The Paleo Solution – Episode 84

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

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1. [2:46] Microwaving
2. [8:41] Beard Growth
3. [11:29] Frequent Urination
4. [14:46] Skinny Bitch
5. [21:37] Purines & Uric Acid
6. [24:56] Weird Leg Cramps
7. [27:04] Loose Skin After Weight Loss
8. [30:14] Decaf Black Tea & Cortisol


1. Microwaving

Tommy Says: Hey Robb, I am now a ‘Paleolithic’. If that’s even a word. Since the idea of the whole paleo diet is old school, I was wondering, what exactly are the health effects of consuming (regularly, say 3-4 times a week) microwaved foods? Are these microwaved foods secretly killing my and my health? Whatever the answer, I can’t bear the thought of radiation and what not going through my food, so I threw away my household microwave. Keep up the phenomenal work bro.

2. Beard Growth

Julius Says: Hey, Robb and Greg. I’m a 24 year old guy who’s always had embarrassingly poor beard growth. I guess it mostly comes down to genetics, but do you know of some dietary/lifestyle aspects that can affect beard growth. Thanks, guys

3. Frequent Urination

Sal Says: Hello Rob- I have recently experienced an increase in urinating, especially at night. This has become frustrating because my sleep cycle is interrupted. And after your chapter on how important sleep is I am becoming very concerned.   I can recall as a child having to go once a night and that has been consistent throughout my life.  However, it has now progressed to at least 2 to 3 times a night.  I am 33 5’9 185lbs and fairly active.   I don’t drink a great deal of water – about 40oz a day, I’ve eat about 80% paleo for the last 2 months, and don’t drink a lot of alcohol.  I have entertained the idea that it might be due to my environment in which it happens the most; that is, a new probationary firefighter, a bit on edge due to the new job and expectations…..the job might be scaring the piss out of me?:)

I am curious to know what could be causing this frequent need to go, what medical tests I can take to diagnose this problem and what I can do the halt the frequency.  Thanks for your time.

4. Skinny Bitch

Tabitha says: Dear Robb & Greg, I’m a 25 year old female, 5’6″ and 107 lbs. The only adjective ever used to describe my physique is “skinny,” and I’m sick of it!

I’ve been following the paleo diet for 6 weeks, eliminating grains, legumes, dairy (except pastured butter), and limiting fruit and nut intake. My protein consumption is at or above 1 gram per lb of body weight every day, with plenty of healthy fats and 50-100g carbohydrate per day. I eat sweet potatoes on workout days to bump the carbs up closer to 100. Calorie intake averages 1800/day.

I work out for 30 minutes twice per week, using kettlebells, sandbags, etc with a personal trainer. I walk a couple miles each day, and work as a nurse (9-5). Sleep is good, life is fine, stress is minimal.

I’m just not seeing any results from eating a paleo diet. I feel better, and will never eat grains or processed crap foods again. I just don’t understand why I have no muscle definition and fat stores on my mid-abs and upper thighs. What gives? Do I have to give up all fruit, nuts, dark chocolate, and dip my daily carbs below 50g to lose some body fat? Will I also lose muscle?

How do you feel about the Zone diet for folks like me, who see no shift in body comp on paleo plus exercise?

Thanks for reading my questions, and helping us all out. If I hear one more person say “you NEED a sandwhich” I’m seriously going to choke them out. Help me get buff, Robb!

5. Purines & Uric Acid

Chris Says: Robb: I was wondering about uric acid.  I read that purines are excreted as uric acid and that paleo foods like seafood and game meats (among others) are high in purines.  Is this true?  And if so, is there a problem consuming too much food known to be high in purines? Thanks!

6. Weird Leg Cramps

James Says: I have an odd and confusing leg cramps situation.  Firstly – this only seems to occur when I am eating Paleo (as I have been for the last 5 months, and previous times of good health as well).

This usually happens at night, lying in bed – I start to get cramps in both my calf muscle and my shins at the same time.  This is, if you’ll excuse me, f*cking excruciating and I can’t work out the problem.

I doubt very much I’m low on anything like salt or magnesium (magnesium is supplemented at night – this happens regardless).

Any ideas?  As I said – I wouldn’t link it to diet if it didn’t only occur when Paleo.  I checked previous podcasts but couldn’t find anything on the topic that answered my weird question.

Thanks for everything you do!

7. Loose Skin After Weight Loss

Chris Says: Hey Robb and Greg, My question is about loose skin following considerable weight loss. Here’s some quick background for you since I know how much you hate vague questions:

During my junior year of high school I gained about 50 pounds. I had quit playing baseball that year and started to eat like crap around the same time, and I skyrocketed from 180 up to a pretty chunky 230 over the course of a year.

When I went off to college, I decided to change my habits and eat right. Though I wasn’t Paleo then, I did completely eliminate processed foods and moved to a lot of raw veggies, fresh fruit, lean meat and some whole grains. Coupled with my weekly use of the university rec center, my new diet helped me drop about 70 pounds during my freshman year. At that point I was pretty lean (I’m about 6’1″), but I had a lot of excess flabby skin around my waist after losing weight so quickly.

Over the next two years I was able to keep the weight off, and this past summer I decided to challenge myself athletically again in an attempt to bulk up and tighten my core. I did a full round of P90X in the summer, and then tackled Insanity in the winter. When I discovered Paleo in January, I realized I was probably over-training, so I switched to doing some basic heavy lifting (squat, bench, dead lift, row and shoulder press) three times a week, as well as a lot of walking. I’m strictly Paleo with the exception of some full-fat Greek yogurt a few times a week, and I’ve started intermittent fasting as well. But…I still can’t seem to lose that excess skin in the gut area. I’d really like to see that six pack I know I have hiding under there. Any tips?

Thanks for all you guys do. Love the podcast.

8. Decaf Black Tea & Cortisol

Zach Says: Hey Guys,

Got turned onto the podcast last week and managed to burn through about 35 of them this week.  I have been listening from both ends, so you may have hit on this but I haven’t heard anything yet.  I will preface this by saying a bit of googling around didn’t bring me any enlightenment, but I have not have gotten the search terms just right. So, I want to add some black tea as another way to hit the cortisol issue, but my morning hours are already full of other stimulants that I don’t want to give up ie. Green Tea and Coffee.  Do you have any insight into whether or not the decaffeination process is going to negate the positive cortisol effects of black tea?

Love the podcast and will probably be bombarding you with questions in the future.

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Categories: Podcasts


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. Mike says

    Hey Guys!

    Consider me listener #3. Only just started listening to your podcast, but it sounds like perfect listening material on my journey into the paleo lifestyle. Many thanks, and keep up the great work.

  2. Tom says

    Microwaves are actually longer in wavelength than visible light… but don’t mind me, I’m just nitpicking (physicist). Good episode!

  3. jessica says

    THANK YOU for taking the leg cramp question…I have had the same exact problem for a while. i do eat plenty of salt, though…

    • Christy says

      I was so excited to see the leg cramp question. Both my husband and I have experienced the EXACT SAME THING when eating paleo. Unfortunately we tried increasing salt intake and it did nothing.

      We’ve found that this happens in a few other people we’ve met that eat Paleo and no one seems to have a solution. It is very very painful! Please give us some more ideas!

    • Jenna says

      I’ve been getting leg and foot cramps as well! Only been been eating this way for a few weeks, and not 100% strictly. Definitely get enough salt. Maybe not drinking enough water? Protein does affect your water balance in the body after all.

    • says

      I’ve been experiencing these leg cramps for years, before AND after Paleo. I’ve come up with a solution that works great for me. Salt is part of the problem, but not all of it. Potassium seems to also play a factor. I’ve come up with a simple drink recipe that stops the cramps from happening. If I drink it every day, the cramps don’t happen. If I go more than 4 or 5 days without it, they return. Here’s a link: I hope this helps you! :)

  4. Matt Lentzner says

    I’m lilking the circa 30 min format. Easier to digest, and I would think easier for you guys.

    Robb, you had me scared for a second on your treatise on microwave science. You got the basic idea right, but flubbed some details like microwaves being a shorter wavelength than visible light.

    Check out the Wikipedia article. I was incorrect on a few details myself so maybe I shouldn’t be giving you a hard time about it. :)

  5. Amy B. says


    Thanks so much for your insights into “Skinny Bitch’s” question, Robb! I am *not* a skinny bitch, but I’m not exactly using a scooter to drive myself around Wal-Mart, either. 😉 (Apologies to anyone who uses those because of a genuine handicap.)

    I was having some major mood swings, PMS issues, terrible depression, and was whacking myself out with stress for a long time. I finally realized maybe there was something I could actually do about it, and it wasn’t “just the way I am.” I went to a naturopath, and we ran just about every test you can imagine. You name the hormone and metabolite, we tested it. (At great expense out of pocket…thanks a lot for supporting natural medicine, insurance company! But that is a whole other issue.)

    Anyway, turns out I had/have a monstrous case of estrogen dominance, coupled with elevated cortisol and a slightly sluggish thyroid. You mentioned three supplements, ALL OF WHICH I’M ON! The calcium-D-glucarate, the di-indolmethane, and phosphatidyl serine. I already trusted that my doctor knew what she was doing, and I felt even more confident in taking those after reading up a little on them on my own.

    BUT…at the risk of sounding like a sheep and/or disciple, I feel especially good about them now that I have the official Robb Wolf stamp of approval. 😀

    I’ve only been on them about 5 weeks, but I’m already feeling a little better. I think it’s supposed to take a few months before things start improving significantly, so maybe it’s mind over matter. Either way, I figure they can only help. (Well, that along with getting more sleep, transitioning off hormone-laden meat, and trying to get less aggravated by morons at work, hehheh. The first two, I can do. That last one, I’m not so sure!)

  6. Derrick says

    Robb, gout sufferer here. my gout has actually been tame for the most part since going paleo a year ago. only 2 flare-ups during that period- both minor. i am totally on board with the thought being that gout comes from metabolic sydrome and ingestion of fructose. i eat shrimp and liver and i’ve never had a flareup from purine rich foods but if i overeat high fructose fruits, i start to get that uncomfortable soreness in my big toe letting be know that a gout attack could be nigh.

    my question is this, is the sensitivity to fructose ever going to go away or will i be playing with russian roulette with gout everytime i eat too much high fructose fruit or the like? will my liver ever process ammonia and the like properly?

    thanks for all you guys do…

  7. Kyle says

    In regards to the urination question – what else can cause this? I was peeing 3-4-5 times a night, a smart person on the forums recommended cutting back protein, I did to 80-100g at 165lb body weight and now I pee 1-2 times. I can’t imagine cortisol being an issue for me I have decent sleep habits, 24 years old, stress free job, don’t kill myself in the gym…
    I don’t drink tons of water and mostly cut myself off 5 hours before bed.

    • Matt says

      I have the same problem. Robb’s answer wasn’t good enough. The frequent urination is not due to cortisol dis-regulation. What you have is an enlarged prostrate. Google it.

      You have too much estrogen in your blood. Have you blood work done, you’ll probably find that your estrogen levels are too high. If you’re eating paleo you won’t be ingesting large amounts of xenoestrogens or phytoestrogens.

      Include alot of tumeric, thyme, oregano, ginger and spinach in your diet. This will help drop estogren levels.

      Getting up three times a night is f**king annoying!

      Go and see a doctor or you may develop prostrate cancer.

  8. Sam says

    Hey Robb & Greg,
    Another great podcast. One clarification requested: what is the ideal workout for someone is who is trying to lean out? It is different for someone is “moderately fit” vs a complete beginner?

    Particulars: paloe for about 8 months, but went off the rails a couple of months ago after starting a Starting Strength program back in Feb. Was doing great for a few weeks, ran into problems recovering and fell for the diet advice on the SS forums. Suffice it to say, I’m much stronger now than when I started. However, i’m quite a bit chubbier now too. Didn’t you go through something similar during your “mass gain” experiment? How did you get lean again? Did you switch to metcons to shed the fat? Or stick with strength-based work, reduced volume and concentrated on food quality?

    Keep up the good work!

  9. says

    Robb, do you have references for causes of Gout? I showed my coworker, who suffers from gout Gary Taubes lost chapter on Gout and sparked his interest but still seems be convinced it’s purine rich foods and protein not grains and fructose. He is a newer P.T. ( so he knows everything) and his wife is a vegetarian so I have a lot of things working against me.

  10. Jessica Jane says

    …Robb, you really ought to check if your podcasts download properly before uploading them to your site, it’s quite dissapointing when you’re pumped to listen to the new episode when all you get is the first three minutes. 😉 Otherwise I love what you do and please keep it up!

  11. Norm says

    Hey Robb thought you’d like these sites, I’ve been using them alot lately:
    its a food planner of sorta, you can change the macro %s, the calories you want per day divide by meals etc. Really awesome. Supports paleo+low carb, you have to click the arrows down.
    people go through and research supplements, they give a full explanation and a little biochem stuff too

  12. Ryan says

    Interesting podcast, although I like the longer episodes. Any chance of getting Dan John on the show some time?

  13. JoelG says

    I’d love to hear more on stimulants and their potential effects on weight loss–wait, no I woudln’t! not if that means I have to give up my 52 ounces or so of Starbucks every day!!!

    But seriously, if drinking lots of coffee can cause your weight to stall by wearing out your adrenals and boosting cortisol or some other mechanism, this might be why I’m stuck at around 216 lbs (down from 257).


  14. henry says

    @ Loose skin after weight-loss. I also have the same issue and am at a loss.

    I was once pretty obese and have been lean as I’ve wanted to be, EXCEPT for my saggy mid-section. I have extra, chubby skin and it seems like no matter what I try it seems to stay. Tim Ferriss speaks on the fact that EGCG “appears to increase programmed cell death (apoptosis) in mature fat cells… The ease which people regain fat is due to a certain “fat memory” (the size of fat cells decreases, but not the number).”

    It also seems I tend to gain weight if I simply look at carbs or lose sleep.
    (4-Hour Body, pg 118)

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