Episode 199

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

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  1. [9:40] High Potassium Levels
  2. [14:20] Paleo For Someone With Obesity
  3. [20:18] Paleo For Nonagenarians (Age In Their 90’s)
  4. [28:32] The Over-Mineralization Theory Of Aging
  5. [36:02] Aloe Vera Juice
  6. [39:38] Nuts And Seeds With Diverticulitis
  7. [43:15] Effect Of Chewing On Tooth And Gum Health
  8.  [46:21] Dandyblend



1. High Potassium levels in bloodstream-related to Paleo diet?

Leslie says:
Hi Robb:
So my question is, could my potassium level of 5.7 (high normal is 5.3) be caused by my diet?
I have been following the Paleo diet/lifestyle for more than two years now-any so-called cheats are few and far between. My diet is rich is greens-fresh, raw, organic, sautéed, roasted-and lean, mostly organic protein sources. I also eat my share of raw nuts, fruits and berries but completely avoid grains and legumes-dairy consumption occasional and to the best of my ability, grass fed.
I am an extremely fit 55 year old woman who has worked out her entire life-started doing Crossfit 2 1/2 years ago. I feel great since I changed my diet; my energy has increased, I am sleeping better AND I am still making gains in the gym. Getting stronger and feeling good, but concerned about the only glitch in my most recent blood work results. Should I be concerned and do you think the potassium levels are related to my get?


2. the paleo diet and me

James says:
I apologize for this long message but I am looking for abit of advice on my particular situation .my background is I’ve always been a bigger guy pretty strong slightly overweight .then at 18 years old I blew up to over 500lbs .I ate aweful as a example I would eat 2 triple stacks 2 biggie fries 2 orders of chicken nuggets and a chili for lunch .then at about 24 years old I started a quest to get healthy before I died I ate what I thought was right and exercised a lot in 2 years I got to 300lbs , and then at 27 I was thrown from a car at 50 mph broke my wrist and talus in my ankle .for 2 years I worked 2 jobs was stressed and started gaining weight then I quit one job but lazyness and depression took its toll.I’m 31 now I weighed in at the Dr at 481 lbs .a friend of mine has ordered your book for me.I have been reading your articles and listening to your interviews via YouTube. As a 6 2 481lb man would there be any thing extra I need to do anything that needs to be tweaked . And medically should I have my Dr look for anything specific .as far as I know I have 0 health conditions .the only issues come with being overweight and out of shape .I work overnights so there are some sleep issues , I have leg edema so calves and ankles get stiff makes the cardio part difficult once the swelling increases.some minor aches and pains.my Dr has run all the normal tests and everything comes back as normal.I’m just over weight .I can stick to a meal plan I’ve done it before.I seen a nutrionist 4 months ago but their plan was nothing like this paleo solution.i don’t eat fast food I prepare all my meals.I don’t drink soda just water and tea.my main issue is I lack energy to do well most anything and after exercise my recover times is way to long to keep real focus. In the off chance you do read this I’m just looking for added advice once I start the paleo solution.I have a very open mind to this and can stick to a plan when it works. Much appreciated if you do read this and even more appreciated if you have some real solid advice.


3. Paleo for Nonagenarians

Gittit says:
Hi Robb and Greg! Thank you for keeping up the podcast and being my main source of spoken English. Thanks to you guys, I now regularly use “gnarly” and “gig” as if they were legitimate words.


I’m the proud and lucky descendent of an incredible set of grandparents. My grandmother just turned 80 and my grandpa is 90. Grandma still teaches piano and Feldenkrais full time, and grandpa consults for a firm in microelectronics, so no complaints about their mental clarity. No significant health conditions or meds currently or in the past. They both boast cholesterol levels of over 300 but have resisted going on statins. They eat reasonably well and exercise, but most of all, have one of those fairy-tale symbiotic relationships which I’m sure is a big part of what gives them such an edge.

All in all, no major complaints about the present, but I would like to do what I can to help them reach a vigorous 100+ together.  I’m mainly concerned about grandpa: he seems to have lost some muscle mass lately and he is very thin. His stamina is lower and he needs more rest during the day than his young wife. We live in the same house, so I know his digestion is also not that great.

He exercises religiously every morning using machines with very light weights doing 12 reps, which he says is difficult enough. Eats some bread, some chicken or fish, eggs, cheese, potatoes, plenty of vegetables, but seems to need something sweet every few hours. He’s a holocaust survivor and has scarring from stomach ulcers but that was many many years ago.

Obviously you don’t change 90 year old habits that easily, but he’s a very rational person and most of all will do anything to please his lovely bride, who is totally on board and eats pretty primal herself.

Some steps we’ve already taken are getting rid of industrial seed oils so they now only use olive and coconut oil, and adding a serving or two per week of beef liver. I suggested Betaine HCl but they are worried about the ulcer scarring. What would you suggest? How can we tweak his diet, supplement and exercise routine to get some muscle back on his bones and give him extra vitality? Would it be safe to increase the weights and work at a lower rep range, or even effective with his lowered hormone levels? I’d love to hear any suggestion you have from little diet tweaks to hormone replacement. I see this as hopefully a long term project so we will probably start with small changes and maybe that will warm him up to some bigger ones.

Looking forward to hopefully hearing your ideas and sharing with them.

Thank you!


4. The Over Mineralization Theory of Aging

David says:
Hi Robb,

Are you familiar with the Over Mineralization Theory of Aging?  I eat Paleo but it’s interesting to read about this unifying theory of aging because it would really hold that anti-nutrients such as phytic acid are actually beneficial for chelating and/or preventing the absorbtion of excess minerals/metals from the body.



Amanda says:
Low to moderate CrossFit exercise schedule.
Eat primally for the most part, but love my chocolate/sweets at least once a week.

Robb, my second man (through my husband),

I’m a little torn about this “aloe vera juice.”  When I leave it to google, I get discussion boards and mixed signals, nothing from anything or anyone which I would consider credible.  I was first introduced when I had symptoms of severe heartburn and acid reflux.  I’ve been trying to deal with stress a little better and, for the majority, I’m avoiding tomatoes, tomato sauce, etc.  That seems to be going well.

Since then, a couple months ago, I’d laid off of the aloe vera (which I was drinking a few ounces with a glass of H2O in the mornings, for only a couple weeks, if that).  Within the past few days,  I’d decided to start back up.

I’m feeling fine, no noticeable changes thus far.
I’d read about great benefits, such as added vitamins, improves blood circulation, boost to the immune system, digestive tract health, etc.
I’ve also read about serious adverse effects, such as being harmful to the kidneys, having cancer causing properties, etc.

I am writing in hopes to hear your thoughts on the ingestion of aloe vera juice, if you’d recommend it… and if so, how often.
Thank you in advance for your response.



6. Diverticulitis

Jan says:
Hi, just started reading your book and can’t wait to get started. But I have a question about nuts/seeds that is part of the diet.  I have diverticulitis and have been told to NEVER eat nuts or seeds. It’s been approximately 5 years since my last attack, and I have been very careful since then. I’m not finding anything in your book addressing this issue.  Can you give me your opinion regarding this.  Thanks Jan


7. Chewing and its effect on the gums and teeth


James says:

Dear Robb and Greg

After reading Robb’s book 6 months ago and applying what lay within my Crohn’s disease symptoms have completely receded, so you can add me Robb to your ever-growing list of ‘people whose lives you’ve saved’.

I’m a saxophone player and hence mindful about the health of my gums and teeth. I have fairly healthy dental work (despite being a Brit) and was wondering what the impact is on our teeth of chewing a modern paleo diet compared to how we chewed our original paleolithic diet.

Obviously we have dudes called dentists compared to the ‘olden days’, but what are some foods you’d recommend to give our ‘gnashers’ a good workout.

P.S. (optional) I am currently petitioning British Society of Gastroenterologists to get their asses in gear which Robb and Prof Cordain very kindly signed. I’m currently 39 signatures with 61 to go so obviously a mention on this podcast would be really appreciated. No worries if not though.

Here’s the link:



James (www.jamesmarshhealth.com)


8. Dandyblend

Sommer says:
Hi. I just started paleo about a week ago after devouring The Paleo Solution and am already having fantastic results. I’m hooked! I’ve been gluten and dairy free for a year, amd eat only whole, real foods, so this just felt like the next step. I have hypothyroidism and even though I felt so much better off of gluten and dairy, I still don’t feel the way I think a 25 year old woman should feel. I have high hopes that a paleo lifestyle, will be the thing that really helps me!

Anyway, I’ve been hearing about this tea that tastes like coffee called “dandy blend”. I’m wondering if it is paleo or not? I’d love to reduce my caffeine intake, and possibly avoid any inflammatory responses that coffee might be causing me. But I just love coffee. I love it black and strong. Anyway, I haven’t found any really helpful info on any paleo forums about Dandyblend, so I’d love to hear what you guys think. Here’s a link to their site.


Thanks for your time and for introducing me to the paleo diet!







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  1. says

    Paleo Recipe: gluten, soy, dairy and preservative free.

    This reason is a strong support to defend the paleo diet criticsm too.
    Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose.

  2. Andrea says

    You must have really been zonked, Robb. The Dandy Blend site highlights that it contains barley and rye, but claims it’s still gluten free.

  3. Secox says

    Potassium elevation most likely due to hemolyzed red blood cells. Most likely phlebotomist or handling of specimen, not diet or lab related. 5.7, although within reasonable lab error range, is most likely due to the specimen being hemolyzed. If a true 5.7 would be concerned about a kidney or adrenal issue. Far and away most common cause is specimen draw or handling.

  4. Michael Johnson says

    If the gent who is 481 wants to message me I’d be happy to chat with him, be support etc….

    I’ve been 6’4 450+ and have leaned out a lot from Paleo (Circa 200lbs).

    In general I would say the biggest thing for me was getting my head around the fact that weight loss and maintenance is psychological, physiological and endocrinological primarily and about calories, macros and exercise peripherally; at least for guys like us. You don’t get to be 500lbs without some addictive or binge eating issues. You don’t come through that without some long-term changes to your brain and to your hormones and brain chemistry. Don’t ignore your mind and your brain and ignore your scale because weight will shift ten pounds a day at our size.

  5. says

    @Jan RE: diverticulitis.
    The nuts and seeds restriction as well as fiber is a myth.
    Modern GI docs have abandoned that wive’s tale. Like so many other myths in medicine the logic seems compelling but causal studies have to be performed in humans:

    A recent study found that a low-fiber diet was not associated with diverticulosis and that a high-fiber diet and more frequent bowel movements may be linked to an increased rather than decreased chance of diverticula. Peery AF, A high-fiber diet does not protect against asymptomatic diverticulosis. Gastroenterology. 2012;142(2):266–272.

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