In this episode, I am speaking with Dr. Barnet Meltzer—a pioneer and expert with 50 years of experience in the realm of preventive medicine, integrated medicine, and clinical nutrition. Dr. Meltzer is my childhood physician. We will talk about the 10 rules for high-performance living, health, and energy.
In this podcast, Dr. Meltzer will cover:
The best nutrition advice for preventing disease (and the three categories that foods can be placed in)
The hour of power–setting your day up for health and productivity
The concept of energy banking (and how most people are in energy debt)
Recharge your battery with the E.H.M.N. process
The importance of taking charge of your life (and why many people don’t)
Why seasonal cleansing is essential for preventing disease
“Heal your soul”–how past trauma can affect your health today
And much more!
Listen outside of iTunes
Top 10 Rules For High Performance Living with Dr. Barnet Meltzer - Transcript
Ari Whitten: Hey, there this is Ari Whitten and welcome back to the Energy Blueprint Podcast. I’m your host. Today, I’ll be interviewing a very, very special guest. Someone near and dear to my heart who was my family’s physician and my childhood physician. He’s one of the first preventive medicine doctors in the United States. I’ll read you his official bio here.
He’s a pioneer and well-known expert in the field of Preventive Medicine, Integrative Medicine, and Clinical Nutrition. He owns the distinction of being the first medical doctor to enter the field of Preventive Medicine in Southern California and is a Board Certified physician and surgeon with over 30 years of clinical experience as a practicing primary care physician. I think that number 30 years might be [unintelligible].
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Let’s try 49 years.
Ari Whitten: As the founder and director of the Meltzer Wellness Institute, Dr. Barnet Meltzer is a leading authority in health, wellness, and metabolic nutrition. He has a well-deserved reputation of Southern California’s number one wellness, weight loss and energy coach. His credentials include graduating phi beta kappa from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, which was the first Ivy League medical school.
Upon graduating from medical school, Dr. Meltzer completed his internship at UCLA and served two years of surgical residency at the University of California Medical Center in San Diego, and since opening his clinic in 1972, he’s developed an international following with people all over the world seeking his consultation, including, I will mention everyone listening, this is one of his books, one of several of his books called the 10 Rules of High-Performance Living.
The foreword for this book was written by one of the greatest Olympic champions in history, Carl Lewis, one of the greatest sprinters and running champions in history. Quite strong. I hope that one day I will have a book with a foreword written by an Olympic champion talking about my methods. Welcome, Dr. Meltzer. It’s such a pleasure to have you on.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Well, Ari, thanks so much for that warm and wonderful greeting and I’m sure that someday you will be just like some famous entertainer athlete that will acknowledge everything you’ve done for them. We’ve known each other probably for what, over 30 years. Ever since you were a youngster, I could always tell you had that very ambitious spirit to help other people. I’m glad to see that you’re following through on your childhood intentions.
Ari Whitten: Thank you very much. I appreciate that. I think you’ve been seeing me since I was five years old or something like that, four years old. We moved to Carmel Valley when I was five and you were in practice in the same location. You still have an office in Del Mar.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: We saw each other with some regularity for the first, till you were about 25 or so and then you went off got on brighter pastures and then we’d come back and forth and see each other from there.
Ari Whitten: Yes. I came back. I saw you after I’d gotten Epstein-Barr virus and had mononucleosis and you helped me greatly in my recovery from that. Which actually, in hindsight, that was part of the impetus of why I started this whole brand is that I was severely fatigued following that bout with mononucleosis. It was the catalyst for making me very interested in the whole science of energy levels and chronic fatigue.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Absolutely. We were to finish with the podcast. We need to send it to the owner of the New York Jets because they need to get Sam Donald this information on how to overcome mono.
Ari Whitten: Yes, absolutely. Again, on a personal note, I want to say you, maybe more than any figure in my early life, probably influenced the course of my trajectory in life without even realizing it because my parents came to you and they had health problems specifically my dad was having all these stress-related problems from being a business owner. He had severe gastrointestinal pain and gut problems and you had some very simple lifestyle interventions for him. You got him started meditating, started jogging and doing exercise and eating a mostly vegetarian diet filled with organic fruits and vegetables and a few other interventions and they were life-transforming for him.
My brother when he was a youngster, my older brother had all these health problems and chronic mucus and congestion and all these allergies and sicknesses and you got him off dairy and figured out it was a dairy allergy and my parents started making almond milk from the time I was born. They were one of the first people to be making almond milk back in the ’70s. I think from the time I was a little kid, I was already coming up in this family that had awareness of so many of these natural health interventions and the power of nutrition and lifestyle to heal. I think you had a huge impact on my course, my trajectory in life just by virtue of all that.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Thank you very much. That makes me feel rather special because you are a very special guy and to think that I’ve made a difference in your world that’s very sweet of you. Thanks so much.
Why fatigue has become a huge problem in modern society
Ari Whitten: Yes, thank you. I want to talk to you about your book, The 10 Rules of High-Performance Living. First of all, what do you think are the main causes of people’s fatigue problems? Why are we having this epidemic of chronic lack of energy that’s become such a huge problem?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: That’s a really good question, and there’s a very simple but profound answer, as far as I’m concerned, to that question. Let’s put it this way, to make it easier for people to understand energy I can try to identify for them a concept that I’ve used for many, many years. I actually had it in one of my books that I never published. It’s actually called energy banking. I use it as an analogy to people understand that.
For example, when they make more deposits than they have withdrawals, they typically have money to spend, do whatever they want with. But when they spend more money or they have more expenses or more withdrawals than their deposits, they typically wind up in some type of downside debtors owing money type of thing. Everybody can relate to that, if you say to them, “Do you deposit more money than you have withdrawals? Do you have money?” They go, “Yes.” If you have more withdrawals than deposits are you in a place where you’re in negative cash flow? “Yes.”
Then you just try to explain to them that fatigue is a metabolic debt. Basically, it comes down to the fact that one would typically in nine out of 10 cases and your point about fatigue is very crucial because there’s an epidemic in our culture right now. It started up about 30 years ago when you’re a youngster and it’s picked up steam. You were able to avoid it because of your intelligence and your focus but the great majority of folks from 35 and above suffer with what I call the stress fatigue syndrome or the tension fatigue syndrome, better known as burnout. Where there’s tiredness and fatigue and stress and restlessness and anxiety and often weight gain, et cetera.
The predicament is two-fold. There’s typically aren’t enough deposits and typically are too much withdrawal. In the big picture, understand that if somebody wants to create energy, then they have to approach it like they’re trying to play the piano or learn how to play tennis. It’s just they have to learn a system [unintelligible] doctor. There’s a way to do it. Our program the 10 Rules of High-Performance Living, basically, in a nutshell, gives you a such structure. It structures your day. It tells you when to workout, when to meditate, how to meditate, what to eat.
In other words, it works with the principle that your body’s a rechargeable battery. When you recharge your battery at regular intervals, it functions at its highest level. When you don’t have the time to recharge your battery, the battery starts to wear out. Our program the 10 Rules of High-Performance Living is really another way of saying, how do you have the supreme immune power that you could have, and the supreme immune power comes from keeping your battery charged. Typically, when people are fatigued, we’ll get back to that in a second, but you get my point there are not enough deposits in them to give them any withdrawals. Now it’s interesting.
Withdrawals are a little simpler than deposits because withdrawals only come in two forms. The two forms of withdrawals are triggered by what we call inflammation. All dysfunction, all metabolic disorders, all health conditions, all illnesses, even collisions, if you will, but all disbiosis, if you will, dysfunctional biological functioning is a result of inflammation. Now, every physician who studied health or any doctor would know that inflammation triggers you to disease.
Now, the interesting thing is if you ask your conventional doctor, what is the cause of inflammation, that’s where he gets stuck. He’s just going to go inflammation. But between you and I we know that the two root causes of inflammation are, number one, nutritional toxin or nutritional acidity or the wrong foods, if you will, and the second is too much emotional stress and too much tension. Emotional stress is inflammatory. The wrong foods are inflammatory, and they tend to be withdrawals. Now if you have a lot of withdrawals, and not enough deposits, if you have $100,000 withdrawals and $35,000 deposit, you’re going to be in the hole.
You have to look at the left side of the curve which is the deposits, you need to organize your daily wellness plan. Our program focuses on two very important principles that your body is a biological clock as well as a rechargeable battery. We have people spend an hour [unintelligible 00:10:08] in the morning, they charge their batteries, the sunrise cleanse we call it. It has four parts to it. It’s called EHMN, EHMN, Exercise Hydrotherapy Meditation Nutrition. You get a full-body charge in the morning and that energizes you. Then you come back around 4:30, five o’clock, six o’clock, and you do another charge. You do some yoga, you play tennis, you go out and take a hike or walk, whatever. You go out with your lover, your friends, you do something physical.
You take the hot and cold showers to get the hydro going, you meditate again and have a wonderful evening, have a good dinner. If you charge your battery twice in a day and get a good night’s sleep, you’re getting three charges a day. That’s your deposit size. If there’s lack of exercise, there’s lots of stress and, let’s say there’s lack of exercise, a lack of nutritional knowledge, not knowing what foods are inflammatory, or eating too many wrong foods or eating too many foods, it’ll cut back on your immune powers, you see. Your deposits have to be strong, and then you have to look at your withdrawal size and minimize your withdrawals. Make sure you don’t have any what I call nutritional turnovers.
Anybody who studies sports knows that the difference between winning and losing is turnover ratio. Turnovers are eat the wrong foods, you’re eating toxic inflammatory foods, and then if your body is under great deals of stress, and you feel stressed, that’s inflammatory. That’s pretty much what I’m saying. Folks who have too much stress, don’t eat quite right, are not quite active enough, and they don’t have a structured way of developing low power or mind power and soul power to prevent the upheavals of everyday life.
Why Dr. Meltzer uses hydrotherapy
Ari Whitten: Yes. I want to say on another personal note, I happen to live two miles three miles away from you, and as luck would have it, my favorite surf spot that I go surf usually a couple times a week with my brother happens to be, we park our cars literally right next to your house when we go surf. We surf at the reefs in Del Mar and that happens to be right where you live. We park there and we often see you and usually it’s early morning and we often see you walking down the cliffs getting your early morning hydrotherapies, going into the ocean and taking a dip. You even do this during the winter when the water is very, very cold and everybody else is in wetsuits.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: That’s correct.
Ari Whitten: You’re how old now, Dr. Meltzer?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Well, I’m on the backside of 74. I’ll be 75 in March.
Ari Whitten: Okay, you’re still making it down those cliffs pretty much every day and taking a dip in frigid cold water. This is something we should all aspire to.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Well, the ocean, as you know from being a surfer, it can’t be compared to anything. The ocean is infinite. I believe in electrifying your body in the morning. In other words, in a natural way. I don’t mean through caffeine, I don’t mean through listening to the news and all the killings and commercials on TV. I mean in a natural way, exercise, getting your body, get the circulation, get the oxygen going, get your arteries elastic, get your body going. Then I believe in hydrotherapy. Now for me, like you said, I live right by the beach.
It would be against my principles not to go in the ocean every morning living just close to the water as I do. As soon as I get in the ocean, I feel electrified. Then you come up, you take your Jacuzzi you meditate, and then you feel like a million bucks. That’s energy. In other words, you make your deposit the first hour of the day is what I’m saying. Now, if people don’t make their deposits first and they have withdrawals without deposits, they’re going to run into fatigue. I’ve been a strong believer in taking the first hour of the day, call it the Hour of Power, call it the Miracle Hour call it the Sunrise Cleansing, call it what you may.
You want to activate all four parts of your military meaning your immune system, your physical body, your mental body, your emotional body and your spiritual body. You exercise, you get the hydrotherapy, you meditate, you have good food and then you’re right there. If you deposit.
How emotions and mind affect your energy and health
Ari Whitten: In principle number one in your book, which is to simplify your life, you talk about the body as a rechargeable battery, the emotions as the magnet and the mind as the transformer. Can you explain that?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Well, again, it depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If your goal in life is to just have a good living and have a good family life and all that, that’s noble and it is achievable. In the process, like I say, most people will develop the tension fatigue syndrome, the stress fatigue syndrome, some form of burnout, fatigue, weight gain, depression, anxiety, restlessness, high-stress living, what have you. Of course, that always proceeds somewhere between four to 10 or 15 years, any type of chronic illness. People that suffer with arthritis, diabetes, or growth or Parkinson’s or whatever they have, have had 47 years of burnout. It’s not something that comes out overnight.
Just like they have the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, that’s your military to protect your country, your body has a military, your physical body, your mental body, your emotional body, your spiritual body. They work together, but they have different functions. The Navy does different things than the Air Force does. Your physical body needs to be strong and powerful and has to be charged to give you the energy and to give you the strength to get through the world the way we have to. Now your mind is a transformer, you see. You see things positively or negatively depending on how your mind functions.
When you see things positively, you look for the good in things, you have a positive mental attitude, you expect things to go well, you have confidence in yourself, you believe in yourself, you have a positive outlook, that transforms your experience. You could say that your life is, basically, a movie and what’s on the movie comes from the projector. The projector is your mind and your belief system.
With the right attitude and the right belief systems, you’re probably going to transform your life into a more enriched life. Now on the other hand, with a negative attitude and a toxic belief system, you’re probably going to create unforeseen complications. That’s being by the mind’s transforming. Now the emotions, love is one of the more powerful if not the most powerful force in the universe.
The more love you put out, love for life, love for the spirit, love for your family, and love for your loved ones, love for your pet, whatever you love, the more love you generate, the greater your emotional magnet and the more love you attract. If you have an open warm heart and you met– I mean, magnetism is everything. Basically, the benefit of being healthy and energetic is that your being becomes a magnet that attracts positive energy into your life whether it be in your home life, your work life, your spiritual life, your health, whatever is working on you, you’re a magnet. You’re magnetic, you’ve got magnetism. But, you see, there are small magnets, medium magnets, and large magnets.
When you follow the structure of the 10 Rules of High-Performance Living, you’re basically investing in the strong magnet. Because, ultimately, if you have the right exercise and attitude, and you have the right nutritional program, I believe that gets you to about 70 okay. 70 to 90, 70 to 80 climbing that slope up to 100, you got to have spiritual and emotional magnetism and a mental transforming willpower. You can get pretty far with diet, exercise and attitude, no doubt.
You ain’t going to get to the top of Mount Everest with that. You’re going to need emotional magnetism, spiritual magnetism and mental mind power, which comes from using your mind to transform your thinking. That’s why we spend a lot of time in old book chapters going over how to develop all those things. Because like I said, you get to the Super Bowl, you need more than just a few things solid. You need to have it all.
Why a heartfelt and soul-filled love relationship with life increases performance
Ari Whitten: Yes, absolutely. Principle number three is to take charge of your life and you have a quote there that I really love. You say very much in line with what you were just expressing you said, “It’s up to you to create a heartfelt soul-filled love relationship with life.” What do you mean by that? A love relationship with life, a soul-filled love relationship?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Well, I think that everybody has different talents and different interests and different hobbies, et cetera. Certain things just touch your soul. In other words, for somebody it could be music, for someone else it could be art, for someone else it could be dance, for someone else it could be helping people. There are things that are good for your soul. They’re just you, your identity of who you are, and you want your actions and your thoughts to be in harmony with your purpose in life. My input to people is this, there’s lots of roads, lots of pathways. What is it you love to do? What is it you really love to do? Do you love to entertain? Do you love to write? Do you love to travel?
Do you love to meditate? Do you love to do yoga? Whatever it is. Again, as long as it’s not illegal, immoral or unethical. If you love to chase butterflies, that’s what you do. You want to follow your heart, you want to follow your soul. Now, when you meditate and you learn to quiet your mind, you get your mind out of the game, you discover the truths of your soul. You can be more in harmony with yourself once you learn how to deeply meditate. Let’s just say you love to play music, you love to help people as a doctor, you love to ski, whatever. You pursue the things in life that you love to do and then you do the same thing with the people in your life.
The love you put out is what comes back. The best way to receive is to give. You create a loving, soulful, honest, caring connection with everyone that you love, and that you just don’t wait for it to come to you. You put it out there. I think your vibration creates magnetism. As you create a vibration of what you think will be loving and passion and high quality, that vibration, in my experience, helps you succeed at whatever your intention is.
Ari Whitten: Yes, beautiful.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Does that make sense?
Why Dr. Meltzer chose preventative medicine over conventional medicine
Ari Whitten: Yes, absolutely. There’s something I don’t know the answer to about you that I’m really curious about and I think it’s very much in line with this, which is your passion, what you love, your purpose and your history. You were one of the first doctors, first MDs that specialized in preventive medicine, back in the ’70s and back then this was not at all common thinking. I think for the most part nutrition and lifestyle stuff was thought as quackery and pseudoscience. I’m just curious, what was it that led you down that path of realizing that nutrition and lifestyle was actually really important and made you want to pursue that as your career?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Well, again, that’s a good question. It goes back quite a bit. As far as I remember, Ari, I was the first doctor of preventive medicine because there were no other doctors of preventive medicine. Here’s how, basically, it went. I’ll try not to make a long story longer, I’ll try to keep it as short as I can. When I was in my third year of residency, third year of post-medical training with UCSD, my surgical residency, I spent a lot of time in the middle of the night, a lot of hours at night operating. I was actually one of the first residents in the VA hospital that opened. I was there to open the VA hospital.
When the VA opened back in the early ’70s I was one of the surgical residents, that was on staff there as a resident. I got to see a lot of surgery, got to do a lot of surgery and somewhere in my second-year residency I got touched with a very close friend of mine who also was a physician. He had some friends visiting from the East coast. They owned a health food store. Anyway, to make a long story longer, they were plant-based eaters and they were really mellow and we knew these guys from college. I went to [unintelligible] he went to Cornell, and we knew these guys from college and they were just really cool guys [unintelligible] brothers, but they were anything but tranquil and serene.
These guys were super serene and super tranquil and we look at each other and he always had a lot of energy. I wasn’t serene and [unintelligible] I was pretty high in power. I can’t even call myself serene or tranquil. We looked at each other and went, “Hey, what are these guys doing? Just look at Jerry, look at Dennis. These guys are different. It’s a couple of years since we’ve seen them.” Well, they became vegetarian. Oh, okay. I became a vegetarian and then one thing led to the next before you knew it, I was doing yoga, thinking about doing more yoga and now it’s little surgical residency and a couple of surgeries I did were very, very complicated.
They were head and neck surgeries. What they were they were radical neck that surgeons, sir. Someone this developed grows cancers and oral cavity. I remember I had two experiences. One was that I had done an eight-hour procedure on the gentleman and put in a trach tube for him. About a week or two later, he was an outpatient. I was looking for him then I asked the nurse where he was because it was seven o’clock at night. I used to come in Monday morning at 7:00 AM and go home Tuesday night at 7:00 PM, so I’d be gone for 36 hours. I couldn’t wait to get home to see my girlfriend, have something to eat and I’d go to sleep.
You maybe slept an hour or two when you’re on call. I couldn’t wait to get home. It was seven o’clock at night. Where’s Mr. Jones? Where’s Mr. Jones? Well, he’s down the hallway. I go down the hallway to look for him, guess what? He’s smoking a cigarette through his trach tube. That freaked me out. Then the next day or two days later, and I’m not one of these people that has these insights all the time, but I get them from time to time. I was doing a procedure and, again, we were doing a radical neck and I’m thinking to myself, “There’s got to be a better way, there’s got to be a better way, there’s got to be a better way.”
I probably said that to myself at least four times and with that type of intensity while I’m doing the procedure, “There’s got to be a better way.” All of a sudden this voice goes off and says, “There is.” I go, “What’s that?” It says, “Prevent disease,” and I went, “Well, that sure made sense.” The idea of preventing as far as versus treatment when really going on with me and it just hit me. It hit me in my soul, it hit me in my heart and that’s basically the path that I followed.
At the time there were no doctors of preventive medicine because when I was trying to leave surgery I didn’t know where to go because I didn’t want to go into the back of the hospital. Preventive medicine, basically, was public health and immunizations. That’s not what I was interested in. I had to do my own thing. I set up a program back in ’71, ’72 based on nutrition, exercise and attitude. Over the years it evolved into the 10 Rules of High Performance Living. Now I hope that makes sense.
Ari Whitten: Yes, absolutely. I just want to make it clear. You were doing this decades before it really became common and popular for people to be learning about nutrition and lifestyle and even really had a whole lot of sense around the fact that it was really important to prevent disease. You were doing this at a time where it was common for oncologists, unfortunately, it’s still happens, but it’s common for oncologists to say to cancer patients, “It doesn’t matter what you eat. You can eat candy bars and whatever else because that doesn’t affect your cancer.”
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: No, I think it’s still prevalent that oncologists will tell patients to eat more protein, particularly animal protein. They’re not clued in as to the inflammatory components of animal fat, saturated fats, animal proteins, and the acidity in those foods. Unfortunately, that’s not where the mindset of conventional doctors are. They’re not going in that direction. It’s funny, when you get in touch with your soul you can feel good physically, but until you really rich the depth of your heart and soul, you don’t feel right.
Something in me told me that preventative medicine was right. It didn’t matter that other people didn’t agree with me and didn’t matter that other people, didn’t understand it and it didn’t matter then people thought I was eccentric for leaving surgery because I knew it was right. Now it’s still here almost 50 years. I’ve been out of medical school over 50 years. Here’s 50 years later. Is preventive medicine isn’t the main theme in the nation’s medical center? No. It’s there, but it’s a small vector. Maybe 1%, 2% of all doctors are going to preventive set and then the ones that do by and large are so unhealthy. They can’t really teach people how to be well it was a difficult situation.
Ari Whitten: They still don’t really learn nutrition in medical schools. It’s usually like four hours or less. It’s almost nothing as part of it.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: The only thing you learn in medical school nutrition is malnutrition. You get to see [unintelligible]. Here’s the thing that’s interesting. Truth will always prevail. I opened my office and clinically made my statement late in ’71 and ’72 and as fate would have it, and that was at that time, like you say, the only preventive medicine that I had knew that even existed at the time and I thought that was it the only one. Then Richard Nixon got elected president in December or November of ’72 and then in January of ’73, Nixon, because of his diplomatic skills, they dissolved the Iron Curtain.
Which meant that before that happened, there was no transcultural exchange between the East and the West, meaning China and the United States in terms of culture. All of a sudden the Iron Curtain came down. They found out about the drugs, sex, rock and roll, Coca-Cola fast food et cetera and junk food. We found out about yin and yang and acupuncture and preventive medicine and yoga and meditation.
Well, I never heard of that and all of a sudden I find out from looking into it, the Emperor of China in 5000 BC was a physician and he was the first doctor of preventive medicine and wrote the book called The Yellow Emperor’s Anals of Internal Medicine. That blew my mind. If there was a 5,000-year history of preventative medicine that I didn’t even know existed.
Dr. Meltzer’s view of the modern-day landscape of medicine
Ari Whitten: Yes. Fascinating stuff. I was always curious about that as far as your personal background. I’m curious one final note here, what you think of the modern-day landscape of what conventional MDs are doing when it comes to disease. We have massive epidemics of cardiovascular disease still is hugely prevalent after many decades. Cancer, diabetes, obesity, neurological disease, autoimmune disease, these things over the the 50 years that you’ve been in practice, all these things have become epidemics as a direct result of nutrition and lifestyle habits and yet, as we said, conventional doctors are still not being trained in nutrition. What do you think of the current landscape of conventional medicine?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: You have to get the big picture on this. That’s why I call myself a doctor of integrated medicine because I know traditional medicine, I don’t have the surgical skills that I didn’t in the early days of course, but I have the judgment skills. When you integrate traditional medicine with preventive medicine, not just integrated medicine, but here’s the point. Conventional medicine is downstream taking the wounded buddies out of the river. Now there are a lot of wounded bodies going down the river because the wounded bodies are not taking accountability for their lifestyle. Number one, I’m upstream trying to keep the bodies from getting into the river.
As long as there’s a lot of people downstream for the river, it’s not going to change. It’s not going to change until people find out that they’re accountable for their health. Now here’s the deal. You can go to the most famous doctor who is a Nobel prize or whatever, and say to him, what’s the cause of ovarian cancer? Is it genetic or breast cancer. Is it genetic, is it a bug, a virus or an infection? Is it just you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, or bad luck. Or number four is it lifestyle or choices? I’ll do it again. Number one is a genetic number two, is it an infection? Number three, is it a victim thing where you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or number four is it a a lifestyle choice?
Until doctors and people recognize that their illnesses are results of their lifestyle choices and not their inheritance and not something that they caught, you never hear someone when they catch a cold say, “I really was stressed out. Ate the wrong foods at the party. Too much eggnog, and too many products, and too much cheese, and too much meat, and too much of this and that, and too much sugar.” They don’t ever say that. They go, “I was in the front row of the party, and people were coughing there at the movie, and I went to the daycare center.”
Everybody’s always pinning their not feeling well on something else instead of taking accountability for it. As long as traditional medicine allows you and disempowers you from taking accountability for your health, their direction is not going to change. The doctor-patient relationship is over. That [unintelligible] is over. Most doctors are consumed by getting paid now because of the EMR, the electronic record, and all they can do is spend their time doing the record, and who knows if they’re going to get paid. It’s a robotic system.
I think it’s going in the wrong direction. There’s a handful of doctors in preventive medicine out there. Whether they will have enough clout to take over, I doubt it in the next 50 years, but eventually, just like the Chinese culture of 5,000 years, they have an emphasis on preventive medicine. That’s why people do Tai chi twice a day there. Now, their nutrition’s not right, but the rest of it is you got the mind and body thing going, emotionally, there could certainly be more balances in culture, but they have the idea. I try to put all the high rule, 10 rules [unintelligible].
I try to put the best together from the North, East, West, and South, so I travel to all these places. What I’m saying is, traditional medicine, traditional medicine. It’s interventional. It’s not going to shift. By and large, most folks are not willing to take responsibility for their health. They have an illness, it’s not their responsibility. It’s not because of their choices. They won’t look at it that way. They can’t see it that way. I’m so sorry this happened. I’m so sorry you have Parkinson’s. I’m so sorry you have diabetes.
I’m so sorry you have heart issues. Of course, you’re sorry, but the people’s choices are what led to it. Until people realize that, the [unintelligible] not going to change because there may be a lot of bodies down the stream. A lot of people floating bodies down the river. What are you going to do with those bodies? Some doctors, you can’t get an appointment with them for six weeks to three months, who are part of these networks. Are they fabulous doctors? No. That’s how many people need to be seen.
Ari Whitten: There’s a never ending supply of bodies floating down the river.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: You and I are upstream, so all I can say is this, on a positive note. The folks that want to stay well, there’s a way to do it, but you do have to go upstream and you have to swim upstream. That’s the point. If you are not willing to swim upstream through exercising and changing your mindset and eating right and meditating and making a more simple, balanced life for yourself, bear healthy relationships, more loving, creative relationships, more soulful constructive living, unless you’re willing to take that tag, you’re probably floating along thinking everything is great.
You won’t see the warning sign down the stream until about 200 feet before the falls. That’s going to go, “Danger. Warning. Falls, 200 feet.” The doctors and nurses are downstream. Those that are willing to have a lifestyle comparable to the 10 rules, they’re willing to work out, they’re willing to charge their battery, they’re willing to transform their mind, their love, their hearts, their soul. Those people swimming upstream, they can avoid most of going downstream. At the end of the day, you get to the top, you will need emotional and spiritual magnetism.
The importance of nutrition for high performance living
Ari Whitten: Beautiful. A big part of your methods are nutrition. Nutritional balances is principle number six in your book the 10 Rules of High Performance Living, Maintain Nutritional Balance. What does good nutrition look like for you? I’m also curious given that you’ve been doing this for 50 years, has there been any big shifts in your thinking around nutrition as far as what you thought initially versus what you think now?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: What I intuitively discovered and I came to realize through my medical background and my study of biochemistry and my understanding of clinical nutrition has not shifted one iota. Only thing that has shifted is the science has validated my philosophies. For example, back in the early ’70s, I called the Del Mar diet which was my first book, a high enzyme diet because we hadn’t found out about things like phytonutrients and antioxidants. In a nutshell, to make it simple for your viewers, you break down through nutrition, I call it red light, yellow light, green light nutrition.
Just like driving. There are inflammatory foods, there are anti-inflammatory foods. The anti-inflammatory foods are the green lights, the inflammatory foods are the red lights. I encourage people to eat no inflammatory foods, and then there are a few yellow foods in between, very few. By and large, the inflammatory foods are foods that when you burn them in your metabolism, what happens is based on the mineral composition of the food, based on the chemistry of the food, not the caloric content, not the fat content, based on the chemistry of the food, after the body metabolizes the food, the food either becomes acidic or alkaline.
Now, if the food becomes acidic, acidic ash is inflammatory. Here are the foods that are high inflammatory: meat protein, chicken protein, turkey, pork, seafood protein, most standard dairy products and eggs, sweets, caffeine, alcohol, butter, white foods, white rice, white bread, white noodles, soft drinks, energy drinks, Coca Cola, et cetera. The majority of folks live on inflammatory foods. I’ve been trying to get people off those foods for 50 years.
Only a handful of people do it. Some do this and some don’t do that, but to me, it’s red light, green light. Stay away from the red light foods and the green light foods: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. You build a plant-based diet as your principal part of your diet. That’s 90%, 95% of it. If you’re going to have any dairy products, if you want yogurt, get the cashew yogurt. If you want cheese, use the vegan cheese. If you’re going to eat regular cheese, use a rennet-free cheese, so that’s the yellow light.
The vegan cheese, the rennet-free cheese, the almond cheeses and things like that. You do those once in a while just to balance out your diet if you don’t want to be a full vegan. I’ve told people since 1971 to only eat plant-based foods. Just now the science has just validated it. Even last week or two weeks ago, it was unbelievable. The Harvard School of Public Health finally came out 48 years later, and finally came out and said that the science has proven that people that eat meat have shorter lifespans and more accelerated disease. The professors said it at Harvard. It’s out there.
Why Dr. Meltzer recommends seasonal cleansing
Ari Whitten: Another aspect of what you’re doing is cleansing, seasonal cleansing. This is something that I grew up doing as a result of your influence, my parents were doing. What is this seasonal cleansing all about? I think it was a precursor to the modern popularity of now fasting. The last few years that’s become very popular. The truth is, you’ve been talking about some degree of a modified fast cleanse type approach to be done every three months. You’ve been talking about this for 30 years?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: No. It was more.
Ari Whitten: 50 years?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: 50 years. Even my first book, Del Mar Diets. I believe in what I call seasonal cleansing. I believe that you need to have a pure blood stream in your body to load the highest level of energy. For example, the best analogy I give people is this. No matter how well you drive, every three months it makes sense to have an oil change and get your new oil in the system. I even encourage people to cleanse for five days every three months 10 days or so before the season equinox. For example, two days from now, the 20th is a seasonal equinox.
I did my cleansing right after labor day. Your choices on cleansing is you can do all living foods, all salads and fruits, and raw vegetables and fresh fruits, or you can do smoothies and fresh fruits and raw vegetables. That’s your cleansing diet. Fruits and nuts, salads and guacamole, salad, salad, salad, and green drinks, and smoothie. I do what’s called the super cleanse. I go on the liquid diet, the juice fast. I do five days just on liquids, the super cleanse every three months. Whether you do the super cleanse or the seasonal cleanse, they’re both very effective.
I do want to encourage all people to change your oil every three months typically 10 days before the seasonal change. The next seasonal cleanse will be the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. That will get people ready for the winter cleanse. The next one is the first week in March to get you ready for the spring season, and then one right after Memorial Day. It’s pretty easy to remember. Labor Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving. The Tuesday thereafter okay, and then the first week in March is the four times of the year you go on a five day cleanse.
Ari Whitten: Two things. What is the significance of those times? Why does it need to be timed in accordance with the seasons?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: What happens is being part of the chemistry of life, as the seasons change and leaves change, the weather changes, so does your body. Your body needs to be grounded and centered for the seasonal change. It’s the change in the environmental chemistry, and your body chemistry can shift. I always believe that if you’re grounded and rooted in seasonal change you don’t get sick. Very often people get colds, sick, and flues. As a matter of fact, if I worked in the clinic one week every three months, I’d work the week of the seasonal change.
I’d work this week, September 13th to September 20th, was between the last week or so right around the change, and into the first part of the change. People get the flu, they get digestive troubles, they get into trouble. They tilt. They tilt every three months. Now, if you do the cleanse, you don’t tilt. “I always get a cold in the fall.” You haven’t cleansed, that’s why. [unintelligible] clogged up. I think it’s very important to get centered and grounded. The actual seasonal change typically starts developing, it’s still going on right now. It started about a few days ago.
The nights are different, the mornings are a little different. I want to have everything set by the time the season changes. That person is cleansed, purified, grounded, rooted, oil changed, and they’re grounded and ready like a strong tree to bend with the seasonal change but not break.
Ari Whitten: Yes, got you. What are these cleanses actually doing for us at the cellular, at the metabolic level? What’s happening in our bodies that’s so important?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: They’re purifying and eliminating the toxins we talked about. Remember we said in beginning fatigue, one of the things that causes fatigue is nutritional toxemia which is inflammatory so how do you get rid of the toxins? Here’s how you get rid of it. Out with the old in with the new. The positive cleans out the negative. You flood yourself with pure fresh whole living food, and that purges negative toxins out of your body.
Your body does the best it can. The liver can detox. Don’t think you don’t have some detox mechanism. You can breathe in from the back of a bus your body will detox it. But if you have three months of chronic inflammatory stress and inflammatory foods, your body needs to purify itself for the next season or you’re going to start the season [unintelligible]. It builds up. People get healed. They have four to seven years of this stuff backing up on them.
Why physical fitness is essential for optimal health
Ari Whitten: Another one of the principles of your book, this is number seven, develop the habit of physical fitness and keep metabolically fit. Do you have any thoughts or tips on what types of exercise or regimen for exercise that you recommend for people?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: As I say, I recommend exercising twice a day in the morning recharging in the sunrise, sunset charge. I like at least one cardio a day, you’re running, you’re jogging, you’re biking, you’re playing tennis and one yoga one lighter bike or something like that. It doesn’t matter what you do, but you need to cardio something that is aerobic swimming, biking, running, jogging, some machine that you work on vigorously. You need to break a sweat is what I’m saying. Then you can do another exercise, particularly yoga, tai chi or something like that. It could be a stationary bike or something like that.
You want to have the five features of your exercise. You want to be able to have cardiovascular fitness. You need to have strength and power so it helps to have some resistance training. Wouldn’t hurt. I go to the gym three days a week and lift weights. I would say resistance training. You know that, you’re built and buffed-up. Working out, exercise, resistance training, build up that. Some mind-body discipline, like a yoga or Tai Chi and something that allows you to have flexibility like yoga so you need flexibility, balance, coordination. If you work out twice a day, one aerobic, one mind-body, something like that. But I do recommend people do two exercise periods a day at the two charges.
Heal your soul and find your purpose
Ari Whitten: Excellent. One of the final recommendations in your book, there’s two I want you to comment on. One is heal your soul and the last one is or the ninth one I should say, not the last one, but the one I want you to comment on here is defining your purpose in life. I feel like those are also somewhat connected.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Yes. They’re very connected. They’re different levels of spiritual evolution. Healing your soul there’s people who have a lot of restlessness in their life. They’ve a lot of anxiety and stress in their life. Their mind is so filled with chatter and inner chatter and circular thinking back and forth, what have you, doubt, worry, fear, anxiety, et cetera. It’s so turbulent, that it doesn’t give people a chance to find out their truth. Everybody has a soul and the soul has certain features, for example, it offers you quietude, it offers you tranquility, it offers you peace, it offers you joy, it offers you healing powers. You have to go find them. That’s the secret to life.
You got to figure out that that power is within you. If you can’t stop your mind, you can’t discover your soul. I started going to self realization fellowship about 45 years ago. I started saying the scientific methods and meditation they taught me years ago and basically what I learned was, you have to be able to stop your mind so you can discover your soul. That’s basically it. You have to learn how to meditate effectively so that you can get into the truth of your soul. Once you have that connection with your soul, whatever life decisions you make you try to make in harmony with your truth. If you don’t really know your truth your decisions may be out of harmony with your truth.
Ari Whitten: Finding your purpose ties into that, that is your truth.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Yes, it is your truth. Who are you? What do you believe in? What do you want to make a difference in life at? Where do you want to make a difference? How you going to help other people? What is your purpose? That’s where your passion comes in. Follow your passion and find a way to help other people be useful to other people. Follow your passion and find a way to be helpful useful to other people and you will be happy.
Ari Whitten: Beautiful. My final question to you is, having been in practice for 49 years, having been the first or one of the first preventive medicine specialist MDs in the country, what is the one thing, we, obviously, talked about a lot of important things here but what is the one little nugget that you really want to leave people with?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: My nugget is make time for wellness it will also make time for you. You must have a daily routine. You must have structure. Structure leads to immune power. Super structure leads to super immunity, super immunity leads to super consciousness. You need super consciousness to climb to the top of the mountain. It starts with super structure. Don’t have you exercise three days a week, you meditate when you can, you try to stress reduce. No. You have a morning routine, you have an attitude routine, you have a mind routine, you have a belief routine, you have a nutritional program.
You only eat anti-inflammatory food, you recharge your battery regularly, you meditate you discover your God-realized willpower and you just have a system. You talk to anybody successful, no great surgeon doesn’t have a system. No great attorney doesn’t have a system. Everybody has a system, for what reason? I used to think doctors are smarter than contractors. Let me tell you why I disagree. Doctors are very smart they’re just not wise. Have you ever met a contractor when you ask them to build a house or a building that wouldn’t start with the foundation? I never met one. They always start with a foundation.
Yet I’ve never met a doctor that knows to start with the foundation. You need a foundation. Your foundation comes from your daily routine. No daily routine, sorry, folks, no foundation. What do I discover on 100 people that I evaluate who come in to see me every 100 people? Underdeveloped immune systems. Not that they don’t have the ability. Here’s the thing you got to remember. When you wake up in the morning, what do you have to do to get your heart started?
Ari Whitten: Do some movement?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Actually, you know what I mean. You don’t do anything it’s going by itself. What do you have to do in the morning when you wake up to get your breathing going?
Ari Whitten: Nothing. It happens by itself.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: They’re involuntary functions. They operate whether you want to or not, but what interesting is that’s not how your immune system metabolism work. Metabolism has to be charged. They have to be recharged or they’re not going to work. You want surveillance, what happens to the inmates when there’s no surveillance in the penitentiary?
Ari Whitten: They go wild.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: You need surveillance to overview your body and your body chemistry and any toxins in your body. If you don’t activate your surveillance, and you don’t have surveillance, you have a structure surveillance, hello, SHTG you know what this stands for?
Ari Whitten: No.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: SHTG, say hello to goodbye. Anyway, that’s my message, get organized. Study the program, have structure, have a system, have a meditation routine, an exercise routine, a nutritional program. Get with it.
Ari Whitten: Beautiful. Dr. Meltzer, this has been a pleasure. I’ve been wanting to do this with you for a very long time. This is very personally meaningful to me, given that you were my childhood doctor and influenced my trajectory, I think in more profound ways than you realize or would take credit for. I really, really enjoyed this. For everybody listening, I highly recommend go on Amazon pick up this book 10 Rules of High Performance Living. Dr. Meltzer, is there anywhere else you’d like to direct people to online programs or other books of yours or anything like that?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Most of the books that I keep in the office. I don’t really have in the bookstores. I still have practice down there at 1011 Camino del and Mar and Delmar. The books are there if you want to come by and get one. I’m a consultant, I’m there to help people, anybody that’s looking to really develop higher levels of immune power and more energy, energy coach, health coach, whoever want to have issues in their lifestyle, have health issues, more than happy to be available. I’m sure there’s some books in Amazon. That’s fine too. I don’t have them in the bookstores anymore.
Ari Whitten: For people in San Diego I highly recommend they see you as well, obviously. I’m still alive, I’m healthy, I’m doing great. You, obviously, helped by my parents tremendously as well. I’m sure probably, I think you were helping my dad before I was even born so probably you’ve affected my health epigenetically through his sperm
through the lifestyle changes that you had in him.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: I’m proud to have been your doctor. You’ve turned out to be quite a young man. I’m very proud of you.
Ari Whitten: Thank you.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Anytime I can be supportive, let me know. My message to people is, make time for wellness in their lives or they’re going to be disappointed.
Ari Whitten: I agree with you 100%. Dr. Meltzer, you’ve been in practice for 49 years, as we’ve said. You’ve worked with a lot of different people. At this point in your career, who are you looking to work with? Do they need to come see you in person or can you work with people via online consults and online calls and things like that or phone calls. What is your ideal patient or your ideal client that you’d really love to work with?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Well, I have two or three main types. Let’s say anybody that’s really looking to stay well and be well, that wants really advance coaching in terms of how to do that, how to climb that ladder to success, I think that people that have conditions that have been diagnosed with either whether it’s diabetes or arthritis or Parkinson’s or any digestive disorder what have you, respiratory disorder. That want an alternative, that want to build their systems up and have an integrated approach to it. That wanted to get some advice on how to overcome a condition, what they can do to reverse the condition, how to overcome burnout, reverse burnout, how to treat burnout, how to treat fatigue and stuff like you do.
Basically, people that have burnout that want to be coached out of the burnout. Basically, I tell people there’s a difference between success and prosperity. I like people that are
successful that want to be prosperous. My distinction is that prosperity is success plus health plus happiness. I get a lot of people who are successful but they’re not healthy or happy and so I coach them in that area. Basically, people that are looking for a way to if they have been diagnosed with MS, they’ve been diagnosed with a digestive disorder or a liver condition or kidney condition and they want to see if there’s an alternative or a way to overcome it, that’s where I come in. That’s where I have my special interest. I love helping people overcome conditions and reversing things.
Ari Whitten: Beautiful.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: I coach those people. Yes. For sure.
Ari Whitten: Beautiful. What is the best way for people to reach out to you if they want to work with you?
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Well, I’m in the office Tuesdays and Fridays. My number is 858-481-7102. I’ll say it again 858-481-7102. I do phone counsels. I do video chats. It would be best that I’ll be seeing someone at least once in person, then I can read their pulses and figure out their immune systems. I can give them body good advice over the phone. I can do it even better by looking at them. It’s best that I even see them once. I got a lady coming in from Sweden next week who was just diagnosed with MS and she won’t have long to stay. She’ll just give me a day a two and then go back. The rest we can do via video chat or et cetera. It’s just helps to see them once. It does help but if it’s impossible we can do it via a video chat.
Ari Whitten: Okay, Dr. Meltzer, thank you for everything you’ve done for my family and for me personally. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with my audience here. Again, everybody listening, go grab his book. Highly recommend him. Thank you so much, Dr. Meltzer. I hope to talk to you again in the near future.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: It’s been my pleasure. Thanks so much for your professional and your very intelligent nature. Thanks for much.
Ari Whitten: Thanks so much.
Dr. Barnet Meltzer: Thank you.
Top 10 Rules For High Performance Living with Dr. Barnet Meltzer – Show Notes
Why fatigue has become a huge problem in modern society (5:36)
Why Dr. Meltzer uses hydrotherapy (11:39)
How emotions and mind affect your energy and health (14:09)
Why a heartfelt and soul-filled love relationship with life increases performance (17:57)
Why Dr. Meltzer chose preventative medicine over conventional medicine (20:16)
Dr. Meltzer’s view of the modern-day landscape of medicine (28:03)
The importance of nutrition for high performance living (33:25)
Why Dr. Meltzer recommends seasonal cleansing (36:36)
Why physical fitness is essential for optimal health (41:14)
Heal your soul and find your purpose (47:55)
If you want to work with Dr. Meltzer, call him at 858-481-7102