Matt is a leading authority in Human Potential Healthcare and has been featured in INC magazine among other reputable media outlets. He’s a world leading expert in helping executives and entrepreneurs access peak performance through cutting-edge research supported strategies such as lifestyle genetics, cellular detoxification and advanced customized nutritional solutions to create long-term sustainable transformations in the high performers he helps.
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3 Key Points:
- Give yourself permission to enjoy the seasons of life.
- Get educated on your passion, then get involved with it.
- When you’re trying to solve a problem—health or otherwise—pay attention to the symptoms and get to the root of the issue.
- Concordia University Wisconsin: Inspired to start your own business, or even innovate within an existing business? Visit OnlineInfo.cuw.edu/fire to learn more, and if you decide to apply, enter coupon code FIRE and Concordia University Wisconsin will waive your application fee!
Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [02:01] – “I can’t turn my back on humanity with this amazing gift”
- [02:31] – Value Bomb Drop: Find a doctor that’s less like a doctor and more like a concierge, one that specializes in human performance
- [04:07] – MTHFR Mutation
- [04:59] – Clean Nutrition
- [06:02] – What are some healthy foods that have sugar? — a few types of fruit juices, but that’s it
- [07:43] – What is something you’ve changed your mind about in the last 6 months? The cultural stigma surrounding functional fitness
- [08:44] – Women should do weight lifting
- [09:05] – Weight lifting is great for men
- [09:47] – What strengthening exercises would you recommend for everyone? High interval training has a lot of benefits
- [10:14] – Change functional movement patterns
- [12:06] – Dead lift position
- [13:00] – Back extension exercise
- [14:10] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: Being the father of three girls and realizing he didn’t have time for them
- [15:25] – Matt didn’t have a balanced life
- [17:02] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “Getting to the cause”
- [17:49] – Matt’s passion
- [17:57] – Don’t cover up the symptoms
- [21:10] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Fear”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “You don’t benefit anyone by playing small”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “I imitate the Greeks and I do ACTS – adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication. I also have a hygiene routine.”
- [26:29] – Parting piece of guidance: “You’re doing better than you think you are”
- 27:19 – Connect with Matt through his website
Matt Accurso: I am so ready to ignite, John.
Matt Accurso: I’m pumped.
John: Matt is a leading authority in human potential healthcare, and has been featured in INC magazine. He’s a world-leading expert in helping executives and entrepreneurs access peak performance through lifestyle genetics, cellular detoxification, and advanced customized nutritional solutions to create long-term, sustainable transformations in high performers. And yes, that is a mouthful, Fire Nation. Matt, take a minute and fill in some gaps from that intro, and give us just a little glimpse of your personal life.
Matt Accurso: Yeah. So John, I was called to what I do when I was eight years old. And I remember standing at the foot of a stage and being blown away by this gentleman that was just speaking with such love and conviction about getting to the cause of why his patients were going through energy issues and constant – whether it be productivity issues, or skin issues, or whatever comes down the pipe for someone when they’re dealing with sickness and disease. This man was just so fired up to get to the cause. And so it melted on to me. And I remember going home and thinking, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. And there was no doubt in my mind at eight years old.
And so I continued that journey with definitely some bumps and some bruises on the road, but ultimately in the end, I said, I can’t turn my back on serving humanity with this amazing gift that I’ve been called to do.
John: I mean, what a gift, Fire Nation, it is to at eight years old, have even a glimpse or a clue as to what you actually want to do that you’re passionate about. I mean, it took me 32 years. It takes some people 82 years to figure that out. And that’s okay. The key thing is that when you do find that out, you actually take action. Now Matt, you have a lot of expertise in a lot of areas, but what I’m gonna ask you to do is to give us a value bomb drop in your area of expertise. Give us two things that you think that we should know that you just intrinsically know from your past, your history, your experience, that you want to pass on to Fire Nation.
Matt Accurso: Yeah. So my area of expertise is I’m a virtual concierge doctor who specializes in human performance. And some people’s eyes go crossed sometimes when I say something like that. But essentially, what I’m talking about is getting to the root cause of down regulation of performance in any area, whether it be you’re a hard-hitting executive in a boardroom; you’re a family man or a family woman, and you just want to spend time with your kids without feeling fatigued at the end of the day. Whatever it might be, my job is to essentially get to what’s causing your body to respond that way. So one of the big things that I do is I look at genetics. And through personalized lifestyle genetics, we are now able to see someone’s blueprint of how their body works. So we don’t necessarily need to look at a diet book or an exercise program.
We can actually look at your gene and say how are you going to respond the most effectively from a program. And then from that, from looking at those things, I can actually develop a lifestyle program. We can look at supplementation, we can look at detoxification. We look at hormones. We can even look at tendon and ligament strength.
John: Well, in those areas, Matt, what are two thinks that you think that we’d really find value learning right now?
Matt Accurso: So one of the things is MTHFR mutation, which deals with methylation, which is how you age. So if you have this certain type of gene, we now know that this gene can affect your concentration, because it can actually down regulate neurotransmitters. It can affect the gut. So you hear a lot about leaky gut.
Matt Accurso: Leaky gut is simply your body reacting to food particles that are being leached out of the gut. And so if you have this type of gene, it’s very, very important that you focus on anti-aging solutions. And in general, everybody wants to focus on anti-aging because we don’t want to age as fast. But if you have this gene, you really want to focus on toxicity in your life. And what that means is you want to be a very clean eater. So I always give four points of reference when I talk about clean nutrition. It’s a mnemonic. It’s called meat, fat, Sally, and Sally is a cow. So meat stands for your meats, fat is for your fats, Sally stands for sugar, and Sally is a cow, so we have to look at our dairy.
So if anyone’s every confused about, okay, what do I do in my nutritional regimen, if you focus on these four things, you will optimize your genetics almost immediately. So eating grass-fed organic meats and free range eggs, looking at your dairy, because we now know that if a cow has hormones and antibiotics within itself, you’re gonna be consuming that milk, and it’s gonna affect you because there’s a biological accumulation in that milk. So it’s gonna affect you more, specifically when we look at sugar. Sugar is a trending word, but essentially what you want to do is you really want to hone in on if there are any processed sugars in your diet at all, anything that you’re eating. A lot of health foods even have sugar in them.
John: What are some health foods that might surprise people that have sugar?
Matt Accurso: I’m not gonna throw companies under the bus, but I will tell you that most fruit juices. So, if you go into a grocery store and you go to the juice aisle, and you see all those colorful bottles, orange and green. If you look on the back of those, a lot of times, there’s over 20, 25 milligrams of sugar in these things. And so –
John: What about vitamin water? I mean, that’s so full of vitamins, right?
Matt Accurso: Yeah, vitamin water’s bad. You know these answers, John.
John: It’s the best marketing in the world, though. The fact that they get away with calling themselves – because I actually see people. They’re like, oh, I’m gonna go grab a vitamin water right now, like they’re actually doing something good. It’s just incredible.
Matt Accurso: It really is. I always say if something is created – not to diss on rappers at all, but I would say 50 Cent is not the most known person to go to for nutrition. And he’s come out with vitamin water. So yeah, definitely be careful, especially trending marketing names like that. I know a lot of us, snack bars. If you look at Special K, ad a lot of people think, well, it’s Special K, and it says fiber on the front. And we’re so used to looking at carbohydrates and protein; we never actually look at the ingredients list. So I always say ignore the carbohydrate protein column, and go to the ingredients list. And if there’s anything that you have a hard time spelling on that box whatsoever, just avoid it like the plague. And that’s really the safest way to go with that.
John: So I’m gonna challenge you here because you’re always learning new things. And six months ago, you might have been really adamant about one thing, and you might not be quite so adamant anymore because new research has come up, or just you’ve experimented and you’ve found it not to be the case. So what’s something that you really believed just six months ago that you no longer believe in? What’s something that you’ve actually changed your mind about?
Matt Accurso: Functional fitness is definitely something that I was definitely for, but I had a little stigma in the back of my head where I was really against doing overhead presses and heavy squats. Just because I do think that repetitive movement, constant repetitive movement can be very bad for the body. Marathon running and biking and all those things are wonderful.
John: Chronic cardio, baby.
Matt Accurso: Chronic cardio, man. And so that’s one thing that I’ve changed my mind about because there are smart ways to do it. And I’ve always known there have been ways to protect your joints and things like that. But I think now more than ever, I’m seeing a massive benefit, especially with the research coming about and I’ve been reading in lifting heavy things. Lifting heavy things is amazing for osteoporosis, especially for women. If you’re a woman, you need to be lifting. And I don’t mean taking small cars over your head. But definitely doing heavy things that are gonna put strain on the bone, so it’s gonna help the bone to heal. It’s actually going to strengthen the bone, and that’s gonna help your bones to actually accept more Vitamin D. So there’s a ton of great benefits that come from heavy lifting.
And then also for men, heavy lifting also helps to regulate hormones. So it’s really great for the prostate. It’s great overall. I mean, if you do heavy lifting in the morning, it’s good to increase human corinaic growth hormone, which is excellent for building muscle. So if you’re a guy and you want to build muscle, you want to burn fat, you start lifting weight in the morning, and that’s gonna skyrocket that potential.
John: Here’s somebody like myself. I live and I work out of my house. I do have a little gym downstairs that I really do love, and I use, and there’s a rowing machine there where I really crush in eight minutes, 2000-meter row, where it’s really intense, but it’s not like that chronic cardio where I’m just doing it for hours. But what are some strengthening exercises that you would recommend for someone like myself, or even a female too, that would do first thing in the morning to really kind of spur the benefits that you’re talking about?
Matt Accurso: Yeah. High interval training has been shown to benefit metabolism, cardiac response, so I mean, increasing blood flow. I would say definitely changing up the exercises. So exercising as hard as you can, number one. We have a lot of people that will work out for an hour and a half to two hours a day. And I would say you don’t need to do that at all. I mean, honestly, if you’re doing 20 to 30 minutes, but you’re exercising as hard as you can, that will benefit you tremendously, because what happens is, muscle has memory. So if you can change up your exercises, that actually is going to force the muscle fibers to grow. So it’s gonna change the exercise up.
There’s gonna be a little bit of confusion involved. But what happens is, you start to confuse the muscle, and now you start to grow it. You start to get atrophy, and then that’s when you really start to skyrocket energy, and then you increase neurotransmitters, so that increases concentration. So even throughout my day, I’ll actually do – I’ll change up my functional movement patterns. So for instance, I’ll work two to three hour increments, and then at the end, I’ll do burpees, I’ll do some – I’ll hang from a ceiling bar that I have and do pull-ups, and then I’ll drop into maybe some Spiderman pushups, and then I’ll do some good mornings, which are kind of deadlifts with no weight.
So if you can find any type of exercise where you can change it up consistently. So for instance, do six exercises, take a minute break, and do another six exercises. And each of those exercises should be a minute. I always say you never have an excuse not to work out. So even with my hardest charging executives and I know you’re a hard-charging executive, John, so it’s like you’re busy, man. So a lot of times, we say, well, there’s no way I can work out. Well, you just said you work out in the morning, so you can always find time. You just have to make sure it’s intense and as intense as you possibly can make it.
John: So what are these good mornings, these deadlifts with no weights?
Matt Accurso: Yeah, so what you do is, essentially you get in the deadlift position. Make sure you have a little bend in your knee. Make sure your back is straight. So you’re essentially not allowing your back to bow or bend at all, and you’re bending at the hip. So you’re going all the way down to the floor, keeping your head up, looking to the wall in front of you. And then keeping that bend in your knees, and then coming all the way up and then going all the way back down again. So essentially, you’re strengthening the lower core, and you’re strengthening the lower back. And I will say, John, too, that if you’re sitting a lot through your day, back extensions is one of the best exercises you can possibly do, because it’s gonna strengthen the area around L3 and L4, which is normally where people start to get degeneration.
And I can tell you, throughout my clinical experience, I have seen a lot of degeneration in lower backs. And that is where it accumulates first. And it’s because a lot of times, people don’t have the structure to support that area.
John: So how do you do back extensions?
Matt Accurso: So back extensions, essentially you can do them on the floor. They’re really easy, but you can just put your hands out in front of you like you’re gonna be Superman. So you’re gonna go flying somewhere, and you’re just essentially gonna lift your core off the floor. So you’re laying down on your stomach, and you’re gonna lift your core off the floor. And then you could even pull your arms behind you.
John: I like to do the breaststroke; you kind of breaststroke around and come back up forward.
Matt Accurso: Yeah, yeah, yup. One of the most amazing exercises for not only the core – everybody wants a six-pack abs. Well, that’ll actually work the abs. And it will strengthen the lower back.
John: Well, and what people don’t realize is, guess what? You have a six-pack ab right now; it’s just there’s fat over it. So focus on getting rid of the fat.
Matt Accurso: That’s right.
John: And then your six-pack will be there. We all have it.
Matt Accurso: That’s right.
John: Now you kind of told us about your aha moment at eight years old. That was brilliant. And so far, we’ve been really dropping some value bombs for myself and Fire Nation about health and fitness and function and all of this stuff. Let’s kind of talk now about your worst moment. I want people to see that you are human, that you’re not just like this genius fitness functional nutritional guy. What’s your worst moment, Matt, entrepreneurial speaking?
Matt Accurso: Yeah. My worst moment, John, and I honestly, I get emotional about it even when I talk about it at any time. I have three daughters, and they mean the would to me. My wife, we’ve been high school sweethearts, so we’ve been together for 14, going on 15 years now. And I’ll tell you that there was a moment in my life where I thought I was at the core of what I was supposed to be doing in this world. I thought I was in the center of my calling. And I remember, I was running this really high volume clinic, helping run this really high volume clinic. It was one of the largest in the country. And I was leaving the house one day, and my little girl Ali was probably two at the time, just learning to say daddy. And she came out. She said, “Daddy,” and I turned around. I remember it was a cold winter’s day. I had the door open. I turned around, and for a second, John, she looked like she was 10 years old.
Matt Accurso: It kind of freaked me out. It was like, she just looked old. Her face just looked older. And in that moment, I said, Matt, are you putting the first things first in your life? Are you truly a balanced person? And if I answered the honestly, it was no. And it was a really painful answer because I was working 60 hours a week and we were doing community talks, and we were going to certain parts of Tennessee and actually serving in really big ways to the poor. And it was just an amazing life, and I loved it. And at the same time, I wasn’t a balanced person. I wasn’t giving the time that I needed to my family. And in that moment, I made the decision. I said, you know what? I can live my calling and I can still be a man who puts his family first. I can still be a man who’s balanced and actually has friends. I mean, work was everything to me.
So I backed out of that, as hard as it was, and I stepped into this next season of my life, which I could tell you was the best decision I ever made.
John: The next season of your life. And I love how you put that, because Fire Nation, give yourself permission to have seasons in life. You can have that season where you work hard, you crush it, you learn so much, you establish yourself, your name, your brand, and maybe your finances. You’re establishing all of that. But then that gives you the opportunity to then say, okay, now it’s on to season two, three, or four. That can be a different part of your life. We don’t have this sum cost fallacy that generations ago had, where you went to work for Ford Motor Company, and 40 years later, you got a watch and you had 10 solid years of retirement before it was all over. No. You can have seasons of life.
Now Matt, you are, rightfully, so fired up about a lot of things right now. But what would you say the thing you’re most fired up about today in the business world?
Matt Accurso: I’m most fired up about getting to the cause. And so when you talk about health, relationships, business, whatever it is, you want to get to the root cause of why that certain something is happening. And I tend to go back to health because that’s my realm. But getting to the cause, and basically just not looking at the symptom. So for instance, if a symptom is stress, or if a symptom is a lack of energy or focus, or whatever it is, you want to get to the cause of why that’s happening. And when you say business, John, you mean like a business example or something to that effect?
John: Yeah, whatever your heart is singing right now.
Matt Accurso: Yeah. I would say that’s my passion. My passion is to get to the core of why the human body actually does what it does. Because there’s always a cause. If you focus on the symptom, that’s the iceberg. There’s a piece at the very top that we see. What’s actually below it that’s actually causing all the issues to happen, and in getting to the cause of why that’s happening. And I think a lot of people are lost, especially when it comes to their health, because we’re not getting to the cause. We’re focusing on a symptom. And I always say, you’re not sick, diseased, suffering because you have a lack of acetaminophen in your blood, or you know what I mean, or aspirin in your blood. So you take an aspirin, and then your headache will go away.
Try to find out why that headache is there in the first place. Try to find out why you have that lack of energy in the first place, instead of just covering up the symptom. Because if we keep covering up symptoms, we teach ourselves that we’re just gonna continue to address the symptoms, and then never actually get to the bottom of why things are happening. And so I specifically think in our health care system that’s why we’re going through everything we’re going through within our country right now, is we’re not changing the paradigm. We’re throwing more money at a system that doesn’t necessarily work well when it comes to wellness. It works really well for emergencies. Like for instance, if I went in, John, my arm was off, don’t come into my clinic for wellness, because I can’t actually fix that arm that’s off.
If you go into our hospital system, they will put that arm back on, and we have the best system in the country for that. But if you go into a hospital to be well, it never works. It always leads to more medications, more surgeries. And I always say, that is not wellness. That is simply symptom care.
John: Well, the analogy that I love, Matt, is when they said, hey, listen, picture this tree that’s losing its leaves, and all the leaves are brown. If you’re just fixing the symptoms, you’re just going and painting those leaves green and then walking away and saying, okay, that’s good. We painted the leaves green. No, you’ve got to go to the roots, literally in this case, literally the roots, and figuratively in our lives, to find the real issue. So Fire Nation, don’t you go anywhere, because if you think Matt’s been dropping value bombs thus far, you ain’t seen nothing yet, because we’re gonna crush it in the lightning round. But first, a quick moment to thank our sponsors.
Matt, are you prepared for the lightning round?
Matt Accurso: I am pumped, John.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Matt Accurso: I would say one word, fear. Fear held me back tremendously. I think I feared the unknown. I feared what would happen if I truly lived out my optimal potential, what it would do to my life. Would I be able to handle that? Would I be able to still have fun? I think sometimes I still think about that. If I continue to work harder and harder and harder, will I still have fun? But the beauty of it is that when you’re in your calling, it’s always fun.
John: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Matt Accurso: You don’t benefit anyone by playing small.
John: God, that’s good. What’s a personal habit, Matt, that contributes to your success?
Matt Accurso: I have a ridiculously meticulous morning routine.
John: Let’s hear it. I love morning routines.
Matt Accurso: Okay. You want to hear it?
John: I’m giving you permission to give us more than one sentence for this one.
Matt Accurso: Okay. All right. Very good. So I imitate the Greeks right when I wake up. I go outside; I get my feet on the ground. So I never have shoes in the morning. I go outside, and I do this thing called ACTS, which is adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, which is basically, I’m just giving honor to where honor is due. I’m recognizing that I’m a human being. I’m also recognizing that there are people around me that need my help. So I’m lifting those people up and really preparing myself to enter into the day and serve those around me. And then I get in the ocean at least three times a week. The ocean has amazing healing benefits. I’m also a surfer, so it’s required of me to get in the ocean.
And then I’m in the gym by about 6:14 AM, and then I’m making my Mick Jagger shake at 7:15.
John: What’s in that shake?
Matt Accurso: Mick Jagger, yeah. So that’s spinach, it’s matcha root, it is circumen. There is some cacao powder in there – cacao nibs, actually, now.
John: Yeah, because you can actually kind of then chew your smoothie a little bit, which just activates your saliva glands. Awesome.
Matt Accurso: That’s right. Yeah, that’s right. Half an avocado, a cup of almond milk, some blueberries, and I’m on my way.
John: Now why almond milk?
Matt Accurso: I do almond milk because I like the consistency, and it kind of makes it a shake type consistency. And I actually love the taste of unsweetened almond milk, as crazy as that sounds. Because somebody will have sweetened and somebody will taste unsweetened. They’ll be like, this is horrible. But once you start drinking it, it’s actually addicting.
John: And blueberries. Now I would kind of say, well, that’s a lot of sugar, but what would you say to that?
Matt Accurso: Blueberries is a high antioxidant, and actually, if you get wild blueberries, the sugar can be tremendously lower in them, interestingly enough. So if a blueberry is farmed in any way, a lot of the farming practices that we use actually increases the sugar to the outer skin. If you get wild blueberries, and honestly, I’m not sure of the research, but if you look across the board, the sugar is lower. And I don’t actually put that much in there. So I would say a little shot of antioxidant sugar in the morning is actually excellent for the blood, and then obviously antioxidants across the board help in preventing cancer and disease.
John: Is that pretty much the end of your morning routine?
Matt Accurso: I’m in the shower, so I have a hygiene routine that I do at 8:00 in the morning. And the hygiene routine is essentially doing essential oils. I do thebes and I do peppermint. And what I do is I do what’s called oil pulling. And that is, I get a globful of coconut oil. I put a drop of thebes and a drop of peppermint in there, and I swish it around in my mouth. And this is a great time, actually, to be silent. A lot of times, especially with me, John – I don’t know about you, but I talk a lot.
John: What do you think?
Matt Accurso: Right, exactly. And so I will put that coconut oil in my mouth, and I have to be quiet. So it’s 20 minutes of quiet, and I’ll do some reading. And that actually helps pull toxins from the teeth and the gums. So I’ll do some oil pulling, and then I have a floss hygiene routine that I use, and I also use thebes oil with that, where I put thebes oil on the floss. And thebes oil’s an excellent antimicrobial, so I’m going in between the gums, and I’ll probably floss for like two minutes or something like that. But I just started this a year ago, and I’m in love with it right now.
John: Love it. Well, if you can send this stuff over to me, I’d love your Mick Jagger shake and some of these other ideas. I’ll put it in the show notes, and Fire Nation, you can check that out, of course, at EOFire.com. Now Matt, let’s end on fire with you giving us a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Matt Accurso: Absolutely. Well, I would say that I’ve always been passionate about, once again, getting to the cause. And I would say in my own life, one of the books that have spoke volumes to me is Wild at Heart, by John Eldritch. And that’s an amazing book for men, and then there’s also a book called Captivating. So if you want to read about human psychology and why we do what we do, those books are excellent. And it also just shows us that we’re only human. So just know that you’re doing better than you think are. And that’s something that I remind myself constantly, is you’re doing better than you think you are.
I’m a perfectionist, and so I can be very meticulous with how I do things, and I can beat myself up a lot. But just know that just by waking up in the morning and having a mind to serve and to love, you’re already starting out on the right foot. So continue that foot, get involved in your community, educate on your passions. I always say, if your passion isn’t pushing you to educate more people and to get it out to the masses, like John does every single day, then maybe it’s time to change some things and change some perspective and get that way. Because your voice needs to be heard in this world. So keep on keeping on.
John: And what’s the best way that we can connect with you?
Matt Accurso: Connect with me a couple ways. You can go to bit.ly/draccurso, D-R-A-C-C-U-R-S-O, and you can actually read about the testing that I do and why I do it. And then you can also go to elevays.com, E-L-E-V-A-Y-S-.com/consulting, and you can actually hear a little bit more about how I work with people and what I do there as well.
John: Wow. Well, Fire Nation, you know this. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and you’ve been hanging out with Dr. M.A. and J.L.D. today, so keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com. If you just type in Matt in the search bar, his show notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve talked about. Best show notes in the biz, links to everything, links that he just mentioned, hopefully to his Mick Jagger shake. And Matt, I just want to thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
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