Happy Vs Flourishing episode 17 with Duncan Bhaskaran Brown. He is an award winning speaker, author and Morris dancer! He has helped hundreds of people across the world to get over indulgence, and wake up to a better future.
We discuss attitudes toward addictions, food and many other topics in this episode.
- WFPB – Whole Food Plant Based
- T. Colin Campbell author or Whole and The China Study
- Addiction and indulgences
- Mental health
- Making changes to ones life
- Apples and ice-cream!
- Stoping smoking
Duncan has spoken at events in sectors from healthcare to local government, from the emergency services to world class universities. He can help you get free from your unruly urges whether they are for food, drink, drugs, social media or Netflix.
Books he recommends:
“I’m gonna role model the energy I wish the world had.” –
Happy Vs Flourishing links:
Tony Winyard 0:00
Happy versus flourish in Episode 17. Welcome to the podcast where we give you ideas on how to have a better quality of life in some respects, today's guest, Duncan Bhaskaran Brown. He's an award winning speaker, author and Morris Dancer! and he's helped hundreds of people across the board to get over indulgence and wake up to a better tomorrow. He's spoken at events in all sorts of different sectors. So we're going to find out a lot more from Duncan coming up. If you do enjoy this episode, or you know, someone who could get some real real value from this, why not share the episode with them, subscribe to the podcast, gets more people get to find out about it. And especially if you leave a review that really helps us out as well. And now it's time for today's episode with Duncan.
Tony Winyard 1:00
Welcome to happy versus flourishing My guest today, Duncan Bhaskaran Brown, How you doing, Duncan?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 1:10
I'm good. I'm good. Thank you, Tony. Thanks for having me. I'm excited
Tony Winyard 1:14
It's good to have you on. Because we've obviously come across each other over the last few years on the speaking circuit. And we have a similar mindset about many things. so it seemed to make sense to me to have you as a guest.
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 1:28
Yeah, absolutely. I've always enjoy chatting to you. Now we have the added bonus that people can listen along. It's great.
Tony Winyard 1:37
So do you want to tell people if anyone listening who is, unsure what it is exactly you do. I have given a description in the preamble before the recording at the start of the show, but what is it that you actually do?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 1:50
Oh, so my name is Duncan Baskaran Brown, I am a speaker, and author and Morris dancer. Which probably doesn't tell you that much. So I kind of help people get over indulgence. That's really, really my main thing. Whether you indulge in a little bit too much wine, that extra slice of cake and Netflix binge staying up all night playing online gaming, using your phone too much. Even smoking and drugs, gambling, that sort of thing, whatever it whatever it is that you over indulge in, I reckon I can help you get that under control.
Tony Winyard 2:25
Do you do that on a coaching basis? or How is it?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 2:29
So yeah, I do do coaching. I mean, my particular passion is standing up on a stage. And yes, it's let's be honest, Tony, I like showing off, don't I? So yeah, I'm a I'm a speaker primarily. But I also run workshops. And I do a little bit of coaching here and there.
Tony Winyard 2:51
And so how did this all come about? What was the backstory of that? ,
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 2:55
I got an awful lot of experience. I said, I spent 20 years of, you know, drinking smoking, taking drugs, eating rubbish, staying up all night on the PlayStation. Like that's, that's like the the PlayStation not like the PlayStation with the number the original one. And yeah, you know, I, I'd slowly kind of transformed my life got it into a position where, you know, these days, I wake up in the morning full of energy, happy, excited, raring to go. And, you know, I have done quite a lot of other things in my life. And I sort of, you know, I think you could look at that and say, Well, on the face of it, you've been quite successful, don't come. But I think the greatest success I've ever had in my life has been, you know, getting overindulgence and getting myself to a position where, you know, I don't have, I don't really suffer from stress, and I'm in control of what I do, and I'm not tired. And that's really what I want to share with people. You know, that wonderful, wonderful feeling of bouncing out of bed in the morning, excited and raring to go for the day, because I believe, I genuinely believe that everybody can have that.
Tony Winyard 4:10
So what was it that caused you to change? What was there something that happened? health wise, what was that?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 4:16
Oh, yeah, I'd love to tell you I had this like blinding road to Damascus moment. Um, they normally happen in the middle of the night don't know you're staring into the bathroom mirror and suddenly it all clicked. But, you know, for me, it wasn't one single thing. It was, you know, over a number of years. I met a really amazing woman. I mean, she was a bit odd. You know, she didn't really drink didn't take drugs and smokes even at chickpeas. I mean, how weird is that? Totally. And, you know, she's sort of like, she's an amazing, amazing lady and she sort of gently poked me and pointed out that maybe smoking was not great and smoking was not good for her right there because I was doing it in the flat that we And so, you know, she kind of helped me move along a little bit. And then we try to, we try to have a family. We, we had a couple of miscarriages, she blamed my drunk and sperm. I'm not sure that's necessarily scientific fact. But it became kind of obvious to me that drinking two bottles of wine a night and having a small child was going to be sort of like, if it's going to be difficult. It's going to present me with some problems. So I sort of smartened up my life a little bit more in the pursuit of being a father, very glad I did got a lovely, got lovely daughter now. And the last thing that I sort of really sorted out was was my diet. And that was after after Leila was born, my wife had some had some mental health problems. She's had mental health problems the whole time that I've known her, but you know, they were particularly acute after Leila was born. Sadly, that is all too common. I think it's about 30% of women suffer some sort of mental health problem after pregnancy. So yeah, she she found that really, really tough. And that, of course, put a lot of stress on me. And I just like turn around one day, and I thought I am eating triple chocolate chip cookies the way I used to drink. And then I thought I ought to do something about it got into the whole plant based whole food kind of thing, and never looked back, really.
Tony Winyard 6:29
What was it that made you change to the whole food plant based food.
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 6:35
I did have a bit of a road to Damascus moment with that. But it was, was only 25. It's more of a road to boredom word moment, which probably doesn't have the same ring to it. But now I was driving along. And I was listening to an audio book by a guy called T. Colin Campbell. It's called home is fantastic book. And, you know, Colin Campbell's not easy 70 or something like that. And he runs Yeah, five or six miles a week or something like that. And he said, He's like, the guy sounds like he's got he had more energy in Vega than I had at the time. And I was like, hold on a minute, Jeff just just turned 40 how can how can you be in better shape than me? That's not right, is it and he spent a long time going on about how the wF PB diet can, you know, help reduce cancer, and it can prevent heart disease and diabetes? And all of these sort of things? Which, like, Yeah, okay. I don't want to get cancer. I'm with you on that. Colin. But, you know, it was really it was the way he was talking about his life, you know, waking up in the morning, feeling full of zest and vigour, and all of that kind of stuff. And I just thought I really, I do want some of that. I need some of that.
Tony Winyard 7:50
What was it that made you read that book in the first place? Considering from the sounds of things, how you were eating and living? What was it, it turned you on to that?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 7:57
So I read an awful lot. I mean, I'm like yourself, I love books. And I definitely eat them like some sort of crazy bookworm. And I have two sort of strategies I have. I'm very particular with some books that I just love, that is a book I want to read, I sometimes stuff that's recommended to me, sometimes it's just, um, I've got a particular obsession. So I'm going to read a book about it. And I'm very focused with about 50% of the reading that I do. And then I've also got an audio book app from the library. And you, you get you they've got a wide selection, but you can't get anything you want. If you think to yourself, you know, I'd like to read Michael Rosen's book of play, for example, you know, they won't have it. So if you, if I want to read that I have to go down my more kind of directed strategy. And then I get so I just, I just search through their catalogue and pick out literally random stuff. And sometimes it's great. Sometimes it's not so great. But yeah, I just saw how and I thought, that's interesting enough, I am more than happy to commit some of my was going to bore him with a lot of that, that period in my life. So I'm perfectly happy to commit some of my drive to boredom word to see whether this is any good or not. And it turned out to be, you know, like, literally one of the most amazing books I've ever read.
Tony Winyard 9:23
And did you read The China Study after that?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 9:26
Yes, I've read The China Study. I did the I did the plant based nutrition course. That study centre you know, I got very, very interest stuff.
Tony Winyard 9:38
I imagine many people listening aren't really maybe aware of Colin Campbell. They probably didn't quite catch what is WFPB
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 9:48
with a token, jargon again, okay. So this way I explain it to you. It's happened to me yesterday, I was eating my lunch. And one of the trainees on the course I was running said to me So you're vegetarian? And I said, No, it's worse than that. No, you're vegan. I said, No, it's worse than that. And he went, What? What, what's worse? So I said, I'm plump salad. And then of course, he had no clue what I was talking about. But so the way I explain it is that I only eat fruit, vegetables, beans, and whole grains and nuts and seeds. And that's it. And I try to eat them as close to the form that they grew in as possible. I mean, clearly I do cook. I do cook my Christmas. I'm not insane. But I don't eat processed foods. So I don't eat added. So I don't eat added sugar. I don't eat added oil. So I mean, I consider olive oil to be processed food, which I think is probably fairly extreme. Well, it's known, sadly, it's fairly extreme. I wish people had a different view towards food. But we that's that's probably another story. Yeah. So WFPB Whole Foods Plant Based, I only eat plants and eat them as close to the way they grow as possible.
Tony Winyard 11:08
And so after reading that book, how easy or difficult was it for you to start making some of the changes that he was talking about?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 11:18
I didn't find it at all difficult. Now, most people would look at me and go, Oh, yeah, well, of course, it was easy for you. Because this wonderful lady that I met my wife's Regia, she, she's had on and off beta vegetarianism throughout our relationship. So I have had kind of, on and off vegetarianism by association throughout our relationship, and so we weren't eating a super abundance of animal products. I'd also already kind of got the environmental message about animal products that they are very bad for the environment. And I was I was trying to cut down from that point of view. Anyway. So like, I would always have me in my sandwiches at lunch. And then I thought, well, no, that's not great. I'll have something else in my sandwiches, and then you have cheese. And then you think, well, that's actually an animal product as well. So it's just as bad. So I'd already kind of cracked vegetarian lunches. So and I could cook as well. I mean, it was pretty, I think I am a pretty good cook. Well, I like it. And that's all that counts, isn't it? So I cook, I already wasn't eating masses of animal products. So a lot of people would probably look at that and think, Wow, yeah, it was easy for you. You were already in a particularly good position. But I think it can be easy for anybody. It's a matter of adjusting the way you think about something. So I don't know. Let me ask you a question. Tony. Have you ever eaten a picture of an apple? A picture of you like you see an apple in a magazine or something? If you ever turn that picture out and eat it? No, no. Why not? I mean, it looks like food, doesn't it?
Tony Winyard 13:01
I guess it does look like food Yeah,
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 13:03
but you don't need it. Because It only looks like food, you know that it isn't food. So as soon as I had had my ideas shifted about what isn't isn't food, I find it very easy to only eat stuff that I now consider to be food stuff that looks like food, like, you know, sugar and chocolate and cake and all of that sort of stuff. It looks like food, but because I know it isn't food. I don't struggle to not eat it.
Tony Winyard 13:33
It sounds like the transition was pretty easy then?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 13:35
Yeah, I mean, I think I, I basically applied the same method that I'd used to stop smoking and stop drinking to stop eating junk food. And that's, that, I think is the really good news. The good news that people like Alan Carr been saying for a long time and jack shrimpy have been saying for a long time that there there is a way of changing your mindset towards things like food and drink and drugs and junk food. And you know, it's remarkably effective. Whatever overindulgence you're looking at? So for me, it was it was that easy. I just went well, I just think about in the same way that I thought about alcohol.
Tony Winyard 14:16
And didn't you lose quite a bit of weight in that process?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 14:19
Yeah, um, I lost about two and a half stone, something like that. So yeah, I mean, I it's funny, I was just been tweaking my website, and I was looking back through some photos. There's this great photo that I really, really love, have me on stage and I wanted to use it and I thought, well, no, I can't because it's, it's from a few years ago now and I do look, I look like a completely different person.
Tony Winyard 14:47
In the process of getting off the drugs and drink and everything. How easy or difficult was that process then because obviously, from what you're saying that once you decided to change the food, it was much easier because of what you've gone through before. But what was the initial change? how was that?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 15:08
No, that's the great thing. I mean, it's a it's a sad indictment about our society that the way that that question is always posed was, How hard was it? Because the expectation is really hard. I had to white knuckle through the pain. And the beautiful truth is that it's really not that hard. It's quite easy. It's a matter of rejigging your mindset. I mean, the way I like to talk about, talk about it the way I'd say very briefly to people, what you've got to realise is that there's this little voice in your head, you can call it cravings, you could call it urgings, you could call it whatever you like, I call it, Hank. But that's, that's a long story. And you've just, you've just got to know that that voice is in your head, and it's gonna say to you have a drink, eat some cake, have some cheese, have a cigarette, stay up all night, playing online, gaming's Netflix, binge, whatever, it's going to say that to you. And it isn't part of you. But it's that like, lower part of your brain, it's not the higher part of your brain, it's not the bit that makes the decisions. It's the bit that has the urges. So once you've recognised and accepted that you have that you can then kind of personify jack shrimpy was a big fan of calling it the beast, which I think is a bit strong. Like I say, I called it Hank, you can call it what you like, just you know, give it a name and be clear that that is what is telling you to eat the food or drink the booze or smoke the cigarettes or whatever. And then all you really need is some sort of response to that. That voice. So I mean, for me, plenty of things made a big difference. I mean, when it was smoking, I would always think about, yeah, you can you can pick your numbers, but the average smoker will spend between 50 and 100,000 pounds in their lifetime on cigarettes. And I pretty much stopped smoking with one question. Is this cigarette worth? You know, 50,000 pounds? Do I need it so much that I'm prepared to pay 50,000 pounds for it? Because that's what it's going to cost? If I have that one cigarette, I'm going to smoke for the rest of my life, it's going to cost me 50,000 pounds. So that one question pretty much shut Hank up. Nothing. With cigarettes with alcohol, it was again, one question, you know, how is this going to make it better? Whenever I thought to myself, I should have a drink and hang with be you know, go and have a drink? You deserve it? It's always deserve it, isn't it? I would just say to him, oh, you know, how's this gonna make it better? Because your listeners all know the answer to that question. How is a glass of wine going to make it better? Yeah, so those are those are the three things you know, it's except that you've got that little voice, give it a name and then come up with an answer to it. You know, it might be for I know, a lot of your your listeners run their own businesses. And it might just be how is that gonna make my business better? You know, there's lots of lots of different ways of approaching it. And I you got creative, intelligent listeners, Tony, though, they'll come up with some good stuff.
Tony Winyard 18:20
You're saying that for you you didn't find it difficult. Why do you think that so many people do find it so difficult?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 18:30
Well, people kind of take the wrong approach to it. And they sort of they think that they're missing out on something, and that's they think they're giving something up, and they still want to, they still want to do what it is that they're doing. And that makes it difficult, then you have to actually fundamentally, you know, resist it, don't you? So it's almost like they want to eat pictures of apples. And they're, they're trying as hard as they can to not eat the picture of the apple. Whereas you've got to realise by asking those questions, you know, how is it going to help? Is this worth 50,000 pounds? Is this gonna make me a better business? Is this going to make me a better father? Is this going to improve my life? By asking those questions which you already know the answer to, you no longer really want to do it, you'd put yourself off doing it. And when you don't want to do something, it's dead easy not to want to do it. But if you just say to yourself, oh, I've got to stop smoking, because it's costing me a lot of money and it's bad for my health, or I've got to stop eating junk food because I've got to loosen way or I've got to stop drinking because my wife's nagging me, you are that you're fundamentally going at it with a point of view of I am giving up something that is making me happy. And that makes you sad when you give up something that makes you happy and the analogy would be most people try and quit. Drinking, they, for them, it's being dumped by a girlfriend. So they always miss it. And they're always sad about it and it takes them ages to get over it and they're heartbroken. Whereas the way I would encourage you to do it is you, you you're you're not being dumped by alcohol, you are dumping alcohol, you're kicking it to the curb baby. And when you do that, you don't go through a mourning period, you don't like look back and sort of mope and be sad about it, you move on, and you get on with your life.
Tony Winyard 20:36
People listening to you from stage and people that you do one to one work with, are you able to communicate that to people to make it easy for them, generally?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 20:48
Yeah, yeah, I think most people, most people get it, because it's pretty simple. And a lot of it, you already know, you're just, you know, you're not actually prepared to admit it to yourself. And sometimes somebody's just giving you a little bit of a prod, you know, it makes it easy for you to accept what you already know, the what you're doing isn't doing anything for you, it's not actually a pleasure, it's not making you happy. It's certainly not helping you flourish. So once almost somebody gives them the permission to do that, then that makes them very, very happy. And people, people get smiles on their face quite quickly.
Tony Winyard 21:30
And so it sounds from what you were saying in beginning of the episode, that you made all these changes. And so now, you're a very different person in terms of your energy and your approach to life and so on?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 21:44
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, I, the first thing I really noticed when I stopped drinking was just the amount of time that I had, was just it was it was spectacular. I worked really hard. You know, I've always worked hard during my life and just one of those people, okay, I get bored easily. So I have, I have to keep at it. And I'd get up in the morning and I'll be full gas. From the moment I got out of bed till about nine o'clock at night. And then I think, well, I've worked hard today, I deserve a drink. That's what Hank would be saying. In the back of my mind, you deserve a drink Duncan, you've done so well. So I'd sit down and I'd have a drink and that'd be about nine o'clock and I'd probably you know drink till about midnight something like that pass out on the sofa probably eventually go to bed in the middle of the night. And I didn't think that that was actually really taking up much of my time because I do something whilst I was drinking I didn't think it was time I was spending drinking but you know, most most of the time that I was doing something was drinking was probably was watching police camera action or some junk on the telly anyway. So what I realised when I stopped drinking was that it was three hours a day it was from nine till midnight pretty much every night there are a few times three by seven that's 21 which is pretty much an entire day including all the bit when you're asleep. So all of a sudden when I stopped drinking I had this super abundance of time and it was just like fantastic I was like literally got a free day out of not drinking anymore. And the the other like massive benefit and something that I really try and build into my my life now is when you when you're drinking when you're eating junk food when you really hit in the online gaming that sort of thing. You You wake up every morning and you say to yourself I'm not gonna do it today I don't need to do it today don't want to do it today I'll be fine today is going to be different, isn't it and then it gets to like around four or five o'clock and you starting on maybe I will have a drink tonight but what you're doing the whole time is you're you're having a discussion with yourself and you're pondering over whether to make a decision or not. And pondering over whether whether or not to make a decision is incredibly taxing it takes up a lot of mental energy. And what I have found since I stopped drinking is I have it's so much easier for me to make decisions because I'm not putting all of that mental energy and all of that mental focus into fighting myself as to whether I should have a drink or not. So that's that's something that I try and build into my life completely. I try and automate everything I try to make as few decisions as I possibly can now so that I can use focus on the big decisions.
Tony Winyard 24:46
With the people that you speak to and you help is it all mindset, I'm just wondering of the various addictions, drink and food and cigarettes and drugs and all the other things, which have you found that people have had most trouble trying to change?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 25:15
So I think that is a that is a really good question I think the easiest thing to stop doing is smoking, which everybody gets a little bit surprised about because smoking is generally considered to be harder to quit than heroin. But it's, for me, it's the easy one. In fact, I often explain certain basic principles about how it works through smoking, because we're in a reasonably good position. So if you look back in the good old days, you know, 5060 is about 60% of the adult population smoked. Now, it's only about a 15% of the adult population smoke. So there are a lot less smokers about these days. So you can explain stuff using smoking quite easily, and it doesn't, people don't sort of, like, put up some sort of mental defence to it. Whereas if you explain something, using what they drink, if they're drinkers, then there'll be like, there'll be a chance to have a bit of an argument with you. So I love explaining smoking, to people. But also, it's just, it like literally does nothing for you. So it is the easiest to get across to people that they're getting nothing out of it. The way a good friend of mine puts it. You know, there is a word in the English language for having drunk too much alcohol isn't there? I take it, you know,
Tony Winyard 26:44
there's numerous words,
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 26:46
a lot of words.
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 26:48
There are a fair few words for having taken drugs and the state that taking drugs puts you into. But here you go. And I'm sure you could come up with plenty of them. Probably not fill the podcast with that. But here's the thing, what is the word that you would use to say that you've smoked a cigarette?
Tony Winyard 27:11
Yeah, I can't think of one.
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 27:13
That's good. There is no word in the English language to describe the effects of cigarettes. That's really weird.
Tony Winyard 27:20
Especially drugs, you would say overdose, but I can't think of anything...
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 27:23
Stoned would be the one that particularly or high. You know, there are there are still quite a few. But there is no word to say that you have smoked a cigarette.
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 27:26
I think that tells you something that there is no effect. You know, there is nothing, literally nothing in smoking. There's no point and I figured that out long before I stopped smoking. So it's the easiest one, I think to see that it's not doing anything for you. People still cling to the idea that you know, alcohol helps you relax and it makes you better in social situations and things like that. So you, you need to unpick that with people sometimes, and people genuinely believe that they like the taste of Cadbury's dairy milk.
Tony Winyard 28:14
Before we started recording; the little factoid you told me about ice cream?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 28:19
Oh, yeah. So bath Baskin and Robbins. That's the American one, wasn't it? I think it was Mr. Baskins, he died of a heart attack in like his early 50s or something like that. And then I think it was Ben of Ben and Jerry fame, who had a quadruple bypass, which sort of makes you wonder about the how good ice cream is for you. But people will tell you that they like the taste of ice cream. And I get that. I mean, I understand exactly why people say that. It's because it's packed full of sugar and fat. And sugar. And fat has a massive effect on your brain. And it is all brain chemistry. Yeah, at the end of the day. I mean, I know you've in interviewed Linda Shaw not so long ago and I'm sure she'd explain it a lot better than I ever could. But, it has an effect on your brain. That's what you're enjoying. It's not the taste that you're enjoying.
Tony Winyard 29:13
Absolutely. And so I'm wondering, the audience's that you speak to, I'm presuming that they are kind of mixed in terms of their attitudes towards, all the different things around food and alcohol and so on. And so, how, what kind of reactions do you get from people who are not into say whole plant based food for a start?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 29:39
Yeah, I mean, I I don't espouse a particular diet. I mean, I live a particular diet, lifestyle more than a diet I suppose. But I don't onstage I'm not here to convince you to eat WFPB. I'm just here to try and help you push the indulgence out of your diet and eat a healthier diet because We can we can discuss what actually constitutes a healthy diet. But broadly speaking, you know, I've never met anyone that's told me the vegetables aren't any good for everybody knows what a good diet looks like. And it's um it's Michael Pollan wasn't it? He said he said it very well done the donate anything you grandma wouldn't recognise. He stuff that comes from a plant and the grew on a plant not wasn't rather made in a plant I saw. Sorry, I've really butchered his great shame. But, you know, he said, he said, you know, eat more plants eat less food. Yeah, so it's tough. We all know what what a healthy diet is. So I don't really, like giant tell people what they should and shouldn't eat, I just try and help them get the stuff out their diet that they know, they're not really enjoying. So I mean, I do get different reactions from people, I get that reaction. You know, the one that you really love, when people come up to you and go, that's amazing, that's really changed the way I look at things. And, you know, I get people come and tell me what they've called their little internal voice that's telling them what to eat the eat the ice cream, that's always quite good as well. And then I get some people who come up to me, I get two types of people who come up to me and tell me that they don't have a problem. One of them, they by telling me they don't have a problem, they make it abundantly obvious that they do have a problem. And that's, you know, that's what it is. You can't always get through to everybody, I can't change your life for you, you have to do it yourself. I can, I will try and help and I will point you in the right direction. But at the end of the day, it's you that has to make the decision. So when people come up to me, and you know, tell me they don't have a problem in that way. It may it makes me sad, but you know, you can't, you can't win them all. You know, you've got you got to just do the best you can, I suppose. And then there's the other group of people that come up to me and tell me they don't have a problem. And I genuinely believe them, because they don't have a problem. And I love that. I love that more. I wish I wish I were I wish I didn't have a business. I wish I didn't need to stand up on stage, much as I love showing off. I really wish I didn't have to go on stage and tell people this stuff. I wish there was no need for it. Because there genuinely there is no need for you know, it's just it's just sad that our society is just, it's geared up. Not purposefully, I don't believe anybody has ever sat there and thought, right, we'll just make everybody overindulging everything. I just think it's all over the way the circumstances have combined. I don't think I genuinely don't think Mark Zuckerberg ever set out to addict the world to Facebook. But you know, that's his business model. Yeah, so social media, that's the way they do it. Netflix. They they're not. They're not I don't believe they're genuinely evil. I don't think that they're out there. And they thought I know what would just make the next episode start so that people become zombies sat in front of their TV for 14 hours a day. That's not what they did. You know, Nintendo, Xbox, PlayStation, they didn't set out to make people stay up all night. So they get fired from their job. That wasn't what they did. The food companies, they that they didn't really set out to create obesity, they set out to sell more of their product, because that is what they believe to be success. And fair enough. Well, you know, I know you know this, and I'm pretty sure most of your audience will know this. Anybody in business knows it's far easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new customer. And that's great. Unless, of course, you sell coke. And then you're just trying to sell more coke to the same people. And that has such an effect on their lifestyle. But I don't genuinely think that makes them evil. I just think that's the way it got set up. And then you can look at, you know, you can look at the way we shop, you can look at the way we do everything online, you can look at alcohol, you can look at cigarettes, the whole world is set up to make you over indulge. But I don't think it's because there's anybody evil out there trying to ruin your day. I just think that's the way it's sort of come out. So, you know, it's really it's hard for people it's particularly hard for young people growing up in an environment like this.
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 34:32
So, you know, I wish I didn't need to stand up on stage I'd like please everybody stop indulging and put me out of business.
Tony Winyard 34:41
That makes me wonder who is it? that's booking you? Is it typically sort of corporations or who is it?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 34:50
Well, conference wise at the moment, Sony nobody's booking. That's a bit of a problem in our industry at the moment, but yeah, and so I do, I do a lot of work. You Schools, I do some work in universities. I do some work in companies. I do some work with individuals. So
Tony Winyard 35:11
and then you do some stuff for the NHS as wel?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 35:14
Yeah, yeah, I do some training for the NHS. I do some stop smoking stuff, which I I do through the easy way clinics, which was started by an amazing guy called Alan Carr, not the comedian Alan Carr, the world famous addiction expert, Alan Carr. I do some work with them. We do some work through the NHS. For the NHS. Now we're getting increasingly more and more of that. Thankfully, the NHS has started to wake up to the fact that Oh, yeah, I didn't even insult the pharmacology industry did I? Didn't think so. Big Pharma. But yeah, I mean, they're designed to sell you more of their products, aren't they? That's, that's their business. And what they try and do is sell people who stop smoking, they want to sell them nicotine replacement therapy, and champex, which is the the magic stop smoking, medication, that doesn't work. And it obviously doesn't work. I mean, did you ever smoked Tony? No, no, well done. But anybody out there who's ever smoked will know that the actual physical side effects of not smoking are not that bad. Most people can sit it most smokers, if they're in the right situation can go for quite a long time without smoking. So the lack of nicotine is not the problem. So nicotine replacement therapy is definitely not the solution. But the NHS has been peddling it for years, not because they're evil, but because they pay a lot of attention to the Big Pharma and Big Pharma wants to sell you nicotine replacement therapy. Ideally, they'd sell you that for the rest of your life. And they're loving it, you know, all those people out there who are actually hooked on nicotine gum, fantastic customers for life, love it. And I don't think they're evil. They're just trying to make a buck, as we all are. So thankfully, the NHS is starting to wake up to the fact that there is another way to help people stop smoking that doesn't involve nicotine replacement therapy, or champex. And it's been proven there was a study done by one of the big London universities recently comparing the easy way clinic to NHS gold standard smoking cessation stuff, and easy way clinic outperformed it quite easily, which wasn't a surprise to me.
Tony Winyard 37:33
And how long does the process take that with the added kind of easy way that you're talking about?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 37:39
So the easy way is, it's a seminar, it lasts for a day. You know, you come in nervous and petrified at about 10 o'clock, and you go out between three and four with a big grin on your face never smoking again.
Tony Winyard 37:58
Do you get any sort of statistics to let you know how successful people have been?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 38:05
I mean, there's the easy way clinic offers a 90 day money back guarantee. And there's obviously conditions to that money back guarantee, but very few people take them up on it. So that the success rate from that point of view is is quite good. I mean, I, I know from personal experience, that there are a lot of people out there that have stopped using the easy way. Method found it, you know, easy, that's why it's called the easy way. I find it enjoyable and have never had the desire to smoke again. So yes, the recent study, I can't remember which University it was, it was one of the big London ones. And they they obviously had a statistic, and I'm trying to remember it, does it show that I'm thinking and speaking at the same time. But ya know, the statistics are certainly enviable in comparison to the NHS performance.
Tony Winyard 39:12
Where do you see your business going over the next few years when we're back to normal?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 39:19
Yeah. So I think like a lot of people I like doing things in person. And I like face to face update. Definitely I acknowledge that there is a place for online stuff. I mean, I love zoom. I've been using zoom since before it was fashionable. And I'm perfectly I am happy to work on online platforms. It's it's not it's not a problem. It's just it's not what I enjoy as much as you know, painting the room with people because it part of it is that there's that connection, there's that just that that thrill of being in front of real people and in Interacting with real people. But there's also that great bit, you know, when you've just come offstage and people come up to you and have a have a chat to you and sort of like, want to know a little bit more. And it's very hard to replicate that on online. I think. So yeah, the way I see my business going is hopefully back to nice big stages, bigger stages. That's what I like. Nice, big audiences. That's, that's really where I want to be going to have a book come out probably next year. And when I'm talking to my marketing, and selling about how we're going to put together an online package, because I think that's, that's really important. It's great being able to help people in person face to face, but sadly, there's only one of me. So I'm definitely looking at ways that I can help more people.
Tony Winyard 40:56
You mentioned about a book, what angle the book come from, who will it be for? What would that be about?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 41:01
Yeah, it's, it's gonna be a little bit of biography. So it's, it's going to be about my, my journey. And then it, it's gonna be the basic method that I that I talked to people about, you know, about accepting that you have this voice telling you to eat the cake, or drink the beer, naming that voice, and then coming up with some responses to that voice. So it's going to be my my story, that method, and then they'll probably be a little bit of a dive into some various areas. So they'll probably be a chapter on drinking, and one on online gaming, and one on social media and things like that. Well, if people want to find out more about you, and you know what it is that you do, whenever they go to, well, the I am really easy to find on the internet, so long as you can spell my name. Duncan, you probably don't have too much of a problem with and brown, you probably don't have too much of a problem with but bhasker n is pH so long as you remember that there's an agent, it's fairly easy to spell bH as K ra n. So background brown.com is my website. And I am busy on linked in as well, in as far as I like to actually, you know, talk to people on LinkedIn, I don't do a massive amount of publishing on there. I do bits but I love to talk to people and actually connect with people. And I'd LinkedIn is a fantastic platform for doing that as well. So those are the two best places to get in touch with me.
Tony Winyard 42:48
You mentioned just now about your book which will be coming out next year. But is there a book that you often recommend to people?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 42:56
Well, I I've already mentioned Whole by T Colin Campbell haven't I so I should probably come up with something else, say like i've read more than one book in my life. There are lots and lots of really amazing books out there. "In the realm of the hungry ghosts", Gabor Maté I don't know if you've come across him.
Tony Winyard 43:20
I've read four of his books
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 43:22
Have you read that one?
Tony Winyard 43:24
I've read that one. And "When the body says no" and "Hold on to your kids". Yeah, he's great.
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 43:31
I know. I mean, he's an amazing writer and Fantastic. Fantastic. Fantastic book, really. I mean, I love the kind of compassion and, you know, fellow feeling that He has for all of the people that he talks about. It's amazing. And I you know, well, that's an entirely nother podcast, we could talk about compassion, isn't it, but the world needs to be more that I think, although of course, I mean genuinely if people we should do the kind of the legal disclaimer, shouldn't we? You know, if people have been affected by issues in this podcast, I would also recommend any of Alan Carr's easy way books about the drinking smoking and foodies down the mall. In fact, I just finished smartphone dumb phone, which is the digital addiction one, which is very good as well. And jack tempies radical recovery is very good as well if you're interested in any of those sort of things.
Tony Winyard 44:28
And finally, do you Is there a quotation that you particularly like?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 44:33
Ah, yeah, there is one, it's Brendon Burchard, isn't it? I've never quite sure how to pronounce his name because I've only ever read his books. And I, I found this one the other day and it was, he said, "I want to role model the energy that I wish the world had". And I just think that's that that's exactly what it is. You know, when I was when I was a kid, people used to call me the drumming Bunny, you know, the Energizer Bunny, because I just do my that the whole time. And then I managed to drink and smoke and eat my way into lethargy, and just like, you know, no zest for life at all. And then once I sort of got over that, and kicked it out, then I realised that I'd got back to this stage of being that Duracell bunny again, which is probably very annoying, but hey, whoa, I just yeah, you know, I think there's so much energy and enthusiasm and love and possibility trapped inside so many people. And if they can just get over the intelligence, then they can release that and the world will be such a better place.
Tony Winyard 45:51
And we and what you just said there about that sort of lack of energy that that period that you went through, it seems to me that a lot of people aren't aware of how lacking in energy they are.
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 46:04
No, and that's really understandable because I'm, so my, my folks moved house ages ago, and they, there was a wood burner in their new house. And they got some logs, but some of them were a little bit wet. So they thought genius idea will stick a couple of logs on top of the wood burner to dry them out. And I walked into the room, and I nearly passed out because it was so much smoke in the room because the wood burner was that hot, it started to burn the logs on top of the wood burner, but they hadn't noticed. And you kind of like the thing, you're sitting in a room where you're about to suffocate, how did you not notice that. But it's one of those things about that gradual increase. And because the smoke had gradually built up over the course of an hour or so they just hadn't noticed it. And people don't really notice the gradual reduction in their energy and their vitality and their zest for life. Because that's how it happens. It happens every day, you wake up in the morning, a little less energetic than you did the day before. If you know, you woke up with a year of that overnight, then you'd go My God, what's wrong with me, I've got some serious terminal disease or something you'd be right. But because it's a little every day for that year, you just don't notice it. And that's the trap that we fall into. We just don't notice how much we're we're reducing our effectiveness, our productivity, our fruitfulness zest, you know?
Tony Winyard 47:44
People think it's normal to be on a certain amount of medication at particular ages and to have various deficiencies in terms of movement and so on. It's just not normal at all.
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 47:56
No, well, that's I mean that that gets to the heart of one of the massive problems that we have in our society, we believe that the solution to everything is addition. So you've got diabetes, take some medication, add something to your life, you know, eating a good diet, add a supplement, you're a bit overweight, add some exercise, you know, it's all about adding stuff. And that's the Western society. You know, you're not happy, buy some new shoes, add something to your life, you need more possessions. But that's just that's the wrong way round. To become healthy. Most people need to subtract stuff. So you know, you need to remove sugar from your diet, you need to remove alcohol from your diet, you need to remove just processed junk from your diet that will sort out your diabetes, it will incidentally also make you happier. So you know it's a win win. It's the you know, it's one of those things that Michael Greger another fantastic guy I'm sure you've heard of have you read How not to die?
Tony Winyard 49:06
I haven't read that one. But isn't that the guy that does the the website fact something?
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 49:11
Yeah. nutritionfacts.org that's the best. Yeah, he employees a team of people to read medical journals. So you don't have to. I love him. But I mean, it's one of his big points that medicine always comes with side effects. But if you if your food is your medicine, the only side effect that you're going to get is weight loss and increased happiness, which I think is my kind of side effect.
Tony Winyard 49:44
Well, I think that's a great way to end the show. Duncan, thank you for your time and it's been really great chatting with you.
Duncan Bhaskaran Brown 49:49
No worries, Tony. It's been fun. It's been fun.
Tony Winyard 49:54
Next week is Episode 18. with Paul and Emily Hughes. They want to come back called The Parents Guide to GCSE. So if you or anyone you know, has children around the age of 1516, you may find this episode will be a real godsend is in this whole COVID epidemic. Lots of parents or lots of children have been having to study from home. And they've been asking their parents lots of questions about some of the the coursework and homework and so on that they have to study for because they have their exams coming up major exams. And it's been a source of torment for many parents. And so for parents who want to help their children succeed, but it's been a while since they did their exams, we won't talk about how long but a five minute chat at a parents evening doesn't really give them enough information to be able to help in a situation like this. So Paul and Emily have set up a company that help parents in these situations to be able to help the parents help their children get through this situation, study in a more effective way while maintaining harmony within the family home. So we're going to find out a lot more about how this works. Obviously this is more centred around what's happening in England but the the advice they gave and their suggestions and so on, is really relevant for no matter where you might be based in the world. So that's next week, Paul and Emily Hughes. Hope you've enjoyed this week's show with Duncan Bhaskaran Brown why not share with someone if you know anyone who's maybe getting over addictions or indulgence or whatever the case may be. Maybe some of the information and some of the stories that Duncan gives may may be of help to them. It'd be great if you could subscribe to the show. And please do leave a review for us on iTunes on Spotify or any of the other podcast sites and be be completely truthful. Whatever you think about it will be great to hear it, I'm not expecting only five star reviews. I prefer to hear the truth. So yeah, do leave a review that really is beneficial for more people get to hear about the show. Hope you have a great week.
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