We discuss in this interview:

  • The journey of Max, a successful digital media entrepreneur, who has gone from pain in multiple joints to feeling great with the Paddison Program
  • The first diagnosis with psoriatic arthritis and useless attempts with high doses of Naproxen and sulfasalazine
  • His switch to a plant-based diet after the example of her vegan daughter, and immediate improvements
  • The final step into the right direction with the Paddison Program, with CRP levels dropping into a normal range
  • Dealing with different rheumatologists
  • Living a pain-free life and the beneficial effect it has on both physical and mental state
  • The impact of stress even on a physically fit person
  • Plant-based recipes
  • Iritis
  • How being physically fit can protect from more aggressive symptoms and better prepare for remission

Clint – Welcome back to the Rheumatoid Solutions podcast. And I’m smiling from ear to ear because my guest today is a happy, vibrant entrepreneur, CEO of multiple companies with a story to share. We’re going to talk about how he was able to recover from crippling rheumatoid arthritis and manage to hold down all of these corporate responsibilities at the same time. How is that possible and how did he get better and was his business impacted? Well, to answer those questions and teach us what we can do if we’re trying to balance work, life, and a chronic health condition. I’ve got Max with me, good day Max.

Max – Thank you so much Clint. It’s really, really great to be here. I’m a huge fan of yours and I just want to say thank you so much for everything you’ve done and helping everyone and helping myself get to the place that I’m at. It’s really, really special what you’re doing. And I really, really appreciate it. So thank you.

Clint – That’s really, really kind. Max and I, in return, want to thank you, because the way that we connected here was that you wrote, I guess like a blog post or a story about your transformation. And you put it on one of your websites and then you sent me the link and said, Hey, Clint, check this out. And I’m like, What’s this about? And I’m reading and reading around like, this is fascinating, and it’s such a warm and positive story. Then I in turn, invited you to come and share it with our community. Why don’t we start before we get to sort of before and after of your transformation with your health? Set the scene for us with your corporate sort of responsibilities and your business.

Max – Yeah. So I’m the CEO of Human Media and our slogan is Humans Helping Humans Live Better. So what a perfect place to be here, sharing this story with all of your viewers and your followers. And we are a wellness media company, we’re based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We’ve been around for 15 years, and we have four platforms. One is called Optimize.com, which is a women’s wellness platform. We also have SilverMagazine.ca, which is a wellness platform for older Canadians. And then you’ll be happy to know that we also have a food plant-based food website called HealthfulGourmet.com, which are all plant-based food recipes that have a little bit of a gourmet panache and flair added to the recipes. We also have a home workout channel which is called HomeWorking.ca. So we’ve got four platforms and we’re a wellness media company in Canada and in North America, we have quite a bit of a reach across Canada especially. We rank number one in Google search for some of our sites and we work with a lot of our clients to help build their brand awareness and increase their profile. It’s a wonderful company, I’ve got a great team, a great staff that I love working with and they’re all very innovative. And we’ve actually had to make a major pivot just during the pandemic, moving away from print, because we used to do a lot of print. With the paper prices being as they are and with the global supply shortage of paper, we’ve been moving away from print and been really focusing on the digital side of things, and that’s been going very well.

Clint – Well, congratulations. And how long have you been in this digital media space?

Max – Well, that’s a great question. We actually launched as a website first, so we’ve always been a digital media company, but we’d launched in 2007 and then we started doing print magazines probably about eight months after that, and that went very successfully. We went national and we had a lot of partners and we still have a lot of good partners. And then we sort of transitioned away from the print, like I said, just during the pandemic with everything going on with with the whole paper industry being so much in disorder with everything. So we were really focusing on the digital side of things.

Clint – Yeah. Okay. Well, perhaps offline we can talk about how we might be able to do some things together, perhaps more than.

Max – Yeah, I would love that.

Clint – I’ve got lots of questions about that. But our audience are going to be interested in your health and, and what you did, because in each one of these interviews, there’s always at least one, often many of these nuggets of insights. Wow, that’s what can be done or that’s how you do it, or that’s the mindset or Wow, I didn’t know that’s how the gut reacts to. So I’m hoping we can get some nuggets from you.

Max – Yeah, absolutely.

Clint – So before we go into your deep story, just do a sort of I was there and now I’m here kind of sort of snippet.

Max – Yeah, sure. I appreciate that. Yeah. So I was in a place that. It was very hard to see where I was going. I knew I was going in a direction, I knew I was on the path of wellness, but I really couldn’t find the right place that I wanted to be. And I basically started out when I was like 35 when I, I think you write in my story that I, that I sent you the blog. I went running one day and my foot really started acting up and I was in a lot of pain and it just started getting worse from there. I went to the doctors, but they couldn’t figure out what was going on and I had a hard time even walking. I was fairly athletic and I was having a hard time doing some of the sports that I enjoyed. And it was really a scary place to be, very scary. But now I’m living in a pain-free life, I don’t take any meds whatsoever, I feel great, I’ve got more energy, and I’ve lost a lot of weight. My waist is down to 32, which is basically what I had in high school. And I’m just feeling like a million bucks.

Clint – The energy is obvious. You know, even before we hit record here, we’re sort of riffing off each other and bouncing our experiences about, Canada and wildlife and all sorts of fun stuff. And it was almost like we could chat all day before we actually hit record here, so that is really clear. Tell us about the 35 you mentioned when it started, how much time passed before you actually did something about that? And what things did you try that didn’t work?

Max – Sure. Absolutely. Yeah. So so it started my foot being really sore, so I went to the doctor. He immediately injected cortisone into my feet, which helped for maybe a week. And then it started coming back and I was like, what’s going on here? I went back to him he said, I can give you another injection. I’m like, Yeah, I don’t think that’s it. So he’s like, Well, why don’t you go and let’s get some blood work done and see maybe there’s something underlying cause in it. And I was really happy to find out that I had no arthritis whatsoever, no rheumatoid arthritis, and I was like, Wow, that’s great at least it’s not that. So maybe it’s just something that’ll pass. And so anyway, it’s just sort of getting worse and worse, and didn’t know exactly what to do. So I went back to the doctor and he sent me for more blood work and it came back again that I had no rheumatoid arthritis whatsoever. I’m sure you’ve heard this story before from, I think, some of your other viewers to where they just weren’t testing the right markers of my blood. So finally, this is a bit of a funny story. I was working actually before I started my own company in another media company, it was a business-to-business media company and it was very stressful, very stressful. And you know how much stress plays on your arthritis and your rheumatoid arthritis. I had a really stressful time, I had a team of about 12 people and we were going through a big change. All of a sudden my finger just started swelling up like my middle finger. It was like as big as a sausage. And of course, you know, psoriatic arthritis, the laymen’s term is called sausage joints. Anyway, so I was like, this is really bad and I’m not feeling good, right? And so I went to emergency and the emergency doctor said, oh, my goodness, this is quite bad this could be like an infection in your finger. And it could be they thought maybe it was like a cat scratch or something that was deeply infected in there. So they said, well, we’re going to do surgery, open it up and see to drain it and everything and get rid of it. They opened it up and immediately they closed it back up. And when I came to they said, we know what your problem is, you have psoriatic arthritis. They could see the tendon was gray and that it wasn’t like it was just so inflamed and so deformed, really. The doctor had a funny joke, he said, I know what exactly you have. You have a social disease. I’m like, social disease, like, yeah, your middle finger, you can’t close it. You’re walking around with your middle finger stiff all the time. He was a great surgeon.

Max – So anyway, then there I actually got my first exposure to a rheumatologist, and the rheumatologist immediately put me on naproxen and sulfasalazine. And it actually worked quite well, it reduced the inflammation. I was let out of the hospital like a day or two later, which was great. And I kept taking it for probably about six months to about a year, I kept taking it. But I knew that that wasn’t the way I wanted to go, I knew that was not the path for me. So I slowly weaned myself off of itm and then Clint, I think it went into remission, I didn’t have really anything happen. And then, of course, one day, as I say in my blog, my old friend came knocking at the door, the pain started again and it just got worse and worse. And I’m really into martial arts. I’m a black belt in taekwondo and trained Brazilian jiu jitsu. I was like, I was having a really hard time keeping up with my sports. And I went back to taking Naproxen just over the counter Naproxen. And I was up to like taking six pills a day, it was just, oh, it was just crazy. I knew it was hurting me and my psoriasis, which is crazy and it really wasn’t looking good.

Max – I’d always been a health oriented person, or at least I thought, and I’d always try to eat the healthiest foods and try to be the best that I could be. And my daughter was home from university and she had turned vegan in university, and she came home for the summer and spent time with us. And I’m like, vegan. What is this? What are you doing with this vegan stuff? I’m not sure about this. Like if you could see my déck Clint, I’ve got two of the biggest barbecues known to man and we’d love cooking like steaks and grass-fed beef and you name it and always trying to have like really high-end dinners. I love cooking, I used to cook when I was working in Chicago, but that’s another story. So I’m like, Well, okay, I’m going to start trying to make her some meals. I first tried to break her of it and she wasn’t going to break.

Clint – And so that was the classic story. Girl goes off to university and comes back vegan and then like, I’m vegan now. Now everyone must be vegan in the family.

Max – Exactly. Yeah.

Clint – It’s like it’s so stereotypical.

Max – Yeah, totally. I was like, there’s no way. So but I started to feel bad because when she would come over, I wasn’t really making her anything special. And I always made her great food and she’s like, Dad, you didn’t really said that. And I started to look at some recipes, started making the food, and really start to enjoy it. And I have to say, I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this journey without my wife, Jacinta. Like, she’s just amazing and so supportive and I’ll talk more about that in a minute. But she grasped onto it too, and she started eating some of these meals and we started feeling better. We really felt great and I did notice an improvement and my whole digestion and bowel movements, you name it. My energy levels and I started to lose weight, feel better, and things were really, really going great. But I still couldn’t get rid of like a lot of the pain. I mean, I would say I was probably 60% there. My intuition was telling me, I believe that we all have our own intuition and that can tell us a lot about our own wellness, and we don’t really tap into that a lot. And I knew there was something out there, I knew you were out there, Clint. I wanted to find some kind of solution other than having to go on methotrexate. My doctor was pushing me to go, he’s like, if this doesn’t get better, you’re going to have to do something. And I was pushing back and good thing he was he was flexible enough to allow me to sort of find my own way.

Max – And so I was watching your video, I came across your video it was like 2 -30 in the morning or something, I couldn’t sleep, I was in pain. And I found your video and you were talking about how you felt after eating cherries and got sick and that you didn’t eat anything, after you did that, you felt so much better. And then the light bulb went off in my head and I was like, Wow, that’s it, that’s exactly how I feel when I don’t eat. I knew from there that this was a guy that was speaking to me and that I wanted to learn more about what you were doing. And so I, of course, went to your site and then checked out your program, bought the program. And like I said, my wife, she’s so amazing. She just, like, was all in with me, she just went in and she made me the green juice smoothies every morning. She ate the same diet as I did the whole time and was very supportive. I couldn’t believe it, I was in first time in many, many years, 20 plus years. I had no pain and I was getting moving the right direction. My CRP was so high and then I think it was like 35 or even 55 at one point. And then it went down to like 15, and then anyway, long story short, it’s, it’s within the normal range it’s like 4 now. I know you said that you want to get it down to zero and that’s my goal is to get it down to zero and I’m working on that.

Clint – Wow. I don’t think we can get it down to zero actually. We can get it below 1, but don’t actually know if you can get zero. I’ve never seen one, I’ve never had zero. But anyway, that’s a detail that distracts from the main wonderful story that you’ve just shared. And I’m not sure which question to ask next. But first of all, what about the rheumatologist? What did they say after your numbers were dropping? Did the rheumatologist or is the rheumatologist still suggesting methotrexate?

Max – So I had 2 rheumatologists, one of which I no longer needed because it basically went into remission and I lost track of that rheumatologist. And my doctor left and I had to get a new doctor. Well, just a story about that rheumatologist told me actually said, do not go to any naturopathic doctors or follow any, any like health, food, diet, because it’s not going to work for you. They actually said that to me when I like my last time leaving if you can believe that.

Clint – Almost as though like a final warning.

Max – It’s just very strange and it really set in my mind like, why would they even say that? And then my second rheumatologist, whom I only visited once and she told me not to come back to her again unless I was ready to take her advice and go on the methotrexate. So I don’t have a rheumatologist saying I was basically a self-directed rheumatologist and using my own, like I said, intuitive wellness and intuition to sort of guide me. And of course your advice has been so instrumental.

Clint – So just to clarify then for the naysayers, skeptics or the people who say, yeah, but to everything that we do. You’re waking up in the morning, your joints, the hands close nicely, your feet don’t hurt on cold surfaces in the morning, you’re walking around, you’re able to lift heavy things and you’re basically moving and living a life as though there is no autoimmune disease.

Max – Absolutely. I still have some joint damage, but basically I’m living with no autoimmune disease. I work out every day and, I’m living the good life, and I’m really feeling, like, amazing. It really also, as you know, helps your thinking because without that the inflammation in your body it also clears your mind. And I feel better than ever from a mental state, too, which has helped my business immensely.

Clint – Well, it seems to make you lighter, doesn’t it? I don’t just mean physically lighter, but first of all, when we’re pushing fat through our bloodstream, it requires more energy, which is the underlying principle of high blood pressure, because you’ve got a pump and it has to move the blood through the body. Well, if there’s more resistance, more friction due to the fat content in the blood, then you need a bigger pump, you need more pressure. And so you literally are lighter with a lower fat intake diet. I think that there’s also, just the inflammation itself, which adds a sort of consumption of energy in the body is gone. So, you’re lighter, you’ve got lower blood pressure, it’s just a nicer existence.

Max – Absolutely. And that was one of the things I was so surprised when I checked out your plan was that but no oil because to me, oil was always something oil we always had oil like oil was always in olive oil. That’s got to be healthy, you know? I mean, but then when you really think about it, like we never had oil, like what is like oil is just like a modern man’s creation, right? And so the whole food plant-based diet is definitely the way to go. If you’re going to get the oil, eat the whole plant, so it’s really amazing. I talked to some friends about it and they’re still they just can understand no oil.

Clint – It’s a hard one. Look in oil it’s one of the been one of the most difficult chapters for me to write in my book, which I’m in the process of sort of stringing together now. Yeah, it’s getting there. People have been wanting this for like the last literally seven years, it is getting closer. So I’m in the next few weeks we’ll be talking to a designer for the cover and stuff. So it’s getting there. But it’s a hard chapter to write about the oil. Well, it’s called cell membrane repair. It’s all about how the fatty acids can become constituents of the cell membrane. The reason it’s complicated is because there’s so many subtleties involved and it’s a whole another podcast. But there are so many subtleties involved, and as soon as I start on this, I won’t be able to stop. Let’s put that aside for the moment. But yes, the no oil thing is hard. For people who are still stuck on the no oil thing, a little thing, a little bit of olive oil, and I’m not saying it’s a health food, but a little bit of olive oil that’s not heated is not going to be the end of the world. A little bit of unheated Olive oil on a salad is not the end of the world. It’s mostly omega 9, which doesn’t go and trigger this sort of arachidonic acid pathway in the body. It is heavy 14 to 1, omega, 6 to omega 3. But the total amount is small compared to omega 9. And so, if we’re sort of splitting hairs here, a little bit of olive oil may not be that detrimental. As soon as you heat any oil, it increases free radicals potential tremendously so that’s a disaster. You don’t want to heat any oil, but just to sort of close out the olive oil, which is always the one that people debate about, you’re better off getting your omega 3 via lots and lots of leafy greens and it’s in not all whole foods. A lot of the whole foods that we’re eating in small amounts. So big salads, lots of whole foods and you’ll get over that minimum requirement each day, no problem. So when you got me started on.

Max – Oh, that’s great. Yeah. The salads, I remember watching you on one of your videos. You were sharing what you were eating and you’re eating quinoa with miso and kale. And I was like, what? Like, I guess I had not eaten a lot of quinoa and I really hadn’t eaten any miso and I didn’t eat a lot of kale. And I actually have sort of a funny story about the kale. It’s like when I started eating kale, I was getting very sick. It just showed you how bad my gut microbiome was. It was bad because I got very sick, like sick like just from yeah, both ways. Yeah. You name it at the same time. But now I eat kale every day and I eat quinoa, miso, and kale for lunch just about every day.

Clint – Well, I’ll tell you a funny story that sort of parallels that when I first started eating quinoa, it was when I was travelling in Peru, which is sort of it’s really regular or common in Peru. And I went on a holiday with Melissa and she was like, Oh, you’ll love quinoa, it’s so good for. I’m like, couldn’t even say it, like Kinnock, let alone spell it. Then I’m eating it, and like you, I just seem to couldn’t digest it. Right? Because my as you say, like my bacteria that in my colon we’re off to the left and the microbes I need from quinoa were off to the right. And I’m on this like relationship sort of building most crucial kind of 16 day sort of could she be my future wife? I’m getting up in the middle of the night, running out of the room, like it was nasty because I just couldn’t.

Max – I know.

Clint – We can’t blame the food, it’s the machinery that’s trying to digest that food.

Max – Yeah. So kale. Kale is my thing now, I eat so much kale. I love it. Like, we must go through two or three heads of kale. We grow kale in our little garden, which is now a new edition. So, yeah, kale is just so great for you.

Clint – That’s fantastic. Now I want to ask I’ve got a bunch of questions here for you. The plant-based website that you create, one of your four sorts of pillars of your business, has that come about since you’ve changed your lifestyle, or was that always in place?

Max – No, that’s come about since I’ve changed my lifestyle, actually. So actually when I was working at the B-to-B business, it was so stressful and I was talking about the surgery on my hand and not knowing. So I left that business to start up this wellness business because I knew that that was the path I wanted to go on. I worked as a personal trainer for a couple of years and I love helping people. It’s really what I enjoy most and yeah. So if that answers your question.

Clint – Yeah. So you thought, look, I’m passionate about this. I’m a black belt martial artist. I just learned from you, uou do personal training, so you’ve always been physically active and then you’ve found out that the missing link was just to eliminate some of the animal foods and oils from your diet. And then you’ve realized now, now I’m living the way that my body’s most optimized for, and so you’ve added the plant-based website. Okay, that’s fantastic. Is it something that our audience might be interested in?

Max – Oh, absolutely, yeah. They’ve got a lot of cool recipes on there that’s www.helpfulgourmet.com. They’re like foods that I eat just about every day, and a lot of them are simple, a lot of them are a bit more complex. There’s everything on there from like Mexican food to Asian food to curries. And of course, it’s a little bit more evolved than when you first start on the Paddison Program of just the Juice. I basically have introduced all the foods and I know what foods I can eat and what foods I cannot eat. One point I wanted to mention, one thing I found that was really helping me and this might you probably already know this, but it’s also incorporating some of the intermittent fasting. I’ve been using that as well, so basically don’t eat for like 16 hours every day and then only eat during that eight-hour window. And I try to like even crunch that down a bit more or less than eight if I can. But that has been really, really helpful I find as well, especially if you do have a flare-up. As you know, as you’ve said before, all you have to do is just stop eating and then it slowly clears itself up over time. So it just incorporating that is seemed to help. And plus, I’ve seen some studies that Dr. the neuroscientist Andrew Huberman has brought forth about intermittent fasting and how it helps longevity and helps for fitness and weight loss and everything. So that’s something that I have found very beneficial as well.

Clint – Yes. So something I’ve learned about not eating recently is that, originally I thought that when I had like my purging, as you said earlier, the cherry incident. I thought that the only explanation for that was that particles in my digestive tract, i.e. colon and small intestine, were translocated into my bloodstream. And in the absence of food, there was therefore no food particles to enter my bloodstream, which can be immunoreactive to the proteins. That was the only explanation as to why when I didn’t eat I felt well and therefore it is 100% leaky gut and therefore it’s like, undebatable. That was my understanding. I’ve since seen studies that, as I said, as a result of working on my book and the studies show that because the immune system is such a heavy drain on your resources and estimates are that 10% of your metabolic energy goes into fueling your immune system when you are inflamed. So every 10 bites one of them gets totally consumed to keep you inflamed. It’s like a lot of energy, which is why we’re always tired and we can never seem to get on top of things with the fatigue when we’re inflamed. Now, this also even turns out to be the case when we have low-grade inflammation. And people with rheumatoid who’ve been studied, who are in remission or low C-reactive protein, low vector scores and so on, have been shown to also have this energy consumption and also the fatigue reporting. So what I have since understood is that there is another factor going on when we don’t eat, and that is that the inflammation production actually gets deprioritized behind survival and the body’s energy resources go towards energy consumption. And that the, for want of a better phrase, the luxury of fighting infections or inflammation and creating inflammation and fighting bacteria in our perceived bacteria in the joints and all this. Must actually take a back seat to survival. And so the immune system simply stops the inflammation activity. It’s not just the translocation of the particles creating the immune system, it’s that the immune system just says, no more inflammation, I’m in a survival state. That’s something that I’m now very certain of and multiple studies to.

Max – Wow, that’s fascinating.

Clint – It’s new.

Max – That’s fascinating, that’s very interesting. It’s like your body’s like, oh, we’re at DEFCON 2 now let’s stop the inflammation. We need food and survival.

Clint – Exactly, Because if I’m going to undertake a heavy activity, which is to basically create neutrophils or I create white blood cells and to build these to go and fight the infection that’s using up energy. And that could be in 3 or 4 days’ time. If I haven’t been fed something, that means I die earlier and I need that, I need that energy. So I didn’t realise that the immune system is such a heavy drain on the body’s resources and inflammation in particular, the creation of these anti-inflammatory molecules and so on.

Max – Oh yeah.

Clint – They’ve all got to be built from something.

Max – It’s a lot of work.

Clint – It’s a lot of work

Max – Yeah. I know I had iritis, which is like the inflammation in your eye and like you get the white blood cells in your eyes. Just you got so many white blood cells running through your body you can’t even see. So yeah, that makes total sense. Wow. That’s a huge breakthrough.

Clint – I was fascinated by that, and it was brought to my attention by a medical researcher that I asked to investigate this and they’re like, wow, this is fascinating, look at this and they didn’t know either. So it’s not something I think that’s really that well, well known. But the iritis has gone as well?

Max – Oh yeah, that’s gone. That one really scared me. When you start to lose your sight, then you’re like, okay, hold on this is not good.

Clint – I write because there are a few different sorts of levels of this, aren’t there? There is simply sort of the dry eye and the sort of lack of tear duct activity creating and also sort of and then you’ve got associated things like that, like blast fighters and so on. But then it increases to iritis. What was the optometrist or ophthalmologist saying about this situation?

Max – Well, of course, their approach is always just like hit it with as many drugs as you can right away. They also give you these drops that sort of release your eye so that your iris doesn’t even function, that just sort of releases it and takes off the pressure on it. And so you can’t really see out of the eye that’s affected. You’re hitting drops all the time and then you’re putting gel in your eye and ah it’s not a fun thing. I don’t recommend it to anyone.

Clint – The few problems I had is thankfully very, very short-term. You just feel really uncomfortable with putting stuff on your eyes, it’s like so against nature, isn’t it?

Max – Oh, yeah, it’s not a good feeling at all, and console is on your mind too.

Clint – Yeah, it is, because I was feeling it.

Max – Yeah.

Clint – Okay. Let’s talk about something a little bit more. Okay. Let’s talk about your martial arts, black belt, and personal training. My observation in listening to you talk is that this part of your life postponed and prevented much more severe and aggressive development of your condition that otherwise would have played out. You’ve got rheumatoid arthritis in your foot and then you say, you went on Sulfasalazine and some Naproxen for 9 months and then it’s gone and it went into remission. That never happens unless you’re physically really fit. Right? So do you agree as well that that part of your life basically gave you a lot more sort of buffer?

Max – Oh, absolutely yeah. Fitness and health have always been my passion since I was really 13. I wanted to play football and got introduced to working out and I actually liked working out more than I like the football team. So I quit the football team and just focused on working out and it was something I always enjoyed. Fitness and health are something that’s been my passion. Certainly, without it, I don’t think I would be as far ahead as I am now. And you’re right, I was able to get through a lot of things that I probably wouldn’t normally be able to if it wasn’t for my health and fitness.

Clint – For people who aren’t doing any exercise, you have the greatest opportunity ever sitting right there in front of you. The movement of the body just offers so many benefits anti-inflammatory, strength, confidence, self-esteem, sleep, microbiome improvements, muscle development, loading of the joints, supporting through muscle tissue, and anti-inflammatory effects through reduction of tendonitis. I mean, it’s just so much that you can see as we’re talking to Max here, he’s had this onset of psoriatic arthritis slash rheumatoid arthritis, and then he’s so physically fit that’s been able to be postponed in spite of potentially some of the wrong fuels coming into the body. So I wanted to make that point. What is your daughter saying now about your changes?

Max – Oh, well, it’s really brought us so much closer really. I think for a daughter to have her father, like, listen to her, like it’s changing I quit coffee, quit meat. So it’s really brought us closer and we really enjoy our cooking together and spending time together, talking about food. Being vegan I don’t know what it is, but you’re constantly thinking about food. Like our question is always like, what’s the meal for tomorrow night? And we actually plan out our meals for the week. A lot of times we’re just eating the same thing. It’s Mexican Monday and then our plant-based burgers. It’s really been my daughter, Madison, she’s amazing and she’s working in public health and she’s a very special kid.

Clint – Does she have any interest in working in the family business?

Max – You know, I think she might eventually, but she’s doing pretty well. She’s making very good money doing what she’s doing and really enjoying it. She’s working for a company that certifies environmental practices, so she’s helping the environment. So yeah, so it’s really cool what she’s doing and she’s really enjoying the path that she’s on.

Clint – You know, they go hand in hand, don’t they? When you eat light, you kind of think about a light planet and think about these things more. Has that also entered your sort of day-to-day?

Max – Yeah, it’s very interesting because as you probably know, when you’re when you go vegan, you take a lot of heat from other family members and people around you that are not vegan. You all of a sudden get this stigma of being difficult and annoying at the restaurant for ordering you name it. So it’s been a funny time for sure for that. But like, I think just focusing on health like the health reasons they’re going vegan was my start, and then it became I started to learn more about it and start watching some videos. Have you ever seen Earthling Ed?

Clint – I have seen some of his stuff on YouTube. Yeah, I’ve never seen him speak live.

Max – Very interesting like how he talks about going vegan. It has nothing to do with health, which to me is the reason, one of the most important reasons. But it’s all about animal humaneness and which resonates with me as well. I studied actually pre-veterinary science in university, I was going to become a veterinarian, but I realized I love animals too much that I couldn’t. So I went on to doing another field. But yeah, it definitely opens your eyes to also just to the planet. I didn’t realize that the emissions and everything that’s causing with global warming, a lot of that is coming from our animal industries and on this planet, and we really don’t need to have that. We all can just eat more plants and that’s one of the things that we’re trying to do is just help people realize just eat more plants, make the steps towards healthier eating and whole foods plant-based, great taste.

Clint – What would you say if I could throw you under the spotlight here? Maybe 3 or 4 top essential things you must do if you are looking to reduce inflammation, let’s say. Right. So this can be dietary related and you might have some sub-bullet points under that. Or there could be some other things like having someone who is so supportive as you had with your wife. Just anything that comes to mind, do this, do this, do this.

Max – Yeah, for sure. Like one of them would be intermittent fasting and giving your body that break and giving it time to digest and getting your digestive cycle on a regular rhythm if you will. So I think that’s very important. Obviously, eliminating the foods that are causing that inflammation, like with the milk and like cheese. People just can’t give up cheese and the heavy oil. And I’m not saying vegan foods are all healthy either. There are so many processed vegan foods that are just awful and they can cause just as much inflammation, if not more than some of the nutrients. So it’s basically keeping away from a lot of processed foods. My wife says if it has a barcode on it, we’re not buying it, that’s one of her things. So we really try to make everything from scratch, so that’s very important. And then of course, exercise is so important because it gets your blood flow. I think it helps reduce the inflammation in your body, helps clear your mind, and just keeps you motivated. One of the other things interesting about eating meat is that when those animals are killed, they’re in a state of fear, right? So all of those chemicals that cause fear and anxiety are in their bodies and their systems, in their tissues when they’re killed. And then as consumers, people go and eat that and then they get ingested. So I mean, those fear chemicals, cortisol, you name it are in the meat. And then that causes a lot of anxiety like we have an anxiety epidemic taking place now in our society and a lot of it I think is caused by foods. So I would definitely say intermittent fasting, watching what you eat and exercising are the top 3 for sure.

Clint – Now that you’ve said you’ve lost some body weight and I can’t see below your shoulders, but from taking a guess, you’re probably now at a really nice body mass index or whatever they say. How have you felt in terms of then physical activity, in terms of weight lifting, martial arts, and so on? And has there been a recovery period where perhaps you were not as strong or not as flexible or has it improved those areas?

Max – Well, it’s definitely improved for sure with plant-based eating. As I said, I started working out with weights when I was 13, and I used to compete in some bodybuilding contests, nothing major, and university always enjoyed that. I always had a pretty good physique. But wow, with the plant base eating it’s really it’s like my body just wants to be in great shape all the time, and it gives me the signs to make sure you don’t fall off the wagon here. Otherwise, you’re going to get some pain or something is going to kick you in the butt, it’s certainly helped, Clint. And I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the Game Changers movie, but there you go. I mean, like some of the top athletes in the world are plant-based and I wholeheartedly agree. Like I remember in the martial arts there, sometimes I couldn’t compete because my stomach was upset or I was too tired or feeling lethargic. Or the way I used to eat, I’d be so tired afterward I couldn’t do anything. Sometimes I’d skip class or something. The plant-based living is just like sort of having the chains lifted off you and you’re just free to go.

Clint – Are you able to now eat quite a diverse amount of plant-based foods such as potatoes and you’re able to eat lentils, beans, rice, and corn? Is it pretty much unlimited?

Max – Yeah, I can pretty much eat everything. Like the things that I really have found that are the triggers for me or anything that’s sweet and especially late at night, that’s a no-no. If I had, let’s say, two bananas before I go to bed, I’ll wake up with inflation. Or one of the foods I tried when I was coming back was an orange, and I immediately had a reaction. It’s like my wife calls me the canary in the coal mine. It’s almost I can feel it almost like within an hour or two, if I eat something that’s bad, that’s affecting me. It’s a gift, really, to have this keeping me on track, I mean, to stay healthy. My body is telling me, sure, it’s causing pain and all these other things. But, you know, I think, in the long run, it’s been so much better for me.

Clint – It’s fascinating, isn’t it? And we can say that, and we do believe that once we’ve gotten over that massive hump and until we get over that massive inflammation hump and we get things settled down, it’s just as low as it can be. But with these oranges and bananas, just for example, if you eat them, say, around midday, how are you then able to tolerate them?

Max – Yeah, I am. I’m able to tolerate them if I have them at mid-day, it’s amazing. Yeah. So, like, I’ll have a smoothie with blueberries and bananas and, it’s great. I’m fine, No problems. But if I have anything sweet late at night, it definitely does not work for me. I know that you talked about in one of your videos about trying to have a bowel movement like before you go to bed. That’s something that’s been a goal for me as well, is to have that complete clean out before you go to bed if you can. Although I am pretty regular for sure. Anyway, so it’s been great.

Clint – Interesting. I love trying to think what does that mean with the citrus and the bananas? It could just be that you have more of an accentuated version of the typical human digestive power which peaks at midday and then slowly tails off until we get to nighttime and then ramps back up again in the morning where midday is the middle of the bell curve. Perhaps like in your case, that’s literally really, really kind of the case and that your digestion late at night, it’s shut down, it doesn’t want to.

Max – So true. Yeah. It’s closed for business and it’s like no late-night pizzas for you, my friend, you know? That’s okay.

Clint – Well, again, yeah, if we bring it right back to really sort of basic human evolution where before we would have had the ability to light our evenings. Once it became dark, it was dark, and then we wouldn’t have been able to find food. We wouldn’t have been able to grind or prepare or even know where the banana was to peel it. Okay. So if it’s that dark, it’s a 6 -00 at night and that’s not going to be light again until six in the morning, then there’s no eating going on, never, right? So you’ve got to eat big through those 12 hours and then that’s it. You’ve got to fast until morning because that’s how it is. So, I mean, it all is basically realigning us into the way that we’re meant to be.

Max – Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And it’s interesting you make that point because I find that my peak energy level is around 2 p.m. my time and that’s like when I like to work out sometimes. And so it must be my, my body’s energy is flowing like my, my engine is burning and that’s the time I should be eating like fruit or anything sweet, for sure.

Clint – Wonderful. Well, Max, is there anything else that we haven’t covered that you’d like to say?

Max – I just want to say again, thank you so much for everything that you’re doing and I really, really appreciate it. You’re a fabulous person, and without you, I wouldn’t have been able to get this far. So I’m very grateful, so thanks again.

Clint – Oh, thanks, Max. And please pass on my thanks in turn to your daughter, she did the hard work. She was in close, she was right there and telling you, you can do this, and planted that seed for you. So you’ve had some people in your life, your daughter and your wife, who’ve been so helpful to you. So you’re very, very lucky.

Max – I’m very grateful for sure. Yeah, I’m blessed.

Clint – All right. Thanks so much, Max we’ll leave it there. And I hope that everyone has enjoyed listening to or watching this episode with Max. If you like this episode, please go over to iTunes and give us a five-star review so more people can learn about this podcast. Max, thanks very much.

Max – Thank you so much, Clint.


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