Episode 147. A Conversation with the Happy Healthy Vegan

Show Notes

Ryan Lum, the Happy Healthy Vegan, joins Scott for a friendly chat about fitness, diet, and the challenges of honest debate in today’s online world.


“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” – Mark Twain

  • Scott originally came across the Happy Healthy Vegan—when Ryan was featured on the TV show The Doctors.
  • Ryan loves fitness, and recently achieved his long-time goal of dunking a basketball.
  • He had been a runner, and learned how to structure his training to achieve a goal.
  • He applied what he learned toward his new goal of dunking. He’d played basketball when he was younger. He quit during his forties and picked basketball up again as he entered his fifties. Ryan was never a gifted leaper but can now dunk.

Seeking the truth, or defending a bias?

  • Ryan says that people are more open-minded about a vegan diet now. Less so online. He rarely has haters approach him in person.
  • Trying to convince someone of an idea in the era of social media is a losing proposition.
  • Selling supplements is an indicator that a diet creator has an agenda.
  • When someone is under the power of a belief, they [can] become closed minded.
  • “Recent former vegans” often abandoned the diet because they went to extremes not central to the diet. Ryan’s never seen anyone quit veganism who approached it sensibly.
  • Veganism attracts people who seek restrictive diets. This is sometimes seen in people with body dysmorphia.
  • Diet mentality should be inclusive, not exclusive. We are hard-wired to seek food, not avoid food.

Being vegan is easier than ever

  • Ryan’s primary goal for the Happy Healthy Vegan is to show how easy, fun and normal being vegan is.
  • Being vegan these days doesn’t mean you have to give up much.
  • There are vegan options for indulgence food, like ice cream and burgers, that taste great.


More about Ryan, the Happy Healthy Vegan

Website  |  YouTube  |  Instagram  |  Products, Books and Tees


Diet Resources by Scott

Lean Without Trying: The Six-Day Vegan Diet  |  Physique After 50

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Episode 146. Three Simple Ways to Optimize Metabolism

Show Notes

Scott presents the latest clinical research into the body’s internal clock and makes practical suggestions on how to apply it for optimized metabolism and better physique.


Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a poor man.

  • The latest nutrition research has centered around chronobiology, the branch of science focused on natural physiological rhythms which has a bearing on weight control.
  • Diet trends focus on the short-term phase. Energy balance (energy in – energy out) results from long-term homeostasis.
  • Scott provides an overview of three general, practical ways to take advantage of chronobiology and work with our own internal rhythms:

1. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a poor man.

  • Front-loading energy intake earlier in the day makes sense in light of this research.
  • The research shows that a mis-timed feeding can have negative effects on metabolism.
  • Don’t skip breakfast.

2. Eat whole foods, mostly from plants, to foster a healthy gut microbiome.

  • Healthy whole foods—especially those from plants—support healthy gut microbiome.
  • Gut microbiota modulate internal clocks, which has a direct effect on fat storage.

3. Observe a consistent schedule: meal, sleep, wake, and even work-out timing.

  • Regimentation is important for optimized metabolism and therefore, physique.
  • How and when we eat seems to be as relevant as what we eat (assuming what we eat isn’t processed junk food).
  • Regular sleep and wake times helps optimize metabolism. Good sleep hygiene helps maintain a rhythm.
  • Scheduling should also extend to regular workout times if possible.



Challet, Etienne. “The Circadian Regulation of Food Intake.” Nature Reviews. Endocrinology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31073218

McHill, Andrew W, et al. “Later Circadian Timing of Food Intake Is Associated with Increased Body Fat.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, American Society for Nutrition, Nov. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5657289/

Bray, M S, et al. “Quantitative Analysis of Light-Phase Restricted Feeding Reveals Metabolic Dyssynchrony in Mice.” International Journal of Obesity (2005), U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22907695

Koike, Nobuya, et al. “Transcriptional Architecture and Chromatin Landscape of the Core Circadian Clock in Mammals.” Science (New York, N.Y.), U.S. National Library of Medicine, 19 Oct. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22936566

Min, Chanyang, et al. “Skipping Breakfast Is Associated with Diet Quality and Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors of Adults.” Nutrition Research and Practice, The Korean Nutrition Society and the Korean Society of Community Nutrition, Oct. 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3221832/


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Episode 145. Some Basic Guidance on Healthy Nutrition, with Dr. Michael Greger


Show Notes

Physician and nutrition expert Dr. Michael Greger talks with Scott about his research and offers some basic truths about diet and nutrition.


“Here’s the science. Do whatever you want!”

  • Dr. Greger noticed a big gap between what the science said and the diets people often follow.
  • The fitness industry fixates on the vogue diet of the day.
  • Keto is really just repackaged Adkins, but worse because people continue to eat that way long-term.
  • Low carb diets can be traced back to the 1850s, and keeps coming back.
  • What happens inside the body is what’s important.
  • Dieters can’t tell what’s actually going on inside by looking at the scale.
  • Ignore the scale. The scale shows weight loss but it’s water weight that’s lost first. The body then starts burning muscle for energy. Body fat loss actually goes down.
  • Vermont Inmate Study on experimental obesity wanted increase body weight by 25%. To get the same weight gain with a mixed diet, it took 140,000 calories. Researchers got the same effect by increasing fat intake by 40,000, showing the potency of fat for weight gain.
  • Whole foods that grow out of the ground make the best dietary choices.

“The more we can weigh our calories toward the morning the better.”

  • Greger’s new book discusses chronobiology, how exactly the same foods can be more fattening depending on the time of day they’re consumed.
  • There’s something to the old adage, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.”  The more calories are ingested earlier in the day, the better.
  • Cutting animal protein can raise cortisol levels. Increased cortisol has been associated with body fat gain.
  • Branch Chain Amino Acids increase insulin resistance. Whey protein is high in BCAAs.
  • The body makes all the carnitine it needs, other than in a very rare birth defect where the body doesn’t manufacture it.
  • Naysayers of plant protein say that it’s unavailable to the body due to cellulose. Chewing and the microbiome in the colon help by breaking it down.
  • Look at the evidence. Greger presents the scientific data to his followers and patients. They can do with it whatever they like. They can also choose to smoke cigarettes or bungee jump if they like.
  • Greger says he’s not interested in debating with ideologues to whom science doesn’t matter.


About Dr. Michael Greger

Dr. Greger is a founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He’s a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. He has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, testified before Congress, and was invited as an expert witness in the defense of Oprah Winfrey in the infamous “meat defamation” trial.

In 2017, Dr. Greger was honored with the ACLM Lifestyle Medicine Trailblazer Award. He is a graduate of Cornell University School of Agriculture and Tufts University School of Medicine. His book “How Not to Die” became an instant New York Times Best Seller. His more than 2,000 health topics are freely available at NutritionFacts.org, with new content uploaded routinely.


Order Dr. Greger’s books

How Not to Die

How Not to Diet

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Podcast


All proceeds he receives from his books, DVDs, and speaking engagements are donated to charity.


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Episode 144. Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Men

Show Notes

Scott discusses the benefits of therapeutic testosterone replacement therapy, its effects, the symptoms it treats, and how it widely differs from stacked steroid usage.

Coach Scott has lectured at Michigan State University on performance enhancing drugs and was referenced by the Canadian Government as an expert on the subject. He recently wrote a blog posted in T-Nation documenting on why he quit steroids. Accessible also through his website: scottabelfitness.com/quitsteroids


“There’s little point to adding years to your life if you can’t just as equally add life to your years.”

  • Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT, aka Hormone Replacement Therapy) is completely different than steroid use found in bodybuilding.
  • TRT [when prescribed and monitored by a physician] is safe and effective.
  • Testosterone is involved in many biological functions beyond sex drive; it affects mood, thinking, cognition, muscle and fat distribution, bone strength, and sense of well-being.
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can help men and post-menopausal women.
  • Testosterone production declines with age. That doesn’t mean it should be accepted and lived with if there are scientifically proven ways to treat it. Not doing so would be like not wearing eyeglasses [or contacts] to improve vision.
  • Symptoms of low testosterone: low libido, lack of enthusiasm, low energy and overall vitality.
  • A blood test can determine if you have low testosterone. Low T is often misdiagnosed as low thyroid.
  • Testosterone in the low normal range can produce symptoms. Some labs only label testosterone as low if it’s in the very low range. Borderline low T is often left untreated when TRT would help relieve symptoms.
  • The increased vitality resulting from TRT can improve adherence to training and diet strategy.
  • The positive effects of TRT may take a few weeks to exhibit themselves.


Morgentaler,A, “The Truth about Men and Sex.St. Martin’s Press, 2015.

Morgentaler A, Testosterone for Life. McGraw Hill, 2009.

Morgentaler A, Bruning CO, DeWolf WC. “Incidence of Occult Prostate Cancer with Low Serum Testosterone Levels.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 996 Dec 18;276(23):1904-6.

Morgentaler, A, “Testosterone replacement therapy and prostate risks: where’s the Beef?” Canadian Journal of Urology, 2006 Feb;13 Suppl 1:40-3.


Training Resources by Scott

Physique After 50
The Aging Proposition

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Special Episode. Remembering Andy Sinclair

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Show Notes

In this special episode, Scott pays tribute to the memory of his friend and protege, cover model Andy Sinclair.


In Loving Memory…


  • Fitness and physique model Andy Sinclair passed away suddenly two weeks ago. (Andy was the model for Smarter Sculpted Physique.)
  • There was a lot more to Andy than fitness. He was a “three-dimensional” guy.
  • Andy had a spiritual side he didn’t talk about much.
  • He did good deeds in private. Scott learned after Andy’s passing that he’d been monetarily sponsoring a boy in Africa. A neighbor just happened to notice Andy cleaning up other people’s litter along a nature trail near his condo.
  • As a schoolboy, Andy would often give his lunch to another student [who had none]. He won his school citizenship award several years in a row.
  • People from all ages—people Scott had never met—attended Andy’s memorial service. He was friendly to everyone.
  • Andy had a connection to nature. His nature photography was accepted within 24 hours by an online nature stock photo site that receives 300 applications a day.
  • He became more and more uncomfortable with the physical stuff. His social media posts of his own body were to encourage others to get fit for themselves and to engage in fitness in a healthy way, rather than to call attention to himself.
  • He had little interest in the concept of “more.”
  • What would Andy’s parting words be? Scott thinks he would say to be kind to your neighbors and be kind to yourself.

“Lone wolf, not lonely wolf.” – Andy Sinclair


In lieu of other remembrances, Andy’s family requests that donations be made to The Humane Society of Canada or The Salvation Army.

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