11 min read

Introducing Free Fatty Fridays (FFF)

Welcome to geoffreywoo.com and its accompanying email newsletter! You're here because you're interested in following my research and journey to better understand the principles for constructing and optimization systems at the personal (i.e. n=1), organizational (i.e. family, neighborhood, companies), and societal (i.e. nation-state, civilizations) levels.

geoffreywoo.com is anchored with a weekly Q&A session that I'm calling "Free Fatty Fridays." Free Fatty Fridays (FFF) is a series where I spend five minutes max answering your questions. No holds barred. Ask me anything.

Expect to gain both theoretical knowledge grounded in frameworks and practical wisdom you can apply in your daily life. We'll focus on my personal experiences in business, scientific research, human performance and self-experimentation and optimization, and the tribal, around the firepit stories I've culled from world-class experts, athletes, and performers. Also, come tread dangerous waters as we explore and think through some of the most relevant hot button issues in culture, philosophy, and politics today.

Send an email to podcast@hvmn.com with topics/questions you'd like for me to cover in the next FFF or ask me on Twitter/Instagram @geoffreywoo using hashtag #FFFGeoff.

- G

Tune In:

Youtube: youtu.be/J45n_H7kOJI
Apple Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/health-via-modern-nutrition/id1133785570?ls=1&mt=2
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6vXzmYDZVarhQBTWnksvTc

Please subscribe, like, and comment to help our content rank better on those platforms. It's really the best way you can show me and my team support.


Hey, this is Geoffrey Woo with the Health Via Modern Nutrition podcast, the H.V.M.N. podcast.

And this episode is a Free Fatty Friday, this will be our first installment of a Free Fatty Friday. And if this concept sounds familiar, yes, it is borrowed/stolen from Andy Stumpf's Cleared Hot podcast. He has a segment called Free Auto Fridays, which is pretty much the same thing. So he'll do five minutes on a question from his audience.

Now, why are we naming this Free Fatty Fridays? Are you making fun of fat people? No, it's called Free Fatty Fridays because it's derived from free fatty acids. And for folks that have been falling along or know anything about ketogenic diet or fasting, you metabolize a lot of fat and fats are made up of these molecules called free fatty acids, which are these carbon chains, that make up triglyceride or the fat molecule, that is what we know are a part of all of our cells. So free fatty acids, Omega 3s are free fatty acids, Omega 6s are free fatty acids, caprylic acid, the eight land carbon chain in MCTs or medium chain triglycerides are free fatty acids. So a lot of the favorite fats, they're all free fatty acids.

So Free Fatty Fridays is going to be a reminder that we're a community really seeded from ketosis and fasting, but we're going to be talking about everything. So ask me anything, whether you want to talk politics culture to my personal protocols are a personal experimentation. This is what this segment is going to all be all about. What's new recently, for folks who are just tuning in, you might've seen me on the new Netflix docuseries called Unwell, and I'm on Episode Four, the one on fasting. And I'm getting actually a lot of questions about that TV show. So I'm going to go and start this program and start answering questions. I'm going to put on a timer. We'll do 5 minutes. So I'm going to read the question, hit five minutes on the timer, and we'll let it fly.

Now first question is from Mike Rapides. He asks, I'm watching you on Unwell right now. You guzzled down raw egg yolks. I want to be super human too. I'm trying to find the science behind the raw egg yolks and cooked egg whites. What benefits does this separation of preparation give you. You've inspired me.

All right, I'm going to hit five minutes and we’re live. So obviously this is a little bit contrived, but there is some solid mechanisms of why you'd want to keep your egg yolks more on the raw side and why you definitely want to be cooking and denaturing the egg whites. So I'm not going to say that this is gonna make you gain superhuman powers, but in terms of optimizing every single bit of nutrition, this is a definitely a fun thing to play around with.

So the science behind why keeping egg yolks raw is because that fats tend to be oxidized or denatured when applied to high heat. And now there's a lot of healthy fats, monounsaturated, saturated fats with an egg yolk, and you don't want to be oxidizing or fulling up those fatty acids and heat treatment likely and often does that. So by not heating and cooking the egg yolks, preserving the quality of that good fat. Secondly, same thing with cholesterol, you can cook and denature cholesterol by cooking it. So by keeping a raw again, you're allowing it to sit in its more by most bioavailable form. Other things around it is that when you're keeping the egg yolk raw, you're allowing the most bioavailability of all the micronutrients within the egg yolks. If you actually look at the USDA website, you can actually see slightly higher micronutrient density with an egg yolks versus cooked egg yolks.

Now, why then should you cook egg whites? Well, egg whites is a very different story. There's actually a protein called avidin within egg white and avidin actually binds to B12, which means that it binds to B12 and makes it un-bioavailable. So your body cannot absorb B12 with avidin. Now you definitely want to be cooking that protein denaturing it, changing the shape of that protein. So it deactivates avidin binding potential to B12. And then secondly, there's a study that shows that as you cook egg white protein, that egg protein becomes more bioavailable. So your body can absorb and incorporate more of that protein from cooked egg white. So that's where we get the one-two-punch where you denature and cook the egg white. So the protein is more absorbable, but you leave the yolk raw for the fats and the micronutrients are more bioavailable. So now you get the best of both worlds.

Now, am I still guzzling egg yolks and cooking my egg whites every single day? I do that on occasion, but I honestly think eggs are the most versatile best value for the buck foods out there. I mean, dozen eggs, couple bucks, delicious, and there's so many different ways to cook them. I like to eat them scrambled over easy fry them, dump them in a hot soup and get a little bit of runny yolk or just a soft boiled egg. I tend to do like my egg yolks on the rawer side. So am I just some crazy person that just constantly guzzles on egg yolks? No, it definitely was a little bit of a stunt done for a TV entertainment purposes, but is it something that's not authentic to me or just done for the show? No. It's something that I do incorporate pretty frequently into my lifestyle. Again, if it's very very low effort and I'm getting incremental gains, why not do it? And that's essentially, I would say just an easy heuristic or algorithm to live one's life. If we have the education, the format to get simple gains with not a lot of costs, then it's a question of why not. And to me having this little bit of separation and hopefully showcasing my framework or process to break down problems and optimize these solutions, optimize these protocols, hopefully at least shed some light into how I think. I actually haven't seen the Netflix show yet. I don't really like watching myself, so I can't comment too much about it. I know a lot of people are giving me crap for a cooking the egg whites with a fork in a nonstick pan. Look, I'm going for efficiency. If I don't need to clean extra utensils, I don't want to have to. And that wraps up five minutes. So let's go on to question two.

Joe asks, what's your current diet regimen? I know you've been talking a lot about intermittent fasting, ketogenic diet, carnivore. What are you doing today?

Good question. So five minutes going. Diet shouldn't necessarily be this pattern that you stick to the day you're born until you die. I see diet as an evolving practice as you go and have different goals of your life or different stages of your life. So maybe another way to think about this is exercise. Are you going to be doing the same five exercises or the same school of exercises for the rest of your life? No. Sometimes you want to be lifting heavy weights because you want to gain muscle mass. Sometimes you want to be swimming because you want to test your cardiovascular system with low stress load to your joints. Sometimes you want to be running. These are all different types of exercise routines. Now, why then should you not vary your diet?

Right? Like when people start cross training exercise, it seems very sensible, but having cross training or that, that analogy for diet, why isn't that as understood? Well, that's how I want to think about, and that's how I do think about diet. Not to be a little bit more precise and answer the question directly, my diet regimen very much follows my activity load. So what I mean by that is if I am working out and exercising or have much more energy demand, well, that's going to have a great different diet to support that behavior. Then when I'm just working in a very static and very stationary or more stationary than usual, I'll have a very different type of a diet.

So now what's my baseline? So my typical default, if you're going to just find me on an average day, my protocol looks something like a 16 hour daily fast with very, very low to zero to refined carbohydrate, often a lot of animal protein, and animal fa and that will be the majority and the typical protocol. You'll probably find me between 50 to 80% of my meals are gonna have those types of constituents. Now, if I have multiple days of not exercising, which is very very rare, I might have do longer, more extended fast, but what is more likely is that I'm actually doing a lot more heavy workouts and I'm trying to train for something or gain more performance. And during those days, I'll be introducing more carbohydrate into my meal. So, if I'm doing heavy weightlifting, I might have more carbohydrate or some fruit, maybe some rice before that workout to have a surplus of available glucose or potentially if I want to be bulking and gaining more muscle mass, have a more carbohydrate complex carbohydrates after that workout in conjunction with of course your fats and proteins to help build and fully recover.

So again, I think for my use cases, it is not necessarily optimal for me, for my lifestyle to be a hundred percent ketogenic. It might be the right choice for folks that have type two diabetes, folks that are obese, folks have other metabolic issues,  where one starts getting fat, or has super crazy insulin resistance or has a very, very poor glycemic control, one needs to be more strict. After measuring myself with continuous glucose monitors, ketone finger pricks, and just having trained really really good metabolic flexibility. I fortunately do have more of a leeway or if I do have introduction of carbs, I'm not totally scrammed my insulin. And of course, when you're looking at athletic performance, having that replete glycogen reserves does help me in terms of just getting that better and better performance. So hopefully that sheds a little bit more light into my current diet protocol.

So if I would have to give a quick snapshot of like how it regular describe it. I would say that my diet regimen is centered around intermittent fasting and a predominantly in focus around a lot of animal products or animal protein animal fat. Try to stay away from processed carbohydrate. But if I'm doing a lot of exercise, I'm going to have more carbohydrate to balance my overall energy load. There's five minutes.

What's your current workout regimen? Are you still doing a lot of calisthenics? Steve asks, so let's put the timer back on and let's answer this question, Steve.

I think it's a good question because we're in pandemic land and I don't have access to my gym. I don't think many of us have access to our gyms. And I don't have that much workout equipment in my residence in downtown San Francisco. An I got my road bike there. I have a set of kettlebells, which the heaviest of 65 pounds and good couple very very light dumbbells. So what have I done recently as the core center of my workouts? Well, I've done a lot of body weight exercises towards the beginning of the corn teen shelter in place. You might've heard that I did a 45 day in a row Murph challenge. So I would do one mile run a hundred pull-ups, 200 pushups, three inches air squats, followed and ended by a one mile run every single day for 45 days in a row.

Definitely was a nice fun challenge, and I would say that I have a park literally almost perfectly a mile away. So it's very easy to get that pull up bar and do a lot of calisthenics on that pull up bar. So what I've been focusing on because I don't have access to a barbell, I don't have big plates to be squatting or benching. I'm doing a lot of mobility work, calisthenics work, so just getting more and more shoulder mobility. I think that one thing that I think about is that we're often hunched and over as we're on our computers or staring at our phones with our heads down. So just making sure I do a lot of pull ups and muscle ups that strengthen that back, make sure you have good posture, that's something that I've been spending a lot of time on.

I do a lot more stretching actually, something that I think is one of the more complex and controversial questions within physical sport physiology, how do we stretch? should one stretch? My school of thought on this is that, it definitely makes me feel better, right? Just like having that motion as lotion, extending out how far I can reach, fingertips the toes. I've actually bought this book called Happy Body that I discovered through Tim Ferriss and of Naval Ravikant. They talk about this Polish Olympic weightlifting coach, teaching them a series of exercises. And it's essentially variants of hamstring stretches basically fingertips to the toes, some variations of very very low deep squats, shoulder mobility, and I think these are some of the things that are chronic injuries for a lot of us who are just static, always sitting.

So I think doing those things are just very easy and of course I have my kettle balls around me all the time. So I'd like to just put, putting on weight, carrying weight around. I have a rooftop that I can just walk a couple of flights of stairs to get to, and oftentimes I'll just be like a farmer carrying a 65 pound dumbbell. One of the things that I did recently that I don't know if I'm going to do again, is wearing a weight vest. So I actually wore a weight vest walking around outside, but it looked kind of awkward because this weight fast, super bulky looks almost like a Kevlar vest and a little bit awkward a walk around, San Francisco downtown wearing some weird vest thing. So maybe not that, but again, I think just putting on weight and getting out there is probably a good thing to do.

And then just trying to just be more outdoors, again, big fan of going back to nature. So actually just came back from Arizona five days backpacking rocking around. So carrying that weight on the back and moving is never a bad thing because it's such a basic movement walking with weight, almost every single human was involved to do that. And I just seen that we're out of time.

So we'll wrap this first installment of Free Fatty Friday right here. I have other questions, but I'm going to cue that up for Free Fatty Friday 2. And once we queue up this and get this in a rhythm, I'm going to have more options, so you can actually submit questions. I take questions on Twitter, on Instagram, I'm at @geoffreywoo. Use the hashtag #FFFGeoff. We'll queue those up, or if you want to reach out by email, you can find me at podcast@hvmn.com. Happy to answer questions that you might have through email as well.

We're going to be just organizing and making sure that's all centralized and revamped to the new world. As you can see, got my new home studio up and live. And it's been great to be able to do more content and rethink of what we want to do and how we want to communicate. So excited to launch Free Fatty Friday!

Hope this is fun. Hope this is useful. Hope you learned something new, and I'll see you next time on the Health Via Modern Nutrition podcast. Stay safe! Talk to you guys all soon!

Join the Official H.V.M.N. Podcast Discord Community by filling out this quick survey: https://go.hvmn.com/discordsurvey