Dr. Andrew Weil: From Green Tea To Psilocybin – The Routines, Diet, Lifestyle, Supplements & Sage Advice From One of The Top Natural Medicine Docs on The Face of The Planet – Ben Greenfield Fitness

Check out the Ben Greenfield Fitness Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • The 4-7-8 breathing exercise:
    • Let all the air out through your mouth, breathe in quietly through your nose for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7, and blow air forcibly out for a count of 8
      • Repeat this for 4 cycles
    • Andrew calls it the most powerful relaxation method he’s ever discovered
  • You should really start doing some sort of breath work (such as the 4-7-8 breathing exercise)
    • “Breath work can produce the most dramatic physiological effects if it’s practiced regularly”
  • “What’s inside our heads influences what’s outside our heads”
    • There’s a very deep connection between how we think, what we visualize, and what we experience
  • The best practices Dr. Weil recommends to all his patients:
    • Avoid eating processed, refined, and manufactured foods
    • Be physically fit and active throughout life
    • Get adequate sleep
    • Learn and practice some method of minimizing the harmful effects of stress on the mind and body 
    • Connect with nature
    • Have strong social connections
    • Keep intellectually active
  • The body CAN heal itself
    • “Develop more confidence in the intrinsic healing potential of your body because it’s really tremendous”

Supplements Mentioned

Books on Psychedelics Mentioned

Intro

Dr. Weil’s Morning Routine

  • He usually wakes up between 4-4:30 AM
  • Then he does a sitting meditation in his bedroom
    • It’s starts with the 4-7-8 breathing exercise (see below), which Andrew calls “the most powerful relaxation method I’ve ever discovered”
    • Then he meditates for ~15 minutes
  • Next, he takes his dogs out
  • Then he eats breakfasts
    • Today he had sauteed tempeh in a lettuce wrap (it’s a staple food of Indonesia – it’s a fermented soy bean product)
      • (Andrew is a pescatarian)
  • Andrew then takes his dogs on a long walk (he lives at the edge of a forest in British Columbia)
  • Then he makes matcha green tea
  • Next comes email

Dogs

  • Andrew has two Rhodesian Ridgebacks
    • Ben had one as well, prior to it’s passing 8 months back due to a tumor which spread to the dog’s lungs
      • Ben and his wife kept him on a ketogenic diet with lots of supplemental CBD to relieve some of his discomfort prior to death
  • ~60% of dogs die of cancer
    • Why? – “Certainly our ancestral wolf wasn’t raised on the wheat and soy in dry dog food” – Ben
  • Rapamycin appears to have life extension properties in dogs (and humans)
    • Andrew just started dosing his 11-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback with it (to be taken every other day for 10 weeks)
    • (Dr. Peter Attia has said he doses with 5 mg of Rapamycin every 4-7 days in these Podcast Notes)

The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise

  • How is it done?
    • Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds
    • Hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds
    • Then blow air our through your mouth for a count of 8 seconds
  • Start by doing it for 4 cycles, and over time slowly increase to 8
  • Andrew says you have to do it regularly (for ~4-6 weeks) to start seeing the effects
    • He does is 2x daily
  • In these Podcast Notes, Andrew said – “For treating anxiety, it is by far the best method I have found”
  • Andrew’s resting heart rate is ~38-42 bpm, which he largely attributes to this breathing exercise (Ben says his is around 35-36)
  • On breath work:
    • “The beauty of breath work is it’s free”
    • “It’s amazing that researchers have been so blind to it. It can produce the most dramatic physiological effects if it’s practiced regularly.”
      • Such as dramatically lowering your resting heart rate

Matcha Tea

  • Andrew owns Matcha Kari
    • (Use discount code: GREEN15 and get a 15% discount on any order)
  • “Unfortunately, in North America, most people have only tasted very inferior matcha”
    • Since matcha is so finely ground, it quickly oxidizes and loses its bright green color (and becomes bitter)
    • Everything from Matcha Kari comes from Uji, Japan (which is just outside Kyoto)
  • The differences between matcha and green tea:
    • Matcha is a finely powdered green tea, made from tea plants which are shaded for 3+ weeks before harvest
      • In response to this lack of sunlight, the leaves produce higher quantities of chlorophyll (which accounts for the bright green color) antioxidants, and l-theanine (which has a calming effect – this is why matcha tends to product an alert relaxation state)
  • How should one prepare matcha?
    • Keep it in the freezer once you open it to avoid oxidation
    • Put the powder through a sieve/filter, or else it’ll form lumps when you try to dissolve it
    • Try whisking it with an electric whisk

Dr. Weil’s Go-to Supplements

  • A basic antioxidant stack consisting of carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E 
    • (Specific brands not mentioned)
    • If you can though, aim to get your antioxidants through your diet (vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices)
  • A multivitamin with trace minerals (MegaFood for Men)
  • COQ10 (Ben also supplements with COQ10, along with PQQ and MitoQ)
    • (Specific brands not mentioned)
  • A mushroom supplement for immune support
  • Supplement advice:
    • When choosing a multivitamin, make sure it doesn’t have iron (unless you have a need for it)
      • Why? – Iron is a pro-oxidant that can increase cardiovascular and cancer risk
    • Don’t take pre-formed vitamin A 
      • It is okay though, to take precursors of vitamin A like beta-carotene
    • Look for as many carotenoids in your multivitamin as possible (in addition to beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, etc.)

Psychedelics

Microdosing:

  • In these Podcast Notes, Ben said he takes a cognitive enhancement cocktail 1-2 times a week, which includes:
  • Andrew has experimented in the past with micrdosing 10 ug of LSD (but he wasn’t a fan)
  • Andrew has also tried microdosing with 100 mg of psilocybin mushrooms
    • “I liked the energy and I like the after effects”
    • He’s been doing it ~1x a month for the past year
  • Ben has also tried microdosing with 1P-LSD which you can buy from Lysergi
    • “I notice no perceptual difference between that and a microdose of LSD”
    • From these Podcast Notes – “Ben will sometimes order blotter tabs of it, and will dissolve it with alcohol in a dropper bottle so he can microdose precisely at 10-20 ug on days he’s doing a lot of writing (usually only 1x per week)”
      • You can read more about how to dissolve it here

Cannabis

  • Dr. Weil doesn’t smoke it anymore, but used to quite frequently in his 20s-30s
    • At first – his highs were fairly joyful and full of laughter
    • Then they became more introspective and tended to enhance his creativity
    • But eventually, in his 30s, cannabis started making him groggy/sleepy/sluggish
  • Why the change?
    • Probably a change in his endocannabinoid syste receptor system over time

The Best Practices Dr. Weil Recommends to His Patients

  • Simply avoid eating processed, refined, and manufactured foods
    • Eat as many whole/natural foods as possible
  • Be physically fit and active throughout life
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Learn and practice some method of minimizing the harmful effects of stress on the mind and body (like the 4-7-8 breathing exercise)
  • Connect with nature
  • Have strong social connections
  • Keep intellectually active

Dr. Weil’s Evening Routine

  • He tries to disconnect from his devices once the afternoon hits (which means avoiding his phone/computer)
  • In the afternoons, Andrew likes to swim and do some work in the garden
  • In the evening, Andrew loves cooking with friends
  • After dinner, he’ll often read or take another walk in the forest near his house
  • He usually goes to bed by 9 PM
  • Andrew takes a 2.5 mg of melatonin every night before bed
    • Ben takes 0.3 mg every nightassumed to be from Doc Parsley’s Sleep Remedy (use the code “podcastnotes” at checkout for 10% off)
    • As you age, your meltatonin production decreases (so older people should definitely supplement)
  • A more about Ben’s pre-sleep routine:

Wrapping Up

  • The body CAN heal itself
    • “Develop more confidence in the intrinsic healing potential of your body because it’s really tremendous”

Additional Notes

  • “With all soy products, and with many foods, it’s very important to get the organic versions because you want to avoid GMO soy”
  • Ben switches to decaff coffee 1x a month for 7-10 days to upregulate his adenosine receptors
  • “I’m fascinated with transcranial magnetic stimulation and pulsed light therapies. I think these are going to turn out to be extremely useful for mental health conditions.”
  • Ben will sometimes use a Nucalm prior to a nap (it’s a vagal nerve stimulator)
  • Andrew lives on the ocean in British Columbia and will take a dip every day (the water is quite cold)
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