NuSI – Episode 155

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

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  1. [3:34] The New Sweetener Nectresse
  2. [6:24] NuSI
  3. [15:24] CNS Recovery After Training and Cerebral Palsy
  4. [24:39] Heavy Metals
  5. [27:36] When The Autoimmune Protocol Doesn’t Work
  6. [33:09] Spicy Food and Gut Health
  7. [37:38] American vs. Russian Kettlebell Swings
  8. [44:16] Muscle Stem Cell Supply Depletion
  9. [49:23] Health At Every Size

Weightlifting Programming: A Winning Coach’s Guide by Bob Takano



1. New Sweetener

Jeff says:

Can you share your thoughts on Nectresse – the new Sweetener? Specifically – is it a better choice than Splenda or Truvia? Thanks!


2. NuSI

Hayden says:
Robb and Gregg,

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about NuSI, or Nutrition Science Initiative.  It seems like a good idea to me but I’d like to hear your thoughts.  On their website they state the problem (our health sucks) and their strategy (science) but don’t seem to have any solutions… Is this project legit/worth donating to?  It seems to me that Paleo is a pretty darn good solution… Thanks, you guys rock.


3. CNS Recovery

Dylan says:
Hi Greg and Robb,

I’m interested in finding out your take on CNS recovery.  I’m a 34 year old man, have CrossFitted for a few years until I was beat up; now I do a CF Football(ish) program 3x/week.  I’m also a full-time student, homeschooling dad, and bike/bus commuter.  I’ve been eating paleo (+ cream) at home for about 4 years, but forget about it when I’m anywhere outside of my house.

My question is based around the fact that I have cerebral palsy that affects the right side of my body.  What can I do to help speed up my central nervous system recovery after training?  I feel like my central nervous system is always being taxed due to my CP, which makes me excessively worn-out.  I sleep 8 hours a night, many times don’t feel rested when I wake up.  I take good fish oil and ZMA each day.

I’m interested in hearing your guy’s thoughts and ideas on this subject.


4. Heavy metals

Helen says:
Hi Robb. I’m one of your six original listeners and I’m still dutifully worshiping at the alter of paleo each and every week. My question regards heavy metals.  How significant are they to our health?  What do you think of the field of orthomolecular medicine (abram hoffner et al)?  Finally, what about the various protocols (nutritional balancing, coffee enemas etc.) to eliminate heavy metals? I would appreciate some clarity on this subject.   Helen. (the canadians are slowly coming around)


5. When the autoimmune protocol does not work

Dani says:
Hi Robb and Greg-
I am curious about what to do when Paleo/Paleo autoimmune does not work to clear up a condition.  I have ulcerative colitis. I switched to a Paleo diet 11/2 years ago. I have been 100% grain and legume free since that time.  I did a very strict period about 3 months of being dairy free, nut free, egg free, nightshade free, caffeine free, alcohol free, chocolate free, and since my body does not tolerate starch (taro, sweet potato, ect) very well, starch free.  I ate bone broths, cooked, peeled, seeded vegetables, and very little fruit, though bananas are something that my body does pretty well with when I am very sick and cannot tolerate much else. I took fish oil and digestive enzymes religiously during this period.

At the the end of this period, my colitis was worse then it ever was, prompting me to have another colonoscopy and forcing me to go on more medication.  At the end of the 3 months, I kind of felt defeated, went on the meds, stayed 100% grain and legume free, but let up on the other things, eating eggs, nightshades, and occasionally grass-fed better and aged cheese.  I have not been able to get off the meds, but my condition is certainly not any better or worse then when I was very strict in my diet.  Being that strict, quite honestly felt a little obsessive and often depressing- regular Paleo is no problem for me, but all of those other limitations began to make me feel very alienated in social situations and was also very time consuming, not to mention a little boring. I live in a very rural area in Hawaii so I have no access to the Dr.’s in the Paleo network nor are there any functional medical Dr.’s in my area.

Since beginning Paleo eating I feel like a crusader in my own personal health revolution and am thankful for all the folks with the GAPS, SCD, and Paleo lifestyle information.  I am just not quite sure where to look next. I could go back on the autoimmune craziness and see if I have a different result this time, but I am wondering if there any other avenues to look down?  As a side note, I began doing some fertility monitoring a few months ago and noticed that my morning Basal Body Temperature is sometimes quite low – 95.5-96.5 range.  It seems that when this is the case I also notice that I have more problems sleeping and my colitis seems to be slightly worse.

The only thing that I have noticed to be related to a low body temperature on Dr. Google is Thyroid issues. I think my Dr. would think I was crazy for suggesting this, I am a normal weight- 5’3 and 115 with decent muscle mass.  I do have slightly more fat on my abdomen than on other areas of my body- my legs and bum are fairly lean.  This has caused me to question metabolic issues and systemic inflammation issues.  Clearly I have inflammation issues, but that being the case why didn’t the autoimmune deal help at all???  I would be willing to invest in some blood work if it could shed some light on the situation. Any thoughts would be appreciated.  Thanks for all that you folks do- you make my long walks even more enjoyable.


6. Is spicy food a “crappy” choice for a healthy gut?

Ashleigh says:
Hey guys,

This question is about the health benefits of spicy food. “They” (ambiguous health experts and scientists) say that spicy food can assist in lowering blood pressure and risk of hard disease, and reduce inflammation, among other claims. I have become an increasingly enthusiastic fan of spicy food over the past few years, and I find that a lot of spicy meals I enjoy are also very healthy-gluten and sugar free, comprised mostly of meat and vegetables. However, the morning after a spicy meal often results in a less than fun trip to the bathroom. So, my question is: if I’m having these unpleasant bowel movements after spicy food, they must be bad for my gut health/digestion, right? Do really spicy foods affect gut health in a way that I should be worried about? Can I keep building up my tolerance or should I lower the spice level until I stop having this type of side effect? I’d love to hear your thoughts because spice certainly does add a level of fun to some otherwise bland paleo meals. Thanks!

7. American vs Russian Kettlebell Swings

Mat says:
Robb & Greg, what is the best kettlebell swing, Russian or American?  Specifically, which is better orthopedically for fit but 40+ trainees?  Crossfit says American, but RKC teaches Russian (as far as I know) and many look to them as the experts of all things KB.  And while you are at it, what do you think of this?:;jsessionid=05B326B01E2F6FF18983183D138C6188-mcd01.hydra

Kettlebells: Traditional or Overhead


8. Muscle stem cells depletion, aging, and over-exercising

Eric says:
Robb and Greg, my knowledge of biology pretty much tops out with what I have learned from Gary Taubes, Ufe Ravnskov, Chris Kresser, and Robb. Have pity on me.

But I came across this science discovery about a protein that seems to have a role in the aging of muscles. The researchers claim to have found excess accumulation of FGF2, which they say plays a role in recruiting muscle stem cells to become real muscle cells. What intrigued me was reading that we have a finite amount of muscle stem cells (this is new to me, I didn’t know the body’s ability to make muscles could run out). This is where my question comes, if we have finite muscle stem cells that are used to create new muscle cells, is there some level of over-exercising that depletes the finite stem cells faster than normal use? Does high intensity exercising offer good health while young at the expense of weakness when older?

Am I just missing something else about the fact muscle stem cells are finite? Is this molecular biology basics and I, the geographer, am just embarrassing myself asking?

See this link for what inspired my curiosity.


9. Health At Every Size?

Jeremy says:
Just came across Linda Bacon’s “Health at Every Size” website.  At first glance I resonate with her trying to shift people from a one-dimensional focus on trying to get rid of fat to trying to attain health, however as I read her manifesto there were some things that run counter to beliefs that seem core to the ancestral health crowd.

Some of her claims from her manifesto:

1.)Overweight people live longer than normal weight folks.

2.) There are some people that simply cannot lose weight and we need to redefine our notion of beauty.

And most surprisingly…

3.)”…we’re healthier than ever and chronic disease is appearing much later in life…We are simply not seeing the catastrophic consequences predicted to result from
the “obesity epidemic.”

So as a fitness coach who works with over-fat people, this brings up a lot of important questions for me such as:

Is being over-fat correlative to health issues not causative?  If so how does this change our approach?

What level of over-fatness changes the game so to speak?  This perspective seems much easier to accept for a person who is 30 pounds overweight and not feeling so great about themselves as opposed to 130 pounds overweight and having a hard time being functional?

If all people can lose fat, do we need to create more reasonable expectations?   I find that the prospect of a six-pack or skinny underarms really haunts people who have already seen huge changes in body composition (fitness coaches who have themselves been over fat may be the most afflicted speaking from personal experience.)

Love to hear what you folks think about this.

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  1. says

    I agree with the comments by Greg and Robb on the KB swing. In particular, I want to follow up on what was said about funky movement patterns when going overhead with the KB. I found that athletes would do some sort of a muted hip extension followed by a back extension to get the KB overhead or a hip flexion/back hyper extension at the top due to lack of shoulder mobility. What I decided to do is go heavier with Russian KB swings, usually athletes can go heavier or longer with a Russian swing, because as Robb and Greg said that is where the money is. Then, use another exercise that has more bang for the buck e.g., handstands, SP, OHS, PP, PJ, J, etc. to train overhead. By the way, I am 50 and I train people over 50. For my money, there are very few exercises that have as much value to someone over 40 than a properly executed hip hinge. Don’t get caught up so much in the exercise, just make sure you know what the movement pattern is and do it as well as you can.

    Also I will agree with Greg when he says his seminars sell out quickly, they do. I was lucky to get in when I did. The seminars sell out quickly for a reason, they work. I can’t say that I lift much better or heavier today (although many people PRed), but I have a way better eye for errors and I have a ton of stuff to work on which I think will allow me to progress much further than I would have before the seminar.

    • Brad B says

      Agreed about the swings and the hip hinge. Any of the top KB people will say the same thing. They all come from an RKC background, but that means they know what they are talking about, not that they are regurgitating dogma. If you want to go overhead, do snatches.

  2. says

    Hi Robb, I am curious if you have any opinion on the legitimacy of grounding/earthing. There seems to be a substantial amount of hype and polarization surrounding these. Could there be something to them or are they just complete snake oil?

  3. says

    I was so relieved when I heard the question titled “when the autoimmune protocol does not work”. I have tried the autoimmune protocol for an extended period of time. Diet/lifestyles changes as well as medication have helped my overall symptoms and my inflammation rates are coming back awesome. However, I still have swelling around joints and recent x-rays show thinning of bone still occurring with rheumatoid arthriti.

    • SROGERS says

      I agree with the question about the AIP. My situation is very similar… take out UC, insert Crohn’s and IBS. I am hypothyroid but have never been overweight. I removed FODMAPS about 4 months ago and it has made a tremendous difference with my digestive issues. Unfortunately, removing FODMAPS adds to ” Being that strict, quite honestly felt a little obsessive and often depressing- regular Paleo is no problem for me, but all of those other limitations began to make me feel very alienated in social situations and was also very time consuming, not to mention a little boring. ” Diane Sanfilippo’s new cookbook has recipes that are AIP/FODMAP friendly.

  4. says

    Hi,Robb and Greg!

    Off topic here … but where exactly are the “show notes” you mention in the podcasts? Are they among the “comments”?

    Thank you for untiring hard work to get this amazing information to all of us!

  5. Andrea says

    Hooo boy, you can take Robb out of Santa Fe and apparently you can also take the chile out of him. Bummer.

    So, this question is EXTREMELY interesting to me, being a fan of nuclear-incendiary foods – I love the sweating, the discomfort, all of it. But I am also thinking that I have leaky gut which obviously should be healed to ensure proper digestion and nutrient assimilation.

    Because capsaicin is a mucosal irritant (and, per Robb, a “gut irritant”) does that mean it’s out for AIP, for leaky gut healing, or FOR EVER?

    It kind of sounds that way, which again, makes me extremely unhappy:

    Frankly, it kind of sounds like capsaicin might be like gluten – it just irritates stuff and therefore is not good. What say you all?

  6. Marie R. says

    I found the discussion on Linda Bacon’s work and the Health at Every Size(HAES) movement to be very interesting. Actually, in one of my grad classes (on eating disorders and body image) we discussed the HAES movement. I must admit that at first I was a little skeptical of some of the claims, however there is actually a lot of compelling arguments and research out there that support it across multiple fields. By the end of the class I became a true believer that HAES combined with paleo style eating is the direction we should be moving towards in the future. I found the material covered in class so profound and interesting that I am pushing my area of study more in that direction now.

    There really is little that is objectionable in HAES from a purely health and well-being standpoint. HAES still promotes the idea that everyone should be active and getting exercise (they just want to end the judgement that all large people are unhealthy). Because as Robb said, some larger people are healthy, and some are not. Just like some normal sized people are healthy, and some are not. HAES believes that crazy fad dieting is NOT the way to go as it is psychologically and physically unhealthy (something I think many paleo followers can get behind). And they work to break down stigma about size.

    People often claim that HAES is just trying to make it acceptable to be fat and lazy, but this really is incorrect. HAES is interested in making physical activity and health accessible to all people. Currently there is so much stigma and bias attached to being large that large individuals suffer some serious emotional and psychological abuse and face many barriers to getting out and being active (such as people making extremely nasty comments, suffering anxiety in gym settings, etc.). HAES is simply trying to alleviate some of this stigma and promote health and physical activity among everyone.

    Dr. Michael P. Levine and Dr. Linda Smolak, both professors in Psychology at the Kenyon University who study eating disorders suggest that “There is no evidence that prejudice helps fat people to lose weight and to develop a healthier lifestyle. Instead prejudice contributes directly to body image problems, low self-esteem and depression, and avoidance of exercise, all which increase the risk of unhealthy eating…” (2006, p. 65). It also can lead to the individual’s participation in unhealthy activities to lose weight such as using laxatives, diet pills, restricting, and bingeing (Latner & Schwartz, 2005).

    As the quote above suggests, there is also a very close relationship with our countries war on obesity/fat shaming and stigma and an increase in eating disorders. There is also a huge body of very compelling research on this as well.

    To sum it up, I think HAES is on to something with their positive approach to exercise and health for all people. I think it’s strength is in the well rounded and multi-diciplinary approach it takes to promoting health, which something that I think is missing in a lot of the past health promotion attempts. I think is has great potential to get people moving and feeling good about themselves. Ultimately this is what matters. And if anyone takes the time to dig into the literature surrounding the movement, I think you will find a lot of overlap with the paleo and ancestral health movement.

  7. Marie R. says

    @Robb – And yes, you were correct on your guess at Dr. Bacon’s reasoning behind cost when you said:

    “And maybe her thought is that a lot of
    what we’re doing is unnecessary because of – even if the person is
    overweight, maybe they don’t have health problems.”

    Since BMI is often used to target individuals for size related interventions,we end up targeting people that may not need the interventions. And while, there is a high cost associated with diabetes, etc, I think the theory is that if these individuals were engaged in regular physical activity and healthy eating (as HAES promotes) than we wouldn’t see as many instances of diabetes even if individuals retained some weight.

    I can compile and send you a reference list on some of the literature and resource out there if you are interested in digging through it.

  8. says

    My conclusion after reading this article is , people drinking alcohol can be leaving longer.(not)
    Not much here is all true , weight will damage your hart , speed up your ageing proces, and so on…Its actually dosent matter wich way you chose , becose you dont know how to working your body with nutrition. Its like lottery.

    weight might get you colon cancer, are you wanna ask for this ?
    Colon screen is really crucial for checking yourself.
    Colonoscopy can be painfull , but here you can find few tips how to get colon screen without pain. Read more colonoscopy

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