Microwaving Food – Episode 156

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

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  1. [5:41] Best Fermented Foods
  2. [11:43] Lemon Juice Cooking (Ceviche For Veggies)
  3. [14:13] Yerba Mate and Cancer
  4. [17:08] Bladder Leakage During Exercise For Mothers
  5. [19:53] Adrenal Issues After Kidney Donation
  6. [24:43] Eating Paleo While In The Hospital
  7. [35:32] Scapular Retraction When Pulling and Pushing
  8. [41:24] Type 1 Diabetes, PWO, and Insulin
  9. [45:31] Microwaving and Steam Bags


1. Best Fermented Foods?

Dan says:
Hey Boys, I’ll keep this short and simple, but first, the obligatory praise: Love you guys, you turn water into wine, keep up the great work… You get the idea.

With all the buzz in the Real Foods community about the benefits of fermented foods and which ones are them most effective, I was curious about your take on which ones truly have the highest potential for sustaining beneficial gut flora and overall digestive health.

Now that I’ve discovered how easy and sustainable it is to make some of these at home, I am particularly interested in kombucha vs. sauerkraut. Is one really better than the other? Are they comparable? Is one vastly different than the other, making them both (and others) valuable to overall gut health? I’ve also been using some fermented cod liver oil (which I don’t find nearly as disgusting as the rest of the world seems to), but the $50+ price tag on it is not floating my boat, so to speak. Or should I bite the bullet and keep swallowing this delicious stuff too?

Thanks, guys. Seriously, you rock.


2. Lemon Juice for Cooking

Troy says:
Can lemon juice be used to “cook” food (specifically veggies) the same way it “cooks” fish in ceviche?  I’m wondering if using this method will preserve the loss of vitamins from cooking and at the same time, activate the vitamins that are activated (such as caratoanoids) when cooked. The best of both worlds, right? You guys are the best! Thanks.

3. Does Yerba Mate Cause Cancer?

Sarah says:
Hey guys,

It’s been reported that Yerba Mate causes cancer…dun dun dunnn. I was drinking the stuff everyday for the  health benefits/carcinogens–wtf?

Love the show,

P.S. Greg’s made this podcast a million times better. You guys just work really well together…no offense, Andy.

4. Baby Mama bladder drama…

Andy says:
Robb and Greg,

Continued thanks to the both of you for the knowledge and insight you provide.

Many (nearly all) of our female clientele that have had any number of kids tell us that exercises like running (from jog to sprint) and jumping (from jumping to box jumps) causes some leaking from the bladder. Have y’all (we’re in Texas!) experience this at either of your respective gyms? Any insight as to how I can help them? Kegels maybe? Yoga? I have no clue with this one. Appreciate any help in advance. Thank you.

5. kidney donation/adrenal issues?

Jamie says:
Robb, Hi there.  I tried putting this on the forum but was to ADD to figure it out so I thought I’d try an email.  Quick info on me, if it matters, I’m a 30 year old gal, 5’4”, 130lbs, decently muscular, lift heavy, run fast, eat pretty well, really like coffee (this might come into play after you read my senario).  I am back in school to become an RD (paleo one!) which has me sleeping less than I typically would and sitting a lot more than I prefer.

In 2007, I donated my kidney (left one) to my aunt who has diabetes.  During the entire process, I thought I had covered all my bases with my doctors as far as questions/concerns go.

About a year ago, I began following the Paleo diet, reading lots of information on it, listening to your podcast, etc.  In doing so, I’ve paid a lot of attention on adrenal gland information, adrenal fatigue, cortisol, etc and began wondering if removing my kidney would have any impact on my left adrenal gland.  I have googled a lot of information regarding this and a few things keep popping up.  1. The left and right adrenal glands are hooked up to each of the kidneys via different arterial “stuff”, the left one being more impacted by the removal of the kidney.  2. My adrenal gland might not be working at all.  3. Why the hell didn’t they tell me this?!

So, what do you think about all of this?  Am I doomed for life?  Will my right adrenal gland be able to compensate for the other possibly being injured or not working at all?  Can I sue my doctors for millions and billions, retire and move out of Kansas City?  Lastly, what should I do/avoid if I’m flying solo adrenal gland here?

I know this is A LOT of questions and I appreciate any information/opinion you are willing to share with me.  Thanks in advance and have a superb weekend.
6. Paleo in the hospital/being too opinionated

June says:
Hi Robb and Greg,
I have a question I don’t think I’ve heard addressed (but maybe have missed).
My 67 yo husband, who is otherwise very healthy and active has to have mitral valve repair surgery in the next few months. We are optimistic that this will be a successful surgery with quick and easy recovery (his doc said he’s the healthiest patient she’s ever had). My husband has been eating a Paleo diet/lifestyle since mid July. He has lost about 11#’s mostly around his middle…he’s always been considered slim, now has more energy, no more migraines, and has become much nicer to be around. So…the surgery…He’ll be in the hospital 2-5 days, depending on how they “go in”. My question is: Is it likely I will have to bring all of his food? I don’t know how long it will be after the surgery till he’ll be able to eat food, but I can’t imagine the hospital will be terribly accommodating of his selective food needs. Any tips?

Lastly….I’m such a Paleo convert that I have to be careful not to prosthelytize (sorry Greg…I think I butchered this spelling)and overstate my opinions… I own a Pilates studio and often the conversation of food/losing weight/ailments comes up with clients (btw,I also do CrossFit, myself, 3x/week). How does one hold back on too much opinion/information giving when you think you KNOW this will help someone? I keep a copy of your book in my studio for people to peruse (love your book).
Thanks for all you guys do. You have changed my life, and very surprisingly, my husbands too.
Best, June
PS Greg, I re-read this twice for grammar checks…I hope I’ve “done good”!! :-)


7. Greg (and Robb): Scapular retraction when pulling and pushing WTF!?

Ben says:
Hey Greg (and Robb), you guys are putting out one of the best podcasts available. You’re both pleasantly entertaining and educational. I have a question about scapular retraction when pushing and pulling (especially when doing those movements overhead). I’ve always heard “put your shoulders in your back pocket” etc like many of us. I continue to practice this.
However, recently I came across this article on Bret Contreras’ site: http://bretcontreras.com/2012/09/when-coaching-cues-attack-packing-the-shoulder/
It is kinda long but perhaps worth your while. Generally the article touches on the variable meanings and interpretations of cues, but specifically he does go into detail concerning how to think about and control your scaps when doing various pushing and pulling exercises.
I’m not trying to start a war of words or anything I just thought it’d be interesting to hear your ideas concerning it. I think, generally speaking, Greg would be for complete scapular retraction when pushing things (especially overhead). Greg seems to say as much here: http://whole9life.com/2012/04/the-whole9-five-movement-series-part-2/

Anyhow, context context context, I know. So, thought I’d ask. Thanks for your input. Be well.


8. insulin for type1 diabetic on crossfit/strength training

Zoltan says:
Hi Robb&Greg,

Little background: I’m a 24 year old type 1 diabetic. I have been doing strength training/conditioning for the last 3 years or so. I started doing crossfit style workouts last year and have recently transitioned to strength work three times a week (3x5s on basic barbell exercises, strict pullups etc.). I have been avoiding very intense conditioning for the past two months as I’m trying to gain some weight and strength. I started supplementing with creatine monohydrate to which I responded well (no stomach problems) and also started eating a bit more carbs (mostly rice, potatoes, also guilty of eating some bread and milk).

In 2 weeks I went from 180 to 190lbs and my pants not fitting any more but feeling great. (Question coming…) I adjusted my insulin dosage to the elevated carbs just slightly (from a veggies and meat needing 4u, to 5 or 6 on higher carb meals) however after weeks of having more carbs (somewhere around 200g a day now) I seem to need less and less insulin. First question: Is there a possibility that creatine has some positive effects on insulin resistance? What about the hormonal response/adaptation differences for a diabetic post-workout after cf or strength training? Is it possible that despite being diabetic I do better on more carbs rather than doing closer to a ketogenic diet?

Thanks guys for all the information you provide.


9. Using the Microwave

Meghan says:
Hi Greg & Robb,
I was interested in your thoughts on using the microwave to reheat or heat food in general…. I love steamed veggies but sometimes don’t have the patience or time do use stovetop…. I have bought Ziplock Steam Bags and used them to make omelettes and veggies because it’s easy to add spices and veggies and mix it all up…. the bags are supposedly BPA free and don’t “leak” on the food… even Dr. Weil approved them and they have numerous studies proving they are safe…

So… what are your thoughts on using these steam bags, and reheating things in a microwave in general… (I also occasionally make the “egg” bakes in muffin tins and I want to reheat them in the morning…easiest way = microwave)

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  1. Zoltan says

    Robb, thanks for answering my questions, Gregg – thanks for pronouncing my name the traditional American superevil-sounding way. I’m not mocking your contributions (which I do dig), that’s just what I actually get for being Hungarian.

    Anyway – I definitely noticed the blood sugar spike a couple of times that Robb described after some CF workouts. While I enjoyed throwing myself all over the place doing CF I enjoy being stronger (and not injured) even more so that’s over I guess. Having heard what you said about type 1 diabetics not having the ability to adjust this spike would you recommend against high intensity conditioning (with the goal of improving gpp) for folks like me or just be smart about it?


  2. Sonny says

    Microwaveing does not heat foods evenly. Also, pizza gets soggy in microwave vs oven.
    3 years, congrats. Podcast is now toilet trained!

  3. says

    We will use a microwave for re-heating though we are moving away from that more and more. But for thawing meat I don’t use it. It thaws too unevenly and frankly, dropping the bagged meat in a bowl of water will thaw out in about the same time it takes to slow thaw it in the microwave.

  4. Stephanie says

    Hey, you told me that the bacteria are getting in the gut from fermented foods. I want my money back…oh wait, it was free. I await hearing more on this topic from Chris. Hey, can you guys also discuss the “fermented foods cause stomach cancer” stuff I keep hearing when he is on?

    Thanks for the actual science telling people to relax on the microwaves. Also, I work at a medical campus so I can probably find a GC-MS around here to do that experiment if you want me to. My friend who was got her chemistry PhD at Berkeley also says we should avoid heating ALL plastics as she learned all about the bad mojo that can come out in a class she took there. Do you know if we should get rid of the plastic containers that were microwaved in the past or is it only leaking this stuff while heated? I try to use mostly glass now but still have some plastic around.

  5. Nicole says

    On Mama Bladder Drama…There’s a lot of people out there right now trying to reframe how we think about pelvic floor issues. Specifically, moving the focus away from kegels. I’d check out Katy Bowman at Katy Says. She’s a Biomechanist — science-based and functional movement-based. She argues –convincingly and using science — that kegels are a very small part of the solution, for many people actually worsen the situation. Search “kegel” and “pelvic floor” on her blog and tons will come up. Her blog: katysays.com

    Here’s her interview on pelvic floor issues from 2 yo that went a little viral.

    • says

      Oh, I am so glad someone else posted about Katy Bowman’s work. I was just out for a walk listening to the podcast and shaking my head saying, “no no no!”

      Can I also add that I shuddered when I heard this condition described as “normal?” It is not normal for humans to leak urine. It may be common, but it is definitely not normal. It is the sign of something being wrong.

      In addition to the important post that Nicole added, I would throw these your way:




      And really anything she’s written on the pelvic floor. She also has a great itunes app – Down There for Women – with explanations behind why this happens and ways to correct it.

      This isn’t the first time I have shaken my head at one of your answers re: an issue regarding women. Nor is it the first time I feel like you’ve missed an alignment-related issue. Kill two birds with one stone – invite Katy on your show!

      (And, btw, if you don’t want to go reading all that stuff, think stronger glutes … no Kegels.)

  6. Melanie says

    Nicole-Thanks for posting that link. I’m really lucky in that this is an issue that’s never even been on my radar (my body has chosed other ways to fall apart:)) but I found the article really interesting.

  7. kem says

    As an occasional occupant of hospital wards, I would suggest that taking real food to friends and loved ones recovering from surgery or illness is vital.

    One can get the nurse’s backside up when turn down what they call a meal. “I don’t eat bread” or “this is nothing but sugar” just doesn’t compute with them. The staff where I have been have been happy with nuts, fruit and salads… and decent coffee brought by my wife.

    Mind you, I did once have to spend a couple of weeks eating 4500 calories a day of “Isosource” through my nose. (still lost weight). The upside of that is never being hungry, or interest in what passes for food being fed to ones wardmates.

  8. says

    Robb – I missed your answer on fermented cod liver oil in the transcript. What’s the deal with it? My WAPF friends take to it like Mormons take to white bread and water but I think your said the Carlson products are all we need for our health. No?

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