Get an insiders view of the food industry, and tons of great health tips and hacks in this fascinating interview with Thom King, one of the largest manufacturers of natural sweeteners in the United States.
Thom King is the CEO of Steviva Brands, one of the largest manufacturers of natural sweeteners in the United States. He is an expert on sugar, and the sugar industry. He is an expert on food science and a food industry insider.
He personally struggled with his weight for years before finally figuring out a Ketogenic lifestyle that helped him drop down 5 waist sizes in a single year.
He wrote the book “Guy Gone Keto: How to Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Achieve Lifelong Fitness”
He shares lots of great information including:
-Interesting insider secrets of why the food industry uses so much sugar in foods
-How to avoid “disaster pants.”
-Great tips on the subject “know thy label.”
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Sugar can throw you out of Ketosis faster than you can say “love handles.”
Your efforts will affect the people in your life. They will level up too.
Dave: 00:01:16 She said as a title broad survey of health topics and gave us five stars. Thank you Wendy. And she says, Dave has a passion for health and his show covers a broad array of wellbeing topics. It’s a great lesson for anyone who wants to hear from innovative thinkers and practitioners. So Wendy lister, go ahead and send your mailing address to support at dirobi.com along with the bottle of product you would like and we will send it to you absolutely free including shipping. And thanks again for your review. And those of you listening, it’s super easy. Just go to iTunes on your phone or on your iTunes application, on your computer, go to ratings and reviews, leave your review and you have a very high chance of winning because we don’t usually promote our iTunes podcast, uh, as the source of our podcasts. We produce it on our blog.dirobi.com That’s where all our episodes are.
Dave: 00:02:10 That’s what we publish every week. And so it’s kind of lost in the myriad of health shows on the iTunes store. But I’ve learned from professional podcasters that I really ought to be getting reviews on there to help out the show. So if you could help me out, I will help you out and give you a bottle of whatever you like when I read your review on the, on the air, on the episode. So one more thing I just want to remind you about and that is that we have a 15% off coupon code. For those of you listening to the show, it’s insider INSIDER And by using that code, you can save 15% off anything you want on the store. So one of the products you may want to look at is Mimi’s miracle multi Mimi’s miracle multi is designed specifically for grownups, people over the age of 18 to address those most important elements that they’re probably most deficient in a including vitamin D and zinc and chromium, which is an unstable element that you only get through your diet.
Dave: 00:03:12 And very few people have enough chromium in their system because of that, it’s unstable and does is your body can’t store it. And so you gotta be taking it on a regular basis and it’s hard to get from nutrition. Let me give you one of the reviews left on Amazon regarding the muse miracle multi. It says as a headline, it will give you great energy. I love this vitamin supplement. I’ve tried many but this has been by far my favorite. I have to manage my energy levels with supplements since having my thyroid removed a few years back and this doesn’t leave me jittery but helped clear up some brain fog. Also Harris going back pretty nicely, a little smiley face there. I highly recommend this as well as the mineral supplement so that gives you an idea about Mimi’s miracle multi, a multi for grownups to give you energy and those things you are most likely deficient in. As far as I know, there’s nothing else out there quite like it with human clinically studied ingredients in it. That will also help with weight loss with energy and as I mentioned with filling in those gaps in your nutrition that would be very difficult to fill even from an extremely healthy diet. And now on with the show here is Tom King. Geigen Quito.
Dave: 00:04:29 Hello everybody. This is Dave SherwIN with the Dirobi Health show and today’s guest is Tom King who is also known as a Guy Gone Keto. I met him at Fitcon had a great booth. Thom’s got a wonderful company and a book that I have thoroughly enjoyed. I’m not finished it yet, but what I’ve read, uh, not only was really fun, interesting and educating but was just humorous and light hearted and, and had a lot of great nuggets in it as well. Tom, thanks so much for coming on the show. Dave. I totally appreciate you having me on your show. This is a, it’s a, it’s an honor and a, yeah, it was a, it was a real pleasure meeting you at the, at Fitcon despite how loud bang energies booth was. We were able to yell at each other loud enough and long enough to make a good connection.
Dave: 00:05:19 And uh, so I, I’m really glad and I appreciate the book. Like I say, I’m thoroughly enjoying it. We’re going to, I’m going to pull a few quotes out of it here that I’d like you to discuss. And uh, you know, I mentioned to you in our preamble, I’ve written a book and I, I, I have it on my website and it gets a lot of work and it doesn’t make me any money. And I get the sense that your book was more of a Labor of love than your get rich quick scheme. Right? It was definitely, yeah, it was definitely not a get rich quick scheme. It, it was a, it was a of love
Thom King: 00:05:58 and it was sort of an accidental book. I sort of found myself, um, I found myself, I guess you could say bottoming out, um, you know, from bad habits, bad diet. And yeah, I just started, I started writing it down, I started journaling it and the next thing I knew I, I had a book on my hands. So it was interesting. Sort of an interesting journey for me. Well, let’s jump right into that journey. Why don’t you give us your backstory and what brought you to this point in your life of being Guy Gone keto with a successful business and being an expert in the, the world of Quito, uh, dieting or Keto lifestyle? However you, you said, let’s hear your story. Um, well, first off, I don’t know if I would consider myself an expert. I, I think the, I consider myself more of a novice.
Thom King: 00:06:51 There’s, there are people out in the world that, you know, that no so much more than I do. Um, you know, like the Dom D’agostino is of the world that really understand the deep science behind keto for me. Um, you know, I was, uh, you know, I’ve always sort of battled, battled my, you know, up and down weight. So, um, when it was Atkins before, I mean Atkins is not really Quito, but I used to practice the Atkins and sort of a, a distorted form of Quito probably 15 years ago. So what would happen is I would, you know, I would start putting on some weight and I would use, I would use, uh, you know, keto as a diet to, you know, lose the weight that I gained. But what I found is that I got into this sort of Yoyo progression where I would gain some weight, then I would lose some weight, but it kept going steadily up.
Thom King: 00:07:48 And, um, you know, I was in Vegas for a trade show and had some, uh, had one of our vendors taking me out to dinner and I just, I die over eight. Like I had a steak and I had potato and I had, uh, died cake and we shared a bottle of wine and I got back to my room at the illustrious Luxor hotel and just, you know, looked in the mirror and I was, you know, I, I was 35 pounds overweight. I, my blood pressure was one 90, over 99. I was on blood pressure medication and I was, I, I was just, I was a wreck. And I was like, and I also suffered from imposter syndrome as well because you know, my, my main business is we supply sweeteners to sports nutrition companies and a lot of um, uh, create, uh, you know, ketogenic friendly products and I was a poor example of that. Like I didn’t follow keto. Um, and at that point I sort of felt like the pain of my, the pain of my indulgences had, had exceeded the, the pleasure that I was deriving from them. And Yeah, at that point I just started jotting it down and becoming very committed to making a lifestyle change instead of just diet and uh, that sort of brought me to where I am today.
Speaker 4: 00:09:09 Yeah.
Dave: 00:09:09 Yeah. That’s really interesting. Sinead Irwin is an expert on what she calls the ketogenic lifestyle. She, she’s been on my podcast a couple of times and she talks very much the same language you just did. She doesn’t like the word key to ketogenic diet cause she doesn’t like the word Diet. She talks about the ketogenic lifestyle. Right. I think,
Thom King: 00:09:32 I think it’s important that you, that you would adopt it as a lifestyle because, because diet is so is so, uh, it’s not permanent and it’s, and it’s not a solution tier to your problem. I mean a lifestyle change is the only thing that’s going to bring about a, you know, real change in your life. So I agree with it. And plus diet, I mean that sounds punishing to me.
Speaker 4: 00:09:55 Okay.
Dave: 00:09:56 Yeah. Yeah. And let’s face it, a lot of them are, and, and I think people were just getting burned out on diets is trying a new thing and dabbling and doing this or doing that or doing something that’s too hard and then they fall off the bandwagon. You have a, you have a chapter in your book, uh, about Yo yo dieting, right? Um, yeah. What, why don’t you talk about that and what you’ve learned? Um, well, I’ve tried just about every
Thom King: 00:10:22 single diet that is known to mankind. So,
Speaker 4: 00:10:26 okay.
Thom King: 00:10:27 You know, I’m, I’m always interested, you know, in biohacking and, you know, trying different sorts of modalities to, you know, effect energy levels, brain function. You know, at my weights, I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried the, the lemonade diet where you can you consume lemonade for seven days made with maple syrup. Um, I’ve done the cabbage soup diet. I’ve done Atkins. Um, yeah, I’ve done just about every single diet that you can imagine. And they were all sort of temporary and some of them are effective, some of them weren’t so effective, but the, the underlying seem is how temporary they were. And they didn’t really create like a permanent change. And, uh, my experience was keto, I initially got into Quito because I needed to lose some weight. But what happened is I found that there were so many other, there were so many other benefits from Quito, like brain function and, uh, inflammation, you know, getting inflammation under control.
Thom King: 00:11:37 So there were so many factors in it. And you know, there’s so many fad diets and I think that a lot of, I think some consumers that are confused by the, by Kito Diet, you know, think of it is, oh, this is the latest thing. Well, but it, ketogenic diet has been around thousands of years. I mean in ancient Egypt they used it as a modality to control epileptic seizures. So this, this sort of protocol or diet has been around for a long time and I don’t see it as a fad. I see it as the way that human beings are supposed to eat.
Dave: 00:12:13 Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, you know, for before we had agriculture, we just didn’t eat near the amount of carbs that we do now. So it makes sense to me just from a historical point of view. And of course we know that our modern diet, uh, modern really being like very modern, like in, in the course of history, the type of Diet we’ve had today where we have large box stores selling groceries with a bunch of boxes of preserved types of foods in the middle of the aisles with the cold stuff around the edges. You know, I’m probably, everyone listening to his podcast is heard, you know, if you want to be healthy, start shopping around the edges of the store and avoid what’s in the middle. You know, that’s only been possible for a couple generations. What, two or three generations? So much of the way we eat today is, is very, very new. Right? Historically, the type of diet you’re, you’re, you’re enjoying and eating right now is much more in line with what people ate just what a hundred years ago or so. And, and, and beyond into the past.
Thom King: 00:13:20 Yeah, I definitely 100%. We have adopted, you know, in the past maybe hundred years, maybe even less adopted a more grain based diet, you know, like wheat and corn and even soybeans I put into that, that category. So those are, those are foods 100 years ago, 200 years ago, that were not main staple of, of the Diet. But if you even go back further, you know, thousand year, 2000 years, you know, when you look at the, when you look at the Diet, you know, the Diet of, I guess you could say more of a Paleo genic diet. Um, you know, you’re, you’re looking at, you know, eating proteins, like harvested proteins from animals and then Jane like leafy Greens, nuts, you know, and you know, and limited fruit, like very limited fruit. So when you, when you fast forward, you know, into the, even in the past 50 years with, with processed foods, you know, and like he said, you know, to be healthy, only shop the outside of the aisles when you start digging into the, into the underbelly of grocery stores that, that where all of the, the process food exists and you start reading labels, you’re going to see exactly like what is in that food.
Thom King: 00:14:47 And a lot of it is sugar. You know, when you look at catch or you look at barbecue sauce or cereals or anything, well you know, of that nature, you know, the primary ingredient is sugar. And so you might, that sort of raises the question of why is there so much sugar in our food? Well, I mean sugar is the subsidized, you know, is it subsidized industry? So it’s very cheap and food manufacturers can, you know, take out other compounds or other ingredients that are healthy for you, um, and actually replace it with sugar and salt. So, you know, when you look at Ketchup, I mean really how much tomatoes, how many tomatoes are in there? In comparison to high fructose corn syrup, sugar and salt. And the same thing applies with any types of cereals. And you know, with an other subsidize industries like corn and wheat, you run into the same issue that those, that those particular ingredients are so inexpensive, you know, and, and you know, large food producers that are looking to maximize profits can easily put those, those ingredients and to, you know, into their, uh, formulas and the result is a highly profitable food.
Thom King: 00:16:01 The downside is that the way that our body metabolizes, you know, sugars and uh, and high glycemic carbohydrates making become extremely addictive and trigger the same pleasure zones in your brain is as you know, as drugs like cocaine. So it’s sort of a vicious circle. And your book, you summarize this into a cute little biblical new commandment. No label.
Thom King: 00:16:29 I like that. This like the 11th commandment, right? 100%. And so because we, you know, because my primary job is supplying you know, sweeteners to sports nutrition industries. I’ve become, you know, and, and we do have a lab here where we do, you know, we do a formulation so, and we’re constantly having to look at you know, and nutritional facts, panels and ingredient statements of, of the hundreds of different types of foods. So when you go into the store and you’re going to buy food, always look at the label. Like the first thing that I look, the first thing that I look at at is the nutritional facts panel. And that’s going to tell you how many carbs it has and how many sugars. And the FDA has just instituted as new guidelines for food manufacturers where they have to have a call out for added sugars.
Thom King: 00:17:20 And so that’s, that’s really telling. So when you pick up anything that’s processed in a box or a can or a bag, always look at the nutritional facts panel first. And that’s going to tell you basically the macros. Like how much bad it’s got, how many carbs, how much sodium. That’s what you really want to look at. And then the next thing you want to look at is what’s called the ingredients statement. And so the ingredient statement will actually list in order, um, you know, what is in, you know, what’s in that particular process, food that you’re getting. And from that point, once you have that, you know, that knowledge, then you can make an educated decision on whether you want to put that in your cart or not.
Dave: 00:18:01 Yeah. So, so before we get into label reading, to be really healthy, we ought to first of all, focus on buying things that have no supplement facts, right? Like when you buy the orange, there’s no box stuck on it, telling you what’s been added and all the various ingredients. Like it’s ingredients, orange, right? Apple, uh, celery, spinach. And so I love one ingredient things. Uh, I’m a big fan of peanut butter and we buy the one from Costco. I think Adam’s right. And, and I loved it. I’ve shown people this at my house before where we get talking about ingredients and I put the peanut butter and I say, look at, look at this supplement facts box and it says ingredients, peanuts.
Dave: 00:18:51 I just think it’s the coolest thing ever, right? If I’m at someone else’s house and I eat peanut butter and it’s sweet, it’s gross to me now. Like it used to, I used to like that stuff. Now I’ve gotten used to a natural peanut butter. Uh, I can’t stand sweetened peanut butter and I wonder why anyone never had the idea of sticking sugar in, in peanut butter. But it’s just one little example. Um, you know, peanut butter is full of sugar and a whole lot of things. As you mentioned, it’s a subsidized industry and so there’s just a whole lot of foods that have extra sugar, right?
Thom King: 00:19:32 Yeah. I mean the, there’s tons of sugar because like I said before, sugar is going to be cheaper than any of the other ingredients that you’re, that you’re adding to your food. Like you can buy regular white sugar for as low as 21 cents a pound. And so when you’re looking, you know, at peanut butter, right? And you’re, you’re, you know, you’re buying peanuts that say, you know, $2 a pound and you can end, you can, you know, add something that’s got bulk, that’s 21 cents a pound. That’s those, that’s when food manufacturers take that into consideration. But if you pick up your average jar of, of Jif or, uh, or what’s the other skippy the you’re going to, if you look on the back of it, it is horrifying. Like I, it hydrogenated palm oil, sugar and peanuts and salt. And so when you look at that, it’s like, Hey, wait a minute, this isn’t, this isn’t peanut butter. Like Adam’s, that’s an excellent example. You know, and it’s just peanuts and you get the oil at the top. And a lot of people think that oil’s bad. I happen to think that fats are actually really good for you and that your body burns fat more than, than carbs. So I would say go for it. Eat as much as that as you want.
Dave: 00:20:53 Yeah, for sure. And, um, you just brought up a point, you being an industry insider that I had not even thought of. I always thought that sugar was added for flavor and to make it more appealing and more addictive. But, but you’re saying that they can add the sugar to actually add substance and weight to the product edit to manufacture it less expensively.
Thom King: 00:21:20 100%. Yeah. Like I mean sugar, sugar is the side benefit of sugar to food manufacturers is, it is addictive, it’s addictive and it’s, and you know, it hits the Pallet and people, you know, people enjoy it. And then, you know, if you have the combination of sweet and savory that just explodes, you know, explodes flavor in your mouth. So the, that’s the side benefit. But the primary benefit is because, you know, because there are subsidies because you buy sugar for 21 cents a pound, it makes, it makes it really excellent bulking agent, um, you know, for, you know, for food. There’s other things that that makes sugar convenient for food manufacturers. And that’s another, I don’t know, the thing is called the my ARD effect. Um, which is the, which is the reaction of a, of proteins and sugar that call it causes caramelization. So that’s where you can get like a, like a real hard coating on the outside of particular foods, like sweet baked foods, you know, with lots of frosting and fillings. Um, yeah, there’s a lot of tempting, tempting products out there that are just primarily sugar because 21 cents a pounds ci.
Dave: 00:22:37 And so your solution as a company is based in Stevia. Do you understand that? Right,
Thom King: 00:22:43 yeah. I mean, we, that’s how we, that’s how I started the company. So way back. And you know, in [inaudible] 99, uh, I was working with a couple of different companies to extract, uh, to extract the sweet constituents from the Stevia leaf. So it could be used as a, uh, you know, as a sweetener. So at the time, that sweetener of choice was aspartame and, uh, which then I think it was called nutrasweet. And so my goal was, yeah, let’s, you know, let’s find a way that we can extract these constituents from the leaves just using water and like a filtration process. It took me a long time to, to get that system down. But in probably in 2002, we had it really locked down. And then, um, you know, it’s a high intensity sweetener, Stevia, so you, you really have to use bulking agents with it, which you know, which we use, you know, different types of things.
Thom King: 00:23:42 Like we use fibers like in New Zealand, it’s sourced from Chicory. We also use a compound called [inaudible]. Tall and earth were tall, is a, is made from fermented corn. And then the latest, the latest sort of bulking sweetener that we’ve been using, um, is called [inaudible]. And so alkalosis just really brand new and it is also the product of fermentation. So you just ferment, you ferment a liquid fructose and the metabolite or what’s leftover is called [inaudible] and it’s about 70% is Swedish sugar. So that’s where we mix in some Stevia. And then also monkfruit, which monkfruit is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. And then we have a sweetener that you can literally plug in a as a replacement for sugar. Um, you know, that doesn’t affect blood sugar levels. Keeps you in Ketosis. Um, if that’s your thing and, and the best part is it’s natural.
Dave: 00:24:45 And so you mostly are providing this to pro sports performance companies, but you also have a website where people can buy finished products direct from you with these sweeteners. Correct.
Thom King: 00:24:57 Yeah. So they, it, so yeah, if any of your listeners are curious, they can go to [inaudible] dot com and that’s s as in Sierra, t e v I v a s viva.com, and you can check out the sweeteners. And then also if you ever have any questions on that, uh, about the sweeteners and the usage levels. Um, we can, we get answer all of all of those questions. But I would say that the, the retail end of our business is relatively small in comparison to a, in comparison to the, uh, to the ingredient side of the business. We’ve, over the past 10 years of really, really built that up because as consumers become more interested in clean labels, sugar reduction, um, and buying products that, you know, with labels that they understand, number one and number two with a lot less sugar. Um, we’re seeing that there’s been this pretty big shift from where are our primary customers were sports nutrition companies and now we see that shift going in another direction of regular conventional food companies like companies that manufacturer condiments and bars and you know, and soft drinks and stuff. So I think that this whole sort of a nutritional revolution, if you will, is, is expanding into more conventional foods, which I think is, is a great move.
Dave: 00:26:21 Yeah, absolutely. And we’ll put a link to that website on the show notes. This will be episode 98 or 99, I’m not quite sure, but if you go to our blog, [inaudible] dot com for those of you listening, go to [inaudible] dot com the Iro, Dai r o B i.com. Click on the blog and just do a quick search or Tom King and that’s t h o m king. And you’ll easily find this episode whenever you’re listening and I’ll have links in ways you can contact Tom, et cetera. And the book, the book is excellent. I recommended I’m really enjoying it. And, uh, there’s something in the book I want you to talk about because I never want any of my listeners to experience disaster pants and, and you have some expertise in that. So I think you should explain what it is and how to not get it.
Thom King: 00:27:12 Well, I guess I’m a new expert in, in, in, uh, in that sort of reluctant category. Um, well, so I would have to say my first, so the Keto diet really is the Diet that’s a, that is primarily fat. So your, your intake is 70% fat, 20%, uh, proteins and 10% carbs. And those carbs usually come from, uh, like cruciferous vegetables, like Broccoli and cauliflower. But you can actually use things that are sort of exogenous. Ketones are ketones, you know, that you bring into your system. Um, and these come in the form of what’s called a multi chain triglyceride, which is MCT. So I’m sure a lot of your listeners have heard of MCT oil. So if you consume MCT oil, you’re, you’re, it, it goes right to your liver. Your liver can, can metabolize it into ketones and you’ll get this nice rush of energy.
Thom King: 00:28:18 Um, when I first started dabbling with, uh, with MCT oil, uh, I didn’t realize that it had a, a laxative effect, if you will. And so I, and of course, you know, my attitude is the, you know, the bigger the Glob, the better the job. So I took like probably a close to an ounce of, of MCT oil and then decided to go for a run. And that is when, that’s the first time that I experienced that, the urgency of having to, to use the bathroom. Um, so I would encourage your listeners, if you are, you know, if you’re getting into Quito and you’re starting to add MCT oil to your coffee, you know, making like bulletproof coffee go easy on the MCT oil at first. Um, it doesn’t really give you stomach cramps. So it comes on very unexpectedly and it’s a very urgent situation. So just be very careful with MCT oil. You know, start off with maybe a tablespoon and if you’re able to tolerate it, you can, you can move up from there. But that would be, that would be the story of, of disaster pants.
Dave: 00:29:38 Well, I can relate. I’m sure everyone listening had a time in their life where they have absolutely had to go. The worst one I’ve ever experienced was in the Boise iron man. I was on my bike and all of a sudden I had the urge and I realized I just passed the last aid station. It’s gonna be awhile. And I’m like, it’s okay, I’ll be okay. But I started getting to the point where I wasn’t going to be okay or I finally thought I got to get off my bike and find somewhere kind of private. And I kid you not just as this was getting too, like its peak of awfulness, the police escort on a motorcycle pulled up beside me and slowed down and stayed beside me. No, I’m talking for two or three miles and um, I did survive. I just, I was okay.
Dave: 00:30:33 I was able to find relief and uh, but it was one of those really awkward, I can’t believe this guy just did that because of course if there wasn’t a police officer beside me, I was ready to just find the nearest Bush. So anyways, I can relate and this is why I thought it would just be so nice to, to share this with listeners and let them know they’re not alone if you’ve ever had this incredible urge, but also how they can avoid it. Now, now with bulletproof coffee, which I make actually on a regular basis and I’ve kind of modified it over time and added my own. For example, I put a teaspoon of cinnamon in mind, which I don’t know if anyone else has ever done that, but, but I have found that I go, I need to go kind of light on the coconut oil. It’s easy to just, you know, take a big scoop and put it on there. You just don’t need to, that’s, it’s really a, uh, caloric dense food. Right?
Thom King: 00:31:28 Yeah, it is. And I mean, the thing with the thing with Cato, I think, uh, in particular is there is a lot of fat and I think the mistake that, that some people that, that jump into a ketogenic lifestyle make is that, oh, you know what, I’m in Quito. I can eat as much as I want and I won’t get fat. And so the issue is portion distortion, like understanding that if it fits in the palm of your hand, that is a, that’s a portion in the same goes with coconut oil. Like I wouldn’t be putting ounces of coconut oil in coffee or anything else. A teaspoon to a tablespoon is, is a serving. So still observe serving sizes. I’m on a Keto Diet, otherwise you’re not going to really see the effect of results, um, that you, that you might normally see. And then also I’d like to add to is, is fasting.
Thom King: 00:32:29 So I, I do intermittent fasting, which means that, you know, when I get up in the morning, I’ll have, I’ll have coffee. Um, generally something similar, bulletproof coffee that I’ve modified, I haven’t done the cinnamon. I certainly am going to consider it though, because that sounds delicious. And plus that means cinnamon is great for managing blood sugar levels. So that I find very interesting. But in a morning I’ll basically just have coffee and then I have my feeding window where, um, I eat between, you know, 1:00 PM and maybe like six at the latest 7:00 PM. Um, so during the day I’m, you know, I’m, I’m in a fasted type situation. I find that this really accelerates weight loss if that’s what you’re using keto for. But I think more importantly for me, um, what I’ve noticed with intermittent fasting is brain function because you don’t get, you know, this big carbohydrate fog in the afternoon.
Thom King: 00:33:30 Um, so I mean that’s one of the, one of the things that I exercise. So if it’s, you know, you, you can’t, if you use keto and couple it with, with intermittent intermittent fasting, you’re going to get really great results. And I would like to even take it one step further and say once a quarter, maybe do a 48 to 72 hour fast, completely cleans up your body. You know, it helps you get rid of, you know, of cells that you no longer, you know, that are no longer functioning that 100%. So I, I highly recommend that. Oh absolutely. And for those of you listening, we had Kevin Rail who is a internationally recognized expert on all forms of fast and he was one of the main people in Amazon’s new documentary called fasting and he was on an episode, I can’t remember what number, but for those of you interested in what Tom’s talking about, I just say, hey man, I absolutely agree with the fascinating.
Thom King: 00:34:30 I’m, I’m at a six months into this, Tom for myself and had tremendous results. I do it a little bit differently than you. Um, because I’m not right now, I’m not doing weight loss. I’m actually gaining weight. I’m, I’m actually bulking up, putting on some more muscle and so I eat between 10 and six and I have three good size meals in that time. And uh, I’ve absolutely loved it. I, I’ve been surprised how hungry I don’t get in the morning. I do a really hard workout at six, six 30. And do just fine. Waiting Til 10 o’clock to have breakfast and then I have a mid day meal and then I have dinner. And for me, one of the biggest benefits is what I don’t eat after I start my fasting window. For some reason, once I have dinner and I, I consciously entered a fasted state, I don’t have any temptations for the foods I used to be tempted to have after dinner, which were never healthy.
Thom King: 00:35:30 Right. My, my cravings in the evening, we’re never for Broccoli and carrots or anything. Right? Like, so, uh, that’s the one of the biggest benefits to me. Yeah, definitely. I mean, I found that, you know, since I adopted a ketogenic lifestyle that my, that my, uh, I had a sweet tooth, I had a really terrible sweet tooth. And, um, you know, I find that now that I don’t really, sweets don’t appeal to me that much. Uh, another thing that, that I thought that I was going to really, really miss a lot was bread. Um, you know, and there’s so many interesting alternatives, you know, to, you know, for Ketogenic bread that are ketogenic friendly. Brad, I should say that, you know, I don’t really ever miss that. And so a lot of the foods that I thought that I’d be craving and missing, I think once your body is able to make that sort of metabolic shift, and I think that also part of that shift is your microbiome.
Thom King: 00:36:32 You know, the, the 3 trillion bacteria that that comprise this symbiotic village and you’re in your gut. I think that a lot of that is, you know, determines food cravings. And I think once you’re able to get onto a diet that works for you, and I’m not saying everybody should follow a ketogenic diet, I’m not saying that everybody should follow my, my schedule for, you know, for intermittent fasting. Whatever works best for you, listen to your body. But I think once your microbiome kind of makes the shift to, you know, to new to new foods, that’s when you know, that’s when those cravings is completely disappear. Yeah, love it. Okay, let’s move on to something else that I love. And it’s a concept from your book you call the hour of power. I really liked the concept. Talk to me about your morning hour of power? Well, the Mo the mornings.
Thom King: 00:37:28 So the hour of power is it, I mean that term is, is one I got from Tony Robbins. So I’m, I’m sort of a big Tony Robbins fan and you know, he, he’s always, he’s always recommended that, you know, the way you start your morning dictates how your day’s going to go. So I, I dedicate probably two hours, but I call it my hour of power. I dedicate those first two hours in the morning to myself. Like, I don’t have my, you know, my mobile device turned on. I don’t have any of these sort of outside influences. And the first thing I do is I sit down and I journal and you know, I’ve, I, and my journaling, you know, that’s what really resulted in the books. I use that as such a useful tool, you know, and I, and I start my journaling by asking myself questions like, you know, how do I feel today?
Thom King: 00:38:24 Like, how do I really feel? And you know, did I practice restraint? You know, like restraint of, of talking when I should’ve been listening or portion control, hydration or whatever it is. And then, you know, then I focus on what will I do today to, you know, to do or be better. And then recently incorporated another question, which is what, what am I willing to let go of to, you know, to really make the quality of my life better. So once you start writing that stuff down, it’s just, it’s almost magical how it starts to manifest. So that’s how I start my day. And then I go for three and a half mile run. I do some cycling, rowing, machine boxing, um, TRX weights, you know, for, I, I spend at least an hour, you know, working out. Um, and then I finish everything off by doing a meditation and the meditation just really, I mean, after the workout and you’ve got all your endorphins going, that meditation is just really, really a great way to, you know, to get grounded, to have a sense of calmness and really begin your day in such a, you know, such a productive fashion.
Dave: 00:39:45 Yeah, that is excellent. I love it. I’m sure people listening this is resonating with them as well. Talk to us about your meditation. What do you do there?
Thom King: 00:39:54 Um, you know, I’ve mixed it up quite a bit. So I try, I mean the minimum meditation that I do is 10 to 15 minutes, but I usually like to do my meditation for least, um, you know, at least a half an hour. And if I can even get 40 minutes, um, that, you know, that’s preferred. Um, I usually sit in a very quiet place and focus on my breathing. And the breathing is really what can get you into a meditative state. You know, it’s like in through your nose and out through your mouth. And if you just focus on your breathing and you allow, you know, you, one of the things that I’ve, I’ve encountered, people have said, I can’t meditate. I just get all these thoughts and I can’t seem to get to that place. Well that’s the process of meditation. So if you have listeners that are struggling with meditation, that’s the process and it’s part of it. So you know, when you have thoughts enter, just let them, you know, let them, let them flow through, you know, experience the thought, let the thought go and then just stick with it. Bring, bring yourself back to focusing on your breath and you know, next thing you know, half hour passes and you’ll feel great.
Dave: 00:41:09 You know, I just got back from my first ever meditation retreat. Excellent. Yeah. Yeah. I was introduced to meditation long ago, but dabbled, I just, I don’t know what it was. It just didn’t clue in with me that this is something that I could make a daily habit until maybe, I don’t even know, 18 months, two years maybe. Then I found a local Tsonga and I started going to that once a week with whoever my family would come with me. And that really helps. So to have like a guided practice and experts in meditation. And I do my own daily thing, usually just 10 minutes, not as long as what you’re doing. And I’ve just been, I’ve just been upping my game slowly, you know, over time, try to be more consistent, getting in every day. Um, and then finally I saw a advertisement from a local group doing an event for this weekend.
Dave: 00:42:06 Just, uh, the last, uh, uh, two days here called soul craft. Hmm. Uh, uh, guided, uh, meditation experience in a town here near me called Spring City, Utah. Beautiful little old town with all these historic houses and just a pretty little farm town. And I didn’t know what to expect. I, I, I was thinking it would probably be kind of hard, you know, to go from being such a novice who doesn’t spend a whole lot of time at it to being with a bunch of serious meditators for a whole weekend. But I don’t know what it was I expected, but it way exceeded my expectations. I absolutely loved it. It was not only a really transformative from the experience, but also just a riot. We just had a great time. They had a, a big bonfire on Saturday night with a bunch of people, had brought guitars. There was some incredible musicians and singers.
Dave: 00:43:01 They’re including people with albums out. A guy by the name of Pete, Pete, Brian Holt, I’d never heard of him, but he sat and played guitar and sang and was just incredible. Anyways, I had a wonderful experience. It’s my first of that type. And I, like I said, everything you said about meditation, I just, I’m, I’m learning for myself as well right now and, uh, and I, I can’t recommend it highly enough, uh, as a, as I’m sure, uh, you can, and it is interesting when people talk about thoughts. I, I think one of the biggest misconceptions people have about meditation is it somehow you’re going to become the master ruler of your thoughts and be able to become a guru on the mountain top that just goes into place of complete silence and enlightenment where no thoughts and or your brain, and that just isn’t how it works. Right?
Thom King: 00:43:53 100%. Yeah. It’s, uh, you know, like I, I, I, I like to follow Jack Cornfield. I don’t know if you’ve ever listened to any of his talks at all, but he, he quits it too. Like, um, keeping the puppy on, you know, on the newspaper. So you know, you just guide yourself the best that you possibly can and thoughts come in and thoughts go out. And I think that the, I honestly don’t think that you can get to a spa. I can’t personally at least get to a space where my mind is completely, you know, is completely of any types of thoughts. And you know, the fact that meditation is a struggle, it’s a struggle for me, you know, because it seems like inactivity, you know, like, ah, I shouldn’t be doing something. I can’t just sit here meditating. I mean I have to be doing something and I have the same issue with Yoga. So I, I try to practice yoga every day as well. And I have the same issue with that, that it is always a struggle. I’ve been doing it for, for probably almost 10 years and I still, it’s still hard for me to get that discipline to slow down and to be mindful and to ground yourself and, and to not constantly be a human doing instead of a human beings. So I get that for sure.
Dave: 00:45:18 Yeah, absolutely. I, the best analogy I’ve, I’ve heard on this regarding the thoughts excuse me, is uh, from the guy at headspace, I can’t remember his name, but he has a little video and the headspace app and he talks about it like traffic. And I love that analogy. Like if you’ve ever had a flat tire on a freeway, it is a awful experience. Trucks are racing by, you can feel the wind and the noise and you can’t really think of anything else. You just want to get your tire fixed and get off that freeway and the traffic is just awful and you’ve got like this feeling of impending doom the whole time you’re there. But if you just step 20 feet away from the freeway, your sense of safety increases dramatically and it’s still pretty active. And those cards are still zooming by very quickly.
Dave: 00:46:08 But then you keep backing up and the more you back up. And if we take the analogy all the way to say you’re in a high rise building, a mile from the freeway looking down out the window, all of a sudden that exact same traffic that is just awful for the person with the flat tire. You can’t even hear it. And it’s peaceful. The cars are going by and they look kind of slow. And to me that’s the experience I have through meditation is what I’m not meditating. My thoughts can be just raging. Right. I just, you know, that human doing that you talked about. Hmm. And, and it’s not healthy. I can be just reactive and going from one thing to another. I’m not feeling that sense of control. And when I’m meditating and meditative and in the mode, I can treat those thoughts more like the freeway at a distance than up close. So that, that analogy just works for me.
Thom King: 00:47:05 Wow. Yeah, that, that’s beautiful. I mean, I’ve used headspace before. I haven’t seen that video, but that, that, that is really sort of brilliant observation and how to, to look at those thoughts. I like it a lot.
Dave: 00:47:19 Excellent. Yeah, I do too. And I wish I could remember his name and give him credit, but we’ll give credit to the headspace APP. It’s in there somewhere that I found it. Now when you’re spending time, um, you know, upwards of 40 minutes, are you using a guided meditation or you’re just doing your own type of the Pasana breathing exercise? What are you doing?
Thom King: 00:47:40 I mix it up. So variety’s the spice of life. I, I, I really mix it up. There’s one there. I have an old sort of meditation soundtrack that I use by Kelly Howell, um, which is really great. And those are guided, uh, guided meditations. Um, and you know, I do use headspace. That’s one of the, one of the apps that I use a Sam Harris has a, a meditation APP called Waking Up. Um, so I’ll use that sometimes. And then I ran across one, uh, that is called mindfulness app and it’s by Glenn Harrold. And that is also one that I use. So I, I’ll mix them up. I might stay with one for a while, but you know, it depends on, you know, it really depends on how I feel. Like if I feel like I need something guided, if I feel like I just need, you know, to be in silence, um, with some, you know, with some nice deep breathing exercises. Uh, I’ll do the, so there isn’t one that I specifically stick with all the time.
Dave: 00:48:51 Okay. I love it. And you mentioned Jack Cornfield. I have been told to listen to him many, many times. I finally did, uh, like three weeks ago I finally was like, everyone loves a sky. I got to figure it out. So I went to zen cast. Oh. Because I knew, I knew Gil Fonz still had probably interviewed him. And so I went to zen casts. I searched through sure enough, I find it an episode with Jack Cornfield and, and sure enough, the guys sucked me right in. I mean, his speaking was so engaging and his storytelling, his analogies that just so much wisdom there. And one, one, listen, I was hooked and yet that’s my only experience with him so far. Do you have recommendations as far as a book or an APP or what, what do you like from Jack Kornfield? Okay.
Thom King: 00:49:40 Well there’s a, there’s a company called sounds true and I think they’re out of boulder, Colorado, and I think that they have all the recordings. So I love listening to his, you know, his, his lectures on Buddhism and he breaks it up into a lot of different, um, you know, a lot of different things, you know, like life and death and happiness and love. Um, I love listening to those, to those lectures. And I know that he works out of a center, I think outside a walnut, California. And I think that he also does some stuff with the Tara Brock. And I don’t know if you’ve ever had an opportunity to listen to Tara Brock, but she’s another, you know, she’s another, uh, practitioner, author, uh, I guess, uh, Buddhism and mindfulness. And I, I would, uh, I’d recommend her to.
Dave: 00:50:31 Okay, excellent stuff. And then in your book, you also talk about how you like to listen to podcasts sometimes while you’re exercising or cycling or whatever. Right? So, of course, I’m sure the [inaudible] health show is your number one. Oh yeah, definitely. And choice of course. But uh, yeah, you and I both have that in common. I love listening to podcasts and I find it to be just really fulfilling to just listen to normal people who have expertise in a variety of things. Just talking about that area of expertise for whatever it is. And I like how you’re incorporating it into your hour of power, your workouts. So what, what are your, some of your favorite podcasts?
Thom King: 00:51:13 Well, that is a great question. Like my meditation, I mix those up quite a bit. So depending on, you know, depending on, you know, my head space and where I, you know, where I wanna be, um, if I’m in a mood for some real deep sciencey stuff. Um, I listened to found my fitness, Dr Rhonda Patrick. Um, I listened to, uh, the drive with doctor Peter Attia. Um, I listened to Tim Ferris, Joe Rogan, um, all good stuff. I would say lately, the one that I’ve really been into is Jocko Willink is podcast called the Jocko podcast. And I, and then I’m always looking for new, new material, like new things to feed my head. So, um, but those are, those are some good Gotu is for me and I find those to be super inspirational. Oh, also Lewis Howes, a school of greatness. I’m super positive guy. Um, and Tom Bilyeu impact theory, that’s a, that’s another one that’s a, like I’ve known Tom for a long time in his podcast is, is super intense. So it’s a, it’s a good one to add to your collection for sure.
Dave: 00:52:33 I love it. And for those of you listening will put a link to all of those in the show notes. I’ve heard of maybe half of those, about half of those I’m subscribed to and the other half I’ve never heard of. So you’re bringing us some great stuff today. I love it.
Thom King: 00:52:48 Good. I, I, I love to contribute.
Dave: 00:52:51 Well, and speaking of that, you’ve been contributing for a long time. I do appreciate your time before we’re starting to take a lot of it. And so let’s start to wind down now with a couple of questions that I do want to ask you before we let you go. But some of these are just practical. You know, when people listen to my show, I want them to go away with tidbits and things they can use. And one of the most important aspects of health of course is nutrition. The fact is a lot of people are digging their graves with their teeth, you know, they’re just eating the wrong stuff on a regular basis. But it can be hard. You go in the kitchen and don’t really know what to eat. So I want to pick up, I want to ask you some of your favorite meals and some of these might really resonate with people and they’ll start to buy the ingredients for them and make some of these, these meals. Now you mentioned you don’t really eat breakfast, right? Your first meal? About one o’clock
Thom King: 00:53:43 yeah. Yeah, definitely.
Dave: 00:53:45 Okay. But let’s go back to that coffee you do start your day off with a cup of coffee. Do you put any oil in it or do anything special or is it just a straight up normal cup of coffee? No.
Thom King: 00:53:57 Well, you know what, I, I sort of mixed that one up as well. Um, lately for some reason, like I’ve been trying to avoid any types of dairy only because I want to see if it has like any type of a, an effect on inflammation levels. So I don’t, so I usually will have, I’ll have like bulletproof coffee. And so the way that I make that as I have, um, you know, regular espresso, um, and with that I’ll add a little bit of half and half. And I do have one of our sweeteners that has been my goto sweeter and it’s just been a really great sweetener because it actually lowers blood sugar levels a little bit and raises ketone levels a little bit. So I’ll add a tiny bit of that and then MCT oil. And so now I’ve become very adapted, you know, fat adapted and I don’t, it doesn’t have the same effect. So I generally start off with, you know, coffee, MCT oil, a tiny bit of, you know, non-nutritive sweetener and, um, and maybe a little half and half or heavy cream.
Dave: 00:55:05 Okay. And what’s the sweetener called?
Thom King: 00:55:07 keto suite plus. So you can find it, you can find it on the [inaudible] website. And that is, that’s, that’s, that’s the only sweetener now that I use. I mean it’s the only, it’s the only one and I’ve got tons of options, but it’s the one that seems to work best for me because it really, I liked the fact that it drops my blood sugar level slightly, but I liked the fact that it elevates my ketone levels. So that’s, that’s a good one. And so it’s Quito suite plus you can find it, find it on [inaudible] dot com.
Dave: 00:55:39 Okay, great. And then when you’re ready to break your fasted state and have lunch, what do you like to eat? Um, well, let’s see what I have. I
Thom King: 00:55:47 have in my goodie bag today. So I actually have some asparagus here and I’ve got some, a little piece of chuck roast. I made a chuck roast and um, with my [inaudible] and I’ve got our avocado and a little bit of sliced cabbage salad with some olive oil on it. And then for my afternoon snack I’ve got keto Hummus. So my, I love Hummus, but regular hummus is made with garbanzo beans or chickpeas that are super high in carbs. So I actually make a hummus using almonds that I, I dare anybody to, to not swear that it’s, it’s regular, uh, regular hummus. It’s good stuff. And so that will be, I’ll all, I have a couple meals out of that. Like I’ll have a meal probably at one o’clock and then I’ll, I usually work until probably seven or seven 30 and then all just have the rest of it somewhere around six 30.
Dave: 00:56:53 And Are you just eating the hummus like on a spoon or like with vegetables or how are you eating it?
Thom King: 00:56:59 Well, I put it, sometimes I put it on peppers, but I, yeah, I just eat it with this bone mostly. Okay. Occasionally I’ll put it on like a, uh, Parmesan cracker. So they make, they make crackers that are just made out of only parmesan cheese. So I’ll put it on one of those as well.
Dave: 00:57:18 Okay. That sounds good. And then how about dinner?
Thom King: 00:57:21 That will be my dinner too. So that’s a lot of food. Um, I mean it’s kind of stacked up on my desk, so that will be my lunch. So I’ll be having my lunch about one o’clock and then I’ll finish it off for dinner. So I’ll have, I’ll make two meals out of that.
Dave: 00:57:39 Okay. Excellent. How about sleep? You know, sleep is a big deal in our country right now. We know a lot of people are sleep deprived, they don’t get enough. Do you have a sleep ritual? How much sleep do try to get, talk to us about sleep?
Thom King: 00:57:52 Well, I try to get eight hours of sleep every night and sometimes I’m successful with that and sometimes I’m not. But I, I really tracked my sleep, uh, with an aura ring. Um, and I think that the aura, I, I’ve had both the motive ring and the aura and I really liked the aura quite a bit better because it really breaks your sleep down into, um, you know, into deep sleep and rem sleep. So I think sleep is hugely important, hugely important. So I make sure that all my, you know, like I have my phone and you know, any handheld devices, uh, turned to, you know, that they turn off automatically around nine o’clock. And so I don’t like to have any types of like electronics on or any types of social media or anything that’s going to, you know, that’s going to grab my attention after nine o’clock.
Thom King: 00:58:48 So everything basically shuts down about nine o’clock. I open a book, I get into bed. Um, lately I’ve been taking some CBD before going to sleep, which has really been amazing on helping me with, uh, with getting eight hours and, um, and you know, and that’s what I do. I make sure that the room is nice and cool, so I keep it around 72 to 73 degrees. Um, and also draw the shades to make sure there’s absolutely no light coming in and yeah, and that’s helped me, you know, that’s helped me get eight hours of sleep occasionally. Like if I’ll do like if I do a micro micro biom protocol, um, which is usually I take, uh, uh, I take, uh, uh, microbiome or like a probiotic bacteria called the VSL number three. So I’ll take a couple packets of VSL number three with soluble and insoluble fiber, which is any Lynn and still psyllium and all have that before I go to bed as well. And that just really, uh, I think it creates a lot of Serotonin and there’s been times when I’ve actually gotten 10 and 11 hours worth of sleep, which is really good.
Speaker 4: 01:00:02 Okay.
Dave: 01:00:02 You’d have a really good sleep ritual. I mean, you’ve got this dialed in. Sleep is obviously very important to you. I mean, I’ve asked this question to several people and you just probably gave the best answer I’ve heard yet.
Thom King: 01:00:13 Oh, thanks. Yeah, I’m kind of, yeah, I’m kind of a stickler about that. Like once it hits around nine o’clock, whatever’s going on, that’s to come to an end. And so it, it, it’s, it’s not super popular with some people because, you know, I’ll see it getting to be eight 45 and I’m like, sorry, I got to go to bed. And so, which is I think interesting for some people and knowing for others.
Dave: 01:00:38 Yeah, for sure. And it’s tough in my house because I’m a morning person. I get up early, I get on with my day, my wife likes to sleep in and stay up late and we just, we just have different circadian rhythms and we’ve figured out how to work with each other. So there’s times that I know it’s just important for me to stay out late with her. And I do that and times when she knows I really need to get to bed and she’s very good about that as well. So I get it. It can be tricky depending on your situation and who else is in your life. And so, um, generally speaking though, we all try to, you know, we got to take care of ourselves and a lot of people just aren’t getting enough sleep and it’s causing all kinds of problems. So good to work out a sleep ritual. Right?
Thom King: 01:01:25 100%. Yeah. I, I sleep is super important. If you’re not, I mean some people can survive on seven, some people can survive on six. You know, I’ve got days when, you know, like I’ll wake up early or something like that before, you know, before I’ve gotten the eight hours. But I, for me, eight hours seems to be optimal.
Dave: 01:01:49 Okay. Well, Tom, this has been excellent. I’ve really enjoyed the discussion. You’ve got a lot of great ideas. I’ve enjoyed the book. Is there anything that we haven’t talked about that’s important to you or any closing, like advice or things you’d like to share with my audience that we haven’t touched on?
Thom King: 01:02:06 Um, well I would say that the is the only thing, I mean we covered a lot of material and I would say the only thing that I’ve maybe leave your audience with is, you know, if you are looking at making a change, the the most important factor to that is just to never ever give up and just do it. Like force yourself to do it. And I would say that that is the, you know, the, the best advice that I could give. There’s other people that are out there that are struggling, you know, making lifestyle changes, connect with those people, support those people. You know, we are the sum of the five people closest to us to look around and make sure that those people around you are the people that can support your lifestyle change. Excellent. Closing thoughts. Appreciate that. Tom, thanks so much for being on the show Dave. I appreciate it. Great questions. Great show. And I can’t wait to dig into your, your big 98, you know, 98 podcasts list. I’ve got it right here in front of me and I’m going to start plowing through them right now and tell your audience, go on iTunes and give this five stars. It’s important.