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Locked 101 Classes

Optimal Nutrition 101

How to optimize your health, energy and happiness starting at the end of your fork

Nutrition. It’s easy to get lost in the labyrinth of conflicting science. In this class, we focus on the 2 facts Michael Pollan tells us we can all agree on and then look at how to eliminate the primary causes of disease caused by our modern diets. Optimizing our health, energy and happiness starts at the end of our fork!

101 Classes

Food 101

How to feel empowered around food and fuel your awesomely authentic life
101 Classes

Cooking 101

What you can do on a daily basis to optimize your nutrition in an easy and practical way

Join Alexandra and me in the Johnson kitchen for ten of our favorite recipes!

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Food Rules

An Eater's Manual

Energy, Nutrition, Modern Classic Michael Pollan is the author of a number of New York Times best-selling books on nutrition. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world. If you’re looking for a SUPER compact, witty look at the primary rules on how to eat well, this is it. It’s a fun, witty, concise guide to eating well featuring 64 food rules structured around Pollan’s seven words of wisdom: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Big Ideas we explore include the 2 Facts of nutrition everyone can agree on, Rule #1, why low-fat made us fat, and the final rule (#64).

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Locked PhilosophersNotes

In Defense of Food

An Eater's Manifesto

Michael Pollan is one of the world’s leading thinkers on nutrition. Time magazine voted him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He’s also a Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley. One of the things I most love about him and his work is that, as a journalist, he takes a much wider, more objective view of the nutritional landscape—which can often be dominated by (and muddled by) individuals with *very* strong, dogmatic, inflexible ideologies. Big Ideas we explore: Nutritionism (vs. food), the big experiment (that failed), the Aborigine in all of us, the 5 fundamental transformations of industrializing food and Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puff and Trix cereals as health foods as per the American Heart Association. (<— Can you believe that? Crazy. And true.)

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Bright Line Eating

The Science of Living Happy, Thin & Free

Susan Peirce Thompson is a Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester. She’s an expert in the psychology of eating and creator of Bright Line Eating Solutions, “a company dedicated to helping people achieve long-term, sustainable weight loss.” Plus... She used to be obese and, as she says, addicted to *everything.* She integrates her background in neuroscience with her personal experience conquering her diet and other addiction issues in this super popular book. Big Ideas we explore include why bright lines are where it’s at, the susceptibility quiz, the saboteur, self-perception theory, and the four bright lines of eating.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Power Up Your Brain

Q: What do you get when you combine a neuroscientist and a shaman? A: This book! Specifically, as the sub-title suggests we get: “The Neuroscience of Enlightenment." This is a great book. In the Note, we take a quick look at the power of mitochondria, how to move from our amygala to our prefrontal cortex, how to use stress to our advantage, and create new nueral superhighways.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Case for Keto

Rethinking Weight Control and the Science and Practice of Low-Carb/High-Fat Eating

We’ve featured two of Gary Taubes’ other great books: Why We Get Fat and The Case Against Sugar. If you or a loved one have struggled with reaching your optimal weight while trying to follow the conventional wisdom that all you have to do is eat less and exercise more, I think you, too, will enjoy Taubes’s thoughtful perspective on just how flawed our current thinking is regarding the cause of obesity. Hint: It’s not an “energy balance” issue; it’s primarily a HORMONAL issue. The book is PACKED with Big Ideas. As in, jumbo packed. Hope you love the Note!

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Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Bulletproof Diet

Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life

Want to get Bulletproof? Then Dave Asprey is your man. An uber-successful entrepreneur who weighed 300 lbs before bio-hacking his way to optimal awesome, Dave gives us a guide to upgrading our lives. Big Ideas include the 10 Diet Myths, inflamma, fruits and vegetables, and making health a means to a much bigger end.

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The Thrive Diet

The Whole Food Way to Losing Weight, Reducing Stress and Staying Healthy for Life

Brendan Brazier is a former professional Ironman triathlete who lived on nothing but plant-based foods—no meat, no dairy… just plants. In the Note, we'll explore some Big Ideas on how to optimize our diets and experience more vitality in our lives as we quit leaking energy, go for high net-gain foods and rock the alkalinity!

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Eat to Live

The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss

This book is REALLY REALLY good. In fact, I’m gonna say that if you take the time to read only *one* book on nutrition, read this one. Integrating scientific research plus his experience treating over 10,000 patients with common sense and fun, Dr. Joel Fuhrman has created a super-readable book with a challenging, yet approachable nutrition program that can completely change your life. Big Ideas we explore in the Note include the importance of really committing, what nutritional density is all about and other goodness.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Fat for Fuel

A Revolutionary Diet to Combat Cancer, Boost Brain Power, and Increase Your Energy

Dr. Mercola is a super-popular alternative health physician who runs the equally popular site Mercola.com. In this book, we get a look at his “Mitochondrial Metabolic Therapy” program. MMT for short. As you could probably guess, this is a high-fat (+ “adequate” protein + low-carb) diet. If that approach fires you up, I think you’ll love the book. If not, well… :) Big Ideas we explore include: meeting our mitochondria (the key to health), why “adequate” protein is where it’s at (not low or moderate or high but “adequate”!), mTOR (the cancer switch), good fats (vs. bad ones), peak fasting, and how to win the urge war.

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Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Case Against Sugar

Gary Taubes is an award-winning science journalist. He’s a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator in Health Policy Research at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. In this book, we take up the case against sugar as the primary suspect for ALL of the chronic diseases that are killing us. As the back cover says, Taubes “makes the convincing case that sugar is the tobacco of the new millennium: backed by powerful lobbies, entrenched in our lives, and making us very sick.” Big Ideas we explore include: the prime suspect (= sugar), drug or food?, two theories (energy balance vs. metabolic theory), sugar as a chronic toxin (vs. acute), sugar as candy for cancer cells, and the big question: how little is too much?

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Natural Born Heroes

Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance

Christopher McDougall is a brilliant story teller (and author of Born to Run). In this great book, he weaves together a number of different narratives, with an emphasis on two: one about an extraordinary wartime adventure on Crete and the other about Natural Movement. In the process, he shares a ton of Ideas on how we can each tap into the extraordinary superpowers latent within. Big Ideas we explore include the ancient Greek meaning of the word “hero,” the mantra of the hero, why weeds + fat are optimal fuel and a great test.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Clean Gut

The Breakthrough Plan for Eliminating the Root Cause of Disease and Revolutionizing Your Health

The gut. That’s where all the health magic (or challenges!) begins. Alejandro Junger is a cardiologist turned functional medicine doctor who created the incredibly popular Clean Program. We covered his first book Clean and now for a spotlight on the Clean Gut. Big Ideas we explore include symptoms vs. root causes (paint any brown leaves green lately?), how food’s shelf life correlates with yours, your 2nd brain, nutrigenomics, gluten (the ubiquitous poison) and step 1 to cleaning things up (hint: remove toxic triggers).

Locked +1s

#170 Eating Sugar in an fMRI Machine

How to Turn Off Your Addiction Center
In our last couple +1s, we’ve been hanging out in an fMRI scanning our brains and seeing some fascinating stuff. Let’s stay in there for
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Locked +1s

#448 Your New Taste Buds

Just Give ‘em 2 Weeks
Pop quiz today! Question: Do you know how long it takes for you to grow new taste buds? Whaddya think? Hmmm… Answer: Two weeks. That’s
Locked +1s

#449 Rule #1 of Nutrition

Fountain of Youth vs. Poisons
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that your taste buds are all shiny new every two weeks—which is good news if you’re addicted to
Locked +1s

#450 Food Poisons Part 2

What You Might Want to Consider Eliminating
In our last +1, we talked about Rule #1 of Nutrition. You remember what it was? Basic idea: It’s not what you start eating that has the
Locked +1s

#685 The Case Against Sugar

Is Very Strong #caseclosed
Gary Taubes wrote a great book called The Case Against Sugar. Basic idea: If you were a detective in charge of figuring out a series of
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Locked +1s

#749 Shelf Life vs. Your Life

Know This: Longer = Shorter
This morning as I was opening my bag of Keto Cups (which might be the most addictively tasty treat ever), I noticed the expiration date
Locked +1s

#750 Food Rule #57

“Don’t Get Your Fuel from the Same Place Your Car Does”
In our last +1, we explored the relationship between our food rotting and us rotting. Recall: The longer the shelf life of the food we eat,
Locked +1s

#751 The Two Facts of Nutrition

And the One Thing You’ll Do About Them Today
In our last couple +1s, we had fun exploring some of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules. I highly recommend his little manifesto of practical
Locked +1s

#752 Food Rule #1: Eat Food

vs. Edible Foodlike Substances
Let’s continue the Food Rule fun with one more +1 on Michael Pollan’s classic little food manual. Today we’ll explore Food Rule #1.
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600+ PhilosopherNotes: 6-page PDFs + 20-minute MP3 breaking down the Big Ideas from the world's best books. 50+ Optimal Living 101s: fun, practical, hour-long classes to help you Optimize every facet of your life. 1,000+ Optimize +1s: inspiring, impactful and practical micro-lessons you can apply to your life today. And every (!) day.

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Locked +1s

#753 Low Fat Made Us Fat

Really? Michael Pollan Says: Yep.
How about one more little +1 on Michael Pollan’s Food Rules? Here it is: “The forty-year-old campaign to create low- and nonfat versions
Locked +1s

#763 The Happiness Diet

vs. The SAD + MAD Diets
In our last +1, we talked about my recent PhilosophersNotes-athon. 25 PN’s in 2.5 days for the win!! One of the Notes I REALLY enjoyed was
Locked +1s

#764 Turning Frowns Upside Down

One Bite at a Time
In our last +1, we talked about The Happiness Diet as we did some napkin math on the odds of getting depression based on whether you eat a
Locked +1s

#794 Your Diet Dartboard

Throw Your Dart and DO IT!
Continuing our adventure through Mel Robbins’s playfully wise brain and equally fun book The Five Second Rule, here’s another gem. I
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Locked +1s

#895 Got Glymph?

How to Wash Your Brain
Dr. Steven Gundry is Tony Robbins’ doctor. He’s a former world-class heart surgeon. These days he focuses on longevity. His new book is
Locked +1s

#896 Glymph for the Win

Crazy Stats from My Oura Ring
In our last +1, we got our brain-washing glymph on. 🧠 Specifically, we started paying more attention to our glymphatic system by eating
Locked +1s

#903 Got Serotonin?

Hide and Seek: Brain vs. Gut
Serotonin. At this stage, most of us have at least a vague sense that serotonin is one of the primary neurotransmitters that makes us feel
Locked +1s

#974 Animal Nutrition

You at the Zoo
The other day I did my normal morning thing. Only, this time after my Trail session I had my breakfast/first meal a little earlier than
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Locked +1s

#1175 Sugar & Depression

Some Crazy (And Crazy-Making!) Stats
Continuing our brief tour through Kate Hefferon’s textbook on Positive Psychology and the Body, let’s flip open to the chapter on
Locked +1s

#1176 Taking Out the Carbage

How to go from MAD to Flourishing
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that 500 years ago we basically consumed NO sugar. Then we started nibbling on 5 lbs of sugar per
Locked +1s

#1177 Cancer Candy (Aka Sugar)

And All It’s Secret Identities
A couple +1s ago (right before taking out the carbage yesterday), we had a brief chat about the links between sugar consumption and
Locked +1s

#1244 Your Food Label

Is It Lying to You?
In our last +1 I mentioned the fact that I recently read Mark Hyman’s new book Food Fix. It’s a powerful look at the dysfunction of our
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Locked +1s

#1245 Junk Food’s Junk Science

Did You Know…?
In our last +1, we chatted about the fact that your food label might be lying to you by stuffing a few variations of cancer candy (aka
Locked +1s

#1246 Independent (Non-Junk) Science Says

The Energy-Balance Theory Is Dead
In our last +1, we continued our chat about the toxicity of sugar as we reflected on the fact that the food industry spends $12 BILLION on
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#1269 Food Prescriptions

Are More Effective Than Prescriptions for Medicine
Today I want to chat about food prescriptions. “Food prescriptions? Really? There’s such a thing?” YES. Food prescriptions. Did you
Locked +1s

#1271 Food As Medicine

Science Says: “Wow! It Works!”
In our last couple +1s, we talked about the wisdom of addressing root causes of health issues rather than merely treating the symptoms of
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600+ PhilosopherNotes: 6-page PDFs + 20-minute MP3 breaking down the Big Ideas from the world's best books. 50+ Optimal Living 101s: fun, practical, hour-long classes to help you Optimize every facet of your life. 1,000+ Optimize +1s: inspiring, impactful and practical micro-lessons you can apply to your life today. And every (!) day.

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Locked +1s

#1272 How to Solve the Health Care Crisis

Starting With Our Next Meal
In our last +1, we discussed some of the fascinating research that is unequivocally (!) proving the fact that food is effective medicine.
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#1285 The Optimize Food Rules

The Big 3 (+1!)

One of my favorite parts about creating our Optimize Mastery Series is that it forced me to go to the next level of clarity on the most important aspects of our Optimize philosophy.

Locked +1s

#917 Sleep Curfews

Caffeine + Exercise + Eating + Screens + Work
Continuing our (second!) trip through Sleep Optimizing, let’s talk about some important curfews. Remember our Top 10 Sleep Kryptonites?
Locked +1s

#554 The Fastest Way to Optimize

Think: -1 -1 -1 = Infinite You
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that you’re ALREADY solid gold. Like, 100% jumbo-solid gold. We just need to chip away at the
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Locked +1s

#163 80/20 Kryptonite

What Needs to Go? Do Less of That
In our last +1, we talked about the few key behaviors that are most helping us Optimize 80/20-style. The 20% of our behaviors that drive 80%
Locked PhilosophersNotes

Brain Maker

The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain—for Life

Ready to get your brain right? Start with your gut! In this compelling book, Dr. David Perlmutter walks us through the leading-edge science on how to dial in our microbiome to optimize our brain + overall well-being. In the Note, we explore Big Ideas ranging from the power of probiotics and your second brain to the importnace of focusing on root causes rather than just symptoms along with the 6 keys to feeding your microbes.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes

If you or someone you love is suffering from diabetes, this book is a MUST READ. Seriously. If you have diabetes, Dr. Neal Barnard and his team have developed a simple, effective, scientifically-tested program to help you take charge of your life and get your health back. In fact, Dr. Barnard’s program has proven to be THREE TIMES more effective than the American Diabetes Association’s approach to type 2 diabetes. (THREE TIMES!!) In this Note, we’ll take a quick peek at a few Big Ideas from this great book.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Grain Brain

The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers

David Perlmutter, MD combines his deep knowledge in neuroscience + nutrition in this hard-hitting, scientifically rigorous look at how, in short, grains are destroying our brains. Dementia. ADHD. Epilepsy. Anxiety. Chronic headaches. Depression. They all have their roots in neurological dysfunction and they are all impacted by our nutrition. In the Note we take a look at some powerful Big Ideas to optimize.

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Locked PhilosophersNotes

Integrative Nutrition

Feed Your Hunger for Health & Happiness

Joshua Rosenthal runs a nutrition school my Goddess is attending and this is the best health and nutrition book I've ever read. It's packed with grounded wisdom and in the Note we'll check out some Big Ideas ranging from the importance of Primary Foods (Joshua tells us that our spirituality, career, exercise and relationships are far more important than what we eat— when's the last time you read *that* in a nutrition book?) to the power of following the basics rather than following the latest fad diet.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Ketotarian

The (Mostly) Plant-Based Plan to Burn Fat, Boost Your Energy, Crush Your Cravings, and Calm Inflammation

Will Cole is a functional medicine practitioner who has helped thousands of clients from around the world. He’s also the Cohost of Keto Talk. In this book, he asks: “Curious about a ketogenic diet but turned off by all the meat and dairy?” If so, he says, perhaps you’d like to become a “Ketotarian"--which is, basically, a combination of the best of a low-carb approach with the best of a plant-based approach—while dropping the things that *don’t* work in both approaches. Or, as Will puts it, think of “a plant-based program that provides all the health and weight-loss benefits of keto diets” while welcoming “vegetarians, vegans and pescatarians to the table.” In the Note, we explore the benefits of burning fat for fuel vs. sugar, how to boost your mitochondria, the goodness of plants and how to enter Ketotarian Land.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

One Spirit Medicine

Ancient Ways to Ultimate Wellness

Alberto Villoldo is a fascinating blend of medical anthropologist and practicing shaman—having explored, practiced and taught these ideas for decades. Alberto walks us the healing wisdom at the nexus of ancient shamanic wisdom and modern science. Big Ideas include how (and why!) to optimize our gut-brain, removing two of the most toxic things in our diet, adding superfoods and detoxing from news and TV while cultivating stillness.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease

The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure

Caldwell Esselstyn is a former Olympic gold medalist and one of the world’s leading medical doctors specializing in heart disease. He’s successfully prevented and REVERSED heart disease with his plant-based diet and in this great book shows us how and why his approach works. If you or someone you love suffers from heart disease, this book is a *must read*!! In the Note, we’ll explore some Big Ideas on how to rock it.

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Locked PhilosophersNotes

Super Immunity

The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body's Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free

Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a nutritional science rock star. As one of the world’s leading medical doctors, he is leading the charge in helping us understand how nutrition impacts our well-being. Super Immunity is PACKED with goodness and, as the sub-title points out, provides us with “The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free.” In this Note, we’ll get our wisdom on as we check our Dr. Fuhrman’s food pyramid, learn about the power of cruciferous veggies (seriously amazing), get our GOMBBS on as we unleash our healing potential!

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance

Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney are both academic researchers and professors who have been studying sports nutrition, ketogenic diets and peak performance for decades. To put it in perspective, Dr. Stephen Phinney (with his MD from Stanford and PhD from MIT) coined the phrase “keto-adapted” in 1980. Big Ideas we explore include: the accepted dogma (vs. compelling data), two fuel tanks (you want to go hours or days?), veto-adaptation (how to), protein (necessary but in moderation), fat (your most important fuel; the good and bad!), and the macro breakdown (here it is!).

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Brain Warrior's Way

Ignite Your Energy and Focus, Attack Illness and Aging, Transform Pain into Purpose

Daniel Amen is a ten-time New York Times bestselling author and the Washington Post has described him as the most popular psychiatrist in America. Tana is also a New York Times best-selling author (The Omni Diet) and a leading fitness expert who holds black belts in both Tae Kwon Do and Kempo Karate. Together, they’ve written a passionate, inspiring book on how we can, as the sub-title suggests, ignite our energy and focus, attack illness and aging, and transform pain into purpose. Big Ideas we explore include why to become a brain warrior, a check in to see if positive thinking is killing you, the #1 strategy to live long, top 10 nutrition tips, why cheat days are not smart, and the power of community to Optimize.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The China Study

Curious what the largest epidemiological study ever conducted has to say about the connection between diet and disease? Then The China Study is pretty much required reading. Over 8,000 (!) statistically significant correlations were discovered in the study and in this Note, we’ll explore some of their implications—from diseases of affluence vs. diseases of poverty to the #1 dietary factor in turning cancer on or off (hint: it’s animal protein). Powerful.

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600+ PhilosopherNotes: 6-page PDFs + 20-minute MP3 breaking down the Big Ideas from the world's best books. 50+ Optimal Living 101s: fun, practical, hour-long classes to help you Optimize every facet of your life. 1,000+ Optimize +1s: inspiring, impactful and practical micro-lessons you can apply to your life today. And every (!) day.

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Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Engine 2 Diet

Rip Esselstyn is a great guy. A former professional triathlete turned firefighter who transformed the health of his fire station with a plant-based diet, he shares his passion for life and nutrition in this great book. In the Note, we take a quick peek at the Engine II diet, challenge some crazy myths about food and learn how to deal with the root causes of many of our health issues.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan

Boost Brain Performance, Lose Weight, and Achieve Optimal Health

Dr. Perlmutter is a leading neurologist and nutritionist who offers compelling, cutting-edge perspectives on how to optimize our brains and our bodies. This book is a practical guide to help us integrate the Ideas from Grain Brain + Brain Maker. Big Ideas we explore include the chief goals of the program, the food rules, the fact that high fat requires low carb (and a reminder of why fat is good), coconut oil = magic sauce, and more ways to optimize beyond nutrition.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Happiness Diet

A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean, Energized Body

What if happiness began at the end of your fork? The latest research on neuroscience and nutrition tells us that’s a VERY wise place to start. And, of course, that’s what this book is all about: A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean, Energized Body. It’s a really well-written, eye-opening look at how we got into the nutritional mess we’re in and the extremely damaging effects of the modern American diet. And, of course, more importantly, how we can optimize our nutrition so we can dial in the three facets of happiness: our focus, our mood, and our energy.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Longevity Paradox

How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age

How’d you like to “die young” at a ripe old age? Well... This book gives you the how to. Dr. Steven Gundry is a former heart surgeon (plus professor and head of cardiothoracic surgery at Loma Linda University School of Medicine) who makes a compelling case for the idea that we need to invest a lot more time Optimizing the most ancient part of ourselves (our microbiome) if we want to extend both our life span AND our health span (aka die “young” at that ripe old age). Big Ideas we explore include genes vs. microbiome (which one matters more?), long-lived peoples (do and don't!), chronic cardio (equals chronic stress), your two brains (head + gut... which one's #1?), and got glymph? (how to wash your brain!).

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Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Paleo Manifesto

Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health

If you’re looking for a smart, grounded, funny and well-written introduction to the Paleo movement, this is the perfect place to start. Big Ideas we explore include the five ages of our origins (Animal + Paleolithic + Agricultural + Industrial + Information), poisons vs. fountains of youth, the importance of meaning (and how to dial it in) and alarm clocks for bed time.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The RAVE Diet

RAVE = No Refined Foods + NoAnimal Products + NoVegetable Oils + NoExceptions +Exercise. According to Mike Anderson, it’s what all the leading Doctors who can reverse disease recommend for their patients. In this Note, we’ll explore some Big Ideas on how plants do a body good while milk does a body bad, the best approach to osteoporosis, why antacids are a joke how to best fertilize cancer (hint: just eat a lot of meat ;).

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Self Health Revolution

J. Michael Zenn’s The Self Health Revolution is a great little book written in a super down-to-earth and funny style by a guy who describes himself as just “an ordinary guy who discovered an extraordinary secret” that he now feels compelled to share with the average, ordinary people everywhere. In this Note, we’ll see that we are what we eat (your butt doesn’t lie!), learn why we should eat like a poor person and how to stomp our ANTs as we get our self health on!