EPISODE 514: Nutrition Secrets for Optimal Sales Performance with Lymefriends Founder J.P. Davitt

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the Sales Game Changers virtual learning session sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales on January 12, 2022, featuring JP Davitt. He is the founder of Lymefriends and the cofounder of the Lyme Conquerors Facebook group, and the author of Lymebook.]

J.P. also appeared on a previous episode of the podcast. Listen to EPISODE 381: How These Leaders Discovered Their “Why” After Conquering Chronic Illness and How It Applies to Sales.

Find J.P. on LinkedIn.

J.P.’S TIP: “Go back to elimination. Eliminate pork, gluten, and genetically modified (GMO). Try to eat as organic as you possibly can. Eliminate artificial sweeteners, the artificial sweeteners are going to be in almost everything, but they’re neurotoxic and they stay in the body, your body actually cannot get them out, so you have to do cleansing regimens in order to get them out. Your body needs time to heal and cleanse, so the bottom line would be to take time for yourself, take time and as opposed to always thinking that you’re growing and can affect your body in growth, take time to cleanse your body as well.”


Fred Diamond: My guest today is JP Davitt. If you recognize the name, he was on our show back in the summer of 2021. For some of you who know, one of my personal missions is the acknowledgement, the awareness of the disease known as Lyme disease, specifically chronic Lyme disease. There’s someone I know that I’m close to has suffered for a long time, and we spent a couple of episodes. We’ve interviewed TJ Nelson, he was a sales leader who is also battling Lyme disease. Back in June of 2021 we had JP Davitt and two other people on our show, and we talked about how they overcame Lyme disease to understand their life’s mission, and how they understood what their purpose was to help other people perform.

JP, you not only did that. You wrote a book, first of all, Lyme Book, it’s a fabulous book. I also did an article for lymedisease.org on my 12 favorite Lyme books – I read 30 books that summer, and one of them was yours. You’ve also created an app, you’ve also created an amazing Facebook group for Lyme Conquerors, people who are giving advice to other Lyme survivors on how they can optimize their life and continue to be as healthy as possible. But you even went a couple of further steps to truly understand how nutrition plays in high performance.

I encourage everybody to go back and read the transcript or listen to that show. But JP, it’s great to have you back and we’re talking today specifically about nutrition. Salespeople are going to start getting back out on the road, more and more salespeople are beginning to travel, to see customers. The demands on the body, especially after a lot of the sedentary things happened over the last 18 months or so has really made things a challenge. Let’s get started here. In the show notes we have links to all the things that you’re doing, Lyme Book, the Lyme Friends app and also the Facebook group where I originally met you, got to know you and some of your partners.

First off, I want to give you some compliments on the work that you’re doing. Lyme disease, for people who don’t know, is an insidious disease, it’s a tick-borne illness. You were a high performing athlete in college, lacrosse player, and you’re a financial advisor for some very significantly wealthy people, and then Lyme disease happened.

J.P. Davitt: I was 25 at the time, really didn’t have much of a career before that and had been in financial advisory for about a year, but my passion was to start playing professional lacrosse. I collapsed on a squat rack and it was like a prison after that.

Fred Diamond: Let’s talk about productivity a little bit. We’re talking specifically today about nutrition. Before we get really deep into this – and we’re going to get pretty deep, people – give us your 50,000 ft. view on nutrition, and how it applies specifically towards high performance.

J.P. Davitt: I became sick at 25 and I was forced to be efficient in all my decisions, or really die. When it comes to diet, it is going to be all about consistency and efficiency. We want to feed the machine, and whatever you put into your body, it is a personal choice. From a 10,000 ft. view there are always substitutes for whatever you need, that feeling in your body. There are always substitutes, so consistency and efficiency, just like in business. To be a successful businessperson, same thing, consistency, efficiency and diet.

Fred Diamond: Give a little bit of a perspective to the people listening today to the Sales Game Changers podcast. Lyme disease, we hear things. You’ve got to stay away from sugar, you’ve got to stay away from gluten. The person who’s close to me, for a long time we were looking for the best gluten-free pizza everywhere we went and everybody knew that we had a gluten-free diet. Talk a little bit about what it means to have Lyme disease from a 20,000 ft. level. How does that impact the kinds of foods you can eat? Then we’re going to start getting really specific for sales professionals.

J.P. Davitt:: You mentioned gluten. What happens with Lyme disease is that you are on so many antibiotics, it’s the first stop for pretty much every doctor. Lyme disease is a very complex disease in that there are smart bacteria. They form cysts, they hide, they calcify, it goes on and on and most people feel that it is incurable. But whenever you’re looking at the actual diet, it really begins with the intestines. More and more information comes out, the vast majority of your immune system is in the intestines and the antibiotics completely shred the intestines. They cause the intestines to become dry, and they start to form holes. It progresses if action is not taken from irritable bowel to diverticulitis and even in many cases, Crohn’s.

It’s a really slippery slope whenever it comes to the intestines with Lyme disease. If your intestines are in poor health, that’s the foundation for autoimmune disease as food particles, with age or with poor health from your intestines, seep into your bloodstream causing a lot of autoimmune issues, a lot of arthritis issues. When it comes to food, you have to stay very, very regimented because you end up almost allergic to everything and extremely limited as all of your body is constantly inflamed.

Fred Diamond: Let’s talk a little bit about the types of foods from a high-level perspective. A lot of times when salespeople are out there, there’s a couple things that happen. One is they’re on the road so they’re eating relatively quickly, maybe they’ll go to a deli, go through a drive-through, having some fries. Maybe they think they’re eating a grilled chicken sandwich but it’s still on processed bread. Or if they need a snack, they’ll stop at the 7/11 or convenience store, maybe not get the healthiest snacks, and same thing when you’re traveling. In some cases, you’re restricted on where you can go. Maybe client wants to go to a fancy dinner, you’re going to have dessert thrown in there, you don’t want to be rude. Talk about some of the mistakes that people make when they’re in that type of environment, things like empty calories. Every time I eat a donut, which isn’t that much, I feel horrible. Talk about how that impacts high performance.

J.P. Davitt:: Fred, I don’t know anyone that could turn down a crème brûlée, but I feel like we need to have a little bit more of a food imagination. Most of the salespeople that I know, when we go to dinner, they’re ordering off a menu on something that is easy for them to eat so they can be talking most of the time – I guess that’s the opposite, the client should be talking most of the time but truly, that’s what ends up happening. When I say imagination, I think we need to think of it as high-quality calories and things that are going to feed those cells.

Whenever it comes to choices, of course, you want to always have a vegetable as enzymes are extremely important. A lot of my friends, they jumped on the caveman diet, for example. You see a lot of people just eating really proteins and meats. It sounds crazy to me, because enzymes are the catalysts for every single action in the entire body. If you are not eating those proteins with some sort of vegetable, then it is impossible to grow. It is impossible to be extremely active and create all of those necessary thousands of actions. The liver itself has thousands of actions per day. What happens is in a diet like that, it’s going to take away from all of the stores of enzymes that you have. Eventually, you’ll start running a deficiency and more cells will die than being born, ageing will occur faster.

Fred Diamond: You mentioned proteins. I keep sardines in my car.

J.P. Davitt:: [Laughs] that can be stinky, Fred.

Fred Diamond: They’re in tin cans until I eat them, they’re not in the back seat in a bucket [laughs] I don’t have chum sitting in my back seat. But seriously, it’s a high form of protein. It tastes like tuna fish and even when you eat them, there’s only three that come into a tin can, so you eat them relatively quickly, it’s a quick source of protein as compared to getting a donut. Even a banana is not really the optimal fruit, you need an apple or something. I want to ask you, you talked about cell health, and I know you’ve done a lot of work in your book, and you’ve done a lot of your on the websites. I see you communicate a lot on the various Lyme boards as well. Talk about cellular healing, words like mitochondria, let’s get a little bit deep here to help people understand how that works so that your body can be as productive and perform at the highest level possible.

J.P. Davitt:: This is one of those 10,000 ft. views of diet. Whenever you eat food, it’s going to be broken down in saliva, goes to the stomach and then into the small intestines where it would be absorbed. The smaller pieces of food, the more that we can get the broken down, they’re going to be easier to absorb. When they’re absorbed, it’s not like the food is being spoon-fed or fork-fed to all of the cells, it literally is absorbed through the intestines and then just floats around in the bloodstream, lands on the cells where it can be absorbed into those cells. It’s the proteins, the enzymes that are going to land on the cells and then ideally go into the cells to feed the mitochondria so that those cells can take the actions that they need. Those cells might be liver cells that are then going to have to use the amino acids – the amino acids are the building blocks for proteins. Might be muscle cells, might be your heart cells.

Alternatively, when you eat a lot of sugars or items you had mentioned, bananas – we do eat bananas, I have kids and it’s certainly a higher different sugar. White breads, the vast majority of things that have corn syrup in them, for example, sodas, pops, those will then go in, be absorbed and they’re going to fall like snowflakes onto the cells, and the cells will absorb them. What happens is – and this is crazy – the mitochondria cannot function correctly. It cannot function as a powerhouse of ATP and starts actually producing energy in a limited capacity as what’s called fermentation. Just when you’re making beer, it’s fermentation, the process, and it gives off gas. You become gassy, your cells actually go from being small to large and you become inflamed. That’s when you get that layer of inflammation on you because your cells are literally blown up.

When your cells are blown up, the blood flow can’t get anywhere and when I say anywhere, it cannot get through those restrictions in the body and cannot then feed the cells in which it needs to, and it becomes a perpetual cycle. It becomes a real problem. Inflammation is the catalyst to all health problems and diseases.

Fred Diamond: That’s absolutely true. The book that you wrote, it’s called Lyme Book. Your book tells us your journey of how you discovered Lyme and how you began to deal with all of the coinfections and all of the resulting symptoms that came with Lyme. For people who are a little bit ignorant about Lyme disease, one of the problems with Lyme disease is that it can cause so many things to go wrong. You talked about the bacteria, they’re very difficult bacteria to remove from your body because they get into your teeth, they get into your organs, they get into the bottom of your brain, they get into everywhere. Then you have to detox them, and then there’s even a bigger challenge once you kill off the bacteria, is getting rid of the result there. It’s a huge challenge. If anyone is ignorant about Lyme disease, go buy the book, Lyme Book. JP has a lot of places on the internet where he’s talking about things you could do.

You went through a challenge, you talk about it in Chapter 12 in your book, about how you came to all of this realization. About cellular repair and optimizing this for your body. Talk about the concept of an elimination diet, and things that you must eliminate. I want to let people know here, if you don’t have Lyme disease, can you have a donut? Sure, go have a donut. If you’re going to have a donut every day at three o’clock, you’re going to be done, man. I’ll tell you this right now. Have the occasional donut, have the occasional crème brûlée like JP just mentioned. If you’re on a sales call and it’s with a customer, be careful.

Talk about what it means for an elimination diet. It was a real fascinating thing that you talked about, because we’re talking about the highest level of performance here. In sales you’re competing, and especially now as we begin to truly emerge, possibly, from the pandemic. It’s going to get even tougher to compete because customers are still in charge, you have to provide so much value to customers, you’ve got to be creative. JP, every Friday we do a webcast called Creativity in Sales and it’s mainly because you as sales professionals, to get to the highest level of your game, you need to be more creative than you’ve ever had to before. Talk about elimination diet. What are some things that you should definitely eliminate to get to your highest level of performance and productivity?

J.P. Davitt: As salespeople, we all have that edge. We all have that drive and that competitiveness to get us to a place where we can a lot of times make more money than CEOs, that is our goal. We’re like forces that can be driven to death in a race. I was an athlete and when it came to health and diet, I thought I had all the answers. It turned out I felt I knew how to build cells, but actually, I did not know how to maintain them as well as to heal them or cleanse them. Whenever it comes to that edge, if you’re going to be a salesperson as a career, that’s well and good when you’re 25 to have that edge. But I hope you can maintain it whenever you’re 55 and 60, because it gets harder and harder.

We have to be more efficient, we have to be more creative, as you had mentioned. For me, I was going to doctor to doctor, I was sick of telling my own story, it was terrible. I was 50+ symptoms, completely crippled, I crawled to the bathroom most of the time, I manufactured shoes for myself. Every one of them had the right diet for me. Every doctor, every practitioner, “No problem, I’ll solve this.” And they had to have that confidence, but the fact was it did not work. What I did was I took all of the elements of literally 20, 30, 40 doctors, brought them together into an elimination diet because it was just easier for me to understand.

Three examples of things that I eliminated, the number one would be corn syrup. It’s in a lot of things, from candy bars to soda, but not just the easy ones. Granola bars that are mass manufactured, the vast majority of cheaper mass manufactured things on the shelves that do not contain that cane sugar. It causes the pancreas to fire and release a massive amount of insulin, and insulin release and the health of the pancreas are essential and directly correlated to aging. The more insulin you release, the more corn syrup you ingest, the older your cells are becoming. That is fact.

The second would be hydrogenated oils like canola oil. These oils are literally burnt, a lot of times these are the oils that French fries might be fried in but also, these oils, if you do some research on it, they’re actually burnt and transformed so that it is unnatural. Margarin is a hydrogenated oil, I can tell immediately in my stomach if I go to a restaurant that uses margarin versus using butter. Fried foods, coffee creamers, most potato chips.

Coffee creamers is a big one for salespeople because we drink a lot of coffee. I’m not saying black coffee is bad, I love coffee, but they have literally a screwed up molecular structure so stay away from the hydrogenated oils. Eat the real butter. I bought a pack of chips today, and look, I’m not abstaining. Life is short, I’m going to live, I’m going to eat some chips because they’re good [laughs] but the idea is there’s no corn syrup in there and there’s no hydrogenated oils. Some of the things are bad, but they’re not as bad.

The third example would be gluten, and it’s because it causes autoimmune infections. It’s a molecule that actually flows through the intestines back into the bloodstream and then floats around in there causing a lot of pains as it moves through the intestines.

Fred Diamond: It’s interesting when you talked about your journey when you had seen 20, 30 doctors. For people listening in as well, one of the challenges with Lyme disease is it’s also known as the great imitator, but there aren’t that many doctors who even know about Lyme disease. There’s the term Lyme Literate Medical Doctor, and even if you get to an LLMD, there’s not always a 100% chance that he or she is going to know how to take care of you because there’s no set thing. One thing we like to say is if you break an ankle, every orthopedic surgeon on the planet is going to put you on a cast for six weeks, and then he’s going to have you sit on your butt for two weeks as it recovers. With Lyme disease, first of all, there’s no cure at the chronic stage so it’s a constant battle in trying to figure out how to stay as healthy as possible.

For people who are not that familiar with it, the way that JP is describing his journey is not something that is atypical, it’s a standard way that people go. I really appreciate you in how you’ve not just figured this out for yourself, but how you’ve also communicated it to so many people through the book and through the company you created and through the various Facebook groups where you’ve been, just providing some solace. Today we’re providing for sales professionals some tips on how you could utilize nutrition to stay at your highest performance.

JP Davitt, I want to talk a little bit about some myths, some foods that people might think is healthy for them, and maybe some ways that people have eaten that at the end of the day really aren’t serving you. I know you talk about pork. I don’t eat pig products as it is, but I know a lot of people like bacon. Talk a little bit about some of these myths and some of these traps that people might be in as it relates to falsities about nutrition and certain types of food.

J.P. Davitt:: They could be traps of convenience or they could be traps from a sales perspective. Pork, the other white meat. I used to eat a lot of pork, there’s nothing like a southern barbecue pork sandwich with some mayonnaise and coleslaw on it. But I had actually found this diet called Reams Biological Theory of Ionization, RBTI. I would go see this guy down in Wheeling, West Virginia, and I would go every Saturday. It was a wild diet, I can’t take every aspect of it but it really focused on keeping your body in a neutral state of PH.

You have PH, it’s the potential of hydrogen. There’s acidic or basic. Think of how you’re always testing your pool to make sure that stuff doesn’t grow in it. If it’s acidic, you’re going to get a lot of nasty stuff in that pool. It’s the same with your body. The corn syrups, the sugar, it causes it to be acidic but pork specifically, and this is wild. If I would eat pork, he would know immediately. He tested my saliva, he tested my urine, he put it into this actual RBTI mathematical equation and he would tell me what day I ate pork. It was nuts, but it was true and he was always right on. It takes six days for it to leave your body and there are so many things that use not just pork, but por enzymes.

Without getting into too much wildness, pork enzymes are injected into almost every gum that you could actually chew. One of the only ones that don’t is the Double Bubble gums from back in the day and I only have this because there was a parade outside the other day. It’s even in gum and it causes your body to slow down digestion like to a quarter. The more you slow down your digestion, the less streamline your body is, the less overall energy you’re going to have.

Fred Diamond: I just want to talk for a few seconds here about why we brought you on. You’re a high performing financial advisor, you were stricken with Lyme disease, didn’t see it coming, didn’t know what it was, finally figured it out. But then what you did is you didn’t just take care of yourself, you did some work, wrote books, created a Facebook page, provided guidance and coaching, providing some assistance to us today. This is the second time we’ve had you on the Sales Game Changers podcast and today we’re talking specifically about nutrition, things that you’ve learned along the way.

Sales Game Changers podcast, we’ve done close to 480 shows. To be a high performing sales professional, it gets harder and harder. Customer knows more and more things, you’re less needed to just provide guidance and information, the customer can get all the information. As we talk about almost every single day, you have to be creative. You’ve got to come up with ideas to show value. You’ve got to be thinking not just about your customer, but about your customer’s customer, and your customer’s customer’s customer so that you can ensure that the customer’s even interested in speaking to you. You’ve got to provide the nutrition to your body.

We talk about mindset every single week, nutrition’s such a critical part of that, and the work that you’ve done to uncover this, I just want to applaud you again. We’ll probably have you on again because you’ve done so much study into the body and performance. I just want to applaud you for the work that you’re doing, you’ve impacted so many lives, not just as a business professional but for people out there, chronic Lyme disease, it’s a horrible disease.

CDC estimates over 475,000 people per year are newly diagnosed with Lyme disease. Kids are getting bitten by ticks, because of climate change, ticks are all over the place. For people who don’t realize this, the average deer has 1,000 ticks on it. That’s crazy, you see deer going by and you think, “That’s pretty cool.” It’s got a thousand tics! Not everybody’s going to be affected by the deer tick and can get Lyme disease, but a lot of people do. Not to blame the medical industry, it’s behind on identifying it. If you live in a place even like where I am, in Virginia, and you go to the ER with some type of pain, they’re not going to be thinking Lyme. They’re going to be thinking of maybe something you ate or nutrition, maybe some type of poisoning. Lyme might be tenth.

It’s a big challenge, so I want to applaud you for the work that you’re doing to help people get better, and specifically today, for the work that you’ve done to get the sales professionals listening to the Sales Game Changers podcast take their sales career to the next level. Thank you. As we like to end every show, give us one final action step. You’ve given us a lot of ideas of things to remove from your diet. Give us a closing action step, something specific that you think sales professionals should do right now to take their sales career to the next level.

J.P. Davitt: I’m going to go back to elimination, Fred. I think that as we had mentioned, pork and gluten, I think GMOs, eliminate genetically modified. Try to eat as organic as you possibly can. Eliminate artificial sweeteners, the artificial sweeteners are going to be in almost everything, but they’re neurotoxic and they stay in the body, your body actually cannot get them out, so you have to do cleansing regimens in order to get them out. Different things like eating every two hours to increase your metabolism, that is a definite negative. Your body needs time to heal and cleanse, so the bottom line would be to take time for yourself, take time and as opposed to always thinking that you’re growing and can affect your body in growth, take time to cleanse your body as well.

Fred Diamond: Thank you all for listening to today’s Sales Game Changers podcast. JP Davitt, once again, thank you. To all our listeners, thank you so much.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

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