The Paleo Solution – Episode 109

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

Download Episode Here

Download a transcript of this episode


1. [1:30] Crossfit early years
2. [10:35] Living and lifting on planet Hoth
3. [24:34] Teeth
4. [32:46] 5-hour energy shots
5. [39:48] Strength equals muscle?
6. [47:19] Whole food supplements vs. synthetic supplements


1. Crossfit workouts – the early years
Gaby says:
Hi Rob,
Every once in awhile, I hear you refer to the Crossfit workouts of early years being more in tune with what you prefer to the current incarnations.  Could you elaborate on what those general types of exercises are, or resources to look for to find them out, as I am someone not too fit with Crossfit.  Currently, my general exercise routines are basic Push/Pull/Squat circuits in the gym, 3 times a week, 20-30 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of cardio, sometimes intervals, and I try to mix up the exercises in the circuits as much as possible.

Are those early days of Crossfit similar or is it something totally different?



2. Living and lifting on planet Hoth
Jonny Canuck says:
Robb and Greg,

Robb, loyal listener since day 1 and have enjoyed the addition of Greg since him hopping aboard.

I would love to get your guys take on paleo living and strength training through the winter months up north.
While I train at a well programmed strength and conditioning facility (shameless plug for Spark Sport Conditioning under Kim Layton) and do my best to stay paleo/primal and get plenty of sleep, I can’t help but get crazy carb cravings and almost feel lack luster efforts at the gym.

I understand that the photo periods probably have much to do this seeing how we get 15 hours of total darkness and 9 hours of sun if we’re lucky.  We all can’t be as fortunate to live in Cali or Reno…but don’t worry guys, I’m not ready to pull a Kurt Cobain just yet.

What would you guys recommend (not to treat disease or sickness) Vitamin D levels to be?

Would going Ketogenic help during the winter months? Seasonal veggies…nothing grows in these conditions.

What would you guys focus on for strength gains? Seeing how most of mine come in the summer most likely due to the amount of sunlight we get.

Thanks again for all your efforts and hope you guys can help me navigate paleo living in these icy conditions comparable to Hoth, as I avoid wampas and keep warm while sleeping inside my tauntaun

3. Teeth?

Steph says:

Some background: my relationship to the Paleo Diet is more or less…guilty by association. I follow it because I live with my boyfriend who is religious by it and swears his life by it. I cook Paleo meals for myself because that’s all that’s in the pantry and/or refrigerator. I cook Paleo meals (dinner for two) because that’s all he eats. FOr the most part I let him cook because he likes to, and guess what we eat?As far as my exercise? I’m the literal meaning of nomad. I walk everyday about 4 miles.I go where work goes (kinda like how our ancestors followed their food) I don’t have  a car, so in order to get around it’s either walking or biking. I can bike 7 miles with only needing a sip of water.I’m by no means extreme when it comes to exercise. Trust me, I would get

Now I’ve heard Paleo works wonders, and I know “if only try it for 30 days tra lalala” speel.Now I’m willing to be more strict with this diet if there is any consolation on one thing. one thing. The only health issue I can’t tolerate is my teeth. Apparently my family has awful teeth and the dentist solution is always to take Advil, ibuprofen, Tylenol, ect. None of that shit works.YOu know that and I know that. It just eases the pain. maybe. Depending on how well you trick yourself into believing it helps.I’m 21, I’ve had one tooth extraction, one due for a root canal, a total of 4 cavities in the past 2 years.I’ve spent nights crying because of tooth pain and all to often I’ve relied on Novocaine. I’ve already took a scary dose of Vicodin as result of these teeth, And my front tooth is turning a funny color. Top it off I grind my teeth at night, resulting in some mean jaw pain where hearty meats and steam vegetables are difficult to eat. Now I’ve stopped using floride products for the most part, so I typically brush my teeth with just water and then gargle mouth wash. My chomps are on a fast-rate deterring decline.I need to save them, And if giving up what ice-cream, wheat, green beans, or whatever is the way to do it, then so be it.

Luckily for me the only dairy product I really like is ice-cream and frozen yogurt,  legumes were never a big deal for me, and it’s been approximately
a year and a half since I’ve cut out majority of wheat products. I can pull my reigns tighter on this diet if I know it’s worth it.The results I need, I have a feeling will take longer than 30 days. I’ve noticed there are hardly any podcast that address what this diet can do or could do for teeth. Everyone’s concerned with what exercise or breast milk substitute or turning loved ones to Paleo; however I was hoping there was insight on what foods I could eat to strengthen my teeth or what exercise even, could assist in the care of my teeth. Smarty pants boyfriend says I don’t get enough strengthen muscle work out which is a problem with most women, that also aids in the strengthen in bone mass.Has there ever been anyone else who came to you with the same problem? If so what worked for them? Maybe something else aside from giving up sugar which is a given.I’m tired of the tooth pain and I’m tired of dentist solution. What’s the paleo-solution? Your advice is very much appreciated. Thank you, Steph.

4.  5 Hour Energy Shots
Henry says:
So where are you guys on “5hr energy” drinks?  I’m a professional fireman and trainer/coach on my days off.  I’ve been strict paleo for the last 4 months or so after starting with the whole 30 challenge (great experience).  I used to frequent these little delicious cocktails after a long night or during the day at the firehouse pre whole 30 challenge.  Let me clarify when I say “frequent” I mean I may have had 4 a week and never more than one a day.  Ever since going on the paleo route they have gone by the wayside and initially my energy levels were just fine.  Now 4 months into this I’m starting to feel the need for a slight “kick” if you will every once in a while.  I understand the healthiest option is more sleep, take a nap, I know, but on days we get lots of calls this is quite tough.  I can’t stand coffee, and I’ve tried to throw down an espresso or 2 and those things are the single most vial liquid I’ve ever thrown down my gullet!  So after trying to up my fat intake in the am and really throughout the day and getting very little boost I’ve found myself wandering towards the 5hr’s in the drugstore and rationalizing that they can’t really be that bad, I mean hell everyone else gets their coffee how come I can’t have one of these (although I’ve held off… for now).  What is your(s) opinion on these things?  They claim zero sugar, and some caffeine, and of course the TONS of vitamin B in there as well but are they truly “dirty water” and should be avoided at all costs.  If this is indeed the case what is my best option for a perk every now and again?
Gracias Gentlemen,


5. Are strength equals muscle?
Pedro says:
Hi there geeks!
I’m about to make a quick question, mostly because I am not fluent in english at all.

I’ve been struggling so much to connect the too many standpoints about tranning & physical regarding that I just gave up. One says that higher volume is better for offering muscle cells a kinda ‘nutrient bath’, bla bla bla. Other says that higher volume don’t do shit. Rep ranges for this, rep ranges for that. And stuff like: “Just do as many as u can, drop it and do it again, and again. Ain’t dead yet? So do it again MTF”.
Oh god, I just wanna get big!
And when I read that we should seek for lower volume in order to prevent the transformation of fast muscle fiber into slower ones… I was like: “That’s enough, I gonna ask Robb and Greg.”
Considering I am getting stronger… Am I actually getting bigger?
There is such thing as optimal rep ranges for muscle growth?
I know there is too many factors to consider, but at this time I just wanna a simplistic baseline to go for and fine tune from there. U can make your self comfortable and do the “bla bla bla” geek stuff, just let me know when you hit the “do this shit” part.


6. Whole food supplements vs. synthetic supplements
John says: Dear Robb, I’m a chiropractor, former bodybuilder and a huge Paleo promoter and have found it personally helpful, and extremely valuable clinically. I’m a big follower of everything nutrition and strength related and one theme keeps popping up. Whats the deal with whole food supplements vs. synthetic/high dose supplements?

For example, Poliquin products are all high doses and usually only a couple of vitamins/herbs per product (ex: magnesium), similar to the Metagenics product approach. Where as Chek promotes whole food “complexes” of vitamins similar to the Standard Process product approach. The whole food supplement approach claims that not as much of a nutrient is need because of complexes and the body uses it more effeciently. They further go on to state that any dose of a singular vitamin would throw biochemicals out of whack.

So my question is as follows:
1. If there is an established effective dose for a vitamin, say 5000iu for vitamin D, doesn’t that translate into taking 5000iu of D, no matter the source of the vitamins is?

2. I understand that some vitamins work synergistically with each other in a complex, but it can also go the same way and they can inhibit/compete with each other…does this negate the vitamin complexes claim?

3. If whole foods are the best source of “complex vitamins”, why the hell do they derive most of them from wheat and grain products?

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. Dena says

    Hi Guys,
    I used to be a teeth grinder too (all my life), however I have now cut out all caffeine (scary stuff I know), and I no longer get tension headaches, nor grind my teeth in my sleep (no more chipped teeth) & I wake up far more refreshed!
    I highly recommend sticking it out through the week of intense withdrawl headaches!

  2. J says

    On teeth – Jimmy Moore just did a podcast interview with a dentist implementing paleo as a preventative measure in tooth care. Great interview and super enlightening about how too many carbs destroy your teeth and mess up your facial structure so that your teeth get all crooked. He talks about how paleo skulls just don’t show the dental problems that we have today. Check it out.

    Dr. John Sorrentino put a nutritionist in his dental offices to teach people how to eat paleo.

    • mister worms says

      I agree – definitely check out that podcast. And do see Dr. Sorrentino’s blog where he highlights a very interesting theory on tooth decay, where the root issue of advancing decay is inflammation.

      All of these facets of the paleo diet are conducive to good dental health: controlled, good quality carbs, high nutrient density, stress and sleep management for balanced hormone levels, anti-inflammatory, reduced eating frequency, sun exposure for vit. D, probiotic content, and others I’m probably forgetting.

      Ditching sugar and anything that turns to sugar in your mouth (simple starches) should be a #1 strategy for getting dental disease under control. If you do eat that stuff, limit the exposures. For example, don’t snack on little bits of apple over the period of an hour or more. Complete your portion in one sitting and rinse your mouth afterward.

      Our diet and other factors shape the microbiome in our mouth. It’s part of our gut, after all! What is good for the rest of our gut will typically be good for our mouths as well. Expose your mouth to too many sugars and pathogenic microbes will flourish and create a damaging environment for your teeth. High stress levels can lead to reduced output of saliva (which is rich in the minerals that rebuild our teeth) or the pH could become unfavorable to remineralization. Other hormonal disturbances can have the same effects.

      You can do all of that stuff and work with a dentist if you have serious issues going on (like if your tooth pain is from deep decay or a fractured tooth). You don’t want to lose any more teeth at such a young age (heck, at any age). There’s nothing like your natural, living tooth – it’s a beautiful piece of biology. At the very least, you want someone knowledgable to monitor the state of any trouble spots you have and don’t hesitate to nip things in the bud with conventional methods if you can avoid the big stuff like crowns, RCT and so on.

      Beware of Ramiel Nagel. He has the right intentions, but I don’t see current, solid evidence behind his claims and suggestions. Also, I wouldn’t eschew topical fluoride while trying to stabilize tooth decay. Once it’s under control and your diet is great, then yeah, it may not be necessary. Squigle is a great, US-made toothpaste with fluoride and minimal ingredients. Xylitol could be another useful tool for you. It has multiple effects that promote dental health. See for info on how to use it properly. The book on there is a great read, btw. It finally helped me to understand dental disease and was life-changing for myself and my family. Anti-microbial agents like Closys could be used over the short term to get a sort of “clean(er) slate” to work with in your mouth. I like Robb’s suggestion for the sonicare brush. It’s very effective at cleaning with gentle pressure. You’ll want to brush & floss every 12 hours with one of the brushings right before bed.

      Good Luck! You can definitely set yourself on the path to a life free of dental disease. Never believe what I did for way too long… that you are somehow doomed to have “bad teeth.” That’s rubbish. The fate of your teeth is in your hands.

      I spent 30+ years of my life with my teeth going to junk and my 1yr old’s teeth going in the same direction… nothing feels worse than that! I read Dr. Ellie’s book a couple of years ago and have been using Paleo to guide our eating habits for the past year. We have lifted ourselves from a world of trouble and it feels amazing to be free of the burden.

    • says

      Personally I used to have issues with my teeth and gums; I had gingivitis and was starting to get frequent cavities. When I switched to a Paleo diet, my dentist ASKED what I was doing differently because my hygentist noticed the improvement in my mouth health. I have been Paleo now for 2.5 years and my dentist still comments on how amazing my transformation has been and how much healthier my mouth is. I agree with Robb and Greg, give it a try and it will be worth it. There also is a lot of good information tied to teeth through the Westin A Price foundation, since Westin A Price was a dentist. Although they are not “Paleo” they have many similarities, no added sugar, pro high quality butter, and whole foods.

  3. John says

    Remineralizing (Repairing) teeth:

    Get Fermented Cod Liver Oil and High Vitamin Butter Oil (available from from Green Pastures, and cut out all grains (go paleo). It works.

    Read everything by Weston A. Price, Francis M. Pottenger, May Mellanby, and their associates. (Nutrition and Physical Degneration should seal the deal for your paleo diet).

    If you don’t want to read the original sources, Ramiel Nagel, wrote a book called Cure Tooth Decay: Remineralize and Repair Cavities Naturally with Good Food based on his research of their writings. I haven’t read it, but I heard it’s good. His website is

    Google variations on the words “remineralize(ing, ation…) teeth”.

    • darius says

      i have read it and thats some of how i got into paleo.
      basically do a Perfect Health Diet style paleo diet with lots of liver, shellfish, and bone broth (vit a and k), whether thats fermented cod, butter oil, grass fed ghee, etc.

      i cured my teeth grinding by addressing my gut issues, allergies, sensitivities, and constipation = lots of different magnesium forms before bedtime plus whatever else i specifically needed. but the magnesium is key and probably everyone needs it. teeth grinding is basically low level cumulative pain and anxiety/frustration manifesting at night.

      safely remove any mercury fillings. deal with any heavy metals in the body by slowly chelating over time by taking selenium and NA-cysteine 2 x/day over the course of a few years.

      if you have cravings for ice cream start eating arroy-d coconut milk with some brown rice syrup, fatty gelatinous bone broth, coconut oil, mct oil, grass fed ghee. if there are chocolate cravings the above fats plus the magneisum plus some yerba mate tea will cure that too.

      i dealt with all of this and it can be done! stricter is better. the teeth are manifestations of an internal issue. the tooth that was hurting me is directly connected to the large intestine, which is the core of my leaky gut issue, proven through many diagnostic tests.

  4. Mary says

    Hi guys,

    I want to thank you Robb for going off on that tangent about your new plan for home workouts. I just read an article yesterday (Globe and Mail) about a study showing that people who sit for hours and hours a day (at a desk job, for example) have higher rates of health problems, regardless of whether they exercice at some point during the day.

    I’ve been working at a desk job (translator) for the past three months, and it’s just wrecking me. I can literally feel myself getting weaker and less healthy! I quit the job, but I have agreed to stay on until they replace me. When I can finally get out of there, I’m going to go back into teaching (which is far more suited to me psychologically, and physically, as it will be more of a part-time gig, and I will hardly ever need to sit down!).

    I can’t afford to have an actual home gym, but I have some kettlebells. I’m planning to try a program along the lines of what you are going to try (grease the groove a la Pavel ;-). So, please keep us up to date on what you are doing via the podcast. I think that this general topic–how to live a more evolutionary lifestyle–is really important, given that so many people are stuck in sedentary jobs.

    For my part, giving up my sedentary job will mean cutting my income by more than half. I know I will benefit in terms of psychological/physical energy left over for my kids/friends/self). However, no one else I know is making an effort to live this way, and it would help me enormously to connect with others who value the same thing (I considered starting a blog about it, but as I would have to sit down to write a blog, I decided against it ;-).

    So, I really hope that you will feel free to talk about this more on the podcast. It’s definitely not off topic!

    Also, for the girl that is having problems with her teeth, Jimmy Moore just had a dentist on his show. In a nutshell, he says that all the problems dentists treat are caused by carbs (not just “sugar”). Maybe your listener can listen to that podcast and give low-carb Paleo a go.

  5. J says

    Oh, and there was that great talk at AHS by a dentist showing how facial structure gets all messed up on the western diet. It was great! It definitely motivated me to tighten up on the paleo gig.

    Can’t find the link to the video at the moment. But, I will find it and post it here when I do.

  6. says

    Safe tanning beds for vitamin D production… can’t wait to get more info on this. Looking for one in Madison, WI. Robb, what would the characteristics of a safe tanning bed be? Do you agree with Dr. Mercola that electronic ballast and higher UVB to UVA ratio (10:90) are the key factors?

  7. Kitty says

    Two qs on the teeth thing: (1) With the mouthguards, is it a problem to be sucking on that plastic all night? (2) Re the above recs for fermented cod liver oil. I remember ages ago Robb mentioning that he had stopped taking it after having his ‘ears pinned back’ (or something like that, never heard that before!) by Cordain about it. Answers appreciated!

  8. Caeliean says

    Teeth… I’m 34 and have never had any cavities… pretty lucky… but until I went paleo, I definitely had some gum disease. Just couldn’t kick it. Even with a sonic tooth brush… 2 weeks into full on paleo, my gums started growing up my eroded chompers. It looked like I was going to lose one of my bottom incisors as the gum had receded below the actual enamel in places… I figured I was just chompin too many carrots, apples or whatever. Even now, if I’m traveling in Asia and finding myself eating too much rice and local (non-paleo) treats, my gum problems resurface… when I get home and tighten up the diet, use the sonic tooth brush and my gums get all healthy again within days! Pretty amazing… I’m just imagining how much I’m saving by not having to actually do anything at the dentist.

    Also haven’t had a canker or anything like that since starting strict (90%) paleo. Long ago gave up gluten as I’ve got celiac disease, but have only recently dumped all the rest of it. The teeth alone have shown some pretty impressive changes even if I hadn’t also “lost”(?) my sleep apnea and allergies as well.

  9. Jessie (Alexandria, VA) says

    Hey Robb – I agree with Mary. Thanks for the tangent about your new workout plan. I’ve been wondering the same thing, and I’d love to see more thoughts or suggestions about this.

    I switched to Paleo eating last winter but oddly managed to stop my weight training at the same time (insert various, complicated reasons – sorry, excuses – here). Kept playing tennis 3-5x a week and doing long walks on the weekend. Also set myself up with a standing workstation for the 8-9 hours I’m in the office. It took a little while to ramp up to being able to stand the whole day. At my peak, I was standing all 8-9 hours 1-2 days a week and probably 6 hours the other days. But I’m finding it hard to keep the motivation to keep standing now that I’m 6+ months into do it. (I’ve been standing only 4-6 hours a day lately.) Even with a comfort mat and my Vibrams on (the BEST way to do this!), I get bored standing in one spot the whole time. (Why exactly is sitting not ALSO boring? I won’t go there…)

    Since I haven’t been able to reset a regular rhythm for my weight sessions (meaning I do 1 session this week and then nothing for 3 weeks, sigh…), I was thinking I should just incorporate body weight exercises (squats, pushups, pullups) as breaks throughout my work day. Every time my computer is processing something, I step away and do some sort of set or sets instead of reading blogs or surfing the internet. I’d love to see a post that answered: what are the easiest/best exercises for us cube dwellers – preferably no weights? how many sets throughout the day? every day? alternate days? in each “exercise break,” just focus on one movement or 2 or 3? or as Greg was saying perhaps it’s best to have no pattern at all and constantly change it up? Suggestions for newbies vs. experienced lifters.

    You’ve inspired me to start this plan today! I’ll track what I’m doing and let you guys know how it goes. Since I haven’t done much weight training all year, I’m probably a good representative for the “newbies” group. Definitely keep us posted on how well it works for you. I’m curious to know, for us health+longevity types not particularly interested in performance, whether the dispersed strength sessions could be just as effective as traditional strength sessions.


  10. kem says

    I did a course of calciferol this winter (June-September) this year and it was the first winter ever to not get even a sniffle (I usually get two lingering colds). I am impressed.

  11. says

    Robb and Greg,
    I always find it interesting when the two of you discuss how CrossFit has evolved into quite a different animal than it started out to be. My husband and I are both CFL1 trainers and have a very small clientele that we work with in our garage. Our typical programming includes warmup, skill, strength, a WOD (usu. a 15 or 20 minute metcon, or will sometimes be gymnastic volume or strength-related) followed by stretching and a mobility WOD. I contrast this with many larger boxes that have morphed into the “more is better” school of thought and are doing multiple workouts per session as well as combining two or more of the original CF benchmarks into a “hero WOD” style session. I think that this is the result of CF games becoming so popular and athletes are wanting to be able to compete in a similar fashion. However, for this to apply to the masses, a different approach is also necessary. Your comments are insightful; I find myself agreeing with you time and again on this issue and find it interesting that you feel the same as we do concerning the variety and intensity aspect, aka keeping the multiple skill development active and not burning out with too much intensity. Keep up the good work on the podcasts, and keep them coming! You can count us as listeners number seven and eight!!

  12. says

    Hi Robb,
    I was so excited when you went off on your tangent about splitting up workouts throughout the day. Please keep us posted on this (from the other comments it looks like there is a need for this approach).

    I think it would be extremely helpful for moms as well. Some days it’s hard for me to take an hour or even half an hour to exercise and was considering breaking up your protocol in “Total Transformation” into mini-sessions throughout my day.

    This may be a better approach on days when I don’t get good quality sleep (I have young children and can’t control that aspect of my health). It seems it would put less stress on my already fatigued adrenals to break up a workout and give time for the body to recover.

    I hope you address this in future podcasts and give us all more substantial guidance on the best way to incorporate this approach to fitness.

  13. John Paleo says

    Regarding the teeth question…Definitely check out the Weston A. Price Foundation. Healthy teeth is pretty much their entire founding. Long story short: You need fat soluble Vitamins A, D, and K2 (not K1) all together. Vitamins A&D promote the production of osteocalcin and K2 activates the osteocalcin. This K2-activated osteocalcin will remineralize dental caries (bones as well). This is how the traditional groups that Price studied maintained such healthy teeth without any sort of fluoride toothpaste or dentists. It’s also no coincidence that the salivary glands are probably the most concentrated location of K2 in the human body. Good sources of K2 are grassfed butter and liver (especially goose liver).

    If you wanted to research more on K2 it’s chemical name is menaquinone (abbreviated MK). There are several different forms of K2. MK-7 is the most desirable, MK-10 comes from fermented soy and it of uncertain value.

  14. matt says

    Hey, about splitting the workout throughout the day, I have read many articles about it. HST (Hypertrophy specific training) suggests to do the same body parts but a different exercise. I.E. Bench press in the morning, then incline press in the evening. (HST prescribes a full body workout with rep ranges going up every 2 weeks moving up your intensity every week.)

    Also, some strength article (I believe it was by Kelly Baggot), suggested that you do the strength portion in the morning then a high rep growth portion at night for the same body part. So hit the high intensity chest movements in the AM in the 1-3 rep ranges, then at night hit some flyes, pec decs, push ups etc.

    Were you getting your ideas from anywhere? Like reading some articles?

    Had a real *oh yea* moment before coming home and listening to this podcast. I thought, Oh yea it doesnt make sense for my body to make any changes if I am working out 1hr a day, and then sitting on my butt the rest of the day, or sleeping… hehe. Hope to hear from ya soon!

  15. Charlene says

    Ever since going on the Weston A. Price diet, my teeth feel good. Raw milk kefir, high vitamin butter oil and fermented cod liver oil ( both from Green Pastures), grassed meats and eggs, wild caught seafood, raw liver, fermented veggies. No sugar, processed grains, vegetable oils.

Join the Discussion