The Paleo Solution – Episode 73

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

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Show Topics
1. [4:13] Gluten intolerance study
2. [15:44] Veggie Sensitivities
3. [21:01] Gall Bladder Removal & Fat
4. [27:18] A1C Test
5. [31:41] Paleo, CrossFit & Weight Loss
6. [41:04] Phytic Acid in Nuts
7. [42:55] Adrenal Fatigue / Depression
8. [51:38] Bloody Noses



1. Gluten intolerance study
Read the article in the WSJ


2. Veggie Sensitivities
Jason Says: Thanks for making my commute so much more interesting, at least for one day of the week. Love the podcasts, love your humour, hate that you get way more sun than we do here in the Great White North.

My question for you guys is this: Have either of you worked with or know of folks that have sensitivities to certain vegetables, and can these sensitivities resolve as your system resets itself after diligently following the Paleo diet?

My wife has always had issues with digesting various veggies – spinach and broccoli being some of the major culprits. It doesn’t seem to us that they’re allergies in the traditional sense – she doesn’t break out or swell up or anything, but instead she’ll get stomach cramping, gas pains, etc; often lasting all day, sometimes even a couple days. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s cooked or not but she definitely reacts harder if they’re eaten raw. Some background – until reading the Paleo Solution she was a stalwart lover of breads and all things Carb-y. We haven’t made the switch yet, but as of writing this question we’ve cleaned out our pantry and are going grocery shopping tonight or tomorrow to get started.

She’d be willing to try the problematic veggies again after going Paleo for a while but to be fair she’s leery of trying after having too many bad experiences. I thought a good interim option would be to pick the brains of the experts (and you guys too) to get your thoughts. Could ‘resetting the system’ with Paleo help with veggie sensitivity?

From your One Canadian listener, thanks so much! Keep up the great work.


3. Gall Bladder Removal & Fat
Paul Says: My wife’s gall bladder has been removed and she has some form of autoimmunity problem. Doctors don’t want to call it lupus, but don’t know what to call it. I know the gall bladder plays a crucial role in the digestion of fat, so my question is this- What should we do with her diet? Are there any specific steps that we should take or things we should or should not do?


4. A1C Test
Nicole Says: Hi Robb, I’m a newbie, just 2 months on the paleo diet. Had bloodwork done after 6 weeks and just got the results. All my numbers were better than my previous good numbers. The one problem is the A1C. Mine is 5.3. All my other #’s: cholesterol=130; tri=28; ldl=65; hdl=59; c-reactive=0.1; glucose=82. As far as i can tell, I’m doing great except in the glucose and A1C areas. What am i doing wrong and what do i need to eat/not eat to fix it? thank you!! :-)


5. Paleo, CrossFit & Weight Loss
Belinda Says: Hi Robb, i’ve only just discovered your podcasts and I am very glad I did, you have a wealth of knowledge and it’s great that you are so willing to share.

I have been eating Paleo (pretty strictly most of the time) for the past 4 and a half months. I have also been doing a Cross-fit style workout with my trainer 3 times a week with other, cardio exercise in between.

I’ve been battling with weight problems my whole life and am hoping that this new regime will get me to where I want to be. In the past 4 months I have only managed to lose 10kg (I need to lose 20 more to be at my goal). However the weight loss has been extremely slow and I am starting to get very frustrated. I know that I am getting fit and healthy and building muscle etc but when you see TV programs like the biggest loser (which I know isn’t realistic) it makes me wonder if I am doing anything wrong?

I am also having CRAZY mood swings and of light headed episodes rather frequently. I am prone to high stress… Could this be a Cortisol issue? If so, how do I deal with it and lower my cortisol levels?

Thanks for your help.


6. Phytic Acid in Nuts
Greg Asks: If phytic acid is such a problem in grains why aren’t they a problem in nuts? From what I’ve read the concentrations are higher.


7. Adrenal Fatigue / Depression
Hate to do the “anonymous” thing but am skipping a couple of details because I don’t want to make it obvious who this is. In her sport she’s well known, and would like to make a comeback, and I wouldn’t want this part of her personal life in the public.

History: My wife is a 36 year old female “ex” pro athlete. Has struggled with depression all her life. Sports/physical culture has been a major coping mechanism. In my opinion she was dealing with massive overtraining/adrenal burnout towards the end of her career. The last couple of years her S&C was predominately long mega beat down CrossFit met cons. This is in addition to a VERY intense sport specific training/competition schedule. In addition to this she was a vegetarian and had been for 15 or so years. A few years ago she was dealt several serious injuries and several personal tragedies at the same time. This resulted a in a spiral down into a deep depression. This was a serious crippling depression, not a “down in the dumps” thing. Therapy, and several medications didn’t touch it.

Then her doctor tried cymbalta. Within a week she had the first glimpse of hope in the possibility of pulling herself out of this. It went away after a few days, but gave us hope for the first time in a couple of years. I read up on the stuff. It’s a norepinepherine reuptake inhibitor (it also works on serotonin, but she’s been on other serotonin based meds wit no effect) . Seems like they are essentially describing adrenal fatigue, but from chronic emotional stress as opposed to the typical “met con” physical overload.
I feel like the puzzle pieces fall like this.

-Born with a lower norepinepherine level.
-Mitigates this by doing more and more intense competitive sports, which helps but will catch her eventually.
-Gets into “beat down met cons” and Brutally Intense sports.
-Suffers adrenal burnout (or whatever its correctly called).
-Gets injured and can’t use sports to help manage her already failing norepinepherine levels.
-Suffers personal tragedies that compound these issues.

So, if I’m right and low norepinepherine levels are the main problem (as suggested by a cymbalta temporarily alleviating symptoms), what would you prescribe?

I am suggesting that she do your typical strict Paleo, D and Magnesium, and a focus on sleep quality (hasn’t made the jump yet, although she will now have local pastured animal products), and follow the Adrenal fatigue recovery protocols you suggest (NO met cons, focus on strength, and lots of walking). But is there anything else that you would add, or do differently? Supplements, activities? Am I WAY off, and desperately grasping? Help! All the doctors want to do is give her scrips. There has to be a better way.

Thank you so much for any help with this. And, for all you’ve already done. Even if you don’t answer this one, you’ve already helped so many people including me. So,thank you either way.


8. Bloody Noses
Spencer Says: Hello Robb, I have been having seemingly random bloody noses since high school (23 now). Every 6 months or so it will start up, and I will get at least 1 a day sometimes more. I tried nasal sprays for dry air before. Could It be a vit K2 deficiency? I eat plenty of butter(not grassfed), meat, eggs and a but of liver, Could I still be deficient? would any malabsorbtion issues be suspect?

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Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation

Have you heard about the Paleo diet and were curious about how to get started? Or maybe you’ve been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? Then Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation is for you.


  1. Dean says

    Bleeding noses: being a life long sufferer with many failed cauterization attempts. My issue is likely because (said the doctor) the blood vessels in my nose being very close to the surface of the skin/mucous membrane.
    Something I just deal with.
    Going Paleo or changing diet had no affect at all.
    Every game of Rugby I ever played I got a bleeding nose, when I lived in Colorado in winter with its dry air it was non stop, saline spray kept it moist and under control somewhat.
    So Spencer could have a similar issue that developed at adolescence.
    Not everything is related to diet. Just throwing that out there.

    • Kevin Costello says

      Heres some n=1 anecdata on paleo and sinus issues:

      Over the past 10+ yrs my sinuses got progressively worse – chronic rhinitis / sinusitis: runny nose, post nasal drip, congestion, itchy nasal/ear passages, etc etc. I could get some temporary relief with meds, but hated the side effects. And this was not in the top ten of my biggest health issues.

      Over time it got so my mucous membranes were always inflamed and irritated, and then I started getting nose bleeds. First just in the winter, and then year round. I used neti pots and saline nasal sprays which provided some temporary relief. By 2009 I was having nose bleeds 300+days a year. It became just another on the long list of things I’d resigned myself to dealing with for the rest of my life.

      And then I went very strict paleo 10 mos ago. One of the most prominent and immediate changes was a > 90% reduction in sinus issues: rhinitis, sinusitis, nose bleeds. While this is far from the most dramatic health improvement I’ve seen on paleo, it is amazing how much a difference it has made in my day to day life.

      • Bill F. says

        make that n=2. Me too for sinusitis/allergy reduction. One of the main things I’ve noticed. I know a lot of people with similar issues but you know…bread is yummy and what about pasta?

    • Clarissa says

      I totally hear you! My A1c went from 5.5 to 5.3 after 6 months of strict Primal/Paleo. My husband’s A1c is unchanged at 5.7 after 3 months of strict Primal. We’ve both been worried about these numbers, but are otherwise feeling great. But it sounds like there are a bunch of other possible confounding variables here. I guess we just ought to follow Dr. Kurt Harris’ advice (paraphrasing): if you are feeling good, don’t go to the doctor!

  2. Dillon says

    Hey Robb,
    Since you mentioned “The Biggest Loser” in the podcast, I was wondering how your conversation with the producers went.

      • Dillon says

        Very nice! I hope everything goes well. I know you hear this all the time, but thanks for providing your expertise on all things Paleo/Fitness, and thank you for changing my life for the better. NorCal Margaritas are on me the day I get to meet you!

  3. steven says

    I have tried asking my question through a podcast but maybe I can try it here.


    Is there any good literature about using the Paleo Diet for someone with Mitochondrial disease? At the moment she has a hard time digesting any type of fatty meat or red meat but I would like to find some literature that could give her fighting chance.

  4. Lindy says

    Have you heard of soaking nuts and dehydrating to reduce phytic acid? I know Sally Fallon of Nourishing Traditions recommends this. Here’s a blog post about it:

    It appears our ancestors did this regularly – soaking and drying in the sun.

    Raw nuts usually throw me into a spondylitis flare with gastro upset. I’m currently on the autoimmune diet, but I’m going to carefully try this soon to see if I can tolerate them.

  5. chuck says

    great podcast. greg is doing a nice job. love his sense of humor. i heard you mention a kinda case study example of how you helped someone with MS. i cannot wait to hear or read more specifics on how you helped that person.

  6. Renee Lee says

    Robb, I know I’m suffering from a basic biochem/human metabolism failure here, but I guess I still don’t get the impact that transglutaminase has on the autoimmune response bit.

    is it that the gluten/gluten-like proteins look like transglutaminase such that when an immune reaction sets off to gluten, transglutaminase accidentally gets tagged with antibodies in the immune system’s fervor? or is there something else at work here?

    then, once TG is tagged with antibodies…is it just wherever in the body that TG is mistaken becomes where the autoimmune condition pops up? (If it’s in the myelin, you’ve got MS, if it’s in the pancreas, you’ve got T1 diabetes…) or am i totally missing the boat?

    Was that intelligible in the slightest? Thanks Robb!

    • says

      Renee! Give this a read:

      Glidan attaches to the CXR-3 receptor and is brought into the enterocytes. This trigers the release of zonulin which loosens tight junctions, IL-15 is released and this causes further inflammation and damage to the enterocytes, releasing TTG. TTG binds with the gliadan fragment making a highly immuno reactive hapten (google it!) and it is THIS that begins the autoimmune cascade. We can get auto-antibodies to that hapten (which can then affect nearly any tissue in the body) or we can get other autoantibodies due to molecular mimicry. Protiens which are not degraded make their way into the intestinal lumin and antibodies are made against these. There are similarities between things like e.coli LPS and the mylen in our brains…bam! Multiple Sclerosis.

      I cover all this in nauseating detail in the seminar.

  7. Sam/Merlin says

    Hey Robb & Greg,
    Awesome podcast. The quality has noticeably improve in the 2-3 sessions. Whatever you’re doing, keep it up.

    Noticed at the PSS in Toronto that Starting Strength was not in slides on work outs. Has this changed? Are you no longer recommending that approach to getting started on strength building?

  8. Kevin says

    During the podcast you mention using nuts as condiments, wouldn’t this be a bad idea since phytic acid inhibits the absorption of minerals or is the amount so minimal that it wouldn’t really matter?

  9. says

    Hi Robb,

    I listened to your podcast, but have a question. You mention people should check out the autoimmunity section in the frequently asked questions, but when you click on the seven part series by Loren Cordain, the page no longer exists. Is there any other way to view this important issue? Because I have vitiligo, considered an autoimmune disorder, and some arthritis issues, should I still follow the no potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, eggs, nuts and seeds? Yikes! I am not eating grains, dairy and legumes or potatoes (after reading about them by Dr. Cordain). I’m just about 2 months into the Paleo Lifestyle. Do you think the inflammation and some of the arthritic symptoms need a little more time to heal in my hands? Thank you again for all of the useful information!

  10. Joe says

    Hi Robb,

    I’ve been listening to your podcasts for some time now and am impressed with how much the Paleo lifestyle can effectively reverse many health issues. I haven’t heard this mentioned yet, nor found it in your book, so I’m hoping you can make some suggestions for my 12-year old son.

    Six years ago, he was diagnosed bipolar. The meds and therapy help a lot, but at the same time I don’t like my son being on such serious medications (He’s on Abilify and Lithium). I’ve read in Dr. Papolos’ book “The Bipolar Child” that omega-3 can help with the mood swings accompanying this disorder. So that got me thinking. Do you know of any research that says a Paleo lifestyle would help reduce the cycling of bipolar?

    Thank you for taking the time to consider this situation.

  11. Frank says

    I used to get lots of blood noses when I was younger, and they continued when eating and training well, then I realised it was the 12-15 fish oil caps (5g EPA/DHA) that may be causing frequent nose bleeds due to blood thinning, I dropped it back to 6 caps a day and no longer had problems. Had I never taken fish oil I may have grown out of them, but that kept them going. So people may need to try dialing it back a bit and see how it affects the nosebleeds.

  12. derrick says

    good show as always, guys.

    when is dr harris coming on? his paleo 2.0 manifesto seems to be the buzz around the paleo intertubes and i’d love to hear you guys talk about where paleo is going because some of the things he talks about, such as far as getting away from the word paleo, echoes things i’ve heard you say in the past. i think your six listeners would love to hear the conversation while indulging in their five fries.

  13. Michael says

    Hi Robb,

    My wife was recently diagnosed with gall bladder disfunction and I was wondering if this could possibly be reversed by going paleo. I searched the archives and found a few instances where people had already had their gall bladders removed and found a short remark possibly about getting to the point of not having surgery. What steps would she have to take to get better? Autoimmune with super enzymes and coconut oil? Anything else she should be doing?

    Thank you for your help.

  14. CanadianArcticPaleo says

    I was listening to the part where you were talking about some of your tribulations in Seattle on my iPhone while walking through this….

    I can totally relate. I need sun, jitsu, and food to be happy – I can only get 2 out of the 3 in Calgary…sometimes only 1 depending on the season lol A move is in order.

    Peace brotha!

  15. says

    hi I have trouble with veg cooked or raw and they make me run to the washroom all the time .Love the diet have lost 8 lbs in one week . can you help me thankyou eileen

    • says

      chgeck out a recent podcast…some folks react violently to veggies. Might need digestive support, and to keep them out of the rotation for a time.

  16. Traci says

    Hey Robb! I am assuming that Super Enzymes can help with my autoimmune condition- MS Multiple Schlerosis? I am on a pre biotic and probiotic. I did do the month of no eggs, peppers, tomatoes, etc. However I incorporated them back in and really didn’t notice any differences. I have been thinking about getting the NOW Super Enzymes. This will be a good thing for me?? Have been doing paleo since Nov. 14th last year. I have my next MRI scheduled tomorrow so I am keeping my fingers crossed that my 3 active spots will be gone!! So I can get off my meds to have kids!! :) Wish me luck!

    • says

      It helps digestion, might help but the grain/legume/dairy gig is the place to start, tomatoes etc, next level of refinement. Make sure your Vit d levels are on the high normal side. Keep us posted!

      • Traci says

        Well I am eating paleo no grains, gluten, wheat, etc. I am actually allergic to wheat. I do however have hard cheese every now and again and I do eat eggs no more than 6 a week. I don’t eat that many tomatoes as I really have never liked them. But I do have then on occasion. Are you saying to get rid of all this together? I did get rid of them for a month or so but like I said when I eat them I really don’t notice any changes.

        • Traci says

          Should I be taking more than 2,000 iu for vitamin D?
          I do take that every day as well as an inflamation such as tumeric/curacumin or boswilla, vit. b, and fish oil.

          • Traci says

            Hey Robb!! I just wanted to say I LOVE YOUR BOOK!! I purchased over the weekend and couldn’t put it down. It is so informative on the how’s and why’s, etc. It explains it all in terms that I can understand!! :) Just wanted to say Thanks and I should have purchased it a long time ago.

            It keeps me hopeful that my MRI will be good. If not I am sure I can make some adjusments.

  17. Barrett Updegraff says

    Was a pun intended when you were talking about transglutaminase being a “ubiquitous” enzyme involved in post-translational modifications of proteins? If so, lolz

  18. Vearle Payne says


    I’ve found that supplementing with Vitamin C 500 mg daily will greatly assist in stopping nosebleeds. My theory is that it may be a sub-acute manifestation of scurvy. It has worked wonders for me. I live in Arizona where it is dry all of the time and used to suffer with them quite a bit.



  19. Darci says

    Hi Rob, I am still confused about what to do if the gall bladder has been removed. Is it a suppliment that I take and then eat paleo or do I not eat paleo because of the fat intake. I bought the book Practicle Paleo and I have been eating recipes from that book and have lost 10lbs in 2 weeks, with no problems.

  20. Edward says

    Hi Robb,

    Papaya has very powerful enzymes in it. So much so that marinating meat in it too long turns the meat into baby food, practically. Would this be a possible help for people with no gall bladder so that they needn’t spend so much on buying super-enzymes?



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