The Paleo Solution – Episode 114

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

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1. [3:32] Seborrheic Dermatitis
2. [9:51] Rice/Carbs, Salt, Etc.
3. [19:55] Can Paleo Shrink Fibroids
4. [24:23] One Kidney and Protein Intake
5. [29:07] Protein and Protein/CHO Intake Effect on Testosterone
6. [32:53] Physical State and Heart Rate Variability


1. Sebborheic Dermatitis

John says:

Hej Robb and Gregg and greetings from the Nordics!
Many thanks for your great work educating the masses in an ever-so entertaining way!

I would be very interested in hearing your views on seborrheic dermatitis. This subject has been touched upon in previous podcasts, but I and probably a bunch of other people with similar conditions would be grateful if you could dedicate some of your brainpower fully to the topic.

I have had dandruff (and/or seborrheic dermatitis) on my scalp since the age 8-10 (I am today 27) and developed, what I believe is seborrheic dermatitis, on my face over the last 2-3 years. Eliminating gluten did not improve the symptoms at all but I noticed an improvement if completely staying away from sugar. I found some articles linking probiotics to reducing of dandruff (see links below) and I was wondering if you have any additional suggestions on how to deal with this.

At the moment, I am using anti-fungal dandruff shampoos on my face with pretty good results but would like to eliminate the symptoms completely.

I’m a 27 years old male – following a paleo+butter-diet pretty strictly (perhaps some ice-cream once or twice a month) – otherwise feeling great.

Kind regards and many thanks for your help guys!


2. Salty Balls (Meaning: Please Read Me)
Salty Balls says:
Hey there, Robb and Mark. Just kidding, Greg, 😉

Now that I’ve got your attention, I’d like to stroke your egos a bit and say what a huge fan I am of you both. I’ve got such a huge man crush on you guys that, if I could combine you both into a single person (preferably a woman), I’d actually contemplate leaving my wife – who, i might add, is ridiculously hot. That being said, if I had the ability to combine two people, I’m not sure what would stop me from adding my wife into the mix…ya know, theoretically speaking. Anyway, enough borderline homoerotic subtext, let’s get down biz!

I’ve been living in Japan for about a decade now, but only started paleo and cross fit recently. After finishing the proverbial 30 day trial (of paleo, that is), I felt absolutely and quite literally fucktastic, and was thus immediately sold on the whole deal. However, living with a family of Japanese rice farmers, i often find myself being offered and partaking in the no-holds-barred white rice debauchery that surrounds me. Thanks to your podcast, I realize many Paleo peeps are incorporating carb-rich foods like sweet potatoes and white rice after working out to replenish glucose and glycogen levels, so my first question (bear with me, gents, there’s only two) is this: assuming I’m only doing 3 workouts a week mixed with seasonally sporadic but sometimes quite labor-intensive farming along with the postprandial dog walk, how much rice munching can I get away with? And is it better eat carbs in the morning than at night?

Body stats: I’m 6’3″ and 210 lbs, with some minor gut fat (which will no doubt soon be solid steel – mark my words). Age: 35. Blood type: A – which I mention here merely as a joke. I don’t know why, but the Japanese seem to think everything boils down to blood type and how many siblings you have. Seriously. But I digress…

My next question has to do with a difference i spied between you and Cordain. In his book The Paleo Diet, Dr. Cordain basically recommends avoiding all salt, like it’s the plague or something. However, on your podcast you’ve recommended supplementing with salt to various people for various reasons. I’m particularly curious about this matter because, here in Japan, we consume John Welbourn-sized portions of salt and its crackhead equivalent, soy sauce, on a daily basis. Thus my second and final question: Where is one to draw the line with sodium? What is too much, and how would one know?  Is soy sauce going to asplode my heart (no, that was not a typo), give me stomach cancer, cause a stroke or otherwise fuck the shit out of my health? (You’ll have to excuse my language. I’ve been living in a country where it’s perfectly acceptable to cuss in public…assuming you do it in English.)

WHILST I’m at it, I should probably mention that I have severe rhinitis, which seems to be doing a lot better on the Paleo diet. Although I’m not cured yet by any means, I’ve been able to reduce my medications by over 50%.

Really appreciate all you guys do. Let me know if you wanna come to Japan and open a gym. I need an exit strategy from this rice farming gig…

Yours truly,

Salty Balls

PS: In Japanese, the word for testicles is the compound kanji 金玉, which reads “keen-tama,” or GOLDEN-BALLS. I just thought you should know that.


3. Can Paleo diet shrink fibroids?
Susan says:
Hi Robb and Greg,

My boyfriend recently decided to start eating Paleo.  Even though I was a vegan, in the interests of keeping mealtimes simple I am giving it a go as well. I’m still not eating meat, although I have added in eggs and fish. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m feeling terrific and have lost ten pounds.  I’m not strictly following the rules – I’m still eating tempeh and occasionally tofu. I have gotten rid of all grains, but hope eventually I can add back in quinoa or amaranth.

I’m scheduled to have a fibroid embolization at the end of the year. I’m wondering if you think it’s possible that a paleo approach could shrink the fibroids. They are quite painful, but I would be willing to hold off on the procedure if it was a possibility. I’m guessing I would have to follow the autoimmune protocol.

Here’s some background. 47 years old, endometriosis, hypothyroid, Raynaud’s, rosacea and, of course, the fibroids. In the past I have struggled with anxiety, although it is much improved since the change in diet. 5’8″, 150 pounds. i’m taking primrose oil, omega 3 and vitamin D supplements.

I would appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Many thanks for all you do – I love the podcast :)


4. One Kidney and Protein levels
Ken says:
My boss works out, is a slave to chronic cardio and a personal trainer, however she hasn’t been losing any weight.  I tell her that she needs to give paleo a try and she refuses, stating that she needs to eat carbs because she can’t eat a lot of protein as she only has one good kidney.  I think that is a bullshit answer attributed to years of bad advice from conventional wisdom.  Is there any truth to this and if so where can find literature to support the fact she’s been misinformed and I can get her on the right path?

On a side note, I’ve been able to give up tobacco, but not ice cream, wtf?


5. Protein intake,Protein/CH ratio and testosterone
Andy Says:
Thanks for the great podcast! I would be interested if you have some some thoughts concerning the fact that many studies have found correlation between high protein intake and low/lower testosterone and the ratio of higher protein/lower carb intake and low testosterone.

Diet-hormone interactions: protein/carbohydrate ratio alters reciprocally the plasma levels of testosterone and cortisol and their respective binding globulins in man.

Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise.

Thanks in advance!


6. Assessing an athlete’s physical state with Heart-Rate Variability

Josh says:

Robb and Greg,

The knowledge and insights you both drop on this podcast and your respective websites is greatly appreciate. Please keep it coming.

I’ll keep this brief. Lately, I’ve been coming across the concept of measuring heart-rate variability in order to assess sympathetic vs. parasympathetic dominance and therefore an athlete’s readiness to train/compete. Now that the technology is relatively affordable, it appears to be a legitimate way to keep an eye on one’s stress levels and therefore more effectively prescribe training loads.

Have either of you come across this and looked into it much? Any thoughts on the technology and how you may go about implementing this in the training of an athlete? I do tend to geek out on this stuff.

Thanks in advance,


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  1. Andrew says

    Hey Guys

    Just a quick point with the Heart Rate Variability question I think you misunderstood (NB I am not the person who asked the question). HRV isn’t to do with how fast or slow the heart is going, it’s to do with the beat to beat variation. Beat to beat variation is independent of rate. In a simple nutshell low variability is “bad” indicating stress etc whereas a high variability is seen as very healthy. So it can show the degree of “tone” of your ANS. As a side note as we get older there is less variability so older people will have a lower HRV. So if you like the “worst result” would be to have the beat to beat variation exactly equal between heartbeats

    If you google “heartmath” there is a wealth of info on HRV, Cardiac coherence etc

    Great podcasts though, always enjoy them :-)

      • Andrew says

        Tim’s blog post is an excellent overview of HRV.

        I think where HRV may fit into Paleo lifestyle is in people who are really too sick to exercise (severe ME/CFS etc) for them, using techniques like Heartmath (and the software if they can afford it), would help tone the ANS and (hopefully) help them start to regain their health. Once in better shape they could then start to do Paleo type exercise

      • Matt says

        I was excited to see that HRV was going to be discussed on the podcast- bummer that you guys didn’t know what it was! The folks pushing HRV claim that it will prevent overtraining and let you know when you are fresh so you can push hard on the right days. I’ve read a couple research articles and not everyone is in agreement about this. I love the concept- wake up and know whether or not you really should hit the gym hard based on a number that reflects your sleep/stress/recovery/etc. While I agree that athletes who look at these things logically might reach the right conclusion anyway, it’s easy to get caught up in reaching a goal to the point that recovery is pushed aside and performance declines. We wouldn’t have to hear about all those burned out CrossFitters all the time if they would use HRV. They’d wake up, take their HRV measurement, and get the red light! Of course that assumes that they wouldn’t blow through the red light and do the WOD anyway…

        I’d recommend Robb and Greg check out the HRV devices and let us know their experiences so I know whether or not I should invest in one.

        • says

          The funny thing I’m quite familiar with HRV as it relates to the aging or diseased heart. Doc at harvard pioneered a lot of this work, integrating chaos/fractal mathematics. And yes, high variability along a fractal distribution was optimal/healthy, metronomic patterns were a sign of impending death. Art Devany talked about this a ton and it’s no small part of why he is NOT a fan of high volume, steady state cardio. by it’s very nature you are attempting to entrain the heart to a narrow frequency band.

          So, apologies for missing the subtleties of the question but it does not change the answer at all. Exactly WHAT are you going to do with this information? is this a priority beyond the other factors such as sleep, food, GI integrity (I could argue that a weekly secretory IGA indicating GI health could be a damn good variable to track)

          Additionally, I can’t really see an advantage in the literature from simply tracking waking HR, or response to mild stress:

          • Andrew says

            Hi Robb

            Yeah I agree with you 100% on that. My opinion (I’m a medical doctor and have also done a shed load of postgraduate nutritional and alt med training) is that HRV is more useful for people who are quite unwell, as a way of bringing their body back to health (along with other modalities too like diet etc).

            I’m no expert when it comes to strength and conditioning but from what I do know of HRV it would be overly cumbersome etc to use to monitor things like overtraing

          • Geoff says

            I come from an endurance background – there I said it – and I couldn’t agree more, Robb. Unless and until you have all the other life factors (diet, sleep, non-training stressors) 100% dialed in there are more productive things an otherwise healthy athlete could be doing with his/her time than letting an iPhone decide when it’s “O.K.” to train hard.

          • Samuli Pahalahti says

            From quantified self perspective your answer was proper, but HRV devices can also be used as biofeedback devices. So if one wants to train him/herself to gain better control of own heart rate variability, gadgets like emWave could be very good. That was probably something that people were expecting you to talk when they saw the question, at least I was.

          • says

            In my haste I saw heart rate and called it good at that. I’ve mentioned biofeedback previously…gotta say my heart is warmed by the open arms of the folks who “wanted” a better answer :0p

          • Sam says

            I want to weigh in…why? Not sure. I already have multiple copies of Robb’s book. None signed. But, I don’t have a copy of Gregg’s book! How can HRV be used as a training tool? To me, seems useless in light of All the possible excitatory and inhibitory stressors that CAN affect the variability of heart rate. Another question. How is this “variability” being measured. There is a great book titled Innovative Analysis of Human movement by Nicholas Stergiou which focuses on various mathematic tools for analyzing biologic variability. For the purpose of this discussion, it seemes prudent to point out that adequate measures of biologic variability are ones that use “continuous” – time series data – instead of “discrete” – point specific data. Measuring ones heart rate first thing in the morning provides a discrete data point. Hell, heart rate in itself (reported in beats per minute), is already a discrete measure…a snapshot at any giving time. Tracking change day-to-day MAY provide some insight into the degree of variability, however there is no real sense for the magnitude of variability and/or the direction. It may make sense to look at HRV as a vector quantity. Stress can have both a magnitude (instensity/severity) and a direction (excitatory/inhibitory). With this said, looking at time-series data in a continuous manner is far more likely to reveal the true presence of variability. One must wonder if the methods used to study this variability are then, of course, valid. I still get hung up thinking about heart rate in the context of continuous data. It is in fact, a discrete measure. It is always a measure of beats per minute. Regardless, as Gregg brought up in the podcast…how does one use this as a training aid? More specifically, what the hell is causing the change in heart rate? Changes in fluid volume, venous return, O2 demand, C02 clearance? No can can tell from HRV alone. Regardless of how you measure the variability, there are too many assumptions to be made about the either the magnitude or direction of the variability. To me, it just adds complexity to an area of study that may not need it. But, for the OCD in us all, I say, grab a bucket of cheeseballs and turn on Judge Wapner…if that is what floats your boat.

  2. Daniel says

    Hey guys

    Great Podcast – quick question on the sebborheic dermatitis.

    I follow pretty much paleo (rice cakes and butter and a little ketchup are probably my only non-paleo items)

    With the recommendation of the vitamin D, I take 5000-7500ius a day as im pretty much inside most of the time (as its winter in the uk)

    Is it worth me megadosing (20000ius upwards) for a few days to see if it helps clear the dandruff? – I know its a case of getting blood work done, but in the Uk its not that easy (that im aware of anyway)

    Any advice appreciated


  3. Stephanie says

    That woman who fed her husband coconut oil and helped his alzheimers was on the LLVLC podcast with Jimmy Moore at some point. Very cool and much easier to get people to try than the full paleo thing, which I have yet to convince anyone to try :(

  4. kem says

    The last item sounds like Dr. Mary Newport and her husband (mid fifties, I think). You can get the story from her from Jimmy Moore #240.

  5. JM says

    I thought I’d chime in on the seborrheic dermatitis issue since I was battling this for the last decade. The problem started for me in my 20s — I’m now in my early 30s. First it was just scalp dandruff, but then spread to dermatitis elsewhere (eye lids, ear lobes, arms, legs). This problem was actually the reason why I started eating paleo. About a year into paleo with optimized D levels and Omega 3s, I was no better off … getting worse actually. After reading a bunch on Paul Jaminet’s site, I began to suspect I had some serious gut dysbiosis/candida going on, to which my ND concurred. I’d already tried some herbal anti-microbials, so the ND wanted me to do a low dose of Diflucan. I opted first to try another herb called kolorex horopito (“Candida Care”) since there was a clinical trail where it performed similarly to Diflucan. I was ecstatic that it worked! My skin started to clear in about 3 days, though it took about 14 days for the dandruff to resolve. I do think the probiotics and fermented foods are super important, however. Any constipation should also be dealt with, which was another problem for me. Betaine HCL and high-ish doses of magnesium glycinate (with part of that dose right before bed) were critical for me to return to normal bowel function and consistently clear and healthy skin. I think gut dysbiosis can vary from person to person, so I don’t know that my approach will work for everyone. Paul’s site was helpful for me to understand why an internal overgrowth of fungus could lead to fungal outbreaks on the skin. Realizing it was a gut thing was a total game-changer for me.

    • John says

      First I would like to thank Robb and Gregg for addressing my question – much appreciated. The outbreaks definitely improves when I’m exposed to direct sunlight – not sure if it directly linked with Vitamin-D – I remember reading that some of the UV-rays kills the fungus which creates the problem. In any event, I am supplementing with Vitamin-D but have not actually conducted any blood works to check my levels. Will do and keep you posted.

      JM – I tend to agree regarding the link to gut health. As mentioned above, I seem to see somewhat of a link between eating sugary foods and outbreaks. However, eliminating sugar does not eliminate the problem. Some of the research I linked to in my initial question also confirms that there is a link between gut health and the condition.

      I am always a bit sceptical when reading about “Candida” or other types of “fungal/yeast overgrowths” but it might be worth a try. When I asked a similar question on paleo-hacks I got an answer which also pointed towards Diflucan/Fluconazole (i.e. oral antifunal:

      Have you managed to stay clear of the Seb-D after you stopped taking the anti-fungal?

      Many thanks for your input.

      Kind regards,

    • Eric L. says

      That would be awesome. The funny thing is, it could be doable. Ron Paul did a podcast interview with Dr. Mercola.

      He turns down guys like Sean Hannity a lot but He’s gone on many seemingly less popular shows.

  6. willson says

    Very disappointed with your HRV presentation. You both don’t have have a clue as to what it is or what it may be good for. I now worry that all other info on podcasts is as banal. Rapidly Losing credibility. Look at how many minutes were wasted on pure banter. Podcasts are a very inefficient way of presenting info. IMHO.
    Otherwise Robb W. site is great, but with serious concerns regarding just making stuff up.
    Regards, Willson

  7. Lisa says


    Maybe just worry about wars, death and taxes…not podcasts. For a guy who indicates that podcasts are a very inefficient way of presenting info, one might wonder why you listen to them.

    (Note: look up banal. Robb and Greg are incapable of it.)

  8. Another point of view says

    A note to both of you, Robb and Greg:

    Guys, your jokes are very very …. how would I put it… low level.
    It makes the whole podcast sound very unprofessional. You might have a world of knowledge to share, but you come across as stand up comedy characters, and not in a good way.

    I am saying this because I hope that your next podcast will be more mainstream. I am not saying more serious, I just hope your humor will have more appropriate. Thank you.

    • paleoslayer says

      c’mon, lighten up man! take a look at anything out of Hollywood in the last 30 years. even TV for that matter.

      and you know what? at least they’re being honest. how often do you find that in this day and age? if you dont like it you can tune in to Dr.Oz, he’s much more ‘respectable’.

    • says

      No, I will actually shoot for “banal” on the next one. If it’s not fun for me I’ll just close it down ;0)

      Listen to Jillian Michaels, she is a hoot!

  9. Kris says

    My brother in law is type 1 and is on dyalisis with no kidney function and is eating a SAD diet. His conventional doc is saying he needs more protein in his diet, so they have him drinking Glucerna (10 grams of protein/serving, I know, very sad, and contains soy and corn syrup). they also said to use whey protein. Would you just suggest sticking to the auto immune protocol of your diet with high fat, moderate protein, low carb? Should he ditch the whey? I wish I could get you to come talk to him as I heard you are quite convincing.he thinks I am nutball but i will keep bugging him. Thanks for your work. I have been paleo since august and lost 50 pounds of pregnancy weight in 4 1/2 months!

  10. Aaron from Alaska says

    Ok robb how much start up capital do you need to get the tell all multimedia crossfit slammer off the ground? Charge $10.00 dor a DL and you’ll make bank.

  11. says

    Good stuff as always guys! Too bad the first take did not come through. the joys of technology!

    In relation to the comments above, I think you are asking 2 different questions.

    1) Does an overall HRV score predict death or performance?

    In short yes, but it is a bit crude currently if we wanted to ONLY look at your HRV score and determine it. A very bad HRV score is bad and can lead to an increased risk of sudden cardiac death. Is ONE measurement enough to base your training on or tell us how “conditioned” you are currently–probably not to the resolution we would like currently.

    2) Does a day to day CHANGE in HRV relate to performance?

    IF it is done correctly, I would say yes. The catch is that it will be different for each athlete and needs to be tracked on a daily basis. I have my athletes just run an AM baseline for HRV for 4- 8 weeks before I would change anything. I want to know WHAT is best for THEM.

    HRV will help determine overall stress, which helps us make better decisions for training; but it can’t be the ONLY thing to determine training.

    As Robb stated, we only need to track the minimal effective amount (mEA) of data. If the data long term does not alter your training, it may not be useful then!

    Just my biased thoughts and I am happy to discuss with anyone. I have used HRV for many years and am working on publishing a few studies on it this year.

    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

  12. Henry says

    Salty Balls,

    I’m planning on teaching English in Japan. What cities/provinces would you recommend I shoot for? What other considerations would you recommend I look into before my decision in going.

    I am a 23 year old University grad and have just completed my TEFL cert. I also speak Spanish and am planning on learning Japanese. I plan to go with a private/other agency before applying for the JET program a year from being accepted.


    P.S. I would totally be down to open up a gym with you in Japan!


  13. Nick says

    A nanogram is 1 billionth of a gram. A deciliter is 1 tenth of a liter. Nanograms per deciliter is already metric, there’s nothing to convert from English to metric.

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