This week on a Voice and Beyond, we welcome back Duncan Rock, one of our all-time favourite guests, from episode number 29, to discuss the very important topic of nutrition. For those of you who haven’t been introduced to Duncan, he is a professional baritone who has had an enduring career touring internationally with numerous opera companies for many years. After a life changing event, Duncan decided to transition into the health and well- being field, and is now a qualified nutritionist with a specialisation in promoting good health for performing artists, a registered exercise professional, and a member of the Royal Society for Public Health. Whilst studying his Master’s degree in Human Nutrition, Duncan quickly learned that the best way to positively improve our health and longevity is through proper nutrition. Every day, we are being bombarded with information through the media regarding what constitutes good nutrition, the latest fad diet that promises the holy grail for weight loss, and the list goes on. This can be very confusing and in this episode, Duncan helps us to better understand what proper nutrition means by doing some myth busting. He explains how an appropriate nutrition plan not only promotes a healthy lifestyle that can enrich our lives, but it is the best way to defy all-cause mortality. Duncan tells us that we are currently living in an obesogenic environment in the western world and that the impact of over nutrition in our society has surpassed the impact of malnutrition. In today’s show, he not only shares his knowledge and philosophies on nutrition, but also gives us hints and tips on some of the most basic things we can do on a daily basis to improve our eating habits. This is a most insightful interview with Duncan Rock and is not to be missed, especially if you are looking to improve your overall health and well-being.

In this episode

07:09 — Transitioning to the Field of Diet and Nutrition

12:12 — Poor Eating Habits as Top 3 Cause of Cancers

16:10 — Is Vegan Diet the Worst Diet Style?

20:41 — What Constitutes a Bad Nutrition?

25:15 — Type of Foods That Are Addictive

28:31 — Foods That Trigger Depression and Panic Attacks

41:55 — Eating the Correct Quantity of Food

46:00 — Carbohydrates vs Calorie Intake

48:12 — Carbohydrates’ Role in Serotonin Production

49:16 — Benefits of Fasting

53:13 — Hunger and Mindset Behind

56:34 — Importance of Knowing Your Metabolic Rate

57:15 — Fact or Myth: Breakfast Is the Most Important Meal of the Day

1:00:58 — Top 5 Recommend Foods

1:03:09 — Worst Foods You Could Possibly Eat


Dr Marisa Lee Naismith is excited to announce the release of her new book “Singing Contemporary Commercial Music Styles: A Pedagogical Framework” published by Compton Publications UK. Marisa offers this book as a starting point and as CCM markets continue to evolve, she encourages that we, as a voice community, continue to evolve, debate and communally add to this framework.



Visit the A Voice and Beyond Youtube channel to watch back the video replay of this guest interview or to see my welcome video.

Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  00:05

It’s Marisa Lee here, and I’m so excited to be sharing today’s interview round episode with you. In these episodes, our brilliant lineup of guests will include health care practitioners, voice educators, and other professionals who will share their stories, knowledge and experiences within their specialized fields to empower you to live your best life. Whether you’re a member of the voice, community, or beyond your voice is your unique gift. It’s time now to share your gift with others develop a positive mindset and become the best and most authentic version of yourself to create greater impact. Ultimately, you can take charge, it’s time for you to live your best life. It’s time now for A Voice and Beyond. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode. It’s Marisa Lee here, and I’m so excited to be sharing today’s interview round episode with you. In these episodes, our brilliant lineup of guests will include health care practitioners, voice educators, and other professionals who will share their stories, knowledge and experiences within their specialized fields to empower you to live your best life. Whether you’re a member of the voice, community, or beyond your voice is your unique gift. It’s time now to share your gift with others develop a positive mindset and become the best and most authentic version of yourself to create greater impact. Ultimately, you can take charge, it’s time for you to live your best life. It’s time now for A Voice and Beyond. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  01:15

This week on A Voice and Beyond, we welcome back one about all time favorite guests from Episode #29 Duncan Rock, to discuss the very important topic of nutrition. For those of you who haven’t been introduced to Duncan, he is a professional baritone, who has had an enduring career touring internationally with numerous opera companies for many years. After a life changing event, Duncan decided to transition into the health and wellbeing field and is now a qualified nutritionist with a specialization in promoting good health for performing artists, a registered exercise professional and a member of the Royal Society for Public Health. While studying his master’s degree in Human Nutrition. Duncan quickly learned that the best way to positively improve our health and longevity is through proper nutrition. Every day we are being bombarded with information through the media regarding what constitutes good nutrition, the latest fad diet that promises the Holy Grail for weight loss and the list goes on and on. This can be very confusing, and in this episode, Duncan helps us to better understand what proper nutrition means by doing some myth busting. He explains how an appropriate nutrition plan not only promotes a healthy lifestyle that can enrich our lives, but it is the best way to defy all cause mortality. Duncan tells us that we are currently living in an obesogenic environment in the Western world, and that the impact of over nutrition in our society has surpass the impact of malnutrition. In today’s show, he not only shares his knowledge and philosophies on nutrition, but also gives us some hints and tips on some of the most basic things we can all do on a daily basis to improve our eating habits. This is a most insightful interview with Duncan Rock and it is not to be missed, especially if you’re looking to improve your overall health and well being. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:05

Welcome, Duncan Rock. DuncanRock is back in the house. You are our guest on episode number 29. And I’ve been dying to have you back. So how have you been?

Duncan Rock  04:19

I’ve been really well. What which episode are we up to now? Just so I know.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:23

Oh. I think around 70 I think this week was 78.

Duncan Rock  04:30

Wow. Wow. Okay. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:33

I know that’s 50 episodes ago, so that’s like almost a year. Yeah. Must have been about a year ago. Wow. And we’re in the depth of COVID and you were in a room with the cot?

Duncan Rock  04:51

You know, it’s been so long my daughter my daughter no longer sleeps in her cot. She now sleeps in her big girl bed as she calls it. Wow. Up is an adorable sort of bed with like a tent over it and lights and things. So things have changed, things have changed.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:08

Yes. And we had a running joke that night that you were going to spit the dummy, because there was a cot behind, do you remember that and kick king bees–?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:10

I didn’t know this. I didn’t know that afraid. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:22

Well, I don’t know if that phrase actually exists, but it does in my mind. So we’ll run with that. Okay, so Duncan, for those people who missed out on Episode 29, and don’t know who you are, well, first up, everybody, go back and listen to episode number 29, where you talked about physical activity. And I know some of our audience may be a little allergic to that word. So let’s call it movement, though. Let’s go back and listen to that episode. But Duncan, you are a nutritionist who specializes in promoting good health, for performing artists and beyond. You are a registered exercise professional, a member of the Royal Society for Public Health, and you have a career as a professional baritone. And you’ve toured internationally, with numerous opera companies over the years. So that’s a lot of different hats. And as I said, in Episode 29, we talked about all things relating to physical exercise. But this episode, I really am keen to talk to you about nutrition. And I know you hold a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition, and you’re up to date with all the latest clinical information. I can’t wait to get started. But before I do, I have to tell you, I looked up many of the myths surrounding nutrition. And there’s so many of them. And I’m going to sprinkle some of those myths into some of the questions and I’ll make like a little myth alert announcement as we do. Okay, but, okay, Duncan, firstly, like what inspired you to transition into this field of diet and nutrition?

Duncan Rock  07:14

Oh, you know, I just I always had a love affair with health fitness. And obviously, nutrition is a huge part of that, you know, I grew up in Perth in WA, and loved playing sports and being active and being on the beach and healthy and all that kind of stuff. Yes. And then of course, as I got older, you know, I’m heading towards 40 now. You know, things change.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  07:36

That’s so old.

Duncan Rock  07:37

Things transition from being more about athletic performance, and like aesthetics and things like that and thinking about things like longevity. Particularly I was a father, I’d like to be as healthy as for as long as possible, for obvious reasons. So my, I guess what was a more passing interest in the field of health nutrition became a more active, deliberate interest, which made me want to go and study my master’s degree. So basically, look, I did my initial studies at the Australian Institute of fitness, actually, when I was much, much younger, sort of 1819 but when I was in my early 20s, my life took a huge turn, and I won a scholarship to come to London, and study music study a master’s degree in music school in London called the Guildhall School of Music. Yes. I completed that, and then sort of had this amazing, I guess, 12 or so year adventure, traveling the world as a baritone as a singer, started singing a lot in the UK and then going to France and Italy in Germany and then started to get a lot of work in the US and singing. It started singing New York quite a lot. And so that was the sort of path I followed. But a few years ago, when my then girlfriend now wife and I were talking about getting married and starting a family. I did recognize a slight incompatibility with what I saw in my sort of immediate future. Yes, that’s what I was currently doing. You know, I was traveling 6, 7, 8 months of the year, which was amazing. And I loved it in my mid 20s. But it’s, it wasn’t compatible with the vision I had of my life as a parent. So I started to look into ways where I could still be active professionally, doing things I enjoy and I find interesting and fascinating and fulfilling, but maybe not traveling half the year plus. And so I found it, you know, I was looking for other avenues. Like maybe I could do something adjacent to my life as a singer. I wasn’t so interested in becoming a singing teacher. I absolutely respect singing teachers. I did wonderful. Just see myself doing that show. I wanted something that was related adjacent acts Yeah, I was working in Brisbane actually, I was working for opera Queensland at the time. And, and I was listening to what I think was maybe my, I don’t know, 10th Nutrition podcast that we, you know, I was obsessed with. And it just sort of dawned on me maybe this is something I could do formally interested in turning into some sort of professional thing. So I found a master’s degree that I could do in human nutrition, and began slowly, slowly, slowly, completing this master’s degree as I was traveling all over the world, you know, I, I was doing exams while I was in Boston, and then in Madrid, and then, you know, it was just me and my laptop, I did majority remotely. And so I, and then I finished my master’s degree. And I started working. And I was very pleased with myself. And I thought I was being very, very clear to where, and then and then of course, march 2020 came, and obviously this huge global change, because the pandemic, and then my daughter was born in July 2020. And so things have taken a different turn. For me, I’m singing less, less, I am back singing because obviously, things are back. I just completed a tour with the Welsh National Opera of the opera, Don Giovanni, which is a role I’ve sung many, many times. But I’m doing more and more work in this health sphere. And actually, since we last spoke, I have completed now the first of two years of an MSc in physiotherapy. Wow. So I it’s Thank you. Yeah, I’ve loved it. I’ve been working now in a placement position. Because I’ve done the academic component. I’ve been working in a hospital in cardiac rehab, which is a wonderful combination of both my knowledge as a physio student, and of course, nutritionist because we find ourselves giving a lot of nutritional advice. So they go, that’s an extremely long answer to your question, but–

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  11:45

That’s okay. Yes, and that all makes perfect sense. And I believe, too, that your philosophy in terms of good health starts from within that, you know, if we want to take better care of ourselves, we need to start with nutrition. And the other day, I was listening to a morning show, and they were talking about cancer. And there was saying now that science is showing that half of cancers are a result of poor lifestyle choices. And the top three, firstly, of course, was cigarette smoking. Secondly, was poor eating habits. And thirdly, was consumption of alcohol. So, you know, makes perfect sense like that is aligning with what you believe. So why is society even with all this information that’s out there? Even with all these facts, all these figures, all this proof? Why are we as a society getting it so wrong? Why do people still continue to do the wrong thing?

Duncan Rock  12:57

It’s a great question. You know, I think it’s a it’s hard to say like, are we getting it wrong on mass? I mean, certainly, if we look at population statistics, things seem to be getting worse rather than better, fluidly. Various health outcomes related to lifestyle diseases. I think one of the main reasons is this idea of the obesogenic environment, we although we have a lot of really good information and access, easy access to good information, more so than ever before, the environment, we find ourselves in predisposes us to making bad decisions, you know, there’s only so much you can do when you know, when you go to the airport, and there’s literally not a single healthy option to eat, or perhaps there are 19, unhealthy cheap options. And one, you know, salad that cost $25. Gentlemen, it’s there’s this environment we find ourselves in, that works entirely. In many respects. That doesn’t mean people can’t make good decisions can’t make better decisions. But your immediate it’s that there’s an uphill battle, I would say, for the most part, to live a healthy lifestyle goes against the grain at the moment that certainly the standard model in the western world is to live a very unhealthy lifestyle. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  14:18

Yes. So and also too like, we’re dealing with propaganda with TV advertising, with multinationals that are creating foods that are addictive. So is that part of that environment that you’re talking about?

Duncan Rock  14:36

Arguably, the biggest part of the environment, I would say there’s just so much money to be made in this–

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  14:42

Millions and illions.

Duncan Rock  14:45

Yeah, billions billions trillions and trillions. I mean, it’s, you even notice, you know, what could be theoretically healthy movements. You know, one thing I’m noticing a lot in my practice is because I work with a lot of young people through the Voice Care Center, a lot of students So a lot of young West End performers and dancers and things, this move in younger people towards a vegan style of eating, which is great, great. It’s, I still have my reservations about it as the optimum diet for human flourishing, but certainly healthier than a standard Western diet much, much, much. Yes, yes. And you even see now only a couple of years in this sort of industrial food world has now usurped what could have been a healthy movement. And now it’s all about like plants and you know, vegan cheese pizzas from Domino’s, or whatever, you know, even the what could be moves in a good direction, gets taken over by fast food companies by billion dollar companies and, and hijacked and therefore, so now we can put now we’re going to have reams of data about what it’s like on the human body to eat an unhealthy vegan diet. And I, my prediction would be Oh, my God, this for the year, and possibly the worst diet that somebody could call it, because you’re likely to be someone nutrient deficient. And eating all this processed foods, it might be the worst thing people can be doing for their bodies and generation of current, you know, 19-20 year olds might be the victims of that.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  16:10

I’ve actually heard by a scientist, it was on a podcast, I can’t remember which one, that he believed that the vegan diet was the worst one of all, really. And yes, he he gave reasons for that. And even when it came to the whole philosophy around eating vegan, some of those plant foods that people are eating, in terms of where they are in the food chain, that actually causing more damage by eating those particular foods than eating some, like eating meat, say, for example, it was really interesting, and I can’t quote on it. But all I know is that I did hear somewhere that this gentleman believed that the vegan diet was the worst diet for health, it was not a healthy diet. So that’s kind of backing up a little bit, what you’re saying. But when it comes to nutrition, I’ve read somewhere that the word nutrition means connection to earth. And so does that mean that a raw food diet is the best way for us to eat? Or is that a myth? 

Duncan Rock  17:29

I think what you’ve articulated touches on an issue that’s quite prevalent in the health sphere, but particularly than you should in the nutrition, the nutrition sphere, which I have heard, too, and I refer it I personally refer to it as the naturalistic fallacy, this idea that if something is natural, it is inherently good. You know, you see a lot of Instagram influencers or whatever, who are, you know, they’re, they’re like, primal people. And you know, and it can seem quite sexy guys, oh, it’s healing, like, oh, yeah, I’m gonna connect with nature. But of course, it is a fallacy for the most part, you know, one of my professors used to say, well, botulism is perfectly natural. Arsenic is perfectly natural. And God, yeah, these things aren’t good for us, you know, just because doesn’t mean you know, we can think of a million examples, just because I think it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s good for us. And on the flip side, you know, synthesized antibiotics that are unnatural, there can be man made, but of course, if you’re, you’ve got an infection, you want them, you know, so, this idea of, like, most what I would describe as myths, there’s an element of truth to it. Right. So, in terms of the naturalistic fallacy, yes, generally eating a whole foods diet, you know, eating food as close to its original state as possible, minimizing processed foods. You know, this is a good idea, generally, generally speaking, but, you know, it’s certainly not a competition to see who can rip sweet potatoes out of the ground. Why is it masked off and just go eat them?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  19:11

I just sorry, I just visualized a caveman standing there reaping potatoes out of the ground.

Duncan Rock  19:23

Yeah, or, you know, you see people on social media, you know, promoting the eating of raw this raw that roll liver raw. Yeah, you know, this is not necessary. We don’t have to go to these ridiculous extremes to get the benefit. And and I would say sort of generally, is that all this stuff serves to overcomplicate the process, like oh, well, if you’re not, you know, walking barefoot in the rain and eating raw testicles and hunting your own park or whatever it is. You’re here It’s ridiculous. People still buy it, people sell it. And sorry, that’s like the funniest thing I’ve ever testicles. A guy who pops up on my social media, I think it might be YouTube. He’s a doctor, and he’s an MD. And he’s, it’s all it’s all antagonistic, like, this is wheat, oats and banana, you’re gonna die poor and only look at me I eat raw liver and testicles and papaya or whatever it is, you know, it’s sure. Probably making a lot of money. But I would say–

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  20:41

So then what do you think isn’t good nutrition, what constitutes that for you?

Duncan Rock  20:46

It’s simply put just giving your body everything it needs to flourish, not just survive, but flourish. And not more and not more in the Goldilocks zone have the right amount of nutrition. And we know that nutrition causes problems. And we know now actually, in the Western world, well, actually not just in the Western world, but since about 2014. Globally, there are more diseases and death caused by over nutrition. Now globally. So more more disease and death caused from the diseases of what we could call diseases of privilege, people who over consume, right nutrition and achievement of sorts. But number one, it’s a reality that we have to grapple with.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  21:31

So, is then good nutrition different? Can it mean different things for different people? Are? Are we all different? Like is it on? Like what I would need be different to what you need? Or do we all need the same thing? Are there some things that I can eat that you shouldn’t eat? And vice versa?

Duncan Rock  21:52

Yeah, this is a great question. You know, we were talking about veganism earlier. You know, obviously there’s a debate, an open I would say still an open question on what the optimal diet for human flourishing is optimization is should we really be omnivorous? I would say probably maybe omnivorous but largely plant based. So omnivorous we you eat meat and vegetables? And oh, okay. All right. I never it’s not her not a herbivore, I would say the best definite definition I’ve come across is that humans are opportunistic eaters. So this is why humans can survive in all different climates. You know, if you’re an Inuit, you can survive on, you know, whale blubber, and whatever, and seal meat and things like this. Or if you’re living close to the equator, you can survive on on routes, and sweet potatoes and seeds and largely sort of a herbivorous diet. So humans can survive on a huge range of of eating patterns. However, we now know from billions of data points of research that there’s a general pattern that seems to work very well for the vast majority of us. So once again, I’m certainly in the mindset at the moment of trying to make things less complicated, rather than more complicated. And to be honest, in the absence of pathology in the absence of the extremes. So when I talk about the extremes, I mean, either extreme sickness, extreme pathology on one end, or extreme optimization on the end, you know, Olympic athletes, yes, that we need to get a bit fancy, right? If someone’s really sick, you know, for you know, for example, it seems that for a lot of children with epilepsy, a ketogenic diet seems to be really beneficial. A very, very high fat, low carbohydrate diet. But for most people, I wouldn’t recommend that sort of diet, but in that pathology is valuable. So in one extreme, I’ve seen on the other end Olympic athletes, yeah, you have to get fancy, because you’re looking at, you’re looking at making people do things that no human being has ever done before. Right? In terms of other things that you should eat that I shouldn’t. I mean, obviously, if we haven’t an allergy, you know, if you’re allergic to something, maybe it’s something you shouldn’t eat. But generally no, we could largely eat about, we should largely all the eating a similar sort of diet, the thing that changes the most is the quantities, you know, so I’m a six foot three, sort of 100 or so kilo, very, very active man, my calorie needs are going to be a lot higher than most people. But that’s the main element that one needs to adjust for, how active are you? How much energy do you need, that largely we should be following a similar sort of eating pattern.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  24:36

I’ll come back to this discussion on survival in a moment when we talk about fat storage because I heard something interesting about that. But on this tangent that we’re on at the moment about types of foods, I’ve heard that there are foods that the eater when consuming these foods, they release huge amounts of dopamine things like refined sugars that, you know, give an immediate energy high release certain chemicals in the brain the same way that cocaine and heroin does. So at these kinds of foods are the ones that are the most addictive would you say?

Duncan Rock  25:20

Yeah, yeah, it’s I mean, I think you make a really good point into sort of, to just sort of hold off on it a little bit. I’m always cognizant of not trying to catastrophize like eating potato chips and doing cocaine, a very, very different experience. Sure, I understand it’s a bit cool to sort of, say sugars just the same as cocaine because yes, if you do a study of brain imaging, yes, like it lights up, but of course, eating a candy bar and doing heroin is the main thing I find compelling. And notice in people into these types of foods is the insulin cortisol relationships. So just the briefest explanation obviously, Insulin is the hormone release to lower blood sugar. So we eat something, you know, sugary food, high carbohydrate food, our blood sugar goes up, we release insulin to then normalize our blood sugar, right, which is what we call simply put, oversimplification, but it’s the stress hormone. Yes, you’re high in stress, you’re likely high in cortisol. So there’s an inverse relationship between these two hormones. When insulin goes up, cortisol comes down. What I do notice individuals doing is so this is why you never hear people say, Oh, Marissa, I was so stressed last night, all I could do was eat broccoli, and boiled eggs.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  26:47

And testicles.

Duncan Rock  26:52

Of course not. People say Marissa, I was so stressed last night, all I could eat was ice cream, cookies, potato chips, you know, packets of chocolate. Why? Because these foods are high in processed refined carbohydrates. And they give us an insulin spike, which gives us the consequent cortisol reduction. Now, pretty nifty trick, right? I mean, this isn’t a horrible thing. If you’ve utilized once in a while as a tool, right? You know, you had a horrible day, today, you know what, I’m gonna have some ice cream, and it’s gonna make me feel a bit better. And that’s, there’s nothing wrong with this. But you know, this, this is one of the most beautiful things about food, it can make us feel it can improve our mood, right? Of course, the problem is we do it chronically, we don’t just do it once a week, once a fortnight a couple of times a month, whatever we do it chronically, we fall into a pattern of stress, and then a pattern of chronic poor nutritional habits to try and combat the stress. And that leads to obviously horrendous health consequences. So that that more than the addictive nature, I do think there is something to this, but I think it’s the chronic nature more than the addictive nature I might be splitting hairs here are interesting to me. Because I think if people recognize that cycle of the, you know, insulin cortisol relationship, they can sort of be mindful of it and learn to break it. And they’ve got, you know, ways people can sort of break that circuit, so to speak, which can be very valuable.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  28:21

So in what you just described, okay, it can help food can be a mood enhancer, by what you’re telling me or what you’re describing to me. But can food also trigger things like depression? Can it trigger panic attacks? I know for me, if I have more than one coffee a day, it my anxiety levels increase? So are there foods and things like that, that can trigger those changes in in our mood and our frame of mind?

Duncan Rock  28:54

Yes, once again, you know, with food, I’m largely interested, there are exceptions, but they’re rare. I’m more largely interested in eating patterns over time. This is another reason you mentioned earlier, why are we getting it wrong? Because food, the outcomes of our behaviors work in a timescale that we’re just not very good at operating on, you know, these health outcomes are measured in months, years and decades. But of course, we want results in hours and days, you know, lose weight in 36 hours, you know, if I if I go keto for five days, while I look hot in my whatever my bathing suit for my holiday that people are people were unfortunately working in timeframes that the human brain particularly the moment isn’t particularly good at dealing with we want everything yesterday. Yes. So just bearing that in mind. It’s not that I think food will acutely trigger anxiety episodes, depressive episodes, you know, you did mention caffeine and I think that’s a really sad point. But of course caffeine is a drug It’s not Jeremy’s not coffee that did that. It’s, it’s the drug caffeine. So yeah, I know you ingest it. So I wouldn’t it’s technically not a food, it doesn’t have nutritional. Sure, sure. It’s a drug chemical. However, in fact, I just gave a lecture on this earlier this week, certain eating patterns are highly associated with low levels of, for example, depressive symptoms. And certainly the patterns are associated with high levels of depressive symptoms. And, you know, it won’t surprise you to hear which ones are associated with high levels of depression and which ones are associated with low level depression is exactly what you think it is. A healthy diet is is hot, hugely dense with good mental health. And an unhealthy diet is hugely linked with poor mental health. This one is a struggle at the moment. For me, what I find is people who would benefit and I understand this, this isn’t a again, it’s not a I’m not coming after people who experience I just think it’s unfortunate, I think it’s a shame. To show people who would benefit from this advice a very standoffish can be very reluctant to accept it. You know, we do recognize that our diet impacts our physical health, and that our physical health impacts on mental health people do seem to make that connection. However, people then don’t make the connection back. That means our diet impacts our mental health. People seem right. I remember when I first started doing research into nutrition for mental health, depression, anxiety, stress, I came across just absolute barrage of articles written by journalists, clearly with no nutritional training, or even understanding, pushing back against it, you know, how dare you say that my mental health problems are because I’m not eating enough eggs. I’m not eating enough carbohydrates, or no, that’s not what we’re saying. We’re just saying that we know from billions of data points of evidence that there’s a relationship between the two and this, your diet alongside therapeutic or pharmacological care for your mental health, your diet could also be valuable to you. But it seems to be something that people seem very, not just reluctant to accept, but almost adversarial. People don’t like to hear this. I’m not entirely sure why. But you know, keep working on it.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  32:19

Yes. And even in terms of behavior to food can impact behavior. And there was a big study done in a prison in the US. And if you don’t know about it, I’ll send you the information on it. But also by changing the diet for the prisoners, their behavior started to improve, and the crime rate started to come down.

Duncan Rock  32:42

Yeah, I’ve not I’d love you to send me that. And but I believe I believe it. I mean, I, you know, the truth is that, you know, we know this to be true. We know that if schools change their dinner menu, you know, the options they have in canteen, you get better outcomes, you get shorter students who can pay better attention, they get better grades that we know this to be true. Like if the jury is in the jury is in for stuff. It’s just we don’t do it. We don’t do it.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  33:07

I mean, it’s a child that has a huge amount of sugar is going to make poor choices in behavior compared to a child that has no sugar.

Duncan Rock  33:20

We took my I see it acutely now. If I’d as if I needed any more convincing, you know, my daughter’s two and we’re starting to take her to restaurants. And last week, we took her out for afternoon tea, you know, it’s obviously in the UK going for high tea. So like a nice uniform to this beautiful sort of Brasserie in where we live, called the IV and, you know, dressed up and went for afternoon to is lovely. But you know, she normally doesn’t eat that much sugar. But you know, she had like some scones jam delivered of K, you know, and it was the worst behaved she’s ever been in months, you know? Because he goes, and then crash. Yeah, no. Yeah, brain chemistry was no match for that. Now, obviously, in a two year old, it’s more acute than in a 32. Year I have the same chemistry still applies.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  34:09

Yes. So we’ve talked about vegan, there’s a whole lot of other diets out there. You know, there’s paleo, the Atkins, Mediterranean, there’s high protein, low carb, do any of these actually work? Or is there a diet that you know of that has been labeled as a diet that you believe works?

Duncan Rock  34:33

Yeah. I mean, if it depends what you mean by works, you know, is which is quite, you know, it works for what, what–?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  34:39

Good nutrition. But you’re talking about in terms of good nutrition and your idea of what that represents?

Duncan Rock  34:47

Sure. So of the commonly followed popular diets, obviously, they all have their, their positives and negatives. They can all be they can all work well. or not depending on what you eat. So like I say, you know, a lot of like liberal, you mentioned a vegan diet. So let’s go there, you know, we had quite a lot of convincing evidence in the late 90s, early 2000s, that were starting to suggest that maybe a vegan diet might be really, really optimal for human human flourishing. A lot of go back and read studies from 15 years ago, it’s really compelling. You’re like, wow, these people had great outcomes. We now recognize that a lot of those studies, a lot of that research was subject to healthy user bias. So basically, yeah, so if you’re, if you’re a vegan in 1998, you probably were also running marathons on the weekends and meditating and germane and eating nonprofit holistic approach. Exactly. You probably won’t, you know, there weren’t any vegans in 1998, who also smoked and drank excessively and do remain it was a lifestyle. It was it was a package deal.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  36:01

Yeah, makes sense.

Duncan Rock  36:03

And so they were comparing those individuals with just your average person who was overstressed underexercised, overweight, smoked, drank whatever, and followed a Western diet. So Jeremy, would you won’t compare like for like, there has since been quite a lot of research done on that compared like for like, like a healthy vegan versus a healthy omnivorous diet. And it seems that if you balance all other factors, which is difficult, but a healthy omnivorous diet might just be a little bit better than a healthy vegan diet, just because there’s potential to not be deficient, the vegan diet still is but it has potential to be deficient in certain nutrients before being the obvious one. And then of course, the complete profile of amino acids and of course, iron, iron, which are you know, and deficiency, particularly women is an issue. Yes. In many populations, so. But of course, you can supplement and overcome that. So yes, you can be extremely healthy. In my opinion, you can be extremely healthy, being a vegan. It just takes a bit of considered effort more so than if you’re omnivorous. But of course, if you just say I’m vegan, but you’re eating, you’re eating like, you know, Oreos are famously vegan. Oreos. Yeah, I mean, they’re tasty. But are they good? Fine? No, of course not. You know, if you’re eating my plants and Oreos, and all these, like meat replacement foods, you’re not you’re gonna be extremely unhealthy. These are being vegan isn’t the factor. It’s the fact you’re eating lots of vegetables, whole foods, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You know, I do find it amazing. The amount of people who are following this diet at the moment who have decided that it’s making them healthy, and they you go and maybe have burgers at their you go to their house for dinner and you have a lovely vegan meal burgers or something like, yeah, what are these burgers made out? Of? They have no idea. You know, is it made of mushroom? Is it made of soy? Is it made of seitan? Is it made it? What does it make? Do you have no idea what Yes, you just exactly. You bought a commodity that’s been sold to you as healthy. But you don’t even know what it is. I mean, you don’t have no idea what you’re eating. I mean this–

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  38:12

Yeah, so true. And it’s just everything that you’re saying is just common sense. And it’s taking a common sense approach and attitude to it all, isn’t it?

Duncan Rock  38:23

Yeah. Look, if my simplest advice and when I give general nutrition lectures for companies or whatever, I always I steal from the American food writer, Michael Pollan, who is very interesting, because he’s quite anti nutrition is quite an anti nutritionalist in some ways he likes to simple and that’s what makes him so good. So he, you know, he wouldn’t be good at dealing with pathology, but for the general population, he gives great advice. And he puts it beautifully. He says eat whole foods, mostly plants, not too much. If you follow that advice, you will do great, it might not get you your Olympic gold medal. And no, it might not be the diet you need in specific instance of illness pathology. But for the most part, if you’re eating whole foods, what we’re talking about minimize the intake of processed foods and eat real foods as much as possible. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, you know, low fat meats, things like that wonderful. Mostly plants now this is you know, some people don’t like this but the evidence does indicate that a diet where the bulk of the food volume is largely plant matter seems to be better for human optimal human health. Now when I say plants, I don’t just mean like spinach and broccoli. This of course, just this just means anything non animal. So nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, all this stuff, fruits, vegetables, this should form I would say my opinion 70% of the bulk of your food volume. Eat a plate of food. Maximum 30% should be animal products. The rest should be granted Vegetables and fruits and seeds and so forth. Still still fair amount of animal product, but you certainly don’t want to miss that 70% That’s really important. And then, of course, not too much eating the right amount, it seems that this is something I’ve been researching a lot very recently, if you look at the totality of the evidence, now, this is the people don’t find themselves having quite a strong reaction to this. So I guess prepare yourself, if you look at the totality of the evidence, it seems that eating the correct amount of food, and by that I mean the correct total calories has about a 50 to 60% effect size on your total nutritional health. So by that, I mean, if you take two identical individuals, everything they do it, they got the identical twins, who live the exact same lifestyle. One of them eats all the quote unquote, wrong foods, but the right amount, the right total calories, and the other one eats all the quote unquote, right foods, but the wrong total calories, overconsumption of calories, right gonna be about the same health, so or the one who eats the right amount of calories, but all junk will likely be a little bit healthier. So this if you’re going to focus on one single element, and people don’t like to hear this, I understand it’s, it can be frustrating to hear. If you are going to focus on one single element, I don’t recommend you do this. But if you were to eating the right amount of food is the number one is going to get you the most bang for your buck. Right. And I find the opposite. People want to focus on the minutiae. Oh, do I need to eliminate gluten? Do I need to start taking this supplement? Do I need to stop drinking dairy? Do I need to go vegan? Do I need to go paleo? Do I need to go keto, this stuff is all irrelevant. And it’s all it’s all great. But you know, if you want to focus on a single element that’s going to get you the most benefit, eat the correct quantity of food is going to be it.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  42:03

So that bust a couple of the myths that I had in terms of weight loss, and one of them was cutting carbs, is the smartest way to lose weight. And the other one low calorie, and diet food is healthy. But then sweeteners are not necessarily healthy. And sweeteners are a diet food aren’t they?

Duncan Rock  42:26

Yeah, I mean, it’s sorry to just to go back. So cutting carbs is can be effective. If you want to lose weight, if your goal, I want to lose weight in six weeks, whatever. Cutting carbs can be effect can be effective, you know, you kind of put the body into a bit of a shock state ketogenic state. And you can lose weight very quickly, fine, I wouldn’t recommend it for a long period of time, because I don’t think it’s optimal for health. Certainly, having a low fiber diet can mess with your digestive system, cardiovascular system, I would recommend it and long term. But there’s nothing magical about cutting carbs, what you’re doing when you’re cutting carbs, if you’re cutting calories, you know, and so whatever mechanism you use to cut calories will be effective. As long as you’re in a calorie deficit. That’s we’ve known this for 100 years and people still against it fine. They can be they’re welcome to be wrong. In terms of I mean, diet foods, you know, if you’re eating one effective tool that can be utilized, if one is struggling with weight management, is to eat low calorie, high volume foods, because you’re still getting that eating experience. You’re getting that satiety of having a full stomach, but you’re not over consuming calories. So if you eat, for example, a lot of vegetables, you know, if you you know how much broccoli could you eat until you’re like, oh my god, like I got to stop eating, you know, you’d be so full from fiber and volume of food. So that can be an effective tool, a low calorie, high volume diets. Now, I wouldn’t recommend you do that with junk food, processed foods, but if you’re going to do it with fruits and vegetables and things like that wonderful in terms of sweeteners, I, in my opinion, and I look, I think the jury is still out. I don’t think we’re 100% certain I think some of the anti sweetener sentiment is a little bit overstated. I don’t think you’re going to burn a hole in your brain if you drink die is it going to give you cancer a spa time? You know, maybe I wouldn’t be in my top 20 things to worry about shipping is Diet Coke good for you? No, no of course not isn’t good for you? Is it gonna kill you? Probably not, you know, drink water during tea. This this is probably a better choice. You know the thing about something like Diet Coke is if it stops you drinking regular Coke, and I would say is probably a good thing. It’s a useful tool. Look, there is some evidence that sweeteners artificial sweeteners will give you an insulin response because it tricks the body into thinking you’re having something sweet. And that can kind of mess with your insulin sensitivity. Once again, is that a huge issue? Probably not. Once again, like, if you’re a professional athlete, you might be thinking about these this level of thing. But for the most part, it’s not a huge concern. Don’t drink Diet Coke. Don’t drink five cans of Diet Coke a day. You know, if you like Diet Coke on a hot day, I’ll you know, I’ll drink some sort of diet soda. Sometimes it’s refreshing, isn’t it? Yes, yes. It’s one of those ones is like, don’t worry about it, like just worry about the more important things.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  45:37

I just want to quickly touch on one thing before I because I really want to talk to you about fasting, because this is something that I’ve been hearing a lot about lately, and researchers and scientists seem to have jumped on the bandwagon with that. But just in terms of carbs, when I was training with a personal trainer many years ago, they told me to stop eating carbs by three o’clock in the afternoon. And I actually felt that that made a significant change to my body shape, when I was combining that with weight training. So I don’t know if it was a combination of the two or just the weight training that was doing that. However, what about when it comes to eating late at night? Because food turns into energy and we store that energy? You know, and we turns into fat should wait, because as teachers and as performers, we often eat late at night. Is that a bad thing?

Duncan Rock  46:38

Yeah, it’s not inherently bad thing. I think the main issue is as a performer, particularly on a confocal performer, you’d be concerned obvious but the potential for exacerbation of reflux symptoms Doesn’t everyone? Yes. It doesn’t even happen to everyone who has reflux, but it might be a consideration. Yeah. Look, in terms of the advice I know it’s very Coronavirus, no carbs after 2pm. Whatever. Look, it’s great that it had an impact on you. But the reason it had an impact on us because it was once again, it was a mechanism for reducing your overall calorie intake. There’s nothing magical about the time of eating carbs. Now once again, if you’re a professional athlete, or let’s say let’s say just a high intensity, athletic person, like a weekend warrior, put myself in this category. Look, there is some evidence that if you eat the majority of your carbohydrates in and around your workouts, there may be some benefit, it might be a little bit better benefit for more beneficial for you know, fueling the workouts, you might be a slightly less, slightly less likely to store body fat because you’re using the carbs directly after you consume them. But once again, this is the minutiae. This is the absolute minutia. The important thing is eating the correct total amount of carbohydrates throughout the day. If you eat them at breakfast, lunch or dinner, for the most part doesn’t really matter. Yes, I understand. People can send me studies that show there’s a bit of benefit. I recognize that but the in totality, it’s not that important. You know, there’s some benefits eating carbohydrates late at night. It helps with serotonin production.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  48:15

Oh really? So it doesn’t disrupt sleep? It’s the opposite.

Duncan Rock  48:19

I would say it’s probably like more likely the opposite. More likely the obviously. Yeah. Well think about that incident quarters, a response I was telling you about, you know, if you an insight insulin rise, because you eat carbohydrates, you get a decrease in cortisol, which helps you need a decrease in cortisol to fall asleep, right? So if not eating after three works for you wonderful, but–

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  48:39

I don’t do it anymore. No. But that what you just said makes sense. Because if you have a huge meal at lunch, what you want to do is go and have an afternoon nap. And that’s what they do in Europe. They had their main meal at lunchtime, have a nap. And then have a small–

Duncan Rock  48:56

It’s a beautiful way of living. We should all do it. I just spent the weekend at a wedding in the south of France, a very good friend of mine. It was it was it was glorious, glorious wedding. And yeah, it was big lunch. Little nap.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  49:14

Amazing. Now I want to I want to get on to fasting because I know we have a time restraint here. But there seems to be a lot of evidence that fasting is really beneficial from a mental and physiological standpoint. And it’s one of the best things that we can do for ourselves. There’s a lot of people endorsing fasting at the moment. And that could even be as simple as ensuring that there is at least a 12 hour window from the time we eat dinner at night to when we have breakfast in the morning. Some people talk about it in terms of having one day of fasting a week. Some say maybe one day a month. And what’s your point of view on fasting? And is? Is it true that there are benefits relating to it?

Duncan Rock  50:08

Yeah, so it’s full disclosure. I’m not doing it at the moment, because I’m the training, I’m doing it as it is a little bit too intense, but I’ve utilized fasting a lot myself. So yeah, just the potential for the bias to creep in, like with most things is become pop, you know, so people exaggerate the comps. Before they, you know, people make claims that they know they can’t make because it helps them sell a book about fasting or their podcasts about fasting or what just I would, the first thing I would say is to caution people about the extraordinary nature of some of these claims that are made that way by this I’m talking about things like cellular autophagy, anti aging, it’s possible that fasting might be a little bit beneficial for these things. But I think once again, the jury is still out, we can’t say for sure, right? What I do notice fasting can be really beneficial for individuals. And I do think the research we can say basically backs this up is that it helps people improve their metabolic flexibility. And by that, I mean, it means people stop being tied to needing to eat at a certain time, you people start to recognize, oh, if I don’t eat breakfast, maybe I won’t, like drop dead in the street. How about that? You know, the thing is one of the reasons, one of the problems we’re having now of the obesity epidemic, and it truly is an epidemic is comes out of something wonderful about human physiology. And it’s the reason we’ve managed to survive so long, is where we have this extraordinary ability to store energy on our bodies. Yes, periods of famine. Yeah, it’s it’s extraordinary capacity we have, unfortunately, the situation we have is we’re storing all this energy, and we have no famine, because we constantly just eating, you know, at least three times a day, normally more. So we have all the feasting and none of the famine that is supposed to accompany the feasting, if, in my experience, when most people try some sort of fasting, and I recommend people go into it slowly. So if you, you know, don’t start with 16 hours, start with 10 hours, then do 11, 12, 13 Build it up slowly over the course of weeks. What people realize very quickly, surprisingly quickly, is that that feeling that we call hunger is actually just the transient effects of hunger hormones circulating in the bloodstream for about 15 minutes. And that goes away. Yeah, so yeah, you feel hungry. And you go, Oh my gosh, if I don’t eat, I’m gonna pass out. I get hangry Yep, most people finally stop getting it, I can get the effect of ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone, once again, simply put, it’s the same as adrenaline. Like when you have adrenaline surging through your body, you feel all hyped up for what, 15-20 minutes, and then it passes. It’s the same with ghrelin, and you just what people do, I think I would recommend everyone try fasting at least a little bit just to develop that mindfulness and awareness of their physiology. It realize you don’t have to be a slave to your hunger. It’s just a feeling. It’s just a feeling–

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  53:20

It scares me. I feel like my blood sugar’s are dropping. I feel like my blood pressure’s dropping. But that’s all in my mind. 

Duncan Rock  53:28

Well, no, I mean, your blood sugar is dropping, but you’re just release your use this metabolic flexibility, this, this ability for your body to go, Okay, well, I’ve got no food, I will you mobilize some fat cells into energy? And then I’ll have energy. This is a wonderful thing. You know, I’m still at the mindset. And I realized this isn’t popular because I look disordered eating is a problem. Yes. And a very serious thing. And if individuals experiencing disordered eating, it should be taken very seriously. But compared to the obesity epidemic, it’s it’s a grenade compared to an atom bomb. Right in terms of I’m not saying just to clarify, I’m not saying on the effects on the individual disordered eating can be debilitating, even deadly. It’s a terrible, important disease. But on population, the obesity epidemic is going to, I mean, in the UK, where I work, where we have the NHS, the obesity advocate is going to destroy our healthcare system within the next 20 years. If we don’t get it under control, we just went Wow. The same can’t be said about the effect of of disordered eating. It’s exactly individual but it’s not a huge population health issue. I only say that because when I want I’m going to say is I still think it’s it’s better to skip an unhealthy meal than to consume an unhealthy meal. So like if you’re at a train station airport, near McDonald’s, just skip it. Just don’t eat it. Save your money save your digestive system. If you are someone who has done things like recognize the the value, the possibility of fasting, you won’t be scared you because it because essentially what people are saying is, Oh, I better eat this crappy unhealthy processed food. Because what? 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  55:18

It’s better than nothing. It’s better than– 

Duncan Rock  55:22

Yeah, it doesn’t really make sense. It’s not better than nothing. It’s worse than nothing.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  55:28

Not if when you put it that way. 

Duncan Rock  55:30

Yeah. And if you are someone who’s gone, you know, look, I am not saying this is necessary. But just as an experiment I’ve built up over time to sort of preamble but, you know, I was doing 12 hour fasts and you know, 14, 16, and I thought, let me just see what happens, I will try to extend it to 20 hours, I was doing one meal a day for a little bit. And you just do you just do it, you just you get the energy from elsewhere. You know, I was eating big meals at night, and throughout the day, I you dry reserves of the body, which is what we’re supposed to be able to do, but we we almost we almost lose the ability too.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  56:08

Does that not mess up your metabolism or your digestive system and your pooping?

Duncan Rock  56:16

Not to my knowledge, not to my knowledge. You know, I I know it’s very trendy to talk about metabolism or these things will speed up your metabolism? Yes. I wouldn’t worry about the metabolism. I just, you know, eat healthy food, do some exercise. Yeah. What did you know? Do you know what your metabolic rate is? 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  56:36


Duncan Rock  56:37

Yeah. Germane, like everyone’s worried about spinning out their metabolism and slowing it down? Yeah, it’s an erroneous concern for the majority of people. I wouldn’t–

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  56:47

I don’t have awaited problem. So I’m, I’m one of the lucky ones. And my husband says, or you can skip a meal and lose a kilo, like just drops off view. Whereas most people have to go without food. I’m just one of those people, I suppose. But I know what works for me. So I kind of stick to what works for me. But when it comes, so this is another myth busting thing where people say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that we should eat every couple of hours, rather than having three meals a day. And I know a lot of personal trainers talk about that with their clients, or you should eat every couple of hours to keep your metabolism going.

Duncan Rock  57:33

Yeah, yeah, I mean, look, if somebody’s goal is maximum protein synthesis, so either someone who is a bodybuilder or a strength athlete on that, on that athletic end of the spectrum, or on the opposite end of the spectrum, someone who’s very frail, like an elderly person with high levels of sarcopenia, there is some evidence that eating protein more regularly is beneficial for that every three hours or so. So if you’re let’s say you need 150 grams of protein in the day optimized, optimized, there is some evidence and in the extremes, five servings of 30 grams is a little bit better than three servings of 50 grams. Does that make sense? Right? Yeah, absolutely. And once again, once again, only in this only in these extremes. It now look to take it to the maximum distillation, should you eat your 150 grams of protein in one serving? Yeah, probably not. It’s probably not optimal, it’s probably gonna be a bit hard to digest, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But whether it’s three, two servings for serving six servings for the average person, it really, it really doesn’t matter. And the reason I would say probably that advice I do recognize a lot of personal trainers give? I would say overall, it’s probably bad advice. It’s just because the more eating opportunities you introduce into the day, the more people are likely to over consume calories.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  58:57

Yes. And they’ll get used to eating that, wouldn’t they? So then if they don’t have that protein available, then they’ll eat the McDonald’s at the airport instead?

Duncan Rock  59:08

Exactly, exactly. That’s where that mentality really sets in. They’re like, Oh, I’m here at the train station. Oh, I haven’t eaten in two hours. I better eat a Big Mac, because it’s got 30 grams of protein, whatever. Otherwise, my muscles are going to shrink. No, no. I it’s well intentioned advice and it’s not okay. It’s probably wrong to say it’s bad advice. But I think generally, it’s unhelpful. It’s unhelpful. If three, three meals a day works for you. That’s beautiful. Like, you’d be fine. If two meals a day works for you, I think that’s fine. I would probably say one meal a day is probably suboptimal for most people, you’re probably not going to get your necessary intake of micronutrients in one meal. I am yet to see people able to do that and let’s go a tremendous appetite. In the evening, for example, about this thing of breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What does that even mean? You know.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:00:00

It’s a myth. We just busted another myth we’re doing really well. Now, I’m mindful of the time here, because I know you have to go. Yeah, yeah. So can we just have another five minutes to do a wrap up?

Duncan Rock  1:00:16

Let’s do a wrap up. And then and then look if you know, we can always talk again in–

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:00:20

I would love to, because I have like, literally so many things that that I haven’t even touched upon about, you know, recommended body fat mass for men and women. How do we burn fat without burning muscle? Sure. All this? How do we build must this so many questions? So okay, we’re going to start wrapping up, because I know that you have another appointment. And we’re so lucky to have had you back. And I would love for you to come back again. Because all my questions that I have here that I’m just dying to have answers from you. So if you had to recommend five foods that people should eat, and were important to their diet, what would you recommend?

Duncan Rock  1:01:08

Oh, gosh, I would eat daily, some sort of green vegetable. If you hate broccoli, don’t worry about it. Did kale eat spinach, try to eat some sort of green vegetable a daily eats at least at one piece of fruit daily, find the couple of complex carbohydrates that work for you both practically and in taste. And in terms of like your preparation and stick with them. Stick with them above and beyond. You know, when you feel like processed refined foods try to go for those they might have the same sort of neurochemical effect that you’re searching for without the detriment. And then and then protein sources, come to terms have an idea of how much protein you need a day to optimize your health, and figure out how you get there each day. Like if you need 100 grams of protein. Well, how many grams of protein is in one egg? For example, a lot of people don’t know, you know, it depends on the size of the egg, six grams, seven grams, eight grams, have an idea of this protein intake, and then find out the types of proteins you’d like to eat, and have an idea of how much you need to consume each day to get to that limit. Sure. So for instance, how boring and answer eat fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, and healthy proteins. How about that?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:02:27

That’s really interesting. I heard another guy who was saying he was in endorsing this is when we come back to all these opinions and all these conflicting reports. He was saying dark chocolate. So, cacao, olive oil, and berries, were three that he included in his top five was very interesting.

Duncan Rock  1:02:49

Yeah, those things are those three outside olive oil. If you think of a single, but you know, once again, I’m I’m not so focused on single elements. It’s partial shot. If you throw in a few berries, it’s not gonna do anything. You know.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:03:06

Yeah, absolutely. common sense approach. What about the worst thing that you could possibly eat?

Duncan Rock  1:03:13

I mean, you know, obviously trans fats. Yeah, really like weather that they used to put a lot in processed foods. They’re becoming illegal actually here in Europe. I’m not sure the situation. Okay. It is. Yeah, like hydrogenated seed oils, I guess, that are used to like increase. You know, if you look at it, if you look at a bird in a plastic bag, then the expiry date is like three years from now. Put it away. But that’s, that’s not interesting. That’s not a good thing to be eating. Generally generate noise except right. Yes. Yeah, I would stay away from those anything else can be used in moderation. Yeah. Alcohol to you. No. Moderation, probably not smoking, and there’s no food. There’s probably no amount of smoking. That’s okay. That every cigarette doing some sort of damage.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:04:06

Yes, yes. Exactly. All right. We’re going to have to leave it there. I know that you’re up to lots of things that are coming up for you in the future. Is there anything in particular that you want to share with us?

Duncan Rock  1:04:19

No, no, I’m just your way yeah, I’m sort of I’m, I’m in a weird, transitory place in my life. I have some concerts coming up. I’m with the English National Opera later this year. I’m in the opera house into loose next year, but it’s all there but no, I’m mainly just so I’m sort of in a bit of a hibernation state. I’m working very hard but with my Yes, binders I’m just focusing on my obviously my placement is taking the majority of my time. I feel like I went from a period of very much pushing everything out for a while, you know, performing like literally singing Yes, yeah, no more of a state of like–

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:05:03

So, you’re in the state of receiving. Whereas before you’re giving it, yes. So you’re in a different season at the moment.

Duncan Rock  1:05:11

Exactly. Exactly. Which is no. And also-. Yeah, and most importantly, obviously, learning how to be a dad is, you know, that’s my life at the moment. So no, I’m not, you know, obviously, we were talking earlier about Instagram and things that I’m, although I’m very busy, I’m not so much putting myself out there at the moment. I’m very much, you know, in a bit of a cocoon, educational cocoon at the moment, but it’s, it’s, it’s been lovely after sort of 15 years of, you know, it’s quite a nice position to be in actually, it’s quite a privilege, actually, to be I was thinking I was talking to someone about, gosh, the ability to my, you know, at my age to be able to take time out and just learn, pursue something new, this is a real privilege, privileged positions.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:06:02

I totally get that I totally get it. Now, we’re going to share all your links with our listeners in the show notes. So if anyone wants to ask you anything specific, they can reach out to you. And you can charge them a lot of money if you wish. That’s your business.

Duncan Rock  1:06:21

I’m such a nerd for this stuff. If anyone asks me a question, I’m like, so eager to share, but I of course–

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:06:28

I know you are. You’re so kind.

Duncan Rock  1:06:30

But I’m, you know, obviously, if people want, like in depth, personalized stuff, I am available for consultations, I work majority online, I do work at a clinic in London, but I work majority and live with a lot of people overseas. A lot of my clients remember in the States, because I work with the San Francisco Opera with the artists. So if anyone is interested in talking about things specifically for themselves, please get in touch. I’m always available to help. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:06:55

Well, I do hope that you’ll come back really soon. And we can talk about some of those other topics that we thought that we would get around to that we happened, it would be–

Duncan Rock  1:07:07

Yeah, it’s a real pleasure to talk to you. And I’d love to come we’ve obviously got a list of other questions. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:07:13

Yes, totally geeking out on it, because I do have a little bit of an interest and a fascination in all of this as well and listen to a lot of thought leaders and a lot of people that are researching and looking into the science of all of this. And plus we’re bombarded in the media about what’s healthy, what’s not, and it changes by the day. It’s always a new study, researchers from wherever have discovered that whatever.

Duncan Rock  1:07:43

You know, just since you brought it out, I do need to run but you know, the media reporting of nutritional science is absolute garbage. I mean, I agree. Absolutely. Garbage. Yeah, I’ve journalists are amazing people. I mean, if you’re investigative journalist or you know, I don’t have a problem with journalists, they’re often extraordinarily fascinating, intelligent people. But the media reporting of nutrition is is horrendous. Don’t read it. If it’s a journalist writing about nutrition, don’t read it. They don’t, okay. 999 times out of 1000 they’ve read the headline of a study. And they’ve then gone and written an article. It’s, it should be it shouldn’t be allowed media reporting. Bias should not be allowed.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:08:28

And it’s too much it’s every day. It’s every day.

Duncan Rock  1:08:31

It’s sensationalist headlines, people who don’t understand it.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:08:37

Well, look, thank you so much, Duncan. It’s been such a privilege. Totally geeking out on all of this is so much fun, especially with you, you make it very interesting, and you break it down so we can all understand it, which is really important. Wish you all the best. And we’re going to have you back as soon as you’re available to come back and finish this all off with us.

Duncan Rock  1:09:02

It’d be my pleasure.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:09:03

It’d be my pleasure. Okay. Well, good luck, and we’ll talk soon. Thank you so much for being very generous with your time and your knowledge. 

Duncan Rock  1:09:10

And my pleasure. Well, see you next time.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:09:12

Okay, bye. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:09:18

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of A Voice and Beyond. I hope you enjoyed it as now is an important time for you to invest in your own self care, personal growth and education. Use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow so you can show up feeling empowered and ready to live your best life. If you know someone who will also be inspired by this episode, please be sure to copy and paste the link and share it with them. Or share it on social media and use the hashtag #AVoiceAndBeyond. I promise you I am committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one every week. And if you would like to help me please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple Podcast right now. But I would also love to know what it is that you most enjoyed about this episode and what was your biggest takeaway. Please take care and I look forward to your company next time on the next episode of A Voice and Beyond.

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