Erin Tjoe: Smart Drugs, Sex, and Singing for Dave – #119
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Dave: Today’s cool fact of the day is that cancer stinks, seriously. Dogs and fruit flies can smell if you have cancer. Researchers hooked up fruit flies to fluorescent sensors and measured their aromal activity and found that fruit fly’s little antenna could smell the different between cancer cells and healthy cells. Even more strange is that they could tell the difference between sub-types of certain cancers. This technology, which is just called chemosensing, has been used with dogs but without the objective scientific data to back it up. The next time your dog or a fruit fly looks at you funny, you might want to check yourself out.
In case you’re wondering about the lovely lady sitting next to me, this is Erin Tjoe. She is 2014 Miss Hong Kong. She has agreed that I may borrow her crown for the rest of the episode, but I’m not wearing it. Thank you, and welcome to the show.
Erin: Thank you, Dave. I’m a big fan of your work and really, really appreciate all that you’ve done actually to share so much of your knowledge. It’s a joy to be here.
Dave: This really came together sort of randomly. We met at the DiscoverMe Conference that Kai Tao put on here in L.A. I realized you were actually using coffee and you were totally into biohacking. So far I haven’t met a lot of people who’ve won pageants who are doing the sort of things you’re doing. Your story, when we chatted, made me want to say that people should hear this. You weren’t always on this path, right? What did you used to do for work? What was life like?
Erin: Before I used to be a financial advisor in Silicon Valley. I worked behind an office desk. Wined and dined a lot of really fatty but really wasn’t just conscious of the food that I was eating. I think my brother said to me, “You don’t think that you’re fat, do you?” I remember in high school my teacher said, “I think by the time you’re 25, you’re going to be 300 pounds.” It was like, oh my gosh, that wasn’t very nice. A lot has changed since then.
Dave: How much weight have us lost since then you were at your height in Silicon Valley?
Erin: Over 28 pounds now.
Dave: Is it true that Silicon Valley makes you fat?
Erin: It wasn’t Silicon Valley. It was just my lack of awareness. I was eating a lot of gluten, dairy, a lot of inflammatory foods that I think were affecting my body. I had no idea that was happening.
Dave: What are the changes you made that caused you to lose 28 pounds and basically become in super good condition, enough to win a pageant and do the things you’re doing now? How did you do that? That’s a giant change.
Erin: I started to open my mind to what opportunities were going to be effective for my body. I started biohacking and I came across your video, I think it was an interview with Joe Rogan [crosstalk 03:11]. Yes, thank you Joe. I was running on the treadmill and I was watching your video, I thought, oh my gosh, I definitely want to optimize my health. I have a short period of time to this. I started to change the foods that I was eating. I cut out gluten, dairy, corn, a lot of sugar. These were things that I used to love and consumed a lot.
Dave: Telecorn wasn’t on the diet for the new year?
Erin: I love telecorn, but it wasn’t, it’s not. I was offered it yesterday at the Super Bowl party and I didn’t even have any.
Dave: Who were you rooting for?
Erin: I was wearing … I thought the Seahawks had a better color scheme so I thought their fashion was better.
Dave: You got me there.
Erin: My husband, he played quarterback for Oregon State and I was wearing his jersey. He actually because he’s so into body optimization, too, has been opening my eyes to a better, healthy lifestyle.
Dave: You were wearing a Seahawks sort of thing?
Erin: Sort of. Who are rooting for?
Dave: I was pretty agnostic on this whole thing. Your husband and you and both biohackers then?
Erin: We are. He loves you. He actually said, there’s very few people he looks up to and he was extending his gratitude to you.
Dave: Thanks for tuning in. I think it’s amazing to run into the conference and, oh my God, I drank the coffee. You did some other things that made very interesting. You take smart drugs, is that true?
Erin: I’ve experienced it with some smart drugs.
Dave: Which ones?
Erin: Smart ones, they are … I’ve tested some Nootropics such as Noopept and modafinal, Alpha Brain. I’ve also taken some notes about how they’ve affected me. It has been very interesting because some might cause more visual stimulation or very clear vision sensory and some might be like I can carry a conversation longer than typical.
Dave: It’s actually really exciting because there’s a bit of a gender bias towards Smart Drugs. Have you ever noticed that? It seems like Smart Drugs are more attractive to men, like it’s a manly thing to do, I want my brain to be bigger and stronger and all. Has it made a difference for you in your career? Or has this mostly been about well-being and personal performance?
Erin: What’s interesting is that I’m very new to biohacking and I’m obviously on this time frame what I can do every single day. Every day is a new … more data collection, a lot more research.
Dave: You haven’t really experienced massive career benefits, things like that, but your focus is better and you like that.
Erin: I definitely like the focus enhancement. A friend of mine said, “Oh my gosh, maybe you have ADD.” I thought, perhaps, or it can test what else is out there, if there’s a natural way of being really focused. I’m learning a lot about that aspect. I feel like you’ve shed some light on some important things there.
Dave: Thanks. When you wake up in the morning, give me your routine. There’s a 1,000 people, like 50,000 people or something and half of them are at least, what does she do to look like this? When you wake up, what do you do? Give us your recipe for success.
Erin: That’s so interesting you asked that because I’ve actually been looking for a book about the ideal, optimal lifestyle for women. There’s so much for men out there. Perhaps I’ll write it. I’m taking notes right now on what I’m doing. When I wake up I have a little Amerge. Have you heard of that?
Dave: What’s in it?
Erin: It’s got a little caffeine. It’s more of a pre-workout. Then I drink a protein, like a protein shake but it has everything from kale, spinach, your whole long list of greens. Then I go to the gym. Actually, it’s a hot yoga gym and I sweat for an hour, hot, intense yoga. Then I drink the other half of my kale, my spinach, my whole-protein shake. Then a I take a slew of vitamins. Everything from a LifePak Nano to Cortitrol to Estera. There’s a whole list of vitamins that-
Dave: How many pills do you take in the morning? Just ballpark?
Erin: Maybe 12.
Dave: That’s shocking. Do you swallow them all at once?
Erin: I learned this cool trick. Do you want to hear it?
Dave: I would love it.
Erin: If you do six at a time, and you put the water in your mouth or whatever liquid you’re using, and you go forward, the little low product will float to the … The capsules will float to the top and then they’ll go in easier so it’s no strain. Whereas before I would never want to take any vitamins, but now it’s easy and I like it. I’ve definitely seen a difference. My husband said, “You haven’t been sick like three years,” or since I’ve known him. I’m like, “You’re right, I haven’t been sick in three years, ever since I met him.”
Dave: The jury is in and vitamins work, some better than others. Do you worry that you might have expensive pee?
Erin: I probably do.
Dave: Me, too. I’m perfectly okay with my expensive pee, because I’m getting the stuff that I need. The stuff I don’t need, I’ll get rid of that. My technique for taking a lot of pills, I can probably do about 40, like as much as I can fit in a hand, in a single swallow. I go back to my days at UC Santa Barbara with beer. I don’t drink beer anymore, but you just get them, force them into the mouth, and take the biggest amount of liquid you can take in your mouth, throw your head back, and swallow like you’re trying to drink a whole can of beer at once. Magically, they go down. If you have the alcohol-hazed college experience that I did, maybe that could be useful for biohacking.
Erin: I’m going to test that out. I’m going to imagine the big beer and then go for it.
Dave: So far I’ve never seen anyone who can take more than I can but it would be funny to have the who-could swallow-the-most-capsules contest just to know what you put in it.
Erin: I like that.
Dave: We’ll have a race.
Erin: We’ll line up all of our capsules and then see who can down them fastest.
Dave: I love it.
Erin: And play some ping pong.
Dave: Oh, nice, you’ll win. You take your handful of vitamins and you’re done with your morning routine, what do you do next? I want to know the whole recipe for a day.
Erin: It depends. I might do a photo shoot. I might go on set. I might go to an audition. I’ve been going in for a lot of film and TV roles, so that’s been exciting.
Dave: Mostly you’re working for a while?
Dave: Do you stop working to eat or do you have skip lunch or how does that work?
Erin: Recently I’ve been on a five- to six-meal food plan. Maybe two and a half hours I’ll eat a small portion. I feel like that really revs up my metabolism. It keeps it going throughout the day. I like to start with setting my intentions for the day, have a meditation of what I visualize for it to be like at the end.
Dave: You do hot yoga and meditation? Do you do meditation after work or before work?
Erin: Usually before work.
Dave: You do that and then you’re on the set. You have people taking your picture and lots of stuff like that. I’ve been actually lived you last summer. Hair flips and that.
Erin: Wind blowing in my hair.
Dave: Nice. What time do you … You say you have lunch around noon and you’re eating some small snacks throughout the day. What’s the snack look like for you?
Erin: I’ve been actually cooking a lot, which is really cool because at first I wasn’t really great in the kitchen. Now, I don’t think I’m great in the kitchen, but I’ve made things like kale muffins that have been tasting delicious, kale pancakes, protein pickups, amazing desserts that are made of protein, egg white, a lot of spinach, kale, a lot of healthy ingredients, no sugar, no gluten when you feel like dessert.
Dave: You put kale in your dessert?
Erin: I do and it’s green and moist and fluffy.
Dave: Has anyone ever told you that kale doesn’t taste very good?
Erin: I understand.
Dave: I’m just kidding.
Erin: Drizzled with a little bit chocolate, cacao nibs.
Dave: It’s true, anything tastes good with chocolate. Have you seen any of the work about large amounts of kale having toxins in it that can be a problem?
Erin: I have read some things on that.
Dave: Have you ever noticed any of that? You or you may not, like any differences in muscle strength, joint soreness, stiffness?
Erin: Not too much.
Dave: Excess calcification on the teeth or anything like that?
Dave: You don’t’ notice a big difference? Some people do, some people don’t. You have a high excretion of oxalic acid.
Erin: With all the kale?
Dave: Yeah. There’s some calcium in there. That seems like it would be a good idea.
Dave: Yeah, just when you’re using kale in a recipe, just add a little bit of calcium, calcium carbonate, calcium tablets. If you do that you’ll totally improve the health of your kale. I think kale is really good for you. It’s that you want to bind up that one toxin so it doesn’t go into your blood and do the binding. That’s not where you want it.
Erin: Thank you for that.
Dave: You’re welcome.
Erin: I’ll add it to my recipe book.
Dave: It’s just a little bit in there. That’s all it takes. Even baking soda can help because that will help sodium formation of those crystals. You just don’t want to have them in your blood. Then you’re getting concentrates, too. That’s cool. Now you’ve had your kale muffins and no gluten. What do you do around dinner time? You’re done with work. Do you go out to dinner? Eat dinner at home? What’s the typical day?
Erin: It depends. I to have new experiences and adventures and go out and have new day every day. I don’t like to do the same thing twice let alone do or live the same day the same. If I’m exploring a new restaurant, then sometimes I’ll do write-up about the restaurant. If I cook at home, it’ll be something around fish or protein, high-protein, low-carbs, a lot of vegetables, and very little fruit. I used to eat a ton of fruit. Now I’ve found out it was too much sugar.
Dave: Not too bat. Fruit is good, isn’t it?
Dave: Tastes nice but it doesn’t’ work. When you go to sleep, how much sleep do you get? You have to maintain your look which requires sleep. Is there some nighttime ritual that helps?
Erin: My intention is to do eight hours of sleep a night so that’s earlier than … I used to go to sleep really late and felt great. Now I’m going to bed early which was interesting.
Dave: Do you wake up early then?
Erin: I work up early just to go to hot yoga by 7am.
Dave: Do you take supplements before you go to sleep? Do you take a hot bath? Is there a relaxation ritual? Do you turn the lights down or do you, it’s time for bed, boom, you’re down.
Erin: I put my feet in the air on the wall so you have the blood rush down. Models do this all the time. We’re literally had catwalks and models put their feet up. So ladies, if you want to get an extra couple of hours of heel wear, this is the way to do it. You put your feet up at a 90-degree angles like this … It looks kind of weird.
Dave: For how long?
Erin: Fifteen minutes.
Dave: It totally works for me. I can wear heels twice as long.
Erin: Yup, it works. Then we’ll pray together. Then we’ll share our wins for the day. Adam and I will talk about ways we can support each other. Then we’ll do … This is funny, but we do like a love dyad. Is that too nerdy?
Dave: There’s nothing that’s too nerdy. It’s how I feel about biohacking. Come on here, tell us about your love dyad.
Erin: Knee-to-knees, love dyads. I do deep breathing. We synch our breaths for two to three minutes, deep eye contact and really establish that love bond because the days are so busy. We’re traveling a lot. I travel a ton for some shows or projects, so just reestablishing our connections are key. Then maybe some exciting fantasy action, but that’s for another topic.
Dave: That will put you to sleep, all right. I got it.
Erin: I’m really creative that way.
Dave: That is cool. I like that love dyad idea. I imagine you just inspired some number of people to try doing that. That’s cool. Thanks for sharing that. We’ll switch gears a little bit because when you walked in you told me that as you were driving here you had song show up in your head. Is this true?
Erin: I was in traffic and I thought to myself, “Well, I love to give. Dave asked me for a little gift.” In my mind, all of a sudden, this song came up.
Dave: All right, Adrian, you have a guitar?
Dave: Let’s take care of this.
Erin: All right.
Dave: This is the first song you’ve ever.
Erin: … ever. Seriously.
Dave: Put you on the spot.
Erin: Yes. Just for you.
Adrian: Just for me, I’m going to photobomb her background.
Dave: In traffic, right?
Dave: Thank you. That was amazing.
Erin: My pleasure.
Dave: When you’re in your 100th episode and no one has ever sung a song before. You set a record. Adrian, thanks for laying down some guitar.
Erin: Thank you.
Dave: That was amazing.
Erin: I seriously appreciate all that you’ve done. I know that you’ve invested so much money and given away all of this information for free. It’s transforming lives. It’s transformed my life. I wouldn’t be walking on a catwalk or eating what I’m eating or optimizing my health the way I do if it wasn’t for you. This is sincere gratitude for you.
Dave: Thanks. I appreciate that. It helps motivate me when I hear that it’s working, that it’s helping people. Finding toxins and eliminating them, helps with inflammation, and all, it’s a good thing. That’s how it’s supposed to work.
Erin: It’s a great thing. A lot of this information is not out there. I went through school of years and years and I didn’t have this information. Thank you.
Dave: You’re most welcome. After that amazing song … You were a tomboy weren’t you?
Erin: I was.
Dave: How did you go from tomboy to beauty pageant winner? What shifted in you?
Erin: I tore my ACL playing basketball. I thought it will be fine. I was at the gym almost every day playing basketball. That was my big passion. Then I was playing football and tore it some more. I had just intercepted a pass, and I thought now it’s getting serious. Then in my hip hop class in college, I went to jump and touch an exit sign … I was really kind of adventurous. That’s when it tore completely. That’s when I needed to get it repaired. When I got it repaired, I actually experienced the love and nurturing side of all these girls. Just the sweet kindness that girls had. They were like, oh my gosh, let me help you. They wash your hair. Let me fix your pillow. I just went from a really tomboy attitude to a sweet, gentle, nurturing, loving aspect of life. It was a blessing in disguise.
Dave: That’s a cool story. I like that. You were kind of rough and tumble but you’re open to both.
Dave: You have also done float tanks which is don’t think is common for people in your profession. Is it?
Erin: I don’t too many people who have done it. My best friend, she gave me a coupon–or like a gift certificate–for a birthday for the Float Matrix in San Francisco. I never did it because I didn’t know what it was. Then when I heard you and Joe Rogan talk about it on The Contest, thought oh my gosh, I want to try it. We went to the one in Venice Beach and it was profound. I literally had-
Dave: This was Float Labs you went to?
Erin: Float Labs in Venice-
Dave: I’m done it; I’ve floated there as well. Tell me about it.
Erin: I think I was naked. Its normal.
Dave: It’s normal, yeah.
Erin: I found myself floating but what was really powerful was that there were deep questions I had at that time, crossroad questions that suddenly I got answers to. I remember I was staring into the mirror and I was talking to somebody.
Dave: There was a mirror in there? Isn’t it dark?
Erin: There’s a part where you can get up and out of the float box.
Dave: That part, okay.
Erin: It was after I floated and I started, not talking to myself, but just having a conversation in my mind. Suddenly answers started to come from within. When I was floating again, I felt like the depth of thinking was a whole new level, like five to ten times deeper than I typically go to. It was such a gift.
Dave: A lot of introspection?
Erin: A lot of introspection. I think I had an out-of-body experience there, too. I don’t think everybody has that but that was my unique experience. I don’t know if I can recreate it, but that unique experience was about two and a half hours long.
Dave: That’s a long float.
Erin: It was long. I was loving it.
Dave: Where did you go when you went out of your body?
Erin: It was interesting. I felt like I was talking to a twin of myself and seeing two different sides of my mind. That’s something I haven’t really explored. I’m sure there’s more information on that. That’s something new. Maybe you can share a little bit about your …
Dave: Sure. Would you recommend this just so maybe people might want to try it?
Erin: Absolutely. Yes.
Dave: You’re a fan. The first time I floated I had been dealing with a lot of flights, way too many flights. I mostly experienced muscle tension because you’re laying there naked. You’re in warm salt water so you’re floating. You don’t feel anything around you like … It’s the same temperature as you. You don’t see anything. You don’t hear anything. It’s a blank canvas. The first thing I felt was all the knotted muscles in my body … my hands were like arggghh and my neck was all out. I got those to relax because the physical side of those things became more apparent, just like putting one foot in front of the other after long trips. Then I tend to feel like I’m falling really rapidly which is kind of neat. You know you’re not falling but your senses are screaming, “You’re falling!” and you’re like, “I’m not.” For me there’s a lot of physical sensation stuff that happens there. I don’t tend to leave my body like the things like the Forty Years of Zen. I have back pain, have been much stronger for me like spiritual-type experiences. I find it profoundly relaxing. You can be more introspective. You can be more aware of emotional states when you’re floating. That’s been my experience. I don’t do it once a month or something.
There are people who have had such profound benefits, especially people who have been traumatized or PTSD or people with a lot of anger or sadness or grief, something that they’re working through … I think it can be therapeutic even. I’ve seen some pretty amazing stuff happen.
Erin: It sounds like there’s opportunity for breakthroughs for people and also a lot of healing.
Dave: You do some other weird stuff. Anything else you want to talk about?
Erin: What weird stuff are we talking about? I do a lot. I’m an adventurous person and a free spirit, let’s be really honest here. What are we talking about?
Dave: Have you been to Burning Man or something?
Erin: Five years in a row.
Dave: We have another Burner on the show.
Erin: Can’t tell, nobody knows that.
Dave: Where are all your piercings? Like your nose, your eyebrows, nothing. There are a lot of people who have been there now [inaudible 25:41] class, like 15 years. I’ve been to Burning Man. It had been my intent to go for almost a decade. Every single time there’s always been some really serious business thing on top of it. To my great regret, I kept putting it off. I went in 2011 and I’m targeting to go this year. It’s harder when you have young kids because you don’t want to take time away. I think it’s worth going just because you have this cool sense of community. There is nothing to worry about. Your phone doesn’t work. You’re just hanging out. Everyone there … they just give you something and you can give something. It’s a different experience than you get in any city anywhere.
Dave: Late at night seeing giant fire monsters. Where else are you going to do that?
Erin: Exactly. I love Burning Man. Everyone has a different experience, a unique experience. I feel like it is such a playground but at the same time … You’re right, that community, it’s so open and loving. I love that aspect where people can be their authentic self or they can explore different community in different ways.
Dave: Everyone who is watching this on YouTube on our channel instead of listening in their cars, what is your Burning Man costume look like?
Erin: I’m get really creative. I like a lot of furry … I’m very into a lot of colors. I don’t think I should share this on …
Dave: Whatever you like.
Erin: I have this kind of naked, free experience. It was so brief. It was so mom if you’re listening, it was like, I don’t think anyone saw me. It was brief. It was like, oh my gosh, I don’t believe this is happening. It was pure-hearted.
Dave: Did that have an effect on your confidence?
Erin: In a good way. Yeah, I felt very free and open and loving. I loved coming from that place and true, open-hearted, giving space.
Dave: It’s really weird. It’s know that people are known for your walking around naked. There’s always tons of that. I remember when I was there, one of the people I was camping with had a very spiritual experience one evening. The next morning we’re in this camp, we have she walks in naked. I’m like … She had just felt so liberated that she lost all self-consciousness. For people who … All of us have body image problems. I certainly have. I used to weigh 300 pounds and being fat as a kid always gives you body image stuff. To be able to, even if it’s just for 30 seconds, I’m naked and no one’s point and going ha-ha. That can have an effect on you, a long-lasting affect. I’m not a nudist; I don’t live my life naked. I’m a family guy. I definitely noticed that when people were occasionally naked, that it was very liberating for them. If people looked at my body for a living … You’re a model, so your curves matter. I imagine it might make you more confident. You have that fact.
Erin: It was wonderful. It was a breakthrough experience for me. I felt at Burning Man there’s a lot of, for me, deep sense of spiritual connection. A lot of times I found myself meditating and taking walks and creating. That moment of being nude was just a blissful moment, nothing crazy.
Dave: You’ve been to Burning Man, hat’s off, five times. Way more than me. I’ve been like once and in the last many years have wanting to go and going again. Maybe I’ll see you out on the plan.
Erin: Two thousand fourteen? Are you done? All right, seal it with a high five. They heard it, I think.
Dave: I think so. I’ve been thinking. You’ve talked with us about your diet plan, but it sounds like you’re not eating that much fat but have really good skin. Good skin comes, especially on women, from eating fat. Must be getting fat from somewhere. What are you doing for the sources of healthy fat in your diet?
Erin: In my protein shake in the morning, I actually mix in some MTC Oil. It’s really high fat. I feel that really lubricates my brain and it feels like a lot of mental clarity.
Dave: That’s part of your kale and other shake?
Erin: Yes. My morning routine.
Dave: A lot of women do well with protein and fat in the morning like that. Then your other meals throughout the day, do you do anything … Like are you eating more eggs or butter or anything like that? You may be on lower-fat diet it sounds like.
Erin: Kind of a lower fat … I eat a lot of avocados.
Dave: There you go. That’s where you’re getting it.
Erin: Meat and lot of that is low fat.
Dave: I was trying to put that together. Now I get it. I’ve only had two avocados so far today.
Erin: Herbs are sexy, they’re in. Healthy is sexy now.
Dave: This is true. I saw a cool bumper sticker that said “Strong is the New Thin.” I thought that was cool.
Erin: I like that.
Dave: … or skinny, I don’t remember. You like that? I think so, too. That’s how it should be. What’s next? You’ve moved to L.A. You’ve gone from being a finance person who is overweight in Silicon Valley to being essentially a model in L.A. and living the life. You have this amazing crown. What’s happening next?
Erin: My heart is really focused on bridging the cultures of the international markets, like China, Hong Kong, and the entertain world. I feel like what I’m being called to is to create a platform … speaking or hosting. I’m working on a travel show right now that’s been awesome. It’s about green lifestyles and organic living, like alternative eco-resorts.
Dave: What’s the URL? Where can people find out about that?
Erin: That’s greentraveldestinations.com.
Dave: That’s destinations with an s?
Erin: Yes. Or maybe without an s.
Dave: We’ll put the URL right here.
Erin: Thanks. Then also we’re going to go fashion show where we talk about empowering people towards fashion. Really, I love highlighting people and highlighting ideas and thoughts and just inspiring people towards living their most amazing life possible. If we have one life to live, why not do it in a best way? You’re doing that.
Dave: I’m working on it.
Erin: I resonate with that.
Dave: Thank you. Speaking of resonating, that was an awesome segment. We need to do that again. This device on the floor between us is the bullet-proof vibe. Normally guests are on stats so they don’t get to try it. I want to put you on the bullet-proof vibe and see what happens. Are you game?
Erin: I’m up for it.
Dave: Tidings and firms.
Erin: Oh, I like that.
Dave: Let’s give this a shot.
Erin: Do it.
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