John Durant: Biohack Your Health with Paleo - Ep. 158 OPEN SKY FITNESS PODCAST

John Durant: Biohack Your Health with Paleo – Ep. 158

The Paleo Connection

to Our Primal Health


“I don’t see Paleo as an end point. I see it as the starting point on a launch pad. It’s the beginning of something that works for a lot of people; especially for people who have digestive autoimmune conditions, people who have poorly explained conditions of any kind, or those who find it difficult to lose weight.” – John Durant


On this week’s episode of the Open Sky Fitness Podcast, we had author of New York Times Bestselling books, The Paleo Manifesto and Spartan Fit! (with Joe De Sana, CEO and Co – Founder of the Spartan Race), and Founder of Wild Ventures, John Durant joins us to discuss Paleo and how we can unlock better health with better understanding of our ancestral health.

John, who calls himself a Professional Caveman, became interested in learning about our connection to our ancestors way back in high school. Throughout high school and college, he studied evolution psychology and even wrote about it in his senior thesis.

Living by Our Ancestral History


“We don’t really understand how well adapted we are to certain habitats until we leave them. Until we change it, screw it up, and lose something. Some of the lessons that we have learned about our habitat have come from going into very novel ones.” – John Durant


After years of researching, studying, and reading about experiments of both humans and animals like the gorilla, John shares the importance of living a Paleo lifestyle to the best of our ability and how our ancestral health connects to our:

  • Chronic health conditions
  • Poor dieting decisions
  • Hormones
  • Personal habitat and lifestyle

Plus, John goes into detail about how Wild Ventures is helping various health and wellness related start-ups get the investment they need to grow. Some of those companies include:

At the beginning of the show, Devon and I also go over what the 7 Primal Movements are and why we should be incorporating them into our weekly workouts.


Building an Optimal Habitat and Life


“How do I build a life for myself where it doesn’t require discipline to be healthy? It’s just something that flows natural from who I am and who I interact with. You basically get to create your own world.” – John Durant


To change our lifestyle, we need to have willpower, but very few people actually have that. When we want to make changes in our live, what disciplinary action can we take to change something in our habitat? It could be anything from changing the light bulbs for better lighting meant for sleep or getting rid of extra junk food lying around the house.

To create the life you want, make sure it includes the people that you want to be part of your habitat. Look for a community of people who want to grow and thrive as well. Join a gym or spend time with friends who also want to live healthy lives and improve their own habitats.


“We do the best that we can with the lives that we have today and the budgets that we follow.” – John Durant on how we can make what changes we can to live a healthier lifestyle.


How to Hack Your Habitat: Living By Design, Not By Default (John Durant)


Biohacking Our Internal Computers

People are different and therefore one diet, exercise plan, or way of living is not a fit for everyone.

We can actually biohack ourselves and do experiments to see what works and doesn’t work for our individual bodies from nutrition to fitness. We all have different preferences, likes, dislikes, budgets and ways of living so it’s normal that we’re all doing different things to change our environment and get healthy in our own way.

Going all the way back to our ancestors, our bodies are programmed the same way to send us signals in accordance to our environment. Depending on what we’re eating or how much we’re exercising, our brain and body utilize the ancestral software we’ve been programmed with to carry and send different messages.

For example, for women who are constantly dieting or over exercising, the body believes that there’s either a famine or a migration going on. When this happens, it’s common that women won’t have their period or they don’t have enough resources to become pregnant because the the body is unable to provide enough resources for the support and growth of the baby.


The Benefits of Primal Movement

When we’re babies up until 2-3 years old, these primal movements come so easy to us. Then, we’re stuck in desks at school or work for the rest of our lives.

For optimal joint and body health, try to put these 7 primal movements into your daily workouts, if not a weekly basis when you’re doing your workout program. If any of these movements do cause you to feel pain, it’s either because you’re doing them wrong or it’s been so long since you’ve done them that your body just doesn’t know how to do them anymore. These shouldn’t cause you pain and you should be able to do them all.

As you do these movements such as the lunge, you don’t need to put a lot of pressure on your knees. If something is hurting, you should meet with a trainer or physical therapist so they can help you heal what’s wrong with your body.

The 7 Primal Movements

  1. Push
  2. Turn over or twist your spine throughout the body in a traverse movement
  3. Crawl
  4. Pull
  5. Hinge
  6. Squat
  7. Lunge


About John Durant

John Durant is an author, entrepreneur, venture investor, and professional caveman.

John is author of The Paleo Manifesto and co-author of Spartan Fit! with Joe De Sena, founder of Spartan Race (July 2016). He has been featured in the New York Times and The New Yorker, interviewed on The Colbert Report and NPR Morning Edition, and has been rated one of The 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness.

John is also the founder of Wild Ventures, an angel syndicate specializing in consumer health products & technology. He advises Thrive Market, Exo, AOBiome, Greatist, Brilliant Bicycles, Hu Kitchen, and Power Supply.

John studied evolutionary psychology at Harvard under Steven Pinker before moving to New York City and becoming a “professional caveman”: mimicking a hunter-gatherer diet, running barefoot through Central Park, experimenting with intermittent fasting, and doing polar bear swims in the Atlantic. Previously, he spent three and a half years at an ad tech startup after a stint in management consulting.


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What You’ll Hear on This Episode

00:00 Open Sky Fitness Introduction

1:15  Opening comments with Rob and Devon

3:50  Recap on last week’s episode OSF 157- Milk: Why Do We Even Need It?

4:15  About today’s guest, John Durant, on the Paleo diet, religious rituals, and more

4:45  Grow with our online health and wellness community: OSF Facebook Podcast group!

5:10  Check out the Mind Pump podcast this week with Rob as their guest!

7:40 Contact Rob and Devon for One -on- One coaching

8:45  The 7 Primal Movements explained by Rob and Devon

22:00  The benefits of the 7 Primal Movements in your regular workout

25:00  Introduction to today’s guest: John Durant

26:50  Why John decided to learn more about the Paleo lifestyle for academic reasons

30:00  Why chronic health conditions even exist with other species such as animals in zoos.

35:20  Why we’re reducing our diets down to the constituent basics like a protein bar. What health effects gorillas in zoos experienced based on their diets.

39:00  Why we’re being so misinformed by the mass media about health, fitness, and nutrition.

42:30  Hormones and weight gain

45:00  Changing our lifestyles to live healthier lives and the mistakes we’ve made along the way.

49:35  How we can create an optimal, healthy habitat for ourselves

51:40  How to avoid health mistakes like going for fast food over cooking dinner

54:00  The rise and fall of the Paleothic Age – Our ancestors’ health

58:45  What was the spectrum for good teeth health for our ancestors’? What changed for us?

1:04:20  How we can answer any health question through The Paleo Manifesto? What can we learn from our ancestors?

1:08:00  How we can understand our bodies like a computer

1:11:50  Why we should avoid dogmatic approaches to health

1:15:40  About John’s latest project with Wild Ventures and the companies he supports.

1:22:00 The benefits of bone broth

1:26:00  How big food chains are taking the nourishment out of the foods they sell like soup and broth companies.

1:28:40  How voting with your wallet and buying from healthy food companies and startups is making a huge difference.

1:34:25  Closing comments with Rob and Devon

1:36:50 Open Sky Fitness Closing




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Thanks for listening/reading Episode 158 with John Durant: Biohack Your Health with Paleo! We hope you have gained more knowledge on how to be a healthier you.

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