Learn True Health with Ashley James

On Learn True Health, Ashley James interviews today's most successful natural healers. Learn True Health was created for YOU, the health enthusiast. If you are passionate about organic living or struggling with health issues and are looking to gain your health naturally, our holistic podcast is what you have been looking for! Ashley James interviews Naturopathic Doctors and expert holistic health care practitioners to bring you key holistic health information, results based advice and new natural steps you can take to achieve true health, starting NOW! If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, if you are fed up with prescription drug side effects, if you want to live in optimal health but you don't know where to start, this podcast is for you! If you are looking for ACTIONABLE advice from holistic doctors to get you on your path to healing, you will enjoy the wisdom each episode brings. Each practitioner will leave you with a challenge, something that you can do now, and each day, to measurably improve your health, energy, and vitality. Learn about new healing diet strategies, how to boost your immune system, balance your hormones, increase your energy, what supplements to take and why and how to experience your health and stamina in a new way. Ashley James from Learn True Health interviews doctors like Dr. Joel Wallach, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Oz, Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Molly Niedermeyer on Naturopathic Medicine, Homeopathy, Supplements, Meditation, Holistic Health and Alternative Health Strategies for Gaining Optimal Health.
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Now displaying: November, 2019
Nov 26, 2019

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Choosing Real Immunity


  • Dr. Cilla’s documentaries
  • Homeoprophylaxis is 90% effective in terms of disease prevention
  • Hope4Cancer Center (Mexico, Tijuana, Cancun, Thailand, and Colombia)
  • Role of mental attitude and meditation
  • The support of those around you and your mental attitude are two huge factors
  • Importance of clean living
  • Fasting, the unsung hero of healing
  • Homeopathics theory – it’s all about susceptibility
  • It has to be our decision what we’re going to do with our body
  • Homeopathy for cancer
  • The Truth About Cancer documentary
  • Influenzinum vs. flu shot
  • The Type C personality
  • Indiscriminate inflammation is what causes autoimmunity


In this episode, Dr. Cilla Whatcott will share with us how homeoprophylaxis aids in disease prevention, the choices that we make based on our needs, two huge factors that affect our health,and what it means to have real immunity.


[00:00:00] Intro: Hello, true health seekers. And welcome to another exciting Episode the Learn True Health podcast.

I’m so excited for you to hear today’s interview with Dr. Dr. Cilla Whatcott. She is a regular guest on our show. She has been in Episode 137155228, and 305. So this is her fifth time being on the show. I highly recommend you go back and listen to our past interviews, especially the first one, 137, where she shares her story.

So we jump right in to the interview without going into her story. But just a little bit of background, she’s a PhD in Homeopathy, specializing in homeoprophylaxis. She shares with us some amazing information about her battle and her winning her battle with triple positive, a very aggressive form of breast cancer.

And her documentary series which is coming out in December and you can watch it for free, all three movies, that she has produced. Tons of amazing information from experts around the world who are wonderful doctors that help people to gain healthy immunity. So whether you have a chronic illness, whether you’re battling cancer, whether you’re a parent and you’re wondering how you can support your children in fighting infections, whether you have an autoimmune condition, this Episode applies to you. Basically, if you breathe and you have a pulse, this Episode applies to you because we all want to avoid getting influenza. We all want to avoid catching colds, or having a diagnosis of some kind of worse infection, or cancer. And today we cover some amazing information about supporting the body’s ability to heal itself and boosting the immune system with holistic medicine. 

Please stay tuned. I’m launching a membership site that’s affordable to everyone. And it teaches people how to cook a whole food plant based diet. But what that means is you will learn amazing recipes in the kitchen that tastes phenomenal. And the focus is on healing food. So super foods and healing foods to heal the gut, to heal your liver, to heal your immune system. People who choose to still eat meat, you can still eat meat. You’re just going to learn how to add more wonderful nutrient dense foods to your life. If you want to try going totally whole food plant based, we teach you how to do that too. And we teach you how to do it for busy families, for people on a budget, for people with no time, for people who don’t even know how to cook. You’re going to learn everything you need to learn to be an amazing cook in the kitchen cooking healing foods that are delicious for the whole family. Even kids love these recipes. I know because I have a four year old. And my partner, Naomi, has three boys who are all very picky. And we both have husbands who also have different palates. So we’re having to constantly cook for many different palates. And so we bring our experience. And we do have some guest contributors as well. So we all bring our experience of how to cook on a budget, how to cook quickly, teach people how to cook with little experience. Wherever you are in the spectrum, we will help you to eat healthier and cook these delicious meals to heal the body. That’s the goal.

How can we make it so that food tastes absolutely phenomenal, and is healing your body, and saves you money and saves you time? That’s exactly what you’re going to get from the Learn True Health Home Kitchen membership. We’re launching it soon. So stay tuned. Join the Facebook Group, Learn True Health in Facebook. Or go to the website and jump on the email list to stay tuned because it’s coming out soon. Awesome.

Thank you so much for being a listener. And thank you for sharing these Episodes with your friends and family so we can help as many people as possible to learn true health.

Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 394.

I am so excited for today’s guest. We have back on the show with us PhD Dr. Cilla Whatcott. This is your fifth time here. You’re like a regular.


[00:04:38] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: That’s right. That’s right. It’s great. Thank you for having me.



[00:04:42] Ashley James: Absolutely. It’s such a pleasure. I’ve enjoyed every interview with you. Listeners can go back and check out all of our different interviews around immunity, homeoprophylaxis, and using homeopathy, Episode 137, 155, 228, and 305.

Now, I feel like I’ve been with you for the last three years along your journey wanting to spread this information about immunity, and what is immunity, and building real immunity. You decided that you were going to get this information out there. Your own public service to the world. Interviewing experts on building immunity. And you’ve created a three part docuseries. Is it like three separate movies?



[00:05:40] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Yes. Three separate full feature documentaries. They’re each an hour and a half long.



[00:05:46] Ashley James: Awesome. Awesome. And I’ve watched the first one because you released the first one. And we talked about that in a previous interview. But now, finally, the day has come we’ve been waiting. That in December, you’re launching all three movies about building real immunity to the public for free. And you’re here today to teach us a bit about that. And share some of the details from your three movies that you’ve made about building real immunity. And do some myth busting, like fevers and vaccinations and whether, you know, our babies or children are immune, and how do we support their immunity. And if you’ve been exposed to something, does that mean you’re immune. And so you’ll go through some of the most common FAQs when it comes to what immunity is.

And I know you’ve also been on a personal health journey with cancer. And I’m very interested for you to share your story. Because I know it’s an inspiring one. And you’ll also give us some great information, some great tools. Because when we don’t have a choice, it’s a dilemma. It’s a dilemma when the only thing we have is one system of medicine. And I love it when guests come on the show and share, “Hey, you may not know but there’s this other system of medicine and there’s actually hundreds of other systems of medicine that may help you.” And so I love to hear your story.

Tell us about these movies that you’re doing. Dr. Cilla Whatcott’s website is Listeners can go there to sign up to receive the emails and the access to watch the three movies that you’ve created, these three documentaries. So tell us about these documentaries that are going to be released in December.



[00:07:47] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Yes. So the first one is Quest For Real Immunity. And it’s the very first film in the series. And it’s basically dispelling the fear about childhood illnesses, fever, viruses. And taking a deeper look into intuition, a mother’s intuition and how that is responsible for so much of our survival, basically. So we’ll look at fear, we’ll look at intuition in that first film. And hear from a lot of experts, pediatricians, immunologists, researchers. Andy Wakefield is in the first film. Paul Thomas, the well-known pediatrician on the west coast is in the first film. He’s a wonderful guy. And in the first film, it’s fascinating because we’ve gone into his childhood. His history when I asked him what’s made you the person that you are. So we take a look back into his upbringing in Africa. And that will be the first weekend in December, the 6th through the 8th. Forty-eight hours of free launch. And you just have to sign up through or the Facebook page, Real Immunity.

And then the second weekend, we’ll be launching Passage To Real Immunity. And that film takes a look at the 200 year old method of homeoprophylaxis. And this has been around for all that time. Very, very safe. About 90% effective in terms of disease prevention. And it’s utilized in India, Cuba, South America. And there’s a lot of families now using it in the US for childhood diseases. There was a 15 year study that supports it with children from Australia. And we’ll hear also from Dr. Wakefield in that film. And a number of parents who have utilized homeoprophylaxis and what their impressions are. As well as some doctors from India, some doctors from Europe, and a researcher from Australia, Dr. Isaac Golden speaks in that film.

And then the third weekend is December, I think, it’s the 20th of the 22nd, Friday through Sunday, 48 hours. And it’s called Choosing Real Immunity. And this film took a turn in content when my own diagnosis came in January of this year, 2019. The universe has a way of taking us to task when we say things. Right, Ashley?



[00:10:30] Ashley James: Yeah. You’ve been preaching immunity and holistic medicine. Then in January you get a cancer diagnosis.



[00:10:37] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Time to walk the talk.



[00:10:39] Ashley James: Yeah. Walking the talk. Now you were probably left in that little – that point of bifurcation where you could have gone into fear mode and run to the Allopathic doctors for chemotherapy and radiation surgery. And looking at their statistics on survival, they think if you live for five years after a cancer diagnosis, that’s success. And that you die at the end of five years.

In talking with an Oncologist who I interviewed with one of my friends who has cancer, she said, “You know, I recommend X, Y, Z chemotherapy.” And I asked her what are the side effects. Potential side effect being leukemia. And she says it’s very small. It’s a very small percentage. And it turned out that it was like 2%. And I’m like, “You know, that’s not actually small.” If you think about how many people get this kind of chemotherapy, it’s not that small. It’s actually kind of like a large percentage of – it’s thousands of people end up getting leukemia if you think how many people are getting on this kind of chemotherapy. And I don’t know, I don’t want to put something in my body that has a 2% chance of causing leukemia. So that’s where my mind goes. So you had this moment. I definitely want to hear about it. I definitely hear about that moment where you had to walk your talk.



[00:12:24] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Yeah. So it interweaves with the content of this third film, Choosing Real Immunity, because I had to choose. I completely trashed all the content that I had lined up and ready for post-production, re-interviewed a number of different individuals, which I’ll share with you. And the entire movie switched to kind of my journey in a way inadvertently. It wasn’t about me. I wasn’t the star of the third film. But it’s about how do we choose real immunity and what are our choices.

And initially, I was struck with fear. But at the same time, Ashley, I had this intense sense that it was a sacred blessing what I was being served up. Because it was an opportunity for me to make necessary changes in my life, an opportunity for me to walk the talk that I’ve been teaching and preaching for the last decade, and a learning opportunity. You know, one of the things that I regretted when I got so busy in my practice was I wasn’t open to learning as much because I was so busy treating and serving other people.

And one thing I had to do was cut my practice back about 70%. And I made the choice to go to Mexico, to a place called Hope4Cancer. And they have clinics in Tijuana, Cancun, Thailand, and Colombia. I went to Cancun. It’s a three week program. You stay in a hotel. A van picks you up with the other patients at 7:00 a.m. You’re in the clinic until 3:00 p.m. They serve your meals, all organic, natural, they juice, they cook vegetarian. There’s a chef there. And then you go back to the hotel at 3:00 p.m. Have dinner with your spouse or whoever came with you. And then go back to the clinic the next morning. Six days a week. Sundays were free. And I was there for three weeks. My program includes two follow up visits, which one I took in June and when I took an October just recently. And then it includes home care for one year after that.  Where you get a phone call every three weeks but you have access to them to call them up or email them at any time to ask questions and receive home care. And they do send you home with lots of supplements, therapies, some equipment, everything comes home with you. So it’s a very inclusive program. It’s not a one size fits all. It’s very individualized to the person and their form of cancer.

My breast cancer was stage two, but it was an aggressive form. It had a 40% proliferation rate. And it was triple positive.  And that means estrogen positive, progesterone positive, and HER2 positive. So after about eight, nine months, nothing had grown, nothing had changed, which is a win. That’s a success in itself with the type of cancer that I had. But it wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to see it going away. And of course, fear is always in the background when you have that kind of diagnosis. And I actually opted to have surgery at that point. So my integrative Oncologist I was seeing, Nasha Winters. And also I was having dark field microscopy, which is looking at the blood under a microscope to see at the cellular level what’s happening. And both my labs and my dark field microscopy were stable and improving. So clearly I was improving at a cellular level. And everyone agreed that having surgery at that point would not be disruptive. It would not cause the cancer to spread. So I did opt to have a mastectomy at that point and remove the tumor itself. Because every time I felt it, I knew it was there. my focus was on it. And if I learned anything during this journey, it’s that what we focus on enlarges. And we give it energy. Whatever we focus on, we give energy.

So roundabout June, after my initial three weeks at Hope4Cancer, I recognized what a large role my mental attitude had in the whole process, my thought processes And I decided to do a week long intensive seminar with Dr. Joe Dispenza in meditation. And it was intense. Some days we meditated as much as seven hours in a day. And they were all guided meditations that he did with lots of explanations and data about brain waves, about pineal gland, about all of the aspects that he was promoting with his education about meditation. And it was life changing. And learning how to focus one’s mind and keep it focused in the right direction. And how you can change outcomes with visualization, with focus became very, very important to me. So I’ve been meditating 45 minutes a day ever since June when I went to that conference – that seminar.

And also interviewed Dr. Joe Dispenza, who is in the third film, Choosing Real Immunity. In the film itself, I chose to interview different individuals, Dr. Tony Jimenez, who’s the medical director of Hope4Cancer, about how he chose this path. He’s an MD but how did he choose this path to take? And how do people make the choice to do something alternative? I interviewed Dr. Joe Dispenza, about children’s minds, and how they form, and what’s happening in brainwaves in children, and how we can choose to raise our children in order to be aware and be conscious and raise their level of consciousness. I interview another gentleman who talks about the levels of consciousness themselves based on Dr. David Hawkins work. And how we can raise those levels. I interviewed Torako Yui, who’s a Japanese homeopath. She was in corporate industry and was very, very sick, almost died. And met a homeopath who saved her life, turned her around, and she chose to become a homeopath and start a homeopathic school. So I’ve also interviewed a medical doctor who has become a homeopath. Another woman who started homeopathic school. Just lots of interviews about people making choices. Why do people choose the other road, you know, the road less traveled? And how do we do that?

Because, Ashley, my biggest goal is to inspire people to know they have choices. And they can make their life what they want it to be. And to rise above the herd, basically, and make choices for yourself based on what your needs are is really what it’s all about. So Choosing Real Immunity focuses on those concepts and they spring out of my own experience.



[00:19:57] Ashley James: I’m so excited. That sounds so cool. So that’s the third weekend of December?



[00:20:05] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: That’s right. I think it’s the 20th to the 22nd, Friday to Sunday.



[00:20:09] Ashley James: Very cool. So when you started the meditation, was that before you got the surgery?



[00:20:19] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Yes. Yes. It was in June that I did the seminar.



[00:20:23] Ashley James: Did you notice – so you’d gone from never meditating to meditating 45 minutes a day every day?



00:20:30] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Pretty much. Yeah.



[00:20:32 Ashley James: Did you notice a difference? Because you were focusing on your health so intensely at that time, was there a shift in your health after incorporating meditation?



[00:20:47] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Initially, it was very difficult to meditate. Because I always considered myself someone who couldn’t. That my mind was so busy. And then initially when I started meditating, a lot of disruption came up. And a lot of depression, tears, angst, anxiety came up. And it wasn’t until I went to the seminar and really got a better handle on what the goals were and lowered my expectations of myself that I could meditate more effectively and just relax into it. And the biggest impact was on anxiety and clarity. Because the anxiety is always there. When you get a diagnosis like this – I’m sorry – fear becomes your bedfellow. And you wake up in the middle of the night with thoughts. So it’s inevitable. And it’s not like you ever step off the path because there’s always that question of whether you’re doing everything you can so that it doesn’t come back. So it’s really your mind you have to control. Because I’m a huge observer of human nature and read and read and read voraciously about people’s cancer stories and their experiences. And what’s the difference between someone who goes into complete remission and someone who doesn’t. And meeting people at the Hope4Cancer Center and my own clients who chose one way or another way. So I became very curious about what contributes to that. And I have to say that support of those around you and your mental attitude are two huge factors. Huge. So I needed to get a handle on that. I’m a fretter by nature. And I just had to get a handle on that in meditation.



[00:22:45] Ashley James: And when we’re in anxiety, we’re triggering the stress response and we are decreasing our body’s ability to actually get into healing mode. Because we’re in the sympathetic response instead of the parasympathetic response. So when you start to meditate and get good at it, and start to relax into it, you’re putting yourself into healing mode. After maybe a few weeks after you started to get more practice and more proficient at meditation and you realized that you were in the healing mode of the autonomic nervous system’s parasympathetic response of rest and digest, did you see any changes to labs or to markers? Did you see, “Because I added meditation daily, I can see this X, Y, Z.” Like you can see it as a result, was there anything specific that you could point to and say, “I believe this is because I added meditation.”



[00:23:51] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Well, my labs have consistently improved over the span of time. But I’ve been doing many, many things. So it’s hard to fair it out exactly what the introduction of meditation did because I’ve been doing multiple things at the same time. So lots of supplementation, coffee enemas, ultrasound to the tumor, infrared light, GcMAF injections, IV vitamin C, UVBI, which is Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation, all of these – hyperbaric chamber, hyperthermia, whole body hyperthermia. I would get my internal temperature up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit. So all of these things were being done concurrently with the meditation. So it’s hard to say which one was doing the most. And honestly, I tried to apply my intuition. Because some things I would eliminate or reduce. And it was a matter of just getting quiet and asking myself, is this really important for me right now? Or can I cut back on it? Do I need to replace it with something? And that’s kind of how I’ve worked.

And I will say, Ashley, to that, I think the hardest part for most people is it’s very comforting to have somebody drive the bus. And somebody to say, “This is what you need to do. This is going to work. You must do this.” And there’s a relinquishment of your personal agency in that. And it’s like they’re going to fix me. And I could never do that. I would love to be able to but I couldn’t do that. So I have reached out to colleagues. I’ve reached out to my integrative Oncologist. I see her once every three months by phone. I reached out to the Hope4Cancer doctors. But then I have to take all that information and crunch it up and decide what I’m going to choose. And I’ve had to make the final decision, which for some people I understand is daunting. It’s very challenging to do that.

And that’s what I saw in my practice. Like I’ve had different clients in my practice with cancers, different breast cancer or other cancers, who have chosen one way or the other way. And I’ve watched because those who choose the conventional way, it’s mostly because their families pressured them. So that’s the support system. And their doctors convinced them it was the only way to survive. So it’s the mental piece and it’s the support piece. And if you have family, loved ones, around you saying, “You have to do this. We want you to do this.” It’s very difficult to resist that. As opposed to having people around you who support what you choose.



[00:26:50] Ashley James: So you chose to not do chemo and not do radiation. And you spent eight months doing holistic treatments. And you stopped the growth of the tumor in its tracks, which is very hard to do because of how aggressive it is. It did not spread because everything that you were doing, all the natural medicine you were doing. And then you had decided after eight months of being you’re in a good spot, all your labs are showing that you’re in excellent health, everything’s improving, you decided, “Let’s just get it out.” And you got clean margins. It’s been removed. How many months has it been since the surgery?



[00:27:34] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Early September, I had the surgery. So it’s just been two months.



[00:27:38] Ashley James: And what is considered – like, at what point will you go, “Okay. That was a success.” At what point do you say, “I’m done.” Obviously you’re cancer free and all your scans are clear. But do you wait a few years? Are you able to just go live your life now?



[00:28:03] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Honestly, it’s a little hard to just live your life because you’re always living in the specter of that diagnosis to a certain degree. Let me digress for just a minute, cancer produces stem cells. And it’s a known fact that chemo radiation, those therapies don’t kill stem cells. So that’s why you can kill the original tumor. And then two years later or three years later, you’ve got it cropping up in another organ because the stem cells went out and proliferated somewhere else. So the only way to address stem cells is at a cellular level with your real immunity. You boost your real immunity and it can mitigate the spread of those stem cells. So that’s my insurance. And I will always be kind of on my case about maybe my diet, maintain my supplements, getting exercise, getting strength training, make sure I’m not working too much, all of the factors.

Hope4Cancer talks about seven principles of healing. And to apply those seven principles always for prevention. So that’s going to be my insurance going forward to always be applying those principles.



[00:29:23] Ashley James: Are those principles taught in your last documentary, the Choosing Real Immunity?



[00:29:33] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: I don’t elucidate the seven principles. I talked with Dr. Tony and he has a recent book out which he shows in the film. And the book does go through the seven principles.



[00:29:45] Ashley James: Okay. So it’s like a whole book?



[00:29:48] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s a whole book. Right. Right. It’s a lot easier and more straightforward than one would think. It’s clean living. It’s your diet, your exercise, your thoughts, your support system, your environmental toxins. I mean, all of these things are what contribute. You want to reduce the toxins, you want to increase the support, you want to increase nutrition, you want to get rid of baggage. So you look at your past. You forgive who you have to forgive. You move on. All of those aspects really clean your system so that you can move forward in a more healthy way.



[00:30:36] Ashley James: You mentioned diet, What is your diet right now? What is the beat and prevent cancer diet that you prescribed to?



[00:30:44] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: There are a lot of differing opinions on this. She laughs. Yeah.



[00:30:50] Ashley James: That’s why I’m asking. Because I’m like, “I’m very curious.” There’s so many diets out there for killing cancer.



[00:30:57] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: So many opinions. Yes. At the Hope4Cancer clinic, it was all vegetarian. Organic, of course. A lot of juicing. And that was good. That was great. They do a nutritional consult with you. But I’ve also, with Nasha Winters, my integrative Oncologist, she’s looked at my genetic snips. And she has said to me, “You must eat meat. That you’re genetically not wired to only eat vegetarian.” So I add chicken and some beef and fish. I stay away from grains. I stay away from gluten. I stay away from sugar. So those three things. And I try to do intermittent fasting. So intermittent fasting has been – I can feel it in my body making improvements. So I’ll fast for anywhere from 13 to 18 hours a day during the week. And then the goal is to do a 24 hour fast at least once a month. In the beginning, I did a four day fast. And it was difficult. And I can feel the difference in my level of strength. I am much stronger now. I have much more energy now. And that’s a little bit of my barometer for whether I’m on the right diet and going in the right direction.



[00:32:26] Ashley James: Yes. I’ve had some interviews, really interesting interviews on fasting. And one man, Troy Reicherter, he’s done $20,000 with the labs. He does one big fast a year. And he’s been doing all these labs to determine how much pollution is in his body. And whether fasting works. And what he’s seeing is that fasting has a lasting effect. It’s not something like you do your four day fast and then two weeks later, it’s not affecting you. It’s like, it is still affecting you even months later. And he shows that even a year after a 21 day fast. His health benefits are there.

And I’ve had other people like Robyn Openshaw shared this that they’re finding that fasting has lasting health effects or very long term health effects. And also Episode 230 with Dr. Alen Goldhamer, who runs the TrueNorth Medical Center. And he does water only medically supervised fasting. He had a woman come in -he published this actually. He had a woman come in with end stage cancer. The Oncologist told her to go home and die. And 30 days after her fast, she was completely cancer free. And all the scans showed it. So he published that and he talks about it in the interview. So the fasting is such a powerful tool. I’m curious why you don’t do long fasts.



[00:34:07] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: I need to get back on it. I just been distracted. I’ve been doing so much traveling back and forth to Mexico. And it’s been life. It’s gotten in the way. But I should. You’re inspiring me to do another long fast. And actually my integrative Oncologist, Nasha Winters, that’s how she started her career. She was 19, diagnosed with ovarian cancer end stage. They told her to go home and die. They couldn’t do chemo. They couldn’t do anything. And she fasted for a month. And this is 20 years ago.



[00:34:37] Ashley James: Oh my, I got to interview her too. Wow.



[00:34:41] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Yeah. She’s a great interview.



[00:34:43] Ashley James: Cool. Go to the TrueNorth Medical Center. They just take care of you. It’s like going on vacation and then you fast there. So I find it challenging to fast in my house. There’s a kitchen here and I have to feed people. I mean, it’s doable. I’ve done it. But the TrueNorth Medical Center is in California and it’s very pretty. And I’ve talked to many people who’ve gone there. And I’m planning on going there. I’ve just got to save up the time and money to do it. But I’m absolutely – it’s on my life bucket list to go spend, like, a month there. It’s quite affordable. It’s a nonprofit, which is wonderful. And if I win the lottery, I’d definitely donate to him. And it’s now sort of become a teaching clinic. So there’s all kinds – and these aren’t, like, new doctors, like, residents. These are doctors that have been doctors for many years and they want to then learn this system. So there’s a ton of, basically, doctor students that are there. But they’ve all have great amount of experience. And they come and learn from Dr. Goldhamer.

And so it’s about the cost of a good hotel. So it’s something like $170 a night kind of thing. And it includes a very nice bed in your room. And your meals when you’re not fasting or you’re re-feeding and all that. And then they have classes and socialization. So you’re never bored. And lots of fun things to do. And you’re doing a lot of resting also. And then you have doctor visits basically in the morning and in the evening. And all the medical staff are there in case anything happens. But I’ve talked to several people and I’ve heard that it’s an amazing place to go.

But I love that you brought up fasting because I think it’s this an unsung hero of healing, right? Because I think when we – it’s free. Essentially, you could do a short fast at home. Like, a three day fast doesn’t require medical supervision. Anything after three days, it’s better to be medically supervised is what Dr. Goldhamer says. Or if you’re doing like you’d you do, 18 hour fasts, you can still go to work. You can still even maybe do light exercise like walking. It’s not that disruptive. But when we get into longer than three day fasts, that’s when we really should take the steps to be monitored.

So I like that you bring this up, because I think that when things are free, we don’t really value them. Like doing a hot shower and then a cold shower and then a hot shower. The things that we could do that every day. Or we can go for a walk or we can do meditation, these are free things. And I think it’s part of our mentality is to is to not think that they’re that great because they’re free. But when I hear that it’s made a ton of difference for you and even helped your Oncologist to heal her own cancer 20 years ago, that’s so cool. I love hearing that.

It’s interesting because I thought that your docu series was sort of going this route of vaccines versus natural medicine. And I know you’re not overtly saying this isn’t my antivaxxer movement. You’re not going that route. But I kind of got the feeling that it was more about immunity. Like, don’t get the flu shot, go do things to just be healthy and boost your immune system, for example. And you bring up cancer, obviously, because it’s in your experience. But it made me think, “You know, I think we think cancer is so different.” It’s so different from catching something like the flu or polio. But it’s the immune system, right? Is cancer a failure – is getting cancer a failure of the immune system?



[00:39:05] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: You bring up a very good point. And first, I want to address your comment that, yes, initially, it was all about using homeoprophylaxis as a safe method as opposed to vaccination. And early on, I realized I couldn’t jump in that pool too quickly. First, I had to lay down a foundation of what is immunity and what are the experts saying. So the first film came out as kind of laying the groundwork. The second film was about homeoprophylaxis, saying, “Look, here is an option. It’s viable. It’s safe. It’s effective.” The third film was going to then wrap things up and summarize everything. And that got waylaid into down a new path.

And to answer your question, the realization is it doesn’t matter if it’s a cold or if it’s cancer. It’s all about our immune system. It’s about what is self and not self, basically. And the conventional thinking about cancer is that it’s this foreign invader that you have to kill or fight. And no, it’s you. It’s you gone awry. It’s your immune system that’s not functioning properly. And all you have to do is reteach it how to function properly and it will take care of the situation. So it’s really truly right in line with everything else about real immunity. And that’s the big misconception about cancer. And the way it’s been treated conventionally with chemo, radiation, chemo, radiation. Insurance will pay for. That’s all Oncologist can recommend. It’s just this mantra in the conventional field when the Reality is, every person’s cancer needs to be treated differently.

And I’ve watched how individualized care has been applied to each person that goes through Hope4Cancer. Because I’ve formed this relationships with other people, patients there, and watched how if they’re not moving forward, they introduced some other methods. And they just keep applying different methods because just like the immune system has intelligence, that aberration of the immune system will keep trying to find a workaround. And you have to address it in a way that it hears – listens so that your system can then move in the direction of health. So not everybody’s treatment is the same that Hope4Cancer. We start out the same with certain nutritional IVs and coffee enemas, et cetera. But then it becomes much more highly individualized as time goes on.



[00:42:00] Ashley James: So you said that Oncologists are only allowed to legally recommend radiation, chemo, and surgery. And I’ve heard this many times before. And I think that when the law doesn’t let a doctor let you know about other treatments that are proven to help, then it’s like, “Who is the law protecting? Is it protecting the drug cartel? The big pharma?” Who is it really protecting? Oncologists are highly intelligent that they’ve spent a decade studying. And you go to one and they’ve probably been working for like 15 years in the field. They’re very intelligent. They’re really good at reading studies. Why are they given the freedom to also look at alternative methods and go, “Well, we’ve seen – this group over here has seen improvements when they eat this way and use this herb and do this sauna therapy.” It’s just, really? We’re not allowed to say that that is good. Now, how is it that your Oncologist is practicing and recommending alternative medicine?



[00:43:31] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Well, she’s a Naturopath, first and foremost. She’s not an MD. She’s a Naturopath. But I’ll answer your question, Ashley, with a question back to you. And that is, if you went to medical school. And you had to have $200,000 in school debt. And you were indoctrinated into this program where you were taught that anything alternative is baloney. And that the conventional way is the only way. And then you sold chemo drugs that you then upsell to your patients and make an additional revenue. How easily could you admit that there’s another way?



[00:44:11] Ashley James: I like that you brought that up because when I heard that, that was the nail in the coffin for me. That when an MD prescribes every round of chemotherapy – every dose of chemotherapy, they get a kickback. They get thousands of dollars. That’s their boat payment. That’s their child going to another college class like that. They’re being bribed to prescribe chemotherapy.



[00:44:42] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Well, I like to see this positive reinforcement. If you got an m&m every time you did something. It’s positive reinforcement. It’s very difficult to do something different. But some of them are humble enough that they’ll recognize maybe there’s another way. I’ve run into too much arrogance in that field and it’s difficult. It’s really difficult. Because those of us who want to explore unconventional things in alternative medicine are viewed as crackpots or idiots. Anyway, that’s another topic we could delve into.



[00:45:27] Ashley James: So when we develop a tumor,they say that it’s been like four or eight years in development. It’s not overnight. Although might feel overnight. But it’s actually been a long time coming that the body went from having a few cancer cells to just so much that we’re seeing it for the first time. When we grew a tumor – I mean, the body is clearing out cancer every day. Little tiny mutations the immune systems sees it and clears it out. What happens that the immune system didn’t clear out yours or didn’t clear out other people’s cancer? Why does it? What happens has the body not recognize that that’s a cancer?



[00:46:17] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Well, to some extent, it’s what you said earlier about sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. It overcomes the system. The system is not in the healing phase enough hours a day to do its work. So we’re always on a trajectory. We’re always by virtue of the choices we make each day, do we get enough sleep? Are we drinking water? How are we eating? We are on a trajectory. Either we’re static or we’re getting better or we’re getting worse. So if you take enough days going down that trajectory and getting worse, it allows your body the leeway to build up those aberrant cells and proliferate those cancer cells. Because they’re sending out millions of stem cells, a tumor does, daily. So those can go park in other organs. And if you’re compromising your system with your diet or with stress – stress is a huge one – or with excessive toxins in your environment, then it gives your body the opportunity to proliferate those cells.


[00:47:27] Ashley James: And have you seen – I know you didn’t do this for your own cancer,  but have you seen any therapies that turn the immune system back on to the point where the body now recognizes a tumor?



[00:47:43] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Well, some of the studies show full body hyperthermia is enormous. The main things that were used to Hope4Cancer, heat, light, sound, and oxygen. Those four things. So heat, when you raise the core temperature that engages your immune system and turns it on high alert. So there are documented cases of people getting measles and having a brain tumor disappear. Or some acute disease which then ameliorates the chronic disease. And this is documented in the literature. Because the acute is event for the deeper pathology. So by getting a fever, it charges that immune system. Now, apparently the literature shows that doing it intermittently for short bursts is effective. But much of what I’ve read and been familiar with are cases when it’s a longer term acute illness, like measles and there’s 103 fever for a week or longer period of time with a high fever. But at Hope4Cancer, we went into whole body hyperthermia where you have heat above you, heat below you. And they ramp up your internal temperature. They keep taking your internal temperature. Mine was up to 108 degrees.



[00:49:13] Ashley James: For how long?



[00:49:15] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Maybe ten minutes. And then it takes a while to come down. You just can’t tolerate it much longer. And I had the freedom to get out when I needed to get out. But I would try to stay in as long as possible. But it’s ramping up your immune system. The other thing is a hyperbaric chamber. So you’re forcing oxygen into the cells. And cancer does not like heat, does not like light,and does not like oxygen. Those are three environmental conditions where it can’t live. So we would do heat therapy. And it was just like a wand with heat on the actual tumor for five minute just on the tumor itself. Infrared lamp on the tumor. Laser lights on the tumor. They would do infrared where they take 100 milliliters of blood out. Inject that hundred milliliters with ozone, which is oxygen. Run it past ultraviolet light. And back into your body. So now you’ve irradiated the blood and oxygenated it and returned it to the body. That’s a great therapy.



[00:50:32] Ashley James: Can you explain why ozone and ultraviolet directly to the blood, why that is a great therapy? It doesn’t kill the white blood cells or red blood cells.



[00:50:44] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: No. But it kills all the parasitic infections, viruses, the comorbidities of cancer. Typically people with cancer have comorbidities. They have lyme. They have Epstein Barr. They have parasites. And the question is, did those things open them up to be more susceptible to cancer? Or did the cancer compromise their immune system in such a way as to take on those other afflictions? But regardless, the UVBI can help to address some of those comorbidities, which that’s essential in treating cancer. So I forget your original question.



[00:51:30] Ashley James: I was just –



[00:51:31] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Specific therapies you were saying.



[00:51:32] Ashley James: Yeah. No. We’re on a tangent and I like the tangent. And that’s okay. I interviewed Dr. Tullio Simoncini, who is an Oncologist in Italy. And he, I believe had his license taken away for curing cancer. How dare he? how dare have the audacity to cure cancer naturally? But what he saw when he cut open tumors is that they would look like yeast. The inside of a tumor looks like yeast. And he thought, “This is so weird.” And he had someone – and I apologize for not remembering all the details of the story. But listeners can go listen to the Episode because it’s fascinating. It’s Episode 136. And he had a patient who was sort of on their deathbed and it’s kind of like last ditch effort. So he took sodium bicarbonate which he says it kills Candida, it kills yeast. And he took a solution and injected it into the — no. He washed their colons. It’s colon cancer. He washed their colon with it. Kind of like a colonic. That was his first attempt and it worked. And then he had another person that, I believe, was a child in a coma. And it was like they have hours to live because the tumor was so big. And he took sodium bicarbonate, injected it into the vasculature right before the tumor. So it fed straight into the vasculature of the tumor. Sodium bicarbonate, if you inject it into you, the solution he had would not hurt anyone. But it would kill yeast or Candida. And then he went on break and he came back and the child was sitting up and laughing with the mom. And he just freaked out. So that’s what led him down this road of treating cancer with sodium bicarbonate. But the problem is you can’t just drink it or put it up your bum like he did with that one person. You have to have a surgeon, he says. Because you have to have it injected straight into the vasculature of the tumor to be effective. And he sees that he’s had a very high success rate. Because my thing is like, “Well, is it all tumors or only some tumors?”

And this is interesting that you’re bringing up co-infections. I’ve had many lyme experts on the show talk about when someone has a lyme infection so they have Lyme disease, they always have other parasites. It’s like at least three. We start to see that it’s a Catch 22, what came first? Did the person have co-infections? Did the person have these parasites and have these multiple infections sort of hanging around the body because the environment of the body was a perfect storm, a perfect petri dish –



[00:54:36] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Environment, yeah.



[00:54:36] Ashley James: – for these infections? And then Lyme came around and their body was amazing petri dish for the lyme to propagate. Whereas, other people might have been bit by that same tick and the body clears out the lyme.



[00:54:51] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Exactly. And it’s all about susceptibility. That’s homeopathics theory. It’s about our susceptibility. We could all be in the room with someone with Ebola or measles, some will catch it, some won’t. It’s about your susceptibility. And that’s the terrain.



[00:55:05] Ashley James: I had Dr. Heather Wolfson on the show. I’ve had both Wolfson’s.  The husband who’s the cardiologist and the wife who’s a chiropractor. And she’s even more than a chiropractor, which many chiropractors are because they know so much about nutrition and healing. And she said, if you had 100 people in a room with polio, 95% of them would be asymptomatic. And that blew my mind. Because I was raised to believe that polio is incredibly dangerous, deadly. It’s like Ebola. Everyone’s going to get it. But no, it’s not the case. I mean, obviously, it’s not like, “Oh, yeah. Let’s all have a polio party.” It’s not what I’m saying. But it’s just looking at when you have really healthy people and you really have a cleansed body and the body is not a good petri dish, it’s not a good environment, it’s alkaline, it’s balanced, you’re in a parasympathetic state as much as possible, it’s not a good environment to host illness.

And so it’s interesting that I’ve never heard someone bring this up that you say that when we look at people with cancer, even before they had the cancer, they can see that they actually had other infections going on. They had Candida or Lyme disease or parasites but they their body was already a petri dish building up illness.



[00:56:42] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Right. Right. But these days who doesn’t have all of those infections? I mean, seriously. You know what I mean? The world is a crazy place and people are sick. Because of our environmental toxicity, we’re just bombarded.



[00:57:01] Ashley James: It’s the rare person who is of optimal health. But we all strive for it. So that’s why we’re here. We want to learn for you. How long were you vegetarian during your cancer therapies?



[00:57:17] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Probably from when I first was diagnosed in January until the end of March, April, May, somewhere there.



[00:57:28] Ashley James: Okay. So like, maybe, four months. And then your Naturopathic Oncologist told you to add meat back. Did you notice that you felt better after adding meat?



[00:57:37] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Oh, yeah. I feel I had much more strength, much more vitality.


[00:57:42] Ashley James: I really I really liked that she looked at your genetic markers for this. We have a Facebook Group, Learn True Health Facebook Group, there’s 3,300 listeners in it. And I love the wonderful discussions. And she’s been a listener for a year. She’s passionate about it. Loves the show. And she’s probably listening right now. So hello. But she said that she was concerned that I was leaning towards sort of anti-meat. And I feel like in every Episode, we talked about diet, I say – I feel like I’m just a parrot saying the same thing. I don’t believe in diet dogma. You have to figure out what your body needs right now.

Cilla, you might find in a year from now you need to go vegan or raw vegan. And then next year, you might find the right to go carnivore. But you have an open mind and a willingness and you’re not buying into any dogma. You’re looking at your labs. And you’re looking at your genetics. You’re looking at your own body’s ability and how you’re feeling. And I think that when some people get – for example, they go keto. And they’re eating. And it might be unhealthy keto. Maybe they’re eating bacon and avocados and cheese all day. And they lose some weight and then they buy into the dogma of it. And then they are upset and unwilling to look at anything that opposes keto. And that’s a problem, when we buy into any diet and are unwilling to look at the rest of the information out there. Because our body is constantly changing and its needs are changing.

Me, I have done well over 30 diets to heal my body. And I’m willing to make these changes. And what I have found working for me this last year on my blood work – I get my blood work done every four months. And I have never been healthier. I almost cry every time I go to the Naturopathic office and get my blood results and have my next follow up and get my blood taken again. Because I’m on the best path for me and it’s because I’m on a whole food plant based, no oil and no salt and sugar diet. And that’s my health. My path. I’m not imposing that on you or on anyone. But I’m passionate to share what’s working for me. And I’m happy that I’m on this path. And I love that you’re sharing that. It sounds like you’re doing a more paleo style eating. No greens, you’re eating, obviously organic free range, and you’re focusing on a ton of vegetables. And that is working best for your health. So I honor that. And I’m really glad that you got to share that.



[01:00:20] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Thank you. Yeah. It’s tricky. I think it’s been the most challenging part of the healing journey because I wanted somebody to tell me something was the right way to go. And I have to figure it out myself and that’s hard.



[01:00:37] Ashley James: I love that you brought that up. It’s hard. We just want to hand over our choices to an expert. We want to feel like a child again and have a mother take care of us. But we’re adults. And especially if we have a health issue, we need to take the reins. And it’s okay to lean on our doctor experts that we put on our team. That we get to hire our Naturopath or our Oncologist or whoever we have on our team and bounce things off of them. But ultimately, it has to be our decision what we’re going to do with our body. That level of advocacy will allow us to listen to our intuition and steer the ship in the right direction. Do you have any resources? Obviously, people need to go to your website and they need to watch these documentaries. Do you have any resources that you highly recommend listeners check out for –



[1:01:46] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Definitely the Hope4Cancer clinics. Their website is hope and then the number four And they have some excellent – they have a third party researcher doing their stats on survival rates. And I was just speaking with the director in October and they were amazed when their stats came in and asked them to recheck them because they couldn’t believe it. Conventional medicine for stage four cancers, lung and pancreatic, the survival rate after four years is 2 to 3% for stage four of those types of cancers. Hope4Cancer, the survival rate after four years, stage four pancreatic and lung 44%.



[01:02:36] Ashley James: I would love to see like a third one, which is people who choose to not – they get the diagnosis and they’re like, “I don’t want chemo radiation. I’m just going to go on a road trip and see what happens.”



[01:02:54] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Right. go live my life.



[01:02:57] Ashley James: Go live my life and see what happens. I mean, obviously, you know, there’s people out there that do that. And it’d be cool if we could see the statistics on no treatments and just living life. Maybe how the treatment is, like, being happier versus cut, burn, and poison versus intense holistic therapies. I’m guessing the bill for the Hope4Cancer Center is like in the tens of thousands.



[01:03:28] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: The cost? Yeahh. So I think it’s different depending on which therapies they’re recommending for you. Mine was $50,000. It includes the three weeks there, including food and hotel, and all my treatments. It includes everything going home for three months of a home care program, supplements, equipment, injections. And then it includes two follow ups coming back and a year of home support.



[01:04:00] Ashley James: I mean, I know that’s a lot of money. But it also sounds kind of reasonable when you think about –



[01:04:07] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: I know. Well, here’s a comparison. I had a needle biopsy done in the beginning. Which I struggled with because I didn’t really want to interrupt the tumor but I wanted proof of exactly what kind of tumor I had. And our deductible hadn’t been satisfied yet. So we had a large deductible. That biopsy cost me $10,000. A needle biopsy. I’m still paying $500 a month for it.



[01:04:38] Ashley James: Oh my gosh.



[01:04:39] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Yeah. That’s the condition of conventional medicine. It’s shameful.



[01:04:47] Ashley James: So where does homeopathy play a role when someone has a cancer diagnosis? Obviously, you’re a homeopath. You love homeopathy. Because there’s no homeopathy for cancer. It’s because it’s not about treating the –


[01:05:07] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Oh, yeah. No. There is.



[01:05:09] Ashley James: There is?



[01:05:09] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: There definitely is. And there are studies. The  Banerjee Clinic out of India has studies in coordination with MD Anderson Cancer Center.



[01:05:18] Ashley James: You’re blowing my mind right now. Okay. Tell us more about this. Tell us what the study is. I want to know.



[01:05:20] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. So the main study is with a gliomas, like brain tumors. Some very significant studies. And there’s a method called the Radha Krishna method. I’ve used it on a number of cancer patients. There is definitely homeopathic treatment for cancers. I didn’t rely entirely on only homeopathy. I used the shotgun approach of probably too many therapies, you know, everything from –



[01:05:51] Ashley James: I would be right there with you. Because, to me, it doesn’t matter which one works. They all work. They’re all going to work because I’m going to heal this. So as long as you’re okay with doing all of them, I wouldn’t be upset about it like. If it’s something little – like I don’t know – if it was Lyme Disease and someone wanted to try one therapy at a time because maybe budget or maybe they’re just scientific and they want to see one thing at a time. Lyme disease you have time. Whereas cancer, it has that sort of potential of metastasizing. And we want to address it as fast as possible. At the same time, we want to take enough time to figure out what our steps are and not be rushed into anything. So we do – I love that they teach this when watching the docu series, The Truth About Cancer. Which I’ve had Ty Bollinger on the show before. All the experts there on this docu series say, you have enough time to slow down, get out of fear mode, and make a plan of action. And they say if you go to an Oncologist, they’re going to try to rush you into your therapy within days and not give you any breathing room to second guess. Or to even get a second opinion. And so all these experts or these Oncologists on Truth About Cancer said get a second opinion, slow down, make a plan of action. But once you have the plan of action, then then rush into it and do it. So you did the shotgun approach, which is great. But you did use some homeopathy because there are studies. Tell us about the studies in India.



[01:07:36] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Well, the Banerjee doctors are generations of doctors. They have a very large clinic in India. They see thousands of patients a day. It’s an amazing clinic. It’s homeopathy applied in an allopathic way because they apply it based on diagnosis. So it’s a little bit different than the classical approach. There’s some different schools of thought within homeopathy. But nonetheless, it’s viable. It’s applicable to many different conditions. And the study with MD Anderson Center was specifically on gliomas. So different brain tumors and the use of homeopathic remedies. And they saw good results.



[01:08:21] Ashley James: Do you remember what the numbers were?



[01:08:24] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: I can’t recall the numbers off the top of my head. But I know they were positive.



[01:08:30] Ashley James: So much so that you remember it. That you remember that it was a worthwhile study and that it was better than chance.



[01:08:39] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Exactly. And the fact that MD Anderson would be open to doing something like that is interesting.



[01:08:45] Ashley James: Cool.



[01:08:47] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: So homeopathy is a deep curative form of system of medicine, a whole system of medicine.



[01:08:54] Ashley James: Yes. And we’ve talked about it before in the show and other people talk about it. I think, it might have been the last time you came on the show, you talked about what we can do instead of the flu vaccine. And I love your homeopathy for the flu, the Influenzinum. We used it in our entire family – it’s been a year. We’ve used it for the last year. And our entire family has not gotten the flu. We were getting it – and we have a toddler and he is a germ magnet, you know, because they bring home everything.

And I know I could also contribute to the fact that I’m on a healing journey. So my body, obviously, is healthier today than it was a year ago. But I was getting the flu at least once a year. And I haven’t had a flu. And the whole family. And I haven’t had a flu in the last year and none of us have and we’ve been using your Influenzinum. So I’m very excited about that. What else do you want to make sure that we cover that we make sure that listeners know about?



[01:10:07] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Well, the films, of course, because it’ll be launched free and those will be available. But also the homeoprophylaxis programs. I mean, the programs that we provide through, they’re based on Dr. Isaac Golden’s 15 year study in Australia. So he saw a 90% effectiveness rate with this particular program. And more than just protecting from disease, it exercises the immune system and matures it in a way that supports the natural development of children. So it’s an amazing program.

And my goal really, Ashley, is to change the paradigm. Not just to sell a widget or a product but to change the paradigm so people understand the power of their immunity and how supporting it is the best thing you can do. And homeoprophylaxis is an amazing way to support it. And I’m overcome with grief when I see the new normal cropping up and people accepting asthma and chronic conditions as normal. This is not how children are intended to be.

And my families that do homeoprophylaxi, they rave about how vibrant their children are. And how their speech is miles ahead. Their cognitive skills or developmental leaps, it’s amazing. And this is how kids are supposed to be. So I can’t say enough about the HP programs. I would urge anyone to look into it and see the value of it in terms of shifting that paradigm.

The other thing we’re going to do at Real Immunity is we’re starting these empowerment groups. So the goal is to support groups of parents who think like this but feel like they’re alone. And media would have us think that everybody wants to vaccinate and everybody has these certain ideas. It’s simply not true. And part of my goal in making the Real Immunity series was to support those parents who are thinking clearly but they think they’re alone and they’re afraid to speak up. So these empowerment groups, we’re going to be starting them probably just in the beginning of 2020. What they are is an opportunity for people to get together and view segments of the films. They’ll be divided into three segments each. And then there’s discussion questions. There’s mechanisms for support. It’s a whole process of empowering this group so their consciousness gets raised to a certain level. And we know from one of the interviews in the third film, that people operating at a certain level of consciousness have the capacity to bring up tens of thousands of other people in their consciousness. So what we’re doing is we’re replacing outmoded ideas with truth and with a new paradigm of real immunity. And that’s what the empowerment groups are intended to do.



[01:13:16] Ashley James: Oh, fun. Very cool. Well, you discussed homeoprophylaxis in Episode 137 in a detailed way that made me incredibly passionate about it. And I really feel that this is a tool that should be in every single parents tool belt to train the child’s immune system so that it’s responding in a healthy way to these infections should the child be exposed to them. And when you cited that in India, for example, they’ve had millions of people go through homeoprophylaxis. And they’ve seen success n Australia, in India, in Cuba. It blew my mind that they don’t have side effects and they have incredible success. Whereas, we can’t say the same for vaccines.



[01:14:17] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Right? Absolutely.



[01:14:20] Ashley James: You’ve talked –



[01:14:23] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: And they’re so easily distributed. There’s no cold chain. It’s inexpensive for third world countries. It’s not species specific. It’s not gender orage specific. I mean, there’s so many benefits to be utilized worldwide. Why not? Except it doesn’t bring revenue to pharma.



[01:14:41] Ashley James: I just read, there’s a Pacific Island, that – small Pacific island that had three babies – three infants instantly die after getting a vaccine recently. And it turns out that the vaccines were made incorrectly. I mean, whereas you won’t find that using homeopathy. And then this is something new to me that something, like 85% of our vaccines now come from China that or manufactured in China. And I believe it was recent. It was very recent that in congressional hearings, the FDA said that they do not – China does not need to disclose the ingredients of the vaccines. I was reading this article and I was shocked.



[01:15:42] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: That’s shocking. I’m not familiar with that information but I would believe it.



[01:15:48] Ashley James: Well, you bring up the quality. So I’ll have to pull it up and find it. But you bring up the quality of the chain of custody and all the things that go into ensuring the safety of a vaccine vs. homeopathy. One is, with a vaccine, there’s so many chances that something could go wrong. Whereas, with homeopathy, it’s inert. It’s energetic medicine versus molecular medicine. We’ve had a few people in the Facebook Group talk about not wanting to get the flu vaccine. One woman last year wrote she was very upset. She had recently had the flu vaccine and became so sick. She never been that sick in her life. She was contemplating going to the hospital. She was that sick. She says she felt like she was dying. And she was so upset at herself. Because she bought into – we have a constant bombardment, “I go to the grocery store, you can get 20% off your groceries if you get a flu shot at my local grocery store – near a grocery store near us.” Every very place I go into I feel – like even Costco, there’s a big sign, “Get your vaccine. Get your vaccine.” Every time I go- not the Naturopath, of course. But other doctors offices, they’re asking me several times if I want a flu shot. So we’re constantly having it offered to us. And maybe we buy into the – it’s easy to buy into the fear and go, “Well, we should get this because we’re protecting ourselves. We’re protecting others.” You know, buy into this fear. And she was really upset that she did that because she didn’t want to buy into the fear. And she realized she had.

And then others have shared in the Learn True Health group that they want to choose a different way. Can you share with us – if you could just bust some myths about the flu shot. We’re taught that it is protective. We’re taught that it will ensure that – or at least really significantly decrease our chance of getting the flu. And for some, the flu is fatal. So that it’s really smart to get the flu shot and we’re really stupid if we don’t get the flu shot. Can you bust some myths about the flu shot versus Influenzinum, or example, which is the homeopathy version of the flu shot.



[01:18:19] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Right. Right. So initially I’d send people to the Cochrane Collaboration. The Cochrane Collaboration is a group that’s unrelated to pharma and does meta analysis. They take lots of data. They crunch it. They look at it. And they come up with analysis of that data. And what they have said is that under the age of two, flu shots are no more effective than placebo. They don’t work. For the elderly, they don’t prevent transmission of the flu. And they don’t reduce hospital stays. And then we know for a fact, because the CDC comes out with a percentage how much they’re working. I’m not familiar with what it is this year. But I think they said it was lower than it’s been in many, many years. So we know it’s not that effective to start with.

Then I would point people to a study by Cowling and Fang from 2012. And that study showed us that what it does, it compromises TH1, which is your innate arm of your immune system. So you may have protection about whatever particular strain has been targeted for that year. But what’s happened, you’ve compromised your immunity to every other virus going around. So these people get sicker with other viruses. Another study that’s out, and I can’t quote the authors on this one. It’s not on the top of my mind. But study that shows us repeated flu shots makes you more susceptible to catching the flu as well. That the efficacy wanes.

So from many different angles, we see that flu shots are not what they’re trumped up to be. When I was growing up the only people that were recommended to get flu shots were those in nursing homes closed communities. But never for children. So Influenzinum is something that’s made from a variety of historical flus. So flus are ancient viruses. They continue to mutate over time. They’re a life form. They’re going to find a way. So they mutate and change. And they reside many times in fowl, you know, birds. And then come into human hosts. And the Influenzinum is a combination of a variety of historical flus. So it covers all the mutations because homeopathy is based on treating it’s symptom picture. It’s not the actual species or a type of flu. So any mutation is going to be covered. It’s completely safe. You don’t need a new one each year, from the Influenzinum that I use. Some of them are being sold because they’re selling a product so there is a new one each year. It’s based on the flu vaccine basically. But mine has the historical flus. And then mine has Tubercalinum, which covers the [inaudible 01:21:30] tendency to be susceptible to lung infections. So very, very safe. It can be taken every week during flu season. I take it when I fly, always. I take it when I’m going to be in public, in a group, like at a conference or a large group, or if I’m in my office and a child comes in sneezing and coughing and drooling. I’ll go home and I’ll take a dose just to protect myself.

So just recently, my husband was at a social event and people were sick. And he felt like he was coming down with something so he came home, he took Influenzinum. That night, he felt like he had kind of a fever. The next day, it abated. And after that, he was totally fine.

So I mean it simply engages your immune system in a way to recognize these viruses and then mount its own immune response in a healthy way.



[0:22:28] Ashley James: The way you said that made me think of cancer again. To get the immune system to recognize it and respond in a different way. I wonder.



[01:22:44] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Yeah. And we actually use Carcinosin. Ashley. There’s two types of Carcinosin. One is made from breast tumors. Another is made from 58 different kinds of cancer tumors. And it basically engages the immune system to recognize self from non-self and discriminate. Because that’s really the hallmark of cancer is it hasn’t recognized self from non-self. And it’s allowed this growth to get out of control.


And we see that on the emotional level as well. The Type C personality, which is the cancer personality, has trouble with boundaries. They’re givers. They’re doers. They’re strivers. They’re people who always are worried about what the other person thinks. And they’ll compromise themselves for the other person. They don’t do self-care very well. And that’s the typical cancer personality. So part of the challenge is learning how to care for oneself and recognize self from non-self, basically.



[01:23:44] Ashley James: Yeah. Let’s all start putting ourselves first. Not to be selfish. But to be –



[01:23:53] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Healthy.



[01:23:55] Ashley James: And to realize that – so my mom died when she was 55. And growing up, my mom was athletic, gorgeous. She was a model. And then she became a rep for women’s clothing lines. She built an empire. She built this beautiful company that she had to constantly look her best. She was walking around in stilettos, you know, 10 hours, 12 hours a day kind of thing. She’d wake up the crack of dawn, make us all protein shakes, and put on her gym outfit, and take her dry cleaning with her. And she would head to the gym by 6:00 in the morning. And then after the gym – so she worked out six days a week. And then she’d be gone all day. Come home at 7:00 and she’ll have, like, a salad and a chicken breast. And then put me down to bed.  And then she’d go to sleep. And it was like rinse and repeat her whole life. She took supplements. She exercised a lot. She ate really clean. She didn’t take enough downtime, that’s for sure. But she was beautiful, hardworking, didn’t take the time to rest and relax a lot. Because she was A type personality, constantly put stress on herself, and she had a lot of anger and a lot, I guess, a lot of fear. A lot of fear of not being successful. And then she just got liver cancer and died within months. And she was so healthy.

It was like a practical joke on our family because my dad struggled with weight. He would gain and lose 100 pounds, 200 pounds even. When he died, we had to pay extra money because the casket needed to be bigger. And just the year before he was his goal weight. His whole life he struggled greatly with that. And he constantly worked at it. But he also was A type personality, hard worker, did not even know what self-care was. Self-care to him was, like, treating themselves to a steak dinner, basically. But both of my parents were loving and wonderful people. And my dad died, you know, six years later when he was like 62 years old.

So to watch my mom who was the epitome of health. My dad who was not the epitome of health end up outliving my mom. And my mom was the healthiest person we knew. And for her to go so quickly had me really look at self-care in a new light. That it’s not selfish. That it is actually selfish not to do self-care. That my mom – because I’d asked her so many times to – like I said to her, “Stay home. Hang out with me.” And she kept saying, “I’m going to give you a better childhood than I had.” But at the end of the day, could have worked less. And again, I’m not blaming her. It’s just a hindsight, right? Looking at it and going, if she had created a more balanced life, yeah, maybe she would have made less money, but she would have been happier and she’d still be alive, possibly.



[01:27:18 Dr. Cilla Whatcott: How old were you, Ashley?



[01:27:20] Ashley James: When she died? I was 22. So self-care is not selfish. It is selfish to not do self-care. Because our children need us here alive. And it’s okay. My friend, Naomi, she takes off and goes to the women’s spa once in a while. And treats herself to – it’s a beautiful spa here in Seattle in Lynnwood, where it’s an all women spa. And you basically hang out with a bunch of women and hot tubs and saunas. And it’s like her family won’t have her for a few hours. And they will have to fend for themselves. But she’s doing her self-care.

And I say bye- bye to my son and my husband and I get in the sauna. And they have to fend for themselves for an hour or whatever. But it’s like we have to – sometimes we have to disconnect from our family and take care of ourselves. But it’s for our family that we do it. So I just know that some of us still have to get over that idea that self-care is selfish. Even buying a massage, like, “Oh, that $60.”  And taking $60 away from buying books for my son or something. Our little voice in our head says that money should be spent on our family. But if we’re not doing the self- care that we need every day or every week and decreasing our stress, supporting our immune health, then we’re not ensuring that will be here long term.


[01:28:58] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Right. You’re very, very right. It took cancer for me to give myself permission to care for myself.



[01:29:04] Ashley James: Yeah. And that caring for yourself equals caring for your family. I love that you did the shotgun approach. But is there anything that you can share as you think back? Like, did you ever add something and then go, “Wow. It’s really working. I’m glad I added this.” Is there any kind of stuff that you added along the way and you’re really happy you did?



[01:29:31] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Probably the diet. Just supplemental, just tons of organic vegetables, you know, smoothies and vegetables. That’s really your foundation, what you’re putting in your body. I’d say that’s huge. And my diet wasn’t bad to begin with. So it was hard for me to accept that I was doing anything good. Because it was like this isn’t very different than I’ve always eaten. But I saw people at Hope4Cancer who came from terrible diets, do that diet for three weeks, and have their tumors shrink to nothing before they got out. So I watched it.

Like your mother, my lifestyle wasn’t that unhealthy. I was overworking. And I had a lot of trauma in my past that was still activated for me that I had to address.



[01:30:29] Ashley James: What did you do to address it? Because trauma is another really big – it’s another really big – they see that there’s a connection between unresolved trauma and disease. Dr. Hamer, who has unfortunately passed away, he created meta medicine. I started studying it in 2005. And I think it’s fascinating that he could identify disease in the body and relate it back to a trauma that has been unresolved.



[01:31:00] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Yeah. So this does bring to mind an answer to your question, is there anything that really worked well for me. And what I used to address trauma was microcurrent. So microcurrent is a method that was introduced by chiropractors for muscular skeletal stuff initially. And then it was shown to have value with PTSD and different forms of trauma. So it’s a very, very low level current that’s run through the body. You don’t feel anything at all.



[01:31:33] Ashley James: Is this frequency specific microcurrent?



[01:31:35] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Yeah, yeah. That’s it.



[01:31:36] Ashley James: Yeah. I’ve had an interview – fascinating. For some reason, I didn’t think it would affect emotions.



[01:31:46] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Who did you interview? Who was the person you interviewed? Is it Carolyn?



[0 1:31:50] Ashley James: Carolyn McMakin? McMakin?



[01:31:52] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: That’s it. Yeah. Yeah. And she still teaches



[01:31:55] Ashley James: Episode 332 and 333. It’s a two parter. That interview was amazing. I asked my first question, which is tell me your story. So you know I love – when you’re a new guest, I get you to tell your story. One hour later, I asked my second question.



[01:32:14] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Yeah. She’s amazing.



[01:32:16] Ashley James: It was phenomenal. Her story is phenomenal. Oh my gosh, I never knew that frequency specific –



[01:32:22] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Yeah. I loved it. I loved it. And I did it twice a week for a while. It was huge for me. I knew I needed something that was hands on. I didn’t want something that was based on talk. Because I’m a talker and I’m an analytical person and I’ve talked my trauma to death. I don’t need to talk about it anymore.



[01:32:49] Ashley James: It’s funny you should say that. It’s like, you know intellectually – you can kind of intellectualize the trauma out then it’s still stuck in the body.



[01:33:02] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Yeah. I needed something to get it out of my body. Since it had to be something that was touching me, I did EFT, I did Qigong, I did – what was it called? They did it at Hope4Cancer. It was recall healing. But it’s based on talking and looking at different traumas at different ages and how in the ancestry it relates. So I did all of those things. But it was that microcurrent that I really liked. And she did craniosacral at the same time. So she’d hook me up to the microcurrent and do craniosacral. So there’s no talking involved.



[01:33:45] Ashley James: Right. How did you know it was working on your traumas?



[01:33:49] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Because after some of the sessions I would just have this amazing feeling the next day. Just like this well-being feeling like when I was a kid that I had forgotten. So I liked it a lot.



[01:34:08] Ashley James: I mean, did you ever try testing it? Thinking back to your trauma and then realizing the emotions weren’t there anymore? Or did you –



[01:34:15] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: No. Because the emotions aren’t there. I can talk about any of the trauma very analytically that I do not sense any emotions being there anymore. I think it’s only at a cellular level. So in that way, I didn’t notice anything. But definitely this just subtle sense the next day of well-being. And I went after it. Like I said, Qigong, EFT, lots of different kinds of energetic therapies. But it didn’t click. It didn’t feel like, “Yeah. This is it. I got it.” It was until the microcurrent.



[01:34:57] Ashley James: Cool. Thank you for sharing that. I encourage you to also check into Timeline Therapy created by Ted James.



[01:35:06] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Timeline Therapy. Okay.



[01:35:08] Ashley James: Timeline Therapy. I’m a master practitioner and trainer of Timeline Therapy. I learned it in 2005 from Todd James, of have no relation. And he created it. But it is, I guess, inspired by neuro linguistic programming. It is incredibly effective at getting to the root cause of trauma and resolving it at the unconscious and conscious level. Although you might not need it now. But yeah, Timeline Therapy is phenomenal. I’ve had really great success with resolving chronic pain, anxiety, phobias, fears, anger, sadness, fear, hurt, guilt that is unresolved from the past it just keeps hanging on. It’s great. It’s great. So that’s another thing. But like you said, you know, taking the shotgun approach, trying one thing, trying another, and finding your truth, finding what’s going to resonate with you. And it’s good to do this. Always looking at the labs. We have to look subjectively and objectively to make sure we’re on the right path.

Don’t put our head in the sand. It’s so easy to because it’s part of our culture. I feel like in the mainstream of Hollywood and just every day we’re bombarded by this culture of putting our head in the sand and just going the easy route, going with the flow. Just go to the doctor, take the pills, do what they say, eat the food everyone else eats. Just go with the flow. And when we do that, we become a statistic. One in three people have pre-diabetes. One in three people have a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. I think the number is worse for men. Or was it worse for women?



[01:37:02] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Women. Women.



[01:37:03] Ashley James: Women. Like one or two women are going to have – 50% of women are going to have a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. Over 70% of the adult population of the United States is on at least one prescription medication. There’s currently over 2 million children in the United States on –



[01:37:22] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Chronic meds.



[01:37:22] Ashley James: — antipsychotic medication. I mean, I just read that. So the statistics are getting worse and worse. And if we want to be a statistic, we must live like everyone else’s. We’ll go with the flow, right? But if we want to not be a statistic, we have to go upstream. We have to at least challenge the status quo to shake it up. And so you’re going upstream. And at first, it’s a bit exhausting. Because, like you said, we have that pressure from our family and our culture and this constant bombardment of mainstream media telling us we’re wrong. And I love that you’re putting together a group of people so we, at least, can start to realize we’re not alone. And that there are other people out there. Like in our Learn True Health Facebook Group, like listeners of this group, and also the people who are following you and want to join your groups. That there are communities or pockets of people that want to swim upstream. And it becomes easier, especially when we start seeing results.

Now, before we wrap up today’s interview, this has been on my mind and I’m sort of racking my brain for which guests told on me this. So hopefully, you can clarify. I heard that the immune system of an infant and even a child up until between age six and seven cannot or should not produce T cells or should not – like there’s something about an immune system of a young child before the age of six that isn’t designed to produce this kind of immunity that a vaccine forces it to produce. Have you heard of this?



[01:39:08] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Right. Yeah. And I think it’s only the first couple years that they’re not fully mature. A child’s immune system isn’t fully mature until the age of 12, I believe. But in those first few years, they’re not producing antibodies in the same way that they do once they’re mature. And I can’t tell you the physiological theory behind that. But you’re correct that their immune systems can’t produce.



[01:39:34] Ashley James: And so they’re being forced to. The body is being forced to produce it. And that we’re seeing a giant spike in autoimmune as a result of, basically, playing God and messing with the immune system. We talked about this a little bit in our other interviews about how having an autoimmune disease is something that we need to look at as well when healing the body. Because the immune system gone awry. So cancer, catching a cold like a virus, an autoimmune condition. There’s acute and chronic but it all has to do with coming back to the immune system. So in your three part documentary movie series, you go through this. You talk about how to help the immune system come back into balance. Do you have any specific guests talk about autoimmune issues?



[01:40:22] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: I can’t recall if there’s a specific interview that addresses this. But I would say very simply that indiscriminate inflammation is what causes autoimmunity. So when you pump an immune system full of adjuvants, such as aluminum which are designed to create inflammation and, thus, antibodies. You’re promoting indiscriminate inflammation in the body. So of course you’re going to see autoimmunity. It’s logical.



[01:40:56] Ashley James: Yeah. Well, I urge listeners to go back and check out our other and views because they are enlightening and fascinating and have largely influenced what I do with my health and my family.

So I thank you because our family has, obviously, we’re doing the shotgun approach too. We’re eating healthy. We’re detoxing. We’re doing all of it. But we added homeoprophylaxis and Influenzinum. And you’d be so proud. The other day my husband had this dry cough that you couldn’t shake. It was the weirdest thing. And throw stuff at him. And I made him some throat coat tea. I took some fresh thyme. I made him a tea and all this other stuff. And then he went by himself to the medicine cabinet and got himself homeopathic remedies. And figured out by himself which remedy. And I think it was like nux vomica, which like surprised me, but that was the one that worked for him. But he figured out. He researched online. He picked three different ones. He tested it himself. I didn’t need to do any of it for him. I was proud. And I also kind of was kicking myself because I didn’t think about homeopathy. Homeopathy for him is in the forefront of his mind because we’ve seen it work so well with our son and also for me. And I’ve shared in the past Episodes my amazing, amazing results with homeopathy and our son’s. And so now it’s actually the forefront of my husband’s mind. That’s one of the first things he thinks about when he has a symptom is to go to homeopathy. So I thank you for that influence.



[01:42:38] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: I love it. That’s really great bliss. Thank you so much.



[01:42:41] Ashley James: I want to make sure listeners know, go to Episode 137, 155, 228, and 305 to listen to other interviews.

Cilla, thank you so much for coming on the show. It has been such a pleasure to have you back. And I’m really looking forward to watching the rest of your documentary. I’ve seen the first one. The first Episode, Quest For Real Immunity. I’m really excited for Passage For Real Immunity and of course, Choosing Real Immunity because that’s where the entire thing takes a totally different direction. I’m sure it’s going to be fascinating. I’m really excited. So I definitely urge listeners to sign up to watch it for free. Is there anything that you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview?


[01:43:27] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Well, my sincere thanks for having me, of course. But I think in closing, I would just say that the consciousness of this entire world is raising. And it’s calling people to take responsibility. And with choice comes responsibility. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t look towards someone to tell you what to do. But ask for your free agency at the same time. So I would just say learn, listen. You know you’ve learned enough when there’s not fear. Get past the fear. Fear is a very low vibration. And have trust in your intuition. But like you’re saying, Ashley, use your head and your heart. Look at the facts plus look at your intuition. Put the two together and really exercise your free agency and then take responsibility.


[01:44:24] Ashley James: You remind me of the quote from Dune, “I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer. “Fear is the mind killer, I was like, “Oh, yeah.” So get past the fear. And I like that, when you’ve studied enough and you know enough and you have sort of armed yourself with enough information, the fear will be running you.



[01:44:47] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: It’s gone.



[01:44:47] Ashley James: Yeah.Right. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Cilla. Please come back on the show anytime you want to share or teach. We’d be lucky to have you.



[01:44:58] Dr. Cilla Whatcott: Thank you, Ashley. Thanks so much.



[01:45:01] Outro: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition? And how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity? Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and to figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business, support people in their success? Do you love helping people?

You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health coaching certification program. And it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over 100 dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition. But from a standpoint of how we can help people to shift their lives and shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health.

I definitely recommend that you check them out. You can Google Institute for integrative Nutrition or IIN and give them a call. Or you can go to and you can receive a free module of their training. So check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in. Be sure to mention my name, Ashley James, and the Learn True Health

Podcast because I made a deal with them that they will give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program. And I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information.

We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctors offices. You can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help your local schools shift their programs to help children to be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them in their success in their health goals.

There’s so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach. So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Mention my name. Get the best deal. Give them a call and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon.  The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month. So you’re going to want to call them now and check it out. And if you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.

Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price. That’s That’s Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome referral program.


Get Connected With Dr. Cilla Whatcott! 

Real Immunity Organization

World Wide Choice

Family Homeopathy Care


Learn True Health – vaccines

Book by Dr. Cilla Whatcott

There Is a Choice – Homeoprophylaxis

Recommended Readings by Dr. Cilla Whatcott

Dissolving Illusions – Suzanne Humphries (Vaccines)

Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies – Neil Miller (Vaccines)

Impossible Cure –  Amy Lansky (Homeopathy)

The Complete  Homeopathy Handbook – Miranda Castro (Homeopathy)

Check out other interviews of Dr. Cilla Whatcott!

Episode 137: Homeoprophylaxis

Episode 155: Developing Real Immunity

Episode 228: Homeopathy

Episode 305: How To Naturally Avoid The Flu

Nov 21, 2019

Join the LTH Fb group:

SONG USED: "Sappheiros - Dawn" is under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 3.0) Music promoted by BreakingCopyright:


Heart Rate Variability


  • What heart rate variability is
  • Benefits of heart rate variability
  • How to induce the right side of the brain
  • What spatial perception is
  • What hakalau is
  • Four proofs that you are experiencing heart rate variability


In this episode, Forrest Knutson teaches us how to achieve heart rate variability in five to ten minutes. He also shares with us the benefits of heart rate variability and the proofs that you are experiencing heart rate variability resonant breathing.

[0:00] Intro: Hello true health seekers and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. You’re going to love today’s episode with Forrest Knutson. He teaches some really awesome things about decreasing the stress response and that is something 100% of us need especially after some of the interviews that I’ve done recently that I’m going to be publishing soon. So many experts are talking about the leading cause of illness, chronic illness, being either caused by or exacerbated by stress. So if we do this simple breathing exercise every day we can all lower our stress levels and prevent disease. That is very exciting.

Now please, go to Learn True Health/Group and go to Learn True Health Facebook group. Thanksgiving is just around the corner here in the United States. That means there’s going to be some awesome deals that all these health companies end up releasing there, Cyber Monday or Black Friday specials. I make sure I go around collecting my favorite ones and I announce them all in the Facebook group. So if you want to make sure you’re getting the best deals on some of the coolest gadgets and supplements and all those fun holistic things that are great gifts for you because you should treat yourself and pamper yourself and take care of yourself because if you’re not around for your family then who will be? So we should take care of ourselves. Self-care is a gift we give to our family. So, now more guilt when you take care of yourself. You take care of yourself and it makes sure that you’re around for your family.

So treat yourself, join the Facebook group Learn True Health Facebook group so you can get those announcements that are going to come out next week. Make sure you stock up on some of the really awesome deals. I know there’s going to be the best deal ever on the magnesium soak, which my absolute favorite treat that I give myself. It is so therapeutic to soak in magnesium and make sure that I’m filling up my magnesium stores. When we are deficient in magnesium, there’s 1800 processes that cannot function correctly and everything seems to break down without magnesium. So join the Facebook group so you can learn about the best deal I’ve ever heard on this magnesium soak. I know there’s going to be some other great specials also. All my favorite gadgets and goodies. I’ll be snatching them up along with you come Cyber Monday. Awesome.

I look forward to seeing you there in the Facebook group Learn True Health. Please also, go to my website When little pop-up comes, put your email in. I promise not to spam you. I don’t sell your information to anyone. I just send a few emails .a month. I definitely will make sure I send out an email about all of my favorite Black Friday specials that are happening just in case you’re not on Facebook then you can join the email list. Awesome. Thank you so much for being a listener and for sharing my episodes with your friends and family to help us spread this information and help as many people as possible to learn true health.

Welcome to the Learn true health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 393.


[0:03:17] Ashley James: I am so excited to have back on the show with us, Forrest Knutson. Forrest, you were here on the show back all the way at the beginning, episode 25 and episode 32. So much has happened since you were on the show. Welcome back.


[0:03:32] Forrest Knutson: Thank you. Thank you for having me. Yeah. I think there might have been one more in there somewhere.


[0:03:40] Ashley James: I’ve had you on a few times. But it feels like years.


[0:03:44] Forrest Knutson: It feels forever.


[0:03:46] Ashley James: It’s been hundreds of episodes.


[0:03:48] Forrest Knutson: Every time I come back you’ve got a million more people listening.


[0:03:53] Ashley James: Millions. Millions of people.


[0:03:55] Forrest Knutson: Maniacal laugh in there in the middle.


[0:04:01] Ashley James: Millions.


[0:04:02] Forrest Knutson: Perfect, perfect. Well done. Hard work.


[0:04:05] Ashley James: It’s all hard work. Blood, sweat, and tears. I love what you teach and I love that you started your YouTube channel since we’ve had you on the show. You are a machine. You pump out videos each week teaching people different aspects of meditation from the medical standpoint, from the yogic standpoint, from the neuroscience standpoint, from the neuro-linguistic programming standpoint. You are coming at it from many different angles. I love that you love focusing on heart rate variability. Actually learns heart rate variability from a handful of naturopathic physicians as I was interviewing them over the course of the last three and a half years. It kept coming up. I was like, “What is this? What is this heart rate variability that sounds so weird?” Yet they were saying that it was one of the most important things we need to focus on when reversing chronic disease because it was this marker that allowed us to see whether the body was in stress mode or in healing mode. If we are having healthy heart rate variability we could turn on the body’s magnificent healing response.

Then, here you are teaching a technique that within minutes people are turning on the heart rate variability response. So you’re teaching this on your YouTube channel, Of course, links to everything that Forrest does is going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast at

Welcome back to the show. I’ve just got many things I want you to teach us. Teach us how to turn on this healing response in the body.


[0:05:46] Forrest Knutson: Beautiful. Yeah. I’d love to. So the way that I teach it is very organic because I want you to be able to do it at any time, in any place. So if you’re at home, that’s the perfect place, right? You can close the door. You can turn off your phone for a minute or five minutes or ten minutes even better. Really sink into it while you’re at home, while you’re free from distraction. Then maybe you’re at work and you want to take a break and get into heart rate variability or let’s say you’re a professional athlete and you’re about to tee off at the golf course or get ready for your set to whatever it is. You want to get in the zone before you do that. Well, the very best thing that you can do is get yourself into heart rate variability resonance and you do that through your breath. So it’s resonant breathing. The way that I teach it is the holy trinity of breath.

So there are three rules that we follow as we breathe that will basically guarantee that you’re going to put yourself into heart rate variability if you will do it for about five to ten minutes. It should probably take about five minutes but we say ten just to make sure that you really get yourself into it. So what I teach after that is there are four proofs where you can begin to notice that you are accomplishing this. That it is making a physiological shift in your body. So then you know, “Oh my God. I’m doing it.” Nobody had to tell you. You can tell yourself because you have this internal perceived proofs which are not made up in your mind but they’re actually in your body. So there’s a cycle physiological shift that has taken place. So that’s how I teach it.

So the first rule is that we want to lower our breath rate under seven breaths per minute. That’s the very first thing. So that breath would be four seconds in and five seconds out.


[0:07:59] Ashley James: Could people do this by accident or do you have to really be conscientious of your breathing to lower it to seven breaths a minute?


[0:08:09] Forrest Knutson: You possibly could do it by accident. Absolutely. If you’re concentrated on something very deeply. So that’s the traditional meditation guidance is to concentrate very deeply on thing. While you do that, your breath rate will automatically reduce. You can see that when you’re at work or when you are really into something or you’re concentrating very very deeply on one subject, you’ll notice that your breath rate drops automatically. If you’re in a very loving state, not an excited loving state but a very very our loving state then same thing can happen. Your breath rate can drop when you’re in a very safe loving atmosphere then your breath rate will automatically drop as well. To make sure that you can actually do it on purpose, that’s the holy trinity. So it gives you a real self-reliance that you can do this thing, you can accomplish it and you can do it anytime that you want.


[0:09:16] Ashley James: Before we go on to the rest of the steps I feel like we should understand a bit more what heart rate variability is and why we want to do it? What is it? What benefits do we get from creating a more distinct heart rate variability? Who benefits from it? Can you just walk us through for those who have never heard of heart rate variability?


[0:09:40] Forrest Knutson: There’s a thing called sinus arrhythmia. So that was understood first and then building on that understanding was this idea of heart rate variability. What that is is that when you breathe in there’s more work going on in the lungs so the heart needs to pump, it needs to do more work at that point.


[0:10:06] Ashley James: Is that because the pressure? Because the heart is basically in this chest cavity is creating more pressure on the heart so the heart has to beat harder?


[0:10:16] Forrest Knutson: There’s a lot of complicated things going on at the same time but the simple reason is that you’ve got gases in your lungs. They have to be processed and that’s the work of the heart. So the heart does that work and it has to pump more during that time when there is breath in the lungs. Then, when the air is out of the lungs, there’s less work to do. So the heart rate has a chance. If we’re not in a stress state it has a chance to lower the heart rate. It does that because your diaphragm goes up and that puts more pressure on the entire thoracic cavity. All that pressure translates backwards toward the spine. Right along the spine is the dorsal vagal nerve. This is the parasympathetic nerve. It’s one of the aspects of the parasympathetic nerve and it goes straight up into your medulla. So all that pressure goes on the dorsal vagal nerve. That nerve sends a signal to the medulla which is the breath center. It sends a signal down to the heart that, “Hey. There’s more pressure, therefore, lower the heart rate.” So the heart rate comes down a little bit. Now you’ve got a variance. So the in-breath the heart rate will go up. The out-breath the heart rate will go down if we’re not in a stress state. That’s heart rate variability in a nutshell.


[0:11:55] Ashley James: So it’s the ratio between the beats happening during the in-breath and the beats happening during an out-breath or when we’ve exhaled and we haven’t inhaled. There’s a pause after exhaling and we haven’t inhaled yet. So that time. Basically, the time of the inhale and the time of the exhale and the pause. You want the ratio to be great?


[0:12:26] Forrest Knutson: It’s not so much the pause as it is the actual out-breath. The pause is there as well but when you’re trying to induce heart rate variability, the pause can mess you up. So if you pause too long while you’re trying to induce it – so once it’s been induced, that’s a whole another story. But when you’re trying to get out of a semi-stress state and into more resonance, that resonance what does that mean? That just means that your heart rate and your breath are working together as one system. There’s a resonance between them. That means your breath goes in. You feel it filling up your lungs and at the same time, your heart rate is going to go up a little bit. Then you breathe out and you feel the breath going out of your lungs going down. Sorry, your diaphragm goes up actually. But you feel the breath coming out of you. At the same time, your heart rate is going down slightly. So there is that resonance. It’s coming up and down, both of them, simultaneously. That’s why we call it resonance, heart rate variability resonant breathing.


[0:13:46] Ashley James: So when this happens, and what’s really interesting is I like listening to my son’s heartbeat. When he’s sleeping I’ll put my ear to his chest and it kind of freaked me out the first few times until I realized. Because I took him to the doctor and I was like, “I think there’s something wrong with him.” They’re like, “No, he’s fine.” He has a very large difference between the heart rate during an inhale and the heart rate during an exhale. I was worried that he had like AFib because I’m listening to his heart and it’ll be like bum-bum-bum-bum-bum and then he’d exhale will be like bum-bum bum-bum. I’m like, “Whoa. What is going on?” So there was a really big difference. So that is heart rate variability? So it’s beating faster when you’re inhaling and slower when you’re exhaling?


[0:14:35] Forrest Knutson: Correct. That’s exactly right. You’re not the only one to ever be freaked out by that. So the story, I think I told you guys this last time but since it’s been so long maybe it’s okay to retell you the story.


[0:14:48] Ashley James: Yeah. We have millions, millions of listeners. Millions.


[0:14:54] Forrest Knutson: Ok, great. Perfect. So the story, I love this story, the story that I like to tell is that so the Russian Cosmonauts were up in space. They had a whole team monitoring them. This was before some of the real-time satellite information was able to pass through and you had video and all that. This was just simple radio at the time. But they had them, their Cosmonauts, hooked up and were monitoring their signals including their heart rate. While they were doing this one of their Cosmonauts were up their meditation but they didn’t know that. They saw, the team that was there the head guy was monitoring this, he saw that his Cosmonauts heart rate was going up really high and then it was going way down. It was going up really high and then go way down. Then he thought, “Oh my God. This guy’s having a heart attack in space.” So they got them on the line. He said, “What’s happening? What’s happening? What’s going on?” The Cosmonaut you know, “What? I’m meditating.”


[0:16:05] Ashley James: “How to shoo. Duh.”


[0:16:07] Forrest Knutson: “Leave me alone. I’m meditating.” Funny story. From there, they actually began to study it. So very, very interesting. A lot of that research is the basis of some of the research that was done here in the United States. They confirmed a lot of the things that some of the researchers were finding here.


[0:16:36] Ashley James: What I’ve heard is that people who are sick don’t have heart rate variability.


[0:16:42] Forrest Knutson: When you’re in a stress state, the heart rate and the breath disjoin. So they’re not going up and down in this resonance that I’m talking about. Your heart rate, when you’re very very sick, your heart rate will stay steady beat to beat. A way to think about that is that you’re like a plate of glass. Any pressure on the glass is liable to break it. That’s not a good thing. Nature loves flexibility. That’s why this variance in the heart rate is such an indicator of health. This is really an emerging field.

So when I came on to YouTube I said, “Heart rate variability, breathing.” People are like, “I don’t think that’s the correct term.” I was like, “Okay the sign is arrhythmia and there’s heart rate variability resonant breathing. We can draw it out into a longer name but sometimes when I’m talking I just shorten it a bit.” So this heart rate variability breathing was not on YouTube when I started but now you can look it up and it’s a search term. 



[0:17:56] Ashley James: So you were like the first person on YouTube to create a video on how to successfully achieve heart rate variability through breathing?


[0:18:04] Forrest Knutson: In terms of defining it purely as a set of rules that you can follow and get success with. You don’t have to hook yourself up to a monitor or anything like that. I think some of the instructions that I saw at the time were like develop a pleasant feeling and just concentrate on that. So it was very –


[0:18:25] Ashley James: Obtuse.


[0:18:26] Forrest Knutson: Yeah. It was a little bit hard to follow and make sure that you can do it. I like things that you can follow and have success every single time. That’s what I love. So yeah. It’s really a developing field. You’re going to see it, I predict, explode.


[0:18:45] Ashley James: Well you were telling me that life insurance companies use this as an indicator whether they’re going to cover people or not. Can you tell us a bit about that?


[0:18:55] Forrest Knutson: They’re researching it now. I don’t know how far ahead. If one of your listeners knows maybe they can leak it and tell us but I would love to know more. My understanding is that the insurance field is looking at this as an indicator of health and mortality so that they will look at it and decide how long you’re going to live based on how much heart rate variability resonance you have in any moment so they can predict whether to insure you or how long they’re going to insure you or what they’re going to charge you in order to insure you for life insurance. They’re finding this probably one of the most effective indicators that they’ve ever found. These are people with lots of lots of money to throw this kind of research. So it’s really exciting. Sounds a bit morbid but that’s actually really exciting.


[0:19:54] Ashley James: Well, it’s really exciting if we can use it to our advantage to live to be 120 years old. Healthfully.


[0:20:00] Forrest Knutson: Exactly. You look at that and you hear that and you’re like, “Oh my God. This is so exciting.” But I look at it in terms of yogis and what the old yogis said was that we have a set amount of breaths to breathe in one life. If you breathe less, what I said that first rule you’ve got to lower your breath rate right? So if we breathe less we will automatically breathe longer. So they understood it was an indicator a couple of thousand years ago at least.


[0:20:35] Ashley James: It’s interesting because we’re thought that aerobic exercise is something that’s very healthy for us. You do a lot of breaths during aerobic exercise. Do we get into heart rate variability if we’re exercising or is that too stressful?


[0:20:54] Forrest Knutson: Yes. Well, it will a little bit will take you a long way. So if you raise your heart rate and then you relax, it’s that relaxation which benefits you the most. So you get benefit from pumping it up but it’s the relaxation phase which is most beneficial to your body long term. So, work then rest, work then rest. That’s the cycle that’s going to benefit you the most in terms of health.


[0:21:25] Ashley James: So cut out the middleman. Just rest a bunch.


[0:21:27] Forrest Knutson: That’s right. Exactly. But don’t let the couch swallow you. It’s the balance, the middle way that’s going to benefit you the very most.


[0:21:41] Ashley James: What health benefits have you personally noticed? Now, Forrest, you and I have personally known each other since 2006. You’ve always been fairly healthy but I know you’re also very conscientious and very present to your body. I know you’ve been meditating and studying this subject and studying neuroscience and meditation for many years. You started when you were in high school. When did you start focusing on heart rate variability? Has it only been the last two years or three years?


[0:22:20] Forrest Knutson: It’s been recent. So I was monastic for about five and a half years. I went very deeply into the study of meditation at that time. I found this obscure reference to the breath that it would shift as it goes in and out of your nose. I thought this was fascinating. In the process of studying this, this physiological shift in the body that happens in meditation, I thought that, “Well, that you can turn this into a whole biofeedback device.” I didn’t have that terminology but I understood it. That’s exactly what I did.

So I developed it for myself. I call it the five breath states. There’s a bunch of other information. There’s a bunch of other shifts like tastes in the mouth and length of the breath as it exits the nose. So there’s a whole bunch of other information. I threw all that out and I just concentrated on the one thing which was the easiest to feel in the body. What I believe is actually happening is that we have these little things inside the nose called the turbinates. As the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system come into balance through meditation, they affect the turbinates in the nose and that affects the breath. So you’ll actually feel these shifts take place in the nose. So I became – how can I explain?

I started playing with this and it affected my meditation so profoundly that I went crazy with it. I was doing it every day all the time. I didn’t have any language to explain why this was such a big deal. I tried telling the people I lived with, the yogis that I lived with and other people, my family and my friends. “Hey. This is a big deal. You have to try this out.” Their response was always, “Okay.” I’m like, “No. You don’t get it. This is a really big deal.” I couldn’t translate it. When I saw, let’s see I’m going to slaughter his name, his name is professor [Getherts]. When I saw him explaining heart rate variability, my brain exploded. This is it. This is what I was doing a different way in a very very deep into heart rate variability resonance through this five breath state process.

So if you really want to know about the five breath sates I’ve got a video on that on YouTube. It’s called the five breath states. So you would see that on my channel. I go through that and I explain what they are. They’re also in my book Hacking the Universe, there’s a little plug. But anyway. So I was doing it – what was that? That must have been 2001? So I was doing it on my way but I didn’t have a language to explain it. What got me so excited was there was no more hit and miss in my meditations. It was consistent. I can go deep every single time. It was experiential. I knew it. It was just a huge milestone. It was a watershed moment. So, when I saw the heart rate variability resonant breathing language I thought, “Oh my God. This is amazing.” So it’s just a glorious framework to talk about meditation.

So if you’re a Buddhist, if you’re a Christian and you pray, if you are doing anything which is of that interior interoceptive world, you have to begin with heart rate variability. Either you’re doing unconsciously or you’re doing it consciously but either way, all interoception begins with this reset point, this balance point of heart rate variability resonance.


[0:26:48] Ashley James: So when you started to focus on heart rate variability and breathing specifically for shifting heart rate variability, were you then achieving new heart rate variability or had you already been achieving it for years because you meditate?


[0:27:05] Forrest Knutson: Because of the five breath states, I’ve already been achieving it for like 15 years at that point. But I didn’t have the language to explain it. Really cool with the people on my channel they try it out and they report back. Their experiences it’s like, “I’m just doing your heart rate variability and this happened.” It’s just explosive.


[0:27:34] Ashley James: Like what? Can you give some examples?


[0:27:36] Forrest Knutson: So, a lot of times they will suddenly shift and fall into a very shallow breath naturally. In the meditative world, one of the names for this is tranquil breath. Your whole system gets so relaxed and so centered and so balanced that you automatically shift into a very shallow breath. You probably go into a trance momentarily, a trance-like state. You’d be watching your breath and then suddenly you’ll just kind of go into kind of float off mentally for a moment and then you’ll come back and you’ll notice that your breath is very very shallow. So it’s a whole different system of breath that your body has entered into naturally. Then your whole system is working so quietly that you can actually begin the true process of meditation because none of that body machinery is getting in the way of your mind.

So let’s say you’re a researcher, right? This would be the perfect time to begin your thoughts on your research. Well, let’s say you’re going to pray. This would be the perfect time to begin your prayer. Or if you’re meditating, this would be the perfect time to pick your one idea. Let’s say you’re going to practice, you’re a Buddhist and you’re going to practice metta, which is to take one thought like gratitude or love and just put yourself on that one thought. Now is the perfect time because the body machinery is out of the way. It’s not making a ton of noise and distracting you and drawing you back to the outward world. So you’re able to interocept much more easily.


[0:29:22] Ashley James: I know we could go into your YouTube channel We could go there and we could read the comments of people sharing their experiences. Has anyone had any stories of success in terms of noticing shifts in their health?


[0:29:43] Forrest Knutson: Yes. They say that they feel more alive and more centered, calm, things don’t disturb you that much because you have this balance. This interior centered stated.


[0:30:05] Ashley James: Obviously, 15 years ago you said, can you think back to before you had really figured out this type of breathing that triggered heart rate variability? Can you go back in your mind and think about sort of your health before and after? Did you have any noticeable health changes from – because you’ve been meditating for so long but your meditation wasn’t really centered around creating heart rate variability? So people can meditate and not necessarily create great heart rate variability. Then you do these specific things either in meditation or you don’t have to be meditating you just breathe this way and create heart rate variability. What I’m saying is, you don’t have to meditate in order to create it but you are doing it within meditation. So can you look back 15 years ago and see, is there a difference in your health or vitality that you could tell the before and after when you started creating heart rate variability?


[0:31:09] Forrest Knutson: Yeah. Absolutely. You have a lot less energy when you’re not in heart rate variability resonance. So, your concentration is going to lack. Your stamina is going to lack. Your ease, just being in your own skin is going to be less because you’re in a stress state. I mean your cortisol is up. All of that is going to affect the entire system. So with heart rate variability, your serotonin goes up. Everything goes up. Your rest. It’s like you’re in your car and you come to the stop sign. You don’t go sit there and go [revving sound] and rev your engine while you’re at the stop sign, right? You let the car go down into an idle.

So imagine that you go through life revving your engine constantly when you don’t need to. What’s that going to do to your car? It’s going to put stress on your car which is not necessary. That’s the majority of our life, right? Where you’re at work, your boss comes up and you freak out. Your adrenaline goes up, your whole system goes out of whack. If you’re in the jungle and the jungle cat comes up, you get up and you run for your life. Now you’re putting carbon in your muscles. When you’re at work and you don’t jump up when your boss come, maybe you should but we don’t. We sit there and the adrenaline goes up but there’s no carbon in the muscles because we’re just sitting there. So there’s no carbon-oxygen exchange in the body. So you’re hyperventilating because you’re in stress but you’re not exchanging that oxygen. It just stays in your blood. It doesn’t transfer to the muscles because there’s no carbon in the muscles. It’s a marketplace and they have to be able to exchange one for the other.

So that’s how the whole system falls apart, how it gets out of whack.


[0:33:23] Ashley James: Can you go deeper into that? I know you’ve explained it to me off-air before with a bit more detail. I don’t want to glaze over this. I remember I think you called me up one day you were like, “I figured something really cool out about carbon.” So take us back to when you first figured this out. What had you figure this out?


[0:33:45] Forrest Knutson: So the breath and the body are like a marketplace. So when you breathe in a lot, you oxygenate the blood. That oxygen flows through your blood. It comes up against your muscles. It says, “Hey. I’ve got oxygen. I want to buy some carbon.” But if there’s no carbon in your muscles, then the marketplace doesn’t work. There’s nothing to exchange. So the muscle says, “Hey. I don’t have any carbon so I can’t buy your oxygen.” So the blood just keeps going, just cycling that oxygen and then it gets rid of it for nothing. It was all for nothing.

So when you either workout a little bit and you get carbon in your muscles, now you’ve got the ability to create the exchange. So you’re breathing a lot. You get oxygen in the blood. The blood shows up to the muscle and it exchanges the oxygen for carbon. So the carbon goes into the blood to be recycled and the oxygen goes into the muscle to revamp the muscle, so oxygenate the muscle. That’s what you want. That’s the carbon-oxygen exchange when it’s working properly.

So, the way the body was designed, the jungle cat comes up to eat us and we jump up. We’re full of adrenaline, we’re full of oxygen because we’re breathing like crazy. We’re running for our lives. So there’s carbon in our muscles and everything is working right. The carbon and the oxygen exchange takes place. Then we fast forward to today, we don’t jump up. We sit there. There’s no carbon-oxygen exchange. So as a yogi, how do you fix this? Or as a heart rate variability resonant breather, how do you fix this?

Well, you lower the breath rate and by lowering the breath rate, you introduce more carbon into the cycle of the breath. That carbon and oxygen floats through the blood and essentially you’re kickstarting your own body economy. The blood gives the carbon to the muscles and the muscles exchange the carbon back for oxygen. Now you’ve kick-started the economy in your body and you have carbon-oxygen exchange because you have a lowered breath rate.

So automatically you’re going to feel if you do it very well and very deeply, you’ll feel your whole body tingle like it has come alive for the first time in 20 years. It’s kind of insane. You’ll get used to it. But it’s really kind of crazy.


[0:36:48] Ashley James: Cool. I like it. So what’s the downside to not producing a lot of carbon?


[0:36:56] Forrest Knutson: The downside to not producing a lot of carbon.


[0:37:03] Ashley James: Well, besides being lazy or not moving. I mean, is there really a downside to – we’re doing a lot of breathing. We’re in stress response, the boss is coming. We were just sitting there. The adrenaline’s going and we’re not really moving. We’re not making carbon. What’s the downside to just breathing in a bunch of oxygen but not having a lot of carbon being produced?


[0:37:24] Forrest Knutson: Right. There’s no exchange. There’s no exchange that takes place. The body and the muscles, which form a huge part of the body and all of the tissues which are in proximity to the muscles they don’t get oxygenated. You don’t come alive, right?


[0:37:45] Ashley James: You’re not really giving the mitochondria everything it needs and giving every cell everything it needs because we need to basically move the body in order to kick start economy is what you’re saying?


[0:37:58] Forrest Knutson: Yes. So you need to either move the body or introduce a lower breath rate to introduce carbon into the mix. So, when we think of breath we usually think of oxygen but there’s actually a host of gases which are in the mix. If you take those out you begin to destroy the rest of the balance. So it’s not just oxygen. A huge part of our breath is actually carbon. We’re often told that we need to breathe more. This is kind of a wrong idea because it can lead to the idea that hyperventilation is a good. It could be a short-term at some positive effects but long-term it’s not going to benefit you. So what we actually need is less breathing, a lower breath rate.


[0:38:49] Ashley James: I was recently reading an article in I think it was a bunch of British scientists, a British medical journal, that had measured weight loss and determined that most weight loss – where does the fat go? That’s always been my question when someone loses 25 pounds. Where did it go? You didn’t pee it out or poop it out. Where did it go, right? Most fat we exhale. Isn’t that crazy that they actually measured the carbon? They figured out that the fat is broken down, obviously, energy and the body uses energy but that it’s broken down and leaves the body as carbon and other byproducts. So most weight loss – and also heat. The body uses that fat to metabolic energy. They could measure in heat and in carbon leaving breath, measure 25 pounds basically of fat loss by measuring the carbon leaving the breath and proving that that was your fat. So, we’re breathing out our fat. In that way, wouldn’t hyperventilation be good? Let’s breathe more lose weight.


[0:40:19] Forrest Knutson: Right. It’s possible. It’s definitely going to work the body a lot to hyperventilate but your long-term benefit has to be the resonance between the heart and the breath. So there’s the Wim Hof method, which is a lot of hyperventilation in the beginning. It’s an easy way to get into a state where you momentarily don’t need to breathe. It’s much easier to practice breath holds after you’ve hyperventilated. But the problem that I see, it’s going to work a little bit but it’s also going to make you very tired sometimes. If you’re not up on your game if you’re not on top of your game and you do a lot of hyperventilation you’re going to feel very tired. So it’s going to adversely affect your body if you’re doing that day after day and you’re not doing it when you’re at your peak.

I have a lot of worries about people who really get into the Wim Hof method. I think it could be better explained exactly what his end goal is and what the breathing is for. You can basically do three kinds of breathing, four. You can be in a normal state. You can do heart rate variability resonant breathing. You can do hyperventilation or a purging breath. You can do a breath-hold. Those are the basic four things that you can do with your breath. They all have their place. The one that’s really the most beneficial physically and spiritually so to speak is the heart rate variability resonant breathing.


[0:42:32] Ashley James: Well, it’s triggering within minutes. You said within ten minutes it’s triggering the autonomic nervous systems parasympathetic response of rest and digest, lowering cortisol levels, lowering the stress levels in the body, stress hormones in the body, shunting blood away from the limbs into the digestion and bating all the organs in oxygen-rich blood. It’s allowing the blood flow open up to all the logic centers of the brain and turning on digestion. Turning on, even epigenetically, turning on enzymatic processes of digestion and enzymes for healing. So it is the perfect state to be in for healing. If something happens, like the boss calls us and we need to jump up or there’s a rock in the road and we need to drive around it really quick we need our stress response. We can turn back on for a moment and then come back into the parasympathetic response of healing.

Some people feel like they need stress in order to be better at their job, like a high-stress job. I’ve heard that before in many different ways but it’s actually this state of the parasympathetic state where we have full access to the brain because in stress response, it shunts blood away from logic centers to the brain. So, if we’re trying to meet a deadline or studying or trying to finish the project, if we don’t have access to our full brain, it makes it very difficult to be efficient. But when we’re in the parasympathetic nervous response of rest and digest, we are able to really concentrate. You said even focused in on one task and not have the voice chatter and the sort of the ADD brain going on. Have you ever had anyone share with you any results about reducing ADD or ADHD as a result of this type of breathing?


[0:44:42] Forrest Knutson: No I haven’t. But I absolutely think it would work exceptionally well for that purpose. So I haven’t heard that specifically but I think it would be a fantastic recipe for reversal of that. That’s a perfect point what you talked about. You would know that instantly if you spoke with a professional athlete and you say, “Hey. You want to come into a game being all stressed out or would you rather be in kind of the zone where you’re in it but not stressed out about it?” Of course, they’re going to tell you, “I’d rather be in the zone.” That’s exactly the best state to be in. That’s a state of HRV resonance.


[0:45:30] Ashley James: Cool. So listeners who have ADD or ADHD, please do this what Forrest is going to teach us today. Then come into the Facebook group, Learn True Health Facebook group and let us know your results because I want to know if this helps people with ADD and ADHD. I want to know real stories of success. I think that would be really cool. Because ADHD is partially from neurochemical, I don’t want to say imbalance because that makes it sound like I’m calling them broken. I think that there’s a place for us who have ADD-like there’s a place in this world. It can be cumbersome to be distracted by racing thoughts. So I think part of it is maybe an imbalance of certain neurochemicals because I’ve seen people with ADD or ADHD find peace mentally when they come back into health even more. Then partly it’s strategy, partly it’s unconscious programing.

So there’s lots of NLP for example, neuro-linguistic programming techniques for changing young conscious programming to allow us not to have ADD or ADHD limit us, right? If we can do something like as simple as consciously changing our breath and that then has a cascade effect and changes the neurological state of our brain and the state of our endocrine system and just kind of cascades down and affects our whole body and our circulation and our energy levels and our vitality. It’s affecting every system. That sounds wonderful. If we can do something as simple as breathe and make it so that we are able to quiet our mind, focus more. I mean can see that people might even be able to no longer want to use a medication or use over the counter sometimes people self-medicate with drugs, alcohol, sugar what have you that they might find that they’re coming into balance and they don’t need that.



[0:47:59] Forrest Knutson: I think it would be great. The whole premise of yogic meditation is that I’m going to use toe body to affect the mind. So if you’ve ever tried to meditate and you’re like, “I can’t do this. This is my brain. It’s just all over the place.” Well, that’s very normal. It’s just a misconception because you’re not meant to wrestle with your own mind in mediation because if your mind fights your mind and one mind wins, you still got your original problem. You still have your mind, right? So the body follows this amazing rule, it’s called the 80-20 rule that for everyone single that your brain sends out so your brain is like the general. It sends out one signal to the body, “Hey. Do this.” The body send five signals back of messages giving this well we did this and we felt this and this happened. It’s feedback, right? So there’s much more signals. Your neurology is setup, your nervous system is set up to give much more signals back to the brain than is being sent out by the brain.

So it’s easier to control the brain from the body than it is to try and control the brain itself. So when you quiet the body, you will instantly quiet the mind. It’s just the biggest lever in the room to make change.


[0:49:29] Ashley James: I never thought of it that way.


[0:49:31] Forrest Knutson: Yeah. It’s amazing, isn’t it?


[0:49:33] Ashley James: I’m sure you’ve said it to me that way before but just the way you said it. So quieting the body helps to quiet the mind because, for every one message the brain is sending out, it’s receiving five signals back which makes sense. If you think of just walking down a hallway your brain is saying, “All right. Move this leg, move that leg,” but you’re hearing things, seeing things, feeling things, tasting things. There’s so much more input going on.


[0:50:02] Forrest Knutson: Exactly. So the yogi takes that rule and applies it to meditation in order to quiet the body, quiet the mind. Then you’ve already, instead of wrestling with your mind and trying to stick it in a corner that it doesn’t want to go into, you just affect the body and then the mind follows suit automatically. That cascade of events, that’s how it works.

Another thing that you might want to think about with ADHD is that we have a left brain which is kind of like a predator. So for example, the bird will – well it’s going to peck a seed. It will look down at the seed with its right eye because the right eye is connected to the left brain. So that predator brain, that predator part of the brain which will focus on one thing like the seed is in activation as it’s looking at that seed. So it’s going to peck at that one seed and while that’s happening, nature knows that the bird is very vulnerable because it’s caught in that one thing, right? So nature designed us with a whole other side of the brain which is very very disassociated from what’s going on in the left brain. That’s the right brain. The right brain has this spherical kind of perception of everything that’s going on around us simultaneously and that’s the brain that warns us that something’s not quite right when we don’t actually know why it’s warning us, right?


[0:51:35] Ashley James: Like when we have a gut feeling that something’s not okay?


[0:51:38] Forrest Knutson: That’s right. That’s right. That is very possibly the right side of the brain trying to tell us something. It might not make logical sense but it’s an instinctual understanding that’s coming from the right side of the brain which is really, I like to call it the parent brain. If you want to use older terminology you could say it’s the guardian angel in us. So it’s looking out for us constantly and it has to do that because you’re vulnerable while you’re concentrating on one thing. In our western society, we developed that law and it’s very very good for us. We have to be able to concentrate on one thing. We have to get a task done. We have to have our list and go down our list and make the list done. That’s just part of our life. But we also should develop this other side where we can benefit from everything we just completed so we can go out and look at the sunset and enjoy it. We can watch the waves crash on the beach and enjoy it. So we can enjoy music, we can enjoy poetry.

One of the people I love to follow is Iain McGilchrist. He’s very very great at describing the left and the right side of the brain. Some of the science that came out originally they said, “Oh my God. There’s this huge difference between the left and the right side of the brain.” Then they did more research and they said, “Well, actually there are signals going to the left and the right all the time. We were incorrect.” What Iain McGilchrist says is that well, we weren’t in that middle space. We were not asking the correct questions. So the most up to date research is showing they are more correct the first time that there is a big difference between the left and the right side of the brain but it’s not what. It’s how, how does the brain respond to different things?

It responds as if we are two personalities. So the way to think about that is perhaps one is the child and one is the parent brain. So the left is the child, it’s the predator. The right is the parental, it’s the watcher. So we have in mediation circles where you’re allowed to be the watcher. They’re trying to induce that right side of the brain to induce that very calm state. So when you’re in a state where you’re very manic or very hyper, well that’s going to be a left-brain process.

So there’s few tricks you can do to induce the right brain very very quickly and easily. One of those is spatial perception. This is my favorite. So if you will think of two points either it’s outside of yourself or inside of yourself. So you could think of your right big toe and your left ear. If you will hold those in your brain, try and feel your right toe and your left toe at the same time. While you do that you’ll realize there’s no thoughts when you’re really trying to feel both of those simultaneously. There’s just no thoughts, right? There’s no words chattering in your brain. So you could play with that or you could go into what the kahuna would call hakalau. Pick one point in front of you. Go into your left spatial perception on the left, that peripheral vision and then go into your right peripheral vision. Hold all three of those points. The point in front of you, and the left peripheral vision and the right peripheral vision. Hold all of that at the same time.


[0:55:25] Ashley James: I just want to break that down.


[0:55:28] Forrest Knutson: Was that too fast?


[0:55:29] Ashley James: Yeah. That was too fast for hakalau.


[0:55:31] Forrest Knutson: Okay.


[0:55:32] Ashley James: No. No. It’s okay because you’re on a roll so hold that thought. I want to continue on that roll. But for hakalau is so so important. I love teaching it to my clients. You can even do this if you’re driving because you’re keeping your eyes open. But basically, you look in front of you at a point. If you’re in a room look at the wall, look at something in front of you. If you’re driving just look at the road. Keep looking where you should be going but notice your peripheral. Notice as far as you can to the left and to the right as you’re staring forward. Your eyes aren’t moving but notice if you can see. If you’re driving, notice if you can see the mirrors the side view mirrors, both of the side view mirrors. Open up your peripherals so that you could see as much as possible and observe as much as possible in the room or in the car, wherever you are. If you’re not driving you can actually stretch your arms out to each side and wiggle your fingers so that you can see them in the corner of your vision on either side while you’re staring forward.

So you’re opening up because most people walk around in life in tunnel vision. I remember doing this for the first time and I freaked out because I’d never experienced my peripheral vision. I just was living life in tunnel vision. That it neurologically changes us. The Hunas, the ancient Polynesian tradition of Huna, the Hawaiians knew that when we shift our perception to be aware of our periphery that we’re shifting our neurological state. We cannot stay in a state of anger or stress while doing it. So that’s hakalau. When we do that when we’re studying we memorize things much better. It brings us to a calm stage. If we’re on stage and we notice we’re on tunnel vision we’re on stage, when you’re giving a presentation and we do this and it calms us down. Makes us to become aware of the whole room. But yeah. I love teaching this to my clients because it makes a big difference to them in relieving anxiety as well. I’m glad you brought that up. Okay. Continue.


[0:57:39] Forrest Knutson: Yeah. Well, it’s really fun because when you play around with that spatial perception you’re inducing the right hippocampus of the brain. That’s spatial perception. It really induces a very calm state very quickly. So it’s very very cool. That would be a good thing to play around with. If you had any kind of ADHD symptoms that would be really really fun to play around with and see how well it affects you. Then if you were to put that together with heart rate variability resonant breathing then you really really be playing with fire. You really really have something.


[0:58:29] Ashley James: Maybe not fire. Maybe cooking with fire, cooking with gas. Playing with fire sounds dangerous. You mean like now you are cooking?


[0:58:38] Forrest Knutson: I mean that now it’s going to make you very dangerous when it comes to your own ADHD. You’re going to have power that you didn’t have before. When you walk into the room you’re nervous. It’s going to give you power. It’s going to give you tools in your toolbox that you didn’t have before. So it’s going to make you just a little bit dangerous.


[0:59:00] Ashley James: In a good way. In a productive way.


[0:59:04] Forrest Knutson: In a very beautiful productive way. Absolutely.


[0:59:08] Ashley James: Not in like dangerous like you’re going to implode or something?


[0:59:14] Forrest Knutson: Right.


[0:59:15] Ashley James: Dangerous like you’re going to kick butt.


[0:59:17] Forrest Knutson: That’s right. Take names while you’re at it.


[0:59:20] Ashley James: Kick butt and take names.


[0:59:23] Forrest Knutson: But in a very peaceful way.


[0:59:25] Ashley James: Yes. We’re pacifists in a way that we not harm anyone. We’re just going to kick proverbial butt and take home the gold.


[0:59:37] Forrest Knutson: Exactly. That’s what it is. We have to be successful in whatever we do. There’s room for lots of success for everybody.


[0:59:45] Ashley James: Do you see that because you love studying the neuroscience of this. I know we’ve geeked out for hours on the phone. You telling me about left brain and right brain and being able to access from one to the other and the benefits of that. My question is, let’s say complete newbies are listening, not everyone I know some of you are experience. But let’s say some of us are complete newbies and we for the first time ever start doing this breathwork you’re going to teach us to get heart rate variability for the many benefits such as longevity and energy and vitality and peace, tranquility and the ability to kick proverbial butt. All of that. So we’re changing our breath. Let’s say we didn’t meditate, we didn’t pray, we just kept our eyes open and took in the room like took in our peripheral, kept our eyes open and slowed down our breath and did the things that you’re going to teach us to do to increase our heart rate variability. Would that alone cause a shift to go into the right brain?                    



[1:00:56] Forrest Knutson: It’s going to put you in the arena of that. It’s going to put you much much closer. It’s the entry point. So there’s some yogic jargon I can throw into you. There’s a state that yogis know about which is called pratyahara. That just means interiorization but it’s a really really big deal when you’re trying to get into a deep meditative state. Heart rate variability resonance is the beginning of that state. Absolutely. If you want to get into that kind of depth this is where you have to be to do that. So the results that come back, that’s what you’re asking, it’s just phenomenal. It really is amazing. So people are trying to meditate. They’re trying to get into a calm state. They’re trying to feel better. It’s okay. It’s hit and miss. “Yeah. I had this good session once upon a time and then I did your heart rate variability resonant breathing and it works every single – what the hell? It’s a game-changer. It’s a huge shift.” I get that kind of feedback a lot. Makes it all worthwhile. It’s really fun.


[1:02:21] Ashley James: So it sounds like it’s an easy win formula for getting some results.


[1:02:28] Forrest Knutson: Yes. Every time.


[1:02:29] Ashley James: Cool. Every time. All right. Teach us. We are ready.


[1:02:32] Forrest Knutson: Okay. Great. So this is the holy trinity of breath. A good way to think about it is that we’re boxing ourselves into the dorsal vagal nerves. We’re going to make sure that we hit the parasympathetic nervous system every single time at work. You can do this standing as well if you’re going to go on stage or you’re going to present something or you’re going to talk to your boss you can stand and you can do this for a minute or two or five. You’re going to induce a much more calm state. You’re going to get into the zone and then you’re ready to do whatever you’re going to do. What we’re doing is we’re just kind of making sure that we’re going to get into that parasympathetic system, the dorsal vagal nerve. So we’re trying to box ourselves in. So that’s what all the rules are for.

So the first rule is put the breath rate under seven breaths per minute. You got to kind of play with it. Play with it a little bit and see which one of the breaths feels the most comfortable for you. So a lot of people on my channel they get really excited and they want to go to the lowest breath rate. But that’s not it. It’s not a competition. It’s just the one that fits for you.


[1:03:53] Ashley James: One breath a minute. Let’s go.


[1:03:56] Forrest Knutson: Exactly. You can work up to that kind of thing but in the beginning, it’s just about what fits and what is correct for you. So you want to try out all of the breaths, all of the breath rates and see which one feels really comfortable and seems to bring you into the centered, balanced state really quickly.

So the first breath is going to be four seconds in and five seconds out. Then from there you can try five seconds in and six seconds out. Then you can try six seconds in and seven seconds out. Anywhere between those three breaths. So first one was four seconds in and five seconds out. Anywhere under that is going to put you into heart rate variability.

The second rule is that as we’re breathing we want to accentuate that parasympathetic because we’re maybe in a slight stressed state. So we want to accentuate the parasympathetic and make sure that we really get into it. So we’re going to make the outbreaths slightly longer. So that’s why the different numbers four seconds in and at least five seconds out. So that’s going to accentuate the parasympathetic because the breath is going out, the diaphragm is going up, there’s more pressure on the thoracic cavity. That pressure translate to the dorsal vagal nerve. That sends a signal to the medulla. The medulla sends a signal to the heart rate, “Go ahead and lower down all the tool bits.” So that’s how it works.

The third rule is want to take out the pauses. So the pause at the bottom of the breath and the pause at the top of the breath. While we’re inducing this, we don’t want those pauses because it can just mess up the cycle that we’re trying to get into. So we just don’t have to hurry but we don’t want to pause for a long time. We want this nice, rhythmic in and out-breath to really get into that heart rate variability resonance. That’s the holy trinity. That’s how you do it.

So, do you want me to guide it for a second?


[1:06:24] Ashley James: Yeah. Guide us for like a minute? Should we breathing in through our mouth or our nose? Does it matter?


[1:06:34] Forrest Knutson: Definitely through the nose.


[1:06:37] Ashley James: And out through the nose or out through the mouth?


[1:06:39] Forrest Knutson: Out through the nose as well. It’s the most economical for the body. It’s going to put more carbon into the mix. That’s one of the reasons why you have a sinus passage is to introduce carbon into the blood mix.


[1:06:55] Ashley James: If someone has a stuffy nose it’s okay to do this through the mouth?


[1:06:59] Forrest Knutson: It is. Absolutely.


[1:07:01] Ashley James: It’s still effective. It’s just more effective through the nose?


[1:07:03] Forrest Knutson: Correct.


[1:07:06] Ashley James: Okay. Do you want to count when you do the seconds?


[1:07:10] Forrest Knutson: Sure. Yeah. I can count. Absolutely.


[1:07:16] Ashley James: All right. Okay. Guide us.


[1:07:19] Forrest Knutson: All right. Here we go. So we’re going to start breathing in one, two, three four. Breathe out five one, two, three, four, five. Breathe in one, two, three four. Breathe out one, two, three, four, five. Breathe in one, two, three four. Breathe out one, two, three, four, five. Breathe in one, two, three four. Breathe out one, two, three, four, five. Breathe in one, two, three four. Breathe out one, two, three, four, five. That was a minute.


[1:08:22] Ashley James: I totally went into parasympathetic. My hands started the shift because I know how it feels. Because you know, being a massage therapist in my past you know when you’re in parasympathetic. My hands shifted. I always feel it first in my hands. There’s a little bit of a tingle and a shift in blood flow in my hands.


[1:08:44] Forrest Knutson: That’s actually perfect. That’s the very first sign. So I have a video called clinical mindfulness and I teach this four proofs that your hands being hot and heavy. I call it HHH. That’s the HHH symptom that you are in heart rate variability.


[1:09:04] Ashley James: Hands hot and heavy?


[1:09:05] Forrest Knutson: That’s right. Hilarious right? But it sticks in your brain


[1:09:07] Ashley James: What are the other symptoms? If I kept doing it what else would I have noticed?


[1:09:14] Forrest Knutson: So you have to sit still to notice these things. That helps you into the free state in the body. A very good, positive kind of free state. So the next thing that you might notice is we bring your mind to your lips and you might notice that the blood kind of tingles in and tingles out of your lip especially the bottom lip. Then if you go and put your mind on your spine, right along your thoracic cavity, right along your rib cage, right? Your spine. Put your mind there and you might notice actually start to feel the pressure on the dorsal vagal nerve and it will feel really good. It can be maybe tingly, maybe pleasurable, maybe a cool feeling. So that’s the third one. Then the fourth one is to put your attention in your whole skin. Your whole skin may begin to tingle. It might feel a little bit crawly like a crawling sensation. It’s extremely pleasurable. So I call these meditative mellows because they feel really good. It’s a great sign that you are doing everything correctly and the parasympathetic system is working for the first time, maybe in a long time, very very well.

So that breath rate that we just did, it may be fast for some people but it is the entry point. That’s the entry breath rate that we need to get into heart rate variability. We have to be under that breath rate. So from there you can just take it whatever is comfortable for you.


[1:11:02] Ashley James: I know you just published three videos on your YouTube channel just this week showing the different breath rates. I don’t remember the exact titles.


[1:11:17] Forrest Knutson: So the music has to be steady. So you have to kind of cheat to make the in-breath shorter and the out-breath longer.


[1:11:25] Ashley James: What was the title?


[1:11:27] Forrest Knutson: Heart rate variability resonant breathing with music.


[1:11:31] Ashley James: Okay. A very straightforward title. It was like you had three different ones, the different breath rates, right?


[1:11:39] Forrest Knutson: Yes. So it’s four:four, five:five and six:six. Like I said, you try and make that out-breath a little just a tiny bit longer. The music is beautiful. Doug Gemmell gave that music to me so that could help me out to produce those videos. Really really beautiful music. Very relaxing and it teaches you something which is so deep. This heart rate variability resonance it’s just so profound. Every deep state that you have in meditation is built on top of that, guaranteed. You can’t skip it. It’s in there somewhere.


[1:12:24] Ashley James: When I asked, this was I don’t know 300 episodes ago, I asked a naturopath right at the end of the interview. So the interview wasn’t really about this but it’s near the end of this interview and I said, “What’s the one thing that you tell all your clients to have? Is there a gadget?” I’ve asked this a few times. So I’ve gotten really cool answers like one naturopath said, “100% of my clients I tell them to get a grounding mat.” That was my first time ever hearing about grounding mats and now while we’re talking I’m on my grounding mat because I love it so much. I have some great interviews about grounding mats. An entire documentary is pinned in the Learn True Health Facebook group about grounding and earthing and the scientific benefits of it. That it actually decreases inflation in the body and explains how by giving up excess electrons the body shouldn’t be storing that it significantly decreases the imbalance in the body to the point where people are going into remission who have MS. So really, grounding and earthing really makes a huge difference.

So this question has gotten me a lot of mileage. I asked this one naturopath sort of along the lines of what’s really important for 100% of your clients or what’s really important for all of us to know. She said, “We should all be aware of our heart rate variability.” She told me about this machine that you wear like a heart monitor that’s over $200.00 and that you put it on every morning and it reads out your heart rate variability. I was confused because I’m thinking is this just a heart rate monitor? I said, “Wouldn’t it change throughout the day?” She goes, “No. You wake up first thing in the morning. You put it on.” Again, I’m thinking this is not really accessible for all the listeners to spend a few hundred dollars on a little machine that you’re just wearing a minute a day and it’s going to tell you what your heart rate variability is. Her thing is, she was not teaching us how to affect heart rate variability necessarily. She was teaching to use it like a diabetic would use a glucometer.

You get up first thing in the morning and you read out your heart rate variability with this machine to determine if the last 24 hours were good for you or not good for you. She said, for example, and I’ve heard this from other experts, one glass of wine or beer one basically alcoholic beverage throws us into the stress response for 24 hours. Throws us out of heart rate variability for 24 hours. She said with her clients, because she gets her clients to buy this machine and report back to her, that if they ate something they’re allergic to let’s say they’re allergic to dairy or eggs or gluten or whatever or they ate a lot of sugar, a lot of highly processed foods the day before or they had a fight with their spouse or they hate their job and they had a fight with their boss, whatever. Something stressful happened or they drink alcohol. The next day, even though they just woke up and they were sleeping for let’s say seven-eight hours they should be in a state of rest. But their heart rate variability will prove otherwise, will prove that they’re still in a stress response and their endocrine system, their digestive system, their whole body is not in healing mode. They’re either in stress mode or healing mode. That even though they slept, they were sleeping in a state of stress and not in a state of relaxation.

So she uses this device to go see look, whatever you did yesterday isn’t working for you. The next day or a few days later you take your reading and you’re like, “Wow. I have really good heart rate variability.” She goes, “Okay. Whatever you ate yesterday keep eating it. Whatever you did yesterday keep doing it because it’s working.” So she used the machine as a way of proving that what they’re doing is working or not working because she can tell her clients don’t drink alcohol but they’re not going to listen. But if they see that they’re in a state of stress they’re like, “Wow. She’s right.” People drink alcohol to calm down because they feel stressed out and they want to relax. It’s acceptable in today’s society to use alcohol just like also use sugar, it’s sort of a meme. Women are stressed or they broke up with their boyfriend they’re going to eat a pint of ice cream. It’s a dangerous meme to continue to push on us. This idea that we need to self-medicate with sugar or alcohol in order to manage our emotion. When it actually doesn’t, it doesn’t decrease our stress levels. It will temporarily give us a dopamine high and make us feel good but it sends the body in a state of stress and not healing.

Then when we’re in that state of stressor that happens pushes us over the edge and makes us feel overwhelmed. So then we have to manage ourselves more with sugar or alcohol. Then we’re closer to our breaking point again. So then some little stressor happens like someone honks at us and then our nervous system, our endocrine system and nervous system freak out again. It’s like our fuse for our ability to handle crap in our life become shorter and shorter and shorter and shorter.

When we stop and we stop drinking alcohol and stop using sugar and highly processed foods as a way of self-medicating, because all those things make our fuse shorter and shorter or our ability to handle crap before we hit breaking point. If we stop using that and we decrease the inflammation in our body then our nervous system can kind of actually take on more stimulants before we reach our breaking point, before we feel overwhelmed and stress and we increase our heart rate variability. Now we have a long fuse. I know you Forrest, I mean I’ve known you. We’ve been really good friends for a long time. You have a really long fuse for handling stress and handling BS.

So I think that on an emotional mental health level this is very helpful as well. So that’s my first exposure to heart rate variability was this idea that we could use this like measuring our blood sugar or our blood sugar as a means of seeing if what we’re doing is working or not. You’re saying that we don’t need to spend a few hundred dollars on a machine. We can just do the breathing anyway and also clean up other areas of our life to better serve our health. But by doing the breathing we’re increasing heart rate variability and thus making that fuse longer. Our threshold wider for being able to handle stress in our life.


[1:19:25] Forrest Knutson: Absolutely. All of that was perfect. Everything you said was perfect. Yes, you can actually affect these things. It’s kind of amazing. So, yeah. You just do the breathing and it’s going to reset your system, recalibrate your parasympathetic nervous system to start working properly again if it’s been out of whack. Maybe you’re very peaceful already but this is going to make you more peaceful and more profoundly relaxed.


[1:20:06] Ashley James: Even more. That’s right.


[1:20:07] Forrest Knutson: Down the rabbit hole we go. It’s a very very cool thing.


[1:20:16] Ashley James: Awesome. I love it, Forrest. I love having you on the show. You’re so great. You’re one of my favorite people in the whole world. It’s an honor. It’s an honor to have you here. I really encourage to go to which will take them straight to your YouTube channel. You’ve produced a lot of fantastic YouTube videos. Listeners, if you have more questions for Forrest, please check out his YouTube channel and comment in any of the videos asking him questions or requesting topics for him to cover because he will do it. He’s very active on his YouTube channel. He will reply to his comments. He will take video requests because he loves teaching. Ever since I’ve known you, you just love teaching and love helping people. You have this equal love of helping people and teaching. So you’re just this perfect person to learn from and you’re very humble.


[1:21:19] Forrest Knutson: I am. I am very humble. I’m actually writing a book about it


[1:21:25] Ashley James: You’re writing a book about how humble and great you are?


[1:21:28] Forrest Knutson: Yes. It’s call Humility and How I Attained it. I have to say, that’s not my joke. I stole that joke from what was his name?


[1:21:37] Ashley James: You know, if you weren’t humble you would’ve owned the joke. You can just own the joke, Forrest. It’s okay. You don’t need to give credit. Stop being so humble.


[1:21:48] Forrest Knutson: You’re right. I really should. It’s a horrible thing.


[1:21:51] Ashley James: Stop it. Americans don’t understand. It doesn’t make sense to us. You have a great amount of information for people. The way in which you package your information comes across so that we can all understand it. So I just love how you teach. This is where I’m complimenting you and thanking you. So thank you.


[1:22:15] Forrest Knutson: Thank you.


[1:22:17] Ashley James: Now, your website, you have a book Hacking the Universe. Is there anything else that we should know?


[1:22:25] Forrest Knutson: I’m going to come out with a training very very shortly.


[1:22:29] Ashley James: Yeah. Sweet. Tell us about your training.


[1:22:31] Forrest Knutson: So I’m working on it now. I’m actually editing it. I have a couple more clips to finish. It’s going to be on heart rate variability and how to take that very very deep into a very deep meditation.


[1:22:49] Ashley James: Into the right brain?


[1:22:50] Forrest Knutson: Not all the way into the right brain. We can’t do that at one training. That’s going to take four trainings. So I actually have four trainings in my brain. I’ve never seen anything like them. So it’s really exciting for that reason that it’s going to be – if you’re in the meditation world or you have meditative interest they’re going to be extremely powerful. It’s combining a lot of information in a way which is very palatable like you say very easy to access. So it’s going to be off the hook. Very exciting.


[1:23:29] Ashley James: I know you have a Facebook group for your students. Those who follow you on YouTube and learn from all your videos. You have a Facebook group. We’ll make sure to link that. It’s also on the show notes. What’s the name of the Facebook group?


[1:23:44] Forrest Knutson: It’s Meditate with Forrest. So very easy to remember.


[1:23:48] Ashley James: Meditate with Forrest.


[1:23:50] Forrest Knutson: Forrest Gump.


[1:23:52] Ashley James: No.


[1:23:53] Forrest Knutson: I do that. Sometimes people don’t hear my name because it’s a strange to them so they don’t actually hear it. So I started – every time I ask for something at a diner or something like that I’ll always say, “You know, like Forrest Gump.”


[1:24:12] Ashley James: And they love that? People like that joke?


[1:24:15] Forrest Knutson: They always laugh so.


[1:24:17] Ashley James: You’re the only Forrest I know that like Forrest Gump. I interviewed another Forrest and he said that he doesn’t like that movie. That it was like people teased him in school. I’m like, “No. My friend Forrest loved it and he got so much mileage out of it.” It sounds like you’re still getting mileage out of it.


[1:24:34] Forrest Knutson: Well, you know, you turn the joke around and you use it and then it’s fun. Yeah. People will be like, “Run, Forrest,” and I’d call back, “I’m a running fool.” “That boy is a running fool.” So, yeah. I loved it. It was great.


[1:24:48] Ashley James: I like that you disarmed – that’s another thing we didn’t get to talk about is aikido. You disarm people, the bullies. You’ve never let the bullies get you down because you just disarm them.


[1:25:00] Forrest Knutson: Right. Well, I kind of had to. There’s a very famous book called Giving in to Get Your Way. It’s a beautiful principle that you can see in a lot of different martial arts. If somebody’s joking at you and you run with the joke, you’ve completely diffused the entire situation. It’s very powerful.


[1:25:22] Ashley James: Yes. Yes. Yes. That is a great tool. That’s so great. So I had this one-star review. I have well over 700, almost 800 five star reviews on iTunes. I have like 41 one stars. Which one do you think I focus on? Do you think I focus on the 800 people who took the time to give me a five-star review and tell me how much they love the show? Do you think I focus on the 41 people that hate me, that wish that I would just die or something? Of course, this part of my brain is like, “There’s 41 people in the world that don’t like me.” I have to tell myself to suck it up because I’m not doing it, I’m not doing the podcast for 41 people that hate me. I’m doing it for the people I want to help. I want to help people. Those are the people I’m doing it for. The people who appreciate it not the people who don’t appreciate it.

There’s one person once left me a one-star review that said that I sound like I’m a cow because when I go, “Hmm,” I sound like I’m mooing. At first, I was like, “How dare. Oh crap, they’re right. They’re right.” Then I started laughing because I’m editing. As I’m editing the show I’m listening. Every time I go, “Hmm,” I’m like, “Oh my gosh I really do sound like…” Is that bad? I love cows. They’re really beautiful creatures. They’re amazing animals. They’re so much fun to visit when I take, we take our son to this sanctuary farm. Oh my gosh. If I could cuddle a cow I would. They’re the coolest things, right? So why am I upset about this? This guy is trying to insult me.

Then I realize he could have said, and I’m assuming his gender is male-only because I don’t think a female would’ve said that about me but that’s just my bias. So I’m assuming that he’s a guy and he has nothing better to do than rip on the fact that once in a while I go, “Hmm,” to a guest’s really cool whatever they said is really cool and I moo, apparently. I’m like, “That’s the only thing he could come up with?” He couldn’t find anything to make fun of the show. That’s the only thing. That’s kind of a compliment in it of itself that there’s nothing wrong with the show. He couldn’t find anything wrong with it but that I sound like I’m mooing when I hum praise to someone’s comment.

So I just kind of laughed it off and laughed it off. It could’ve eaten me for days but I laughed about it. Then he deleted the comment. A few days later I looked back and he retracted his one-star. That’s really cool. In other one-star, I would’ve obsessed about what they said because there’s no way to write back to them and try to explain myself. Sometimes someone gives me a one-star for something a guest said. I have no control over that. It’s just kind of silly.

The fact that you can take bullying and laugh at it and not take it personally but laugh at it, then you’ve won. You’ve gained control of the situation.


[1:28:44] Forrest Knutson: You know, you really turn it around mentally. That’s so amazing. That’s so fantastic. It’s so easy to fall in that. I’ve listened to a number of YouTubers comment about how you deal with really grumpy trolling.


[1:29:05] Ashley James: They’re brutal on YouTube. Oh my gosh. My husband, I’m so thankful. He just deletes the comments. The really brutal, he won’t let me see them and that’s good because he know I’ll go into a tailspin. I care so much. The thing is I’ve worked on this for so long like my ability to kind of fluff it off but people on YouTube are brutal. We post all the episodes of the show on YouTube. There’s a level of trolling on YouTube that I understand why children are committing suicide. It’s the second leading cause of death between the ages of 10 and 24.

Suicide’s gone up 52% in the last 10 years for children ages 10 through 24, I understand. They’re being bullied just so brutally. If there’s a way to, obviously we need to shelter our children from that because when someone is 10, that level of bullying is devastating but when we’re 30, yeah it’s harmful but we can go, “Okay. Let’s use our logic brain. Let’s not end our life over it.” So I love that you brought up this book. What was the book again?


[1:30:18] Forrest Knutson: Giving In To Get Your Way. It’s a great great old aikido book.


[1:30:24] Ashley James: I saw a video on Facebook and it was a presenter in front of a middle school I think it was. He had a girl; come up, I’ve seen this video kind of circulate through. It has millions and millions of views. So if you ever see it on Facebook, watch it. It’s so good.

It’s like how to end bullying immediately. He says to this girl, “Okay. Just bully me. Just say really mean things.” She’s a bit nervous.


[1:30:51] Forrest Knutson: I saw this.


[1:30:52] Ashley James: She’s like, “You really suck,” and he’s like, “You’re right. You’re right. When you’re right you’re so right.” She’s like, “Yeah. I’m right and you’re wrong and you’re dumb.” He’s like, “You know what? I just love how right you are. You’re so pretty.” She couldn’t keep a straight face. She kept trying to bully him. He just kept owning it and smiling and being her friend. She was totally disarmed. She was nowhere to go. The whole audience, all the kids just freaked out and cheered and they thought it was great that it was – if we cannot let it land in our psyche and use our ego. But if we can slough it off, that is really helpful. I love it.


[1:31:44] Forrest Knutson: Absolutely. That’s a very good recipe. You can build on top of that recipe and have a more complex way to deal with it so that you don’t have to own the negative. You could just let it bypass you completely but that’s a great way to start is just take it all in and then say, “Hey. Whatever.” It’s a great great way. It’s hard. It’s tough. I get comments then I go meditate.


[1:32:16] Ashley James: Nice. In meditation do you ever had this insights which are like, “Oh. That’s why the probably said that?”


[1:32:25] Forrest Knutson: Oh yeah.


[1:32:26] Ashley James: I mean, do you find such clarity with your thoughts when you meditate?


[1:32:30] Forrest Knutson: Yes. It will diffuse to the point where I disassociate from the body. The body just kind of disappears. So then you’re just left with your perception itself. Then it becomes very simple but then you have to get to that point. If you’re in a stress state you won’t be able to get to that point you’ll be stuck with it. So that’s where the word attachment comes from. You’re attached to the problem. That’s where we usually begins. That something happens and we get overly attached to that negative happening and then we can’t release our self from it. We can’t even begin to think logically because we’re so wrapped up in it.


[1:33:14] Ashley James: So when’s your course coming up?


[1:33:17] Forrest Knutson: Very very soon. I think maybe a week?


[1:33:22] Ashley James: Awesome. Very cool. So listeners, by the time this gets published and their listening to it it’ll just be days away if not already released. It’s very exciting. They can find you in their Facebook group Meditate with Forrest. Forrest Knutson not Forrest Gump but just Meditate with Forrest. Do you think if they typed in Meditate with Forrest Gump that would show up too or is there a different? You have to check. You never know.


[1:33:46] Forrest Knutson: There might be Meditate with Forrest Gump. That would be a pretty – it might probably run a lot.


[1:33:53] Ashley James: To eat chocolate or something. So mow a lawn. Make some shrimp.


[1:33:57] Forrest Knutson: Very good things.


[1:33:59] Ashley James: I love that movie.


[1:33:60] Forrest Knutson: That’s great. I love it.


[1:34:03] Ashley James: I wonder how many listens haven’t seen that movie because it’s kind of old but it’s such a classic.


[1:34:08] Forrest Knutson: It’s so classic. It just has this simple purity which is what the whole movie is about. It’s that simple purity. Win in the end.


[1:34:19] Ashley James: I love it. Awesome. It does make you feel like – you walk away with that movie feeling like you can win. I love that. It does lift you up. So that’s good. “If you can do it I could do it.” So Meditate with Forrest Facebook group. Go to to gain access to the YouTube videos. Buy the book Hacking the Universe if you want to go deeper with Forrest or just wait for the course. Have you come up with a name, a title for your course? A final title or are you still working on a working title?


[1:34:59] Forrest Knutson: Let me think about this. What am I calling this? Yes. It’s going to be called the fourth phase of breath also the tranquil breath. Those will both be in the title. The fourth phase of breath.


[1:35:13] Ashley James: That will be part one of four to get into the right brain?


[1:35:17] Forrest Knutson: Yeah. So when I say get into the right brain I mean Samadhi so that’s a very deep state. I think another name for that is satori. It’s the merging. To merge with one thought but that’s a very very deep state.


[1:35:41] Ashley James: Cool. So basically if you want to go deep we keep following you?


[1:35:45] Forrest Knutson: Perfect.


[1:35:46] Ashley James: Down the rabbit hole.


[1:35:47] Forrest Knutson: That’s right. Down the rabbit hole we go.


[1:35:50] Ashley James: Awesome. Thank you so much Forrest for coming on the show. It’s been such a pleasure having you here today. Anything you want to say to wrap up today’s interview? Anything left unsaid that you want to make sure we cover?


[1:36:02] Forrest Knutson: Well, you are one of my favorite people. You are a genius. I love everything that you do. Thank you so much for having me.


[1:36:13] Ashley James: You’re so welcome. Compliments always welcome. It helps to displace those 41 one-star reviews on iTunes. If you’re all, “You’re beautiful,” comments. Awesome. Thank you so much Forrest. I really hope that this episode makes a difference for all my fantastic listeners. We’ll just have to stay in touch and let us know how your course go. You’re launching your courses and all your students and their results. I know you’re in the Learn True Health Facebook group so we’ll just continue the conversation there. Listeners, if you have any question for Forrest you could also post them on the Learn True Health Facebook group as well. It’s Forrest Knutson, Thank you so much.


[1:36:55] Forrest Knutson: Thank you.


[1:36:56] Ashley James: Yeah. We’ll have to have you back on again at some point because I want you to teach more about getting into the right brain. Samadhi sounds so neat especially from the neuroscience perspective. What happens to the brain and the different brain waves? Because I know you’re really into that.


[1:37:14] Forrest Knutson: Yeah. There’s a lot that still needs to be uncovered about brain waves. It’s really really amazing.


[1:37:23] Ashley James: So we’ll just get into that in another interview.


[1:37:26] Forrest Knutson: Absolutely.


[1:37:27] Ashley James: All right. Sounds good. Okay. Thank you so much.


[1:37:29] Forrest Knutson: All right. Take care.


[1:37:31] Outro: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition? And how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity. Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and to figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business and support people in their success? Do you love helping people?

You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health coaching certification program. And it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over a hundred dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition. But from a standpoint of how we can help people to shift their life and shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health. I definitely recommend you check them out. You can Google Institute for Integrative Nutrition or IIN and give them a call. Or you can go to and you can receive a free module of their training to check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in. Be sure to mention my name Ashley James and the Learn True Health podcast because I made a deal with them that they will give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program. And I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information.

We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctors’ offices, you can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help your local schools shift their programs to help children be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them in their success and their health goals. There are so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach.

So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Mention my name, get the best deal. Give them a call and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon. The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month. So you’re going to want to call them now and check it out. And if you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.

Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price. That’s Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome program.


Get Connected With Forrest Knutson!




Check Out Other Episodes With Forrest Knutson!

Episode 32 – How To Meditate

Episode 25 – Yogic Meditation Adventures

Nov 13, 2019

"Eat plants, fit in your pants." Chef AJ lost over 50lbs and has kept it off eating over 2lbs of veggies a day

Listen to my first interview with Chef AJ, episode 278:

Chef AJ's site:

Chef AJ's Books:

The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss: A Revolutionary Approach to Conquer Cravings, Overcome Food Addiction and Lose Weight Without Going Hungry

Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight


The Ultimate Weight Loss Program

  • The Real Truth About Weight Loss Summit
  • Eating the way your ancestors ate throughout human history
  • You cannot be protein deficient unless you’re calorie deficient
  • Complex carbs and refined carbs
  • Eat until no longer hungry and still full instead of until full
  • Anytime you process a food, you make it calorically rich and nutrient poor
  • The real secret to weight loss and weight maintenance and good health is to eat more vegetables
  • Antioxidants
  • Health At Every Size
  • Metabolic disadvantage concept
  • Health mistakes people make
  • Ultimate Weight Loss Facebook Group
  • Feel Fabulous Over 40
  • How To Eat Healthfully Anywhere
  • Ultimate Weight Loss Program
  • Weight Loss Wednesday

In this episode with Chef AJ, we are going to discuss and share about healthy eating and secrets to weight loss. Find out the real truth about Weight Loss Summit, healthy eating anywhere, the ultimate weight loss program and so much more

[00:00:01] Intro: Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health Podcast. I’m really excited for you to hear today’s interview with Chef AJ. When I had her last on the show just over a year ago, I didn’t know that that episode would absolutely changed my life. I adapted her style of eating the whole food plant based no oil, no flour, no processed foods. Just focusing on plants and eating lots of vegetables. And my health has gotten even better this last year. And I should go into that in this interview.

We have some really fun things coming up. I want you to be included in them. So to make sure that you stay plugged in, get in our community in the Facebook Group. Go to Facebook and search Learn True Health and join our group. Or you can go to and join our group. We’re going to have some fun giveaways coming up. I know in a few weeks we’re having American Thanksgiving. So there’ll be some Cyber Monday sales from these different health companies that I love that I’ll make sure that I announce in the group. And you know, I love the giveaway. So come join the conversation so that you can be part of it. You’ll never know, maybe you win one of the giveaways.

Also, make sure to go to my website and get on the email list. I have a fantastic doctor course. I filmed with some wonderful Naturopathic physicians and they teach the fundamentals of health. If you haven’t watched it already, you definitely want to check it out. Go to, a pop up comes up, and then you put in your email address. I promise not to spam you. And you get some wonderful videos from me, from these doctors that teach the foundations of holistic health and simple things that you can do today to start building a healthy foundation for your body. So please join the Facebook Group. Go to to join the Facebook Group. And get on the email list to get that free doctor course by going to

And if you love any of these episodes, please consider giving us a five star rating and review. It makes such a big difference. I read every single one of your reviews. And when you leave a five star review, it makes my day so if you love this podcast and you feel that these episodes, these interviews are making a difference in your life, please feel free to leave a five star rating and review on iTunes or whatever podcast app you use. Because I check them all. And it really does make a big difference. For me personally, I love seeing them. But also it helps others to know that this is a great show so that they will want to check it out.

Thank you so much for being a listener. And thank you so much for sharing the Learn True Health Podcast with your friends and family so that we can help as many people as possible to learn true health.

Welcome to the Learn True Health Podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 392.


I am so excited for today’s guest. We have back on the show Chef AJ. I had her on the show, Episode 278. That was July 26, 2018. Man, has so much happened in the last – almost a-year-and-a-half. And it’s just been a whirlwind. I have become  – since I interviewed you I’ve become a raving fan of yours, Chef AJ. I think every single person on the planet should listen to our first interview and should get your books and should absolutely learn from you. You are a godsend. Thank you so much for the mission that you’re on. You have a big cheerleader over here.



[00:04:04] Chef AJ: Thank you so much. I admire your work too. Thank you.



[00:04:08] Ashley James: Awesome. Well, yeah. So since July of 2018 having you on the show, I joined your – you have this outstanding Facebook Group as part of your course – one of the courses. You have several online courses that are all community based, which I think is really helpful. And it’s such a thriving community. And what I’m inspired by every week, it’s really emotionally helped me to be in your Facebook Group. Because it’s seeing the success stories of people transforming their lives through using food as medicine, whole food plant based diet. And the things that people are transforming is so beautiful. And every week, there are dozens of stories. It’s a very active group. And to have that level of support in the community and people always are asking questions and always supporting each other. So it’s this beautiful community.

But what I see is you foster community wherever you go. And I think that’s really beautiful. Because we’re not alone in this. I love to expose these concepts that we often feel too ashamed to talk about, like addiction, and emotional eating, overeating, binge eating. Things that many, many people do and may not even realize they’re doing because they have emotional issues or maybe they’re eating foods that are so hyperpalatable, they hijack the brain. And what we really want to do is figure out how to use food as medicine. And how to heal our bodies and have optimal health . Ad you teach a wonderful way to do that in a way that’s delicious. So because your name is chef, Chef AJ. So you do teach us how to make delicious food, right?



[00:05:50] Chef AJ: I do my best. Absolutely.



[00:05:51] Ashley James: Yes, you do. I love every episode of – every episode – every recipe I’ve ever made of yours has been a huge hit. I made your lasagna. Oh my gosh, you mentioned in your book – I think the unprocessed was the book that you – your book unprocessed has the lasagna recipe. And it’s to die for. And I made both versions, one with the noodles and one with the eggplant. And both trays of it, we’re eating that day. And it wasn’t just by me. It was the whole – like I had friends over. But you say in your book, this doesn’t go in the freezer because it there’s never leftovers.



[00:06:28] Chef AJ: There’s never any leftovers. That’s why I call it the disappearing lasagna. Because honestly, I don’t even know if it freezes because there’s never been leftovers on that particular recipe. And that is the God’s honest truth.



[00:06:38] Ashley James: I took that as a challenge. So I actually took the recipe and times it by four. And I made four times the amount that the recipe calls for. And I have pictures. Four giant trays of lasagna and I baked them all and I had friends over. And they wanted to all take some home. I mean, there was no leftovers.  That lasagna was so good. And I even some zucchini and I added some extra vegetables. Because I was like, “There’s not enough vegetables here. Let’s add more.” And it was so amazing. We had kids over and they were eating it. And this lasagna doesn’t have any dairy. It doesn’t have any meat in. It’s whole food plant based. And it is so delicious. And the kids, which these kids never eat vegetables, were just like, “Can I have another? Can I have another?” So it’s really satisfying when you can make something that’s so delicious and also so wholesome and so healthy. So every recipe I’ve ever made of yours has been outstanding and easy to follow.

So anyways, I could praise you for the next two hours but I’m sure we want to start learning from you. So since July of 2018, I know a lot has happened in your life. I’d love to hear the updates what’s been going on?



[00:07:52] Chef AJ: So I’ve been busy but in a good way. So one of the things I did is I changed where I live. Because environment to me is critical in any one’s success, whether it’s success trying to lose weight or be happy in life. And I pretty much was born in Chicago. Pretty much I was born in Chicago. But I pretty much was raised in LA from the time that I was 11 until January of this year. And I love LA for so many reasons. But man, it’s just not for me anymore. It’s busy and it’s crowded, and it’s noisy. And I just wanted to live somewhere peaceful. I’m going to be 60. Not that I’m trying to retire. But I wanted to just have a calmer, slower pace of life. So I moved to the desert. I live near Palm Springs now. I have a house instead of an apartment. And it’s just been beautiful. And it’s allowed me to do just more work it with what I love in giving this information to people. And I’ve been doing it through educational programs. I have a partner now and we do these online courses.

But one of the things I did that just blew my mind was that I got to host one of those wonderful online summits. And this was called The Real Truth About Weight Loss Summit. This was offered to me, this position. I always wanted to do a summit but not being very tech savvy, I just couldn’t figure out how to do it. Just like you, I’ve always wanted to do a podcast. But man, I can barely turn on my iPhone. So when this opportunity came about, I thought I was just being asked to be a guest interviewed for something called The Real Truth About Weight Loss Summit. When they said, “No. We want you to do the interviews.” It was amazing because I got to handpick the experts. There were a few that were already decided upon. Maybe the people that I didn’t know but they were all great interviews. But I got to really handpick, like, the best of the best and create something that I’m going to forever be proud of. Because it answered the question, “What is the real truth about weight loss?”

There’s so much conflicting information and misinformation. And we had 34 experts that pretty much agreed about pretty much everything. There were some nuances, how many nuts should we eat? But for the most part, they all agreed. And it was interesting, actually, because, as you know, when you’re doing this podcast, you’re listening to me but you’re also kind of involved. You have to watch the tech. You have to do things. When I was interviewing them, I couldn’t really pay attention as well as I wanted to because I had to look for bells and whistles on the computer. But then when we ran the summit and I listened again, I’m like, “Oh my god.” We did the summit for free. I mean, people could buy it afterwards for a nominal fee to own the recordings. But I’m like, “This information is like mind blowing. Why are these people on the cover of Time Magazine?”



[00:10:23] Ashley James: Well, I definitely want to pique your brain as to what you learned as the interviewer for the series? I watched some of the episodes or the interviews that you did, that you conducted. And I loved it. I love the information. It was very thorough. I will let you know that since starting following your protocol, I’ve lost over 40 pounds and kept it off. I’d been, like, yoyo-ing my entire adult life. The second a diet would end, it was like, poof. It would just all blow up in my face. And with your program, it’s not something you ever end. So it’s something that you just – and you never feel like you’re deprived because of volume metrics. You eat to live. Your plate is full of delicious food. You never go hungry. Through eating how I learned through you and through Dr. Goldhamer and this whole food plant based way, my body is just naturally slowly healthfully shed.

I just went last week to my doctor. I go every few months just to my Naturopath to get blood work and check in. And she had a smile on her face from ear to ear. She was so happy with my numbers. She was so happy with my slow and consistent and continual weight loss. Everything is coming into balance. All my numbers are coming just better and better and better. My cholesterol has never looked better. All my inflammatory markers have never looked better. Just everything. All my hormones are even better. I mean, just everything is better and better and better. All I’m doing is just filling my plate with this delicious food that’s whole food plant based. And I’ve been on over 30 diets. And I’ve never been on a diet where I felt completely satisfied, completely nourished, completely taken care of. And also my body was coming to a place of health more and more and more. It really does work.



[00:12:26] Chef AJ: That’s amazing. And congratulations. And the thing I want to just say is, you’re not really on a diet, you’re actually just eating the way your ancestors ate throughout human history. The way our species was designed to eat. Because we’ve gotten so far away from that. And most people don’t even eat food anymore. Most people eat something like 70% of their calories from processed food. They think of the way we eat now is restrictive or a diet. Yet this is how humans ate throughout all of human history until just a few hundred years ago, actually.

So it’s so true, Ashley, because you mentioned volume metrics. And Dr. Barbara Rolls was one of the only people that I didn’t get to interview for the summit because she had broken her arm. But we are going to rerun the summit next February with some new speakers and she is going to be one of it. Because volume metrics is the ticket. I call it ultimate weight loss. I also call it lose weight with a full plate. But it’s not a diet. Because on diets they asked you to give up certain food groups, like carbs. And they ask you to eat less or weigh and measure your food or count points or things like that. We’re not on a diet. I eat the same way that Dr. Joel Fuhrman eats. He’s never been overweight. We eat huge quantities of delicious whole food. It’s not a diet.



[00:13:38] Ashley James: For breakfast this morning, I had the soup. I texted you a picture of the soup my husband I made. We made two giant things of soup. And this soup is like a stew. The soup is so hearty. And there are carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, and spices like rosemary time, bailey, the regular stuff you’d put in soup, and legumes, brown lentils. I maybe forgetting a few vegetables. Because we put in a lot of stuff in this thing. And then we just let it simmer for a few hours. We had it yesterday for lunch. We had it for dinner. Then we had it for breakfast. And it tastes different the longer it kind of sits in its own juices. It tastes like a different experience. [Inaudible 00:14:23] turned to me and said, “I could eat this every day for every meal. It’s so good. And so filling.” I just had a soup I had a soup for breakfast and I am so full and I feel – I have so much energy. It’s very low in calories but it’s very dense in nutrition.

And I was even tracking my protein because people are freaking out about, “Where do you get your protein from if all you eat are potatoes and vegetables?” On average, I get 50 grams of protein a day from a variety of sources that are obviously not animals. So have you ever seen anyone protein deprived not eating meat?



[00:15:00] Chef AJ: Never. That’s called kwashiorkor. And from my understanding, there’s never been a single case of it in reported history with the exception of, maybe, like a child abuse case or an anorexic or somebody actually was calorie deficient. You cannot be protein deficient unless you’re calorie deficient.



[00:15:19] Ashley James: So if you fill your plate up with whole foods with plants, basically, you’re good in terms of protein?



[00:15:26] Chef AJ: Absolutely. There’s actually more protein per calorie in broccoli than steak. I believe that 100 grams of – broccoli has 11.2 grams of protein and 100 grams of steak – 100 calories – excuse me – 100 calories of steak has something like 5.4 grams of protein. So I mean, think about it. All the large herbivores that have walked this planet for centuries, you know, elephants, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, giraffe, they’re not worrying about where they’re getting their protein. They eat plants. The animals that we eat are the plant eaters. We’re not eating carnivorous animals like the lions and the tigers. Were eating animals that eat the plants. Cut out the middleman, eat the plants. You don’t need to eat animal flesh.

There’s a great book about this by Dr. Garth Davis – he’d make a wonderful interview for you – called Proteinaholic. I highly recommend that if people really want to understand this. And of course, The China Study. Think about it, when a human being needs the most protein in their life is when they’re an infant, when they’re growing. Breast milk is less than 10% protein. So why would we have a system that we need more of it when we’re not growing. This is just absurd. This is such absurdity.



[00:16:37] Ashley James: Can you share the things that you learned from your summit around carbs versus fat versus protein? Did any of the guests, the experts that helped people with successful weight loss, did any of them cover that?



[00:16:50] Chef AJ: They did. One of the things they had covered was that it’s the difference between complex carbs and refined carbs. So in other words, carbs have a bad rep. You know, we shouldn’t eat carbs. Carbs make us fat. But you can’t just say carbs without knowing what the carbs are. Because there are complex carbohydrates that are unrefined, found in nature, like sweet potatoes and winter squashes, and legumes, and whole grains. And then there’s refined and processed carbs, which is what most Americans are eating that make them fat and sick, like flour and sugar and alcohol. So you can’t just lump carbs all together. That’s like saying, you can’t lump people together saying all these kind of people are bad. There’s different kinds of people in all these various groups. Just like there’s different kinds of carbs.

And so definitely they explained that when you’re eating the whole plant found in nature, that has the fiber, and the water, and the vitamins, and the minerals, and the phytochemicals, and the micronutrients all intact. That is so different to your body than when you’re stripping the fiber away and having these processed carbs like flour and sugar. Which go through the same refining process, by the way, as drugs and alcohol. And it just makes no sense. How can we now be designed to run on fat or fat and protein when that’s all our ancestors ate throughout history were these unrefined, complex carbohydrates. The longest lived people in the world from of the blue zones. The Okinawans, for example, eat something like more than 70% of their calories from sweet potatoes. Those are carbs. They don’t they’re not overweight or obese. They don’t have heart disease. They don’t have cancer. There’s a book by Dr. Colin Campbell called the Low Carb Fraud. And what’s happened is because of these processed carbs, all carbs have gotten a bad reputation.



[00:18:38] Ashley James: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I had to really come to terms with that. Because growing up my mother was obsessed with dieting. She was never overweight but she was obsessed with dieting. And so she instilled in me a fear of carbs. I remember her yelling at me once at a restaurant because I ordered the fish. I thought that was going to impress her. I ordered the fish. It’s so healthy. But the fish came with the side of rice. And my mom yelled at me in the restaurant and food shamed me – and I was like 12 or something – because I was going to eat rice. In healing my relationship with my body and with food, I had to also heal  – I don’t want to call it trauma – but the belief system that I had adopted from my mother, which was a fear, a real fear of healthy carbohydrates like whole grains. I am gluten free because my body just does not respond well to gluten, whole grains like brown rice, or even potatoes. My belief system developed because my mother would have me feel shame and guilt for eating those foods. And I just wonder how many people are feeling negative emotions around healthy foods because of the belief system they were raised in?



[00:19:57] Chef AJ: Yeah. That’s a good question. And I think if they do an experiment where they maybe given themselves three weeks to eat nothing but these foods and see how their health improves, how they lose weight. It’s absurd to think that these foods make you fat. They don’t make you fat if they’re in their unrefined form. It’s what you put on them. So if for example, it’s the butter that people put on the rice. It’s the butter, and the sour cream, and the cheese, and the bacon that people put on potatoes. If carbs made people fat and sick then how did they end up doing these studies with just potatoes? For example, something called the KON Potato Study – you can Google it – where it healthy young couple who are actually were athletes ate nothing but potatoes for an entire year. This wasn’t a weight loss study. They were trying to show that you would not be any deficient in any nutrient just by eating potatoes. And in one year of eating nothing but potatoes, they didn’t have any nutrient deficiencies. They actually lost too much weight they had to start adding oil to their potatoes in order to get enough calories.

There’s a man named Andrew Taylor who lives in Australia, who became well-known as spud, fit for eating nothing but potatoes for an entire year and lost 120 pounds. And reversed his food addiction and his depression. And Chris Voigt of the Washington Potato Commission, several years ago, was very upset that the government would not allow people to use food stamps to buy potatoes. Bbut they could use them to buy Kool Aid and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. And so he basically for 68 days, I think, was something like 20 potatoes a day and he was still eating oil and cheese and animal products. And he still reversed his high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high triglycerides. Carbs, they’re the fuel that our body is designed for. Just like you wouldn’t put lemonade in your gas tank. Can we run on on fat? Like a keto diet or protein. Yeah, we can. But that’s not what the body was designed to do. That’s like an emergency state that people do called ketosis. That was never what we were supposed to do.

And it’s very unsatisfying. It’s funny that you mentioned rice shaming. Because I speak at a lot of spas and cruise ships, they’re not even vegan or plant based just because I’m known as somebody that has helped lots of people lose weight. So they booked me for that. It turns out that my protocol is vegan. But I don’t even have to say it either in my lecture or to get booked because it just so happens that the foods that are the healthiest and also lowest in calorie density but highest nutrient density all happened to be plants. But I remember one of these spas because it’s a weight loss fight. It’s like they weigh and measure your food and you get really sparse portions. And you get literally, like, a-half-a-cup of rice which doesn’t even fit in my hand. I had to actually go to the doctor or the nurse and get a permission slip to get an extra half cup of rice. Now when I eat rice at home, I eat like two to four cups in in a serving. And I’m thinking like, “How does anybody eat a-half-a-cup of rice? That’s like nothing.” I just don’t get it. It’s just it’s sad to me that people feel that that’s what they need to do to lose weight and be healthy. When the exact opposite is true, they need to eat more but of the right foods.

But the problem is that they like our system, Ashley, which is ad libitum. where we eat as much as we want to the left of the red line. But they want to include their likely glass of wine or their soda or their Starbucks macchiato or their rich desserts. And unfortunately, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t eat all you want of the nutritious foods and still include the unhealthy foods. If you want to include foods of a higher caloric density or unhealthy foods, you can do it and possibly maintain weight loss. But you’re going to then have to do portion control. And who wants to do that? We aren’t designed for scales.



[00:23:45] Ashley James: There’s this book, First Bite: How We Learn To Eat by Bee Wilson. And she said that they did these experiments. Of course, they probably can’t do them nowadays because it would be like child abuse. But they did experiments on orphans. They took a bunch of children, like toddlers, and they put many, many different kinds of foods in front of them. Instead of forcing them like, “Here’s your macaroni and cheese. Or here’s your hot dog. Or here’s your chicken nuggets.” or whatever. They put everything broccoli, beans, carrots. They just put everything out in front of them and let the children choose what they want it to eat. And they then calculated all the nutrients. And they’d figured out that, intuitively, these toddlers who they’re too young to have had societal – I don’t know – norms imposed on them. They’re just listening to the instinct of their body. They kind of looked at a whole week’s snapshot of what they ate all week.

So maybe one day they did mono eating. They only ate carrot. So they only ate rice. And of course, as a parent, you’re freaking out thinking, “Okay. This kid is going to be nutrient deficient because they’re only eating this one food.” But by the end of the week, all of the children had a balanced diet of all the nutrients they needed. And their illnesses started to reverse. So they started to notice that over time, letting the children gravitate towards and choose the food. So intuitively, they wanted to eat, like, let’s say, all broccoli that day. And then the next day they want to eat only apples and only bananas. And their bodies just knew to eat what they needed to eat. Children eat until they no longer feel hungry versus adults eat until we feel full. We have to feel the sensation like nothing else can fit inside me. Whereas, children will eat just until hunger goes away and then they’ll go play. And I thought, “Man, that really -” because I was trying to think when I was young – when I was a kid, I was skinny. And food wasn’t even in my mind. I would eat when I was hungry until the hunger went away and then I go and play again. So it’s a real big difference. Something shifts in us.



[00:25:55] Chef AJ: [Inaudible 00:25:57] profound. That is really profound. Eat until no longer hungry and still full instead of until full when overly. A lot of people until they’re completely overly stuffed they don’t even know they’re full. And I think part of it has to do with eating processed food and animal products. Because think about it, Ashley, processed food and animal products have a lot in common. And that they aren’t completely devoid of fiber and water. And when you’re eating, most of your calories are from animal products and processed food. Which is what most Americans do, over 92% of calories, in fact. You’re not going to feel full until you’ve over eaten because your stretch receptors aren’t going to be activated by the water and fiber that would be in those whole plant foods that we were designed to eat.



[00:26:39] Ashley James: Uh-huh. Right. So if you’re eating a turkey sandwich or something, there’s bread, for example, is dehydrated in a sense that it’s very calorically dense but doesn’t take up a lot of room in the stomach. So you have to eat a lot more before you feel full. But then you’ve eaten hundreds of calories more than you actually needed.



[00:27:02] Chef AJ: Absolutely. Because think about it, all whole grains are about 500 calories a pound. When you mill the whole grains into flour to make bread, it’s now 1,500 calories a pound. It’s triple the caloric density. So anytime you process a food, you make it calorically rich and nutrient poor. So you you’re right, to feel full, you have to eat a lot more bread than you do whole grain. And that’s why I wrote my first book on processed because my feeling was, whether you want to be vegan or not, I can’t make you. But we’re still not designed to eat processed foods. Our stomachs are about the size of a cantaloupe. They hold about a liter of food, which is about 4.22 cups. I can easily eat 500 calories of brown rice.  That’s about, let’s say, it’s three cups or something like that. I’ll feel really full because I’ll activate my mechanisms of satiety, my stretch in nutrient and calorie receptors. But if I have to eat that much flour or bread, I won’t feel full because they won’t activate the mechanism stylus

Water is so important. I don’t mean just drinking water, which of course we should. Because water in it of itself has no society. It won’t make you feel full. Even if you drink a gallon of water, it will make you feel full for a little bit but it exits the digestive tract too quickly. But when water is bound to the whole natural food, like the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and legumes, it not only has weight but it creates bulk because it’s attached to the fiber. And that bulk is what creates satiety that allows us to stop eating before we’re overly full. That’s why people mutilate their bodies and have gastric bypass is to make their stomach, which is about 4.22 cups now hold maybe a cup or less so that they will get in touch again with what it feels like to feel full. Whereas, if you just change the composition of what you eat, that’s nature’s gastric bypass.



[00:28:53] Ashley James: I love how you have a rule of eating two pounds of vegetables a day at a minimum, right? So it’s a minimum.



[00:29:01] Chef AJ: That’s minimum. When I was losing weight, I was eating probably four or maybe more. That’s the minimum that I think everyone should eat just for optimal health. But if you’re trying to lose weight, you want to eat more vegetables. Vegetables are the food that are not only lowest in caloric density but highest in nutrient density. And whenever your diet is nutrient deficient, you’re going to over, over eat on calories looking for nutrients. But you’re looking for them in all the wrong places. Some vegetables are actually considered fruits botanically. So things like zucchini, eggplant, tomato, bell pepper, okra, and cucumber. These are botanically fruits. But we classify them as non-starchy vegetables. There are about 67 calories per pound. For the same amount of calories in one tablespoon of olive oil, you could eat two pounds of zucchini. That’s a lot of food. You can air fry it and make it taste as delicious as you want.

But when people really understand calorie density, most people opt in. Because who wants to eat gimbal sized portions of food and be chained to having to weigh and measure their food for the rest of their life? So vegetables are incredible because they fill you up on so few calories. It’s almost as if you burn more calories in chewing and digesting of the vegetables than even in the vegetables.

And I think you might have interviewed Dr. Alan Goldhamer. He’s one of my mentors. Well, one of the things he said to me is, “Show me an overweight person. And I’ll show you someone who is unwilling to eat enough raw salad and steamed vegetables.” That really is one of the greatest secrets to weight loss and weight maintenance and good health is to eat more vegetables. And people are like, “I could never eat two pounds.” “Really?” Because they don’t have a problem eating a two pound box See’s Candy. It’s not that much two pounds of vegetables. And that’s true, if you were trying to eat two pounds of raw kale, that would be a lot. But if you cook your vegetables, if you steam them, it reduces the volume.

Honestly when I make my balsamic Dijon glazed Brussels sprouts from a pound of Brussels sprouts, it’s like two handfuls of food. It’s not that much food. And because you’ve got the fiber and the water intact, it’s going to be filling. And I don’t want people to just eat vegetables because that wouldn’t be enough calories. They need the starch. The complex carbohydrates that we talked about at the beginning of the show that people are afraid of, the potatoes and sweet potatoes and winter squashes and rice and beans to feel full. But I mean that is really the secret. Every meal you eat, even breakfast, make sure that half of your plate is non-starchy vegetables. You do that your health will soar, your weight will decrease if you need to lose weight, your skin will glow.

Like I’m almost 60. And if people watch my YouTube channel, there’s some episodes where I’ve got a lot of makeup on because I play around with makeup. Actually, since I live in the desert, I don’t wear it anymore because it’s just too hot and it will just melt off your face. But I enjoyed in the past wearing makeup. So you’ll see some [inaudible 00:31:46] wears a lot of makeup. But really, most of them now, nothing. No makeup. And people say, “Oh my god, your skin glows.” Well, it’s the vegetables. It’s the fruit and vegetables, the antioxidants. Most Americans are on an antioxidant poor diet. They look for these health creams or these potions to put on their skin with antioxidants. You’ve got to take them internally by eating lots of fruits and vegetables. That really – it seems so simple but yet so few people do it.



[00:32:17] Ashley James: I love that you bring up this idea of antioxidants. Actually, that’s something that Eric Thornton, who I told you about has been on the show several times. He says, “You know, humans don’t make their own antioxidants like vitamin C.” And we do make glutathione. It’s very hard for the body to make glutathione. There’s a lot of cool factors. It’s very expensive – I should say – for the body to make glutathione. So that’s our own antioxidant. But our body doesn’t produce vitamin C. For example, cats, and dogs, and goats, and wolves, they make their own vitamin C. So animals that are designed to eat other animals and don’t eat plants need to make vitamin C because they’re not going to eat it.

And that’s another argument for why we’re supposed to be plant based. We need to eat the vitamin C. We need to take in the antioxidants from the plants. Because our bodies don’t produce it. So we need to bring it in as much as possible because we’re not going to get it. So like these animals that don’t produce it, get it from their food, get it from the plants. So plant eaters don’t produce the vitamin C. I’m sure a zoologist could correct me if there are any animals that are an exception. But my understanding is that animals that do produce vitamin C almost exclusively eat meat. And animals that don’t produce vitamin C and other antioxidants, don’t do so because they were designed to get it from plants.



[00:33:51] Chef AJ: It doesn’t make sense what you’re saying. There’s really nothing you can’t get from a plant based diet that you can get in a better and more utilizable form in an animal based diet. There’s only one exception, vitamin B12. And it’s not because animals contain vitamin B12. It’s because they eat the dirt. Which we have very good hygienic practices now and the soil is depleted. That’s where the vitamin B12 is. People they go, “You need the cow to get the B12.” The cow got it from eating the grass because the dirt is where the B12 was. So that’s really the only thing that people have – if they have to worry – worry about. And the truth is, there are just as many carnivores that are B12 deficient as being. So it’s not even really something to worry about.



[00:34:34] Ashley James: Right. You’re saying that people, regardless of what diet they’re on, whether they eat meat or not, there’s a percentage of the population they’re B12 deficient because they don’t get enough of that bacteria, basically. So that’s a good supplement to be on. It’s a really good bioavailable form of B12. Unless, we’re going out in our own garden and picking stuff out of the ground and eating it while the bacteria is still on it. There was a study done on vegans in India versus the same heritage of people eating the same diet in the UK. And they found that those in India were not vitamin B12 deficient and they were vegan. But it was the bacteria that they were getting from the food versus the very sterilized food that they were eating in the UK. And so they were showing that it’s more about the bacteria. And maybe if you’re eating food that’s right out of the ground, really fresh, not sterilized, that you are less likely to be B12 deficient. So it’s nothing to do with meat consumption necessarily. I like that you pointed that out.

I started steaming a pound of vegetables for breakfast almost every morning or trying to get it in  as early as possible. But I found that when I do that, my energy goes through the roof. I feel so good. My family has been able to quit caffeine and not even feel a blip. Not even feel caffeine deprived. Some people go, “I could never do a day without.” If I get a pound of vegetables in, in the morning, that’s like my cup of coffee now.



[00:36:09] Chef AJ: Yeah. Absolutely. And do you drink the liquid? Because that’s called pot liquor, Ashley. And I love the liquid from the steamed greens. That’s like a turbocharged drink. You don’t need caffeine when you have green, seriously.



[00:36:21] Ashley James: That is so funny you mentioned that. So my grandmother was born in 1912 in Toronto. And she was about to die of type 1 diabetes. When insulin was invented and first used in Toronto on the children there, she was one of the first ever to receive insulin. And she lived to be 77 years old. Would have kept living but it was very hard to manage them back in the 80s. It was in 1987. A harder back then to manage type 1 diabetes and so she fell into a coma. And we didn’t catch her in time because she was still living on her own in her own condo. She taught me as a child to steam vegetables and then let the water cool and drink the water. And that was one of the things she did every day and was one of her secrets to her health. So I love that you brought that up.



[00:37:04] Chef AJ: Absolutely. And it’s delicious and it tastes different every day depending on what vegetables you use. If you use something like butternut squash, for example, it’s going to be really sweet. But I love pot liquor, it’s the best. I didn’t know it was called that, actually, until I spoke in New Orleans. I just thought it was broth but it’s really good.



[00:37:22] Ashley James: So are there actually nutrients? Is there, like, a noticeable amount of nutrients in the water? Or is it just hydrate with flavorful steamed water?



[00:37:32] Chef AJ: Yeah. I’m sure that there’s nutrients. They say something like 30% of the vitamins and minerals of vegetables are lost during cooking. But if you’re steaming them and if you drink the water, you’re not missing out on any of them.



[00:37:46] Ashley James: How many minutes do you steam your vegetables for?



[00:37:51] Chef AJ: So it just depends if I’m doing it on the stove or in the pressure cooker. So if I’m doing it in the pressure cooker, my Instant Pot, and they’re not cut up small, the greens, I might do as much as five minutes. But if it’s a vegetable like zucchini or even broccoli where it’s going to turn to mush, it might be zero to one minute. On the stove, it probably takes a few more minutes. Just until the water boils.



[00:38:11] Ashley James: You’ve got some fantastic videos on YouTube. I love all your cooking videos on YouTube. You make it really accessible. I really enjoy that. What other points really stand out in your mind? Did you have any aha moments as you were doing your summit?



[00:38:27] Chef AJ: Yeah, so many. I almost wish I could have been a guest on my own summit after the summit just to summarize everything I learned. But one of the things is, there’s a movement called like Health At Every Size. And of course, we should never make fun of people, criticize them, blame them, shame them for having any kind of disability or disease. I think of being overweight or obese as a disability.

But what this doctor said that is that, that’s a myth. You really can’t have health at every size. And they explained why medically. Every disease is, you’re so much more susceptible to having these diseases, even cancer and the specific kinds of cancer when you’re overweight. And of course, the more you’re overweight, the more risk. So it’s not just about visually looking a certain way. It’s about that when you have more fat, you have more blood – I’m not going to do it just as the way these doctors explained it medically. But your risk for disease just increases exponentially with every pound. You have to take this seriously. Like 66% more likely to get type 2 diabetes and all the various cancers. Breast cancer, for example, that you’re going to be more prone to with every extra pound of body fat. And I never really looked at it that way, because as a female, you just care about being thin because that’s how you’re raised. It’s better. And you won’t get a date or to go to the prom. I didn’t get asked to my prom. I was the fat kid from age five until age 50.

I never really thought about that the health consequences long term or short term of being overweight or obese. But these doctors explained what they were. So that was really, really eye opening because people should accept themselves and love themselves at every weight. But they have to understand that a lot of people – I’ve heard people say, “Well, I’m healthy.” They have a physical or maybe there’s just no markers at that time when they’ve had their blood tested. But if you are overweight or obese, you’re not healthy. You’re certainly not as healthy as you can be. That you are a disease waiting to happen, if you will. And so I think people need to understand that from a health standpoint. And maybe they’ll take better control of their health. And of course, if people would just eat better and eat in a healthful manner, their weight would come off.

So people are approaching it backwards. They’re approaching it like, “Well, I have to go on a diet and lose weight.” But they’re not even going on a healthful diet like the one we. They’re going on something that will give them results very quickly like a keto or a paleo. Because when you don’t eat carbs, of course, you’ll lose all that water weight. But you’re not really losing fat. The way we eat, I mean, it took me 27 months to lose 50 pounds. It’s slow weight loss but it’s sustainable. And I kept it off for almost eight years now. So many people are desperate to lose weight that they’re willing to mortgage their health in the short term doing the keto type diet. So you need to look at it like diet – and again, one thing they all agreed on is if you eat or diet for health. If you eat for health, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, a whole food plant based diet, lower in fat, no processed food, no animal products, alcohol, things like that. Then when you eat in this manner for health, the weight ceases to become an issue because it really does fall off. And so people are approaching it backwards.

The other thing I learned that I wish I hadn’t learned. And if you’re female, you’re not going to like this. And I’m sorry, but it’s good to know. And this was from Dr. Rosane Oliveira, who is a geneticist at UC Davis, and Dr. Michelle McMacken, a family practice doctor in New York. They both talked about this concept called metabolic disadvantage. And we all know that most people can lose weight. And they have lost weight sometime in their life following whatever dietary style they chose at the time. But most people can’t maintain their weight loss. Something like 98% of people that ever lose weight through a great deal of suffering and deprivation, gain it all back usually within two years. And part of it, I think, is because people look at this as a diet. So they look at eating a certain way to lose weight. And then they go back to the diet that made them fat and sick and think that they’re going to maintain their weight.



[00:42:32] Ashley James: Temporarily, yeah. Eat this way temporarily and then it’ll be done.



[00:42:37] Chef AJ: Yeah. It’s sort of like an alcoholic saying, “You know what? I’m not going to drink any alcohol until I get sober. But once I’m sober, I’m going to go back to drinking alcohol.” Well, then you’re not going to be sober anymore. It’s sort of the same thing. People understand this with other substances but not so much with food. But what these doctors explained is that – and this is especially important with females because they’re generally the people that really want to lose weight – for example, if you have a woman that is five-foot-five inches tall and weighs 125 pounds, which is probably a pretty good weight for that female. And let’s say this woman has always been that weight as an adult never had weight issues. She needs a certain amount of calories every day just to maintain her 125 pound, five-foot-five inch frame.

Let’s say you have another woman that’s five-foot-five inches and weighed 175 pounds or whatever she weighed. And then she lost weight to now weigh her ideal weight of 125 pounds. Well due to this penalty, if you will, a metabolic disadvantage. And the reason Dr. Oliveira knows this is because she has a biologically identical twin sister. And they’ve done all kinds of experiments. Because the sister went on a low carb diet. And Dr. Oliveira eats a low-fat whole food plant based diet. Has never been overweight. The sister was 50 pounds overweight. And eventually lost the weight but it’s been very difficult. Compared to Rosane.

Now, is the person that lost weight needs far fewer calories to maintain your 125 pound frame than the person that was never overweight. And this is why it can be so difficult. Because while you’re overweight, you get to eat many more calories than you do once you lose weight. But if you’ve been overweight, it’s like a penalty. And you can’t eat as many calories as somebody who is your exact weight that’s never been overweight.

Now, Dr. Oliveira says in a couple of years, if you stick to the program, this often can reverse itself so that you can get more calories. But this is just completely unfair. But people need to know this. And when they know this, if they follow the way of eating I recommend – losing weight with a full plate in accordance with the principles of calorie density – they can still eat large volumes of food. Maybe even more food than they ate before. And still maintain that weight loss without going hungry. But they need to know that they can’t go back to eating the way they were eating before they lost weight.



[00:44:51] Ashley James: That’s one thing when I first went this way of eating. I was hungry all the time. And my first thought – and I think I even asked you in our interview or I think asked you may be outside the interview – I can’t remember – but I remember going, “Am I protein deficient?” Because again, I was a newbie. I was eating lots of vegetables and lots of legumes and beans and nuts and seeds and all that. But no meat. And I was hungry 45 minutes after or an hour after eating a meal. And I couldn’t figure out why. And I think you were the one that told me you’re not eating enough. And I was like, “Oh.” Because my plate would be – I’d fill my stomach up. And it would only be like 200 or 300 calories because it’s a potato and some beans and some broccoli. And it was delicious. And maybe put some homemade salsa on it or something. Again, very low calorie, very high dense nutrition wise, lots of fantastic vitamins and minerals, and really great nutrients for the body. But then an hour later, I was hungry. And so I’m thinking, “Is it because my body is missing something? And it’s like, “No. silly. I just didn’t eat enough food. I just need to eat more.”

So that’s one thing that happens when people transition into this is that they’re hungrier because they think they just eat a potato and some beans and some spinach. And that’s only like 300 or 400 calories. It’s not what they’re used to. They’re used to like 1,200 calories a meal, right?



[00:46:25] Chef AJ: Right. Absolutely. And that’s why it’s really important, in my opinion, to understand calorie density so that you know you have to eat more to weigh less. You have to. Because if you apply the same thinking to your previous dietary failures to this way of eating, you will starve. Because like you say, vegetables are 100 calories a pound, fruit 200 to 300 calories a pound, sweet potatoes, potatoes 400 calories a pound. We need to eat. However, many calories we eat, we need to eat several pounds of food a day in order to feel full.

Dr. Barbara Rolls at Penn State University who studies human eating behavior in her laboratory. The author of the book, Volume Metrics, that you had mentioned previously. She discovered that we all eat about three to five pounds of food a day. Now, an Olympic athlete, is going to eat more than a four- foot-ten, 90 year old woman. Of course, not everybody eats the same amount of food. But most of us consistently eat between three to five pounds of food per day. We need to eat that much food in order to feel full. And so when you change the caloric density of your food, if you are eating most of your calories from animal products and processed food, which are of very high caloric density -what I call to the right of the red line – you wouldn’t need as much food. But now, if you’re lowering the caloric density to 600 calories per pound or less – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes – you’re going to need to eat a greater volume of food in order to feel full. And this is a mistake people make.

Another mistake they make is they shun the starch. The starch meaning the whole grains, the legumes, the potatoes, and winter squashes. People are still afraid of starch. So they’ll give up the animal products and the oils and the processed food and the alcohol. And they’ll just eat fruits and vegetables, which is very healthy. But it’s a mistake. Because without starch, you won’t have that satiety. That feeling of fullness that tells us to stop eating. No starch, no satiety. Starch is to the hunger drive, what oxygen is to breathing. And that is what’s going to make you satisfied.

The fruits and vegetables they fill – think about like you have a box. And if you just filled it with packing peanuts, there’s still be lots of space in the box. And you need to fill the whole box. And your stomach is like that box. So you can you can fill it with the packing peanuts, with the fruits and vegetables. But there’s still a lot of space left over. You need to have the starch. So the starch is going to make you feel satisfied. But the fruits and vegetables are going to make you feel full. So that’s why you want to eat half your plate vegetables, then the other half mostly starch with maybe some fruit. You’ll feel full. You’ll feel satisfied. If you have a lifestyle related disease like heart disease or type 2 diabetes, most people will be able to reverse it. And many people will be able to prevent it by eating the way that our ancestors ate.



[00:49:11] Ashley James: I like that you brought up type 2 diabetes. I used to have type 2 diabetes. And I reversed it by shifting my lifestyle and my diet. Originally, when I shifted it, I went low carb. It felt like a long uphill battle with constantly checking my blood sugar. It took a long time to get to a point where I didn’t have diabetes anymore. I noticed I could easily recreate blood sugar imbalance. Going on this diet, I kept hearing all the experts that I’ve interviewed say you can absolutely reverse type 2 diabetes 100%. You can even get type 1 Diabetes to be more efficient. Some people have reported getting on 75% less insulin needed after eating this way. And yet it’s the most carbs they’ve ever eaten in their life.

So I was tracking what I was eating and it was over 200 grams of carbohydrates a day eating this way. And this little voice in my head is thinking, “You’re crazy. You’re going to give yourself diabetes.” And of course, most of my brain went, “No. Just listen. Just wait. Wait and see. You’re going to be impressed.” The little critic in my head. And sure enough, like a month after eating this way, I took my blood sugar two hours after a meal and burst into tears. I’d never seen healthier blood sugar in my life eating this way. My blood work I just got back from the doctor – and I haven’t been diabetic for years. But it’s always monitoring it. And my blood work is- my insulin is super healthy. A1C is, like, 4.7. And I’m eating more carbohydrates than I ever have in my life. They’re just the right kind.

And so for those diabetics that are listening who are afraid to eat a banana or afraid to eat a potato, why is it that when we cut out the meat and the fat from – the processed fat, like the oil, and we eat a whole food plant based, why is it that bounces blood sugar? Everyone’s blaming the sugar.



[00:51:12] Chef AJ: Right. And when the problem is fat. And you know who can answer that question for you beautifully other than Dr. Neal Barnard, is Robby and Cyrus. They have a program called Mastering Diabetes. They are both type 1 diabetics. And they actually have a podcast too. They make great guests individually or together for you. Because they can totally explain why a high carb, low fat diet works beautifully for health, for reversing, and living with diabetes for the people that are type 1. And also just for preventing other common diseases of lifestyle and reversing them like obesity and heart disease.



[00:51:47] Ashley James: Yeah. I had one of them on my show. That’s what convinced me. Because they have type 1 and type 2 diabetes. They eat nothing but bananas for the first three days just to kind of reset themselves. And people are freaking out. But then they’re like, “Wow. My blood sugar is coming back into balance. I can’t believe it.” So that’s what had me kind of go, “Wow. This is really real.” And there’s something about fat that clogs up the cells. It seemed totally – I mean, we’re myth busting. But it’s going against the mainstream narrative. The mainstream narrative is diabetics need to cut back. You know, basically diabetics should go on keto is what the mainstream narrative is going towards. And yet, that’s going to create further problems with insulin resistance down the road.



[00:52:31] Chef AJ: Absolutely. And the thing is it works. I mean, they get better numbers. But then they’re creating heart disease for themselves.



[00:52:39] Ashley James: It only works as long as they’re in ketosis. But then the second they eat even an apple, they’re having problems because it’s actually the fat that’s creating more and more insulin resistance. And it’s the wrong kind of fat. If you eat a handful of walnuts, it’s not going to do it. It’s the processed oils and the meat and the dairy. It’s just amazing looking at the science of food and how we can heal the body. It’s really exciting.

And of course, these diseases that are coming back into balance, people even in your Facebook Group are sharing, “You know, I used to have this and now I don’t have it.” What kind of amazing lifestyle diseases have you seen reversed, eating this way?



[00:53:19] Chef AJ: Oh my gosh. So many. Just this week when I spoke at a conference, a lady came up to me and she is on the donor list for a kidney. And because of eating this way, it just keeps getting delayed. So I don’t know if she’s still going to need that kidney or not. But the point is, is that she’s not in dire kidney failure anymore. She just keeps getting better. And they’re like, “Oh. We don’t necessarily have to do this now.” I had somebody come up to me once and said, “You know, I didn’t even buy your book. I just watched your YouTube show. And I reversed stage four kidney failure.” I mean, that’s unbelievable, right?

I mean, usually by then they’re getting ready for dialysis. So it’s unbelievable what it will do if people will just give it a chance. I mean, heart disease is the one you hear all the time, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, high blood pressure. That, you hear all the time because we know that from Dr. Esselstyn [inaudible 00:54:14] prevent reverse heart disease if  people eat this way. Those things are pretty much guaranteed to improve. But as you said, type 2 diabetes. Type 1, no. I’ve never seen anybody completely reverse it. Like you say, they have lowered their need for insulin dramatically and gained health in other ways. Cancer, I can’t say anybody said. Who knows what they’re preventing with this. But I have never seen anybody just reverse their cancer eating this way. But I’ve seen them improve their health. So that when they have to go through the procedures that they often get with chemotherapy or radiation, their health just improves while they’re doing it

I would never say, “Eat this way, you won’t get cancer. You reverse it.” No. But I think you will just greatly improve your health on so many levels that when you’re dealing with any kind of disease, it’s going to be so much easier. Well, of course, obesity. I mean, people have been – as you know, being in the ultimate weight loss group, people have reversed that. We’ve had people lose 300 pounds. That was the most spectacular one. But it’s very common for people to lose 50 and 100. And keep it off. Well, that’s the most important part.



[00:55:27] Ashley James: Yeah. But also, I love that the culture of your group encourages people to share the non-scale achievements. The successes that have nothing to do with getting on scale because we can kind of sabotage ourselves by jumping on a scale every day. And so people are sharing like, “I’ve never been able to run around my grandchildren. And I just spent the entire day running around with them.” Or, “I’ve never been able to go hiking with my dogs and now I can.”  Or, “I’m fitting into clothing I have been able to fit into since college.” And they’re sharing these emotional breakthroughs that they’re having incredible energy and vitality. And they’re feeling free of the constraints of this disease that is in part created by, obviously, the food choices but also the hyper palatable foods that contribute to triggering overeating. So some people actually have an addiction, addictive personalities, or they’re looking to food in a way like we would look to drugs or alcohol.

But other people don’t necessarily have an emotional eating issue. But food is like a drug. And that hyper palatable food is designed to trigger the brain to want to eat more and more and more of it. It’s like cleansing the palate when we eat the way you teach us to eat. It cleanses the palate and calms the mind. So now the mind is not being hijacked by food anymore.



[00:56:55] Chef AJ: Absolutely. We call them non-scale victories, NSV, which is also an acronym for non-starchy vegetables. But yeah, you’re right. Those are so much more meaningful especially that they’re more meaningful than losing the weight. But they’re more immediate in a lot of ways. Because people don’t realize that you don’t lose weight overnight. If you’re a female, you lose about two ounces of fat a day. And that’s why weighing yourself is one of the worst things you can do while you’re losing weight, especially if you weigh yourself every day. Maybe every month. But you can have other things like improvement in your markers, like blood pressure, and all the numbers, like cholesterol and triglycerides, and things like that. Or getting on the floor and playing with your grandchildren. I mean, to me, that’s the reason to do it.



[00:57:40] Ashley James: Uh-huh. Absolutely. Any other keys that stick out in your mind that really were big aha moments when you were doing your interviews for your summit?



[00:57:51] Chef AJ: Yeah. It’s funny because one of the things Dr. Allen Goldhamer, who I mentioned previously, as my mentor, he has this funny thing where he says, “You know, I assess a person’s intelligence by how much they agree with me.” And I actually spoke very little in the summit. I had about four questions that I asked each guests for the one hour interview. But it was really mostly about the guests. And I was kind of just there to run tech. But I had about four questions that I asked everyone.

And what was interesting is that there was something that I had been teaching since day one, when I started coaching people and running the ultimate weight loss program, first in person and then online, was the importance of your environment when you are trying to lose weight or recover from an addiction or just improve your health or lifestyle in any way. And people would always get upset with me. I’m not a doctor. And they would just like, “Well, I can it’s too hard. I live -” all these excuses. Every single person on the summit said how critical the environment was. From Dr. Doug Lisle, who said, we must work harder on the environment than we do ourselves. From Fitness Guru John Pierre, we must sanitize our environment. There was one saying about they have the saying AA – not LA – but maybe in LA at the AA, whereas, if you hang around a barbershop long enough, it’s just a matter of time until you get a haircut.

I’ve been saying to people for years that, if it’s in your house, it’s in your mouth. And it’s not a question of if you will eat it only when. But then when we have the co-author of The China Study, Dr. Tom Campbell saying, if you have temptation anywhere in your environment, you will fail. People actually listen because he’s a doctor. So the environment is critical towards your recovery from an addiction of any kind, towards your success for weight loss. We’re not designed to eat these foods. And we’re genetically hardwired to always consume the most concentrated source of calories in our environment. And if it’s in your house, you’re going to eat it. And you might be able to use willpower in the short term. But eventually, you’re going to have a bad day and you’re going to be hungry and there’s going to be sometime in the future or even if it’s not your favorite flavor junk food or whatever, you’re going to eat it. It never fails. And that’s why for an in person client, I will not work with them unless they completely sanitize their environment and I actually see it. But it’s going to be really hard if you’re not willing to clean your environment.

A lot of people say, “Well, my husband and kids won’t eat this way.” That’s fine. They can eat however they want out of your house. But you can’t have junk food in your environment if you want to recover. If you’re an alcoholic, you can’t have alcohol for company. You just can’t. And you got to know it’s the same thing with these high fat, high calorie, hyperpalatable foods. So it was really reassuring to hear that I’ve been on the right track for the last 20 years explaining to people the importance of cleaning their environment if they want to affect permanent dietary and lifestyle change. So that was great to have that reinforced.

And then the other thing that I also teach after the environment is clean is, you’ve got to have some kind of preparation. You can’t just clean the environment of all the crap and then just have no food in your house. You’ll be like Mother Hubbard with a bare cupboard. You have to have the healthy food there so that that is the default. People say, “Oh, my kids are such picky eaters.” Your kids aren’t picky. They’re just not hungry. And as long as junk food is a choice, instead of cut up vegetables with hummus and guacamole or fresh fruit, they’re always going to pick the junk food. They’re never going to pick the healthy food. But if all you see when you open your refrigerator are beautiful glass jars of cut up fruits and vegetables and cooked sweet potatoes, you will eat them, your family will eat them. So now we got to figure out how to get that food in your house. Preparation always tramps motivation. So if you’re angry, tired, lonely, bored, but that’s all that’s in your house is whole natural food. Guess what? You’re going to eat it. So how do we get the food in there?

Well, a lot of people don’t even know how to cook. Believe it or not. I had a client recently with a 44 year old woman. She didn’t even know how to microwave a potato. I’m not kidding you. People eat fast food as their primary source of food these days. So we either have to teach you how to cook. And there’s plenty of programs, mine, there’s other programs, you can take cooking classes online or in person. So we need to teach you some kitchen essentials, like how to use an instant pot, maybe an air fryer. So we either got to teach you how to cook or we got to get the food in there some other way. Like, maybe using one of these whole food delivery services where you can get the food delivered to you, either dehydrated or refrigerated, so that the food is there. Or you got to get somebody else to do it. And it’s not as expensive as you think. So it’s like you need the environment clean but you need the preparation to have the good stuff in the environment. And these sort of go hand in hand.

And then I would say, the third leg of – I don’t know how many legs does a stool have, three or four? Well, the third the third leg of the triangle – I’m not sure – I think about it as sort of a three-fold process. You clean the environment of the bad stuff. You learn how to get good stuff in the environment on an ongoing basis. And you find a community to support yourself. Many of the experts said that that was really important. Because no man is an island. And when you’re asking somebody to do something that goes against the norm, that’s completely different, then possibly they’re friends and family. See, it’s great that your family did this as a unit. But not every family will be cooperative. You need to find like-minded people. That’s why we have the Ultimate Weight Loss Facebook Group. I have now one called Feel Fabulous Over 40. But you don’t have to be over 40. You don’t even have to be a female to be in there. Where we provide ongoing education and support so that people don’t feel so alone. And the education is so important, Ashley. Especially when you have all this misinformation out there about keto and paleo and even doctors telling you to do this. If people don’t have some rudimentary answers to give people and they say, “Well, why are you eating vegetables? ” They need some kind of education and support system so that they don’t feel alone. And when you’re with like-minded people and you’re raised up and supported by people that are on the same path as you, that’s really a wonderful thing.



[01:03:58] Ashley James: I love it. I love that you said preparation tramps motivation. I feel like I’ve had to learn all this the hard way. Even though I’ve heard it along the way, I feel like I still am one of those people that I just have to do it the hard way. And if there is anything in the house that is a temptation – you’re right – if it’s like I’m tired, it’s dinnertime. I’m going to go for the easiest possible, like, the frozen pizza, right? The easiest possible solution. I’m not going to go for the, “Oh, it’s going to take me a-half-an-hour to cook this. No. I’m going to go for the what can I throw in the oven.” Because when we’re hungry, it’s like all of our goals go out the window.



[01:04:36] Chef AJ: Yes. Also, willpower, which you can use for a short period of time. Will power gets depleted easily, especially if you’re tired, especially if you have to make a decision. But you never have to decide to not eat something that isn’t there in the first place.



[01:04:53] Ashley James: Exactly. What I do is I go to Costco when they have it. They don’t always have it. But they have a right now at my Costco, at least. And it’s a giant bag of sweet potatoes. There’s probably about ten of them in there. One bag lasts us about three days, I’d say. We also had a farm close by, U-Pick Farm. So we did this all summer long. And it was all organic. And they had two kinds of potatoes. And I would fill up buckets, like giant, giant bins of potatoes. Having a ton of them in the house. And then I bake a bunch. Like I get a huge thing that fills the oven and I bake six to eight big sweet potatoes at a time, 375 or 400 degrees for 90 minutes. I just let them go. And then I peel them. And I have them in the fridge and they’re ready to go cold. Cold as a snack. I’ll have potato is a snack, like, in between interviews.

I heard this summer that sweet potatoes gives you energy for nine hours. It take nine hours for the body to digest and absorb all the nutrients from it. So it’s kind of like this slow drip of nine hours of energy from sweet potatoes. My son who’s four and a half love sweet potatoes. And I think, like just last night for dinner, that’s all he ate was a sweet potatoes for dinner. And then we’ll add it to salads cold or we’ll heat it up and make a mash or we’ll make a stew out of it. It’s a great base for a stew. But just basically having a ton of cooked potatoes and cooked sweet potatoes already in the fridge is great. And then I usually have a few pounds of cooked vegetables or steamed or sautéed or baked – and sautéed with no oil, it’s with water – in the fridge just ready to go. And so if I’m really hungry – and I love you’re saying, “If you’re not hungry enough to eat vegetables, you’re not hungry” because that’s become my mantra. I open the fridge and I fill my plate.

And there’s that voice that goes, “This isn’t going to be fun. Where’s the fun food?” But the second you start eating it, that voice goes away because the food is delicious. I just have to acknowledge that that there’s that voice that wants to cover it with cheese or ranch dressing or something completely gross and unhealthy but that it’s hyperpalatable. So there’s that little voice in my head that still goes, “This isn’t yummy. Where’s the yummy food? Give me the bad food.” And I just have to tell it to take a hike. And the second that sweet potato or homemade salsa on  some kind of vegetable hits my lips, that voice goes away because the food’s delicious. And it’s very satisfying. So eating foods that are whole food, meaning you know exactly what you’re putting in your body, you know all the ingredients. And then it’s just something amazing happens where my energy, I feel like I’m buzzing. My body just feels like I’m burning clean fuel. Do You know what I mean? It feels so good.



[01:07:52] Chef AJ: Absolutely. I could live on sweet potatoes and I practically do. And what’s great about Costco is they’re actually organic.



[01:08:00] Ashley James: Oh, yes. I only buy organic as much as possible, as often as possible. And then Whole Foods has lowered their prices since Amazon bought Whole Foods. And so a lot of people who have avoided Whole Foods because of pricing, go back. Go back to Whole Foods. They do have more affordable organic vegetables now. So we do that and we buy in bulk. If you have a large family, there’s ways to get organic for cheap. You can talk to the grocer. And often you can order in bulk, like by the case. And that saves a lot of money. So there’s fun tricks.

And then the thing that has really fallen into place for me has been staying on program when I’m leaving the house. Because that’s where it’s like I can clean my environment. I can control my environment in my house. But I can’t control the chaotic world outside. And so I think I’m only leaving the house for one errand and then one leads to another leads to another and now I’m out for the whole day and I’m really hungry. And that’s where it’s like, “Good luck finding really healthy food.” And so I love that you have a technique where you pack food with you wherever you go. Can you share a bit about that?



[01:09:07] Chef AJ: Yeah. I actually [inaudible 01:09:09] free webinars. It’s on my YouTube page, How To Eat Healthfully Anywhere. And it’s true. The world is not set up to support us in healthy eating. Your environment is everywhere you go. So you could have a perfectly clean environment at home with delicious food. But you go out and eating unhealthful food, junk food is socially acceptable, readily available, easily affordable. It’s everywhere. You go to the hardware store, you go to the pet store, there’s m&m’s at the counter. Even though dogs aren’t supposed to eat m&m’s. A cooler, I have actually – because I’m female and I don’t mind having a purse. I mean, the gentleman may not want to have a lady’s purse. But if you’re lady that already carries a purse, they make so many beautiful cooler purses. I’ve gotten some from Tupperware. I’ve gotten some on Amazon, Bed, Bath and Beyond. I think my favorite are in my Amazon store. But these look exactly like stylish women’s purses but their coolers. And you can have an ice chip in there so that you can sneak them into the movies or wherever you go. And I always make sure – and it’s not just about fruits or vegetables, but you got to have that [inaudible 01:10:15]. We call it pimping it, P-I-M-P, you know, Potato In My Purse. Always have a cooked potato or sweet potato with you. So that is so, so important to do that.

The one day you don’t take the food is the one day you’re not going to be back in an hour. “I’m just going to stroll. I’ll be back in an hour.” And that’s the day that you’re going to get a flat tire. It’s going to be like six hours. So while it’s true that hunger is not an emergency. And I like to teach my people that they can go several hours without food. That you always have it with you. I generally don’t like people to eat dried snacks, dehydrated stuff. They’re not as good for weight loss because the water has been [inaudible 01:10:56]. But there’s certain things that you can get without oil, sugar, or salt, like a [inaudible 01:11:00] or sprouts. It’s just carrots but they’re dried, right? Or just beats. And having those, you won’t need a cooler for those. But those might be some good things to have in your glove apartment or with you if you really feel like you’re going to be starving. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to get a healthy meal at a restaurant that’s completely oil free or salt free. It depends how much you want to reach your goals and why you’re doing this, how strict you want to be. But in general, any food you bring is going to be less expensive. It’s going to be more bountiful. It’s going to be more delicious than anything you can get on the outside.

And I’ve traveled everywhere from Canada to Mexico multiple times, across the United States almost every week for many years and I’ve never had a problem. I bring my instant pot with me on the plane. I have the three quart instant pot and I can cook in my room. I have one of these little microwave steamers from Tupperware and Pampered Chef that if I don’t want to bring my Instant Pot, I can easily cook vegetables. Because most hotels now have microwaves. And if they don’t, there’s usually one in the lobby that you can use. But you really have to learn how to have healthful food with you.



[01:12:07] Ashley James: I love it. Oh, yes. It’s made such a difference that concept. I make food in bulk. So I cook once, eat four times. They say cook once, eat twice. I like to cook once, eat for a whole week. So I fill the oven with potatoes, for example. Or when I steamed vegetables, I’m steaming close to four pounds of vegetables because I have those bamboo steamers. You stack the bamboo and it’s so great. You can get them in Asian markets you can get them on Amazon. But these bamboo steamers are phenomenal. And that you can stack them. So you could do, like, three layers, three stacks or four stacks and you steam a ton of vegetables. Super delicious.


I have food already cooked in the fridge like the beans, and legumes, and the brown rice, and potatoes, and the vegetables. And then if we’re going somewhere, I’m just filling up some glass, whatever Tupperware and throwing it in the cooler. That was, for me the biggest trick. That was, like, the last thing to kind of make everything fall into place. Because if I were to eat out at a restaurant and go eat, even if it’s vegan food, it’s still covered in oil and just filled with salt and sugar and all kinds of stuff. I would feel kind of crappy for a few days after eating that. But then the cravings come back. And then it’s like a mental mind mess for a few days. Because then I’m like, fighting those little voice in my head saying, “Oh, you deserve this.” Or, “You should have this. You feel so deprived.” And then it becomes more of a mental emotional fight.



[01:13:40] Chef AJ: It’s so hard. The first bite is the only bite than anybody can refuse. And I just think it’s so much easier to stay on track, at least for me, than to constantly trying to have to get back on track.



[01:13:56] Ashley James: So seeing how you do it has really helped. And you talked about taking it into the movie theaters. My friend Naomi, who’s a listener – so she’s listening. Hi, Naomi. Her and my husband and I went to see the premiere of the Game Changers last month. And she brought in her cooler purse, she baked and seasoned chickpeas just like popcorn. So we just popped these wonderfully seasoned chickpeas into our mouth. And then, I think, she had hummus and dip. And then she had baked some kind of zucchini cookies that were – she did some fantastic thing with vegetables and made them into these cookie looking things. And so we just – it was like I didn’t feel deprived at all. I didn’t want that oily salty popcorn. Actually no one in the theater was eating bad food. It was kind of funny because they were all on board already. But yeah, we were sitting there just feeling really satisfied bringing our healthy food into the movie theater.

I love that. I love the ability to feel prepared. And it actually gives me a lot of – it gives me a sense of wellbeing to feel prepared no matter what. It feels so good eating this way that I want to stay on this path. It’s obviously working because my Naturopath says that my blood work keeps getting better and better and better every few months that I get it taken. So I’m not deprived at all. I just love it. I love it.

It’s kind of like the skeptic wants to ask this question, the skeptic amigos. Has anyone ever gotten unhealthy eating this way? Has anyone ever gone like, “Man, you know, my doctor put me back on steak because this wasn’t working for me.”



[01:15:39] Chef AJ: Well, I mean, I haven’t had a client that has happened to that really has followed the program the way it was laid out. But there are people that do their own variations with their own additions of food that don’t necessarily thrive or lose weight the same way. What I’ve seen though when people have been told to go back to meet by the doctors, it’s often the unhealthy vegans that are not following the health promoting diet. That are just vegans for ethical reasons, which is great, because I am as well. But they eat a junk food diet and they get some kind of a disease. And their doctor says, “Oh, well. It’s because you didn’t eat meat.” And I’d have seen people go back to eating meat because it’ll help. But not when following a whole food unprocessed plant based diet with enough calories from delicious fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.



[01:16:28] Ashley James: Yeah, that’s right. I think a lot of people will learn a diet like you learn your lifestyle. And then start to make little alterations. Like start to add in alcohol or the sweets or the oil once in a while. They’re not going to give up the dairy in their coffee or something. They sort of negate those little things and then they start altering it more and more and more and making their own version of it. I’ve seen that happen in many other types of diets.



[01:17:00] Chef AJ: And you know, that’s fine. But then they complain that the program didn’t work. And that’s because they weren’t doing the program. It’s like people being vegan for over 42 years and people say, “Oh, I’m vegetarian. I eat chicken and fish occasionally.” Well, you’re not vegetarian. It’s like, “I’m faithful to my wife except when I go on business trips.” This is where the concepts of abstinence comes in. But people don’t like abstinence. It’s hard. It’s not sexy. And it’s not something most people look forward to doing. But I will tell you that complete abstinence is a lot easier than perfect moderation. And that is a direct quote from St. Augustine.



[01:17:38] Ashley James: Wow. I like it. It’s awesome. Yeah. So you have so many programs that I want to make sure that my listeners know about all your programs. So you have the website, or



[01:17:58] Chef AJ: Right. They’re both the same website. Absolutely.



[01:18:01] Ashley James: Okay. So either. I’ll make sure the links to everything you do is in the show notes of today’s podcast at Now, you have your ultimate weight loss program, which that’s the one I keep referring to this Facebook Group. And that’s part of the – the Facebook Group is part of that. But just let listeners know what is the Ultimate Weight Loss Program.



[01:18:23] Chef AJ: So what that is – just so they know so that I don’t want them to think that I’m there every second answering questions. I’m actually not in that group except for twice a month where I do a live q&a based on their questions to all the members, myself, and John Pierre. This is a pure supported group for people that are following the program. But what they get when they join is lots of audios and videos.

And just to explain what the program is, this was created before my book came out. So it might just be easier and more cost effective if they just want to pick up like the Kindle version of my book for less than 10 bucks to understand what the program is. But if they need the support, if they want to connect with the tribe of like minded people, then this is why they might want to join the program instead of just reading the book.



[01:19:06] Ashley James: It’s worth every penny. Your Facebook Group is worth every penny. And I told my friend this I said, “You know the videos and the audios are great. They’re all great. Of course, you can get it from the book too.” But really it’s worth every penny for the Facebook Group support. I go in that Facebook Group almost every day and get so much information. And I love sharing in that group. I love getting the inspiration from others. And the support is truly a beautiful community. So I highly recommend. That Facebook Group is phenomenal. Yeah. Absolutely.



[01:19:43] Chef AJ: Thank you so much. And you know what’s nice is that people get to know each other virtually. And then when we have our annual conference, which next year is moving from Las Vegas to Palm Springs in May, they know that people already. And so it’s like a reunion or old home week or going to camp. So that’s one of the nice things about it that the people have made some really nice connections and forged so many friendships. So That’s pretty cool.

And in July, I started a membership website, which is a little bit different way of delivering content. And it’s actually quite affordable if they go in for a whole year. It’s like $12 a month. But what I do is, every single week, Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, we go live where they can ask questions. And not just of me but I have just amazing experts like Dr. Doug Lyle and Dr. Alan Goldhamer that come in and do these classes or do some success stories where we interview people that had that. So we have a weekly interaction for at least an hour. Plus, just meal planning tools. And my partner, Toby, we just built this amazing system where they could go in and search anything that I’ve ever said. Like, if they have a question and it takes it right to the video. Because I’ve done almost 500 YouTube videos now. And it’s kind of hard, like if you have a question like, “Is stevia okay?” I don’t know where it is. But if you’re in the membership area, you just put the word stevia in. And anytime I’ve ever mentioned it in my life, the video will pop up. It’s very, very cool. And there’s a way to get an accountability partner. And we do, like, videos for yoga and Zumba. So it’s kind of cool. It’s just another group for people to have a different way of delivering content. Also, not everybody likes Facebook. And so the Feel Fabulous is not Facebook dependent. There is a group for it. But we interact with the website, which is very nice.



[01:21:33] Ashley James: Nice. So that’s



[01:21:37] Chef AJ: Yeah. And if they go to slash register, they can have two weeks for free. So we wanted to do that because we don’t want somebody in there that’s going to be unhappy. So we give everybody two weeks for free. And they can see if they like it. They can print out the recipes. They can create their own customized meal plan. Find an accountability partner. I mean, the longer this goes, the more videos there are. But there’s just tons of these. Not everybody can be with you. live at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. Many people are several hundred are always there on the group videos which we do through WebinarJam. But they can watch these as often as they want. And it’s kind of a really cool website. So check it out. You might like it.



[01:22:14] Ashley James: Awesome. Very cool. I love you, Chef AJ. I love what you do.



[01:22:19] Chef AJ: Thank you.



[01:22:19] Ashley James: And you know, you look like you’re in your 40s. I know that you’re –



[01:22:24] Chef AJ: Almost 60.



[01:22:25] Ashley James: I know right? And this – if any listener is vain and just really wants to freeze their youth and hold on to their youth as long as possible, you got to eat this way. Because every person I’ve interviewed who eats this way – I feel like even if you listed a dozen people, Dr. Allen Goldhamer, Dr. Esselstyn, you, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and Dr. Joel Khan, and a handful of others, they all look 20 years younger than – and Dr. Bernard, they all look 20 years younger than they are. And they feel it. And it’s amazing that this way of eating prevents disease.

Now, some people like to say that the China study is bogus. And vegans don’t live a really long life. It’s complete baloney. That we have to eat meat in order to live a long life. Is there anything that you would like to say to that? I know you’re not a doctor.



[01:23:30] Chef AJ: No, I’m not.



[01:23:31] Ashley James: But you’ve interviewed a lot of them. You’ve worked with a lot of them. And this has been your passion to teach people how to eat in a way that helps them come back into balance, come back into health. Have you any information around that you can shed light on that –



[01:23:50] Chef AJ: Yeah. The China Study, I mean, I would refer your listeners to the book, The China Study, where they found that these people – yes, they ate about something like 10% of their calories from animal products. Not necessarily everybody’s ready to go or willing to go 100% vegan. But my goodness, to think that that’s what you’re supposed to eat and that’s where the majority of your calories are going to come from. Look at the Blue Zones by Dan Buettner. These successful populations, the longest lived people in history, and longest lived people today, it’s the Okinawans in Japan. The people on, I think, [inaudible 01:24:22] Costa Rica. There’s five locations.



[01:24:23] Ashley James: Right. [Inaudible 01:24:24], the Georgians –



[01:24:26] Chef AJ: They eat primarily – primarily – a plant based diet. We are not carnivores. Think about it, those little teeth that we have in our mouth called canine teeth, do you really think we could bite into flesh and eat it if it wasn’t killed for us and cooked by somebody else? No.



[01:24:49] Ashley James: Right. Go chase an elk.



[01:24:54] Chef AJ: I remember Harvey Diamond who wrote Fit For Life, who, fortunately, I don’t think is vegan anymore. He wrote a book once and he said, “You know, take a baby and put a carrot and a bunny next to the baby. And if the baby plays with the carrot and eats the bunny, I’ll give you a $10,000.”



[01:25:16] Ashley James: Oh, that’s so cute. I love it.



[01:25:17] Chef AJ: Is that funny?



[01:25:18] Ashley James: Yeah.



[01:25:18] Chef AJ: Dr. Michael Greger once said, “I know I’m going to die. I just don’t want it to be my fault.” And so by eating the way that we eat, you really do make yourself bulletproof against so many of these Western diseases that our ancestors never suffered from. And we get to eat a healthy long life without destroying the planet, without harming the animals, and without harming ourselves.



[01:25:43] Ashley James: Beautifully said. Do you have any homework that you’d like to give us?



[01:25:49] Chef AJ: Maybe. I have a series I do every Wednesday called Weight Loss Wednesday. I think there’s about 150 episodes now. They shouldn’t watch all of them obviously unless they want to. But there’s a couple of them where they could maybe really learn, like, what I eat in a day so they can see. I think it’s Episode 36. So that they can see how much food you really need to eat if you want to eat in accordance with the principles of calorie density. Or Episode 24, I believe it is, the vegetable edition just to see how easy it is to prepare vegetables very easily. Those are the ones I’d recommend. I have a very short YouTube Easy Meals To Make You Thin just to kind of an overview. Or if they really want to know where I came from and how I achieve success, one called From Fat Vegan to Skinny Bitch.

I guess my homework would be just to try this for three weeks. There’s a holiday called Lent, where for 42 days people do incredibly difficult things like giving up things they love, like coffee or alcohol. Why not try this for three weeks? Just do an experiment. See how you feel. You can always go back.



[01:26:54] Ashley James: Brilliant. I love it. Thank you so much, Chef AJ for coming on.



[01:27:00] Chef AJ: My pleasure.



[01:27:01] Ashley James: You’re welcome back any time. I love what you do. And I’m so inspired by the work that you do. And I know that my listeners, especially the ones that take you up on your challenge, will also love it. I highly recommend reading your book on processed. And Episode 230 of my podcast is the one I did with Dr. Alan Goldhamer. And that’s when I first learned about his book with Dr. Lyle.



[01:27:29] Chef AJ: The pleasure trap.



[01:27:31] Ashley James: Yes. Where I learned about the book, The Pleasure Trap, you were the narrator.



[01:27:34] Chef AJ: Yeah. That was fun.



[01:27:36 ] Ashley James: That was great. I love it. Because I’m really so busy, sometimes I just can’t sit down and read a book. But man, I can definitely listen to one while driving. And what’s extra great is my husband gets to listen with me because we do a lot of driving together. And we both work from home. So when we leave the house, it’s like our quality time together. So we’ll go drive, you know, we’ll be together. Yeah, listening to you it was very pleasurable to listen to The Pleasure Trap. That’s a fantastic book to start with because it’s talking our history, or genealogy, or what we were designed to do. Which you’d mentioned is, we’re designed to seek out the most calorically dense foods possible. And that was fine 200 years ago when there wasn’t really highly, highly processed foods. And flour wasn’t in abundance. And sugar was definitely not an abundance. And so we still wouldn’t eat very unhealthy 200 years ago because we didn’t have access to this incredibly calorically dense food. And even meat wasn’t a daily staple for most people. They couldn’t afford it. Most people that ate meat, it would be something on the farm, right? So if you had to kill a chicken and pluck it and all that stuff, that’s pretty tiresome. That’s something that maybe they would do once a week or that was something like they do on Sunday or on Friday. That wasn’t a daily thing. And now, we’re sort of marketed, too, to expect to eat meat three times a day and have it basically be. And every meal has to include it. And so it’s been all marketed to us, our belief system. That’s why I love the movie, the one that’s about to be on Netflix really soon.



[01:29:28] Chef AJ: It’s on now. Are you talking about Game Changers? Because Game Changers is on Netflix and Amazon Prime at least right now.



[01:29:34] Ashley James: Is it on right now? Okay.  It’s on Netflix right now. I thought it was on the 26th. So it’s on Netflix right now. So Game Changers is great because it shows us – it kind of exposes – I love this documentary because it doesn’t do fear mongering. It doesn’t sort of make us feel belittled. Some other documentaries kind of beat us up and make us feel bad. This documentary, not at all. It feels really positive. But it does show us and expose how much our choices that we make every day are actually we’ve been programmed. We’ve been brainwashed by years and years and years of marketing. And so looking at that our bodies want to because it’s part of how we survived for however many thousands of years and however many generations.  We’ve looked for the foods that are the most pleasurable. And that’s because the pleasure, The Pleasure Trap, because the pleasurable foods are the high density caloric foods to help us survive famines.

And so this whole book – which your audio book is wonderful so listeners can just get it from Amazon and listen to Chef AJ narrate The Pleasure Trap by Dr. Goldhamer and Dr. Lyle – helps us to understand why eating the way you teach us to eat is actually the healthiest for brain and our body and also for our emotional state. So it’s really beautiful because it helps break that addiction. So if someone finds that they’re addicted to drugs or alcohol or food, this is a fantastic book and a fantastic diet as well. So I love that. Thank you so much for that.



[01:31:21] Chef AJ: Yeah. Absolutely. I love that book. That book was a game changer for many people.



[01:31:27] Ashley James: And I hope I hope this interview and your information will be a game changer for many people as I know it has been for me. Is there anything that you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview?



[01:31:38] Chef AJ: Let’s see, I think I’ve said just about everything. Just eat plants. Eat plants.


[01:31:47] Ashley James: I just wanted to make sure I squeezed every drop of wisdom I could get out of you before saying goodbye. So eat plants everyone.



[01:31:54] Chef AJ: Eat plants, fit into your pants. That’s what I say.



[01:31:55] Ashley James: Eat plants, fit in your pants. Love it. Okay. Fantastic. Awesome. Thank you.



[01:32:00] Chef AJ: Thanks, Ashley. Thanks everybody. Take care everyone.



[01:32:03] Outro:

Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition? And how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity. Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and to figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business and support people in their success? Do you love helping people?

You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health coaching certification program. And it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over a hundred dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition. But from a standpoint of how we can help people to shift their life and shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health. I definitely recommend you check them out. You can Google Institute for Integrative Nutrition or IIN and give them a call. Or you can go to and you can receive a free module of their training to check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in. Be sure to mention my name Ashley James and the Learn True Health podcast because I made a deal with them that they will give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program. And I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information.

We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctors’ offices, you can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help your local schools shift their programs to help children be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them in their success and their health goals. There are so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach.

So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Mention my name, get the best deal. Give them a call and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon. The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month. So you’re going to want to call them now and check it out. And if you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.

Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price. That’s Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome program.

Get Connected With Chef AJ:

Official Website

The Wisdom Course

Healing Movement

Feel Fabulous Over Forty

Books By Chef AJ



The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss

Check Out Other Episodes With Chef Aj!

Episode 278: Food Addiction



Overseas by Vlad Gluschenko Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: Music promoted by Audio Library

Nov 8, 2019

Join the Learn True Health Facebook group to get the latest scoop on the upcoming NEW Learn True Health Home Kitchen Membership!


Or Join my email list by visiting

 Jon Paul's Site:




  • Four alienations: nature, each other, work, ourselves
  • Grief gets stuck in the lungs. Breathwork clears out grief out of the lungs
  • There’s nothing you’re going to get from the outside that’s going to make you enough on the inside
  • Breathwork makes you realize that you are enough
  • Breathwork is an adjunct to 12-step programs for people to get sober
  • Trauma is passed down the DNA
  • We breathe differently depending on what state we’re in
  • Be willing to be an explorer, a scientist within yourself
  • Contraindications of breathwork


In this episode, Jon Paul Crimi tells us how breathwork helped him turn his life around. He tells us stories of how breathwork transformed other people’s lives as well. He also explains the breathwork technique to us and the contraindications of breathwork.


 [0:00] Intro: Hello true health seeker and welcome to another episode of Learn True Health podcast.

Join the Facebook group Learn True Health on Facebook because I’ve got some exciting news coming up. I’m going to be announcing it there first and I want you to be the first to hear it. So please join the Learn True Health Facebook group. Plus we have some awesome giveaways that always happen and wonderful conversations. It’s a great group to be in, a great community. Very supportive community. Jump on my email list. I give you seven days of videos that I filmed with naturopathic physicians teaching you the foundations of health. All good information that everyone should know. Very fun course. It’s all free. So go to and a pop up happens. Just put in your email. I promise I will not spam you. I send out maybe three emails a month. But you’ll get every day, for seven days, you will get videos that I filmed with these naturopaths who are wonderful doctors teaching the foundations of health. So join the Facebook group and get on the website and join the email list so that you get the news first because I have some really exciting news coming up. I want to make sure that you’re connected so that you get it.

You’re going to love today’s interview. I loved, loved interviewing Jon Paul and I can’t wait to have him back on the show. I think this information is something that 100% of the population needs to hear. You know some interviews are just for women or some interviews are just for people with thyroid problems. This interview is for 100% of the population. I’m very excited for you to hear it. Please, share it with those that you love that you know it will help. Help me to spread this information and get it out to as many people as possible so we can help all of our loved ones and everyone we care about to learn true health. Enjoy today’s interview.

Welcome to the Learn true health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 391.


[0:02:19] Ashley James: I am so excited for today’s guest. We have on with us Jon Paul Crimi. I love your last name. I’m saying it like you told me to say it. Like an Italian, Crimi.


[0:02:31] Jon Paul Crimi: That’s right. Kreme. It’s beautiful. I love it. Thank you.


[0:02:35] Ashley James: Jon Paul has a wonderful website We were in the presence of a celebrity here. I’m feeling the pressure. Feel the Hollywood pressure. You’ve been in Hollywood for the last 20 years with the bigwigs. You are sought after. Your classes are full. Your teacher trainings are full. Your breath technique that you’ve developed over the last 20 years has helped people to become very successful in the Olympics, in Hollywood, CEOs, major corporations and executives. So today we get to jam with you and figure out what’s up with breathwork and why are all the celebrities just jumping on the bandwagon? What’s up? So good to have you here today.


[0:03:27] Jon Paul Crimi: Thanks. It’s great to be here. At first, I don’t think I’m a celebrity. I’m more celebrity adjacent. I’m like next to the celebrities or working with the celebrities. I’ve worked with a lot of celebrities over the years and I found that when I’m standing next to some big celebrity I’m pretty much invisible. It’s okay. I’m happy to be invisible. Lately, I’ve been in the spotlight with breathwork. It’s really taken off and people have really taken to it which is it’s fantastic to see because it changes people’s lives in a very short amount of time which is great because we live in this society today that everybody wants a quick fix and there really aren’t any quick fixes out there, right? But this actually is a quick fix. In one session, the most common statement I hear is like, ‘Oh my God, it’s like 20 years of therapy without having to say a word.’ So if you can feel that way after one session or one class or one workshop you know, it sells out. People come in droves. They have this experience then they bring their family members back and their friends back, everyone they know that needs it which is everyone right now on the planet seems like.


[0:04:36] Ashley James: You were telling me before we hit record that you were just in at Hay House, which is a publishing company, Hay House summit.


[0:04:46] Jon Paul Crimi: Wellso glad it was the Heal. You know the Heal documentary on Netflix? Heal had a Hay House online summit. So it was great. It was like Dr. Joe Dispenza, Dr. Michael Beckwith, Dr. Sue Mortimer. It was like doctor, doctor, doctor, Jon Paul Crimi, doctor, doctor, doctor.


[0:05:09] Ashley James: I like in your website you say, “I’m not a doctor. I’m not your doctor.” But what you do helps people to access their own ability to heal itself. After you were on the summit, your interview is only available for 24 hours you said. After that hundreds, hundreds of people came to your website and bought your five-day course. You have this course. We are definitely going to talk about it because I’m interested in learning more about it. Then you started to get the flood of emails. You’ve been telling me that the weekends been non-stop emails of people telling you that what they learned and what they’ve done with you and your coursework so far has been nothing sort of life-changing.


[0:05:46] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean, to read the emails and to hear the stories from people saying that they let go of trauma that they’ve been holding on to for their whole life. That their bodies are starting to heal. Because so much of our physical health is due to emotional health, right? So if we can start to clear out that stuff, those negative emotions or things that we’re storing in our body then some of that physical health will start to get better. So we can dive into that because that’s a big part of my own personal story as well. So just hearing these stories from people who are doing this course all over the world and having this incredible results and then they want to turn around and give it to other people, to show it to other people. So I’m creating these like soldiers for good out there of people taking other people to breathwork and changing lives. It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever done. It’s the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. In a million years I never would’ve thought I would be doing something like this. I’m not that guy. I’m not your typical guy.


[0:06:48] Ashley James: Guru?


[0:06:49] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I’m not a guru. I don’t like that. I’m a breath teacher, you know. I’m just not that guy. I’m from the South Shore of Boston Massachusetts where people are kind of rough and tumble. I grew up in a really rough way. This thing was never on my radar. None of this stuff was on my radar but the universe has this funny way of pushing you down roads through pain, right?


[0:07:19] Ashley James: Well we’ll definitely get into your story in a minute. I studied Huna which is the ancient Polynesian spiritual practice. I can’t really call it a religion but in Hawaii, they practice Huna every step of, if they’re practicing Huna is part of their life. It’s part of how they go fishing. It’s part of how they are a parent. It’s part of how they practice medicine. It’s part of how they chant. It’s every aspect of their life. They have a saying in Hawaii. They call foreigners or white people haoles. They say it, it’s a derogatory almost a racist term but haole means without breath. Imagine a hundred years ago, the ancient Polynesian Hawaiian people have never met any foreigners and they were living in harmony. There was actually no recorded accounts of mental illness at all. There was no depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, nothing. People were fishing and gardening and dancing and racing families and they were harmonious. Then these ships came out of nowhere. Most of the people there, the natives were half-naked because it’s really hot. These people, these missionaries come dressed head to toe in wool. Holding bibles and telling them that they needed to stop being sinners, get dressed. The Hawaiians noticed that these people never pause and take a breath. They were just like breathe shallow and be kind of nervous and emotional, uptight at the same time. The Hawaiians would actually take a breath, part of the practice, part of their Huna was that when you met someone to say hello, you would take a pause and you would take a breath and then you would say hello. That you would pause to eat. You would pause before you fish and take a breath. Everything they did was they would stop, take a breath and then do something. So when these foreigners came and they never paused to take a breath they called them haole without breath. I thought that was so interesting, that distinction of our Western culture that we are without breath.


[0:09:49] Jon Paul Crimi: You know, I’ve heard the term haole quite a bit because I have some surfer friends from Hawaii. I have a really good friend who was in this movie North Shore. He says in the movie, “He’s so haole he doesn’t even know he’s haole.” Talking about the white guy in the movie. He doesn’t even know that he doesn’t belong, you know. The shallow breath that you’re talking about, there’s a saying, ‘Shallow breath, shallow life. Deep breath, deep life.’  Hearing that story made me think we’re so disconnected know in our society. The four alienations, right?

The first alienation is we’re disconnected from nature, from the world, from the earth. They were working in nature. They were fishing and they had their feet in the ground. So we’re disconnected in that and we’re destroying the planet. Then we’re disconnected from each other. We’re on social media but we’re not really connecting with people and listening and taking them in and spending quality time as much. We’re disconnected from our work, from what we do. So many people don’t love what they do for work anymore. So we’re disconnected from that. We’re disconnected from ourselves. That’s the biggest one. Those people were connected that’s why there was no schizophrenia, there was no mental illness, there was no sickness. I mean, it’s just as simple as that. It’s like when you have those things in place it’s so obvious for me to see now.

I work with people. In my other business, in my sober coaching, sober companion business I’ve worked with very successful people. Millionaires, some billionaires, actors, and musicians. They’re isolated. They’ve isolated themselves off from the world. They can’t understand why they’re not happy. Everybody else can’t understand why they’re not happy because it’s seemingly what society dictates that they have it all. They have a career, they’re beautiful, they have money, they have success. But yet, if you look at those things I just explained, they don’t have any of those things. They’re isolated off. They’re disconnected from all those things. When you start to sit inside and isolated yourself off from the world your brain starts to play tricks on you when you start to think about all the stuff. You start to read all the stuff online about you. You get down this rabbit hole. I can see how they quickly make themselves sick with that.


[0:12:22] Ashley James: Right. I was just reading the latest statistics of suicide rated among our youth is now the second leading cause of death. Suicide went up 52% I believe it was for ages between 10 and 24. Just yesterday, between –


[0:12:46] Jon Paul Crimi: What is it an 11-year-old or a 10-year-old? You’re playing outside.


[0:12:53] Ashley James: A nine-year-old committed suicide about a month ago. It was in the news. It’s just, what’s going on that we are so disconnected.


[0:13:00] Jon Paul Crimi: That hurts my heart.


[0:13:01] Ashley James: This is so recent. This is just this generation. I mean, it went up 52% in the last 10 years.


[0:13:08] Jon Paul Crimi: Well, what do you think that is?


[0:13:11] Ashley James: We’ve got social media.


[0:13:12] Jon Paul Crimi: Social media. That’s it. That’s it.


[0:13:14] Ashley James: We’re disconnected. We’re disconnected like you said. We’re not meeting face-to-face and we’re isolated. We’re more and more isolated. We think we’re connected digitally but we’re actually more and more isolated.


[0:13:26] Jon Paul Crimi: I agree. I think what happens too is that you know I had a hard time at school. But at least when I got home from school I had my house and my safe backyard. All my stuff, right? Now these kids, they get home from school and now they’re bullied on social media and it’s endless. You can’t get away from it. It’s worse on social media than in school. They’re constantly being bullied and barraged. You know, I had someone close to me that I knew, one of my nieces. She was bullied on social media where they created a website or created a profile for that wasn’t her. I mean, it was pretty serious. She had a lot of problems around it. Just the things that can happen online are you know awful to people. When your brain is that young it’s not fully formed yet. I don’t think you realize that all that online stuff it really isn’t real you know.


[0:14:25] Ashley James: It feels like the real world.


[0:14:26] Jon Paul Crimi: It feels like the real world for some people. They can’t separate that out because they just think that is the real world. It’s scary that suicide is an option. I have a lot of experience with people close to me committing suicide. It’s very difficult. Part of that course, one of the days of the Five Day Emotional Detox is things called the ‘transformational letter.’ That was formed out of loss of someone that was very dear to me that committed suicide. What was happening to me was I couldn’t move the grief out. It was stuck. I went and saw someone who was really wise and they told me, “Write a letter to him saying everything you wish you could say, everything you want to say, everything you can’t say.” I was like, “Yeah. I’ve heard that before.” Then he said, “Write a letter back from him saying everything you want him to say, everything he can’t say, right.” So I did the two letters and then I laid down and I did the breathwork and it was incredible. It transformed everything for me because the letter has brought all the stuff up to the surface. It made me see what I couldn’t see because I was just stuck in a loop that I felt guilty because I could’ve done more, I could’ve said more. I felt responsible in some way. The letters really help me get clear about my part in it and also what I wanted from him, what I needed from him. Then the breathwork really cleared it out of my lungs because grief they say gets stuck in the lungs. We hold on to it. We just keep relieving it over and over again. We just carry it around with us. It moved the grief out and threw me. I was able to get some kind of measure of compassion for him and what he was going through and for myself, let myself off the hook. Because with suicide there is an element of guilt to that that we carry sometimes. I mean, it’s hard. To see that it’s so big and it’s so prevalent in our society that it just hurts my heart to hear about a 10-year-old or a 9-year-old committing suicide. It just, it breaks my heart. I’m really sensitive. It was very difficult to grow up where I grew up being as sensitive as I am. So I had to find ways to deal with it. The ways that I found to deal with it were not great tools, not the right tools. Whether it was through alcohol or drugs or candy or TV or whatever. Just trying to checkout from my feelings. Now, I have found all these really powerful, healthy ways of allowing, expressing those feelings. I’ve just gotten to a place and maybe part of it is just growing. Really, I think it’s the breathwork. It’s gotten me to this place. Someone actually messaged me today and they said, I’m really open at night. I’m really sensitive and I cry and I get emotional in my classes and in my workshops and in my teacher trainings. She said to me, “Were you like that before the breathwork?” I said, “No. I wasn’t like that before the breathwork. I couldn’t access those feelings. I wouldn’t allow those feelings and I certainly wouldn’t allow it in a room full of people.” Now I’ve just gotten into this place now where I’m like I don’t care if I’m on a stage of 200 people. I don’t care if I’m on a podcast or an interview or something like that and I start to get emotional because that’s what I’m feeling, right? There’s nothing wrong with that. Let me allow that emotion. I’m sad that nine-year-olds are committing suicide. It’s terrible, right? So let me just allow that for a minute instead of going, I don’t want to feel that. Because I need to –


[0:18:27] Ashley James: That’s so healthy.


[0:18:28] Jon Paul Crimi: I need to be present in this interview. I need to do the best interview I can or I need to do the best class I can. It’s like, no no let me just be sad and let that come through you. What I’ve discovered just coincidentally because I was actually teaching breathwork when that guy committed suicide and I wasn’t going to cancel the classes and I said, “I’m going to go.” I’m so emotional in classes and what happened was me being so emotional in classes allowed everybody else in the room to let their emotions out and let their emotions go. So it gave permission for people breathing in the room to get emotional. We don’t get that permission, a lot of us, growing up. Be strong, be tough, never let anyone see you cry, never let anyone see your emotions. That’s a lot of the messages that I heard growing up. Most of the people I knew growing up hurt growing up. We get these messages. Knowing what I know now is terrible because if I was to say to you, “Listen, Ashley, I don’t want you to go in the bathroom. Don’t go to the bathroom okay.” You’d be like what? That’s so unhealthy. You’re going to die, right? But why is crying is the same exact thing. Our bodies need it. It’s a mechanism within our bodies to cleanse us and help us release certain emotions. Yet I have people who come to my classes and my things and say, ‘Oh my God, that’s the first time I’ve cried in three years or five years.” You’re going to get sick. You’re going to get some horrible disease if you don’t start allowing those emotions because we’re supposed to cry. We’re supposed to allow those things. For some reason, people are not. They’re fighting all of that stuff. It’s causing a lot of health issues out there in the world.


[0:20:14] Ashley James: Men are taught not to cry. I caught my husband. My husband’s very open-minded. He’s not like a 1950s male that thinks we all need to eat meat and men don’t have feelings. He’s very evolved. He has caught himself saying to out four-year-old son, “Men don’t cry. Don’t cry. Stop crying. Men don’t cry.” Something along that. I jumped down his throat when he says that.


[0:20:46] Jon Paul Crimi: Well just have him watch The Mask You Live In. That documentary. That’s a game-changer. When you watch that as a man and you see what we do to boys, to little boys when we put that on them. It just breaks your heart and you go, “Why are we doing this to little boys?” They’re little boys. They’re just as sensitive as little girls. There’s no difference in the sensitivity level. When my son cries, I just pick him up and I rub his back and I say, “Yeah. That’s okay. Let it out.” I heard a lot, ‘you’re too sensitive,’ growing up. What does that mean? There’s something wrong with me? There’s something wrong with my feelings? If I say something bothers me the response was, ‘you’re too sensitive.’ So now whenever I said bothers me is invalid, it’s me, there’s something wrong with me, right? Our parents, if they knew better they’d do better. A lot of our stuff comes from our parents. Their stuff come from their parents. It’s passed on generationally. Trauma is passed on generationally as well. So I say, ‘your problems may have other people’s names on it but your solutions have your name on it. It’s up to you if you’re going to do something about it and change it and change it for your children.


[0:22:10] Ashley James: Absolutely. We can really only heal ourselves and we can make a better environment for our children. I want to get into your story. What happened in your life that led you to create this type of breathwork that helps people heal physically and emotionally?


[0:22:32] Jon Paul Crimi: So I didn’t create it. This breathwork has been around for thousands of years from India, right? I wish I created it.


[0:22:41] Ashley James: Well you created your own unique style though.


[0:22:44] Jon Paul Crimi: I did. I created a technique. Breathwork has been around for thousands of years from India. What happened was for me is I discovered this incredible technique and it was life-changing for my first session. But the package that it was wrapped in, the way it was done was so new agey and woo woo that I somehow had an open enough mind to do it. I mean I just been to Tony Robbins and I think it cracked me open. A couple of people that didn’t know each other said to me, ‘you need to go do breathwork.’ I was like, ‘what’s breathwork?’ and I find this place. I went to this class and there were five or six people there. It was very woo woo, new agey crystals and oils and all of it. It was just awful for me then. The experience was undeniable. I started doing it on my own every day and at one point I said, “God, if somebody did this in a way that wasn’t new agey and it wasn’t woo woo, they would have 200 people in the room and they would change the world.”

I started teaching it. I was never going to teach it but I somehow started teaching it. I took all that woo woo stuff out of it. I actually added in all these other stuff to make it even more palatable for people. Then I added in a few more components. It just built and it just kept tweaking it and going, ‘how would I want this if I was on the other side? If I was the person laying on the floor right now, what the best experience that I can deliver for somebody?’ So I just shaped it and honed it and it became that. Now, tons of people are doing it the same way. Some of them had been trained by me. Some of them haven’t. That’s a whole other story? You know, it’s been incredible. It’s been an incredible ride. At first, no one would come do it. I would tell people, “You got to come try this thing.” And they go, “Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.” I would post about it. There were times that one person would show up. I was renting the room and losing money. I was like, “I want to help people but I don’t want to lose money on the process.” But now, it’s just grown massively. It’s incredible. Everything’s sold out that I do. I’m just so grateful, you know.


[0:24:59] Ashley James: Take us back to when it wasn’t working out and there’s one person in the room. What happened? How did you all of a sudden become so popular?


[0:25:10] Jon Paul Crimi: So, it was kind of a series of events. I kept pursuing it where I would post on Facebook and trying to get friends of mine. I have a lot of friends in recovery. I would just tell them. I hear them share how depressed they were or how angry they were and all this stuff. People could see the change in me. At first, when I was doing it I wasn’t even telling people and people are like, “What’s going on with you. You seem very calm. You’re very different.” I was really angry when I found it. I was so angry because some career dreams hadn’t worked out for me. I’ve been kind of ripped off in Hollywood. I was just so bitter and so angry. You can’t hide that. It just comes out. They say that anger is the mask that sadness wears. The truth is that I was just sad. I was disappointed. I was heartbroken that things didn’t work out. That I got ripped off. All these different things had happened to me. But I didn’t want to feel sad so it came out as anger.

I started doing this breathwork and it just released that anger out of me. It just cleared that anger out of me. It allowed the sadness to come out. It allowed me to cry. It allowed me to feel gratitude and love in a way that I had never experienced before. So I was just doing it every day sometimes twice a day. I could just feel these things leaving my body. I could feel things in my body that had happen to me like I broke my arm when I was a kid. There was something going on in my arm right there. It was healing all these areas, all these traumas within my body. It just started to change me and clients and friends were saying, ‘you seem different.’ I finally started telling people, “I’m doing this weird breathwork thing.’

There was no research, nothing out there on it at the time. I would try and find information. I was a personal trainer, I was a celebrity trainer at Gold’s Gym in Venice. I had the very scientific brain of what’s happening in my body. I couldn’t find the science around it. There is some science out there now. They’re doing more and more studies on it. They’re just starting to go into the studies. Right now, they’re doing a study with breathwork on veterans with PTSD. I think the results are going to be amazing from that. I’ve had veterans with PTSD come in and work with me and see them heal in front of my eyes. See them just transform and clear all these stuff out. So I’m so looking forward to watching this thing grow and it’s growing really fast.

I tell people, “Imagine if I told you there’s this thing, it’s called yoga. It’s going to be everywhere.” They’re like, “Really, yoga? It’s going to be everywhere?” I’m like, “But it’s going to be even bigger than yoga.” A lot of people will go, ‘I’m 300 pounds. I can’t do yoga,’ or ‘I’m not flexible’ or ‘I’m not this.’ They just don’t have that confidence in their body type to go into a yoga studio whereas anyone can go to a breathwork class and just lay on the floor and breathe.

Breathwork, I should straighten this out, breathwork is an umbrella term, right? It’s like saying fitness. If I said I do fitness you’d be like, ‘Okay fitness. What do you do? Do you CrossFit? Do you do cycling? What do you do? Do you do yoga?’ So breathwork, the type of breathwork that I teach, the technique that I teach, and I’ve studied them all but this is the one that I find is the most powerful. So I work with this one specifically it’s called connected breathing, circular breathing.

So in life, you take a breath in through your nose ideally down into your belly ideally. Let it out either through your nose or your mouth. Then you pause for a while and you talk or you rest. In breathwork, we breathe in and out. And through this technique, through conscious connected breathing, through circular breathing, we breathe in and out through our mouth down into our belly without resting in between. It’s intense. So a lot of people have this misconception that they’re going to come and it’s going to be this relaxing kind of like a meditation class and it’s not that at all. It’s a workout. You lay on the floor and you breathe intensely through your mouth for about 28 minutes. In that process, all that crazy things happen in your body physically. All these things happen emotionally. All these things happen mentally. You know, most people have this huge release of emotions. It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not or you think it’s going to work or any of that. It’s undeniable for anyone. In fact, the more resistant to it you are the bigger the experience. That’s what I love about it. I’ll have some women who will do it and then she’ll go, ‘my husband or my boyfriend would never do this but he’ll do with you because you’re a guy guy.’ So the next week or the next month I see the woman there with her boyfriend or husband. He’s just sitting there like, ‘I can’t believe she dragged me to this.’ Then afterward he comes up to me and I can see he’s been crying. He’s had this big experience and he’s like, ‘Can I give you a hug? I never experienced anything like that. That was the most profound experience. It was life-changing.’ That’s what I hear a lot. It’s life-changing. So to answer your question, it slowly started to grow person by person. You get one person who has a huge experience, they would go and tell everyone they know. Then next week they would come back with two or three people. Then so on and so on and so on. It took a while.

There was a meditation studio that opened up in Los Angeles. The owner was really good at marketing. She got people in there. She had me come teach there and my classes grew very fast in there and they were sold out within a couple of months. So I was doing a couple of classes a week there with 66 people in the room because that was as many as we could pack in like sardines. There were 20 people on the waitlist every Monday and Wednesday night. It was just wild. Then I eventually left there and rented this church space, this huge church space in Los Angeles and filled that up. That’s what I still use to this day when I travel back to Los Angeles. I live in Bend, Oregon now. I put 120 people in that class, in that church. When I go to town I’ll do two back-to-back classes sold out which is amazing. So, I’ll fly to Los Angeles say I’m leaving in two weeks. I’ll do a teacher training on Saturday and Sunday where I teach people how to teach it. Then I do two classes on Monday at that church. It’s incredible. It’s an incredible weekend for me. Then I come back to Bend, Oregon where I live with my family and enjoy my life and spend time with my kids and chase my kids around the yard.


[0:31:52] Ashley James: That sounds so awesome.


[0:31:54] Jon Paul Crimi: It is.


[0:31:55] Ashley James: Well, I have so many questions. The constant breathing, the first thing that comes to mind, don’t people pass out? Don’t they get so dizzy? Because I’ve done that prana breathing, pranayama and you get lightheaded. No wonder you have everyone lay down. They might fall over. So do people ever faint or get really lightheaded and they’re afraid of fainting or does that just pass?


[0:32:24] Jon Paul Crimi: So it passes. One of the things, when I break it down and I usually break it down in a really funny way in front of the room. I say, “There are three areas that you have to overcome to do this thing to really have a big incredible experience. Just three tiny areas. Just physically, mentally and emotionally. If you could just overcome those three little areas you’re going to have this incredible experience. Here’s what’s going to happen to you.

Physically, things are going to happen in your body that is going to freak you out. Your arms are going to get tingly and weird. Your hands, your fingers can clamp up. It’s called tetany. It’s like claw hands. It freaks people up but it goes away. Your jaw can get tight. You have all these sensations. You’re going to get dizzy. You can get nauseous. You can get lightheaded. All that will go away. It will pass. You have to push through it if you want to have the experience.

The second part is the emotional part, right? So emotions are going to come up. Let them come up. Let them come out. A lot of us are told that we shouldn’t cry, right? A lot of us are told to be strong. Let that stuff out, cry if it comes out for you. Whatever. So let the emotions out.

Then the last part is the mental part. This is actually the toughest part. I notice for most people. Because the brain doesn’t want you to do this. Your brain doesn’t want you to do anything difficult, hard or uncomfortable. So you have to override that, right? Just like going to the gym or anything else. But with this thing, your brain really freaks out because it does this thing called transient hypofrontality. It shuts off part of your brain, part of your frontal lobe. The critic that we all have that tells us we’re not enough. You’re not smart enough. You’re not thin enough. You’re not rich enough. You’re not skinny enough. Whatever. It just tells you you’re not enough, that you’re never going to do anything. We all have this critic in our head all the time. It turns that off. It’s the most incredible feeling when you can turn that off. You can go accomplish anything with your life when you could turn that off. But the brain doesn’t want you to turn that off. So it does everything it can to get you to stop. So it will be like, ‘Ashley, stop doing this. You’re going to pass out. You’re having a stroke. I know he said this can happen to your hands but you’re having a stroke Ashley.’” It will literally freak you out. Some people can’t override. Eventually, you will override it. It’s like stepping out of an airplane. You’re body’s not designed to step out of an airplane to go sky diving, right? So you have to override everything inside of your body physically to step out that door. This is very similar in that way.

The hardest part is the first 12 minutes and then eventually you just go, I’m fine and it just kicks in. The breath starts taking over and you start having this almost psychedelic experience in some way. It’s very incredible. It’s hard to describe. It’s different for everybody. It’s different every time you do it. So I’ve been doing it for a while now and every time I do it it’s still different. So, I tell people, ‘Come back, it’s going to be different.’ Then they go, ‘Oh my God. That was different.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, do it on a regular basis and it will change your life. The way I used it to change my life was I would wake up in the morning and my head would be talking trash to me. I would just lay down and breathe. Okay, let’s get to work on this sober companion business. Let’s get this work on how do we build this breathwork to help more people? How do we do this? How do we build online courses? I don’t know anything about building an online course but let me just breathe and clear out that critic that tells me I can’t build an online course because I can barely use Facebook properly. Let me turn that critic off and just get to work.’ What you can accomplish is incredible when you’re not talking yourself out of it and telling yourself that you can’t do things.


[0:36:13] Ashley James: You’ve been teaching or helping people to be sober, get sober and stay sober for a long time now. Longer than you’re teaching your breathwork, correct?


[0:36:25] Jon Paul Crimi: Correct, yeah. I’ve been sober 19 ½ years. Since March 5, 2000. I got sort of pulled in to helping people get sober about a year after I got sober. That was transformative to watch other people get sober and be a part of that changed my life. Then I was a celebrity trainer and then someone sort of dragged me into this world of sober coaching, sober companioning which is a high-end niche thing where it started out for rock stars. Rock stars would get out of rehab and they’d need to go on the road for tours and they’d need support. So they would put somebody who was sober on the road with them who knew what they were doing, right? Then they moved into movie stars and TV stars and now it’s CEOs, wealthy children, children of wealthy people, right? Because it’s not inexpensive. Insurance doesn’t cover it, unfortunately. But instead of going to rehab which is a bubble, right? It’s easy to stay sober in rehab for 30 days or whatever the times is because you’re in this bubble and they’re guarding you around. What a sober companion does is they go into your regular life and they help you get sober in your regular life whether that is in your work environment, your home environment. Whatever it is you do, they help you build that rehab in your life and teach you to have a sober lifestyle. It’s like taking a tree that’s sick out of the environment, putting it into rehab, nursing back to health and then putting it back in the environment that it got sick in. It doesn’t make any sense. So let’s nurse the tree back to health in its environment or let’s take it out of the environment, get it healthy, then bring it back with someone that can help it stay healthy in that environment.


[0:38:14] Ashley James: So, for many years you were working with people to get sober and stay sober. Then you discover this breathwork and then you adapted your own enhanced version of breathwork that you now teach to many people. When you began to incorporate this breathwork with those who you were helping to get and stay sober, what changes did you see take place?


[0:38:44] Jon Paul Crimi: Oh my God. Because people who were newly sober or don’t want to be sober, I mean there’s a lot going on there. I would see people just flipping out. I’m screaming and yelling. I’m going to go get high or I’m going to go jump the balcony. Just this crazy person in front of me. Then I go, ‘Okay. I’ll tell you what. Let’s get high right now.” They’ll look at me like what? I go, ‘Lay down on the floor. I’m going to get you high.’ Then they go, ‘Shut up.’ And I go, ‘No, no. Just lay down on the floor. I’m going to get you high. If you don’t like this, if it isn’t an incredible experience, we’ll go get some drugs.’ Of course, I’m not going to get them drugs but I would say that, right? They go, ‘All right. I’ll take that deal.’ So they’d lay down and I go, ‘You have to do what I say though. You have to push through the discomfort. It’s going to get weird.’ Here’s the thing, alcoholics and addicts, they don’t care if it’s uncomfortable if it’s weird. If it starts to make them feel, it does put you in a bit of an altered state. If it starts to make them feel that, they’re in.

My joke was in the class I could always see who the alcoholics and addicts were in the room because they’re trying to suck all the air out of the room. They’re breathing 10 times harder than everybody else in the room because once they start feeling something, feeling weird they’re into it. Whereas regular people, ‘Oh, I feel weird. I want to slow this down or back off or I don’t like it,’ you know. So I could spot the addicts rather going twice as hard.

So I do this session with them and then they’d come and they’d sit up afterward, and I do this cool stuff after the breathing where I have you reach out and pull moments into of your heart. I’ll say, ‘Put an arm in the air and find a moment where you felt grateful for something, for someone. Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? What are you grateful for in this moment? Who are you grateful for at this moment? Step into it and then pull it down to your heart.’ So you could hear the emotion in my voice. It’s like I’m so grateful that I get to do this thing. So I’m leading people through it, these moments of gratitude, of love, of all this incredible stuff and I’m feeling it myself. I’m going through it with them. So I do that people after the breathwork and it’s a really special thing that I’ve added in there that I kind of picked up from Tony Robbins. I adapted it from a technique that he uses and I tweaked it.

So I do these sessions with people that are flipping out. Then they’d sit up afterward and they would be a different person. Their energies are different. They’re different. They look different in the eyes. They’re calm and they go, ‘Oh, wow. That wasn’t really I thought it was going to be at all.’ And I thought, ‘Oh my God. Who is this person?’ This person doesn’t sound the same. They don’t look the same. I’m meeting this person for the first time. It is a different person now in the room with me. It’s a trip. I’ve worked with schizophrenics. It’s kind of like that. They’ve got a whole another personality, well that’s multiple personalities. That’s not schizophrenia, but it’s like another person shows up in a good way. In a really good way because they’ve turned off all the noise in their head that’s telling them, ‘I need to go get high. I’m too uncomfortable of whatever it is I’m feeling.’ I mean, that’s what it comes down to. It’s like, I can’t sit with discomfort in my body, in my body right now. I need something to take me out of that discomfort. Whether that something is alcohol, whether it’s drugs, whether it’s food or sex or TV or the gym. It’s like, I can’t just sit and allow the feelings to be what they need to be. When we could learn how to do that, people say that meditation is great for that. I think meditation, seated meditation is a really advanced thing especially for an addict or an alcoholic. They have a hard time sitting still.

So breathwork is really great for that because you could lay down on your back. I was a trainer so I approached it like it was a workout. Okay, I’m going to lay down on my back. I’m going to breathe in through my mouth as big as I can to my belly. If anybody’s listening to this in the car, please don’t start doing this in your car. It’s very dangerous when you’re in your car. You need to be at home laying down. I would just say, ‘Okay, we’re going to lay down and do this technique.’ So I took all the woo wooness out of it, the new ageyness out of it. I just looked at it like a breathing technique. But there is something magical that happens there. I can’t deny that and that is transformative. I’ve had connections which you know I’m not religious but someone might call them spiritual connections. I don’t usually talk about that because I think that that’s really personal to each person. Everybody’s got their own beliefs and what they feel and what takes it in. I’ve had a gang member come up to me one time after class and he said, “Can I talk to you for a second?” Pulled me aside and he was like looking around and he said, “Man, I felt the presence of like God or something like that when I did that. Is that normal?” And I said, “Yeah. I mean it’s different for everybody.” That guy came on a regular basis and changed his life.


[0:43:40] Ashley James: Wow.


[0:43:42] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean, I’m going to get choked up just talking about it. I mean it’s just the things that I’ve seen. The people that I see transform in front of my eyes. We’re walking, so many people are walking thinking that they’re just not enough. They’re just not whole like we talked about. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the biggest celebrities on the planet and some of the most successful people on the planet. They all suffer from I’m not enough. In fact, a lot of them suffer from it more than your average person. That’s what drives them to be so successful. Because when I get this Oscar, when I get this gold medal, when I get this Grammy, when I make a billion dollars I will finally have reached this thing and I will enough. When they get there, they’re not. It doesn’t work because there’s nothing you’re going to get from the outside that’s going to make you enough on the inside. There’s just nothing that’s going to do that from the outside in.

So once they realized that, they don’t really realize it. What happens is they get the thing and they get really depressed afterward. There’s a study. There’s studies out there. The research shows that gold medal winners or Olympic medal winners, they get depressed after they get the medal because they’ve working towards this thing their whole life. Okay, now what? Do I just train again for the next Olympics? They age out of the Olympics. Then, people who get the Oscar and different things like that. I usually work with people after they’ve hit some pinnacle of success then they’re really depressed or they start using drugs and alcohol. Because it’s just that nothing’s working for them. Now they’re isolated from everyone around them in some way because they don’t feel like they can trust people.

This thing, this breathwork thing is really incredible that it makes you realize that you are enough. That you don’t really need anything else. You don’t need anything more. It’s great if you want to work on some things. Like you want to build some things and you want to create some things. It’s a great tool to do that. I’ve used it in that way. But I could just lay on the floor and breathe and just know that right now, right where I’m at, my life is perfect. I just need to be grateful. I don’t need to be the biggest breathwork teacher on the planet. It would be nice. I would love that. It would be great but that’s not going to fix me. There’s not any better moment that I’m going to have than this moment right now.

So just starting to come to that truth, that realization is pretty powerful. I wouldn’t have found it any other way. I don’t think. I couldn’t have found it any other way. I’ve worked with all these big, successful people. I don’t know who said it. I heard someone say. It’s like, ‘Everybody knows that money won’t fix them but they want to find out for themselves.’



[0:46:41] Ashley James: Yeah. Right. You know what, it’s a lot more fun to be depressed with money than to be depressed without money. I can tell you that. So as you were working with these people, keeping them sober, helping them to stay sober and doing the breathwork. What kind of like percentage increase in success did you see? Were you like, this is 100% creating way more success for people to stay sober if they do this breathwork? Were you able to see measurable, noticeable like with every single person you worked with that people could stay sober because this breathwork had them do that break state and get out of that frenzy and get back in their body and start being able to process the emotions, almost like cleanse their body in a sense and have that reset?


[0:47:38] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean I definitely saw people getting sober around them because of it. I’m a big advocate, I want to make this clear, I’m a big advocate of 12-step programs. I think that they work. I’ve seen them work. It’s how I got sober originally. So 12-step programs, recovery programs, I think they work really well. So I think that that’s the foundation and then breathwork is a great adjunct to that. I don’t think breathwork is the foundation to getting sober. I think recovery 12-step programs are the foundation because they’ve worked for 75 years. Usually, when someone tells me, “Oh, I’ve tried that. It didn’t work.” I’ll ask them a few questions. Did you do this? Did you do this? Did you do this? The answer is no. Because if you’ve done those things you would’ve stayed sober, right? So I’m a big proponent of those.

I would see people, they’re starting to put it in a lot of rehabs, a lot of recovery centers now. They’re starting to put breathwork in there because they need anything they can. The truth is, these recovery centers, they’re just drying people out. Then they’re hopefully getting them to go to 12-step, into recovery meetings. They don’t really have many things. They’re having a lot of success with breathwork. They’re having a lot of success now with EMDR and some other therapies. They’re looking for anything they can to help people get sober. It’s hard to measure results. It’s hard to measure success. Because if somebody, what happens I found unfortunately with people whether it’s with recovery, whether it’s with fitness and your health, people get the results that they want and then they get lazy, right? They forget. They’d stop doing the things that got them there in the first place. So we fall off of the fitness routine. We fall off of the things that got us sober and helped us in recovery. We stop doing those things and then it’s only a matter of time before we relapse into whatever our thing is.

I did breathwork in the beginning for a year and it changed my life. I don’t do it that much now but I don’t need it that much now. I do it kind of as needed. So I don’t need it as much now as I did before. I do different techniques and different stuff but I like to do a big session once a week. If I have something going on in my life, something heavy, something happens. I lose somebody close to me. You can be darn sure I’m going to lay down on the ground and I’m going to do breathwork right then and there. So I can start to move those emotions through me. So they don’t stay stuck. Because that’s what it is. It’s about stuck emotions. It’s about stuck traumas. It’s trapped traumas and all that kind of stuff.

So many people don’t realize that trauma is passed down to the DNA. They have studies that show this now that mothers that were pregnant at 9/11, the babies were born with higher cortisol levels, right? They have studies that show, they did this thing with the mice where they spray cherry blossom spray and then they electrocuted it. Then they spray the cherry blossom spray and electrocuted it and then they just spray the spray and it would have a reaction. Then those mice would have babies and they never got electrocuted but they spray cherry blossom spray and they’d have a reaction to it that other mice it didn’t have that. They weren’t shocked it didn’t have. That lasted up to 14 generations.

There are all these books right now like the Body Keeps the Score and It Didn’t Start with You. So, a lot of people don’t even know. They come in and they breathe and they realize all this stuff comes up and comes out. It’s like maybe it’s not even your stuff. Maybe it was your mother’s stuff. Your mother was depressed when she was pregnant with you because there was something difficult going on in the household. Someone that I worked with very closely, the mother had lost a previous child in a really tragic way and then she was pregnant with him. So she was suffering, she was grieving that loss of that precious baby, child. It fell into the water, it drowned. It’s just terrible. It was just heartbreaking. He tells me the story of his brother that he never met. So his mother was depressed and grieving while she was pregnant with him.

So that goes right into the baby. That baby is born into the world. Then they come out and they come out into a world where there’s still grief in that household. They’re probably happy that the new baby is there. That’s in us. When this person started breathing, he was just breathing out all that grief. All that sadness. All that heartbreak. I mean, I don’t know if you can be on this planet and not have disappointment, not have heartache, not have grief. I don’t think it’s possible. So we all have it. So why are we acting we’re all fine all the time? We all have this stuff, right? So I say in my class, “Everyone in this room has heartbreak and sadness and disappointment and grief. Why are we pretending that we’re fine? Allow all that to feel that and then you can feel what’s on the other side of that which is gratitude and love and joy and all the beauty.” Because if you’re denying those feeling then you’re denying all the other good feelings in. My capacity to feel love and gratitude is in direct proportion to my capacity to feel grief and sadness.

So if I want to feel massive love and massive gratitude inside of my life, inside of my heart I have to allow all the other stuff. You can’t shut yourself off from the disappointment and the heartbreak and the sadness and then open yourself up to loving gratitude. It doesn’t work that way, right? So you got to make a choice. How do you want to live?


[0:53:57] Ashley James: I want to open up all the doors and feel everything. I want to feel everything. But like you said, don’t let it get stuck.


[0:54:04] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. Well, that’s the thing too. People start to feel it. They start to feel sad or grief or whatever and they just back off. They can’t handle it and they back off. So they start to feel grief and they start to feel sadness and they back off because it’s uncomfortable. Okay, if you just allowed it to come through you it would pass through and it’s a few minutes. It’s not going to last forever. I learned that lesson when I was going through a heartbreak of a relationship that ended. My body’s like, ‘what are you feeling?’ I said I’m feeling sad and disappointed and lonely and all these things. He said, ‘go sit there and just feel it. Just sit there and feel that.’ I did. I just sat there and I felt it. Then it lasted like 15 minutes and I was like, ‘okay. I guess I’m going to go make a sandwich now. Where I was fighting so hard to not feel those things and to look for any way around them. I see that with people. To look for any solution to not just allow the feelings to be what they are.

I used to say that feelings aren’t facts and the feeling won’t kill you but I don’t say that anymore because unchecked feelings will kill you. You can get a loop inside of your brain that tells you that I’m not loved, nobody loves me. I’m not enough. People would be better off on this planet without me. You can get that loop going around and around in your heard and you start to believe it, you can take your own life. I’ve seen it happen. It’s a scary thing that your brain can give you bad information. Robin Williams’ brain was giving him bad information. It’s a scary idea that our brain can sometimes not be our friend. It’s there to protect us but sometimes it can get on a loop and start giving us bad information. If you have those kinds of feelings, go share them with somebody that you love and trust that cares about you. Because it’s just not true.


[0:56:12] Ashley James: You brought a really good point that those who are committing suicide feel like the world would be better without them and that they’re family, the people they love would actually be better and happier without them. A friend of mine went through this where her brain was telling her this that she really believed that her family would not miss her, would not feel sad and that everyone would be better if she didn’t exist.


[0:56:42] Jon Paul Crimi: It’s such a weird lie. Why would your brain do that you? Why would your brain lie to you in that way? So your brain isn’t always telling you the truth but it’s really good at convincing you that it is.


[0:56:57] Ashley James: There was a beautiful interview that was posted on Facebook and it’s been shared around a bunch with a man who survived jumping off of the Golden Gate bridge.


[0:57:08] Jon Paul Crimi: I’ve seen it.


[0:57:09] Ashley James: I bawled my eyes out. I keep trying to reach out to him and I’ve messaged him to get on the show because his story is beautiful. He’s now dedicated his life to helping people prevent suicide. He said that every single person he’s ever spoken to, a lot of people who have attempted suicide and survived, every single one of them he’s spoken to says that they immediately regretted. Like if they jumped or overdosed or whatever they chose to do, that they immediately regretted it.


[0:57:46] Jon Paul Crimi: It’s interesting, I’m reading Malcolm Gladwell’s new book. I think it’s called talking to strangers. He has this whole chapter dedicated to suicide. What they thought was, if we prevent the way that people commit suicide, if we put a net underneath a bridge, people are just going to go find another way to do it. It’s actually not true. That it’s actually coupled with something else. If they can’t do it that way at that moment because there’s something going on at that moment, then they go off and they do something else and it passes. It’s the easy access to ways to do it that lead to more suicides. There are studies. He has all these studies in his book, Malcolm Gladwell’s amazing. So for years, they didn’t want to put nets, like a net underneath the Golden Gate Bridge because they didn’t want to change the look of it. But once they did, boom the suicides just dropped.

There’s a study in England where they had a gas in the stoves and people were putting their heads in the stoves and killing themselves that way. Then they changed the gas and the suicides just dropped.


[0:59:04] Ashley James: Helping to make it less convenient. Like you said, the depression passes the moment passes. If we can teach our children to have that emotional intelligence, they call it emotional quotient where we’re able to wait a certain amount of time because they know. No matter what we’re going through right now, it will shift. It will get better. You breathe. You’re going to teach us some breathing and to breathe.


[0:59:32] Jon Paul Crimi: Right. There’s a saying in recovery, this too shall pass. It’s like whatever you’re going through, however how hard it is, whatever is going on, it will pass if you could just hang in there. Maybe you pick up the phone. Maybe you talk to someone. Go see a friend. It will pass. You have a breathing pattern for when you are depressed. You have a breathing pattern for when you’re angry. You have a breathing pattern for when you’re anxious. If you can change your breathing when you’re feeling those emotions, then you can change the emotion. If you can change your emotions, then you can change your life. Because like you were saying, people with emotional intelligence. People with better control of their emotions are very successful in life. They’re more successful in their relationships and their work and their life and their friendships. Every area of their life than people with high, high IQs. We used to think that, ‘oh this person’s a genius. They’re going to be successful.’ That’s just not the case. The studies actually prove out that people who are more emotionally well-adapted are more successful than people with higher IQs. We’re living on a planet that’s about relationships with people. It’s hard to be around people that are emotionally unstable. I know. I’ve worked with them for 20 years. It’s a really challenging work.

Teaching people how to manage their emotions through their breath is a key thing. If you can just start to breathe in a different way. It’s that moment where they’re like, ‘I’m angry. I’m depressed.’ Let me just try something different instead of choosing to be stuck in this thing. Nobody wants to be stuck. Nobody wants to be depressed. Nobody wants to be angry. Nobody wants to be a drug addict. Nobody wants to live on the street and try to find drugs. They’re not choosing that. They’re stuck in the cycle and they can’t get out of it. Just trying to find that moment of the window of opportunity where here’s a moment where someone’s trying to help you or you’re going to reach out and ask for help. I sometimes say in my classes, “Stop waiting for somebody to show up and put their hand on your head and heal you because it’s just not going to happen. You have to do it. You have to take responsibility of your own healing, for your own life. Take action around it.” Every time I take an action, my life changes. Every time I do something I don’t want to do, every time I do something that makes me a little uncomfortable I grow, I change. So if I just do something small every day, some small action every day, then I’m transforming. I’m changing. If you do that, they find that’s it. People who have these, that changed their lives, that transformed their lives, it’s through small little actions over and over, consistently. Just showing up to the gym and doing a couple exercises. It’s just starting the thing. Be a good starter. Have a smart feet, whatever it is, just show up and do it.

After a while of doing breathwork, it got kind of old for me so I had to find new ways. I started listening to motivational speakers that I like while I was breathing. What was incredible about that, I didn’t realize it was seeping into my subconscious and into who I am, all that stuff. Then it started coming out of me and my classes. I became this Tony Robbins of breathwork. I started saying all those stuff in the breathwork classes which nobody did before. It changed how I taught breathwork. So just constantly showing up, you don’t know how you’re going to transform who you are and what you do and then how that’s going to transform other people.


[1:03:35] Ashley James: I love it. I like that you pointed out how we breathe differently depending on what state we’re in. I don’t know if you know this about me but I’m a master practitioner and trainer of neuro-linguistic programming.


[1:03:48] Jon Paul Crimi: I love NLP.


[1:03:49] Ashley James: Right? You were talking about anchoring the idea of being able to get someone in a state when they’re in an acute state. So you get them into the state of gratitude and you have them anchor it into their heart. It becomes part of their neurological strategy to go there. You pointed out that physiologically, we actually have anchors in our physiology. So if you sit hunched over and you frown and you just sit there kind of hunched over and you breathe shallow, however you would if you were depressed and sitting hunched over and frowning with your head tilted downward and breathe shallow. Notice the state your body goes in versus if you just pull your shoulders back, put your head up, open your eyes, look up towards up in a 45-degree angle and smile and pull your shoulders back. Just hold that and breathe openly. You’ve opened the chest up and you breathe.


[1:04:59] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. You’re protecting the heart when you’re doing that. When you’re curling over you’re protecting your heart. Then your breath gets really shallow or you’re holding your breath. Most people are walking around not breathing all the way down into their belly, into their diaphragm. They’re breathing very shallow in their chest and holding their breath all the time. That’s why they’re feeling stressed and anxious and depressed. So just breathing in through your nose down into your belly is a game-changer for most people. But you’re saying open, bring it in the physiology in your body. I’m a big big believer in that. You start to feel the emotion. I teach affirmations in my teacher training. I’ve done affirmation workshops. I said, “Listen, you can’t just sit there hunched over and be like, ‘I’m happy, whole and worthy of love.’” Your body, your brain goes BS. That’s BS. Doesn’t feel it. You got to get up. I would have people pound on their chest and open their chest and hold their heads up high and pound. Say, ‘I’m happy, whole and worthy of love.’ We go through each word. ‘I am happy. I am.’ That’s the day two in the five-day detox is that affirmation technique. That’s incredible.

I have them throw their hands up in the air and scream ‘I love my life.’ If you do that, even if you don’t love your life it will start to shift you. It shifts your emotions. If you can just shift your emotion a little bit, break yourself out of that pattern. You’re in a bad pattern, right? It’s just breaking yourself out of that pattern. What’s interesting is, when I was telling you about anchoring those moments. Reaching out and pulling those moments into my heart. For me, I have little children that I love more than anything on this planet. I’ve been pulling these moments with my daughter, with my son and it’s incredible. Now, what’s happened to me from doing that for the last bunch of years, I’ll be with my daughter and my son and I go, ‘I’m in a moment right now.’ I’m having the moment with this moment while it’s happening. It’s such a beautiful thing. I’m just present in it and going, ‘Wow. This is it.’ I’m more present in this moment than I’ve ever been. Maybe I wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t done that in the last 10 years or whatever.


[1:07:10] Ashley James: Just by shifting our physiology and not even like, let’s say we’re in a neutral emotion. Just by shifting for example like hunching over and breathing in that shallow way and frowning, we can create sadness. We can actually access sadness. I think we walk around feeling like our emotions run the bus. That are emotions control us. Our emotions drive the bus. People go, ‘I’m just not motivated to do this.’ Who’s running you? Who is running your life? We’re letting emotions run our life but our emotions are actually anchored to our physiological state. So when we hunch over we create sadness because it’s an anchor. It’s attached to that physiology. So we might have been kind of in a good mood but we can access sadness simply by recreating the physiology of sadness. When we pull our shoulders back and smile, even if we don’t feel like smiling, smile, pull your shoulders back and lift your head up. Breathe openly for a few minutes, even 30 seconds all of a sudden you’re noticing your state shifts into a state that is more fulfilled. More motivated. So just by changing our physiology, we can shift our state. With your breathwork, we’re changing your physiology a lot and we’re moving through those emotions.

I love that you’re teaching to not push them down, to not repress the emotions. When we look at violent crimes in the United States and I’m sure around the world, unfortunately, the sad statistic is that most violent crimes are done by men. I’m not saying that no violent crimes are done by women. I’m just saying the majority are done by men. What is going on? How have we raised our boys in the last 70 years? How have we raised? What have we taught our boys that we have most of the violent crimes committed by men? It’s something really crazy like 96%. I was reading the latest statistics on violent crimes. What have we taught our men? What have we taught our boys? Since I have a 4 ½-year-old son I want to raise him to be respectful of men and women, respectful of his own body, respectful of others and emotionally intelligent. So what’s going on that men are committing violent crimes. If they were in touch with their emotions and actually felt them instead of suppressing them and reacted. Like having some kind of altercation at a stoplight and just reacted and started punching each other, right? What if they could feel their emotions and realize, ‘Oh, wow. That came from all the hurt I had as a child with my dad, or with my uncle.’ What if we process our move through our emotions? I think that your breathwork is even more important for men. I mean, of course, women will gain benefit from it. I think it’s even more important for men to do it because we need to create a society where men are emotionally healthy.


[1:10:34] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean listen, I have a lot of personal experience with it. I’ve been probably over 100 fights in my life. I was stabbed in the head when I was 19 and lost half the blood in my body and I almost died. I’ve been jumped by five guys at once and beaten unconscious. I’ve had a lot of crazy stuff. A lot of violent stuff happened to me. The message that I got was that I’m not safe in the world.

What started happening to me was I needed to react before I was attacked because I had been jumped so many times. I’ve been attacked so many times that if somebody threatened me, then I needed to react first. That was what started happening to me, right? But I think it goes back to something earlier that you and I were talking about which is we tell our boys to be strong, to be men. They repress all these emotions and there’s nowhere for that emotion to go. So it’s repressed emotions. It’s also a feeling of powerlessness. I think that violence is a powerful thing and men are filled with testosterone. If you teach compassion, it’s pretty hard to be a compassionate person and want to go beat somebody up. You know what I mean?

If you get at the stoplight and this person does something wrong if you practice compassion and you know what that feels like then you go, ‘This person’s probably having a really bad day right now.’ Instead of going like, ‘I can’t let them do that to me. I cannot let that guy get away with that. I cannot let that stand.’ I mean, that’s what that feels like when two guys get out of a car. You’ve crossed a line and I’m not going to allow it. Yeah. I know what that feels like. I’ve been on the other side of that and it’s an awful way to live your life. It’s an awful way to live. To be going around angry, it’s like two magnets just looking for each other to bump up against to express this frustration that’s inside of them. When they find each other, that’s what they want believe it or not. They want that –


[1:13:01] Ashley James: That altercation?


[1:13:03] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. If two guys. I’m not talking about a violent crime where some guy commits a violent crime against a woman. That’s a sickness. That’s a power thing. I think a lot of that comes from frustration, from sexual frustration. That’s a whole other topic that I don’t think I would talk skillfully on. You know, it’s not my area. I love women. I think women are the most amazing creatures on the planet. I don’t understand them as much as I would like to. I’ve spent 47 years trying to understand. I think I understand them better than most men. But men are really simple. We have a really simple need. We like food and sleep and sex. That’s it.



[1:13:48] Ashley James: And breathing.


[1:13:51] Jon Paul Crimi: Right. And breathing to clear out the testosterone and the frustration and the emotion. So that’s it. But women have a whole set of needs and motivations that I can’t begin to understand and I don’t think that they understand it neither themselves. Yeah. I mean, a lot of that too is the frustration that people are feeling from social media where so and so has this incredible life, which isn’t true, which is a lie. People are only showing the good stuff. I mean, I’m guilty of it myself. I post all these great videos of my kids and me. I don’t post the videos of their meltdowns. I did post a video where I wasn’t going to do it and then I did it and I regretted it. I hid their Halloween candy on them and I did the Jimmy Kimmel thing where you hide the Halloween candy. You’re like, “I ate all your candy.” They both started crying and I was like, “I’m just kidding. Here’s the candy.” It was 30 seconds, right? I posted it on my social media and people just, people who knew me who really knows me was like, ‘Oh that’s hilarious.’ They know that my kids are my entire world. That I love my kids more than anyone on this planet. It was 30 seconds. People who didn’t know me, I have kind of a big social media following, were like, ‘Oh, that’s awful. That’s not compassionate.’ So I deleted it. It made me feel lousy. I was like, ‘I’m allowing these people who don’t really know me to criticize me and I’m letting that criticism in.’

You know Brené Brown, I’m a huge Brené Brown fan. Brené Brown talks about that, social media, you really allow the criticism of people that are in your inner circle, that know you really, really well.


[1:15:55] Ashley James: Right, right.


[1:15:56] Jon Paul Crimi: Your five people in your mastermind, in your inner circle. All the other people on the outside that don’t know you, you just can’t allow to let that criticism in. I know that. It still bothered me a little bit because people are really good at digs. I’m human and the best I’m going to do is human. Things get to me sometimes. Things bother me.

I love social media. I think it’s a great tool like I get to see some of my family that I don’t get to see very often on the east coast. It brings people to my classes and my teacher trainings and my workshops. I’ve found amazing people in podcasts that I follow through social media. So I think that it’s an incredible tool. But I also think that it can be really harmful if we’re really allowing it to like if we’re believing it all. Nobody has a perfect life like that. They’re just showing the perfect shot. If I’m comparing my insides to other people’s outsides on social media, I’m going to lose every time.


[1:17:10] Ashley James: You know I was just reading Proverbs 27 today. I brought it up because what you said reminded me, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted but an enemy multiplies kisses.” “Wounds from a friend can be trusted,” meaning speak honestly to our friends and the inner circle and take that criticism with heart because they are doing it in a way that’s loving and they care about us.


[1:17:41] Jon Paul Crimi: And they know you. They know you and they know what you need and need to hear.


[1:17:49] Ashley James: Later on in Proverbs, it says, “As iron sharpens so one person sharpens another.” I love that idea that we’re sharpening each other. Take the criticism from your close friends with love and know that we’re sharpening each other.


[1:18:09] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah, 100%.


[1:18:12] Ashley James: Well, we talked about the emotional component, which is great. I’d like to get a little bit into the biological component. Something interesting about the Krebs cycle. Our body produces ATP, which is cellular energy but in a state of lack of oxygen, the body cannot continue to produce the bounty of ATP. Instead, by-product becomes lactic acid. Lactic acidosis, I’ve had an expert on the show talk about that, all disease, 100% of disease has elevated levels of lactic acidosis. He feels all disease begins with this break in the Krebs cycle where instead of in an oxygenated state, we’re producing too much lactic acid. If we all got back to the root if we’re all fully oxygenated that we could stay in an alkaline balance state. That we would then not produce lactic acid or get into lactic acidosis and therefore prevent disease.

He goes as far as to say all disease. What have you seen because this has been your biggest passion right? What have you seen around disease? Have you seen people reverse disease? What kind of things have you seen actually physiologically shift when they began to do this deep breathwork on a regular basis?


[1:19:40] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I’ve seen a lot of people have physical ailments and come in with physical ailments and say, ‘my back has been bothering me for 20 years and it’s gone.’ I’ve seen people, these guys had this throat thing going on and it cleared up in one session. Just all these kind of things, I would love to see. I would like to have somebody do some studies on the alkalinity in the body before breathwork and then after breathwork. That would be amazing. I mean I know you’re oxygenating the body but you’re also throwing off CO2, right? That causes some stuff to go on there.

When I first started breathwork, people’s hands would clamp up. It never happened to me but I saw it happen to a lot of people that I worked with. It’s called tetany and people would ask me what causes that? The answer that I would get from my breathwork teacher, the people that I study with was like crazy answers. ‘It’s, you’re holding on to stuff’ or ‘it’s the moon. You’re detoxing off marijuana.’ I was like, ‘that’s not what it is.’ I just couldn’t take that for an answer. What I did, as someone who is very from a scientific standpoint, is I started just studying commonalities. Okay, who in the room is cramping up in their hands? Okay. These 20 people out of 60. What are they doing that the other people aren’t doing? Well, they’re breathing a little harder. They’re actually breathing louder and they’re pushing the exhale more.

So I brought in this woman who is a student of mine, Tanya Bentley, she’s a health and science researcher with Harvard. We started looking at it. She started going diving into the studies. My theory was is that when people push the exhale extra hard that it got worse. I was correct. So, when I teach it I try to teach people to really inhale, take the biggest, deepest inhale they can into their belly and then take another inhale into their chest and then let the exhale just snap loose. You just get free just to kind of relax it.

For some reason, a lot of people think that if you have to work on the inhale, you have to work on the exhale. You don’t. You work on the inhale and then you let the exhale just relax and be like a reflex almost. So, I’ve had people who were cramping up in their hands, having this tetany and I’ve coached them through that and then it goes away through relaxing the exhale, which is incredible.

I’ve seen people just heal their bodies because of so much of our physical ailments are emotional. I mean some people try to argue that it’s all emotional. It all comes from emotion. Then you’ll hear the other argument, ‘Well, what if I got hit by a car and I broke my arm? That wouldn’t be from emotion’ I don’t know. I can’t answer that. I don’t have all the answers. Nobody doubts, in this world that we’re living in today, that stress, for example, is causing heart disease, cancer, and all kinds of heart problems, right? If we’re stressing ourselves out so much, I stress out myself so much that I gave myself an auto-immune disorder. I gave myself alopecia, which is a sudden hair loss. I lost all my hair. If I can stress myself out to the point where my body starts to fight against itself and starts to kill my hair follicles off because it thinks it’s a foreign invader, then maybe I can do the opposite. Maybe I can start to love myself enough and heal my body. Because everybody knows that you can stress yourself out and cause health problems. If that’s true and people believe that, why don’t they believe that the opposite is true?


[1:23:24] Ashley James: Well they’ don’t know how to decrease the stress. It’s so harder ingrained in their life. How do you not get stressed about your bills? How do you not get stressed about your kids doing stupid stuff? It’s part of your life. You can’t separate yourself from your bills, and your job, and your kids and your husband and the stress. We know intellectually our stress is killing us. But what can we do about it besides take a bubble bath, which helps just for a few minutes, right?


[1:24:00] Jon Paul Crimi: I joke in my classes. I say that self-love, self-care isn’t taking a bubble bath. It can be later but self-love, self-care is showing up and doing the hard work, doing the uncomfortable work. That’s what real self-love, real self-care is. So if you do that, listen, you can be stressed out, your kid can have a health problem, your bills can be overdue, you can lay down and breathe. You’ll get up and you’ll go, ‘you know what? It’s all going to be fine. It’s going to work out. It’s going to work out just fine.’ But instead, we dig into that stress. What is stress really but fear? That’s what it really is. Stress is just a fancy word for fear. So you’re allowing your fears to consume you and affect you and affect your health.

What’s the opposite of fear? The opposite of fear is love. So if we can get more into love and start to love yourself more, maybe you can start to combat those fears and let go of some of those fears and know that it’s going to be okay. Because 99% of it is all in our heads. That’s the truth of it. That’s what nobody says. It was Mark Twain that said, “I have a lot of problems some of them actually happened.”

Most of that stuff that you’re stressing out about the bills, and our kids, it all works itself out. It always does. So you’re creating this all in your head. You’re creating these problems in your head. We’re like right now, you might have a bunch of stuff going on. A bunch of issues, problems, whatever you want to call them. There is no issue right now. There’s just you and I talking right now. That’s all there is. In order to get to that issue, you have to go into your head and start to think about it and start to worry about it and start to ruminate on it. Then you start to go, ‘Oh no, how am I going to pay the bills? My son’s got this…’ Just saying that my chest gets tight and I stop breathing. But if I just stop and sit back and take a deep breath in through my nose, down into my belly, put my hand below my belly button and take a big breath in through my nose down there. Then I let out a long exhale twice as long out of my mouth.

Let me do another one of those. In through my nose, down to my stomach, way below my belly button. Then let out a sigh. That long exhale, that breath in through your nose down into your diaphragm. Then that twice as long exhale, that actually activates the parasympathetic nervous system to rest and digest. It starts to calm you down. It starts to calm your body down. So that saying, ‘take a breath,’ we hear it but we don’t do it.


[1:27:00] Ashley James: Some are like [shallow breaths].


[1:27:04] Jon Paul Crimi: Or like, ‘You take a breath. I’m not going to take a breath.’


[1:27:07] Ashley James: Oh man, I’ve told my husband to breathe and it’s just like [shallow breaths]. It’s like a shallow, shallow breath. I’m like, ‘Really, come on. Deep, deep breathe, through your belly.’ He’s like, ‘Okay.’ [shallow breaths] I’ve seen that where people just they’re still breathing shallow. Can you teach us?


[1:27:25] Jon Paul Crimi: I couldn’t breathe into my belly when I first started because I was a trainer. I have been working on my abs and I’d kept my stomach flat for 20 years. So when I would try to breathe into my belly laying on the floor, I would arch my back and my back was so sore for the first couple of weeks of breathwork because I couldn’t actually breathe into my diaphragm. I couldn’t actually expand my diaphragm. Eventually, I was able to relax and breathe into my belly but it took a while. It’s incredible once you can do it.

You want me to teach you the breathing technique?


[1:28:00] Ashley James: Yeah, teach us. We are your Play-Doh. Mold us.


[1:28:05] Jon Paul Crimi: Well, okay. Well, I could give you the technique. The challenge lies in that it needs to be, I would say, you can get benefits in 15 minutes. Usually the 12 minutes of it, the first 12 minutes are the hardest part. So a lot of people will do like five minutes or eight minutes or ten minutes and be like, ‘I don’t like this. This is uncomfortable. This is weird,’ and stop. So if you just 12 minutes of it, it would be awful. It would be the most awful thing you ever did because you have to breakthrough. You have to breakthrough on the other side.

I could tell you how to do it and then you could go do it on your own and you could just make a playlist. I also have some guided iTunes CDs. So I have a couple of CDs. If you go into the iTunes stores, not Apple Music, I have two CDs on iTunes that have different length tracks and I guide you through how to do it.

The technique is really simple. It’s in through the mouth, down into the belly and you take the biggest breath you can into the belly, and you take another one on top of that in your chest and then you just let it fall out. Then you start again. Belly, chest and then the exhale is half a second. It just falls out. You keep that going, circular. Again, don’t do this in the car.


[1:29:26] Ashley James: I’m already dizzy. I took two breaths, I’m already dizzy.


[1:29:30] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. It passes. If you lay down on the floor and you did it and you did it that dizziness is going to pass. Your brain is going to go, ‘I’m dizzy. I’m going to pass out.’ When I do my classes I demonstrate it. ‘Oh my God. Am I doing this right? Two breaths in, one breath out. I think I messed it up already. Okay. I’m terrible at this. I’m dizzy already. I’m going to pass out.’ You’re not going to pass out. You’re on the floor. You’re fine. Even if you did pass out, you would be fine, right? So you got to push through that fear that you’re going to pass out. ‘Okay, I’m breathing. Who’s crying already? What’s going on in their life? Well, that’s me crying already. What’s going on in my life?’ It’s incredible what your head says to you and tried to talk you out of it. Tries to get you to stop doing it. You just have to push through. You have to be willing to push through. You have to be willing to show up for yourself and do something a little uncomfortable, something a little different.

If you do what you always do, you’ll always have what you’ve always had. If you want something different, you have to try new things. You have to try different things. I thought breathwork was the stupidest thing. I’m going to go to a thing and somebody’s going to show me how to breathe and all this. What’s going to happen? It doesn’t make any sense. I’ve been breathing my whole life, right? That’s what everyone says. That’s the stupid thing I hear from people all the time. ‘I’ve been breathing my whole life. You’re going to show me how to breathe?’ Then finally, when they’re in enough pain they’ll show up. Because people aren’t motivated until they’re in enough pain in some way in some are. Then they show up because they’re willing to try new things. They’re willing to try anything.

If you get in enough pain you’ll try whatever. So, unfortunately, pain is the motivator for most people. For me, when that cracked me open I went, ‘okay, what else is out there?’ I started just going down a rabbit hole of exploring all kinds of stuff and all kinds of modalities out there and trying it al. I added what worked to my trainings. Why didn’t I just let it fall away? So be willing to be an explorer, a scientist within yourself, within your life, within your body.


[1:31:50] Ashley James: Is there any contraindications of doing this? Could it be dangerous to breathe this much?


[1:31:56] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. There are some contraindications. Some of them are like high blood pressure, glaucoma, certain mental illnesses are not recommended.


[1:32:07] Ashley James: Which ones?


[1:32:08] Jon Paul Crimi: I would have to go look it up off the top of my head because I’m on the spot right now. I don’t have it all memorized. But here’s the thing, I’ve had all the people with mental illnesses that are on my contraindications and they’re fine. Like I’ve had them come to my classes. I’ve had them come to my training. But you just never know. You just never know what somebody is going to react too. Unfortunately, we live in this litigious society and people want to sue for everything now, right? So, you have to be extra careful. Pregnancy is a big contraindication because miscarriages happen. What do we teach women in Lamaze class, right?


[1:32:56] Ashley James: Breathe.


[1:32:57] Jon Paul Crimi: Breathe. Right. Deep breathing for the most painful thing you’re ever going to go through. They say when women have a baby, it’s almost the pain that a man feels when he has a cold. But it’s the most painful thing you’re ever going to go through is have a child, childbirth. That’s what they say, right? So we do deep breathing. I believe Lamaze is through the mouth, right?

Here, let me read some of the contraindications for you. A person with history of cardiovascular disease including angina or heart attack, high blood pressure, glaucoma, retinal detachment, osteoporosis. I don’t understand the osteoporosis one. Significant recent physical injuries or surgery which is anything, right? You don’t want to be doing anything when you just had surgery, really. Breathwork is not advised for persons with severe mental illness or seizure disorders or for persons using major medications, which is most of the planet. It is also unsuitable for anyone with a personal history of aneurysms. Pregnant women are advised against practicing breathwork without first consulting and getting approval from their primary care physician. Persons with asthma should bring their inhaler, consult a primary care physician.

I can’t tell you how many women have been in my classes. I’ve seen a hand go up while they’re three songs into the breathwork. I go, ‘Yes?’ They go, ‘Is this okay to do when you’re pregnant? I’m like, ‘Don’t you think you should’ve asked that before you came to the class?’ Because they thought it was going to be some relaxing meditation thing but it’s not. It’s a workout. Like I tell everybody in my classes, ‘You’ve all done something harder in your life than lay on the floor on your back and breathe. Come on.’ A hike is harder than laying on the floor on your back and breathe. It just freaks people out because it catches you unexpected. You’re just not prepared that all this wild stuff is going to happen to you physically, mentally and emotionally from laying on the floor and breathing. So because you’re not prepared for it, it just freaks people out, right?

So my job as a facilitator, as a teacher is to prepare people as best I can. So that they can push through that stuff and go, ‘You know what, JP told me this was going to happen. He’s telling me I’m fine and I’m fine. So just push through it.’ Then have a big experience. A lot of people will have that big experience then tell me, ‘Oh my God. That’s like-changing. I’m going to be here every month or I’m going to be here every week. I’m going to do it all the time.’ Then they don’t do it again. They just don’t. They get too freaked out to go back and do it even though they know it was incredible. They could use it. We don’t take care of ourselves in that way. It’s easier to say with bad habits that we know hurt us. It’s easier to stay in that discomfort that’s familiar than to go into unknown that feels good.


[1:35:54] Ashley James: Marilu Henner is an actress who I’ve met a few times and I’ve spent some time with. She has a photographic memory. She was on Taxi and she was on the Apprentice, really cool. She has this whole story and she says, “Choose your hard.” Listen, I mean it’s hard to stay stuck. It’s hard to stay depressed. It’s hard to stay in a bad relationship. It’s hard to stay in a bad job. It’s hard, right? It’s hard to change. It’s hard to get a new habit, a new health habit. It’s hard to get up and go to the gym or eat healthy or not eat crap. Choose your hard. All of it is hard. Everything is hard. Choose your hard. If you’re choosing your hard, which is get up 15-20 minutes earlier and lie on the floor and do breathwork, which would be amazing to start the day off. I can’t even imagine the amount of clarity someone would have after. If they started their day off, they get up, they go potty and then they lay on the ground and they do 15-20 minutes of breathwork first thing in the morning. I mean that would completely reset the day, energize the body, turn on the mitochondria, just totally detoxing. Cleanse the body. Introducing oxygen to the whole body. Just amp up cellular energy production and mental clarity. Turn off that inner critic and allow them to have that huge amount of clarity for the whole day. That sounds like the best. That would beat the best cup of coffee anywhere.


[1:37:37] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean listen, if you get up in the morning and you do that, you walk into the world that day filled with gratitude and love. So you show up to whatever it is that you’re showing up that day, work or whatever, with gratitude and love people are attracted to that. You become a magnet in the world. As opposed to showing up with all your stories, all your stuff like we’re doing and we’re saying, ‘Oh my God. You’re not going to believe what happened last night. Let me tell you the story,’ because that’s how so many people are getting attention, which is really just a way that they’re trying to get love is they’re telling all their stories. If you can let go of those stories and just be present and start to embrace yourself and have gratitude and love for your life, you can walk around in the world like that, it changes who you are in the world. It changes what your world becomes because you start to attract all these other things into your life.

The last 20 years for me has just been a series of replacing one horrible bad habit with something better. I do drugs all day at work and then I go home and drink so let me clear that out and replace it with exercise and recovery and helping other people. Okay, now I’m eating sugar and I’m doing this. Let me replace that with ice plunges and float tanks and breathwork. Just trading off a bad habit for a good habit. I think the mistake too many people make is they try to do it all at once and then they fail. Then they go, ‘Yeah. It didn’t work.’ Then they go back to their all bad habits.’ When it’s like just pick one thing. Pick the one thing that you most want to change in your life right now and do that. Focus on that thing. After you’re successful with that and you see that you can change that one thing, build on that. Build on that. I saw that because I was able to show up and do this and eliminate drinking.

Listen, I would read self-help book and spiritual books while I was drinking and doing drugs. It just doesn’t work very well that way. So I kind of think that’s the first thing. I’ve seen people show up to these kinds of events, these motivational events, these guru events. There’s no judgment from me. I just don’t think that none of it is really going to work if you’re medicating which is self-medicating. So start there because you don’t even know what’s going on until you stop with the drinking and the drugs or whatever that is. However, you know you’re self-medicating and then all these feelings start coming up. Then you go, ‘Oh my God. All these feelings are coming up, right?’ That’s when breathwork is a great tool. ‘Oh. All these feelings come up. Let me lay down and breathe and clear them out and get clear. ‘ 

What you start to get clear on is all your old stories. All the stories that you’ve been telling since you were a kid of who you are and why you do these things and how you try to sick love that often doesn’t work for us. You start to get clear on those stories and you can start to let go of those stories even if they’re true, especially if they’re true. When we can start to let go of our stories, our old stories, we can start to write some new ones. We could start to create some new chapters in our lives and we could become a different person.


[1:41:11] Ashley James: Is that level of self-reflection happen during the breathwork or those epiphanies come after the breathwork when we’re in that very clear-headed mental state after we get up off the ground from breathing for about 20 minutes?


[1:41:28] Jon Paul Crimi: Both. So you’ll have some things that will come out while you’re breathing. Some stuff will come out, some emotions will come up and stuff will come up while you’re breathing. Then afterward, for me, I tell people, the breath after the breathing that laying there after you’re done active breathing, that’s the pay-off. That’s when you get these, I call them downloads from the universe where it’s like, ‘Oh. This is what I need to do. I need to help this person or I need to do this or I need to create this. I just need to be present with my kids.’

I have this joke where I say like, I want to have shirts made that say, ‘I’m sorry for what I said before breathwork.’ Because it’s been so many times. Like I’ve had an argument with my wife or something and I go lay down and I breathe. Then I come back in the room and I’m like, ‘Babe, I’m sorry. I was just being a selfish jerk. I love you and you’re amazing.’ I wouldn’t have got that clarity or whatever that thing was. It wasn’t that important than what really is important. That’s what it gets you to. It gets you to what’s really important. What’s really important is gratitude and love and those moments in your life that go in your heart.

I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me and be like, ‘the moments that I pulled in was so unexpected and not what I thought at all.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah. That’s what really matters.’ Because we think all the other stuff matters and it doesn’t. So it gets you really clear about what really matters in your life. Everything else is just a distraction. That’s amazing if you can get that clarity.

I would have people come in and go, ‘I’m struggling with this relationship.’ or ‘I’m struggling with this career decision, I’m struggling with this.’ I go, ‘Okay. Let’s just set the intention for clarity on it.’ It’s crystal clear when they come up. There’s zero doubt. They were so torn when they walked into the room. They lay down and breathe. What they need to do. The answer is crystal clear. Then what happens sometimes, especially around relationships, is the head will kick back on a couple of days later and fear kicks in. Fear goes, ‘You don’t really want to go back out there and date do you? You don’t want to go out on Bumble or He’s pain. He’s not that bad. He does do this.’ We start to make a case. We start to build a case because the fear is telling us that we’re not going to find anyone that’s right for us. The truth is, it’s trite to say but it’s like you want to whole and complete within yourself. Jerry Maguire sold us a lie which is, “You complete me.” Well, that’s BS, right? Nobody completes you. You complete yourself.


[1:44:09] Ashley James: I love it.


[1:44:11] Jon Paul Crimi: It’s just like, when you complete yourself and you’re whole and complete within yourself and you’re walking around with gratitude and love for your life and not looking for something more, I’m telling you. You are a magnet. You’re a magnet to the opposite sex or the same sex. Whatever you’re into. Whatever your thing is. You’re just a magnet to people who want to be around you who want to be with you in some way who want to work with you, who want to hang out with you. Whatever. It’s like you become this magnet because it’s so rare now in this day and age that people are not walking around needing, wanting something.


[1:44:47] Ashley James: Feeling inadequate, feeling like there’s a hole in them that they need to fill.


[1:44:53] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. There is literally nothing I need right now in my life. It’s weird. I’ve had some really good business-wise a bunch of financial windfalls lately. I’ve gone like, ‘I should buy something.’ I wanted that for so long. I got to that place and there’s nothing I need. You know that that watch isn’t going to make me happy. Let’s put it away for my kids’ college. I don’t know. There’s nothing I need. There’s nothing I want. It’s an incredible place to get to. It finally makes sense now looking back. If you’re in a part in your life where you’re frustrated and you’re angry, you’re not there yet.

Joseph Campbell, the Heroes Journey, right? When you go through all the stages of the hero’s journey and then at the end of the hero’s journey you turn around and you help somebody else. You come back with the elixir, right? That’s where I feel like I’m at now. I’m just turning around and I’m helping other people and it’s incredible. If you’re struggling right now, you’re listening to this and you’re struggling with relationships, with career and all that stuff, it doesn’t make sense yet and it doesn’t make sense for you. You cannot connect the dots, right? Looking back, Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots until you’re there.” There is no there really. I found this fascinating. Steve Jobs took this font class in college and he didn’t know why. Now, we all know why when we’re staring at an Apple font, we’re starting at the iPhone.

It all makes sense for me in my life. All my disappointments, all my failures, all the things that I tried, they all came together for me to create this thing and share it with people. I never in a million years thought I would be doing this and sharing it with some people. But it totally makes sense to me now looking back. I’m fulfilled in a way that I didn’t know that I would be that I didn’t know I want it, the fulfillment. I tell people all the time, happiness. Everybody’s looking for happiness. They’re searching for happiness. I’m like, ‘You’re looking in the wrong place because happiness is just an emotion like sadness. It’s going to come and it’s going to go.’ Fulfillment, filling yourself up that’s the key. Because whether you’re happy or whether you’re sad, if you’re fulfilled in what you’re doing, happiness or sadness doesn’t matter. So fulfillment is the key to search for, to work for, to find that fulfillment.

Teaching breathwork and helping people get sober has been the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done. I’ll keep doing it until I’ve changed millions of lives on the planet or I find something more powerful to help people with.


[1:47:38] Ashley James: Well, I love it. I love that your goal is to help millions of people. My goal is to help millions of people too. To be able to learn how to create optimal health. That’s why the podcast is called Learn True Health. They’re going to learn how to create true health for themselves and help mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually and energetically. Do that by listening to amazing guests like you, Jon Paul. Oh my gosh. It’s been so incredible learning from you.

I want to talk about your course because I have a feeling that my listeners are going to want to do it. Before we hit record, you said that I should do it. So I’m going to do your course, your five-day course. I want you to tell us a bit about it. First, I have some clarifying questions. So, if someone wants to lie on the ground and breathe, they want to do it to a minimum of 15 minutes? You said your classes are 27 minutes long.


[1:48:39] Jon Paul Crimi: Well, the class is an hour, right? The class is like 1 hour and 15, but the act of breathing, the active portion of this breathwork that we’re talking about is about, see in a one-on-one session it really depends on the person. Somebody could be done in 20 minutes, right? They could be done in 30 minutes or 35 minutes. So in a class, it’s really challenging to find that sweet spot of time, right? So what I generally try and do, because some people are coming, they come every time and they’ve been doing it for a while. There’s a lot of brand new people in the room. So I try to find a sweet spot of time but it’s really different for everybody.

Let’s just say a minimum of 16-17 minutes. Let’s make it 15 to make it easier. You could go up to 30 minutes. I wouldn’t suggest 30 minutes if it’s your very first time doing breathwork. So you lay on the floor and the active breathing is for 15-30 minutes, anywhere in that zone. The way you might want to do it, the way I used to do it, was I create playlist and I’d know by the song. So I’m going to breathe. I’m going to do the active breathing for six songs. I use songs that are motivational like a workout. I would do the active breathing during the six songs. The last song or two I would do emotion in there like Landslide from Fleetwood Mac. Nobody makes it through Landslide without crying. Landslide breaks everyone. Fire and Rain from James Taylor break everyone.

 So anyway, you don’t have to do that but that’s how I do it. Then have some songs that are beautiful, moving, calming after that. Those are the songs that I call the rest songs because the best part of breathwork is after the breathwork. Laying there and enjoying it. I tell people, ‘You just did that hard and uncomfortable work. Don’t get up afterward. Lay there and that’s where you get the payoff.’ I felt my head quiet for the first time in my life like I’d always try to do with drugs and alcohol after breathwork. So just lay there and enjoy it.


[1:50:44] Ashley James: That’s when you can meditate.


[1:50:45] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean, that’s how I learned how to meditate was through breathwork. This is what meditation is. This is the quiet space that I could never get to. I would feel my body just vibrating with this incredible energy and that’s your energy that you can use to transform your life and other people’s lives. Just lay there and enjoy it. Get whatever comes in. you’re going to get downloads. You’re going to get messages. I’ve heard all kinds of woo woo stuff in the thing. People tell me their dead relatives have visited them when they’re doing breathwork. People tell me that they have visions and all kind of stuff. I’ve had all kinds of stuff. I try not to put that stuff out there too much because I think it’s different for everybody. It’s different every time you do it. So, who knows what’s going to happen for you but be adventurous and go for it. Lay down on the floor, breathe into your mouth down into your belly, then into your chest, and then let it fall out. Then start again.

So I have a couple of CDs that are guided on iTunes that are like $11.00 I think or $12.00. That’s the cheapest kind of guided option. But you don’t need to do that. You could just do it yourself. Then I have this course, the Five Day Emotional Detox which is on sale right now. I believe it’s 40% off. It’s on my website which is Breathe with JP, B R E A T H E with JP. So a lot of people write breath with JP and then can’t find it. It’s breathe.


[1:52:20] Ashley James: You need to buy breath with JP and just have it redirect.


[1:52:25] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. That’s a great idea. It’s a really good idea. So there’s courses on my website. You’ll see the buttons there. It will say like, Online Courses. If you want the five-day emotional breathwork detox, that’s what the course is called, you’d click on my Online Course and it will take you there. I also have the teacher trainings online or I do the teacher trainings in person in Los Angeles as well. Then I offer them all as a package online. You could do the five-day course with the two teacher trainings, it’s packaged. But the five-day detox, we talked a lot about it. I mean the first session, the first day is a video of me showing you the technique of breathwork. It really goes into an incredible description. There’s a downloaded, one of those albums is in there that you can download and do it. The audio. You could add music to it, your own music. Another way that you can play it with music. The next day is the affirmations. You combine the affirmations with breathwork. Then the third day is the transformational letter with breathwork. The fourth day is this thing called the eulogy or the legacy where you write your legacy. Who you became at the end of your life, which is really powerful to do. You can read it to somebody too. It’s even more powerful. You write this and you go like, ‘I got to get to work.’ It’s time to get to work, right? It’s really moving and I have people do it in my teacher trainings. I have them get up and read their legacy. The last day is a love letter to yourself. You write the love letter to yourself and you combine it with breathwork.

So if you did these exercises with breathwork, and they don’t have to be five days in a row. If you did them, you would have a massive, massive shift in your life. Then I would get an email from you saying like, ‘Thank you so much.’ And I love that.


[1:54:06] Ashley James: Yes you would.


[1:54:07] Jon Paul Crimi: I love that. For me, that’s the real payoff is the email that says like, ‘Wow. I did this. It’s so unexpected. It helped me heal this thing or change this. I feel different.’ I have with me my wife at the restaurant. Some woman came up to me in a restaurant and she said, “Are you Jon Paul Crimi?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “I did your five-day detox online and it was life-changing. Thank you so much.” I looked over, “See. That’s my husband over there.” She pointed to her husband and her husband mouthed thank you to me. I was like that’s so awesome. It’s just incredible.

It was a combination of these workshops that I was doing and I decided to just put them together in a course and see what would happen and see if it would work. I didn’t know if it would work. I took a chance. It was an idea that I had to do breathwork. It all comes to me through breathwork. So I put them online and the response has been amazing. I just feel so grateful that I get to share this with people. It was like, ‘How do I share this with people in other parts of the world?’ Because I got emails from people all the time who would hear a podcast with me or see something or hear about it. I was like, ‘I need an effective way to share this.’ So I did the iTunes album. Then I did the course and the course is really powerful because it helps I think when you see me kind of explain it to you. When you watch it physically. When you see my diaphragm expanding and you watch me do the technique. It’s a little challenging to understand just hearing but I think people could do it.

I’ve had people listen to it and hear it and do it and it had incredible results. Oftentimes when people do it just from hearing podcasts like this is they’ll do five minutes or ten minutes and then they’ll get scared and they’ll stop.


[1:56:03] Ashley James: Right. They got to power through.


[1:56:05] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean, that’s actually why the class helps. It’s kind of like peer pressure in a good way like everyone around you is doing it. You hear people around you having emotional experiences and you start to get emotional. So classes are really good. A private session’s a really good for people. But not everybody has access to that. So, if you don’t have access to that, that’s why the online courses are great.


[1:56:27] Ashley James: This makes so much sense why you have a link to Spotify with all this playlist. I was going through your website. I was like, ‘Oh, he’s on Spotify.’ I click on it, it’s just a bunch of playlist of songs. I’m like, ‘What? What?’ Now I get it.


[1:56:43] Jon Paul Crimi: I’m so glad you brought that up. All right. I have years of my classes. Those are all my classes, right? That I’ve done on Spotify. If you look at the playlist, let me get one up here so I can kind of go over it. If you look at a playlist, let’s just say here we go Bend. So the first song is like a song Feeling Good by Lauryn Hill. That’s a real intense motivational song, right? Then the second song is another motivational song. So the first three or four songs are really pushing you. Then we get into emotional stuff. Then there’s a song in there that’s just sound. What I’m doing there is I’m actually playing the gong in my class. So I have a gong. I can’t believe I have a gong and I play a gong in my class. It’s just so weird for me. How that came about was I was in a class and I didn’t like the class but we screamed into the gong and that was such a powerful experience for me that I added it to my class.

So I have a song where I play the gong and you’re still breathing during the gong playing, which is really weird. Then I count it down, ‘On the count of three, we’re going to scream into the gong. One, two, three. Ahhhh’ I’ll have 200 people in the room just screaming, yelling at the top of their lungs. That in itself is a powerful, powerful release because where in your life do you scream at the top of your lungs, from the bottom of your soul? When do you get to do that? Unless stuff’s gone really wrong in your life, right? It just doesn’t happen. That adds to the release at the end of the breathwork.

Then after the scream, I’m like, ‘Okay. Just relax.’ Then another song will come on. It will be an emotional song like Be Still by the Fray or I Am Light by India.Arie, whatever song I pick. Heroes by Peter Gabriel. So that’s the rest song. That’s the payoff. That’s the beauty. So I don’t say anything during that.

Then this other song, Devi Prayer comes on. You shouldn’t still be breathing by then if that comes on. That’s the song, it’s like a yogi kind of song. The woman is like, ‘Ohh.’ She’s like sort of singing like that. That’s when people reach up and pull moments of gratitude, moments of love into their hearts. Then I read something. Then I say, ‘Okay. I’m going to go outside in the lobby. Come out in a bit. Enjoy these couple of songs and just lay here. This is what you came for not the breathing.’ Then people will come up and hug me on the way out and I get 200 hugs and I feel amazing.


[1:59:27] Ashley James: Wow. That sounds awesome. Your classes sound amazing.


[1:59:31] Jon Paul Crimi: It’s a good time. I mean, it’s pretty powerful. It’s a ride. It’s an experience. I’ve made it such. I tweaked it and I honed it and I made it into this incredible experience where people come and they bring- I have people that buy 10 tickets and bring all their family members. People that bring like rehabs bring all their people in rehab or sober living. People come with their friends. They drive, people drive. I’ve had people fly in for my classes. It’s wild. It’s become a thing. I’m feeling really blessed. I’m feeling really lucky that I get to do this incredible thing and changes people’s lives. I never knew that I would be here doing this. I’m so glad that I didn’t get what I thought I was supposed to get. It would’ve been so much less.


[2:00:34] Ashley James: You thought you were going to some relaxing yoga breathing class.


[2:00:40] Jon Paul Crimi: No. I meant in my life. I wanted to be some big celebrity thing. That’s not what happened for me. I’ve got so much more because I saw that that wasn’t going to fix me. I saw that first hand. I believe that’s the reason I worked with all these people is because I got to see that that wasn’t going to fix me. So I got something much more fulfilling.


[2:01:05] Ashley James: Yeah you did. Absolutely. You have been training teachers. You’ve been training people. You have an online teacher training and an in-person teacher training.


[2:01:15] Jon Paul Crimi: Correct


[2:01:16] Ashley James: Thousands of people have been certified in your technique and work with individuals. People can do one-on-one work or they could do classes. It’s a movement. You’re the head of this movement.


[2:01:33] Jon Paul Crimi: I don’t know if I’m the head of it. There have been other people that had been around doing it for a long time. I think that I teach it in a way that I just have taken all the new agey woo out of it. I feel like I’m more accessible to most people. I had a fire chief come to my teacher training. I’ve had doctors, PhDs, psychologists coming to my teacher training. So I think I’m just teaching it in a more accessible way that translates to your housewife, to your angry guy guy, to different people who really need this.

People bringing their teenagers to my class, which you have to ask first. I think that it was really kept within this new agey woo woo circles. It was kept small and done that way. It just turned a lot of people off. I just tweaked the technique to make it more accessible to everyone else. One time I had one of these teachers that I’m talking about. If I get any criticism, it’s other breathwork teachers who studied from someone else or had a different style and they don’t like it.

This woman came into my class and she’s like, ‘I can kind of like see how you’re like for like people who would never do this work.’ I was like, ‘Yeah. That’s exactly right. I want a room full of people who needed help, not eight other breathwork teachers pretending that we’re all spiritual in mala robes and mala beads. I want to help angry guys and stressed out moms. That’s what I’m for. Thank you for the compliment that you weren’t intending as a compliment.

I don’t do the whole spiritual speak. I worked at a meditation studio. I worked with a couple of them. I don’t anymore. I rent spaces and just do it myself. The teachers would come in with this, I love a lot of these teachers but I would hear people come in with these voices that are like, “Hey everyone. I know it’s been a hard day. Mercury is in retrograde right now.’ I’m going, ‘Oh my God. A) That’s not really your voice, b) don’t blame it on Mercury in retrograde. Your life is a mess because you made it that way. Just own it. Let’s fix it.

So I’m kind of like a little edgy and I can still be a jerk sometimes. I’m a lot less of a jerk but I’m a human being. I used to go to these classes and I’d go, ‘Oh my God. It’s just on the 405 freeway to the 101 to the 10, which are the three worst freeway in America to get here. I almost choke someone out in the parking lot. Don’t worry, we’re going to put gratitude and love in your heart right now.

So somebody will be like, “Oh my God. This guy is so real. He’s so authentic.’ I’m like, ‘No, no. I’m really going to kill somebody. Just lay down. Stop messing around. Put your phone away.’


[2:04:25] Ashley James: Shut up and breathe.


[2:04:26] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I’ve actually mellowed quite a bit as a teacher. It’s ironic that attracted a lot of people to me is my style. It’s my sort of like angry breathwork teacher. I mean, I’m not angry anymore. I can get irritated but it’s just not there. Most of it is gone.


[2:04:48] Ashley James: I love it.


[2:04:49] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. It’s really powerful.  That you would never. So, if I have anything to share with anybody it’s like, ‘Don’t believe your head. Try something different. Try something new. Tray something that you would never try. Do something that you would never do. Be open. Keep showing up for yourself because you’re worth it.


[2:05:09] Ashley James: I love it so much. You say you take the woo woo out of it. So, you’re so not woo woo then when kind of like spiritual things happen, it’s a bit of surprise for some people. Can you share with me what kind of interesting spiritual things has happened for you in doing the breathwork that you were shocked happen? That you weren’t aware would happen?


[2:05:42] Jon Paul Crimi: I don’t usually share the spiritual stuff because I don’t want people to get turned off by it. I feel like if you’re hearing someone share their spiritual experience you go, ‘Okay. I’m out.’ That’s not for me, right? But if you have your spiritual experience yourself, different story.


[2:05:59] Ashley James: Right. To preframe it. One of my regular guests is an exorcist. I think my listeners are more open-minded than the regular population.


[2:06:09] Jon Paul Crimi: Okay. All right. We can dive into it. One of my first breathwork sessions, I saw myself on the stage, reaching out in the air, hand in the air, 100 people in the room. They were all reaching out, laying on the floor. I was like, ‘That’s so weird. Why would I be doing that?’ I was on a stage couple of years later with 100 people in the room and I had them doing that, pulling the moments in. I remember that first session. I went, ‘Oh my God. That is the thing I saw in the breathwork session. I saw this. I saw this years ago and I didn’t understand what it meant. So, it was like a future download.

I would get messages. You need to go call this person. You need to help this person. It was always about help. It’s always been about helping people. I’m a selfish, self-centered person by nature. So I was like, ‘Damn. Why can’t it be just about me?’ It’s never about me because when I help other people, my life gets really good. When I focus on myself, my life gets really lousy.

So, just parts of my body healing traumas in my body from different things that happened to me in my life I would feel that. My very first session, I felt connected to the universe. God, spirituality, whatever you want to call it. I felt it in an undeniable way. I felt it in the way like I would want to get out of the car and kill someone in LA in the freeway. It was that real for me. It was that undeniable. I felt it. I felt the presence of something in my life. It was the first time I’d ever felt it. I have grown up in religion. I traveled the world and gone through temples in Cambodia and the cathedral in Notre Dame. I’ve done it all and I never felt it anywhere in my life ever. I felt it in this breathwork session the first time. It was incredible.

I came home and told my wife about it. I made love to my wife and I said, ‘I just made a baby.’ She said, ‘Shut up you idiot.’ I said, ‘No, no. I felt the soul the baby come through me.’ The next day, she was nauseous, I was like, ‘That’s the baby.’ She’s like, ‘It’s the next day, idiot. Shut up.’ Then I had this thing the next day which I’d never experienced before, which was my head was completely turned off for the entire day.


[2:08:34] Ashley James: Wow.


[2:08:35] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. It was the best day of my life I guess. I felt like maybe what someone feels like, I don’t know for sure, with schizophrenia or some kind of mental illness because I was walking around kind of just giggling. Present and giggling. I said to my wife, ‘Do I look like I’m crazy?’ She said, ‘You just look really happy.’ But I’d never experience anything like it. My friend who was a spiritual kind of guru, healer he said, ’You are in the Buddha mind.’ I was in the Buddha-mind for that day and it was just an incredible day. Sure enough, that was the conception of my daughter that day, that night before.

It’s just been one awakening after another. There have been times where I’ve done fasting. I started fasting and I would breathe in a fast. I will go, ‘Oh my God. Now I get it, what the connection is between fasting and spirituality.’ I would have these intense breath sessions where I would do the active breathing for an hour or more. Then I would lay there vibrating on the floor for two hours just connected to some kind of source, to some incredible thing.

So, there’s been journeys like that. I’ve done it on beaches, on planes. I have a float tank, that sensory deprivation tank in my house, which I love. It’s like my favorite place to and I’ve done it a ton in there. I freaked myself out, maybe I’m building too much carbon monoxide here. But it has vents you know. But your mind is really dangerous. It can be really dangerous, right. It’s like acid. They say if you start thinking you’re going to have a bad acid trip you do, right? That really translates into breathwork too. If you think you’re going to have a bad time- there have been people who email me like all scared and worried. I go, ‘Yeah, don’t come. If you think you’re going to have a bad time, you are going to.’ Whether you think you’re right or not, you’re right.

The brain is such a powerful thing. The mind is this supercomputer and it has to be right and so we make it right. So if you think you’re going to have a bad time then you probably are.


[2:10:46] Ashley James: Yeah. Yeah. We need to shift our mindset. Absolutely. Because it’s right. Our mindset is right.


[2:10:54] Jon Paul Crimi: I program people. Like you’re talking about the NLP, I tell people, ‘You’re going to have this incredible transformational experience tonight. You’re going to walk out of here different than the way you came in. If you can just do these little things. If you can just push through these little discomforts, you’re going to leave here differently.’ People do. Everyone in that room leaves different than the way they came in without a doubt. I’ve been teaching it for eight years now, I’ve never had somebody come up and say nothing happened. This hasn’t happened, never had anyone asked for their money back. It just never happened.


[2:11:24] Ashley James: Oh my gosh. That’s amazing.


[2:11:25] Jon Paul Crimi: I have had people quit at the studio. I would see two or three people quit. They gave up five minutes in because it got hard, it got uncomfortable where they start to feel the physical sensations and they got scared and freak them out and they stop. They go, ‘This isn’t for me.’ I’m like, ‘You haven’t gone to the other side yet. You don’t know if it’s for you. You have to fully do it.’ But what I found out is I would go ask the studio, ‘Was that person here on a guest pass, on a free guest pass?’ They’re like, ‘Yeah. How’d you know?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah. Because they gave up.’ Because there was no investment. Being invested is often key to this thing. Having some kind of investment, having some kind of exchange will help you to push through.

If I have you pay $1000.00 to do it, you’re going to do it.


[2:12:11] Ashley James: Yeah. I bet the people that fly into LA and dedicate a few days of their life between travel and getting to your class, I bet they get the biggest breakthroughs out of being there.


[2:12:22] Jon Paul Crimi: They do. The more invested you are the bigger the experience is going to be. Yeah. Test it out. Let me know what you think. If you have the guts, you got to push through it.


[2:12:34] Ashley James: I know. I’m totally going to do it. I’m so excited.


[2:12:36] Jon Paul Crimi: The one thing- I just realized I forgot to say that it works better on an empty stomach.


[2:12:40] Ashley James: Really glad that you mentioned to do it on an empty stomach because when I was in massage therapy college back when I was 19, many many lifetimes ago, I had learned this breathing exercise that also involves clenching. You clench your muscles and let go. You clench your muscles and let go. I came home and did it with my roommate, he threw up everywhere because he had just eaten. He’s like, ‘What are you doing to me?’ I was really afraid of it afterward. It was so weird. He was just lying there one second next thing he’s throwing up everywhere.

So I imagine that deep breathing because the diaphragm is pushing on the stomach. You definitely want to be- so how many hours away from food should we be?


[2:13:25] Jon Paul Crimi: You know look, the less you’ve eaten, the further you’re away from it the actually the bigger the experience will be. But if you’re someone who gets really lightheaded or dizzy or has low blood sugar then I would say two hours, three hours. Bring a bar or bring juice to have after the breathwork to take care of yourself. If you’re someone that can handle it that does fasting regularly then you’re fine. Do it fasted. My biggest experiences have been fasted. But listen, if you’ve never done this before and you’re not someone that fasts, don’t do that. Don’t fast all day and then do this big huge breathwork session. I mean, it’s too much too soon.


[2:14:10] Ashley James: The mismatches that are listening, the mismatchers who have to do what you tell them not to do are all going to do a seven-day fast and then start breathwork. The mismatchers, you’ve been warned.


[] Jon Paul Crimi: They’re going to see God. They’re going to see God. They’re going to email me 50 emails after that.


[2:14:28] Ashley James: So take it slow. It sounds like the best time is first thing in the morning because you’re already coming out of a natural fast having not eaten for the last eight hours.


[2:14:37] Jon Paul Crimi: That’s right. That’s right. I do my classes often at night so people will hold off and they normally have dinner at five or six or seven and I’ll do my class at seven or 8:00 and they’ll be really hungry. Those are the class and they go have this big experience. Then they’ll go eat with their friends afterward. I would suggest at least two to three hours of an empty stomach.


[2:15:02] Ashley James: Very good. So your five-day class is on


[2:15:09] Jon Paul Crimi: Yup. Five Day Emotional Detox it’s called.


[2:15:11] Ashley James: Five Day Emotional Detox. The link to that and the link to everything Jon Paul does is going to be on the show notes of today’s podcast at I want to have you back on the show after I’ve done the Five Day Emotional Detox. We should definitely have you back. We should keep diving into this topic. I think that this is incredibly valuable. My listeners are turning over stones and trying to figure out what am I eating? Am I eating things wrong or right? What am I doing? Should I be taking these supplements? Should I be taking these herbs? Should I be taking these classes? Should I be doing this or doing that? They’re turning over stones and this is the stone that 100% of the population should turn over.


[2:15:57] Jon Paul Crimi: Yup.


[2:15:58] Ashley James: Absolutely. Thank you so much for coming on the show today and sharing. I definitely want to have you back. Is there anything you’d like to say to the listeners to complete today’s interview? Any homework you want to give or any final words that you’d like to impart upon us?


[2:16:15] Jon Paul Crimi: I think I just want to say that I think I already said it which is you’re worth it, show up and love yourself no matter what, no matter how hard things get. Everybody wants somebody to show up and love them for who they are, the way they are when they’re not loving themselves that way. We teach people how to love us. We show people how to love us by how we love ourselves. How we love ourselves is how we show up and do the hard work for ourselves. So show up and do the hard work for yourself because you’re worth it.

I want to say this little quote by Thich Nhat Hanh which is, “I have been repeating this to myself over with my hand on my heart and it is so healing. To love is to be there. We cannot love if we are not fully breathing into each moment. May we have the courage to open to each moment with a sense of curiosity. May we have the desire to show up for ourselves no matter what. May we put our hands in our hearts and speak in a gentle voice. Dear one, I am here for you. Dear one, I am here for you. Dear one, I am here for you. All my love.


[2:17:33] Ashley James: Jon Paul Crimi, thank you so much. It’s been such a pleasure having you on the show. I can’t wait to have you back.


[2:17:39] Jon Paul Crimi: Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. It’s been fabulous.


[2:17:43] Outro: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition? And how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity. Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and to figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business and support people in their success? Do you love helping people?

You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health coaching certification program. And it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over a hundred dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition. But from a standpoint of how we can help people to shift their life and shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health. I definitely recommend you check them out. You can Google Institute for Integrative Nutrition or IIN and give them a call. Or you can go to and you can receive a free module of their training to check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in. Be sure to mention my name Ashley James and the Learn True Health podcast because I made a deal with them that they will give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program. And I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information.

We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctors’ offices, you can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help your local schools shift their programs to help children be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them in their success and their health goals. There are so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach.

So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Mention my name, get the best deal. Give them a call and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon. The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month. So you’re going to want to call them now and check it out. And if you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.

Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price. That’s Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome program.


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