Dietary Dilemmas and Discoveries with Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni Skin Care

Have you ever struggled with dietary choices?

Who hasn’t? I know many of us have struggled with dietary choices, so on today’s show I have as my guest Kevin Gianni who shares his personal journey going from eating twinkies to raw vegan and a surprising turn to the food choices he now makes. I think you’ll enjoy his story and what led him to write his new book.

Kevin started researching preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family, and if he didn’t change the way he was living, he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and self-published six books on natural health, diet, and fitness, produced over 900 YouTube videos with over 10 million views and has published hundreds of articles.

He’s experimented with many diets and medical protocols to differentiate myth from reality. Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best foods, medicines and clinics to introduce them to the readers of the blog he co-founded – – which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

During that time, he and Annmarie co-founded Annmarie Skin Care, a natural, organic skin care and beauty company. He spends his time now keeping the wheels on this award-winning line as acting CEO. He lives in Berkeley, California with his wife, Annmarie, two kids, two cats and a chicken.

On today’s show, you’ll hear Kevin’s story and what led him to write his new book Kale and Coffee. We cover some interesting food myths and information. And, because of Kevin’s work with his wife AnnMarie on their skincare line, we also discuss some surprising differences in the various skincare products on the market today (even those marketed as “natural”).

So, please enjoy the show!

To view, comment or subscribe on iTunes, click here.

To learn more about Kevin Gianni visit his website and click here to get information about his new book.

Transcript of Today’s Podcast:

Start Transcription – [0:00:00]

Trevor:  Hi everyone.  I’m Dr. Trevor Cates.  Welcome to the Spa Doctor Show, where we talk about health tips and strategies to help you be smart, sexy and strong.

On today’s show, I have as my guest, Kevin Gianni.  Kevin started researching preventative natural health therapies in 2002, when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family, and if he didn’t do something to change the way he was living, he might go down the same path.  Since then he’s written and self published 6 books on natural health, diet, and fitness, produced over 900 YouTube videos with over 10 million views, and has published hundreds of articles.  He’s experimented with many diets and medical protocols to differentiate myth from reality.  Kevin has also travelled around the world searching for the best foods, medicines and clinics.  To introduce them to the readers of the blog, he co-founded, which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month, from over 150 countries around the world.

During that time, he and his wife, AnnMarie Gianni, co-founded AnnMarie Skin Care, a natural organic skin care and beauty company.  He spends his time now keeping the wheels on this award winning line as acting CEO.  He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife AnnMarie, 2 kids, 2 cats and a chicken.

On today’s show Kevin shares his personal journey, going from eating Twinkies to raw vegan, and a surprising turn to the food choices that he makes now.  If you’ve ever struggled with dietary choices, which I’m sure most of us have, probably all of us have, I think you’ll enjoy hearing about Kevin’s story and what led him to write his new book, “Kale and Coffee.”  Because of his work with his wife AnnMarie, on their skin care line, we also discuss some surprising differences in the various skin care products on the market today.  Even those marketed as natural.

Please enjoy the show.

– – – – – –

Begin Interview – 0:02:12

Trevor:  On today’s show, I have as my guest, my friend Kevin Gianni. It’s great to have you on.

Kevin:  Hey, how are you?  Good to see you again.

Trevor:  Ya, good to have you on.  I know you’ve got a story, you’ve got a book, you’ve got a skin care line, you’ve got a lot going on in your life.  Let’s start … how did you get into being interested in health and wellness and skin care?

Kevin:  It started, well, to take you back, I would say a good picture of me, say, in high school, was I played sports.  I played football, basketball and tennis.  My energy, giving nutritious snack before my tennis matches was a pack of Twinkies and a can of Mountain Dew.  I was into the fitness, I got it, you have to exercise, I get it.  But I would say my nutrition was, out of one out of ten, it was probably right around a three.  Because my mom did make some vegetables, frozen, but they were vegetables.  That was kind of my nutrition.  To add on to that, right before the match, my partner and I, my doubles partner, we’d drive around the back of the school and we’d smoke a cigarette, and then we’d go play.

That’s how we were.  I did okay.  I probably would have been playing better right now if I had really focused, but who knows.  That was kind of my nutrition background.  After college I was working at a home office in a basement in an apartment in Brooklyn.  This was just right after college.  I was partying too much.  Kind of like after college, just let it all out, and hope that things come to you.  I got really sick, I got Mono, and I came home, I actually moved back in with my Mom.  I just started to ask myself the question, “Is there anything better than this?”  That started to actually give me some good answers.  One of them was, hey, Dude, you’ve got to change your nutrition.  A friend of mine gave me some audio mp3s, and he said, “Here, just take them.  I don’t know if I should actually give them to you, but just take them, load them up on your iPod.”  This was when people still had iPods.  So I would run, I’d changed my diet a little bit, but I was running all the time, so I was still doing the exercise.  I would pop these audios into my ear when I was running.  The audios were from David Wolfe.  David Wolfe is a well known nutritionist now.  You might have even seen him on TV for the Nutri Bullet.  The message that David was talking about was in some ways complicated, in terms of the biochemical nature of some of the foods he was talking about, but in other ways it was actually really simple.  Eat more raw food.  I was like, Wow! This is great.  I just went full into it.  For me this was like, all right, I’m just doing it, I’m going to go this raw food route, and I’m going to see what happens.  My whole thing was I didn’t come really from sickness, I was never sick.  I was a little depressed when I was doing all the partying in college and after.  But I never came from sickness.  So my goal was just go full on into this optimal health, this human kind of bioengineering kind of thing, which now, I guess Dave Asprey’s kind of coined this bio hacking kind of thing.  That was my mission.

Trevor:  Great.

Kevin:  Not that great, but …

Trevor:  How did it make you feel when you made that change?  What did you notice?

Kevin:  It was great.  When I went raw, I decided that I was going to go vegan as well, and I did that for, I was vegan for 6 years, and I was raw on and off, there was maybe a year period, and then I stopped a little bit, and then like 3 months, and then back.  Kind of wavering between, in all different types of raw food diets.  Whether it was like a high fat type raw food diet, or a fruitarian raw food diet.  So I did a whole bunch of different things.  In the beginning, the first 3, 3 1/2 years I felt amazing.  I totally dropped all the body fat that I had, I was super fit, super trim.  I felt amazing.  I was my ideal weight, six pack abs.  All these amazing things.  Anything anyone would want, particularly out of college, not married, single, all that sort of stuff.  That was great, until it wasn’t.

Essentially what happened was, I kind of was, my body was detoxing and cleansing, and detoxing and cleansing, and then I hit my ideal point.  And then it kept detoxing and cleansing, detoxing and cleansing, detoxing and cleansing, and so what happened, probably about 4 years in, 4 1/2 years, is that I started to have trouble getting out of bed.  That was kind of a weird thing.  I was like, okay, maybe I’m just tired, maybe I’m stressed out, I was working a lot, I was spending a lot of time on the computer.

Where it really hit me, was when I was running, because when you run, particularly I was running long distance.  Running trail marathons, running 12 miles, maybe two hours a day, not two hours a day, but not every day, but long distance running, is you start and you’re in gear one, then you kind of pick up the pace to gear two and then by the end of the run you’re in gear five, just as if you’re cruising down the highway.  What I realized was that my gear five started to disappear, my gear four started to disappear, my gear three started to disappear.  So when I would run, I really only had one gear.  And it was slow.  I just knew that wasn’t high performance, it just wasn’t.  Which you can’t race a Formula 1 car with one gear.  So for me that’s when it really started to, I started to say, Wow!, maybe I need to do something.  But like most human beings I didn’t do anything right way.

What I then did was continue to let my symptoms get worse, to the point where I couldn’t get out of bed til 10 or 11 in the morning.  I was extremely anxious, I would fly off the handle very quickly, so my moods were incredibly not in balance.  And sex drive was low, and again, late 20s, that’s ridiculous, that shouldn’t happen at all.  And I just didn’t know what to do.  I even went to the point where I was just like talking to doctors, and they didn’t know.  I went online to try to find things.  If you go to like WebMD and you search, symptom, disease finder, things that they have there.  You search fatigue and you can have anything from cancer to AIDS.  I was like, what do I do?

I re-met a friend of a friend named Dr. James Williams, who’s now a very close friend and mentor of mine, and he ran my blood tests.  He ran a whole collection of blood tests, not the normal things you’d just get from the doctor, when you go for a physical.  But, vitamins and nutrients, hormones, testosterone levels, pregnenolone, which is a grandmother hormone that helps produce other hormones.  All these different types of things, and he found I was significantly deficient in a few, and my hormones were totally off.  The crazy thing was he knew me, he was just like, literally when we were reviewing my blood work, he would just, he told me everything that I was feeling.  He read me like a book.  That to me was a little disconcerting, because I was like, oh man, I’m not the only, my problem isn’t like the most unique problem ever, this happens to other people before.  But the problem was his solution was to stop being a vegan.  So that wasn’t what I wanted to do at the time.

Trevor:  That’s hard, because you think that you’re doing something that’s so healthy for you.  You think that it’s the best thing in the world, the best diet, but you’re depleting your body of nutrients, and it shows up.  It shows up, in symptoms, it shows up in blood work.  I see that sometimes.  And some people can be vegan for many, many years and do great on it, but it’s not for everybody.

Kevin:  I totally agree about that.  I make it clear every time I do something like this, when I’m speaking, and I don’t want to discourage vegans from being vegans.  I want to discourage vegans from being junk food vegans.  So all those soy nuggets, and all those things that you find in the packaged section, that are vegan, like fake meats, and things like that.  Well, ya, that’s not really health food either.  But I don’t want to discourage health food, health minded vegans, from being a vegan.  The only thing that I want to encourage them to do is to continue to monitor your blood tests, and see how it’s going for you.  And sometimes you don’t even need to get a blood test.  Sometimes you just need to ask yourself the question, do I really feel optimal, and if the answer is no, then you might need to make some changes.  And it might not be change from vegan to non vegan, but it may mean you need to really kind of start to analyze what’s happening in your body.

Trevor:  Absolutely.  Where did you go from that point?

Kevin:  Well, I said, no I’m not going to do it.  And he was like, “Well, that’s okay.”  Obviously he’d been I think 25 years in practice at that point, so he had already seen people come through and say that they weren’t going to do it.  But what happened to me was, that again, I continued to get worse.  Not substantially worse, but it just continued to, my health continued to be as poor as it was.

So one day, after another suggestion from a friend, she said, “You know, why don’t …”  Because I was thinking I just needed to eat meat.  To go from vegan to meat.  She was like, “Why don’t you just eat goat yogurt, or something like that.”  I said Huh!  I said that’s interesting, that might be something I can get around.  Because I went to veganism for health, and then the animal rights came after, the animal stuff came after.  I was like, all right, wait, I mean yes, milking animals, from a vegan perspective can be pretty hard to stomach, but it’s better than killing them, right?  I used that as justification and I also said to myself, I’m not going to announce this to the public, because I’m blogging about veganism, blogging about raw food.  I’m not going to announce this to the public until I’m sure that it’s worked for me.  I didn’t want to go say, hey I’m going to the store and I’m going to buy some yogurt because Dr. Williams told me to on a video, because we were doing video blogs.  I was like, let me just hold back a little bit, let me hold back two or three weeks, to see if it works, and if doesn’t work, then I can say, hey, I can do a blog about how I tried it, it didn’t work, and then here’s where I am.  So I was really comfortable with that.  A lot of people, transitioning, whether you want to go vegetarian, or vegan, or you want to go back to meat, it’s a great way to do it.  Don’t envision your life by being without the thing forever.  Just think about it as small little steps.

So I went to the grocery store, the co-op.  Being on YouTube, at that point I don’t know how many videos we had done, but at least in the 500 range, or 600 range.  I had to buy yogurt.  When you do that many videos on YouTube, you get recognized in health food stores.  I went over to the yogurt counter, the refrigerator where the yogurt and the milk and the cheese usually is, and I looked and I saw the goat yogurt, and I looked around.  And I’m like, oh man, I can’t put this in my basket, this is crazy.  Anne Marie wasn’t with me at the time, so I went over to where all the vegetables were and I gathered three or four bunches of kale, and I put the kale in the basket, and then I went back over to the dairy area, and I put the yogurt underneath the kale.  That was my way of kind of hiding this.  I felt like I was some sort of addict.  So I bought the yogurt, I brought it back to the RV, and I looked at it, and I opened it, and I smelled it, and I just kind of like, just like tip toed around it for a little bit.  And I grabbed a spoon and I started eating it.  Within five minutes, it was a 32 ounce container, the whole thing was gone.  I went back the next day for another one, and still a little bit concerned.  I was like, all right maybe next time I should send Anne Marie to do it, because she wasn’t as strict about her diet.

There was a point for about three months, that I was eating about two containers, 64 ounces of goats yogurt every day.  Anne Marie looked at me, and she’s like, “You’re crazy, because you just went from being a raw food and vegan, and now what are you, a yogurtarian, what is this?  This is crazy, this behavior’s ridiculous.”  But I said, “Look, I feel like my body really needs this.”  So what happened over, and you know this, when you have hormone issues, they don’t change overnight, it’s not like you take a thing, and then, like you take an aspirin, you’re headaches gone, right?  Hormone issues take a couple of weeks, like I said, and your body starts to adjust, your receptors start to light up again.  Within two weeks, I felt amazing.  I would roll out of bed, just like bing, eyes wide open, my energy levels were incredible, my sex drive was back, my moods were calm.  Anne Marie said to Dr. Williams later, “You changed him.  I don’t know what happened.”  This was with some other supplementation at the time, but I was taking the supplementation before, when Dr. Williams did suggest that, I said I would do that.  The food actually, whole food actually really helped.

It did tail off about three months later, and I started to introduce some more animal foods into my diet, and that kind of led me to a point where I was, all right, is this the new diet, or what should I do now?

Trevor: So you continued to eat animal protein, and other forms?

Kevin:  Well what I essentially did was I said, screw it, I’m just going to go the other way.  I was so disillusioned by health experts, and diets.  I was just like, I live in … by this time now, we’d been in Berkeley, we’d moved to Berkeley, this was like the Mecca of farm to table food.  I just said forget it, I’m just going to eat whatever I want, as long as it’s organic.  That was kind of the rule.  99% or 98% organic, sometimes things that aren’t organic pass your lips.  I said, well, now I’m going to eat, now I’m going to drink, I’m going to have fun, I’m just going to do all the things that I just deprived myself of, for all that time.  Now imagine this, 165ish pound raw foodist, who’s 6’2”, incredibly thin.  As I started doing this, this is the other, this is the opposite of that decline that I had.  I’m getting better, I’m getting healthier, I reach my ideal weight.  I get gear two, and gear three, and gear four and gear five back, with my running.  And then I go over.  I missed the mark again.  I go from 165 pounds, to 225 pounds.

Trevor:  Wow.

Kevin:  My ideal weight is about 180, 190.  Equally as, on the wrong side of the range, and I started to feel tired, sluggish, unable to get out of bed.  My pants don’t fit.

Trevor:  You’re your own research specimen.  You’ve done it all.

Kevin:  I know.  There was a point where, and this was when I started to write the book, it’s literally the day I started to write the book, where I was standing in front of the mirror, and I pulled on my pants.  It was right after the holidays of, I want to say 2013, 2014, that holiday period in December to January, and we had just been in Connecticut, I came home to Berkeley and I pulled up the pants that I didn’t bring with me, and they were like a button fly jean, I went to button that top button, and it had never happened to me before, I was always lucky, I’d never had a problem like this.  I couldn’t get that button to fit.  I was like, man, this is now bad.  That was the whole, I guess it was the spring point that brought me to the point where, I’m writing this book, I want to have my cake and eat it too, how do I do it?  That’s what the book is about.  How can you, what are the things that give you the biggest bang for the buck, and then how can you combine them with some of the things that you really just don’t want to live without, to have a really well rounded, well balanced health protocol.

Trevor:  So how do we found that balance, without being Twinkie eaters or extreme raw vegans or eating whatever we want?  How do we find that balance of what’s good for our bodies, so we look good, we feel good, we have that energy?  What do you think is the key for that?

Kevin:  Number one is to change expectations.  I was at a talk outside of Atlanta, this is a while ago, and there was a woman who said, “I went on this raw food diet, and I want to lose 40 pounds, and I just haven’t done it yet.”  I said, “Okay, well, have you lost any weight?”  She said, “Ya, I’ve lost 20 pounds.”  I said, “Oh, okay, that’s great.  Well how many months did you expect to lose 40 pounds?”  She said, “Two or three months.”  I said, “All right.  Did you ask your body if it was okay to lose 40 pounds in three months?  Do you even know if it’s even physiologically possible for you, on the diet that you’re eating, to lose that much weight in that period of time?”  She said, “Oh, I don’t know.  That’s a good question.”  I said, “Look, if you lost 40 pounds in two years, would you be happy?”  She said, “Ya.”  I said, “The expectations that we set up for ourselves are ridiculous.”  So that’s number one.

You might, if you do a water fast, or do you do a juice cleanse, you might lose 10 pounds, some of it water weight, in a week to 10 days to 14 days.  Ya, that could happen.  But you’re going to gain some back right away because some of it’s water weight, you’re going to start eating some carbohydrates, that’s going to hold water in your body.  Some of it’s going to come back, and then what, you’re disappointed?  But wait, what if it was a net of seven pounds, you just lost seven pounds, you gained back three, lost 10, gained back three, you lost seven pounds.  But now you’re disappointed?  That’s crazy.  I do the same thing.

After I started to, wrote the book, and along the book, the whole journey was me losing the weight.  I got down to 190 pounds.  My second daughter was born.  My second child, daughter, Basil was born, and I gained another 10, 15 pounds.  Now I’m back losing that weight again.  I could have been, if I had not gone through it before, knowing that I could do it, I would have been really upset about it.  But this time I’m just, okay, the time is going to come, when it’s going to happen, I’m going to lose the weight again.  And I’m already starting to, and I’m already down five pounds from that.  It’s the expectations is number one.

Number two is to not discount the easy things.  One thing that is crazy, super easy to help you lose weight, feel better, lower your blood pressure, increase your sex drive, lower your blood sugar, you name it.  There’s science behind it, is to make yourself a green smoothie every morning.  That’s all you need to do.  You just replace your regular breakfast with a green smoothie, with some protein powder, particularly if you have to burn protein, which I do, so I need protein powder in it, or I get hungry.  I have my green smoothie at 8, and I want to eat at 9.  So it does need protein for me.

Get two of your favorite fruits, I recommend a berry, some sort of low glycemic thing, and maybe a sweeter fruit, preferably not bananas, but maybe mangoes, or something like that, peaches are good too.  Get three, four, five pieces of lettuce or celery or some sort of green in there.  Even if it’s celery, it’s not even a green, it’s a vegetable, but it’s not a leafy green.  And then put a little protein powder and a little water, and drink 16 to 20 or 24 ounces of that in the morning, replace your breakfast, don’t change anything else.  It’s just one step.

Victoria Boutenko, who’s a colleague of mine, in the raw food space, she has a book called “Green for Life.”  She took 27 people over a period of a month through this green smoothie challenge, which essentially was, you drink a green smoothie in the morning, the rest you eat whatever you want.  If you want sausage for lunch, eat it.  If you want Twinkies for lunch, eat it, no big deal.  Some say sausage is bad, but Twinkies are.  Just whatever.

Before the 30 days, they did blood work, with a doctor, and after the 30 days they did blood work with a doctor.  Each person who continued through those 30 days, those 27 people, they all showed better results.  They all lost weight, they all showed decrease in blood pressure, they all showed increased sex drive, more energy, all these things improved.  And not all the same.  Some people had better improvements than others.  But each person improved.  That’s like the science side of it.

The emotional side of it is this, if you have a green smoothie in the morning, you make green smoothie decisions.  If you have pancake and syrup and doughnuts in the morning, you make doughnut decisions the rest of the day.  I even know this for me.  Because again, we all, none of us are perfect.  Any health expert that tells you they’re perfect, walk the other way.  If say, from travelling, and you’re on vacation, or maybe there’s a brunch or something that I have to go to, and I have something that’s, a pancake, for instance, which is super rare now, because I’ve finally hit myself up the head enough times, to realize that it just doesn’t work for me, at lunch time I’m just like, bring on the cheeseburger.  You know what I mean, I’m just like, just bring on the junk food.  That to me, it’s like a psychological things, you start your day healthy, the rest of the day is then formed by that healthy decision.  You start your day rocky, the rest of your day is then formed by that rocky decision.

Trevor:  Absolutely.  Certainly it affects our body physiologically.  When we have those smoothies, when we have a balanced breakfast, rather than just a carb load of pancakes with syrup, it’s going to keep our blood sugar more stable, so we’re not going to have those ups and downs, and our blood sugar, and then lead us to those food cravings that make us have more bad choices, and more bad choices, and not to mention feeling tired and brain fog.  And that’s just in the moment, not to mention what happens when you eat that way every day, then you get the weight gain, and then you get hormone imbalances, and all those.  There’s so much in there.

Now, also, in addition to all this, you and your wife, Anne Marie Gianni, have a skin care line.

Kevin:  We do.

Trevor:  You have a skin care company.  So how did you get into that?

Kevin:  When we were blogging and doing all our health stuff, a lot of the women were asking Anne Marie what skin products do you put on your skin.  I didn’t put products on my skin at that time.  Silly me, guy skin is no different than girl skin, but whatever.  But it’s just not something that guys grew up with.  For the most part.  We went into the cabinet in the bathroom, and looked at all the stuff that was there, and it wasn’t good.

We were eating this pure diet, it was amazing.  We were extremely healthy, and we just had crap products in the cabinet.  Also, in the shower too.  We said hey, why don’t we just find something.  Why can’t we just go out and find something.  Because we had a store for Renegade Health.  We went out and we looked, and we looked, and we looked, and we looked, and we couldn’t find any products that were up to our clean standards.  In terms of purity of ingredients, and no toxic chemicals added.

That happened, then we said, hey, maybe we’ll just have someone formulate one for us.  We went through that process, and in that process we found a few people who would formulate things but they were very keen on telling us that, if you added 1% of certain ingredients, it didn’t need to be put on the labels.  So we were really a little bit dismayed by that too, because that’s not the type of company that we wanted to start, we wanted to start with transparency from the beginning.  Finally we ran into kind of this earth mamma chemist who was formulating products out of Colorado, and she formulated products for spas.  We were just like, would you formulate a product for us.  And she said, “No, I can’t.”  No, sorry, we said, “Can we sell your products?”  And she said, “No.”  Okay, great.  That kind of stinks.  We just hung up the phone actually.  Then about a day later, I said to Anne Marie, maybe we should see if she’ll formulate a product for us.  Because we’d kind of decided maybe we just wouldn’t even promote skin care, or talk about skin care in that way.  We called her up again, and she was like, “Ya.  I don’t even know why we didn’t think about it on the call before.”  That’s how that relationship started.  Now she’s a part owner in the company now, and she formulates all our products with our input.

They’re extremely clean, to the point where we audit our products and our sources, almost every six months now, just to confirm that they actually are still giving us the same stuff that they gave us before.  It’s actually surprising that we sometimes find out that things do change and people don’t notify you.  It’s an ongoing process.  That’s how we came into it.

Trevor:  You brought up some really good points there about skin care products and one is that most skin care products are full of junk.  They’re full of harmful ingredients that we know can impact our health, have hormone disrupting chemicals, even carcinogens, in these skin care products.  Then in addition to that, there are skin care products that are marketed as natural, but they’re not exactly natural.  Let’s talk about that.  What are the things that some companies are doing that people may not be aware of?

Kevin:  I think one of the biggest ones, besides …  Everyone knows about the … I don’t know if everyone, but people are really starting to be hip to the chemicals.  When you read the ingredients, and you’re seeing parabens and you’re seeing some of these things, people are starting to know that that’s not cool.  I’m excited about that.  Because the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has done a good job with that.  Environment Working Group has done a good job with that.  So there are a lot of people activists, including yourself.  People who are just talking about these things, which is really super.

The thing that gets me, you can call it green washing or you can call it angel dusting, it’s an industry term.  Essentially angel dusting is putting an ingredient in a product so that it appears to be natural, or just having it on the label, but not nearly having as much of that ingredient, so that it’s actually active, so it actually does something for your skin.  You can put green tea extract in some sort of skin cream, but it needs to be at a certain amount, a certain amount of potency in order for it to be effective, in order for the antioxidants to actually be valuable for your skin.  But a lot of these companies, they’ll say they have a natural product, and they’ll put green tea extract in it, but you’ll see it listed like the bottom of the list.  You know that there’s not enough active ingredient in there.

What’s crazy, I see this a lot, and I’m sure you do too, because you travel, probably as much as I do, if not more, is when you go to some of these spas, it’s like business retreats or health retreats, you go to some of these spas, and you’ll see these natural products.  They look incredible in the bathrooms, they look amazing.  You’re just like, wow, the branding is so beautiful, it looks like it’s just picked straight off of a tree somewhere, like the nut was just squeezed, and the oil dripped into it.  And then you go and you look at the label, and there’s just none of it in there, it’s all junk.  Even me, who knows all this stuff, I look at that packaging and I look at that branding and I think that it’s going to be awesome, and I almost even try to smell it.  I’m like, oh, gosh, I can smell the fragrance, because it’s so much more potent and so much more intense.  Even I can get fooled a little bit by the marketing.  Definitely doubly reading the labels is super important.

Trevor:  Just because there’s so many different ingredients that could be in there that are harmful, and then also may not contain exactly what we’re hoping it will contain, so it won’t have the effects.  One of the things that I hear sometimes is that natural products are great, because they don’t get exposed to the toxins, but they don’t do anything, which I now know that’s not true, it’s just a matter of formulating them correctly so that they can actually have the benefits of the nutrients.  Just like in supplements, people are starting to become more and more aware of supplements and the ingredients in the supplements, where they come from, the balance of it, the quality of it is so important.  It’s the same with skin care products.  We need to be paying attention to the quality, and the quantity of the those active ingredients.

Kevin:  I’m not trying to knock anyone here, but if you’re buying your natural skin care products from CVS, chances are they’re not very natural.  And the reason why is because it costs a lot of money to make a really good natural product.  People say that all that the time, but it’s really true.

Trevor:  It is true.

Kevin:  It just really is true.  It costs a lot of money to get good ingredients.  It’s like if you go to a farm to table restaurant in New York city, you’re going to pay a lot more than you would if you went to the Indian place on the corner, on 8th street or something like that.  It costs a lot of money, so if you’re getting it from CVS or Walmart or something like that, Walmart or CVS is squeezing the manufacturer to make sure that their price is good, and the manufacturer has to produce that product at pennies, and you can’t get good organic ingredients at pennies.  Not even if you’re producing millions of packages, or millions of product, millions of skus.  It is something that, it’s hard to say but, don’t buy it from there, but buy more expensive products, but the good news about skin care, is that you can do some of this yourself, number one.  Just combining some great oils and herbs and letting them soak for a while, maybe three, four, five, six weeks, you can create amazing oil tinctures, herbal oil tinctures.  Or you can slap some coconut oil on your face, if you just don’t have any money, you can big tub of it and you can do that.  That’s a great start.  There’s a lot of options.

Trevor:  There are a lot of options.  I know that with your skin line, with the Anne Marie Gianni products as well as the line of skin care products, the Spa Doctor line that we’re coming out with, you don’t have to use as much.  A little bit goes a long way.  That’s one thing, when people look at a bottle and it costs more money than another product that they might be able to get at some of those other stores, is that you’re going to go through those other products really quickly, but with our products, you use them sparingly.  You know they cost more.  Even I, I have an endless supply of these but I still am very careful about how much I use, because I know that these are, you don’t need a whole lot.

Kevin:  That’s very true.  You can almost do a cost analysis, where if you were to buy something for $20, or $19 and it lasted you a month, or buy something for $50, and it lasted you three months, you’re going to come out on the end better with the product that lasted you three months.

Trevor:  Great.  Well thank you, Kevin, for all that you’re doing.  Where can people find your book?

Kevin:  The book, the best place to go is and you can learn a little bit more about me and you can get the book from Amazon.  Or go straight to Amazon, that’s cool.  Do whatever you want.  Those are the two, the book is called “Kale and Coffee.”

Trevor: Great.  That’s a fun title.  Why did you decide to call it “Kale and Coffee”?

Kevin:  It was going to be called “Breaking the Rules.”  Breaking the rules is kind of what the book is about, but it didn’t sound to me like a health book.  As we were travelling there’s kind of this group of people, including myself, that would drink green juices, and have kale in our smoothies, and at the same time we had a vice.  A lot of times it was coffee, I had pictured, this time I was doing Yoga too, so I just pictured myself doing Yoga, trying to be a little spiritual, drinking a green juice, then kind of saying, I really need my coffee.  That was kind of the thing.  So we have a known health meme, which is kale, then a known vice meme, which is coffee.  Can you have your cake and eat it too?  Can you have your kale and your coffee?  That was how it all came together.

Trevor:  Okay, perfect.  I think that will probably resonate with a lot of people, because certainly we all want to have our cake and eat it too.

Kevin:  That’s true.

Trevor:  You figured that out.  Great.  We’ll have those links up on my website so people that are driving, if you’re driving right now, you don’t have to pull over and write that website down, we’ll have those links up on my website.

Thanks Kevin so much for coming on today.  Great to see you.

Kevin:  Ya, you too.  Thanks.

End Interview – 0:37:30

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Trevor:  I hope you enjoyed this interview today with Kevin Gianni.  To learn more about Kevin and his new book, and the skin care line, you can go to my website,  Go to the podcast page with his interview and you’ll find all the information and links to those there.

While you’re there, you can subscribe to the Spa Doctor podcast, on my website or on iTunes, so you don’t miss any of our upcoming shows.  If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend that you get your customized skin report at the  All you have to do is answer a few questions, and you’ll get your own customized skin report.  Also join in the conversation on social media:  Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.   Join the conversation, ask questions.  We’ve got lots of great tips, and information there.

We’ll see you next time.

End Transcription – [0:38:38]