Dr. Darya and Kevin Rose Talk Meditation Retreats, Diet, Natto, Seasonal Eating and More

November 8, 2019 0 By William Morgan

[Rhonda]: Hello, my friends.
Today, I’m sitting here with power couple,
Kevin and Dr. Darya Rose.
Kevin is an internet entrepreneur and Angel
He has co-founded many companies like Digg,
Pownce, Milk, and others.
He was a TV personality.
He also was a former venture partner for Google
Among many other things, he also hosts a popular
podcast along with a mutual friend of ours,
Tim Ferriss, called “The Random Show.”
Dr. Darya Rose has a PhD in neuroscience from
the University of California, San Francisco.
She’s an author and also host a popular blog
called the Summer Tomato.
So, what’s up guys?
[Kevin]: Thanks for having us.
[Darya]: Yeah.
Great to be here.
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
Super excited.
So I hear like, Darya, you had a very unique
and interesting experience, like, very recently.
[Darya]: Yes.
I just came from a 10-day silent meditation
retreat at Spirit Rock up in Marin.
[Rhonda]: Ten-day silent retreat.
That’s, like, super crazy intense, like, can
you explain?
[Darya]: So, to clarify, so no talking like
I feel like it’s a bit of a misnomer.
Because it’s like, yes, it was silent, but
like that wasn’t the hardest part.
Like, it was, I mean, I was meditating, just
sitting meditation over seven hours a day.
And then also like probably six hours of walking
meditation plus instruction, you know, there
was time off for meals.
I had a little bit of time to exercise.
But, you know, it’s a vegetarian diet.
You know, you actually couldn’t even really…you
weren’t supposed to make eye contact with
[Rhonda]: Was there like…when you’re sitting
and meditating for seven hours a day, was
there, like, light?
Was it dark?
Was it…
[Darya]: Well we start at 6 in the morning
when it was very dark.
But usually there was a meditation hall where
we would all gather and, you know, you sit
on your cushion.
And it was never a stretch of more than…it
was usually either 30-minute stretch or 45-minute
stretch and then we’d switch to walking meditation
or switch to a guided meditation or something.
But, yeah, it was…
[Rhonda]: Okay.
[Kevin]: I did not go on this.
[Darya]: …intense.
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
That sounds like super…
[Kevin]: It sounded way too intense for me.
[Rhonda]: So, what was it like?
Were there like, were you totally, you know,
introspective and just sort of analyzing your
own behavior and stuff like that?
[Darya]: Yeah, yeah.
So, I mean, I wish I could say the whole time
that I was sitting there and just like having
But like, it was…
I think the best analogy I’ve heard is it’s
kind of like getting a deep tissue massage.
Like, it starts out you’re like, “This is
gonna be great.”
And then you’re like, “Oh, my God, oh, my
God, this sucks, this sucks, this sucks.
How can I keep doing this?
It hurts.”
But then you’re like, “Oh, no, no, that’s
good, that’s good, that’s good.”
And then so, it’s like a mixture of like awesome
and torture.
And then by the end you’re like, “That was
something else,” but like I’m really glad
I did it because now I feel amazing.”
But it was not easy, not easy.
[Kevin]: Well the crazy thing is you didn’t
do a ton of meditation prior to going into
[Darya]: Zero, pretty much.
I mean, I did a little bit.
[Rhonda]: What?
So, from 0 to 10 days, like silence meditating.
[Darya]: Yeah.
Anybody who’s ever tried to meditate, like
meditating for 10 minutes is really hard.
So, yeah, I’m kind of crazy, but I was working
with the founder of Spirit Rock, Jack Kornfield,
and a friend of mine, Adam Gazzaley who’s
a scientist at UC, San Francisco.
And we’re sort of piloting an app to train
And I was one of the beta testers.
So, like my whole experience of meditation
started there and…but I didn’t know any,
I mean, this was a Buddhist like, Vipassana
meditation retreat.
So, I like…
They were saying words I had no idea what
they’re talking about.
And I had to like, you do actually get to
meet with the teacher every couple days, and
in one of my first meetings I was like, “What
does dharma mean?”
Like, “What is enlightenment?
Is that real?”
So, yeah, I have a lot to learn.
[Rhonda]: So, you’re working with a neuroscientist
there and were they like measuring brain activity
and things like that when you were meditating
or was that…
[Darya]: They’re working on things like that.
The first part was just behavioral.
So, they were basically trying to train our
attention to just focus on the breath and
just to see if that’s possible.
So, I was part of that study and they’re continuing
on that.
[Kevin]: But that wasn’t part of this 10-day.
[Darya]: No, that was just my introduction
to meditation.
[Rhonda]: Okay.
I see.
Meditation is something that I’ve been talking
about a lot recently.
Mostly, because I’m very interested in…
You may know Elizabeth Blackburn, she works
a lot with Elissa Epel, I think I’m saying
her name right, at UCSF.
And they do a lot of work looking at the effects
of buffering the negative effects of stress
with meditation, you know, they measure telomere
length as a biomarker of aging.
So, they’ll like, you know, they’ll look at
the effects of meditation, stress, and things
like that.
So, I’ve become sort of, you know, interested
in buffering some of the negative effects
of stress because, you know, I do experience
chronic stress.
[Kevin]: Have you tried any apps like Headspace
or any of the others?
[Rhonda]: I downloaded Headspace at the recommendation
of Tim.
[Kevin]: Headspace is awesome.
[Rhonda]: But I have yet to use it.
You see, because I’m always making excuses
because I have so much to do.
[Kevin]: So, it starts off with 10 days, 10
minutes a day.
It’s their 10-day challenge.
[Rhonda]: Okay.
[Kevin]: And it’s really easy to do.
It’s all guided.
So, they walk you through from the get-go.
I found it was a great way to get started
for the first time.
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
I’ve made one step, I downloaded the app.
So, I know it’s there on my phone.
I just need to start doing it.
I did yoga this morning and so, I think that
yoga, you know, sometimes…
And I was having a conversation with another
doctor that I had met.
He’s a professor emeritus.
I met him in Amsterdam when I was trip traveling
recently and, you know, he talked about meditation.
It’s something that he’s been getting into
recently in his emeritus, you know, years,
whatever you wanna call it.
You know, he’s been talking about how it changes
gene expression, like 100 different genes
change when you start to meditate.
And you probably might know more about this.
But he was mentioning like immediate changes
in blood flow to the brain, brain activity
just like immediately, not to mention the
long-term benefits that occur.
And so, but then he went on to say, you know,
meditation, a lot of people make a big thing
about it, like what you experience is like
that’s work.
I mean, that’s, you know, real…you have
to dedicate, you have to really practice,
you know, doing something.
But he was talking about meditation in the
sense of just taking some time and being now,
here, right here, like looking at whatever
some nice tree outside of your window, listening
to some music, not thinking about what you’re
planning an hour from now or what you did
last night, but just being here now.
And so, not everyone has to like sit there
and om or whatever, you know?
Not everyone has to sit there and focus on
their breathing.
Maybe focusing on your breathing helps if
you have a wandering mind which I do.
So, I think I probably would have to focus
on my breathing.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
There’s like…
[Darya]: I was gonna say, there’s definitely
a lot of styles of meditation and a lot of
them are eyes open, focusing on something
you’re looking at or an active…
I mean, there’s even like movement-based meditations.
Like, we did some Qigong practice while we
were there.
[Rhonda]: What’s that?
[Darya]: It’s kinda like Tai Chi, but it was
very much like, it was like full body breathing,
you know?
So, you focus on your breath, but it’s also
your entire body, you’re embodying meditation.
So that was really fascinating.
[Rhonda]: So, someone like coaching you and
telling you what to do while you’re doing?
[Darya]: Yeah.
[Rhonda]: Okay.
So, there is some like…you’re having…
It’s not pure silence like forever.
[Darya]: It’s not pure silence.
[Rhonda]: But…
[Darya]: Right.
[Rhonda]: And so, like, when you’re doing
some of these techniques, were you experiencing
any sort of feelings of happiness or calm
[Darya]: Yeah.
So, there was a couple like big takeaways.
I think my first big question when I got there,
I was like…
So I had tremendous benefits from meditating
just after using the app, I meditate like
20 to 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week.
Totally helps with my insomnia, really helps
me focus at like work stuff.
You know, I’m much better at not switching
between e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, blah-blah-blah.
And like, that has helped dramatically.
And while I’m there I’m just like, “Dude,
we’ve been meditating for 11 hours.”
Like, “Why do I need to do two more hours?
Can I just like, go to my room and read?”
And they’re like, “No.”
And the reason was because when you’re in
retreat it’s not the same as meditating at
When you’re in retreat it actually…
So, I would say it took three to four days
before I really felt like I wasn’t completely
at the mercy of my compulsions to like check
e-mail, check Twitter, check those things.
It takes that long to relax.
And so, the first day sitting in the hall,
everybody was like, you know, we’d be like,
“Okay, quiet time.”
And people, you could hear them wrestling,
and sniffling, and coughing, and adjusting.
By the last day, you could hear a pin drop
in that room of 100 people because we’d all
actually chilled out.
[Rhonda]: Wow.
[Darya]: Yeah.
[Rhonda]: I know that when I’m standing in
line to get some tea I’m like, “I can’t just
stand here.
I gotta pull out my phone and do something,”
you know?
So, that’s…
So, do use Headspace also with Darya?
[Kevin]: Yeah.
I use Headspace a lot.
I just started using it more…
I go in waves.
I think all of us we get busy and get caught
up with life, and then all of a sudden you’re
like, “Wow, I haven’t meditated in a month.”
So, I just started getting back into it.
There’s a great book called “The Miracle of
Mindfulness” that I recommend and it talks
about applying meditation to everyday life.
And have it being just outside of sitting,
but actually doing other things.
One of the things it mentions in there is
washing the dishes for the sake of washing
the dishes.
And the whole practice is about the fact that
when most people are washing the dishes, they’re
thinking about e-mail, they’re thinking about
a thousand other things they should be doing
and they’re not actually focused on the task
at hand.
And this is about meditating while you scrub,
and really being like mindful about what you’re
[Darya]: You should definitely do more of
the dishwashing meditation.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
I wash a lot of dishes, by the way.
I do most of the dishes for the record.
[Rhonda]: Well, talking about being mindful
while you’re washing dishes, I was reading
Darya, like one of your posts.
You were talking about being mindful while
you’re eating.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
That’s hard for me, that’s the hardest one
for me.
[Rhonda]: And I found that very interesting.
Do you wanna talk a little bit about that?
[Darya]: Yeah, yeah.
I think actually, so my whole thing is I’m
really interested in, I mean, we’re sort of
in the same subject like, nutrition, neuroscience,
and health.
But one of the things I’ve come up against
over, and over, and over again in my work
is that a lot of people want to do this stuff.
But it’s practicing it, it’s doing it, that’s
the hard part.
And so, I’ve really gotten into psychology
and behavior change in terms of like getting
people to eat healthy.
And mindfulness came out to be like a huge
Because so many people don’t think before
they eat.
They don’t think about what they’re eating,
they don’t appreciate what’s in their mouths
while they’re eating so they don’t know when
they’ll stop eating, they don’t make the best
And practicing mindfulness in day-to-day eating
practices is actually tremendously effective.
Because what happens, what the science shows
is that you enjoy your food more if you eat
And what that means is sort of stopping and
instead of like multitasking, looking at your
phone, watching TV, talking on whatever, talking
to your friend, roommate is just actually,
you know, turning everything off and just
focusing on the flavor of your food, God forbid
chewing and swallowing before you put another
bite in your mouth.
And we actually went through a formal mindful
eating meditation practice while we were at
the retreat.
It’s pretty intense actually.
You’re supposed to like look at your food
for 30 to 60 seconds and, like, smell it.
And you realize it looks really weird.
And then you’re supposed to figure out like
where the hunger is in your body.
Like, is it in your stomach or is it in your
mouth or is it in your head?
And like, what you want to eat first?
And then instead of just being a zombie and
eating your entire meal sort of like in slow-motion
because there was a lot of slow motion zombie
movement while we were at the retreat.
It was like, your first couple bites, eat
really slowly, close your eyes, feel it, feel
the texture, feel the warmth, feel the flavor,
and then you can eat like a normal person.
But it’s actually…
I recommend everybody try that because it’s
a…it doesn’t take that long if you’ll only
do a couple bites at the beginning of your
meal and it really changes your whole experience.
[Kevin]: Well, that and we have a friend,
Matt Mullenweg, that started chewing while
he was eating just as a practice, like actually
chewing 50 times before swallowing.
[Darya]: Twenty.
[Kevin]: Twenty times before swallowing each
bite, and he lost a bunch of weight just by
that one change.
Just by chewing it and slowing down.
[Rhonda]: Woah.
[Kevin]: Just by chewing it and slowing down.
[Rhonda]: He didn’t make any other changes?
[Kevin]: No other changes.
Just you get full.
[Darya]: You naturally eat less.
And the other thing, the last part of our
training was, yeah, when you start to get
So, you start to realize you get full, but
then there was like there were…
It was funny, they’re like, there’s this committee
in your brain.
It’s like, “Well, yeah, you’re full, but that
was really good.
And so, you should maybe have another bite
of that.”
And then like, another one is like, “No, no,
You’re trying to lose weight.”
That’s like another voice.
And then your mom comes and is like, “You
shouldn’t leave any food on your plate.
There are starving kids in Africa.”
[Rhonda]: Right.
[Darya]: And he was like, what you should
really pay attention to, and this is Jack
again, Jack Kornfield, is who wins that conversation
for you, you know?
And that’s a really important insight that
most people never think about, so.
[Rhonda]: What I thought was really neat and
Kevin sort of alluded to this, was that…and
I read this on your cool infographic that
you have on your blog, that it takes around
20 minutes for the signals, you know, satiety
signals to hit your brain and register, “I’m
And part of that has to do with you’re not
making as much of the hunger hormone.
So, ghrelins, you know, being toned down a
So, you’re not like hungry, hungry.
So, if you do chew 20 times or something like
Matt was doing, you are gonna eat slower and
then 20 minutes go by, and that signal gets
to your brain where you’re full.
So it’s like, “Oh,” you know, you don’t need
as much food to get full.
[Darya]: Right.
[Rhonda]: But it’s just people are so quick
to eat.
[Kevin]: Right.
I can eat 2 meals in 20 minutes.
That’s no problem.
[Rhonda]: So, are you practicing some of this
mindful eating?
[Kevin]: Yeah.
I try to, but it’s still difficult.
It’s really hard.
It’s hard to slow down.
[Darya]: You do it on autopilot.
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
That’s the one thing I need to improve on.
[Darya]: Yeah.
Otherwise you’re perfect.
[Kevin]: I know I’ve done all kinds of other
crazy stuff in the diet realm and this is…which
drives her nuts.
But it’s the part of the problem with being
friends with Tim Ferriss, is you try crazy
[Rhonda]: Well, you were talking a little
bit about some experiments you’re doing recently
with your diet, right?
[Kevin]: Yeah.
I mean, so, here about four, five months ago,
Tim started getting into ketosis.
And so, you know, we get together and he’s
like, “You gotta try this.
I’m monitoring my blood.”
And so, I go out and buy a glucose monitor
and ketone monitor from Amazon, and I’m pricking
my finger five times a day.
[Darya]: And he’s like…
[Rhonda]: Nice.
[Darya]: Like blood all over the house.
[Kevin]: And I’m keeping detailed logs in
Google Spreadsheets of everything I eat.
I would test before my glucose levels before
I eat something 30 minutes after and 60 minutes
after to test and see what spikes it, what
And if there’s anything, like, weird things
like agave and other things that are like,
mysteries and whether they actually spike
your glucose.
And what alcohols actually spike at versus
not because I like to have, you know, a glass
of wine.
[Rhonda]: You’re impressed by this, right?
This is very scientific.
[Darya]: It was actually the most impressive
I’ve ever been with one of his crazy harebrained
“I Love Lucy” schemes he does.
[Kevin]: I’ve done some crazy stuff, like
I figured out that…
So, I’ve done a modified ketosis kind of diet
where I do very high-veggie, but also extremely
high-fat and low-protein.
So, I would do six to nine cups of veggies
per day, but always combining them with lots…like
extreme amount of fat.
So, a lot of coconut milk, like really dense
coconut milk.
[Rhonda]: With low sugar.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
But not the stuff that you see at Whole Foods.
Like, the stuff you see at Whole Foods is
typically like, you know, the stuff in the
tall boxes and you go in there and it has
like four or five grams of fat per like half
cup to cup of coconut milk.
I get the like cooking coconut milk.
Do you know what I’m talking about?
[Rhonda]: Yeah, yeah.
[Kevin]: The really, really dense stuff that
typically comes in a can.
You can get it on Amazon and that has 13 grams
of fat per cup…no, per half cup.
[Darya]: Half cup.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
So, super, super fatty.
And then I would take all these steamed veggies
that have been frozen and then put them in
a blender along with all that coconut fat,
and just blended up along with some coconut
oil on top of that just to give a little bit
more coconut flavor.
[Darya]: And like four blueberries.
[Kevin]: And then I would have that breakfast.
But that’s like way more carbs than you’re
supposed to have to keep you in ketosis because
if you go more than 20 grams of carbs per
day, they typically tell you to stay under
that to stay in full ketosis, but I was doing
that per meal, 20 plus grams per meal.
[Rhonda]: Was this the same…
You were eating the same meal?
So, it was just the blended…
[Kevin]: Exactly.
[Rhonda]: That’s all you were eating?
[Kevin]: If you can combine it with…
[Darya]: No, no, no.
He was eating…
That was just his breakfast.
[Rhonda]: That was…
[Kevin]: Just breakfast.
But if you combine it with that much fat,
it slows down the digestion and then there
wasn’t that huge spike.
So, I’d stay in ketosis if you combine it
with the fat.
[Rhonda]: Did you test that?
[Kevin]: Yeah.
[Rhonda]: So, you did it without the coconut
milk and then coconut oil?
[Kevin]: Yeah.
And it kicks you out without it.
[Rhonda]: Interesting.
What were the steamed vegetables you were
[Kevin]: So, I’d use kale, spinach.
I’d use almost everything, like I use sea
What else did I use?
Anything that I could find at the store.
[Darya]: Cucumbers.
[Kevin]: Chard, cucumber.
It wasn’t really for flavor because all that
stuff blended up just tastes nasty.
[Darya]: It’s really gross.
[Kevin]: So, it was just…when you add the
coconut, you could cover up most of it with
the coconut.
And if you steam ahead of time though, it
actually turns the veggies into like ice crystals.
So, you don’t need to add ice.
So, it kinda makes it a really…almost like
ice cream-like thing the you have every morning.
[Darya]: Green coconut ice cream.
[Kevin]: Green coconut ice cream.
[Rhonda]: Okay.
So, that was breakfast.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
Throw some avocado in there as well.
[Rhonda]: Right.
[Kevin]: Any extra fat that you can get in
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
I make a smoothie somewhat similar to that,
I don’t…
It’s raw vegetables, chard, kale, and then
I do carrots, tomato which are more high in
[Kevin]: I’m confused at why you add banana
to yours though.
[Rhonda]: I don’t always, you know?
[Kevin]: Because I saw that on there, I was
like sometimes I wouldn’t…
[Rhonda]: Originally, I added it because I
was adding a lot of really nasty vegetables.
I was doing mustard greens, I was doing kale.
I was doing broccoli sprouts which are really
potent and like disgusting in a smoothie.
And, you know, sometimes it helps with the
texture of it.
But I like the avocado now instead for the
So, I kind of occasionally put the banana
and we share it.
So, it’s like half of a banana.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
So, half a banana.
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
So then lunch you’re eating…
[Kevin]: Lunch is just full on salad with
as much fat added as possible.
Sometimes, I know this isn’t really good,
in that I try to stay away from processed
meats, but I would do bacon at the place on
top of that to get a lot of fat.
And then just, you know, really high-fat dressings
on top of that.
Mostly olive oil, stuff like that.
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
And then.
[Kevin]: And then dinner was just…dinner
was a free for all.
[Darya]: Steak and veggies.
[Kevin]: It was like steak and veggies.
[Darya]: Cheese, lots of cheese.
[Kevin]: You know, but grass-fed meats, things
like that.
We’re not going crazy and do anything industrial.
[Darya]: Oh, yeah.
If you’re eating that much fat, you have to
eat high-quality fat.
[Rhonda]: But you were doing it with him?
Were you?
[Darya]: I did a two-week experiment which
is totally not characteristic of me.
[Rhonda]: Ketone bodies and everything.
[Darya]: Yeah.
I did the stabbing just because he was like,
well, I’ve never seen him with so much energy.
So, that was one of the reasons he was doing
[Kevin]: I was in full on ketosis.
[Darya]: Waking up in the morning like coming…going
to work all day, coming home, running 5Ks.
I was just like, “Who are you?”
[Kevin]: It was really kinda crazy.
[Darya]: I’ve never had fatigue problems.
I’m generally really healthy and don’t do
diets ever.
But he was like…I’m like…He was like,
“You should know what this feels like.”
And I was like, “Okay.”
So, I did a two-week experiment.
I felt pretty good for the most part.
I gotten to pretty high ketosis.
[Kevin]: You had one day where you were just
like, “I have insane energy.”
[Darya]: I had one day where I had insane
[Rhonda]: So, what were your ketone levels
like when you’re measuring them?
[Kevin]: Two and a half, something like that,
[Darya]: I got up over at almost three and
a half once.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
Yours were really high.
[Darya]: My blood sugar…that’s the thing,
I already have pretty good blood sugar control,
you know?
So, for me it was not life-changing.
I didn’t lose a single pound.
I got really sick of butter.
But it was interesting, yeah.
[Kevin]: I found out tricks on how to get
myself back in pretty quick, though.
So, if you get kicked out, it’s sometimes
really difficult to get back in.
[Rhonda]: Okay.
[Kevin]: It’s really hard to explain, but
like have you done any of the stuff yet?
[Rhonda]: I have not.
[Kevin]: Okay.
So like, basically what happens is, you know,
I have to do a lot of entertaining, and events,
and things like that at night.
And so, sometimes like, you have either more
red wine than you should or things like that,
and that will kick you out of ketosis.
You’ll go home at night and I’ll measure myself,
I’m like 0.3.
And I’m like, “Oh, I’m pulling out right now.”
That’s like, you know, anyone can be 0.3 if
they just try it for a few hours of not having
And so, you know, to get back in the next
morning, I would fast a lot.
I’ve been big into fasting.
[Darya]: Back in is like over 1.0, right?
[Kevin]: Yeah.
Over 1.0.
[Darya]: Yeah, yeah.
[Kevin]: So, I would just like…I would fast
a lot and then I would typically try…if
I fast for 16 hours, so I do a lot intermittent
fasting as well, then that would get me back
in right away.
And especially, if my breakfast was…I would
do grass-fed butter with coffee, kinda like
bulletproof coffee, but I don’t like believe
in all that modified MCT stuff that he does.
But I would just do straight up coconut oil
with butter in coffee, blend that up, and
drink it down.
And just have so much energy.
It’s like the best thing ever in the morning.
It is insane.
[Rhonda]: Okay.
So, have you looked into some of the like
beta-hydroxybutyrate and the effects on the
Apparently, it’s like not only being used
by the mitochondria as a really, you know,
easily accessible source of energy, so it
shunts right into the TCA cycle and is used
to make energy, but it also increases BDNF,
like it’s a signalling molecule.
I just…
I think recently…no, it wasn’t that.
It was Eric Verdin at UCSF, you may know.
He’s at Gladstone.
Published it a couple years ago.
I kept thinking recently, but it’s been like
two years now, so.
[Darya]: I have that same problem.
I graduated recently, five years ago.
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
Like, it just goes, right?
So, but, yeah, so the effects on the brain
are very interesting.
I’ve, you know, I do a lot of intermittent
fasting where I won’t eat for like the day
and then I’ll eat dinner.
[Kevin]: I’ve done the 24-hour fast as well.
What do you think about that new study that
came out about the simulated fasting?
Did you read about that?
[Rhonda]: Valter Longo at UCLA.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
It’s, you know, I read it when it came out
like a few months ago.
I don’t remember exactly what the diet was
composed of.
[Kevin]: Just a little tiny bit of food to
keep you in a slightly fasted state.
They didn’t release what exactly was, but
they were saying broths and thing things like
I downloaded the paper.
[Rhonda]: I reached out to him, I think.
I mean, I have to follow up because I don’t
think he got back to me.
Because I was curious and I wanted to talk
to him about it.
I’m actually curious a lot about it.
He does a lot of work on fasting and the effects
of fasting on IGF-1 levels, and the effects
protein on IGF-1.
And their relationship to aging, and age related
It’s all very interesting, but, you know,
there’s a lot of benefits from the intermittent
I’m actually gonna meet with Ray Cronise tomorrow.
He’s doing a…he just is wrapping up a 20-day
[Kevin]: Wow.
[Rhonda]: Doctor supervised.
Exactly, right?
That’s crazy, 20-day fast.
Like, I’m super excited.
Like, I don’t even know.
[Kevin]: With what, though?
[Darya]: That’s like biblical.
[Rhonda]: It is.
[Darya]: Wow.
[Rhonda]: I don’t know exactly.
I don’t know the details.
I’m gonna talk with him tomorrow about it.
He’s doing some sort of medically supervised
20-day fast where it’s like he’s not doing
As far as I know it was like water.
[Kevin]: Wow.
[Rhonda]: But I could be wrong and I’ll find
out the details soon.
[Kevin]: Crazy.
[Rhonda]: Totally crazy.
But the intermittent fasting is more what
I’m like…that’s more doable.
Like, as Darya mentioned, you know, the problem
is people need to like have these procedures
and protocols that they can actually do.
[Kevin]: Right.
[Rhonda]: That’s like, you know, it’s reasonable.
It’s not like crazy like, who’s gonna do,
you know, a 20-day fast?
[Kevin]: So, it’s also really good for weight
loss as well.
[Rhonda]: What?
[Kevin]: I don’t know if you’ve seen…
Intermittent fasting.
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
It works for me.
[Kevin]: Did you see Hugh Jackman, you know,
who plays Wolverine?
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
I know who he is, but I didn’t see him.
[Kevin]: So, he has a video on YouTube where
they interview him about Wolverine and he
talks about the fact how he was able to get
shredded was through intermittent fasting,
16 hours everyday.
[Rhonda]: Oh, really?
For how long?
[Kevin]: Right.
Just during shooting…leading up to shooting
and then during the film.
[Rhonda]: So, the thing with that is…
So, was he like skinny and just like muscular?
[Kevin]: I’m sure he was already pretty muscular
and skinny, but he just used it to shred up
a little bit.
[Rhonda]: A lot of people like men…or like
for females, it’s kinda like…
[Darya]: So different.
[Rhonda]: …we like to be thinner.
Like, intermittent fasting for us is like
super easy, but like, you know, my husband
who wants to have more muscle mass, it seems
like it’s a little bit more of a challenge
because you need more…
[Darya]: You need the protein.
[Rhonda]: …protein.
[Kevin]: So, you should check out the fasting
twins on YouTube as well.
[Darya]: The fasting twins.
[Kevin]: They’re crazy, they’re bodybuilders
that fast.
And so, they were able to put on muscle.
It’s a whole rabbit hole that you probably
don’t wanna go down, but they’re funny, they’re
And they also it’s…they call it like bro
They’re not really scientists.
[Rhonda]: Okay.
So they acknowledge it.
[Kevin]: But it just…
They acknowledge it.
They’re not doing that.
But they figured out little hacks.
It’s like all these people that are in this
world, like 90% of them aren’t scientists,
but they’re just like to hack and try out
different little things.
There’s little insights there to be found.
[Rhonda]: So, question for you, since you’ve
How long was your ketosis experiment?
[Kevin]: Few months.
[Rhonda]: Few months.
[Kevin]: A couple of months, I would say.
[Rhonda]: Okay.
So, you’ve done and then you’ve also…you
practice intermittent fasting.
Like, how frequently?
[Kevin]: I did it when she was on her 10-day
retreat for 2 days.
I try to do it I would say six days a month
would be ideal, I think.
[Rhonda]: Six days a month.
And is this a 24-hour fast, 16-hour fast?
[Kevin]: Sixteen-hour fast.
[Rhonda]: Sixteen-hour fast.
All right.
So, what would you say like if you compare
the brain benefits or the changes?
And, I mean, this is totally subjective, you
[Kevin]: Yeah.
Intermittent fasting for me has never give
me any type of cognitive kind of boost.
It’s always been more about weight loss and
just trimming up.
I’ve never felt…
If anything, like, you know, I find there’s
this really weird state where when you intermittent
fast it throws you into a kind of a temporary
ketosis really quickly, but it’s a bad place
to be.
Because I feel like your body is not sure
what it should be doing.
It doesn’t know whether it should be like
burning carbs or fat, right?
And so, in ketosis, like they talk about this
keto flu that’s during the induction phase,
like the first few days are hell.
Because you’re just like…you’re not in full
on ketosis, you get this kind of sick feeling
where you don’t have enough energy, you just
wanna lay around a lot.
And so, intermittent fasting for me is difficult
in that it kinda puts me in this temporary
state, especially if I do it two days in a
And so, my body is not in full on ketosis
mode, but it’s not, you know…
So, it’s…
I don’t like it.
I do it because I keep reading the papers
and you keep writing about how fasting is
good for you, and that’s why I keep doing
[Rhonda]: Well, have you actually measured
your ketone levels after an intermittent fasting,
compared them?
[Kevin]: Yeah.
[Rhonda]: So, what are your levels like?
[Kevin]: You know, I haven’t in that I’ve
always been doing ketosis when I’ve peppered
it in.
I should probably do that.
[Rhonda]: It’d interesting to see like how
they compare.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
[Rhonda]: You know, but you’re mentioning
your body doesn’t know what to do.
That’s actually part of the stress response
I think, you know, that has positive benefits,
[Kevin]: Right.
[Rhonda]: So, you’re stressing your body.
It’s like, “What do I do?”
And what it does is it starts to like change
gene expression.
That’s one of the main things it does, where
it starts to turn on all these genes involved
in, you know, helping your body deal with
[Kevin]: Right.
[Rhonda]: Because you’re stressing it and
it’s like freaking out.
It’s like, “What do I do?”
It’s like, “Okay.
I’m just gonna like…I’m gonna do this like
whole thing where I just go around and turn
on all these really good genes that help me
deal with everything until I figure it out,”
you know?
[Kevin]: Right.
So, it can be beneficial is what you’re saying.
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
[Kevin]: So, you said that turmeric does something
similar, I think in one of your…
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
So, there’s…this process I’m talking about
is often referred to as hormesis, right?
[Darya]: Hormesis.
[Rhonda]: Like, the hormetic effect where
you’re putting a little bit of stress on the
body and the same goes for exercise, the sauna,
cold shocking.
[Kevin]: So, high-intensity interval training
is another example of that.
[Rhonda]: Exactly.
High-intensity interval training and also
some of these plant polyphenols.
So turmeric, EGCG from green tea, quercetin
found in like, onions.
[Kevin]: So, do you intermittent…
So, my question that I had…
Sorry, I have one question for you.
I know it’s your show.
I feel bad.
On the turmeric side, like is that something
that you would do intermittently then or would
you…because some people take it daily as
a supplement.
And I was thinking, well, if you’re doing
that every single day and your body gets used
to it, is it gonna turn on those gene expressions
[Rhonda]: That’s actually a good point, but
yes, it does because it is slightly toxic
to our body.
Our bodies don’t like turmeric.
Some of the compound, some of these curcuminoids
in the turmeric are made as a response to
the plants to fend off like insects and, you
know, fungus, and things that are gonna kill
the plant or the root, I guess.
It’s not really a plant, right?
[Kevin]: It’s root.
[Darya]: It’s a root.
[Rhonda]: It’s a root, right?
So, our body doesn’t like it.
It’s slightly toxic.
Just like, you know, alcohol is slightly toxic.
But as a consequence it activates all these
phase II detoxifying enzymes which are involved
in preventing your body from converting something
like nitrite in your bacon to nitrosamine
which are carcinogens.
[Kevin]: Right.
[Rhonda]: So, we have all these enzymes in
our body that are capable of detoxifying…I
hate the word “detoxify” because it’s like
a lot of woo-woo people use it.
But we actually do have enzymes in our body
called phase II detoxifying enzymes.
And so, they do serve a purpose.
But not only that, turmeric also…so, there’s
two really interesting compounds in it.
One is the one that most people are familiar
with, right?
So, that is the curcumin.
[Darya]: Curcumin.
[Rhonda]: Right?
And that’s the one that turns on all these
anti-inflammatory genes, these phase II detoxifying
enzymes, all that good stuff.
But there’s also something in it called aromatic
turmerone which is why specifically I like
to get turmeric or make turmeric tea, not
just curcumin.
Because aromatic turmerone has been shown
actually just in the past year to cross over
the blood brain barrier and increase, I think
it was in the subventricular zone, increased
neural stem cell proliferation, and it affected
like memory and performance in mice.
And so, this is like all preliminary, you
know, but…and it was like very robust.
Like, it was like something very robust.
I’m not gonna say the number because I don’t
remember, but it was pretty significant increase
in new neural stem cells…
[Darya]: Interesting.
[Rhonda]: …which is kind of your…
But yeah, very interesting.
[Darya]: Yeah.
That was what my thesis was on.
[Rhonda]: Oh, cool.
[Darya]: The SVZ stem cells.
[Rhonda]: Oh, the subventricular zone.
So, you know more about that than I do.
But the fact that this aromatic turmerone
is in turmeric, it’s also very interesting.
[Darya]: Cool
[Kevin]: Do you add black pepper to your tea?
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
So, the piperine, the component in the black
pepper can…
So, our bodies like to get rid of these polyphenols
and a lot of them like EGCG, a lot of them
are on the same class.
There’s certain enzymes in our liver, the
CYP enzymes that get rid of it.
So, that’s why their half-life is very short.
When you get turmeric in your body, it’s immediately…your
body is immediately trying to clear it out
because it’s toxic.
It’s like, “No, get rid of this,” you know?
But the piperine stops that enzyme from working.
So, you really have to be careful for people,
like you guys are very health conscientious
and probably don’t, you know, take prescription
drugs or things like that, but a lot of people
And prescription drugs are also metabolized
with that same pathway.
So, if you are taking a prescription drug,
probably best to avoid piperine because that
will extend the half-life of whatever drug
and God knows what effect that’s gonna have,
[Kevin]: Oh, crazy.
[Darya]: Right.
[Rhonda]: So, that’s always something to keep
in mind.
But I kind of was, you know, Darya’s got this
whole academic, you know, she brings academics
to your relationship.
And I suspect that Kevin has influenced your
entrepreneurial side, you know, you’re not
slaving away in a lab right now.
[Darya]: Right.
[Rhonda]: So, I’m kind of curious.
Is there some sort of…was there like an
influence of Kevin on you choosing the path
you’ve taken or something else kind of…
[Darya]: I mean, for sure.
But when we met I already had a pretty popular
blog and was like getting, you know, book
agents, like, interested, so.
But he was definitely, obviously, a huge help
in figuring out how to monetize my site and
figuring out…
I mean, definitely helped finding me developers,
and designers, and stuff like that.
[Rhonda]: Oh, cool.
So, you had already like decided to take a
different path.
[Darya]: Yeah.
I was in my second year of grad school and
I had just finished my qualifying exam.
And I was just like, “So…”
I was like, “I don’t know if I wanna be this
when I grow up anymore.”
And, you know, funding was getting really
low back then, you know, just from the NIH,
and NSF, and stuff.
I had an NSF grant.
I was really lucky, but…
I just…
And I was interested in this other stuff on
the side and I had been struggling with dieting
my entire life from like the age 11 all the
way up till I was like 25 or whatever.
And when I solved it for myself it was such
a life-changing experience because not only
did I finally stop struggling with weight,
which like that alone is huge, but I discovered
I loved food, and like that was…
Food was my enemy for like 15 years.
[Rhonda]: Right.
[Darya]: So, that was so life-changing for
me, I discovered farmers’ markets and cooking,
this whole new community of people.
And so, I just started my blog, started writing.
I started writing for the UCSF paper actually.
[Rhonda]: Oh, cool.
[Darya]: I was like writing for the school
I was the science and nutrition editor.
And, yeah, so I just, you know, being here
in Silicon Valley, I just…it was so easy
to go online.
I was able to market for free on Twitter and
And, yeah, and it just sort of took off.
People really resonated with what I was saying
about not dieting and not using willpower
all the time, and not having to suffer to
be healthy, and look the way you want.
So, yeah, I was already pretty…
That’s how we met, actually.
We met on Twitter.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
[Rhonda]: Oh, that so cool.
[Kevin]: We met on twitter.
She retweeted me one time and I saw her little
And I clicked to zoom in on the photo, I was
like, “She’s kinda cute.”
[Darya]: He was stalking me for a while.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
You’re the one that followed me first, so.
[Rhonda]: That’s so cute.
Your book, in your book the “Foodist,” you
do focus a lot on eating real like whole foods,
something that you call like a healthful lifestyle.
And that really…and eating a broad spectrum
of it, and that really resonates with me because
it’s something that I also think is very important,
eating whole foods, real foods, and broad
spectrum of it.
[Darya]: Well, that was the one thing that
I kept coming up against because what I did
was I was like, “Okay.
This is a problem I’ve been struggling with
for a long time.”
It’s not neuroscience, but like I have been
studying biology for a long time now.
And so, I just…I was like, “What is the
best diet?”
That was like the question I went into.
I just dug into PubMed for like months, and
I discovered that there’s no best…
Because I was like, is it low-carb, is it,
you know, like I was trying to figure out
Turns out they all don’t really work for more
than six months, definitely a year, they don’t.
They’re all the same.
But then I was like, “Well, there are people
that don’t struggle with this.
What do those people do?”
And it came down to they eat real foods, they
don’t…turns out they don’t have SlimFast
and, like, protein bars, and stuff like that
I was living off of, and like diet soda.
And then, yeah, and then they eat…they have
habits around these foods.
And then they have a broad spectrum of foods.
And that’s generally…to me just generally
means eat with the season and don’t be a picky
So, I just started doing that.
It was terrifying because I was assuming I
was gonna just gain weight because I hadn’t
eaten carbs or fat or anything for so long,
but I didn’t.
And I was not…
And the biggest thing for me was when I started
eating that way and actually nourishing my
body, all my cravings went away, all my, like,
skin problems went away, like, all my hair
started growing in all thick.
And I was just like, “What is going on?
This is amazing.”
[Rhonda]: I’m healthy.
[Darya]: Yeah.
And like, I’d never experienced that before,
you know?
I’d been like…I thought I had to suffer,
and then all of a sudden, I’m having this…eating
this amazing food and all my problems went
away, so.
[Rhonda]: So, is that something that, Kevin,
you’re like…you adopt now?
Do you help out with the cooking and like…
[Kevin]: I cook certain things.
[Darya]: He’s amazing.
He’s amazing.
[Kevin]: I push us in certain directions.
The cool thing now is that she’s taught me
to eat seasonally which I didn’t know about
before, which I actually look forward to things
being in season because they taste better.
And then also, I read about all this stuff.
And so, I’ll push us in different directions,
like for example, she talked me out of it,
but I was gonna make my own fermented natto
at home.
I do a lot of the fermenting in the house.
[Rhonda]: Cool.
[Kevin]: I do all of our sauerkrauts and all
of our…
[Darya]: He’s the crafty one.
[Kevin]: Like, I go and buy the turmeric and
make our teas.
And like, I was big into traditional tea for
a long time and like studied that whole area
for a bit.
[Darya]: He’s difficult, though.
Like, I’ve been trying to talk to him into
eating more organ meats for like years.
[Kevin]: I’ve been doing that.
I’m on board now.
[Darya]: But just somebody…some other scientist
said it and finally he was like, “Oh, let’s
start eating organ meats.”
[Kevin]: Well, Tim also was doing more of
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
Because it’s also high in K2 then you don’t
have to do the fermented natto, right?
[Kevin]: It’s fun, though.
Natto is fun.
Good natto is pretty good.
[Rhonda]: Really?
[Kevin]: Yeah.
[Rhonda]: I’ve never tried natto.
[Kevin]: Oh, really?
[Rhonda]: I take a K2 supplement, but I’ve
never tried natto.
[Kevin]: You can make it yourself at home.
Just ferment it.
Just buy some soybeans and you get the starter.
[Rhonda]: I think I’m gonna try eating it
first, like maybe at a Japanese place.
[Darya]: You go to a good restaurant, like
a really good restaurant.
It’s really nasty.
[Rhonda]: Is it really nasty?
I’ve heard.
[Darya]: Yeah.
You need a lot of flavor on it.
[Kevin]: Have you made your own almond milk?
[Rhonda]: No, I haven’t.
[Kevin]: Oh, that’s the easiest thing to do.
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
I know.
[Kevin]: It takes two seconds and you can
use it in your smoothies.
[Rhonda]: Right.
[Darya]: But you can also get a lot of K2
from like, Parmesan cheese and Asiago, and
stuff, right?
Hard cheeses.
[Rhonda]: I wouldn’t say a lot.
There’s some, but not a lot.
I think that some people overstate that that
if you compare like to natto, it’s like nothing.
[Darya]: But you can only eat like one bite
of natto and you can eat a lot of cheese.
[Rhonda]: Oh, really?
Yeah, so there’s that.
[Darya]: And we eat all the organ meats.
[Rhonda]: When you’re talking about eating
seasonally, if you walk into, for example,
Berkeley Bowl which is where I shop, how do
I know what’s seasonal and what’s not?
I mean, I kind of know just from knowing,
but like, is there…like, someone who doesn’t
[Kevin]: I’ve been trying to tell you make
this app forever.
I want her to make…
[Darya]: It exists.
-[Kevin]: …an app that tells where your
location is and tells you exactly what’s the…
Does it really exist?
I haven’t seen it.
[Darya]: There are few.
None of them are very good, but they exist.
When you…
I mean, I like to sort of really generalize
So, yeah, if you walk into a grocery store,
it’s really confusing because there will be
strawberries all year, there will be oranges
all year.
[Rhonda]: Right.
[Darya]: There will be apples all year, tomatoes
all year.
And then they all sort of taste the same all
year which is terrible.
[Rhonda]: Right.
[Darya]: But when you shop at farmers’ markets
and places, Berkeley Bowl is actually pretty
I mean, one good…
If something’s from the southern hemisphere,
it’s not in season.
[Rhonda]: Okay.
[Darya]: If it’s in season down on the other…like
if it’s spring here, it’s from the southern
hemisphere, it’s fall there.
So, if you’re eating Brussels sprouts in April,
they’re not from here.
And vice versa, if you’re eating tomatoes
in January, they’re not from here.
But generally, the way I like to think about
it is early in the springtime which is the
most exciting time because it’s been a long
And in the winter you’re getting things like
root vegetables, bitter greens, hearty greens
like cabbage, turnips, beets, things like
In the spring, all the grasses start coming
up, right?
So, you get beautiful lettuces, chives, asparagus,
like all the light, crisp, delicate greens.
As summer progresses, it gets hotter, you
start to get more sweet things like stone
fruits which are cherries, apricots, plums,
peaches, berries, and, you know, things like
tomatoes, and the more ripe, rich, more dense
fruits and vegetables.
As fall progresses, it gets even sweeter and
then also you start to see a little bit more
robustness, like things like winter squash
start showing up, you know, hot peppers, things
that are a little more robust.
And then in the winter you start to get..the
citrus is like sort of the ripe fruit of the
winter, but otherwise you get more into the
kales, and cabbages, and things like that.
And actually root vegetables, something people
don’t know often is that they can be really,
really spicy and kinda hard to eat, in the
winter though, they get sweet.
It get sweet and mild and really delicious.
[Rhonda]: Why is that?
[Darya]: I think it has something to do with
the cold and how it shocks the plant.
But they get really delicious that time of
the year, whereas earlier in the year they
can actually be kinda hard to eat, so.
[Rhonda]: Interesting.
[Darya]: Yeah.
And so, you sort of learn by experimenting.
To me it’s one of the most delightful things
about eating healthfully is because you never
get bored.
As soon as you’re sick of corn, it’s like
squash season, you know, and you don’t have
to eat corn anymore, so.
[Rhonda]: I, you know, I tend to cook the
same meals where I stick to these almost kind
of a low-carb dieting where Tim talks about,
just, you know, you have these meals and it’s
the easiest thing and you keep making them.
And for me, I’ll have these core meals that
I make, you know, I eat a lot…a very plant-based
diet, a lot of vegetables, a lot of fruits
as well.
And then I eat a lot of fish like, wild salmon,
wild cod, and a little bit of chicken.
I don’t really cook red meat often.
I mean, it’s once in a while, like we go out
to dinner.
So, I have all these meals that I like, and
a lot of lentils, I like beans.
I like high-fiber foods.
So, but I know, I know my husband, Dan, get
sick of it because I just, you know, rotate
between the meals.
And it’s easier for me because I work a lot,
and I’m trying to like also exercise, and
meditate, and enjoy life.
And it’s just like trying to book it all in,
you know?
[Darya]: So, we do something similar.
I call it my home court recipes.
They’re sort of like my basics that I sort
of go to.
But what I’ll do is I’ll take basically the
same cooking technique and just swap out a
new veggie, you know?
So, and then I have…basically, I have home
court recipes for every season that way.
[Rhonda]: Cool.
[Darya]: So, you just sort of like…like
I have a roasted cauliflower dish that’s like
pretty popular.
I do that.
[Kevin]: So good.
[Darya]: Cauliflower usually in season, it’s
usually pretty good.
But, you know, in the winter…in the fall
like I’ll start rotating in Brussels sprouts,
delicata squash.
And then, you know, in the springtime, I’ll
just move towards salads, you know, less roasts,
more salads.
And it’s just…it’s not that hard.
It’s basically the same idea though.
It’s just it’s a little bit more cycling for
[Rhonda]: No, it sounds great.
You know, I often will shift in different
vegetables and stuff when I like am not…I
don’t have what I need.
And so, I’m pretty good at like improvising
and experimenting, and like I’ll throw together
stuff that I have.
And all the sudden I’m like, “Oh, this is
really good.”
So, that makes sense, you know, doing something
like that.
Do you have recipe…
You have recipes on your blog and stuff, right?
[Darya]: I do.
But, I mean, I only put those on there by,
like, popular demand.
Like, I don’t really cook from recipes.
I’m a big big advocate of cooking from instinct
and cooking without recipes.
[Rhonda]: Okay.
[Darya]: I have a whole program where I teach
people how to do that because I feel like
if you’re forced to cook from a recipe on
a regular basis, it gets daunting and overwhelming.
Whereas if you have like the instinct of like,
“Oh, you know what, I have these ingredients,
I bet it would taste really good with some
garlic and some parsley,” that it’s just you’ve
lowered the barrier to being able to cook.
[Rhonda]: Totally.
It’s what works for me.
[Darya]: I think that’s so important because
when you’re exhausted after work or whatever
and like you just need food in your mouth,
like you really need it to be as easy as possible.
Otherwise you’re just gonna order a pizza
or whatever, so.
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
No, that’s such a great point.
That’s definitely what works for me, where
it’s like, yeah, I don’t even think I ever
look at recipes.
And every time I’ve tried it’s been…it has
to be like a, okay, I’m hosting a party or
a Thanksgiving or something.
[Darya]: Exactly.
They have their place.
[Rhonda]: But it still becomes daunting, but,
yeah, other than that, you know, so.
[Darya]: I use them for inspiration sometimes
[Rhonda]: Yeah, yeah.
So, Kevin, I know you like to, you know, drink
wine and talk about random things a lot.
So like, what’s going on in the tech world,
like anything cool?
[Kevin]: Oh, boy.
That’s a good question.
You know, I think that for me technology is
just a little overwhelming.
I’m trying to find my time to find breaks,
and so this is a period where I’ve decided
to do less tech in my life.
We moved to New York.
So, that was a big shift for us.
I was at, you know, we’re here at Google Ventures.
When I was here I used to probably see 10
new entrepreneurs per day, and you talk about
bad diets like…
[Rhonda]: Oh, yeah?
[Kevin]: Oh, yeah.
Entrepreneurs are worst.
[Rhonda]: Did they tell you what they eat
or how do you know?
[Kevin]: I mean, they just…
I mean, it’s just the classic.
[Darya]: It’s just all pizza all the time.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
All pizza…
[Darya]: Tacos.
[Kevin]: …fast food.
Things like that.
[Rhonda]: Is that because they just have no
time, they’re working?
[Kevin]: Exactly.
[Rhonda]: Doesn’t that affect their brain
function though?
[Darya]: I could go off on that.
[Kevin]: Not that age, not that age.
[Rhonda]: You should…
[Darya]: It does, it does.
[Rhonda]: There should be some kind of like…
Really, it does.
[Darya]: I mean, you’re less effective.
You’re more foggy if you’re eating crappy
constantly, and not sleeping, and, like, living
on coffee and pizza.
It’s not good for your thoughts.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
But for me I’ve been trying to spend actually
a lot of time figuring out how to develop
technology to force us off of technology.
So, I’m kind of working on some anti-tech
ideas right now.
[Darya]: It’s called the 10-day silent retreat.
[Kevin]: No.
It’s that too, but like, for example, one
of the things that you’ll notice is when you’re
sitting at dinner and you’re like drawn to
these devices.
If there’s ever, you know, a pause in the
conversation when you’re with someone, especially
it’s horrible when you’re with your wife or
husband or boyfriend or girlfriend or whatever,
and you wanna look at your phone.
And you flip it over, and you start doing
your phone thing.
And it’s really rude, but you’re kinda drawn
to it.
So, I have this really weird thing in my head
where I envision like aliens looking down
on us and they see us with our heads in our
And it’s especially apparent in New York where
you walk around and everyone has their heads
in their phones.
They’re like just like this.
Like, almost getting hit by traffic.
And so, I have this idea of this technology
fast, a software that I wanna create that
will force fasting on cell phones.
And you’ll actually use some gamification
to get points by going long periods of time
without using your cellphone for certain activities.
So, blocking text messages, something like,
let’s say you sent me a text, you get a automatic
reply saying, “Kevin is in a tech fast.
If you need this to go through, respond with
one,” and it would allow that text through.
Some of these things you could only do…
[Darya]: But he will hate you.
[Kevin]: Exactly.
[Rhonda]: Interesting, interesting.
[Kevin]: So, some of these things you can
only do on Android because you have full access
to the like, all the…right APIs to be able
to do all the messaging stuff.
But on desktop as well, I feel like multitasking
is really hurting us.
Like, I don’t know if you’ve ever been in
a situation where you have 20 tabs open.
[Rhonda]: A hundred.
[Kevin]: And then you go back to one tab,
and you’re like, “Wow, I wrote that e-mail
five hours ago and just forgot to hit the
send button.”
[Rhonda]: Yes.
[Kevin]: So it’s like, I’m trying to figure
out what we can build.
I know this is horrible, but to like kinda
dial us back from technology.
[Darya]: I haven’t checked my e-mail since
getting back from the retreat.
[Rhonda]: Wow.
[Darya]: I’m so scared.
[Rhonda]: Risky.
[Darya]: But I’m also like…I’m so happy.
It’s like it’s really hard to wanna go read
my e-mails.
[Rhonda]: No, totally.
[Kevin]: It’s the weirdest thing.
I feel like I’m at the age now where we need
to like have less of that in our life.
Technology is amazing for so many things,
but there needs to be a balance.
[Rhonda]: So, this point, this sort of gaming
aspect to it, is there gonna be a competition
between people?
[Kevin]: Oh, for sure, for sure.
Like, I wanna be able to see your score, Tim’s
score, and everyone else’s score and see how
we’re doing on the fasting front.
[Rhonda]: And then you’re gonna like…social
media, like, to talk about it.
Like, you’re gonna see…
[Kevin]: Potentially.
But that helps spread the word which leads
to less tech use which is ultimately pretty
[Rhonda]: That’s very interesting.
It’s a interesting concept, kind of neat.
[Kevin]: We’ll see.
We’ll see if I ever build it.
It’s one of the thousand ideas that I have
in notebooks in places, so.
But it’s fun to think about.
[Rhonda]: I know that, you know, Dan, he’s
also very techy and he has a problem with
not looking at his phone.
Like, when we’re out to eat and sometimes
I won’t bring my phone with me.
And so, I’m sitting here and it’s like, I
feel like, well, if you’re looking at your
phone, you’ll feel pressured then to take
your phone out too.
[Kevin]: Right.
[Rhonda]: Otherwise I’m just sitting here.
I guess I could be mindfully eating and, like,
enjoying food.
But, you know, it does…
[Darya]: I just smile at him until he notices.
[Kevin]: Yeah.
But it’s a big problem.
It’s getting worse, I feel.
That’s the scary thing is I feel like we’re
getting more and more involved.
The Apple watch I think is a horrible invention.
[Rhonda]: What all does the Apple watch do?
[Kevin]: It just…it brings all that stuff
to the forefront and it gives you all that
stuff right in your face.
You don’t have to pull out your phone.
You can just look down at your watch.
I don’t know.
I don’t think it’s…
I shouldn’t say horrible invention.
There’s certain…like the fitness aspect
in tracking your steps and things like that
are very positive things.
But I think that it’s leading to more distraction
which is worrisome.
[Rhonda]: It’s interesting to hear someone
like you to talk about this.
I’m used to hearing like my father’s generation
In fact, he constantly, him and his…my step-mom
constantly complain about how everyone’s always
on their phone and there’s no social interaction.
But it’s rare to hear someone that’s in the
tech world, you know, of that generation and
known for it to actually…
[Kevin]: Well, I think when you’ve been through
the acceleration that is the tech world in
Silicon Valley and it spits you out the other
end, you all of a sudden be like, “Wow, I
just like lost a bunch of years in my life
to like this really intense life.”
And there are really good pieces of it.
But we just have to be careful.
We have to be careful there’s the balance.
[Rhonda]: You should go try this 10-day silent
[Kevin]: I should.
[Rhonda]: …and then see how you feel, if
you still feel the same way.
[Darya]: Do you wanna hear something crazy?
So, we were allowed to talk for like the first
couple hours and then we had one group meeting.
And then like…
Within the 10 days . And I’m normally terrible
remembering names and faces.
Like, I’ll have had an hour long conversation
with someone and, like, not remember who they
are, not remember their name.
It’ll come back if I get, like, a click.
But I remembered everybody’s name on this,
And people that I met for like two seconds
on the first day.
I was like “Oh, hi, Dana.
How was you retreat?” when we were leaving.
And I’ve never had an experience like that.
The only main difference was no tech.
[Rhonda]: That is incredible.
I have a similar problem.
Were these like female only, male?
Was it like…the separation?
[Darya]: It was co-ed.
[Rhonda]: It was co-ed.
[Darya]: Yeah.
I mean, our building were…
[Rhonda]: Were there a lot of people there?
[Darya]: It was almost a hundred people
[Rhonda]: Did you start to like smell people’s
BO and stuff like…
[Darya]: Oh, my God.
[Rhonda]: Because, you know, your senses get
heightened like when you’re not talking.
[Kevin]: Sure.
[Darya]: I literally had to move seats once
because I was like, “Someone needs a shower.”
It’s so funny because they’re like…they
make you use fragrance-free shampoo, fragrance-free
But I’m like, they should at least require
functional deodorant if they’re gonna make
us do that because, like, I’m sensitive.
I’m sensitive to your smell.
It’s really bad.
There’s a couple people like that.
[Rhonda]: That’s crazy.
All right.
Well, you know, I think that’s been a very
interesting conversation.
[Kevin]: All over the place.
[Rhonda]: Yeah.
Totally all over the place.
You guys have it, the power couple here, Kevin
and Dr. Darya Rose.
Super cool individuals.
If people wanna find out or follow more of
what Darya or Kevin is doing, where can they
find you?
[Kevin]: I’m just Kevin Rose.
I’m pretty much every social network thing.
So, you can just find me on the Instagrams
or Twitter.
[Darya]: If you’re really interested in my
stuff, the best thing to do is go to Summer
Tomato and sign up for my newsletter because
that’s where you get all the…that’s where
like I actually interact a lot.
I’m also Summer Tomato on Twitter and whatnot,
[Rhonda]: Awesome, guys.
[Kevin]: Cool.
[Rhonda]: Really, really enjoyed the conversation.
[Kevin]: Thanks for having us.
[Darya]: Thank you.