Back with Episode 66. I will include the show topics list and detailed questions for each future episode.
Download a transcript of Episode 66
- High Work Load
- Drop in Triglycerides and Increase in Total Cholesterol and HDL
- Craving Salt
- Hershel Walker
- Adrenal Fatigue
- Other Sources of MCFA
- Zero Calorie Energy Drinks
- Isometric Exercise
- Podcast Slogan
- Low Thyroid
- Low Energy Levels and Hungry at Night
- Leptin Resistance
- Look Awesome Naked
1. Question from Diana:
Hi Robb and Andy
I am a 45 year old female personal trainer in Australia who has been Paleo now for about 4 weeks. Previously a vegetarian, I decided to try Paleo because I was run-down, gaining lots of abdominal fat and feeling bloated all the time. I chose to switch to Paleo over the Christmas holidays as I would have a three week break from my work and the associated exercise load from it.
I feel great and am loving it (although I only eat fish and chicken – not sure I could cope with beef after all these years!) Anyway, my question is this:
How do you recommend I sustain my training load from work (6 hours of classes – 3 x 1 hr Spin classes, 2 x 1 hr Bootcamp classes and 1 Body Pump class) without shooting my cortisol sky high and overtraining (which I think was the problem that brought me to Paleo originally.) In addition, to the above training, I also run 5-6 days a week (sorry!)generally in the 8-12km range though previously while training for marathons, much more.
My goal is to maintain Paleo and maintain my teaching/exercise load.
Sleep is good, consistently 7-8 hours a night in pitch black room. Height 5’6” Wt 140 and dropping
Thanks for your help.
2. Question from Stephan:
Hi Robb and Andy. I’ve noticed this issue come up several times on your show. Someone starts out with a paleo diet and gets their bloodwork done. The results are often a big drop in triglycerides and an increase in total and LDL.
After first switching to a paleo diet, I had a total cholesterol of 247, triglycerides of 97, HDL of 53, and LDL of 175, in units of mg/dL. A month and a half after that, I had a total cholesterol of 200, triglycerides of 62, HDL of 47, and LDL of 141.
To my knowledge, I did nothing different during that time, except for one thing: I started taking 400 mg of magnesium daily as Mg glycinate. I’m wondering if my situation is not all that uncommon.
3. Question from Jesse:
A friend of mine has been struggling to get pregnant for the past 5 years. Are there any resources or information highlighting the dietary/lifestyle effects of endometriosis?
4. Question from Sally:
Hi Rob and Andy, Your podcast’s not bad!! Yeah, you might have changed my life a bit, but whatever…
Moving on to the important bit – me! I have been overweight my whole life – near enough, apart from the last 5 years where I’ve stuck to around 8st (I’m a 5ft 1, 41 year old female). Up until beginning the paleo way, I kepts weight off using extended cardio, vegetarianism, masses of willpower and a lot of stressing about food. Since adding protein and cutting cardio for weights I have found it so so so much easier to maintain my weight. However, I still crave salt and I eat ENORMOUS amounts of it. I can’t seem to give it up or even really want to give it up. Can you give me some motivational reasons as to why I should get rid of this final unhealthy part of the jigsaw? I’d be grateful for any scare tactics you can come up with.
Thanks a ton – P.S. love your podcast really! Sally in the UK
5. Question from Tiki:
Saw this guy fight on strikeforce over the weekend. He is 48 and from what I’ve read and heard the announcers mention, he only eats one meal a day , at night, usually soup and salad. Any insight on how someone can do his workout routine and only eat one meal which is mostly vegan and be in the shape he is in at 48 no less? Is it the sprinting? Is it the fasting? Fucken sickass genetics?
Thanks for the amazing show guys. Link http://www.tryingfitness.com/herschel-walker-workout/
6. Question from Kass:
Hey Robb and Andy!
I’m trying to trouble shoot some possible imbalances I may have with my doc, who happens to think I’m a hypochondriac hippy because my blood work is freaking perfect from eating paleo for
almost 2 years now. Despite my doing everything you say (I’m serious), I still haven’t been able to lean out and am narrowing down possible hormonal issues. I just wanted to see if you could shed some light on these tests so that I can get my research on before I see the doc.
1. Is it possible to still have Adrenal Fatigue after adopting a Paleo lifestyle, sleeping very well, and training smart for two years? (sidenote: training smart means strength bias, not working out when I’m tired, and generally not being an idiot).
2. For the cortisol test, do you like the results from the blood test or the urine test better? 3. Are there any other tests/conditions that I should study up on? Thanks for the guidance
7. Question from Mrs. F
Hello Robb and Andy,
I understand that coconut oil is a great way to get the benefits of usable Medium Chain Fatty Acids into our diets, but in the interest of keeping things more local because, like probably most of your listeners, I don’t live in Thailand, what are some other sources of MCFA’s that might be more available in a the U.S.? This is sort of an issue with all non-animal fat sources like olives, avocados, almonds, etc., but coconut just seems particularly outside the basic idea of eating local. Also, is coconut the new agave nectar? Meaning, once coconut becomes so in demand, the quality and subsequent alleged health benefit is shot to hell?
Love you- love your show!
8. Question from Ultimate Russell:
Hey Robb and Andy, hope you guys are well. Robb, I saw your blog post about fitness at almost 40 and I think you look great, man. And of course Andy, you’re beautiful as ever… Anyway, Robb and Andy, how do you feel about Zero Calorie Energy drinks? I do enjoy one a couple times a week but am a little concerned about artificial sweeteners (I’ve read a lot of negative things but then I read totally conflicting statements) I figured if I want an answer that jives with my lifestyle you would be the guy to ask. Usually when I have one it’s during a long drive home in place of a cup of coffee. I have paid attention to see if I notice any negative effects on myself and as of yet there have been none. So tell me, anything to worry about or is a couple of energy drinks a week okay?
9. Question from Keith Norris Wannabe:
Thoughts on isometric exercise? A worthwhile pursuit?
(general goals of all around strength development) Link to a study abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6706740 Thanks,
(Patrick) aka, Keith Norris Wantabe
10. Question from Future David:
It’s not so much a question, rather, a general “podcast slogan” as I was contemplating T-shirt designs for you guys. Tell me what you think…
6 listeners 5 fries 4 grams of fish oil daily 3 things to avoid: grains, legumes, dairy 2 crazy dudes 1 gato
Keep up the great work, fellas!
11. Question from Deb:
Can eating paleo heal a borderline low functioning thyroid?
12. Question from Alex:
Hi Rob and Andy,
Firstly – fantastic things you are doing, the books, the podcast, the site all great sources of information and I am recommending your content to anyone who notices my new “paleo physique” (most people).
I have hit a bit of a stumbling block though and not sure how to proceed. 3 months ago I was an almost podgy, moderately sedate software developer with a fairly poor diet (by paleo standards at least). I also think I may have been heading for diabetes with an extremely volatile blood glucose levels all day long. The only thing holding me together I think was that I play an elite level of squash 2-3 times a week. I am 29 years old.
A career change in mid Oct 2010 allowed me to work from home and also gives me some more spare time. I started cooking for myself and my wife and research and reading soon led me to Paleo. My wife is not yet convinced but for me the results were astounding, within a few weeks I
had lost pounds of fat and gained pounds of muscle – on the squash court I was performing to a higher level. Generally feeling good and actually felt like training for the sport for the first time in a long time.
I have always wanted to play professional tournaments so in mid Dec 2010 I joined the Professional Squash Association World Tour and will be looking to achieve a significant world ranking this year and hopefully beyond. Where I am now in January 2011 is inconceivable to how I was performing just 3 months ago. I attribute most of these gains to the huge change in my eating habits since reading the The Paleo Solution, and since then, many other books on this fascinating topic.
However, just recently I feel like I have hit a significant road block.
I have trouble sleeping, wake up middle of the night extremely hungry and also needing to take a leak. Energy levels are a bit lower than before. I am tired a lot due to the lack of sleep. I am also for some reason trying to fight off a slight cold as I write this for the first time since going Paleo.
My theory for my road block is that I have reached the point where I can no longer just burn off my (until recently somewhat generous) fat reserves. I have not accompanied this with an increase in caloric intake (I guess I need to but I don’t feel like eating that much more during meal times). Eat until satisfied right?
Just from looking I think my body fat is now in the 8-12% range but I have a test booked this week to get more of an idea.
My training looks like this: per week I am doing 2 weights sessions, 2 speed sessions (sprints or jumping rope) and 3 on court practice sessions or matches. A session lasts 30-60 minutes, with some matches or on court sessions lasting slightly longer. My adherence to Paleo is at least 90% (no grains, cereals or legumes but the occasional consumption of dairy in the form of cheese or milk).
Should I be eating more meals, bigger meals, different foods? Any other ideas as to why my energy levels would suddenly drop off? Any help or advice you can give me would be amazing. Please also blind me with science where possible 🙂
PS I am English so if you do choose to read this out on the podcast, try and use an English accent for amusement factor 😉
13. Question from Mike:
Robb and Andy great show. My question today involves Leptin Resistance. I began Paleo just
before Thanksgiving. I know, not the best timing. Made it through the holidays and lost 20 lbs. Since the beginning of the New Year I seemed to have plateaud, only losing 3 lbs. I admit that I have minimally deviated with flour. On no more than 5 occaisions since I started Paleo I have had either bread, a kolache, or something similiar. If you don’t know what a Kolache is let me know I’ll send you a dozen. You’ll be throwing rocks at the Ferris chocolate croissants. Also ala Tim Ferris I did have some beans (black beans or black eyed peas). I am concern that I have over the years of yo-yoing I have become leptin resistant. What do you think? Also how do you overcome leptin resistance. Thanks for your concern and please keep up the great show.
14. Question from Adam:
Hey Robb and Andy, love the book and podcast. Thank you for all you two do. I want to look awesome naked (think Brad Pitt in Fight Club, or a gymnast.) I have a lot of equiptment at home (pull up bars, kettle bells, dumbbells.) I like the idea of P90X for getting ripped, but I think I overtrained when I did it. What type of exercises/frequency would you recommend for someone at home to get jacked. I do care about having functional strength, but I prefer to look good. Sorry I never have had a six pack and I want to by the time I turn 30 in six months.
Thanks a ton guys. Adam
p.s. I got a sunlight for Christmas because the sun can be nowhere to be found in winter in Buffalo. What is your opinion on these?
Show Notes – The Paleo Solution – Episode 66
Download Episode Here.
not exactly a comment, but probably an interesting read for everyone interested in an evolutionary perspective on health and disease >
Energy, evolution, and human diseases: an overview
In the symposium entitled “Transcriptional controls of energy sens-
ing,” the authors presented recent advances on 1) AMP kinase, an
intracellular energy sensor; 2) PGC-1a (peroxisome proliferator-
activated receptor c co-activator 1a), a transcriptional co-activator
that has powerful effects on mitochondria; 3) methylation and de-
methylation in response to metabolic ﬂuctuations; and 4) FGF21
(ﬁbroblast growth factor 21) as an emerging hormone-like intercel-
lular metabolic coordinator. This introduction places these advances
within a broad overview of energy sensing and energy balance, with
a focus on human evolution and disease. Four key elements of
human biology are analyzed: 1) elevated body temperature; 2) com-
plex prolonged reproductive pathways; 3) emergence of 4 large,
well-deﬁned fat depots, each with its own functional role; and 4)
an immune system that is often up-regulated by nutrition-related
signals, independent of the actual presence of a pathogen. We pro-
pose that an overactive immune system, including the “metabolic
syndrome,” was adopted evolutionarily in the distant past to help
hold out against unconquerable infections such as tuberculosis, ma-
laria, and trypanosomiasis. This immune activation is advantageous
in the absence of other disease management methods, especially
under conditions in which life expectancy is short. The inﬂamma-
tion has become a major agent of pathology in wealthy populations
in whom the pathogens are a minor threat and life expectancy is
long. The “Conclusions” section sketches cautiously how under-
standing the molecules involved in energy sensing and energy bal-
ance may lead to speciﬁc therapies for obesity and diabetes and for
Hey Robb and Andy
I actually just listened to an interview with Herschel Walker on the radio the other day and he talked about how he supplements with a bag of Snickers bars daily.
Mark R. says
High Work Load 4.46
Drop in Triglycerides and Increase in Total Cholesterol and HDL 10.33
Craving Salt 15.32
Hershel Walker 18.52
Adrenal Fatigue 21.22
Other Sources of MCFA 28.11
Zero Calorie Energy Drinks 32.19
Isometric Exercise 35.02
Podcast Slogan 37.44
Low Thyroid 39.19
Low Energy Levels and Hungry at Night 40.42
Leptin Resistance 46.39
Look Awesome Naked 49.07
-I have heard a couple of crazy Herschel Walker stories too, like that in College he would play a football game on Saturday and then sneak off and win a karate tournament on Sunday
-Bill Starr has a couple of good articles on startingstrength.com about isometric training, here is a link http://startingstrength.com/articles/ultimate_exercise_2_starr.pdf
Erin C says
That’s me! THAT’S ME! The “chubby aerobics instructor!” Soon-to-be-not chubby, thanks to Paleo. Now I just have to work on scaling back my class load..
(P.S. I would assume that Diana is doing 6 classes a *week* as she wrote – not 6 per day. Teaching 6 classes a day is pretty much impossible, and I doubt anyone could run over and above that. Still, when an instructor teaches a class he or she has to do it at 120% for 1-2 hours straight. It’s too much.)
Did the nightline episode air yet?
And a gato in a jar of grass-fed ghee.
Matt Lentzner says
Herschel Walker is a 100% freak. Nothing he does applies to us mere mortals.
Here’s a question: It seems like Paleo is moving away from low-carb, especially for those people with normally functioning metabolisms and high activity levels. This would imply that the A1c goals should be relaxed as well. Is it possible for someone to maintain a sub-5.0% A1c and still hit the pre and post workout carbs hard?
In my research (not extensive by any means) it seems that there is little reduction in risk between 5.0-5.5% and sub 5.0% levels. Sure, you’ve got increased oxidative stress with the additional sugar, but Dr. Kurt has been blogging recently about how ketogenic low-carb can also be stressful to the body’s systems. Where’s the sweet spot?
In my own n=1 experience I do not do well on super low carbs. I had a particularly tough workout a few days ago (was still carrying fatigue from a workout two days before) and was drained afterwards. I had a typical paleoesque meal, but I still felt terrible. I then ate most of a large Pomelo (like a gigantic sweet grapefruit – equal to several oranges) and I could feel the life return to my body as I consumed it. I’ve had this type of experience several times now.
What do you think?
Matt Lentzner says
OK, one more:
Does adding carbs make sense as a protein optimization strategy?
Here’s my thinking: If the body has less glucose than it needs it will, by means of gluconeogenesis, turn protein into glucose. This seems inefficient on many levels. Bad that protein you are eating is not being optimally utilized (to build tissue) and bad for your pocketbook since potatoes are a lot cheaper than steak. Even worse if your protein intake is insufficient since that means your body will be raiding lean mass for glucose.
It seems a little bizarre that having an adequate carb source is necessary to gain and maintain muscle mass, but this is where the logic is leading me. Traditional body-building diets are making more sense to me now.
Am I on the right track?
About the thyroid question – I’m just underlining what Robb said about finding the cause. If you test positive for thyroid anti-bodies (auto-immune thyroid disease or Hashimotos), swallowing a lot of iodine could make it flare up. Whereas iodine can be beneficial for other thyroid issues.
Along the same lines as the size of a person’s the social network increasing their lifespan, this article by Poliquin points out the benefit of one having a purpose or Ikigai.
Hi Robb and Andy,
You mentioned eating a “ton” of cruciferous vegetables having a negative impact on thyroid problems – you mean in the raw state, correct? If the vegetables are cooked (e.g., I have 2 cups cooked broccoli and brussels sprouts every day, in addition to 4 cups raw spinach), does that mitigate some of these negative effects? I am very interested in this topic.
Pretty sure what you eat doesn’t matter much when you’re taking a huge amount of steroids like Herschel Walker (see also Dave Tate and his bulking diet), but I’m sure he has good genetics too.
5 FRIES says
Herschel Walker would disagree with your assessment.
Best Traits Procreate says
Hercshel Walker has split personality disorder.
Jason Sandeman says
Robb – I just wanted to caution Alex to maybe get his glucose levels checked, more specifically his hbA1c levels. Some of the symptoms he is talking about are classic symptoms of diabetes, and the shutdown of insulin production by the pancreas. The same thing happened to me, and it was after losing a tonne of weight, and an accidental diagnosis by insurance examination where I found out what the problem was.
I love your show, and please, keep it up. You inspire me every day. (One day I am actually going to give up the cream in my coffee too! I am working on it.)
Robb Wolf says
Hopefully it isn’t anything to do with diabetes. It may be doing too much interval-type training. I see from your question that you are doing 2 x “sprint” sessions per week (I imagine basically interval work) on top of 3 x high-level squash sessions for 30-60 minutes.
If I recall correctly, squash is a brutally sprint/interval oriented sport, even more so than tennis.
This seems to be 5 x White Buffalo sessions per week. Your symptoms may be your body weeping.
(Andy- “Squash” is called Raquetball in the USA, I believe)
Good to hear that salt isn’t a huge issue with Paleo. I have what I can only assume is some sort of genetic thing with either a reduced ability to taste salt or some sort of increased demand. (I have it, my father has it, my grandfather had it, all six of my father’s brothers have it as do most of their sons, but not my sister, my father’s sisters, or any of my female cousins; I assume it’s a Y-chromosone thing.)
The last time the subject came up, the cardiologist in the family (one of my uncles) said he’d never seen any studies showing salt alone as causative to any kind of health problem, but if you have other things that put you at risk of hypertension (e.g. obesity or stress), reducing salt does reduce the chance of deceloping it. I suspect that he pays fairly close attention to this, given his specialty and the fact that he’s used a quarter-inch drill bit to widen the holes in his salt shaker so it pours faster.
I’m really liking the podcasts – thanks for your efforts!
I’m wondering if you are aware of any links between a paleo lifestyle and its effects on mental illness, such as bipolar disorder. I’m thinking of having my son go paleo (his diet is good compared to a typical teen, but not paleo).
Thanks for any insight you can provide.
Great T-shirt idea:
I speak Robbinese!!!
Kevin Costello says
To Mrs F (Q #7) re demand for coconut oil
I don’t know if there is any change in the general quality of coconut oil, but the price is definitely going up. About 20-25% in the last 4 mos. Back in Oct I paid $150 for 5 gal virgin organic cold pressed, by Dec it was up to $165 and in Jan it went up to $187.
Mrs. F says
Wow, you would think greater competition should drive the price down. Maybe it’s being considered a luxury item?
I actually love coconut, and since the paleo diet have definitely added it to the rotation of foods I eat. I really liked Robb’s take on the issue.
Jakob Blackwell says
Just a side note to the pregnancy question, my wife and I just found out we are expecting our second child. It took us four months to get pregnant with our first child (non-paleo) and this time we are paleo and we got pregnant on accident. My wife let her birth control lapse for two days and believe it or not those two days were enough time to allow us to get pregnant. So, yes a standard paleo diet does work wonders for fertility.
As does signing up for “One-on-One Personal Training” at NorCal Strength and Conditioning if Robb is to be believed.
Imagine my surprise to hear you mention NZ Lamb on the podcast just as I was enjoying a large chunk of it for dinner!
May I suggest that you back-pedal further on the subject of importing NZ Lamb into the USA- the NZ Federated Farmers are like La Cosa Nostra.
You may have to ask Mrs Wolf to send an apology via one of her Sicilian Uncle’s connections, otherwise you may get a couple of John Welbourn-sized NZ farm-boys turning up at the gym looking for you.
Doing the podcast and PSSs while in the Witness Protection Program may be difficult.
Do you know when the Mat Lalonde episode will be aired?
Robb Wolf says
re Q #2:
Among many enzymatic effects, Mg controls HmG-CoA Reductase, the same target as statins – but not by the same mechanism.
From a review in JACN 2004 (full text):
Comparison of Mechanism and Functional Effects of
Magnesium and Statin Pharmaceuticals
“Statin drugs lower LDL-C levels more sharply than do
Mg supplements, but Mg more reliably acts to improve
all aspects of dyslipidemia including raising HDL-C and
lowering triglycerides, and has the same pleiotropic effects as statins without their adverse effects.”
(Though Stephan paradoxically experienced a slight HDL reduction.)
P.S. I’ve read many times that the Mg Glycinate form has no laxative effect, but I’ve never seen that lack. So you never know.
P.P.S. Side note: the weirdness of that page saying “(omega-3 linoleic acid and omega-6 linolenic acid)”
A few things about salt:
Though Na is now the new bugaboo, IIRC only ~30% of people are salt sensitive.
OTOH, Japanese do have more stomach cancer, very possibly from salt.
Na causing HTN was the big thing in the 1970s, then it kind of faded but is now all popular again. There is trendiness in science research.
I know somebody who has non-symptomatic hypotension and was told by her doc to have more salt. It didn’t raise BP any.
While table salt has Iodine, the salt in almost none of packaged foods has any.
Potassium chloride is a salt substitute, such as in the ‘NoSalt’ brand. It tastes pretty good, too. (K is thought to be the big reason for BP reduction from the DASH diet.)
Q #8: artificial sweeteners, from today:
“Daily quaffing of diet soda heightens vascular-event risk in cohort study”
(requires free registration)
– People who had diet soda every day experienced a 61% higher risk of vascular events than those who reported drinking no soda
– Previous studies have suggested a link between diet-soda consumption and the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes… [this] is the first study to show such an association [with] hard vascular-disease end points
– This is an observational study and not a prospective randomized trial
– After researchers controlled for metabolic syndrome, peripheral vascular disease, and cardiac disease history, daily consumption of diet soda posed a 1.48 … relative risk
Regarding Question 14-Looking better naked, yes
I believe many of us are seeking just that unless we want to compete in any athletic event.
You mention green tea extract for cardio on empty stomach, and you mention limiting calories slightly, discomfort in regards to pleasing Paleo urges. Anyways, do you recommend any Hunger Regulators besides green tea, coffeee, etc. In my previous life I used all sorts of fat burners and they seemed to the trick. After I burned my adrenals and my nervous system I am looking for something else for myself and to recommend all the clients in CrossFit PTY who in their mayority want to curb their apetite and rip up. Thanx
Hoboken Man says
Hmm… A gato in a coconut tree is surely the finisher.
12 – step program? nah – hard-boiled eggs.
11 – pipes to swing from?
10 – something a-leaping still seems to fit here, if not Lords.
9 – Whole 9? Ladies “Fran”-ing?
8 – percent body fat (egads!)
7 – sorry, blanking out here.
and the rest from above… though of course the fries must be golden.
Hey Robb…what are your thoughts on Siberian ginseng for helping those with adrenal fatigue?
I’ve been VERY wiped-out lately and all signs point to adrenal fatigue. I’ve cut my workouts down and have incorporated some stress management (yay for yoga), but I noticed the most improvement after I started supplementing with a B-complex vitamin. I’ve played around with some of the salts (as Andy has previously mentioned), but they make me feel spaced out (I get the same way when I drink mineral water). I have been thinking about checking out Siberian ginseng, but after reading up on it I see it has PHYTOESTROGENS. From my understanding, this is a no-no, no?
Keep up the good work!!
Robb Wolf says
I like a number of adaptogens for this stuff. I;d not worry about the phytoestrogens in this case.
I know this is an old post, but two quotes from Herschel who is a genetic freak:
Herschel on growing up in the country having to do manual labor:
“Heck, I was 17 years old before I knew my name wasn’t ‘Getwood.”
And upon being asked, after the 80-81 national championship game in which he rushed for over 200 yards despite dislocating a shoulder in the 1st quarter, how could he run that hard:
“The ball ain’t heavy.”
And his coach, Vince Dooley, being asked after Herschel announced he had split personality disorder if he knew different Herschel’s:
“All I know is I liked the one that ran the football.”
Along with being a three time all american in football and Heisman trophy winner, Herschel also was a three time all american in track and made the olympics as a bobsledder. Add to it a successful MMA campaign at 48, and THAT my friends is a genetic freak.
Robb Wolf says
That’s good shit!