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In this post, I outline the latest, most cutting edge approach to overcoming fatigue and improving performance, especially for people with chronic fatigue.

Note: this post is not about chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis.

People wanted a simplified version of how to stop being tired. This is my latest, cutting-edge approach to banishing chronic fatigue and improving performance.Realize that this protocol is meant for people who experience chronic fatigue or fatigue after meals.  Also realize that this is a general approach and I’ve tried to do my best to give general recommendations, but each person generally requires a bit of a different protocol.The logic behind these recommendations will come in the book.This is not all or nothing.  The more you keep the better.  People often can only keep one domain and that’s OK.Each of these factors has a different level of importance and it’s based on the exact cause of your condition. When I give it a level of importance, it’s general, but different people are affected more by different factors.Sometimes, people only need to change one factor, while other times people need to change everything.  It all depends on how serious your issue is and the root cause/specifics of your issue.Whenever I see someone claim to have gotten better solely with diet or lifestyle or supplements, I only believe them if their condition was mild to start.   Otherwise, you should realize they’re full of shit.  It’s not possible if you’re dealing with serious fatigue.I personally needed to rehaul my lifestyle (most important) and diet (second most important).   Still, I experienced a good deal of benefit from also using devices and supplements to perform even better and reverse the damage.But then again, my condition was worse than 97% of the clients I have/had, so I required more interventions.  I was completely broken from a young age, whereas others only broke down at a later age. To each their own.

Looking at people’s DNA and getting a background can inform me which factors people need to focus on the most.

If you aren’t feeling significantly better, you’re doing something wrong or you’re not keeping enough to a domain that’s important for you.

So if you find yourself not getting better from the diet, you must then additionally focus on your lifestyle.  If both lifestyle and diet aren’t helping, you need to focus on devices and supplements.

Having chronic fatigue is like being in a vortex that’s extremely difficult to get out of unless you attack it from all angles.  But attacking it from one angle can often help a lot.

Change must be somewhat incremental or it won’t last.  It should feel natural.


Lifestyle is actually the most important component to feeling better – for the vast majority of people.   This is based on my experience with clients.

I list this on the bottom because it’s something that is hardest to change and few people do it to any significant degree.

It turns out that lifestyle is the hardest to fix and I’ve been on a long journey to fix my own lifestyle.  The journey never ends, but I’ve traveled quite a far distance.

The clients who were able to get significantly better are the ones who were able to change their lifestyle around. Those who only focused on diet and supplements only got a temporary reprieve.

A Good Lifestyle Includes, in order of importance:

1) Stress Reduction, Happiness

Having as little stress in your life as possible, working at a job you like.  Living in a stable, peaceful and positive environment.  Try to have less noise in your life.  Not constantly traveling or moving around or living with people that cause you stress. Having positive relations with people.

I do meditation while I’m in my infrared sauna, with a cold shower finish and get adequate sun…I believe these steps will take down anyone’s anxiety dramatically.

If you are unhappy and/or stressed, it will be impossible to make a complete recovery.  You can recover mostly, but not completely, IMO.

If you’re stressed out, your sleep and circadian rhythm will be shit, which is why this is number 1.

To help stress reduction, use the following programs:

  • Guided Mindfulness Meditation – Kabat-Zinn – Stress Management
  • Mindfulness for Beginners – Kabat-Zinn – Stress Management/Self-improvement
  • Where You Go, There You Are
  • Happiness: A Guide To Developing Life’s Most Important Skill – Matthieu Ricard

2) Keeping to a Circadian Rhythm

Read my post on how to keep your circadian rhythm.

3) Sleep

Good sleep includes getting the maximum amount of sleep possible. If you’re getting less sleep than you need, you’re worsening your condition…

Sleeping through the night is important and of course, the quality of sleep you’re getting is key.  If you sleep for 8 hours but you’re not getting enough REM or deep/slow wave sleep, then that needs to be fixed.

Even if your sleep feels deep, if your circadian rhythm is off, it won’t be as restorative.

If your sleep is shit, you’ve got no hope of getting better.  Fix it by reading this post.

4) Getting Sun

You need to get at least 1 hour of full body sun. You can do a half hour in the morning and afternoon.  Getting the sun between 8-11 and 4-7 will get you the most infrared in the summer time.  You want more infrared and less UV, but both are needed.

Also getting the sun when it rises is important to reset your circadian rhythm.

Take with 8 mg of Astaxanthin to protect you from radiation, as we get more UV than historically because our ozone layer is shit – especially if you live in Australia.

5) Exercise

Your exercise should be high intensity, interval and short in duration rather than aerobic (max 20 minutes daily).

Yoga is also great.  Walking and standing are good as well.  I’m a big fan of a Pull-up bar.

You want to mix it up.  Yoga goes well with high intensity and walking and standing.

I try to do Yoga and/or Meditation for at least 20 minutes a day.  I find it hard to do 20 min at night of yoga, so I’ll do 5 minutes of yoga stretches.


Oxygen/Breathing Properly

It’s critical to know how to breathe.  Listen to this Breathing program by Andrew Weil.

The people I deal with often suffer from low oxygen, which is bad in many ways.  If you have low oxygen, your energy production will be lower and your ability to fight off infections.

You need to be breathing deeply, from your belly.  That means when you breathe in, your belly should expand or go out. When you breathe out it should come in.  Simple.  When you’re stressed/anxious, your breathing is more shallow.

It’s also helpful to get a Breathing Exerciser, but this is an enhancement, not critical.  This will work out your lungs and stimulate your vagus nerve.  Breath out and in with this and increase the resistance.

I am happy I bought an Oxygen Concentrator, but this is likewise an enhancement.  Casinos actually pump the air with oxygen to stimulate wakefulness and keep you in longer.  It’s calming and cognitive enhancing.  It potentiates the laser therapy/LLLT so be careful when using them together in your brain.

Preventing Hypoglycemia

Having at least 3 meals (even if small) rather than intermittent fasting or skipping meals.  Meals should contain some protein, fat, and a few carbs (if you’re not in ketosis) – you only need a tiny meal.  If you’re obese, intermittent fasting is likely good for you.  If you’re thin, stick with the smaller and more frequent meals.

Hypoglycemia shouldn’t be a problem if you listen to the big 5 recommendations.


Drinking enough good quality water is crucial, but drinking more than your thirst dictate isn’t as crucial, but is still important.

Drink 1 gallons of cold liquid, from spring water, reverse osmosis and add minerals such as MagnesiumZincSeleniumCopper, Chromium. shining Infrared Light on it and using a Molecular hydrogen machine.


Being cold, taking cold showers, dipping the head in cold is useful to make your mitochondria work better and increase your vagal tone.


Diet is the second most important component to feeling better.  You need to see which of these diets works best for you or perhaps you can implement aspects of all three.

I function relatively well on all three diets, and I list them in the order of how well I do with them.

I have no problem with other diets, but if you’re chronically fatigued or get fatigue after meals, then you should stick with these.

If you have any particular sensitivity – such as to salicylates, you must adjust the protocol accordingly.  As long as you’re getting inflammation from food, you’re fighting an uphill battle.

With all of the diets, stay away from alcohol and caffeine.  These are the worst things you can consume for your condition, especially alcohol.

The main components of a healthy diet for people with chronic fatigue is:

  • Paleo/low lectin diet – no grains, legumes, nuts….limited seeds
  • Lower carb
  • Salmon/seafood
  • Chicken broth, bones, marrow – nothing should be left from chicken except chewed up bone fragments
  • Liver
  • Leafy greens
  • Vegetable juices – broccoli sprouts, celery, romaine lettuce
  • Extra virgin olive oil, Caprylic oil, Black Cumin Seed Oil

1) Lectin Avoidance Diet

You should be following something along a lectin avoidance diet.

If you’ve got severe anxiety, lectins and carbs can feed it in a way.   But if you can get your stress under control, then you will very likely do better with a moderate amount of carbs.  I recommend no more than 25g of absorbable carbs per a meal.  Space it out ~5X a day.

A lectin avoidance diet consists of animal products (except dairy), fruits/raw honey and veggies.

I updated the diet to include seafood, so it’s the most balanced option.  I currently follow that diet.

2) Seafood Diet

The diet is pretty simple.  You eat a lot of fish.  I included fish in the lectin avoidance diet as an option, but the difference is that some people do better with even more fish in the beginning.  So this diet doesn’t include protein shakes.

My top 5 choices for seafood are frozen wild-caught salmon, Fresh Wild Sardines, Roe (fish eggs), oysters and anchovies.  The last 4 are expensive, but I include them every so often. Another seafood is good as well.

You defrost frozen salmon in your fridge and you warm it up or cook it lightly.   Industrial freezers should kill off all the parasites, and if it doesn’t, 145 degrees for 5-10 minutes will (I do this for 5 min).  So you needn’t even boil the water.  I also use a lot of spices and take HCL to keep my stomach acidic as a backup. Additionally, your immune system fights off parasites as well as the fourth layer of defense (if it’s working), so I’m personally not concerned with parasites.

You want to eat about 12 oz a day.  Water shouldn’t boil.  You eat it with a base of leafy greens, raw garlic, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, Dulse Powder (as much as tastes good), Sriracha and spices.

The point of the diet is to get good quality DHA, Iodine, little Omega-6’s, adequate protein and nutrition.  This is the best way to get DHA.

  • You should get a good amount of protein in the morning.
  • Eat about a pound of raw wild salmon a day that has been frozen in industrialized freezers (to kill parasites)…I warm it up, but it’s not cooked.  Make sure to take 5g MCP, 600mg NAC, Chlorella and R-Lipoic acid to prevent heavy metals, toxins and to activate detox pathways to take care of toxins.    I eat it with Sriracha, raw garlic, and leafy greens.
  • Cut omega-6 oils out.    Use Black Cumin Seed Oil and Caprylic acid for your oils.  Use a tbsp of each a day.
  • Use Dulse Powder for all of your salt need for iodine.
  • Frozen fruits, veggies are good, too.

3) Ketosis

A good option you should consider is ketosis.  I haven’t been able to find a way to make it work for me, but it works for a minority of people.

I personally don’t do well with ketosis because I do horribly with fat, even though I also don’t do well with too many carbs.

A low carb diet without getting into ketosis is not good if you suffer from fatigue because it can cause hypoglycemia.  A low carb diet is only good insofar as it’s a low lectin diet, but keeping to the lectin avoidance diet is better.

In my experience, most people do better with adequate carbs (~125g of non-fiber carbs) spaced out throughout the day, but there’s a sizable minority who do better with ketosis.

You see, hypoglycemia is terrible for people who get fatigue and yet they are more likely to get hypoglycemic.   If you don’t consume carbs, you will have to activate your stress response more.  If you get into ketosis, then you have an alternative fuel.  But ketosis is something difficult to sustain for most people.

The only time a low carb diet can be better if you don’t get into ketosis is if 1) you do very well with fat and 2) you can’t get your stress levels under control.

Devices (In order of importance)

The devices come in third place for me, but could actually be second place for some people.  Some people aren’t as affected by diet.

1) Blue Blocking Material

  • Red glasses and
  • Blue-blocking light bulbs
  • Blue Blocking Glasses (more stylish)
  • UVEX orange or amber glasses
  • Blue-blocking Red sheets to cover iPad or other screens.  I’ve actually put these on my windows to block out stray lights from outside because in NYC light bombs are the norm.


My top recommendation for fatigue is by putting a device called ICES on your head. You should put it on for as long as you need to.  This is the single best tool.

Use ICES….target any place that hurts you, your brain (all over but best to target your hypothalamus), thyroid, gut (all over intestines), thymus (right below the neck) , heart, testes, spleen, kidneys and liver.  Listed in order of importance.

3) Infrared

You should as much infrared as you can all over your body….target any place that hurts you, your brain (all over but best to target your hypothalamus), thyroid, gut (all over intestines), thymus (right below the neck) , heart, testes, spleen, kidneys and liver.  Listed in order of importance.

All of these have different effects.  Combine this with a far infrared sauna and you will hit the most beneficial wavelengths.

4) Sauna

Either buy an Infrared Sauna (I have this one) or go to one 5X a week.  One or the other.  I found that I never went, so I bought one and it’s convenient to go in daily.

I mix Ohm meditations with the sauna.  Ohming stimulates the vagus nerve and keeps your mind more focused.  Since the sauna is enclosed, the neighbors don’t hear me as much.  I get to sweat out all of the toxins, increase heat shock proteins, get another source of infrared and meditation all in one session.  Then I take a cold shower, which feels amazing and I get the benefits of cold.  The Finns are known to roll around in the snow after a sauna.   This very hot then very cold contrast builds your body’s homeostatic capability so that you can handle stress better – emotional or physical.  It completely stopped me from urinating at night as it stimulates renin+aldosterone+vasopressin.

The only way to sweat like that otherwise is cardio and I don’t like it – causes too much inflammation.

Everyone needs this.  I’m very happy with the sauna purchase. It was missing from my life. I feel great after. I sweat like a beast and then take a cold shower…

There’s a reason that pretty much EVERY culture in history used saunas and just called it different names…In Europe, we find the Russian banya, Estonian sauna, the Jewish shvitz, and the Swedish bastu. In Asia the Japanese Mushi-Buro and the Korean jjimjilbang. The Karo people of Indonesia have the oukup. Africa, the sifutu. The Turkish or Arab hammam. In Ancient Rome there was the thermae. The Aztec temāzcalli /temaːsˈkalːi/, Maya zumpul-ché, and the Mixtec Ñihi; and, in Canada and the United States, a number of First Nations and Native American cultures have various kinds of spiritual sweat lodges (Lakota: inipi, Anishinaabemowin: madoodiswan).

Haven’t tried any of these, but I list them so that you get one more convenient for your needs, but I can’t attest to their quality because I haven’t used them: This infrared sauna is smaller.  This infrared sauna is a solo portable one and a client uses this to good effect.  This portable infrared sauna is the cheapest and most convenient option, but I personally opted for the full deal.  This infrared sauna is a steam one, without the infrared. If you find a sauna that you like, comment and I’ll link to it.  I don’t care which one you buy, just buy one that you’ll use and sweat from and preferably infrared.

Vagus Nerve Activation

Stimulation of the vagus nerve is key for people with chronic fatigue.


Supplements are quite important, but some people don’t like to take them or even get bad reactions.

I recommend to continually adding them one at a time until your condition improves to a point you are happy with.  Experiment with one recommendation per a day.

This is not necessarily a protocol that you should be doing daily.  If you find it’s too much, which it probably is too much for most people, you could take half of them and cycle them by the day or week.

A good tea to drink is Rooibos and you can consume it with Tamarind.

Morning supplements

Take with the meal.



If you need a stimulant, take nicotine.  Nicotine activates orexin neurons. (R)

Optional: Additions For Th2 Dominant

These are better for Th2 dominant people.  All should be taken in the morning/afternoon.

Optional: Additions for Th1 Dominant

To Add If You Have An Infection

Hyperbaric is a good aid to help combat infections.

Extreme care needs to be taken if you decide to use these:

It’s illegal to sell ozone, chlorine dioxide and hydrogen peroxide for internal use because it can be dangerous.  You need to research this stuff before you take it.

  • Ozone
  • Chlorine dioxide – very strong anti-infectious agent (R, R2).


  • Nitazoxanide can be helpful for various infections, especially parasitic (with your doctor’s permission).
  • Fenbendazole can be helpful for gut infections (with your doctor’s permission).
  • Fluconazole can be helpful for fungal infections (with your doctor’s permission).
  • Tinidazole can be helpful for parasitic infections.

See the list of Biofilm disruptors.

Antifungal: Fluconazole, Garlic, Berberine

Antiparasitic: NitazoxanideFenbendazole  Cinnamon, Cloves, Black Walnut Bark, Nettle Leaf, Wormwood, Lactoferrin, Artemisinin, Berberine, Garlic, Bitter melon, Oregano oilAndrographis, Tulsi…

Antiviral: Hops (R), LicoriceAndrographis, Oregano Oil, Olive leaf

Add If You Have a Biotoxin Issue

Add If You Have Low Acetylcholine

Add If You Have Low Dopamine

Optional: To Add If You Feel You’re Too Anxious

Optional: Genetics

If SOD2 gene: 10mg MitoQ.

If MTHFR or high histamine: Methylfolate, SAM-e

Drugs for Anxiety (speak to doctor)

Attitude: Get Rid of Thought Toxins

You want to stay away from all things that activate your stress response and gravitate to things that lower it.

Stress is the worst thing for chronic fatigue.  It doesn’t matter what you eat if you’re processing life in a stressful way.  

Stress is something that we may feel like we’ve gotten a hold of, but we usually have all kinds of thought viruses that are worse than real viruses for our health.

We’re constantly trying to exert willpower or change things about us or the world, and this is not ideal for your health.  We’re trying hard to get somewhere, to some place that we feel like will finally make us happy.

The great realization for me was that there’s nowhere to go, nothing to do except enjoy your life.  We’re constantly trying to get to some better place, but there is no better place than your life right now.

Statistically speaking, your life has an equal probability of getting worse or better.  You better start enjoying it now.

Your condition will worsen in the long term any time you do the following to an excess:

  • Try to control an outcome
  • Try to change yourself
  • Try to exert your willpower
  • Try increase your motivation 
  • Do something you don’t want to
  • Make goals 
  • Have ambitions or try to get somewhere
  • Have a strong attachment – to an idea, object, person, etc…
  • Think about the past or future
  • Take life too seriously
  • Feel fear
  • Feel anxiety
  • Feel anger
  • Feel frustrated
  • Feel guilt
  • Feel jealousy
  • Feel hate
  • Feel embarrassed
  • Feel rejected 

You won’t notice the effects in the short run, but it affects your condition in the long term.  This is why listening to the programs at the end are needed.

I would like to add that you shouldn’t be angry for feeling angry or anxious about feeling anxiety.  And if you are anxious about feeling anxiety, don’t be anxious about that either.

This is called leading the gentle way.  This means to uncritically accept whatever state you’re in and to do that you just observe or listen.  That’s all.

Part of accepting who you are is accepting that you will act according to your nature, and if you’re anxious, then that’s your current nature and you shouldn’t fight against it.

I used to spend the whole day in at least one of those listed states and I’ve been working on getting out of them for over 5 years.  In each of those parameters, I’ve changed radically from what I was.

The hardest was stopping to try and control an outcome.  I haven’t mastered that one, especially in some domains of life, but I improve as time goes on.  Once you accept the framework, life experience will be the greatest force of change.  Just pay attention/listen.

Change of this nature takes a really long time.

The most important thing is not to get to a state where you don’t get upset or angry or whatever.

The most important thing is to get to the state where you accept whatever anger, fear or negative thought toxins you’re consumed with.  Just don’t take it so seriously.

Some gurus claim to be “Bulletproof”, but if you look closely, you’ll see they don’t look or sound very bulletproof at all – it’s all marketing.  This is because these gurus have been focusing too narrowly on one domain.  They’re still trying to control outcomes and exert lots of willpower.  They’re trying to get to some magical place that doesn’t exist.

Ironically, when you stop trying to be motivated, you actually become more motivated.  When you stop trying to change anything about yourself or the world, that’s when you actually experience the most significant changes to your happiness.

When I stopped trying to be productive, that’s when my productivity took off.

The less you try to control or direct some outcome, the more happy, creative and relaxed you will be as well.  This is greatest you that you can be.

The key idea is that you must become a detached observer of your reality, rather than get lost in it.  You must always have one foot in and one foot out the door of life.

So you can do whatever you want in life – including trying to be ambitious, working hard or even trying to be motivated.  But the most important thing is to always step back and look at your behaviors in a third person kind of way. You shouldn’t take anything too seriously.

The downside is that you will be less effective in achieving the paper goals that you’ve created and that you think will make you happy.

It took some level of intuition/trust that this was an optimal road for me.  And then it took years of incremental change and self-awareness to realize that this attitude truly resulted in a better life for me.

I never fully appreciated that a large part of the reason I got better was because I did a complete overhaul in how I approached the world.

You must be willing to accept your present reality and let go of the need to change anything about you or your situation in life – including your health, ironically.

I always thought my philosophy posts were optional.  And to some people, they are, as in they can get completely better without any shift in attitude.  But for most people, they’re actually critical to making a complete recovery.  Looking back, I don’t see how I would’ve gotten better without a radical change in how I approached life.

Given how important lifestyle is, my supplement and diet recommendations can only do so much.  Most of your healing needs to be done by you.

The book will explain why lifestyle is so important and particularly why stress and the listed behaviors are not conducive to healing.

Programs to Listen to

Read or listen to these books and implement their advice.  This is actually the most important thing.

  • Breathing program – Andrew Weil – Stress Management
  • Guided Mindfulness Meditation – Kabat-Zinn – Stress Management
  • Mindfulness for Beginners – Kabat-Zinn – Stress Management/Self-improvement
  • Where You Go, There You Are
  • Happiness: A Guide To Developing Life’s Most Important Skill – Matthieu Ricard

There are studies coming out on MBSR all of the time.  Here’s a recent one about how it restructures the brain.

Philosophy Posts

I actually have one big post that puts everything together, but I’m not sure when it will be ready.

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on PubMed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and Ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.


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  • Kim

    PIease note: This articIe as nothing to do with Chronic Fatigue SYNDROME, which is a serious incurabIe disease. PIease don’t use the expression “Chronic Fatigue”.

    1. Caroline Lam

      Hello, I understand that CFS is a separate condition. I’ve added a note to address the possible confusion. Thank you for your comment!

  • Amy

    I don’t know how ICES can help with fatigue. it makes me FAR MORE fatigued! Even after adequate supplementation.

  • fabian

    has anyone on these monster regimens gone from severe cfs with pain that will barely respond to a dose of 300mg morphine at once to becoming one of the strongest people in the world with a bodyfat lower than most competitive bodybuilders, training almost daily, eating 5000 calories and 500g carbs? probably not.

    there is countless metabolic processes, interfering with a few hundred is not being thourough, it is trying to comprehend what can never be comprehended. some things are simple though. the immune system needs to be balanced, cells need to function optimally, healthy ones protected, damaged ones removed. glucose is the main source of energy and improving muscle cell insulin sensitivity, absorbing carbs without any insulin response and causing insulin resistance in fat cells is all possible.
    so the simpler the better, especially when just starting and not knowing how one responds to dozens of things. pterostilbene, ubiquinol/shilajit, tinofend will modulate the immune system, selectively protect healthy cells and kill cancerous ones, cause more mitochondrial energy production than any niagen, pqq this, that etc ever will. shilajit also helps with mineral absorption and heavy metal detoxification.
    caffeine is great in the form of purenergy. alcar, purenergy (pteropure-caffeine co-crystal), p-5-p, mb12, methylfolate are available as a supplement called smart focus by brawn nutrition. it is by far the best neuroprotective and general health supplement ever made for a price that is affordable. solo the ingredients would cost hundreds of dollars as one gets 1500mg alcar-arginate, 200mg purenergy, 100mg p-5-p, 1mg mb12, 1mg methylfolate.
    now one can combine a c3g containing extract, banaba standardized for tannins, pomella pomegranate extract and this will shuttle carbs selectively to muscles without causing an insulin response. adding bergenin will block insulins effects on fat cells. as some know, berberine is at least as effective as metormin. well this combination is far superior. and if it is only about ampk then gynostemma pentaphyllum and trans-tiliroside beat berberine easily.
    now one can get much more nutrients due to the fact that fat loss will occur and calories need to be increased just so it does not happen too fast. the more carbs=more fat loss and muscle gain in this scenario.

    of course there is many more great substances but not everything is for everyone. curcumin is great for arthritis but laxogenin is better in case of inflammation but no autoimmune condition. curcumin is slightly immunosuppressant.

    i have seen all the cfs regimens and i know i was a severe case. if i say that something hurts it means that it a level where an OC80 will not even touch it. i did seem normal but i felt that my body should be dead and simply forced everything thinking that it is only impossible when the body is dead. so people who say they cannot walk are saying it is unbearable for them but they can unless they drop dead. i chose to walk and feel like my feet were crushed pieces of bone.

    anyway i have not seen one case where a complicated regimen has brought someone from severely ill to becoming stronger than most professional bodybuilders and powerlifters, weighing only 85kg with a bf of around 5% on 5000 calories, doing pullups with 60kg added or dumbbell rows with 100kg per arm.

    also i can tolerate a lot of medication so take opioids, stimulants and have no side effects from them due to the way i have optimized my metabolism. just medication would do people no good and most cannot even tolerate them.
    one cannot address all issues possibly wrong so it is best to assume that the immune system is not working optimally and there may be some problems with transcription or whatever is causing cells to malfunction. so why not balance the immune system and selectively optimize cellular health? on that basis most things will balance themselves out and then one can actually benefit from things previously detrimental. a balanced diet with high calories provides plenty of necessary nutrients so that one does not have to mess around too much with minerals, vitamins etc.

  • Abdulrahman

    Hello Joseph,

    This article is a goldmine. You must have put a lot of wide thinking to put this together. I wish you would train medical doctors on your philosophy when approaching medical problems. Really, i believe some forward thinking hospitals would be interested in what you would present….think about this, it will raise your name higher and we want you to reach out to all.

    I have the same philosophy when approaching disease. Very rare to find someone similar.


    1. Shea

      Thanks for the ideas and encouragement, Abdulrahman!

  • Geoff Welch

    Great article, well done!

  • Jason

    Hi Joseph,
    I am th2 dominant due to CFS and can’t find anything to help down regulate them. I seem to react to toxins violently due to the over active th2 cells. Have you found anything to help with your th2 dominance that doesn’t mobilise toxins?

  • Dominance

    I’m very confused about Vitamin A. It’s generally considered to be a TH1 and TH2 modulator and you have even recommended it for T Regulator cells but in this article, you recommend it only for TH1 dominance. I am TH2 dominant and would like to take Vitamin A (2500 iU) to help increase cortisol. Will this be OK?

  • Steve

    What about creatine vs zinc vs nicotine vs coq10 for fatigue and fog? Which is better in terms of priority of usage?

  • Soila Brenda Dickson

    Awesome post. I’m gonna share the article on Twitter in a little bit. Thank you.

  • Doug

    I like what you said about attitude and about thought toxins. But seems like you might be mistaking your own n=1 experience as universal truth. My observation is that people have vastly different inner psychology and inner reality than I do, and process the world in surprising ways.

    Most advice on how to live and how to be happy is too directive, including yours. The giver presumes to know what’s best for others. It’s seductive, people like to hear it. Everyone wants to believe that someone else has figured things out for them. Alan Watts is a good example. Do this, don’t do that.

  • Bob Nesbitt

    I maybe mistaken but I think Grape Seed Extract would make someone worse if they are already TH2 dominant right? You have listed here Grape seed extract and Ginger, Ginger I agree with, nut not Grape seed extract

    1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD

      Yes don’t take it if you are Th2 dominant.

  • Alan

    Hi, are the blue light blocking glasses arranged according to effectiveness? Thanks.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Amber= ok

  • Daryl Allen

    Joseph, in your story about taking HUUUGE doses of Probiotics, you said you found a new “even better” pro after the experiment. Can you tell us the name of new probiotic you’re liking? I just found you and this is a LOT of info to take in, but I am gonna give a few changes a good try!

    1. Joseph M. Cohen
  • astroff

    i tried taking DR best SAM-E and shit started happening(took it for histamine overload)
    i had diarhea , abdominal pain, and sleep went to shit,
    have you tried this supplement? SAM-e?
    do you have any idea why it might be the case?

    1. Relentless

      Its common to have strong reactions to methyl supplements. It’s not so clear why though, because unless you have tests done you wont really know if you need more methyldonors or not.

      Or it could be a bunch of other biological things going on. Nearly impossible to know. You have to evaluate how you feel and if you feel really bad its probably wise not to take it any more.

      1. astroff

        well, i read that SAM-e is unstable, and it could be because it gets delivered to wrong place, enetric coating got broken too soon or something, and they add mannitol , bad bacteria jump on it and produce gas. in fact it seems in SAM-e case different brands have different effects? maybe because of the coating.
        and, i take the thorne metyl(b) plus i dont have any adverse effects to it,
        the next day i took it, i didnt have abdominal pain nor sleep issues but still diarrhea, problems is in this case gas seems to be trapped, and pressure on the abdominal. but this time i took it and didnt eat for 30 min after, i also didnt consume prebiotics.
        i think its a delivery issue. i want to get it right, because apart from this i felt great and my tendencies were much better towards challenges, and i didn’t have any anxiety.
        of course worst case scenario i can replace it with ATP+ mag.

        i will try taking it differently, but this SAM-e is annoying, because too many issues pop up,.
        it seems perfect for me(histamine) but methyl B are essential here because SAM-e gets turn into homocysteine after usage.

        1. astroff

          the culprit is the mannitol, now on to a brand that doesnt have this stuff or similar stuff.

  • astroff

    hey i want to update you on something, i started to eat potato starch in the morning, and sleep problems started i cant sleep, at the same time during night when i usually sleep, i hear due to insomnia and quietness, THE FERMENTATION, i dont get much gas through.

    could it possible that the fermentation timing is off, during night that wreck my sleep , or is it the source of the resistant starch( i heard potato srouce causes inflammation? from you)

    but at the same time i heard you recommend taking rs(himaize) in the morning so it willl take effect in 24 hours upong awakening, but i take potatoe starch in morning and i get the effect in the fking night when i am supposed to sleep in around 12. at night.

    i guess i will experiment, but do you know about fermentation of RS(or potato starch for that matter) on circadian clock effect?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      It’s not RS, it’s potato lectins…

      1. astroff

        thanks but problem is when i consumed other lectins(wheat and stuff) i never experienced such a nonsense on my sleep,
        and i tried potato starch few months ago and didnt had the sleep problem(took same dose too), also i found a study saying SCFA interact with circadian gene expression.

        i only took 4 table spoons for 2 days one in the evening slept ok, and the other, in the morning and didnt sleep at all. and in the next day 3rd day i didnt take it at all, and still didnt sleep(2nd day), before that i slept for 7 hours straight no problems (every day without insomania even once).

        what i did like through is that during those 2 days i didnt experience any anxiety at all *weird*
        but i have to admit during those 2 days i did sun in the morning for 20 min instead of the usual 10 min.
        and i also exercised right after it.
        i am a bit of a fan of yours. thanks. i like how you bring a lot of stuff together.

  • Ole

    Whats your thought on NAC safety? Also it apparently depletes B12 (glutathione does but NAC boosts glutathione)

    “Glutathione can cause methyl-trap by combining with the active b12s and converting them to glutathionylcobalamin, a non-active form, which lack of active b12 then causes the folate to be dumped from cells creating a hard folate deficiency quickly and building mb12 and later adb12 deficiencies. This is commonly called “glutathione detox reaction” and is identical to “methyl-trap” and corectable by stopping the glutathione precursors and increasing metafolin and then mb12 and adb12.”

    The phoenix rising ME/CFS forums are very against NAC and glutathione partially because the scientists on there claim it depletes B12 and also can move heavy metals around so they might end up in the brain.


    Seen a lot of other places doubting the safety of NAC.

    Im not sure if to keep taking it as i feel brain fog when i take it. (Ive taken it on and off for a year despite this)

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Some people are helped by it, some aren’t.

    2. Kelly

      Ole, there are no ‘scientists’ on Phoenix Rising. 🙂

  • Ole

    I dont understand nicotinamide riboside.. One day i took 200mg and i felt like ive never ever felt before and it lasted all day (no other variables)

    Trying it again after not having any for 4 months and 2000mg does nothing. (Did 1g on empty stomach then 1g with food since bottle says to take it with meals)

  • ES

    The organization of your outline rather comically overstates the value of nicotine. That is, assuming the rest of the article doesn’t just extol the virtues of nicotination.

    Also, on the point of nicotine, it is worth mentioning that tobacco contains alkaloids beyond simply nicotine, most notably harman, norharman and anatabine, which have substantial effect on their own, such that I would be careful generalizing from tobacco to nicotine straight away.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen


    1. Joseph M. Cohen


  • orangothom

    A common side effect of lithium is fatigue. Why is it on here?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      You’re talking about very high doses of lithium carbonate…

      1. orangothom

        Ahh okay thanks. I saw it as a common side effect on your lithium post.

        Are there any nutritional deficiencies to be aware of if I were to eat the seafood diet word for word as mentioned above?

        1. Joseph M. Cohen


  • Denvill

    Would you consider adding a safety protocol for LLLT (just 2-3 sentences)? I almost put “light relief” on my testis for 15 min before I read some cationary tip elsewhere. Thank you!

  • orangothom

    What kinda spices do you use?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Cntrl+F spices in Supplements

  • Ole

    Artichoke and forskolin debunked. Its not useful for raising cAMP either.

  • Fritz.Harber

    I tried placing a zip lock full of ice on my head for an hours in the evening, after an hour i felt like my brain froze and the following day I noticed an increase in inflammation – what would you say are the saftey margins when starting to emlpoy the thermogenesis protocol.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Use my linked cryohelmet and you won’t have the issues.

      1. Fritz.Harber

        Thank you! but what would be the difference between using the hamlet and simplyplacing ice on your head?

        1. Joseph M. Cohen

          Ice packs need to be dispersed around the head and the cryohelmet does it nicely…Ice packs don’t…

          1. Lucas N

            Hey Joe, what’s your protocol on Cold? Do you put the cryohelmet everyday? For how many minutes? Do you also are taking cold showers? Please share your cold protocol. Thanks man

            reply icon
          2. Joseph M. Cohen

            Yes to cold showers and cryohelmet

            reply icon
  • Nina Chrumov

    You wrote earlier that c60 does not go well with LLLT – what protocol do you have that would allow you to get the benefit from both?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      It’s fine

  • Denvill

    Hi Joe! I wanted to give you some feedback on your protocol.

    I usually have the following: Anorexia, Anxiety, High sugar + fatigue.

    I implemented the following recommendations:

    1. ICES – 2 h on head, 3 on gut.
    2. Light Relief (LLLT) – 15 min on entire body every three days.
    3. Sun – everyday, 1 h
    4. 1.5 gal water + all minerals
    5. Diet: 30 days reset diet + 120g Hi maize + gum + cod liver (0.5can) . BUT NO vegetables, NO fresh fish.
    3. Supplements of choice: Pregnenolone (25mg) PQQ, Forskolin, Milk Thistle, Fisetin, Resveratol, MCP (4g), inositol, inosine, Suma, Kombucha + LOTS of magnesium.

    RESULTS: anxiety gone, managed to gain weight, sugar down. Feeling good and calm.

    BUT – while I feel great almost on all levels I noticed one strong downsite: My memory go REALLY BAD. I am very aware of my body and I simply feel that both my long and short term memory went down. My line of work depends on my memory so I immediately have feedback from it.

    Why do you think my memory gone bad? I think the following may be problematic (in order):

    1. Too much Hi Maize
    2. Too much pregnenolone
    3. No vegetables (not enough chewing?)
    4. One of the supplements
    5. Too much ICES/LLLT on the head

    Please let me know what you think may be the cause as I really do not want to quit the diet altogether to find out.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Maybe 1, 4 or 5…I recommend a consult.

  • Denvill

    How exactly did you determine that you need 15-30 min of Bright Light Device to reset your circadian rhythm? Why not 5 min? why not 1 hour?

    What about sun – how do you determine the length of time you need to stare at it to reset your rhythm? /

    1. Joseph M. Cohen


    2. Kim

      According to doctors at Stanford (who, admittedIy, don’t know a Iot about circadian rhythm disorders/DSPS) in order to heIp reset your circadian rhythm, you shouId ideaIIy go sit in the sun (shaded area okay) for two hours as soon as you naturaIIy wake up every day. of course onIy a smaII fraction of us have the Iuxury of doing that, so the next best thing is bright Iight therapy. You shouId use it for about an hour everyday. don’t use it too much earIier than you normaIIy wake up or you’II make matters worse. you need to sit within 10 to 12″ from the Iight. graduaIIy start waking up earIier – say, by 15 minute increments. try to get to sIeep earIier too by 15 minute increments. don’t do chronotherapy, as tempting as it might be. it couId backfire and Iead to “non-24”. if your’e younger you have a better chance of resetting your circadian rhythm. no matter what you do, stick to a scheduIe – or your condition wiII worsen.

  • dave

    I started waking up at 6am like you do; do you still eat your breakfast within 1h of waking up ( so early :-)) ?

    1. dave

      It simply seems too early for a meal ; from your experience, can your body easily digest 45g of protein at 6:30am?

      1. Joseph M. Cohen

        I drink a shake…could be an hour after

        1. dave

          Thanks, I also wanted to ask; have you experimented with Muse to improve your meditation or calmness?

  • luke

    How do you justify snus if that stuff has been proven (I thought) to cause cancer, especially of the mouth? What do you think of vaping instead?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      The dosage matters…I don’t recommend more than 1 a day…

      Studies are mixed on the subject…

      In this study it shows lower risk of lung and oral cancer and higher risk of pancreatic…

      Snus has a low risk for oral cancer…

      There isn’t many studies on it…and any studies that show increased cancer risk, it’s because people who are less healthy are more likely to use it…

      See this list of studies:

      They aren’t adjusting for various factors – usually only age….And even so most studies don’t show increased risk…

      1. luke

        Good points. One more question: how do I take it? Do I put it in my upper or lower lip, let it sit there and swallow my salivia and then eventually take out the pouch and throw it away? I’ve been interested in nicotine for a while now.

        1. luke

          I ended up getting nicotine patches. Tried one, at a high dose (21 mg), but it was confounded by me being sick. I ended up puking all night long…I noticed the nicotine gave me a buzz, nowhere near amphetamines but enough to be noticeable. My feet felt lighter when I walked too, which was weird. I haven’t noticed any addiction either.

  • Nina Chrumov

    I hope this question does not sound stupid- how exactly do you determine that your salmon is cooked in 145 degreed (most ovens/stoves do not have temperature that is so low)

    1. Joseph M. Cohen
  • Jeff

    Hey Joe (or other biohackers)

    I am eperimenting with some of the suggestions in the above protocol.

    I have one Q about the Salmon.

    I’m a bit unclear on how you prepare it. Once it’s thawed, how do you “warm it up”?? I am assuming you dunk it in a saucepan of water (?) and bring it to 145 degrees F for 5 min. Is that right? So it’s water and not warming it in a pan of oil right?


    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Right…put the fire on high heat for 5 min…and take it out…should be warm and extremely lightly cooked…

  • Nina Chrumov

    I find that if I exercise too much during the week I get amazingly fatigued (even if it is HIIT that takes only 20 minutes daily).

    From the pics you post on facebook you appear really fit – what kiind of exercising do you personally do? How frequently?

  • Judd Crane

    What about C60 with IR sauna, same recommendations as with LLLT (space two weeks apart)?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen


  • Lucas N

    What do you think to make something like this?

    Homemade infrared sauna? A panel and 4 lamps. It’s better than nothing?

  • arspythia

    Hi Joe,
    brilliant piece here. Thanks. Couple of questions;
    Have you investigated gene mutations at all like HTMFR and if so, how do you see their significance for CFS? I’m just beginning to look into that aspect, but it seems like eating a good quantity of raw green leafed veg can really help.

    Where do you get your salmon from? Im in the UK and hoping to find a good source.

    What about the microbiome? Have you tried investigating support there?


    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      I take MTHFR and the microbiome into account.

  • SashaKrot

    Hi, whats the difference between red glasses and orange?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      red also block green spectrum

      1. SashaKrot

        i have Uvex SCT Orange glasses and it gives me insomnia in case of using it 2 hours before bedtime. The official UVEX brouchure states “It further provides protection by completely absorbing visible light up to 540nm, which includes violet, blue and certain green wavelengths of light which are emitted by curing lamps.” Probably i have to buy red for complete protection

        1. Joseph M. Cohen


  • Lucas N

    Joe, I bought light relief device to use it with LLLT. I use around 10 times in brain at night, and one time at the morning. Good effects, but strange at the same time. Good focus, but not amazing memory. I use it without supps.

    Now you say that emits blue light also? So it’s not the best device for brain LLLT? Why now you are only using it “sometimes”? Is not as good as you supposed?

    What is the best device for LLLT on brain? I also have a 250w infrared bulb. Do you have some protocol for using it?

    Thanks bro.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      It’s good, don’t worry.

  • Helen

    bought infrared lamp, shined on myself with it for 1 hour in the afternoon- first 10 min felt great, after an hour, felt extremely tired . tiredness is absoutly not normal for me in the afternoon. Am I foing something WRONG? please help!

    1. Helen

      Please tell me if I should worry – I am reading that such a long exposure could really cause serious damage. Should I worry?

      1. Rad Banger

        It’s all over now.

  • Nina Chrumov

    In general, could you please add a sentence on general cautionary guidelines for using lights? There are many irresponsiple people around (my brother in law, following a post on longecity, placed LLLT on his thyroid for 2-3 hours and had to recover weeks from this experience)

  • Nina Chrumov

    I just got my infrared lamp (the one you recommend) – I know that if I use LLLT too long I get sharp pain behind my left eye so I am a bit cautious- how long can you be exposed to infrared light from a lamp”? is there any recommended limit?

  • Fever

    What do you think about this:

  • Rollia

    Hi! You wrote that in order to biohack your water/kombucha you use three things:

    1. infrared light
    2. copper pot
    3. magnetic pad.

    While I understandthe infrared hack, how exactly do you use the copper pot and magnetic pad to hack your water?

  • Jay

    Hey Joe, are you famillar with Freddd’s Active B12 Protocol on the Phoenix Rising forums?

    He proposes that some people with severe CFS-like symptoms likely have troubles in their body with conversions to the active B12s (methylcobalamin & adenosylcobalamin) and active folate (“methylfolate”). He further suggests that some may have issues with even folinic acid or any non-animal dietary folates, and that these may block the activity of active folate. Lack of folate can further compound B12 deficiencies, and it becomes a vicious cycle. For people with these problems, consuming lots of folic acid (which is hard to avoid in modern food) as a child and growing up can wreak havoc, especially when coupled with other stressors. He suggests a protocol of what he calls the deadlock quartet (methylB12, adenosylB12, methylFolate, l-carnitine fumarate), ample potassium and other cofactors (vitamins, minerals, omega3s, ala, sam-e, etc.), and he further recommends restricting non-animal dietary folates.

    I’ve grown partial to his views given my own experiences having long-term issues with IBS, histamine, fatigue, brain fog, weakness, being underweight, poor appetite, etc. Low-lectin diets, elemental diet, leaky gut protocols, candida protocols all provided minimal relief. I don’t follow his protocol exactly, because the rapid healing symptoms can be uncomfortable and balancing of cofactors and avoiding potassium deficiency can be complicated. I’ve been eating chicken liver (for active B12s & folate, and less copper than beef), chicken breast, safflower oil, macadamia nuts, rice milk(not fortified) and corn cereal(not fortified), and supplementing Vitamin D, fish oil, calcium and zinc (thinking of adding molybdenum and Vitamin K). This provides a balanced diet with minimal non-animal folate, while still avoiding the more inflammatory foods. So far, the results have been quite significant in terms of energy and clarity, and a little less so with the digestive issues, but still quite improved. Many claim dramatic results, and Freddd himself claims to have pretty much cured himself of severe CFS.

    Trying out Freddd’s ideas, whether through supplements or diet, is relatively cheap compared to other CFS protocols, and, as I said, results can be dramatic. His ideas are quite popular on CFS and MTHFR forums, but I haven’t seen anything related on your blog. I thought I’d bring it up as something to possibly experiment with yourself or recommend to certain clients.

    Thanks for reading.

  • Rollia

    Did you seriously buy an infrared Sauna 🙂 ?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen


      1. Fritz.Harber

        no picture – no sauna (you are crazy…:))

        1. Joseph M. Cohen

          I’m going to do a review of all my infrared shit, so you’ll see it

  • Jenny

    Are you don’t with folate for mthfr? If so, why?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen


      1. Jen

        Sorry, poor word choice. You are homozygous for MTHFR C677T, meaning you don’t convert folic acid, I think. I notice in your protocol listed above, you are getting b vitamins but are not suplimenting with 5-MTHF. I get that fruits and veggies have folate, and this may be a completely in educated question, but I’m curious why this sort of supplement is not in your current regimen?

        1. Joseph M. Cohen

          I take it…

  • Rollia

    I have a wierd questions/comment about your stress reduction section. Over the years I became more mindful of my reality and discovered that I am often anxious. When I accepted my axiety as part of my nature, while my physical anxierty remained, my anxiety about being anxious was gone. I basically understood that I constantly had two types of anxieties: “pure” physical anxiety and “impure” thought-based anxiety which resulted from not being aware.

    Now, my question is this: while I can understand the evolutionary purpose of physical “pure” anxiety, I do not understand the purpose of the “impure” thought-based axiety: why do people have this kind of anxiety if it serves absolutly no purpose? Even if I am not going to be thought-base anxious, I am still going to react to the same things as I would being anxious. It seems like people suffer for the purpose of suffering alone. It does not make sense evoltionarily, or does it?

  • Ola

    Hi Joe! Have seen you are doing well recently. With the interviews, etc. Great to see that!
    Wondering what you are thinking about mindfulness apps etc? So that you have fixed time in a day set up for guided meditation?

  • Ellamo

    Just took 3ml of C60 now (waited two weeks after using LLLT) – really strong, positive effect, maybe too strong. How frequently do you recommend taking it? Can I take it daily?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen


  • Ryan

    Couple questions; what purpose does the andrographis serve? And why naltrexone in the morning?

  • Joanna

    Thanks Joe, I will be trying as many of these as I can given what I already have right now 🙂

    Just an aside, I bought these probiotics and got stomah pains, gas and cramping when I took one a day, gave them to someone else and they got the same thing :/ Not sure if I just have a bad batch.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Don’t know

  • Daniel

    Dear Joe,
    I got me that ICES device after reading your post.

    I will start following your protocol soon.

    I have a funny question: Is it normal that the coils make different sounds over time or is mine broken???

    1. Joseph M. Cohen


  • Rollia

    I agree! please write about your experience “cheating”! You write that you are prone to inflammation more than others; it would therefore be useful for people reading this blog to know how far you can go cheating and still be back on your feet after awhile. You could potentially lower other’s stress (for example, I am following a strict lectin free diet with great results. Today I ate almost 4000 calories of ice cream and pizza and I feel like I am going to die – more from the stress than from the food).

  • Dagothur

    Two questions:

    1) Can the leucine and resveratrol combo be a beneficial addition to this protocol?

    2) Unrelated one…considering your vast knowledge in the field of the immune system, did you encounter any papers on the subject of increased number CD4+ CD8+ CD5- T-cells in the blood/bone marrow? If so, could you provide some links to papers.


    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      yes to 1

  • notsureofself

    ketosis, not listening to music (except nature sounds before bed) and avoiding unnecessary negative stimuli practically got rid of my anxiety and many mood problems. I can even smoke more cigarettes and have 200g of caffeine in one go without problems mostly if I have 2 tbsp of MCT oil + ghee & jasmine tea in the morning and don’t eat for 8-12 hours after. is this all in my head or am I made for keto? lol. this is a crazy difference. I can even have grains, dairy and eggs (scrambled. hardboiled makes my brain feel like it’s stopped/completely silent and slow? the 3 times I’ve tried it but I think that might be in my head… not sure) and feel alright overall. I feel like some sort of hypochondriac

    1. notsureofself

      I also felt similar to this on a paleo VLC but overall not as great and sociable. I also felt more delusional too my sham version of mild keto seems way better overall so it’s not a placebo I think as I’ve tried keto before

  • Will Roose

    Hi Joe, love this article, thinking of trying a ketogenic diet again and actually getting into ketosis this time since I have such bad issues with stress and anxiety. However I am slightly put off by this paper
    what are your thoughts?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Interesting, don’t worry.

  • N. Peled

    Hi Joe!

    I could not agree more with how stress-free life is central to one’s health.

    Somewhat ironically, I think that your philosophy posts helped me x10 more than your physiological posts. The moment I was able to alleviate my stress by learning to let go my sensitivity to food decreased 5 folds. I became stronger and healthier.

    I used to be awfully stressed out about my body and health (I would get panic attacks from seeing a new pimple on my face or after binge eating). You really helped me get over this.

    One thing that helped me a lot was your anecdotal experiences about letting go (for example how you ate ice-cream for a week, smoked weed/cigarettes, took LSD, ate lectins + gluten, etc). These anecdotes really helped me take things in proportion.

    If you could write a really short post in which you describe in more depth you experiences “cheating” it would be really awesome!

    Thank you!

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Interesting, thanks. Ya, I kind of neglected the psychological aspects for a while, but through experience with clients I realized supplements and diet were limited and the those who truly saw breakthroughs changed their orientation to life.

      The stress of not being healthy often causes much greater ill health.

      Before I started getting better, I had to let go of the need to get better or for my mind or body to work in a certain way. I had to accept my present reality, at least to some degree.

      Regarding cheating, my approach is to never punish yourself for cheating. Pay attention to how foods affect your body, but never feel bad that you’ve cheated. And if you feel bad, then don’t feel bad about feeling bad 😉

      It’s really just accepting whatever your biology is and going along with it, non-judgmentally.

  • Deltrus

    Hey just wanted to post some of the research I did today that may be of interested in. Not sure where to post it, I’l just post it here. No need to approve it.

    1. I was trying to figure out how NAC is metabolized because I was noticing inconsistency. Found this article:
    Apparently NAC is absorbed and used in cells of the intestinal mucosa very rapidly. It only has 5% bio-availability in blood because it just goes straight to the cells. This means that NAC probably wont last until the colon if digestion is slow. This agrees with my experience in that taking NAC with coffee after fasting improves absorption/effects on intestinal inflammation.

    2. I was going over this meta-study:

    That examines calcium’s effect on intestinal inflammation in HLA-B27 transgenic rats. I was interested in it because it mentioned possible synergy between anti-oxidants and calcium. (dosed 600mg if converted to human)

    Apparently calcium binds with phosphate -> calcium phosphate prevents all of the phosphate from being absorbed in the small intestine -> phosphate acts as a buffer against too much acidity in the colon (from bile or acids created by fermentation). This keeps the extracellular matrix of the colon healthier.

    Bile is released to break down fats in the small intestine. Anecdotally, I experienced bowel irritation after a high fat + high protein shake, and this was probably because of the bile because I didn’t experience brain fog at the same time.

  • smurfed

    Excellent post! Muchos gracias

  • Jonathan

    Where does hormesis fit into this? Small amounts of stress seem to be crucial in maintaining the health of an organism. Organisms who experience no stress seem to decline.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Sun, Interval exercise…maybe cold.

      1. Jonathan


        You say “Having as little stress in your life as possible”.

        Hormesis suggests there is an optimal level of stress that is above as little as possible. Maybe a lot above. There is a level of stress that is injurious but having as little as possible seems to lead to a swift decline, mentally and physically.

        Needs more study. Eliminating all challenge from one’s life does not seem optimal.

        1. Joseph M. Cohen

          An optimal level of small acute stressors…Getting sun, exercise and cold are more than enough, especially if you have chronic fatigue.

          There is no such thing as a sterile environment and everyone will have stressors in their life. Most people just have too much psyhological stress these days.

          All stressors are causing activation via the same mechanism.

          People with chronic fatigue have deregulated their stress response and have to activate it only acutely in small levels.

          You’ll understand it more clearly in the book.

          1. Jonathan


            Certain kinds of modern stress do seem harmful. We’re built to deal with stress but like facing a lion, hunting a giant mammoth, fighting a rival tribe, or going to sleep when you know there might be snakes and scorpions around (chronic stress).

            The kind of modern stress involved in doing a boring job you hate just to make ends meet seems to erode and not vitalize people.

            Maybe we need more ancestral kinds of stress and less boring modern stress we’re not built for.

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          2. Joseph M. Cohen


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  • Lucas

    Do yo don’t recommend intermitent fasting at all or only for people with chronic fatigue?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      It’s good only if you’re healthy

  • jblez

    If you’re addressing fatigue I think you’ve overlooked electrolyte deficiencies, for me personally supplementing 1/2 tsp of sea salt and plenty of potassium was instrumental in curing my fatigue.

    1. Ole

      This protocol tells you to eat diets with supplements that fulfill your electrolyte needs.

  • Deane Alban

    I don’t think a life without stress, goals or ambitions is the answer. We need goals — even if small ones — to keep up our dopamine the “motivation” neurotransmitter. Dopamine is one of the things that makes us feel alive and productive, and it energizes us. Setting goals and striving are healthy ways to boost dopamine. People will get their dopamine hit somehow and too many people rely on addictive substances of all kinds instead.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      For people with chronic fatigue, it is the answer. If you don’t have chronic fatigue, then you’re probably better off with stressors.

      Needing goals is a fallacy. You will have goals whether you choose to have them or not. You don’t need to make them. They are an addiction, not something that makes us happy.

      The more goals and ambitions you create, the more you will increase stress.

      If you’re not motivated without goals, it means your physiology is off OR you don’t enjoy your career.

      1. Deltrus

        I agree. When someone says “I’m super motivated and doing x right now”, they mean that their body/mind and environment enables them to easily do that thing. If someone tries to motivate themself, and still it just feels so hard, then what? They just need to think harder? Nope! They need to do some phsyiological intervention, be it with drugs, exercising, changing environment, or whatever else they can find.

        Motivation as society generally thinks is a myth perpetuated by people who can do things easily, and thus only have to “will” themselves to do that thing and BAM, they are motivated. These hyper-motivated individuals are very vocal and out there, much more so than the people who struggle with motivation. Thus, the myth of motivation continues to be perpetuated. Before “will”, a person must be enabled to do an activity, as if it flows out of them.

  • Dagothur

    Great info Joe! Thanks!
    There may be a something missing in this sentence:
    “Having at least meals rather than intermittent fasting or skipping meals.” – how many meals?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen


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