Improvising a healthier cuisine, with Chef Paul Canales

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Meet Chef Paul Canales. Paul operates two celebrated restaurants in Oakland, Duende and Occitania. An early fan of our Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat, Paul gives us a peek behind the scenes of cooking with our favorite flour, and a peek inside the mind of diners and consumers looking to food to promote their health.

This podcast is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services.

Dr. Jeff Bland:

Well, here we are once again at the Immunity Big Bold Health Podcast, and I can’t tell you how this is an exciting moment. Once again, I am so fortunate to have these extraordinary people to have these conversations with, and you’re going to be able to be valued, I think, in this conversation, because our podcast key opinion leader today comes from a source that I have never had the privilege of actually interviewing. And that’s someone who is a master chef, is a founder and owner and operator of a very successful restaurant, Duende in Oakland, California. My sister lived in Oakland for 30 years, she’s now in Marin, but she was always taking me to different restaurants in Oakland. That was a very interesting and robust community of all sorts of different ethnicities and different cultural opportunities, and Paul has got a history that I will be sharing with you, and he will share as well.


But let me just say a couple of words as to why I think this is so opportune as it relates to immunity. Immunity is an interesting concept, isn’t it, because we often think of it as a system in our body that just fights against foreigners like bacteria or viruses. I think that’s a very simplistic view of what immune function is all about, because we now know the immune system is in constant communication with everything in our lives. It’s in communication with our relationships. It’s in communication with our environment, with exposure to various toxic molecules. It’s in communication with our exercise. It’s in communication with our sleep patterns.


So when we think of immunity in the broader context, which I think the proper context, we have to look at it as to, what are all the information events that are impinging upon our immune system that are creating, then, the function of our immune system as we move along through the journey of life? And asking about our immune system in that context changes the way that we might even think about conversing with people that are opinion leaders, people that are innovators, people that are agents of change in disciplines that you would say are far removed from immunity, but maybe actually what they’re doing has an impact in each one of our own immune system in ways that we never imagined.


That’s why I think Paul Canales is such an interesting person to talk to, because he is one of those agents of change that has been that agent of change in his own life, but it’s also impacted many other lives in the process, in a very positive way. So let me just quickly introduce his background. As I said, master chef, owner entrepreneur, but he comes actually with a very broad kind of landscape upon which he paints this part of his career. He was a liberal arts guy, a major in college, explores all sorts of things from philosophy to literature, traveled the world and did all sorts of explorations, was involved with fitness and competitive athletics, engaged in many, many different things that relate to taking his knowledge base and applying it to marketing and sales-related activities.


Ultimately, then, coming back in and grounding himself in where he has been in residence, as first a chief chef in a major Italian restaurant, introducing a whole different kind of cuisine by what he calls experimental cuisine, or impromptu cuisine, that uses the best things available at the time to create new recipes. Very creative way of approaching being a chef. Now, moving that into his own restaurant.


But this story of the restaurateur in Paul is just part of the dynamic of his holograph of the major things that he has done in his life. So Paul, welcome to the Big Bold Immunity Podcast. Thanks so much for giving your time to this. I guess we should start off, now that I’ve given a broad brush descriptive explanation of you, but much better coming from you. Tell us how you ended up here at Duende, and this innovation that you’re doing in your restaurant.

Paul Canales:

Well, first, Jeff, thank you so much for that lovely introduction, and it’s a tremendous honor to be with you. As I mentioned before, you’re a beacon of light in the world that I recently came across in functional medicine, which you’re thought of as the father of, personalized medicine, now immunity rejuvenation and regeneration if you will. All these things have changed my life in radical ways, in a very short amount of time. So I just want to acknowledge that and thank you for all those years of hard work. I’m very familiar with your biography, and I do love the picture that Mark Hyman points of you walking around with your binders and data. I love that because I’m similar in a way. I can’t get enough information and input.

 

I think you’re an improviser as well. You mentioned that I do impromptu things, more than being a foodie, I’m not really a foodie by identity. Food is what I do, but it’s where I have the opportunity to create and improvise, and I’ve done that with sports, and music, and academics, and marketing and business. I was certainly unorthodox there, and that served me quite well. So at the core of it, I’m an improviser and a synthesizer in a way, and I think what you do, what I admire so much, is you take vast amounts of data and synthesize it in ways that just a normal guy like me can understand and take action on, and I think that’s a very special thing. So thank you so much for having me on and to be part of this.


Back to what you were saying, yeah, I’ve gone through lots of different things in life. I’ve had the opportunity to be a competitive athlete, and to be a scholar of sorts, and a musician, and be in business, and got to go to Stanford to study, and just things like that. So I’ve had tremendous opportunities, and all along the way, I was an achievement junkie, if you will. And we’ll get into what that does to your health later in our conversation, because while it’s wonderful in many ways, the health is not probably first and foremost when you’re thinking of all those things.


But during all that time, and I just want to say right off the bat, I’m not shy to talk about, is I had some underlying genetics that led me to a path of addiction to alcohol and heroin. As it turns out, I was never a very good drinker but I certainly could function quite highly with other substances, and of course some of their resulting behaviors. But what’s fascinating about that is coming to grips with that some almost 28 years ago, really set me on a path that leads to where I am today in terms of changing my life, changing my career, honoring what’s important to me and ordering my life in ways, putting the most important priorities first.


Although probably the most important priority, my biology, I didn’t quite put first, other than stop getting in the way of it by putting things in that didn’t quite work well. So I think that’s how I got where I am. And I always wanted to do my own thing. All those things, we talked about, sports and music and academics and these things, you have to have a core understanding and fundamental facility with, but then at some point, you find out if you have a point of view, or if you have something to say, you could say it that way. And if you have a voice, you think about that in terms of music or sound or things. And then you start to create and improvise and develop your own thing.


And I would say that takes about 10 years, to really practice and copy and learn and work through before you develop your own thing. That’s about the amount of time it took me before I was ready to open Duende. So, that was a whole process of learning, and I changed my career at 33 years old to become a cook, and then eventually, because of these other accomplishments, rose relatively quickly in all of that. Using my academic penchant and ability to put my body in the way of things and make things happen, I eventually became a head chef, and was interested in all aspects of cooking, starting with butchery and where is this food coming from? Can I butcher any animal? The answer is, yes, I can now. Can I clean and fabricate any fish if you gave it to me? The answer would be yes.


And, where are all these foods coming from? So can I act and think like a butcher? Can I act and think like a fishmonger? Can I act and think of these farmers where this amazing organic and sustainably raised food is coming from? Can I act, and think, and honor that in a way? So, that really became the basis for my creative expression, from the fundamental firmament of technique and things like that.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

Well, first of all, you are being very humble. You did go to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, which I guess arguably is considered one of the finest culinary schools in the country. So you’ve never taken any of these things lightly. It sounds like everything you’ve approached, maybe even your abusive habits, you approached with full-in-

 

Paul Canales:

Yes. I was committed.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

… to learn whatever you needed to learn.

 

Paul Canales:

Yeah. For real, I was definitely committed.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

Yeah, and I think then to take what you learn, I’m going to steal from Malcolm Gladwell now, and to become an expert, right, in what you need to learn, which takes ten thousands of hours and then, to create a new path from that expertise in the case of some self abuse issues that led you to a path to say, “Okay, been there, done that, know what its liabilities are. Now, I need to recreate myself in a different way.” And I think it’s that kind of attribute and skill that you possess, or maybe if it’s not a skill, it’s a motivation that’s deep down within you, that differentiates a successful journey in life from one that might get high-centered and end up being sidebarred.


I think there’s so many individuals, unfortunately, that when they get… We all get sidebarred at times. So, I want to say no matter who we are, we get sidebarred, but it depends on whether you’re high-centered indefinitely or you can find a way to turn that into a positive experience and create the next opportunity for yourself. And I think your story is one that really exemplifies that.


So, if we think of the immune system as expressing either the joy or the sorrow of life, the immune system has an attitude. So, you feed it information from which it responds back to you, and we feed it in multiple ways, but certainly the way you’ve been feeding your immune system is feeding back to you now a certain sense of joy for the process of living. And I think that’s really the message that we’re trying to get across through this immunity-focused podcast, is that the immunity is more than just the white cells coursing around our body and preventing infection. It has all sorts to do with how we feel, act and look each day of our lives, and I think you exemplify that.


So, I feel very passioned by your willingness to share your experience, which then leads, actually, down into how you manifest some of this multiple touch points in your life into the ethnic cuisine, this Basque cuisine, which pulls from your genetic heritage into how you expressed yourself in your restaurant.

 

Paul Canales:

Correct, so that’s kind of the point. I really love the idea of having a touch point to work from creatively. And you said it about the immunity system. I mean, the fact that it turns things on and off, and it has all these things. Well, it’s the same way with cuisine, really, because one of the things with choosing a cuisine in this case, Spanish Basque cuisine, for me, I’m not interested in really making what I might consider museum food, which is these recipes in this way. I mean, I’m in California, I’m in the Bay Area. Everything I get comes from within 100 miles. It’s really an incredible place. Why would I be locked into something that’s some hundreds and thousands of miles away, except for as a place to jump from and to start with?


There are all these beautiful regions in Spain. It’s not just the Basque region, but Catalonia, and Valencia, and Andalusia, and all these wonderful regions and they all have different growing seasons. They all have different things that express themselves in terms of produce and techniques and traditions. So all those things can be learned about and studied, and you can travel there and eat. I would say, if you’re interested in cooking, eat well, and then ask what they did to make that happen. That’s the best way to learn, rather than standing in a kitchen and peeling onions in the corner, although I’ve done that.


I would say, so using those sorts of things as a touch point, and then creating your own cuisine from what comes in the door, or in many ways, what’s left of an animal. So if we take the humble pig, amazing pigs from a biodynamic regenerative farm in the Central Valley and this pig comes in and we start immediately with the legs. I mean, those are the things that are going to go first. The lighter muscles that we think of as light-colored are fast twitch muscles, those are the muscles that have less myoglobin. They’re from locomotion, they move the animal around. Whereas the shoulders are going to be quite a bit darker, they’re the weightbearing part of the animal, and they carry, the most weight and they got to move. The legs don’t really do much. They just get things going. So they’re quite light. As lighter muscles, they’ve got to be used more quickly and used right away.


So as we work our way through this animal, we’re really cooking with leftovers. So we start with one thing and then we’ve got something else. Then, we say, “Okay, now we’ve got to use the chops,” or, “The bellies,” or, “We’ve got to use the skin,” or, “We’ve got to use the shoulders.” That’s the way with all these animals that are so fun to work with, and it really gives you the opportunity to not get stuck with buying pork chops or lamb chops or whatever, and garnishing them. I mean, you can do that at home and there’s nothing wrong with that. I do it myself at home. But it’s much more interesting to be integrated and deeply involved with these animals that live an amazing life and have one bad day, and how can we honor them?


The same thing with this produce. I mean, these farmers are… People think of these farmers as some way, somehow vanity projects, but these people are working hard. Like your friends the Beers. I mean, this is a life of passion and hard work. So how can I best express what they’ve done for me in a very simple and straightforward way, but provide enough technique and value so that people will pay you to do it? Because I have to get a certain amount of money for these products in order that I can pay these farmers and these ranchers to do things in a nonconventional way, which is much more expensive than using tilling and all sorts of destructive ways of farming.


So for me, that’s really what drives me. This background, the study part of it is the context, and then the rest of it is really improvisation with what’s available in season, and what comes in the door, and what’s left over from animals.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

Wow, I’ll tell you, that description, I’m glad we captured that on video. That was a lesson plan. That was an extraordinary concentration of a lot of life experiences that you’ve had. One thing that you said though, from my nutritional biochemistry perspective that I’d never thought about, thank you, you just gave me a gift, and that is what makes those weightbearing muscles have the darker color? And what makes them so is that they have iron in them. And where is the iron concentrated? It’s concentrated in the iron of cytochromes that are called cytochrome P450s and oxidative enzymes that are producing energy for the animal through mitochondria. So those are the mitochondrial-rich tissues.


So, if you think about energy density, those are where a lot of the metabolic energy is really being produced in those tissues. So it’s very interesting to think about the physiognomy and the physiology that connects together the kind of food we eat with their origins in the process of their production in the animal or the plant.

 

Paul Canales:

Well, now, if we could just take that idea that you just shared with us, and we think about what you’re doing with Big Bold Health and all the things, what you’ve done by going to Dutch Harbor and finding the leftovers, and you’ve created something amazing from leftovers. I was really excited to hear you’re using the whole of the plant because I was going to have you send it to me if you weren’t using it. Because that stuff… I mean, you’ve got [inaudible 00:18:23] all these various things that are super valuable and nutritious, but let’s just talk about… And these are things that our grandmothers knew, or maybe our great-grandmothers.


So for example, we take the shoulders, and the shoulders are rich and you braise them. Now, if you go to a culinary school, they’re going to tell you this. But your grandmother already knew that, or your grandmother’s grandmother already knew that. They didn’t need to be told that. And generally those braises and hardier things are eaten in the winter, but not only. I mean, obviously you’re not only slaughtering animals in the winter. So you’ve got to be getting those things you spoke about, that mitochondrial nutrient density, it’s got to be coming even in the cooking process, because it’s going into the liquid, if you don’t put too much liquid. So it’s got to be captured there somewhere, it can’t all just evaporate in steam or whatever.


We think in this country the best thing would be the middle meats, like tenderloins and the psoas majors, the tenderloin and the longissimus that runs down the back of the animal, the chops and the loins and things. Well, they’re very light and they’re delicious, they’re nice but they’re very mild in flavor and I think that’s why people like them. They’re typically more tender, because they don’t do much in life. They’re not really going to have a lot of purpose, so they don’t do a lot, hence they don’t need the energy that you’ve spoken about.


Everybody wants that, but I want the skirt steak. I want the diaphragms. I want the hearts, and the livers, and the only asymmetrical muscle in the animal, which is the onglet or the hanger steak. All these sorts of things, and the shoulders. I want the more interesting things with the collagen, which turns to gelatin over time and temperature, and all these fascinating, that make very suave sauces. You know? So, all this thing is really important and again, back to nutrition, if we have good animals, we have a good source, then you can provide, sort of insinuate into people’s lives health, because no one wants to go to a Spanish health food restaurant. Maybe they do, but I don’t know how to market that. But what I can do is get them in and they’ll say, “Why is this so delicious?” and then I can have a conversation. They’ll say, “Man, I feel great.” Well, there’s a reason for that. You’re not eating garbage, you know?

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

Well, again, this is just so fascinating. You’re a wonderful storyteller for this amazing way that you conceptualize your work and what you’re doing. I’m wondering, then, about the demographics, about the people that come to your restaurant, because they must be drawn… my mother used to say, birds of a feather flock together, right? So what kind of people do you attract into your restaurant? I’m sure it’s a variety of different types, but is there some kind of a unique personality archetype that you would say is the frequent customer at your restaurant?

 

Paul Canales:

Well, that’s a great question, and I think what I did with Duende is I wanted it to make it broad, and fun, and interesting, I had a chance to make my own thing, so I wanted to make it fun and inclusive. As a matter of fact, when you come to visit, and I say, when, because it’s not that far if your sister’s in Marin, and by the way, great podcast with her. I really enjoyed that last year.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

Oh. Thank you.

 

Paul Canales:

She’s quite a character in her own right, but when you come to visit, and Trish of course, you’ll see on the wall it says Sangre Igual meaning… And it’s not even a real term. It just means equal blood. So, what I wanted, this was at the time of Obama versus the gentleman from Utah, I can’t remember, but at the presidential election, Obama’s election, first, and my friends who would be Republicans on the right side and my friends who would be Democrats on the left side, and everybody on either pole couldn’t really talk to each other and you didn’t have to talk to each other, because you have your own information source. You don’t even have to get an opposing point of view anywhere.


So I decided that when people walk into Duende, they’re going to see this idea, and it will insinuate themselves into their consciousness that we come into this world and we go out of this world equal blood. And what changes me from my wife might be a chromosome, and there’s very little that’s really different. Not to say personalized medicine isn’t critical, it is, but I’m saying if we can all just step back for a moment and find that there’s much more in common than we have a difference. And that’s really proven out over the last 10 years in both wonderful and terrible ways.


But back to your question, so there are these hardcore food types that come in, that really know me, they know what’s going on, but I don’t really know enough people to keep a restaurant busy. So, it’s important that other people come in just randomly going to a show at the nearby theater. And I wanted people to bring their own kids in. So, it’s highly accessible, but from a demographic point of view, Bay Area diners are very smart. They’re well-informed, almost too much in some ways, in the sense that you can be too conceptual and less experiential about things. But I think that we have a very broad demographic from older to younger people, and walks of life, all ethnic demographics. And again, I think most people want to have fun and enjoy themselves, and that’s what we’re trying to do, and then the serious stuff is happening behind the scenes.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

So I’m wondering also about, you mentioned your suppliers and these sound like they’re a very interesting, unique personality identity group as well. Those that bring both the animal products and the vegetable products to you within the 100 mile radius. So, is there some kind of a characteristic that you’ve learned about them and how you relate what you’re doing in your restaurant to what they’re doing in their farms and ranches?

 

Paul Canales:

100%. So they’re all incredibly resilient people, regardless of whether they’re older farmers, say, maybe of the baby boom era and a little beyond, or they’re younger, even in their 20s, coming out of Davis, maybe, or Santa Cruz and other places, and just farming a few acres and getting their start. Or leasing a couple acres of properties somewhere. But they all have a tremendous resiliency and passion, and a care for important things like soil and soil development, and really trying to express these vegetables and animals in the best possible way.


I have a wonderful guy that I get beef from up in Ukiah, California and he thinks of himself as a grass farmer. He doesn’t even think of himself as a beef rancher, because he’s got these amazing grass. And if he can keep his grass growing and water it throughout the year, then he has high-protein, high-nutrition grass, and not hardened-off brown grass that doesn’t really do much for the animal.


So, they all have a resiliency and a passion for expressing what they’re trying to grow or build in a way that… And they’re all a little quirky and kind of fun. Typically I don’t use a farmer or a rancher that I haven’t been to visit their ranch or seen their farms, because I really want to verify and know what I’m seeing. There are some people out there who are less integrous than others. I don’t really come across them, but I know they exist. So other than the Beers I’ve been to most places, and I plan on visiting the Beers sometime.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

I know they’d love it. Their small, little artisanal farm has been such a pleasure to get to meet them and what they do, and see their passion even to their roadside stands where they sell their Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat in the Saturday markets, it’s really fun. But you just touched something in me that I wanted to share with you and share with our listeners, and it relates to exactly what you’re talking about. I had the privilege, now, the better part of 25 years ago, I guess, of being a member of the Coleman Natural Meat’s scientific advisory board. Mel and Polly Coleman were fourth-generation cattle ranchers in Colorado, in the Saguache area. They had the highest elevation cattle ranch, I believe, in the United States. It was 11,000 feet.

 

Paul Canales:

Wow.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

And they had an experience with their meat, which was being produced by traditional methods, of take the animals after they were a certain age, and take them to feed lots, and grow them up and sell them. But one day when they were doing demos in one of the markets around Denver, Polly Coleman, the wife, had all these little samples on toothpicks and she was eating them throughout the course of the day, and she had some kind of a reaction at the end of the day when she was leaving. It was like a serious allergic reaction, and she never had that before. She wondered what the heck it was that she had been exposed to.


And then, she was reproducing those reactions in subsequent times they did demos. And suddenly she said to her husband, Mel, she said, “Do you think it could be something that we’re doing in the raising these cattle, that is causing me to have this adverse response to our own meat? We’re trying to tend to it passionately and committed to quality, and what’s going on?”


So they made the decision that they would start raising their cattle without giving any veterinary drugs to them, and on natural feed and grass-fed, no feed-lot finishing with traditional feed. When they did that, the first year, she had no more problems with the meat. And they started selling this. It was a limited amount at first, and then people started saying, “Whoa, the flavor is so amazing, and I’m feeling a lot better when I eat this meat.” So they grew up this business, and then they started to certify the Coleman process, this natural… They were the first company… And actually we argued with the USDA to get the natural meat designation. That was a whole other chapter in my life. I won’t bore you with that, but that was kind of interesting.


But one day I was up there visiting them, and they said, “Well, would you like to go up and visit one of our satellite ranchers that has a ranch right next to us up in the Saguache?” And I said, “Yeah, that would…” My wife and I were there together, and I said, “That’d be fantastic.” And as we were driving up in their four-wheel, they said, “You got to know that this person, he’s in his late 80s, he’s been ranching for all these many years. His ranch was originally so remote it was hardly even able to get to it. Now, we get to it on a dirt road with a four-wheeler.” But this is a great story, because he’s been married to the same woman now for over 45 years, that he met because he was told some 50 years ago that there was a new schoolteacher that had been brought from Missouri to teach in the school that was 30 miles away, that was the most close school.


So he said, “Is he a young ‘un?” They said, “Oh yeah, she’s a filly. She’s great.” So, he got on his horse, and he rode over to the school and waited until she came out, and said, “I’m such-and-such, and I’m a dedicated rancher here, and I hear you’ve been looking for some people to meet. I would love to meet you,” and ultimately, that led them getting married and she moved onto the ranch.

 

Paul Canales:

Wow.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

So that was the context of driving up there. And as we arrived… Now, if you can imagine, this is just a beautiful setting up against the Rocky Mountains, and as we drove into the valley where their house was, the Colemans were explaining that he had built this whole house themselves, and everything that we saw was their own hard work, their hands and labor. And as you drove in there, you could see this was an octagonally shaped home, very architecturally unique. It looked up, the windows, it had an upper story with windows, it looked right up at the big 14,000 foot mountain above them. It was the most picturesque place. And as we drove into the place in front of the home, here was the older gentleman, the rancher, with a pick and shovel out in front of their house, digging a very big hole.

 

Paul Canales:

Wow.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

So, as we came up, it was one of the quintessential moments in my life actually, and we stepped out of the truck to walk over to him to be introduced. He stopped and he came over to visit the Colemans, and he said, “I’m so glad you’re here because this is a day of celebration.” And Mel said, “Oh, what’s the celebration?” He said, “My wife died last night, looking out of the window of this room in the home that I built for her when she got sick, so she could sit in the bed and look out at the mountain. And I’m burying her today, and it’s so great to have friends that I’ve known for over 50 years here to celebrate her passing.”


I thought to myself, there’s so many parts of that story, about humans, about who we are and how we display who we are in the world. Even if it’s displayed in a very small way, it has a big ripple effect on how we connect together. And it was a lesson. As I left, my wife and I drove away, we were never the same after. It really, it taught us all sorts of lessons.

 

Paul Canales:

My God. I mean, I’m tingling just in your retelling of it. It’s a stunning story, and beautiful, and just the imagery that you shared, you were at a sacred moment, really and it just shows-

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

It was, and I could recognize it, he and his wife both saw that the cows that they produced that went into the Coleman system were part of the extension of their worldview, right? Which was self sufficiency, honesty, hard work. I mean, those were not just steaks that were coming off those animals, those were a whole expression of philosophy. And I’m not a really big red meat eater, but it really just gave me the reverence and respect for this whole process.

 

Paul Canales:

Well, and what you just said is super critical because in our country, we think a steak is something that comes in a plastic Styrofoam tray with a pad under it, that’s now colored red so that it doesn’t look like all the stuff that’s exuding from the animal, that once was an animal, and they don’t really know the story behind where that animal came from or why it even existed on that ranch, and if it was finished in a way that is careful and thoughtful and raised, or whether it’s just sent to a feed lot. I mean, I’m sure you know about the condition of PSE and BSE.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

Yeah.

 

Paul Canales:

That’s why they invented those little sop systems in those trays, because those stressed animals would exude a little moisture and it had to go somewhere, and it wasn’t appealing to see a tray of exuded liquid from a stressed animal. Non-stressed animals don’t do that.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

Yes.

 

Paul Canales:

But your story is beautiful, and thank you for sharing it with me. It’s very touching and I feel changed by it myself, just hearing it.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

Well, let me segue if I can, because you somehow, and that’s an interesting, I’m sure, story as well, got involved with this Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat, which is not a usual crop, and it has a certain flavor profile to it. It’s not as neutral as… It’s not even a grain, it’s a seed.

 

Paul Canales:

Right.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

Because of its high phytochemical content, its immune strengthening nutrients, it has a flavor that makes it very, very unique. But somehow you got interested in it. How did that happen?

 

Paul Canales:

Well, we have to go to how I ended up in the whole interest in health in the first place, because I got to you, of course, through your podcast with Dr. Mark Hyman, and I was catching up on him. About a year ago, my sister shared with me Dr. Mark’s podcast. So, I started listening, I think, “Oh, wow, this guy is really interesting and engaging. He’s super funny.” And I noticed immediately he had a tremendous talent to take complex things and make them interesting, funny, or a turn of a phrase that is a certain kind of… There’s a certain cleverness in that.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

Yeah. Yes.

 

Paul Canales:

To take something complex and give it a funny name. And he also has a wicked little sense of humor that appears corny, but if you hang with it a minute, it’s quite deep at times. So, I started listening to that. And I had motivation. I was approaching 60. At this point, I was 60, but approaching 60, I started having some physical, weird things happen, like I was carrying something and tore the long head bicep tendon of my arm, and I’d never done that before. I mean, it was an awkward sort of a situation, and I tore that. And then, I had a funny thing in front of my home where I stepped off the curb and had my heel drop and I overreacted, and tore the belly muscle of my calf. I’d never done these things and all of a sudden I…


So I have a really good friend, who’s a physical therapist and I called him up and he said, “You know Paul, you’re getting old.” I didn’t know about inflamm-aging, and certainly I didn’t know anything about immunity and doing anything about that. And also my pants were not fitting correctly, and if I did know about the waist to butt measurement, I would’ve been certainly obese, over 10 or at least 10 or more on that measurement. So, I had motivation.


So getting back to how I learned about this, I’d been listening to Mark Hyman, and I did his longevity roadmap and learned about Levels in that, and their work in using CGMs to understand blood sugar. All of a sudden, I’m finding out that all this amazing organic, beautiful, artisanal made food, not all of it might be good for me. Eating a one-inch slab of sourdough bread for breakfast and watching my blood sugar shoot to 160 and then needing to go for an immediate walk to make it go down. Or, and if I didn’t, it would kind of hang up there and come down to 140.


So, that was a rude awakening. Then, I just started learning a lot. So, on my first trip to get my first COVID shot, I’m catching up on… I start at the beginning of things. It’s probably not surprising to you. I’m a completist. So I started at the beginning with Mark, which was 2018 or ’19. By the time I catch up to, I guess it was April 2020, it’s now March 2021, and there’s this guy named Jeff Bland. I think I’ve already learned about Sid Baker, but now there’s Jeff Bland. And you come on and I’m literally in a line of cars at the Oakland Coliseum waiting to get my first COVID shot. And you come on.


So I’m listening to this during this long line of cars while I’m waiting to get this shot, and they start talking about immunity, and you’re talking about immunity as even a precursor to inflammation and everything. And you had me at the word plasticity. I don’t know if you remember, but you spoke about the plasticity of things, and I had learned about that at Stanford, about cognition, the plasticity of our nervous system making language possible and all sorts of fascinating things. So I’m listening to you and I’m hooked.


Then, you’re talking about phytochemicals and the nutrients, and I know about this because I know about dandelion greens and cynaric acid in cardoons and artichokes, and how those things can be good for you. And that bitterness that you alluded to in Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat, which is quite pleasant by the way, it’s not a barrier at all to enjoying that, unless you’re going to… You’re not going to lick a battery, so why would you just lick Tartary buckwheat?


So anyway, my immediate reaction was, “Where do I get this? How do I get this?” At that point, you didn’t have a Big Bold Health website, but I went to your website… Don’t tell my kids. I was in the car doing this, like this on my phone while I’m in line, while you’re talking, because I got to get this buckwheat. I’ve got to find out what it’s about. And I think your website took me to the Big Bold Health website. And at that point, it wasn’t available but what was available was the rejuvenation pills, capsules. So I immediately subscribed for those. And I was already interested in fish oil so I jumped into Dutch Harbor behind that. Then came Fire and Ice. And now, I know there’s something in the well behind that, and then there’s the rejuvenation shake, which I do, and I intersperse that with Mark’s Pegan Shake.


So anyway, that’s kind of what did it, but it was that one podcast that blew my mind. This guy, Jeffrey Bland. And again, that picture of you working with all this data and then synthesizing it into something that just an ordinary person like me can understand and take action on, got me very excited. And then I want to work with it. So I ordered it and started playing around with some things, and I got on the wait list and it came, and the first thing I might have made was Mark Hyman’s pancakes, but I didn’t want to make them sweet or with all the spices. I wanted to use them as a savory base. So I changed the thing quite a bit and made it almost like a blini if you will, but I figured it out, and used it instead of pasta to put a ragu on, or braise or whatever, and use it as the starch.


And then I watched what happened with my CGM, nothing. Beautiful. And regardless of dosage, actually, I mean, I imagine you could do something with dosage, and I say dosage, but you know, portion size. So, I’m like, “Wow, this stuff’s amazing.” and already I’m confronted with these ideas that Mark’s talking about. I’ve read Food Fix. What am I going to do in my own restaurant? How am I going to start implementing these things into my restaurant? And again, not to lead with my chin and have people not understand what they’re coming for, because I don’t want them to think they’re coming for a purgative experience at a spa. I want them to come for enjoyment. But then, I want to insinuate health into their lives and them have a good experience physically, emotionally and all of that, not just sensorally.


So, I started playing with the buckwheat and then I started posting things on the Mark Hyman Community Facebook page of things I was doing, because people are interested in that community. A pretty bright community, very health-focused. And no one had really gotten that flour yet. So I started posting things to promote it there, and things you could do with it.


Then, I started doing more of it and I needed more flour. So, it was interesting because I was going to send you a DM to your email or someone there, probably Trish would’ve intercepted it to keep me away from you, but… “We’ve got a live one here. Let’s keep an eye on him.” But Jennifer Saunders with Dr. Mark Hyman, his group, got me in touch with Trish, and that was really the beginning of starting to get excited about getting it in volume, and really starting to make some things. And I met with Trish and Michelle Babb, and I’m glad to share anything I do. Nothing is really original in this world, and we’re really working and standing on the shoulders of giants and working with things. And this is a new ingredient and it’s fascinating, but I’m working with core competencies to build it on.


So that’s what really got me started with it. By the way, after just a couple months, my allergies were gone. I had always had random hay fever and things. When I took your test, I had an angry immune system. Now, I could take it and not have that. So I wanted to bring this more into my own life, and then bring it into the lives of the people in my restaurant. So it’s been a process of figuring out what to make contextually, and now, the first thing that’s finding its way onto the menu in scale will be on our Christmas Eve menu, and it’s a buckwheat crepe made with just the HTB and egg and a pinch of salt. And you could use milk, I used almond milk for just those purposes.


Because I don’t want to just use buckwheat as an ingredient, because I could make great buckwheat pasta with 50% white, organic artisanal white flour, but I’m not really in that world. I’m trying to use it without anything. And no gluten-free flours that are filled with starches and things that will shoot your blood sugar to the bejesus. I’m really trying to get this down to essential form. So I start with 50% and then work out whatever I’ve added and see what I can make. So that crepe will be on the menu for Christmas Eve, and then this week I’ve got a big order going to our architects, and last night, I made a gratin that I shared with Trish. It was a cauliflower gratin with a béchamel that was thickened with the buckwheat flour.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

Wow.

 

Paul Canales:

And it was brilliant. My wife went crazy, everyone loved it. So I’m going to be doing this for this first order, which is going to be for 40 people on Friday. Then, we’re going to do a Christmas Eve meal that will be a to-go meal and I’ll make it for that as well, so people will get it in bulk there.


So I’m starting to use it in more ways, but I’m a little careful with it because I know it’s not something I could just get in a 50 pound sack, but I’m building with it. So that’s what got me started, was my own health journey. Then, that all led me to you, and I’m a completist of all the Dr. Jeffrey Bland products, and anything you put out. I hear you’ve got some interesting things coming using the hulls, and I’ll be looking for that as well, because some things, you can’t get everything directly from food, and you need some support. And I’m not interested in having the biohacker stack of things, but I will absolutely use the things that I know will get me a bang for the buck and the max benefit. And this immunity thing is brilliant, especially in this time when we need it more than ever, with COVID and all its buddies and relatives, and God knows what else is coming our way.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

Well, Paul, you have just been so inspiring, and I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated sharing this time with you, but also in collaborating with you, I think you’re going to take some of the things we’ve been working on. And now that I’m kind of this gentleman farmer in upstate New York, stewarding the developments in, I guess, the first time since colonial America of this ancient food, to have it in the hands of people like you that are so creative and so innovative, and you can tell the story better than I could ever tell it, because you’re telling it from personal experience, it’s just really inspiring to me. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you sharing both your experiences and your time, which I know is very valuable with all of our viewers and listeners.


I think there are going to be a lot of people that are going to take this message you’ve just delivered on many levels, not just the buckwheat story, but your story of your journey of life is very inspiring for all of us. So thanks so much, and we look forward to keeping in touch. And I see you as a fellow collaborator. We’re going to create mischief together in a good sense of the word.

 

Paul Canales:

I’m looking forward to it. Mischief is maybe my middle name, and maybe it was my original name. I’m not sure. So I’m interested, and it’s all for the good cause. So any way I can support 100%, and what I learn is yours as a gift for the return of my health, and all that you do for people. So it’s my pleasure.

 

Dr. Jeff Bland:

Wow. Thank you. Well, be well and we’ll be in touch, so appreciate it.


Paul Canales:

Take good care.


Dr. Jeff Bland:

Happy holidays.


Paul Canales:

You as well.


Dr. Jeff Bland:

Thank you.


Paul Canales:

Bye-bye.

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This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of COMPANY and our respective assigns, successors, heirs, and legal representatives. Neither this Agreement nor any rights hereunder may be assigned without the prior written consent of COMPANY Notwithstanding the foregoing, all rights and obligations under this Agreement may be freely assigned by COMPANY to any affiliated entity or any of its wholly owned subsidiaries.

 

Dispute Resolution

These Terms of Use shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington and any dispute shall be subject to binding arbitration in Bainbridge Island, Washington. If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.

 

Class Action Waiver

 

You may only resolve disputes with us on an individual basis, and may not bring a claim as a plaintiff or a class member in a class, consolidated, or representative action. Class arbitrations, class actions, private attorney general actions, and consolidation with other arbitrations aren’t allowed.

 

The arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person’s claims, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a class or representative proceeding or claims (such as a class action, consolidated action or private attorney general action) unless all relevant parties specifically agree to do so following initiation of the arbitration.

 

Severability

 

If any clause within these Terms of Service (other than the Class Action Waiver clause above) is found to be illegal or unenforceable, that clause will be severed from these Terms of Service, and the remainder of these Terms of Service will be given full force and effect. If the Class Action Waiver clause is found to be illegal or unenforceable, this entire Provision will be unenforceable and the dispute will be decided by a court.

Privacy Policy

Effective Date: March 2019

 

The following Privacy Policy governs the online information collection practices of BIG BOLD HEALTH LLC (“COMPANY,” “we” or “us”). Specifically, it outlines the types of information that we gather about you while you are using the www.bigboldhealth.com website (the “Site”), and the ways in which we use this information. This Privacy Policy, including our children’s privacy statement, does not apply to any information you may provide to us or that we may collect offline and/or through other means (for example, at a live event, via telephone, or through the mail).

 

Please read this Privacy Policy carefully. By visiting and using the Site, you agree that your use of our Site, and any dispute over privacy, is governed by this Privacy Policy. Because the Web is an evolving medium, we may need to change our Privacy Policy at some point in the future, in which case we’ll post the changes to this Privacy Policy on this website and update the Effective Date of the policy to reflect the date of the changes. By continuing to use the Site after we post any such changes, you accept the Privacy Policy as modified.

 

How We Collect and Use Information

 

We may collect and store personal or other information that you voluntarily supply to us online while using the Site (e.g., while on the Site or in responding via email to a feature provided on the Site). The Site only contacts individuals who specifically request that we do so or in the event that they have signed up to receive our messaging, attended one of our events, or have purchased one of our products. The Site collects personally identifying information from our users during online registration and online purchasing. Generally, this information includes name and e-mail address for registration or opt-in purposes and name, postal address, and credit card information when registering for our events or purchasing our products. All of this information is provided to us by you.

 

We also collect and store information that is generated automatically as you navigate online through the Site. For example, we may collect information about your computer’s connection to the Internet, which allows us, among other things, to improve the delivery of our web pages to you and to measure traffic on the Site. We also may use a standard feature found in browser software called a “cookie” to enhance your experience with the Site. Cookies are small files that your web browser places on your hard drive for record-keeping purposes. By showing how and when visitors use the Site, cookies help us deliver advertisements, identify how many unique users visit us, and track user trends and patterns. They also prevent you from having to re-enter your preferences on certain areas of the Site where you may have entered preference information before. The Site also may use web beacons (single-pixel graphic files also known as “transparent GIFs”) to access cookies and to count users who visit the Site or open HTML-formatted email messages.

 

We use the information we collect from you while you are using the Site in a variety of ways, including using the information to customize features; advertising that appear on the Site; and, making other offers available to you via email, direct mail or otherwise. We also may provide your information to third parties, such as service providers, contractors and third-party publishers and advertisers for a variety of purposes. Unless you inform us in accordance with the process described below, we reserve the right to use, and to disclose to third parties, all of the information collected from and about you while you are using the Site in any way and for any purpose, such as to enable us or a third party to provide you with information about products and services. If you do not wish your information to be used for these purposes, you must send a letter to the Online Privacy Coordinator whose address is listed at the end of this Privacy Policy requesting to be taken off any lists of information that may be used for these purposes or that may be given or sold to third-parties.

 

Please keep in mind that whenever you voluntarily make your personal information available for viewing by third parties online – for example on message boards, web logs, through email, or in chat areas – that information can be seen, collected and used by others besides us. We cannot be responsible for any unauthorized third-party use of such information.

 

Some of our third-party advertisers and ad servers that place and present advertising on the Site also may collect information from you via cookies, web beacons or similar technologies. These third-party advertisers and ad servers may use the information they collect to help present their advertisements, to help measure and research the advertisements’ effectiveness, or for other purposes. The use and collection of your information by these third-party advertisers and ad servers is governed by the relevant third-party’s privacy policy and is not covered by our Privacy Policy. Indeed, the privacy policies of these third-party advertisers and ad servers may be different from ours. If you have any concerns about a third party’s use of cookies or web beacons or use of your information, you should visit that party’s website and review its privacy policy.

The Site also includes links to other websites and provides access to products and services offered by third parties, whose privacy policies we do not control. When you access another website or purchase third-party products or services through the Site, use of any information you provide is governed by the privacy policy of the operator of the site you are visiting or the provider of such products or services.

 

We may also make some content, products and services available through our Site or by emailing messages to you through cooperative relationships with third-party providers, where the brands of our provider partner appear on the Site in connection with such content, products and/or services. We may share with our provider partner any information you provide, or that is collected, in the course of visiting any pages that are made available in cooperation with our provider partner. In some cases, the provider partner may collect information from you directly, in which cases the privacy policy of our provider partner may apply to the provider partner’s use of your information. The privacy policy of our provider partners may differ from ours. If you have any questions regarding the privacy policy of one of our provider partners, you should contact the provider partner directly for more information.

 

Be aware that we may occasionally release information about our visitors when release is appropriate to comply with law or to protect the rights, property or safety of users of the Site or the public.

 

Please also note that as our business grows, we may buy or sell various assets. In the unlikely event that we sell some or all of our assets, or one or more of our websites is acquired by another company, information about our users may be among the transferred assets.

 

Google Analytics

 

We also use Google Analytics Advertiser Features to optimize our business. Advertiser features include:

  • Remarketing with Google Analytics
  • Google Display Network Impression Reporting
  • DoubleClick Platform integrations
  • Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting

By enabling these Google Analytics Display features, we are required to notify our visitors by disclosing the use of these features and that we and third-party vendors use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookie) or other first-party identifiers, and third-party cookies (such as the DoubleClick cookie) or other third-party identifiers together to gather data about your activities on our Site.  Among other uses, this allows us to contact you if you begin to fill out our check-out form but abandon it before completion with an email reminding you to complete your order.  The “Remarketing” feature allows us to reach people who previously visited our Site, and match the right audience with the right advertising message.

You can opt out of Google’s use of cookies by visiting Google’s ad settings and/or you may opt out of a third-party vendor’s use of cookies by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page.

 

Facebook

 

As advertisers on Facebook and through our Facebook page, we, (not Facebook) may collect content or information from a Facebook user and such information may be used in the same manner specified in this Privacy Policy. You consent to our collection of such information.

 

We abide by Facebook’s Data Use Restrictions.

  • Any ad data collected, received or derived from our Facebook ad (“Facebook advertising data”) is only shared with someone acting on our behalf, such as our service provider. We are responsible for ensuring that our service providers protect any Facebook advertising data or any other information obtained from us, limit our use of all of that information, and keep it confidential and secure.
  • We do not use Facebook advertising data for any purpose (including retargeting, commingling data across multiple advertisers’ campaigns, or allowing piggybacking or redirecting with tags), except on an aggregate and anonymous basis (unless authorized by Facebook) and only to assess the performance and effectiveness of our Facebook advertising campaigns.
  • We do not use Facebook advertising data, including the targeting criteria for a Facebook ad, to build, append to, edit, influence, or augment user profiles, including profiles associated with any mobile device identifier or other unique identifier that identifies any particular user, browser, computer or device.
  • We do not transfer any Facebook advertising data (including anonymous, aggregate, or derived data) to any ad network, ad exchange, data broker or other advertising or monetization related service.

 

General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR)

 

The GDPR took effect on May 25, 2018, and is intended to protect the data of European Union (EU) citizens. 

 

As a company that markets its site, content, products and/or services online we do not specifically target our marketing to the EU or conduct business in or to the EU in any meaningful way. If the data that you provide to us in the course of your use of our site, content, products and/or services is governed by GDPR, we will abide by the relevant portions of the Regulation.

 

If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA), or are accessing this site from within the EEA, you may have the right to request: access to, correction of, deletion of; portability of; and restriction or objection to processing, of your personal data, from us. This includes the “right to be forgotten.”

 

To make any of these requests, please contact our GDPR contact at annettegiarde@bigboldhealth.com

 

Children’s Privacy Statement

 

This children’s privacy statement explains our practices with respect to the online collection and use of personal information from children under the age of thirteen, and provides important information regarding their rights under federal law with respect to such information.

  • This Site is not directed to children under the age of thirteen and we do NOT knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site. We screen users who wish to provide personal information in order to prevent users under the age of thirteen from providing such information. If we become aware that we have inadvertently received personally identifiable information from a user under the age of thirteen as part of the Site, we will delete such information from our records. If we change our practices in the future, we will obtain prior, verifiable parental consent before collecting any personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site.
  • Because we do not collect any personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site, we also do NOT knowingly distribute such information to third parties.
  • We do NOT knowingly allow children under the age of thirteen to publicly post or otherwise distribute personally identifiable contact information through the Site.
  • Because we do not collect any personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site, we do NOT condition the participation of a child under thirteen in the Site’s online activities on providing personally identifiable information.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule

 

The US Department of Health and Human Services provides:  The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically.  The Rule requires appropriate safeguards to protect the privacy of personal health information, and sets limits and conditions on the uses and disclosures that may be made of such information without patient authorization. The Rule also gives patients rights over their health information, including rights to examine and obtain a copy of their health records, and to request corrections.”

 

You acknowledge that our operation of the Site does not constitute the practice of medicine, and specifically does not create a doctor-patient relationship between you and Dr. Jeffrey Bland, PhD (the “Doctor”).  The information provided on the Site is for educational purposes only. 

 

Notwithstanding the fact that the Site does not create a doctor-patient relationship between you and DOCTOR, our preservation of your personal health information shall be HIPAA compliant.

 

For purposes of this Privacy Policy, “patients” are those individuals who have secured the in-person services DOCTOR.  If you are a patient of DOCTOR, you will be provided with a copy of DOCTOR’s HIPAA Privacy Statement, which governs the information collection practices of patients’ personal information by DOCTOR.

 

How do we store your information?

 

Your information is stored at the list server that delivers the Site content and messaging. Your information can only be accessed by those who help manage those lists in order to deliver e-mail to those who would like to receive the Site material.

 

All of the messaging or emails that are sent to you by the Site include an unsubscribe link in them. You can remove yourself at any time from our mailing list by clicking on the unsubscribe link that can be found in every communicaiton that we send you.

 

Changes to this Policy

 

This policy may be changed at any time at our discretion. If we should update this policy, we will post the updates to this page on our Website.

 

Questions About this Policy

 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding our privacy policy please direct them to:

annettegiarde@bigboldhealth.com