Baby Health in Winter
[00:01:24] Podcast Sponsors
[00:03:35] Guest and Topic Introduction
[00:08:00] Alex’s History With Health And Biohacking
[00:13:53] Packaging Individual Protocols And Biohacks Into A Comprehensive Corporate Wellness Program
[00:30:16] How To Share Collective Results While Maintaining Individual’s Privacy
[00:38:03] Podcast Sponsors
[00:41:40] How This System Is Implemented
[00:52:48] The Future Of Corporate Wellness
[01:00:34] Reaching Live Timeless
[01:05:08] Question for Ben on Recommendations
[01:07:39] Closing the Podcast
[01:09:06] End of Podcast
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Alex: When we get information that’s personalized to us, we either believe it’s more true or it becomes more actionable and we will change our behaviors because of it.
Ben: Why can’t a company just take everything we’ve just been talking about and roll this out themselves? Because it doesn’t seem like rocket science per se.
Alex: You can hire somebody to go and order this, deliver it to your employees, but what are you going to do in year two? We’re going to have another podcast and then you go and listen to what we’re suggesting now, like health and wellness? It’s not a one-time thing.
Ben: Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Alright. So, on today’s show, I got to interview a guy who, along with his crack team up in Canada, is putting together these really cool cutting-edge corporate wellness programs that I think are pretty unique. It’s almost like a quarterly box you get delivered to your office along with a handheld walkthrough of all the things in it that are going to help to make your employees healthier, happier, and more productive. It’s called Live Timeless. And, we gem out for a while, and I think you’re going to enjoy this episode.
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Alright, let’s go talk to Alex.
It’s been a topic that I haven’t really addressed in detail, but I’ve really wanted to for a long time tackle this whole issue with the state of corporate wellness programs basically being really subpar. I mean, not only in the U.S., but around the world, they seem old school and outdated, like many gym and health club fitness and nutrition programs, corporate wellness programs seem to have things like cafeteria and nutrition menu that just advises you to, whatever, eat more lean protein or consume more fruits and vegetables, or yearly basic doctor checkups with almost zero motivation, or accountability, or feedback, or even utilization of all the stuff that we have available to us now, like these more advanced labs and biometric testing and even biohacks to be able to keep track of everything from glucose to ketones, to inflammation, to cortisol, and beyond.
And then, we’re going to talk about biohacks even in the workplace, lack of attention paid to a lot of these hidden environmental assailants that affect the energy, and even a company’s bottom line like air, or light, or water, or electricity. There’s so much low-hanging fruit that could be grabbed when it comes to making executives healthier and living a longer time, when it comes to optimizing employee’s health, their sleep, their energy levels, their happiness, just their overall productivity. It’s one of those things that I think we have to tackle at some point. Corporate wellness programs, in my opinion, need to be upgraded.
So, I recently began discussions with this company called Live Timeless there at livetimeless.com, or you can just go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/livetimeless for today’s shownotes. And, I had some discussions with them about what they are doing, specifically in the realm of corporate wellness because they’re actually up to a lot of interesting things in terms of the ecosystem that they’ve built to actually allow both employers and employees to use, I guess what I would consider to be more advanced health concepts when it comes to truly optimizing a corporate wellness program. We’re going to dig into all that today.
So, my guest is Alexander, and I’m going to try to spit this out, Alex, Alexander von Gramatzki. Did I get that right?
Alex: You got it right. Thank you.
Ben: Sweet. Sick. So, Alex actually grew up playing soccer in Europe. So, he had this pretty extensive youth soccer career. And, during that time, I’ve actually mentioned this on podcast before, it seems like European football is pretty far ahead of the curve when it comes to utilizing things like HRV, recovery tools, biohacks, a lot of the stuff that folks like Steph Curry, and LeBron James, and Tom Brady, and professional American athletes are now utilizing. A lot of that originated with European soccer. So, he got exposed to a lot of this stuff just in his early sporting days. But then from there, he went on to actually become the youngest person to be accepted into and graduated from the Wharton School Executive General Management Program.
And so now, his primary focus is figuring out how to bring all of these more advanced wellness technologies, and health tests, and biometric testing, and biohacks into the workplace, into the corporate setting so that companies can get employees to really have optimized bodies and minds, which of course also drastically affects everything from health insurance to the overall bottom line of a company. So, I thought it’d be fun to get Alex on and have a discussion about what kind of a gold standard cutting-edge next level executive or employee wellness program would actually look like. So, Alex, welcome to the show, man.
Alex: Yeah. Thank you so much for the introduction and I appreciate everything that you had a chance to share there about me.
And, how I got involved with Live Timeless really began, as you mentioned, with my soccer career and getting exposed to lots of different tests. So, I was intimately in tune with my body and mind, and I kind of took it for granted that a lot of other people were not. So, when it came to figuring how I felt every day, I was able to adjust my day accordingly and just perform at higher levels when I was feeling sluggish.
Ben: What do you mean by that? Like, what kind of things are you doing?
Alex: Yeah. So, what I was doing is like, let’s say I felt groggy in the morning, it could be something as simple as an orange juice or it could be some water. And what I mean, I mean really basic stuff, but it’s because I was able to, throughout 20 years of playing soccer, able to really get in touch with my body and mind because I had been using various different wellness tests that I’d come across.
Ben: I’m going to pause right there. Did you say orange juice?
Alex: Yeah, orange juice.
Ben: Okay. I’m sure a lot of listeners right now are wondering how you’re making an argument that pure, relatively nutrient non-dense sugar would be a way to optimize oneself. Are you saying that that was like the old school way of thinking that you were locked into?
Alex: I was saying it would be something that would, if I was feeling really down in the morning, it would just up my blood sugars a little bit and could get my day a little bit kick-started. So, that was the old school way of doing things as you mentioned. And then I came across all these tests because my girlfriend, we were trying to get pregnant, and she had hormone imbalances from being very active. So, she was really fit and she was always in the gym. She was eating the turkeys and the egg whites and following that kind of bodybuilder diet.
Ben: The brocco chicken, broccoli chicken. And for a real, real treat for dessert, maybe every once in a while, you get to have some white rice?
Alex: Exactly. So, that’s the diet she was on. And so, she went to the doctors and naturopaths and they said, “You know what, you looked like you are in menopause.” And she was 25 at the time, and that was really scary for us. So, what we started doing is we started looking at things like food and tolerance test, like how’s her vitamins and her minerals, and we started tracking some of her things. Long story short, our baby girl [00:10:31] _____ was born January 7th, year of 2020, and it was all-natural, and it was all just by getting more in touch with what her body and her mind needed.
And they wanted to go right into giving her various hormone treatments and all these other things. This is how Live Timeless came to be is because the test that she started doing her friends then wanted and our family wanted, and then corporations started to want them. And we realized that there’s so many things out there, like when you go to DirectLabs, there’s hundreds of tests out there, but it’s almost overwhelming. So, what we tried to do was —
Ben: Yeah. What kind of stuff was she doing? Like, how did she optimize her pregnancy? What kind of tests or what kind of diet or supplementation program or type of technologies or anything like that were you guys rolling out with her that made other people or your friends and kind of I guess the executive world sit up and take notice?
Alex: Yeah. So, we focused a lot on gut health. So, those would have been things like food intolerance tested and microbiome tested. There’s now also some products out there that do your macro and micronutrients based on your DNA, and those things are evolving. They’re still in early stages. And, I was a skeptic too when some of these consumer-facing products came out because I was like, “Man, this stuff is complex,” and health was complex overall. So, I was always hesitant to believe it. And what I noticed was that it wasn’t any single thing by itself that made a difference. It was that ecosystem and it was combining a lot of different things that really started to make a difference. So, that’s what she started to do.
Ben: So, when it comes to, I guess combining or stacking a lot of modalities, is what you’re saying in terms of kind of like taking some of these same concepts that I guess a lot of individuals, like me, like you, like your wife — and congratulations, by the way, on being a new daddy. I guess at the time that we’re recording, your daughter would be what, three months old?
Alex: Just two months.
Ben: Okay. Cool, cool. So, in terms of taking things that we’re doing, like I get up in the morning and I have a big glass mason jar with some vitamin C and some baking soda in there and some really, really good minerals, and then I go on and I do a little bit of mobility and bodywork, I’ve got a little bit of red light therapy, I’m hitting the sauna as I’m working in my office during the day, there’s a HEPA air filter, there’s an essential oil diffuser, I’ve got all manner of different balance tools and bodywork tools that I’m hitting during the day while I’m at my office, I’ve got different things that’ll do everything from nebulized glutathione to clean the air, switch everything to red light at night.
There’s all these things that I think a lot of people, and even a lot of listeners are doing for themselves in their homes privately on a daily basis. And many of the executives I work with are also doing this stuff at their offices. Yet from an overall corporate wellness standpoint, employees aren’t really being equipped with what they would need to optimize their day using a lot of these things, or to clean up their air, their light, their water, their electricity, et cetera.
So, where do you even start? Like, how did you guys approach things at Live Timeless as far as taking what people are trying to do to optimize their bodies in, say like, the biohacking sector or the more advanced wellness sector and try to begin to roll this into corporate wellness programs?
Alex: You mentioned a lot of things that people have in their homes privately, and a lot of listeners probably have used some forms of products that you’ve recommended. So, when we looked at corporations, we realized that a corporation is full of employees that range on a broad spectrum, some chronically ill and some incredibly healthy, and to service all of them was very, very difficult. So, we found our niche in smaller businesses and focusing on executives and startup companies that were wanting to integrate wellness as to attract talent.
So, we started with wearables, which I mentioned at the beginning, I thought were a little bit gimmicky in the early phases with — I want to say like [00:14:57] _____ and how valuable some of that heart rate data in general to people if they don’t know how to analyze it. So, I was a bit skeptical of some of the early wearables. And as times moved on, I think some information is getting much better. So, we want to get a baseline initially. So, we use some wearables on that side of things about how —
Ben: So, you’re beginning with the quantification piece?
Ben: Okay. So, in terms of scaling this on a corporate level, what you’re saying is Step 1 would be to ensure that you’re actually gathering data from employees or execs and you’re using wearables to allow you to do that in a scalable or in, correct me if I’m wrong, affordable manner?
Alex: Yes, absolutely. And the reason is because we want to show progress and we want to show improvement, too. So, there’s a lot of wellness programs and benefits out there that don’t necessarily improve wellness, or if they do, you don’t know how much. So, it’s very hard to measure the return on investment here. And what we want to do is we’ll say, “Hey, you know what, you can monitor things like HRV, like your sleep.” Some of them are focused on [00:16:11] _____ energy levels nowadays. So, if we can show reduction in stress, improved sleep, improved energy levels, that starts to show the return on investment to employers as to, “Okay. How can we further empower employees if they’re overworked, overstressed? How can we encourage them? How can we change their hours? How can we support them without bridging any privacy rules?”
Ben: So, at Live Timeless where I know people can go to your website, like an HR person or a corporation could visit your website and can sign up for basically like a corporate wellness package. When they do so, when you begin with the quantification piece, what are you using? I mean, is there one tool like a WHOOP or an Oura or a Fitbit that you guys have settled on as what gets distributed to a corporation that you’re then helping them track?
Alex: Yeah. So, we like a lot of different wearables and people have preferences, too. So, there’s profiles people have. So, we don’t want to restrict it to specifically one. Now, we do a very much, right at the moment, like the Garmin vivosmart 4, but we also like the Oura ring. With the Oura ring, there’s just some complexities when it comes to measuring the size and things like that for you because they send out the measuring kit. But we want to make it as simple and convenient as possible for employers and the employees. So, there’s always new stuff coming out, too. And you know this better than probably anyone, it’s almost impossible to stay on top of the stuff. So, we don’t really like committing to any specific product because there’s always something new coming out, something better, and even something cheaper.
Ben: Okay. So, at that point, if someone has signed up for wellness program and been instructed and given by you guys the wearables that everyone will begin to use, what’s the next step as you begin collecting data? Like, what’s the overall program actually look like?
Alex: So, one of the next components is we want to get into after that is what’s good for your diet. So, what’s good for your macro and micronutrients needs based on your DNA. Some people are against DNA testing though or they think it’s too early stage, and this supposed to be a guide to help people just better understand what’s best for them. Or other, if they don’t want to go into the DNA testing, there’s things that are testing the microbiome. And if they also don’t want to get into those types of things, we can just go right into a food intolerance test and say, “Hey, here are some of the things that might inflame you that aren’t good for your gut. And you know that feeling of full, that’s probably not feeling full, that’s probably feeling of inflammation.”
Ben: Okay. So, I want to unpack this a little bit more. So, somebody’s obviously wearing a wearable. And all my clients, the execs I coach, most of them are using an Oura or a WHOOP to actually track their data that I then get access to on a dashboard. Sounds to me like you guys are simulating that on a more scalable or a larger corporate level. But then you’re also, from a quantification piece, before we actually give into the specifics of the changes or the hacks or the technologies that would then be sent to a corporation to be able to use, as far as quantification, are you saying you guys have different packages that would say, “Okay, well, here’s a package where everybody could get their blood, their gut, their biome, their urine, et cetera, tested, here’s a package that’s very basic where they’re just using wearables”? I mean, what’s it actually looked like as far as packages go? And then, how is that rolled out as far as how people actually tested in terms of is it like a nurse practitioner coming to the workplace or employees going out and doing this stuff on their own? Just kind of walk me through the real nitty-gritty specifics of how this actually works.
Alex: Yeah. So, everyone should be able to do this in the workplace at the moment at home if they’re working remotely. So, everything we’ve integrated, we checked what the user experience is like and how easy and simple it is to use. So, some of them, yeah. There’s a nurse practitioner that might come to the office to take a larger blood draw, but how we’ve set it up is because there’s so many different products and technologies out there, we’ve set up different plans where we keep a fixed price and we are the ones that then negotiate essentially with the vendors. So, the pricing or the packages we have is where you can get one of these products or test every three months, four months, or six months.
And, the reason we do it on a regular but slightly infrequent basis is because there’s also only so much people can take away at any given time. So, what essentially happens is you choose which package or plan you want to go on. And then after that, essentially, we send a link to the people that you’ve signed up and they will then select some of the products that they want early on to integrate into their program. So, that’s how we have structured at this point in time.
Ben: When you say product, what do you mean?
Alex: So, like I mentioned, if somebody doesn’t want to do DNA test, we have the microbiome test. If they don’t want to do a stool sample, we have that food intolerance test. So, that’s what we’re thinking about when it relates to diet. So, that’s kind of Step 2. And then, Step 3 after that is getting into some of the meditation technologies. And then later on, how are your minerals and vitamins doing. So, testing your deficiencies and excess minerals and vitamins. So, there’s multiple layers that come into this because there’s so many different tests out there.
Ben: How are you guys deciding which tests you’re going to use? Like, how many total tests were — let’s step back and say this. Let’s say I’m an executive, I’m listening in, I want the gold standard testing. I want everybody just quantified to the tee, I want to find everything that’s going on, and I sign up for just like your best plan, your executive plan, or your high-performance plan or whatever that might be. What exactly am I going to get? Like, what wearables am I going to get and what tests are my employees or my execs can get access to using like the gold standard service?
Alex: Yeah. I love that question and we get that question a lot. And, how we’ve structured is, so we’d say, “Okay. We’d put you on the program where you get a product or test every three months.” And the reason we do every three months is because we found, and we’ve checked with corporations and we’ve got feedback from corporations that if we do it more frequently, it becomes overwhelming for the employees. So, we always want somebody to get if you take away from every single test or product.
So, the reason I’m hesitant to answer your question, and I will answer it though, is because we’re always updating the list because there’s always new things coming out. So, if you’re getting something every three months, that means you’re only getting four things a year. So, at the moment, it could be either the [00:23:13] _____ or the Oura ring. And then next, it could be the Viome microbiome test or a food intolerance test from a company in Canada here called Canalt, or something from Genie where they measure your macro and micronutrients. And then for meditation, we like Muse because it helps people learn to control their mind. It gives that real-time feedback from your brainwaves. And then for measuring how you’re doing for nutrient levels, we really like Baze right now.
Ben: What do you call that one?
Alex: Baze, B-A-Z-E.
Ben: What’s that one?
Alex: Essentially, it’s an easy task that you — it’s like a little suction cup. You put it on your leg or your arm and it takes this blood sample you send in and it tells you in a very user-friendly way which minerals and nutrients you’re excessive or deficient in. And you get a little 15-minute chat also with one of their health experts on their team to guide you through those things if you have more questions.
Ben: That’s a new one. I hadn’t heard of that. I’m taking notes, by the way, as you’re talking. And for those of you who want to take a deep dive into any of this stuff, I’ll link to it at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/livetimeless. It almost sounds to me how some people are doing like quarterly boxes that get shipped to your house. I recently received one called a Fasting Box. It was just all these things like teas and ketone monitors and little things that would help to optimize a fast. It sounds to me like it’s almost kind of like a quarterly box but focused on corporate wellness. And then, you guys are then providing advice and instruction and ongoing support to a corporation as they receive gradually rolled out during the year each extra thing that’s going to stack on top of the previous shipment that they received to optimize the corporate wellness.
Alex: Yeah. And that’s very much spot-on. It is very much like a quarterly box except for there’s a very much stacking effect and a few thread books on habits. Stacking habits is very important. So, building on top of each other is very important. And, that’s what we don’t like talking about the product specifically because this is also changing. Like I mentioned, there’s hundreds of them out there and I’m sure next week something else is going to come out. And we’re always updating that list and giving people the best of the best, and that’s what we believe, it’s building that ecosystem. That’s what I think is so important because you can focus on just sleeping and not eating right and that’s not really going to be helpful. You can only work out but not rest. So, there’s just so many complexities and there’s so much when it comes to wellness. And you know better than anyone, there’s not one solution. And what we’re trying to do is give people multiple sources to get information from.
Ben: Have you gotten pushed back from people who just want to get everything at once, take that all-or-nothing approach and get all the quantification devices, all the tests, and just roll out everything at once?
Alex: So, we’ve had individuals sign up in our early stages, that one [00:26:17] _____. So, we had initially like a tracker tracking mental and something for your gut. And, when people got it, and there were only three products and right now we like 11 of them right now, it was overwhelming for them to just use three. It’s one of those things. I like the idea, but when it comes here, I’m like, “Okay. Well, what am I doing? What am I focused on?” And I think it’s Warren Buffett that says if you have more than three priorities, you have no priorities. So, we take that idea of it’s important to do things in a step meal approach because if you’re doing too much, you’re not doing anything at all.
Ben: So, when people then get these products, obviously, I could see a nightmare scenario where every three months, let’s say, a bunch of boxes arrived to some corporation that has 100 employees and there’s some brand-new biohack or tests or technology or self-quantification tool and everybody’s just standing around scratching their heads looking at what they got from Live Timeless and not knowing how to use it, how to integrate it, how to track it. So, I assume that you’re then tying this into some kind of instruction, some kind of support so that people know what they’re supposed to do is they’re receiving each of these shipments from your company.
Alex: Yeah. So, we do send an email out along with it so everyone gets a selection, and we send an email which supports all of that. We’ve not had pushback of anyone being surprised if anything we’ve had great feedback on, how it builds corporate culture, how people talk about it, how people share about it, how they go home and talk to their families about what they got, how they feel cared for. So, as it relates to everything showing up on, I will say, a random day in the office that people don’t exactly know, most employees don’t exactly know when, they really enjoy it. So, that feedback has been absolutely great because we also make sure we focus on customer experience and user experience. So, we’d gift drop everything. So, it’s kind of like getting a gift every few months. So, they [00:28:23] _____ that’s on their desk. And the feedback has been absolutely great on that side of things because it makes everyone feel really cared for.
Ben: So, it’s like Christmas, what employees get every few months is some kind of product that’s going to enhance their wellness delivered to their desk. And then, this email that you guys send out, is that just going to HR? Is that going to each individual employee? Or, how is that instruction delivered?
Alex: Right now, it’s going to individual employees with larger corporations. They want things to go through HR though. But our focus and where we’ve been having a lot of success is smaller companies that just go right to their employees. And they really like the engagement piece and it’s something quite different that helps them attract and retain employees, especially start-up companies that are trying to do something different that can’t always compete on salary.
Ben: Now, when I’m testing with a company like, let’s say Viome, or Onegevity, or WellnessFX, or InsideTracker, or any of these companies in the U.S. that I’ve worked with who will allow you to do self-quantification from the comfort of your own home, let’s say a lab test, for example, or a wearable, like the Oura dashboard or the WHOOP dashboard. I can go in and I can see my results, I can see little videos that walk me through how to interpret the results. I can see a running metric of, “Here’s what your bloods look like on your summer test, here’s what they look like on your winter test, et cetera,” and actually get feedback, education, and also a dashboard where I can track information. And that’s the way things work on an individual level, but how is that looking for you guys on a corporate level as far as once somebody has, let’s say a quantification tool or some type of — and I want to get some examples of this as well from you eventually, things that people are doing to enhance their health right there in the workplace, not to quantify but to actually take action.
Is there some kind of way that you guys are then interacting on an ongoing basis or making the actual information being gathered by these devices or the results that are being produced by the action steps being taken? Are those available in some kind of a dashboard to the employers or the HR to the employees themselves?
Alex: Yeah. So, I want to start with we have to always be very cognizant of privacy policies. So, at the moment, we focus on wellness metrics as to avoid any health data. So, as it relates to that, yes, we have dashboards for corporations where they can be proactive and support and empower their employees. And, that dashboard is always evolving somewhere to most apps, adding new features, things like that. And areas we’re trying to really focus on are stress, and energy levels, and activity, and meditation minutes. So, those are the areas that we’re focusing on on that dashboard for corporations.
And again, it’s all supposed to be really easy and simple to use. So, you can send suggested newsletters or information. They’ll populate up and then you can, as a corporation, decide, “Hey, do I want to blast this out to a group that’s been more stressed out at the moment or do I want to send this to people that haven’t been meditating and get people back on the train?” So, that’s what we do on the dashboard side. It’s really an aggregator of all these different things. As much as we can, some of the products and tests we can’t aggregate, but we try to figure out how all these things will work together.
Ben: So, when you’re doing this, are you using the actual dashboards? Like, let’s say every employee gets an Oura ring. Are you using the Oura ring dashboard or have you guys created your own software that’s bringing in all these different metrics, and are you presenting that on your own white-label dashboard or your own internally created dashboard that a corporation then has access to be able to log into?
Alex: We have our internally created dashboard. So, we’ll pull pieces of data from as many places as we can that we think are relevant. So, we don’t want to do anything redundant. And if we don’t think, “Well, what’s an employer going to do with this information?” we don’t add it either. So, if there’s, I want to say, irrelevant information to an employer, that’s not going to be on there. Even things like from the food and tolerance test, we will say, “You guys always ask if anyone have allergies when you do seminars or when you do events, here’s a dashboard now that’ll list them in our comprehensive way as to making sure that people can eat more appropriately.”
Ben: Okay. So, when you’ve got this dashboard put together, that baffles me because I have yet to actually find — I think there’s one company called Heads Up Health, for example, that seems to do a decent job at bringing in a lot of metrics. That’s one example I can think of off the top of my head, no pun intended. That’s actually doing things like integrating a whole bunch of different pieces of data, like an Oura, or KetoMojo, or an Elite HRV, or a Biostrap, and then pulling in medical records and presenting all of this on a pretty slick little dashboard. I haven’t seen even that company do a lot as far as pulling in things like exercise data or nutrition data that I’m aware of, although I think they tie to the Cronometer app for nutrition. And so, that’s one example that I can think of that’s a pretty decent health dashboard. But for you guys, I’m just curious, have you been able to crack the code on being able to pull on things like exercise programming, food photo logs, stuff like that? Like, how comprehensive do this dashboard get that you guys have created?
Alex: So, when it comes to the employer, the information is going to be limited to information that we think will help an employer be proactive or empower their employees. We don’t have anything that would allow them to upload food photos because that wouldn’t be applicable to the employer. When it comes to the employee, specifically a lot of these — like if you use the Viome, you mentioned earlier, they have a great dashboard for the person or the employee. So, we don’t need to replicate that, but we will want to aggregate that information so in the future, they can use that together. And, Apple Health has done a great job of summarizing information from things that you’re using, assuming that they integrate with an app.
But, the link that we’re really trying to provide is, “Okay. Well, what about the products and tests that you don’t know exists? How are they going to get integrated into your Apple Health dashboard if you don’t have them?” So, we’re trying to introduce those things. And then also, we’re not just trying to summarize them, we’re trying to take it to the next level and trying to see how does this information fit together. And sometimes it doesn’t at all yet, and that’s where machine learning and artificial intelligence will play a role. But sometimes it starts to play nicely together on those types of things. So, I’ll give you an example, specifically. If I just think about food intolerances and my microbiome and my wearable, my energy levels are lower, and I recover, and I have worse sleep, and it’s measurable after I eat certain things that inflame my body or that aren’t good for my gut. So, it becomes relatively straightforward in some cases, but in some cases, it is definitely more complex.
Ben: So, you’ve got these products that are being shipped out on a regular basis. You’ve got a dashboard that folks have access to that’s pulling in the quantification piece. And then, what about the actual action steps? Like, what kind of things are corporations receiving that would allow employees to optimize their workplace, whether it’d be balance boards they could use at a standing desk, or some version of a stand-up desk, or something like a light therapy device that could be used for seasonal affective disorder, or, I don’t know, essential oil diffusers? I’m just throwing things out there. Like, what are you guys actually corporating or sending out to folks when it comes to things people can do during a workday to optimize their health that go beyond just quantification?
Alex: Yeah. So, during the workday and for the employer, specifically, what we’re focusing on is the first few levels, the first few steps of getting people healthier. And, this is really about them just altering their diet, about them improving their sleep. So, we’re not recommending balanced boards and things like that in the office, yet even though in the future we might because I don’t know where we would get that type of data that would help them make those types of decisions around what to implement to the office. What we want to make sure we bring is information that will help people change their lives in a meaningful way because there was a Harvard study that said five healthy habits can extend lifespan by more than 10 years.
So, those are the types of things that we want to focus on and making sure that people find their optimal state. And sometimes, that comes from things that they can do by themselves such as in other statistics is 8 out of 10 people have conflicting information about food. So, we’re really focusing on how do we avoid conflicting information and how do we make sure people have the right information in a world where essentially it’s information overload.
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Give me some examples of what people would actually be receiving that goes beyond just quantification type of devices.
Alex: They would receive information on these foods will make you sleep worst, or these foods will decrease your energy levels, or these foods —
Ben: But that’s information. I’m talking about actual products. Are there any products that go beyond quantification that people are receiving when they get these, say, quarterly shipments from you?
Like, when a corporation signs up for a wellness plan and they’re getting products from you delivered to them on regularly timed intervals and the employees are receiving these gift boxes from Live Timeless on their desk or HRs receiving these boxes from you guys that they’re then distributing to employees, is there anything inside those boxes that goes beyond, say, like a Fitbit, or an Oura, or a WHOOP, or some kind of a lab testing kit? Like, are there actual, I guess tools or devices that folks can use to actually optimize their productivity while they’re in the workplace or optimize their health while they’re in the workplace?
Alex: No. So, we don’t add anything along with the box. We send out the boxes and then we aggregate the information, and then we use that information to give them better information. So, it’s more in the quantifying side of things.
Ben: Okay. So, it’s all quantification. But then, based on the actual action steps that they can take from that, are you guys providing information about, “Here’s X number of different stretches that you can do, the intervals for Pomodoro style work breaks,” or, “Here are devices that because you are showing on your quantified data, let’s say, an Oura ring that deep sleep is compromised, here are recommendations for blue light blocking glasses or adjustments made to the software you might be using on your computer to dim the light at the end of the day, or the type of a lighting used in the workplace, et cetera”? Are you guys incorporating recommendations like that?
Alex: Oh, I see what you’re saying because based on the information we get, we actually adjust the product pipeline. So, we don’t necessarily have to tell them, “Hey, adjust or change your lighting. I guess changing lighting on a computer is one we couldn’t adjust for you, but if there is something that we noticed that that person needs or should have, we’ll actually include that as one of the future products,” so that we help them implement that. So, the wellness program is designed and structured in a way where the payments that you’re essentially making essentially are stepping stones, but then we’re taking those stepping stones and we’re helping you build out what your path should be. And we’re working with the pricing that we’ve set at the beginning to make sure that we will then deliver to you what you need. So, it’s a little bit like you just said. So, if they need something different, we’ll try to identify what that is, and we’ll then include that as a future test so that they don’t have to go out and spend extra money on additional things just because we gave them some information.
Ben: Maybe to better wrap my head around this, can you walk me through, say, like an example of a corporation you’ve worked with, you don’t have to name names if you need to keep things confidential, of what this looks like from point of sign up to deliverables, to what you’re seeing employees do with the information, to the information you’re supplying to them? And you could take your time if you want. We have time.
Can you walk me through what this actually looks like, like boots in the street with specific examples?
Alex: Yeah. So, we sign up a lot of law firms actually because they don’t have a lot of time to go see the doctors [00:45:25] _____ testing. So, they like this wellness in the workplace program. So, what will happen is initially, first month, they get a wearable. We’ve had great feedbacks on the wearables we use, especially people that haven’t used wearables before. They’ll say, “Oh my god, I had no idea that this client stresses me out so much.” Yeah. Or they’ll say, “You know what, I had no idea that even that one glass of red wine the next morning, my energy levels did not recover the same as they would have if I wouldn’t — nights I don’t have a glass of red wine.” So, we’ve had people that enjoy drinking completely stopped drinking. All because they get some actionable data and some actionable insights, which I thought was very interesting.
Another one is for this meditation technology. We like Muse. That’s one of the other ones we used for the mind. And, we’ve had people that have been meditating or trying to meditate for 10 years, but we’re getting semi-frustrated because they never knew if they were actually doing it or not. But now with this real-time brainwave feedback, they’re getting the feedback signal so it — when your mind is really active, you’ll hear a stormy weather. And when your mind is calm, you’ll hear kind of birds tripping on the beach.
So, now these people are much more confident in their meditative skill and they’ve calmed down, and it’s also helped them manage their stress and reduce their stress with their stressful clients. So, here’s my two products working in tandem with each other. Another one is this food intolerance test I mentioned. We’ve had clients say, “You know what, I had no idea that I was intolerant to egg whites,” and they always thought it was something that filled them in the mornings and now they’re becoming more aware that it wasn’t filling them, that that was actually the filling of inflammation that they had. Those are the types of things like some of the first products that we’ve rolled out to clients. And so, that would be kind of nine months down the road already.
And it doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you think about, “Well, how many tons of these people gone to see and do their annual checkups, and how come a 40-year-old, 50-year-old person doesn’t have this information and they’ve been going to see doctors for their entire lives?” And I don’t want to say anything negative about doctors. What I’m just trying to say is that for some reason, when we get information that’s personalized to us, we either believe it’s more true or it becomes more actionable and we will change our behaviors because of it.
Ben: Yeah. That makes sense. And speaking of doctors, are you guys actually working with physician networks to do some of the testing that requires, say, like a doctor’s prescription or work with a physician to actually get some of this data?
Alex: So, we used to work with a company, but at the moment, we no longer do. Some of the products that we specifically use, like we really like InsideTracker too that you mentioned earlier. So, they have integrated their own doctors and their own nurses into their system. So, a lot of times we don’t need to replicate what they’re already doing. Again, for us, it’s more about let these companies do what they’re great at and we will try to build an ecosystem around that. So, what we’re always trying to do is be like, “Okay. Who are the best people in the space? Who can we work with? Who can we collaborate with? And how do we bring this into our program in a way that isn’t too expensive?” And most companies are smart enough to know what their pricing should be. So, we’re not seeing stuff out there that’s a thousand plus dollars. So, we’re able to integrate that into our program by negotiating both discounts and things like that. So, that’s one of the other things that we do is we bring down pricing.
Ben: By ordering some of these devices, et cetera, in bulk, you bring down pricing?
Alex: Correct, yeah.
Ben: Now, that’s actually related to what I want to ask you. And even from bulk pricing standpoint, it seems that companies could pretty easily do this themselves. Like, why can’t a company just take everything we’ve just been talking about and roll this out themselves? Because it doesn’t seem like rocket science per se.
Alex: No. And it’s not supposed to be rocket science, it’s supposed to be common sense, but no one is doing it or a lot of people aren’t doing it, and we’re trying to roll it out in a systematic way. And, why can’t company do this by themselves? But when I go into the DirectLabs website, I would assume they have over 500 different tests. And I don’t know if you’ve ever counted how many test is on there, but as much as it seems, simple when you break it down and you do this testing by yourself. It’s not that easy because sure, you can do the first year or the first two years’ worth of products, but a lot of it’s a learning curve.
So, as I mentioned initially, we had programs where we rolled out three products at the same time, and it was overwhelming, people didn’t like it. Then later on, we tried to do something every two months and we got feedback from corporations that — you know what, after a year into this, our employees aren’t using it as much. They haven’t used the last one. It’s getting too much, like every two months is too frequent. So, then we went to every three months. People said they really like it. So, that’s where we have three-month, four-month, and six-month program. You can hire somebody to go and order this and then ship it and deliver to your employees every three months. But what are you going to do in year two? We’re going to have another podcast and then you go and listen to what we’re suggesting now and you do that because it’s supposed to be, like health and wellness, it’s not a one-time thing, it’s an ongoing thing. And, again you can probably speak to that better than I can about the things that you have to do on an ongoing basis. Like, I don’t know what’s going to happen if you took a break for six months and didn’t do anything anymore. That continuous engagement is really important, we find.
Ben: So, it sounds to me like part of the value add here would be that you guys are actually doing the footwork for the company by keeping your finger on the pulse of what the best quantification tools, what the best lab tests, and also how to best aggregate that data into a dashboard are so that the corporations don’t have to think about it, they just get the package from you, say, every three months along with the emails and the communication from you to show them how to roll that out to employees so that they just basically have to do less of the work because you guys are more at the forefront in terms of being knee-deep as far as it being your job to figure out what type of test quantification tools and then action taken based on the quantified data coming in is going to be best for the company.
Alex: Yeah. And I really can’t imagine a company that wants to now spend time and energy on being like, “Okay. So, what size Oura ring do you want, or what size wearable do you want?” And like, “Do you want a different color?” It sounds straightforward, but nothing ever really is. And then, being like, “Okay. Well, who’s going to go to the next expo and see what’s up and coming and what’s new? And who’s going to negotiate with the vendors? And who’s going to test this to make sure? Are we going to have a testing committee to make sure that it’s user friendly enough and easy to use?” Because another thing we have is we have a guarantee where if somebody doesn’t like a product, they can just send it back and replace it with a different one in the pipeline. So, that hassle-free component is another value add.
Ben: Okay. So, in terms of what you would foresee for the future of a cutting-edge corporate wellness program that’s incorporating as many of these technologies as possible, walk me through where you would envision this being because I know you guys are relatively new, but what would the gold standard program look like for you going forward? Like, what would you foresee for the future?
Alex: Yeah. So, I want to talk about the future by talking about the past first. And, when I think of the past and healthcare and corporate wellness, it was maybe an annual checkup. Now, we’re starting to move towards that telehealth care system. And, people are going to the doctors for very for various reasons. Sometimes it’s time, sometimes they just don’t want to go or they feel like the information they’re getting isn’t valuable to them because they’re younger. But the next step as we see it is where people start doing their own testing such as yourself, Ben, and start getting information that’s personalized to them where they believe and see their own data and they get the information. And if they have questions about it, then they can talk to a telehealth care practitioner, or then if they need to, then they can go in and talk to a specialist if they need to.
So, the future for me is really about everyone having this information, which is highly important in their own hands and trying to at least understand what’s happening inside their body and their mind. And, there’s so many companies doing so many incredible things in this space that we really think somebody has to bring this together and collaborate with all these companies to build one ecosystem around this so that not everyone is doing the same thing or doing things in bits and spurts, or starting a FAD diet and then stopping it.
I think what’s really important is people do this ongoing testing not once a year because there’s a lot that happens throughout the year, and that we design the program in a way, and I think the future of healthcare is going to be designed where people are going to be like companies where they are going to have quarterly financial statements on their bodies, on their minds to see how they’re doing, like, why are we only checking on ourselves once a year? And that’s for people that are even checking once a year. So, the future for me is really in the self-testing and personalized health world.
Ben: Okay. So, walk me through the different plans that you guys have available. If I understand from your website, there’s kind of like three different options for a corporation when they sign up.
Alex: Mm-hmm. So, we kept it really straightforward. Like you said, three different options, one is a product or test every three months, another one is every four months, or one every six months. And the reason we use that frequency is because, as I mentioned, initially, every two months was too frequent we found for the employer and employees. And then, if we go to anything longer than every six months, well then we’re back at the annual testing stage where really, it’s like — well, it’s so infrequent. What difference are we really making? And health is one of those things that’s highly important, but unfortunately, a low priority item, until your health is at risk and then it becomes a high priority and a high urgency item.
So, we really want to make sure that these highly important items are things that we stay on top of. And that’s why our program, it’s every three months, four months, or six months. And once you sign up, essentially, the next step is you get an email and a little web form that comes to you and you’ll just enter first name, last name, and email address of the people you want on the plan and your company. So again, really straightforward on that side of things. And then, what we’ll do is we’ll automatically send an email to your people that you’ve signed up on the program and say, “Hey, your company sign up for the program. Here’s the 11 products that we’ve high-graded or curated from hundreds of products. Please select the first few ones that you want in your program.” And then we coordinate that. And then essentially, 10 days later, they get their first selection. So, really, really simple and straightforward from the signup process, and making sure everyone gets what they want.
Ben: What do price points look like?
Alex: So, pricing right now, I think our most expensive package, I think it’s $100 a month per person for the three-month and $40 a month for every six-month. And when we think about what people are being paid on a yearly basis and how important health and wellness is to performance and feeling good, because I really feel like businesses should be run like professional sports teams where employees are the athletes. So, we think $100 a month, that’s about $1,200 a year. Well, just $1,200 a year is reasonable given that most people that sign up on the program are earning 70,000 to $500,000 a year. So, we think that’s very reasonable to get people on that. And that’s a lot of the stuff people will be buying anyways. It’s just we’re making it easier for them to get their hands on it and we’re doing all the legwork.
Ben: Yeah. I like that approach to think of it as being like a, let’s say, a European soccer team, right? You’ve got all the advanced metrics being gathered. Those are being fed into a dashboard. Someone is then monitoring that dashboard, turning around, giving personalized advice and recommendation to the employee, and then also adjusting the program to take advantage of any new technologies that get rolled out as things progress. And that makes sense. Do you get concerted all about just like also addressing some of the basic variables? Like, how is an employee exercising? What was their exercise program look like? What kind of nutrition plan is available in, let’s say like a corporate cafeteria setting? Are you guys looking at getting into some of those areas that might seem more basic but that, in my opinion, are pretty foundational and crucial compared to, let’s say how much deep sleep versus light sleep are you getting?
Alex: So, one thing that we’re working on right now but we’re still a few months away in the development cycle is that we want to use geolocations to essentially send push notifications to employees when we notice that maybe they haven’t been active for that day. So, it’ll be an automatic message that’ll send if you have not been active that day, which your wearable should be able to tell. Then on your way home, it’ll kind of pull information or it will pull information from fitness studios that you drive by that have a class going on. It’ll say, “Hey, there’s a class going on at XYZ, consider stopping by.” That’s the next steps for us is to help employees make better decisions around that, about things they might not be thinking of.
And same with when it comes to integrating with delivery platforms or food platforms or restaurants, another thing we want to do is, as it relates to geolocation in the future, is saying, “Okay. Here’s your office. This is where you spend most of your time.” And we don’t want to pick a restaurant you never eat at, but using geolocation, we can identify restaurants if you’re in that place for more than 15 minutes, high likelihood it’s a restaurant you’re probably sitting in or eating and we can probably pull down the menu from them, say, “Hey, what did you eat at this restaurant?” by just sending push notification, and they’ll be able to select. And then, we can maybe make some adjustments and say, “Oh, by the way, next time, instead of putting butter on it, don’t.” So, things like that. But that’s stuff that we’re in the early development stages on, but that’s what we’re really excited about, too.
Ben: So, the website is livetimeless.com. If, let’s say an executive or an employee who is interested in their corporation being involved with something like this, would the best thing for them to do be to just go to that website and contact you guys and work through that?
Alex: Yeah. The best thing is just go on the website and you can choose one of the payment. That’s the first thing that we do is we send you an email with product selection page, and then you’re pretty much set from that side of things. And if you’re not happy, you can cancel anytime. As I mentioned, we work mostly with corporations. So, they will send me an email at [email protected] and say, “Hey, you know what, show us a bunch of products that you have.” And then we’ll usually come in and show them like 15 different ones and they say, “Oh my goodness, thank goodness.”
We’re not actually doing this by themselves, but most corporations that we talk to, they sign up pretty quickly. They usually start with their executive team or a beta group of five to ten people, and then they usually end up rolling it out to the rest of the company. Sometimes they’ll get some of the employees on the program that are only every six-month and they’ll keep their executive team on every three-month program. That’s up to them. In those cases, we suggest reach out and send me an email. But most companies just go on and they sign up, and then we send them a link right away and they go from there.
Ben: Okay. And I know that you guys are also — well, a couple of important things that I think people should be aware of. First of all, I know you guys are offering our listeners I believe 40% off their first payment to try this thing out. And I’ll put that code in the shownotes, or you can just let the folks at Live Timeless know when you contact them and talk to Alex or a member of the team that you heard about them on this show and they’ll hook you up with a good discount. And then, the other thing is that I should announce that Live Timeless has decided they’re going to start picking my brain about some of this stuff, and they’ve brought me on as an advisor to talk with them about some of the things that are going to be best as far as a self-quantification piece.
And also, just the general landscape of corporate wellness and some of the things that I’m finding in my own research, and then I think we’ll really move the dial as far as a corporate bottom line, as far as the dashboard interface, as far as the advice being given to HR or employees or execs. So, you can have a little bit of peace of mind if you’re working with them that you’re also getting access to some of the information that I’m passing on to them because right now, we’re doing a quarterly phone call, myself and Alex and the folks at Live Timeless so that they can pick my brain on some of the products that I think would be really useful to roll out.
So, they’re working with me now, and I think that that’s also something that I’m excited about just being able to take some of the cool things I’m finding and then pass them onto them as things that would really upgrade a corporate wellness program. And, as you guys follow along, you can just go to livetimeless.com, and that’s where they’ve got the different packages that you could sign up for. And also, they have pretty good blogs, some good wellness facts, and all the different information that you need in order to really wrap your head around what a really good cutting-edge next-level corporate wellness program would look like that ties in the quantification, ties in a dashboard, and then gives you personalized recommendations, you, the executives, the employees, et cetera, personalized recommendations on how to affect change based on that quantified piece.
So, I’m excited to be able to get my fingers into this a little bit as well and help them out, and hopefully, take some what I’ve learned and apply it in a little bit of a corporate setting because I honestly don’t have any desire personally to travel to a corporation and spend my life on an airplane flying around different businesses and teaching them how to optimize their workplaces. But if I can at least pass the information that I get on to Live Timeless and help them continue to roll out even more services and ways to optimize the workplace, I’m pretty happy with that. So, rest assured that I’m doing some work with them as well, and hopefully, can help to keep this thing rolling along and introduce new tools and technologies as they arise.
So, Alex, anything else you want to share with people?
Alex: Yeah. Well, Ben, I have a question for you on that note, too. Just, how many things have you come across that you thought sounded cool initially but weren’t as useful as you thought? Because that’s one of the things that we do at Live Timeless is we test a bunch of things and we say, “You know what, this really isn’t as insightful,” because you’re testing things all the times and you usually only recommend the good things — well, not usually. You only recommend things that you believe in or think are valuable to people, but how many duds have you come across? And we’re trying to eliminate all those duds for people and corporations, too.
Ben: For about every 10 products, I get 9 of them are either duds or things I can’t get behind because of the amount of non-native EMF they produce or trickiness with actually getting accurate data usability, sleep devices that fall off your head while you’re trying to get a night of sleep. I mean, stuff that seems to be a good idea on paper, but that doesn’t really work well in the trenches. So, yeah, there’s — I mean, literally, like 90% of what gets shipped to my house to try gets tossed because it’s not well-designed or well-engineered or doesn’t fall within my own parameters of health, or what something should be doing or should not be having in it as far as, whatever. Even something as simple as being able to put a device in airplane mode for a night of sleep so you’re not getting bombarded by Bluetooth and Wi-Fi during a night of sleep. So, yeah. There’s a lot of things that come across my plate that look good or look sexy on paper but that actually aren’t. So, yeah. It certainly is an issue.
Alex: I believe it is an issue and that’s one of the things we’re trying to build this ecosystem at the best of the best, and that’s where we wanted you integrated with us also and bringing you in because you know about a lot of the duds that are out there, and you know what works and what’s worked for you. And that’s really what we want to bring to corporations. And, we might have a pipeline for things for the next year or two, but there’s always new things coming out and they’re always going to get better and better and better, and that’s what we want to talk to you about as you’re probably going to be one of the first people that are always going to come across things. So, if you want your corporation and your employees to be on top of their game, what better way than to have you as a resource, and then to integrate that into a corporate wellness program so everyone can benefit from that.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. When you guys reached out to me and showed me some of your ideas and what you were doing as far as a unique approach, I got pretty excited about it. So, I’m stoked to have you on and share some of the stuff with people. And again, I’ll keep track of everything we talked about and put it in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/livetimeless where if you’re listening in, you can also go and ask your questions, leave your comments, leave your feedback, et cetera, and either Alex or I will jump in and reply. And, then you can also go to livetimeless.com. And over there, you can actually sign up for another programs and give it a try.
So, it’s just like Christmas, every few months at the office, some package with a bunch of cool things for your employees to optimize their wellness with. So, I dig the approach. And, Alex, thanks so much for coming on and sharing all this stuff with us. I’m sure you’ve got either a happy or a screaming two-month-old daughter somewhere waiting for you. So, I’ll let you go and I really appreciate the information you presented today.
Alex: Thank you so much. And I believe it was your kids’ birthday yesterday, so happy belated birthday to them on that side of things, too.
Ben: Yes, yes. I have lots of cake left to eat for lunch. I think I’m going to be on a high-carb diet for the next couple of days. It’s gluten-free vanilla butter frosting cake, so it could be worse.
Alex: It sounds delicious.
Ben: Alright, man. Well, I’ll catch you later. And folks, until next time. I’m Ben Greenfield along with Alexander Gramatzki from livetimeless.com signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com. Have an amazing week.
Well, thanks for listening to today’s show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I’ve ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
Let’s face it. Corporate wellness programs are old school, outdated, and often include…
It’s time that changed, and my guest on today’s podcast is doing just that, through his new, advanced corporate wellness program called “Live Timeless.”
Alexander Von Gramatzki grew up playing soccer in Europe where he had a chance to play alongside legends like Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, and Tony Kroos. During his youth soccer career he was connected to advanced wellness technologies to get him intimately attuned with his optimal state of performance. Even though Alex ended his youth soccer career to pursue education and business, his ability to find a high performing state resulted in him being able to work in a state of flow.
As a result of being able to function at high levels, Alex was fortunate to find opportunities that allowed him to earn millions of dollars starting at the age of 23. Because of his achievements, he was then the youngest person to be accepted into and graduate from the Wharton School’s 2-year long Executive General Management Program. His focus is now on bringing wellness technologies and health tests into the workplace so that companies can get their employees more attuned with their body and mind.
– LiveTimeless (discount code is BEN for 40% off the first month’s payment, or mention this podcast when you contact LiveTimeless).
– Other resources:
Exciting announcement! My good friend and former podcast guest Joe DiStefano at RUNGA has added a two-bedroom villa to the available rooms at our SOLD OUT Immersion this September 17-20th in Napa Valley which I’ll be attending for a third time with my wife, Jessa. Check out BenGreenfieldFitness.com/RUNGA and apply NOW – but do it soon! This event sells out fast and these rooms will not last.
–JOOVV: After using the Joovv for close to 2 years, it’s the only light therapy device I’d ever recommend. Give it a try: you won’t be disappointed. Order using my link and receive my brand new book, Boundless absolutely free!
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–Seed Daily Synbiotic: A formulation of 24 unique strains, each of which included at their clinically verified dose, to deliver systemic benefits in the body. Save 15% off your order when you use discount code BEN15.
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