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How To Figure Out Your Nutrition In The Modern World W/ Dr. David Friedman

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“Healthcare begins with you taking care of yourself.”
— Dr. David Friedman

Greetings, SuperFriends!

Today we are joined by Dr. David Friedman. Dr. Friedman is a #1 bestselling author, a Doctor of Naturopathy, a Clinical Nutritionist and a Chiropractic Neurologist – in other words, he has a lot of degrees and certifications. He is actually a Board Certified Alternative Medical Practitioner, Board Certified in Integrative Medicine, and a registered Naturopathic Diplomate.

Dr. Friedman received a post-doctorate certification from Harvard Medical School, and is a former teacher of neurology – he has even authored a college textbook. He is an expert in all things body, nutrition, and nervous system, and you've probably seen him writing in U.S News & World Report, Newsweek, Readers Digest, Healthy Living, AARP Magazine, and Woman’s Day.

He’s also been a guest on over a hundred syndicated radio and television shows. Friedman’s list of clients has included many top celebrities like John Travolta, Jenny McCarthy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Val Kilmer, and Paul Newman. On top of all that, he hosts his own radio show.

Amazing, right?

So, what did we talk about in this episode? Well, most of the time we talked about the most important thing in health, which is nutrition. But we also learned a lot about chiropractic, both as a philosophy and as a practice.

I learned a ton in this episode about different ways to identify healthy foods, about different things that go on in the body when you eat certain foods, and also some really interesting health hacks that I'd never been exposed to.

This episode is full of insights that we haven't heard in the show before, so I think you are really going to enjoy this – Dr. Friedman is just full of energy and has a really great personality.

-Jonathan Levi

Every month, we’ll invite top experts to host their own 30-day challenges, solely for the members of this group… Plus, each member will get awesome gear delivered to their home, AND discounts on various of our products! Click on the banner to find out more!

Every month, we’ll invite top experts to host their own 30-day challenges, solely for the members of this group… Plus, each member will get awesome gear delivered to their home, AND discounts on various of our products! Click on the banner to find out more!

This episode is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. Click here to save 15% on their amazing mushrooms coffees today, for all orders placed on their website!

This episode is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. Click here to save 15% on their amazing mushrooms coffees today, for all orders placed on their website!

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Who is Dr. David Friedman and what does he do? [4:30]
  • How did Dr. Friedman get interested in health? [5:40]
  • What is the philosophy behind chiropractic? [8:05]
  • How often should you visit your chiropractor? [11:00]
  • Dr. David Friedman's interest and work on nutrition [11:55]
  • What should we be careful about regarding food? [13:15]
  • What should we be eating? [13:55]
  • What are some foods that should be in every refrigerator? [15:10]
  • The truth surrounding fish, mercury, and the food/pharma industry in general [17:30]
  • What are some other foods Dr. Friedman suggests eating? [21:10]
  • What's Dr. Friedman's take on dairy? [23:25]
  • You need to trust your instincts [27:35]
  • Dr. David Friedman's take on supplements [28:25]
  • How does Dr. Friedman approach learning? [30:25]
  • What are some SuperHuman habits Dr. David Friedman utilizes? [33:25]
  • How to identify what food you should be eating [34:55]
  • What are some products or services Dr. Friedman can't live without? [36:20]
  • Should men that want to have kids be taking hot baths? [38:10]
  • Does Dr. Friedman add magnesium in his hot baths? [39:10]
  • What are the best $100 Dr. Friedman has ever spent? [40:00]
  • What are some books that have changed Dr. Friedman's life? [42:10]
  • Dr. David Friedman's final takeaway [43:35]
  • Where can you learn more about Dr. Friedman? [44:50]

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from Dr. David Friedman:

“Food controls the brain and spinal cord. It is the essence of our existence.”
“Food has the ability to cure or harm the body.”
“You want to have a diversity [in food].”
“How can we help others, if we can't be a great example?”


Intro: 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 want to ask you a question. Every single week, we bring you these episodes full of dozens of skills, habits, routines, and strategies to help you become more superhuman. Now be honest. What percentage of those things are you actually able to implement in your life? Of course not. You need accountability and community, and that's why in 2018, I launched the Becoming SuperHuman Mastermind every month as a community. We invite a world-renowned expert to lead a one-month challenge past challenges have included an environmental design with Benjamin Hardy hacking your sleep with Nick little Hills, who is Cristiana Rinaldo's own sleep, coach, and meditation with muse founder Arielle garden. On top of that, we send out a care package with all the gear and goodies you need to complete that month's challenge. And best of all, as a member, you get exclusive discounts on all kinds of events, courses, supplements, and gear, and those discounts alone are worth more than your entire membership. Look as a listener of this podcast, we know that you stand to benefit a great deal from being in the group, but also that you stand to contribute a lot. And that's why we're offering 50% off your first month. To join, visit today.

Greetings, Superfriends, and welcome, welcome, welcome to this week's episode. Hey, do me a quick, quick favor and leave us a review on iTunes if you haven't already. Our whole team has been milling about in this total state of anemia and depression because we haven't been getting nearly enough reviews about how we've impacted your lives and let's face it. We don't do this for us. We do this for you. So please, please, please take a moment and leave us an amazing review that I can read out on the air. On to today's episode, you guys today, we are joined by Dr. David Freeman. He's a number one best-selling author, doctor of naturopathy, clinical nutritionist, and chiropractic neurologist.

In other words, he has a lot of degrees. He's a board-certified alternative medical practitioner, he's board certified in integrative medicine and a registered naturopathic diplomat, he received a post-doctorate certificate from Harvard, he's a former teacher of neurology, he wrote a textbook, he is an expert in all things. Body, nutrition, and nervous system, and you've probably seen him writing in US News, Newsweek, Reader's Digest, Healthy Living ARP, and Women's Day. He's also been a guest on over a hundred syndicated radio shows and his clients include Jamie Lee Curtis, John Travolta, Jenny McCarthy, Val Kilmer, and even Paul Newman.

Pretty cool. And on top of all of that, he hosts his own radio show. So, what did we talk about in this episode? Well, most of the time we talked about the most important thing in health, which is nutrition, but we also learned a lot about chiropractic. I learned a ton, by the way, in this episode about different ways to identify healthy foods, I learned about different things that are going on in the human body when you eat certain foods, and I learned some really, really interesting health hacks that I'd never been exposed to. I found myself repeatedly saying, wow, no one's ever said that on this show. So I think you're really, really going to enjoy it. Dr. Friedman is just a ball of energy and a really, really great personality. And so please, welcome him to the show, Dr. David Friedman.

Dr. David Friedman. Welcome to the show, my friend. How are you doing?

Dr. David Friedman: Oh, doing great, Johnathan. If I was any better, I'd be twins.

Jonathan Levi: I love it. I love it. I'm really excited to chat with you. Let me say, prepping for this interview, not easy. You have done a lot of stuff. You've been all over the place. So I'm, I'm gonna have you do a, uh, tour de force summary and tell our audience just about, I mean, before we hit recording, you told me you wrote a textbook and I know you also have a background in neurology and chiropractic, I mean, like trace your career path for me, man.

Dr. David Friedman: Well, basically I spent the majority of my adult life getting various degrees to further my education. And while I'm no longer in college, I still consider myself a full-time student. So when people ask me what I am, I'm a full-time student in an ever-changing world.

I've interviewed so many world-renowned health experts on my show, which really shine the light for me on the need to stay up to date. You know, I remember chatting with a fellow named Dr. Earl Mindell, who wrote the number one bestselling nutrition book of all time called the vitamin Bible, and this is the book I read as a teenager that sparked my initial interest in natural health and I asked him how much of his original book the vitamin Bible would be considered obsolete information today? His answer was draw-dropping. He said 100% of his book is considered outdated information, all of it. So I'm always learning and growing so I can help others keep their health from becoming obsolete.

Jonathan Levi: I love that. And I'm doing the same thing so I think that's like, we're on the same mission here. Where did you start out on your journey? I mean, what got you so interested in health? Were you interested from a very young age?

Dr. David Friedman: Well, actually, I, um, I came from a medical family, so my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were medical doctors and I was in a car accident when I was 18. And I herniated a disc in my back and rather than go the orthopedic route, which meant having surgery, my mom suggested I try a chiropractor and within three weeks, I was pain-free without drugs, without shots, no surgery, and this created my interest in breaking the medical chain and becoming a chiropractor, dealing with natural means of health and while in college, I learned all the techniques needed to help others with everything from headaches, neck pain, back pain, to herniated discs, I excelled in an area of neuroanatomy. So I furthered my education with a post-doctorate degree in neurology, I ended up writing a college textbook on the topic and teaching neurology in one day.

This was the big aha moment. One of my students asked me questions said, Dr. Friedman, you stated that the brain and spinal cord control everything in the body, what controls the brain and spinal cord? And this was a great question I had never been asked before, but you know, it was easy to answer. Food. Food controls the brain and spinal cord.

It's the essence of our existence. So I realized if food was that important, I needed to take things to another level. That's when I went back to school to study naturopathy, to learn the healing power of food, and fast forward to my first year in practice and I was finding all types of elements I couldn't help regardless of my skills until I changed their diets.

And one example I'll share real quick, a lady was coming in with severe leg pain, woke her up at night, I treated her for four weeks to no avail. I could not fix her, she was always in pain. So finally I said, I'm good at fixing back and leg pain. Something's going on here? We're not addressing something.

You say the pain is worse at night and it wakes you up. What do you do before bed? And she replied, Oh, I drink a big glass of milk every night before bed. Ding, ding, ding, ding. I shared with her how milk causes inflammation in the body. This could be why her leg spasms up at night when she's sleeping. She got off milk and Jonathan, I have to tell you, three days later, her leg pain completely resolved. I could've worked on this lady for six months and not been able to help her. Food has the ability to harm or cure the body. It's so important.

Jonathan Levi: So true. And it's like, the body has the ability to heal itself if you're not impacting it with all this other crap that can just throw it completely off track.

Dr. David Friedman: Exactly. Exactly.

Jonathan Levi: Now I want to ask, cause I think you're probably the first, if not one of the first chiropractors that we've ever had on the show, and I want to learn more about chiropractic. I mean, I think a lot of people don't believe in chiropractic or have really a lot of misconceptions. I've had some tremendously good experiences with chiropractic, but share with me because I know there's like, The whole spectrum of chiropractic from the let's just mechanically adjust all the way to the kind of metaphysical spiritual chiropractic, show with us a little bit about the kind of philosophy behind chiropractic cause I think it's super interesting.

Dr. David Friedman: Well, it's interesting, you know, my father got a degree in medicine and I actually had more education than he did. And that's what people don't realize is chiropractors go to school longer and get more education. Then the medical doctors, we have more anatomy, more physiology, more, uh, cadaver labs, actually, even.

And so, you know, if you do the comparison, you can go online and see the comparison is it's rather profound how people think that, Oh, chiropractors are quacks. They don't know what they're doing. Well, we study the exact same thing. Biochemistry, gross anatomy, organic chemist. You name it. Heart disease, brain liver explain everything.

And so we're really well-rounded at diagnosing, but we take it to a different level. Just like in the medical field, you've got your basic family doctor, he could have went on to school to become a pediatrician, he could become a dermatologist, he can become a neurologist, same with chiropractic. So I'm a chiropractic neurologist.

I went and additional to get a degree in neurology and you can do that to orthopedic, she can do that in pediatrics so it's kind of neat sports, medicine, nutrition so people find the little niche and it's interesting and that's where you see the differences. People have differences it's just like they do in the medical field.

Jonathan Levi: And the underlying idea behind chiropractic is that, you know, the nerves run through the entire spine obviously, and that different parts of the body can have dysfunction based on the nerves being pinched by the vertebrae, right?

Dr. David Friedman: Yeah. Every organ, every muscle, every tendon, everything in the body is innervated by nerves.

And those nerves, if you look at the chart, come from the spine. So yeah, you get the spinal line it makes common sense with Sonia about how right just make sense. You can talk to a medical doctor, why am I taking this antibiotic? And he really can't explain it. It's going to kill the well, which is going to kill my other cells. The word anti means against biotic means life. So the word antibiotic by definition means death. It kills living cells so it's hard to really get that around, but chiropractic look, here's your pain, you point to it, it's irritating the middle back, hey, do you get stomach problems all the time? I said, well, interesting. That's the nervous system that goes to the stomach. So I'm going to fix this middle back that's hurting you. You may see results in the stomach using, and by golly, I'm talking 90% of the time people say, wow, my stomach's better. I go, well, that's Grey's anatomy. That's not chiropractic anatomy. Grey's anatomy, not the TV show, the book shows innovation from the middle back, goes to the stomach. When you free that up, it's like, unkinking the hose and unbelievable things happen.

Jonathan Levi: Now I want to ask you because I'm one of these people and you might really arise. I go into a chiropractor to fix the problem, not for maintenance. What's your policy? Because some chiropractors really push you to cut, you know, you should be coming in here every week. And I'm like, I probably shouldn't. And chiropractors say, you know, you don't need to see me unless something gets out of whack.

Dr. David Friedman: Yeah. If somebody's seeing somebody every week, they're probably very old and they've got degenerative disc disease and a week is a long time for them.

But, um, I like to see people when they're done once a year, go to the dentist once or twice a year, come see me once or twice a year when you're done, of course now, if you're eating candy all the time, you're going to see the dentist more than that. And if you're putting sheetrock, oh, that's very heavy stuff. There's no way you can go a year. So it really depends on what you do and what you need. If you race your car like crazy, you're going to beat the mechanic more than someone who's taking it, slow and going the speed limit.

Jonathan Levi: I like that a lot. So at some point in your career, you realized, look, the mechanical adjustments is nothing if I can't figure out what's going on with people, you went back to learn about food and to learn about the influence of nutrition on the body. Tell me more about that.

Dr. David Friedman: Exactly. Well, you know, I actually, wrote my food sanity was after 18 years of frustration I endured as a syndicated TV and radio health expert as I mentioned, I interviewed pretty much everybody. And then some, and you know, doctors and scientists, best-selling authors, and my goal were like you, I wanted to bring optimal information to my audience. I wanted them to be able to reach their best health and that's not what happened, Jonathan.

Instead, every guest would contradict the previous expert, leaving everyone, including me, more confused, you got the vegan, the Paleo, the Mediterranean you get gluten-free low carb diet the opinions are as different as night and day and you know, I remember for decades oatmeal, we were told to help balance blood sugar, eat it. Well, now we're told by the experts to avoid grains. They spike your blood sugar coffee used to be considered unhealthy today. It helps prevent disease and eggs used to be the worst thing they caused high cholesterol, new research shows, Hey, they have less than minimum, which helps lower cholesterol.

So after growing frustrated with all the conflicting opinions, I wrote Food Sanity, it breaks through all the facts, fads, and fiction, and finally answers the big question. What are we supposed to be eating?

Jonathan Levi: So what are we supposed to be eating?

Dr. David Friedman: The million-dollar question. And in my book, I go through every chapter, the fish, the pork, the chicken, the vegetables, good and bad, and the ugly about everything.

And again, really, if you just look at the basics, you want to go back to our roots like you mentioned before, stay away from this junk that's crap, these chemicals, it's not necessarily food that's bad, people blame food for certain things. What's inside our food what's wrapped around our food, sometimes the, uh, cookware we're cooking our food on has these chemicals and it's wreaking havoc on our immune system, it causes leaky gut and all these even linked to cancer. So, you know, it's we always so quick to blame food in my book, I show, yeah. You know, there's good food bad, but you really got to look how it's prepared, where it comes from.

Jonathan Levi: So if you had to side with an ideology, I mean, as you said, there's the paleo, there's the vegan, there's this, there's the, where do you fall on the spectrum in food sanity?

Dr. David Friedman: Yeah. Interesting. You know, the paleo say, you know, you like a caveman, a lot of beef from the vegans say you like a gorilla, which is the plant-based. And I say, eat like your great grandparents did because back then food was clean, food was pure. And if you look at pictures, Jonathan, from the early 19 hundreds, the family portraits and the 18 hundreds remember you've seen the black and white pictures of the big family, I challenge you to find somebody in that picture that was overweight. Only 3% were overweight back then today at 70%. So we can't blame our genes on why we can't fit into our genes.

They had less cancer, they didn't have an autoimmune disease, they didn't have all this food and intolerances that we have today. We're a sick nation, and we really need to eat back not like a caveman, not like a gorilla, but more like our great-great-grandparents and I eat a flexitarian diet, which is the marriage between flexible and vegetarian, I believe in doing both, I'm a bi-partisan eater, so you've got the Democrats and the Republicans, the vegans, and the paleo I meet in the middle and say, Hey, let's all dine together and there's a good and bad about both and so it's an 80, 20 plant-based and then about 20% animal.

Jonathan Levi: I love that. And any foods that stand out to you as like, look, everybody should be eating these foods.

Cause I know the other day opened a wrapper, it was, um, bone broth protein, right? So I'm trying to stay away from dairy so I mean, my protein powder, if I have to supplement sometimes at the office on the go, whatever, have to supplement with not real food, I'll do a bone broth protein shake and on the right plastered on the front, it says like superfood, protein powder. And I just thought like, what a word like, there's no word in the English language that's bigger bowl to me than the word soup. It's like, everything's a superfood and nothing's a superfood. But at the same time, there are foods that are way more nutrient-rich. What are foods for you that are like, must-have, should be in every refrigerator in America?

Dr. David Friedman: Yeah, I guess if you're asking, you know, what, in the animal kingdom, you know, what's number one there, and this is one that gets a bad rap because it's considered the redheaded stepchild of food. It's fish. It's one of the healthiest foods you can eat. I mean, it's got the omega-3 fatty acids, it gets rid of inflammation, the underlying cause of chronic diseases like arthritis, Alzheimer's heart disease. However, more fish are being farm-raised so you don't want to eat those and we can go on that. But the big thing that, the one thing I want to share is, I debunk in my book is I love to fish, but I felt guilty eating it because it's like, am I destroying my body with mercury? Am I eating pollution?

I was like, you know, I kept hearing all this bad stuff about fish and I researched it and what I found is that people avoid fish because of mercury but the truth is oceans are not the mercury Latin cesspools we've been led to believe. And in my book, food sanity, I debunk it by exploring cultures around the world that eat fish daily sometimes three times a day, their blood tests show no mercury toxicity, they're the epitome of good health, so I went a step further. I said, we always hear about pregnant females, right? Ooh, it's going to hurt the fetus. So I said, well, let me look, probably find the studies on this. And there's simply no credible research to support this. In fact, evidence, I found shows quite the opposite cultures where pregnant females eat a diet, primarily fish, mostly tuna have healthier children with higher IQ scores than mothers avoiding fish. Now I want to stress mercury is not something that you want in your body, right? We hear that as bad by saying mercury is good, no mercury is bad, but guess what? Mercury cannot cause harm unless it occurs in extremely high enough amounts to inhibit selenium-dependent enzymes, which naturally protect the cells of the brain. So in other words, If fish contains more selenium than mercury, it cancels out the mercury that is absorbed in the body.

So in my book, I have a chart of 18 of the most commonly eaten fish, all of them, except for the Maaco shark has more selenium than mercury. Okay. So play it, safe folks. If you see Maaco shark on the menu, don't order it. But the other wild card, fish are good for you did not have a mercury concern, actually derive mercury found of fish is not the big health concern we've heard and it's funny how that's the redheaded stepchild, but there's mercury and cattle, there's mercury and mushrooms, there's tons of mercury and high-fructose corn syrup, but you know what? That makes a lot of money, we don't hear about that. Fish wild-caught makes no money for big pharma. Do you know the number one customer for big pharma for antibiotics?

Number one? Farm animals. And top of the list is cattle. Cattle. Cows are the biggest customer. So they want to put that on a pedestal or drink milk eat beef, eat beef. Fish? No, let's scare him. Bad. Mercury pollution. Stay away, stay away, stay away. There's no money. There's no dies, there's no sulfur drugs, there's no antibiotics, there's no hormones for wild-caught fish. It's not a moneymaker so it's become the redheaded stepchild. I follow the money in my book and a lot of these myths I bust is, Hey it's because there was money involved and that's why it's not true.

Jonathan Levi: That's so interesting that in 205 episodes, no one has ever think maybe more than 205, 210 episodes, let's say no one has ever explained this. Like actually that big pharma, which, you know, I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but big pharma comes up a lot on a health podcast, as you can imagine it and talking about like, why were we never told to eat these foods and why is there no advertisement for this amazing miracle drug called turmeric, which can actually is better anti-inflammatory than pretty much any anti-inflammatory drug. So you can imagine big pharma comes up a lot. In any case, no, one's ever mentioned that, like, I didn't know this, that actually antibiotics and all of these drugs, cows are a way bigger consumer, but that, that actually influences how much of a budget there is to market foods to us.

Dr. David Friedman: Oh, exactly. You know, when you hear mercury, it's like, if you look at the FDA site, they don't warn you against mercury and fillings, right? I mean, and we have those 24/7 in our mouth, but the mercury and fillings is okay and the mercury in vaccines is okay by Marisol, oh, no warnings. But if you look at a warn, be careful about fish. And here's the, here's how you want to cut back on fish. And I'm like, really? So I researched this Jonathan and fillings have ready 27 parts per million mercury in your mouth, 24/7 every time you eat it's in your mouth. Fish, the highest mercury level there is 0.6 parts per million. That's one meal. What is that equivalent to one penny, $20,000 is the equivalent of what you'll get in one meal. And of course, you get selenium it blocks that little one penny out.

Jonathan Levi: Well, I think that's really fascinating and also, like, I think that's a cultural thing as well, because one of the things I realized when I moved to Israel, And I was just talking about this with someone else the other day like we eat so much fish here and I grew up in California so it's not a coastal, not coastal thing, but we eat so much fish here and people I think are so much healthier because of it. And it's like, there are so many different delicious kinds of fish that I just never even tried growing up in the States, but here, you know, we know that the Mediterranean diet overall is healthier but, um, that's a big thing here is we eat a ton of fish and especially white fish. So that's really cool. Any other foods that for you are like, must have, must eat?

Dr. David Friedman: Again, you know, with vegetables, I go through the different ones, the ones I actually rated the top vegetables on an article I did and it got, it went viral.

I was pretty much ranking the top veggies, the most healthy and you know, they're all good. You really can't well, it's number seven, meaning you don't have it no, you have all 10, but I just kind of ranked them as the top, but you don't want just to eat the top. You want to have diversity. That's the key to the microbiomes, that's the gut, the healthy bacteria. We have studies out there showing that diversity, the colors of the rainbow. You don't want to just have, eh, I hate get my potassium for banana and I'll just eat banana. Well, you know what? You've got apples that have pectin and it has other vitamins and you got citrus so, you know, there's different various of fruits and vegetables so you really want to eat a rainbow and that's just easy, you know, use your eyes. If it's a rainbow, it's good for you to get in diversity.

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Now we talked a little bit about dairy, so I got asked the question, I'm sorry. I have to ask every nutrition expert it's kind of like, it's a rite of passage on this show. What's your take on grains, on seeds of grasses, wheat, things like that?

Dr. David Friedman: Yeah, well, you bring up dairy, you know, it's so funny you talk about, you know, conspiracy theories, but despite all the decades of government-industry propaganda, about the health benefits of dairy, all the schools being taught unbiased science proves that cow's milk is not healthy for humans.

There's just no study. And I found studies, Oh, here's one, and I dug a little deeper and it was biased research. I spell that B U Y A S. E D means it's bought and paid for. I can tell you association paid for it. Biased. So contrary to all these milk mustache ads milk does not build strong bones. In fact, research shows it's a contributing factor to the cause of Biddle's bones, and, you know, we're taught as children, hey, if you want to grow up big and strong, drink milk yet children that drink milk had more chronic ear infections, have more allergies, are more likely to be overweight, and greater risk of diabetes than those that don't drink milk. So here's the thing I want to debunk. Everyone's like, well, what about our calcium for strong bones?

Right now I'm going to debunk it. People drink the milk for calcium, for strong bones but before the milk goes to the grocery store, it's pasteurized meaning it's exposed to extreme heat. And that heat process is great cause it destroys bacteria, but it also renders a lot of the milk calcium is destroyed during the manufacturing process.

So people say, what about raw and pasteurized milk? If it was available, it still wouldn't give you enough magnesium needed for your body to absorb the calcium. The calcium to magnesium ratio and cow's milk is nine to one 90% calcium, 10% magnesium experts now recommend having a ratio of one-to-one 50, 50. Guess where you can get 50, 50? Plants, the same place cows get their strong bones and gorillas and big elephants. Boy, they got pretty strong bones. Don't think elephants, they don't drink milk, plants. So we don't need it for that and that's just the one thing we can get all calcium we need from almond squash, Sesame seeds, spinach, it's almost a perfect one-to-one ratio of calcium to magnesium.

Jonathan Levi: I love that. And you know, 70% of the Western population is magnesium deficient. So important people don't realize magnesium is used in over 1200 processes in the human body. There's almost no process your body can do without some form of magnesium.

Dr. David Friedman: So true. And let me debunk the other things that's why, well, what about protein? And we need that from milk folks. The major reason why cow's milk is bad for you is that the protein it contains is called casein. Casein from cows milk is also used to make glue to hold together would think of the cow logo and Elmer's glue? Hello, it's a poly mold that makes plastics. So if you were to swallow this glue-like substance, guess what happens? Your body considers it an invasion, it attacks it, it produces histamines, and it does everything from cause bronchitis allergies, sinus, ear infections, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut, you name it.

And so many studies I quote in my book, but there's one that I love was the world health organization. They link consumption casein with increased risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and type one diabetes. So you don't want the casein now thinking common sense. Forget science folks. Common sense. What's casein for? It's to make a 100 baby calf grow into a 2000 pound cow.

So my question is to what do you use rocket fuel inside your moped? No, it's too much. Why would we put rocket fuel protein in our body? We're not a cow. We don't need that protein so that debunks the protein is the worst stuff that's been linked to actually increasing cancer growth as well so, yeah, I'm not a fan of milk.

Jonathan Levi: It's funny because almost 20 years ago, you know, as you said, all the knowledge was different and the best advice, you know, for putting on a little extra muscle was you drink way after the workout and casein before bed. And I used to make a casein smoothie every night before bed because it fueled your body, you know, it's like, I used to call it brick mortar, a brick mortar smoothie, because it really is. It's like goop.

Dr. David Friedman: Yeah.

Jonathan Levi: And just think that probably wasn't very healthy for me.

Dr. David Friedman: It's not, and you know what I love and in my book in, and I use a common science meets, common-sense approach to figuring out all this culinary conundrum.

And we can't rely on science, everybody's spitting science, science with that's great, but that changes sometimes weekly and as I mentioned, a lot of them are biased and paid for. So what I do is I tell the reader a ratio of the reader, how to tap into their instincts, trust their gut instead of relying on what they hear in the media, then we explore the biology of the body if we were designed to eat it.

So when you combine these three things, common science, common sense, and biology, you have pretty much a foolproof blueprint that shows you what you should and shouldn't eat. So it's like a tricycle Jonathan without three wheels that can't function. My three world processes. What other diet books are missing?

Jonathan Levi: I love it. I really love it now, other question is supplementation, right? Feeling you have a strong sense or a strong opinion on supplementation. Are you one of these folks who feel that look, you know, mass farming, there's topsoil, depletion, our food just doesn't have as many nutrients, and that's why we need to supplement or from your research and your experience, have you found that if you eat the rainbow, as you said, you can get all the nutrients you need from whole foods?

Dr. David Friedman: Yeah, I think if you can't get it from whole foods, find a supplement that'll give you whole foods. You know, people think these vitamins out there they're natural, but they're not. I mean, the pharmaceutical industry pretty much owns all the major vitamin companies on the market.

Bare healthcare makes one a day in Flintstone, chewable. Sarah Grant M is manufactured by Bristol Myers, Squibb, Centrum owners of the largest pharmaceutical company, Pfizer. They own that. So just like the yes they do. So just like the drugs they make, so there's nothing natural, just like there's nothing natural in the drugs they make, why do you think there's stuff natural in the vitamins they make? And a test you can do is put your little central pill out on the table and come back in a month and it's the same color. Put a sliced Apple on the table come back in two hours it's Brown. Do you know why it's Brown, Jonathan? Because it's dying.

And in order for something to die, it has to be alive. You want live nutrients. So, you know, I like supplements, but again, you want to look and there's, you know, I got the ABC's absorption balance or certification in my book to show that that balance but one thing, just make sure you look and see the STEM, leaf, fruit, plants, seed, extract, those are words you want to look for. If you see that, wow, that means it's a whole food. If you see words like Fino Holly Pope with Ella minimize and you go, Whoa, what is that? Google it and go, wow. That's the stuff used to making cement that doesn't belong google it play detective.

If you see something you don't know, research, it don't just be so trusting that these products are safe because, Oh, they're in a bottle. They must've been secured. No. Vitamins can make you sick and I literally, I show how vitamins have been linked to a lot of diseases in my book, but the unnatural kind the kind that is made in a chemical lab. That's not good.

Jonathan Levi: Wow. Now you've made a lot of changes in your career, you've learned a lot about chiropractic, about neuropathy, about so many different things, and you've achieved so much. You've written textbooks, tell me a bit about how you learn.

Dr. David Friedman: Yeah. So basically how I learn it's one of the reasons I pursued a degree in neurology is because I was the first person to make in neuroanatomy in eight years.

It was a very, very difficult class with a teacher that spoke above everyone. And he did not have the ability to bring a tough subject down to an easy to learn level so I made the subject fun. I mean, you know, the brain learns better through songs so I created jingles to learn all the nerves of the brachial plexus, and we learned, you know, better through colors.

So I created a color schematic of all the pathways of the brain and on the spinal cord because I made the info so endurable, it became retainable and this was the basis behind the book I wrote on neuroanatomy. It was sold at medical schools, chiropractic schools, physical therapy, I've had so many former students from 28 years come up to me when they bumped into me at various events and tell me they still remember the songs we sang in the class to learn all the nerves. That's three decades later, Jonathan, they still remember the nerves because they sing the song.

Jonathan Levi: Very cool. Though I will say once you learn, you know, the memory palace technique and all this stuff that we teach in our memory, of course, it's the next step because the song, one of the difficulties, I always ask people like what's the 11th letter in the alphabet and they go ABCD, right?

That's the only downside the songs are memorable, but if you need to access your knowledge backward and forwards, you know, and, and have that perfect index knowledge, that's the challenge. Otherwise, you find yourself singing, you know, in the exam, the entire song to get to the point where you need.

Dr. David Friedman: Exactly, but it's not necessarily, that could be mnemonics is just, could be, you know, looking at things that resemble something. And that's how you remember and, you know, there's just so many different ways that people learn, but I created a different system. So what may work for them may not work because people may not be really song-oriented, but you know what, they might be good with the mnemonic.

One mnemonic might get them.

Jonathan Levi: Totally. Now tell me about other high-performance habits you've obviously dedicated your entire life to understand human performance. What are some of the high-performance habits that you personally do to keep your body performing? I mean, what does a day look like for Dr. David Friedman?

Dr. David Friedman: Yeah. You know, it varies. I've basically had to really learn that, you know, helping others is really a goal of mine and I have a hard time saying no to people and I've had to learn to do that and kind of look in the mirror and say, what's, is this good for David? Are you really going to do five articles that you promise yes to, because to help them out and make the editor happy, but what's it going to do to you because you have to stay up till 3:00 AM to do it? So it's really, that kind of altered my way of thinking where it's, you know, I can't be a people pleaser and I think we do that a lot, and so in my case, it's really been looking at it and say, Hey, do I get warm fuzzies of adding that to my plate? If I say, no, I don't do it.

Jonathan Levi: I think that's a really, really smart habit and that's never come up in all the episodes that we've done of like, you really get, you got to stop and think about number one and as much as that's like not fashionable advice, but, uh, I do the same thing. I over-commit so much, and it's so hard sometimes to say no, because you really do want to help people, but you, you have to realize, like, I, um, I think I've talked about this on the show before, but I used to, my high school yearbook quote was Archimedes. Give me, but a firm enough place to stand and a large enough lever and I'll move the earth. And I put that in there because to me that was a metaphor of the lever because I think as young people or most people in general, all their life, they think about the lever.

I'm going to get more degrees, I'll get more knowledge or I'll make more money, and then I'll have more leverage to be able to do more things. But what I've realized as I've grown older is that if you have a huge, powerful lever and you're standing in swampland, that lever is just going to drive you into the ground.

And so actually, if you want to move the earth, you first need a firm place to stand then lever. And the first place to stand is health, happiness, well groundedness, you know, a support system, emotional support system, I think that's such an important point is like really take care of you first.

Dr. David Friedman: Yeah. And you know, what do they say in an airplane when the oxygen falls put it on yourself first?

You know, a lot of people don't put themselves first, you know, mom will work on the kid and that all that's what good is she, if she's not alive, she's got to put it on first and then help others. And I think it's the same in life. We want to take care of ourselves because how can we help others if we can't be a great example?

Jonathan Levi: Yeah, absolutely. Any other high-performance habits that you'd like to share with us?

Dr. David Friedman: Well, I think the, like I said, I like keeping things real simple, I think I have this ability to take something perceived as difficult and complex and make it easy and understandable and I think that's part of being superhuman it's understanding.

Knowledge is power. For example, people get so confused as to whether something is GMO or organic or conventionally grown, I say, follow the numbers. Look at the PLU code on your food that stands for price look-up code, if the digit starts with a nine, it's organic. So if it starts with an eight, it's GMO and shouldn't be eaten.

So I came up with an easy way to learn if it's eight, it isn't great. If it's nine, it's fine. Easy to remember something and no one don't forget. They'll look, Oh my God. It starts with an eight so the good mnemonic, and we hear about the dangers of eating BPA, that bile Spino aid, the chemical found in plastic containers and bottled water, it's an endocrine disruptor, it's been linked to cancer, a simple way to avoid it, look at the label. If you see a seven or three, stay away. So the saying is seven or a three, not for me. Seven or three, not for me. Now, when you look at the bottom of the, Oh, it's got a seven to three now for me and you don't buy it.

So now you know how to avoid BPA. It's simple. It's taking something complicated and making it so easy and down to earth that you can use it right now.

Jonathan Levi: Really, really good. These are really good hacks. I like it. I like it a lot. Now, any products or services that you simply could not live without? I always get really good answers on these ones from doctors.

Dr. David Friedman: Wow. Let's see one product or service. I'll share an answer that I bet again, how many episodes did we hit over 200 I bet you haven't heard this from a guy. Are you ready?

Jonathan Levi: Here we go.

Dr. David Friedman: My hot tub.

Jonathan Levi: That's a pretty good one.

Dr. David Friedman: It's my escape during my slam-packed days, you know, hot baths, they reduce stress, increase blood flow, produce endorphins, pain-relieving hormones, serotonin, neuro-transmitter that promotes happy I mean, it goes on and on. So I recommend hot baths to my patients and it's so puzzling how many people tell me they don't have time to take a bath. They prefer a quick shower. And I have to tell you a quick story. I have a contractor that comes in to see me, his back is always killing him, he's always stressed from all the heavy lifting and, you know, building and people that tryna, he lives in a really nice house, which he built himself. I said, does your house have a hot tub? He said, Oh yeah. I put one in, when I built the house, I asked him how often he uses it.

He says, uh, oh, I haven't used it in 12 years since I built the house. I said, why would you have a nice hot tub in a house that you don't use? And guess what he said. Because it will have a better resale value with a hot tub. So here's someone who put a nice tub into a house so the next owner could enjoy it.

Wow. And, you know, anyway, so he said, all right, I'll try it. The next week, Jonathan came back to me and he bowed. He says I'm not worthy. He says I love my hot tub and the no stress. My back pain is gone, I watch Netflix, I drink a beer, he loves it. The point is, you know, that we avoid, we don't take the time for us. It's like, ah, I got 20 minutes. I'll just quick shower we're always in a hurry. So that's what I couldn't live without. I could live without my computer, my iPad, you probably hear all kinds of stuff like that. Yeah, no, man. I live for that hot tub. It's my escape.

Jonathan Levi: Now I have to ask a question since you are a doctor, do you worry about the, I was told as a young man, who's not yet had children if you know what I mean, that I should stay away from hot baths. Is that not a concern for you?

Dr. David Friedman: No, because what happens is right after it does heat up the testicles so yeah, if you're saying, Hey honey, stay right there I'm going to go take a bath and we try and have a baby I'll be in, in about half-hour now.

Yeah, you're right. But you know, it's the same thing if you're biking, you know, if you're hot and sweaty or, you know, you basically, you just got to avoid heat there for that, but no, it's not permanent, you're not damaging the little guys forever, and actually what you're doing is you're decreasing, diminishing your ability to create the sperm. That's all that's doing. So, yeah. So if you take a hot bath before that you want to get pregnant, now for men are saying, Hey, I don't want to get my girl pregnant, honey, stay right there on the bed. I'll be right back. It might be an answer like, Hey, this is my answer. I don't want to have a baby. So I'm gonna go take a hot bath.

Jonathan Levi: Okay. All right. Good to know. I'm going to, I'm probably going to go take a hot bath with my fiance. That sounds pretty lovely. I've been holding back on doing the baths for years, but now I feel,

Dr. David Friedman: Oh, it's unbelievable.

Jonathan Levi: And now, and do you put magnesium or Epsom salts in there? Cause I know transdermal magnesium is apparently also really good for you.

Dr. David Friedman: Yeah. That's an excellent choice to do and what's so interesting is, you know, with Epsom salt science shows also say, soak your foot and Epsom salt so, and they don't, they realize, well, if it's good for your feet also, why not your bathtub?

Because that helps increase the, you know, alkalinize the water so you're actually getting rid of the acidity, opens up the pores because heat meso dilates the pores so you're getting that in the body and it's really good a relaxer and, uh, it is a muscle actually, you know, it's the same thing with magnesium, as you talked about it, you really good supplement.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. Last few questions here. I know we're running up on time, what's the best hundred dollars you've ever spent?

Dr. David Friedman: Wow Best hundred dollars ever spent. I was actually in downtown Philly several years ago and there was a homeless person seeing on the streets and Jonathan he was absolutely amazing. His voice is like nothing I'd ever heard before. And everybody, you know, they would drop him by dimes and quarters and for this incredible performance, dimes and quarters, I filmed it on my iPhone. I was just so blown away. I gave him a hundred-dollar bill in his tip box and I posted his video online and it went viral.

It was seen by over a million people, and one day my post received a comment from a man named Anthony Riley, who is the person I had filmed on the streets of Philly.

Jonathan Levi: Oh my God.

Dr. David Friedman: Yeah. He shared that he'd been singing on the streets to save up enough money to fly to LA and audition for NBC's The Voice and my financial generosity and sharing his video to all America helped make that possible.

And he went on to audition for the show and he had the fastest four-chair turnaround in the voice history. It took four seconds for every coach to hear that wonderful, beautiful talent and flip it around. So I would say that's the best, a hundred dollars I've ever spent.

Jonathan Levi: That is the best story I've ever heard for what's the best hundred dollars you've ever spent. What was the gentleman's name?

Dr. David Friedman: Anthony Riley. Yeah.

Jonathan Levi: Oh, my God. Good for you. That is so awesome.

Dr. David Friedman: Yeah, it was great. And it was such, such a talent.

Jonathan Levi: He's a famous musical artist now.

Dr. David Friedman: Yeah actually, you know, the stardom because he was homeless and this is very sad is uh it was too much for him and he, uh, he committed suicide.

Jonathan Levi: Oh my God.

Dr. David Friedman: So we had a sad ending just because he was so, um, he didn't know how to handle the stardom. It was just like, wow, I'm, I'm famous. I'm used to being the street corner begging for dimes and nickels and it was a different level and I guess some people just aren't prepared to rocket ship to outer space that fast.

Jonathan Levi: I think that it was just an overnight success for him.

Dr. David Friedman: It's terrible. And yeah we were so sad. Yeah. Such a loss. He's such a, such a talent, such a sweet guy. They were sad.

Jonathan Levi: Well, not the happiest note to end on there so let me ask a happier note. I want to make sure we ended up happy tell me about a few books that have changed your life.

Dr. David Friedman: Uh, diet for new America by John Robbins is probably the catalyst that really got me to look at the food we eat with a magnifying glass. He kind of made me think about, wow, I never thought about it this way. And another book that influenced me was fit for life by Harvey diamond. In fact, he wrote the forward to my book food sanity, which was such an honor.

I mean, here's this, you know, his book remains the bestselling health book of all time, it held the number one position on the New York times list for 40 consecutive weeks. So I had the honor of having Harvey mentor me through that my publishing process of food, sanity, which was kind of like learning karate from Bruce Lee.

It was amazing. Oh, yeah. So that's probably the two that really influenced me and where I am today. You know, I look at everybody's, but I mean, I, I do a radio show, so I'm getting, I get four or five books a week in the mail and, you know, I take bits and pieces from them all. I think they're all great and, and I think everything has good attributes and again, you know, not everything is the perfect book so I basically, and that's kind of what I wrote food sanity for. It's like, alright, bits and pieces, let's put it all together. I interviewed, uh, hundreds of the doctors or scientists and authors and said, all right, let's take beats bits and pieces from the Paleo and the vegan. Let's see what's what makes common sense and common science and you know, and biology.

And that's kind of where I found that but yeah, I love, uh, you know, so many different books. The two that probably influenced me, or we wouldn't probably be here today if I didn't read those two books.

Jonathan Levi: So cool. So cool. Now I want to thank you for coming on the show, but first I want to ask 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?

Dr. David Friedman: Probably not to be so trusting. You know, we live in a time where profits come before people and it's more important now than ever for us to play detective and take our health into our own hands, read labels. If you see something you don't recognize, like I said, Google it, see what it is before you put it in your mouth, if it's the ingredient that's also been used in laundry detergent, hey, maybe it's not something you want to be putting in your mouth. You know, my book, I show different stuff like that so really it's, it's looking in the mirror. That's your answer. Don't trust your doctor, your health care providers, your health insurance, or the government to look out for you.

You. Healthcare begins with you, taking care of yourself, and to do that, we've got to really stop being so trusting.

Jonathan Levi: I love that. And that's such an important one. And, and then again, another one, when you think after 200 episodes, you've heard it all, but that's another one that has never been shared and I think is so important for people is be skeptical of where your information comes from. Dr. Friedman, where can people get in touch with you, learn more, pick up a copy of your book obviously we'll put a link in the show notes of the book, but where should people check out your radio show and all the other things that you do?

Dr. David Friedman: Yeah, you can learn more about me at and my books are available where everywhere books are sold and you can go to I actually have a 92-page ebook free recipe book cause I ran out of room in my book and people said, well, what can we do? Well, what can I make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that's healthy? So I created a recipe book and it's free, it's uh, you can download that, it's a compilation of the Food Sanity book and um, for my radio show it's I just interviewed William Shatner, which was a great interview about how he's living to 90 years old, happy, healthy, and it's all about giving.

He wakes up every day, what can I do for someone else? What charity can I support? It's about giving, not about having his name in a book and I think that's about life. I love that. I resonate with that. Wake up each day, what can you do for somebody else? How can you give and make a difference in life and follow me on Facebook and Twitter at Dr. Davidson Friedman and on Instagram at Dr. D Friedman.

Jonathan Levi: Very cool. Dr. Friedman, thank you very much. I've had a pleasure chatting with you today and I know our audience has as well.

Dr. David Friedman: It's been awesome. Thanks for inviting me, Jonathan.

Jonathan Levi: All right. Superfriends. That is all we have for you today, but I hope you guys really enjoyed the show and I hope you learned a ton of actionable information tips, advice that will help you go out there and overcome the impossible.

If you've enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher, or drop us a quick little note on the Twitter machine @gosuperhuman. Also, if you have any ideas. For anyone out there who you would love to see on the show. We always love to hear your recommendations. You can submit it on our website, or you can just drop us an email and let us know that's all for today, guys, thanks for tuning in.

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 We'll see you next time.



  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.



  4. Muhammed Sani Ibrahim
    at — Reply

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

  5. Leonia
    at — Reply

    Maybe oarts of the things he has to share are right, maybe not. If I look at him which impact his nurturing and living style has on himself I see a very old looking man! He is year 1973!! That is not old and he looks definitly much older!! If I would not know his birthyear I would guess that he is in his mid-60ies!! A bit concering for someone who claims his lifestyle is suitable for a long life, isn’t it?

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