Today, many businesses resort to artificial rewards and a false sense of trust to achieve success as quickly as possible. And yet, the tedious incremental progress in this realm will always be rewarding and worthwhile. Joining Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen is athlete, bodybuilding champion, and president of BiOptimizers, Wade Lightheart. Wade explains how today’s social hierarchy is drowning in many bad marketing practices in pursuit of easy wins, from the rampant false reward systems, digital tribalism, cancel culture, and “digital drug dealers”. He emphasizes how society must find its way back to upholding the principles of excellence and reclaiming genuine sense of self-worth.
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Wade Lightheart On The Amazing Fruits Of The Tedious Process Of Incremental Progress
On this show, one of the most favorite things that I love in discussing with guests are origin stories. We love to dig into the why and the how of our guests’ success, uniqueness, talents, loves, passions, heartbreaks, all of that. The origin story for each one of us is such a unique thing. Before the interview, our guest, Wade Lightheart, was foaming at the mouth almost trying to figure out what the script in Whitney’s office looks like. We decoded it to say, “To entertain.” I made an offhand comment that I studied hieroglyphs in middle school. Whitney was a little bit shocked by that. Indeed, the first thing that I wanted to be when I was a child was a paleontologist and an archaeologist. I was studying ancient Egyptian culture and all kinds of interesting things. As an aside, to get into the origin story of our esteemed guest, Wade Lightheart, I feel like an unconventional way to start this episode would be when you were a young boy, what was your idea and vision for what you wanted to be when you grew up? Did you expect you would be doing what you do now? Was it something completely different?
There’s an assumption that the origin story began in this lifetime. That’s an assumption in itself. Relative to incarnation and physical form in this turnaround, I had a variety of things that I aspired to. My mom has one of those little albums where they have all your report cards when you were 5 and 6 and you checked the boxes. This is way back before phones and everything. It’s almost like scrolls or something that ornate but cool because there’s a tactile component to it now. When I was five years old, I wanted to be an astronaut, a prime minister and a professional athlete. We have one out of the three. My trip to Disneyland on the Millennium Falcon doesn’t count as an astronaut, but it felt close. We will work on the prime minister after I’m done with my business career.
My question is, prime minister of what country? I’m assuming the UK.
No. I’m from Canada originally.
That’s why you’re kind. Not to overgeneralize and make assumptions about Canadians, but I have to say, all my Canadian friends are extremely polite and kind-hearted people as you are too.
I had to move to America because the Canadians said, “You are a little too American. You are a little bit more aggressive, robust and energized.” I was always in trouble for talking. I always had this innate belief in my abilities despite no proof or evidence that I was going to be successful on any level. You are talking about origin stories and things that people might not know. This is an interesting story and why I believe that no matter what, bet on yourself regardless of the outcome because that’s the only thing that you can potentially control.
In high school, I was a bit of an outcast. I lived in a rural place. Do you know how you would vote for all the things in high school? Who’s going to be the most likely to succeed? Who’s the best couple? What’s the favorite music? I swear to God, the people that ran it were not taking in the real stuff. Everything that was on that list was absolute trash. I couldn’t believe that anybody voted for any of it. However, I remember doing my own votes and it came to, who do you think is most likely to succeed? I voted for myself.
I came back to my house and I was in a discussion with my parents. My parents had this curious relationship with what I was doing in the barn for the last four years. From the time I was fifteen until I went to university, I had built a gym in my barn and I was training. I was following the principles of Arnold Schwarzenegger who wrote Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder. Inside that, he had illustrated that you can achieve anything in life if you have a positive attitude, self-discipline and hard work.
Everybody I knew worked hard. It was a rural place, 5 miles to my nearest neighbor up a dirt road. I take a snowmobile out to the bus and an hour bus drive to school. I had to go uphill both ways to get to school in the winter by myself. I was thrust into this world where I was isolated from my friends, my community, a lot of my schoolmates, and put into this whole point where I didn’t have much time. I connected with people through books. The internet wasn’t available at that time and reading autobiographies.You can't change the problem if you don't understand the pattern. Click To Tweet
Arnold was one of the most successful and famous people on the planet. He won all these Mr. Universe contests and Mr. Olympia. He was a famous actor and was in all the movies I loved. He had this Conan the Barbarian story that I watched every week because it was a Nietzschean tale where this guy was thrown into the wild and abandoned. He’s forced to live by the wheel of pain and becomes king by his hand by avenging his enemies. It’s an epic story that launched his career in Hollywood. There are three things that he outlined, self-discipline, a positive attitude, and hard work. Inside of that, he talked about developing self-confidence. Self-confidence was developed through a practice where you got incrementally better.
Over the course of those four years, I’m out there in the barn. Sometimes it’s 30, 40 below. My hands are freezing to the bar. I’m training in a snowmobile suit. Of course, I wouldn’t wear gloves because Arnold didn’t wear gloves. If my hands got ripped off from the skin, it didn’t matter because that was a badge of honor. My hands had become callous from manual labor and the work I was in. I saw myself as this barbarian crazy guy that voted for himself a success. There’s no evidence that I’m going to be successful in anything. I have picked a sport that I have no capabilities or abilities in.
Every week, I would say to my parents and they go, “What are you doing?” I’m like, “You don’t understand. One day, I’m going to compete in the Mr. Universe. I’m going to live in Venice Beach California and train at Gold’s Gym with Arnold. I’m going to own a supplement company that is going to sell products all around the world. I’m going to write books and tell stories about what I’m doing right now.” It’s many years later from when I started that journey and it all happened.
There are so many directions to go from there. First and foremost, not to make this feel like product placement, but I’m legitimately curious because Jason and I have been taking your supplements for a while. What I do is I put my supplements in areas where I remember to take them based on what I’m going to be at each time. Otherwise, I will have a collection of supplements sitting around and never take them. My new hack is if I placed them on my desk or in the kitchen, wherever I’m going to be, I will be cued visually to take them at the right time. It didn’t work now because I haven’t taken my Cognibiotics. That reminds me of two questions. First of all, Jason and I were having a debate over how to pronounce BiOptimizers. He thinks it’s bio-optimizers. I think it’s bi-optimizers. Which one of us is right? I then have a question about this product.
First and foremost, I do the same thing for my supplements. You are the first person I know that does that. That’s a kudos. The second thing I noticed is there’s a rebounder in your background. That’s a daily aspect of my life. The third piece, which is ironic. This is another story that a lot of people don’t know about. When we originally formed the company name, we rebranded it. Matt and I had a bodybuilding company. We left that sport eventually. It fused into biological optimization. We have always been passionate about that. It was expressed in sports but then went into health and high performance and other areas.
The name biological optimization, we wanted to shorten this up. At the time, we had another partner, Dave Ruel who was part of the rebranding of the company. Matt and I, we’re not brand guys. We’re health freaks. He’s good at style and branding and was a big aspect of developing and cultivating the brand. We went through a bunch of names and the name BiOptimizers became the topic of debate. I wanted to call it Bio-optimizers. Dave and Matt called it BiOptimizers. I lost the vote, 2 to 1. However, when someone says, “It’s bio-optimizers.” I’m like, “Yay.” I don’t care what anybody called it. What I would rather people say is, “to be optimizers” or “to be optimized” because essentially that’s the mission of the company. The bio doesn’t matter. It’s are you being optimized? That’s important.
I have even more questions for you. First, because this might be a quick answer, which rebounder do you have? How do you use it and why do you use it? I’m passionate about rebounding increasingly so and I have been using it more than ever during COVID because now I do all my workouts at home. Before, it used to sit in the corner. Now, I have started using it every single day as part of my daily workouts. It makes me happy because I love using it.
It’s impossible to be unhappy if you are jumping on a rebound or mini-trampoline. There’s a biochemical reality that it will change your state. Whether it’s Tony Robbins’ NLP, a lymphatic system movement or the sheer stress that it creates on a cellular environment that activates certain positive chemical cascades, it’s probably all of the above. Jumping up and down a rebounder is probably one of the greatest things that anybody could do for their health long term.
I got introduced to the concept by a fellow by the name of David Hall, who built a company called The Cellerciser, which is a steel-based machine that has a tapered spring, which has three different levels to handle soft, medium and intense. Being a bit of an intense guy that has one on my roof and also one here in my office, I go pretty hard on that thing sometimes. I know a lot of people use the Rebound AIR or the Bellicon, which is a little bit higher machine with a softer bounce. A lot of people like that inside of the house. Some people will go with the steel springs if you are going for some crazy stuff like I might attempt. There are advantages and disadvantages to either one. You choose whatever works for you.
When you say you go hard on a rebounder, Wade, I need some specific visualizations. When you say that, I imagine you are doing front flips, backflips, the splits off the drum riser like David Lee Roth circa ‘82. When you say you go hard on the rebounder, what do you mean?
First, it would involve putting on a headset with Paul Oakenfold’s Gatecrasher 1999. I need to be super amped into some ferociously activated hard house trance thing. It’s going to take me about 30 to 45 minutes to get into that space. That particular album is great. If you are familiar with Paul Oakenfold, he’s a trance guy. He’s sophisticated with his transitions and his build-ups. He gets to this point where the whole thing comes undone. He starts hitting these heavy bass beats. By that time, you have switched over to fat-burning. Your neurochemistry is lined up. You have been going on this and you are past the initial challenges that you would have in a physical thing. You’re in this euphoric state.
Having activated from prodigious amounts of various chemicals back in that time, there’s a neurological activation where I now have capabilities that I don’t normally have. That might involve ferocious sprints, jumping up and down with one of those X bars, and doing presses, curls and jumps. From there, I would be doing kicks to the sides, back and forth, and then doing distance jumps and see how high I can come out before I bottom out. You got to spread your legs a little wider if you are doing that because otherwise, you will bottom out in the center. You are getting some major air. You are coming off the ground pretty hard, high and fast. My hands and feet will be flailing in a strange episode.
I got into it when I first moved to Venice. Early in the morning, I got so charged up because of this cool bio home. It’s got four floors. I have a rooftop gym. Everybody in the neighborhood knows me as the guy with the gym on his roof. I got up early one morning and I started going crazy like this where I’m all charged up and enzyme up. I’m in this ferocious euphoric state. The sun’s coming over the palm trees. I’m feeling amped and the music kicks in. It was an accidental thing, something switched on my machine and this thing kicked in and I started going. I got into this crazy state.
What I didn’t realize is I was making so much noise. It was early in the day so there are sound rules or something to the neighborhood that you can’t make noise at certain times. This guy on the street. I don’t realize that he’s yelling at me. First, I thought that he’s cheering me on and he’s excited, but then I realized, “Something’s going on here.” I unplugged my earphones and it turns out, he’s like, “Do you know it’s 6:00 AM? You are making a racket. This is not the voice thing.” I’m like, “Great to meet you, neighbor. I’m sorry.” There are problems when you start doing the things that I do that are unexpected.
Maybe you are better suited to living in Vancouver or something, off on some remote island.
I did that. That’s where I developed all these strange tendencies because I didn’t have to conform to group components. The problem was that got put into me early on. It’s baked into the nervous system. Personality is pretty much cooked early. As I’ have told many of my ex-girlfriends, I’m like, “I’ve worked my whole life to work on the things that don’t work that well. I have got 80% of them off, but the other 20% is baked on that one. If you can’t deal with it, we should probably just be friends.”
That leads me to my next question, which is why Venice? I don’t know if this was mentioned before we began but Jason and I spent time living in Venice Beach. We get their culture. Sometimes I miss living there. Jason was sharing how Venice has changed a lot. You could probably articulate this better because you sent me the article, Jason, about what’s happening on the Boardwalk. It certainly goes through a lot of different phases as a part of Los Angeles. I’m curious what the appeal is and how it’s been feeling for you.
For years, it’s my life’s dream to come here. I immigrated to the United States in maybe the most difficult period in the history of our two countries. I go through all the legal standpoints. I go through all the financial requirements to get my E-2 visa. I get this house that’s a block away from the original Gold’s Gym place and little ways from the new Gold’s Gym. I’m going, “I’ve got my dream.” This is in January 2020. I get one month going to the gym in the morning and Arnold Schwarzenegger is next to me. I’m like, “We’ve hit the dream. It’s all great.” COVID breaks out. We don’t know what’s going on. I’m like, “It’s twenty million people here in the LA area. A food supply of maybe three days is probably not a good place to be hanging out if chaos breaks out. Let’s get out of town.”
I go to Arizona for a period of a few months to hang out in the desert. I’ve got a researcher that works with us. She’s got a great place. I’m like, “I’m going to hang out in the sun.” It was certainly a lot more open over there. What happened is I saw these two plainclothes policemen walking through the back alley by my house. I could tell they were plainclothes policemen. They’re gridding out the place. Something’s going down. I’m out of here. I threw all my stuff in the truck. I left two hours later and they locked down two days later.
I came back and they opened up the gym. My rule for coming back to Venice is they need to open up Gold’s Gym. They announced that they have reopened Gold’s Gym. I’m like, “I’m coming back.” I came back to Los Angeles. I go back to my neighborhood where I’m living in. It’s destroyed. There is garbage from one end of the street to the other. There are homeless people strung out on drugs. This is right on Pacific Avenue, a block from the beach and not far from Living Libations. It’s a cool little place.
I’m in this three-story building and I’m up here and I hear some woman screaming out on the street. I ran downstairs. I was in my shorts out onto the street and some guy is trying to trash this Winnebago with a woman in it who’s screaming bloody murder. I’m breaking up these fights between people. The police show up and guns are all drawn. I’m going, “What happened to my neighborhood? What happened to my dream? We can’t live here.” I was living with a friend of mine who’s a copywriter. He’s a mystic. He’s got the highest recorded brain score. He’s a smart guy. We get along well. We have a spiritual process. He’s like, “Let’s go walk in this old part of the neighborhood that I used to live.”
One night, at 9:30, this is the day after this happens, we wander along the street. We were on our way to Erewhon. He says, “Let’s go wander through the neighborhood this way, randomly.” We walked by this place and there’s this beautiful four-story pristine home. We looked at it and he’s like, “There’s a guy downstairs.” I’m like, “What’s this place?” He’s like, “We completed this building.” I’m like, “What’s the deal on it?” He’s like, “Do you want to come in and take a look?” I said, “Yeah.” We looked at it and it’s got this perfect studio in the bottom. It’s got two great stories on the top. It’s got this rooftop and I’m like, “This is everything that I wanted.”
Because of COVID, I was able to negotiate a way better price. It was built for a startup company. We moved over here and I started tricking out the bio home in the way that I want to trick it out. Nowadays, it’s all about optimizing your home environment because you can’t necessarily count on going to the gym, the spa, the biohacking facility or whatever. I said, “I’m going to build one right here myself.” It all worked out and that happened. Eventually, my friend moved on. He fell in love with a wonderful lady and they are off on their relationships.
I’m here in my castle all by myself as my contrarian self that has planted the flag for health, value and all of these things that we represent. Doggone it, I will defend this place to the last bullet or sandbag or whatever the heck I’ve got to throw at them, a bottle of enzymes, I don’t care. We’re going to stay here because you got to plant the flag somewhere. It’s devastating to the community here. It’s a war zone down Main Street. I’m off of Abbott Kinney. The number of businesses closed. It’s dire for certain. When there’s blood in the streets, there are also opportunities. You have got to be able to take the hits and keep moving forward no matter what.
There’s a lot of life lessons in the wonderful stories that you are telling, Wade. First of all, you are a fantastic storyteller. Everything you are sharing, I get drawn in a little bit deeper. In your stories, there’s a lot of nuggets of wisdom you have been dropping. I want to go back because you were talking about your original inspiration when you started weightlifting in your snowmobiling suit in your barn where you grew up. You were talking about incremental improvements.
One of the things that I have noticed, people in general but especially young people, Whitney and I do a lot of social media consulting and marketing. We talked to a lot of different clients and people about leveraging social media to create a heart-centered, authentic presence online. One thing that I have noticed is that many people feel like they should be amazing at something after only doing it for 2 or 3 weeks as an arbitrary measurement. It’s like, “I’m doing this thing.” It’s like, “How long have you been doing it?” “I’ve been doing it for a month.” Why do you expect you would be world-class at something after only doing it for a month?
I plucked out that one nugget of many things you said of focusing on incremental improvements and using that as motivation to keep you going. In some ways, that’s a conversation that might be getting lost a little bit in our society where there’s this expectation probably fueled by social media and people posting their highest achievements and people comparing themselves to those things. Feeling like they should be great at something for only doing it for a few weeks. It’s interesting you talked about that because it’s important to remember, acknowledge and celebrate the small improvements along the way. Instead of feeling like we have to be incredible at something after taking a weekend seminar.
I’m blessed because of a couple of things. One, I’m the last group of people, age generation, that grew up without the internet. I didn’t have the internet. I didn’t have a cell phone. It was a long-distance to call any of my friends. That was out of the equation. It’s an hour and a half to get to school. It’s an hour and a half to get back. I’m left with a lot of time. I’m a fifteen-year-old boy when my life changed. My sister was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. She was four years senior. I watched her go through the medical model before she died at the early age of 22.
During that time, I was left with the question as we would take her home 55 miles to the town where she’d get treatment. We’d come home and we’d have to stop maybe 5, 6 times on the way home for her to vomit after taking the treatment. She’d be in excruciating pain for a number of days before she’d come back. In my naive self, I went, “The treatment seems worse than the disease. What is health?” My parents were obsessed with what was going on. We’re in this rural environment. I can’t run from it. I can’t hide from it. I can’t bring friends over because of the consequences of the erratic behavior of someone who’s undergoing cancer treatment, especially who has a life-threatening illness. Inside of that, I had no outlets from that pressure cooker in a way. I didn’t have a normal upbringing.
At the time, I was angry. I was frustrated about it. I can hear when people are angry and frustrated because they are not where they want to be. There should be a level of anger and frustration when you are not where you want to be. That’s a motivating factor that will leverage you. It’s not one that will take you all the way to the end but it certainly gets you out of apathy, desire and fear. Anger can be fuel to get you up into the higher states of consciousness. She gave me a bodybuilding magazine that had Troy Zuccolotto, Mr. California on the cover with two pretty girls. There was this whole lifestyle in Venice Beach and these muscles. I didn’t have muscles. I didn’t have those girls. I didn’t even have a gym. It was enough to inspire me to a dream.
With my money that I work from my manual labor job, I built my gym in the barn. I kept in mind this vision that I was going to have, which I illustrated to you earlier. What was revealed to me by lifting weights is that if I lifted weights in a prescribed format that was advised, every now and then, I could do a couple more reps. I could add more weight to the bar. All of a sudden, I built a habit of incremental process. My muscles would change a little bit. I would get a compliment, someone would say, “Your arms are getting bigger.” I would play sports and I was stronger than the other kids even though I was smaller. There would be people maybe 50, 60, 70 pounds heavier than me and I could hold them off with one arm in a hockey game because I was training and they weren’t.
I started to get little tiny acknowledgments about something definitive. That was the beauty of what bodybuilding gave to me. The sport of bodybuilding gets such a bad name because of its extreme level that happens, the cartoon effect, and the unmitigated drug use. The narcissistic components are often attributed to it. Those are all valid to a certain level. The pure essence that I discovered in that barn, I never lost sight of. It’s something that Arnold Schwarzenegger never lost sight of. It was the joy of incremental progress. The ability to do something today that you couldn’t do last week or last year.
He said that was the foundation for his success and everything that he ever did. He’s one of the most accomplished people on the planet. He was a world champion athlete by the age of 22. He was a millionaire in the 1960s by the time he was 28. He became the highest-paid actor in the world by the time he was 40. He became governor of California by the time he was 50. Any one of those areas is mega accomplishments in one person’s lifetime. He learned those principles. If you look at people who’ve worked with him and practice with him, they all say the same thing. He always comes in with a positive attitude. He always comes in and works harder than everybody else that’s on there. He has the discipline to do that, which isn’t that fun, for a long period of time so that he can become great at what he does.The journey of life is to get where you can go out like a lion. Click To Tweet
Those foundational components are something that’s lost now when you hit a button and something shows up in 24 hours or three hours in Los Angeles from Amazon. You get a dopamine hit because you got a like or you got this, which is an artificially created reward system for something that doesn’t resonate as progress. The unintended consequence of technological innovation is we have built false reward systems in our digital stuff that addicts us much like a drug that provides a euphoric distorted sense of self. We are getting that constantly broadcast to children on their iPads, their phones, social media and the internet.
We also have expanded our natural tendency to compare ourselves to other people in the tribe because this is part of the hierarchy structure that is innate inside our biochemical rewards system. Instantly, you are going to be comparing yourself to someone who, for whatever reason, is radically far advantaged over you or ability or had the right environment or you don’t know their backstory. There is a cut and paste propagation of who this person is and how they got there. There’s insecurity that comes with that that, “I’m not good enough.”
Inside of that, the way human social systems work is you’re scrambling to establish yourself within what you perceive as the social hierarchy. You’re scrambling for anything because what’s being threatened is your amygdala response that I’m going to be kicked out of the tribe. That has expanded into digital tribalism, which is ruining the world where we’re attacking everybody because it’s like the ancient tribal warfare of thousands of years ago. That’s what’s happening with the unintended constant social media. We’re going to figure that out I don’t know when, maybe it’ll be a few generations. It’s a painful learning experience.
Wade, I love that you talked about this concept. This is an interesting memory. I remember watching either a Facebook Live or an Instagram Live where you talked about the digital drug dealers. I had never heard anyone put that phrase out into the lexicon. I remember listening to you talk about the Kardashians and other social influencers and using outrage, sex, violence and comparison to increase their worth through the attention economy. That attention has become one of the most valuable non-material assets in the world. He or she who commands the most attention is going to leverage more influence that way.
You went on this wonderful examination of the dangers of becoming addicted to what these digital drug dealers are pushing. This is something we talk about all the time here on the podcast in terms of reclaiming our mental health, our emotional wellness, our sense of agency, and our sense of self-worth. Being that as it is, what are some things you could recommend to not only us but the readers of how to reclaim our sense of self-worth? How to wean ourselves or break that addiction and have a healthier relationship to our sense of self? Also, how to use these technologies responsibly and healthily that don’t make us feel worse? What would you recommend in that regard?
I’m not a psychotherapist and I’m not super versed in psychopharmacology, although I’m certainly a passive biohacker and interested in neurochemistry and reward systems relative to learning and emotional mastery. I have been a student of that my entire life. As an athlete, eventually as a coach, and then as someone who leads a company, you need to understand these intrinsic systems to help people develop reward-based systems that build confidence and build capabilities. What we want is competence. There’s nothing that can’t be overridden if you develop competency. Rewards without competency are the problem. It’s normally how our neurological feedback systems work.
To answer the question, we need to explain the mechanism that happens. Let’s say the dopamine response system. Our brains have evolved over millions of years through a dopamine response system based on learning that you get an a-ha. Children who have gone through the education system and are identified as intelligent or smart track through a system that continually reinforces that they are smart relative to the curriculum and whatever that status is. Most people don’t fall within the educational curriculum that has been outlined by our education bodies because the education system was developed to create workers for factories that don’t exist anymore.
What happens is you have all these other people who now are identified as a B student, C student, D student, a struggling student or whatever it happens to be. That doesn’t mean that they are not intelligent. It means that they are not necessarily set out to be rewarded because they’re not getting the dopamine reward system. What do they do? They seek it out. If you look at the history of people who become addicts to drugs or alcohol, oftentimes, it happens in their teenage years when they get exposed to alcohol or drugs at that inner active stage. They are still developing the consequence aspect of your brain, which isn’t fully developed until you’re 26, 27, 28, something around that range.
What happens is they are not able to fully acknowledge the consequence of their indulgence in what I would call false neurochemical reward systems. In other words, they smoke this drug, they take this hit, they get that. Now we all are well versed that no one would leave the liquor cabinet open with their kids or a bunch of assorted drug paraphernalia around so the kids could get high while you are not home. No one would do that. What we do is we’re stuffing these digital dopamines and neurochemical delivery systems with our two-year-olds.
Most five-year-olds right now can operate an iPad better than I can. I will say that straight up. They can search and they can operate. What I came to conclude after a while is that they are living in the digital world. How I feel when I enter into the digital world is how they feel when they are in what I call the real world. Now we have created a bifurcated society where a great number of people are locked into a digital artificial realm with its own rules, regulations and reward-based systems inside of that. Conversely, some of us old guys like me that didn’t grow up in that system are going, “That seems weird.” They look at me and say, “You’re so out of it.”
You cannot change the pattern if you don’t understand the problem. What not enough people are identifying is the problem of digital drug dealing because the people who are doing the dealing are the networks, the social media companies, the digital companies. Their market cap is determined by how many addicts they have on their system. They are not going to reveal it. If I’m going up against Google, YouTube, Netflix or Facebook, here’s the thing, here are the companies that have billions of dollars of resources. They have the best psychologists in the world. They have the best mathematicians in the world. They have a resource capital that is superior to me becoming addicted to whatever they are propagating. As soon as I entered the game, it’s like walking into a crack house and saying, “Shoot me up with whatever you got.”
As citizens of society and people who are raising, we have to recognize the seriousness that this is an addiction. The addiction for many of our youth is total and complete. To remove them from that is going to be the equivalent of having an intervention with a hardcore drug addict. The likelihood of your success is low. To completely answer your question, divine intervention. The pain is going to have to be enough for that person that they are going to be able to say, “I can’t do this anymore. I need a better way.” When that happens, perhaps you can interact with them and create the support that they are going to need to extricate themselves out of it. Otherwise, they will find themselves back in it before they know it as a hardcore addict.
We haven’t identified the level of the problem to the extent that it needs to be. There’s another combination since we have radically altered the food chain, disrupted our digestive systems, added a host of enzymatic inhibitors, probiotic destroyers. We have added preservatives and dyes and chemicals that have unknown toxic effects long term. This has been going on for many years. Now we have 12% of the population that has gastrointestinal-related issues that are going to emergency hospital visits for gastrointestinal.
We got 100 million people on digestive aids. We’ve got a massive problem with depression because we have neurochemical burnout, essentially from getting these feedback loops. Now I can’t break down the proteins to make the neurotransmitters. I don’t have the bacteria present because I got blasted with antibiotics over and over again. My diet is crap. I can’t digest so I go with the sugar thing because it’s the easiest thing that I can digest. Now I have got Candida and I have got fungal infections. I have got a bacterial overgrowth. I have got a neurochemical deficiency. I’m 40 pounds overweight. I got a host of biochemicals in my fat tissues.
The only way that I get feedback is if I’m playing Call of Duty where I’m getting a dopamine response system even though I’m in the basement of my parents’ house. I’m waiting for the next stimulus check for a bunch of old guys from the 1940s to figure out how they’re going to dole out the money from the few people that are producing value to me. I’m going to get upset and get on a chart and say, “I’m on the left. I’m on the right. These guys do this.” Hoping that someone who’s going outside of myself is going to solve my problems because I’m disempowered. I’m biochemically deficient. I can’t get out of this situation because I’m locked in a system that I don’t even know how bad it is because it’s been this way progressively degeneration for years.
From my standpoint, it’s like, “I can’t figure out all of those mediums.” I understand the problem I think pretty well because I’ve been studying it my whole life. What I would suggest is people have to recondition their bodies so that they can make the neurochemicals. Second, when you do that, you need to create some reward system that doesn’t involve digital feedback. The third thing is you need to be in a support group where socially, you are going to get acknowledged with the human tribe and not on a digital form where you are going to physically meet, hug, high-five and feel the emotional proximity and the cascade of positivity that can happen from that to have hope to overcome this situation. That’s my whole take on that. On my side, our company, we work on fixing the neural chemical generation component side of it to the best we can in all that area. The other areas of care are best left to psychologists and addiction specialists who understand this on an in-depth scale.
The other thing that comes up for me as you are sharing this is wondering how you feel about some of the younger entrepreneurs out in the space. For you, I’m sure you meet a lot of them at your events and the networking that you’re doing on social media. We talked about Clubhouse briefly. What’s interesting is there’s this culture of Clubhouse of a lot of entrepreneurs, whether they are successful entrepreneurs or getting started with their entrepreneurship. There’s so much in that hustle culture and so much in the obsession with status, proving themselves, being validated and making money.
Jason and I talk about this a lot because there’s a concern there from a mental health standpoint. There’s the side of these people being in their ego and positioning themselves as if they are helping but then you constantly wonder, “Are they pretending that they are helping me but they want me to help them by giving them money, paying for their products or services?” The other side of it is the mental health issue of the comparison trap of people seeing someone like that who’s proclaiming, “If you follow my five-step formula, you are going to get the same results.” Not everybody’s going to get those results. We then feel bad about ourselves if we don’t get the results that we were promised.
This is also an issue not just on the entrepreneurship side of things, but I’m sure you come up against this a lot in the supplement world. A lot of people feel like they can’t trust supplements anymore because there are so many false claims about supplements. People think, “Why should I bother? Am peeing away the products that I spent all this money on?” It’s interesting from those two sides in a Venn diagram perspective. There’s a lot of issues with trust because people often feel like they are being taken advantage of based on bad practices of others that are good at marketing themselves but not great at giving the results that they say you are going to get.
I’ve thought about this a lot. Being in the nutritional supplement industry, I got into the nutritional supplement first as a consumer and then eventually, as a sponsored athlete. I ended up working in a nutritional store in a gym and then developing my store and being a personal trainer and into the formulation and the writing of educational materials. Eventually owning my own company. I even worked in a warehouse that would dole them out when I was in college. I have worked on all aspects of it. I would say that 95% of what’s out there is garbage. It takes good information.
This is the same as these young kids. I’m going to share from my perspective what I have learned in this career and then you can apply it to everything else. What they will do is they’ll see some research about X, Y nutritional supplements. It will have all these propensities and abilities. They will work that in with their copywriting team to make it sexy and attractive and boil it down into a narrative that will get people to say, “That might work for me.”
There are two ways to build a company. The first way is to build a company based on marketing. You spend your money on the marketing budget, how good is your copywriter, how much you spend on advertising. How much you curate and manage that message to deliver the promise to get somebody in on the product. There’s another type of company, which is most of the best companies I know, where the founder of the company was someone who had a major challenge with their health or vitality or something. They found this research to figure out whatever the problem was or they met a person along the way, an advisor or mentor. They did this and it corrected their condition. They then discovered they needed to get more of it because they told their friends. They discovered the product quality issue. They ended up finding it, sourcing it, had to produce their own company and go through all the growing pains. Eventually, they get to a brand and they become, after twenty years, a world-recognized brand for that particular product. That’s pretty much the backstory of every great company in every great area.
A lot of us are way too worried about how things are going to sort out. There have been shysters since the beginning of time. There has been no shortage of them. It may be more readily apparent now because we get access to all the digital information. The bottom line is excellence is its own reward and it never goes out of style. If you can produce something of value in any field, health, business, a supplement, information, education, whatever it is, and you are passionate about it to produce excellence, to produce something extraordinary, you had better be putting in the time. You had better be putting in every ounce and fiber of your being because we are living on a planet with seven billion people. If you think that you have got a one in a million idea, there are 7,000 other people who have that idea too that you are competing against. They’re all on the same chat group and forum that you are. Get ready.
Carl Jung said, “We’re not possessed by ideas, ideas possess us.” What happens is we get a concept or we worry about things or whatever and we start losing track of becoming a “socially” responsible person that is being the police dog. The counter to that digital dealing, which is a real thing. We talked about this attention-based society. What’s the pendulum that’s now coming out the other way? It’s cancel culture. Now we’ve got these two paradigms. The point is if you said something several years ago that wasn’t quite right, you’re done. You said this and that’s not true.
First of all, if we do a careful examination of our own honest, thorough, moral, and ethical review of ourselves, we have got enough material to sort out that we don’t need to fix anybody else’s. I’m still working on myself after over 50 years. I got a lot of work on things I need to do with myself. There’s a couple of things that I’m good at. What I have learned about being good at something is I take everything with a grain of salt, like, “This is the best that we know at this point but there may be an opening.” That’s the first sign of real greatness and excellence. The second thing is we focus on the things that we control and the things that we can’t. The third thing is don’t cast stones at glasshouses. The fourth thing is sticks and stones can’t break my bones but names can never hurt me.
Those four principles will allow me to live a life without any problems with whatever is going on because what might be an absolute unmitigated, emotional, physical, financial, psychological, and physiological disaster for some person at this point. It may be the springboard that allows them to take a complete thorough moral and ethical inventory of themselves that launches them into an area that will lead them to the discovery of what it is that their essence is. What it is they are supposed to do and how they are supposed to do it.
I get it. I certainly can understand the problems of it. I have an incredible amount of empathy for it. I have 100 attention units a day and how I distribute those within my world, I can get caught up in a lot of things. If I’m caught up in a lot of other people’s stuff, guess what I’ve bought in? I’m hooked on the drug. I’m hooked on the drug of blame, acknowledgment, tribalism and some secret. All these tribal dynamics that have been fused into this digital delivery system to create a cascade of illusions in our brain will leave you as if you went on a bender every single day. At the end of the day, it’s not built on foundational reward systems that human neurological excellence is cultivated on.
I want to raise up my hands and give you an amen and hallelujah because you are dropping so much heartfelt wisdom in this episode. There are many aspects of human society that need healing on an individual level. We can’t heal society until people take the personal responsibility to heal themselves. In that regard, we talked about mental health and emotional wellness at a few points in this episode. One thing that was not surprising if we uncork and look under the hood of the Western medicine paradigm, a couple of good friends of Whitney and mine are psychotherapists, and one of them, I was having a conversation with. She was saying that they get no training in school, whether it’s their Master’s or PhD programs like any other general practitioner or cardiologist on the link between nutrition and how that affects human health.Excellence is its own reward, and it never goes out of style. Click To Tweet
She was saying specifically in the mental health field, there’s not a lot of connection between probiotics, prebiotics and proteolytic enzymes. We are having a whole discussion on why aren’t you educated as a clinical psychotherapist or psychologist on what you put in your body affects your mental health? The inflammation of it, toxicity and acidosis. I’m curious about what you’re doing with BiOptimizers. With BiOptimizers, I’ve been taking your CogniBiotics and your MassZymes. We have been raving and enjoying your enzyme-based products.
How do those products and enzymes, in general, play into the conversation of neurochemistry, dopamine, and helping people to change their relationship to their mental health? It is a crisis. The levels of depression, anxiety and suicide in our country and the world, especially in the midst of a pandemic, the statistics are outrageous. How do enzyme therapies and all of this play into the role of people taking more responsibility for their mental health and hopefully, healing it?
As you may know, I’m a broad-based thinker. I’m a student of philosophy, psychology, metaphysics and nutrition. Part of what I have learned is through books and part of it is through practice in intuitive components through observation. One of the things that I developed was great observational skills because of my early youth. I’m going to make a wild suggestion that some people might seem conspiratorial. I’m not here to say it’s conspiratorial. It’s 1 of 2 things, the situation that we’re in. One is the unintended consequences of rapid technological innovation. That would be the most likely scenario that we are facing.
The second thing that I study every day and I have a copy of this on my book on my desk is The Art of War, which is an interesting philosophical book. If you read it, one of the first lines by Sun Tzu is, “The art of war is to subdue your enemy without firing a single shell.” In the east, a culture that has existed for example, in China for 5,000 years, an empire continuous for 5,000 years. In India, maybe even longer than that. They’ve recognized that the consequences of open ballistic warfare, as we would know it today, cannot be sustained long-term for the health of a culture.
America is founded on freedom and individuality, and do what you want and go for it. The United States has the greatest history of immigration on the planet. They take in a million people. I am an immigrant to the United States because I believe in the foundational concepts that were put forth in the Constitution. I have a foundational belief in the principles of The Wealth of Nations in the production of value. What’s happened is before World War II, probably around the turn of the century when the concept of Marxist philosophy started to move into the intellectual debate, and then eventually, we ended up in the Bolshevik Revolution. We had World War I, and then that set up the course for the rise of Nazism and World War II.
In that culture, particularly in Germany, there was the cultivation and almost a cult-like development into chemicalization. If you look at most of the big chemical giants and pharmaceutical giants, they emerged out of that concept. Systematically over time, after the war happened, those institutionalized drug companies started to get their fingers inside of the political debate. We moved away from the capitalistic Wealth of Nations so that we have some hybrid between socialism and capitalism that’s neither either one of them, so the arguments on both sides are objectively false. What we have, as identified by John Mackey in his book Conscious Capitalism, is we have a form of crony capitalism with a Robin Hood Marxist’s fusion. That’s all laced in cancel culture and labeling of derogatory associations with anybody that has success.
These are all models that don’t work long-term and it resulted in chaos. What that means is we’ve turned over our greatest and brightest students and put them in an education system where they’re not given the complete level of information. We compartmentalize them to the point that they work as a systematized and easily controllable component because of the debt loads that they take on to get the level of excellence. The pharmaceutical companies and chemical-based companies through financial leverage on Wall Street are able to take on inexpensive labor from other countries, which aren’t supportive of the same laws that were subjected to here. Therefore, we have products and services that don’t meet their legitimate standards.
Our political system has been hijacked by special interest capitalistic in the implementation of politicalized rules into our food, our drugs, what we can say and our marketing. We’re living under the illusion that we’re a free society. The reality is after World War II when the United States dropped the nuclear bomb on Japan and ended Japanese imperialism, and ushered in the Digital Age and the movement into this whole fusion of the development of monoculture farming. Eventually, the dependency on nitrogen-based fertilizers depleted the soil and minerals. Also, the advent of the chemicals through the same chemical companies that rose the power during World War II to mitigate the damages that we’ve done from moving away from 12,000 years of crop generation.
Now, we’re left in a place where you’re not able to extract the amount of food or the nutrients you require to make the neurochemistry inside your brain. We don’t know that because it’s been going on for so long that people don’t know where a carrot comes from. They’ve never gone out and killed their own animal if they’re on a meat-based diet. It’s like the matrix of we don’t know what tasty tastes like. “Why is everything taste the same?” Because we don’t know what it tasted in its original thing. It’s this flat, then we add colors, dyes, and preservatives to give us these false reward systems, which would naturally be found in nature. We developed an association with aesthetic perfection inside our fruits and vegetables that we have, which requires genetic alterations, selections, and all sorts of different agents. We are living in a sea of falseness.
What happens is the basic neurochemical requirements that allow someone to have positive feedback systems in their neurology are virtually impossible for a person to acquire. Unless they spent an incredible amount of time, energy and money, which they may not have to develop a quality healthy program for themselves. Either one, you move off to some commune somewhere where you’re living off the land, have no money, and wearing sackcloth every day so that you can have your superfoods. I’ve been in those things. I’ve been to a two-year raw food movement. You exit from society and you live in an ashram. I did that, too. You become a health fanatic. I’ve been one of those. You cultivate some identification based on the current knowledge to be able to overcome and survive.
Three things, its unintended consequences, which are putting mutation leavers on the species of Homo sapiens. One could look at it from a top-down as, “This is part of the evolutionary process that’s happening. The sun is going through its different phase. It’s causing mutations and we’re making all these decisions. Some people are going to survive and some people are going to mutate into a Homo spiritus or Homo digitalis or whatever the hell that people are going to become.” That’s one option. You can look at that level.
Number two, you could say, “We messed up. We got off sidetrack. We let these other special interest groups take over the things and we need to reclaim that.” That’s another level, whether you’re doing that in your personal life by developing a farm or getting involved in a political movement or developing your own supplement company or nutritional company. Three, we’re in a state of war and this war is not a war that we thought of before in the common sense points, which I send missiles this way and you send missiles this way or bullets or guns.
The fourth option is some version of all of those. It’s the last piece. The conflict for resources on this planet is something that all organisms and species have gone through. More than 99% of species that have existed on this planet don’t exist anymore. Extermination is an aspect of all biological systems. Some people would say that’s the Law of Entropy, and then other people would say, “What’s the Law of Entropy?” When you see things descend into chaos, there is a reordering of things into new and more complex beings.
We are in a major evolutionary shift and the good news is things like enzymes and probiotics are the only catalysts inside the body that are not building materials and they’re not energy units. These are the workers that allow you to deliver biochemical transactions. Enzymes are the units from thinking to blinking. The difference between a stone, a plant, and a person is the totality of your enzymatic capacity and your ability to write metabolic checks. Everything from thinking to blinking requires an enzyme. A probiotic is a single-cell organism that has developed specific enzymatic pathways in a different level of mobility than a regular enzyme that performs specific actions. Either in contradiction to our health or support of our health in our microbiome. We live in a symbiotic relationship with probiotics, these workers.
Enzymes and probiotics, in my opinion, are the only thing that does any work in the body. If you go back to nutrition, which that’s something I’ve studied my whole life, exercise, physiology, nutrition, background, high-performance, health, organic health, and everything that you can imagine. What’s interesting is almost all of the books omit the role of enzymes and probiotics. Probiotics have come to a little bit more light in the last several years, but I learned about this after I crashed and burned in my Mr. Universe contest in 2003. I got lucky I met a doctor that helped me recover my health and I learned about this way back then and started practicing it. It happens now. Our company became vogue because I’ve been doing this for several years.
I’m not extraordinary. I don’t have any super PhDs. I didn’t come up with any chemicals. I was the guy that made all the wrong mistakes out of good intentions that led me to a chaotic situation and led me to someone who did make the right moves after he went all through the chaos. He shared that knowledge with me. We have been sharing this knowledge for more than fifteen years and now it’s come to public fruition.
We’ve been in a position where we can now hire the PhDs to do the research on the gut biome and get the people in here to develop, how do we rebuild the essential neurochemicals that a great number of the population is lacking? Do we need enzymes? Do we need hydrochloric acid? Do we need probiotics? Do we need something to build the microbiome? Do we have to take extracts so that we can even have enough materials to manufacture the deficient neurochemicals in somebody’s brain? It turns out, it’s all of the above and that’s what we have dedicated our lives to. We’ve had some extraordinary breakthroughs in the last few years. Going back to the original question of incremental gains over time, I’ve been on this game since I was fifteen years old and I feel like we are only starting to break real ground on where we can contribute to a global scale in the last few years.
You spoke about human evolution. There’s a lot of interesting ideas floating around that Whitney and I have been discussing, Wade. To get uncomfortable, there’s a lot of research by people like Elon Musk and some other people out there talking about eventually terraforming and colonizing Mars and having that as an escape plan from planet Earth if things continue to degrade to a certain level here. Beyond that, with nutrition, longevity is also a part of that conversation of optimizing the human vessel. One interesting thing is people working on technologies to potentially upload human consciousness into different biological or digital vessels. The idea that our consciousness will never die. Our physical vessels may die, but our consciousness may not. This brings up a lot of interesting ethical implications. It takes the longevity question into an immortality question.
I’m curious what your feelings are, in a general sense, about this conversation of not only longevity but the idea of transferring our consciousness into a different vessel. That changes our relationship to life and death. The core aspects of our human experience of knowing that we’re going to die, but what if we didn’t have to die? How would that change our experience of life? It is an esoteric question. Talking about longevity is what brought it up for me and I want to know what your thoughts and feelings are on all that.
My business partner, Matt Gallant and I have been in these conversations since the inception of our friendship going back over twenty years. When we first met, Matt was a hardcore atheist that was into finding immortality by the uploading of consciousness into some cybernetic organism that would excess perpetually. As described primarily in the writings of Dr. Wallace from Neo-Tech, which was an interesting concept that he had come into. In my world, I had a near-death experience at 22, which took me through the life review and had an experience of God universality or whatever you want to call it. It was personal, real and dynamic. It changed the course of my life at that moment. I can only speak from my own experience.
When we met several years later and started a business together, we would start from these spirited debates, to say the least. Matt and I believe in challenging each other’s opinions. It’s led to the cultivation of number one, a lot of good information. It’s also exposed our own biases and flaws within our thinking and it’s also helped us develop more robust solutions relative to our company. In those debates, I was a Yogananda devotee and we’d talk about God and he’d be like, “Come on. That’s a fantasy.” I gave him a book called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle who was a guy sitting on a bench in Vancouver that people have known. I’ve been friends with his publishers. That book was an opening for him.
Later on, we went into Power vs. Force, all the collective works of Dr. David Hawkins, and the map of consciousness sorting out this whole thing of consciousness itself relative to this plane. That evolved into a variety of different practices throughout the years. My study of various religions and philosophical doctrines and listening to minds far greater than my own to work out some of these puzzles throughout the time that don’t have any definitive answers.
What I would say though from my own experience is that the paradigm of our consciousness is the issue. What we call the ego, the sense of I, and this association with this physical body. Let’s do a simple experiment. If I cut off your arm, are you still you? If I cut off your leg, are you still you? If I cut off both your arms and both your legs, you’re still you. When we’re having a conversation, you’re hearing what I’m saying, but you’re also having thoughts about what I’m saying. Not only are you hearing externalize information, but there’s some internal dialogue that’s going on simultaneously, so there’s an observation of thoughts. You can say, “This is my thoughts,” then that means if these are my thoughts, you can’t be your thoughts and you can’t be your body. You can say, “These are my feelings.” If you’re observing your feelings, then you can’t be your feelings. If you’re not your body, thoughts and feelings, what are you?
I believe that the universe is consciousness itself. The idea that you are a living sentient being with this human history is merely a fractionalized aspect of all that is like a wave crusting on the top of the ocean that is not the ocean. It rises, crests and falls back within the wave. The ocean can exist without the wave, but the wave cannot exist without the ocean. They are one and the same. The culmination of our entire life is merely the rising and inevitable crash of that wave. The ultimate goal is to be able to recognize that I am both the wave and the ocean simultaneously. When the inevitable component of the dissolution of what I think is me happens, which we will all experience, is to recognize that that is part of the natural and ultimate state that all of us must experience. It’s perfect within the divine order of itself. You can go out like a squiggling sheep or you can go out roaring like a lion.
The journey of our life is to get to a place where we can go out like a lion and rush towards the ocean. Not in a self-destructive way, but to say, “It’s time to return to the source.” Our view of death isn’t even the total picture, so I’m ascribing to reincarnation. Even after death, there is an ego structure that is retained and there are illustrations of this in other religious doctrines. The ultimate experience is the complete dissolution of that. Jesus said, “I will make a pillar in thy house and thou shall go out no more.” It was in reference to the conscious awareness of totality, which we would call enlightenment. Whether that takes form in this domain or not, it doesn’t matter. That’s a high state of awareness and existence, and that’s not easily achievable. Certainly, not in one lifetime and may require many. We’re doing the best that we can to get there but it’s a big topic.
Maybe the biggest. We’re talking about existence, sense of self, life itself. I feel like at so many moments, I was closing my eyes and vibing with you, Wade. I feel like you’re such a vast resource of so much knowledge. For us, these are some of the most important questions. Who are we? What are we? Why are we here? What is the nature of life and existence itself? This is what it’s all about right here, in my opinion. Like you, these are the kinds of conversations I can dig into by a fireplace with a cup of hot mushroom chocolate and talk for hours and hours. Now, I want a cup of hot mushroom chocolate.There's nothing that can't be overwritten if you develop competency. Click To Tweet
It also is wonderful to talk to you because it reminds me of one of the big reasons that I’ve been missing, the trade shows that we typically go to because at the Natural Products trade show, for example, we get to connect with the owners behind the products. One thing I have noticed over the years is that will greatly influence how I feel about a product because I get to have that experience with somebody and feel their energy and better understand them. Sometimes, this will make or break a moment. Connecting with you throughout this time has made me feel thrilled that I’ve been taking your products because I believe in infusing your body with the energy behind how something’s made. A lot of us don’t think about the path that a product has taken to reach our hands and to be put into our mouths. We often eat on such an unconscious level.
When it comes to supplements, it is incredibly important to understand the story behind them, who made them, and why they have been made the way that they are. I was already impressed with everything I have learned about BiOptimizers. This has taken it to a whole nother level, which reminds me of my question for you because I held off. I was thinking, “I’m going to take my daily CogniBiotics while we are on this show, but I will wait to know some more details,” and then I got a little nervous because sometimes with things like this, I’m into following the rules. The direction says to take two capsules upon wakening. I no longer have an empty stomach and it’s many hours since I woke up, so I’m like, “Should I be taking this? Is it too late in the day at almost 4:00 PM?”
I know you make your other probiotics, which I have downstairs. I’m curious when it comes to taking something like this, how is the timing playing a role in that? I imagine it’s written on there for a reason. That may help me add it into my day and my visuals of how I map out my home with my supplements. I have all of the products that you make, all the vegan versions at least. The Gluten Guardian is one of my favorites and we have talked about it on this show. I try not to take that because I’m sensitive to gluten and fortunately, even though supplements do not fully remove the effects from my body, but they do help.
I regularly take both the CogniBiotics as well as the other probiotic formulation you have, and then I love the MassZymes. The one that I get excited to take, but I always take it earlier in the day is the kApex. I love those as well. I also started reintegrating HCl, thanks to you. We were blessed with your company, sending us over the products to try. Now I have this whole array of them. Coming back to my question in terms of timing because that’s one of the big mysteries for a lot of consumers, it’s not only which products should I buy, but then when do I take them and why? I’d love to know that before we close out with you.
First and foremost, labels are built to meet the FDA and FTC requirements. In most cases, when you get to know owners and stuff, oftentimes, they take prodigious amounts of given products. If you trace back to the research, going back to our early stuff about supplement companies, oftentimes when you see the dosages required by research to produce the benefits required. The nutritional supplements being sold in the store regardless of the quality wouldn’t be insufficient quantity or quality to meet the demands of what was illustrated in whatever research. That’s one of the reasons we have our PhD team and microbiome that we’d run all sorts of experiments that Matt and I go, “What happens if we hit this with EMF? What happens if we add vitamins to it?” We are thinking what our question is, “What if we do this?”
Most of the experiments are what many people would call a fail, but then we have these discoveries. We released a book called The Biological Optimization Blueprint, which is an illustrated guide of how Matt and I go about systematically determining the products that a person might need. The process of determining how you get those products, and then how do you manage those on an individual basis, both in the short, medium, and long term. To answer your question, there’s no absolute answer. However, there are tendencies and patterns that we can learn.
What I suggest for anybody taking supplementation is they can go to our website and download the AWESOME Health Course. It’s free. It’s a twelve-week course. It has 5 to 15-minute videos where I explained everything I’ve learned under a systematic system I developed called the AWESOME system. It is how biological organisms work based on cellular function and how you devote your time, energy, and money. We don’t get the supplements until topic number five quite a way down the road. When I look at supplementation, first, you want to be able to diagnose through the use of an expert what you might be potentially deficient in. You could spend a lot of time and a lot of money randomly shot gunning stuff that might be good, but might not be good for you.
A SpectraCell test is a great one, a gut biome or a gut map or Viome test. If your neurochemistry is off or you have been on meds or you have infections or you struggle with your health, there’s like, “Take two of these and see you in the morning,” kind of stuff. There’s like, “I’m going at this biohacker and I’m solving this problem.” That’s the way Matt and I go at it. We forget everything else. There are three levels of dosages. There’s the minimal effective dosage, maximal tolerable dosage, and then optimal dosage. Eventually, you want to get to the optimal dosage and you may have to fluctuate between those two paradigms to get there.
There were these guys back in the ‘70s who founded orthomolecular psychiatry. Their names were Dr. Linus Pauling, the two-time Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Abram Hoffer, and Dr. David Hawkins who I made a referral to about the map of consciousness who was a psychiatrist. I worked in conjunction with these gentlemen to develop what was called at the time orthomolecular psychiatry. That is the treating of advanced states of mental disease using supraphysiological dosages of various vitamins, minerals, components, and all this stuff. I got the book from the ‘70s. I don’t even know how these guys were figuring this stuff out. It’s incredible. It’s a dense, opaque text. It’s heavy-duty going. I don’t necessarily recommend you read it.
What I was able to garner out of that, particularly with Dr. Linus Pauling’s approach, which is commonly known in the world with Vitamin C dosages. I like to explain the context before we get to the content of your question because I want to be specific and precise for people to systematically address these things. Linus Pauling was famous for detoxifying people from heavy metal exposure using high dosages of Vitamin C. What they would do is you would start to increase the dosage incrementally in a structured format. You’d start at maybe 3, 4, 5, 6 grams a day. Each day, you would add an extra gram of Vitamin C until you broke the GI barrier aka you got the runs. They would then titrate down. Meaning, they would lower the dosage.
Let’s say you got up to ten. You might lower it down to 9 or 8 and they would stay at 9 or 8 until you broke the GI barrier again, and then you would drop it maybe another gram or two until eventually, you were on a minimal dosage. When I started researching nutritional testing and everything from live blood cell analysis to hair analysis to eventually one of the gold standards to SpectraCell analysis. I noticed that for different people with genetics and epigenetics, there were dietary suggestions that would allow them to absorb and utilize various vitamins and nutrients, and also, those dietary practices would be deficient. Matt’s a ketogenic guy and I’m a vegetarian. We’re at the far end of the spectrum.
What we are able to determine through SpectraCell testing is that there are certain tendencies within certain diets. That means if you can imagine all the nutrients that you require to be at your optimal level as filling up a bucket. That could be neurochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. If you are suffering from a deficiency or a depletion of any given nutrient, I would say that your burn rate is like a hole in the bucket. In other words, imagine a hole in that bucket and that’s your burn rate. If stress goes up or maybe demands would be required, you would require more nutrients. If that goes down, you require less. That’s always the fluctuating factor. It’s almost like a valve as opposed to a hole. Your lifestyle is the valve.
What happens is people go on a lifestyle and they exhaust their supply, and then they have to tighten up the valve, which means your life is compromised in some way. If we can get a baseline of what everybody is by doing one of these tests and we can look at the particular nutrients that are deficient within this person. The problem is we don’t necessarily know what the optimal level is for a lot of these vitamins and minerals. That’s going to be not as clinical feedback. It’s going to be more subjective and how you feel. You are going to have to journal in accordance with your digital data.
Let’s say you have a deficiency in the development of serotonin. You have run some tests and they are saying you are a serotonin-deficient and that’s because you are not able to make the polypeptide chains. You’re not converting your protein into the amino acids that make the neurotransmitters inside your body. This is going to be relative to CogniBiotics. We go, “Let’s look at number one, is my dietary practices providing me a sufficient amount of protein in my diet to be converted into the amino acids?” “Yes, I’m getting 100 grams of protein a day.” That’s not the issue. Am I breaking down that protein? Do I have a sufficient number of enzymes? Do I have a sufficient amount of hydrochloric acid? Do I have a sufficient amount of the bacteria that are developed to make those neurotransmitters? If you are deficient in those neurotransmitters and you are getting enough protein, then you have a conversion issue. It’s 1 of those 3 things. Simple.
What do you do? You take enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and as many of those probiotics as you can. The good news is you only need a little bit of enzymes. There’s no tolerance to the enzymes. I’ve taken 1,000 a day and it’s the only thing I’ve ever taken in massive dosages that don’t show up in a stool test. That’s the unique thing about enzymes. Our body absorbs and utilizes it. There seems to be no limit to the number of enzymes you can put in your system. That’s an interesting component because that’s the metabolic worker factor. One of the reasons I enjoy robust health and cognitive capacity is because I’ve been pounding enzymes for so long. Everybody I know that’s been doing that has noticed the same thing over 10, 20, 30, 40 years.
The second thing is I’m assuming if you are 35 or older, there’s a high likelihood that you don’t have enough hydrochloric acid, which shifts the pH level to the breakdown of the protein. The third thing, if you have noticed that you wake up in the morning and you have that brain fog. You’re not able to get yourself going. You don’t necessarily feel happy and out of bed or rise and shine kind of person or you struggle with keeping your mood regulated. Chances are that you have some dysbiosis in your guts and you can do a test and find that out. When we develop CogniBiotics, we hired two different geniuses. One was a genius in neurophysiologist, who is an expert in Chinese medicine, and put together the combination of Chinese herbs, which have been shown for thousands of years to enhance mood.You cannot change the pattern if you don't understand the problem. Click To Tweet
Just so you know, in Chinese medicine, the only correlation with Western medicine was figured out by a guy by the name of Charles Poliquin who was known as the strength sensei who coached gold medals in 27 different sports. Think about that. He used to learn all these different languages because he saw that there were biases within the development of various countries in the research that they did. He would learn, “The Russians were good at this. The Germans were good at this and the Japanese were good at this.” He would learn the language and see what biases they had and what they figured out, and then he would bring that back. He was the only guy I knew of that made the connection between the five elements of Chinese medicine and the neurotransmitter dominance in the body. We got a Chinese expert to develop the herbs that would be known to enhance neurological function.
We’ve got the PhDs in the microbiome that said, “Here are the bacteria that manufacture these neurotransmitters. Let’s put that bacteria with the right amount of prebiotics so that they don’t starve to death on the way there or you put them in a freeze-dried state so they become activated when they come to the state. You’re not relying on the temperature variances, which have a huge impact on the growth rates or whether that bacteria is alive when it gets to your intestinal tract. We then put it together with the herbs so that you will get an initial somatic effect when you first start taking it. The Chinese herbs kick in and you feel that, and then over the period of taking that regularly, you are going to repopulate that bacteria strain inside your body so that you start manufacturing.”
I’m assuming that your diet is getting enough protein and you’re breaking down the protein into the amino acid. You’ve got the right bacteria to make that final conversion to turn them into the neurotransmitters inside your body. Bingo. You solved the problem because you’ve solved the 80-year issue that we talked about systematically through this process. There is no one size, one fits, one all. What I can say is we have to put on the label base that you should take this much and this is a suggested time to do that. That’s all relative to make people feel good.
I like taking it in the morning and Matt likes taking it in the evening. Matt’s a fat-based guy and I’m a carbovore. How we metabolize food is different, so that’s the right time for him to take it. I like taking my P3-OM at night and he likes taking it with his meals, but he has a high meat-based diet and needs extra digestive capacity. I don’t have a high meat-based diet. Here are the two owners of the company that has figured out specific paradigms with the same products that work for us. That’s why we released the book and that’s why we’ve explained, if you are going to solve a multigenerational problem on nutrition relative to your own needs, you need more than labeling. You need testing and you need a system to go about addressing those issues.
It’s one of the reasons why we offer a money-back guarantee on everything that anybody takes from us. If somebody tries our stuff and it doesn’t work for them, let us know and we’ll give you your money back. What we’re here to encourage is for people to do these systematic experiments. If they’ve put the right process together and our product fits within their body of knowledge and elicits a response that they’re looking for, everybody’s happy. Most people are happy to exchange value for that thing. If for some reason, it doesn’t work out for that person, I’m like, “Thanks for trying us. I don’t want to discourage you from your health journey. We are going to give you your money back. We are going to take that feedback from you.” We are both happy.
Maybe we can even suggest, “You didn’t need the CogniBiotics. You would have done a lot better on Leaky Gut Guardian because you’ve got a biofilm issue that none of these guys can think of and we’ve got a way to solve that.” “Maybe you need to bypass all that because your body doesn’t manufacture for some chemical transaction. You don’t have any of the neurotransmitters that are required in that thing. Why not try some of our nootropic products, which will address the neurotransmitters themselves to be able to get to that state?” That’s how we’ve systematically gone through the system. We’re both physiologists, personal trainers, and pedestrian incremental gains over time. Over the course of the last 30 years, both individually and concordantly for the last twenty years, we’ve developed the systematized approach for addressing these complex dietary issues. We have our little niche where we think that we do a great job in that area.
I want to say at the end of this episode that encouraging people to experiment is one of the healthiest, most supportive things you can do. I’m glad you said that because we always encourage our readers and the people that we coach that life is a series of never-ending experiments. To move beyond the dualistic thinking of success-failure, keep making experiments, and keep learning and evolving, we are glad you shared that same philosophy.
For the reader, we want you to make some experiments with BiOptimizers because Whitney and I are loving them. Check out their entire lineup of products that Whitney and I are loving incorporating into our daily health and fitness routine. Wade, it has been an absolute pleasure watching your Facebook videos, your live videos over the years, and finally getting you on here to drop many heartfelt nuggets of wisdom. You do come from the heart. I can feel it in your words and feel in your energy. To have you as a leader in the nutrition wellness field is an absolute blessing. Thank you for blessing us with your presence here. It’s been a joy.
Thanks. I’m all choked up from all that stuff. I was a guy too stupid or too stubborn to quit. After a massive series of failures in this incremental mentality, we were able to solve some problems for a large number of people. I get to wake up every day and see those testimonials about people’s lives that have changed. If you want to find a way to connect to the human condition when you can reach out and support somebody in their journey and they in yours. That’s where we find the commonality and the human condition. That’s a beautiful thing for all of us. Thank you for having me. It’s been great questions. I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all in all the questions so I’m disappointed. Just kidding. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it. For those who are reading, I hope this was of value to you.
Thank you, Wade!
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- Wade Lightheart
- Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder
- Living Libations
- The Art of War
- The Wealth of Nations
- Conscious Capitalism
- The Power of Now
- Power vs. Force
- Gluten Guardian
- The Biological Optimization Blueprint
- AWESOME Health Course
- Leaky Gut Guardian
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About Wade Lightheart
Author, Athlete, Nutritionist and Expert on Fixing Digestion.
Three-Time Canadian national All Natural Bodybuilding Champion who competed as a vegetarian, former Mr. Universe Competitor, host of The Awesome Health Podcast, Wade Lightheart is one of the world’s premier authorities on Natural Nutrition and Training Methods. Having majored in Sports Science at the University of New Brunswick, he has authored numerous books on health, nutrition, and exercise which have sold in over 80 countries.
Wade also serves as an advisor to the American Anti-Cancer Institute and is the Co-Founder and President at BiOptimizers, a digestive and health optimization company.
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