Rob Lininger – From Traditional Medicine to Biohacker

Rob is a Physician Assistant and entrepreneur who has taken his medical background and flavored it with the latest cutting edge research in nutrition, fitness, mindset, sleep, and human optimization.  He believes that in order for us to function at the highest level, we must get our health in order first, and that consequently if our health is not a priority, then our performance from the bedroom to the boardroom will suffer.  Rob believes in a simple, no-nonsense approach to health with appropriate testing and technology to move the needle.

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[00:00:00] Michael King: Hey everybody, welcome back to In the Trenches with Michael King where we talk with business owners, leaders, and executives about the lessons they've learned while fighting In the Trenches of the business battlefield. I am your host, Michael King.

[00:00:23] Imagine you had gone through all the steps of completing medical school. You had done the clinicals, the coursework, the exams, taken all your boards, and now you're practicing medicine as a physician's assistant, and you get out into the workplace, boots on the ground, doing all the medical things, and you realize that the system, the way it's set up is kind of garbage.

[00:00:49]You find that the system as it's set up is basically geared towards profitability. Where your treating symptoms instead of the underlying fundamental causes of those symptoms. Things like lifestyle problems, etc. That's exactly what my next guest, Rob Leininger found when he graduated from medical school and got into healthcare.

[00:01:11]He was very quickly disenchanted by the fact that people basically just wanted a pill that would make a symptom go away. And they weren't really interested in treating the underlying behavior, in lifestyle choices that were causing those symptoms. And so, despite the time and money Rob had put into

[00:01:31]becoming a physician's assistant, he and his wife talked together and decided that it was in their best interest for him to walk away from that profession. And since Rob walked away, he's been able to go into business for himself and has basically 10 times, his income compared to what he was doing as a physician's assistant.

[00:01:50] Rob now runs a virtual functional medicine practice where he does things like clinical lab testing, diet and fitness evaluation coaching, mindset, habit formation, all those kinds of things that can help transition somebody from a fundamental lifestyle level to really optimize their health, optimize their brains, and essentially do bigger and better things in the world.

[00:02:15] Rob's going to share a story today on how he made that transition from physician's assistant to running his virtual functional medical practice. And we're also going to spend a pretty good amount of time talking about some really practical things that you can apply to your life to optimize your diet, optimize your sleep, and we're going to also talk about some cool technologies that are out there that you can apply to really accelerate your mind and your body.

[00:02:41] And without any further ado, here's my conversation with Rob Lininger. Rob Lininger, how's it going, brother?

[00:02:49] Rob Lininger: Hey, doing well today. Thanks. How are you?

[00:02:51] Michael King: I’m amazing. Thanks for joining us today. I've met you through Chris Harder's elite entrepreneur mastermind, and you had a really interesting story.

[00:03:00] That kind of resonated with me. You had spent years going through, the PA program, to become a physician's assistant. You did all the hard work to get all the credentials and license to do that. You started practicing and realized that the work, the actual day to day work you were doing wasn't at all what you expected or had hopes for.

[00:03:23]and correct me if I'm wrong Rob, what you found is that most people on a day in and day out basis, they just wanted you to treat their symptoms. They weren't really interested in hearing that there were some lifestyle habits that were leading to those ailments and they just really wanted the symptoms treated and not so much to hear the hard news that they needed to make some lifestyle adjustments and that really kind of demotivated you, and you decided to make a move into a different career field.

[00:03:51] Is that right?

[00:03:52] Rob Lininger: That's exactly right. Yeah. So, like a lot of people, you know, I went into medicine with good intentions. I really wanted to help people. I wanted to change people's lives. I've always been just a lifelong health and fitness junkie. I've been working out since I was about 13 years old and supplements mining and taking care of myself and eating a good diet.

[00:04:12] I guess I took it for granted that a lot of people, Never educate themselves or given a chance to learn about this stuff. So I was looking forward to my medical career too. Being that the medium, so to speak, for people to learn about this and to become healthier and to make all these positive changes in their lives.

[00:04:30] And yeah, you nailed it. I mean, what I found when I actually got boots on the ground involved in my medical career was that Western medicine basically is more about symptom management than it is about managing any towards type of long term health challenges. There's very little emphasis placed on preventative medicine, very little emphasis placed on nutrition, fitness.

[00:04:51] You know what I consider to be foundational behaviors that actually prevents you from getting the diseases or illnesses that you show up to the doctor with in the first place. And you know, the times that I was really trying to spend time and counsel people on those types of things.

[00:05:06]I really got a response that turned me off and it was, you know, that's great. Thanks. I'm really not interested in that. I'd like an injection and I'd like, you know, some prescription to take care of this thing that's bugging me and I'm out.

[00:05:20] Michael King: Is that just because of the culture we have where we think to ourselves, Hey, it's a lot easier to take a pill that's going to make my back stop hurting right now than it is to accept the fact that I need to get up every morning and run a couple of miles and eat salads instead of cheeseburgers and tater tots.

[00:05:39] Is that what you think drives that?

[00:05:41] Rob Lininger: I do. Yeah. I think sadly, it's a cultural phenomenon. You know, we live in this day and age now where everything is at our fingertips, right? If you don't know the answer to something, that you can just Google it and you can find anything you're interested in online and have it delivered in a day or two.

[00:05:56]and people want healthcare to be the same thing. And unfortunately, that's not the way our bodies work. Our bodies are so resilient and they are still amazing. It can change. but it does take some hard work. I mean, it takes habits and it takes dedication to building these habits. You have to be willing to do some hard things, things that aren't necessarily going to be fun or that aren’t going to feel good, like exercise, especially if you're starting out.

[00:06:18] It doesn't feel good for people. and so it's just this sort of quick fix mentality, this mentality of I want things right away. and unfortunately, you know. People who are patients are consumers and consumers basically drive healthcare to a large degree. and unfortunately, the overarching way that healthcare is managed in this country through, large healthcare organizations and insurance companies is it tailors to that, you know, they're out to make money, right?

[00:06:44] And the way that they make money is by providing these quick sexism. So there's really no incentive to do the hard work.

[00:06:50] Michael King: Do you think that if you look at countries that have socialized healthcare, like Canada and some of the countries over in the European union, does the average person, you know, Joe population have a lot of the same problems that we have in the United States?

[00:07:05]because one would be led to believe if there is less incentive from you know, capitalism standpoint, that they would be more focused on preventative care and foundational behaviors and those kinds of things. So I'm curious, in your experience, do you see that countries that have socialized medicine have less of an issue with some of the health issues we see in the United States?

[00:07:25] Rob Lininger: That's a great question. I would say that a lot of the Western eyes or Western countries have a lot of the same lifestyle issues in that, you know, we're sedentary. We don't need the best diets. and so they tend to have similar chronic disease profiles to what we have here in the United States. But the things that I see that are different is their healthcare systems are more progressive.

[00:07:45]and so instead of just having a symptom, I give you a prescription for your symptom. They have a lot of different alternative therapies that I think. We're probably about 10 – 15 years behind on meaning that they're not in the U.S yet. Maybe they rope you in the future, but a lot of the progressive people in America who are providing healthcare in a different way, they're getting their ideas of treatment from Canada, from Europe.

[00:08:09]and you know, just some examples are like acupuncture or chiropractic or some of these things that are kind of considered fringe in the U S they're actually considered, you know, normal treatments and a lot of these other countries also. The food standards, the packaging, food, the chemicals that are allowed in the environment in, say Europe, for example, are a lot different.

[00:08:31] They have very high standards compared to the U.S in terms of the toxins that we're exposed to on a daily basis here. So there's a lot of things that are similar just based on the fact that, you know, life is getting easier, right? And it's a convenient lifestyle and we have to do a lot less work because we have all these appliances and all these things that make our lives simpler.

[00:08:49] And so those things are universal and that they're making us less active and probably took us further and further away from our food sources. But yeah, they do have some really interesting concepts of treatment, but I'm hoping we'll adopt here in the future.

[00:09:04] Michael King: I don't know why. I always get a big smile on my face when I hear that Canada's leading the charge on something.

[00:09:09] It's few and far between, but when they do, it's awesome. Thinking back to your early days as a PA, did you have a kind of an aha moment where you said. Boy this isn't for me. I have to make a change and talk us through that a little bit.

[00:09:25] Rob Lininger: Yeah, so there were parts of the medicine that I really loved.

[00:09:27] So for my career, I worked in orthopedic surgery and before going to PA school, I was a furniture builder, cabinet builder, fine woodworker. So you know, that really resonated with me. I've always liked complicated things, fixing things that are broken, making something broken, beautiful. Again, that's the thing.

[00:09:44] I really enjoyed that aspect. But what I didn't enjoy when I didn't really feel like I was prepared for in PA school was the business side specifically, like insurance, all the paperwork, you know, there's a bunch of things that, and I think this is universally true of healthcare providers.

[00:10:02] We're very good at the actual business of medicine, but not the actual business side of running, you know, a medical business. And so a lot of people fail or they find that they get burnt out when they're trying to run a practice and there's a lot of paperwork involved. There's a lot of hoops to jump through.

[00:10:19]and as a provider, I didn't really think that I had to do that kind of thing. But I actually found that like charting and making calls to insurance companies and getting pre-authorizations and following up with, you know, just the, the reams and reams of paperwork and tracking you had to do, especially with the introduction, those electronic health systems, that was really burdensome and it really took away from the joy of medicine.

[00:10:41] Michael King: It's a bold move to decide to kind of punt your career as a PA, your income is good. You're not loving the work, but I think a lot of people would still be motivated by fear or doubts or have you to just stay with it because, you know the amount of time and money you've invested too for the schooling and clinicals and all the time that goes into it.

[00:11:06] How did it become a decision for you, Rob, to make that change? What was that thought process like?

[00:11:12] Rob Lininger: Well, my wife, I have to give her a lot of credit. She's a very progressive thinker and she has always thought outside the box and she's really pushed me to grow deeply in areas where I was not ready to grow.

[00:11:23] And that was one of them. She was the first one who really, you know, started talking about other options and maybe getting out of medicine because I guess she was the one who was living with me as a PA, you know, overworked, probably underpaid under slept, lots of late nights, weekends and holidays on call.

[00:11:42] And so she got to see, you know, how hard it was just. On myself. And so, you know, she was the one who really introduced me to the concept of residual income, which is where we were. I got my start, in the entrepreneurial world, but also I had been seeing these people who had been, you know, career doctors, career PAs, and they were unhappy.

[00:12:01] They were burnt out. It looks terrible. You know, they were way overweight. They had puffy faces. They just seemed like they were tired all the time. They're in the break room. You know, we had a break from which we would go to between the surgical cases and there'd be a full bore platter of like apples and oranges and bananas, and they would be full end of the day.

[00:12:22] But they would also bring in like, Yoplait yogurt and coke and donuts and that stuff would be gone. I'm just thinking, what is wrong with these people? You know, like they're so tired and they're so stressed out. Their cortisol levels are so high. They're just craving sugary foods. They're craving caffeine to keep them awake during the day.

[00:12:38] And I started to see these lifestyle issues along with, you know, frankly, medical mistakes. Well, you know, you're up in the middle of the night fixing broken bones and then you're expected to come back the next day and operate on your normal schedule. or see patients in the clinic and, you know, that's the way that you make mistakes.

[00:12:56]people are under slept, they're over worked over tired, and they're just not in a good Headspace. So, you know, it took some time, but I started to really realize that, you know, there were some other options out there available. Once I started sort of making those thoughts and intentions public, I was now with a lottery existence from my family.

[00:13:15] People at work told me I was making the biggest mistake of my life and I'd come crawling back, you know, asking for my job again. and I had to face my own demons about that as well. Yeah. I spend a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of effort, just giving up my life to study medicine. and so once I decided to walk away and try something else, it was tough.

[00:13:33] And there was probably a period of a couple of years where I was in a bit of turmoil mentally trying to work my way through all this. But at the same time, I also felt an immediate relief and I wasn't working as many hours. I was actually making more money. and I was, I was having more of a lifestyle

[00:13:50] balance, just in life, you know, with family things I like to do, getting healthier. Again, back to my exercise routines, I started to see some immediate results and that really gave me the courage to keep on that path.

[00:14:03] Michael King: Let's dive into a couple of things. First you said that you wanted to work on residual income or passive income, and I think I heard you sneak in there that you were actually making more money.

[00:14:14] What were you doing?

[00:14:15]Rob Lininger: My wife and I got into a network marketing business. We liked the products. We decided to, you know, we'd earned them for free basically as customers and decided to start promoting the products. And within a year we had paid off all my entire medical student debt and I was out earning my PA income at the end of one year.

[00:14:33] And it was at that point where like, the world really opened up to me and I realized, okay, I worked, you know, quite a few hours in building this business, but not like I do in medicine. And In one year, I've been able to build more of an income that I could as a PA. and you know, as a PA, basically when you graduate PA school, you're making very close to what you're going to max out on as your income.

[00:14:57] So like if I had continued to work for another 25 years, I wouldn't have been much above where I started. That's just the way that the pay structure is. I'm in a lot of medical jobs. and I started to see basically unlimited potential and this side business. Well, if I didn't have to go in the middle of the night, I didn't have to go in on the weekends.

[00:15:13] I didn't have to miss, you know, family trips and all this stuff. And that was really the thing that sort of tickled my entrepreneurial bone and got me thinking about other possibilities and looking at new perspectives and, you know, reexamining the world and how I could function in the world. Still have the type of outcomes that I wanted to with people and with patients.

[00:15:34] But do it on my terms. So the side business is a nutritional supplements network marketing company. And my wife and I have been top leaders in a company and we've been involved for six years, next month. And I don't know if you want the name or not, but, it's allowed us to basically travel all over the United States, live where we want to live, work when we want to work and make a fantastic income.

[00:15:57] I mean, on an order of magnitude of, over 10 times more than I was making as a PA

[00:16:01] Michael King: Wow. That's incredible. I think there can be a lot of stigma that comes along when people hear that word network marketing, what is that to you?

[00:16:12] Rob Lininger: Some of it's valid. I mean, you know, there are really, really great companies out there and there are great companies that have bad salespeople, and so a lot of the interactions that people have with network marketing or network marketers are just the sales pitch.

[00:16:27] It's just going right away to, this is the product I have. I'm going to blast it all over social media. If I have a conversation with you, I'm going to tell you about the products and that you need to buy them. And I never was comfortable with that approach. It was never something that clicked with me.

[00:16:42]For me it was more about finding a solution for people to the problems that they have. But I think that largely that's not the way that it's done. You know, the cool thing about the network marketing world is basically you're supporting friends and, or family, right? So if I could buy, say supplements from my, you know, family member or my friend or someone who I care about and I could give them the money instead of Amazon, I'm always going to choose that.

[00:17:06] I like to. You know, shop local, so to speak. and I like to help my friends out and if the quality of the products are the same, then it doesn't matter to me who I buy them from. And I would prefer to support someone I like. And that's what I see network marketing being. It's an opportunity for people to still make an income, but not have to be a slave to the office, to be able to have more balance in their lives.

[00:17:30] So again, like I mentioned, you know, the benefits for us, we're working from home. We homeschool our kids. We travel. We can be anywhere we want to be. And so, you know, when it's done right, it can be a really great model. But, I think that a lot of people just don't know. It never network marketing as they hear the term and they think of a pyramid scheme.

[00:17:49]and the two are not synonymous at all, but there's a lot of misconceptions about it in general.

[00:17:54] Michael King: Why the shift away from it. It sounds like you really like it and you liked the benefits too.  Like you said, shopping from friends and family and giving them your money instead of Jeff Bezos to fund his next multibillion dollar mansion.

[00:18:08] And it sounds like you are really passionate about being able to work more one on one with people that genuinely cared about the lifestyle changes and not just getting a quick fix. Why the move away from that into your new venture.

[00:18:22] Rob Lininger:  You know, basically there's kind of two approaches to dealing with someone's health and their health issues and making them healthier.

[00:18:30] And there's one saying like in the supplements world, which I call the shotgun approach, and that's basically, you just shotgun a bunch of different vitamins and supplements and hope for the best, and you're probably going to feel whatever, you know, nutritional gaps you have. And, you know, people will generally feel better.

[00:18:47] But see if the supplements are high quality. But what I really liked, and I've always been very much into research and diving much more deep into what makes people tick on an individual basis. And so that is really, that model doesn't really fit well with the shotgun approach of state network marketing.

[00:19:07] So. The reason that I'm still involved to a degree with the company, and I'm more of a management level at this point, but what I was really missing was the one on one working with people, finding out what you know might be causing, there's things at a root cause level and working backwards from that.

[00:19:28] Really getting deep on the types of things that you don't get a chance to stay in network marketing. So going deep on sleep, going deep on relationships, on mindset, that on nutrition, on fitness, again, looking at genetics, looking for specific things that you can target through nutrition or supplementation, specific ways that your body is going to react to different forms of exercise.

[00:19:51] And even the timing of how sleep can affect you. And it's really a one-on-one approach where you can target very precisely the goals that you're trying to target, and you can have great outcomes.

[00:20:04] Michael King: When I was first introduced to you, I think one of the words that was used was biohacker.

[00:20:10] Rob Lininger: Yeah.

[00:20:11] Michael King: What does a biohacker mean? It sounds cool. I feel like I want it in my life, but I don't know what it is.

[00:20:19] Rob Lininger: So, you know, it's kind of a funny term and I use it with some hesitancy, basically, you know, the definition is that a biohacker is someone who looks for things that they can do, ways that they can manipulate their environment or their diet or their fitness.

[00:20:33] So you get maximum results with minimum effort, I guess is probably the clearest way I could say it. Some examples would be, you know, fine tuning your sleep habits, fine tuning your diet, using supplements that are going to help you reach your body habit as goals. I'm using things like photobiomodulation, which be light, like you've heard of infrared saunas, you know, there's a number of health benefits to that.

[00:20:59] So it's looking for, these things are very fringe. And I try not to get into that because I really want to keep things accessible for people and not. You know how people have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars. I look for the science backed things that you know that are being studied in there are showing a positive aspect in the research that are moving the needle towards health, towards fitness, towards the way you want to look with your shirt offs that are youthful by everybody.

[00:21:26] Yeah. There's a lot of individuals buying differentiation or you know, like you're not the same as I am. You're not going to respond the same to a certain diet that I would, or a certain supplement. And so the beauty of like biohacking and doing some of the testing that I offer is that you can really look at the individual.

[00:21:42] On a very microscopic level, literally and see the types of things that are going to make a difference in their lives. And so, you know, biohacking is one component of what I do, and they can have really powerful results, but I'm always a proponent of dialing in the basics. So again, it's your nutrition, it's your fitness, it's your sleep.

[00:22:04] Those types of things make up about 98% of it. Once that stuff's done, the biohacks, we can get you to 100%, but you got to have the basic style.

[00:22:10] Michael King: Let's talk about the basics a little bit. And in particular, maybe you, let's talk about sleep. When you and I were hanging out in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago, I told you how I had decided to stop drinking back in November.

[00:22:25] And one of the biggest benefits that I've found from that is I have more energy, you know, before I wasn't drinking heavily often sometimes, but that wasn't the norm. But I found that. Even when it had been days or a week or two since I had consumed alcohol by two o'clock in the afternoon, I was done.

[00:22:47] Anything that required any level of deep thought or creativity. It was kind of a joke here at the company. Like, don't put anything on my calendar after two that requires that kind of work because my brain's fried, you know, I'm yawning and I'm really struggling. But one of the unintended consequences I've found from not doing alcohol is I sleep better.

[00:23:07] Yeah. I noticed, you know what? I look at my Apple watch data. My heart rate is lower at night. I am able to fall asleep faster. I'm able to have more energy the next day, but I bet there is a mountain of stuff that I could do differently to sleep even better. So could you talk a little bit about how to optimize sleep, whatever the the tips and tricks are for that.

[00:23:30] Rob Lininger: Yeah, absolutely. Sleep is one of my passions. I love helping people to sleep better. I love talking about it. I love reading about it, and I've learned a lot. There's a lot more research that's coming out all the time, and it's really interesting stuff, and I can tell you that just from a basic level. I mean, first of all, you're not alone.

[00:23:48] The two o'clock doldrums where people are getting sleepy and their heads are nodding at their desk, that is, I mean, it's epidemics and what it points to is the fact that you're not getting enough sleep at night. So we have these diurnal rhythms, right? And you've heard of the diurnal rhythms of sleep.

[00:24:04] And we do have a bit of a wall and sort of in that after lunch period, but you know, it's not enough. That you're getting a good amount of sleep at night. It's not enough of a loss that really puts you to sleep. But when someone is having those same types of symptoms that you were it's a number one classic red flag indicator that they're not getting enough sleep at night or good enough quality.

[00:24:27] And so, you know, you mentioned alcohol, so the two biggest clique disruptors. And you know, on the planet that are out there that are used on a very, very frequent basis by most people are going to be alcohol and caffeine. And I'll give you just a little bit of biology lesson here. So you've heard the term homeostasis.

[00:24:45] So it's basically your body trying to maintain like a static level. Right? If you go up, your body brings you down. If you go down, your body brings you up. Well, alcohol is a depressant, and so the way that your body responds to that is to crank up hormones like cortisol, stress hormones that are going to increase your heart rate, increase your blood pressure.

[00:25:03] Most people are drinking at night. So they drink at night, they feel a little sleepy because of the alcohol. But the body's response is to actually stimulate you to bring you back up to homeostasis. And so a lot of people who drink, fall asleep. Okay. But then they wake up in the middle of the night, or they just throw a toss and turn and they don't sleep well.

[00:25:20] And that's a big issue because you're not getting into those deeper sorts of stage three, stage four, the deep and the REM stages of sleep. The other one is caffeine. So caffeine the way it works is it stimulates you in what your body tries to do is bring you back down. Tell me what day is this?

[00:25:39] Then typically, whether it's alcohol or caffeine, your body overshoots that reaction. And so you'll either get more tired than you would expect from it or more wire than you would expect from it. And in the case of coffee, you know what we see is people drink coffee in the morning to wake up cause they're very tired.

[00:25:55]it alerts them for a little bit and then they become very tired and they have to consume more coffee, and then this habit grows and grows. But what people don't realize about caffeine in general is if you had a hundred milligrams of caffeine, say at noon, right? That's just a cup of coffee at noon.

[00:26:13] The half-life. Caffeine is eight hours. So at 8:00 PM you still have 50 milligrams of caffeine circulating through your system. The quarter life would be 12 hours then, so at 12 midnight, you still have 25 milligrams of caffeine circulating through your brains, stimulating keeping you awake. So even if you're able to fall asleep, you're not able to get into those deep restorative stages of sleep.

[00:26:36] And that's the kind of dysfunction that causes that 2:00 PM sleepiness and you know, the inability to concentrate and multitask and all that stuff. So those are just two prominent examples, but other things that can disrupt your sleep. And this is also basically an epidemic in America, is our exposure to blue light.

[00:26:55] So how many people do you know who are staring at a screen right up until they go to bed? They may even have these streams in their, in their bedroom that they look at from bed. This is a big problem because blue light suppresses melatonin production, and melatonin is what's required to put your body into sleep mode.

[00:27:11] And so we have a lot of disorders, things around sleeping in general. And sometimes just doing a basic tune up where we call it sleep hygiene. You know, the practices you have in the evening as you're trending towards nighttime, can make a huge, huge difference in the way someone sleeps and a few improves sleep.

[00:27:28] Pretty much everything in your life is going to improve as well.

[00:27:31] Michael King: Most of the cell phone operating systems. Now iOS and Android come with like a night shift mode where it pulls a lot of that blue light out. It gives it that yellowish kind of hue. Does that really move the needle as far as the sleep quality is concerned?

[00:27:48]Rob Lininger: it's good but not great. It's definitely better than looking at the same phone without the night-shift mode on, but still when you're staring at a screen, probably the next best thing you could do would be to lower the brightness all the way down. So if I have to be on my phone tonight, I literally go into the settings and I lower all the way down.

[00:28:06] You can also on some phones, change it to a red light setting and red light is good because it's non stimulatory. But you know, the best thing you can do is just not stare at a phone or a computer or a TV. You know, those are all things that contribute a lot of light. Some of those can be managed, some of them can't.

[00:28:22] Like our TV, we have, you know, a big TV in our living room. We don't watch it very much, but when we do, it always feels like I'm looking into someone's bright headlights. It's so bright and there's no real way to turn off the blue light at all. You can turn down the brightness, cause you know, we're just inundated.

[00:28:38] It's all these lights in our house. And it doesn't have to be a screen. It can be the lights that are overhead. What I recommend is if you're going to bed at say 10 a couple of hours before bedtime, so I'll get a clock. I start turning down all the lights in my house there. Mostly on dimmers than the ones that aren't.

[00:28:54] They're not even on at night. I only use the ones that are on dimmers and my term dimmers, excuse my turn, the lights all the way down on the dimmers. And what you'll notice is if you do that, you will start to feel ready to go to bed. And it's amazing. The change it makes, like if you have all your lights on in the house, like a lot of people do.

[00:29:12] All my neighbors certainly seem to have every light in the house. Phone is super bright and it looks like we have candles on our house and my whole family knows its bedtime. We're ready to go to bed and we sleep well. Sleep has just been a priority for us for a long time and I wish that it was for more people.

[00:29:28] Michael King: So what do you do from like, I dunno, eight until bedtime. You got all the lights down, TV's off. You can't read because the lights are down. So what do you do for the last two hours of the day, if you can't read or watch TV or get into the scroll hole?

[00:29:43] Rob Lininger: Well, we do read. I mean, there's enough light that we can, you know, read books.

[00:29:47] We all read, my wife and kids and I all do a lot of reading. We generally sit in the hot tub. Every night, around eight o'clock or so. And that's kind of the start of our evening ritual. And I recommend everyone has some sort of evening ritual, but that's kind of the start of ours. Once we get Nanda for about 20 minutes or so and get out, everything that we do is kind of getting us ready for sleep.

[00:30:08] So we'll play games together, card games, or four games. We like to hang out. Personally, and I don't have any offense to people who watch TV or anything, but, it's, it's not the way I want to spend my time, or I don't want to use that as an excuse not to interact with my family. So we don't really do the TV thing.

[00:30:25] We spend a lot of time together. So, I mean, there's a lot of things you can do. Like I said, you can use screens at night if you turn the bluelight just way down and you know, try not to use them within at least an hour or so before bed that's optimal. But I play guitar. Sometimes we'll do some art and other things.

[00:30:41] I read textbooks about medicine and things like that, that I'll, you know, either print off or buy books or, you know, save offline that I can access some other time. So there's both the options. But, you know, if you think about the social impacts to, of sitting around watching TV, it's not a very social thing.

[00:30:58] And you know, you can develop a lot of relationships by turning the TV off and just looking at each other and talking.

[00:31:03] Michael King: Slow down, slow down you and your crate. You're crazy. Thinking over here

[00:31:09] Michael King: Nothing brings two people together. More than watching the latest episode of the bachelor and figuring out who got the Rose and who got voted off the Island.

[00:31:17] That's how relationships are formed and you can't convince me otherwise.

[00:31:22] Rob Lininger: Well, I would definitely be in the minority.

[00:31:23] Michael King: I'm kidding about the bathroom. Only temptation Island. I had heard that even reading a paperback book before bed. Can be counterproductive for sleep quality because it's still kind of a mental stimulus.

[00:31:38] Do you find that to be the case or do you think that reading right before bed, you know, like a paper book is okay?

[00:31:45] Rob Lininger: Personally I think it's okay. It's a very individual thing. And the reason I say that is because I read every single night. I get into bed around 9:30 my time, I read for 20 minutes to 30 minutes and I'm out.

[00:31:57] And that is the thing that really is like that final step that just pushes me into sleep. My wife, on the other hand, if she reads the book in bed, she gets stimulated and she will read the entire book and she'll be up till four in the morning. So I don't think it's a bad thing unless it just doesn't work for you.

[00:32:12] Michael King: Let's talk about diet. What are some misconceptions that you see people making as far as diet and nutrition? Maybe, some fads that are out there that people think it's a scientifically proven benefit, but really it's just crap.

[00:32:27] Rob Lininger: Well, that's a great question. If you're looking on Instagram and you're looking on Facebook and you're getting your diet advice there, generally it's

[00:32:33] Considered to be crap, in my opinion. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is they fall into these new diets, bad things. So I mean, whether it's the carnivore diet or it's going vegan, or it's paleo, or primal or Cheeto or whatever. I mean, I always encourage experimentation, but you have to have a caveat.

[00:32:52] And so one of the caveats is, I've tried a lot of these different diets. I tried keynote for a while. I liked the way that it made me feel. You know, for those people who don't know, Quito is basically a high fat diet, low carbohydrates, moderate protein diet. I liked the way it made me feel. I like the way it made me look.

[00:33:07] It definitely helped. Lean me up a little bit, but the next round of blood tests I got showed that I had had a pretty significant bump in my cholesterol and not the good kind. So, you know, these things can seem superficially like they're a good idea, but you don't necessarily know unless you're actually measuring and tracking these things.

[00:33:26] They could actually be detrimental to your health. So. You know, I think one of the best things people can do is track their food intake, keep a bit of a journal and also I always recommend that people do food sensitivity testing and it's a very easy way to read. It's like a hundred bucks and you can look at 150 or so, or excuse me, a food that it does for, to see if you have a food allergy or something.

[00:33:52]if you do have a food allergy, it can be literally as simple as removing that food from your diet and all of a sudden you feel much better. Case in point, I didn't realize that I was allergic to dairy and I've been eating it my entire life. I removed dairy from my diet about three months ago. And literally overnight, I felt better and I didn't even realize I was feeling bad.

[00:34:11] And that's the thing, I didn't realize that the gas that I was having even in the bloating, all this stuff was abnormal. And so I removed it from my diet. So, you know, just keeping a journal. If you have symptoms after you've eaten something, you can look back and you can make a connection. Possibly doing the food sensitivity testing and then trying different things and just being a bit of a self experiment.

[00:34:32] Or these are all really powerful, robust tools that can teach you a lot about your body and the way you respond to certain things. Maybe food makes you tired. Maybe food makes you feel wired. Maybe it makes you bloated and gassy. Maybe it messes up your digestion. Most people don't have any idea, and they can't remember back to what they ate or when and what might have caused it.

[00:34:52] And so that's a really simple thing you can do to gain a lot of information. So my goal people is not to put them on a specific diet, but to get them towards what I call intuitive eating. And for those of you who don't know what intuitive eating is, it basically means that there's some degree of tracking foods and calories and macros.

[00:35:09] So your carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in the beginning, but hopefully it's short term and minutes. Ideally, just to give you an idea of what works for you. And then intuitive eating is just eating what you, your body's telling you to eat and when, and then the amounts that it needs instead of trying to guess and measure and track all this stuff, which I think is not sustainable.

[00:35:28] Michael King: So full disclosure, I ate my first salad. First salad ever in probably December. Yeah, I kid you not. I kid you not for, for whatever reason. I don't know.  Maybe the lettuce touched me in a scary place when I was a kid. And so I had some, you know, mental blocks or something around it.

[00:35:51] But when I would eat anything salad, so lettuce, tomatoes. Peppers, it nauseated me, and right around the time that I decided to quit drinking, I said, Hey, I want to make this a more holistic thing, right? I focused on the sleep and then I also started really paying attention to diet and I said, I've got to make some changes here.

[00:36:10] I'm going to try eating salad again. And so I had my very first salad in December, and I absolutely loved it. And so to your point about intuitive eating, I'm now to the point I can, my body's like go eat a fucking salad and I can tell when my body needs the nourishment from a salad and it's weird to me because I never even liked salad.

[00:36:35] Much less craved a salad. And so I do think that there's something to that. The intuitive eating where your body knows, I think it knows what it needs.

[00:36:44] Rob Lininger: Absolutely. Yeah. And the better you get at it too, the more you're able to recognize those signals and find what it's looking for. And I've been on really restrictive diets in the past where I had virtually no carbohydrates, like taquito diet.

[00:36:56] And as an athlete, as someone who's working out and playing in the mountains, you know, just about every day of the week, I noticed. For a little while that I was doing pretty good and I felt good. I had good energy, but then I started to really notice that my workouts were starting to suffer and I was craving carbohydrates all the time, but I wasn't allowing myself to have them.

[00:37:15] And you know, that's just one example, but like you said, your example is the salad. you know, those are. Basically, our bodies are so smart, we don't realize, and then we almost try to hush them up to quiet them, quiet the cravings and stuff. But oftentimes those cravings are something that your body needs and it's trying to tell you and you know, and not so quiet way, like, Hey, you actually need to eat more antioxidants and green leafy vegetables for the.

[00:37:40] The minerals that you're not getting elsewhere in your diet and that you might be deficient on. And people, like I said, don't listen to those signals and they want the things that tastes good and things that are high fat and salty, but really it's a detriment to our overall diets.

[00:37:54] Michael King: One more question on nutrition.

[00:37:55] You talked about getting some of those food allergy tests. I wouldn't  even know where to begin. Do I need to go to my doctor and ask for one of those or is it okay I'm going to say it. Is it something I get on Amazon? How do I go about doing that?

[00:38:07] Rob Lininger:  Yeah. There are some that you can get without any kind of a prescription or without a doctor's visit.

[00:38:15] That's not a bad thing. I mean, some of those, the results that you're getting back aren't so difficult to interpret that you wouldn't be able to figure it out yourself or Google. Some terms, some of them are very, you know, like the third sentence. If he has, they're probably the easiest things for the average person to interpret.

[00:38:30] They typically come back scored, like with a green, yellow, red thing. Like green means go. Go ahead and eat it as much as you want. Yellow. It's maybe going to cause you some sort of distress, right? And red is like, this is an allergenic foods. Your body's going to react to it. You should eliminate this from your diet now and forever.

[00:38:48] Those can be done fairly inexpensively without a whole lot of need for interpretation. There are other tests though, on the, unlike a sort of complexity scale, a food sensitivity test is around a one or two in terms of complexity, but in terms of the information it provides, I would consider it a 10. it's very, very

[00:39:06] powerful in terms of what it can teach you about yourself and things that it can clear up right off the bat. Now, there are a lot of other tests where you're not going to be able to order without a doctor's prescription or without seeing the provider. and even if you were, when you got the test back, you frankly would have no idea how to interpret them.

[00:39:22] You wouldn't know what you were looking at. there's a, there's a pretty steep learning curve to allow these tests, especially the ones that look at genetics, biochemical pathways, mitochondrial function. all these different things that are, they're pretty intense, and if you don't have a really solid understanding of the medicine and the science behind it, you're not going to know what to do with the results.

[00:39:40] Michael King: What is sleep nutrition? That's how it really gave what some really cool next level shit that most people don't know about in the world of what you do that's out there that really could move the needle.

[00:39:55] Rob Lininger: That's the fun stuff. So yeah, like I said, I always focused on the basics, and then once we've got those dialed in, yeah, there are things like targeted supplementation that you can do.

[00:40:05] So, you know, really depends on the person and our goals, but like supplementation for example. You know, there's a lot of supplements and nutrients that you can take that are going to decrease your estrogen, which is. Beneficial as a guy that is going to increase your testosterone, things that are go jackets, and that just means things that are going to help you get more out of your workout.

[00:40:23] They're going to decrease the perceived exertion. So how hard it feels like you're working out so you actually can work out harder without it feeling as tiring. Things you can do that are going to make your workout less grueling on your body, cause less damage, stimulate muscle growth, decreased body fat so you can get into things like that.

[00:40:41] Saunas and the hotbeds. I'm a big fan of detoxification. You know, people don't really think much about their environment and how our exposure to, whether it's wifi, a UV radiation, vehicle, exhaust, smog, I mean, all these different things that we're exposed to, they actually, they accumulate in your body.

[00:40:59] Your body has an ability to deal with a certain amount of it. And then at some point when the balance tips and it can't clear it out as fast as this, it's getting brought into your body, then we start to see dysfunction. And so a lot of the next level stuff is around the detoxification pathways and getting those harmful substances out of your body, and those can make big, big improvements in your house.

[00:41:20] As I mentioned, the Photobiomodulation. So like infrared lights. I've got a light panel that I use. There are a number of benefits to your skin, your collagen in your skin in terms of firming that up, helping you to look younger, helping to decrease damage to your skin from other things that can increase your testosterone.

[00:41:38] It can help you heal. I'm open wounds and help you decrease scarring from healing wounds. There's lots of things on the horizon. There are, a lot of them that have to do with the brain health now, things that can get you out of sort of the gung go aspect where you're always in this low level state of sympathetic action.

[00:41:57] So the fight or flight, right, that's the sympathetic nervous system is what helps you get ready to fight or to sleep. And in those cases, it's very, very helpful. But most people live in a chronic state of activation and a low level activation, and that's actually very unhealthy. And so there are things you can do to stimulate your brain.

[00:42:15]even things like breathing, I mean, there are, there are everything from apps. That you can use on your phone. Two devices you put on your head, breeding practices you can use to calm me down, to stimulate the parasympathetic, which is the restful state to get you out of, the stress mode. And that can really help with sleep as well.

[00:42:32] I mean, you name it, the sky's the limit. There are literally. People who have, as we heard from drew several hundred thousand dollars worth of the sort of biohacking machines in their home. Some of them are based on workouts like, you know, doing a 10 minute workout twice a week and you get better results than, you know, you read if you were to spend an hour in the gym, five days a week type thing.

[00:42:54] There's lots of these things that have weight to them. Some of them are kind of gimmicky, but I personally enjoy reading about and exploring them all.

[00:43:01] Michael King:  How do you sort through the gimmicky from the real, I think that's the, the biggest hangup I have with a lot of this stuff is honestly, it kind of sounds like snake oil, you know, in a lot of ways.

[00:43:11] You're telling me I can exercise a couple of times for 10 minutes if I do it right. And that'll have more physiological benefits than if I work out an hour a day, five days a week. That sounds like bullshit. How do you work through proving it?

[00:43:23] Rob Lininger: That it's sometimes tough. There's a couple of ways. Number one, I always look for science.

[00:43:28] I'm not a scientist, and so you know, the way that I approach things is from a science background, so I'm looking for published studies, clinical studies, this shows the control group versus the group that used whatever biohacks. You know, and I'm looking for a clear benefit to the people who use the biohack versus the control group.

[00:43:45]and the absence of those studies, and sometimes there just aren't. You know, what I do is I look to people who have used them, who have reported that they've had results, or maybe it's something that I've tried myself. You're not always going to find this buddy. And some of the studies you find, you know, frankly,  there

[00:44:00] very biased. They could have been funded by the company whose product that you're trying to use. They're trying to find out information about it. So they're not always accurate. So, you know, when I approach him personally, that I recommend to my clients. And so first of all, I want to make sure that I've either got a good scientific basis of data for them that they work.

[00:44:22] Or that I've tried it myself and had good results in the absence of data. And then the third thing, which I think is really key is, you know, I want to make it the biohacks accessible for everybody. Cause you know, I mean, I worked with a range of clients from lower income to some really, you know, high performers, high earners, and I want to make sure that they all have access to similar set of tools.

[00:44:45] Maybe someone can afford it. The Ferrari of the workout machine and someone can only have thought before the Pinto, but you know, I'm just having suggestions, having to arrange the suggestions and having things be accessible, I think is, is really key because you know, none of this stuff helps if you're not going to use it.

[00:45:02] And if you can't afford to use it, and I don't want people to feel like they're missing the boat on something when there are other alternatives that they could use for free or next to free that are going to move the needle.

[00:45:10] Michael King: There's a lot to sort through with all of this, you know, is, is a business owner.

[00:45:15] I don't have time to read studies and compare control groups, and I imagine a lot of, if not most other business owners and executives are, are kind of the same. But that's, that's really where you step in, right, Rod, like that's why. That's what you do, is you help sort through all that noise, make help people, make more intelligent choices on which of those things to try, how to evaluate them, which ones to avoid, et cetera.

[00:45:39] Is that right?

[00:45:40] Rob Lininger: Yeah, exactly. I mean, just like I would hire a consultant for my business, I'm in an area where. I didn't have the skills to really grow my business. You know, I tried to provide that same service. It's almost like a guide, someone who can help you to wade through all the information out there.

[00:45:56] And there's so much and there's so many conflicting things. And there was actually a really good study recently within the past years though that said something like 80% of all the, fitness and nutrition information that the top 10 influencers on Instagram are putting out was total garbage. Like it did not match up with any of the scientific literature.

[00:46:14] It was just. Okay. and unfortunately these are the people who most of us are getting, most of the population are getting their data from quote unquote data. You know, they're looking at this guy who's 25 and has. great genetics and the six pack, and he's telling you about this one exercise program that he did and he sells, or this supplement that he designed.

[00:46:35] And I mean, this guy would probably have a six pack, even if he weren't taking those things or using those things, but you know, he's got something to sell. And so there's a lot of misinformation and disinformation. Really. The health and fitness space online is still the wild West. It's very poorly regulated.

[00:46:50] There's really no backups, there's no control over what's offered or what's implied. and so, yeah, I mean, again, just like having a business consultant, I try to be a health and wellness consultant for people who are looking to make a change. Don't know where to start. They would be participating because they were trying to read a study.

[00:47:10]and you know, I tried to make these things that are very complicated, very simple for people and very actionable.

[00:47:16] Michael King: What's like an ideal client for you, Rob? So we know, we know it's somebody that doesn't necessarily want the quick fix, you know, the quick pill. What else does an ideal client look like for you?

[00:47:27] Rob Lininger: You know, generally the people who I have found the most success with are people who are motivated. So again, the business executives are a great group of people to work with because they've done well in business. They're motivated, they're goal oriented. People who are ex athletes are also very good because they have a

[00:47:43] pretty good understanding of the basics. So I'm looking for someone that you know who wants to work, who is willing to do the work and who's not looking for a quick fix. There are things we can do that will be quick. Six is like, you know, changing out foods if you're intolerant to them. years sleep. but there are other things that take longer, right?

[00:48:02] So, if a client came to me and we decided to do some genetic testing, look at their metabolic pathways with lab tests, cheek swabs, blood tests, whatever it may be, you know, these things, they take few weeks to potentially get results and go over and look for things. Look for areas where you can make changes to really continue to move the needle.

[00:48:21]and so it's a relationship. It's an ongoing thing. You know, if you compare the typical medical model where anybody can come in and you see them for 10 minutes and then you see him for 10 minutes again in three months, you know, that's not the way that I want to do things. I want to establish a relationship with someone, so someone who's willing to

[00:48:38] show up, be present, learn, come with questions, be engaged, and have a conversation over the course, you know, weekly over the course of several months together, get things dialed in, and then, you know, ideally that person who leaves with the knowledge of how to manage things on their own, but, you know, sometimes people want to maintain that relationship and just keep working and sort of keep me on retainer, so to speak.

[00:49:00] And we touched base. We continue to make changes. but really it's someone who is decisive. Someone who's willing to take action and who wants to get started right away,

[00:49:10] Michael King: Where do they find you?

[00:49:11] Rob Lininger: The best place to find me currently is online social media, so I have a private Facebook group, which I can add people to that are interested where we talk about things health and wellness related.

[00:49:21] My Instagram handle is patch functional med.pa.

[00:49:28] Michael King: Rob thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate you taking the time to knowledge drop on everybody and give some really good tips on on sleep and eating and biohacking and all those great things.

[00:49:40] Rob Lininger: I plugged her. I really enjoyed talking about this stuff.

[00:49:42] And thanks for introducing me to your audience. I hope people get an actionable stuff out of this.

[00:49:53] Michael King: Thanks for joining us today. Please don't forget to subscribe to In the Trenches with Michael King on your favorite podcast platform like Apple, Google, or Spotify. Once again, I'm Michael King with KFE Solutions. We'll see you again next week. .

In The Trenches with Michael King is produced by Straight Up Podcasts.