Carb Backloading – Episode 147

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

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  1. [2:27] Grain Fed Meat, Food Subsidies and Prices
  2. [9:20] Protandim
  3. [17:15] Dark Rings and Thin Skin Under Eyes
  4. [20:55] Oil Pulling
  5. [24:01] Aerobic Exercise After Blood Donation vs. Altitude Training
  6. [26:06] Building A Home Gym
  7. [32:17] Carb Backloading
  8. [45:08] Dawn Phenomenon
  9. [51:46] Whole Garlic Cloves



1. Agricultural Subsidies and Food Prices

Ben says:
Dear Robb and Gregg,
Congratulations as always on your great podcast guys, you are pushing back the frontiers of human misery on many planes.

This query might also double as a one for THE CONTROVERSIAL TRUTH podcast. I’ve downloaded but not yet listened to that one.

As an Australian, our standard meat is GRASS FED. Indeed we have to pay extra if we want GRAIN FED which is regarded as a luxury product. Obviously it is more expensive to make grain fed meat as you also need to grow grain and transport it and feed the cattle. This takes more labour, fuel and effort, and the cattle require more drugs and veterinary support.

Some people say that grain fed beef is to die FOR, I tell them it is to die FROM.

However when I visit your fair land, I am always shocked at the enormous price of meat, and shocked further that grass fed meat is more expensive again. People tell me that this is related to agricultural subsidy system where the farmers of corn and soy or sorghum or whatever cows are fed/poisoned with.

I am really interested in what the breakdown is, and for example when you buy a pound of beef, how much does it cost and how much agri subsidy does that represent. And how much of that goes to the farmer and how much to big business. What would your meat cost without agri subsidy.

Do farm workers in the USA get paid a shitload? From the amount you pay for beef, I would expect the average cowpoke must be paid 40 bucks an hour, ha ha.

I know that Jo Robinson in an expert on many aspects of this and I have not seen her name on your show but you totally need to get together as she is totally awesome, just like you guys. Enough humping your leg, you are totally on the same page and she has done some very interesting stuff and you probably already know each other and are joined at the hip like Siamese triplets etc.

Aside- everyone knows what grain feeding does to cow meat and pork etc, why do they have such trouble accepting it destroys human tissue in the same manner.

You would also know that Confessions of An Economic Hitman (why don’t you interview Perkins?) takes aim at agri subsidies as the USA then makes Mexican farmers compete without tariffs “on a level playing field (bullshit)” and then wipes them out with subsidised produce.


2. Protandim

Emily says:
I tried to see if you had posted anything/podcasted about Protandim, so if you have and this is repetitive – I apologize – and delete this message!

I am a competitive triathlete/CrossFitter, and have seen steady improvement since going paleo 8 months ago.  My CrossFit gym endorses Simply Pure Nutrients as a supplement/protein and I have began taking those recently and have been recovering better as a result – since both my volume in time dedicated and weight have been increasing due to the demands of competing.

I was approached by my coach to sit in on a webinar about Protandim, and he is going to give a month’s worth of samples to a few of his athletes (including me), as he hopes to sell this product at the gym.  Wondering if you had an opinion on this supplement as far as performance and recovery go…and if you know of any side-effects and/or concerns I may have before taking it.


3. Bloody Undereye Darkness

Tyler says:
Hey Greg and Robb!

First off, you two are alright. You’ve provided me with countable hours of learning and laughter. So thank you.

My question has to do with the perpetually thin skin and dark rings underneath my eyes. I’ve had this since I was a little kid, and nothing seems to get rid of them.

I lift a few times a week and have been eating moderately carbed paleo for nearly two years. I sleep 8-9 hours a night and shy away from alcohol most evenings, especially close to sleep. Whenever I get less than 7 hours of sleep, however, people ask if I got punched in the eye. Not kidding. It happened at the store this week, which made me make up the whole “allergies” bullshit response, because I didn’t really know what else to say.

Are there are nutrients I might be deficient in? The sun helps, but do I need to massage my face every twenty minutes to stimulate skin thickness there? I haven’t bled/donated blood in a while, so maybe I have too much and it’s pooling under my eyes. Or something.

Please tell me I’m doing something wrong and it’s not just shitty genes.

Also, if I do a handstand or look in the mirror upside down, that place underneath my eyes veins up and I wouldn’t doubt they’d just blow up if I didn’t stop.

I would be happy to send a picture if you want to feel sorry for me.

Thank you.


4. Oil pulling

Brandy says:
While searching for other ways to use coconut oil I stumbled upon oil pulling. I’ve never heard of this before and wondered what your thoughts were on it. It sounds sort of crazy to me, but wondered what a pseudo scientist thought. Greg, feel free to make fun of my grammar or lack there of. Love listening to you guys each week!

Oil pulling:


5. Effects of Training After Blood Donation

Alexander says:
Hi Robb and Greg,

I’ve read that after donating blood it takes 2-3 days for blood volume to get back to normal, but around a month, give or take, for red blood cells to be completely replenished.

My question is: Would aerobic exercise in this recovery state (once blood volume is up, of course), have essentially the same effect as altitude training given that not as much oxygen can be delivered to where it’s needed because of a lack of red blood cells rather than a lack of oxygen in the environment?

If this is the case, would it be a way to rebuild red blood cells faster after donating blood?


6. Building the Primal Gym

The Primalist says:
Greg and Robb,
I am not a masochist and so I haven’t listened to all of the podcasts, but I have listened to enough to know Gregg used to call himself Andy Dees and you guys have not yet formally tackled the issue of developing your own primal gym.  I am sure there are many home warriors who are on a shoe string budget or who have limited time and cannot afford to attend a gym, but who nonetheless want to improve their overall fitness and take their game to the next level.   With this in mind, what would the Robb and Greg think-tank develop for the at home enthusiast who wants to build a home gym?

To narrow the focus of this question down a bit, let’s assume that this hypothetical paleo gym would be designed for someone who wants to equally train for strength, power and endurance in order to improve their overall general fitness.  What inexpensive items and equipment would fill this gym and what types of routines should the at home enthusiast concentrate on so as to not get hurt due to lack of formal instruction?  I’m guessing no Olympic lifts?

Personally I am thinking this gym would contain a collection of free weights, kettle bells, sand bags, Bulgarian training bags, slosh tubes, a tractor tire or two, o-rings, a climbing rope and one large beard or mustache (might look something like this ).  Those items alone would probably make a pretty formidable gym.   Not sure what specific workout routines to employ with all these goodies though.  What are your thoughts?


7. Carb Backloading (CBL)

Mike says:
Hi Robb,

Love the work that your doing, very much appreciated.  I ran into a guy by the name of Kiefer who is emerging as a big presence in what might seem to be a growing following known as Carb Back Loading.  I just wanted your thoughts on this diet protocol and whether or not you think this growth will continue or if the science just doesn’t add up and the broad masses will eventually figure that out.

Thanks for your feedback!


8. Paleo solution for the Dawn Phenomenon

Louis says:
Hi, Robb and Andy,
Thank you for changing my life. I’m a medical doctor working in India, and your 8th listener. I work  mainly with patients suffering from the metabolic syndrome, and after finding spectacular, effortless success for myself (I lost 20kgs, and 8inches off my waist), now, advise all my patients a low carb paleo diet as an initial step.

I do get a lot of motivated patients, who succeed in going off insulin.
Some of them however seem to be suffering from the Dawn Phenomenon. I need to confirm that it is not the Somogyi effect, but, that is relatively easily fixed by slightly upping the carbs at night.

I’d rather not put T2DM patients on insulin, which is what the standard therapy is, for a situation like this. I can’t advise back squats or internal sprints to bump up their insulin sensitivity. Most of them also have severe knee and hip issues.
Do you have any suggestions as to how I can tackle this with minimal pharmaceutical intervention?  I do have insulin and oral hypoglycaemics as backup, but I’d rather not use them if I have a choice.

I’d be grateful if you could help me out, even if it is by email. Cheers.


9. Garlic?  I Hardly Knew Her!

Rob says:
Hey Robb and Greggg,
I’m a fan of using garlic supplementally as a blood cleaner/thinner.  The common wisdom is that the more you cook it the less potent it becomes (I’m the same way).

The other day I peeled off a clove and thought “Hey, this is small like a pill”, so I took a swig of water and downed it like a vitamin.

Is there any benefit to doing it this way (other than the lack of garlic breath)?  Is it bio-available enough for the body to use or would I be better off crushing it and rubbing it on my steak?

Thanks a bunch
<insert requisite ass kissing here>

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  1. Dave says

    Hey guys. I have used the exercises on Gregg’s site to overhaul my workouts. I go to a large university that has everything I need but the problem is that it’s insanely busy. And I hate waiting for everything and fighting the crowds. So I bought an adjustable set of dumbbells and bought extra plates to equal 40lbs per arm. With these two awesome things, I can do 80% of my workouts from home and go to the gym occasionally to do things such as pull-ups, and heavy deadlifts. I’m not even messing with standard back-squats anymore, cause of the wait at the racks.
    For my workouts I tend to begin with a high volume set of one exercise followed by an AMRAP WOD of 2-3 excercises.
    I love the idea of workouts being portable, practical, brief, and generalizeable.
    I don’t need a gym membership, or to be tied to specific equipment to keep up specific numbers. Dumbells are the shit!

  2. Daniel says

    Oil Pulling may not do anything for detox but it is useful for oral hygiene and whiter teeth. I’ve done it a couple of times for about a week or two and felt that it helped whiten my teeth; given that I used a white oil like coconut and not Castrol GTX. I haven’t been able to make it a habit yet, but I do feel that it works.


    • Ty Fyter says

      Yeah my understanding of oil pulling was oral hygiene and not ‘detoxing’ per se…do you know if olive oil is effective??

    • A F says


      someone recommended it for oral hygiene, and it really seems to help get rid of / avoid buildup of dental plaque for me at least.

      • Daniel says

        I do it before brushing to loosen any plaque. I think for best results you should be doing both (with gluten free toothpaste.)

  3. Ed says

    Sorry guys, but not all Australian beef is grass fed. The majority of beef that is graded under the Meats Standards Association program is grain-fed or, at least, grain-finished. Moreover, 2/3rds of the beef that manages to get the MSA stamp has been treated with hormone growth promotants (HGPs).

    You’ll need to go out of your way to get true grass-fed and grass-finished beef and you will pay a premium for it.

    • Sonia says

      Yeah- I saw this and thought the same. Went to check with dad. He used to grow beef in Cootamundra. It’s true, beef that you buy at the standard supermarkets in Australia are grain finished. As in, feed lot, no room to move kind of stuff. It’s pretty filth. Even at my local farmers markets now (I’m in Byron bay), they say the beef is “grain assisted” which apparently means that there’s grain there ‘if they feel like it’… So, luckily we do have a local butcher who deals the gold stuff…at a price… 😉

  4. Ty Fyter says

    Hey question re: carb back loading.
    I train in the morning but I work in the pokies at night (by night, I finish @8pm) and have to do clearance at close (lifting the coin boxes from pokie machines to the cashier, varying weights from light to very heavy) and catch the bus, then walk home (~5-10mins)…would this be enough activity to enable a “carb backload”?
    Also, if I’m eating lean beef (5% fat, cutting phase) @700g beef/day, using coconut oil is it still possible to induce ketosis?? Or is it waaaay too much protein for that to happen??

    Thanks again for another awesome podcast!
    p.s. did Robb just debunk the infamous ‘kale shake’ re: Joe’s 5 cloves garlic?? 😉 (tried one, nearly killed me! Haha)

  5. says

    Good stuff as always guys! I liked the slight head nod to Metabolic Flexibility as I really think that is a big key. We know that people who can’t use carbs that effectively (T2DMs) have major issues, and we are learning that people who can’t oxidize fat will have issues too (in addition to poor body composition).

    Our primal buddies in the past would have a huge advantage to use fat during long periods of fasting and to use carbs when they were plentiful (which was much more rare than a trip to the 7-11 now). If you passed out in an insulin induced coma after a carb meal, you would quickly become Sabor Toothed Tiger food.

    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

  6. Michael says

    guys, about those dark circles under the eyes: some people say they’re linked to the lymphatic system. check this out


    Researchers from Flinders University have set their sights on lymphatic drainage as a potential cure for unsightly eye bags.

    Professor Neil Piller from the University-funded Lymphoedema Research Unit is about to begin a study to explore the role of lymphatic drainage as a treatment for eye bags and puffiness, a perennial cosmetic problem that tends to worsen with age.

    Genes, fluid retention, diet and sleep disturbances are all known causes of eye bags, yet there is no scientifically proven therapy to treat the condition.

    Professor Piller said the Lymphoedema Research Unit, based at Flinders Medical Centre, is now conducting a study to determine whether manual lymphatic drainage can diminish the appearance of eye bags, dark circles and puffiness by removing excess fluid and color-changing pigments.

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