Episode 180 | August 6, 2019

Reboot your Health and Wellness with Dr. Jo


A Personal Note From Orion

Your body is an incredible machine. It’s truly extraordinary all the amazing things that your body can accomplish, from the creative thoughts in your mind to the impressive strength in your workouts. Even the simple fact that we can breathe without thinking about it is a testament to how amazing your body is! 

Like any well-running machine, your body needs the proper fuel in order to run optimally. The nutrition which you choose to fuel yourself with can make a significant difference in the way you live, and enjoy your life. But how do you know what diet, sleep patterns, or fitness activities are the right choice for you? 

With all the noise out there about the latest diet and fitness trends, it can get stressful to sift through all the information for what really works. That’s why I am excited about today’s guest, Dr. Jo Lichten, a nutrition expert who shares how you can find the best plan to fuel your body and mind.

 

 

About Today’s Show

Reboot by Dr. Jo

Hey, welcome to Stellar Life Podcast. This is Orion. How are you doing today? I hope you’re having the most fantabulous day ever. Today we’re going to talk about nutrition and my guest is Dr. Jo. She’s a fuel efficiency expert for people. As the author of Reboot, she shows individuals and organizations how to fuel high-performance and productivity without risking burnout. She has spoken to many people and is a proud recipient of the highly sought-after Certified Speaking Professional designation. And now without further ado, on to the show.

Hello Dr. Jo and welcome to Stellar Life podcast. It’s great to have you here.

Thanks. Nice to be here, Orion.

Very nice to have you. Before we start, can you share a little bit about yourself?

I’m a Ph.D. Nutritionist and a registered dietitian. I’ve been in the field for decades helping organizations and individuals to fuel their productivity by making small changes in the way they live their life.

What’s the biggest problem you see when you go into those organizations with the way people treat themselves?

First of all, I think organizations don’t even recognize their most important resource, which is the human resource. They have lots of classes on how to manage your time. They introduce people to software and applications that help them to be more productive. Maybe they have rules around how to run the meeting so that people can get more work done. Or maybe they have a quiet space someplace so people can be more productive, but they forget that the human being, if it isn’t properly fueled and energized, all the rest is worthless.

When you go to their kitchen area, what do you see?

It’s not just the kitchen area. I am a nutritionist, so you’re right, I started in the field of nutrition. When I looked up fatigue in the workplace in the medical literature, I found out that fatigue can come from any source – people not getting enough sleep, or erratic shift work, or not taking adequate breaks during the day – that’s one part of it. Fueling and hydrating the body is another part of it. Even managing stress and movements have a lot to do with it. So we talk about the way you eat, think, move, sleep, and all of those kinds of things.

What I notice in the kitchen, if they even have a cafeteria, is that they’ll have these low-calorie meals that aren’t balanced. The first thing I’m always looking for if I tell people, “If you want to prevent the mid-afternoon slump – the afternoon meal, lunchtime meal, or whatever you call it has got to have adequate protein to sustain you for the rest of the day.” In other words, they might pick a low-calorie meal, but it may not have enough protein. I always say three ounces of chicken, fish, beef, tofu, cheese, whatever is enough protein, and that kind of looks like the palm of your hand in terms of size. So, making sure you get enough proteins, and that you don’t overdo it on the breads, pastas, and rice because that’s sure to put you to sleep in the middle of the afternoon.

Sometimes, I just feel like they’re not thinking properly. Then right before you check out, what have they got? The big cookies. Make it mini cookies or something like that. Those big cookies have as many calories as the other part of the meal that they just ordered and that’s really going to put people to sleep in the middle of the afternoon.

Human resource is the most important resource. If it isn't properly fueled and energized, all the rest is worthless. Click To Tweet

Carbs and sugar, why do we crave them so much?

A lot of it is because we don’t set ourselves up for success. When I counsel individuals—I also do individual counseling—the number one mistake that I see with people fueling their body is that they eat very little at breakfast and they try to get their so-called energy from caffeine. It makes you feel alert but it can’t fuel your body because the only way we view our bodies is with calories. If we only drank coffee all day, we would eventually die. We don’t have proper fuel from it. They don’t fuel themselves with an adequate breakfast. It might be a latte of some sort with a lot of sugar in it, and they say, “Well, I’m not really hungry for breakfast.” By the time lunch comes around, they overeat and then they’re sleepy all afternoon.

I’d rather people start with a bigger breakfast and not protein-rich breakfast. I’m not an egg kind of person although that’s perfectly a well-balanced breakfast to have some eggs with some cheese, if that’s what you want. I go for a glass of soy milk and some peanut butter on toast. That’s how I’m getting my protein. Other people like to do a protein shake, or like I said the eggs. You can also have leftover beef sausage from the night before. It really doesn’t matter, but you’ve got to have a bigger breakfast. You’ve been sleeping for the last 7–8 hours and you haven’t eaten in a while, the body really needs to have fuel in the morning.

Doesn’t soya have estrogen-like properties that are not that healthy for you?

Yes. As a matter of fact, it does, but if you can actually look up the research about it, it actually lowers your risk of cancers. It doesn’t raise it at all. It has nothing compared to what we get in estrogen supplements. All that stuff about man-boobs and estrogen, it’s fake news.

What’s your take about gluten and dairy.

Definitely, some people are sensitive to it, but not everybody. If you look at celiac disease, it’s like 1%, there might be another 5% that are gluten sensitive. If you’re sensitive you should avoid it, but if you’re not, there’s no need to. I’m a registered dietitian, I believe in the science of it, so I always go back to science, not to just what’s appearing in magazines and websites. There are people talking about all that stuff all the time and scaring you about it, but not everybody is sensitive.

Some people, like my dad, couldn’t eat raw apples. He was sensitive to the pollens that appeared on the skins, so even if you peeled it, some of it leeched through. He couldn’t eat apples without his lips swelling and that is a rare thing. We have to honor our sensitivities, but I wouldn’t say to everybody, “You need to avoid apples because you could have a sensitivity to pollen.” That’s ridiculous.

Grain Brain, Wheat Belly by Heath Easton

I read the book, Grain Brain, Wheat Belly. It talked a lot about the effects of gluten and how wheat today is not the wheat that are our grandparents eating.

I know. I’m very familiar with the book.

They each speak about how most wheat today is GMO and there’s a lot of herbicides and pesticides that are in our food. What’s the middle way to navigate it?

You can realize that there is always some truth to every single book that’s written out there. I’ll share with you a website—I can’t remember off the top of my head—in which it was reviewed by a scientist as to the validity of some of the research that was quoted. Let’s just say you wanted to prove that smoking is healthy for you. I’m serious.

No way.

You can always find research for everything that you want. What we’re looking for is where is the bulk of the research? I think some people need to avoid it, but not everybody. As a registered dietitian, I’m all about customizing the advice to the individual. Sometimes I’m counseling somebody. I had a guy who came to see me, he had just turned 50, and he was going through a physical evaluation. Because at the age of 50, they do a lot more things like colonoscopy, stress test. That’s when he realized, “Oh, my God. She’s writing on the history of me.” He said, “This is the age that my dad had died with a heart attack.”

He showed up at that physical 50 pounds overweight and the doctor recommended that he come to see me to lose some weight. His cholesterol was also elevated at the time, so when he came to see me, ordinarily, you would think, “He’s coming to see a dietitian. His weight is up and he needs to change the way that he eats.” I’m all about customization. I’m trying to figure out exactly what’s going on. How does he live his life? What is his schedule like? Why does he do what he does? I realize that the number one thing that was getting in this way, was the fact that he wasn’t getting enough sleep.

He was trying to get along with four and five hours of sleep. He was an executive at a company and he just felt like he had so much work to do that he didn’t have enough time to sleep. He was trying to get by with four and five hours and he actually convinced himself that was all the sleep that he needed. Of course, he was balancing it with a lot of caffeine to keep himself awake. When I shared with him the research about not getting enough sleep will automatically increase your blood pressure and you will crave more sweets and calories. People don’t even realize that if they’re eating more, they don’t feel like they’re hungry or they might be eating according to their hunger. The hormones in the body that determine hunger and fullness are all out of whack, that they are eating more calories than they need.

Not getting enough sleep will automatically increase your blood pressure and you will crave more sweets and calories.

Sure enough, we finally convinced him to get six hours of sleep, which probably isn’t enough. But just getting six hours of sleep was enough to put his appetite under control, manage his stress better, and lower his blood pressure and cholesterol. It’s really about finding that one thing that matters most to people. It isn’t just about diet or just about sleep, it’s different for different people.

Going back to diet, I had Dave Asprey on the show who is a huge biohacker. I’ve been following him by going to the Bulletproof conference. It’s funny because if Dave will look at your breakfast, he will be like, “Oh, my God. Soy is bad estrogen not good for you? Then bread and gluten, they’re not good for you. Peanut butter has mold in it so you need to avoid it.” Also, he’s promoting the Bulletproof Coffee, so he’s all about caffeine and how caffeine fuels your brain. It’s just interesting because there are so many paths to wellness and many ways to get to good health. When there’s somebody like you who is promoting this type of breakfast, and somebody like Dave is promoting something completely different, how do you choose where to go?

I think you have to be sensible. I hear that airlines can crash. You can have a crash in the car. Does that mean you can avoid cars or planes? I’m not going to. You have to look at safety and risk. I got into the field of nutrition, we’re talking decades ago because I suffered from an eating disorder. First, I was anorexic, then I was bulimic, and I practiced binge eating, and I recovered. I know that even though eating disorders are relatively rare, there are a lot of people with what I would call disorder of eating. They’re like the client that I saw just the other day that if she has anything that’s sweet, she feels like she’s addicted to it and she just loses control. We’re working on helping work some sensibility. It’s not just what you put in your body, it’s what you tell your body.

For example, if you want to believe that gluten, dairy, peanut butter, or whatever else you’re talking about is bad for you and then you eat it, I’m guessing that the guilt that you’re feeling will cause more stress and more harm to your body than whatever it is that you’re talking about. Again, the research about soy, it said it definitely promotes heart health better than some of the other components. It helps women—you’re right—through menopause, it has not been shown to lead to mastitis in men. You have to look at coming back to some sanity. I am not going to eat a prescribed diet based on all these fears. I’m going to eat something that makes me feel good and is backed by science. You’re right, Orion, there’s a lot of flexibility. People do health in different ways, and that’s really what I’m all about is helping them find their solution.

I like what you said Dr. Jo because sometimes, we can get so lost in all the new research, new themes, new diet and a new way to live your life. It can be quite overwhelming. There is no one diet that fits all. The most important thing is to be in tune with our bodies, what our body needs right now, and actually listen to our body.

The things you say to yourself have the power to shape your identity and the person that you want to become. Click To Tweet

I love that. I have a weight loss online program called Better Body. I called it Better Body because it’s all about getting better and not about being perfect, we’ll never be perfect. The first step is to listen to your body. Find out what it needs, what it likes, what it does well with, and honoring that.

When you said that there are so many different diets and lifestyle strategies, last year I interviewed 70 business executives on how they stay healthy and fit on the road. I rarely heard it from a guy, about how this diet versus that diet. They don’t follow those diets. I wonder if sometimes men are more likely to get ahead—they never talk about this, break the glass ceiling type of thing—because they stop all that chatter. Of course, women are the ones that are going after the next secret, the next diet, and they’re wasting their life.

Let’s not discriminate it. FOMO, fear of missing out, is something both men and women experience.

I know. When it comes to all those books that you mentioned earlier, personally, I don’t read them. I will read the research that’s based on that to find out what the truth is. I will read reviews that are written by trusted scientists. But I am not going to waste my life reading every single fad diet out there. I can skip through it and get an idea. You know the ones about the grain, they’re all about avoiding it. I already know that. I don’t need to read it to find out what the book is about, I keep myself up on what the science is. Really, there’s no science that says as everybody needs to avoid it.

There’s also the elimination diet where in order to be true to yourself, you just eliminate a food group for two weeks and you see how your body feels and then you’re like, “Okay, this is good for me, this is not for me,” and you’re going to do something that is appropriate to what you need because on the soul level, we’re all the same, but on the physical level, we’re pretty different.

Absolutely. Even some things like caffeine. Some people can’t tolerate much at all, and their heart just goes aflutter with one little cup of coffee. Other people can handle 10 cups of coffee and they don’t even notice any change in their heart rate and blood pressure. We all tolerate different things differently. I am not going to waste my time telling people to make changes in areas where it doesn’t matter to them. In other words, I’m not going to coach people on cutting back on salt if they don’t even have a blood pressure issue in the first place. What’s the most important thing? I’m all about the one thing. I don’t know if you’ve read Gary Keller’s book.

I’ve heard of it.

The One Thing by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

Are you familiar with that? The One Thing?

Yes.

What is the one thing that you could do such that by doing it, everything else would become easier or unnecessary? That’s one of my steps to the Better Body program is finding out what that one thing is. For me, if I want to maintain my weight for the rest of my life—I’ve already done it for decades—the one thing for me is getting enough sleep, but that came naturally. I’m a basket case. So I don’t have to focus on it, I have to do it. But I would say it’s eating on a regular basis throughout the day. It’s having breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. I have to do that or my energy level isn’t anywhere near where it needs to be. Other people, their one thing is about sleep. For other people, it’s about managing their stress. As you said, wellness is different for different people.

I like what you said about the mind-body connection and how your vibration affects your body. It’s already been proven that our thoughts create our reality. Our thoughts can heal our bodies. I love Louise Hay who wrote the book, You Can Heal Your Life. I do feel like I healed myself in some ways just with thinking. Of course, like Dr. Wayne Dyer used to say—it’s probably not the right quote, not exactly the way he said it—we are a spiritual being having a human existence. We need to connect with our bodies. Our bodies are important. We need to take the right steps, but our thoughts are very important.

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

You were talking about how your mind affects your body, and if you’re going to have the guilt around the gluten, or dairy, or whatever you’re eating, it’s going to harm your body. I totally believe in it. If you make a choice, just make it with a full heart. Just be like, “I’m okay with this. This is okay for me,” and if you get signals from your body that doesn’t work, then change it. Whatever choice you make, like living in guilt, shame, fear, and creating so much stress and anxiety around food, is the worst thing that you can do for yourself. That’s what’s keeping the weight on.

Now you’re talking about books that I believe in wholeheartedly. I believe in that mind and body connection. It’s so important. That’s what healed me from my eating disorders.

How so? What did you do?

Healing: Heal your Body, Heal your Life by Mary Solomon

Oh my gosh, what didn’t I do? What is it? Healing: Heal your Body, Heal your Life, that book? That was the book that I read way back then. Wayne Dyer, I’ve been reading him since the 1980s. The biggest part for me was, first of all, I fell into this eating on a regular basis and had nothing to do with my eating disorder. I happened to be a registered dietitian working on a project in which the doctor had to get people eating six times a day and it was all about monitoring their blood sugars for diabetes. People kept on coming back to me and I was monitoring their weight, making sure they didn’t lose any weight because that was critical to the study. We didn’t want any of the groups losing weight because then people can say, “Oh, it’s because they lost weight that you got these results.”

So, my job was to make sure that if their weight is getting down, I had to give them more food. But they were eating six times a day in this one arm of the study. At that time, I still had my eating disorder and I was really out of whack. I thought, “These people say they’re feeling so great, they have a lot of energy, I’m going to try this diet.” Mind you, it wasn’t a diet because nobody was losing weight. I went on it and I found out my energy went up, my cravings went down, and that helped me to solve part of my eating disorder.

As you know, eating disorders are not in the tummy, they’re in the head. It helped to regulate my blood sugar so that I had the energy to work on my head. I did everything from assertiveness training to self-esteem. I did books and books of journaling, and I did so many mind exercises. I worked on myself for a good 10 years to the point where I felt that I know people say, “Once you have an eating disorder, you always have one, and you’re recovering just like you would be a recovering alcoholic.” I choose not to use that word.

That’s wonderful because words are powerful. If somebody said that sentence, and then everybody just repeated like sheep, it becomes the norm. Not too many people will stop thinking about the actual words, like “What does it mean for my identity or for the rest of my life, this little sentence?” Words are really powerful, whether it’s the words that you tell yourself, to yourself where nobody else is hearing or the words that you quote from other people. Just because somebody said something that sounded cool doesn’t mean you have to repeat it over and over again. It shouldn’t be a mantra of your life. You to rethink everything. You have to doubt everything. You have to make everything your own.

I remember someone came crying to me at break time about what somebody said and it hurt her feelings. I said, “Just remember. They said it one time. How many times have you repeated it yourself? It’s not one time that you were harmed. It’s the times you kept on repeating it, and you need to stop it.”

I’m a big fan, Orion, about personal mantras. Mine right now is, “I’m a wise and wonderful woman with strength, flexibility, and balance.” Whenever something is putting garbage in my head like somebody said something you want to just replay it in your head. I just repeat my mantra until the urge to think that thought goes away. It’s great nowadays where people talk to themselves because they got earbuds in, they talk themselves walking through the airport. I think it’s great because you can actually really talk to yourself. Nobody would know if you’re on the phone or not.

I love it. I actually need to get back to my affirmations. I used to accumulate affirmations. I have a little folder with years of affirmations and it’s nice to go back to that because whatever you say to yourself will shape your identity and the person that you want to become. Really important to go back and say those nice things to yourself because most of the time we don’t say so many nice things to ourselves. We compare ourselves. We look at other people on social media. We look at our friends. We get jealous. Then our self-worth is linked to something external. It’s always good to just stop looking for answers everywhere else, go back to yourself, listen to yourself, align with your truth, work from there, get the answers from there, and do everything, whether it’s eating, thinking, sleeping from that place.

I think one of the strongest affirmations is something very simple like, “I am enough. I am good enough. I am needed. I am loved.” It doesn’t have to be as complicated as what I said earlier. I guess I want to say that for all the listeners. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated. What is the one thing that you struggle with? Put that in your affirmation.

Eat something that makes you feel good and is backed by science.

I remember when my daughter was, I’m trying to think of how old she was, single digits, very young, and she was very shy. I’m thinking even like first and second grade, and I kept on saying to her, “Oh, you make friends easily. You’re so good with other friends. I love the way you play with other people.” To some extent, it was all falsehood, because she was nervous about it.

I remember one time, we went to Paris and we’re on a playground. Mind you, she couldn’t even speak the language, and she was playing with this boy at the playground. When it was time to go, she came over and I said, “Wow, looks like you’re having a good time,” and she said, “Oh yes, I make friends easily.” They pick up on that, whatever it is that you say. Just praise the positives about yourself, about your kids, your spouse, and they become that, because that’s what you and they believe.

You were talking about the power of sleep and I love sleep. Sleep is so important. I was sick for a month with bronchitis, and I have an Oura Ring which is a device that you wear and it counts your heart rate and your activity. When you go to sleep, it measures your deep sleep and REM sleep and hours. It’s really cool. Now, it even has this feature of meditation, where you just set it for five minutes and it checks your heart rate variability. It’s really cool.

When I was sick, my sleep score, which is one to a hundred, was about an average of 30. It was terrible. It affected my mood. It affected everything. Everything looked really dark and I couldn’t really function, but now my sleep scores are going up.

Yesterday night, I did something I shouldn’t have done just before I went to sleep. I just wrote my to-do list, which is not my whole to-do list, this was a fraction of my to-do list. As I was looking at this list, it created so much anxiety, just before I went to sleep. So my sleep score last night wasn’t that great, because I was thinking about it the whole night. I woke up at [4:00] AM just thinking about all the things that I needed to do, and stayed up to two hours. What are some better practices for sleep?

Your example is so powerful because if you read productivity articles, they’ll talk about if you want to have a better night’s sleep, write down everything you need to do, so you can tell yourself, “It’s written, I don’t need to think about it, and I can go to sleep.” But I’m just like you, Orion. I, for example at eight o’clock, I stop all my work, because if I  do anything work-related after eight o’clock, I am not going to get a good night’s sleep. For me, if I’m going to write that to-do list, I just have to do it before eight o’clock.

Some people say, “Keep that note pad next to you, so that you can write down,” and I’ve done that, where I just write on my note pad what it is that my thoughts are so I can kind of let it go if I do wake up in the middle of the night. I really swear by my eye covers—I have an eye mask—because any little bit of light that comes in can pass through your eyelids and will affect your melatonin production. As we get older, we produce less and less melatonin, so it’s important to keep the room as dark as possible and use that eye mask.

Life is all about getting better and not about being perfect because we’ll never be perfect. Click To Tweet

I always use white noise, there’s quite a lot of research showing that having a constant noise in the background helps to drown out other sounds that creep through, whether it’s coming from traffic, or the neighbor in the next apartment, or whatever, so using white noise.

They always say 68 is the perfect temperature, that is way too cold for me, but certainly, have it on the chillier sides, so you have blankets on top of you to comfort you as you sleep. Also going to bed at a regular time every single night. If you go to bed at eight o’clock one night, and stay up to two o’clock the next night and then try to go to bed at nine o’clock the next day, that throws people off. I know that people love their weekends, and they want to have fun, but that’s always going to be hard to get back into the sleep schedule come Monday morning.

What are some other tips to not have this mind chatter throughout the night? Do you meditate before you go to sleep?

I have what I call my dream process. Using the acronym dream, DREAM. I start with deep breathing first of all, and I have this exercise that I do standing up. It’s harder and harder to tell you about it, but that’s how I do my deep breathing in a specific way except I’m laying down. R means to relax and for me, I use a progressive relaxation method.

Some people start with their toes and move up. I think I carry much more stress in my forehead, my shoulders, and my jaw. As I take that next deep breath, I relax my forehead. Then I breathe in and as I exhale, I relax my eyes, and then as I take a deep breath in, I exhale and relax my cheeks. I’m progressively going down towards my belly. Typically, I fall asleep before I ever even get down there. That’s how I’m doing.

D is the deep breath, R is the relaxation. E stands for erase. When I get images in my mind, I use this. There are lots of techniques, but for me, it’s this little guy with a white paint roller. It seems like it should be a black paint like black as night, but for me, it’s a white paint roller and he just paints with the paint roller over my images. It goes back and forth; he never stops. Again, I’m still doing the relaxation and deep breathing.

A is an affirmation. I say the word peace as I exhale, that’s my affirmation.

M stands for mental image. Some people like to picture their favorite spot where they can relax. I personally cannot do that because if I picture myself on the top of the mountain, somebody’s falling off. That’s how my brain goes. But some people do really well picturing their happy place, and so that’s why I put the M in there as well. I do that every single night. I do a relaxation ritual every single night before I got to bed and I do Sudoku.

Really?

I do Sudoku because numbers never keep me awake, it’s thoughts. I wouldn’t do a word search, I wouldn’t do a crossword puzzle, those are words. I can’t do words, but Sudoku is all about numbers and they don’t keep me awake.

There’s no one diet that fits all. The most important thing is to be in tune with your body, what your body needs right now, and actually, listen to your body.

Do you have a morning ritual?

Actually, I would say I do not. I always exercise usually in the morning, but it’s not like I say to myself, “I didn’t exercise first thing in the morning so I’m a failure,” but I try to go to bed early enough so I wake up naturally. To me, if I wake up to the sound of the alarm, nobody’s happy. I have to do that periodically, obviously, but I try to set that alarm but wake up naturally before it.

Actually, I’ve tried it. If I tell my body that I need to wake up in a certain hour, I’ll wake up a minute before the alarm.

Isn’t that funny how you can do that? You really can train your body that way.

Before you talked about speaking to executives that are on the road, finding a healthy lifestyle while on the road, and you’re a speaker and you’re probably traveling a lot—I know I do travel a lot—what are some cool tips and tricks to keeping healthy while on the road regardless of the sometimes not that great hotel food or when you don’t have access to something that is really fresh and organic.

I told you I interviewed the 70 people. I’m not sure if I can remember all the different tips. Some of them were things that I did, some of them were rather unique. I met this one woman and then the next phone call was with a gentleman, and they both have the same tip. Their tip is, they have a hard time motivating themselves to exercise when they’re on the road, to go to bed in their workout clothes.

That’s funny.

Isn’t that weird? I never would have done that. First, it was the woman that told me that and I thought, “Oh…”

My sports bra would be too tight.

Yeah. I think she put everything under the bra. She slept in her t-shirt, her shorts, her workout socks, and left her shoes right by the bed like there was no excuse. I met this one woman who was a vice-president of public relations in a large PR firm and she shared with me how she eats out every single time. Many times, there are events in which she has no choice over the food. It’s not like she could pick and choose, it’s a catered function and that’s just the way it is.

She says that what helps her—she’s a thin gal—is she takes a moment to look at the plate, to evaluate it like, “Oh, I like that. I don’t like that. Oh, I need some veggies,” just a moment to look at it in a mindful sort of way and then she eats whatever it is that she plans. She says, “Everything is fried, I’m going to eat this one fried thing but I’m not going to eat this,” and very conscientious about always having one glass of water in between every glass of wine, which I think is a common thing that most of us have heard about.

Simple things like always walking as much as you can at the airport. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to sit at the gate, especially if I’ve got another hour or so. I’m going to walk the terminal and get my exercise that way. Hopefully, you got all your bags on wheels.

I’m using the eye mask on the plane because those blue lights that look so pretty are the exact blue lights that will prevent your melatonin from starting up. Even if you’re taking your red-eye and you think, “I’m going to catch a few winks,” if they have that blue light, that pretty blue light that helps to alert people on their way to the bathroom in the middle of the night, that’s going to keep you awake. Get the eye mask to lockout that light.

It's not just what you put in your body, it’s what you tell your body. Click To Tweet

Drink tons of water on the plane.

Drink tons of water, absolutely. Not only because the air is dry and you need to hydrate yourself, but it’s also very important to get up at least every two hours to prevent deep vein thrombosis which is a vein in your leg. My mom suffered from one. I’m very familiar with what it looks like. I met quite a few business travelers who have had it. It’s really important. We’re talking about people that are in good health. It doesn’t happen like you say, “Well, I’m in good health, I’m not going to get it.” No. you need to get up and move every two hours even on a long flight.

Yeah. Does compression socks really help?

Yes, they do. Doctors do advise you to use them. I personally don’t. I hate the feel of them.

Yeah, they don’t feel comfortable.

Yeah. I bet I know the people that are at risk do use them on a regular basis.

So, walk through the airport, make sure you are active, watch what you eat, take a moment to analyze it, and when you’re on the plane, hydrate a lot, maybe wear compression socks and make sure you’re up every two hours.

Right. I also carry food with me. I don’t know about you, Orion.

I always carry food with me. I’m always hungry and they don’t always have the right food for me.

Or you don’t know. If you’re flying out on the east coast and if I’ve got to stop in Dallas but I’m running to my gate, I don’t even have time to pick anything up. I’d better have something on my next flight.

Make sure to eat breakfast even if I have to leave home at [5:00] or [4:30] AM. I make sure to eat before the flight because I don’t like the crappy food they serve on the plane.

If they serve anything at all. What kind of food do you like to take on the plane or on your travels?

I’ll actually take some might cut fruit and vegetables which I really like. I’ll take some healthy bars. Sometimes I’ll take like a sandwich with me or something to go that I can eat and feel satisfied with. I’ll even buy something relatively healthy before I go on the plane.

That’s good.

I like sushi.

Like sushi. In the 1990s, I traveled a lot. Monday through Friday where I was doing full-day training and then flying to the next city. I didn’t have time to eat lunch simply because even though the participants have an hour break, they oftentimes came up and asked me questions so I was down to like 20 minutes. Back then I did and I still carry these things sometimes, Charlie’s Snack Kit. It’s a tuna pack. It comes with mayonnaise. That was a nice high protein snack and then there’s a lot of organic bean soup, split pea soup, and black bean soup.

McDougal makes some Nile Valley spice, or maybe it’s just Nile spice. They come in those little paper cups that you might associate with ramen noodle kind of cups. You add hot water to it so I had my little heating wand. I always carry my heating wand because you never know if there’s a microwave right there at the convention center, to make some bean soup. That was another little snack.

Sometimes I actually will take my Blendtec, and I’ll stop by the Whole Foods, or somewhere like that and then make sure I have whenever I need. I go through periods where I’m more committed, some that I’m less committed. When I’m hardcore, it is hardcore. I make sure I have everything I need with me, even if it means carrying a whole suitcase of food.

I know that you have some amazing report on your website about how we usually crash during the afternoon and it sucks. Where can people get it?

It’s called 21 Ways to Beat the Afternoon Slump, and if you go to my website, drjo.com, you’ll see a pop up with a smiley face on the ‘Get this free report’ 21 Ways to Beat the Afternoon Slump or take my energy quiz, and that will also lead you to get that. It’s a six-page PDF report with details about how to beat the afternoon slump.

It’s about finding that one thing that matters most to you. It isn't just about diet or sleep, it's different for different people. Click To Tweet

That sounds wonderful, because we all struggle with it every once in a while. I work from home, but people that are working in an office and have to go through this routine every day, it’s going to help everybody. What’s the energy quiz?

The energy quiz is 10 questions, rating your energy. “Do you fall asleep in boring meetings?” 

If I get bored, it’s hard for me to stay awake.

But the research shows that if you fall asleep in a boring meeting, it isn’t just because it’s boring, it’s because you’re not getting enough sleep. There’ve been plenty of studies in which they put people, oftentimes they are young men because those are the people who will respond to these research studies, but they’re young men and they wake them up say after 4½ hours, and then they do these tests throughout the day, or give them 6 hours and then wake them up, or give them 7½, or let them sleep as long as they want.

They found that the more sleep that people get to a certain point, usually over nine, it doesn’t matter, the longer they can stay awake in those ‘I don’t care how boring those meetings are.’ They’re always going to be boring, but they shouldn’t put you to sleep. So, that’s one of the questions talking about, “Are you getting enough sleep?”

We also talk about, “Do you make stupid errors and accidents?” like start tripping over your feet or tripping over your tongue. That’s typically a sign that your energy is low. Maybe you need to have a snack or maybe you need to take a break. Silly mistakes usually cause of some kind of fatigue. They’re all related to fatigue and how small changes in the way we eat, think, move, and sleep can affect our energy. As we’re approaching the summer, Orion, I should also tell you getting enough water is one of those tips, and people don’t realize that.

I get about two liters a day, I make sure of it.

Yeah, and you’ve got to make sure that pee in the toilet is light-colored. If it’s dark-colored you’re dehydrated, or you’ve taken some funky supplements.

And then it’s bright orange or something.

Yeah, if it’s fluorescent orange, it probably has nothing to do with dehydration. It has to do with the medicine that you’re taking or the supplements. People think that to beat the afternoon slump, you have to change your whole life. This is just about 21 small things that you can do to have more energy throughout the day.

My objective is always, not just so you can have more energy to give to your boss, but so you can get home and have more fun at the end of the day. I don’t want you sitting on the couch with your feet up, watching TV all evening long, and dozing off throughout the news, instead of having fun. I want you to have energy left at the end of the day.

Beautiful. Dr. Jo, what are your three top tips to living a stellar life?

Oh my gosh, you didn’t set me up for this one. Three tips to have a stellar life, think good thoughts, get enough sleep and fuel your body appropriately.

That was pretty good. Thank you so much, Dr. Jo. This was a pleasure and I really appreciate you being on the show.

Thanks, Orion.

Thank you and thank you, listeners. Think good thoughts, get enough sleep and have a stellar life. This is Orion, until next time.

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

{✓} Listen to what your body is telling you and observe it carefully. With the help of medical experts and nutritionists, you can come up with a tailored plan for healthier living.
{✓} Make sure you get enough protein by including things like chicken, liver, eggs, and milk in your diet. Eating low-calorie food without the proper amount of protein will not fuel your body enough to produce good energy.
{✓} Don’t overdo carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, and rice. Eating a lot of carbs during lunchtime will make you feel sleepy in the afternoon.
{✓} Reduce your coffee intake. If you get the right kind of energy from healthy calories, you will not need caffeine.
{✓} Avoid the so-called sugar rush by eliminating synthetic sugar from your diet and opt for natural sweeteners instead. 
{✓} Don’t skip breakfast. Make it the biggest meal of your day. Eat a moderate amount of food for lunch and have a light dinner with healthy, low-calorie snacking throughout the day. 
{✓} Ensure you get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep will automatically increase your blood pressure, making you crave more sweets and calories.
{✓} Find a nutrition program that works best for your lifestyle. If you’re struggling with weight loss or maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it’s okay to ask for help from an expert.
{✓} Take care of your mental health. You can only achieve an optimal physical lifestyle if your mindset is in the right place.
{✓} Grab a copy of Dr. Jo’s book, Reboot, and back your diet and nutrition with science for faster results.

Links and Resources

About Dr. Jo

Dr. Jo is a fuel efficiency expert for people. As the author of REBOOT, she shows individuals and organizations how to fuel high performance and productivity without risking burnout. She has spoken to more than 1000 audiences and is the proud recipient of the highly sought after Certified Speaking Professional designation.

 

Disclaimer: The medical, fitness, psychological, mindset, lifestyle, and nutritional information provided on this website and through any materials, downloads, videos, webinars, podcasts, or emails are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical/fitness/nutritional advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek the help of your physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, certified trainer, or dietitian with any questions regarding starting any new programs or treatments or stopping any current programs or treatments. This website is for information purposes only, and the creators and editors, including Orion Talmay, accept no liability for any injury or illness arising out of the use of the material contained herein, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of this website and affiliated materials.

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