Beans That Burn Belly Fat? #SANE

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Main Points:

  • Find a free blueprint for SANE eating on SANESolution.com. (At the top of the page) This list identifies a spectrum of SANE choices and will help you determine optimal SANEity.
  • Legumes fit in the middle of the SANE spectrum and are considered a “yellow-light” food. It is fine to eat 0-2 servings of legumes per day.
  • You don’t want to go out of our way to eat legumes, but they are acceptable to eat in a SANE diet.
  • If you have to choose between spending money on organic vegetables or grass-fed beef, you would want to choose grass-fed beef. Since you are eating so many vegetables in a SANE lifestyle, buying organic vegetables could become cost prohibitive. It is possible to wash pesticides off of vegetables, but impossible to change the makeup of conventional beef.
  • Your body becomes desensitized or resistant to the processed chemicals found in inSANE foods after you have eaten them for so long.
  • When you go SANE you are reversing a condition called metabolic dysregulation.
  • Once your body gets used to eating SANE foods you will find that inSANE foods will often cause you to feel sick.
  • If your body can crave SANE foods it makes it so much easier to not become diabetic or overweight.
  • Preparing SANE foods for children is not as easy as feeding them inSANE garbage. It requires effort.
  • Start with finding a non-starchy vegetable that your child likes. Then add a nutrient-dense protein and whole-food fat they like. Then add a low-fructose fruit. Have your child help you prepare their lunch so they can help choose between healthy options.
  • You can help reluctant family members by:
    • Eliminating any judgement/have mutual respect for food choices
    • Research and try new recipes
    • Set out new offerings/new food for everyone to try
  • SANE is not an evangelical thing. You don’t ever want to force anyone to do anything. Consider the Ghandi quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
  • Be a beacon of light in terms of your SANEity and when asked about your choices, you can say, “Here’s what I do,” or, “If I was in that situation, I would do this.” Never use the word, “you.”
  • Focus on your own health and try to make healthy choices available to your family.
  • SANE is a behavior change. For some people, their health is not a priority.
  • There are limitations on what we can do, so we can’t hold ourselves to an unachievable standard when it comes to how everyone else in our lives eats every day of their lives.
  • Book Recommendations from Jonathan and April:
  • Consider listening to audiobooks while chopping up vegetables and choose information-dense books just like you do nutrient-dense foods.

—NEXT ACTION—
Practically done is better than theoretically perfect. Theories do not change your life, but what you do does change your life. With any question you have, ask yourself if you can do it sustainably and enjoyably for the rest of your life and if you can, then the answer is yes.

SANE Soundbites

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  • 2:25 – 2:57, “One of the things that really helped me when I was first getting to know SANE and getting to know you was when you said something like, “I don’t go out of my way to put black beans in my smoothies, for example.  I’m not trying to figure out more ways to eat black beans but if I go to a restaurant like Chipotle and I’m getting a big salad and I’ll put black beans on there.  It’s not like I can’t eat them.  But if you’re going to choose between eating more deep green leafy vegetables or beans or hummus, then you would just choose the vegetables.”
  • 6:20 – 6:55, “What could be happening and what does happen definitely with sugar and processed carbs is your body becomes desensitized to them.  This is actually what leads to diabetes because your cells become resistant—it’s called insulin resistance.  There’s things like leptin resistance in your brain; things that normally would—the amount of sugar that it would take for you to feel bad once you’re in this resistant state is radically decreased, which is a good thing, once you go SANE.”
  • 6:58 – 7:27, “It’s like your internal organs have developed calluses so that they can protect themselves from this influx of nonsense.  As you go SANE, what you’re technically doing is you’re reversing a condition called metabolic dysregulation and you’re getting rid of those calluses on your organs and cells so even a little amount will now actually get into them and then it makes you feel bad because that “protective layer” is gone but that “protective layer” causes diabetes so you don’t want that.”
  • 11:04 – 11:27,“Having diabetes is hard and it’s not fun.  Being overweight is hard and it’s not fun.  Having food allergies is hard and it’s not fun.  It is objectively easier to pull a Lunchable off the shelf and to stick it in a bag and to say, “Billy, eat this.” Preparing SANE lunches for kids is not as easy as feeding kids garbage.  It’s not.  There’s no way around that.”
  • 14:40 – 15:21, “I would beg people to give themselves permission to keep this simple.  Like, what you just said—there is non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, and whole food fats. Find a non-starchy vegetable that your child likes.  You could have eggs.  For the protein, you could have cottage cheese; you could have Greek yogurt; you could have cut-up seasoned chicken breast; you could have ground beef; you could have tuna fish. I mean, we could sit here and list nutrient-dense proteins and we could sit here and list various nuts and seeds.  The bottom line is, just find that basic template—What’s a vegetable they like?  What’s a nutrient-dense protein they like?  What’s some whole food fats they like?  Throw an ice pack in there.  Throw a piece of fruit in there.  You’re good to go.”
  • 16:21 – 16:49, “We want to eliminate any judgment.  If I’m eating healthy food and someone in the family has chosen to eat something that’s not healthy, if I am looking at them like, “There’s not as good as I am,” or if there’s any judgment going on, that’s just going to kill it right there.  There has to just be this mutual respect, especially as people are adults and they can make their own choices.  That’s, I think, essential.  You’ve got to do it for you first.”
  • 17:03 – 17:21, “I think the more you can come up with new recipes and new ideas and just keep putting offerings out in front of people—it’s not going to happen overnight but eventually, the people who are not eating healthfully will start eating a little bit more healthfully as you kind of figure out a way to make it work together.”
  • 19:19 – 19:41, “If you can create that dynamic where your results are so self-evident and beautiful that people start asking you what they’re doing or start asking for your suggestions, then you always phrase them in the context of, “Here’s what I do,” or, “If I was in that situation, I would do this.”  You never use the word “you”.  I think you will have fantastic results.”
  • 20:41 – 20:55, “As I focus on my own health and I focus on learning new recipes for my family and I’m chopping vegetables and I’m making it available to them and letting them know how much I love it, that influence is going to carry over at some point.”
  • 24:06 – 24:34, “There is a limitation on what we can do and I just know sometimes we’re so hard on ourselves.  What you eat is such a critical part of your life but there’s a lot of other critical parts of your lives that we don’t consider ourselves to be one hundred percent accountable for what everyone else in our life does.  Hopefully, we don’t hold ourselves to an unachievable standard when it comes to how everyone else in our lives eats every day of their lives.”
  • 28:17 – 28:36, “There is a SANE approach to reading.  The SANE approach to reading, for instance, is, like, there’s junk food and there is real substantive food.  There’s a lot of junk that can be read and then there are things like biographies of great individuals and listening to audio books.”
  • 28:51 – 29:19, “Don’t get all your information from podcasts and magazines because when you have a human being that spends ten years of their life creating a synthesis of information that spans three hundred pages, I mean, that’s ten years’ worth of someone’s life that you can enjoy while you’re cooking your vegetables.  I mean, that’s a huge thing.  So, just like you eat nutrient-dense foods, I would look for information-dense books rather than snack food, portioned-out information.”
  • 30:48 – 31:29, “Practically done is infinitely better than theoretically perfect.”  What I mean by that is, we’re always like, theoretically, should we drink water at these times and what theoretically is the best thing to do?  No, no, no. Theories don’t change your life.  What you actually do is what changes your life.  The question is not, “Is it theoretically perfect?”  The question is, “Is it compatible with your lifelong term and your happiness?”  With all these questions and with any question that you have, any answer that you hear, try to make sure, “I can actually do this in my life sustainably and enjoyably.  If I can’t, the answer is no.  If I can, the answer is yes.”

Read the Transcript

April: Hello, everybody. It’s April Perry and Jonathan Bailor back with another episode of the SANE Show. Are you ready for a great podcast today, Jonathan?

Jonathan: I’m ready, April. I know we’ve got a packed mailbag. I saw Santa Claus coming in. He had a SANE sack full of questions and I’m ready to answer them.

April: All right. I actually really love the questions today and I love what’s happening out there as more people are learning about SANE and going SANE. These questions always inspire me so I’m super appreciative of those who submitted them. We’re just going to go ahead and start with just a really simple one that I think is based on the main food groups of SANE but not always clear to people who are getting started.

All right, SANE eating and legumes—“I understand that veggies first, then protein, then the wholefood fats and the low-fructose fruit, etc. I’m a girl who loves legumes. Where do those fit in? Specifically, black beans and hummus. Can I fit those in? If so, what’s the max amount I should have in a day?”

Okay, Jonathan. Let us know.

Jonathan: Here comes the best possible answer. We have actually a free download which answers this and all questions related to the number of servings you can eat. If you go to SANESolutions.com and you click on Free Blueprint, you can actually download a guide which outlines what we call the SANE food groups as well as the SANE spectrum and the recommended servings for each of those food groups. What you’ll see in that download—go to SANESolution.com, click on Blueprint at the top of the screen—is that we have essentially three big categories of food.

Let’s call them “green light” foods. These are foods that are super SANE and we want to go out of our way to eat more of them. Then we have “yellow light” foods which are usually categorized as 0-2 servings per day are fine. Don’t go out of your way to eat more of them but eating none of them is fine and if you want to eat one or two servings of them, it’s not going to increase your likelihood of getting diabetes, for example. Then, there are “red light” foods which are foods we want to eat so much of the “green light” foods that we’re just too full for them.

Legumes fit right there in the middle where 0-2 servings per day can be totally fine. This person is clear. They are ready to go and you can get all that information at SANESolution.com. Just click on Blueprint.

April: One of the things that really helped me when I was first getting to know SANE and getting to know you was when you said something like, “I don’t go out of my way to put black beans in my smoothies, for example. I’m not trying to figure out more ways to eat black beans but if I go to a restaurant like Chipotle and I’m getting a big salad and I’ll put black beans on there. It’s not like I can’t eat them. But if you’re going to choose between eating more deep green leafy vegetables or beans or hummus, then you would just choose the vegetables. All right?

Jonathan: That’s exactly right. That is the key distinction, April. We can really simplify this. There are foods you would want to consciously eat more of; there’s foods that if they’re served to you, it’s fine; then there are foods that I would strongly recommend you do not spend money on ever. Beans are in that middle category. If they’re served to you or if they’re what’s available, it’s all good, but no need to go buy a fifty-pound bag of beans.

April: Okay. All right, I know this next question was really fun. “I want to know higher priority. If I had to pick one, would you pick grass-fed beef or organic vegetables?”

Jonathan: Grass-fed beef.

April: Okay. Why?

Jonathan: Vegetables need to be eaten in such high quantities that buying organic could become cost prohibitive, trying to afford sixteen servings of organic vegetables per day might be out of the budget for a lot of people. Also, the total disregard for animal health that takes place with conventional beef and just the amount of toxicity that can be stored in fatty cuts of conventional beef is not good. I mean, you can wash pesticides to some extent off of plants; what they do to cows in modern farming is not a good thing that you can’t wash off.

April: You can’t wash that off, yes. Okay, that’s a really good, good answer there. Okay, next question—sensitive stomach. “I’ve noticed that now that I have been SANE for more than a year, if I eat anything inSANE like French fries or a lot of white bread or chocolate cake, etc., I get really sick to my stomach. It’s a good thing because it helps me not want to eat the inSANE food but I’m wondering what’s going on with my system?”

Say about that.

Jonathan: I’ve never thought about it in the context of—one could call it a maladaptation which is, somehow when we eat nonsense foods, we feel less bad eating them than when we stop eating them for a while and our body’s like, “Agh, what’s going on?” I don’t know if there’s been any peer-reviewed research around why if you eat—actually, okay, so there probably is. Now I’m going to go from proven science to educated hypothesis so I just want to give that quick disclosure.

April: I think that clarity is great.

Jonathan: Okay, so here’s educated hypothesis from Jonathan Bailor. All right, so based on general, the way your brain and body works when it comes to being sensitive or lack thereof to chemicals, because food is the compilation of chemicals. We tend to not think of them that way but anything you put into your body triggers a cascade of chemical reactions in your body, whether it’s a pill or whether it’s a piece of spinach. It’s all information telling your body what to do.

April: Okay.

Jonathan: Let’s think about alcohol, for example. Alcohol—if you drink a lot of it, your body responds by becoming adapted to alcohol and it takes more and more alcohol to trigger the same response.

April: Okay.

Jonathan: Let’s say you’re in a fraternity college and you’re drinking a lot of alcohol and it takes a six-pack of beer to have any impact on your body. Then you stop drinking alcohol completely and you say, “Oh my goodness. Once I drink one can of beer, I feel the same impact.” What could be happening and what does happen definitely with sugar and processed carbs is your body becomes desensitized to them. This is actually what leads to diabetes because your cells become resistant—it’s called insulin resistance. There’s things like leptin resistance in your brain; things that normally would—the amount of sugar that it would take for you to feel bad once you’re in this resistant state is radically decreased, which is a good thing, once you go SANE.

Yes, in some ways—actually, here’s a good analogy. It’s like your internal organs have developed calluses so that they can protect themselves from this influx of nonsense. As you go SANE, what you’re technically doing is you’re reversing a condition called metabolic dysregulation and you’re getting rid of those calluses on your organs and cells so even a little amount will now actually get into them and then it makes you feel bad because that “protective layer” is gone but that “protective layer” causes diabetes so you don’t want that. Does that help?

April: It really does help because I have definitely found this. I mean, now, even though I typically don’t even crave inSANE foods and I have really good SANE habits so it’s just I’m not even hungry for them, I find that if I’m at a party and someone has this beautiful chocolate cake or something like that, like, “Hey, you want some?”, I actually—it’s not just that I’m not hungry for it; it’s like I don’t even want it because I know it’s going to make me sick. I feel really grateful for that.

I told this lady one time we were at a party and I said, “Oh, you know what? It would just make me so sick if I ate it.” She said, “Oh, I wish that were my problem. That’s not my problem.” I felt like, while it does sometimes feel like, “Wow, I’m so healthy that I can’t eat anything unhealthy,” I love it that my body now just craves good food. I just see inSANE food and there is not even a desire.

I think that’s what we want the whole world to get to. We don’t want to say, “Everyone needs to eat SANE food so you can really be healthy and then you can sit around looking at everyone else enjoying their life and their cupcakes and you can just feel like you’re going without that; you’re so deprived your whole life.” That’s not the goal.

I think it’s helpful to know that as you heal your body and get rid of those calluses, as you’re saying as a symbol or as a metaphor there, I feel like, “That’s a great place to be.” Now, you’re motivated not only to eat healthy so that you could be healthy but so that you don’t have to go through that sickness.

Jonathan: It is huge, April, because that’s when we see long term lifestyle change. When we talk about SANE eating objectively, SANE eating is less challenging than, let’s say for example, being vegan. Being vegan is incredibly difficult to do but people who are vegans—their whole family is vegan; they don’t feel deprived as a vegan; in fact, it makes them happy. Why? Because if they eat meat, it makes them feel sick.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy where they have a mind state and a physiological state where if they veer off their path, it is way more painful to them and way less pleasurable than staying on their path. If your body can crave and desire SANE foods and naturally avoid inSANE foods like a vegan’s body works relative to animals, I mean, how much easier does that make not becoming diabetic? It’s amazing.

April: I love it. Okay, so—thanks for that explanation. That’s fantastic. Next question is, “Any ideas for easy lunches for young children?” Okay, now we have more about this in the SANE Family’s Program so we won’t take the whole show on this but let me just ask Jonathan. Let’s say, you’re making lunch for a little child. What would you put in there?

Jonathan: The first question would be, Who is this little child and why am I making their lunch?

April: That is a good question.

Jonathan: First, it’s like, What is this small child doing in my house and why are they asking me for lunch? Maybe someday, hopefully, that will be applicable if things go according to plan. Anyway, what would I serve to a small child for lunch? There’s no question that it is going to be a little bit more of a challenge. Let’s think about the way Lunchables are produced. Lunchables take meat and they add preservatives and just nonsense to them.

What I want to be transparent about is, there are things about, having diabetes is hard and it’s not fun. Being overweight is hard and it’s not fun. Having food allergies is hard and it’s not fun. It is objectively easier to pull a Lunchable off the shelf and to stick it in a bag and to say, “Billy, eat this.”

April: Yes.

Jonathan: Preparing SANE lunches for kids is not as easy as feeding kids garbage. It’s not. There’s no way around that. What is a SANE lunch for a child? I think we need to take a more macro look at this and say, first, the concept of breakfast, lunch, and dinner are human-made constructs. The fact that you’re only supposed to eat eggs at breakfast—What?

Who said that? What does that mean? Could you, for example, have hard boiled eggs for lunch? Of course, you could have hard boiled eggs for lunch. Could you just pack for lunch what you ate for dinner last night in a Tupperware container with an ice pack? Yes, you could.

April: Yes.

Jonathan: I think the first thing is, once we free ourselves from this box of “There are lunch foods” versus “There are just foods”, that in and of itself can make figuring out what to put in the lunch bag way easier.

April: Okay, I love that you said that. I think, as far as answering this question, a little more in detail since I have an elementary schooler who I’m preparing lunch for and try to do as much SANEly as I can, I’ll share some of the things that are working for us but then I think, going into this next question at the same time, “How do you help reluctant family members while trying to go SANE?”, maybe talk about this a little bit more too because this is where some of the children may be reluctant.

Now, we’ve been SANE in our home—and not totally with all members but we’ve been doing this for about two years now. Spencer was in second grade when we started and now he’s in fourth grade. His biggest complaint is that he doesn’t feel cool opening vegetables when all of his friends have Cheez-Its and Oreos. That’s his biggest concern. We talked a lot about the “why”—and I know we’ve talked about this in previous episodes as well—so that’s really important to have those conversations ongoing.

Okay, this morning, Spencer is making us lunch and so the first thing we do is, we look in the fridge and see which vegetables he wants to take. I gave him a choice. Today, we didn’t have a ton available. I said, “Either we can slice up this fruit or you can take a salad. The remains of [breaks up] “I want the pepper.” So I started the cutting, took out the seeds and gave him the knife and the cutting board and he cut the rest of the pepper and put it in the bag. That was his vegetable choice.

Now, I would give him more vegetables but that’s about what I can do at lunch. I also sent him some fruit. We have oranges—big navel oranges. He’s learned how to cut them so he sliced his own orange and had a little bag of oranges. Then, Spencer has a hard time with protein but he will do egg whites if we do hardboiled egg whites. We can have a whole bunch of hardboiled eggs.

If I’ve got a ton of hardboiled eggs that are ready for him, he will peel those every day. He doesn’t have a problem taking those. He’ll sprinkle a little salt and pepper or whatever in the bag. Then, as far as nuts go, we’ll put some wholefood fats in there. He likes raw almonds and he likes pistachios. Those are some that he likes. That’s just kind of a starter.

Anything you would add to that, Jonathan, before we move on to reluctant family members?

Jonathan: Well, I like having that template. If anyone’s ever gone to a Mongolian grill type restaurant, they usually have different stations. It’s like, “Here’s the rice and noodles, and here’s the vegetables, and here’s the protein.” This goes back to a lot of previous episodes where it’s like I would beg people to give themselves permission to keep this simple. Like, what you just said—there is non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, and wholefood fats.

Find a non-starchy vegetable that your child likes. You could have eggs. For the protein, you could have cottage cheese; you could have Greek yogurt; you could have cut-up seasoned chicken breast; you could have ground beef; you could have tuna fish.

I mean, we could sit here and list nutrient-dense proteins and we could sit here and list various nuts and seeds. The bottom line is, just find that basic template—What’s a vegetable they like? What’s a nutrient-dense protein they like? What’s some wholefood fats they like? Throw an ice pack in there. Throw a piece of fruit in there. You’re good to go.

April: Yes, definitely. It’s taken getting used to. It’s a lot more preparation. Spencer—before he would get, like, two times a year, he could eat at the cafeteria at school. Today on the drive, he said, “Can I eat once at the cafeteria every holiday?” So he’s trying to kind of arrange this but the thing is, okay, he’s eight. I can do as much as I can to help train him now, which I’m doing, but I’m hopeful that these are going to be habits that will carry on and he’ll hear me reminding him to eat vegetables the rest of his life, which I’m excited about.

Okay, as far as how you help reluctant family members. Jonathan, I know that you have extended family members who aren’t all a hundred percent SANE. There are people in your life who aren’t one hundred percent SANE. In our family, Alia and I are like the most die-hard but it is hard because not everybody has the same goals that we do. I’ll just share a couple of things and then love to hear more from you, Jonathan, what you would recommend.

I think that, number one, is we want to eliminate any judgment. If I’m eating healthy food and someone in the family has chosen to eat something that’s not healthy, if I am looking at them like, “There’s not as good as I am,” or if there’s any judgment going on, that’s just going to kill it right there. There has to just be this mutual respect, especially as people are adults and they can make their own choices. That’s, I think, essential. You’ve got to do it for you first.

Then the other thing I would suggest is, the more you can research and find new recipes—like, we just made pizza on butternut squash instead of a crust the other day and the whole family ate it. Everyone ate it. That was exciting. I think the more you can come up with new recipes and new ideas and just keep putting offerings out in front of people—it’s not going to happen overnight but eventually, the people who are not eating healthfully will start eating a little bit more healthfully as you kind of figure out a way to make it work together. Those are some initial ideas.

Jonathan: April, I just want to build off of the idea of—if you’re going to try, I would say, try not to try. What I mean by that is, I don’t ever—I don’t pursue or I don’t think SANE is an evangelical thing. There’s a lot of research—a lot of research—that shows the more you try to force someone to do something, the less they’re going to do it. Period. For anything. I think we’ve all experienced this. I live my life and I’ve structured the entire SANE Program to reflect, I believe, Gandhi’s quote of “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

The question of how to help reluctant family members—the literal question is how to help reluctant family members while trying to go SANE. I think the number one way—here’s my specific recommendation. Officially, Jonathan Bailor on record, is, “Be a beacon of light in terms of your SANEity.” Period. I would actually do nothing to try to make them SANE directly. I would just—when your kids start asking or your spouse or your partner or your roommate start asking, “What are you doing?” or “You are so much happier now”; then just say, “Here’s what I’m doing.” You don’t even say, “You should do this.” It’s just—

Here’s a silly example—and I’m going to talk a little bit now. I’m sorry because I’m getting excited. For example, if you go to a gym or even if you meet someone in a social setting and they are very physically fit, it’s very common. They’re not going up to their friends and they’re being like, “Try this workout routine that I’m on. It’s really important. You should do it.” People will come up to them and say, “Sally, I haven’t seen you for five years. You look fantastic. What are you doing?” Then, you don’t say, “Well, let me tell you what you should do.” You say, “Here’s what I’m doing.”

If you can create that dynamic where your results are so self-evident and beautiful that people start asking you what they’re doing or start asking for your suggestions, then you always phrase them in the context of, “Here’s what I do,” or, “If I was in that situation, I would do this.” You never use the word “you”. I think you will have fantastic results.

April: I think that’s excellent. I think that that works with children as long as you and your spouse or your children have kind of set some parameters because, with little kids, if you just say, “You can either eat sugar all day or you can eat SANE like me,” the kids are just going to choose the sugar because they don’t understand yet. They don’t have that capability to really make clear decisions. I think, as children are starting to get older, like I found with my highschoolers, I feel like, “Okay, if they know…”

I have three teenagers now. My three teenagers know, “Here’s what foods are healthy for you. Here’s what foods aren’t. I’m here to help you.” There is not a compulsion to eat just like I do. I feel like the balance is really good. It’s to the point where I can’t beat myself up if every member of my family doesn’t want to eat ten servings of vegetables a day and if people like cookies. I can’t beat myself up over that and I can’t stress over that or I’ll just have anxiety all the time.

I think that what you’re saying is, like, as I focus on my own health and I focus on learning new recipes for my family and I’m chopping vegetables and I’m making it available to them and letting them know how much I love it, that influence is going to carry over at some point.

Jonathan: April, you’re spot-on that. Of course, a two-year-old child—you don’t say, “Sally, you could look both ways before you cross the street if you want to but I’m not going to enforce that.” It’s definitely a little bit different based on age but I think the macro point that’s really important and I appreciate that distinction is, helping people to be SANE is not different from helping people to do anything. The way you, for example, protect your child from getting in a van with strangers versus the way you would protect your spouse from getting in a van with strangers is different. With any lifestyle change—

SANE is a behavior change. The way we manifest behavior change in people is a science. That’s been studied extensively. I think we sometimes look at food as if it’s a unique—it’s a behavior change. If you want to get your kids to play the piano, what do you do? Some kids aren’t into music. Some adults aren’t into music. You could try as hard as you want to get someone who is not musically inclined to love music; they’re not going to do it.

Some people don’t care about their health. [There’s] nobody, nowadays, [that] doesn’t know that smoking will kill them. There’re still plenty of people that smoke. For some people, their health is not a priority. There’s nothing that can be done in that context until that person thinks that their health is a high priority.

April: Yes. I think, just taking that element out of your—you love that person whether or not they’re eating the way that you want them to eat. I think that that’s just an important thing. I feel like, things we’ve made mistakes on in the past is if there is ever any pressure or judgment. Anyway, take that for what it’s worth.

Jonathan: April, that’s so critical too because even when people, like vegetarians or vegans, things like that—there’s what I call the “awesome” vegetarian/vegan who comes to a Thanksgiving and is cool about it and then there’s the “judgmental” vegetarian/vegan. It’s the same thing here. If you’re an awesome piano player, you don’t try to make everyone else a piano player. You’re just like, “This is what I do.” If you start playing the piano and people are like, “That’s beautiful. How did you learn how to do that?” Then of course, you’ll share it. I see eating the same way.

April: It’s true but if someone never plays the piano, they usually won’t die from that. I think that’s why there’s more emotion attached with this because you know if the people you love are eating food that’s awful for them, you know that that could cause diabetes or obesity or cause horrible health problems for them. So I feel like that’s where there is a lot of this emotion because you care so much. I think it’s making that distinction between, “Is this someone for whom I have a stewardship, like a child, that I need to teach and train, or is this another adult in my life who can make their own choices?” You have to be able to make that distinction.

Jonathan: I would urge people to give themselves permission. I know, for example, there’s been instances in my own family where there’s small children and then there’s teenagers and adults and it’s a totally different ballgame. Like, if your teenager just says, “I’m not going to go to school”; at some point, it’s like, “Well, we can’t make them go to school. What do we do now? If they don’t go to school, their life will objectively be worse.

There is a limitation on what we can do and I just know sometimes we’re so hard on ourselves. What you eat is such a critical part of your life but there’s a lot of other critical parts of your lives that we don’t consider ourselves to be one hundred percent accountable for what everyone else in our life does. Hopefully, we don’t hold ourselves to an unachievable standard when it comes to how everyone else in our lives eats every day of their lives.

April: I think that’s a good way to put it. Thank you.

Okay, I have a couple of more questions. Can we do these a little quicker?

Jonathan: Rapid fire. I’m ready.

April: Okay. Is there any alternative to coconut flour besides nut flour? Somebody says, “I’m gluten-free. I’ve used rice flour or premade gluten flours but those aren’t SANE. Am I just out? Is there any way around it?” I was just—I couldn’t think of anything. What would you say?

Jonathan: I’m not aware of anything. I mean, you basically have grain-based flours or nut-based flours. That’s my understanding of what’s available. I mean, maybe there are legume—I don’t know if you could use something like a pea or something legume-based. Maybe. I don’t know. I’m sorry.

April: Yes, I know because that’s super hard. I’m like, “Oh, I don’t know what we would eat.” Okay, next question—SANE reading. “Do you have any books that you would recommend other than “The Calorie Myth”, obviously? Any books that you tell people, “Here is just some great reading” if someone’s looking for an awesome audio book or a book from the library to help them, support them, in their SANE goals?”

Jonathan: Yes, and they have nothing to do with eating because if you have your mind and personal product—April, you’re an expert in this. If you’re depressed and disorganized, it’s really hard to be SANE; whereas if you’re energetic and happy and organized, it’s a lot easier to be SANE. If you haven’t read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, I would strongly recommend reading that book and treating it as almost like—that’s been literally a lifesaver for me.

Things around personal productivity and how we manage our lives and our time and our priorities—I think once you get that stuff on lock, whether it’s being SANE or being a great piano player or being a great spouse or being a great friend—anything you want to do, when you have your own house in order, becomes easier. My number one recommendation is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

April: Love it. Love that.

Jonathan: What about you?

April: Okay. I guess, “Getting Things Done is my productivity book that I absolutely love but I worked with FranklinCovey and, yes, absolutely I recommend that as well. I don’t know. I feel like, as far as health books, there’s a lot of different books that have a lot of different ideas and so I just kind of stick with “The Calorie Myth” but I’m always open to learning what other people are saying. That actually helps me to come up with good questions to ask you, Jonathan, because sometimes there’s other ideas that, “Oh, that’s actually really helpful.”

The other thing that I would think of or that I would recommend is just becoming more of a reader in general. We have talked about that in the past. Just as far as listening to audio books while you’re blending your smoothies or as you’re walking or exercising more, putting more goodness into your mind. Audio books has a bunch of free books on there. I’m listening to the biography of Benjamin Franklin right now. There’s one of Abraham Lincoln I was just listening to. I’m reading all kinds of books on how to reduce anxiety, how to set goals—I mean, there’s just so many good books out there. “Essentialism” is another one that I love.

I’m always reading. Probably like four books every week. I’m just reading all the time. I love it. I think what’s exciting about SANE is that it’s encouraging you to build your whole life—mind, body, spirit—all of it at the same time. I think it’s not necessarily like, “Oh, you need these other health books.” I think it’s just like start going through the SANE formula as far as the vegetables and proteins and fats and then add into it, just additional great ideas—the best books that you can learn about and hear about. We did a lot of this on LearnDoBecome.com so come hang out with us there and we’ll talk more about books as well.

Jonathan: April, like you alluded to, there is a SANE approach to reading. The SANE approach to reading, for instance, is, like, there’s junk food and there is real substantive food. There’s a lot of junk that can be read and then there are things like biographies of great individuals and listening to audio books. There’s a free app you can use called OverDrive which works with your local library system where you can just get free audio books. I know people love podcasts.

This is a podcast; you should listen to this podcast but you should also listen to books and read books and don’t get all your information from podcasts and magazines because when you have a human being that spends ten years of their life creating a synthesis of information that spans three hundred pages, I mean, that’s ten years’ worth of someone’s life that you can enjoy while you’re cooking your vegetables. I mean, that’s a huge thing. eat nutrient-dense foods, I would look for information-dense books rather than snack food, portioned-out information.

April: Love that. Awesome. Okay, I have one final question. This is my question but super kind of basic, maybe, for you. I heard that you shouldn’t drink water thirty minutes before you eat or while you’re eating or thirty minutes after you’re eating because it doesn’t digest your food right.

Jonathan: I think this falls in the category of “Do what works for you.” Again, this is—if that is true, which I don’t know if it is true. You know what else is true? Drinking water is really good for you and being stressed unnecessarily is bad for you so if you’re like, “I’m supposed to drink water but not now and if I drink water here, I’m bad”; this falls in the category of “Ignore.” Drink water.

April: Drink water. Okay, because I was thinking, I’m trying to drink a ton of water every day but if I can’t drink before or after I’m eating and I’m eating almost—yes, I was kind of stressed about it. Okay. I love how you always bring it down to just something super basic. Drink water. Don’t stress about it. That’s really helpful. Okay, so next action—do you have any suggestions for a next action for this? We’ve talked about a lot of questions in this mail bag today, which I think has been fantastic.

Jonathan: I think a good next action—and this is like a catch phrase that I’ve been working on and I don’t actually know if it’s fully refined—but it has to do with the question you just asked and with the questions throughout, which is that, “Practically done is infinitely better than theoretically perfect.” What I mean by that is, we’re always like, theoretically, should we drink water at these times and what theoretically is the best this to do? No, no, no.

Theories don’t change your life. What you actually do is what changes your life. The question is not, “Is it theoretically perfect?” The question is, “Is it compatible with your lifelong term and your happiness?” With all these questions and with any question that you have, any answer that you hear, try to make sure, “I can actually do this in my life sustainably and enjoyably. If I can’t, the answer is no. If I can, the answer is yes.”

April: Okay, I love that. All right, can I give a little sneak peak for our next show?

Jonathan: Sure, yes.

April: Okay, because this is another question that I was asked where they want to know personal preferences like, literally, what you and I eat. We talked about a SANE day and we talked about kind of overall but between now and the next get our podcast recorded, we want to—Jonathan, you eat kind of weird.

Everybody wants to know literally, What does Jonathan eat? I’m going to be actually taking some really good notes and sharing what I’m eating and I actually want to be able to talk with you, Jonathan, a little bit and see if there are some ways I could tweak what I’m eating to make it even SANEr or better and just be able to share some of the things that we like and things that are working. Does that sound good?

Jonathan: It sounds—this is like an episode of “24” from back in the day with that cliffhanger ending that makes you want to tune in. Next time on the SANE Show, what are Jonathan and April actually eating? I love it. I love it.

As the next action, I would say, as a follow-up next action, people just have to kind of calm down because they’re probably so excited after hearing that that that is their stretch goal—is to continue with your life with that much excitement as the next week is coming up. No, I think that sounds great, April.

I hope everyone is as excited to cover that as I know you and I are. I hope that this mail bag was helpful.

Remember, this week and every week after, stay SANE.

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