In the second episode we dive into Zane’s back story and experience with herbs, as well as detail some of what’s coming in the future.
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Logan: Hey guys, welcome back to The Vital Way. We are here once again, me and Zane Christopher for Episode #2. In this episode, we’re going to talk a bit more about Zane as in the first one, it will probably go a little bit all over the place once again as it happens but folks, a bit about Zane and some other ideas around the company, what we stand for and that sort of thing. So Zane, what was your introduction to the herbs side? How did you get into it in the first place?
Zane: Well you should know this because it was you, Logan.
Logan: What were the specifics because I don’t remember?
Zane: Well, I had no idea about any of this stuff for a long time, well into my 20’s. I’m 31 now. So Logan actually asked me if I—
Logan: If you guys don’t know, I’m a trendsetter.
Zane: He had an extra ticket because his girlfriend couldn’t make it to this longevity conference and asked me if I wanted to go because I lived down in Costa Mesa where it took place. It’s with David Wolfe.
Logan: I mentioned him the last time. He was one of the guys that introduced me to the concept of herbs. It was a big conference which I still went to earlier this year. I’ll probably keep going. Not only him; they had a bunch of different great speakers, a lot of cutting-edge information.
Zane: Dave Asprey was there last time.
Logan: Yeah, the bulletproof executive, all kinds of different guys so it really does kind of cover what we talk about in our tagline for this, the ancient wisdom and the cutting-edge. You get a pretty good mix of the different things and a lot of quality information.
Zane: Yeah, you guys should really check it out if you’re getting into this stuff. There’s just so much information you can get there which is what happened to me. I show up and I’m like what is all this crap? No one’s ever showed me this before and I was just like blown over, so confused. The bathroom smelled so bad because everyone was detoxing because they had such good stuff there. That’s my first impression with herbs and like hippy, feel-good stuff. But it was awesome. It was one of the best times I had.
I bought a book. I consumed the book after that. It was on Dona Gates Body Ecology Diet that introduced me to fermented foods and that pretty much changed everything. After that, I was hooked and learning a lot. It just started improving physically myself a lot more. My brain worked better and physically like everything just got easier. I’m a runner by nature.
Logan: So I do the strength stuff. He does the endurance stuff, the long boring stuff. He enjoys it. That’s the thing. There are different strokes for different people. I don’t have that attention span. He enjoys running. By all means, you’ve got to do what you enjoy, right?
Zane: Yeah, exactly. Or find ways to enjoy something.
Logan: Right. Well that and the way I see it with fitness–let’s just go with that—there are so many opportunities out there. Remember in my last call, we were talking about how I was in bodybuilding when I started out, not getting any sort of results. That was the only thing I was exposed to.
Logan: I was trying to do something but it wasn’t very successful. That was the thing. That was the only thing that I knew existed. I tell people these days if I had to run an hour on the treadmill each day in order to be fit, I wouldn’t do it either. It just doesn’t work for me but I didn’t—
Zane: I wouldn’t do that either. I’m sorry. I’m a runner but I never run on running—
Logan: Treadmills suck unless you have a treadmill desk. That’s a little bit different. A little off-topic but my point is you’ve got to find something you enjoy doing physically and then go from there. There are so many things out there and most people have no clue.
Zane: Yeah, but I think it’s actually getting a little bigger now. That’s why it’s spreading out more, seeing that working out one muscle at the time doesn’t really equate with longevity or functionality. So yeah, I started exploring that. Once I started actually trying the herbs, there were a few that really boosted my performance.
Logan: Like what?
Zane: Shilajit, if I had to pick one herb, that would be the herb I would pick for the rest of my life.
Logan: Not a bad one to go with.
Zane: It’s not a bad one. It does so many different things.
Logan: You know what they say. If you eat like a kilogram of this, you’ll live five years longer. Do you remember those numbers? I came across some old Ayurvedic information that was saying for every somewhat amount that you eat of this that you eat, you will live another year.
Zane: I better start eating more. I know that the fact that say that if you even take them once in your life, your life will be that much better afterward.
Logan: That’s saying something.
Zane: That’s saying something because you don’t really hear that from a cheeseburger.
Logan: Well the fact of the matter is you probably won’t only take it once. After you take it once, you’ll be like what is this stuff? I need to take more.
Zane: So Logan’s described how they call it the destroyer of weakness. They also call it the conqueror of mountains. I have intimate experience with that because I do a lot of mountaineering and shilajit is exactly what it’s said it is. I don’t know where they got that but it helps you immensely in hiking situations and that kind of stuff. That’s why I really like the pitch that we sell because it’s very transportable, too, as compared to taking a bunch of powders with you while you’re out in the dangerous stuff.
Logan: Yeah, it’s kind of hard to mess with spoons and stuff whereas that you just generally throw a bit in your mouth and keep on trekking.
Zane: Exactly. It gives you a little boost when you need it but it’s the stamina upkeep that it can provide. I’ve had other experiences like getting a couple of hours of sleep and—no, I got no sleep driving up from L.A. to Santa Cruz, a six-hour drive. No sleep. I did a 10-K the next day barefoot, first barefoot race and—
Logan: Let me mention. He doesn’t just run long distances but barefoot, like fully barefoot, not even Vibrams. Barefoot.
Zane: Barefoot over everything.
Logan: Including concrete.
Zane: And glass sometimes. I’ve only stepped on glass once in three years. That’s saying something.
Logan: How many needles? Hopefully none, unless they’re filled with shilajit.
Zane: Yeah. Okay, very interesting. But like that, I took the shilajit. I attribute it the most to being in the play. I did really well considering the conditions while taking the shilajit for that. Then also pine pollen, I would say that was the other big one because that just transformed everything. It’s so amazing, so much nutrition. I’m really happy to take that every single day. But yeah, once the herbs got in, that was the fittest. Whenever I’m in the best shape of my life, it’s always when I’m on a very good regimen of herbs, ironically, too.
Logan: So regimen you mean taking things regularly or—
Zane: Regularly. Consistency is huge with herbs of course. A lot of times people will feel it the first time but there’s a lot herbs where you do need to take it consistently and after a month you can tell things are different. You might not be able to pinpoint it but you know that something’s going on so just keep taking them. Consistency helps so much and that’s part of why we, like Logan said in the last podcast, started this company. It’s so that we would be able to take herbs and take them on a consistent basis because herbs can be super expensive. The best ones are–
Logan: Mostly. Some of them, yeah.
Zane: We’ve looked at some really expensive cordyceps.
Logan: The genuine cordyceps collected in the Himalayas are like several times the weight of it more than gold, significantly more and those are genuine ones. They can be grown on substrates like the cordyceps we offer which is you know in some ways because of some other problems like contaminations, other fungus, things may be even better. In that way, at least it’s controlled. It doesn’t have that wildness to it so it’s definitely lacking in that. That so-called techno-grown cordyceps is still really good stuff. I’m sure you have some with that Eleuthero, Rhodiola as far as your endurance are some other great ones.
Zane: Yeah. Well we try to make that mountain blend and it did work pretty well. I got to work the mountain some more. Yeah, that’s pretty much how I got into it. It works really well for running and I know it works really well for anything else, man.
Logan: Right. So what are your favorite herbs today? Would you still say the same thing?
Zane: I would throw tongkat ali in there. I don’t know if you have but I’ve never tried that outside of when we first started looking into it.
Logan: I don’t think I have.
Zane: And I always wanted to because you hear so much good stuff about it. It seemed like it was so powerful and I always felt a little drawn to it that way. Yeah, tongkat is really strong stuff and I am so hooked on that for like ever.
Logan: I was writing about this. I’ve been hearing lots of research, studying, writing and experimenting around the idea testosterone. One of the things that I came to sort of the conclusion of is I’m not naturally high on testosterone. In fact, I might be what was called a lifelong testosterone insufficiency.
Zane: You have that?
Logan: Possibly, I’m guessing that I do.
Zane: Well, I think a lot of guys—
Logan: Well because of our day and age but also as the third child, not spaced very well. I was saying this last one, compared to them I look a little different, not as much nutrition, some different other factors but based on how I was as a kid, based on the fact that I’m not a hairy individual which does seem to be linked to testosterone like hair on the chest which I have none, that sort of thing. When I went through puberty, I had a couple of hairs coming out of my armpits and that’s about it.
Zane: It took a while and your balls though.
Logan: My balls have dropped. That’s a good one. I wouldn’t know if that’s actually another thing, the balls not dropping, that has to do with testosterone. Not being like a naturally high testosterone guy even though I’m trying to do the strength stuff and be successful and everything, it didn’t come easy to me. I feel like I have really only this year, working with these herbs quite a bit more, maybe the past couple of years, really actually felt what it’s like to have testosterone around what should be normal levels. Normal or high, I don’t know exactly what they are but based on the feelings around that, it’s significantly different than it used to be. That’s what I can say.
Zane: Testosterone is so important for normal functioning.
Logan: We’ll probably do some podcasts just around that. I have a lot more information, just got a lot of wisdom to share.
Zane: I was just going to say because I feel like I’m at the normal level, you’ve got to throw a little asterisk in there and be like well, normal level for today because compared that to even a hundred years ago, we do not have that much.
Logan: There are studies showing that people have been declining on average. We have our sort of average range which is a quite a large range for free testosterone from about 300 to 1000 nanograms per deciliter, however they measure that. Maybe that’s not the right one but anyway the average has been going down over the years. A hundred years ago it was much higher. Thousands of years ago, who even knows what those actually were.
Zane: The natives?
Logan: I was reading one guy, he was saying that his guess it was probably like 2,000 to 3,000.
Zane: That doesn’t surprise me because I heard a hundred years ago from this one guy I was talking to—I need to research this more—but even like a hundred years ago, he was saying the average was 1,200 to 1,300 and that’s—
Logan: No one really knows. Here’s the thing. Everyone is individual so you’ve got to find what works best for you and that may change over time.
Zane: It will change, yeah.
Logan: What I’m saying here is having started pretty low, I really kind of felt like I was low without knowing this information now, using these herbs I’ve felt like I have gained more of my manhood back.
Zane: We’ve got to get you some of those creams.
Logan: So what do you think as far as the direction of the company, where we’re going in the next year or so, or further?
Zane: I like where we’re at right now because we’ve got a lot of single-herb products. We have some formulas. I really like that we have variety now that we can offer to people.
Logan: One thing I want to say about our formulas—this will probably be a topic of an article or something—we don’t have conventional formulas. Well, we don’t have like Chinese medicine formulas or Ayurvedic formulas. We have the black shilajit with tripahala which has been used. But really we’re coming up with new formulas based on our research. By no means do we have like extensive experience in herbalism or anything but really if you think about what people are trying to achieve in this day and age because it’s far different than what was going on in China 6,000 years ago—it’s not to say those formulas aren’t good, right?—we may need something a bit different, especially when we’re doing this. And you couldn’t really have the same sort of formulations where we have Chinese with the Ayurvedic herbs or adding in some western herbs, certain combinations that may be even more powerful. Certainly, every ecosystem for the most part is going to have its own herbs for certain things.
Zane: It is a bit due to globalizing.
Logan: Yes. Tongkat ali, does it seem to be the most powerful in this regard? I haven’t seen anything quite like it. There are definitely other great men herbs everywhere around but I haven’t had something quite like tongkat.
Zane: I think it does go back to potency. Tongkat is extremely potent.
Logan: That was the interesting thing that I always think about. Seeing how concentrated it is, it doesn’t seem like other herbs are concentrated but not nearly as much so would you see that same sort of effect off of some other herbs if they are concentrated?
Zane: Yeah. You know how we were talking about cordyceps and the price. The ones we were looking at were for one kilo like in the thousands. You don’t need to take that much of that stuff. It will be really, really strong. There’s a reason. Even though it costs so much, you are getting more bang for your buck. With the tongkat we sell, it’s pretty reasonably priced. 10 weeks for $40, to me that’s not much money. So the company, I would say a lot more of the same probably. We’re actually loosening up our positions a little bit so we should be able to get you guys a lot more information, too.
Logan: Yeah, that is our goal to have even more articles along with this podcast being weekly, providing a lot information around the herbs but also around the herbs covering other stuff. Like I said, you can’t just take the herbs. You can do that but when you bring in the lifestyle changes, the different training, whatever you’re trying to accomplish then you bring that all together and you get that synergistic effect. Everything’s much better at that point.
Zane: Yeah. Here’s one thing. We’ll be visiting our suppliers starting next year. We’ll have more information on that. We’ll see where the information goes. We all do slightly different things. Logan is really into the physical culture and stuff and he can bring in a lot of information that way. We’ve both kind of been trying to get the naturalist stuff, maybe me a little more so, some wilderness survival, primitive survival stuff soon. Learn all the skills. I want to bring that stuff to you because I think to me, that’s really important. I feel like to a lot of people, they would like to have that stuff, to be able to survive. Herbs are part of that because you’re actually diversifying your diet which is a big thing. If you look at what our natives ate, our ancestors ate, they had crazy diverse diet with insects, which is why I love that we are—
Logan: There’s some of them coming onboard. It’s a thing.
Zane: You can chow if you had cricket powders and stuff. So you’re diversifying your diet. I love that every day I eat fungus, at least one every day. I’m eating insects. I eat plants and roots that I would not normally get in your normal supermarkets. It’s not the same stuff.
Logan: Fermented foods, love the bacteria. That’s an idea, sort of the lost food groups. Herbs would be one thing because most people, besides maybe some culinary herbs. Don’t get any of those. Fermented foods, all these used to be a big part of everyone’s diet. The standard American diet, not so much. You have the fermented foods which is healthy bacteria for the most part. There’s the fungal kingdom of which some are basically food-type ones as well as medicinal ones, although they all have medicinal properties for sure.
Zane: Eat your mushrooms. It’s really healthy.
Logan: Know which mushrooms you should be eating of course. Don’t just eat every one. That should hopefully obvious. Organ meats, right, I think that’s kind of a lost food group and bone broths, that sort of thing.
Zane: Having that and tendons, it’s basically the whole animal instead of just focusing on muscles, which is what we do.
Logan: Correct, which led to one of the interesting things about the insects because generally you eat the whole insect so you’re actually getting all the organs. You’re getting exoskeleton so you’ve got the bones and everything. Certain things may not be as digestible but you’re getting everything in there, which is why that probably pretty much every insect is a super food. All these different things are kind of different super foods but really they’re natural parts of the human diet.
Zane: Yeah and they would be normal parts.
Logan: Yeah, and they ought to be. That’s what we’ll do. We’ll definitely have some information on that. Of course herbs can be combined with those different things, cooking organ meats with herbs, using them in ferments. There are lots of opportunity there. A lot of alcohols used to be made with different medicinal herbs besides just hops, which is a medicinal herb which may not have the best effects for men these days with its estrogenic components.
Zane: Or first day in the week.
Logan: Yeah. Well, that is the whole thing, right? It gives that sedative quality. It was sort of conspiracy theories with the German purity law was to keep more control over the population by making sure that hops were included in all beers as opposed to they used to use all kinds of different herbs, some of which actually may have had androgenic properties. So that would be—
Zane: Pine pollen?
Logan: For a long time, we still haven’t done this but we need to get connected with someone that brews. Yeah, pine pollen beer or as we named it beer with balls, that’s an idea in the works. If you have a brewer out there, let us know.
Zane: If any of you guys have any recipes with the herbs you’re taking, we would love to take them and put them in our eBook.
Logan: Or just post them on the site as well. Someone just sent in one the other day, mixing the shilajit pitch with raspberry rooibos tea. He said it completely masked the flavor. I haven’t tried that one yet. I’m just putting it out there. Just anything you try, I guess, is somewhat good. Don’t just send us all your failed recipes and culinary experiments. That wouldn’t be very helpful.
So one thing, we’ve kind of talked about performance. You have your running. I have my strength training, physical culture and tons of different things I do. Obviously, the herbs help with performance. One thing we weren’t really planning on going to when we started this like everything was performance, athletic performance but we’ve kind of ended up tapping much more into the sort of sexual performance market especially around males looking into enhance their performance in there. That I something I learned early in my studies of Chinese medicine with these herbs. The same herbs that are good for athletic performance are good for sexual performance and the reason for that is there’s an underlying energy foundation behind them that really operates on both.
It’s really about that yang energy. You have the yin and the yang, that yang energy, that masculine energy, that sort of driving force. Not only is it athletic and sexual performance but also like business type of success, having that drive to go up there and create something and put something out in the world. It’s all related and it also actually has to do with testosterone because testosterone is related in all these things as well.
Testosterone is called the success hormone. It obviously has to do with success. Obviously, it has to do with athletics so really it’s interesting to see this dynamic working together. So if you have these powerful herbs that work on building this up then you can sort of apply these benefits across different areas.
Zane: There’s a tremendous amount of crossover and if you really think about sex, it’s kind of an athletic event itself.
Logan: Absolutely. And for some of business as well.
Zane: Yeah, so anything that’s going to increase your sex is going to increase your athletic prowess and vice versa.
Logan: Absolutely. I’m sure we’ll do some interviews, bring on some experts in that area, show some different things besides just herbs you can do. It’s a very interesting area. The way I look at it, there are certain areas in life that everyone should have some interest in. Obviously, everyone is interested in sex but not everyone really works to sort of optimize that area. I’m not talking about some sort of weird mechanical thing where you have to track everything but you can do certain things to make it better. Who doesn’t want better sex?
Zane: Yeah. Then the other thing is if you believe in evolution and all that stuff, the main reason you’re here is to procreate. When you are around longer, when you’re having sex and you’re fertile a lot longer into your old age and stuff, it’s almost like evolution is giving you a longer life because you are usable still. If you think about it that way, all this stuff will apply to your health years from now.
Logan: Right. That’s a really good sign if you’re healthy or not, especially in an older age because obviously, anyone can procreate when they’re 20. Actually no, not anyone can. This day and age, there are so many infertility problems but if you have a 70-year-old man that can still get a woman pregnant he’s a pretty healthy 70-year-old man.
Zane: Yeah, he’s going to be rocking testosterone.
Logan: There’s a lot of stuff around and I’m sure we’ll be exploring that. I hope you enjoyed this episode. We, as before, went off on a lot of tangents here. We’re just kind of laying the groundwork with some ideas on some things we want to cover in the future and we’ll dive into with much more depth.
Once again, be sure to head on over to iTunes. Subscribe to this podcast if you haven’t already done that and leave us a review if you would. Let us know what you think, any ideas or different things to make it better. We’ll probably be bringing you a bit longer episodes in the future but definitely wants to get started somewhere, we want to bring this to you before the New Year’s out.
Zane: Yeah, and let us know what you guys want us to talk about because we read a lot of books.
Logan: Yes, too many at times it seems. I’d say all of us are kind of researchers. That’s one thing that we enjoy doing, that we like doing so being able to bring this information to you. We’re definitely in the information age and there’s a whole lot coming to you. By having a podcast such as this, I really think we’re going to be able to bring you information that you might not otherwise access unless you were looking for it. That’s kind of our aim, to really open you up to some new paradigms because that’s where really big changes come from, the big, hopefully, positive changes. Something you hear could end up leading your life in another direction.
Zane: Hopefully, it doesn’t kill you.
Logan: What we say will hopefully not kill you. I guess on that note, it’s a good way to end the podcast. Thanks everyone for listening.