Shampoo, Turtle Food, Jack Kruse Thermogenesis, Deadlift Shoulder Position, Pregnancy Meat Aversion, Grain-Fed Beef, Agave, Acid-Base Balance, Solar Urticaria, Road Work – Paleo Solution Episode 123

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

Download Episode Here

Download a transcript of this episode

Greg’s Attitude Article

Robb Wolf Performance Menu Article Collection


  1. [3:42] Wheat In Shampoo, and Turtle Feed
  2. [8:01] Jack Kruse’s Cold Thermogenesis
  3. [21:45] Shoulder Position For Deadlifts
  4. [28:51] Aversion To Meat With Pregnancy and NowFoods Super Enzymes Effect On Stomach Acid Production
  5. [34:15] Grain Fed Beef and Cattle Injections
  6. [39:32] Agave Sweeteners
  7. [43:08] Acid Base Balance and Lean Meat
  8. [51:24] Solar Uticaria or Sunlight Allergy
  9. [54:23] Road Work, Running, and MMA Training



1. clean hair and turtles

Abi says: Ok, Robb and Greg: I have two distinctly seperate questions.  However, both are related to gluten and its ubiquity.

1) I was washing my hair, and looked down on my shampoo.  To my horror, it is enriched with wheat to keep locks looking lovely.  Horror of horrors, I’m a gluten-free girl!  Is this seeping into my brain and destroying my remaining brain cells?  Should I throw out this fancy organic shampoo?

2) While feeding my tortugas, I looked down to read the ingredients on their turtle pellets (the most popular and mainstream brand for water turtles.  Again, to my horror, I see that the primary ingredients include wheat starch and wheat gluten as well as a few artificial colorings to, I assume, give them that nice swampy green color.  While I understand that humans have had a very short time to adapt to grains and respond to the agricultural trend, I am guessing that there aren’t too many farming water turtles.  What is a Paleo alternative to this commericial feed?

As you can surmise, I can neither wash my hair nor feed my turtles until these questions are answered.  I await your response.



2. Jack Kruse’s cold thermogenesis

Marty Says: Fellas,
I’m assuming you’ve been following Jack Kruse’s cold thermogenesis series lately. Either he’s gone off the deep end or found the next frontier in the ancestral health movement. Namely, he insists cold adaptation is not merely beneficial, but imperative… coupled with a circadian (daily and yearly) pattern of eating and a heavy emphasis on a ketogenic style of paleo almost all of the time. Care to weigh in? Thanks.


3. don’t mess with EliteFTS!/put your shoulders in your backpockets

Ben in Brooklyn says:
Hey guys, your podcast continues to be the single best source of nutrition and athletic information – light-hearted and educational. I have a basic question about the deadlift.

When we do pull-ups we are to keep our shoulders pinched together. I believe this is to keep the shoulders in something akin to external rotation, engaging all the musculature, and taking some of the pressure off of the joints. I understand and practice this.

My question is should we be doing the same when we set up to deadlift. On Robertson Training System’s site I have heard that you should be “putting your shoulders into your back pockets” which does indeed sound to me like what we do when we do our pull-ups: kind of locking the shoulders back, engaging more musculature. However, over at EliteFTS, I have heard Dave Tate say explicitly the opposite. He has said you should let the shoulders drape completely forward, letting all the musculature completely lose, then grab the bar and initiate the pull. The two seem quite different. Seeing as a large portion of your audience is either crossfitting or doing some kind of deadlifting I thought it’d be a good, short topic to broach. Thanks as always!

4. Two Entirely Unrelated Questions

PaleoGeek says: Hey Robb,

I have two questions for you that have nothing to do with each other, but which I’ve been wondering about for a while now.

First, my wife is pregnant. She, and many other pregnant women we know had an early aversion to meat. The first few months of pregnancy, they really just have no taste for meat. This is especially weird for my wife, who is normally a total carnivore. We have a friend who suggested that this might have been an adaptation to protect the fetus from the risks of meat-borne illness, but I’m not sure I buy that. Do you have any ideas? Have you heard of this before?

Second, I’ve been thinking about supplementing with NowFoods Super Enzymes. I’ve been curious, though, about how that would help my body learn to produce its own stomach acid. It seems like most of the time when you supplement with something your body should be making on its own, your body slacks off and stops producing even the insufficient amount it was before. What’s the difference here? Am I just totally wrong? How do you know when your body has started to take over for the pills, and you can start ramping down on them?

I really appreciate your help on this, and all the help you’ve already given me. The paleo lifestyle has revolutionized everything for me. I’ve lost 40 pounds, 5″ off my waist and all of my digestive problems in the 4 months I’ve been doing this. I’ve been spreading the word and have over a dozen friends and family members on board who are all experiencing great results! Thanks so much,


5. Cattle Injections (hot beef injection??)

meathawk says: Robb and Greg,

I love the show – I’ve listened to every episode twice (insert joke about me being a loser here). If I could marry the podcast, I would. If the democrats get their way, perhaps I’ll be able to . . . just kidding. I support the right of all people to get married.

Very interesting and relevant information about my political views aside, I have a question about standard grocery store grain fed cattle. We all know by now grass fed is way better but what if we’re poor or just too lazy to find it? More specifically, what’s the deal with injecting cattle with stuff? They get growth hormone and antibiotics, right? Anything else you know of? What, if any, effect might said cow meat have the lazy and/or poor and/or uninformed individual who consumes it?

In all seriousness, I believe what you do with this podcast is making the world a better place. I like being a smartass but I also want to genuinely thank you for what you do.

P.S. I’d be happy to pay for the podcast and I bet many others would too. You should at least have one of those “donate” buttons like Jimmy Moore has. If not that, I would definitely support paleo in a religious and/or cult format, even though you seem to think that’s a bad idea.

6. Agave Nectar – paleo or not?

Autumn says: Hi Robb,

Earlier today, a few people from my gym got into a discussion regarding agave.  I’m sure this is not the first time you’ve discussed the topic of whether or not agave nectar is paleo, but I am really hoping to get to the bottom of this.  I read that you referred to it as “liquid death”, but then I’ve also seen it as an ingredient in some of your recipes (Chilled Chocolate Torte).  I really love your podcast and website.  Thanks for being so encouraging.

Thank you,
Autumn (a fellow Chico State grad)

7. Acid/base balance, lean meat

Tom says:
I seem to remember you saying on your podcast that you think the acid/base balance stuff is bunk, and that hunter-gatherers probably didn’t measure all their food with a pH meter.  However, in the FAQ section of your website, you have a link to  Did I remember this wrongly, or is the website out of date?

Similarly, the website has a bunch of mentions of “lean meat” but it seems that a lot of the paleo world was moving away from that, and learning not to fear saturated fats.  Could you clarify your stance on lean meat? Thanks.
8. Solarium Urticaria, aka Sunlight allergy!

Tony says: Hi guys,

Any ideas on this issue? We all know by now how important vitamin D is, but if i go into direct sunlight, even at say 10am, for 1-2 minutes, my skin becomes red and a little puffy, and my heart rate goes up, and i begin to get a headache. I currently live not too far from the equator 😉 Ive had this for over 10 years, im 37.

I started supplementing with Vit D about 3 years ago, base levels were 31, and then 51 after 5k per day, not sure if thats a factor. I also started taking vitamin A and 1tsp cod liver oil (combined 10k vitamin A) about a month ago, to no real effect on the sun thing, but ive had less acne.

Ive been paleo for over 5 years, and am in good shape otherwise, not on any meds, though i was on accutane for acne, but like 17 years ago!

Thanks hugely, keep up the podcasts! Tony.

9. Road Work or Road Kill?

Mike says:
Hey Robb & Greg, love the podcast and never miss it.  I am currently an amateur MMA fighter who has mostly been competing on the BJJ/Grappling circuit (Thank you Bob Reilly for keeping the NY MMA ban alive).  I have never been a fan of long steady-state cardio such as running and have always gravitated towards sprint work, power lifts, and O-lifts.  As such, I have always generally followed the Paleo mindset to training of lifting heavy things and sprinting from time to time.  My question is in relation to a recent article by Joel Jamieson of 8 Weeks Out, (link at the bottom) where he argues that long cardio, commonly known as “road work” does have a place in MMA training.  His general premise is that road work is a tried and true method from Ali all the way to guys like Nick Diaz competing in triathlons.  His aim is to incorporate two or three days of 40-90 minutes of some combination of running, jumping rope, swimming, calisthenics, and more sport specific stuff such as shadow-boxing and pad work.  Now, obviously my skill work includes the sport specific stuff already, but my question is given your work with guys like Dave and Glen, do you think there is a place for road work, or will it just lead to burn out and leave me as road kill?  Thanks for everything!

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

    Guys, great podcast as always, and I really appreciated your view on the little tiffs that have been rising lately in the paleo community.

    Re: the non-human gluten intolerance, I was wondering if you’ve seen these studies where rhesus Macaques crapped their brains out when given gluten containing food. There’s a couple of them, published by the same people and looking at similar stuff.

    Tom Pentzer (real name btw)

      • says

        Indeed. After reading that paper I recalled Chris Masterjohn’s analysis of some of Fasano’s work, and in both instances it would seem that we’re uncovering maladaptive mechanism after mechanism related to grains. It could also by why people who “don’t have celiac” might still have issues when eating grains.

  2. paleoslayer says

    I dont see the big deal w safe starches. Avoid grains, avoid seed oils and avoid sugar. after that, do what works for you or fits into your lifestyle.
    For me that’s 100-200g of carbs (on average) but I dont measure it.

    I think the more important question to ask is “is it healthy?” vs “is it paleo?”


  3. says

    I feel famous. Anyway, thanks for reading my question. The explanation for the digestive support makes a lot more sense now. My wife did get over her meat aversion after a few months, and is now back to eating plenty of grassfed beef and pastured eggs.

    We are expecting our first (a boy) right around the time as you and your wife. Contrary to the norm, I’ve gotten into the best shape of my life during her pregnancy, when most of the guys I know pack on almost as much weight as the woman actually carrying the baby. Score another for eating like a human, eh?

  4. Stephanie says

    Shampoo is a gimmick. I know it sounds crazy, but so did paleo eating before I tried it. I do the baking soda+ water “shampoo” and apple cider vinegar + water “conditioner” once every few days, starting a couple of months ago. My hair feels good and I don’t have to pay lots of money to put sketchy chemicals in my hair. Takes a bit to get used to it (both psychologically and physically), but makes life easier and hair feels great.

    I agree, the “safe starch” debate is getting pretty nasty! We’re not a religion but some people are acting like it. If there’s one thing that I learned from my 15 years of being vegetarian/somewhat vegan is that you need to listen to your body. No “expert” knows what is right for you better then you know what works for you. If your body feels better on more carbs and that doesn’t make your disease markers go the wrong way, by all means, eat more carbs. We are all different.

    On that note, I have been wondering how there could be so much differences amount what diet “feels right” for people since human genetic diversity is actually pretty low compared to diversity of animals. Is that because of epigenetics, hormonal environment, etc?

    The internet makes it easy for people to be jerks…I wonder what this says about essential human nature?

    If you buy in bulk from a local farmer, grass-fed can be similar in cost to grain fed CR#$ from the grocery store. Plus you get the support your local farmer, eat meat naturally raised, not support the CAFO evil treatment of animals and the antibiotic resistance-causing practices of those conventional “farmers”.

    Ok, done with my commenting for now :)

    • says

      Never talk carbs, religion, or politics without expecting a fistfight.

      When I read “Perfect Health Diet”, the safe starch concept seemed so benign. Eat 100-150 grams of carbs, go ketogenic for certain disease states, eat more if you do anaerobic activity.

      And then blammo! World War breaks out. I wonder how much of a factor these two things play:

      1. Low carb and paleo are kissing cousins, and people who do well on low carb don’t just do well on low-carb, they want to tell you all about it!

      2. Quantification is missing in many debates. Eating a moderate amount of safe starches is still much much lower carb than SAD. And if people can’t handle said carbs, they scale back. I’ve seen this amongst friends a few times.

      3. People like telling other people how to do things. That’s imprinted in chromosome 12, isn’t it?

    • mark says

      Hey Robb and Greg,
      just wanted to send you a little gratitude from across the earth here in Australia.
      You two collectively have changed my life and the lives of my workmates..
      When I hear the B.S. from the all consuming debunkers and naysayers, i just think of one thing.
      If your not part of the solution , your part of the problem…
      Your research and dedication along with the ability to get the message out there with the bad ass team you ride with is no small feat.
      Your message and work has made me and my crew happier, healthier and more informed on topics that will be passed on for years to come.
      Greg, I have recently started O Lifting at age 45 and am loving it…
      Videos, performance menu , DVD’s really motivating…
      Just wanted to say thanks to both of you guys and your work.
      Some people go their whole lives without changing one.
      You have changed many….
      cheers mates.

  5. graywhale says

    Thanks for the podcast!

    For Greg, please understand that with regard to anonymity and the “please delete my account” questions, it is likely that people have a (legitimate) fear of being discriminated against for a health condition or disease they may have revealed while on the site. As a Crohn’s dude who was almost fired from a job for having a disease (!) I am very careful about revealing myself. I see this as a much more likely reason than someone was afraid of being found out for “bad internet behavior” or something like that. Minor, but as a host and moderator it seems important to be sensitive to this.

    Also, of course very true about the feuds and how lame and counterproductive they are, but I was looking forward to someone’s take on the Cold Thermogenesis stuff; it’s really far out there! It makes sense the more you think about it, but I think it is even more extreme than most people even realize. I like Jack’s dialectical style as well.

    thanks again

    • says

      Agreed. Same thing happened to me. I revealed to a supervisor (my boss’s boss) that I had IBD (which I later healed by going raw paleo!), which was causing me to have emotional interactions with stressful parts of my work day — i.e. cringing in pain or bursting out in tears.

      Within 3 weeks I was “on probation” for alleged and rather minor offenses, such as failing to understand my bosses priorities, and given recommendation to go to counseling so I could learn how to communicate better. They basically forced me to quit.

      As I posted on Twitter, requiring “real names” and prohibiting anonymity has no real effect on the quality of discourse:

      (Don’t just read the title, read the whole thing, as the title suggests a very narrow and not-well-supported conclusion, whereas the actual data are highly illuminating.)

      It only serves to chill discourse and prevent people in vulnerable positions — e.g. women in fear of being tracked down by their ex’es — from feeling comfortable participating.

      • Amy says

        I sympathize–but IBD might be in the range of TMI, generally.

        I’d also like to mention that I was just on a job interview where it was revealed that at least half of the people in the office were vegetarian or vegan and the others were apologetic, making a point to say they avoided meat generally. It was clearly an issue. I would not want to risk being associated with the “caveman” diet in that circumstance. I ordered a salad for lunch and dinner. Of course, this raised a red flag for me. I imagine coming out of the meat-eating closet might be interesting if I end up there.

  6. Jackson says

    As someone who has works in a pharmacy and suffers from many allergies, I can recommend Cliniderm as a shampoo that does not have wheat or any allergens.

    I just wanted to say how much I enjoy the podcast and have benefited from this sort of eating. Years ago I was diagnosed with multiple food allergies and had to cut out gluten, dairy, nightshades, nuts, citrus, potatoes and legumes (sound familiar?) I rapidly dropped from 110 kilos to 83 kilos, a weight I hadn’t been since I was 12 and this was with a fair amount of rice and corn and my diet, zero restriction of sugar (though my restricted diet eliminated most processed food and a crap-load of carbs)

    Needless to say I Hate Rice.

    Over the years, I cheated occasionally and found that I seemed to tolerate the foods that caused me so much misery (inflammation, crippling GERD, huge painful boils and severe mental and emotional disruption, etc. I fooled myself into thinking that I had “outgrown” the sensitivities when it was more likely my gut had healed. In the years that followed I devolved into a diet that often included 4L of Coke per day and eventually found myself at around 125 kilos (over 270 lbs).

    In other words, I wore a lot of sweatpants.

    My knees and ankles were in constant agony. My joints were horribly inflamed and all the old symptoms were coming back but were worse probably due to being in my thirties rather than my twenties. I could barely open my hands some morning my joints were so stiff and swollen. The anxiety that used to just make me seem weird and awkward was now crippling and I would go weeks without leaving my home. My life was spiralling out of control. I had to leave my job and I was so depressed that if things hadn’t turned around, I doubt I’d still be alive and even if I was, I was certainly doomed to a very unpleasant death. The last two generation of my family have a strong history of diabetes,strokes and cancer. If esophogeal from the Cola, gluten and cigarettes didn’t kill me, intestinal cancer from Gluten intolerance would.

    In short. Robbo, when you say this is about saving lives, you are not using hyperbole. I have no doubt it has saved mine.

    My GERD is gone, the weight is coming off again, my skin has cleared up and my anxiety has improved so much I was able to get a promotion at work. Besides feeling human again, my performance in everything seems to improve every week.

    Your podcasts are a tremendous source of encouragement and information to keep courage when one’s own body seems to have turned against you and the isolation of such a restrictions threatens to slap the happy out of you.

    For some, paleo means feeling better, looking better, health and vitality. For some of us, it is a lot more important. Online drama and egoistic pr!ckwaving is beneath what this represents. Again, thanks for everything Robb.


  7. says

    I’m going to put out a series of Paleo progressive readers, a la Dick and Jane. The first one would literally be, “This is Dick. See Dick eat. See Dick and Jane eat lean meat and veg. Eat, Jane, eat.

    Aw, hell, let’s just substitute Jimmy and the Carrot Rocketship. Maybe as Jimmy grows up he can tackle the fatty meat/omega-6/pH load issues with greater and greater sophistication.

  8. says

    “Respect and decorum”. Nice!

    Dr Jack Kruse may be “out there”, but it seems to me that “all” he is doing is sharing his insights and his clinical experience amassed since his aha! moment 6.5 years ago…I don’t think he gives a *** whether people believe him or not – he gives incredible background info, but I think rather than debating his findings in endless detail he would prefer people to try what he suggests and see what it does for them. It all has a practical application.

    I like his style; I like the fact that he is often “live” on his site answering literally hundreds of questions. I like the fact that he is NOT SELLING ANYTHING!! There are hundreds, maybe thousands of hours of writing and discussion on his site, all free. He has a (developing) hypothesis and luckily he is not short of followers prepared to try out his ideas BEFORE arguing about it.

    Thanks for youse guys behavioural lead on this.

    • graywhale says

      The person who asked the question was not trying to sh*t-talk or stir the pot! Nobody on here is, or seems to be. Personally, I am *only here* to look for other (smarter than me) people’s interpretations of Dr. Kruse, because they are so difficult! Paleo itself is easy; this stuff is a whole new dimension, at least for the layperson.

      I think he’s amazing, more inspired than anyone I’ve ever read, unbelievably gregarious, and potentially totally crazy, which isn’t necassarily a bad thing.

      You have it wrong, however: while he states constantly that he wants to be doubted, tested, confirmed or disproved, not blindly followed. he writes in a dialectical style that, while ultimately allowing for a deeper understanding of the subject matter, can leave the reader feeling as though they’ve been stung by a torpedo-fish (as Socrates might say).

      His findings *need* to be debated, and he encourages it. It is understandable but lamentable that other experts have become overly sensitive to public debate and critical dissection of ideas.

      • Simon says

        Agreed. The original question was fairly put. I was responding to what was said on the podcast – I haven’t even seen/heard the reaction to Dr Kruse, but apparently there is a ****storm going on ( not just about him).

        And you are right about Dr K’s style – it is sometimes abrasive and brutally short :) I guess that’s the downside of having him respond personally to so many comments every day. Also, there are posters whose intention to argue about tiny details; added to that the website is organized in such a way that it is difficult to find what has been already been asked and answered.
        He has just launched a new forum, which may make things easier. Robb, if it is OK with you – the address is

  9. jan says

    Permit me to add fuel to the CAFO pile. I needed some fertilizer for my garden so we drove to the country and found a chicken farmer who let us buy a truck load of litter. He said that he had sold the rest to a cattle farmer and I asked What does he do with it? to which he replied “he feeds it to his cattle.” Seems this is standard practice. That’s all I needed to hear . . . No problems spending my hard earned $ on grass fed beef!

    This man raises broilers. He also told us how he had not cleaned his chicken houses out in 14 FREAKIN YEARS! Oh ya. We were getting the ‘good’ stuff alright!

    Then I researched the east coast chicken producer Bell & Evans and what a difference. They clean and disinfect their houses after every round of chickens and then let it sit empty for 2 weeks. Plus they have Slow Induction Anesthesia. I was just so impressed. They still feed their birds corn & soy but at least the meat is clean.

    Thanks for all that you guys do~

  10. says

    I think the nasty e coli strain is O157:H7. Well, there’s like 6 super nasty “common” strains. I work with them at work and they scare the crap out of me (figuratively, not literally).

    Great podcast though! I look forward to them every week and they invariably always offer something new for me to consider. I really liked the point you made this episode about making paleo livable for new folks to reel them in before getting to specifics… I think a lot of people forget that fact. It’s a hard sell to someone who is used to bread products in every meal and the low fat way of life.

  11. mekaylah says

    I have a few gluten sensitive clients at my salon and they can only use two of the lines we carry due to gluten reactivity. They get itchy and rashy even with just one shampoo from the non gluten containing ‘poos and conditioners. That being said, the line we use is 99% organic and uses lots of natural plant extracts. I can’t use one thing in the line because i break out with itchy, cystic acne like bumps on my scalp, even after one use. I think that if you are allergic to plants (pollen, etc) then you will also have a reaction to the product as well. also, i like your message about best practices and sticking to your guns on all the paleo “drama”. it’s pretty ridiculous.

  12. megzy9281 says

    I’ve been doing Dr. Kruse’s Leptin Rx and CT protocol for almost 2 weeks now its had huge benefit for me personally. I’ve been Paleo for over 2 years, not overweight by any means, but had some adrenal/thryoid issues that came up last November (likely after a stint of too much xfit and not eating enough). Could not get myself back to normal and was having strange blood sugar issues I’d never encountered before. I’d tried all kinds of supplements, went to a Naturopath and tried changing my macronutrient ratios around etc. Finally, just two days after following LRx and starting cold baths I felt 80% normal again! It was amazing! And at this point I feel almost 100%. I’d recommend to anyone with similar issues to start by reading Jack’s blog posts below. When I read this it totally clicked for me. Makes me wonder how many folks out there who were like me really have leptin issues but are only being treated for adrenal fatigue and/or hypothyroid.

  13. megzy9281 says

    P.s. Rob, have you thought about trying CT for 30 days to see if you look, feel and perform better? Sounds like there’s some huge potential for improved performance with it… might be worth the experiment! :)

  14. Deana says


    I listened to your podcast, specifically zoned in on the urticaria section around 52:00. I just wanted to throw my two cents in to this area. I too have autoimmune chronic urticaria AND angioedema. I was diagnosed with this in 2008 by an Immunologist. My triggers included heat/cold (specifically transitioning between the two), exercise, stress and any form of anxiety, essentially anything that excited my system. It took 6months (in the meantime they were cycling me with steroids to alleviate the symptoms so I could do some daily activities including showering, school, etc.) to finally dx what I had. Long story short, and 4 years later I still have it. I am no longer on the steroids, which were used for 6 months. I was prescribed doxepin, claritin, singulair, Zantac 150, zyrtec, and plaquenil. I am now on everything BUT the zyrtec and doxepin. I am sure I had another drug or two in there that I forgot. I only exhibit mild hives after a HIIT workout or after a hot shower.

    My physician, stated that this was an autoimmune reaction dealing with my Mass Cell and Receptors, or lack thereof. Some physicians put their patients on a high dosage of cyclosporin for a few months in hopes to “re-educate” the immune system while compromising the kidneys, whereas other doctors, like mine, continue to keep patients on a low dosage of the malaria killing badass…plaquenil. A new method of treatment is coming more popular and includes the injection of Xolair (which contains 3% mice). Xolair is used to treat chronic asthma (which I don’t have). A few pilot studies have been released showing promising effects that after 1-3injections of Xolair will alleviate and rid the body of urticaria and angioedema. However, Xolair is not FDA approved etc. I personally would rather have no medications in my system.

    I have done some research myself and found unique feature pretty common throughout blogs (graffiti with grammar…haha), that us who have chronic urticaria (and angioedema) have experienced some kind of traumatic event prior to having these flare ups and episodes. Some individuals broke their legs, some had traumatic surgery, and I, well I was the avid party animal during my undergrad years and was literally on a drinking binge. My first reaction occurred after a game of soccer.

    I am also allergic to cow (bovine, gelatin, etc.) and shellfish. My mother has Celiac Disease. I just started being Paleo 100% in hopes of figuring something out and/or alleviating some re-occuring symptoms I have been experiencing the past few weeks. I also noticed during your podcast that you mentioned to try fermenting some of our own foods, I thought fermented products would cause an increase in histamine response…? As do spicy foods, seeds & nuts and all the other stuff you and Dr. Cordain mention.

    I hope this doesn’t sound too crazy but I tried to summarize what I know and understood from the doctor and figured I would share this with you.

    • Amy B. says

      Should have included:

      Agave is usually touted as “healthy” because it has a low glycemic index. Well, it does, but that’s *because* of the high fructose content. (The fructose is metabolized preferentially by the liver and not by the same mechanism that other sugars are, i.e. through the rest of the GI tract, spiking blood glucose and insulin, etc.)

      Like anything else that isn’t such a great idea in your diet, let’s be realistic. A little agave now and then isn’t going to kill you, but it’s probably not a good idea to make 2 “paleo cakes” or “paleo brownie” batches every week with almond flour and a *cup* of agave, y’know?

  15. Amy B. says

    Holy cats, Robb. Your mini-rant in response to the acid-base and lean meat question was FANTASTIC.

    I know you get frustrated sometimes and want to bang your head against the wall when it comes to actually getting people on board with this, and especially with the conventional medical community that’s so steeped in its inertia it can’t even slow down long enough to question whether anything they’re doing is actually *helping people.*

    So I wanted to remind you that You. Are. Changing. Lives. You really are. And what you said regarding getting newbies to give this stuff a try and just getting people “through the door” is spot-on. It’s all well and good for researchers and academics to talk about what happens in test tubes and laboratory animals, but YOU (and your team) deal with free living people, complete with their budgets, stress levels, fears and concerns, and compliance issues. Don’t get me wrong. We love the research. We need the research. But when it comes to *applying* that research to real, live, breathing human beings, we’ve got to get the message to a place where they can hear and understand it.

    And you’re doing that. I always think back to what you’ve said about grassfed meat, wild-caught fish, etc — Not being able to afford the best quality meats is not an excuse to give up and eat bagels. The fact is, someone who’s brand new to this is not likely to go out and buy a second freezer to buy a half cow from a local farmer so they can get hundreds of pounds of grassfed beef for $4/pound. They’re gonna go to the supermarket and get whatever’s on sale. And maybe I’m gonna get myself excommunicated for saying this, but I really believe a diet based on the cheapest CAFO beef, chicken, eggs, and pesticide-laden conventional produce is still heads and shoulders above, say, Fiber One bars, corn flakes, cookies, and pasta. Is it ideal? No, of course not. Is it still a *vast* improvement from where a typical non-paleo person is starting? In my opinion, yes.

    In terms of getting buy-in from people who really *need* these nutritional interventions, all the nitpicking and minutia that get some of us so worked up and spurs endless debate on a hundred different blogs is likely to absolutely scare the crap out of someone who just wants to know WHAT TO EAT and WHAT NOT TO EAT. The black and white of it is very simple. All the pretty shades of the rainbow can come later, when someone’s been off grains and junkfood long enough to start losing sleep over the amount of omega-6 in pecans.

    Keep on keepin’ on, Robb. If anyone’s gonna give this a try, it’s gonna be because of people like you and Mark Sisson, who make them feel like they CAN, and that it doesn’t require a PhD in physiology or calculus to make dinner.

  16. brandon arbour says

    Awesome. Have not heard a rant like that in too many podcasts! super legit.Its kind of life preschool rules; sharing is caring, cant we all just be friends?

  17. says

    Robb and Greg,

    Great podcast!!!

    Dude, I love when you run off the rails because you go, you go way the hell off. And it’s all meant to help your fellow man.

    Can’t find the reference for the quote, “The object of a noble profession is to make itself obsolete.” Great stuff.

    Never understood the anonymity on web, as you put it–there’s no accountability. Not cool. Ad hominem attacks on others are ignorant at best.

    Lastly, paleo is a grass-roots( no pun intended) movement. Those that sits in position of power will do anything and everything to maintain that power. As Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” The argument, as to whether primal or paleo is better, is an exercise best left to the academics. The Standard American Diet is KILLING people.

    Robb, what percentage of population would you estimate lives paleo/primal lifestyle?

    Thanks guys, keep up the good work.


    • says

      I think we have about 1/5 as many people eating paleo/primal as are vegetarian/vegan. I suspect we will pass that number by 5-10x as paleo actually “works.” So, I see things capping out at ~10% of the population. but that’s a remarkable catalyst for change.

      thanks for the kind words BTW!

      • says


        If your estimates a correct, the paleo movement will be on the precipice of creating enormous change. According to the likes of Everett Rogers’ (Diffusion of Innovation 15%), Malcom Gladwell(The Tipping Point 15-18%) and Lynne McTaggart (The Intention Experiment 8-10%)—this is the area of critical mass. When paleo reaches this number, there will be vast fundamental change. Holy Cats, Indeed!!!

        Keep up the great work.


  18. says

    I listened to this on the way back home from Austin because somebody told me I should. I just want to say this is why Mr. Wolf is a leader. Many want to shoot me…..until they try CT.

    Robb you will always have my respect even if you think I am a nut.


  19. TonyF says


    I asked the sunlight/urticaria question, thanks a bunch for airing it and doing the research…will let you know if i find the cure of course!

    Cheers Tony.

  20. says


    I appreciate your moderate and unifying approach.

    I think the best solution is this: The information regarding CT is Jack’s thing. I simply don’t think it has much to do with Paleolithic Nutrition however, and that’s what you and the Paleosphere is all about!

    Yes, we can argue merits and demerits of strict ketogenesis vs. carb cycling vs.carb refeeding vs. potatoes vs. whatever…. These are relatively small issues when our central dogma is so obviously straightforward:

    1. Eat fish and meat as our ancestors did,
    2. don’t eat food based from grains,
    3. eat vegetables as often and as varied as possible,
    4. eat fruit sparingly,
    5. eat nuts, but don’t overdo it,
    6. avoid dairy for the most part (maybe some dairy fat),
    7. avoid legumes ,
    8. don’t eat processed food,
    9. get good sleep.
    10. exercise
    11. avoid grain & seed based fats, and
    12. don’t drink your food, drink water!

    There are certainly variations to all of this, however, CT is nowhere near this central dogma. I hope Jack pursues it and proves it worthiness, but it’s not Paleo! It MOST certainly should not divide us.

    OK, fine, we can argue #12! :)

    David Pendergrass

  21. Lindsay says

    I found your comments on the “lean meat” issue interesting. Even though it has come up before, I felt like this time was the real, definitive “this is why I stick to my lean meat guns” answer, and I totally respect your reasoning.

    However, it’s interesting to me that you’ve been sticking to the lean meat idea as to not put people off the idea of paleo at first glance, because I feel like that would be the exact thing that would have put me off, if this site was my first exposure to paleo. If glomming on the fatty deliciousness is too Atkins-esque, then “lean meats” just brings up bad memories of The South Beach Diet, the Atkins diet’s “healthy” low-carb cousin for those too sensible to give themselves heart attacks with all that arterycloggingsaturatedfat.

    I realize that everyone’s experience is different, but too many boneless, skinless chicken breasts and dry, tough sirloins had pushed me to near-vegetarianism, just because tasty meat was unhealthy and “healthy” meat tasted like crap. If I would have come across info two years ago that told me to give up my morning oatmeal *and* eat “lean meat”, I would have thought “eff that” and moved on. Actually I think I did say that the first time I saw the Whole 9 site. Luckily, I kept stumbling over paleo-ish sites and finally found Mark Sisson telling me to eat the fatty, fatty deliciousness, as long as it came from a good source and to throw plenty of pastured butter on my veggies. Suddenly, giving up oatmeal seemed pretty darn easy when I traded it for bacon.

    After over a year and a half of primal eating, I’m sure glad that I found the right information to make paleo palatable for me. Now days, I’m actually excited to eat my regular home-cooked meals rather than seeking the stimulation of restaurant food and desserts, and I can feel good knowing that I can eat as much as I want and still feel great. I can appreciate how other people might have a very different history, and how different key words would be what was necessary to have them make the leap. (I’m sure the fact that I can feel actual anger rising in my chest when I read the words “lean meats” is a whole separate issue; one that probably requires therapy.)

    Anyway, this isn’t to say that you should alter your message, but I just wanted to express an alternative perspective. Speaking to issues discussed earlier in the podcast, it’s probably good that you, Mark Sisson, and other paleo bloggers have slightly different approaches to getting your initial buy in. Perhaps one person’s “eff that” is another’s “Yeah, I can do this.”

  22. Activia says


    I actually contribute to the Marks Daily Apple forum and talk to people frequently about this whole carb issue. One thing that we are finding is that there seem to be a lot of people that do not do well on long-term ketogenic diets. They are abandoning Paleo because of this.. Chris Kresser even talks about this. So I find that its IMPERATIVE that this message gets out. Even people that have lower activity levels are having thyroid symptoms, lethargia, depression, hair loss, cold hands/feet, when going VLC (<50g carb). We see it on the forum ALL THE TIME! A lot of people come to Paleo to lose weight and they see the Mark's carbohydrate curb, they take it to the extreme because they want to lose weight faster. Then 6 months later they are having all sorts of problems, decide Paleo isn't right for them and leave. Chris has also mentioned that a lot of his patients plateau on VLC and he has them INCREASE their carbs and they start to lose weight again and they start to feel better with higher amounts of carbs (50-150g). If we really want this to help the most people, then it needs to be made clear that not everyone will operate well on ketogenic diets. There are certain cases of extreme illness (cancer, diabetes) where ketogenic diets have their place, but for a lot of healthy normal people it seems not to work out so well. I think we need to STOP giving this message that if you are not very active, then ketogenic would be good for you..and START giving the message that if you feel lethargic, depressed, cold hands feet, hair loss, or you just have a weight loss plateau, start experimenting with adding some safe starches for your diet… instead of going back to SAD or Matt Stone.

    Some of us are trying to get this message out to HELP people not to criticize people.. so its tough when Kruse comes saying that EVERYONE should be ketogenic 75% of the year!

    • says

      Hey! Thanks for adding this. Scotty HAgnas did a great article on this for the Performance Menu

      The tough thing in this: if someone is metabolically broken low carb is a MIRACLE. But when it stops working…it’s like anything else, time to shift gears, see where else to go. Folks like the Eades have talked about this for years. Mauro Dipasquale has talked about cyclic ketogenic for nearly 30 years…the info is there, but like you siad, we need to do a better job helping folks navigate the transition in their metabolism. Let me know how i can help, and thank you again for posting this.

  23. says

    I do notice dry itchy scalp with my ‘Redken for Men’ with “WHEAT AMINO ACIDS” in ingredients. And much better hair and no scalp irritation with ‘Redken All Soft’ with avocado oil.

Join the Discussion