James Swanwick: I am James Swanwick and today on the show we’ve got Wade Lightheart who is the co-founder and president at BiOptimizers, a digestive and health optimization company. He’s a three-time Canadian National, all-natural Bodybuilding Champion, who competed as a vegetarian. A former Mr. Universe competitor. He is the host of the Awesome Health podcast and he’s one of the world’s premier authorities on natural nutrition and training methods. Wade has been in the health industry for over 25 years, he’s coached thousands of clients and he’s sought out by athletes and high performance oriented individuals worldwide for his advice on how to optimize their health and fitness levels. He and I’ve worked out next to each other a couple of times at Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, and we’ve bumped into one another at the Erewhon supermarket at Venice Beach. I recall being in Phoenix, Arizona, or Scottsdale, Arizona, with him actually at a business mastermind as well, where we got to socialize a little bit and hang out and have some fun. Wade, how are you mate? Great to have you here.
Wade Lightheart: Dude, always a pleasure when we get to connect so it’s great to be on the show. Thank you for having me.
James Swanwick: Just before we started recording here, you were telling me about your cool little home pad in Venice Beach, California. Just tell us a little bit about that.
Wade Lightheart: Yeah, this is a good point to bring up for people because of this COVID craziness. There’s a lot of people focused on the negativity and I can believe that when it all happened. I had moved down to Venice, I was excited to train at Gold’s Gym, and I got this place close to the beach. COVID broke out, we didn’t know what was going on. I went to Sedona for three months, everything kind of settled, the gym was closed, they opened Gold’s back, I said, yay, my dream is going to come true. I came back and I found myself living in the most expensive ghetto in America, trash all over the streets. I was breaking up fights between domestic disputes, between people who were, you know, on drugs or mentally ill or something like that, homeless, all that sort of stuff. It was not a good place to be, especially the price I was paying. So long story short, we went wandering through a little ways away here and we found this brand new building that had never been used. Because the rates were depressed because of the market challenges that are happening I was able to negotiate a great deal. Now right here, we’re in my office, which is on the bottom floor then we got two floors of living space. On the second and third floor with biohacking rooms that we’re filling up with all kinds of gear and then I’ve got my own gym which I’ve moved from Gold’s to God’s gym, as I’m under the Great Blue dome, with sunshine and palm trees and, and a power rack and an assortment of gizmos that allows me to continue on with my training career. The ironic thing is, I was up there about a month into this training and now it doesn’t have all the equipment that you’d have at a Gold’s Gym, but I wouldn’t Yeah, I don’t really care if the gym opens up again. I’m having so much fun training outdoors here in the sunshine and the other stuff. Yeah, I don’t have all the other things but if Golds doesn’t open up, doesn’t matter. I’m happy as a clam anyways, I’m not going to let external circumstances ruin my life.
James Swanwick: Yeah, that’s a great attitude. Just for context, if someone’s listening and they’re not familiar with Gold’s Gym. Gold’s gym is kind of like the mecca of bodybuilding isn’t it? It’s right there in Venice Beach, California, it’s where Arnold Schwarzenegger and all the original og’s of the Mr. Olympia championships used to train. When I lived in Venice Beach I would often see Schwarzenegger training, in fact, I got to do two sets of lat pulldowns with him one time, which was a great thrill for me. He didn’t really say much, but just doing it with him and like, you know, waiting for him to finish and then, you know, exercising with him for those two rounds. It was like it was a great thrill. As I understand it, Gold’s just shut down completely when COVID hits, is that right Wade?
Wade Lightheart: Yeah, they did. They had a brief opening for 10 days, and then they closed back down again and it’s been that way ever since and it’s sad. Rather than get depressed about the whole thing, I started to find ways around it, and turned out I found the biohome, and now I have my best biohacking center and it’s only going to get better from here on out. You know, when life gives you lemons, you can either just, sit there with a sour taste in your mouth or you can get to work and turn it into lemonade, and I really believe in that philosophy. So it’s been despite all the mitigations and my personal opinion about the whole thing, which is another story. We’re moving forward regardless of what you know, fat people in suits who have power interest as opposed to my health and well being an interest, whatever they’re doing, it’s irrelevant to what I’m going to be able to do with what I can do in my life. I encourage everyone to think the same way. Today, I got my new set of Swannies, which are pretty style. I got to say, I almost look intelligent with these things. So I’m feeling very strong and powerful with this.
James Swanwick: So if you’re listening and you’re not quite sure what’s going on, Wade is wearing a pair of the Swannies, blue light blocking glasses, the nighttime ones with the orange lens. I’m wearing a pair of the daytime ones with the clear lens with the aviators. Just on that, have you seen both sides of the coin, where you’ve seen people who, when COVID hit, they responded similarly in a similar fashion to the way you did, which is okay, I’ve got lemons, I’m gonna make lemonade, and they’ve shifted, and now they feel that their situation is now better. Likewise, have you had friends in your community who have gone the other way where COVID hit and, you know, life has given them lemons, but they’re still going well, life has given me lemons, have you seen both of those sides? What are your thoughts on that?
Wade Lightheart: I have. Keep in mind, you know, to be clear, when this first hit, we didn’t know anything. I exited out of the big city because I recognized immediately that the consequences of whatever this thing was, could be definitely severe and significant. I said I needed to gather information and data to kind of make a choice and there was always, you know, it was all over the place and still is today, still is today. When I came back, I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue to live in the city. I had a lot of my friends move out, I’ve seen a lot of businesses closed down, especially the brick and mortar and I really think it’s unfair. It doesn’t make much sense to me how the mitigations are different in every state and sometimes even in cities. How somehow COVID can be blocked by a Plexiglas glass, or I can wear a mass standing up, I know, but the lineup to the restaurant, but I can sit outside, literally a foot away from that, now I don’t have to wear a mask. So I do believe that there is much more at foot here and I think that people have got to recognize that even though the data has actually shifted like this, the CDC has changed. When we talk about comorbidities, and we talk about this sort of stuff, the fact that we’re still in a lockdown, the fact that we have agents that are using this as for political gain, one way or the other, I think is despicable. It’s horrific and we have yet to see the real consequences, the economic consequence. No one’s talking about the millions of people who have died worldwide because of the financial consequences that trickle down into developing countries and things like that. I think what we have is a lot of stress and a lot of anxiety and when you’re faced with stress, stress is a normal part of living. This is an incredible amount of stress in this incredible array of conflictive information. Whatever camp you start to lean to the algorithms keep rewarding that until you end up in some sort of tribalism, which now has a political overtone outside of the medical side of it, and people have lost trust with each other, they’re going crazy and all this sort of stuff. The economic damage is real and it’s going to continue because of all these stimulus bills, we’re all paying for it and that’s going to be a consequence. Now, in the meantime, during this time, a lot of people have been focused on who’s right, who’s wrong. So a lot of people have been focused on what you’re going to do. I’ve had friends that had their brick and mortar businesses completely shut down and wiped out, destroyed and they’re doing extraordinary. I was talking to a good friend of mine last night, his business was absolutely decimated, family business, been around for 35 years and he has redeveloped a new relationship with his kids. He’s taken his health to the next level, he got to hear some things that were on the line and I was talking to him last night he said this has been the best thing that’s ever happened to him. He’s taken his kids to school, he’s got a relationship with his kids. He’s upgraded his gym, the kids are training, the families training, they’re biking together. He says I’m having a whole experience of life that I’ve never had in his entire history. It’s awesome. Now he says I’m not winning financially, but I’m winning in other areas. I’ve got people like our company, we’ve exploded with growth. Our company has gotten more attention and more interest because of many of the immune system supporting products that we have people taking for their health. The fact that we’re a digital-based company and aren’t reliant on brick and mortar, the fact that we can all live isolated or places around the world and work and do our work and all those things. So we were a company that did better than there’s other people that got destroyed and other people that are, you know, wasting all their time on things that they can’t control and getting stressed out, and they’re getting anxious and I think that is very real. If you look at suicide, you look at pharmaceutical abuse and use and alcohol and violence and crime and all these things that have gone up in a lot of different areas with which people who’ve made maybe made poor choices in their response to this situation. The evidence would certainly indicate that being able to handle stress and having a healthy body and a healthy mind, and the ability to step back and analyze information and go Hmm, is the narrative I’m listening to true? But what are the real facts? What does critical thinking say? I’m just grateful to be on the positive side of that camp. It could have been terrible, but it worked out. All right for me. So there’s part luck and part action.
James Swanwick: So the part action, the thing, the mindset that drives your action, where did you and how did you develop that. As I said, when I was introducing you, you’re a three-time Canadian National natural bodybuilding champion, you competed as a vegetarian, you’ve been a former Mr. Universe competitor. Just tell us a little bit about your story about how you developed this mindset of turning lemons into lemonade and how you view all of your actions in the world?
Wade Lightheart: Well, there’s two major influences that I would have to say, in my early formative years that made that impact and the first one was my father. We were living in a very rural environment, we didn’t have a lot of money so if something broke on the car, or something broke on the house, or we had to build something, or fix something, my dad went out there and figured it out oftentimes with poor tools, poor equipment, lack of resources, and just ingenuity creativity and and and I worked with him for a number of years. Keep in mind it was, it was five miles to my nearest neighbor, on a dirt road in the middle of the woods. So what do you do when the power goes out and you don’t get the roads plowed for three days? You better be prepared, you better have firewood ready, you better have generators ready. What do you do if you can’t have access to food for extended periods of time? Sometimes you couldn’t get to the grocery store for maybe a week, you had to be prepared for all these things. There was no internet back then, there was no GPS back then. You needed to know how to fix the snowblower when it wasn’t working right, you need to know how to do these things. So my dad taught me self reliance, of how to deal with extreme levels of adversity where there was no one to turn to. There was no Google, there was no Amazon, there was no any of these things and so my dad instilled that into me. I think those little wins, whether it was figuring out how to fix the carriage on the lawnmower, whether it was you know, learning how to Jerry rigged some things that would hold together so I could get home. These little things, I think built a little bit of confidence of what to do when something happened. Also, the importance of preparation for when bad things happen because sooner or later, bad things are going to happen in everybody’s life. It’s how you’re going to handle it, how you’re going to manage it that was that thing. But that was more of a management of crisis, It wasn’t really moving to a position of excellence in front of you should bring up Arnold Schwarzenegger. Because when I was 15 years old, as many people know, my backstory, we moved to this rural place I had it was a 15-minute ride to get sometimes on a snowmobile to get to the bus, an hour bus ride to school, an hour bus ride home, 15 minutes back up the hill taken away from all my friends, all that stuff. It sucked. I hated it. My sister was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a form of cancer. My parents were completely, you know, integrated in trying to get her care. She died after four years of watching just the most horrific transformation of a world-class athlete going to death. That was a very stressful time and you had to learn to manage that. But she gave me a bodybuilding magazine that had a choice clodagh on the cover, Mr. California, two pretty girls on it. He had all these muscles and they were pretty and I was going out of my mind with testosterone. I was like I got into working out and at that time Arnold Schwarzenegger was the number one television star in the world. He was a former Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia, he was married to the Kennedys, he was living in California, he had everything that I want in his book education. I picked up his book Education of a Bodybuilder and inside that book, he said you can achieve anything you want in life with three basic things, a positive attitude, self-discipline, and hard work. Now I had heard the hard work story, everybody I knew around me worked really really hard and had nothing to show for it but aching joints, broken bones, arthritis, and dysfunction but a positive attitude and self-discipline wasn’t something I heard about. I became a disciple, if you will of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I just preached whatever Arnold said, I got his Encyclopedia of bodybuilding. I read his books, I watched his movies. I watched Conan the Barbarian, once a week, because it was the story of this guy that was in his terrible life, he was a slave, he was thrown into cage fighting and he just kept overcoming challenge until eventually, he became the victor and King by his own hand. That was a story that I was like, that’s me. I took on that super person, that person that stopped at nothing, that Terminator mentality that every obstacle is something that gives you an opportunity to rise beyond. That’s what I’ve implemented into my life ever since and it’s worked out.
James Swanwick: So that you had the hard work down. How did you cultivate the positive attitude?
Wade Lightheart: That was the toughest part because I was in an environment of negative Nellies and my natural nature is extremely negative by nature. I’m one of those people, because of the training that my father put inside me. You’re always looking for the flaw in things, are the tires down, are the brakes not working, is the oil not checked, is the roof shingle going? So I just noticed these things. There’s a negative association and how you identify that because in rural environments, when you’re running a woodcutter, you’re wanting a bulldozer or you’re running a tractor or something like that, people scream at you in a very, I would say, politically incorrect tone with damaging language to get your attention. The reason is that if you make a mistake, somebody loses an arm, somebody’s house gets knocked down or somebody dies. This gets burnt into your nervous system very early and it’s very hard to overcome this. In fact, my statement at my university graduation in my yearbook was life is not fair so neither am I. That was where I was at 18 years old. Now I was reading the books and I was doing this stuff. I was really identified, I think with the victim of the slave that was working away, and it was angry and frustrated and didn’t know how to go but I just wanted out and I was going to do whatever it took. But over time, through training, through Tony Robbins, through Arnold Schwarzenegger, through a spiritual endeavor of everything that you could possibly, every tool, chemical, herb, experience, teacher that I could find and I started to notice patterns. The most successful people that I met developed extremely positive attitudes for an extended period of time, even under trying conditions. Over time, slowly, but surely, it seemed to warp into becoming an extreme optimist. I’m actually the opposite now. When things are bad, I’m like, hey, it’s really sucky and bad. Isn’t that great? Because it’s going to make a great story when we win.
James Swanwick: Yeah,I like that. I call that the flipper Rooney. I remember being in our living in San Francisco 2013 with a friend of mine, Manish Satie. We were staying in the mission for about 30 days. We’ve got an Airbnb place there and we’re working on a little business idea. If anyone’s been to San Francisco in July, you would think that it would be super hot like because that’s a US summer, right? But it’s actually dark and gray and quite cold because of the way that the wind or the temperature that comes out of the air comes off the Is it the San Francisco Bay, I got to make
Wade Lightheart: Sure it’s terrible. It’s cold, just eerie and foggy and nasty,
James Swanwick: Shocking and middle of July. Anyway, I started complaining about this a few days in a row. I was like, God, it’s so I can’t believe it’s July and it’s cold. I gotta wear a jumper to go to the gym. I realized that we were complaining, like a lot after a few days and we agreed that we were going to come up with this system, that anytime we caught ourselves complaining, we would then have to finish the sentence with a positive. So the first time when we started this, it was like, Ah, man, it’s so overcast again today and then we both look at each other and go, which is awesome because it’s different. It’s kind of like that famous author who described San Francisco? I think it was Oscar Wilde or someone who described San Francisco as being gloomy in the summer in San Francisco, isn’t that cool that we get to live into that very famous story. You know, like we just even if it didn’t make any sense, the sense that the fact that we were attempting to complete the sentence with a positive did two things, rewire our brain into looking at every obstacle as a potential opportunity to turn it around and two actually just reduce the number of times that we complained.
Wade Lightheart: Exactly. And you do have to make these little tricks, whatever it takes, in order to reap out our thinking because most of our thoughts are habitual patterns, they’re not actually really legitimate. Many of those have been programmed into us by the people that we hang around, or what our influences, and then that becomes, quote-unquote, our truth. What you expose yourself to, and what you continually kind of recycled your brain is, can lift you to the highest heights, and it can take you to the lowest depths. Being mindful of what comes into your consciousness is perhaps the most important decision that anybody makes in their life, and you need to make it every single day.
James Swanwick: What barriers do you put up to prevent the stuff that you don’t want to enter into your conscious or your subconscious?
Wade Lightheart: Yeah, great question. So first and foremost, I do a little bit of a review, every evening. I start my day with an energization in a meditation practice and I end my day, oftentimes with a meditation, energization practice but even if I don’t do the meditation, I will review the day in my mind. I lie down in bed, and I’ll be thinking about, alright, what were the interactions of the day? What things that I respond in a good way and what things that I respond in a poor way? And then I analyze and if I notice patterns that I’m responding poorly and circumstances around certain people, I dive a little deeper into those conversations. It’s kind of easy to spin off into a form of negativity or positivity, despite depending who you’re around. The other thing I learned from one of my teachers is, how do I feel after I spend time with someone. After you hang out with someone for an hour, two hours, whatever, and II walk away, what is the overall feeling that I have at that time? Am I upbeat and positive or do I feel drained. If I feel drained, I have to limit my exposure to that person or those ideas. The other thing is if I start catching myself going down a negative track, which I still, like I said, it’s easy to do, I tried to edit it. I love your word flipper Rooney, I’m gonna borrow that one, I try and track it in a direction we go somewhere that’s a little bit more positive, a little bit more upbeat, a little bit more productive. That doesn’t mean to be Pollyanna, and that doesn’t mean that you’re not supportive of people who are going through a tough time. One of the things that I think almost all of my close friends would tell you is I’m always ready to lend a hand or an ear to my friends who are having a challenge. It’s going to happen to me, it’s going to happen to you, it’s gonna happen to everybody but if they’re in that continuous state, and there’s like a recurring pattern, I’ll be like, yeah, you know, I heard this program before, has anything changed? You’re okay with your decision, but if you’re bringing this dump load of shite into my world, is there something to change, my advice or my information or anything? I’m not going to change. I’m not saying I’m right, but I’ve got nothing to offer you on this topic. So can we move on to another topic or shall we just move on? I am much more disciplined about that. That was an idea before but now you know, being the co-founder of a company and all the onslaught of information choices and opinions and people’s and opportunities and, and decisions I got to make, I only can make so many decisions in my life and I only have so much physical or emotional rather or capital to disperse. If I’m getting leaks by hanging out with a negative Nelly, I got to cut it. The other thing I would say is neurofeedback. I’ve done a lot of neurofeedback training, have been a biocybernaut, and 40 years of Zen. They’re extraordinary programs and those have allowed me to accelerate my meditation practice and my awareness practice, which helps me identify both my own patterns of behavior. That’s not where I want it to be, but also to kind of create more optimal thinking in operating or emotional patterns in my being. It’s a continuous upgrade and things come up. I just had one the other day I was noticing that I had to pick up and I’m like, okay, that’s something I really want to get rid of, so it never ends.
James Swanwick: Tell us a little bit about your company and how that was formed and what you produce. How does supplement fit in with what you’re talking about here, like the mindset and the mind work, I guess you would say. You discuss things about meditation, I have a lot of my clients in my quit drinking business do what I refer to as the daily 20, which is writing down 20 things they are grateful for every day to rewire their brain to activate their reticular activating system. So they start to see opportunities and see things to be grateful for rather than seeing, you know, blocks and things to lament all the time. So I’m just curious about your supplements and optimization and business. How did that get created and where does that fit in amongst a whole holistic approach to mental and health well being?
Wade Lightheart: Well early on in my bodybuilding years from my teenage years, and I was reading magazines and learning about nutrition and supplementation. I studied exercise physiology and nutrition at the University of New Brunswick and then I got a sports nutrition degree. I worked in every area of the nutrition industry from working in supplement stores, owning my own supplement stores, being a representative of various brands as an athlete, and then eventually writing books. In 2004, my business partner, Matt Glandt, came to me and we were both personal trainers at the time. He said, let’s do a bodybuilding book, you just got back from the Mr. Universe contest as a vegetarian. That’s really when there are no drugs, that’s really weird. I think we can sell money on the internet. I thought he was crazy. I said, What do you mean, you’re making money on the internet? That doesn’t make any sense. I didn’t even own a computer at the time I had been living in an Ashram in India, prior to the Mr. Universe. I was considering being a monk but the monk said, No, I wasn’t going to cut it so I came back. He put this offer to me so we started a bodybuilding company. I had gone through a real breakdown of digestive distress after that contest, I gain, 42 pounds of fat and water in 11 weeks. I had to rebuild my digestive system under the guidance of a doctor. He introduced me to high powered nutritional supplements, enzymes, probiotics, we were talking about the microbiome back there enzyme stuff and minerals and went on a raw food diet. In literally a few months, I recaptured my health and hit a new level of performance and well-being and over the course of four years, kind of optimize that with about 15,000 different athletes around the world that were on boards at the time. We were sharing information, they were buying our products and we were trying all these experiments clinically. Matt and I recognize one of the problems that I had as being a vegetarian is that I couldn’t get enough amino acids from the food that I was in the protein I need to recover. At the time I was on a raw food diet, that was really hard there was no protein powders, nothing in those days. So we started down that road, I determined that we were going to build some nutritional supplementation that could augment the performance of athletes and people such as myself, who had a compromise, essentially, I had compromised digestion and I had a compromised diet. I said, Well if I can make it work for me, we can make it work for everyone. Keep in mind, Matt’s a keto guy, we’re polar opposites of the dietary spectrum. We have all sorts of discussions and frankly, we’re dietary agnostic, we think that you should choose what’s right for you at the time and season of your life regardless of what that mitigates. Every diet has benefits and liabilities and to assess them equally and mitigate the liabilities and accentuate the benefits and remain flexible enough that you can go to somewhere else. So we started producing supplements, we made a pact with ourselves at that time that we would never put, we would never compromise the mission for margin. That we were just going to make products that we wanted and that we liked and that worked for us, and if they worked for us, maybe they would work for other people. Well, that resulted in us paying ourselves in pills for about 10 years. The money that we made, we just put it all back into r&d and fall back into the business never paid ourselves. We just love the process of it and you know, it has been great. Then about five years ago, we rebranded because we fit over the course of this time, we figured out we had solved most of the digestive problems that people have. We went out of an athletic model to more of an open to a lot, you know, expanded our market. We weren’t really in the bodybuilding world or anything like that. I was just an old geezer and irrelevant to that market so we decided we would go on and keep going and that’s where we rebranded as BiOptimizers. At that point, that’s when things really took off for us. We also were able to contract some world-class doctors and chemists and genetic experts and we have PhDs in microbiome working for us that test their products. We go all in very much like a pharmaceutical company does, in order to produce the best products that we can and we back them up. We’ve got kind of like a cult following because there’s a lot of people with digestive issues and then now we’re moving into Nervous System optimization, as well as neurological optimization.
James Swanwick: Just before we continue, if you go to bioptimizers.com/swanwick that’ll take you to the Bioptimizers store, and you can actually get 10% off if you use the code Swanwick10. So Swanwick10 will get you 10% off there, you can go to bioptimizers.com/swanwick. You said digestion, I got two questions here. So you mentioned before vegetarian versus keto, so I’m assuming your business partner man eats meats and steak and all that kind of stuff, you don’t eat meats currently? Is that correct?
Wade Lightheart: No, I haven’t eaten animal flesh since 2001. So I guess we’re getting close to 20 years.
James Swanwick: So getting close to 20 years, you haven’t eaten animal flesh, your business partner, Matt does eat animal flesh every day, it’s the opposite. What’s he eating?
Wade Lightheart: We’d have to ask him but the thing is, there’s one thing that we do share, and that we’re always doing experiments on ourselves with various diets. So in any given week, Matt’s probably running at least half a dozen experiments on himself and I’m at least running one or two. He’s certainly, I think, in many ways more experimental on the nutrition side, and I might be more experimental on some other areas of life.
James Swanwick: Got it? And you said a few minutes ago that really you’re agnostic, you’re dieting agnostic. So from 20 years of being a vegetarian and not eating meat, and from 20 years of knowing Matt and him eating animal flesh. Are there reactions to your respective bodies, so vastly different, that you can definitively say my way is definitely better, or do you both get similar results in terms of your overall health and outlook, etc. That maybe, you know, the style of eating isn’t as important as we think.
Wade Lightheart: This is a deep question. I’m glad you asked that. In fact, we’re working on a book to actually flesh that out, because it’s very hard to flesh that out in one statement but I will put it this way. We were actually reviewing a hierarchy of choices one needs to make relative to their diet and involves everything from your spiritual philosophy, social customs, genetics, epigenetics, lifestyle, your goals, values, which could be related to whether a person is going to use drugs or not use drugs, whether that’s pharmaceutical drugs that are prescribed or non-pharmaceutical options or black markets.There’s just a vast array of decisions that, I think, to the layman, there’s so much information that is not dispensed to the population when people are talking about diet books. They don’t talk about many of the factors that may have bigger influences than the diet itself. Also, when you’re looking at peer-reviewed studies for all our Ph.D. friends, that’s very few studies that I’m aware of, actually, if you look at it, filter out genetic variants and epigenetic variances in that group. What I would say is that every diet I’ve been around long enough that I see these fads come in and come out every few years and then right now we kind of peaked on the keto trend. It’s kind of coming down, Paleo was a few years ago and raw food veganism was a few years now, the fasting trend is catching hold and and and you know, pretty soon there’ll be people that will be bashing that. So what happens is one group bashes the old system with the new system and here’s something that’s really clear of how we look at it. If we put you or any group of people on any given diet, so we put this group on keto, this group on plant-based diets, this group on paleo diets, this group as a carnivore, this food group is a raw foodist, that group of people and as the group gets bigger and bigger, you’re going to have a district distribution on a bell curve of the results and benefits. Some people are going to die on that diet, some people are going to feel miserable on that diet, a bunch of people is going to feel okay, some people are going to feel good, some good, we’re going to get great and some people are going to like overcome some debilitating condition that was life-threatening. When you hear the stories and testimonials and stuff of any given diet, guess what you’re going to hear. If on the positive side, you’re going to hear people at that top of the bell curve that changed your life.They were you know, they became super genius and more creative and had better sex. They heard 14 different diseases that were terminal and couldn’t fix for 30 years. Then the bashers are going to be the people that tried that diet, they almost died, they contract at some condition that took them years to get over and they said they needed to find a better way. They discovered this new diet and gave it to anything and they did the exact same thing that the people that they bash did.That is they selectively picked the best results to bolster the social credits of why that diet philosophy is better, and so we continue on this cycle. Now with Google algorithms, and Facebook algorithms, and social media algorithms, what happens is people get into these echo chambers in these feedback loops. When you’re given a plethora of decisions to make and information to make, well, what happens if we take shortcuts in our brain and we default to the tribals with the tribal rules, values, and beliefs. Usually, the most outspoken person of that group now becomes the de facto, quote-unquote, representative of that group, and gets on there and starts going to war with the other tribes who have a different belief. So we have completely thought that the internet was going to unify and connect people, the unintended consequences I was in it did. But we still have this tribalistic brain inside of the human psyche that is now activated as an emergency threat response system to default to the tribal beliefs so that one can maintain its survival. Because when you have conflicting information, it’s a threat to your survival and so we see this playing out in politics, we see it playing out in health, we see it playing out in business, we see it playing out in social groups. As a society we’ve got to recognize, that’s why I say I’m dietary agnostic and that’s kind of maybe not the answer you expected. But what I’m here to say, as I’m going to suspend any idea of what I think someone should eat, we’re going to run through a barrage of tests, then we’re going to let that person experiment with those tests, and then we’re going to continually evolve and tweak as we go through the different seasons of my life. Because guess what, I’m not as interested in going to the gym, turning up heavy metal to full blast, and squatting to like barf in the gym, and go and not being able to walk for a few years on end in order to get bigger and to grow at this stage in my life. That was really cool when I was 20, I was excited to do that. Right now I want to go upstairs in my gym, I want to train, I want to stay fit, I want to enjoy the sunshine. I want to cruise on down to bulletproof after, take a cryo, maybe go for a walk on the beach, get back because I’m focusing here on my business life and I’m not as active as I would be. So I’m 30 years removed, and my nutritional supplementation should echo that as well as a decision to make and in order to do that, I need an array of expert opinions that are going to give me feedback. And then I got to experiment with those and weed out what works with what doesn’t work and that’s that’s the overarching philosophy.
James Swanwick: It seems like personalized health is really a way to describe what you’re describing here. I remember someone saying this to me like 6-7 years ago, said our personalized health is going to be the way of the future. I said what do you mean by that? And the gentleman was telling me you know like it’s everyone’s different. Everyone has a different genetic makeup. We see now you can change your genetics by this by stimuli. Whether you were bullied as a kid in the playground, whether your mother loved you too much or not enough, like something that someone said to you at a certain time like that can literally affect the cortisol in your body, which can affect how you later respond to certain foods or exercises, like everyone is different. So what I hear you saying if I’m hearing correctly is, personalized health essentially like there is no definitive yes in terms of dietary requirements. What absolutes are there? I think what we all agree on is getting sunlight, drinking lots of water, doing some form of exercise, and not eating processed foods is a win, right? What do we agree on?
Wade Lightheart: As a health expert a number of years ago, what I realized is I had to apply parados law to try and sort out the plethora of conflicting information. Of course, that’s the 80-20 rule and 80% of what all the dietary components say is concordant and the 20% usually applies to the variance. But that 20% could be significant enough that it gives you 80% of the results for that individual and that’s the variance. When people go on that link that you said, purchase anything, it doesn’t matter, you can go to the site and download my course called The Awesome Health Course. I created an acronym as a filter to make a systematic assessment of what people could spend their time, their energy, and their resources in the most effective way given 30 years of my own experimentation and training thousands of clients, and that started off with air. Air is not very popular because it’s free. Deep breathing practices, you can control every aspect of your nervous system, and the nervous system is what determines a threat or something that is going to excel, you know, be food or fuel for your body in a positive way. Water, maintaining hydration, you know, when I ran a holistic health clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia, we had an electro interstitial water scan. Virtually everybody that came into that place was chronically dehydrated, which has massive complications in the short term and dire consequences in the long term. Exercise, we’re in a new age and the unintended consequences of technological innovation is that we need to schedule exercise into our lives. Before, you know, 100 years ago and beyond in history that was called living. Everything was hard and difficult, the average person walked 20 miles a day if you can believe that, that was the recommendation of the World Health Organization. You know, my grandfather, went to town on a horse and logged with an ax and saws and things like that. So that’s not that long ago, that the advent of technological innovation has allowed us to just be totally lazy sloths and the human body doesn’t work very well if it doesn’t have some sort of stimulus in the form of stress physically, it just doesn’t work. You can put a person in a hospital bed, no matter how healthy they are, and you don’t let them move, they waste away extremely quickly, very, very quickly, they waste away. So those three, air water and exercise, that’s where you need to put the bulk of your energy in to start up, forget the diets, forget everything else. The fourth thing, sunlight, and I look at food as condensed light, and I look at everything on the planet as light. I’m actually a little bit of a physicist by nature, that was one area I had a great aptitude in school. I had a friend that was a Ph.D. in physics that ended up running the Gottlieb Space Center for NASA.He and I had all sorts of discussions and I got lots of integrations from him about understanding vibration and frequency, the difference between solidity, liquid, gas, and states. I realized that most of what we see is actually just vibratory energy, therefore if I apply my diet, my life, my sleep that goes into sleep EMFs. Sun exposure, we spent most of our lives outdoors up until recently, now we spend most of our time indoors. Things like putting on my Swannies at night so that I can adjust to the light we didn’t have lights before. We had starlight, moonlight at night, not halogen lights, and not these things so that’s another issue. Then I went to optimizers, I went well looking at the body, what is the one single unit that is ubiquitous to the entire body, and that is cells. It’s the one unit like there’s liver cells and brain cells, but the cell itself functions relatively the same way behind the mechanics of how it works. So I went, well, what are the things that we know that make those cells work properly? Well, it comes down to enzymes, probiotics, the only two organisms things, entities that do work in the body, there are essential amino acids, right because you need enzymes to get your proteins, proteins to get your minerals. So essential minerals, essential vitamins, we need essential fatty acids that are inside the body. There were this unique category of herbs and herbs is everything that’s ergogenic plants that elicit some sort of metabolic or cellular or physiological response which whether that’s moving cheap from one area to another whether it is activating or deactivating regulatory components, turning off and on epigenetic responses, but those are the ways that we can start to tweak. Then there are mental beliefs and attitudes because you can have a terrible program with a great attitude and live very well, you can have an amazing program with a terrible attitude, and it doesn’t work out. So the bottom line is, you have to be able to regulate your beliefs and your attitudes and continually upgrade them if you want to have a different period of life. Finally, education, which is to learn from within, is a deuce, and you learn from within by testing. The best way to optimize your testing is through coaching so I call it etc. The whole acronym air, water, exercise, sunlight, optimizers, mental beliefs, education, testing, and coaching is the acronym, awesome. I put together a course that allows people to go through that sequentially over a 12 week period. Our friend, Ty Lopez inspired me, when I took a 67-day course, I said, well, I’m going to create an 84-day course. It always takes about 12 weeks to really radically alter your health or your physiology, or maintain a different body fat level, I knew this for my bodybuilding day. So I created an 84-day course that outlines those seven principles and I took all the people I know just like he did, and put all the links and all that stuff so people can watch it at five to 15 minutes while they’re standing in line to vote or standing in line at a restaurant or a grocery store or with the kids or whatever. That was the philosophy I developed to deal with that problem that you had. That was a really long answer but I don’t want to give little bullet points to people because I’m doing them a disservice and leading them in a direction where they’re going to run into a brick wall.
James Swanwick: Thank you for being so thorough with that. Wade, let me ask you, you meant you reference the Swannies before and sleep. So what’s your understanding of why we should be blocking all of this artificial light at night, whether it’s through a pair of you know, blue light blocking glasses, like the Swannies or other ways? How do you do it? What’s your mindset around optimizing sleep?
Wade Lightheart: Yeah, so you know, my business partner, Matt gallant is probably one of the greatest sleep experts I’m actually aware of. He’s extraordinary in his understanding, and in his approach to sleep. He had a lot of trouble with sleep and I was a person that didn’t have a lot of trouble with sleep and it turns out there’s a genetic component to that. He introduced me to the concept of blue light blockers and containing these lights and I had studied light and sunlight and going back to Carl earlier, Dr. Rowley, or who used different spectrums of light to heal people way back at the turn of the century. Ultimately, there were a lot of interesting things that happened around that and so he introduced me to the concept. One night he gave me these blue light blockers and I literally felt myself get sleepy after about 30 minutes of wearing them and I was like, that just blew my mind. I was like, What is all this about? Well, then it turns out as we started to do some investigation, and he was very helpful, it was our researcher, Katrine Wolinski, who does a lot of our genetics and epigenetic testing is like that we run on the circadian rhythms inside, which are based basically, it’s a solar reset system. So there are advantages to getting up early and seeing the sunrise and there are advantages to you know, being in a darker world. But however, with the technological innovations of light technology, we discovered that staying with all this light upwards can really throw off our circadian rhythms that have been built into biological organisms for as long as this has been a planet. Our hormone cascades, sleep relaxation cascades, how we go from fight or flight to rest and relax, are all cooked into this. In a world of increased light and electromagnetic frequencies, I love the advantages that we get, I’m certainly not an anti technologist that some people are like. Based on the technology you’ve developed, I like that we can turn on the lights at night and see at night, and I love the fact that we have TVs and computers. But it turns out the blue light in them is very disruptive to these circadian rhythms and cycles. So most of the biohackers I know are using various forms of these types of glasses such as you built, which by the way, I gotta say, I look pretty darn good. I feel like I’m smarter when I wear yours, because I look kind of like the prototypical nerdy guy, so I moved from my jock self to my nerdy self. That’s a little sidebar, I’m kind of revealing too much in my psychological process. Bottom line is, this is really cool and I started to experiment with them and I noticed when I did my sleep tracking that if I wear them at night, I get a deeper sleep, and I get a more restful sleep than if I don’t. So it just became really that simple, it’s like, okay, all my friends in the biohacking community using it, let me try it, let me experiment with it. Put them on, what happens? And boom, there is the result, it’s measurable, it’s definitive. Okay, I’m done and it’s really that simple. I think in today’s world, there are so many people that are looking for 470,000 experts to concur on whatever decision before they make a decision. They waste all their time doing research when all they need to do is get a testing device at the end of one, a couple of little testing parameters. Try the darn things and see if they work and that’s it, and I do this with everything. If someone tells me this, this vitamin is good for me, I’ll be agnostic. Sure, well, I’m not gonna say it’s not I’m not gonna say it is, I’m going to do an experiment and if it works for me, I say, yeah, that worked for me and if it doesn’t work for me said, well, it didn’t work for me. I tried that before it was there, something I didn’t know and sometimes there are devils in the details, and there are nuances, and it’s really simple to do and that’s really it, it’s so freeing. I think so many people have forgotten their ability to just run tests because that’s how animals and organisms on this planet has just run A-B tests, which is the whole process of evolution, which is cooked into our nervous system. So yeah, that’s how I got into it. S
James Swanwick: Test everything, like the mad scientist. Finally, just wanted to ask you about alcohol? What’s your alcohol consumption? What do you understand about it as to what it does to the body? What’s your understanding that happens to the body, if you stop feeding it alcohol, you know, what levels just any, like any anecdotes or anything that you do know about that, even if you don’t feel like you’re an absolute expert in it.
Wade Lightheart: Yeah, my alcohol consumption is zero. I do not drink alcohol and I haven’t drank alcohol for a long time. And I was really good at drinking alcohol in my younger days and upon reflection, in my 30s, I looked back at all the days, it goes, if you’re not reflecting on what you’re doing, I think that’s a big mistake. But I look back on all my decisions and I went, huh, when I looked at all the decisions I made while consuming alcohol. I couldn’t definitively find any sustainable positive outcomes from them, nothing. Like when I really looked at it, because I also compared it, again to the decisions I made without alcohol and that meant social occasions, that meant going out that meant going to parties and dancing and doing all the things that are oftentimes associated with alcohol sporting events, and I realized that the quality of those experiences were not enhanced by alcohol. What I could say is that there is a Corolla rarely downside, downsides to the consumption of alcohol that had much longer effects after those events, that I really felt that the cost-benefit ratio was a very easy decision to make. And I just stopped drinking.
James Swanwick: Well done. Smart man.
Wade Lightheart: I don’t go around and I go to lots of social occasions. I’m not a preacher. I’m not a vigilante vegan. I’m not against anybody doing whatever. I believe I’m actually kind of a fiscally conservative libertarian. I think that we want a maximum choice opportunity matrix. I would like the government to do a minimal amount of things to keep us safe from foreign invaders and from criminals. That’s about it and everything else I believe that we could figure out on our own if we all just get along and that’s how I kind of view my own life and that way, I don’t project my beliefs onto anybody else. I will certainly advocate for my beliefs and argue them or put forth my ideas and I love it when other people challenge them. Because number one, I’ll either refine my current position, or I will abandon faulty logic which there’s plenty of it to go around both within myself and other people that I can upgrade what I know at this moment until in a better, more holistic version. I’ve been continually doing that for the last few years and it’s much easier when you’re not drinking because unfortunately, alcohol dramatically impairs the decision-making process, as well as you know, how aggressive you might see someone with a different opinion.
James Swanwick: Yeah. Well said. Wade, thank you so much, Wade Lightheart, the co-founder and President at BiOptimizers. Just a reminder, you can go to bioptimizers.com/swanwick and that will lead to the shop. Swanwick10 is the code for 10% off, make sure you grab Wade’s program. Remind us what the program is called, the free booklet you got there?
Wade Lightheart: Yes, it’s 12 weeks to double your energy and it’s the Awesome Health Philosophy, we give it away to everybody that goes to our website, you can utilize it, take what you want. I would recommend checking out the bucket theory of nutrition in that video in particular, as well as enzymes, also water technology. I think that’s a big one to address. So all that sort of stuff you can get into and have fun.
James Swanwick: Wait, thanks so much for your time out. It’s been fun hanging out with you again and getting to know a little bit more about you and hopefully, I’ll see you sooner rather than later back in Venice Beach, California,
Wade Lightheart: Please next time you’re over, hit me up and now we’ll hang out here at the bio home. I’m looking at getting myself a pool table here in the office so I can entertain myself and my guest. It would be fun to have you over.
James Swanwick: Thanks.