Trace Food Contamination – Episode 175

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

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  1. [6:08] Rice For Increasing Carbs With Celiac Disease
  2. [16:37] Foods Warning: May Contain Traces Of  Wheat, Dairy, Or Soy
  3. [18:58] Normal Readjustment Vs. Reaction During Food Reintroduction
  4. [27:47] Oral IV
  5. [31:16] Creatine With Caffeine
  6. [34:38] Improving Kicking Power And Weighted Pullups
  7. [41:17] Food Intake During De-load Week
  8. [44:07] Active And Lean But Can’t Get Rid Of Gout
  9. [46:47] Too Much Protein For Adrenal Fatigue



1. Rice

Michal says:
My question is about rice safety.

So I attempted to follow the auto-immune protocal for almost 4 months.  First 30 days was great.  I focused on grass fed meats, plenty of fresh veggies, berries and ripe bananas as fruit and sweet potatoes and squash for carbs.  Taking pancreatic enzymes with meals.  I work with a naturopathic endrocronologist so my vitamin levels and blood work are checked.  After 60 days on this protocol my thyroid numbers were worse, my cholestorol was 25 points higher, LDL, 30 points higher and HDL 6 points lower and Bun and other kidney numbers were worse.  I was also feeling very run down, no energy forget going to the gym.  Prior to this when I was just doing gluten free I was having improvement.  Now I did have blood sugar improvement and my skin was much clearer.  My take was that I could not get enough carbs and it was driving my thyroid numbers down causing more thyroid and major adrenal symptoms (insomnia and wired at night).  So I added back in rice and some almonds to increase carbs and these affects all wore off and I had not ill side effects.  The starchy tubers just do not seem to agree with me and trying to get my carbs from them was not making me feel energized but more exhausted.  Immediately doing some rice got me back in the gym.

So my question is, I am a celiac and hear that all grains are a problem.  I see rice is obviously the least problematic, but having rice a few times a week seems to help.  I cannot carb load with white potatoes, as nightshades give me joint pain in my wrists.  I am just interested in some feedback as I see this as a solution but all your information would lead me to believe I’m just not eating enough starchy tubers.  Additionally, I have been checking my blood sugars with the rice and they are stable.  If anything I always run a little low, not high.  I see many articles that folks with adrenal and hypothyroid problems (especially females, as I am) will have a problem if they do not get enough carbs.  Playing around I think I need around 100g/day and the tubers are not getting me there without side effects.

Am I on the right track?


2. This email may contain traces of wheat, dairy, or soy

Thomas says:
Robb and Greg,

Since the poison may not actually be in the dose, is it worth avoiding foods that provide a disclaimer on the label saying that they may contain traces of wheat, dairy, or soy?  Would the same answer hold true for foods that claim they were made on equipment shared with wheat, dairy, or soy products, a la Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde? I hope they would at least take a hose to the equipment before running tomatillos through it.

Thanks, and you guys rule.


3. The Phantom Menace?

Rick says:
Dear Rob, Gregg and Squatchy,

Thank you all for being unendingly beautiful. Now, onto the serious business.

An avid paleo follower for 2 years, I have much to thank for what it has done for my life, so please do not read the following question as a complaint, but more a request for scientific clarity on a particularly vague and recurrent concern on my tangentially challenged caveman wonderings.

I have recently adopted a “paleo + rice/oats” approach in order to bring down my food budget, as even careful shopping in the UK brings paleolithic living for two in the region of $750/month, which is currently unsustainable. This was after 3 weeks of strict auto-immune protocol, which I must say healed my psoriasis by around 70%, a benefit I have maintained post-reintroduction, suggesting nightshades/eggs were the issue.

Re-introduction bought with it gut pain, bloating and chest tightness, all of which were concerning at the time, given my previous insistence on “watching the body”. It’s only two weeks in, and all symptoms have mostly disappeared, a trend I expect to continue. This is not the first time I have experienced this, nor the first anecdotal evidence I have seen supporting more persistent re-introduction of apparently problematic foods.

All of this makes me wonder: To what extent is the reaction that we are getting from reintroducing food actually just a ‘normal’ readjustment to a food that has been avoided for a long time?

At this stage, the paleo-sphere normally comments by claiming that SAD diets create too much ‘noise’ to allow for symptomatic clarity. Whilst there is a truth to this, as people notice unpredicted changes when first going paleo, I feel it is used as a ‘cover-all’, and is potentially harmful advice, especially if symptomatic reintroduction is without harmful physiological cause. People could be needlessly avoiding foods otherwise tolerated by their body.

As a mediation/mindfulness practitioner for the last 7 years, I do not think I am particularly prone to missing communication from my body, and this ability does not disappear with the ‘noise’ of a more regular diet – I either am aware of symptoms, or I am not.

Combine these following beliefs: “most people are unaware of the harm their food does to them”, “many foods can disrupt healthy functioning, even in apparently healthy people”, “you will only know if a food is harmful by elimination and reintroduction”, “any abnormal symptom in the body must be paid attention to”, “you must modify your diet until you find the appropriate balance for you”. Every one of these has a sound basis, but every one can also create a situation where-by susceptible individuals create phantom problems, maintained through attentional bias, hypervigilence, selective memory and a horse-blinkered mentality amongst many Grok’ers (yourselves not included…). There is a huge potential for healthy people to become over-watchful of their body, causing them to make their lives unnecessarily stressful and complicated, which, ironically, by itself is enough to create problematic symptoms.

This leaves my question – apologies for such length up to this point!

“If reintroduction of foods previously eliminated foods can cause symptoms that were not historically experienced, and fade with consistent reintroduction of said foods, without obvious pathology, how does one distinguish between problematic and ‘normal’ symptoms?”

Eternal gratefulness for all your work,
4. Oral IV for military folks?

Jake says:
Hi Robb and Greg, thanks for all of the information you share–it has dramatically improved the quality of my life.

My question: a product called Oral IV is becoming increasingly popular in the military.  From what I understand, it’s an electrolyte cocktail that’s absorbed sublingually and intended to aid rehydration.  Their promotional materials include microscope images of a dehydrated individual’s red blood cells before and then 60 seconds after using the product.  The difference is dramatic.  (  Everything about this screams “snake oil,” but it’s being endorsed by at least one reputable special-ops guy and is gaining popularity.  Do you have any thoughts, especially about what’s going on with the before-and-after blood images.


5. Creatine vs. Caffeine, Battle Royale

Dave says:

Hi Greg, Robb, and Squatchy,

Thanks for helping me be a little less fat and a little more knowledgeable on all things paleo and fitness.  The podcast is a highlight of my week.  Don’t judge.

My question is regarding the competing interaction of caffeine and creatine.  Per your recommendation, I supplement with creatine, usually a small scoop in the AM and another small scoop after training, right before dinner.  The instructions on the side of the tub read “Do not take with caffeine.”  I generally don’t mix creatine INTO my coffee (“Your Sand Latte, sir.”), but I DO like to supplement my personality and general happiness with coffee – anywhere from a cup to four daily.  Giving up coffee seems about as likely as cutting off my own hand or leaving my wife for Sofia Vergara, but knowing this antagonistic interaction exists raises some questions in my walnut-sized brain, two of which are the following:

1.  To what extent are the benefits of creatine diminished by intake of caffeine?  Does my (handful of) morning coffee(s) make my creatine intake as effective as drinking sand or baking soda? (That’s how it tastes, anyway.)

2.  Depending on your answer to #1, does this effect depend on the timing of the caffeine, the dosage, or both….or neither…or even something else? i.e. Can the diminished creatine absorption be avoided by taking it x hours after the last coffee consumption, or perhaps by limiting coffee intake to one cup (teaspoon), or perhaps even cycling on and off both legal drugs?

I would appreciate your guidance on this issue.  Dr. Google can be a very helpful dude, but he’s also pretty A.D.H.D., so while he was answering my creatine questions he ran off to chase butterflies or something.

Yours truly, deeply, forever and ever,

P.S.  Greg, every single podcast, between your funny observations and ornery responses, you cause me to laugh out loud. For serious.  So thanks for the bit of levity, though I’m sure the people in the next cubicle or the next car over think I’m just a little bit special.


6. Kicking power and weighted pull-ups

Alex says:
Robb and Greg,

Thank you for the great podcasts.  I have two questions with respect to training that I was hoping you might be able to answer.

I train for Muay Thai, and while my punches are solid, my kicks and knees are pretty fucking pathetic. I would like to train to improve the speed and power of my kicks and knee strikes and wondered if you all have some suggestions.

I have a 2x body weight DL and 1.5x body weight squat so I have plenty of room for improvement there. Do I need to target both hip strength and mobility? What exercises do you all think would be most beneficial?

Finally, what would be an effective set/rep/loading scheme to improve weighted pull-ups? (Working up from 10 body weight pull-ups to 10 pull-ups with 45lbs).

Thank you for your help!


7. School me on food intake during a de-load week.

Alex says:
Robb and Greg,

I have a question regarding how much food to eat during a de-load week?  My body wants to just crush everything I see.  Meat, veggies, starchy carbs, Volkswagon Beetles (iron deficiency?).  I’m assuming this is due to my body thinking it needs the same food intake as during the heavy training portion, so I’m not 100% sure if I should just eat like my body wants and hope its helping the recovery process, or cut down my food intake due to the lower intensity levels.

The below information is to give you some background on my intensity levels so you have a clearer picture, but don’t have to spend 2 hrs reading it on the podcast.

I rock climb three days a week for 2-5 hrs each session and do two heavy full body workouts, plus a lighter technique oriented full body workout (50% weight half volume). By the time I hit my de-load week I’m pretty beat up.  During the de-load week I climb 2-3 days with a lower volume and difficulty and only lift twice usually using 50-65% of my normal weight but the same volume.

My goals are improving in climbing along with strength gains and not gaining any body fat.

BTW, you answered a previous question of mine regarding improving my squat relative to my deadlift.  I’m happy to report I’ve added close to 50lbs in roughly a four month period.


8. I can’t get rid of gout

Billy says:
Hi Robb,
I am a Paleo/Crossfit guy all the way.  My dad had gout and died recently from complications from syndrome X. I am strict Paleo and I am a crossfitter and Jiu Jitsu practitioner and I have a super active lifestyle.  Unlike my dad, I am 5 foot 10 inches and 178 pounds and about 12 percent body fat and I have been this composition all of my adult life. I am 47 years old and I can’t get rid of gout.  I choose mostly cold water fish for protein and chicken. I drink lots of water and I take 1 gram of fish oil a day. Am I just one of those guys who will need to control gout with Allopurinol?

Thanks Brother Man,

Have Fun, Train Hard,
9. Too much protein made adrenal fatigue worse?

Elisaar says:
Hi Robb,

Thanks for all the info you’re giving our community!
I’m a bit lost and thought you might know something about this. In the first few months Paleo I had my digestive disease under control, but my adrenal fatigue became much worse. I suspect it is because of the higher protein intake, causing too much cortisol to be produced for gluconeogenesis while the body doesn’t have enough.
Could this be the reason for me feeling worse? My cortisol tested lowet than few months ago and my fatigue now keeps me on the couch all day fee days a week. Before I could spend most of my day out and be ok.
Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.

Thank you. Kind regards,

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  1. R says

    For the gout guy (I hope he reads this).

    My Dad had the same problem as you. After some biochemical research, he determined that the solution was to remove all sugar from his diet. (Technically all fructose, so if you can find 100% glucose you could eat that.) All of his gout issues have stopped, but one bowl of ice cream will bring it right back. If you’re paleo already, try removing fruit.

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