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Biohacker Jaakko Halmetoja: These Aren’t Your Average SuperFoods

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“It's so fun to kind of rediscover things that are already around us, but nobody sees the value of them.”
— Jaakko Halmetoja

Greetings, SuperFriends!

Today, we welcome nutrition expert and public speaker Jaakko Halmetoja to the show. Jaakko is the host of InspiRadio Podcast and has spent the last few years popularizing unique uses of foods like chaga mushroom, chocolate, wild foods, berries, and medicinal herbs. He’s also the author of two books, including The BioHacker’s Handbook.

My goal for this episode was to go a bit wider with nutrition – far beyond the topic of paleo that we’ve covered before. I wanted to discover unique foods, unusual findings, and surprising takeaways.

In this episode, we talk about a wide variety of health and biohacking topics – from superfoods to unusual supplements and different ways to hack your body and mind. I really enjoyed his very holistic approach to nutrition and nutrients, which is so much less rigid and pinpointed than that of so many experts out there. My big takeaway from this episode was that it’s more about the big picture – the overall lifestyle and mosaic of what you eat and how you live, than it is about adding one specific compound, nutrient, or behavior into your regimen.

 

This episode is brought to you by my new online course, Become a SuperHuman. Click this link for a special discount!

This episode is brought to you by my new online course, Become a SuperHuman. Click this link for a special discount!

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Who is Jaakko Halmetoja, and how did he come to be an expert in the field of biohacking?
  • What is Jaakko's diet and nutrition regimen? What does he eat that's unique?
  • The Chaga Mushroom – what's the big deal, and how does it work?
  • A surprising lesson about plant medicines, and why age matters
  • Why are mushrooms such incredibly effective medicines for immunity, wellness, and more?
  • How does Jaakko Halmetoja recommend consuming fungal medicines?
  • What other “superfoods” has Jaakko discovered and researched?
  • The importance of consuming fermented foods as a part of your diet
  • How does chocolate rank as a superfood, and what do you need to know about selecting it?
  • How does Jaakko Halmetoja feel about the word “superfood?” How about “organic?”
  • Recommendations for improving your day-to-day consumption of nutrient-dense foods
  • A discussion of domesticated plants, the supermarket culture, and some of it's dangers
  • The difference between your body and a test tube
  • What is The BioHacker's Handbook?
  • Why has Finland become such a hotspot for biohacking?
  • What are the top 2-3 bio hacks that Jaakko Halmetoja has done to his body?
  • Who else in the industry does Jaakko look up to?
  • What habits does Jaakko use to be more effective, and what is his “playbook of life?”
  • What is the best $100 that he has ever spent on his health (surprising)
  •  A discussion of listening as perhaps the most important skill
  • A very valuable takeaway message for the end of the episode!

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from Jaakko Halmetoja:

“What was the most fascinating thing for me was not just the performance enhancement, but also how profoundly it affected my emotions and mental state, and just the overall clarity. After that, I pretty much just went crazy.”
“Man… you know your stuff!”
“I like to say that it's kind of a feeding protein… to your immune system.”
“Annual plants produce chemistry… but… they're not as professional as plants that grow for decades, or trees, or mushrooms… in the case of Chaga, it can be 30 years old.”
“Every time I go to the Amazon… most of the plant medicines that the shamans use come from the tree barks.”
“I'm big on bacteria.”
“Chocolate, in general, is a good way to get people's attention – and then teach people all the agriculture around that space.”
“Some foods have more nutritional value per gram than others.”
“For me, the superfood space is a good insurance policy.”
“All of these things work in kinds of chain reactions. So it's very different what's happening in the body than what's happening in the test tube.”
“When you get more aware of the kind of mental models – how you approach things – you get a glimpse of how your brain works in very different occasions… and that's been cornerstone of what I do in terms of meditation.”

Transcript:

Introduction: Welcome to the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast. Where we interview extraordinary people to bring you the skills and strategies to overcome the impossible. And now here's your host, Jonathan Levi.

Jonathan Levi: Before we get started, I just want to let you guys know that this week's episode is brought to you by my new online course, Become A SuperHuman. And yes, it sounds exactly like the title of the podcast, but this is actually an online course where we go into the various aspects of improving your health.

Specifically your endocrine health. More specifically, yes, more specifically getting your testosterone up to the optimal levels. Now whether you're a male or a female, as we've learned in numerous episodes of the show, testosterone is the ultimate feel-good motivation, improved health, improved fitness, improved body composition super drug.

Okay, so everything from your mood to your recovery time and everything in between is affected by your body's endocrine health. And what my team and I have done is we've actually taken years of my own self-experimentation, years of research. Every possible literature and study we could find, and we've condensed it into a simple three to four-hour program that you can follow along and make simple, safe, and easy adjustments to your lifestyle to improve your endocrine health. Now, as listeners of this podcast, you can get a very special discount by visiting jle.vi/t. That's JLE.VI, just like my name slash T for testosterone.

Well, hello, SuperFriends and welcome to today's show. You guys today, we welcome nutrition experts and public speaker. I'm going to try and get this one, right Jaakko Halmetoja to the show.

Jaakko is the host of the InspiRadio podcast and has spent the last few years popularizing some very unique uses of unusual foods like Chaga mushroom chocolate, wild foods, berries, and medicinal herbs. You probably don't eat on a regular basis. He's also the author of two books, including one enticingly titled The BioHackers Handbook.

So my goal for this episode was to get a bit wider with nutrition, but also to go far beyond the topic of paleo that we've covered before. As you guys probably detected, I've gotten really interested in the biohacking space. And so I wanted to discover unique foods, unusual findings, surprising takeaways, not just in nutrition, but also in biohacking, and different kinds of unique things that you can do to eat more performance out of your body. So in the episode, we do talk about a wide variety of health and biohacking topics. We talk superfoods, we talk unusual supplements, different ways to hack your body and mind. Honestly, I really enjoyed Jaakko's very holistic approach to nutrition and nutrients.

It's so much less rigid and pinpointed than so many of the experts out there. And that was really my biggest takeaway from the episode is that it's really about this big picture, the overall lifestyle, the overall combination of things you're eating and when you're eating them, how you're eating them.

Much more than it is about very specific compounds or nutrients or behaviors. And I think that's a lesson that we can all stand to take out of this episode. By the way, if you guys do enjoy the episode, I want to let you guys know about the episode's sponsor, which is Four Sigmatic Foods. Now you'll see the Jaakkoactually mentions FourSigmatic and they're wonderful products throughout the course of the episode.

And I also mentioned that you guys can get a 15% discount by visiting our website or just going to the quick short link  jle.vi/mushrooms and then use the coupon code superhuman at checkout. It's the easiest way, fastest way to consume these healthful and health-promoting mushroom products that Jaakko is so adamant about and so excited about.

Now, without any further ado, guys, let me present to you. I'm going to try to get this one right again, Mr. Jaakko Halmetoja.

Jaakko, welcome to the show, my friend, how are you doing today?

Jaako Halmetoja: I'm doing awesome. Just found a peaceful space here in Oracle where I'm right now, we have a big expo coming up this week and then a lot of balls in the air, but, uh, nice spot to have an interview. So thanks for that.

Jonathan Levi: Brilliant. I really appreciate you making the time. I understand that you've actually listened to the show before, so that's pretty exciting for us.

Jaako Halmetoja: Yeah, definitely. I pretty much tried to keep up with all the new inspirational and good convent podcasts. That's just one of the cornerstones of my own, you know, learning. And, uh, how long have you been doing this podcast?

Jonathan Levi: Two years.

Jaako Halmetoja:  Two years. Yeah, I think it was pretty early on. I don't remember who you were interviewing, but I, I picked it up from Google alerts or something like that.

Jonathan Levi: Yes. Amazing. So Jaakko tell us a bit about yourself and how it is that you came to be where you are and doing what you are today?

Jaako Halmetoja: Okay. I think that, um, kind of a short version is that first of all, both of my parents are PEs and I've been raised, you know, at the sports institutes and places like that.

And I've been into athletics my whole life in 2007, I got out from the special forces. I was a paratrooper for a year there and, um, quite a bit of training in martial arts space. In 2008, I think I won finished championships in submission wrestling. So, I've been in that, that world, most of my life. And, um, around that time I met a very interesting guy who basically had, um, pretty hard MS and he had to, you know, figure out all the alternatives and stuff like that.

And we were having a conversation. Uh, I found it very fascinating. He was talking about all these superfoods and herbs and stuff that you don't really hear in more kind of a and swelled. So we did a little, okay. Asked with some of my athletic friends.

Some of them were like Olympic-level athletes. And what was the most fascinating thing for me was not just the performance enhancement, but also how profoundly affected my emotions and mental state. Then just the overall clarity. And after that, I just went pretty much crazy. Like, what are the mechanics behind this?

And, uh, during the first year after that, I read over a hundred books on nutrition and just, you know, started the company. And, uh, I've been an entrepreneur since I was 20. And, uh, that's been just hacking my role in that space, but a kind of inner transformation, how clear and good you can actually feel all the time.

That pretty much changed the game.

Jonathan Levi: Incredible. I didn't realize you were such an avid reader. We'll have to touch on that a little bit.

Jaako Halmetoja: Not anymore that much, but at that time, that was a big part. Yeah. Wow.

Jonathan Levi: Incredible. And so Jaakko, I want to get a better understanding. What is it that you're doing today? I understand you're doing a lot of speaking. You're writing books, but kind of, how would you describe your job or function?

Jaako Halmetoja: Well, I'm pretty much-selling information in a way of kind of edutainment. So I keep a lot of speaks, keynotes presentations, and just tried to teach people ways of approaching health in more fun and manageable way. Other than that, I consult companies.

So I work as a product envelope manager or advisor for several different companies. Mostly in space of biohacking or superfoods or those types of things. And, uh, yeah, those are the main things that I'm focusing on right now. And of course, fighting comes along and podcasting and all the info business, but yeah.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. Okay. So it really a Jack of all trades in the biohacking nutrition and kind of wellness space. Yeah. So let's get the obvious question out of the way. So we can dive into kind of some of this stuff that a year or more known for and is kind of more unique and original. Tell us about your diet and nutrition regimen.

Jaako Halmetoja: Yeah, I think, um, before that actually I was following paleo approach. We were having quite a few and then they guys, you know, like a decade ago, pretty deep into that. And, um, I think, you know, I stumbled across Mark Sisson'sword and all those key paleo books, Western prize, all that. And that worked really well when I was doing athletics more.

But after that, as I said, I dig deeper into kind of a health and wellness space. And ever since it's been more or less, you know, plants and fungi and just different kingdoms. And, you know, I do pretty high herbal approach these days. So I don't really think about like macronutrients or any of that, but I tried to play around more with the kind of novel chemistry that is present in wild plants and herbs and stuff like that.

So I would say that today I do kind of high superfoods, super herb,  or kind of, uh, uh, approach. And of course, I eat from all the kingdoms, whether it was you know, animals or bacteria, fungi, insects, all of that. So pretty much steel onto a road to kind of wide enough the portfolio, what we can eat, what we can play around, and how they fit into an overall protocol.

But it's a very hard to describe because it changes so much.

 I like that.

Jonathan Levi: And I do hear some similarities between you and your countrymen and I guess colleague Taro who we had on the show who talked also about this huge kingdom of foods that we just completely neglect. You mentioned that you actually know Taro and that he's been to one of your lectures.

Jaako Halmetoja: Yeah, I think it was the first kind of official lecture on nutrition that I gave and they had all of us in the audience. And I was for several years and advisor for Four Sigmatic, which is a big mushroom slash superfood company. So I'm a good friend with Darryl and I really love how they're popularizing the kingdom of mushrooms.

Jonathan Levi:  Absolutely. Are totally awesome guy. Totally awesome company for anyone who hasn't had a chance to check them out. Yeah. So when I researched you, you're known largely for your workaround promoting unique foods, specifically like Chaga and medicinal herbs. So we did talk a little bit with taro on mushrooms, but we didn't get a chance to really go into anyone specific one in any depth.

So tell me why write an entire book about the Chaga mushroom? What's so special. What does it do and who should take it? Where can we find it? Give me kind of the crash course in Chaga. If you will.

Jaako Halmetoja: Yay. That's one of my deep gloves, but I think that it came up like, cause I gained over a hundred presentations a year and then I got quite a bit of feedback from people who are just playing around with the stuff.

And over the years I got so much feedback from people really, you know, doing larger amounts of these medicinal mushrooms for autoimmune diseases, cancer cases, you name it that I was kind of, you know, saturated about pretty unique feedback, how well these things play out. And, um, after that, I just, you know, went into the research mode and, you know, did everything around Chaga.

Translated books from Russian that has never been done that just dig everything up. And, uh, it's one of those things that in, in Finland, we have it all over the place, but nobody uses it. So I just think that it's so fun to kind of rediscover things that are already around us, but nobody sees the value in them.

And we have pretty long folklore around Chaga and, you know, we had a whole Chaga mafia thing here in Finland to promote the idea. And, uh, essentially it's boiling down that these medicinal mushrooms pretty much, they modulate your microbiome. They work on your gut or gut pharyngeal arches and all those things, but they're really good for immune system.

And I just think that whether you were an athletic people or anybody else in this world, we have quite a big problem in our immune system, whether it was that it's overrunning or it's running too low. And these types of herbs that kind of work as, um, immunomodulators or regulators are very helpful in kind of an overall approach. I like this say that it's kind of a feeding protein to your immune system. So just one of the top things that I've found in terms of immune, helping herbs slash approaches.

Jonathan Levi: Interesting. Okay, that's very cool. So what I think is so interesting is that I mean, in the plant kingdom, we all know you have plants that are so widely different, right?

You have aloe vera on one side that calms the skin and you have Marijuana on another side or tobacco or coffee. And I think what people don't realize and what maybe the message here is that the fungi kingdom has the exact same thing. You have changed all the way on this end, which is an immune-boosting mushroom.

And on another side, you have something like a lion's mane, which is a neurocognitive stimulant kind of thing.

Jaako Halmetoja: Yeah. You know your stuff.

Jonathan Levi: I've been doing this a while.

Jaako Halmetoja: Yeah. But I, I think it boils down also to the idea that annual plans produce chemistry, but they are not as, you know, how would I put it? They're not as professional as blends that grow for decades or trees or mushrooms that in case of Chaga, it can be, you know, 30 years old. Wow. So produce is a very deep friend and more novel chemistry that we can benefit off. And I see this across the whole cornucopia of verbal approaches. Especially every time I go to the Amazon, most of the plant medicines that the shamans use come from the tree barks.

And it's just very simple that if you have a plan that its hundreds of years old, it produces very different chemistry on the surface of a tree, whether it was cinnamon, whether it was, you know, you call me off. You name it. So in a case of plants, it's usually, you know, chins and roots that might be, you know, a century-old, 150-year-old, or, you know, Rhodiola chroming 30 years.

But this is just an interesting angle that when we really dig deeper into verbalisms, we start to pattern recognize what's happening and these things produce where different chemistry.

Jonathan Levi: Right. That's interesting, and I think that's why Taro was saying that up to 40% or maybe more, a huge percentage of pharmaceuticals are actually based on fungi, not on plants.

Jaako Halmetoja: Yes. That's also simple. If you think about it's a much older kingdom of life and they have Chrome together with microbes and viruses and stuff like that. And they produce much more specific chemistry against those things. So whether it was antibiotics, whether it was, you know, in case of Chaga, it's one of the antiviral pop guns of the world.

I think it's pretty clear to see that these are good allies for us in terms of immune defense system.

Jonathan Levi: So what's the protocol. I mean, is this something people should take, you know, some Chaga capsules every day? Is it something you should eat once in a while? And if so, I mean, how should people get it?

Jaako Halmetoja: Yeah, I think that I pretty much recommend for most people stuff like, like for example, what Four Sigmatic has. So they'll do all extracted, like really, really strong extract that you can just mix into water or just take by themselves. But in Finland, I try to teach people to actually start on, you know, making decoctions come out from the kind of a weak herbal it's where we use teabags and, you know, Lipton type of approach to get very small amount of very low-quality herbs, but then have a big Gettel put  the herbs in that actually bailed him out for couple of hours in many cases. And if you got that stuff going on then you start to use that as a base for your bone broth or your kombucha or your chocolate elixir or your coffee. So I see that there's just so many ways you can implement this base liquid into your daily life.

But for most people who are not um, how would I put it overall approaches that the extract powder and stuff like that, it's the way to go.

Jonathan Levi: Love it. And I think you and I are going to be fast friends cause you just basically read the contents of my refrigerator, the bone broth. I love it. And for anyone out there, by the way, hasn't checked out Four Sigmatic.

We actually have a link on our website where people can get 15% off and try their products, not these episodes sponsored by them or anything, but, um, you know, we do support their products. Jaakko, tell me what other foods besides fungi have you found that are extremely powerful in terms of promoting health?

Jaako Halmetoja: Well, I think that, um, as we've discussed, there has been kind of, uh, uh, racism in a case of kingdoms. So we are highly focused on plants and animals. And now, especially when you know, Cowspiracy and all these stuff comes up. People in a mainstream focus more on like, how much should we eat from the plant kingdom?

How much from the animal kingdom. But there's still so much in chest around bacteria. So I'm huge on fermented foods, especially wild strains of bacteria. So you have a, like a BlackCurrant leave. So it's its field with probiotics on top of the leaf. So that's why it's used as a starter in many cases for fermented sauerkraut.

Or wild plants or whatever. So I just think that that's one of the things that we should do more frequently. I don't recommend people to, you know, do a hundred trams of sauerkraut every day, but a small amount of leaving fermented foods frequently. So I think that's one of those things that we've kind of lost that, especially here in Finland, that was the only way to, you know, keep greens around during the winter.

So that's just an overall approach. If I think about the main, uh, hackable system, which is your, you know, fit gut in general. So more friendly bacteria in there. And if you combine it with, let's say a lot of barriers and good strains of prebiotics, then you get life going and you've got to head up healthy ecosystem and then your brain starts to work more clearly and of course your immune system, nervous system, all these things. So just to keep it at the level of kind of kingdoms big on bacterial. So.

Jonathan Levi:  I really liked that. And, you know, I spend so much time, bad mouth thing, the most common fermented food, which is alcohol. But in fact, You know, I, I still do drink Kombucha.

I try to eat sauerkraut kimchi, stuff like that. I think you're absolutely right. That is important to keep those in the diet if, for no other reason than the microbiome.

Jaako Halmetoja: Yeah. And it's been interesting for me because I've been farming for years to see how it affects plants. So if you start to get deeper into soil science and actually all the symbiotic organisms living on the soil, You know, I give probiotics to my plants.

I give microrisal fungi. I dump kilos of Speeder Lena, minerals, all that stuff. And you can reflect how healthy those plants are. So it's a good metaphor for what's happening inside of us. If we really get that soil going in our golfed.

Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. So we talked a little bit about medicinal herbs. You talked about BlackCurrant as being a health, promoting one.

Talk to me about chocolate, because I know you've also done some really interesting work there.

Jaako Halmetoja: Yeah. I think it was back in the day I went into Hawaii to, to spend a little bit of time with one of my friends who's a chocolate farmer and it just one of those kinds of a gateway drug type of things that when you get people excited about chocolate, you can show the contrast between all the stuff that we have available. Most of the stuff that people are eating, it's just, you know, crappy chocolate that comes from ivory coast with all the ethical problems and hybrid species and, you know, very low mineral soil and, and possible Academy contaminations and stuff like that. And on the other end of the spectrum, you have so great varieties and so good ways to use chocolate or cacao as a kind of an echo do blend in all the other herbs.

And this is, you know, basic Amazonian shamanism that you take, let's say cacao or Macuna and blend them with cayenne peppers and stuff that even more enhanced,  the absorption of different things. Peppers, you know, peppering Perrin. Most of the people have heard that it increases the bioavailability of turmeric or active ingredients in there, but it does it too.

All the other things also. So I think that, uh, chocolate, in general, is a good way to get people's attention and then the people all around that space. But, um, I'm a huge author. Yeah. Well, cool. And so funny thing to do with people and bring back the energy and joy and sharing and all that. That's pretty much health.

Jonathan Levi: That's really interesting. Okay. So we have a little bit of a list here of Chaga, chocolate, BlackCurrant, fermented foods. Are there any other things before we kind of move on that you would want to throw in that have massive health benefits? And if so, why?

Jaako Halmetoja: Well, I think I approach it in a way that what the, let's say Ayuverdic medicine or traditional Chinese medicine has to offer what we can pick from, you know, folklores of Russia or different ecosystems.

So this is actually a pretty new thing that we are living in so abundant a world that we have all of these tools available. And of course, my long-term thinking is how we can grow these things in the best possible way. So I'm not growing just potatoes or stuff like that, but, you know, rodeo, less stuff like that.

So I think that, uh, the top herbs in every system, like these that have been around for literally thousands of years, whether it was reishi mushroom, or ginseng from traditional Chinese medicine He Shou wu or Shila Z, or  Ashwagandha tools. See, there's so many kind of, um, great tools to play around that for example, for me, Rhodiola has been one of those things that I've used for past the five years, pretty much intensively all the time, because I see that it modulates the stress reactions so well. There's quite a bit of science about Rhodiola. So that would be one of the topics from our Arctic environment that I would recommend for most of the people in the kind of information working space.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. All right, cool. So I'm pretty satisfied with that list. I definitely learned about a few new ones. Talk to me about the term superfood. How do you feel about that word?

Jaako Halmetoja: Well, it's a marketing term, but it's been around, you know, a hundred years. So I think that that was found the first references around it in 1915 in Oxford dictionary or something like that.

So it's just the term to describe that some foods have more nutritional value per gram than others. But, um, today it's used so loosely that we get back to the same thinking that most of the people are just eating terms and they don't dig deeper. Like what's the difference between, you know, Cacao that's growing in Ecuador with hybrid species of CCN 51 and you know, older that have been grown there for 50 years. And what's the aroma and nutrient density in those spaces. Even though, those can be sold as organic, raw chocolate or whatever, so that doesn't kind of, um, solve the problem if we are still, you know, topic creators, but it's a good way to kind of popularize some of the tools that we have around.

But at the same time, it's a problematic biggest thing people think that you put Blue Kuma powder into your smoothie and you start to, you know, shoot spider web from your breasts or something. So that won't happen.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah, absolutely. So how about the term organic? I mean, you mentioned that term when it comes to chocolate, do you think that that's also a good bit of marketing. How do you feel like it does make a lot of sense to eat mostly organic produce?

Jaako Halmetoja: Well, I think it's a good kind of direction, but I'm much more into genetics of plants. So if we still use these pretty weak domesticated bars, I had these off plans and grow them organically. We don't necessarily get more nutrient density without growing them, you know, with pesticides and all that. But if we start to focus more on herlonh varieties, stronger plans, then we're actually going to get much more via array of chemistry and a nutrient density.

 But of course, organic in general is a good approach in terms of some of the ecological problems and chest value change, who we support with our money and all that. But in terms of just nutrient density, that's not the endpoint of the spectrum.

Jonathan Levi: Interesting. Okay. So how can people prioritize finding more nutrient-dense foods? I mean, I guess my ultimate question here is how can people start to make improvements practical improvements in their day-to-day consumption of micronutrients?

Jaako Halmetoja: Yeah. I think for many people like, um, paleo type of approach is very good because you get very high in nutrient-dense things from Oregon mates and bone prods and stuff like that.

Then that's when people start to actually mineralize the body. Other than that, if you try to get those from plant kingdom, then you pretty much got to get out from the supermarket space because most of the time, there's not that much nutrition left, even though if you start to. Let's say, choose Kale and you know, dark green, leafy vegetable.

You're getting nutrition out of that. But, um, for me, the kind of superfood space is a good insurance policy in that way. And then of course you get a lot more phytonutrients from animal kingdom. So a wild foods, superfoods, just more vibrant species of plants that have been around for a long time. And they are not as domesticated as you know, conventional foods.

I think that's, that's a kind of a naive look at the plans in general.

Jonathan Levi: Definitely. I like the term nutritional insurance policy. I think it's come up a lot with different green juices that people consume for the same reason. It's just like in most cases can not get too many micronutrients. I mean, there are such things as vitamin overdoses and mineral overdoses, but in the course of normal food consumption, you kind of can't go wrong and you should really err on the side of getting more nutrients than you need.

Jaako Halmetoja: Yeah, definitely. And I think that people kind of, uh, get messed up a little bit. When we look at the science that you take, just the one ingredient or one compound out of plants, let's say is a better carotene or something like that. And all of these things work in, um, kind of chain reactions. So it's very different that's what's happening in the body, then what's happening in a test tube. So yeah, beta carotene is a pro-oxidant. No, it's not because if you eat a carrot or something like that, there's a lot of other compounds that work before and after that's reaction. So it's much harder to get, um, kind of a nutrient all were those from a whole foods, but of course, that's also possible.

Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. Jaakko, tell me about the biohackers handbook. I think I really want to read this book, but tell me in advance. Am I going to learn in there?

Jaako Halmetoja: This is just super book. We actually were supposed to get the print version out today, but the printing press somehow messed up the system. So we need to wait for a couple of more days, but, um, that's been a huge project that we'd be now working.

Almost four years with a Medical Doctor Oli Sopornian and a Tech Expert Demo Arina. And we wanted to combine all the science, all the kind of anecdotal hacks and tricks that we know and put them together. So now it's a bit over 500-page book. It's a handbook there's over 1500 references to mostly meta analyzes. So that's a huge amount of science that we went through.

There is over 300 illustrated photos of the systems that we want to hack and just to make it more fun to read. So it's a, I would say it's the most well package book around this space of nutrition, biohacking self-improvement ever done.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah, I love it. I was afraid you were going to say, Oh, that's like a short ebook that we wrote. Just tell him. Nah, I like bookshelf breakers. I'm really excited about it.

Jaako Halmetoja: Definitely not. And, uh, the English version is coming up. I think in early 2017, you can find the sleep chapter for free from the biohackershandbook.com. And we have a Summit here in Finland. We already had in London. And, uh, we are just trying to keep the space up and, uh, put together all the people who are really into this stuff.

And, uh, that's a good handbook for everybody interested in that.

Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. There seems to be really a strong community. It's like Finland is becoming the biohacking community all into has become to the EDM dance music community. It's you and it's Taro. And it's the guys over at human charger. Why do you think that is?

Jaako Halmetoja: Well, I think that people in here we are chest quite a bit of conduct with each other because there's not too many people in Finland. So whenever there is a, you know, X for Evan, you pretty much, you know, connect with all the guys and gals we're making it happen in the space. So I think that communication once again is a big factor. For making stuff happen.

Jonathan Levi: Rock on. So tell me about this out of these 1500 references. I'm assuming you've experimented on a body. What are the top two or three bio-hacks non-dietary that you've done. And what were the result of that?

Jaako Halmetoja: Oh man, this is hard, but I think especially now we're in November, we had Rhonda Patrick coming on our summit and of course, I assume that many people are really into Wim Hoff stuff.

So in Finland, we have abundance of saunas and, you know, cold and heat therapies in here. And, uh, That's been one of the things that, you know, I've played around that for a long time, but now really getting into it. And the improvements, especially in sleep quality are profound. So I think that hot and cold therapies in general, whether it was cryo, whether it was ice, swimming, cold showers. Doing the breathing, if you can. That's just one of those things that had opened up the whole space for self-exploration in many ways.

So I'm huge on that right now. And, uh, tomorrow we'll start the morning by going to ocean and really. Ourselves going, we have a big expo day and do that every day and follow with the sauna in the night.

So that's, that's definitely one of the big ones.

Jonathan Levi: Brilliant. I definitely need to get back into whims class. I petered off cause I went on vacation somewhere where I couldn't get cold water. Literally, the water came out of the pipes hot and I never got back into it. And it's one of my goals to finish by the end of the year. So I just need to get in and finish.

Jaako Halmetoja: Highly recommend that. Other than that, I think that, um, what was fascinating, I've been doing many patient practices for years now, but, um, chesty use simple, you know, muse or tools like that to measure your brain waves and get the biofeedback going. That's what's really helpful at the one face of doing more and more meditation and getting the feedback in a way of, you know, some kind of, um, sound picture I would say, and to train yourself to be more in the kind of a calm space with, um, technological tools in that space. I think that Muse was one of the early, early gadgets in that space. And I found that very helpful for, uh, like a half a year.

That was a cool tool.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. I haven't experienced Muse. I bought the melon headband and it was terrible. Just flat-out terrible, but I use one.

Jaako Halmetoja: Yeah, there are so many of those like beta version, Verisign stuff. I, uh, yesterday I used one of these it's called Maya. So it reads your electromyographic from your barn pretty much.

So you can give presentations and just click your fingers and it will change the slide. But, uh, those are so, so not solid. So they bought a lot. But there's a lot of cool stuff coming up. And a lot of those that are not just ready right there.

Jonathan Levi: Right, absolutely. Jaakko, is there anyone else in the biohacking space that you really look up to? I know you mentioned Wim Hoff.

Jaako Halmetoja: Well, I think that I tried to keep my awareness just around the whole community what's happening. I'm sure that you're begone. Let's say I just listened, um, keynote from Jim Kwik. So whether it was learning, whether it was I'm big on Daniel Vitalis, who was more in the kind of a nature-based approach.

So I tried to blend it up a lot. Just to listen from all of these subgroups that are under this big umbrella of self-improvement and biohacking, in a sense that technology is just disrupting the whole industry. So it's just going to happen. But, um, I have quite a bit of love stealing to nature and all those things.

So I'm pretty biased towards Wim Hoff or Daniel Vitalis and if I, you know, listen to much of Dave Asprey and those guys who are really techies, I kind of get an allergic reaction, but I listened to a lot of the key people in the space. But, um, try to think about some specific guys. No, not really.

I can't recall any kind of a cool ones that most of the people I think that wouldn't have heard.

Jonathan Levi: Rock on. So we covered meditation. We covered a lot really, but tell me, are there any other skills or habits or routines that you feel make you perform at a higher level?

Jaako Halmetoja: Um, well, I think that for years I've been doing this kind of, um, goal-setting approach in more systems thinking way.

So I've been writing this, the Playbook of Life for myself for the past five years. And it's a hundred-page book just for myself. I print it out as a hardcover, but it goes to all the main areas of life. What are my intentions? What are my goals? How do I approach them? And I go through that every morning and what I do, I just want to make it more clear why I'm doing this.

And when you, uh, get more aware of the kind of mental models, how do you approach things? You get a glimpse of how your brain works in very different occasions were too different genres of things. And I think that's been super helpful in terms of self-awareness and clearing what you kind of just want from your mind or your ego and what are actually aligned with the bigger mission than yourself.

And that's been a cornerstone of what I do in terms of meditation or clearing up what I want to do.

Jonathan Levi:  I like that. The aspect of self-reflection and having this knowledge of self is something that always comes up for me time and time again, as one of the biggest hacks you can have. Amazing. So Jaakko, tell us what's the best hundred dollars you've ever spent on your health?

I know that's a tough question.

Jaako Halmetoja: I think that cleared up when I came to this conference soon because I was, you know, going through all the podcasts that I want to listen later today. And I think it is the,  I think first iPod that I bought that's probably because audio learning has pretty much changed the way I learn.

As I said, I was a big reader and still am in a sense. So you know, more of the science and all that. But yeah, I didn't read that many books because I'm also trying to model speaking a lot. So it's good to combine listening somebody who speaks passionately speaks using language in a fun way, tried to model that and get the kind of entertainment at the same time.

So for the past decade, I've been listening hours of podcasts or audiobooks every day, and it has transformed my life completely.

Jonathan Levi: Brilliant. That's a really good answer. That's a really, really good answer. I didn't expect that one. Yeah. So, all right. I know we're coming towards the end here. I want to ask you to complete a kind of difficult sentence, which is most people would be much better off if they just blank.

Jaako Halmetoja: Spent more time listening. I think it's an overall approach that we have two ears and one mouth. And most of the people just listen to the skill. Think what they're going to say next, but to actually listen, listen, nature, listen. Other people listen to what's happening around us and spend more time in a space where you are not actively doing something, saving information. I founded the ones and that's what I've modeled many of the top performers. They do. They listen more and they pay attention on what they're actually listening.

Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. I think that's a really, really good one. And I've been working on my kind of lessons of adulthood. This almost like your book to yourself, I've been writing kind of a, a set of things that I've learned as an adult. And that's definitely one of them is that listening is such an under prioritized skill.

Jaako Halmetoja: Yes. It boils down also that whether it was Simon Sinek's, Start With Why, or whatever. People buy your intentions. And if you are more clear with your intent, then you can communicate it more like an outcome-oriented communication way. And they, it just a catalyst for getting stuff done more quickly, because if you are clear, What you're actually after you can package it by words, much more effectively, and that's a good tool for that.

Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. So Jaakko, I want to thank you so much for spending your evening with us. I know you have a very busy weekend coming up. If people want to learn more and get in touch with you. Second to last question here, where can they go ahead and do that? Where should we send them?

Jaako Halmetoja: Yeah, so JaakkoHalmetoja.info, if you can pronounce that. So that's the place where you can find all of my socials and all the other stuff. And biohackershandbook.com is the landing page for everything happening in English in that sense. And, um, you know, you can shout out on Twitter or Instagram, you can find it to my name. So those are those.

Jonathan Levi: Brilliant. And we will link everyone up in the show notes for this episode @becomingasuperhuman.com.

 Jaakko, I want to ask you last question here, which is if people take away just one message from this episode and they carry it with them for the rest of their lives, what would you hope for that message to be.

Jaako Halmetoja: I think, I approach it in a way that what's doable, not what you should do by what you know you can actually do.

And that boils down to those tools around hot and cold. You to start every day by doing a cold shower. And if you actually train yourself to do that every day, That will be a tremendously beneficial tool for the rest of your life. So open yourself up to the cold as an element, explore it and do that for the rest of your life.

Jonathan Levi: Brilliant. Jaakko, thank you so much for spending your time with us again. I really appreciate it. I definitely learned quite a bit and I cannot wait to check out your book. So thanks again.

Jaako Halmetoja: Thanks a lot. We kept it short. This was brilliant.

Jonathan Levi: Short and sweet. All right, my friend, we'll take care.

Jaako Halmetoja: Take care.

Jonathan Levi: All right, SuperFriends, that's it for this week's episode. We hope you really, really enjoyed it and learn a ton of applicable stuff that can help you go out there and overcome the impossible. If so, please do us a favor and leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher, or however you found this podcast.

In addition to that, we are always looking for great guest posts on the blog or awesome guests right here on the podcast. So if you know somebody or you are somebody, or you have thought of somebody who would be a great fit for the show or for our blog, please reach out to us either on Twitter or by email or email is info@becomingasuperhuman.com.

Thanks so much.

Closing: Thanks for tuning in to the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast for more great skills and strategies, or for links to any of the resources mentioned in this episode, visit www.becomingasuperhuman.com/podcast. We'll see you next time.

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4 Comments

  1. Luiz
    at — Reply

    Thanks, I learned a lot of interesting things in past episodes.

  2. Shivaditya Purohit
    at — Reply

    loved th heart and the depth of the conversation. The way that Dr. Metivier shared from his enormous experience and insights was just amazing. Thank you Jonathan for doing this podcast!! 🙂

  3. Rob
    at — Reply

    Great interview with Dr. Greg Wells! He mentioned a doctor from Colorado around the 42:30 point of the podcast, discussing turmeric and black pepper. I couldn’t make out the doctor’s name. Can you provide me with his full name and maybe his website or contact info. Interested in his products.

    Thanks,

    Rob

  4. Muhammed Sani Ibrahim
    at — Reply

    I am new here, and learning really fast.
    Thank you.

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