And what, what Nora did in, with routine, was she took a radionucleotide, basically lit up the rewards center where the dopamine, which comes out when you’re feeling pleasure and reward, is secreted When dopamine is secreted, that’s all special, but it doesn’t mean anything unless it links with it’s receptor This is true for all neurotransmitters and, and, and hormones So no receptor, you can have all the dopamine on the planet, you have a tsunami of dopamine, doesn’t mean anything Okay, you have to have the receptor Once you have the receptor, on that brain cell or wherever it is, then all of a sudden it links up, a perfect fit Boom Now you have this all this, pleasure reward and there it is So what we found was that, we gave a pleasurable experience like to the normal person a beautiful sunset, a picture of their grandchildren, I dunno or something, made them all happy And what we found was that, this radionucleotide basically binds the dopamine with it’s receptor here and you see all this beautiful red orange, that’s where all the binding’s going on This is one very happy camper All right, we did the same thing with the cocaine and the, and the person with the food and addiction issue We basically cued them up, the hits on it’s way You gotta line coming With, with the person with food and addiction is whatever their, you know, substance of abuse was And they said it, it’s on it’s way And the, and just the, the anticipation, the cueing, the triggering, was all it took All right So, but you notice a difference here, between normal and these two These are indistinguishable And f I put alcoholics here, methamphetamine, gambling, sex addiction, they all look exactly the same What happened? Because you see, the receptors disappeared They’re gone What you have left is just a, you know, measly couple of receptors And you’ve got tons of dopamine pouring out, there’s nothing linking They’re not feeling any pleasure, what happened? What happened was very straight forward What did I tell you about the brain and survival? In the beginning, I told you that if you’re over stimulated, too long, 24/7 with the hyperpalatables, whatever combinations are sort of getting to you one way or the other, then something starts happening What happens is, the brain says, man, she is overstimulated Not good for her We, are going to down regulate her receptors, so she doesn’t get so stimulated So that’s what happens The dopamine receptors, we call them the D2 receptors, are basically down-regulated Suddenly, instead of a million of them, we have three, and the brain thinks it did a really good thing for you See, now, you’re not over stimulated Well, that means that one glass of wine doesn’t cut it anymore Three bottles There’s no period at the end of the sentence It’s endless You can never feel satisfaction because you’ll never feel that pleasure and reward the way you used to do it That’s starts the entire addictive cycle It doesn’t matter what you’re on, one way or the other Anything that has an addictive like behavior So there have it That’s exactly what took place Now, here’s something else that I want to get to in terms of mediation, and then we’ll really drill down to this Remember how I said smarty pants is up here? Right behind your forehead Well, this is what this is
This is the forehead area It’s what something we call the orbitofrontal cortex or the prefrontal cortex Now these are what we call glucose metabolism studies And you know, the brain works on glucose And optimally, and it likes to metabolize glucose Now we gave both individuals here something to really think about, do you want a Porsche or a Lamborghini? What’s it going to be? We gave them something they really want to think about And oh my gosh and, and they have to crank it up here, and think, think, think We gave them, challenging decisions that they had to make that were extremely important to them And then we measured glucose metabolism Look what happened with the normal person, they’re just sitting there firing it up That whole prefrontal cortex is thoroughly engaged, yeah, let me think about that What happened to mister cocaine over here, which is, this is a metaphor for all addictive We just happened to use this one All right? It’s like one-third ignited So, what’s going on here? When you’re living that Wall Street kind of, you know, life that I described before with that nice individual who came up and told me about his cigarettes, his alcohol and his, and his, sodas What you’re actually doing is you’re not just changing the reward center, what you’re also doing at the same time is you’re also, impairing and damaging the prefrontal cortex You’re impairing and damaging it, let me take this off, there Can you imagine then when people welcome, oh for god’s sake, just use a little will power Really, seriously? You’ve gotta brain that’s fried and you’re going to use will power It’s like asking someone to run a 5K on two broken legs It just doesn’t work This is an excuse? No, it’s a, it’s a statement of fact You have impairment We’re all impaired to some degree with our crazy, addictive lifestyles until we can kind of come home again, to a core It’d be a heck of a lot more vigilant, paying attention, staying in the present, being much more optimally engaged in our own decision making But instead we kind of knee jerk it, don’t we? And then we, we get hooked into certain cycles And this is what happens I give you an extreme form from actual chemical addiction, but I’m going to tell you we’re seeing the same stuff from all of these other addictive behaviors as well It’s only, it, it falls on an array It’s, it’s a spectrum of order of magnitude And so, then you say geese what do I do with that? Or, you know, how about epigenetics to the rescue How bout we turn things around, which we’ve done clearly, and when we do that we’re able to build back our D2 receptors and our reward center We’re able to reverse the damage that has taken place in the prefrontal cortex, and this is really very powerful How can you do that? Here’s the prefrontal cortex getting hammered here Well, what’s very interesting I’m going to give you, one very, fascinating, meta-analysis that just came out by a researcher, a nueroscientist who’s name is Fred Travis and Travis published this, >> [INAUDIBLE] >> That’s right, I know Yeah, I’m doing a little, you know, I’m doing the, the, the pre-show, to Fred And, Fred is a good friend And, is a wonderful, scientist Published sort of a, a summary of what happens in the brain when you look at multiple forms of meditation You know, you’ve got the staring at the flame types, you’ve got which is focused, you have, you know, lots of visual types, there are, intent, you’re really intent on a specific thought and you stay with it, there is, sort of a whole host of what we call mindfulness And then there’s transcendental meditation as well TM is actually a source of a lot of, studies because it is, very, it’s, it’s more organized so as a, as a scientist, we can measure it lot easier, because the actual regimen is easier It’s 20 minutes, 20 minutes And is fairly straight forward And one of the things he found, was that it was only with, that one form of meditation which I found quite fascinating, that you found as someone was, was entering what we call transcendence in the, in the TM, process that you actually had increased circulation to the prefrontal cortex
During what we call the restful alertness phase Increased prefrontal cortex circulation, meaning that you’re getting more nutrients If you don’t think that doesn’t help the healing process, do think again And what’s interesting as I go back to, you know, the 12 steps in addiction, the 11th step is meditation And again, written in the 1930s, they had no idea what was going on They certainly had never done any of these fancy studies, and what we find now is that they were absolutely right, they just, you know, they kind of inferred it from, from everything they were doing at the time many, many years ago So, what we’re looking for here, is ways to be able to improve our overall performance every single day, using what? Well, here’s the bottom line Mind, mouth and muscle Okay, we’ll go back to my three m’s again One it’s interesting You say the brain, you think, oh my gosh, I’ve got it hammered and, and, and this isn’t just the prefrontal cortex So many other parts of the brain are interconnected And they’re all so, you know, have, have been affected by some of our lifestyle choices By the way, some of them we had no, no, absolutely no control over One of the most core reasons why people get off track is trauma Trauma is a monster, and trauma is ubiquitous When I say trauma, I’m talking about everything from just emotional abandonment as a child to the bad stuff, the really, really bad stuff Trauma is, is the way you determine it, and you perceive it I’m working now with probably one of the, the great names in the study of trauma, and that’s doctor Christine Courtois, who wrote the, the textbook on trauma And, and really starting to put together the fact that, from the very beginning, think about this for a second, what if, while my prefrontal cortex is being formed, and you know it’s not finished in its formation and development until well into adolescence, what if I’m seven, and something’s going on? The trauma of divorce The trauma of a, of a funky upraising for whatever reason It doesn’t matter Do you think it’s therefore having epigenetic changes on the brain at that time? You better know it does in a big, big way So, that’s one of the biggest things that we think about We think, wow, is there, are there ways of turning this around Well, absolutely The mind is, is plastic You can consistently make new neural circuitry to supervene over the old neural circuitry This is neurogenesis And you do this every single day By your choices, regardless of what has happened in the past, and making certain, as best you can, you could be empowered enough, to try to control your environments well enough The people you hang with Your tribal members, right? Where you live How you live Those are very important and empowering choices that you’ve got So, let’s look at that then So, when you do that, you’re looking at meditation, you’re looking at choosing appropriate ways to live, making that choice, no longer reacting Victor Franco probably had one of the best quotations on the planet Obviously, if you haven’t read Man’s Search for Meaning, please it’s just absolutely seminal Franco was a holocaust survivor, survived four camps He was a physician and a neurologist And, he had a lot of great one-liners from, from his incredible journey But, this was a specific quote that I thought was very profound Between stimulus and response, there is a space In that space lies the power to choose In that choice lies your growth and freedom The grand majority of people are not taking full advantage of the space In that space is your ability to change all of this If you’re consistently reactionary, that’s not going to happen And that’s what is really huge here, our ability to do that Who wants a bigger brain? I do, I do Okay, want to get a bigger brain? Physical activity, I didn’t use the E word, no exercise I said physical activity, assume the vertical And do it on a routine basis And you know what you actually do?
the interconnectedness, that was being fostered by all of this That there’s a reward in it that was genetic We didn’t know, why? because no one ever looked So, it’s exquisitely important to pay attention to that interconnectedness as well This isn’t just about me, as it were, this isn’t just a, a self-play I, I would like to recommend, that on a Google alert, aren’t I in Silicon Valley? On a Google alert On a daily basis just for grins You might want to just sort of do this for awhile Just put epigenetics and, and fill in the blank for whatever you’re studying or ever, however you’re playing Epigenetics and meditation Epigenetics and depression Epigenetics and eating disorders, epigenetics and addiction, I mean just keep going You are, your mind will be blown, because the minute the epigenome was created, the National Institutes of Health, all heck broke out And suddenly we had money flowing for some of the most cutting edge research we’ve ever seen And this is going to define everything from what we’re going to be doing in terms of public policy Right To how we’re going to be making drugs that save lives I don’t know if you know this, but once the epigenome was discovered, we now have cancer drugs that zero in on just one gene and we’re able to silence it to some degree Our, clearly our goal is to silence it 100% like the agouti, but we’re, we’re trying to do whatever we possibly can We were never able to do gene targeted therapy before Until epigenetic reared its head and now we can, so there’s all kinds of fascinating applications, everything from how we, you know, find our own transcendence and bliss the morning to actual drug therapies, so all good stuff So here’s to a powerful prefrontal cortex Thanks [SOUND] Questions? I definitely want to, you know, grab a few here so that I can, you know, dial me up while you’ve got me For my six AM flight tomorrow Go >> [UNKNOWN] >> That’s a very good question That’s something we’re, we’re playing with right now The damage that a lot of these hyperpalitable, especially sugar Sugar’s the worst of all This one we know now from all of our research The problem with answering that question is that it’s everywhere So, if I got you off alcohol, I know exactly what I’m doing No bars, not bottles, we’re done Cocaine, simple, no white stuff We’re done Sugar I think it’s in the wallpaper I don’t know It’s everywhere And, and so [LAUGH] so to a certain degree, I mean, our exposure to this is, it’s sneaky stuff The sugar, you know, it’s, it’s everywhere So because of that, what we simply do is we say as best one can be, as educated and vigilant as possible Read the labels, especially now that the FDA and the rest of them have said that the labels now must have the full breakdown in carbohydrates, no playing around here And I would just, between you and me, I’d probably just avoid it as best I can, just, just get it out of there Does this mean you can’t have Mom’s you know, special cookie at Christmas time Of course not Remember what I said about the brain? I said it just doesn’t like to be overstimulated 27-7 by hitting Starbucks and doing the nasty machiado whoo-ha $15 nasty things You don’t want to know how much sugar is in that stuff ect., ect., I mean people just do that all day long like our little Wall Street, over 12 of them Right? Just constant drip Might as well put an IV in for all you’re getting out of it You see what I’m saying? So, but it’s really, really important to try to do the best you can to eliminate it And if it turns out to be a food product, it could be mom’s cookies, it could be anything But a, a food product No matter how innocent looking, for which the following occurs Then it’s not a good thing to be re-exposed to Okay, you’re ready? I just did an, an interview with a major magazine about this this morning And, and it just sort of reminded me all over again about how this works
All right So I said, I went, you know, and I had a biscotti You know, with a coffee last week I was at Pete’s at Berkeley, of course >> [LAUGH] >> Did that happen again? It just keeps coming out of my mouth Can’t help myself And and I just had him hankering for one, you know, what the hell? And I’d hike for five miles that morning, you know, with my niece, and, and my family We would, you know, we like to go up to, behind Lawrence’s Rad Lab and around there just have some fun So I have a feeling, okay I can do that Now I was in balance, I was feeling really good I thoroughly enjoyed it It was just, not that big of a biscotti, it was like that Had a skim latte with it and I, I’m good What I did not experience was the following I did not experience a sensation of loss of control I did not experience shame, blame, and guilt If all those things had happened, I’m addicted You see the differentiator here? Okay So if I just have my little, you know, I just had a little biscotti, a little earlier, it’s like, yeah so who died? You know, it tasted good, I’m done You know, it’s little treat It’s been a long day I don’t even know what city I’m in right now But, you know, there it is Had a good time But no loss of control No shame, blame, and guilt Like oh, I can’t believe I just did that You know? And then there when I say loss of control, it just starts into a whole binge cycle Okay? So, that identifies addiction So when I say re-exposure you have to, you know yourself better than anyone If that happens, oh well, we just had our own self experiment and we know that that’s not going to work for us Okay? I will tell you the more you stay centered, mentally, the more you check in with yourself You know its interesting When I describe meditation to people it’s, it’s fascinating, many times I usually get the rolling of the eyes, the glazed look, and they run out for the exit door I use to do the same thing all the time until I became a smarty pants But one of the things I do now is I say, hey do you check in with your, your best friend? Oh sure You check in with, I mean if you’re married or, or partner whatever, do you check in with that person? Sure You check in with yourself? How about nada How about you just sort of gloss over it You just want to buzz through the day And so there I got your attention because you have to check in with yourself I mean if you’re doing it with everyone else, what? How about yourself? And you could do it a multitude of different ways, but you gotta check in with yourself, and there are a lot of ways to do it I like to kind of go with the deepest level All right So I got to tell you my story I couldn’t meditate to save my life I’m just too high energy I could light up a small city I just couldn’t do it I mean it was hard Herb Benson, the great Cardiologist and founder of the Harvard Mind Body Institute is one of my dearest friends He’s now emeritus And he tried to get me to do the relaxation response I lasted 11 seconds exactly, and I opened my eyes and I said I, I’m so out of here I have to go now I don’t even know what I’m doing here And poor Herb, I’m still know as this famous failure, couldn’t get me to do it And it was only because, it was interesting, they, you know, that zen saying when the student is ready the teacher appears So, about five years ago my friend Dr Norman Rosenthal with whom I had done studies at the National Institutes of Health He was the psychiatrist who founded season effective disorder, was writing a new book And he’s always writing a book, you know the winter blues, seasonal effective disorder, you know, depression, I don’t know, psychiatry stuff I’m not a psychiatrist, I’m an internist, so I kind of, you know And so he called me, I’m doing another book And I say, oh God, what? Depression, anxiety, you know, just seems like a hodgepodge out there Says no, it’s called Transcendence I said, you’ve lost your mind What? What? I mean, what is that? And, he says I don’t know I’ve been looking at this science of, of like meditation and I specifically chose one form that was transcendental meditation because it, it had all this hot science And I said oh God And he said Pam, you’ve got scope it out I said, you know, look I flunked Harvard We’re not going to go this He said you’ve got to take time Time? Are you out of your mind? I was living on a plane Filming my Discovery show in Los Angeles And it was just me and Virgin Airways and that was it My life And so flash forward a year, he then sent me the galley of the book By this time it was written And he said, you know, can you just take a peek at it? And, you know, we’re at a point now when we’ve written enough books we just quote for each other [LAUGH] It’s like the little quote parade, and so I said, okay fine, I’ll read it I couldn’t put it down
I said, say what? There, you see I’m a scientist I needed to hear it in, you can get a bigger brain, you can sharper vigilance Huh? This is, where do I sign up? This is pretty cool stuff, but then again I had my reservations See, I don’t do like, you know, holding hands, chanting I don’t do candles, I don’t do any of this stuff Because I have little issues And I’d just come off a couple of big triathlons, and so I think I had hair on my chest at that time Arg, you know? Like this, I don’t this weenie stuff And I came into my teachers, and it was a husband, wife team, it was Mario and Linda in Bethesda, and they were all ready for me because Norman apparently already called and said she’s coming [LAUGH] Get ready And I sat down and I said, now look, here are the rules You know? I don’t want some Oprah episode here We’re not going to do, you know, lighting candles and all the rest of it And I don’t want a new religion I’m a recovering Catholic as it is So I don’t need anything, I don’t need anymore problems All I want is a bigger brain [LAUGH] This transcendence thing Come on Let’s do it And so [LAUGH] they sat down They said, Dr. Pete, we have done due diligence on you And we have figured out what you need We’ve decided to call it warrior meditation [LAUGH] I said, yeah, let’s do that Warrior meditation And so with great trepidation, but yet there was something open in me I sat down with Linda for my first session And I’m telling you, have you ever just gone somewhere and you just luck out because you find the shoe that fits perfectly? I mean really She says, oh yes we’ll be doing this for 20 minutes Sweat pouring down my face What 20? I couldn’t even make it through 11 seconds But it worked, because it was literally that easy It’s incredibly easy It wasn’t, you have to think about it thought, you have to work Didn’t have to do anything And now, then I began to understand what they meant by this word transcendence, and what’s interesting is, using that I wrote my next book Which was my third New York Times best seller The level of creativity and the level openness, and the ability to stay, you know, relatively speaking, calm in, in very funky and very challenging situations became very, very evident And suddenly I, I found more and more of my colleagues looking at this I was just on stage with Arianna Huffington the, about month and a half ago in New York talking about this very same thing She herself now is, is leaning how to meditate Because she suddenly realizing my god this science is just too profound This is too crazy You know? Why am I not using this at my level of expertise and work as an entrepreneur So, when I, when I, when I really talk about this I’m kind of like, I’m one of those, if I can do it anybody can do it types, because you know, I didn’t come with the robes, and you know, sandals I’m just, like, doing my thing here But I’m a scientist I read it I get it Okay? Make sense? Other questions? >> [INAUDIBLE] Just from personal experience the stabilizing, you know, if you’ve [UNKNOWN] >> Well that’s because of folate and in the B vitamins They’ve been found to be very profoundly effective in mood modulation And, and this is one of the reasons why many people take it And if you’re B deficient, this also makes you impatient, impulsive, and irritable The three I’s And those three eyes are also taken of care of via the prefrontal cortex So all, you see how everything blends together, the epigenetics, the nutrition, the mental part It’s all, it’s a very integrative approach And the physical activity for stimulating more neurogenesis and, and supporting all of the rest of this, sort of three pillars Go for it >> [UNKNOWN] is there hope? >> [LAUGH] >> I mean I know it’s been found to be >> There is hope You know, you know what it is? It’s the funniest thing When they started having more organic bars that were 70% cacao and more, that eliminated the problem for about 50% of the people Why? Because they got their chocolate, but it didn’t’ have that eee, sweet taste to it, and it’s not overly bitter I wouldn’t go above 80%, that’s sort of like going to the, you know, the sawdust place But the 70% is phenomenal And if you want to ever give that a whirl that’s fine Because that’s one, it’s got the organic has tremendous flammenoids in it Great plant nutrients that are heart healthy and brain healthy, so you
get a lot of that out of it, plus it just tastes good Whole Food’s got some really great ones DAGOBA is one of them for instance and there’s a whole bunch of other brands But you have to taste test them If you have a piece, and if you feel out of control It ain’t working for you You have to say these words, that does not work for me And just be honest with yourself You know, when I talked to doctor [UNKNOWN] It’s very funny She’s become a connoisseur of the finest organic chocolate in the world People to send it to [LAUGH] in, say, droves Christmas time is ugly over there in at the NIH She’s got boxers of the stuff, and she just laughs at me She’s anemically thin, she’s this big She and, and, but what she does is she does something very interesting, you want to know her secret? We still rolling? okay, so here’s the secret She run 7 miles a day Not six, not eight Seven It’s a little compulsive A lot compulsive, but you’re happy because she’s a scientist, she should be compulsive All right? And what that does is it helps dampen her appetite, and it helps her feel like she’s under, you know better control And she, she has a very powerful prefrontal cortex And, and she’s very disciplined in that regard So, she just practices and practices You have to find you own way around this If it turns out it will never work for you then that’s fine There is life without it, number one But number two, most people are able to redefine their relationship with it And if you find that you are only going to it when you’re stressed out, stressed by the way spelled backwards is desserts Just think about that for a moment Okay? It’s not arugula, it’s stressed in desserts Right? So If you find that you’re only, you know, going to chocolate when you’re super stressed out, and, and, you’re, and by the way, boredom is a form of stress So a lot of people say oh, it’s only when I’m bored No Boredom is a form of stress You don’t want to be bored You want to be engaged I don’t mean, like, you’re running around, like on a gerbil wheel I just simply mean, be engaged, listen to some music You know, read a book Uh-huh, like that But don’t just sit there and stare If you do that to an animal, they become self destructive Try it, I have a german shepherd, we, we can have a conversation All right So, think about what’s triggering that If you’re over eating, why? Is it, it, and maybe you just need a little vacation from it for a little bit and sort of look at your own patterns and then see whether or not In my book The Hunger Fix I have a whole algorithm for this Which really helps Really I’m not here to sell books, I’m just simply saying I killed myself to write the damn algorithm, so read it [LAUGH] Because nothing had been written about this before People were either abstinent or they were just, like, you know, letting it rip with intuition I don’t know, it’s all okay No, it’s not all okay! We’ve gotta be real here because a lot of these things aren’t real foods I wouldn’t even grace them with the word food It’s just weird stuff You know, that hits your bliss point Okay, there is hope I know there is Other questions? Go, please >> You mentioned the effects of refined sugars What about things like [INAUDIBLE] or other kinds of sugar? >> The other forms of sugar do precisely the same thing And especially with the these refined form I mean, good God, there are sugar alcohols, there are all kinds of level of of sugar out there that are infused into your foods And you don’t even recognize it because they’re covered, you know, by strange terminology in the ingredient labeling You don’t know unless you’re a dietitian or, or a nutrition expert So again, there’s a, there’s a whole way of, of being able to discern what’s going on, on those labels But here is another issue Why are we eating something that’s in a box in the first place? What happened to natural food? Just a thought Something for you to mentally marinate I’m not asking you to become Julia Child and, you know, be whipping it up every moment, because we can’t We’re all running around like crazy people But there are some very simple ways to get whole foods Very simple ways And, and there are some great ways to curb your carb cravings I’ll give you one A combination of protein and fiber That’s why protein smoothies work like a charm One of those babies, you’re good to go for two to three hours I have recipes and food plans in, in the book that I’m actually utilizing The reason why I’m bringing, very excited I just flew up from Malibu Where, I’m working the, a national group It is the second largest addiction and eating disorders group in the country And they’re called Elements Behavioral Health And I’m actually inaugurating the very
first national program in food and addiction And I’ve hired specific and very unique chefs Who are what we call culinary nutritionists These are registered dietitians who are also certified by the Culinary Institute of America as chefs It’s very unusual to find both in one human being And what we’ve done is we’ve, tricked out all of the, foods that people who are coming out of addiction actually eat because the transfer addiction is a nightmare Oh, great You’re clean from alcohol and you just put on 75 pounds and you’re going to die of heart disease So, you’re clean but unhealthy This is not helping us So, I’m cleaning that up And then we’re also working with groups of women who have mental health disorders and mood disorders, and what we’re doing is we’re actually micro manipulating, the, all of their nutrients Their macro nutrients, and vitamins, et cetera So that they can actually have improved mood, and much better outcome from depression and anxiety And so this is the very first program of it’s kind where we’re applying science, why I’m so excited about all this stuff And it’s all epigenetic It’s become a joke in the kitchen It’s like where are the kale chips These are real kale, kale chips Not that crap you buy at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, which are, look like little bagel chips or something, and covered with cheddar cheese And they’ve adulterated Just take kale, for crying out loud Slap it in the oven with some extra virgin olive oil, little bit of sea salt, we’re home It just tastes like you died and went to heaven And you’ll be sitting there at your dinner table or for a snack, saying I’m methylating I just can’t stand it, I’m just, be quiet, I’m methylating, you know It’s just, it’s so cool, you know So, there you have it Go ahead >> What are your thoughts on Stevia, either in powdered form or getting the plant and chopping it when you were >> Very good So, the question is what about the herbal Stevia Have you guys used Stevia or, you know, or it’s, it’s in a lot of products now too, as well I think its brand name is Truvia and they have a couple of other companies out there too So here’s the gig with, Stevia Stevia is perfectly fine and I’ll tell you why You know Splenda is out there now It’s like in your sodas and, you know, the diet fill in the blanks and all the rest of it Okay, fine So, guess what we found, about eight months ago What we found was that, the artificial sweeteners, increase, remember how I told you the insulin, mind your insulin because it’s going all over the place and it’s locking fat, you know, all the rest of it Splenda does that Now Aspartame, I’m not even going to address, that’s just plain carcinogenic and anyone who’s, who’s drinking that, I mean, that’s ridiculous But Splenda’s everywhere Okay So that’s sucralose? Right? And so, when you see that, then you go, wow, I just had a diet fill in the blank, and I just feel like I want to eat everything Well there’s a reason why now because you just jacked up your insulin Now, Stevia What is it do? It has no effect on insulin None, why? It’s an herbal If it’s an herbal, its very close to our own biology and physiology Therefore, it’s not going to play with you, like that All of the artificial stuff, will do that So you know, I, I, I’m a real huge fan of Stevia And the other thing I do is, you know, what’s wrong with a nice big pitcher of water with sliced, you know, fruit in it, you know, or, or basically sort of a, fruit infused water They have all of this great stuff out there, and I keep it everywhere Always taking around my little Contigo, you know, container, no BPA And all the rest of it And you know, if you are still thinking about drinking any of those sodas out there, you should also know that we just found out that, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have just now, removed yet another ingredient, from the citrus looking, drinks This was Gatorade, Powerade, Fanta, all of these, you know why? It had, brominated vegetable oil, that’s bromine, as in flame retardant So that’s just, and by the way, it’s still not out of there They said, we’re going to do it by the end of the year Now they took they stuff outta Gatorade a year ago, so Gatorade’s good to go, not Powerade So you gotta be care, that’s what I’m saying Water, water, teas, fresh water Just chop up 200 different fruits and just let them float in one of those big beautiful kind of glassy containers and just little spigot and just keep it in your kitchen Let it rip That is what you really want to do all day long Nothing better than that at all Hydrate your beautiful bodies
Go for it >> [INAUDIBLE] the only way [INAUDIBLE] many of them have had employees suffer childhood drama, how do you reconcile that? Is that, maybe even, necessary to have a $40,000 fund for [INAUDIBLE] or will they find a way to make up for it? >> Now there’s a damn good question And the question was, you have all these, right, it could be anyone, leaders in the world, it could be anyone, you know, titans of industry, and you know all the rest of that People have learned ways to be able to compensate for trauma, some of them have no idea that they have this kind of effect from childhood and adolescent trauma in their lives and it’s left scars and many of these people have great difficulty forming relationships, close relationships because of that Trauma itself decreases trust in relationships, big time When you have, when you suffer early betrayal, it’s very difficult to, to get through that without some psychotherapy to help you understand what happened So you, what you see is all kinds of ideations of, of navigating through that Some people are just plain lucky They figured it out innately and said, you know, I’m going to turn this lemon, lemons into lemonade and I kind of see that this must’ve had a profound effect And they’re little bit more vigilant, but what I will tell you, which is very interesting [LAUGH] People choose their professions for a reason Many people in the military and law enforcement are hypervigilant They have to be constantly looking for bad guy, like this, right? It’s in their DNA, and that also was fostered Hypervigilance is one of the direct effects of trauma, because you see you can’t trust, so you’re constantly looking And those people become superb at what they do, but forming relationships is very difficult That’s, why, you know, again, everyone kind of goes where they need to go Most of them have not had any therapy They just sort of what we call in the business muddled through They’re the smart ones learn to avoid situations that ignite something ugly in them And if they’re lucky, if they’re, and many of them are, they surround themselves both domestically and professionally, with people who will protect them from themselves You see this all the time That’s a very good question Another questions I’m having way too much fun, go >> Honey, is it too much rather than fine sugar? >> Honey, raw honey, is the best way to do it, raw honey So you know, we could score this almost everywhere, but raw honey is definitely the best way to do it But I, again using it parsimoniously You know, I use it a little bit in my tea, here and there and everywhere, it’s just fun You know, it just works Again, it’s how much you use, how much you expose, and the [UNKNOWN] of people have no problem with that so long as you’re not pouring in, you know, jars of this stuff, but in this society that’s what people do It’s just crazy out there It’s like totally out of control, but that’s perfectly fine So is maple syrup, and this is the natural maple syrup Right, but so long as it doesn’t look white The joke is, if it’s white, it’s not right Because what does it mean, I mean, it’s sort of an interesting word, a contradiction in terms It’s refined No, its manufactured and processed You took something perfectly fine, like cane sugar which is dark And you stripped it of every nutrient it had until you had empty calories You had a teaspoon of 50 calories of emptiness That’s all you got at a jacked up insulin, which locked up your fat cells Sign me up You know, it’s like the worse thing you could possibly do So, just keep that in mind Yes, go ahead >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Perfectly fine That one you could see in a lot of those gums For instance, I think at Whole Foods they have, I forgot the name of the brand and stuff, but you’ll see that in some of the gums and that’s fine No problem Go ahead >> [INAUDIBLE] because my personal experience is [INAUDIBLE] I just don’t like [INAUDIBLE] >> God was with you
No, just kidding [LAUGH] just kidding No, but, [LAUGH] you know, I mean, look, let’s go Paleo for a moment, okay? A long time ago, when we, we had like real meat, like you, we had deer running through the forest and they were almost all muscle, very little fat, and we, we did that for our sort, that’s perfectly fine Once again we have science fair projects I, I can’t believe they have another recall on beef again You know, it’s killing people with E coli and, and Lord knows back and forth, I heard it on the news last night that’s rolled my eyes so, part of our problem is the source of the meat It’s not natural or you’re paying through the nose for it And can you trust them, when they say it’s natural, you know, huh, you know The other issue is how is it being prepared [COUGH] okay, how is it being prepared? And the grand majority of red meat, as it courses through, you know, your intestines, you can look it up, just google it Basically the, the breakdown products are nitrosamines Nitrosamines are highly carcinogenic So people who have the highest level of that going on in ’em, especially with the science fair projects we’re eating, this wasn’t caveman a million years ago Are the people at the highest levels of colonic cancer So we got a problem, right? It’s a problem It’s the source of the stuff, how it’s prepared, you know so, you know, people go through their own little evolutions here And you’re going through yours I’m just one of those people who, you know I, I, I, I’m kind of one of these reasonable people I’m like a Madeleine Albright, everyone just sit down and relax Let’s all talk to each other here I’m not an extremist, I’m not righteous I’m like I’m a scientist Right? So, if you want an occasional red meat, I, I, don’t anybody died Right? I personally don’t just because that’s my choice I’ve had it and I can’t tell you how many years because there’s a Smarty Pants, I read this stuff a long time ago Right, same things goes quite frankly with poultry, and that’s another little tricky one Fish is another one, just like treefish in the planet, we can now eat it and won’t kill us and I mean, it just, yeah, I have fish, you know, I, I have that as a source of protein But I find myself more and more vegetarian Just because it’s just, it, it, I can control it I can control a lot of that, a lot better It’s a matter of control for me You know, if I grow my own beans or if I grow my own strawberry I kind of know where it came from You know, and I try to do the best I can with that, so, a lot of it is just sitting down and being with yourself, and saying [SOUND] what feels good? What’s working for me here, you know? And, really, I’m going to tell you something, you don’t need that much food You don’t Is that a little shocker? [LAUGH] You don’t need that much food Why do we have mount same food for every single meal? You don’t need that much Its, its sort of amazing and the older you get, the less you actually need, even at the athletic level, our bodies are just so amazingly efficient You just don’t need that much, a beautiful thing to do is to actually read this great book called the Blue Zones And this was about, the places on this planet where the hundred year olds hang out Okinawa is one of them And in almost, it’s the weirdest thing, in almost every single one of those cultures, what they do, is they say something, in concert with their meals Almost like a little blessing or a saying or something and the Okinawa’s, I’m not going to say it in Japanese or I’ll butcher it to death, but it basically means, stop before full It means that what you’re doing is you’re very mindful and conscious of, what you’re doing And you’re allowing your body to feel satisfied instead of doing what we do, which is wolfing it down in three seconds And never even allowing the hormones in the gut to make contract with the brain, to say yo, you’re full You supervene over that, and then the whole thing goes to hell So, just taking a moment and savoring and enjoying is really where it’s at, and when you do that, you eat less Now if you think I’m just full of it, do this Do a meditation meal A quiet meal Don’t say a word Have everything all teed up And just thoroughly enjoy it No distractions, nothing But make it a beautiful ambiance, you know, crackling fire, and you know, the whole thing Little music All that’s cool And then just eat Watch what happens I did this once, damn near killed me, since I couldn’t talk, but, you weren’t supposed to laugh See, you were supposed go, what? That’s so surprised And so I went through this And, as a scientist I can never turn it off
I was observing everyone around me I was doing this at Rancho La Puerta which is this beautiful spa on the other side of the border, and, It was beautiful, it was a winter evening, just beautiful ambience, a little music, crackling fire, the whole thing And I watched, there were about 50 people in there They were all adults, and, you know, just doing their thing And this is what I observed The first thing was, not a single person finished their plate Not one And they had just normal portions One Two That they all felt full I mean, when I say full, satisfied, much sooner That, they, they were thoroughly enjoying putting down the fork Listening to the music, getting into, when’s the last time you did that? How about never? because you’re distracted Right? You’re distr, you don’t even know what you’re doing We have no idea what we’re doing when we’re eating now So you eat less, you enjoy more, and your body adapts over time That’s what happens It’s pretty cool stuff And, there was someone, raising their little hand Did I get you all? Oh, it was you >> [INAUDIBLE] Vegan versus paleo diet And you kind of asked [INAUDIBLE] Maybe if you could go into how [INAUDIBLE] >> Vegans, vegans, takes it to the next level You have to be careful with the vegan because of the, the B12 issue because you’re not going to get sources for B12 The other thing with vegan is that it’s, it’s very hard to negotiate When you’re out a lot, when you travel a lot and back and forth, so it tends to be a problem Is it possible? Of course, there’s tons of people are You know, our pal, Clinton is, former President, he has to be because he has severe heart disease And so he has to go to the extreme place and he also has people to cook for him and make it all good and back and forth But, you know, there’s nothing wrong with vegan at all, if you want to go vegan that’s perfectly fine It’s just you have to be extremely strategic about making certain that you’re getting all of your vitamins and that you’re getting enough protein Sometimes it’s hard to get as much protein Protein’s a big problem with the vegan thing, because you, you don’t have other sources of protein that even vegetarians have You know, lacto, ovo, and all the rest of it And so, protein’s an issue, the B vitamins are an issue All right? But it’s perfectly fine otherwise >> [INAUDIBLE] gluten? >> Oh, the gluten thing, okay People who really feel like they have an issue with gluten should be checked out by a real doctor in a real test The grant, a new study just came out And it literally just came out in the last 48 hours And, this was a study of people who swore on a stack of Bibles that they were gluten, you know, sensitive And, as it turns out, only 14% were And yet, you know, I mean, they had the symptomatology, which is really funky symptomatology I mean, you are really in pain, and it is a, not a good situation This isn’t just like, oh, I feel a little funky No This is like you’re in pain All right? Because it’s a gross inflammatory process within the GI tract It hurts So, and those people had not yet even been checked out by a physician But all the rest of them didn’t have anything at all They just felt like they did Now, a lot of people say, well I’m, I’m gluten free, and then, you know, suddenly they’re sanctimonious and all is well and they’ll be thin as a rail in no time, only to find out they just packed on an extra five Because gluten free foods are just as fattening as the next thing So, there, there’s no magic to that whatsoever If, however, you’re looking just simply at grains per se, and you’re trying to avoid processed grains, then I’m all over it Okay, who needs processed grains? Because th, if you have processed grains, you’re going to be playing with your insulin exactly the same way As I said to you before, it’s nothing more than easily digestible carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, that’s what the process manufactured grains are kinwa is fine, barley is fine, oats are fine, all right, and then if you have a true multi grain it’s fine, but if you buy, you know, like some whole wheat Quote, quote bread over at Safeway or whatever you got out here, then run the
opposite direction because that’s just nothing but manufactured junk and you don’t want to touch that So, who needs to have to go gluten free, you know, running around like [INAUDIBLE] people when all you got to do is just avoid the manufactured stuff Or hell, make your own Seriously, you have bread makers, you could do your own little thing and in you’re full control of everything, every ingredient that goes into it You know, I think what we’re doing is we’re actually coming full circle now and saying, you know, cooking wasn’t so bad [LAUGH] We kind of ran away from cooking and all that and we went to the boxes and the bags And now we’re coming full circle saying, cooking Not so bad, because we’re in control And we, we can do this central experience of holding food and honoring it and, and, you know, asking for that blessing over the food, saying thank you for giving me nourishment I love that That’s cool stuff Works for me Go >> No alcohol at all, or non addictive [UNKNOWN] control of alcohol >> Oh alcohols fine, are you kidding me No I’m just kidding [LAUGH] I’m not an idiot, no [LAUGH] Coffee great, actually we, we first started looking at all of this when we started examining centenarians and octogenarian And others and this is the great work done by Tom Pearls at Harvard and, and his, his colleague Silver And this was also a piece of what we saw with the nun study as well It came out just about the same time, University of Kentucky This is what we found There’s nothing wrong with having a little alcohol here Notice I said a little alcohol here, there, and everywhere They had their little sherry before they went to bed at night time and you know, back and forth and up and down, but you know, it, it was thoroughly enjoyed It was enjoyed We go back to that enjoy thing And, and, they, they really did it extremely well And, the coffee is the same thing, you know? They had a cup of coffee, they did not have a venti macchiato hoo-ha nasty thing, they had a cup of, do you know what normal cups of coffee look like? Hint, they don’t come like this, you know? What they do is they, they, if you have a little cup with a saucer That’s what it’s supposed to look like Okay? That’s a cup of coffee Not this We, we just, we’ve forgot that So as it turns out, the centenarian studies actually showed that the grand majority of these people had a varied diet You know, they still have a little bit of this, a little bit of that It really spanned the full spectrum But they had smaller portions, they were much more physically active, and they were very mentally engaged And, and they were interconnected with their communities And so, with all of those together, it wasn’t just diet alone All of those together, you had someone who had high-quality longevity That was the issue Did you know that having friends and, and regularly staying in touch with these friends was equal to, if not more powerful in terms of longevity, high quality life, than physical activity No one knew that until they started following the bingo players And the people who are doing Mahjong and, you know, all the rest of them Everyone wrote them off like, you know, a bunch of silly little people Really? Then how come they’re 100 and you’re not? And so they started studying this They said, oh my God So, the ones who were alone were the ones who died earlier because they didn’t have the support system But just that marvelous oxytocin rich environment of bonding This is another reason why women live longer than men Men tend to be much more solo Women are like bonding with, you know, walls, and everything I mean, we just bond, just bond Bonding with the screen And we just bond, sort of in our DNA Obviously I’m being facetious Some women don’t but whatever But the, the, the issue is, it’s, it’s a sort of beautiful multilayered package that helps us with that And it includes alcohol It does Yes >> [UNKNOWN] >> I’m sorry >> [UNKNOWN] Oh, are you saying fermented? >> Yes >> Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you said permanent foods, what the hell the permanent, [LAUGH] missed, I missed that chapter Yeah, fermented foods are fine
I mean, you know, they’re a piece of the action And again, natural sources Make certain that, in the best of all worlds a lot of people ferment their own stuff, you know, and that’s once again, keeps it all within the same confines of natural But I have no problems with that whatsoever Yeah, of course >> So take the last question once step further how about just extracting juices from the nutrients from >> How many of you juice? You like to juice, yeah juicing’s cool that’s no problem, just, just be careful of the following one Fiber is very important So, if you juice, hold on to that fiber, you know, in the back and do something with it, have fun, right, put it in your cooking, make sure you don’t lose the fiber, number two, what are you juicing Okay, if you’re juicing kale, cucumber, and celery that’s one thing It’s got like zip for you know, glucose in it But if you’re throwing in tons of carrots, apples, you know, fruit and all the rest of it, suddenly we’re back to a boatload of, you know, like, a load of glucose You’ve got to be careful about that So, what I love to do is really be more veg heavy, right and maybe throw in a carrot So that you don’t have a bowl I mean nothing wrong with carrots per se But it’s people just kind of over do it And because this tends to be a little bit higher glycemic index But the thing, if you have a little juice here, there and everywhere That’s fine, that’s fine But the mack daddy is whole food, because then you get the whole package I don’t, I don’t know if you know this, but, and this is another new piece of hot information Fiber, they have just found out that fiber actually affects the brain to control appetite So, the more fiber you have in your diet, meaning a minimum of 40 grams a day, the more fiber in your diet, the more you can control appetite Now, isn’t that just the coolest? The other piece that you should also know, and this just came out of this, wonderful work by Ludwig over at at Harvard If you have two different kinds of dietary intake, one being lower carbohydrate When I say that, it’s like 30 to 40% of your diet All the rest half and half, protein and, and fat, because you want healthy fats, avocados, nuts, etc And you want healthy protein from a variety of sources All right, so if you have a lower carbohydrate group compared to a group that’s lower fat This was the biggest mistake ever made by, and I quote, the diet industry Unless it wasn’t a mistake and was a horrible conspiracy, I’m not going to go there But If you compare them If they’re eating exactly the same number of calories, doing the same level of moderate physical activity, the group that has the lower carbohydrate intake, and when I say lower carbohydrate, they’re not eating refined sugars That carbohydrate is mostly vegetables and fruits, and some appropriate grains Okay, so that’s where they’re getting it from Then the group that is having the lower carbohydrate is on a routine basis, burning 325 more calories per day, just rocking and rolling through the day than the group that’s low fat Why? Didn’t I just explain this to you? That’s right, those fat cells in the low fat group are on lock down because you have a higher amount of carbohydrates coming through the system So, talk about something that’s the easiest way to drop a few here, if you want to shed excess body fat You just simply hit it with healthy carbs at about 30 to 40% And, and just avoid these, these refined manufactured carbs And you’ve got yourself a winning, an extra 325 a day That’s equal to an hour’s worth of moderate physical activity And you didn’t even have to do that And then if you added moderate physical activity, or a little bit more everyday, you get even more of a, you know, bang for your buck So that’s why what you eat means everything And by the way, the old adage, a calorie is a calorie, is now officially dead >> Do you [UNKNOWN] >> Do I trust it? That’s a very good question [LAUGH] Well, that, that’s a loaded one, because it depends upon how you define organic And that is the trick We have the federal level We have the private level We have probably at least ten different definitions of organic
so, the way I look at it is an order of magnitude Right, so it just depends upon, you know, if you go to Whole Foods and it says organic are you trusting them? You have to look at their policies and how they define it and let me tell you by the time you drill it down it’s not pretty, as it turns out it’s not that much different And the only difference we found, it was actually, it was a Stanford study, it was, I swear, it was a Stanford study and what they found was that the only main difference between organic and non-organic was the level of pesticide That’s really what it was, it just drilled right down to it, it’s the level of pesticide And look, I mean between me and you and the walls, the Stanford walls here, there’s probably not an acre of arable land left in the United States that’s not tainted It’s only an order of magnitude, so which one is tainted worse? Okay? I mean, it just makes sense, doesn’t it? I said arable land I didn’t say the bottom of the Grand Canyon, I just said arable land So I mean, we have to just get realistic about what’s happened to our environment We do >> [INAUDIBLE] [UNKNOWN] >> Insoluble is wonderful Whips right through, keeps that GI track in marvelous shape and it also allows you to do one thing, it gums up the system, as it were, so that whatever you’re eating that is carbohydrate, let’s just say I has some sweet potato right now or zucchini, alright? So I’m extracting all that wonderful carbohydrate, but it takes longer because the fiber is in the way So it’s great So you’re aiming for 40 to 50 grams of fiber and you just look at what you’re eating and just get that fiber in there one way or the other Fiber is good, it keeps GI system nice and healthy Questions? Have I exhausted you? What? >> [INAUDIBLE] the a couple tablespoons of the psyllium powder? >> That’s fine That’s perfectly fine I mean, you know, that’ll do the same thing If you really couldn’t find the fiber otherwise that’s perfectly fine Nothing wrong with that It also gives you a sense of fullness A lot of people are using that now, you know, to be able to help them reduce appetite a bit when it looks like it’s, you know, running out of control as its want to do in this lovely society Look guys, it’s a battle field out there [LAUGH] We gotta arm ourselves for war It’s hysterical I just, when you go out there it’s just everywhere It’s everywhere and it’s very, this is why having an optimal prefrontal cortex is absolutely imperative I mean it’s, I’m not kidding you, I gave this I gave a TED talk, another one, where I actually had this picture of something I had taken at the, at Chicago at the, at the O’Scare airport as I went up there And I was walking along, of course there was another delay or you know, whatever and and as I was walking along, there was this sign It was really weird, it was like a placard sign and it said, come closer I’m like, Hm, that’s creepy [LAUGH] Come closer Of course I did And it, it said, can you smell it? Can you just taste it? It’s waiting for you, I thought, this is like pornographic, what are we doing here So of course I was interested and all these people behind me were all doing the same thing, we’re following along like little sheep, sheeple, and we just kept going around the corner, there’s another sign, you’re almost there It’s waiting for you Can you smell it? And I thought, what is this, Bath, Bath and Beyond, or you know, [LAUGH] one of these places with aromatherapy? And I, and as I came around, it was a Starbuck’s >> [LAUGH] >> It was very sharp, you know? Of course, by the time I got there, there was not a pastry left They’re all gone,every scone I mean they just you know, they took your psyche and they just hijacked that reward center Cued you up and dropped you to the curve [LAUGH] It was, I was so shocked I couldn’t even believe it So I mean, everywhere we go, there are queues and triggers The stronger your prefrontal cortex, the easier it is to stay on track, cause then you just go out there and say I’m not an idiot, I’m not getting into that stuff and then be smart and strategic never ever ever put
yourself in a position where you’re super starving to death, or you’re sleep deprived, right? Or you’re angry and really upset, then you become not angry, you become hangry, a little hunger and that anger together Then you’re going to eat anything that’s not tacked down And so you’ve got to really be This is why being centered and, and, really on a daily basis coming back for that checking in on yourself, is so incredibly powerful Especially today Thank you [APPLAUSE] >> For more please visit us at stanford.edu