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Optimising Nutrition Podcast

Optimising Nutrition Podcast

By Marty Kendall

A no BS take on how to optimise your nutrition. Your diet doesn't need a name or a belief system, just enough nutrients.

We take an engineering approach and speak to the experts about their insights into weight loss, fasting, and nutrition as well as real-life people about their journey of nutritional optimisation.

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Learning to Nourish (Rather than Deprive) Yourself | Debra Cleveland

Optimising Nutrition PodcastFeb 03, 2022

Learning to Nourish (Rather than Deprive) Yourself   | Debra Cleveland

Learning to Nourish (Rather than Deprive) Yourself | Debra Cleveland

I had a great time talking to fellow Optimiser Debra Cleveland about her journey through the Data-Driven Fasting Challenges and Masterclasses.

During our live Q&As, Debra was always full of enthusiasm, inspiration, and positive energy as she learned to nourish her body instead of depriving it.

This stuck out to me, and I wanted to chat with her to hear more about her ride through health and to see if she had any learnings and insights to share.

We discussed:

  • Why is taking care of your body and your health a priority for you?
  • How did you stumble across DDF and the Optimising Nutrition Masterclass?
  • What did you find unique about the process?
  • I see you had some significant changes in your blood glucose and made the DDF leader board. What did you learn from tracking your blood glucose?
  • What did you learn from tracking your macro and micronutrients in the masterclass?
  • What tips would you give for someone just starting out?
Feb 03, 202227:44
Losing 20 kg (44 lbs) in 5 Months! | Sidi Riza

Losing 20 kg (44 lbs) in 5 Months! | Sidi Riza

It’s been fascinating watching Sidi’s journey progress since initially taking part in our Data-Driven Fasting Challenge and then hopping into the Nutritional Optimisation Masterclass.  Sidi has shed an incredible 20kg (44 lbs) in just five months.  She has also lost 15% body fat and reduced her waist to height ratio from 0.61 to a very healthy 0.49!

After getting the ball rolling with Data-Driven Fasting, Sidi powered on to dial in her macronutrients and micronutrients with her local cuisine in Kenya and Cyprus, achieving an incredible 100% Optimal Nutrient Score.

Sidi’s journey has developed quite a following amongst her friends, family, and workmates in Kenya.  In fact, her progress has since inspired many people close to her to follow in her footsteps.

We love seeing people optimise their nutrition to suit their goals while applying different personal and cultural contexts to their food availability, selection, and preparation.

I’ve received numerous requests from community members to learn more about Sidi and her inspiring story and decided to invite her as a guest on the podcast.  I had to have her on for a chat to learn more about her journey and any tips or tricks she had for others embarking on similar journeys towards nutritional optimisation.

Jan 27, 202246:52
Troubleshoot Your Diet with a Single Blood Test | Chris Kelly

Troubleshoot Your Diet with a Single Blood Test | Chris Kelly

Chris Kelly is the founder of Nourish Balance Thrive. Building on his experience as a programmer for hedge funds and large internet companies, he has done amazing things in the health space.

After experiencing his own health transformation, he launched Nourish Balance Thrive to help high-calibre athletes optimise their health and performance.

After regularly running expensive tests on his clients for years, he figured he could do things his way to save time and money. So he eventually developed, a software that uses inexpensive blood tests from doctor visits to highlight potential issues. Rather than performing thousands of dollars worth of extra tests to find an obscure issue, says, ‘you look like someone with X’.

‘X’ can include various conditions, from heavy metal toxicity to hormone imbalances and nutrient deficiencies. The client can then order targeted tests or address their health situation as if they had ‘condition X’. While a condition might not be validated using the blood test, this can give users the hindsight to address their symptoms with early diet and lifestyle changes. is an extremely impressive and intelligent application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in health.

Chris was one of the early members of the Optimising Nutrition Facebook Group, a hive mind of learning. I’ve enjoyed following his learning journey on his Nourish Balance Thrive Podcast and being a part of his Keto Summit back when keto was all the rage.

During Chris’s time on the podcast, it was also interesting to discuss the Four Quadrant Model view of health management. We often start with the most complex ‘hacks’ to manage our biology’s ‘source code’. Sometimes this is necessary. However, we often get the most significant benefits from simple things, like optimising nutrition, managing stress and relationships, and prioritising sunlight, movement, and sleep that align with our evolutionary biology.

I’m excited about the potential applications of This program allows users to take their standard blood tests and use them to identify nutrient deficiencies. From there, you can manage them with real food rather than resorting to supplements and use Nutrient Optimiser to stay back in Quadrant 1.

I hope you love this chat with Chris, who I believe is one of the smartest and wisest people in this health space.

You can also listen to my chat with Chris on his Nourish Balance Thrive Podcast discussing our latest research on nutrient density.

Jan 20, 202201:01:57
Finding peace with data | Chris Kawaja

Finding peace with data | Chris Kawaja

Chris has a fascinating background.  After studying economics, business and psychology at Stanford and Harvard, he worked as a trader Ray Dalio at Bridgewater Capital, the world’s biggest hedge fund (now with $150b under management), to a private investor, author, father, athlete and biohacker.

Like me, Chris believes in the numbers!

After a couple of rounds of Data-Driven Fasting, he’s been trying to get his Silicon Valley biohacker buddies to try it to optimise their health.

As a data-driven engineer who’s dabbled in trading, I thought it would be fun to chat with Chris about how we can manage our psychology and biology with data.  How can we tame our lizard brain to avoid self-sabotage that is often caused by our self-doubt in any area, including nutrition?

It was fascinating to hear how Data-Driven Fasting helped his brain find peace and calm around food and nutrition.  Having peace that your body will get food exactly when it needs it is a nice change from the anxiety that popular extended fasting methods can often cause.

Jan 14, 202242:56
The Pursuit of Happiness | Paul Burgess

The Pursuit of Happiness | Paul Burgess

Paul Burgess has been a great mate, supporter, and mentor throughout my journey to quantitatively define optimal nutrition.

When he first invited me on his podcast, I put him off. I felt I still had more work to do before promoting what we were doing at Optimising Nutrition (and also felt a strong sense of imposter syndrome).

I’ve now had the privilege of being a guest on his podcast three times. So it was an honour to finally return the favour and have him on the Optimising Nutrition Podcast.

Paul has experience in just about every form of tracking, hacking, testing, and biohacking from his four decades of experience in the health space. His podcast is a constant flow of deep dives into the latest testing and functional medicine trends to manage complex issues.

While he’s recently become a massive advocate for Data-Driven Fasting, he’s also mellowed.  He has become more passionate about encouraging people to do simple things that work first before diving into rabbit holes of tracking and hacking that often cause plenty of stress and anxiety (not to mention expense!). Likewise, worrying about the latest test, tracker, or supplement is a waste of time if you don’t have your nutrition, sleep, stress, and activity dialled in.

Once you get the basics sorted, most people find they don’t need to waste their time, money, and limited headspace on new-fangled fancy stuff!

It was fantastic to talk with Paul about what he considers the ‘big rocks’ that most people struggle to get in place and pursue what makes you happy.

Jan 07, 202243:50
The End of Craving | Mark Schatzker

The End of Craving | Mark Schatzker

It was an honour to chat with Mark Schatzker about his new book, The End of Craving: Recovering the Lost Wisdom of Eating Well. I’ve been a MASSIVE fan of his work since reading The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor.

Many diet authors blame the obesity epidemic on a single smoking gun (e.g. carbs, fat, tasty food etc.). However, Mark wades through the complicated situation in a fascinating narrative that gives a sense of wonder and mystery to the complex interplay between appetite, flavour, taste, wanting, and liking.

Once you have a deeper understanding of how food manufacturers have exploited our neurobiology, you will understand why it’s so important to seek out food that naturally tastes great because it contains the nutrients your body requires. Conversely, if your body doesn’t trust that the smell, flavour, and texture of your food aligns with the nutrients and energy it provides, your appetite will become risk-averse and seek out more food, just in case.

One of the narrative threads in The End of Craving discusses the differences in how the US and Italy individually addressed the Pellagra epidemic in the 1930s, a condition resulting from a lack of dietary vitamin B3 from a diet too rich in corn and fat.

The U.S. decided they would address the issue with science by fortifying their foods with synthetic versions of the nutrients they were missing.  Meanwhile, the Italians saw food as a cure, not the cause, and encouraged their people to keep rabbits for cheap meat and drink cloudy wine containing yeast that provides B vitamins.

Today, the areas in the U.S. that once were called the ‘Pellagra belt’ now make up ‘the obesity belt’.  In contrast, Italians are some of the leanest people in the world and are famous for having some of the most sumptuous edibles on the planet.

Mark also draws attention to experiments in the 1960s where pig farmers realised they could grow pork more quickly without their livestock getting sick by keeping them indoors and feeding the diet high in corn fortified with B vitamins. As a result, the pigs would chow down on more fortified grains and achieve historically unprecedented growth rates.

Shortly after this discovery, food manufacturers ramped up the fortification of breakfast cereals and other processed foods for humans.  Initially, this looked like fortification benefited the public.  However, it’s now evident that we’re more likely to continue to chow down on highly processed foods without stopping and negating cravings for foods that naturally contain nutrients.

I read The End of Craving while analysing an amassed 125,761 days of macronutrient and micronutrient data from 34,519 people who have used Nutrient Optimiser to fine-tune their nutrition. It was fascinating that we crave foods that contain more of these nutrients in the amounts found in nature. However, once levels of select nutrients like B1, B3, iron, and folate exceed natural levels from supplementation or fortification, we seem to simply eat more processed foods without getting all the other nutrients we require!

I hope you love this chat with Mark, and I highly recommend his books to understand the beautiful complexity of modern nutrition.

Dec 31, 202149:11
Build Habits to Crush Your Goals in 2022 | Matty Lansdown

Build Habits to Crush Your Goals in 2022 | Matty Lansdown

This chat with Matty Lansdown was part interview, part therapy session as I’ve been working on focusing on getting the essential things done in a world designed to distract and monetise your attention.

I hope this episode of the Optimising Nutrition Podcast will inspire you to kick start the habits you want to build to empower you to move towards your goals in 2022.

Matty Lansdown is a fellow Aussie and host of the popular How Not to Get Sick and Die Podcast, where he dispenses simple, no-nonsense practical health tips.

Before becoming a popular speaker in health and nutrition, Matty studied forensic science and was a molecular biologist and epigenetics researcher.

I wanted to chat to Matty about the biology of habit change - why we often know what to do and don’t do it.  What ensued was a fun freeform chat and practically a therapy session about managing the overwhelm of dopamine overdrive from food, social media and our modern lifestyle.

Listen to our chat to learn how you can do what you want and need to do and turn your hopes into habits in the real world.


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Connect with Matty
Dec 26, 202147:02
The Origins of Our Nutritional Guidelines | Belinda Fettke

The Origins of Our Nutritional Guidelines | Belinda Fettke

What really underpins our beliefs about nutrition and the food we eat?

The truth might shock and surprise you!

Our nutritional guidelines and beliefs about food reflect a mixture of cultural, ritual, and religious beliefs and biases, overlayed by financial gains and food propaganda disbursed by manufacturers. But the influence of the Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) in establishing our current nutritional guidelines cannot be understated.

My family was part of the SDA church until I was about ten, so I have a unique perspective and background regarding this topic. And so does Belinda Fettke.  Belinda dove deep down the rabbit hole to investigate the religious and financial conflicts of interest that govern our food supply and government-recommended dietary intake (RDI).

She began her research after her husband, Dr Gary Fettke, an orthopedic surgeon, was professionally reprimanded for suggesting to his patients that they limit sugar to prevent amputations secondary to diabetes. After Belinda's work, Dr Fettke received a formal apology, and the legal ban on teaching patients about the dangers of excess sugar was retracted.

Belinda has been a great friend over the years on our shared journey to cut through the noise and conflicts of interest and teach people how to get the nutrients they need from the food they eat.  This is something we are both extremely passionate about.  Empowering people to optimise their nutrition with an unbiased approach is crucial if we are to thrive and not merely survive.

I REALLY enjoyed this conversation with Brenda and discussing:

  • What led you to take a deep dive into the origins of our nutritional guidelines?
  • Why do you believe excessive effort went into preventing Gary from cautioning patients to stop eating sugar to prevent amputations secondary to diabetes?
  • Do you think the religious, ethical, or financial biases and conflicts of interest have the most significant influence? How do they overlap?
  • How have religious beliefs influenced our current dietary guidelines?
  • How widespread is the impact of the SDA nutritional views?
  • What is the end game of the SDA nutritional paradigm?
  • Can you change belief with science and data?
  • Why has the plant-based narrative around nutrition become so strong?
  • What role do animals play in a vibrant ecosystem and nutrient density?
  • What are the limitations of simply thinking in terms of plants vs. animals or carbs vs. fat?
  • Why do you think the 'animal protein will adversely affect longevity' belief is so strong?
  • What are the implications of optimising your diet to minimise 'sexual vice/function'?
  • What are the most significant financial conflicts of interest at play in our current food system?
  • How are optimal metabolic health and hormonal function interrelated?
  • What are some of the conflicts in the major organisations shaping our dietary choices?
  • How can we move on from belief-based nutrition? Where should we focus? Do you think change will come from the top down?
  • Why isn't nutrition science focused on getting adequate nutrients with an appropriate amount of energy?
  • Who would stand to lose if we concentrate on getting the nutrients we need from food?
  • What can we do on a personal level to change nutritional dogma?
  • How do you eat at home as a family?
  • What are you excited about in the future?

Dec 16, 202101:07:41
Protein Leverage | Professors Stephen Simpson and David Raubenheimer

Protein Leverage | Professors Stephen Simpson and David Raubenheimer

University of Sydney Professors Stephen Simpson and David Raubenheimer’s work in protein leverage is perhaps the most important body of research around, empowering us to understand our appetite and what leads us to eat more (or less) than we need to.

Professor Stephen Simpson is the executive director of Obesity Australia and the academic director of the Charles Perkins Centre.    PubMed shows that he has published a whopping 361 journal articles!

Professors David Raubenheimer, originally from South Africa, began working with Professor Simpson as a PhD student in Oxford.  Many of his 197 research articles are co-authored with Professor Simpson.

They are perhaps best known for their 2005 Protein Leverage Hypothesis paper, which aligns with much of our research and analysis of data from people using Nutrient Optimiser.

In 2012 they published The Nature of Nutrition, and in 2020 they published Eat Like the Animals to bring their research to the public. In  August last year, I wrote a blog discussing Eat Like the Animals.  They subsequently reached out to start a dialogue to discuss some points of difference and agreed to take the time to come on for a podcast chat.

It was such a pleasure and honour to discuss a range of topics around their groundbreaking research, including:

  • How does looking at insects and animals give us unique insights into human biology?
  • How did the Protein Leverage Hypothesis come about?  How did you go from studying insects and animals to cracking the code for human nutrition?
  • What were some of the objections to the acceptance of the Protein Leverage Hypothesis?
  • What are the implications of protein leverage for diabetes and blood sugar management?
  • Is protein leverage about eating more protein or less energy from carbs and fat?
  • Why is it crucial to think about the interaction of all three macronutrients?
  • How does someone know if they are getting adequate protein based on their goals and context?
  • What are the downsides of a chronic high protein %?  When should someone add in more carbs and/or fat in their diet rather than more protein?
  • What does the future hold in terms of translating this more into the public consciousness?
  • How does your research affect the way you eat at home?
  • Do you have any tips on how people can apply this practically in their lives?

Dec 09, 202101:04:26
The Future of Keto | Craig Emmerich

The Future of Keto | Craig Emmerich

Craig Emmerich is the author of the book “Keto: The Complete Guide” and the PMSF Cookbook and hubby to Maria Emmerich.

Mariah and Craig have been at the forefront of the keto movement since way before it was trendy.  Craig is a fellow engineer who seeks to understand how things work to understand how to help people more effectively with their books and MANY cookbooks, website and Facebook groups.

I have been chatting with Craig for years about nutrition for the past six years since the early days of the Optimising Nutrition Facebook Group, where we were all avidly sharing and learning the nuances of nutrition.  Like me, he shares a lot of the frustration of what ‘keto’ has become and works to correct the many false beliefs that lead people down the wrong path.

This was a great chat to reflect with Craig on the past and future trajectory of the ‘keto’ movement.  We discussed:

  • What are the biggest misconceptions in the low carb/keto nutrition space?
  • What are the most common issues you encounter with your clients who come to you for guidance?
  • When is dialling up protein % appropriate (e.g. PSMF)?
  • Do you recommend chasing higher ketones?
  • Should you eat more fat to lose body fat?
  • What would you change in Ketoland if you could?
  • Does fat or protein with nutrient density and satiety?
  • Why is insulin so misunderstood?
  • Finally, where do you see the keto movement heading in the future?

You can also check out my chat with Mariah and Craig here.

Follow Craig & Maria Emmerich
Dec 02, 202158:37
Regenerative Agriculture Q&A | Diana Rodgers

Regenerative Agriculture Q&A | Diana Rodgers

There is plenty of debate about how we can feed a rapidly growing population in a way that is healthy for us and our fragile planet with limited resources.

Diana Rogers and Robb Wolf recently weighed into the debate.  Their book Scared Cow proposed that, rather than doubling down on an industrial, agricultural system that created the problems we are now facing, we should move towards a mix of old and new technologies to grow our food.

Regenerative agriculture aims to create a food production system that brings plants and animals together with less reliance on external energy inputs from non-renewable fossil fuels to regenerate our natural resources.

Diana has been a great supporter and friend, helping spread the word about a quantified approach to nutrient density.

I was super excited to talk to her to cover some of the frequently asked questions around the intersection of regenerative agriculture and nutrient density, including:

  • What is regenerative agriculture, and why are you so passionate about it?
  • What is "greenwashing"?  How has the sustainability narrative been coopted?
  • Why is regenerative agriculture so important?
  • Why are plants and animals (together) critical to our health and the health of the planet?
  • How are our modern industrial farming practices affecting the environment?
  • How does the environment that your food is grown affect your health?
  • What is needed for the widespread adoption of regenerative agriculture?
  • What happens if we continue on our current trajectory of food production?
  • What are the best measures of sustainability?
  • How can we create a more vibrant ecosystem with our food choices?
  • What would happen if we moved the farm subsidies to focus on more nutrients (rather than more calories)?
  • What can we do to promote regenerative agriculture if we're not farmers?

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Nov 25, 202158:06
Unlocking The Mysteries Of Female Hormones | Karen Martel

Unlocking The Mysteries Of Female Hormones | Karen Martel

Perhaps even more than weight loss, the transition women experience as they transition through middle age is one of the hottest topics in our Data-Driven Fasting Facebook Group.

Not only do blood sugars, cravings and insulin sensitivity change across the month, but the changes that occur during menopause can make maintaining a healthy weight and vitality more challenging.

Karen Martel, the host of the Other Side of Weight Loss Podcast, is a  powerhouse of knowledge, experience, and passion for these complex issues.

It was an honour to talk to her about the common questions that come up around the intersection of fasting, nutrition and optimising hormonal balance, including:

  • What is ‘hormonal weight loss resistance’?  How much do hormones affect weight and vice versa?
  • What issues and risks do you see with extreme dietary approaches like fasting, keto, carnivore etc.?
  • When does the ‘more is better’ approach go wrong?
  • Why do we tend to see more elevated blood glucose leading up to that time of the month?
  • When can carb cycling be beneficial?
  • Why have hormones become such a big issue?  What’s changed in our environment?
  • What should they be doing first before diving down the rabbit hole of hormonal manipulation?
  • What testing can people do to understand their hormonal status?
  • When should someone consider adding bioidentical hormones?
  • What are the risks and benefits of adding exogenous hormones?
  • Are there any unique considerations for women who have had a hysterectomy?
  • What do the guys need to know about maintaining good hormonal status?
  • What do you do to manage a healthy hormonal status these days?

I also really enjoyed being a part of Karen’s podcast.  You can check it out here.

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Nov 18, 202101:06:51
Intermittent Fasting Secrets for Women | Cynthia Thurlow

Intermittent Fasting Secrets for Women | Cynthia Thurlow

2xTED speaker and host of the popular Everyday Wellness Podcast Cynthia Thurlow had just finished writing the manuscript for her new book specifically on intermittent fasting for women when we recorded this chat.

In a world where more often equals better, Cynthia delivered a ton of practical and pragmatic information to help women navigate this often challenging time while maintaining optimal health.

Over the past few months, Cynthia has become a great friend and advocate for Data-Driven Fasting, helping spread the word about the insights your pre-meal blood sugars can provide!

In this whirlwind chat, we discuss:

  • Why can fasting and/or weight loss be harder for postmenopausal women?
  • What are the symptoms that women might experience when they push things too hard for too long?
  • What are your thoughts on intermittent fasting vs extended fasting/ADF/OMAD, particularly for women?
  • How do blood sugar, insulin and other hormones vary across the monthly cycle?
  • Why does weight vary across the monthly cycle?
  • How does what you eat affect your energy, food cravings and weight on an intermittent fasting lifestyle?
  • What do you typically eat to ensure you maintain lean mass and metabolic health?
  • What part of the cycle is the best or worst time to fast?
  • How can women avoid sabotaging their health journey due to TOM cravings?
  • Should a woman’s food choices vary across the month?  How much should they listen to their body vs fight the cravings?
  • How can we support thyroid health when fasting?
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Nov 11, 202101:03:46
The Future of Fasting and Life After Facebook | Gin Stephens

The Future of Fasting and Life After Facebook | Gin Stephens

Gin Stephens, author of Delay Don't Deny and Fast Feast Repeat, has been a powerhouse in the booming intermittent fasting movement!

It’s also Gin’s support and promotion that has helped Data-Driven Fasting explode the way it has!  I am very grateful to her!

It all started when she had Lori Leeke on her Intermittent Fasting Stories Podcast.  After Lori’s encouragement, I made an appearance on her podcast later on Melanie Avalon’s Biohacking Podcast.  They also said some very kind things about Big Fat Keto Lies on their Intermittent Fasting Podcast.  And the rest is now history.

It was great to have her on to chat about her research for her new book, Clean(ish) and the importance of WHAT to eat (nutrient density) as well as WHEN to eat (intermittent fasting).

We also covered the perils of extended fasting, what she's had to unlearn and what it's like to leave Facebook after nurturing several groups to more than half a million members!

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Nov 04, 202101:13:57
The best and worst of biohacking | Melanie Avalon

The best and worst of biohacking | Melanie Avalon

I’ve been super impressed with Melanie Avalon’s ability to synthesise complex topics and bring them to life for her listeners.   All of her podcast episodes are a fascinating DEEP dive into the topic to elucidate the practical application.

We had a ton of positive feedback from my interview on her podcast.  Our Data-Driven Fasting Facebook Group exploded after she and Gin Stephens started raving about it all the time on their Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

After binge-listening to her podcast with a wide array of fantastic guests, I had a ton of questions for Melanie.

It was great to get her on the other side of the interview mic for a rare video interview including:

  • How did you get interested in biohacking?
  • Why did you start the biohacking podcast?
  • How did you deal with imposter syndrome?
  • How long did it take to feel like you owned the role?
  • You have experimented with a lot of different nutritional extremes.  What have you learned from each?
  • What do you eat most often these days?  Do you identify with a particular dietary camp now?
  • What is “biohacking”?  How do you define it?
  • Is there any free lunch in biology?  Or are we just trying to align our modern environment to align with our evolutionary biology?
  • How can technology help us live in line with our evolutionary roots?
  • What biohacks have you found most helpful?
  • What biohacks have you found least useful?
  • Supplements vs nutrients from food - what are the pros and cons of each?
  • What have you learned from tracking glucose and ketones?
  • What eating routine have you found that works best for you?
  • What biohacks are you most excited about in the future?
  • How do you think big data and artificial intelligence will change the future of healthcare?
  • What wisdom do you have when guiding someone to find the minimum effective dose of biohacking for them?
  • What are the pitfalls that you have encountered on your biohacking journey that you would recommend others avoid?
  • What is the most exciting thing you learned from one of your guests that changed your life?
  • Who are your biggest inspirations in nutrition and biohacking?
  • How does someone find the balance between biohacking to live a better life vs living their life without overcomplicating it?

Watch now on YouTube at

You can also check out my brain bending epic chat with Melanie on her podcast here.  Some people have told me they have listened to it three times!

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Oct 28, 202101:10:00
Metabolic Flexibility Deep Dive | Dr Clark Connery

Metabolic Flexibility Deep Dive | Dr Clark Connery

Clark is a nutritionist, biohacker, and now medical doctor (and future endocrinologist).

After achieving great results in our Data-Driven Fasting Challenge, Clark has become a moderator in the Data-Driven Fasting Challenges, offering some fantastic insights, troubleshooting some of the more challenging scenarios and bringing some fantastic content to the live Q&A sessions.

We’ve also had some lengthy, nerdy chats over the past few months, and I’ve enjoyed the conversation, friendship and insights.  So I thought it would be fun to have him on the podcast to answer some frequently asked questions that we see in the challenges:

  • How does exercise affect blood sugars?
  • What are the pros and cons of CGMs?  How do you avoid the pitfalls of too much data and paralysis by analysis?
  • What is metabolic flexibility, and how do you achieve it?
  • What is the best exercise for managing blood sugars and fat loss?
  • How do you avoid slowing your metabolism during fasting (or any weight loss)?
  • How is weight loss different for people who are highly insulin sensitive?





Oct 21, 202101:38:04
Preventing Deficiencies on a Vegetarian Diet | Karen Lerner-Mayrand

Preventing Deficiencies on a Vegetarian Diet | Karen Lerner-Mayrand

We are all about optimising your nutrition, regardless of your food preferences.  Our mantra is your diet doesn't need a name, just enough nutrients.  And Karen Lerner-Mayrand takes it to heart!

It was great to chat with Karen about how she dialled in her vegetarian diet to top the nutrient density leaderboard in our Nutritional Optimisation Masterclass not once but twice.

After trying different diets for decades and fasting for weeks on end, under the guidance of the biggest names in fasting, everything fell into place once Karen focused on giving her body the nutrients it needed!

These are some of the topics we discussed:

- Why do you follow a vegetarian diet?

- Why did you want to solve the puzzle of nutrition?

- What did you find the hardest?

- What surprised you the most?

- What did you learn from Data-Driven Fasting vs. the Masterclass?

- What foods do you eat less of now?

- What do you eat more of now?

- What are your primary protein sources?

- Do you use supplements on your vegetarian diet?

- How do you feel now?

- What excited you most about the process of nutritional optimisation?

- Where would you recommend someone start without becoming overwhelmed?

You can also learn more about Karen’s journey and check out some of her nutrient-dense vegetarian recipes at:





Oct 14, 202101:01:35
Evolution of THE Diet Doctor | Dr Andreas Eenfeldt

Evolution of THE Diet Doctor | Dr Andreas Eenfeldt

I’ve been super excited to see the change in direction recently at Diet Doctor.  CEO Dr Andreas Eenfeldt, with some inspiration from Dr Ted Naiman, has led his team to help members tailor their nutritional guidance to consider satiety and protein leverage for fat loss (if that is their goal).

It was fun to chat with Andreas about his recent learnings, research and his n=1 experience.  We got to discuss a wide range of topics, including:

  • Why did you decide to dive into a more protein-focused approach (rather than low carb or high fat)?
  • What did you experience as you have focused on a higher % protein diet?  How did your body composition and lab results change?
  • What surprised you the most from your recent research?
  • Why isn’t protein leverage more central to our understanding of nutrition?
  • Why has there been so much confusion about low carb vs high fat vs adequate protein?
  • What role do you see for nutrient leverage, as opposed to just protein leverage?
  • How can we dial in macros without swinging to extremes?
  • How has the Diet Doctor community received the change in focus?
  • Why is there so much confusion about the role of insulin?
  • Are you concerned about ‘excess protein’?  How much is too much?  How do people find the balance that is right for them?
  • Are you concerned about the role of protein activating mTOR, aging and cancer?
  • What are you most excited about for the future of nutrition?
  • Other than diet, what else do you do to manage your health?
  • Where do you see the keto movement heading in the future? 





Oct 07, 202152:00
Can Nutrient Density Save the World? | Robb Wolf

Can Nutrient Density Save the World? | Robb Wolf

After being a super fan for so long, it was fantastic to chat with Robb Wolf about how Nutritional Optimisation can save the world.

Robb has been the most significant influence in my nutritional explorations over the past decade.  I see my work as simply putting numbers and systems around his thinking and using multi-criteria analysis to identify optimal foods and meals for different people with different goals.

Once optimal nutrition is quantified, we no longer have to rely on names, trends, fads, or belief systems - nutrition becomes a (relatively simple math problem that can be solved – we can skip the endless circular debate and angst.  We can identify and agree on a shortlist of foods and meals that contain the nutrients we need to function optimally and thrive.

Ensuring we have a planet that can sustain future generations may not be as sexy as “how to get abs overnight” with the optimal mix of carbs, fat and protein (i.e. MACROnutrients).  But the macro trends (i.e. long term, big picture) in how we obtain our food is a far more important topic, not only because the health of our planet is critical, but acting in the interest of our planet will, in turn, better nourish us (and vice versa).

We have a shared dream that more people would eat in a way that both nourishes themselves (to make them look and feel great) and regenerates the planet so it will be a place that future generations will want to live.





Sep 30, 202101:05:23
Stacking all the nutrition "hacks" | Abby

Stacking all the nutrition "hacks" | Abby

It was super inspiring to chat with Abby, who made some incredible progress over time with Data-Driven Fasting and our Nutritional Optimisation Masterclass.

In this chat, we discuss:

  • What’s your WHY?
  • What other approaches had you tried in the past?
  • How did your body fat change?  How much weight did you end up losing between Data-Driven Fasting and the Nutritional Optimisation Masterclass?
  • How did you manage your attitude through the ups and downs?
  • Talk us through your process of reflecting on the journey.
  • What do you mean by “stacking all the hacks”?  Which ones did you find most useful?  Did you master one at a time and then bring them all together?
  • What exercise did you find worked well?
  • How did dialling up protein % change your hunger?
  • How do you celebrate your mistakes and learn from them?
  • What non-scale changes have you experienced?
  • What are your typical meals?  What do you eat most often?
  • What advice would you give you people just starting out?





Sep 23, 202136:30
Optimising Nutrition with Food (Not Supps) | Lisa

Optimising Nutrition with Food (Not Supps) | Lisa

It was such a pleasure to speak with Lisa about her journey through Data-Driven Fasting and the Nutritional Optimisation Masterclass.

In the past, Lisa said she made abysmally slow progress with Weight Watchers and got rejected from the super-expensive Spark People program for being too broken!  Then, after her husband suggested she was taking way too many supplements, she found us.

Once she learned to solve the puzzle of her nutrition and give her body the nutrients it needed to thrive, everything fell into place, losing 16 lbs (7.3 kg) or 13% of her body weight.  And most importantly, she feels great!

In this chat, we discuss:

  • What’s your why?  Why did you want to go to the effort of focusing on the nutrients in your food?
  • What other approaches had you tried?
  • What did you learn from DDF vs the Masterclass?
  • How much weight did you end up losing between DDF and the MC?
  • How did your body fat change?
  • Which supps did you find you no longer needed?
  • How has your need for hypothyroid meds changed?
  • How do you feel about your optimised diet vs relying on supps?
  • How have your energy levels changed?  Digestion?
  • What are your typical meals?
  • What do you eat most often?
  • What advice would you give you people just starting out?





Sep 16, 202121:06
How to use your blood glucose meter as a fuel gauge for weight loss | Lori Leeke

How to use your blood glucose meter as a fuel gauge for weight loss | Lori Leeke

Lori is one of the primary reasons that I created DDF.

One of the first articles I wrote on Optimising Nutrition five years ago detailed how to use your glucose as a fuel gauge to optimise your fasting routine.  Lori found this a couple of years ago and put it into practice.

Over the past few years, Lori kept contacting me to tell me how well it had worked for her.  I had had it in my mind to go back and develop the concept more.  Lori’s story and encouragement motivated me to develop DDF into a complete system to dial in your feasting and fasting routine.

While listening to Lori’s recent podcast with Gin Stephens, I had a lot more questions.  So, I thought it would be great to chat with her about her journey a little more and to share her wisdom from doing this for two years.

We got to chat about:

  • How did you get started using your glucose as a fuel gauge?
  • What was your motivation to try this approach to weight loss and metabolic health?
  • Why is/was it important for you to be/stay trim and healthy?
  • What approaches did you try that didn’t work so well?
  • What did you find that worked well for you?
  • Why does simply focusing on limiting calories not work for most people?
  • You’re a big fan of Trim Healthy Mumma.  How are they different?  Why do they advise that is it important not to mix fat and carbs in a meal?
  • Lots of people are talking about carb cycling or metabolic flexibility.  What are the benefits of incorporating carbs?
  • Who do you think alternating between carbs vs fat for energy doesn’t work well for?  Many people would struggle to think in terms of low fat vs low carb meals and switch between them.
  • What sort of meals do you enjoy for a low fat vs low carb meal?
  • Why is it important not to be locked into one dietary dogma?
  • You spend a lot of time sharing what has worked for you.  Why are you so passionate about this?
  • Who do you think DDF would be most beneficial for?

Thanks again, Lori, for your support, encouragement and inspiration, leading the way for thousands of others to take up Data-Driven Fasting.

Sep 15, 202101:01:14
NutriBooster Recipes | Saskia Lesser

NutriBooster Recipes | Saskia Lesser

It has been such a pleasure to work with Saskia over the past two and a half years to create the NutriBooster suite of recipes,  books (and now meal plans)!

We now have 460 NutriBooster recipes catalogued in Nutrient Optimiser spread across 29 recipe books and meal plans, tailored for a wide range of contexts, goals and preferences.

Our end goal is to empower people to think in terms of getting the nutrients they require without excess energy.  We want to equip people with the knowledge they need to get the nutrients required to thrive from the food they eat.

I can’t wait for you to get to know this amazing woman who has successfully brought nutrient density to life with a vast suite of beautiful recipes!

In this chat, we discussed:





Sep 09, 202128:60
Intermittent Fasting 2.0 + Nutrient Density FTW! | Jane Getting

Intermittent Fasting 2.0 + Nutrient Density FTW! | Jane Getting

After struggling with her weight for decades, Jane topped the weight loss leaderboard in our January 30-Day Data-Driven Fasting Challenge with 17 lbs weight loss at a phenomenal rate of 2.5% per week!

She then followed up with the Nutritional Optimisation Masterclass and dialled in her macronutrients and micronutrients.

She dropped a fantastic 22.6 lb (15.3 kg) or 20% of her initial body weight between January and July!

I was excited to chat with her about her journey and share her tips for long term progress dialling in WHEN and WHAT to eat.

We discussed:

  • What makes DDF different from other approaches you have tried in the past?
  • What foods do you eat now that you didn't eat before?
  • What did you learn from the masterclass vs DDF?
  • What foods did you find you needed to reduce/eliminate?
  • What did you find hardest about your journey?
  • What surprised you the most about your experience?
  • How do you feel now vs before you started?
  • What tips do you have for maintenance?





Sep 02, 202137:01
Chasing nutrient density all over the world | Brian Sanders

Chasing nutrient density all over the world | Brian Sanders

Brian Sanders is like my nutrient density brother from another mother.

We spoke recently about a range of our favourite topics for his podcast, and he was telling me all about his trip to Tanzania to visit the Masia and Hadza people.

I thought it would be fun to get him on to hear more of his travel stories to understand more about our nutritional heritage.

We got to discuss:

  • Why are you so fascinated by nutrient density that you would travel across the world to see how these people live and eat?
  • Why did you want to go to Tanzania?  How did you organise a trip to visit a Masai tribe?  I imagine this is not something just anyone can do.
  • What is the weirdest food you ate?
  • Were you worried about hygiene or getting sick?
  • How are these people differ in terms of health, mood, vitality?
  • Would you want to live in Tanzania and eat like this all the time?
  • How can we implement these observations in our modern context?
  • What foods would you tell someone to avoid to improve their health?
  • How does nutrient density cut across all locations and dietary dogma?
  • How is their environment changing?   How long do you think they will be living like they did 100 years ago?
  • What are the implications for humans if we keep on our current nutritional trajectory?
Follow Brian





Aug 26, 202155:33
Solving the puzzle of nutrition | Dan and Kelley Buckley

Solving the puzzle of nutrition | Dan and Kelley Buckley

It was such a blast to chat with Kelli and Dan Buckley about their recent journey with Data-Driven Fasting combined and the Nutritional Optimisation Masterclass.

After seeing her dad battle diabetes and eventually die of complications, Kelli had had a VERY strong WHY.  

She just needed the HOW. 

Although she had lost some weight with fasting in the past (and her hubby Dan was sceptical about trying yet another diet), she threw herself into the Data-Driven Fasting Challenge followed by the Nutritional Optimisation Masterclass and saw some amazing results.

Once she dialled in both WHEN to eat and WHAT to eat, it all came together with an incredibly high Optimal Nutrient Intake Score!  

And as a bonus, her doting hubby Dan lost a ton of weight too! 





Aug 19, 202135:26
How To Finally Put Your Health First | Bett Lucas

How To Finally Put Your Health First | Bett Lucas

Bett Lucas is a busy mom (of six), wife, and businessperson.

She works full time in the energy industry and has won numerous awards for her leadership and charitable projects.  Bett believes you can manage a career and home life and wants to inspire those juggling both—or hoping to.

“Women should be proud of who they are at home and in the workplace.”  A key balancing element is regaining and maintaining health. She challenges women to take back their health, reminding them that spending the time and effort required is not selfish… that by being healthier, they can contribute more fully at home,  work, and personal endeavours.

Women often put their own needs last to the detriment of their health and well-being.   But it doesn’t have to be that way.  I wanted to talk to Bett about her journey and how she learned to put herself and her health first to maximise the care of her family and achieve more of her goals.

  • What brought you to the realisation that you needed to prioritise your health so you could achieve more?  How much weight did you lose?  How long did it take?  What did you have to change?
  • How did you get this mental toughness and this positive attitude?  Is it how you were raised, or did you build it intentionally?
  • You have been through many dietary approaches and seemed to have gleaned the best bits and incorporated what optimally suits you.  What have you found that worked for you?  How do you deal with the dogmatic diet wars?
  • What IF routine do you find works for you?  What are the benefits?  Why do you love it?
  • What is your approach to alcohol?  Why?  What’s your experience?
  • Do you find exercise or nutrition is more important?
  • What do you eat at home?  Do you have any tips for feeding a large family?
  • How does your example and attitude of self-care impact your kids and their actions?





Aug 06, 202141:34
The ProFast Diet Secrets | Dr Brian Mowll
Jul 29, 202101:10:15
The Biggest Misconceptions In Nutrition | Mike Julian

The Biggest Misconceptions In Nutrition | Mike Julian

Mike Julian has been a great friend and taught me a LOT over the past six years or so! Shortly after I kicked it off the Optimising Nutrition Facebook Group, Mike was making so many insightful contributions I asked him to become an admin. Back in the day, we had a very unique group of people who would share their research and insights - Tommy Wood, Robb Wolf, Raymund Edwards, Luis Villasenor and a cast of people who were eager to learn more about nutrition and metabolism. It made for a unique learning environment. It was a great hive mind of sharing of ideas.

We all learned a LOT and were able to see things in a fairly impartial manner. You may or may not have heard of Mike Julian. But I think of him as like the Illuminati pulling the strings behind many of the biggest names in nutrition including Robb Wolf, Ted Naiman, Ketogains & Craig Emmerich’s recent book Keto.

I have learned so much about how human metabolism really works, and how to improve it, from Mike who has been a pioneer in digesting the research, joining the dots and sharing it freely. In this chat, we discussed many of the key concepts in Big Fat Keto Lies, including:  

- What are the biggest misunderstandings and misconceptions in nutrition and metabolism at the moment?  

- Why is the Personal Fat Threshold central to our understanding of diabetes and metabolic health?  

- What is ketosis?  How does it work?  What do you think is the biggest misunderstanding around ketosis?    

- Do fat calories matter?  Why is there so much confusion?    

- How are blood glucose and blood lipids interrelated?    

- What do people really need to know about lipidology?    

- What are the limitations of high protein % or MORE protein?  How do you know when you’ve had too much?    

- What are your hopes for the future in the realm of nutrition and metabolism?





Jul 22, 202101:11:49
Fitness 101:The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Exercise | Bronson Dant
Jul 15, 202157:39
Rethinking Keto For Type 1 Diabetes | RD Dikeman
Jul 08, 202101:24:30
Low Carb Confessional... Mistakes, unlearning and learning in Ketoland | Ted Naiman
Jul 01, 202101:05:28
Are we FAT hunters? | Dr. Pran Yoganathan
Jun 24, 202158:49
The Five Biggest Mistakes on Keto | Luis Villasenor (Ketogains)
Jun 17, 202101:15:16
Discussing Big Fat Keto Lies | Professor Mark Cucuzzella
Jun 10, 202157:04
Big Fat Keto Lies

Big Fat Keto Lies

Welcome to the Optimising Nutrition Podcast.  

In this episode, I wanted to give you an overview of my book, Big Fat Keto Lies, which clarifies the most common misconceptions and mistakes with low carb and 'ketogenic' diets through the lens of Nutritional Optimisation.  

  • Keto Lie #1: ‘Optimal ketosis’ is a goal and more ketones are better 
  • Keto Lie #2: You have to be ‘in ketosis’ to burn fat 
  • Keto Lie #3: You should eat more fat to burn more fat 
  • Keto Lie #4: Protein should be avoided because of gluconeogenesis 
  • Keto Lie #5: Fat is a 'free food' because it doesn’t elicit an insulin response 
  • Keto Lie #6: Food quality is not important, it’s all about insulin and avoiding carbs 
  • Keto Lie #7: Fasting for longer is better 
  • Keto Lie #8: Insulin toxicity is enemy #1 
  • Keto Lie #9: Calories don’t count 
  • Keto Lie #10: Stable blood sugars will lead to fat loss 
  • Keto Lie #11: You should ‘eat fat to satiety’ to lose body fat 
  • Keto Lie #12: If in doubt, keep calm and keto on  





Jun 03, 202117:20