Jon Paul Crimi And Ashley James


  • Four alienations: nature, each other, work, ourselves
  • Grief gets stuck in the lungs. Breathwork clears out grief out of the lungs
  • There’s nothing you’re going to get from the outside that’s going to make you enough on the inside
  • Breathwork makes you realize that you are enough
  • Breathwork is an adjunct to 12-step programs for people to get sober
  • Trauma is passed down the DNA
  • We breathe differently depending on what state we’re in
  • Be willing to be an explorer, a scientist within yourself
  • Contraindications of breathwork

In this episode, Jon Paul Crimi tells us how breathwork helped him turn his life around. He tells us stories of how breathwork transformed other people’s lives as well. He also explains the breathwork technique to us and the contraindications of breathwork.


 [0:00] Intro: Hello true health seeker and welcome to another episode of Learn True Health podcast.

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You’re going to love today’s interview. I loved, loved interviewing Jon Paul and I can’t wait to have him back on the show. I think this information is something that 100% of the population needs to hear. You know some interviews are just for women or some interviews are just for people with thyroid problems. This interview is for 100% of the population. I’m very excited for you to hear it. Please, share it with those that you love that you know it will help. Help me to spread this information and get it out to as many people as possible so we can help all of our loved ones and everyone we care about to learn true health. Enjoy today’s interview.

Welcome to the Learn true health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 391.



[0:02:19] Ashley James: I am so excited for today’s guest. We have on with us Jon Paul Crimi. I love your last name. I’m saying it like you told me to say it. Like an Italian, Crimi.


[0:02:31] Jon Paul Crimi: That’s right. Kreme. It’s beautiful. I love it. Thank you.


[0:02:35] Ashley James: Jon Paul has a wonderful website We were in the presence of a celebrity here. I’m feeling the pressure. Feel the Hollywood pressure. You’ve been in Hollywood for the last 20 years with the bigwigs. You are sought after. Your classes are full. Your teacher trainings are full. Your breath technique that you’ve developed over the last 20 years has helped people to become very successful in the Olympics, in Hollywood, CEOs, major corporations and executives. So today we get to jam with you and figure out what’s up with breathwork and why are all the celebrities just jumping on the bandwagon? What’s up? So good to have you here today.


[0:03:27] Jon Paul Crimi: Thanks. It’s great to be here. At first, I don’t think I’m a celebrity. I’m more celebrity adjacent. I’m like next to the celebrities or working with the celebrities. I’ve worked with a lot of celebrities over the years and I found that when I’m standing next to some big celebrity I’m pretty much invisible. It’s okay. I’m happy to be invisible. Lately, I’ve been in the spotlight with breathwork. It’s really taken off and people have really taken to it which is it’s fantastic to see because it changes people’s lives in a very short amount of time which is great because we live in this society today that everybody wants a quick fix and there really aren’t any quick fixes out there, right? But this actually is a quick fix. In one session, the most common statement I hear is like, ‘Oh my God, it’s like 20 years of therapy without having to say a word.’ So if you can feel that way after one session or one class or one workshop you know, it sells out. People come in droves. They have this experience then they bring their family members back and their friends back, everyone they know that needs it which is everyone right now on the planet seems like.


[0:04:36] Ashley James: You were telling me before we hit record that you were just in at Hay House, which is a publishing company, Hay House summit.


[0:04:46] Jon Paul Crimi: Well, so glad it was the Heal. You know the Heal documentary on Netflix? Heal had a Hay House online summit. So it was great. It was like Dr. Joe Dispenza, Dr. Michael Beckwith, Dr. Sue Mortimer. It was like doctor, doctor, doctor, Jon Paul Crimi, doctor, doctor, doctor.


[0:05:09] Ashley James: I like in your website you say, “I’m not a doctor. I’m not your doctor.” But what you do helps people to access their own ability to heal itself. After you were on the summit, your interview is only available for 24 hours you said. After that hundreds, hundreds of people came to your website and bought your five-day course. You have this course. We are definitely going to talk about it because I’m interested in learning more about it. Then you started to get the flood of emails. You’ve been telling me that the weekends been non-stop emails of people telling you that what they learned and what they’ve done with you and your coursework so far has been nothing sort of life-changing.


[0:05:46] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean, to read the emails and to hear the stories from people saying that they let go of trauma that they’ve been holding on to for their whole life. That their bodies are starting to heal. Because so much of our physical health is due to emotional health, right? So if we can start to clear out that stuff, those negative emotions or things that we’re storing in our body then some of that physical health will start to get better. So we can dive into that because that’s a big part of my own personal story as well. So just hearing these stories from people who are doing this course all over the world and having this incredible results and then they want to turn around and give it to other people, to show it to other people. So I’m creating these like soldiers for good out there of people taking other people to breathwork and changing lives. It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever done. It’s the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. In a million years I never would’ve thought I would be doing something like this. I’m not that guy. I’m not your typical guy.


[0:06:48] Ashley James: Guru?


[0:06:49] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I’m not a guru. I don’t like that. I’m a breath teacher, you know. I’m just not that guy. I’m from the South Shore of Boston Massachusetts where people are kind of rough and tumble. I grew up in a really rough way. This thing was never on my radar. None of this stuff was on my radar but the universe has this funny way of pushing you down roads through pain, right?


[0:07:19] Ashley James: Well we’ll definitely get into your story in a minute. I studied Huna which is the ancient Polynesian spiritual practice. I can’t really call it a religion but in Hawaii, they practice Huna every step of, if they’re practicing Huna is part of their life. It’s part of how they go fishing. It’s part of how they are a parent. It’s part of how they practice medicine. It’s part of how they chant. It’s every aspect of their life. They have a saying in Hawaii. They call foreigners or white people haoles. They say it, it’s a derogatory almost a racist term but haole means without breath. Imagine a hundred years ago, the ancient Polynesian Hawaiian people have never met any foreigners and they were living in harmony. There was actually no recorded accounts of mental illness at all. There was no depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, nothing. People were fishing and gardening and dancing and racing families and they were harmonious. Then these ships came out of nowhere. Most of the people there, the natives were half-naked because it’s really hot. These people, these missionaries come dressed head to toe in wool. Holding bibles and telling them that they needed to stop being sinners, get dressed. The Hawaiians noticed that these people never pause and take a breath. They were just like breathe shallow and be kind of nervous and emotional, uptight at the same time. The Hawaiians would actually take a breath, part of the practice, part of their Huna was that when you met someone to say hello, you would take a pause and you would take a breath and then you would say hello. That you would pause to eat. You would pause before you fish and take a breath. Everything they did was they would stop, take a breath and then do something. So when these foreigners came and they never paused to take a breath they called them haole without breath. I thought that was so interesting, that distinction of our Western culture that we are without breath.


[0:09:49] Jon Paul Crimi: You know, I’ve heard the term haole quite a bit because I have some surfer friends from Hawaii. I have a really good friend who was in this movie North Shore. He says in the movie, “He’s so haole he doesn’t even know he’s haole.” Talking about the white guy in the movie. He doesn’t even know that he doesn’t belong, you know. The shallow breath that you’re talking about, there’s a saying, ‘Shallow breath, shallow life. Deep breath, deep life.’  Hearing that story made me think we’re so disconnected know in our society. The four alienations, right?

The first alienation is we’re disconnected from nature, from the world, from the earth. They were working in nature. They were fishing and they had their feet in the ground. So we’re disconnected in that and we’re destroying the planet. Then we’re disconnected from each other. We’re on social media but we’re not really connecting with people and listening and taking them in and spending quality time as much. We’re disconnected from our work, from what we do. So many people don’t love what they do for work anymore. So we’re disconnected from that. We’re disconnected from ourselves. That’s the biggest one. Those people were connected that’s why there was no schizophrenia, there was no mental illness, there was no sickness. I mean, it’s just as simple as that. It’s like when you have those things in place it’s so obvious for me to see now.

I work with people. In my other business, in my sober coaching, sober companion business I’ve worked with very successful people. Millionaires, some billionaires, actors, and musicians. They’re isolated. They’ve isolated themselves off from the world. They can’t understand why they’re not happy. Everybody else can’t understand why they’re not happy because it’s seemingly what society dictates that they have it all. They have a career, they’re beautiful, they have money, they have success. But yet, if you look at those things I just explained, they don’t have any of those things. They’re isolated off. They’re disconnected from all those things. When you start to sit inside and isolated yourself off from the world your brain starts to play tricks on you when you start to think about all the stuff. You start to read all the stuff online about you. You get down this rabbit hole. I can see how they quickly make themselves sick with that.


[0:12:22] Ashley James: Right. I was just reading the latest statistics of suicide rated among our youth is now the second leading cause of death. Suicide went up 52% I believe it was for ages between 10 and 24. Just yesterday, between –


[0:12:46] Jon Paul Crimi: What is it an 11-year-old or a 10-year-old? You’re playing outside.


[0:12:53] Ashley James: A nine-year-old committed suicide about a month ago. It was in the news. It’s just, what’s going on that we are so disconnected.


[0:13:00] Jon Paul Crimi: That hurts my heart.


[0:13:01] Ashley James: This is so recent. This is just this generation. I mean, it went up 52% in the last 10 years.


[0:13:08] Jon Paul Crimi: Well, what do you think that is?


[0:13:11] Ashley James: We’ve got social media.


[0:13:12] Jon Paul Crimi: Social media. That’s it. That’s it.


[0:13:14] Ashley James: We’re disconnected. We’re disconnected like you said. We’re not meeting face-to-face and we’re isolated. We’re more and more isolated. We think we’re connected digitally but we’re actually more and more isolated.


[0:13:26] Jon Paul Crimi: I agree. I think what happens too is that you know I had a hard time at school. But at least when I got home from school I had my house and my safe backyard. All my stuff, right? Now these kids, they get home from school and now they’re bullied on social media and it’s endless. You can’t get away from it. It’s worse on social media than in school. They’re constantly being bullied and barraged. You know, I had someone close to me that I knew, one of my nieces. She was bullied on social media where they created a website or created a profile for that wasn’t her. I mean, it was pretty serious. She had a lot of problems around it. Just the things that can happen online are you know awful to people. When your brain is that young it’s not fully formed yet. I don’t think you realize that all that online stuff it really isn’t real you know.


[0:14:25] Ashley James: It feels like the real world.


[0:14:26] Jon Paul Crimi: It feels like the real world for some people. They can’t separate that out because they just think that is the real world. It’s scary that suicide is an option. I have a lot of experience with people close to me committing suicide. It’s very difficult. Part of that course, one of the days of the Five Day Emotional Detox is things called the ‘transformational letter.’ That was formed out of loss of someone that was very dear to me that committed suicide. What was happening to me was I couldn’t move the grief out. It was stuck. I went and saw someone who was really wise and they told me, “Write a letter to him saying everything you wish you could say, everything you want to say, everything you can’t say.” I was like, “Yeah. I’ve heard that before.” Then he said, “Write a letter back from him saying everything you want him to say, everything he can’t say, right.” So I did the two letters and then I laid down and I did the breathwork and it was incredible. It transformed everything for me because the letter has brought all the stuff up to the surface. It made me see what I couldn’t see because I was just stuck in a loop that I felt guilty because I could’ve done more, I could’ve said more. I felt responsible in some way. The letters really help me get clear about my part in it and also what I wanted from him, what I needed from him. Then the breathwork really cleared it out of my lungs because grief they say gets stuck in the lungs. We hold on to it. We just keep relieving it over and over again. We just carry it around with us. It moved the grief out and threw me. I was able to get some kind of measure of compassion for him and what he was going through and for myself, let myself off the hook. Because with suicide there is an element of guilt to that that we carry sometimes. I mean, it’s hard. To see that it’s so big and it’s so prevalent in our society that it just hurts my heart to hear about a 10-year-old or a 9-year-old committing suicide. It just, it breaks my heart. I’m really sensitive. It was very difficult to grow up where I grew up being as sensitive as I am. So I had to find ways to deal with it. The ways that I found to deal with it were not great tools, not the right tools. Whether it was through alcohol or drugs or candy or TV or whatever. Just trying to checkout from my feelings. Now, I have found all these really powerful, healthy ways of allowing, expressing those feelings. I’ve just gotten to a place and maybe part of it is just growing. Really, I think it’s the breathwork. It’s gotten me to this place. Someone actually messaged me today and they said, I’m really open at night. I’m really sensitive and I cry and I get emotional in my classes and in my workshops and in my teacher trainings. She said to me, “Were you like that before the breathwork?” I said, “No. I wasn’t like that before the breathwork. I couldn’t access those feelings. I wouldn’t allow those feelings and I certainly wouldn’t allow it in a room full of people.” Now I’ve just gotten into this place now where I’m like I don’t care if I’m on a stage of 200 people. I don’t care if I’m on a podcast or an interview or something like that and I start to get emotional because that’s what I’m feeling, right? There’s nothing wrong with that. Let me allow that emotion. I’m sad that nine-year-olds are committing suicide. It’s terrible, right? So let me just allow that for a minute instead of going, I don’t want to feel that. Because I need to –


Image Source: Healthline | How To Stop Bullying In Schools 


[0:18:27] Ashley James: That’s so healthy.


[0:18:28] Jon Paul Crimi: I need to be present in this interview. I need to do the best interview I can or I need to do the best class I can. It’s like, no no let me just be sad and let that come through you. What I’ve discovered just coincidentally because I was actually teaching breathwork when that guy committed suicide and I wasn’t going to cancel the classes and I said, “I’m going to go.” I’m so emotional in classes and what happened was me being so emotional in classes allowed everybody else in the room to let their emotions out and let their emotions go. So it gave permission for people breathing in the room to get emotional. We don’t get that permission, a lot of us, growing up. Be strong, be tough, never let anyone see you cry, never let anyone see your emotions. That’s a lot of the messages that I heard growing up. Most of the people I knew growing up hurt growing up. We get these messages. Knowing what I know now is terrible because if I was to say to you, “Listen, Ashley, I don’t want you to go in the bathroom. Don’t go to the bathroom okay.” You’d be like what? That’s so unhealthy. You’re going to die, right? But why is crying is the same exact thing. Our bodies need it. It’s a mechanism within our bodies to cleanse us and help us release certain emotions. Yet I have people who come to my classes and my things and say, ‘Oh my God, that’s the first time I’ve cried in three years or five years.” You’re going to get sick. You’re going to get some horrible disease if you don’t start allowing those emotions because we’re supposed to cry. We’re supposed to allow those things. For some reason, people are not. They’re fighting all of that stuff. It’s causing a lot of health issues out there in the world.


[0:20:14] Ashley James: Men are taught not to cry. I caught my husband. My husband’s very open-minded. He’s not like a 1950s male that thinks we all need to eat meat and men don’t have feelings. He’s very evolved. He has caught himself saying to out four-year-old son, “Men don’t cry. Don’t cry. Stop crying. Men don’t cry.” Something along that. I jumped down his throat when he says that.


[0:20:46] Jon Paul Crimi: Well just have him watch The Mask You Live In. That documentary. That’s a game-changer. When you watch that as a man and you see what we do to boys, to little boys when we put that on them. It just breaks your heart and you go, “Why are we doing this to little boys?” They’re little boys. They’re just as sensitive as little girls. There’s no difference in the sensitivity level. When my son cries, I just pick him up and I rub his back and I say, “Yeah. That’s okay. Let it out.” I heard a lot, ‘you’re too sensitive,’ growing up. What does that mean? There’s something wrong with me? There’s something wrong with my feelings? If I say something bothers me the response was, ‘you’re too sensitive.’ So now whenever I said bothers me is invalid, it’s me, there’s something wrong with me, right? Our parents, if they knew better they’d do better. A lot of our stuff comes from our parents. Their stuff come from their parents. It’s passed on generationally. Trauma is passed on generationally as well. So I say, ‘your problems may have other people’s names on it but your solutions have your name on it. It’s up to you if you’re going to do something about it and change it and change it for your children.


[0:22:10] Ashley James: Absolutely. We can really only heal ourselves and we can make a better environment for our children. I want to get into your story. What happened in your life that led you to create this type of breathwork that helps people heal physically and emotionally?


[0:22:32] Jon Paul Crimi: So I didn’t create it. This breathwork has been around for thousands of years from India, right? I wish I created it.


[0:22:41] Ashley James: Well you created your own unique style though.


[0:22:44] Jon Paul Crimi: I did. I created a technique. Breathwork has been around for thousands of years from India. What happened was for me is I discovered this incredible technique and it was life-changing for my first session. But the package that it was wrapped in, the way it was done was so new agey and woo woo that I somehow had an open enough mind to do it. I mean I just been to Tony Robbins and I think it cracked me open. A couple of people that didn’t know each other said to me, ‘you need to go do breathwork.’ I was like, ‘what’s breathwork?’ and I find this place. I went to this class and there were five or six people there. It was very woo woo, new agey crystals and oils and all of it. It was just awful for me then. The experience was undeniable. I started doing it on my own every day and at one point I said, “God, if somebody did this in a way that wasn’t new agey and it wasn’t woo woo, they would have 200 people in the room and they would change the world.”

I started teaching it. I was never going to teach it but I somehow started teaching it. I took all that woo woo stuff out of it. I actually added in all these other stuff to make it even more palatable for people. Then I added in a few more components. It just built and it just kept tweaking it and going, ‘how would I want this if I was on the other side? If I was the person laying on the floor right now, what the best experience that I can deliver for somebody?’ So I just shaped it and honed it and it became that. Now, tons of people are doing it the same way. Some of them had been trained by me. Some of them haven’t. That’s a whole other story? You know, it’s been incredible. It’s been an incredible ride. At first, no one would come do it. I would tell people, “You got to come try this thing.” And they go, “Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.” I would post about it. There were times that one person would show up. I was renting the room and losing money. I was like, “I want to help people but I don’t want to lose money on the process.” But now, it’s just grown massively. It’s incredible. Everything’s sold out that I do. I’m just so grateful, you know.


[0:24:59] Ashley James: Take us back to when it wasn’t working out and there’s one person in the room. What happened? How did you all of a sudden become so popular?


[0:25:10] Jon Paul Crimi: So, it was kind of a series of events. I kept pursuing it where I would post on Facebook and trying to get friends of mine. I have a lot of friends in recovery. I would just tell them. I hear them share how depressed they were or how angry they were and all this stuff. People could see the change in me. At first, when I was doing it I wasn’t even telling people and people are like, “What’s going on with you. You seem very calm. You’re very different.” I was really angry when I found it. I was so angry because some career dreams hadn’t worked out for me. I’ve been kind of ripped off in Hollywood. I was just so bitter and so angry. You can’t hide that. It just comes out. They say that anger is the mask that sadness wears. The truth is that I was just sad. I was disappointed. I was heartbroken that things didn’t work out. That I got ripped off. All these different things had happened to me. But I didn’t want to feel sad so it came out as anger.

I started doing this breathwork and it just released that anger out of me. It just cleared that anger out of me. It allowed the sadness to come out. It allowed me to cry. It allowed me to feel gratitude and love in a way that I had never experienced before. So I was just doing it every day sometimes twice a day. I could just feel these things leaving my body. I could feel things in my body that had happen to me like I broke my arm when I was a kid. There was something going on in my arm right there. It was healing all these areas, all these traumas within my body. It just started to change me and clients and friends were saying, ‘you seem different.’ I finally started telling people, “I’m doing this weird breathwork thing.’

There was no research, nothing out there on it at the time. I would try and find information. I was a personal trainer, I was a celebrity trainer at Gold’s Gym in Venice. I had the very scientific brain of what’s happening in my body. I couldn’t find the science around it. There is some science out there now. They’re doing more and more studies on it. They’re just starting to go into the studies. Right now, they’re doing a study with breathwork on veterans with PTSD. I think the results are going to be amazing from that. I’ve had veterans with PTSD come in and work with me and see them heal in front of my eyes. See them just transform and clear all these stuff out. So I’m so looking forward to watching this thing grow and it’s growing really fast.

I tell people, “Imagine if I told you there’s this thing, it’s called yoga. It’s going to be everywhere.” They’re like, “Really, yoga? It’s going to be everywhere?” I’m like, “But it’s going to be even bigger than yoga.” A lot of people will go, ‘I’m 300 pounds. I can’t do yoga,’ or ‘I’m not flexible’ or ‘I’m not this.’ They just don’t have that confidence in their body type to go into a yoga studio whereas anyone can go to a breathwork class and just lay on the floor and breathe.

Breathwork, I should straighten this out, breathwork is an umbrella term, right? It’s like saying fitness. If I said I do fitness you’d be like, ‘Okay fitness. What do you do? Do you CrossFit? Do you do cycling? What do you do? Do you do yoga?’ So breathwork, the type of breathwork that I teach, the technique that I teach, and I’ve studied them all but this is the one that I find is the most powerful. So I work with this one specifically it’s called connected breathing, circular breathing.

So in life, you take a breath in through your nose ideally down into your belly ideally. Let it out either through your nose or your mouth. Then you pause for a while and you talk or you rest. In breathwork, we breathe in and out. And through this technique, through conscious connected breathing, through circular breathing, we breathe in and out through our mouth down into our belly without resting in between. It’s intense. So a lot of people have this misconception that they’re going to come and it’s going to be this relaxing kind of like a meditation class and it’s not that at all. It’s a workout. You lay on the floor and you breathe intensely through your mouth for about 28 minutes. In that process, all that crazy things happen in your body physically. All these things happen emotionally. All these things happen mentally. You know, most people have this huge release of emotions. It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not or you think it’s going to work or any of that. It’s undeniable for anyone. In fact, the more resistant to it you are the bigger the experience. That’s what I love about it. I’ll have some women who will do it and then she’ll go, ‘my husband or my boyfriend would never do this but he’ll do with you because you’re a guy guy.’ So the next week or the next month I see the woman there with her boyfriend or husband. He’s just sitting there like, ‘I can’t believe she dragged me to this.’ Then afterward he comes up to me and I can see he’s been crying. He’s had this big experience and he’s like, ‘Can I give you a hug? I never experienced anything like that. That was the most profound experience. It was life-changing.’ That’s what I hear a lot. It’s life-changing. So to answer your question, it slowly started to grow person by person. You get one person who has a huge experience, they would go and tell everyone they know. Then next week they would come back with two or three people. Then so on and so on and so on. It took a while.

There was a meditation studio that opened up in Los Angeles. The owner was really good at marketing. She got people in there. She had me come teach there and my classes grew very fast in there and they were sold out within a couple of months. So I was doing a couple of classes a week there with 66 people in the room because that was as many as we could pack in like sardines. There were 20 people on the waitlist every Monday and Wednesday night. It was just wild. Then I eventually left there and rented this church space, this huge church space in Los Angeles and filled that up. That’s what I still use to this day when I travel back to Los Angeles. I live in Bend, Oregon now. I put 120 people in that class, in that church. When I go to town I’ll do two back-to-back classes sold out which is amazing. So, I’ll fly to Los Angeles say I’m leaving in two weeks. I’ll do a teacher training on Saturday and Sunday where I teach people how to teach it. Then I do two classes on Monday at that church. It’s incredible. It’s an incredible weekend for me. Then I come back to Bend, Oregon where I live with my family and enjoy my life and spend time with my kids and chase my kids around the yard.

Image Source: Woken News | News Study Shows That Breathing  Air Is Linked To Staying Alive


[0:31:52] Ashley James: That sounds so awesome.


[0:31:54] Jon Paul Crimi: It is.


[0:31:55] Ashley James: Well, I have so many questions. The constant breathing, the first thing that comes to mind, don’t people pass out? Don’t they get so dizzy? Because I’ve done that prana breathing, pranayama and you get lightheaded. No wonder you have everyone lay down. They might fall over. So do people ever faint or get really lightheaded and they’re afraid of fainting or does that just pass?


[0:32:24] Jon Paul Crimi: So it passes. One of the things, when I break it down and I usually break it down in a really funny way in front of the room. I say, “There are three areas that you have to overcome to do this thing to really have a big incredible experience. Just three tiny areas. Just physically, mentally and emotionally. If you could just overcome those three little areas you’re going to have this incredible experience. Here’s what’s going to happen to you.

Physically, things are going to happen in your body that is going to freak you out. Your arms are going to get tingly and weird. Your hands, your fingers can clamp up. It’s called tetany. It’s like claw hands. It freaks people up but it goes away. Your jaw can get tight. You have all these sensations. You’re going to get dizzy. You can get nauseous. You can get lightheaded. All that will go away. It will pass. You have to push through it if you want to have the experience.

The second part is the emotional part, right? So emotions are going to come up. Let them come up. Let them come out. A lot of us are told that we shouldn’t cry, right? A lot of us are told to be strong. Let that stuff out, cry if it comes out for you. Whatever. So let the emotions out.

Then the last part is the mental part. This is actually the toughest part. I notice for most people. Because the brain doesn’t want you to do this. Your brain doesn’t want you to do anything difficult, hard or uncomfortable. So you have to override that, right? Just like going to the gym or anything else. But with this thing, your brain really freaks out because it does this thing called transient hypofrontality. It shuts off part of your brain, part of your frontal lobe. The critic that we all have that tells us we’re not enough. You’re not smart enough. You’re not thin enough. You’re not rich enough. You’re not skinny enough. Whatever. It just tells you you’re not enough, that you’re never going to do anything. We all have this critic in our head all the time. It turns that off. It’s the most incredible feeling when you can turn that off. You can go accomplish anything with your life when you could turn that off. But the brain doesn’t want you to turn that off. So it does everything it can to get you to stop. So it will be like, ‘Ashley, stop doing this. You’re going to pass out. You’re having a stroke. I know he said this can happen to your hands but you’re having a stroke Ashley.’” It will literally freak you out. Some people can’t override. Eventually, you will override it. It’s like stepping out of an airplane. You’re body’s not designed to step out of an airplane to go sky diving, right? So you have to override everything inside of your body physically to step out that door. This is very similar in that way.

The hardest part is the first 12 minutes and then eventually you just go, I’m fine and it just kicks in. The breath starts taking over and you start having this almost psychedelic experience in some way. It’s very incredible. It’s hard to describe. It’s different for everybody. It’s different every time you do it. So I’ve been doing it for a while now and every time I do it it’s still different. So, I tell people, ‘Come back, it’s going to be different.’ Then they go, ‘Oh my God. That was different.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, do it on a regular basis and it will change your life. The way I used it to change my life was I would wake up in the morning and my head would be talking trash to me. I would just lay down and breathe. Okay, let’s get to work on this sober companion business. Let’s get this work on how do we build this breathwork to help more people? How do we do this? How do we build online courses? I don’t know anything about building an online course but let me just breathe and clear out that critic that tells me I can’t build an online course because I can barely use Facebook properly. Let me turn that critic off and just get to work.’ What you can accomplish is incredible when you’re not talking yourself out of it and telling yourself that you can’t do things.


[0:36:13] Ashley James: You’ve been teaching or helping people to be sober, get sober and stay sober for a long time now. Longer than you’re teaching your breathwork, correct?


[0:36:25] Jon Paul Crimi: Correct, yeah. I’ve been sober 19 ½ years. Since March 5, 2000. I got sort of pulled in to helping people get sober about a year after I got sober. That was transformative to watch other people get sober and be a part of that changed my life. Then I was a celebrity trainer and then someone sort of dragged me into this world of sober coaching, sober companioning which is a high-end niche thing where it started out for rock stars. Rock stars would get out of rehab and they’d need to go on the road for tours and they’d need support. So they would put somebody who was sober on the road with them who knew what they were doing, right? Then they moved into movie stars and TV stars and now it’s CEOs, wealthy children, children of wealthy people, right? Because it’s not inexpensive. Insurance doesn’t cover it, unfortunately. But instead of going to rehab which is a bubble, right? It’s easy to stay sober in rehab for 30 days or whatever the times is because you’re in this bubble and they’re guarding you around. What a sober companion does is they go into your regular life and they help you get sober in your regular life whether that is in your work environment, your home environment. Whatever it is you do, they help you build that rehab in your life and teach you to have a sober lifestyle. It’s like taking a tree that’s sick out of the environment, putting it into rehab, nursing back to health and then putting it back in the environment that it got sick in. It doesn’t make any sense. So let’s nurse the tree back to health in its environment or let’s take it out of the environment, get it healthy, then bring it back with someone that can help it stay healthy in that environment.


[0:38:14] Ashley James: So, for many years you were working with people to get sober and stay sober. Then you discover this breathwork and then you adapted your own enhanced version of breathwork that you now teach to many people. When you began to incorporate this breathwork with those who you were helping to get and stay sober, what changes did you see take place?


[0:38:44] Jon Paul Crimi: Oh my God. Because people who were newly sober or don’t want to be sober, I mean there’s a lot going on there. I would see people just flipping out. I’m screaming and yelling. I’m going to go get high or I’m going to go jump the balcony. Just this crazy person in front of me. Then I go, ‘Okay. I’ll tell you what. Let’s get high right now.” They’ll look at me like what? I go, ‘Lay down on the floor. I’m going to get you high.’ Then they go, ‘Shut up.’ And I go, ‘No, no. Just lay down on the floor. I’m going to get you high. If you don’t like this, if it isn’t an incredible experience, we’ll go get some drugs.’ Of course, I’m not going to get them drugs but I would say that, right? They go, ‘All right. I’ll take that deal.’ So they’d lay down and I go, ‘You have to do what I say though. You have to push through the discomfort. It’s going to get weird.’ Here’s the thing, alcoholics and addicts, they don’t care if it’s uncomfortable if it’s weird. If it starts to make them feel, it does put you in a bit of an altered state. If it starts to make them feel that, they’re in.

My joke was in the class I could always see who the alcoholics and addicts were in the room because they’re trying to suck all the air out of the room. They’re breathing 10 times harder than everybody else in the room because once they start feeling something, feeling weird they’re into it. Whereas regular people, ‘Oh, I feel weird. I want to slow this down or back off or I don’t like it,’ you know. So I could spot the addicts rather going twice as hard.

So I do this session with them and then they’d come and they’d sit up afterward, and I do this cool stuff after the breathing where I have you reach out and pull moments into of your heart. I’ll say, ‘Put an arm in the air and find a moment where you felt grateful for something, for someone. Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? What are you grateful for in this moment? Who are you grateful for at this moment? Step into it and then pull it down to your heart.’ So you could hear the emotion in my voice. It’s like I’m so grateful that I get to do this thing. So I’m leading people through it, these moments of gratitude, of love, of all this incredible stuff and I’m feeling it myself. I’m going through it with them. So I do that people after the breathwork and it’s a really special thing that I’ve added in there that I kind of picked up from Tony Robbins. I adapted it from a technique that he uses and I tweaked it.

So I do these sessions with people that are flipping out. Then they’d sit up afterward and they would be a different person. Their energies are different. They’re different. They look different in the eyes. They’re calm and they go, ‘Oh, wow. That wasn’t really I thought it was going to be at all.’ And I thought, ‘Oh my God. Who is this person?’ This person doesn’t sound the same. They don’t look the same. I’m meeting this person for the first time. It is a different person now in the room with me. It’s a trip. I’ve worked with schizophrenics. It’s kind of like that. They’ve got a whole another personality, well that’s multiple personalities. That’s not schizophrenia, but it’s like another person shows up in a good way. In a really good way because they’ve turned off all the noise in their head that’s telling them, ‘I need to go get high. I’m too uncomfortable of whatever it is I’m feeling.’ I mean, that’s what it comes down to. It’s like, I can’t sit with discomfort in my body, in my body right now. I need something to take me out of that discomfort. Whether that something is alcohol, whether it’s drugs, whether it’s food or sex or TV or the gym. It’s like, I can’t just sit and allow the feelings to be what they need to be. When we could learn how to do that, people say that meditation is great for that. I think meditation, seated meditation is a really advanced thing especially for an addict or an alcoholic. They have a hard time sitting still.

So breathwork is really great for that because you could lay down on your back. I was a trainer so I approached it like it was a workout. Okay, I’m going to lay down on my back. I’m going to breathe in through my mouth as big as I can to my belly. If anybody’s listening to this in the car, please don’t start doing this in your car. It’s very dangerous when you’re in your car. You need to be at home laying down. I would just say, ‘Okay, we’re going to lay down and do this technique.’ So I took all the woo wooness out of it, the new ageyness out of it. I just looked at it like a breathing technique. But there is something magical that happens there. I can’t deny that and that is transformative. I’ve had connections which you know I’m not religious but someone might call them spiritual connections. I don’t usually talk about that because I think that that’s really personal to each person. Everybody’s got their own beliefs and what they feel and what takes it in. I’ve had a gang member come up to me one time after class and he said, “Can I talk to you for a second?” Pulled me aside and he was like looking around and he said, “Man, I felt the presence of like God or something like that when I did that. Is that normal?” And I said, “Yeah. I mean it’s different for everybody.” That guy came on a regular basis and changed his life.


[0:43:40] Ashley James: Wow.


[0:43:42] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean, I’m going to get choked up just talking about it. I mean it’s just the things that I’ve seen. The people that I see transform in front of my eyes. We’re walking, so many people are walking thinking that they’re just not enough. They’re just not whole like we talked about. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the biggest celebrities on the planet and some of the most successful people on the planet. They all suffer from I’m not enough. In fact, a lot of them suffer from it more than your average person. That’s what drives them to be so successful. Because when I get this Oscar, when I get this gold medal, when I get this Grammy, when I make a billion dollars I will finally have reached this thing and I will enough. When they get there, they’re not. It doesn’t work because there’s nothing you’re going to get from the outside that’s going to make you enough on the inside. There’s just nothing that’s going to do that from the outside in.

So once they realized that, they don’t really realize it. What happens is they get the thing and they get really depressed afterward. There’s a study. There’s studies out there. The research shows that gold medal winners or Olympic medal winners, they get depressed after they get the medal because they’ve working towards this thing their whole life. Okay, now what? Do I just train again for the next Olympics? They age out of the Olympics. Then, people who get the Oscar and different things like that. I usually work with people after they’ve hit some pinnacle of success then they’re really depressed or they start using drugs and alcohol. Because it’s just that nothing’s working for them. Now they’re isolated from everyone around them in some way because they don’t feel like they can trust people.

This thing, this breathwork thing is really incredible that it makes you realize that you are enough. That you don’t really need anything else. You don’t need anything more. It’s great if you want to work on some things. Like you want to build some things and you want to create some things. It’s a great tool to do that. I’ve used it in that way. But I could just lay on the floor and breathe and just know that right now, right where I’m at, my life is perfect. I just need to be grateful. I don’t need to be the biggest breathwork teacher on the planet. It would be nice. I would love that. It would be great but that’s not going to fix me. There’s not any better moment that I’m going to have than this moment right now.

So just starting to come to that truth, that realization is pretty powerful. I wouldn’t have found it any other way. I don’t think. I couldn’t have found it any other way. I’ve worked with all these big, successful people. I don’t know who said it. I heard someone say. It’s like, ‘Everybody knows that money won’t fix them but they want to find out for themselves.’

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash 


[0:46:41] Ashley James: Yeah. Right. You know what, it’s a lot more fun to be depressed with money than to be depressed without money. I can tell you that. So as you were working with these people, keeping them sober, helping them to stay sober and doing the breathwork. What kind of like percentage increase in success did you see? Were you like, this is 100% creating way more success for people to stay sober if they do this breathwork? Were you able to see measurable, noticeable like with every single person you worked with that people could stay sober because this breathwork had them do that break state and get out of that frenzy and get back in their body and start being able to process the emotions, almost like cleanse their body in a sense and have that reset?


[0:47:38] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean I definitely saw people getting sober around them because of it. I’m a big advocate, I want to make this clear, I’m a big advocate of 12-step programs. I think that they work. I’ve seen them work. It’s how I got sober originally. So 12-step programs, recovery programs, I think they work really well. So I think that that’s the foundation and then breathwork is a great adjunct to that. I don’t think breathwork is the foundation to getting sober. I think recovery 12-step programs are the foundation because they’ve worked for 75 years. Usually, when someone tells me, “Oh, I’ve tried that. It didn’t work.” I’ll ask them a few questions. Did you do this? Did you do this? Did you do this? The answer is no. Because if you’ve done those things you would’ve stayed sober, right? So I’m a big proponent of those.

I would see people, they’re starting to put it in a lot of rehabs, a lot of recovery centers now. They’re starting to put breathwork in there because they need anything they can. The truth is, these recovery centers, they’re just drying people out. Then they’re hopefully getting them to go to 12-step, into recovery meetings. They don’t really have many things. They’re having a lot of success with breathwork. They’re having a lot of success now with EMDR and some other therapies. They’re looking for anything they can to help people get sober. It’s hard to measure results. It’s hard to measure success. Because if somebody, what happens I found unfortunately with people whether it’s with recovery, whether it’s with fitness and your health, people get the results that they want and then they get lazy, right? They forget. They’d stop doing the things that got them there in the first place. So we fall off of the fitness routine. We fall off of the things that got us sober and helped us in recovery. We stop doing those things and then it’s only a matter of time before we relapse into whatever our thing is.

I did breathwork in the beginning for a year and it changed my life. I don’t do it that much now but I don’t need it that much now. I do it kind of as needed. So I don’t need it as much now as I did before. I do different techniques and different stuff but I like to do a big session once a week. If I have something going on in my life, something heavy, something happens. I lose somebody close to me. You can be darn sure I’m going to lay down on the ground and I’m going to do breathwork right then and there. So I can start to move those emotions through me. So they don’t stay stuck. Because that’s what it is. It’s about stuck emotions. It’s about stuck traumas. It’s trapped traumas and all that kind of stuff.

So many people don’t realize that trauma is passed down to the DNA. They have studies that show this now that mothers that were pregnant at 9/11, the babies were born with higher cortisol levels, right? They have studies that show, they did this thing with the mice where they spray cherry blossom spray and then they electrocuted it. Then they spray the cherry blossom spray and electrocuted it and then they just spray the spray and it would have a reaction. Then those mice would have babies and they never got electrocuted but they spray cherry blossom spray and they’d have a reaction to it that other mice it didn’t have that. They weren’t shocked it didn’t have. That lasted up to 14 generations.

There are all these books right now like the Body Keeps the Score and It Didn’t Start with You. So, a lot of people don’t even know. They come in and they breathe and they realize all this stuff comes up and comes out. It’s like maybe it’s not even your stuff. Maybe it was your mother’s stuff. Your mother was depressed when she was pregnant with you because there was something difficult going on in the household. Someone that I worked with very closely, the mother had lost a previous child in a really tragic way and then she was pregnant with him. So she was suffering, she was grieving that loss of that precious baby, child. It fell into the water, it drowned. It’s just terrible. It was just heartbreaking. He tells me the story of his brother that he never met. So his mother was depressed and grieving while she was pregnant with him.

So that goes right into the baby. That baby is born into the world. Then they come out and they come out into a world where there’s still grief in that household. They’re probably happy that the new baby is there. That’s in us. When this person started breathing, he was just breathing out all that grief. All that sadness. All that heartbreak. I mean, I don’t know if you can be on this planet and not have disappointment, not have heartache, not have grief. I don’t think it’s possible. So we all have it. So why are we acting we’re all fine all the time? We all have this stuff, right? So I say in my class, “Everyone in this room has heartbreak and sadness and disappointment and grief. Why are we pretending that we’re fine? Allow all that to feel that and then you can feel what’s on the other side of that which is gratitude and love and joy and all the beauty.” Because if you’re denying those feeling then you’re denying all the other good feelings in. My capacity to feel love and gratitude is in direct proportion to my capacity to feel grief and sadness.

So if I want to feel massive love and massive gratitude inside of my life, inside of my heart I have to allow all the other stuff. You can’t shut yourself off from the disappointment and the heartbreak and the sadness and then open yourself up to loving gratitude. It doesn’t work that way, right? So you got to make a choice. How do you want to live?


[0:53:57] Ashley James: I want to open up all the doors and feel everything. I want to feel everything. But like you said, don’t let it get stuck.


[0:54:04] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. Well, that’s the thing too. People start to feel it. They start to feel sad or grief or whatever and they just back off. They can’t handle it and they back off. So they start to feel grief and they start to feel sadness and they back off because it’s uncomfortable. Okay, if you just allowed it to come through you it would pass through and it’s a few minutes. It’s not going to last forever. I learned that lesson when I was going through a heartbreak of a relationship that ended. My body’s like, ‘what are you feeling?’ I said I’m feeling sad and disappointed and lonely and all these things. He said, ‘go sit there and just feel it. Just sit there and feel that.’ I did. I just sat there and I felt it. Then it lasted like 15 minutes and I was like, ‘okay. I guess I’m going to go make a sandwich now. Where I was fighting so hard to not feel those things and to look for any way around them. I see that with people. To look for any solution to not just allow the feelings to be what they are.

I used to say that feelings aren’t facts and the feeling won’t kill you but I don’t say that anymore because unchecked feelings will kill you. You can get a loop inside of your brain that tells you that I’m not loved, nobody loves me. I’m not enough. People would be better off on this planet without me. You can get that loop going around and around in your heard and you start to believe it, you can take your own life. I’ve seen it happen. It’s a scary thing that your brain can give you bad information. Robin Williams’ brain was giving him bad information. It’s a scary idea that our brain can sometimes not be our friend. It’s there to protect us but sometimes it can get on a loop and start giving us bad information. If you have those kinds of feelings, go share them with somebody that you love and trust that cares about you. Because it’s just not true.


[0:56:12] Ashley James: You brought a really good point that those who are committing suicide feel like the world would be better without them and that they’re family, the people they love would actually be better and happier without them. A friend of mine went through this where her brain was telling her this that she really believed that her family would not miss her, would not feel sad and that everyone would be better if she didn’t exist.


[0:56:42] Jon Paul Crimi: It’s such a weird lie. Why would your brain do that you? Why would your brain lie to you in that way? So your brain isn’t always telling you the truth but it’s really good at convincing you that it is.


[0:56:57] Ashley James: There was a beautiful interview that was posted on Facebook and it’s been shared around a bunch with a man who survived jumping off of the Golden Gate bridge.


[0:57:08] Jon Paul Crimi: I’ve seen it.


[0:57:09] Ashley James: I bawled my eyes out. I keep trying to reach out to him and I’ve messaged him to get on the show because his story is beautiful. He’s now dedicated his life to helping people prevent suicide. He said that every single person he’s ever spoken to, a lot of people who have attempted suicide and survived, every single one of them he’s spoken to says that they immediately regretted. Like if they jumped or overdosed or whatever they chose to do, that they immediately regretted it.


[0:57:46] Jon Paul Crimi: It’s interesting, I’m reading Malcolm Gladwell’s new book. I think it’s called talking to strangers. He has this whole chapter dedicated to suicide. What they thought was, if we prevent the way that people commit suicide, if we put a net underneath a bridge, people are just going to go find another way to do it. It’s actually not true. That it’s actually coupled with something else. If they can’t do it that way at that moment because there’s something going on at that moment, then they go off and they do something else and it passes. It’s the easy access to ways to do it that lead to more suicides. There are studies. He has all these studies in his book, Malcolm Gladwell’s amazing. So for years, they didn’t want to put nets, like a net underneath the Golden Gate Bridge because they didn’t want to change the look of it. But once they did, boom the suicides just dropped.

There’s a study in England where they had a gas in the stoves and people were putting their heads in the stoves and killing themselves that way. Then they changed the gas and the suicides just dropped.


[0:59:04] Ashley James: Helping to make it less convenient. Like you said, the depression passes the moment passes. If we can teach our children to have that emotional intelligence, they call it emotional quotient where we’re able to wait a certain amount of time because they know. No matter what we’re going through right now, it will shift. It will get better. You breathe. You’re going to teach us some breathing and to breathe.


[0:59:32] Jon Paul Crimi: Right. There’s a saying in recovery, this too shall pass. It’s like whatever you’re going through, however how hard it is, whatever is going on, it will pass if you could just hang in there. Maybe you pick up the phone. Maybe you talk to someone. Go see a friend. It will pass. You have a breathing pattern for when you are depressed. You have a breathing pattern for when you’re angry. You have a breathing pattern for when you’re anxious. If you can change your breathing when you’re feeling those emotions, then you can change the emotion. If you can change your emotions, then you can change your life. Because like you were saying, people with emotional intelligence. People with better control of their emotions are very successful in life. They’re more successful in their relationships and their work and their life and their friendships. Every area of their life than people with high, high IQs. We used to think that, ‘oh this person’s a genius. They’re going to be successful.’ That’s just not the case. The studies actually prove out that people who are more emotionally well-adapted are more successful than people with higher IQs. We’re living on a planet that’s about relationships with people. It’s hard to be around people that are emotionally unstable. I know. I’ve worked with them for 20 years. It’s a really challenging work.

Teaching people how to manage their emotions through their breath is a key thing. If you can just start to breathe in a different way. It’s that moment where they’re like, ‘I’m angry. I’m depressed.’ Let me just try something different instead of choosing to be stuck in this thing. Nobody wants to be stuck. Nobody wants to be depressed. Nobody wants to be angry. Nobody wants to be a drug addict. Nobody wants to live on the street and try to find drugs. They’re not choosing that. They’re stuck in the cycle and they can’t get out of it. Just trying to find that moment of the window of opportunity where here’s a moment where someone’s trying to help you or you’re going to reach out and ask for help. I sometimes say in my classes, “Stop waiting for somebody to show up and put their hand on your head and heal you because it’s just not going to happen. You have to do it. You have to take responsibility of your own healing, for your own life. Take action around it.” Every time I take an action, my life changes. Every time I do something I don’t want to do, every time I do something that makes me a little uncomfortable I grow, I change. So if I just do something small every day, some small action every day, then I’m transforming. I’m changing. If you do that, they find that’s it. People who have these, that changed their lives, that transformed their lives, it’s through small little actions over and over, consistently. Just showing up to the gym and doing a couple exercises. It’s just starting the thing. Be a good starter. Have a smart feet, whatever it is, just show up and do it.

After a while of doing breathwork, it got kind of old for me so I had to find new ways. I started listening to motivational speakers that I like while I was breathing. What was incredible about that, I didn’t realize it was seeping into my subconscious and into who I am, all that stuff. Then it started coming out of me and my classes. I became this Tony Robbins of breathwork. I started saying all those stuff in the breathwork classes which nobody did before. It changed how I taught breathwork. So just constantly showing up, you don’t know how you’re going to transform who you are and what you do and then how that’s going to transform other people.


Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash


[1:03:35] Ashley James: I love it. I like that you pointed out how we breathe differently depending on what state we’re in. I don’t know if you know this about me but I’m a master practitioner and trainer of neuro-linguistic programming.


[1:03:48] Jon Paul Crimi: I love NLP.


[1:03:49] Ashley James: Right? You were talking about anchoring the idea of being able to get someone in a state when they’re in an acute state. So you get them into the state of gratitude and you have them anchor it into their heart. It becomes part of their neurological strategy to go there. You pointed out that physiologically, we actually have anchors in our physiology. So if you sit hunched over and you frown and you just sit there kind of hunched over and you breathe shallow, however you would if you were depressed and sitting hunched over and frowning with your head tilted downward and breathe shallow. Notice the state your body goes in versus if you just pull your shoulders back, put your head up, open your eyes, look up towards up in a 45-degree angle and smile and pull your shoulders back. Just hold that and breathe openly. You’ve opened the chest up and you breathe.


[1:04:59] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. You’re protecting the heart when you’re doing that. When you’re curling over you’re protecting your heart. Then your breath gets really shallow or you’re holding your breath. Most people are walking around not breathing all the way down into their belly, into their diaphragm. They’re breathing very shallow in their chest and holding their breath all the time. That’s why they’re feeling stressed and anxious and depressed. So just breathing in through your nose down into your belly is a game-changer for most people. But you’re saying open, bring it in the physiology in your body. I’m a big big believer in that. You start to feel the emotion. I teach affirmations in my teacher training. I’ve done affirmation workshops. I said, “Listen, you can’t just sit there hunched over and be like, ‘I’m happy, whole and worthy of love.’” Your body, your brain goes BS. That’s BS. Doesn’t feel it. You got to get up. I would have people pound on their chest and open their chest and hold their heads up high and pound. Say, ‘I’m happy, whole and worthy of love.’ We go through each word. ‘I am happy. I am.’ That’s the day two in the five-day detox is that affirmation technique. That’s incredible.

I have them throw their hands up in the air and scream ‘I love my life.’ If you do that, even if you don’t love your life it will start to shift you. It shifts your emotions. If you can just shift your emotion a little bit, break yourself out of that pattern. You’re in a bad pattern, right? It’s just breaking yourself out of that pattern. What’s interesting is, when I was telling you about anchoring those moments. Reaching out and pulling those moments into my heart. For me, I have little children that I love more than anything on this planet. I’ve been pulling these moments with my daughter, with my son and it’s incredible. Now, what’s happened to me from doing that for the last bunch of years, I’ll be with my daughter and my son and I go, ‘I’m in a moment right now.’ I’m having the moment with this moment while it’s happening. It’s such a beautiful thing. I’m just present in it and going, ‘Wow. This is it.’ I’m more present in this moment than I’ve ever been. Maybe I wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t done that in the last 10 years or whatever.


[1:07:10] Ashley James: Just by shifting our physiology and not even like, let’s say we’re in a neutral emotion. Just by shifting for example like hunching over and breathing in that shallow way and frowning, we can create sadness. We can actually access sadness. I think we walk around feeling like our emotions run the bus. That are emotions control us. Our emotions drive the bus. People go, ‘I’m just not motivated to do this.’ Who’s running you? Who is running your life? We’re letting emotions run our life but our emotions are actually anchored to our physiological state. So when we hunch over we create sadness because it’s an anchor. It’s attached to that physiology. So we might have been kind of in a good mood but we can access sadness simply by recreating the physiology of sadness. When we pull our shoulders back and smile, even if we don’t feel like smiling, smile, pull your shoulders back and lift your head up. Breathe openly for a few minutes, even 30 seconds all of a sudden you’re noticing your state shifts into a state that is more fulfilled. More motivated. So just by changing our physiology, we can shift our state. With your breathwork, we’re changing your physiology a lot and we’re moving through those emotions.

I love that you’re teaching to not push them down, to not repress the emotions. When we look at violent crimes in the United States and I’m sure around the world, unfortunately, the sad statistic is that most violent crimes are done by men. I’m not saying that no violent crimes are done by women. I’m just saying the majority are done by men. What is going on? How have we raised our boys in the last 70 years? How have we raised? What have we taught our boys that we have most of the violent crimes committed by men? It’s something really crazy like 96%. I was reading the latest statistics on violent crimes. What have we taught our men? What have we taught our boys? Since I have a 4 ½-year-old son I want to raise him to be respectful of men and women, respectful of his own body, respectful of others and emotionally intelligent. So what’s going on that men are committing violent crimes. If they were in touch with their emotions and actually felt them instead of suppressing them and reacted. Like having some kind of altercation at a stoplight and just reacted and started punching each other, right? What if they could feel their emotions and realize, ‘Oh, wow. That came from all the hurt I had as a child with my dad, or with my uncle.’ What if we process our move through our emotions? I think that your breathwork is even more important for men. I mean, of course, women will gain benefit from it. I think it’s even more important for men to do it because we need to create a society where men are emotionally healthy.


[1:10:34] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean listen, I have a lot of personal experience with it. I’ve been probably over 100 fights in my life. I was stabbed in the head when I was 19 and lost half the blood in my body and I almost died. I’ve been jumped by five guys at once and beaten unconscious. I’ve had a lot of crazy stuff. A lot of violent stuff happened to me. The message that I got was that I’m not safe in the world.

What started happening to me was I needed to react before I was attacked because I had been jumped so many times. I’ve been attacked so many times that if somebody threatened me, then I needed to react first. That was what started happening to me, right? But I think it goes back to something earlier that you and I were talking about which is we tell our boys to be strong, to be men. They repress all these emotions and there’s nowhere for that emotion to go. So it’s repressed emotions. It’s also a feeling of powerlessness. I think that violence is a powerful thing and men are filled with testosterone. If you teach compassion, it’s pretty hard to be a compassionate person and want to go beat somebody up. You know what I mean?

If you get at the stoplight and this person does something wrong if you practice compassion and you know what that feels like then you go, ‘This person’s probably having a really bad day right now.’ Instead of going like, ‘I can’t let them do that to me. I cannot let that guy get away with that. I cannot let that stand.’ I mean, that’s what that feels like when two guys get out of a car. You’ve crossed a line and I’m not going to allow it. Yeah. I know what that feels like. I’ve been on the other side of that and it’s an awful way to live your life. It’s an awful way to live. To be going around angry, it’s like two magnets just looking for each other to bump up against to express this frustration that’s inside of them. When they find each other, that’s what they want believe it or not. They want that –


[1:13:01] Ashley James: That altercation?


[1:13:03] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. If two guys. I’m not talking about a violent crime where some guy commits a violent crime against a woman. That’s a sickness. That’s a power thing. I think a lot of that comes from frustration, from sexual frustration. That’s a whole other topic that I don’t think I would talk skillfully on. You know, it’s not my area. I love women. I think women are the most amazing creatures on the planet. I don’t understand them as much as I would like to. I’ve spent 47 years trying to understand. I think I understand them better than most men. But men are really simple. We have a really simple need. We like food and sleep and sex. That’s it.



[1:13:48] Ashley James: And breathing.


[1:13:51] Jon Paul Crimi: Right. And breathing to clear out the testosterone and the frustration and the emotion. So that’s it. But women have a whole set of needs and motivations that I can’t begin to understand and I don’t think that they understand it neither themselves. Yeah. I mean, a lot of that too is the frustration that people are feeling from social media where so and so has this incredible life, which isn’t true, which is a lie. People are only showing the good stuff. I mean, I’m guilty of it myself. I post all these great videos of my kids and me. I don’t post the videos of their meltdowns. I did post a video where I wasn’t going to do it and then I did it and I regretted it. I hid their Halloween candy on them and I did the Jimmy Kimmel thing where you hide the Halloween candy. You’re like, “I ate all your candy.” They both started crying and I was like, “I’m just kidding. Here’s the candy.” It was 30 seconds, right? I posted it on my social media and people just, people who knew me who really knows me was like, ‘Oh that’s hilarious.’ They know that my kids are my entire world. That I love my kids more than anyone on this planet. It was 30 seconds. People who didn’t know me, I have kind of a big social media following, were like, ‘Oh, that’s awful. That’s not compassionate.’ So I deleted it. It made me feel lousy. I was like, ‘I’m allowing these people who don’t really know me to criticize me and I’m letting that criticism in.’

You know Brené Brown, I’m a huge Brené Brown fan. Brené Brown talks about that, social media, you really allow the criticism of people that are in your inner circle, that know you really, really well.


[1:15:55] Ashley James: Right, right.


[1:15:56] Jon Paul Crimi: Your five people in your mastermind, in your inner circle. All the other people on the outside that don’t know you, you just can’t allow to let that criticism in. I know that. It still bothered me a little bit because people are really good at digs. I’m human and the best I’m going to do is human. Things get to me sometimes. Things bother me.

I love social media. I think it’s a great tool like I get to see some of my family that I don’t get to see very often on the east coast. It brings people to my classes and my teacher trainings and my workshops. I’ve found amazing people in podcasts that I follow through social media. So I think that it’s an incredible tool. But I also think that it can be really harmful if we’re really allowing it to like if we’re believing it all. Nobody has a perfect life like that. They’re just showing the perfect shot. If I’m comparing my insides to other people’s outsides on social media, I’m going to lose every time.


[1:17:10] Ashley James: You know I was just reading Proverbs 27 today. I brought it up because what you said reminded me, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted but an enemy multiplies kisses.” “Wounds from a friend can be trusted,” meaning speak honestly to our friends and the inner circle and take that criticism with heart because they are doing it in a way that’s loving and they care about us.


Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash


[1:17:41] Jon Paul Crimi: And they know you. They know you and they know what you need and need to hear.


[1:17:49] Ashley James: Later on in Proverbs, it says, “As iron sharpens so one person sharpens another.” I love that idea that we’re sharpening each other. Take the criticism from your close friends with love and know that we’re sharpening each other.


[1:18:09] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah, 100%.


[1:18:12] Ashley James: Well, we talked about the emotional component, which is great. I’d like to get a little bit into the biological component. Something interesting about the Krebs cycle. Our body produces ATP, which is cellular energy but in a state of lack of oxygen, the body cannot continue to produce the bounty of ATP. Instead, by-product becomes lactic acid. Lactic acidosis, I’ve had an expert on the show talk about that, all disease, 100% of disease has elevated levels of lactic acidosis. He feels all disease begins with this break in the Krebs cycle where instead of in an oxygenated state, we’re producing too much lactic acid. If we all got back to the root if we’re all fully oxygenated that we could stay in an alkaline balance state. That we would then not produce lactic acid or get into lactic acidosis and therefore prevent disease.

He goes as far as to say all disease. What have you seen because this has been your biggest passion right? What have you seen around disease? Have you seen people reverse disease? What kind of things have you seen actually physiologically shift when they began to do this deep breathwork on a regular basis?


[1:19:40] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I’ve seen a lot of people have physical ailments and come in with physical ailments and say, ‘my back has been bothering me for 20 years and it’s gone.’ I’ve seen people, these guys had this throat thing going on and it cleared up in one session. Just all these kind of things, I would love to see. I would like to have somebody do some studies on the alkalinity in the body before breathwork and then after breathwork. That would be amazing. I mean I know you’re oxygenating the body but you’re also throwing off CO2, right? That causes some stuff to go on there.

When I first started breathwork, people’s hands would clamp up. It never happened to me but I saw it happen to a lot of people that I worked with. It’s called tetany and people would ask me what causes that? The answer that I would get from my breathwork teacher, the people that I study with was like crazy answers. ‘It’s, you’re holding on to stuff’ or ‘it’s the moon. You’re detoxing off marijuana.’ I was like, ‘that’s not what it is.’ I just couldn’t take that for an answer. What I did, as someone who is very from a scientific standpoint, is I started just studying commonalities. Okay, who in the room is cramping up in their hands? Okay. These 20 people out of 60. What are they doing that the other people aren’t doing? Well, they’re breathing a little harder. They’re actually breathing louder and they’re pushing the exhale more.

So I brought in this woman who is a student of mine, Tanya Bentley, she’s a health and science researcher with Harvard. We started looking at it. She started going diving into the studies. My theory was is that when people push the exhale extra hard that it got worse. I was correct. So, when I teach it I try to teach people to really inhale, take the biggest, deepest inhale they can into their belly and then take another inhale into their chest and then let the exhale just snap loose. You just get free just to kind of relax it.

For some reason, a lot of people think that if you have to work on the inhale, you have to work on the exhale. You don’t. You work on the inhale and then you let the exhale just relax and be like a reflex almost. So, I’ve had people who were cramping up in their hands, having this tetany and I’ve coached them through that and then it goes away through relaxing the exhale, which is incredible.

I’ve seen people just heal their bodies because of so much of our physical ailments are emotional. I mean some people try to argue that it’s all emotional. It all comes from emotion. Then you’ll hear the other argument, ‘Well, what if I got hit by a car and I broke my arm? That wouldn’t be from emotion’ I don’t know. I can’t answer that. I don’t have all the answers. Nobody doubts, in this world that we’re living in today, that stress, for example, is causing heart disease, cancer, and all kinds of heart problems, right? If we’re stressing ourselves out so much, I stress out myself so much that I gave myself an auto-immune disorder. I gave myself alopecia, which is a sudden hair loss. I lost all my hair. If I can stress myself out to the point where my body starts to fight against itself and starts to kill my hair follicles off because it thinks it’s a foreign invader, then maybe I can do the opposite. Maybe I can start to love myself enough and heal my body. Because everybody knows that you can stress yourself out and cause health problems. If that’s true and people believe that, why don’t they believe that the opposite is true?

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash


[1:23:24] Ashley James: Well they’ don’t know how to decrease the stress. It’s so harder ingrained in their life. How do you not get stressed about your bills? How do you not get stressed about your kids doing stupid stuff? It’s part of your life. You can’t separate yourself from your bills, and your job, and your kids and your husband and the stress. We know intellectually our stress is killing us. But what can we do about it besides take a bubble bath, which helps just for a few minutes, right?


[1:24:00] Jon Paul Crimi: I joke in my classes. I say that self-love, self-care isn’t taking a bubble bath. It can be later but self-love, self-care is showing up and doing the hard work, doing the uncomfortable work. That’s what real self-love, real self-care is. So if you do that, listen, you can be stressed out, your kid can have a health problem, your bills can be overdue, you can lay down and breathe. You’ll get up and you’ll go, ‘you know what? It’s all going to be fine. It’s going to work out. It’s going to work out just fine.’ But instead, we dig into that stress. What is stress really but fear? That’s what it really is. Stress is just a fancy word for fear. So you’re allowing your fears to consume you and affect you and affect your health.

What’s the opposite of fear? The opposite of fear is love. So if we can get more into love and start to love yourself more, maybe you can start to combat those fears and let go of some of those fears and know that it’s going to be okay. Because 99% of it is all in our heads. That’s the truth of it. That’s what nobody says. It was Mark Twain that said, “I have a lot of problems some of them actually happened.”

Most of that stuff that you’re stressing out about the bills, and our kids, it all works itself out. It always does. So you’re creating this all in your head. You’re creating these problems in your head. We’re like right now, you might have a bunch of stuff going on. A bunch of issues, problems, whatever you want to call them. There is no issue right now. There’s just you and I talking right now. That’s all there is. In order to get to that issue, you have to go into your head and start to think about it and start to worry about it and start to ruminate on it. Then you start to go, ‘Oh no, how am I going to pay the bills? My son’s got this…’ Just saying that my chest gets tight and I stop breathing. But if I just stop and sit back and take a deep breath in through my nose, down into my belly, put my hand below my belly button and take a big breath in through my nose down there. Then I let out a long exhale twice as long out of my mouth.

Let me do another one of those. In through my nose, down to my stomach, way below my belly button. Then let out a sigh. That long exhale, that breath in through your nose down into your diaphragm. Then that twice as long exhale, that actually activates the parasympathetic nervous system to rest and digest. It starts to calm you down. It starts to calm your body down. So that saying, ‘take a breath,’ we hear it but we don’t do it.


[1:27:00] Ashley James: Some are like [shallow breaths].


[1:27:04] Jon Paul Crimi: Or like, ‘You take a breath. I’m not going to take a breath.’


[1:27:07] Ashley James: Oh man, I’ve told my husband to breathe and it’s just like [shallow breaths]. It’s like a shallow, shallow breath. I’m like, ‘Really, come on. Deep, deep breathe, through your belly.’ He’s like, ‘Okay.’ [shallow breaths] I’ve seen that where people just they’re still breathing shallow. Can you teach us?


[1:27:25] Jon Paul Crimi: I couldn’t breathe into my belly when I first started because I was a trainer. I have been working on my abs and I’d kept my stomach flat for 20 years. So when I would try to breathe into my belly laying on the floor, I would arch my back and my back was so sore for the first couple of weeks of breathwork because I couldn’t actually breathe into my diaphragm. I couldn’t actually expand my diaphragm. Eventually, I was able to relax and breathe into my belly but it took a while. It’s incredible once you can do it.

You want me to teach you the breathing technique?


[1:28:00] Ashley James: Yeah, teach us. We are your Play-Doh. Mold us.


[1:28:05] Jon Paul Crimi: Well, okay. Well, I could give you the technique. The challenge lies in that it needs to be, I would say, you can get benefits in 15 minutes. Usually the 12 minutes of it, the first 12 minutes are the hardest part. So a lot of people will do like five minutes or eight minutes or ten minutes and be like, ‘I don’t like this. This is uncomfortable. This is weird,’ and stop. So if you just 12 minutes of it, it would be awful. It would be the most awful thing you ever did because you have to breakthrough. You have to breakthrough on the other side.

I could tell you how to do it and then you could go do it on your own and you could just make a playlist. I also have some guided iTunes CDs. So I have a couple of CDs. If you go into the iTunes stores, not Apple Music, I have two CDs on iTunes that have different length tracks and I guide you through how to do it.

The technique is really simple. It’s in through the mouth, down into the belly and you take the biggest breath you can into the belly, and you take another one on top of that in your chest and then you just let it fall out. Then you start again. Belly, chest and then the exhale is half a second. It just falls out. You keep that going, circular. Again, don’t do this in the car.


[1:29:26] Ashley James: I’m already dizzy. I took two breaths, I’m already dizzy.


[1:29:30] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. It passes. If you lay down on the floor and you did it and you did it that dizziness is going to pass. Your brain is going to go, ‘I’m dizzy. I’m going to pass out.’ When I do my classes I demonstrate it. ‘Oh my God. Am I doing this right? Two breaths in, one breath out. I think I messed it up already. Okay. I’m terrible at this. I’m dizzy already. I’m going to pass out.’ You’re not going to pass out. You’re on the floor. You’re fine. Even if you did pass out, you would be fine, right? So you got to push through that fear that you’re going to pass out. ‘Okay, I’m breathing. Who’s crying already? What’s going on in their life? Well, that’s me crying already. What’s going on in my life?’ It’s incredible what your head says to you and tried to talk you out of it. Tries to get you to stop doing it. You just have to push through. You have to be willing to push through. You have to be willing to show up for yourself and do something a little uncomfortable, something a little different.

If you do what you always do, you’ll always have what you’ve always had. If you want something different, you have to try new things. You have to try different things. I thought breathwork was the stupidest thing. I’m going to go to a thing and somebody’s going to show me how to breathe and all this. What’s going to happen? It doesn’t make any sense. I’ve been breathing my whole life, right? That’s what everyone says. That’s the stupid thing I hear from people all the time. ‘I’ve been breathing my whole life. You’re going to show me how to breathe?’ Then finally, when they’re in enough pain they’ll show up. Because people aren’t motivated until they’re in enough pain in some way in some are. Then they show up because they’re willing to try new things. They’re willing to try anything.

If you get in enough pain you’ll try whatever. So, unfortunately, pain is the motivator for most people. For me, when that cracked me open I went, ‘okay, what else is out there?’ I started just going down a rabbit hole of exploring all kinds of stuff and all kinds of modalities out there and trying it al. I added what worked to my trainings. Why didn’t I just let it fall away? So be willing to be an explorer, a scientist within yourself, within your life, within your body.

Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash 


[1:31:50] Ashley James: Is there any contraindications of doing this? Could it be dangerous to breathe this much?


[1:31:56] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. There are some contraindications. Some of them are like high blood pressure, glaucoma, certain mental illnesses are not recommended.


[1:32:07] Ashley James: Which ones?


[1:32:08] Jon Paul Crimi: I would have to go look it up off the top of my head because I’m on the spot right now. I don’t have it all memorized. But here’s the thing, I’ve had all the people with mental illnesses that are on my contraindications and they’re fine. Like I’ve had them come to my classes. I’ve had them come to my training. But you just never know. You just never know what somebody is going to react too. Unfortunately, we live in this litigious society and people want to sue for everything now, right? So, you have to be extra careful. Pregnancy is a big contraindication because miscarriages happen. What do we teach women in Lamaze class, right?


[1:32:56] Ashley James: Breathe.


[1:32:57] Jon Paul Crimi: Breathe. Right. Deep breathing for the most painful thing you’re ever going to go through. They say when women have a baby, it’s almost the pain that a man feels when he has a cold. But it’s the most painful thing you’re ever going to go through is have a child, childbirth. That’s what they say, right? So we do deep breathing. I believe Lamaze is through the mouth, right?

Here, let me read some of the contraindications for you. A person with history of cardiovascular disease including angina or heart attack, high blood pressure, glaucoma, retinal detachment, osteoporosis. I don’t understand the osteoporosis one. Significant recent physical injuries or surgery which is anything, right? You don’t want to be doing anything when you just had surgery, really. Breathwork is not advised for persons with severe mental illness or seizure disorders or for persons using major medications, which is most of the planet. It is also unsuitable for anyone with a personal history of aneurysms. Pregnant women are advised against practicing breathwork without first consulting and getting approval from their primary care physician. Persons with asthma should bring their inhaler, consult a primary care physician.

I can’t tell you how many women have been in my classes. I’ve seen a hand go up while they’re three songs into the breathwork. I go, ‘Yes?’ They go, ‘Is this okay to do when you’re pregnant? I’m like, ‘Don’t you think you should’ve asked that before you came to the class?’ Because they thought it was going to be some relaxing meditation thing but it’s not. It’s a workout. Like I tell everybody in my classes, ‘You’ve all done something harder in your life than lay on the floor on your back and breathe. Come on.’ A hike is harder than laying on the floor on your back and breathe. It just freaks people out because it catches you unexpected. You’re just not prepared that all this wild stuff is going to happen to you physically, mentally and emotionally from laying on the floor and breathing. So because you’re not prepared for it, it just freaks people out, right?

So my job as a facilitator, as a teacher is to prepare people as best I can. So that they can push through that stuff and go, ‘You know what, JP told me this was going to happen. He’s telling me I’m fine and I’m fine. So just push through it.’ Then have a big experience. A lot of people will have that big experience then tell me, ‘Oh my God. That’s like-changing. I’m going to be here every month or I’m going to be here every week. I’m going to do it all the time.’ Then they don’t do it again. They just don’t. They get too freaked out to go back and do it even though they know it was incredible. They could use it. We don’t take care of ourselves in that way. It’s easier to say with bad habits that we know hurt us. It’s easier to stay in that discomfort that’s familiar than to go into unknown that feels good.


[1:35:54] Ashley James: Marilu Henner is an actress who I’ve met a few times and I’ve spent some time with. She has a photographic memory. She was on Taxi and she was on the Apprentice, really cool. She has this whole story and she says, “Choose your hard.” Listen, I mean it’s hard to stay stuck. It’s hard to stay depressed. It’s hard to stay in a bad relationship. It’s hard to stay in a bad job. It’s hard, right? It’s hard to change. It’s hard to get a new habit, a new health habit. It’s hard to get up and go to the gym or eat healthy or not eat crap. Choose your hard. All of it is hard. Everything is hard. Choose your hard. If you’re choosing your hard, which is get up 15-20 minutes earlier and lie on the floor and do breathwork, which would be amazing to start the day off. I can’t even imagine the amount of clarity someone would have after. If they started their day off, they get up, they go potty and then they lay on the ground and they do 15-20 minutes of breathwork first thing in the morning. I mean that would completely reset the day, energize the body, turn on the mitochondria, just totally detoxing. Cleanse the body. Introducing oxygen to the whole body. Just amp up cellular energy production and mental clarity. Turn off that inner critic and allow them to have that huge amount of clarity for the whole day. That sounds like the best. That would beat the best cup of coffee anywhere.


[1:37:37] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean listen, if you get up in the morning and you do that, you walk into the world that day filled with gratitude and love. So you show up to whatever it is that you’re showing up that day, work or whatever, with gratitude and love people are attracted to that. You become a magnet in the world. As opposed to showing up with all your stories, all your stuff like we’re doing and we’re saying, ‘Oh my God. You’re not going to believe what happened last night. Let me tell you the story,’ because that’s how so many people are getting attention, which is really just a way that they’re trying to get love is they’re telling all their stories. If you can let go of those stories and just be present and start to embrace yourself and have gratitude and love for your life, you can walk around in the world like that, it changes who you are in the world. It changes what your world becomes because you start to attract all these other things into your life.

The last 20 years for me has just been a series of replacing one horrible bad habit with something better. I do drugs all day at work and then I go home and drink so let me clear that out and replace it with exercise and recovery and helping other people. Okay, now I’m eating sugar and I’m doing this. Let me replace that with ice plunges and float tanks and breathwork. Just trading off a bad habit for a good habit. I think the mistake too many people make is they try to do it all at once and then they fail. Then they go, ‘Yeah. It didn’t work.’ Then they go back to their all bad habits.’ When it’s like just pick one thing. Pick the one thing that you most want to change in your life right now and do that. Focus on that thing. After you’re successful with that and you see that you can change that one thing, build on that. Build on that. I saw that because I was able to show up and do this and eliminate drinking.

Listen, I would read self-help book and spiritual books while I was drinking and doing drugs. It just doesn’t work very well that way. So I kind of think that’s the first thing. I’ve seen people show up to these kinds of events, these motivational events, these guru events. There’s no judgment from me. I just don’t think that none of it is really going to work if you’re medicating which is self-medicating. So start there because you don’t even know what’s going on until you stop with the drinking and the drugs or whatever that is. However, you know you’re self-medicating and then all these feelings start coming up. Then you go, ‘Oh my God. All these feelings are coming up, right?’ That’s when breathwork is a great tool. ‘Oh. All these feelings come up. Let me lay down and breathe and clear them out and get clear. ‘ 

What you start to get clear on is all your old stories. All the stories that you’ve been telling since you were a kid of who you are and why you do these things and how you try to sick love that often doesn’t work for us. You start to get clear on those stories and you can start to let go of those stories even if they’re true, especially if they’re true. When we can start to let go of our stories, our old stories, we can start to write some new ones. We could start to create some new chapters in our lives and we could become a different person.


[1:41:11] Ashley James: Is that level of self-reflection happen during the breathwork or those epiphanies come after the breathwork when we’re in that very clear-headed mental state after we get up off the ground from breathing for about 20 minutes?


[1:41:28] Jon Paul Crimi: Both. So you’ll have some things that will come out while you’re breathing. Some stuff will come out, some emotions will come up and stuff will come up while you’re breathing. Then afterward, for me, I tell people, the breath after the breathing that laying there after you’re done active breathing, that’s the pay-off. That’s when you get these, I call them downloads from the universe where it’s like, ‘Oh. This is what I need to do. I need to help this person or I need to do this or I need to create this. I just need to be present with my kids.’

I have this joke where I say like, I want to have shirts made that say, ‘I’m sorry for what I said before breathwork.’ Because it’s been so many times. Like I’ve had an argument with my wife or something and I go lay down and I breathe. Then I come back in the room and I’m like, ‘Babe, I’m sorry. I was just being a selfish jerk. I love you and you’re amazing.’ I wouldn’t have got that clarity or whatever that thing was. It wasn’t that important than what really is important. That’s what it gets you to. It gets you to what’s really important. What’s really important is gratitude and love and those moments in your life that go in your heart.

I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me and be like, ‘the moments that I pulled in was so unexpected and not what I thought at all.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah. That’s what really matters.’ Because we think all the other stuff matters and it doesn’t. So it gets you really clear about what really matters in your life. Everything else is just a distraction. That’s amazing if you can get that clarity.

I would have people come in and go, ‘I’m struggling with this relationship.’ or ‘I’m struggling with this career decision, I’m struggling with this.’ I go, ‘Okay. Let’s just set the intention for clarity on it.’ It’s crystal clear when they come up. There’s zero doubt. They were so torn when they walked into the room. They lay down and breathe. What they need to do. The answer is crystal clear. Then what happens sometimes, especially around relationships, is the head will kick back on a couple of days later and fear kicks in. Fear goes, ‘You don’t really want to go back out there and date do you? You don’t want to go out on Bumble or He’s pain. He’s not that bad. He does do this.’ We start to make a case. We start to build a case because the fear is telling us that we’re not going to find anyone that’s right for us. The truth is, it’s trite to say but it’s like you want to whole and complete within yourself. Jerry Maguire sold us a lie which is, “You complete me.” Well, that’s BS, right? Nobody completes you. You complete yourself.


[1:44:09] Ashley James: I love it.


[1:44:11] Jon Paul Crimi: It’s just like, when you complete yourself and you’re whole and complete within yourself and you’re walking around with gratitude and love for your life and not looking for something more, I’m telling you. You are a magnet. You’re a magnet to the opposite sex or the same sex. Whatever you’re into. Whatever your thing is. You’re just a magnet to people who want to be around you who want to be with you in some way who want to work with you, who want to hang out with you. Whatever. It’s like you become this magnet because it’s so rare now in this day and age that people are not walking around needing, wanting something.


[1:44:47] Ashley James: Feeling inadequate, feeling like there’s a hole in them that they need to fill.


[1:44:53] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. There is literally nothing I need right now in my life. It’s weird. I’ve had some really good business-wise a bunch of financial windfalls lately. I’ve gone like, ‘I should buy something.’ I wanted that for so long. I got to that place and there’s nothing I need. You know that that watch isn’t going to make me happy. Let’s put it away for my kids’ college. I don’t know. There’s nothing I need. There’s nothing I want. It’s an incredible place to get to. It finally makes sense now looking back. If you’re in a part in your life where you’re frustrated and you’re angry, you’re not there yet.

Joseph Campbell, the Heroes Journey, right? When you go through all the stages of the hero’s journey and then at the end of the hero’s journey you turn around and you help somebody else. You come back with the elixir, right? That’s where I feel like I’m at now. I’m just turning around and I’m helping other people and it’s incredible. If you’re struggling right now, you’re listening to this and you’re struggling with relationships, with career and all that stuff, it doesn’t make sense yet and it doesn’t make sense for you. You cannot connect the dots, right? Looking back, Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots until you’re there.” There is no there really. I found this fascinating. Steve Jobs took this font class in college and he didn’t know why. Now, we all know why when we’re staring at an Apple font, we’re starting at the iPhone.

It all makes sense for me in my life. All my disappointments, all my failures, all the things that I tried, they all came together for me to create this thing and share it with people. I never in a million years thought I would be doing this and sharing it with some people. But it totally makes sense to me now looking back. I’m fulfilled in a way that I didn’t know that I would be that I didn’t know I want it, the fulfillment. I tell people all the time, happiness. Everybody’s looking for happiness. They’re searching for happiness. I’m like, ‘You’re looking in the wrong place because happiness is just an emotion like sadness. It’s going to come and it’s going to go.’ Fulfillment, filling yourself up that’s the key. Because whether you’re happy or whether you’re sad, if you’re fulfilled in what you’re doing, happiness or sadness doesn’t matter. So fulfillment is the key to search for, to work for, to find that fulfillment.

Teaching breathwork and helping people get sober has been the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done. I’ll keep doing it until I’ve changed millions of lives on the planet or I find something more powerful to help people with.


[1:47:38] Ashley James: Well, I love it. I love that your goal is to help millions of people. My goal is to help millions of people too. To be able to learn how to create optimal health. That’s why the podcast is called Learn True Health. They’re going to learn how to create true health for themselves and help mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually and energetically. Do that by listening to amazing guests like you, Jon Paul. Oh my gosh. It’s been so incredible learning from you.

I want to talk about your course because I have a feeling that my listeners are going to want to do it. Before we hit record, you said that I should do it. So I’m going to do your course, your five-day course. I want you to tell us a bit about it. First, I have some clarifying questions. So, if someone wants to lie on the ground and breathe, they want to do it to a minimum of 15 minutes? You said your classes are 27 minutes long.


[1:48:39] Jon Paul Crimi: Well, the class is an hour, right? The class is like 1 hour and 15, but the act of breathing, the active portion of this breathwork that we’re talking about is about, see in a one-on-one session it really depends on the person. Somebody could be done in 20 minutes, right? They could be done in 30 minutes or 35 minutes. So in a class, it’s really challenging to find that sweet spot of time, right? So what I generally try and do, because some people are coming, they come every time and they’ve been doing it for a while. There’s a lot of brand new people in the room. So I try to find a sweet spot of time but it’s really different for everybody.

Let’s just say a minimum of 16-17 minutes. Let’s make it 15 to make it easier. You could go up to 30 minutes. I wouldn’t suggest 30 minutes if it’s your very first time doing breathwork. So you lay on the floor and the active breathing is for 15-30 minutes, anywhere in that zone. The way you might want to do it, the way I used to do it, was I create playlist and I’d know by the song. So I’m going to breathe. I’m going to do the active breathing for six songs. I use songs that are motivational like a workout. I would do the active breathing during the six songs. The last song or two I would do emotion in there like Landslide from Fleetwood Mac. Nobody makes it through Landslide without crying. Landslide breaks everyone. Fire and Rain from James Taylor break everyone.

 So anyway, you don’t have to do that but that’s how I do it. Then have some songs that are beautiful, moving, calming after that. Those are the songs that I call the rest songs because the best part of breathwork is after the breathwork. Laying there and enjoying it. I tell people, ‘You just did that hard and uncomfortable work. Don’t get up afterward. Lay there and that’s where you get the payoff.’ I felt my head quiet for the first time in my life like I’d always try to do with drugs and alcohol after breathwork. So just lay there and enjoy it.


[1:50:44] Ashley James: That’s when you can meditate.


[1:50:45] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean, that’s how I learned how to meditate was through breathwork. This is what meditation is. This is the quiet space that I could never get to. I would feel my body just vibrating with this incredible energy and that’s your energy that you can use to transform your life and other people’s lives. Just lay there and enjoy it. Get whatever comes in. you’re going to get downloads. You’re going to get messages. I’ve heard all kinds of woo woo stuff in the thing. People tell me their dead relatives have visited them when they’re doing breathwork. People tell me that they have visions and all kind of stuff. I’ve had all kinds of stuff. I try not to put that stuff out there too much because I think it’s different for everybody. It’s different every time you do it. So, who knows what’s going to happen for you but be adventurous and go for it. Lay down on the floor, breathe into your mouth down into your belly, then into your chest, and then let it fall out. Then start again.

So I have a couple of CDs that are guided on iTunes that are like $11.00 I think or $12.00. That’s the cheapest kind of guided option. But you don’t need to do that. You could just do it yourself. Then I have this course, the Five Day Emotional Detox which is on sale right now. I believe it’s 40% off. It’s on my website which is Breathe with JP, B R E A T H E with JP. So a lot of people write breath with JP and then can’t find it. It’s breathe.


Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash


[1:52:20] Ashley James: You need to buy breath with JP and just have it redirect.


[1:52:25] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. That’s a great idea. It’s a really good idea. So there’s courses on my website. You’ll see the buttons there. It will say like, Online Courses. If you want the five-day emotional breathwork detox, that’s what the course is called, you’d click on my Online Course and it will take you there. I also have the teacher trainings online or I do the teacher trainings in person in Los Angeles as well. Then I offer them all as a package online. You could do the five-day course with the two teacher trainings, it’s packaged. But the five-day detox, we talked a lot about it. I mean the first session, the first day is a video of me showing you the technique of breathwork. It really goes into an incredible description. There’s a downloaded, one of those albums is in there that you can download and do it. The audio. You could add music to it, your own music. Another way that you can play it with music. The next day is the affirmations. You combine the affirmations with breathwork. Then the third day is the transformational letter with breathwork. The fourth day is this thing called the eulogy or the legacy where you write your legacy. Who you became at the end of your life, which is really powerful to do. You can read it to somebody too. It’s even more powerful. You write this and you go like, ‘I got to get to work.’ It’s time to get to work, right? It’s really moving and I have people do it in my teacher trainings. I have them get up and read their legacy. The last day is a love letter to yourself. You write the love letter to yourself and you combine it with breathwork.

So if you did these exercises with breathwork, and they don’t have to be five days in a row. If you did them, you would have a massive, massive shift in your life. Then I would get an email from you saying like, ‘Thank you so much.’ And I love that.


[1:54:06] Ashley James: Yes you would.


[1:54:07] Jon Paul Crimi: I love that. For me, that’s the real payoff is the email that says like, ‘Wow. I did this. It’s so unexpected. It helped me heal this thing or change this. I feel different.’ I have with me my wife at the restaurant. Some woman came up to me in a restaurant and she said, “Are you Jon Paul Crimi?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “I did your five-day detox online and it was life-changing. Thank you so much.” I looked over, “See. That’s my husband over there.” She pointed to her husband and her husband mouthed thank you to me. I was like that’s so awesome. It’s just incredible.

It was a combination of these workshops that I was doing and I decided to just put them together in a course and see what would happen and see if it would work. I didn’t know if it would work. I took a chance. It was an idea that I had to do breathwork. It all comes to me through breathwork. So I put them online and the response has been amazing. I just feel so grateful that I get to share this with people. It was like, ‘How do I share this with people in other parts of the world?’ Because I got emails from people all the time who would hear a podcast with me or see something or hear about it. I was like, ‘I need an effective way to share this.’ So I did the iTunes album. Then I did the course and the course is really powerful because it helps I think when you see me kind of explain it to you. When you watch it physically. When you see my diaphragm expanding and you watch me do the technique. It’s a little challenging to understand just hearing but I think people could do it.

I’ve had people listen to it and hear it and do it and it had incredible results. Oftentimes when people do it just from hearing podcasts like this is they’ll do five minutes or ten minutes and then they’ll get scared and they’ll stop.


[1:56:03] Ashley James: Right. They got to power through.


[1:56:05] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean, that’s actually why the class helps. It’s kind of like peer pressure in a good way like everyone around you is doing it. You hear people around you having emotional experiences and you start to get emotional. So classes are really good. A private session’s a really good for people. But not everybody has access to that. So, if you don’t have access to that, that’s why the online courses are great.


[1:56:27] Ashley James: This makes so much sense why you have a link to Spotify with all this playlist. I was going through your website. I was like, ‘Oh, he’s on Spotify.’ I click on it, it’s just a bunch of playlist of songs. I’m like, ‘What? What?’ Now I get it.


[1:56:43] Jon Paul Crimi: I’m so glad you brought that up. All right. I have years of my classes. Those are all my classes, right? That I’ve done on Spotify. If you look at the playlist, let me get one up here so I can kind of go over it. If you look at a playlist, let’s just say here we go Bend. So the first song is like a song Feeling Good by Lauryn Hill. That’s a real intense motivational song, right? Then the second song is another motivational song. So the first three or four songs are really pushing you. Then we get into emotional stuff. Then there’s a song in there that’s just sound. What I’m doing there is I’m actually playing the gong in my class. So I have a gong. I can’t believe I have a gong and I play a gong in my class. It’s just so weird for me. How that came about was I was in a class and I didn’t like the class but we screamed into the gong and that was such a powerful experience for me that I added it to my class.

So I have a song where I play the gong and you’re still breathing during the gong playing, which is really weird. Then I count it down, ‘On the count of three, we’re going to scream into the gong. One, two, three. Ahhhh’ I’ll have 200 people in the room just screaming, yelling at the top of their lungs. That in itself is a powerful, powerful release because where in your life do you scream at the top of your lungs, from the bottom of your soul? When do you get to do that? Unless stuff’s gone really wrong in your life, right? It just doesn’t happen. That adds to the release at the end of the breathwork.

Then after the scream, I’m like, ‘Okay. Just relax.’ Then another song will come on. It will be an emotional song like Be Still by the Fray or I Am Light by India.Arie, whatever song I pick. Heroes by Peter Gabriel. So that’s the rest song. That’s the payoff. That’s the beauty. So I don’t say anything during that.

Then this other song, Devi Prayer comes on. You shouldn’t still be breathing by then if that comes on. That’s the song, it’s like a yogi kind of song. The woman is like, ‘Ohh.’ She’s like sort of singing like that. That’s when people reach up and pull moments of gratitude, moments of love into their hearts. Then I read something. Then I say, ‘Okay. I’m going to go outside in the lobby. Come out in a bit. Enjoy these couple of songs and just lay here. This is what you came for not the breathing.’ Then people will come up and hug me on the way out and I get 200 hugs and I feel amazing.


[1:59:27] Ashley James: Wow. That sounds awesome. Your classes sound amazing.


[1:59:31] Jon Paul Crimi: It’s a good time. I mean, it’s pretty powerful. It’s a ride. It’s an experience. I’ve made it such. I tweaked it and I honed it and I made it into this incredible experience where people come and they bring- I have people that buy 10 tickets and bring all their family members. People that bring like rehabs bring all their people in rehab or sober living. People come with their friends. They drive, people drive. I’ve had people fly in for my classes. It’s wild. It’s become a thing. I’m feeling really blessed. I’m feeling really lucky that I get to do this incredible thing and changes people’s lives. I never knew that I would be here doing this. I’m so glad that I didn’t get what I thought I was supposed to get. It would’ve been so much less.


[2:00:34] Ashley James: You thought you were going to some relaxing yoga breathing class.


[2:00:40] Jon Paul Crimi: No. I meant in my life. I wanted to be some big celebrity thing. That’s not what happened for me. I’ve got so much more because I saw that that wasn’t going to fix me. I saw that first hand. I believe that’s the reason I worked with all these people is because I got to see that that wasn’t going to fix me. So I got something much more fulfilling.


[2:01:05] Ashley James: Yeah you did. Absolutely. You have been training teachers. You’ve been training people. You have an online teacher training and an in-person teacher training.


[2:01:15] Jon Paul Crimi: Correct


[2:01:16] Ashley James: Thousands of people have been certified in your technique and work with individuals. People can do one-on-one work or they could do classes. It’s a movement. You’re the head of this movement.


[2:01:33] Jon Paul Crimi: I don’t know if I’m the head of it. There have been other people that had been around doing it for a long time. I think that I teach it in a way that I just have taken all the new agey woo out of it. I feel like I’m more accessible to most people. I had a fire chief come to my teacher training. I’ve had doctors, PhDs, psychologists coming to my teacher training. So I think I’m just teaching it in a more accessible way that translates to your housewife, to your angry guy guy, to different people who really need this.

People bringing their teenagers to my class, which you have to ask first. I think that it was really kept within this new agey woo woo circles. It was kept small and done that way. It just turned a lot of people off. I just tweaked the technique to make it more accessible to everyone else. One time I had one of these teachers that I’m talking about. If I get any criticism, it’s other breathwork teachers who studied from someone else or had a different style and they don’t like it.

This woman came into my class and she’s like, ‘I can kind of like see how you’re like for like people who would never do this work.’ I was like, ‘Yeah. That’s exactly right. I want a room full of people who needed help, not eight other breathwork teachers pretending that we’re all spiritual in mala robes and mala beads. I want to help angry guys and stressed out moms. That’s what I’m for. Thank you for the compliment that you weren’t intending as a compliment.

I don’t do the whole spiritual speak. I worked at a meditation studio. I worked with a couple of them. I don’t anymore. I rent spaces and just do it myself. The teachers would come in with this, I love a lot of these teachers but I would hear people come in with these voices that are like, “Hey everyone. I know it’s been a hard day. Mercury is in retrograde right now.’ I’m going, ‘Oh my God. A) That’s not really your voice, b) don’t blame it on Mercury in retrograde. Your life is a mess because you made it that way. Just own it. Let’s fix it.

So I’m kind of like a little edgy and I can still be a jerk sometimes. I’m a lot less of a jerk but I’m a human being. I used to go to these classes and I’d go, ‘Oh my God. It’s just on the 405 freeway to the 101 to the 10, which are the three worst freeway in America to get here. I almost choke someone out in the parking lot. Don’t worry, we’re going to put gratitude and love in your heart right now.

So somebody will be like, “Oh my God. This guy is so real. He’s so authentic.’ I’m like, ‘No, no. I’m really going to kill somebody. Just lay down. Stop messing around. Put your phone away.’


[2:04:25] Ashley James: Shut up and breathe.


[2:04:26] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I’ve actually mellowed quite a bit as a teacher. It’s ironic that attracted a lot of people to me is my style. It’s my sort of like angry breathwork teacher. I mean, I’m not angry anymore. I can get irritated but it’s just not there. Most of it is gone.


[2:04:48] Ashley James: I love it.


[2:04:49] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. It’s really powerful.  That you would never. So, if I have anything to share with anybody it’s like, ‘Don’t believe your head. Try something different. Try something new. Tray something that you would never try. Do something that you would never do. Be open. Keep showing up for yourself because you’re worth it.


[2:05:09] Ashley James: I love it so much. You say you take the woo woo out of it. So, you’re so not woo woo then when kind of like spiritual things happen, it’s a bit of surprise for some people. Can you share with me what kind of interesting spiritual things has happened for you in doing the breathwork that you were shocked happen? That you weren’t aware would happen?


[2:05:42] Jon Paul Crimi: I don’t usually share the spiritual stuff because I don’t want people to get turned off by it. I feel like if you’re hearing someone share their spiritual experience you go, ‘Okay. I’m out.’ That’s not for me, right? But if you have your spiritual experience yourself, different story.


[2:05:59] Ashley James: Right. To preframe it. One of my regular guests is an exorcist. I think my listeners are more open-minded than the regular population.


[2:06:09] Jon Paul Crimi: Okay. All right. We can dive into it. One of my first breathwork sessions, I saw myself on the stage, reaching out in the air, hand in the air, 100 people in the room. They were all reaching out, laying on the floor. I was like, ‘That’s so weird. Why would I be doing that?’ I was on a stage couple of years later with 100 people in the room and I had them doing that, pulling the moments in. I remember that first session. I went, ‘Oh my God. That is the thing I saw in the breathwork session. I saw this. I saw this years ago and I didn’t understand what it meant. So, it was like a future download.

I would get messages. You need to go call this person. You need to help this person. It was always about help. It’s always been about helping people. I’m a selfish, self-centered person by nature. So I was like, ‘Damn. Why can’t it be just about me?’ It’s never about me because when I help other people, my life gets really good. When I focus on myself, my life gets really lousy.

So, just parts of my body healing traumas in my body from different things that happened to me in my life I would feel that. My very first session, I felt connected to the universe. God, spirituality, whatever you want to call it. I felt it in an undeniable way. I felt it in the way like I would want to get out of the car and kill someone in LA in the freeway. It was that real for me. It was that undeniable. I felt it. I felt the presence of something in my life. It was the first time I’d ever felt it. I have grown up in religion. I traveled the world and gone through temples in Cambodia and the cathedral in Notre Dame. I’ve done it all and I never felt it anywhere in my life ever. I felt it in this breathwork session the first time. It was incredible.

I came home and told my wife about it. I made love to my wife and I said, ‘I just made a baby.’ She said, ‘Shut up you idiot.’ I said, ‘No, no. I felt the soul the baby come through me.’ The next day, she was nauseous, I was like, ‘That’s the baby.’ She’s like, ‘It’s the next day, idiot. Shut up.’ Then I had this thing the next day which I’d never experienced before, which was my head was completely turned off for the entire day.


[2:08:34] Ashley James: Wow.


[2:08:35] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. It was the best day of my life I guess. I felt like maybe what someone feels like, I don’t know for sure, with schizophrenia or some kind of mental illness because I was walking around kind of just giggling. Present and giggling. I said to my wife, ‘Do I look like I’m crazy?’ She said, ‘You just look really happy.’ But I’d never experience anything like it. My friend who was a spiritual kind of guru, healer he said, ’You are in the Buddha mind.’ I was in the Buddha-mind for that day and it was just an incredible day. Sure enough, that was the conception of my daughter that day, that night before.

It’s just been one awakening after another. There have been times where I’ve done fasting. I started fasting and I would breathe in a fast. I will go, ‘Oh my God. Now I get it, what the connection is between fasting and spirituality.’ I would have these intense breath sessions where I would do the active breathing for an hour or more. Then I would lay there vibrating on the floor for two hours just connected to some kind of source, to some incredible thing.

So, there’s been journeys like that. I’ve done it on beaches, on planes. I have a float tank, that sensory deprivation tank in my house, which I love. It’s like my favorite place to and I’ve done it a ton in there. I freaked myself out, maybe I’m building too much carbon monoxide here. But it has vents you know. But your mind is really dangerous. It can be really dangerous, right. It’s like acid. They say if you start thinking you’re going to have a bad acid trip you do, right? That really translates into breathwork too. If you think you’re going to have a bad time- there have been people who email me like all scared and worried. I go, ‘Yeah, don’t come. If you think you’re going to have a bad time, you are going to.’ Whether you think you’re right or not, you’re right.

The brain is such a powerful thing. The mind is this supercomputer and it has to be right and so we make it right. So if you think you’re going to have a bad time then you probably are.


[2:10:46] Ashley James: Yeah. Yeah. We need to shift our mindset. Absolutely. Because it’s right. Our mindset is right.


[2:10:54] Jon Paul Crimi: I program people. Like you’re talking about the NLP, I tell people, ‘You’re going to have this incredible transformational experience tonight. You’re going to walk out of here different than the way you came in. If you can just do these little things. If you can just push through these little discomforts, you’re going to leave here differently.’ People do. Everyone in that room leaves different than the way they came in without a doubt. I’ve been teaching it for eight years now, I’ve never had somebody come up and say nothing happened. This hasn’t happened, never had anyone asked for their money back. It just never happened.


[2:11:24] Ashley James: Oh my gosh. That’s amazing.


[2:11:25] Jon Paul Crimi: I have had people quit at the studio. I would see two or three people quit. They gave up five minutes in because it got hard, it got uncomfortable where they start to feel the physical sensations and they got scared and freak them out and they stop. They go, ‘This isn’t for me.’ I’m like, ‘You haven’t gone to the other side yet. You don’t know if it’s for you. You have to fully do it.’ But what I found out is I would go ask the studio, ‘Was that person here on a guest pass, on a free guest pass?’ They’re like, ‘Yeah. How’d you know?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah. Because they gave up.’ Because there was no investment. Being invested is often key to this thing. Having some kind of investment, having some kind of exchange will help you to push through.

If I have you pay $1000.00 to do it, you’re going to do it.


[2:12:11] Ashley James: Yeah. I bet the people that fly into LA and dedicate a few days of their life between travel and getting to your class, I bet they get the biggest breakthroughs out of being there.


[2:12:22] Jon Paul Crimi: They do. The more invested you are the bigger the experience is going to be. Yeah. Test it out. Let me know what you think. If you have the guts, you got to push through it.


[2:12:34] Ashley James: I know. I’m totally going to do it. I’m so excited.


[2:12:36] Jon Paul Crimi: The one thing- I just realized I forgot to say that it works better on an empty stomach.


[2:12:40] Ashley James: Really glad that you mentioned to do it on an empty stomach because when I was in massage therapy college back when I was 19, many many lifetimes ago, I had learned this breathing exercise that also involves clenching. You clench your muscles and let go. You clench your muscles and let go. I came home and did it with my roommate, he threw up everywhere because he had just eaten. He’s like, ‘What are you doing to me?’ I was really afraid of it afterward. It was so weird. He was just lying there one second next thing he’s throwing up everywhere.

So I imagine that deep breathing because the diaphragm is pushing on the stomach. You definitely want to be- so how many hours away from food should we be?


[2:13:25] Jon Paul Crimi: You know look, the less you’ve eaten, the further you’re away from it the actually the bigger the experience will be. But if you’re someone who gets really lightheaded or dizzy or has low blood sugar then I would say two hours, three hours. Bring a bar or bring juice to have after the breathwork to take care of yourself. If you’re someone that can handle it that does fasting regularly then you’re fine. Do it fasted. My biggest experiences have been fasted. But listen, if you’ve never done this before and you’re not someone that fasts, don’t do that. Don’t fast all day and then do this big huge breathwork session. I mean, it’s too much too soon.


[2:14:10] Ashley James: The mismatches that are listening, the mismatchers who have to do what you tell them not to do are all going to do a seven-day fast and then start breathwork. The mismatchers, you’ve been warned.


[] Jon Paul Crimi: They’re going to see God. They’re going to see God. They’re going to email me 50 emails after that.


[2:14:28] Ashley James: So take it slow. It sounds like the best time is first thing in the morning because you’re already coming out of a natural fast having not eaten for the last eight hours.


[2:14:37] Jon Paul Crimi: That’s right. That’s right. I do my classes often at night so people will hold off and they normally have dinner at five or six or seven and I’ll do my class at seven or 8:00 and they’ll be really hungry. Those are the class and they go have this big experience. Then they’ll go eat with their friends afterward. I would suggest at least two to three hours of an empty stomach.


[2:15:02] Ashley James: Very good. So your five-day class is on


[2:15:09] Jon Paul Crimi: Yup. Five Day Emotional Detox it’s called.


[2:15:11] Ashley James: Five Day Emotional Detox. The link to that and the link to everything Jon Paul does is going to be on the show notes of today’s podcast at I want to have you back on the show after I’ve done the Five Day Emotional Detox. We should definitely have you back. We should keep diving into this topic. I think that this is incredibly valuable. My listeners are turning over stones and trying to figure out what am I eating? Am I eating things wrong or right? What am I doing? Should I be taking these supplements? Should I be taking these herbs? Should I be taking these classes? Should I be doing this or doing that? They’re turning over stones and this is the stone that 100% of the population should turn over.


[2:15:57] Jon Paul Crimi: Yup.


[2:15:58] Ashley James: Absolutely. Thank you so much for coming on the show today and sharing. I definitely want to have you back. Is there anything you’d like to say to the listeners to complete today’s interview? Any homework you want to give or any final words that you’d like to impart upon us?


[2:16:15] Jon Paul Crimi: I think I just want to say that I think I already said it which is you’re worth it, show up and love yourself no matter what, no matter how hard things get. Everybody wants somebody to show up and love them for who they are, the way they are when they’re not loving themselves that way. We teach people how to love us. We show people how to love us by how we love ourselves. How we love ourselves is how we show up and do the hard work for ourselves. So show up and do the hard work for yourself because you’re worth it.

I want to say this little quote by Thich Nhat Hanh which is, “I have been repeating this to myself over with my hand on my heart and it is so healing. To love is to be there. We cannot love if we are not fully breathing into each moment. May we have the courage to open to each moment with a sense of curiosity. May we have the desire to show up for ourselves no matter what. May we put our hands in our hearts and speak in a gentle voice. Dear one, I am here for you. Dear one, I am here for you. Dear one, I am here for you. All my love.



[2:17:33] Ashley James: Jon Paul Crimi, thank you so much. It’s been such a pleasure having you on the show. I can’t wait to have you back.


[2:17:39] Jon Paul Crimi: Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. It’s been fabulous.


[2:17:43] Outro: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition? And how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity. Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and to figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business and support people in their success? Do you love helping people?

You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health coaching certification program. And it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over a hundred dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition. But from a standpoint of how we can help people to shift their life and shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health. I definitely recommend you check them out. You can Google Institute for Integrative Nutrition or IIN and give them a call. Or you can go to and you can receive a free module of their training to check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in. Be sure to mention my name Ashley James and the Learn True Health podcast because I made a deal with them that they will give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program. And I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information.

We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctors’ offices, you can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help your local schools shift their programs to help children be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them in their success and their health goals. There are so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach.

So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Mention my name, get the best deal. Give them a call and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon. The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month. So you’re going to want to call them now and check it out. And if you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.

Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price. That’s Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome program.


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Robyn Openshaw And Ashley James


  • What is modified fasting
  • What is autophagy
  • Is fasting safe?
  • While our bodies are going through a fast, our bodies are trying detox and cleanse and heal
  • Four day modified fast before chemo for cancer patients
  • Fasting decreases inflammations
  • Intermittent fasting is offsetting the damage to the liver and kidneys
  • Atkins and keto is the same diet
  • Diabetes is manageable
  • If weight loss is a goal, you could do modified fasting once or twice a month
  • Other benefits of modified fasting
  • Refeeding process
  • Hormone balancing effect
  • Book: How to Get The Health Benefits of Fasting Without Going Hungry
  • Antibiotics wipe out good bacteria
  • Who shouldn’t do modified fasting?
  • Eating small meals in a window of 12 hours


In this episode, Robyn and I will talk about modified fasting and its benefits people who are undergoing cancer treatment, people who are trying to lose weight, and people who are experiencing hormonal imbalance. Robyn also shares with us how fasting decreases inflammation and the other benefits of modified fasting.


[00:00:00] Intro: Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health Podcast. You’re going to love today’s interview with Robyn Openshaw. She’s giving us a free copy of her book. To download her book, go to That’s fastbook. As in it’s a book that teaches you how to fast. But it’s also a fast read. So it’ll be easy for you to remember

Now, Robyn talks about her Flash Fast. And to get the listener discount on that, go to That’s /flashfast as in a very quick fast, Flash Fast. All those links are going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast as well. So if you’re driving or exercising or running around and you don’t have a pen, you can always jump to the beginning of this episode to hear those links again or go to the show notes of this episode to grab them.  

I definitely want to grab that book though. I could not put it down. Robyn sent me a physical copy of it. It’s 70 pages long. So you can finish it in one sitting. And I just couldn’t put it down. It was a really good book. It’s well-written. It’s an easy read. And it is chock full of science and the data. And she is referencing the latest studies showing how we can fast in a way that is the healthiest, that staves off disease. People are seeing now – it’s amazing, people are actually reversing MS, autoimmune disease. There are cases of cancer being reversed. People are reversing type 2 diabetes. We are able to heal our body and do it in a way that triggers our own body’s self-cleaning mechanism called autophagy.

So we get into that in today’s interview. You’re just going to love it. Please share this interview with your friends who have struggled with metabolic syndrome, who struggled with losing weight, balancing hormones, autoimmune conditions, type 2 diabetes, as we talk about how they can utilize a specific type of fasting that isn’t removing food from their diet. It’s utilizing food in a certain way that triggers the body’s own self-cleaning mechanism. And the mechanism the body uses to repair and heal.

So I know you guys are going to love today’s interview, please share it with your friends because I want to get this information out there. There are people who are suffering like I was suffering for so many years. All through my 20s, I was so sick with six different illnesses. And I reversed them naturally with food and with lifestyle changes and supplements. And I wish I’d had this information that you’re about to learn today. Because it would have definitely made my journey a lot smoother and my healing a lot quicker. I know that we can get this information out there and help a lot of people to heal and support their body’s ability to heal itself. Enjoy today’s interview. Thank you so much for being a listener. And go to fastbook to get Robyn Openshaw’s free book that I’m really excited that she’s giving it out to everyone so we can get this information out there and help as many people as possible to learn true health.

Welcome to the Learn True Health Podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 390.

Image Source: Modified Fasting | Green Smoothie Girl


I am so excited for today’s guest. We have back on the show with us Robyn Openshaw. She’s Green Smoothie Girl. You can go back and listen to our Episode 178 where she taught us the high vibration foods that bring in the nutrients and the energy, and the vibration that brings in vitality, and to do away with the foods that lower our physical vibration. And it was a phenomenal interview. Actually, that was the interview that convinced my husband to go from basically being an Atkins style meat eater to a complete vegan whole food plant based overnight. I came out of that interview and told him what you said. And he said, “I am never eating meat again.” So that is a pretty powerful interview I have to say. And then you came back on the show, Episode 358, to teach us about how to protect ourselves from EMF.

What I love about learning from Robyn Openshaw and she has a wonderful podcast called Vibe, published 16 books, and just constantly coming out with great information. Robyn, you are who I want to be when I grew up. So I just love that you are pulling in the data, the research, the science and showing people how they can change every single aspect of their life, emotionally, mentally, physically to optimize every part of your being to living truly healthfully in a joyful way. So I must thank you so much. I know my listeners love learning from you. And as always, it’s a pleasure to have you back on the show.


[00:05:18] Robyn Openshaw: It’s so nice to be here again, Ashley. And that is high praise. And as you know, I’ve told you this a long time ago, I have a secret fantasy that we co host a podcast one day. I don’t know how to make that happen. It’s just a little throwing that out there.



[00:05:30] Ashley James: That’d be awesome. We have to figure it out. That’d be super great. When you are with your tribe, when you’re with the people that are on the same path, it feels so good. And I know my listeners feel that way, too, being part of the learn health community because they’re finally finding the people that are all really, really interested in gaining health. But not just physical health, all aspects of life. And you exude that. I love following you on Facebook. I recommend listeners check you out and follow you on Facebook. Because the stuff I learned for you every day is wonderful. And you give such great advice. And you ask such great questions. And make us all think, think about the things in our life. Instead of being the ostrich and just digging our heads in the sand and wanting to be put back in the matrix, we have to open ourselves up and start advocating for ourselves.

Now, today’s episode, I have been really excited to do because fasting has sort of become a buzzword. But there’s a lot of misconceptions. There’s a lot of misinformation. And for some people, there’s a lot of fear and belief that we can’t do fasting, especially if someone has an illness like type 2 diabetes. There’s an idea that we can’t do any form of fasting. And that just is not true. And there’s lots of studies to prove that. And you’re here today to make sure that you clean up all the misconceptions, do all the myth busting, and show us how we can utilize fasting to support absolute optimal health.



[00:07:01] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. It’s a big question. Basically, is fasting safe? And should people be afraid of it? I think mostly people are afraid of fasting because they’ve never – I learned this on a speaking tour. I spoken 450 cities in six years. And I had many, many people tell me they’ve never missed a meal. And that was shocking to me. And I don’t know why it would be. Because I was raised in a very small community of – well, not really – I think there’s, like, 12 million Mormons worldwide. But I was raised Mormon – or LDS is how they prefer to be called. And we’ve fasted for 24 hours the first Sunday of every month. And so for me, it was just no big deal. Not that it’s fun. It’s not fun to go a whole day without food or, let alone, a week without food. And the most I’ve done water fasting is 12 days without food.

But I think that because we live in a time for the first time in the history of the world where people don’t just naturally go without food for long periods of time because we’re not hunter gatherers. And we don’t have droughts and famines. We have just food anywhere all the time, inexpensive food. Even people who are in poverty, many of them don’t, in North America at least, want for food. I mean there’s food banks, whatever. So just most people haven’t gone without food. And that’s not true. The thing to think about here is that maybe the most powerful thing that people were doing for their health, for literally thousands of years, was something they’re doing unintentionally, which is they just would go hungry. I know we’re going to get into why fasting is possibly the most health preventative, disease preventative thing you can possibly do.

But I agree that it’s scary to think about not having food for a week. In the last four years, I’ve done four different water fasts that were between seven and 12 days. And I don’t go out there and talk on radio shows and podcasts about that because I know that nobody else is going to do it. It’s going to be, like, one in 1000. I mean, it’s kind of like my job to research and write about and publish my own experiments when it comes to health and wellness. And sometimes I do my own trials of people. We’re going to get into, hopefully, my own trials of people doing modified fast. But I really wasn’t out there saying everybody should do, like, seven day or 12 day water fast like I’ve done. But even though I’m open to it, and I was raised fasting once a month, I flew to Texas to stay at an ashram just to literally have the temptation removed. It’s not easy. It is not easy to fast. I would agree with that.

And I do want to say since you mentioned diabetes that people who are on some diabetes medications really do need to be careful about fasting. You can’t just take those medications and go and start water fasting for days, or a week or two at a time. You really do need to have some good guidance from your practitioner. And a functional medicine practitioner is going to be a lot more likely to guide you. But there are some contraindications. Most people can fast, no problem. But people are a lot more toxic than they were even a generation ago. You know, it’s no joke that we have 80,000 chemicals approved for use in our air, food, and water. And they’re all in our organs now. And we all have pretty extraordinary levels of heavy metals. Any anybody who’s tested for that knows that we all pretty much have a variety of heavy metals that are highly toxic. So we have risk factors that maybe two generations ago people didn’t have.

But what’s cool and what we’re going to get into today, I know that’s what you want to talk about, is a way that we can fast and that we can get all the benefits of it without just going cold turkey and having nothing but water for a week.



[00:10:48] Ashley James: Absolutely. I’ve done a variety of fasts. And you’re right about the temptation to try to do what only fast at home. Well, still cooking for my husband and our son who’s young, he’s four. But he was a little bit younger when I was doing some water only fasting. And just to be around food is difficult the first few days. And then after that the hunger goes away. But I think the first two or three days can be the hardest in my experience. But also then you have to be resting. If you’re water only fasting, you can’t necessarily get up, get the kids ready, make their lunches, take the kids to school, go to work, work a full day, come home, handle the chores. Just everything that we need to do, all the energy we need to put out there. While our bodies are going through a fast, our bodies are trying detox and cleanse and heal. And so we really have to take a break from life and schedule a time to just maybe lie on the couch or go for a gentle walks or read and not really do a lot. And that is not necessarily reasonable to ask the modern mom or dad right now.

But these modified fasts where you we still get the benefits of the water only fasting are much more doable for the average person. I’d love for you to get into how did you get all this research? And how did you get excited about teaching people about fasting? What happened? Because you’ve been fasting, I think you said, since you were eight. That’s when in the LDS church, eight year olds on the first Sunday of every month spent a whole day not eating or drinking. So that’s just been part of your life. But at what point did you start to get into the science of wanting to then teach people how to fast in a way that’s modified so that they can still get the benefits and still actually do it and make it realistic?



[00:12:52] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. So my exposure to fasting early on, it was really for religious reasons and cultures since the dawn of time have fasted for spiritual purification. And the basic concept is – and anyone who is exposed to these religions or these philosophies, this will be no surprise – that as you humble the body and, like you mentioned it, that if you water fast, you can’t go out and play a tennis match. I’ve done two modified fast in the last two months where I went out on day two and on day three of my modified fast and played a competitive match and they were both in July and August in the Utah desert heat, middle of the day.

This is not something I would have ever scheduled myself for doing a water fast. And so when I fly to this ashram to water fast to basically get away from my refrigerator and my car – like you can’t even get an Uber there. You’re literally out in the middle of nowhere. I pretty much lie in bed. And I might go for, like you said, a slow walk. I mean, I’m not a competitive athlete. And I play sports between one and three hours really every day besides Sunday. And I’ve always done that. And so for me to be so incapacitated by water fasting, you’re right, I would literally have to take time off work or take a week off work or, like I said, I did I did it for 12 days once. And I did it because there has been more and more actual published clinical research of how powerful fasting is.

For instance, my friends who own True North in Santa Rosa, California. If I were going to go water fast again, I would go there. Because you’re getting medical supervision there. I knew I could do it. I knew I was healthy. So me flying to the ashram in Texas is fine. But I don’t recommend it to people. Because they don’t have any real oversight medically. And some people really should be watched over and your vitals taken twice a day and all that. But they’ve taken 20,000 people through a water fast and if people are into that they should totally do it. However, what I found is the vast majority of people won’t do it. So I was becoming aware.

And then Yoshinori Ohsumi, Japanese researcher in 2016. I’m talking this is new information. This is literally less than three years old. He won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering the mechanisms of autophagy. And I became just as a researcher – and my full time job is research and health and wellness and I’m an author of 16 books. And I became completely obsessed with this idea of autophagy. And I especially been preoccupied with it, because I researched cancer a lot. I have a lot of history of cancer in my family going way back. And I’ve always wondered, like, “What would I do? What are the things that I would do if I had cancer?” And then my cancer research all over the world, a lot of these doctors highly recommend fasting. And so I was curious about the mechanism of it.

Well, when autophagy was discovered and quantified, what we learned is that when we deprive the body of food, when the body is not in a fed state, when it is a fasted state, the body shifts its energy. It no longer has to spend 65% of its energy metabolizing food and taking this raw input and taking it through a lot of different processes so that it becomes mitochondrial energy. We’re talking about the very end points of what that food is going to eventually do. So you free up the body from what it spends 65% of its energy doing. Ad guess what it does, it doesn’t take a nap. It goes into repair and clean up. And we could call that process autophagy, which means self- eating.

And in the process of autophagy, the body’s immune system mobilizes – highly, highly mobilized killer T cells and white blood cells. White blood cells and stem cells are mass produced. And the body goes into tearing down broken parts. On the cellular level parts of cells are stripped down, broken down, metabolized, recycled. But also on an organ level and a systems level,your pancreas, for instance – and this is really exciting for diabetics, pre-diabetics, all of us considering that there are people projecting that by 2050 every single one of us will be diabetic if we keep going at the rate we’re going of diagnosis – the pancreas actually strips down broken parts and rebuilds. And those beta cells become more insulin sensitive. So we literally regenerate parts of the pancreas, functions of the pancreas. We become more insulin sensitive. And there are multiple human and animal trials showing that just from modified fasting, not even going completely without food.

And really what I want to talk about is modified fasting because everyone can do it. And doing it a few days a month is the most powerful thing I’ve discovered in my lifetime of being a health and wellness researcher, the most powerful thing could possibly do to avoid disease, to reverse the effects, the ravages, the symptoms of disease. I mean, I’ll tell you what I think is the most mind blowing thing they’ve discovered is, is repairing myelin sheath – rebuilding myelin sheath. I mean, there are millions of people suffering with Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. And all timers. We’re not we’re not getting on top of these problems at all. And the methods of Western medicine are doing nothing for us, for people with Huntington’s disease and ALS. I mean, what a nightmare of a disease. But multiple sclerosis, it’s where you’re developing these lesions in the central nervous system and the myelin sheath is eroding. Well guess what? A few days of doing a modified fast in both animal and humans, we’re seeing rebuilding myelin sheath. That’s unbelievable.

FDA grants Fast Track Designation to Parkinson’s therapy | European Pharmaceutical Review


[00:19:11] Ashley James: I love it. It is so mind blowing. I actually had Dr. Goldhamer on my show, Episode 230. And he’s the founder of the True North Medical Center that you mentioned. And he said autophagy happens on day three of fast. And then on day five of fast they see a huge spike in stem cells, the body repairing itself .Which is brilliant. It’s like a self-cleaning mechanism. It’s our own self-cleaning mechanism that the autophagy is digesting pathological tissue, bacteria, and viruses, and also cancer, and unwanted cells that are kind of broken or scar tissue, even cysts. And they’ve seen cystic breasts or cystic ovaries that diminished. So the body’s just digesting scar tissue and unwanted tissue, unneeded tissue.

And then after it does the self-cleaning mechanism then it has this boost in the human growth hormone and in the stem cells. Which actually, what I found fascinating is it protects us from losing muscle mass. Because I think that’s a big fear people have is that they’re going to waste away. “If you lose weight on a fast, it’s just your muscle you’re losing. You’re not losing any fat. You’re just losing your muscle.” That’s a fear people have. And yes, we might have it. There’s a very small percentage of muscle that is lost. But then there’s a protective mechanism that kicks in that stops the body from using muscle as fuel in a fast. And I thought that was really interesting. and he published a study, Dr. Goldhamer, showing a woman who came in with end stage cancer. And 30 days after fasting with him walked out with zero cancer. She went and got scans before and after her 30 day stay there at the clinic. And he published it. And that is just, like, mind blowing because no oncologist is going to tell you, “Why don’t you try fasting?”



[00:21:08] Robyn Openshaw: They’re not. I think they’re going to be. The functional medicine doctors are and they’re putting cancer patients on. And I think that we’re going to see an explosion in this with anybody who’s open to functional medicine, nutritional medicine, are going to start putting people on a modified fast before chemotherapy. And this isn’t even released yet. But Dr. Valter Longo – you’ve mentioned our mutual friend Dr. Alan Goldhamer, and his work is some of what I cite in my new little book. I know you’re going to offer it for free to your readers. You can literally read it in an hour and you get an overview of all of the health conditions that the modified fasting research is showing is super, super beneficial for. And it runs the gamut.

And I want to talk about cancer right now for a second since you brought that up. Because I’m actually telling you this before this clinical trial comes out. But Dr. Longo is the main researcher at USC’s Longevity Institute. And he and Sebastian Brandhorst are behind a lot of the clinical trials. They’re just going to town on all these different, very specific disease states that they study. What happens when you put people on three, four or five days of modified fasting? Johns Hopkins has some great stuff that I also quote in this little 70 page mini book in reversing asthma.

But let’s go back to cancer. The animal studies, usually any hypothesis comes, then you go to an animal study. And then when animals see a major reversal in disease, then you take it into human trial. And that’s what they’re coming out with. They’re going to be recommending a four day modified fast before chemo, because what they found in animals and apparently the human study that they’re coming out with, also really, really exciting results. But three different major mechanisms. Actually, there may be a fourth or fifth. But how it helps cancer patients is several fold. And that is if you deprive the body of food, then the cancer cells and these colonies of cancer cells – and usually by the time somebody is diagnosed with cancer that cancerous growth has developed a vascular system and it’s threatening an organ system. Usually by the time it’s detectable, you’ve got that.

And anybody listening to this, it’s like, “Oh, this doesn’t apply to me. I don’t have cancer.” I don’t want to be Debbie Downer here, but we all have cancer. And most of the holistic cancer doctors I’ve studied with all over the world – which is more than 20 of them- say that your body develops a detectable cancer condition several times during the course of a lifetime. But your body metabolizes. So your body is metabolizing cancer everyday. About 50,000 aberrant cells. Cells that were healthy and mutate. And that could be because of exposure to low grade radiation that we all have from the electromagnetic pollution in our life. It could be like garbage foods we eat. It could be stress. There’s a lot of reasons why cells mutate. We’ve got 50,000 cancer cells forming every day in the average person. And your body is metabolizing it all the way until it isn’t. And when the cancerous growth starts to get the upper hand and the immune system starts to function in a more and more dysfunctional way, so just imagine your immune system is getting weaker, the cancerous growth is getting stronger. Once it’s over about a million cells, that’s when it becomes detectable. That’s when it potentially could compromise some functioning of an organ system.

Well, one thing that happens when you go into autophagy and also ketosis, by the way, when the body is in a fasted state is that cancerous cells can’t put up a shield. And sort of when they when they go into chemotherapy, they’re going to drown in those chemicals. The cancerous cells become more vulnerable as a result of the modified fast. And the healthy cells in the fasted state can put up a shield of sorts. And they become more resistant to chemotherapy. So that’s one of the ways that modified fasting is useful.

Another way that it’s useful is mass production of stem cells increase, like you mentioned, of human growth hormone. Another way that it’s beneficial is that the immune system is strengthened. In a fasted state your white blood cells become very, very active. And other components, the lymphocytes, the killer T cells, like I said. And they all become highly mobilized. They’re hungry. They’re not sluggish. They’re not overfed.

And so we’re going to wait and hear what all the details are of what Longo is coming out with. But he’s basically recommending a four day modified fast now, apparently, for people going into chemotherapy. And so I would be surprised if the oncology industry can continue to ignore the benefits of fasting. Now, I’m not saying a stage four cancer patient who is in cachexia where the body is metabolizing muscle. There’s probably a contraindication for some cancer patients to fast, especially to do a full blown water fast. When they’re in cachexia and the body is sort of breaking down muscle quite quickly, usually, they have people eating extra protein and trying to put on weight to stem that process.

But you’re right, a lot of people are thinking that if – they think a couple things about if they’re fasting. They think that it’s going to slow down their metabolism. And Dr. Jason Fung has proven that, in fact, when you fast or when you do a modified fast for several days, your body’s metabolism actually increases. And people are worried that their body is going to break down muscle. Listen, trust your body to be smarter than that. Your highly intelligent body knows when it’s cleaning up. It knows what to throw out and what to keep. It knows the weeds from the cultivated plants. It knows to not go after healthy muscle tissue. Healthy muscle tissue is extremely durable. Now, it might grow go after some broken down muscle tissue. Because like every other tissue and organ in the body, there’s old skin cells. There’s old cells and tissues that need to be broken down. That’s the muscle tissue that is going to break down.

And let me mention another thing, because you mentioned breaking down muscle tissue and that people are afraid of fasting for that reason. You know what? Another thing that happens is, you know, were studying 2500 people right now who are just starting into our three day modified fast and following our protocol. But before I ever went to a larger group like that, we put 100 people through our Flash Fast, which is a three day modified fast. And it follows all of the science. It follows all the research. Because I collected it all. I analyze it all. And I was like, “Okay. Here are all the principles that all of these researchers like Longo and Brandhorst are using in their clinical trials. They’re getting such great results. And we got to follow that.

In fact, we’re doing one better than they are. Because Longos’s fasting protocol isn’t even organic and ours is organic. So we put 100 people on this three day modified fast and the average weight loss was four pounds. And several of that first group of 100 lost 6.4 pounds. That was the highest we saw. Several people lost that much. Now, you’re going to hear that. And you’re going to say three days of eating – we kept it under 800 calories. And we put them on five mini meals a day so that they never got very hungry. Their average highest hunger level was 3.4 on a scale of 1 to 10. That was their self rating. So you got to ask yourself if you’re scared to do a modified fast, if you’re scared to do a three day modified fast. And you’re like, “Oh my gosh. I’m going to be so hungry. And I won’t be able to exercise. And I won’t be able to take care of my kids. I won’t be able to work.” I’ve done it nine times. I’ve done the Flash Fast nine times. Like I said, I’ve played my competitive sport. I work out every morning. You can do that. I don’t know I would tell everybody to work out super hard. But you can totally be active while you do it. Well, 3.44 average hunger level of scale 1 to 10.

But here’s what I wanted to say because people also think, “Oh, that’s just water weight.” And I want to point out what we’re talking about when we lose water in fasting. We’re not talking about dehydrating the body. When the body releases fluids in the fasting process it’s because of wide scale healing of inflamed tissues. And if you imagine an inflamed cell or an inflamed organ, if you want to go bigger, if you want to step up the ladder and think of an inflamed organ. Imagine that that organ has billions of cells that are trapping fluids because they’re inflamed. So just imagine the outside of the cell is kind of red and angry and injured and trapping fluids. Well, when the fasting process allows you to heal inflammation – and by the way, in that first 100 people we put through the Flash Fast, 100% of them said that they noticed inflammation decreasing or disappearing. And I’m talking about puffy circles under your eyes. I’m talking about joints that hurt. Those are the things that people tend to notice when it comes to inflation. Those are things you feel.

Well, if you’re feeling that your joints hurt, you can guarantee that there are billions of cells that are injured. And so when the body goes into this repair mode and you lose some of that water weight – because I would agree that a minority of that 6.4 pounds is going to be water weight. – what it is, is those inflamed cells healing and releasing dirty fluids. And so it’s not water you want. That water that you’re releasing is dirty fluids from inflamed cells. And it’s a good thing.


[00:31:58] Ashley James: I love it. I love that you can do – anyone can do your fast, the three day modified fast. Even people who are diabetics because they’re not starving themselves. And they’ll have enough energy to still go to work, take care of the kids. Maybe they’ll need to just rest a little bit. Maybe they can’t run the marathon that day. But you still play tennis while you’re on your modified fast. So it just shows that – and the fact that the hunger levels are under four out of ten is phenomenal. But during the three day fast, people are getting great results.

Now, those listeners who have heard other maybe interviews from other people about the ketogenic diet, I know I was on the ketogenic bandwagon early on in the show. So back in, like, before Episode 100 maybe I was talking about ketogenic. And I was doing ketosis. I thought it was the best thing in the world. And then I went to my Naturopath – my husband and I were doing it for a few months. We went to Naturopath and my husband who had had perfect blood pressure developed dangerously high blood pressure. And then we did some more blood work and urine analysis. And it turns out the ketogenic diet had damaged his kidneys severely. And I had an inflamed liver that was very angry and enlarged. And so we found out. And it took me a while. It took me being really diligent with the Naturopath and getting on the protocols. And completely getting off of the ketogenic bandwagon and getting on a whole food plant based healing plants protocol to heal my liver but and to heal my husband’s kidneys and his heart.

And that’s when I woke up and went, “Wait a second. Everyone is kind of this fad.” This ketogenic diet is this big fad and I’ve been promoting it because I’m listening to all these people who also think it’s amazing. And people get some good results during a ketogenic diet. But there are some big negative results that you can get. And so then that’s when I started to look into interviewing whole food plant based people and started to see the light. So some people who are listening go, “Hey. I’m doing ketosis right now. I’m getting great results.” Or, “I’ve done ketosis. I got great results.” But your diet is not this 90 or 100% fat fast. Like some people say they’re fasting but they’re eating coconut oil a day long. Can you just clarify the for us that you could get into ketosis when you’re fasting, even water fasting, you don’t need to eat fat. But that your program is not a ketogenic diet.



[00:34:53] Robyn Openshaw: No, it’s not a ketogenic diet. And I’m really troubled by this fad. And people always push back when I post science about the danger of the ketogenic diet. I mean, US News and World Report every year since this became sort of the reigning fad, it sort of took the limelight away from the Paleo diet, that was the rain raining fad before that. There’s a panel of nutrition experts that collaborate and they rank all the fad diets. The ketogenic diets always almost dead last, it’s like in the bottom three of almost 40 diets that US News and World Report ranks every year. And they don’t just look at do people lose weight. Although it actually does pretty poorly there, too, compared to many other approaches that are more sustainable, that are more healthy, that are more useful in your heading on out to the rest of your life and how you can eat for the rest of your life.

But I have a theory and it’s a theory based on my life’s work of studying nutrition. That if people do well on the ketogenic diet – and generally people do well for a short period of time and they get over committed to it if they lost some weight – if they lost some weight, it becomes religious for them. They’re not listening anymore. It becomes like this very emotional thing. Like, “I lost 10 pounds. Therefore, it’s a good diet.” Well, you can lose ten pounds doing the cotton ball diet, too, or the Jelly Bean diet. But here’s the thing, I believe – here’s my theory – that if people do well on the ketogenic diet and they haven’t yet evaluated how devastating it is for the liver to have to metabolize more fat than the human liver was designed to be able to break down and deal with, that’s just the 70% average ratio of fat that people on the ketogenic diet are eating is really, really hard on the liver. And I’m very sorry that that happened to you. And your husband, I am sorry to say, I’m not surprised. But my theory is that people are, to the extent people are doing well and there’s lots of stories like yours. And there’s course like all the keto rash and the bad breath and the bad smells and all the things that happen when you put your body in a really unnatural state and it’s really struggling. Those are all signs of struggle. It’s not a good way to treat your body. They’re doing well not because they’re over eating fat. If they’re doing well, it’s because they skipped a meal.

The intermittent fasting is a great idea and that is offsetting the damage they’re doing to their liver and kidneys. And the other thing that’s offsetting the damage they’re doing to their liver and kidneys is that if you take someone on a standard American diet, where they’re drinking rock stars or their eating Pop Tarts for breakfast, or they eat a candy bar with every lunch and dinner or whatever it is, whatever your dietary sins are, potato chips, you name it. If you take them off of those things because as bad as I think the ketogenic diet is for over feeding fats and that people say, “Oh, I ate good fats.” Yeah, but you still can’t eat 70% fat and expect your liver to keep up it’s not designed for that. You have to know a little bit about the liver to go into an unnatural state of eating like that. But I really believe that getting people off the processed food and the intermittent fasting is why they’re actually pretty bad diet. They’re overeating fats diet is why they might lose weight or why they might feel better. It’s because they got rid of the processed food. It’s really that simple. And unfortunately, because they get people off of sugar, and stimulants, and alcohol while they’re doing the “keto diet.” The overeating of fats gets the credit for that that it doesn’t deserve.



[00:39:01] Ashley James: Right. And now, the science will eventually catch up and will eventually see. But it’s so new as a fad. We have to remember that it was designed to mimic fasting for epileptic children that were unresponsive to drugs. And its beneficial for a very small percentage of the population. And that these children, in the quality of their life, is significantly lowered if they’re not in a state of ketosis. They created the diet originally, the ketosis – the ketogenic diet originally was created because these doctors were doing fasting with children. They were doing water fasting and they found that the children – because going into a natural state of ketosis when we’re not eating anything – that their epilepsy would get better or significantly lowered amounts of seizures. And then they had to figure out how to modify it so they could still eat because they – I don’t know what it was but legally they couldn’t do fasting with children or something. That’s why the diet came out of basically trying to mimic the benefits of fasting. It’s like why people going after the copycat? Just go to the original source and do a fast and get the benefits from it.



[00:40:25] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. And you said eventually science will catch up. And I’m glad to hear you being bold and speaking the truth. Because it’s not popular right now to be a critic of the darling diet of the day. But let me just say, because I’m a lot older than you, that the science already did catch up with the last time keto was around with a different name. They put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig. The fact of the matter is that it’s the Atkins diet but you add intermittent fasting. Actually, it’s a better diet than Atkins was. Because Atkins in the early days was like eat unlimited hamburgers and cheese, you just can’t have the bun. And for God’s sake don’t have any fruit. And most of us are aware of how Atkins diet went down is lots and lots and lots of studies of people who had done it off and on for years. Here’s the thing, you can’t really separate out the all the animal products that people are in Atkins from keto. It’s the same thing. You can say, “Oh, that was higher protein and this is higher fat.” Keto is higher fat. But you’re really splitting hairs. And if you take a look at what the diet was they were actually eating on Atkins and the diet people on keto, it’s the same diet.

And Dr. Atkins because he was so under fire for the nutritional deficiencies that people on his diet had. He sold people over 60 different supplements. So it was brilliant in terms of a marketing plan. And that people buy his diet and then they were really suffering. And they smell bad. And they were losing energy. They could hardly function. And so he would sell them a whole bunch of supplements. And people did lose weight. And so they just thought, “Oh, this is the price I have to pay, I guess, to lose weight. And people will do anything to lose weight. That’s why diets are billion dollar industry.

But we already know what happened because there’s lots and lots of published studies. I mean, Colin Campbell wrote the Low Carb Myth. Ari Whitten, Dr. Wade Smith wrote Low Carb Fraud. Michael Greger wrote Carbophobia. And these are just digests of all the published research that came out after 15 years of the Atkins diet. It got run off the stage by science. So exactly what you just said. All we have to do is go back and look at the high levels of diabetes that people who did Atkins for long periods of time had ongoing. They had been paying the piper for that. They still are for years and years and years. Much higher rates of heart disease, much higher rates of cancer.



[00:43:07] Ashley James: One final thing I want to say about that diet where it’s a low carbohydrate – and these are the good carbohydrates, like the healthy potatoes and vegetables and fruit, and legumes. Really cleansing and healthy for the body filled with vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients and anti-cancer properties. So when you’re eating a diet that’s almost nonexistent, no carbohydrates. And then you’re just consuming fat and animal meat, which is carcinogenic. And there’s a lot of research that shows that. They’re eating that way. Of course, blood sugar, like A1C hemoglobin – I used to be type 2 diabetic and I healed myself with food. And so I’m really passionate about this.

Because people when they go to their MD are told that they will have diabetes for the rest of their life and they manage it with drugs. But there’s no drug on the market to cure diabetes. You can manage it. And yet if you were to walk out of that doctor’s office and go to a holistic practitioner, they would say to you, “Of course type 2 diabetes is reversible. It’s reversible in a few months, a matter of months. Let’s get you on a healing lifestyle and healing protocol.” And so on a ketosis or an Atkins or ketogenic high fat diet or an Atkins high fat and protein diet, of course, your blood sugar levels will come down. You’re not consuming any carbohydrates. But it is doing damage throughout the body. And it is not addressing the insulin resistance. The insulin resistance actually becomes worse for many people. And then if they go back to eating the standard American diet or just even start eating fruits and adding some carbohydrates in, they will quickly see that that diet did not help them to reverse the diabetes. So they’ll become they’ll be just as sensitive to carbs if not more.

So we have to look at how can we help the body come back into balance. Don’t do extreme things. Some people think fasting is extreme. Fasting is a natural state that we’re used to. And like you said, only up until recently we’ve had access to food for three or more meals a day. But fasting is something that it’s a natural state. This is a natural thing the body wants to do. And when we can aid it, either by doing modified Flash Fast, which is that 800 calories a day – very specific calories, not just inner calories of donuts a day. The coffee and donut diet. It’s not the coffee and donut fast. But that we can take our body back into this natural state of self-cleaning – the self-cleaning protocol to clean out the cancer cells, to clean up the water. And the fact that just in three days, the 100 people that you did this experiment with that 100% saw a decrease in inflammation and a decrease in overall that that water that was in their organs and in their tissue because of the inflammation was able to be released is phenomenal.

So how did they feel after the fast? And obviously they weren’t that hungry. They was less than four to ten, that’s just totally fine. That was the most they were ever hungry was like 3.6, you said on average. But how did they feel afterwards?


Photo by kike vega on Unsplash


[00:46:41] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. I feel like a million bucks afterwards. In fact, I didn’t intend to do the Flash Fast nine times in the last three months. It’s just that I feel like one million bucks. And then so like, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I do it. And I’m going and I’m playing 90 minutes of tennis with my team. I generally will do 45 minutes of cardio as soon as I wake up. Sometimes that night, I’ll go to a hot yoga class. Now, I’m not saying everyone should do that. That’s my normal lifestyle.

The point is, I have been astonished doing it that I don’t have to stop doing that kind of thing. But everyone has their own reaction to it. And we have just tons and tons and tons of people filling out the questionnaire and telling us their results. I mean, people who are seeing their hormone systems balanced. And they go into their next period and they can’t believe that they haven’t had a period like that for ten ears. They just sail through it without the headaches, without the PMS. without the cramps. We have people reporting similar things to what we’ve read in the scientific literature which led me to develop the Flash Fast regarding stabilizing their mood. That’s a huge issue for people. And people are embarrassed to talk about it because they don’t want to talk about that they have a hard time controlling the ups and downs in their moods. So we have so many of us who struggle with anxiety and depression.

And those were some of the exciting things that I had read in this just avalanche that’s coming out especially through Longo and Brandhorst at USC about the many, many categories of health benefits from just doing a modified fast a few days a month. We have people who are doing it now monthly. Especially people who have weight they want to lose. If weight loss is a goal, you could do it once a month, you can do it twice a month. There’s no contraindications for that. There’s no problem with that. Like I said, I’ve been doing it three times a month. If you had a few glasses of wine on the weekend and you wake up on Monday morning, you don’t feel great, instead of it taken two days to feel great, do that modified fast and your body regenerates the liver so quickly. You can’t believe how good you feel by the end of the day, Monday. Now, are you going to be hungrier than you are when you eat your normal 2,000 calories or whatever it is? You are. You are. I no longer dread it now that I’ve done it nine times. Like, I don’t even dread it. It’s not difficult. I know exactly what I’m going to eat. I have my five mini meals. And I like them. They’re delicious. They take two seconds to prepare. And so I mean, some of them take two minutes to prepare. And some of them it’s just a bar made from greens, seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruits. And so that one doesn’t take any time at all to prepare.

But people are reporting to us that they feel energetic, they feel light on their feet, their joints don’t hurt, their brain the pistons are firing. They don’t have that cognitive delay and the sort of mental slowness. Especially after you come out of a weekend, people tend to let down a little bit on the weekend. But the cognitive, the mental clarity, and energy effects of doing a modified fast are super exciting. Before I put the flash [inaudible 00:50:14], before I started doing my own research, there were some trials where the clinicians who ran them found that fasting, also modified fasting, between days two and seven, people in these studies – there are also animal studies so they’re observing behavior instead of self-report – they have an improvement in mood. They have an increase in alertness. And they have a sense of serenity. Those three big things are things that we are now from our first 2,500 people just now going through the process. They’re reporting to us and it’s beyond exciting.



[00:50:59] Ashley James: I love it. What about this fear that after doing a three day fast, we would rebound and overeat? As a – I don’t know – as a way of reacting to it. So it’s like if I eat very little for three days, aren’t I just going to eat more the next few days? Some people are afraid. Maybe they’re overeaters or emotional eaters or they binge eat. And they’re worried that by restricting that they would then binge afterwards. What’s been the experience with your cohort?



[00:51:30] Robyn Openshaw: The interesting thing is that with dieting, we know that that happens. There have been lots of studies that show that people just go face first into a plate of nachos when they’re done. But I want to, first of all, tell you academically why not to do that. But I also want to say that even with water fasting, I didn’t do that. You talked about this stomach shrinking and other phenomena that make you actually not super hungry after a fast. I haven’t experienced that at all. There’s one study that track people doing a monthly cycle of modified fasting who kept the weight off. And they followed them, so in six months – they continued to lose weight, they did not regain it.

There are a bunch of studies – this is one of the things that I think is most exciting about modified fasting – where the insulin sensitivity and other health benefits are long term. The myelin sheath, for instance, these are long term health gains. This isn’t like a little shot in the arm, “O, I eat fewer calories. Of course, I feel better because I lost four pounds or whatever.” The kind of work that the body is able to do when it’s in a fasting state is very restorative. It’s very reparative. And it’s not like we do it once for three days and call it good for life. However – and I’m really advocating for people doing it once a month. Once a month, if you have weight to gain. If you’re completely healthy but you’re just doing it as a preventative, at least consider doing it quarterly.

We at Green Smoothie Girl, we actually feed a child in Zambia through Mothers Without Borders. I’ve supported Mothers Without Borders for many, many years. And I talked to my followers about Mothers Without Borders all the time. They do such amazing work around the world. But specifically, we feed a child in Africa for three days. And we’re talking about AIDS orphans in a place where there’s no public education. And so they’re provided education and food. And for one Flash Fast that when you eat less for three days, I feed a child in Africa for three days in your name. But there are long term weight loss. If you lost an average of four pounds a month doing a three day cycle, potentially that’s 48 pounds in a year just doing a modified fast three days a month. You’re not even addressing the rest of your diet. Now, if the rest of your diet isn’t good, we highly recommend, of course, to a more whole foods plant based diet.



[00:54:15] Ashley James: Refer to Robbins other books.



[00:54:18] Robyn Openshaw: Yes. I don’t want to imply, “Hey, keep your crap diet and just do a three day modified fast.” However, we all live in the real world. I just got back from five days in Cancun with my children who are college students. And I can officially report I did not eat a perfect diet there. And I love that I have a quick reset. I mean the liver is the most regenerative organ we have. And it’s also super, super scary when we turn it to rubber. Or end up with fatty liver disease. It’s hard to come back from those things. But you know what? When we do little fine tuning once a month, I think it’s extremely powerful. I can absolutely tell that my liver is serving me well after I do this three day process. I’m just on point. I find my words quickly because I have to. I have 25 employees and I’m constantly in the media and I need to not be on a decline like most people are in their 50s, at my age.



[00:55:22] Ashley James: Do you find or have people reported that after the three day modified fast, that they are more satiated from eating. That they really do feel like their stomach may be shrunk. And that they’re not – they find that they can eat smaller portions or happier with that. Or is there any kind of reporting on that? I just wonder if the reason why they lose that four pounds on average in those three days but then it stays off. If it stays off then, eventually, they do this fast three days once a month for every month. Eventually, they’re losing fat. Not just water weight because they’re hopefully eating a good diet. They’re losing the inflammation. And you said, it’s restorative, long lasting results. And if they do it consistently, like maybe twice a month or once a month, then eventually they’re losing fat. And I’m just wondering if the reason why it stays off is that it helps to reset our relationship with food. And also physically we just feel satisfied and fuller quicker.



[00:56:34] Robyn Openshaw: I have definitely gotten that feedback from hundreds of people who’ve done our 26 day detox. With the three day Flash Fast, I don’t know that I have longitudinal enough data or enough data to be able to say that yet. But I haven’t heard people say they want less food after three days. But I do not have the experience myself personally. And I also haven’t heard that the flip side is true, which is that they just want to eat everything in sight. You don’t come out of it the next day wanting to eat like crazy.

And here’s what I wanted to say before. I’m glad that what you just asked me reminded me this. I want to talk about the refeeding process. Because there’s if you do a three day Flash Fast and if people are willing to do six days, do two of them back to back. Our Flash Fast costs 30% of what ProLon is. ProLon is the company spun off by Dr. Longo and those guys who the researchers. I don’t know if he owns it or he just endorses it or what, but it literally costs $225 for five days. Ours is like 40 bucks for three days. It’s less than some people are spending at Starbucks. It’s like $13.33 a day. And ours is organic. And there’s isn’t. And I actually like their product. I don’t understand some of the stuff in it like the glycerin drink. I don’t want to drink glycerin. I don’t understand why I have to drink glycerin. Orange flavored glycerin, no less. I mean, I love what they’re doing. And I love Longo’s research. I don’t really understand the ProLon protocol. I don’t understand why it has to cost $45 a day. So I saw that and I was like, “God, I love the idea.” And some people will go and figure it out themselves. And we’re happy to help them with that, too, figure out how to do what – Longo calls it fasting mimicking diet. And you notice I haven’t said that because he has that trademark. But that’s what is in his book. I call it modified fast. I think that’s a simpler, more intuitive concept.

Basically the same thing. But he is very adamant about this. And I think it’s important to bring up that when you take your body deep into autophagy, three days doesn’t take you deep into autophagy like a 12 day water fast does. But it does get you into autophagy. So when your body goes into breaking down broken parts, Longo talks about the metaphor of the wood burning train. So when I interviewed him on my podcast, he said imagine with fasting – or what we’re calling here modified fasting -he says fasting mimicking diet -imagine that your body in a fasted state is like a wood burning train. And you aren’t going to get to the station. You realize you’re going to run out of fuel in the fire. And you’re not going to make it to the station. So what do you do? You rip out a couple of chairs. So you rip out some of the wood chair. Some of the ones that look like they’re old anyway. And you chop them up and you throw them in the fire. And that way you get to the station. Well, then you get to the station and you got two missing chairs. So you have to rebuild them. And that’s the metaphor for what’s going on if you do the three day modified fast.

If you’re feeling ambitious, if you’re trying to reverse a chronic illness like diabetes or MS or whatever your specific reason is, those folks who are trying to reverse a chronic illness they’re really suffering from, those are the ones who are more likely to be willing to do two Flash Fasts in a row. If you’re willing to do six days, great. Go for it. Flash fast was built to be something that anyone will do. I have talked to – it’s about one in ten that I’ve pulled very, very, very informal research here. People who tried to ProLon and most of them dropped out after day three. I, personally, did three days and I couldn’t take it anymore. And I went back and did another two days later. I never finished –



[01:00:40] Ashley James: Of the ProLon. Not of your program. Of the ProLon which has weird chemical glycerin flavored stuff and not whole foods, not nutrients.



[01:00:49] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. And his is a five day. His is a five day. And my own informal research says people don’t finish the five days. The Flash Fast is built for three days. Anyone will do it. Virtually, everyone finishes our three day Flash Fast. If you want to double it and do six days to get into deeper states of autophagy, go for it. There’s no contraindications for that. It’s inexpensive to do.

However, here’s the thing I want to say about refeeding, where you get to the station, you get to the end of the three days. Now, it’s time to rebuild. You have to be aware that after all that effort by your body in autophagy to break down broken parts in cells, broken, defective, old parts of organs, aberrant cell clusters like small cancer clusters. Your body broke all that down. Now, it needs to rebuild. And so for however many days that you did that modified fast, that many days afterward, consider your body to be in refeeding mode. And you want to make sure that you give your body really quality materials. Because that old saying of you are what you eat is never more relevant than we were talking about the refeeding process after a fast. And so you don’t want to do a Flash Fast for three days and then go out and have nachos and beer for your next meal. You don’t want to ask your body to rebuild tissues out of garbage. So the materials you want to use are primarily greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. So plant-based whole foods.


Photo by Peter Feghali on Unsplash


[01:02:42] Ashley James: Exactly. And then we could also choose to do it in the form of smoothies or soups or stews, which are very gentle. Very gentle on the on the gut. I like refeeding in a way that is moist food. Just taking your favorite vegetables and blend it into a soup or a stew and add some legumes to it. I did that this morning. I took a wonderful soup that we made. It was just very basic broccoli, potato, onion, cauliflower, water. Boil it then hand immersion, blender it. And that is the foundation. Either I just drink that. I warm it up and drink that. Or I’ll add – this morning I took that as the base and took a bunch of – I had leftover sweet potatoes, leftover [inaudible 01:03:31], leftover mushrooms, and leftover zucchini and threw that into the soup. And so it became a nice kind of fix stew. And then leftover brown lentils and added some – there’s no salt seasoning from Costco, which is really, really delicious. It was something like 23 herbs I think are in it. And it tastes so good. It tastes really, really good. But it’s very gentle and moist. So it’s hydrating to the body and really gentle on the gut. Potato is really good for supporting the microbiome, the good bacteria.

And this type of fast doesn’t really drastically affect the microbiome. Water only fasting kind of kills off a lot of the bacteria that we have to rebuild. But this doesn’t do that. How about people who have SIBO or gut dysbiosis or Candida, what kind of results do they see on your protocol?



[01:04:32] Robyn Openshaw: I don’t have data like that. We’re too new out there with our specific three day Flash Fast. However, there is evidence that fasting can help repair or seal up that leaky gut disorder. Ad when you starve the body for a period of time, you’re also starving the yeast. And when the body goes into autophagy, we’ve mentioned that it goes after cancerous growth. We’ve kind of focused on that. But also the body can then really go after viral colonies and bacterial overgrowth. Most of us have bacteria and viruses. If all of us got full panels of blood testing, a lot of us would find out we have a Subclinical Epstein Barr. A shocking number of us would find out that we have Subclinical Lyme Disease. We would find out a lot of things that would be disturbing. I know this because I take people to Switzerland and actually get these tests.

And I have found out my own low grade bacterial and viral load that you only think that you “have something” like the flu or whatever when you become ill and you’re in bed. Well, guess what? If your immune system is struggling against a high burden of bacterial and viral load, it just has a hard time doing stuff like staying on top of cancer growth. And another couple of examples that you’re bringing up is, like, that small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. In autophagy, the body goes after that stuff. In fact, when I went to – the last time I was at that ashram in Texas, the fourth time I went, there was a gentleman there named Eric, who had been in the hospital for a month on antibiotics. He had been on antibiotics after antibiotic and it was because he was a heroin addict for many years. I want to say, like, 12 years. He was about my age. And the man looked nine months pregnant. And he showed up in a total desperation because he couldn’t eat anything without looking nine months pregnant. He was thin guy. He was, like 6’4″. And he’s a pretty fit looking guy. He had given up meth a long time before. But because he was so sick from his drug use, he ended up in a MRSA infection. And they just had to just nuke him with every kind of antibiotic there is. So here he has no good gut bacteria. He’s just a disaster. And his long term effects of that, even though he hasn’t done street drugs since then, is that anything he ate would blow his belly up. And he would have all this pain and swelling. And that’s why he looked, well, maybe eight months pregnant. And I actually have a picture of him in a video masterclass I did about our detox. Well, this guy was there too fast for two weeks. And he was there to starve out the bad bacteria that had totally taken over his whole GI tract. And he left there. He texted me weeks afterwards and he said, “I still feel like a million bucks. It’s just a miracle.”



[01:07:51] Ashley James: I love it. Oh, it’s so cool. So many people are suffering with gut dysbiosis and Candida or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. And this is such a gentle way to get rid of it. Because you go to – even [inaudible 01:08:08] doctors they’ll bombard you with these really powerful herbs to kill it. And then you’re dealing with that and you’re dealing with the die off and it doesn’t feel very good. But this is a natural way to, again, self-cleansing. And it’s part of that – almost like a parasite cleanse, the microscopic parasites. It really does feel like we should be doing this on a regular basis to do that self-cleaning. I mean we take our car through a car wash, especially in the summertime. We’ll pay good money to keep our car clean, to keep our carpets clean, to wash our clothes, or even take our clothes to the dry cleaner. We pay good money to look clean on the outside. But what about on the inside? And that’s what this is. This is just the self-cleaning.

What about those with autoimmune conditions? A lot of listeners have Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune conditions. I know MS is considered an autoimmune condition. And it’s amazing to see that people are able to rebuild myelin while doing a fast. Have you heard any information about people with autoimmune, specifically seeing good results?



[01:09:23] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. And diabetes too. Yes. There is quite a bit of evidence starting to emerge. And I think that Longo and the researchers at USC are taking on more clinical trials with humans for autoimmune. But you can actually break down broken parts in some of the glands and the organs as well. That’s the principle behind it. That’s the mechanism. And help rebuild a healthier thyroid. Help rebuild a healthier pancreas. I mean, when the liver and the pancreas are rehabilitated and can release enzymes appropriately, when the thyroid is regulated and in balance and producing the right amounts of hormones at the right times, that’s when we see this hormone balancing effect. So there are some exciting, new emerging data points that lead to, my great hope, that as we all embrace a few days of modified fasting – if you don’t want to go cold turkey and do water fasting, then don’t. But that’s one of the major benefits that researchers are discovering is that, your hormone system balances itself. And that’s pretty exciting for people who are on chemical or synthetic drugs.

I mean, I’m a fan of the bioidentical approach to hormones. But what if you could actually clean up these organs and glands that produce the hormones in the first place? What if we could, in the process of autophagy, eliminate a lot of the toxic body burden that keeps our thyroid and many other upstream and downstream organs and glands functioning properly? So they’re just not always doing so much battle. I love the idea when I’m fasting of the fact that I’m just stripping it all down, stripping down the garbage. And I’m enhancing and rebuilding and strengthening the various parts of my immune system that I need to keep me strong going into healthy aging.



[01:11:37] Ashley James: I love that you brought up balancing hormones. And we have a Facebook Group, the Learn True Health Facebook Group. And several members have shared recently their dilemma that they’re on the birth control pill to regulate their period. We have some mothers sharing about their daughters, their teenage daughters who are having too heavy of a period or periods are lasting longer than two weeks. Or the PMS is so drastic, they can’t go to school. And so the doctors put them on the pill to regulate it. Which I’ve had several interviews about the damaging long term effects of being on the pill. And that is definitely worth listening to. You can go to and in the search box type in birth control or the pill and find those episodes. It’s really good for us to fully be informed before we get on any medication, both natural and pharmaceutical. But especially pharmaceutical because it is man made. We have to really acknowledge that there are always side effects.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could arm these women with a way to balance their bodies in a completely natural way? I mean, you’re saying that even as simple as a modified fast could support their hormones, could support their endocrine system to come back into balance.



[01:13:05] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. Absolutely. Because there’s two things to look out. One is your body isn’t producing the right amounts of hormones that are all in the right proportions to each other. Because just throwing some Cytomel at it – or what’s the other one? Not Synthroid. Cytomel and Synthroid, yeah. Just throwing some Synthroid at is not actually solving the problem. But fasting has the capacity to get at the actual problem. The actual problem isn’t just misfire of specific glands that are supposed to serve you. But it’s also the fact that those glands are drowning in chemical toxins, which is another one of the virtues of just stop eating for a few days or eat a lot less.



[01:13:54] Ashley James: Now, I loved your book. You’re giving it to the listener for free. I loved it. I couldn’t put it down. You said we can finish it in an hour. I just didn’t want to put it down. It’s a really easy read but it is chock full of really good information and constant references to the studies. So it’s not just your opinion. It’s not a fad thing. This is absolutely 100% science based. And it’s a really well-written book. And the fact that you’re giving it to us for free is even better. Listeners can go to to get the free ebook.

And then and I want to talk next about your Flash Fast program. Like you said it’s about $40 for three days, which would save me money. Because I’m pretty sure I spend more money on groceries just for myself. More than $40 in three days. So that is probably saving a lot of people money to even just do it, like you said, for three or six days. And listeners can check that out by going to And all these links are going to be on the show notes for today’s podcast at

How many times in a row would it be safe to do your three day fast? Like you said someone could do it for three or six days if they bought two kits and did it back to back. But let’s say someone wanted to just – I don’t know – do it for 12 days or entire month. At what point do you think people should take a break from it?



[01:15:22] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. So far we’ve only had people who do two of them back to back. But we just released this product two months ago. And I did it because I was so excited about ProLon having read Dr. Valter Longo who deserves a ton of credit for discovering how powerful modified fasting is. And by the way, the name of the book -just so you guys know why I’m saying, “Hey, this is worth an hour of your life to read this.” It will totally deeply commit you to the idea of fasting. The book and Ashley is giving you a link to get it for free. And we send you with your first Flash Fast. We send you a printed copy of it. But it’s called How to Get The Health Benefits of Fasting Without Going Hungry. And Longo deserves so much credit. He’s got a bee in his bonnet about what does it do for this? What does it do for that? What does it do for this other thing? And I think he’s especially going to really enhance the lives of cancer patients. I mean, his animal study, he did a modified fast on all these mice before he then put them through a cycle of chemotherapy. And after, I think, it was four days of modified fasting, he put the mice on. The ones who got the chemotherapy without fasting first, they were all dead. And the ones who did the four day modified fast cycle before chemotherapy, they were all running around in their cages. So that’s what made him go, “Okay. We got to go take this to human beings.”

But I didn’t love his program. And I didn’t understand why when you’re eating less than 800 calories a day. how does it cost $45 a day? I mean, I could eat in a restaurant for breakfast lunch and dinner for that amount and so much packaging – incredibly much packaging. So I was like, we already make at Green Smoothie Girl, we make these products. They’re organic. They’re plant based. We’ve made them and tweaked them and gotten feedback from our followers for years. And I was like, “Okay. If we put this, this, and this and single serves.” And so we tested the heck out of it. I’ve been working on this for a year. I was like, “How can we bring the cost of this way, way down? ” And read the book, you can do a fast yourself. It’s not for everyone to have it be super, super easy. But on the other hand, it’s not for everyone to have to cook their vegetables and prep it and take it to work and all that.

So it is a little bit higher in protein than your average vegan diet. There’s a significant amount more protein in there. But it’s whole food plant based. One version of it has some bone broth in it. And the other version is 100% vegan. And so you can choose whichever one you want. All of them right now are shakes and bars and sprouted flax that you add two shakes. So everything in, all of the ingredients are superfoods, greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. That’s the end bone broth in one of the kits. And so for the vegans, don’t buy the one with bone broth in it.



[1:18:30]  Ashley James: But the bone broth is really healing for gut especially if you know you have leaky gut or gut dysbiosis. Any autoimmune condition, just automatically assume you have leaky gut. It’s just really good to just start with healing the gut. So even if you have like distension, like you said that guy who’s thin but he looks seven months pregnant. Anything that has to do with healing the gut and if you’re not vegan, go with the bone broth because it is so healing for helping to close up those gaps in the in the microvilli.


[01:19:04] Robyn Openshaw: There’s twice as many people choosing the bone broth one than the vegan one. And my assumption is, it’s because that’s the number of people who are noticeably suffering from gut issues. I mean, anyone who’s been on antibiotics in the last 10 to 20 years, most people haven’t really recovered from that. It takes some serious work to recover from antibiotics. And I mean, the average American is being prescribed an antibiotic every 11 months at this point. Actually, that’s American children. I don’t imagine that American adults are much different. So antibiotics, they really wipe out whole swaths of those good bacteria that keep us in balance so that our immune system can do its job. Most of the immune system is in the gut, which I’m sure you’ve said that like 20 times in your – what have you done, 500 episodes now, Ashley?



[01:20:00] Ashley James: We’re approaching 400 episodes. But yes, I believe it’s something like 70% of the immune system is surrounded by the gut. It surrounds the gut and there’s an absolute relationship between gut health and immune health. And you can’t fix one without the other. You have to address gut health. And what’s wonderful is a whole food plant based diet has all the wonderful prebiotics to support bringing the good cultures in. And a fast helps to starve the bad stuff. So we can do this . We don’t need to be on crazy medications. We can do this naturally.



[01:20:41] Robyn Openshaw: And I wanted to mention that too. Is if you’re interested in rehabilitating gut health, you got to eat starchy foods. And so these foods are high in fiber. I mean, it’s really very simple. People think they need some kind of medication and to go to the functional medicine doctor to rebuild their gut. But please don’t forget the key in all it, most people are not going to bring their gut health back just by taking probiotic, even if it has prebiotic. Even if it’s alive. Like, I’ve done Facebook demos where I show several brands of probiotics and most of them are dead. Most of them won’t culture milk. But even if you get a good living probiotic and it’s really broad ranging. It has a bunch of different types of probiotics and it’s got good prebiotics for it to feed on. You still need to eat that the bulk. You need to eat the fiber so that there’s something in the gut for the probiotics and the cultured foods that you might be eating to build on. And if you eat the standard American diet, it’s extremely scarce in that fiber. I mean. average American is getting 11 grams a day of fiber. And you got chimpanzees who might eat hundreds of grams of fiber Their gut isn’t a whole lot different than ours. And so we’re very, very similar to the primates. And so 11 grams. I mean, just your court of green smoothie a day, you’re going to double your fiber right there. So habits like that. Veg salads, sweet potatoes, rice, regular potatoes, they’ve been demonized but they’re really great for gut rebuilding. Starchy foods, they’ve gotten a bad rap because the last two fad diets are anti-carbohydrate. But you know what? That’s a lot of why everybody’s suffering with gut issues is there’s people scared of carbohydrates. That’s where the fiber is, friends.



[01:22:44] Ashley James: These are foods that support a healthy gut biome. So people are on at least one antibiotic a year and then they’re not eating any foods to help support healthy gut bacteria. And then they end up with a slew of medical conditions. Because if we cannot digest and assimilate our nutrients, we can’t build ourselves. And what’s really interesting is that the healthy gut bacteria actually help us. There’s about between two and three pounds of bacteria in our body that isn’t us. Like, cells that aren’t us. It’s just pretty crazy how much of our gut health has nothing to do with us. These are bacteria. But that they are part of our digestive process that without them we could not assimilate and absorb nutrients. So we need them. This is a symbiotic relationship. We can’t be sterile. We need to think about there’s an entire colony inside us that helps to break down and assimilate and absorb nutrients.

What’s really interesting is if you go on a farm and eat, let’s say, strawberries. You pick them right out of the ground. It’s all organic. There’s bacteria on the strawberry. And when you eat it, it gets into your gut. It starts to populate in your gut. That bacteria on the strawberry that’s native to being on the strawberry helps us to break down assimilate the nutrients from strawberry. So the more variety of fruits and vegetables we eat, especially fresh ones – organic and fresh and as fresh as possible right from the ground. So that’s why farmers markets and having your own garden if you can or finding friends that do have their own garden and eating foods that are still alive will also help to repopulate the gut. But then also help you assimilate that food. That’s why people have done studies where they ate nothing potatoes for a year and they weren’t nutrient deficient, which is mind blowing.

I love that you brought up fiber. I’ve had a man on the show twice and he has been doing – he spent $20,000, he’s a school teacher. But his is a masters in acupuncture but now he’s a school teacher. But his passion is doing fasting and proving that fasting is healthy. So he spent about $20,000 of his own money doing these blood tests every six months. Retests the PCBs and bisphenol A, and all of the toxins, glyphosate, all these toxins that are on our food and in our water and air. And he tests his levels. And he’s doing these 30 day fast and then testing to see how long these – how much progress he can make. And what he noticed is that, you do a long fast once a year and he’s a vegan. He eats whole food plant based. So he’s always eating cleaner. He was eating organic. But he still had these high levels of heavy metals and pollution, basically, in his body. And he noticed that he was getting kind of good results. But then he decided to do, “Okay. I’m going to do a fast and sauna.” And then he would watch and see after every six months taking his blood work. And he’d see that was getting even better results. Then he added something to absorb the toxins in his gut. Which he had an activated charcoal and he got the best results. So the best results, absolutely, sauna therapy and fasting. He did like a big fast once a year.

But using activated charcoal during the fast because our liver takes toxins out of our body when we’re fasting, puts them in our bile, and then shoots them into the small intestine is trying to get rid of them. But the problem is our body wasn’t designed to recognize all these toxins. And so to make itself more efficient, the body then reabsorbs the bile. And with all the toxins back in – reabsorbs most of it and reuses it. Because bile is kind of costly for the body to make.

And so fiber, if we did a kind of detox like a modified fast which is your – I love your product, specifically because it’s high in fiber. Fiber binds to and stores and holds onto the bile so that we cannot reabsorb those toxins of the body’s trying to get rid of. And that’s why I really love your fast because people can do it and still go to work. They will still have enough energy to get through the day. In fact, they start feeling even better. They’re dropping inflammation and water weight so they’re noticing that they have less aches and pains and they have more mental clarity. They’re probably saving money. Because saving money on food while still eating, like your 800 calories of organic food. And then their body is – the fiber is able to pull out the toxins and get them out of us while also the same kinds of fiber also supporting the healthy gut biome. So there’s just so many reasons why someone should try your Flash Fast. Are there any reasons why someone shouldn’t do it? I mean, we just really want to be up front. Is there other people for whom this wouldn’t be good for?



[01:28:10] Robyn Openshaw: Pregnant and nursing women. Nursing being like when breast milk is most of the babies calories. When baby is recreationally nursing later, probably not a problem. But pregnant nursing moms, stage 4 cachexia patients, people in renal failure. People on diabetes medications, you got to work with your doctor. You can go to your doctor and say, “I want to do this fast. What do you think?” And have your doctor watch your meds because you’re probably going to – and this is not me saying to get off your meds, okay? This is like, talk to your doctor, do not go off of your medications without the competent care and oversight of a doctor you trust. But the research is showing that people are getting off of diabetes meds. There are clinical trials showing that people reversed the symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes I mentioned that one study shows regeneration of the insulin producing beta cells. And then a 2017 study and this is animal study, but four day modified diet triggered changes in mice. That led to – I’m reading from the book here – led to pancreatic beta cell regeneration and the return of insulin secretion. These are changes that correspond to the reversal of type two diabetes. And so I think that diabetics should be completely fascinated by the idea of a fast. I wouldn’t go do a water fast while you’re on meds. So with that one with diabetics, I would say work with a practitioner. I’m not saying don’t do it. I’m not saying do do it without any worries in the world. I’m saying do it with some advice from your practitioner.



[01:30:15] Ashley James: Absolutely. I love this. I had a client who was very thin and she wanted to reverse some blood sugar issues but she was-  she really couldn’t afford to lose any more weight. And so this idea of water fasting scared her. And she actually called Dr. Goldhamer and talked to him. And he said he did not recommend that she did a water only fast. He recommended that she did a modified fast, exactly like you’re saying. That she can still gain the benefits, the healing benefits to her pancreas and her insulin sensitivity through the exacting – through of the what you’ve designed the Flash Fast where there’s a modified calories. But the calories are designed to be healing for the body.



[01:31:02] Robyn Openshaw: Well, a lot of people who are underweight, like people think, “Oh, you just have a quick metabolism.” No. I’m sorry to say that a lot of the people in our culture who are underweight – and watch them, watch them eat. I mean, unless their gut hurts, which some of them have gut dysbiosis so bad that they literally don’t enjoy eating because eating hurts. But besides the fact that some of them are eating less because eating causes suffering for them because of their gut dysbiosis. The other thing that’s going on is that food just goes right through. And people know that. Even people will just be like, “Oh, food goes right through you.” And they may have diarrhea and they’re not absorbing the nutrition.

But here’s the thing about a modified fast, it allows that leaky gut to repair, to seal up. And if that happens, then you can absorb nutrition better. And you can, therefore, achieve a more healthy weight. So all the people – the two-thirds of America that is overweight looks at the skinny people and they assume that skinny people are eating less food than they are or eating healthier food than they are. And the crazy thing is that the people who are thin – anywhere from thin to super thin – the vast majority of them are actually thin to super thin for the exact same reasons that two-thirds are overweight. Is that the food they’re doing is doing so much damage but just it’s a flip side of the same coin. So don’t assume that the thin people are healthier than overweight people.

The fact of the matter, certainly there are people who are thin because they eat a very disciplined diet, of course, or very healthy diet. But there’s a significant number of them who are actually not absorbing nutrition. So I am not surprised that Dr. Goldhamer actually recommends that because – then you can get some of that gut sealing effect and that gut healing effect. And so you can absorb nutrition and get up to your healthy weight. Because a lot of people are underweight because they aren’t getting the nutrients they need even though they’re eating the food.



[01:33:12] Ashley James: I love it. Now, listeners can get the free book to learn more about how to do this Flash Fast by going to

Tell us a bit about the Flash Fast, which I think that the majority of listeners will just do it. Just buy the kit. You’ve made it incredibly affordable. It’s all very healthy ingredients and organic and just follow your program for three days. So it’s like this no brainer. They don’t really have to do much. Like you said, it’s a maximum two minutes of preparation to do their mini meals. And they can do it any day of the week and still maintain going to work. So it’s not disruptive. So tell us a bit more about the specific things they would be doing during the day with your kit.



[01:34:06] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. I like to do it Monday through Wednesday. Like I said, I’ve done it nine times the last three months. And some people might say that’s kind of obsessive. But I’m the researcher who flies to Texas and sits in an ashram and doesn’t eat any food for 12 days too. And some people call it biohacking. I call it experimenting for science. You’re going to get this kit. We’re giving your followers on the link that you give them $10 off their first kit. The retail price is $70. You can get $10 off your first kit or you can get $30 off or 43% off if you sign up for Subscribe Instant Save. So subscribe Instant Save means that every single one that you get is $40, just $30 off. You also get the book in that first package How To Get The Health Benefits Of Fast Without Going Hungry.

You get a little one page insert that tells you not only how to do it, which is like, so easy. But you also have a couple several recipe ideas in the right column telling you ways that you can make it taste different. You can add handfuls of greens, you can add up to two vegetables a day, which I kind of highly recommend. At the beginning of my three day Flash Fast on Monday morning, I’ll steam a whole head of cauliflower and I’ll steam a bunch of asparagus. Now, why cauliflower and asparagus? Because those are the vegetables I like best. So I’m talking about non starchy vegetables. So you can add up to two servings. And the reason for that is that your five mini meals give you 650 total calories. And the research coming from all these different institutions, especially USC, are showing that you can eat up to 800 calories a day to get the benefits. I would love to tell you that men can eat a different number of calories than women. And I would tell you that if I had seen the published evidence about it, but I haven’t seen anybody do that study yet. So unfortunately, right now, all I can tell you is a maximum of 800 calories so you can add to non-starchy vegetables. Like, I do the asparagus. I’ll also cut up a cucumber. You can do stuff like that unlimited. You can cut up a cucumber. You can add handfuls of spinach. You don’t have to do any of those things.

You could also instead of the vegetables, you could add one fruit. And I like to sometimes do my one fruit being a banana. It’s an organic banana. And all this is in your kit – all these little tips. But I cut an organic banana with the peel into my little shake. So my little superfood shake that’s superfoods and plant based proteins. And it’s got some little bit of fruits and vegetable extract, blend that up with a handful of greens. Sometimes I do two. Sometimes I do my two shakes at once. That way I only have to whiz it up in the blender once. But I’ve got two meals. And then I just have it there at my desk or in the fridge to just get my other one out. And then you have a bar that’s super delicious. And you’ll probably, at the end of your Flash Fast day, “I want these bars. I want to have them for my kids. I want to have them in my purse.” They’re the healthiest bar that you’ve ever ordered. And again, organic, everything in it organic. The whole bar is certified organic. And again it’s vegetables, fruits, superfoods, nuts and seeds. Delicious.

Pretty soon we’re coming out with two soups. And they’re high protein plant based soups. And I think they’re quite lovely and quite delicious for those who want something hot in their Flash Fast. But anyways really quick, really easy. I like to do it Monday through Wednesday. You could do it any day that works for you. The reason I like Monday through Wednesday is I don’t really have a social life then. I’m pretty much just at home working. And I don’t have to say no to business lunches or whatever. If somebody reaches out to me for a business lunch, I say, ” Sure. Thursday or Friday, what works?” And if people reach out to me wanting to go to dinner, I’m like, “Sure. Anytime on the weekend.”

And so let’s see what else should I tell you. So keep it under 800 calories. Keep it 90 to 100% plant based. Keep it organic. Make sure it’s high in fiber. Make sure, for satiety purposes, you’re eating small meals in a window of, at the most, 12 hours. So I’ll eat it like 9:00 a.m. And then my last meal will be like 6:00 p.m. The only time I get significantly hungry – if you just follow the plan, eat the five mini meals, space them out. The only time I get really hungry – and again, I probably only get really hungry because I am playing sports every single day that I’ve done the Flash Fast, all nine times. But I get hungry about 9:00 p.m. So you know what I do? I go to bed early.



[01:39:00] Ashley James: Yes. Yes. That’s so good. I love that. Those are just two tips that you could do every day even without the fast. love starting my day – I’d say about four days a week, I start my day off with steaming a pound of vegetables, non-starchy vegetables and that’s what I eat first. And then when I’m hungry next, I’ll just eat like potato, brown rice, beans, something like that. But I I’ll start my day with a pound. And pound sounds a lot, but it’s maybe two-and-a-half cups. It’s not that much. And I actually really enjoy the flavor. But you can always add herbs, super simple seasonings to it. But I noticed that when I start my day off first thing in the morning, obviously, a glass of water and then steamed vegetables and eat them, my body buzzes. It buzzes. It has energy. It just feels – it really rewards me almost immediately. I can feel it working. I can feel the difference. And then going to bed at 9:00 is like magic. It’s magical. And people will stay up crazy late. And right around 10:00 p.m. is when our cortisol kicks in. So we have that second wind. And if we stay up until 10:00, that is that magic moment where we have now screwed ourselves for good sleep. It really does.

Because we’ll stay up watching TV or looking at our phone or computer. But at 10:00 p.m. – I don’t know if people noticed – they got like a second wind and they’re like, “Oh, I’m not tired. I don’t need to go to bed.” And then it’s like midnight. Because the body goes, “Oh, we’re up late because we have to run away from the bear. We have to survive some kind of situation where we need to be awake.” Because why on earth would we be awake at this hour if it wasn’t for the fact that we needed to fight the bear? And so the body turns on the stress response and stops making melatonin and just get this kick of cortisol. So if we can get in bed by 9:00 and, hopefully, fall asleep soon after, then our body goes into deep restorative sleep. We don’t have that exhaustive spike of cortisol. And then we can wake up maybe a little bit earlier and get all the things you wanted to do done at the end of the day. Just do it at the beginning of the day. But it’s so healing to do that. So I love those two points. I think we should do them anyway regardless of if we’re doing the Flash Fast or not

Now, you talked about this subscription where someone can get it once a month so that they can do this healing, especially people have weight loss or really long term health goals. What’s the feedback you’ve been getting by people who’ve been doing it for more than one month?



[01:41:50] Robyn Openshaw: Well, I mean, we only released it the end of August – end of August? End of September? So we don’t have longitudinal data. So I can’t say. However, the studies that Longo does tend to be one cycle a month. And I’ve seen some of the other researchers, like Johns Hopkins, some of those researchers, they don’t all do the exact same thing. But I see these health gains coming out. Basically, what I’m seeing is a once a month and some cases with significant illness, I’m seeing them putting subjects on a twice a month cycle of modified fasting. Now you have to be fairly motivated to do a three day Flash Fast twice a month. So you know, either you’re just a person who loves little health experiments – like I do – and you’re really super committed to your health. Or you have a significant health challenge. So if that’s you, if you’re in either one of those categories, and you’re like, “Yeah, I will. I’ll do it once a month.” I highly recommend people get on a once a month modified fast to really gain all the health benefits of it. And with weight loss, there’s no reason why you can’t do it twice a month.

And I think I failed to answer your question earlier when you asked, how often can you do this? Honestly, you could do it long term. I mean, listen, there are prisoners of war who lived like 10, 15 years longer than the average person. And they think it’s because of low calorie, like chronic long term calorie restriction. I mean, did you ever read that novel Unbroken? About that prisoner of war, Louis Zamperini. He just died not long ago. Just a fantastic book. Laura Hillenbrand wrote it. She’s the same author of Seabiscuit. But this guy, Louis Zamperini, who was an Olympic runner and then he went to World War II. He ended up in a concentration camp – not a concentration camp. That’s an obviously –



[01:44:00] Ashley James: Prisoner of war camp?



[01:44:02] Robyn Openshaw: Prisoner of war camp. Thank you. And the Japanese fed him nothing for four years. He would volunteer to do laundry all day so he could lick the starch off his fingers from the spray starch cans or whatever. So these are people who are chronically calorie deprived. And obviously, we’re not going to do that. Obviously, you’re not going to go four years with essentially no calories. But the guy lived to be, like, 90 something. And obviously that is a case study and it proves exactly nothing.

But if we know one thing about longevity, it’s people with chronic calorie restriction. So there is no contraindication for people to eat 800 calories or less for a long period of time. And if you don’t feel well, that’s how you know to stop doing it. I don’t think I’m really going to have a whole lot of people who are going to suddenly eat 800 calories or less for long periods of time. But if you did it twice, if you did it three times in a row – I mean I’ve done water fast for 12 days. And it’s the deeper states of autophagy. I mean, Dr. Thomas Lodi, the Columbia train medical doctor, the first thing he wants people to do when they’re diagnosed with cancer is go do a 30 day water fast. Literally eat nothing for 30 days. So I’m not worried about people doing the Flash Fast too many times because, remember, you’re getting nutrient dense food, you’re getting 800 calories. You can pretty much do anything.

I met a woman, she’s a medical doctor. She came to my Swiss retreat that I’ve been doing for eight years. She had my Swiss retreat two summers ago. And her husband who was also a medical doctor had not eaten any food for 70 days. He went to work, the whole thing. He lost like –  I don’t even know how many pounds – somewhere around 100 pounds, maybe it’s more like 70 or 80. But did not eat food for 70 days. And she said he’s felt completely fantastic.

And people who are really into water fasting will tell you that you know when it’s time to stop fasting, it’s when you don’t feel good anymore.


[01:46:05] Ashley James: I love it. So yeah, so doing three day stints a few times a month of 800 calories. The very specific calories that are dense nutrition and high in fiber and organic and non-GMO, and really super foods and designed to nutrify the body, nutrient dense calorie restricted. That is in no way going to throw someone into some kind of deficiency. The blue zones – a lot of them – these blue zones where they’ve documented people living with almost no disease well into their hundreds. They all live in a calorie – they have calorie restriction. They have times of famine where they fast because that’s what they have to do. Or they only eat one meal a day. So we’ve never seen a gluttonous society eating thousands of calories a day every day, several meals a day, live longer disease free than the rest of the population. That’s part of this habit. This health habit is part of long term health.



[01:47:16] Robyn Openshaw: Right. None of the blue zones eat to excess. And all of the blue zones eat 90 to 100% plant based. And a lot of people want to ignore that because they’re – not only a lot but maybe even a majority of health and wellness experts out there, they want to just – the denial about the massive body of evidence that says we’ve got to eat mostly plants. I’m not going to say all because I don’t think the evidence proves that we have to eat 100% plant based to be healthy. I don’t think they reprove that. I, personally, rarely eat animal products. And if I do It’s generally because I’m out traveling or whatever. But the longer you do it, the more you just don’t resonate with those animal products anyway. Like, eating animal flesh just doesn’t appeal to me anymore after, literally, decades of not doing it. It doesn’t smell good to me. It doesn’t look good to me. I don’t crave it. I, certainly, in my 20’s was eating as much of it as anybody was two times a day, probably.

But yeah, the blue zones eat 90 to 100% plant based. They eat clean, close to the land, not sprayed, not processed kind of food. And  they had periods where they eat less. And they probably are a lot more in tune with their body because they’re not constantly upping and downing.

You said do people have negative reactions. And I do want to say this, because we have a Facebook page with two health coaches who support our Flash Fasters. And not all the 2,500 people who’ve gotten themselves a Flash Fast in the last month since I told my audience about it – a month to two months as I told my audience about it. Not all of them are in there. But I think close to 1,000 are now. And the one thing is the caffeine drinkers. Because we tell them during that three days, if you want best results get off the caffeine. Well, here’s the thing, if they go off the caffeine right at the same time that they do the Flash Fast, they’ll tell us about their headache. And it’s a little bit frustrating to me, because I’m like, “Well, it would be really great if you could have gotten off the caffeine a few days before.” So that’s what we recommend. But then people don’t do it. Because I swear, you can’t you can’t pry coffee out of some people’s cold dead hands. It’s become this American staple. Like, what is it? Two-thirds of Americans drink an average of two cups of coffee a day. Maybe it’s even worldwide. I think it’s literally like the Western world. And so coffee is such a staple.

But here’s the thing, if you want your ducts to dilate, you want the most amount of detoxification during the period of time that you’re dedicating to the Flash Fast, best if you’re not coming off of coffee where your neurological system is going to be reactive. As your body is like, “Oh good. She’s not dumping caffeine into here anymore.” Which is dehydrating by the way and which it dilates some vessels. I mean people like what it does for their digestive system. But the long term effect is energy depleting. And it’s dehydrating. And we are trying to hydrate and to dilate and relax ductwork to allow for the flushing of the kidneys and the flushing of the liver. And so we ask people to stay off the coffee. If you’re like, “No, can’t do it.” Then do the Flash Fast with the coffee. I would rather have you do the Flash Fast with coffee than not do it at all. However, if you’re willing to go off the coffee for a few days first so that you realize that it’s your coffee withdrawal or your caffeine withdrawal. It’s not a Flash Fast doing that to you. That’s where my frustration comes in.



[01:51:03] Ashley James: Absolutely. My husband was addicted to coffee. He was drinking 90 ounces of it a day. And this was the strong stuff. We’ve been married for over 11 years and he kind of jokingly complains that I’ve taken everything away from him. Because when I met him he was drinking three Monster Energy drinks a day, venti coffees from Starbucks, he had some other unsavory habits with tobacco and sugar, addicted to ice cream. And so just the standard guy thing. He was a carpenter. And he was, you know, just the standard guy thing. Eating only meat and fries and nachos and cheese, things covered in cheese. So I don’t think I ever seen him eat a vegetable until I came into his life. And so I started with sugar. I took away sugar from – when I say take away, I showed him. I showed him the light. And he decided to do the challenge and try life without sugar, seeing how bad it was. He just didn’t know. And so we got rid of sugar then we got rid of ice cream addiction. And that was fun. I used an NLP technique called Like to Dislike. I neurologically made him be repulsed to ice cream and he couldn’t walk down that aisle in Albertsons for over a year without feeling like he was going to vomit. So he just completely gave up ice cream cold turkey, which was great. And then giving up dairy. And then giving up fried food and tobacco and alcohol – that was another one. He would drink beer every day and so that was gone.

And now finally, he’s like this clean vessel. Ad caffeine was the last thing to go. I mean, he held on to it. He got rid of all that stuff over the last 11 years. And he’s just this clean vessel that just needs nothing but plants. And doesn’t have any vices at all. He doesn’t touch processed food at all. But he was still doing coffee and so we got rid of coffee. And his headache lasted two weeks constant. And so I read up on it because I was a little worried. And it says basically after – if you really are this consistent coffee drinker and you get off of it, the blood vessels in your brain contract or dilate or they do something where they’re just like freaking out. And so your brain is just getting an abnormal blood flow. And that’s what’s causing the headache. So it’s an abnormal blood flow to the brain. And he pounded back the water and just powered through it, went cold turkey. Because he’s one of those guys, he’s either on or off. There’s no just turning it down a little bit. He’s either doing it full blast or he’s not doing it at all. And probably, why it was so easy for him to go vegan just total overnight transformation.

But now he doesn’t need it. He doesn’t need it. And his sleep is better, obviously. But he just notices his heart rate, his respiratory rate, everything is an optimal levels, and he sleeps better. And he now has – this is the funny part – he now has more energy. And that’s because it does, like you said, we think it gives us energy, gives us that boost, but it really exhaust our adrenals. And so when we need an energy boost at our house, we steam a pound of vegetables each or we make a smoothie. And we noticed that our body feels vibrant and gets a jolt, like a really cool rising in energy from these nutritious foods. So I love your protocol because even on your Flash Fast we can be raising and elevating our energy levels using non-stimulants. Using food, which is what our body supposed to use to make energy from.



[01:55:07] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. Exactly. I mean, how impressive. How impressive that he got off all that stuff. I mean, he basically went from one end of the spectrum to the other. It’s really, really inspiring. It’s too bad he didn’t do a documentary about it. I mean, it’s like my friend, Drew Manning. I don’t know if you know him. But he’s here local. And he’s a longtime friend of mine. And he wrote the book Fit To Fat To Fit. And he was like this body builder. He was a personal trainer. And he purposely gained 70 pounds. He went and did all this national media about it. He purposely gained 70 pounds to feel what his clients felt. And then he lost it again. He’s a super ripped, super gorgeous guy. And then he went and did that. And he just kind of showed how he gained the weight. He just went face first into a giant – an entire box of cereal in the morning. And giant burgers and fries at night, and whatever. So your husband did the exact opposite. And it’s really inspiring because it just goes to show you that these things that we think make us happy, like, “Oh, I need sugar because it makes me happy.” Or “I need alcohol so that I can do social things.” My guess is he probably still does social things without the buzz and that’s really –



[01:56:24] Ashley James: Well, he’s a high introvert. So alcohol was never social to him. It was all an escape. And so we’ve had long talks about – me too. I mean, It’s both of us have been on this health journey. But we both talked about why do we use this? What is it giving us? Why is it this crutch? So whether it was sugar or overeating or emotional eating, or whether it was the Starbucks or the alcohol or tobacco or whatever it was, it was why do I run to this? And what is it masking? And since we removed it – also, we didn’t have this crutch. So we both had to talk about, “Well, what kind of strategies can we build on our life now that allow us to face things instead of put our head in the sand and kind of numb our emotions.” So we do a lot of processing and talking together. And that, I guess, has made our relationship even stronger.

So my thing has always been like, we’re on this health journey but health isn’t just physical, it’s emotional. We have to address the emotions because there’s absolutely – you can’t remove emotions from food and substances that we constantly use. And the way food is designed nowadays, it’s hyperpalatable and designed to hijack the brain. And so we often we’ll go to food. It’s socially acceptable to go to McDonald’s and have a shake when we’re feeling upset with our boss or when we’re feeling dissatisfied with our life purpose. Instead of actually face it. So we’re using food as a drug. And we use these substances every day, like coffee or alcohol or like legal substances every day, and now, of course, pot is legal and other substances are becoming legal. And so a big part of my healing journey has been to remove what’s unhealthy but then also face why I was using it in the first place. And so my husband has been doing that as well. And it’s been a wonderful journey.

I love you, you know, you point out that you’re kind of experiment on yourself. I’m always experimenting on myself too. And that’s what’s been so great is that when we’re willing to do these experiments and we’re willing to change our diet and try new things that we often find ourselves. We get to strip away so much that isn’t us anymore and it’s not serving us anymore.



[01:58:39] Robyn Openshaw: Yeah. I love that.



[01:58:42] Ashley James: You’re Flash Fast is wonderful. I really do love it. Everything in it is delicious, by the way. So I am a really big fan of it. And I love all the products you’ve created. I think you’re just stand alone. Your bars are delicious and they’re these whole food – superfood bars. Your smoothies are wonderful. I love everything that you create because you are so diligent to make sure that every ingredient is clean. You don’t just put a filler in there just because it’ll make it cheaper or save you money so you can make more money. You really are ethical. And so I love your products. And I’ve gotten to know you and know that as you stand as a very ethical person and I trust everything you put out because of that.

You had shared with me, I think back in September or August, you shared with me a testimonial of someone who it blew my mind. I love this testimonial. Do you have any testimonials on hand or that you can remember you can read off the top of your head of people who’ve had outstanding results working with your Flash Fast?



[01:59:53] Robyn Openshaw: Oh my gosh, I’d have to go into Facebook and read them. But people who get their Flash Fast, we immediately put them in the Facebook Group. It’s a closed group but anybody who buys a Flash Fast, we want them in there so they can go through the experience with other people and see the experience they’re having and ask questions. And I have two help coaches in there. You know what? I could go in my Facebook Messenger right now. So the testimonial that you’re talking about that I sent you is a woman named Dolores. And she said, “End of day three on the Flash Fast. and what a miraculous three day Flash Fast it has been. I had my three shakes with added organic kale, organic mixed berries, ginger, and turmeric. I had my bar and an organic apple and organic banana every day. I have been pain free in my hips and knees since hour 15 of the fast. I’ve been in intense searing chronic knee and hip pain 24/7 for 15 plus years. And it’s gone just like that. I feel like I’m dreaming. and if I am, I don’t want to wake up. I’m beyond thankful.”

So yeah, that testimonial that I had sent you, I had to think for a second what I sent you because we see a lot of these. Although, that one was really quite astonishing. I mean 15 plus years of pain, zero relief whatsoever. And 15 hours and her pain disappeared. It didn’t come back after day three. She reported back to us, she said, “I’m completely astonished. I still have no pain.” I think the point here is – and it’s a great one to end on – is that the body knows what to do. And the body needs the raw materials. It needs a little space and time. And that’s what you’re giving the body as a little space and time. A little breather to instead of having to do all the urgent tasks that are coming at you in your work  – and anybody who works for a living can relate to –  they get urgent stuff coming at you all day every day. And when you have some space and time and those tasks – that would be food coming in are not there – then you can turn to those important but not urgent tasks. And that’s what the body does. It immediately turns to those long overdue maintenance projects and gets it done.



[02:02:14] Ashley James: I love it. Awesome. Thank you so much, Robyn Openshaw for coming on the show again. It’s been such a pleasure having you on. These two hours just flew by.

Get the free book. Listeners, please go to and get that free ebook. And also by the Flash Fast. Do it. Check it out. I actually prefer doing your flash, fast getting the kit versus doing it myself because then I have to calorie count and restrict myself and try to stay under 800 calories. Then there’s temptation. Whereas if I have your program, it’s like, “No. I’m just following this.” So it makes it really clear cut. And then I could just do it and forget about it. I don’t have to put a lot of mental energy into it. So that’s why I love your program. It just saves me my mental energy so I can just focus. Just do what you put in front of me, do your kit, and follow the protocol. Like you said, it has one card, basically. Do this, do this, do this, do this for three days. And then and then reap the rewards, reap the benefits. So listeners can go to to get the – was it $10 off their first kit and try it for themselves.

And I’d love to hear what you think of it. Of course, we’re going to talk about this in the Learn True Health Facebook Group. I want to know what you guys think and what kind of benefits you’ve seen from doing this kind of fasting.

Robyn, I definitely want to have you back on the show. Anytime you want a platform to come share and teach, you are always welcome. Thank you so much for coming on the show today and sharing with us the Flash Fast.


[02:03:57] Robyn Openshaw: My pleasure. Thanks, Ashley.



[02:04:00] Ashley James: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition? And how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity? Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and to figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business, support people in their success? Do you love helping people?

You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health coaching certification program. And it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over 100 dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition. But from the standpoint of how we can help people to shift their lives and shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health.

I definitely recommend that you check them out. You can Google Institute for integrative Nutrition or IIN and give them a call. Or you can go to and you can receive a free module of their training. So check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in. Be sure to mention my name, Ashley James, and the Learn True Health

Podcast because I made a deal with them that they will give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program. And I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information.

We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctors offices. You can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help your local schools shift their programs to help children to be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them in their success in their health goals.

There’s so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach. So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Mention my name. Get the best deal. Give them a call and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon.  The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month. So you’re going to want to call them now and check it out. And if you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.

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David Tomen And Ashley James


  • What Nootropics and different Nootropics for pain relief
  • Different natural pain relief supplements
  • Benefits of using lion’s mane and where it’s from
  • Benefits of encapsulating own supplements
  • Benefits of kratom and other uses for kratom
  • What rhodiola rosea is and other uses
  • Benefits of using PQQ
  • Benefits of using CBD oil and its difference hemp oil
  • How NAC works
  • How to get consultation from David Tomen and what you get from his consultation


In this episode, David Tomen will share with us today about different nootropics for pain relief. He shares where each nootropic is from and what other benefits does the nootropics have aside from pain relief. He will also share with us different scientific studies and researches that support the use of nootropics for pain relief.


[0:00] Intro: Hello true health seeker and welcome to another episode of Learn True Health Podcast.      

Today’s a really exciting interview for those who are looking for pain relief naturally. David Tomen, the Nootropics Expert is back on the show with us. We do mention a bunch of supplements and herbs that you can use to support yourself. One of them being CBD. My favorite company to get CBD from is I had the founder on the show. You can listen to that episode by searching CBD on my website We have a coupon code from them. They’re very generously giving us a big discount to all the listeners. So go to and use the coupon code LTH at checkout.

Why I like their CBD? It is organic, it is very clean and they guarantee that you will pass a drug test because it is just pure CBD. Now they will be coming out in the future with a whole plant supplement which has all the other wonderful phytonutrients in it that are also very healthy and supportive. So just go to their website, check it out You can also listen to the episode I did on that. I have several episodes with doctors and experts in CBD so you can fully dive into understanding that whole wonderful world. David Tomen talks a lot about different herbs. Some of them are controversial and that’s okay because he is all about the science. So on his website,  , he sites every single scientific study and research paper when he discusses different herbs and supplements so that he can site exactly the dosages that you can safely take. Thank you so much for being a listener.

If you haven’t heard already, because I have mentioned it in the last few episodes, we are coming out with a very exciting membership the Learn True Health Home Kitchen membership. You will be able to join it and learn how to cook delicious, healthy whole food plant-based meals for you and your whole family. So if you’re looking to go completely plant-based, that will be a fantastic resource for you. Or if you just love to learn how to introduce more wonderful vegetables into your diet and eat even healthier, you will absolutely love our membership. Go ahead and join the Learn True Health Facebook group by searching Learn True Health on Facebook and go to and join our newsletter so you will be abreast of all of the news that comes your way as we launch the new membership. We’ve been filming and it has been so much fun. I can’t wait for you to learn all these delicious whole food plant-based recipes. Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day and enjoy today’s interview.

Welcome to the Learn true health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 389.


[0:03:29] Ashley James: I am so excited today to have back on the show, David Tomen. He is the He was on the show in episode 362 and 374. If you haven’t listened to those episodes, you definitely have to go back check out David Tomen’s story as to why he became the nootropics expert. For those who don’t nootropics are and are just getting into, this is their first taste of the David Tomen experience. David, can you start by sharing what are you nootropics?


[0:04:00] David Tomen: Hi Ashley.


[0:04:02] Ashley James: Hi.


[0:04:03] David Tomen: Thank you for having me back. Nootropics are any type of dietary supplement that helps your brain.


[0:04:09] Ashley James: Exactly. So, all the good stuff that supports the cardiovascular system to the brain that supports the balance of chemicals in the brain. Everything that just supports the neurological system


[0:04:22] David Tomen: What makes your brain work. Yeah. Our brain is, as far as I know, is the most complex thing in the universe that we know of. The deeper I get into the neuroscience the more, I’m no longer blown away just because it’s just so incredibly interesting and deep and we’re a long way from figuring it out. But the little bit that we have figured out, the neuroscience that I have available now and that I’ve got thousands and thousands and thousands of links to clinical studies and all the stuff that I’ve done on is just supporting what we already, we know that this stuff works and now we’re starting to understand why it works.


[0:05:17] Ashley James: Yeah. That’s so cool. I love it. Well, people have been using for thousands of years, have been using herbs, natural nootropics. Now we’re understanding why they work. That’s pretty amazing. Everything from mushroom and herbs, minerals to how now we see why these supplements are supporting the body and supporting the neurosystem in a really positive why. I think they just recently came out with some discovery about the brain that I found fascinating. You probably already heard of it but there’s a type of cell in the brain that is responsible for cleaning up the old tissue. We really want these cells to be happy because when those cells are not happy, they actually start to digest healthy tissue in the brain. One thing that causes them to go haywire and digest healthy tissue in the brain is lack of sleep. Have you heard of this, that lack of sleep causes the brain to basically eat itself? So something as simple as sleep is highly supportive of brain health. So, of course, that’s one thing that you teach is all the things on your amazing website, how we can maintain a lifestyle to promote the best brain health possible.


[0:06:45] David Tomen: Including how to get a good night’s sleep.


[0:06:47] Ashley James: Yes. Exactly. Because there are nootropics to support help us –


[0:06:51] David Tomen: To help us sleep.


[0:06:52] Ashley James: Yeah. Something as simple, almost everyone know what melatonin is, is melatonin a nootropic?


[0:06:57] David Tomen: Yes. I consider it a nootropic but I wouldn’t use melatonin. The reason why is because melatonin is, well it goes 5HTPN then serotonin and then melatonin. So your brain naturally produces melatonin, but when you go to buy a melatonin supplement, almost every single melatonin supplement on the market is synthetic. The chemical process that they go through to make melatonin is just scary reading the thing. The other thing that they found out, well a couple of other things. The melatonin supplements, they’re dosed too high because you only use like 0.5 to 0.8 of melatonin naturally. These things are like 3 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg so they’re way, way overdosed. But the other thing is that the label doesn’t jive with what’s in the capsule. Somebody actually did a clinical study and they bought a bunch of melatonin supplements. I actually linked to this in one of my posts. They bought like 25 different melatonin supplements. Then they tested them in a lab to find out how much melatonin was in each capsule. What they found out that it ranges anywhere from -75% to 450% more than what was stated in the label.


[0:08:24] Ashley James: Wow.


[0:08:26] David Tomen: So, if you buy a 3 mg melatonin supplement and the thing is actually got 50 mg of melatonin in it, you can really mess yourself up. The other thing that they found is some of these manufacturers were actually putting serotonin in the supplement which is not even legal.


[0:08:47] Ashley James: Wow.


[0:08:51] David Tomen: Yeah. So don’t buy a melatonin supplement. Use something natural like tart cherry juice which is a natural source of melatonin. It’s a lot gentler and it will help you sleep.


[0:09:01] Ashley James: That is so true. I love tart cherry juice. It really does knock me out. That’s so funny. I also found that chlorella and spirulina, they also help the body produce melatonin because of the amino acids in it I guess. That’s pretty amazing that if I eat them I get better sleep or if I take tart cherry juice I get better sleep.


[0:09:26] David Tomen: It’s just a gentler way of introducing melatonin into your system.


[0:09:32] Ashley James: I love that. We weren’t even going to talk about sleep but I was just so fascinated by what I heard that when we don’t get enough sleep our brain digests itself. Since we’re all concerned about dementia, so many of us have seen our grandparents or are parents go through dementia or aunts and uncles. It is something that we want to obviously avoid and prevent. We can prevent it with natural medicine and understanding the nootropics that we can use to support the brain. Now, one thing that I’m interested in is helping the listeners who are in pain. Because when we are in pain, we are willing to do anything to be out of pain. I know you have a personal experience of that. Would you like to share to the listener what has happened recently?


[0:10:19] David Tomen: Four weeks ago I had my second major back surgery. It’s a laminectomy. The neurosurgeon did a couple of other things where five years prior to this I had a spinal fusion. So they put two rods attached by two screws each. So two rods and four screws in my lumbar between L4 and L5 to fuse those vertebrae together because they had degraded so much that I almost ended up in a paralyzed in a wheelchair because it had just worn out. So five years later, well this started about two years ago, the pain started to come back. Went and did the scans and discovered that the section right about that is falling apart. You know how you can look at a CT scan and an MRI of your spine? You know how your spinal column comes down? It’s nice and clear all the way down. That’s the nerves come down from your brain. The section between L3 and L4 was black. Completely black. I was in excruciating pain. So, what the surgeon did is he went in and he went in and scraped that all out and he cut off some bone. You can imagine the kind of pain that leaves you. Now, fortunately for me, I had extraordinary sciatic pain dealt down both legs down to my toes. That’s gone. But now I’m just dealing with where the surgery was done and that’s getting incrementally better a little bit day by day. I honestly think that I’m recovering a lot faster from this kind of major surgery than most people do just because of the stuff that I’m taking.


[0:12:12] Ashley James: Oh, I bet. Has the surgeon noticed that your healing has been faster?


[0:12:17] David Tomen: I haven’t talked to him since he did the surgery four weeks ago. I see him in a couple of weeks. It’s just never occurred for me to ask him.


[0:12:30] Ashley James: Well, that would be interesting. Did you expect me to have healed this far along or how many weeks did you expect this to heal? Because I have heard of other people that have been on really good supplements and really good diet and that they’ve impressed the surgeons greatly with their quick ability to heal. I even know a guy who broke both legs. He changed his whole diet to make sure it as mineral-rich, vegetables, and he healed his legs weeks, weeks before the doctors expected him to make a full recovery. He made a full recovery weeks and weeks before. It was funny because all the doctors were saying, ‘you can’t speed up your bones healing by eating better.’ Yes, you can. That’s so funny.


[0:13:25] David Tomen: I’ve got a friend in Los Angeles that owns a nootropics company. It’s one of my favorite nootropics stacks. Within the last year, he was in a major traffic accident. He just broke a lot of stuff. It was supposed to take him, the doctors told him it was going to take him eight or nine months to recover. He did in seven weeks.


[0:13:51] Ashley James: Nice.


[0:13:53] David Tomen: Just using the supplement that he sells. One of the things that I love about the supplement that he sells is it’s loaded with lion’s mane. Lion’s mane mushroom and lion’s mane mushroom just heals nerves. That’s one of its big claim to fame. They actually did a, there was a lion’s mane mushroom, I think it was someplace in Malaysia. They studied on rats in the lab. I kind of cringe when I think about how they did this, but they cut the gluteal nerves crippling the rats so the rats couldn’t walk. Then they fed them lion’s mane-laced water for the next two or three weeks. Within two weeks, these rats were walking again because their gluteal nerves had mended back together again and healed.


[0:14:53] Ashley James: That is so cool. It’s so cool. The animal cruelty is horrific but the results are great that they made a full recovery because of lion’s mane. Yeah, I just yesterday made a soup. I was shopping at our local coop called PCC. The beautiful mushrooms. All the wonderful mushrooms they have this time of year. Fall is so great for mushrooms. So, I’ve got lion’s mane. I’ve never had lion’s mane fresh before and I got lion’s mane, shiitake, oyster and chanterelles and onion, carrot and celery. I went home and I cut everything up and put it into my big, big, big, big soup pot. I simmered it for a few hours and I added some herbs like sage and thyme and rosemary. Oh my gosh. This soup is amazing. It felt so healing and so supportive of the immune system. That’s why I was doing it. It was immune system tea or like a soup. That’s like an immune system soup. Now you’re talking about how it’s healing or a startup to the nervous system so that’s even better. Maybe I’m a little smarter today.



[0:16:07] David Tomen: You probably are. Absolutely.


[0:16:12] Ashley James: So what did you do after the surgery to support yourself in decreasing the pain because obviously, your body is going through healing a wound, a big wound. There’s a lot for your body to heal and in the process, you must be in pain.


[0:16:28] David Tomen: Incredible pain. One of the things that I found is extremely effective it was kratom, which is really really controversial these days because the states are trying to ban it because they say it’s an opiate and it’s really. But it acts like an opioid receptors. I find that for me, kratom affects different people in different ways, for me it takes about 8 grams of kratom equals about 10 mg of an opioid, a prescription opioid. That’s how powerful it is. But people use kratom for not only pain but they use it for insomnia, they use it as an anxiolytic, my wife uses it to help her sleep. Then she uses a different strain to help her wake up in the morning. There’s a lot of different things you can do with this herb. The thing is that it’s completely natural. It comes from a tropical deciduous tree that’s native to the coffee family in Southeast Asia where they’ve been using it for thousands of years. The workers there use it as a natural remedy. They make tea out of it. They use it throughout their workday for energy and for pain relief.


[0:17:50] Ashley James: It’s related to the coffee plant so there’s some natural caffeine in it, right?


[0:17:56] David Tomen: There’s no caffeine in it.


[0:17:57] Ashley James: Oh, there’s no caffeine. That’s very interesting.


[0:17:58] David Tomen: There is not. But what it does is it affects the dopamine D1 receptors in your brain which helps boost energy. It also affects serotonin in norepinephrine pathways in the central nervous system. So that’s where you get relief from anxiety and depression. It’s an agonist of three different opioid receptors in your brain, which is where the pain relief comes from.


[0:18:29] Ashley James: Fascinating. Yeah. I was a little wary about kratom when I started to see these signs pop up in all the smoke shops. Not that I frequent smoke shops but you know, I’m driving by them. They have this sign outside that says, ‘Kratom sold here.’ I’m thinking, anything that a smoke shop sells is probably not good for you, right? So my red flags were up. But then I watched the documentary, A Leaf of Faith on Netflix. It’s still on Netflix. I really recommend watching A Leaf of Faith for anyone who is battling pain or has a friend or family member that’s battling pain or opioid addiction because it is a fascinating dive into the political fight on kratom and how many people are seeing results. Then, we question why if it’s all-natural and people actually get off of pharmaceutical drugs, because they get relief from kratom and there’s no deaths and overdoses. It doesn’t harm people like drugs do so it’s safe and natural and doesn’t profit the pharmaceutical companies. Then why is the government trying to shut it down but totally fine with pharmaceutical drugs that might hurt people?


[0:19:41] David Tomen: Because it’s a direct competitor to prescription medication.


[0:19:46] Ashley James: There’s a little conspiracy theory there. We got to question everything. We should always do our research and look into things to see if it’s right for us or not.


[0:20:00] David Tomen: There’s tons of misinformation out there. They’re saying they’re trying to ban it because it’s an opioid. It’s not. It’s a partial agonist of certain opioid receptors but it’s not a true opioid. In fact, it’s not an opioid. It doesn’t cause the respiratory effects that a prescription opioid does which is the reason why you can overdose on it. People do get in trouble with it for a couple of reasons. One, because its popularity has exploded that everybody and his brother is selling it. You can buy it in the local gas station which I do not recommend that you do because people are putting into these capsules stuff that should not be in those capsules. Yeah. It’s scary. You can physically get yourself in a lot of trouble if you don’t get the real stuff. So you just have to be very, very cautious about where you get it from.


[0:21:02] Ashley James: Where do you get it from?


[0:21:04] David Tomen: I use a company in Oregon called Phytoextractum. There’s another company in Pennsylvania that my wife gets it from and I can’t remember the name of the company, but I’ve got a link to Phytoextractum in my kratom review on the website. We’ve been buying it from them for years and years and they’ve been consistent. They test their stuff every which way because they’ve gotten into trouble one time. You know when one stuff is contaminated with salmonella? They said, “That will never ever happen again because our reputation is too important.” So now they test everything. They’ve got several different strains of kratom but it’s all absolutely pure. So, we buy the powder and make capsules out of it. But people also make out of it. When we first started using kratom, I didn’t know how to make capsules. So I would just put two or 3 grams in a yogurt and that’s how I would consume it which is fine. Now we make our won capsules.


[0:22:19] Ashley James: Right, because you get a jar of this powder. It’s a leaf, right? Or is it a –


[0:22:25] David Tomen: No, it’s a leaf. It’s just the leaf. So they just grind up the leaf so it’s a fine powder. Some people say you can smoke it. I wouldn’t smoke it. I don’t see the point in smoking it. I don’t know why you would smoke it. I don’t see any benefit in smoking it. You want to swallow the thing and digest it. That’s how you get the most benefit from it. Yeah. Just stick it in some yogurt or put it in some juice or a smoothie or make capsules of it. Learn what the different strains are and what they do. Then choose the strain that other people say helps them with the sleep or helps them with anxiety or helps them with pain. I find there is one strain in particular that helps me with pain.


[0:23:16] Ashley James: What strain is that?


[0:23:20] David Tomen: It’s just called Bali. It’s called Green Bali. The one from Phytoextractum. There’s another one called Red Bali that my wife uses to help her sleep. She doesn’t like using Ambien so she uses that instead. You see testimonials over and over and over and over again where people are using it to withdraw from opioid addiction, which is amazing. It really is amazing. I’ve actually got a link to a clinical study wherein the lab, they help people withdraw from opiates with a lot fewer withdrawal symptoms just by using kratom.


[0:24:11] Ashley James: Is that because it comes in and attaches with some opiate receptors? So it helps in that way?


[0:24:18] David Tomen: Yeah. It just attaches to them in a different way. I think on a different area of the receptor. A neuroreceptor is just not a neuroreceptor. There’s actually different attachment points. Kratom seems to attach to a different part of the opiate receptor than what prescription opiates do. According to the studies that I’ve seen, that’s how it works. I’ve never ever gotten high out of it, ever.


[0:24:50] Ashley James: That was my next question. What does it feel like to be on kratom?


[0:24:54] David Tomen: Less pain and less anxiety. You’re just in a better mood. You know, people talk about getting high off of it. I don’t know how to do it. You would have to use so much of it that I just like they’re talking 25 grams kratom and I just can’t imagine consuming that much. You take a 00 capsule. If you cram it, jam it jam it really really full that’s a gram. So that it’ll be like swallowing at least 25 or 30 capsules all at once. Why you want to do that, I have no idea.


[0:25:45] Ashley James: What’s the dose that you take for your pain right now managing your pain for the surgery that you’re recovering from?


[0:25:53] David Tomen: 8 to 10 grams.


[0:25:55] Ashley James: So, you make your own capsules. It’s about the size of your regular supplement capsule?


[0:26:01] David Tomen: Yeah. A large capsule.


[0:26:03] Ashley James: Okay. So a large supplement capsule. How many of those a day do you take and how long does it last?


[0:26:08] David Tomen: It lasts for about four hours. Depending on the level of pain, anywhere from 8 to 12 capsules.


[0:26:16] Ashley James: Every four hours?


[0:26:18] David Tomen: No. I do probably twice a day. Sometimes once a day.


[0:26:20] Ashley James: Maybe two to four capsules twice a day?


[0:26:25] David Tomen: No. I would do like eight capsules at once. Like in the morning maybe in the afternoon another eight capsules.


[0:26:37] Ashley James: That sounds like maybe a tablespoon of the powder I mean just to give us an idea.


[0:26:44] David Tomen: You know, people talk about tablespoons.


[0:26:48] Ashley James: I think a tablespoon is half an ounce like a shot glass, I think.


[0:26:54] David Tomen: I got a little scale by Blade that measures milligrams so I know what a gram looks like in powder piled on a scale. But if you fill up one of this 00 capsules, you’re looking at about 750 to 800 mg if it’s not packed too tight, 800 mg of powder. So, how much would that fill up a tablespoon? I don’t know. I never tried.


[0:27:20] Ashley James: Or like a regular-sized soup spoon. I’m just thinking like if someone could have an understanding of how much they’d put in their smoothie if it would be like just a spoonful.


[0:27:31] David Tomen: The best thing to do Ashley is to get one of those little scales.


[0:27:35] Ashley James: Got it.


[0:27:36] David Tomen: They’re $10.00 on Amazon, $10.00 or $12.00. The one that I have is made by, yeah it’s called Blade. It takes two AAA batteries. You switch it on and you pile some powder on it. It tells you how many grams it is or how many milligrams. Right down to the milligram.


[0:28:06] Ashley James: Got it.


[0:28:06] David Tomen: So I used to measure stuff like that but now I just kind of eyeball it because I know how much would a gram looks like.


[0:28:14] Ashley James: Right, and you figured out how much of that goes into the capsules. So it’s about eight capsules every four hours.


[0:28:22] David Tomen: I started out with a 20, what is it 20 or 25 capsules? Just this little capsule machine. That’s what I used for years. Now I’ve got one that does 100 capsules.


[0:28:33] Ashley James: You have a machine? Wow. I used to, when I was a kid, my first naturopath was Dr. D’Adamo, the creator of Eat Right for your Blood Type Diet. After seeing him, our whole family changed the whole diet and went dairy-free, wheat-free, sugar-free, yeast-free all that. He sent us home with a big powder because he had a compounding nutraceuticals clinic basically. So he compounded all of the nasty tasting, he just said drink it and I couldn’t handle it because it was raw B-vitamins you’re trying to get a 6-year-old to drink raw B-vitamins. I was brave. I chugged it and it felt it’s the most horrible taste ever.


[0:29:18] David Tomen: Well, that’s another reason why you want to encapsulate because it tastes like crap.


[0:29:22] Ashley James: Right. So he said, ‘you’re not going to drink it? We’ll make capsules.’ My entire childhood I made these capsules by hand. There was no machine back in the 80s to make our capsules for us. So I’m just laughing now that you can go on Amazon and buy a machine to make your own capsules because I sat there by hand for hours making our supplement capsules.


[0:29:42] David Tomen: You can get a 100-capsule machine from anywhere $14.00 to $20.00.  


[0:29:51] Ashley James: That is so great.


[0:29:52] David Tomen: You can buy the capsules now. You can buy the capsules either joined or separated. The separated capsules are a little bit more expensive because they have the short end in one bag and the long end in the other bag. So you just dump on one side of the capsule machine, you just dump a pile of the long part of the capsules and you shake it around and it slides into the holes. Then you dump off the excess back into the bag. Then you do the same side for the short end and then you just dump the powder on top of that. Use a credit card or something like that to spread it around to fill up the capsules. You get a little tamping thing to tamp it down then you fill a little bit more, tamp it down, fill a little bit more. Then you just put the top on and you squeeze it together. Take it off and capsules.


[0:30:42] Ashley James: That sounds so cool


[0:30:42] David Tomen: It takes me 10 minutes to make 100 capsules.


[0:30:47] Ashley James: Oh my gosh. That is so neat. To think of all the things that we could take. One of our listeners, Naomi, bought some herbs because she wanted to do her own parasite cleanse. She didn’t want to pay the big bucks to the big companies. So she got ground up and all organic and all good stuff, all the herbs. The clove and all that stuff. She made all her own capsules. I just thought how ingenious is that? If we cannot necessarily afford to take these herbs and buy them from the companies that are obviously making a profit, we cut out the middleman and go find where we can find the organic, high-quality herb ourselves and make our own capsules. But we should always make sure that we’re not taking too much, right? We should really be careful about the quality and the chain of custody. That there’s no mold on it. There’s lots of things that we need to do. If we’re going to make our own capsules, we have to really make sure that at every step in the way, that what we’re putting in our capsules is safe and clean. That’s why I like buying from companies because they’ve done the testing. I always buy from supplement companies that have done the testing for me.

Photo by Skyla Design on Unsplash


[0:32:01] David Tomen: Some of these companies you can go to their website and actually download a certificate of analysis for specific batches. The certificate of analysis is just, it’s a third-party lab that test whatever is in those capsules and they tell you on the certificate of analysis exactly what you’re getting. So look for companies that are willing to do that. Or you can either download it from their website where they say that it’s available if you ask their customer service. But I encapsulate all kinds of other stuff for a couple of reasons. One, it’s less expensive like L-Tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine and [unintelligible] adult ADD. I use stimulants so I need to raise my dopamine so I use L-Tyrosine or N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine. It’s better for me to get the powder because it’s cheaper and I make my own capsules. The other reason I like making my own capsules because I don’t want any “other ingredients.” When you take a look at a supplement label, you look down at the end of the supplement label and there is this part that says other ingredients. You see things like magnesium stearate and titanium dioxide and dicalcium phosphate and silica. I don’t want that stuff because not only is it not what I’m setting out to put in my body but this stuff is actually bad for you. Like magnesium stearate for example. Nearly every single supplement that you find on a shelf in the local vitamin shop has gotten magnesium stearate on the label. Why? It’s because it’s used as a flow agent. It helps speed up the encapsulation process. It stops the powder from sticking to mechanical equipment, right? So it’s helping the manufacturer but it’s not helping me.


[0:33:58] Ashley James: What are the negative effects of taking it?


[0:34:01] David Tomen: It suppresses your natural killer T cells which is a key component of your immune system. You don’t want to do that. Titanium dioxide is another classic one that you see on nearly every supplement. They used it to make things look more appealing color. The problem with it is that it leads to mitochondrial dysfunction. It damages astrocyte cells which prevents them from being able to absorb glutamate. So that induces oxidative stress and that causes mitochondrial damage. Another one I just came across that’s a little bit less. You don’t see it as often but it just happens to be on a nootropic stack that I’m reviewing right now that will remain nameless until I publish this thing but it’s called dicalcium phosphate. Dicalcium phosphate is used to help bulk out stuff like as a filler. So if you’re selling a supplement that’s 5 mg, you know how big 5 mg is?


[0:35:09] Ashley James: It’s small. Tiny.


[0:35:13] David Tomen: It’s teeny, teeny, tiny, right? You can’t get a 5 mg capsule. You won’t be able to pick the thing up. It’s so small. So they’ve got to put a filler in to fill the rest of the capsule. You can use things like rice flour, which is fine. But these guys use dicalcium phosphate. The thing is produced from either sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid.


[0:35:38] Ashley James: What does it do to the body?


[0:35:44] David Tomen: It’s often radioactive.


[0:35:46] Ashley James: What?


[0:35:47] David Tomen: Yeah. Well, it’s just hopefully your body just excretes it without doing any damage. But you’d really don’t want that thing going through your system.


[0:35:56] Ashley James: So besides rice gram what are some safe fillers? There’s one supplement I take that uses cinnamon as a filler. I mean it’s a blood sugar support. I don’t take it.


[0:36:07] David Tomen: Yeah, yeah. Something like cinnamon would be fine. Rice flour is fine. I mean, there’s only a couple of fillers that are natural. The encouraging thing Ashley is that this has been so pervasive for so long that now, once every two or three weeks I see a new supplement company pop up. So I take a look at their label to see what’s there. I find that a couple of them are producing a nootropics supplement that have no other ingredients which is a miracle. That’s one of the reasons why I love Opti-Nutra that makes Mind Lab Pro and Performance Lab line of supplements is because they don’t have. The only other ingredients are the capsule, which is made out of tapioca, and sometimes rice flour as a filler. That’s it. There’s no other ingredients. That is still very, very unusual. So that’s the other reason why I make my own capsules because I don’t have that stuff in there.


[0:37:14] Ashley James: Very cool. Now besides kratom, what other supplements are you taking to support the reduction of pain as your body is healing from the surgery?


[0:37:27] David Tomen: That’s the main one. There’s a lot of other stuff that is helping that too. I use Mind Lab Pro every day and that’s got lion’s mane in it. So we already talked about lion’s mane and we know how that helps your body heal. There are others and pine bark extract. Pine bark extract comes from the French maritime. It’s called French Maritime Pine Bark. It’s native to the Mediterranean region. The extract of that pine bark holds a thing called proanthocyanidins. It does all kinds of things. Improves blood flow in your brain which means your brain is getting more oxygen and more nutrients but it also helps tame inflammation. When you tame inflammation you reduce pain because a lot of pain comes from inflammation one way or another. So pine bark extract helps in that. My very first experience and I just thought of this when I was researching when I was getting ready for our talk, my first experience with a  nootropic for pain and I didn’t realize it was going on at the time and a couple of years later I realize what was going on. Choline citrate. I used to go to a rheumatologist. Because I’m a writer, I have excruciating should pain. The kind of shoulder pain that massages hardly helped. The doctor used to take big needles and inject stuff into my shoulders to try to help me relieve the pain and it wasn’t working. I was just in excruciating pain. But at the time, I realize I needed to boost acetic choline in my brain. One of the easiest ways is to do that. One of the cheapest ways to do that is with choline citrate. All it is choline combined with citrate which is an isocitric acid. The choline and the citrate combined, they contribute to the synthesis of acetic choline in your brain. The other thing that it does for some reason is it helps relieve muscle pain. I find that you have to take quite a bit of this stuff. Like typically, other acetic choline precursors like Alpha-GPC or CDP-Choline you take 350 mg or 600 mg. With choline citrate, you would take like 5 or 6 grams because it’s not very bioavailable. But choline is an essential nutrient. I find that when I was using it I would have less muscle pain. I didn’t realize that until I started researching how it worked in my body. I went, ‘Oh, that’s the reason why I’m having less pain.’


[0:40:55] Ashley James: Cool. So you think your body was deficient in it?


[0:41:00] David Tomen: Yeah. I know it was.


[0:41:02] Ashley James: So, does choline deficiency cause muscle pain?


[0:41:07] David Tomen: Well it can because acetic choline is your body’s signaling neurotransmitter. When you move your finger, that signal is acetic choline. Any muscle movement is signaled by acetic choline. So if there’s not enough acetic choline, what’s going to happen? You’re going to have slow reflexes, your brain’s not going to work as well and your muscles aren’t going to work as well either. There was a clinical study that researches found that providing 2 grams of choline prior to exercise prevented a fall in choline levels and raised choline levels above baseline values for up to two hours after exercise. The researchers found that choline citrate and choline bitartrate were equally effective as well as their two inexpensive supplements that you can buy. One randomized placebo-controlled study found improvements in running times by a significant amount over a 20-mile course when compared to those that were using a placebo compared to the people that were using choline citrate or choline bitartrate. So the dosage of choline citrate is 500 mg to 3000 mg per day.

So the other things that you can use for pain is Holy Basil. Holy Basil is it’s a member of the mint family. It’s also called tulsi or the incomparable one in Hindu. I mean they’ve used it in Ayurveda and the Greeks, the Romans, the Siddha, the Unani. They all used the Holy Basil for things like anxiety, cough, asthma, diarrhea, live dysentery, arthritis, eye diseases, eye [unintelligible], indigestion. I could go on and on and on. Even snake bites. Snake and scorpion bites and malaria. But they found that Holy Basil also helps back pain. It’s probably because Holy Basil is a very very potent antioxidant. It’s a natural COX-2 inhibitor. There are studies that show that some of the compounds included in Holy Basil including eugenol and rosemarinic acid have been compared to ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin in their pain-relieving qualities which is pretty amazing.


[0:44:09] Ashley James: How do we take Holy Basil? Is that like an extract, an essential oil?


[0:44:17] David Tomen: You can use in essential oil but I’ve got more experience and I think that it’s easier to note how much is in a capsule of an extract than it is in an essential oil. So the recommended dosage for Holy Basil extract is 300 to 2000 mg a day. You can also make Holy Basil tea just by pouring boiling water over fresh Holy Basil leaves and let it steep for five minutes. Of course, you don’t know how much you’re getting when you do it that way but it works.


Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash


[0:44:56] Ashley James: Yeah. It’s fairly safe to make teas. It’s hard to overdose or take too much of it from tea.


[0:45:02] David Tomen: Yeah. It’s highly bioavailable when you do it that way too. But I like capsules. I like extracts because I know exactly how much I’m putting in my body.  Rhodiola rosea is German researchers found that rhodiola works really well for pain, headaches, [unintelligible], hemorrhoids. They use it as a stimulant, as an anti-inflammatory. I’m trying to remember why rhodiola works so well for pain because I’ve only studied it for how it works in the brain. One research team found that rhodiola increased the number of neurons in the hippocampus in the people that they were treating. When you increase the number of neurons, of course, your cognition is better ad your memory is better. It plays a role in saving injured neurons in the hippocampus. Some of the neurological diseases that we’ve talked about earlier come from problems with the hippocampus. You can prevent it at least in part by using something like rhodiola rosea which helps save injured neurons.


[0:46:32] Ashley James: Yeah. I’m remembering that you have a whole article on recovering after stroke. Preventing stroke obviously, but with someone who had a stroke that there’s nootropics to heal the brain after a traumatic brain injury. We’ve talked about that in our past episodes.


[0:46:52] David Tomen: Taurine is an amino acid that is used by athletes. It’s also found in things like Red Bull. But most people find that using taurine, they’ve got sharper eyesight and their muscle pain is reduced and they’re less depressed. Any insulin resistance that’s present goes down.


[0:47:21] Ashley James: That makes me wonder if someone who has taurine deficiency would their insulin resistance get worse? Would their eyesight get worse? When you say things get better because someone takes taurine.


[0:47:36] David Tomen: Probably. It kind of like makes sense doesn’t it?


[0:47:39] Ashley James: It’s a nutrient deficiency that’s causing these problems?


[0:47:43] David Tomen: Yeah. So you just have to try. If you’re lucky enough to figure out what that nutrient deficiency is. If you can’t figure it out then you just start experiment with different things using a, you know doing a search of a site like Nootropics Expert and finding things like, ‘oh, okay. I’ll try taurine.’ They also found that taurine supplementation works for treating autism.


[0:48:17] Ashley James: Why is that?


[0:48:19] David Tomen: Autism spectrum disorder is thought to be associated with oxidative stress caused by your active oxygen species. So it kind of makes sense that oxidative stress is a potential target for therapeutic intervention for autism. Researchers in New York tested 66 children aged 1 ½ to 11 ½ years who are diagnosed with autism. The controls in this study were kids with their healthy siblings and parents.  The studies found that 21 out of 66 autistic children had low taurine concentration in their blood.


[0:49:13] Ashley James: What about the researchers’ families? Did the families also have?


[0:49:17] David Tomen: No. They had normal. Normal taurine levels. So the researchers conclude that the data implied that taurine may be a valid biomarker for at least some contributing to autism. So will it help? Don’t know. All you can do is try it. I’ve consulted with a couple of parents with kids that have got autism and that’s one of the things suggested. I’m not sure. I haven’t got any feedback from them yet on whether it’s helped or not.


[0:49:50] Ashley James: Interesting. I just did an interview yesterday with the doctor who created the GAPS diet. Dr. Campbell-McBride, Her diet is about healing the gut to heal the brain. She’s a neurologist. She healed her son’s. When her son was 2 years old had autism. He totally healed his gut with his diet and his autism went away. So she’s had really great success having reverse autism. Her diet is so high in these amino acids like taurine because the first phase of the diet, we shouldn’t even call it a diet. It’s a really strict program that lasts 1 ½ to 2 years. Then they kind of get weaned off of it because their gut is healed. Then they go back to almost all food after that. But the first phase is just bone broth basically and meat broths high in these amino acids. She had children that has completely reversing autism. I wonder if that’s one of those things that they were really deficient in those amino acids. That was what was –


[0:51:01] David Tomen: It sounds like it.


[0:51:03] Ashley James: Yeah. Interesting.


[0:51:05] David Tomen: Another thing that you can use for pain is PQQ. PQQ is you often see it combined with CoQ10 because those two help make ATP for healing mitochondria. We also find that PQQ promotes the growth of new mitochondria in the brain. It’s the only supplement that we know that does that. It helps grow neurons because it boosts the production of nerve growth factors in your brain. But we found that if you’re dealing with fibromyalgia you might get some benefit alleviating your chronic pain with PQQ. There was one clinical that the researchers concluded that supplementing with PQQ improves C quality and duration, mood improved due to less fatigue and appetite and pain all showed improvement.


[0:52:15] Ashley James: Cool.


[0:52:17] David Tomen: Yeah. Another one that we haven’t talked about is CBD oil.


[0:52:21] Ashley James: Yeah. I was just waiting for that. A lot of people have good results.


[0:52:27] David Tomen: Yeah. A lot of people do. I don’t use it. I’ve tried it a couple of times because I’m using other stuff it kind of for me it was like eh. But so many people report benefits with CBD. It kind of makes sense. CBD is one of at least 120 phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant. Cannabidiol is extracted from cannabis or marijuana in industrial hemp where it’s synthesized in the lab. Both hemp and marijuana are versions of the cannabis sativa plant, right? The thing is that CBD does not have the same psychomimetic or mind-altering effects as the main plant compound found in this plant THC.


[0:53:27] Ashley James: Right. So kids can take it. All adults can take. You can take it. You can take it and drive you’re not going to get high. You’ll feel relaxed.


[0:53:36] David Tomen: Actually, CBD is used to help counter the mind-altering effects caused by THC.


[0:53:42] Ashley James: Right. Yes. When people overdose on marijuana and they’re like tripping hard and they’re freaking out if they take CBD they’ll come down really fast. They’ll come back to earth.


[0:53:55] David Tomen: So, it primarily comes from cannabis flowers and the leaves of the marijuana plant. Hemp oil comes from the seeds of the marijuana plant but it doesn’t offer the same therapeutic benefits as CBD oil so don’t make the mistake of some company. Because this market too has just taken off in the last couple of years. Since the farm bill that was passed I think in December that took hemp off of, it’s no longer a Schedule I substance. People are advertising just hemp or in hemp oil as CBD oil and it’s not. CBD oil and hemp oil are not the same thing and they should not be confused. You won’t experience the same benefits with hemp oil as you will with CBD oil. SO you’ll pay more for CBD. That’s why you can buy hemp oil so cheap. CBD is a lot more expensive.


[0:54:56] Ashley James:  I’ve seen these companies that are like pain cream companies. They’re like, ‘Now, with hemp oil.’ I feel so angry about that. They’re just throwing in an oil it’s just from the seed, which you can go to Costco and buy the seeds. They’re great to eat. They’re delicious. They’re good to put in smoothies or on your salad. They’re great healthy fats. That doesn’t contain the CBD that we need, in the levels that we need if someone wanted to use it for pain relief. So just having hemp oil added or pain cream is really doing nothing for you. It’s like adding salad dressing to your pain cream. It’s not the same.


[0:55:44] David Tomen: It helps to know why CBD oil is more effective. CBD oil can be used as an antidepressant because it enhances serotonin and glutamate signaling via the 5-HT1A receptor which is a serotonin receptor. It also helps enhance GABA which is one of the reasons why CBD oils have been found to help in epilepsy in reusing seizures. Some of its antipsychotic effects are related to increasing levels of anandamide. It acts on CB2 receptors. They’re specific cannabinoid receptors in your body in your brain particularly in your brain that only respond to CBD, not the hemp. So CBD acts on CB2 receptors to produce an anti-inflammatory response in brain immune cells. The anti-cannabinoid system is they’re still trying to figure out exactly how it works.


[0:57:02] Ashley James: Just like we’re trying to figure out how the brain works, right? It’s all this new stuff about the brain.


[0:57:05] David Tomen: The anti-cannabinoid system is a group of receptors located throughout your body and brain. It consists of signaling molecules in the receptors. It’s CBD that attaches to endocannabinoid receptors, say that fast. There’s CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain and central nervous system and is the main molecular target for the endocannabinoid anandamide which is produced in your body and the THC you get from cannabis. The other main endocannabinoid is called 2AG which is also produced in your body and the CBD which you get from cannabis. So both 2AG and CBD are active at both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD cannot bind directly with CB1 receptors like THC can. But CB2 receptors are mainly expressed in immune cells in your body which is probably one of the reasons why it helps boost your immune system and it helps reduce pain.


[0:58:22] Ashley James: So good take preventively now as we’re coming into what they call flu season. Make sure that we’re adding healthy levels of CBD to our regular routine. Would you recommend that?


[0:58:38] David Tomen: And NAC.


[0:58:40] Ashley James: NAC. I love NAC. Yes.


[0:58:44] David Tomen: N-acetyl cysteine. I use 600 mg of NAC three times a day and I find that whenever everybody else is getting the flu or a cold in my family, I seem to not get it. It’s probably because I’m using NAC consistently and I have for years.


[0:59:03] Ashley James: You need to start slipping NAC into your family’s smoothies.


[0:59:07] David Tomen: Yeah. Okay. Why does that work? It works because NAC is a precursor to glutathione. So it’s a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and it’s a free radical scavenger. It also modulates glutamate levels and dopamine release in your brain which also helps people with adult ADD like me. It helps reduce irritability, anxiety, and depression. This is one of these supplements that I think everybody should be using.


[0:59:43] Ashley James: Absolutely. I use it for my liver and I notice a great difference when I use it. My son, I put it in his smoothies. Our naturopathic pediatrician has him on it. What’s really interesting is he had a really stuffy nose, this was I don’t know maybe a year and a half ago, two years ago something like that. He had a stuffy nose and she’s like, ‘Oh, yeah. You take NAC.’ It blows out stuffy noses. It makes all that mucus move again. So we got him on NAC and right away, his sinus is drained. I thought that was the coolest thing. So love NAC. What is it derived from?

 Photo by Chelsea shapouri on Unsplash


[1:00:26] David Tomen: It’s an acetyl group added to l-Cysteine. You get l-Cysteine naturally from eating things like ricotta and cottage cheese and yogurt and pork and chicken and turkey, duck, wheat germ, granola, oat flakes. They just add an acetyl group to l-Cysteine. L-Cysteine is a naturally forming, naturally occurring amino acid. Your body seems to readily accept it like that and separates the l-Cysteine to use to help boost all kinds of things including glutathione. It helps regulate the amount of glutamate in your brain. It influences the amount of dopamine available in your brain and it keeps dopamine receptors healthy, which is critical for somebody that’s ADD or ADHD that’s using stimulants that is not easy on receptors.

Another study with 30 adult male [unintelligible] of rats. They divided them into three groups. The control group received distilled water. The second group was given Aspartame. The third group was given Aspartame and NAC. Oral administration was done in the morning daily for 90 days. The study found that NAC affected brain deriving tropic level factors. It blocked COX-2 and PGE2 enzymes. It reduced the expression of interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor A inflammatory cytokines in the rat’s cerebral cortex. They found that NAC replenished glutathione levels. So the researchers concluded that NAC prevented neurotoxicity and improved neurological function. It suppressed brain inflammation and oxidative stress.


[1:02:34] Ashley James: So cool. We should all be on that.


[1:02:37] David Tomen: I know.


[1:02:38] Ashley James: Right. One of our listeners, Mike, wanted to know if you could talk about neuropathy? There’s different qualities of pain, different kinds of pain. You mentioned the pain like muscle pain. Now, your pain is very unique in that you’re healing a surgical injury. Other pains can be chronic. We have neuropathy where people often feel it in their limbs or in their extremities, their feet and their hands. Do you have any suggestions around helping neuropathy?


[1:03:17] David Tomen: I haven’t done a ton of research into it, but I think fibromyalgia is probably included in that area. I’m hypothyroid. One of the things that I have to deal with for years was fibromyalgia but I don’t anymore. It just went away. What I found after years and years of research was that one doctor, I think it was Brownstein, found that when they brought T3 level, thyroid T3 levels up to optimum, fibromyalgia went away. That’s probably what happened with me. When I finally got my thyroid levels where they were supposed to be, just fibromyalgia went away. I imagine, just to remind everybody that I’m not a doctor. I don’t play one on TV. I’m just an ordinary guy that has figured some of these stuff out by reading tons and tons and tons of clinical studies and trying these stuff on myself. But it seems to me that what we just talked about with NAC, things like COX-2, all the inflammatory enzymes and the expression of things like interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor A, all of these are inflammatory cytokines. They probably somehow contribute to neuropathy when they get out of wack, right? That just makes sense to me.


[1:05:11] Ashley James: Right. One of the naturopaths that I mentored with, Dr. Wallach who was a pathologist and a veterinarian and a research scientist before becoming a naturopathic physician says that. He has an interesting perspective because he was a pathologist so he’s used to looking at disease tissue on a cellular level under very big microscopes. He says that neuropathy is a combination of inflammation to the nerves and the nerves inability to regrow the myelin sheaths. So it’s a lack of the essential fatty acids, the healthy cholesterol needed to regrow the myelin and the constant bombardment of inflammation and oxidative damage to the nerves. So when we look at what is a really common illness that also has neuropathy is diabetes. Out of control diabetes either type 1 or type 2. When we have high blood sugar, and even someone who’s not diabetic but has extended periods of high blood sugar, high blood sugar causes a huge amount of inflammation and free radical damage to the body. Also, just the amount of damage over time leaves the limbs having less and less healthy blood flow. So now you’ve got nerves that have less good nutrients coming to them and constant bombardment of damage. The damage is more than the body can repair. Every time the body goes to repair it, it can only repair at 10% versus all the damage happening. So those who are able to their diabetes or type 2 diabetes are able to get their type 1 diabetes totally under control through nutrients, through good food, and through supplements are able to bring their body back into balance. They can reverse neuropathy. That neuropathy is reversible after they heal the root cause. So Dr. Wallach talks about giving the body the essential fatty acids it needs because 70% of the white matter of the brain is made of cholesterol. So we need to make sure that we’re feeding the body with healthy fats and obviously make sure that digesting and absorbing them. Because that’s a big problem that people are fat-deficient aren’t digesting. Maybe they don’t have their gallbladder. They’re not eating the right fats. They’re not digesting them and they’re not absorbing them. Then the body can’t utilize them. Make sure we’re doing things like the NAC and the other nootropics you’ve mentioned that help with decreasing inflammation and also being the free radical scavengers to mop up and soak up those free radicals so that we can put the fire out. It’s about putting the fire out instead of treating the smoke.


[1:08:19] David Tomen: And also I think it’s giving your body the nutrients that it needs to regrow myelin.


[1:08:25] Ashley James: Yes. Right.


[1:08:26] David Tomen: The only way that you can create myelin is with vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin B9 or folate, vitamin B8 or inositol, vitamin B6 pyridoxine and thiamin. [Unintelligible] is another one contributes to the synthesis of myelin. Those are the main ones. I think ashwagandha too contributes, you know what, I just found out conditions of chronic stress and excess cortisol your brain’s neurons are coated through sheath and myelin so this doesn’t count. Those are the main vitamins that your body needs for your body to actually synthesize myelin.


[1:09:30] Ashley James: Now, we really need to look at making sure that we’re getting the full spectrum of all 90 essential nutrients. All the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids. That we’re eating a diet that supports, we’ve talked about this in our previous episodes, but eating a diet that’s supportive of the neurological system and the body as a whole. Also practicing a lifestyle that supports the neurological system like getting enough sleep and getting out of stress mode. Getting into the rest and digest the parasympathetic neuro-response of rest and digest so that the body can heal and focus on healing. So there’s a lot that we can do naturally in our day to day lifestyle. Every meal we have can support our whole body. Also, the supplements that we take throughout the day. I love that there’s this resource because I consider you a research scientist. I mean you’re an autodidact. You’re self-taught but you pour-over, you’ve spent hundreds of hours poring over all the research. If you go to an MD or you walk into a medical office and go to a doctor, they’re highly trained but do they spend hundreds of hours poring over the latest research? They probably don’t.


[1:10:47] David Tomen: No because they haven’t gotten time too. Some of them aren’t just interested. Others just, when you go in to see a doctor, how often does it take for you? You show up for a 1:30 appointment and you actually see the doctor at 2:00 or 2:30 because he’s just slammed. When is he going to have time to research? These people just haven’t got time to spend time researching this stuff. We’re kind like on our own with a lot of this.


[1:11:20] Ashley James: That’s why we’re all listening to this interview right now because we’re on our own. I mean obviously, we want to have doctors in our corner. They’re on our team but we have to take them off the pedestal and say, ‘I’m the employer. You’re on my team. You’re not the boss. I’m the boss. You’re going to help me inform me on my health. But I need to go collect other information too like listening to this episode to support my health.’ Now, this episode’s not meant to treat anything. I don’t normally do a legal disclaimer because common sense, this is information. You take this information. You keep educating yourself. You obviously talk to your doctor before changing any supplements. Talk to a doctor that’s trained in supplements like a naturopathic physician for example.


[1:12:04] David Tomen: They do exist.


[1:12:06] Ashley James: Right, they are amazing. If there are not in your state, you can tell a medicine. I’ve got lots of interviews with naturopaths that would love to talk to you. We always want to consult a doctor especially if it would in any way interact with a medication we’re on. That’s something we’ve talked about David in our past episodes. That you also dive into the research about these nootropics, these supplements and how they can interact in a negative way with certain prescriptions. Also, there’s some that interact in a positive way.

There is a naturopath, one of them that trained me in my past, talked about whenever he had to prescribe a drug would prescribe all the nutrient cofactors that would actually make the drug more efficient. So he would prescribe a smaller dose. So let’s say for example he had to prescribe metformin, I really really really hate metformin for many reasons. But let’s say he did that. He would also prescribe, he’d look at what does metformin, for example, decrease in the body? Let’s say it decreases B12, right? So just like cholesterol-lowering drugs which do damage to the liver and force the liver to create less cholesterol. That’s how they work. They actually damage the liver. They also hurt the mitochondria and decrease our CoQ10. So you have to take a CoQ10 supplement with them. So he’d look at what does this drug reduce in the body so we have to supplement that. But then you’d also have to look at what would increase the effectiveness of the drug? So it might be certain minerals or certain whatever would help the receptors, right? He found that he could make drugs more efficient with over the counter supplements.

That’s really interesting because then it brings us back to if the body becomes more efficient when we take vitamins and minerals and essential fatty acids and amino acids. If we take these over the counter supplements from really high-quality companies obviously. And the body becomes more efficient and has less and less disease or less and less symptoms. This is where I keep going. It’s like the deficiency is causing the illness and yet we always run to a drug, this is what we’re trained to do, run to a drug to mask a symptom. This is what our MDs are trained in, masking symptoms and managing symptoms with drugs but not getting into the root cause.

Back in the 50s there’s a doctor, and you can find this on wiki really interesting, the doctor was able to turn type 2 diabetes on and off in rodents, I think it was rats, by removing chromium or adding chromium to their feed. Thus concluding that chromium deficiency, which is a trace mineral, causes the insulin to not work correctly with the cell. So chromium, vanadium aspartic acid, bitter melon, cinnamon. These are all supplements that we can take to support making insulin work correctly with the cell. I know a type 1 diabetic that was able to reduce his insulin by 75% after getting on those nutrients.


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash


[1:15:34] David Tomen: Isn’t that amazing?


[1:15:35] Ashley James: Amazing.


[1:15:36] David Tomen: Wouldn’t it be wonderful that every doctor did this? But they don’t. So it’s up to us.


[1:15:39] Ashley James: But the information’s out there.


[1:15:41] David Tomen: It’s up to us to get this information and help the doctor heal our bodies.


[1:15:47] Ashley James: Right. Right. Exactly. So that’s my little, ‘be sure to work with your physician and make sure to do your own research before you go take any of this.’ Right? This is all just for information because we want to help you to make more informed choices. Now, on the topic of pain, I have to share something really exciting that happened the other day. Had a friend come over to do a little playdate with our kids, our kids are all the same age. I have one kid she has a bunch. She is back up and walking after being basically bed-ridden or couch-ridden for months. She was in a horrible accident and broke both of her ankles. She has this big wicked scars on both sides of both ankles. We didn’t get into the details as to exactly how it happened but she had lots of surgeries to correct it. She was on crutches for a long time. Finally, she’s up to walking but she says she can’t even clean the house or do the dishes in the kitchen because she really can’t stand for long periods of time before it is hurting again. She really doesn’t want to take any opioids and she was really clear about that. I had with me the magnesium soak that I believe in. I know magnesium is great for pain. If the body is deficient in magnesium it’s hard for the body to turn off the pain receptors to shut the channel and stop sending that signal. So I get her to soak in magnesium and she almost cried at the end of it. She said, “This is the first time I’ve been out of pain since before my accident. I have been in months and months of pain.” She couldn’t believe it. She texted me hours later she goes, “I’m still out of pain. I have to get some of this stuff. I can’t believe it.”

So something as simple as soaking in magnesium can, again it comes back to, it’s not that magnesium stops pain. It’s that if the body’s deficient in it then our pain can become exacerbated because the neuro system is not working correctly. Magnesium is what the nerves, magnesium, and calcium are needed for the nerves to send proper signals. Yeah. I know you talked about magnesium and the importance of it on your website as well.


[1:18:10] David Tomen: I do. I love stories like that. I love them.


[1:18:14] Ashley James: Isn’t that cool?


[1:18:15] David Tomen: Yeah. I need to start collecting more testimonials from the people that are coming to Nootropics Expert and months later going, ‘Wow. My life has changed.’


[1:18:28] Ashley James: Well you have a bunch of them on your website. What I love about your articles is at the bottom it’s like blog style and that people can leave comments. It’s very active. We have that on as well but yours, yours is very active. Lots of people sharing their testimonials on your website. So it’s fun to go through and read it. But it would be great if you were to kind of compile them into like a little testimonials section because it brings people hope. Hope that they can heal their bodies. I was really sick. Really, really sick like in my 20s. If I had that resource to show me that there’s hope, it would’ve accelerated my willingness to dive into this world. It would’ve accelerated my motivation to see that there’s hope. It really helps us to start behaving in a positive way and moving in this direction. So I think it would be beneficial to do that. The next time we have you on the show you could come and share some of those stories of success.


[1:19:35] David Tomen: All right. Let me do that. It’s funny, I was booking a bunch of consultations and one lady from, I don’t know where. Someplace in the world, I don’t know where she is. Russia? I don’t know where. I don’t remember. But I sent her a message saying, “This is what. How to prepare for this consultation. This is what I expect from her.” Her response back to me. The very last sentence before sincerely or thank you or whatever, I finally have some hope. Now, it just brings tears to your eyes when you see stuff like that.


[1:20:13] Ashley James: You’ve been doing a lot of consultations lately. We were talking about that before we hit record. I’d love for you to share because you were telling how cool it was. Like how many people you’re helping one on one. Can you walk us through what it’s like working with you?


[1:20:29] David Tomen: You can book for half an hour or an hour. I charge $100.00 for a half an hour, $200 for an hour. Why would you want to do this? You’ll save time trying to figure this thing out on your own. You can save yourself money because you’re going to avoid trying the wrong supplements. You just don’t blindly walk to the Whole Foods and stand in front of the vitamin shelf and ho, ‘what am I going to get?’ You stay safe by avoiding interactions with prescription meds that you’re on. And you just have more confidence in what you’re putting in your stack together or your supplements together. You just feel more confident in what you’re doing. You’ve got the peace of mind that somebody’s got you back. So that’s why you want to do something like this. People just ho to, I use Calendly to book this. There is a link on the website. If you go to the menu Store dropdown menu consultations. You just click on the link for consultations and you book a time. I ask you to send me a list of the supplements that you’re currently taking. The list of medications that you’re currently on. What your health issues are that you’re dealing with and what you would like some help with. What your goals are for that session. I spend a couple of hours after I get those notes I spend a couple of hours in research finding what the best recommendations are for that person. Then we spent half an hour, typically an hour is better for the first consultation. We talk about how to deal with whatever it is that they’re dealing with. After the consultation, usually, the next day, I send the, one or two pages of notes from that call with just notes of what we talked about so that they’ve got something to refer to. So they know if we talked about they know they need to get this and this and this, they don’t need to take notes during the call because I already have that and I’ll send it to them afterward. So that’s what you get with a consultation.


[1:22:48] Ashley James: Right. So if they want an hour with you it costs $200.00 but what they’re actually getting is about five hours of your time because you spend a few hours before and a few hours after the consultation. First, you do all your research for them. Then you talk to them and consult them. Then afterward, you compile all the information together into an email, into an actual plan for them. So that’s probably about five? That sounds like about five hours that they would get out of you for that $200.00. That seems very reasonable.


[1:23:24] David Tomen: It’s one of the reasons why I don’t promote consultations very much or very often just because it’s so time-consuming for me. But people do find it really, really, really helpful.


[1:23:37] Ashley James: Well, I know that someone’s nerves are probably going to want to talk to you now that we’ve let them know about it.


[1:23:45] David Tomen: I would love to. Just tell them that Ashley sent you maybe I’ll be even nicer. It’s just I’m nice all the time. Yeah. Just send people over and I’ll help them if I can.


[1:23:59] Ashley James: What’s that sound?


[1:24:01] David Tomen: Rain. It just started raining, pouring over here. I live in South Florida by Miami and when it starts to rain here.


[1:24:11] Ashley James: It sounds wonderful now that I know that it’s rain. I thought it was like a monster coming to attack you. I was like, ‘what is that sound?’


[1:24:17] David Tomen: When it rains here, it rains.


[1:24:19] Ashley James: It sounds like something from that, remember that TV show Lost? I was like, ‘what is going on?’


[1:24:26] David Tomen: Yeah. When it rains here it pours.


[1:24:27] Ashley James: Well, beautiful. I do have a healthy level of jealousy that you live in gorgeous, what is that Miami that you live in?


[1:24:34] David Tomen: It’s north of Miami.


[1:24:36] Ashley James: North of Miami, beautiful area. We talked about grounding and earthing, you and I. You said that you go barefoot with your dogs when you walk them because you can 12 months of the year in Florida.


[1:24:53] David Tomen: Although it does get kind of chilly in January and February.


[1:24:56] Ashley James: Don’t even. I’m sorry but you can’t say that to someone who lives in Seattle and grew up in Toronto. It gets below freezing twice in the last week here. So you can’t say it’s called there when people aren’t wearing parkas and boots and winter jackets.


[1:25:16] David Tomen: Well, you can tell who the tourists are and the snow burns are because it’s 50 degrees outside and us, we’ve all got winter coats on. These people are walking around in t-shirts and shorts.


[1:25:27] Ashley James: Yes. Yup. I remember, when I was a kid we went to Mexico and it was 15 degrees Celsius. Let’s see here, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. All the locals were wearing two sweaters. They didn’t know what to do with themselves. I’m walking around in shorts and a t-shirt going, ‘this feels so good’ because I came from -30. It’s so funny. Are there any nootropics that help people with temperature?


[1:25:54] David Tomen: L-Tyrosine


[1:25:56] Ashley James: L-Tyrosine. So if someone is always feeling cold or has cold hands, cold feet should they try taking L-Tyrosine?


[1:26:04] David Tomen: It just seems to help with when you’re in a stressful situation. Athletes used them. It helps them with endurance. Particularly weather-related stress. They perform better when they’re in cold weather in sports when they’re using something like L-Tyrosine.


[1:26:27] Ashley James: Interesting. Well, you got to get your whole family on that for the winter.


[1:26:32] David Tomen: Yeah. When it drops down to 50 degrees here.


[1:26:34] Ashley James: Yeah, 50 degrees. I dream of 50 degrees in the winter. David, it’s been such a pleasure having you back on the show. I always love it when I get to talk with you. Is there anything that you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview or any homework you’d like to give us?


[1:26:51] David Tomen: Help your doctor help you. Really. There is just so much information that’s available now. It’s sound information. It’s real information. I mean, I mention this earlier. I’m not a doctor. I don’t play one on TV. I research this stuff. But this stuff is real. It’s available. You can find it out for yourself. One place that you can use as a resource is because there’s hundreds of hundreds of hundreds of pages that you can use to research. You can get my book, Head First, which is nearly 600 pages of everything. It’s like a brain repair manual. You can also get a free download of Secrets of the Optimized Brain, which is a little e-booklet, 75 pages. All that is dietary supplements that help the brain nootropics. There are probably 70 or 75 in that 75-page booklet of what they are, where they come from, how much you take, what kind you buy. So that’s free. That’s a free download. Just this help is available. Just reach out for it. You can fix yourself.



[1:28:12] Ashley James: Wonderful. There is hope. Thank you so much David Tomen for coming on the show today.


[1:28:16] David Tomen: Thank you for having me back.


[1:28:18] Ashley James: All the links are going to be on the show notes of today’s podcast. It’s my pleasure. Thank you. We can’t wait to have you back on the show.


[1:28:25] Outro: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition? And how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity. Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and to figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business and support people in their success? Do you love helping people?

You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health coaching certification program. And it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over a hundred dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition. But from a standpoint of how we can help people to shift their life and shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health. I definitely recommend you check them out. You can Google Institute for Integrative Nutrition or IIN and give them a call. Or you can go to and you can receive a free module of their training to check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in. Be sure to mention my name Ashley James and the Learn True Health podcast because I made a deal with them that they will give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program. And I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information.

We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctors’ offices, you can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help your local schools shift their programs to help children be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them in their success and their health goals. There are so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach.

So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Mention my name, get the best deal. Give them a call and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon. The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month. So you’re going to want to call them now and check it out. And if you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.

Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price. That’s Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome program.


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Book by David Tomen

Secrets Of The Optimized Brain (E-book)

Head First – The Complete Guide to Healing and Optimizing Your Brain with Nootropic Supplements  (Ebook)


Check out other interviews of David Tomen!

Episode 374: How To Improve Brain Cognition With Nootropics

Episode 362: Nootropics

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