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In this episode, you’ll discover…

  • How you can “reverse” your body’s deterioration and live a life full of energy well into old age! (5:32)
  • The most harmful ingredient you probably eat every day–it’s in everything from candy to bread. (9:54)
  • Tired of starting and quitting diets? Here’s how to make eating healthy nearly effortless by doing something that has little to do with eating! (13:24)
  • Why you should constantly change your mind on fitness and health. (21:08)
  • How high-performance sports can stress you out and negate the benefits of exercise. (25:18)

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Getting to the bottom of what's truly healthy in this crazy complex world so you can take back what is rightfully yours. Welcome to the health sovereign podcast. This is your host Logan Christopher.

Logan : 00:19 Peter Ragnar has been a huge influence on me. Yes, I've learned many tactical things, but that's not the main point for years. Now, I've looked to him as a model of what health can be an inspiration to contrast against that culturally enforced image of the frail elderly that shuffles around, forgets things too often while being propped up on pharmaceuticals, and it's not just physical health, but all over holistic lifestyle. He's an author of over 30 books martial artists, amazingly strong and not just for his age, teacher of cheekbone, extremely lucky and much more. Thank you so much for joining me and being the first guest on the health sovereign podcast. Peter, it's good to talk to you again.

Peter: 00:57 Wow. It's always good to be with you Logan, and I greatly appreciate all that you've been doing and we appreciate this opportunity to be with you.

Logan: 01:05 Excellent. So in line with what I just said, I'm kind of curious, who were some of the models for health for you? Who did you look to that kind of led you down this path?

Peter: 01:16 Oh goodness. That goes back a long way. You know, when I was in my late teens and early twenties, especially in my late teens, I had volunteered to help out in the, some of the communities found in the Appalachian and the Southern mountain areas. And when I went down there, I got a room with a room in a house that and they'll do a woman had. And she was about 80 years old at the time when I met her and she started talking to me about health and proper eating. She had an organic garden behind your house and she said creepier. And this was the first day I was there. I had, I've put my belongings in the bedroom there and she's going outside. She had an Apple tree out there and she went out there and she said, so Peter, can you do this?

Peter: 02:11 She jumped up into the Apple crate. She's hanging there. And swinging upside and swings herself upside down. And I'm saying, Holy cow. And then she showed me how she did the head stance. She says that's what queen ribbon does. And I said, okay, I'm all ears. So she knows one of my early models for health and fitness. And about that time I started to read a lot of the work of Bernard McFadden who I gather inspired Jack Lane and many, many other people. And so that pretty much started me off. So you know, looking at diet, exercise, looking at it as a, as a coastal package. And it was a pretty exciting time in my life. All of this stuff was brand new and I was just hungry to learn.

Logan: 03:03 [Inaudible] And Bernard McFadden, definitely a very interesting character. And one of his nicknames was the father of physical culture because he was like one of the first guy that really got into publishing and putting out health information out there. And one of my favorite quotes from him is a weakness is a crime. Don't be a criminal.

Peter: 03:24 That was one of mine also actually still is.

Logan: 03:28 Yup. So that's a very good point. I feel like, I mean what I said in the intro there, there's just, most people think that, Oh, you know, once you're 80 years old, you know, life kind of sucks and this is I guess just kind of like a reinforced thing over time because so many people believe that they end up living that or not even getting to that age in the first place. Whereas people tend to not look to people like you and like this woman was for you in turn to actually see that you can be any age and still be thriving.

Peter: 03:58 Yeah. In our society right now, when you start looking at some of the statistics about health and aging, one of the big challenges for older people, the sarcopenia, which may sickly means muscle wasting. It's a Sarco referring to cell and Pena referring to poverty, the poverty of the cells or the poverty of the muscle. And what happens by the age of 70 and seventies not old. Most people lose 50% of their motor units and 75% of their fiber numbers and basically the end up shrinking the muscle strength. But what people don't realize is that when they're not fit, when they don't have that muscle mass, something else starts taking place and that starts taking place in the brain. The way the body handles glucose, weight feeds, energy trigger brain, even bone structure without stressing the body, the bones get thinner and this thing is just a really a vicious cycle.

Peter: 05:06 I mean the brain loses its glucose, it doesn't handle it well. The neurotransmitters don't fire as they ought to and this excess calcium building up in the brain, which basically now is suspected that fall contributing to Alzeimer’s disease and just general dementia. Yeah, that's a pretty grim outlook. But the good news is, and this is what I've found in my personal life, is that you turn it around at any age and the body begins to respond unless you are wait til you just on that storeway when you hear people who are, are they, you know, this is just like the 80 year old woman that I knew. Did you take Bernard McFadden or other examples? I get inspired by them. You know what? We get inspired by them and start to do something, we get up out of our sedentary lifestyle and get motivated.

Logan: 05:58 Absolutely. And there's so much wisdom behind the phrase, use it or lose it. And one way I like to think of that even more so is use it and expand it. So what you're saying with the muscles in osteoporosis as an especially big thing for women, but same sort of thing, the bones and the muscles are not being challenged and therefore the body sees no need to kind of keep those around. So they begin to just kind of deteriorate. But if you use them through strength training and even just simple things like walking, then just how much this affects the body and keeps you not only able to maintain, but you can get better as you were saying at any age.

Peter: 06:37 Yeah, exactly. And it's interesting because if we don't do anything, if we ignore it, we don't realize how this creeps up on us. Muscle loss, actually according to what I've read in a lot of the studies begins around 30 years of age. And I think that's why a lot of times athletes, people who are competitive athletes feel that they have a short window to really Excel it, which is really not true. So you can Excel at older ages too and many, many athletic examples you can find to that. But when we start losing muscle mass at about 1% a year at the age of 30 and then when we get to the hour around 50 then it becomes 2% or 3% and then during that same period people experience bone loss and all of this affects the immune system. That's why there's so many of noon deficiency diseases. The insulin is out of whack, blood sugars out of whack and the increases in type two diabetes. All of these things are all coming back to what you just said a moment ago, Logan, you use it or you lose it, you lose it if you don't use it.

Logan: 07:55 Yeah. One of the phrases I got from you, and I'd definitely think about this fairly frequently because I think it is super important to grasp around health, but it's outside of the conventional worldview, is that time is not toxic. It really is a great phrase because the time is not the problem so much. But here's the thing, what you were just talking about. We're at 30 years old, plus you're losing 1% muscle mass, 50 years plus these things. Yeah. They're occurring in most people. Right? But it's not the time itself that's doing it. So could you go and explain a bit more of this phrase, what it means and also even how did you come to this wisdom?

Peter: 08:35 Yeah. When we think of time in most of the ways that aging is presented, it's presented as a disease and something that accumulates from year to year. Well, if something is falling apart, if you have a car and you never service it, you take care of that. You never watch fight. Just the laws of nature, it's going to fall apart when it has nothing actually to do with time. It has everything to do with neglect and it's not time. It's not noticing. And time is irrelevant. This physical body, it's self healing, self generating, self restoring at any age. You take a cut. If you're nine years old and you have a cute, you're 90 years old and you have the same bodily function takes place. The body doesn't need any new information as to how to heal itself. But if we interfere with that process, and this is what happens in our society, if we interfere with it, poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of rest, all these things come together and they basically destroy the machine.

Peter: 09:46 And one of the things I came across a just recently, it was a study actually presented by the USTA and they said that the turn of the last century 1900, the average annual sugar consumption per person or a year was five pounds. In 2017 it was 190 pounds per person of sugar. And now we know that sugar is basically, it's a deadly poison to the body. We have a epidemic of Alzeimer’s disease and other diseases. And diabetes you can go down the list and so much of all of this is that would become insulin resistant. That and I, we're down a whole litany of woes associated with this and this is just one thing. This is just one thing. So bringing awareness to this, bringing awareness back to health, bringing awareness back to natural living, just like what you've been doing. Oh, Logan, with the herbs, with your write your personal examples of awesome strength that you display. All these things are exciting. They excite me. You inspire me. And this is I think one of the doorways where we can get beyond this concept, this self fulfilling prophecy, that time is toxic, not toxic at all. It's thinking that's toxic,

Logan: 11:19 Right? Yeah. And it's dumping 190 pounds of sugar into your body per year. That results in the symptoms related to that toxicity. That's

Peter: 11:30 One of the interesting things is that exercise, when we feel good, when we've been eating right, we feel like exercising. When we exercise, it affects even how the proteins are made in the brain. And it allows new cell growth in the hippocampus, the learning and memory center of the brain. It keeps us mentally sharp. And when we're mentally sharp, we want to do things. We get excited every day we get up out of bed, I'm ready to go. You know, it's like this morning I got up, I couldn't wait to get to the gym. And I'm just really, really excited about my workout. And after that I went and stood under a cold shower and laughing to myself. I don't, they make the shower even cold though. I said it came out of their euphoric and the endorphins you know, that feel good energy that you had. You're alive. And it's one of the things I love to say. I'm alive. I'm awake, and I feel great.

Logan: 12:41 And one of the ways I like to think about health is all these behaviors, diet, exercise, even your mindset, your beliefs and everything. They're all interacting with each other and this is where that time component comes in, but it's if you're doing the right things then you're kind of increasing your health as you go along. And I think of this as kind of a spiral because you're going through routines and everything, but if you are doing things that are not so good for your health, like over consumption of sugar, like being sedentary, then you're on the downward spiral of health and these things just come to reinforce each other to where it becomes harder and harder to get out of that sort of slump. What you mentioned with the exercise there, I found that interesting when I was doing some research around habits. They said that people that exercise tend to have an easier time eating healthier, but it wasn't the same vice versa. Like the exercise led more to the eating better compared to people that just tried to eat well. They didn't necessarily have the motivation to exercise necessarily. So I think that's also important to recognize how, what they called their, the Keystone habits, how these things all interact with each other in different ways.

Peter: 13:52 Yeah, that's a very, very good point. Logan, if you're eating poorly you don't feel like doing anything inside and especially you're overeating, people get sluggish, sleepy, and everything starts basically shutting down. That's why I love stuff that you present and even though the information you put in your recent book, you know, it's a call back to nature, all back to natural living. And no, I think we've gotten so far away from that. That's why we're generation the or society that is played by illness. It's exciting to see what you're doing. I love all of the, the different herbs that you're taking. By the way, I was just thinking about this this morning I was taking some core Copa and I was holding it under my tongue as I usually do. And I was thinking, you know, some of the ancient yogis would take Bacopa and they would do the same thing and their ability, their mental abilities to remember verbatim pages and pages of ancient texts. And we site them. They could be to, to impart to that in part working with the mind, working with your consciousness. But we have so many tools now and you bring so much to light of, so many opportunities to really delve into studying about this and saying, what do I need in my life? What do I want in my life to make it better? So I really appreciate you for that.

Logan: 15:25 Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. I feel it's certainly more natural life or recognizing that we are natural beings and the further we try to move ourselves away, and I understand the reasoning of how we got down this path in the first place, but recognizing that anything we do, there tends to be downsides too. And especially kind of longer term chronic things that aren't as noticeable right away. So I feel by bringing us more in alignment to nature that people will be better served in their health. And performance. And I mean you exemplify this, you are spending time in nature every single day. It's really built into your routine, right?

Peter: 16:00 Yeah. I really love it. I was thinking about to Logan, we just got back from Finland and we had gone up to the Arctic and up there, there are so many different wild berries that it's so abundant. And I was thinking about the Arctic very Sigfox or just Sandra Rhodiola, you know, all of these things readily available and you come back into a society that doesn't know very much about these things and you see tooth decay, senility, joint pains and the very things that these berries are good for. And I said, Holy cow, I do want to lay down in the Tundra of Rove around.

Logan: 16:46 Yeah, we do really have such abundance around us. And it's lack of knowledge and awareness that just makes people oblivious to, and it's, it's somewhat of a difficult thing to get into if you don't have a mentor or certain assets especially cause different things grow in different places. So you may hear about these great, wonderful herbs like Rhodiola and sea buckthorn. And if you don't live where those grow, then you think, Oh, all the magic is stuff is away from me. But truthfully, every single place in the world has their own herbs that can work for so many different things. It's just you gotta learn that local landscape.

Peter: 17:22 Yeah, you know, many, many years ago, it was a, after I met that 80 year old woman I came onto someone else. This guy's name was catfish, man of woods, and there's a guy he's lived in way out and unbelievable brutal place on a sort of trail at little shack. And in his shack, the walls were covered with letters from people around the world. And the reason they wrote to him is that he was picked herbs and he came across a recipe from a Cherokee medicine man. And he started putting those herbs together and giving them to people and people getting well. And so he then started collecting more of them, packaging them up. Just funny because I would spend time with them, I would go out there and he'd show me the herbs that he was picked and it was interesting how this guy never ever suspect he had anything going for him, but he had this marvelous secret of nature's bounty and nature's medicine and he ended up become actually quite famous and it said that the queen of England actually went to visit him at one point and that was in the newspapers many, many years ago, but it was just interesting, he was another one of my mentors, he's the one that got me excited about herbology and subsequently years later when I wrote the book alive and well with wild foods, a lot of that inspiration came to him.

Peter: 18:58 Yeah, I'd say that's probably one of the, the main things for me that helps me to get out into nature more like it's fun to just go for a walk. Certainly do that plenty, but I like going to new places and saying, Oh, what new herbs do I spot here? And going out and harvesting some or even foraging for food. I feel these are, it's kind of like a, you accomplish something out of going into nature beyond just going out in nature. So I think that's a helpful practice that I feel probably more and more people are going to be getting into just because it does rebuild that connection to nature. It rebuilds that knowledge base of useful things that are just growing up all around us.

Peter: 19:37 Yeah, and it's interesting just like you said, you can go to one locale and find an entirely different group of edible plants and herbs. You go 50 miles away and it's almost like you'd have to be reeducated again. When I was living in the Smokies, there was so much there that I never ever got to learn it all. And it's interesting when I, after I moved from there, I'm still out in the country. I have to re-educate myself all over again because all of a sudden that found under so miles away a whole new assortment of herbs and wild edibles. And that's a, it's fascinating. So no matter where we are, whether we go to the jungles of the Amazon or go to the Arctic, it's a whole book of nature ready to be read.

Logan: 20:27 Absolutely. One thing I'd like to discuss with you, you having been around quite some time and witnessed health fads come and go, possibly even got wrapped up in certain things yourself. I'm curious when we're looking at health, how have you kind of evolved in how you're looking at health? For instance, just in fitness, right? If I'm remembering you were engaged in marathons at one point, then you got heavily into the strongman stuff then and steel and everything. Last time I talked to you have very focused on the power lifting, so obviously you've tried lots of different things, but yeah, just interested on your perspective of how everything evolves or how your mind may even change around some things around health.

Peter: 21:08 Oh definitely. And you know, if you think you know her at all, it's always something new, a new way, a new approach and dietary wise, even my ya exercise approach, so many things have changed. Well, let's put it this way. If manmade, the food in a plant don't need it. But if you find it in a plant and that whole food approach don't eat anything that I don't know what it is or where it came from. And generally most of the food that my wife Katrina and I, we know who grew it, we know where it came from and that's been very, very helpful. So it's a very holistic approach. And as far as exercise at one time I was a very avid runner and there was a period of time where I was running a hundred miles a week. I was 20 miles a day, five days a week.

Peter: 22:12 Well, it's interesting just prior to that I had been very much into heavy lifting and I had hoped up and you know, still pretty good. And then during the time over a period of time as I ran, I got thinner and thinner and thinner. And one day I bumped into someone I knew I hadn't seen for about a year or so. And he said, Holy shit, Peter, what happened to you? Have you been in the hospital or something? He said, you were ripped and muscular and muscular and he said, what happened? And as well I had been running and he said he just shook his head, basically said disgusting.

Peter: 22:58 Then you know, I said, Whoa, you know it's good for you. Well, I remember being in one race and in this race I ran alongside a Dr. George Shehan, he was very famous. He wrote a lot of books about running. After the race was over, I met up with him and we were talking and he says, you want to know what you're going to look like in 20 years? I said, okay, George. Yeah. He said, look at your face and the mirror after you've run a marathon. And I thought to myself, Holy cow. Then I started to know this, that the people that I would regularly compete with in these road races, they just looked like they were getting old and I said, Holy cow, they're aging growing rapidly now. This is my impression, and I know people will just agree with with that. Cause I, and I don't mean to be a derogatory toward the sport, but for me I think it's too much. I'm burning myself out and I'm a person who tends to go overboard. If I love something, I do it all the way. If I don't, I don't do it at all. And because of that attitude, because of the intensity, I started having knee problems, my back started hurting and I said, Oh, I gotta do something different. I went back to the weights. I did body weight exercises too and I just started building my body back up again and haven't stopped.

Logan: 24:28 Yeah, I think it's important to understand that distinction is since marathon runners are still largely seen as the epitome of health. I know this was true back a couple of decades ago and it's probably losing its focus a little bit, but it's still, many people believe that and certainly better to be a marathon runner over just sedentary completely, but also recognizing the distinction between doing it for fun or because you're actively engaged in the sport and versus what is actually healthy is to do. I think any sport where we take to the extremes like extreme power lifters or CrossFit athletes, like at that level, fitness, maybe slightly divorced from health in what people are going to. So I think that's an important thing to recognize.

Peter: 25:09 Yeah, man, you made a good point there Logan. When you're competing at a high level on the sport, your cortisol levels or Jack gum, you're dealing with a lot of extra stressors that ordinarily you wouldn't be. And all those types of stressors negate the benefits of the activity. You know, where it may be beneficial on a moderate level. At an extreme level, it stops being that way. And that was my experience because I was extreme in it and I was a very competitive, and, I liked the competitiveness, I liked pushing myself to the limits. But you can only do that so much. And so the lesson for me was to back off, take another approach because I really didn't want to look that skinny.

Peter: 26:01 I didn't want to lose my strength. And so I went and worked on regaining it. I said, okay, what are the things that I need to do to regain it? Well, I need to have plenty of rest. My body needs to recuperate from the stress that I put on it. I need clean air, right? Oh, clean water, good organic food, need to be sensible about it and being sensible about it gives you the longevity. Athletically. Today I'm still performing at a very high caliber level and I feel good about that because I've been able to maintain it and it's that moderation. No, we're more of a balance.

Peter: 26:44 Hope my wife's doesn’t hear me. You know what I'm saying? Yeah, absolutely.

Logan: And this concludes part one of my interview with Peter Ragner. About time is not toxic. Next week we will be back with part two, the final part and conclude this conversation. So stay tuned.

In the meantime, be sure to share this podcast with your friends or head on over to iTunes and leave a review. It would greatly help me out and also be sure to check out lost empire herbs. Peter is a big fan. I, of course, being an owner, I'm a big fan, but we started the company to really help people in the first place, as well as from their own supply. So we have some great stuff over there, great information, all in alignment with what we're sharing here today. I'll see you next week.

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