The Paleo Solution – Episode 88

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

Download Episode Here

Download a transcript of this episode

1. [8:55] Eggs
2. [15:19] Caffeine
3. [18:17] Sugar Addition
4. [25:53] Spinach: Oxalates & Phytates
5. [27:05] Ephedrine for Weight Loss
6. [32:03] Hemorrhoids & Chapped Lips
7. [34:41] Metabolic Typing
8. [39:12] Effect of Sex on Recovery



1. Eggs

John Says: Hey Robb,

Over the last couple months I’ve transitioned to a roughly 90% paleo diet with noticeable results in body composition, sleep quality, and even cognition. My biggest adjustment has been at breakfast – I used to eat cereal almost exclusively whereas nowadays I have eggs probably 5 times per week. In total I’m probably consuming 15 eggs per week, sometimes more, and I’m concerned that I’m overdoing it on the eggs. Do you have any thoughts on this? In addition, given the high quantity, I’d like to eat the very best quality eggs available. I’ve seen all kinds for sale such as free range, vegetarian diet, omega 3 enhanced, etc. What type of eggs do you think are the best to consume?  Thanks!


2. Caffeine

Ian says: I have read your book three times, an avid podcast listener. Some background on me primarily an endurance athlete: marathons, triathlons, and cross-fit 2 times a week. I have no major health issues (knock on wood) and take no meds. Been pretty strict paleo for 1.5 years, I find that later in the day I feel lower energy so I enjoy a cup of coffee. I read somewhere that Caffeine can decrease Insulin Sensitivity, I am curious what your thoughts are on this? I know you have spoken (in past podcasts) at how caffeine in a pre-workout situation can enhance performance.  I continue to pass on all your good here in Austin, Texas. Thanks Dude.


3. Sugar Addition

Gary Says: Hi Robb. Do you have any advice about tackling sugar addiction? Don’t laugh, I’m not joking.

My sugar addiction often leaves me irritible, angry, depressed, over-whelmed, with low self esteem, and brain fogged. I call it an addiction because I abuse sugar. I tend to binge on suggary foods and it’s a compulsion. I consume sugary foods with such gusto that I barely taste it or even enjoy it. Sometimes I barely even realise that I have bought and eaten a chocolate bar until it’s gone!

So I started my Paleo Solution diet a few months back and for a good couple of months the cravings subsided. I felt better. Eventually though, it fell apart again. I went through several weeks of on/off sugar binges before getting back on the wagon. Since then it’s been up and down. I keep trying to recapture that initial Paleo situation but I’m finding it much harder now.

Background: I’m 5 foot 4, male, about 145 pounds, 44 years old, mostly sedentary. The sugar addiction started at least a decade ago and I’ve tried lots of different diets in the past. I have hayfever too.

In my first attemp at the Paleo Solution I was fairly strict but I eventually started to experiment by re-introducing tea with milk, and then rice. I think it may have been a burger with a wheat bun that finally brought back the sugar cravings (or maybe the rice). Any advice?


4. Spinach: Oxalates & Phytates

Justin Says: Is spinach okay to eat? I’ve been told that it contains phytates and oxalates, and that like grains and legumes, it is to be avoided completely. Thoughts?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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. says

    Sounds like a very interesting podcast. One that I wish I would be willing to listen to NOW. However, I have decided to go back in the archives and start from the beginning. I am 6 episodes through!

    I need to give a huge SHOUT out and say THANK YOU ROBB for doing all that you do. Your podcast Rocks which is with Andy as I listen to the first few episodes.

    It kicks ass and I wil be sure to send thousands of new listeners your way. Its so relaxing to listen too! And I learn so much!

    I have some quick thoughts on chapped lips…

    I used to have extremely severe chapped lips. I then started to use the lip balm from Made On Lotion and I no longer use lip balm every day. My lips are rarely chapped. Its amazing. It is summer so they are not as chapped as Winter like always but I still used to put it on several times during the day in the summer. Twice is the absolute max now!

    She also has an awesome bug block that has worked like magic for me so far. Just my 2 cents. Thought I would pass it on!

  2. Paleo Pupil says


    You should record one of the last seminars. I bet I’m not the only one who would have loved to attend but now its no longer an option. Totally enthused and support your move towards educating the medical profession! Good luck with it man. I’m sure you’re gonna knock it outta the park.


      • Trevor says

        I like the professional seminars for sure. I think you should spend your energy there. What about a DVD or something of one of the last seminars for those not in the health professions?

  3. Alexandra says

    Hi.. enjoyed the podcast.. I wanted to suggest to Greg-Question #6 that he try eating more fat. After the lifetime of fat-is-bad brainwashing we have all lived with, it could be that he is still holding back a little. Now that I get plenty of fat in my diet, I have no problems with chapped lips, dry skin, etc. A common complaint among new low carb eaters is constipation and often the resulting hemorrhoids… once you push yourself ( if needed) to eat more fat, these issues will usually resolve themselves.

    Best of luck.

    • says

      In additionto the fat Alexandra suggested, it sounds like he could be dehydrated as well. Up the fat and water/liquid intake and he might find some relief.

      Great podcast…thanks!!

  4. Cody-Mac says


    I have often wondered if my baby girl (8 months old) would benefit in the same mannner that we benefit from supplementing with fish oil’s. I currently use Barleans liquid fish oil and am very curious to know if it would be ok to add some to her baby food? With all the valuable benefits associated with fish oil supplementation I would like to allow my daughter these same benefits so long as it’s healthy for her. Thoughts? thank you for your time Mr. Wolf.

    • John Calhoun says

      One of the first EverydayPaleo podcasts addresses this. I guess the ratio of DHA to EPA is important (Not sure, but I think you need higher DHA than EPA for children) Sara has a recommendation on a specific brand for children.

  5. Cody-Mac says


    I am currently supplementing my diet with Barlean’s liquid fish oil. I also have an 8 month old daughter and a question for you. would it be healthy and/or beneficial for me to augment my daughter’s diet with some fish oil as well? any thoughts regarding this and if so do you recommend a given frequency and quantity? thank you for your time Mr. Wolf.

  6. Trevor says

    Very interesting podcast.

    1) I remember Rob saying about blood types in an earlier podcast, assume everyone is blood type O. For the record, I have never looked at the blood type diet even though I’m O positive and I never will consider it. I have better things to read like Comic books.

    2) Gary thank you on your question about sugar addiction. I’m a sugar addict but I might be, might be in the category that if I avoid it for 3 months, I might be able to have it once in while. Years before Paleo, I gave up junk food for about 7 weeks and lost all taste for it. I tried eating a donut and threw it out after one bite. My big mistake. DON’T EVER DO THIS. I tried eating junk food until it tasted good again and then I was addicted to it again. If I manage to give up the crap food for 3 months again, and it doesn’t taste good to me afterwards, then it’s on the food list of things I hate. First entry so far, donuts. Can’t stand them. The stuff with glutten I don’t touch any longer, too many issues. But I do miss pizza (thank you for meatza).

  7. az says

    Dear Hemorrhoid Sufferer:

    Buy wet toilet paper. eg. Scott Naturals Flushable Wipes.

    Buy K2 drops from Thorne Research for the chapped lips.

  8. Matt says

    Thanks for the answer on the sugar addiction. That question definitely applied to me also. I really appreciate your “One size doesn’t necessarily fit all…” explanation. It’s been REALLY hard for me to accept that while family and friends can successfully moderate their sugar intake I can’t.

    • says

      [I think this comment got hung up in moderation queue for a link. Here’s a link-free version.]

      Re sugar addiction, I’m not convinced that sugar needs to be treated the same way alcohol and drugs do, i.e., abstain forever. I found the reference Robb made, and I think this is an important point:

      “Though the effects of a typical meal are quantitatively less than those of doses of those drugs, most modern humans experience them several times a day, every day of their adult lives.”

      A commenter on my blog used the phrase “intelligent control of hyper-palatable foods” which I liked. What I do is eat clean the majority of the week, and then typically once a week, maybe twice, I allow go off-plan. What I’ve found is that as long as I stop it at ONE meal, I do not wind up slip-sliding all the way back to full-blown out-of-control overeating.

      But stopping at one meal is the key I think. Otherwise, stringing multiple meals together is what I call the “cruise ship phenomena” … one week of SAD foods and your brain is hooked again.

      Robb’s probably right that we’re all different, and so your experience with sugar may be different from mine. But I’m certainly sympathetic to the challenges of avoiding things forever in our food porn environment.

        • says

          I just wonder how much of that may be physiological, and how much may be psychological. I.e., maybe the slipslide is related to the “what the eff” effect … once I eat sugar, I’ve blown it for the day (or week), and I start eating it enough to get the reinforcement.

          Then again Kathleen DesMaisons (who wrote Potatoes, Not Prozac) makes the case that there is beta-endorphin priming going on, and the first hit after abstaining is always the best (and very reinforcing … which is why you want to avoid it). But I think if you know that and know that the trick is to not reinforce with subsequent doses, it works.

          If folks want to experiment with sugar, I think they need to go clean enough days to let their brains work without the substance. And I also don’t think people should treat it like they do Tim Ferriss’ cheat day: as an excuse to essentially binge. Finally, I also think they need to avoid sugar in response to stress. It’s a very different thing to plan it as an occasional thing for a special occasion, and another to use it because the boss or the spouse yelled at you.

          The real question is which is the bigger challenge for someone: to never have, or have it occasionally? I guess everyone has to find what works for them. But either way, it’s a lot easier with cleaner eating!

  9. funnygirl says

    Hey Robb,

    I just started reading Gary Taubes book, “Why We Get Fat”. In his book, there’s a picture of a poor naked gal (pg 69) that looks like I look – give or take a few pounds. I thought I was just “pear-shaped”; but according to this picture, it seems likely that I might have this “rare disorder” called Progressive Lipodystrophy. Does such a thing exist?

    I’m currently 5’8″ about 155. I do Crossfit twice a week and I do sprints one other day a week. I eat mostly paleo with the occasional dairy, corn, and rice and have since Fall 2009. I supplement with Vit D (5000iu/day), Cod Liver Oil (2 tsp/day), Evening Primrose Oil, Natural Calm at night and the occasional enzymes after a big meal. I eat about 1400 cal / day (60% fat, 20% carbs, 20% protein). I gain weight if I eat more than that.

    I’m a size 2/4 above my 27″ waist! I’m a size 12/14 around my 41″ hips. I look “great” from the waist up! I just wish my hips, rear, and thighs would get the memo!

    Could this possible “rare disorder” have anything to do with my odd shape? Should I go as strict as the auto-immune paleo diet? Should I go more low-carb?


    P.S. I should mention that I check my BBTs in the AM. My temps have been historically below 97’F and I know that that could mean thyroid issues. It’s been suggested by one of the paleo network docs that I could have hypothyroidism; but I haven’t had recent tests.

    • says

      Well…that’s a big one. this condition does have some strong autoimmune linkages, as does hypothyroid. So you might be onto something here. Without a doubt, if we are “healthier” we tend to do better, so trying on the Autoimmune protocol for a month or two seems safe and low risk. Investigating whether or not yoou do have this condition, hypothyroid and possibly otehr autoimmunity concerns also seems prudent. Keep me posted on what you try and discover.

      • funnygirl says

        Thanks Robb! I appreciate your quick reply. I will try what you suggest and keep you posted. :)

  10. says

    Re: question #8, you guys were spot on. I used to have a coach who said its not the sex that creates problems, its the behaviors leading to the sex that do. LOL! Love the podcast as always!

  11. says

    I think the question about oxalates deems a little more research/attention. I recently switched to Paleo about 2 months now and I feel great and lost a lot of weight very easily. But I noticed a lot of the foods I choose are high to very high in oxalates. For example he mentioned you’d have to eat a lot of spinach to get too many oxalates, however, for example when I buy spinach I buy a big container of it and so I usually eat it for lunch everyday for a week then I switch the next week. But I usually add blueberries, walnuts and carrots, all of which are high to very high in oxalates. Then for dessert I would treat myself to 80% dark chocolate which is also very high in oxalate. My question is I’m very healthy but if I do this often is this dangerous? High oxalate foods also include: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, currants, kiwifruit, concord (purple) grapes, figs, tangerines, and plums.

    Thank God meat is low in oxalates!

    I started looking into this because I was getting adhesions in my forearm from overuse and I would massage them and I felt crunching. I was trying to find out what this is from. I doubt it’s from oxalates but I know oxalates cause stones and crystals in urine (which I don’t have).

    Anyone, know more about this. My tendons in my arm glu together and my forarms start to get tight. I stretch all the time and work out 3 days/week, run, spin and such.

    • Amy B. says

      I think these types of issues are the best reason for eating a varied diet. I’m in the Weston A. Price Foundation, and a few months ago, they had an article in their journal called “Plants Bite Back.” It was all about oxalates, phytic acid, goitrogens, phytoestrogens, etc. You could really scare yourself into not eating anything ever again, basically. 😉

      It seems like even many foods we would all consider fantastic from a paleolithic nutrition perspective still contain questionable substances. Oxalates are just one. Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) contain goitrogens when eaten raw in large quantities. It’s my understanding that cooking neutralizes some of them, and cooking also neutralizes oxalates to some extent.

      Overall, I just think these things are the best reason to not rely on any one single food to the point of dependence or to excluding other foods. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with eating lots of raw spinach salads, as long as you’re mixing it up with other things often enough. Even if you do a week straight of spinach at lunch, just don’t do it for, say, 4 months on end, y’know? (Then again, I’m not a doctor, and I guess you have to determine what’s optimal for yourself. As you seem to have realized from your own experience, some people are more sensitive to things like oxalates than others.)

      This is probably also a good argument for eating seasonally/locally if possible. You *couldn’t* eat certain foods every single day for 8 months if you were getting fruits and vegs that were in season. (Granted, that’s not always possible, especially if you live, say, in Montana, in December, but you know what I mean.)

      I’ve heard “crazy Paul Chek” say (and Andy quoted him on the podcast back in the day), “If you like it, rotate it.” It makes sense. Even if you’re only talking every few months instead of every few days, because I think it’s hard to plan like that — chicken for 2 days, pork for 2, beef for 3. It’s too much micromanaging, IMO. But the overall picture over time should include a wide variety of both plant and animal foods.

      (I don’t think any of us would be afraid about consuming blueberries or blackberries b/c of oxalates. There are too many *good* things about them to exclude them. Probably just stick to them when they’re in season and just don’t eat a whole pint at a time. 😉 Easier said than done, though, I know!

  12. Laura R says

    Poor hemorrhoid ridden fellow,
    It might be worth it to try and verify that you are eating enough fiber to move all the meat and fat out of your intestines. Specifically, there is a thing in the body called the hepatic portal system which is a system of blood vessels which may be impinged by pressure in the gut. If this happens there will be a build of pressure (blood) in the anus which will cause hemorrhoids. If your fiber seems sufficient (make sure you are absolutely no less than 25 grams) then you might want to look into the fat intake mentioned elsewhere. Good luck!

    • Laura R says

      O and another thought I left off. Chapped lips often happen in cold areas that are dry. Or when people are persistently exposed to cold air. The hemorrhoids may be related in a round about way. Here we go: So the glutes are a large muscle group which when they get cold will contract and sort of spasm, if you will, which increases pressure on those same earlier mentioned anal vessels and may cause back up in that area. Therefore your chapped lips and hemorrhoids may be related.
      In sumation: Try to eat more fiber if you are lacking that(hard to do on paleo but ya never know)
      try to keep your buttocks warm when possible (do not sit on any cold stone or cold chair if you can avoid it)
      Use some chapstick…?

  13. Tane says

    The questions towards the end of the podcast are always the best.
    Question 8: I’m sure I read a quote from an American Major League Baseball coach who said something to the effect:
    “It isn’t the sex before the game that is the problem, it is the staying up all night looking for it.”

  14. Stabby says

    Oh man, Robb was harsh to the blood typers! Good. I’m A+ and I almost had an orgasm after ending my vegetarian diet.

  15. Jenn D says

    Hey Robb,

    I’m a little embarrassed to post because I haven’t managed to make it “strict” paleo for more than a couple weeks. However, I wanted to let you know that I have had similar reactions as the guy suffering from hemorrhoids and chapped lips.

    During my “strict” phase, the skin on my face gets super dry and will start to flake off. I’ve just started using a lot of lotions and creams but since I normally have normal to oily skin, this has been unusual. My fat intake is good, lots of butter, olive oil and avocados. I just thought it was something that would regulate itself the longer I stayed on the program (i.e. just my body working things out). But, I wanted to let you know that this guy isn’t the only guy experiencing symptoms of dryness. Super weird…

    Love the podcasts! Thanks for all of your help and advice!

  16. Craig says

    Gary, I sympathize with the sugar addiction. For a period of about 2-3 mos a number of summers ago, I’d smoke pot at a friend’s after work then wander home about 3AM, stopping at as many as 3 convenience stores on the way for Little Debbies, etc. This constituted just about all of my life’s marijuana usage, and I quit because it was making me lazy and I started to want to smoke when I was alone. When I quit the sugar binges stopped as well…until the next summer. A year later I had no desires to smoke but something about the mental associations of those balmy summer nights brought back those sugar cravings worse than ever. After a few years of “eating paleo” with the single modification of a massive sugar binge 2-3 nights a week I developed problems with insulin, cortisol and candida.

    I agree with Robb’s advice that in an addiction scenario 100% compliance is critical. I have enough time under my belt now so that my control is good enough so that I know I won’t binge, but I also know that even a little taste of something sugary and I’ll be bartering with myself for the next few days and weeks over little allowances that I might make that overall negatively impact my health.

    Two pieces of advice coming from my own experience:
    Robb suggested something along these lines, but you can’t just yank some form of pleasure from your life and not sense an emptiness (I don’t mean this strictly metaphorically, the opioids if you will). You need some preferably non-food source of pleasure to get you over the hump (Be wary of other food cravings and meal rituals ready to supplant your sugar cravings in the wake of sugar’s absence). I have no steeping in neurochemistry, so take this for what it’s worth, but it’s my personal observation that some flow inducing activity (flow in the psychological sense: is the best antidote.

    Second, being able to put a number on how bad my indiscretions are has been extremely helpful. A glucose monitor, I mean. There’s no bargaining with yourself when the detriment of your actions isn’t open to equivocation.

    Good luck buddy,

  17. says

    I agree completely with your comments on the blood-type based diet. I let someone type me based on blood and some dietary questions and the resulting recommendations were silly. Not to mention the lack of scientific foundation and anthropological data.

    Recently, however, I read a book, The Perfect Gene Diet, by Pam McDonald. The basic concept is that a particular genotype, various expressions of the Apo E gene, is associated with differing degrees of ability of ability to process fats (and she claims, toxins and pollutants). For instance, those with Apo E 4/4 genotype (inheriting Apo E 4 from each parent) tend to have very high cholesterol levels, particularly if eating a diet high in saturated fats. McDonald doesn’t just rely on Apo E testing but also direct cholesterol testing with multiple subfractions as well as markers of inflammation (CRP), insulin levels, etc.

    I have checked some of her references and hunted down others and Apo E 4/4 may be associated with an increased probability of developing Alzheimers plus there appears to be published research on its effects on elevated cholesterol. Other Apo E variations (for instance 2/2, 2/3, 2/4, 3/4) have other health consequences or tendencies, according to McDonald. Can’t say I have done enough reading to confirm or deny those conclusions but it is intriguing.

    That being said, her conclusions regarding diet and exercise often make little sense to me in light of many other facts I am familiar with. For instance her comments about the anti-inflammatory nature of seed oils, pro-inflammatory nature of almost all animal fat, protein-phobia and various other recommendations lead me to the conclusion that her diet is far from perfect. However, the Apo E genotype may explain why some Paleo adherents have perversely high blood lipids while others have exceptionally low readings.

  18. tmt says

    I can totally identify with sugar addiction question!!! i thought you were talking about me. remember if you get hit by a train, its the engine that kills you not the caboose. i have found for myself there is no safe dose, i cant stop at one. thanks for putting this question in the pod cast, i believe there are more people out there with this problem than care to admit.

    ps. i am currently being run over by the train and hoping to be paleo again soon!!

    • Kathleen says

      Me too :( Currently lost in the “chocolate forest”. It really sucks but so glad to see I’m not alone. I will listen to this podcast tomorrow (no time at the moment). Hopefully will give me a kick start back in the right direction.

  19. Linda says

    Hi Robb,

    I can’t remember exactly what lead me to your website, but I’ve search the internet over trying to find answers to my health concerns that doctors don’t seem to understand (or really don’t have the time to figure out). I have abused carbs, sugar, and processed junk most of my life which left me with a need for antacids. I’m desperate for good health, so unlike “Lysa” in your book, I clean out the kitchen, bought the good stuff and decided “no more excuses.” The doctor runs a little light down my throat, sees a little redness and prescribes Prevacid…just like I knew he would. All the time me trying to tell him my overuse of antacids was what I believed was causing the problem in the first place. Since low stomach acid seems to be my problem, I’m almost afraid eating more meat will be harder on my digestion since I’ve heard that meat is harder to digest. Is this true? Have you ever heard of any problem like this? I desperately want to get in good health and follow this completely. Just cutting out the bad carbs, I no longer need the Tums! That in itself is a miracle, but I’m still having nausea after I eat. Thanks for the book! Still reading it, but trying to follow it as I go. Linda

    • says

      The carbs and food intolerances are the problem here (grains, legumes, dairy) not “meat.” Find one of the podcasts that covers the NowFoods super enzymes, follow that and update me in a week or two.

    • says

      Linda, you may also want to check out Jonathan Wright’s “Why Stomach Acid is Good for You” … it definitely covers the too much antacid leading to low stomach acid issue.

      • Linda says

        Thanks Beth! I’m looking it up now. I tried to explain it to my doctor yesterday and he continued to tell me it wasn’t because I have low acid and that I would be throwing up if my food wasn’t digesting. He also said there was no test that shows low acid…I think that’s weird. I could also tell he didn’t believe me when I told him that by cutting my bad carbs, I didn’t need the antacid any longer. As long as I’ve needed them, I will have to say that this surprised me also.

  20. Linda says

    I will do that! Thanks so much.

    There is one statement in your book that I don’t quite understand. Since I’m from Arkansas, not sure what “our first family of fats is more misunderstood than an Emo kid growing up in Arkansas. What’s that about? :) I probably gave my Southern origin away when I said “meat”. lol

  21. says

    Okay, enough with the chia seeds! What about chia pets? Are they calming? Can they play an integral part of a cortisol management program? :)

    More seriously, lots of talk about caffeine as a stimulant, pros and cons. I find yohimbe and caffeine (in reasonable amounts) provide a significant boost over caffeine alone.

    Thoughts on yohimbe?

  22. says

    Re: Question 6 –

    I remembered reading a bit about low mucous on a very low-carb diet for some people in Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet. I was wondering if that might not be the issue here. Jaminet suggests that a moderate amount of glucose readily available might alleviate this symptom, typically with the addition of some starches like sweet potato or yam (or in his version, rice.)

    His blogpost that addresses the issue is here:

    Jaminet has done his own personal experiment on this, and it might be helpful for you.

  23. Jan says

    For the hemorrhoid sufferer:

    Now that you are paleo, perhaps you are spending more time on your feet in the kitchen. This can cause hemorrhoids in some people (happened to me years ago when I started cooking a lot).

    In order to get past the hemorrhoids, you may need to watch how you work out – exercise can create the wrong kind of pressure and keep them from resolving.

    Magnesium can soften your stools. Don’t ever strain on the toilet. If you want to increase your fiber intake, consider eating collard greans.

    I have heard that there is a connection between the liver and hemorrhoids, but don’t know enough to explain the mechanism.

    Good luck!

  24. Chris says

    Hi Robb,

    In your response to question number 3. “Sugar Addition” you mis-characterized alcoholism when you said that someone might eventually learn to control their alcohol consumption and learn to drink in moderation. The person who does this is NOT an alcoholic. This is someone who suffered from “chronic alcohol abuse”.

    In other words the “alcoholic” and the “chronic alcohol abuser” are two completely separate diagnosis. The chronic alcohol abuser can indeed learn to alter their behavior and eventually drink responsibly. The alcoholic can never, ever, under any circumstance drink alcohol again.

    This of course fits what you were saying exactly. It’s just that you said that an “alcoholic” may be able to drink again in moderation. If that is true the person isn’t an alcoholic, they are a former chronic alcohol abuser.

    Thanks for all you do.


  25. Sarah says

    Testosterone/Women/Libido…or lack of

    Just had my hormone levels checked (approximately day 21) and I registered <.01 for testosterone which would explain a LOT. Doc said he was shocked and had never seen a 37 year old female with those results. He gave me 100 (not sure of unit) shot of testosterone and said if I didn't see results, could eventually work up to 200. He also said that because I've been so low for so long, it could take a while to notice any improvement. He didn't seem concerned over anything else and I can't tell that any other results are out of line, plenty of estrogen and progesterone. I've been like this so long, I've forgotten what I'm missing. What should I expect from the shots, is that the best way to take it, when should I see results and how do I know the shots are the right amount? I think the doctor is the most knowledgable in my area but I get the impression this is a unique situation for him and I'm a bit of a guinea pig. I'm an 80/20 paleo eater, ride bike 3-4 times a week in season, lift weights 2 times a week and walk to fill in the gaps. Seems like I've slowly gone backwards in the strength department and trend towards depression if I'm not disciplined about the exercise. Libido? Gone. Otherwise, seemingly healthy. Ha! Any other thoughts, suggestions, etc. are welcome.

    • Chris says

      Hey Sarah,
      Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents as I had a client deal with similar problems not too long ago.
      Your Dr. gave you the typical western med approach which was to just correct the problem with medication. I would ask: 1) how much do you drink? 2) Where do you work? 3) Have you changed anything? Such as soaps, lotions, perfumes, body sprays, deodorants. 4) Are you on Birth control? 5) Has anything changed diet wise? Meaning did you cut back on good fats? Did you add something that has soy? Look for changes in diet and lifestyle.
      Its also a problem because most Dr.s know jack shit about hormones. I have proof of this and my Dr office is all of UCLA.
      Typically libido is regulated by Estrogen not so much by testosterone. Women think that if men have more T they have a higher libido but its a two way street. Higher T levels can lead to higher E levels, this can cause “perkiness” if you catch my drift. At the same time if you drop E levels you will crash the libido. Think of this case example, when most people drink a moderate amount, they get turned on. Why? Because the liver gets poked in the eye and somewhat shuts down, T levels get supressed, and E levels can no longer be excreted and because of run rampid causing you to feel turned on. Too much E in this particular situation will cause the person to become hyper irrational and hyper emotional, similar to PMS experiences.
      Your Dr. may think your E levels are normal because they are “in range” and you are a female when actually you have too much E. At this time you E can be stealing your T as well. Your line of “plenty of Estrogen” hints towards this. Where do you hold fat on your body?
      To give you an example, from a males side, I recently was getting bodyfat levels checked, after 3 weeks my body comp was tighting up really well and I was getting lean. All of a sudden 3 weeks into it certain areas on my body became “puffy.” It was discovered that I had made one weird change to my life, my deodorant, which I switched from one that does not contain aluminum to one that does. Aluminum is known to be an endocrine/hormone disruptor. Something similar may be happening to you.

      • Sarah says

        Maybe I should’ve mentioned that this has been going on for aa few years, probably 3-4. On average I drink once, maybe twice a month, not usually more than 2 drinks. I have a desk job; stress is cyclical. I have eliminated body soaps for the better part of a year and have no intention of using them ever again. Using the same shampoo/conditioner that I’ve used for years. Rarely use deodorant as I just don’t seem to need it. I haven’t been on any birth control/hormones for 7 years. I avoid soy like the plague and eat plenty of good fats from grass fed meats and butter, avocadoes, wild fish, etc. Fat is rather evenly stored but higher concentration between my rib cage and mid-thigh. I’ve researched this as much as I can but just not finding much in PubMed or anywhere else. The doctor I’m seeing is versed in the Wiley Protocol which is why I chose him. I don’t know that it’s perfect but it’s better than most of the approaches I’ve found.

  26. says

    Holy cats! You answered my question on sex and recovery!

    Haha yes I agree that chasing tail in between Jaeger bombs would set back recovery. Last month, just staying out late as the DD wrecked me enough that I’m cutting nightlife out until after the meet.

    I asked because sometimes after sex with my girlfriend I’d wake up extra sore. But due to the fact that Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is, well, delayed, I wasn’t sure if there was any causation there. That’s great to know that there are so many benefits to be gained from sex. Thanks for answering!

  27. Gavin says


    You mention that eating the same foods too frequently may cause food intolerances/sensitivities

    Got links? I’m curious to learn more about this

    Thanks :)

      • Gavin says

        Hmmmm :/

        Im unsure. I’ve eaten eggs every day for the past 8 years and don’t seem to have any issues with it.

        If *some* have developed intolerances to eggs whilst also eating them regularly then perhaps there are other factors at work and the intolerance is a symptom.

        Food intolerance is a sign of depleted gut flora diversity which suggests to me it could be more a symptom of
        * not eating enough varied fresh vegetation
        * not getting enough exposure to the mucky outside world
        * antibiotics use.

        I can’t see a mechanism for eating a food too regularly causing one’s flora diversity to diminish

    • kem says

      I hope the last couple of decades eating 2 or 3 dozen eggs a week doesn’t catch up with me. What would my chooks think?

  28. Chris says

    I recently signed up to get my Level 1 Poliquin BioSig cert in Sept and I already have read your posts a few times coach but is there any updated additional advice you can give me while in attendance? Besides bring a shit load of paper and pens and wear only crossfit apparel.

    Also, can we get an official Paleo Response (Robb Wolf sytle of course) about the HCG diet. Since being on Dr. Oz and a bunch of other BS people are starting to talk. I figure a pro’s rebuttal would be bad ass. Thank ya much sir.

    • says

      “Though hCG dieters have some leeway in how they spend their 500 daily calories, they’re urged to choose organic meats, vegetables, and fish. Dairy, carbs, alcohol, and sugar are all off limits. A day’s meals might consist of coffee and an orange for breakfast; a little tilapia and raw asparagus for lunch; a piece of fruit in the afternoon; and crab, spinach, Melba toast, and tea for dinner.”

      Despite being 500kcal and the slice of melba toast, it sounds awfully similar to paleo.


      • Chris says

        Im just asking but you sound like youre actually ok with this thing being on the market, is that true? Because its paleo on 500cals its ok? I know thats how most people on it arent eating anyways. They are using it as a crutch to eat what they want.

        A similar experiment has taken place with the Tnation website and its users of a product called the Indiglo Project, which repartitions nutrients into muscle instead of fat, so you can eat more carbs and they will specifically cause muscle to grow rather than promote fat gain. For $400 people are swearing by it. I did my own study into “Team 1” and found that most of them were fat, and though while being told to eat a “good” diet, evaded such advice in order to make poor food choices.

        Lap ban also promotes a liquid diet post surgery and then says that the patient should recover (for I believe 3 months) on a basic paleo diet. They dont call it paleo though but it excludes grains and processed foods etc.

        I have been hearing that, despite not being hungry, post people on this are still eating anything. Pregnant urine+500cal= still sounds like a bad idea. Robb is usually witty and snarky and I would just love a coach wolf come back to this “diet.” 😉

        • says

          I appreciate the faith in me but I may be out of me league here. I think big cal restriction with a FAITH in the hcg + a knowledge that this is “for a specific period of time” allows folks to not be as hungry as they’d otherwise be. As to the Indigo project…steroids are cheaper, and actually “work.”

          • Chris says

            Me confuse.. Im so sorry to keep harping on this but I want to make sure Im reading you right. Are you saying HCG is ok to use?

            And as far as Tnation goes with steriods thats a joke man. I reviewed EVERYONE’s file on the indigo project and these members were, fat, obese, skinny fat, skinny or completely out of touch with reality and lying about where there bodies are at currently look wise and performance wise. I wrote an article for TC, got shut down, it didnt favor the site. The idea of Indigo makes a lot of sense and would be the Cure to what Taubes thinks is killing America. Does it actually work though? And whats the excuse of using it?

            Any chance of taking a stab at the Poliquin question I ask por favor?
            (Damn I sound like an A-hole online. Apologies)

  29. Fiona says

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the amazing podcast, first of all. It’s definitely a big help with going Paleo – I’m going on day 6 of strict Paleo, but have been dialing down carbs, gluten etc for months now. This blog just gave me the motivation for the final step. 😉

    I have a question for either the podcast or a quick answer. I’ve just been diagnosed with a slight bunion and hallux limitus in my right foot. My options now are a toe separator for my toe (this would be temporary, however), and then eventually surgery. I was wondering if Paleo or diet had any influence on reducing or even getting rid of the bunion – I would really like to avoid surgery if at all possible.



  30. says

    About the chapped lips: I wonder if maybe there’s some fatty acid conversion impairment going on and the omega 6 isn’t converting to GLA? Lifestyle changes can affect this. For some people, alcohol helps this conversion (believe it or not!) so cutting it out could ostensibly have an effect if this is the case. GLA capsules (borage oil) might be worth checking out.

    Another thought is dehydration/sodium deficiency. I’ve seen a number of paleo people on different forums complaining about dehydration, muscle cramps and hypotension and when they try adding some unrefined sea salt to their drinking water, these issues go away.
    A lot of people’s salt intake drops quite a lot when they go paleo (and then there is the anti-salt paleo camp) and a lot of people have some degree of adrenal fatigue, which causes low levels of aldosterone and can negatively affect sodium balance, causing sodium wasting and dehydration which doesn’t resolve from just drinking water (blood sodium levels end up further diluted!) A certain amount of sodium in the body is needed to help the water actually hydrate the cells.

    There’s no harm in adding 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of unrefined salt (I like Redmond Real Salt) to each big glass of water to see if it helps. The worst that could happen is maybe some temporary water retention if the sodium isn’t needed…

    It wouldn’t

  31. says

    Trying to find the sausage at Whole Foods that Robb recommended. I went today and could not find any without sugar added, even the stuff behind the glass, according to the dude in the white coat, had sugar added to the spice mix. Any help?

      • says

        He didn’t say, but I’m optimistic that the amount is scant. I was short on time and couldn’t wait around for him to go in the back and actually look up specifics for me, but he did offer to do so. He just said that it was added to the “spices” for sure in SOME of the sausages, but possibly not all. I just get so disappointed to see how it’s sneaked into just about everything around us. I’ll be getting the pork mild italian my next trip and making time to have the dude look at his spice mix and see what’s really what.

  32. bomber5 says

    Hi, im new to this diet as such. question: im currently follwoing the blood type diet, some say to eat legumes, other blood types its ok to have dairy. whats you say between this diet and the paleo diet, similar in ways but still has differences. also the blood type book has diet foods from humaity thousands of years ago. whats your say with these diets?

  33. Lynn B says

    6. Hemorrhoids and Chapped Lips…
    I personally would wonder about his fluid intake in regards to the chapped lips. I remember a long time ago I took some diet pills that were a strong diuretic while working out daily. About 2 to 3 weeks before I got completely dehydrated, I noticed that my lips stayed chapped no matter how often I moisturized them.

    Long story short, sometimes chapped lips and dry skin can be an indication that you are not getting enough fluids.

    Is it possible that a combination of consuming large amounts of protein without balancing your diets with fluids through drinks and vegetables, fruits, etc. could lead to dehydration… thus the mysterious chapped lips?

  34. Lloyd says

    “On the 7th day of abstinence, however, a clear peak of serum testosterone appeared, reaching 145.7% of the baseline” ??


    A research on the relationship between ejaculation and serum testosterone level in men.
    Jiang M, Xin J, Zou Q, Shen JW.
    J Zhejiang Univ Sci. 2003 Mar-Apr;4(2):236-40.

    Department of Life Science, Hangzhou Normal College, Hangzhou 310020, China.

    The purpose of this study is to gain understanding of the relationship between ejaculation and serum testosterone level in men. The serum testosterone concentrations of 28 volunteers were investigated daily during abstinence periods after ejaculation for two phases. The authors found that the fluctuations of testosterone levels from the 2nd to 5th day of abstinence were minimal. On the 7th day of abstinence, however, a clear peak of serum testosterone appeared, reaching 145.7% of the baseline ( P < 0.01). No regular fluctuation was observed following continuous abstinence after the peak. Ejaculation is the precondition and beginning of the special periodic serum testosterone level variations, which would not occur without ejaculation. The results showed that ejaculation-caused variations were characterized by a peak on the 7th day of abstinence; and that the effective time of an ejaculation is 7 days minimum. These data are the first to document the phenomenon of the periodic change in serum testosterone level; the correlation between ejaculation and periodic change in the serum testosterone level, and the pattern and characteristics of the periodic change.

  35. simthehuman says

    Regarding Hemorrhoids,

    I have suffered on and off over the years, my first case came on as a result of lots of motorbike riding in cold weather, this was long before starting Paleo. I tried various medications and at first they worked.

    However whenever I got run down and/or ate badly they would come back. I googled hemorrhoids and via wikipedia discovered that they are largely a western disease. This was attributed to squatting to defecate rather than than sitting. I decided that it was worth a try.

    We had just had our first son at the time so we had a potty, so I used that. I don’t sit on it I squat above it.

    I had been suffering for two weeks, but after squatting to defecate instead of sitting it cleared up in 24 hours! Now I pretty much squat all the time, it seems like a small thing but I believe it is much healthier as at least once a day you have to do a full squat and you are much more connected with one of your most basic bodily functions. This gives you great clues into what is good/bad for your diet.

    I have never used it but there is an adaptor for standard toilets that you can get from here: They also have much more information about why it is healthier.

    Think about it: would Paleo man sit on a toilet or squat?

  36. Dr Paula says

    Hi Robb or designee,
    I searched Catalyst Athletics for Scotty Hagnas’s faux-cereal you mentioned in reference to John’s (question 1) egg question, but can’t find it. Could you provide a link or a recipe? I bought chickens when my son and I went paleo a year and a half ago, because a lot of the recipes for bread-stuff substitutes (needed for snacks and to grab-and-go) use lots of eggs, and the best eggs are those from my bug-fed, organic grain-supplemented chickens. But I’d love another option for breakfast. He can’t manage salmon in the morning.

    Educating the medical profession in the benefits of grain-free, dairy-free, is definitely a worthwhile pursuit. However, a lot of CME programs are sponsored by drug companies. I don’t see them paying you to speak and advocate a diet which would eliminate the need for their product! I hope you find a way. I know my hospital’s food service seems to work hard to drum up business and add to their census, and I don’t get support when I try to prescribe a more paleo-type menu for my patients. They think vegetables are corn and green beans- I never see leafy greens on a tray unless it is creamed spinach!

    Thanks for the podcasts- they make my running pleasurable and educational. I have forgotten all the biochem and physiology I learned in med school.

  37. says

    Hey Robb, I think you’re making a huge mistake about Metabolic Typing. Perhaps it was inadvertent, but it is NOT the same thing a s the blood type diet. Even Mark Sisson over at Mark’s Daily Apple called MT “Hooey, humbug, nonsense” but has lost a lot of credibility in doing so, and if you go through the comments, the primal/paleo crowd is definitely losing the argument!

    Have a look:

    So was this just a mixup?

    • says

      No, it was NOT a mix-up. I’m with Mark, Mat Lalonde and a host of other people on this. If my credibility is gone…well, there are lots of other blogs on the internet.

    • says

      Not a mix-up. I’m with Mark on this and share company with folks like Mat Lalonde and a host of other scientists. If my credibility is gone, there are plenty of other blogs on the internet.

      • says

        So you think it’s fair to say that all humans have evolved (nutritionally) in the exact same way, without any biochemical individuality? I’m a huge believer in the ancestral diet and health movement, but it seems crazy to me to insist on a one-size-fits all solution for everyone — regardless of Metabolic Typing or any other similar theory. I mean, we see all the time people who have different tolerances and sensitivities to foods. And how can we ignore the enormous contrasts between hunter-gatherer societies that have thrived on seemingly opposite diets?

        Thanks Robb, I certainly didn’t mean any disrespect! But I had a lot of (perhaps “blind”) faith in the leading Paleo/primal advocates, and this has been a valuable lesson for me, to continue doing my own study and make up my mind on my own, cause no human being has got it all right. And if history is any indication, most things we come to believe today will likely turn out to be either very wrong or at least a bit off target.

        • says

          When EXACTLY did I say everyone was the same? Tell me back precisely what I recommend that people should do with regards to food. I want to know that you actually understand what I’m saying, because I believe you do NOT. When have I ever told people to not think or be critical? the question was asked, I answered…you do not like the answer.

          Then, you tell me what you have cooking that is better. That is going to help more people, in a more precise way than what I put forward…and that costs them no money. YOU show me thee better way and I’m in, but do not put words in my mouth nor paint me into a corner that i did not make because you want the world to be a certain way.

          So, again Please yell me
          1-What is my general prescription for people
          2-What is YOUR improvement upon that prescription

  38. Tracey says

    Hey Robb,
    You mention a pork sausage from Whole Foods..what brand?? Would love to try and find it.

  39. Lauren says

    Re chapped lips and piles: it’s LATE, but something about gut dysbiosis leading to wonky iron/B12 absorption came to mind. I have definitely had these two symptoms (or chapped lips and constipation) together, so much so that if I need to use chapstick two days in a row I know to concentrate on my digestive health.
    Does this possible association strike any sparks for anyone?