Dr. Joel Rosen: Welcome back to another edition of the less stress life where we teach exhausted and burnt out adults the truth about adrenal fatigue so that they can get their health back quickly. And I’m super excited for our next guest because I’ve been a fly on the wall watching him progress from where he was to where he is. Now. Ben Azadi is on a mission to help 1 billion people and I’m certainly convinced that he will be able to do that. He wants them to live a happier life.
He’s the author of three, not just three, but soon to be four best-selling books. The three that he already has the perfect health booklet, the intermittent fasting cheat sheet, and the power of sleep. He’s been the go-to source for intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet. And he is known as the health detective because he investigates dysfunction and he educates not Medicaid to bring the bat body back to normal function. So, Ben, thank you so much for being here today.
Ben Azidi: Dr. Joel Rosen. I’m excited to be with you, brother.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, me too. So you know what, as far as people that don’t know your story, why don’t you just kind of give us an insight, a little stroll through Memory Lane on your own health challenges and why you developed keto camp and, and we’ll go from there.
Ben Azidi: Absolutely. So I came to a wall. My parents came to America, they immigrated here in the 70s. from Iran, my parents immigrated here in the 1970s. And then I was born blessed enough to be born here in America, in Miami Beach, Florida. And I followed a standard American diet, aka stupid American diet. And it resulted in me being obese, not just physically obese. But also mentally of these, I found myself as a teenager, hanging out the wrong crowds, doing drugs, being addicted to sugar and video games and drugs and alcohol.
And I was pretty much left to my own devices growing up. So that really showed and manifested in really poor health. And this transferred into my adulthood, where at the age of 2324 years old, I found myself depressed, suicidal, lost in life, I weighed 250 pounds at that time, this was back in 2008. And I wanted to give up on life, I was tired of hurting, I didn’t know where to start. I never studied nutrition, never exercised. And I was dealing with a bad breakup at that time. And I was crying every day, I was just depressed. And I even went on the internet several times to look for options to end my life and the suffering. But thankfully, I never went through with it. Because every time I thought about doing it, I thought about my mother and I stopped myself from pursuing that. So I knew I needed to figure things out. And a friend of mine, actually, two friends of mine, they’re a couple of Ronald and Carla are their names. They handed me a book and they’re like, read this book, I think it’ll make a big difference for you and what you’re dealing with. So I read the book, and it was a terrific book. And it led to other books. And it led to this whole world I never knew existed, I started to read books from authors like Dr. Wayne Dyer, and Bob Proctor.
And Earl Nightingale and Jim Rohn. And Tony Robbins, just these amazing, incredible individuals who have done great things in their life after they went through rock bottom. And for the first time, Jolla helped me take ownership of my results. I said I am responsible. And it felt really liberating, saying those words out loud because it’s almost impossible to feel responsible and say that you’re responsible and still be resentful and angry. So I took ownership. And at that moment, I became the victor of my future, the victim of my destiny, no longer the victim of my history. So I started to actually exercise and eat better and think better thoughts, which we’ll get into in this podcast. And nine months later, I went from 250 pounds down to 170 pounds, I went from 34% body fat, down to 6% body fat finally carved out a physical, physical six-pack, but I believe the most important thing I achieved was a mental six-pack, I started to think better thoughts.
And that’s what actually got me started in the health space that became a personal trainer, opened up a CrossFit gym sold a CrossFit gym. And then I studied and got certified as a health coach. And as you mentioned earlier, I started to write these books. So that’s what got me started in the health space. It wasn’t until 2013 that I took this health career if you want to call it that from a hobby to a purpose. That’s when my dad and I ended up getting sick in 2013, where he had type two diabetes. And as you know, it’s a lifestyle disease that’s unfortunately, treated with medication, but I didn’t really understand the disease. And I really put my faith in allopathic medicine and conventional medicine. And my dad ended up suffering a massive stroke which left him paralyzed, and the inability to move his entire right side. I mean, he was on his deathbed essentially for nine months. And that was a very difficult time visiting him for nine months seeing him just decline and he ended up passing away on August 12, 2014. And when he passed away, it raised a lot of questions for me, you know, why did my dad have to go through this I kept I took him to his doctor’s appointments.
I bought all the groceries they told me to buy for him and he ended up losing his life. Why is this happening in America the world? Why? There are so many sick people out there. So I found the answers to the questions. And the answers lie within the human body. As you know, the body is capable of healing as long as we remove the interference, and we’re going to talk about how we could use ketones to do that. But I know now that the information that I share all across the world, it’s the information that I would have saved my dad’s life, he would be here today if I would have applied it to him. But I also know that I was given that mountain so I could show the world that the mountain can be moved, I believe, the human body is incredible, it is capable of healing, as long as you identify that interference, remove the interference, and just let allow that innate intelligence, that inner position to do its job. So that’s the mission here at keto camp to educate and inspire 1 billion people to get this information to them.
Dr. Joel Rosen: That’s an awesome story. And thank you so much for sharing that. And I think it’s important that we ourselves as practitioners be vulnerable so that people can understand we understand them. And ultimately, that mission is served. So as you mentioned a couple of terms, Ben, one was the mental six-pack, and one was the mental obesity, and not just physical obesity and a physical six-pack.
So I know mindset is a big part of your recovery strategy. But I guess two questions would be, when did you realize on your own healing journey, how such an important role of mindset was, besides the knowledge and the information and so forth? Let’s just start with that one.
Ben Azidi: Yeah, it’s an important question too, because I believe you have to exercise before you exercise. So I’m glad that we’re starting with this. It wasn’t until a few years after my transformation, actually, two years after is when my self-image finally adapted to me really feeling like I was a lean person, not no longer a fat person. It took two years after I went through my transformation. And I was curious, like, why did it take two years to do that? And then I started to study this book called Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. And he talks about this self-image, and you could only get as many results in your life, according to your self-image. And he talked about how he was a plastic surgeon.
And he used to do the surgeries on individuals who had big noses, big ears, abnormalities, whatever it was. And most of the patients within 21 days, felt different. They felt like a different person, they felt like that person who has the new nose or the new, whatever he or whatever it was, but then there was a small percentage of people who months and even years later still felt ugly, they still felt this form, even though they went through the surgery. That’s because their self-image is still identified as that. And it really clicked with me because I felt like I was still sabotaging myself. I was lean, I had a six-pack. But I didn’t feel healthy, I still felt like I was one of those fit-sick people. So I wanted to explore my thoughts. And I wanted to explore how to change, this self-image. And I learned about paradigms, which is a multitude of habits that we just do an autopilot subconscious mind is doing it. And it’s really based on the first seven years of our life, all of our experiences, and our upbringing. And I wanted to unpack that. So I started to study Bob Proctor. And I realized and came across research that shows the average human thinks about 60,000 thoughts per day.
And 90% of those thoughts are the same thoughts from the day before. Meaning most people don’t originate a creative thought unless they go through some sort of disaster or they intentionally practice it. And a lot of people are thinking negative thoughts, that thinking, and I want to change that for myself. So I believe when you start to change your thoughts, you change your life. And Dr. Wayne Dyer said, when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. So I started to focus on self-love. I did self-love practices, I still do to this day, affirmations and gratitude. You know, I believe gratitude and love are two of the biggest healers you have out there.
I have seen so many people, and I’m sure you have Joel, they’re taking the right supplements and doing the right diet, they’re exercising, but they have this resentfulness and hatefulness in their body, and you cannot heal a body that has hate. So for me, and the listeners out there self-love and gratitude, those are pin it’s fundamental to really start practicing that and then when you apply the supplements of Akito, whatever it is, that automatically upgrades itself. So that’s a little bit of the self-image in the mindset.
Dr. Joel Rosen: So, so important, Ben and you know, it’s one of those things that is taken for granted. Sometimes it’s poo-pooed and ultimately, it’s not even that it’s but I’ll wait until right when I have this when I feel better when I have those. I’ll wait until and I love all your your your little youth, whatever, euphemisms or the little sayings you have, but I like the one in terms of ready fire aim, right because if you if even though you’re justified, life’s not fair, I’ve had a terrible upbringing, my genetics Aren’t favorable, I had all these atrocities, you’re justified.
And you’re right. But if you’re saying that you’re hooking your anchor to that, it’s not going to serve you. So I love that. So great, great, great information as far as now let’s go down sort of the keto camp, and how you then went from understanding the changes mentally and physically that you had to do yourself and mentally came two years after the physical and now you’re gathering up all these new tools in your toolkit. How did keto come onto your toolkit?
Ben Azidi: Yeah, so I was still curious. Going through my transformation years later, I still felt like I wasn’t, I had, I didn’t achieve optimal health. I still felt sluggish afternoon naps. Although I was lean, I was exercising I didn’t feel like I understood cellular health through Seiler health. So I explored different nutritional approaches. I read the book China China Study, which, you know, it’s poorly written, if you actually could read it understand studies, but I didn’t understand studies back then. So I got duped by The China Study. And then I became a strict vegan for a year and a half. And, you know, in the beginning, it was great, I had some results, and I benefited from it from the first couple of months. But then after that, I was just slowly declining. But I had I put myself in a dogmatic box, I was telling all my friends and family like you’re gonna save the world and save, you’re healthy, gotta be plant-based, you know, powered by plants, hashtag whatever. So, about a year and a half into that, I realized, okay, this is not working for me, I feel like my hormones are wonky. I did some tests, a confirmed my hormones were wonky.
And then I discovered after researching outside of the vegan approach, the ketogenic diet, and intermittent fasting, this was in 2013. And I thought this is interesting, you know, ketosis. Technically keto is not a diet, it’s a metabolic process. And all of our ancestors went through periods of time where they were in ketosis, their environment and forced them into it. So I shortly realized that we are hardwired to actually go through periods of time in ketosis and then flexing it ketosis, hence, the book keto flex. So I decided to go all-in with keto and give it a good shot and test my glucose and ketones back then.
And that’s when the strips were super expensive because it wasn’t popular. But then I noticed like my energy levels, increased my performance at the CrossFit gym at that time, increased my mental clarity, I felt really good. And I started to really understand health at the cellular level. And that’s where it all started for me. And I learned a lot of things along the way. I’ve been doing keto and teaching it now for what, seven, eight years. So there’s a lot of mistakes I made, and a lot of ways to do it the right way. And yeah, we’ll talk about that shit soon. I’m sure.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, no, that’s, that’s interesting. I like the idea of always owning what you teach. And, and that’s what you’re doing. And we all do, I think, to a certain extent, so that way, you have the integrity. Number one, right? You’re not just telling other people to do it. Like I hate a broke financial planner, or an out of shape, Doctor, you know, right, homeless realtor, you have to have integrity. And I love that you do that yourself. And you find out what works for yourself and understand that everyone’s a unique body that weight even though it may work for yourself, it may not work for someone else. But understand here’s why. So as far as you mentioned, the sabotaging and the in terms of now, let’s get into keto.
And let’s talk about if someone is looking to do that. And you mentioned that it is it’s a metabolic process and not so much a diet. And ultimately, we are programmed and engineered to go through fasts and famines, and plentiful illness. Can you just elaborate on that further, just so the person who understands Oh, so it’s not just eating all high-fat foods and no carbs and deep-fried stuff, but ultimately, it’s a physiological process that my body’s engineered? Maybe shed a little more light on that?
Ben Azidi: Absolutely. Yeah. So when we look at the body, we know that there are about 70 trillion cells inside of the body, give or take a few, right. So out of those 70 trillion cells, there are only two options for fuel either the cells are burning glucose, sugar, or burning fat-producing ketones. When the cells are stuck as sugar burners and it’s only burning sugar, only burning glucose.
It’s not a fun way to live. That’s how I used to live when I was obese. How do you know if your cells are stuck on sugar burners or here’s the easy sign? Can you skip a meal? Or do you feel great when you skip a meal? Do you feel hungry Do you need to eat every two to three hours when your cells are stuck on a sugar burner, you need to get ahead of glucose every two to three hours. You have to have snacks all around.
And you know if you do that over and over and over over the years, you wipe out the adrenals because you’re a cancer spike in glucose and insulin, and it’s going back down, you’re having this roller coaster, which it takes its toll on the adrenal glands. So when we talk about the cells burning glucose, the analogy that I like to give pictures a truck, a big Mack truck, that speeding through the streets here, with all this smoke being blasted out of the exhaust pipe of this truck, well, that truck is not going to be healthy. For the surrounding environment, you’re gonna have all this smoke gunking up the other cars, you know, staining the roads going over the trees, it’s not going to be healthy for that environment.
When your cells are stuck in sugar burners, it’s not healthy for your cellular environment, it creates a lot of cellular toxins, cellular byproducts, cellular smoke if you will. Now, if we could teach your body to use ketones and fat instead, I compare that to a Tesla cruising through the streets much cleaner for the surrounding environment, much cleaner for your cellular environment. So that’s the difference between burning sugar and burning fat. Now we fast forward to this year 2021. We do a quick search on Dr. Google and we’ll get over 100 million results on what is the keto diet. So that’s a good thing because people are searching for it. But it’s a bad thing. Also, because people are getting the wrong information.
As you said, Joel. Yes, you can eat a whole bunch of bacon and fat and cheese and rancid fats and technically get in ketosis. But are you getting healthy? Are you healing the metabolism? Are you actually reducing inflammation? The answer’s no. So if you do keto the right way, and you stay in it for the right period of time and start flexing in and out and achieve this metabolic freedom. That’s what I talked about. That’s what we talked about here. I keto Canvas, doing it the right way, what I call clean keto, and then doing it for the time that you need to do it and then flex out of it. I don’t think we should stay in ketosis just like our ancestors didn’t stay in ketosis when they had the opportunity. They flexed out and then went back in, they flexed out I went back in. So that is where the magic lies. It creates that harmony sister creates that adaptation. And when you force adaptation, good styles get stronger and bad cells do not adapt.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah. And I think it’s so key, Ben, that people that are maybe looking for weight loss before health improvements. First, they’ll go full in keto or not fully and they’ll there be dirty keto, or they won’t look about reducing the impact of waste products on the rest of the cells. And then they’ll start to Well, what are some of the the the fears or the concerns from a health standpoint, if someone’s doing it incorrectly, and they are just kind of doing a dirty keto, they’re not aware of their portion controls?
Or the timing between meals? Or how many absolute carbs? Or how much absolute protein they’re getting, but what are the pitfalls that they can be shooting themselves in the foot for thinking they are doing keto number one? And number two, in general, what are the challenges when they’re not doing it? Right, from a health standpoint?
Ben Azidi: Yeah, and it’s an important question. So you already said it, you know, approaching keto, for solely weight loss. That’s a bad way to approach it. Yeah. a keto is a great tool for fat loss and weight loss. However, the body doesn’t work that way. As you know, we don’t lose weight to get healthy, we get healthy to lose weight. So how do you get healthy, you reduce inflammation, specifically, cellular membrane inflammation. So some of the pitfalls are going to be dirty keto eating the wrong fats that are actually worse than sugar. And here’s why. I interviewed a couple of people on my keto camp podcast last year, Brian Peskin, who wrote the book, The PEO solution, and he’s an MIT researcher.
And then also Dr. Kate Shanahan, who wrote deep nutrition and in fat burn fix. She used to be the nutritionist for the Los Angeles Lakers when Kobe Bryant was there. And they both specialize, and these vegetable oils and how inflammatory they are. According to their research, right? They said, if you look at somebody who smoked two packs of cigarettes every single day, for about 28 years, the chances of that person developing lung cancer within those 28 years are about 16%, one, six, then compare that to somebody who eats these bad facts every single day, these vegetable oils, I’ll give you an entire list, but somebody who eats these bad fats every single day, for 28 years, their chances of developing any cancer, or heart disease is about to 86%. This is absurd because the body cannot use these rancid fats as an energy source.
They gunk up the receptor sites, these integral membrane proteins that are on the cells and those are so important like you explained on my podcast Joel, the cell membrane life begins and ends in the cell membrane it is the bodyguard of the cell that communicates with the DNA and helps everything function. And if you have inflammation on those receptor sites, now your hormones can’t get inefficient. The nutrients can’t get in oxygen can get in and there’s going to be dysfunction a symptom, but the symptom is not the problem, the symptom could be far removed from the problem. And some of the research I’ve seen has shown that these bad fats could create Seiler membrane inflammation for six to 12 months, meaning you eliminate them today. And you’re still dealing with it months after the elimination.
So here are the bad fats. I hope your audience could write these down. canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, rice, bran, oil, and grapeseed oil, and safflower oil. Those are inflammatory fats. Now there are two there, that could be healthy, as long as they are organic, cold-pressed safflower and sunflower could be healthy as long as they process the right way. But those are the bad fats, your body cannot burn them. You could burn sugar in the form of exercise, but you can’t burn those fats.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, awesome information. And you know, it kind of late raises that that lightbulb or even the alarm in terms of you know, a lot of people go to Whole Foods, and they’ll go and get to prepare foods. And those are if you look at the ingredients, they’re all partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, and they will create major challenges.
But are there any other challenges that make keto dirty? And then also as far as if someone what are the things I guess if that they would be doing that would help them transition into a ketogenic lifestyle? So does that make sense?
Ben Azidi: Yeah, it does. Yeah, there’s a couple of things. So in the book, keto flex that I have coming out it I talk about this number one, electrolytes are going to be very important, especially the first 14 days. And the reason is this when you’re eating when you’re not doing keto, and you’re eating a whole bunch of carbohydrates, the average American eats about 300 grams of carbs a day. What does that do to spike glucose and insulin, and then you also retain a lot of water? So that person eating carbs, they feel bloated, they have gas, they have stomach issues because of that process. But now that you’re doing more low carb, keto, higher fat, higher protein, what happens? Well, you’re going to shed a lot of this access to water weight, which is terrific, you’re going to look lighter, you’re going to feel lighter, but the kidneys actually dump electrolytes during this process, because insulin is now going to below. So you lose a lot of electrolytes.
I call this electrolyte dumping in the book. So we want to be really diligent and consistent with replenishing those electrolytes. You can take high-quality sea salt, I use regimens Real Salt, I also formulated enough formulated came up with a recipe called the keto Kam cocktail, which is every morning especially the first 14 days doing keto, every morning, have 16 ounces of water, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon of cream of tartar for extra potassium, and then a couple of pinches of some sea salt, really replenish your electrolytes, but also it helps the adrenals you know that so maybe taking a mineral supplement also is a good idea. That’s the first thing the second thing is now that you’re going to be eating more fats, hopefully, healthy fats, you need to break down that fat and what’s required to do so is bile. bile is produced from the liver the liver is the soccer mom organ because she does everything for us and we have not treated her well.
I mean the liver, we have beaten her up with medications and alcohol and processed foods and toxins. So now the liver for most people produces sluggish bile, this sludge that cannot break down the facts and not help you assimilate Vitamins A D, and K which leads to people feeling like crap on keto, especially in the beginning. So we want to support that liver. Maybe taking an ox bile supplement could be great, but also eating more bitters, bitter for the liver, rugelach dandelion greens, ginger, organic shade-grown coffee, apple cider vinegar, artichokes, rosemary, lime, basil, these are all things that help stimulate bile production, and that those are going to be two keys for anybody new to keto, even if you’re not new to keto, if you’re struggling, you incorporate those two tips, and it’s going to be a game-changer for you.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, those are really, really great. And just to piggy also back off our interview that we did for your podcast. And we talked about the Coleen and the creatine to help repair the cell membrane if there are challenges methyl methylation challenges, so utilizing your B vitamins, not being able to convert folic acid into fully or not absorbing your B vitamins or having all of those toxins you mentioned earlier, and also having the microbial challenge, to begin with.
One of the main functions of methylation is to flow and concentrate your bile as well. So that’s, that’s really key. So as far as the how do we do it, then like so you? How do we go about making sure that a lot of clients that I work with, we teach them, and they have we have a couple of strategies, but ultimately, if you’re starting to take your glucose levels, and you’re seeing a number and then you’re starting to see a ketone number, maybe take us through the genesis of what we’re looking for and how to most effectively achieve All things being equal.
Ben Azidi: Yeah. So in the book keto flex, I outlined my four pillars to really mastering keto and fasting and fasting strategy. So the first pillar is called adapting. So teaching your body to adapt to get fat adapted to use fat as the primary fuel source instead of sugar takes about 14 days. How do you do that? Well, I mentioned the bio I mentioned the salts in the electrolytes. Something else that I write about in the book is the two to two rule that I got from my mentor, Dr. Daniel Pompa, every day for the first 14 days want to hit these markers. So what it is the first two is two tablespoons of either olive oil or avocado oil. The second tool is two tablespoons of coconut oil or MCT oil. The third tool is two tablespoons of grass-fed butter or grass-fed ghee. And that final two is two teaspoons of sea salt.
And that’s you don’t have that in one sitting? That’s a common question I get asked you have throughout the day with the foods you cook with, etc. But if you hit that it’s gonna teach your body’s start utilizing fatty acids for fuel instead of glucose. So you can bypass things like symptoms that might occur like the keto flu, which is really just carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms. So that’s an important rule to follow. That’s where I would start right there. And at the same time, you want to also look at using an app to track your macros, specifically your carbohydrates, I don’t really focus on calories, but carbohydrates in the beginning. So chronometer is a great one, I write about them in my book, but there’s a whole bunch of free ones out there, you want to gradually decrease your total carbohydrates to get it below 55, zero total grams for the day. At the same time, you want to increase those fats from that to two to two rule.
And if you do that, it should be a seven to 14-day approach, then you could test your glucose and ketones and what you want to see, well, there are three ways to test ketones, there’s beta-hydroxy, butyrate, which is found in the blood, that’s typically the gold standard BHB. The unique thing about bhp, it could cross the blood-brain barrier, the brain could use it as a fuel source, there are breath ketones, which is acetone in the breath, and then there’s acetyl acetate in the urine. I don’t like testing urine strips, because when the body’s efficient at using ketones, it doesn’t spill out in the urine. And it could give you some false readings. So I would eliminate urine, breath typically doesn’t have the meters are not good.
But there’s a good one called sense that I like, but I’m going to focus on blood because it’s the most common. So let’s say you’re testing now your glucose and ketones. If you hit point five or higher, with your blood ketones, you’re in ketosis, you’re actually burning fat. And at the same time, you want to see your glucose. If you’ve fasted, while you’re taking it to be somewhere between 70 and 90, if you’re hitting those numbers and your protocols working really well,
Dr. Joel Rosen: That’s awesome information. So you don’t recommend until you’ve got those 14 days down, and you’re doing the 222 and two, and in slowly inching your carbs below 50 to not start testing that glucose and ketones until then.
Ben Azidi: Yeah, I mean, you could if you want, but chances are, you’re not going to see ketones until you get 50 grams of carbs total or less. So the first day that you do that, you could start testing your ketones. You could look at your glucose before that. But the ketones, I would probably wait until you hit 50 or less total carbs.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, I agree with the ketones, especially with people that have been on that roller coaster ride, and their liver is challenged and their energy is down and their mindset is in the bucket there. They’re not gonna hit those ketones. So as far as how quick Do you what’s not a rule of thumb, but if someone is, say, over 300 carbs a day, over a 14 day period, what is your titrate? Down look like?
Ben Azidi: Yeah, so a general rule would be if you’re, if you’re consuming 300 grams a day, then I want you to bring it down to 200 for the next three days, and then down to 150 for the following three days, and then do that do a three-day protocol until you hit 50 or less, that should take you about seven to 10 days to do so. I like that approach. Because you don’t have to go through symptoms necessarily and the keto flu when you do it that right that way and you feel good.
Some people don’t like that approach. They want to go cold turkey, I’m kind of like that person. But if you do go cold turkey and you’ve been a sugar burner for that long, it’s gonna look ugly, just like if you were a couch potato for 10 years and go do a CrossFit workout. It’s gonna feel bad. So I do recommend the gradual approach. It’s not even that gradual I mean, seven to 10 days is a quick way to get in there.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Right plus the asterisk of the electrolytes and the hydration and all of the liver bitters, bile, even took cod and other things that you recommended. So okay, great. So then when does the actual time-restricted eating window get layered on to that?
Ben Azidi: Yeah, I intentionally don’t do it in the beginning. I want the body to start using fat as a fuel source first. I think that’s important. And then after the first pillar is completed, the adapt pillar takes you 14 days. Then you go to the next After in the book, which is the fast pillar. So intermittent fasting strategies, and when we start really, really slow, we just start with 12 hours, right?
So you’re done eating at 8 pm, go to bed break or break your fast at 8 am 12 hours. And then we kind of push that back every three days to a 16 eight approach where you’re fasting for 16 hours eating for eight hours. And that’s another 14-day protocol and that second pillar as well.
Dr. Joel Rosen:
Okay, great. So then as far as one of the questions I have for you, and I know it’s important in what you teach, is the glucose ketone index. So maybe explain a little bit of that, because it’s one of the ways that I justify being around Wi-Fi and having still my amalgams in my mouth where I have a good gate, Gk I. But I do have sluggish glucose on that level as well, like in the mid-90s, sometimes not too much over 100.
But rarely do I see it in the 70s and 80s if I’m not really fasting and doing below a certain amount. So tell us the importance of not so much the absolute glucose, which I still think should be controlled, as you teach. But what the relevance of the Gk I number means and how that can be used as a tool.
Ben Azidi: Yeah, I don’t put too much emphasis on the Gk I think it’s great. I just never got into using that. And so what I teach is a little bit different, but it’s related to this. So I would look at your glucose and ketones like what we’re speaking about, and what we want to do. Ideally, if you’re taking your blood glucose and that fat in the fasted state, you want it to be somewhere between 70 and 90. Now for ketones, a lot of people are chasing ketones when they should be chasing results. We don’t necessarily want a high amount of ketones just like we don’t want high amounts of glucose when the body is really fat-adapted, and then eventually keto-adapted, you’re not going to see really high ketones.
It’s not, we don’t want that we want the sweet spot that I’ve seen is similar between 0.8 and 2.8. So we’ll look at that. And then let’s say you’re also you’re eating a meal, a keto-friendly meal, ideally, then you could take your postprandial blood glucose, so one hour after eating a meal, you can take your blood glucose, and you want to see that below 120, right 120 or below, two hours after that meal, so two hours postprandial, you want to see that glucose drop below 100. At the same time, you still want your ketones to be in that same range of 0.8 to two-point. So if you’re hitting those numbers, I like looking at that versus the Gk I, then the protocol is working really well.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, and that’s an important elaboration in terms of insulin being the kryptonite to ketones. And if you’re eating a high glycemic load, you’re going to create a big spike. And it’s going to take a lot longer to get that glucose below 120 after an hour or below 100 after two hours, and what’s happening is you’re chilling your ketone. So if you have a meal that has a low glycemic load, and you’re cutting it with healthy fats and putting not too many proteins, and obviously you’re below your 50 carbs, you will see that what I’m saying it’s probably because of the people that I work with, that are exhausted burnt out, but have also had mold exposures and chemicals and so forth.
Whether that means they’re not eating cupcakes and bomb bonds, Ben but they still have their glucose being sluggish that they have that cortisol awakening response with the sun’s, you know, the sunrise phenomena. And that becomes challenging. So as far as what are some of your, your hacks, if you will, for people that may have some challenges like they don’t get into that ketone after 14 days with your wreck? Yeah.
Ben Azidi: Good question. So I would let’s address the glucose part, right? So there are some things that we can do to help take glucose into a healthier range. Definitely making sure you’re getting quality sleep each night, seven hours each night because we know that just one poor night of sleep and the next morning will result in higher levels of cortisol, glucose follows cortisol, insulin follows glucose and ketones drop. And you have higher levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, lower levels of leptin, the satiety hormone, just from one poor night of sleep. So start with sleep. Let’s say you’re doing that you’re working on your sleep, then what are some other ways to naturally drop glucose cold exposure could be great, whether it’s a cold shower or Polar Plunge, even heating, heat exposure.
Asana could also help exercise Burst Training to help burn down those blood sugars Berberian is a great supplement that you can take to help drop-down blood sugars. I would caution though, if you’re taking a blood-reducing medication and you’re doing these things, you might go hypoglycemic. So you got to make sure you work with your doctor or practitioner to make sure you’re not getting that result. And then as far as getting your ketones up, there’s a couple of ways to do so. The rule will help you do that. Let’s say you’re doing that and you’re still not really hitting those ketones up. So what I’ve seen is MCT oil, specifically c eight caprylic acid. The research has been shown that it could help double, sometimes even triple, or quadruple ketone production. The reason is that MCT medium-chain triglycerides, specifically caprylic acid, C eight, bypasses digestion, there’s no bile required to break it down.
So it enters your cells very efficiently the mitochondria B cells. So you can combine that with high-quality coffee and caffeine has also been shown to help produce ketones. Now, of course, if you’re a patient or listener, Joel, you do want to caution with caffeine because if you already have adrenal fatigue, you don’t want to make it worse. But that has been shown in some of the research on caffeine. So what I do is I’ll have like a fatty keto cup of coffee, where I have high-quality coffee, I have a little bit of some MCT oil a little bit some grass-fed ghee, and some sea salt. And that’ll be a great way to help turn my brain on in the morning.
Dr. Joel Rosen: That’s awesome. Ben, thanks for sharing that as far as some of the ways to flex. So when do we flex into and out of ketosis now that we’re getting our wings and we’re becoming more adaptive? And we’re on chat. We’re on the second and third and fourth pillar, I’m sure that that gets in there. But maybe give us an idea on Okay, well, now, why do I need to get out of this? This is so good. And, and how do I know when to?
Ben Azidi: Yeah, yeah, important, important questions there. So 60 days is the protocol and the book after six zero-days, we start flexing. The third pillar before we get to the flex pillar is called phase. And in that pillar, it’s a 30-day protocol, we phase out all anti-nutrients. So all vegetables and fruits just for 30 days, we actually do more of a carnivore approach, and I teach four different levels, just to help heal the gut get rid of these plant toxins. The answer is not to do carnivore forever, the answer is not to do vegan forever, or even keto forever, the answer is to vary it up and create that shift and adaptation, what is actually really important is the change, sometimes even more than what you’re you’re changing it to it’s that hormesis. So we know from hormesis. It’s good stress, and but it has a curve, right?
When when you’re creating a change when you’re starting keto or flexing out of keto, you have this for me says curve that’s starting to go up so you’re benefiting, you’re feeling better, then you stick with it too long, all of a sudden, boom, it starts to drop, just like if you go to the gym, you are exercising, you get that Hermes curve, you get results, you do the same exercises over and over and over, all of a sudden that curve drops. So after you complete that third phase, the third pillar is called phase, then we start the flex pillar. And the reason we don’t want to stay in ketosis for too long, and I would say you know, it’ll depend on the person in the book, I’m teaching you 60 days, somebody who has severe insulin resistance and diabetes, they want might want to be in ketosis for six months, and then start flexing, but 60 days for most people, the reason we don’t want to stay in ketosis long term, there’s not one culture in the history of this world ancient culture that stuck with the same diet long term wasn’t until the last 50 years that we have this new problem, number one, number two actually have seen fat loss start to slow down with people who are stuck in ketosis with chronically low levels of insulin.
Because when you look at the body, the number one priority for the body is survival. The innate intelligence wants to survive. So if you’ve only given it one fuel source, which is fat, isn’t it going to want to slow down that precious fuel source? The answer is yes. And the analogy is this. It’s like picture yourself being in the woods in the summertime. And you know that in a few months, it’s going to be the wintertime and it’s going to be a cold, four or five months of cold temperatures. So you start storing firewood, picture this firewood as your body fat, you start storing 20 logs and firewood and now winter rolls around, you have four or five months of cold weather, but you only have 20 logs of fire, you’re going to want to preserve that precious fuel source you’re going to burn that fuel source as slowly as possible, right?
Same thing, when you’re stuck in ketosis and you only burn fat for fuel, your body’s gonna want to slow down that precious fuel source. But when you have a keto flex day, it’s like your buddy coming over and dumping 200 logs of firewood and saying go ahead and burn it up, then you’re gonna be more motivated and inspired to ramp up the burning a keto flex day reminds the body of not starving, it actually resets some of the leptin receptor sites as well. Another final reason we don’t want to stay in ketosis long term is because of thyroid issues, especially in women. Insulin is not the bad guy. As you know, Joel, we wouldn’t exist today. If we didn’t have insulin, it’s a survival mechanism.
So when you have chronically low levels of insulin, what happens is this, the thyroid produces the hormone t four which as you know is the inactive form of thyroid and needs to be out activated t three, and T three is a very important hormone, it’s so important that every cell has a receptor site for t three, what helps make that conversion from inactive to active is insulin. So when you have chronically low levels of insulin, that conversion will begin to dysfunctional and thyroid problems could start to happen. So those are the reasons why we don’t want to stay in ketosis long term.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, no, that’s awesome. And it’s amazing because you’ve talked about how our body has been programmed and engineered, over the millennia to not be a farmed, Reliant type of biochemistry, also stressed the importance of going into and out of ketosis based on the seasons and what we’re available. And I think it’s amazing that you’re teaching this, Ben, I’m excited to talk to you and excited to get my signed version of the book as well. I can’t wait. No, it’s really great information. So as far as you hear the word, and I use the word as well, what does metabolic flexibility mean to you? And how does that go along with what we’ve already talked about?
Ben Azidi: Metabolic flexibility is the goal. That is the goal for everybody. And when you’re actually in ketosis for too long, you could actually be less than less metabolically flexible, you just teach your body to burn fat, and then you have more carbs, and you feel like crap. And you’re saying, oh, I shouldn’t flex out because I feel like crap. That’s not the answer. But what metabolic flexibility is teaching your body to be very efficient at burning fat, and then switching to glucose and then switch to fat and back and forth.
So when you do this the right way, and you have your keto flex, then you intentionally get yourself out of ketosis. If you have metabolic flexibility and metabolic freedom, and then you go back into ketosis The next day, or you start eating keto, the next day, you should be right back into ketosis within 48 hours, that’s metabolic flexibility. We don’t want to be stuck in sugar burners, we don’t want to be stuck as fat burners, we want to be able to go in between the two sources. Right, right. It’s a really great litmus test.
Dr. Joel Rosen: I think, for people, I used to be a trainer as well. And I used to get frustrated when you would see, and this is a stereotype. But you would see sort of the office, female going to the aerobics classes back in the day with lots of aerobics classes, and they do the aerobics class, and then you get them to go on a stair climber, or they go for a ski trip, or you get them to lift the weight, and they don’t have that cross-train effect. And ultimately, I think that’s a good way to look at metabolic flexibility is that you can, can withstand the imposed demands on the body, that’s what homeostasis is.
And hormesis is an understanding, in general with what I teach in terms of metabolic adrenal fatigue and maintaining your body’s homeostasis. It’s also the ability to get into and out of ketosis because you’re dialing in your body physiologically. So let me ask you this, then as far as personally, when you initially started and you went down to the into and you’re getting less than 50 grams of carbs per day, and then you are then now looking at your window, I would imagine that your threshold to be able to have more carbs or your threshold to be able to have more fat, or in some naughty ways, your threshold to have a glass of wine has allowed you to keep that metabolic flexibility.
Personally, for you, Ben, what what is realistic to see on that, you know, in terms of how much of a swing you can do, so you don’t always have to keep it below 50. As you flex and get into and out of ketosis and support your body. You don’t have all these waste products from being a sugar burner. And then next thing you know, you’re changing around your microbiome and your mindset starting to get on point and everything’s really working. And you are super metabolically flexible. What does it mean to the old numbers that would require you to be there and the new numbers like specifically for you, what does that look like?
Ben Azidi: Yeah, I could probably have about 75 grams to 85 grams of carbs and still be in ketosis. Of course, it depends on what carbs I’m having. So ideally, you want to make sure it’s like green leafy vegetables, nonstarchy carbs. But yeah, the more you do it, the more flexibility you have, especially if you’re very active. The more active you are, the more muscle you have, the more flexibility the more wiggle room you have.
There are probably some people out there, I would imagine, like Ben Greenfield, right? That guy’s super active, super metabolically flexible, he could probably have 100 grams of carbs per day and still be in Tennessee. So yes, that’s the good news. So you’re going to be able to have more wiggle room, the more you go up this metabolic machinery.
Dr. Joel Rosen: And as far as protein, have you found throat protein thresholds for yourself personally, or the people that you work with are being exceeded and they start to create insulin spikes and dropping the ketones because of a protein threshold? Is that a real thing that you see or is it more anecdotal? Tell me a little bit about that.
Ben Azidi: You know, if you were to ask me that question a couple of years ago, I would have said yes, you know, restrict your protein. cuz of that, you know the thought process that’s gonna kick you out of ketosis. But I don’t believe that anymore actually think more protein on keto is better. Because yes, protein does elicit an insulin response, but it’s a phase two insulin response, which is a much smaller insulin response than a phase one. And then also, let’s say, from some of the research I’ve looked at, like Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, she’s a great researcher on protein. Her research has shown that for every 100 grams of protein that you consume, about 60 grams is converted into sugar via gluconeogenesis.
Now, that might make you cautious with protein because it might not get contentious. However, if you’re in ketosis, that means your glycogen stores are really low in your sugar reserves. So let’s say you do have the 100 grams of protein and you do get the 60 grams converted, those six grams of glucose are just going to be used to refill your liver and muscle glycogen stores, not necessarily knock you out of ketosis. So for most people, it’s not going to kick you out of ketosis.
I like more protein because protein helps you feel full, it helps you feel satisfied, it activates causes the kinase peptide yy, glucagon, like peptide, leptin, these are all hormones and chemicals and peptides that help you feel bull still prevents you from snacking and prevents you from falling off track. So the rule of thumb that I read about in the book, keto flex is to consume about 40 to 50 grams of ideally animal-based protein at all of your meals, which is about eight to 10 ounces of protein.
Dr. Joel Rosen: So as far as Is there a rule of thumb than in terms of like you hear like a pound of for every pound of bodyweight, a gram of protein or half a pound? Do you have any of those numbers that you go by it?
Ben Azidi: Oh, yeah, I mean, it depends on the person, right? So somebody who’s under the age of 21, wants to go a little bit higher, especially somebody who’s over the age of 60 wants to go a little bit higher, but if you’re in between 0.8 to 1.0 gram per lean body weight. So if you have determined like your lean body weight is 140 140 pounds, then you would have about 0.8 to one gram per body weight.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Gotcha. Okay, great. Excellent. So tell me exactly what is keto camp? what do you have behind you? And what is the keto cap for our listeners?
Ben Azidi: Keto camp, we’re an online brand. We’re represented all over the world right now. And we are just on a mission to educate and to inspire 1 billion people to teach them these ancient healing strategies. So we have our YouTube channel, which is Quito camp campus spelled with a K on YouTube, we have over 121,000 subscribers on there. Currently, we have the keto cam podcast with Joel was just recently on, we’re gonna I’m excited to release that it was an amazing conversation.
And then we have our keto cap Academy, which is, I believe, the world’s greatest, most comprehensive keto fasting program where I really deep dive into my four pillars, and I offer health coaching to all the members in there. You can learn more about that over at keto camp Academy calm. So we just want to get the information out there. We want to cut through all the noise out there, not just in the keto space, but in the health space so we can get the science delivered to you in a way that you understand. So you can apply it and then share it with your community.
Dr. Joel Rosen: No, that’s great. So three parting questions that I have for you. And so the first one is, from all the members that are part of the keto camp, what would you say the ones that stick out to you because I know this Jazz’s me up and gives me energy when I hear if I’m having a tough day, but then I hear about a success story that we helped someone with.
So anything that comes off the top of your head, Ben, in terms of some of the success stories that you’ve had with your followers that listen to your advice and follow the keto flex approach, what were some of the things that are stick out in your mind?
Ben Azidi: Yeah, it’s so inspiring. For example, one of the members I wrote about her book support when she started the keto camp Academy, she had PCLS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. And she didn’t have a period of over 10 years a monthly cycle. And after just about 60 plus days of doing this work, she got her first period, and she lost 20 pounds in those 60 days. Now fast forward, she’s down about I think 60 something pounds, and she gets a normal monthly cycle right perfect example remove the interference, let the body heal.
Shannon, another member of I wrote about in the book, was able to get off for insulin, and her blood pressure blood sugar medication in about 70 days after doing these protocols working with their doctor. And then another member laura Laura painter, she when we first hopped on a call, she had been studying health inclusion for years, but I helped identify some hidden things going on like cavitations in the mouth, silver fillings, and then I taught her Quito the way that I taught it to her and now she just transformed she just competed in a bodybuilder champ competition. She got second place. He’s 61 years old. So these are just incredible, very inspiring stories.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, that’s awesome. I’m sure you have plenty more as well. So Yeah, the second one is and I didn’t tell you about this before we started. So it’s an easy question to ask, but I usually tell my guests before we started and I forgot, but I take it you’ll be able to be on your toes.
So, as far as what could the wise Sage like Ben Azadi tell the naive, bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed Ben Azadi in terms of health information that would have given you such an advantage beyond having to learn it over all these years? What would you have said to yourself back then that would have propelled you further faster, farther, if you would have known about it when you were younger,
Ben Azidi: That it takes years not months to get really healthy. We’ve done a lot of damage over a lifetime, we expect to get just heal within weeks or months. But it takes two years, not months. And to always go upstream to identify root cause interference and to look at symptoms as is actually a good thing. It’s telling you something’s wrong. Now let’s get to the root cause of why there is a symptom. So that’s what I would have told myself.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, I think understanding that is key because it controls expectations. And it helps you identify and, and appreciate. Like we said, gratitude and celebration, the things that are moving the things that are working, even though it’s not back to normal, what you’re used to being normal, you’re not taking time to appreciate those small changes. And if you don’t like you said, You’re not going to receive the therapeutic benefit of the things that need to be done, because that’s the glue that brings everything together. So that’s awesome stuff. And then most importantly, the last question is, how do we go about getting your keto to flex book? Because I know it to be released?
Ben Azidi: Yeah, I do. Thank you for asking. So you can get it right now over at keto flex book.com. It’s going to be available for kindle and paperback. It’s 311 pages of I believe, keto gold. So keto flex book calm, I’d love for you to get it and enjoy the book.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Well, awesome. Look, you know, I always learn I always say selfishly like if just in case, my listeners aren’t listening right now that I do these interviews for myself, because I like to learn, and then they just get the benefit of hearing what I learned during the hourly. I love doing that. And obviously, I always learned something new. I love the idea of the two, how much do the two and two equate to in terms of fat grams, typically?
Ben Azidi: I don’t know. I’ve never been I don’t really focus on that. I only focus on the carbohydrate. Macro counting.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Right, Right. Right, gotcha.
Ben Azidi: But we could simply just look it up, you know, and find your good.
Dr. Joel Rosen: you could but I would imagine though, that sometimes part of the challenges for people getting into ketosis is not so much the carbs as well, but also that they just didn’t get enough healthy fats.
Ben Azidi: Correct. Yeah, bingo. Exactly.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Right. Okay. And then, as far as I always welcome the opportunity to be able to do a second interview because by the time you and I meet again, and our ships crossing the night, you’ll have so much new information, and I’d love to get you back on the podcast, but thank you for everything that you do.
Ben, you’re an inspiration. And I love that you got the books. I love that your mission-driven purpose, a billion people awesome mission statement. And thank you so much for all that you do, Ben.
Ben Azidi: Thank you, Joe. I appreciate you and your work and yes for round two. Absolutely.
Dr. Joel Rosen: Awesome. Have a great day. You too.