Welcome to the first episode of The Vital Way podcast. Logan and Zane Christopher from Super Man Herbs introduce the brand new podcast The Vital Way, and what it means. Then Logan introduces his back story and how Super Man Herbs came to be.
Click the link below to access the complete transcript.
The Vital Way. When ancient wisdom meets the cutting edge to optimize your vitality and performance. There are no right ways, just better ways.
Logan: Hello and welcome. This is Logan Christopher with The Vital Way and this is our inauguration podcast, the first one ever, hopefully the first of many. Today with me, I have my older brother, Zane Christopher.
Logan: And we’re going to be really giving you an introduction to what The Vital Way podcast is going to be about and this is an introduction to us and a little later on, our third brother in the SupermanHerbs.com company as well.
Zane: We’ll try to give you guys a little background on where we come from and why we started Superman Herbs and stuff like that.
Logan: Before we get into that intro, I think it will be good to talk about why we chose The Vital Way as the title of the new podcast. So what’s The Vital Way mean to you, Zane?
Zane: So there’s many different ways and some ways are the right ways to a lot of people, some ways aren’t. The vital way, that’s the way that you’re just going to get the most—I don’t want to say benefit– but it’s just the most life from. You will live the greatest life doing this way. So there are multiple ways to do that. There are multiple different vital ways but—
Logan: You’ve got to have at least one, right?
Zane: Certain things are better than other things.
Logan: So to me, “vital” and sort of the similar word “vitality”, it’s a word that’s not use that much these days but it’s a bit more in the past, it really encompasses not only health but to me, it’s sort of beyond health, having that overabundance of energy that you can then apply to the different areas of life. If you’re vital then not only are you healthy—that’s kind of assumed—but then you’re able to do all these other things that you might want to do, whether that’s athletic performance, business, success, all sorts of different things. So to me, vitality is really about that. So The Vital Way is going to be working towards that aim.
Zane: Yeah, it’s more of like the whole mind, body, and soul, that kind of stuff, not just focusing on just the body or anything like that.
Logan: Or just the mind. There are a lot of paradigms looking at a single thing, trying to separate it off but we definitely all believe is everything is tied together. So if you want to perform well in one thing, make sure everything else there is there in order to back it up.
Zane: So, we’re going to start with Logan’s background a little bit. So Logan, how did you get into The Vital Way?
Logan: By not starting off there. That’s sort of the major thing for me. You guys may not know, I’m the youngest of the three brothers here and I look less like them than they look like each other.
Zane: He’s probably adopted.
Logan: I don’t seem as fit, at least on what I look like as the brothers, although I’m taller so I have that advantage. But anyway, when I was growing up I was really a weak and mostly sickly child. It’s not that I had major illnesses or anything but I remember being sick often and when I got sick, I would be that way for a long time. I wasn’t athletic at all. I didn’t play any sports. I was extremely skinny. I was about 98 pounds when I entered high school.
Zane: One would say dainty.
Logan: Dainty. Guess not. Don’t say it. I was feminine even, absolutely. So I didn’t have that strong base. In high school, I played football. I was never really good at it even though I played four years. Neither was there a whole team or anything but that’s another story. It was really right around leaving high school when I became an adult, about 18 years of age, I really got interested in fitness. I have been working out with the football team a little bit but not seeing a whole lot in the way of results with that.
I got hooked on bodyweight exercises and when I started doing those, I started to see actual results. One, I got stronger but I was never really focused on what my body looked like. That just started to kind of take care of itself because I was focused on what I could do with these exercises. I remember working up to my first handstand pushup, all sorts of different things. I was very weak but I was progressive with it and I started to get much better. Then all of a sudden I could do things that most people couldn’t do which really isn’t that hard to do because most people aren’t that good at things. It just takes a little bit of dedicated effort.
So it was really once I started to get into this fitness, especially coming from a place where it wasn’t natural for me, I don’t know if this was sort of a conscious thought at the time but health kind of went right along with that. So I started giving nutrition and the way I see it now is I need every little tool that’s going to help support me in that journey.
Zane: I was going to ask you because I didn’t really get into the whole supplementing with synthetic crap.
Logan: I did a little bit. My whole original introduction to fitness, I was going to a commercial gym basically doing body building because that’s the only thing I knew that existed really. So along with that, if you’re body building, you got to take supplements, right? Apparently to my friend at one time I remarked, wow, it cost a lot of money to get big, something along those times because you needed to have these supplements in order to hit those goals. Creatinine and nitric oxide stuff, was getting big right around that time, all kinds of stuff.
Zane: Were you taking mass powders?
Logan: Yeah, I did some of that. Yeah, I definitely had experience with all that stuff and I can’t say really that much of that made any difference. That’s why I ended up going the opposite direction like all those bodybuilding supplements are complete crap. I really didn’t use any supplements for quite some time.
Zane: All right, Logan is working on a mass-building program right now just using mostly food and some herbal supplements. How does that compare to actually just taking mass powders?
Logan: I’m still taking some protein powders but that’s not the mainstay. What I’m doing is mostly based around food.
Zane: Which just tastes way better.
Logan: Absolutely. From that, I started getting to health and nutrition. As a kid, going along with the whole wheat thing, I did not eat fruits or vegetables. I think I ate strawberries, maybe a couple of melons besides that. I hated bananas.
Zane: I remember a lot of bagel fights.
Logan: Yeah. We were on the standard American diet. It was when I started to get into, actually my first introduction to nutrition I started playing myself was the warrior diet by Ori Hofmekler which involved under eating and then overeating. Along with that, he was talking about eating vegetables, fruits and protein so I started to actually look at what some quality food was. That started me on that.
A short time later, I started listening to some other people. One of the guys that really sort of caught my attention was David Wolfe who was a raw foodist. At the time, I thought this is the way to go. I did a month experiment of raw food but I never went fully into that. At the time, it sounded really good but in addition to that it was really largely even more than the raw food nutrition, he’s been talking about these different super herbs and super foods and that’s what really got me started. I heard about reishi mushroom and started taking these different herbs. That was quite a while ago, probably 8 years or so, 9 years.
Zane: Have you been taking reishi continuously since?
Logan: No. By no means am I taking every day or anything. But really I think getting started on that, getting introduced with the herbs, that’s definitely something that I feel has helped my sort of evolution into where I am at today because I’ve been taking—it hasn’t been every single day—but I’ve taken all these different herbs of and on, all sorts of different herbs for many years now and not to brag but I’m fairly strong. I’m definitely healthy, this minor shoulder injury notwithstanding. I’m somewhat successful. I run a couple of different businesses. I’m doing well financially. I really do feel that these herbs have helped me on many different levels, including like reishi, as I say, as a sort of evolution-type thing.
Zane: Yeah, he was telling me the other day how he think just taking the reishi—because grows your xin and in Chinese medicine, that’s basically the spirit. So the more spirit you have, it kind of helps you grow, progress. You want to progress as a person. You don’t want to be stagnant. A lot of people nowadays are really stagnant could use some reishi in their lives.
Logan: Yeah, the herbs are quite powerful. We tend to not think of them as such. You can go really deep into this but I do feel that the herbs in ways can be like allies in your life path which I can literally at times change life direction. I know that sounds grandiose but I’ve heard some pretty significant stories of changes and I just feel that they do have that power. If you find the right one for you, that’s the thing there’s so many out there. So reishi has earned this reputation over thousands upon thousands of years. It’s the most researched mushroom on the planet because of all that history in Chinese medicine. I’ve looked at most of it has been done in the east. We definitely have some research done in the west but not nearly the amount they’ve done just because there is that magical component to them.
Zane: I want to take some reishi right now. Where did you get off to?
Logan: I started playing with the herbs. Kind of my main focus sort of before the herbs has always been the strength, the physical culture and what I could do with that. Like I said, for a long time I felt that the herbs were my secret weapon. I can’t really say they’re a secret weapon anymore because more people are catching on to them and using them. So it’s not really a secret anymore. It’s just a weapon.
For a long time, I was using that and that really helped me. Over the years, I’ve done all kinds of different feats of strength. I do a lot of unusual stuff like the old-time strongman. I bend horse shoes, rip phonebooks and decks of cards in half. I’ve pulled an emptied fire truck by my hair. I have lit kettlebells on fire to juggle them. I’ve supported over half a ton in a wrestler’s bridge position. I’ve accomplished these somewhat off-the-wall goals but also quite a bit more conventional stuff and everything in between. That’s kind of been my main drive and I’ve always really used the herbs in order to help fuel that.
Zane: And you’re a pretty good gymnast, too.
Logan: Oh, I mean I can do backflips, handstands. I wouldn’t say I’m a good gymnast. It’s not like I have a gymnast background but as an adult I went to a gymnast class on and off for a couple of years so I’ve built up gymnastic ability. I do a lot with bodyweight exercises, doing a backflip just about anywhere, anytime. Although, it’s feeling a little rusty because I haven’t been practicing much. My last couple of landings aren’t the smoothest.
Zane: So the herbs really got you branching out. And I agree with you, the herbs for me have got me not even just like physically better but mentally and even spiritually. I’ve branched out ways not even possible and I do attribute a lot of that to the herbs. I would definitely say the herbs completely changed my life, just the first introduction to them.
Logan: And that’s the thing. It’s not just working on the physical level. I mean there are all different ways of working with the herbs and what they can do. That’s definitely some stuff we’ll be exploring in future podcasts as well because you can go pretty deep with the herbs. That’s something we haven’t actually talked a whole lot about on the site even though it’s something I’ve been experiencing over the past year.
Zane: What is your favorite herb though?
Logan: I don’t even know what my favorite exercise is. It’s not an easy question to answer and it changes from time to time, what my favorite is. Reishi definitely deserves a mention for that. It’s just sort of a classic. The mushroom kingdom for some reason, for me personally, I can’t say exactly why that is but that’s drawn me a little more than sort of the plant kingdom. Around the local area, we don’t have reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) growing around in these parts. We have Ganoderma applanatum which is Artist’s Conk mushroom. So around the area, not even a few miles from where I live, you can find some different mushrooms here. So I began to experiment more with what are the local herbs.
It is great. The reason we started Superman Herbs and these different herbs, a lot of stuff, not everything but a lot of it, comes from China and India right. They have these thousands upon thousands year-old traditions with Chinese medicine and Ayurveda just showing you how great these herbs are. This is something I think we should also explore in the future. Does the west have herbs as good as this? And the truth is yes, we actually do. It’s just the tradition—well one, there’s Native American tradition but it wasn’t as sort of systematized as in the other places.
Zane: Yeah, and a lot of it was wiped out.
Logan: Yeah, a lot of it was wiped out. Once the white man came, they brought their systems. There are some older like a couple hundred years old, western herbalism and there are some very strong herbs in that as well. It’s just a different system so things don’t always fit together in the same sort of way. It’s kind of interesting coming from this background, studying a little more of the Chinese medicine and Ayurveda but then learning about western herbalism.
Zane: It’s like western herbalism is not a complete system unto itself yet.
Logan: Yeah. It’s different. That’s all I’m saying.
Zane: I do like chamomile.
Logan: There are some very strong herbs. That’s the thing. There’s also the exoticness of the Chinese. Obviously, we love these herb but Polyrhachis mountain ant. Is it only the Polyrhachis ant? No, it’s probably just about all mountain ants at least, mountain ants being a little bit bigger than common house ants. Anyone that’s travelled you’ve seen like, “That ant’s like three times as big as the ants I have at home.”
Zane: Supposedly, they import African ants.
Logan: Here’s the thing: there are great herbs all across the worlds and that’s just how it is. I went off on that tangent to say that I’ve been sort of studying some of the local herbs and experimenting with them a little bit more to try to really get my roots into herbalism quite a bit more.
Zane: No, it makes sense. You can see it from the local food movement where more and more people are going locally, it only makes sense that the herbal movement would eventually do that, Instead of relying on herbs that you have to import from way far away, you actually go out and collect your own herbs and deal with it.
Logan: It takes a lot of knowledge and a lot of practice to do unfortunately and we encourage that become a practice of yourself, to learn about that. It’s just feasible for everyone. Plus if you’re living in the middle of New York City, where do you even start?
Zane: A little herb garden.
Logan: There are options like that as well. My favorite herbs, reishi mushroom and all different mushrooms, that’s something I want to explore even further, especially local ones where once again, there’s not as much of a tradition. They’re probably just as good or close to it but there’s not as much known about them. Pine pollen I have to say is just awesome in every regard and lately the tongkat ali, I have to say is extremely powerful stuff, at times seemingly almost too powerful.
Zane: I totally agree.
Logan: We can talk about how Superman Herbs got started a little bit, sort of bring it from where we are at. I’ve been playing with these herbs for years. I have to give credit to Cloud. It was sort of originally his idea. I’ve been promoting information on strength training, on health and doing all sorts of different things like that for quite a few years at my website at LegendaryStrength.com.
Zane: Nice plug.
Logan: So I had this experience in not only putting that information but a little bit of internet marketing and building business and everything. Cloud at the time had really gotten into the herbs and I believe you were enjoying them along the place as well.
Zane: I was enjoying them. I got him on pine pollen.
Logan: Okay, yeah. Once Cloud got hooked on pine pollen, he told everyone like he was a viral thing. He was like buying it and re-selling it himself.
Zane: In a way, he was a pine pollen dealer.
Logan: It was actually straight out like that, literally like people calling him, “Hey, I’m dropping by,” go out to the street, hand them bag, get some cash and come back in. It was like drug deals except it was just pine pollen.
Zane: Only recently has it not felt like that.
Logan: I don’t know if we should be sharing all this. So Cloud comes to me with the idea. It was actually after reading the 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, I do believe, which was interesting because in his latest book the 4-Hour Chef, he actually talks about pine pollen. That’s just kind of an interesting correlation.
Anyway, he read this book and gets inspired. It’s like hey, we should actually start a company around this. I’m like yeah, sure it sounds like a good idea because I was busy with my own stuff and I wanted to actually see if he was serious about it. He actually went and found suppliers and got things rolling. I was like okay, it’s going to become a reality. So we started with the pine pollen—
Zane: Started with four herbs: Ant, He Shou Wu—
Zane: That’s why we needed He Shou Wu for Phoenix.
Logan: So yeah, the shilajit which we had also had experience with. There’s another top herb. Like I said, it’s so hard to decide what the best is.
Zane: That is definitely one of mine.
Logan: The destroyer of weakness. Obviously someone in my line of work, I’d have to give props to that one. We got started with this and really it has sort of grown from there.
Zane: Slowly, organically.
Logan: It was slow-starting. It’s just kind of exploding at this point.
Zane: It started to take off.
Logan: And that’s why we started to put this podcast together.
Zane: Yeah, to get some more information out there in a format that a lot of people actually like.
Logan: I enjoy podcasts. Do you enjoy podcasts?
Zane: I listen to podcasts.
Logan: And if you’re listening to this, I’m sure you enjoy podcast as well.
Zane: So yeah that’s pretty much what started. It was like a garage-style operation for a long while. We’re still really small in comparison to a lot of the herbal companies but we got a lot of cool customers in our garage.
Logan: Well, here’s a good thing. We did sort of end up reaching a market that really seems largely hasn’t been reached or a couple of different markets, people that aren’t aware of these stuff. We actually were just reading a testimonial from a doctor who actually bought our herbs, just like, “I’ve never heard of pine pollen before. I was using herbs and stuff myself and patients but holy crap, what this did for me…” It’s really cool to get this sort of feedback from people, just to hear that. Obviously, the herbs work but to hear it works so well for so many different people.
Zane: That’s basically our mission. It was to get this information out there. Obviously, we would prefer you got it from us but if you find better sources, we want you to just take herbs.
Logan: Here’s the thing. We started this company principally for us. This was just a way to fuel our own private herb supply.
Zane: That’s right. We are super selfish.
Logan: Here’s the thing that’s interesting though. Until you get into this business and it’s a tough business, a lot of hoops to go through and everything, it’s not an easy business and you learn that there’s a lot of crap being peddled out there. Here’s our promise. We’re not going to sell you crap. You know why? Because we take these stuff ourselves. We only want the best of the best. So because we really want these stuff, you can be assured that it is really good quality. You can’t just know that with most of the stuff you see on store shelves. I remember coming across some research that said that 50% of products on store shelves weren’t what they said they were. That’s pretty horrible. But we’re trying to do pills. We’re working on that. We’re working on doing it in a way that everything is really good, which is not easy to do.
Zane: All right, well here’s a question: where are we headed?
Logan: That’s a big question. We’re getting bigger and bigger. We plan to keep on extending the line of the different herbs that we have because there’s a lot more out there and it’s always fun. I mean we personally enjoy like researching and experimenting with and trying these new herbs. We’ll be releasing a lot of single herbs as well as coming up with new formulas. We have several that are in the works currently. Both the single herbs and the formulas are great. We would like to have pills especially of some versions available so we are working on that. It might be a while.
Zane: It might be a while. We haven’t figured out to tone down the amount of pills you actually have to take to get the same dosage as the powder.
Logan: Powder actually made taking herbs pretty easy but a lot of people don’t like the taste of them.
Zane: Yeah and then fortunately, so many of our friends and people we know tell us, “Well if it was in a pill, I would take them.”
Logan: Well, that’s about 90% of people.
Zane: Which is saying something about our society, how everyone just wants it fast, easy, no taste at all. I don’t want anything bad to happen to me. I only want to be happy.
Logan: Well, it’s a magical pill. That’s kind of the cool thing because these herbs really are, like I said, just about magical. They’re not in pill form so it’s not a magic pill.
Zane: And part of the way some of them work is through the taste.
Logan: Yeah, the taste action. If you study herbalism, that’s something you come to understand. That unveils some of the meaning behind the herb. For instance with bitter-tasting herbs, bitter taste actually contributes to the digestive effect, which is definitely more important among some bitter herbs than others.
Zane: That’s where you get the bitter tonics people make to help digestion.
Logan: So if you just take these in a pill, it’s actually not providing the benefit because the bitter taste is what starts that process happening. The tastes are pretty interesting stuff and that could be something to talk about more in future podcasts as well.
Zane: Yeah, because we can rant about that for days.
Logan: This podcast is for us to rant. Our plan for this podcast is in addition for doing talks like this and just going off on subjects, we’ll be bringing you different guest experts, interviews with all kinds of different people. The reason we didn’t call this the Superman Herbs podcast, the reason why it’s The Vital Way is we don’t only want to talk about herbs. The herbs are great. Like I said, magical abilities but even if you’re thinking like I’ve just got to take herbs and that’s going to make my entire life better, yes, that’s true and there are other things you need to do. You need to do more.
Zane: It is one way.
Logan: The way I want to think about it is this applies to really my strength training but really all areas of life. You have like the specific actions you take. In physical training, that’s you’re actual training. You have the health and nutrition that supports that and there’s the mental piece of the puzzle, which is a huge thing and something we’ll definitely be diving into in the future because that’s also one of the secret weapons that I’ve been using all these years, all the different in-depth studies using NLP, energy medicine, energy psychology, different tactics and tools I have that really can help do that. So when you bring these different components together, that’s when I truly believe you’re going to get the greatest effects because of the synergy between them.
Zane: Yeah, we’re doing hippy shit.
Logan: Yup, bringing weird hippy shit since today. Okay, that’s going to wrap it up for today’s episode. We’ve got a lot more coming. What we’d like you to do if you have any questions that you’d like us to cover in the future thing, topics or anything, just email us at [email protected], we’d love to hear from you. Also, I know this podcast is brand new. If you enjoy it, be sure to listen to the coming episodes but also head on over to iTunes. Wherever you found this, leave a review to help the information get out into more people’s hands so that we can spread the herbal wisdom as well as all the other crazy hippy shit that we do.