The Paleo Solution – Episode 80

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

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Show Topics
1. [5:19] Thyroid Tumor
2. [9:46] Omega-3s from Seaweed
3. [13:35] Digestion Back-Up
4. [18:59] Staying Paleo with Cyclic Stress
5. [28:06] Parent Essential Oil
6. [32:36] Paleo & Schizophrenia
7. [38:32] White Rice
8. [44:32] Paleo & Kidney Disease


1. Thyroid Tumor
Darren Says: Hi Robb, I am a 36 year old male with a benign thyroid tumour and a beard.  I have been eating paleo for almost a year now, and while I felt as though the tumour was diminishing, sometimes it feels aggravated and sore.  The beard I am totally capable of getting rid of, but this tumour is still around.  Since learning of it almost 2 years ago, I am tired of the bloody thing, and want it gone, naturally if at all possible.

Since switching to paleo, my diet and energy levels have improved greatly.  I have good body composition, and a healthy workout schedule: Olympic lifting 4Xs a week, Kettlebell once a week, aikido 3Xs a week, with a little balance work sprinkled in here and there.

I have read your book 3Xs, listened to every podcast and am attending your workshop at the end of the month in Toronto.  I have recommended your work to everyone I know, and they have all received great benefits, from rheumatoid arthritis, Crones, and type 2 diabetes.  While I am totally amped things have been working out for my friends, why the heck isn’t it working for me?  Is it the beard?  Or better yet, what can I do better to get better, and move on with my life.

I just found out I am going to be a father, and I want to make sure that I am around for as long as possible.

It is sad to say, but I was vegetarian and vegan (on and off) for a few years, similar to you, and felt as though things were pretty dialed in; little did I know.  Both my grandmothers had their thyroids removed, but after reading your work, I feel as though this shouldn’t determine my fate, and there is something more I can do.

Please, any information you can offer is greatly appreciated. Thanks for all that you do.

2. Omega-3s from Seaweed
Jeremy Says: Since fish get their Omega 3’s from consuming algae and sea veggies, can I boost the Omega 3 content of a dish by adding in some ground up seaweed and bypassing the fish?  (I’m thinking about adding it to shrimp coconut curries.)  Or are the fish actually converting something into the Omega 3’s, and the human body is either incapable of or inefficient at that same conversion? Compared to wild-caught fish, seaweed is so inexpensive at Asian markets that this seems like an economical alternative to buying wild-caught fish.

3. Digestion Back-Up
Maui Says: Hi there. I am just going into my fourth week and feel completely different and almost all for the good! I have dropped almost 8 pounds, no tummy bloat, my skin has improved, my energy is constant and I have no ups and downs. Generally I feel fantastic! Prior to starting the Paleo diet, I had diarrhea every day for about 1-2 years – it became the norm. It took about a week to get that turned around and the second week was “normal.” Now, however, for the last 2 weeks or so I only “move” once every 3-4 days. So I end up feeling full and heavy all the time – despite not being bloated. So….what can I do to make things more regular? I’m drinking a lot of water, started working out and walking the second week which I know are things to help digestion etc. I had my gallbladder removed about 10 years ago, if that helps in the responses. Hoping to hear some good suggestions! Thanks for your time.

4. Staying Paleo with Cyclic Stress
Justin Says: Hi Robb, I work as a consultant and I have noticed that when deadlines role around and work gets stressful my ability to keep my food choices paleo becomes more challenging.  The morning starts out alright with my normal breakfast of ground meat and greens but my ability to resist the free food that makes its way into the office diminishes as the day goes on and stress level goes up.  Over the holidays I had multiple deadlines and developed a severe case of the fuck-its.  I ate worse than I have for over a year and picking up the pieces since then has been a struggle. My question is what suggestions do you have for dealing with this cyclic stress levels?

This question my seem stupid with the default answer of stop being a pussy and stick to what you know works.  Based on the reading I have done so far stress seems related to the types of food that people crave.  You also talked about how writing the book and other stresses have impacted you over the last year in a recent post so I thought I would ask the question.

Here is a little background and what I have been trying over the last couple of weeks.

~5’11”, 175lbs, reasonably lean, work to much
-I have shifted my training to be strength based with short conditioning workouts twice per week.
-Lower carb paleo during the week, more carbs on the weekends, normally sweet potatoes, squash, apples, etc.
-Taking Super Enzymes, alpha lipioc acid, acetyl L-Carnitine, fish oil, and some herbal adaptagens.
-Freezer full of grass fed beef and eat a ton of grassfed butter.
-Unfortunately I don’t have any immediate reactions to gluten or other known inflammatory foods people have problems with.

Any supplements or food tweeks I can make to help with the stress and fight off the fuck-its?

5. Parent Essential Oil
Whats the deal with This Parent Essential Oil discussion. The guy pushing this stuff says that there are only TWO essential fatty acids and they are LA n6 and ALA n3. He’s says that fish oil is killing us. His name is Brian Peskin and his website is I’m SO CONFUSED. I should just go back to eating Burger King and slugging back Michelob.

6. Paleo & Schizophrenia
Hi Robb, My brother is schizophrenic. He is currently taking medication but is looking for ways to improve his symptoms without more meds. He recently noticed his worst delusions occurred after he ate nothing but Doritos and Mountain Dew for several days, which I would think would give anyone delusions, but 20 year old boys will eat anything. He’s cleaned up his diet and is eating eggs for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and meat and veggies for dinner. I’m pushing him towards Paleo, one meal at a time. Like a good little brother, he’s been pretty receptive so far. Are there any foods or supplements that he should be taking or avoiding besides standard Paleo fare? On a lighter note, I love the podcast and nerd out to it on my way to work every week.

7. White Rice
My name is Tiago, and I’m emailing from Brazil. I’m a radiologist doctor and have been on paleo for about a year now. As a medicine doctor I used to think I was well informed about health … despite de fact that I was weighting 92 kg and about 28% body fat… After a year on paleo diet and resistance exercise I am now 80 kg and about 16%. Thank you enormously for educating me and thousands of others… I can say I am trying my best to spread the good news here in Brazil, but I find myself really lonely as I know of no online paleo resources in portuguese.

My journey has been almost easy, as brazilians love their grass feed meat… The major problem is that brazilians also love their bread, beans and white rice… and that brings to my question:

Dr. Harris of Panu recently has posted that he is nowadays consuming white rice as a form of safe starch. What are your thoughts onto the safety of white rice? Do you think it can be consumed moderately as a part of post workout nutrition, in adition to meat? That would turn more easily accepted the concept of paleo diet among brazilians, especially my wife. Thanks for all

8. Paleo & Kidney Disease
Lawrence Says: Robb and Greg, What is your opinion on applying the Paleo diet to people with kidney disease? Is it an advisable thing to do, given that the Paleo diet is higher in protein than conventional dietary recommendations? The reason why I ask is that type II diabetics can greatly benefit from following Paleo dietary guidelines, due to it being restrictive on carbohydrates, but since a good portion of diabetics also have kidney disease, would the ingestion of higher levels of protein be deleterious to their remaining kidney function?

Is there a way to modify the Paleo lifestyle to allow people with renal dysfunction to use it? My father recently passed away from kidney failure, resulting from diabetes, and I was just curious if other diabetics with kidney disease could alleviate their diabetic symptoms and control their diabetes without jeopardizing their already diminished kidney function? Thanks.

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  1. John says

    Maybe it’s just my old IPod, but I’ve noticed in episodes 79 and 80 the sound quality is intermittent; it fades out for long moments and most of the time the sound is very low. Am I the only one having this problem??

  2. mccourt says

    Robb mentions the use of sweet potatoes/yams/winter squash and while I love them, my gut does not (~3-4 hours later=major gas pains, bloating). Is there a way to get my body to like them as much as my taste buds do? Thanks!!!!

        • Justin says

          I also seem to have trouble with sweet potatoes and (especially) yams. Not so much with the acute gas and bloating, but they seem to have a laxative effect for me, sometimes a pretty significant one. Since starting paleo at the beginning of the year, I’ve become somewhat gassy in general, not sure what the problem is. I haven’t eaten eggs for about a week and that seems to have helped some, but hasn’t cured me. Also, loose stool has pretty much been the norm for me on paleo, even times when I haven’t eaten sweet potatoes or yams for a week or two.

          I’ve tried eating the sweet potatoes and yams with probiotic foods (sauerkraut, raw kosher dill pickles) and/or probiotic supplements a couple of times since this post and it hasn’t really helped.

          Any other ideas? Thanks.
          (yay poo posts :-)

  3. says

    I have to say your podcast is awesome. Since adopting the Paleo diet 3 weeks ago I have FELT more positive change I’ve ever had in a long time. Since experiencing it and reading your book I feel like I’ve found that “missing link” to helping my family, friends and clients make that change in their health and fitness. I feel like the paleo diet science is what I’ve been looking for and I’ve put a blog post about some of the great things I’ve feeling because of it in case anyone is interested.

    My question: I’m interested in understanding how hypoglycemia occurs. I’ve been trying to get rid of that afternoon after lunch low. Sometimes the low is more severe than others. Since going paleo and getting rid of grains I don’t crash like i use to, but even after a solid paleo meal I’ll still get it from time to time. I’ve come to the conclusion that it has to do with the size of meal that causes the “crash.” I’ve gone as far as to test my blood sugar before and after meals. But I’d like you elaborate and explain how these lows occurs for people so that energy level stays consistent all day.

    Here is my episode hypoglycemia bout I had yesterday:

    5-16-11 Monday

    Pork Loin 4-5oz
    Bell Peppers
    Sun dried tomato in canola/olive oil
    Yam 1-2oz ( barely had any)
    about 30 mins later had 1 strawberry
    32% Protein 35g
    23% Carbs 26g
    45% Fat 23g

    10:10 am low blood sugar, took a 10-15 min nap, test BLOOD SUGAR 91. when I woke up i felt a tad bit shaky and I felt hungry and wanted to eat.

    10:30 am
    Pork Loin 3oz
    zucchini 1/2
    sun dried tomatoes

    11:20 am BLOOD SUGAR TEST 101 mg/dl

    11:40 am
    walnuts 1/2 oz

    12:47 slight sugar craving / hunger

    1:31 mild sleepy low, fell asleep

    2:00 woke up from nap BLOOD SUGAR TEST 97-101 mg/dl

    Also the day before I did a 20 hour fast (experimenting). I’m sure this might have caused me to become more sensitive to carbs, but I’m not completely sure. my BLOOD SUGAR tested at 78-80 mg/dl

    on 5-14-11 Saturday night 10pm was my last meal and on 5-15-11 Sunday 6pm is when i broke my fast.

    PS. I’m attempting to listen to all of your podcasts from start to finish. I’m currently onepisode 30. Lots of great stuff! keep up the great work.

      • says

        It’s been the best it’s been since I’ve cut out grains and dairy. The changes I’ve made today have been really going low carb with nearly zero fruit and zero sugar. I was thinking the sun dried tomatoes (fruit/vege) in vegetable oil may have caused some kind of bs/insulin release crash.

        Today I had a lunch at fudrruckers (2pm) with no tomatoes, just a ton of lettuce and onions. I had a buffalo burger with guac. My stomach was pretty full but I felt pretty energized.

        I did have a very faint mild craving about 2.5 hours later (4:30pm), but it wasn’t much. I had a very mild low, I was training a client at the time mid way through the session. I thought it was maybe because I was a little bored. But it was a definable low.

        I do wake up to an alarm and usually have to get up and use the bathroom after about 4 hours after sleep every night. but I wake up pretty refreshed and have no gorggyness.

    • MetS Dad says

      What numbers are you seeing that you consider to be hypoglycemic? I wouldn’t consider anything above 70 to be hypo, so this makes me think that you’re getting numbers at other times that are significantly above what you list here, and you’re interpreting numbers in the 90’s to be low.

      One of the things that I realized shortly after getting my Blood Glucose (BG) meter was that the feelings I had been previously been calling “low blood sugar” were actually not low BG. Rather, they came after a peak, like when I went from 180 to 140 following a pasta meal. This is actually high, and a non-diabetic would probably never have numbers like this.

  4. Lawrence Louis says

    Robb and Greg,

    Thank you so much for the time you took to answer my question concerning the Paleo Diet and its application to those who are type II diabetics with renal dysfunction. It was really informative, and I did not expect such an elaborate answer. It is interesting that you mention the ketogenic protocol for correcting kidney problems, because, shortly after I posted this question to you guys, Jimmy Moore, on his show “Living La Vida Low Carb”, did a podcast interview with Dr. Charles Mobbs, who is the most prominent figure in researching the therapeutic effects of the ketogenic diet on kidney function. For anyone interested, it is episode 469:

    I would really like to see Robb do a blog post, as he suggested that he might do, concerning ketogenic diets treating kidney disease. I only wish I had such valuable information a decade ago, when my dad first developed renal failure. It probably would have saved him. Instead he followed the basic high carb/highly processed/low fat diet that the ADA recommended diabetics use for years, and all that it did was exacerbate all his diabetic symptoms, caused him to have to endure the painful ordeal of dialysis, and quickened his death. But there is no use pondering what could have been. I am glad information like this is available now, so that future lives can be saved.

    Doctors frequently get adulation for the work they do, because they are considered life savers. It’s unfortunate that people like you don’t get equally lauded. Your endeavors to dispel dietary myths, and make scientifically valid advice accessible to the masses is equally as lifesaving as what doctors do, and much preferable, since you focus your efforts where they should be focused – on prevention as opposed to crisis management. Keep up the good work.

    From a loyal listener,

    -Lawrence Louis

  5. says

    Rob and Greg,

    Thank you for your suggestions on dealing with stress, e.g. scheduling alternating intermittent bursts of play/ work. I think it is a problem all of us deal with to some extent. I know its outside of the scope of what you guys typically talk about, but I often find myself thinking about the economic and social implications of chronic societal stress. It’s certainly interesting to ponder.



  6. Best Traits Procreate says

    Dear Robb,

    Could you please post a link to Dr. Bastos’s site. I’m not google deficient but I can’t seem to find it.



  7. Ryan says

    I’d love to hear a podcast of you guys telling some classic crossfit/glassman/castro/budding tales to blow off some steam. Stuff that would make the couch thread look like an ad for crossfit.

    • says

      that’s a book in the works…but it will be a few years before we see it, and it wont just be me and Greg Everett. Dozens of people are on that project, both in and out of HQ.

      • Ryan says

        Damn, I was hoping for the 100th podcast to be a 3 hour special featuring the likes of dan john, mark twight, coach summers, steve shafley, garret smith and others all doing norcal margarittas and each round someone says the most incriminating thing they can think of about cf/glassman/hq, then whoever said the least incriminating thing has to do 2 shots the next round, the last person left standing then wins a buddy lee jump rope certification or something.

  8. badleroy says

    Rob, I have been doing paleo and because I had poly myalgia rheumatica I don’t work out much. I am happy to just be able to work. I am a painting contractor so just getting thru the day is a big deal. I have lost 40lbs which is great but I am stuck at 280’s. Everybody who knows me comments on good I look and I tell them that I am on the paleo (cave man) diet.Most people I tell never heard of it but the like the results. When I tell them the have to give up bread, sugar, sodas,sweetners and grains. They start to think whats left? The poly myalgia has left but I have been left with arthiritis in my left hip. I have begun doing a stretch and kinda of baby yoga because I am so stiff thru the hips. My waist line has gone from 50″ to a 42″ which is awesome. I was thinking that the predisone I took atrophied my muscle especially on my left side that is why my hip hurts and I walk with a slight limp. I have recently tried to start squatting and doing girl push-ups since I also was diagnosed with carpal tunnel in both arms. So I was on the maximum diabetes medication for type 2 diabetes but now I don’t have to take any medication. My triglycerides went from 330 to 56. My question is I am stuck in the 280’s. I know I cheat enough to keep this weight but I haven’t been able to break into the 270’s. Could I be eating more to lose the weight and stop my cravings for sweets. More of what? Starving is not my answer. I have recently started taking CLA and L-Carnitine as supplement because I don’t want to spend eight bucks a lb for lean grass fed beef. I have recently started to buy turkey hamburger at costco. I thought this would be better for me then the regular hamburger that the sell there.So thanks for the diet and I you keep spreading the word. I do.

  9. kiko says

    :/ just found this. while there are transcripts for the questions none for the answers?
    i ask because i am deaf and i can’t hear the podcast but it looks interesting.
    new here from mark’s daily apple, a reader there for ^ weeks give or take.

  10. Harvey says

    Hey Robb,

    Loved the podcast as usual. Hey what was the name of the protein in rice again? I couldn’t really dig up anything on google. Do you have any studies that show it causes problems? I have a friend that’s doing kind of half-a$$ paleo and eating lots of rice. Are things like rice-based chips and rice-based bread still problematic for weight loss and insulin response?


  11. says

    +1 for Nicki’s business episode

    +1 for the B-roll podcast, baby! And yeah, I’d pay for it.

    Oh, and I’d LOVE to hear your take on Scotty Hagnas’ Performance Menu article on high-carb paleo to reverse a long-duration low-carb paleo run (issue 74, March 2011), the effects on testosterone, stalled fat loss, etc. Sounds like money, but I’d love to get your genius on it.

      • says

        Cool; I’m about four days into it, and I believe I’m seeing the same progression he mentioned, in that my arms/shoulders/face are looking leaner already (no big spare tire yet, thank goodness). We’ll see how it goes.

        What a breath of fresh air, though, getting to eat more carbs after three years. :)

  12. Eric says

    I know I’m a week late on this, but add me to the list of those requesting the business episode with Nicki. I’ve seen her website and its like an island of reality in a seeming world of CrossFit Level-1-Cert turns into magical success fantasy.

  13. says

    Hi Robb,

    Thanks for taking my question on the thyroid. I’ve been a long-time listener and it was really nice to have feedback from you.

    I will have to find out about the tissue, as my original testing was done while I was living in Japan, and things got lost in translation, as they do. I’ve begun getting the testing done here again, starting with an ultrasound done yesterday, actually.

    I’ve also started working with a natural path who specializes in ayurvedic medicine. So far, his protocol has included some acupuncture, a ton of breath work, a whole body system immune enhancer, anti-viral, energy tonic, from St. Francis Herb Farms (an astragalus combo), and some changes to my diet. He is totally cool with the paleo thing, and is actually trying to load me up with more animals fats, more than what I usually take in. Now I’m eating a ton of lamb, and he is wanting me to have things like Tibetan tea (black tea with butter and whole milk). A two-point question for you in regards to this: you mentioned that you suspected some insulin resistance: why? And two, do you reckon that upping the fat and lowering the carbs (more on the ketogenic side) would help reverse this bit of insulin resistance, and thereby have a more positive affect on the situation?

    I’ve been working with this doc for a about a month, and things seem to be improving, although I’m nervous about what the ultrasound will show. I had a blood panel done, and things seemed in range, except that my potassium was a bit high, and a liver enzyme was also a bit high; I am meeting with my doctor next week to find out which one and to retest (might have been a bit dehydrated before the test). If it’s alright, I’ll share what else I can when I learn more.

    BTW, loved your talk in Toronto! I teach communication classes for Health and Wellness students at our local community college, and have focused a great deal of their research projects around your work. Hopefully, these personal trainers will have more confidence to go search out better alternatives for their future clients.

    Cheers again for all you do!


  14. Bea Binag says

    Hey Robb,

    I actually have an inkling question that I’ve been meaning to ask a few experts like yourself. From a few podcasts ago, you had Mat Lalonde, and he mentioned that fructose bothers him a lot. Well, same goes for me. I eat too much grapes, and I feel dizzy, thirsty, and all that sort. But when I eat white rice on occasion when a few friends and I go out for sushi, I feel great afterwards. Now, I know fruits are “paleo” compared to white rice — but is there an occasion when glucose is preferred over fructose sources? It’s almost always for my case, post- or pre-workout/sedentary, fruits just don’t do well with me.

  15. Alisha says

    I realize this is super delayed, but thank you so much for answering the question about my brother. As you suspected, sleep deprivation has been a huge issue for him. He is sleeping better now that he isn’t drinking soda, but he still has a hard time calming down enough to get a full night of sleep. He usually takes 2 3-4 hour naps during a 24 hour time period. He used to get that same amount of sleep over 3 days, and he’s a lot more social these days. At the same time, there’s still a long way to go.
    Anyway, thanks again. I appreciate all you do, and I’ll definitely take a look at the info on Chris Kresser’s site as well.

  16. Nélio Carlos says

    Hi Robb,

    at the supplement chapter of your book you recomend a digestive enzyme called Super Enzymes from NowFoods. I bought it but I noticed later that the tablets opposed to the capsules have a few more ingredients, wich made me worry a little.

    Tablets – other Ingredients: Calcium Carbonate, Stearic Acid (vegetable source), Croscarmellose Sodium, Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source) and Tablet Coating.

    Capsules – other Ingredients: Gelatin (capsule), Cellulose, Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source) and Silica.

    Both contains no: sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg, shellfish or preservatives

    Is one better than the other? I chose the tablets is that ok?

    Thanks in advance!

  17. henry says

    A few questions:

    1) Where does coffee and balsamic vinegar fit into Hashimotos and other autoimmune protocols?

    2) Dr. K has said the “goitrogen model” is outdated. Chris Masterjohn says that is not the case.
    Any thoughts?

    3) What should those with enlarged thyroids and their endocrinologists recommending a removal of their thyroids take into consideration?



  18. mhikl says

    Robb, I’m a little disappointed with your quick dismissal of Brian Peskin’s studies and scientific research into Parent Essential Oils. It may be one of the greatest discoveries ever and you dismissed it without even venturing to see what the professor has found out and the research behind his discovery.

    I have been researching his site and others for five weeks and what he has to say regarding the dangers of fish oils and fish itself is quite important. He is an actual science, does not just do studies which seems to make up most of the ‘background’ to both supporters and dismissers of our health movement.

    There is a difference between this and actual research studying, true science, into the link to the three gravest plagues of modern time: cancer, diabetes and heart disease. All, Professor Peskin says, are related to the rancidity of fish oils taking place immediately in the body and the false oils being then stashed into the cells to protect the blood. He says fat is around cells, not in them. In them then oxygen to the cells is starved and thus the three illnesses mention above become catastrophic.

    I would suggest you give the man his due, with an open mind and some honest study.
    Namaste and care,

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