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TMHS 723: How To Create A New Culture Of Health For Your Family
Every family has its own microculture: a set of beliefs, habits, values, and traditions. Among the numerous external factors that can influence your health and wellbeing, the culture in your household can have a monumental impact on your daily habits. But unlike many other environmental influences, you have the power to intentionally mold your family’s culture.
This episode is my interview on Ever Forward Radio with Chase Chewning. I’m diving into topics like how your environment shapes your behaviors, and the power we each have to create a culture of health in our families. You’ll hear about the importance of contribution and serving others and the innate connection between relationships, food, and health outcomes.
The best way to begin shifting our culture at large is to start with what we can control: ourselves and our own homes. I hope this episode empowers you to cultivate a family culture of wellness, and arms you with the information and tools you need to positively impact the world around you. Enjoy!
In this episode you’ll discover:
- Why being of service to others is a superpower.
- The hard truth about making changes and improving your health.
- How your environment dictates your behavior.
- The impact that culture has on willpower.
- What the tube torus is.
- The upstream effects that movement can have on your mind.
- Why prioritizing your health can help you be a better parent.
- The problem with the US pharmaceutical industry.
- How many Americans die each year from prescription drugs.
- The vicious cycle of neuroinflammation, excess body fat, and insulin resistance.
- How placebo drugs work, and the power of human psychology.
- The number of American citizens that are overweight or obese.
- Which compounds in non-stick cookware are harming your health.
- How to choose cookware for safe and healthy cooking.
- The power in controlling the controllables.
- How eating with your family can improve your health outcomes.
- The most powerful thing you can do to create a culture of health and wellness.
Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!
SHAWN STEVENSON: Welcome to the Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. Our environment and the culture we exist in deeply influences our health outcomes. On this episode, we're gonna be covering how contribution and service to others plays a role in our wellness, how your environment shapes your perception of life and your potential, data detailing the complex problems with our pharmaceutical industry, why our relationships and how we connect around food are key drivers of health and well-being, and so much more.
SHAWN STEVENSON: This is all from a wonderful conversation that I had on an amazing show called Ever Forward Radio hosted by Chase Chewning. This conversation was so special and full of powerful insights, and I'm so grateful that I get to share it with you here today. Now, before diving into it, so many aspects of our health, whether it's the function of our immune system, our mood and mental health. So many aspects of health and human performance are related to the health of our gut. There are literally trillions of bacteria in and on our bodies, but that master hub of our bacterial community is in our gut and it's in deep relationship with our immune system, it's in deep relationship with all these neurotransmitters and hormones that impact our mood. And one of the big problems we're experiencing right now is that something called gut dysbiosis, where more "opportunistic bacteria" are kind of taking control of our vessel, whereas many of the beneficial or friendly flora are starting to get pushed out.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So this is the hallmark of what gut dysbiosis is, and we can have a spectrum of how much it's impacting us, but there are just a couple of things that are clinically proven to help turn gut dysbiosis around. A recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nature Communications, uncovered that a unique compound called theabrownin, theabrownin, found in a traditional tea called Pu’er, has some remarkable benefits. Now, already we got some weird sounding names, this could be somebody's name, especially like a Key and Peele's kit on football players, this could be Thea Brownin, University of Pennsylvania. But theabrownin, and of course, we've got this tea called Pu’er, a very interesting sounding tea but the researchers found that theabrownin can positively alter our gut microbiota and directly reduce hepatic cholesterol and reduce lipogenesis, or the creation of fat. Another study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food chemistry, found that pu-erh may be able to reverse gut dysbiosis by dramatically reducing ratios of potentially harmful bacteria, and increasing ratios of beneficial bacteria.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's all about the environment. That's how Pu’er is able to do it. This isn't some magic bullet, it's helping to improve the environment so that healthy friendly bacteria can really thrive and the environment is also not conducive to opportunistic or pathogenic bacteria. And this is also something that's been utilized for centuries, time tested and now backed by peer-reviewed data. For me, it is always a top priority to make sure that the quality and sourcing is on point especially when it comes to teas. The only Pu’er tea that I drink is from a cold extraction technology that ensures that you're getting all these powerful polyphenols that help to improve gut health.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Also, this tea is wild harvested, meaning that it's even more concentrated in anti-oxidants. It's triple toxin screened for one of the highest levels of purity. If you don't know by now, many of the teas on store shelves, even organic teas, are contaminated with heavy metals, and pesticide residues and things like toxic mold. But the tea that you're getting from Pique Life is in a league of its own. Go to piquelife.com/model. That's P-I-Q-U-E-L-I-F-E.com/model. And not only are you going to get the very best Pu’er in the world, you're going to get 10% off, at least, up to 15% off but my favorite bundle is 10% off, plus you get a free tea sample that has 12 tea samples in it and free shipping in the US. That's my favorite Pu’er bundle personally. Now, there's a couple of other bundles that you'll find over at piquelife.com/model that can suit your fancy, so definitely pop over there and check them out. That's P-I-Q-U-E-L-I-F-E.com/model. Now, let's get to the Apple Podcast review of the week.
ITUNES REVIEW: Another five star review titled, "Thank you, Shawn." By one's light. "I just listened to Episode 700. First, congratulations on that milestone. Amazing work you've done. Love the episode, all seven habits you recommended are within reach, and not to brag, but I do most of them already. Just need to sometimes hear the vast benefits of them all to stay motivated. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, Shawn, and doing it in such an entertaining, heartfelt way. I appreciate you so much."
SHAWN STEVENSON: Amazing, I appreciate you, thank you so much for leaving that review over on Apple Podcast. And without further ado, let's get into this powerful conversation that was featured on Ever Forward Radio. Now again, in this conversation, we're gonna be covering how our environment and our culture deeply influences our health outcomes, and so much more. So check out this amazing conversation that I had with Chase Chewning on his show, Ever Forward Radio.
CHASE CHEWNING: I got to say a couple of things, which I feel like I say kinda every time we sit down on the show here. I just give so much credit to, not you, but you following your drive, your passion. For making a better life for yourself and your family, and sharing that information. Man… people know my story, but I'll say it again. When I discovered this platform, it was the Model Health Show 2015, and I couldn't get enough. It was just knowledge, knowledge, knowledge. I would take that. I was working in a clinic as well as a clinical health coach, and I would go to my patients. I would have leading information. I would have the latest authors. I would have the latest science or just a reminder of the sh*t that we all know works, it's so basic that we just kind of forget about.
CHASE CHEWNING: And I would just be so much better at my job, and then, you know…. I'll never forget, you were at like a live podcast event in 2017 back in DC, where I was living. And I was already kinda mulling over in my head at the time, what if I did this more? What if I did my own thing? What if I started my own coaching business? What if I really tried to make the podcast a thing? And I asked you this question, kind of paraphrasing a little bit here, but because it wasn't that long ago at that time where you had done the same thing. You had a clinic, you had a practice, you were coaching people, you were doing all this stuff in person, and then you transitioned out.
CHASE CHEWNING: And I asked you, "How do you know when it's time to move on? How do you know when it's time to take that leap?" And I'll never forget this answer, man. You just kinda paused and you looked at me and you said, "You already know." And dude, that moment, January 2017 until December 2017, I built my exit strategy. I doubled down, I was working 40, 50, 60 hours just on my thing, left that job the end of the year, and now here we are, six, seven years later, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's powerful, man, powerful. And just to see what you've accomplished as well in that time span. It’s special, it really is.
CHASE CHEWNING: It's crazy, it's crazy. So I just wanna give you thanks and praise and gratitude for all the things and following your purpose and your passion. And just as a reminder, how important it is for us to do the same for our own lives, but look at the trail of success of our bread crumbs that we can leave for others.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Absolutely, that's what it's all about, man. Really, like that's what creates fulfillment. Because we could be operating... I definitely have that tendency because of my childhood experience in the environment I grew up in to be more self-centered, to be more isolated, to retract. And once I got well, started feeling better physically, I had no idea the impact that it would have on my mind and just being able to perceive life differently, and also when you're in an environment where it's volatile and risky. It's an adaptation to be like that for survival. But for thriving and for really being able to enjoy life, you're going to have to open yourself up, you're gonna have to trust, you're going to have to serve and give. That's what… that’s what tribe really is about, it's being able to contribute and to serve. And there's something about human psychology, whether it's a small level or a big level, it's a need that we have. We derive a deep sense of purpose when we're able to give and to be of service to others. And it's like the super powers, like a super power and a secret that shouldn't be a secret.
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But the way that things are framed right now, I just saw a stat that is getting close to somewhere around 60% of Americans today in an emergency would struggle or not be able to get their hands on $1000. Alright, so we're talking about the majority of our society having that sense of deprivation and lack and scarcity, and so what do you think our tendencies are gonna be? Is it gonna be to open ourselves up, is it gonna be to be expansive? When we are under stress, when we are in a survival state, we tend to retract, we tend to hoard. We tend to hang on to the little bit that we got, and we tend to play it safe. And just which we're alluding to, being able to experience real fulfillment and growth, you're going to do something different, you're gonna risk things. You're gonna take strategic risk, of course, intelligent risk, but you're gonna stretch yourself. And it's difficult to stretch yourself when we're in an environment that is encouraging us or even pushing us to be retracted, if that makes sense.
CHASE CHEWNING: Expansion in the face of uncertainty seems ludicrous for a lot of people just to choose expansion. But you know what? I'm here to tell you, when you make that scarier choice of expansion, when you're facing uncertain times, that's it, that's the secret. That's how you grow, that's how you shed what doesn't serve you, that's how you step into what you're capable of. And again, like I said, you leave that example behind you, I think, if you're doing it right.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Yeah. Especially under those types of circumstances, when you're able to do that, it's really a launching pad. It's kind of like exponential growth, it's not just like a step-by-step growth, like you're really pushing yourself to a different level very, very quickly. And sometimes that's gonna involve you learning to live again, and it's like learning to live...
CHASE CHEWNING: Truly.
SHAWN STEVENSON: With this different mindset. It's kind of being like a twice borner. Right? so it's like...
CHASE CHEWNING: Learning who you are again, or maybe for the first time.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, exactly, yes. And there's an adjustment period, for sure. When I made this transformation, I just saw this that maybe two days ago as well. I don't know how this landed on my lap. I'm not purposely seeking out bad news, but I just saw the murder capitals, like the cities with the highest murder rates, and St. Louis was at the top again, that's where I'm from. And I lost my big brother, he wasn't my blood brother, but I lost my big brother when I was like seven years old. And, you know, as a family friend, he looked like us, my mom kinda took him in, we'd babysit his son, and so I've seen this even from my early days, people losing their life, just being in the environment that I'm in. And again, making this transformation in these conditions... I was living in Ferguson at the time, and this is not seemingly ideal circumstances to have a revolution of health and empowerment. Because I didn't see it in my environment at all, I didn't know what that was like. I step out my door, it's convenience stores, it's...
CHASE CHEWNING: Corner sketch mart.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. Cashing check places. And it's just like I didn't know what organic was, I didn't know what yoga was, I didn't know. [laughter] This stuff didn't exist to me. A matter of fact, there wasn't a gym in my area.
CHASE CHEWNING: Really?
SHAWN STEVENSON: No. Oh, no. No.
CHASE CHEWNING: Not even just like a...
SHAWN STEVENSON: No.
CHASE CHEWNING: 24-hour...
SHAWN STEVENSON: None of that.
CHASE CHEWNING: There was nothing?
SHAWN STEVENSON:No. However, if I hop on the highway and maybe hit Florissant because it was Ferguson, Florissant we shared a school district, but Florissant was marked like the nicer part of the town.
CHASE CHEWNING: Ok.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And there was a Club Fitness there, there wasn't a Gold's there yet, but even that Club Fitness, it was kind of holes in the wall, sweaty... The walls would sweat but they did have that. But I was attending my university at the time, so because I was a student I had access to the gym and facilities. That's what my blessing was under those circumstances. But I wasn't using it until, again, I decided to take control of my own health. And so being in that environment and making those choices, I'm here to tell you that it doesn't matter where you come from, it doesn't matter your circumstances, you can change, you can create the life that you wanna create. And no one said this was gonna be easy, that's the thing, but here's the beautiful part about all of it, is that all of it's hard, the struggle and the poor health and the poverty, that's hard. Growth, health and achieving some level of success, that's hard as well.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You get to pick your hard. You get to pick, you get to choose what difficulty you're going to follow, but here's the thing, truly one of them is gonna lead to a lot more fulfillment. That's the thing. And you know which one of those it is.
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh, we know.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And what we're here to do is to empower those who are in those... I wish I had somebody to speak this truth into me, to speak life into me, to let me know that this was possible. And so that's what we're here to do. And at the time, podcast wasn't a thing, which is so cool. I've been in this field for over 20 years and so...
CHASE CHEWNING: That's crazy. People think that I'm a grandfather in the podcasting because it's a little over six now, and they're like, "Damn," and I'm like, "No, no, no, you don't know."
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, granddaddy. Grandzaddy. I'm sorry, that should... [laughter] Edit that out. Edit that out.
CHASE CHEWNING: No, no. You're the grandzaddy.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So just understanding the podcast wasn't a thing, but we did have obviously the internet was popping and I got…. Again, just by making the choice to study some things, to find out about health, there was some online summits and things like that, and there were great teachers online who are my friends, I was actually messaging with him this morning, Dr. Mark Hyman, I came across his work early on, and there was this physician who was saying, "You can reverse Type 2 diabetes," and I'm just like, "That's... What?" I've got all these family members who have diabetes and that's just their story. They're diabetic. You cannot have this? And being that I was a student and also somebody who was really deep into research, but again, I was looking through a certain lens when I was doing it. Now, I'm using those tools to be able to analyze information, analyze data into a firm like, "Oh, wait, a minute, why hasn't anybody taught me this?" I have university nutritional science class, university biology class, but we're not learning how this is applicable to the real world.
CHASE CHEWNING: Yo, I was just being gate-keeped.
SHAWN STEVENSON: We're talking about... Damn, I don't know, a frog cell or something. You know what I mean? Like we're studying cells, but not really, it's not like in an empowering way where we understand like, oh…. There are these organelles, there's this mitochondria, there are these protein cell signals, and I can change these things in myself.
CHASE CHEWNING: Like us too.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And so that was the game changer for me was being able to blend this, and it reminds me that quote from, I believe it was Mark Twain, who said that we should never let school get in the way of our education.
CHASE CHEWNING: I do, I love that. Yeah, truly.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And so being able to, yes, I'm fulfilling my university education requirements, but my real education were the things that I was passionate about, and being able to seek out, not just teachers, but what's created was so special about this time is that you can learn from the very best people in the world in their respective fields.
CHASE CHEWNING: For free sometimes, or very limited barriers to entry.
SHAWN STEVENSON: All I gotta do is push play on their episode.
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah, truly.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's so powerful, man, so powerful. And so being able to learn from Mark was such a gift, and he helped contribute to even my latest book as well, and it's like, how is that even possible? I was in Ferguson, Missouri, you know what I mean? Like eating a box of macaroni and cheese for a meal. And my kids sleeping on an air mattress to like, this is my friend and colleague, and we've done so many things together, and he's just one of hundreds of stories that I have like that. And that's the thing that surprised me most about working in this field the past 20 years, is that my relationships are the most incredible, most valuable part of my life. Coming from that person who was so isolated to being somebody who is like, "My relationships are the most valuable thing in my life." It's really special.
CHASE CHEWNING: And I'm so glad you brought that up because I actually, I'm gonna have…. Of course, right here to talk about the new Eat Smarter cookbook, but it just is kind of a preface for everybody tuning in listening right now. The first time you were on the show back in 2019, Episode 159, again I'll link all this for everybody, was on just that, how to improve every relationship in your life, and that was so necessary for me to expand on because honestly, you were one of the first people, if not the first that drove home the necessity of relationships in terms of your health and how truly one serves the other, if not maybe even more relationships. And then again in 2020, in Episode 415, when Eat Smarter, the book came out, and in between all that, of course, we had Sleep Smarter, that book put me on my path.
CHASE CHEWNING: Shawn, I swear, man, when I made sleep my number one priority, no b*llsh*t, every other thing in my health, in my life, in my energy, my mood, my creativity, just sky rocketed. Sky rocketed, man. And so, so much of what you've done has just put me where I am here today, but just really at the front really of a lot of these concepts that really are not that crazy. And again, I know we're gonna get into this but when we look at relationships to food, the relationships we have with people that we're enjoying food with, what is going on there, what is literally spilling over into this experience of cooking, of eating and the reciprocity of what our bodies are soaking up because of the quality of that relationship, and even getting better sleep on top of all of that, man.
CHASE CHEWNING: So much to unpack for everybody to go back to, but in preparation for today, I was reviewing my notes, doing all the things like a good podcaster does, but ultimately I decided, I was like, "No, no, no. I've gotta get my work in… my work out in first," so I know that taking care of my body helps my mind and I'm curious, maybe in your preparation for today or in general as someone who is so health-conscious and researches and creates a lot of health and wellness content, how do you honor your mind through taking care of your body?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh, man, that's incredible. That's incredible. Listen, today... This is so special, man. I was training outside of my house with my youngest son today, so we just did...
CHASE CHEWNING: Is the relationship thing again...
SHAWN STEVENSON: I know, man. Listen, that's why this is so special. He's out on summer vacation, and I was just taking the opportunity and also just understand there's levels to this. So a lot of times if we are wanting to shift something in our lives, we try to use our willpower, we try to push through, we try to... And that's cool, like humans, we do have this faculty we dub willpower, but willpower becomes less necessary or almost unnecessary when the environment is changed, when the culture is such that you simply do these things because it's just what you do. Right?
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And so at the heart of it, it's about shifting culture, and that's really what I focused on for the Eat Smarter family cookbook was how do we change the culture, change the environment to then automatically change behavior. So I was really leveraging social science. And so for me, yeah, I haven't baked in... I understand that unfortunately, the body and mind have been separated in conventional science, conventional medicine recently, unfortunately, but it's taking a turn now, it's changing, it's coming kind of back to where it originated. To think that they can be separate is, is ignorant. It's not even a thing.
CHASE CHEWNING: Ignorant, absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But we got into this... You know, we can go back to René Descartes and we can get into this really mechanistic view of science and the human body. Like gears and levers, and this thing is...
CHASE CHEWNING: Systems operating independently and collectively.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Exactly, exactly. Now, learning from the very best people in the world, so the top cell biologists, the top neuroscientists, and all my friends and colleagues like Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Caroline Leaf, Dr. Lisa Mosconi and understanding that first and foremost, the mind is controlling everything. Your thoughts create chemistry.
CHASE CHEWNING: Mind not brain.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right, they are different.
CHASE CHEWNING: Vibration, yeah, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Because those two things unfortunately have become synonymous as well. Our brain is really a channeling instrument, and obviously there's a lot of automated things that it can do.
CHASE CHEWNING: Sure.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But it's difficult to locate, where is the thought in a brain or where is this memory located. We can talk about a brain region like the hippocampus. Yes, absolutely. However, your thoughts are creating your brain, alright, and you can literally change your thoughts essentially, externally of what's happening in your brain's normal firing. For example, if we're having a habitual negative thought or automatic negative thought, as my friend Daniel Amen would say, we can scratch that record up, we can choose something other than. And it doesn't necessarily mean we're leaning to a new brain region where something magically is stored away to do the thing, our mind is encompassing a field. And this is again, not getting into something that's very super metaphysical, I'm talking about real hardcore science here. If we even...
CHASE CHEWNING: You are talking about the neurons talking to other neurons or not. Accessing memories in order to engage them once again.
SHAWN STEVENSON: That's the mechanistic piece of it. But the energy field itself, if we... Let me shift gears to make this a little bit more accessible or visceral for people. The human heart. Okay, we all have one, if you're listening to this and shout out to the ghosts that might be listening by the way.
CHASE CHEWNING: I respect you, I respect you. [laughter]
SHAWN STEVENSON: If you have a heart... And oh, my goodness, this is leading me to another thing I just talked about about heart... Oh, we're gonna talk about heart transplantation in just a moment.
CHASE CHEWNING:Heart transplantation?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh, yeah. I got something to say about this. So the human heart is effectively teeming with neurotransmitters. So the human brain, we associate our neurotransmitters with brain activity and our central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, but the human heart is loaded with neurotransmitters, so much so that a lot of scientists dub this entity called the heart brain. And it's also kicking off a lot of electricity and electromagnetic fields.
CHASE CHEWNING: We have like a three-foot field, if I'm not mistaken of...
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's up to 8 feet from our bodies, it's called a tube torus.
CHASE CHEWNING: Wow. Yeah. That's like I can feel you without ever feeling you.
SHAWN STEVENSON: This is again, we... Because unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, because it might freak us out, humans we see a certain spectrum of life, we see a certain spectrum of light.
CHASE CHEWNING: Right.
SHAWN STEVENSON: There's biophotons make up everything, but we only see a certain spectrum, some animals see more into like infrared or ultraviolet or like differences on this long, huge spectrum that we don't understand.
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah, go look up reptiles and how they view the world, it's wild, man. That's some predator sh*t.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Exactly. And so it's understanding that we see a certain reality and there's a lot that we can't see. And so now with advancements in science and technology, we're able to see this field expanding from the human heart, again, it's called a tube torus. It's tube-like structure that's able... The folks at HeartMath have done really, really great research into this, and…. It's so cool, like years ago, maybe it's like 12 years ago, I started just even sending them donations.
CHASE CHEWNING: Really?
SHAWN STEVENSON: As a way of like tithing to places that I was getting my education from.
CHASE CHEWNING: I like that. I like that.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So I set up an autopay and I didn't have much money. Again, I moved to Florissant now, so I'm not in Ferguson, in the hood. Now I'm in like...
CHASE CHEWNING: Making moves. Making moves.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And so now, but I'm sending out $20 a month to their research and their institute, and so again, anyways, is HeartMath Institute, the Institute of Noetic Sciences as well is how I found out about HeartMath. And so anyways, with this being understood, if we think about a tangible example, if you think about an EKG, you think about heart monitors, when you're in the hospital or you see it on the movies… boop. boop. boop.
CHASE CHEWNING: You can even do it on Apple Watch now.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's picking up the electric energy that your heart is kicking off. It is a truly powerful electrical organ, like your brain. Same thing, in your brain, it's existing in a field, there's a field that your brain is emitting that your heart is emitting, and again, this is expanding, our body isn't just inside of this piece, this physical thing, it's expansive. Now, this brings us to... And I didn't know we're gonna talk about this.
CHASE CHEWNING: It's wild.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But this study, this was published in a prestigious medical journal. This is the journal, Medical Hypotheses, and this was published in 2020.
CHASE CHEWNING: Journal of Medical Hypotheses.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes. And this was published in February of 2020. The title of the study is personality changes following heart transplantation, the role of cellular memory. And so what the researchers are consolidating is the decades-long database of people having these transplantations of different organs and seeing behavior changes, seeing personality alterations.
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh wow.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Seeing a diversity of like somebody maybe has a certain mental health condition that goes away, or they gain one, or they have different taste preferences that show up, they start to have memories that are not their own. So all these different phenomenas and they detail all these things that just get kind of packed away as like, that's kind of weird science, it's kind of scary and weird strange science. But essentially, the researchers are uncovering that, number one, there's an epigenetic memory, there's a DNA memory, there's an RNA memory, and there's a protein memory...
CHASE CHEWNING: Holy sh*t.
SHAWN STEVENSON: That is contained within that organ, and essentially a protein memory, they're like little antennas on ourselves that are picking up a frequency of broadcast. And what it's alluding to is that that broadcast is you. It's picking up you. So that person's heart in that heart transplant, their protein antennas is picking up that person's frequency. So it's like this is getting into some really interesting strange places...
CHASE CHEWNING: I know what I'm looking up after this.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But this is speaking to how, again, we are not just this and if we understand these things, that we're so much more, the universe itself is so much more expansive, but what can imprison us is being so short-sighted. Feeling like this feeling of isolation, feeling like we are not capable or that we're alone, when in reality, you're connected to all of it. You are connected to everything in the universe. As a matter of fact, everything that the universe is, is getting expressed through you.
CHASE CHEWNING: Absolutely, man. Absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's like a unique expression of that. And what an opportunity, what an opportunity, what a special time. And so I know we took a detour and understanding this story is so much bigger, but to circle everything back to understanding again, that mind-body connection and how I intentionally started the day today with my son in training, because unlike some of my colleagues that feel like the mind is the total control, I feel like it's going both ways.
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh, yeah, absolutely, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So I feel that... And this goes back to my friend, Tony Robbins, which is really gangsta to be able to say my friend Tony Robbins and him saying that emotion is created by motion. So being able to change your physical state, moving your body is going to have these upstream effects on your psychology and your mind. And what he's really saying is that it makes it easier to tune into and choose more positive thoughts from your mind when your body is feeling good. When you're suffering, when you're in pain, when you're in a state of low energy it's more difficult to grab on to those more positive affirmative thoughts. It's not impossible, it makes it harder. And so this is a gift that I give myself and I haven't always been good about doing that, and working for so many years and running a clinic, working with a lot of women, I've seen... And this is very important, the majority of the time, it's more difficult for women to really take control of their health care because of the...
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh, I can speak to that professionally as well.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You see, just the nature of self-sacrifice and doing for others. And so we might have the revelation, and my wife might have the revelation that I gotta put myself first. Oh, man, the words are one thing, the actions are another. So what does that actually look like? And I'm on a mission now to help people to reframe or restructure their perception of things, simple changes in their day and in their environment to make that automatic. Because in reality, we're often coming to our families depleted. We're giving so much, we're emptying our cup. And then at the end of the day, we're pulling from something that is almost gone, essentially.
CHASE CHEWNING: We're scraping the bottom of the barrel.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Exactly. And so what we wanna do is proactively find ways to fill our cup to start the day, fill up our energy reserve so that we could serve at a higher level. So that we could show up, so that we are more resilient, so that we are more adaptable. Because when we are scraping from the bottom of the barrel, it's some nasty stuff down there. And this could oftentimes lead to dysfunction, disease, burn out and all these different things, but here's the thing, as a parent, we're still gonna figure out, we're still gonna find a way, we're still... If we have nothing left, we're gonna dig deeper, we dig ourselves into a hole to get it done for our child. Now, again, it sounds altruistic, it sounds heroic, but unfortunately, so many of these kids are losing their parents prematurely. I just lost my dad. Just two weeks ago I was at his funeral. He was in an adult living facility, an adult day care, basically, for the last 15 years because of the drugs and alcohol...
CHASE CHEWNING: 15 years, wow.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Damaging his brain. And to see that experience and that transformation that took place in his life and of course, we want our parents, we want our mom, we want our dad, we want... There are certain things we want from them, it might be that affirmation, it might be to say that I'm proud of you, whatever the case might be, but one of the things that we don't wanna do oftentimes is to lose them prematurely, and so that's what I'm advocating for. Because I don't want my kids to be without me right now. Especially when they need me so much, they need a role model, they need somebody to be an example for them, to be a template, to be a resource for whatever they might need.
CHASE CHEWNING: Show them how to build their own tools when it comes to taking care of this vessel.
SHAWN STEVENSON: What I'm learning is that parenting, there is an expiration date on that. You know what I mean? And so we can show up better and to have more longevity for our children, for our families, when we put a priority on our own health and wellness.
CHASE CHEWNING: To a …. kinda add a little bit on that. I think even call it maybe the opposite here but sometimes and the through line here is relationships. The relationship we have with our family members and the relationship we have with a significant other, in my case, the relationship with my father was so, so rock solid and so important when I did lose him prematurely, it was because of that loss and that relationship that I use that. Now, it took me a while to kinda go through that, but it was because of that and straight up fear and I'm curious to kinda get your feedback on this. Leveraging fear of getting sick. Now, my father passed away from a terminal illness, nothing that I can get. I've been tested for it, it's not hereditary or contagious, but the fear of my life ending prematurely and leaving my family and the fear of not being able to move my body and to just wither away, drove me in many, many ways to take care of my body and a lot of the ways that I do now. I might be fighting a fool's battle or running a fool's errand but you know what, damn it, if I, God forbid ever get to that place, I'll know without a doubt that I've been taking care of myself.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Do you know, you're not. You're stuck in conditions. Even with that story, it's still gonna depend on our perception. Because for somebody else in that same position to lose their father, they can attach to that and use that as permission to stay stagnant, like I lost my dad, I can't. And for me, and again, I get to see this stuff first hand and to see my siblings replicating behaviors that put my father in that condition, why did I choose other than? It's still gonna boil down to choice, but that choice is so much more difficult and distant when you don't feel well, because I was following right along when I was living in Ferguson, I was incredibly overweight and I was diagnosed with a degenerative condition, arthritic condition in my spine and my bones at just 20 years old, alright. So I was just literally whittling away and deteriorating. And the majority of my family members today are obese, right. There has been change in my family, of course, they're... Oh, my goodness, I got stories for days.
CHASE CHEWNING: I'm sure. I'm sure.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Some incredible stories. However, what's the most difficult aspect of it is the environment. Because we get addicted, we get addicted, even if it's not good for us, if we found comfort in it, if we're used to something, comfort can be a killer. Strange...
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah, again, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Comfort can be a killer. And even if a behavior is hurting us, we know it's hurting us, if it's what we're used to, like our brains, that's another thing about the difference between the mind and the brain. The brain is always looking for automation. It's always laying down more myelin, and it's helping those pathways, it's as neurosphere to get the wire together and it's making it faster, so it's just automating behavior.
CHASE CHEWNING: This is familiar, this is safe, this is less work, less energy, especially when it comes to the brain.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Exactly, exactly. That energy aspect. Oh, that's such a good one. And now you add on top of that, okay, now you wanna have a positive thought, now you wanna change?
CHASE CHEWNING: You wanna change.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You wanna do something different?
CHASE CHEWNING: The audacity.
SHAWN STEVENSON: The drinking every day, or you're smoking habit or eating all this processed food, you wanna change, you wanna get healthy? All of this has been laid down in the brain that's automating these things. And so when we step in with a new decision, but that's the thing, I mean not even say decision or decision is cutting the cord. We talked about this before, the Latin root of the word decision, de meaning form, and cadere meaning to cut. Cutting away the possibility of anything else, but this thing. If you make a real decision, it's done.
CHASE CHEWNING: Great memory, by the way. As soon as you just said that, I'm having a flashback. Absolutely, yeah, we talked about this, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: A little Matrix moment, a little Inception. And so just understanding that being able to change our thinking. It's going to require us to change our circumstances, our environment, to make that more habitual. Okay, so what does this look like? And this is where it really leans into how we can do this for ourselves in our families. First, I think we need to know who we're up against actually. And here in the United States, I'm just gonna throw out a few stats.
CHASE CHEWNING: Who's our enemy right now? Paint the picture. Enemy number one right now on the home front.
SHAWN STEVENSON: That's hard to pick one enemy. You know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna mention a couple of... Capitalism isn't the problem. Let's put that caveat. It's capitalism at the cost of human lives. It's leveraging capitalism to take advantage of suffering, that's what we have with our pharmaceutical model today. That's what we have with our processed food model today. Alright, that's what we're dealing with. And so these are a couple of the enemies, and it just helps just psychologically to know we're all collectively coming together to battle something, but there's so many good people who are working in those industries. Some people that listen to my show, hit me up they work at Johnson & Johnson or Fives or whatever. It's like, "Shawn, I know you're right, but I just don't like when you talk about this thing."
CHASE CHEWNING: Hey, maybe they're the ones that blew up the Pfizer plant. You heard about that?
SHAWN STEVENSON: No, I don't know about this.
CHASE CHEWNING: One of the... I'm pretty sure it's Pfizer, I think literally yesterday or a couple of days ago, one of their biggest pharmaceutical plants that creates a lot of, mostly, if I'm not mistaken, their narcotic and opioid drugs and pain relievers and things like that. Mysteriously, random explosion.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It has nothing to do with me.
CHASE CHEWNING: And I haven't heard any casualties, thank God but it sounds suspicious.
SHAWN STEVENSON: That's somebody following you.
CHASE CHEWNING: All my former military guys out there, great nation, well done. [laughter] Just kidding. Just kidding. But yeah, it's just wild when you think about something like that.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, and so just to paraphrase, Pfizer for example, again, there are great people there and they're trying to make a difference, but the entity itself, the business itself, they profit from suffering and not curing issues, not curing disease, but managing symptoms is the...
CHASE CHEWNING: Band-Aid. Band-Aid. Band-Aid.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Is the definition so that you're a repeat customer. And having a product that you just use once, it's like even recently, there's been a thing, you think you need once, but you gotta keep on getting the thing, and in reality, it's really factory-farming humans.
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh sh*t
SHAWN STEVENSON: So if you... And again, there's so much to unpack, I'm just gonna give a couple of things. Pfizer was convicted of the largest criminal fine by the Department of Justice in history. And they were convicted of racketeering charges. We're talking about things that are reserved for like the mafia and organized crime syndicates.
CHASE CHEWNING: Correct me if I'm wrong, racketeering implies intention.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, exactly, exactly.
CHASE CHEWNING: Knowledge, not...
SHAWN STEVENSON: They knew what they were doing. They've broken so many different laws repeatedly, so many felonies, and also so many people have died on their watch as well. A lot of people are dying from their products, and this is not hard to define, and also testing drugs illegally on Nigerian children and the lawsuits from that, and the list goes on and on. So many different crimes in different countries as well. And you'll find a company like Johnson & Johnson, for example, that was using slush funds and offshore accounts to try to hide their bribing of different controllers of foreign countries.
CHASE CHEWNING: Johnson & Johnson, a family company.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right, a family company.
CHASE CHEWNING: That's their line. That's their tagline.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And unfortunately, again, I don't want this to be the case, and I don't want to villainize them, but the entity itself is so unethical, they're breaking all of these laws, but ultimately you're not gonna have a person who's at fault. And so they're just gonna be able to... If I did any of that stuff, for example, let's talk about Merck. And I could do this with just about any drug company, by the way. And also my reference for this is the person who's involved in the litigation, Dr. John Abramson. So when it comes to Pfizer and that whole DOJ Department of Justice stuff, like I know the guy who was in the court room. Alright, so this is in hearsay and again, these convictions are something that truly happened. And so when I was dealing with my issues with my spine, there were a couple of drugs available. There was Celebrex, that was one of the hottest drugs at the time, and also at the time, synonymously, there was Vioxx. These are both drugs that are targeting inflammation, these help to relieve pain, and I was in a lot of pain, I was having this sciatic nerve pain every time I stood up it was terrible. And fortunately, or unfortunately, the physician I was working with prescribed me Celebrex and he might have saved my life because Vioxx ended up killing 40000 Americans confirmed.
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh, sh*t.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And anybody could just go to Dr. Google, 40000 Americans lost their lives directly from using Vioxx.
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh, my God. It would have been one of those two drugs basically prescribed. So you got the activity shot of being one of that death.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And also the marketing behind Vioxx was so robust. You know, this was another one of those blockbuster drugs, potential billion dollar asset. And so, but here's the most unfortunate part about it, again, they knew that this risk was going on in the trials, but they fudged documentation, they hid the risk and they proceeded to market anyways. And also the FDA, who's supposed to be watching over this stuff, unfortunately, even at that time, it's largely funded by drug companies. About 50% of the FDA's scientific review budget is from drug companies.
CHASE CHEWNING: 50%.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And up to 75%... I'm sorry, 50% of their overall budget is from drug companies. Up to 75% of their scientific review budget is from drug companies. Right. And this was a loophole created with the FDA partnering with drug companies in an effort to... Under the guise of getting more drugs approved to save American lives.
CHASE CHEWNING: Noble cause.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So let drug companies pay you, let the drug companies pay the FDA, give you more resources, give you more assets so you can review more drugs. But with that piece, and plus this kind of devolution that was really imminent in that collaboration, nine of the 10 last directors of the FDA, the top seat of the FDA...
CHASE CHEWNING: No, no, no.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Have either come from a drug company or they left there and gone to a drug company.
CHASE CHEWNING: Sh*t. I knew it was strong. I didn't know it was nine out of 10.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Nine out of 10.
CHASE CHEWNING: Damn.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Alright. So it's a revolving door and it's not... That's the top place. And of course they're gonna be taking their insider knowledge with them to the drug company. You know, it's just, they're human. But at the same time, that's just the top office. There's been that revolving door with many different employees, with drug companies and the FDA. And these are the type of things that in the United States, I hate to use the word should, must be outlawed. They're outright, they're beyond unethical, because this should be... This is supposed to be the watchdog protecting American citizens and American health.
CHASE CHEWNING: Has our best interest at heart. Right?
SHAWN STEVENSON: The EJS Center for Ethics at Harvard University recently published some data affirming that nearly 200,000 Americans die each year from pharmaceutical drugs.
CHASE CHEWNING: Just across the board?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Across the board.
CHASE CHEWNING: You take a pharmaceutical drug, 200K plus?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. So that's a lot. We're talking about a couple hundred thousand people.
CHASE CHEWNING: That's the population of my hometown.
SHAWN STEVENSON: For them to be able to... This again, I'm not saying this was…. like Forest Park Community College, this is Harvard. Right? And shout out to Forest Park, no disrespect. [laughter] Okay. This is St. Louis, you know, hometown.
CHASE CHEWNING: You've put 'em on the map now, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: There's a lot of hustlers there, you know, but they're trying to get educated, you know. But here's the thing, because of the way that even deaths are recorded, it is difficult for researchers to actually get the real numbers when these events occur.
CHASE CHEWNING: Well, that was all the f*ckery with the C word the last couple years.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. It's very difficult because it's not necessarily an easy box to check that a pharmaceutical drug or a drug reaction caused this injury or this death. And by the way, that's just... I shouldn't say just, but those are the deaths, we're not talking about the couple million injuries that occur from pharmaceutical drugs that, again...
CHASE CHEWNING: New diseases, complications, I mean.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Do you know how hard it is to reacquire your... Oh, my... I mean, it can destroy somebody's life. If they're injured from a drug, it's so difficult to sue a drug company. I'm not gonna say it's impossible. They have the most powerful legal teams on Planet Earth.
CHASE CHEWNING: No doubt. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. And so, and there are all of these stipulations that protect them and not our citizens. And so we have that entity that we're battling against. And I just shared a couple of things. And some of this stuff is like, it's pretty terrible. The other piece of that, the FDA, food and drug administration, food is the first part. Right? So collectively, they're supposed to be regulating this stuff. Food is making us sick, and then we take the drugs and just like everybody's profiting. And according to... This was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA and this was in 2018. They did a meta-analysis. They're just printing the data. The number one cause of our epidemics, our primary chronic diseases is poor diet. That's their assessment. Poor diet, leading cause of death. Slightly edging out things like smoking, for example. Like we know smoke, it's on the package, people still do it, but the education around processed food actually killing people is just simply not there. And so what is it about processed foods that's causing the issue?
CHASE CHEWNING: And now even ultra processed foods, I'm seeing more ultra than just processed. So we leveled up in not a good way [laughter] in that category.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Humans have been processing foods for as long as, you know, we have documentation and, you know, anthropological records. I've got a really good friend who has a degree in anthropology. He went to the same school as me at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. And his name's Prince E and he's like really popping out here. But he's... A big part of his mission is educating about health as well. And he's looking through that lens of like, what were humans doing hundreds of thousands of years ago. And so we could take something like tomatoes and process it into spaghetti sauce or a marinara sauce...
CHASE CHEWNING: Right. Salsa...
SHAWN STEVENSON: But you could still tell that that was a tomato that was crushed and some stuff added. Right? The same thing with olive oil, right? Cold pressing, by the way, shout out to extra virgin olive oil. This is cold processing the olives. Usually it's stone pressing and at low temperatures, then they bottle it in dark glass.
CHASE CHEWNING: That's key.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Because they're protecting that oil because...
CHASE CHEWNING: Oxidation, light.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It is sensitive to light, not just even heat. It's sensitive to light that can... Right. Oxidation and also it can essentially make that oil rancid. And so that's gonna set off all these pro-inflammatory events in your body, these kind of reactive oxygen species when you consume that sh*t. And that's what we see with products like "vegetable oil," canola oil, corn oil. These things are processed at extremely high heats that immediately this oil is highly oxidized and rancid and just torn to pieces, torn to shreds, the structure of it. Not only are they doing that, but also they're adding all these deodorizers and chemical solvents and bleaching agents and washing agents to try to create... Because if you see canola oil, actually when it's first getting processed, it looks disgusting. It looks like this mud, this mucky muddy substance. And by the way, this, I'm not saying to go youtube how canola oil is made, but...
CHASE CHEWNING: I mean, I definitely am later. [laughter]
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. I mean, it is very eyeopening. So anyways, that's ultra processed versus processed. Many different benefits to be extracted from something like olive oil, for example. Researchers at Auburn recently published some data and they found that extra virgin oleocanthal rich, the antioxidant rich, extra virgin olive oil is one of the few things ever discovered that can help to heal the blood-brain barrier for humans. So help to reduce inflammation in the brain, neuroinflammation. And researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine published some data recently affirming that neuroinflammation is one of the leading causes of excess body fat gain and insulin resistance.
CHASE CHEWNING: Really? The insulin resistance part...
SHAWN STEVENSON: And, but there's another part of that. And insulin resistance and excess body fat leads to more neuroinflammation.
CHASE CHEWNING: So, it's just feeding each other.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes.
CHASE CHEWNING: Quite literally in a negative way.
SHAWN STEVENSON: This is the definition of a vicious circle.
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah, sh*t.
SHAWN STEVENSON: All right. Shout out to Dane Cook. I think he did a special called Vicious Circle.
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah. Vicious Cycle, Vicious Circle.
SHAWN STEVENSON:Vicious Something. [laughter] But this is the definition of what a vicious circle truly is. And like, you can't break that pattern. We're trying so hard to take control of our health to, you know, a big mission. Millions of people right now in America, tens of millions are on diets. They're trying to lose weight, they're trying, but if we don't understand, like what are the mechanisms controlling my metabolic health, controlling my body fat distribution, your brain is a primary organ in this conversation. Again, we already understand the mind brain connection. So I'm not... We want to keep... Be aware that those two things are not synonymous but we are integrating both of them in this conversation. Because your brain houses your hypothalamus. Again, automated largely, your hypothalamus is kind of like an internal thermostat that's determining in combination with your pituitary and your thyroid, what your metabolic rate is.
SHAWN STEVENSON: How many calories are you burning just sitting there. And also, this was really fascinating, researchers at Yale, they published some data affirming that your brain, based on its perception and its connection and communication with your gut, your brain can tell your gut to downregulate or upregulate the …
CHASE CHEWNING: No.
SHAWN STEVENSON:…. absorption of calories from the food that you're eating.
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh sh*t
SHAWN STEVENSON: So you can be absorbing more calories from your food based on the communication between your gut and your brain or you can be absorbing less. And same thing with nutrients. All across the board, calories are just one aspect that we've put a label on in nutrition, but all of it, you know, whether it's...
CHASE CHEWNING: It's so much more complex.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Magnesium, whether it's vitamin A, whatever the case might be, our bodies are intelligent at storing things. And so …. Now here's where it gets really crazy is that what if that part of the brain is inflamed? Specifically because the research that I mentioned earlier from the researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and that vicious circle, it wasn't just neuroinflammation overall in the brain, it was hypothalamic inflammation.
CHASE CHEWNING: Right. So it's spilling out of the brain now.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So that specific part of the brain that's regulating your metabolic rate, your body temperature, your sleep and wake cycles, like, it's like a master gland.
CHASE CHEWNING: That thing signaling everybody, every system. Yeah, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's a problem. Alright, it's hurting. Now with that said, how would we even know that that's an issue for us? Most of us don't. Almost none of us know this. We're not being educated about this. And also the brain is very protective. Unless you have the technology to get in there and look at the brain, which is rare. So many people go to see their physician for brain related conditions and nobody's actually looking at the brain. So somebody might be struggling with a mental health condition.
CHASE CHEWNING: Right.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. So something that is attributed to brain function, and we're saying you have a chemical imbalance, for example.
CHASE CHEWNING: Where do you think those chemicals f*cking come from? [laughter] You know.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Are we actually doing a blood test? Are we doing a hormone panel? Are we... Actually, if you have a chemical imbalance, and this has to do with your neurotransmitters like serotonin for example, are you finding a way to actually measure this? 'Cause that's very difficult, by the way. No, they're not doing that. They're doing this based on a conversation. And this is part of the problem. And this is what we're changing now. Because the reality is even the serotonin model of... The serotonin theory of depression has been disproven. It's been almost 20 years. Now, just recently in the last year or two more scientists are basically analyzing that old data and republishing saying, hey, the serotonin model, all of these SSRIs, these selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, this was based on really faulty science. And this is the reason why most people don't get well, some people do find resolution when they take an SSRI. And my good friend, Dr. Christopher Palmer, again out of Harvard...
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah. He was on the show recently. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Associate professor, psychiatry. He's top level guy. He shared with me some data and I went and looked at the study, it blew my mind.
CHASE CHEWNING: Brain energy theories. Crazy.
SHAWN STEVENSON: They tracked all of these people who were diagnosed with depression. And this is a longitudinal study. So they tracked them over time, and they found that 90% of the people treated with conventional methods for their depression, 90% of these people did not have a resolution of their depression. It only helped 10% of people. And that's what's not being told. Like when they're working with their physician or their psychiatrist, they're not saying that this is 90% likely not to work, but we're gonna do this sh*t anyways. That's informed consent. It's lacking informed consent. And also not to mention all of the side effects, the related side effects.
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And what it becomes is a game of like throwing these medication tipped darts at your brain. Let me see what... You know, and this is the thing, a lot of times something works for a moment. That's what they found. About 30% of people had some resolution temporarily. And here's the thing, if you look at the placebo controlled trials and understanding the role of the placebo across the board, and by... Again, this is another little fun fact everybody should know. When we have a placebo controlled trial, randomized placebo controlled trial, that's a gold standard in our system today.
CHASE CHEWNING: Meaning both parties don't know what they're getting. They're either getting the medication or the placebo. The people who are administering and the people receiving.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Exactly and the placebo is inert. There's no therapeutic benefit to it. There's nothing. And what they find overall in clinical trials is that placebos are about 33% percent effective in clinical trials. All right. A fake drug, fake treatment, fake surgeries. All right? Especially, it's around 80% effective in trials for depression and mental health conditions.
CHASE CHEWNING: People want to get better so bad, your point, like we were talking about earlier, they believe they're getting help. You can't make that sh*t up.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's powerful. That's going back to what we initially started with, the power of the human mind. We are creating chemistry. Every single thought that we have creates chemistry in our bodies. And so just that feeling of being acknowledged, that feeling of respected authority on health to tell you that this is gonna help you, that has such a weight. And we're placebo-ing ourselves. That's the thing. And I shared this in my earlier book, in Eat Smarter, one of these studies done by researchers at Stanford, Alia Crum and her team, and they were using the skin prick test where they would create basically this kind of histamine reaction where they would have an allergic rash breakout on the subject.
CHASE CHEWNING: Love that for them.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And then... [laughter] And then they would give them a treatment, a cream. But the cream was completely inert. It would have no therapeutic benefit.
CHASE CHEWNING: Just like lotion.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But there was a physician who would inform them that, "Okay, this is an agonist or an antagonist, this is something that's gonna make your rash worse or make it better." And they gave different people different messages. And so within five to 10 minutes, the people who thought they were getting an antihistamine cream that'd make the rash go away, it started to go away.
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh sh*t. oh sh*t.
SHAWN STEVENSON: There was no therapeutic benefit but their mind... The same thing with the agonist cream, where this is gonna make your rash worse. Their rash got worse. Now the degree at which it changed and how quickly it changed depended upon how much belief the patient had in the physician.
CHASE CHEWNING: Damn.
SHAWN STEVENSON: How much they thought that the physician was intelligent and logical.
CHASE CHEWNING: Had their best interests at heart.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes.
CHASE CHEWNING: Straightforward, honest.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So all of these different...
CHASE CHEWNING: Practicing medicine.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Subconscious qualities we don't even realize unless they're analyzed afterwards. So for them to be able to say like, okay, when they were looking at the data, what was the big factor here? What was the biggest factor in how much their rash changed? It was based primarily, the biggest factor was how much they believed or had faith in the physician. But even that, here's the thing, even as I say that, it's still your choice. You are the one choosing and the power is in you. The placebo, you can placebo yourself. And if we understood this, how powerful our psychology is, I mean, we could... This is a game changer. Right?
CHASE CHEWNING: Everything changes after that.
SHAWN STEVENSON: With all this said, you know, just to put a bow on this, the role of the placebo is remarkable but also there's the nocebo effect, which is, you know, giving somebody a negative injunction, like for example, that thing is gonna get worse. How often in our world today are we being told by people that we have in this kind of perception of authority that things are gonna be bad. Right? You're gonna die. This thing's gonna happen. Right? You know, we got this thing over here, there's financial crisis, we've got this health crisis, we've got all of these different things. Where's the empowerment? Because when we are in fear, we're much more... We're gonna be shifting the primary places that we're thinking from. And so we're going to be much more apt to be controllable, to be influenced for our own good, for our own safety. Now here's where we shift this conversation completely, because we want to be aware that these things are happening. I didn't want this to be a pity party about Pfizer or about, you know, about Monsanto. This is where we understand what we're dealing with. And now we choose other than, now we start to invest in things that are health affirmative. We understand that that's existing. Because what can happen when people, especially people that listen to this show, we can get so caught up in this fight against those entities.
CHASE CHEWNING: Yes. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Instead of, alright, let's create a culture of incredible health in our families under our own roof, just within that one location. Become masterful at my own personal health, despite what's going on out here, despite all of this influence that these entities have. And you know why it's so powerful to change that, is because every single person who does that is taking away from their profits, is taking away from their bottom line.
CHASE CHEWNING:Absolutely. Absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's shifting, it's creating... Getting closer to this tipping point. And I started this whole thing off by saying I was gonna share some statistics, [laughter] but...
CHASE CHEWNING: We got a few. We got a few.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. I'm gonna rattle these off really quickly and then we're gonna get to solutions. I'll pass it back to you when we get to solutions. So the CDC published their data for this past year. And according to the CDC, 60% of American adults now have at least one chronic disease.
CHASE CHEWNING: Over half?
SHAWN STEVENSON: 60%. So the majority of Americans have at least one disease, 40% have two or more. Alright? That's knocking on the door of half of our society have two or more chronic diseases. This is incredibly abnormal. This has never happened before in human history. And to identify what some of these are, somewhere around 250 million Americans now are overweight or obese, and we're knocking at the door. Last published data was almost 43% of Americans were clinically obese.
CHASE CHEWNING: Not just overweight, not just carrying that extra five pounds, but clinically obese. That's what, 40 pounds, 60 pounds?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Dude, this is based on BMI. And that can... Even with using BMI, we can get into like, well, what if you're an NFL running back?
CHASE CHEWNING: I've been overweight by BMI for... Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: We're not talking about that.
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. Well, you know what we're talking about. We're talking about a true state of disease and in addition to that, about 130 million Americans, and I know you're gonna be... You're gonna talk to Dr. Casey Means, another really good friend and colleague, have diabetes or pre-diabetes, 130 million of our citizens. It's about a third of our population. It's crazy.
CHASE CHEWNING: And the spike in type two now is astronomical. It used to be, I think in the single digits just 20 years ago, maybe. Now it's like double, triple, majority.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You know what I could do, man? There was a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the title of this study is The Last 200 Years in Diabetes. And what the researchers uncovered was that just in the last 30 years alone, rates of type two diabetes in the United States have quadrupled.
CHASE CHEWNING: Quadrupled.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Quadrupled. All right. Not just doubled, not tripled, quadrupled.
CHASE CHEWNING: And this is type two, everybody. This is not the one that you're born with or just kind of happens out of the gate. This is lifestyle, this is nutrition, this is sedentary. This is all the things that we have dominion over changing.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. It used to be called adult onset diabetes, but because so many children and adolescents started developing it just in the last, you know, decade or two, the name was changed.
CHASE CHEWNING: Juvenile. Right?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Juvenile diabetes, that's type one diabetes.
CHASE CHEWNING:Okay. Excuse me.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So even with that, type one diabetes has gone up substantially as well. And this has to do with the beta cells in the pancreas. So the beta cells are making insulin and the beta cells are dysfunctional. They're not making... There's so many different ways that this could come about. But we also have sound data now on what can create that kind of malfunction or genetic alteration and make a condition like that more prevalent. And there are wonderful people out here who are, you know, in this category of "influencers" who are living with type 1 diabetes, who've largely, like they've been able to reduce the amount of insulin that they're taking by really getting on top of their nutrition and their lifestyle practices. One of these guys is incredibly fit, he's like one of these really great athletes and fitness influencers.
CHASE CHEWNING: A type 1?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Type 1 diabetic. And again, he's living a really great fulfilled life, a healthy life, but he has this, what would be seemingly a disadvantage that he's turned in his favor, right? And also using that as a platform to educate some other people.
CHASE CHEWNING: We love that around here.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And so a couple of other quick stats, about 60% of American adults have some degree of heart disease that's measurable now. So again, this is the leading cause of death in the United States.
CHASE CHEWNING: Number one killer, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Substantially. And according to the NIH, today, depression is the number one cause of disability in the United States, it's really a worldwide epidemic. And if you're curious, like what are other causes of disability and miss work besides depression? Again, depression is the number one, infectious diseases and this has been for years, this isn't just recently, but have we been paying attention to the fact that infectious diseases have not gone anywhere. As a matter of fact, you can see proof that things have gotten substantially worse, and there's really great data that was accumulated on that front, where researchers put together this paper, and this was in the '90s, looking at it like, we thought we had a breakthrough, like better living through chemistry and science that we can eradicate infectious diseases.
CHASE CHEWNING: Hygiene.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But the researchers found that it had gone up above 58%.
CHASE CHEWNING: Come on.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And so, there's this narrative that we believe that we're getting healthier, right? Our lifespan is expanding and that was true for many years prior, but another really important thing for people to realize is that we are the first generation in recorded human history, that's not going to outlive our predecessors.
CHASE CHEWNING: I've heard you talk about this before and man, I can't believe it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. That trend of lifespan growing has reversed recently, it's a paradox and it's a paradox because with our level of advancement, on paper, seemingly advancement, technology and access to drugs and access to food. But there's a difference between food and fake food, you would think that this would continue to expand, but unfortunately, again, it's reversed. And but now again, this is where I pass it back to you and we shift on solutions.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Got a quick break coming up, we'll be right back.
SHAWN STEVENSON: There's a natural ebb and flow of our body temperature throughout the day, and through our evolution there's a natural drop in our core body temperature at night to help us to facilitate sleep. Certain hormones are released, certain enzymatic processes for repair, certain things change in our brain when our body temperature is going down in the evening, in association with the nocturnal pattern of life itself here on earth. When things start to get darker our core body temperature goes down, it's how we evolved. Now, today we can throw a glorified monkey wrench into that natural process, and what the research indicates is that one of the primary thing that's underlying insomnia is an inability for our body temperature to be regulated. Specifically in the evening we're seeing folks with chronic sleep issues having a much higher core body temperature at night. And this was highlighted by a study that was published in the American Journal of Physiology. Now a new study with this in mind was just conducted and it included 32 participants and they were recruited into a three-week clinical trial to see if supporting thermal regulation with their bedding can help to improve their sleep quality. Now the researchers took subjective and objective data, monitoring their sleep with devices to see the impact of their sleep conditions.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And so the researchers utilize some bamboo lyocell sheets that support thermal regulation, that are antimicrobial, that are moisture wicking. And they found that by sleeping on these sheets the study participants had a 1.5% improvement in their sleep efficiency. What does that mean? What does that equate to? That's equating to an additional 7.2 more minutes of restorative sleep per night And what if we stretch that out? We're talking 43 extra hours of sleep per year. They're still doing the same activity, still in the same bed, but not getting optimal sleep, there's a difference between getting restorative sleep and just being unconscious or just being in the bed. This simple thing, just what we're sleeping on, can improve our sleep quality. By the way, subjectively, so that was the objective data, subjectively, the participants found that their mental alertness during the day following sleeping on these sheets improved by 25%, and overall 94% of people prefer sleeping on these sheets versus whatever else they were doing before that. Now these sheets are from Ettitude and these are my fav, I love these sheets so much, I didn't know that this was even a thing, I didn't know that this existed, that this mattered so much.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But once you sleep on these sheets, you truly understand why, they're free from harmful chemicals, irritants, allergens, they're hypoallergenic and also they're self deodorizing, they inhibit bacterial growth, they're breathable, moisture wicking, also supports thermal regulation. But something truly special, because I love these sheets so much I actually reached out and connected with these folks and I got a 15% off discount for our audience here. So go to ettitude.com/model that's E-T-T-I-T-U-D-E.com/model, use the code Model15 at checkout and get yourself some of these incredible sheets, and these are a great gift as well by the way. I get these sheets for friends all the time, I love them so much and also they've given you a 30 night sleep trial. So get the opportunity to sleep on them, think on them, dream on them, if you don't love them, just simply send them back for a full refund. Go to ettitude.com/model, again that's E-T-T-I-T-U-D-E.com/model, use the code Model15 all together at checkout for 15% off. Now, back to the show.
CHASE CHEWNING: I've got a million and one different ways that I wanna go with this and you've got so much value coming out in this book, in this work, it's hard to pick, it's like pick your battle, pick your poison kind of thing. But when I think about maybe the majority of listeners out there or at least in my audience, people that we're educated or we are choosing to further our education through platforms like this, we're empowering our lives, our choices for our own betterment. But also because we care about the people to the left and right of us. Living a life ever forward is not just about us, it's empowering other people along the way, and if we really want that for ourselves, we have to be mindful, I believe we have to be mindful of those people in our lives, community relationships is everything, man. So I would love to kind of bring it there, right? So we're there, maybe we're... Our family's on board, or we're just trying to set the example, we're trying to be the model, so maybe they can kind of make some choices of their own. We're there, we're cooking, we're laughing, we're making some healthier snack options, a whole smorgasbord, whatever the thing is.
CHASE CHEWNING: I know what we're actually using and cooking on is a part of this book as well, and I think that's important because not to nitpick, we're making a choice, right? Like, Chase, come on man, I just decided to have better food and better relationship with food and incorporate the relationships I have in life with the food. Now you're telling me like the cookware, the pots, the pans, maybe even the heat, like, can you kind of peel the curtain back there for us? Not to discourage us, but to just, alright, good and...
SHAWN STEVENSON: Perfluorooctanoic acid, PFOAs, this is one of the chemicals that was recently banned and outlawed that was contained in teflon.
CHASE CHEWNING: Outlawed.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Outlawed. It's banned. And...
CHASE CHEWNING: Outlawed... [chuckle]
SHAWN STEVENSON: You could still find it in the majority of people when they test their blood.
CHASE CHEWNING: In humans.
SHAWN STEVENSON: In humans. It's one of these... Under this category of what's known as today, these forever chemicals, right? And so what is the issue here? Because, okay, it's a forever chemical, so what does this mean? It makes its way into human bodies, why was it banned? Well, according to... Well, first of all, we've got infertility issues, we've got cancer issues. But this was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and they found that these PFOAs are strong kidney cancer causative agent, not just like it might.
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Causes kidney cancer.
CHASE CHEWNING: Like this in humans causes kidney cancer.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And what the researchers found was that it depended on the degree of exposure, the longer duration that you were eating and consuming food from teflon, right? From this entity that was normalized in our population, your risk of renal cancer continues to increase, and so again, we're just trusting that these things are okay, are good for us and we want that, part of our curse has been our convenience.
CHASE CHEWNING: Ooh, say that again, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Part of our curse has been our convenience. And so being able to have nonstick cookware, like that's a vibe, it's so... It just makes life easier. And what are the side effects? What are the potential downsides? And that's where entities like the FDA really sh*t the bed and they're not showing up and looking out for our citizens, because there's no way that that should have been approved in the first place, it's really just... I just mentioned one of the chemical compounds, there's a whole...
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Plethora of chemicals that go into this and we're exposing it to high temperatures to make our food on every day, what do you think is gonna happen? And not to mention the fumes. And by the way, speaking of fumes, I don't wanna miss this, I talked a little bit earlier about vegetable oil and again, this can be one of those things like it doesn't sound that bad and there is some science saying, hey, you know, vegetable isn't that bad as these scientists might say. The leading expert in the world on the subject of vegetable oils and canola oils and healthy oils is Dr. Cate Shanahan, and she was also the nutritionist for the Los Angeles Lakers, helping extend Kobe Bryant's career.
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh, wow, okay. Wow.
SHAWN STEVENSON: She got my guy on bone broth, like whenever he would travel, I can go on and on, she's got...
CHASE CHEWNING: Smart lady, smart lady. Yeah, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And family medicine doctor, like incredibly intelligent, but she's combed through hundreds, hundreds of studies on this stuff and being a scientist and a physician has really packaged up this data to understand these pieces. One of the things that I learned was, and this was published in the journal, Inhalation Toxicology, looking at how inhaling certain things can be toxic.
CHASE CHEWNING: So not even digesting, just in breathing room.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Just the smell of it. The researchers found that just smelling canola oil while cooking can damage your DNA, just the smell of it. That's just... That's not like...
CHASE CHEWNING: Everybody pause right now, go ditch every piece of canola oil bottle you got in your house. Walk out of the room.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Salt and pepper by the way, it sounds like, for the smell of it, when I said that, that's how I sounded, by the way. But yes, go and do that, get rid of the canola oil, don't just like, "Let me finish the bottle."
CHASE CHEWNING: Nah, nah, nah, nah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Throw that sh*t away, there's... It is so unfit for human consumption, it's like not even funny. And I remember when it hit the scene, it like... Because my mother switched over, we were using Crisco or whatever, and my grandfather, my grandparents, my grandfather had multiple open heart surgeries and we lost him again far too young from cardiac event and heart disease. And I remember my grandmother on the word of the physician stopped before any of the bad stuff, the really bad stuff happened, just when he had some biomarkers that were elevated. Get him off the butter, get him off the eggs, all this stuff, let's do canola oil, let's do not canola oil, but margarine, that was the big thing, Country Crock. His big heart events happened after that.
CHASE CHEWNING: Damn, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Alright. Now with that said, that's a partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, that's what Country Crock is and these margarines. And so we're altering what humans have evolved with, and by the way, last piece here with this oil piece, Dr. Cate Shanahan mentioned this and shared this with me, and I went and looked at this data as well. That when biopsies were done on humans, close to the 1900s and looking at what is the make-up of our fat cells, what is in there? Only about 2% of our fat cells were made of PUFAs or polyunsaturated fatty acids.
CHASE CHEWNING: PUFA. [laughter]
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right? This is the majority of what these canola oils, vegetable oils, soybean oil, they're very high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, PUFAs. Whereas something like olive oil is very high in mono...
CHASE CHEWNING: Mono, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Unsaturated fatty acids or MUFAs. [laughter]
CHASE CHEWNING: MUFAs, MUFA.
SHAWN STEVENSON: These MUFAs.
CHASE CHEWNING: These MUFAs. [laughter]
SHAWN STEVENSON: You need to get down with the MUFAs, but those PUFAs, no.
CHASE CHEWNING: It's just those fats are healthier and they just sound better, man, that's a smooth fat right there. [laughter]
SHAWN STEVENSON: And now, fast forward to today and monitoring the makeup of human fat cells now versus 2% of ourselves being made of PUFAs back in the day, polyunsaturated fatty acids, upwards of about 30% of the average...
CHASE CHEWNING: Wow.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Person's fat cells are now made of polyunsaturated fatty acids. So the literal ingredients that are making humans is changed, like our recipe to make us...
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh, shit.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Is different.
CHASE CHEWNING: Wow.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And again, it's largely based on people are not just guzzling that kind of oil, it's coming from the ultra processed foods they're consuming as well, and our bodies having a difficult time processing it and stowing away, tucking it into our fat cells in an effort our body's intelligence to keep us safe.
CHASE CHEWNING: Right, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: To protect our brain, to protect our heart, to protect our liver, it's doing what it can, it's making this adaptation, which then makes it very difficult to lose that fat.
CHASE CHEWNING: Well, shout out our bodies again, it's like so many times we introduce things like this and it's like, "Alright, cool, what the hell do you want me to do with this? What am I supposed to do with this? We're not meant for this, but you know what, I got you. Let me level up, let me evolve, let me figure out where to store it and how to make it as unsafe or make it as safe as possible, if that's even possible, until we can figure our shit out and detox and cleanse it out." 'Cause it can't happen that way, the body wants to not only survive but thrive, but we just gotta be more mindful of what we're putting in.
SHAWN STEVENSON:We need the conditions to be able to do it.
CHASE CHEWNING: Absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And now we've cut to, so what do we do in this context where we got these non-stick pans, and by the way, just because that one compound is removed, that's not the end of the story, there are other very dangerous compounds that more and more science is gonna come out. You don't have to wait until then, let's switch out those non-stick teflon pans and here are some better options, time-tested.
CHASE CHEWNING: Okay, what's the swap there?
SHAWN STEVENSON: So I'm gonna go... They're several.
CHASE CHEWNING: Okay.
SHAWN STEVENSON: I'm gonna start with likely the safest but not the funnest.
CHASE CHEWNING: Alright.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Which is stainless steel, alright? Stainless steel cooking for frying purposes, there are different purposes that it can be used for that are pretty convenient, and they're great for, but this is not a non-stick necessarily type of surface.
CHASE CHEWNING: Okay.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And you've gotta be more crafty, you've gotta understand the oils that you're using, the temperatures, all this stuff, but some people have been using stainless steel and cooking their ass*s off for the... My mother-in-law is one of those people, and I never thought about it until I started working on this book, like, "oh, wow, she uses this and she never... " And her food is part of the reason that I am who I am today.
CHASE CHEWNING: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Really changed my perception of the importance of nutrition was because of her, and so shout out to Mama Mukami, she's from Kenya.
CHASE CHEWNING: Okay.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Shout out to Mama Mukami. And so we've got stainless steel, something that's been used for centuries by humans is cast iron. Now, with that said, there is a certain guild of people and researchers that are like with cast iron, the amount of iron that you might be picking up can be problematic. With that said, for the majority of people that is not gonna be an issue.
CHASE CHEWNING: Okay.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And in particular for women, let me just say that as well.
CHASE CHEWNING: Right, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But for men, because women having a cycle, but for men and this could be something that is geared towards better health, innocence, and there's a lot of solid science on this as well, as like donating blood occasionally, just maybe once a year or something like that at minimum or even just not just donating blood, but doing some blood tests, like when you do that your body kicks in all of these regenerative factors to build new blood, it's really remarkable. But with that being said, for most people it's not going to be an issue, however, I just want you to still operate with that caveat, I love my cast iron pan.
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Well seasoned cast iron pan can replace a lot of the non-stick purposes and plus you can shift from stove top to the oven.
CHASE CHEWNING: Oven, yeah, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And again, humans have been using it for centuries, alright, in a time we were far healthier. So shout out to cast iron pan. And you see what I'm doing, I'm also saying, hey, this thing also has this thing over here.
CHASE CHEWNING: Right, right.
SHAWN STEVENSON: There's a lot of people won't do that, alright, because it's not just all sunshine and rainbows, right? With everything.
CHASE CHEWNING: Really is.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And so, and also even just shouting out like the good people at Pfizer, you know what I mean? [laughter] There is balance here, we need to be more inclusive. Alright, now, another one, which is really great because, especially today, it's a lot more accessible, ceramic cookware as well, great for non-stick purposes and also so much lower on the potential toxicants.
CHASE CHEWNING: Okay.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's a very simple compounds used to make ceramic non-stick cookware versus teflon's conglomeration of all these different chemicals.
CHASE CHEWNING: Which is the strong through line in really everything that we're talking about here, especially nutrition, but the less ingredients, the better, the less materials the better.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Same, same. Exactly, exactly. And so those are just a few options, there is also, there's obviously glass cookware for baking purposes can be really great, there's so many other options. But if we're just seeing through the lens of marketing what's put in our face and also convenience, if we're just looking through that lens, we might not realize that we may be doing ourselves and our family harm, and so this is... Again, this book is not just about the science around social conditions in culture and how that affects our food and our health outcomes and our food choices, but how can we create a healthier kitchen culture, how can we leverage insights about things like grocery shopping and how can we protect our family from cultural contagions because our culture is what is deciding the choices we make, our culture is like an invisible hand, and I remember talking about this in economics back in college, the invisible hand and...
CHASE CHEWNING: The Freakonomics.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, man, listen. So... Oh, that's a good show.
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah, yeah. It's really good.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So when we don't understand this, we might think that we are free, that I'm making my choices by free will, you are making choices based on the reality that you are experiencing, based on the environment that you're in. And your culture is determining what choices are prevalent for you, and let me give an example, there are still hunter gatherer tribes on Planet Earth, alright? The Hadza, for example. A tribe of hunter-gatherers because of their culture, their culture demands that they have to move in order to eat, if you don't move, you die. So movement is built into the culture, they have to move or you will die. In our culture, movement is optional as f*ck, it's optional.
CHASE CHEWNING: To say the least man, to say the least.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Okay, you can move so little now and still get all the deliciousness you want, all the entertainment, all the companionship, and there's degrees with the companionship by the way.
CHASE CHEWNING: Sit on the couch with Netflix and Uber Eats, you don't gotta move.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Exactly, then you get your social media, right?
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: My soul being social.
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah, if you're even watching Netflix, usually we're just scrolling while we got something else rolling.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh, man, the double screens, man, that's the new ménage à trois, you feel me? [laughter] I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Okay, I've seen people do the... Never mind. Let me just stop.
CHASE CHEWNING: Well, is there more? Is there more?
SHAWN STEVENSON: I'ma stop the analogy.
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh, sh*t. Alright.
SHAWN STEVENSON:I'ma stop the analogy. [laughter] It's so...
CHASE CHEWNING: What has Shawn seen? He's seen some sh*t. [laughter] 1:26:
SHAWN STEVENSON: But most importantly it's just understanding that we can shift the culture in our households because again, our culture is driving our decisions, and so with that hunter-gatherer tribe, their culture is demanding movement in order to survive. And also their culture doesn't allow them to know that Chick-fil-A is a thing.
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh, right, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You see what I'm saying?
CHASE CHEWNING: It's off the radar. Yeah, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Their culture doesn't allow them to know that Flaming Hot Cheetos is food.
CHASE CHEWNING: There's no other option.
SHAWN STEVENSON:Right? Now, again, we can encroach on these cultures and they could start to adapt and change and like they're wearing like a don't worry, be happy t-shirt and sh*t. But in generally they're not gonna be aware that the... I can just go to 7-Eleven and throw my spear through a hot dog, right? They are living a different reality because of their culture is determining what they're aware of and the choices they're making. What if we can leverage that social psychology, social science to transform our food culture. And that's what I'm advocating and creating with this Eat Smarter family cookbook.
SHAWN STEVENSON: How do we proactively shift our family culture? Because a lot of our energy, unfortunately, is lost or displaced by us trying to battle these big entities. Right? So when you talked earlier about the enemies, I don't give a sh*t about them. I don't care when it really boils down to it. I understand there's some dark things going on. I have power over my choices and I have power and influence with my family members under my roof. That's where I can change. Control the controllables. I was just talking with... This man is so remarkable. He's largely considered to be Tom Brady's primary mentor for his mindset. When he was back in Michigan, Tom was thinking about quitting football.
CHASE CHEWNING: Before he ever really got started.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Before he met this guy, sh*t. All right. Greg Harden, shout out to my guy Greg Harden, and man, I just really had... Oh, man, I could say so much about him. But one of the things that, when he said it, it hit me different, he said, so many people suffer because they're trying to control things they can't control. Your mission and what gives you a sense of certainty and power in your life is controlling the controllables. Focus on controlling the controllables. That's where your power is. That's where your sense of certainty, your sense of power and empowerment is. When you're out here trying to change, like holding up a... Picketing McDonald's, like yeah, maybe you can get like a person not to go in there and get the two for two. You know what I'm saying? The apple pies or whatever, they're just gonna get...
CHASE CHEWNING: There's making noise and there's making a difference. Sometimes one happens because of the other, but if I'm hearing you correctly, let's look at the things where we can just immediately more go to, hey, let's make a difference.
SHAWN STEVENSON:Yes. And not to say that there isn't a place for that for marching and for working for policy change. Absolutely. Being from Ferguson and seeing, I'm living in this glorified food desert. I'm living in a place where policies have allowed for... There isn't a fast food place you can name, the popular franchises that weren't within two miles of my apartment. I'm talking about, I am... On all sides, I cannot go anywhere and not see them because they're cheap and also they're leveraging the community. They're taking advantage of this disparity and unfortunately the data is indicating that when we're in that place of disparity in chronic disease, we're more likely to stay in poverty. And so that was my reality. I was just like, feeding, literally feeding the problem.
CHASE CHEWNING: You can't get out.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And so yes, we need policy change, but what happens is when people are not educated about food, truly because food is what's making up our bodies, it is top tier, primary importance. If we have a cardiologist who doesn't understand that the organ they're treating in their patient isn't made from the food that they're eating, we have a serious problem. And so what would happen when we're advocating for change, for social change in our communities is we need more access to healthcare. What kind of access, what kind of healthcare are you getting with that access more that's feeding the problem, that's disempowering you, that's directing you towards this pharmaceutical model. That's not true. Educating you on how important your food is. We need access to real healthcare, real health empowerment. We need access to education about food.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And about social structures. And so this brings me back to my point, which is even within the confines of that community [laughter] it was, you gotta be on your toes. And even within that, I created a culture of health within my doors, within that apartment door that I see manifest today in front of me. You see my son, you see my son, Jordan, who's 22 now.
CHASE CHEWNING: Beast.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And he's working in fitness. He's on his nutrition, he's helping other people, he's empowering other people. The people that he's working with, low key, some of his clients, they're huge as far as empowerment and influencers themselves. And they see something in him. I saw it back then when I was making these changes and he didn't like all that sh*t. He didn't like it when I was like...
CHASE CHEWNING: We never really do at first.
SHAWN STEVENSON: We're not going to Burger King, we're doing this. But I understood my power in that. And eventually, of course, finding ways, like, how do we make this enjoyable? How do we make this not just as delicious as chemical, whatever, but more delicious? How do we find ways to really activate and leverage our desire as humans to enjoy tasty things without negative side effects, just joy. And how do we create a culture in our household that brings us together? And so this is the bottom line.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Researchers from Harvard analyzed family data, and they found that families who eat together more often, number one, they consume significantly more vital nutrients that prevent chronic diseases. Number two, they consume far less ultra processed foods, including things like chips and soda. Again, not to villainize those things. Yeah, those are gonna be things that you're gonna interact with. But by eating with your family more often we are reducing that exposure. Also research that was published in the Journal Pediatrics and JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that families who eat together three or more times a week have significantly lower rates of obesity, specifically in children, significantly lower rates of eating disorders, and again, higher consumption of vital nutrients that protect them from chronic diseases. Alright. Three meals a week.
CHASE CHEWNING: That's really not that much.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But today also, this is from the Harvard researchers, only about 30% of families are eating together on a regular basis. It's on the endangered species list. Big time.
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah. Really, truly.
SHAWN STEVENSON: All right. Now the question would be, and it arises for me, like how does this... This seems like this kind of invisible or like unseen protective metric for our health that we're not taking advantage of. I know that... I can count on my hands how often I ate with my family. Like we all sat down and ate together, like literally on my two hands. All right. I'm not exaggerating in the slightest. And in those 10... In these, on my two hands, these are holidays. Alright. Real talk. And so this wasn't a part of our family culture.
CHASE CHEWNING: Forced upon usually. Right?
SHAWN STEVENSON:We evolved where food was interactive, collaborative, and it was a part of the survival of the tribe. Everybody had a role.
CHASE CHEWNING: It was so much more than the food, so much more than the eating. I mean, you're... Yeah. Yeah. Yes, yes.
SHAWN STEVENSON: That's how we evolved. And then suddenly we are pulled away from the process of collecting our food ourselves. Okay, that's cool. We want some convenience, but we also started to get pulled away more and more from each other. And the celebration around food, the connectivity around food, the unity that takes place around food.
CHASE CHEWNING: The communication. The problem solving, the creative thinking.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You can go on and on. Where now we've gone from that where it was a collective experience to now we're more and more isolated, eating ultra processed foods in front of a screen.
CHASE CHEWNING: Damn.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And this happened just in the last decade or two. It's devolved that quickly. Now, yes, let's have family movie night and enjoy some snacks together, enjoy a meal. Yes, that's a great experience as humans in our modern society. But if we wanna protect our children, if we wanna create a culture of wellness with our children, if we wanna prevent our children from... Another thing that shocked me was how few... It's like just generationally, it's gone down more and more with kids and now young adults not being able to cook food for themselves. They don't have the skill. They don't know how to do it. Like we are giving vital life skills to our children by bringing them into this process. Now it's time to take control of the controllables, make changes in our own family culture, in our own kitchen culture. And our culture around the table is gonna create a force field around your family.
CHASE CHEWNING: Yeah, agreed.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, here's where we create community change is that when people see you, they see what's possible. The most powerful thing that you can do for the community, for your other family members is to be the example. You're the walking, talking representation of what's possible. And we've got another family, we've got more human beings who are getting us to that tipping point where disease is no longer the norm. Because right now, if you're healthy, you're not normal. That's the state of our society today. And so that's what this is all about. That's the mission behind it. Yes, of course, all of the science around this stuff, there's over 250 scientific references in the cookbook. That's never been done.
CHASE CHEWNING:I would expect nothing less, my man, and I would expect nothing less.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But in a way that's entertaining and it's beautifully done. My family is all in this book. And also a hundred... These recipes, oh, we are foodies. We love food. So how do we use the best foods and simple recipes as well. I don't want 27 ingredients. I don't want to Chick-fil-A...
CHASE CHEWNING: That's how you lose people.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes. Just making this easy and approachable and something that will become a manual, like something that will be in your kitchen. I know this book is gonna stay in your kitchen.
CHASE CHEWNING: It's gonna be in mine. I know. Absolutely, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Just to be able to access it to make something delicious and to have those reminders, those cues just to go back and reference things. It's really special.
CHASE CHEWNING: Well, Shawn, I do need to kind of get us wrapping up here, man, but there's so much more information that I extracted from you and your work for this book and kind of having some early access to it. So I definitely wanna remind the listener here that there's a lot I'm gonna put in secondary in the intro and just so many other resources that we'll have linked for everybody because it's beyond, okay, cool, here's some neat ways to make a different dish. Here are ways to take your power back. Here are ways to set the model for the change that I know a lot of people in my life, in my audience want 'cause it's not just about us. We gotta take care of what we can take care of. We gotta control our controllable, but we want more for everybody else along the way. And I know you do too. And I know that that's in this work, and I know that's in the book and congratulations. I know this is gonna crush. It's an extension of Eat Smarter and Sleep Smarter and the Model Health Show, that is just so obvious. So again, congratulations, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Thank you.
CHASE CHEWNING: I want to ask you my final question that now third time we're gonna have three different answers. I brought it up a couple times on the show, but living a life ever forward is really this, it's controlling the controllables, it's choosing to not take these circumstances as the end all be all. We have power when we choose, and that's gonna be in our personal life, our spiritual life, our health, our wellness in any capacity. When you hear those words today, man, kind of being mindful now of nutrition and community and the relationships we have around that, what does that mean to you? How would you say you live a life ever forward through kind of this recent work? How would you describe that?
SHAWN STEVENSON: What's changed is that even in the last couple of years and since our last conversation is that, I don't know if it's just you hit a certain bracket in your time here on Planet Earth, but I'm really thinking about future generations. I'm thinking about my family, I'm thinking about legacy and people fortunately we're having conversations now about things like generational wealth. But I'm an advocate primarily for generational health and that really being the linchpin for enjoying any level of wealth or financial means. None of that matters if you don't have your health. And so for me, that's what it is today, is thinking forward to the degree that I'm thinking about, what are the conditions that I'm helping to create and the resources that I'm creating for my children, for their children, and for other families as well.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Because we are not here alone. And that's unfortunately another one of these messages and another one of the cultural contagions is isolating us more and more and it's just an illusion. Like we pick up that phone and we go into this portal. We leave the present when there are literally billions, there are billions of people here on the planet. Real people. And we're all trying to connect. And this is valuable. Absolutely. It's a tool, but we don't wanna become a tool ourselves by thinking that this is real life. And so for me, that's what it is. You know, just putting in place, thinking forward, putting in place resources, insights, opportunity, planting those seeds in my children, and also providing those for parents and grandparents to give to their kids because I know we can change this thing in our lifetime, we can change this. So for people to pick up a copy of the book, and also we're doing a very special family health and fitness summit.
CHASE CHEWNING: That's right. That's right. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON:All right. Just to help celebrate this. And we've got some of the most incredible people who have kids who found a way to create a culture of health and wellness in their family. Some of the most incredible people right now in fitness in entertainment, in sports performance. So I'm talking about people like Layla Ali. Alright. And so she's undefeated world boxing champion, daughter of the greatest of all time, and also she's the greatest of all time in her own right in major ways. And she also won the TV show, Chopped the Cooking Show...
CHASE CHEWNING: That's right. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Twice. All right.
CHASE CHEWNING: Alright.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So she's about that life when it comes to food.
CHASE CHEWNING: The Chopped champ.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And her dedication to integrity and food quality, all those things and also she makes it a mandatory part of her family life that she's cooking meals for her family multiple times a week. I've been there, I've eaten with her. You know, and just having these experiences so people get to learn from her directly. And Dr. Daniel Amen who I talked about, he's the leading neuroscientist in the world when it comes to really actually seeing and studying the brain using imaging. And I mean, his list of clients is like, I mean, everybody from Justin Bieber to the NFL, he did the big CTE studies.
CHASE CHEWNING: He just did one with all the Kardashians too, I remember.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Like, again, all the famous people are... When they found out about him, they're trying to go to Daniel Amen. But I'll tell you, he's a real one though. Because Hollywood stuff can be a little sketchy and interesting, but he's dedicated to helping everyday folks. Primarily that's what he's doing. And he also has a family. He has a family, he has kids and oh, my goodness, just the... Again, I know his kids as well and seeing real proof of concept, how these things can work in real life, right? So Dr. Daniel Amen. Gabby Reese.
CHASE CHEWNING: Oh, yeah, yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You know, and Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, leading gastroenterologist, so gut health and all that stuff. Again, people who have kids though, and to learn about creating a culture of fitness and health in their household.
CHASE CHEWNING: So they walk the walk, walk the talk.
SHAWN STEVENSON:You get free access to the summit when you pre-order the Eat Smarter Family Cookbook. The ticket to the summit is $297 and you get it for free. And so go...
CHASE CHEWNING: Hell yeah. With the book.
SHAWN STEVENSON: With the book. So go to eatsmartercookbook.com and pre-order your copy and you're going to get access to the Family Health and Fitness Summit. And also we're doing a 25K health and fitness giveaway. So as I've been mentioning, these different friends and colleagues that have opportunities and access to foods like Thrive Market, right? Groceries delivered to your house. So we're giving away... Like they're helping, they're contributing $500 in groceries from Thrive Market, fitness equipment from...
CHASE CHEWNING: Pulling the whole family together, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: I mean, just the list goes on and on. So you're gonna get instantly entered into that 50... There's gonna be 50 winners. So that's just some of this stuff. So go to eatsmartercookbook.com, pre-order the book right now. And you get access to all those incredible bonuses too.
CHASE CHEWNING: Again, I'll have everything linked to of course, video notes, show notes, podcasts for everybody. Man, this is... It's always a treat sitting down with you and just hearing your research, your wisdom, your personal experience, and the way that you just kind of alchemize it all together. You know, this isn't the Shawn Stevenson way. This is, look, this is real life. This is my experience. Here's the science literature that's available to anybody to look at and just choose you. Choose you at the end of the day, man. So thank you. Thank you, brother.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's my honor. Thank you, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Thank you so very much for tuning into the show today. I hope you got a lot of value out of this and special shout out and thank you to Chase Chewning and definitely check out Ever Forward Radio. And listen, we are just getting warmed up. We've got so much in store for you. Some incredible masterclasses are on the way and transformational world class guests are coming very, very soon. So make sure to stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And for more after the show, make sure to head over to the modelhealthshow.com. That's where you can find all of the show notes. You can find transcriptions, videos for each episode. And if you got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome. And I appreciate that so much and take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in
HEALTHY MEALS EVERYONE WILL LOVE
The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Family is Health
When you gather your family around the table to share nutritious food, you’re not only spending quality time with them - you’re setting them up for success in all areas of their lives.
The Eat Smarter Family Cookbook is filled with 100 delicious recipes, plus the latest science to support the mental, physical and social health of your loved ones.