The Totem Nutrition Podcast: Episode 005 Interview with Tanner Martty


This episode is also available on iTunes and YouTube.


Who is Tanner?

Tanner is a husband, father of two girls, business owner, trainer and wellness guide. He’s the founder of 34° North gym in Santa Monica, CA which he owns and operates along with his wife, Lauren.

Tanner is a lover of physical culture, a foodie, and total history nerd. All three things he weaves into the programs he creates at 34 North, most notably the Ancestral Reset program which you can check out at The Ancestral Reset is a 10-week program that integrates movement, nutrition, breath work, meditation, hot/cold training, communing with nature and fasting to stimulate internal and external transformations.

In this episode, Tanner and Leah chat about how so many people have normalized feeling shitty and out of alignment nutritionally, how blood sugar takes people for an emotional roller coaster, what causes someone to be "hangry" and how not to be hangry, the benefits of being in ketosis, Tanner's 7 Finger Health Checklist, how eating fat doesn't make you fat, and how amazing, resilient, and capable the human body is.

Links we discuss:

Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food, Catherine Shanahan M.D. 

Seed Oils to Avoid 


The Instant Pot

Instant Pot Yogurt - Leah and Ashton use Siggi’s Triple Cream yogurt as a starter and Horizon Organic Half & Half from Costco

Sousvide Cooker

Key Takeaways From Our Interview With Tanner

Your diet is crucial to your body composition, mental acuity, emotional regulation, and so much more.

I went from being the type of person who doctors thought I had narcolepsy... I would get brain fogs, I’d catch myself having to read and re-read emails to be able to put together a good response. Doing this elimination diet where I eliminated all grains and gluten, all processed food, all processed sugars, dairy, nightshades, and I went through this 30 day protocol, where if I was eating meat it was organic, grass fed or wild caught fish, all the produce was organic and nothing starchy. Basically greens and cruciferous vegetables. And within about 7 days I felt like a completely new person.

I was one of these guys eating 5 times, 6 times a day…

My mental clarity, mood, and ability to focus was infinitely better.

My life has become so much easier since I switched my diet.

The average American is eating processed foods, a lot of fried foods, a lot of hydrogenated oils. [If they eliminated these foods] I think they’d rid themselves of digestive issues, skin problems, and they’d gain mental clarity and emotional balance.

You don’t need sugar to fuel your body or brain. All carbs are sugar.

There’s a huge misconception that your body has to have sugar to survive. And that it has to have sugar as its primary fuel source. That’s up there with the Mt. Rushmore of misconceptions that people have about food and the human body. The other one being that eating fat, makes you fat. People don’t realize that fat is the original fuel source for humans.

Carbs are a relatively new food in human evolution.

When your body is burning sugar from a fuel source, the ‘exhaust’ is really inflammatory.

When we eat sugar, all carbs break down to sugar.

You have to understand your blood sugar and insulin response.

Blood sugar is huge because it affects us in so many ways.

When you spike your blood sugar and immediately, and I mean IMMEDIATELY, burn it off, then your body has to produce insulin to deal with that sugar.

Insulin is the hormone that signals to your body to divide fat cells, AKA to create more fat cells, and then to fill those fat cells with any blood sugar that’s floating around your system.

Insulin is the hormone that tells your body to be fatter. You have to have that understanding to understand how food affects you. Dietary fat that you eat, does not have a direct metabolic pathway to become body fat.

"We look at the distress as overwhelming. And it is overwhelming, because we don’t have the tools, nor do we practice the tools to actually work through it. "

On body composition, context, and sustainability.

It’s natural and healthy to have ebbs and flows.

You are only as old as your joints feel.

It is the most natural thing to have a sex drive.

You can hack into a good body composition and not be well.

The lowest body fat does not equal the healthiest.

Let’s contextualize training and nutrition as: I want to move better and feel better and feel strong and capable. And have my nutrition be through the context of good emotional and mental clarity and sustainability. And the other stuff just falls into to place.