Dr. Tommy Wood, part 2: Eating More Food and Avoiding the Cognitive Middle Gear
By Brad Kearns
After getting our gut check at the end of the first show, Tommy keeps the momentum going with some memorable sound bites and takeaway action items for a long, happy, healthy life. Referencing the gut dysfunction that ended the first show, Tommy explains that the body can find other ways to replenish necessary carbs through internal mechanism and reducing your need by becoming fat and keto-adapted. We talk about my successful experiment, inspired by Tommy and Chris Kelly in September of 2017, to start consuming additional nutritious calories to fuel athletic performance and speed recovery. In evaluating my comprehensive test results generated by the Nourish, Balance, Thrive program, along with my complaint of crash and burn patterns (feel great, performance magnificent athletic feats, then drag ass for a couple-few days or longer). Yes, Tommy said you can even eat ice cream now and then! I transitioned from a sustained pattern of fasting until noon or later to starting my day with my Brad Kearns super-nutritious green smoothie every morning (check my someday-viral YouTube video of that name). Tommy inspires athletic types to understand that more nutrient-dense food can support peak performance, general health, and longevity. He theorizes that if you under-consume calories while striving for athletic excellence, you may slow down your thyroid and experience a decline in general everyday energy levels and metabolic function. Granted, if you are carrying excess body fat that you want to remove, are trying to recover from metabolic damage from carb dependency and/or yo-yo dieting, or have blood risk factors like high triglycerides, you may have a greater benefit from carbohydrate restriction to achieve rapid fat loss. We’ve heard in the low carb community how fasting improves autophagy (the natural cellular detoxification process) and that having an efficient metabolism is a longevity booster, but Tommy reminds us that athletes get similar autophagy benefits from endurance exercise depleting cellular energy, and that studies show those with a faster metabolism might live longer. Tommy keeps it pretty simple with the suggestion of eating as much nutritious food as you want without gaining fat. We also learn how the real culprit for body fat accumulation is consuming fat and carbs in combination. Food manufacturers know this can have addictive allure, and have carefully designed most of our go-to shit products to contain both refined carbohydrates and usually unhealthy processed fats. The show ends with Tommy offering color commentary on his delightfully simple and memorable five tips for living healthy: Sleep enough: Make sure you have a quiet, dark environment and avoid excess screen time in the evening. Move more: Lift. Walk. Sprint. Jump. Climb. How cool that Tommy combines all forms of exercise, training and movement together. It’s not about logging your miles or hitting spin class every day, its about an overall movement strategy. Reduce stress: Meditate. Do yoga. Nap. Spend time outdoors. We often neglect this stuff on the other side of the balance scale. Tommy reminds us that stress is subjective (read book, The Myth of Stress). Is a traffic jam stressful, or is it just another great opportunity to catch up on podcasts? Socialize: Put down the iPhone. Have fun with friends and family. Have sex. Remember, Tommy is deep into the scientific research that validates how this breezy stuff can optimize hormone and immune function. He mentions the dangers of lingering in the “cognitive middle gear” that really trips Brad out because he realizes he is messing up this one big time. Eat real food. Simple as that, let’s all tone down the hair-splitting and controversy surrounding the nuances of healthy eating. Both vegans and hardcore keto folks have lots of common ground and that’s what we should focus on.