Dr. Gundry: 00:00 Hey there. Welcome to another exciting episode of the Dr. Gundry podcast. The weekly podcast where I give you the tools you need to support your gut, boost your health, and live your youngest, healthiest life.
Dr. Gundry: 00:19 Before we get started, let’s get to this week’s review of the week. Erm from Hawaii writes, “I see that psyllium is on the yes list of The Plant Paradox diet. Does that mean the husk is safe to eat? Thanks.”
Dr. Gundry: 00:32 Yeah, I’ve reviewed this. Believe or not, there are a number of plant seeds that have no lectins. Those are plant seeds that by design, are indigestible in our intestines. The whole idea is that you’ll eat those plant seeds and poop them out someplace else with a dollop of fertilizer.
Dr. Gundry: 00:52 Things like sesame seeds are perfectly safe. Things like flax seeds and psyllium seeds are perfectly safe. On the other hand, there are a number of seeds on the no list that unfortunately, do have lectins and are designed to protect themselves. Just consult the list and if there’s any question, just write me and we’ll try to get an answer for you. Okay? Good question.
Dr. Gundry: 01:16 If you’d like me to read your review, make sure to subscribe, rate and review my podcast on iTunes. If you’re listening on your mobile device, take a screen shot. Share your favorite takeaway, and add a tag me in your Insta stories. I’ll make sure to re-share them in mine.
Dr. Gundry: 01:37 Welcome to the Dr. Gundry podcast. Have you ever tried something new only to realize you weren’t very good at it, and then you gave up actually pretty quickly? Or maybe you skipped something altogether because you were afraid of looking foolish. That sounds more like me. If you answered yes, then this podcast is for you.
Dr. Gundry: 01:59 In just a moment, I’m going to speak with writer, publisher, my publisher I must disclose, breast cancer survivor, and in her words, “mediocre surfer”, Karen Rinaldi. Karen, who has published multiple best-selling books on health and wellness including The Plant Paradox and The Longevity Paradox by yours truly says we live in an era of aspirational psychosis. Boy, if you don’t turn in to hear about aspirational psychosis, I don’t know what’s going to catch you.
Dr. Gundry: 02:34 In other words, we prioritize success over play. In fact, success over almost everything and avoid trying things we’re likely to struggle at. It’s hurting us actually a lot more than we know. In her new book, It’s Great to Suck at Something, Karen reveals the pitfalls of playing it safe and why perfection is overrated. Today, she’s going to share with us what she’s learned by embracing and even celebrating her shortcomings. This is going to be fun. And how opening yourself up to failure can ultimately help you to live a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life. Karen, thanks for joining us.
Karen Rinaldi: 03:18 Thank you, Dr. G.
Dr. Gundry: 03:18 I always see you in New York City-
Karen Rinaldi: 03:20 Thank you. Yes, you do.
Dr. Gundry: 03:21 … and I’m happy to have you out here in L.A.
Karen Rinaldi: 03:22 I’m thrilled to be in your home, so thank you. Thank you.
Dr. Gundry: 03:27 You talk about taking up surfing at age 40. All right, why did you get in the water at age 40?
Karen Rinaldi: 03:35 I’d always wanted to surf my whole life, and I was terrified. I was terrified of getting out in the ocean, of losing purchase with the bottom and being out past the break, which you have to do when you surf. When I had children, strangely, I became less afraid or really the old fears were replaced by new fears. I was no longer afraid to try, so that was part of it, just to try.
Karen Rinaldi: 04:01 The other thing is that because I had wanted to surf, I didn’t want to get to the other side of my life and say I’ve never done it. I took one lesson, and I thought, “Okay, I’m going to take one lesson and that’s it. I might just, and get it out of the way.” But at least I will have pushed through that fear and tried.
Karen Rinaldi: 04:23 I think part of the fear factor too, is that I had babies. I was filled with oxytocin, which is a fear inhibitor, and I think really, I became more fierce in a way and I thought, “I can do this.” So, I took one lesson and that one lesson changed my entire life. Then after that one lesson, and this is going to sound completely … and to reveal a little bit of insanity, but we’re going to talk about that. It took me five years to actually catch a wave. I don’t mean to surf in the white water and catch little tiny inside waves and stuff, but five years to paddle out, to paddle into a wave, to drop in, turn, ride the face of a wave, kick out. Five years of trying. It was the most fulfilling, one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done besides having children.
Dr. Gundry: 05:16 Five years?
Karen Rinaldi: 05:17 Five years is too long for anybody to be reasonable about keep trying. But, what I realized is that the process of it, getting off of terra firma, getting out in the water, partly where no one could reach me. You’re going to a place-
Dr. Gundry: 05:32 Including your kids?
Karen Rinaldi: 05:34 Including my kids, yes. Well, just where no one could reach me and ask anything of me and something I did just for myself. There was no reasonable reason to surf. We do it for pleasure, and that’s true of a lot of hobbies that we do. You could see what the effects are whether it’s for your health, or a nimbler mind, but I think that distraction from what is calling to your obligations, your responsibility, and the things that you embrace and want to do. But getting away from that, having a respite, to me, brought me so many gifts. The waves became the bonus and I stopped pushing to say, “I have to succeed at this because trying is really where I’m getting a lot of the good stuff is hiding.” That started the whole process of the suck at something really philosophy in my head.
Dr. Gundry: 06:29 You literally aren’t very good.
Karen Rinaldi: 06:32 This is not humble bragging. I’m really not good. In fact, I posted … I had an essay in the New York Times a couple years ago, and I wrote about sucking at surfing and people thought, oh yeah. Karen surfs all the time and she goes on these trips. She talks about it. She has a really good language around it. She knows a lot of surfers. People just assumed that I said I sucked at it and I was being humble.
Karen Rinaldi: 06:52 What I did when I wrote that piece is I put up a video, which I had never dared to do before. I went, “You know what? You’re just going to have to go all the way.” I put up a video of me surfing. I surfed the wave, but I mean, I’m a kook. But, a colleague came into my office and she said, “Wow. So, you really do suck at surfing.” And I said, “Yeah, I do,” and I said, “How does that make you feel?” She goes, “It kind of makes me happy.” And I said, “I understand that.” She’s like, “Yeah, I thought you were so cool and you did this thing,” and I said, “No, I’m not, and I don’t do it to be cool.”
Karen Rinaldi: 07:30 It was the best exchange. I wasn’t insulted by it. I went, “Yes, and then you too can try something and suck at it and put a video up of it and invite the world in.”
Dr. Gundry: 07:41 Because you weren’t very good at it, was that an impetus for you to keep trying? I mean, if you mastered it instantly, maybe you go, “Oh, yeah. That’s fun and maybe I’ll try something else.” The point of your book is you know-
Karen Rinaldi: 07:55 It’s great to suck at something. Yes, exactly. So, if I had been really good at it, I think things that come easily to us, which I don’t know, not that many things come easy to me. Maybe it’s me? I tend to do them, but I’m not as aware. I don’t have the extreme awareness, the mindfulness that it takes to concentrate on something that’s always new. Novelty. Novelty is good for our brains. It’s good for-
Dr. Gundry: 08:24 Very true.
Karen Rinaldi: 08:24 … our nervous system.
Dr. Gundry: 08:25 Yep.
Karen Rinaldi: 08:25 We need it. Without novelty, we would’ve never progressed. We wouldn’t have become civilized, more or less. I think that novelty has a certain balance in our minds. When you’re really good at something, you have an expectation that yeah, you … Okay, one of the things that I was really good at when I was a kid is, I was good at languages. French came really easily to me and I loved it. I loved it. I did it and I studied it. You know what? I didn’t study it hard enough because I thought, “I got this. It’s easy.” And I didn’t have that discipline.
Karen Rinaldi: 09:01 Surfing is the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done, and I think because of it, it’s always new. I’m always present. You have to be so present. I’m always grateful because, just to be in the ocean and be doing it. If it’s your … throwing pottery. Sitting at the potter’s wheel. You’re grateful for the privilege of being able to do it, and you’re always having to learn. That sense of novelty never goes away. It’s a very … Okay, it sounds counterintuitive, but it’s an empowering feeling if you accept that you might suck at it. The undergirding of all of this is a lot of self-acceptance and self-compassion about sucking at something, which is another part of the story.
Dr. Gundry: 09:51 All right. You get in the water at age 40 and you’re horrible at it. But now, fast forward 15 years later, you surf 8 out of 12 months a year?
Karen Rinaldi: 10:02 I do. I try to get in the water.
Dr. Gundry: 10:04 And you travel to exotic surf spots and spend a lot of money on boards, and yet you just aren’t very good at this.
Karen Rinaldi: 10:14 Little irresponsible, yes.
Dr. Gundry: 10:16 Why do you keep doing it?
Karen Rinaldi: 10:18 My dad asked me that once. He would come up and watch me. We live by the ocean in New Jersey, and he would come up and watch me years ago, and he’d say … just like that, “Why do you do it? Why do you keep doing it?” I said, “Because it teaches me so … I get so much more out of it than just the act of surfing.” I mean, everything around it so, I’m in nature. I am in the ocean which I am both terrified of, and also love and want to be in as much as possible. That tension, to me, makes me feel very alive all the time.
Karen Rinaldi: 10:58 Okay, and this is all surfing, but I think you can apply this to everything; to any sport, to any hobby, to a musical instrument, to dance, to … But, I think the thing I keep trying because in that trying, I learn a lot about myself. I’ve had to come to grips with this idea of usually when we do things, we do it because we have a goal in mind, we have a reward in mind. We really think that I’m going to do this and I’m going to get something back. It’s transactional.
Karen Rinaldi: 11:29 When you let go of that goal mindset, the reward mindset, the transactional mindset and then you just be, you learn a lot about yourself. You learn about how to forgive yourself when you screw it up. You learn how to have humility because when you’re doing something, and when you’re doing something in a community, people around you are often better than you are. To keep putting yourself in a community where you’re not the one who’s good at it is very humbling, which isn’t a bad thing.
Karen Rinaldi: 11:59 One of the other things that would happen is because I was so bad at it, nobody ever asked me for anything about surfing. Nobody wanted to know what I knew because I didn’t know and what it invited, and this is one of the most beautiful parts about, I think, sucking at something is that when you’re not good at something, it invites kindness and assistance from others to help you and you have to be open, humble enough and also acknowledge that you need that help.
Karen Rinaldi: 12:26 I think so many of us are like, “I got this. I don’t need help. I’m an expert. I can tell you what to do. I know it has to get done.” We think we’re in control of things and then you let go of that control, you let go of being the expert and the master and what comes in its place is kindness from others, and self-acceptance and self-compassion. It’s a lot of beautiful stuff is hiding underneath this failure. Instead of pathologizing that failure, we celebrate it and we learn from it.
Dr. Gundry: 12:58 I think that’s a great point. It actually reminds me of something that happened a few weeks ago to Penny, my wife, and I when we were in Ethiopia with Charity Water. On the last day, there is this mountain for lack of a better word, that they invite you to climb because there’s a church carved into the rock that you can only reach by literally climbing the mountain. They told us it was a moderate difficulty hike. It was not a moderate difficulty hike. It was actually a dangerous climb. There were ledges that you could fall to your death and there were holes. Anyhow-
Karen Rinaldi: 13:41 Wow.
Dr. Gundry: 13:41 … They had sherpas, Ethiopian sherpas to guide us and both Penny and I are … “I can do this. I can do this. No, I don’t want your hand.” And these guys would initially say, “Okay, put your foot here. Here’s the handhold.” As it got steeper and steeper, and more and more treacherous, we’re to the point now that boy, do we really trust our push? Am I going to fall?
Dr. Gundry: 14:11 Penny was actually ahead, and her sherpa offered her a hand, and she had been pushing it away and she finally grabbed his hand and she used his hand to help her up, and I kept pushing it away, and I finally said, “This is getting past my comfort.” I started using his hand. She got up to the top. She said, “You know, that was one of the most interesting things that’s ever happened to me.” She said, “I had to trust another person who I did not know-
Karen Rinaldi: 14:42 So good, so good.
Dr. Gundry: 14:43 … that he could get me through this.”
Karen Rinaldi: 14:46 Yes, yes.
Dr. Gundry: 14:47 I said, “You know, you’re right.” I said, “I had to trust that you knew what you were doing to trust that person.”
Karen Rinaldi: 14:55 Yes, yes.
Dr. Gundry: 14:55 Otherwise, I probably would’ve turned around. It was that difficult.
Karen Rinaldi: 15:00 Wow.
Dr. Gundry: 15:01 Anyhow, so we got-
Karen Rinaldi: 15:03 So the exchange is not only going up the mountain and then getting through it and seeing this amazing church having this experience. It was the way you communed with these people who you probably will never even see again, right?
Dr. Gundry: 15:15 No.
Karen Rinaldi: 15:15 You probably will never see them again, but you will remember that part of it, and if that’s not a reason to suck at something, then I don’t know what is. Just …
Dr. Gundry: 15:25 Well, I suck at skiing. I actually-
Karen Rinaldi: 15:29 And you ski?
Dr. Gundry: 15:30 I do ski. I learned to ski at 42.
Karen Rinaldi: 15:32 Oh, well you know what this is about.
Dr. Gundry: 15:33 I had never been on … and my wife, Penny is an excellent skier. Started at three. I’m horrible at it, but I know exactly what you’re saying and I keep going back.
Karen Rinaldi: 15:48 So, why?
Dr. Gundry: 15:49 Because once you get underway I guess, then you’re communing with the mountain. You’re enjoying gravity downhill, except when you break your thumb, or things like that, but we won’t go into that.
Karen Rinaldi: 16:03 Yeah.
Dr. Gundry: 16:04 But one of the really interesting things … we ski mostly Deer Valley in Utah, Salt Lake City, and there’s this hill that it’s a blue, maybe a double blue that you have to get down to get where you want to end up, but there’s a safe path, a little green to go around it. Penny of course, would always go down, and I’d do the green path and meet her down there. She’d be waiting for me.
Dr. Gundry: 16:35 I kept saying year after year, “I’m going to get to the point where I can go down that hill.” Finally, I think it must have been eight years before I could get probably not the skill set. I probably always had the skill set, but the ability to say, “I can get down this hill,” and it makes such a difference. I didn’t get down the hill well. I still don’t, but now I can go down the hill.
Karen Rinaldi: 17:01 And do you feel frustrated by it sometimes? Or, do you have to practice? Not to point the question, but do you have to practice not feeling frustrated or have you let that go and you just enjoy what you can do as opposed to expecting?
Dr. Gundry: 17:16 Oh yeah [crosstalk 00:17:17]. I’m a broad-footed skier and I just laugh myself silly because Penny’s like this. She’s beautiful going down the hill.
Karen Rinaldi: 17:26 I want to see some video of that.
Dr. Gundry: 17:27 Oh, I mean, it’s just hilarious, but I can get down the hill, and it’s probably like you on a surfboard.
Karen Rinaldi: 17:32 Totally. That’s me on a surfboard. I just … I got to just making the wave is enough, and every once in a while, I know what to do on it and that’s great, but I have to let go. See, I do a lot of the practice of this and I think that’s a discipline when I say sucking at something takes practice is what I say a lot in one of the refrains in the book, because I have to practice being okay with it because I can get hard on myself.
Karen Rinaldi: 17:59 I will paddle out sometimes and I get hammered. I mean, I have been … I try to surf bigger and bigger waves, but I’ve gone in places where I can’t handle it, and I have to forgive myself for not being able to handle it and then sometimes just getting hammered and then just getting spit back to shore and just say, “Okay, it’s too big for me” and not getting upset with myself for not being able to do it. There is that constant I am … it is again, it’s new. It’s novel. It’s always.
Karen Rinaldi: 18:28 That’s the thing about sucking at something is that … It’s not, you’re going to get better. You’re going to be able to go down the double blue without going the way of the green. You’re going to be able to do it. You might not do it and it might not be beautiful. I’m going to be able to surf bigger waves and more waves, but even when I make that wave, and I surf it well, I want to get another one. I want to get a bigger one. I want to surf it better. So that sucking at something is like … there’s an idea that people say that is, “why would you want to be bad at something?” Well, it’s basically like who doesn’t need to improve? I mean, pro surfers, of which there are what, 30 or 40 on the World Tour have coaches, right?
Karen Rinaldi: 19:14 I think there’s this idea that things should be easy. My point is, nothing’s easy. People make certain things look easy, and those are the people who are the experts, but things are so much harder if you say yes, it’s hard and then forgive yourself for the struggle, and then have fun with the struggle. And then always know that you’re going to get better, but then you’re going to suck compared to the next person and then you go, “Yeah, I’m okay with that. There’s always going to be somebody better, and I can have this mindset that helps me keep doing it, finding the joy in it, and all of the benefits in it.”
Dr. Gundry: 19:49 Is it good to suck at something? Is that what you’re implying?
Karen Rinaldi: 19:54 I am saying absolutely, that because what it teaches you … Say you were, say everything. I mean, let’s just hypothetically say that there is someone for whom … I can’t imagine what this would be, everything came easily. I know that there are certain people … We look at certain people and others, we go, “Oh yeah, that person’s beautiful and talented and everything they do is so good and why am I not that person?”
Karen Rinaldi: 20:18 If you really talked to that person, and one of the things that I’ve had really fun doing, is talking to people and saying to experts, and saying, “You are lauded as being X, Y, and Z at something and people don’t see your flaws. What do you suck at?” My thing is that it’s a great counterbalance, so I think a lot of our lives is about reaching balance. That’s true physiologically. It’s true emotionally and psychically, and that if you say okay, I am driven all the time towards this goal, towards being an expert, towards being really good at what you do, you have to good as a doctor. You don’t have to be good as a skier.
Karen Rinaldi: 20:54 You know what? There’s freedom and relief and beauty in that balance. My thing is that you cut yourself off to so much experience by not allowing yourself to suck at something because, and this is the other key thing is that, what sucking at something that teaches you as well on the other side is that for the things you are good at, the things you do excel at, you’re a doctor, I’m a publisher.
Karen Rinaldi: 21:20 I’m really good at … I’m a good cook, all right? I cook. I’m an awesome cook, and I cook a lot. But you know what? Sometimes I make crap food, and sometimes I just blow it. Instead of just getting … beating myself up for it or sometimes I’ll make a decision in publishing, and put your fingers in your ears, but that isn’t maybe the best decision, and I have to say, “Okay, I know what that looks like.”
Karen Rinaldi: 21:43 And instead of getting all freaked out and you know what people do; they blame somebody else or they make excuses and they try to hide behind it, you go, “Yeah. You know what? I’m going to learn from that instead.” And it really has taught me to accept my failing and failings at the things that really do matter, like my work and being a parent. It’s probably the most, one of the most important things any of us do.
Karen Rinaldi: 22:09 Man, I don’t always get it right. Sucking at things that don’t matter give you the tools to learn how to accept the mistakes and the failures that you make, and the things that do matter. That’s why I think it’s … Yeah, that’s why I think it’s great to suck at something. That’s why I think it’s important to put yourself in that position so that you’re not always the master because we’re not.
Dr. Gundry: 22:36 You talk a lot about your struggles with breast cancer; your battle with it.
Karen Rinaldi: 22:40 Yep, it’s a chapter.
Dr. Gundry: 22:42 Struggling to catch waves. How did that help you in that time? Or did it?
Karen Rinaldi: 22:48 Well, you know, it was interesting. When I was diagnosed, before the prognosis came in and then the prognosis did a bait and switch, so it was okay and then it got worse, and then whatever. Things happen when you get sick.
Karen Rinaldi: 23:01 What was interesting about it is that I had two questions. The first one was of course, am I going to die? Because, I didn’t want to die. That would suck. That would really suck. But besides that, then the second question was, am I going to be able to surf again? I thought, “Wow, that’s interesting.” I’m not asking myself am I going to be able to lift weights, run, cook, work. It was, was I going to be able to paddle out again? What was that going to … And I thought, “Oh, that’s interesting.” So the thing I do the worst in my life, and it’s too heavy to say that it’s a reason to live because the reason to live is all the obvious reasons we know would be first and foremost to be with my friends, and family, and loved ones.
Karen Rinaldi: 23:49 But besides that, the thing I did worst was one of the reasons why I wanted … not so much to, I mean, live of course. But to get better and stronger again. I had this thing that I thought, “All right. I got cancer. This is going to suck big time.” Knowing that, this is interesting. I did this weird calculus. First, you’re devastated because the diagnosis is devastating. You’re going oh, and I thought, “Okay, I don’t want to have to go through this and be anxious and angry and all that.” I thought, “Well, I’m used to sucking at surfing. I know how to do that. I know how to go out on the waves and get hammered and get held down and lose my breath and not get to catch a wave, and look like a fool and look horrible. I was going, “That’s taught me a lot. Well, maybe having cancer is like an adventure. Maybe it’s going to be an adventure the same way that surfing is an adventure.
Karen Rinaldi: 24:47 I’m going to change that because I’m going to enter a new world that I know nothing about. Then you’re with your oncologist, and your radiologist, and your surgeons, and your internist, and your cardiologist, and you’ve got a host of people, and what you do is all the sudden, you’re moving. You’re paddling out into a different universe, and instead of being terrified by it, I thought, “Well, I don’t know anything here, but I’ve got a lot to learn.” I’m going to have to trust, going back to your climb, to the … up that hill or mountain in Ethiopia. I’m going to have to trust people to help get me there.
Karen Rinaldi: 25:23 There’s a surrender that when you suck at something, and you keep doing it, you learn to surrender, and when you have cancer, you have to surrender a little bit to the care of experts and then you have to fight to get strong again. The surfing part really helped me … and by the way, I had to start all over again. I had to start from the very beginning after that, because I had so many surgeries and two rounds of chemo and it was a year of kicking my butt to the point where I was … I felt like I was as close to dead as I’ve ever been, clearly.
Karen Rinaldi: 26:00 Then, I said, “Four weeks I’m going to be in Costa Rica. I’m going to go … I’m going to surf.” My family was like, “I don’t think you should do that.” I was like, “I’m getting in the water. I’m going to surf.” You know what? Well, it’s in the book, but yeah, I did it and it took me, and I had to start from the very beginning again because I was so weak. You know what? Two years later, I was not only back, but I got better at it. I think I got better at it because it’s like, “Yeah!” You know what I mean? You’re going, “I can.”
Dr. Gundry: 26:31 You’re the female Lance Armstrong of surfing.
Karen Rinaldi: 26:33 Yeah, well, no, because he’s actually very good at what he does. I mean, this is me just getting back to sucking at it. But, it didn’t matter. My point was just doing it was enough pull for me to push through.
Dr. Gundry: 26:48 In your book, you talk about how we want to dominate everything we try.
Karen Rinaldi: 26:52 Yes.
Dr. Gundry: 26:53 And if we aren’t pros, we want to abandon it and that means we avoid all these things that we aren’t good at. What does that say about us as a whole, our society?
Karen Rinaldi: 27:06 Well, I think we’re told by the media and the social media and the kind of messages, be the best or nothing at all. How many bests are there? How many of us are the best? Maybe you? I’m not. I don’t know …
Dr. Gundry: 27:23 I’m not a good skier.
Karen Rinaldi: 27:24 You’re not a good skier. Well, exactly. So I think there’s this … and also, again the aspirational psychosis stuff, and the fact of the matter is I publish these books and I do believe that in books that inspire and push you to push through your fears and your limitations and the things that … the noise in your head. This is actually meant to do the same thing, but the idea is that we believe, we really believe that we’re entitled to be good and succeed at everything, and I think that’s the wrong message. Experience, full stop. That’s where value is. You could just put a period on that. I think that the message that we get … Okay, so that’s one thing is that the message.
Karen Rinaldi: 28:06 The internal message, right? This myth of perfection. Perfectionism. We’ve all heard this. It’s like, “Well, I’m such a perfectionist that dot, dot, dot, dot, dot. I can’t complete that thing. I can’t do that, or I haven’t, or it’s not as good as it should be.”
Karen Rinaldi: 28:22 That’s like a weird crutch; the myth of perfectionism. That’s one of the things I want to do in this book is just bust it, because the fact of the matter of perfectionism, and there are studies on this that goes back to Adler, Alfred Adler, psychologist. There are studies that are done on it now, but that our pursuit of perfection is actually it’s almost a pathology, so it starts. You can call it … [Sarcher 00:28:47] called it just wanting to be perfect, wanting to be the divine. It’s our drive, because we need to strive and drive. That’s a natural instinct, but we almost take it too far, and we want to be perfect. In wanting to be perfect, it stops us from doing anything, and from starting things in the first place.
Karen Rinaldi: 29:07 If we accept our imperfections, right? And you go there are studies that basically say that those people who accept their imperfections are mentally healthier. It prevents anxiety and depression disorders by accepting our imperfections. If you are striving to be perfect, it’s going to put pressure on you, then you’re not going to be able to succeed. You just think about it. You just boxed yourself in. You would never have another ski trip and have all that joy that you share with your wife if you were saying, “Until I get [inaudible 00:29:42]. Until I’m really good on the slopes, I’m not going.”
Dr. Gundry: 29:47 Yeah, no, you’re right.
Karen Rinaldi: 29:48 That would be sad. You would be sad because-
Dr. Gundry: 29:50 Yeah, yeah.
Karen Rinaldi: 29:50 … she’d be up on the mountain and you’d be in the lodge, which-
Dr. Gundry: 29:53 I’d be doing the apres ski. Yeah, wait a minute now. Let me-
Karen Rinaldi: 29:55 The apres ski would get boring. It’s good, but it’s only apres that counts, right? It’s not the pre-ski.
Dr. Gundry: 30:01 That’s right. That’s right. All right. Guidelines for people who want to get outside their-
Karen Rinaldi: 30:09 Comfort zone?
Dr. Gundry: 30:10 Comfort zone, wheelhouse.
Karen Rinaldi: 30:12 Yeah. One of the things, a prompt that I’ve been asking people is like, okay … because people don’t know where to start because they have a lot of anxiety about this and they think, “Oh, God.” There are a couple of things.
Karen Rinaldi: 30:22 First, one of the ways to get started is to ask yourself questions. Most of us grow up and seeing people doing things. It’s like, “Oh, I would love …” I’ve heard this a million times, “I would love to do that.” Do it. The thing is don’t do it and expect to be good at it. Do it once. Do it once, try it, and you might go and you might say, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to … I’ve always wanted to play an instrument. I took up guitar and I liked it, and I sucked at it. But it wasn’t driving me to keep going.”
Karen Rinaldi: 30:57 When I surfed for that first time, I got that one … somebody pushed me into a wave this big, and I stumbled off, my bathing suit fell, I was a mess. I was a hot mess. But, I had that feeling of, “Oh yeah, this is it.” So my thing is try a lot of things and don’t expect to love it. Don’t expect to … you might even be good at it, who knows? And then, don’t be afraid to walk away and find something else. That’s another thing. Ask yourself is there something that you’ve always wanted to do? Then, start small. Don’t start something where the barriers to entry are too high. I mean, I started surfing because I lived by the ocean. If I lived by a mountain, I might have started skiing, but I didn’t, so I think your proximity and access is good because there’s going to be enough barriers by your own psyche. You don’t want to put other barriers in front of it.
Dr. Gundry: 31:48 What can somebody do today who’s listening or watching, to try to suck at something?
Karen Rinaldi: 31:56 You know what? I almost go back to this idea of let yourself fantasize about what you want to do. And again, it could be singing, for example. I was just talking to somebody yesterday who took up guitar and singing after 40, or late in life. It wasn’t after 40, but it was later in life where it’s hard to learn a musical instrument or a language or something late. You just do it. Do it, and stuff like that you can just do in your own home. You can do it quietly. You don’t have to announce it. You don’t have to commit to it.
Karen Rinaldi: 32:33 It’s almost like all of the pressures that you usually feel to succeed, to commit, to take a stand and say, “I’m going to do this.” Instead, you just say, “I’m going to do it. I’m doing it for me. I don’t have to succeed.” Allow yourself to try it without pushing and making that full commitment because as soon as you say, “I don’t have to do this again, oh, but I want to.” It’s like letting yourself off the hook because we don’t let ourselves off the hook for so many things, so that’s a big cue.
Dr. Gundry: 33:04 Can social media help with this?
Karen Rinaldi: 33:08 Okay, that’s a really good question. Partly, I think social media, like everything else, there’s a yin yang a bit. Social media, that aspirational psychosis happens because in social media, we are framing and presenting the best, most awesome parts of ourselves, which is great because share the good stuff.
Karen Rinaldi: 33:29 I hope in my … I hope that I will start a little bit of a trend of saying, sharing what we’re not good at. Not as a way, and here’s the rule. The rule is you can’t share, I can’t share what you’re not good at and you can’t share what I’m not good at. I’m going to celebrate your skiing. You’re going to celebrate my surfing. We’re going to celebrate my friend’s guitar playing and singing, but we can share our own fault lines. And in doing that, in learning to be comfortable with that vulnerability and comfortable with that discomfort, I think … I mean, really what I think you invite is community and love, and-
Dr. Gundry: 34:07 Right.
Karen Rinaldi: 34:08 … into your life.
Dr. Gundry: 34:10 I won’t mention any names, but there’s a person who took up the lectin-free lifestyle and did it, bought an RV, and started her Instagram feed-
Karen Rinaldi: 34:23 Oh, great.
Dr. Gundry: 34:24 … about her being in an RV trying to do lectin-free and she became actually very popular, but she announced, “I don’t know anything about this” and-
Karen Rinaldi: 34:33 And you’re going to watch me stumble.
Dr. Gundry: 34:34 … and you’re going to watch me do this.
Karen Rinaldi: 34:35 Yes.
Dr. Gundry: 34:37 And it was-
Karen Rinaldi: 34:39 I think people-
Dr. Gundry: 34:40 I think it’s great.
Karen Rinaldi: 34:40 I think it allows … I think by watching you struggle, by watching me struggle, it allows for us to again, to forgive ourselves for just not being an expert, and I think that if we share more, we allow for that. And then, you know all the … The other thing is like the haters online and because there’s the support groups we find online and social media, and then there are the trolls and the haters. My thing is like somebody goes, “You suck at something” and you’re going, “Yeah, I do.” You take this thing out of it here, right?
Dr. Gundry: 35:13 That’s true. That’s true.
Karen Rinaldi: 35:14 You take away that power if you’re going yeah. So I suck at … what do you suck at?
Dr. Gundry: 35:19 Yeah, there must be some troll there who sucks at something, but actually they’re pretty bad trollers, so-
Karen Rinaldi: 35:26 Well, there’s pretty bad trollers and I think that honestly, that that is because they already feel … I mean, really, the people who are doing that, the haters, is really just externalizing something that they feel inside, which is sad. I think in this practice, this practice is meant to get on top of that and to try to give us some awareness at how we are so self-critical, and to try to be a little bit less self-critical. Then, I think we actually judge others less when we do that.
Dr. Gundry: 35:55 Okay, so what do you say to people who say, “Well, this is silly. You should really find things you’re good at and concentrate on that-
Karen Rinaldi: 36:04 I know.
Dr. Gundry: 36:05 … and don’t waste your time on things you’re bad at, because it’s a waste of time?
Karen Rinaldi: 36:11 It’s just the opposite of waste of time because again, what it does is what you’re good at, you don’t access the important stuff which is tenacity, resilience, improvisation, grit. I mean, you can call it so many things; self-compassion, interestingly, confidence. You foster confidence by allowing yourself to fail, and I know that’s counterintuitive, but it’s true.
Karen Rinaldi: 36:47 If you only do what you’re good at because you want people to see you as only being good at it, there is something sad about that, I think, so the idea is that … Pursuing the things you’re talented in, by the way, by all means, do that. I’m not saying have everything suck at everything. I’m saying one thing. Pick a thing and then, pick a thing and that’s where you get to fail and where to get to forgive yourself and you learn these skills that are going to help you in the places where your proclivities are towards talent, and that is going to make you better because even in the way in which you’re talented, you’re going to screw up, but they’re not going to mess you up so much when you do that because you’re going to have had some practice over here, where it doesn’t matter as much.
Dr. Gundry: 37:36 I think the other thing to add to that is it’s really good to laugh at yourself.
Karen Rinaldi: 37:41 Oh …
Dr. Gundry: 37:43 Failing?
Karen Rinaldi: 37:44 You know what? That is one of the great gifts in the world, and laughing at yourself, again, not at others. You know what I mean? There is just such a relief in going … I have a story in the book where I just, I do. I laugh at myself all the time in the water because I am such a kook.
Dr. Gundry: 38:07 Well, Karen, it’s been great to have you actually in person on the podcast.
Karen Rinaldi: 38:11 Yes, I know. I’m thrilled to be here. Thank you.
Dr. Gundry: 38:13 How does the audience find you-
Karen Rinaldi: 38:15 And Matt.
Dr. Gundry: 38:16 … in the book?
Karen Rinaldi: 38:17 The book goes on sale on May 7th, officially, everywhere. Also, you can go to suckatsomething.com, and what I’m hoping happens is that the audience will share their stories and then I suck at social media, so I’m just trying to figure this out. But, I have a Facebook group that I’ve just created. It’s by invitation and I’m figuring out just please … we can figure out a way for you to join. I should have an answer to this, but I just … I’m getting help on the social media side, but what I’m hoping is that people will share their stories, so via the website, krinaldi.com is my author website, but suckatsomething.com is where this idea lives.
Dr. Gundry: 39:03 All right.
Karen Rinaldi: 39:04 Thank you.
Dr. Gundry: 39:05 Thanks for being here today.
Karen Rinaldi: 39:07 Thank you, Dr. G.
Dr. Gundry: 39:07 You know we have an audience question before we send you off.
Karen Rinaldi: 39:11 Okay.
Dr. Gundry: 39:12 And you don’t have to answer this one. Jane Chester Weisbecker on Facebook asks, “Is there any difference in the various sweet potatoes? Are some better for us than others?”
Dr. Gundry: 39:23 That’s a tough question. Actually, it’s a pretty easy question. Karen won’t remember, but when I was writing The Plant Paradox, I actually had about four pages explaining the difference between a yam and a sweet potato. Because initially, we banned sweet potatoes, the orange guys, because, and I won’t go into it today, but they’re different than yams. One’s a morning glory and one’s a lily. We used to eat yams in Africa and morning glories are from the United States, but anyhow.
Dr. Gundry: 39:55 It got so confusing so long that Julie, my editor, Julie Will. We both said this is ridiculous. You can eat yams and sweet potatoes and we won’t worry about it. My favorite sweet potato in answer to your question. Find the Japanese blue or purple sweet potatoes. They are becoming far more prevalent in stores. We actually have them in regular grocery stores here in California now.
Dr. Gundry: 40:23 The anthocyanins, that pigment is one of the best polyphenols to get in your mouth, so that’s my tip. If you can’t find that, the ugly, skinny ones that have the white color inside are actually usually yams and they’re actually better for you than sweet potatoes, and they’re usually mislabeled in the grocery store. That’s why we quit trying to talk about it.
Dr. Gundry: 40:47 All right. That’s it for this episode of the Dr. Gundry podcast. I hope we didn’t suck at it, but if we did, write. I want to know because I’m Dr. Gundry and I’m always looking out for you.
Dr. Gundry: 41:02 Exciting news my friends. My new book, The Longevity Paradox is out now. Like The Plant Paradox, this will be a game changer in helping you live a long, vital life. Pick up your copy now at your local bookstore, Barnes & Noble or Amazon, or my audiobook, which I actually recorded this time. Make sure you tell your friends and family about it.
Dr. Gundry: 41:27 For more information about this week’s episode, please take a look at my show notes below and on drgundry.com. In the show notes, you’ll also find a survey, and I’d love to find out more about you. Please take a few minutes to fill it out so I can do my best to provide information you’re looking for.
Dr. Gundry: 41:45 Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of the Dr. Gundry podcast. Check back next week for another exciting episode and make sure to subscribe, rate, and review to stay up to date with the latest episodes. Head to drgundry.com for show notes and more information.
Dr. Gundry: 42:04 Until next time, I’m Dr. Gundry and I’m always looking out for you.