By Nicole Berrie
THESE DAYS, EVERYONE IS ON A CLEANSE. NO SUGAR. NO GLUTEN. NO COOKED FOODS. BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL REALLY MEAN? “IT’S ABOUT UNDERSTANDING YOUR BODY CHEMISTRY,” explains Dr. Steven Margolin from his sun-filled office at Longevity Health in Manhattan. “Our products support you in becoming more aware of how you function in your environment.” In that spirit, Dr. Margolin, a veteran chiropractor, clinical nutritionist and founder of Longevity Health, with partner Rick Dinihanian, a certified fitness trainer and holistic lifestyle coach launched Burn & Build Body. Unlike other so-called detox miracles, Margolin and Dinihanian’s elixirs work hand-in-hand with proper diet in order to maintain a (somewhat) normal lifestyle in mind. Their mission? “To provide men and women with healthy lifestyle essentials: the highest quality detoxification, nutrition and ‘foundation’ based supplementation– along with the inspiration and education necessary to take steps towards enhancing the quality of their lives. “
In that spirit, the pair launched with the Complete 14 Day Anti-Aging Detox Kit followed by a slew of products supporting in natural, holistic well-being. “We believe in creating a solid foundation [for your body],” explains Dinihanian, a former marketing exec who at 49 devoted his life to physical and holistic well-being. “It’s important to make repairs and do a health ‘clean-up’ before launching into building mode. It’s about burning toxins, thoughts and patterns that don’t serve long term health.” Since launching in 2011, Margolin and Dinihanian’s products have attracted high-profile clients including makeup maven Bobbi Brown, Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi and The Conversation’s Amanda de Cadenet who publicly fawn over Burn & Build Body. And just one glance at his enviable 8-pack on Dinihanian’s Instagram feed, one might be convinced. (Did we mention he’s 65?) Below, bonberi caught up with the pair who talked blender chemistry, healthy indulgences and how they found the fountain of youth. (Yes, it exists.)
How did the genesis of Burn and Build Body come about?
Rick: When I turned 49, I looked down at my belly and I went, “I’m looking like my dad.” I said to myself, I’m either gonna have to accept it or I’m going to change.
Steven: He got into the best shape of his life and got his certification in personal training. We started working together after 2000 and began to put people on detoxifications. A couple years later, we started doing research to create our own product line.
How is your cleanse different from the endless assortment out in the market today?
Dr. Margolin: A common factor in a lot of detoxes is that there may be weight loss, but there is also a lot of lean muscle mass loss, which rebounds into fat. Our program is more protein conscious. We always incorporate food during the entire process. A lot of people can’t take two weeks off to do a cleanse. It’s about recreating their pattern and relationship with food.
Dinihanian: I tried all types of cleanses, every one of them. Fasting retreats, juice cleanses, master cleanses, rebirthing seminars. I even studied with an Ayurvedic doctor and traveled with her throughout India. With the Ayurvedic cleanse, what stuck with me is, you eat a particular food to absorb the toxins that your body releases while it’s cleansing. That food shepherds the toxins out of your intestines. Your intestines are porous and they can reabsorb toxins. That’s one of the reasons we include food in our program.
What can one expect going on your 14-Day cleanse?
Dr. Margolin: The first five days are dedicated in creating a shift in your diet. You’re cutting out allergens, irritants and known toxic foods including anything fried, coffee, alcohol, white sugar, processed wheats, dairy and soy.
Why soy? Isn’t soy good for you?
Dr. Margolin: Soy can be an allergen because it’s so prevalent in today’s diet.
Got it, what comes next?
Dr. Margolin: Then you start with taking a Clear and Support pack with each meal, which are a combination of capsules that come in packets and provide you with a multi-vitamin; an herbal cleanse for your liver, kidneys, lymph system; fiber; a probiotic; and digestive enzymes.
Dinihanian: One of the things that makes us different is you don’t get eight jars of vitamins from us. You get a packet, which you can just throw in your purse.
Dr. Margolin: Our second product is Optimal Healing Formula, which is used throughout the program as a snack or meal replacement. It’s vegan protein powder that’s free of gluten, fructose, soy. You get 26 grams of protein with each serving and it continues the process of detoxing your liver and kidneys. It works to heal your intestinal lining so that you absorb nutrients better and block toxins from getting into your bloodstream. It also acts as a systemic anti-inflammatory.
What would one eat on your cleanse?
Dr. Margolin: Breakfast we recommend having just fruit up until noon. Some people can’t exist on just fruit alone so we have them eat a clean source of protein. That can be a hard-boiled egg or our Protein Lean shake.
Dinihanian: The protein lean, because it’s vegetable based, you can have with fruit. If they’re having an egg we ask them to wait. It’s about food combining. Gil Jacobs recommends fruit for breakfast because in the evening, your body is detoxifying whether you’re on our program or not. So in the morning, if you have fruit, it helps stimulate your body, provides a nourishment base but also extends the detoxification for the evening.
So you don’t believe in eating breakfast like a king and so on?
Dr. Margolin: We feel that a light nutritious breakfast is the way to go. If you’re looking at your natural body cycles, from 4 in the morning until noon, you’re in your detoxification cycle. That’s when your body is getting rid of stuff. From noon until 8, you take in all of your nutrients. From 8 to 4 in the morning, that’s when you’re assimilating everything. So the majority of your eating should be from 12pm to 8pm at night. We suggest fruit in the morning and then lunches and dinners consist of quality protein such as chicken or fish, vegetarian sources of protein such as legumes and high water content vegetables.
Dinihanian: High water content vegetables are stressed in our program because we want people to eat their water. That way you’re supporting your digestive system.
What are the best vegetables to eat for water content?
Dr. Margolin: Leafy greens always.
Dinihanian: Even cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower but the dark leafy greens are always the best, or rainbow vegetables like red chard.
What do you recommend clients have after they cleanse?
Dr. Margolin: We want to support our clients in continuing a healthy lifestyle so we created Protein Lean Power Food, which has no detoxification micronutrients but 17 grams of vegan plant-based protein. It’s very easy to absorb, gives you the full panel of amino acids, and it’s very tasty, which is very important.
What is your philosophy when it comes to diet when you’re not cleansing?
Dr. Margolin: We believe in moderation. If you’re operating at 80%, then you’re going to live a great life and feel really comfortable. There will be times when you’ll want to do a program but it is set up to do twice a year if you want.
Do you also offer other supplements?
Dr. Margolin: We created Rockit Fuel Formula, which is great for working out and a Muscle and Joint Formula because a lot of people have chronic inflammation and need that extra support. Then we created Energy Optimizer packs.
Dinihanian: That’s my pet project. It consists of arginine, resveratrol and alpha lipoic acid. Th arginine supports your body in growth. The synergy of everything supports your mitochondria. Inside each cell is a little powerhouse, it’s like a nuclear reactor, when it’s supported and operating at its peak, it means you’re going to have more energy naturally from inside your cells.
Are we talking the fountain of youth?
Dr. Margolin: Our study showed that over a period of six months, there was mitochondria biogenesis. If your cells are dying, you’re aging, if your cells are maintaining, you’re going to stay youthful. If they’re repopulating, that’s the fountain of youth.
How does that work?
Dinihanian: Imagine a bad exhaust car, there’s a cloud of oxidants in your body because fat has oxidized the fuel. The antioxidants come along (vitamin C, vitamin E, CoQ10) and clean it up. If you’re producing more oxidants than your body can handle, the antioxidant support sweep it away, so what happens is that cell keeps functioning at a clean level. The result is not a spike in energy but a smooth lift.
Is that why your company tagline is “The Anti-Aging Lifestyle”?
Dr. Margolin: When I first met Rick, saw his ripped abs and found out he was 52 years old, I went, “What is your secret?” He said the most profound thing to me: “I understand my body chemistry.” I was like, “Can’t you just tell me your sit-up routine?” That is really the fountain of youth. Rick is turning 65 and I turned 50 last year. People is saying 50 is the new 30. We say, “No, 50 should look like this!” You should have lots of energy and look youthful.
How does self-care play into the anti-aging lifestyle?
Dr. Margolin: Massage work is very important. It’s always looked at as a luxury, we both see it as a necessity. You need some sort of practice that turns down the noise, where you can just have silence.
Take us through an average day in the life for each of you?
Dr. Margolin: When I wake up in the morning, there’s usually caffeine. I enjoy the ritual of coffee, we buy organic coffee and drip it through ceramic. We don’t use coffeemakers. Heating up anything plastic scares us. Then I’ll go to the gym in the morning. I take Rockit Fuel with me and I’ll sip it throughout my cardio. As soon as I come home, I’ll have a Protein Lean Shake with half of banana, almond milk, ice cubes, 2 scoops of Protein Lean and frozen berries. For dinner, we tend to eat Mediterranean style because it’s cleaner. At 11:30 I’ll have two hard-boiled eggs. I take lunch around 2:30 and I’ll have some sort of gluten-free grain, protein and water-content vegetables. Afternoon lull will usually be a Rockit Fuel or Protein Lean Shake. Dinner, I try to avoid grains in the evening. For dessert, I love Protein Lean Pudding. We always have it in the fridge.
Dinihanian: I get up in the morning and I have an espresso and usually also some Rockit Fuel. I take an Energy Optimizer pack because it’s best on an empty stomach. Then I get in morning cardio. In Los Angeles, I’ve been running or I’ll go hike one of the canyons nearby. Then I’ll have something light either a protein lean shake with fruit or a lighter form of protein like eggs and vegetables. At noon, I’ll have usually something grilled or steamed vegetables and a salad with protein. I’ll hit the gym at 2:30 and right after I’ll have another Protein Lean shake. At 6pm, sometimes it’s all vegetables. My carbs tend to be from sweet potato. They’re more nourishing for my body than grains. If I do grains, it’ll be quinoa. I’m also a fan of raw oatmeal and sometimes that will be my dessert. I soak it over night with organic raisins and coconut milk or almond milk. It’s an excellent post-workout food because your muscles are craving carbs.
So you are okay with grains?
Dinihanian: Grains have a lot of fiber so they help you eliminate. They nourish your muscle and it holds more water, so it creates more volume. If someone is on a carbohydrate-free diet, they can look very flat. You just have the watch the grains and make sure that the quality is best because they’ve been altered in this country so much.
Dr. Margolin: In the summer, I stay away from grains from a certain hour of the day.
Why is that?
Dr. Margolin: Vanity! It’s bathing suit weather, you’re wearing tighter fitting clothing. You may not be burning the grains off, they can be metabolized into fat more readily. The pay off is you feel confident if you’re wearing less clothes and it’s nice to feel lighter in the summer. It’s all about playing with your body chemistry, and in the summer, you play harder.