7 Health Disciplines That Are a Waste of Time
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7 Health Disciplines That Are a Waste of Time
- Kevin goes on his first vacation in 5 years, and meets a fellow Renegade Health fan who recovered from cancer!
- Why iceberg lettuce is actually good for you (and avoiding it won’t make a difference in your health).
- One food that everybody avoids that’s actually healthy for your blood sugar.
- The only exercise you should do, according to Kevin, and why he can’t stand yoga.
- Why eating imported apples from New Zealand can be better for the environment than local apples sometimes.
- And more!
Kevin: Renegade Health Radio. This is Kevin Gianni with my right-hand man, Frederic Patenaude.
Kevin: Or left-hand man. Does it matter?
Fredric: I don’t know.
Kevin: How about team member?
Fredric: One week, you can be the right-hand, next week I can be the left-hand.
Kevin: Or you can be the lead. Why not be the lead? But we should switch it up. You should start. Why don’t you try to start? Give me a “Renegade Health Radio.”
Fredric: Renegade Health Radio. [He says it again, in a funny accent.]
Kevin: That was awesome. I think we should keep that. (laughs) I just went on a vacation.
Fredric: Oh yeah?
Fredric: That’s not very common for you, right, Kevin?
Kevin: No. And it’s one of those things that everyone says in the health space, “You got to take a vacation.” And I probably haven’t taken a vacation like this in, I don’t know, four, five years. It was nice. I did…
Fredric: So where did you go?
Kevin: Went to Vegas.
Kevin: We went with family, yeah. It was not a crazy “what-stays-in-Vegas stays… “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” kind of thing. And the only thing that happened is that I got way too much sleep.
Fredric: But you brought that with you, right?
Kevin: There was an amazing woman. Annmarie and I were walking. We went to Circus Circus, which is a casino, with the family. And we went there because the kids—my niece and nephew, they’re 14 and 11—and so they wanted to go. And Circus Circus has like some circus stuff, and a little amusement park kind of thing inside of the casino.
And so Annmarie and I walked in, and the place just stunk. It smelled like cigarette smoke. It smelled like vomit. It smelled like people who…I guarantee you there are people in that casino who haven’t left in like, 20 years. They just like staye there, at the slot machines. And so, we were just like, “Oh, my gosh. We got to get out of here.”
So we bolted, and got out, and walked around outside. And we’re walking back to the casino, and we’re crossing the street, and a woman taps me on the shoulder. And she said, “Are you Kevin Gianni?” And I said, “Yes.” And she had come from Iceland, right? So she had come from Iceland. She was in Vegas with her daughter. Her daughter was there. And she literally said that she had watched all of our videos when she had cancer; all the Renegade Health videos. This is going back a few years. And she said that she used some of the techniques and things, and she used some other things, and she got rid of her cancer.
Kevin: And it was…
Fredric: That’s a great story.
Kevin: It was amazing. And she was so, like, shaking me. You could she was actually crying a little bit. She had a tear in her eye, and man, it was pretty powerful. And now, I’m not saying that we take credit for any of this. But just the fact that the weirdest thing is that we’re in Vegas, we decide to leave Circus Circus, and we’re walking down the street, and she’s from Iceland! She flew in to Vegas from Iceland! And she sees us just walking down the street, just right here, in the Riviera. So it was so cool. And so, she was happy. She knows our friend, Sola, who’s in Iceland too. And that was just really cool to see here, and just chat with her real quick. So, cool story right?
Fredric: Yes. Yes. That’s when you realize not only that you’re famous, Kevin, but that you’d helped a lot of people.
Kevin: It’s very cool. But enough about my vacation. Let’s talk about what we’re going to talk about today, Fred.
Fredric: Cool. Well, I had kind of an idea that I’ve been playing with recently, and I wanted to kind of throw it out there for this broadcast, because it’s something that I think about sometimes, which are the…let’s call it the health disciplines that are a waste of time.
Kevin: I love this.
Fredric: If I were to write an article about this, I would call it the “Health Disciplines That Are A Waste of Time.” So you can do a lot of things for your health, right? You can eat this specific diet, whatever it is, a vegetarian, or a raw food diet, or Paleo diet. You can exercise. You can do a lot of stuff, right? But people spend a lot of time on these little niche theories, and they spend a lot of mental energy. So mental RAM. They fill up their RAM, like, “This is what I’ve got to do.” Right? And I think some of it is good, but some of it is just a waste of time, because in the grand scheme of things, whether you do it or not, it’s not going to make any difference, in my opinion, for those things.
So maybe you have a few, Kevin. I just wanted to throw a few ideas, starting with iceberg lettuce.
Kevin: Iceberg lettuce.
Fredric: Some people say, “Don’t eat iceberg lettuce! It’s got no nutrients! It’s just water!” and whatever. And you know, I ran the numbers, and it’s just more diluted. That’s what it is. It’s a lettuce that’s super diluted. So yes, by weight, there’s less nutrients in iceberg lettuce than, let’s say, romaine lettuce. But if you really like iceberg lettuce on a salad, along with other greens and so on, what’s going to happen to you? Nothing’s going to happen to you. It’s a…I think iceberg lettuce is a great lettuce, because it’s very refreshing. So when you want something that’s very light and full of water, it’s a great lettuce. So I just…what do you think?
Kevin: Just iceberg lettuce. I think that the whole iceberg lettuce thing revolves around the fact that there are some people…that the only raw vegetable that they eat is iceberg lettuce. And I think that this…I think the whole idea of the iceberg lettuce thing is revolved, just revolves around that principle. You know what I mean? You go to an Italian restaurant, and you get the side house salad, and it’s made with iceberg lettuce and a couple carrots, maybe some onions, and maybe a radish or two. You know what I mean?
And that’s like…and that’s it. And then, you get the prime rib, or you get the eggplant parm, or not even eggplant parm, you get the veal parmesan or something like that, and it’s just this fried, goopy mass of sauce and cheese and all that sort of stuff. And I think that that’s where people are attacking iceberg lettuce. I agree with you. I also kind of, just to piggyback on this, I’m just going to jump in and add another one…is I can’t stand the people who are out there saying that, “Hey, you can’t drink green juice, because it doesn’t have the fiber in it anymore.”
Kevin: This is one thing…this gets me so worked up, because if you think about it, most people who are drinking green juice, they’re…number one, they’re already in that ton of fiber. So forget it. They already have enough fiber. There are not people that are fiber deficient. So first off, let’s look at the big picture. If you’re trying to argue with someone who’s health conscious, and who’s maybe drinking green smoothies, and who’s eating a lot of salad, and is eating a lot of really fiber, starchy kind of vegetables, beans, then, you know what? They can drink green juice. It’s not going to constipate them. It’s not going to give them colon cancer or any sort of thing like that. So I really kind of…that really just gets me fired up.
Fredric: And I agree with you. It’s the context that matters. Iceberg lettuce, in the context of someone eating a pretty good diet…If you’re out there, you’ve been avoiding iceberg lettuce for a while because you’re health conscious, I give you, I, Frederic Patenaude (who am I to say that?), but I give you permission to eat iceberg lettuce.
Kevin: And I, Kevin Gianni, give you permission to drink your green juice without the fiber.
Fredric: All right. I got another one. Whole wheat pasta. Whole wheat pasta is disgusting, compared to regular pasta. And you know people eat whole wheat pasta because of the glycemic index and the nutrients and so on. But pasta itself is pretty low on the glycemic index, if you cook it al dente. And I’m not saying that eating pasta as you’re main source of carbohydrate is a necessarily a great idea, but if you’re going to have pasta occasionally, why not actually enjoy it? I saw whole wheat gnocchi recently, and that just…I almost barfed.
I like whole wheat stuff in general—whole grain products—but just whole wheat pasta, just…when it’s really made of whole wheat, not fake whole wheat, it’s not good. It’s not good. So I don’t think if you eat it occasionally, it’s going to make a difference whether it’s whole wheat or not.
Kevin: Interesting. So the glycemic index between whole wheat pasta and regular pasta is fairly similar?
Fredric: I don’t know, but I know the glycemic index of pasta, in general, is pretty acceptable.
Fredric: When cooked al dente, because, just, you don’t actually digest a lot of the starch.
Kevin: I know someone out there is screaming into their iPads, iPhone or iThing right now, saying, “What about gluten? What about gluten?” And look, yes, gluten is one of those things that if you overeat it, it’s going to give you some digestive issues, but you can eat some gluten. It’s, for most people—just to be clear—for most people, you can eat a little bit of gluten. It’s not going to destroy your health, and you’re not going to shrivel up, and your intestines are going to fall out of your…I’m not even going to say where they’re going to fall out of.
But it’s okay to do some of this stuff every once in a while. And look, I don’t eat that much pasta at all. But if we’re going to do pasta, we’ll probably do, we’d do quinoa or we’d do, maybe, some rice, and not necessarily brown rice or white rice. We…and then maybe it’s the same thing, Fred, because when we eat rice, we tend to cook like a Jasmine rice or something like that. So…
Fredric: Which is white, right?
Kevin: Yeah. It’s white. Yeah. It’s white rice. And so, we just don’t go the brown rice route. And I don’t know, I just I don’t like the…I don’t care for the taste of it, to be honest with you.
Fredric: Well, you know when you probably eat other stuff with the rice that has fiber and so on.
Kevin: Of course.
Fredric: And when people…when you look at the glycemic index, it’s a food taken out of context, right? So it’s like, “Yes, when they’ve tested so many calories of this one food, this is what happens to your blood sugar.” But if you eat white rice with beans, for example, you’re getting…you’re lowering that glycemic index, and then, let alone, other vegetables and so on.
So I just looked up the glycemic index of spaghetti, boiled for 20 minutes, and honestly, who boils spaghetti for 20 minutes? And even then, it’s 58. I’ll give you a reference. And then, whole wheat is 42. But regular spaghetti—white spaghetti—boiled average time is 46. And then, an apple is 39 by comparison. So it’s pretty low. It’s…that’s, yeah. Pasta, in general, is friendly for your blood sugar.
If you cook it al dente, and eat it with some other stuff, and don’t eat it all the time because it’s refined and so on, but…just whole wheat pasta, come on. I just can’t do it.
Kevin: You know, it’s really interesting to put this all into context, particularly with what I said about the green juice and the green smoothie kind of thing. It makes sense with the white rice and the beans, too. A lot of the information that we’re getting in the health space, and a lot of the alarms that people sound are out-of-context type of situations. So like the iceberg lettuce, the green juice, and now, the white pasta. It’s totally out of context. And I think again, where health experts—like extreme health experts—get it mixed up is that they’re looking at people who are eating unhealthy, and then they’re projecting that information on people who are eating healthy.
And so, if someone’s just eating white pasta, and they’re eating with butter sauce, and they’re eating crackers all day long, and they’re eating cookies, and they’re drinking soda, and they’re doing all these things that we would generally say is a pretty crappy diet, yeah. Then that’s going to give them heart disease and diabetes and all that sort of stuff. But if you start…if you add one, even…look. Even if you eat extremely healthy, and you had one Coca-Cola a day, you’d…I think you’d…my whole—I don’t drink Coca-Cola. I don’t care for it, but my whole thing is you probably would turn out all right.
Fredric: Probably. Yeah. Yes.
Kevin: And it’s the general context. It’s the picture of the whole diet that you’re looking at. The holistic…remember, we’re supposed to be thinking holistically here, and a lot of us aren’t. It’s the holistic kind of representation of what you’re diet is; not that one thing. Not the white pasta, if you have it once a week, or that soda. If you drink the soda once a day—again, I’m not advocating. I’m not saying…if you’re not drinking soda now, don’t go out and drink soda every day, just because I said it’s maybe healthy for you; maybe not “healthy,” but it might be okay for you and your whole picture of diet. But yeah.
Fredric: I got another one: Thin and flexible girls doing yoga. Okay?
Kevin: Where did this come from?
Fredric: So this, maybe, comes from my time living in Vancouver, whether there’s like a yoga studio at every block.
Fredric: But I see people walking out of yoga studios, and a lot of those people are people that just don’t need to be doing yoga for health. As a physical activity, maybe not for like stress management and so on…
Kevin: Yeah. Meditation or…
Fredric: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. But you can tell that they’re doing it because they’re good at it. But the thing with yoga…with flexibility, in general, is once you reach a certain point, yeah, you can improve it a little bit, but the curve is so much more in the favor of someone needing to improve their flexibility, and then they’ll get a lot of benefits from it, just doing yoga once a week or something.
But you’ve got these very thin and flexible girls that are…I think they do yoga because they’re good at it. But they’re not really improving their overall fitness. They probably would need to lift some weights or something, or improve another aspect of their fitness. But people tend to focus on what they’re good at, maybe, because they..it makes them feel good about themselves. But you’re not going to get any better.
Kevin: So you’re saying…so the means to the end is like, if it’s for flexibility, it’s not gong to affect it too much?
Fredric: Yeah, exactly. That’s what I’m saying.
Kevin: So my thing on exercise. I kind of disagree a little bit on the yoga thing, in terms of…I think that if someone does something because they like it and they’re good at it, then they should keep doing it. I think the only exercise that anyone should do is the exercise that they love.
Fredric: All right. All right.
Kevin: That’s what I think. Why go out…so here’s the thing. I love running. I love it. I love everything about it. I love the fact that it’s a moving meditation. And I don’t care if someone tells me that HIT training—High intensity Training—is more effective for weight loss or lung capacity or anything than like maybe a four- or five-mile run. I don’t care about that. The only thing I know is that if I’m moving and I’m running, I feel great, and it’s an exercise that I know that I can do, well, for as along as my knees hold up. And I will continue to do it just because I love it.
And every ten times someone says, “You shouldn’t be doing this,” or “Maybe you should try something else,” I’d go back to the fact that if I’m going to go in that gym and do a repetitive exercise over and over again, and get bored out of my mind, than I would rather just not exercise at all.
And so, for me, running is my thing. I can’t stand going to yoga. It drives me…yoga drives me insane. One, I can’t stand the sport of it, because a lot of people take yoga as a sport. I guess that’s okay. But it kind of takes away from some of the real intention of yoga and some of the meditative practice of it. For me, running, I love it, and that’s what I do.
Fredric: All right. So if you’re a thin and flexible girl, and you love doing yoga, keep doing it. That’s what Kevin says. But I will still judge you.
Kevin: What if you’re judging me now for running. I’m a big man. I’m about…I’m 195 pounds. I’m a—they call that a Clydesdale in the running world. I’m a Clydesdale. You know those big horses, the ones that are on the Budweiser commercials? Yeah, that’s me.
Fredric: Okay, yeah. All right, for the last few, I want to go kind of fire style. Like I want to just fire them away, and then we’re not going to comment too much on them. Multivitamins—just a waste of time, a waste of money, for the most past.
Kevin: For the most part, yeah.
Fredric: Yeah. You need to target the nutrients that you actually need more of, not just a blanket, especially, because many of the…my minerals, they put in multivitamins are…can be pretty dangerous.
Kevin: Can’t even be absorbed, yeah.
Fredric: Yeah. Or…such as iron can be a bad thing to have. Raw chocolate. If you’re going to have chocolate, just have regular chocolate.
Kevin: I actually agree with this, too. I agree with it. Yes. Chocolate.
Fredric: I don’t even think we need to mention, to expand on that. If you guys have any questions, let us know, but it’s just a fad. Come on, just eat just regular chocolate.
Fredric: What else? Eating local foods only. I get it. However…I get the intention. However, research has shown that in many cases, if your goal is to help the environment, that eating out-of-season foods from other countries, in some cases, is more environmentally friendly than foods that have been sitting in a refrigerator forever, and actually, that driving to get the food itself is the most polluting part of the entire operation, because the rest is pretty efficient. So just something like that. I don’t think many people have that obsession, where they only eat local foods. I think it’s cool to want to eat more local foods, but just turning that into a sort of a rule just doesn’t make sense.
Kevin: How is it more environmentally efficient to have apples shipped up from Chile or something like that?
Fredric: Well, because let’s say you buy local apples.
Fredric: Okay. When they’ve just been harvested, it’s fine, right? They go essentially from the farm to your table with the few third-party sellers and so on. But in the middle of the winter, they’re kept in these big refrigerators.
Fredric: In the warehouses, yes, to maintain them at the proper temperature. So during that time, it burns fuel, right? To…whether they buy electricity, but the electricity has been, it comes from coal or whatever, in many states, so that you produce more, I guess a bigger environmental footprint doing that then getting apples from New Zealand. Because the thing is, the transportation of apples by boats and so on, is so efficient that…because it transports so much of it at once, that it’s a very small part of the environmental footprint of the whole thing.
It’s the drive…it’s all the third parties in between that add to it. So if you have to drive to the store versus going directly to this distributor, that’s one step out of the way. And then, everybody doing that means that everybody’s driving, and everybody’s producing CO2 and so on…
Fredric: …for getting their food. So that’s kind of how you look at it. Also, let’s say you’re buying, I don’t know, like lamb from…local lamb that’s produced in a certain way, versus lamb from New Zealand, from a farm that has different practices, you’re…in spite of the fact that the meat has been transported, it’s more environmentally friendly to buy it from the place that’s more environmentally friendly, that has better practices. So the…yeah. So the actual transportation of the food is not a huge issue in the whole context. It’s more everything kind of…it’s the bigger picture, it’s how the food was produced, and how it was kept at the right temperature, and how are you getting it, how are you applying it, and so on.
Kevin: Yeah. So a couple of thoughts here. So then, it’s only by local, in-season, when it’s ripe, when you can only walk to the grocery store, and…
Fredric: Exactly. Yes. That’s exactly…pretty much, if you can walk to the farm, and then, pick it yourself, and bring it back, then you’re going to beat everything else, of course.
Kevin: So I get the local thing. I get how it’s hard for a lot of people to eat locally and in season. Luckily, here, where we live, in the Bay Area, where Annmarie and I live, and Hudson, it is kind of easy. It is amazing how easy it is to get all your produce locally, almost on a regular basis. They do ship it. There is…you go to the grocery store and the farmer’s market, and there’s stuff shipped in from other places—but even at the farmer’s market, there is. But it’s pretty easy to be able to get a lot of local foods. So it definitely depends on where you are. And this area, at least, in the Bay Area, a little bit further north, a little bit further south, just most of California, it’s really prime…it’s the Mecca of the local food movement.
But you can’t get the same stuff if you have a winter, unless someone’s hydroponically growing it under greenhouses, and all that sort of stuff. And that becomes…that just becomes…look, if you can find that person, great. Then you can get your food from there. But it can create a little bit of a neurosis, if you’re trying to do this local thing, and not have to…and you got to plan. You got to make sure you’re going to do it.
So I agree with, in some ways, with Fred, and in some ways, I’m like, move to the Bay Area. Come here with us. That’s obviously…
Fredric: Well, actually, I pretty much eat local foods from the Bay Area in Montreal. If you look at it that way, I’m kind of almost on the same page with you.
Kevin: When we were traveling, when we were in the RV, we would always joke. We were like, “Are we eating local food?” So wait, we’re originally from Connecticut. So if we’re in Austin, and we’re eating apples and blueberries from Connecticut, are we eating local foods, or…how does that work?
The other thing about local foods that I wanted to add is that you’ll always know when something is in season when you see the price drop really fast. That means that there’s an abundance of it, and they have to get rid of it. And so, maybe that’s always kind of like one thing to watch. And it always happens around here, and even in other places with cherries and a lot of the berries. You’ll see that berries, when the cherries first start to come into season, they’re like, you know, they’re $10.00 a pound or something like that. And then, once the season starts to…really, when all the fruit starts to ripen, then the price just drops, it tanks, and then it kind of starts to go up again, and you don’t see them again for a while.
So it’s always a good sign. We never…make sure when the cherries first come out, or some of these berries, don’t buy them, because you’re going to get fleeced. You’re really going to spend a lot of money on them. Wait until they start to drop, and that’s when you get the best value and the best fruit.
Fredric: And it kind of brings me to a last point about that is how some people say when the fruit is in season, you should buy a lot of it, then freeze it for next year? Who does that? Because I tried with pomegranates, when they’re in season, and somebody said, “It’s great. You can freeze them, and then you’ll have them all year round.” So I did that. I froze a bunch of…just the seeds, right? And it was all complicated, because you need to get rid of the husk, and then get the seeds in all nice in plastic bags. And they’re disgusting when they…they just…what’s great about this fruit is it’s crispy, and it explodes with juice in your mouth. And when you freeze them, it just…no, it just kind of, the whole thing thaws, and then, it becomes like a mush of juice and seeds.
Kevin: The only thing it’s good for is a smoothie. That the only…
Fredric: Oh, yeah. Definitely.
Kevin: If you’re going to do it…We picked some blueberries in New Jersey, and we froze pounds of them. And they’re not good after…they’re only good for smoothies, or if you’re making a fruit pie or something like that. And even then, it’s still not the same. It’s still not the same. Just buy fruit that’s in season. You don’t need to freeze it.
Fredric: I like frozen blueberries, like you, just for smoothies, right? For that purpose.
Kevin: Yeah. Just for smoothies. I think that’s the only you’d use them. And luckily, for us, we’re into that sort of stuff. So we have a use for it. But I don’t know. Are people freezing apples or anything like that? That’d be weird.
Fredric: But you know what’s good? Frozen cherries.
Kevin: Oh, they’re so good.
Fredric: You can buy them like that, or I got a thing on Amazon for like a cherry pitter.
Kevin: Yeah. The one that just pops it out? They’re so cool.
Fredric: Yes. It’s so awesome. So you can freeze a bunch of those, and…but this is more like a dessert. You can eat them like half frozen. I like to thaw them a little bit, not completely. So it’s…oh, that’s so good.
Kevin: Oh, man. Go get yourself some cherries when they’re in season and local, in the Bay Area.
Fredric: All right, guys. Oh, and do you have your own…everybody just asking—not you, Kevin, but everybody, if you have a health practice you think is a waste of time, well, go to renegadehealth.com, and post it.
Kevin: Yes. And if you like this podcast or any of the other podcasts that you’ve listened to by us, or by anyone else, go ahead and put a review on our podcast page. Even if you like someone else’s podcast, just put that review on our page with five stars. Good to go, and we’d really appreciate that.
Fredric: Yeah. We’ll be happy about that.
Kevin: Bye guys.