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A war has been waging throughout the philosophical and psychological community for centuries.
Not a war with muskets, armored artillery, or laser guns, but more like professors throwing textbooks at one another and jabbing intellectual foes with concise essays and pointed papers of poignant arguments.
I’m talking about the nature versus nurture problem, which is the debate about whether human behavior is determined by genes (nature) or environment (nurture).
The answer isn’t so black and white, but needless to say, many people are born with innate talent and skill.
One of those people is Michael Chernow, who I’m excited to bring onto this episode of the podcast.
He hosts a podcast called Born Or Made, which explores this nature or nurture question through the stories of incredibly successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders.
Michael is one of these success stories himself, though. Not only is he a trained chef who hosted the TV show Food Porn, but he’s started several thriving restaurant businesses, including The Meatball Shop (with 8 locations) and Seamore’s (a sustainable seafood restaurant).
As a repeat success in the restaurant industry, Michael hasn’t just “gotten lucky,” but knows how to build effective brands and businesses.
In this conversation, Michael and I chat about . . .
- How he turned his life around from drugs, alcohol, and an abusive household
- How much talent matters versus deliberate practice and conscientiousness
- The skill of meeting new people and building relationships and networks
- Why you don’t have to be good at everything
- Effective communication and “how to win friends”
- The power of branding and knowing how to sell
- How he transitions a business concept and vision into reality
- His best cooking hacks (including how to make food tastier and the ultimate hack to eat healthier)
- And more . . .
So if you want to learn from a “serial entrepreneur” what it takes to build a compelling brand and successful business, listen to this podcast!
8:18 – Do you think talent is earned or are people born with it?
12:03 – How did your talent help you get out of tough situations?
14:30 – What are your thoughts on the saying “talent isn’t formed by 10,000 hours but instead deliberate practice”?
24:21 – What do you mean when you say you can acclimate easily to people?
35:42 – What part of your process is most responsible for your success with multiple businesses?
44:41 – How do you know what ideas to follow through with? Do you just follow your instinct or is there a process you go through?
54:05 – Once you have a bunch of ideas and concepts, is it an editorial process from there?
1:22:10 – Are you creating restaurants that you would like to go to?
1:27:15 – Any tips or hacks for cooking better food?
Mentioned on the show:
Michael Chernow’s Podcast (Bord Or Made)
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hello, and welcome to Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today. Now, there has been a debate going on for a long time among philosophers and psychologists, and it has been about the nature versus nurture problem, which is the question about whether human behavior is mostly or entirely determined by genes that would be nature or our environment and our upbringing.
Now, personally, I think it’s a bit of both. And I also think that certain natures are more and less susceptible to or affected by environments and upbringing. And in this podcast, I’m gonna talk about this topic and other things with Michael. Schau, who is a buddy of mine, a trained chef, the host of the TV show, food porn, and somebody who has started and in at least one case, sold several thriving restaurant businesses, including The Meatball Shop and Seymours.
Now, Michael has his own podcast, which I’ve been on called Born or Made, which is all about this nature versus nurture question. And in his show, he interviews people who he finds interesting to get their thoughts on nature versus nurture, and to hear their stories and explore the lessons they’ve learned in the context of their personalities and of their innate talents that they discovered they had, as well as the environments that they have participated in throughout their lives and how those impacted their attitudes and behaviors and choices.
And so that gives you a bit of flavor of today’s interview where Michael and I are gonna talk about his story, how he turned his life around from drugs and alcohol, and an abuse of household, and his thoughts on how much talent matters in success versus deliberate practice and conscientious. Michael also talks about the skill of meeting new people and building relationships and networks and how that is something that he credits a lot of his success to.
That is his one superpower, so to speak. It is a talent he found that he had early on, and it actually got him into a lot of trouble in the beginning because he didn’t use it for constructive purposes, but then later he did. And as you’ll hear in this episode, that has played a major role in his success as an entrepreneur.
And for what it’s worth, that’s also something that I have consciously worked on, being good at building and maintaining good relationships with the people who work with me, with vendors, with outside contractors. And so, Because I’ve learned that that is the key to building an effective team. You have to care about people.
You have to care about understanding them, really knowing what makes them tick, understanding their dreams, understanding their quirks, understanding what they do and don’t like. And then you have to show them that you care about them and that you care about those things and that you want to see them do well.
And if you can do that with people, then you can also earn the privilege of demanding better and better performance. You can hold them to very high standards and continue to put more and more pressure on them to do better and to grow as a person and as an employee, and take on more responsibility and produce bigger and better results for the business.
And when you can do that consistently with each person you manage, you can build a very effective team that can produce exponential growth. Anyway, I think that’s enough preamble. For today’s episode, I hope I have sold you on listening to it, and I hope you enjoy it. Also, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my health and fitness books, including the number one best selling weightlifting books for men and women in the world.
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Hey Michael. Thanks for taking the time to come and chat with me, my friend. Oh, thank you
Michael: so much for having me, man. I’m, uh, super pumped to be
Mike: here. Yeah, it’s kind of just one of those neat, I don’t know, little bits of serendipity where every so often somebody will find a book of mine or a, in an article or a podcast and like it and reach out, and then I go check out what they’re doing and then I’m very interested in what they’re doing.
And, uh, this is why for people listening, that’s how this happened. This is why we’re here chatting. That could not be
Michael: more true. I started listening to bigger leaders, stronger. I loved the, it actually, I downloaded the book while I was taking a road trip down to Philadelphia from upstate New. To go pick up a rogue Echo bike, um, because they were not available online once the pandemic hit.
And I was dying to have one in my garage gym. And so I listened to the book on my, whatever it was, eight hour ride and a little bit in the gym here and there. And, um, I just love the way you break down everything in such a practical way. And, you know, I’ve been strength training for some time now, but just being reminded of the basics and the basics of nutrition and, you know, Pushing to the curb, all the Bs out there.
I just, I, I truly, I loved it and I was like, I’ve gotta reach out to this guy. I think this is, this is one of the best reads I’ve had in a long time. Thank
Mike: you. And then you have a podcast as well, which might as well just quickly tell everybody, uh, if they want to go check it out, because you had me on your podcast and we talked a bunch of fitness stuff and life stuff and business
Yeah. So my podcast is pretty new. It’s about, um, three, four months old and it’s called Borner Made. It’s on anywhere you find your podcast today. But at the premise of Borner Made is talked to people that have inspired me and, you know, in many cases, thousands to millions. Others and I talked to them about the nature nurture question.
Whether they believe human beings were born with an inherent slash innate ability to get to where they’re at today, or if they were made over time through grind, grit, and hustle. I think it’s a really interesting topic to discuss. I do not know still if there is ha or if there have been any real research done on whether or not people are born with talent.
If there’s any real science behind it, maybe you know, but I love to talk about it because I believe that most people that are, that truly excel in a specific genre or you know, arena or industry, were born with something that they were able to capitalize on. So that’s what the podcast is. It’s fun.
So I was gonna follow up and ask you, so on which side of that spectrum do you think it’s mostly born or it’s mostly. Made, or, or maybe you could say, earned,
Michael: I, I think it’s 100% born.
Mike: How does that apply to you? Because I wanna get to your story. Uh, let’s look at your story through that lens, because at one point in your life, you are not doing nearly as well as you are now.
Michael: You know, that said, I think the only reason why I’m alive today is because I was given a talent to connect with human beings. And I think that that is what my God-given sort of, you know, inherent skillset is. And talent is the reason why I think people are born to excel if they’ve reached a certain level of, it doesn’t have to be financial success at all, but a level of success in their lives that, you know, makes an impression on other people and influences other people to wanna do what they’re doing.
I know for me, from as early as I can remember, And I cannot point to any individual that motivated me to wanna do these things. But from as early as I can remember, I wanted to sell things and make things and have things, you know, I, I just always wanted to make and do. When I was like, you know, five, six years old, I clearly remember having toys that I didn’t play with anymore, or didn’t want, and asking my older sister to come downstairs with me.
We lived on, I, I grew up in Manhattan, in New York City, and we lived on 87th Street just off of Second Avenue. And I would say, Hey, Nicole, would you come downstairs with me and help me sell my toys? And I was just, I literally would go downstairs, lay, put a blanket on the, on the street and put my toys out and try to sell them for a.
Mike: My son has tried a, a similar version of that, which is to sell some of my stuff, not his stuff. There
Michael: you go. I mean, you know, last summer we were not in the middle of a pandemic. My older son was four, he’s now five, and I got him really. Fired up to sell lemonade in front of our house upstate. And so I made a deal.
And, but like the truth is, is that this was just, it was really exciting for me. I don’t know how exciting it was for him, but I made him a deal and I was like, look man, I will take care. I’ll cover all your costs, I’ll cover your costs and then we’ll go out and sell. You’re gonna go sell, I’m just gonna be your supervisor and you’re gonna pay me back the cost and you keep all the profit.
And I was like, my labor is free. Don’t worry about that. We went to the supermarket, we bought $20 worth of lemons. We bought a glass jar to put the lemonade in. We bought a thing of sugar and we made this like really delicious lemonade. And day one, my son on the street in front of our. Sold $78 in, in Lemonade, and I took my 20 bucks and he pocketed 57 bucks.
Mike: That’s like 57,000 for a little
Michael: guy. Oh, really? And so we did that al, you know, almost every weekend, and he was making a lot of cash. And so he started a bank account with that money, which is pretty cool. But like, I always think that way and I always have thought, thought that way. And not only do do I think that way in terms of just making and doing, but I love human beings.
I love people. I genuinely have a, I’m just drawn to communicate with other human beings. And I’ve always had that, and I’ve always been good at it. And had I, had I not sort of been given that gift. When I say I’m lucky to be alive today, like I used that to get me out of some pretty hairy situations.
Mike: What type of situations?
Like, let’s go back to the tough time. What was going on? Yeah, so I’ll,
Michael: I’ll give you the, the sort of the, the story. So I grew up in New York City. My dad was an electrician and my mother was a secretary. My dad got sick. He was always sick. He was a juvenile diabetic type one diabetes, but, but he got very sick in his late forties and he had to go on permanent disability.
So my dad was a miserable guy. He was not happy. He did not, he was not meant to be a father and he was very abusive and I know he loved me. But he just did not know how to be a father. So from an early age, I wanted to be out of my house because my dad was terrible. He was just terrible. And so I was always looking to get out and escape, and my mother was just sort of like this, like she didn’t know what to do.
She was caught in a really bad spot. So I don’t blame them for anything that happened to me in my life in terms of the bad news. I know that they both did what they could do at the time. We’re all human beings and we make mistakes, and so I don’t blame them for anything that I went through. Actually, I’m super grateful for all the things that I had to go through to get to where I’m at today.
But anyway, I always wanted out and I was always looking for a way to escape. You know, I had a hard time at home and so at around 12 years old, I started smoking pot and drinking, and I got, from that moment on, I was sort of a reckless I, it got really bad at home. Child services got involved because my father and I ended up getting very physical with each other on a regular basis.
I wasn’t taking his shit anymore, so I would just fight back and the police were at our house. And finally at this point, I was like a full-fledged alcoholic and drug addict at 15 years old. But the child services said, enough is enough. We’re gonna take your son into foster care. I said, there’s no way that I’m going into foster care.
I’m outta here. And so I left my parents’ house. I was sort of just this kid running the streets of New York, you know, sleeping on couches and staying wherever I could, but always somehow managing to find myself in a good situation, cuz I was very, very good. At charming people, and it wasn’t like I was using it manipulatively necessarily.
It was that like I just knew and know how to acclimate to most situations, and that is the skillset that I’ve used in business and in life. From, you know, from the day one.
Mike: And that I, I would just to interject, I would say that that is something that most people can learn and practice and get good enough at that, that’s my perspective.
Maybe they’re, they’re not gonna have that X factor that you’re referring to, and some people are always going to be better. And then, you know, I think of a book by, uh, who was it, Jeff? Um, it was called Talent Is Overrated. There are a few books on this topic that are interesting. Colvin, Jeff Colvin, talent is Overrated.
Also, Anders Erickson, his middle name is Andrew, which his first, he, he goes by, uh, his first is an initial, might be h Andrews Erickson, but he’s the guy who did the famous 10,000 hour research that was actually misinterpreted by Malcolm Gladwell that it was. Anderson’s conclusion, Erickson, I gotta pull up his name now.
It’s gonna drive me crazy. Anyways, it was not his conclusion that you have to spend 10,000 hours to become an expert. There’s a bit more a nuance to it than that, but, so he has a book, it’s Anders, so it is, it’s Anders Erickson. I thought he had a, had an initial in front of his name. So Anders Erickson is his name, and he has a book, his most recent book is, Peak, and that’s a, a good, you could say, summary of like the current weight of the evidence regarding, uh, comp achieving expertise and also looking at it from the perspective of how much does talent really matter?
And this isn’t an area that I would consider myself an expert in. I’ve probably read a bit more about it than the average person. And based on my understanding, and it aligns with all the anecdotal data I’ve collected, just living life, that talent doesn’t matter as much as people think. There’s a lot to be said for conscientiousness and what Erickson calls deliberate practice.
So practicing in a way that is productive and and smart. And I think it’s an encouraging message because it says that, Hey, if you’re just smart enough, you don’t have to be a genius. You just gotta be smart enough and you’re, if you’re willing to work and you’re willing to put some thought into the work that you’re going to do, not just kind of randomly exert yourself at something, you can get too competent.
Maybe you’re not gonna get too expert necessarily. Maybe you’re not gonna get too world class. Most people are not. But who cares? We don’t need to be like with what you’re talking about. You don’t need to be a world class charmer to get ahead in the world, I don’t think. Uh, but, uh, what are your thoughts on that?
Michael: when I first started doing the podcast, my biggest fear was that it was gonna be somewhat discouraging for people that were on a path and you know, if they feel like they weren’t born with the skillset. And the podcast is saying that you gotta be born with it to be the best at it. That’s a bit discouraging.
However, I will say that I do believe that people are born with certain things, and those that are born with those, that specific talent are going to be better than those that are just trying to do or sort of gunning after this goal. But aside from that, I believe that every single human being is born with.
The journey in life is to actually try to find out what that something is as fast as possible. The goal, like if you’re pushing a a boulder uphill and it keeps on rolling down and it keeps on, you keep on getting fatigued and it keeps on hurting and you can never get it past that peak, you never feel like you’re even close to the peak.
That might be a sure sign that whatever you’re going after isn’t necessarily for you. And I can use a very specific example of that. When I first opened my business, the Meatball Shop, when I was 28 years old, I felt like I needed to be good at everything. In business specifically, when you don’t have the cash.
To hire a cfo, f or a bookkeeper or, you know, like that was in my case, like I’m not a numbers guy. I never have been. Numbers are not at all interesting to me. There are thousands of people that are totally enamored and, you know, infatuated with sifting through financials and trying to figure out systems that will shave a point here and a point there.
They love that puzzle. I just don’t, when I launched my first business, I thought I needed to be, because A, I didn’t have the money to hire somebody to do it, so I did actually have to do it, but it was driving me crazy because I just wasn’t good at it. It didn’t, it was, it was nothing about it that was interesting for me, but I did it.
And what I learned about that was it ended up taking. Probably three to four times longer for me to get done. What somebody could have done in an hour would’ve taken me four. So it was truly, truly a pity that I wasted so much time, or spent so much time, I shouldn’t say wasted. So much time, spent so much time trying to figure out the financials of the business when I could have been, do you know, really doubling down, tripling down on the other things that I do so well in creativity and brand building and team building and motivating people.
But I agree with you that there’s no doubt people can totally want to get somewhere and put in the work. And the intelligent practice and be good at something that they might not necessarily have been born with. When I was a kid, I loved hockey. I loved hockey, like loved it, but I was never a great stick handler ever.
Like I could, I mean a puck handler, like I just was not great at it. So I ended up playing defense and I had a wicked slap shot. So I would stay at the sit at the blue line. And just wrist shot, slap shot. That was my thing. But like skating down the ice with the puck and weaving in and out of people, I was terrible at it.
I just, and I wanted to be so good at it, but, and I practiced hard, but I just never got really good at it. You know, I do think that everybody’s born with a talent and a skill that comes naturally and easy to them. And unfortunately, you know, when we have things that come really naturally to us, it doesn’t feel like we’re putting in a lot of work because it’s easy for us to do.
And that’s the little, in my opinion, that’s that. Like moment of grace when you can say, wait a second, this is very easy for me. This does not feel like I’m working so hard. I’m gonna put everything into this. Everything, all of it. That’s when you find that thing, me telling somebody, oh yeah, you know, what is it that you do well?
And my answer to them is develop relationships. People are like, eh, I don’t really know how much of a skill that, you know, like, that’s great, but like, and I can tell you honestly that that is the foundation of my success in business. 1000%. Like I go hard. On my people skills and development, you know, relationship,
Mike: developmental skills, how does that manifest
I, if I meet somebody, for instance, yesterday, great example, I moved upstate, I left New York City in the pandemic, moved upstate with my family, and I’m, I’m gonna open up a restaurant up here because that’s what I do, that’s what I’m gonna do. I know nothing about restaurant oper, like operating a restaurant in the suburbs.
I’ve never done it before. So this is a new thing for me. However, I do know that getting to know the people in the restaurant industry up here is something I can do with my eyes closed. So, I made a few phone calls, was introduced to a few people, and spent half the day with a dairy farmer who used to be a fashion designer who sold the business in New York for a lot of money, came upstate, wanted to be done with fashion, and opened up a dairy farm and has this great dairy farm where he is making all, you know, he’s, he’s making all this, making ice cream for all these people and he’s got his own little ice cream stand.
And, and he and I, I just knew that I was gonna meet, And I was going to develop this relationship with him. And by the end of the day he was like, dude, I feel like I have a brother up here. And I was like, me too. I spent nine o’clock in the morning till around 1130 I spent with Van. And then I had another meeting with a guy named Howard in the town of Reinbeck who owns a great re in Reinbeck, who he introduced me to a few days ago.
Instead, you should go meet Howard. And so I spent two hours with Howard in between my time with Van, cuz I went back to meet with Van later on and Howard and I became great buddies and then he introduced me to a friend of his who’s trying to sell a restaurant that’s not on the market. And you know, it’s just, if that’s how it works, I’m like very, very comfortable meeting people.
And I know how to acclimate to most people. It has always worked out that way for me, where I walk into a room, I have a positive energy, an optimistic presence, and I go out of my way. I make it my job to connect with, if not one, two, or three people in the setting that I’m in and really develop a relationship.
Mike: And I’m assuming that that’s something that, and you alluded to this or well almost just came out right and said it, that this is something that, that you’ve always been able to do. It’s not something that you had to read books about or you had to remember you didn’t have to use mnemonics. Uh, okay.
Remember first step one is do this and step two is this. It’s just something that I’ve always been able to do it. I am sure you’ve thought about this because you’re a self-aware person. Why do you think that is? Like for people listening who maybe have not had that experience many times, if at all. What though?
Is it specifically about your. Demeanor or maybe when you say that you can acclimate easily to people, what do you mean exactly and how does that play out? So you’re meeting somebody for the first time and why are you good at it? I
Michael: believe there, it’s a culmination of a bunch of things. I think I generally have.
I’m a good listener, so I actually listen to people and that is something I’ve actually had to work on over the years. I think there’s a big difference between people listening and people waiting to speak. And so, you know, when I was younger and my entrepreneurial endeavors, I definitely was waiting to speak more than I was willing to listen.
But as I’ve. Grown in as a business person, I listen more than I speak. I think people appreciate that when you’re genuinely paying attention and listening. But pre that, I think I was born a a, a kind soul, a the kind of person that I don’t judge people right off the bat. I’m not an instinctually judgmental person and I really enjoy dialogue and so, and I always have enjoyed dialogue.
I think it probably is genetic at some capacity. My grandfather is a very social person, was a very social person. He’s passed away unfortunately through Covid, which is crazy but true. But you know, he was a very social person and you know, made it his job to be just very polite and very kind. Even though he was like, my grandfather was like this big, you know, Powerful military guy, but he was just a really nice guy and, and I think that I probably got that from him because I see a lot of similarities in our life and I, in my life and my grandfather’s life.
I can honestly say I don’t really know, like I love meeting people and I love talking to people. My wife kind of hates it because we could be out at dinner and if the waiter comes over and starts talking, I could spend 30 minutes talking to, talking to the waiter at dinner. I’m a talker.
Mike: I’m very much the same way.
There’s a side of me though, that’s kind of a dick as well, to be honest. Like I, it’s interesting, I can be very much the gregarious type of person that you’re describing, or, and this is only when maybe with people it’s, it’s only in certain situations. Again, if I really look at it, but there are especially things related to work or if I, things related to like when I’m pursuing goals and then if I perceive people getting in the way, there’s a part of me that can just be a, a dick as well.
But I resonate with what you’re saying. Yeah.
Michael: I mean, look, I think that I’ve kind of, I, you know, there’s definitely moments where I’ve, I’ve been a dick, but I think probably 99.9% of the time I will keep my, you know, there’s no doubt. I, I have motivation and I’m very ambitious. The way I tend to get to where I want to go is through kindness and empathy.
And that’s just the way I’ve always been. I’ve always been that way. I’ve, you know, I laid out, you know, when I’m in my leadership role in, in any business I’ve created, I very clearly in a kind way define so that everybody can understand the rules and regulations. I’m very clear from the very beginning so that when I have to be the boss and fire somebody or reprimand somebody, it’s not coming outta left field and it’s not coming out in an asshole kind of way.
It’s like, Hey, dude, or hey, you know, whatever. You know, like whoever I’m talking to. Look, we spoke about this. It seems to me like you don’t wanna work here. You haven’t said that, but based on what I explained to you guys in the very beginning and your actions currently, it just says, Hey, I don’t wanna be a part of this thing.
So you tell me, do you wanna be a part of it or do you not wanna be a part of it? If you don’t wanna be a part of it, that sucks. But I get it and it’s fine. And, and tell me, and let’s just part ways. If you do want to be a part of it, then I’m gonna have to write you up and you can never do it again. And that’s it.
And people appreciate that. If you’re very clear and concise upfront in regards to a leadership position, you literally lay ’em out. You lay out the rules. In a very nice way. And then when somebody fucks up, it’s not coming out. It’s, they’re not
Mike: like, oh yeah, it’s not arbitrary. It was
Michael: already established.
It’s already established. And they’re also like, you know, I’ve probably hired, I don’t know, well over a thousand people. I mean, both of the companies that I’ve created when we’re operating at capacity have somewhere between 300 and 400 people each. So at any time there’s 700 people working at the Meatball shop in Seymour’s, and I’ve hired at least, at least 75 to 80% of all the people over the years to launch the business.
And I’ve also fired probably the same amount. That said, I could guarantee you that if we got on the phone right now and called up seven out of, you know, 75% of the people that I’ve had to fire and I asked them to come back and work for me, they would say yes. Because of the way I treat them when they’re working at the company and the way I’ve had to parted ways with them, I’ve had to part ways.
And the truth is, is that I just, I genuinely love doing it. Like it makes me really happy. I love talking to other people and making other people feel good and getting people excited about something. Yeah,
Mike: absolutely. And that, that’s such a powerful, I don’t know if you, I mean you could call, I guess you could call it a skill or an ability, I guess those are kind of just synonyms, right?
But that’s like a meta skill and it’s just adding one more dimension to, uh, a meta skill that I’ve spoken about here and there. I guess probably in book review episodes of just the ability to communicate effectively. Well,
Michael: just think about Dale Carnegie, one of the best books ever written, as far as I’m concerned.
How to Win Friends and Influence People. My business partner, Dan Holzman, who’s my best friend, you know, my partner at the Meatball Shop, he does not have the people skills that I have at all. He just doesn’t. He demands respect. He’s very good at what he does, but he’s an asshole and that’s how people describe him.
And that book has been a book that he’s really read over and over again, and actually, Gives out to managers when they get hired specifically in the kitchen, how to win friends and influence people because it’s such an integral part of business. I believe that because of my relationship skills and my development skills, I’m more valuable to somebody as sort of a resource because of the trust they have in me as opposed to the my ability to manage a p and l.
It’s just, and there’s a reason why that book has been praised so many times and it’s on like most, you know, successful people’s top 10 list because it, it really defines what it means to, to be a. Person in
Mike: business. And I totally agree. My only, I, I would say that’s not, maybe it’s not a criticism of the book per se, but it’s a, a criticism of how many people I’ve come across in business use.
The book is, and, and I immediately got a sense of this in you, and I feel like I have a pretty good gut. Feeling when it comes to people. I can trust my instincts most of the time after I’ve interacted with somebody a bit in terms of is this genuine or not? And in your case, I very much sense that it’s genuine and I got that right away.
Whereas in many other cases, I know that they are just, they’re, they’re running their Dale Carnegie script on me and they’re not actually interested in me. They’re really just looking for what they want and how they can get to what they want via me. And I don’t take personal offense at that, but I would say that.
There are, I can think of several instances where I actually would’ve preferred somebody not try to use the Dale Carnegie script on me. Mm-hmm. And just be straight up and make it clear that essentially what they’re looking for is a transaction. They’re not looking for a relationship, they don’t care about me, and they’re not gonna say it necessarily that harshly, although I would appreciate that more than the smarmy.
We’re all in this together, and I admire so much with all the, the flattery, the fake flattery. And so I see that. I see a lot of that in business. And yes, it does work, and I see people who are good at it and who certainly succeed with it to some degree. But I would say that in your case, there’s something to be said for the authenticity.
Of it that you probably were doing, you probably, when you got around to reading that book, if a lot of it was probably obvious to you and you were already doing it, it was just second nature and you’re like, isn’t this, this is, isn’t this kind of just what it means to be like a good person? You’re
Michael: absolutely right.
Like I read the book and I was like, oh, I do that. Oh, I do that. Oh, I do that. Oh, I did. It was cool for me to see that and, and also like similarly in your book, you know, bigger lean or stronger, like it was great for me to read, to listen to that book and say, you know, like, It’s awesome to know that all the majority of the stuff that you were talking about are already things that are implemented into my routine.
I think that it’s very clear, right? Like my puck handling skills are like the people that are trying to read the Dale Carnegie script, right? Like I was trying my best man, but like everybody knew, uh, they, all they had to do was watch me skate down the ice and then, and not really be able to handle that puck.
Mike: weren’t gonna be the center,
Michael: it just wasn’t gonna happen. Keep that kid on the blue line, you know what I mean?
Mike: Totally. What other skills, and, and this is just a selfish question because one of my favorite. Elements of business is marketing and up until now it’s been more about persuasion, direct marketing, selling stuff.
Uh, but I’ve also had an abiding interest in branding and it’s something I’ve reading more about because I’ve realized that the power of powerful branding and I think up until now I’ve done certain aspects of legion’s branding, well, other aspects not so well. So I’m trying to of course, strengthen what is strong and then shore up the weaknesses.
But, uh, from what I can see, another aspect of, and because it comes from a creative place, I’m sure this is also something. You have always had a knack for minimally when you were young, you were just interested in it. And that’s the creative part of branding, right? And, and creating. It’s not just a, a widget to sell.
And many people, I, I get often get asked business questions and from, a lot of times it’s people who are wanting to get into business for the first time. And I always have, you know, book recommendations and I, I can point people to helpful resources. But what is that process like? You’ve done this, now, you’re a repeat offender in terms of building successful businesses and successful brands.
What is it about your process that you think is most responsible for the success that you’ve had? Again, with multiple brands? And that’s an important point just to highlight it and to punch it up because this is something Ray Dalio talked about in his book Principles and it has just stuck with me and I really agree.
Is that it before you won’t consider somebody. Reliable. You have to look at how many times have they succeeded at something, because anybody can get lucky and have one, one round of success in an activity. But if somebody has had two or three rounds of success that now you can’t just attribute to luck.
And so that’s, that’s where you’re at in your career as an entrepreneur. And again, from what I can see, one of your major strengths seems to be creating brands that people just like the first impression is, that’s cool, or I want to check that out. And what does that process look like for you? It’s a great
So another thing that I think I was kind of potentially, and I, and I, I wouldn’t be able to get deep into. Analysis of this cuz I, I don’t know where this comes from, but I would consider myself like a visionary. And so when I’m thinking about creating something new, the minute I have a foothold in something, I can close my eyes and see it literally like, and in my case, you know, my expression and creativity tends to come in the form of a restaurant.
And it’s probably because I started working in restaurants at, at a very young age. And that’s where I felt comfortable because I was around people, I was around food. But really in my creativity, it expresses itself in the form of a restaurant. And when I close my eyes, I’m standing inside the restaurant that I’m going to.
Actually, like I can see, I’m building a new concept now called, finally found, and I’m standing in the middle of the restaurant right this second. I mean, you can’t see me, but I’m closing my eyes and I see everything. I see the color, I see the walls. I see if I’m looking around I right now, if I close my eyes and I see the vision of the space, I see a glow from the wood fire.
I see white walls, I see hand hue beams. I see steel with windows, like lots of windows. Um, there’s skylights. It’s in a barn style building. The tables are, uh, raw edge wood tables with steel table bases. I don’t really know what the chairs look like, the bar. If I’m standing in the center of the restaurant and I’m looking at the front door, on my left is the bar, and on my right is the big kitchen with the hearth and the wood-fired grill system.
I love the picture. I
Mike: can see it too.
Michael: Yeah. So that is. Something that, like, I just went through that with you and obviously I’ve been thinking about it for some time because I’ve been developing this concept, but that’s literally how I, um, am able to start developing these things and I tend to
Mike: use And where did the seed for that come though?
Because when we spoke a few weeks ago, you hadn’t mentioned this, I don’t know if you were working on it yet or not. It sounds like this is, this is something that has come together just in the last month or so. So
Michael: I had a concept that I was working on in New York. I built meatball shop in 2010. I, I ran it for four years.
I sold the majority of my equity into my partners there to then go create Seymours, which was my second business. I opened up that business in 2015. You know, I opened up six meatball shops. Then I sold, I opened up Seymours is over the course of three and a half years, and in November of 2019, I sold the majority of my equity and my partner there so that I can then, you know, create another brand called Creatures of Habit.
And I think what happens is, I love to create the brands, build the teams, establish who we are in culture, and create value for the company. And then I want to get creative again, and that’s just the kind of entrepreneur I am. And so, you know, after we opened up our sixth restaurant at Seymour’s, that was in 2017, end of 2017, early 2018, I just knew at that point that I was gonna start to get a little squirrely and I, and I wanted to create another brand.
And my fault in business is that I have not done well enough at explaining to people that what would be really great is if there was a bunch of investors that wanted to invest in, in a restaurant. Where I was sort of the, the captain driving the, the brands and the concepts, we were not only thinking about opening up a restaurant or a multi-unit restaurant, but knowing that like I as a creative entrepreneur are going to wanna open up a number of them over the course of, you know, whatever.
15, 20 years. And so once I start to get really creative again, or want to get creative again, you know, my partner’s like, but what do you mean we’re building this thing? And I’m like, yeah, we, we are again, we, we are building this thing. But where I really shine is in the development and the team building and the culture creation.
And so unless we want to go back to the investors and convince them that we should think about doing another one, I have to go do where my, you know, I have to go do what I’m really good at
Mike: doing. And that’s common with people who are good creatively is they often are the, they’re the starters and they are often a lot.
Less interested in the change, the running of the business, and just the day-to-day
Michael: operations. Right. That’s it. That’s it, exactly. So anyway, so I sold my equity in November of 2019 and I developed a new concept called Creatures of Habit. And I built a whole, I had investors lined up for that, and then the pandemic hit, you know, nobody was really interested in investing, you know, a, a grip of money into brick and mortar businesses in New York City, and I don’t disagree with them.
So I had to literally just take that whole, pretty much year’s worth of work and push it to the back burner and say, I’ll get to this at another date. I gotta start getting creative again. And so when I moved my family upstate at the end of March is when I really started thinking about the next, what I was gonna do or, or what I’m gonna
The creatures of habit concept doesn’t work where you are, or is
Michael: it? Creatures of habit is a, so basically the idea of creatures of habit is in major markets, specifically New York, where I’m from, we’ve learned that a healthy lunch fast is what people want. They, you know, like the sweet greens of the world, the chops, the just salads, even the kava and the, you know, and there’s a few other concepts.
These fast casual, quick service ca concepts that have really just sort of taken over. People want that, they wanna toss salad or just like a, like a really nice, healthy lunch delivered very quickly in a counter service. And so knowing that I’m obviously a, you know, I mean not obviously, but I’m like wellness and nutrition and fitness are cornerstone.
I think of my happiness in life. And so I wanted to create a brand that would take. Sort of philosophy, but apply my ability to create a really great atmosphere around a restaurant. So I was gonna take this sort of healthy ingredients, make a more dinner focused menu with them, and give them the, give the people the atmosphere that they’re looking for in a night experience.
And that was Creatures of Habit. So it was pretty much a restaurant that was awesome, that just so happens to serve really healthy and delicious food. Because no one was taking a stab at the sort of nighttime component of the healthy or sort of wellness
Mike: minded person. And the fact that you have that specific, like what makes your idea unique?
How is your concept going to stand out? That’s a key point. And something that is talked about in one of the branding books I recommend, which is Reese’s book, the 22 Immutable Laws of Branding. And this is something that like Take Your Meatball Shop. I think that’s a, a really, a really clever branding move and it’s, it’s smart to, to say this is all we do and we’re gonna do it really well and we’re gonna build the whole brand around this concept.
And so that makes a lot of sense to me.
If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my health and fitness books, including the number one best selling weightlifting books for men and women in the world. Bigger, leaner, stronger, and thinner. Leaner, stronger, as well as the leading flexible dieting cookbook, the shredded.
When you are putting together a concept, what are you looking? Are you, are you just going by gut feel, by instinct of saying, okay, so there’s some rational thought that goes into what you just laid out. You’re like, okay, what do people want? And I’m sure that you have your whole process of doing market research and you have your suspicions, but then you go and confirm them with, with data.
But how do you go from, here are the kind of the, the cold facts. This is what people are, this is what the market is saying that they want in terms of, like you said, they want fast food, they want counter service, they want it to be nutritious, they want it to be not too many calories, probably as part of it, whether they realize, although I would guess many people who eat at Kava for example, and some of these places are aware of calories to some degree, but how do you bring that alive?
How do you breathe? Because that’s really what, when you are now. Going from, if I could put something with these characteristics together, then it would meet the market’s demand. But of course then how do you get there? How you, the brand that you create around it, like you’re talking about the experience, creating a, a dining experience.
That’s a huge part of it that in my experience, having spoken with a lot of people of varying degrees of business experience and success, like they don’t always. How important it is to make people feel a certain way or to create a, a certain first impression, and how actually, in many ways, much more important that is than delivering a good product or service.
Now, it’s not to say that you shouldn’t deliver a good product or service, but as far as marketing and branding goes, the quality of the product in service matters a lot less than some of this. What some people would think of as, oh, that’s like the window dressing. You know what I mean?
Michael: So I think that there’s a lot of brands that I can use an ex as an example here and something that I’ve been saying.
So there’s a lot of things to touch on here, and I’ll start to try to chip away one by one. The first thing I do typically when I’m creating a restaurant brand is I write out a menu that feels good to me. So, and I’m able to do that very quickly. The food component is obviously very important because it’s going to, what you’re serving is going to drive pretty much everything.
Mike: Books are very similar. Like you can have really slick marking. You have a great title, you can have a great cover, but if your book’s gonna do well, it needs to be a book that people not only read, but read and like enough to tell other people about. That’s the key, right?
Michael: Yep. And so I write out a menu.
That’s typically the first step for me is writing out the menu. And it does not have to be anywhere close to the finished product, but it gives me, it’s essentially a framework, right? It’s like a storyboard. So I start out with a framework of a menu, and I feel like I’ve got, like, I’ve got a foundation.
This is what I’m going to, this is what the menu is going to look and feel like in terms of the cuisine, the ingredients. With creatures of habit, I knew that one of the things that is tough, I use my own personal, I do use my personal feelings a lot here and things that I like in my creative process. For me, I know that when I go out to most restaurants, the things that make food taste good or make food taste extraordinarily good tend to be butter, olive oil, and fat of some sort.
Fat is what allows your palate to appreciate flavor. Salt brings flavor out in ingredients, and fat is the vehicle for your taste buds. And so the more fat typically, the better the food tastes. That’s just like. Actual science. Yep.
Mike: That’s, yeah, that’s actual science. That’s
Michael: That’s actual size. Sugar, sugar, salt and fat.
Yeah. So however, I do pretty much all of my own cooking specifically now I do. I cook every meal. I know that I don’t need to use an exorbitant amount of butter and an oil to make great ingredients, taste good. I just don’t, I am a very fit dude, and I’m not saying that as a pat on the back. I work really fucking hard at it, but I do not ever sacrifice flavor, ever.
I could be eating the most regimented meal plan. Like you are right now. I mean, exactly like I am right now, and I actually really look
Mike: forward. But it’s not just any chicken, it’s sovi chicken, which anybody who hasn’t tried Sovi chicken, try it and your chicken is going to level up greatly. You’re, you’re never gonna look at a chicken breast the same again.
Michael: Yeah. By the way, you know, the beauty of Sovi is specifically if you’re meal prepping is I cook eight chicken breasts at a time, um, in a big stockpot with my Sovi machine. And I don’t use any oil, any butter at all. I just use like this paleo, this paleo seasoning, I forgot what it’s called, but it’s like these really awesome seasoning packets that I get from this company.
Paleo something, paleo powder. I season the, the chicken breast with it. I put it in a vacuum sealed pack. I put it in, in this water bath with the SousVide machine, and it’s the best chicken breast you’ll ever have. Period. Done. Done, and you can do it many, many ways, but there’s zero fat and it’s delicious.
And so I just never sacrificed flavor. I refuse to eat bland food. I’m a chef by, you know, I, I’m a trained chef. I, you know, I, I just, I just don’t, so, you know, you can just draw a line through. Like, if you’re trying to change your eating habits and you’re worried about not being able to enjoy food, you’re just fucking wrong.
Pardon of my French. I enjoy everything I eat, you know, I’m not eating donuts every day. You know, however, but I do enjoy all the food I eat and I eat a lot of meat. And
Mike: for people, let’s say, I would say, and I think you would agree here, a lot of that comes down to how you’re preparing the food. Like you were just mentioning with how you can cook chicken with sovi and it makes a huge difference.
I agree. And then simple recipes. It, it doesn’t take much to make bland food delicious. And you don’t have to be a trained chef. You just need to have the right recipe, and maybe you need to practice it a little bit. But that’s been my experience. I mean, I have a cookbook that I had fun working on, and working through all the recipes.
I, I don’t consider myself a very skilled cook. You know, I can follow recipes and I know the basics, and I may, I can make food that I think is really good and that my wife likes and my kids eat. So it’s worth something.
Michael: Yeah. And, and by the way, like we just talked about Soo v Chicken, but if you really want to go like as simple as humanly possible, I mean, not everybody likes sweet potatoes, but most people do cuz they’re sweet and they’re substantial.
And it’s my number one go-to carbohydrate period. It is the carbohydrate that I eat every day, uh, along with gluten-free oats in the morning. But if you want to try something for the people that are listening to this, and you’ll be blown away, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Take a sweet potato or five cuz I do five at a time.
I put ’em on a baking tray. I do not put anything on them, nothing. Zero, no oil, no fat, no salt, no nothing. I take the sweet potato, I put it underwater and wash it. I put it on a baking sheet, I put it in my oven. I cook it until I start seeing the caramelized sugars seeping out of the tips of the potato. I pull it out, I let it cool for 20 minutes and then I eat them and they’re unbelievable.
It is like candy, like a dessert that you wanna have. That is the simplest form of cooking. I can possibly tell anybody to do that for food that is going to be delicious. I put it in front of my sons, I mash it up, I put it in front of my sons and they’re thinking they’re eating like sweet potato pie. I love,
Mike: so I like to put a little bit of cinnamon cinnamon’s,
Michael: delicious on sweet potatoes for sure.
I do use cinnamon in a lot of, um, my food, uh, in the way I eat these days. So anyway, I framework it with a menu. And then, hon, honestly, this is typically how I do it. I’m not a big runner anymore. I was a marathon runner for a long time, but these days I just, I tend to not do a lot of running. However, if I need to really.
Work through my creative process. I do take a run and I intentionally go out on runs when I need to, you know, create. And I develop a lot of my creativity on runs, and I’ll have my cell phone on me and if I, you know, if I’m sort of like running and not, I don’t listen to music, I just think about what I’m working on, and then I will stop in the run when an idea comes up and I’ll note it in my notepad in my cell phone.
And typically if I do that for a week and I run every other day, I’ll have a lot of stuff to chew on, and then I sit down and start putting it on paper.
Mike: And then from there is it kind of an editorial process of, and that’s how I’ve experienced it as a writer where I’ll put a lot of stuff down on in a first draft.
And some stuff I know is not that great, but I’ll get back to it. Some stuff I think is great. And then I’ll go and return to it maybe a three days or four or five days later. And some of the stuff that I liked originally, I suddenly do not like it all anymore. And then it’s, you know, you get rid of the obvious rejects.
And going through that process several times has helped me just in really refining ideas and finding things that stick with me as good that when I return to them a week later and like, yep, that’s still good. That’s still a good concept. It’s still expressed well. Is it similar?
Michael: So I’ll try to organize my.
That I’ve compiled over these, this like week or two week long sort of intentional running brainstorms. And then what I do is I like to get visual. So I’ll go onto Pinterest and I’ll start creating a mood board of all the things that I envision being an element to this brand. Whether it’s things in nature, whether it’s a landscape, whether it’s a car, whether it’s a piece of an article of clothing, whether it’s a, a photo of an interior, of a restaurant that I like.
You know, the beauty of Pinterest, which I really do love that app, is that you find something that you like and you click on it, and then underneath it will be thousands of images. You know, there’s an algorithm that just sort of like gives you inspiration. And so there’ll be thousands of images that are similar to the image that you’ve picked up.
And so then I start compiling that way. And I spend time just sort of putting together this mood board that starts to allow me to see what’s in my head in a tangible form. And sometime in between those times, I will start thinking of names. And naming a business is not easy to do, but for whatever reason, they’ve just come to me.
And obviously the Meatball shop was very easy, right? Like I opened up a restaurant that served meatballs. Um, and so the Meatball Shop was like, you know, an easy one.
Mike: But there’s something to be said for that because it might have felt easy to you and it might have seemed obvious to you, but there were many, many ways to screw that up.
There were many, many names that you could have chosen that would not have worked as well. And maybe the restaurant still would’ve succeeded, but a good. Name, and this is not just applicable to restaurants, it’s to any business, to any brand. The the name is vital. If you get the name right, you have given yourself a headstart, a big headstart.
And so an example is a buddy of mine is finishing up a book on the Second Amendment, the history of the Second Amendment, breaking down a lot of the, the legalism, the dueling expertise that occurs in layman’s terms, in helping people understand what the spirit of this, of this amendment was and why it was implemented and how it might apply to, to modernity and.
Somebody had given him advice on the title of the book. They said, oh, well I think that it shouldn’t have Second Amendment in the title at all, because it might turn people off. Right? You know, like people, you know, this is a controversial issue and if you get them in with a different title, then you’re gonna get a lot more people to read the book.
Who wouldn’t read it otherwise? People who are, are either they hate the second Amendment or they feel like it’s just, uh, too hot to handle, so to speak. And that’s awful advice, terrible advice. Better advice would be. Oh, you should call it the Second Amendment book. I’m not saying that’s the title, but that would actually be better advice.
It’d be better advice. Let’s just start with, with seo. So when people go and search on Amazon for Second Amendment or Second Amendment book, your book comes up, otherwise it will not. And then there’s also the point of like, what is a title supposed to do? One thing it’s supposed to do is make a promise of benefit or at least tell you what the book is about.
Yeah. Right. And I think that you can get creative with books if you have a title that maybe is kind of cutesy and it’s a play on words or it’s an idiom that’s relevant, and then your subtitle explicitly calls out what the, the book is about. So just, uh, to jump in on the, on the title point. I think like when I saw that, that’s what I immediately thought.
That’s smart. Where you took something that is completely on the nose and in a way if that’s executed well, it can add personality to it as opposed to just being boring and bland. Whereas if you try to get too cutesy and too creative with the name, I think you can go too far and it then doesn’t communicate anything.
Michael: another thing about names that, that everybody should take into consideration, because it’s very important from my experience, and it was a lesson learned through the Meatball shop, you wanna name that is Trademarkable. You know, a mark is very valuable in, if you’re an inventor and you don’t have, oh, what’s the word I’m looking for?
You don’t have a patent on your product. It’s useless. Similarly, If you have a business like a restaurant, that anybody can just go and open up the exact same restaurant using the exact, exact same name, and there’s no recourse, you can take it really devalues. The business doesn’t matter how great it’s, so finding a name that is Trademarkable is very important.
And sometimes what I do when I, so like for Seymours, for instance, Seymours is a sustainable seafood concept. I love the name Seymour because it reminds me of like a little old Jewish guy. You know? Like I wanted to Brand itself is a very fresh, clean, Scandinavian sort of like Oceanside, bright white feeling brand when you walk in the door.
However, I wanted a name that was, that was a bit more endearing. That was a, just a bit more welcoming. That was
Mike: cozier. And you also spelled it s e a,
Michael: right? Right. So what I did was I said, I love the name Seymour, that for whatever reason, the name Seymour came to me and I said, wait a second, I can make. I can not only, you know, get a trademark on the name Seymour, if I just changed the, the spelling, because that’s a trick that I use a lot where like I’ll change the name of, I’ll change the letter in the spelling of the word to get the trademark.
And so for Seymour, I said, S E A M O R E eat from the c Moore, Seymours Seymours. And that’s how the name came about. And I got the trademark on S E A M O R E S. It not only allowed me to get the trademark on it because it’s. Not the way you spell the name, but it also de defined what I was doing, which was C, more eat from the C more.
And so I, you know, with Creatures of Habit, I was not able to get the creatures of habit with the traditional C R E A T U R E S. So I changed the C to a K and I made it creatures of habit that way. Not only does the K get me the trademark, but keto was something that we were going to like on the menu. At Creatures of Habit, I am calling out the different dietary restriction.
So everything on the menu is gonna either have a K P or a PB, keto paleo, or plant-based next to it. And so keto is a component of the brand. I personally don’t believe in keto as a lifestyle, however, I do know that it is very effective. For sort of short-term weight loss. I personally have experienced it a number of times in terms of like, you know, I, I’ll experiment and I’ll dip into keto for six to eight weeks, and I get shredded.
I not only get shredded, but I also cognitively love what it does for me. It’s not a fun process. I do not believe it’s long-term, and I know that you’re like, you know this. The people that probably listen to this podcast are very interested in science and facts. I do know the science behind ketosis and it works.
I just don’t think it’s a long-term solution for anyone. That’s my opinion. I think that there are certain people out there that will say, that will argue that opinion that you can just live ketogenic forever, you know, ever. I just don’t think it’s like that. Awesome. You know what I mean?
Mike: Yeah. I mean, I’ve heard from many people over the years, especially as keto has become the really, it’s the diet dujour right now, and, but it, it’s been around for a bit.
I, I wrote a long article on keto a couple of years ago because at that time it was already up trending and having spoken with a lot of people. Yeah. Most people do not enjoy the experience most of the time.
Michael: It’s actually, you know what, it’s, the first week sucks and then for me, the first week sucks, but weeks two through six I really enjoy because I’ve gotten through my.
Carbohydrate craving or obsession I should call it. You know, it’s an obsession until you sort of give into it. And then the craving sets in once you give in. But if you’re able to fight the obsession, then you can get through it and your body is not actually going to physically crave what that sugar is doing for you.
But I’m not a big fan of just do like, you know, taking. Heaping tablespoons of almond butter every time I’m hungry.
Mike: You have to also watch your saturated fat intake if you also care about your heart health. Many people do that wrong. Their version of a keto diet, which ironically is really not the, cuz originally the keto diet, it has its roots in medicine.
It was developed for people bless and suffered from. From, yeah, exactly. Who had seizures and the original keto diet, it was low protein, low carb, very high fat. So now it’s kind of this high protein, low-carb, high fat, and that’s okay. You can still stay in ketosis that way. But again, having spoken with many people, depending on who taught them about keto, oftentimes they are eating a lot of saturated fat.
And it can come from meat, it can come from coconut oil, it can come from butter. And there’s no. Question that as of right now, the, the weight of the evidence, and this is very clear, that this scale is weighted heavily to one side, and that is that if you have too much saturated fat, you are probably going to increase the risk of heart disease.
Some people’s bodies, this is probably mostly genetic, deal very well with it, and you’re not gonna see issues with cholesterol, for example, and LDL. But most people will, and especially with something like, again, butter in particular, coconut oil in particular, which many people think, oh, it’s, it comes from coconuts.
It must be healthy. Well, it’s not that it’s unhealthy, but when you are having excessive amounts every day and now you’re having like 80 grams of saturated fat a day, that’s not a good idea, and especially not for the long term. So that’s one of my critiques of keto. Another critique would be, if you are doing it correctly, your carbs are very low, so low that you can forget about fruit, and that’s not gonna be in your diet.
You can forget obviously, about whole grains, legumes, and these aren’t very nutritious foods, but it’s difficult even to eat enough vegetables, some vegetables. They contain too many calories, too many carbs. So if you also, if there is some carbohydrate that’s residual in some of the foods that you’re eating, like almond butter for example, that means you have even fewer carbs to a lot to vegetables every day.
So when you have people that are following kind of like a carnivore diet, basically eating a lot of meat and saturated fat, very high, very little in the way of plant foods that aren’t just fats. So very few servings of vegetables per day, no fruit, no whole grains, no legumes. Again, looking at the body of evidence on what is a healthy human diet, what is at least optimized human diet?
It’s not that.
Michael: Yeah, I mean, look, and the truth is, is that like whenever I do make a decision to dive into the ketogenic diet, I have to be very careful because my body’s super sensitive and so I cannot have a lot of animal protein when I’m in. It’ll take me outta ketosis when I eat too much protein.
Yeah, of course. So my diet predominantly when I’m in ketosis is eggs, egg whites, not too many because again, like I can pop out if I have too much protein. So I have to be very mindful of it. A lot
Mike: of people don’t know the insulin response to a dose of protein is like the insulin response to a dose of beef protein is more or less the same as a serving
Michael: a rice, for example.
Right. And so, you know, even avocado, avocados got a lot of carbohydrates. So avocado popped me out. I was wondering why I was not like in the beginning I was like, man, why am I only showing like 0.5 milli when I have not had a single in my mind at that time, a carbohydrate. Outside of some broccoli and it was the avocado.
Yeah, avocado was pushing me out. Yeah. And so, you know, it’s a very,
Mike: very difficult and such just begs the question as to why. And that’s, this is the discussion I have with people when I explain there’s no compelling reason to go through all of that. If we really just look at the science of it and if however you enjoy it or you find it’s very effective for you, even if it just comes down to compliance, even if you find that it helps you better control your calories and you like the whoosh effect that you get where you know you have, you shed water quickly and you’re gonna re retaining less water, which means you might look a little bit smaller, but you also are gonna look a little bit leaner.
Those are perfectly valid reasons to do it. You just have to know that that’s really what you’re getting out of it. You’re not supercharging your body’s fat burning machinery. It’s it, it’s just not true. So that’s kind of the summary. Of keto, and again, I, I, I have an article [email protected] if anybody wants to go check it out.
I did write it a couple of years ago, but not much has changed. In fact, the conclusions of that article are even more true now than they were then in that, the research that has come out on low carb, high fat keto style dieting since I wrote that article. Further vindicates what I talk about in that article.
So if anybody wants to learn more about that, just you can check the article out. I think I also did record a podcast on it at some point, so that’s probably out there as well. I don’t mean that as an attack, uh, at all in, in terms of what. You use the keto diet for and, and I understand that if you’re like, Hey, this works well for me for this reason, even if somebody doesn’t exactly know why it works well, but they go, when I wanna do this and I follow the keto diet, it goes well.
And I understand that it’s not something I’m gonna be doing for long periods of time because it’s not an optimal way to eat. Just if we look at the nutritional side of it, or at least it’s very hard to optimize, then I think that’s perfectly valid. I mean, similar to take cardio, where some people, they tend to do best with just very low intensity, steady state cardio, and if they incorporate any hit or any significant amount of hit, it cuts too much into the recovery and they just don’t feel well and they get more hungry.
And this is particularly when they’re cutting, that doesn’t happen to me, but that’s me and for them, Hit does not agree with, with their system. And so there definitely is individual variability in a lot of this.
Michael: Yeah, I mean, I agree with everything you’ve just said. Uh, you know, I think, I do believe that there’s probably some level of genetic sort of ability to adapt to a specific diet for some people.
Uh, or I don’t know if it’s genetic or if it’s just sort
Mike: of No, there definitely is a there, I’ve seen that and there is some research suggesting, particularly with carbohydrate intake, it’s just interesting that some people do better with carbs than others, regardless of fitness level and regardless of fitness routine.
Some people. Are very sensitive to carbs in a good way. And like I’m one of those people, I’ve done a couple DNA tests, which a lot of the marketing of those types of services is just puffy. The science is not far enough along to know really what does that genetic marker mean in terms of how you should eat or exercise.
But there are some components that have stronger evidence, and this is one area where the research, I think, is far enough along for us to trust that okay, if we are expressing these genes, we tend to do better with, with carbs than people who express these genes differently. And you don’t have to get a, a DNA test though, to know that I’ve heard from many people over the years where it doesn’t matter how lean they are, it doesn’t matter.
How much they exercise on any given day. If they eat more than a certain amount of carbs total, and often it’s in one sitting, they just don’t feel, they get some brain fog and their energy levels aren’t as stable. Sometimes they get a little bit gassy or they just get gi distressed. They just don’t do well with, again, it’s often a cer over a certain amount in an individual meal and or on a given day, and there’s no reason then to try to force the, the square peg into the round hole.
Michael: would also, but uh, but one thing I would say to that, and I could, you know, obviously you’re, you’re closer to the science than I am. But one thing I will say is that I was afraid of carbs for a long time, just like everybody else. I just was, and once I really got into body building and was told like, Michael, you need, if this is something that you wanna do and it’s obvious that you wanna do it, you’re doing it.
But if you want to see any progress, you are going to need likely glycogen stores, you’re just going to need them, period. Done. Like, there’s no question. It’s science. Like if you want to grow, you need the energy to grow and you just, that’s just, there’s no way around it. So when I got into body building, I essentially, you know, my grams of carbohydrate ratio to gram of protein ratio are the same if.
More carbohydrates to protein, and I eat a lot of protein. I eat like 1.35 times my body weight and protein every day. So when I’m maintaining, you know, I’ll eat 220 grams of protein pretty much all the time until I’m like right before a show where everything drops down, where I’m in a real deficit at like 1400 calories, 1350, 1400 calories a day for a, a week or two.
But for the most part, my protein always stays at around 220 grams. And my carbohydrates, depending on whether I’m in a bulk, a maintain, or a. Will fluctuate anywhere from 2 75 in a bulk to two 20, and now I’m in a cut. So I’m at 180 and I’m at 220 grams of protein, 180 grams of carbohydrate and 45 grams of fat.
I feel fucking awesome and I am, you know, probably around five to 6% body fat right now. And I could live like this forever if I wanted to. I’m not going to gain much muscle, and you know, quite frankly, at this point in my life, I don’t know without drugs, which I don’t do. I don’t know how much more muscle I will be able to gain unless I go into an absolute hardcore surplus, which I just don’t enjoy.
So, you know, I don’t enjoy reaching the 15 to 17% body fat. It just does not make me feel good. I’m
Mike: the same way, and I know there’s nothing left really for me to gain anyway. So why bother? Why not just stay lean and have enough fat on my bones to have healthy hormones and good energy levels and good workouts, but I still have apps.
You know, there’s no, yeah. And the, I guess the other side of that coin though is, is people who, they really enjoy the experience of the calorie surplus, especially in the gym. And I do understand that your workouts are definitely better and you’re stronger and it’s nice to finish a workout where you feel like you could just do it all over again.
I do, I do like that. But I guess I like abs more.
Michael: Yeah, no, I like abs more too. I mean, there’s no doubt about it. I’m being, you know, I’m in real time right now, so. I was squatting when I was in a surplus before my. And before my, um, cut, I was squatting 365 for four sets of six. Nice. And now I’m not doing that.
I’m just not, I’m not, I’m, I’m probably, you know, when I walk into my j when I walk into my leg day, I’m squatting probably three 15 with not ease, but you know, it’s going up and down and I’m not like, struggling too hard. And so I’ll add five pounds to 10 pounds per set reaching like 3 25 to three 30. And I’m really struggl.
I’m actually at my 3 25 or three 30, I’m doing four reps, and then I’m dropping, you know, I’m putting, I’m racking the bar. Yeah. And then I’m finishing up. And so there’s no doubt that the, even the small amount of carbohydrate, uh, you know, whatever it is, hundred grams or 75 grams of carbohydrates that I’m missing every day, it just makes a difference.
There’s no doubt about it. You know? But I also don’t know what it’s like to not have abs. I just don’t, I don’t, I always have apps, period. And so I wonder, it’d be kind of an interesting experiment in after October 10th, my body building competition, if I just say fuck it and try to do an eight month surplus and see if I feel a lot stronger.
Mike: will. I don’t know. I mean if you’ve never done it before, you should. Cuz you know, I mean, you know, it’s not hard to lose fat. You just make your meal plan, you eat your meals, and you do your workouts and your body takes care of the rest and you’ve done it so many times and you know what it takes to stay lean.
You might be surprised at what it does to your workouts if you just do it right, like do a 10% surplus. We we’re very similar in that we kind of eat the same stuff every meal every day. We eat stuff we like, but we are creatures of habit. So just take that discipline but apply it to lean bulking. And so you might just eat a bit more sweet potato every day, for example, or however you want to do it, but maintain that 10% surplus within, I’ll say within.
Two weeks, you’re going to notice it. You’re gonna be like, wow, this is a lot easier than it normally is. And I would say probably within two months is when you’re gonna really, uh, maybe a month, let’s say within their, within your first month or two, you’re gonna really find your stride. And given how developed your physique is, you may not gain.
Appreciable amount of muscle during that period, maybe a little bit. You know, it’s not gonna be much if, if you are gonna be anything, it’s not gonna be much. So that’s not really the point. You might though find that you might set some prs, for example. You might, that might be fun. And then it also will be kind of fun again to, to have so much energy and to feel so powerful in your workouts that you finish and you 100% feel you could just do it all over again and probably not even be gassed, you know?
Michael: yeah. Maybe I will. My wife would love that if I did that.
Mike: Why? Why is that? Just cuz I’m
Michael: so strict about my, I’m just, even though I don’t sacrifice flavor and we tend to eat a lot of the same, like whenever I cook dinner, she’s very happy with what I’m making. Um, you know, it’s not the easy, I don’t love, like I do.
I just, I don’t, I don’t love going out for dinner. I love going out for dinner, but I don’t love. I just, it’s just not something that I love to do because I just know That’s
Mike: interesting. As a successful restaurant tour, you’d think it would be there, right? Yeah. I
Michael: mean, I give myself, at minimum one awesome blowout meal a week no matter what.
Even in my prep, I do it where I, you know, we, we go, I’m pretty strict. I’m pretty strict about it cuz I really like to control what, what I put into my body. And I’m a restaurateur, so I just know, you know, there’s one way to make things taste really good, and all you gotta do literally is pick a tablespoon of butter and drop it on anything.
Um, an extra pinch of salt and that’s it. You know what I
Mike: mean? Yeah. I talk about that. I call it hidden calories, right? Because I mean, you just don’t know. Well, people just don’t realize, like, you could be ordering the vegetable medley, but you don’t know that there’s an extra 300 calories of butter in that.
Michael: you know, you, you’re, you don’t want the cream sauce, so you get the pesto, but you just don’t realize that like, it’s literally a combination of parsley, spinach, basil, and walnut. An enormous amount of olive oil and any serving of pesto sauce on a dish is going to be probably two tablespoons. And there you have three to 400 calories.
Boom right there.
Mike: Desserts as well. A lot of people don’t realize like actually how calorie dense, I think the rule of thumb is about 50 ish calories per spoon. It might be a little bit high there, but maybe that’s the right assumption. Even if the range is more like 30 to 50, probably not more than 70, but I mean, that’s per bite.
So yeah. So you know, you take, oh, I’ll just, I’ll just take a few bites and that could be another couple hundred calories. And by the
Michael: way, I think, you know, I’m disciplined enough and I also think that that, I hate to say it, but I also think that that too is like a, something I was born. You know, I was born with the ability to make a decision and commit, and I do think that that is a learnable trait, uh, for sure.
But I think it’s very, very hard for a lot of people that are not the committing type, you know, like I’ve just been known, you know, we didn’t get too deep into my story, but I partied really, really hard with drugs and alcohol for, from like 12, 13 to 23. And at 23, I had to make a decision because I was gonna die or just be a.
Waste of space to stop drinking and doing drugs. And I made a decision to do it. And I haven’t had a drug or drink in 16 years. Not a single sip, not a single substance mind, mood altering substance in my body in, in 16 years, this past August
Mike: 2nd. Excluding caffeine. Excluding caffeine. That’s true. Okay.
Yeah. Caffeine, I should say that. That would be the knee plus ultra of that to quit everything. Plus caffeine. Yeah, caffeine. I mean that you’re actually an Android or a reptilian or something.
Michael: I am a, a caffeine addict. I will say that. But uh, but yeah, so, you know, going back to the process of creating the brand, you know, I think that is my process.
I literally, I do a menu. I go on these runs to help me be in a space where I can think clearly and focus, uh, and I do that best running. I don’t know why, but I do. And then I write it down and then I create a mood board so I can begin to take the sort of vision in between my ears and actually make it tangible for other people to see, um, and for myself to see.
Mike: And one question I wanted to ask you is, are you scratching your own itch? Are you basically creating restaurants that you would like to eat in?
Michael: I think it’s a combination of both. I alluded to that earlier. You know, I definitely use my personal preference in motivation because anything that I’m not personally excited about, I can’t fake it.
Yeah. So I tend to, but I will say this, like I also said earlier, you know, I’m a listener, a really good one, and I bartended for years. And I think what made me a really good bartender was the fact that I actually listened to what people were saying. I’m not gonna say that I was one of those bartenders that was like a therapist and people would come to the bar and spew their, you know, but when I say I listened to what people were saying, like I know what people want.
I was able to, uh, figure out what people wanted. And when you came to sit at the bar with me, I never put a menu in front of you, ever. I never let you look at a menu. I would say, just let me. Give you the experience that you want that you didn’t even know you wanted. And most people would immediately trust me by saying, by me, saying
Interesting. So you would size someone up and say, oh, I know exactly what to make to this person. Yeah, pretty
Michael: much. In my industry it’s called reading your guest. Right? So in the restaurant industry, obviously if there’s somebody that walks in the room and I know that this person is impenetrable because I’m able to read that person, I totally.
Don’t take the reins, and I let them choose their own adventure, of course, but in most cases, I have confidence enough in my ability to connect with someone, to make them trust me very quickly that I, I would either verbalize the menu to them because I also believe in sales, it’s very, very, very, very important to know your product in and out.
And that’s another thing that anybody listening, like, you know, you cannot wing facts, right? Like if you’re a car salesman and somebody asks you how many, you know, is that a V6 or a v8? And you’re like, uh, let me go ask my supervisor. They’re not gonna want to buy a car from you. It’s just that simple. If somebody asks me what ingredients are in the rigatoni ragu, and I’m like, uh, let me go ask my manager, they’re going to be like, this person is.
Useless. So in sales, in anything, understanding what you’re selling to the best of your ability, cuz some people are able to retain information better than others, but actually put in the work so that you can have some grounds to stand on is so important If you want to be successful in sales.
Mike: That applies to copywriting as well, which is selling just in a different form.
That’s an old copywriting tip. I mean, I first came across it shit, it might have been in scientific advertising, Claude Hopkins written in early 19 hundreds. But that’s a must do as a copywriter is exactly what you’re talking about, is learn everything you can about what it is that you’re. Including all the boring stuff, all the dry stuff, not just the sizzle that other people have created to sell it.
But no, get to the first principles here, get to the primary documents of what this thing is, how it works, all the technical specs, if it, if it has technical specs, how it functions. And that can be very effective grist for the marketing
Michael: mill. Yeah, I mean, look, I think, you know, if you really look at it as like survival, you know, like if you’re on a deserted island and there’s two people there, and one person is like collecting wood, building a hut, fucking climbing up trees and, and, and ripping out bark and sucking on the inside of the bark because that person knows that that specific tree bark is nutritious.
Like, you’re gonna get close to that person if the other person’s sort of like drinking the salt water. You know what I’m saying? So it’s like, you know, it’s almost basics, but some people feel like they can just wing it and those people end up finding out that like, You just need to know the product. If you want to be good at it, if you want to excel, you need to know what you’re selling.
And so I believe in that. And then that confidence is so far stretching because people want to be taken care of in most every aspect of life. People, I think motivation for 99% of people on the planet is avoidance of being uncomfortable, right? Like they just don’t wanna be uncomfortable. And so if you are able to offer a level of comfort that that brings that person closer to comfort, they’re gonna flock to you.
And so I always knew the product, uh, inside and out. However, I will just say that like the culmination of what I love and listening to what other people want, uh, brings me to most of the businesses. Most of the business solutions I’ve created
Mike: over time. Yeah, that makes sense. I think we could go all day if we allow the conversation or just pinball it to all the different things that we find Interesting.
But I want to wrap up with one other question regarding cooking hacks, cause that’s just been sitting in my mind. I’m curious if you have any other just quick and easy tips to share with people for making simple food tastier without adding a bunch of calories. Yeah. So
Michael: one thing that I’ve implemented into my kitchen is spray oils as opposed to, uh, just regular olive oil or coconut oil or avocado oil or, you know, I, I just don’t use any vegetable oils ever, so I would just eliminate vegetable oils from your, from your pantry.
That’s my personal preference. But, uh, I like spray oils. You can control them a lot more. You use far less when you spray oil onto an ingredient as opposed to just, Pouring, you know, way too
Mike: much oil out. That, uh, just makes me think of something you mentioned earlier, which is that yes, fat brings out flavor, but you don’t need as much as you might think.
And there’s definitely a, a point of diminishing returns where a little bit of fat is going to dramatically increase the flavor, but a lot more is not necessarily going to increase it a lot more, you know? Totally.
Michael: And another thing that I think I would just say, you know, cooking hack. I don’t know if, if it’s a hack as much as it is just simplifying things and getting people to feel a little bit more comfortable, but there’s not a single vegetable in the world that you cannot just simply put on a roasting tray spray with a little bit of oil, a little bit of salt, stick in your oven at somewhere between 3 75 and 4 25, and pull out about 20 minutes later and have it be delicious.
What are some of your favorites, cauliflower. Broccoli, eggplant, sweet potatoes, beets, leaks. You take leaks and you cut leaks in half and you clean them. And then you can either keep them halfed on the rack or you can quarter them and just put them sort of like flesh side up, a little bit of oil, a little bit of salt, and you let them roast in the oven.
They’re unbelievable, like totally unbelievable. You can do it with whole onions at same exact thing. And the beauty of it is heat creates, uh, a caramelization process, which actually brings the sugar in these ingredients to the surface. And when they’re in their raw form, you’re not activating that caramelization process, so you’re not actually able to really taste the sugar that is in the ingredients.
If you bring heat to it, add a little salt to bring out the real, to really enhance the flavor, and then add a little bit of fat. Allow your taste buds to appreciate it more. You’re taking something that would be like if you took a piece of cauliflower rod and and chewed on it. It’s not very tasty.
However, roasted cauliflower is. Delicious, like absolutely delicious and eggplant. I mean, you take a whole eggplant, you wrap it in some aluminum foil. You put a little bit of olive oil on it, but you don’t need a lot at all. And you put it in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the eggplant at 400 degrees.
You pull it out, you unwrap it, you slice off the top of the eggplant and the bottom of the eggplant. You slice down the center of the eggplant the long way, and then you open it up and butterfly it. Put a little salt on the inside. It is one of the best things you’ll have. It’s unbelievable. It’s just delicious squash as well.
Oh yeah, squash. I mean, sort of like I said, any vegetable, any vegetable that you wanna do tomatoes, you cut a tomato in half, you know, raw tomato is hasty with a little bit of salt, but a roasted tomato with a little bit of salt is just a different experience. It’s, it’s a, it’s just a different experience.
And so anybody who’s like, I don’t know how to cook vegetables, here’s what I’m, I’m here to tell you the magic number is probably 400 degrees. Any vegetable, you take a head of cauliflower and you break it up into florets about, you know, an inch or, you know, you can make ’em bigger if you want, and you spread ’em out evenly on a roasting tray.
You do the same thing with broccoli. You do the same thing with romanesco. You do the same thing with asparagus. You do the same thing with, you know, you just, you take the vegetable. You put a little bit of oil and a little bit of salt on it, and you stick it in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the vegetable.
Sometimes like with an eggplant, with a big eggplant, it’ll be like 40 minutes and you pull it out and you’ve added very little calories to the actual ingredient. It just tastes a hell of a lot better, and you do it in bulk, and then you put it in your fridge in a Tupperware, and you’ve got vegetables that you’ve just easily cooked.
It took no time for three to four days, and it’s delicious, and it’s nutritious and it tastes really good. You know, I think that that in itself is a game changer for anybody that is looking to sort of get more into eating vegetables. And by the way, if you do it with fruit, I
Mike: mean you’ve got dessert. I was gonna ask about dessert.
Michael: Yeah, you do it with fruit, but what, what I will share with you guys is my final meal of the day every day because I do have a sweet tooth and I do love myself some dessert, but I’ve come up with a really great hack for, um, a last meal of the day. That is, I’ll tell you exactly the macros on it so you can just see the way I do it.
So my meal for is 251 calories, 22 and a half grams of carbs, six grams of fat, and 30 grams of protein. I. Uh, 16 ounces of ice, and I’ve gotten the ice down to a science because I want it to be the consistency of ice cream. So I take 16 ounces of ice, half a cup of frozen blueberries, a scoop or a scoop and a half of your favorite protein.
I would try thrive because the shit’s the bomb and it tastes really good, and I use the Thrive Vanilla Flavor double checks in the mail.
Mike: Thank you. Thank you.
Michael: I probably get some shit for this, but there is a, an ice cream. It’s a plant-based ice cream called Arctic Zero. I’m sure it’s not. Yeah, I’ve seen that.
I’m sure it’s not very good for you, but it actually doesn’t taste bad and it’s got like no calories, so I take a half a cup of that. So I’ve got my scoop of protein powder or scoop and a half depending on where my protein is for the day. I’ve got my half a cup of Arctic zero chocolate peanut butter ice cream.
I’ve got a half a cup of frozen blueberries. I do a cup of coconut milk and uh, and 16 ounces of ice and about a teaspoon of cinnamon. And I put it in my blender and I blend it, and it is the perfect dessert for me. It’s sweet. It’s got volume, so it’s like a lot. It’s filling and it gets me my protein and I tend to train fasted.
And so when I’m, I train fasted in the morning, and so when I’m not in prep, I will add a half a banana to it just to give me some more carbohydrates so that I have something to work with in the morning. But because I’m in prep, I don’t have those extra carbohydrates, but. 250 calories. It’s all pretty much good for you.
Outside of potentially some ingredients in the Arctic Zero that are
Mike: questionable? I haven’t looked at the ingredients. I’ll have to check it out. I’ve just seen it in the grocery store, but I gave up on low calorie ice creams a long time ago. Not because I think they’re unhealthy, but I just, I don’t get enough enjoyment out of it.
I’d rather just get the real thing and eat less of it, honestly. Yeah, I
Michael: mean, my problem is the eating less of it. Uh,
Mike: yeah, no, I understand. That’s why I just don’t eat ice cream that often. Like if I’m gonna eat ice cream, it’s likely. I guess a half a pint is where I could be like, all right, that was, if it’s less than a half a pint, it’s not,
Michael: no, it’s not like a scoop or two.
I just can’t even
Mike: ask that. Yeah. It’s not even, although like I can take a piece of chocolate and not feel the desire to eat more and actually find some satisfaction in just taking a piece, maybe two pieces of chocolate, not the case with ice cream. Yeah. Yeah. Half a pint is, you gotta go at least, but I’m with you.
You really gotta go all the way, which just means that I don’t eat ice cream that often.
Michael: I’ve also fallen in love, like if I’m craving something, if I’m craving some sugar throughout the day for whatever reason. Um, I always have a, there’s a chocolate company called Hugh Kitchen.
Mike: My wife loves their cashews and they are good.
I, I have to say, so
Michael: I always have a bar of their salt. Dark chocolate in my fridge and I’ll just take a piece of it. Totally satisfies me in the moment and I don’t need
Mike: more. Exactly. Same. That’s funny. We’ll snack on the, have you tried their chocolate covered cashews? Oh yeah.
Michael: I, but, but those are dangerous.
Mike: dangerous for me though. I know. They’re so
Michael: good because I can, I can plow through a pack, like a half a pack of those easy in a, in a, in a, in
Mike: a sack. That’s a, a great dessert tip. I like the, taking the, the ice cream by itself, I’m assuming is, is not that great cuz most of the low calorie ones are not.
It’s like, it’s,
Michael: it’s very airy. Yeah. One last thing I’ll say to anybody listening, and I know that you get a shit to of listeners here, if you are looking to, and this is just something that I, I, it’s just mere. If you are looking to change the way you eat, cuz you’re eating in an unhealthy manner more regularly than not.
The best tip I can give anybody is simply don’t have the
Mike: shit in your house. Yes, I’ve talked about that. That is the ultimate diet hack right there. That is it. If it is not there, just don’t make yourself look at it. Just start
Michael: there. If it’s not there, you’re not gonna eat it. And like, once you get into the habit of like not taking that turn in the supermarket, the turn that I mean is the turn down the aisle of the shit that you really, really want.
You just walk past the aisle, maybe
Mike: the ice cream, uh, maybe the frozen like desserts,
Michael: the chips aisle, the the cookie aisle, the ice cream aisle. Like if you just make it a point to just say, you know what, I’m not gonna walk down that aisle. You will be surprised how quickly you’ll be able to train yourself into not.
Eating crap if it’s not available at all times. The amount of people that have put on weight in this lock. Are insane, and it’s because they’re either ordering food online or just spending a lot more time in the supermarket than they have in the past. And you know, those supermarkets are designed strategically.
Mike: Yeah. Scientifically, there’s a lot of work that goes into exactly what you’re describing. Oh
Michael: dude. There, it’s not like they’re, you know, like they just place things arbitrarily. Like everything is purposely placed. You know, there are companies that specialize in trying to get people to eat. More crap food
I mean, I’ve spoken about that. I actually had, we were talking about sugar, salt, fat, like we were earlier in the interview. That that’s the name of a book. Is it Salt, sugar, fat? Uh, I don’t remember, but Sugar, salt, fat. Yeah. Yeah. But written by a, a journalist, I believe is Journalist by Trade. I had ’em on the podcast just to talk about the process of researching that book and kind of just go over a lot of the, the key takeaways of the book.
And one of the things that struck me when I read that book and stuck with me is the amount of money. I mean, I. It’s not surprising when you think about it, but it just was a little bit surprising when I read just how much money and how much of a science it really is. Like you give some good examples in there about the amount of work that went into crafting the Cheeto, for example, to make it perfect.
The guy who did it was so proud of it. I believe I, I’m remembering that correct. I think it was the Cheeto was like seven or eight points that he was that, that they were engineered about this food ranging not just from the taste, but. To the crunch to how it melts in your mouth. And there were several other things, and again, that was crafted scientifically.
And what do we know? We just pick up the Cheeto and eat it and we just want to eat more. We don’t know why, but there might have been, depending on the food, there might have been hundreds of millions of dollars that has been spent over the course of decades getting to what you have in your hands, like in the case of Doritos, for example, or, or other brands that have been around for a long time and they’ve made a lot of money.
And of course the easiest way for them to make even more money is to make their stuff even more delicious. And so the science of, and it’s art as well, but it has very much become a science of making stuff as palatable as possible is, is very advanced. There’s, it’s, it’s interesting. It’s not surprising again when you, when you look at how much money is in play, but it just goes to reinforce the point you’re making of, you’re at the mercy of all of that when you.
Buy the Doritos and you think, oh, I’ll just have one or two, and then you end up eating the whole bag. It’s not that nec, it doesn’t mean you’re a weak person or you don’t have what it takes to lose the weight or to maintain the body composition you want. It just means that the food science industry is very good at what they do.
Michael: It’s so crazy. I mean, there’s so many documentaries that you can watch on like Netflix that walk you through the the process, which is just totally ridiculous and scary. Totally,
Mike: but real. Totally. Well, um, hey, this was a great interview, Michael. I appreciate you taking the time. And why don’t we wrap up with definitely telling people again about your podcast in case they didn’t catch that early on, and where else people can find you, wherever you want to send them.
What is it Instagram or is it something else? If you have any business related things that you want people to know about, any people in upstate New York who wanna check out your next restaurant, maybe.
Michael: Well, my podcast is Borner made, Michael Chernow. You can find it on, you know, pretty much anywhere you, you get your podcast, iTunes, you know, apple Podcast, iTunes, Spotify.
I’m at Michael Chernow pretty much everywhere. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. You could definitely follow along my, uh, my journey there, or you could check out my website, michael chernow.com. Uh, and I have a bunch of, you know, stuff about my business life, my personal life, my fitness stuff, the meal planning that I’ve used in the past.
I have on the site. I can’t thank you enough for having me on the podcast. This was so much fun. As for the usual, you and I could probably talk for days without taking a
Mike: break. The longest episode ever, 10 hours.
Michael: So, yeah. You know, I wanna thank you for putting out the great content that you put out. It was what drew me to wanna reach out to you in the first place.
And, uh, the fact that you’ve been able to inspire me, and I’m sure millions of others, cuz I know that your book sells itself and, you know, and your books sell themselves. So it’s just inspiring man, and that’s really impressive and I just wish you well and, and I love the supplement, so I, I will continue to use all of them.
Yeah man, let’s just stay in
Mike: touch. Thank you. Absolutely. I’m flattered and I love what you’re doing. I love the, the creativity. It’s always fun to see that ia cuz that’s, again, that’s one of the more interesting aspects of business to me is the marketing and is that creative element to it. So it’s very cool to.
Speak with somebody like you who does it on a high level. So thanks again, and I look forward to the next one. We’ll have to figure out what the next chat could be about for. All right. Well, that’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful. And if you did and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening to me from in whichever app you’re listening to me in.
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