Best Times to Eat Real-Life Insights and Takeaways
There is a big difference between performance and health.
While increasing your physical activity is a good idea; it doesn’t mean that every physical activity is going to beneficial for our health in the long term.
Individuals who are training really hard need abundant calories, but the abundant calories shouldn’t come from junk. Calories should come from things like nuts, sweet potatoes, potentially quinoa or other nutrient-dense grains, raw whole steel cut oats, whole food fats like coconut, macadamia nuts, and nut butters so you have good energy without predisposing yourself to diabetes or other health issues.
Short term pain that doesn’t destroy you as there may be long-term benefit.
If you are part of a team or running a marathon be conscious about what you are doing for a short time for certain results instead of thinking “This is the way I’m going to eat, sleep, and treat my body for the rest of my life.”
Sugar withdrawals are real and peer-reviewed clinical research now compares sugar to opioids in terms of addiction and how it affects the brain.
Some of the effects of a sugar withdrawal are: insomnia, headaches, nausea, irritability, depression, anger
Sugar is not as strong as cocaine or heroin or other opioids, but one may experience similar withdrawal symptoms which may last a week or up to a month.
Stevia can be thought of as cinnamon—like an herb or spice you use to add flavor.
A SANE way of eating is defined as eating the most satisfying, the least hormonally damaging, the most nutrient-dense foods that are least efficiently converted into fat. There is not dysfunction of the human body that will not be helped by eating SANEly.
Eating SANEly can help you address anything and everything that is causing pain in your life.
If you have a specific medical condition, use SANE as a baseline template for eating and then work with a doctor who is medically trained to identify deficiencies, hormone issues, and other specific health problems.
From a calorie counting perspective you might think you need to eat less healthy fats if you ate some inSANE fats, but making a choice to eat less omega-3 fats is not going to benefit your health overall.
It is best to eat a complete SANE meal every time you eat. A complete SANE meal includes 2-6 servings of non-starchy vegetables, 1-2 servings of nutrient dense protein and depending on what your protein is then you may or may not need to add additional fats. (i.e. Salmon would include your serving of whole food fats.) You may not need to go out of your way to eat whole food fats.
Whole food fats are meant to be there for to give you fuel and to help you feel full and satisfied.
At a restaurant you can ask to hold the starch and double the vegetables. Let them know that you are lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant, and pre-diabetic.
If you know you have an event where you can’t eat for a while, make sure you have a green smoothie before you go and take a protein bar or SANE snack with you.
When you become famished it is harder to keep your food choices SANE, so it’s best to stay on top of your appetite.
What happens when you starve yourself? Your body has to do something; what it does is slow down and you will feel slow, sluggish, cold, and lose sexual function. After slowing down, then your body burns off muscle tissue because you don’t have enough calories. Then if you are still in a calorie deficit your body will burn off fat. This is horrible for you because then if you ever stop starving yourself, you will have a suppressed metabolic rate and less muscle tissue. Then you will have fat accumulation. This is known as yo-yo dieting—not detox.
Be a healthy example of what makes sense.
You are never failing unless you are living out of congruence with your goals; and you can’t have three top priorities. You can stack-rank your priorities.
Have wisdom in each situation.
Define your roles and goals and then prioritize them.
Scroll up to pin and share the sexy infographic versions of these 😉
4:30 – 4:33, “Accept the fact that fitness and health aren’t the same thing.”
5:17 – 5:53, “It is okay to experience short-term pain that doesn’t destroy you—for long-term benefit. And then also understanding what some athletes face is they eat a certain way when they’re training, and they then continue to eat that way after training, that’s a disaster because you don’t want to take in 5,000 calories per day when you’re not training, so just be very conscious about it. I’m doing this very consciously, for a short period of time for these results, rather than this is the way I’m teaching my child to eat, sleep, and treat their body for the rest of their life.”
8:16 – 8:32, “A SANE way of eating is defined as eating the most satisfying, least hormonally damaging, most nutrient dense foods that are least efficiently converted into fat. There is no dysfunction of the human body that will not be benefitted by that.”
9:21 – 9:34, “If you have a specific medical condition such as severe hyperthyroidism, I would recommend using SANE as a baseline template and then working with your primary care physician or a specialist who is medically trained.”
12:23 – 13:00, “Every time you eat it’s best to eat complete SANE Meals, and I define a complete SANE meal as something which contains two to six servings of non-starchy vegetables, one to two servings of nutrient dense protein, and then depending on where those nutrient dense protein sources are coming from—potentially adding in whole food fats. Here’s why that matters: salmon is a much fattier fish than tuna is, so if you ate two big pieces of salmon, you’re going to be taking in 200 to 300 calories from a pure therapeutic fat source, so you wouldn’t need to add additional fats to that meal. If you are hungry, you could add additional whole food fats.”
13:01 – 13:16, “To just eat six servings of whole food fats at dinner because you think you need to hit some quota; I would say that’s the wrong approach. I would say again, whole food fats are meant to be there for you to give you fuel for your body and to help you feel full and satisfied.”
17:17 – 17:35, “You should never, ever be famished, simply for the reasons that it will make it very easy to be inSANE because you’re in a “I just need to eat something state” and your animal brain is taking control, rather than your conscious mind, so your food choices are going to be much tougher to keep SANE if you’re famished.”
19:06 – 20:23, “So the misinterpretation of that science is that if you just eat less, your body has to burn fat because energy can’t be created or short, it can only change forms. That is 100% false and has been proven false in every single scientific study that’s ever looked at it because what thermodynamic laws tells us is that if you don’t eat, your body has to do something. It doesn’t tell us what your body has to do, and we know that what your body does in order is slow down and that is why they feel cold, chilly, depressed, no sexual function, tired. Your body is just running slower. It’s like if you lost your job, you’d probably spend money slower because you have less coming in. Then it’s going to burn off muscle tissue. Why? You don’t have enough calories, your body’s trying to conserve calories. What burns a lot of calories? Muscle tissue. So you slow down and feel terrible first, then your body burns off muscle tissue, then and only then, if you’re still in a calorie deficit, will your body burn off fat, but that is horrible for you because if you ever stop starving yourself, now you have a suppressed metabolic rate and less muscle tissue. So if you go back to eating just a normal amount, that’s going to result in what’s called fat super accumulation and you’re going to get fatter than you were before you starved yourself, which is terrible for you. That’s yo-yo dieting.”
21:26 – 21:30, “My job is to be a healthy example of what makes sense.”
24:03 – 24:14, “So you are not ever failing unless you are living out of congruence with your goals and you can’t have three top priorities, you can only have one top priority.”
24:15 – 24:58, “If you can just stack rank those priorities and then if you say SANEity is number three, clearly, that doesn’t mean you go eat Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and Pepsi because there’s no reason to ever do that, but if you miss being a 10 out of 10 in your third priority because you’re crushing, (crushing means good), you’re crushing, in a good way, your first and second priorities, then I think that’s fantastic. Now, if you were deficient in your third priority because things are just crazy and I’m totally stressed, well then, we might need to just refactor priorities, but I think it’s where am I spending my time? And if I’m spending it on my purpose, then you’re fine.”
27:39 – 27:57, “Define your roles and goals and then prioritize them, and then if you ever start to beat yourself up thinking you’re not doing well, if you had to make a compromise, which you will, life is a serious of compromises, if you’re compromising in accordance with that prioritization, I think you should celebrate, rather than shame yourself.”
April: Hello everybody, it’s April Perry and Jonathan Bailor back with another episode of the SANE show.
Jonathan, you ready for some questions today?
Jonathan: I’m ready. I’ve heard we’ve got a lot, so I’m going to try to give you rapid fires, as much as I can. I tend to be a little bit not rapid fire, but I’m going to do the best that I can.
April: I know, and I’ll try to keep it short, but really, you have the answers. Every question that I need, I feel like I can just come to you and ask on health, wellness, what food should we eat, and how should we do it. The way that you describe things just makes sense and I love it.
So, I have some questions that are sent in from some members from our SANE family’s program and some that are from me, as I have been taking my SANEity to the next level. I want to be able to share some questions that have come up because now I think I have better questions as I learn it.
So, the first question is actually one that’s to help the next generation. There’s a mother who sent an email and she said: My daughter has just joined the high school girls’ rugby team and the adults and the team members want the girls to be fit, but I imagine girls that are struggling with weight and fitness will be attending. They have this exercise program many days of the week at 5:45 a.m., so these girls are already tired and they’re getting up extra early now to go to these exercise classes. They’re also, as they’re encouraging these girls, they’re not encouraging them to eat SANE lean necessarily, so a lot of the girls are now eating kind of junk food who are exercising all the time.
Her main question is: If I have a child who’s an athlete and I want her to be able to get enough sleep and live a SANE lifestyle, how can I help maximize her performance on her team? That’s a great question.
Jonathan: There’s a big difference between performance and health. Let me give you the conical study that illustrates this. Olympic athletes were asked if they could be given a pill, totally legal, wouldn’t disqualify them from the Olympics, but in fact, would guarantee them a gold medal in the next Olympic games, but also would guarantee to kill them in five years. So Olympic athletes asked if we could guarantee you a gold medal by giving you a substance, but it would be guaranteed to kill you in five years, would you take it? And 80% of Olympic athletes said they would because their priority in life, probably their entire identity was defined by I’ve dedicated my whole life to winning a gold medal and if I do that, I can die happy, right?
So, I used to be an athlete, that what you do to maximize… think about a football player or a rugby player, is playing rugby the best thing for your health? No. You’re crushing your body into other people. It’s like saying I’m going to increase my physical activity by boxing. Is increasing your physical activity a good idea? Yes. Is taking repeated shots to your head a good idea? No.
So, do we say, so should I just take my child out of rugby? No, not at all. I played football and I found it to be tremendously beneficial for any number of reasons, despite the fact that I blew my knee out three times, tore my labrum in my shoulder and tore my hamstring. I would do it again if I had to because of the things it taught me, but what you want to do is… yes, you’re not going to sleep, yes, you’re going to overtax your body, yes, you’re going to have injuries; hopefully, you’ll more than make up for it, in terms of psychological toughness that will accrue you benefit for the rest of your life.
However, from an eating perspective, there is an objectively better way to eat. These individuals who are training this hard do need abundant calories, but we need those abundant calories to not come from junk, we need them to come from raw nuts, we need them to come from high quality starches, which you’re like, aw, that’s crazy, but remember, these are athletes, so sweet potatoes. I would focus primarily on sweet potatoes, potentially, quinoa or some of the more nutrient dense grains, but I would focus more on sweet potatoes, raw whole steel cut oats, but really focusing on whole food fats, coconut, macadamia nut, nut butters, and then sweet potatoes to get that calorie count up, so you have good energy without predisposing yourself to diabetes or other nonsense and then accept the fact that fitness and health aren’t the same thing. Ultra-marathon running is very good. You’re very fit, right? These people run a marathon, then do 100 miles of biking, then do 2, whatever miles of swimming; not good for your health, so there is a tradeoff on some level.
April: So, if this were you daughter and she needed to have less sleep to be there for these fitness classes early in the morning, would you just send her?
Jonathan: One hundred percent, yes.
Jonathan: I woke up at 4:00 o’clock in the morning and weightlifted at my high school when I was playing football and it was tremendously beneficial from a discipline… I mean, joining the military probably isn’t the best thing in the world for your health, but becoming a Marine actually helps you in a lot of other ways, that may help your health long-term.
Jonathan: So, short-term pain that doesn’t destroy you for long-term benefit. And then also understanding what some athletes face is they eat a certain way when they’re training, and they then continue to eat that way after training, that’s a disaster because you don’t want to take in 5,000 calories per day when you’re not training, so just be very conscious about it. I’m doing this very consciously, for a short period of time for these results, rather than this is the way I’m teaching my child to eat, sleep, and treat their body for the rest of their life.
April: Okay. I love it.
Next question says: Sugar withdrawals, is it real and what are the symptoms? How long would it last? Best ways to handle it?
Jonathan: Yes, it’s real and that’s peer reviewed clinical research period, and that’s why it’s now talked about, in terms of addiction spectrums, along with other opioids, which would be the class of drug that sugar would be placed in based on what it impacts in your brain.
Withdrawal symptoms are the same withdrawal symptoms you would have from any addictive substance, so headaches, nausea, irritability, insomnia, depression, anger. Think of what people go through when they quit smoking, that’s what you’re going to go through when you’re giving up sugar. Unlike cocaine, heroin or other opioids, sugar is not as strong as those. It is strong, but not as strong, so you’re going to look at those symptoms for, at most a month, but then they will wear off, and it could be as short as a week or two, depending on how bad the addiction is.
April: And what do you do in the meantime, so you don’t go crazy?
Jonathan: I don’t know, so here’s my answer, do a Google search for quitting smoking and learn what people do when they’re giving up cigarettes to not ruin their relationships and do that.
April: Okay. Now, I do got a question since we’re talking about sweeteners, you and I didn’t talk very much about Xylitol or Stevia as I’m taking SANE to the next level, so I kind of have stayed away from it, for the most part. Is that okay to have some Xylitol if you’re a 5, like we talked about effort scale of 1 to 10, if I’m like a 5 in effort, is Xylitol okay or should I stay away?
Jonathan: One hundred percent, yeah. Xylitol is a harmless sugar alcohol, in fact, it’s actually beneficial for certain bacterial conditions and it actually improves dental health, which is ironic. You’ve got a sweetener with improved dental health. And then Stevia should be thought of like cinnamon, it’s an herb. There’s nothing Stevia could do to harm your fitness or fat loss efforts.
April: All right. The next question is about hyperthyroidism. I don’t really know a lot about it. I don’t suffer from it, but can a SANE diet help with hyperthyroidism and low progesterone?
Jonathan: Yes. A SANE way of eating is defined as eating the most satisfying, least hormonally damaging, most nutrient dense foods that are least efficiently converted into fat. There is no dysfunction of the human body that will not be benefitted by that, and to prove that that’s true, let’s say the opposite. Would eating less satisfying foods that do cause hormonal chaos, which provide fewer vitamins and minerals and are more easily stored as fat help you or hurt you? Of course, it’s going to hurt you, so heading towards a more SANE end of the spectrum will help to address any and everything that could be causing pain in your life and that’s not an exaggeration. If you’re giving your car something other than unleaded fuel and you start giving it unleaded fuel, everything about your car will run better.
April: Okay. Now, let’s say someone is struggling with this, do they need extra supplements or modifications to what you typically recommend of SANE or do they need synthetic hormones to aid in the healing? I’m just trying to figure out what to do.
Jonathan: If you have a specific medical condition such as severe hyperthyroidism, I would recommend using SANE as a baseline template and then working with your primary care physician or a specialist who is medically trained, not someone who has a lot of fans on Facebook; someone who is medically trained to identify, for example, is a deficiency in iodine at the root of this? Is certain hormone levels at the root of this? And then correcting those underlying things, but please protect yourself from so-called gurus on the internet. So, use SANE as a baseline and then use a medical professional to help refine it for your specific condition.
April: Can anyone ever be fully healed from hyperthyroidism or different thyroid problems?
Jonathan: I don’t know if we can ever say someone can be fully healed from any medical condition, so I’m hesitant… I think people can radically increase the quality of their life. I don’t know how to define completely healed when it comes to hyperthyroidism, but yes, you can make it almost a nonissue.
April: All right, next question. If during the day I eat another fat, let’s say I had some oil or I had something that was a fat, but not a whole food fat, then would I reduce the number of servings of whole food fats that I would typically eat that day? Would I exchange them?
Jonathan: If your goal was aesthetics or looks, possibly; from a health perspective, no, and here’s why. There is no context in which for your brain health eating less omega-3 fats. So let’s say you ate a bunch of trans fats with some French fries, from a calorie counting perspective, yes, from a calorie counting perspective, if you had 100 calories of trans fats, you would then say wow, I need to eat 100 fewer calories somewhere else. But if you say, I’m going to eat trans fats, and in addition to that, I’m now not going to eat any omega-3 fats, that’s actually worse because you’re not only taking in toxins, but you’re saying because I took in toxins, I’m going to not take in therapy to help correct what those toxins did. So, if you’re going to eat junk calories, eat them in addition to SANE calories; do not eat them in place of SANE calories and the easiest way to avoid that is just to eat the same calories first…
Jonathan: … so that you can crowd out the other ones.
April: Okay. I love that. Now, let’s say someone doesn’t eat any whole food fats for breakfast or lunch because they just weren’t that hungry, weren’t thinking about it or whatever, then at dinner let’s say we’re doing three to five servings a day of whole food fats, at dinner, could they eat five servings of whole food fats? Is it throughout the whole day or is it really specific you should eat it with your meal or not at all? Just having your maximum two servings of whole food fats at a meal?
Jonathan: It’s best to every time you eat complete SANE Meals, and I define a complete SANE meal as something which contains two to six servings of non-starchy vegetables, one to two servings of nutrient dense protein, and then depending on where those nutrient dense protein sources are coming from, potentially adding in whole food fats, here’s why that matters. Salmon is a much fattier fish than tuna is, so if you ate two big pieces of salmon, you’re going to be taking in 200 to 300 calories from a pure therapeutic fat source, so you wouldn’t need to add additional fats to that meal. If you are hungry, you could add additional whole food fats.
To just eat six servings of whole food fats at dinner because you think you need to hit some quote, I would say that’s the wrong approach. I would say again, whole food fats are meant to be there for you to give you fuel for your body and to help you feel full and satisfied. If you have 100 pounds of surplus fat already on your body, you have a lot of energy already, so if you’re not hungry and you’re getting your essential fats from your nutrient dense protein, which you will if you’re eating fish, then you do not need to go out of your way to eat additional whole food fats, if you’re full and satisfied.
April: Now, when you’re ordering at a restaurant, is there anything special that you say? Because what I’ve found is that as I’ve been a lot more careful, when I’m eating at home I’m fine, but as soon as I go to a restaurant and they had chicken, but then it came really oily and I didn’t know it was going to be oily chicken, or I ordered a salad and I didn’t know that the pecans were candied. I would have just wanted regular pecans, I wouldn’t have wanted candied, but I didn’t think to ask. So, is there anything that you do when you go to a restaurant, just to make sure that what arrives at the table is actually what you want to eat?
Jonathan: Yes, and it depends on how far you’re willing to go. Some people are like, “I don’t want to cause problems,” but I don’t think you’re causing problems. The easiest thing to do is say hold the starch, double the vegetables, but that’s not going to solve the two situations you described, which was oily chicken and candied pecans.
Jonathan: What I would recommend, which is true, and you shouldn’t feel bad about it because we’re talking about medical conditions, is you say I have a lactose intolerance, I have a gluten intolerance and I’m prediabetic. All of those statements are true. Every human being on the planet is somewhat intolerant to lactose, if you don’t believe me, try to drink a gallon of milk and watch what happens. We’re all somewhat intolerant to gluten, and all of us that don’t have diabetes already are prediabetic; we don’t have diabetes. So if you tell the server that, they will go above and beyond to eliminate. They’ll say okay, what does that mean? I understand lactose and gluten, but from a prediabetes perspective, you just say I can’t have sugar or starch, so please hold the starch, double the vegetables. If anything is candied or if there’s sugar added to it, please minimize that, and then also, if you could use as few oils as possible when preparing; if you need something, use butter instead, I’d really appreciate it.
April: Okay. So what would the oils affect? That’s not gluten or prediabetes or is it?
Jonathan: It depends on which oils they’re using, so if they’re using an industrial soybean or safflower oil, which is what most restaurants use, that’s a very high omega-6 oil that’s heated to high temperatures which turns it into trans fats, that’s got cancer, it leads to inflammation, which leads to diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s. That stuff is total nonsense and it’s bad for you, so as much as you can, avoid high heated conventional oils, your golden, they’re not good for you.
April: All right, next question. I woke up not hungry on Sunday morning, but we have church for three hours and so I was like either I don’t eat and I’m going to be super hungry after church, or I could just eat something small, even though I’m not hungry, so that I’m not really, really hungry. Does it matter? I just didn’t know. I don’t know how I should be spacing meals. I don’t like being hungry, but I can be hungry for a few hours. What would you do in a case like that, if you were not hungry, but you can’t eat for a few more hours?
Jonathan: Personally, I would take a SANE meal bar with me where I was going.
Jonathan: I’m not trying to blow up my products, but that’s what I would do. I would do that and I would drink a green smoothie no matter what, so I make sure I get my vegetables in period, because if you try to take in 15 servings of vegetables in the second half of the day, you might have some problems.
April: (Inaudible 16:53).
Jonathan: So I’d drink a green smoothie no matter what, because you know you need your green vegetables, and then I would take a SANE meal bar with me and I would excuse myself to use the restroom and eat that when I got hungry.
April: Okay. So, are you trying to not ever get to the point that you’re famished, is that the goal? Or how would you explain that from a broader perspective?
Jonathan: You should never, ever be famished, simply for the reasons that it will make it very easy to be inSANE because you’re in a I just need to eat something state and your animal brain is taking control, rather than your conscious mind, so your food choices are going to be much tougher to keep SANE if you’re famished.
April: All right, next question, I have two more. I’m hoping we can get those quick. Next question: I was listening to someone who said that they believed the best way to have their body burn fat was to eat as little SANE food as possible, which we kind of went back to the starving yourself type of thing. So they’re hardly eating any food and what happened was they started getting chills, they were feeling sluggish, they were feeling awful. And when they asked about it, I was in this group when I was listening to what people were saying, when they asked about it saying hey, I’ve got chills, I’m cold, I don’t feel good, I’m sluggish, the response was, this is just called detox. It means that your fat cells are dumping all the toxins into your body and you’re just going to feel sluggish until your body burns all your fat and then you’ll be super skinny and then you can continue to starve yourself. Why are you laughing?
Jonathan: Sorry. It’s so unfair and untrue, so let me just…
April: That was the answer, that was detox.
Jonathan: Okay. So that’s not true at all. I’m going to go as fast as I can with this one, but the law of thermodynamics says that if you just eat as few calories as possible, your body has to burn fat, it’s just thermodynamics. So what’s actually happening, this person is illustrating it perfectly, is if you just say eat as few calories as you can, what the relevant laws, there’s four of them, two of them matter here of thermodynamics tell us is that energy can’t be created or destroyed, it can only change forms.
So the misinterpretation of that science is that if you just eat less, your body has to burn fat because energy can’t be created or short, it can only change forms. That is 100% false and has been proven false in every single scientific study that’s ever looked at it because what thermodynamic laws tells us is that if you don’t eat, your body has to do something. It doesn’t tell us what your body has to do, and we know that what your body does in order is slow down and that is why they feel cold, chilly, depressed, no sexual function, tired. Your body is just running slower. It’s like if you lost your job, you’d probably spend money slower because you have less coming in. Then it’s going to burn off muscle tissue. Why? You don’t have enough calories, your body’s trying to conserve calories. What burns a lot of calories? Muscle tissue. So you slow down and feel terrible first, then your body burns off muscle tissue, then and only then, if you’re still in a calorie deficit, will your body burn off fat, but that is horrible for you because if you ever stop starving yourself, now you have a suppressed metabolic rate and less muscle tissue. So if you go back to eating just a normal amount, that’s going to result in what’s called fat super accumulation and you’re going to get fatter than you were before you starved yourself, which is terrible for you. That’s yo-yo dieting, so please, please, please, please, please, starvation isn’t sexy, starvation isn’t detox, it’s starvation and it’s toxic and terrible for you, so please don’t ever subject yourself to that.
April: You did a really good job of answering that question quick.
Jonathan: Thank you.
April: Good job. Last question. This is actually, I feel the final little lock in my brain that Eric was helping me to create that I want to kind of get a final feedback from you on. As we were talking about yes, SANE is what works for me the rest of my life, and now I have redefined what beautiful is, I know I’m doing my best, I’m eating the best foods I can, I’m loving my life, all of that’s good. Now, the question I was asking Eric, well, what’s my purpose then? I know I’m not doing this just for me, that’s why I’m on the podcast with you, that’s why I run a platform and run communities because I know my life isn’t just for me.
So, as Eric and I were talking about it, he defined it in a way that made perfect clarity to me and it was this, that my job is to be a healthy example of what makes sense. I want to explain that a little bit because I started thinking back to how I had been acting prior to this, and there were some things I was doing that didn’t make sense. For example, it doesn’t make sense if I get up early and take my daughter on a day trip to a place she’s been wanting to go for nine years and we spend the whole day, and because I’m doing that, I miss an interval training; it doesn’t make sense for me to berate myself and be upset with myself because I just missed an exercise, but I’ve done that. I’ve been like oh, I failed. I should have gotten up earlier, even though I took my daughter on this day trip and we had a great time the whole day. It also doesn’t make sense for me to freak out if I don’t have enough deep green leafy vegetables because I’ve been on an airplane for six hours, and I was at a conference, and I didn’t have time to get to a store, and something happened, and then I feel bad because oh, I ate carrots instead of broccoli; I mean, that obviously doesn’t make sense.
So, what I’m trying to do in my head is clarify when should we just be okay with things just not working out right and when should we really push ourselves to go that extra mile? And I wanted to get this from you because clearly, I mean, you’re Mr. SANE. This is what you do and what you stand for, but I’m sure there must be times in your life when everything isn’t perfect because circumstances are just how they are. So, what do you have to say on that?
Jonathan: It’s a matter of priorities. So, the example you just gave, you gave two examples, one was I didn’t reach my goals with SANEity because I was spending time with my daughter, and the second example was because I was spending time on my business and my mission. What that tells me is that spending time with your family and your business and your mission are higher priorities to you than “perfect” SANEity. I, personally, would agree with that prioritization, but let’s say you gave a third example, which was there was a Breaking Bad marathon on television and because of that, I did not have time to blend my green smoothies. Then we would say okay, if your goal in life is to never miss a Breaking Bad marathon, then you’ve reached your goals. And if your goal was to win a gold medal in the Olympics, people who are training for the Olympics, do put their training above their families, they do, right? A soldier puts his or her duty, in some ways, in front of spending time… not in some ways, in front of spending time with their family, right? They leave their family, potentially die, to serve their country.
So you are not ever failing unless you are living out of congruence with your goals and you can’t have three top priorities, you can only have one top priority. So, if you can just stack rank those priorities and then if you say SANEity is number three, clearly, that doesn’t mean you go eat Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and Pepsi because there’s no reason to ever do that, but if you miss being a 10 out of 10 in your third priority because you’re crushing, crushing means good, you’re crushing, in a good way, your first and second priorities, then I think that’s fantastic. Now, if you were deficient in your third priority because things are just crazy and I’m totally stressed, well then, we might need to just refactor priorities, but I think it’s where am I spending my time? And if I’m spending it on my purpose, then you’re fine.
April: Okay. No, I think that’s great. I really feel like it’s wisdom in a situation. I love what you just said because yeah, there are times in the morning where I could be sitting, talking with my sons, working with them more as they’re getting ready, but I am blending my green smoothies while I’m with them, but Spencer’s making his own breakfast. I’m not making his breakfast because I’m making my breakfast, but I found that doesn’t mean that smoothies are more important than my family, it just means that we’re trying to figure out a way that we’re able to have that balance where I’m able to take care of my body, take care of myself so I can be there to take care of my children, and be able to create a lifestyle where at the end of the day I feel like that was great.
I did the best I could today, I strengthened my family, I ate healthy foods, I lived my mission, and I’m going to bed excited to be able to do it again tomorrow and keep trying. I think that’s what SANE has done for me, is that I am going to bed full, happy, excited, and I feel like I have the fuel I need to do the work I need to do. And my brain is getting sharper, I’m noticing. Eric, I notice that I’m thinking more quickly, I have more clarity, I’m feeling more alive, I’m breathing better. There’s a lot of great things happening and SANE, this process that you’ve helped me identify and live, it’s amazing. I’m so grateful.
Jonathan: Thank you, April. It’s a pleasure for me every day. I love the opportunity to wake up and to help people with this science because it’s been a 15-year journey for me on the backs of thousands of researchers who have dedicated their entire lives to providing us with this science, we just now need to live it in the face of so much nonsense marketing out there.
So, in terms of next actions, I would strongly recommend, if you haven’t already, there’s an exercise that I think was popularized by Stephen Covey where you define your roles and goals and then you prioritize them, where you say what are my roles in my life? Do I have a role as a partner in a romantic relationship? As a parent? As the owner of a business? As a team member? As a member of the PTA? You just define your roles and then you define your goals in each one of those roles, and that rhymes, so it makes it easy. And then you stack rank them, and that can be the hardest part of the exercise, but at the end of the day, you’re always stack ranking. Anytime you make a choice, you’re choosing not to do everything else you could be doing with that time. So, you can either make that choice consciously, or you can let other people make that choice for you. And I know that your life will be happier if you make that choice consciously, rather than defaulting to other people’s agendas.
So, define your roles and goals and then prioritize them, and then if you ever start to beat yourself up thinking you’re not doing well, if you had to make a compromise, which you will, life is a serious of compromises, if you’re compromising in accordance with that prioritization, I think you should celebrate, rather than shame yourself.
April: I love it. Ah. I get so happy recording these podcasts. I’m energized. Can’t wait.
Those of you listening today, I hope that you love SANE and I hope you come to love it as much as I do. Read Jonathan’s book. Go to the website. Anything you can learn from him, I just point everyone your way, because this is the best thing I have ever found. I am living proof that a busy, normal person can be happy and get results and feel like they can thrive in their life by eating the right foods, and Jonathan, you’ve changed it for me, so thank you so much.
And those of you here, have a wonderful day and remember to stay SANE.
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