Live Long and Master Aging podcast



Research your health like it’s your next car

Jim LaValle: Clinical pharmacist


Developing a health strategy to navigate the decades ahead can be a daunting task.  In fact, many people focus on their wellbeing only when ill health strikes and an intervention is needed to tackle sickness. Jim LaValle, a California-based clinical pharmacist, health educator and the author of Cracking the Metabolic Code: 9 Keys to Optimal Health, is on a mission to demystify the process.  The founder of Metabolic Code, a health evaluation program that creates a plan of action for people to live and feel better, Jim is a proponent of precision medicine.  In this LLAMA podcast conversation he explains the process of scrunching health data, making sense of lab tests and interpreting biometric information.  He discusses the threat posed by inflammation, the importance of gut health and why an understanding of so-called metabolic roadblocks is crucial.  We also share our thoughts on what it means to ‘age with grace.’

Recorded: July 21, 2021 | Read a transcript

Connect with Jim LaValle: Bio | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Books | Metabolic Code

Listening options: Apple PodcastsAudibleStitcherTuneinSpotifyPandora PodcastsGoogle Podcasts

“I want my patients to not be thinking about their health. They’re doing their health. They’re just picking food because it’s the right food to pick and they’re exercising in whatever modality they want because they enjoy it.”

Jim LaValle

Transcript and chapters

Peter Bowes: [00:00:21] Hello again and welcome to the Live Long and Master aging podcast. I’m Peter Bowes – this is where we explore the science and stories behind human longevity. Now, when we think about these interventions throughout our lives that could help us live longer and healthier, the question of supplementation always comes up. It does many times on this podcast, whether it be through natural products, nutraceuticals products derived from food sources that promote good health or pharmaceuticals compounds that are manufactured to also promote good health, alleviate the symptoms of disease or vaccinate us against disease. We’re all very familiar with that now as we emerge at least hopefully emerge from the pandemic. So what is good for us and what isn’t good for us? My guest today is Jim LaValle. Jim is a clinical pharmacist and a health educator. He is the author of Cracking the Metabolic Code: Nine Keys to Optimal Health. He is also the founder of Metabolic Code, a health evaluation program that creates a precise plan of action for people to live and feel better. Jim, welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast.

Jim LaValle: [00:01:30] Well, it’s great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Peter Bowes: [00:01:32] Joining me from Fort Worth in Texas, I guess it’s probably as sizzling hot there as it is here in Los Angeles today.

Jim LaValle: [00:01:38] Yeah, I mean, I think I got lucky. So, you know, between traveling from the West Coast and here to Texas, I think I stay hot all the time.

Peter Bowes: [00:01:45] It’s inescapable. And certainly Texas is a is a beautiful place. Jim, you’ve been doing this in terms of your career for I think I’m correct in saying about 35 years. And my sense is, just discovering the longevity space, that there’s really been an explosion in interest and understanding of longevity issues in the last five, maybe 10 years. And I’m just curious to what extent do you think we are really in the middle of a new era or perhaps still relatively the beginning of a new era as it applies to longevity and personalized health?

Looking at aging as a disease

Jim LaValle: [00:02:16] Oh, I think without a doubt there’s this explosion. I think there’s a general awareness now that has taken place where people were starting to understand that aging can be looked at as a disease, that, you know, that we can really start to master aspects of our chemistry that promotes this process called inflam-aging. Right. So if you think about when I wrote Cracking the Metabolic Code, it was all about getting people to understand that, you know, your metabolism is more than how many calories you burn. Your metabolism is the sum total of all the reactions going on in your body that it’s either driving you towards health or driving you towards, you know, illness, disease and accelerated aging and, you know, a term in the clinical literature that’s now popping up and I wish I could take credit for it. Is the term Meta-flamation. So Meta-flamation or metabolic inflammation is really the process that where, you know, attributing these kind of accelerated aging and disease issues to? And, you know, I had a colleague of mine, we were we were doing an education course over the weekend in teaching. And, you know, she said, oh, we’re all studying informology now and we’re all informologists. And then there’s a bit of truth to that, because it really starts to define the actions we take, why we take them, and now how do we measure the inputs and outputs that show us that we’re actually regressing that march towards aging. 

Peter Bowes: [00:03:58] Well, let’s dive into all of that. I mentioned 35 years. It might be interesting just to go back a little bit, fairly briefly over those 35 years and how your career developed your education and specifically what catapulted you in this direction in terms of longevity and and healthspan?

Standing on the shoulders of great longevity thinkers

Jim LaValle: [00:04:16] Oh, sure. So, I mean, I always trained a lot. I was super interested in the health space. I mean, even when I was in high school, I had cousins that were importing dietary supplements and homoeopathics from Germany into the U.S. and were and were, you know, professional sales and physicians offices. But the bottom line that happened to me was, you know, I looked great. You know, I remember I was, you know, you know, Division one scholarship – ended up getting into bodybuilding. Looked awesome, felt terrible. And it it took going to someone when I was age 22 to actually put me on a plan that corrected the imbalances that they determined. And you know what? I felt better. And I was going to pharmacy school. And it was interesting. When I went to pharmacy school, we were still studying things like medicinal, organic biochemistry, and we studied pharmacognosy you know, we studied plant medicine and the value that plants have. And I think we miss a little bit of that. I mean, I taught at the College of Pharmacy and the College of Medicine for 17 years at the University of Cincinnati. But while I was doing that, I was also, you know, after being introduced to this type of care, I got passionate about it. And I right away said, you know what, I’m not going to sit behind a counter. I’m not going to you know, I’m not going to be the clinical pharmacist at the health department. Like I had a brief stint at. I want to get out there and really help people make decisions about what do you put in your body in order to help you feel the best. And, you know, very early on made that decision of whether you’re competing, such as a professional athlete or a weekend warrior or you’re someone that’s struggling with a health condition. What we have to understand is what are the inputs or countermeasures that will take a corrective action to get you to your best possible health. And I just got I had great teachers that pointed me in the direction of incredible what I’d say our forefathers of this kind of thinking. Folks like Kissinger, who wrote The Connective Tissue Matrix and Reckeweg who was the father of homotoxicology that were really interested in cellular health, cell to cell communication. And what I say today is systems biology, understanding that where this one big, massive connected information network that we can influence through our actions, our thoughts. Right. It’s important to think about that, you know, our emotional well-being as well as the way we choose to live our life. And that’s, you know, what are you eating? How much are you eating? Because in general, what I see is people eat too much. They eat too often. They pick the wrong foods. They eat too late, they don’t move, they don’t get enough sleep. And then they’re under a lot of stress.

Peter Bowes: [00:07:14] So with with your understanding now, then, of all of that, let’s just go back to when you were 22. What specifically were you doing wrong as a 22 year old who played sports, who did bodybuilding and who looked great but felt awful? What were you doing wrong?

Lifetime lessons and epigenetics

Jim LaValle: [00:07:29] Well, you know what? The big thing there was I was a sickly kid, so I lived on antibiotics. I thought the pink stuff was a part of my meal plan. Right. The amoxicillin was part of what was my daily life. And so was Dimetapp, the purple stuff. And I actually like the taste of Dimetapp growing up. And so there it was, the terrain that I grew up through. Right. Understanding my base level chemistry. And then, of course, trying to work two jobs, go through the toughest pharmacy school program, arguably in the United States, at the time, they were rated number one and and trained three to four hours a day. The stress load was high. I was eating, you know, foods that were making me crash. So not understanding the relationship of eating a food. And how do you feel afterwards? And so I think there was this process of understanding that epigenetics, what happened to me after birth, that was playing out. And at the same time, I was making these choices of pushing myself too hard in too many directions, which then, of course, would get to that concept of allostatic load. You know, something changes. Eventually your brain starts to signal your immune system, you know, so, you know, the whole process of a permeable got more inflammatory compounds being produced. And that was the stuff that I was doing wrong.

Peter Bowes: [00:08:55] You’ve touched a lot of bases there. Let’s focus in on the metabolic code. Can you give me a definition?

Defining the Metabolic Code

Jim LaValle: [00:09:01] Sure. So, you know, the metabolic code was is a process of looking at your subjective symptoms, your labs, your biometric data. And what the code does is it takes all that information and scrunches it into five metabotypes. And metabotypes are in the clinical literature as well. And these five metabotypes are networks that break down in your body. And of course, they’re an artificial construct because you have one whole body, right? You don’t have five bodies, you have one body. But it’s it’s understanding that the adrenals, the thyroid and the pancreas, blood sugar, cortisol, insulin and thyroid hormone, when those relationships are right in our signaling correctly, You have energy, you have vitality, you’re not gaining weight and you’re not nervous and you’re not you’re not stressed out when there’s when that’s going wrong. You hear the term adrenal fatigue, but it’s really more of a central issue than that. But you get tired and you gain weight. And so each of these five metabotypes are representative of major architectures in signaling systems in your body Triad 2 being gut immune brain. Right. So, you know, everybody’s heard about the gut immune brain connection and the enteric nervous system, how the brain connects to the gut and try and that’s about resiliency. How resilient am I to infection or to stress or to a food I eat or an exposure that I get? Triad 3, of course, cardiopulmonary neurovascular is, you know, how we oxygenate and what our endurance is like. And that also goes into, am i making bad lipids or not, because when we get metabolically inflamed, we make more bad lipids. Right. We make more oxidised LDL and that damages our endothelium. And we plaque and we we damage our tissues Triad 4  is liver, lymph, kidney. And that has to do with detoxification, but it also has to do with the health of your red blood cells. Am I anemic? You know what? How are my kidneys filtering? What is my lymph doing am I puffy, do I do I have lymph stagnation and then of course Triad 5 and that’s of course, the triad of detox in terms of a one word statement and then Triad 5 is hormones, because we know that sex hormones play a powerful role in and extending the longevity quotient for individuals, especially if you look at, for example, look at the GlycanAge® test when they looked at things like estrogen or testosterone and looked at what happened to their biological age in individuals that we’re doing bioidentical hormone replacement. So so I think that one so the metabolic code tries to take the complex. A lot of people go into anti-aging docs or functional medicine docs and you’re given 40 pages of labs and a bunch of scribbling notes. And what this does is it generates a report that says this is where your biggest metabolic roadblocks are. And therefore, you should focus there, because guess what will happen, you will start to feel better. There’s nothing more important with longevity than when I start to feel better. I’m less gassy. I don’t have a rash. I’m not bloated, I’m not tired, I’m not anxious. I’m not craving food anymore. That creates the motivation to move forward. So the metabolic code is about targeted precision health that guides to performance health, and it gives people very direct what nutrients you should take, what diet you should do. And then they the health care provider can now quickly follow the progress of the individual because all of it is scored.

Peter Bowes: [00:12:53] It is, as you say, a very complex ecosystem. And it’s interesting to me just very personally that you focused in on the adrenal glands there. I recently had my left adrenal gland removed because I was diagnosed with hyperaldosteronism, an over secretion of the hormone aldosterone, which frankly, I’d never heard of up until fairly recently until I had quite a few tests to ultimately diagnose that condition. And without going into the long story, it regulates potassium levels in particular, which are very important, and also blood pressure as well. And the the difference it’s made to me is quite phenomenal. Just in a few short weeks, the fact that I’m not overproducing, Aldosterone and I mentioned this really just to make the point and to highlight how complex our bodies are…

Jim LaValle: [00:13:38] That’s right.

Peter Bowes: [00:13:39] …how little the vast majority of us actually know about our bodies and therefore how difficult it is for most people to make assessments about what they need to do, whether they’re over-secreting a hormone under-secreting and those very precise precision medicine decisions that can be made by a qualified doctor that we just simply can’t make for ourselves.

Why precision medicine?

Jim LaValle: [00:14:02] Yeah, I think it’s important to understand that. I mean, I just had that happen with one of my patients this last week. He had decided on his own. You know, I got him very well when I hadn’t heard from him in eight months. All of a sudden, I get a call from him in a panic and he’s like, oh, my gosh, I’m anxious. I’ve got panic. My heart rate’s up. And I said, well, what did you do? He goes, Well, you know, I started listening to some podcasts and I started, you know, self prescribing and the the long and the short of it was he started taking iodine and he started taking way too much iodine and he basically threw himself into thyroid storm. And so I think there are things that we can do and empower ourselves as individuals. So I’m not in the camp that everything has to be done through your doctor. I do believe there’s a lot you can do, even basic supplementation. You can figure out what you may want to try for yourself. But once you hit a crux in the road and you’re not either getting better or you are beginning to show that you have an illness, you got to get to people who are trained and will dig in and really find out where the where the issues are. And then from there, of course, there’s a variety of methods that that people employ, whether they look at Ayurvedic medicine or traditional Chinese medicine or a combination of Western medicine with any of the other integrative care thought processes that go with it. But I think it’s it’s interesting being in this field now. And I mean, I’ve written twenty two books and four databases. I mean, I’ve, I’m passionate about this field. I mean, at age 61, I still love what I’m doing, but I’ll have people that, you know, a lot of folks it’s the only profession I think I don’t go to a plumber and say, hey, let me tell you how to fix that plumbing. But I have a lot of people who may not have much formal education in any one way, tell me about, you know, a dietary supplement or nutrition. And I’m not saying this from a lofty, you know, kind of position or being condescending. I just think it’s interesting that we really are starting to find out. For example, you may do 16 hour fasting and indicated you’re on a  diet and think you’re doing great because you lost weight. But if I pull your blood and I see that your triglycerides are up and your lipids are up and you have more oxidised LDL and I’m seeing problems in your kidneys, well, great. you look better, but you’re still accelerating the aging process. So it’s getting that that insight into, you know, biomechanics, how my physiology is and my biochemistry and then creating, I would say, an organized plan and one that you think about. What I do at age 61 is not what I did when I was thirty. And so it’s understanding that with each decade. To maintain your resiliency, to maintain your capacity, your metabolic reserve, right? All of those things mean paying attention to the changes that are occurring in you. And, you know, a lot of times people will spend more time researching the next car they buy than they do on their health. And I got to tell you, there’s nothing more valuable than that engine that’s in you.

Peter Bowes: [00:17:32] Yeah. And I think probably my point is you really need to take the extreme care over who you consult with. And you mentioned listening to too many podcasts. You know, please don’t listen to this podcast, especially this podcast, and take advice based on your interpretation of a conversation. I think people should and you say not necessarily always from a doctor, but my advice is, at least initially, go to your personal physician and discuss things. They know your personal health better than anyone else.

Jim LaValle: [00:18:01] Exactly. I mean, look, I get on podcasts all the time because I want to get information out like this that gets people to think, you know, I want them to think about their health.

Peter Bowes: [00:18:12] Exactly.

Jim LaValle: [00:18:12] And I think that’s what’s important is that we we start to critically think about what we’re doing. And and then the most obvious I’m going to go back to it is how do my labs look and how do I feel?

Peter Bowes: [00:18:26] Yeah, you mentioned gut health a little time ago. And I think certainly we’ve heard a lot about gut health, gut health and that microbiome that is our gut. And of course, our body is full of lots of individual, tiny little microbiomes. Just explain to us how important gut health is.

The importance of gut health

Jim LaValle: [00:18:43] Well, I mean, the gut is really where we metabolize hormones. It’s where we make signaling compounds that tell us whether we’re hungry or not. It’s where our inflammation cascade can be triggered. For example, covid cases and the pandemic. They’re finding out a very strong microbiome disruption that occurs in individuals who got covid infection. And yes, you can identify it with a stool sample, it turns out. But more importantly, there is a change in the way the immune system was behaving because the probiotic flora gets compromised. And now that allows for more inflammatory cytokines signaling to go out systemically. So for me, you know, one of the first books I read this was actually 38 years ago was a book by Bernard Jensen, and it was The Chemistry of Man. And he is one of the original naturopaths. Right. And he was the guy they coined the term death begins in the colon. And and I think, you know, for a lot of us, it really is important to think about, well, what am I doing with my gut? Because, you know, we do eat too much. We do eat too often. We don’t pick the right foods. We rarely get enough fiber in our diet. As Americans, we get very poor fiber. And I think all of these factors play out. And obviously, the work that’s been published from Harvard and other leading universities showing that changes in the gut microbiome lead to things like auto immunity as the gut becomes more permeable in our epithelial cells start to gap and now we get bacteria getting into the bloodstream and we get proteins into the bloodstream and now our immune systems getting overloaded with information. And once it starts to get overloaded, it’s going to send out five alarm fire signals. And those five alarm fire signals are inflammatory cytokines and compounds and signaling substances that lead to that word I said at the beginning of our interview inflamm-aging. And so the gut is at the center of that.

Peter Bowes: [00:20:53] And what can we do to improve our gut health? Is the consumption of probiotics a good idea? A lot of people think that if they simply eat lots of yogurt – but that concerns me because yogurt is generally full of sugar, isn’t it?

Jim LaValle: [00:21:06] Yeah, well, yeah, yogurt for sugar. And a lot of people have cows dairy allergies in my world. So I have issues with both. I think that people need to consider taking human strain, probiotics, strains that have been identified, but not just that. So probiotics are an interesting category because they’re live organisms. Right. And and unless the company is studying, when they put the organisms together, like in a jar, they put thirty five organisms. You don’t really know if they’re competing, if they’re all there or not. And so I’m really big on finding companies that have data on their quality of their product that shows what we have in that capsule is alive until the date of expiration, especially when it’s a multi formula. And so I believe I believe in taking probiotics and I really believe in teaching people how to get in prebiotics eating sauerkraut, eating kimchi, eating it, just eating artichokes, getting greens in, taking fiber because, you know. We really should try to hit this target of at least 30 grams of fiber a day, I prefer forty for people and the reality is at two grams per serving in a vegetable, I don’t know a lot of people eating 20 servings of vegetables. And and so I encourage people, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower fiber, psyllium, you know, get fiber in because fiber helps keep the the medium of the flora. Right. The environment of the flora healthy and the resistant starches that we get, like eating a green banana, where the starch doesn’t break down in the digestive track, but it goes to the lower intestine and feeds the probiotic. Incredibly important.

Peter Bowes: [00:22:53] A green banana is good for you.

Jim LaValle: [00:22:55] A green banana is high in resistant starch. You’ll even see banana green banana powder in health food stores. And the reason for that is, is that it’s starch that does not break down in the upper part of the intestine and instead travels unbroken into the lower intestine where it becomes food for the beneficial flora.

Peter Bowes: [00:23:18] Yes, interesting. So my instinct has always been a green banana, which isn’t as tasty, which isn’t as sweet as a nice ripe banana. And therefore, the assumption has always been to avoid it because it probably wouldn’t do it wouldn’t do me much good.

Jim LaValle: [00:23:31] Well, I mean, when it’s ripe, what’s happened, the sugars have become more available. Right. So when you eat them now, now you’re getting the full glycaemic load effect of a banana, whereas if it’s green, you have about a third of that banana will not be broken down and then alter your blood sugar. And then there’s, of course, other things that you can do where there’s resistant starch powders and those kind of things that have been very beneficial to individuals.

Wellbeing in a post pandemic world

Peter Bowes: [00:23:56] Very interesting. So as we hopefully into this post pandemic world and I referred to at the beginning, everything you’ve talked about really that promotes our good health is of ultra importance right now, isn’t it, as we move forward from this virus and from this pandemic? Because inevitably there will be another one, or at least this one will hang around for a long time. And the things that you’re talking about, this is how we’re going to prevent ourselves from getting a similar disease in the future.

Jim LaValle: [00:24:25] Now, I mean, I, I mean, look, when we saw the unfortunate folks that succumbed to the pandemic, many of them were diabetic, prediabetic, overweight or had cardiovascular disease. Right. They had chronic low grade inflammation in their body to start. And so every you know, when I try to get across to people the importance of managing your inflammation, it’s because a person that’s obese has the equivalent of a low grade infection in their body 24 hours a day. And this isn’t what, my brother was four hundred and seventy six pounds at one point, I’m not saying this from a point once again of pointing a finger. I love people no matter what size they are, because the person I love most in the world, my brother, who unfortunately passed away a few years ago, he was a very big man and had a lot of problems with controlling his eating and all those kind of things. So the point is. Everything that you can do to dampen that inflammation response, I mean, one of the big things I teach people in my clinic is how do you breathe? Because we get because our nervous system gets so jacked up from sympathetic tone, meaning fight or flight response that we start to become a shallow breather. And shallow breathing means you don’t oxygenate your tissues well and your heart rate goes up and your heart very, very variability gets altered and teaching people how to manage the thought that even though you’re going to be busy and overcommitted during the day, take a couple intentional minutes and just box breathe, you know, just four seconds in hold, four seconds out hold. When you breathe out, think about the stress you took on in the morning that you’re going to let go right then and just create in tension a little bit. That’s not even a pill if you need a pill. I love things like Wellora and Theanene and Holy Basil because they manage peoples’ stress. And, you know, the one thing that I think we forget since the beginning of recorded medicine in all cultures, that most valuable herb in every culture was the herb that helped people cope with stress. Since the beginning of written medical literature across all cultures, you know what we do in our modern culture, we wait till people break down and the new adaption today is Xanax or Prozac. But it’s after the fact you’re instead of keeping people resilient, we wait till they break. And I think it’s so important for people to understand the difference between the two, how to maintain your resiliency, increase your durability, increase your metabolic capacity to be able to be resistant to the struggles that hit you and give your body the best chance to fight off any kind of stressor that occurs.

Peter Bowes: [00:27:24] Well, Jim, I think this is probably a good opportunity for me to ask you about your lifestyle. I’m always curious about people in your position with a lifetime of wisdom and knowledge in this area. What do you do to promote your own healthspan, your own longevity, your daily routine, your exercise and your diet?

A day in a long life

Jim LaValle: [00:27:41] Yeah, sure. So my diet principally consists. I do. I’m an APOE 34. That’s a gene snp.And that means that I don’t tolerate saturated fat, that if I ate saturated fat, I would have a much higher risk of dementia and heart disease. And so I eat a low saturated fat diet, but not low fat. I use olive oil, my wife is a dietitian. We cook our food mainly at home, but we do enjoy going out to a fine dinner when we’re going to a place. So we’re not so particular that we can’t go out and enjoy ourselves. But I would say we cook 90 percent of our foods and they’re organic and we’re a plant forward family, meaning that we really believe that eating plant food is important. And at the same time, because I train a lot even to this day at 61 this morning, I did 45 minutes of interval training along with bands and some weights, and I’ll do another 20 minutes this afternoon. And so I five days a week to six days a week. I get in about 45 minutes to an hour and a half of exercise that includes some stretching and mobilization and then kind of a mix of aerobic activity and some weight bearing activity, but not nearly the weight bearing activity I used to do when I was younger, because guess what? I got sixty one year old joints. And so I do that. I try to get seven to nine hours of sleep. I never need nine, but I do do well between seven and eight and I try to make that a consistent theme.

Peter Bowes: [00:29:10] Is that easy for you? So many people of your age and my age, I’m almost 60 find it difficult to sleep or if they get to sleep, to stay asleep.

Jim LaValle: [00:29:19] You know, that’s interesting because, you know, I kind of that’s one of my areas I do a lot of lecturing on, because when you’re having trouble sleeping, either getting to sleep or staying asleep, it means your brain is hyper aroused, that you have excessive sympathetic tone going on. So if I don’t take a chance, I love melatonin for its anti aging properties. I take 10 to 20 milligrams of melatonin a night. I’m not particularly stressed out at the end of the day, I try to make time to enjoy my life, even though I’m writing two books right now at the same time. And I’m the co-chair at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. I teach a lot there, so I’m busy. You know, I’ve got the Metabolic Code platform, I’m seeing patients, but I draw a line in the sand. You know, after seven o’clock when we’re done eating, the rest of the evening is about family and enjoyment and relaxation. I had to learn that. That was not something that was innate for me. I learned that over the last decade

Peter Bowes: [00:30:18] Because we work in a, we live in a society where the longer you work and the more hours you put in, the better person you are.

Jim LaValle: [00:30:24] Exactly.

Peter Bowes: [00:30:25] Not true.

Jim LaValle: [00:30:26] And what I what I ended up finding out is, you know what? If I give myself a break, I actually think better and I’m more creative. Imagine that. So so that’s the kind of the tenants of my of our lifestyle. You know, my father’s 91 years old. He lives with us. And, you know, it’s interesting. I don’t know that as he was Italian and he just worked hard and enjoyed his life and, you know, he did pretty good for himself. He’s certainly not doing all the things that I’m doing. And then, of course. And he made it. Yeah, he’s won the race. And so and then there’s, of course, you know, the application of some avant garde things like peptides or SARMs or those kind of things. I have a pretty healthy dietary supplement regimen based on my labs. You know, where are you at? What do you need help at? You know, and and then obviously things like magnesium, you know, trace, it’s a mineral. You got to have it if you’re going to be active. There’s some basic things that I just think everybody could benefit from.

Longevity aspirations

Peter Bowes: [00:31:31] I’m just thinking about your dad and his great longevity. Do you have your own personal longevity aspirations? Are you one of these people who thinks about what you’ll be doing and well, in your case, 60 so in a couple of decades time, 80 or maybe even 40 years time, 40 years. Sounds like a lifetime, doesn’t it? But when you’re 100 years old, you have a vision of what you’ll be doing.

Jim LaValle: [00:31:53] I hope that I’m on my boat looking out over the sunset or the sunrise on a lake. And I hope I’m writing my 48th book. And I am just coming back from lecturing on the value of anti aging practices and longevity principles and individuals lives. I actually that that for me and of course, I’m always doing active research on nutraceutical compounds and botanical compounds. I can’t get enough of this stuff. And, but I also have to tell you that I kind of live my life. You know, I’m here now and I’m living my best possible version of me. And what I try to understand is like I can only control what’s going on right now. And so I’ve lived my life with obviously with some forward thought of where I am going. Muktananda wrote a great book on that, the philosopher, Where are you Going? But at the same time, I just want to make good decisions right now, like what my next meal is going to be, you know, when am I going to get out on that boat again this week, you know, because, you know, not big boats, a little boat on a lake. But you know what? Nothing better than that. Fresh air and that sunshine and and having a relaxation time. So I’m hoping that I just continue to age with grace, that I enjoy the longevity that I’ve worked hard for. And that’s that’s really my you know, that’s kind of where my mindset is.

Peter Bowes: [00:33:30] Age with grace, you see aging in a positive sense. And I mention that because you’ve used the expression anti-aging a couple of times and I personally don’t particularly like that expression. I like to see aging in a positive moving forward sense, something that you could embrace as opposed to trying to reverse. I can understand reversing in a biological sense. But bigger picture, I think I still want to look at aging as something that we can move forward with.

Jim LaValle: [00:33:57] Yeah, you know, it’s interesting because, you know, we do a lot of research on what people identify with. They identify with that term anti aging, because I think they get that in the end. What what I see if I look at kind of as a student of Reckeweg is, you know, all we’re trying to do is suspend our body from starting to produce the compounds of aging. Right. And so to me, increasing our healthspan and I really like the term performance health because performance health for an 80 year old means they can get up off the floor. They’re stable when they walk, they can get up and down steps. They’re able to, you know, go grocery shopping and carry a bag of groceries in. That’s a way different equation then, you know, my goal of, you know, deadlifting seven hundred and fifty pounds when I was, you know, twenty two years old. And so, yeah, I you know, the term even though the term anti-aging is kind of a, I’m like you, for all the work that everybody’s doing on people, I never see anybody coming back into my office as an infant. Right. You know, we still have greying in our hair and you know, we’re still kind of, you know. But can we feel the vitality that we think we should have. And to me, that’s the real key, is I want my patients to not be thinking about their health. They’re doing their health. They’re just picking food because it’s the right food to pick and they’re exercising and whatever modality they want because they enjoy it and they’re not having to think about it. They’re being it. And that’s really what I try to get across to folks, because we’re still in a big struggle. Right? I mean, I always say this and once again, sometimes people raise their eyebrows. But I always say for all the Lululemon pants being sold, 80 percent of the US population is still overweight, 42 percent are obese. We’ve got half the population with diabetes or insulin resistance, and a third of the adult population has heart disease. And and so we’re not – we need to get that message out about doing and being instead of thinking about it.

Peter Bowes: [00:36:09] I think that’s a great and thought-provoking way to end this interview. Jim, your work is fascinating. Thank you very much indeed.

Jim LaValle: [00:36:15] Oh, it’s great. Love the discussion. Thank you so much for having me.

Peter Bowes: [00:36:19] It was my pleasure. And if you’d like to delve a little deeper into Jim’s work and the Metabolic Code in particular, I’ll put some details into the show notes for this episode. You’ll find them at the Live Long and Master Aging Website, That’s You’ll also find us at all of the major podcasting platforms, including Apple podcasts, Stitcher, Pandora, Audible to name a few. LLAMA is a Healthspan Media production. We’ll be back with another episode very soon. Do take care. Thank you very much for listening, 

The Live Long and Master Aging podcast, a HealthSpan Media LLC production, shares ideas but does not offer medical advice.  If you have health concerns of any kind, or you are considering adopting a new diet or exercise regime, you should consult your doctor.

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