In this episode, I am talking with the Founder of Dry Farm Wines, Todd White. We discuss meditation, nutrition, fasting, biohacking and ketogenic diets, and of course natural wines. Learn more about a sustainable low carb lifestyle that includes mindful living while still enjoying sugar free wine.
Todd shares with us his journey from Atkins to the sustainable and moderate keto lifestyle he is currently living. He also shares his vast knowledge on the different versions of keto and his go to biohacking tools, such as cold plunges and saunas.
Mediation and fasting are two big players in his life and have been for over twenty years.
We also learn more about Dry Farm Wines. You can read our review of Dry Farm wines here along with videos showing you can drink their sugar free wine and stay in ketosis! They are the only natural wine company serving the European standards of purity within the states with tested alcohol percentages under 12.5 percent.
All this and more in this conversation with Todd, lots of great information you can use in this one!
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Watch the interview with Todd White on YouTube.
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Show Notes: https://healnourishgrow.com/podcastepisodes
Dry Farm Wines: https://www.dryfarmwines.com/healnourishgrow
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Nutrisense Continuous Glucose Monitor, $20 off with code HNG20
CONNECT WITH TODD
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Cheryl McColgan: Hi everyone. Today, I’m sitting here with Todd White, and I am so excited to speak to him because I have heard him interviewed multiple times in the past, and I have absolutely adored his product for years. You guys know, you’ve heard me talk about Dry Farm Wines 1000 times. I’ve done the experiment with drinking it and staying in ketosis, which is on my YouTube channel, so now I get to chat with the man that made this all happen. So welcome, Todd.
Todd White: Thanks, it’s great to be here. I’m looking forward to having a talk today about everything, low carb, keto, fasting, and sugar free wine.
Cheryl McColgan: Yeah, I’m super excited. We were chatting a little bit before we actually started recording and I was excited to learn that you are as big a proponent of fasting as I am. But for now, why don’t you maybe introduce yourself a little bit, tell people a little bit about your health background, how you came to this lifestyle and wanting to really lower your chemical load in your body, which is part of the way that Dry Farm Wines came to be. So if you can just talk a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are now.
Old School Biohacking
Todd White: Yeah, so my journey started more than 20 years ago. Before biohacking was a term, I was a biohacker, as you were one who was experimenting with dieting. So biohacking is a confusing term, some people don’t know what it means. I define it as the art and science of how we structure our behavior to have a positive impact or outcome on our neurological and biological outcome. Now the most common biohack is probably dieting, but biohacks could be meditation or fitness is a biohack, any influence we have on our physiological state and when we’re living a life of intention around this. And then biohacking can get crazier with brain treatments and so on and so forth, but at the most basic terms, it would just be a diet. So I’ve been a biohacker for more than 25… I’ve been experimenting with diet since I was in my 30s, and I’m now 60. And so for the last 30 or so years, I’ve been experimenting with dieting, and I started with the Atkins program, which was originally the OG keto diet, or what I would call modified keto, it’s not a therapeutic ketogenic diet.
And so I started experimenting with that as a way really to maintain the weight control that I wanted. And I knew I was sensitive to carbohydrate, as approximately 85% of people are. And so I knew that I was sensitive to it. And so for me, it was… I have to admit it was a bit about vanity, and…
Cheryl McColgan: Right there with you.
Todd White: Yeah, so I just wanted to look great and date beautiful people and this was sort of was my gem. I love Robert Iger. In his book last year, he’s the chairman, or was the CEO of Disney, he talked about his commitment to exercise at 4:00 in the morning, and he was saying, “People ask me why I get up at 4:00 in morning to exercise and… ” which I don’t do that. But he said, “It’s for two reasons, it’s for sanity and vanity.” So I can’t imagine a life from a sanity point of view personally, and I know you can appreciate this, ’cause I see you work out regularly, but I don’t work out for weight control because that’s relatively ineffective. I work out for mental stability because working out really gives us peace of mind and helps us with our mental health. So for both sanity, but there’s also the vanity element, of course, and particularly as you get older.
So I began experimenting… Dry Farm Wines came to be because I began experimenting. I’d done Atkins, and back in the day, this is before ketogenic diet was… ketogenic diet really didn’t come on to the radar for bio-hackers until about five or six years ago. It didn’t go mainstream until about two and a half or three years ago or two years ago, even when it went mainstream and really got attention of the public, but bio-hackers said, dedicated ones had started experimenting five or six years ago.
And as I said, I had experimented, even using the urine strips that Atkins recommended to judge whether you’re in ketosis. But the basis of his diet, while it was focused on being in the state of ketosis, it wasn’t a ketotic diet per se. It was more of a lifestyle diet, more of a belief around cardiovascular health and so on and so forth. It wasn’t until really Dr. Dominic D’Agostino and Dr. Tom Seyfried, out of the Boston College around cancer… And Dominic was working for the Department of Defense, and that ketogenic research really started to surface six or seven years ago in a very meaningful way, and Dr. Ken Ford at IHMC. And so there was… And so I started experimenting with a therapeutic ketogenic diet about five or six years ago. I was therapeutically ketogenic for about two years. The problem is it’s not really sustainable.
Cheryl McColgan: And that’s just maybe for people that… I think probably most of the people listening to this have a familiarity with what is sort of a day-to-day, just general health ketogenic diet as opposed to a therapeutic. But could you maybe make your distinction for that, just so people have that background?
Distinction Between a Therapeutic Ketogenic Diet and a Modified Ketogenic Diet
Todd White: Sure. So a modified ketogenic diet, which is really the Atkins diet and the diet that I follow today. I rarely have long periods of what I’d call therapeutic ketosis, but therapeutic ketosis is a very high-fat diet, where 70% to 90% of your calories are coming from fat, very low carb and very moderate protein. Now this is super easier to maintain if you’re doing intermittent fasting as I do, and we’re eating once per day. But the problem is, it’s not a very interesting diet. And so over time, it becomes quite boring, and we’re creatures of entertainment and pleasure. At our heart, most of us are somewhat hedonistic. We love the pleasure of food and the pleasure of living, and the pleasure of being in great shape and the pleasure of health. I mean, health…
Cheryl McColgan: And why not? [chuckle]
Todd White: For fast, mindful hedonist, right? And so I say a mindful hedonist, because we have to keep those pleasures in check and we have to keep those pleasures aligned. And the greatest pleasure of all is health, the greatest pleasure of all is our vitality. And you know the proverb of a person who is healthy has a thousand wishes, but the person who’s unhealthy only has one wish, right? And so if you’re hedonistic in behavior as I am, then… I mean, I’m in the wine business, as an example, and I love to drink wine, but all these pleasures have to be aligned with our health and have to be aligned with our vitality, which is why we sell these specific type of wine that, as you know, not only taste better, but they’re much better for you. Sugar free wine is the best.
Cheryl McColgan: I think that’s such an amazing way that you framed that and I just wanna kind of highlight that for people is… Because whenever I work with people, I always say, “Finding your why.” And for me, health and fasting, how I got into fasting is when I learned about the Nobel Prize for autophagy. and I have a lot of cancer in my family. I had personally had three surgeries for tumors that, thankfully, were not cancerous. But once I learned about that, that became my passion for keeping myself healthy and being able to help others. And so I feel like if when people find their why like that, like what you did with starting your company and how you’ve done all these things over the years, it becomes making those day-to-day decisions about limiting the hedonism part a little easier when you’ve strongly identified the why.
Todd White: Hedonism gets kind of a bad rep. I don’t think there’s anything wrong. In fact, I celebrate the enjoyment and pleasure. It’s just that the pleasures need to be aligned with a healthspan, an outcome of, I’m gonna take semi-retirement at 90. My current life plan is live to 100, and so I’m entering my sixth decade now, and so really what happens over the next 10 years will determine the outcome of the next 30, as the last 20 or 30 has had a tremendous impact on being 60, and so… But back to your question, a therapeutic ketogenic diet, which was historically used originally… Well, it was used actually with… Even the Romans were using fasting and deprivation, which took people into a ketotic state to… They knew that it was effective in dealing with people with seizures, and people that they thought were crazy, but it turns out they were just having seizures, and when they contain them and didn’t feed them, even the Romans knew that fasting had a very substantial impact on seizures. And then in the 1920s, the therapeutic ketogenic diet was used to treat children with epilepsy, who were not responding… Pre-drugs and then not responding to drugs.
Modified Ketogenic Diet and Fasting for Brain Benefits
Todd White: But again, having a therapeutic diet for anyone, in particular a child, is very difficult, but it’s a very high level of fat, very low carb and less than 20 grams of carbs a day, which is very low carb, and then a moderate protein. And so a modified ketogenic diet… And that will keep your… That will keep your beta-hydroxybutyrate in a blood-tested range of 1.5 millimetres to 3.5 millimetres on this kind of diet, right? You stay in pretty high ketotic state.
There are a couple of problems with it, from my perspective. One is the diet is not very interesting over time. It’s fun in short bouts, but it’s not terribly interesting over time. It’s socially very restrictive, and then I don’t like being in this cognitive state of very high ketone production for very long, and I’m in it right now, because my ketones are raging at the moment. I could feel them. They tingle at the top of your head. I can feel them in my brain, because as I mentioned to you before we started recording, I’m day three of a five-day water fast, so my ketones are very high, given that I was already ketotic before I went to the extended fast, and so I don’t…
When I get in this high ketotic state of, you know, I had to check my BHB, but I’m gonna guess right now it’s probably 1.8 or 2.0 or something like that, just based on the way I feel. I don’t like extending this for long periods of time because it makes me so focused and so myopic. The cognitive performance is so high that you become rather intense and you become intense to the people around you, and you become hyper-focused. And for me, that’s… While the performance, I appreciate, I’m not sure the people around me appreciate it. And it’s just I like to live on kind a peaceful, gentle sort of roll. And being that deep into ketosis is not exactly gentle. It’s just more go, go, go, which can be useful during certain times or certain objectives.
So modified ketogenic diet, which is what I’m on today, is moderate fat, calories somewhere around 40%, of calories from fat, 30% to 40%, more generous carbohydrate, so maybe less than 50 grams, and then still moderate, but more generous protein than what would be afforded on a therapeutic diet. And that diet keeps me in nutritional ketosis, which nutritional ketosis, by most people, is defined as 0.5 millimoles of beta-hydroxybutyrate on a blood test, and between 0.5 and 0.9, generally. And most people consider nutritional ketosis 0.5 or higher. Modified doesn’t take me up to the 1.2-1.5 range, it just does not stay right in that, just below 1 millimole. And so for me, this is kind of a perfect peaceful place, and it allows me… Along with fasting allows me to maintain the lean body mass that I want.
Higher Protein Version of Keto?
Cheryl McColgan: And just curious, since you brought up the more moderated fat in the modified ketogenic diet, one of the things that I’ve been reading a lot about lately and just learning more about is the ability for just protein intake itself to help maintain lean muscle mass, and I’m… Hopefully, I’m gonna make it to 60 one day, too, but right now, I just turned 48, and after you… In your 30s, all you do is lose muscle mass. So I’m just wondering if, since you switched to this more modified ketogenic one, you said before you were on the therapeutic, so you’re maybe eating more protein now. Have you noticed any effect with body composition or any changes other than not being as in higher ketosis level? Even while drinking sugar free wine?
Todd White: For me, not really, I haven’t noticed any. There’s a… Dr. Ryan Lowery has done with their institute in Florida, I can’t remember the strength training institute there, also keto. They’ve done a tremendous amount of published scientific papers on the loss of lean body mass or the addition of lean body mass based on the ketogenic diet. So there’s no evidence to support, from them anyway, that there’s a loss or gain of lean body mass at a certain point, at a certain point, even with calorie reduction. And one of the common questions I get is because I only eat once a day, and then people are like, “Oh, you’re crazy, man. How do you get enough calories?” I was like, “Actually, I don’t think about calories. In fact, if anything, I’d like to eat fewer calories.” So we know for sure that one of the only known methods or scientifically demonstrated methods to extend life span is calorie reduction. Now, there’s a whole set of problems associated with that as well. In fact, last night, I had a steam room at my house, and I had to get out of it about 8 o’clock last night because I was cold.
And so, which is a common side effect of extended fasting, and that Dr. Roy Walford, who’s now deceased, but was a very famous advocate and scientist for calorie reduction… And there was this calorie reduction society, which he led, and they were extreme calorie reduction, like eating 500-800 calories per day. And one of the common side effects is they were always cold. But when I think of calories, I wanna consume less because we know, as I started to say, that one of the only known methods to extend life span in organisms like mice or more particularly worms and yeast is calorie reduction, and so my goal was not trying to eat more calories. I don’t know, it seems to be working out alright on lean body mass. But it’s a gun show, that’s the fun of it.
Cheryl McColgan: [laughter] I love it. I’d have all my guests do that now.
Todd White: Yeah, yeah, yeah, so, boom!
Cheryl McColgan: That’s pretty good.
Keto and Muscle Mass Preservation
Todd White: So, yeah, it’s… I don’t have any issue with it. It hasn’t affected my ability to add muscle mass. I think there’s a thing for me, and we talk about it, ’cause my staff and I talk about these issues all the time. There’s a certain lean body mass for me, irrespective of what my muscle mass might be at, but there’s a certain lean body mass, particularly, I feel, around my middle section of my body, that if I reach fat mass that exceeds… In my particular case, it’s generally around… It’s around a weight point that I happen to know. And if I get above that weight point, I don’t have that lean tight feel anymore that I like. And I can feel it. And which is why… Everybody is different, everybody has a body type, men and women are different, women are different from other women because of hormonal balances and what… We’re all different, which is why I love the proverb “To feel is to understand.” And so once you feel your body, once you’re in touch with your body, and you know because you’re being aware of, and you’re paying attention, and you’re measuring it, and you’re quantifying those feelings with an outcome… And so for me, I know that if I can start to feel, if I’m not as lean as I wanna be, and for people looking at me, they can’t see any difference. It’s just that I feel that difference, which is the same reason that I do all these other bio-hacks, like I have an infra-red sauna and a cold plunge.
And all of these techniques that I employ, many of them have some solid scientific support around them and some don’t, but I decide whether or not to continue to employ these behaviors or tools or techniques based on whether I think I’m feeling better. And I’ll give you a great example, I stopped taking supplements probably seven or eight years ago. I eat raw whole foods that… I used to take this handful of $500 a month in supplements, and I had really expensive urine. And actually, after I stopped taking all these supplements, I felt better. I didn’t feel my body was that stressed, kind of processing through these things. Other than when I’m doing extended fasting I do take Robb Wolf’s salts, which have magnesium and potato potassium drinkables. It’s a powder. I take those because when I am doing extended fasting, I do get depleted of potassium and magnesium, which can cause cramping. And so I do supplement with some minerals during extended fasting. But other than that, personally, I felt better. And so that’s what worked for me.
More Plants on Keto
Just eating a whole raw diet, whole real diet, not raw, but a whole real diet. And for me, that gave me the nutrition I felt I needed, and so I just try to follow what makes me feel good. Generally speaking, to that note, I feel better, generally speaking, when I eat a higher plant-based diet. I eat meat, I eat fish, I eat protein, but I feel better if I’m eating a higher intake of plant foods. I don’t know if that’s your experience but for me…
0:20:40.9 Cheryl McColgan: I was a vegetarian for seven years. [chuckle] I’ve have experimented with many diets over the years, as you mentioned that you have as well and was a part of the whole low-fat thing. I don’t think I had a piece of butter for maybe 10 years or something, [chuckle] so that’s a little ridiculous, but… Yeah, I think the point is that really… And here’s what I think is beautiful about bio-hackers and people that are into experimenting with their own body, is that we all find kind of a point where we feel a little better. For me, I noticed that when I went on a higher fat diet, my brain felt so much better. And I have a background in neuropsychology, and so I’ve always been focused on brain function. So it was very interesting to me when I went to a higher fat and then also was in ketosis and the difference that I could really feel in my brain, so but what works for me. Maybe this… A little bit higher fat on keto might not work for everybody. A lot of people are experimenting with higher protein right now, for the reason I said, just trying to maintain…
Todd White: Carnivore, a ton of people are doing carnivore.
Cheryl McColgan: Yeah, so it’s like, I don’t know, you just have to try and see what works for you, and I would argue though that there’s a kind of a… I almost think people wanna be let off the hook with… They think that “Oh well, I might just need carbs.” It’s like, “Okay, you don’t actually need doughnuts or processed food.” I think there’s gotta be a wall there.
Todd White: No, you don’t. Carbs are not… Carbs are not a required quite nutrient, by the way, but they’re not required to live. And certainly, then we get into the type of carb, all vegetables are carbohydrates, so broccoli is a carbohydrate, but you’d have to eat a tremendous amount of it in order to have any material carbohydrate intake, particularly when you consider net carbs, which is fiber versus the overall carb content. And broccoli is very high in fiber, so you couldn’t eat enough of it to ruin your low-carb diet, you just wouldn’t want to eat enough of it.
Cheryl McColgan: Yeah, that’s definitely my experience, any kind of whole food-based carbs, not maybe potatoes that are overly starchy, but any of like high quantity…high quantity of vegetables, I’ve never had an issue with that messing with my state of ketosis even, I can go pretty high on natural food carbs and still…
Todd White: Are you active in doing… Are you doing blood measurement or…
Cheryl McColgan: I usually do blood. Yeah, and so I have…
Todd White: I mean on a very regular basis, like I don’t test unless I’m experimenting with something…
Cheryl McColgan: Yeah.
Todd White: I don’t do blood testing very often anymore. I used to be rabid about it and just like was all deep down into it as a lot of people three or four years ago, but…
Cheryl McColgan: Same, and because I write about it, I’d probably do it more often now than I would otherwise.
Continuous Glucose Monitor to Learn Carb Tolerance and Test Sugar Free Wine
Todd White: Sure. I have been wearing… Not right now, but I’ve experimented with three rounds of the levels, continuous glucose monitor…
Cheryl McColgan: Love it, yeah.
Todd White: Which just came out. It’s commercially available. I don’t know if you are familiar with it, but its… Dexcom was the… Kind of the standard in continuous glucose monitors, but it was super expensive. If you didn’t have a prescription for it, it’d be like $800. And the Levels, which is a private company, just rolled out in beta about six months ago. I don’t really know… I’m not sure they’re available to the public without invites yet or not, I’m not sure, but they distributed to a bunch of biohackers, and maybe they’re open for business now, I’m not sure. But it’s $99, and you insert continuous glucose monitoring in your arm, and then you can track your real-time glucose on your phone.
Cheryl McColgan: Yeah, it’s pretty amazing. I experiment with that a little bit, and I’d love to hear what insights that you got from using that. (nutrisense.io, $20 off with HNG20) It’s interesting to test sugar free wine while wearing a CGM.
Todd White: Well, I’m a bit disappointed to tell you that I didn’t get any real insights.
Cheryl McColgan: Oh, sure. [chuckle]
Todd White: Because of my diet and fasting protocol, I just…
Cheryl McColgan: It’s like a straight line.
Todd White: My glucose is really low for… I did gain some insights that some things that I were… Some things I was concerned… Let me give you a couple of examples, French fries, which I happen to like.
Cheryl McColgan: [chuckle] Who doesn’t? [laughter]
Occasionally Eating Foods that Aren’t “Keto”
Todd White: It’s just like a script. I don’t have to like them, but I eat them very sparingly. And now, because I’m really training right now. I’m not eating them at all, but I love fried potatoes. I just can’t… I just don’t eat a lot of them. But I was… It was interesting to experiment that some of the things I thought I might be eating would give me a glucose response, did not. And I’m not eating them right now while training, not because I’m concerned about the glucose response, it just leads me to sort of a messier diet. And right now, I’m in the zone, and I have some goals.
Pandemic and Keeping Healthy Habits
When we went into COVID, it was crazy, and so many uncertainties, but once that kind of settled out by kinda late May or early June, my group, we decided like, “Hey, we’re gonna live through this with some intention, and we’re gonna come out on the other side of it better off than we went in, and we’re gonna maintain our fitness, and if anything, increase our attention to diet and fitness so that we come out on the other side of this. If not, we’re gonna get that COVID weight that many people have, and we’re gonna kind of fall apart, and we’re gonna have to kind of start from this low place.”
I didn’t wanna do that, neither did my colleagues here, so we kind of collectively were supportive of each other, like, “Hey, we need to… ” In the beginning, we were all drinking a lot more. In the beginning, we were eating off program. In the beginning, we were just trying to numb out a bit, ’cause the whole thing was just so surreal. So we were doing that too, but after… I’d say after about May, late May, we were just like, “Okay, we wouldn’t be in this thing for a while.” And now we’re starting to have some visibility on it, we need to stay isolated, but at the same time, we got to stay in the program, or…
And, but I’ll tell you, the first couple of months, I think we were all just kind of eating more and drinking more and just a bit numbed out, but then it was like, “Hey, we want to use this time to live with intention and to come out on the other side of it better as an organization, and better as humans, and in better shape and condition.” And so that was sort of our journey and path with it. But it was a bit weird.
Cheryl McColgan: Yeah, but I love that idea of just living with some intention around this time, because we’re still not out of it, and it’s not too late to… If you have been off the rails with the food, or the drinking, or whatever, it’s always a new day to start over, so I love that idea.
Todd White: Well, today is the first day of the rest of your life.
Sugar Free Wine
Cheryl McColgan: Exactly, take advantage. So since you brought up your colleagues, maybe it’s a good time to shift into talking a little bit about Dry Farm Wines, and maybe you can give people some background. I always tell people how you do all this wonderful testing on the wines and they’re all dry farm, mainly European, which is… When we first found you guys, my husband and I, we’ve been to Europe several times, and we had always noted that when we were there and drinking natural wine, that we felt way better than when we drink wine here. And finally, over the years, putting two and two together, even before we found Dry Farm Wines, we just quit drinking American wines altogether. We’d only go for French and Italian and Australian, for the most part. Even better is when we can drink sugar-free wine like Dry Farm Wines! So maybe you could chat with everybody about why that’s kind of how your company runs as well. You test the wines, but they’re mainly European and for a pretty good reason.
Dry Farm Wines and the Differences between American and European Wine
Todd White: We don’t sell domestic wines. There are no domestic wines, so no sugar free wines in the US that meet our standards of purity and not… But let’s back up for… Because this is true about European wines and generally speaking, but… And generally speaking, they are… Just across the board, generally speaking, they’re healthier, but that’s not… That’s not a universally true statement. It depends on… There are a lot of variables there. There are 56 additives approved in the EU in winemaking, there are 76 approved by the FDA for the use in winemaking the United States. So not all European wines are better than American wines, just as a general statement, likely to be a little bit better. But what we do is take that betterment to an extreme, and so, but… Before we get to what we do and why that’s different, and why it’s important if you care about what you’re drinking, and why it’s important that you drink natural wine, sugar-free wines, whether you got them from us or not, natural wines is a confusing term. The consumers are like, “Aren’t all wines natural?” And they’re not, for the reasons I’m about to tell you. So what’s happened in the wine industry in the United States and around the world, but particularly in the United States, because in United States, we like to scale everything, right?
Cheryl McColgan: Yes.
The Majority of American Wines are Made by a Three Companies
Todd White: So everything could be bigger, bolder or better. And so we’re masters of scale, and in this case, we scale greed, and we’ve been the best in the world at scaling greed. So what happened in the wine business is the same thing that’s happened in the food supply. So there’s been massive corporate consolidation over the last 30 years, fueled by Wall Street money, where that you’ve got a handful of companies making almost all of the wine, and they’re making it in giant factories. Now, you don’t know that because these multi-billion dollar marketing conglomerates hide behind tens of thousands of labels and brands to confuse consumers. So the facts are… And everything I’m gonna tell you about the wine industry and what’s wrong with it and how to avoid it, it is all available on a Google search. There’s nothing here that’s proprietary or my opinion. It’s stated fact, and you can just do your own research, if you’re so inclined.
Fifty-two percent of all United States wines are made by just three companies, and the top 30 companies make over 70% of US wine. So when you go in the grocery store, into a bottle shop and you see hundreds of thousands of bottles down the isle of all these wines, most of them are made by just a handful of companies. Now, wine is sold in three ways: Story, label, or scarcity, right? Ratings, scarcity and ratings, which doesn’t apply to most wines that most people are drinking. Most people are drinking wines between $10 to $30. And so scarcity and ratings gets in wines that are $50, $100, $250 a bottle, this kind of craziness, which is completely unnecessary to drink great wine. So primarily wines are sold through the label and story. So you go in and you start looking for labels that make you feel good, or that you like, or maybe there’s a farm house in there and you’re thinking this wine’s coming from that little farm house.
That’s what they want you to think. In fact, most of these wines are made in giant wine factories in Central California, and these wine factories are multiple football fields big. They’re just enormous, as far as you can see, tank farms. And then most of them are located in a very concise section of Central Valley in California. So, that’s… So this greed, this Wall Street fueled greed, is what is causing these products to be made with up to 76 additives. Now, why doesn’t your customer or the public know about these 76 additives? Because the wine industry spends millions of dollars in lobby money in Washington DC to keep contents labeling off the wine bottles. In addition, nutritional information as well, but that’s not the worst of it. So there’s no nutritional information on the wine bottles, so you don’t know how many carbs are in it, you don’t know how much sugar is in it, those are the two things you’d be looking for.
Wine Labels Don’t Need Ingredients or Exact Alcohol Percentage
You know how much alcohol, but you really don’t know how much alcohol is in it. If you’re as concerned about alcohol as we are, we don’t sell any sugar free wines over 12.5%. Average American wines now are about 15%. Most of the wines I’m drinking today are between 6 and 9%. And because it surprises people, this is a real surprise to people when they hear the wine guy, who they believe is here to sell wine, say the following, “Alcohol is a very dangerous neurotoxin, and it ruins the lives of millions of people a year, and some people shouldn’t drink at all.” And so we try to think about alcohol as a way to tap into, you know, a higher state of consciousness around the dinner table or around opening our hearts with friends. Sugar free wine is a great way to accomplish this.
Sugar Free Botanical Wine
We don’t think of wine as checking out, we don’t think of using alcohol to check out. We think of using alcohol to tap in. And if we’re gonna tap into that space, we gotta be very conscious of the amount of alcohol we consume. Alcohol is a slippery drug. It’s what I call a domino drug, meaning that the more you drink, the more likely you are to drink more in the domino effect. So beginning with lower alcohol in the first place in the bottle is the best way to sort of maintain and control, without having fewer glasses, you have lower alcohol. So it’s a better way to control that domino effect. So we’re very… In fact, we’re about to launch… In July, we’re about to launch a sugar free wine… It’s a product we’ve made from wine, but it’s infused with holistic herbs and flowers. And the alcohol is actually six percent.
<Dry Farm Wines and Bolixir are tested to be sugar-free wine, with less than one gram of sugar in the whole bottle.>
Cheryl McColgan: Oh, wow. That’s incredible.
Todd White: And it’s amazing and delicious. And you can drink it all night long, and you’re getting all this wonderful effects from the polyphenols and compounds in wine and the magic and spirit of these herbs and flowers all together in one botanical elixir. And so it doesn’t taste like wine per se, but its foundation is the essence of pure natural, sugar free wine. But my point of saying that is that alcohol and of itself is quite wonderful and has been shown to be helpful in moderate doses. I promise most people who drink regularly don’t necessarily drink moderately. And so we think a lot about that, and we think a lot about the dangers of alcohol and how to use it in a healthy way, how to use it in a way that is going to enhance not only are our pleasures but enhance our consciousness and our spiritual communication with one another. I only drink at night. None of us drink in the day time.
Why Dry Farming and Natural Sugar Free Wine is Better for Wine and the Planet
I don’t recommend that people drink during the day time. And so it’s like we think of wine and the spirit of wine around the dinner table in a way to connect and create more love. And so wine is a way that encourages love, and any tool that you can find that opens your heart to vulnerability and makes you more emotionally accessible as wine does, then that encourages more love in the world, and more love in the world can only be a good thing. We’re coming up on time, so we could go down the wormhole of all the things, irrigation, genetically modified commercial use, they use in fermentation, all these things that are happening with commercial wines that you buy in the store that natural wines which are always organically or bio-dynamically farmed… In our case, there’s no irrigation, so they’re dry farm which… With our farms alone save 1.6 billion gallons of water a year.
Cheryl McColgan: It’s amazing.
Todd White: And so the better for the planet, the better for the wine. And then they’re fermented always with wild native yeast, not genetically modified commercially lab-grown yeast, and then they have no additives in them. And in our case, they’re also lower alcohol, and they’re all lab-tested for these purities. And so that’s the reason that when you drink these sugar free wines, you feel better and you feel different, a material difference from drinking a commercial wine, a material difference. You can’t go back to drinking commercial wines.
Cheryl McColgan: That’s definitely been my experience [laughter] with Dry Farm Wines.
Natural Sugar Free Wine Discount
Todd White: Sure. Mine too and everybody else’s. And so that’s… You go to our website, we have the link for your customers to get a special penny bottle from us, which I’m sure you’ll have on the show notes. Or, if you don’t buy a wine from us, then do see if you can find a way to find natural wines. Natural wines are a very tiny part of the market. We’re the largest natural wine buyer and seller in the world. And it represents less than one-tenth of 1% of all wines in the world. So it’s a tiny, tiny category. And you won’t find natural wines outside of major markets. When I say major markets, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami. More or less, outside of these markets, it’s very difficult to find natural wine at all. Two ways to find it is you can do a Google search for it, or there’s a smart phone app called Raisin, that is a map-based app for natural wines bars and retailers.
But the thing is they’re just scant and few across the United States. Drinking natural wine, however, doesn’t mean that you get to Dry Farm Wine certification, low alcohol, sugar-free. Our wines are lab-tested for sugar; not all-natural wines are sugar-free. And so I don’t eat sugar, I don’t wanna drink it either. And speaking of addictive drugs, I think sugar is the most widely abused, most addictive drug on the planet. You’d like to live in your sugar-free lifestyle, and so as do we. So we certainly don’t wanna drink it, and it’s common to find sugar in wines. So that’s one of the reasons we do lab testing, is to find out if there’s any sugar in it. We also do lab testing to make sure it’s lower in alcohol because another collusion between US Government and the wine industry is the alcohol stated on the wine bottle by law is not required to be accurate. And so if it says 14% on the label, it could be 15.5% and still be legal.
So because we care lot about alcohol, that’s the reason those things were important to us, but… Yeah, so there’s a lot to say about wine. Fortunately, we took most of our time talking about nutrition and fasting, which is as near to my heart as is great sugar free wine, maybe even closer to it, so it’s why we got to spend a lot of time on that.
Cheryl McColgan: Yeah, like I said, when I’ve heard interviews with you in the past, I always kinda wished that you talked a little bit more about that, because there are so many great interviews that you’ve done and resources on the Dry Farm’s website where people can see you talk about some of these things that we hit on in more depth, but I really wanted to be able to share with people, when you go down these rabbit holes of health and a lower carb lifestyle, a lot of people look at it just for weight loss, but there’s so many more benefits to it. And I love that you hit on some of the cognitive benefits and just, obviously, it has gotten you to be a very fit 60-year-old following all these practices. So if people can see that and see that it’s sustainable… ‘Cause that’s one thing that drives me crazy, do you see these media comments where they’ll talk about keto, and they’re like, “It’s not sustainable”? I’m thinking, “I know so many people who have been doing this now like five, seven, 10, 15, 20 years.”
Long Term Ketosis, Fasting and Meditation
Todd White: I know a guy who’s been ketogenic for 20 years, Dr. Ken Ford at IHMC in Florida, who became ketogenic for treating some seizures he was having during extreme fitness. And so he kind of stumbled on to and accidentally discovered ketogenic diet and keto for 20 years. And he’s also in his 60s, and he looks great and just amazing, but same thing recently, in the last few years, Mark Sisson, who’s a good friend, has also experimented deeply with… And as has Robb Wolf as well, with keto. Most of them, just converts in the last few years. They were always low carb paleo before, but now they’ve all sort of discovered the amazing outcome from both fasting and the keto diet, and all of them are now publishing widely on both topics.
Cheryl McColgan: Mark is Mark’s Daily Apple, is that right?
Todd White: Yeah, Mark’s Daily Apple and Robb Wolf is robbwolf.com, had previous wrote the original paleo manifesto. And Mark Sisson is sort of the godfather of paleo, but both of them have now really largely transitioned to ketogenic diet as well as fasting. Fasting has been kind of the latest evolution for… Dave Asprey at Bulletproof just wrote a book about fasting. Fasting has become the new black.
Cheryl McColgan: I’m glad I can finally… I used to avoid talking about it because as a woman in particular, and particularly a smaller size woman, you talk about fasting, and people automatically think you have an eating disorder or something. [chuckle] And of course, that is a danger. I do always caution people that I work with if they have any history with that, obviously, it’s something that you need to be very careful with. But again, if you make it in align with your goals, and your health, and your ultimate purpose, I think that people can use that tool and could perhaps even help some people that have had problems with that in the past, if used properly.
Todd White: Yeah, I think you mentioned the key word that has been… The word that has been the focus of my recent meditations and my recent… Which we didn’t talk about meditation, but which is like the cornerstone in my life, but my recent meditations in channeling in thoughts have been alignment, and so when we have alignment, then we have balance, and that’s when I have alignment on pleasurable hedonistic interests. They have to be aligned with moderation. You don’t get to have it both ways, unfortunately.
Cheryl McColgan: I couldn’t agree more. I worry about the slippery slope people have, talking about sort of intuitive eating, and I’m like, you might think your body is intuiting that you need a doughnut, but I don’t really buy it. [chuckle] I think that’s your brain taking over.
Todd White: It’s like going to a comma if I eat a doughnut. I’ll have to lay down and take a nap.
Cheryl McColgan: Right.
Todd White: I can’t even tell you the last doughnut I ate. Probably before you were born. Thanks for having me today. It’s been a lot of fun.
Cheryl McColgan: Yeah, I loved this conversation. I’m happy that we got to touch on some of your other history outside of Dry Farms, but as you guys already know, love Dry Farms, have been drinking it for years. Always makes me feel good. Always around the dinner table, as you mentioned, just there is something just very special about having a meal with natural, sugar free wine, and I’m happy to be able to do it with a much healthier version now.
Todd White: Awesome.
0:45:13.4 Cheryl McColgan: So thanks for that. [chuckle] Alright.