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Welcome to the Feel Good Podcast with Kimberly Snyder. Our goal is to help you be your most healthy, confident, beautiful and joyful! Our topics focus on health and wellness (physical, emotional/mental and spiritual), holistic nutrition, medicinal plants, natural rhythms and cycles, beauty, meditation, self care and rituals, spirituality and personal empowerment.
Feeling Good means we are healthy, balanced, peaceful, confident and joyful, right in the midst of our perfectly imperfect lives. Feeling Good requires us to tune in and nourish our whole selves, which is made up of the four Solluna Cornerstones: our food, our bodies, our emotional well-being and our spiritual growth. Feeling good naturally leads to also looking good, in a much more powerful way from glowing skin created from within, a beautifully healthy body, radiant energy, and a greater level of overall well-being and personal growth.
Every week, we provide you with interviews with top experts in their field to support you in living your most beautiful, inspired and joyful life, with a focus on physical health, wellness, meditation and spirituality and personal empowerment.
I’m your host, Kimberly Snyder, founder of Solluna, New York Times best-selling author and nutritionist. I’m so grateful and honored we found each other!
I am so excited to have my very special guest, Dr. Gabriel Cousens, who is a bestselling author, holistic physician, homeopath, psychiatrist, family therapist, Ayurvedic Practitioner and a Chinese Herbalist. Listen in as Gabriel shares his perspective on plant-based foods, proteins, fats and the intersection between food and spirituality.
About Dr. Gabriel Cousens
Gabriel is a world leading diabetes researcher, ecological leader, spiritual master, founder and director of the Tree of Life Foundation and Tree of Life Center US. He’s a bestselling author of There Is a Cure for Diabetes, Conscious Eating, Spiritual Nutrition: Six Foundations for Spiritual Life and Awakening of Kundalini, Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine, Creating Peace by Being Peace, Torah as a Guide to Enlightenment, and Depression Free for Life.
He is considered one of the leading live-food vegan medical doctors, holistic physicians and the world expert on spiritual nutrition. Dr. Cousens is also recognized as “the fasting guru and detoxification expert” by the New York Times. As a world peace worker, holistic physician, and highly trained spiritual teacher, Dr. Cousens weaves his comprehensive, unique background into his holistic healing and writing approach to support and inspire people into the sacred joy of being free and fully alive.
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Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the “Feel Good Podcast with Kimberly Snyder”? My passion is to inspire and empower you to be your most authentic and beautiful self. We offer interviews with top experts, my personal philosophies and experiences, as well as answers to community-based questions around topics such as health, beauty, nutrition, yoga, spirituality and personal growth.
The intention of the Feel Good Podcast is to well…help you really Feel Good in your body, mind and spirit! Feeling Good means feeling peaceful, energized, whole, uniquely beautiful, confident and joyful, right in the midst of your perfectly imperfect life. This podcast is as informative and full of practical tips and take-aways as it is inspirational. I am here to support you in being your very best! I have so much love and gratitude for you. Thank you for tuning in and being part of the community :).
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Kimberly Snyder: Okay. Hi Beauties. Welcome back for our Monday interview podcast. And I am super, super excited for our guest today, who’s Dr. Gabriel Cousens. He is someone that has had a really big impact on my journey. I have read almost all of his books, especially when I was starting after I got back from my around the world trip, and I was creating our beauty detox Solluna philosophy. Dr. Cousens was someone who was always in the forefront of my mind, so it’s a little bit of a dream right now for me that he’s our guest today. I am super excited to share him with you.
Kimberly Snyder: He is a bestselling author. He is a holistic physician, homeopath. He’s an Ayurvedic practitioner and a Chinese herbalist. Before we dive right in with Dr. Cousens, I want to give a quick shout out to our fan of the week. Her name is Annie Love Lovely, and she writes, “Love, love, love this podcast. Love your voice, and your topics are very enlightening and help me put a lot of things into perspective. You just ordered your Detoxy enzymes and probiotics, and I’m excited to try them. Lastly, I would love to hear your story, from how did you get started to where you are now. XOXO.” Well, Annie Love Lovely, thank you so much for being our fan of the week. I send you a huge virtual hug. I am so grateful for you being in the community. And yes, I will be sharing more about my personal story. It’s definitely woven throughout the books, especially the last book, Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life. I don’t know if you’ve checked it out.
Kimberly Snyder: But I’ll be sharing more, and thank you for your interest in it. I think whatever we can share to help each other is really important. And beauties, for your chance to also be shouted out as the fan of the week, please be sure to leave us a review on iTunes, which is super fast and easy and free. And it’s just a really great way to support the show. And also, a little reminder to please make sure you subscribe to our Feel Good Podcast, that way you don’t miss out on any interviews, any Q and A podcasts. Life gets busy, and sometimes we can miss shows. We can miss what’s going on. And I just think that tuning in every week is a really great form of self care and motivation and inspiration and keeping yourself in alignment. All right. So all that being said, we have the amazing Dr. Cousens on the line with us from his center in Arizona. Hi, Dr. Cousens.
Gabriel Cousens: Hi Kimberly. I’m very happy to be on to speak to people all over the world. It’s very good.
Kimberly Snyder: Incredible. And so Dr. Cousens, as I mentioned in the intro, for a long time I’ve had Conscious Eating was one of my guidebooks. And then the Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine. So Conscious Eating is such a thick book. There was so much information and wisdom channeled through that. So first of all, I want to say that personally speaking, those are two of my favorite books. I just have adored them for years.
Gabriel Cousens: Well, they were fun to write. It’s a labor of love. It’s a lot of information because that’s what people need. They need enough information so they can make clear decisions on how to live an optimal life, how to be a superconductor of the divine. So that’s the idea.
Kimberly Snyder: So tell me, Dr. Cousens, I want to go right in, right to the heart of some of this information and things that are relevant for people today. So you have been a medical doctor for a long time. You’ve also been plant based for a long time. I’ve been plant based, by the way now, for about 12 years. So one thing that we hear about in today’s world with paleo and with keto, and some people say to me, “Well, I think my body needs some meat.” Our listeners here, there’s a range of plant based listeners, to some people that incorporate some meat, to some people that eat a lot of meat. But I’m just wondering from your perspective when people come to you and they say, “Hey, I feel like with my body type, or I need meat.” I’m just curious to hear your perspective, if you think plant based is truly universal, or if you think that some people can thrive on a different sort of diet.
Gabriel Cousens: Okay. So it’s a really important question. So I became spontaneously vegan, my wife and I, in 1973 when she was pregnant, and we both had a dream vision of our daughter as a chicken, and we were going to eat it. And we became vegan in one day. That was how the conversion happened. So that gives you an insight because it is an insight. You are taking life when you’re eating meat. It’s not like: Is it all about you? No. It’s also about your relationship to the world. How do you make everything you do sacred and holy? Eating your baby or eating somebody else’s baby really isn’t the best way to go.
Gabriel Cousens: Now that’s a more spiritual, ethical, moral kind of issue. The next question, which is really important, is: Well, how do I best thrive? So what do we know about this? So we know that vegans in general live … Vegan men live about seven years longer. Vegan women live about 4.4 years longer. So that’s an important piece of information that there’s [inaudible 00:06:10] and there’s a wellbeing.
Gabriel Cousens: Now there’s another piece, which is the key to the question. There’s a chromosome 19, actually tells us how much protein, how much fat, and how much carbohydrate is best for us. We are unique. We’re not a bunch of cows. We don’t just eat grass. There is no one diet for everyone. Once we get that principle, and it’s genetically there, we can then begin to think about what we’re doing. The research suggests that about 70% of the population needs a higher protein diet. And about 30% needs a lower protein diet. Now what does that mean? Well, we also know there’s a thing called mTOR pathway, where they study it more with cancer. But it’s also in this pathway, you’re going to live longer and have less cancer.
Gabriel Cousens: And that’s a protein intake between 35 and 70 grams. Now 70 grams is not that [inaudible 00:07:12]. But between 35 and 70 grams. So those people who need a higher protein diet, they say, “I need to eat meat,” whatever, but they’re saying really higher protein, not meat. Many problems with meat. I can spend all day with that, but we’re not going to. But some people do need more protein. Now how do we get the protein? It’s really easy besides nuts and seeds, there’s so many protein concentrates out there. There’s so many. You have spirulina, you have blue green algae, chlorella. I mean, lots of protein. We’re only talk about a max of 70 grams. I’m not saying if you’re pregnant. If you’re pregnant, you need more, different story.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, Dr. Cousens, when you say higher protein diet, and then you’re like, “Oh, well, up to 70 grams,” there’s so many people that they’re consuming well over 100 grams of protein. We live in this culture now that’s like, “Protein, protein, protein.” And maybe you could get into your perspective when people have way too much protein. What does that do to their body? So aging, it breaks us down.
Gabriel Cousens: Yeah. So the first thing is optimal longevity. That’s the key. [inaudible 00:08:24] 70. So when I say higher protein, closer to 70. That’s the concept. Above that, and particularly if you’re doing meat, you’re going to have certain levels of toxicity. First of all, meat has about 95% to 96% of all the pesticides and herbicides, even if it’s organic, it’s still higher up in the food chain.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh, yeah. And all the environmental toxins, everything.
Gabriel Cousens: That’s right. So you’re really up there. And also, the radiation, so it puts you high on the toxicity list. Then it has lysine. Well, what does lysine do? It actually kills the beta cells of the pancreas. Well, I work a lot with diabetes. And we don’t want our beta cells, which produce insulin, being killed. Second amino acid methionine, that also kills the beta cells. Obviously not good. So what we know about diabetes is meat eaters have 35% to 50% more type two diabetes, so it just isn’t as healthy for you. And I can list, okay, men, 3.6 times more cancer of the prostate. For women, up to four times more cancer of the breast, increased endometrial cancer, increased colorectal cancer, all related to meat.
Gabriel Cousens: So there’s a high mortality here with the whole meat thing, and that’s the key thing to understand. So in terms of vitality, I’ll just tell you my own story. It’s important. I’m a person that really doesn’t need to eat very much protein. I’m in that 30%. And basically, the range of protein is between 10 at the lower side, to 15 to 20 at the higher said, not a lot. We don’t need a lot to be really healthy.
Kimberly Snyder: We recycle protein too, don’t we?
Gabriel Cousens: Yes, we do because it goes through our liver, breaks down the animo acids, and then our body forms whatever protein it needs. So with all that, it’s just really simple. There’s no worry about the protein. So I was trying to really doing pull ups. And I was stuck at 25 pull ups, which is when I was captain of an undefeated football team, I could do seven pull ups and 60, 70 pushups, which is pretty good for most people. But here I am at 60, well, actually, at 60 I did 600 pushups after I shifted to this diet that I’m not.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh, wow.
Gabriel Cousens: And here I am at 77, and today I did 90 pull ups, 90. So what happened? Well, what happened is eating this low protein diet is the best diet for me, gives me lots of energy. Now what I had to do, because once you’re over 65, you need slightly more protein, so I’m stuck at 25 pull ups. I added one tablespoon of blue green algae, one tablespoon, not a whole lot. And within two weeks, I was up to 50 pull ups. I occasionally hit 100, but 90 pull ups. Now what I’m saying is we don’t need a lot of protein. With age, we need slightly more. But the key is, we don’t want to do that. We do know that people in their mid 40s will have excess protein, double their aging rate, that’s a big deal, and quadruple their chance of getting cancer.
Gabriel Cousens: So excess protein is a problem. See, we have to look at long-term, short-term. So when I’m saying I’ve been doing this since 1973, 99% live food since 1983, that’s 36 years. Right? And vegans for 46 years. And what’s the result? I always have to look at the long-term results. I have more obviously more strength. I just explained that. More flexibility when I … When I was [inaudible 00:12:28], I couldn’t even cross my legs, now I can sit in full lotus for a few hours. Okay? And more endurance, so all this is kind of what we’re talking about, more strength, endurance, flexibility. If you’re into yoga, I do yoga six times a week, flexibility is a big deal.
Kimberly Snyder: It is. And Dr. Cousens, because you have this center, this isn’t … I’m sure you’ve seen so many people. This isn’t unique to you, of course. I’m sure you could tell stories all day, men and women that create a lot more strength, and in their bodies, a lot more vitality when they cut back on protein, ironically for them. Seems ironic, but we know it’s not.
Gabriel Cousens: It’s all about the right mix. You’re running a car, I don’t know much about cars, but you’re running a car, because we have an electric car. And it has to be the right mix of oil and gas. So if you say, “You just needs lots of oil,” well, that may not really be good for running the engine. According to our genetics, we need the right mix of fat, and I’m really talking about plant fat, and protein, plant protein, and finally, carbohydrate. Now that mix has to be just right for you, not for anyone else, just right for you. That’s the key. So you can’t just read it out of a book. That’s why I say you have to kind of … We have on our website, drcousens.com, we have a questionnaire, fast or slow oxidizer. Slow oxidizer are people like myself that don’t need that much protein. Fast is people that need more protein.
Gabriel Cousens: So there is a variation. The big problem is people are getting excess. And they may feel stimulated. The truth is protein can be stimulating. That may not be so good, but it’s a short-term thing. Long-term, we’re not going to get long-term results. I’m only interested in long-term results, not how you feel for two weeks or two months.
Kimberly Snyder: For sure. For sure, Dr. Cousens. So going back to … Sorry. Yeah.
Gabriel Cousens: That’s more the answer. The thing is that let’s look at long-term results. Let’s know we are unique, sacred individuals. Please, it’s really, really key. We’re not just a bunch of cows. I’m going to repeat that because we all are going to eat different diets. And the key to optimal diet is one that’s best for you. And how do you know it? You have energy all day long, and you’re not hungry when you get up from eating. And you don’t get hungry. I actually don’t eat so much right now, so I don’t really eat dinner. But my point is, when I’m done with lunch, I don’t feel like eating for eight hours.
Kimberly Snyder: Wait. So Dr. Cousens, you believe when we wake up in the morning we shouldn’t actually feel hunger.
Gabriel Cousens: Not necessarily, right. People have psychological reasons for it, but once you kind of get into the flow of it, you’re not so hungry. It’s good to do what I do, exercise, breathing exercises, yoga, meditate and so on. Then you may feel a little hungry.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah. And back to what you were saying about adjusting your diet. I think that there is for most people, a period where you play with it. I know for myself, I am on the lower end of needing less protein myself. And I thrive when I eat more carbs. There was a period where I was trying higher protein, less carbs. But I play with it and adjust it. And I think that’s where the individuality comes from, being really aware of your body and how you feel because as you said, nobody’s body is the same. So it’s going to be a little bit different for everybody.
Gabriel Cousens: That’s the key to the whole thing. You articulated perfectly. So people get, don’t try to get a diet from a book and say, “This is it.” You have to say, “Who am I? What are my needs? What works?” And a little bit of thoughtful trial and error. You’ve got to think about it. If you take that approach, and as I say, look at the [inaudible 00:16:52], there’s just 30 questions. You’ll get a pretty good feeling of where to start, and then you kind of work with it. You kind of adjust it until, again, you should have energy all day long. You’re not getting tired at 3:00 in the afternoon. And you feel really buzzing. That’s how I feel. I get up at 5:30, and I’m buzzing 10:30 at night.
Kimberly Snyder: That’s amazing, the potential. Well, Dr. Cousens-
Gabriel Cousens: The word potential is there, but we want to fulfill the potential.
Kimberly Snyder: So you talked to some length here about protein. I’d love to get your take on fat because the popularity right now of the keto diet, ketogenic diet, which as you know has controversy around it. And I’ve been reading more and more about its impact on women in particular, potentially really disrupting women’s hormones. So I’d love to hear what you think about that sort of diet, which is really high fat and very low carb, instead of high protein, low carb.
Gabriel Cousens: Again, let’s start with the principle, which we just said, there’s no one diet for everybody. Once we get that, the next question is, I’m not going to focus fat immediately because I don’t recommend more than 60 to 100 grams of carbohydrate a day. And when I say carbohydrate, I am really not talking about pizza. I’m talking about vegetables.
Kimberly Snyder: Sure, fruit.
Gabriel Cousens: Greens, sprouts, that kind of thing, right. That’s high quality stuff. So that being said, there’s role for a certain amount of carbohydrate. Now what I recommend in general, and then we’ll get to the fat, is according to you need 10 to 15, you said protein, 25% to 45% plant fat. Plant fat and animal fat are very, very different. Animal fat, besides protein I mentioned, animal fat also attacks the beta cells of the pancreas. And they did research in Europe where people had two helpings of fish, and it was more focusing on the fat part, and it actually kills the beta cells. So I obviously have a lot of expertise on how to heal diabetes naturally, so I’m looking at those things.
Gabriel Cousens: Meat is a problem with the lysine, but animal fat, not plant fat. So they’re not the same. Not all fats are created equal. So depending who you are, 25% to 45%, and the same thing with the carbohydrates, 25% to 45%. That’s a pretty big range, but that kind of gets us where we are. So for someone who, like you and me here, who are talking a little bit higher carbohydrate diet, I still don’t necessarily recommend more than 100 grams. And really, less than 100 grams is a slight ketogenic diet. 60 grams is more ketogenic. You see where I’m going with that? So this diet, depending how you apply it, is naturally going to be a little bit more that way.
Gabriel Cousens: Now fat is really, really important. We need the long chain omega threes, DHA and EPA. We need that for our brain to work right. It’s like 60% of our brain. And I’ll also say in working with women who are pregnant, the baby pulls a tremendous amount of DHA, sucking out of your body because it goes to the baby’s brain. 95% of women who are pregnant get deficient in DHA and EPA. So I actually recommend a supplement. I don’t use a supplement, different problems with that besides being vegan. But there are, from yellow algae, where the fish get the DHA and EPA, I recommend that. And any woman that’s pregnant really needs to do that so she doesn’t get depleted. Have you heard of postpartum depression? It’s a very common thing in women. I see women up to 10 years, never better since birth.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow. I took that when I was pregnant, Dr. Cousens. I took the EPA DHA for that reason.
Gabriel Cousens: That’s right. So even if it’s 10 years, literally, I’ve had women come in, and it’s 10 years later. They haven’t been … And I give them the DHA EPA combination. And in three weeks, their depression’s gone. So it’s a really, really important thing. It’s a major treatment for postpartum depression. And it’s very simple. So you were smart because you already knew that, so you kept yourself from getting depleted, so that’s a huge thing for women. Have to have enough DHA EPA. It’s major league. It’s key for brain function. But for pregnancy, it’s absolutely important, that supplementation. And the average is about 1200 milligrams of DHA and about 400 milligrams of EPA, kind of in combo.
Gabriel Cousens: So those are kind of the fat part. Here’s the other thing that’s kind of interesting. Don’t worry about cholesterol. People worry about it, but the research shows, and this is I’m talking about 30 years of research, and this is research out of Norway, women in specific, they did it with 52,000 women plus, 52,000 plus, women with a cholesterol of 270, which everybody would be fearful about, actually live 28% longer than women with cholesterol of less than 190. So cholesterol is really good for women. For vegans, you want to build that up with coconut oil and things like that. So women in particular really, really benefit from the long chain omega threes and also having enough cholesterol. And I don’t like cholesterol being less than 160.
Kimberly Snyder: What would you say, Dr. Cousens, about foreign cholesterol from animal products, like eating a lot of shrimp or red meat? How is that, besides the environment toxins in that, how would that have a different effect on your body versus coconut oil?
Gabriel Cousens: Well, one is way better for you. And of course, the other one brings you … Coconut oil is going to help with the keto development. What I’m saying is the animal fats also, as we said, they have pesticides and herbicides. But they really don’t metabolize the same way. The protein does not metabolize the same way either. So I kind of recommend you get your cholesterol if you aren’t … Most of our cholesterol is made in the liver, and we all vary. But I really say if it’s low, the way to replenish isn’t eat shrimp, where you’re getting all the toxins at the bottom of the ocean, but to go with your coconut oil, build that up because there’s lots of good things in that too. And it is ketogenic, which is really, there’s an advantage. So I’m not against the ketogenic. It has to fit into the big picture.
Kimberly Snyder: But is being ketogenic a lifestyle? Is it something that people can use to kind of jumpstart to a certain point? But is it something that’s meant to be lived long-term, do you think?
Gabriel Cousens: The answer is, I don’t accept it as a lifestyle because a lifestyle involves a whole … It means meditating and it means fasting. And it means doing yoga and pranayama. It means charity, service and charity. It means working with a spiritual teacher. It means meditating.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, I mean as a long-term dietary plan, I should say that.
Gabriel Cousens: I think the key, honestly, is again figuring out what makes you. You’re the end product. What makes you full of energy all day long? I think that’s the easy way to say it. And I’ll just say something else. The people who actually are low in cholesterol have two to four times more depression and suicide, so is the long chain omega threes. So we do not want to get low on these because it affects your mental state. Remember your brain is 60% of this fat. So if you’re depressed, and I’m not saying DHA is the treatment only for depression, but I’m not saying if we’re not getting enough plant fat, it doesn’t seem to be as true with animal fat, but if we’re not getting enough plant fat of the long chain omega threes, and enough cholesterol, then actually it can compromise not only your mental state, where I said depression, you can get your heart isn’t as good. And you aren’t protected from neurological problems.
Gabriel Cousens: So the physical protection that you get from having adequate, as I say, cholesterol should be at least 160. And I think these anti cholesterol diets kind of miss the point. The research shows people get afraid of cholesterol. If you’re between 160 and 260, there is no effect your heart for men and women. What I just said is if you’re 270 for a woman, you’re going to live 28% longer. So it’s like [crosstalk 00:27:05] cholesterol and getting up. Low cholesterol’s the problem because you have neurological problems and you have more depression, more anxiety. And the omega threes help with anxiety. And they help actually with your intelligence. Students do better with the omega threes in school. So it really boosts your mental functioning, which is pretty good.
Gabriel Cousens: Now high cholesterol, people with a higher cholesterol also have better cognition. So if you’re over 70, the research shows, which is pretty impressive, that you have 1/4 the cognitive decline if you have adequate cholesterol versus [inaudible 00:27:54]. So it’s big-
Kimberly Snyder: Which is such a big issue today, like we see the rise of Parkinson’s and dementia and Alzheimer’s and everything. It seems very vulnerable right now.
Gabriel Cousens: Exactly. So they’re all connected. Not that it’s the only cause. That’s not the way it works. But it is connected. So low fat, DHA, EPA, and cholesterol is connected to all those things. That’s very well validated with the research. Certain amount of fat that you need, you have to have that balance for yourself.
Kimberly Snyder: Sure. Now, Dr. Cousens, sorry, switching, refocusing back on women’s issues now. So we talked a little bit about pregnancy. And lately, we’ve had a couple PCOS expert doctors come on. And we just get a lot of questions about, today, there’s so many women with PCOS. There’s so many women that struggle with infertility or issues. Can you give us your perspective of this? You talk about fat being really great for this and this, certain foods and just tips for women’s overall reproductive health and hormonal balance.
Gabriel Cousens: Right. When I was 16, I saw my first operation. I always wanted to be a doctor, and so I was allowed to … A doctor friend, actually the person that delivered me, I saw him do an operation with an ovarian cyst, which is what we’re talking about, to make it simple for people. So that was one way to go. But what I’ve observed is I see a lot of women with that, is when people really go to the optimal, and I’m going to say live food, vegan diet, almost a high percentage heal because it’s a little bit of an imbalance. And I can’t tell you exactly what the imbalance is. All I can say is in my clinical observation over the last 46 years, I really see women do really well with an organic, the word organic is really important, vegan and at least 80% live food diet. And it seems to clear it up. I may do some herbs here and there. We may have some fasting, juice fasting.
Kimberly Snyder: Even just imbalance with diet that you think is the source of infertility and PCOS. I mean, obviously the toxins, just cleaning up your lifestyle, using clean cleaning products and better beauty products. But from a dietary standpoint, you think as you mentioned, going organic and plant based and mostly live food.
Gabriel Cousens: Right. And I’ll just do one more. Yeah, the answer is yes. You stated it perfectly. They did a research with 323 infertile couples. And when they took them off the meat and fish and chicken, and they just put them on a vegetable plant based diet, all of them became fertile.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow.
Gabriel Cousens: And when you say couple, you mean the man also changed his diet, because I think there’s so much pressure on women. It’s like, “You, you, you.” But actually, obviously the health of the sperm and the male health is also very important.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, it’s huge because the sperm these days is 50%. You go a little bit lower and men are infertile. So even as much as 20 years ago, 25% of college students, male, were infertile. Not enough sperm production.
Gabriel Cousens: Wow. It’s a big deal. So when we look at fertility, when I look at fertility, it’s like we’ve got to get everybody being healthy. I’m not taking sperm counts because we all know around the world the average sperm count is 50% of what it should be. And if it drops to 47%, we have infertility. So what I’m saying in the story, and really, infertility is a big deal. Women between the age of 16 and 40, in a two year study, were 30% less fertile than 20 years ago. It’s an epidemic. And if people go back to eating this organic and vegan and as much live as possible, they’re going to do, as I say, you stop being infertile. So I wouldn’t offer a guarantee, but the research is very suggestive that that’s a pretty easy way to go without any drugs, without anything but changing your diet. So getting healthy is key because nature protects us, protects future generations. If you’re not healthy, you’re not going to have babies.
Gabriel Cousens: It could be the woman. I treat both. That’s the only way I can think that makes sense, because otherwise, we have spent all this money on all the research on checking this count and that count. And it’s like, “Fine, just go on this diet. Stay on it for a year, and see if you get pregnant.” That’s how I like to do it with people. And of course, they’re going to get healthier and stronger anyway in the process. So that’s kind of how I see it.
Kimberly Snyder: I’m sorry. Dr. Cousens, can you go into the live food part? Because you talk about this in Conscious Eating. I’m also a student of Ayurveda, which as you know is very cooked food forward, a lot of kitchery, a lot of cooked things. And you kind of address that. Now we’re coming into the fall, so it’s quite cold for a lot of people. So even if people are plant based … I mean, actually, I was a raw foodist, Dr. Cousens, for over two years. And now I still have a lot of raw food, but I do eat soups and stews and things. So can you tell us a little bit about how you reconcile this with also being an Ayurvedic practitioner, and just your perspective of live food versus cooked plant foods?
Gabriel Cousens: That’s a very good question. So having lived in India for seven years, I have a pretty good feeling about these things.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh, wow.
Gabriel Cousens: When you go back to the Reikis a few thousand years ago, they actually did eat live food. And if you go to India now, I would recommend to eat cooked food. Why? Well, you’ve got parasites. There’s all kinds of problems, so you have to cook your food. So let’s take the cultural piece into it. Now I’ve worked with different Ayurvedic doctors, and I also have a degree in Ayurveda. And so the key is not cooked food. That was a cultural thing because it cuts down on parasites and amoebas and the things that infect us. So in talking about some Indian Ayurvedic doctors in real time, basically, they will agree that you don’t need a cooked food diet. Now again, because it applies more to India as a protection. You see what I’m trying to say here?
Kimberly Snyder: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. It’s practical. Okay. You’re also a Chinese herbalist. The Chinese side is much more, oh, cold foods make you damp and cold inside. So they’re kind of pushing the cooked food thing too.
Gabriel Cousens: Okay. In my book, Conscious Eating, we have the issue about [inaudible 00:35:48].
Kimberly Snyder: Right. Right. Exactly.
Gabriel Cousens: If you want heat in your food, you don’t have to heat your food. Add ginger, add cayenne.
Kimberly Snyder: Do it with spices.
Gabriel Cousens: Yeah. Add heating herbs. It’s not really that difficult. And I’m sure you can add enough cayenne to be too hot for you to eat. So that’s how you work with it. You use the herbs. So if you’re a Pitta, a person that’s very fiery, you want to have a bland diet. If you’re a [inaudible 00:36:20], who’s more watery, you’re going to have more herbs and ginger and cayenne and different things like that, that bring more worth. So you could adjust to the seasons. And it’s not just the seasons, the four seasons, but the seasons of your life. So when you age, we get more [inaudible 00:36:42] imbalance, so we have to eat in a way to balance that, which is actually more fat, plant based fat, and a little bit more heating herbs in your diet because [inaudible 00:36:54] with your age.
Kimberly Snyder: And Dr. Cousens, the idea of raw food, because of the enzymes and the intactness of nutrients like vitamin C, in theory makes a lot of sense. What about this idea that if you’re eating raw … Some people say, “Oh, certain foods like tomatoes, lycopene, there’s certain nutrients that are actually absorbed better when they’re cooked.” What would you say to that?
Gabriel Cousens: Well, first of all, that’s a pretty common question. And there is an answer because I get asked it so much.
Kimberly Snyder: I’m sure you do. I’m sorry to ask the [inaudible 00:37:37]. Yeah. People wonder, so it’s good to put it out there.
Gabriel Cousens: It’s a very good question. That’s why it comes up so much. First of all, we don’t know what your minimum or maximum of lycopene is, so we don’t have a minimum lycopene. That’s really important, so we don’t have a range. But we kind of know that if you cook a tomato, and it concentrates it, you’re going to … One tomato, I think you get 13 milligrams of lycopene. If you’re doing raw tomatoes, you’re going to have to eat some more tomatoes because you’re not concentrating it. But you’re also getting all these other nutrients. You’re also getting, which the Ayurvedic doesn’t talk as much about it, you’re getting more life force energy. When you cook something, it loses its life force energy. There’s a lot of in some of my slideshows about it, which maybe someday we’ll show you in LA or something.
Gabriel Cousens: But live food has a tremendous amount of energy coming out. But when it’s cooked, it loses most of it. So that’s a key thing. There is another thing in the cooked food, because enzymes aren’t as important as people make it say. I’ll just stop there for a moment. But there is a thing called bio photon energy, which is the amount of energy you’re giving off, that you can measure in photography. So a person that eats kind of junk food has, let’s say one unit. If you’re eating cooked organic food, you’re at 23,000 units. If you’re a newborn baby, you’re at 43,000 units. And if you have live food, you’re at 83,000 units. In other words, you’re literally having more energy in your body. And this is done really in research in Germany.
Gabriel Cousens: And if you’re using certain herbs and the live food, you’re up to 116,000. So when we include the energy part of the discussion rather than the gross part of calories and things like that, we see that live food has a significantly more total energy. The bio photon energy is what we’re talking about. That, as I said, is well documented scientifically and so forth. So we kind of have to look at these things a little bit different. So you’re going to cook a tomato, you’re going to concentrate it. You will get more lycopene per tablespoon. But it may not matter. You can eat a little bit more tomatoes and get all the lycopene you need, but you’re getting everything else, including the energy. So that’s kind of a key.
Kimberly Snyder: I see.
Gabriel Cousens: Because I used the word earlier about wholeness in the food. So when you cook it, you’re creating, you’re breaking the wholeness. You affect the energetic field. And you literally affect the aura of the food, which you can measure.
Kimberly Snyder: So you think, Dr. Cousens, all this largely from Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, this emphasis on cooked had a lot to do with practicality and amoebas and bacteria.
Gabriel Cousens: Absolutely. Absolutely. And they both had the same kind of cultures, although there were more diseases in China from the foods, schistosomiasis. There are a bunch of diseases. You have that in India. If I went to India now, I would eat cooked food.
Kimberly Snyder: You don’t want to get sick.
Gabriel Cousens: I don’t want to take any chances. I lived there for seven years. I know what you have to do.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh, yeah. It can get pretty gnarly. But what do you say, Dr. Cousens, to someone who is … Kaylin on our team, for instance, lives in New York City, in the dead of winter, let’s say February, and it’s freezing, and she wants a hot vegetable lentil soup. She doesn’t want a salad. What would you say to her? Even if she’s going to put on cayenne pepper and ginger and stuff, but she’s like, “Hey. I want that hot soup,” which by the way is kind of me talking about myself when I lived in New York. That’s how I broke my raw foodism. I was living in the city, and I was like, “I’m freezing. I need soup.” What would you say to that?
Gabriel Cousens: Well, it’s kind of a fun question. So the answer to it is that what I have observed is if you can do 80%, 100% vegan, 80% live, it gives which is what I call the cutoff point. It sounds fast is 99%, or 100%. At 80% after two years, you are going to test as well as somebody who’s been on 100%. It just takes you two years to get there. So what I recommend really for most people, unless you’re super eager, is better to go slowly, one step at a time. And make it up to 80%, and just hold there. And that gives you your soup. It gives your beans. It gives you the cooked food component. So there isn’t a dichotomy. You can have all that.
Kimberly Snyder: I like that. And we talk about-
Gabriel Cousens: If you’re doing 80%.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, I think 80%, we talk about that here in our Solluna community too. That’s also you don’t feel like you’re walking on this tightrope. 80% is realistic. It’s life. It means we can have some flexibility. And I think that’s a lot more doable for people, of course.
Gabriel Cousens: Absolutely. And it’s also more fun because you’re not constricted. You’re not constricted.
Kimberly Snyder: So Dr. Cousens, I’ve been on panels before with paleo people and people that really are promoting a very high carnivore diet. And they’ll have their studies too. And I’ll talk about studies, and there’s always this back and forth. But one thing that I say, “Well, there’s the environmental toxicity part.” Right? And then there’s the environmental part, being plant based is a much easier load on the environment. And then there’s this part, which I find very interesting about your work, where we intersect nutrition with spirituality, which is where I find myself in my work too. I started really focused on food, and then it started growing into talking more about meditation and consciousness. My fourth book I wrote with Deepak Chopra, we just started to really grow that way.
Kimberly Snyder: And the one thing I say is, “Hey, the people from India, these Reikis and these sages that have brought us all this amazing wisdom about stillness and presence and meditation, pranayama and these practices, these are the same people that are teaching us to eat vegetarian. There is an energy about the food you’re eating. Like you said, Dr. Cousens, it’s not just about calories, but the energy of what we’re actually consuming affects our spirit. It affects us in life. So can you talk about … I mean, you are a spiritual nutrition expert. So tell us a little bit, please, about your perspective of the intersection between food and spirituality. After that very, very long intro.
Gabriel Cousens: That’s actually a really good question. It’s key. So I talk about the six foundations of eating at least an 80% live food, 100% vegan diet is the nutritional foundation. We talk about exercise and pranayama and things. But let’s just talk that. So the key in a certain way is a whole other discussion. One of my teachers, one of my gurus, is Swami Prakashananda. And he said, “When you kill an animal, you create pain, misery and fear. And when you eat that animal, you take that pain, misery and fear into you. And that causes disease.” Now that’s a very eloquent and simple way. He didn’t actually speak English, so it was through a translator.
Gabriel Cousens: But the point is, it’s really key to get that concept. And I’m going to say it in a different way. When we eat an animal, we are taking the energy of death into us. It goes into our chakras, it goes into our nadis, which are the subtle energetic systems in the body. There’s 72,000 nadis. [inaudible 00:46:11] is the central channel for kundalini, and I do a lot of work with kundalini because I’ve been a part of my spiritual teacher in India give [foreign language 00:46:20] that can awaken it. So no one is going to be eating meat, fish, chicken, or dairy because it blocks the kundalini, which is awakening spiritual energy. You just don’t want to do that. So it clogs the nadis.
Gabriel Cousens: Okay, but now there’s another layer, which we call the koshas. What are that? Layers of the mind. And the highest layer of the mind is called anandamaya kosha. And so the energy of death goes into that, and it blocks the anandamaya kosha, which is where you hit when you get to it’s noncausal love, noncausal peace, it’s a tremendous way of being that allows you to be really independent because you’re feeling it all from within. You don’t need anyone outside of you to make you feel okay.
Kimberly Snyder: That’s amazing. I think we all could use more of that in the modern world.
Gabriel Cousens: So if you’re going to deaden it with the energy of death, obviously it’s going to block it, not just on the nadis with the meat, fish, chicken and dairy, which block the nadis, block the flow of kundalini in the nadis, which is very, very important. But also, in a more subtle plane, you’re blocking your mind to really get in touch with yourself, the truth of who you are, with the energy of death, so that’s another piece. Now there’s a third piece, which is more esoteric. It’s more out of the kabbalistic teachings, is that when … It’s not just [inaudible 00:48:00]. It’s also yoga teachings as well.
Gabriel Cousens: The spirit of the animal is in the food that you’re eating, so you kill an animal, that spirit’s there. So you can take that into you, and it will draw you down. I can give you a quote, it’s Swami Sivananda, but there’s so many Swamis, it doesn’t matter. The point is, he says, “When you eat the animal flesh, you’re taking in the spirit of the animal, and it pulls you down into the animal’s spirit, rather than being elevated into the higher awarenesses.”
Kimberly Snyder: That’s really interesting Dr. Cousens because sometimes when I talk about this with people, and the yogic idea of karma and respecting life and ahimsa and nonviolence, people will always say, “Well, what about the Native Americans, who honored the whole buffalo and ate everything?” And then I’m not sure that they had the same meditation and consciousness.
Gabriel Cousens: I’m going to interrupt because I’m a Native American sun dancer.
Kimberly Snyder: Please. Please give me your perspective, yes.
Gabriel Cousens: Right. And an eagle dancer means you dance for four days without sitting down.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow.
Gabriel Cousens: And you have the hooks in your chest for all four days.
Kimberly Snyder: Hooks in your chest?
Gabriel Cousens: Well, that’s part of the sun dance.
Kimberly Snyder: Okay. I’ll look into that.
Gabriel Cousens: For the eagle dancer, you have it all four days, not just for 15 minutes, and you stand from sunrise to sunset. So I have a pretty good feeling of this. And really, since I was out of 18 people, the only one that completed, and that was at the age of 59. Most of the people were in their 20s. Okay. Here’s the key that is hidden. They’re literally 90% of the Native Americans really were vegetarians, were vegans, not vegetarian.
Kimberly Snyder: Really? The bison is all we hear about, and the buffalo and all that.
Gabriel Cousens: But that’s just a few tribes.
Kimberly Snyder: Huh.
Gabriel Cousens: I work literally, I’m doing a lot of work with diabetes prevention. There’s 200, well, we’re working with 238 different tribes, so there’s a lot of tribes. You have the East Coast, you have West Coast. And you have the Plains Indians, who actually did eat buffalo. But basically, the Native Americans were way more vegan. And I’ve ran into two Native … They were both women incidentally, were really making this point. They did the research. They’re both [inaudible 00:50:50]. And they’re just saying it’s 95%. I’ll say 90% to be conservative, of the Native Americans in America really were into the Garden of Eden diet, nuts, seeds, beans, things like that, vegetables and fruit. So it’s really a myth to say the Plains Indians, like [inaudible 00:51:19], which I’m adopted into their tribe. Yeah, they ate buffalo. But in totality, no. It’s not an issue.
Kimberly Snyder: Right. Well, it’s like the blue zones. It seems to be in keeping with the Okinawans and all these different cultures around the world, which may have eaten some animal products. But in reality, it was maybe 5% of their diet, or a very small amount.
Gabriel Cousens: Or maybe 1%.
Kimberly Snyder: Or maybe 1%.
Gabriel Cousens: Right. So people kind of do have to justify, but the truth is native … What happened, this is true, because I was able to do this for four years, and nobody else could do it. It wasn’t just 18, there were 60 people most of the time. Everybody began shifting towards a vegan diet, and the Native American people coming, including the [inaudible 00:52:14]. So it was like, “Okay. There’s this guy doing this. He’s older than all of us, and he’s just buzzing around.”
Kimberly Snyder: Who is this guy?
Gabriel Cousens: Right.
Kimberly Snyder: This crazy doctor.
Gabriel Cousens: Just so you know, the hooks, for women, they don’t get put in their breasts. The Native Americans put it on your kind of outer shoulder.
Kimberly Snyder: You’re talking about breaking the skin and putting a hook through your skin.
Gabriel Cousens: Yeah. It’s bigger than a pencil, about the size of your baby finger, and you’re to the tree. So for men, it’s in both sides in the chest. For a woman, it’s on the right and left shoulder, yeah, breaking the skin, they put it through.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow. Wow. Thank you for clarifying that.
Gabriel Cousens: The bigger point is, as a sun dancer, as a person that really worked a lot with Native Americans, you really, really, really do not … Meat eating is more for the Plains Indians. People just created mythology out of that.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, Dr. Cousens, this has been amazing. I could talk to you forever. There’s a million questions I have for you. I could keep going. But I want to point out to you beauties that Dr. Cousens is so prolific. He has tons of books. As I mentioned, Conscious Eating was really very impactful book for me. I also love The Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine book. And your other book, Dr. Cousens, There is a Cure for Diabetes, which is very practical. So many of us have family members and colleagues and friends that are affected by this ailment. And I actually quote it in, I believe, my second and third books, Beauty Detox Foods and The Beauty Detox Power. It’s an amazing book, so if anybody out there knows someone that is struggling with diabetes, or you are struggling with diabetes, I really couldn’t recommend that book enough. And we will link directly to that one as well.
Gabriel Cousens: That’s good. I have about 15 books. I’m working on the next one. So it’s good, and I really appreciate because you have a really good background, obviously. And the depth of quality of your questions, it really does make a difference, so thank you for a really good interview here. And people want to check things out, drcousens.com.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah. It’s Dr. C-O-U-S-E-N-S.com, Cousens. And we will also link to this directly in our show notes, beauties. And if you’re interested in taking the survey Dr. Cousens mentioned, or just learning all about his work, or maybe some of you want to go to his center, or just check out his books, yeah, it’s really so exciting to have you, Dr. Cousens. Still feels a little bit surreal to me because I have been reading your books for over a decade, so thank you, again, so much for being with us.
Gabriel Cousens: Well, thank you. I really appreciate the good work. I love it that you’ve reached so many people around the world. That’s really part of the transformation of the planet, is helping people get a diet that helps them become superconductors of the mind, so we can wake up to the deeper truths of who we are.
Kimberly Snyder: Beautiful.
Gabriel Cousens: We’re blessed that we really [inaudible 00:55:55]. You can get to a place where you really know the deeper truth of who you are, and live in a way that keeps supporting it. In Native American, a-ho.
Kimberly Snyder: A-ho. Thank you so much again, Dr. Cousens. And thank you so much, beauties, for tuning in. I, we love you so much. We appreciate you so much. We are so grateful for all of us being together on this journey and supporting each other and growing together. So again, please check out the show notes on Dr. Cousens and other shows you might enjoy. And we’ll be back here on Thursday for our next Q and A podcast. Until then, take care. So much love. Remember that we have daily inspiration for you as well on Instagram @_kimberlysnyder. So sending you lots of love, and see you back here soon, beauty.