Lentine Alexis is a former pro triathlete and a classically trained chef who has made quality food and well-being the focus of her life and work. In this episode, she and Colby trace her journey back to the beginning of her athletic career in high school and her almost simultaneous intrigue into the world of quality food ingredients, paired with the understanding of her body’s relationship to them.
Lentine’s Website: https://lentinealexis.com/about/
Skratch Labs: https://www.skratchlabs.com
Colby’s Site: http://www.colbypearce.com/
Lentine Alexis 00:00
How many colors are you eating? When we were living in Japan, I learned through friend that mothers pack their lunches for their kids. But if the lunchbox arrives at school, and there are not eight colors, EIGHT colors, in each child’s lunchbox, and also like things that are shaped like a panda, then they’re basically given an F. They just failed at packing lunch for kiddos because color is really, really important. And texture too; like, having you know, four or five different textures in your plate is one really easy way of just going like great. I’m getting a variety of things and switching those things up from time to time. It’s like a really easy way to go grocery shopping, you’re like great, I’ve got eight colors, I’ve gone something creamy, something crunchy, something crisp, whatever, that’s one way of finding out where your gut is, and also consulting with medical professionals or diebtic professionals or natural paths that can help you to navigate that.
Colby Pearce 00:56
Greetings, Earthlings. Thank you for joining us for another episode of cycling in alignment. Today my guest is the amazing Lentine Alexis. Lentine is a professional chef, a former professional triathlete, and she’s lived in various foreign countries throughout her life. These experiences have given her a deep nutritional wisdom that she is now expressing in different forms – and we get to benefit from her passion.
Colby Pearce 01:28
Lentini and I get into a variety of topics today and I won’t belabor the Table of Contents too much, but I will say that she’s got a lot to offer. And I think it’s also fair to say that she and I are very much the same wavelength in terms of food.
Colby Pearce 01:46
Don’t worry, I won’t only stack the deck in my favor and keep inviting guests that agree with me on most of the things I talk about. At some point, I’ll be big and brave and strong and invite people who just straight up think I’m full of crap. But in the meantime, you get to hear my conversation with Lentine Alexis and our congruent lines of thought. Enjoy.
Colby Pearce 02:10
So what’s the title of your book gonna be or is that still editing? We don’t know yet? What are your ideas? Your ideas?
Lentine Alexis 02:16
Yeah, so, so I’ve jumped all around because when I submitted the book proposal I wanted the title to be “till it’s golden”, which is this principle, this idea that I’m sure we’ll talk about, which is that if you’re fueling for performance or life, it’s – you’re the only one that knows what your body needs, and you have to listen to it. You’re the only one that knows how much – how hard you’re gonna have to push to get to the finish line as fast as – like you know, what your depth is, you know what your breath is, and your body has the intuition to know what your body needs. As long as you provide it with the ingredients, you can pick, you got to trust. And it’s, and that name is entirely too nebulous for a large population of people.
Colby Pearce 02:56
Your editors told you that, didn’t they?
Lentine Alexis 02:57
Yes, Random House, like we can’t sell books like this, which – and I’m like, “Okay, I get it.” Because we need to meet people where they’re at and, you know, even in looking through the questions for this morning like, and the things that pop into my direct messages, like how do I feel – How do, I have an injury, how do I feel for my injury? And, well, yeah, that’s a really great question, but by the way, you don’t do that if you’re eating whole real foods that are not from packages, and you’re checking off these couple small blocks, like you keep doing what you’re doing. You just don’t go ride your bike for 100 miles and you let your body like embrace healing. Hello?! It’s actually not rocket science. And unless, if you’re, you know, if you’re competing on the World Tour, you’re an Olympic athlete, like, yeah, your nutrition needs to be really freakin dialed. And if you’re an average person in the world, there’s a few things that you should not do, and a lot of things you should do and it’s pretty easy. But trying to let people know that not being afraid of food, is basically the key that you’re unlocking to nutrition is what we’re trying to capture in this title, right? Like, eat all the things, cook, don’t be afraid to fail in the kitchen, you’re not going to fail, like you’re going to make stuff that’s great. And don’t be afraid of incorporating, you know, like milk that’s from really good source or meat that’s from really good source. All those things in moderation, that for –
Colby Pearce 04:19
So many dietary discussions are about limits right now, right?
Lentine Alexis 04:22
It’s all about limits. And if you’re trying to be unlimited, why are you limiting yourself? You know, like, and if your body reveals to you that you can’t consume, you know that milk is not the right answer well, that your body is going to tell you that. But don’t let some book tell you that that’s not right, because your book doesn’t know.
Lentine Alexis 04:37
So the most recent title that I pitched was “win win: Whole Foods intuitive eating for athletes, and other overachievers,” which they’re like “That’s kind of closer, but that’s still not it.” And so we’ll get there but what we want it to be crafty, and we want it to be To meet super high end, we want we want it to be able to speak to a high performing population of people that are going to crack it open and go like, cool. Where’s the one answer? And hopefully what they find is this nugget of wisdom that is like…
Colby Pearce 05:15
The answers in you.
Lentine Alexis 05:16
The answers in you. Sorry, I know, that’s maddening and I know that’s scary, but the answers in you and here’s some recipes for you. Like, here’s a whole Codex of how to unlock cooking for yourself in a like safe way with tons of options. And you can dabble in veganism, if you want, you can do whatever you want to follow. Like there’s stuff for you in this book. But these are all right answers. And there’s no one like, here’s your path forward.
Colby Pearce 05:42
The problem is, there’s so many variables, so many levers to push in a diet, it’s really hard to know like, Well, I think I’m allergic to cow’s dairy, but I don’t really know, because in this circumstance, I ate it, it was fine. And this one ate it was a total disaster. But was it this? Or was it the extra sugar? Or was it the blah or the blah or this or that?
Lentine Alexis 05:56
And so here’s the thing that’s fascinating about that, and something I’m learning, I’ve been learning about a lot in the past few years is that oftentimes that has very little to do with the food and has a lot to do with the emotion that we’ve put behind the food or all the things that are happening in our lives that have nothing to do with our sport, and nothing to do with the actual food itself. Like that, you know, but that said, like food is whatever you’re eating becomes you. So when you’re like, “I’m just gonna grab that like, kind of lame burrito from the freezer aisle, like, that’s gonna be fine.” It’s easy, like, cool, you want to be your best, and you’re just going to pick the easy route. That’s what you just did. That’s the equation that you just created. Yeah, so cool, good for you. And that’s going to be how you perform like, you pick this, this half assed thing, you’re gonna have a half assed result. And if you’re like, cool, I’m gonna really prioritize, where I’m like, you know, if you’re gonna prioritize your training, you’re going to prioritize all the other elements in your life, if you’re not prioritzing where you’re getting your ingredients to cook, whatever it is, like a bowl of cereal, right? It’s all, it all proves positive but sone the, you know, the response, like, the way that your body will respond to milk one day, on a super stressful day, when you had a bunch of wine for dinner, or you like, didn’t eat properly, the day before you have a bunch of you know, you’re stressed out, or you were just sick, or whatever it is, that’s going to be different than it was tomorrow. Like, in the book, I’m calling this a life cocktail, where you literally have like a grid of all of the things that go into the amount of like stress on your day to day. And it’s not just physical training stress. It’s also like, what are your relationships like? Did you sleep? Well? Are you breathing properly, all those things that really relate to how your body is functioning, and how your body can even process the foods you’re putting in. And, and also, then the wild part about it is that it’s not terribly scientific, like we don’t have, you can’t really scientifically prove that the anxiety you’re feeling from your relationships, no impacts your digestion, but we do know that there is a physical response to stress. And we do you know that that restricts muscles, and that that changes chemistry. So there is a connection. But it’s tricky to like get like I’ve talked to Alan about this where I’m like, how do we test this? He’s like, I don’t know.
Colby Pearce 08:12
Yeah, yeah. That’s Dr. Alan Lim. Right?
Lentine Alexis 08:14
Colby Pearce 08:14
Yeah. Yeah. Cool. So he was my third guest. Fourth, somewhere in the single digit.
Lentine Alexis 08:21
Yeah, he’s very worthwhile of a single digit, in any case, yeah.
Colby Pearce 08:27
He was great. That gets straight into some really core concepts I think that I’d love to unpack your thoughts on as far as – in my mind, there’s a paradigm in the athletic world of thinking of food as gasoline, as fuel, right. And at the pro tour level, or the you know, if you’re being paid to ride your bike, or run, swim and ride your bike and whatever sport you’re doing at a very, very high hourly level, there is kind of more of a like, we just, there’s a point when you’re, you’re burning so much, you’re so active, that we need to process fuel, we need to refill the tank. And so I think of it as a spectrum, but I think that mindset is really, perhaps perhaps a bit contagious or even infiltrates the mindsets of athletes who aren’t performing at that level, but because we have this natural human tendency to emulate people at the highest level of sport. I mean, that’s normal. And that’s healthy, like, how to if you want to become a really good time, triallist you know, just look at who won the Women’s World Time Trial championships and go Hmm, what does she look like on the bike? And what are the rest of the top 10 look like and study them and see what they’re doing and see the equipment they’re using in the position they’re holding, and all those things you can find out on their blogs or their interviews or their podcasts. That’s a great method to do it. But also, we can’t assume that those, all those methods will trickle down to the person who’s training eight hours a week for their local, whatever chair creek time trial series and because an elite woman or man might be training 15, 18, 22, 30 hours a week sometimes on the bike they’re consuming three, four, or 5000 kill – they’re burning three or four or 5000 cages a day on a solid day of training.
Lentine Alexis 10:11
And they’ve also built a base for however many years to get their bodies to that point, right? Where they now require that amount of fuel. Not I’m going to do a marathon. I decided today. It’s my first one ever. How do I feel for this thing, and there’s a lot of nuance, so much nuance, right, like, you know, I mean, watching – sorry to interrupt -when we were – so I was the clarinet director at sScratch for quite some time in my primary role was pushing around, not literally with my hands, but effectively being a driving force behind the food trailer that we would roll to events like the Tour of California, we were cooking for the athletes. And, and there are a lot and I was I was not involved in World Tour cycling as an athlete when I was racing. But getting that peak, it was fascinating, because it’s really very much like if you’re not on your bike, you are sitting down, you are not moving, you’re not walking anywhere you’re having whatever you need brought to you and you’re literally on a schedule where you’re going to, you could speak to this, you’re going to ride your brains out, you’re going to refuel, you’re going to get your body work done, and you’re going to lay in your bed and you’re gonna go to sleep, you’re gonna wake up the next day and do that.
Colby Pearce 11:22
Rinse, wash, repeat.
Lentine Alexis 11:23
Absolutely. And any normal human being that lives a life is also moving around all day has to walk has to have things brought to them. They’re not fixated strictly on just what’s happening on and off the bike, the life of a world tour athlete is being lived on the bicycle. And that’s not true for a normal for, in air quotes, “normal person.” These are very, very different nutritional needs and very different lifestyles. And so the idea that we would try to like, go like, Cool must be what you’re eating.
Colby Pearce 11:50
Right. Doesn’t make a lot of sense. Right. So on that one extreme, we have that fuelling mindset which is really driven by a necessity to make sure that the world tour athlete when they are in zone three for an hour and a half and zone four for an hour of a long stage of in the middle of a three week stage race. These need a boatload of calories.
Lentine Alexis 12:12
And and they can almost be from anywhere,
Colby Pearce 12:14
And they can almost be from anywhere or the the saying I heard a million years ago from, I don’t remember where I heard this from, I think it was a woman and I think it was someone with some dietary expertise, if someone knows where this quote came from, let me know, but she basically said, if the fire is burning hot enough, you can throw almost anything in. And that is also a very dangerous paradigm to trickle down to most other humans because these people are already by definition, the point 1%. They’re already high level compensators that performing at the world level. And what they’re doing is working oftentimes also the other rule, I think, to get totally sidetracked with multiple tangents in a row, you’re welcome,
Lentine Alexis 12:54
I’m paying attention, I’m tracking.
Colby Pearce 12:57
So on the other end of the spectrum, is the concept of in contrast to food as fuel, food as gasoline, is food that contains lifeforce energy. Food that contains chee. Food that nourishes your soul. Food that helps you, that is gentle when you are stressed by life conditions. Food that is more challenging when you’re ready, when you need fire, when you want to stoke the cauldron, when you want to really get things going and kindled. Right? And food that’s a, that is more nutritionally dense, lower in total calories, but nourishes but gives us that, well that lifeforce that we need to negotiate life and to thrive and to be our best self and to heal. Right? I mean, keep in mind like World Tour athletes are making an intentional choice to annihilate themselves for a cause. They’re myopically focusing all their time, energy and attention towards a single goal, whatever that is, you know, the Tour de France or worlds or… And other people while we have athletic goals and pursuits and desires we also have things like families and jobs and responsibilities – not that World Tour athletes don’t have those things, but to be realistic they’re prioritizing their athletic pursuits, they have to by definition. So I think there’s a big contrast there between, we could say “how do we, how are we going to turn this teeter totter, this spectrum: Food is fuel on one side and food is nourishment on the other – is that the right terminology I haven’t – this has been a paradigm I’ve been discussing with other guests and think about my head for a long time, but I haven’t really come up with the ideal term for the other side.
Lentine Alexis 14:42
Me neither, that’s why we don’t have a name for the book. Because there’s something in between, right? In my opinon. There’s something in between, which is that –
Colby Pearce 14:50
Lentine Alexis 14:50
Yeah, well, so food is fuel.
Colby Pearce 14:53
Lentine Alexis 14:53
It is fuel, absolutely, it is. We require it to function. Every single thing that you do in your day requires a calorie, a nutrient, that you’ve put into your body to activate it, right? Me speaking right now, if I hadn’t eaten breakfast or hadn’t had a cup of coffee, whatever it is, every single minute thing we do, every single emotion we have, every single response that we have in our world requires nourishment. And that is nourishing part of food.
Lentine Alexis 15:18
And I keep looking forward, that’s not nourishment, because I feel like that it feels somehow, like there’s butterflies flying around. It’s not grounded enough, for whatever reason, it is a grounded word. But I want there to just be something that exemplifies the fact that food is multi dimensional, and we are multi dimensional beings and something that gets left out of the picture of a world tour athlete who is using food as fuel, there is a tremendous emotional, and maybe even spiritual drive that is fueling that athlete to be able to push themselves that way. And for a period of time in their lives, they’re able to tap into that. And that’s a really important nutrient for the recipe that is this person being able to push themselves to the absolute limit. And if you have never been an athlete performing at a high level, you don’t maybe recognize that that is something you have to have, which is this: I am absolutely going to do anything and everything in my power to find that my top and my bottom, right? Like the depth of my human experience. That’s something that we don’t talk about with World triathletes is pretty difficult to tap. It’s also very personal, right? So without the fuel in air quotes that they’re putting in, they can’t tap into that. And so to sort of dumb down their fueling to say, like, oh, cool, they’re eating a lot of salad, or they’re eating out a rice or eating six eggs and they’re on a super like, high fiber, low fiber diet to me. So they’re going to cut weight, like, that’s, that is our society basically, like, what’s the word that Michael Pollan uses? I think it’s something like, the, like nutrification, or like the reductionist nutrition theory of basically Western food, right? Where we’ve gone cool. Here is, and this started happening in like, the 1800s, when we figured out what nutrition science was, like, oh, cool, here’s an apple. And here’s the valuable things in the apple. And if we just take those things out, we can basically mainline, them, no need to worry about all the other stuff.
Colby Pearce 17:23
All that inconvenience of an apple
Lentine Alexis 17:25
The inconvenience of the apple. Well, great. So if you can now take a pill that gives you that philosophical, emotional, spiritual drive to be the effing best on the planet, then you’ve unlocked nutrition theory, but you can’t.
Lentine Alexis 17:46
So to recognize that whatever it is, that’s in there, there’s something else, right, there’s another ingredient. And from my personal perspective, and in my like history, and like journey as an athlete, adding the like joy and whimsy and wonder and cutting out basically cutting out the idea that I know better, or that box knows better, or that or that human science, a Food Lab has unlocked the secrets to how to be the best human being, when no human being created human beings to me is sort of this like, I don’t know. But if I keep trusting this, that there’s something bigger than me. And if I can just keep trying to get a little closer to that thing, whatever it is, whatever the shape is, whatever the emotion is, then I will become closer to being my best version of myself. Yes. And that means not worrying. That means being frankly, more afraid of that big thing, whatever it is, then, whether or not I’m eating brown rice, or white rice, or whether or not I’m eating more gluten or no gluten, or whether or not like, is this gonna derail? Like, is this going to derail My dier is probably the anxiety that I’m loading on myself about, like, I ate the ice cream cone. Shit. It’s heavier, guilty, then just eating ice cream cone? Yeah.
Colby Pearce 19:03
And you know, just going for eating an ice cream.
Lentine Alexis 19:05
Yeah. So anyway, so in answer to your question in this very broad spectrum, I think there are, I think there are untangible dimensions that we do not factor into our nutrition. And that is ridiculously challenging and it’s almost impossible to quantify, but it’s effectively the like, the human spirit, right? And whatever we do with the nutrition that we’re absorbing, and how we’re getting it from, from the plant from the other animals and plants that are around us, how we’re getting it from the relationships in our lives, how we’re getting it from so many different places, and to sort of believe that that energy, whatever it is, doesn’t impact our performance is a bit insane, in my opinion.
Colby Pearce 19:44
Agreed 100%. It’s, you are what you ate ate, right?
Lentine Alexis 19:49
Yeah, you are what you ate ate. Yeah, you totally are.
Colby Pearce 19:53
And I love how you’re using the term ingredient, both literally and metaphorically. Because I think that’s really important to recognize.
Lentine Alexis 20:03
Thankes, maybe that’s a book title.
Colby Pearce 20:07
If we come up with a book title as a result of this episode, that would be so awesome.
Lentine Alexis 20:11
I would be so jazzed.
Colby Pearce 20:14
Well let’s rewind now that we went forward, now we’re going to backpedal. And I’d love for you to unpack your journey, the places you’ve lived, the cool adventures you had, you were a pro triathlete for a while, you lived in Japan for a while, you’ve worked at Scratch for a while – Tell us about that. I want to give our audience some context on who is Lentini and how did she get to have all these amazing philosophies and ideas about food and what inspired you become a chef?
Lentine Alexis 20:42
Yeah, so I’ll try my best to kind of nutshell or patchwork quilt together
Colby Pearce 20:50
With I hope, little tiny details on the important parts.
Lentine Alexis 20:54
Yeah, totally. But maybe I’m an old person, but I don’t feel like a very old person. But I have had a lot of like, pretty cool experiences in my life. My parents are not terribly athletic. But I from a very, like, there’s, there’s probably a lot of reasons why I was always driven to do things like go hike up Green Mountains early in the morning as I could get up there. Or, you know, I was a swimmer in high school, I went to Boulder High. I was always a person that sort of liked, facing challenge and specifically physical challenge. And from, and it was, and my mom was an amazing cook. But it was definitely like something unlocked for me. I at one point in time figured out that I felt better when I put good stuff in. And I figured that out in high school, and probably and frankly, dove down in a really dangerous direction where it’s like, Great if I’m like, effect, you know, and I was training and racing at a relatively high level in high school. And you know, Racing like state, not you know, qualifiers
Colby Pearce 21:57
Swimming is what you’re still talking about, Right?
Lentine Alexis 21:59
Yeah. And we were pretty competitive team. And, you know, if I did little things in the offseason, like go for extra runs, like I noticed my strength in the pool. And if I was really careful with like, not eating the huge, face sized cookies in the cafeteria, I typically felt better in practice. And so those sorts of things, I really started watching really early on and went to college on the east coast. And
Colby Pearce 22:28
so you were you were crafting intuition about how the food choices you made, impacted your health and the feeling you had
Lentine Alexis 22:34
yep, totally. But I also was, I also was doing it really dangerously at that point in time. And by that, I mean, like, I would read them. Like we’d have crackers in the house. And I would read like the number of calories in a serving of crackers, like count out my 12 crackers, right? I didn’t have I didn’t have another guide like I didn’t have a nutritionist who was I was working with. And that and watching it that way, proof positive for me. But it also created a lot of fear of food because I was noticing, I was noticing success when I was measuring. And not when I was just like, you know, being a regular old teenager like I was competitive and wanted to be.
Lentine Alexis 23:11
And so I went into college and was quickly I was eager to leave swimming and was quickly sucked up by a varsity rowing program on the east coast. I had altitude lungs, and I was super strong and really small. So I became the stroke in our eight, eight women shell. And we crushed it like we were an amazing, amazing team. And I was the freshman that they were like, Who are you? And what are you doing and, and my coach. My coach was from Russia actually, and had been working with athletes in Alaska had like, and I’m using those examples to basically identify the fact that they’ve been working working in very harsh environments with different philosophies. And there was no map for how to train and educate young women on how to fuel their bodies at that time. So lots of really mixed messages about how food played a role. You’re in college. So there’s all sorts of other like, cool, like, we’re going to be a dry boat, we’re like we’re dry program, but there’s lots of other things that challenge you in that time in your life. And there was no conversation about it, none. And they also kind of wanted us to look like tin cans. So they were feeding us to look like like they were they were making suggestions to us so that we would be short, stocky, powerful women. And we would show up at like the NCAA championships and I am five, five, and the other strokes and the boat would be in the other boats from whatever brown Stanford UCLA, we’re like five, nine or 10 and weighed 180 pounds or 190, You know, they’re big, they’re football player size women. And my my coaches like cool, so how How’re you going out pull this chick? And I, that was a very unhealthy like, I’m not her. I’m totally not her. I’m five, five and I weigh 130 pounds. Like, I’m going to be a different type of athlete,
Colby Pearce 25:11
especially in rowing, which is so contingent on that lever arm.
Lentine Alexis 25:14
Yep, I basically took this philosophy that I had built for myself for this impression that I built for myself that paying attention to food really, really closely, was going to be a key to my success, and then transported it to college when all of when I didn’t have anything that I could trust. And now I was also in an environment where I wasn’t eating food from home. My mom wasn’t cooking for me anymore. You know, I was eating cafeteria food.
Lentine Alexis 25:35
And what did it mean when when you say they wanted you to look like a tin can? Meaning they want you to pack on muscle? What would that look like specifically over there telling you to eat white chicken breasts or tons of steak or
Lentine Alexis 25:48
Yeah, so like, I remember getting back on the bus after an event and having like, if you’re from the east coast, you’ve ever been to a Wegmans, like they would buy Wegmans subs for us. And basically be like, “cool, here’s your full Wegmans” – tons of processed meat, very few vegetables, lots of carbohydrates – and there was just no sense in it, right? And when you are hungry, like you’re really really hungry, you just, say “whatever” and blow yourself up. There just wasn’t a discussion on what different things did for your body and also learning to trust your intuition. It was just like, here’s the food you’ve got for the day. Go for it.
Colby Pearce 26:24
Lentine Alexis 26:27
Yeah. So. So, there was definitely like a fear of food that I had developed now. And to make that worse, I started studying. My degree from Liam Smithson – it was a dual degree in social ecology and economics – and I fixated predominantly on food systems. I wanted to understand, I was already curious about food, I wanted to understand how our society had built the food system that it had and how that impacted the planet ecologically. And that definitely has threads in what I’m doing now, just in a different way.
Lentine Alexis 27:02
But so I was doing a lot of study into genetically modified substances, where our foods were coming from – and that was all really new science. Like reading The Jungle crushed me, because here I am at practice – I’m at practice, I’m at an event really, I’m going to race, and I’m being provided with this one food source, which is processed bread, processed meat, no green vegetables, there’s nothing vibrant in this piece of food and I know that vibrant food is something that I really want, and I don’t know where to find it and I’m trapped on this college campus. I would go to the grocery store and shop for myself and be like, I don’t know what I can eat here because I don’t want to eat anything that’s, you know, I just want really pretty food. And I couldn’t find it anywhere.
Lentine Alexis 27:50
I started driving from Geneva to Ithaca, New York, where there was a co-op. I would basically go every weekend when I could and I would buy all my groceries for the week and I would bring them back to my, you know, dorm or whatever it was and that was really isolating, right? Because now I need this special food that I can’t get anywhere else and it was something that I really appreciated, and a few other people on campus did too, but no one on my sports team, like no one on my rowing team appreciated that. They were like, “I’m just gonna eat gummi bears and pasta” like “what’s the problem here, who cares?” So there was this push pull, like, I knew that I was onto something, but I had completely separated myself from all other people trying to abide by this specific thing because no one else was also involved. There was no other like, commonsaladity involved in the sharing of this food
Colby Pearce 28:37
That was your intention, your intention was just to fuel yourself with food that you felt would nourish you. And that felt authentic, right? It’s just that the separation occurred as a result of the distance.
Lentine Alexis 28:45
Yeah. Well it was also to make the decisions that I felt like were good for my – like, I wanted to do something that felt good. Like, I wanted to feel good about the choices I was making. In school, I wanted to do my best, right? I wanted to know, I was doing my best. And I sort of equated this, like, I know, I’m not doing my best if I’m just willing to do this thing, eat this thing that I know is going to make me feel like crap later. And I was placing a lot of control in my life. It was really valuable in some ways, but also damaging in others because, again, I’d literally created this like structure, I had to be in control of it all the time, and couldn’t just go with the flow and didn’t feel empowered to find solutions in the environment that I was in. And also didn’t feel empowered to speak up. Now, what if I would have just gone to my administration have been like, “Hey, there are gorgeous farms all around. Why are you not feeding us like that spinach that I’m riding my bike by whenever I am riding to campus?”, you know. I was so fixated on the fuelling piece of that and I was so taxed with school and training I didn’t have any space to think outside of that box.
Colby Pearce 29:52
Lentine Alexis 29:53
Does that make sense? So it was like, there was some good lessons in there, but it was also really, really limiting.
Colby Pearce 29:58
Looking back on it in retrospect, you can see that, right? I think that’s a very parallel experience in some ways to what my daughter is going through in college.
Lentine Alexis 30:05
I would believe that, yeah.
Colby Pearce 30:07
Cuz she goes to the cafeteria and she can see that same kind of lifeless food everywhere that comes out of boxes and chicken breasts that have been, you know, come from a factory farm and have been on a truck frozen for two weeks or months and months, years, possibly and it’s just lifeless food. And she’s like, how do I solve this equation? How do I feed myself in a way that’s going to be authentic, but without – and then she has similar experiences. She’s got roommates and friends who will go into the city together for a day and she’ll be like, “I want to eat here.” And they’ll be like,”that’s way too expensive, we’re not eating that. Why do you want to eat that stuff? Let’s just – who cares?”
Lentine Alexis 30:33
Who cares, yeah. And it’s very, like, you know, as a young person, and as an athlete there are like different circles that you find yourself in, right? And you want, I definitely wanted to be like, I wanted a friends.
Colby Pearce 30:52
You want to have friends, that’s normal.
Lentine Alexis 30:53
And I wanted to share experiences with people, but I did feel like doing that sacrificed something that was really very much a part of who I am and how I wanted to be in the world. And that posed some problems.
Lentine Alexis 31:07
Yeah, it was real tension. Yeah. So I left school, I ended up getting an internship, very much on a whim, like, and it happened really fast. I had been looking for jobs around the United States, wanted to work for a nonprofit, wanted to work in food, didn’t find anything, or was basically beat out for the positions that I wanted by people that had master’s degrees, that sort of thing. So one night, I’m in my mom’s house, and I hop on the computer, and I’m probably like, underage drinking wine, you know, whatever it is, I apply for an internship at a small newspaper in Torino, Italy. And the next morning, I wake up, and they want to interview me for the job. And I get it. And then two weeks later, I am on a plane and I’m flying to Europe, I’ve never been there before, and my mom goes with me, and it’s this huge adventure that I’m off on asnd I’m going and I’m going with myself. And I was in Italy for about a year and had, and some of the same themes that had come up before, you know, like now I’m immersed in this culture where food is very different than our reductionist thinking of like, cool, like, I’m gonna piece together all the macronutrients, I’m going to read the labels like, I was living in, you know, Torino at that time, it’s before the Olympics, so there was very little English spoken there and strangely, I had been hired by this newspaper, because I spoke Spanish. And the newspaper wanted me to conduct, this is very Italian, conduct interviews with Italians living all over the world. And to translate those interviews, about just kind of what their life experiences were, right like, “oh, cool, like you’re living in New York City, like you look like you have an Italian last name. So like, what’s your life like in New York?” Translate the interviews out of English into Spanish so that my colleagues who also spoke Spanish could translate them back into Italian because I didn’t speak a lick of Italian. And it was this like, “Are you serious? This is how really going to do this? Cool! You want to hire me to do this. I will totally do it.” So I had a couple of Italian roommates and rented a room from you know, in a tiny little apartment kind of like one you know, corner of the city and would walk every morning 45 minutes to my office and walk back and in the morning usually I would go for a run along the river which our apartment overlooked and I was the only woman out running in the morning and I was one of the only people running in that part of ital and people were just kind of looking at me like you’re insane and I’m wearing like trail running shoes and you know, technical clothing and they just thought I was nuts and my colleagues also were like this is a little weird like why are you doing that again like you sweat right like that seems…
Colby Pearce 31:07
It’s a tension.
Colby Pearce 33:51
Is someone chasing you?
Lentine Alexis 33:52
Yeah, is someone chasing you? Why are you running? And I had to figure out how to feed myself. So, you know, I couldn’t – and grocery stores look different; there was no big parking lot that you park in, there’s no massive florists and aisles. So I kind of had to navigate that. The most wonderful part about the zone of the city that I lived in was that there was a market every Wednesday and Saturday. I would go to the market and that’s basically where I learned to speak Italian. So I would buy spinach by the kilo that had never been washed. I would take it home to my small Italian kitchen, but I had a huge sink, and I would rinse it. I had no way of drying it so I’m laying it out in all these towels and it never really got dry so I was eating like wet salad all the time or like blending it up; Weird weird weird meals. And occasionally I would cook for my roommates. Food became a really big piece of my experience there. And I watched myself, the more and more I kind of got out into restaurants and did things that scared me like order in broken Italian from a waiter who spoke no English, or kind of pointy talking my way through a menu, or just tried to navigate my basic needs, a lot of which were buying food ingredients, the more I felt that I could just travel anywhere. I was like, I don’t care how you’re looking at me, you know, it’s okay for me to mess this up. Like, it’s okay for me to mess it up. And because I didn’t have the guidelines of American food culture to, you know, point me in the right direction, I also had to be a lot more brave about like, Okay, I’m going to eat whatever this. I don’t know what this is, but I’m going to try it, right? And it was this massive shift in my thinking to the idea that the more brave I was, the more I was rewarded for just being brave, and especially stepping outside the box.
Lentine Alexis 35:38
And it also proved positive that food was a real – it was basically what connected me to that place. Like, you know, I had colleagues and I had made some friends there, but the ways that I would spend my time when I’m not in the office was I would go to markets, and I would pop in my head into stores and I would buy this treat or order gelato cone, or whatever it was, food grounded me in that place. And the longer and longer I was there – I would basically pack a bag on Friday morning with an idea of someplace in the country that I thought I wanted to go and I would walk to the train station after work and buy the next ticket to wherever the train was leaving for and I would spend the weekend in some other place totally by myself. And it was it was it was amazing. And so, so empowering. And a lot of it had to do with just being able to trust that I could step outside my food boundary because, you know, I would – if I couldn’t find a salad where I was going, what if I can’t find this virtuous thing, I had to trust that this place really had a food soul that aligned with my own and I was right. There were people there who ate food and lived and thrived. And I dove in headfirst.
Colby Pearce 36:42
Lentine Alexis 36:43
Yeah, it was an awesome. Yeah. So I was there for a year I moved back home. My partner at the time was actually in the military and he had received his first duty station. And he was going to be going to Okinawa, Japan, for deployed. And we decided to get married because the way that his role was structured is- something happened, I would never know, no one would ever know unless you’re a wife. Unless you’re his wife, you don’t get to find out any of the details, and even as his wife, there were a lot of details that I was not privy to. We decided to go together, which was one of the best decisions that either of us have ever made, even though we’re not together anymore now. And so about – I think it was a year after I moved back from Italy, we moved to Japan. We were there for about five years. And within 10 days of moving there, he was sent – he was deployed, sent away. We didn’t have a house there, we didn’t have a car yet, we had made the decision to live off base in you know, the Japanese community. And effectively I was learning two new communities because we were both expatriates and part of the military community and I could access both as a social status member. So I could go on base, and I could buy groceries there, right and I could go to yoga class or I could use the gym or anything I really needed, I could go to the military base and get it. But I could also function as a person living in Japan if I wanted to. And I tried to do the latter most. The military culture was crazy for me to navigate, I feel really, really lucky that I got to be part of it. But it was wild, too, you know, like a typhoon would hit the island and everybody would get locked on base, you just trust that they’re like, cool, everybody’s getting locked down, you’re gonna, the sun is shining, the island is functioning, but everyone on this base can be locked out, because we want to be able to know where you are. Something about that, just like, you don’t get to make any autonomous decisions myself. So it was cool to be able to have the not the crutch, but kind of the crutch of military support.
Colby Pearce 36:43
Lentine Alexis 36:43
And so he was gone, he was gone. And I, again, had to kind of figure out how to navigate this super foreign place. And I had deferred a graduate degree by that time in international policy and really wanted to study food systems to get a master’s degree in it. I defered the program so that I could go abroad and basically – like cool, I’ll just learn some Japanese and I’ll work in Japan and I’ll come back and I’ll be an even more valuable candidate for this particular stamp that I want in my head. When I got over there, I realized that I wasn’t able to work because I was a sofa status member. So I couldn’t work in the Japanese economy. I could work on base, but otherwise I was basically going to be a military wife. And that was what I was invited to do. And that didn’t feel like enough.
Lentine Alexis 39:41
So I sort of floundered around for a little while and had a lot of space to just think and do and move and whatever and feel sorry for myself probably a little bit because I was alone, I was scared. We lived in a super cool little Japanese paper house with a beautiful hibiscus garden in it in the middle of a shoe sugarcane field, I mean, it was this place is still like such, it’s such a symbol of like, a way to live a life even now. And I was in this beautiful place and he was in a very dangerous place almost all the time. And figuring out how I could or like, basically arrive to where he was at so I could relate to him, even though he was so far away, was something that I think subconsciously I was trying to do.
Lentine Alexis 40:31
I wasn’t competing anymore. At that point in time, I had really pursued this super high level degree and couldn’t do that. So I’m sort of like, what is my worth here. And I ended up buying a used time trial bike that was too small for me, from another military wife, who’d had a couple kids and she wasn’t using it. And I started riding it around the island to just like, explore and not that dissimilar from my experience in Italy, the more I would kind of explore and push myself, the further away from home I would get and the more I would encounter some fear of like, what if I don’t say this, right? Or, what’s that thing and I don’t know how to do this. And, you know, those things weren’t quite as scary when you just sort of, Okay, I’m gonna just take small bites of whatever this is.
Lentine Alexis 41:17
Military culture is super physical in like, the ways that the community expresses itself. There’s always like, a 10K race or like some, you know, triathlon going on, or a three legged race, whatever it is. And I signed up to do like a little sprint trailathon on the base because I was like, “oh, cool, like, I’ve been running as cross training for rowing, and I’ve always been a swimmer, so why don’t I give this a try?” And had a really easy time of it and it was like, well, this seems like something I could kind of aim- you know, I could, why don’t I try? I’ll try to apply myself in this way.
Lentine Alexis 41:54
So I signed up to do whatever it was, like, the equivalent of a half Ironman on another remote island. There was this whole training process and how was I going to get there, and I ended up winning the race. And was hooked like, “oh, cool, like, this is something that I can- this is someplace where I feel like I’m proud of myself and I can find value in it and I’ll do this, like, this is what I’ll do.” And so I set my sights on racing an IronMan in China, maybe six or seven months later, and now all of a sudden, I’m training. And training a lot.
Colby Pearce 42:25
It’s just not a thing they eat there really.
Lentine Alexis 42:25
At that point in time, Iron Man felt like a really really long way, like wow, that is – like I’m gonna ride my bike 120 miles and then run a marathon? How do human beings even do that? And so, again, my process is like I kind of dive back into the things that I think I know about food and facing challenge and facing fear, and whatever. And all the things that are immediately available to me in Japan do not look like what I had been sort of conditioned to believe was healthy for me. The restaurants down the street are big bowls of ramen with big fat pieces of pork in them and I can’t find a salad anywhere. Why is there no salad? Just not a piece that culture, you know, cultural thing
Lentine Alexis 42:34
You don’t eat it there, for very good reasons, but that was something that in my brain I felt I either needed or wanted or whatever those comfort foods. And so I started doing a lot more cooking for myself and also a lot more exploring. And the one experience that I can remember distinctly was I was on – I would basically ride my bike from our house which was on the coast all the way to the northern tip of the island and back and that was 130 miles. And weather in Okinawa is like pretty brutal, hot and humid all year. And they also don’t- at that time they didn’t have sport foods, there’s no like gels, there’s no power bars. So I was either packing something that I had or finding something along the way and this particular day my snack had fallen out of my pocket. So I got nothing now, but I have some yen so I stopped my bike I’m, you know, on th side of the road and if you’ve been to Japan you know that there’s like Family Mart or whatever all over the place even in the most random spots. And I kind of walk through the doors of, you know, the doors part in this like beautiful world of all the coolness and air conditioning kind of like you know kisses my brutalized skin and I pick up with my like, eight yen or whatever it is I get a couple of little onigiri rice balls. They have a bushy plum in the middle and they’re wrapped in seasoned rice with sesame seeds and this cool little package of like nori seaweed on the outside. And I go sit down on the corner and you know, the stoop outside – which of course they were like, “Why don’t you just sit inside and eat this thing like please, why are you sitting on the side, it’s dirty out there” and I eat this thing and it just lights me up. All the things that were in this accidental snack that I had been considering to be like the second rate, like, “if I have to eat this, I guess I will and I can’t believe this is what it is,” just – it was like my world got painted in with color again. And I was pretty depleted at that point like in that particular moment, but also emotionally like, I was scared my persons away, I’m obliterating myself – I’m training like 25-28 hours a week because I don’t have anything else to dump myself into and that hit of salt and all those umami flavors just – I was on fire and felt like I had really unlocked something.
Lentine Alexis 45:35
From that point on I would sort of use these training rides, to ride to new villages and check out new food and almost every one I rode into, I would encounter some, you know, like little woman with a woven basket, she just walked out of the ocean, she’s harvesting seaweed or something. And she’d look at me in my lycra and go, like, “first of all, where are you from? And why are you here? And are you okay? And you need anything from me?” And typically, then it’s like, oh, well, my husband just caught – in our broken way of communicating – my husband just caught this beautiful piece of fish. And here is a shiso leaf and some lemon, would you like a bite of this? Well, yes, I would. These people that I met along the way and the food that they were willing to share or they would offer to me for a small payment was how I survived and how I trained and how I thrived. And it was effectively again, this like moment of bravery of going like, if I would just let go of my own conventions, there’s a whole world of self exploration for me to enjoy. There’s a whole culture out there that I would be missing out on if I was trying to eat power bars from the military base all the time. And it was a really important like, I was fueling my life capital, I was really like becoming the experiences I was having in the world were rich, because I was going out and enjoying these flavors and these foods and connecting with these people. It made me a better athlete and the events I was entering in were more rewarding for me because I had all that background experience. And it didn’t really matter then how I did at the race, because I’d had this incredible training experience, where I got to like see the world. And that that really was the hallmark of my experience as a professional athlete was that it was every bit about the adventure that I could have, while I was like preparing for this, this thing or that thing.
Lentine Alexis 47:17
And so I qualified as an amateur in China to go to Kona, I got whatever second place in my first Iron Man and I was hooked. I was like, cool. I am totally an endurance athlete. I’m going to just chase this around. And I did for like nine years; in Iron Man, but other things too. Pretty much any, anything I could find that was going to push my limit was what I was going to do. And, yeah, all over the place.
Lentine Alexis 47:46
So that’s basically how I arrived at this point of having a fusion between food and sport. And when we came back home from Japan, I basically completely cast off this idea that I wanted to go to graduate school, I did not care about working in policy anymore, I was convinced that – I had been baking a lot while we were over there basically either flying ingredients in or navigating how to use Japanese ingredients to bake cookies and like muffin tops, I was really craving those things. I wanted to figure out – I knew you could do it, like I’d eaten cake there, but didn’t know the science behind how to make it really, really work. And so I decided I wanted to go to culinary school to understand the science of how to do this on my own. so it was that knowing that you could make really amazing food from whatever you had on hand, raw ingredients, was what inspired me to be a chef and I wouldn’t have had that had not been an athlete as well.
Lentine Alexis 48:37
So I came home I went to I went to Cordon Bleu and graduated with a degree in patisserie and baking, and did very, very well in my program and got spit immediately into fine dining. And I was trying to be my best, right? Like, I had this amazing invitation from this amazing restaurant in Los Angeles. They wanted me to come and work there.
Colby Pearce 48:57
Cordon Bleu lose in LA also?
Lentine Alexis 48:59
Well, the Cordon Bleu actually is in Paris, but they have coordinate schools all over the country now, really all over the world now. And my final degree is from the school in Portland, which is where we ended up when we moved back from Japan.
Colby Pearce 49:11
Okay, I see.
Lentine Alexis 49:11
But I was invited to work in Los Angeles. So I pick up and move down there and become a pastry chef. And it’s very different world than me training and racing. And I basically can’t race or train as I was before working in a restaurant. My shifts were from 10am to 3am.
Colby Pearce 49:32
Lentine Alexis 49:33
And that’s very normal, that’s wasn’t just me. It was really, really hard business. And we had an eight course dessert tasting menu. So not only was I prepping, you know, and and crazy cool things like this wasn’t just cooking, this wasn’t just baking or patisserie, this is gastronomy, like my tasks would be to make a marang and set it with some compound that lives in our pantry that’s letters and numbers. It’s not called gelatin. It’s something else. It’s been specifically created to make this look, to make our food look like art. And then I would spread it on, you know, a piece of acetate that’s like, exactly point one millimeters thick and roll it up and put it into hydrator so I could later build towers of marang, and cream and chocolate that looked like art, not just food. And it was incredible. Like, we had a whole chocolate room that I would spend days in like working with chocolate or making ice creams and doing all you know, understanding the science behind that and really being a person who now loves food and is fascinated with ingredients and beautiful food too. It was super, super cool. But it was just destroying me and also destroying a little bit of how I felt about food in the world because the guests that we would have that would come and enjoy these meals were very long and very expensive, didn’t actually care whether or not I poured any soul into the food.
Colby Pearce 50:47
The meals were long and expensive, not the guests?
Lentine Alexis 50:50
Sometimes the guests were also long and expensive. You know what I mean? Yeah, they didn’t care, you know, we would get plates back to the kitchen that were full still. And to know that I had spent that amount of time, you know, they were coming to the restaurant because it was a very invoke thing to do – the food scene in LA has changed a lot, now. At that point in time we were the place to go and to see and be seen.
Colby Pearce 51:13
Now you can tell us the name of the restaurant, please?
Lentine Alexis 51:15
I was at Providence. Which is a fantastic restaurant and at that time, I believe was one of the only restaurants in the city that had two Michelin stars and still hold Michelin stars. The chef that I was working with, the pastry chef that I was working with is no longer there, but chef Cimarusti is still there. And he’s still receiving a lot of accolades. And it’s still an incredible place. And whenever I get a chance to go there, I still go and get eight course dessert tasting menu, because it’s really fun, but-
Colby Pearce 51:40
It’s the same kitchen?
Lentine Alexis 51:41
Yeah it’s the same kitchen. It’s the same soul. And it was a really, really good place. But it was, but it was hard for me because I was coming from a really raw spot where I was literally, raw spot in the sense of like, if I was on my bike, and I was craving ramen, I wanted, I was gonna eat ramen. And I didn’t really care how pretty the ramen was at that point in time. But we were predominantly concerned because our guests are predominantly concerned with what our food looked like. And with dessert, it is that way anyway, right? Like, as you know, pastries, one extra level of like, one extra level of that art, which is a piece that still speaks strongly to my personality and i love pastry, and I loved working there. But I didn’t love that I realized it didn’t matter in that moment whether or not I had plucked the perfect cherries, or you know, the guests weren’t eating the food. They were just – the guests weren’t eating our desserts all the way, they weren’t saving our desserts.
Colby Pearce 52:43
So you felt like you were making an aesthetic product, but it wasn’t being appreciated for the love you’re putting into the the food and the flavor, is that fair to say?
Lentine Alexis 52:49
Yeah, I felt like there wasn’t actually any value given to the fact that there were human beings that are making it, or the attention to detail that was going into it, you know. And that was again, just I’d had these crazy experiences of connecting with the fishermen who had caught the fish. And I cared most about that. And the people that were eating my food, I didn’t, they didn’t seem to care as much about that. I wanted to be in a different. And I also wanted to be outside. I needed to have fresh air and I had now reduced all of my food experiences to acetate and marang and windowless rooms of chocolate and that wasn’t my soul of cooking.
Colby Pearce 53:28
Windowless rooms of chocolate. That sounds like a book chapter title.
Lentine Alexis 53:31
Right? It will be someday, there will be a whole book about that. I mean, and that’s really the life of a – the life of a chef, th conventional life of a chef is that; you were living in an indoor experience, it’s very isolating and for good reason –
Colby Pearce 53:47
My family and I, we’ve been watching Chef’s Table a lot on Netflix. I mean, we don’t watch a lot of TV or regular television, but we do eat dinner in front of that show sometimes. And it’s quite illuminating to see those experiences.
Lentine Alexis 53:56
Colby Pearce 53:59
Yeah, so well produced and just the richness of the stories. I spent so much time in Toronto, I’ve never been able to eat a canroka, but to see the canrocka up so close
Lentine Alexis 54:09
Yeah, it’s – I mean, I don’t know how ,I don’t think – yeah, you can’t watch that show and not fall in love with food in a whole new way.
Colby Pearce 54:16
Right. Yeah, agreed.
Lentine Alexis 54:18
Yeah, I mean, even as a person who is deeply in love with food, I feel that way.
Colby Pearce 54:23
Cool. Have they done an episode on Providence?
Lentine Alexis 54:25
They haven’t. They haven’t. I bet at some, I mean, I hope they do. Cimarusti been a chef for so long and the soul the restaurant is still so intact and- I hope that they do. Every chef has a story like that, in my opinion.
Colby Pearce 54:39
And it’s striking how many of them are so similar where they have this, they’re all, they all kinda have those ingredients, so to speak of, like I’m so driven, I love food, but I have to find a new way to create and then it becomes it’s like the comic strip author where the pressure to create new stuff and create at such a high level with such regular intervals – not unlike the world of podcasting, except, way, way accelerated.
Lentine Alexis 54:59
Not unlike the world of being an athlete. It’s actually very, very much the same. Chefs and athletes are very, very similar people, but it’s very difficult to fuse the worlds together because one requires, you know, the environment, your work environment is very, very different. Right? As a chef, you’re constantly in discomfort, pain, uncertainty, pushing yourself to find that next level of yourself. And that’s very, very true for athletes too.
Colby Pearce 55:29
Pushing your team.
Lentine Alexis 55:34
100%. Yeah. Figuring out how, you know, like, taking care of yourself and taking care of others. And so many new – so many similarities.
Colby Pearce 55:45
But just the rhythm, I think the underlying theme is the rhythm and pressure of the flow. It’s like you’re on a river, and the river is always moving, and you have to kind of keep up. As an athlete, you’re always feeling that pressure, like, “well, if I don’t – if I missed this Wednesday workout, that’s my clutch workout. And I’m doing it every week, for the next eight weeks, that’s my preparation for my race that is 11 weeks away…” One of those is a big percentage. And if I’m sick that morning, or if I don’t sleep, well, Tuesday night, or if I don’t eat well, then that whole, it cascades and it’s the same sensation in the world of the chef, right? Like, you can see the pressure that they so lucidly illustrated in the show about that drive to create and also to make that product. And the consistent theme is that the press whenever a restaurant gets a Michelin star or gets really good reviews, the press just crushes everybody, and then the pressure gets notched up it seems like.
Lentine Alexis 56:36
Yeah, similar to anytime you have one good result; it’s like you prove positive for yourself, you know, and you prove positive that you can do it and then it’s like, “Where did I get it from? Where did I find that thing-
Colby Pearce 56:47
How do I keep it?
Lentine Alexis 56:48
How do I keep it? And thing that’s, you know, for me, having existed and still, you know, existing in both of those worlds, is you can’t – until you kind of let go of that fear, like, you got to just trust your flow and figure out what your flow is. And it’s not the same formula that it was yesterday, it’s a different formula today than it was yesterday. It will, you know, it just keeps constantly changing.
Colby Pearce 57:11
And you have to evolve because you’re evolving as a person, like you said. Which goes back to your point about on this day, I ate, drank a glass of milk, or had cow cheese and was fine. And then three months later, I had a pizza with cheese on it and it was a complete mudslide the next morning, what happened? Or my stomach was terrible. And so you’re changing as an athlete, you’re evolving as a human. So your relationship to that food changes, your relationship to the training load changes – I’ve had so many conversations with athletes where they’re like, where we get to a point where things are struggling, they’re in a struggle, a place where they’re searching for form, and they’re feeling that pressure they’ve had coming up. And a lot of times they’ll say to me, Well, two and a half years ago, we just did this, let’s just duplicate it, we have the perfect run into this race, let’s just take those same 12 weeks, and I’ll go well, we can try that. But the chances of that working is very, very slim, because you’re not the same human. This is not the same year, you haven’t had the same load, you don’t have the same stresses you haven’t seen had the same life events. You’ve had two and a half more years of racing and training in your legs. It’s not, that we, again, so it’s like 30,40, 50,000 feet, 100,000 feet out. What are we doing As humans, we continually apply this reductionist line of thought, because that’s how we’ve been taught to solve problems. Right? How do I make, how do I lose weight? Start counting grams of carbs, fat and protein, but we don’t eat carbohydrates.
Lentine Alexis 58:32
No, we don’t. And also, if you’re like, looking at a bowl of rice, like, by the way, by the way, that amount of carbohydrates, and each individual grain of rice is different, right? It’s not that nature goes like cool, that’ll be two and two and two, you know, there’s just not that way. So it’s all you know, not like not to get too like, abstract with it, but who the fuck knows. Literally.
Lentine Alexis 58:58
You know, and as a chef, recognizing that, you know, some of my favorite people to ride with, ride bikes with now, are chefs. Because- and those chefs that have basically started giving themselves the freedom and flexibility to get out and move their bodies through nature because in my opinion, and for me, you know, even though I left restaurants, I thought I had failed at being a chef and I’ve managed to find a way to do that and be an athlete as well. The season fuels you. Like riding through, you know, I would go for these rides occasionally with a dear friend Dave Baron who has a couple of restaurants in Los Angeles. We haven’t gone for ride together in a really long time but my I have very distinct memories of riding with him through the hills out there and him being able to point out all the different ingredients that he could forage and use and cook. That’s also what you’re riding through like yeah, you know, it’s so and being able to be in touch with, you know, knowing that like oh, by the way, the cherries are probably going to bloom you know and ready and ripe to pick soon because I can feel the way that the sun is hitting me. And I know that that’s the way they’re going to hit the trees. And I bet that like, you know, the same way that you would like, if you’re a skier, you sort of track snow conditions. Yeah, through the year, you’re like watching the way the snow falls and knowing how it compacts like, that’s what a chef in interacting physically and viscerally with the natural world to understand. And by the way, your cherry pie is going to taste different this year than it did last year, because of the amount of sun and the amount of residual sugar that that creates in the cherries
Colby Pearce 1:00:31
Like someone who runs a good vineyard understands how different seasons, year to year-
Lentine Alexis 1:00:35
Totally, yeah, it’s really, really nuanced. It’s never the same thing twice. And being okay with that, and embracing that whatever you’re going to get this time is like the perfect thing is a pretty important part of functioning in indication of that very high level, but also part of being a person in the world.
Colby Pearce 1:00:53
Thank you. Yes, I, I feel like I could spend the rest of my life making up for lost time on refining my intuition in connection with nature in that sense. Like, how beautiful is it to walk through the world and be able to pick up on all the nuances of how the sun is different. And when you feel fall come, like it came here just a few weeks ago, and we were just commenting this morning when you came in, like, man, it was cold this morning and just to be in touch with that rhythm of nature. I mean, that’s not that’s the thing that I’m so, feel that so many people are removed from. And that’s part of, ultimately that leads to dysfunction, or at least disharmony. Because we are natural creatures. We are human beings, who are in sync with nature. And we take those cues to help regulate our nervous system and our rhythm and our flow throughout our day. And when we become detached from that, and we live under LEDs and in a box, then too much of that just, it disconnects you. It chops off the umbilical cord we have to the planet.
Lentine Alexis 1:01:55
Yeah, totally. But it’s really hard. Right? You know, I mean, it’s easy to have that disconnection happen. We’ve created that for ourselves, we’ve created all sorts of different ways and structures and, and checklists,
Colby Pearce 1:02:07
It’s just an outcome of modern life.
Lentine Alexis 1:02:09
Yeah, it’s totally not my modern life. But I also think that it’s really possible to, at least in my work, like, it’s not, it’s not possible for me to function outside all the time, cook outside all the time, be on my bike all the time, but there are definitely ways that you can reconnect to that. And frankly, just knowing that it’s important to connect to it and make sure that you do it every day. Yes, in some way, shape, or form is, is not the ultimate, but it’s enough to know that there’s more than just like, cool, I sat on my computer all day today, and I’m just going to pound away at this. And then I’m going to, like, you know,
Colby Pearce 1:02:44
Eat microwave food and go to sleep.
Lentine Alexis 1:02:45
Yeah, just recognizing that there’s another way to do it is key in my opinon
Colby Pearce 1:02:50
Agreed and also to touch on a common theme. It’s like the difference between, you know that that’s maybe something, let’s say that, for the sake of argument, members of our audience have agreed with this line of thinking and they agree that they want to be in on this. They want to connect with nature. The balance there, just like you said, with the food and the milk is not to walk through the world with fear or guilt about “Well, today, I didn’t get to meditate. I didn’t get to go on a hike. I didn’t go outside and throw a tennis ball for my dog. I didn’t get to go on a bike ride.” And then you’re laying down at night going, I screwed up. You know, you’re feeling bad. You’re feeling guilty. You’re feeling like your Health’s gonna slip down the toilet. One day is one day, like one ice cream cone is one ice cream cone. Yeah, totally just enjoy the freaking ice cream cone. Yeah. And then tomorrow, say okay, I’ll try again. Yeah, tomorrow, I’ll make an effort tomorrow. I know that I’ve got 20 minutes. Instead of surfing Instagram, I’m gonna go sit in the sun and just close my eyes. Yeah, totally. And breathe and breathe. It can be that simple. It doesn’t have to be some frickin aerobics routine in the park with you know, hand weights and whatever.
Lentine Alexis 1:03:54
We also are doers. You know, like, I mean, one of the reasons why I really want to incorporate this word overachievers into the title of this book is that being an athlete, and just being a high functioning person where you have a check, we all almost almost everyone I know has a checklist in their brain of like the things that you want to do during the day, the things you’re holding yourself accountable for. And they’re all doing things. None of them are non doing things. And we don’t have any built in rest in our lives. And we’re, by the way, sleeping really poorly as a society. Like, that’s a whole other rabbit hole of diving down into where, by the way, if you’re looking at your nutrition, and you’re not looking at your sleep, you’re missing, you’re missing half the equation. So yeah. But there’s also like, if you miss an entire week of doing your run, because you had other things to do that you either felt more obligated to do or that you wanted to do more or that felt more important to you or that didn’t fit. It’s fine. It’s totally fine. And whatever your outcome is, you know, we’re not race. Most people are not racing right now. So if you miss a week of workouts, chances are you probably really needed the rest and The universe is basically telling us to take one big break right now, in whatever way it is like taking a break from all the things that you thought existed in that specific form, like taking the break and doing it is okay. Like, it’s okay to take them on. It’s okay to it’s okay to work for a year in a restaurant and work in the dark and basically not trained by the way, you’re going to pop out on the other side if you want it. And you’re probably not going to miss that much.
Colby Pearce 1:05:21
But you’ve learned so much from that year, you’ve learned
Lentine Alexis 1:05:23
so much from that year, as part of your evolution, it’s going to it shapes who, you know, it shapes your prowess.
Colby Pearce 1:05:31
It shapes your values now, because now you’re prioritize that outside of time, you know, that you as like, a man or woman can’t know they’re Yes, until they define they’re no 100%. Right?
Lentine Alexis 1:05:42
Yeah, 100% you can’t all those things really aren’t like, I? It’s funny, because I think somebody was asked me the other day about mistakes. And I was like, I don’t know, I don’t have them. I don’t know what they would read. I don’t have any regrets. Because I generally feel like almost every single thing like beauty and terror that I’ve ever thrown myself into where that’s been thrown upon me, has positively shaped the way that I can navigate the world. And that includes all of the like pauses that felt, you know, the pauses or hardships that have felt like, you know, lame or whatever. Yeah, yeah, you gotta just learn it, you gotta trust there’s something. There’s something that’s smarter than your list. Like, what a horrible realization that’s like, I hold all the power to be it, you know, you got to whatever that looks like for you just have to trust that it’s like, yeah, it’s okay.
Colby Pearce 1:06:30
Agreed. I, I yeah, I love the way you phrased that that’s really well said, like, you have to trust in the universe’s plan is kind of a way to think about it, which is kind of a little bit hippie dippie. And I’m fine with that. Yeah. I’d say also, I’m going to push back and say you’re you’re not giving yourself quite enough credit linting. Because I think that you look, I mean, every human faces hardship and challenge in their lives. It’s how we respond to that challenge. Yeah, it’s how we Yeah, how do we embrace it? Or how do we run from it? How do we hide it? How do we bury it? Or how do we look at it straight in the face and say, Wow, that was hard. I got my ass kicked there. Or I made a terrible decision to do this. And that didn’t work out well, but what do I take away from it? How do I grow? How do I continue to expand and refine my dream in my path from it? Yeah. And every person can kind of, we all have moments, probably both the trend? How are you trending? That’s the big picture. Are you trending towards the latter, which is I’m growing and learning from these experiences. Yeah, now I’m a better person. Or every time I screw up, I berate myself and I smashed myself and I feel guilty. And I carry this weight around. Like, it’s like one of my favorite expressions is guilt is like a suitcase. You just put it down and walk away.
Lentine Alexis 1:07:38
Yeah. It’s a good one, isn’t it? Well, you just touched on something of it’s making me think about, you know, like, if we’re talking about athletes, and navigating nutrition, or navigating food, or just navigating like, how to be a, you know, a great athlete in the world, the if, let’s say that you’re, you’re a mountain biker, and you’re just gonna ride the smoothest line down the mountain. Every time you learn nothing. Winning rocks, you avoid all the rocks, you don’t know challenge you. Maybe fast, right? But you basically suck because you can’t do any of these. You can’t face any obstacle. And so the idea that, you know, especially when we talk about nutrition, like, cool, just tell me the one answer of what the thing is I need to eat.
Colby Pearce 1:08:17
Yes, give me
Lentine Alexis 1:08:18
the soil, give me the simple answer, tell me what to do. Well, I would love to do that. Wouldn’t that be so nice, but the but the truth is that you have to kind of like that it’s a very broad Avenue. And you have to take little detours to find like, oh, cool, well, that definitely didn’t work for me today, I have now, you know, that lesson is going to guide me back to the broad range of the way that I’m going to conduct myself as an athlete in the world. And the things that I’m going to put myself up to, or the ways that I’m going to make my choices and, and that’s a far more rewarding training process than following the straight and narrow path that leads you to a very empty outcome that may be very fast. Right, but also is, you know, not challenging yourself. You’re challenging. And, and I, and I think they’re so interesting, I used to ask, we’d be like huddled behind the food trailer when I was at scratch. And I developed this product for them called the cookie Max, which is basically like, at some point in time I met Alan, I was at a race. He gave me a rice cake and a burrito and we started talking, he learned that I was a pastry chef and was like, I need someone to make me a cookie. And I was like, I can make you a cookie to do this. I want to make you cookie. So the cookie mix was our answer to package energy bars, that you bake yourself. And that didn’t have any of the preservatives added that basically are not food that your body’s not going to recognize it food. Yep. And there and by the way, if you look at the ingredients in a cookie and the ingredients in almost every energy bar out there that contains grains, yeah, it’s basically the same thing without that other stuff that your body doesn’t recognize as food. So we made these cookies and I and we were testing the recipe, I would make huge whole sheet pans filled with cookies and The trailer. And then basically the writers knew that after like lunch or dinner or whatever, but really was dinner, they would eat dinner with their teams. And then typically I would get text messages from them being like, Where are the cookies?
Where are you?
Lentine Alexis 1:10:12
Where are they? And we would go back out to the trailer and I would open everything up and we would eat cookies, like however many cookies they could stuff in their mouths was what they were eating. No carbohydrate diet, like, take that.
Colby Pearce 1:10:22
I got to enjoy some of these cookies. Oh, yeah.
Lentine Alexis 1:10:24
And and I would ask them sort of like, you know, we’d be in some cool place. Typically, most of my poignant memories are from California. What did you guys see today? Like I was in the trailer all day, like, what did you see? And a couple of the riders would be able to be like, Oh, man, we rode along this coastline or whatever. But otherwise, we’re like, most of them are focused only on someone
Colby Pearce 1:10:43
else’s, but someone else’s. But yeah,
Lentine Alexis 1:10:45
makes perfect sense. Also, like your life depends on focusing on that. But yeah,
Colby Pearce 1:10:48
that’s true. But are you surviving peloton?
Lentine Alexis 1:10:50
Yeah, that’s right. But it was always fascinating. And typically the people that were at the front, were able to see more.
Colby Pearce 1:10:57
But we’re in a breakaway,
Lentine Alexis 1:10:58
or in a breakaway. But also there’s you know, there’s the gruppetto like where it starts to not matter anymore, and where they focused on their stem, or their Garmin, or whatever it was, or were they looking around. And it was really interesting to note who felt the freedom on different days? Yeah, some of them felt more For more free to notice. And some of them didn’t. But the world was a little some of the world, sometimes the world’s a little small. And I know I’ve had those experiences in my lifetime, too, for sure. Yeah. Writing a cookbook is. But, you know, if you’re going to dedicate your life to, you know, if you’re gonna call yourself an athlete, you definitely have this. moving your body through the world is super important to you. And if you don’t end up reaching the goal that you’re setting in the same shape, or way that you imagine, like, what’s it amount to ultimately, like? Let’s say that you want to be the best of the world, but you aren’t. What are you? Are you going to tell yourself that you failed? Because you weren’t the best in the world? Or are you going to be like, cool, this was a massive success, because I got to like, go all these cool places or see these amazing things or, like I’m soaring down. You know, I don’t know if you’ve ever if you’ve ever noticed there’s a hawk that lives in Boulder Canyon. You’re coming down Flagstaff early in the morning, he’s probably soaring up there. The next time you are early, check it out. He’s up there. Either you’re fixated on the cars, or you’re going a little bit slower. And you can see this Hawk that’s right circling and majestic and gorgeous.
Colby Pearce 1:12:22
Stay on top of the cars. Please don’t
Lentine Alexis 1:12:24
watch out for the cars definitely. Well, you know, definitely pay attention. But But if you are your slowest time ever to the top of the mailboxes, and you’ve noticed the hawk like, was that a shitty morning?
Colby Pearce 1:12:33
Right? I hope not. Not for me. Yeah, but that’s easy for me to say, because I raced for 35 years and spent Yeah, 30 of them charging up like stuff as fast as I could. still had a third page Strava time on that climate best. So you know, whatever.
Lentine Alexis 1:12:48
Yeah. But it comes down to kind of like, what what’s the goal, right? Like, is and is the goal only to be measured by someone else?
Colby Pearce 1:12:55
Right? In sports? And ultimately, to degree It is,
Lentine Alexis 1:12:58
yeah, but if you choose it to be right, because right totally place, you could be 15th and be like that was amazing.
Colby Pearce 1:13:05
This goes exactly to my last interview with Julie young. And she expressed that precise sentiment, which was our conversation got well into the philosophy of how she described she could race and if she felt like she executed to the best of our ability, and dug within herself and learn new things about herself and perform better best way she could cross line 15 to be completely satisfied with the result. Yeah. And she even got to the point where she said that was almost a fault in her athletic her athletic career or adventures because she felt like she she was implying that she wasn’t quite attached to the actual finish line result enough. And then I took it one step further, until they’re a great example about how I disastrously did that a few times in my racing career where I was like, Yeah, I did this, this and this, and the result doesn’t matter. And then across the line afterwards, and spectators and managers were like, You’re an idiot, you should sprint. And I was like, oh, it took me a while to figure that out anyway,
Lentine Alexis 1:13:54
but I don’t know, Julie, but we will be best friends because that’s exactly my experience. Like, ultimately, I accidentally became a professional athlete. I didn’t care that much about the outcome, I really cared more about how deep I could dive interest into myself. And that was why I was net like, I was really lucky to perform really well when I was doing it, and to get some really incredible invitations and to race in some amazing spots and to place while there. But ultimately, the things I remember are not the like way that the race went down, but the stuff that happened around it or on the you know, those other little details are what I hang on to more than the way I performed on that day. And, you know, I don’t know.
Colby Pearce 1:14:34
Colby Pearce 1:14:39
thank you for sharing all that. That’s been quite a nutshell but definitely not a nutshell. But I would love to unpack your philosophies and thoughts on some specifics. Okay. If you wouldn’t mind sharing and you’ve, you’ve kind of in a broad brush painted some of these but I’d love to her thoughts on things like keto and carnivore and low fat, high fat, you know, all these dietary phenomenon and discussions that are happening right now. I mean, there’s so many people out there with poignant philosophies and ideas about how people should eat. My I’ll just preface it by saying my personal take is that I think I agree with this. God as a novelty generator, which means that what works for lintian may not work for Susan Jessica or Absolutely. Or Julie. Yeah, um, and might work perfectly well for Colby but terribly for Pete or whatever. Yep. But yeah,
Lentine Alexis 1:15:37
yeah, happy to speak to that. I mean, and that’s, that’s ultimately, you know, my philosophy is that it’s really, really individual. And, but also, there’s other nuanced other pieces of that, which are that I’m really a firm believer that food should look like food, and should come in, it’s like, eat real food. And if you’re navigating in a world where you know, where you’re basically like buying raw ingredients, like your spinach is in a spinach form, and it’s not in a box, or cam, or cam, and you’re in touch with the seasons, you’re eating things that are growing in the environment right now. We know it will speak to your body, and what your body needs. In the right now we need different things in the winter that we need in the summertime. We need different things in spring than we need in the fall. If you’re eating your foods in, you know, whole real packages that don’t contain any plastic or manmade ingredients, right, and things like, you know, paint, we talked about whole grains a lot. There’s a lot of stigma around grains. Right now,
Colby Pearce 1:16:40
carbohydrates are bad.
Lentine Alexis 1:16:42
hydrates are so bad. And they’re the end of the thing our bodies use most as fuel. Basically, everything we consume is going to be turned into carbohydrate. What
Colby Pearce 1:16:49
I can’t just eat avocados and eggs.
Lentine Alexis 1:16:51
Yeah, right. Yeah, that I mean.
Lentine Alexis 1:16:55
Yeah, I’m blushing because then the no carbohydrate thing is, I really tried to keep my my posture in that conversation, because it’s just insane to me that if you want to perform well, you try to cut out our primary carbon, our primary energy source. Yeah. And, and that, all that being said, My mother is, celiac has hashimotos, actually. And so there are a broad variety of foods that she is unable to eat.
Colby Pearce 1:17:24
That’s a different category than what most people are talking about.
Lentine Alexis 1:17:26
It’s a different category than most people are talking about. There’s definitely there are definitely bodies that are not able to process these things anymore. And bodies that and individuals who are not yet to that point, but are under the the preconceived notion that because some bodies can’t consume that thing that they cannot or should or should not nothing. My personal experience is that if you know where your grains are coming from, and they are again, like rice, in rice form, or wheat, it’s grown from a place that’s local to you. And you’re like, we have an like here in Boulder, we can buy locally grown and milled flowers. And you can either buy bread that’s been made with that, or you can bake it yourself. And this is there are vitamins and minerals that we can’t get from anywhere else that grow in these grains. If your body is in a position where you’re able to consume that thing, I think it’s really really important for you to eat it in some in moderation. And oh, of course, like the other piece of the philosophy is that everything in moderation, like ice cream and moderation, grains and moderation, protein moderation, all of it. There’s no one thing that you can go like cool. I’m just going to eat steak and kale for the rest of my life and be so sad. That’d be so simple. It would be very simple. It would also be very uncomfortable,
Colby Pearce 1:18:43
right? Yeah. What’s the Why can’t I do that? Why can’t I just eat sticking kale and tea?
Lentine Alexis 1:18:48
Well, first of all, both of those things are very difficult for your body
to digest. Why?
Lentine Alexis 1:18:52
Why I know it’s crazy well, so. So without all of the other beautiful gut things that are provided to us with fermented foods and grains and other vitamins minerals we get from other ingredients, we don’t actually have the enzymes in our stomach to break down the intense protein that’s in in beef or it or the cellular structure of raw kale. Raw kale actually is really really difficult for us to digest the idea that you need only kale salads, as a person who has in fact found out that that’s not a good idea the hard way. That’s not great for our bodies that we have to treat foods we have to understand what what plants you know, we are using plants and animals and living things we’re using in our ingredients and how to treat them before we just tackle them. Right yeah, I do not recommend the beef and kill diet or even kill diet. But I but actually, but speaking to one, you know, recent there been a lot of movies and books and things that have come out recently about veganism and not consuming meat.
Colby Pearce 1:19:51
Yes. You read my mind next. Yeah,
Lentine Alexis 1:19:54
and that’s a really big deal especially for again, for as you know, we’ve been hearing a lot about the power of plant based diets for a long time. There’s a lot of power in eating more plants. 100%
Colby Pearce 1:20:06
weight Saladino, carnivore?
Lentine Alexis 1:20:07
Yeah, okay, so. So the thing about the reason that there’s a lot of power eating more plants is that we have a lot of problems in the way that we raise and produce and sell meat and animal products in our country. And a lot of it goes back to concepts of regenerative agriculture and the way that those farms are basically, the places where many of our chickens and pigs and cows or whatever other animals you may be eating, are being raised is separate from the plants. And that’s not the way that these domesticated these now domesticated animals were brought into the world or, or, you know, corralled by humans to exist. That realized, industrialized Yeah, yeah, industrialized meat production is not healthy meat production. And most of the ways that many people in our country are getting their animal protein sources are from these industrialized chains. And that is not a good place to get those things. But there are other ways that you can find them in there are more and more companies now that are adding virtue to the ways that we are getting eggs in those sorts of ingredients, it is totally possible to here in Boulder and other places around the country to find a farm, have a share, or even go to the farm and purchase pork or beef or chicken or eggs or whatever you might like, it’s a little harder to come by than going to the grocery store and buying off of a styrofoam plate. But that’s okay, because eating more plants is actually really good for you. There’s there is in my personal opinion, and in my life, I’ve not found any negative benefit from occasionally incorporating meat and animal ingredients into my diet, so long as they’ve come from sources where I basically know the name, or the place where that thing came from. Okay. That’s a distinct difference between going to the grocery store and buying whatever’s on sale. Yeah, and, and if I and frankly, if I can’t find that thing, or if my farms out of it, like all the beans, or all eat some other plant based protein, and my body’s pretty happy on that. And this sourcing of the ingredients is again, you know, in terms of like this larger philosophy, knowing that it’s really personal, knowing that if ingredients are coming in they’re Rost package, and knowing the source, like the actual source of those ingredients are all really key to my personal growth philosophy.
Colby Pearce 1:22:33
So, okay, I’d like to unpack a couple things and ask you for your comments on them if you don’t mind. Sure. One is the discussion around vegetarianism. And I think that just like a lot of discussions, we have to, we have to dig deep and really have a good understanding of what what we’re actually talking about, we have to unpack the nuance a bit. And for me, one of the most commonly heard arguments against eating meat is that industrialized meat is really unhealthy for you. But people tend to generalize that or broaden that statement and say, all meat is bad for you. And I think there’s some origins for that. One is that as we spoke about now, carbohydrates are bad right now. Yeah. carbohydrate bad. Yeah. In the 80s. Red meat was bad. Yeah, red meat gave you a heart attack. Yeah, we have been literally beaten to death with this message through different media and different articles. And
Lentine Alexis 1:23:24
you can also like, and all of those trends still have they still in our society do.
Colby Pearce 1:23:29
Yeah, it takes so long because you could argue almost that we’re brainwashed with some of these messages. But if you look at it, it’s just like bell bottom jeans versus skinny jeans. Everything comes in and out of fashion. And right now, I’m pushing yourself forward over the bottom bracket is a little bit in fashion. The old school used to be Slimer. Saddleback, well, at the moment, carbs are the bad guy. But 15 years ago, red meat was the bad guy. Before that it was fat was the bad guy. If you ate fat, you were fat. That was the perception. Of course. We know that there’s much more nuance to that. If you’re consuming refined vegetable oils all the time, in particular, some of the nastier ones, then there’s probably some truth to that because you’re eating foods that are inflammatory. Yeah. And your body can’t process properly. Yeah, especially canola oil. So that there’s some truth to that. But then if we’re talking so we have to have nuance, we have to have discernment and say, Well, what type of fat are we speaking about? Are we talking about actual 100%? authentic cold pressed virgin olive oil, and avocados and ghee, from grass fed cows truly grass fed cows, that is a completely different source of fat than, you know, refined sunflower or the fats you would find in a donut. They’re both fats. Yeah. But we have to look with a much more discerning eye which goes to your comment of I’m sorry, I can’t just tell you the stinking kale.
Lentine Alexis 1:24:47
Yeah. Which which I’m smiling because the thing that the way that I think this is really easy to think about is that you know for is for the billions of people we have that live on the planet. Each one is very is an individual organism. And for each and every single ingredient that you might choose to put in your body, there are billions more. And each of those are uniquely distinctly different with their own energetic value and their own and their own like lifeforce, right? You cannot say that an avocado and a coconut and butter that there is no similarity between those things. Even if the macronutrients are the same
Colby Pearce 1:25:19
Lentine Alexis 1:25:20
hypothetical, we believe that the macronutrients in our when we’ve taken those ingredients into a lab and attended to reduce them to only there, when we’ve, when we’ve deconstructed them into their parts. We are not looking at the sum of their words, of course, and so so that, to me, that seems like a very easy to grasp example, like, like, cool when you walk into the supermarket, if you think about all the billions of things that are actually in the supermarket, not just the things that are on the shelves, and recognizing that there’s a lot of choice, which is very overwhelming, right? Thinking about how much choice you have when you’re just trying to cook dinner is really overwhelming. But yeah, you can’t, there’s no way for you to there’s no way for you to reduce it to macronutrients, you cannot say that this, this is or not macronutrients. You can’t navigate nutrition without nuance.
Colby Pearce 1:26:11
Right. Agreed. So we’ve have a deeper level of understanding. So thinking about the vegetarian argument, it’s like, some attorneys will say I don’t eat meat, because meat is bad. Well, we could further discern that to say, Well, what they mean, possibly what they mean, and perhaps with some more detail, they might be saying industrialized meat is bad. Well, I am far far from a vegetarian myself. Yeah, but I agree with that sentiment. 100%. Me too. When I get on an airplane and they want to serve me. Microwave chicken, I’ll say no, thank you, I’ll choose to not eat it. I can do without food, right? So I can
Lentine Alexis 1:26:47
find something else. Like there’s something else gorgeous for me to eat,
Colby Pearce 1:26:50
right? Or I’ll bring it or I just won’t eat on that. And I’ll just wait until I can find something better. So that’s my personal choice. That’s how I navigate that minefield. But I think it’s it What I’m saying is from a vegetarian argument perspective, if you’re equating all meat as the same, I would invite you to dig deeper. The second argument, I think that’s useful to really consider in vegetarianism is the distinction between creatures that are air quotes living and those that are air quotes, not Yes. And I hear this one all the time. And it’s really frustrating. So I just got to vent for a second. People actually tell me that they don’t want to eat animals, because they respect the animal. They respect the soul. Well, yeah, if you’re talking about industrialized cattle, or chickens and how they’re treated, well, we’re agreed on that. Because I don’t want to eat an industrial chicken only because it’s not healthy. For me, it’s not healthy for the planet, and it’s not healthy for the chicken. I don’t want to eat a miserable chicken, who’s lived in a in a warehouse full of 50,000 other hands and been picking each other’s eyes out and living in their own feces for years. And then it’s just mind you are what you eat, and you are what you ate. So right. So we agree on that. But when we’re talking about a locally raised chicken that’s happy and run around in the field and eating worms and bugs like chicken should, then we’re talking about a completely different creature. And if you think that plants aren’t alive, you’re not thinking clearly about the scenario and the situation there. I think there are vegetarians out there who I’ve had discussions with and I’ve read about their, their line in the sand and what they’re saying is you want to kill a living creature and the fact that you think a plant isn’t alive or doesn’t have a soul Yeah, well also later said all living any any creature with an inside and outside has a soul. Yeah. any object within an inside and outside has a soul actually goes that far. Steiner was a pretty smart guy.
Lentine Alexis 1:28:38
Yeah. Well, also that the idea that it ends in your body, right is basically what you’re speaking to the idea that you would consume a chicken or spinach or whatever it is edible flowers, whatever you might be eating, and then that ends when you consume it. And
Colby Pearce 1:28:53
then that’s the end of the CI is that
Lentine Alexis 1:28:55
the end of the chain is the biggest is the biggest problem, right? Because it’s so interesting. Because when when you if you go to any other country, even if you talk to other athletes about what like, you know, what’s your favorite food, what have you. Most other places like take Francis an example. Oh, like the raspberries this year, or I love to eat this thing or my or my mother makes this one recipe my grandmother makes this one recipe. And that’s most of the way that that culture would identify with food and similar if you’re in Japan, or you’re in, you know, like talking to Alan Lim about about recipes and ingredients and food. He thinks immediately of all these amazing recipes that his mother made for him when he was you know, training as a young athlete. Most Americans, specifically Americans, when we talk about food, we will categorize ourselves as Oh, I’m a vegan. I’m a vegetarian. Oh, I I have I have these guys quarantined myself in this square where these things are in and those things are out. And that completely separates again, all of our of the fact that we exist as organisms in concert with the entire planet like to really There’s a really big disconnect. So exclusive instead of English. It’s 100% exclusive. And so so actually, I’m thinking about
Colby Pearce 1:30:07
your book title and using the word inclusive. Yeah.
Lentine Alexis 1:30:10
Well, I’m actually thinking about about a Kate a specific circumstance. And again, to go back to Alan. You know, he wrote this book called The feets on table, which is all about commonality and the importance of the importance of sharing meals and feeling joy with respect to what you’re eating and how that’s actually an ingredient. And he spent a lot of time I was working at scratch when he was writing this book,
Colby Pearce 1:30:29
food is a part of community 100%,
Lentine Alexis 1:30:32
right. And it’s, and there’s just so much more that we reaped from it besides just the, you know, the nutrients or the tangible nutrients been able to measure in a lab. And the example he gives us when he he was working with kind of a pilot program at the Olympic Training Center. They had this group of 16 to 19 year old athletes that had been kind of like, invited from all over the country, phenoms. And they were, and hopefully, I get all the details of this, right. But they’re basically we’re going to provide them with a really unique training scenario that was highly focused, they were separating them from their families in their communities. And, you know, kind of putting them in like a, like concrete blocks. Everyday was the same, the nutrition was super dialed. Every one of them arrived with all this fervor and excitement for like, I’ve just been selected, like, on fire with pride. Yeah. And in this book, and the introduction to this two feet on table Allen talks about how over the weeks that followed, he watched all you know, the the newspaper clippings that had talked about how proud they weren’t other communities that were celebrating their achievements were torn from the walls. And each of these athletes now became just one of an army, there was no longer anything unique or prideful about their experience. They were just surviving monkeys, saber monkeys, they were soldiers they had, you know, by separating them in this way. And by putting them in a super focused and super dialed environment, they had taken away their families, they taken away their community, they taken away all the little joyful pieces about their training days that had made them great athletes, I started to get sick. And so you know, again, the idea that we can put ourselves in a box and follow a strict guideline that doesn’t have nuance, and doesn’t have the emotional pieces, or the really connective lifeforce pieces of our human experiences. pretty narrow. And that’s not to say that it won’t work. You might be you might become a world champion that way. Right. But I don’t think so.
Colby Pearce 1:32:33
It’d be less likely it’s
less likely. Yeah.
Lentine Alexis 1:32:36
It’s less likely then to embrace the fact that there’s a lot of you know, that there are we have a lot of choice. And we have a lot of, you know,
Colby Pearce 1:32:41
is that interesting, though? I mean, you look at every model of look at the military, look at the model of how you’re going to train people to be single minded and myopic and focused. That’s inevitably our model on how to do that how to take a population and refine them and hammer them into into doesn’t matter for Charlie Walsh building oszi program, or if you’re a sergeant building, you know, troops into what molding them. It’s like you beat them down, you make them the same, you take away their identity. Yeah. And you, that’s how you forge them into a fighting unit. Yeah, you know, whether it’s literal or metaphorical.
Lentine Alexis 1:33:14
What’s crazy that so one of the things I did when we were in Japan, this is somewhat of a side note, but I’m thinking about it as we’re talking. I wasn’t able to work, but I was a but I started practicing yoga. And I was practicing yoga in our little tatami room like basically an hour and a half every day. And eventually, my teacher who was an Australian surfer, invited me to start teaching, teaching with her and eventually to take on her classes. And so I went through teacher training. And now I’m teaching both on base and off base. So most of the Japanese Japanese I speak or still remember is how to tell like, you know, like, open your heart, raise your arms above your head, like open your hips, like I know how to say that sort of stuff. But colloquialisms are totally lost.
Colby Pearce 1:33:54
At any rate, so I can tell you to open your heart, but I don’t know how to get to the bathroom. Yes.
Lentine Alexis 1:34:00
open my heart into the bathroom. Yeah. And but I worked a lot with military members and their families on base. And I can tell you that the that is impressive, as you know, and oftentimes I would, I would teach classes to my husbands, you know, when they would come home from deployment. And put, you know, a lot of the benefit of having yoga teachers, they can actually do like physical manipulations and help you to get into a posture and putting your hands on one of these guys body putting my hands on one of these guys bodies, and they’ve just come home from a scenario where they’re constantly in stress, and they’re never letting go and there’s no joy and there’s no, you know, kind of just fuel for their emotional need. Yeah, they’re very rigid people. They’re all of them had the exact same physical patterns and they were able to do their daily tasks, expertly.
Colby Pearce 1:34:54
But food they were eating their serve
Lentine Alexis 1:34:56
food they’re eating and serving was like pretty crazy, although frankly, when they would Come home from places where they had local cooks cooking for them. It was, it was totally different than times. And they were just in the field eating like Mrs. Right. Yeah, because there was some amount of soul that was being cooked
Colby Pearce 1:35:10
into it right really depended on. Yeah,
Lentine Alexis 1:35:12
but the but just that like being having to having to have your nose to the grindstone and functioning in a detailed way all the time where there’s a lot of fear involved, and there’s a lot of pressure. And in this case, like ultimate pressure to just basically survive, no, bodies are not happy in that state bodies are not happy, that is not a good place to function in and you Your body is an amazing thing. And it will learn it will learn how to do what you were asking of it, and your brain will make those commands and you’ll do it. But it is not a good way of
Colby Pearce 1:35:45
moving through the world Jeopardy and long term health. Yeah, agreed the I mean, that’s what’s cool about elite athletics you anytime you ask a world level athlete how they do what they do, and they can’t explain it, yeah, because the body has solved the equation through years of just trying and trying and trying. And that’s one of my most important rules whenever I talk about bike fitting, or you could apply the same logic to to eating. You know, when an athlete eats at the worldtour level, they eat what they can, yeah, it doesn’t mean it’s ideal. And it doesn’t mean that it’s what you should eat at all. Sometimes it’s actually far from ideal, but their bodies are surviving on what they can and they’re they’re adapting to that load, it’s the same thing with bike fit. Just because someone wins a stage at the Tour de France doesn’t mean that their saddles in the perfect place. So they’ve got the ideal technique, it just, it’s in spite of not because of,
Lentine Alexis 1:36:36
well, I’m shaking my head because we also are masters at listening to the stories you want to hear. Oh, of course, which is that I’m going to do this thing. I believe that gluten and carbohydrates and meat and all the all the fat are bad for me. And your body will be able to perform at a pretty high level for a really long time.
Colby Pearce 1:36:57
Lentine Alexis 1:36:58
to point and it will end strangely if you’re fixated on the outcome only you will maybe be proud of the outcome or maybe you’ll be just missing your mark. But there’s a lot of other little things like oh, I’m not sleeping well. Oh, I’m anxious all the time. I’ve had diarrhea, diarrhea for six months, or for years. And that’s my nor, you know, all these other subtle cues that we we, by the way, don’t understand our bodies well enough as general human beings to be like, Oh, you know, there are so many little clues that you may be receiving about how specifically your nutrition is not serving you. And then you’re like, I can’t believe it. Like how did I How did this happen? How is it that I have an autoimmune disease where well by the way, it’s because your body hasn’t had the nutrients that it’s been needing to do this high level thing and live your regular life. It’s been telling you really you’re on time it’s been it’s been doing its best
Colby Pearce 1:37:50
but you put yourself in that military box of success. Yeah, myopic model. Yeah. And you’re ignoring all symptoms. Yeah.
signs. Yeah. Which is
Lentine Alexis 1:37:58
almost where the you know, we were talking before about challenging kind of mixing up your path right? if for no other reason being brave, basically enough to incorporate a whole bunch of different types of foods so that you figure it out, not just following that really strict guideline is one way of proving positive for yourself right? Because if you sleep a lot better because you had a bowl of pasta the night before Yeah, and your body and you wake up you’re like cool, I feel actually ready to go instead of like, you know, like shallow behind your eyes and that kind of like like you know the like you know, I can say this because I know that you know what I’m talking about when you haven’t had enough sleep enough salt or in a fat in your diet you know that feeling just hollow you feel really hollow and and I know many athletes that are basically think that that’s the like way they should way they should feel all the time. And let me tell you that you perform a whole lot better when you don’t feel like that. And it’s funny, right? Like when you when you play around with different types of foods, you learn all those really fascinating, subtle things about your body and how it performs. feeling like you’re topped up is a really good feeling I but unless you know what it’s like to overtop and under top correct. You’re never gonna find that balance until
Colby Pearce 1:39:09
so know your Yes, you can’t define your nose. It’s like landing a small aircraft is how I describe it. Yeah, just enough speed just enough altitude. Yeah, like if you show up to start up a criterium with too much food in your belly. You’re just going to be pinned the whole race, you’re never gonna have that fluid explosive light feeling on the pedal, you’re gonna miss that plyometric snappy ability to dig very deep very quickly. On the other hand, if you eat not enough or too far away from the start line, you calm and the race starts, and you’re just, you’re, you’re good, and then the bottom starts to fall out and you’re too in the clouds. And then then there’s a period of about 20 minutes where you’ve got some warning signs. But if you’re really preoccupied with the race, or you’re not tuned in, you’ll just miss him. Yep. And then the bottom falls out and your blood sugar crashes and you are smoked, and you’re pinned. Yeah. So it’s it’s a very narrow window and requires a lot of refining. No, this goes back to my one of my earlier podcasts on reliance on formulas. formulas can be a great starting point for someone who’s learning a sport, just to get an idea, but the ultimate goal is to throw away the formula and refine the intuition or find the ability to look in and just feel it go. I woke up this morning, the first thing I felt, what did you feel I felt a hunger Pang that tells me Okay, I might need to add, I might need to add one more egg this morning. Yeah, or a little more olive oil or maybe another little bit of rice, whatever the your instinct is, and to feel that and that internal navigation that intuition that in turn internal meter is, that’s the life practice of the athlete learning to look inwards instead of being formula focused. macronutrient focused, it’s learning to, to use those numbers to refine what’s happening in words.
Lentine Alexis 1:40:52
And to give yourself a lot more leeway. Like I’m actually thinking have to add another few layers onto what you just said about finding that balance and finding your like fluidity in it. It’s like late fall, right like tomatoes are in season. Pears right now, tomatoes pears are coming in. But tomatoes are like at they’re like at their most acidic peak. They’re super, super ripe right now. And both my partner Pete and I have a difficult time consuming acidic foods, like my constitution runs pretty hot, like I have a lot of I have my metabolism runs really high, I have a lot of heat in my body. He’s similar. When you add an acidic food to that you amp up your heat, right. So we have tons of tomatoes in our house, because of course, I go to the farm and pick like three, like 30 pounds of tomatoes. And so it was a really hot day, we both had been running around really busy, like really like asking a lot of our bodies and our brains on this particular day we gone for a long ride in the morning was again warm, and then we ate tomato soup that night. Yeah. And we woke up the next morning, both of us feeling a little bit, you know, each of us with our own symptoms, or like ways of being but both of us had pushed ourselves over the edge. And we should not have had tomatoes, right? Because if we had picked a food that was more soothing and had more soothing qualities than this super high amped acidic thing, we would have probably been fine or just balanced those things out. But there are but you know, to add in the factors of like when you’re creating this cocktail of how you’re going to navigate your nutrition strategy, recognizing that there are lots and lots of ingredients, not just the basic like, what’s my what’s my training load?
Colby Pearce 1:42:30
Yeah, how did I perform? How many cages do I need? How many? Yeah,
Lentine Alexis 1:42:34
yeah, there’s a lot more to think about and that and that’s where giving yourself a little bit of flexibility and like, oh, okay, yeah, right, like, okay, I feel tired today. Like you can’t beat yourself up about that. There’s a lot going on in that cocktail.
Colby Pearce 1:42:47
So that’s so interesting. You bring that up thinking about nutrition from an Ayurvedic perspective. Yeah, right. They view the stomach as a cauldron. And how hot is that cauldron? And then what is your temperament? Are you, pitta, Kapha. What’s the weather in your body? What’s the weather in your body? What’s the weather outside. And right now in Colorado, we’ve got these extremes going where there are days where it’s hitting 7585 the sun could be quite intense. But then at night now it’s already quite cool. We’ve already had one snowstorm that came through and just about killed all our plants. And, and so the weather’s very, up and down.
Also a lot of fires burning in our fires. We’ve got
Colby Pearce 1:43:20
all the smoke in the air. So how does that influence you? And I’ve noticed the same thing. Like if I eat food that’s too fiery, and then I’m going all day in a building that that it adds to my digestive fire. All wake up at the sweats at night? Yeah, well, I’ll just have a restless night asleep. It’s almost it’s not quite the same as if I drink too much red wine or something. But wine also will heat up my digestive fire. My liver wakes me up at three in the morning. Yeah, Hey, what’s up, you thought you were going to sleep?
Lentine Alexis 1:43:45
And that’s not a natural sleep pattern, by the way, like, those are all symptoms that your sleep is disrupted something in your body is that yeah, that’s not just like, Oh, yeah, I’m just that person that wakes up at three o’clock in the morning. Like, no, you don’t, something’s out of balance, something is out of balance. And if you’re doing that, chronically, like something’s got a something’s gonna change. But yeah, so I I’m actually in the middle of an Ayurvedic program, studying Oh, great, really diving deeply into this, because it’s, the foundations of that traditional medicinal practice really have started to govern a lot of the ways that I build menus and build recipes. And one of the principles that we talked about in the book is how flavor has function not just for enjoyment, but you can navigate the world of food based on how you choose flavors, because each flavor has an energetic benefit. So by the way, one of the great ways of cooling down your system when you are too fiery or you’ve had a stressful day where your training was hard, and you’re just generally upset is eating rice and lentils. Like only you know, like, a predominantly carbohydrate heavy meal will stamp out your fire immediately because you’re bad. I know.
Colby Pearce 1:44:52
For the Yeah, yes. As I said that the lady on her pot and her response was so beautiful. She just said I don’t care.
Lentine Alexis 1:45:00
cuts are bad. Yeah, I just I just laugh because it’s like, okay, right?
Lentine Alexis 1:45:05
Yeah, no carbs are it for that for for bodies in motion like they’re so you know, the reason that carbohydrates are good at that they’re really easy to digest, especially if you have treated them properly, which typically means for things like rice and whole grains, soaking them ahead of time fermenting, yeah, soaking in, like there to like, dive quickly, deep into that the, basically grains are seeds that want to plant their nutrients, and create new life forms. So if we just eat them straight from the ground, right, there’s this natural toxin called phytic acid that when we ingest it creates, it’s an anti nutrient, it actually prevents our stomach, our bodies from being able to absorb the nutrients in our food. But we’re such clever humans we can. Well, we’re such clever humans that literally this, we’re such clever human beings that and beans are the same. So beans, and beans, and legumes, and nuts, and grains all are seeds that quote themselves in these natural toxins. And they and the response is that basically they they give us gas, right or they give us indigestion. And so we have
Colby Pearce 1:46:04
a lot of them that would make you feel pretty crappy.
Lentine Alexis 1:46:07
Yep, which are over the course of years, you being like, cool, I’m gonna eat whole grains, I’m gonna eat this, I’m going to eat brown rice only all the time, or whatever it is. And you have this digestive distress, you don’t recognize it, what you’re doing is literally training your body to not absorb any nutrients. At some point in time, you’re going to have a negative impact from that. Yes, or if you go to a Mexican restaurant, in wherever it is, or not even a Mexican restaurant, but some place where they’re cooking beans for you and you leave and you have a ton of digestive distress. That is a sign that something has not been prepared properly for you and it’s not the beans fault. As it turns out, the bean is doing its job it is it is our responsibility to navigate the world of food. Yeah, more smartly.
Colby Pearce 1:46:44
So that goes right into into the carnivore diet and pulse albinos discussion which is that he Okay, he looks at it this way from a survival perspective. If you want to eat an animal animals have teeth and claws and hoops, so they can either fight us or bite us or run away from us. That’s their defense mechanism. Yeah, our job Our job is to run them down and spear them anyway or shoot the mastodon into the canyon and eat it or however we’re gonna, we’re gonna end up eating the animal plants don’t have feet, or teeth unless you’re talking about a venus flytrap. So how did they defend themselves? They do it through these
Lentine Alexis 1:47:16
castles? Yeah, yes, it’s easy. So it’s easy actually to like the suit, right? Yeah, or lectins. Yeah, which are predominantly in like cucumbers, tomatoes. One of the reasons One of the ways we’re able I’m able to eat tomatoes is if I see them first and then cook them right then I my body is very content eating tomatoes. But unless I don’t do that, it’s hard. One of the ways to coax these ingredients into being consumed is to soak them in water with a bit of salt. Overnight, you basically replicate a sprouting scenario, the salt replicates the minerals in our soil that would convince the brain to unlock its intelligence and shed this phytic acid, this microbe, this toxin, so that it can share its nutrients with the ground or with your body, right. And it’s a very simple thing to do. And it takes almost no time, but does take forethought. And it will unlock that world of ingredients for most people and would call and would, in my personal and perhaps small opinion, resolve a lot of the issues that we have around consuming grains as a society, if we would just treat the ingredients like living, like the living ingredients that they are right, you know, assuming that you are going to go buy processed flour or like bread that’s in a bag from who knows where, and that’s bad for you. Right, right. That’s totally bad for you. Right,
Colby Pearce 1:48:33
right, right. Yeah. So well, Paul, you know, and this goes into Stephen Covey’s book the plant paradox he talks about Yeah, Stephens not as extreme as Paul is. Stephen is more about he divides the line on lectins and phytic acid and a few other plants, but he sort of separates them out. And his philosophy is that we should live like Italian gorillas, he phrase. He says that basically, you’re entitled to eat as many leafy greens as you can tolerate. Although he does point out the kills not one of the best ones but more like spinach and season in season and with tons of olive oil. He basically says they’re a vehicle for olive oil. And he talks about that paradigm and and then he’s a fan of healthy meats and nose to tail. Saladino cites a lot of science that says that even spinach has chemicals in it that aren’t arguably not good for us. Things like that. We right now are viewed as air quotes, superfoods, things like tumeric and curcumin. He talks about how the compounds and those are actually quite toxic to the body. And he’s very his diet is extreme, although he’s also he’s really well educated. He is a medical doctor and he digs into science hard. I love his work. I also think he is a textbook example of confirmation bias. And he’s on a mission to prove that we should just eat meat. And that’s what he does. He does recommend and has a lot of support for his argument that we should just eat nose to tail. Yeah, so one of his discussions is around the fact that if you look at how tribes hunt or hunted What they would do is take down an animal, the first thing that people ate the organs, the brain, the eyes, the most nutrient dense food we know of his liver to my understanding, yeah, period, period. So it’s like, hello. So that’s what the the hunters ate the muscle meat was given to the dogs. What do we go? What do we find? We go to a supermarket now, muscle means that all muscle means you have to ask for liver or, or organ meat at with the deli. Yeah. And when you get it, usually they assume it’s for your dogs. We’ve reversed that paradigm. Yeah. So salad, you know, his entire argument is hinges on the fact that when we do eat meat, it has to be nose to tail, we have to get a lot of broads, we have to get a lot of collagen. And that’s what balance it out gives us It gives us our micronutrients to help handle that protein load. He has all kinds of nuance on how you know people. What about acid alkaline balance? And you know, what about the nutrients we get from plants? And he argues that you can get that from nose to tail. It’s quite interesting. And I’m not saying I’m fully on board with it. But I do follow his discussion pretty intensely. I’ve played with it a little bit myself. Man, I can’t imagine getting up and only eating eggs and liver and then salmon and then liver and steak like with no to me, it just feels and but maybe it’s because I’m not used to it. Diet is an intensely emotional experience, which goes back to what you were saying about when Alamin describes his favorite food. It’s always based around family. It’s an experience. It’s an experience. It’s It’s It’s around unity. Yeah. emotion of because of course, we’re we are getting lifeforce from our meals we are getting, we are rejuvenating our bodies and spirits and souls from the food we eat. So that’s it’s when you break it down to carbohydrates. That’s when you end up in the world of gels and bars. And yeah, I guess I’m coming full circle. But
Lentine Alexis 1:51:48
no, I, I’m thinking about three things in your commentary about Saladino. And the first is that you know, if you look at hunter gatherer tribes, right, that, but long before our time, they lived in a very different world. They had different spiritual practices, they had different connections with nature. There, you know, like, if I close my eyes, and imagine what life might be like for them, they’re literally spending their entire day hunting, tracking it foraging, and they are in the wild, with basically bare feet connected to the earth doing this thing. The animals that they are hunting, and also, celebrating through ritual, have been grazing on wild lands where the nutrients in the soil is far different than nutrient dense soil that is prevalent than is prevalent for us.
Colby Pearce 1:52:42
Instead, you ate what you are what you ate, yep, if you’re eating those animals, you’re getting Yes, much higher nutrient. That’s an
Lentine Alexis 1:52:47
excellent point. And the longevity of those tribes, I don’t exactly know what it is. But it’s but we’re not living to be 150. Most often, in in the stages of early man, there will probably live in to be 35, or
Colby Pearce 1:53:01
40, or something. They also
Lentine Alexis 1:53:02
had one task for the day, which was to hunt and gather their food, it was not to
Colby Pearce 1:53:08
drop off their
Lentine Alexis 1:53:09
kids to school, right? Like, when when you look at your task list for the day, the amount of input that we are having fused into our schedules is massively different than it is than it was at that point in time. And the amount of connectivity that we had to community and to the planet was totally different. And that’s not quantifiable. But that but we were a different organism at that point in time. And so I and I think that’s worthwhile to know very well said.
Colby Pearce 1:53:35
So different organism means different demands, different demands.
Lentine Alexis 1:53:37
Yeah, different different society means different about the way that you interact with society, that’s also different demands, to the point of suggesting that specific types of food have nutrients or elements that are not necessarily healthy for our bodies. I think one thing that’s difficult about looking at it that way, is that you’re never going to eat only one thing. And the way that food for example, the benefit, the health benefits of turmeric are not able, you’re not able to absorb them unless you combine them with another spice because food
Colby Pearce 1:54:07
was found in whole
Lentine Alexis 1:54:09
town in whole form in nature and in concert with other things because you’re eating seasonally, and you’re eating like, it’s not that you’re able to go to the grocery store and buy ground turmeric, when you are foraging, you can get the route for a period of time and you ferment it or the other guy is walking
Colby Pearce 1:54:23
through the forest. I found a vitamin A tablet.
Lentine Alexis 1:54:25
Yeah, yeah, right. You got it. You bet you got to know when that’s in season, right? Because it’s really tricky. That’s just not the way that food exists for us right now in a totally different way than any of these quote unquote prehistoric patterns that we’re trying to track and we cannot ignore the fact that organisms need to be need to be aware that they work in concert or foods work in concert synergy. Exactly. The By the way, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a perfect food when you combine or or a nut butter and jelly sandwich. Let me say because I have maybe some things about peanuts. Me too. But a nut butter and jelly or nut butter and honey sandwich on bread is a complete food because of the way that the protein, the amino acid profile in your nut butter interacts with the nutrients that are in your great whole grain sandwich. And then you know you’ve got all your sourdough
Colby Pearce 1:55:19
Lentine Alexis 1:55:20
your fermented starter. Yeah. And then you know, if you add in like local honey in there, you also have all these just like, like local nuance, right, that helps to bolster immunity. Yes. And so you could go like cool. So if you put to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, that might be in your kid’s lunch box are in your Portland teens lunch box, side by side and one is this, you know sourdough fermented whole grain bread that’s got traceable grains, nut butter that was soaked,
Colby Pearce 1:55:46
and spur ganic local grains. Yep,
Lentine Alexis 1:55:48
yep, soaked, or whatever it is, you know, like I spread it in my kitchen, I’ve grown it into nut butter myself, and I use honey that I got from down the street, or you’ve got a Wonder Bread sandwich, Concord, grape jelly, and Skippy. These are two totally different things 100% and the pack and the packages in air quotes that they’re coming in is very, very different. So so you know, so to speak to the spinach. My spinach has things that are bad for us. Well, there’s other things that are going to counteract that that are good for us. And so we diminish the variety and eat the spinach in context, and you don’t eat spinach. That, by the way, isn’t actually in season in the springtime, like eating an attender vegetables that are just coming up in the spring and not eating kale and sprinkles kale, by the way, isn’t in season till later in the year, recognizing though that’s a really important, our bodies are going to have the thing, the tools, we need to process seasonal vegetables when it’s ready for that right habit if we’re still in touch with nature. Yeah. And the other piece about the conversation about carnivore ism is that, you know, our hunter gatherer ancestors were navigating wild lands where animals lived wildly, and we’re no longer doing that, and to pull livestock out of a regenerative situation where literally, where, if we’re not eating any of the plants, we don’t have any reason to have farms. But if you go to some of the most productive and healthy farms here in Boulder Valley, or anywhere, you have plants that are where the seeds and the nutrients are effectively regenerated by livestock, yes, marching over them, and weeping all over the place. And though and they then provide nutrients, and really important nutrients that help to fortify our foods, and then the food sprout up again, with some amount of time in between. This is a cycle that is what fuels humankind, in a in a modern way, when we do not have the availability of broad Valley, you know, broad landscapes to navigate with bows and arrows. To suggest that in modern times, we would eat only meat would also suggest that we would no longer have value for these farms, because what are we going to do with the vegetables? We’re growing? Right? Like, literally? Like, what would that do to the ecosystem of having a whole bunch of animals that have domesticated for us billions of people to eat when there also weren’t that many human beings on the planet? Like, it just doesn’t, it doesn’t, it didn’t fit anymore, even though it may have worked in that period of time, and definitely is a period of human existence that makes perfect, in my opinion makes perfect sense. Navigating it for modernity is is a
Colby Pearce 1:58:22
new, it’s a big challenge yet and some of you know that there are a lot of people who get very passionate, I’m with him about the discussion around two things, affordability of this life practice of eating this meat and then also the sustainability of it. And for the record. I’ll speak for Paul here for a moment. He does speak extensively about regenerative farming regenerative farming, yeah, he’s a huge advocate of it. Yeah, um, he is absolutely sold and convinced and preaches that it is the way forward for the health of the planet in the health of humanity. For sure. And, and I agree with that. That said, I think there’s some challenges we’ve got, I’m rounding up a little bit, but I think we got a billion people on this planet. Yeah. Now, when I drive through Utah, I’m thinking we’ve got all kinds of room but I know that a lot of Utah you can’t grow stuff in because it’s just a scorching desert. And there are places in the world that are really overcrowded. And if I went to
Lentine Alexis 1:59:09
Yeah, which speaks to eating locally, right, like yes, speaks to it, which is which is sort of something that in my own decisions on, on how to eat meat, when to eat meat, where I’m getting it from, or, or not just meat but also animal products. We live in Colorado, if I were to return to or if I were to be a native people on these lands, whatever 100 years ago, I would eat what was local to me, right? And in my like, modern life, I sort of try to reserve that to like cool if I can get it within 100 or 150 miles like I feel like that’s pretty local because that’s, that’s like my life, right?
Colby Pearce 1:59:48
Because I could ride my bike that far and get it I could
Lentine Alexis 1:59:50
ride my bike that far and get it
Lentine Alexis 1:59:53
there are some beans that grow here. There are some grains that grow here but not all grains. Avocados do not grow here. Bananas, do not Grow Here, coconuts do not grow here, and buy like avocado so much I and I, and I buy them, I do buy them. But to exist as a human being in our high desert environment is to consume animal products in some form, whatever that is. If I was a native person running around, I would need to eat meat to survive the winter here. I wouldn’t be able to just survive on because we don’t support tofu alone. Tofu is not something that you know, other these meet like a meat substitute product like the burgers that you can buy in a package like impossible burger impossible burger or whatever it is like that’s
Colby Pearce 2:00:38
whatever. I don’t know what that is. That’s a high food. It’s to me. It’s the same thing as any super processed food. Yeah, more processed food. It is. Oh, yeah. Generally speaking, the worse it is for you. I 100% of HR. If we’re talking about intimates doughnuts, an impossible burger, sort of a Twinkie? Yeah. Or a gel. Yeah, those are the same thing.
Lentine Alexis 2:00:58
actually, I’ve almost reduced this to if it’s convenient.
Lentine Alexis 2:01:02
If it’s convenient, it’s probably not good for me. Probably not. Which also is sort of like, you know, the like, I guess I’m gonna take the long way. I was thinking in the shower this morning, I was reading through some of your questions and thinking about the time that I trained for an Iron Man on a surly cross check with knobby tires. I really did I one, I also set the course record. But I trained for this dumb thing on this bike, that does not make any sense. And, and it was what I had, and it worked. And it was the longest it was the longest hardest route. But but with respect to food sometimes like honestly, the the closer you look, and the harder you have to work to put it into your body is probably the right answer. Right. And that is, I mean, this book I’m writing is basically right now, right now, there’s 180 recipes, we will narrow it significantly. But 180 recipes of things that in a super busy lifestyle, you can turn into full real food Yeah, that create a balance of things that like inspire you, hopefully to eat locally and consider the sources of your ingredients. But it doesn’t have to be just the cooking part doesn’t have to be that consuming. You don’t
Colby Pearce 2:02:07
have to be clicking for three hours to do this. Now.
Lentine Alexis 2:02:10
The sourcing process is times apricot, maybe not maybe hard. Not harder. But
Colby Pearce 2:02:15
it’s just a different way of thinking. Yeah, and we tend to get in the car, go to the store, buy whatever’s there. Yeah. And when you go to the store, you’re buying fish that’s at least a week old. Most of the time we’re buying factory farm factory industrialized raised chickens, cows pork. Yeah. Which is to be blunt, it’s not, it’s definitely not an ideal choice. And worst case, it’s toxic straight up. We’re buying vegetables that have been in cold storage. fruits that have been in cold storage, that are have total disregard for seasoning, and they’ve also been most of time genetically modified to make the shelf life longer and to help them survive and make the skins tougher. When I was a kid, you could take any banana and break the top off and the top would break off Rinka try it. Because I have a regular banana. You have to almost always get a knife or you smashed the top of the bag and in the top off. Yeah. Why is that? That’s not just because you got a crappy banana.
Lentine Alexis 2:03:02
No, it’s because it literally just because we’ve littered actually. So there’s a I’m forgetting the origin of the article now but I’ll send it to you. This is fascinating. Because Yeah, I made this example. And that is that we literally bread like the banana that you find in the grocery store is is literally something that humans created. It’s not something even with baby carrots. Yeah, well baby a baby carrots a little bit different cuz they literally go through this shaving process, reshape them into a cute shape. And, and so then there’s all this carrot waste, right? that then gets turned into something, whatever. But this, but if you are wandering through the forest or the jungle, you’re never going to find the bananas that you’re used to seeing in the grocery store. Because we’ve literally created them to be our shenana grocer bananas. And at some point in time, there will be a shift where nature pushes back was like cool. This is no longer sustainable for me, I’m going to stop allowing this thing to exist and bananas could end up being the worst thing on the planet literally for you because nature’s like, nope, no, yeah, stop. Yeah, yeah. But the but so you know, also we were talking about the nutrients in the soil. When you’re buying vegetables that you know that eat more plants thing like but also eat more plants, smart plants, because if you’re buying vegetables from most grocery stores that have traveled, hundreds and maybe even thousands of miles. They’re typically being grown on farms that can support that sort of agriculture and they’re on being grown in fields that have been tilled over year after year after year. There’s there’s almost no value the soil Yeah, something
Colby Pearce 2:04:30
which is a crop which necessitates more more pesticides or fungicides, more regicides, because, well, the crop can’t defend itself.
Lentine Alexis 2:04:38
Well, moreover, you have folks that are like cool, so I am going to make the healthiest dressing and eat a salad that has an I’d love to keep obviously I love the example of salad right? Like the fixation on salad. A salad today has something like 60 to 70% fewer nutrients than the salad of even 20 years ago. So if you’re only eating salad and not eating any of these other beautiful things you’re actually consuming nothing mostly air and water. Yeah, no. So you’re going to you’re like, I actually was one of the things I think would be so rad. And now all my, my wellspring of time without a book manuscript Am I so many of my athletic friends here in town will not go to the farmers market in the morning because it’s Saturdays mornings, and they’re off, right, and they’re off going to ride bikes. And so what I really want to do is figure out a way that we can get farmers to pack up boxes so that it can just be at a restaurant or at a spot where we’re athletes ability to go and get what you’re picking, you know, like, either you dedicate the time and you ride one hour later, which you could do, which is what I end up doing being like, I’m just going to ride at nine, it’s going to be fine. Might be a little harder, but it’s okay. But it wouldn’t be so rad if someplace in town would have a pickup spot for athletes to get home at one o’clock, two o’clock, and their boxes would be there and then they couldn’t go home and cook them anyway.
Colby Pearce 2:05:54
That’d be great. Good idea.
Lentine Alexis 2:05:55
Cuz that’s really, really it’s, it’s really, really makes a massive difference in Yeah, and how your body feels and responds, I notice a big, big like, yeah, emotional difference when I don’t get to go to the market, or and also just that we sleep better, we eat better, the food tastes better.
Colby Pearce 2:06:13
I want to just emphasize one point, if I may, I think that it’s potentially easy for people to listen to our discussion and feel perhaps a bit overwhelmed. Yes. And I want to emphasize that diet is not about perfection. It’s not a scorecard. It’s not I have to revamp everything, you have to respect the fact that you’ve already been on this planet for presumably at least two decades, maybe three, maybe four, maybe five. Okay, that’s a lot of history and emotion that’s tied into your food choices. So we don’t expect or ask that anyone suddenly go completely cold turkey and forget every food that they ever bought at King soopers, or whatever their local grocery store is that they’ve been shopping at for decades. And only eat farmed animals from here on out to make a radical change. Like Yeah, every once in a while you run to a person who’s capable of doing that and will do it. But most of us aren’t like that. And that’s okay. Yeah, making dietary choices is about it’s about just slowly optimizing. It’s like a Think of it like a never ending quest to always just refine, right? And but guilt is a suitcase. So just there’s no value, or what we’re not trying to do is paint a paradigm where you’re constantly berating yourself for sub optimal choices. No,
Lentine Alexis 2:07:23
because it can happen really easily. Because once you recognize that there’s so much nuance, yes, there’s so much nuance, and so not and so now, if you had questions before about what to eat, now you have 1 million more questions about what to eat? And did I do this? Like, did I add this up the right way? And, and sort of recognizing that there? You know, I think now because, well, let’s see, I started thinking about food when I was 16. And I’m almost 40 years old. So that’s a long time of considering all those things in and compounding knowledge and, and making small shifts, and I still find small, you know, like, I still have had magnanimous shifts in the way that I look and think about food in even in the past five years. And to recognize it that’s really like a lifelong practice of just embracing the fact that like, basically like foods, okay.
Okay, food, okay.
Lentine Alexis 2:08:15
It’s not an enemy. It’s not a it’s not a villain, it’s, you know, it’s really easy. It’s the opposite. And it’s really easy to look for things that look like food and consume those things and recognize you can really eat freely within that. And that’s, if that if you start in one place, like that’s where I would say, you start you, like, look for the things that look like, what you would recognize them to be and if you don’t know what something is, like, find out
Colby Pearce 2:08:41
right out or and if you still can’t find out, don’t eat it. Don’t eat it. Yeah.
Lentine Alexis 2:08:44
And ultimately, just like, I would say, the the easiest place to start, although I think it’s easy now, because I’ve been ingrained in a really long time. And I for especially if you’re a busy person, a mom, or I think specifically a moms because I know that like lots of cooking philosophies, and many homes now are to unpack something and warm it up, right? If you can find a way to shift your kitchen practice or your daily day to day practice where you can avoid packages so that you’re just looking at things that are whole, even if it means you’re just you’re eating salad and rice for a while. Yeah, that’s a really good place to start over. Yeah. And then and then there are recipes like there are really I’m going to give you so many so many good acts. But there are ways that you can turn those things into really wholesome meals, but pushing out that one big villainous category. The only villain is is the non food prep, and we have a lot of it processed food. Yeah, we have a lot of it running around and everything else is fair
Colby Pearce 2:09:36
game. It’s the it’s the norm right now. You go into a supermarket and 85 90% of it is in boxes and processed in maybe more depending on the supermarket. Yeah, mine for that is picked, peeled, caught or skinned. If you can do those things to it, then yeah, it’s eligible to go in your mouth.
Lentine Alexis 2:09:53
Yeah, yeah, totally. I 100 I mean, and it’s also it’s hot. Like we’re also backpedaling a lot as a society right because If I mean, it’s funny, Pete and I talk about this often are what was in vogue when our moms were raising us was to use the microwave. Yeah, to warm things. That was what you’d like, cool, I figured out this cool time hacker I have to do is this. And now you can hire a service that’s going to deliver packaged meals to optimize meals to your door, or they’re going to chop everything for you and, and send it to the recipe. Right? Yeah. That speaks to the like, it’s, it’s, I think, you know, in the book, we talked about this a moment ago or a little while ago, that I implore readers to design a life cocktail, and you’re basically creating priorities. Yes, you’re basically saying, like, here’s all the stuff that I got on my plate. It’s a real full plate. I don’t know how, like, if you’re building a plate of food, you have to if you’re building a nutritious plate of food as an athlete, you’ve got to figure out where what your priorities are, am I prioritizing energy rebuilding like fat, like function, whatever, whatever it is, and the same is true in your life. And if eating better, or performing better or feeling better, something you prioritize, there has to be a space that’s created for sourcing your food? Well, there’s no way to there’s that’s not a place where you can cut the budget, you can totally cut the budget in terms of how much time you spent on Instagram, or Yeah, how much time you spent online shopping, or how much strife you how much energy you put towards fearing food and making the wrong food choices. And you can just dive into that, like, Colombia going to go pick up some whole stuff, and I’m going to be brave and make it into a salad with rice. Yeah, or whatever it is. Yeah,
Colby Pearce 2:11:31
yeah, very well said. I think if we take the extension of that, we have this type of person who, maybe they’re people who don’t want to deal with food. It’s not part of their culture. It’s not part of the reality. Maybe they have negative associations with food as a young child, perhaps so they’ve heard of cooking has got kids and jobs and other stuff to deal with. So they want convenience. And I understand that mindset. The ultimate. I think, I’ll just say it straight point blank. That is the most disastrous outcome of this is Soylent? Oh, yes. Right. Yeah. This is like that thinking taken to the extreme, which if you don’t know what Soylent is all that you just go forth and search it. But it’s like, this is the opposite of everything Tina and I are talking about today. It’s the most it’s it’s a food source you can imagine with no regard for TCE, or lifeforce or sustenance in any enriching sense at all. Yeah. So don’t consume Soylent, please,
or, and just don’t tell us about it.
Lentine Alexis 2:12:31
But I think you know, the like, and we keep talking a little bit in circles about this, but or perhaps I am the once you get all that, you know, like going to the market and picking up all this stuff, or wherever you’re getting it from right, going to your trusted source, picking up the best ingredients you can find. And that’s key, right? The best ingredients you can find is the right answer, not just not the definition I give, not the way that I’m doing it my house a great way that you and the way that you can know you’re doing it right is that you come home with something you’re proud of
Colby Pearce 2:12:59
fresh, local, organic, I usually write all those ideally, hopefully best in green, that’s a perfect way to say yeah,
Lentine Alexis 2:13:06
hopefully. But also, that might mean that you’re that you’re not by that you’re not going ordering a salad out, you’re buying a box of salad that’s organic, and maybe, you know, like, there’s so many different layers of how this will help this would translate for yourself. But ultimately, you want to bring it home and be like, wow, look what I did I feel good about this, that you will know you’re on the right path when you feel good about what you’ve purchased. And it’s not just a non issue. Like, if you unpack the groceries and you’re like, right, probably there’s something there’s something that’s maybe off, right but coming home with ingredients that you’re proud of, and the act of cooking something and serving yourself or serving somebody else and being like, look at this thing I made, even if it didn’t turn out exactly the way the recipe did, there is an emotional connection there that in my personal opinion, if you start kicking the door open enough, is powerful enough to keep you coming back and doing it every once in a while. And if you’re doing it every once in a while that is enough to make a change where you start feeling something different. And that will prove positive in your performance and your general well being in life and, and it’s even if you’re doing it only once a week, which like so. So there’s two people in our house. Pete’s gone for a week riding his motorcycle. I cook for a living, I don’t actually cook for myself every single night. In fact, I will figure out ways to not have to do that because I would rather be reading a book or going on a bike ride or doing something else. I love food. I think that cooking is the highest one of the highest priorities in my life. But I will make a big batch of soup on Sunday and I add a big batch of grains and maybe I’ll make beans in my instant pot and I will keep those things in the fridge and I’ll throw greens into them and I will eat that way for a whole week. And I’ve cooked once and I feel really good but my choice for the whole way about my choice and my investment in myself for the entire week. And that is how I do that with a very with a you know, totally packed schedule. And I will still cook almost every single thing that we eat but not by spending hours cooking every single day or even an hour or even more One hour like I, you know, I can’t wait to actually spend almost zero time cooking for myself this week. That’s a
Colby Pearce 2:15:06
great yeah, I’m so looking forward to the release your books on some of these hacks because we Yeah, I feel like my family eats really well, but we we tend to annihilate time in the kitchen and I’m okay with that. But I wouldn’t mind having some more arrows in my quiver on those days where things are really crazy. Yeah,
Lentine Alexis 2:15:20
where things are crazy and, and giving yourself the break of like, you know, I mean, and, and it’s funny because my editor and I are both the types of people where we know we have enough culinary skills where we really we hold a lot of responsibility for what we do in our own home, you know, my like, and this is totally out of whack with a normal person, but like my general cooking workload would be to make everything from scratch in our house. And that means the nut butters something I made the biggest thing I made, I made the grains I bake our own bread, if we’re eating ice cream, I made it,
Colby Pearce 2:15:51
finding the foods and the most simple raw ingredients, bringing them into your door and then making stuff out of it. Yeah,
Lentine Alexis 2:15:57
but also, we’re not eating ice cream every night, right. And there’s also days when we don’t have bread, and we make oatmeal or have something else instead. But pretty much if it’s coming through the door, like I made it. And and I had to learn in the process of writing this book to let go of some of those keys and find a source where I could say like, cool, like, you know, we’ve got great bakers in town, and I will buy your bread from you. And I feel really good about buying your bread, because it’s because it is saving me the time and the stress of I want to do this and I want to do it right. And I trust that you’re doing it right. But not having that trust with your source makes a really big those compounds of like, I’m making this, like I’m making this hack. I’m hacking again, I’m hacking, I’m hacking, I’m hacking every single thing in our lives. One way of connecting. And we’re talking about this before, like knowing that the connections important. One way of connecting to nature really easily is cooking it.
Colby Pearce 2:16:50
Oh, well. Well said Yeah.
Lentine Alexis 2:16:52
Taking ingredients that were farmed right around the corner from you. Even if you spent all day inside, you wake up in the dark, you go to work. We’re in your home, now. You’re going anywhere. But But and if you pick your head up again and you cook something that was grown by a farmer, not that far away from you, you are touching nature and connecting nature. That’s Yeah. Yeah, that counts.
Colby Pearce 2:17:14
Us. Oh, yeah. I think that’s a perfect place to end. That said, I want to rewind and maybe we can put this in a different order later. But there’s one thing I want to ask you about one last bit if you still have time. You good?
Lentine Alexis 2:17:27
Yeah, I think I don’t know what time it is. So yeah, I don’t
Colby Pearce 2:17:29
either. Okay. So we won. Okay. You’ve given us a lot of really good, insightful advice on how we might change our relationship to food and how we think about food. I think one area where people might get a little lost is I would say that most of the advice we’ve been giving is assuming making certain assumptions conceptually about a person’s gut biome. Yeah, if someone’s got a relatively functional gut, yeah. And then we’re talking about moderation and all things. Yeah, you know, a little bit ice cream, some carbs, some fats and proteins. As long as we’re sourcing high quality ingredients. That’s a great philosophy. But most people aren’t starting from that point. Most people are starting with a little bit of a broken gut or a little bit of a challenge, because they have been eating inflammatory foods. They’ve got some some challenges in their ingestion. Yeah,
Lentine Alexis 2:18:22
I’ll take it one step further and say that it’s safe to assume that every single person walking around in American society has a bad gut. Yeah. Because and and that’s not something we feel bad about, necessarily. We’ve kind of done it to ourselves, we’re eating industrialized food. We it lacks nutrients, because of the ways that that food been made available to us, right, we’re learning a lot about the importance of local agriculture, regenerative agriculture, eating close to land English at home right now. And convenience has been invoked for a really long time, and we didn’t really recognize the consequences of it. Until now. We’re seeing that there’s a lot of chronic disease and autoimmune disorders that are popping up as a result of our bodies being able to function for a really long time as a collective society without without gut health. So, you know, that’s that said, like, as a person who struggled with that myself, almost everyone I know, has different types of symptoms in it. Yeah, I don’t I don’t know if anybody knows of anybody who doesn’t have some, and also recognize that that fluctuates through like for women, our gut biomes fluctuate when we have like through our menstrual cycles. So yeah, your gut biome is healthier in different points of time
Colby Pearce 2:19:33
than another time,
Colby Pearce 2:19:34
so it’s not and also the nutrient composition should change during the cycle. Right. I mean, Steve talks a lot about this.
Lentine Alexis 2:19:39
Yes, I think it’s more carbs, carbs. I say that when I say that, because yeah, I will make like for women that are listening. Additional estrogen in our bodies is digested by our by our guts. And if you’re experienced, you’d have to be very blunt about it. If you’re experiencing premenstrual symptoms, whatever it is tender breasts. cramping, all that sort of thing. It’s basically a sign that your body’s not digesting that estrogen in a proper way. And that’s a symptom that you there’s something that you can fix in your gut. And when you have it in balanced, hypothetically speaking, you won’t have those symptoms. As someone who’s had a really sorted and strolls history and has been able to overcome it with a lot of attention paid to gut health, and eating a lot of carbohydrates. In the time when your body’s like, cool, I’ve just completely cleansed and I’m now going to rebuild.
Colby Pearce 2:20:30
Yep, yep. Yeah, that’s great. That’s a great seed.
Lentine Alexis 2:20:33
Little little seed planted. Yeah, there’s a lot more. And and, and you can’t take a pill and make that go away.
Colby Pearce 2:20:38
Yes, you can. You can take the birth control pill. Yeah.
Lentine Alexis 2:20:45
Maybe, anyway, so. So gut health. So yes. So making the presumption that, you know, yes, if you have a healthy gut, you could sort of dive in there. But that said, as a person who doesn’t necessarily subscribe to any specific type of diet, I’m definitely a believer in. You know, as we talked about, kind of navigating the broad Avenue foods, cutting things out, seeing how your body responds on a somewhat frequent basis just to see where you’re at. I personally, at least twice a year go and do basically a puncture karma cleanse, which cuts out, I don’t eat that much refined sugar as it is, I don’t consume that much alcohol. Occasionally I do. I incorporate small amounts of all you know, caffeine, I have a cup of coffee in the morning, I have an alcoholic drink at night one, usually, I’m eating predominantly unrefined natural sugars, but I do consume them. And for about a month, in the spring, and in the fall, I cut those things completely out and sort of hit reset. And it’s amazing what happens when you do that. Every time I’ve done it the past couple of years, my body is in a different state of being. And almost always my gut bounces. Like I noticed something significant that changes in my gut. Yeah. And that also includes things like cutting out dairy every once in a while cutting out grains, cutting out a specific type of vegetable, you know, like, maybe it’s tomatoes, maybe it’s kale, just mixing it up, like one of the ways that when when I do some culinary coaching, helping people to kind of navigate how to cook in the kitchen, and athletes how to build plates that will fuel their athletic endeavors, not from a sports nutrition perspective, or from the perspective of a nutritionist or a dietitian, just from a cool, you’ve got this amount of time, here’s ways that you can incorporate these healthy ingredients into your diet. Mm hmm. One of the kind of checklists that I give are, there’s like a micronutrient checklist, and also a macronutrient checklist of like, have you thought about these things? But also, how many colors are you eating? When we were living in Japan, I learned through friend that mothers pack their lunches for their kids. But if the lunchbox arrives at school, and there are not eight colors, yeah, eight colors in each child’s lunchbox, and also like things that are shaped like a panda. Then they’re basically given an F like they’ve just failed at packing lunch for kiddos. Because color is really, really important and texture to like, having you know, four or five different textures in your plate is one really easy way of just going like great, I’m getting a variety of things. And switching those things up from time to time. It’s like a really easy way to go grocery shopping, you’re like great, I’ve got eight colors, I’ve got something creamy, something crunchy, something crisp, whatever. Yep, that’s one way of finding out where your gut is. And also consulting with with medical professionals or I read it professionals or natural paths that can help you to navigate that. More and more. I’m seeing lots of supplements that folks are taking, hey, just take prebiotics or just take probiotics. Yeah, Hey, cool, but these are things that again, we’ve like dissected from the foods where they came from, and our bodies are smart enough to request the foods that contain what they need to function. So learning about the foods that contain probiotics, learning about what prebiotics are, by the way, there are specific foods that your that prebiotics need their skinny that probiotics need to function giving those things like I love the example of athletes that have digestive distress on the bike and they’re consuming a maybe it’s a sugar based or yeah basically sugar based sports drink great and there’s no focus on prebiotic which is the food that probiotics need to survive and that comes from turmeric comes from Ginger comes from lots of roots, basically, eating a ginger candy. That’s, you know, maybe it’s maybe it’s sugar, but it also contains this, this prebiotic, right helps to soothe your system again and sort of stop this, this explosion of negative gut bacteria start to bring balance again, it’s just a small thing, but it
Colby Pearce 2:24:43
definitely does help things can make a big difference. Yeah, so
Lentine Alexis 2:24:46
yeah, I think it’s safe to assume I think it’s safe to assume that we all have a little something messed up in our bodies almost all the time because we live in modern life. You know,
Colby Pearce 2:24:55
I’m raising my hand. Yeah, me too. I’ve got digestive trouble would probably be the the single biggest recurring theme in my well say athletic career, but careers in air quotes will just say time on the planet. Yeah, mine too dependent of that. Yeah,
Lentine Alexis 2:25:10
mine too. And so I work with an I read practitioner pretty closely. And I think that I see her maybe five or six times a year for a variety of different things. Okay, but one of my biggest questions for her, like this particular season there, you know, just talking specifically about my own experience in the past six to nine months. super stressful professionally, like the weather has been crazy, so much going on in the world, lots of stress. Like for for my particular particular constitution that I run pretty hot, my metabolisms pretty high, a lot of heat, a lot of heat in my body, and I suffered from really difficult digestion and really difficult sleep all through basically from May through August or September. So we were doing our best like, I was kind of consulting with her on how to cool my body down. Yeah, and a few of the things that she recommended to me, you know, and and my gut went from being very healthy to being very stressed out. And we’ve been able to bring it back now. But the things that soothed it, we’re doing doing things that are crazy, like blending up yogurt with ice, and mixing in a bit of ghee and a bit of black pepper and having one day a week when I don’t do any physical activity. I drink this thing as much as much as I want. And I would eat dinner, basically, eat dinner at night, wake up in the morning, drink, what we’re calling this buttermilk cleanse, which was ghee, and yogurt, all through the day, and then eating dinner at night. And that was enough to basically keep the fire in my body at bay. And then eating really, really seasonally like lots of cucumbers, lots of cooling foods, lots of sweet foods. Yeah. Melon tender, bit tender vegetable like tender greens, cooked spinach, which helps to eliminate some of the bitterness. Bitterness also will cool that heat. But that wisdom that like ancient food wisdom has really helped me to harness my gut and wrap my mind around what it’s doing and how it responds in different scenarios. And it’s, and it’s highly personal and super nuanced. And just a different way a different lens to look at a different lens to get from Yes, being young people’s Yeah, but I will say I don’t think that it’s possible, it’s a really important component of fueling your body, right, because for so to back up and add another layer of this discussion. And for a long time I was I was obviously like, super in tune with food, eating lots and lots of plants, not limiting carbohydrates, but very conscious of my carbohydrate sources. If I was in places where I couldn’t get sources that I recognize, I would choose not to eat them. Not the right choice, necessarily. But anyway,
Colby Pearce 2:27:41
part of the lesson part
Lentine Alexis 2:27:42
of lesson and being really, really critical of my protein sources. And that meant I was eating a lot of plants at certain times in my life, depending on where I was living in, I’ve lived in quite a few places. That caught up with me later. Having you know, once I left scratch labs, I was jumped out on my own was doing consultancy, work traveling a ton. Still not competing, but training and just like living life at a pretty high level, really long bike rides, occasionally doing some big races. And eventually, I started to notice that I wasn’t sleeping very well, they’re really not sleeping very well. I would get on the bike and have no energy, like I just couldn’t go could not turn the pedals. And I started having some skin issues to stuff like just things started popping up and I went to the doctor and they ran a blood test, they found that I was severely deficient in vitamins D and B. And it wasn’t that I wasn’t consuming the foods that contain those things, it was that my body was not absorbing them, right. And here I’m eating these very, very virtuous, like locally sourced ingredients. You know, I’m, I think I’m checking all the blocks. But what I was doing wrong was recognizing that there was some amount of rest and attention that I needed to give my body to just digest my food, I could not run Full speed ahead through life and expect to digest my experiences or my nutrients. So cutting back on activity a little bit. Being more basically creating more space for meals that I was eating, like cool, I’m going to sit down and like actually enjoying my breakfast instead of eating or doing something else or eating already in production right and eating a lot fewer kale salads, honestly giving my body foods that were really easy for it to digest. over a series of months, the kind of like skin issues and eczema that I was experiencing when away, my energy levels came back, my blood levels came back. And what it really took was recognizing that record like the recognition that my body was functioning as a whole unit and that my and that the way my gut was able to absorb those things. It was strong enough to do without I don’t have to take medications I didn’t need to take. I didn’t need to take any supplements. I was able to do it totally with food, but it took a big focus on going okay, how can I soothe my digestive system? How can I give it what it needs and recognize that what it’s not doing? What I’m not doing is giving it the time necessary. Yeah, to absorb easily ritual around food is really
Colby Pearce 2:30:03
important, especially as athletes. It’s so easy to just be like, Wham. wham, Wham. Because you, you sit down all the time you’re starving to death.
Lentine Alexis 2:30:09
Yeah. As an athlete who loves food and loves a ritual.
Right? And has made a career out of that. Yeah, yeah,
Lentine Alexis 2:30:15
it’s so so I would say like to implore people to really think about it and and and on the on the plate of priorities know that it’s a really important priority all the time and, and governs our ability to do almost anything else. Yeah, right. Like, like, when I was at scratch we talk about poop all the time. Like talking about poops really important by the way like looking at your poop is pretty important thing about your poop is pretty important. like two seconds. 60 seconds, you know, just a peek
Colby Pearce 2:30:40
to understand what how they are, are impacting your body. That’s a barrier. But if it’s running straight through you, it’s running straight through you. Yeah. You’re not getting nutrients. Paul has a literally a chapter in his book, how to eat move and be healthy. Paul, check up. Yeah. And he literally has a poopy policemen drawing. Yeah, with a lineup and descriptions that talk about each type of bowel movement you can have and what went wrong and some clues on where to investigate. And he talks all the time about how kids love to, like, cut that page out and put tape over the toilet. So they can Yeah,
Lentine Alexis 2:31:11
yeah, cut out. But that, you know, again, like, hopefully, it’s empowering to know that it is a factor in all of our lives. It is something that as a modern person, we can expect we’re all suffering from a little bit, and the extent to which we’re able to pay attention to it and kind of nip it in the bud early and just you know, give it some attention. It may In my opinion, in my experience means a means the difference between having a chronic disease or issue and being able to nip it in the bud and really be able to figure out how to feel your body and and navigate your life with food in it powerfully in an in an empowered way.
Colby Pearce 2:31:46
Because unless you’re a breatharian you’re going to eat food.
Lentine Alexis 2:31:48
Yeah. breatharian Yeah, I’ve never heard that before.
Colby Pearce 2:31:51
Oh, wow. It’s apparently it’s a thing. Yeah. There are people who claim to be burned monks. Yeah, yeah, they just yeah. So we’ll get there who have a ginkgo leaf. The newer universe juice? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Cool. Well, Muntean, thank you so much for taking a large portion of your day to come in my pleasure. Talk with us. And we’re so excited for the release of your book, you’ll have to let us know what the title is, when it comes out. When you get it ironed out. I’m sure it’s going to include the word inclusive in it now.
Colby Pearce 2:32:20
probably. That’s my own little, little ego stamp. But whatever it is, let us know. And we’ll we’ll drop this episode in a timely fashion. But then maybe we can read rhop it when your book comes out and, and have the title, we will have more new things to talk about.
Lentine Alexis 2:32:35
We got 14 months. Yeah, creating a cookbook is crazy. It’s like you could have two children, you could have two human children, you could you could just state and give birth to two human children in the time it takes to do this. Wow, to create it into a guy that’s actually good for you that’s actually functional for people to use. But by that time, you know, hopefully, there’s lots of things for us to talk about. It’ll be a whole different. I think people are gonna be cooking more. I hope
Colby Pearce 2:32:57
- I you know, I think it’s been challenging times, obviously, in 2020. Not so much bike racing, a lot of lockdown. A lot of I’ve been really struggling. And in the last week, even I felt this kind of the level, the subtext of fear, I felt is risen, risen in the last few few weeks. I don’t know if it’s because the elections coming or what it’s, it’s just seems like things are so politicized. And so people are just butting heads in so many ways. And it’s for my own perspective, it just inspires me to walk through the world with a little bit of a smile and say good morning to people, because I’m trying to calm the pond as best I can. Yeah, I won’t say I’m always perfectly perfectly successful in that endeavor. But that’s my, that’s my intent. And, um, but, you know, I think that some of the medicine that’s come out of this experience has been a like, for example, we shop from Boulder, lemon meats, that’s plants farm, and, you know, farms like, like, these used to primarily sell directly to local restaurants that wanted to have a farm to table menu. And because restaurants had obviously significant hit to their business this spring, in the summer, a lot of those farms have now turned selling direct to consumer,
Lentine Alexis 2:34:08
and that’s and they’re relying on us to
Colby Pearce 2:34:10
serve they are and I will patronize these farms because to me, they are really important. Um, and I’m in a position to do that financially, but it’s an absolute priority in my life to eat well and eat my health, my family, eat well. From my perspective, it’s almost like, Look, man, I’m going to spend the money money one way or another. I mean, they’re going to spend it on really healthy food now, which by the way, tastes better. Yeah. I remember the first time you ever had real organic peanut butter, and you’d only been eating Jeff or Skippy like my head exploded when that happened. Yeah, that’s this is that experience, but with every other food you’ve ever bought at a grocery store, like everything is better when it’s local, organic, everything is the meat is totally different. All you need is like sea salt and olive oil and light
Lentine Alexis 2:34:51
you actually also eat less but that nonetheless, that’s a piece that we didn’t touch on actually, which is the budget. Yeah, the budgetary portion of of eating Well, that’s a that’s something that’s notable, right? It’s a real problem. It is. the accessibility of truly exceptional food to all people in our country right now is horrible.
Colby Pearce 2:35:10
It’s does it and that’s in our country
Lentine Alexis 2:35:12
that’s in our country. Yeah, it’s other and it’s embarrassing.
Colby Pearce 2:35:15
Second, third world countries. I can only imagine it’s just yeah, I mean, it it almost flip flops in a sense, because when you get to the some very remote areas of the world, all they have is access to local food. Well, there’s this in fact U shaped curve to it. Right. Yeah. And shaped curve however you wanna?
Lentine Alexis 2:35:30
Yeah, yeah, I mean, look, only in the United States actually is eating locally, something that we should pay attention to, we need to return to, because everywhere else does not see any value, like most of the things that we’ve been talking about in terms of how we navigate food, or strictly American conventions, right, there is no other country in the world, that’s like, cool, I’m gonna bring this thing from Argentina, Argentina, to you know, in some Well, now in like, trying to say, like, they’re bringing in ingredients from honorable because they’re modeling our Western lifestyle, where it’s luxurious to be able to enjoy something out of season whenever you want it, right. But the idea that we would be, you know, eating locally supporting our local economy, and that’s the most logical way to do it. You don’t have a huge refrigerator in, in most other countries. So you buy what you need from the place, it’s close, because you don’t have a car and drive
Colby Pearce 2:36:17
you at the market every couple days. Yeah,
Lentine Alexis 2:36:19
but the but in the United States, there is a distinct investment that one needs to make, because of the way that subsidies exist. And because of our industrialized food system, you can eat very, very cheaply in United States or, or you can put consumables, you can put consumables on your table for relatively little money, United States
Colby Pearce 2:36:41
with less nutrient density and less Yeah,
Lentine Alexis 2:36:44
but there is a but there’s a there’s a price to pay for that. And and if you have the means you’re also able to access some of the best ingredients that by the way, are not comparable in price, or in my opinion and value to those other things that you might consume. Yeah. And making that shift is difficult one because and and the entire country right now is facing an economic hardship where we’re all having to reevaluate what we’re spending money on. Yep. I know, in my own house, like I, the restaurant industry, you know, well, in my own house, we’ve had to reprioritize that again. Yep. And go great. So, you know, we, so I go, we’ll go and basically put up for the winter, like, buy ingredients, I know, I can turn into like my grandma used to do basically and go like, cool. We need to stretch this as far as we can we have this much money to spend this is that what we’re spending on meat because it’s expensive. And the other times we’re going to eat this other thing, we’re going to eat vegetable foods, or we’re going to eat plant foods or not, not vegetable foods, we’re going to we’re going to eat plant based foods and not so much because it needs expensive. And that’s something that’s I don’t want this conversation to unfold without recognition that it is a prioritization and one that requires an a shift in the way that we’re you’re putting you know, your schedule versus does not it’s not to go over overlooked. And especially in this moment when when we have to kind of we have the opportunity actually to repattern so many things in our lives. Yeah, it is. And, and because our restaurant industry and convenience, food industry will take a big shift is a moment when it’s gonna be a little scary to go like, great. I’m now home with my kids who are no longer going to school. And I want to do I have all this list of things I want to do. And now I have to cook also. And I have to source virtuous product. Like that’s a very scary thing to be carrying.
Colby Pearce 2:38:27
That’s Yeah, the to do list.
Lentine Alexis 2:38:29
Yeah, it adds to the to do list and it also adds to the, to the expense that may not feel like it exists. But
Colby Pearce 2:38:34
but it said you look at your plate priorities.
Lentine Alexis 2:38:36
Yeah, right. I think I think from for me anyway, being able to, I felt a real pull towards being able to support our local economy and being able to support our farmers here
Colby Pearce 2:38:45
Lentine Alexis 2:38:48
especially knowing you know, having like one foot in, I don’t work in restaurants anymore. But having one foot in the restaurant industry, knowing how important that is. or not knowing how important that is having one foot in the restaurant industry and record or in just the culinary world and recognizing that’s an industry that’s really in fear of going under right now. And that so many local farms and small farms that were providing exceptional product to put on a plate for special consumption now are looking for a place to sell their wares basically, like, I want my house to be the place where those special things land. Absolutely. There are not going to be fancy vacations for us in the near future. There are not I don’t have any need to buy fancy handbags or fancy shoes. I’m in my house in my jammies. And so that’s the place that I’m I’m investing most of our resources. Yeah. And that feels like the right thing to do for right now. And probably for me, at least that will be the right thing to do for a really long time. But it’s a small, it’s a small investment that we can make to feel really good about what’s happening in the world. They’re still really beautiful things growing.
Colby Pearce 2:39:44
Agreed. Yeah. So from my perspective, we can either choose to spend that money on healthier higher quality food choices. more in the future. I can spend it on doctor’s bills and prescription medications. And two of my life goals are spend as little time in a car as possible. Little time as in a hospital as possible. Yeah. hospitals to me are like, their places I never ever want to be. Yeah, ever for a variety of reasons I won’t even unpack right now. But it just, yeah, I really struggle with all of it. So I’m just going to make it a life goal to avoid that. And in my, from my, everything I’ve learned points me towards eating healthier food to help offset that Now, of course, I can still get hit by a car or whatever. Yeah, but
Lentine Alexis 2:40:24
Well, there are a million reasons, there are a million reasons to prioritize better ingredients, right? Like, you can hit it from any direction like yeah, and and to touch on what those might be. First could be your first could be you’re looking for for performance. And this is the way for you to get the most nutrient dense in, like two main line nutrients and, and valuable life proving content, you know, components into your body. That wasn’t said very well. But that’s what you know what I’m saying? Yes. So from a performance perspective, like that’s the answer, if you’re looking at it from an environmental perspective, the less distance that your food has to travel, the better off, they’re like the more of an impact that you’re making. And there’s a lot of reasons in this specific moment, to be paying attention to the way that we’re treating the environment and the way that we’re honoring the environment. Agreed. And then and, you know, you could also then look at like, like, those are the two biggest two biggest things, but then from a from a, like, well being perspective, and like bolstering your life capital, if you are looking to do that, and looking for answers for how to do it, like cooking for yourself and feeling really good about the choices that you’re making. Even it has nothing to do with your performance. And if you don’t really give a shit about the environment, or anyone else in it. If it’s just about you, you will feel better, your body will feel better and your your your family will feel better when you invest that tiny amount of time in doing something for yourself. There is a there’s a chemical like reaction to cooking and providing something for your family. So there’s a few different reasons to do it. That and none none of which involve, you know, the financial investment. Right. Right. But you get something out of it no matter
Colby Pearce 2:41:53
which term no matter which direction or what. Yeah.
Lentine Alexis 2:41:55
Which is why it’s a win win, which is why I suggested that title for the book, but that’s been declined.
Lentine Alexis 2:42:01
It’s a win win win, then, but when when I don’t think adding another win is going to be a win. It’s gonna convince Random House. That’s good idea.
Colby Pearce 2:42:09
Well, like I said, when the book comes out, let us know and we’ll definitely blast out some more socials, we’ll make sure you have a copy. Oh, great. Wonderful. I think it’s right up your alley. Yes. Based on our conversation, I would agree. On teen thank you so much again, for coming, guys. I appreciate it. It’s been a really wonderful conversation. And I’m sure we’ll have more
talk about the future. Thanks, guys.
Colby Pearce 2:42:33
You have my gratitude listeners for making it through a rather lengthy episode of our discussion today. Hope you found it enlightening. And filled with nuggets of nutritional wisdom. Thanks to Lynn team. You’ve heard us talk quite a bit about her upcoming book and her challenge to find the appropriate title. Well, now you the educated listener have the opportunity to send us your thoughts. Do you have a brilliant title idea for one team? send them to me at cycling in alignment at Fast Talk Labs.com and I will forward them to her or you can reach out to one team on her website, which is of course, Lentini alexis.com As always, writing flow and make good choices.