Elite Ultramarathoner, Jeff Browning, is most often perceived as an outlier due to his extraordinary health, fitness and ability to compete at the top of the sport at the age of 52, but the truth is, Jeff has made lifestyle choices that prioritize his health rather than follow a path most people consider as ‘normal’. Truth be told, Jeff is what normal should be. Let’s dive in.

Jeff comes from a background that many would find surprisingly ordinary. Raised in a Midwestern farming family, Jeff's history is one not of genetic exceptionalism but of conscious lifestyle choices that have steered him away from the health issues that plagued his relatives.

Here are the talking points of this interview:

Background and Family Health History

  • Jeff comes from a Midwestern farming family, challenging the notion that his health achievements are due to special genetics.
  • He has a family history of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, with both parents and siblings initially struggling with weight and health issues.
  • Despite these challenges, Jeff has made significant health improvements, demonstrating that genetics don't have to dictate health outcomes.

Diet and Lifestyle Choices:

  • Jeff witnessed the negative health impacts of the standard American diet and sedentary lifestyle on his family.
  • While Jeff was always physically active he was influenced by an uncle who maintained good health through regular exercise and a healthier diet. His uncle stood out among other family members because he maintained his health as he aged which left an impression upon Jeff to adopt similar habits.
  • Jeff’s journey to OFM was one of transitioning through various diets, including vegetarianism, before committing to the OFM in late 2015. 
  • Jeff & OFM’s emphasis is to mainly use whole, unprocessed foods with an emphasis animal products.

Limitations of Vegetarian Diet:

  • Jeff was always hungry on a vegetarian diet.
  • He found his body composition was drastically affected on the Vegetarian diet and this motivated him to try different animal based whole food diets.
  • While OFM’s dietary recommendations center around consuming the “Whole Animal” for nutritional balance, this does not mean consuming a ton of meat. In fact, because animal based foods are so nutritionally dense, the amount a person needs is surprisingly small.

How OFM Transformed Jeff’s Health:

  • With OFM Jeff has optimized his body to burn fat, which has helped him to continue competing at the highest level in his sport. 
  • In addition to avoiding the health outcomes of his family, OFM got his Candida overgrowth under control and in remission. 
  • OFM allows him to consume carbs on occasion and without stress to yield the health and performance benefits he enjoys without his Candida flaring up.

Exercise and Physical Activity:

  • Jeff emphasizes the importance of regular physical activity, including running, weightlifting, and outdoor sports.
  • His exercise regimen aligns with natural human movement patterns and contributes significantly to his overall health.

Environmental and Sustainable Food Production:

  •  Advocates for supporting grass-fed ranches and local agriculture as more environmentally sustainable practices.
  • Challenges the environmental impact of monoculture farming and promotes understanding of natural systems and the importance of animal products in a balanced diet.

Personal Health Improvements and Insights:

  • Not only has OFM helped Jeff avoid the health issues prevalent in his family but it has kept him at the top of his sport and relatively injury free.
  • He emphasizes the role of nutrition to: 
    • Avoid pharmaceutical interventions 
    • Placing conditions like his Candida into remission without pharmacological means. (note: this is conditional. When appropriate pharmaceutical interventions are necessary to correct an acute case of a certain disease)

Advice on Genetics and Health:

  • Jeff and Peter make a compelling real world argument against the fatalistic view that genetics are one’s destiny through advocating for diet and lifestyle choices as tools to program our genes to work for us rather than against us.
  • Jeff and Peter discuss how a balanced approach to diet,one that incorporates animal products with a reduction in processed foods and sugars, combined with regular physical activity generate robust health and enhanced performance.

Sustainable Eating and Environmental Impact:

This podcast highlights:

  • The importance of whole animal eating for nutritional balance and sustainability.
  • The environmental benefits of grass-fed, grass-finished livestock and the negative impacts of monoculture on biodiversity and soil health which have profound impacts on human health.
  • Jeff Browning's personal journey from a familial background fraught with health challenges to a lifestyle that prioritizes health, sustainability, and active living, challenging the notion that genetics solely determine our health destiny.

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