Optimal Human Diet, Book Recommendations, Surviving Veganism, Allergenic Food Introduction to Babies, Anti-perspirant, Carbonated Water, Post Activation Potentiation, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Pacreatitis – Paleo Solution Episode 119

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

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  1. [5:41] Absolute Optimal Human Diet
  2. [14:24] Reading Recommendations
  3. [21:15] Surviving a Month as a Vegan
  4. [24:54] Potentially Allergenic Food Introduction For Babies
  5. [34:14] Antiperspirant Deodorant and Carbonated Water
  6. [39:05] Post Activation Potentiation
  7. [48:45] Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  8. [59:14] Acute Pancreatitis and Paleo



Prescriptive Paleo?
Josh says:
I love it when you pound on paleo orthodoxy, and, believe me, I think paleo orthodox needs to be pounded on, because most of it is damn silly.

However, I’m wondering this: do you think it’s possible to create an absolute diet? Humans are, after all, the same species. Is it possible to say that there is an absolute, optimal human diet? Or, do environmental and genetic factors make this an impossibility? Do those things cause enough variance that we’re all sort of relegated to the land of n=1 to determine our own optimal diets?


Desert (island) reads
Ben says:
Rob and Greg:

Thank you for the podcast and the book. It’s part of my daily 2 hour commute and has saved my life at least as many times as the rumble strips beside the white line.

I am about to deploy to Afghanistan for some months and would like to pack a few books for the ample study and fitness time I’ll have there.  Apart from The Paleo Solution (read it) and Greg’s lifting book & DVD (ordering them), what fitness and nutrition books would you recommend for an experienced CFer (level 1 indoctrinated) and novice Paleo-er (54 of 114 paleo solution podcasts and six months of good eating).

Many thanks for all the work and free education.


How to survive a month as a vegan?

Tracy says:

Hey guys, I sure hope you can answer my question.

So, I will be doing a month-long yoga teacher’s training in March (in Spain). They are quite proud of their food, which is, not surprisingly for yoga people, vegetarian. I am allergic to dairy and soy and I told them I also could not eat any grains, though rice might be okay. They did say they could get me some eggs, but that might be my only animal protein.

However, I have been Paleo for 11 months now (after 35 years as a “vegan + fish”) and I’m worried. I am feeling healthier than ever before in my life and I really don’t want to go back to feeling like crap the way I did for decades. However, I feel it would be disrespectful to bring my own meat, so I’m hoping you can give me some ideas about what I can eat — what might be the least harmful? what sorts of food or symptoms should I keep an eye out for? What should I definitely not touch?

The good news is there will be lots of fruits & veg and they only use olive oil. Could I survive okay on 2 eggs a day and fruits & veg?

How’s that for a challenge?

Potentially allergenic foods being introduced to baby
Kelly says:
Hi guys, LOVE your podcast.  Am a new mom, and I listened to all the episodes within a one week period.

my baby is 7 months old, and we are starting to feed her some solids.  She LOVES it so far, we are having a lot of fun.  “Conventional wisdom” says that you should wait till at least a year to introduce potentially allergenic foods.  This didn’t seem right to me, as if anything, I would suspect that this could create allergies.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has their stance on this matter, recommending not delaying so long.  Do you know of any research that would indicate delaying?

The Never Ending Rabbit Hole
Katie says:

Hi Rob & Greg,

I’m going to jump right in. As I unravel all of the never ending layers behind the human body and health, I begin to realize that this shit is pretty deep.

While I have a million and one questions, I’m only going to ask a few that are frequently on my mind.

#1) What is your take on antiperspirant deodorant? Do you think that there is a direct link between frequent use and breast cancer?

#2) I have developed quite a liking for carbonated water and find that I’m especially craving a glass right before bed. What is your take on this? Is this a harmless habit or is this another thing I need to cross off of my list?

Thanks for your intelligent thoughts.

Post Activation Potentiation – implementation?  Also, I’m a bartender.  Help!

Dan says:

Hey Robb and Greg,
Love the podcast.  I have probably gone through half of them over the past couple of months during my walks to work (I live in Brooklyn) and I’m looking forward to getting through the rest soon.
I have two completely separate questions for you guys.  First off, I was reading the PM piece on Clean Mass Gains.  Now, I’m 6’2″, 193lbs, and have been CrossFitting for two years now.  I’ve been doing a Starting Strength-type bias for a couple of months with the goal of bulking up a bit.  I’ve been paleo for a year and a half, but only pretty strict for the past few months.  I’ve been hovering at this bodyweight for a few months now, and can’t seem to get it up.  My reasons for wanting to gain weight is primarily for strength, but also because I just look like a skinny CrossFit coach.  I’d like to look the part a little more, even for purely aesthetic reasons.
Blah blah blah, I guess my question is, in the CMG article, he talks about Post Activation Potentiation as part of his strength program for gaining.  How would I throw this in to my current training program?  I lift heavy M-W-F, squatting each session, and alternating shoulder press and bench press, as well as deadlift and power clean.  Each day I add 5lbs to my previous weight, and I go 5 sets of 3, in a linear progression kind of gig.  Would I throw this PAP thing in on one of these days, or should I add a fourth day of training?  Any help on this would be great, I’m having a hard time figuring out just how to implement this PAP thing.

On a completely unrelated note, I am a bartender and so my hours completely suck.  I generally don’t get home until some time between 1am and 3am.  I usually get 7-8 hours of sleep, but it makes it tough on other days where I don’t work the night before (go to bed around 11pm) and have to get up early to train (I’m a CF coach as well).  WHAT I eat is ok, but when I eat it is all over the place.  I take Chris Kresser’s recommended Butter Oil / Fermented Cod Liver Oil as my only supplement.  Is there anything I can do to try and keep my levels as normal as possible during this horrible schedule?  Or should I just start looking for a new job?
Sorry for the longest/most annoying question ever, and thanks again for putting your collective genius together on this. You guys have made me rethink my entire approach to training and coaching, and I (along with my athletes) have really noticed the positive influence.

BTW – both of your books are freaking amazing.  I recommend them both as “mandatory” reading to my athletes.  See you at the AHS!

Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Cheryl says:

I learned of Paleo only a few days ago.  I have an autoimmune disease, Scleraderma which causes a few problems for me and after reading your book Paleo Solution I feel I have found the answer to many of my health problems. I have many questions for me but my first question is one concerning my sister who has been taking chemo on and off for 6 years for Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  I told her to purchase the book in hopes that she will change her eating habits and it will lead to helping her health. What more can I tell her.

As for me, I must admit that I am a little overwhelmed with the diet but willing to give it a shot for 30 days in hopes of eliminating many of my aches and pains.  I presently discover that I was lactose intollerant so have been off dairy for several weeks and no longer have stomach pains and now have regular bowel movements.  After reading your book I now know that I must do away with the grains, a BIG part of my diet.  I hoping that not only will I feel better but will loose 10-20 lbs.

Anxiously awaiting your reply.

Acute pancreatitus and paleo

Patrick says:

Hey Robb, Recently introduced to your podcast in Ireland which I listen to on the train to work.(some great laugh out loud and get stared at moments). I went paleo 95% since July 2011. Benifits have been huge until 2 weeks ago when I was admitted to hospital with acute pancreatitis (for prior 2 weeks coming up to this i had worked crazy hours under stress eaten poorly and not trained properly). Alot of morphine and fasting in hospital later. I have been advised by my type 2 diabetic doctor to cut the paleo crap and eat properly as the fats in my diet are not helping?

I do not want to do this and go back to >10% bodyfat (currently 9% from last biosignature testing) was up at 26% before I went paleo.

Would you have any advice on modifying the paleo diet to reduce occurance of pancreatitus and or have any supplement recomendations. I have seen intermittent fasting is reported to help? (would it be ok to sip bcaas on a fast day?)

I currently take chia, extra greens in a drink, omega 3 fish oil and bcaa during training. I have used creatine recently to help increase training volume. (loaded with 20g for 4 days and cut back to 5 g per day therafter)Finish a tub now and have left it at that.

Would be great to have some/any advice as we are pretty much in the stoneage here with regards to nutritional education.



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Categories: Podcasts


Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation

Have you heard about the Paleo diet and were curious about how to get started? Or maybe you’ve been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? Then Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation is for you.


  1. Gittit says

    My $0.02 on the deodorant/antiperspirant question: I’ve been using coconut oil + baking soda for a while. It works beautifully, winter summer training or not, and I sweat a lot for a girl. I think some of the bad odor associated with sweat actually comes from the damp clothing (wet puppy kinda smell) so personally I try to stick to loose t-shirts or wear tanks with low armholes when training. I do keep some regular antiperspirant/deodorant in my cabinet for occasions when I know I’m going to sweat a lot in nice clothes or be nervous/anxious… nervous sweat does have a strong distinctive smell. Yuck.
    I’m female and pretty dialed in on all that diet, sleep, blood sugar stuff though, I’m pretty sure this would NOT have worked for me back in the cheat meal days.

      • Gittit says

        Like Kitty said – just smear your armpits with coconut oil and swipe with baking soda. I keep a little jar of coconut oil in the bath room, some ear buds so I don’t stick my fingers in it every time, and a salt shaker filled with baking soda. It’s an efficient deodorant but NOT an antiperspirant, so on occasions when you don’t want to worry about pit stains use the regular stuff…

    • kem says

      I remember my freshman year on the swim team, 40 odd years ago, when the coach came into the dressing room full of young guys and antiperspirants and said it smelled like a chinese whorehouse. Never bothered to use it since, don’t know of many friends that use it (I’ve never had a gf or wife that used it) and basically don’t see the point. I guess living on a farm in the south pacific, we smell a lot worse things than a healthy human body… like the neighbor’s pre-emergent spray, the offal pit or the ancient kelpie farting.

    • Christopher says

      I’ve been using the Tom’s of Maine deodorant that Robb mentioned for a good while now. I’m sensitive to smells, so I use the unscented. The regular kind didn’t work as well for me, but the Long Lasting 24 hour works pretty well. I don’t sweat anywhere near as much as I used to when I was a little overweight back in the day. Like Robb said, I can tell I have a little more odor when more stressed and eating more carbs.

    • Kitty says

      I also use the coconut oil and baking soda combination for deodrant and it works well for me. Better than any of the natural/alternativey type deodrants. I just put some coconut oil in one little jar (at the moment an old vitamin jar) and some baking soda in another and I use an old make up brush to brush on some coconut oil first and then some baking soda second. I really like it, hope it works for you.

      • Kitty says

        I should also say that I live in a very hot climate, so this recommendation means a lot! And it also means that my coconut oil is permanently liquid so you probably don’t need the make up brush for the coconut oil if you don’t live in such a hot place.

  2. RatherRipped says

    Enjoyed the pod cast.

    Re: pancreatitus, I see a larger than normal amount of this among friends who drink or drank a lot. Also see pancreatic cancer among the same group. Most are over weight and these guys partied hard for years. I wonder if they would benefit as well. Or are they past the window for help.

    When a doctor says that he or she does not like this way of eating I usually ask which foods, specifically, need to be added back. The answer is all. When I think about what’s missing in the Paleo diet, I can’t identify anything, generally speaking. On the other hand, many of my doctors endorse it. One in particular is fairly strict Paleo in his own eating.

  3. Stacey says

    I was very overwhelmed at first. No offense, Robb. Prior to Paleo, I had always tried to cook by the food pyramid (lots of whole grains, low fat, 3 oz of meat, no frying, etc…). I had to completely change my way of thinking, shopping and cooking. I bought all the Paleo/Primal books and cookbooks I could afford. I followed the steps that Robb pointed out… Clean out the cabinets and go shopping for real food. After a few weeks, it just felt right and natural. It gets easier.

    • says

      I don’t know if this will help anyone but I have found a lot of people don’t actually know what “grains” are. It’s shocking actually, but I have had to list them out for folks.

      This one point can be huge for people who aren’t generally tuned in on what they are eating but have come across the paleo way as a possible solution for their problems.

      In addition to the “oh crap I have to change my whole life” factor which can SEEM challenging at first (but disappears almost instantly as a concern once you get over the Suck It Up hump), if they can’t ID all the grains in their diet, they hit a mental wall with the program almost completely.

      The point: you can’t DO something you don’t totally understand. And if you can’t define a word (even a simple one like “grain”), you can’t understand. It can be that simple.

  4. Dee H. says

    Just listened to the podcast and would like to know the diet protocol Robb mentioned in answer to the person with pancreatitis. It sounded like “Ketava approach,” but I can find nothing under that spelling. Three months into Paleo I experienced severe dyspepsia. I had a pretty heavy dairy component to my diet, so I’m not sure if that had some influence. Since, I have eliminated most dairy, but still experience GERD symptoms. My GI found a small hiatal hernia, but no H. Pylori or gallbladder stones. I’m thinking of eating less fat in hopes of eliminating the need for Omeprazole which does offer some relief. Appreciate the help.

  5. gary says

    I think in regard to people being overly sensitive to your advice, it stems from people not wanting to hear what they KNOW they need to do…so they’re manifesting some internal resistance to their addictions (carbs, cheese whatever). I’ve experienced this type of behavior with close friends who I thought were pretty open minded until the prospect of me “taking away” their yummy cheese and bread to solve health problems was presented.

      • Luke says

        You could also discuss stories you may have heard about the ANGER associated with a wife (or husband) not liking a husband (or wife) going paleo. From my husband perspective, it was no big deal:
        (1) two-layers of ugly black curtains in the bedroom (OMG why did you buy such ugly crap! I can be right or I can be happy ;-). However, we seem to be sleeping much better. Less need for melatonin. Consuming less coffee.
        (2) picking the pasta out of the meals, not eating the bread in most sandwiches, unless the bread soaked up a bunch of juicy goodness (OMG you are such a hypocrite! I can be right or I can be happy 😉
        (3) admitting I am a hypocrite for politely nibbling on a crumb or two of some grain product when amongst mixed family & friends (this ain’t a religion)
        (4) less beer, more wine; although this ain’t a religion so beer is OK sometimes too

        Fodder for a future episode regarding the psychology of eating/diet and the cultural responses to changes to such.

        • gary says


          I use to be with you on the “once in a while a beer is ok shtick” or “I’ll enjoy some of the bread when I go out to eat” until I tested eliminating it completley it makes a significant difference for me. Just everything runs better…It’s like drinking a cup of water with a little poo in it, even though there is a little…you’re still drinking shit.

          Give it a test, you won’t go back

  6. Ian says

    Good podcast. In regards to Kelly’s question regarding allergenic foods, I think she may have meant foods such as shellfish and nuts. I have a toddler myself, and my pediatrician advised my wife and I not to give shellfish, nuts, and other potentially allergenic food items to our son before he was one year old. Did I listen to the advice? Yes. Did I follow the advice? No. My son was, and is, fine after eating shrimp prior to his first birthday.

    • Kelly says

      Yes, that is what I meant! i have been introducing eggs and other potentially allergenic foods, our baby is fine. Should have been more specific with my question by giving examples. I think that when parents have allergies they could be more careful, but otherwise the advice to delay seems a little silly…thanks!!

  7. Jamie says

    Hello. I was wondering if someone has any info on whether Ghee is safe to use for some who is wickedly casein intolerant?

    • Christopher says

      Like Amy said, you’d probably just have to try and see. I don’t tolerate butter 100%, but I have no problems with ghee at all. YMMV.
      It may depend on the ghee too. Purity Farms ghee says lactose and casein free on the label (although I haven’t looked into the requirements it takes to state that).

  8. Stephanie says

    As someone who was 31 when I started paleo and had been mostly vegetarian since age 15, I did find paleo kind of difficult at first. What I was supposed to eat was obvious, but the hard part was learning how to cook meat. Also, I never had to worry about kitchen cross contamination before and now I’m all neurotic about it. But it’s worth all the effort! There are so many good paleo recipes in books and on all the blogs that no one has any excuses for getting bored with the food!!! The Everyday Paleo book has so many good recipes and even my vegetarian husband likes the non-meat dishes, such as the yummy berry cobbler we had for dessert last night. If you’re thinking about giving it a try, JUST DO IT!

  9. kem says

    I had two weeks as a vegan when I went to cancer camp in Melbourne. I lost 2 kgs. I had aready lost 7 from radiotherapy! Everything at the retreat was great, except for the lack of fat and protien. The fare was the sort you’d pay $30 for lunch… but they were afraid of meat, dairy and coffee. It was positive overall, but I was pleased to start eating properly afterward.

  10. Jeff says

    In conversations with our son’s pediatrician and our friend who is a pediatric allergy specialist we were told this:
    1. Exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months is the best known protection against allergies.
    2. After 6 months the timing for introducing potentially problematic foods is still up for debate. There is evidence both ways. In Canada it used to be recommended to wait as long as possible. However, allergies are on the rise, so that recommendation doesn’t seem to be helping.

    We have decided to follow the first recommendation for sure and breastfeed exclusively for at least 6 months. And we’ve decided to go middle of the road with respect to the timing of food introductions. We won’t completely avoid allergenic foods, but they won’t be a staple in the diet either. Almost all paleo with a bit of this and that thrown in from time to time.

  11. Andrew says

    Hey Robb
    My question doesn’t relate to this podcast but I was hoping you might give me some input……
    I have been strict paleo for about 8 months and I have been taking a multi strain probiotic for about 1 month now (60 billion CFU’s per day). I have also been supplementing / monitoring my Vit D levels, which are now around 70 ng/mL.

    Despite all this I am still struggling with persistant dandruff and frequent fungal like skin infections. Is there anything else that I could do to try and resolve my symptoms….? I would really appreciate any advice to might have.


  12. says

    For the record, i cannot find that recommended reading list anywhere on the site (you guys mentioned in the podcast that you thought it was on there somewhere). Just gave the list another listen. I’m going to go see if there are kindle editions for any of those.

  13. Stephanie says

    Robb, I just listened to this podcast and would love to shake your hand. You are absolutely on the money with what you said about introducing foods to infants. This is why my daughter has never had dairy, gluten, added sugar, and rarely gets non-gluten grains or legumes. I don’t understand why someone who has the knowledge of the effects of these things would give them to their baby. It boggles my mind. I see my friends giving their babies dairy milk and bread and boxed cereal and I want to just scream at them.

  14. Christa says

    Ok, I’m a huge slacker and am still making my way through all podcasts. I nearly peed myself during the talk about carbonated water. It’s “Gerolsteiner” that you’re looking for. Robb’s pronunciation was pretty damn close though.


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