Meredith Shirk is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified personal trainer, Fitness Nutritional Specialist, with a Magna Cum Laude Degree in Biology and self-proclaimed scientific research geek.
For the past decade, Meredith has been passionate about achieving peak performance. She helps her clients achieve this at Svelte Training in Malibu, California.
- What is the Aphrodisiac Secret?
- Why Aphrodisiac means much more than just Sexual Function
- Libido Enhancing Coffee?
- The Miracle Tree
- The Importance of Rotational Training
- Benefits of Running in the Sand
- Oysters are Great for the Immune System
- The #1 Thing to do when Stressed
- Male and Female Sexual Differences and Similarities
- How to Find What Works for Your Body
- Working in your 3 Foot Space
- And Much More
Get in contact with Meredith at [email protected]
Click the link below to access the complete transcript.
Logan: Welcome to the Vital Way Podcast, I’m Logan Christopher here from LegendaryStrength.com and SuperManHerbs.com and we have another exciting call for you today. Today joining us is Meredith Shrik, she is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified personal trainer, a fitness nutrition specialist with a Magna Cum Laude degree in Biology and self-proclaimed scientific research geek. For the past decade, Meredith has been passionate about achieving peak performance and she helps clients achieve this at Svelte Training in Malibu, California. Welcome to the call, Meredith.
Meredith: Hi, thanks for having me.
Logan: This is the first time me and Meredith have talked. I stumbled across one of her online programs which we’ll be definitely talking a little bit about. It kind of captured my interest because in some ways it was similar with some of the herbs that we’re handling at Super Man Herbs and kind of how we positioned them, talking about gods and goddesses and all that. So I guess that’s a good place to start but let’s get a little bit more background. So how did you get interested in fitness and what kind of led you down this path?
Meredith: Well, I’ve always been athletic my entire life. I started playing water polo actually, and I don’t know if your audience is familiar with water polo. It’s not horses in the water so don’t worry. It’s actually treading water, swimming, kind of like soccer but in the pool. So I started playing water polo in high school. Then I actually went to college and played there in college and I did a lot of Olympic lifting in the gym, a lot of working out, a lot of training with high level professionals and I just kind of fell in love with it. I’ve always been active. I’ve always loved to stay in shape so after I graduated college, I was on the path to be a doctor, go to medical school and I just decided I want to help people right now instead of waiting to become a doctor and 15 years later maybe helping them.
So what I did was I just started Svelte Training in Malibu and it was a combination of what I’d learned in college through Olympic lifting but also what I had learned I didn’t want to do anymore. It’s lift super heavy at that time. So I integrated a lot of what I learned in school in Biology and also just training in water polo and playing with Olympic-level athletes like how to best perform with as little work as possible.
Logan: That’s what most people are looking for, right? There are unusual people like us that enjoy training. Then you have the average folk out there that just wants the benefits of it with the least amount of effort.
Meredith: Right. So that was kind of like my plan. It was how can I take all the knowledge that I learned from human biology, from playing water polo, from just being athletic and passionate about fitness and how can I integrate that in people’s lives in a very kind of snapshot version?
Logan: So I’m curious, what does your current training look like and what does the training you put most of clients through look like?
Meredith: Whenever I’m doing training with my clients, I always like to say hey, I would never give you something that I wouldn’t personally do myself and I wouldn’t give you something that I hadn’t personally tested myself. So my training looks like a lot of bodyweight work, a lot of using the TRX. I like to use another piece from TRX called the Rip Trainer. That’s really great because it kind of asymmetrically loads your body and if that’s getting too technical for people it just means that one side is working harder than the other so you’re constantly balancing and using your stabilization muscles. So a lot of my training looks like that. A lot of it looks like soft sand beach running, a lot of sprints. I still do some swimming but a lot of it is just dynamic bodyweight work.
Logan: I’m not familiar with the Rip Trainer. I’ve definitely used the TRX but can you go in a little more detail into that?
Meredith: Yeah, definitely. The Rip Trainer is a great tool because it basically looks like a long metal, almost like a pole. Maybe it’s like two feet long and then it has a bungee cord attached to one side and you hook that up somewhere. With my training, I do a lot of it out on the beach because I’m fortunate to live in the Malibu. We have sun all the time. So I hook this Rip Trainer up to a lifeguard tower and basically you could be standing parallel and it’s just a bar with a bungee. So if you have your arms straight and you’re kind of facing the ocean and the Rip Trainer is hooked up to the lifeguard tower, you could actually do core rotations while loading one side of your body so you’re constantly being challenged to stabilize because if you don’t, you’ll just get pulled over by the bungee.
So it’s kind of a fun way to integrate more bodyweight stuff but actually load your body with some resistance because you know the TRX, you’re loading with your bodyweight but you’re not loading with an explosive force through like a bungee or something like that. So this kind of integrates a little bit more kind of fun stuff. Plus, you can pretend like you’re swinging a bat. You can rotate like you’re a golfer. You can do kind of like a standup paddleboard kind of thing. So it’s a great tool and I highly recommend you trying it because it’s just amazing. It’s been pretty much a game-changer for my clients.
Logan: Yeah, sounds very interesting. It’s so interesting to me that you’re talking about like a rotational training. Certainly there are other ways of doing this yet most people or most gym exercises are straight up and down. They’re like one-dimensional or two-dimensional but they don’t have this three-dimensional component. Yet if we look at any sport or life in general, it involves rotation. So it’s so odd that this is like a not often trained component in the majority of people’s programs.
Meredith: Yeah, and that’s a huge you know misstep for people because you see okay, I’m going to lunge forward, I’m going to lunge backwards, I’m going to do a push-up, I’m going to do all these things but these are like in the sagittal plane, like in the frontal plane. It’s forward and backwards. In your life, how often do you just walk forward and backward? You’re constantly moving so these static exercises, they do have a place but what also has a bigger place is that rotational movement as well because it is everyday life. And if you don’t do that then you start to have problems in your back and in your core because you’re actually not strong in those places. People’s knees start to hurt. So it’s just is a good way to integrate that rotational movement when people are doing workouts. You can kind of get it in there.
Logan: And one of my favorite things that really definitely hits that is kettlebell juggling, I don’t know if you ever tried that out.
Meredith: Yeah. It’s the same thing. You’re asymmetrically loading because the weight is being pressed on one side and then you’re transferring it. So really your body can’t move unless that other side is stable so it just teaches you that full 360-degree of stabilization in your body.
Logan: And you mentioned soft sand running, which as you said you’re on the beach so you have that available. Do you prefer that to running on a hard surface at all? What are some of the benefits of that?
Meredith: Yeah, I do. I prefer running soft sand because it is easier on my knees and my hips because you kind of get that pillowy softness. It’s definitely harder because it’s like you’re running I don’t know. If you’ve ever been to the beach and you play Frisbee or you’re playing football or something in the sand, and you’re like winded after two minutes, it’s a tough thing to do. So I really like the soft sand because I like to get my cardio and that kind of thing in like an explosive fast nature. So if I do a couple soft sand sprints and maybe like a quarter mile jog or something, I’m good to go. That’ll be good enough for pretty much any clients.
But another really good aspect of soft sand running is that it also forces you to stabilize your body in different ways than running on the cement or with shoes or with anything because if you’re not strong in your core and you’re not focusing on driving your knees forward in like proper running mechanics, you’ll fall. And so it really just kind of teaches you good habits and you don’t have to go fast, even just walking. You don’t have to go fast but I think it’s a lot more dynamic than just running on the street.
Logan: Right. Are you generally doing that barefoot or with shoes on?
Meredith: Barefoot. Definitely barefoot. Especially the soft sand, I like the feeling of movement through my foot. And I think we’re missing that a lot and I think people’s ankles and knees get very weak because you’re not actually engaging the muscles in your feet because you’re wearing these shoes. And shoes are great for certain things. Just like a frontal plane movement has its place, so do shoes. Running shoes have their place but I feel like running barefoot in the soft sand really gives me that kind of primal feeling of stabilization in my feet.
Logan: Yeah, and if you think about having the shoe on all the time, it’s kind of like having a cast on all the time. What happens to muscles when they’re in the cast? They atrophy through lack of use. So yeah, people, like you said I think shoes definitely have their place and there’s a time and place to train with them like you get the benefits with Olympic lifting, for instance, that slight heel lift is very important but definitely I advise pretty much everyone there should be some sort of barefoot training going on just to activate those feet.
Meredith: Just try it. Even just at your house, taking off your shoes and walking around barefoot is good enough. If you’re not comfortable training without shoes then just walk around your house barefoot. Try not to wear slippers or sandals. Just really feel the ground and walk outside and kind of get that connection with the earth. That’s a whole other podcast but that’s another great thing. You feel a little bit more connected.
Logan: Yeah and there are health benefits to doing that. Absolutely. So let’s move a little bit into the nutrition side of it. What would you say is your like overall nutritional philosophy?
Meredith: It’s bounced a lot back and forth. I feel like as a typical nutritionist or someone whose file does nutrition, you need to hit your macros, you need to be able to eat lots of protein and balance out the carbs and the fat and people get lost in the noise when you start talking about that. My personal philosophy is I don’t really do grains or carbs that much because I just don’t function well on them. I function really well on fats and I function really well, oddly enough, on natural sugars and fruits. So like fruits, vegetables, fats and lean meat, I’m good to go. I think that’s pretty much standard for a lot of nutritionists now. No one is saying go and eat a loaf of wonder bread. No one ever says that. No one ever.
Logan: Just the government maybe. I think they might still think that’s a good idea.
Meredith: Okay. We all know the government and big pharma and all of these corporations are in bed with each other so we’re not even going to go into that one. But I’ve been experimenting a little bit with some like ancient grains like farro and barley and buckwheat and all these things and I actually really do enjoy farro because I think it’s a little bit more of like a heartier grain. So I’ll integrate that in but it’s mostly just lean meats, a ton of fish, a lot of fats, try to get it organic as much as I can and a ton of fruit. I know some people get a little weird about eating a lot of fruit because they think that it’s the sugars but I guarantee it’s not the apples that are making you fat.
Logan: Right. Plus, you’re in like a somewhat not quite tropical but you’re in an area where there is a lot more fruit at that. I think a lot of people need to look at where they’re living and what would be the ounce. You can’t really eat a natural sort of diet anymore. Us humans have kind of forgotten how to do that but it does need to be modulated with where you’re living, the environment, and seasons and everything that’s there.
Meredith: Totally. Yeah, because you want to be able to get what’s fresh where you are because that makes a really big difference. And like you said, I’m lucky to be in kind of a mecca of agriculture so that’s nice and I do feel lucky for that. But there are other ways you can get that kind of nutritional density if you’re living in a place that doesn’t have it fresh because if you don’t have it fresh then you still need to get it in. You just need to be careful where you’re getting it from.
Logan: Yeah, absolutely. So I’m curious, you said you run really well off of fat but then you said you also are focusing on lean meats. I’m just wondering if there’s a reason for that.
Meredith: Yeah. So fats I’m saying like coconut oil, like those kind of fats, avocadoes, more like vegetable fat. And even though I love, I’ll have like a lean meat like an elk. I love game meat like elk, or bison, or venison but because it’s already super lean I’ll cook it in coconut oil. So you’re getting like that medium-chain fatty acid but you’re also getting all the great amino acids from the meats as well. I’m not averse to having like a super amazing marbled steak from like I don’t know Argentina or something like that but it’s not typical.
Logan: Right. Okay, that makes sense. And yeah, that’s a good point. If you’re looking at game meats, they certainly have much less fats than a cow, whether that’s grass fed or not.
Meredith: Right, they’re super lean.
Logan: The percentage is much different there. So let’s dive into the programing, which I found out about you. It’s called the Aphrodisiac Secret. So can you explain what that is?
Meredith: Yes, it’s a nutrition plan that is based off of what I’ve learned just in researching ancient cultures and also just seeing what works with myself and my clients. So it’s really based on like a super food diet that is loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and it’s meant to not be like a “diet” where you feel like you’re starving yourself but it’s more of a diet in the fact that it’s changing your mind about what is right to eat and what works for you.
Logan: Right. So on the sales page for that, you talked about Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, also known as Venus. That’s what kind of grabbed me because we’re doing a similar sort of thing with our Athena formula, just picking a different god there. So what can we learn by looking at a goddess like Aphrodite?
Meredith: Well, when you look back into these Greek cultures, like Greek or Mediterranean culture, you see and you really start to dive in to what they were eating. And you look at history of who they were and what they represented, you start to see connections about what they’re eating and how they’re actually living and how they look and how they feel. It’s not like they had a 24-hour fitness in Greece and they didn’t have Jenny Craig.
What they had was amazing sources of food and more of an, I guess, attention to detail when it came to supplements and herbs. And when I say supplements, they’re not obviously buying pills but they’re putting together things that work in nature for them. And that’s like the very first form of botany and all these things. It’s to look at okay, they’re using these herbs, why were they using them and what effect did they have? Someone like Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, people were thinking aphrodisiacs all have to do with sex. Well, that’s kind of the way people frame it that way but if you look back in culture, look at Aphrodite, she was basically like the goddess of youth as well and you’re thinking okay, why? What was she eating? What were these people eating that are making them look like this?
And so if you just kind of dig back into the culture, you kind of see these ancient grains I was talking about, faro or things like vanilla or cinnamon, it’s like they were so integrated into the culture. We kind of just forget. We want to go. We want to buy Lunchables. People don’t understand the power that food has on your body not just now, but in the long run like what it’s doing internally at a very slow pace.
Logan: So I’m curious with that. Obviously in Greek and Roman society, there are more different wealth classes. You have the richer people and then the poor people. In your research have you come across differences in this or is this same idea something that both were really applying?
Meredith: Well, that kind of divide has existed forever and it still exists today. Obviously if you have a lot of money, you can buy all the fancy organic food. That is very similar to what it was like in Greek culture. However, the mix of genetically-modified foods and pesticides and things like that weren’t as prevalent so what you would call “peasants” were eating was still all natural. It’s more like a foraging society. Obviously, the things with like experimenting with herbs and getting these kind of “potions” for the wealthy was much different.
Logan: Absolutely. So besides ancient grains and some of the spices you’ve mentioned, what are some of the other things that they ate and you like to include in your program?
Meredith: Well, from the Greek culture, I love, I’m a big fan of Greek yoghurt. I know that some people think that dairy is going to kill you and in some people it does. You just have to experiment and I think that’s the hard part. But things like different kinds of berries, ancient berries, even things that come from South America, too, that were imported like I’m a huge fan of moringa. I don’t know if you’ve ever used moringa before.
Logan: Yeah, I’m familiar with that but people listening might not be so if you want to explain what that is.
Meredith: Yeah, moringa actually comes a tree. I use moringa powder. They actually call it the miracle tree and the powder is made up of the leaves that are ground up and dried. It’s kind of like a spirulina. It’s just like a very dark green powder. I basically tell my clients it’s like eating a salad bar. Like two teaspoons of moringa in your morning smoothie is like having a salad bar if you’re not a big veggie person. But it’s a really great herb and it has some amazing qualities to it. I would highly recommend, I can put a little link at the bottom for people to read about it because there’s even more attributes that I even can explain. It’s so good. I mean the protein content, I think it has more potassium than bananas. It goes on and on about it.
Logan: It’s just super, super nutrient-packed. That’s actually something we were looking at possibly having at Superman Herbs in the near future.
Meredith: I would highly recommend it. Things like moringa and another one of my favorites is maca power and not matcha, but maca. That’s another great thing that I put in my coffee every single morning. It just kind of gives you a little bit of a natural kick and it’s also a great antioxidant. It’s actually a famed aphrodisiac in the sense that it kind of gives you a little bit more libido confidence so that’s never a bad thing.
Logan: Absolutely. Actually I had some of that in my coffee this morning as well so we’re on the same page. I like the flavor of it. Besides the benefits, it’s an herb that actually tastes good.
Meredith: Yeah, it’s like an almost like earthy, nutty flavor and when you take it in with coffee it’s like that and a little bit of coconut oil in your coffee, it’s like oh my gosh and I’m drinking, it’s like drink a whole pot of coffee if it’s like this.
Logan: Earlier, you said something that was very interesting, which I’d like to dive into a little more detail. You’re saying that aphrodisiacs, most people just think that that means something that helps you with sexual function or desire, something along those lines but we can see the root word of aphrodisiac and Aphrodite. They’re coming from the same thing. So what is sort of an expanded way of thinking about aphrodisiac that it’s not just about sex?
Meredith: Well, it’s interesting because I think a big problem just beyond explaining aphrodisiacs is people don’t really integrate their knowledge of what happens in their body in regards to like what you’re eating in the rest of your body. They think it’s compartmentalized when really it’s like okay, an easy way to explain it for people who are visual is like okay, if you have knee pain, there’s probably an issue in your hip and there’s an issue in your hip because there’s an issue in your lower back. It’s very much connected. A lot of steps are connected.
So in terms of aphrodisiac, it’s like yes, they might be famed in culture for helping with sexual function but why? On a cellular level, what are these foods doing and how are they interacting with your body to promote sexual desire? Is it because you’re healthier? Things like oysters, that’s a perfect example. If someone thinks of an aphrodisiac, they’re like oh oysters. But why? The reason why oysters are famed as an aphrodisiac is because of their incredible zinc content. So their incredible zinc content not only is going to help with your libido but it’s also your number one immune booster.
So it goes way deeper than just I eat this, I feel horny. Because it doesn’t necessarily work like that unless you’re taking shots of tequila or something. But that’s also a different topic that we can talk about. But you have to think about how these foods are interacting with your body at a cellular level in a way that it’s promoting health. When you’re healthy, and you feel good and when you’re confident, and when you feel like you look good, you are obviously going to be more in tune with your sexual health.
Logan: So you’re just saying you’ve really got to think systemically, holistically about it.
Meredith: Yeah, that’s a perfect word – systemically. Everything is connected. So you’ve got to think about X plus Y is going to equal Z but there’s going to be like a whole other slew of things that’s going to happen because of that. It’s not ever just one thing.
Logan: Absolutely. I completely agree on that. The way I like to think about it is that you human beings, our birth right, we are sexual beings, right? So if you’re looking for that and you’ve started to lose that function or it’s going downhill then yeah, you can focus on just the genitals for instance and what may help there but it’s cause your health is going down, whereas if your health is going good then there should be no problem there. That’s just a byproduct of being healthy, that you’re going to have good sexual function.
Meredith: Exactly and it’s also mental stuff, too, because a lot of stuff that happens, a lot of these minerals and these vitamins and minerals that interact with your body, they’re interacting with your brain chemistry as well and that’s a huge issue. It’s that people don’t realize what’s between their ears is responsible for a lot of stuff that’s going on in your body. If you’re releasing too much stress hormone, if your testosterone and your estrogen is out of balance, all of these things matter. So any little vitamin or herb or any bad thing you put in your body—you can think about it that way—any bad thing you put in your body like some processed junk, it’s going to have a huge downstream effect on not just your mental health, your physical health and your sexual health as well.
Logan: So people need to think not just as far as like body parts, oh my knee hurts so there must be something wrong with my knee. It could be upstream or downstream somewhere. But people also need to not think like oh, this is a problem with my body, my mind is not involved, or this is a problem with my brain, my body is not involved. Everything altogether works together.
Meredith: Exactly. It’s all connected and I think that’s my biggest message to my clients. And just from playing water polo, and from being an athlete, and being on the track to med school, and being under a lot of stress and seeing my body kind of deteriorate, even though I should have been in peak health, it’s like there’s so much that’s connected. You can work out till you’re blue in the face but you could also lose your sex drive and not be connected and have your mind be astray. So it’s really important that you integrate mind, body, everything into your training because it is so powerful when you get everything connected your breathing, your thoughts, your movements. It’s quite a ride once you can dial it in.
Logan: Absolutely. Let’s talk about that stress side of things because obviously that’s a big issue. Most people are chronically stressed, either mentally or physically, all the different environmental things we’ve got going on. So what are some ways we can relax since so many people are in over-stressed mode most of the time?
Meredith: I don’t claim to be like a guru of anti-stress but I am a work in progress like most people and I think it’s super important to really ,if you are very stressed from work or from family life, you need to identify that stress and just kind of frame it. Just take yourself out of it and look at it because I think a lot of the times people who are very stressed out, you get wrapped up in this ball of like panic almost and you don’t even realize what’s stressing you out. So I think for me, I sometimes get stressed about planning for the future. It just wraps up a lot of things in my mind. What I do is I just kind of recognize the stress and then I actually do a breathing exercise that I actually learned in Hungary when I was playing water polo overseas. It’s called box breathing. I don’t know. Are you familiar with box breathing?
Logan: Yes I am.
Meredith: Yeah, that is probably one of my best piece of advice for your listeners. If you get stressed, you can practice this box breathing and what it is, is you’re just breathing into your nose for a certain count, holding it for that certain count and then releasing out of your mouth for that certain count. So it can be two seconds, two seconds, two seconds. You just start to get in rhythm with your breathe and like it’s a super deep diaphragm breathing rather than like shallow chest breathing, which kind of like promotes your fight or flight senses anyway. So just breathing exercises, recognizing what that stress is and also just move. When I’m stressed and I feel like I just can’t do any more work or I need to make another phone call, I just go out for a walk and it’s pretty amazing how much that changes your mind when you can just kind of separate yourself and get outside for a little bit.
Logan: Yup. I agree. That is a fantastic thing to do/ I should probably do more of it myself.
Meredith: It’s easy to say I’ll do it in a couple of minutes, I’ll do it in a couple of minutes, like no.
Logan: I don’t have time for a walk; I’ve got too much to do.
Meredith: Exactly and then you get sucked back in. I think for me, what I realized is that email that I’m writing will still be there when I get back five minutes later. That text message that you don’t know how to write, just leave it and take a walk and come back and you’ll be much clearer. You’re just going to start spinning your wheels and not do anything. You know you get paralysis by analysis. You just sit there and do nothing. You’re like very unproductive instead of just getting out, separating yourself and coming back to that.
Logan: Right. So related to this because definitely there’s that stress component but something you talked about in our program is the belly fat which a lot of people have issue with. Both men and women, they seem to get this spare tire or muffin top or something that they can’t seem to get rid of despite changes to nutrition and diet so what are some of your top tips for dealing with that?
Meredith: I think a lot of, like you said, a lot of it has to do with stress and I think a lot of it has to do with sleep. And I guess we were talking about before, everything is connected and when you’re stressed out, when you’re not sleeping, you’re more apt to eating sugary snacks, eating snacks that you think are healthy but actually aren’t healthy or that are loaded with stuff. You might even have food intolerances like gluten intolerances and that makes it really difficult to lose belly fat.
But I think my top couple of tips for people who are really struggling and have really put in the effort to change their diet and include exercise, and I think a lot of people say they do but I don’t know if they are all in, and that’s the thing, is if you do have belly fat and you want to make a change, you really do have to make a change. You have to commit because it’s not just something. It’s your health. It’s your life and if you really want to go after it, you have to make changes in your life for sure.
But if people are making the change in their diet and are including exercise, I think the next biggest ones are sleep, stress and water consumption. I think those are the three that people miss out a lot and they just think that if I work out and I eat relatively healthy, everything is going to be fine. Well, not so much. As people are saying it’s not that easy anymore. We have so many things involved in our life that we’re not getting enough sleep. We are working way too much at all hours because we have access to the internet and we can do that. So it’s like an excuse. And people aren’t drinking enough water. People are drinking too much diet coke, coke, soda, juice and all these things because they think it’s going to hydrate them when it’s really not.
Logan: Right. Absolutely. So I’m curious. You explained some of the foods you like but what’s kind of like an average day as far as what you eat? Maybe if you want to throw in what you do in your average day as well just because I’m a person that learns best by actually doing something and short of that, seeing in kind of full detail a model of what some things do in that. I find that’s a great way to learn.
Meredith: Yeah, definitely. So a typical day for me, I can just kind of go through when I wake up what I do to all the way through what I eat. So I’m a pretty early riser. I do go to bed pretty early as well. I’ll get up around 5:00, hopefully with sunrise and right away I’m drinking at least one glass of water. Then what I do is I mix lime juice, ginger, honey and a little bit of apple cider vinegar and I down that. Then I’ll have coffee with maca powder, a little bit of coconut oil.
And then I’ll go for a morning walk actually. That’s the very first thing I’ll do. It’s just I’m totally disconnected, take my dog and we kind of just do either like a little walk or a trail run up in the hills, pretty minor just to kind of wait for me to wake up. It’s just nice that the first thing you do is to get outside. It’s pretty powerful so I’ll do that and after that, come back and have breakfast. Usually, that’s a couple of eggs, whole eggs, yolks included. That’s important to tell your listeners, that you can eat the yolk. It’s good for you.
Logan: That’s the best part.
Meredith: Either some kind of green. We do a lot of our own growing of a lot of vegetables so whatever is in the garden but usually you know spinach, zucchini, broccoli, just some heavy greens. Put that in coconut oil and actually mix about a quarter avocado or half avocado with like a couple of tablespoons of plain Greek yoghurt. So I’ll have just like eggs, that Greek yoghurt avocado mix and a bunch of greens and that will hold me over for a while.
And then after that I do my main training, which will be anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes of sprints, a lot of bodyweight work, burpees, rotational work with the Rip Trainer. But I try not to go over 45 minutes just because I think if you’re really getting after it and you’re focused on your training and you’re working really hard then if you go more than 45 minutes or an hour, that’s like impressive. If you’re not taking a ton of rest and you’re really making sure your heart rate stays up the whole time then an hour is quite a long time. So I’ll do that mid-morning.
And then I can’t really eat that much after I train hard. I need some time but this entire time drinking a ton of water. And then lunch is usually just a salad with some kind of little nice meat like an elk or a bison or if I’m lucky, salmon and halibut. I love fish. Salad, a big, big green salad with a nice fillet of fish. Then in the afternoon, I’ll do a couple of handfuls of almonds just to hold me over. And then dinner is usually similar to breakfast actually. I enjoy having breakfast for dinner. So I’ll either do a couple of eggs with another lean meat source and then a veggie that I didn’t have in the morning, an eggplant or a different kind of nightshade. Then in the evening I do a pre-bed tonic. It’s just kind of pretty much the same as the morning except I add a little bit of cayenne. So that’s pretty much the day, give or take a few things. I do quite a bit of travelling so that usually puts a wrench in my system but I usually bring a little bag of moringa powder and maca powder. When you’re travelling, it’s hard to get your greens in so a little bit of moringa in your water will help that.
Logan: Are there any other supplements you do, whether herbs or other things like vitamins, minerals or are you trying to get that predominantly from food?
Meredith: I try to get it predominantly from food but maca, and moringa. I love goji powder. I saw you guys had goji powder and goji berries are one of my favorites and they’re such a powerhouse so goji powder or goji berries. But I try to get most of what I need through food or that evening and morning tonic. Honey is another really big one I love but usually I’m trying to get everything through my food or environment. Vitamin D obviously from the sun. That’s obviously was a good thing. Yeah, mostly through food but there are definitely some things like ashwagandha is a really great one. Tongkat ali is a really great one, too. And I do like to experiment with these things just because I think if you really have your body dialed in and you can add little things at a time, you can really see what works for you.
Logan: Absolutely. I agree. I think some smart supplementation can be very powerful and herbs, I mean what you were describing, we talked about them we kind of take them as supplements but really they are just foods and that’s how they’re often used. Since a lot of people listening to this, they definitely are interested in that sexual function so we described aphrodisiac. It means so much more. You can’t look at just a single part but since people are interested in that, are there some specific recommendations besides the maca and oysters which you mentioned? Any other foods or super foods or herbs that help in that realm?
Meredith: Yeah, definitely. I think goji berries are huge and I always tell people to integrate that in, even things like dark chocolate because that has a lot to do with the brain as well. Dark chocolate, at least 70% cacao, because that’s important. It can’t be just milk chocolate because that’s not really chocolate. It releases when you’re eating it, it has a huge phenylethylamine content so it releases kind of like what I like to call the feel good hormones in your brain. It’s kind of the same as drinking red wine. It releases hormones and dopamine and serotonin in your brain where it makes you feel a little bit more connected to yourself.
But what else, I think ashwagandha is another great one and like I’d mentioned, tongkat ali. It’s kind of funny, like horny goat weed. It’s called horny goat weed but I think it goes way beyond—but I would suggest horny goat weed, ashwagandha, maca powder, even moringa powder. Anything that’s a pretty potent herb, and I saw you guys had those available, those work very well, especially if you’re actively doing other things. Then it works just as well.
Logan: Right. Are there any differences between men and women as far as these different things? Any recommendations you’d make there?
Meredith: Yeah, definitely. I think females have a whole different deal going on in regards to libido because it does have to do so much more with a mental connection. But I would suggest eating foods high in DHEA like spinach, dark leafy greens, for women anyway. Men, the tongkat ali is really great. Ashwagandha is really great and those will help women, too, but I think on the female side of things they really need to focus on getting very healthy because it is more of an internal process in your mind as well. So you need to feel good and look good in order to want to engage. You need to have that self-confidence. But it doesn’t help to supplement it with things like DHEA or even horny goat weed for females because there are actually some studies that link up the same kind of receptors in the female clitoral tissue as they do in the male penis. It’s opening a nitric oxide pathway so it’s expanding your blood vessels. It’s essentially the same functions internally. It just works differently in the brain for men and women.
Logan: Right, those are actually the same tissues in the fetus. Before it goes male or female, it’s coming from the same thing. And I heard something interesting the other day. The woman actually has more overall erectile tissue than a man does. It’s just up inside rather than hanging out there.
Meredith: Exactly and that’s the hard part. Actually, females do get an “erection.” It’s the swelling of the clitoral tissue. It’s the same kind of thing. It’s not like readily seen as it is in males so there’s not that like—and it’s also not a pain. I think for men, if it’s a constant thing and there’s no release of sperm, it’s painful. For women, it’s not really painful. It’s very different. We are the same creature but we’re so different. It’s funny to explore the differences and see how people react to different herbs and supplements because to be honest, a lot of it has to do with just experimenting with yourself, seeing what works for you because we all might be humans but we’re certainly not the same. I think that’s really, really important to realize.
We could as health professionals be telling you, you need to do this, you need to do that. Obviously at the baseline, eating healthy and exercising is a huge part of it. But also a huge part of it is just once you get that dialed in is realizing what works for you. If you’re dairy-intolerant then you probably shouldn’t eat dairy even though I like dairy. It’s very different. You can take bits and pieces but really you have to put your own puzzle together.
Logan: Absolutely and that’s something I’m always telling people. Like you just said, you’re a big fan of Greek yoghurt. I cannot personally do Greek yoghurt. That kind of destroys me. So whether it’s an herb or food, yeah, you have to find what works for you. Do you have any tips on that because most people or most men especially—women are known to be a little more intuitive—is there any sort of way you can really kind of discover your body and actually know what’s working well for you? Any tips on that?
Meredith: If you’re having issues like gut issues, you’re not feeling well, you’re low on energy or just something is happening, you can do what’s called like an elimination diet. You can figure out okay, say for me, I’m eating dairy, I’m also eating a lot of fats, I’m eating lean meats, if I’m having issues what I’ll do is just cut one thing out immediately and see what happens. And it’s not like oh, I’m not going to eat dairy today so I’m going to feel it tomorrow. No, you have to have like a month or at least a couple of weeks of not consuming that group of foods and you have to see if it makes a difference with you.
To be honest, that’s pretty much the only way to get dialed in. You need to realize okay, is there something in my diet that I eat a lot of? If you’re really having issues, cut that section out and see if it helps you. Because a lot of times, that’s all that is. People don’t realize oh my gosh, I’m so dairy intolerant but you don’t realize it because you’re mixing it with all these other types of foods.
Logan: Absolutely and if it’s just not like a major thing where in some cases you can know right afterwards, right? If you’re like heavily lactose-intolerant then you’ll be running to the bathroom and you’ll be able to figure it out; it’s the ones where we’re only like slightly intolerant of something where it’s harder to know and you have to do something like an elimination diet to really find out because once you’ve cut that out for a period of a few weeks to a month and then you re-introduce it, oftentimes in a pretty large quantity, then you’ll have that big reaction if it something that is a problem for you.
Meredith: Yeah. And you won’t even realize that even if it has just a slight effect on you or what you think is a slight effect, when you cut it out you might feel amazing. You never know. And our body is such a finely tuned machine that little things make a big difference. If you cut little things out, you’re like wow, I’m functioning. I’m not tired. I’m functioning so much better in the mornings. I think that has a lot to do with just all the pieces of the puzzle because our bodies, we’re subject to all kinds of crap and we don’t even know it.
Meredith: And it really affects you more than you know, even if you don’t think it does.
Logan: So we mentioned dairy. What are some of the other big culprits that you’d recommend people experiment with if this is one situation they’re in where they’re feeling like crap and they’re thinking, what might it be?
Meredith: Dairy and gluten. Gluten is tough because people are like, what is gluten? Don’t eat cereal in the morning. Just don’t do it. That’s one thing people are like oh, it’s healthy, it’s cereal but no, it’s not. It’s packed with sugar. It’s packed with refined sugar, with grains and that was kind of a roundabout way of saying don’t eat cereals but it’s also gluten. So gluten is a big one like bread, crackers—what else??—pasta, those kinds of things. Cut them out. See what happens.
Sugar, and I’m not talking about fruit sugar—it could be fruit sugars, too, if you really want to get aggressive. Just stop eating sugars. That’s a really hard thing for people because you’re going to feel like you’re getting run over by a truck every day because you know people get so addicted to sugary snacks. Just like gluten is hidden in snacks, sugar, if you eat a cracker it’s going to reduce down sugar. That’s just what it does in your body. So cutting out sugars out of your diets is another thing. There’s a good book called Sugar Crush and I’ll have to send you that link but it’s called Sugar Crush and it’s a great book. It really kind of opens your eyes to like oh my gosh, sugar is hidden in everything. It’s added to everything and it is really destroying your body from the inside out, and not just now but internally in the long term. It’s very, very devastating for your body.
Logan: Yeah, absolutely. And like you said, fruit sugar is okay except with all the other sugar it can be problematic sometimes so there is certainly a time to cut that out. Yeah, there’s just so much so it’s certainly something to be careful with. Okay, we’ve covered a wide range of different things. Just to wrap it up, are there any final words as far as like parting wisdom that may help people to integrate this information into their lives?
Meredith: Yes, definitely. I think being on a journey to getting healthy or changing your habits is a big deal. It can be overwhelming, and it can be scary, and it can be frustrating, and it can be all these things at one time. And it doesn’t make it fun when you’re stressed out about it. So what I would suggest is that just people, you’re already listening to these podcasts, you’re already interested, just take the first step in something small. Because when you can give yourself a small goal that is definitely achievable and you reach that, not only does it feel good but it gives you a stepping stone for the next goal.
So if I could give your readers or your listeners one thing to do tomorrow morning, it would be don’t look at your phone first thing in the morning. Don’t turn on your computer. Don’t turn on your TV. Take your shoes off. Go outside and take three deep breathes in through your nose and breathe them out through your mouth. That’s it. Just try that. And then the next day, you can try it for ten minutes. And then the next day, you can start integrating a little but healthier breakfast.
All of these things are just stepping stones because when you try to do all of them at once, it’s like the New Year’s resolution thing. You do it for like two days and you’re like I’m so awesome. Then after the third day, you’re like I’m going to kill myself. So you need to make sure that you’re doing it smart. Take little bits at a time. I call it working in your three-foot space. If you’re rock climbing and you look at the rock and there’s just this handhold right above your head, it’s not too far away, just grab that one instead of trying to go for the zenith. Just grab what’s close. Get that down and start working your way up the mountain. That’s the only way to go.
Logan: Right, and realize that it’s a life long journey, just like you’re talking about. For both you and me, this is something we’ve been doing all our lives. And it’s your health, right? It’s something you kind of have to pay attention to. If you don’t, you’ll be forced to at some point.
Meredith: Yeah. People are living way longer now and we’re going to have technology that’s going to keep you alive longer. So you want to be able to do what you love to do for a longer amount of time. That’s what’s most important to me – I want to be able to run, I want to be able to surf, I want to be able to mountain bike, all these things well into my ‘80s. So I’m looking at the future like okay, how can I preserve my body and how can I function at the highest level now and for the foreseeable future?
Logan: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for sharing all that information, Meredith. I think people if they, like you said, take one little bit of information that we shared here today and incorporate it into their lives and find out what works for them, that helps them on their journey. So where can people go to find out more about you? Where would you like to send people off to?
Meredith: You guys can go to AphrodisiacSecrets.com and that’s where the nutrition plan lives. You can be connected with me there. You guys will get a lot of great information there. And if you ever have any questions, you can always shoot me an email. I am a real person and I pride myself on responding to emails directly. I don’t kind of push it off to somebody else. So if you email me at [email protected]–make sure to put all these links at the bottom or have Logan do it for you can always shoot me a question or connect with me that way. And I would love to answer any questions that I can.
Logan: Excellent. Well, thank you so much and yeah, we definitely will include these links in the show notes available on the website. Thank you so much, Meredith. This was a fun interview.
Meredith: Yes, thank you very much, Logan. Thank you.
Logan: Thanks everyone for listening. We’ll talk to you next time.
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