Ep 243: Shawn Stevenson – The 9 Rules of Health to Make it to 99

Shawn Stevenson

Shawn Stevenson, host of The Model Health podcast said, “In the lab, they found anti-depressants in the New York City water system.”


Ok, no problem. I’ll drink tap water. Save on therapy costs. In NYC everyone has to go to therapy. It’s a requirement. “This week my therapist said…”

“There’s also these other chemicals in water..” and he was about to list them for me.

“No no no,” I said. “Shhhh!” I put my hands on my ears. “I’m good. Don’t need to know more.”

Shawn is obsessed with health. Every week he interviews the best people in the world on health. He’s interviewed hundreds.

And now I get to ask him for this BEST advice. Don’t abuse what he tells you, James!

Shawn was 200lbs overweight. He could barely get from room to room before collapsing with exhaustion and pain.

He was diagnosed with an incurable spinal condition called degenerative disc disease.

His spine was deteriorating to nothing. The way an old person leans over and over until they collapse dead.

“You have the spine of an 80 year old,” the doctor told him.

“The doctors told me to wear a back brace. I kept getting worse. The doctors kept telling me nothing could be done. I was losing hope. Losing the will to live.”

So he chose himself. He CHOSE his health.

He studied every aspect of health. He created the #1 podcast on health, The Model Health Show.

He read everything he could. He changed his diet. His doctors told him don’t bother. He exercised. His doctors said it won’t help.

“You’re going to die of this.”

When he came on my podcast, he looked like a man in perfect health. He was muscular, glowed with health, had energy. He was something maybe I will never say.

“I’m feeling great every day,” he told me.

And then he started dropping the most amazing health tips on me. I felt overwhelmed. Do I have the discipline to do all of this?

I’ve had many health experts on my podcast. If you don’t have physical health, it’s 1000 times harder to be a success.

The body feeds the mind and the heart. The body reduces stress. The body contains the basics for everything you want to do in life.

You are alive in your whole body. Not just your brain. Not just in your bank account. The entire body has to be nourished and loved.

For some strange reason he asked me to be on his show as well. I was really grateful he wanted to talk to me about how my own lifestyle improved my health.

But more importantly, he came on my show and I was able to drill HIM with questions.

Not that all doctors are bad. But I couldn’t believe some of the things Shawn had to tell me.

I list some of them on this infographic. I already thought I knew things about sleep, water, movement, exercise.

I thought I already knew things about how health worked. About how health led to success.

But he broke it down one step further.

I needed that. I now live by it (we actually recorded this podcast about two months ago) and the results have given me enough energy to create new opportunities in my life that I would not have been able to do before.

I have a formula now: 1% more health equals 100 more possible opportunities.

Shawn! I’m grateful you broke your stupid hip when you were 20 and got Spinal Degenerative Whatever and gained 5000 pounds.

I’m grateful the doctors told you you were going to rot and die. I’m so happy you collapsed, half dead, under the weight of your own bloated body.

I’m really happy you almost died.

Just don’t do it again.

live to 99

Links and Resources:

Also Mentioned:

  • We talked about drinking water and how to find the freshest, uncontaminated water and Shawn said you can find a natural spring near you at findaspring.com
  • BPA Free Mountain Spring water (that’s what Shawn was drinking while we did the podcast). He says the minimum requirement is to drink half of your bodyweight in water
  • Sleep is more important than food and movement combined. Shawn has the research to back it up. He told me about a study done at the University of Chicago. They took people and put them on a calorie restricted diet. They monitored their fat loss. The first phase of the study they allow them all to get 8 hours of sleep. The next phase is when they start sleep depriving them. At the end of the study they lost 55% more body fat when they were well rested.   
  • Shawn told me about his insomnia. It turned out it was caused by the medication he was prescribed for his back pain (celebrex). It was causing him restless leg syndrome
  • Shawn recommends using a shower filter to remove toxins and heavy metals. “Your skin consumes more than your drinking,” he said.
  • Shawn mentions Tabata, which is a Japanese high-interval workwork. Shawn writes about it here.
  • One of Shawn’s top recommendations for using your phone at night (although he recommends you stop using technology at least 30 minutes before bed) is the “night shift” tool. He showed me his iPhone (I have an android). He said if you just swipe up, it’s there. “It pulls out the most troublesome streams of light from your screen. Harvard researchers have confirmed that bluelight from our devices suppresses melatonin and elevates cortisol. Those two things screw up our sleep,” he said. You can also use sunglasses that block blue light. 


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  • James Buechler

    Excited to play this right now, or after I walk outside on the lawn barefoot, in the sun, shirtless, carrying my 5-gallon water bottle. Already had over liter of water. ThankU!

  • Mark Moores

    You really, really shouldn’t drink half your bodyweight in water – it can kill you!

    So you might want to revise that line…

    • Miguel Gonzalez

      Mark, your are right, that half your body weight of water can be a problem. But he did not say to drink half your body weight of water. He said “half your body weight in ounces”. The example he gave was that if you weigh 150 lbs, have your body weight would be 75 lbs, but convert that to ounces. So technically, 75 ounces of water.

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  • Android has an app called Twilight that does the same thing as iPhone’s night shift mode. Check it out!

    • Miguel Gonzalez

      Thank you, Alykhan.

  • Ken Lyle

    Hey guys, As a Chemical and Environmental Engineer…good point about BPA, but the energy cost of shipping glass bottles would be huge. Point of use is the way to go, which means a reverse osmosis system at the sink.

  • Richard Muccillo MDDCM

    too much water will deplete your electrolytes–64 ox of liquid to include real juice and real organic coffee and organic green tea and rooibos and oolong and stay away from plastic bottles

  • Mauro Macave

    I tried to submit an order for your book but it says my address is invalid

  • I would just like to point out that there is great free app called f.lux for windows that does the same thing too. When the sun goes down (it knows) it takes most of the green and all of the blue out and the screen is so much more comfortable to look at.

    Can be tricky to combine with any sort of photo editing or design work, but has an easy _tick this box_ way to disable it for one hour.

    But looking at the normal screen can feel like walking out into the sunshine from a cool dark house, I cover my eyes with my hand and squint at the screen…

    And as soon as possible I turn it back on.

    It’s also programable, you can change the colour of the screen during the daytime too if you want.

    oh, and I think it’s available for linux and iOS too

    anyhows, my life has improved since I started using it.

    • Windows 10 has built in feature called Night Light — display section in settings — that perfectly does the job by (i) manually switching it on or (ii) using an auto- schedule.

      • thanks, I didn’t know that till now.
        It makes too much sense.


  • Stimpy

    Male, 40’s or older? Get that annual physical. Don’t avoid prostate cancer screening. If your doctor doesn’t demand it, get a new doctor.

  • Samit Patel

    I’ve found f.lux or any other night shift mode. I purchased a screen protector that blocks blue light and they work much better, night shift mode seems to change the colours of the phone orange. The screen protector keeps the colours the same but blocks out the light. Really good and highly recommend it. If anyone is interested its called ocushield