Welcome to the inaugural BiOptimizers’ Awesome Health podcast! For our first show I’m excited to bring you Matt Gallant.
Matt and I started the journey that created BiOptimizers about 13 years ago. He was a personal trainer at that time, and was also learning about online marketing. He approached me about creating an online product, which led to supplements and more products later on. Our partnership was born.
On this edition of the Awesome Health podcast we break down what the Awesome health formula is, why each piece is important and why we started this podcast in the first place. Listen in for all of that and more on this episode of the BiOptimizers’ Awesome Health show.
More About Awesome Health with Matt Gallant
The first product Matt and I created together made money from day one, so it made sense for us to continue creating products and supplements. The real turning point for me, however, was when I dieted for 11 months and then competed in back to back to back competitions. First I was in the Western Canadian, which I won. I then went to the Nationals and won, before competing in the Mr. Olympia contest.
This was a pivotal time for me not just because I won but because of what I had to sacrifice for those wins. The last 6 months before the competitions were very painful for me. I didn’t want to sacrifice my health for my performance, and so I made a deep commitment to find a better way and to share it with everyone.
After the event I looked at what happens to athletes after their careers, not just body builders but all athletes in a variety of sports. I discovered their physicality often gives out and it’s assumed that that will happen. But I thought what if we could explore and experiment with high performance techniques and tools that have been tested at extremes with athletes and apply them universally? Those questions eventually led to the products, supplements, and programs we offer today – as well as this podcast.
Before Matt and I explain what the AWESOME health formula is, we talk about how to know you’ve reached optimal health. If you go back to childhood, you never worried about running out of energy or just getting through the day. But along the way most people start to feel tired, or have digestive issues or gain weight which they can’t lose.
All of these are symptoms of the body not functioning at its ideal level. And the truth is if you want to play at a global level you have to be in awesome health. Great health means you have more energy, more endurance and better mental performance for yourself, your work and your personal life.
What Is A.W.E.S.O.M.E. health?
So what is awesome health exactly and what’s the formula behind it? Matt and I break down what each letter stands for and why it’s important.
Air: This is about oxygen and breathing practices. Certain breathing techniques have been shown to increase oxygen levels in the blood, and fight off all kinds of things while building your immune system. Breathing can be done consciously or unconsciously, which is why I think it gets overlooked.
Personally I got into meditation in 1996 and got a teacher in 2000. In the East the breath doesn’t start with the inhale, it starts with the exhale. They believe the expulsion is where breathing starts. I learned how to deeply exhale: if you force the breathe out that forces the carbon dioxide out which allows for a deeper inhalation. Listen to today’s show to hear this example and the 10-10-10 technique used for better cardiovascular health.
Water: Matt explains how water helped him while he was experimenting with sleep deprivation, and we discuss why water isn’t just water! Dr. Gerald Pollock has proven that water has four phases: solid, liquid, gas and crystal. It’s the only substance that exists like this in nature, in 4 stages. The crystal idea is very interesting. I think there’s been a lot of debate about water because most people don’t think about water as a crystal, as a storage unit.
The human body is mainly water and our body’s well-being is determined by how hydrated we are, and the quality of that hydration. If you think of water like a DVD: you can program the disc with a horror movie, an educational workshop, or whatever you want. That DVD is going to play a different thing depending on what it is programmed with.
Personally I’ve experimented with over 150 different systems, and out of those I have found we all need to filter our water. there’s a lot of medical drugs in the tap water in North America, plus fluoride and chlorine. You want to keep those things out of your body!
For example, fluoride is a chemical disruptor. The CDC has published data correlating the rise in obesity with a rise in fluoridated water. If you can’t lose weight your water may be a big factor in why, the fluoride changes your hormones, as does chlorine. These also impact your thyroid’s function and your body’s good bacteria.
In terms of how much you should drink, start off by taking a drink every 5-10 minutes, it’s not about how many glasses you drink every day. 95% of the people who would come into my clinic were dehydrated. Give yourself the time to develop a good water habit, it may take a little while to reset your thirst mechanism because for most people it is broken. This explains why a lot of people are actually thirsty when they think they are hungry.
Exercise: Moving on to exercise, people often ask me what the best exercise is and I tell them you have to find exercise you love to do. We’ve created a world where we don’t exercise! We’ve forgotten how our bodies don’t work right if they aren’t moving and moving frequently.
Matt suggests reframing exercise as movement and find what you love to do. Is it golf? Bicycling? Tennis? Rock climbing? Yoga? Be sure you do it regularly and consistently. Never miss a workout, otherwise your mind will tell you it’s okay to miss one and then it’s okay to miss two, three and more. Matt also explains momentum and how to build it, why this relevant to your movement and exercise routine, and why hiring a trainer changes everything for you.
Remember this is is a lifestyle choice, it’s not just for a wedding in a month or swimsuit season coming up. Having a coach can help you through the rough parts, until you love going to the gym or working out. The bottom line is until you love it you haven’t arrived yet psychologically. And that should be your goal, to get to the point where you love exercise and movement, keep experimenting with different types of exercise and coaches/trainer until you get there.
Sunlight: Nothing works without the sun! The planets don’t move, the materials on Earth don’t exist and we as humans don’t exist. Both Matt and I have experimented with living in rainy, cloudy places versus really sunny and warm environments. There’s data now showing sun impacts your moods, your digestion, how your body looks, and how all of it changes based on your exposure to light.
I believe we are on the cusp of some amazing breakthroughs in light technology. Matt says we get much more than just Vitamin D from the sun, much of which we don’t even understand yet. He knows this because he has experimented with taking Vitamin D supplements versus getting twenty minutes of sunlight. The sunlight led to increased testosterone, his fat loss doubled, and his muscle building changed significantly, none of that happened with Vitamin D.
Most people are scared of the sun, but it’s about finding the optimal dose. Be sure you are getting in the sun 4-5x a week for 15-20 minutes at a time, and you’ll get what you need.
I also discuss our exposure to blue light from technology today, and how our indoor lifestyles are affecting our well-being.
Optimizers: We started a company based on this because we’ve been looking at optimization all of our lives! The reality is if you want more energy and get to the next level in your life you have to look at how you optimize areas of your life? Start with air, water and sun first.
When those are working, you will want to optimize more which means enzymes. Enzymes are the first part of the optimizers. On this episode, I explain how this is relevant to people with all sorts of health issues from skin conditions to depression to blood sugar-challenged people. When we could see the different applications of enzymes for people, this is when optimization started to explode for us.
It’s important to remember optimizers are co-partners with probiotics, probiotics are single units of living organisms inside your body. Matt explains this on a deeper level and how we went from the body building paradigm to the biological optimization paradigm. They’ve been so impact for him that he would part with any of his other supplements before he parted with enzymes!
He says it’s not about what you’re eating, it’s about what you are breaking down, absorbing and assimilating. You could be eating the best food in the world but if you have a shortage of enzymes your body won’t break your food down, that leads to health issues and digestive problems.
In fact, data is showing our thoughts are being controlled by our gut, so if you have a shortage of good bacteria it can lead to decreased mental health, emotional well-being and physicality. The point is these are essential and critical! I also talk about how bad bacteria can actually cause you to eat bad foods.
Mental beliefs and attitudes: This is about examining your own perceptions, our social conditioning and what we are subjecting ourselves to every day. This is one of the greatest things you can explore, and also one of the most limiting!
The challenge here is we tend to hang around people who have similar beliefs and attitudes. My spiritual teacher says we are all crazy but we don’t know it because we hang around people with the same craziness! Often when we’re exposed to new beliefs we are resistant to them. So it’s both a challenge and an opportunity.
We’re hoping we challenge you on upcoming episodes, not because we want to convince you of something but because we want you to try something new and find the fun in experimenting. In ancient times debates and discussions weren’t looked at as an opportunity to win, but as chance for people to learn and create a “metamind” that bridges cultures and social environments.
Matt adds his own thoughts on the subject. He believes the #1 attitude to incorporate is to be open-minded, be flexible and adaptable. He says he holds everything he knows to be provisional knowledge, and that most of what he believes today is wrong on some level! He knows that tomorrow, next week, next year or 10 years from now new info will reveal what he believes today to be obsolete.
Nutrition is an amazing playground for this: what we thought was true 20 years ago is not true. So don’t be dogmatic, be flexible and adaptive to potential new mindsets and new attitudes, which will open you up for new perspectives.
I talk about Darwin’s quote: he didn’t say survival of the fittest, he said survival of the most adaptable. Those parts of nature that adapt the fastest and most effectively are the ones that survive. Take a look around us today and you’ll see how this is true. Things require different adaptations then they did 50 years ago! We have to become flexible and experimental as a species or we’re going to get left behind.
Personally, this was difficult for me, I was rigid and dogmatic but I realized the results I got, while they were impressive, would only take me so far. So I had to challenge my beliefs. Both Matt and I know that you can’t argue with your results. Your life is a collection of the beliefs and attitudes you have. If you accept that then you can change things and get yourself different results. And since you are here listening then you are one of the people who wants to make changes!
Etc: This stands for education, testing and coaching. What we mean by this is check out some of our stuff, apply it and see how it affects you. Get coaching: you’ll never get as far as possible as fast as possible without coaching.
This is the triangle of courage and honesty! To truly further your education it takes more energy and resources than what you have on hand right now. You’ve got to get definitive data on where you are at, things like your hormones, your body fat, your endurance levels, etc. Your numbers don’t lie! But when you accept your numbers, then you can fix them.
Coaching plays a pivotal role in helping you acknowledge and then change your numbers. A great coach is interested in one thing and one thing only: the methodologies to activate the genius and greatness within you. Their job is to encourage you, to expose yourself to challenges and to stop seeing every challenge as a pass/fail. To get to the next level of health you’re going to need coaching, your coach will help you find a methodology for you and to do it faster.
This podcast is about being virtual coaches and mentors for you. We’re transferring our knowledge, our passion and our experiences to you. We’re excited to continue being here with you and bringing on people we know, like and trust to serve you on your journey. And if you have a guest suggestion let us know, we’d love to hear from you! Thanks for joining us on the BiOptimizers’ Awesome Health podcast.