In a world filled with stress, we’re all looking for ways to reduce stress and build resiliency. But there’s a hidden secret here… While everyone is talking about relaxing and doing calming breathing exercises, mindfulness practices, visualizing calming images and so on (which are all fine and helpful), people are missing one of the most powerful ways to reduce stress: Building resiliency into your biology at the cellular level. You do this by doing something totally counterintuitive and actually the polar opposite of what most stress experts are talking about. While everyone is talking about avoiding stress and relaxing your way to low stress levels, it turns out that the secret key is actually building up your body’s tolerance to stress — your resiliency — with stress itself.
Your mitochondria are the batteries in your cells, and the stronger your mitochondria are, the healthier, more resilient to stress, and more energetic your cells (and ultimately, YOU) become. Now, you might wonder, ”how do I increase mitochondrial health?” One of the most important (and most overlooked) aspects of improving mitochondrial mitochondria is hormesis. Hormesis is the process where a temporary exposure to certain types of stress actually — counterintuitively — improve health and resilience. While most of us think of “stress” as bad and as something we must avoid — it turns out that hormesis is the key to mitochondrial health, a better immune system, fixing low energy levels, and a even a longer lifespan.
This week, I am talking with Ori Hofmekler, author of The Warrior Diet and The Seven Principles of Stress. Ori will talk about the secret keys to understanding the physiology of stress, how to fix low energy levels, how to eat for mitochondrial health, and why hormesis is essential for your health, mood, happiness, longevity, and of course, your ENERGY.
- Hormesis – The Hidden Key To How To Reduce Stress, Fix Low Energy Levels, and Build Resiliency – Transcript
- The concept of “The Warrior Diet”
- How deliberately exposing yourself to stress (hormesis) is something you are born to do
- What hormesis is and how it is important to your health and resiliency
- Why you should build stress resiliency
- The importance and pitfalls of discipline in athletes
- Why aging is stress related rather than age-related
- The optimal length of fasting time
- Why hormesis is important for resiliency, lowering stress, and fixing energy levels
- How to reduce stress -The different types of hormesis you should incorporate into your daily life to fix energy levels and increase resiliency
- Why it is important to fast at least 12 hours
- The truth about antioxidants and hormesis (why antioxidant supplements decrease resiliency)
- How to reduce stress – Eat a plant-based diet
- Hormesis – The Hidden Key To How To Reduce Stress, Fix Low Energy Levels, and Build Resiliency – Show Notes
In this podcast, you’ll learn
- The concept of hormesis and why you should use it to build resiliency to stress
- The best types of hormesis for building health, energy, and resiliency
- The single most important type of hormesis that everyone needs to be doing
- Why resliency is not just about avoiding stress, but about seeking it out
- How antioxidant supplements prevent your body from adapting to stress
- Why aging is related to chronic stress and resiliency rather than simply the amount of years you are alive
- Why do humans seek out caring for plants and animals
- Why humans are biologically programmed to SEEK out stress (this one is shockingly counterintuitive and surprising)
- Why fasting is such a powerful hormetic stressor (and how long you should fast for optimal effects)
- The role hormesis plays in anti-aging and longevity
- What Ori thinks is the most optimal diet for health and longevity
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Hormesis – The Hidden Key To How To Reduce Stress, Fix Low Energy Levels, and Build Resiliency – Transcript
Ari Whitten: Okay. Hey everyone, this is Ari Whitten. Welcome back to The Energy Blueprint podcast. I have a very, very special guest today, someone, that I’ve been looking forward to interviewing for a very long time. Believe it or not, I’ve been following his work for nearly 20 years at this point. I literally read his first book, The Warrior Diet, when I was in high school when I was a 16-year-old kid. It was one of the, among some of the first health books that I had read at that time and it was very influential on me. He’s been doing it for a very, very long time. He is the author of The Warrior Diet, as I said, as well as a new book that he just published called The Seven Principles of Stress, which I highly, highly recommend everyone pick up on Amazon. It is none other than Ori Hofmekler. Welcome Ori, it’s truly an honor to have you on the show. I’ve been a fan of your work for a very long time.
Ori Hofmekler: Thank you, Ari, it’s a pleasure seeing you face to face and having a conversation with you.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. As we were talking about before I hit record, I was telling you that this book was very cool to see you publish this very recently, because as I mentioned I’ve been working on somewhat of a similar book. We both seem to have arrived at the conclusion that the concept of hormesis, which we’re going to explain more in this interview, the concept of hormesis is really the crux of good health and resistance to disease and energy levels and longevity as a whole. So I was super excited to see this and the book is awesome.
Ori Hofmekler: Thank you.
The concept of “The Warrior Diet”
Ari Whitten: Yeah. I’m just giddy with excitement that we’re getting to geek out on hormesis in this conversation, which is my favorite subject. Let’s talk … One other thing I should mention, by the way, Ori Hofmekler is one of the actual pioneers of the intermittent fasting movement. He was literally one of the first people to ever even talk about this idea and really was instrumental in popularizing the whole idea of eating one meal a day and going the first part of the day without eating and then feasting at night, which then became a craze. It was really your work that was instrumental in making that happen.
Ori Hofmekler: I believe I was the first one to put intermittent fasting in practice. In fact, the word intermittent fasting came two years after The Warrior Diet.
Ari Whitten: What were you calling it at that time in The Warrior Diet? Did you have a name for it?
Ori Hofmekler: We called it the one main meal per day. There was no word like intermittent fasting, but I called it The Warrior Diet feeding cycle. Two years after the book … In the beginning, I was accused of dietary blame, for committing dietary blasphemy. How dare I tell to people to skip breakfast and lunch.
Breakfast was considered the most important meal of the day, and I say in my book it’s the worst meal of the day, the typical breakfast. The whole concept of fasting during the working hour absolutely devastated the fitness community, bodybuilders, and athletes who believed that they constantly need to shove in energy.
Yet, I came with this concept, being aware of the concept of hormesis already early on, right after the military. I started to realize how critical it is to understand that stress is inherent to our life and it’s very important to acknowledge it and design our day and our lifestyle, and especially our diet, to get the best out of stress, rather than fall victim to it.
I realized very early on that when I expose my body to nutritional stress, that means lack of food. That’s the meaning of nutritional stress, in this case, lack of food, lack of energy, energy deficit, my body respond with amazing compensation, compensating actions that help me better endure hunger, better endure stress, perform better. In fact, I noticed how my body was transforming itself already early on to become leaner and meaner in a good way. The impact of intermittent fasting on the cognitive function is amazing. Later on, two years later after The Warrior Diet was published, they did the first studies on intermittent … what was called intermittent by professor Mark Mattson, who found that … and he quote my book by the way, as the references. He contacted me and asked me for testimony on his article in Lancet journal. They found that when you put mice and rats on a diet similar to The Warrior Diet there was an extension of 50% in lifespan.
Ari Whitten: What percentage?
Ori Hofmekler: 50% extension of lifespan.
Ari Whitten: That’s massive.
Ori Hofmekler: When they injected mice toxin that causes brain dementia or disease that mimic Parkinson’s, Alzheimer, the mice on intermittent fasting rejected these toxins. It was incredible. This is the first time that The Warrior Diet got recognized as something that is real. The BBC gave us incredible break at that time. But I’m telling you, Ari, when I came with this concept it was very strange to people.
How deliberately exposing yourself to stress (hormesis) is something you are born to do
Nobody believes that you should deliberately put yourself under stress. Yet, in my latest book which is a continuation, in a way, of the concept of The Warrior Diet. I clearly prove, I try to prove and bring the evidence that not only stress is inherent to us, healthy mammals, the healthy organism is programmed with the instinct or desire to put themselves under stress. Ari, as an educated person who already understands it, that probably will be even more intense for you. If I now take away your ability to exercise, alone, how would you feel in several days?
Ari Whitten: Yeah. You’re absolutely right, that I would … and I’ve done this because there are certain times when I can’t exercise, for whatever reason, and I start to get irritable, I start to get depressed, I start to get annoyed. Yeah, you’re absolutely right, that there … It was a big aha moment for me in reading this section of your book where you talk about this because I had never really thought about this kind of innate programming that we’re all designed to seek out stress, which [crosstalk]
Ori Hofmekler: We are designed to seek stress, absolutely. We have here rescue dogs and kids that we take to our house and all of them with no exception, you can see it on animals, especially predators, they are looking for stress. If you don’t give it to them they will figure out a way to do it. Kittens or puppy dogs, they hustle and they bite each other. Children are raised … It’s just that this concept is being crushed out of us, but it’s not just physical stress, it’s nutritional stress. It’s not just fasting. I believe that we have a tendency, healthy humans, and animals, to crave for food rich in nutrients that mimic stress. I have been involved in this research program. It is called SAF, Stress-Activated Food. Well, plants especially, I explain in my book why plant are more hormesis oriented than any other organism on the planet.
What hormesis is and how it is important to your health and resiliency
Ari Whitten: Let me interrupt you real quick because I feel like there’s probably going to be a segment of … Some of these people watching this maybe have already heard me talk about hormesis and are already familiar with the concept.
But some people might not be, and there might a lot of people listening or watching to this that are of the typical paradigm and thinking around stress. You know, stress is bad, stress is a very negative thing, we need to avoid stress at all cost. This discussion that we’re having seems probably very odd and very counterintuitive for a lot of people who are not familiar with the concept of hormesis. Can you back up and let’s go a little bit big picture for a minute and just explain what this is all about and why stress is actually not what most people think, and why it’s actually an important part of our lives.
Ori Hofmekler: If I could say to the layman in the shortest way what hormesis is, it’s a process of adaptability to stress. Each organism on this planet, from bacteria to human, is programmed with the capacity to take advantage of hormesis. Means, in all organism exposure to low-level stress, especially nutritional stress, will promote adaptability and resistance to a higher level of the same stress.
So exposure to low-level stress promotes adaptability to intense stress and there is certain kind of principles of hormesis, which I mention in the book. This means that exposure to a high level, instant exposure to high-level stress, for instance if you’re not prepared, can kill you.
A classical example of hormesis is vaccination, learning. Ari, you learn something, you start with one step at a time. Exercise, fitness, you go to the gym, you don’t lift the immediately 300-pound weight. You start with small, you feel the pain. You let your body adapt gradually your resistance to weight load increase. You’re becoming stronger and stronger. This is the way we learn everything. Everything has a hormetic principle [inaudible]
The question is not how inherent it is to us. The question, what the hell are we going to do with this? How do we take this feature of hormesis, or this knowledge, and take the best advantage of it? How far can we go with this? In my book, I try to prove that we go much farther, far and beyond what conventional thinking is.
I believe that we can extend our life and maybe more than that. I believe that we not only can extend our life, we can improve the quality of life. I strongly believe that a guy like you, and there are many people out there, not the ideal specimen today but they’re trying to be in a good shape and smart, maybe even more … Those who are smart and can take advantage, I believe literally can get laid when they’re 80 and 90 years old. Why do I say that?
Biologists already know that natural selection keeps you around when you still can reproduce. I do believe that it is possible, but that’s not the only reason natural selection keep the organism alive. Natural selection keeps the organism alive when they contribute to the species when they contribute to the quality, the survivability of their own species.
Obviously, reproduction and good genes are one thing, but there are other ways to contribute. Contribute to knowledge, being a guide, it’s definitely a big advantage. We have no idea today how far we can go.
And yes Ari, if you, you I mean you and everybody, or those who wish to do that, can possibly extend life, double lifespan and maybe more so as written in the Bible.
Everything in our concepts of survival culture and priorities would change. You no more need to think about retirement when you’re 65 years old unless you chose to. Your dream, romantic dream and creativity could on way to the future. Imagine that your brain will never age, and there’s no reason for your brain to ever age. One day we are all going to die but we don’t have to die old, like typical old. We definitely don’t have to die with an old brain.
There’s a lot of evidence that our brain if we just keep the structure good, we talk about good healthy mitochondria and good healthy system that become resilient to stress, we’ll never die with an old brain.
So imagine the equation between experience and improving your IQ as time goes by. What kind of discovery and innovation we can create, and how we can improve our lifestyle.
So yes, in time of Donald Trump, when everything looks so gloomy and dumb when the system doesn’t even make sense, there’s at the same time an evidence that we as humans can excel far and beyond what we dream. It has nothing to do with the color of our skin or with gender or with anything that people try to stigmatize. You can come with what Trump called a shit hole country and still be a genius and a specimen. It’s time to focus ourselves from a different direction, break the old dogmas, understand the true life and the true potential of life that we live in, and move forward from there.
Why you should build stress resiliency
Ari Whitten: Beautiful. So, basically most people are running around with this idea of stress as bad and something to avoid, and in fact what you are teaching is that stress, the right kinds of stress in the right dose, done systematically, systemically integrating them into your life, is actually the crux of health and longevity and resistance to disease and resilience to stress.
Ori Hofmekler: Ari, I definitely … I’m glad you talk about it, because those who think that stress is bad, they’re right. Stress can be horrible. Stress can kill you. There are certain kind of stress or chemicals that are so poisonous that can shatter your life very fast.
What I’m trying to show, that the same deadly stress that we all run away if you just know how to take advantage of it, it could heal you. It will heal you instead of killing you. We are programmed in our body because we were created in a world which is stressful. Yes, the primordial world and the world today, were, was and have been stressed, now more than ever with the chemical around.
So rather just running [inaudible] away and avoiding everything, we should train or condition our body to resist stress. Literally talking about … For instance, lack of food, starvation can kill you. We know that human and animal can die from starvation. Yet, it is lack of food that has shown to extend life, when regulated smartly, of all organism, again from bacteria to human, and many time more than double their lifespan.
Nutritional stress is a key. However, Ari, it becomes more controversial when we come into toxins. Because one of the stress principles is that low dose of toxin can create resistance to a high level of the same toxin. When it creates resistance it actually does multiple other benefits, including antiaging benefit, makes your body stronger and more resilient to multiple other stress.
If I put on an exercise, certain kind of exercise, exercise just not make you building your muscle, it can make you resilient to also disease, resilient to aging. The same with fasting.
So exposure … everybody, there’s a phobia of heavy metals, there’s a phobia of MSG, and for good reason. However, if people would just understand the truth, a small amount of heavy metal is very beneficial for you. In fact, you cannot even survive without them and so is a small amount of radiation, and so is a small amount of MSG. MSG is a horrible toxin. Horrible. It’s obesogenic, especially the chemical MSGs. But in a small amount, it appears in one of the healthiest food that you eat, from kimchi to yogurt and everything.
We evolved to be resilient to all this toxin. In fact, it’s part of us. So we need to know the truth. Ari, you’re right, we need to find the map. Understanding how to navigate in the world that we are, and that’s what The Seven Principle Of Stress book is all about, it’s about navigation and taking advantage of existing stressor, not only to be okay, not only, to thrive and extend life to the point that goes far and beyond what we believe.
Ari Whitten: Beautiful. I know you talk a lot about excess energy. A quick little anecdote, at the time that I read your book, when I was I guess 16 years old in high school, I was very into fitness, into bodybuilding. I was also an athlete, so I was doing typical sports nutrition type of things.
At that time, probably a lot of people listening to this will remember, everybody was preaching this idea that you need to, especially if you’re lifting weights, to eat every two hours and kind of always be putting food into your body. Otherwise, you’ll go into catabolism and your muscles will start to waste away, and your metabolism will slow down so you won’t be in fat burning mode, and all this kind of stuff.
At that time your book came out, it really did seem like heresy. It did seem very extreme, like, “This is crazy.”
I remember when I tried it for the first time, the first day of doing it was absolutely miserable. Because my body was trained into a pattern of eating every two hours, so if I didn’t have a meal every two hours I would get irritable and hangry.
The importance and pitfalls of discipline in athletes
I felt, intuitively, subjectively I felt my body needs food every two hours. To do that for the first time was really difficult, and then after I did it the second time and the third time, something kind of miraculous happened. Which is I discovered that I became no big deal at all to do that. It became easy to go all day without eating and then having one meal at night. It was no longer a thing that required any difficulty whatsoever.
Ori Hofmekler: You’re raising one of the most important issues today. Because now we are talking about people who are smart and they want to be fit and they want to look good and they are dedicated. These people usually have more discipline than the average.
All athletes and bodybuilders generally have more discipline and they are driven to succeed.
So we are talking a niche of people in our society that are actually in many ways superior to others, those who are driven to excel. But it is very sad and tragic and ironic that it is those people who totally missed the boat.
I was approached recently by a professional football player who wanted to talk. In my book, I put some serious references, research reference, and science, about the fact that professional athletes, especially competitive endurance athlete, their lifespan is no longer than those of couch potatoes. How crazy is it that the fitness among us, so considered fittest among us cannot live longer than the most unfit among us? Why is it that a specimen, a marathon runner or cross-country skier, that very few in the world can even match is skill, cannot live longer than a couch potato, usually some die in their 50s or 60s. What is going on here?
Research at that time, it was done mostly in Europe, came to the conclusion that those athletes simply extend the level of stress they were supposed to be under and violated by that means the principle of hormesis.
Because they’re so dedicated to score, rather than survive, they trade off their lifespan with their achievement. I even raised the question, what’s the purpose then of sports conditioning if it shortened the life of an athlete? People should be aware of that. Many professional athletes start to be aware of that.
I did my own research about professional boxers and fighters and other athletes, sprinters, and realized that [inaudible] not only they don’t survive well, they become overweight and suffer from the same problems that people who never exercise suffer, overweight, obesity, blood sugar disorder.
This is wrong. People who dedicated their life and invested so much work in improving their physical condition, maybe mental condition, ability to resist pain, why do they pay so dearly with a shorter lifespan?
Bodybuilders are one you just mentioned. I’m saying like this, I admire people who want to do it. They want to excel physically and their look. But guys, ask yourself this question, are your priorities correct? If you don’t mind to shorten your life, then we have nothing to discuss because I strongly believe that every animal and creature priority, organism, should be to live as long as possible in a good quality of life. It’s the number one priority.
If you have a family, your family need you around. If you have animals that you raise or rescue, they also need you around. And your community needs you around because you’re a good person. A person, male or female, you need to take care of yourself and live as long as you can and be healthy as much as you can.
If are ready to leave that for scoring for maybe a year or two, get a chance to score in sport, something is wrong with your priorities. I strongly believe that the typical bodybuilders would not survive natural selection. If the typical bodybuilder was living 10,000 years ago he wouldn’t have survived. This oversized muscle with inferior muscle fiber, which is totally glycolytic, that means they don’t utilize well fat fuel, is a biological liability.
You are aware. You are educated, Ari. You read the research. You know that a switch from carb to fat fuel is a ubiquitous feature of quality and improvement in mammals. So muscle might … increased mitochondrial density in the muscle is the number one feature. It is more important than increasing the size of the muscle.
A guy who could be lean, like Bruce Lee for instance, probably with high mitochondria, have more explosive power than a 300-pound bodybuilder. It is not the size of the muscle. It’s the quality of the muscle that you want to build and to reach the quality of the muscle, in fact, you need to do the opposite of what that you do. It is the depletion of energy, we talk about energy, which is the main trigger of hormesis. It triggers your body to improve everywhere. One of the key element is the activator of transcription factors that signal your body to improve mitochondria, increase mitochondria density in your muscle.
The muscle is the largest energy producing organ in your body. Your brain too. Pound for pound your brain is even more.
However, increasing mitochondria is a key, and keeping your mitochondria’s health is also a key. So energy utilization and energy efficiency are absolutely critical for your survival. You cannot do it by shoving six or seven meals a day because every time that you eat you inhibit this mechanism from happening. You really need to be on an energy deficit, and the science is already there. There’s evidence, this goes far beyond the muscle, these wake up or regeneration or dormant stem cells in your brain. Scientists now believe that your brain can actually regenerate itself if you do it methodically.
Now, Ari, we don’t have enough mileage. When I came with intermittent fasting in the year 2000 that’s when the movement just started. What we are talking now about you and me don’t even have enough mileage to know how far we can go with this. All I say is this, guys, girls when you look at fitness just remember there is something which is called biological fitness. It’s not the conventional fitness that you see in your gym. It’s not what you read in a typical internet. It’s not what you see in muscle magazines or fitness magazine. It’s a fitness that is survival oriented. That’s the number one priority. It has to do with your survival. It has to do with your ability to live long in a healthy body. It’s not about your performance to score. It’s about your performance to better survive. It has totally different criteria and way to do it.
So while you guys go every day to the gym and putting so much work on the physical exercise, start to think how important it is to also exercise yourself nutritionally. Challenge yourself nutritionally the way you challenge yourself physically and you cannot go wrong. If you just combine, stress principle number three is the combination, number two is always the combination of nutritional stress and physical stress.
Every possible research shows that when you combine them both together you will get the ideal results. How far can we go? Well, that’s the exciting thing about life, you have your own balance. The principle is the same but each of us can find his own niche. We can experiment with ourselves. I show the guidance in my book about how exciting to build your own personal regiment of excelling. It really is critical.
So, as for your question, yes, conventional people do exist, there were gladiators all over the history. There were people that were ready to die on the sword, and I respect that. But I do still believe that people can be in extremely great shape by following different hormetic principles.
The goal of you Ari and other people, me too I hope so. I’m already getting old. But the goal of you Ari, to be in peak shape when you’re 60 years old, maybe 70, maybe even 80, it sounds crazy but it’s not impossible. It’s not just for male, it’s for females too.
Yes, you were told that you’re aging faster and this and that. We don’t even know how fast and how far we can delay sexual aging and overall aging because our society never gave it a full try. The science, we can talk until tomorrow. You and me, we can talk until tomorrow, but the science is already there. Because aging is not what people think.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, and one of the things you talk about in the book is that aging is more stress related than age-related. What do you mean by that?
Ori Hofmekler: There’s no doubt when you look deeply at the mechanism that drives aging, that aging biologically is more stress related condition than the age-related condition. It happens, aging eventually happen, because mileage does what mileage does, so people over the time become more and more vulnerable to stress. But nevertheless, aging is a stress-related condition. I’ll give you an example. I don’t know how old you are. You look young.
Ari Whitten: 34.
Ori Hofmekler: Okay, 34. I can tell you that there are many people, maybe millions, who are 10 years younger than you are, and maybe less, already more aged than you are. They could have already an aged pancreas system. They can have the insulin system already aged almost beyond repair. Everything could be still … they have a cardiovascular issue. Children obesity can cause premature aging far beyond what we think. Diabetes usually, it’s coming with a package, metabolic syndrome.
So aging can happen to very young people, or the body becomes resilient to aging when you’re already in your 60s and 70s. It is a fact. Understanding that on a biological level, or even on the cellular level, when we understand how the body operates and when the right genes and pathway are triggered, the body can start to cleanse itself of the old weak and cancer cell and regenerate new cells.
When you can see how this picture, how this whole phenomenon is happening, you would realize based on science that aging is actually a disease, which is stress related, much more stress related and age-related. If this is the truth, and I believe I did put some evidence that this is true, we can resist aging way, way more than conventional thinking let us believe so.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, absolutely. One thing I want to point out is when you say aging is stress related, a lot of people will still interpret that in the traditional thinking around stress. That stress is bad, stress is aging me. What you’re saying-
Ori Hofmekler: You’re very right. You’re very right. Thank you, Ari, very right. Aging is a stress-related condition, meaning aging is the loss of ability to resist stress. The minute that you basically as a person inhibits your stress response system. It’s a system that is inherent to you, biologically programmed to resist stress when it comes and make you resilient to stress. When you inhibit this system, and there are things that can inhibit this system, our industry is built to inhibit this system. So you become vulnerable to stress, hence you let the aging process take over your body, simply because you took away, you shut down the system inside you that could resist it. The other way, have you give it a chance. If you follow the right knowledge and the protocol and keep it trigger, aging cannot affect your body, definitely not the way we’re told. This is the truth. So aging simply is the loss of ability to resist stress.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. I should also add to that, that if we look at the existing science right now on longevity, and one of my favorite aging scientists is a guy named Vince Juliano. I don’t know if you’re familiar with him. He has a couple free presentations on YouTube on the science of longevity. If you watch those what you’ll realize is that as far as the evidence right now on the most effective ways to actually extend longevity and prevent disease, it’s all about hormesis. Everything is about hormesis.
Ori Hofmekler: No question about this. Listen, you just said everything is about hormesis. Either we take advantage of it, or we fall, victim, because we fail to do that. It’s that simple. You know Ari the devil is in the details. It’s honestly coming down to, who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? Where the hell are we?
The theory is one thing. I saw so many people who talk about the egg. I give an example. Sugar is central to the problem. Not because maybe it’s the worst chemical. We need sugar. We produce sugar. However, excessive sugar is central to our problem, because sugar is a fast releasing energy food or substance that inhibit hormesis. It simply inhibits a mechanism. It causes excess energy.
For every minute of excess energy in your body hormesis is inhibited. Your ability to resist stress, the system is inhibited. Now think about it, you look at a grocery list and the top you immediately find things with sugar or synthetic sugar, white starch. Who doesn’t have sugar and flour at home? Who doesn’t have baking good and cookies and pastry and this? Open the Food Channel, it’s all about this.
We live in a society, in an industry that encourages us to consume energy and fast releasing energy. In fact, unfortunately, our brain is built in a way that we can get easily addicted to a combination of sugar or sugar or fat. It really activates the same opioid receptors as crack cocaine. Simply because years ago during a primordial time when the early diet was the main human diet, there was not enough sugar or no starch at all. So all these addictive to sugar at that time was not affected because you simply were not exposed to that enough. We were attracted to energy because at that time there was a lack of energy. The world changed.
Food scarcity was abandoned at a time. It was an evolutionary advantage for us to become resistant to hunger and lack of food. Nature compensated for that but it also came with an error, that we are very attracted, we have a very dumb food searching mechanism in the body that really get a lot of pleasure when we hit food that provides us fast energy, such as simple carbs and sugar. We need to be aware of that because the number one principles of hormesis are depletion of energy. Depletion by exercise, depletion by fasting, is the number one principles. Energy deficit trigger hormesis. It is so powerful it can even overwhelm other factors.
Ari, let’s say that you are in the state of risk of exposure to the toxin. You’re under mental stress, you are exposed to toxin, and somebody pushes you a cookie to your mouth. Worst case scenario. If your energy depleted state, your body ability to resist all the above is at peak. You will survive even toxicity when you are on the energy depletion. But when you are overfed and overloaded, even small amount of this stressors or aggressor will devastate you. Devastate you.
People, you need to understand, when you fast you become extremely resilient, including to stuff that you want to scream, “I can’t take this anymore. I can’t take this anymore.” Read my book, I really show you and I show you the proof. Guys, when you are … Guys and girls of course, when during the day, which is the time that you walk and expose yourself to all these stressors, that’s the time to under-eat or fast. The time to compensate is at the end of the day.
Nature compensates you beautifully. Also think, when you reach your main meal at night, supper, which was always the main meal of human, you come so depleted that you can tolerate the meal. You can utilize the nutrient. You’ll never get fat and you’ll never get overfed.
All this nourishment is now a compensation for replenishment, a good one. Your body evolved to cycle. Nothing should come straight. Straight fasting and too prolonged fasting, means starvation or chronic stress. Chronic stress, prolongation even of a good stress can become chronic stress. I really, really agree, and I wrote again in my book, on the danger of over-training, on the danger of prolonged fasting. I don’t believe in … I know that people fast every other day or they fast three days and some of them fast two weeks, and then they overfeed themselves another three weeks and they fast another week.
The optimal length of fasting time
Ari Whitten: What in your opinion is an optimal fasting length of time?
Ori Hofmekler: In my opinion, it’s supposed to be the one main meal a day principle. Everybody is different. You yourself could be different in a different situation. Have one main meal a day. The fasting does not have to be exactly completely fasting. I believe that sometimes it’s better to consume nutrient that mimics fasting. There is amazing evidence as you’re aware that there is some kind of nutrient in wild food, wild berries for instance, that not only don’t elevate blood sugar, some of this long polyphenol or tannin actually reduce [inaudible ] blood sugar, which is a major factor. So why not nourishing yourself with this good antioxidant that actually lowers your blood sugar? Green tea for instance, very complementary to fasting, and so is coffee. We don’t have to be blind.
There’s nothing wrong with water fast of course, but people have a different tolerance. The last thing that you want if you follow hormesis is to make people jump into 18-hour fasting when they’re not prepared. Rather, build it gradually and build yourself in a way that fit your specific condition. If you’re an athlete and you already deplete your body of energy, and I highly recommend to do it, yes, exercise on empty. You want to make sure that you support your body, especially if you have a split routine.
Do it. I told you before, I’m working on developing a product that will probably revolutionize completely the sports nutrition industry. It’s really meant to support people the right way, the biological way, to continue function and even be engaged in extreme sports activity, while putting the body on the hormetic challenge, following intermittent fasting.
So yes, my answer is this. Don’t overextend your fasting. My opinion, one main meal per day, the rest of the day put your body under energy deficit as much as you can, but if you need to support it with a few berries here and there, some fast assimilating protein, it’s still fine. It’s not going to take you away.
Ari, the whole idea of nutrient that mimics fasting or exercise is very, very important, because the early human chain was predominantly rich in this nutrient. It is only now that we shifted away from a food chain that promoted hormesis, that actually protects us from elevated blood sugar and blood lipid to a system that now shoots our blood sugar through the roof, over spike insulin and increases blood lipid.
Now, postprandial elevation of blood sugar is many researchers believe the number one factor responsible for the current epidemic of obesity and diabetes and metabolic syndrome in our society. Think about it Ari, people have frequent meals.
They start with breakfast, blood sugar goes up, insulin spike, become [inaudible]. Then power lunch, snack in between, in between, constantly. Then there’s an afternoon snack and then there’s a dinner and then there’s dessert. So every time they do it, it shoots blood postprandial sugar and lipid up. Totally shatter the insulin system.
No wonder why the vast majority of us are overweight. Most people over the age of 55, either overweight or obese already. The rate of metabolic syndrome ever growing, and so now is the rate of cancer. I strongly believe that cancer is not a necessary disease. I think we are predominantly designed to anti-cancer than to get cancer. We are predominantly designed for antiaging rather than aging. But we were told to believe that it’s normal to get cancer and it’s normal to get age.
Look, this doctor diagnosed cancer, they don’t even have the second beat. They already have the protocol. “Okay, we do chemo-therapy we give you this chemical, we give you this chemical.” Hey guys, how about giving your body the chance to never get cancer? And if you do have it, I strongly believe that your body can still beat it.
Ari, you are familiar with the system. You know what the heat shock protein system when it’s activated, can do. You know how much energy your body can generate with the immune system if it’s intact to devour cancer.
Why hormesis is important for resiliency, lowering stress, and fixing energy levels
Ari Whitten: Yeah, and actually this is a great segue. Let’s go into what exactly are the main mechanisms on a cellular level that make hormesis so important for resistance to disease and extending longevity? What’s actually going on in our cells that’s making that happen?
Ori Hofmekler: The key is sensitivities to the level of energy. Your body’s sensitivity to energy is impeccable. We have a very smart mechanism in the cell that when it senses energy depletion, that means the ATP molecules are losing one phosphate and then two phosphates. So ATP converts to AMP, right? ATP’s three phosphate, losing one to ADP, losing the second phosphate is AMP.
AMP, the molecule, is not just an empty energy molecule. It’s actually a signaling molecule. It activates a very important longevity pathway. Many researchers believe the most important longevity, there are other longevity pathways, it’s called AMPK, an AMP-activated protein kinase. AMPK is going to multiply … It’s an enzyme basically, that does multiply actions in your body.
But one of the most important one, beside antiinflammatory and working in synergy to activate an anti-inflammatory hormone to circulate in your system and improve. The most important action of AMPK is the inhibition of mTOR, which is the growth mechanism that builds your muscle, but it also drives the aging process, and it also causes inflammation, and it also builds cancer.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Let me interject something here because people might not be familiar with these terms. AMPK, as you mentioned, adenosine monophosphate-activated kinase. And then on the other side, we can think of is as kind of the opposing molecule, we have something called mTOR, which stands for mammalian Target Of Rapamycin. Which is an anabolic sort of tissue building thing? In fact, within the bodybuilding and fitness industry, people often talk about mTOR as … It’s usually talked about as a good thing. We want to activate mTOR because it’s involved in muscle building, and so stimulate mTOR as much as possible multiple times a day.
That whole discussion of mTOR and wanting to activate it is actually very disconnected from the longevity and aging science. Where aging scientists are overwhelmingly saying, “mTOR is a major driver of aging. We need to keep mTOR levels low.”
Ori Hofmekler: You are very right. It is one of the interesting, out of many, paradoxical phenomena in biology. Where in biology, in your body all factors and all factors, nothing is completely bad and nothing is just … We need to see [inaudible] the paradox about mTOR is that mTOR is essential for your life. Without mTOR, you wouldn’t be able to grow. So especially for the young organism, mTOR plays an essential role in helping them grow and become robust and resilient to the hardship or whatever stressor they’re going to get.
Without mTOR we could never get mature and young organism with a deficiency or insufficient mTOR, they don’t even survive, mTOR is critical to life. However, once you reach maturity, and I’m trying to be over simplistic here for understanding. Once you reach maturity, the overexpression of mTOR in your body can be lethal, detrimental. Because now you live in a body that is no longer growing, so overactivation of mTOR in a non-growing body leads to the following.
Number one, at the cellular level it’s a recipe, it’s a recipe for enlargement of the cell. The enlargement of the cell immediately ages the cell. The reason why the cell is aged, so mTOR is a cellular growth mechanism. The reason why the cell age is to prevent the cell from becoming cancerous. mTOR can easily cause, turn the cell into a cancerous cell. It can cause tumors, aging of the cells is the first defense of the body to prevent the cell from multiplying and becoming part of a tumor.
But that’s a great solution because cellular aging creates an inflammatory lesion in the tissue, which causes inflammation in the surrounding cell. And Ari, you know, inflammation, put time factor, end with cancer. Always. Inflammation over time becoming cancers, everywhere, everywhere. You keep an inflammatory marker too long and [inaudible] body.
The worst part of it is nuclear factor kappa beta. This is a growth transcription factor that is immensely or inherently associated with cancer. When you see a tissue or cell with overexpressing nuclear factor kappa beta, you know that this area is prone to get cancer. Guess what, when you activate your stress response system correctly, when you take the proper nutrients, and I listed them in my book, they are all inhibitors of nuclear factor kappa beta. We live in an industry that constantly promotes this factor to express itself. From sugar to pesticides and many other chemicals and the way that we basically make ourselves vulnerable to all these inflammatory markers, right?
Ari Whitten: I should also add, it’s not just athletes and bodybuilders who are doing that, but also the average typical westerner is also somebody who tends to be grazing all day and has an energy imbalance in favor of chronic calorie excess.
Ori Hofmekler: Correct. Yeah, you’re right in your theory. mTOR is very anabolic and so is the anabolic steroid that you take. That doesn’t mean it’s a good thing to do. You can still build quality muscle, I repeat quality muscle, without over-activating mTOR.
We talked about it before Ari. We talk about the fact that energy, exercise while fasting trigger factor, like BGC one alpha, that signal your body to increase mitochondria density in the muscle. So you can be a very lean person, you don’t need to weight much, still carry fiber quality that not only can generate, [inaudible] your ability much more than the typical bodybuilder muscle, it serve you for the rest of your life, and hopefully a very long quality life. But giving your body the ability to stay energetic and functional.
It is muscle fiber with high mitochondrial density and the capacity of the fast muscle fiber to utilize fat fuel, that always protects you against obesity and diabetes for the rest of your life. If your muscle fiber, it doesn’t matter how muscular you are, is predominantly glycolytic, that means it just utilizes glucose and carb for energy rather than fat, you are prone to obesity and diabetes.
People need to wake up and understand it, that your fitness needs to be smart, not just the size of your muscle, don’t check it. In many ways, women are better than men because they don’t have this compulsive vanity, some of them, to build big muscle. So their fitness approach is much smarter. I also think Ari, because we talk about it, that once you get mature, there’s a sudden age, you’ve got to be smart enough to change your diet and exercise. You can’t continue in a straight line always. Take your survival and yourself as a person as a top priority. Respect yourself.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve actually gotten to that age recently, where my mentality has shifted around this. Where I used to be very fitness oriented and about fat loss and muscle building. That was my world for a very long time. Now I’m at an age where my interest, especially, I have a young son, he’s slightly over a year old now.
Ori Hofmekler: Congratulation.
Ari Whitten: I think it changes your thinking. Now I think more about, I need to be more conscious of incorporating lots of fasting into my routine and avoiding calorie excess and avoiding overstimulating mTOR and accelerating aging.
I want to be around for a very long time to see my son grow up and hopefully have another kid and see them grow up, and also be functional enough when I’m in my 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond, to be able to still get on the floor and crawl around and play with grandkids and go snowboarding and things like that. The mentality, I completely agree, it should shift to more of a longevity-
Ori Hofmekler: Yeah, what you just said is clearly your instinct as the human animal. What talked now was the true human animal within you. You feel respect enough to yourself to understand that you are needed for other humans.
Your son, for instance, your followers, people around you, your family, and yourself. So if you like yourself and you need yourself, you really want to desire, see it’s your top priority that, yes, in your 60s and 70s, 40 or 50 years from, you are going to be looking as good as now and in many ways even better. As I said before, experience combined with a healthy brain, I truly believe will increase the IQ to a level that we cannot even imagine today, truly.
How to reduce stress -The different types of hormesis you should incorporate into your daily life to fix energy levels and increase resiliency
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Beautiful. Let me ask you on a practical level, what other types of hormesis … we’ve mentioned fasting, we’ve mentioned exercise. What other types of hormesis should people be aware of and incorporate into their life?
Ori Hofmekler: Well, what I mentioned before, first of all, nutrition part. Don’t run away, I give a list in my book, don’t run away constantly from toxin. Don’t be so obsessed with this. Learn the area and understand that heavy metal is not always your enemy.
They naturally occur in some of the greatest food. So if you like seed and nuts, and just because you read in some article or some quirky website that, “Stay away from heavy metal and any food that have heavy metal, whether it’s seed or nuts or cocoa, like chocolate. Stay away from that.” I believe, do your own research, and if you’re not sure I have the research in my book. Really, live your life simple. Don’t be afraid of nature. Nature is not your enemy, it’s stupid chemical theory, be afraid of chemicals.
Another way of hormesis positively? I believe it’s good to expose yourself to heat. I believe it’s very healthy to also expose yourself to cold, freezing cold, to a certain degree. It clearly shows that all these challenges trigger the same mechanism. It all comes down to the heat shock protein response, which is amazing what it does to your body. It’s over 300 enzymatic compounds that when you are in a peak hormesis state, peak energy depletion, like glycogen depletion, your body now have this system, this compound percolates in your system, searching and destroying every weak and sick cell, including the cancerous cell. Your body becomes very efficient in tagging these weak and cancerous cells and destroying them.
Your immune system is activated actually to do and specialize on the cellular level, a process which is called autophagocytosis take place when the cell is literally renovated like you renovate a house. Man, you’re becoming anew. You’re renewing yourself. You’re renovating yourself.
Yet, most people don’t give themselves ever this chance. While you can practically … Ari, you can put … enjoy this process, incredible, awesome process for 18 hours a day, in theory. 10 hours a day? How about I negotiate, six hours a day [inaudible] a minute a day. They don’t give it a chance. An accumulate effect, even on the six hours a day, just imagine yourself the advantage that you get over other people. It is unheard of. It’s a body that constantly renews itself. If aging already happened, we have a system that can still defeat it. You just need to keep it, wake it up. Hormesis is the key.
Why it is important to fast at least 12 hours
Ari Whitten: Yeah. I think a lot of the research now is really hinting towards the fasting window, daily fasting window needing to be at least 12 hours.
Ori Hofmekler: Also it depends again how do you check fasting. I check it from the morning because I don’t call fasting stopping the meal. It takes six hours, sometimes more, for the food to be digested. A person like me, let’s say that was in a high-fat day, for instance, it sometimes even takes longer, you understand?
Ari Whitten: Mm-hmm.
Ori Hofmekler: I have people and I know people, including my family, who can eat close to three-quarter of a pound of nuts, it’s a lot of calories, and still lose weight, compared to much less food and fewer calories on another diet. Bottom line is this, once your stomach is empty that’s where fasting starts. So I would say, let’s say your stomach is empty, five, six o’clock in the morning, that’s the real fasting start. So by 12 o’clock, you’re already on six hours of fasting. By six o’clock in the evening, you understand, you are basically 12 hours fasting. Decent time to have supper, I agree with you. But that’s real fasting time.
But again Ari, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have berries. You can have nutrient. There was recent research about eating grapes, you would expect the grape to raise blood sugar but when you eat the old-fashion grape, the pomace, with the skin and the pits and everything, research shows that actually reduced blood sugar.
So it’s a very interesting phenomenon, how to navigate between the food option that we have. But bottom line, my recommendation, besides intermittent fasting, move away from all anti-hormetic food and chemicals if you can.
The truth about antioxidants and hormesis (why antioxidant supplements decrease resiliency)
Ari Whitten: Which is sugar.
Ori Hofmekler: Sugar central [crosstalk]
Ari Whitten: Refined sugar and-
Ori Hofmekler: Yes. Pesticides and synthetic vitamins. Guys listen. I know most of you take vitamins. You think it’s very healthy for you. The truth is, synthetic vitamin and antioxidant are extremely counter effective. They inhibit your body’s own ability to produce your own much more powerful antioxidant. It inhibits the absorption of real vitamins from food. Please do not take synthetic vitamin [crosstalk]
Ari Whitten: And it also inhibits hormesis.
Ori Hofmekler: Absolutely.
Ari Whitten: It inhibits the … I mean there’s research from Michael Ristow, as I know you know of that, where they’ve to use antioxidant supplements before and after exercise. They showed that inhibited the benefits on the mitochondria from exercise.
Ori Hofmekler: Yeah, because it takes away your own mechanism. If your mitochondria get the wrong signal, you’re done. You can’t even afford thinking about it. What can be worse than putting synthetic antioxidant, inhibit your own glutathione peroxide production, or own antioxidant enzymes? What can be worse than that, when your body cannot detect the level of free radical … Free radicals are [inaudible] and they do cause [MG]. But at the same time, other paradox, there is the one that triggers the stress response. They make you resilient. That’s why exercise is so beneficial for you.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. In the right dose and context, free radicals are critical to the benefits of hormesis.
Ori Hofmekler: It’s part of the hormesis part. That’s how your body basically detect that it’s under stress. When you put synthetic antioxidant, your body is becoming blind. Ari, I know I have nothing against blind people but quite honestly, it’s much more difficult, especially when you’re under stress or fight condition, to be blinded. Your responses are compromised, or sometimes totally shattered. That’s for synthetic.
So, does it mean that antioxidants are bad for you? Absolutely not. If it’s coming from whole food, green plant, it’s coming in very small amount, in a system that proven over millions of year to work in this world very well.
Ari Whitten: Actually, a lot of the things that people refer to in whole plant foods and herbs and spices, that are referred to as antioxidants, there’s a lot of research actually showing that many of these compounds are actually … even though they may function as antioxidants in a test tube, they actually function as pro-oxidants, as free radicals inside your body and mimic hormesis.
Ori Hofmekler: That’s very true. In fact, the most plant polyphenol, if not all of them, are plant toxin. They actually help the plant resist pests and they were produced in many time as toxin. Many of them have … We developed a taste for that, we and other animals are attracted to that, but some animals cannot take the bitter taste of tannins, of polyphenols. We live in a very interesting world. Nature is full of paradox, we just need to understand them and embrace them. Rather than running away from them. Yes, green tea is a toxin for many animals. Your dogs cannot even eat it. Yet, if you have a dog, I don’t know if you do.
Ari Whitten: I do.
Ori Hofmekler: Okay. Clearly, your dog would like to go and eat grass and so is my dogs and my cat. They love grass, because grass and dog also chew the earth, because they are full of this hormetic nutrient that otherwise wouldn’t add it to their food, so they’re attracted to that. We must understand that we have to follow our biology and never go against it. If we do it right we can reach very far.
How to reduce stress – Eat a plant-based diet
Ari Whitten: Yeah. We only have a few minutes left. There’s a number of other things that I wanted to cover with you but we won’t have time. One of the things I wanted to talk about is the fact that you’re advocating mostly a plant-based diet.
You’re not a big advocate of animal flesh consumption. If we’re able to dig into that just for couple minutes that would be great. The other one that I wanted to … we talked briefly about this desire for stress, that humans are built to seek out stress, which I think is a great concept that you discuss in your book.
And then the last concept that I was hoping that you’d talk about it, there’s a very, very interesting chapter in your book where you talk about the human desire to adapt plants and animals, to be around other lifeforms and to cultivate them and to coexist with them and nurture them. Can you talk a bit about why you felt compelled to add that section to this book on stress and why you feel it’s so important?
Ori Hofmekler: You’re right. There’s a lack of time. It’s going to be very hard in two minutes to cover everything but I’ll try the best. We can always continue our conversation some other time because we-
Ari Whitten: I’d love that.
Ori Hofmekler: I deliberately put the book of our desire to adopt animals and grow plants. Because this is part of a natural phenomenon, which is of course coexistence between species and collaboration between species. There’s no argument that we evolve in a world that is built this way. One species need the other. We cannot survive without plants, and actually, plants cannot survive without animals. Animals disperse the plants’ seeds or distribute the pollens.
So bees and other animals are very important for plants, and plant nutrients are critical for all animals, including humans. In fact, we depend on plant nutrient than any other food group. There’s no question. I disagree with the paleo people on that.
Maybe some of them will agree with me, that with such a nutrient actually coming from a plant we can do very well without animal food. We cannot do well, we cannot survive without plant food. That simple. All that said, some animal food or byproduct of animal food, like that, does not involve the killing of the animal itself, such as dairy, for instance, milk, and eggs, are okay, yes. I wasn’t completely against an animal because I myself eat fish. I eat it honestly because I guess I’m not feeling yet sorry enough. Sorry, but not sorry enough for the kind of fish that I eat. But there’s a huge difference between eggs, dairy, fish, and mammals. I can give you the example of dairy.
When you, for instance, saturated fat, which is not ideal but in the case of dairy it can be very beneficial. If the dairy comes from a grass-fed nutritionally stressed animal. The dairy’s objective [inaudible] is does not have inflammatory hormones inside. You cannot even find them. [inaudible] of a healthy cow or cheese or whole milk can be very beneficial for you when you consider the quality of the protein and the immune fraction inside. Take a far from a killed or slaughtered or butchered animal, whether it’s a cow or a pig or a lamb, this fat contains inflammatory hormones.
Ari Whitten: You’re talking about in conventionally raised cows and pigs and lambs.
Ori Hofmekler: Yes. Including those claim to be grass-fed which are in better shape, but still, they have inflammatory hormone because of the stress that the animals go through before they’re being slaughtered. The fear, I mean I don’t even want to think in my mind what this poor intelligent animal goes through.
Here’s an animal that was supposed to give you right food without killing it, and people killing it, and [inaudible] karma. They pay dearly for their … I know, there’s controversy but the science clearly show that people thrive and live amazingly good on a lactovegetarian diet.
Quite the opposite is the research about meat eaters. The correlation between cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, especially inflammatory disease, and eating meat is direct. But that’s not the reason I wrote this chapter. The main reason is really humane. Guys, did you ever look at a cow and a calf? All of you are good people, but guys, how can you possibly kill such a cute intelligent animal?
Do you have a dog or a cat at home? Can you imagine that somebody will eat your pet? This cow or a calf or a pig are intelligent animals. They are cute. They are cute when they’re young and they are cute later. We don’t need to raise them to butcher them, okay? They should just have the right to live.
We should take advantage of their byproduct without killing them. The same with birds. The same with birds. There’s no reason to eat that, nutritionally it doesn’t aid you anything. Okay, there’s iron in the meat that surely we can substitute with other sources that are coming from the earth.
You know, cocoa beans, cocoa, almost iron equivalent amount to that in beef. We can get it from molasses or other stuff in a small amount, raisins in a small amount. There’s no reason to kill an animal. If we do that, we are now disturbing the whole ecological balance on which we evolved to thrive, not only the spread of methane gas, which is toxic. We are losing our agricultural resources, contaminating the earth. The amount of energy and the number of pesticides and other chemicals that typical farming need to nourish the typical factory kettle or factory cow is staggering.
So who benefits from that? The chemical business, the big agriculture and the food industry that give you the rendered meat of a slaughtered animal that you didn’t hunt. You didn’t even walk for that. You don’t even know what you get. You don’t even know. You know when an egg is rancid. You know when cheese gets bad, it stinks. Egg float on the water, it also stinks horribly. We learned how to detect rancid food since the evolution of human animal. We cannot detect meat rancidity. Even if we can, I can tell you, as predator we can kill but we are not biologically evolved for meat eating.
We don’t have the enzyme of canine or feline that can convert D protein back to L protein. We’re just at the end of the line of doing that.
So [resin] protein that means a protein that reverts the position from L level to D devil, devil protein is like the devil. They float this amino acid in your system and they lend themselves in your brain, in mitochondria, in the center of your cell and turn the organ on to be dysfunctional.
Bottom line is this, eat fresh food that you know is good. Plant food should be primal … You should listen to your humane instinct. If you really love animal, if you have a pet at home or if at least you love animal, show this compassion to another animal. I know it’s very difficult to stop eating meat when you are raised to eat meat. But I do believe that you can train yourself and you’re going to be rewarded generously for that. No need for that, even if you are an athlete and you to shove much more protein inside there are other sources. Dairy and even vegetable protein give you better.
But the last thing is this, Ari, we already know from research clearly that vegetable protein benefit you as you age more and more, and they are much more anti-cancerous than animal protein. Something in nature of slow absorption, or because the low amino score, relatively low amino score, that benefit us when we combine vegetable [inaudible]
So I do believe that our attraction, we adopt animals because it’s a very primal instinct. It’s part of the cross-collaboration between species. A human could never survive as a species alone. We’ve always needed animal around us. They work with us, we feed them, we collaborated. We had donkeys, I love this animal. It’s one of my favorite animals, are donkeys. I absolutely love donkeys. They’re the underdogs of the animals and I love them.
So we live with donkeys and we live with horses and goats and sheep and cow and dogs and cats, including wild cats. Some people even have wolves, there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s part a natural rule of collaboration between species. The same with plants. We need plants. We enjoy the sight of them. We want to plant them. In my country every time a child is born it was a tradition to plant a tree in the hills of Jerusalem. It’s just something nice that you … It’s a gesture, a traditional gesture to nature.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. And you know, as I was telling you before we started the interview, both and I actually have gardens. One of the reasons this chapter resonated with me so much is there is this weird sort of innate joy of planting plants, also for animals, but planting plants and watching them grow and nurturing them and seeing them grow into something beautiful that then nurtures and nourishes you. It’s this beautiful synergy that happens there that most people are unfortunately very disconnected from.
Ori Hofmekler: This [inaudible] by the Cabbala, which is a Jewish mysticism, killing or destroying a fruit tree is a sin, is a terrible sin. You’re not supposed to do that. There’s also the belief that trees are coming in front of humans to God in heaven.
Regardless, I really, really ask people, if you get my book read this chapter and see for yourself. It’s just a different view, but it’s also based on science and consequences.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. I really appreciate that you’ve integrated an ethical and humane and moral aspect of your message when most people who are talking about health are really totally disconnected from those aspects. They talk about things purely in terms of, “Here’s what’s healthy for humans,” without really an understanding of the connectedness of humans and other lifeforms. I really appreciate that you integrate that into your message. Thank you for sharing it here with my audience. Is there any final thing, final idea that you want to leave people with before we close?
Ori Hofmekler: There’s never a final idea. It’s a process as you know from ongoing research. Yes, I’m going to come soon with something new, we discussed before. So perhaps … and I really enjoyed talking to you, Ari.
Ari Whitten: Likewise.
Ori Hofmekler: [crosstalk] continue, it’s a discussion basically.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, I would love to have you on again.
Ori Hofmekler: Thank you. I’d love to do that. You can just … The book is available on Amazon. Read my book. I’m always available on my social media and we can continue the discussion.
I will soon come with some new blogs about fitness, so just stand by, and between us, we can continue again what we discuss off-the-record. Very interesting. Thank you very much for inviting me. I enjoyed this conversation.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Thank you so much for being on. It’s an honor to have connected with you after reading your work for so many years, almost two decades.
Ori Hofmekler: Ari, I just remember, yes for those of you in the US, or California, I have an event. I am doing lecture next week on Thursday, I believe it’s January 23 in the Lafayette library. It’s in the Bay Area near San Francisco. The day after, I’m doing a book signing in a bookstore. All the details are on my Facebook [crosstalk ]
Ari Whitten: I will try to … I’m not sure if I can get this podcast out in time for that, but I’m going to see if there’s any way that I can do that.
Ori Hofmekler: Yeah, okay. Whatever works, just in case.
Ari Whitten: Okay. And then a couple things I’ll say to conclude. Everyone make sure you go pick up your copy of Ori’s new book, The Seven Principles Of Stress. Also, start getting on integrating more levels of hormesis into your life. Ori, thank you so much. Such an honor and a privilege to connect with you.
Ori Hofmekler: Thank you again. I enjoyed this conversation. We’ll be in touch Ari.
Ari Whitten: Definitely
Hormesis – The Hidden Key To How To Reduce Stress, Fix Low Energy Levels, and Build Resiliency – Show Notes
The concept of ”The Warrior Diet” (1:49)
How deliberately exposing yourself to stress (hormesis) is something you are born to do (6:08)
What hormesis is and how it is important to your health and resiliency (8:30)
Why you should build resilience to stress (15:12)
The importance and pitfalls of discipline in athletes (19:14)
Why aging is stress related rather than age-related (31:44)
The optimal length of fasting time (42:16)
Why hormesis is important for resiliency, lowering stress, and fixing energy levels (47:25)
How to reduce stress -The different types of hormesis you should incorporate into your daily life to fix energy levels and increase resiliency (58:42)
Why fasting at a minimum of 12 hours is important (1:02:05)
How to reduce stress – Eat a plant-based diet (1:04:02)
Get Ori Hofmekler’s book The Seven Principles of Stress, here