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Dr. Gustavo Tolosa: A Musical Journey to Whole Food, Plant-Based Living

Updated: Feb 7

Welcome back to The Glen Merzer Show, where we explore the intersection of veganism, health, and culture. In our latest episode, host Glen Merzer sits down with the plant-powered pianist, Dr. Gustavo Tolosa, a DMA with a passion for music, health, and the plant-based lifestyle. Together, they delve into overcoming the frustrations often associated with transitioning to a whole food, plant-based diet, while also announcing Dr. Tolosa's upcoming book, "Live Your Healthiest Life," co-authored with Shayda Soleymani.

The Plant-Powered Maestro:

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa is no ordinary musician. As an international concert pianist, he not only captivates audiences with his musical prowess but also advocates for a whole food, plant-based lifestyle. With certifications ranging from the McDougall Health and Medical Center to the Food Save Me Institute, Dr. Tolosa is a culinary instructor, certified nutrition instructor, and co-founder of Plantemus International.

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa

The Unique Book:

In the upcoming book, "Live Your Healthiest Life," co-authored by Dr. Gustavo Tolosa and Shayda Soleymani, readers can expect a blend of life stories and recipes. This charming approach distinguishes the book, making it not just a cookbook but a narrative of two individuals from different countries converging in the United States, united by a commitment to a whole food, plant-based diet. The book has garnered praise for its uniqueness, providing a refreshing take on combining personal stories with practical recipes.

The Seven-Day Reboot:

Beyond his musical talents, Dr. Tolosa is also a health coach offering a seven-day reboot, reset, and detox program. This program, hosted at, is designed to simplify the transition to a plant-based lifestyle. Dr. Tolosa shares practical insights, cooking demonstrations, and a sense of community, emphasizing that adopting a whole food, plant-based diet can be easy, affordable, and sustainable.

Navigating Frustrations:

In the podcast, Dr. Tolosa addresses common frustrations associated with transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle. One key frustration lies in the misconception that there's a one-size-fits-all approach. He emphasizes the need for personalized adaptations based on individual goals, health conditions, and preferences.

Affordability and Health:

Dr. Tolosa expresses frustration at the notion that a whole food, plant-based lifestyle is expensive. He highlights the affordability of plant-based ingredients compared to meat and dairy products. Moreover, he urges listeners to consider the long-term savings on health expenses, emphasizing that investing in health now can prevent costly medical bills in the future.

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa's journey from the world of music to becoming a plant-based advocate is both inspiring and informative. His commitment to making plant-based living accessible, practical, and enjoyable shines through in the upcoming book and his transformative seven-day program. As we await the release of "Live Your Healthiest Life," let's embrace the wisdom and enthusiasm of Dr. Tolosa, proving that the green side is not just nutritious but also harmonious with a fulfilling life.

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DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the transcript below was provided by a transcription service. It is undoubtedly full of the errors that invariably take place in voice transcriptions. To understand the interview more completely and accurately, please watch it here: Dr. Gustavo Tolosa on Overcoming Frustration

Podcast Transcript:

Glen Merzer: Welcome to the Glen Merzer Show. You could find us across all your favorite podcast platforms. You could find us on YouTube, and please remember to subscribe and you could find us at Real Men Eat My guest today is my dear friend Dr Gustavo Tolosa. Now when I say doctor, he's not a medical doctor, he's a DMA. That's a doctor of musical arts. The man is an international concert pianist. He is known as the plant powered pianist. He has, a starch solution certification, certification by the McDougall Health and Medical Center. He's a certified nutrition instructor by the Food Save Me Institute. He's a whole food plant based coach, culinary instructor, and the co-founder of Plant Tameness International. You could find him at Plant That's plant and big news today. He is the coauthor of a book that's not out yet but will be out soon. Live your healthiest life with our friend Shayda Soleymani, Gustavo. Oh, so good to see you. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Thank you, Glen, and thank you for having me in 15 years. 

Glen Merzer: Well, thank you for wearing a green tie. As you know, I had suggested that it was a black tie event, but you wore the green tie. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yeah, it's green and blue, but. 

Glen Merzer: Okay. So let's talk first about the new book. It's not out yet. Coming out this spring. Live your healthiest life. And it's not just by you, but by you and Shayda Soleymani. How did this idea come about? 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa How did it come about? Well, Shayda and I have been very close friends. I should say, rather, since, you know sister and brother, that's how we feel about each other. And we've known each other for several years. And I have been to her house many times filming cooking demos. And, we've seen each other in different conferences. She's come to my concerts soon. She's going to come visit me to make home. So. 

Glen Merzer: Who's coming to Argentina? 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yeah. So at that in sometime this year. 

Glen Merzer: Oh, okay. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yeah, yeah. So, at one point during our meetings, conversations, we, you know, she to say, hey, we, you know, have a pretty good story. Here you are. You know, she's from another country. I am originally from another country. We both ended up in the United States and became citizens of the US and loved the country and the people, and, but our stories are very different, and but we both ended up, being following a whole food plant based diet that is starch centered. And at some point we both ended up, you know, adapting those meals from our cultures to a whole food plant based diet besides eating the regular but not regular, but the whole food plant based, you know, food from from the US, from other countries like Mexico and, places. So, I thought we thought that it would make a good book and make it a little different. Not only a, cookbook, but a book that would start telling stories. Our life stories. Well, a short version of it. And as we tell the story, we would insert some recipes that go with the story. And then in the second part of the book actually have a list. And like not only a list, but the actual recipes and many of many. And I must say that most of the recipes are from I mean, or a large number of recipes are from Shayda and then many have from me. And so that's how the book, it's, it's unique in that it tastes. 

Glen Merzer: It is unique. I agree with you. It's it's a charming book and, it's, it's, it's one of a kind in the way it tells the two stories. And then the two stories, join up and, you know, you wound up in the same community of people who who often had had saved their own lives, saved their own health by going on the healthiest diet, the human diet. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yes. And this and this. It was very encouraging for us to because of course, we sent the book to many of our heroes like doctor McDougall. Doctor. Esteemed doctor. You know, like, I mean, many of these amazing. And doctors and chefs and, and we always got that comment saying this is a very unique and, book. And they all have really, enjoyed it. So that was a good. That comment because after you read the book over and over and over and over again and then revisit it, it's like if you start wondering if. 

Glen Merzer: You don't know what happened. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yeah. 

Glen Merzer: So tell the audience, now you also do something called a seven day reboot, reset, and detox program. And people can find this at plant Right? 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa That's correct. 

Glen Merzer: So tell us about that program site. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa That program came about from my 11 years of being called food plant based and being extremely lucky, to be able to, become friends with many of these wonderful doctors and chefs that are whole food plant based and attending, their programs and lectures and going many, many times to, to North Health Center, and just gathering, information, becoming certified in different programs and then seeing, what works and what doesn't, because not everything works for everybody. So, I decided, okay, I'm going to take what I think is the most, you know, the most valuable of each program and see, and put it together and see if it helps some people. I love to teach. That's one that's. I was born a teacher, so I love to take large amounts of information and condense it and summarize it and present it in a easy to understand and practical way. A lot of these wonderful conferences that I have attended, and then I will continue to attend, focus on information giving you information, information, which is wonderful. And I saw a lack of practicality. So what I decided was to do a seven day program for myself, and I invited a few people to join me, and the point was to make it practical to literally take people by the hand and show them how to make three meals a day for seven days, and how to make them super, super easy and simple but tasty. And along the way, while we're learning how to combine these simple ingredients, I would talk about, I would do mini lectures, and I loved to show pictures of foods and other things and do mini PowerPoint presentations and videos and, and then we all become friends. It's a wonderful community because I do it in a zoom setting. It's not just, webinar where people have to type only. So we those people who want to be seen and heard, you know, we can just talk like you and me. And so we meet for seven days, two times a day, once in the morning to get ready for the day and once towards the evening, when it seems to be a challenging time for a lot of people. And, we go on for seven nights and, and we detoxify by focusing on fiber and water and, and we reset our taste buds by eliminating salt and, and sugar, processed sugar, and, of course, oil. And, if people want to also, you know, take away alcohol or caffeine, that's, that's also in a part of the program. And then we do a mini mini, fast, towards the last day. And it's optional that people can try and see what it's like. So that's what I started it for myself. I invited a few people. They all loved it, and they asked me to do it again. And then again and then again. And now it's been almost two years that I've been doing. 

Glen Merzer: And, do you are there any cooking demonstrations that are part of this? 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Oh, yeah. Yeah, there are, there are several, several cooking demos. And like I said, it's all I just want people to understand once and for all that this is easy. You know, I do have about 10,000 recipes that I. 

Glen Merzer: Found in recipes. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Oh, you're not easily I have I am a recipe addict. You know, I buy a. 

Glen Merzer: These are recipes. These are these are recipes that you've collected. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yeah. No not mine. No not mine. I just collect recipes and of course they are there on the on the shelf because most of them I you know, I my project one day is to make videos of all of them but who knows. So but I want him to understand that it's not that it's with 3 or 4 ingredients, you can make meals and, not only that, but you can make enough to freeze or to keep in the refrigerator and, and it becomes so easy to do. And I think that's one of the frustrations that people have is that, that, in, in some of these programs, they're given, many, many recipes. So they get overwhelmed and many of them have a lot of ingredients. I know, because I've felt that and some ingredients are, obscure or, you know, they're like, difficult to find or expensive. And even though that's nice, but to get started, you really need to know that it's very easy to do this. It's not complicated. 

Glen Merzer: Well, speaking of frustrations, what are the frustrations that you found, in in your life as a, as a, as a health coach dealing with, people trying to transition to healthy living? And, you know, in this plant based community, have there been any frustrations? Gustavo. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yes, there are frustrations. Mostly. I see the frustrations that people have, but sometimes the frustration is also mine because I, you know, I, I don't know, I it it touches me. And so I, and sometimes I explain it, over and over and it seems that, I don't know, I think a lot of us need to hear the same information in different ways. And, and several times a lot of the people that take my program started with the idea that they were going to take the program, and that was it. And then they got excited about it, and they taken it five, six, seven times. And they tell me that they keep taking it because each time they become more focused, they learn more and they get the sense of community. And then some of them eventually say, okay, I got it. Okay, I got it. Now I can go on by myself, and that's great. And so, yeah, let me just mention three frustrations, okay? One of them is, the frustration when I see people that think that. Because so-and-so's way off. Eating or doing this program works for them, that that is the way to do this. And so and they soon find out that it doesn't work as well, because that person or doctor or chef or whoever, you know, has a different personality, different goals, a different weight, different maybe health problems, I don't know. So adaptations are always needed. And, and I see a lot of people I mean, I like to have lists of things and steps to follow. And but I'm also aware that when you talk about nutrition and eating, the it's not as rigid, like, do this, this, this, this and everything will be perfect. So and I see that in a lot of people. So that's kind of a frustration until I can show them that. Hey. Okay, relax. Don't beat yourself up. We can find a way that works for you. We will tailor this way of eating to your personality, your goals. Your. You know, it depends how many years you've been doing this. It depends on how many pounds you like to lose. It's not, you know, the set of rules. It's not the same. Someone who is wanting to lose 100 pounds. As someone who just wants to lose the last 10 pounds, do different things that we do for those. And, so that's one thing that I've never said. People get frustrated because they think that this this is the way to do it. And there are gray areas that the other thing that is frustrating to me, is when people mentioned that they can't, do a whole food plant based way of eating because it's too expensive, or they can't sign up for doctor so-and-so's program because it's too expensive, or they can take my program, which is like, pretty much nothing I've made. It's so, so affordable that, it's silly, but, and they, they think that that's too expensive. So my, I get frustrated there because I'm thinking, okay, health. To me is everything. So if I don't have that, what do I have? So how much is health worth to to a to a person? And, not following or signing up for that program. This program, it's going to cost more. Eventually you're going to get sick, you're going to have doctor's visits, you're going to have procedures, prescription drugs. Some people spend a lot of money on supplements. And so. Definitely they're going to spend 1020 times more than signing up for this or that program. So, and then you and I know how much you save at the grocery store because it's not the same to buy potatoes and sweet potatoes and rice and beans. The least expensive things that we can buy. There has to, you know, buy the meat based and dairy based products. So there you save a lot of money to. So I hope that people will consider those things because, it's really not expensive to to do this. And then. 

Glen Merzer: Yeah, I'm, I mean the, the, the staple foods lentils, beans, rice, potatoes are not expensive foods. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa No, no, we really do in this way of eating and we eat the least expensive foods. But of course, when you look at, like I said earlier, when you look at some of the recipes that are more elaborate and heavy, more expensive. Oh, right. I mean, I have all the ingredients that I've used that were expensive, that I've used one time because, you know, there are recipes that call for that ingredient that off. And so if you look at that, if you look at it that way mainly, but even then, I don't think so. I think in the long run, it's not expensive at all. Many people, unfortunately, need to get to the point where they have a almost a tragic event, a heart attack in a tube or something for them to actually realize that, hey, I need to change, and now I'm ready to spend whatever. And so they end up in that expensive program, or expensive to them that they thought it was expensive. But now that their lives depend on it, now, it's not that it's not expensive anymore. Yeah. Anyway, well, my third frustration, I guess, would be, and I know that this is a big one for people. And I get this quite often, people that write to me or tell me that they're following, they're following the program step by step. They're doing everything, hundred percent. And they don't see results either in mostly in the weight. Okay. Or in their health. And I know that they mean it. I mean, I know that they are not lying in their minds. They are following me. I just had a case. A lady that, told me that. And so I asked her to send me a list, like a full diary. And so I'm reading the diary, and all of it is wonderful. There's no animal products. But I don't see any greens or any non-starchy vegetables. And so that seems silly. But if you're eating all day long. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, beans. I mean, those are healthy, but they're within, the whole Foods dose, you know, non-starchy vegetables are 100 calories per pound average. And so you want to use them to your advantage first because of the nutrition. Second, because of the fiber the fiber and the water. But they are great for satiety. And so, you've got to include them if you're not losing weight. So that was one key. Another case was this lady that was eating only one type of microgreens. I think they're called. And that was it. 

Glen Merzer: She was she was on an all microgreens diet. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa What's with some starch? Some starch. And, I was like, no, no, no. We've gotta start including, leafy greens. Well, yeah. Well, but this leaves. No, no, I mean, leaves like, kale and spinach and chard and, you know, broccoli and other things. And so it was a revelation to her because all of a sudden, she saw changes, which when I showed her how to make the my green mixture that I call her sweet potato soup with greens in them, just adding greens to as many meals. 

Glen Merzer: Why did she think that she should only have micro greens? 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Well, because those were greens. She heard. She heard it correctly that you should have greens every day, several times a day. And she thought or someone told him that these were. You see, people are always looking for the magic thing. The Super Bowl was this this one thing that I can find that it's going to be. Well, someone told her that this was magic, I guess, or that this was the greens to eat. And I think that they're great, I really do. But, we you and I know that we need a rainbow of colors and tastes and, foods, not just one. So I that that's a that is frustration. But it's also very rewarding when I can tell people that show people that they're not major things. It's usually 3 or 4 little things that they need to change, like adding greens, real greens and, don't take the water out. Don't kill them in that air fryer. Although we can have air fry veggies, but as an addition. But eat, eat the vegetables with the water and fiber. So the greens eating them whole and then many of them, I don't understand that it's better to not combine starch with fat. That's not going to promote weight loss. So if you're going to add avocado, you don't want to put avocado, for example, on a potato. You want to put avocado in the salad. because that's non-starchy vegetables. So if you're going to do not put the nuts on a salad or, or in a sauteed with greens, you know, things like that. One more thing is to some of us and I include myself, are more, sensitive to sugar, even healthy sugar, like, the sugar in fruit. So. And doctor McDougall talks about this in the maximum weight loss. He talks about how if you're not seeing the results that you need, well, do a mini experiment on yourself. And maybe for a week or two, try to either have one piece of fruit today or even better, just you're not going to die if you don't eat fruit for a week and see if that makes a difference, because for some people it does make a difference. So, those are the frustrations that people have. And sometimes I have when I see that they don't understand. Most of the times people are open minded to try these changes. And, and if not, they just will be stuck there. 

Glen Merzer: Now, for those who don't know your story and more people will know your story after the book comes out. But you had become obese. You were, what, 70 pounds overweight before you went on this diet? 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yes, 70, 80, 70. Somewhere in there, between 70, 75. 

Glen Merzer: And how many years. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Would you use. 

Glen Merzer: For how many years were you struggling to lose that way? 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Well, I like a lot of people that that struggled with weight, my weight, you know, troubles went up and down throughout my adult life. But, at one point in my life, I've had a lot of, a lot of stress, a lot of, I guess bad or challenging things happen to me personal and, I guess. I did what many of people do. We medicate with food. Others medicate with drugs, their medicate with alcohol, and I medicated with food. So, yeah, that was from about the year 2000 and to 3 to 2000, 13 when I found my Google. Yeah, yeah. 

Glen Merzer: And this is from doctor McDougall. And you went on his program. From from that point on, you've been a success story. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa That was that truly felt like, a fairy tale, you know, truly felt like, you know, the magic wand touched me. Yeah. I for something that I've been searching for about ten and 12 years and I found that and I and you made and you interviewed me. So I think people will find the the first interview you did with me for. Tell me more of the story and it's in your channel. Okay. That, it all started with seeing the movie Forks Over Knives for me when it came out. 

Glen Merzer: Right, which I think was 2011 or. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yeah, I think it's 2011. Yeah. 

Glen Merzer: Yeah, we're going to take a quick break and we'll be right back with Doctor Gustavo Tolosa. And we're back with Gustavo now. Gustavo, you are a concert pianist. And as a concert pianist, you travel a lot. Sometimes internationally. There's a lot of challenges in traveling when you're on a Whole Foods low fat vegan diet. So tell us how you meet those challenges. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Well, it's true. I have had the, you know, the blessing to wear the, you know, the chance to to travel to many, many countries. And I love it and love to see different cultures and foods and different people. And let's see, it is a challenge. It is a challenge to travel when you, come this way because the world is not set up for our kind of food. Which is there. Which is ironic, isn't it? Because this is the human diet. 

Glen Merzer: So this is the human diet, and humans don't seem to know to eat it. A lot of a lot of those humans out there don't seem to realize that they should be like humans. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Right. So first of all, I used the first when I started with this, and I was so rigid and I still am, and I don't I don't have any animal food in the house or oil or anything like that, but of course not. 

Glen Merzer: I kick you off the show. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Right, right. Yeah. Well, I kind of a piece of ham there, you know. 

Glen Merzer: Yeah. And that was at the end of the interview. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa That would be the end. No, I mean it. So that's not the issue, but. I would get up at the beach the first or the second time that I travel. I was, stressed and upset, and then I decided, hey, okay, you've got to relax a little. And that's kind of my approach with people. Not that I'm going to go out and eat a hamburger, but, again, first of all, I cannot take an extra suitcase and pay $200 and fill it up with food for, you know, 20 days supply. And I and I can't be traveling across the city trying to find the restaurant that, as you know, plant based food. So it was it was a learning process. So I would take food with me, as much as possible. And then I learned how to arrive at a location and immediately look for a grocery store where I could get. Well, first of all. It's trying to not go to hotels. Trying to go to, you know, Airbnb and an apartment or a house where I have a kitchen. 

Glen Merzer: Do you always stay where you have a kitchen? 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yeah, as much as possible. A few times that I have traveled with a group with an orchestra over a choir or something like that, and. And it was all set up and it was hotel. Well, you know, what can I do? Right? That's it. But otherwise. Yes. So having access to, even if it's a little something, not kitchen is, it's fine. And then, then I realized, hey, okay, no matter where I am, there are pretty good choices. Choices in every country. When you go to a grocery store, you can find, already made salads and you can find fruit, and you can have packaged and frozen fruits and vegetables. So it was kind of a surprise, even though it's silly to say that, but but this food is available and, so and then I would make things like. Chef AJ's banana. Only muffins that I could take with me. Things like that. And, so I would eat mostly I would what? The breakfast I can always make in these, places and, and at the end of the day when I arrive, dinner, I can eat there. And then during the day, I either take something or wherever I am, I will have, you know, the salad, soup. Sometimes it's difficult because they have everything has oil. That's, you know. 

Glen Merzer: That's the problem is oil and. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yeah. And so yeah, sure, I know that I have I mean, I have eaten vegan pizzas where the pizza was cold with, you know, crust and if I had only had vegetables. But of course I knew that the tomato sauce had some oil. So, you know, I, I agree 100% with Mary MacDougall. They at one point traveled a lot, and she she always taught us you do the very best that you can and then. You know, then. 

Glen Merzer: You can control. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa All right, then, for your next meal, the very next bite, you know, eat a piece of fruit or either salad. And so to balance it. She used to talk about God traveling and going to have to home, you know, to a restaurant and asking for hashbrowns with no oil. And of course, yeah, they wouldn't put oil in the in the hash browns, but it was cooked on the same, you know, skillet where they were cooking things with oil. So there were some molecules of, of oil. So anyway, just, just being a little bit, flexible with that. And I say it a little bit because, you know, I'm not going to if once in Spain I order, potatoes. I don't know what it was. Yeah. It was like a potato dish with onions. And, and I said this, can you make this with with. No, I say no oil or minimal amount of oil because sometimes they get all scared if you say no. But it literally came on a plate swimming. You could see them like floating in oil. So yeah. So they. I'm not flexible. So I didn't I wasn't ugly or anything. I, you know, I didn't say no I told you, you know what? I just didn't eat it. And I said, well thank you if it's good, I think you. Yeah. So, traveling. Chef AJ also talks about this can be, very challenging. Yeah. If you don't plan ahead, if you don't plan ahead. Just before you get there, you can look on the internet for restaurants. You can see menus. And I usually make my own play by pulling together sides. So I put 3 or 4 sides together, the steamed vegetables and, I don't know, make potato and a mini salad or something like that. And there's some meat. 

Glen Merzer: You know, oil is the toughest part because you can find plenty of restaurants that say, oh yes, we have vegan options, and then the vegan options are all fried, you know. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa And which is even worse because if it's oil, heated. Oil fried. Yeah. Oil is oil and cheese. I mean, I've learned also that if I order a salad, I have to say, okay, so it doesn't come with cheese, right? Because many times they ordered a salad and it comes with cheese on and it doesn't. I don't believe in the menu. Doesn't say that. 

Glen Merzer: My wife, Joanne, and I once went to a a trendy, expensive vegan restaurant in Los Angeles. I won't name the restaurant. And, you know, movie stars would go there, and we look on the menu and everything was fried. And finally I found a soup and I thought, okay, they probably can't fry the soup. So where did this soup? And it came with all this fried ale on it. Right. And we talked to the waiter at one point before we ordered and we said, you know, do you have anything here that isn't fried? And she, she said, well, what's the problem with fried frying? Well, it's not healthy. She said, let me get this. The chef and the celebrity chef to his credit. He was nice. He came out and met with us and said, what seems to be the problem? And we said, well, we're looking for something, you know, that isn't swimming and oil isn't fried. And he said. That is flavor. Now that's just wrong. There are all kinds of delicious flavors that are in fact, you know. And yet that's the way this celebrity chef was thinking. That is flavor. I don't know why people. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Doesn't think that. Yeah, that's that's what they're taught in culinary school. 

Glen Merzer: That is flavor. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa It's ingrained in I mean yeah, right. 

Glen Merzer: Well, somebody needs to tell them. No it isn't. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa No, it's. 

Glen Merzer: Just not flavor. In fact, it tastes really bad once you get your taste buds adapted to eating human food. Then you eat something fatty and you just want to spit it out. Yeah, yeah. Now, once you started eating a healthy human diet. Whole foods. Low fat vegan foods. What happened to your energy level and how did that affect your performance career? 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Well. Since a lot of the changes that happen while you change the way of eating are so subtle. And, all of a sudden one day you wake up and you say, hey, I think I just realized that I have this constant level of energy all day long, and. Before, you know. Sometime during the day, once or twice in a day, my, you know, the energy level goes, you know, plummets, you go down. I mean usually er like early afternoon maybe even towards the evening and I and that's would have happened to me. And so it was. And it was very surprising for me to. Not get tired for hours. Yes, I got up until 10 or 11 at night. And that's even today. I just I don't I don't have this. I just, I get up and that that energy level. Well sometimes it goes even higher and it just stays there, you know. All day. Unless, unless I have an I that for some reason I didn't sleep well. I do sleep well. But every now and then for something, you know, and then. Yeah, the next day and I. But otherwise. And so for my, for my career as a musician, when you teach for most of my teaching career, which is like 40 some years now, I taught and teaching private lessons, one student after another, after another, after another, after another. All day, every day of the week. It's. It's exhausting because you have to repeat sometimes the same things. You have to because you have to. Convey the excitement of the music to the student that may be sleepy or doesn't care because he's a child, you know? So you're constantly giving give and give and give. And, so that's an energy, you know, issue teaching. The other one is rehearsal. Sometimes long rehearsals, are very tiring. And then performing that has been studied, you know. That really? Professional and difficult performance in a concert follows. David measured the level of exertion and energy and and, they figure out that he takes about the same energy as climbing the, you know, a very tall mountain. I mean, it's, it's exhausting. And so. That having this energy really, really helped me in all three areas in teaching and performing and rehearsing. I'm just. Very useful. 

Glen Merzer: Now, did you ever as a, as a, as a teacher, have a student who was determined to become a concert pianist? And you felt I don't know if you're going to make. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yeah. Many times. 

Glen Merzer: Many times. So how do you handle that? 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Well, the good thing is that for many of those, it worked out. I have students in Indonesia, in Malaysia, in, Singapore, in the United States, many places that are, either college professors and performers and so it works. But sometimes what happens is that many. Students, I guess. Musicians, what we call the talent, which is a very difficult work to explain, but. That seems to be that inborn facility. And because they have that, they're lazy. Basically they, they don't practice. And being a musician requires extreme amounts of discipline. Like like an Olympic athlete. You there's has to be so much discipline. And so because it comes easy to them, they think they can get away with not practicing or practicing them. On the other hand, the student that was not so gifted, but he's practicing 7 or 8 hours a day, you know, ends up in a better situation. So it is that is frustrating. And I've experienced that with students that had natural talent and and many of them just didn't make it. Yeah. They did not they did not want the discipline part of it. 

Glen Merzer: Yeah. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yeah. That's that's kind of, that's sad, disappointing. But there's only so much you can do. You know, you can't practice for them. 

Glen Merzer: Yeah. Luckily, I was never very talented, so. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa I did, you know, maybe you were. 

Glen Merzer: And I'll tell you that music. That's my worst. That's my worst field. I've never been able to carry a tune. And, you know, I, I tried to play piano a little bit and to play guitar a little bit. And, you know, I had, I once had a few private guitar lessons, and, and I remember her saying, just don't sing. Just, when you play, just play. Most guitarists will sing. But dancing, that's it. I yeah, I just couldn't carry it. I inherited that gene from my mother. Who had such a bad ear for music that she couldn't recognize the Star Spangled Banner. But if she saw everybody stand, she could figure it out. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yeah, well, but you are talented in, in writing. 

Glen Merzer: See, I my first ability was in writing plays, and my theory is that it might have had something to do with my lack of talent for music, because. You have to hear the dialog in your mind. And so, you know, it's kind of like. People who are, blind and they develop good hearing or. Sense of smell or whatever. I couldn't hear those those, the melodies and music, but I got the rhythm of dial, you know? And so maybe there was some compensation there. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Right? No, I'm right, that's for sure. I believe that, you know. 

Glen Merzer: But of course, you've never seen any of my players. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa I haven't. So when can we. I mean, did any of I. 

Glen Merzer: You know, if somebody is listening out there and is a Broadway producer, please contact me. I've got plenty of work. But Broadway. You know, when I was a kid. You could do a straight play on Broadway. You know, now it's almost all musicals and there aren't any. I mean, if Broadway is almost a joke in terms of being something that a serious playwright thinks about because they just don't do new plays on Broadway. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa I was just there just a few weeks ago in Broadway. Where are you? I saw I saw a few musicals. 

Glen Merzer: Any any good ones? 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa I yes, I like, I like one. I don't know if I can say. 

Glen Merzer: Sure you can say what you liked. Yeah. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa No, I like she is called six. Okay. Like the number six. And. And. Oh gosh, there was one, the other one, I just. 

Glen Merzer: And I'll bet the I'll bet the creative team behind that probably wrote five others that didn't do well. And so they came up with. Right. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yeah. Right. Right. And I saw another one, and now, it just totally slipped my mind. But it was very good. It was, about, fast and. You know, the underworld, theme of the of the 1700s of the Baroque period. But then in, in today's, time. Yeah. I can't remember the name of them anyway. It was, it was very good. And then of course, the other thing was to go to see The Nutcracker by the New York Ballet. And that was amazing. Yeah. So, but I've seen many musicals, I love musicals, I love Phantom of the opera. I love, well, gosh. Well, I've seen so many. Right. Yeah. 

Glen Merzer: Now, when I was in my 20s, starting to write plays, the Broadway theater critic was Frank Rich. And he was such a good New York Times theater critic. I mean, all his all his reviews were so intelligent. And so my goal was to get a play on or off Broadway and get a Frank Rich review. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Not that. 

Glen Merzer: It never happened. And now. You know, the critics aren't as good as pitchers. Nobody's in Frank Richards level. So it's kind of like. It's like after Johnny Carson retired. You know, it used to be if you were a standup comic, you wanted to get on the Johnny Carson show. Not quite as big a thrill to get on the Jay Leno or, you know, or. Conan O'Brien or any of these others. I'm not knocking them, but it's just wasn't the honor that it was to get on Johnny Carson. It's the same thing that you could get a play on Broadway. You're not going to get a Frank Rich review. Yeah, I would almost pay for the Frank bridge review. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa You. Yeah. That's true. 

Glen Merzer: All right. Gustavo. So good chatting with you. You look great. Thank you for the green and blue tie. You dressed up for this? 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yes. I have to dress up for your show. 

Glen Merzer: And people can find you. You have a YouTube channel at plan Taymor's and under your own name. Right? Gustavo. Tolosa. Right. And you have plenty, You have a seven day, reboot, reset and detox program that people can find out about at Lang

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa That's. Yes. And let's just. Yes. Yeah. Let's. Let me just say because people will think what, what why that name. What the name plan temas is. Because planned. Because myself and the doctor that I do the webinars I did website with doctor. Paul Newman. We. We are called the plant based team. So plant and then m u s is for music because I wanted to combine. And in many of my cooking demos I combined cooking. And then I play the piano. So I combined. 

Glen Merzer: See, I thought it was emus because it was emus, and it was. Yes, something about big birds. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa That I know, actually, I think the word plant temas in Latin means let's plant, let us plant like plant, you know, food. Okay. So it has different meanings but okay. 

Glen Merzer: But it is spelt like plant emus. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa The right plant emus. Yeah. 

Glen Merzer: So people can remember it that way. So you can find out about the seven day reboot reset and detox And you can you can go to Gustavo's YouTube channel. And please don't forget to subscribe to mine. And pretty soon you could look for Live Your Healthiest Life by Gustavo and our friend Shayda Soleymani. And that's going to be a sensational new book. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa Yeah, and. 

Glen Merzer: I kind of, played my little part in that book. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa You did you did you. Without you, this would not have come to fruition. 

Glen Merzer: I was honored to play my part. So, Gustavo will see you very soon. 

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa All right, well. Thank you. Thank you. Bye. Bye, everyone. 


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