I catch up with popular, animated, and spicy host of the Fitness Confidential podcast and book.
Vinnie is a true pioneer and thought leader in the fitness and weight loss industry. Amazingly, Vinnie’s home base is the great nation of Woodland Hills, CA, which happens to be my hometown. That little aside is representative of the direction of the conversation on this show—get Vinnie and I revv’d up and they take off in assorted directions. One thing is for sure, this guy is the real deal. He shoots straight and has no problem calling out BS when he sees it. He’s not afraid to call out Oprah and Jillian Michaels and others in the fitness game who prey upon your weaknesses and dispense ineffective advice. E.g., Oprah buying a big chunk of Weight Watchers stock in 2015, then telling her followers she’s going on Weight Watchers (again)! That’s some nasty stuff if you pause to think about it. Check out Vinnie’s Fitness Confidential show and you will see that this guy is perhaps the most prolific podcaster on the planet. He cranks out five lengthy shows every week! I appeared recently on episode one-thousand-something!
The show starts with Vinny going on a political rant, then Vinny recounting his amazing story as America’s Celebrity Trainer. He relates a crossroads in life and career that happened in 2007 when was stricken with cancer, couldn’t train clients, and was running up big medical bills. A Hollywood writer friend urged him to write a book. Vinny’s Fitness Confidential was self-published (why suck up to publishers who might dilute his message?), became a bestseller and inspired the launch of the podcast.
Thirty years ago as a New Orleans coach and trainer, Vinnie made the brilliant connection between the Atkins diet and what is today called the Compensation Theory of Exercise—the idea that calories burned during workouts don’t really help you lose weight. He has been preaching his tag line, “No Sugar, No Grains” since that time with great success. One of the most heart-warming character-revealing insights was how Vinnie helped an office admin who couldn’t afford his services to lose over 100 pounds. This caught the attention of her employers, and soon Vinnie was helping Playboy centerfolds stay trim during their 15 minutes of fame on the party circuit. Soon he became the go-to guy in Hollywood to keep people drop excess body fat and stay healthy.
Vinnie does some crazy stuff in his own life, including 500-mile ultra marathon bicycle races. He is currently training for a solo 100-mile kayak excursion from his hometown in the Louisiana Bayou to the Pacific Ocean (that’s his super bad ass kayak in the photo, what a beauty!).
People don’t stand up any more. When you do something wrong…apologize! [00:07:30]
Vinnie and Brad look at today’s society’s attitudes and dysfunctions. [00:10:14]
After a bout with cancer, Vinnie became a prolific podcaster.(5 shows per week). How did that start? [00:18:22]
What was it like to train the Playboy centerfolds? [00:34:03]
How did he come up with NSNG (No Sugar No Grains)? [00:40:32]
Telling people to exercise to lose weight, doesn’t work. [00:43:18]
Back in the day, the science told us to eat carbs if you are going to be an athlete. Be careful for off season!! [00:48:38]
How did people deal with the idea that you eat a lot of fat so you won’t gain weight? [00:50:44]
The RAAM (Race Across America) is a non-stop race that is considered the most difficult endurance event on the planet [00:52:49]
What kind of ultras did Vinnie do? Now he is planning a 100-mile kayak trip. [01:00:41]
Heart problems are common in endurance athlete community. Train Smart. [01:04:43]
Climbing Mt. Whitney takes about 14 hours at leisurely pace. [01:09:00]
Starting a race at 6-Flags Magic Mountain and going across the Mojave Desert into Death Valley is a major race! [01:10:05]
Vinnie has produced FAT, a documentary, about his work. There is a lot of bad information out there. [01:14:57]
You can’t outrun a bad diet!!
NO Sugar, NO Grains…It’s as simple as that!
Get Over Yourself Podcast
Speaker: Brad Kearns and Vinnie Tortorich
Brad Kearns: Welcome to the Get Over Yourself Podcast. This is Brad Kearns.
Vinnie Tortorich: “There’s no way we can run off. We can’t outrun a diet. This cannot be right.”
“I’ve always been a guy that just questions everything. It’s like, ‘Wait, that doesn’t seem to make sense. Why?’ And whenever you start digging into that, you start learning more and more that you weren’t getting the real story.”
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Hey, it’s Brad, very excited to introduce my show with the one and only Vinnie Tortorich – America’s celebrity trainer. The host of the very popular Fitness Confidential Podcast, author of that bestselling book, “Fitness Confidential”. And let me tell you something, you’re going to enjoy this show because this guy is the real deal. He shoots straight. He has no problem speaking his mind. He can tackle controversial topics in a straight direct manner. That’s very refreshing in this day and age of the manufactured performances and the posturing.
Such a down to earth guy. I mean, he’s been working with Hollywood celebrities forever and has a very prominent position in the fitness industry, and been around Hollywood forever. But he’s just a super down to earth and genuine guy, full of life and enthusiasm. And man, this guy was born for podcasting.
I have to say that first we recorded a very lengthy show for his channel, which you can go and listen to; Brad and Vinnie. And we get going on all kinds of topics like the dysfunctional attitudes that helicopter parents have and the corruption in NCAA Division One sports. So, we were highly, highly warmed up when we pushed the record button for this episode of my show, and somehow, we jumped right into politics. Which was funny because at the end of Vinnie’s other show, he says, “This is not a political podcast. I don’t want to go there.” And I say the same thing. It’s not necessary. You can go listen to political podcasts. But we went there anyway.
So, we got in some nice jabbering about our wonderful president of the United States right now, and all that kind of fun stuff before we settled in to talk about the matters at hand, including his amazing background in the fitness world, coming from New Orleans as a personal trainer and then plunging right into Hollywood, and how he got his break. How he got his start in Hollywood is an absolutely mind-blowing anecdote that all young aspiring people in fitness or in any business would be well-served to listen to very carefully.
It’s such an amazing character revealing insight. You’re not going to believe this story that involves Playboy Playmates and helping people lose massive amounts of weight. Going all in, all the way, even when his clients couldn’t afford to pay him and just coming from his heart and really truly wanting to help people. So, you listen to that story and you get a great sense of who this guy is and what he’s all about, and how he still walks his talk today.
I mean, he talks about the beginning of his podcast, which was just done as a folly on a whim, and he and his sidekick, Anna, who’s hilarious. You’ll listen to them on Fitness Confidential. They were so certain that no one was listening, that they started goofing off and doing some nasty dirty joke type of stuff. Just having fun with it and not taking themselves too seriously, and then they discovered that they were actually a very highly rated podcast on iTunes. And then, they started to get into this fast track where now it’s one of the top ranked health and fitness shows perennially. And of course, adding more and more content to the channel.
So, it was a great privilege to sit down with Vinnie, and have him go out of his way and take that time. During the off hours, we plunged into family time, dinner time. But he didn’t care, man. He was just wound up and we went all the way and talked about all kinds of amazing topics; ultramarathon cycling, oh my goodness. And also, him putting together this amazing insight, this epiphany that kind of was a cross between the Atkins diet and the modern notion of the compensation theory, where exercise does not measurably contribute to your weight loss goals.
All this stuff is being discussed right now as breaking news, and this was 30 years ago. Where this guy started to get the notions and have that creative mindset where he’s asking questions and second guessing the conventional wisdom. And boy, it all started. He’s a guy that was early on in this game and still going strong with his wonderful no sugar, no grains trademark phrase. The immediate one liner that you can share to ask what this primal paleo, low carb scene is all about. The first step is ditch sugars and ditch grains, and then you’ll lose weight.
That’s been Vinnie’s game forever. Just doing the best he can to help not only the Hollywood celebrities, but the ordinary people listening to his show – no sugar, no grains. You can’t get any more simple than that. Enjoy this show with Vinnie Tortorich of the Fitness Confidential Podcast.
Oh my gosh. I’m sitting here in beautiful Woodland Hills, California, my hometown and the town of Vinnie Tortorich.
Vinnie Tortorich: The town of Robin Wright.
Brad Kearns: And many other luminaries here. It all happens in Woodland Hills. Vinnie, I’m so glad to catch up with you. We’ve been hanging for a while with different things happening and joining each other on the podcast, and having our fun little dramatic start where I cut out your vitamin pitch on my podcast due to company policy. Forgot to tell you, and then rush through a couple of emails saying, “Sorry dude. Yeah, no big deal.” And you’re like, “Kind of was a big deal.” And then we had this great connection where I said, I have these opportunities in life to kind of recalibrate me and learn a lesson. And I called you up and I said, “Hey dude, you know what? I got to tell you something. I’m really sorry. I appreciate your feedback. You’re absolutely right.”
Boy, it’s sort of like breaking the ice from when you’re swimming around in the business world and getting mixed messages and weird things like that instead of just cutting to the chase and dealing with stuff.
Vinnie Tortorich: You see, I think the confusion with that happened, if I’m remembering right, was I was promised … I have my vitamin company coming out and I was promised by someone, “Oh yeah, come on and promote it.” And Mark said, “No, we sell vitamins.” And they just cut it out and I said, “Hang on, I’ll let Mark come on and promote his vitamins on my show.” And both you and Mark called and said, “Hey, we’re terribly sorry.” And I was like, “I love these guys. These are stand-up guys.” People don’t stand up anymore and admit when they’re wrong.
Look at what’s going on in the world today. All these women are coming out and accusing this guy Weinstein of he did this, he did that. If it was one woman or two women, you can go, “Oh, okay.” But all of these women have very similar stories and they’re all going, “This is what happened.” And you go, “Wow, this guy was a real creep, right?” Yet he’s going, “I didn’t do anything wrong.” How do you not know you didn’t do something wrong?
I’m not comparing you and Mark to Weinstein, but that’s the world we live in where you guys said, “Oh my God. We told this guy one thing and we did something else.” But somehow, we got crossed out with the person I was talking to that booked me for the show and you and nobody really knew.
Brad Kearns: Well, you bring to mind … I’m not going to make this a political podcast, just like Vinnie says on the Fitness Confidential.
Vinnie Tortorich: And then I make it political.
Brad Kearns: It brings to mind the president where he can stand up there and lie and has been caught lying. And there’s a website that says what percentage of statements come out of his mouth is a lie. And it’s a world record of 71% or whatever. But we’re existing in that world where this guy is capable of getting elected.
Deepak Chopra is not a political guy either. I heard him on a podcast recently and he got into some really nice barbs about Trump and he said, “This is a sample of this dysfunctional planet and this dysfunctional narcissist has been able to get elected.” And he wasn’t trying to be mean. He was just making the observation that this is how the elections go and the BS that comes out of the politicians’ mouths. And how we vote and process information.
It’s all short attention span and social media is dominating and whoever’s on top right now and we’re just constantly overstimulated with these weird influences that throw us off the good old-fashioned values that come from down-home Louisiana or wherever you grew up. In a simpler time where if you broke the neighbor’s window, you went over there and knocked on the door and said you’re going to take your paper boy money and fix the window. And nowadays, the kid would probably sue the neighbor for having the window in the wrong spot. No kidding.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, pretty much. And speaking of the Trump thing, and yes, I don’t do political, I don’t care who anyone voted for – that’s not my thing. But I do find it very interesting that he … love him or hate him, he’s the Commander in Chief. And he’s what the world looks at when they look at us. And we travel around the world a lot and everyone has a lot to say about the guy. And all I care about is, I don’t care who the Commander in Chief is. I don’t want to see the guy fail. Because if he fails, we fail.
Do I believe he should be on Twitter everyday? No, not so much. But I don’t want the guy to fail. And it seems like most of the country is waiting for him to fail. And look at what you guys are asking for, you’re asking for you to fail too. That bothers me that we’re there as a country.
The other part that bothers me is I heard this joke the other day and it seems like this joke is going around a lot. Is that thing on?
Brad Kearns: Yeah, I’m just turning my volume down.
Vinnie Tortorich: Okay. This seems to be going around a lot, where they’re talking about Trump is in love with his daughter or his daughter is in love with him. And you see it all kind of falls short on me because I don’t watch any television. It’s just not my thing. I watch stuff on this monitor, is usually a documentary. So, I don’t have all the CNNs and Foxes of the world. It just doesn’t matter to me.
But when you hear through the … oh, this whole joke about he and his daughter are in love with each other and they truly want to have sex with each other, could you imagine if we were saying that about President Obama and one of his daughters?
You see, it wouldn’t have worked the other way, but we seem to think it’s perfectly fine now that he’s in office. And as an American, I don’t like that.
Brad Kearns: Yeah. It’s like I’ll say since we’re not on a political podcast, I’m extremely liberal, I would classify myself. But I get incensed when I see these liberal spokespeople when they’re being inflammatory and posturing and grand standing in the same manner as Rush Limbaugh. Yes, I totally support and believe their message because it’s aligned with my beliefs, but I don’t like the gamesmanship and sort of the shock value of the commentators trying to make it a show and a performance. We’re out of sensibility now.
Vinnie Tortorich: Can I ask you this question? As a liberal, do you feel like the left has become the right and the right has kind of become the left. Like everyone’s like flipped the switch somehow?
Brad Kearns: Yeah, there are some weird issues where like the death penalty, right? That’s a classic conservative position and a liberal position. But I’m thinking like, well, why not just get rid of these guys. And then, the liberal mindset will be like, “What are you talking about? That’s a disgrace to their human rights. They’re human beings.” And it’s like, “Yeah, but they killed people.” It’s like it’s not so simple to categorize everything.
So, I’m kind of, there’s that libertarian bent that creeps in on all of us, where we’re frustrated with the government. We think they’re doing stupid shit with our money. And so, couldn’t we just have everything be a free for all. But I think it’s all a matter of striking a balance, especially when it comes to politics where the pendulum is swinging this way, then it’s swinging back. And thank gosh for democracy, where any kind of crazy shit that Trump does in his years in office, a lot of that stuff will probably be very hard … the Democrats will try to unwind it and get us back to the pendulum swinging the other way.
Vinnie Tortorich: It always happens that way. We go back and forth and all this stuff. And people say, “Well, why don’t you care more about politics?” It’s like, “Look, I can’t change it.” And no matter what we’ve done in our lives, no matter how much yelling you do on Facebook or whatever, you’re not changing anything.
I have a friend who’s very, very liberal. And I said, “I’m not sure if Trump won as much as Hillary lost.”
Brad Kearns: Oh man. I was listening to the radio on election night. I was driving in northern California and I left my sister’s house and everyone thought that Hillary was going to win going into the very last night. And then when I left and hit the road, there was like, “Well, there’s some uncertainty here. We still are not able to call Wisconsin and all this.” And the radio commentator said, my most memorable one liner, he goes, “I just want to say whoever loses this election will go down in history as the worst candidate of all time because the winner is going to be the worst president of all.” Like these two people had so much dirt and baggage against them. And that was pretty funny. So, yeah, whatever.
Vinnie Tortorich: It’s just crazy that we go back and forth with that. And we have to walk away from it at some point. And as I tell my buddy, the liberal, the super liberal, I said, “You know what? If you keep messing around like this and trying to impeach this guy, you’re going to end up getting him elected again. Why don’t you go out, why don’t you guys go out as a group and find someone who could beat him. That’s the way you win.” It’s kind of like you were talking in the last podcast; a soccer game was going on and there was an infraction and they gave it to the other team on the infraction.
You guys are trying to win on an infraction now. That doesn’t make Hillary. If you impeach this guy, Hillary still does not become president. Now, you have a religious kook running the country. So, good luck with either one or whatever you have. And I noticed he’s confused. He’s like, “Wait a minute, is he right or is he …” No, I’m actually in the middle. I’ll just come out and say that. I don’t tell anyone which side I’m on. I’m just in the middle. And I love looking at it because everybody is just running scared right now.
But you do look around and unemployment is at the lowest, has been in a gazillion years and the stock market seems to be fine. And all of this, is while he’s up there tweeting. So, maybe tweeting is the way to – I don’t know.
Brad Kearns: He’s having McDonald’s hamburgers because he has paranoia about getting poison. So, he lives on McDonald’s hamburgers, apparently.
Vinnie Tortorich: Is that a fact?
Brad Kearns: That’s what Cardi B told me. Remember when she read a passage from his book on the Grammy’s. It was classic.
Vinnie Tortorich: I don’t watch TV. I’m not kidding.
Brad Kearns: No, no. Go search YouTube for Cardi B Audio Book Edition for the Trump book. Oh, it’s hilarious. And all these celebrities took a turn reading from his audio book for getting … Because there’s an audio book award. They get a Grammy for the Best Audio Book. And it’s a true story. It’s not on the TV show because it’s not exciting. But it was a joke that the host put up and it was pretty funny. Yeah.
So, here we are with fitness expert, Vinnie Tortorich, and you can tell we probably got a little warmed up doing a show on his channel and getting off on all these tangents and we’re just true to form here, getting political on our health fitness peak performance show.
But I want to talk about your podcast, man. Because offline we were pondering whether you could be the most prolific podcaster in the world right now because you do so many shows a week. And a lot of guys do a daily show. There’s the Entrepreneur Show, Five Minute Manager and these tidbits shows, but you’re putting up content where you’re banking the hours. You’re spending a lot of time in the studio, man.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, you made me think about it. The Monday show is always like an hour and 20 minutes. The Wednesday show is supposed to be 20 minutes long, it’s never shorter than 45 minutes. The Friday show normally goes an hour and a half. The Saturday show, which you were just on, that’s supposed to be a 30-minute show. We went well north of an hour.
Brad Kearns: We had to correct all these improprieties in society, like the youth sports, the helicopter parents, the NCAA corruption, all that stuff we had to settle. The doping in cycling and other sports.
Vinnie Tortorich: We ran the gamut on that show, man. At the end of the show, I was going, “We need to do a show together.” And then I realized I’m already doing five shows every week. And that goes on year in and year out. We’re at something like close to 1,100 shows.
Brad Kearns: Yeah, this is like show 1,074, was the one I was listening to on the way over here going, “Wait a second, 1074. That’s crazy.” So, how did this come to be? I mean, one day, once upon a time, how many years ago? Tell me how you started this thing and how it grew to this monster.
Vinnie Tortorich: Interesting concept. I had three things happen in my life. I’ve talked about failure quotient a lot. In 2007, I had cancer. So, I was out of work. I’d been a fitness trainer here in Hollywood for 25 years at the point and I had cancer. So, I had to take a long time off and I was living off of my savings. And then when I came back, it turned out I lived, so yay. I got to live. And then right after that, the writer strike in LA hit. So, I worked with a lot of people in Hollywood, actors or whatever. And when writers aren’t writing, actors aren’t acting and I was out of work.
So, I went for a long period … it’s like the longest writers’ strike because at some point, SAG got involved in the same strike, so all of my clients were gone. And I’m looking around going, “I need money to pay for cancer and no one is around to train anymore.” So, I started picking up what we call lay people. Just regular people with regular jobs.
Brad Kearns: Extras.
Vinnie Tortorich: No, like real estate agents, just anybody who I could train at a reduced rate. I was just trying to bring in income. And then we had the big bubble of 2008. So, I went from bad to worse to worse and I wasn’t making money. Literally, I was down to two or three of my favorite clients, like Howie Mandel. He’s a good friend and he was still a client and a couple of rockstars who were still on the road. But they’re on the road a lot and I’m only training them when they’re off the road. So, I was in trouble.
One of my clients, a guy named Dean Lorey, who you may know him from things like, Arrested Development and My Wife and Kids and Major Pain – he wrote all those. And he kept saying to me, “You should write a book. Just go write a book.” He goes, “You wrote a kids book years ago and you were good at it. You should do it again.”
Brad Kearns: He’s a writer?
Vinnie Tortorich: He’s a writer and director and producer in Hollywood. The guy basically, he’s running shows all the time in Hollywood.
Brad Kearns: So, it’s not your grandma saying write a book, it’s some writer saying, write a book. You better listen.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah. And he was even saying that. He kept saying, “Most people come to me and want me to write a book for them. I’m telling you, I will help you write a book.” And I hit it hard for like six or eight months and he begged me to start writing notes. So, I bought a stack of yellow notepads. They come in a cellophane pack.
Brad Kearns: I hope the big ones, at least man. Not the square ones. The legal pads.
Vinnie Tortorich: The legal pads.
Brad Kearns: Not the posted notes. You’re not doing a book on posted notes. Yeah, there we go.
Vinnie Tortorich: Like I think that’s sitting right there-
Brad Kearns: Okay, that’s legit. Dr. Seuss writes on legal pads.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, so, I kept one in my truck. I had a big dodge pickup truck and whenever I had a thought and I would be at a stoplight, I would jot down notes. And I can’t type, I’m not really good with the computer, but every night I would take whatever was in my truck and sometimes it was the back of envelopes, it was a napkin, it was all kinds of stuff. And I would sit at my computer and peck out these notes into Word program or something. Serena came in here and set up Word and would go, “All right, just press this button and then go and peck your notes into that.”
About once a week Serena would come in and send my notes to Dean, so that I wouldn’t accidentally erase them or some weird thing. I’m really that bad with the computer. So, that was all going on.
One night I’m having a drink with Dean and he says, “You realize you’ve written almost 45,000 words notes.” And I was like, “Really? What does that even mean?” He goes, “Most books are not even 60,000 words anywhere. You’ve written a whole book in notes.” And he goes, “You’ve never written the same note twice.” I was like, “Wow.” He goes, “As a matter of fact, I’ve been collecting your notes and putting them in a category. Why don’t you come over and we can look at them?”
So, I went over and the day I went over to look at them, we worked for like four hours together and everyday after that, we worked for two hours. And at the end of like five or six months, we had a book. And he took it right over to William Morris. For people not in Hollywood, that’s the place.
Brad Kearns: Talent agency for various actors, performers, writers, whatever, big time.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, like the big place. And they said, “Hey, we know who Vinnie is because he’s been training our clients for 25 years, but we googled Vinnie, he does not exist on the internet.” So, Dean called me that night and he said, “You need to go get famous on the internet.”
Brad Kearns: Quick.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah. Like right now, go get famous on the Internet. I’m a 50-year-old guy. I’m like 49. I’m like, “Oh, famous on the Internet, how do you do that? Don’t you have to like shoot up columbine? How do you get famous on the Internet?”
So, I came home and I pecked into Google, “How to become famous on the Internet.” And there was a girl named Jenna Marbles, do you even remember her?
Brad Kearns: Sounds familiar.
Vinnie Tortorich: She had like five gazillion hits on YouTube. She was a young girl sitting on the edge of her bed in her bedroom, in a bikini crying and pouting because she didn’t get to go to spring break and she bought this brand-new bikini for spring break and she decided to do a video because she wanted someone to see her new bikini. And I went, “Okay, I don’t have a bikini, so I can’t do that.”
So, I clicked on something else and a guy had like a squirrel duct taped to a set of water skis and he’s got the squirrel water skiing behind like a little remote-control boat. And I went, “Okay, I don’t have a squirrel duct tape or a boat.”
Brad Kearns: You had no game, man.
Vinnie Tortorich: No, I had nothing. So, the next day, I’m talking to my nephew down in Louisiana and I’m telling him about my dilemma. And he goes, “You should do a podcast.” And I said, “What is that? I’ve never even heard these words before.” He said, “You did a radio show back in New Orleans back in the ‘80s.” I said, “Yeah, talking fitness. It was one of most popular shows on WSMV.” He goes, “Yeah, I remember I was a little kid and everyone talked about, ‘Your uncle’s a great broadcaster on this thing.’” He said, “That’s what a podcast is.”
I was like, “So explain this pod card again, how does this work?” And he goes, “Podcast and it’s on the computer and you just put shows up and they’re free and people will listen. And you’ll get an audience and then maybe you can sell your book.” And I went, “Okay.”
So, I called my friend … she wasn’t a friend, she was a friend of a friend – Anna Vocino. And I said, “Anna, you’re a voice over person, do you have like a recording device of some sort?” She said, “Yeah, why?” I said, “You ever hear of something called a podcast?” She goes, “Yeah, we did like 10 of them like a year ago me and my husband. They were like funny podcasts. Like we did stories.” I said, “Did they go anywhere?” She goes, “Yeah, a bunch of people listened, but that was about it.” I said, “Would you do another one?” She said, “No.” I said, “Please.” And she goes, “No, it’s a lot of work.”
I said, “Tell you what Anna, I have a book on PDF. Would you read my book?” And she goes, “What’s it about?” I said, “Health and fitness.” She goes, “Yeah, I need to lose weight and we’re leaving for vacation tonight.” And so, I came home and said, “Serena, you have to send this book in PDF form because I don’t know how to do any of this. Send it to this girl, Anna Vocino.” And she called me, she was in Hawaii. She called me on the second day and she said, “I’ve read the entire book, I couldn’t put it down and I will do whatever you want to do.”
Brad Kearns: Wow.
Vinnie Tortorich: And that’s how we started a podcast. She agreed to do six. So, we did all six in one day and I released three right away, and then I released another three a week later. And then I said to Anna, I said, “Can we do another six?” And every Sunday we would sit there for six hours and do six.
Brad Kearns: All in a row.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, we would just sit there and I would talk for six hours. And at some point, she would leave the room, go make breakfast for her husband and kid, come back and go, “Ha-ha-ha, that was funny.” And then go run out and make breakfast again and lunch and the family would go off and we just did that. And we didn’t realize it at first, but the show was getting more and more popular because there weren’t a bazillion podcasts back then. But we started building an audience, and that’s the whole podcast story.
Brad Kearns: You’re talking about like health and fitness topics right out of the gate; no sugar, no grains? Or what was your angle at the start?
Vinnie Tortorich: We called it the Angriest Trainer Podcast at first. We changed the name later on to Fitness Confidential Podcast. But we were pretty positive that no one was paying attention whatsoever. And we would spend the whole show just doing smutty type of stuff. This is a clean show, so I’ll keep this clean. But we did a whole show coming up with every derogatory term we could come up with for a woman’s vagina.
Brad Kearns: Early podcasting.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, because we were certain that no one was listening. And then one day-
Brad Kearns: So, what do you have to lose? Might as well.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, it was like we were sitting there just coming up with these horrible terms and laughing about it, the whole thing. And then Anna calls me one day and she goes, “We’re number three on iTunes and your podcast is in new and noteworthy.” And I said, “Well, how many people are listening?” She goes, “I don’t know.” Nobody knew at the time. And about three months after that, I got a call from a woman, which is odd because now I’m actually part of the show.
I got a call from a woman who said she worked for Adam Carolla’s Podcast. And she said, “What kind of numbers are you getting?” And I said, “I don’t know, iTunes doesn’t give us numbers.” And she goes, “You have to be big because you’re all over iTunes. So, go hook up to something called Libsyn.” I was like, “Spell that again? How does that work?”
So, we called Rob Walsh over at Libsyn and said, “Can you put us in your thing?” And he goes, “Yeah.” And right away, we found out in that first month … we were doing back then like one or two shows a week and we had 40,000 downloads or something. And we thought that was like a crazy number back then. And that’s how we started figuring out that people were listening and I started going, “I think we should do many of those vagina …” but we were already down that road. So, we just kept it going.
Brad Kearns: Maybe that’s part of the beauty of it, that it’s unfiltered because we’re coming into this world from the mainstream media, which is now, it’s so dated in archaic. You write a book, like your book and if you’re lucky, you get on the Today Show for four minutes. And they say, “Tell us about your book.” And you have your canned presentation and then you’re gone, and then you’re forgotten about. But now, you can have this medium where the person can really get to know you and get deep into stuff. I think it’s fantastic.
Vinnie Tortorich: That’s very true. We were offered two book deals; Simon and Schuster and Harper Wave, which is Harper Collins. And both of them were offering me like $20,000, but they wanted me to split the book into two. So, one of them was offering me $40,000 for the two books upfront, and the other one was offering me $50 something thousand dollars for two books. And I said, “But you realize I have a big audience.” At the time, I had like 60,000 coming in a month on the podcast. And they were like, “We don’t even know what a podcast is.” And I was like, “Think of a football stadium being full of 60,000 people. All of these people are going to buy my book.” And they were like, “Yeah, right, whatever.”
So, I called Dean and I said, “Dean, what do you say we self-publish this book?” And that’s what we did. And the difference between self-publishing … the book has made a lot of money. Because we get like 75% of every dollar. If we’d gone with one of those companies, that would have been it. Because they will give you the big push for about a month, and then now they’re pushing another book. This book has been selling for what? Five years now, five and a half years.
The first year, it made an ungodly amount of money, and that wouldn’t have happened. But more so than the money, we put it into a lot of people’s hands. And that’s the big thing. When you could put a book in someone’s hands and it can change their life. And we started getting these before and afters that people were sending in. “I read your book, I’ve lost 100 pounds.”
Then you go money doesn’t matter. This is not about money. The money allowed me to cover my cancer bills and all that. I owed a lot of money to a lot of people and I don’t believe much in God, but boy, like something stepped in and helped. I started looking at that going, “Holy shit.” And the universe, so to speak, kind of came in. And I don’t believe in all that universe stuff.
So, the book allowed me to get my life back and then help other people. And that’s when I decided, “Okay, you almost died of cancer, now you can spend the rest of your life helping other people because you got to live.” And been doing that approach ever since.
Brad Kearns: Well, I think you were doing that beforehand too. And I want you to tell your story about the training the centerfolds to keep trim after they win that big success. And then you had the woman in the office, the afterthought that wasn’t a big star. But I want to hear that whole thing because it’s such a character revealing insight. My favorite thing I heard from you when we talked in the past, and I think it says a lot about you that that’s where you’re coming from, from the start. And then starting that podcast and doing it for fun and being real and authentic and having some goofy times, and people just are drawn to that because we’re so sick of the bullshit.
But yeah, take us back to those early days in Hollywood when you came out here and decided to be a trainer.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, I had been a trainer in New Orleans from the time I was at Tulane in the early ‘80s, and it was kind of before trainers were a thing. And I had a degree in physical education and exercise physiology and I was just doing my thing. I was also working at Newman School as their strength and conditioning sports.
Brad Kearns: Oh, that’s the Cardinal Newman, where the Banning Brothers?
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, yeah.
Brad Kearns: Even I’ve heard of that guy in California, man, that’s big time.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, I coached Cooper and also Peyton Manning. Cooper was actually, in my opinion – I think Peyton would say the same thing, was the best athlete of the Mannings.
Brad Kearns: Wide receiver.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, he had a bone marrow problem and he had to stop playing football. He was that whole mess. I actually took that kid on spring break. I used to chaperone those kids; Cooper and all of his friends. That was the good old days. And in ’91, I came out here and I didn’t know a soul.
Brad Kearns: Why did you come?
Vinnie Tortorich: The weather, the weather. I would come out here to visit. I had a friend that lived out here for a while. He was a chef and it would rain in New Orleans all winter, and I would come out here with my bike and ride my bike around for … in midwinter, I would go, “There’s no rain, it’s not cold. This is great. This is unbelievable. Oh my God, could I possibly move here?”
I think I’m the only person that moved to LA to be a trainer. Like most people come here to be an actor or something or whatever. I moved here to be a trainer. And couldn’t really make money at it at first because didn’t know anyone. And someone introduced me, I don’t know how, but I got introduced to this woman who worked at Playboy. And her husband’s from Louisiana. So, someone knew her and the whole thing and she took me for lunch and I said, “Yeah, I’m trying to make it out here and I don’t know anyone, I’m just trying to get some clients.” And when I walked her back to her desk at Playboy, I met this woman Dana, who was probably wider than she was tall.
Wow, and started talking to Dana. And she was like, “Yeah, I used to be really thin and the whole thing and gained all this weight and so on and so forth.” And I started working with Dana and she couldn’t afford a whole lot. And back in New Orleans, I was charging $135 a session to be a trainer, which is a lot of money in 1985 in New Orleans.
I said, “Dana, what could you afford?” And she said, “How many times a week?” And I said, “Everyday.” She goes, “This is embarrassing, I can’t.” I said, “You have to pay me something, because if I do it for free, you’re not going to respect it. What amount of money can you give me?” She goes, “I know these trainers out here make 152 bucks an hour.” I said, “No, no, I’m not asking you what you think I should make, I’m asking you what hurts.” And I said, “I need to see you five days a week.” And she said, “Can I get back to you?” I said, “Yeah, here’s my phone number, call me.”
She called me a few days later and she goes, “This is really embarrassing.” I said, “Dana, shut up, just tell me.” “$15,” she says.
Brad Kearns: She ran some numbers at home on the spreadsheet.
Vinnie Tortorich: She did. I said, “Great. $15 due at the end of every week.” And I said, “If you ever miss, unless you’re really sick or something for real, I’m done. I need your full attention and you have to eat. I’m going to tell you what to eat. I’m going to tell you everything, but you have to pay me $15 for every time at the end of the week.” “Sure.” And I said, “If anyone ever asks what you’re paying, tell them you don’t know. Tell them that a friend of yours is paying or something.”
I took a ton of weight. I took I don’t know, 150, 160 pounds off of her. She looked amazing. It was this beautiful body underneath all of this fat. And people around Playboy started taking note. A couple of the VPs started noticing and then, “Hey, can you come over to my house?” And, “Yeah, I’ll come over and help you out.” And started training a couple of those. One of them knew that Playboy had a problem because they would take these girls from the Midwest and they would make them playmates, and next thing you know, they’re getting wined and dined by every Sitcom star there is, right?
So, these girls start gaining weight. And that’s not good for business because Playboy has them under contract for two years after they do their centerfold. And the last thing they wanted was fat playmates. So, one of the VPs of the playmates said, “Hey, would you consider working with a couple of these girls and let’s see what we can do?” And that was my in. That that’s how it happened. I couldn’t have planned that any other way. I mean, it was just happenstance.
Brad Kearns: Yeah, I mean you don’t believe in the woo-woo signs from the universe, but the fact that you had the time and energy to take someone who was not a prominent person that was going to leverage you into your own career success. You just wanted to help that lady. And especially the story about the money, I didn’t know that. It’s beautiful man.
Like if you’re a young struggling trainer, listening to the show and realizing what you’re really all about as a personal trainer or even as a realtor, where you’re driving these people around and you’re showing them all these houses and they’re not ready to make a commitment, but you’re in that career and your purpose is to help someone realize the American dream, you don’t judge it or think that it was a failure day because you didn’t make an offer. You’re just in it for the total commitment, and then great things happen. An amazing story.
So, you kind of zeroed in on the weight loss expertise from the very start. And you have this tagline on the hats: NSNG – No Sugars, No Grains, which I think has evolved the primal paleo ancestral health community. That’s the most brilliant trademark and succinct encapsulation. So, when we’re sitting on an airplane seat and you say what you’re all about, “I’m all about NSNG.” And then that’s the opening where the person gets the immediate insight.
So, how’d you come up with that? And where did that start to come into the picture? Was that Dana’s message five days a week or how did that go?
Vinnie Tortorich: It was. Wow, I don’t know how deep you want to get into this, but I started looking at sugar first very, very early on. I was always interested in how people got fat, because my feeling was when people … back in the ‘80s you didn’t see many fat people. But every now and then you would go, “Couldn’t they see that they were getting fat and why couldn’t they do something about it?” It’s not like they woke up one morning, poof, fat! And I started thinking about it, it’s like, “Well, what if they’re getting fat in spite of themselves? Despite everything they’re doing, they’re still getting fat.” Right? Nobody goes, “Hey, I want to be fat. I want to be unhealthy. I want to feel like I’m going to pass out every time I bend over to tie my shoes.” No one has that feeling. Right?
Then I started looking at different things and thinking about different things. And I remember football coaches of high school going, “We got to get some corn in that boy, I got to beef him up a bit. Get some potatoes in that boy.” It was always eat starchy stuff to gain weight. “Yeah, those big cornfed Lyman from the Midwest!” You would always hear this stuff.
When I was going through labs one day, at Tulane, we had someone hooked up, we were doing VO2 max and this kind of thing. And we would get athletes from the track team and all this kind of stuff. And we would hook them up … it looks like a Gatorade commercial. You’ve got all the EKG stuff on. We have the mask over their face, catching their respiration. We would prick them in the finger to get the lactose level and the whole thing.
It wasn’t like today where you can almost just measure it with a one … we had these people hooked to a thousand things. And I always noticed that we would have these people at anaerobic threshold, sometimes for like 28 minutes, 30 minutes until their legs gave up. And I would look at the calorie expenditure and it was always something like 246 on some of these well-heeled athletes. 285, this kind of thing.
I would sit there and go, “We talk a lot about calorie in, calorie out and I know this experiment isn’t about that,” but I’m always that curious guy going, “I know we’re not looking at this number but I’m looking at this number.” In the lab, they were just seeing what his anaerobic threshold is because they’re trying to calculate something else.
I would look at that number and go, “Calorie in, calorie out, and we’re telling people to exercise to lose weight. Is not adding up.” And I was sitting on a bench outside of Tulane one day with this girl, Linda. And we were having some lunch and Linda had a bag of M&M’s. Remember when M&M’s – they didn’t come in a supersized bag, just a regular size bag. It was just like a handful of M&M’s.
Brad Kearns: Fits in your palm. The bag.
Vinnie Tortorich: The whole bag, that was a serving. Now we have super-duper size, buy a pound at a time or whatever. That’s a serving. And Linda, after she had her sandwich, she was shaking out some M&M’s. She goes, “Would you like some?” I’m like, “Yeah.” So, I grabbed the bag and I shake some up my hand and I look at the back and I said, “Huh?” And she goes, “What?” I said, “I’m just looking at the calories on this, just total calories.” She goes, “Yeah?” I said, “Total calories is close to 200.” And she goes, “Yeah?” I said, “We just had that guy up in the gym and he-”
Brad Kearns: Running his ass off.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, he was about to throw up by the time we stopped that treadmill, and he barely got over 200 calories. And she goes, “Yeah?” I said, “So how in the hell can we tell people …” Because Jane Fonda was just coming in with the aerobics and the whole thing. I said, “We’re telling people that can exercise fat away, but you can exercise for an hour, you eat a bag of M&M’s, you’re almost right back where you started?” I said, “How far do people go when they jog?”
She goes, “I don’t know, three, four miles?” I said, “Yeah, three, four miles. That’s not even a bag of M&M’s. What about the breakfast you had that morning? What about the grits?” We were in Louisiana. “What about this? What about that? You had French fries with this. There’s no way we can run off, we can’t outrun a diet. This cannot be right.” And it was my first inclination that calorie in, calorie out. And I knew about Atkins because he was hot for five minutes in the ‘70s, and I would think about Atkins and I read something from this longevity group where these guys, they figured with longevity, if they just cut out carbohydrates, they can live to be 110. And they said one of the byproducts of this group was that nobody had any fat on him, and they didn’t exercise.
I’m thinking about all this. But then there were all those nagging problems; cholesterol, heart disease. I was just hanging on to all that going, “Well, this all has to be true, right? I mean, this is what the guy-”
Brad Kearns: Fat’s bad, right?
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah. So, it’s like, how is it that fat can be so good, yet at the same time be so bad? It just wasn’t jiving with me. And I’m just a curious guy that over the years, I would just play with it and every time a socialite in New Orleans, once I started my training business, would say, “I need to fit in this dress by this date,” I would say, “Okay, every carb gone, grits gone, bread gone, pasta – out of here, potatoes gone.” “Well, what am I supposed to eat?” “Red meat, pork, chicken, eat that. Eat some eggs.” “It’s cholesterol, are you trying to kill me?” And I would always say to them, “It won’t kill you to do it for three weeks.”
Brad Kearns: Try it out.
Vinnie Tortorich: Just give it a shot. And that’s how I started playing around with it.
Brad Kearns: This is incredible, because you’re basically, you’re putting together the insights like a scientist and kind of blending those Atkins insights were put out there that if you reduce your insulin, you’re going to burn body fat. But the exercise part, I mean this is what? Over 30 years ago now. And we’re now finally, you can google the compensation theory of exercise and the science showing … there was a Time Magazine article maybe a couple of years ago, you can google this. It says the exercise myth was the cover story on time. And then the subtitle said something like, “We were wrong about exercise. It actually doesn’t really help you lose weight because it creates a compensatory increase in appetite and caloric expenditure. And you actually become lazier throughout the day because you did your workout sort of consciously and subconsciously.”
Like, “Oh, I did my workout this morning. So, I’m just going to sit here.” My favorite anecdote from when I was a triathlete and training all day and putting in the hours and the 2, 300 miles a week on the bike. I would drive to the mailbox to get my mail. It was six tenths of a mile and there was a little hill on the route. But I just get home from an 84-mile ride and I’m recovering and taking my nap and having my fuel and all that, and I need to go get in a car to go get the mail. Not walk there for a nice stroll and look at the stars or whatever, take the dog out for a little jaunt. But I had done so much training that the rest of my life I was a complete dead beat.
I mean, the Tour de France guys are famous for this. They lose bone density in three weeks’ time. They have a huge reduction in bone density because they’re never standing up. They’re either lying down or sitting in a bus or sitting on a bike. So, that’s amazing that you put those two together.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, but my big problem was I thought that if people did it for long periods, that it would kill them. Because all the science just went in that direction. And then the other side was, was the athletic side. Well, if you wanted to be an athlete, you had to have carbohydrates. And you had to have a great amount of them.
So, I was kind of a two-faced trainer. If you came to me and told me you wanted to run a marathon, I would put you on high carbs. I was no different than anyone else. I would go, “Look, I get that fat is good, but fat is not what you need, carbs is what you need.” And I did the same thing when I was doing all of my ultras. I would live on carbohydrates.
But then at the end of the year, when I would go three or four months of just relaxing and not doing any ultras, I would go, “Okay, time to get off the carbs because I don’t want to get fat for January when I get back on the bike again.”
Brad Kearns: It’s so common. If you’re not an ultra-endurance athlete, I mean this happens to people. They put on 10 pounds like nobody’s business.
Vinnie Tortorich: 20, 30-
Brad Kearns: Brutal.
Vinnie Tortorich: Just go right up. And I didn’t want that to happen while I wasn’t doing all the extra exercise. So, I would just go back to my high-fat diet again and people would go, “How did you figure out the high-fat part?” And it’s like, “Well, because if you just eat protein, you’re still hungry.” You had to eat something with the protein. And I would never go ketogenic back then, but I wouldn’t have French fries or anything like that. I would have rice or I would have every now and then, a potato or something. But it was mostly fat so that I wouldn’t gain weight.
Then I would wait and I would go, “Okay, I made it through Thanksgiving. I didn’t have any of the junk for Thanksgiving. Now, I’m going to skate and for Christmas, I’m going to my mom’s house.” And then I would probably gain five pounds between Christmas and New Year’s. And then it would happen that fast. You’re eating the Pecan pies and all the stuff that you remember mom for. I remember just going through that holy hell and then try to take it off in January when I got back on the bike.
Brad Kearns: So, you’re getting these insights yourself with your own road testing of the different fuel sources. I wonder how that one liner went down, what? 25 years ago. That you’re eating a lot of fat so that you don’t gain weight. That’s absolutely mind-blowing that long ago.
Vinnie Tortorich: It was. And a lot of people would go, “This is just Atkins, right?” And I’d go, “Yeah, Atkins, that’s what we’re doing.” It was a little different than Atkins, what I was prescribing. And then they would go, “Doesn’t Atkins cause gout?” “No, not that I know of.” “I read a thing that says Atkins causes gout.” It wasn’t called low-carb back then, it was called Atkins. And, “I heard you can only stay on Atkins for 30 days and then you gain all the weight back, plus some more.” “Oh yeah. If you stop and you start eating ice cream again, then of course.” It was just this crazy time.
Brad Kearns: Yeah, our minds are not open to these things. I mean, even today in 2018, I’m sure listeners to the show of the fitness confidential or this show are a little bit more open-minded and have been exposed to this message, but the average person is still totally locked in to that concept of calories in, calories out, fat is bad, grain-based diet, regular meals, control your blood sugar, have a snack. And it’s taken a long time to just even chip away at the big monsters of the food companies and the governmental advice that’s been a disastrous failure.
Vinnie Tortorich: Well, the thing I started following along with, and it was around the early 2000s when we started figuring out – the computer helped us with this. Once I figured out how to get on Google, you would find out that all of these studies that were done by these Harvard doctors and everything else, was all bullshit. The abstracts wasn’t telling the full story. Because basically, we read abstracts. We don’t read full reports. And when you start looking at some of that stuff and you go, “Wait a minute, this is wrong and that’s wrong.” And all the statins that were being handed out, I started looking at that going, “We’re handing out a lot of statins, yet there’s more heart disease than ever. Where’s all this coming from?”
I’ve always been a guy that just questions everything. And I’m curious. That’s how I got off of the bayou. That’s how I ended up in Beverly Hills. I’m just curious. And it’s like, “Well, wait, that doesn’t seem to make sense. Why?” And whenever you start digging into that, you start learning more and more that you weren’t getting the real story.
Brad Kearns: Well, you’re also testing this out yourself, doing your ultras and noticing the strategy of having fat in the off season and maintaining your weight while everyone else is gaining weight. Tell me a little bit about your immersion into the ultra-scene and what that’s all about.
Vinnie Tortorich: I read an article – it was when I was at Newman School. I was riding my bike a lot and I read an article about a race called “The RAAM”.
Brad Kearns: Oh baby, Race Across America. Probably the craziest athletic event we’ve seen in history, especially the old time where they had the solo nonstop race for an individual rider going from coast to coast. Now, I think they got rid of that nonsense and they have teams where they have stop periods. But this used to be, the gun went off on the west coast and whoever got to New York City or Washington DC first was the winner, crazy.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, and they had to follow a certain route.
Brad Kearns: Well, that’d be fun. If you get to pick a different route.
Vinnie Tortorich: I think the solo thing, you can still do wherever you want. You can just go and go and go. The solos can still do whatever they want.
Brad Kearns: Oh, I thought they have like some mandatory periods because the guy died that fell asleep, the rider.
Vinnie Tortorich: Oh yeah. What they do, is they have mandatory … it’s not much though. They have mandatory – after so many days you have to … you can’t go for like four hours. Because these guys would literally just amble down the road with no stopping whatsoever. But when they put these stops and I crewed it for a friend and it was not much better. It’s the same thing. They can basically go and go and go and go.
But it’s a race, it’s a nonstop race across America. When people think of tough races or tough things like climbing Everest or K2, this is tougher than that.
Brad Kearns: I agree. I would also like to say I crewed for Johnny G in the RAMM in 1989. And that was the most difficult athletic event I’ve ever done as a crew member sitting in a car. It was vastly more difficult than anything you could imagine. It’s absolutely amazing what these people put themselves through. And oh my gosh, it was stunning.
Vinnie Tortorich: I’m shocked that more crews don’t kill themselves because you’re driving tired and you’re worn out. You start hallucinating as a crew member and you can only imagine what-
Brad Kearns: As a crew member.
Vinnie Tortorich: … the guy’s going through out there. The crazy thing is that I read about Pete Penseyres. He had just set the record and the whole thing.
Brad Kearns: Yeah, this was this mild-mannered engineer guy from San Diego who was the first guy to … we’ll give him credit for inventing basically the aero position that we see now. But I remember he commuted to work 40 miles each way everyday.
Vinnie Tortorich: That’s right.
Brad Kearns: And so, he rode his bike 80 miles a day, and then he got on his bike and was on Wide World of Sports. That’s why it became such a fascination, was everyone saw this guy. And he just turned on his bike and pedaled for, I believe his schedule was like 22 and a half hours of pedaling every day. A couple of quick naps or whatever. And he got across the country in nine days. The record time was around there.
Vinnie Tortorich: It was eight days, something, something.
Brad Kearns: Unbelievable.
Vinnie Tortorich: And the guy that was pushing him was a guy named Jonathan Boyer. People want to know who Jonathan Boyer is. He is the guy who led the way for the eventual Lance Armstrong, because after-
Brad Kearns: Greg LeMond. I mean, he was the first American to finish the Tour de France. And he was based in Europe, so he had to go away from America. There was no bike racing here and he had that amazing distinction of being American, finishing the tour back in, what? Before LeMond. So, it was ‘70s and early ‘80s or something.
Vinnie Tortorich: The guy goes down in history as one of the greats. He led the way for Greg LeMond, after him. And also, Hampsten.
Brad Kearns: Right, Andrew Hampsten. All the Americans, the 7/11 team that came to the tour was all inspired by Boyer finishing this thing.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, he was the first guy. I don’t want to get into it, but he got into a little trouble at some point. What I’m told is, he owned up to it. Something got out of hand. I don’t want to really get into it, but he’s always been a hero in my book. So, I don’t know how you feel about the guy. Jonathan Boyer got behind Pete Penseyres. And I don’t know if you remember this from that, but who is the announcer who was doing the …
Brad Kearns: Lampley.
Vinnie Tortorich: Jim Lampley is following this for NBC Sports. Jim Lampley cannot believe what he’s seeing. He’s like these guys have been riding nonstop. They went for like 40 hours or 48 hours, and Jonathan Boyer pulls over and Lampley goes over to interview him. He goes, “Yeah, I have a big lead here. I’m going to hunker down for the night.” That sort of thing. And it might’ve been after 24 hours, that was the deal. He goes, “I’ve been out here for 24 hours, I have a big lead. I’m going to hunker down for five or six hours. No one’s going to catch me.”
While he’s doing the interview, Pete Penseyres just zooms past him on the bike and he says, “Sorry Jim, got to go.” And they went for another 24 hours. They went like 48 hours and that became the legend. These guys pushed each other across the country. And at the end, Jonathan Boyer called it, not a bike race, but a sleep deprivation competition. And that’s how he got that record. Jonathan pushed him across the country.
Brad Kearns: Well, this guy, Paul Solon from the Bay Area, he was a lawyer in San Francisco and had his day, and I believe he broke the record and set at one point. But he had some misfortune out on the and his neck muscles literally gave out on him.
Vinnie Tortorich: His name was Shermer.
Brad Kearns: This is Paul Solon I’m talking about. But Paul Solon went into the emergency room somewhere in the Midwest because he could not lift his head up anymore, and he had the spasm and this complete – the muscle tension in the neck when you’re cycling is pretty severe for a four-hour ride. And so, this guy just fell apart, and he refused to be admitted to the ER, and instead he rigged up like a pulley weight system with fishing weights so that his helmet would be yanked back and anchored, so that his head would be fixed to a forward position so he could see where he was biking and he carried on and crossed the country in eight days. Crazy stuff.
Yeah, Shermer, who’s now a well-known critical thinker, what do they call him? He’s a sceptic? He writes books. He’s an extremely brilliant guy. But he was one of the early guys that won the race. I think he participated six times, he just told Lance Armstrong in his podcast. And these guys were a different breed. I mean, this is the furthest limit of human endurance that we’ve ever seen. Those guys.
Vinnie Tortorich: Shermer was on my show; The Fitness Confidentially show. They call it “Shermer’s Neck”. He got the name because it kept happening to him. He invented a way where he made a different thing. The first guy was duct taping his head to a stick. That was duct taped around his body to hold his head up. Shermer came up with a different thing, and it became known as “Shermer’s Neck”. And it’s a thing. It’s happened to me a couple of times. Not so bad, but when it happens, your neck muscles just cease to work. So, you’re doing whatever you can to keep your head up.
I still have, right? I used it this morning. Right over there, my little neck exercises. I still do my neck exercises even though I don’t cycle much anymore. Because you never know when you’re going to go, “It’s time to get back on that bike big time again.”
Brad Kearns: So what kind of ultras did you do? Were you going from multisport or running? What was your favorite stuff?
Vinnie Tortorich: It was always bikes for me. I parked my car at some point in college after I got out of football. I played football. I was muscled at 225 to 230.
Brad Kearns: What position?
Vinnie Tortorich: I was a middle linebacker.
Brad Kearns: Oh my goodness, at Tulane?
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, I was a big guy back then. Just I’ll muscle it up. And after football, I gained weight really fast. I went to like 275, 280 and I was getting a gut. I looked at the mirror one day and said, “This is not going to happen.” And I parked my car and I would always just compartmentalize money. And I went, “Okay, I’m taking my gas money and my pizza money.” I had pizza money in college. I’m going to take that and go by all the bike I can buy.
I went out and bought a bicycle, about 100 bucks and started riding. If I had to go anywhere, I went on a bike. I didn’t have gas money on the car. And started riding the crap out of a bike and started reading bike magazines and that kind of thing. And that led to me finding ultra-cycling.
I always felt you had to be a rich guy to do it, but once I moved out to California in ’91, I went man, “There’s a lot of roads out here, there’s a lot of open expanse and maybe you don’t have to be rich. Maybe you could do some of these races. So, I started doing some of the 200-mile deals and all these kinds of stuff. And that’s kind of how it started.
Brad Kearns: You still do it?
Vinnie Tortorich: No, I don’t. After cancer, I did it a few more times. In 2008, I did the 508 again.
Brad Kearns: Oh mercy.
Vinnie Tortorich: I did a race across Oregon.
Brad Kearns: Just prove to yourself, I guess. Going for that 508 is a goal.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, I’m alive. I just want to make sure-
Brad Kearns: 508 is a 508-mile race and it’s used as a qualifying race for the Race Across America, but it’s a pretty big deal. Like the best guys are doing this, yeah.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, people would come from all around the world. I did a bunch of that and at some point, work and business got in the way. And so, lately, I’m sitting around going, “I need to do something.” And I came up with this idea, I grew up on the longest bayou in the world. It’s 100 miles long. And I started thinking, “What if I just took a canoe or a kayak or something down that bayou, just end to end. Where the bayou starts in my hometown, all around through the marsh land, into the Gulf of Mexico. So, I’m planning on doing that.
Brad Kearns: Oh, is this an organized event or is this a Vinnie challenge?
Vinnie Tortorich: This is just a me-challenge.
Brad Kearns: Oh my goodness, I thought you were training for some event. This is awesome. So, you’re literally going to go from your hometown and paddle through this bayou.
Vinnie Tortorich: It’s kind of a proven … because I had to have my shoulder replaced two and a half years ago. Old football injury just got really bad, and it’s to prove that I’m back again. I can start training again. I got this kayak pro sitting right here in my office. I do a lot of training right here because I can’t just go to the beach and paddle every day. And once a week, I go out to the Pacific Ocean. Stellar Kayaks gave me this beautiful kite. Someone told me, “That’s like a $6,000-kayak.” I’m like, “Really?”
Brad Kearns: You’re going to need something good if you’re going to 100 miles, man.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah. They gave me like some top in … it’s called the S18S. I’ll show it to you when we walk out. This incredible kayak. They gave me the best kind of paddles and the whole thing. And I’m going to go down the bayou, 100 miles in this really cool kayak.
Brad Kearns: So, at our age, we’re guys in our 50s, long time athletes and here you are with this new crazy goal that’s giving you this motivation and this discipline. You think that’s an important part of life. Do you recommend it for everybody? Is there any sort of downside to going for this extreme stuff where it might compromise your health? Especially with the cycling that you transition out of.
My contention is some of this stuff in the ultra-scene, especially the way people are doing it now where they’re not monitoring their heart rate, they’re feeding on carbs, and it could be an unhealthy endeavor. But the positive part’s where you’re lighting up, talking about your kayak and have this compelling goal to keep you focused and drive to do something seems like a lot of good stuff for your life, to balance all that hard work of the world’s number one podcaster.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah. First off, I’m not challenging myself to finish it in some kind of speed time. I’m actually wearing a heart rate monitor. I’m keeping my heart rate between 65 and 70% of my rower capacity. So, that’s right around zone two. I was going to do it this month, but I started ramping up the training too much and I hurt my bad shoulder. So, I had to take a week or two off. So, I had to reassess. So, I’ve pushed it until after Hurricane season. So, like I’m going to go in October and do it. Because I was trying to ramp up too fast and even though I was keeping my heart rate correct, I ended up hurting my shoulder.
I worry about these people who run these marathons all the time, back to back and they never take any time off. I worry about these triathletes and so on and so forth. Because we’re seeing more heart disease from people just overtraining all the time, and it doesn’t take that much to do what they’re doing.
I’ve always said, if you want to get a good laugh, go pick up a triathlon magazine and read what they’re telling you to do. It’s crazy. They’re trying to get mere mortals to do what these pros are doing. And it’s wrong. I didn’t mean to go off on a tangent, but-
Brad Kearns: No, this is important stuff.
Vinnie Tortorich: When you sit there and you go, “Well, wait a minute, you’re training hard.” “No, I’m training smart. I’m not spending all day. I’m not worn out everyday from being on a paddle.” When I got in the Pacific Ocean, I’d even take breaks out there in the ocean and watch the dolphins go by and look at the seals for a while, and just kind of soak it in. Because after you go through the whole cancer thing, you kind of just go “eff it” in life. “I’m just going to kind of soak this in a bit.” And so, I’m trying to enjoy myself with it. And it’s taken a little more time than I thought, but I’m okay with that.
Brad Kearns: I think there’s a big distinction there that’s super important to understand, is where the difference between going out there and pushing yourself day after day after day, maybe not to exhaustion every single day, but you’re in this mode that we call “Chronic Cardio”. Mark Sisson coined that term, and it’s something that’s so prevalent. And the difference between that and let’s say setting this wonderful goal for October, where you’re going to try to paddle a hundred miles.
So, you better be out there and doing some multi-hour practice sessions between now and October, but to do four of those per week and let it interfere with your life and your hormonal function and your mood and all those kind of things, that’s where that point that we cross over and it becomes literally unhealthy.
You referenced the heart problems in the endurance community. It’s terribly tragic. I mean, these are my peers that I used to race with on the professional circuit and were the fittest guys on the planet. And now, they’re coming up with blown out hearts and surgeries and pacemakers and just destruction of the most important organ in the body. And largely, attributed to overtraining and the scarring and the inflammation of the heart walls to where the electrical signaling gets screwed up.
It’s called AFib, and it’s an epidemic among the most serious and disciplined and long-term athletes that have been going and going and going. Especially the cyclists, because they can sit on a seat and work their heart harder than let’s say a runner who is constrained by the gravity and stuff.
Vinnie Tortorich: Absolutely. And by the way, I have AFib and I had it corrected.
Brad Kearns: Do you think it came from endurance training or?
Vinnie Tortorich: Possibly, I don’t know. I had it and had it taken care of. They got it the first time. I’ve never had to take medication. But they had to go in and burn some of the nerve endings. We don’t know how it came on or why it came on. Got it fixed and went back and raced after that.
The key to me training for this is, I don’t over train on this. And every year, I do a challenge where … I do Mount Whitney every year.
Brad Kearns: Really? Every year.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah. Well, I started doing it a few years ago, but every year since I started doing it. And the thing about doing Whitney is it keeps me honest to stay in shape. Because it doesn’t take a lot. I’m not doing some fastest known time or any crap like that. I’m going up, I’m looking around, I’m looking at the mammoths. I’m looking for a bear. I’d love to see a bear. I’ve never seen a bear.
Brad Kearns: Too high.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, that kind of thing. Where I’m just out there enjoying myself and looking around and you get to the peak and you go, “All right, I’ve made it another year. I guess I’m still alive,” and just walk down. It takes 14 hours if you do it at a leisure pace.
But every weekend, Serena and me, we’ve been going out to Mount Wilson and we’ll climb that, and we’ll do Baldy a couple of times. But it keeps me honest not to get out of shape. So, it’s not so important that I go do an ultra anymore and all that kind of stuff.
Brad Kearns: Right. Keep you honest also to not overdo it, because you got this one day to climb and you better be rested and healthy before you start.
Vinnie Tortorich: I’m trying to grab something here. I found this-
Brad Kearns: Oh look at this. It’s a certificate listeners, very important looking.
Vinnie Tortorich: Here’s the thing, I don’t keep medals, I don’t keep certificates, I don’t keep anything. The other day, I think I told you I’ve painted this room.”
Brad Kearns: Yeah, beautiful bear, freshly painted walls. You’ll see in Vinnie’s studio.
Vinnie Tortorich: I haven’t even hung a photo or anything yet, but I was cleaning out stuff and I pick up this thing, I’m like, “What is this? Why do I have this? I don’t even know that this is.” It was back when Chris Kostman – we were talking about Chris Kostman earlier.
Brad Kearns: He’s the organizer of the ultra-marathon cycling and running events, long time guy in the community.
Vinnie Tortorich: And by the way, I don’t remember this. I didn’t remember that this was a deal, but he and his girlfriend at the time – her name was Debra Caplan. You remember Debra at all? They used to own a thing called Planet Ultra and Chris had to give it up in a lawsuit with her when they broke up. He had to give it up.
But I pulled this out and I said, “Oh, I’ve got to keep this, and I got to show it to Chris.” They apparently gave this to anyone who finished it an under … it was a 200-mile deal, this all being double.
Brad Kearns: Wow, that’s fast. You did 200 miles in sub 10 hours. That’s 20 miles an hour. That’s 20 plus for 200 miles.
Vinnie Tortorich: For 200 miles.
Brad Kearns: Wow, that’s serious stuff right there. They should have given you a plaque instead of a piece of paper, man. Come on.
Vinnie Tortorich: I didn’t even know it was a deal, and they gave me this thing. I guess they sent it in a mail, and it sat in a drawer for like … I don’t know, since 2002. So, that’s what? 15 years, 16 years. And I looked at it and went, “Oh, I got to keep this and show it to Chris because I’m sure he doesn’t know this even exists.” And now, I’ll look at that, you’re right. Whenever I would do the 508, I would always take pride in the fact because I’m looking at this going, “9:37, God I was slow.” I would always try to do the 508, the first 200 miles with a lot of climbing. I would always hustle to get it in like nine hours and 10 minutes, nine hours and 12 minutes, nine hours and 15. Because the 200-mile mark was right at town pass. And I knew if I got there – and I would get there, I would be in second or third place. The first few guys did those first 200 miles.
Brad Kearns: Is this going across the Mojave? The route is from Santa Clarita to LA area to way out in the desert and back or something.
Vinnie Tortorich: Basically, you start up on the five, right there at Six Legs, basically. You go up through the Mojave. That first 200 miles, you probably do 10, 12,000 feet of climbing overall. And you get to the foot of town pass, and you go over town pass. And then you drop down into … that dropdown into Death Valley. A lot of times, you’re doing 60, 65 miles an hour. And I used to like to do it in the daylight because you would be doing that at night. And I didn’t want to go down that path that fast at night. So, I would really hustle.
But I think about those times now. When you think about people going sub 10 hours … most people never do a five-hour-100 mile … I’m thinking about this now. That was like regular for me.
Brad Kearns: I mean, that’s flying. You’re not screwing around and chitchatting. You’re in the drop position or whatever, peddling hard to maintain … remember that if you slow down a little bit, let’s say on 40-minute climb where you’re only going 11 or 12, you have to make that up by hammering 24 on the flats. I mean this is-
Vinnie Tortorich: Or 30 or 29. When you’re looking down a lot of times, you’re doing 20 … to hold a 20-mile an hour plus pace, 21 for this, every time you look down you’re doing 26, 27. Because when you hit those climbs, you might be doing 14 or 15 or something.
Brad Kearns: Or take a leak, you just lost a minute. You got to make that up over the next 10 miles literally by going a mile per hour.
Vinnie Tortorich: It takes forever.
Brad Kearns: It’s racing all day long on your bike. And then in the terms of the 508, you’re going for what? A finished time of … what’s a good finish time?
Vinnie Tortorich: Anything around 30, 32, 33-
Brad Kearns: Oh, mercy.
Vinnie Tortorich: … something like that. And that’s 30,000 feet of climbing on that thing. 35,000 feet of climbing. It’s grueling. A race across Oregon is tough too.
Brad Kearns: Oh nice. That must be beautiful though. It cascades and stuff.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, they’re both beautiful. But that one ends on a big time uphill. You go up to, not Mount Hood, but what’s the other glacier? Is it Mount Hood?
Brad Kearns: Mount Bachelor, Mt. Hood.
Vinnie Tortorich: Can’t remember which one we would end at, but that was another one where you would just go, “Oh my God, this climbing just never ends.”
Brad Kearns: Man, you’ve been out there doing some cool stuff and now you’ve turned your attention to this documentary that I keep hearing about. It sounds very exciting. So, let’s pitch that. Let’s see if people want to participate, huh?
Vinnie Tortorich: Well, we did very well. I think we’re at … I don’t know when this podcast is coming out, but we’re doing this on the … what’s the date to day? Like the 4th or 5th?
Brad Kearns: This is June of 2018.
Vinnie Tortorich: It’s still open. So, we will be collecting money through tomorrow at midnight. So, this won’t come out before then.
Brad Kearns: Well, you can watch it then. It’s been crowdfunded I guess. And so, you’re really maintaining control of the message. And what are you talking about in the show?
Vinnie Tortorich: I’ll tell you that in a second. Right now, we were going for $150,000. Right now, we’re almost at $168,000. So, we’ve surpassed our goal by 112. We’re at 112% of our thing. Whenever these movies come out, these vegan movies like “Cowspiracy” or “Forks Over Knives” or-
Brad Kearns: “What the Health”.
Vinnie Tortorich: “What the Health”, yeah. People come to me because I’m one of the lightning rods on the opposite side. Right. So, they’ll come to me, “You need to do the opposite film.” And I was like, “No, that’s not going to help either.” It’s kind of like what we were talking about in the beginning with Trump versus Hillary, let’s not swing back all the way in the other direction. Can we meet in the middle somewhere?
Brad Kearns: I love it, Vinnie. Thank you. Yeah, my close friend is Rip Esselstyn. He’s one of the prominent leaders in the Vegan Movement Engine 2 Diet. And we get together and we talk and we hash it out, and there’s so much common ground that people fail to recognize, where he’s saying a plant-based diet and plant-strong and all these kinds of things that I strongly agree with. And then there are some differences of opinion which I recommend people resolve personally rather than getting into the dogma and debating things that they haven’t tried.
I love when you told your clients way back when, “Oh, you don’t agree with me? Try it for a few weeks and we’ll see if you’re getting closer to that dress size.” And that pretty much steals the deal for most people.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, and the Esselstyns, they’re fine. Rich Roll is a good friend. So, people are, “How do you deal with Rich Roll?” We have coffee together. We seem to be fine. When you think about what’s going on, whenever this guy Kip puts these movies out, they’re propaganda films, and he gets people like Greger who is willing to lie.
Brad Kearns: He’s a doctor that’s quoted on … these guys on “What the Health” were classic, because they’re just making these blanket statements like, “You eat eggs and you’re going to die.” I just remember these things going, “Whoa! This guy is a doctor and he’s putting himself on the camera. It’s crazy.”
Vinnie Tortorich: They believe that it’s for the greater good or something. I’m not really sure what they’re trying to do. But Greger said that if you eat an egg, that’s like smoking five cigarettes. If you eat meat, you’re going to have pus in your body. And my question is, where’s all this pus? Because I’m apparently loaded with pus that I’m not aware of. They said in “What the Health” that eating dairy is institutionalized racism. That’s in the movie.
The guy Kip, the leader of the movie who’s very disingenuous, he goes, “I was just out there looking for what’s the best diet to do.” Dude, you did “Cowspiracy”, you are already in that machine. Don’t pretend you don’t know what you’re doing here. And don’t go to the head of the AHA with a stained t-shirt with your man bun and throw a paper in his face and go, “I have a paper here that says you’re killing people, bro.” This is all BS.
Brad Kearns: It’s just like Michael Moore, when he tried to crash Roger Smith – the CEO of General Motors and he shows up at the Highrise and he gets turned away and they say, “Turn the camera off.” And he’s like, “I was mistreated.” It’s like, “No, when you go try to crash the CEO’s office, you’re going to be turned away. And it’s because you’re a jerk and you’re not going through the right channels.” So, I appreciate that comparison because that guy sort of rubbed me wrong. Where he’s like the Oschack type of documentary film maker who’s just finding out about all these terrible things, where it’s a little more strategic and propaganda eyes.
Vinnie Tortorich: While you’re talking about Michael Moore, we’re going to watch something. If I can pull it up here, we’re going to watch something really fast.
Brad Kearns: I’m looking at a screenshot of one of the most beautiful dogs that you’ll ever see. If you go to Serrania Park, you ever go there with your dog? It’s like the dog park. They took it over from humans and dogs took it over. It’s just down the road. Desoto in Wells.
Vinnie Tortorich: No, I take her dog hiking. She likes to go hiking.
Brad Kearns: But there’s a ton of dogs there.
Vinnie Tortorich: She’s doesn’t like other dogs. She’s a bitch that way.
Brad Kearns: People in Los Angeles love their dogs, man. They treat them right over at the park.
Vinnie Tortorich: I love my dog. Let’s see what comes up here. I was walking through a hardware store-
Brad Kearns: It’s called “Fat: A Documentary”. And you can google this now. It’s on the Indiegogo. Was that a trailer there? We can-
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, that’s the original trailer. You can put it in your thing or not. But here’s a little trailer I did as a spoof. I was walking through a hardware store and I came up with … I saw this megaphone and I bought it.
Brad Kearns: I saw that, yeah.
Vinnie Tortorich: Did you see this?
Brad Kearns: Yeah, talking to the building. Oh God, this guy is funny people.
Vinnie Tortorich: I don’t know why they love this. But I don’t know if you’ll be able to hear it on your mic.
[Video Playing 01:21:06]
Brad Kearns: He says he’s standing there yelling at a building with a megaphone. There’s no one there. He’s just talking.
[Video Playing 01:21:39]
Vinnie Tortorich: So, we did stuff like that. I think it was stuff like that that got people to get excited about giving money to the documentary. Because the one thing I’m not going to do is do what they do. I’m not going to just do a propaganda; go eat meat film. They’re just preaching to the choir when they do “What the Health” or “Cowspiracy” or “Forks Over Knives” or any of those. I don’t want to talk to the converted.
I want to go and I want to ask Michael Greger, how he can say that eating an egg will cause type 2 diabetes when there’s no sugar present. I want to ask him how an egg is a 70 on the glycaemic scale. These are facts that he puts out there on nutritionfacts.org or whatever his site is.
I want to ask Esselstyn why all oils are bad across the board. I want to ask Bernard a thousand questions. I want Dean Ornish to come on and answer … I want to hold these people’s feet to the fire. I want to ask real questions, and then I want to get other people on. I want to get doctors from the other side on to say … look, I can go to the Kips of the world or the Rich Rolls of the world, which I’m sure are perfectly nice people, but I want to go to these doctors who are willing to lie to people. Just boldfaced say that an egg is the equivalent of eating five cigarettes a day. That means I smoked a pack for breakfast.
Brad Kearns: Everyday.
Vinnie Tortorich: Everyday.
Brad Kearns: Oh, I had a five-egg omelets. So, I had 25.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, this doesn’t make sense. I want to know where this is coming from. I want to show these Harvard doctors for what they are, the ones that come out with these studies and just lie for big food.
Brad Kearns: Yeah. Dr. Cate Shanahan talks about this too. The Harvard School of Public Health, the highest authority got busted for covering stuff up from years ago, where they falsified research and suppressed things relating to the dangers of refined vegetable oils. And it’s happening everyday and it’s hard for us to believe that your doctor doesn’t know shit about diet, for example. Or that these great resources are completely unbiased and giving you the facts and the research, because they’re tweaking things and they got a lot riding on it. The people that are in that camp, especially in academia, they have to perpetuate the message. Otherwise, they’re going to fall apart.
That’s why I love Dr. Tim Noakes for putting on the brakes and saying, “Hey, a lot of my life’s work is refuted now by the new paradigm that you don’t have to live on carbs.”
Vinnie Tortorich: As a matter of fact, love Tim. Tim’s been on the show a gazillion times. But the story I’m telling in my movie is what happened to Dr. Gary Fettke over in Tasmania. Which, if you think what happened to Tim in South Africa is bizarre and archaic, what happened to Gary Fettke is just other worldly. As a matter of fact, you should get him on your podcast. He’s a good guy to have.
I’m telling his entire story. He’s going to be the cornerstone of this film. He was the guy that in Tasmania, his job became just chopping people’s limbs off when they got type 2 diabetes. And he started paying attention to low-carb dieting and he started telling some of these people that would come in very fat with diabetes, and he was reversing the problem where he wasn’t chopping as many limbs off. And someone brought him up to the board of medicine and said, “This guy is not following protocol.” And he went in and said, “I’m saving people’s lives and limbs and everything else. First, do no harm, right?” They go, “Yeah, not so much. Your job is to chop limbs off, not do anything else.”
That’s where he is. He said to me in a Skype conversation just the other day, off the air – I said, “How are you doing Gary?” And he goes, “I’m great. I haven’t chopped a limb off in the past eight weeks,” because he’s not a doctor. And he stopped being a medical doctor and now he’s making his life work just trying to heal people. That’s crazy, right?
Brad Kearns: It’s a great story.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah.
Brad Kearns: I look forward to seeing it on the Fat Documentary.
Vinnie Tortorich: Yeah, we’re going to get them all in and we’re going to hash it out.
Brad Kearns: Vinnie, thanks for joining me, man. You’re doing great stuff and you’re putting out a lot of info, a lot of content. Keep it up. I know it’s a lot of work, but we appreciate you. Thanks for joining me on the show.
Vinnie Tortorich: Thanks for having me.
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Hey, let’s talk about Tribali Foods. If you’re super busy and you want a convenient meal to make in a short time, but you don’t want to compromise great taste – gosh, doesn’t that sound like a commercial? It is a commercial, but it’s for something super awesome. And these are frozen organic beef and chicken patties and sliders, with awesome creative flavors like Mediterranean chipotle, Umami with the mushroom mixed in. And also, these sliders, chicken, apple, and pork sage.
What you do, is you take this frozen box, cut with the scissors, the beautiful little premade patty. Drop it on the pan, cook it up and it’s ready in a few minutes. And this company is a real, live, authentic girl power entrepreneur small business success story, home kitchen inspired. Welcome everyone to the new world where the big multinational beasts that make garbage food are getting knocked off by people who care about what they eat and about their health.
Tribali was started by my friend Angela Mavridis in Southern California – lifelong family restaurant business member. She was a vegetarian for 35 years and one day she had a steak, felt great, and started on this path of experimenting with creative ground beef recipes and flavorings in her kitchen. All her friends loved it. She was buying tons of ground meat from Whole Foods and they’re like, “Hey, what are you doing with this?”
So, she brought them in a little sample. They loved it. They flew her to Texas to meet with the national buyer and they said, literally, “Start a business and we will place a large order.”
So, this is a wonderful small business success story with love and attention to everything that goes into this product. Delicious, totally keto-friendly. Go, look at the pork mini sliders. We’re talking one gram of carbs, 11 grams of protein, 17 grams of fat, and you get 15% off.
Just visit tribalifoods.com and enter “Get Over Yourself” in the coupon field and you are good to go. Shipped directly to your door, cold-packed, frozen stuff, thought out in a day, and you have quick dinner, quick lunch. And also available at finer stores like Whole Foods, Whole Dude’s, Nugget, Natural Grocers, Super Targets and launching into Walmart as well. Good job, go girl! Tribalifoods.com.