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The Thermo Diet Podcast Episode 48 - Jayton Miller's Story

The Thermo Diet Podcast Episode 48 - Jayton Miller's Story

In this episode of The Thermo Diet Podcast Jake Miner sits down with Jayton Miller and talks about his health journey, how he came into the UMZU realm and how he overcame some of his health issues over the years and much more. Check it out and let us know what you think! 

 

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 Full Transcript

Jayton Miller:
How's it going today, guys? Welcome back to The Thermo Diet Podcast. We're going to change it up a little bit today. Jake Miner actually is going to be interviewing me. He was super adamant about getting an interview and getting my story in there. So, I hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think.

Jake Miner:
All right. Welcome back to The Thermo Diet Podcast. And I'm your host, Jake Miner. And today I get the amazing opportunity to interview my Thermo brother from another mother, the research cowboy. How's it going today, Jayton?

Jayton Miller:
I'm doing well, Jake, how are you doing today?

Jake Miner:
Good man. Never been better. So, before we get into the meat and potatoes of your Thermal journey, where does the name research cowboy come from? Who gave it to you? How'd you get it? Can you go into that a little bit?

Jayton Miller:
Yeah. So, I'm originally from Texas. I came out here just an innocent Texas boy and Zack and Brenton in the office started to put together this kind of persona for me. And now just the nickname has stuck, but they had a 10 gallon hat that they were trying to get me to wear and a lasso that they wanted me to carry around. But fortunately, I got them to forget about that and I just kept the name, and it was kind of catchy.

Jake Miner:
Yeah. I love it. That's my favorite nickname I've heard of you so far. The research cowboy. It's definitely original. Fits you perfect.

Jayton Miller:
Heck, yeah.

Jake Miner:
All right. So this has been a long time coming. I've watched you do podcast, after podcast, after podcast interviewing people. And the whole time I've been sitting there thinking to myself, "Man, we got to get Jayton in the hot seat. People want to hear your story. I want to hear your story." So, without further ado, can you give us your Thermal journey? How your health journey started, how you met Christopher Walker, and how you ended up working for the greatest health company on the planet, UMZU.

Jayton Miller:
Yeah. So, I guess this goes back to, man, whenever I started training for football. So, played football my entire life. It was what consumed the first 18 years of my life. I just eat, slept and breathed football. And that's how it was back in West Texas. Like, I mean, football was the sport. And so, it started there. And then whenever I was 18, I had the chance to either sign and go play, or I had the decision to go to school. And through my experience, I was doing a lot of thinking and some reflection on it and I decided that football wasn't for me. I had some injuries that I knew that were only going to get worse the more that I played. And if I was 40 years old, am I going to look back on my life and regret the decision that I made because I can't play with my kids or I can't move around because I decided to go be a collegiate athlete.

Jayton Miller:
And so, at that moment, I decided to not sign and go to school as a biology student in pre-med for naturopathic medicine. And so whenever I did that, I completely stripped my entire identity and had to redefine myself as a person. I didn't know who I was, didn't know what I liked, didn't know what I was interested in. And so, I basically had to start from scratch and figure out, who was Jayton, and who was the man that I was going to become, and what were the things that I wanted to do. And through that journey, I had always wanted to be super lean. I'd always been under the impression that I needed to put on as much weight as possible for football. And even at that point, I could only put on so much weight that my body was willing to hold.

Jayton Miller:
I think the highest that I got up to is 220 pounds at one point. And throughout the course of the season, I dropped back down to 200 just because my body couldn't sustain the weight. And so, over the course of three months, I think I ended football season at around 210 pounds. I dropped all the way down to my lowest, which was 153 pounds. And whenever I did that, I had the veins in the abs super shredded. And throughout that time, I felt like absolute shit. I just felt terrible. Every single day I'd be freezing to death. It'd be 110 degrees outside. I would have jeans on and a hoodie and still be cold on a daily basis. And this was my senior year in high school. No libido. I was not social at all. Didn't like talking to people.

Jayton Miller:
And so, I isolated myself for quite a while. And then I continued that journey, started doing intermittent fasting, came across Greg O'Gallagher stuff from Kinobody. I'd also came across some of Chris's work at that point too, I had been following Chris for quite a while. And so, I was trying to figure out, I feel like I'm doing everything right. I'm eating the chicken and broccoli on a daily basis. I'm working out the way that I'm supposed to. I look good, but I don't feel good and I can't figure out why. And come to find out, I get into college and I feel terrible. It's hard for me to get up out of bed in the mornings. I'm weak. I'm starting to get skinny fat. So, my muscles going away and for some reason there's fat just building up on my body and I don't know why.

Jayton Miller:
And so, went got some blood work done from some different doctors, come to find out I had hypothyroidism. So classic high TSH, low T4. And so, initially they tried to put me on HDH spray because they thought it was going to re-initiate that process. And they put me on a little bit of T4 as well, this endocrinologist, because as a secondary mechanism I also had low testosterone. I had 113 nanograms per deciliter at that point. And so, as a 19 year old male, I'm going through a hypothyroid state and a low T state. The spray didn't work. I did a bottle of it, but it was too expensive to continue. So, I was like, I'm not going to continue to do this. And then after a while, the doctor ended up putting me on a little bit of TRT.

Jayton Miller:
So I was on TRT injections for a little while. And honestly, I felt like a drug addict having to prick myself with a needle every week or every other week. And finally I was just like, fuck this. And so, I just stopped cold turkey. I was like, I'm not going to do this anymore. I'm going to figure out how to do this on my own. And that's what threw me down the rabbit hole. I started to look a lot deeper into Chris's work. I started to just take in every ounce of information than I could from every resource that I could find, whether it was in class through the different kinds of classes that I was taking at that time, whether it was biology or biochem or my different labs, organic chemistry, things like that, to shadowing doctors. I actually shadowed an endocrinologist for a while and saw a lot of really cool stuff whenever I was doing that.

Jayton Miller:
And then I came across Ray Peat's work and I started taking a deep dive into Ray's stuff. At this point, I was still intermittent fasting. And for some reason, every time I would take one step forward, it was like I was taking two steps backwards. And I fought this for probably from 18, to honestly, I would say about till I was 21. So, even whenever I was still working at UMZU, I was still struggling with a lot of this stuff and I was still trying to fight my way out of the hole that I was in. And fortunately, throughout that first year at school, I reached out to Christopher Walker on Instagram. I sent him a message. I just told him, "Hey, I'm a pre-med student studying biology for naturopathic medicine. And if there's anything that you want or that you need, I'd love to do it. Just tell me which direction to go."

Jayton Miller:
And he actually ended up messaging me back and he was like, "Hey, I need a little bit of research articles for the universal plant," which was the CBD website that they were building up at the time. And so, I was stoked. I was on the moon and so happy. And I remember going home that Christmas break, and I would wake up and I would research and write articles for probably four hours in the morning. And I think over the span of like a week and a half or two weeks, I wrote them 14 different articles, completely researched backed over different kinds of topics of CBD. He told me like, "Okay, that's enough. I don't need anything more from you at this point." And so, I ended up getting back to school and got the opportunity to call Chris on the phone, which whenever I did that, I was just pouring sweat.

Jayton Miller:
I was sitting in my dorm. I was like, man, this is crazy. I can't believe that this is happening. Call him on the phone, he's like, "Hey man, I love the stuff that you're doing. I think we can set up a summer internship with you." And I was like, "This is amazing. I can't believe that this is happening. This is really cool." And so, didn't hear from anybody at all until about April, whenever I had a FaceTime interview with the head of HR here, her name's Carrie. We call her the wolf. She is awesome. She was the first friendly face that I got to see in the company. And she is very good at giving you a very good introduction into the company. So, again, pouring sweat, super nervous, my heart's racing, do the interview, got the internship. And so, I actually worked remote for three months over the course of the summer of 2018.

Jayton Miller:
And then, I would wake up in the morning. I built myself a standing desk in the sunroom of my mom's house. And I would walk out there with a giant French press full of coffee in my underwear and I would just stand there for eight hours out of the day. And Chris would send me these lists of topics that he would want research on, and I would send them like 12 pages of links and different kinds of studies that had like little synopsis right by them and stuff like that. And I was loving it, like it was awesome. And then I got the opportunity to come up to the office for a week. It was right whenever they had moved out to Boulder. So the office was still a little bare. But I got to come out for a week. And I remember I came out on a Monday, and I had a 45 minute walk from my Airbnb.

Jayton Miller:
And that Wednesday morning, whenever I was walking to the Airbnb, I remember walking over this little bridge with the creek running under me. And there was this moment of almost, it was the most amount of peace that I had ever experienced up to that point in my life. And this overwhelming sense of gratitude came over me. And I was like, man, this is where I need to be. And so, I walked into the office that day and I talked to Chris, and Nate at the time was here, and I just looked at him and I was like, "I don't care what I have to do. I don't care what it takes. I'm supposed to be here. And this is what I'm supposed to be doing." And they said, "Okay, we'll get you up here." And so, that August, I got to move up and started working full-time for them. And then that's my introduction into UMZU.

Jake Miner:
Heck yeah. What an amazing story. My next question was going to be that moment that you just shared. That was awesome. It's one of the coolest things I've ever heard. And I felt like when you first told me that moment that you had, kind of shared it with you while you were saying, I'm like, wow, this is awesome. And I was in a similar thing where, I had this feeling, I was hoping, I wanted to work for you guys. And I finally had a sit down moment the second week I started with you guys, and I was thinking about the moment you just had all day long. And I'm just like, "Wow, the feeling Jayton has is amazing. The feeling I have is amazing." And like you said, I was at so much peace the way I felt finally. It was a long time coming. That is one amazing story, Jayton.

Jayton Miller:
Thank you.

Jake Miner:
All right. You mentioned after the first year you were still hypothyroid and still healing, kind of get out of that state. So, what did you do or how did you get to that point where you were in more of a thermal state or got out of the state you mentioned?

Jayton Miller:
So, I would say the highest leverage factor for me was the consistency. Just knowing that I was on the right path and the things that I were doing were right, or at least the closest to right at that time I could possibly be doing. And just over the course of two to three years, I finally got to a point where it's like, I feel good consistently, I feel strong. Honestly like 2020, everybody's been hating on it but it's probably been one of the best years of my life. As far as my health goes, my experience on a day-to-day basis. I feel like everything that I do consistently is just part of the path that I'm supposed to be on and I finally feel good doing it. So, that's been nice. I would say consistency is probably the highest leverage factor. Eating enough food. So, for the longest time I was eating a calorie deficit, still chasing my vanity goals. I wanted to stay lean and try and get as much muscle on me as possible while in a calorie deficit, which is not how that works at all.

Jayton Miller:
And so, I finally came to a point where I was like, my health is something that I need to prioritize. I need to let go of these perceptions that I believe other people have of me, and focus on the way that I feel on a day to day basis and my perception of myself. And so, that's whenever I got into the reverse dieting phase and implementing strategies to get my calories as high as possible. Eating strategically, and eating in a way that alleviates the micronutrient deficiencies as much as possible, making sure that I get enough calcium to balance the calcium, phosphorous ratio inside of the body, making sure that I get enough salt in to have enough electrolytes. I started supplementing with a large amount of magnesium on a daily basis. I started experimenting with different kinds of ashwagandha extracts that actually work really well.

Jayton Miller:
Let's see, what else was I doing? Let's see. I actually, I was taking progesterone for a little while. I would just rub it topically on my skin above the thyroid. It actually helps a little bit with thyroid conversion and production. So, I was doing that for a little while. I would say that helped quite a bit. Making sure that I got enough sleep was huge. So, sleeping schedule helped me tremendously, like go to bed at 9:30, wake up anywhere from 5:30 to 6:30. Therefore, while I was getting a little less sleep I'd go to bed around 8:30 and wake up at 4:00 and get to the office 4:30 and just grind throughout the entire day. But that was a necessity at that time period. Let's see, making sure that I rested thoroughly.

Jayton Miller:
So, I was still resistance training for probably three to four days a week, but I was just making sure that I was doing it in a way that wasn't fatiguing my body too much and putting it under too much stress. And then I was focusing on my recovery big time with nutrition, sleep, red light therapy was huge, making sure that I got enough sunlight. And then the psychological factor was a big one for me, because I tend to have probably like four thoughts happening in my head simultaneously. And I am an over analyzer. And so I tend to, whenever I think about something, I think about it and I think about it and I think about it until there's nothing left to think about.

Jayton Miller:
And I think that's one of the reasons that I have an affinity for the sciences, the different kinds of philosophies and psychologies that are out there, is because you can think about those things for almost an endless amount of time and still uncover something new. So, I would say the psychological factors as far as finding peace within myself was a big one. Learning how to ground myself in the present moment and not having anxiety for the future. That's one thing that I noticed that I tended to struggle with growing up was, had super bad anxiety for what the future held whenever it's something that we really don't have that much control over, if any control at all.

Jayton Miller:
And then learning the things that I should and should not fret over, the small stuff. I would say now within my experience, there's very, very few things that can actually trigger an emotional response within me versus whenever I was growing up and prior to really focusing on it. I mean, if somebody just looked at me wrong, I would be mad at them. And I would focus on that person for the next hour. I'd be like, "Well, they did all of these things. What did I do to them?" And just break it down and over analyze it. So, I would say those are probably the biggest ones, the consistency, making sure to rest and relax, the progesterone was a big factor, the supplementation was a big factor, nutrition was a big factor, and then the psychological factor.

Jake Miner:
All right. My next question, you touched base on it there with your last answer. Well, when it comes to health optimization, people are always trying to just cut corners, find some magic pills, some overnight quick fix. Can you go into detail why is it so important to have such a solid foundation when it comes to diet and supplementation? And tie in Christopher saying, the long road is the fast road. When you are cutting corners you ended up two steps back.

Jayton Miller:
So, I think the first thing to think about whenever somebody is in a poor state of health is like, it's taken you your entire life to get to the point to where you're at today. It's going to take some time for you to be able to pull yourself out of there. It took me three years to get to where I am today. And I still wouldn't say that I'm 100% optimal. I mean, I would still say that I'm only in probably 85% of the way to being as optimal as I could be. So just realizing that, it is going to take probably a decent amount of time for you to get to a state to where you're comfortable. Usually it's about a third of the time that it took you to get there. So, say, you're 30 years old, and you've just absolutely destroyed yourself, it's probably going to take you a decade to get to 100%.

Jayton Miller:
But in saying that you're getting redirected, and every single year of that decade you feel 100% better. You're like, "Wow, I can't believe I feel this good." And then the next year you're like, "Wow, I can't believe I feel this good." And it just keeps getting better each year. So, I would just say that realize that it's taking you a long time to get into the state that you're in and realize that it's probably going to take some time to get you out of there. And then as far as shortcuts and stuff like that, one of the easiest comparisons is fat loss.

Jayton Miller:
You see all these people go on crash diets and lose tremendous amounts of weight and then a few months later you see that they've put all the weight back on, because the faster that you lose that weight, the easier it is going to be able to put it back on. And so, building the habits that are necessary in order to have a solid foundation in health itself, and developing the knowledge that is necessary to know why you're doing those things and how they work is extremely important. And I think that it can help a lot of people.

Jake Miner:
Okay. All right. So, in a previous podcast, you mentioned you were doing myofascial release. So, you mentioned Naudi Aguilar and you were doing his program. So, for the viewers today that have no idea about myofascial release, what is it? Why you started it? And who would you recommend myofascial release to?

Jayton Miller:
Yeah. So first of all, I think that most people should be doing some form of self massage. And that's basically what it is, just self massage with lacrosse ball, different kinds of foam rollers and things like that. And basically what fascia is, is it's a web-like structure that's integrated throughout the muscle tissue, the tendons and ligaments and things like that, that kind of helps... So, right now within the scientific community, the main hypothesis for its use is to lower the amount of friction that is created between those different parts of the body. So, the different types of muscle tissue, the different tendons and ligaments and things like that. And what can happen over time is, whenever it comes into contact with some form of trauma, whether it's psychological trauma that's manifesting itself on the physical level, or if it's some kind of physical that happened in that area, calcification of the fascial tissue begins to take place.

Jayton Miller:
And then by implementing that myofascial release, you begin to break down the calcification in those areas and allowing for a greater mobility to take place. You actually begin to release or lower the amount of cortisol that you hold, because whenever your muscles are tense, you're not producing an optimal amount of energy in order to properly compensate for the stress responses that you're having. And so, if you ever hear of rigor mortis, that is whenever the body stiffens up whenever you die, it's because there's no energy production and so the body will stiffen. And that's why they say that relaxation of the muscle is the actual energetically demanding part of muscle utilization. And so, basically just getting a higher amount of mobility into the muscle in order to allow for optimal energy production to be able to take place.

Jake Miner:
Yeah. Good stuff, brother. All right. So when it comes to bioenergetics and health in general, has there been one group you follow, one author you follow, someone like Ray Peat that's been your biggest influencer, or do you have multiple influencers?

Jayton Miller:
Yeah. Honestly, like Chris, not only in the realm of bioenergetics but just life in general, he's been a huge I would say, a mentor to me, for sure. He's helped me develop in so many different ways. Ray Peat, is obviously one of the ones that continues to blow my mind every time that I hear him talk. I'm working on getting him on the Thermo Diet Podcast. So, we'll get him on here eventually for sure. Let's see, Georgy Dean [inaudible 00:25:44] is always amazing to talk to. Let's see, as far as authors go, Kate Daring has a really good book. Danny Roddy has really good book. Chris's books are really good, I can't wait for his new book to come out. I want to get my hands on it so bad. It's going to be How To Eat, it's going to release probably in January. So make sure to look for that if you're looking for a new read, whenever January rolls around.

Jayton Miller:
Other than that, I mean, it's mainly just learning the fundamentals of science and just biology and biochemistry. You don't have to be a scientist to learn these things. There's free resources all over the place, from Crash Course who has different kinds of courses of all kinds of things on YouTube for absolutely free that actually has really good information. I watch those consistently whenever I'm diving into a new topic and I want to learn the basics really, really quickly. I'll look into Crash Course. There's Khan Academy, that's really good. And you can learn pretty much anything that you want to on there. YouTube is a great resource for just about anything, you just got to make sure that you have a really good BS filter whenever you're looking through a lot of that stuff.

Jayton Miller:
Going through different kinds of scientific journals, talking to different people who've had the same experiences and are on the boat with the bioenergetic of perspective of health is really important, I would say. Because I don't really feel like there's that many that are actually on board with it and that know the importance that it can have, not only on yourself but for all of humanity. If they realize the power that the metabolic theory of health has they'd be mind blown. And honestly, it would change the perspective of our existence. So, I would say those are probably the biggest ones.

Jake Miner:
Yeah. Good stuff. All right. So what would be your biggest piece of advice to somebody that just found Christopher Walker? You see so many people out there doing one extreme diet, vegan, then they go to keto, then they go to carnivore, and then they find one of Chris's videos and they hop on the Thermo Diet. Well, when they're at that point, a terrible stress state, what would be your biggest piece of advice to someone that's at that point where like, "Well, I'm here, but what do I do now?"

Jayton Miller:
First thing is, take it slow. Take it step-by-step, it's going to be a process implementing all of these things. Your body's really stressed out and you don't want to bombard it by stressing it out even more by throwing a whole bunch of new stuff at it. So, take it slow, and then get familiar with the material that we have. I would say take the time to go through the different courses that we have, the amount of information that is in those is pretty thorough and it's easy to understand, it's easy to digest. I think that's one of the skills that Chris has, is to be able to translate very abstract ideas into terms that are very easy to understand for the mass population. So, I would say those are probably the biggest things. And then, let's see, focus on your gut health. I would say that if your digestive health is not optimal, then it's going to be really hard for everything else to align as well. So, that would be my first area to dive into, would be gut health too.

Jake Miner:
Okay. All right. This is a question from the peanut gallery, "But if you were stuck on a stranded island and you got to bring three supplements and three foods, you need that for the rest of your life. What would it be?"

Jayton Miller:
Yeah. So, the first supplement would be magnesium bicarbonate, just an unlimited supply of magnesium bicarbonate would be fantastic. Probably a thyroid. So, probably some T3. Let's see. And then I would say maybe a vitamin K supplement, would be my biggest ones. And then as far as foods, a good hard cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano, some orange juice, and probably liver, beef liver.

Jake Miner:
Liver every day. Heck, yeah. All right. So, I don't want to keep you too long. I know you're a busy guy. My last question for you is, so I know we just launched the UMZU fit app and you have the perfect Thermo course in there, so what are you doing now? Are you working on something new? Are you adding in a new routine, new supplements? What's new in the world of Jayton?

Jayton Miller:
Yeah. So right now I'm working on a new periodization scheme for the program. So, I'm actually going through that right now. I'm in week one phase two. I just ended that this morning. We went to the gym this morning and did some filming and stuff. So I went ahead and got in a workout. So, the periodization scheme is a big one. I'm slowly trying to develop the skills and the information that I need to be able to develop the mindset course that I would like to bring out in the future. And so, right now I'm going through a few different realms of philosophy. Right now I'm reading some Seneca. Seneca's one of those minds that's just absolutely phenomenal, well beyond his time.

Jayton Miller:
Let's see. Yeah. And then I actually just got a new textbook it's over the essentials of strength and conditioning, like the essential principles of strength and conditioning. So, I'm going through there and looking through the different... So, it was published in 2000. So over the past 20 years there is some stuff that has changed. But there's some foundational elements in there that I wasn't aware of that I've been refreshing my memory on, as far as like the endocrinological responses from strength training and things like that, the different types of things that overtraining does to the central nervous system. We actually have an excess amount of serotonin in the central nervous system whenever we begin to overtrain and have too much stress in the system, which makes sense because your body begins to try and put itself into hibernation in order to regenerate properly. So, I would say it's nothing too crazy right now. I'm always experimenting with something. I'm always trying something different to learn and see what I can bring to the community.

Jake Miner:
Awesome. All right, Jayton. Thanks for taking the time to tell everybody your story today. I feel people are going to be super excited when they see The Thermo Diet Podcast, Jayton Miller, and your story finally. So, thank you for that. And with that being said, have a great day. And I guess I'll catch you on a different day.

Jayton Miller:
Heck, yeah. Definitely. Thanks for having me, Jake. I appreciate it. Thanks for listening to the podcast. If you haven't already, make sure to hit the like button, subscribe, and leave a comment down below if you want us to cover a different topic.

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