Episode Highlights

00:02:48 Effects of poor metabolic rate
00:12:02 Difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes
00:17:14 Dealing the struggles of a lifestyle change.
00:22:49 Lifelong Changes
00:28:20 How to start changing our diets
00:36:45 Getting ourselves out of forming bad habits
00:45:39 Top 5 tips
00:51:04 What are Triglycerides?


Fitness Guide





Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here is your host Darren Kirby.

Darren: Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is the number one podcast for men in their 40s who want to improve their health through nutrition and fitness. This is Episode 96. And on today’s episode, we welcome back Dale Pinnock, a.k.a. the medicinal chef. And today we’re going to be speaking about understanding metabolic health and how we can improve it. But before we get into today’s episode, I want to take a moment to mention the show sponsors athletic greens, athletic greens are formulated with seventy five vitamins, minerals and carefully selected for high potency and bioavailability. Athletic greens because it is in a powder form is more bioavailable than pill-based supplements is kind of like an insurance policy. Now, I’m a big advocate of getting all of our agents from real food, but with our hectic lifestyles, this isn’t always possible. And I take athletic greens on a daily basis to ensure I’m getting all of the nutrients that I need. And athletic Greens is offering the lessons of the show a 10 percent discount off their first order. So head over to athleticgreens.com/fitterhealthierdad to get 10 percent of your first order. So let’s crack on with the show.

Hi Dale! Thanks very much for coming back onto the podcast today. How are you?

Dale: I’m good, yeah. Kind of just about staying sane in all this, this madness. Sort of hoping for that glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. If they don’t if you know, if they don’t keep on moving the goalposts like they do. Yes. But expecting a zero covid world, they’ll be bitterly disappointed. Will never come out of our houses. But there we go. There we go.

Darren: Yeah, it is what it is. I think any of us expected to be here a year later. Did we really not do so? But no. So I’m really pleased you agreed to come back on today, because the topic that I want to discuss today really is about metabolic health. And it’s a topic which I believe that in the current climate isn’t being spoken about enough in relation to the virus. I think at a fundamental level. I believe that awareness needs to be raised about this, and I think we need to be taking it a lot, lot more seriously so that when situations like this arise again, which they will, you know, we have the tools, if you like, and the knowledge to be able to deal with it. So, yeah, it’d be good to kind of kick-off and get your views on it and where you where you feel that we need to kind of raise our awareness.

Dale: Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting because if you look at what was actually plaguing our health service pre covid. Yeah, it was. Type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity-related issues. OK, those things all point to. Poor metabolic health, they’re all markers of poor metabolic health, and it’s something that is certainly absolutely epidemic proportions in the Western world. So many people tend to have these kinds of clusters. They have several markers of metabolic disease. You know, it’s very often to find people that have got triglycerides and cholesterol. A high blood pressure increase in waist circumference may be elevated by one C when you actually look at their blood levels, each one sees glucose-related hemoglobin. It’s like a measure of how high blood sugar has been over a long snapshot of time, rather than just taking a normal blood glucose test, which tells you what’s going on at that moment, someone can adjust it at a chocolate bar. It’s a snapshot into how well blood sugar is being managed. When you see people with all of those kinds of issues together, it’s a sign of poor metabolic health. And these are things that were plaguing the health service before covid. Now, covid is really shine light on it, because when you take away the the the very, very elderly and frail, when you take away people that have underlying respiratory issues like very severe asthma, COPD, you know, kind of other bronchial issues, when you take all of those controls out of the way, when you control for those the remaining group that fares the worst and generally is responsible for the deaths in the younger people say say 45 50 plus are people with one or more markers of metabolic disease.

Yeah, generally you’ll find that they’re overweight or obese. A lot of them with high blood pressure or cardiovascular issues tend to fare very, very badly. And they’re certainly quite a lot with Type two diabetes. So it really shone a light on how important it is and how. How potentially damaging is because what happens is when I mean when we get infected with any kind of pathogen. Mm hmm. We have an initial acute inflammatory response, that area that becomes infected, where the pathogen manages to invade, whether it’s something that comes in on Spencer, whether it’s an airborne virus, whatever, the area where infection takes place, there’s like a distress call released in that tissue. And there’s a group of chemicals like these communication proteins basically called cytokines. Right. If different cytokines carry different messages, other acute stages, there’s an alarm call. The call is sent out by means of cytokines and cytokines in that local area cause inflammation.

What happens is blood vessels dilate really, really widely. And when they dilate wildly, little gaps start to open up in the vessel walls and some fluid can start to kind of leach out into the area. That’s where the swelling comes from and also the heat from the enhanced circulation. And that’s done so that white blood cells that hear the call of the cytokines, I hear that distress call, the white blood cells, the immune system can move to that side of infection and squeeze through the little gaps and get straight to where the pathogen is starting to cause trouble. That initial acute stage in covid is hard for even a healthy body to deal with. I mean, you’ve seen people, even the people that, you know, the worst that happens to them is they get like 10 days in bed. Even those people certainly are having a good time. And they really kind of knock the stuffing out of them. They say, you know, it’s like the flu on steroids is really, really quite, quite severe. But when someone’s got that state of poor metabolic health, they have a chronic inflammatory baseline anyway. Yeah. In that state already creates a quite notable inflammatory load when you. Deliver that kind of very aggressive, acute inflammatory response that covid delivers on to a backdrop of chronic inflammation.

People can move into what’s called a cytokine storm initially because of what happens in the acute phase. You get that initial rush of sites like pro inflammatory cytokines, that inflammatory response occurs. The immune system gets there, starts to deal with infection in the local area. And then as it starts to deal with infection, a different group of cytokines are released and inflammation starts to tone down. But in these people that are getting the cytokine storm with covid infection, because they’ve got that baseline of inflammatory load underneath, that pro inflammatory cytokine cascade just keeps going and going and going and going and going and raising up and up and up and up. When you get in all of these severe acute inflammatory issues in multiple tissues, I mean, obviously the lungs and the respiratory tract get damaged, but you see an excessive clotting in multiple organs and multiple systems. You see damage to the kidneys, to tissues in the digestive tract. It’s very, very it’s almost like a systemic wave of inflammation. So what this pandemic has done is really shone a spotlight on the importance of metabolic health. And the thing is, it’s something that is so incredibly responsive to diet and lifestyle here.

Darren: And this is the thing, right? This is the thing. I’m so glad you said that, because all of this stuff that I was explaining up front in terms of the various different underlying conditions which are kind of stacking on each other, apart from obesity, the rest of it, unless you’re continually testing yourself, you really don’t know whether or not you have those responses unless they’re extreme, right? Yeah. And so, you know, the resolution to a lot of this is, like you say, diet, lifestyle. Now, there are some extreme cases of Follett’s and doctors in America who have had covid, who’ve documented their conditions and they’re completely fine. Some of them are even training, but these people are continually testing themselves so they know where they’re at from a metabolic standpoint. But the ordinary population like us, I think our biggest toll, if you like, is the lifestyle and nutrition. And I just think that we’ve just lost we’ve absolutely lost what this is. And I neither did a video recently about a guy that I’m working with who is an NHS nurse who has had multiple conditions. And the thing is, he’s on the vaccination program. Right. And he’s working 12, 13 hours a day. He’s got these conditions. And very kindly, the pharmaceutical company that provided the pharmaceuticals are bringing them in food to help them through these long hours. But they’re bringing the main pizza. So on one hand, you’ve got you’ve got the guy that’s kind of trying to put out the fire. And on the other hand, they are just fueling it. Yeah. And I know some people criticize me from what I’m saying in terms of I’m kind of oversimplifying it, but I’m not. I don’t believe I am. And this is why I kind of wanted you there to kind of really take it back to basics, lifestyle and nutrition, you know, and I believe also as parents, we have an absolute responsibility to start telling our children about this.

Dale: Yeah, yeah. Obviously, generally, you kind of find the children center. Do what people they look up to do rather than what they’re told to do. So if you’re I mean, I haven’t got kids, I’ve got a cat that would do me fine. But they rather than being told. Yeah. When they actually follow your lead, when you’re actually set an example for them, then they gravitate towards it. That’s what I found with a lot of people I’ve worked with in the past. But yeah, you’re right. Where that one is it’s a bizarre thing because. If we just get back to a kind of a diet and lifestyle that we’re designed to be living those issues, generally, there are a couple of instances where there may be a genetic issue and people say, oh, you know, these things run in my family, but then I would say, well, genes load the gun, the environment pulls the trigger. But that’s like a different discussion. You know, it’s always gene-environment interactions when we get back to the kind of lifestyle that we were designed for, i.e. be more active eating whole foods. Yeah, a lot of those kinds of issues can just start to improve drastically and in many cases disappear. I’ve worked with a lot of Type two diabetics.

Maybe we need to we’ve got we’ve got to say it just because there will be at least one type one diabetic that will get upset with us yet and they’ll throw their toys out of prime and they’ll you know, they’ll start start writing things all over social media about, you know, the distinction that type one diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the immune system has reacted to the beta cells in the pancreas, destroying them, making them function very, very poorly. So someone who is insulin dependent for life in type two diabetes is where a continued wave of poor metabolic environment starts to change things like receptor dynamics and cause glucose toxicity in different places, etc., etc.. Maybe we can talk about the pathophysiology and etiology of Type two diabetes later if you want, but those are the distinctions. So we’ve got that out there. We’re safe. We’re safe from the trials for today. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This idea I’ve worked with type two diabetics in the past. Where. Just with diet and lifestyle, we’ve managed to turn it around. They’ve gone to the doctor in six months time and the doctors said, well, you’re no longer diabetic. You know, you see wrong un chatterji on when you do the series. Doctor in the house, he did it there.

Mark Hyman has documented it quite a lot. It’s been really well documented and provided there’s no kind of secondary issues, like there’s no severe neurological damage, there’s no severe cardiovascular damage. Diet and lifestyle is the number one intervention. I mean, you can, you can kind of. Prolonging someone’s life with metformin, but metformin isn’t curing isn’t curing the issue if you actually get back to but the physiological dysfunction that’s occurred in the first place and work at that level, then you can start to turn things around. So even though it’s a severe problem, epidemic proportions in the Western world, it’s one of those things that we can actively, yeah. Do something about ourselves. But it does involve getting off your ass and actually making the effort. It is difficult for people to make these changes. And I fully accept that, that it can be challenging for people to, you know, to make big challenges. But that’s why we’re doing the work that we do so that we can give people like little nuggets of inspiration and just keep edging people towards making better choices and thinking a little bit more about their day to day wellness and self care. So they move towards that end goal anyway.

Darren: Yeah, I agree. I think the first thing for me is about awareness- raising. The awareness is obviously why I wanted to do this podcast today. Really, because it’s why, you know, help at my kind of. Desire to kind of raise awareness, and then the second thing is understanding on a psychological level, I think, and it’d be good to get your thoughts on this, because as humans, we do not like change. Okay, so we have evolved in a way which isn’t helping our health. And then unless you raise awareness, you won’t know about it in the first place. But then secondly, to change it kind of comes back to what we said before I was recording, particularly on the male side of it. We generally don’t like to change unless we’re forced to write, unless we’ve got a health issue and now we’ve got to do something about it. Right. So change is tough. But what I would say is that it’s absolutely possible, but it’s about understanding. It’s a process. Right? So it’s not like you’re going to go from the diet that you follow today and the lifestyle you follow today and you’re going to switch tomorrow morning and it’s going to be completely sustainable right now. It’s not psychologically you won’t be able to cope just by putting this one, doing this one thing each day or each week to kind of change it.

Dale: Yeah, that’s what I will say. But when you said where the hell was I also changed one thing. Yeah, change one thing. Just commit to one goal that you know, that you can easily achieve, that could be like ensuring that you have a good bedside salad every day. It could be swapping your white carbohydrate staples for brown. It could be OK. I’m not going to snack on chocolate between meals anymore. One thing, one thing. And just repeating over and over and over and over again for a month or so. And then once that sort of becomes the norm and you’re like, you know, I’ve got this thing nailed. Change something else. I mean, carry on that behavior, but then add another thing in, add another thing, just keep moving the goalposts, you know, do it, Boris, keep moving the goalposts. And whilst it might seem like baby steps, what do you look back over six or 12 months? You realize that you’ve actually come quite a long way. You’ve gone through quite a meaningful lifestyle change, but it’s not been like an uncomfortable and tumultuous road to get there. It’s actually been quite an easy transition because you’ve done it in small bite sized pieces. And then the other thing that I would say to people, and this is one this is one thing that you always find. Everyone assumes that when they’re improving their diet, they’ve got to be in rabbit food. And it’s got dreary and dull and boring or really, really expensive and made out of biodynamic grass fed unicorn and Wonga Wonga berries.

And God knows what else I would say. Look, who on Earth said it’s got to be that way. The thing to do is carry on in the food that you love. Just make it better. Give your favorites a facelift. That’s what I would say. So, you know, if you love curry and pizza, fantastic. I love curry and pizza, but you’re not going to catch one of these nasty, six inch thick white bread pieces of gunk that you get from the takeaways. I mean, unless I’m monumentally drunk. But that’s a different story. But I’ll make it myself, OK, like a multigrain bread mix, and then I’ll, you know, roll that kind of multigrain bread base out and I’ll put spinach and red onion and a little bit of goat’s cheese and loads and loads of veg on there. It’s the same culinary experience, but a completely different nutritional profile. There’s much more fiber. There’s much more like phytonutrient density. Micronutrient density is a completely different ballgame. If you approach it like that, then it will be a joy and you’ll be wanting to make better decisions. And then also when you start feeling better. That I mean, that in itself is one of the greatest motivators, I think is like when you actually feel really good, I’m sleeping better. As you know, I feel happier. I feel more comfortable in my own skin. When you start to feel like that, unless, you know, unless you’re really sadistic, you’re not going to want to go back.

Darren: I know. You know, and I think, you know, that’s the other thing that people maybe are not aware of or don’t consider is that that result of getting your nutrition, doubting how much better you do feel all of a sudden, it’s like somebody turned on the lights, right? Yeah. You’ve got way more clarity. You’ve got way more energy. You want to do more. You were able to deal with life’s challenges better. You know, there’s less stress because you’re more measured in your approach. So, yeah, I mean, it’s just it is so profound.

Dale: It is. And you know what, if you were about psychology. This is another trick that I like to use for people that are really struggling to change, that are really coming up against those kinds of internal resistance. And this is a brilliant one for you. You know, like you said, a lot of men don’t want to change unless they have to. Those people that have been given that real shock. Yeah, they’ve gone to the doctor and they’re like, you’re two points away from a heart attack or something like that. All of a sudden they get that shot. I always say whatever it is that spurs you to make change. I mean, for some people, one day they look in the mirror and they just break down because they don’t recognize the person looking back at them. Whatever it is, whatever it is, that kind of moves you to think I’ve got to change, remember it. And if it’s really bad and really painful, even better and I’m not saying that because I like people to suffer. What I’m saying is that can be one of your greatest catalysts for change. I want when you’re feeling like that, create something that you can put around the house on a Post-it note or a piece of paper. It could be just a shape. Obviously, you’ve not got poor. Pull your feelings out and stick it around the house for all and sundry to see.

But something if you look at a circle with a wiggly line in it, whatever, that means something to you that when you look at it, you remember that pain, you remember how you felt, you remember how awful you felt in that moment, and you can make that commitment to yourself. I’m never going to feel like that again. No. And when you’ve got those little visual reminders, those visual cues, and you kind of prime yourself that way to actually start feeling the pain because like many of us want to avoid pain. Yeah. You know, when we’re going through a lot of pain, we want to hide it. We become workaholics. We become sex addicts, become alcoholics. We become like, terrible to live with whatever. We run away from feeling those things. But sometimes, like, you know, sit, you know, sitting down, staring these things in the face and actually feeling the power of those emotions that are making us unhappy can drive you to change more than anything else. Yeah. Using that to your advantage, I mean, I yeah, it’s good that it’s going to suck us at first. Yeah. But use that to your advantage, you use that to your advantage to really push you through those often self-inflicted barriers.

Darren: Yeah, definitely. I totally agree with that. And I think that’s one thing that we don’t maybe don’t consider is having those visual reminders. I have the reason why and I think in some cases men particularly are scared. You know, they’re sitting down and facing what’s in front of them. Right. Because they’re fearful of what’s going to happen. Whereas you don’t it doesn’t need to get to that point. Just, you know, just sit down, face it. And this you know, the actual resolution to your problem is probably way more similar than what you’re making it out to be in your head. Yeah. And you don’t have to necessarily go down the extreme routes that we get to where you’re sitting in front of a doctor and he’s like, well, if you don’t do something right now, you’re going to be type 2, high blood pressure, possible heart attack and all the rest of it, right? Yeah. So it is that catalyst for change. And the other thing I want to mention is that a lot of a lot of dads, a lot of men will say that they’re doing it for their wife or they’re doing it for their family. Yeah. And the other thing I will say is they actually probably want to do it themselves. And it’s OK to say, do you know what? I want to do this for me?

Dale: And you know, well, that’s the thing. That’s the thing generally that will lead to lifelong change as well. I mean, just doing something so you don’t get earache indoors isn’t really you know, it’s not really that it’s not really conducive to lifelong change. I mean, you I do it for a little while and, you know, you just lose motivation or get the jump or, you know, you fall out over something and then you’re like, right. So I’m going to do just that. But when you actually realize that you deserve to live a fantastic life, when you realize that, you know, you deserve to be healthy and happy and. Especially, you know, for people that are very, very family oriented, that really feel like they want to provide and they want to be there in a way that is pretty hard to give out of an empty cup. Right. You’ve got to do this stuff yourself so that you can. Step into that role, yeah, definitely, you know, if because, you know, for some people, that’s their motivation with a lot of things in life or if you like, you say it’s OK is also is beyond OK. I would say it’s all right. It’s like it’s a necessity. Yeah. It’s an absolute necessity to live to the highest level of your capabilities and to not do that.

Is almost to spit in the face of the gift of life that you’ve been given. Yeah, yeah. And it is a gift. And for anyone that’s that’s kind of lost, anyone that’s close to them, you know, I’ve lost my dad. I lost my best friend, lost, you know, I went through a lot of loss and I kind of, you know, it makes you reevaluate things. It makes you realize that it is a gift. And, you know, to be here when when others aren’t and particularly others that really wanted to still be here and kind of clung on to the last, you know, the very, very last breath, it changes something. And, you know, it’s worth thinking about. I think it’s worth it. It is worth it. Having, you know, just thinking about that, and again, it’s scary, a lot of a lot of men will sort of balk at those kinds of things, although I can hear what you want about what people or whatever, because the fear is there. Yeah, absolutely. So I actually sit there and accept that, you know, you’re not, you’re not doing well in a certain area and that you need to make change is pretty tough for some people. But the. The freedom that comes from that, the freedom that we’ve actually seen these things and then committing to make a change and see in your life change because of these these actions that you’re taking with, you know, whether we’re talking about diet and lifestyle or whether we’re talking about career or or education or relationships or whatever, when you actually can can evaluate yourself that openly and honestly.

Because if you know, if you base yourself and you just shoot yourself, you know, you’re not hurting anyone else, you’re just hurting yourself when you can be that honest and really stare into the areas that need to improve. It’s liberating. Yeah, and, you know, your life can be barely recognizable when you actually take the action and you look back in a couple of years time and see how different things are and how different your situation is because of the choices that you’ve made. It’s you know, it’s incredibly empowering and incredibly liberating. And yeah, I mean, to quote Tony Robbins, if you’re not growing, you’re dying. So, you know, that kind of forward motion and growth and awareness of where we are being able to give ourselves a kick up the jack see and say, right, you know, you need to give this some attention is a powerful thing.

Darren: Yeah, definitely. I think the other phrase I’ve heard is, if you’re right, you’re wrong. So if you got to a stage in your life where you think I’m good, you know, this is just the way I am when I get to 40, I’ve got the belly built for comfort, not for Spain. You’re kidding yourself, right?

Dale: I know I’m completely opposite. I mean, I’m 44 this year and I’m like, like obsessed with I don’t want a millimeter of a belly Botox. I’ve got more skincare than my messes. It’s just like I’m absolutely going to do everything I can to be the best that I can all the time. But it’s so true what you say. Only so many people, especially people that, you know, they’re happily married, they’ve got kids, they’ve got a good job. You know, they’ve got the you know, they’ve got that real nice middle class life. That is the kind of ideal that so many people want. They get comfortable. Yeah. Yeah. I love I love that phrase. By the way, if you’re ripe, you rock. Yeah, I do like that. People just get comfortable and it’s like, you know, it’s and then all of us all of a sudden one day look in the mirror and like, what’s happened. Yeah.

Darren: So the thing around obviously metabolic health is lifestyle and nutrition. Right. So there are so many men that claim that they can’t cook or they don’t understand food or nutritional rest of it. So I think this is a good opportunity for us to kind of dig in to people that are listening, thinking now, actually I’m going to change. But, you know, I want to be that catalyst for the change. I want to be the person that takes control of it. And I don’t believe all this B.S. that mentioned being the kids. I absolutely love cooking.

Dale: I love being yelled at. Gordon Ramsay. Heston Blumenthal.

Darren: Yeah, exactly. So, you know, if we’re going to start and we like you and I just said, you know, change one thing and we decide what we’re going to do now. We’re going to change our breakfast from our Kellogg’s and yes, Kellogg’s. I’m going to call you out cornflakes that nonsense that you put in your bowel every morning. Yeah. And we’re going to change it and we’re going to have a nutritionally dense breakfast to start the day where we start.

Dale: I mean, I don’t want to be too prescriptive because obviously everyone’s tastes are different and things like that. But my golden rules and if you look you look at all the different diets that are out there, whether it’s like paleo diet, a vegan diet, a raw food, a, you know, macrobiotic diet, whatever, they’re all so different from each other. Every single one of them is associated with these wonderful transformations in health. You see these transformations in every single one of these diets. And the real kind of zealots of these diets will, you know, show you these transformations and tell you all these stories. And it’s all true. But these diets are so drastically different. And at first glance, it might be like, well, what the hell do I do? Because I can’t figure out what’s the actual path I should take. There’s one unifying factor in every single one of those diets. What do you think that might be?

Darren: Well, you’re just changing from a Western diet, right?

Dale: They all leave out the crap that’s making us sick in the first place. None of these diets are telling you to eat refined white carbohydrates, refined sugar. None of them are telling you to eat highly processed seed oils. Yeah, and trans fats. They’re not telling you to eat like bucket loads of loads of sodium and heavily processed food. That’s where the key lies. So what I would say is when you are approaching any meal, just look at it. And, you know, there’s this I mean, this is a little bit hokey using stuff like this, but these really good reminders, like if it Rameswaram grew or flew, that everything else leaves behind or real food doesn’t contain ingredients. Real food is ingredients. And if you come to that, yeah, it really is that simple. I mean, of course, there’s no answer with regards to macronutrient ratios. If you’re very, very active, you can need more carbohydrates than someone that’s very, very sedentary, all of those kinds of things. But that’s, you know, that’s let later on down the road. OK, that’s not what we’re talking about. When we’re talking about people that are right at the beginning of their journey, I would say, don’t worry about that yet. You’re not there yet. The first thing is, just get on to the proper food so every single meal just build it around Whole Foods.

So great breakfast could be smoked salmon, scrambled eggs on toast. It could be an omelet or a frittata. It could be porridge. It could be a really, really high-quality muesli without any sugar added to it with some Greek yogurt and berries. All of those great options. But all of those take that box of just being built around Whole Foods, you know, a lunch. I always try to build my lunch around a salad like, you know, a great honkin salad. And you can have meat, fish, seafood, cheeses, tofu beans, whatever. You can fit it around your tastes. But that kind of viso. So nutrient density is always a good idea. And in the evening, like, you’re looking at good quality proteins, good quality, slow burning carbohydrates, loads and loads of non starchy veg, just approach it like that very, very simple Whole Foods focus and everything will fall into place. You don’t have to worry about a pigeonhole in your diet and like, you know, is it Keto, is it Paleo? Is it this? Is it not? I mean, of course. I mean, there’s interesting discussions to be had around all of those diets when you really get into the weeds and really geeking out about nutrition like I do.

But for most people, they don’t give a monkey’s about that. Like, I just want to eat better. I just want to live for longer. I want to feel better in general. And for those people, it’s really, really simple. Just build your diet around Whole Foods, build your diet around the kind of food that your great, great great grandparents would have been eating. Yeah. When you go into the supermarket, shop around the outside. Yeah, literally fresh fruit and vegetables are generally on the left. Your fresh produce is along the back because it’s closer to the actual cold storage. And then on the right hand side you’ve got your red wine if everyone’s happy. But yeah. So you say but you know, on a serious note, just focus on those. Foods in their natural state and don’t worry too much at the beginning, once you’ve actually made those changes and once you’ve actually gravitated towards better patterns of eating, then absolutely you can start to get more into the nuances, the specifics yourself. But that really needs to be done with a practitioner. Don’t just try and figure it out yourself. Otherwise you’ll be putting your head against the wall and see it going to see a nutritional therapist and they’ll get you in shape. But start with just starting to eat proper food.

Darren: Yeah. And I think that’s the biggest challenge, isn’t it? We love to overcomplicate what nutrition is. I mean, it doesn’t need to be complicated. And I like the fact that, you know, the ingredients are just the raw foods. And I always say that if something has gone through a food process, generally, you don’t really want to consume it. Yeah, and it’s not to demonize supermarkets or the food industry, although we could if we wanted. Oh, yeah. You know, it’s a case of they serve a purpose to get it from source to destination and they have to put stuff in it to make sure it gets there. But, you know, it’s it’s. And then on your point about diets, all the various different diets that are available, the reason that people see such a dramatic impact is, like you said, it’s the crapper now, all of the crap out. Right. And, you know, they all have their benefits and their pluses and minuses. But like you say, I don’t subscribe to this model of cutting out food groups from diet. You have to have a balanced diet. And that means all of it doesn’t mean refined carbohydrates, but it means carbohydrates. The body needs that for its energy and its muscles. And the other thing as well. And if you get to get your thoughts on this is if people assume or kind of tell themselves that they don’t have time to cook food from scratch. And I think that’s. But yes, quite frankly, because I believe what I’ve done, I do it and you can create nutritionally dense meals, you can.

Dale: And you know what? Even if you are pressed for time and it happens sometimes I’ll bet you’ve got a little bit of time on the weekends. You can batch cook, batch cooking will save your bacon, trust me. And it’s literally so if you’re cooking things like curries, stews, that kind of stuff, cook five, six times more than you normally would, and then you can get the individual little takeaway containers from the supermarket, freeze individual portions of it. If you know you could have a long day, just take one out the freezer in the morning, bang it in the fridge. Then when you get home at the end of a long day, take it out, warm it, throw open a bag of salad. Done.

Darren: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. And there is no excuse. And I think that it really helps you understand what nutrition is. Funnily enough, when you start cooking from scratch and you can create some amazing stuff like just the simple fact of getting a fish, meat, or whatever, and then just using later herbs and spices, you can create some amazing dishes. Yeah.

Dale: Yeah, totally. So it doesn’t have to be complicated. And that’s what I try to show people as often as I can. If you look at the recipes that are in my books and stuff, it ain’t Cordon Bleu. It’s just really simple, super flavorsome, very nutrition focused. Good food. Yeah. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated.

Darren: And what’s your thoughts on the way that we eat now? Because I think particularly in the UK, we’ve become the snacking culture and we’re always accessing food. I mean, before you lock down everything, you can access food 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And I just think we consume too much.

Dale: Yeah, it’s certainly easier to form bad habits these days because so much is marketed to us and we’ve always been sold this idea of convenience. We’ve always had it drummed into us that our lives are busy, even if they’re not, maybe not busy. We’re having it drummed into us that we know, we’ve got to do that on the hop, got to be on the go, go do X, Y, Z and. I think the people that market these kinds of products have played a role in that, and they feed into that and they feed into those kinds of. Insecurities and create a, you know, this environment of convenience, and that’s what we’ve been, that’s what we’ve been sold. And also, you know, just the way things are positioned in supermarkets, you know, like when you go and if you’re going to fill your car up, you go and pay for your fuel. What’s right in front of you? In the yeah. In the garage. It’s chocolate. Yeah. Yeah, it’s done for that impulse. For that low. You know, all of these things are being created, an environment that is conducive to forming bad habits. And we have to kind of purposely get ourselves out of that.

Darren: Yeah, definitely. No, I definitely agree. I think if you look at Europe, particularly in light switch countries and things like that, they still follow this model where shops shop at lunchtime and they don’t reopen until after they’ve had lunch. And so their access to food in Spain as well is not so available, like we have it here in the U.K. So I think we don’t need the car, we don’t need to keep being fed either of you any time to relax and digest like we do, right?

Dale: Yeah, yeah, it certainly does. It’s not a landfill site piling stuff in there. But, you know, well, this is another thing when you actually move it over to like a really good Whole Foods diet, you get less hungry. Yes. Because there’s much more fiber, there’s much more nutritional density. The hormonal response, you know, things like. GLP and peptide Y y are those kinds of things, these hormones that control satiety and appetite. Yeah. That whole hormonal profile changes drastically when you’re eating a Whole Foods diet than if you’re in refined rubbish. So. You don’t think about food as much because you’re not on the blood sugar roller coaster, your body’s actually been nourished in a way that. It wants to be so those signals, those constant signals, because you’ve just been conceived of empty calories all day, go away. Yeah, and that kind of thing doesn’t really show. I mean, I can seriously tell. I can’t remember the last time I just bought something like, you know, in like the local shop or whatever, that was just on a whim, you know, just grab a chocolate bar or something like that. I always have two squares of dark chocolate every day with a cup of tea. About three o’clock, orange-flavored dark chocolate. Awesome. But I mean, even still like chocolate in the house that got some Christmas. Yeah. It’s like, you know, just don’t eat much of it because, I mean, it is such dense food. I mean, you know, loads of healthy fats and high five plants and stuff like that. You just don’t think about things like that. No. So, you know, there are lots of sides to it. You have to kind of take that step to change your habits. But then also when you start eating better, it’s like a feedback loop. You don’t get the cravings as much because your body’s chemistry is starting to change.

Darren: Yeah, absolutely. No, I totally agree that I crave like the whole thing is dieting and craving becomes a non-issue because the body’s like you said, it’s got its nutrients. It doesn’t need it to crave. In the end, I think the only caveat I would say to that again is, is the psychological element. And I often speak to people. That’s how I need not just eight, nine o’clock, or just cravings. You’re not craving. You’re bored. Yeah. You’re not stimulated. And so your mind wanders and you’re thinking about what’s in the cupboard. Oh, I have that. But I can guarantee you if you drink some water or just do something stimulating, read a book, you wouldn’t be hungry.

Dale: No that’s true. That’s true. And also you touched on something really important that you think about what’s in the cupboard. If it ain’t in the cupboard, it’s not going to be on your mind. There’s nothing you don’t buy either. Don’t have it in the house.

Darren: Yeah. House it. Begin to get your thoughts on this as well. I believe that if we eat nutrient-dense, good quality food, this whole topic around it being expensive is non-existent. Again, absolutely. Because you buy less of it.

Dale: It also depends where you shop as well. I mean, look, we’re just going into series five of Eat Shop Save for ITV now. I mean, I don’t know whether you’ve seen the show, so. Yeah, but every year we’re working with families that want to save money and they’re coming into the show with the assumption that. Getting their diet sought out means they are going to be spending more money and they may slash their shopping bills in half because it’s like, OK, fair enough. If you shop at Whole Foods every day, then you’re going to spend a fortune. But you can go to places like Aldi and Little and those kinds of places and get incredible fresh produce. I mean, I probably wouldn’t go near any of the packaged stuff out package stuff anyway. But the fresh produce is great and it is priced in accordance to what that type of supermarket is, its price very, very reasonably. If you’ve got a local market, I mean, I remember I did this thing for ITV News back in. Wow. This must have been 2013. Maybe before that. You’re working with these two girls that lived in the YMCA in Croydon. And they’re combined between the two of them. Their weekly budget for food was fifteen pounds.

And they were going to Iceland buying loads of stuff, but they were running out of money or running out of food. They had no money to have any kind of social life. And, you know, they were probably like 19, you know, they were at the time. And they, you know, that that social interaction is really, really important. Their lives are just really, really miserable. And so they reached out to this segment on ITV News and said, you know, what can you do to help us, but also to help other people that are in a similar position. We’d like to put ourselves forward to see if there’s anything we can do to help others as well. And So I see, I see they sent me and we got a camera crew and all the rest of it and I sat down with them and I don’t know if you know Croyden particularly well, but there’s a massive market right in the middle of it. So much stuff that much of your food you get from the market each week. You know what the answer was? What market? And it’s just like, right, OK, this is where you’ve got to start.

Look at what’s in your local area. Is there a farm shop? Is there a weekly market in central London? I mean, I live in Cambridge. And, you know, we’ve in Cambridge City Center, there’s a daily market. And then in the small town that I’m in, there’s a weekly market. But somewhere like central London, every single day, you’ve got market sellers on the side of the street. You can buy fruit and veg on Oxford Street online from a market cellar. And you could buy like four carrier bags full of stuff and you’d struggle to spend a tenner. Yeah. You know, this stuff is so, so well priced. So you’ve got to use your loaf a little bit when you start to buy products and if you go to the real high-end places, expect to spend a lot of money as well. But if you look at what’s in your area, you can really end up saving a lot because trust me, the crack in the pocket, because of the amount of because those companies make a lot more profit, because of all the work that’s going to create something like that will be more expensive than good fresh produce every single time.

Darren: Yeah, exactly. And I think the other point, you know, comes back to your backstroking comment. You know, if you go to a market and you buy it on a Saturday or Wednesday, we have a market here. You buy a lot of fresh fruit and veg. You can batch cook later food.

Dale: That’s exactly what we did. That’s what we did on that program. We made a series of sweet potato curry that works out. Sixty two pence apportion and they we made like a big vat of it and they froze all those portions. And for the first time they didn’t run out of food. They had money in their pocket and could actually live a little bit more crazy.

Darren: Isn’t it just going back to basics like this about our grandparents and people like that? You know, just take some of that. You know, it’s all very I’m all for evolution and progression, but sometimes going back to basics just really pays dividends.

Dale: t does it massively cope.

Darren: So if we got people to listen to this, they like what we’ve been saying today. And they were at that stage in their lives where they really they haven’t had a health scare or that perhaps, you know, think looking at themselves, thinking, I need to change something here, be your top five tips and all that, you could give somebody

Dale: Top five tips first first thing like, you know, we discussed it before, change one thing at a time. Don’t try and do everything overnight. Yeah. Yeah. Because unless you’re one of those people that’s really wired that way, that’s obsessed with a challenge and all of that kind of stuff, the likelihood is you’ll fall flat on your face if you try and do too much too soon because it is such a drastic shift. And those kinds of mental triggers and, you know, emotional relationships with and all of that kind of stuff is very, very real. And that will come up and bite you in the bum if you don’t kind of do it slowly and in a sustained way. So that’s number one. The second thing is don’t. Don’t sell flagellate, don’t kind of feel that you need to just be in boreen rubbish, make sure you’re enjoying your food. If you’re not enjoying your food, you’re not going to stick to any kind of diet plan. You know, the best diet is one that you stick to. And if you build it around Whole Foods and you’re, you know, like I said before, giving your favorites a facelift, reinventing the food that you already love, then it’s going to be plain sailing, right? Yeah. Third one swap you white for brown. Now, I am quite a proponent of a lower carbohydrate diet, particularly for men our age.

Unless you’re very, very active, you don’t need a huge amount of carbohydrate. But then if you cut the carbs completely, eventually you’ll start to elevate cortisol and your testosterone levels will drop. You know, no one wants to be grumpy with a shrunken Duncan. OK, so you’ve got to get your carbs in. But the right quality ones. Yeah, I would go for things like good multigrain bread. So instead of the cheap white stuff, sweet potatoes, especially the purple ones, brown rice and pulses, things like that, but just in smaller portions. But the key message is swap the white for the brown, ditch the refined ones, white bread, white rice, white pasta, that kind of stuff, you know, do look kind of rounded in the portions of those and and build up more around good quality proteins, healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables. But do make sure there’s a little bit of carbohydrate in there. Otherwise, you know, which I think to myself, I actually put myself in a right pickle from going too low to like I used myself as a guinea pig all the time. Yeah. Going too low carb. And I was trying to do PiƱon six and a 12 k walk every day with zero carbs. And I just went into full adrenal burnout. It was very fun. Not so yeah. That’s, that’s the third one. Fourth one. Every meal I think where’s my protein.

And that’s not and that’s not about like you know, you have this much protein for muscle and it’s for the metabolic impact. Right. And it’s not, it’s not talking about protein deficiency or protein from a fitness point of view or anything like that. It’s about the metabolic impact of each meal. When you sit down each meal, make sure you’ve got the really good slow burning carbohydrate, as many non starter vegetables, though, the green leafy varieties as you could possibly cram in you and a good quality protein when you assemble a meal like that. And that protein that could be that could be meat and fish. It could be a bit of cheese. It could be tofu. It could be Tempy. You know, you don’t have to be in steak every day when you combine when you create a meal like that with that kind of combination, there’s much more fiber and it takes much longer to digest because it takes longer to digest. It takes longer to liberate the glucose from it. And that means that your blood sugar is drip fed rather than carpet-bombed. Why is that important? Right. We’ve got a couple of minutes to maybe go down the rabbit hole. Let’s go into a little bit of science. Blood sugar, blood sugar balance is the thing that creates poor metabolic health. Okay, when you eat something, if you if you eat, say, a massive bowl of pasta, just a massive bowl of white pasta with with a regular tomato sauce.

Because that takes very little digestive effort to liberate that glucose, your blood sugar will rise very, very high very, very quickly. Now, your body responds to that by releasing the hormone insulin, which binds to insulin and is set to open the doorway on the so-called glucose transporter. It’s telling the cell, look, there’s additional glucose, put it to use to make ATP adenosine triphosphate, which is the energy currency that our cells run them all well and good. But cells have a cutoff point. Yep. Now they can only take in so much glucose in one sitting. Otherwise, they run the risk of glucose toxicity, which can cause oxidative damage to genetic material. So once they’re Thul, once the cells are full, they close the door. If the doors close and blood sugar still really, really high, it still has to be dealt with. So the next thing that happens is that you start to store a little bit in the form of glycogen, which is like a storage form of glucose. But we don’t store much stored up in the skeletal muscle and in the liver. If blood glucose is still high, which it will be from that kind of food, then it still has to be dealt with. The next thing that happens is that because the cells are full, the glycogen stores are full, it gets sent to the liver and converted over into something called Triay So Glycerol, otherwise known as triglycerides.

Those triglycerides are a storage form of energy. This stuff is hardwired into our genetics. If you think about when we were, you know, wandering around the Serengeti and or in times of feast and famine times when we had abundant food and other times, maybe seasonally, where there was food that was very, very scarce. We are built to survive. We are survival machines. That’s what makes human beings so wonderful. We can adapt to survival. And this stuff is wired into us. There’s a reason that we crave sweet foods and those kinds of things. Naturally, when we were hunter-gatherers, we would crave tubers and berries and those kinds of things with their sugar content because, yes, they give you that instant energy. But also once you’ve got that heavy sugarloaf. That’s right. That trace of glycerol, those triglycerides that get manufactured are then stored in the adipose tissue. OK, so it’s a storage form, but several things start to happen. Obviously, those triglycerides have to get to the adipose tissue via the circulation. So what happens? Your cholesterol goes up, particularly LDL cholesterol, particularly small, small, dense LDL particles, which are much more atherogenic. And your triglycerides go up. They can oxidize whilst they’re in the circulatory system and cause damage to the cardiovascular system and cause damage to the blood vessel walls, and that sets the whole cascade for after aromatase plaques to form and then when they do finally get to where they go in.

They fill the fat cells up. Now you can start to see how all of these things are linked together, right? If you eat it in a way that is constantly and the thing is we’re not we’re not about vilifying individual foods. It’s not saying if you eat white pasta once in a while, you’re going to drop dead of a heart attack. You’re not at all. The point is patterns of consumption is what creates the issue. OK, so a lot of people might have a bowl of cereal on a slice of toast for breakfast. They might have a sandwich, a packet, Chris, for lunch. They might have pasta, potatoes or whatever in the evening. Not vilifying any individual one of those foods, but that pattern of consumption, that much-refined carbohydrate, is pushing blood sugar up beyond the level that it can adequately deal with. So you’re constantly forcing these metabolic events to occur. And if this is happening day in, day out, day in, day out, that’s what’s destroying your metabolic health. And also, if your blood sugar keeps going up and you keep getting these insulin spikes, eventually the insulin receptor, it’ll be like the boy that cries well with the insulin receptor will be like insulin is lost.

It’s shit. I don’t know. What’s that? What’s going on? There’s no way that we need that much insulin, so I’m going to ignore it. Yeah, the receptors become deaf to the insulin signal and that’s when you move into insulin resistance. And then that takes even longer for blood sugar to be dealt with. And that’s when you start to get glucose toxicity to the pancreas and that’s when you move into the zones of Type two diabetes. So poor blood sugar control can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. It can make you put on weight, particularly around the abdomen, and it increases your risk of type two diabetes. All of these things that are the signs of poor metabolic health, but something as simple as one wrong in your your your carbohydrates in a little bit and favor protein, healthy fats and non starchy vegetables over excessive amounts of carbohydrates and oxygen for the very high fiber varieties, always making sure there’s good quality, carbs, protein and non starter veg each meal. You’re completely changing the entire response because these things take much longer to digest. There’s much more fiber there. It takes longer to liberate that energy, which means that the blood sugar is just drip fed in little bits rather than that massive tsunami that comes in from the things that take no digestive effort at all. And that whole response is beautiful. You just get a gentle rise in insulin.

Those doorways open, that glucose will go in, be turned into ATP. And you find from one level you’ll find that your energy levels are just more even if you’re more balanced throughout the day. But what’s happening at a metabolic level is profound. You’re reducing your risk of so many things just by making that small change. OK? And another thing, when insulin is really, really high, the fat stays locked in there. It’s only when insulin comes right down, i.e. we times are feast or famine during the famine. Eventually insulin starts to go down so that the adipocytes open up and the triglycerides can be released and turned into ketone bodies, which is another energy source the body can use to make ATP. So there we go. That number for I think it is number four then. Then number five. So at number five, I think really just consistency, you know what, yeah, I don’t think that, you know, if you have one night out or if you have a takeaway once a week or whatever, that it’s going to undo all the good work. You can’t undo the good work. Your health outcomes are the result of what you do with the most consistency. So if it’s takeaways every night, shitfaced every night, then that’s where you’re going you’re going to head up in one direction. If you know, five days a week, you’re really, really healthy and you’re really, really active.

And you just chill out a little bit at the weekends, then you’re going to end up in a very different place. You know, you’re going to have much better health outcomes. And that was much better for your mental health as well. So, you know, if you’re too obsessive with it and I’ve been there in the early days of being into this, I did almost get to that kind of ortho Rexach point where I was just so obsessed with everything and how healthy everything was. You know, trust me, nobody wanted to go out for dinner with me or whatever, and I will shut up. But for mental health, it’s not that great. And I’m much more relaxed about it now. It’s better that it’s more sustainable. This is to do that. And you know what life is for living as well. And there is a lot of joy in chilling out with the takeaway binge on a box that there’s you know, there’s although I think everyone’s fed up with watching by the box because it’s pretty locked indoors. But, you know, I mean, it’s good to have that balance. You know, you have to feed the soul as well, and you have to nourish the soul as well. And if you neglect that in the name of moving towards better health, then you’ve completely missed the point.

Darren: Yeah, definitely. Oh, no, I completely agree on your last point, because you know how communities are built on sharing food and, you know, having that community connection, which we don’t have right now. So I yeah, I definitely agree with having a better balance. I have been exactly where you are. My kids have moaned at me because we spent two hours going around the supermarket because I read. Can you just finish what you’re doing and get out? Yeah, yeah, yeah. So we can I think men also can get really obsessive around it when you

Dale: When you get with these. How driven. That’s, that’s how we’re wired. Mhm.

Darren: Yeah. So no that’s amazing. Thank you very much for coming on the podcast again today. Sopan, what’s happening with you right now. What have you got going on?

Dale: Book signings and like on and there is another book later in the year. But the main thing is I will be coming up in two years. In June, I set up an online nutrition school and it’s become the most highly accredited. Online nutrition school in the world, so it’s got more international, it’s got international accreditation, so it’s not just accredited in the U.K. it’s accredited in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, America, Canada, most of Asia, most of the EU. You know, you could use this qualification pretty much everywhere. And yeah, it’s but it’s basically for people that really want to study nutrition to a high level, don’t necessarily want to do a degree or they don’t necessarily want to be a nutrition practitioner. They just want to use nutrition in their business. So we’ve got a lot of health coaches, lots of personal trainers, quite a lot of doctors actually. And health care professionals are doing it because they want to add on the nutrition as that little, you know, a key part of what they’re doing but don’t necessarily want to do the full, like four years at university. And, yeah, it’s growing at an incredible rate. There’s students on every continent. I think the only continent I haven’t got students on is Antarctica.

But I’m working on it. And yeah, it’s great. It’s just a really great community of students and seeing how they’re actually using the call it the qualification. You know, someone just sent me a really exciting email a couple of days ago that they’re now doing stuff with. I think it’s like Sheffield City Council doing workshops for kids when lockdown’s over and I actually building healthier workshops for kids and stuff like that. And it’s like, how incredible is that for you to be able to give people the tools where they can do that? They can make a good living and they can help transform the lives of others at the same time. So that’s been really cool. What else? Yeah, I’m just working on a new course. I’m going to be launching later this year. So I’ve just been sitting in that little chair behind me with all my lights and I’m talking to the camera day in, day out and creating content for that. And yeah, just just take it along and try and try and stay focused, but then also enjoy a bit of down downtime as well. I mean, it was good in the summer to go fishing and to spend like, you know, days in a bivy.

But it’s the minute we can’t even do that but try and try to enjoy some of the downtime as well. And now I don’t know about you. Right. But I always feel guilty when I’m rested. Yeah. Yeah. Especially when you run a business and especially when you know and trust me when your business starts getting successful. There’s a lot of fires to fight, there’s a lot of stuff to manage day in, day out, and I always feel like I have to be doing something. And if I’m sitting there, like watching the TV, I think you could be great and that you could be writing this article. You could do this. But it’s been drummed into us, isn’t it? One of the things I’m trying to focus on is like having down days. Yeah, well, that’s exactly what I’m going to do for the rest of the day. I’m going to bugger all today. Yeah. I literally just like, you know, the problem, Mickey Flanagan, bugger all was like just to sell this over, over, watch TV and just recharge the batteries because I’ve spent all week at this desk creating content. Right. And doing all that kind of stuff. So yeah. That’s, that’s the best idea.

Darren: Yeah. No I completely agree is the down time I had a day off in the week and like you supposed to be spending it with the kids. I’m sitting down. Thinking I could be reading a book. Now hang on to me. Just back off a bit and time with the kids. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Completely. But yeah. Thanks very much for coming on. Thanks for having me. And if people want to check you out on Instagram, the website, the culinary medicine course.

Dale: Yes. So Instagram, it’s just @themedicinalchef, website, www.dalepinnock.com and the course is if you just look for the culinary medicine college or if you go onto my website or on my Instagram, there’s links to the pages for the course on there anyway. So you’ll be able to find it through any of my channels,

Darren: Get stuff like that. Thanks very much for coming on again and look forward to speaking to you again.

Dale: Same excellent! Speak to you soon.

Darren: Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please hit subscribe and I would really appreciate it if you could leave a review on iTunes. All the things mentioned in the episode will be in the show night and a full transcription is over at fitterhealthierdad.com