IN THE SPOTLIGHT WITH RYAN CARTER
You’re about to meet a very unique man. Ten years ago, he was fixated with the scale – exercising too much and not eating the right foods. He’s done a massive U-turn, put on some serious lean body mass, and is currently studying to be a nutritional therapist (AND a personal trainer). He shares his geeky knowledge bombs on his social platform @livevitae (which has racked up over 200k followers), and he’s on a mission to help others achieve optimal health.
Scatter that with some spirituality and good energy, and ladies and gents, you’ve got yourself a Ryan Carter.
Q: WHAT KIND OF DIET DO YOU FOLLOW?
A: I don’t follow a ‘diet’, I follow foods that agree with me and benefit me. But I eat natural whole foods, which can fall into the paleo and primal way of eating. Chris Kresser said a term the other day, something like a ‘plant-focused omnivore’.
Q: AH, WAS THAT JOE ROGAN’S PODCAST WITH CHRIS KRESSER AND JOEL KAHN?
A: Yeah it’s intense – and his podcast after with Dom D’Agostino and Layne Norton is great too so check that out.
Q: WHAT LIFESTYLE CHANGE HAS MOST IMPACTED YOUR LIFE?
A: If I had to pick one, it would be exercising – just from the endorphins. Whether that’s from yoga, pilates, weight training, sprinting or swimming, movement is built in us and it’s the number one anti-depressant there is.
Q: WHAT NUTRITION OR LIFESTYLE CHANGE HAS MOST IMPACTED YOUR LIFE?
A: Eating more plants, definitely. And it’s all about quality of ingredients for me, from start to finish – you know, how it’s moved, was it exposed to sun, what’s it been eating and drinking?
Q: ON THAT NOTE, WHERE DO YOU BUY YOUR FOOD?
A: I buy plants from the farmers’ market. If not there, from farm shops like Chegworth Valley. Failing that, it will be Planet Organic or Whole Foods. Meat-wise I’ll go to my local butchers, I like the one-to-one interaction of talking to them, and there’s several in my area. For seafood I go to my local fish shop, and then for staples it will be Whole Foods.
Q: WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE HEALTH OR BIOHACK?
A: Optimising light via my circadian rhythm. So that includes exposing myself to infrared light in the morning, sunlight during the day, and reducing blue light in the evening – by wearing blue blocker glasses, using an app on my screen…simple things like that.
Q: WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU WAKE UP?
A: Go to the toilet! I usually put on my infrared light (by Red Light Rising), and go on my vibrating platform – oh and at the moment I’m also doing some coconut oil pulling. Just to try it out as I haven’t done it before – I don’t have issues with my teeth, but I’m giving it four weeks just to see if it’s going to improve my gums or something like that. Because your digestive system begins in your mouth, so if you’ve got fillings or issues with your gums, that’s going to affect your microbiome.
Q: IS SLEEP IMPORTANT TO YOU?
A: Yes, it’s very important. And it can always be improved. I’m just as guilty as staying up late as anybody else, but I can accept the consequences for that and improve it.
Q: DO YOU USE AN OURA RING OR ANY SLEEP TRACKING DEVICES?
A: Yep I use an Oura Ring. I also switch off my Wi-Fi router. I don’t have any blue lights in the evening. My phone goes on airplane mode, and I have no loud music or anything stimulating like that.
Q: ARE YOU A FAN OF FASTING?
A: I am a fan of fasting, but on an individual basis. If it suits your schedule and your stress levels – fasting will increase your methylation and your phase-one detoxification, and your body has to handle that. I think generally everyone can benefit form a circadian fast (being 12 hours) and anything above that will be dependent on the individual.
But I do fast myself. I’ve done 24 and 36-hour fasts. They accelerate your AMPK pathway, which is good for your mitochondria and autophagy (cleaning up old cells). They’re a great tool, but it’s not really a tool for weight loss, it’s more of a longevity thing.
Q: WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO MEAL?
A: Steak, avocado, and green vegetables.
Q: WHAT DO YOU EAT BEFORE TRAINING?
A: It depends on the time of day and my schedule. I don’t have a pre-workout. Sometimes I’d have tyrosine, or maybe black coffee with rishi or lion’s mane, and MCT oil. Or sometimes I go just raw fasting.
Q: WHAT DO YOU EAT AFTER THE GYM – DO YOU ADHERE TO THE STRICT ‘HOUR WINDOW’ RULE?
A: I’m relaxed about that. If you think about how humans are, when we train it’s very stressful – so our stress hormones are going to be elevated, our body temp is elevated, our heart rate elevated, so we’re in a more sympathetic flight or fight state. So I like to wait at least an hour after training to digest a proper meal when I’m in a more rest and digest, parasympathetic state.
Q: WHAT FOOD COULDN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT?
Q: YOU’RE IN TOWN AND YOU’RE HUNGRY. WHERE DO YOU GO?
A: Blacklocks in Soho – it’s down in a small basement and they serve good quality meat from Warren Brothers in Devon. There’s a good vibe there and I know them.
Q: WHEN IT COMES TO NUTRITION AND FADS, WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST BUG BEAR?
A: Stupid influencers promoting crap for money.
Q: WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO?
A: Off the top of my head, a few people would be Layne Norton, Dr Ruscio, Dr Jack Kruse, and Max Lugavere.
Q: WHAT BOOK ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
A: It’s a book for my course about how to read a science based research paper. But the next book I’m reading is The Paleo FX by Dr Jack Cruz, and I’ve got a huge stack of books I want to read.
Q: WHAT PODCAST DO YOU RATE MOST?
A: With podcasts it varies – there’s about 40 different ones I’m subscribed to, and it really depends on the subject matter and who’s on as a guest. Again I’m a big fan of Dr Ruscio (and he’s got a great book out which is also on my stack).
Q: WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BEST PURCHASE OF £100 OR LESS?
A: Earth Runners which are the shoes I’m wearing right now – they’re sandals with a copper coil to ground you…and I don’t care whether they’re grounding me or not, but I like that they’re flat and supportive for the heel so you don’t heel strike. And they expose my feet to the cold, and I’m all about cold therapy.
Q: WHAT WERE YOU DOING AN HOUR AGO?
A: Sorting out a photoshoot at the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy clinic where I work.
Q: HOW DO YOU TREAT YOURSELF?
A: I have ‘Daily Habits’ on the wall, and I pick and choose which ones I want in the day – whether it be a cold bath, reading, jumping on a trampoline, training, a walk in the park. And it would also be in the gym, and on my scooter driving – I just switch off.
Q: WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE ON EARTH?
A: My home. It’s my cave.
Q: WHAT DO YOU THINK EVERYONE COULD BENEFIT FROM DOING?
A: Breathing more. We’re not taught how to breathe, and we do it average 23,000 times a day. So spend some time feeling where you’re breathing and where it’s going into your lungs and body. Sunlight as well – everyone should expose themselves to sunlight every day.
Q: WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WERE GIVEN?
A: Don’t be a dick. And slow down.
Q: WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT RIGHT NOW?
A: Short term would be my website. Medium term would be becoming a personal trainer. And long term would be living abroad somewhere.