Episodes
In this episode, I describe a comprehensive toolkit consisting of behavioral and supplement-based tools that you can customize to enhance the quality, duration and impact of your sleep. This has an enormous positive impact on your overall health and daytime functioning, brain, hormones and immune system. I teach you how to effectively harness light (and darkness), temperature, food, exercise, caffeine, supplements, and digital devices in order to fall asleep faster, stay deeply asleep longer...
Published 08/08/22
Published 08/01/22
My guest this episode is Dr. Emily Balcetis, PhD, Professor of Psychology at New York University (NYU). Dr. Balcetis’ research focuses on how our perception of the world, particularly our visual perceptions, influences our level and persistence of motivation, how we conceptualize goals, actual goal achievement, and our emotional state as we pursue goals. Dr. Balcetis explains how to best visualize and overcome challenges in pursuit of larger, complex goals. We also discuss the science of how...
Published 08/01/22
In this episode, I explain the biology, symptoms, causes and types of bipolar disorder (sometimes called bipolar depression). I discuss neuroplasticity and how the brain normally regulates mood, energy, and perceptions; then, I contrast that with the biology of bipolar disorder, which is characterized by extremes of energy and mood, e.g., mania and depression. I outline the mechanisms through which bipolar disorder manifests in the brain, including deficits of interoception and reduced...
Published 07/25/22
My guest this episode is Dr. Charles Zuker, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biophysics and Neuroscience at Columbia University and an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Zuker is the world’s leading expert in the biology of taste, thirst and craving. His laboratory explores the mechanisms of taste perception, focusing on how our conscious and unconscious processing of specific foods and nutrients guide our actions and behaviors. We discuss the neural circuits...
Published 07/18/22
In this episode, I explain the biological roles of the four major neuromodulators—dopamine, epinephrine (aka adrenaline), serotonin, and acetylcholine—and describe how these neuromodulators impact a wide variety of mental states and behaviors, including focus, creativity, motivation, drive, learning, alertness, mood, relationships, and feelings of well-being. Then, with that foundational understanding in mind, I describe a potent toolkit of science-supported behavioral, nutrition, and...
Published 07/11/22
My guest this episode is Jeff Cavaliere, MSPT CSCS, a world-class physical therapist and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist. Jeff has coached athletes ranging from novice to professional and has taught science-based physical training protocols to tens of millions of everyday people via his enormously clear and actionable online programs. Jeff is a true expert on proper resistance and cardiovascular training, injury prevention and rehabilitation and has extensive knowledge on...
Published 07/04/22
In this episode, I explain the biology and psychology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)—a prevalent and debilitating condition. I also discuss the efficacy and mechanisms behind OCD treatments—both behavioral and pharmacologic as well as holistic and combination treatments and new emerging treatments, including directed brain stimulation. I explain the neural circuitry underlying repetitive “thought-action loops” and why in OCD, the compulsive actions merely make the obsessions even...
Published 06/27/22
My guest is Ido Portal, the world’s foremost expert on human movement. Ido has spent a lifetime studying, combining and evolving elements from an enormous range of martial arts, dance genres, athletic endeavors, and science, to develop a unified theory and practice of movement called “The Ido Portal Method.” Here we discuss all things movement, including the role of the nervous system, reflexive versus deliberate movement patterns, and the link between emotions and awareness in movement. We...
Published 06/20/22
In this episode, I explain the science behind limb range of motion and flexibility and how to increase them by using science-supported protocols. Flexibility is crucial for physical movements and can help prevent injuries, decrease inflammation, modulate physical and mental pain, impact exercise recovery speed and even potentially slow the progression of certain diseases. I explain the biology of flexibility, including the specific neural mechanisms that sense stretch and load (i.e., tension)...
Published 06/13/22
My guest this episode is Dr. Paul Conti, M.D., a psychiatrist and expert in treating trauma, personality disorders and psychiatric illnesses and challenges of various kinds. Dr. Conti earned his MD at Stanford and did his residency at Harvard Medical School. He now runs the Pacific Premiere Group—a clinical practice helping people heal and grow from trauma and other life challenges. We discuss trauma: what it is and its far-reaching effects on the mind and body, as well as the best treatment...
Published 06/06/22
This episode, I discuss grief and the challenges of processing losses of different kinds. I explain the biological mechanisms of grief, including how neural circuits for emotional and factual memory combine with those for love and attachment, to create feelings of absence and yearning. I discuss how grief is distinct from depression, yet why they can feel so similar. I also provide science-based tools to assist with the grieving process, including how to reframe and remap the relationship...
Published 05/30/22
My guest is Dr. Wendy Suzuki, Ph.D., Professor of Neural Science and Psychology and (soon) Dean of New York University, whose research focuses on memory, attention, brain plasticity and simple, daily habits that can be leveraged to improve learning, focus, memory and cognitive ability. We discuss the role of cardiovascular exercise, weight training, deliberate cold exposure, meditation, verbal affirmations, sleep, and other behavioral practices for enhancing learning, mood and stress...
Published 05/23/22
This episode I explain the mechanisms by which different types of memories are established in our brain and how to leverage the amount and timing of key neurochemicals and hormones, such as adrenaline (aka epinephrine) and cortisol, to improve your learning and memory abilities. I describe multiple science-based protocols to do this, including repetition, caffeine, emotional states, deliberate cold exposure, sleep, meditation, and the role of vision, including taking “mental snapshots.” I...
Published 05/16/22
This episode I describe the neural mechanisms that activate and control aggressive states and behaviors and the role of hormones—estrogen and testosterone—in mediating violent and and/or competive aggression. I also describe tools that can be used to modulate the factors that have been shown to ‘prime’ an individual for aggression, including sunlight, estrogen sensitivity, competition within social settings, and overall stress levels, and the hormone cortisol. I discuss how substances such as...
Published 05/09/22
My guest is Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D. She earned her doctoral degree in biomedical science from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and has become one of the leading public health educators on the brain and general health, aging, cancer, and nutrition. We discuss the four major categories of micronutrients that regulate cellular and organ stress and antioxidants, inflammation, hormone regulation, immune system, and longevity. Dr. Patrick...
Published 05/02/22
I describe the mechanisms by which deliberate heat exposure impacts body temperature, metabolism, heart health, hormone production, exercise recovery, cognition, mood, and longevity. I detail specific protocols for deliberate heat exposure, including exposure times, temperature ranges to consider, time of day, and delivery mechanisms (sauna vs. hot bath vs. open air heat, etc.) in order to achieve different specific outcomes, including dramatic growth hormone releases, or reduction in...
Published 04/25/22
I describe the mechanisms by which different wavelengths of light impact the cells, tissues and organs of the human body, and how specifically timed light exposure of specific wavelengths can be used to improve sleep, enhance alertness, modulate hormone levels, and improve mood. I also explain the use of ultraviolet and infrared phototherapies to relieve pain increase testosterone and estrogen levels; improve skin health, appearance and wound healing; and how red light can be used to offset...
Published 04/18/22
My guest is Dr. Kyle Gillett, MD, a dual board-certified physician in family medicine and obesity medicine and an expert in optimizing hormone levels to improve overall health and well-being in both men and women. We discuss how to improve hormones using behavioral, nutritional, and exercise-based tools and safely and rationally approach supplementation and hormone therapies. We discuss testosterone and estrogen and how those hormones relate to fertility, mood, aging, relationships, disease...
Published 04/11/22
I describe mechanisms by which deliberate cold exposure can enhance mental health, physical health, and performance. I detail specific protocols to safely engage in deliberate cold exposure, including minimal exposure times, time-of-day effects, determining optimal temperatures, recovery, mindset, and movement during cold exposure. I discuss how cold exposure can be used to safely stress the body to improve attention, mood, and cognitive focus and boost metabolism and reduce inflammation....
Published 04/04/22
My guest is Dr. Andy Galpin, Professor of Kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton, and one of the foremost experts in the world on the science and application of methods to increase strength, hypertrophy and endurance performance. We discuss fundamental principles of strength and hypertrophy training and building endurance, the mechanisms underlying them and we review specific protocols to optimize training and recovery. We also discuss hydration, sleep, nutrition, supplements,...
Published 03/28/22
I explain how to blunt sugar cravings through fundamental knowledge of how sugar is sensed, metabolized, and utilized within the body. I explain how sugar is processed through the digestive tract and nervous system and how both the taste and nutritive components of sugar can lead to specific appetite changes and cravings. I discuss the connection between sugar, dopamine, and cravings and outline many tools to curb sugar cravings, specifically craving highly processed refined sugars. Thank you...
Published 03/21/22
I discuss the role of salt (sodium) in the nervous system and the key role that it plays in mental performance, physical performance and health. I explain how the brain senses salt levels in our body and how that relates to our feelings of thirst. I cover the physiology of the renal system and the hormones that control sodium and water balance in our body. I also explore how salt interacts with stress and our immune systems and its crucial role in neuron function. Additionally, I examine...
Published 03/14/22
My guest this episode is Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Stanford University. Dr. Sonnenburg’s research focuses on how microbes in our gut impact our mental and physical health and how diet and your environment shape your gut microbiome. We discuss the architecture of the gut microbiome and microbiota variability in different regions of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and how these can change in response to diet, environment or genetics. We explore the...
Published 03/07/22
In this episode, I discuss the profound effect the gut has on the nervous system. I cover the structure and function of the gut-brain axis and the role of the gut microbiome in the brain and overall health. I describe how the gut controls hunger or satiety by affecting neurons in our brain. I also contrast the many pathways by which the gut influences the brain: direct vs. indirect pathways, chemical vs. mechanical, and fast vs. slow signaling. Additionally, I discuss what defines a healthy...
Published 02/28/22