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Dr. Ian Smith Talks About the Power of Reinvention, Pivoting and Feeding Your Soul!

10/13/20

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DATE: NOVEMBER 7, 2020

PROGRAM: ALWAYS EVOLVING WITH COACH MIKE

SHOW: CM1045

GUEST: DR. IAN SMITH


 

(START OF PODCAST) 

COACH MIKE BAYER: Welcome back to Always Evolving and I have a guest today who is a lot smarter than me. Um, he’s written 15 books, uh, I wrote one and I felt like I was, I had 10 kids so he’s also had a massive successful career. Everything from launching food in the nutrition space to being an adviser for some of the biggest networks and now he is the host of Emmy Award-winning show The Doctors. I have Dr. Ian Smith with us.

DR. IAN SMITH: Hey man—nice to join ya!

MIKE: You too, man. There’s so many different things to talk about and um, congratulations on being the host of The Doctors. That is a big accomplishment.

DR. SMITH: It’s, it’s um…I don’t know if it’s an accomplishment or it’s a privilege. I mean I, I’m appreciative that um, Stage 29 Productions, that we both work with, um, you know, honored me to allow me to solo helm the show, it’s its 13th season, um, Jay McGraw as you know, and Dr. Phil are the owners, Patty Ciano’s the EP, and they asked me did I wanna, you know, run it as the host this year and I was very honored. Especially given where we are now as a country, uh, with COVID, the show is more important than ever and so the fact that they trust me, uh, to guide the voice, uh, for the show into America is, is an honor.

MIKE: Well, I view it as an accomplishment ’cause there’s a lot of people who wanted that position and because of how good you are, you made it. But I, I agree with you it’s a privilege to serve and to provide the best possible information and I noticed that you’re in-interested in so many different facets of medical, medicine. You’re also a fiction writer, so, like, let’s start off in terms of—is this what you envisioned what your life to look like when you were in college?

DR. SMITH: That’s a great question, by the way. Now one’s ever asked me that question before so it’s a really good question. Um, you know, my whole life I’ve always been passionate about my dreams and a variety of things. And as a young kid, I loved science, I loved biology. I was always very curious, but not just around science—about life in general. I used to talk to old people all the time just to hear their stories. Like, I wanted to know “What would you do differently?” uh, you know, “What kind of thing should I avoid in my life?” Because I really trusted them and I admired them, um, and their wisdoms and I’ll never forget thinking to myself, you know, my grandparents and their, their contemporaries, they worked one job for 30, 35 years then they retired, and I just said to myself as a young guy, “Wow—how boring must that be? I can’t imagine just choosing one thing. I got one life that’s it. One shot here, and I’m gonna just choose one thing and that’s it forever and so I always had this feeling that, “Boy, would I like to do other things,” even though science and becoming a doctor was my public-facing desire. Everyone knew that Ian wanted to be a doctor and surgeon and blah-blah-blah so everyone knew that. So it was my image, even as a kid, it was my image—what you gonna be? A doctor. And so as a kid though, when you grow up realizing that the world only wants you or allows you to do one thing and how dare you say you wanna do these other things because they won’t take you serious, seriously about the things you first said you wanted to do. So I hid, for a long time, all these other things that I wanted to do, uh, and finally when I got older, um, I just said, “Listen, I love stuff outside of medicine and I like writing, I love reading. I love reading stories, I love telling stories” and I just decided I’m gonna write murder mysteries because I love suspense and I love thrillers and I just did it.

MIKE: And so—when do you think you had that moment or was it a, a buildup in terms of you realizing like, “I’m not gonna, these rules are just made up and I’m gonna do what I’m passionate about”?

DR. SMITH: The Sophomore summer, sorry, my Junior summer in college, um, I decided that I was going to write my first novel. I, and I was still in college, and I had this old little laptop and I spent all summer banging away at this laptop and I was inspired because of John Grisham. I’ll never forget, a couple years…

MIKE: I like—by the way, I gotta jump in—I love a John Grisham novel. Like, if you’re at the airport and you pick up a John Grisham novel, you never go wrong.

DR. SMITH: That’s right. Hundred percent-hundred percent.

MIKE: Oof!

DR. SMITH: You’ll pass—you’ll pass the time away so easily. And so what happened was my aunt, who’s a voracious reader herself, and she, she knew I loved to read and she would say, “Hey, read this book, read that book.” And she said, “Hey, you gotta read this book by this guy” this is way, way ago, “read this book by this guy named John Grisham. It’s called The Firm.” And it was before The Firm was a world megahit, right? So here I am, I come from a little, small town in Connecticut, here I am, I’m reading the small paperback, it didn’t even come in hardcover—it was like, such a beginning—I was a release in paperback—and I’m reading this book and I can’t put it down. And I’m like driving my car with it on the passenger seat, stopping at stop signs, trying to catch paragraph, trying to finish a page and I was like, “Wow, the ex-the emotional experience, the catharsis that I felt, I said to myself, “Man, I wonder if one day I can write a book that, that would engage someone else to make them stay up late at night be late for phone calls, do what I’m doing?” ’Cause I just felt like it was so cool and that’s when I said, “One day, I’m gonna write a novel, hopefully a suspenseful novel that will engender the same feelings I had reading Grisham’s The Firm. 

MIKE: Mmm. And is this the first fiction novel you’ve done or you’ve done several fiction novels?

DR. SMITH: So this is my third one. The first one was called The Blackbird Papers. The second one, which was two years ago was called The Ancient Nine, which is based on my personal experiences of joining one of Harvard’s elite secret societies and so I, I created a thriller based on, a character based on me getting into this secret society at Harvard and now The Unspoken.

MIKE: I gotta imagine that to be taken seriously as a fiction writer, right? Being that you come from having #1 New York Times bestselling books in the fitness space that, you know, whereas in nonfiction you can kind of play the part—you’re an athletic guy, you’re a doctor. You can speak about any of these topics better than anyone. It’s almost—it’s an easy booking, right? And then the fiction space, I have to imagine it’s a whole other world, is that right?

DR. SMITH: One hundred percent. I mean, you know, I get it from both sides. I get it from the nonfiction guys who say “Why do you wanna write fiction novels?” Like, “What?” Uh, “You do so well with all your health books and diet books.” Then I get it from the fiction guys who say, “What? You’re a nonfiction guy—you must, go back over there!” But, you know, my whole life I don’t listen to conventions. Um, I don’t listen to critics—I do what’s in my heart and so yeah, it’s not easy in, it’s easy for me to do it, uh, from a physical standpoint, ’cause I like to write and I’m very creative, but from the optic standpoint, getting people to say and to take me seriously as a fiction writer, as a novelist, it, it’s a uphill climb. That being said, this book has been well-received, um, it’s the number one on Amazon in several categories already. Uh, it’s gotten option to be a TV series already, so maybe now people are saying, “Hey, this guy can write a page or two in fiction.” So, you know, maybe I’m breaking through a little bit.

MIKE: And do you feel like part of it, I know for me I just wrote a treatment and I got some big show runners involved and, and I also create a lot of art, right? So I’m not your typical life coach, right? I’m…

DR. SMITH: Yeah.

MIKE: And it’s probably why I worked with entertainers for so many years and, uh, it’s like impossible to fit in a box and it sounds like you’re also one of those guys that you kind of create your own box and this is you and this is your expression or what you’re passionate about and that at a certain point I know for me when I was working with big superstars and that traveled the world for seven or eight years, eventually I said to myself, I was like, “I don’t wanna do this anymore. I wanna work with refugees and I started going to Iraq, alone, right? And then I was like, I just completely pivoted and I’m just curious if you had so much success in diet, nutrition, wellness that you’re almost like, “I need to creatively have an outlet because I’ve kind of done that in the book space. Not to say you’re still not going to do it, but what—is this also because this creative energy, because I imagine publishers would be like, “Keep writing the diet book. Keep writing that nutrition book” right?

DR. SMITH: Yeah.

MIKE: So this is really about feeding your soul.

DR. SMITH: Yeah.

MIKE: And…

DR. SMITH: What a great way to put it, by the way. First of all, let me say that you mentioned that you did a pivot so I need you to come on The Doctors because we created a segment called “The Pivot” where we take people who have made a pivot in their career and we talk to them about what was the process like, what was the inspiration because I find that to be inspirational so I’m inviting you officially to come on the show…

MIKE: Thank you.

DR. SMITH: …and do our “Pivot” segment. Uh, that’s number one…

MIKE: I would love to.

DR. SMITH: …number two—yeah, number two, it’s interesting because um, I feel like I, and I’m still writing diet books and health books. I’ve got one coming out in April, big book called Fast Burn, had a big meeting today about all the marketing and the publicity blah, blah, blah, that comes out in April, and I decided that every year I write two books. In the spring I’ll have my diet health book, uh, and in the fall I’ll have my fiction book.

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: Um, but fiction is, is a creative exploration and creative expression for me. And sure, writing health books, there is some degree of creativity but it’s not like writing fiction, where you can create a whole world. You can go into places that you otherwise would not  have go into, go into—you can be a character, right? You can create these dark characters, these funny characters—it’s just a whole different expression. So yes, for me, it wasn’t that I was tired of writing the health books, but I felt that my creative juices were not being released enough through the health and nonfiction space. 

MIKE: I love it. I think—and I, I love, I’m with you. I think I’m, I’m all about a pivot—reinvention, repurpose. I think as humans sometimes we limit ourselves to be like, “Well, this is what I’m good at” instead of going, “No, I’m good at a lot of things” and good is just about what you love to do and I love that you picked up fiction. Like, I love Terry Brooks novels and I love, like, a range, right? From fantasy to John Grisham, um, and, and what, you know, talk to me about The Unspoken and kind of where your initial inspiration was with it.

DR. SMITH: Well, being a voracious reader of suspense and mystery, I felt as though I want to create a character and I like characters, I like Bosch for example, he’s a great character, but, and I like Wallander, uh, who’s, um, Kenneth Branagh played him on a PBS series, but it comes from a great Swedish novelist who unfortunately died, um, called Henning Mankell. But, I wanted to create a character who had the attributes of a guy I want to hang out with, right? And, and drink some, and eat some pizza and some lemonade and, um, for me, that was my inspiration. Like…

MIKE: I love that.

DR. SMITH: …let me create this guy, right? And so this guy Ashe Cayne, he’s a former detective with the Chicago Police Department, CPD, he refuses to participate in the cover up of what cops called, I have a lot of friends who are detectives, they’re my insight for this book, he refuses to participate in what’s called a “bad shooting” okay? Meaning that the cops shouldn’t have shot, it’s a bad shooting. And because of that, because of his moral compass, he can’t stand quiet behind the blue wall of silence and so he, he leaves, he gets a big settlement from the city and he starts becoming a private investigator because he still has this yearning to make wrongs right. And so he, he’s one of those guys where once he gets in his craw, he can’t let it go—he’s gotta pursue it. Even when he’s in peril, even when people are telling him, “Back off” he just ant’ help himself. So Ashe Cayne, uh, takes on very few cases ’cause he’s a golf addict…

MIKE: Where did you come up—by the way, I have to ask you, where did you come up with that name?

DR. SMITH: Ashe Cayne? I love names and um, I’m a, I love names and titles and “Ashe Cayne”—I always loved the name “Ashe”. It’s strong, it’s masculine, it’s not very common…

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: …and I learned early in my career that, I said, “What makes a good name?” And to me one syllable names are strong, right? Jack, Ashe…and so I just wanted “Ashe Cayne” as a persona. Um, but anyway, uh, so he takes on this case where this wealthy, Northshore real estate heiress, young lady, goes missing all of a sudden. And her aristocratic mother comes from a wealthy Northshore, down to the gritty uh, Chicago, the city, and hires Ashe Cayne to find her missing daughter, and the ride begins. And so, it’s all about Ashe Cayne and you following him and, you know, he’s sarcastic, he’s smart, he’s handsome, he’s tough as nails, but he’s not perfect. I mean, he’s got issues with his dad, ’cause his dad wanted him to be a tennis star and he wanted to be a police officer. Uh, he’s had issues with an ex, his ex-fiancée left him at the altar so he’s got relationship issues, so he’s not perfect. He’s an imperfect hero, he’s a regular guy and I just…you know, he likes classic cars and he likes golf.

MIKE: I got it, and, and you were saying you were picturing the inspiration was someone that you wanted to, you know, that would be like a bet, the ultimate best friend so to speak, were there any inspirations inside your life where you were like, “Ooh—I’m gonna take that aspect from Johnny and Carol” or, how did you kind of come up with it?

DR. SMITH: Well, you know, writers, particularly novelists, they tend to write from what they’re more familiar with, right? So it’s easy to pick some of your stuff out. So, I’m a golf addict, I love golf. I like classic cars, most people don’t know that, by the way. Um, I don’t talk about it often. I love classic cars…

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: …um, and I can be very sarcastic, uh, and I don’t, I don’t take myself too seriously, like, you know, I can be self-deprecating because life is short and sometimes I just say, “Life’s too short to take this thing too seriously” so…

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: …I, I took fun things out of me and put it into his character and then gave him characteristics that made him much better than I am. (LAUGHS)

MIKE: Got it. And, you know, I have to imagine, um, in fiction, because I’ve been exploring it, right? Like, I have a bunch of concepts, I’ve created illustrations, I have a kids book I’m working on like The Wizard Who Couldn’t Cast a Spell, because I love wizards. I got ’em all over my house, my body, everywhere, right?

DR. SMITH: Nice!

MIKE: But…

DR. SMITH: Nice!

MIKE: …um, I, I have to imagine it’s also has to be a bit of a relief to be able to say what you wanna say about life through different characters in the lens where maybe this lens can’t be a part of a conversation in certain demographics but you can give through characters the connections to really say what you mean and what your soul’s wanting to say, right?

DR. SMITH: Fantastic. Absolutely, 100% dead-on. The beauty of writing fiction is that you’re allowed to discuss issues and take even points of views that you otherwise may not be able to do in your other life, you know? I’m a public figure and my role in most cases is to help people, um, prevent disease, treat disease, understand illness and that’s apolitical, right? I mean, I have political opinions like anybody else, but my job is apolitical and so I don’t like my politics to interfere with me helping people, you know? I may not agree with you politically, I may not like what you stand for politically but at the end of the day I’m a physician and I want you to have the best life possible, even if some of your life is against what I believe it. But that’s…

MIKE: Yeah.

DR. SMITH: …that’s life.

MIKE: And by the way—preach! Because one of the businesses-I own a treatment center, right? And on, there’s a lot of like, pressure to like “Speak out about this, speak out about that…” which, I actually don’t think it helps anything. It’s just more noise to a conversation potentially but also when you’re a helper. It doesn’t matter what someone’s beliefs are, my job’s to help and there’s, if only, I feel like if the world actually thought like this, like, you don’t not help someone just because they have a different belief than you because actually Jay McGraw said this to me, he goes, “All of us have descriptions with a thousand commas in between.”

DR. SMITH: (LAUGHS)

MIKE: You know?

DR. SMITH: Yeah, I like that.

MIKE: There’s all these adjectives, a thousand of ’em.

DR. SMITH: Yeah.

MIKE: And to, like, (STAMMERS) I, so my point is—it’s, but this way of doing it and doing it through fiction and saying what you really wanna say is, it’s inspiring, it’s creative and I think it actually makes more of an impact.

DR. SMITH: Yeah, and I gotta tell you something, I gotta tell you, you know—you look at COVID for example, and you look at, as an expert medical expert, I look at how horribly the government has handled…

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: …this COVID situation—210,000+ people are dead, fellow Americans, unnecessarily. It is…

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: …an atrocity of the largest order in my lifetime and probably for the last century. It’s not a political situation to me, it’s a…

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: …virus, and it gives me chills of anger and sadness to think that people are going to their dinner table every night, thousands of families, minus someone who could have been saved and not put in peril had the leadership, both sides of the aisle, I’m not, it’s both sides, had our leadership said, “This is what needs to be done. We’re gonna take this seriously and we’re going to protect our fellow Americans.” It is so infuriating as a physician and as a helper, like you said—to see these people die and still dying—a thousand people a day are dying and people are behaving in a reckless manner.

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: Reckless, cavalier…uh, ripping off masks, refusing to wear masks, saying things like “It doesn’t matter. This isn’t anything to worry about”—it’s outrageous!

MIKE: Yeah it’s, it’s really interesting when health issues become, into politics and all of that. You’re like, “Guys, look—there’s doctors, some doctor tell us what to do, let’s all get in sync in line and let’s just do it” you know? And it’s um…

DR. SMITH: I mean…

MIKE: …we always…

DR. SMITH: …I mean doctors, we, doctors are taught to treat patients. We don’t treat a patient’s political leanings or whatever—I’m sure in my history, whether as a physician, as an early physician or whether as someone who’s helped people lose weight—I’m sure there are plenty of people who I don’t agree with politically who I don’t agree with how they conduct themselves in political environment. But that’s, that’s irrelevant. You have 50 pounds to lose…

MIKE: Mmm…

DR. SMITH: …and you’re at risk for type II diabetes—I wanna help you.

MIKE: Mm hmm.

DR. SMITH: I wanna help you. I mean, you know, and so I just think that a lot of physicians have been really sickened by how, how this pandemic, which is a scientific thing, has all of a sudden become politics. Like, like not wearing a mask is a show of strength—WHAT?! Like…

MIKE: (LAUGHS) Right.

DR. SMITH: …the basic, basic virology, you ask a medical student, basic virology says this, “A virus is looking for one thing—a host.” And a host is, guess what? A body.

MIKE: Hmm.

DR. SMITH: The virus doesn’t care if you’re right, you’re poor, you’re Prince Charles, you’re the President of the United States, it could care less. It wants to infect the host and then it wants to go to another host—it wants to jump. And so we know as physicians how to prevent this from happening. But no one wants to listen to us. No, I don’t—well not no one—but people who are of great influence don’t wanna listen. I don’t understand why. If I say to you, if I said to you, “Listen—you have an illness and I have a treatment here that the data shows it’s gonna cure your illness in two weeks and there’s no downside to the treatment” why would you said, “Nah, forget it”?

MIKE: You know what though, I think, I think—this is my theory, right—my theory is, because I don’t, I don’t remember it ever being like this either. I also don’t remember social media being so big, where everyone’s on it and everyone has become an expert. And everyone is there, a conspiracist or everyone is suddenly like, giving their opinion and all of a sudden it’s the extremists that then starts to get these megaphones with the media because they’re a great story, because they’re very extreme, or, and I just think that there’s become, uh, I think it’s gonna come around again but I feel like there’s been, to your point, um, you know, if, if we al-we always say this, even with someone getting sober, we’re like, “Uh, if you’re trying to get sober are you gonna listen to the bartender or are you gonna listen to your counselor or therapist? Like, it, and, and it’s kind of like if you go to a doctor and he’s treating you for cancer, you follow    his recommendations. You don’t say, “Oh well, the bartender told me this” or “I read this online” right? You would go to a new doctor if you don’t trust your doctor.

DR. SMITH: That’s right.

MIKE: I just think right now there’s this, uh, culture, that um, you know, people think they are, I know I’m not a doctor and I know I’m not, uh, this is not my area of expertise and I really wish the microphones were just for people who actually were doctors. Like, that’s…

DR. SMITH: Well…well here’s my thing, like, my thing is this—it’s about integrity, right?

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: And, and—what has saddened a lot of the doctors and scientists is this—things are happening that have never happened before. I’m just gonna give you a little small example—the idea that the CDC, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which is the most august body of science that we have as far as public health in our country…

MIKE: Mmm…

DR. SMITH: …believed and respected by everyone for years, because they’re always in the middle, they don’t take political sides, they wanna help our country and everything else. The idea that the CDC thought-thinks that it’s a good idea to give clearance to a politician to participate in a debate—the CDC never does that! It’s not even their role. It, that’s like, that’s like going to a principal and saying to a principal, “Yeah, do me a favor—give us an opinion on what you think the electrical grid should look like.” That’s not the principal’s role at all! That, you—so the CDC…

MIKE: Right.

DR. SMITH: …now is giving a clearance for someone to participate in a political debate? Why? The, so I don’t…

MIKE: When you say “clearance,” okay, so rewind a little bit…

DR. SMITH: Yeah.

MIKE: …specifically with “clearance”, right? So, what you’re talking about is the upcoming debate…

DR. SMITH: Yes.

MIKE: …and I, I’m…

DR. SMITH: So…

MIKE: Okay.

DR. SMITH: …so, so with the White House being in absolute turmoil with COVID, vice president so far has tested negative—so far, by the way—has tested negative…

MIKE: Hmm.

DR. SMITH: Let’s hope he stays negative, I want him to stay negative.

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: But the CDC issues a statement to say that given the history of his encounters and COVID and blah, blah, blah, they feel like he’s cleared to participate in a debate with someone else on a stage—that’s not what the CDC does!

MIKE: Mmm…

DR. SMITH: You see what I’m saying? So, so you can’t take a nonpolitical body and inject them into political conversation. It, that doesn’t work. And the country…

MIKE: Why...

DR. SMITH: …should be…

MIKE: Why do you think the CDC should be involved in saying anything?

DR. SMITH: Because they’re being pressured.

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: They’re being pressured—the former head of the CDC who served both administration—Republican administrations and Democratic administrations, the former head wrote a letter and said, “Guys, you’ve gotta cut this out” like, ’cause…

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: …’cause he doesn’t want the history of the body to be tarnished. He’s like “You can’t do this kind of stuff.” It’s, it’s…honestly, it’s so otherworldly in a bad way, it’s so, the world is upside down. I mean, in my whole career I never thought I’d see the CDC be involved in something like this. I don’t know.

MIKE: Now I gotcha, I, I got you and I think um, how do you, then, as the host of The Doctors, like, ’cause I—do, do you express your frustration from time to time?

DR. SMITH: Well…

MIKE: Or do you…

DR. SMITH: …well on the TV show I’m calmer, okay? Right now I’m on a podcast so I can…

MIKE: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

DR. SMITH: …but…

MIKE: With passion.

DR. SMITH: Yeah. But I’m calmer…

MIKE: It doesn’t need to be in a seven minute segment.

DR. SMITH: Yeah, exactly. 

MIKE: (LAUGHS)

DR. SMITH: Exactly, exactly. What I do is I bring out real experts. The world’s best experts to talk about the rationality or irrationality about what we’re doing. And I think that that’s…listen—I don’t wanna add to the hysteria. I don’t want to add to the polarization of the issues. What I wanna do is—that’s why I took the job—I wanna provide America with a calm, scientifically based voice that says, “These are the facts and that we’re all gonna get through this together” but this is how we do it. So we did one segment, by the way, where we took different countries    and we watched out different countries did it and said, “This is what they did…

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: …this is what they did.” So basically I’m saying to you guys, “Hey, maybe we should do this, too!” I mean…

MIKE: Right.

DR. SMITH: …so, you know, we try to do it in a way that doesn’t—I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna marginalize and I don’t want to, to push people away from the show. So I don’t wanna be political at all, but I do think my job is to give you science; real science.

MIKE: Yeah. Well I think, too, it’s, and I appreciate your honesty and candor around all of it because there is no one, no one that I’ve met in the last six months anywhere in any crevice of this country, and I’ve traveled during COVID and what have you, that has not had or has frustration around certain aspects and um, everyone has experienced that and I think that’s just, including myself where, you know, all of us, we start, you know, taking a totally different view of life. So, I think that’s just part of, it’s good to hear from a doctor, your own frustration because it’s informative actually for me, I’m like, “Yeah, he’s making a lot of sense here and it’s, it’s helpful because, there aren’t a lot of microphones    on doctors right now who are talking to other doctors and being part of different conversation there, there is doctors who are maybe do a segment or, you know, but you’re, you’re in the midst of all this and one of the things I really wanted to ask you about, because during COVID, so many people have had bodies at rest and, and so many people have said, “Okay, I’ll do this when COVID’s over.” Or “I’ll take care of this…” like, and I imagine you’ve covered a lot of this on The Doctors in general—can you talk a little bit about, about what happens when someone stops being active?

DR. SMITH: Yeah. The great, the best analogy I can give you is what a guy once told me. He said, “Listen—sports cars have to be driven.” And I said, “Well, you know, you keep a sports car in a garage, you don’t drive it, it’s gonna be pristine condition for years.” He said, “Absolutely not.” He said, “A sports car, if it’s not driven, it breaks down.” I said, “How’s that possible sitting there?” He said, “Because—the gas gets in the engine, it seals all around the car. All they, all of them start to deteriorate because they’re not being used. So a sports car must be driven in order for it to stay up to snuff. Up to par.” The body is the same way. When you stop using the body, the organ system, the physiology of the organ system. It’s, all slows down, it starts deteriorating. Muscles atrophy, coordination worsens, fat accumulates—all these things are sign, signs that your body is in best performance when it’s moving. Now I’m not saying you’ve gotta run a marathon, you’ve gotta train for three hours a day, I’m not saying that, but I’m saying you need to have a regular course of movement—getting out and walking for 35 minutes, uh, jogging, walking, doing exercises, jumping rope—whatever it is. Playing a sport—play tennis, play basketball, play golf, walking the golf course—whatever it is, when people stop moving, it’s when the body says, “Uh huh…” now all this bad stuff can start happening, ’cause you’re, you’re literally, you’re a sitting duck, you know? And so…and, and I always say, “If someone said to me, “Hey Dr. Ian—if you could only write one prescription, just one, for someone to have the healthiest life, what would it be?” You know what it is? Exercise.

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: It, more than diet, and I’m a nutrition guy.

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: Because exercise impacts every physiological organ system in the body.

MIKE: So (STAMMERS) let me ask you, because I’ve noticed during COVID there’s the people who suddenly, all of a sudden they are more fit than ever, right? I’m like, “WOW—they really took this to a whole other level” and then there’s the other people that, you know, you went, “Well, they watched a lot of Netflix these last six months” right? So…

DR. SMITH: That’s right.

MIKE: …and, and there’s always the extremes of anything, right? What do you think, like, mentally, is the challenge for people to under-to actually connect those dots because in theory they get it but they often don’t make a change happen ’til it’s a crisis, right? But what do you, what have you experienced, you know, you’ve worked with thousands of people in terms of, what’s a constant theme that you hear?

DR. SMITH: I think that people try to make change, and you can talk to this, too, people try to make change in their life at the wrong time. They’re not ready, mentally. You can…

MIKE: Mmm…

DR. SMITH: …you can want to do something intellectually, you can want to do something emotionally, but if you truly are not ready for the change and for the process—change is a process, by the way…

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: Change isn’t “Oh, I wake up and all of a sudden…” you know, “…I’m gonna start working out two hours a day.” Well you can do that, but if you really aren’t ready to do that, that’s not gonna last very long. And so I think that a lot of people are not ready for change and I think a lot of people try to make change at the wrong time in their life. So, if you’re stressed out, or if you have problems at work or problems    in a relationship or you’re struggling with some kind of substance, and then you try to change other things in your life, you’re not gonna be able to give it the full attention and dedication that’s required to be successful at that change. Yeah, you may get it started, but you’re probably not gonna last on them You know, and that’s…

MIKE: Mmm…

DR. SMITH: …a big issue. And so, what I say to people is, you have to sit down and really have self-talk and analysis about what it is you want to do versus what it is you need to do, and then what it is you can do that’s reasonable and attainable and sustainable…

MIKE: Mmm…

DR. SMITH: …versus, you know, me saying to you, “You need to exercise five days a week for 35 minutes of moderate, intense activity” well—that’s light on paper, but maybe you can’t do that. Maybe you’re in a place in your life where you can do two days for 20 minutes…

MIKE: Mmm…

DR. SMITH: …that’s where you need to start. And my, my whole thing is I’m good with that. Let’s start with two days, 20 minutes, you can even break up those 20 minutes. So I think that people need to be realistic about what they’re trying to accomplish and they need to have a real plan. A real plan—one that’s, that’s structure. You just can’t say, “Oh, I’m gonna start exercising more”—what does that mean?

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: So…

MIKE: Yeah. I’m with you. (STAMMERS) I created what’s called the three A’s—first you gotta find out what’s authentic to you, you know? Don’t be thinking that you’re gonna go lift weights if you really don’t like lifting weights, you know? Do hopscotch or tetherball if you want to. 

DR. SMITH: That’s right. (LAUGHS) That’s right.

MIKE: And then, you know, and then take action, right? That’s the other A, and then have accountability. Have…

DR. SMITH: Yes.

MIKE: …someone, that’s why these communities also workouts work so well and it’s, I love what you said about you figure out what you want, what you need and what you can. Before you go I have one more question about nutrition because, um, I wanna ask you, even for myself, you know, I get confused with like, I know I don’t, I shouldn’t eat late at night, I know, you know, try not to eat a lot of sugar, right and cakes and candies and, and stuff like that. Um, you’re, you’re in phenomenal shape and you also know nutrition so well, like, do you have any simple tips in this arena. I know—this very wide range but like…

DR. SMITH: Yeah, sure. I think that, first of all it’s not about eating late at night, it’s about not eating a meal within an hour and a half of going to sleep.   

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: So if you go to sleep at 2 o’clock in the morning and you want to eat at 11 o’clock, I’m fine with that.

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: It’s about what is the proximity to when you go to sleep at night. So, my rule is 90 minutes—do not eat a meal within 90 minutes of going to bed because when you lay down and you are inactive, you’ve now reduced the chances of you burning off all those calories just consumed at dinner.

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: So that’s my first tip—90 minutes. The second thing is, you know, I’m working on a book for, for 2022, um, and it’s about becoming more plant-based.

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: And so my next tip is—I like meat and I like fish by the way, so I’m not saying “Don’t eat meat and fish” but if you could tilt your diet to be 60 to 70% plant-based products…

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: …and then the 30% you can have your steak, which I like, I like good old fashioned ribeye. You can have your steak, you can have your fish—30% of the time. WOW. You will see a tremendous difference…

MIKE: Hmm…

DR. SMITH: …right? A tremendous difference. I’m not saying you have to go all the way vegan. Some can do that if you want, I’m not saying that, but eating more legumes…

MIKE: Can I tell you—let me tell you—can I tell you what I’m obsessed with, lately snack-wise? Obsessed and I have no idea if it’s good for me or not, it’s okay if you don’t have the answer, and I feel like pretzels stole the show. I think pretzels are highly overrated, they’re on all the planes, they made it into everything. I’m like, “Who made the pretzel?” That feels like someone knew someone, right? They’re okay. A pretzel’s okay, but it doesn’t do anything—it’s like carbs and empty. I’m obsessed with Corn Nuts lately. It sounds like—Corn Nuts, are they bad for you? Don’t they come from trees or (LAUGHS) I don’t know where they come from.

DR. SMITH: Yeah, you know what, I’ve never had them, um…

MIKE: No?

DR. SMITH: Are they good?

MIKE: Oh my—Corn Nuts are like the next level of happiness lately. I’ve literally thrown Corn Nuts back and I just, I’m gonna send you some Corn Nuts, okay?

DR. SMITH: Why are they so good?

MIKE: They’re just little salty and they don’t, I don’t wanna eat chips. It’s like a substitute for salty. 

DR. SMITH: Okay.

MIKE: You know? Because…

DR. SMITH: Okay.

MIKE: …because pretzels just make me feel bad. Like, I’m just like…and I’m like “Who the heck made the pretzel?” I’m just very anti-pretzel lately. But uh…

DR. SMITH: What are the…

MIKE: …I just wanted to know what salty snacks you, you really think are…

DR. SMITH: What are the nutritional—do you know the nutritionals on that, on them?

MIKE: No. I do that thing where you scoop ’em, you know? And, it looks like a buffet of nuts and I just, I’ll scoop all these nuts. Well now they’ve, since COVID they’ve kind of closed them, right? They’re all, like, in these bags…

DR. SMITH: Right, right.

MIKE: I’m gonna send you some Corn Nuts with the, with the makeup of ’em. And…

DR. SMITH: Okay.

MIKE: …when I do come out for an episode you can tell me what is with Corn Nuts but do you have any salty snacks that you recommend?

DR. SMITH: Well, edamame’s great. Well it depends what you want. Y-you know, you know I like edamame. I think edamame is awesome.

MIKE: Yeah.

DR. SMITH: You get fiber, you get protein, you get the salty taste. Um, by the way—putting feta cheese on, feta cheese is great. So like, you know, watermelon with feta cheese—it sounds like a weird combination but you get…

MIKE: Sounds heaven.

DR. SMITH: …the sweet and you get the salty and it’s healthy, it’s not crazy calories. Um, I, you know, I would say that, you know, I like chips, not, I don’t eat potato chips but I’ll eat like a good tortilla chip, you know what I mean? Um, that’s uh, kind of plant-based. Um, you know, um, but I’m not a really salty guy. I’m a sweet guy. Now, my weakness is the sweets.

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: Like, I love sweets. I mean, I can eat sweets, you know, and I’ve ate…

MIKE: Have you ever, have you ever had the gummi shark?

DR. SMITH: No.

MIKE: Oh the gummi shark is next level. They only have them at those candy stores (LAUGHS) 

DR. SMITH: Yeah.

MIKE: That’s the most random treats. I’m like, “Corn Nuts, do you know about the gummi shark?” I’m gonna get you Corn Nuts and gummi sharks and I’ll just see what you have to say. It’s kind of marshmallow-y but it’s sweet, but…

DR. SMITH: Oooh…

MIKE: …it’s really good. One more question, one more, I know I keep saying that—what the heck does non-GMO mean? I see ’em on all the bags and, by the way, products now have so many things on them that I don’t even know, I don’t even know what it means so I started asking people, I was at a Sprouts Supermarket, I asked someone, I was like, “What, what is non-GMO mean?” He was like, “I don’t work here.” And I’m like, “Well…I don’t know either!” What does that mean?

DR. SMITH: Uh, we have a whole podcast on it but for brevity, non-GMO means “Genetically Modified Organism” and basically it is manipulating, um, a living thing into what you want it to be. So taking something…

MIKE: Oh…

DR. SMITH: …genetically manipulating it, so that it gives you, let’s say for example you want jumbo watermelon. You want all your watermelon to be like this size, versus in nature some are this big, some are that big, some are…

MIKE: Yeah.

DR. SMITH: So, you can actually modify the organism and pick out what the attributes you want and just grow that strain. 

MIKE: Oh…

DR. SMITH: So…

MIKE: …and that, that’s where all the organic people are like, “I’m not—don’t put that GMO near me.”

DR. SMITH: Yes. Yes. Because you manipulated the genes. And the belief is that with some of this manipulation, you can actually produce things while they look like you want them to look, because you’re messing with the genes the question is “What will be the interplay in the body? How will…

MIKE: Mmm.

DR. SMITH: …it impact us in the body?” So it’s a huge controversy, you have people who are fine with it, people who are crazy against it, it’s like this huge food war. It’s been going on for years and it hasn’t slowed down, by the way. So…

MIKE: Of all…

DR. SMITH: …you know…

MIKE: Thank you for telling me ’cause now I know what it means ’cause no one in the grocery store know,    knew what it meant. Well Dr. Ian—I am very happy that I got to know you and uh, you’ve been really a pleasure. We’ve spoken about different things and uh, you’ve been really a pleasure. We’ve spoken about so many different things and uh, it’s just good to connect with you, you know?

DR. SMITH: Yeah, listen—I’d love to come on again, I’d love to have you come on the show. Zoom in—we don’t have guests because of COVID in studio, but please, Zoom in, like I say to people, we got a lot of real estate Monday through Friday so we look for good guests and good content and those who are listening or watching—follow me on Instagram @DoctorIanSmith—spell the “Doctor” out, I-A-N SMITH—and if you have some ideas for the show or great experts, I engage on Instagram. I’ve, yeah, a lot of people by the way, from Instagram who DM me and say, “I have an idea—what do you think about this?” I said, “That sounds good.” So, just reach out to me.

MIKE: And connect with Dr. Ian Smith on all social media platforms. Also check out The Unspoken, I’m going to order it on Amazon right after this. I’m gonna get a nice hot cup of tea, you know, like a blanket, kind of in the mood. Get the right lighting going and get into this, this murder mystery ’cause I love books like this so thanks again, man. — Thanks everyone for listening to Always Evolving, great guest today, Dr. Ian Smith, make sure to click to subscribe, follow me on social media @CoachMikeBayer, I also have great guests on my empowerment group, which is free every Tuesday at 5pm Pacific time I’m actually gonna ask Dr. Ian if he’ll join one of those. You go to CoachMikeBayer.com, it’s free—join, and in the meantime, keep it magical, amazing, abundant, badass and have some fun. Thanks.

(DISCLAIMER)

MIKE: The Always Evolving with Coach Mike podcast is for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a replacement or a substitution for any professional, medical, financial, legal or other advice diagnosis or treatment. This podcast does not constitute the practice of medicine or any other professional service. The use of any information provided during this podcast is at the listener’s    own risk. For medical or other advice appropriate to your specific situation, please consult a physician or other trained professionals.

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