Cold Thermogenesis, Keto Cooking Tips, Getting To Know Ben Greenfield
I submitted this guest post to Ben after returning from a week in the backwoods of Idaho fishing with him and I had to share.
I am Christopher Claunch, known on social media as @gunsandduns. I spent 18 years in the restaurant business, and I currently own a sporting goods store in Hagerman, ID. I side hustle as a digital marketing consulting for outdoors entrepreneurs. I recently started a podcast bridging the gap between recreation and technology. I’m an avid fly fisher and bow hunter. I love to teach people to fly cast and share my experiences with others, especially children. When I grow up, I want to be just like Ben. After learning all of these things going through the writing process, Ben, Jesse, Tarren, and River were guests in mine and Teresa’s home is Boise. The family was competing in the Boise Sprint Spartan Race in Payette, Idaho.
You can read the complete guest post on Ben’s Blog here.
My podcast has taken a turn towards experiencing hunting and fishing in a better way by tuning up our diets and exercise regiments. Much of this is a result of my time getting better acquainted with Ben and his family. I am still struggling with finding the time to produce the Podcast but I am hoping to post more in late 2017. Much if this hope is founded in watching Ben get work accomplished while attending to a rigorous fishing schedule.
When Ben came to Boise recently we had time to golf and he still managed to get his work done. It is amazing what you can learn through the power of observation. It is also amaing how eating right and working out can make things like the occasinial golf round way mire enjoyabke.
Here is a look into some of the highlights from my guest post on Ben’s Blog.
Cold Thermogenesis, Keto Cooking Tips, Getting To Know Ben Greenfield
Highlights from the Guest post
Pain = Benefits Dichotomy
Things that cause discomfort result often in very positive outcomes. Discomfort enhancing our being is a dichotomy Ben repeatedly stressed during our week together. He suggested I put myself in positions of daily discomfort to improve my overall health and wellness…things like cold plunges and body weight resistance movements to name a few. Today I find myself doing planks while listening to his podcast. I am feeling better today than when we first met.
How I Met Ben (& A Spicy Story)
About a year and a half ago, a mutual friend, previous podcast guest of Ben’s and my hunting mentor Shad Wheeler (also a triathlete) bridged an introduction between Ben and me. I knew Ben loved the outdoors and shared many of my passions, so Ben and I began to discuss ways we could help each other. I asked Ben to help me get in better shape and, in exchange, Ben was interested in me teaching some fly fishing skills to him and his boys.
Perfect win-win, eh?
As I’ve learned since getting to know him, Ben is a voracious student of life in general, and he expressed a deep desire for him and his twin boys River and Terran to learn to fly fish. So we began to exchange information and ideas. Ben wanted to chase the elusive B-Run Steelhead on the South Fork of the Clearwater River (after all, a fishing trip wouldn’t be congruent with Ben’s love for challenging sports like spearfishing and bowhunting if he chose an easy species of fish to hunt).
I was admittedly nervous about cooking for Ben and the boys. I was also anxious about whether we’d find fish, and I was a certainly very uncertain about what Ben would be like in person (details in my guest post).
While we were getting acquainted leading up to the trip, Ben began helping me prepare for the Train to Hunt which also included Ben making detailed eating and supplementation suggestions to me based on my blood panels and biomarkers. I must admit that I was a bit shocked when he would share his findings and advice with me without ever actually meeting me in-person, and simply by looking at my bloodwork. I suspected he was following the Dr. House school of diagnostics. Was Ben rifling through my refrigerator and trash cans? Was he was peering through my windows to see what I ate?
Whatever Ben was doing, his prognosis nailed exactly what was going on with me and my physiology. He made recommendations on nutritional changes and workouts, gave me a training plan to follow, and while following his advice my progress became exceptional.
More about Taste, Flavor & Mouthfeel
When peppers contact your tongue, the chemicals bind to taste buds by dissolving into saliva. The saliva carries the chemicals to your taste pores. Contact to taste receptors causes stimulation of cells called “gustatory cells”, which then emit signals to the gustatory cortex of the brain, also known as the “G-cortex”. The G-cortex interprets the signal and makes you aware of the flavor. For some paradoxical reason, most people’s brains actually like this painstaking experience and get a pleasurable dopamine release from it.
Additionally, capsaicinoids send signals that irritate and stimulate nociceptor (pain associated nerve endings) in your mouth. Some nerves monitor and feel pain (nociceptors) and some monitor and feel temperature (thermoreceptors). This combination of flavor and suffering in culinary circles is called “pungency.” When cooking for Ben during our steelhead fishing trip, pungency was a frequent arsenal in my culinary toolbox. Ben digs spicy and has said many times before, “Capsaicin increases the bioavailability of many beneficial compounds.”
Pungency makes food appealing when used in proper combinations of flavors and tastes. It creates depth, character, and complexity on our palettes. Many of us love this. Showing how tough we are at the local pepper eating contest, or making a cool Instagram story vid of ourselves downing ghost peppers are other reasons we love spicy peppers.
Five Hacks for Burning Lips
Ben and I dig deeper into foods that cure cancer in this podcast we recorded live over dinner at Lifewater Ranch, the spot we stayed at during this fishing trip.
Keto Pickle Lunch had to get its start somewhere. As an outdoors man on the go, I’m often pressed for time, space, and proper nutritional profile when it comes to food choices. I am also currently facing the demands of the ketogenic diet. Under these conditions, portable, quick, and easy are the criteria and seem to trump nutritious along the way.
Have you noticed this yourself?
A Lil’ Neuroscience to Ice the Cake
If you want to geek out on flavor and science, read on. Wrapping up the flavor explanation, I’m now going to examine the roles neural pathways and brain function play in our food biases. Fond memories and a feeling of nostalgia can influence food choices. Depression or a break up will change what we pick off the menu too. When you’re eating a proper, complex meal, the thoughts, feelings, emotions, mental pictures and physical sensations come together in that fleeting moment on your palette to create the overall flavor.
Associations can change flavor too. Who we were with, the temperature when we last ate and even sounds, intensity of the conversation, and mood all have a say in influencing flavor. These are all considerations and variables that make a group contribution to why we “taste” foods differently (did you ever notice you never discover a new favorite meal at a funeral)?
Varying physiological states influence flavor and taste too. This is why food is not as desirable with a cold (because your nasal passages aren’t functioning – your nose is on the sidelines and no longer a major contributor to your interpretations). We all feel, see, smell, and hear different things where we eat our meals. We all interpret our thoughts, associations, and memories differently. Therefore, we all taste our foods differently.
The myriad of sensations, feelings, thoughts, environment, and tastes, are orchestrated together in an instant, and thus explains the complex beast known as flavor. And yes, I discovered that for even more complexity, Ben travels with a pretty wide array of food flavor enhancers, including clumpy sea salt, a very dense, high-quality turmeric and MCT oil (a very effective flavor enhancer), all of which he proceeded to dump on just about every meal I cooked.
Thermogenesis & Capsaicin a Dynamic Duo
One day, Ben and I discussed cold thermogenesis as a closely related advocate to capsaicin for fat loss, especially after Ben recommended either spicy cayenne extract (e.g. blended into coffee or tea) or green tea extract as a pre-cold fat loss enhancing strategy.
Five Other Capsaicin & Cold Discoveries From My Week with Ben
Here’s a few other random tips I picked up from Ben during our week together…
- Capsaicin has pain and has pain relieving qualities. Topical “spicy” creams can deliver excellent results, providing pain relief from osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, and diabetic neuropathy.
- Humans are the only creatures on earth that eat peppers. The phytochemical capsaicin, found primarily in the seeds and membranes surrounding them, is a defense mechanism to prevent seeds from being eaten by animals. So if you have leaky gut or other gut issues, you need to be sure you only eat peppers in moderation and preferably skip the skins and skip the seeds. Ben likes a great new book called “Plant Paradox” for more on this issue.
- Contrary to what you may think, hot peppers don’t cause ulcers. Quite the opposite, in fact. A mild amount of something you think might be harmful can trigger protection via the product of gut mucus, and capsaicin triggers mechanisms in the stomach that protect the stomach lining. Ben talks about that in this podcast.
- A study published in Cancer Research found that capsaicin caused cancer cells to commit suicide. The substance caused almost 80 percent of prostate cancer cells to die in mice, and prostate tumors treated with capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of those in untreated mice. “Capsaicin inhibits the growth of human prostate cancer cells in Petri dishes and mice,” says lead researcher Dr. H. Phillip Koeffler, director of hematology and oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.
- Cayenne pepper is a supplement often ingested in capsule form to fight inflammation and relieve congestion.
Will The Real Ben Greenfield Please Stand Up?
All in all, my week with Ben sent me on many new journeys.
However, the most meaningful and memorable thing I took away was not directly health and fitness related at all. The most inspirational takeaway I left with is this: Ben is an extraordinary human being.
I love this video even it though it caused my underwater camera to leak!
So that’s it.
That’s capsaicin, that’s cold thermogenesis, and that’s my impression of Ben Greenfield.
If you ever have an opportunity to meet, join Ben on a challenge, or have him as a coach or personal consultant I fervently recommend it. Take the plunge. You’ll be glad you did.
And one last thing, because Ben promised me I could throw in a shameless plug for a place he wound up really liking and plans to come back to himself. If you’re looking for a super cool retreat in the woods of Idaho with as much to do and you can imagine, then contact Sandy Staab at Lifewater Ranch and mention me and this article, or the podcast Ben and I recorded straight from the ranch. Who knows? If all the stars line up, maybe I’ll come and cook for you, and at the least, Sandy will cut you a deal as a friend of Ben’s and mine. Simply mention “Ben Greenfield” when you reserve your spot at Lifewater ranch in 2017 you will be entitled to a 5% discount.
That’s all I got. Thanks for reading, and leave your questions, comments, and feedback below.