MDAE E43 – How to Lose Body Fat Using Your Food and Fitness – with Sebastian Grubb

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH
Published November 6, 2018

Podcast Transcript

Sebastian Grubb: Right after a workout is the time to not deny yourself, in terms of quantity of food. Your body needs those nutrients, it needs to recover well, and repair. So, it’s allowed to eat a lot. Again, just making sure it's a lot of the right kind of food, because you can eat a lot of bad unhealthy food, and kind of be shooting yourself in the foot.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Welcome to the Mastering Diabetes Audio Experience, where we teach you how to sit in the driver's seat of your diabetes health for the rest of your life. We’ll teach you how to reverse insulin resistance, achieve your ideal body weight, gain energy and get your best A1c following more than 85 years of evidence-based research in the Mastering Diabetes Program.

Robby Barbaro: Our program teaches you how to reverse prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and how to simplify your life with type 1 diabetes by maximizing your insulin sensitivity, using food as medicine.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: We're on a bold mission to reverse insulin resistance in 1 million people. We're glad to have you joining us.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Today's podcast episode features one of my very good friends. His name is Sebastian Grubb, and he is an In-Person Fitness Trainer based out of San Francisco, California, and also an Online Health Coach. Today's episode covers a lot of very useful information about the interplay between nutrition and fitness. And how you as, an individual, can specifically use this information to lose body fat, to achieve your ideal body weight, to improve your overall fitness ability, to improve your strength, to improve your endurance, and to also improve your metabolic health, at the same time.

There is a ton of information in today's episode that you can use to get started in a fitness regimen, if you're having a difficult time doing that. And also to maintain a fitness regimen, if you've already developed one, over the course of time. Sebastian is a plant-based eater himself, he's been a plant-based eaters for a number of years, for 15 years at this point, just like myself. And has seen tremendous, tremendous results as a result of making the transition to a fully plant-based diet.

In this episode, we talked about how he has improved his own athletic performance, and how he's improved his ability to recover from intense exercise. And we also talk specifically about the function of nitrate-rich vegetables. And these are vegetables that are known to have a very specific effect on dilating blood vessels, and improving oxygen flow to muscles during exercise. It's fascinating. I really hope you enjoy it. And here we go.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Alright, Sebastian. Thanks so much for being with us today, on the Mastering Diabetes Audio Experience.

Sebastian Grubb: Yeah, man. I’m looking forward to it.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Absolutely. So, tell us about your background as a fitness trainer.

Sebastian Grubb: Okay. So, I've been a trainer since 2006, I had kind of a typical early trainer story where I just liked working out a lot, started studying and learning about it, and decided, “Hey, I'm good at this. Let’s do something. I'm going to go ahead and get certified and start to do.”

So, I started training right out of college, and just built up over the years. So now I'm a full time trainer. I run my own fitness business in San Francisco, mostly outdoors. And I see a huge variety of people, and working with folks at all different kinds of athletic levels and backgrounds. And that's the kind of variety that keeps me interested in the work that I'm doing.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: So, at what point in your fitness career then, did you become a plant eater? And most importantly, why did that transition take place in the first place?

Sebastian Grubb: Yeah, you know, I guess this is typical story too. I saw a movie that was really influential. Basically, I grew up without any considerations at all about plant-based eating, impacts of food production on environment, or health. And I just had some vague ideas about how food might impact health. But, I saw a movie that exposed me to a bunch of ideas at once. And this was in 2003, and just kind of put together environmental impact, disease risk, the ethics of how we treat non-human, animals. And even the politics that are involved in food production, and food recommendations by governments.

And I honestly just didn't have a good response, except for saying, “Okay, I'm convinced I'm going to go for it.” And I became 100% plant-based that at night. And then I started doing research, I started reading scientifically based nutrition books, not just say, diet books, but things are actually really rigorous. And over the next few years, just really cemented for myself the relationship between the food that we eat, and the diseases that we get, based on different populations around the world. Different eating styles around the world. And the rest is kind of history.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yeah, it's funny how, once you start to put the pieces of the puzzle together, you start to, it's almost like a domino effect, where it's like, okay, you learned about the environmental aspects of a plant-based diet, then you learn about the health aspects of a plant-based diet, and you learn about the animal welfare reasons. And before you know it, and all of a sudden, you're like, “Wow, there's almost no reason why I wouldn't do this. And almost sounds like too logical to begin with”, I remember going through that myself. And what you're describing is exactly, it's just like many things that kind of influence you at the same time.

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Sebastian Grubb: Yeah, it just becomes so much to say “yes” to, and I like sort of focusing on that, versus all the things to say “no” to, because you can look at it either way, and focus either way. But man, I want to have a positive relationship with animals. I want to feel like I'm doing good things for the environment, and reducing the impact of my being alive. And I want to have a long healthy life. And so when I focus on those things, it's like a super positive choice. And I feel really good about it.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: So, explain to us what foods do you used to put in your mouth, on a daily basis, before you actually became a plant-based eater.

Sebastian Grubb: Growing up, I barely considered the food that I was eating. So, maybe typical meals. I mean, fortunately, my parents were not into processed foods. And so it was mostly whole foods. But still, I really just didn't know a thing about health. And I've learned as an adult, as I've educated my own parents about nutrition, that they didn't know that much either. And, you know, to be fair, it's not common that people study nutrition. Something that you most likely will do as an adult because you have a particular interest in it.

So for me, I was eating whole foods but totally omnivorous. Plenty of meat, plenty of dairy and things like that. But also plenty of refined grains like white flour, bagels, and white rice, and oil additive stuff, and other refined food. And I just had some vague ideas that, I heard protein was a good thing, and so I tried to eat lots of what had protein in it. And calcium, you know, all those buzz terms that become kind of the nutritional wisdom of the day.

But yeah, in retrospect, it really was not a good diet. It wasn't until I graduated high school, went to college, and I just started paying more attention to how I felt, and I just want to eat more and more vegetables. And so, I started this kind of transition toward eating more health promoting foods, like vegetables and fruits, before I was even exposed to the idea of a plant-based diet.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Oh, got it, so you just kind of like tiptoed into it. You didn't give it a name. It wasn't a thing. It wasn't like you were putting yourself in a box saying, “I'm going to be vegan, I'm going to be plant-based”, you’re like “I'm just going to eat more vegetables.” And then one thing led to another, and now you're part of a much larger movement.

Sebastian Grubb: Totally, yeah. And it was really feeling based first, and just going intuitively. And then finally, I researched enough to have a lot of scientific backing for those choices.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yeah, you know, this idea of being intuitive, I think, is really, really important, because there's so many people who feel, that I've talked with them about this exact concept, which is that when you're introduced to this idea that fruits and vegetables are good for you, and that eating more fiber rich foods can actually be more helpful in the long term, and it can decrease your chronic disease risk, and eating less saturated fat, eating less animal-based foods, you know, they can all be positive ways to influence your overall metabolism.

I know for a fact that when I was first introduced to this idea, there was a little voice inside my head, and the voice said, “Wow, that's pretty logical. That makes a lot of sense.” And yet, even despite that, I heard that voice, I heard it over, and over again, I was still fighting it. My rational brain was trying to come up with all these arguments as to like, “Why? That can't possibly be true. And if this was true, then why was I fed something different when I was a kid, and my mom told me this, and my dad told me that”, right? But then once I let go of all that, and I just let my intuition guide me, then boom, now all of a sudden, it feels much more normal.

So the fact that you also felt that same thing, your intuition was guiding you, and you sort of put down your sort of monkey brain, and allow your actual, your own internal wisdom to just say, “You know what? That actually makes a lot of sense.” I think it's something that a lot of people experience, but don't really know how to act.

Sebastian Grubb: Right. And the thing is, to actually do what you feel. And it takes going against cultural norms, going against your upbringing as a health oriented person, you are an outsider, in the culture of the US, and in other Western cultures. And if you're afraid of that, that's something that you have to work with, in your own quest for health.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Absolutely. And, you know, people are searching all the time for ways to lose belly fat, and the type in in Google “how to lose body fat”, they're searching for ways where they can actually lose weight, and achieve their ideal body weight, and do it in a healthy manner, in a way that's actually consistent with longevity. But it can be confusing because, you've seen it yourself, probably, there's just so many different approaches, and so many different fad diets out there. And, you know, fat exercise techniques, which can potentially get you there. But it's hard to know what to do, right.

Sebastian Grubb: For sure. And I would say, losing body fat is one of the main goals that people have. One of the things that I work with people on, is sort of expanding what they consider fitness to even mean, and health to mean. So, learning how to lose body fat, how to increase your cardio endurance, your muscle strength, and your bone density, your agility, or ability to react and respond quickly. Those things are all part of what make, what I consider a healthy organism, or a healthy person who is capable in the physical world.

So, when people come to me, and they have maybe one goal or two goals, and often it is body fat related, I try to just expand the horizons a bit and say, “Okay, let's look at a much larger picture and see how these pieces can fit together, and you can diversify your training program. And if you're really serious about it, also, look at what you eat, start to make significant changes there, or at least small consistent changes that over time add up to a lot.”

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Okay, perfect, you just led me into my next question. And if somebody's curious about how to lose body fat, what proportion of that equation is related to fitness? And what proportion is related to the foods they put into their mouth?

Sebastian Grubb: I just reviewed this. So, there's a survey put out and it asks people this exact question, which one they would prioritize first, and what they felt was most important. And most people will respond to that question and say, “Well, it seems like both. Both are equally as important.” It turns out that that's not true, purely from a weight loss perspective. Food is more important than exercise, just because of the calorie expenditure of exercise versus how easy it is to stuff in calories into your mouth in the form of say, low nutrient, high calorie food, like oil rich foods, or sugar rich junk foods.

So food is number one, followed by exercise. And that's just in terms of burning calories and losing weight. But I would definitely argue that from a health perspective, and the fact that we are primates, we are animals and definitely built to move, there's a lot of benefits besides burning calories and losing weight to exercise. So, I would say, we still need to leave a large place for exercise, but you really have to get on top of your nutrition, and food intake, if you want to achieve body fat goals.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Absolutely. 100%. I could not agree with you more on that. So, let's go back into the math that you were describing earlier. Because you were saying it's much easier to put calories into your mouth, and it's easier to put more calories into your mouth, than it is to burn calories when you perform exercise.

So, I guess my question to you really is this: Can you give our listeners a little bit of insight here into, if they go to the gym, and they perform a cardiovascular, let's say they're doing a resistance and cardiovascular mix class, and it lasts for 45 minutes, and they sweat up a storm, and they really push hard, how many calories can they expect to burn from that activity itself?

Sebastian Grubb: Okay, so calorie burning depends on the intensity of the exercise, the weight of the person, and then things like the temperature of the air, and there's some other variables also. There's also a big difference based on just how hard that person pushes themselves.

So, two people could take the same class, they could be at the same body weight, and strength and fitness. But if one is feeling lazy that day, and the other one is turning up their beast mode, they can have really different outcomes from that class.

So, I encourage everyone, if they are already working out, and they want to make changes in their body, they just need to dial up say, 5, 10 or 15% their own intensity in the training they're already doing. Before they add workouts, before they add time, they can just add intensity.

So if someone in like a 45 minute class, and let's say, to them, it feels pretty intense or very intense, the most that they would likely burn, if they're really pushing for almost the entire time would be, say 600 calories. And that's high. That's equivalent to running at a good pace, non-stop for 45 minutes. The chances are that there are going to be breaks built into that class. If you're doing a circuit, there'll be some lower intensity portions, and so the calorie burn for the workout, it could be lower. It could even be as low as 300.

But I also tell people, it's not what you burn in the workout, so much as what happens after the workout. And that's not just talking about food, that's talking about the metabolic impact of that workout, and how many calories that person is going to burn in the following 1 to 3 days, because they had an intense exercise experience.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: That's exactly right. I was just going to ask you about that. I like to call it the afterburn effect.

Sebastian Grubb: That's right. So, the timeframe is from 1 to 3 days depending on intensity. And intensity would be say, heart rate, and in particular heart rate spikes during a workout. So if you've heard of high intensity interval training, of course, you have Cyrus, but for your listeners, if you have a high intensity interval training, where you take your heart rate close to its healthy Max, and then come back down, and keep going up and down. That produces a significant metabolic training effect. Because the more time you spend at that higher intensity, the more time or the more energy your body needs to recover from that workout session.

But the same is true of strength training. And this is a reason for everyone to be doing strength training, at least a couple days a week, is that it significantly impacts metabolism, because when you are challenging the strength of your muscles, and it also includes bones and other soft tissues that are involved in movement, they have to be repaired, and not only do need material from food to repair those tissues, but you also need to take a lot of energy to convert that food, and then for the actual repair process to happen.

So you want to mix of interval training and strength training during your week, to have a high metabolic effect from your workouts, and to keep yourself burning calories efficiently week long.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Absolutely, I've seen some estimates online in the research that this afterburn effect can contribute something like, close to 10 to 15% of your total energy expenditure. So, in other words, if you burn on average, on a sedentary day, 2000 calories. And then on a day where you go and exercise, you expend that, you know, let’s call 500 calories in a tough exercise session, you can expect that over the course of the next one to three days, that you're going to burn 10% more calories, 10% of 2000. So, you're gonna get an extra 200 calories of burn on a daily basis. Is that what you have also seen? Or did I invent these numbers out of thin air?

Sebastian Grubb: Well, you know, I'm not familiar with that number in particular. That sounds right to me, I mean, in my own experience, I can tell you, by the time I've had my third significant strength training session in a week, I'm basically adding another meal to my day. So, I personally notice a huge increase in hunger when I'm doing significant strength training that provides a real challenge.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yes, I would fully agree with you on that one thing.

Sebastian Grubb: You know, if you love to eat, you just do a little more strength training, you can eat a lot more. Provided it’s healthy food, and we can get into what that even means as well.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Okay, perfect. So, you said diet makes more of an impact than exercise. So, you know, call it, 60-40, 70-30. Let’s not get lost in the weeds of these fictitious numbers, because it doesn't necessarily mean anything. All we know is that your diet has more of an impact in allowing you to lose weight, and allowing you to actually achieve your ideal body weight, then does fitness.

Sebastian Grubb: That's right. So you asked about that 45 minute class, let's say it's really intense, you do burn 500 calories, you have a metabolic impact from that, a significant one. If you go and have a, let's say, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, about 100 calories per slice of bread, 200 calories for a serving of peanut butter, 100 calories for one or two servings of jam, you've already replaced the calories from the workout.

Now, I still would say, of course, you should work out, there's so many other benefits to your heart and lungs, and your brain, and your tissues, and your muscle. There's like a lot of other benefits. But simply speaking in terms of calories. It's of course, easier to just eat a sandwich than it is to work out for 45 minutes. Or we could say the opposite. It's easier to not eat the sandwich, than it is to work out for 45 minutes. Because you're trying to balance your calorie and take for that day.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Agreed. Yeah, I think everybody listening to this right now is probably dreaming of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, thinking about how easy it is to eat. I know I was just doing that.

Sebastian Grubb: You know, I'll tell you. I do eat peanut butter sandwiches. But I've got my special Sebastian recipe which makes it a health promoting meal, or big snack. So there are ways.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Okay, yeah, great. So, okay, let's not get lost in the weeds of peanut butter here. Here's what I want to know. Okay, so you became a plant-based eater? I guess you became a full vegan, hundred percent plant-based. How long ago?

Sebastian Grubb: Oh, yeah, sorry, I didn't answer that earlier. Yeah, so that was in 2003. So, I'm celebrating 15 years of almost 100% plants, very close to that. I leave myself a little bit of wiggle room, because I like to feel like it's not 100% dogmatic. But I will say it's well over 99% plants, and mostly whole plants for 15 years. So I feel really good about that.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Nice work. We both transition to a plant-based diet on the same year, so we're both 15 years in it.

Sebastian Grubb: Oh, that's right. I forgot about that. That’s awesome.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: High five. Nice work. Okay, so next question is, what benefits did you notice in two things. Number one, your athletic performance as a plant-based eaters, and number two, your athletic recovery as a plant-based eater. Because I know we've talked about that personally in the past, but go ahead and tell our listeners what you've experienced.

Sebastian Grubb: Okay. You know, I'd say I'm a pretty unusual case study, because I grew up as a kid with a ton of energy. And I mean, fortunately, I would say I was never diagnosed as being hyperactive. But we could say, like, very active at least. So, I was always running around as much as possible, and finding ways to stick more movement into my day, just out of a need.

And so when I became plant-based, I didn't necessarily increase my exercise amount. Although I will say, I increased my strength training amongst. I got interested in the strength training about the same time, maybe a year earlier. So, as a new vegan in college, doing a lot of strength training, I did a bulking program, which is where you try to gain as much muscle as you can, and a small amount of time. And I did gain about seven pounds of muscle and 10 weeks, which is quite a fast rate.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: That's very fast. That's incredibly fast.

Sebastian Grubb: And that was all 100% plant-based. The key is, you have to train a lot. So I was training six days a week. And you have to eat a lot. And I was just, I had a rule for myself, which always, whenever I think about food, I eat. And that was my simple bulking program. I didn't count calories, but I was like, if I think about it, I eat right away.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Sounds like a pretty good rule. I like that.

Sebastian Grubb: Yeah, you know, it was fun. And after 10 weeks, I was honestly very tired of eating so much. And so I was ready to give that up and get back to a more sustainable normal kind of a training and eating program.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Right? And the difference between that type of eating program, or at least that psychology of eating versus what you would consider a quote unquote, normal psychology, is that you are gifting yourself the ability to eat food, when you thought about it, because you perform so much work in the gym, and you were expending so much energy through exercise. Is that right?

Sebastian Grubb: That's right. And, you know, it was still at least 90% whole, plant-foods. And so it's not like, I was just eating whatever I wanted. I was staying within a health framework, and that allowed me to not gain very much body fat. I gained about three pounds of body fat during that time, which again, is really that's not that much if, if you're eating all day.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Okay, got it. So in the gym, you know, there's this common folklore that if you're a plant-based leader, “Where do you get your protein? You're going to be protein deficient, it's not even possible to eat enough protein as an athlete.” So, my question to you is, did you notice any difference in your ability to actually perform work? Was it easier, was it harder, was it more challenging, less challenging? You had more endurance, you had lesson endurance?

Sebastian Grubb: Well, I mean, I was getting stronger the whole time. And I know that seven pounds of muscle, that was within 10 weeks, but over the course of my college career, I gained about 20 pounds of muscle and that was while I was also dancing, and running, and biking, I wasn't just lifting weights. So my athletic ability was just going up the entire time, there was no slowing that down.

In terms of recovery, I didn't have anything else to compare to, but I was training multiple hours, six days a week. So, I was taking dance classes every day, and I was in the gym 1+ hours a day, and then I was also often running and biking. So I was was exercising two to three hours a day basically. And to do that, I don't know if I could do that now, I'm a bit older now, but to do that your nutrition needs to be on point. I was doing it unscientifically, as and I didn't have a coach or anything, I was just coaching myself. I was following the work of Dr. Fuhrman really closely at the time, and eating a really high nutrient density diet.

But yeah, I didn't have problems with recovery. And like I said, I mean, I put on a lot of muscle mass, and was able to do with just a ton of training and also a ton of dancing. And while I can't compare it to another person, who was sort of running, to study with me, that's pretty positive outcome.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Absolutely. I mean, if you're performing multiple hours of exercise, almost every day of the week, physiologically, you have to be able to recover from that exercise relatively quickly. Otherwise, you would not be able to perform exercise within a 24 hour period, or, you know, 24 hours afterwards.

Sebastian Grubb: Totally.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: That's the thing that I noticed when I first transitioned to a plant-based diet, was that, you know, I did it because I wanted to control my blood glucose better, I did it because I wanted to reduce my A1c. I wasn't doing it because I was trying to lose body fat, I wasn't doing it because I was trying to get athletic gains. However, one of the things I noticed very early into this process was that, not only could I, I felt like, I just had more endurance, and I could just perform more work. But, the most prominent change that I noticed was that I would perform, I would go to a work out, and within 12 to 18 hours, I felt like I was capable of performing another one. And so soon, within months of transition to a plant-based diet, I was performing double days, going and working out multiple times a day, just because I could, because I felt so good. And I was like, “Wow!” having a diet with a really high nutrient density makes a phenomenal difference in the ability of your actual musculature to be able to perform work and very frequently.

Sebastian Grubb: That's awesome. That also I'm sure speaks to having a significant carbohydrate intake, to be able to fill your muscles for all that work, all that training.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: 100%. So, people in the world of diabetes are terrified of eating carbohydrates, they're concerned if I eat carbohydrates, the mainstream information tells you “If you eat carbohydrates, you're going get fat, you're going to develop diabetes, and it's going to increase your A1c value.” So talk to us about the necessity, the role of carbohydrates, in muscle physiology. What's it all about?

Sebastian Grubb: Well, I'll say I'll definitely grew up with that same idea. I was told specifically not to eat too much sugar, or I might get diabetes. So, I had that belief as early as a teenager, even preteen. And years later, I found out that was wrong, and it kind of blew my mind. And I was a little angry, you know, as I have been about a number of things I found out, we're just kind of urban nutrition legends. Maybe that's a good Podcast name, too.

So, yeah, as you know, the more processed sugar one has in one's diet, the less likely they are to be healthy. Also, the more likely they are to be overweight or obese. But it's in a context of standard American diet, or something close to that, which is also a high fat diet. And I know you've detailed on some of the other podcast episodes, just how fat gunk up mechanisms within muscle cells, to take carbohydrates out of the bloodstream, and store it, so that it can be used for exercise. But that really creates that problem, that people associate with glucose, and sugar, and carbohydrates. And why people think potatoes are going to ruin their health, and that they shouldn't even eat an apple because it contains carbohydrate. And fruit is considered the major lacking food in people's diets, globally. It's considered the number one thing that needs to change, is to increase intake of fruit in order to increase health, and decrease disease risk.

So when faced with that, if someone says, “Oh, I shouldn't eat fruit, because of its carbohydrate load”, they're missing the whole point, which is if you want to have less disease, for instance, less diabetes, you need to eat as many whole, plant foods as possible, and lower fat intake than most, because of that mechanism for pulling glucose out of the bloodstream.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Have you in your career, ever been in a truly low carbohydrate state, or I should say, carbohydrate depleted state before?

Sebastian Grubb: I don't think so. I did an experiment of water fasting for a week. So that would have been low carb, but that was 0 food. And, you know, in that state, I felt very tired. But I think that's maybe not what you're asking for.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yeah, I'm more curious about your ability to perform exercise or, you know, in general, from basic human physiology. There's people who eat low carbohydrate diets, whether it's a low carbohydrate diet, or a ketogenic diet, and they're still active, they go out and they run, they go to the gym, and they perform resistance based workouts, they're going to high intensity interval training workouts, you name it.

I remember back in the day, when I was moderately carbohydrate depleted, it was much more, much more challenging for me to perform work. And sometimes even when I hear from people who are eating these true ketogenics diets, that are very low carbohydrate, the math just doesn't add up. I don't understand where the glycogen reserves are, to be able to actually perform a significant amount of useful work during exercise session.

Sebastian Grubb: Yeah, you know, I haven't checked the science on this, but the rumor has it that your body can learn to run on fat more, if you feed it more fat, less carbohydrate. I definitely have met endurance athletes who are more fat heavy, and low carbohydrate. But I will say, even if it's possible to do that, and even if you can be, say, a keto athlete, you're still going to miss out on the myriad health benefits of eating carbohydrate rich foods. Such as reduce colon cancer risk from eating foods high in soluble fibers, like oatmeal and berries.

And there's a lot of benefits that come from those foods. It also includes beans and lentils. And to cut those out, I think does a massive disservice, if you look at the data on disease risk, and you project out for yourself, say, 20 years. And instead of thinking about one to three years, and achieving a certain athletic goal, or body aesthetic, people should really be considering how they want to be 20 years from now.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Exactly. It's hard though, because we live in a world that caters to instant gratification, whether you're on social media, whether you are using an iPhone to perform anything, you know, “I want something now. Give it to me now!” I can push a button, and I can have a package delivered to me in six hours directly from Amazon. And I don't have to go anywhere, do anything.

And I think what this environment actually breeds is, it's more challenging over the course of time to really look into the future and say, “Is what I'm doing right now, for my own health, whether it's exercise, or fitness, or mental health related. Is this going to affect me negatively or positively into the future.” This idea of looking forward to the future, it becomes kind of vague when you live in a society that sort of caters to your every demand, right here, right now.

Sebastian Grubb: Yeah, you know, I'd say almost everyone wants to lose body fat. And in part, that's because, say in the US, it's about 70% overweight or obese. So of course, that means a literal majority of people probably want to lose body fat. And probably some people who have a healthy amount of body fat, also want to lose body fat. So, it's really significant goal. And you can do that in many ways, some of which are healthier than others, and some of which are even dangerous.

But someone who, let's say, adopts a really low carbohydrate diet, or some people are trying nowadays, I'm going to have only meat for three months, or only meat for a year, they can achieve their body fat goals, but their health goals have just gone out the window. And they may not realize it, but there's a lot of strong data supporting the need for plants in order to be healthy.

And also for athletes. So, some of the recovery benefits from food exist in foods like berries and greens, which reduce soreness, but also reduce the amount of inflammation in the body, and allow your muscles to recover faster for your next workout. So again, if you're going to do something like eliminate or reduce carbohydrates in your diet, and they have a really low fruit diet and close to no berries, you've just taken away one of the advantages you could have as an athlete, and one of the ways that you could be recovering faster and training harder.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Uh huh. Speaking of advantages that you gain from eating particular foods, you were the one that told me, you introduced me to this idea of beet doping. Can you go in a little bit of detail here about what is beet doping? And why is it important for vascular health?

Sebastian Grubb: Yeah, absolutely. Beet juice doping has been the most popular and widely published version of this. But there are other foods that are also high in the same nutrient. The nutrient we're talking about is naturally occurring nitrates in plant foods. The nitrates go through a, it's either a double or a triple process, when you eat them in your body and become nitric oxide. And just like nitrous oxide in a car engine, nitric oxide in your body and in your muscle cells specifically, increases the efficiency of extracting energy from oxygen. So, all that is to say, you get more energy per breath, you get more energy per oxygen molecule. And it's significant.

I believe, the study that really kind of propelled us into the mainstream, was done on stationary cyclists, which is usually how people are tested, because it's really easy to control variables. Anyways, those who had about two cups of beet juice, two to three hours before their biking session, had somewhere in the 10 to 15% range, increase endurance. And that is just a massive number, it seems like that shouldn't even be possible to get that big of a response from any food, any drug. But that's what they found.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yeah, that is an insane number. I mean, in the world of fitness, if you can gain a 2% advantage on your competitor, you're doing really well.

Sebastian Grubb: Oh, absolutely. People look for half percent, half inches.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Exactly. And so you're talking about literally just putting nitrate rich vegetables into your mouth, which let's be very open and honest about what they are, spinach, arugula, beets, Swiss chard, fennel seeds. What else?

Sebastian Grubb: That's right. There's a number of lettuces, and I don't have the list memorized, but it includes butter leaf, and a bunch of other lettuces as well. I mean, if you want to just eat greens as much as possible, you're likely to come across some of these compounds. Beets are really helpful because they have a high amount per serving, whereas you'd have to eat a lot of greens get the same amount of nitrate. And then, beet juice is considered the easiest way to consume nitric oxide in the form of nitrate. That's what a lot of professional sports teams are doing is they're downing two glasses of beet juice. But you can also do things like have a regular salads, have a handful of fennel seeds here and there, and kind of keep yourself prime for action.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: I made a mistake one day and I made a beet smoothie, that had arugula in it, because I was thinking, “Oh, you know, I'm going to get an extra added kick here. If I combine two nitrate rich vegetables.” Long story short, don't make a smoothie that has arugula in it, or maybe not the amount of arugula that I put into it. Because oh, man, that thing was very peppery, it’s difficult to put down. There's a little strong flavor. But you're right, small amount of these nitrite rich vegetables have a significant vasodilatory effect.

Sebastian Grubb: That's right, which means it also decreases hypertension. So, you can look at it two ways. You can look at it as a medicine for people who have high blood pressure, you can look at it as an athletic advantage for people who are competing or who are just training hard.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: That's exactly right. So, suppose somebody said, “Oh, I'm not really, I don't want to be an athlete, I don't want to exercise, I don't enjoy exercising, but I still want to reverse insulin resistance, and improve my overall metabolic health.” Are you saying that if they were to just consume nitrate rich vegetables on a somewhat frequent basis, that they could get that antihypertensive effect?

Sebastian Grubb: Yeah, they either want to have some at each meal, or get a really high dose about three hours before they work out. So there is like a timing window when the availability of that nutrient peaks in your system.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yeah, it's pretty simple, who knew that just eating one food, or a couple of foods can make such a dramatic, dramatic increase in your ability to perform work during exercise. It's just phenomenal.

Sebastian Grubb: Yeah. And to put in the context of people learning how to lose body fat, and how to train in a way that just increases their overall health, and helps them achieve their goals, if you're eating these foods that we're talking about, like arugula, and beets, and fennel seeds, and you can train more intensely, you're going to have a bigger metabolic effect, like we were talking about earlier. Just because the intensity of exercise has gone up, you burn more calories during the workout, more calories after the workout, your muscles may train harder, and then need to recover more. So in that larger picture, this is one of those cases where food and exercise go hand in hand and actually support each other.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: 100%. I love this idea here. And it's funny because I remember growing up in the 80s and the 90s, and there just wasn't that much of a focus on plant-based nutrition at all, there was a focus on I guess, eating a low fat diet, but at that time, low fat meant high sugar, low fat meant Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and go to the grocery store and buy something that's in a package, that literally says the words “low fat” on it. But sure, it's low fat, but it's high in refined sweeteners, point being at that time, I almost think back to myself, I think, man, if I had become a plant-based eater, when I was in the 80s, when I was like eight years old, or in the 90s, when I was playing soccer every single day of the week. I wonder how much of an advantage I could have gotten over my competitors in terms of strength, endurance and ability to recover, you know, given what I've experienced up to today. And given what you've been talking about this point, I think it would have made a huge difference and set me apart in many different ways.

Sebastian Grubb: Oh, totally. And I think that's one of the areas that in professional athletics is going to keep getting refined, as some people look to not just training, but specific advantages from specific nutrients and plants primarily, and how that gives them an advantage. I mean, when you're talking about like, higher levels and more elite levels, like we were saying any half percentage point is, is really big. And way better than, say, taking a drug which has bad side effects for you.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: 100%. Okay, so what advice would you give to somebody who's either living with some form of diabetes, or maybe even somebody who doesn't have diabetes, and they're having a difficult time actually starting a fitness routine. Do you have any sage wisdom advice here for how to get started in fitness routine, so that it feels not as painful as maybe it has been in the past?

Sebastian Grubb: If we're talking about increasing health, all these goals that take time, not only to achieve, but then also, ideally, to maintain, that becomes a sort of lifetime practice. You have to be talking about sustainability, and building habits that you keep, so that exercise is not something you do because you have to, it's something you do because you're used to it, your day feels normal when you do it. It's something that makes you feel good. Otherwise, you can experience what most people experience, which is, I would say, an unhealthy relationship with exercise, and kind of dreading having to do it. So finding activities that people like to do is the most important thing.

And a lot of people have, from what I know, a limited breadth of exercise types that they've even tried. So it may take trying new things to figure out what you actually like. In my experience, most people can find at least a few ways of exercising that they enjoy, whether that's hiking with a friend at sunset. So it's beautiful, and you're catching up. Or joining a strength training circuit class, or a dance class, or going running by yourself, so you have some time to be alone with your own thoughts.

There are so many ways to move your body and reap the benefits of exercise. But you have to find out what are the ones you like first, because if your concept of exercise is something that you don't like, there's just no way you're going to stick with it. Even if you make it through a six month boot camp. Again, we want to get you on a 20 year trajectory, make you more likely to be exercising decades from now, and hopefully sharing that with other people.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yeah. One of the things we'd like to tell people is that, it's more important to find a type of fitness that you truly enjoy, than it is to find a type of fitness that maybe you think is better for you. So, a lot of people turn to us to say, “Oh, you know, I read on the internet, that high intensity interval training is the only way, or is the best way for me, for my metabolic health, and for my overall fitness in the long term.” And my response to that is, it could be a true statement from a physiological perspective, it could absolutely be a true statement. But if doing high intensity interval training to you is not fun. If it is like mentally discouraging, then don't do it right now. Do something that you know is going to be fun, it's going to be addictive, that's going to be you know, it's going to set you into motion and create a habit. And then once you develop that habit, with performing consistent exercise, then you can move on to something that's a little bit more advanced, a little bit more complex.

Sebastian Grubb: Totally. Yeah, I mean, the go to for most health organizations is they'll say, “Okay, let's just start by walking.” Walking is something that most people can do, you can do it anywhere, whether it's outside, or even in your home, or up and down a flight of stairs. That's something that's just available to people. You could say, all you need is a pair of shoes, you don't even need shoes, right? You can, you can walk barefoot too. So that is a good place for people to start. But like you said, it's more important to do what you enjoy. And then over time, try to level that up. Try to add diversity.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Exactly. Okay, so now suppose somebody comes to you, and they say, “Okay, Sebastian, I'm performing, I started my exercise regimen six months ago, things have been going well, maybe I lost a little bit of body fat. Maybe I improve my insulin sensitivity. I've come down on my oral glucose medication, I’ve come down on my hypertensive medication. My cholesterol has dropped. But now I'm really having a difficult time maintaining this exercise regimen over the course of time.” Is the advice that you just gave any different than somebody who's looking to maintain a fitness regimen overtime? Or is it pretty much the exact same thing?

Sebastian Grubb: Yeah, I mean, if they're feeling burnt out, I’d say, “Okay, it's time to try something new. Like you may just be bored or tired of what you've been doing.” It could be time to try different classes or a different location, it's pretty important to address those times. Because most, or a lot of things are cyclical, like health habits, and there are times of higher, and less high motivation. And so working as a health coach is part of the work that I do. It's all about addressing those times with strategies for changing things up, for reevaluating, reminding yourself what your goals are, reminding yourself what you like to do.

And then also making sure that the intensity levels up over time, or the complexity. Because you can get bored of any exercise if it's always the same. So, doing something where you're learning new skills, either through different classes, or say dance styles, there's a lot of ways to do that. But making it neurologically interesting for yourself. Your coordination is changing. I think that's way more likely to keep someone engaged in a fitness program, versus doing the same thing year after year.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: I couldn't agree with you more. That's fantastic advice. Alright, simple question for you here. How much is it necessary to exercise on a daily basis? Is there some requirement for having exercise, at least 15 minutes, at least 30 minutes, at least 60 minutes? Do you have some guidelines here for your average athlete who's trying to just become more fit?

Sebastian Grubb: Yeah, totally. And, you know, I’d say, not even just athletes, but any person. Exercise has a significant relationship with mortality risk, there's a study, that found 30 minutes of exercise a day decrease mortality risk by 7%, but 60 minutes decrease mortality risk by 14%, 90 minutes decrease it by 24%. And above that, there wasn't enough data on people exercising, because people just don't tend to exercise more. But there's probably more benefit from even more movement.

So the general guidelines are to get about 30 minutes a day, most days of the week. And that's just in order to reduce your disease risk and live longer. And of course, if you want to be athletic or have specific fitness goals, and you want to increase that more than that, 60 to 90, or even 120 minutes a day range.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: So you're saying that if I were to exercise for like 12 hours a day, then I could nullify my chronic disease?

Sebastian Grubb: Well, you know, you'd be part of a special study on people who exercise 12 hours a day. And we might find that somewhere between, say, two hours and 12 hours is the sweet spot. That'd be my guess, I'm going to guess that it's right around two to three hours is the sweet spot, before you start getting burnout and having a just too much stress for your body.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yeah, I've actually really admired a lot of these athletes, especially these ultramarathon runners who go out for runs and they're going nonstop for 24, 36 hours at a time. It's just like mind boggling how much they can perform. You have to have to train yourself mentally to be able to withstand both, the physical stress as well as the mental stress from that. But I'm not really that interested in doing that. But, you know, it's good to know that, there's almost like a stepwise increase in your ability to resist the onset of chronic disease simply by increasing the amount of exercise you’re performing.

Sebastian Grubb: That's right. Yeah, you know, I would say the take home number is 115 minutes a week, as a minimum, that's about 20 minutes a day. So if someone is wanting to start an exercise program, they know it's good for their health, they know it's good for their body fat, and fasting glucose levels, and all these things, they should take a 20 minute walk as many days as possible. And if they get to every day, and they should increase that to a 30 minute walk and start there before we start adding strength training, other kinds of exercise.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Okay, so sometimes we have these weekend warriors who they go out and they perform, you know, they do like a three or four hour long hike, or a long bike ride on the weekend. And then between monday and friday they’re pretty sedentary, just sitting at a desk, doing a desk job. Is that, if you perform 150 minutes of exercise on a Saturday, and then didn't really do anything for the next six days, is that equivalent to performing 20 minutes of exercise per day?

Sebastian Grubb: According to the research, it is equivalent in terms of health outcome. But I would say intuitively it seems wrong, to me. It seems like we are primates, and primates are made to move, and we should be moving every day. So in terms of stepping up on the weekend, I'd also be careful about that, because of the risk of injury, if you spend your week sitting at a desk, typing on a computer getting tight, and putting on what I call “chair body”, or your body takes more and more the shape of a chair and laptop. And then you go and do 150 minute crazy workout on Saturday, the chances are, you're going to feel some pain there. Because you are trying to go into a high intensity, full range of motion kind of workout after doing the exact opposite. It's just not good. I mean, no coach would ever encourage you to do that. So it's important exercise whenever you can. But, you know, hopefully, you at least sprinkle some 10 to 20 minute sessions during the week. And then maybe you have your one to two hour extravaganza on the weekend.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: And from a metabolic perspective, when it comes to the increase in insulin sensitivity that you can expect to get from performing exercise, doing frequent bouts of exercise is much more effective for a lasting insulin sensitization effect than is doing a lot of exercise on the weekend, and sitting on your butt the rest of the time. Same thing when it comes to blood vessels as well because, they are elastic by nature. And just like you're saying, when you're eating nitrate rich vegetables, you produce nitric oxide and you vasodilate.

Same thing, when you're performing exercise, you vasodilate and when you're constantly giving blood vessels the opportunity to vasodilate, open and close, open and close, open and close, then the smooth muscle that surrounds them actually becomes much more malleable. And that right there is going to, you know, decrease your risk for developing atherosclerosis into the future.

Sebastian Grubb: That's right. And to bring this back to that whole metabolic conditioning conversation we had, and how to increase your metabolism, you want to have doses of exercise throughout the week, so that you stay at an elevated metabolic rate, burning more calories as opposed to just Saturday, Sunday, Monday, you want to have that be week long. So, my guess is that the research is going to catch up at some point and say, “Oh, okay, actually, it does make a difference if you do it most days”, maybe not just for mortality risk. Maybe there's other kinds of benefits that happen there, are other kinds of disease risks that get lower. And certainly, to train as an athlete, you can't just save it for one day a week. That just is not going to work.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yeah, I think we're saying the same thing here. Absolutely. Right. One question that we get asked all the time here at Mastering Diabetes, and maybe you get asked the same question. I'm not sure. Is people always ask “How do I lose body fat?” What would you say when somebody asked you that question?

Sebastian Grubb: Right. Well, it makes sense to me that in a diabetes context, that would be crucial, because of how much that impacts metabolism, the body's response to sugars and insulin. But certainly, for everyone that's a goal. Or at least if it's not losing body fat, it's maintaining a healthy level of body fat. So, I always encourage people to look at their food choices, one, and pick a number of areas that they are willing to focus on, changes that they're willing to make, that they know that they could make, and then start building up a healthier dietary pattern. Usually with a food journal, and some nutrition coaching. If they can manage that.

For most people, that's going to be things like reducing alcohol intake, reducing added refined sugar intake, reducing oil intake, those are three examples of foods, or food-like things that decrease health, increased calories per day. So, that's the place to start for most. And then with exercise, how much exercise are you doing already, are you doing two hours a week, or three hours a week, or zero. And let's go ahead and add 10 to 20% to that. And then a month from now, if you've been able to maintain that, and you starting to shift your habit toward more exercise, less oil, sugar, less alcohol, then we'll look at the next set of goals. We will increase exercise again, increase the diversity of that, refine your diet even more, get more salad in there, more berries, more beans.

But it's something that takes time. And so you know, I'd say I gave you the shortlist: Increase exercise, decreased alcohol, oil and added sugar in your diet. But there's a long list. And it's overwhelming at first to try to tackle everything at once. Unless you have a trainer you see every day, and a chef to make all your meals, you know, some people do. But unless you have those things, it's going to be really hard to just suddenly change everything, and keep it. So you got to think of it as, say, a six month to two year kind of project, of getting to a place where a healthy lifestyle is actually sustainable for you. Something that you enjoy, something that you're used to, and hopefully something that you end up with sharing with other people in your life and increasing the health of your family members too.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yeah, I think you just hit it on the head too. Which is that, it can easily become very overwhelming, because, not only are you going to increase the amount of movement that you're performing, maybe under the supervision of a trainer who knows exactly how to guide you. But then, decreasing alcohol, decreasing sugar, decreasing excess saturated fat, before you know, and all of a sudden, there's 12 changes you're making, and it becomes overwhelming. And I think that's where most people say, “You know what? I don't have the brainpower for this, I don't have the time for this, I got three kids at home, I got a job, I got a husband, I gotta keep everything together, how the heck am I gonna make all these changes?” So I think you just really brought up a good point here, which is that it's very, very difficult, for any human being, to be able to perform that much change in at once.

And the name of the game here is stepwise changes, just literally do one or two changes today. And then live that out for a period of time until becomes a habit, and then switch and then go to the next, add another habit, another habit, another habit. And, you know, over the course of six months, a year before you know it, you're feeling like a million bucks.

Sebastian Grubb: That's right. And, you know, I'll add to that, making things social is really helpful to for most people. Some folks are really solitary and like to do things alone. But most people enjoy it more when they have a friend or a buddy who's on the same page. So if you find someone else who wants to take, say, a three month alcohol free challenge with you, or someone who wants to go running together, or try fitness classes once a week together, getting someone on your side like that, or hiring a trainer can make a massive difference. It makes it like a positive social experience in which wellbeing plays a part, but it gives more dimensions to what you're doing. And that can change the whole thing.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: 100% and it also puts accountability into the equation as well. Because if you know that you're going to perform exercise with your best friend, or you have to show up at 5:30 PM, because your trainer is waiting for you, there's a little bit more at stake. And it's much, much, much more difficult to say no to that or to, you know, back away from it. When you know, another human being is relying on you to be there. It makes a much, much bigger psychological difference. And actually, just like you said, just makes it a lot more fun.

Sebastian Grubb: Absolutely. And, you know, when we were living in the same town and training together once a week, and doing some pretty intense stuff, trying hard to kick each other's butt. I mean, I definitely experienced that. It's like, well, it's Thursday, time to go meet up with Cyrus and train as hard as possible. And, you know, we would do things that I wouldn't do on my own. Even though I'm an active person, and I like exercise, I’ve experienced it too. So, you know, I'm human like everyone else. And we can use the help too.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: 100%. I remember waking up on Thursday morning, or even Wednesday night before I would go to bed. And I think to myself, “Okay, tomorrow's training with Sebastian I'm going to get my butt kicked, I gotta get my butt in gear. I got to make sure I get at least eight hours of sleep tonight. I got to be well hydrated. I got to be well fed.” And then, you know, that makes it just a little bit less painful when we actually are working out together.

But you're right. The sort of social accountability is something that you can't really put a price tag on that, you can't really quantify how important that is. But once you feel it, and once you start to experience it regularly with friends, it makes a massive, massive difference.

Sebastian Grubb: That's right. And then you can also just experience firsthand that, “Oh, I'm not alone, people I know have the same goals that I do, we just need help doing it.” So it's a shared project. It's not just about you need to correct yourself because everyone else is perfect already.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: It's a great way to put it. Let me ask you this question. What is your number one most favorite workout recovery meal?

Sebastian Grubb: Hmm, I have a lot of them. I'm going to say one of my favorite meals is oatmeal. But I call it “upgraded oatmeal”. So I don't think of it as just like oats and water, I think of it as this massive fiesta of delicious flavors and objects. So I'm like, oats and berries, and bananas, and dried fruit. And I put a lot of spices in there. I try to have turmeric and black pepper every day, which I'm sure you know, have a synergistic effect as an anti inflammatory. Talking about some other plants that can speed up recovery time. And boost athletic performance just by making less inflamed in your body. So I've got a turmeric and black pepper in there. And cinnamon, and clove, and all kinds of spices. And then I'll add some nuts and seeds and it becomes this like warm, just massive, wonderful thing to eat.

And right after a workout is the time to not deny yourself in terms of quantity of food. Your body needs those nutrients and needs to recover well and repair. So that's the time to eat a lot. Again, just making sure it's a lot of the right kind of food, because you can eat a lot of bad unhealthy food and kind of be shooting yourself in the foot.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yeah, 100%. And I think one of the things I want to focus here, is the meal that you just described, with this oatmeal bowl is truly a carbohydrate rich food. It's a carbohydrate rich meal. And just like we were alluding to earlier, carbohydrates are necessary for optimal muscle recovery, and also because the glucose that's imported into the muscle tissue, especially right after exercise, it's either burn directly for energy to yield ATP, or it's stored as a molecule of glycogen, or it's stored in the glycogen granules, that begins to grow over the course of time.

So you know, if you're listening to this and you think to yourself like “Oh, I'm still nervous about about eating carbohydrate“, just like Sebastian's describing here, right after you exercise is a wonderful window of opportunity, where your insulin needs are cut dramatically, and your muscle is able to import glucose into the tissue, using significantly less insulin than it needed before the exercise, before the workout. So, having a carbohydrate rich post workout recovery meal goes a long way and really, truly energizes you and makes you, improves your ability to recover for the next exercise episode.

Sebastian Grubb: Yeah. Just in terms of recovery, you want to have a lower fat post workout meal, just because it takes a long time to digest fat. So focusing on things like the oats, and the fruit, and then I'm usually using soy milk as well, most people don't know oats contain protein, in fact they contain about five grams of protein a serving, so having two to three servings of that, and I'm having at least a serving of soy milk, then I'm up above 20 grams of protein before you even consider all the other food that's involved. So it's still a significant protein hit, plus the carbohydrate, those work synergistically together to speed up muscle recovery.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more. Sebastian where can people find you? How can they find you either physically in person, or online? What if they want more information, where would they go?

Sebastian Grubb: Yeah. So, my website is Sebastian.Fit. And I've got articles on there about nutrition and exercise. I have a workshop section. I have information on training with me in person, or doing health coaching online. So, that's definitely the main resource.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: That’s fantastic. And so, you provide in person fitness training as well, as online health coaching, is that right?

Sebastian Grubb: Yeah. Online, mostly health coaching. But I do also do training with clients there. They basically set up their phone is a video camera, wear some earbuds, and can actually train them anywhere in the world.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yes, of course, the online fitness training model. I love that. I love that. And I can honestly say Sebastian is one of the most talented Fitness Trainers I have ever met in my life. I'm not just saying that because we're on a Podcast, I've told you that in the past, I highly mean it. Not only will Sebastian train you, and train your body to become more fit, to achieve your ideal body weight, to have more muscular endurance, to have more agility, to have more coordination. But he will also train your mind. And in the process of doing that, you begin to achieve more, not only during a fitness exercise, or during an exercise class, but also afterwards. You begin to become more confident in yourself and truly utilize your full capacity as a human being.

So I've had the pleasure of being able to hang out with Sebastian a lot and if anyone's interested in taking their fitness to the next level. Sebastian Grubb is the man for the job.

Sebastian Grubb: Thanks so much. Really appreciate that.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: We hope you enjoyed this episode, and can apply some of these principles to your personal life. Now, we have an Online Group Coaching Program that has helped thousands of people living with all forms of diabetes, reverse insulin resistance, drop their A1c, lose weight, and gain tons of energy. And also reduce their need for oral medication and insulin using, their food as medicine.

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About the author 

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, and Robby Barbaro, MPH are the coauthors of the New York Times bestselling book Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes. They are the cofounders of Mastering Diabetes, a coaching platform that teaches people how to reverse insulin resistance via low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition. Cyrus has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002, and has an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from UC Berkeley. Robby was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2000, and has been living a plant-based lifestyle since 2006. He worked at Forks Over Knives for 6 years, and earned a Master’s in Public Health in 2019.