DR. SUSAN PEIRCE THOMPSON, a multi-New York Times bestselling author and cognitive scientist specializing in the intersection between mental health and weight loss.
This is my second interview with her, and it’s FANTASTIC!
Listen to the podcast, watch the video, or scan the transcript below. She is one of the leading thought leaders in the weight loss space today, and founder of Bright Line Eating.
Her new book, ON THIS BRIGHT DAY: A Year of Reflections for Lasting Food Freedom [Hay House | October 24, 2023], offers more than just a guide to overcoming food addiction; it’s a beacon of hope for those battling the complex relationship between the mind and body.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson on The Latest in Weight Loss
Listen To Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson’s Podcast Interview Here:
Watch Her Interview On The Dirobi Health Show.
Dave Sherwin: Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Dirobi Health Show. I’ve got Dr. Susan Pierce Thompson back on the show for the second time. Thanks so much for coming on the show.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Thanks, Dave. It’s great to be here with you.
Dave Sherwin: I want you to know, I actually haven’t been taking guests for a while. I’ve just been doing solo episodes.
I’ve been super busy. And as booking things and the back and forth between agents and whatever and everything, it became where I was too busy. And I just, I haven’t had a guest in months.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Wow. That’s sweet to be your first guest in months. I’m…
Dave Sherwin: oh yeah. I was like, yeah, I’ll have Dr. Thompson back. So this is and this is fun for me too. Like I said, I haven’t done an interview in a few months. And so getting back at it and catching up, I feel like you’ve been doing some new things from reading about and seeing your new book coming out and whatnot. And I thought, Oh, I bet she has some really good new stuff.
So I’m excited to hear about that.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Excellent. Yeah. Totally. Should I dive in or what?
Dave Sherwin: You can bio first for some people who may live under a health rock and may not know who you are. We ought to just introduce those people and let them know your background and what you are all about. Dr. Susan Pierce Thompson is a cognitive scientist specializing in the intersection between mental health and weight loss.
She’s the founder of Bright Line Eating. She’s a multi New York Times best selling author. And she has a new book coming out soon called On This Bright Day. A Year of Reflections for Lasting Food Freedom. That will be published by Hay House on October 24th, 2023. That’s coming up very soon. We’ve spoke before as a matter of fact.
That was on May 19th, 2022. I looked that up. So about 18 months ago, we talked last. And now you are moving and shaking again in the in the health and fitness and weight loss world. And so let’s catch up.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. You got the big thing, which is my fourth book is coming out October 24.
And it’s a daily meditation reader. I’m really excited about it. My community is excited about it. It’s going to be a great fit for anyone who wants to start their day with inspiration and aspiration and just a hopeful passage that will lift them up out of their, whatever kind of state they woke up with.
And to be reminded that those of us who are on a health journey are committed to eating differently than, the sad standard American diet than the global industrial diet. We don’t just go with the flow of waking up like most people do, having no idea what they’re going to eat, where they’re going to get the food, stopping at vending machines, going to cafeterias or drive thrus and eating a bunch of processed crapola, right?
Those of us who take care of our health, we’re way more intentional than that with our food and that forms of life. Having a daily reader that cements that identity of I am someone who nourishes myself with food. And that enables me to thrive in ways that I love.
And there’s so much that goes along with that journey. So I’m excited about this book. Yeah.
Dave Sherwin: What was the genesis for it? Did you have an epiphany from your fan base or from your research? What was it that?
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah. I just recently celebrated 29 years clean and sober. I was a drug addict and alcoholic as a teenager and I had my last drink and drug at the age of 20.
And I started reading daily, meditation readers. You know from my first one on my first day, certainly very early on in my first year of sobriety and Sitting down with a page every day to Provide soul nourishment for my journey is something that I have always done and now more lately as an adult I’ve added a nighttime reader.
I, I read Rumi at night. So Coleman Barks has an incredible daily reader of Rumi poems, a year with Rumi, and I read that at night before bed. I think I have always known since I founded Bright Line Eating nine years ago that at some point in the fullness of time, we would create a Bright Line Eating daily reader.
It wasn’t a moment of epiphany, it was an ongoing knowingness that this book needs to exist.
Dave Sherwin: Interesting. For a while there, I was reading letters from Seneca and I was reading one letter per night before I went to sleep. And that was a tremendous habit. So that’s really interesting.
You remind me that I stopped doing it right now. I’m reading the Cosmos book by Neil deGrasse Tyson, which is just fascinating, but not accomplishing the kind of thing you’re talking about. It’s not a Mental, spiritual, healing, improvement, self development type of a book. It’s just something I read before I go to bed that fascinates me.
However it was different. When I was reading the Seneca, which is just, ancient wisdom. That was different than just reading any old book before going to bed, so that’s interesting. But I got out of the habit.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah. You can get back in the habit. I read the Daily Stoic for a while, which would be similar to letters.
Dave Sherwin: Yeah, that’s great. Yeah. S was the, probably the most we probably have, he is the sto we probably have the most writings from, so . So that concept fascinates me. You use the word reader a few times now. I think I know what you mean, but I want to be 100 percent sure. What is a reader?
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah, and I hesitate to use the word meditation reader. It’s basically one of these books that’s got 366 pages because there’s one for February 29th which you’re always tempted to read even if it’s not leap year. And it’s got the date at the top of each page. So literally the book is a page for January 1st, then a page for January 2nd, January 3rd, and it goes through the year.
And so the idea is you read one page. On that date, and it gives you it gives you whatever it gives you what this book will give you is a a topic at the top, let’s say clarity, and then a quote about that from someone and then two or three or four paragraphs on, just something meaty to chew on for the day, and then a mantra at the bottom on this bright day.
I will whatever the message is, right? I will wait for clarity before taking action.
Dave Sherwin: Interesting. That must have taken you forever.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: That’s the thing. It was quite the project. And a shout out to Joanne Campbell Rice, who’s on my team, who started me off. She did a lot of brainstorming on topics and quotes and really gave me a lot to work with.
It is a huge undertaking to come up with 366 titles, quotes, paragraphs and mantras. And in fact I actually thought this book would be relatively easy to record for the audio book. Because each page is, it’s just a small book, right? It’s a pocket sized book. And so I thought it would be easy, but it turns out this, the audio book is.
Easily twice as long as any of my other audio books, 366 pages as a long frigging book.
Dave Sherwin: Yeah. And it brings up an interesting point and that is this intersection between mental health and physical health that you that your career is really based around from what I understand.
Is it really interesting to me because being in the health space, we think nutrition and fitness. Primarily, right? Your average person, if they want to improve things, they often think Hit the gym, which is not necessarily the first stuff they ought to have. But maybe the, maybe if they’re a little more aware, they might think differently about what they do in the kitchen.
However, not many people think too much about what’s going on upstairs, right? What’s going on in their brain. Now what’s interesting to me about this is physical health. We have a variety of ways of measuring that we know how much we weigh. We could go out if we’re an athlete, we could figure out how fast we can run a mile.
We can figure out how much weight we can lift. We can go to the doctor and get a physical and find out what our blood markers are. All of these things are scientific. They’re very interesting. And many of us know them to varying degrees of what our level of biohacking is. However, mentally. It’s not so cut and dried, right?
And I think there’s some people I imagine there’s many people who maybe think their mental health is possibly even worse than it is. Maybe they’re a pessimist and think it’s feel like life’s a little harder than for them than it is for other people and other people who maybe. over exaggerate how well they’re doing, right?
And yet, mentally to compare ourselves or the doctor can’t stick a syringe in our brain and extract something that tells us here’s where your brain health is. So I think you could address that for a minute because again, this has a huge effect on our health and yet how do we assess, how do we know, what do we, is there any way to determine where we’re at and what we might do to…
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: …improve?
It’s a great point and it’s interesting. I’m reading a book right now called Brain Energy by a psychiatrist at Harvard, Christopher Palmer, and one of the points he makes in the first few chapters is that by definition, mental illnesses have no physiological markers. As soon as there’s a physiological marker, it moves to a neurological condition, maybe like Alzheimer’s or something like that, but mental illnesses, none of them have any tests you can take that will, give you, yeah if you have diabetes, your A1C is a certain number or whatever there’s no such tests for your mental state, it’s interesting though, there are assessments you can take, and Yeah.
On my team, the Bright Line Eating team, right now we have 19 employees, and a while back we instituted a test that people need to take before we hire them, and it’s the satisfaction with life scale. It’s basically how happy are you? How content are you in life? And we don’t hire anyone who’s in the bottom, I don’t even, not even bottom quartile.
Like you got to be in the top quartile on that test for us to hire you. Certain people are able to just make, lemonade out of lemons. And those are the people that we want to work with. Interesting. And so there are questions you can ask yourself. I do a little nightly checklist every night.
Tracking my habits. What are the things that I did that day? And one of the things I asked myself was on a scale from one to five, how were my food cravings, my food thoughts? Was I neutral about food or was I thinking about it in an obsessive way? So one one would be really no food thoughts. I was completely neutral all day.
I didn’t think about my food any more than I thought about my hot shower. I might’ve enjoyed it while it was happening, but I wasn’t thinking about it. ruminatively before or after. As a recovering food addict, this is very important for me to keep tabs on. That means I’m keeping my food simple enough. My habits are solid.
And it’s my measurement of that. There’s all kinds of depression scales and anxiety scales and things you can take, but I would encourage everyone to Have a sense of what mental health metrics matter for them, like if they’re prone to depression, maybe track, how was my mood today on a scale from one to 10, maybe, 10 being sunny, bright, I had one of the happiest, best days of my life and one being, I was so down today that I might have needed to call a suicide hotline.
And just score yourself every day. I think it’s important to keep tabs of our mental well being. And just because there’s no blood test you can take doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to track and measure it.
Dave Sherwin: That’s really good. And it brings to mind something that is a personal weakness of mine.
I’m the type of person that I start off great in the morning. I exercise, I feel good. I do my planning. I meditate, I walk the dog. I have a great morning routine and I love it. And I plan out all the stuff I’m going to do that day. And then I just slowly deteriorate until I crash in front of Netflix with my wife at the end of the day.
And then, I’m completely wiped out by about 10 o’clock and I sleep great, which is wonderful because I didn’t used to sleep great. That’s a really great thing. However, every time I’ve tried to start an evening ritual of any kind, I have just failed. Put my evening routine in the morning and I’ll get it done.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: That’s so funny. That’s so funny. That’s interesting. You’re inspiring me.
Dave Sherwin: I want to revisit this evening thing. What you said about, taking stock, taking store evaluating how I ate. There’s probably a variety of things I could sit and just spend a few minutes determining what would be best for me.
I think it’d be great, but yeah, I I get to the end of the day and I just, what I intend to do in the beginning of the day is very different than what I feel like doing at six o’clock at night.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: I got a question for you, Dave Sherwin. Okay. Do you brush your teeth every night before going to bed?
Dave Sherwin: Every night I brush my teeth, I wash my face and I floss. That’s right. That’s the evening routine.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: That’s your evening habit stack. You have one. I have one.
Dave Sherwin: I have that one. But I got to tell you. I’m trying to get it over with and hit the sack. It’s not something like I’m excited to do. It’s. And there are nights that I’m tempted like, Oh, I don’t have to floss today.
Literally, how lazy is that? Like it takes 30 seconds to floss, but literally that’s mentally where I’m at is, literally being tempted to not wash my face. I’m like, duh, just, you need that level of lazy.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: I have a morning an evening routine rather that I love.
And I’ve got one thing I’ve been doing in my evening routine so consistently that I’m super proud of it. Proud enough that I want to be a little peacock here and crow about it a little bit. Like I write in a five year journal every night. So a five year journal is It’s maybe like a daily meditation reader, right?
There’s the date at the top of the page, every page, but then it goes further. Each page is separated horizontally into five little sections. And so in each section, you’ll only have maybe five lines to write a very small little section and you write the year. And then you write your five lines and so you’ve only filled up now a fifth of the page and that would be for, September 12th or whatever you write that down and then every night you do that and then you come back around a full calendar year and now you’re writing in the second section but now you get to read what you wrote on that day a year ago.
Interesting. And the next year you get to read what you wrote two years back. And so by the last year, okay, so I’ve been doing this now without missing for 13 years. Wow. And so I could go by now, I have kids who are 15, 15 and 12 years old. And so I have basically a whole catalog of my kids lives. My youngest I’ve been writing in a five year journal every night for her whole life.
It’s just cool. Like it’s re I’m always quizzing my husband. I’m like on this day, three years ago, he’s don’t tell me. And he’ll think back. He’s got this incredible autobiographical memory. He’s is that the day our nanny quit in the, in the fall, three years ago?
I’m like, it is. Wow. This is the day that Tracy quit three years ago or whatever, right? Yeah. Yeah.
Dave Sherwin: Anyway, okay. Now that’s really interesting. I was a dedicated journal journaler for years, like starting when I was about 17 years old. I have 13 full journals yeah. That I stopped doing in my mid forties.
And a few years later I went back and started looking through them and I couldn’t read half of them. But my reading is terrible because the writing is bad.
I’m like, that’s a waste. I can’t even tell. I can’t read my own writing. So that’s embarrassing. I can figure it out. So then I started typing, but but I haven’t been very consistent and I’ve tried the one, I don’t know what it is.
It’s some app that I have that I tried where you can add photos and video and stuff in as well, but you’re inspiring me. The fiverr thing I think is. Excellent. That adds a whole new. Yeah. That’s that sounds really powerful.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: It’s very powerful. And and what’s nice about it. Cause you said, at nighttime you’re hustling, do you just want to get to sleep is you only, you’re only, you only got five lines, so it makes you really distill what was meaningful today. How am I really doing? What am I really thinking? I usually write what happened, but I’ve, I’m also trying to write the gist of what’s on my mind these days, or Yeah it’s very interesting to read back on. So interesting.
Dave Sherwin: I’m inspired. This is great. I almost feel like I’m getting personal coaching right now. This is fantastic. But it’s not about me. It’s not everyone listening. So let’s jump back into about them now about them, the thems out there. Really are interested in weight loss, which you are one of the world, in my opinion, one of the world’s leading thought leaders.
And and of course, I don’t want to open up a huge can of worms that you’ve got your books, you’ve got all kinds of information. However, just for a minute, I would like you to share anything new, any new epiphanies, any new science, anything new in the realm of weight loss specifically. Since we talked last 18 months…
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah, absolutely.
All right, so let me try to be punchy and pithy and on point about this. So here’s some new things. First of all it just keeps getting worse. The BBC just put out a report. On how half of the world’s population is projected to be overweight or obese by 2035. It just keeps getting worse.
I think half of Americans will be soon found to be obese right now. living with obesity half we were at 42. 4 percent the last time the real stats came out, but those were pre COVID stats, right? And people gained a lot of weight during COVID so weight that they haven’t been able to take off.
Now, one of the things that’s happened since we last spoke was the semi glutide revolution. So we’ll go V Ozempic, these drugs that do. Help people lose weight and they work in really interesting ways. They both help people not want to eat as much and also reduce the addictiveness, the addictive pull of food.
And so it’s, they’re really working in the reward centers, the mesolimbic reward addiction pathway in the brain. We don’t know how. We don’t know how yet, but they are. They’re originally diabetes drugs, right? But there’s something about them that are hitting the reward centers and calming that part of the brain now down.
Now here’s the thing. They’ve got a lot of side effects. They’re very expensive still right now. But the biggest issue with them is that when you stop taking them, you gain back all the weight. rapidly, right? And so you have to be ready to be on them for life. And, and there are drugs with side effects, including some pretty bad cancers and gastrointestinal issues up the yeah.
So it’s a little bit of a big cell to be on them for life now. I’m excited that we’ve published data in Bright Line Eating showing that people doing our protocol lose that much weight. There it’s big amounts for the weight loss world, 15 to 18 percent of starting body weight maintained over time with no side effects much less cost and and all the ancillary.
Quality of life benefits that come from actually doing it by eating whole real wonderful food as opposed to just eating fewer doughnuts. So that’s one of the things that’s happened. I think the semi glutide revolution is very nuanced. I have a vlog out on it. I am not just a big basher of these drugs.
I really work with people who are tortured by food and I understand why someone would want to be on one of these drugs. I totally get it. And I think there’s really, there’s real pros and cons to way. So that has happened. We in Bright Line Eating have released the all new Bright Line Eating Bootcamp 2.0, which is an all new introductory course to our way, our special, way of helping people lose weight, our particular. bright roadmap, right? And so the first chunk of that journey is in the boot camp. And so that’s all brand new. People can find that at brightlineeating. com if they want to, but I think more than ever, the data are really now incontrovertible that Processed foods are physiologically addictive.
They work in the brain, just like heroin and cocaine. Not every brain is equally susceptible, just like not every drinker will become an alcoholic. Certain people’s brains are very susceptible to addiction. And so for you listening out there, if you notice that, you can’t eat just one just keep in mind that.
It might actually be easier for you to eat none than some, and I know people out there will say, that’s ridiculous. You can’t cut out whole food groups. Dr. Thompson you’re spurring on eating disorders. And I’m like, Oh, they’re deli. First of all, since when did sugar become a food group? Really, let’s, I’m not telling people to stop eating whole categories of food, I’m telling them to stop eating sugar if they have an addictive issue with it, and maybe flour, which is also just a processed food.
I say, eat your rice, eat your potatoes, just don’t eat rice flour and potato flour. It’s when it’s ground into a processed white powder that it becomes addictive, right? So that, that’s becoming. just clearer and clearer through the data. And the processed foods in our food supply now are driving the obesity pandemic.
It’s really clear. So more and more, eat whole real foods and just keep in mind, if addiction is something you struggle with, you might want a bright line, meaning a clear boundary rather than endlessly attempting moderation. That doesn’t seem to work out.
Dave Sherwin: Nice. That was fantastic. I’m so glad I asked you that question.
And I don’t know if you remember this because I, you talk to a lot of people and you’re very busy person. And it was 18 months ago that we talked, but I told you at that time that I think I’m a gray line eater and that I don’t have bright lines, but I also don’t have food addictions really.
We don’t have a perfect diet, but I don’t have food addictions. And so I felt like that was okay. However, a couple thoughts. Number one, we know from the movie that there are 50 shades of gray, right? We learned that let’s just say that I was at 25. Okay. As a gray line eater, I want you to know that I bet after our conversation, I moved to about 10.
My gray line moved. I actually did a couple things that I’d never done before. Since we talked, one of them is I tracked all my food for 30 days. I’d never done that in my life. I used my fitness pal and for 30 days I entered every single thing I ate. Now that was a type of thing that would have, if someone suggested I do that before we had our discussion, I would have wanted to just throw up or drink bleach.
That’s just not the kind of thing I ever want to do. But after talking to you. I was more inspired, like the whole issue of bright line, more strict thinking along the lines of food. It was healthy for me, and so I want you to know that my gray line moved, and hopefully for other people too.
So if they weren’t ready 100 percent for the bright line let’s hope people at least moving on the 50 shades of gray scale. Towards the bright line, right? Yeah. That’s something we can.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Absolutely. I love that. Thank you for sharing that, Dave. And it’s interesting because the bright lines can be used as guides, right?
So some people are like trains that they need to lock onto the track of the bright line and just go on that track. The train isn’t wobbling at all. They’re on that track and. We have people in our community that weigh and measure every bite and they’re going to eat a lot of whole, real, delicious food, but they’re going to know to the morsel how much it is.
And there’s never going to be any sugar or flour in there ever. And then other people use the bright lines more like the lines on the highway, and they’re not locked to those lines. They might even change lanes. Occasionally, but they, the lines guide them in the direction that they’re going and provide containers and boundaries to keep them on track and keep them safe and keep them guided.
And there’s other ways to do it too. Some people just want to know that the lines are there and they cognitively, think about it, but maybe, I don’t know, maybe the lines for them are more like banks of the river and they’re like, they’re flowing along, and they really have nothing to do with the banks, but they’re there, yeah. I love the analogy.
Dave Sherwin: I just recently listened to a professional coach, professional health coach who was coaching a pro level quarterback who didn’t know what a carb was. No joke. Wow. So when you talk about not even knowing the lines. That’s a real thing. It all depends on our background and how we were raised.
But literally there are people out there who we need to start with carb, fat and protein. And the their lines are, there are no lines. There has to be some sort of line drawn. I love the analogy. That’s great. That gives me some flexibility and hopefully those listening it does the same for them as well.
And of course. Being self aware enough to know where the bright line and the bright line program is the answer is also important and Dr Thompson, you’ve helped. I don’t know. I imagine hundreds of thousands of people, maybe more at this point. And so I’ve got a few more questions for you, by the way.
What time is your hard stop on this interview?
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: I don’t have one.
Dave Sherwin: Okay, great. Cause I don’t want to go too much over what we talked about. However there’s a couple of things that have come to mind. I saw if we can extend a little bit. So here’s a thought that I would like to share with you recently.
I was talking to someone. Someone I’d never met. It was in a social situation. They asked me what I did for a living and they got intrigued and asked me a few questions about my personal habits of health. And I told them and as I did, their eyes went a little wide and they’re like, that sounds like a freaking part time job, because I said, I exercise every day.
I prepare most of my own food, I do meal prep on weekends. And when they said it, two thoughts popped into my head simultaneously. Number one was, Oh, she’s right. Health is a part time job. And the second one was the fact that sounded like such a big burden to her. And yet, as I thought about it later, I thought, if you exercise every day.
And whether it’s even for half an hour, you’re into it at least an hour, because by the time you get ready, warm up, do your thing, it’s an hour and a half by the time you finish the entire session, getting to the gym, etc. You include everything, right? Let’s say that’s seven hours a week. And then people who eat the way you’re teaching, they’re doing a lot of work in the kitchen.
They might be transitioning from a lot of time in restaurants. to suddenly realizing they got to prep their own whole foods. And so you add all that up, that could be easily another hour, maybe two a day. If you really sit down, if you include eating, which if you’re eating slowly and mindfully and intentionally, as we all know, we ought to be by the time you prep and eat we are talking about 20 hours a week.
And I just realized after that discussion, I never really thought of it that way. But for those listening, it may be better to simply embrace that so that we’re, we stop thinking of our health as something we got to get over with so we can get back to real life. And I just wanted to run that by you.
The thought of health is a part time job.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah. I’m with you, Dave. I’m so with you. When you say that, my first thought is also, yeah, it is. It is. Absolutely. It is. It takes a lot of time. To take care of myself the way I take care of myself and it’s interesting because over the years I have flexed here and there, and at times let it all unravel to a certain extent, and then put all the habits back together and what I found was that in terms of the time that I had to live the rest of my life, I have more time to give to life when I am structured with my health habits. Time I want to propose is not a very simple, clear, linear thing. We all know this, right? So for example maybe we’re quitting smoking and the days and weeks are taking forever to pass because now we’ve got 21 days with no cigarette.
22 days with no cigarette. Meanwhile, our neighbors, kids have gone from three years old to 12 years old in front of our eyes. So how did those nine years go so fast? And these 21 days go so slow, right? So we got to get over the notion that time is really easily quantifiable. It’s not so much. And what I find is that.
When I’m up at 5 a. m. meditating and, eating my weight and measured breakfast and, on the phone with my support crew, supporting them with their eating habits and then going on with my day from there what happens is I am so much more effectual. I get so much more done. I have so much more time.
One of the things I teach people to do is to not eat in between meals. When you eat breakfast and then you’re not going to put another morsel of food into your mouth for another five hours, you have all this time that someone that’s grazing and snacking and doesn’t know whether they’re going to eat something and they’re at work, but they’re bored and now they’re going to the vending machine and maybe they’re eating this or that they’re wasting all this time.
Not productive, not focused, when your blood sugar’s up and down and you’re muzzy headed, when you’re lethargic I just want to say that effective productive hours for living life are supported by allocating maybe five to ten percent of your hours To a health regimen that supports the rest of the hours being well spent.
Dave Sherwin: Love it. That was fantastic. And now let’s jump into a new thing. You’re going to be the first person on my show to ever do this. It’s an idea I’ve had for a while.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: I’m the first. I’m so excited. You sent me what was coming and I thought that this was like old hat for you. So I’m excited that I’m the first.
Okay. This is cool.
Dave Sherwin: Yeah, it’s new because one of the things I’ve started doing since we talked last is YouTube shorts, and I’ve realized as I look back through all the podcasts I’ve done that I’ve had guests who said the most incredible things in less than a minute, and I didn’t really capture them. And I thought, and it’s so I’d go back and go through them and try to break out these little clips and you find that they’re just a little muddy or it doesn’t work out quite right.
Or maybe there’s a back and forth there. You just can’t capture. And I thought, if I warned my guest First, we could create some really valuable little snippets that we could share separately outside the podcast. And people love these things. I love them. I don’t know if you ever watched shorts or Tik TOK videos that you can just, you could just learn a thing quickly.
Yeah. And sometimes those are really profound.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah. Love it. My husband watches YouTube shorts every morning. Okay. Me too. Though I never watch them, but I watch him watch them and it’s very fun. Okay.
Dave Sherwin: If you only ever watch one, make sure you watch Lauren Jumps and show your kids.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Okay. Lauren Jumps.
Dave Sherwin: She jumps, jump rope, and she has the best choreography and music and it’s super inspiring and it’s actually a great health story because she was unhealthy and she started jumping rope to get healthy.
So there you go, Lauren Jumps, little plug for her channel, and I bet you and your husband and your kids would all enjoy it. Love it. One of my discoveries. On the YouTube shorts. Now, here we go. I’m just going to give you a short thought and you have a roughly 30 to 45 seconds to not fully flush out the question, of course, but to just give us your best answer…
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Now, Dave, I’m wordy.
So are you going to go like this? If I’m going too long, tell me to wrap up or just like that.
Dave Sherwin: I’ll do that. Okay. That’d be great. That would help me. Let’s go. Let’s go wrap it up. That would help me. Okay. Okay. And so I’ll look at the clock. Okay, here we go. Favorite daily affirmation.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Oh, favorite daily.
Okay. Favorite daily. You got to give me a second to think about this.
Dave Sherwin: And by the way, when I say favorite or one or something, it doesn’t have to be the only one, whatever comes to mind.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah. The mantra that I use the most has to do with my food because I’m a recovering food addict and I don’t eat sugar, I don’t eat flour, I don’t eat processed foods, and everyone around me is always eating those foods.
And so I find myself always saying in my mind, thank you, God, that’s not my food. That’s poison to me. Those foods poisoned my life. Thank you, God, that’s not my food. That’s poison to me.
Dave Sherwin: Oh wow. That is powerful. That’s powerful. Just creating that separation. Instead of that’s I just get that feeling of just kind of rejection versus sitting there going, oh, that looks good.
Oh, maybe just one. I can see that. ’cause those are the thoughts that would slip in, but you’re rejecting those thoughts with that.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: No, thank you. God, that’s not my food. That’s poison to me. Wow. And you gotta understand, I’m not your average eater, right? When I eat sugar and flour, I end up hiding a jug of maple syrup under the bathroom sink in the guest bathroom so that I can sneak in there and guzzle some in between taking care of my kids.
I am not your average eater, right? So for me, a cupcake is death. I do not eat that food.
Dave Sherwin: I love it. Great. Great answer. Let’s move on to number two. Favorite snack food.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: I never snack. I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and every food in between is no thank you. So my favorite snack food is no thank you.
Dave Sherwin: Okay. And so you’re very strict on that. You eat breakfast, you eat lunch, you eat dinner, nothing in between, nothing after, nothing before.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Ever. A baby carrot is only my food if it’s weighed and measured and part of my lunch. At three in the afternoon, thank you God, that’s not my food. And that might sound ridiculous to some people, and I get for a lot of people that is, but for people who, like I’m coming from lived obesity and guzzling food, until I can’t move. And for me I don’t snack. I don’t snack. Meals are one of the bright lines. I only eat meals.
Dave Sherwin: That’s the next direction I’m going. What is your favorite breakfast?
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: My favorite breakfast is, I set up this slow cooker at night to cook my whole grains all overnight. An ounce of oat groats or millet or brown rice or something like that cooked in my little it’s so cute.
It’s this little Japanese thing. It’s got like this little hat on it, but I learned that the hat is supposed to be a potholder. Anyway, it’s so cute. And then when that’s done, I’ll put a whole bunch of fresh berries, fresh washed blueberries, raspberries, strawberries. And then I’ll put some Kite Hill ricotta cheese that’s made out of almonds.
It’s delicious and nutritious. I’ll put that in there. Some ground flax seeds and chia seeds all ground up together. Put that on there. Some chopped up Brazil nuts for selenium. Put that on there. And that, and some cinnamon. And a little bit of cracked Himalayan sea salt. And that is my favorite breakfast.
Dave Sherwin: I love it. And you knew that exactly. Now, do you have that almost every day?
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: I will vary the fruit. I will vary the grain. I don’t always have the ricotta. Sometimes I’ll have more nuts or more seeds instead of that. So I’ll do some variation on that every day. And my standard breakfast will ebb and flow.
A while back I was using my homemade Greek soy yogurt, which is divine. If anyone’s plant based and they want a high protein yogurt, that’s delicious. You can’t find one in the stores that doesn’t exist. I have a vlog out on how to make that. But I stopped using it because I discovered that the soy was interfering with the absorption of my thyroid medicine.
So I have Hashimoto’s so now I don’t. I don’t do the soy yogurt in the morning anymore. Anyway, yeah it ebbs and flows, but these days, yeah, I’ll eat pretty much exactly that.
Dave Sherwin: Okay. Let’s move on to lunch or dinner. And for a lot of people, those are interchangeable. A lot of lunches, dinners can be very similar.
And so you pick your favorite lunch or dinner.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: My favorite lunch these days, I’m being pretty consistent with my lunches for lunch. I love to eat. brown rice adzuki beans, which I make at home with some kombu seaweed. You’ve got to put the seaweed in there to break down the oligosaccharides in the beans.
So there’s no flatulence, there’s no digestive issues with that. So I cook those myself and then some roasted kabocha squash with fresh ginger grated on top. And then I’ll do a side dish of a bunch of raw vegetables, usually jicama, sugar snap peas, radishes. Carrots. And then I’ll do a piece of fruit.
Sometimes a big honey crisp apple, sometimes a pear. Yeah, that is my favorite lunch. Yum.
Dave Sherwin: Fantastic. It’s interesting as you say that I had another guest on my show a few years ago talking about sugar. They were also a little not. Not necessarily doing bright line eating, but a similar concept around zero tolerance for sugar.
And back then, I’m a little embarrassed about it now, but I said what do you use sugar substitutes or something else you use? And they said, it’s so much better to just get that thought out of your head and stop thinking that you have to sweeten things and that actually to you, I’m sure that’s just old news because this is just part of your world, but to me that was pretty profound.
And I stopped putting so much, it really did affect me. I stopped trying to think in terms of sweetening things. And then I enjoyed the sweetness of the natural foods. And as you just described that lunch. And those sweet things that were in there, it reminded me of that. And the fact that sweetness is a natural part of natural food.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Onions and carrots are so sweet. If you saute up some onions and carrots together, you’ll know if your taste buds are healthy if you find that really sweet. Interesting. Yeah. It’s really true. And artificial sweeteners are terrible. terrible for you. They hit all the pathways that sugar does.
And then some, they destroy the gut microbiome. They make you eat more later, more sweetness later. They dysregulate your blood sugar. They have direct connections from the sweet taste buds on the tongue to the addiction centers in the brain. So they keep you hooked. It’s just, yeah, they’re a scourge. You got to get off them.
Dave Sherwin: Interesting. Okay. Next one. This one is so broad. I’m really fascinated to see what you do with it, but just top of mind, whatever comes to mind, talk about carbs.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: I hate that word. I have one pet peeve in my life. I am such a positive, happy person, but the word carbs has got to go. It’s got people so confused.
It’s got people thinking that it’s not safe to eat an apple or some carrots. The word carbs conflates. the things we should not be eating, which are things made out of sugar and flour, all the breads and pastas and, donuts and cookies and crackers and all French fries and all that garbage with all the foods that we need to be eating in delicious abundance, all the salads and the fruits and the vegetables and the delicious things made out of carbohydrates.
So I really think we need to stop. Using that word because it’s confusing. And so I encourage people to say carbohydrates when they’re talking about the macronutrient and let go of that other four letter word.
Dave Sherwin: Great answer. I love it. Now this will be interesting because my next one is wait for it… Protein.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: So protein is interesting. I help people lose weight for a living. I’m a weight loss expert and there are five appetites. There are five distinct systems that will drive you to eat. There’s an appetite for protein, for fat and for carbohydrate and one for calcium and one for salt. Those are the only five appetites.
That literally means that if someone’s telling you that you’re binging on chocolate because you’re deficient in magnesium, they’re wrong. There is no magnesium appetite. Protein is the dominant appetite, though, so if you’re not eating enough protein, your system will drive you powerfully to eat more food across the board, and you will put on weight, and so you’ve got to make sure that you’re eating enough protein every day.
It’s really important. And I’m mostly plant based, and so I use a protein powder that I love. It’s called Complement, and it’s really well sourced and well made, and it’s very well rounded in terms of its amino acid profile. You’ll hear from a lot of plant based eaters that you don’t have to worry about protein, but I think you do.
You need to pay attention to it and make sure that you’re getting enough and a balanced amino acid profile.
Dave Sherwin: Excellent. Next one. And again, we’d be very interested to see what you think on this one thoughts on fitness for people who hate the gym, …
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: I think walking is really undersold.
Walk walk, get 10, 000 steps a day and just, make sure that you’re moving your body. I will say, because I’m a weight loss expert that I do recommend that people lay off the gym. while they’re first forming their weight loss habits. So while you’re first getting your food systems automatized, it’s got to become really automatic before layering in any sort of exercise makes sense from a success standpoint.
If what you’re really trying to do is overall your health. You should not be tackling it all at once. You should tackle the food first. That’s by far the hardest thing to get right. And you need to get that automatic using every drop of willpower you’ve got. And then layer in your fitness.
And, I gotta say I had a friend who just pushed me. Cause I have a hard time getting to the gym. I have a friend who pushed me saying, What do you love to do? And finally, I realized I love to swing dance. And so I hired a swing dance instructor. And we started, doing the tranky do and I started having a great time.
So find something that you love to do to move your body.
Dave Sherwin: Okay, last one, a longevity tip.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: All right, I’m gonna get all vain on you, because I’m 50 next year. I just turned 49. And I was listening to a longevity podcast. And he said that some skin scientists from Brazil had tested all of the peptides. I think there’s 20, 000 of them or something to see which of them would remove the senescent cells in the skin.
So these are the cells that have lost track of their skin cell essence and their DNA is all mangled and they’re not. able to do their skin cell functions. They’re what makes your skin look terrible. That’s what makes the skin thin and crepey. And there are 20 peptides out of the 20, 000, it turns out, that remove the senescent cells.
And you can see this in a petri dish. You put these peptides on and the senescent cells, which you can easily stain blue with a certain stain, they just wash right away. The skin cream, I’m just going to brazenly mark it for them. I get no kickback on this. I just use it every day and I friggin love it.
It’s called One Skin. And I use their eye cream on my whole face and neck every morning and every night. And I swear to you, I am looking younger and younger and younger. People would not believe that I’m basically 50 years old.
Dave Sherwin: Wow. One, what’s it called again?
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: One Skin. O-N-E-S-K-I-N. One Skin.
Dave Sherwin: And is this something you just got on Amazon or, …
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Ah, oneskin.com, I think. Yeah.
Dave Sherwin: And when you say you put the eye cream on your whole face Yeah, that’s, that sounds expensive. I’m picturing eye cream. It is in a tiny little thing. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s supposed to be in a tiny little area.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah. And you’re lathering it on.
Yeah, it’s expensive and I don’t care. I’m at that age where nope, it’s worth it. And you don’t have to use the eye cream everywhere. They’ve got a face cream and a body cream too, but I’ve done the math and there’s three times more of the peptide complex in the eye cream. So I use that one
Dave Sherwin: I love it.
Listen, that’s the end of my rapid fire and and I’ll, and all my questions and we did go over the 30 minutes, but. I’m so glad you were willing and able to do that because it’s been fantastic to catch up. And for those people that do not know where to find you, where would you point them to learn more about you and your mission?
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah there’s brightlineeating.com, which is spelled just like you would think, B-R-I-G-H-T-L-I-N-E, brightlineeating.com. But I would really recommend that people start with taking the quiz, because Bright Line Eating is probably not for you if you don’t have a more addictive relationship with food, unless you’ve got some weight to get off and you just really want to.
And Bright Line Eating frickin’ works. So if you want to just get off some weight and you want to go, gung-ho on it, great. But the Food Addiction Susceptibility scale goes from one to 10, and really we tailor to working with the sevens, eights, nines, tens of the world. So I would say go to foodaddictionquiz.com.
Take the quiz. It’s 30 seconds is five quick questions, which will be illuminating in and of themselves, and see where you fall on that quiz, because if you’re high on that scale that will be information that will help you for the rest of your life. You will start to notice your relationship with food in a different way.
So I would say start there.
Dave Sherwin: Yeah, that’s great advice. And I love the transparency and the honesty of who your customers are and who your customers aren’t. However, I learned about you through my sister who absolutely loves your program and feels like she has some self diagnosed addictions in that regard that she has really found solace through an education through your program and through you.
She raves about you and your videos and all the content you put out. And now we’re at the end of almost two hours of Talking to each other on this podcast and me fleshing out bright line eating for myself. And although I don’t, I’m probably not going to show up as a 10 on that, the scale or even a seven the introduction to bright line eating, the concept of it, the idea of you personally living and teaching bright line eating, I think is super inspiring to anybody because in karate, they have a concept called punch through the break.
So you don’t just punch at the person. If you’re going to hit someone, if you’re going to defend your life. You’re going to punch at a point two feet behind their head. And when your fist hits their face, it’s going to have an effect, punch through the break. And to me, this is a concept that can be applied to health is sometimes we may not need the most strict diet, however, understanding it, learning about it, picking up some of the ways that Brightline teaches.
Just like I talk about the 50 shades of gray, right? If someone’s at 50, they’d probably do well to move to 25, to move towards what you’re doing. And so to me, it’s inspiring for anyone, even if we don’t get to a hundred percent of what you’re doing. It’s motivating. Each time we talk, I’m motivated to improve.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: I love it, Dave. I love it. Thanks so much. It’s always such a delight to talk with you. Thank you.
Dave Sherwin: Let’s catch up again in another 18 months and see what you’re doing. And then you’ll probably have another book.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Let’s do it. I might. No, no spoiler alerts.
Dave Sherwin: Okay. Thank you so much.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Thanks, Dave.
Dave Sherwin: Bye now. See you later. And for those of you listening, this is Dave Sherwin, wishing you health and success.