Listen to Oz Garcia featured on BiOptimizers podcast discussing the anti-aging movement.
We all want to age gracefully and look younger naturally, but is biohacking the anti-aging movement really possible? Absolutely, according to our guest for today’s episode of Awesome Health Podcast.
Oz Garcia is recognized as a leading authority on age reversal and healthy aging for almost four decades. He’s known as the “nutritionist to the stars” working with A-Listers like Hilary Swank for her Million Dollar Baby transformation.
He has also written four best-selling books and has been featured in Vogue, W Magazine, and The New York Times, and has appeared on The Today Show, CBS Morning Show and Good Morning America.
Today Oz joins Wade and Matt to talk about his journey from photography to natural, holistic living, and what he’s learned along the way.
It started when his buddy suggested he read The Miracle of Fasting by Paul Bragg. Oz had dealt with severe migraines for years so he read the book, followed Bragg’s recommendations. Oz stayed home, locked himself in his room, drank water, rested for a few days. He came out the other side feeling clearer with no migraine. That was his epiphany! He continued studying Braggs and other healing paths including running and sports performance.
Next, we talk about what holographic nutrition means to him: Dr Garcia says it is about getting a complete picture of the person’s health. What is their sleep and their sleep environment like? He calls sleep the scaffolding on which everything else falls. Sleep is a superpower that not enough people focus on.
Oz shares with us what is next inside the physical aspects of the scaffolding: nutrition before we segue into the mental aspects of the scaffolding like meditation and daily habits. He recommends reading James Clear’s Atomic Habits and taking a deep dive into your daily habits. Do you stay up late watching the news and then turn on the TV first thing in the morning? Do you have 4 cups of coffee each day?
Most people are in the first category and Oz recommends his clients do a 10 day news detox, cut the coffee by few cuts, something that is almost impossible for the majority of them at first. But when they do detach a bit, they find a clearer way of thinking. Oz practices what he preaches. As he talks to us on this episode, he is in the middle of a 10 day water fast and reflects on how much different his thoughts are as a result, about the past and about the future specifically.
We also touch on maintaining cognitive health into your 90s, blue zones, daily glass of wine, and so much more. This is a jam-packed edition so join us to hear it all on Awesome Health Podcast with Oz Garcia!
- Oz Garcia’s best-selling books
- IgG Immune Powder
- The Miracle of Fasting by Paul Bragg
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- The Longevity Diet by Walter Longo
Wade Lightheart: Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. This is Wade T Lightheart with Matty G, co-founder of BiOptimizers, and we are pumped and excited because today we have a living legend on the podcast. In fact, the guest that we have today, none other than Oz Garcia who is recognized as a leading authority on age reversal in healthy aging. He’s also known as the nutritionist to the stars, virtually a ton, just a ton of A list celebrities, including Hilary Swank. And one of my favorite, one of my favorite movies, ‘A million dollar baby’. That was an amazing movie, her transformation where she had a 19 pounds of lean muscle and then lost it safely once the movie was completed. I mean, that in itself is just unbelievable. I want to know more about that. He’s got over 40 years of experience transferring from being a photographer to one of the leading nutritionists in the world, and he has some extraordinarily unique ideas that we’re going to dive into. He talks about his holographic model of nutrition and anti-aging, the use of natural hormone pharmaceuticals, plant-based vital hormones, cognitive health, and of course he’s very well known for some of his books, like “Look and feel fabulous forever” and “Redesigning 50”. Welcome to the show!
Oz Garcia: Wade, beyond delighted. Thank you so much man. Thank you very much.
Wade Lightheart: Well, you know, I was diving through your background because of course everybody knows you’ve been in the magazines, you’ve been on the TV, you’ve done the whole circuit and everybody kind of sees that. But I think what’s a great start is to find out how did you end up as moving from a photographer into the health industry. And I do know there was a little thing about the miracle of fasting connection that kind of turns you on to things with Paul Bragg, which was one of my kind of intros into the holistic health world. So share the background for our listeners of how you got started in this whole journey.
Oz Garcia: I’ve been around for quite a while. I got interested initially in nutrition back in the 1970s, early seventies. And my training was photography, fashion and beauty photography. So that wasn’t the healthiest world of all. We’re talking the years of studio 54 in New York city. The advent of the supermodel and what I wanted at that age. Not only was it to be a great photographer, I just wanted to be around all the models. So that meant living a relatively fast near city lifestyle. I wasn’t full. That happened. It wasn’t all that well. Physically I wasn’t feeling well. I think one of the main problems that was affecting me at that time was chronic migraine headaches and just like many people that get into this field, they have an epiphany. I began to look at a migraine headache, not the way that my parents did, both of which were migraine headache sufferers, but more like is there an option outside of taking medication?
Oz Garcia: Now, my mother used to take a migraine medication called…I forgot…was meant to be used maybe two, three times a year to get rid of a really bad migraine. Mom used to take two or three a day and she did for years. And I remember speaking to a neurologist back in the early seventies about my migraine headaches. I couldn’t believe that at that age, right out of college and this possibility to work for a fashion beauty photographer, I was doomed to actually be taken care of for God. And somebody, that was a dear friend of mine back then, took me to a health food store. There were three health food stores in New York. Then Whole foods was decades away from insistent and we looked around and I was kind of like taken by it all fascinated while I was smoking a cigarette.
Oz Garcia: And one of the books that out for me was called the miracle of fasting by Paul Bragg. And my buddy picked it up and he said “you should read this.” And I did. I took it home and I found it to be something kind of like science fiction. Like this can’t be true. Like you don’t need and you run better and don’t eat. You just drink water and you can reduce inflammation. And arthritis and psoriasis and on and on and on. It just sounded unbelievable to me. And I tried it. I decided in the middle of ablazing migraine to actually lock myself in my room, which is what I typically did. But I didn’t take a cap for God. I didn’t drink coffee. I didn’t eat anything with sugar. All I did was just rest for a couple of days drinking a lot of water.
Oz Garcia: And when I came out of it, I felt really clear. I didn’t have the typical migraine hangover. And like it is for many people. You have this moment. That’s an epiphany. That was my epiphany and I wondered, you know, if not eating could get rid of a migraine in that manner, you know, what does this mean, and Paul Bragg, so that the audience knows, was at that time back in the early seventies in his nineties and his mid nineties, very robust, very healthy, very unusual man. And I think he died swimming. He drowned actually in Hawaii, correct? You know, and then I read all the full Bragg’s books and that led me to a number of other ways of thinking. I started to study macrobiotics, see how that would affect me. Raw food – I got very interested in the work of the Hippocrates Institute when I was in Boston.
Oz Garcia: So I started growing a lot of my own food in my small studio bedroom in New York city. And people thought I’d lost my marbles. I was growing sprouts, my apartment had a wheat grass juicer, I had a little enema bag. And to this day I just still can’t quite believe that I had that much curiosity and interest in that lifestyle. To this day. I remember that I had gone a couple of months without a migraine and I knew at that point that I was onto something. So it began like that, even though I was very fascinated with photography and I thought I’d wind up being one of the world’s top fashion photographers. Of course, you know, thinking this stuff in your head when you’re young and ambitious. I was really bitten by the possibility that diet could have an impact on how I felt.
Oz Garcia: I’d never felt that. Well in that happy, once I started fasting, one thing led to another and I got pulled into running at a dear friend of mine who had lived in South America and was running with Indians in Peru on the beaches, he came back to New York city and he was like a God – he was glowing. He looked terrific and all of us were up there visiting him, you know, to travel through South America as we were all smoking Marlboro reds. And I asked him, I said, you know, what are you doing? And he said to me, with a little bit of arrogance – well, I’m running. And I said, what’s that? He says, why don’t you join me on the FDR drive on a Franklin Delano Roosevelt east side drive tomorrow?
Oz Garcia: So the following morning I woke up, I lit up a Marlboro. I put on a pair of Keds. I went and I met him and I lasted I think maybe 10 minutes. And being as competitive as I was, I did not want my best friend to run quicker and faster than I did. So I started to run little by little, and that was the beginning of the rest of my life. Subsequent to that, I did my first marathon in 1979. And then I’ve done, you know, about another half dozen marathons, several ultra marathons, a hundred miles or more and never looked back. Everything to me was a function of can make me a better runner, can I recover quicker? You know, how do I continue to pursue these states of mind where I just had great equanimity, peace of mind. Little did I know about the neurology of running, you know, and today I think about the brain. In fact, I think about the brain a great deal and all the things that actually affect the ecology of the brain. But that’s kind of like the way that it began. We’ve had 40 years in between.
Wade Lightheart: That’s super interesting how I think a lot of people forget that the seventies culture was hey, everybody was smoking Marlboros and looking cool and being of course the pressures of the hip scene. Before we get into the specifics, what were some of the things that maybe the social pressures or something that you might’ve been on what we were talking about that fast paced lifestyle and then you’re making these, as you could say, these kind of ups to weird adjustments. What was it like from the feedback from your friends? Were they positive to it? Did they think you’re crazy or were they kind of curious about what you were doing?
Oz Garcia: No, nobody was curious. Everybody thought I’d lost my marbles. You know, I remember telling a dear friend of mine , who was a very famous photographer at the time. Same thing, you know, like, what do you mean you’re running? What is that, you know, as he’s taken a hit off a giant, you know, and then from there I walked them over to the first health food store that I’ve been to and I showed it to him and he couldn’t stop laughing, as many people did. And if you wanted to know anything about anything, you went to the public library. There was no internet, there were no cell phones, there was nothing. So I spent a lot of time at the New York city public library trying to figure all this stuff out who were runners, what do Olympic athletes do to train? I was just completely taken by elite sports performance as I am today.
Wade Lightheart: That’s fascinating. I know Matt and I both kind of cut our teeth in those worlds and have a cooperative competitive arrangement? So I really appreciate when you can have a friend that can help push you or explore ideas or things that you might try or the other person can try. And then you kind of coop, I think a lot of people that’s lost, everybody’s kind of stuck in their dogma. I want to get to the cognitive health later on, but I would like to see what you mean by this holographic model of nutrition and anti-aging. Can you talk a little bit about what that is and how that works and how you’ve defined that particular definition?
Oz Garcia: You know, there’s so many aspects to live. I mean, it’s no like you just flip the health switch on and everything goes on. You know, you flip it all off and you become someone that’s out here. The bouncing, you know, drinking or smoking or being unconscious about what it is achieved. When I mean about holographic is said to take all things into consideration. And anytime that I’m working with anybody, what I want is to know just about everything regarding their life. And when we’re talking about holographic, it means that you start to quantify things. How much do you sleep? How well do you sleep? What’s your sleep environment, and make that the scaffolding on which everything else falls onto. Sleep being a superpower, that I think very few people understand, on top of looking at nutrition, on top of that, you’re looking at exercise on top of that, looking at mindfulness on top of that, looking at nature.
Oz Garcia: So you’re getting a whole graphic, you know, I’d say that pyramid, and no matter which angle you switch it around and look at it, you’re going to see something new. It’s going to offer you a better quality life in the end. I suspect that what most people want is to be happy, is to have peace of mind and to have equanimity, and if each one of these levels are left out or you’re not paying attention to them, you think you can get away with three, four, five hours sleep. Can I hack sleep as though that were true? Can I get away with a certain amount of alcohol every week? If you know, I take certain amounts of supplements or I just want a little bit more the way that we used a lot younger, if there’s a way that I can avoid being mindful, not looking at meditation from a secular point of view, something that can actually make my brain think better, can calm me down, can get me off the balcony, can actually make me a more productive executive, can make me much more thoughtful and grateful about the kind of life that I have.
Oz Garcia: So holographic that you’re thinking not about how you’re going to make the next hundred mil. But really what you’re thinking about is – how do I commodify peace of mind? How do I commodify happiness? And those things then take over in terms of what’s really valuable in this world. We’re looking at kind of break down and in our culture that’s been completely revealed by dealing with the Corona virus where you’ve got this incredible amount of inequality and you’ve got people at the top layers of wealth and those at the bottom. And you wonder what’s the point in the end of having a fortune of about a hundred million or more and keeping it for yourself, so you could take it with you when you die. With the exception of people like Gates and the people that he’s bought into his community, Warren Buffet and so on, where they’re going to give it all away and again, give it all away so that humanity is better off for them having come through this world. So I think that how it is that you sent your value system up in mindfulness and work at that, not meditating only to quiet your mind, but meditate so that you expand it and become a contribution to this world.
Wade Lightheart: Beautifully said. I’ve been a passionate explorer of the meditation field. And it’s funny that you mentioned sleep is one of the foundational scaffolds. Matt, the co-founder of our company, might have a few comments about that, maybe you can add some notes because he’s probably as deeply involved in sleep technology and sleep science and all that sort of stuff. Matt, do you have any particular questions you like to go down the sleep story? Because I think it’s an area that a lot of people struggle. When I go to New York, I can’t sleep at all and I’m just off all the time and I can remember staying at one of the hotels there and I came down to the lobby and I went to the Chelsea cause you got to go experience that. And I remember coming down to the lobby at 3.30 in the morning cause I couldn’t sleep. And I said to the clerk at the front – there’s all these people in the lobby, does anybody sleep in this city? And he’s like “ah, you know, I moved here 18 years ago, I haven’t sleep since.” And so Matt, anything that you’d like to inquire or share?
Matt Gallant: Sure. First of all, it’s great to hear you say sleep is a super power cause I agree. You know, one of the things I think about a lot is what are the one, two or three things that someone can do that will expand their performance or aesthetics and their health. And I think sleep is arguably number one or number two. I love to dive into, I guess all of the sleep strategies and hacks that you’ve gotten. You know, I mean I’ve got my list and I’m sure you’ve got yours. So again, let’s say a client comes in, they’ve got poor sleep, not maybe sleeping well cause I used to do one of these guys that slept eight, nine hours and woke up dehydrated and foggy. And then I started tracking my sleep. I realized what I was getting zero to 15 minutes of deep sleep. And that led me on a crazy journey to optimize it. And now I’ll get, you know, an hour to two hours of deep, a couple of hours REM and I just love to hear what your strategies are around sleep and optimizing REM.
Oz Garcia: Well, Matt, are you wearing an oura ring? Okay. All right. So I think it begins with with quantifying the sleep, everything about your sleep possible so that then you can reverse engineer from there. In the absence of having that, I think I also even have the FitBit Alta that I experimented with to see what’s going to give me the best data on my sleep. Once you’re able to break that down and see for yourself what’s really occurring, then you can begin to correct your environment so that what you’re practicing is sleep hygiene. Very few people understand what that means. You know, everybody’s got their cell phone. It’s still on. It’s nine o’clock. It’s 10 o’clock. You’re on your cell phone. They don’t know that they need, they have a filter on the phone that could actually flip off blue light, but what fuck.
Oz Garcia: So they’re going to keep that off and that’s actually altering what’s going on in their brain. So there’s two problems when you go to sleep. If you’ve got a cell phone, one – is the device itself is a problem. Secondarily – is the content that’s coming out of the device. And now we know that if you sleep with your phone on nearby, and I’m sure you know this, Matt, that’s one of the things that then causes for greater disturbed sleep. You can actually see it on your app the next day, you’re going to see how much it affected your HRV in particular. So making sure that your cell phone off, your cell phone is off hours before you go to bed. I’ve made that a habit. It took me a long time because I was very habituated, to having the news on in the background and, you know, staying up till whatever hours watching MSNBC or CNBC and what are the markets doing.
Oz Garcia: And what’s going on as though all of that really mattered. And once I cut sleep out, once I cut off late night TV or having the TV on, it’s as for the sake of having it on, then I began to understand the ways that all these kinds of energies will affect you in terms of being able to fall asleep, have good quality sleep, and wake up rested. So cutting off all the electronic equipment for hours before I have some balanced lights in my room. So it’s either mimicking the sun going down or the sun going up. And I’ll typically read for a while, if not, I’m gonna use different devices that I think are really quite remarkable. So I do use a NuCalm sometimes about an hour or two before the kind of like put me in the right headspace.
Oz Garcia: I may use Muse, work with Muse for awhile. So I’m using one device or another most days, not every day, but most days to actually put me in, I’d say, a state of alpha. Right? So that little by little that can flip me over into good deep Delta. And for the public that’s listening. You know, they got to know that the brain produces different brainwaves, the different frequencies and the related to different chemicals within the brain. When you and I are in beta, that’s when we’re wide awake. We’re out a cup of coffee or two in the morning and we’re ready to take on the world. Beta, you know, and gentlemen, junkies when it’s too high is where people get overpowered by the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, cortisol from the adrenals. And that’s you’re getting anxious.
Oz Garcia: Anxiety comes in. So those are the chemicals that you want to keep down under control so that when you go to bed, you’re in alpha, right? And you can those off and then quickly doze off into a good deep sleep night and that can be measured. Make sure that your bedroom is like a bear cave. You’ve heard this a million times, you’re going to get a small, the best hack is keep the room cool. You know, which was completely opposite to what I used to think – in the winter is always you kept your heaters on. Now I keep my room at about 64-60, around 64 pretty much when I go to bed. So those are some of the things that, you know, work in terms of helping me sleep better and wake up refresh.
Oz Garcia: I also do intermittent fasting where I skip dinner about twice a week. So my last meal would be about three o’clock. And then I’ll sleep on an empty stomach and you sleep deeper, better HRV levels go up. The quality of your deep sleep, the amount of time that you’re in deep where your body repairs itself better, runs for me for about an hour and a half, maybe an hour and 40 minutes. So skipping dinner turns out to be really terrific. And now that we’re pretty much dquarantine, it’s not all that difficult to go to bed earlier, you know, and do all these things that work for me in terms of my biology. Tell me some of yours.
Matt Gallant: Well, I think you hit some of the key ones. One of them is again, slowing down the brainwaves. You know, I’ve spent over a hundred grand on doing neurofeedback and Wade is a huge fan as well. We just did a beautiful week in February and I believe that alpha helps release serotonin and serotonin is part of the melatonin cycle. So I think if you can get into alpha an hour or two before bed, I can control the lights and they’ll all do all the things you discussed. You’re going to get serotonin and then activate the melatonin. Just get a much better prolactin cycle. So love that you’re doing that. And devices you talked about like NuCalm can really help people achieve that. And I’ve seen similar data when are fasting three times a week for 36 hours, you know, so basically three 36 and my HRV improves, my heart rate drops every time.
Matt Gallant: The only people I’ve seen the exception to that are people with mid Mediterranean genetics, like my friend Jay. And it’s just a neutro-genomic thing where their bodies get stressed out when they fast, which is an interesting little exception. But by the way, as far as getting good data, there’s a headset called Dreem (D R E E M), and it measures the EEG. So in terms of actually measuring deep sleep and REM accurately, it’s a lot more accurate than the aura I’ve compared it to. I’ve talked to a few people that have, and it’s just more accurate too, to really delineate between the deep and the REM.
Oz Garcia: You can actually throw in there too, Matt. The new Muse actually also does a really good job of tracking. I’m surprised at how good that one has turned out to be. Please go ahead.
Matt Gallant: I think you can hit all those key points. Anything that you do around, mattresses. And by the way, speaking of temperature, are you a fan of the chilliPAD or the, or their new Ooler?
Oz Garcia: Oh, yeah, I am. I have it. I use a blanket, right? I also use Ebb. So Ebb is a device that I actually cools your forehead. And what it does is it runs a cool liquid through a tube that’s attached to a mask, but the mask doesn’t go on your eyes. It goes in your forehead and into the sleep zone. It really quiets your thinking down a lot. And it cools your head temperature by about two, three degrees. So you sleep a lot better and you put it on a timer and off you go. So that’s a really, really cool tool. I like it if I’m overdoing, if I’ve done too much late night work and it’s kind of like, you know, you gotta stop, I’ll pop that on.
Oz Garcia: And then there are certain nutrients that I’ll use, certain nutraceuticals that work extremely well that actually protect your brain. But the first line of effect, it’s actually kicking you into the good quality sleep. So I may use L serine, I’ll use glycine, I’ll use magnesium, Threonate, I’ll use a 5ACP with that, I’ll use Ashwagandha, I’ll use Bacopa. So I make a little cocktail and I have missed that cocktail. It may be a year or two. So every now and then I throw a little bit more of one thing or another. Some people do really well with melatonin. I never really did well with it, so I had to figure out some other pathways. There you go. And by using these particular nutrients with everything else, it’s unbelievable. You know, for many of your listeners the products that I mentioned, not in the apps, it’s a very thing else, but if you put everything else together and you use these supplements, the effects are really quite profound.
Matt Gallant: Yeah. I’ve never heard of the app, so I’m going to check that and buy it probably as soon as we finish here.
Oz Garcia: Oh, you gotta look it up. You gotta look it up.
Matt Gallant: But I saw similar data. I’ve got what’s called the Cryohelmet where you put this thing in the freezer and you put it on. It’s kind of designed for injuries. But when I would cool my whole head, and sometimes even wearing IceVest before bed, my deep sleep would go up a lot. And I’ve shared that with other biohackers that have seen similar data. But I’ve never heard of the app.
Oz Garcia: Yeah, this is really cool I think. I think you’ve enjoyed there. There are two other things that we should mention here. One is – extreme hot bats about an hour before you go to bed reduces systemic inflammation. But based on the work in studies of somebody like Rhonda Patrick, they had a really good back and forth on an episode with them on the drive where she actually came out and talked about the studies that are being done on extreme hot baths, reducing inflammation within the brain. And that’s why hot pads actually worked so well at helping you sleep better. For some people it’s the reverse. It’s actually cooling their bodies down, do an ice bath, go do cryotherapy. Not everybody’s going to go do that, but acquire. But a cold bath is inexpensive enough. You need to just be a little bit more courageous to do it. And one of the other boat, you know, doing a contrast hot, cold, can also put you into a deep state of relaxation.
Matt Gallant: Love it.
Wade Lightheart: Good stuff. We’ll put some links here in the show notes for people who want to jump on some of those things. Leading into that sleep thing. You refer to something that both Matt and I are super passionate about and that is cognitive health. I mean if you look at the data of what’s happening to people’s cognitive decline as they get older, this is an area that I think everybody really needs to put some focus on early in life before they get into some degenerative process. And also you mentioned something which is really where we’re at, which is the expansion of awareness in mindfulness through various practices. Tell us how you got into that and what have you noticed and what are some things that you’re excited about in that particular area? Cause we’re both super passionate about this area and now the tech is getting better and better and better to monitor your feedback. People said I couldn’t meditate before, but now there’s all these devices and then there’s everything you can imagine. So I’d like to hear what your insights are there.
Oz Garcia: Well, you know, just to jump off your shoulders on that one Wade, you can get devices now that will meditate so you can cut a lot of the workout. In other words, you can hack meditation. You know, there’s several terrific courses that you can do, you know, 40 years of Zen, which is one of the best deep dives I’ve done. And being able to hack meditation. Not everybody could do it, but it is absolutely fascinating.
Wade Lightheart: Have you been to 40 years of Zen?
Oz Garcia: Oh yeah. I did a almost three years ago.
Matt Gallant: By the way, I think we’ve got a bunch of the records from Zen. I’ve been five times, but our group I think has all the records. I’ve got the records of the spider cap, but you know, whether it was Delta waves or gamma waves or whatever wave. So we really, we really optimize that to the end degree. And Wade just came for the first time a couple of months ago. It was just a blast. So we’re huge fans of what he created.
Matt Gallant: He taken it to the next level.
Oz Garcia: From there I learned about Biocybernaut, you know, and I did that. That’s James Hardt out of university of California.
Wade Lightheart: I did that twice. I did Biocybernaut twice before I went to 40 years of Zen.
Oz Garcia: So what did you do? Double alpha?
Wade Lightheart: Yeah, I was actually the first, I was the first premium double training they ever did. I was one of the experimental guys to go for it cause I had a background in meditation and I got a lot out of doctor Hardt’s process and of course he’s like one of the OGs that fought through the ban on it and everything else. And then kind of Dave, you know, took it down his route and then there’s been a whole bunch of spinoffs I think has been fascinating. The one thing I would say though, what was unusual for me, is most people have an alpha as the driving wave, which for me, I had a meditation practice for about 20 years. I was actually meditation practices, a gamma practice, which they weren’t measuring it Biocybernaut but when I went to 40 years, the neuroscientist, dr Drew, who was looking at my waves, he said, you’re actually inverted, so let’s just start skewing you over here in gamma.
Wade Lightheart: And literally in one week, I think it accelerated my meditation practice at least 10 or 15 years. And I got to experience some things you read about, like these trends of space that you read about from mystics and stuff and I don’t know if that’s true. Well, I now know for an absolute fact that is, you know, it’s an experiential reality for me. And so I encourage people but enough about me. What about you? How did you get into this and what did you find and how do you suggest or integrate it and kind of your holistic picture, for producing optimal health?
Oz Garcia: You know, it’s kind of like I said, I don’t want to say that because I put that at the top of this pyramid, that it’s the least important. I think that if you’re not being introspective in some manner, certainly through meditative practices, and if you put your foot to the pedal and you’re doing something accelerated like 40 years of Zen or Biocybernaut or any of the spinoffs, what you’re actually doing is you’re accelerating your own development. If you’re able to think about your own thinking in that you can enjoy greater peace of mind, like I said earlier, and touch on happiness, right? So for me, given that we’re living through a very difficult moment, you know, thank goodness that that I’ve been doing the meditations that have been doing for quite a while.
Oz Garcia: I’m sure that the both of you feel the same way. There are people that in the absence of being able to go quiet, are suffering needlessly, right? So what happens when you’re not balanced out and you’re not being cautious and certainly having time to quiet the voice in your head, what Steven Kotler calls – your inner Woody Allen, then what happens is that can go on its own and talk you into, you know, a bottle of two or three of wine. God else knows what you’re going to dive into. And before you know it, you’re suffering more. So when you’re looking at being somewhat in control, not being in control of your neurology rather than your neurology being in control of you, running you, you know, with the paranoia and the fear and over concerned about what’s gonna happen.
Oz Garcia: The point of being able to use all of this material is to also bring it back to this moment. And that can sound very trite, unless people understand that there’s a great, great amounts of science around that we’re right now our conversations compelling to the point where nothing more matters than this moment with the both of you. And we could look at so much in terms of the science of the brain now, all the great neuroscientists that are blogging and having podcasts going and Sam Harris, who would have known that Sam Harris has been meditating for 20, 30 years, rep insights and has got one of the best meditation apps in the world. So all of it was really on my pursuit at a certain point. As I turned 63 and 64 was, okay, so what else is there?
Oz Garcia: I can’t run like I used to, I can’t do Becker. I need to be a lot more cautious. What’s the next frontier? The next frontier and the way that it presented itself was how about we tackle the brain? What about meditation is worth listening to? What’s Zen meditation? And I think when you get people’s curiosity up and going, they can’t get enough of it. The fact that they can sit still for awhile and journal and actually put down what’s meaningful in terms of what they want to achieve goals. Even in this time, if you can set up goals just for the day, right? Instead of worrying about the next 20 years, all of these constitute mindful practices where your brain actually functions better. You build a better brain, you produce more BDNF, you’re actually making more brain derived neuronal factor from all these things that you’re doing.
Oz Garcia: So you can keep your brain operating pretty much in kind of a timeless zone. Like it just doesn’t age and it’s not a panacea. It’s not like “Hey, if you follow all this stuff well, the fact is if you do follow all this stuff, we know that exercise is going to make your brain stay relevant. We know that eating a certain diet that’s rich in certain fats and certain kind of protein and so on is going to affect your thinking and your brain. We know that intermittent fasting or fasting is going to also generate you neurons, BDNF, DNF, and also the quality of your thinking.” So when you put it all together, it’s not like you can separate one from the other. We do know that when you’re sleeping and you’re in deep sleep, you’re consolidating memories. Your body’s producing all the hormones that repair, your body growth hormone in particular. So it’s holographic. Whichever point you’re looking at, this pyramid from each one’s feeding into the other and at the end you’re getting a better brain. It’s just one of the things that comes with it.
Wade Lightheart: Beautifully said. And I love how you illustrate what you mean by the holographic perspective that you developed. Where do you see, because cognitive health is such a big topic and continues to expand, what are some of the things or practices or things that you’ve incorporated in your life or that of your clients that you felt has been most effective for people who might have struggled or people who’ve made, hit a wall in their progress and they had those breakthroughs such as? When I went to both Biocybernaut and 40 years of Zen, it really, really made a very quick level up. What are some of the hacks, if you will, or tricks or things that you found that for people who are struggling or people who are at a plateau?
Oz Garcia: I would recommend right off the bat to read James Clear’s book “Atomic habits” and to go on and on and on about it. You know, you gotta make new habits and you gotta get up earlier and you gotta turn your TV setup. It can come across as a bunch of techniques rather than a process that you enter into because you’re aware that there’s something that you want, that maybe can’t quite put your finger on. But if you follow it, you’re going to find at the end of it better – you are more authentic, you are more sincere. So for me it begins with morning routines, whether I want to get up at 5.30 in the morning or not, I just do it, you know, it’s just fell into after a while.
Oz Garcia: If I’m not watching late night news, and if you’re in New York, you’re a news junkie, you know, you’ve got the New York times open in the morning, you got daily beats going on your phone, did the Financial Time show up at my door and you’re consumed with this. And in the background, you’ve got Morning Joe going, so before it’s 6:00 AM or 6.30, you’re hyper, you’re overstimulated, you’re worrying and you’re chewing your nails down to the knob because you’re being bombarded with nothing useful. You know, if you skip the news for a while, and I mean for a while, if you’re able to just maybe check in a little bit, grab a little bit of the news here and there or not. So we do have friends and clients detox from the news, take a 10 day detox and it is near impossible for them to do it.
Oz Garcia: They’ve got to see if they can go off and cheat a little bit and get a little bit of the news about where the market is and so on. And they don’t realize until they’ve done it for a couple of weeks. This is a detox. I’ve been on a water fast for a week or so. And the effects of profound on my thinking, how it is that I’m thinking about the future, how it is I’m thinking about the past if you’re thinking about it at all. Right. So morning routines are critical that you get up, that you’ve got different routines that I’d say are laid out very well by James Clear’s book “Atomic habits”, you know, James Clear – he’s all over YouTube. Went to play ball one day – that’s what I wanted to do, was be a good ballplayer in high school.
Oz Garcia: And the guy that was up in front of him lost control of the bat and the bat went right into James skull, cracked his skull open and that was it for him for the season, and he began to think about what it would take for him to actually go back to play ball again. And by the end of his senior year in high school, he was voted best athlete. He didn’t go on to deal with, with sports at all after that used to become one of the world’s greatest authorities on how do you build new habits. And I find the book to be super entertaining and thrilling and you know that if you can do just a little bit new everything, just 1% different than the day before, you know, where are you going to be in a year, right?
Oz Garcia: You don’t need to go to Equinox and bust your balls. Working out at the big machines after you haven’t worked out in six months, then you’re like dying for a couple of days. Why not just start easy with a bunch of bands at home? Why not go for a walk? Why not listen to good podcasts on the way to work? Why not skip the bus or the train or the driver and build up atomic, a tiny little habits every day. And what you find is that after a while you’re doing things you never would have thought you’d do. And that I think is a very useful way to go about becoming more who you want to become in the end anyway.
Matt Gallant: James is a good friend of mine and his book is awesome. We recommend everybody pick it up and read it and apply it. Some questions around your approach with your clients around supplements and food in regards to brain performance and optimization. We’d love to hear what your stacks are for different situations, for clients that are maybe executives, high performers.
Oz Garcia: This could be a whole of the show guys, you know, like where we break down all the supplement stacks that I think are really useful for the brain. There are a number of things that I find to be really quite profound. I love Acetyl-L-carnitine. So there’s a version called L-carnitine arginate. You feel it pretty quickly. There’s a field to it and there’s a lot of information on its effects. Also building back aspects of the brain. Most of the products that I’m targeting, I’m going to talk about, do produce BDNF, Brain-derived neurotrophic factor. So wherever I can get more of that stuff, I want it. Let’s see. L-Carnitine I think is terrific. I mentioned earlier for sleep L serine, which is an amino acid, but L serine also has hyper protective effects over the brain.
Oz Garcia: So not only do you sleep better, but it also protects your brain from the onslaught of dementia. There are studies being done with it regularly now to protect against the encroachment of Alzheimer’s. You know, there’s a lot that you can do in that regard, but I think that that’s one of the better products overall. I love a product that was developed in Russia called Picamilon. So Picamilon is a combination and it could be purchased here in the US, is a combination of N-nicotinoyl-GABA.
Matt Gallant: Driving it into the brain a little better. Is that how it’s working?
Oz Garcia: Yeah, absolutely. And you feel it pretty quickly too. It’s very soothing. It’s one of the best things that I found in order to think clearer. And it also helps in sleeping too because of the amount of GABA that’s an niacin is going to help you sleep a little bit better too. So whether you use it in the daytime or you use it before bed, I think it’s absolutely terrific. The amounts are gonna vary. And that depends on the individual and what they understand about Picamilon and Picamilon is actually quite dramatic. For its overall mood enhancing effects. I love small dose Piracetam. I think Piracetam is a nootropic. Not high amounts. I’m not looking to hype myself up, but generally when I’m working and I’ve got a big project in front of me, or I need to do some intensive writing, a little bit of Piracetam and Aniracetam, which is within the Racetam family. I like a lot because it also reduces anxiety, goes right to the right hemisphere. And so you’re a lot more creative with it.
Matt Gallant: It took some this morning. I’m a huge fan of Aniracetam. I’ve tried all the Racetams as well. It’s terrific. I love the verbal fluency. I mean I can 10 minutes you just speak more fluently, which is great.
Oz Garcia: Puts you in a really good mood. Phenylpiracetam, I think it’s terrific. Choline, Oxiracetam, so that whole family, I also like DMAE, DMAE in very small amounts, DMAE is classified as kind of like a B vitamin. Wade, do you want to add to that?
Matt Gallant: I was going to ask you how are you using the DMAE?
Oz Garcia: I take about five milligrams sublingual, very, very mild. It has an effect on the prefrontal cortex. Very good for focus and thinking. It also has protective properties overall on the human brain.
Oz Garcia: You know, if I was to weigh, no pun intended, into the mushroom vehicle for a moment, of course things like lion’s mane, which I think is terrific. Chaga, there are a couple of others there that we could talk about. So I tend to have a certain brew that has also curcumin. And that’s also a great lift in terms of how I get my morning going. I love Anandamide. Anandamide is a chemical that we produce, it’s related to endorphins and typically you can get Anandamide in chocolate. So there are different companies that produce Anandamide chocolate, you know, and, and at nighttime, if you want to have something to calm you down and chill you out, I’ll boil a cup of almond milk, I’ll put a teaspoon or two Anandamide in there, maybe some curcumin, a little bit of Stevia and it feels like it having a terrific cup of hot chocolate before you get to bed. But it’s doing wonders for your brain. So those are a few things that I would recommend.
Matt Gallant: Is there any particular brand of Anandamide chocolate that you would recommend?
Oz Garcia: Oh yeah, I’ll tell you right now.
Wade Lightheart: For those of you that can’t see, he’s in his fridge looking for the good stuff.
Oz Garcia: I think I’m out of it. If you do a search online, you’re going to find that there’s one company in particular that makes an Anandamide.
Wade Lightheart: We’ll check that. We’ll check back in the show notes and then a cross-reference after to make sure that we’ve got the right one. Cause we want people feeling good. I always find it fascinating how virtually everybody we bring onto the show or people that kind of kind of gone to the highest levels like you have, they have these kind of little ritualistic things that they do, which maybe took them years to figure out which have profound effects when people would try them on their own.
Oz Garcia: And I’ve been experimenting with different things with the brain for years, I think for the brain all. So I would recommend something like Bromantane – Bromantane is a very novel molecule, but one of the things that it does is it also improves focus, sharpness of mind. By the way, I don’t take all of these things all at once, depending on my mood and the day. I may, you know, combine a number of them. I’m at this now for so long that I can pretty much determine what’s going to serve me best in a particular day. I think also for many people that are dealing with mood disorders L-carnosine, not L-carnitine but L-carnosine, works really, really well. As does Iodine, I think Iodine is extremely well studied for its effects. Also, I’m building a better brain, on alleviating I want to be careful how I say this, let’s say moodiness overall, but it’s a powerful mood lift and it helps us sleep a lot better too. So though, you know, we could talk for quite a while on any number of nutrients there. There’s so many more out there that I love.
Wade Lightheart: Have you gone down the peptide rabbit hole on any level yet?
Oz Garcia: Yeah, I rotate through about two dozen that, that I think, you know, for different reasons. I’m using them, I’m very big now on thymus and alpha 1. It’s over protective effect on the human body immunologically and its effects on protecting the lungs certainly now. So we do recommend thymus. It’s an alpha 1. I think it’s terrific. He calls him a little bit older than the both of you. In order to conserve a muscle, in order to conserve power in order to maintain myself in as good as possible, I use two other peptides – CHRP-2, CHRP-6, that stands out actually for growth hormone releasing peptide. So rather than actually being growth hormone, which we wouldn’t touch in a million years, the GHRP peptides themselves do a great deal of building, almost like a surrogate body. And the effects are remarkable both in terms of your brain, your body, your musculature, etc.
Matt Gallant: Do you prefer those over Ipamorelin in CGC? Have you tried, have you tried both?
Oz Garcia: I have and I actually love MK-677.
Matt Gallant: I mean, if you want to get hungry, if you’ve got appetite problems, there’s the answer folks right there.
Oz Garcia: You know, there are ways that you can get around that one way, but this one I find to be really good format. I put Morelin, I’ve used, I may go on and off it periodically. Certain things tend to go flat on me. Some others don’t. I love C-lank, I love C-max. I love epitalon peptide – epitalon I can’t recommend enough, certainly as you’re getting into your forties, fifties, and later, people talk about like life extension, what’s one of your secrets, will epitalon actually protects the chromosome itself and actually makes the telomeres repair and grow back. So epitalon is breathtaking, you know, for age reversal, making sure that you don’t go in from that. That’s way up there on my list of peptides.
Matt Gallant: Yeah. I found epitalon helped my sleep quite a bit and I’m about to do another 10 day cycle next few days.
Oz Garcia: I’m really happy to hear that, you know, epitalon helps sleep tremendously.
Matt Gallant: By the way, I’m a huge fan of Cerebrolysin, which was discovered in Russia. Not that I did the taylor made stuff, but the do the doses that I wanted to do. And by the way, they don’t make it anymore. There’s a company making out of Austria. But on the last Zen training where we pushed the volume of training to the max, it was the smoothest recovery I’ve ever experienced.
Oz Garcia: I was trying to see if I could find it. I want it to show it. Cerebrolysin is manufactured in Austria and tailor made, you know, it makes own version of it, but it’s not that difficult to procure. I discovered, not that I discovered it, but I discovered it for myself the first time back in 19s – 1998 I gave a lecture in Vienna. And I was actually lecturing along with a number of individuals throughout Europe that at that point were leaders in anti-age. And God only knows if they’re still alive or not, but one of the exhibitors at the lecture was Cerebrolysin and they sent me, I don’t know about 50 boxes at that time to New York. I don’t know how it got through customs, but I absolutely love it. And the studies on it are really quite remarkable. They’ve done so much research on its effects, on rebuilding the spinal cord, being able to regenerate brain tissue from severe impact to the head. And then beyond that for people that are healthy, I can’t recommend it enough, really terrific product.
Matt Gallant: Right? When I stacked it with cortex, it was probably the most profound thing I’ve tried for the brain. Now you gotta respect the dose on cortex and it’s quite powerful. So you have to, in my opinion, start slow and build up to see what works for you. But that combo is pretty magical.
Oz Garcia: I would think. So you got to do the same thing with Cerebrolysin. The first time that I got it, I shot myself with a 10 milligram and I didn’t have a good day after that, you know, then I learned to cut it all the way back and kind of work my way up with it. But Cerebrolysin is really quite remarkable as you get older, I think, for people that are already suffering with dementia, people that lost their key moment, would do very, very well with Cerebrolysin. We do use it and rotate with our family of IVs and it goes in really smooth, and it’s just terrific maintaining itself.
Wade Lightheart: This is an awesome conversation. I’m really enjoying it. So I want to dive into a couple other things related to it. A lot of people are kind of entering into the peptide equation. They’re looking at hormones, they’re looking at natural hormones. So what would you say, cause you kind of made a reference to this in other areas. Start out with these atomic habits as opposed to, I see some people going “Hey, I’m just going to take a mosh pit of these things.” So where would you say as a person, maybe relative to the clients, cause you know a client at 20 is going to be different than a client at 60, but particularly related to anti-aging. I would say most people start to look at this maybe in their forties, if they’re the high performers cause there’s a definite decline and that’s not acceptable.
Wade Lightheart: People start freaking out. But where would you say how you step up that ladder? Cause I noticed you talked plant-based phyto hormones, natural hormone pharmaceuticals, we talked about peptides. Maybe there we could get into any of the other tools that you might use in the toolbox or the sequencing. Because I think this is really important with what someone like you does. And that is you’re able to take this person from a holographic component and say – here’s the foundational components that we’ve got to get squared away first. These are the missing points that we’ve got to fill in and now we’re going to get into the accelerators or the reverse aging stuff. So tell us what stages do you think people could start integrating this? Obviously with the observational components, components of an expert like yourself.
Oz Garcia: I’m very careful, where I begin. So it’s not like I’m going to hit somebody with all the stuff right away, you know, if ever I get around to any of these things, you know, working with a client and certainly with anybody who’s curious, who’s watching this show, that’s just going to lose it. You know, what do I start with? What do I do, where do I get? So realizing it’s more how it is that you can move people again to talk about James Clear through stages. So that somebody is trusting enough, you know, is a good enough sport that what they’re going to do is work with you and you’re gonna gather enough intelligence about the individual so that hopefully based on your experience, what you can do is begin crafting the best path for this individual to begin to clean up their life.
Oz Garcia: We do a lot of intelligence gathering upfront, so blood work is really critical. There are ways that we look at blood work so that I get the information that I need, not just doing a CBC and saying everything’s fine. I want to know what’s really going on based on the news, what’s coming off the blood work. Can we dive real deep? Can we dive into your hormones so that we can get a sense of where you may be being forwarded there or being empowered there. I get et as much of a full picture as I can. We’re going to do genetic testing, but I don’t want them align 23andMe, there are other companies that I think give us gene information and epigenetic information that’s going to be very relevant in terms of making decisions about which way I go.
Oz Garcia: So of course in interview, working with the person and determining what their goals may be, having my lab and my doctors do the blood work that we require during the gene test and then getting the best picture possible. And with that information, trying to find out from, you know, if you’re honest enough, what is it that you want, what are you looking for?
Oz Garcia: So once you’ve got all of that, like I was saying, in a transactional manner, and I would say Wade, in a very cooperative manner. It is to begin to put a guideline of protocol together for a person, not this cookie cutter approach where you know, you’re going to go on keto, you’re going to go into detox, you’re going to start doing water fasting there. There’s no way that I’m going to come to any kind of intense pathway. Rather I want to start really easy. You know, little atomic habits in terms of can you give up coffee, how much coffee you drink – 4 cups of coffee? Can you cut it down to 2? And for a lot of people there’s no sense of what’s the difference. Well wait a minute, I’ve been drinking four cups of coffee for 20 years, you know, but when you’re looking at their LDL and you’re looking at liver enzyme levels and you’re listening to how anxious they are to drinking the first cup of coffee with 10 milligrams Xanax in the morning and they’ve got a billion in the bank. Here’s a problem here.
Wade Lightheart: Okay.
Oz Garcia: The problem here. And so I think cultivating relationship with somebody is of extreme importance and building up trust. So I’ll work with my clients through different stages and hopefully they’ll stick around long enough, but I get a very good idea at the beginning of what a roadmap is going to be based on all the intelligence I gather upfront, what’s my client’s goals and get to know the person very carefully. So it’s not in any way at all a medical model, although we do rely on medicine for certain things.
Wade Lightheart: I think with a lot of people have to recognize as that is for most of the medical models, there simply isn’t enough time and there’s not enough whole picture components to really do yourself service. It’s generally “Hey, take it if you’re low in testosterone, take maybe testosterone replacement therapy and come back and see me in a month and we’ll do some blood work” where there’s a lot of things that you can accelerate. What are some of the areas? So let’s talk about your typical 40 to 50. You know, that 40 to 50 year old, let’s say I take a male and we’ll take a male version and we’ll take a female version. You can kind of walk us through something. So you got a typical male, he’s an executive, been burning it for a lot of years, start to notice sex drives down, muscle masses down.
Wade Lightheart: Putting on some body fat. And he started to see some slippage in his brain. Functioning is not as sharp or he’s losing his edge. What’s a typical, assuming that he’s doing? Like he’s going to the gym, he’s eating right? He’s doing all of those things, but he’s just doesn’t have that extra pop hormonally or whatever. And then we’ll do a same version with a female. So let’s start with the male first and see what would it be a typical pathway that you would walk somebody through. Of course, you don’t have to go into super detail, but just some generalizations. If people want to contact you, they’ll be able to get access to you on at the end of this webinar. But just to give some ideas about what you think is some of the past, like would they go to hormones? Would they go to peptides, would they go to other things? What would it be?
Oz Garcia: You know, it’s really getting a person organized around their health. I think becoming your own best doctor is the way that I think about it. And to that end, you know, if I can get you to start thinking about what it is that you want, is really where we begin. So when I’m sitting across with anybody, I want to know what they want. Why are you here? What brings you here? What’s on your mind? And to me, conversation is extremely important. I’ve had thousands of them with, you know, many people over the course of over 30 years. So being in conversation for me it’s very comfortable and I want it to be comfortable for anybody that I’m working with. I want to know who you are. I want to know where you’re weak and where you’re strong, you know, what are your aspirations, what are your dreams?
Oz Garcia: What is it that you think you still need in this life? Right? And if it’s held, because clearly that’s the thing that’s bringing somebody in my office. I want to know in terms of health, what is it that you want to achieve when all of that is determined. I’m trying to figure out for myself – can I work with this person? Can I deliver on my promise? And there’ve been times where it was evident to me that this wasn’t going to work out all that well. So in having the interview, in making that determination, I can deliver on my promise and I think this person has enough capacity to actually deliver enough on their promise to themselves. Then we’ve got a program going once that’s established.
Oz Garcia: You know what, we can work well together. It’s very clinical there. There’s blood to gather, there’s gene testing to do their food logs to record their activity, charts to be kept so that I know about how you live, what you eat, how do you exercise, what your sleep is like. So I’m starting off easy and the program may run a certain of time from six months to a year. Some people have been with me for almost 20 years, which is hard for me to believe. But if I can get you to start paying attention to your body, so rather than saying “listen, you got to go do vipasana and go away and do 40 years of Zen”, you know, can you download Sam Harris’s “Waking up” app and can you give me 10 minutes every morning? I didn’t start with that.
Oz Garcia: And like I said before, if you’re drinking 4 cups of coffee, can I get you to 2? And then can I get you to one, just the quality holiday. If in six months from now you just can’t stand being this happy, you know, and being infirm free. Go back to your coffee and eating the way that you did and staying up all night and watching TV, you know, it’s all there. And guidance and coaching I think are critical. So the coaching and the guidance does show up in terms of the conversations that I have. The conversations are meant in large measure to guide people through all these stages, what it is that they need to remove from their life. Kind of like a Marine Cano, I think their name is of your body.
Oz Garcia: What are the things you need to stop doing? And then can we gradually get off these things and then what are the things that you need to start doing now as you do that, you’re going to get to see the character evolve. Think about what’s in their best interest. And reading I think is essential to my work. So everybody’s got to read and they got to read a lot. And it’s not anything really difficult. It may be a book on intermittent fasting – here, read this, download this. And you know why? Why spend our time talking about it when we meet up again? Tell me what you’re going to do in terms of intermittent fasting. So you want to do a five day fast. Why don’t you read the “Longevity diet” by Valter Longo? Let me know what you think once you’ve gotten through that. So to my earlier point, what I want is an educated consumer. I want you to think as well as I do, if I can get you there. And in doing that, what you’ve got is somebody who’s thinking along with you. They’re crafting their program, they’re hacking their program, they’re hacking themselves into better health overall. And that I think makes me more of a guide and a teacher and a coach rather than “I’m treating you.”
Matt Gallant: I have a question. Employer of mine, when it was a personal trainer once told me, he said, always explain to your clients the why, you know, why something working, why does that function? But that’s essentially what you’re getting your clients to do. My question is – have you found that the compliance people actually following through on things goes up quite a bit when they understand mechanism or how things function?
Oz Garcia: I think two things – incentivize people reading, is something that will incent you. And I discovered that a long time ago by getting you to read what I think is relevant and then you coming back and telling me what you plan on reading. On the shoulders of what we’ve been talking about transforms the brain. Reading every day I think is critical for everybody. And if I have somebody read a particular book, just read 15 pages a day, or are you going to be in a week and two weeks? And so on. And it makes a great conversation not just sitting across from somebody and you’ve got, you know, twiddling your thumbs, like you’re in a doctor’s office wondering what to talk about. Well, to talk about is everything. And so reading becomes part of your transformative process along with the conversation itself. What do we have to say to each other that’s going to make this conversation meaningful? And you’re going to walk out of here, transform 1%.
Wade Lightheart: I love, I love that. So I’m going to circle back around on one question cause I think you really nailed something about getting buy in, in the mindset of that person. And as that evolve, that’s going to shift and evolve. I think as you get a person that you’ve worked with for a period of time, plant-based fired-up, phyto hormones, peptides, or like a hormone replacement, where do you see those in the hierarchy, what’s your position on any of those things?
Oz Garcia: Very good. Okay. So start one more time. You slow down.
Wade Lightheart: Yes. So in the hierarchy of kind of like hormone regulation, cause that seems to be something that’s a really big issue, how would you rank phyto hormones, peptides, you could say pro-hormones, bioidentical hormones, those type of things. How would you rank those in hierarchy and effectiveness or when should they be considered and when should they not be considered?
Oz Garcia: I go case by case. I literally go case by case, you know, I want to be careful how I say this. I think I know enough by now and I’ve got good researchers on my staff where I can sit down and we can go over a case and kind of take it apart and come to certain conclusion about what’s going to be the best path. I like to start easiest of all. So if I’m working with a gentleman who’s suffering from low testosterone, low libido, I’m going to start with, let’s say fenugreek. I’m going to start with ashwagandha. I’m going to start with a couple of other nutrients that I know are gonna allow your body to actually produce greater amounts of the style shown on its own. I may begin to encourage them to do upper body work so that I can get free testosterone levels up and I’m going to start to move certain things out of their diet that may be feminizing them.
Oz Garcia: Whether it’s too much gluten, too much bread, too much starch, too much carbohydrate. So there’s an adjustment period that I’ll work with and it may be at that point that I’ll introduce certain peptides that are going to accelerate the process, but are going to make you bloom in light of how you adapted your practices. Right? I think tribulus is also really quite remarkable. So if you’re working with tribulus, fenugreek, ashwagandha, you’re going to get improvement in testosterone levels. If I can then get your energy up to a point, if you’re not doing it already, do upper body work, right? So not going out and running, you know, or being on an elliptical, but actually work with weights that’s going to work to get free testosterone levels up and that’s going to work in your benefit. So I may have a lot of takeoff room before I even get to talking about using the soft, strong, even even bioidentical hormones.
Wade Lightheart: Alright. I like that. And so you would say that probably on that hierarchy, you’d probably go to peptides as a generalization before you would go into bioidentical hormones?
Oz Garcia: Yeah, because I think that I can get a more ecological result and a more measurable result with peptides now than I could have even five years ago.
Wade Lightheart: Wow. That’s it. That’s a pretty strong statement. I love that. And you know, I’m fascinated with the peptide field. It seems to be emerging of course, and now there’s some pressure to kind of shut it down. Hopefully somebody somewhere will win that fight, because I think there’s a lot of potential there. And it would be a similar process for a female, same type of thing? You’re going to go through the elimination stuff and then then move into the kind of natural, more natural base components. And then maybe you do a peptide and then as kind of like the finalist, I always say the final stages is bioidentical hormones. Cause of once you go there, that’s it. There’s really not a coming back from that, I would say?
Oz Garcia: Yeah. And also, I’m not looking for the quick bullet. I’ve worked with bio identical hormones so much and I’ve seen how fuzzy things can get, you can be working with someone, let’s say, a female that’s having all sorts of problems. You and I could pick out any from problems that oblation to PMs, the cramping. And I know that I could probably normalize the experience. And we’ve worked with people that are PMs and for two weeks out of the month and their lives have been just completely, you know, ripped apart. And if I can alleviate that suffering and do it through the things that I think are working against them. And then if we need to at the end, maybe bring somebody on board from staff or that knows how to coach on bioidentical hormones, then we’ll do it. But if you’re waking up every morning and morning is green juice and then a cup of coffee and then between lunch there’s a croissant, then lunch is a Turkey sandwich, then later in the day there’s another cup of coffee and then dinner, with a glass of wine. You’re screwed.
Oz Garcia: What if I put you on bioidentical progesterone to deal with your cramping? I don’t think it’s going to work.
Wade Lightheart: I think that’s a really pertinent point, and Matt and I are in alignment with all those values – you got to take care of the lifestyle components first before you start adding in these. I call it turbo chargers. A lot of people want to, you know, just turn on the engine and not the suspension so to speak and the next thing that they crash and burn and make things worse as opposed to better. love that component. Matt, do you have any questions that you want to add? Maybe we can wrap up on this topic. Let me start with this question, which is, barring any freak accidents, how long, and again, we don’t know, anything can happen, but how long do you think you might live assuming that? Again, if nothing freaky happens, right?
Oz Garcia: You know, my mom passed away in January. She was 91. My grandmother, her mother passed away at 93. And both of them had their faculties intact. I mean their brains are functioning remarkably well at the end. My mother could do the Friday, not the Monday, but the Friday, New York times puzzle. By the time I ran out the door for an hour and came back would be done. It would take me a month, you know, and both, short term and long term memory, were working great at the end as it ever did. I have to assume that a lot of that was genetics and epigenetic forces on her too, but certainly she had that as a superpower. I hope I have them. And I would probably guess, you know, there’s a couple of things that come to mind, like do I really want to live that long, but I really want to live that long. I really want to live to a hundred. It changes. If you’d asked me 10 years ago was like, hands down, you know, I want to make it to a 125, now Dave Asprey is talking about 140, and you know, talking about a thousand years and I’m like, sign me up.
Oz Garcia: I just want to make sure that if I’m sticking around, I can still get up, be in a great mood, be able to run, be able to think clearly, be able to regulate my moods, regulate cytotoxicity, not have anything at all that could possibly cause me pain when I’m older, like a stroke. And I think that the way that we’re going, the way that we’re all thinking here, the way that I’m thinking, there’s a lot of bullets that we can dodge along the way as the years go on. So I don’t mind if I dropped it at 90. I just want to make sure that I dropped it at 90 in remarkably good shape. Now that being said, I’m shooting for about 120, you know, and we’ll see. But I’m not attached to it. It’s not like I gotta make it to 120 and everything I’m doing, you know?
Oz Garcia: You know, do you take NMN, with fat or not? It’s like “who cares?” Just take it, you know, you gonna live better, and I think in the end, as I’ve gotten older, I’m about six months away from 70. I’m thinking about how I want it to be when I am 70 and 75 and 80. So I’m planning now for my 80 to be just as good as it is now as it was when I turned 16, when I turned 50. And I think that that’s where people need to focus – qualitatively how to plap, kind of like planning your financial portfolio.
Matt Gallant: We’re big fans of maximizing health span, lifespan I think. And I do believe, we do believe that obviously doing all of these things we’ll add decades on the lifespan.
Wade Lightheart: To your point – you started the podcast with incredible levels of control on our health span. There’s no reason why we can’t be rocking and rolling right till the moment where it’s all over.
Oz Garcia: Yes, yes. And there are examples, you look at public examples overall. Everybody from Jagger, people that I saw when I was a teenage kid to Willie Nelson with all his indulgences. And we can keep picking across the board. You know, Buckminster Fuller at 90-92 years of age was thinking with a capacity that would put anybody to shame, you know, that he could talk. I saw Bucky talk before he died, he talked for well over 12 to 14 hours at a Manhattan center, with Werner Erhard and his grandson Jamie. And a 90-92 year old guy was talking about aspects of physics and science and history for kids in the audience. I was in my early twenties, falling asleep, but you wanted to listen because you were in awe of this remarkable thinker, human being. So there are many examples out there of what we want to emulate. And I think if we go after that, like boy would I like to be like that. If I make it to 90, then changes the conversation around.
Wade Lightheart: I had 3 centurions that lived on the little street that I lived on, and probably another half a dozen people who lived into their late nineties. What is the key elements that you feel or common elements I should say, that you see in people who have that successfully integrated, health span with their longevity, so their lifespan and health span. If you could kind of have them as two lanes on a super highway of human existence, is there any key elements that you have found in your work that people who go there seem to have in common?
Oz Garcia: I think novelty and curiosity, they’re key. The sisters of Notre Dame, which is a convent, I think they’re out of Minnesota, if I’m not mistaken. They would call via the Sisters of the red school houses, starting around the first world war. These nurses would go out into these regions of America and they would teach. And typically it was a converted bond that was painted bread. So that’s how come they were also called “The sisters of the red school houses.” But there’s a documentary on them and there’s a book written about them. They dedicate their brains, about two thirds of the nuns, at death, to be studied in terms of what’s so unusual about these individuals. They all live into their late eighties, nineties, are centenarians.
Oz Garcia: And what they do is they’re constantly engaging with something new. So whether it’s a basket weaving, learning a new instrument, a new language, there’s novelty in their environment all the time in an enriched environment. And that’s been an attribution in terms of why they may live that long. Now there are other things to the community, the fact that they’re always socializing, which you know, is really critical to a long, healthy life. But I think, you know, listening to them in this particular documentary, what was evident was they’re continually injecting something new to do. I have stone, which is a historian and wrote up, I think his last book was “The death of Socrates”, taught himself at 72 years of age classical Greek. Right? I mean, I was thinking to myself, you know, watching a show with him on it, talking about the death of Socrates, what moves this guy at 72 to do that? But for him, it gave him a high degree of flow, probably added to the long life that he had. And clearly it looks like adding novelty, right? Curiosity and with a little bit of difficulty added in there seems to actually extend out maybe how long you live, but certainly how well you’re going to live.
Wade Lightheart: Any other elements that you have seen, like dietary habits, nutritional habits or lifestyle habits that you know, what might be surprised of or things that you’ve found common for people who are living long and strong?
Oz Garcia: A little bit of wine.
Oz Garcia: Believe it or not. I mean, if you look at the blue zone studies, I mean, of course all the things that we talked about today, but in the blue zone studies, these are zones, quote unquote, redesigned on earth, were National Geographic sends a team out to study people that live too terribly long. It’s Northern Japan and Okinawa and Sardinia, different regions of South America. And wherever they went, even though the diet was extremely simple and there were many other things that were common to them, including high socialization, it looked like a little bit of the fermented beverage that was indigenous to that region was consumed often. And that surprised me a lot. And as it turned out, a little bit of alcohol may go a long way.
Wade Lightheart: Very brilliant. That’s a good insight. I was in Okinawa and part of the socialization and the honoring of the elder people, which is nowadays it seems in North America, we put them in homes and drug them up and never see them again. But the culture of respect that was afforded to them. And also they have a process where they play a guitar. It’s kind of a three string guitar and it’s not how well you sing, it’s how you sing from your heart. And I’ve had some unusual experiences with some older Okinawans who are playing this and they’re in their dress and they’re singing, half in the bag with their fermented drinks and they’re living to be 95, a hundred years.
Oz Garcia: Unbelievable. And you know, to your point, socialization is critical. The fact that they’ve got their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and staying within their communities probably has something to do, based on our evolution, how well we’re going to live and how long we may live.
Wade Lightheart: Beautifully said. Dr Oz, I could spend hours and hours talking to you and I hope we can get you back to the show soon. There’s a lot of people that I know, we’ve touched on so many curious points, some areas that I know that you could probably go in depth in a course that is where customization and integration and having a master to truly walk someone through this process. How does someone get a hold of you if they want to find out about what you’re doing. How do they onboard you? Is it only local? Is it on the broader scale? How do people get access to you, your work and your team?
Oz Garcia: It’s simple. They can go to Ozgarcia.com, they can get everything there, on social media. If you go to Ozwellness, they’ll get me there too. And that’s probably the easiest way. We work all over the world. I had an office in London for many years, in Moscow, and now that we’re here, working in this manner has turned out to be the simplest, easiest way of working with people. I never would have thought it.
Wade Lightheart: It’s super beautifully said. Any final words that you’d like to share with the audience of BiOptimizers? Words of wisdom or integrations or things that you’d like to leave them with? Things that you’ve learned from your decades of experience in this field?
Oz Garcia: You know, we spend the first half of our lives accumulating wealth and power and pride and precision ego. And as the years have gone by and I’m here, what I find is most valuable now, as I see my finitude up ahead, you know, and hopefully it’ll be decades away, is the accumulation of peace of mind, stability, good health, the meaningfulness of sociability and relationships, things like that. You know, I want to gather things that are meaningful now to me as a human being that I never would’ve thought about when I was 20.
Wade Lightheart: Love it. Beautifully said. And you’ve been such a great guest. I’ve got 5 million questions before I started. And so we’ll have to get you back sometime in the near future. Thank you for taking so much time.
Oz Garcia: Where are you guys, by the way?
Wade Lightheart: Matt is over in Panama, I’m in Sedona, Arizona, cause I had to escape LA before the lockdown so I could get out in the sunshine and walk and stuff. But whenever we can travel and we ended up in New York, let’s definitely connect and go get a great healthy meal.
Oz Garcia: Unbelievable. Of course!
Wade Lightheart: It usually takes a week or two. And then, when we get it all done and edited and all the show links and everything. And I’ll have our team let you know so we’ll be pumping out on all our social media channels and all that sort of stuff. And then you can share with your team as well.
Oz Garcia: I gotta tell you, I’m in love with the both of you.
Wade Lightheart: I love it, and I just feel like it’s a big love fest forever. We’re all cut from the same cloth.
Oz Garcia: All right guys. I’m going to take my dog out for a walk and wear a mask.
Wade Lightheart: All right. Thanks so much. Thanks for a great interview. Appreciate it!