1. [17:37] Vasovagal Syncope
2. [24:14] Increase in PMS Symptoms
3. [29:40] Intestinal Length & Vegetarianism
4. [40:39] Sick after Racing
5. [49:26] Clogged Ears on Paleo
6. [1:00:49] Ab Contraction in the Back Squat
Katie Says: Hi Robb! Thanks for your awesome podcast – I’ve been catching up and learning a lot. I haven’t seen this come up yet, though, so let me know if I missed it somewhere. I have a condition called “Vasovagal Syncope”, which means I pass out kind of randomly when triggered (for me, triggers are unfortunately things like standing up too fast, exercising without eating/drinking enough, heat, over-exertion, etc.) Obviously this interferes with my workouts, since I can’t push myself as hard as I could otherwise, and I feel like a wimp when I take classes anywhere and have to sit out so I don’t pass out. Otherwise I’m healthy – 23 years old, 5’7” 125 pound woman, have never been that strong but I have always done lots of martial arts and am more or less “fit”. My blood pressure is and always has been a bit low – like 90/60 – but everything else (EKG, cholesterol, and a slew of blood tests my doc has given me) has come back normal.
So, two questions – 1) Any diet suggestions that you think might help? My doctor said to way up salt intake to help keep my blood pressure up, but that sounds dangerous too. I’m still working on cleaning up my diet – do you think paleo could help with this condition? “Healthy” diets tend to lower blood pressure, which makes passing out more likely, so I’m tempted to leave some bad stuff in to prevent that. 2) What kind of workouts do you think are appropriate? I would love to try crossfit, but I feel like the intensity might just make things worse. Any experience in the gym with people prone to passing out?
Any thoughts would be really helpful.
Increase in PMS Symptoms
Kendal Says: I’ve been eating a pretty strict Paleo diet since late March minus some dark chocolate and red wine occasionally. While I’ve had amazing results (lost the last 15 pounds of my baby weight, am no longer anemic after struggling my whole life with it, and feel stronger than ever) I’ve seen a scary increase in my PMS symptoms. I’m almost 35 years old and the mother of 4 children. I recently started a daily kettlebell workout in addition to my regular dancing regimen (ballet, etc, but not professional.) I’m 5’9″ and 133 pounds. I’ve spent a better part of the last 10 years either pregnant and/or nursing so I didn’t have a cycle for much of that time. Weaned the youngest over a year ago and am not having more children. My thyroid is perfect and my recent physical showed outstanding blood work. My cycles are pretty normal, 26-28 days and last 5-6 days with no cramping. But the entire week before I start I’m miserable. I get depressed, have ridiculous mood swings, and ultimately am making myself and my family crazy. While this has been increasing over the last year, it does seem worse since I increased my animal protein by going Paleo. I’ve also had some hair loss for a couple of years, likely stress, but I’ve continued to have my thyroid checked and no problems there. Do you have any suggestions? I’ve tried many herbs and natural remedies and nothing does the trick. I can’t take potentially 20 more years of this but I’m also not interested in artificial hormonal treatments like the pill.
Intestinal Length & Vegetarianism
Aimee Says: Dear Robb, I have just escaped from a month of intensive yoga teacher training, wherein part of the program involved me being vegetarian and listening to hours of lectures on why vegetarianism is the best way to live. Up until that month, I had been following the paleo diet with all sorts of success. God, vegetarianism kicked my ass. During morning meditations, my stomach would rumble so loudly in its quinoa riddled discontent that NO ONE could concentrate properly. I was bloated, tired, weak, and irritable the entire month. About a week into the program, the teacher started a six hour monologue on how meat eating was immoral and unhealthy. My punctured, angry intestines nearly strangled her in angry disbelief. But because it was a monologue and not a discourse, the only imput I was permitted was the cacophonous rumbling of said intestines. So I figured I’d ask you about the few things I can remember from that LONG afternoon.
Yoga teacher (spoken in a really weird Boston/English accent, if you can imagine): Humankind did not evolve eating meat. Of course we were hunter/gatherers, but you know, we didn’t eat THAT much meat. Meat was hard to come by, so we mostly ate plants, you know. There is evidence of this in the fact that our intestines are very long. If we had evolved to, you know, eat meat, we would have short intestines like other carnivorous animals. Because our intestines are so long, the meat just sits in there, and it, you know, rots. It rots for about three days before you finally, you know, pass the fecal matter. And if you eat fruit, or whatever, after you, you know, eat meat, then that will just stay on top and rot. This results in, you know, really bloody awful indigestion.
*Insert indignant tummy rumbles here*
My question is whether or not the length of intestines has anything to do with whether or not a species should eat meat. I guess its not all that relevant to most of the people who listen to your podcast, but as a yoga teacher, I need to be able to defend my meat eating habit. The most I could do at yoga school was say that while my soul would never reach samadhi, my tastebuds and intestines would. Which I feel okay about, but I’d like to be able to say a little more regarding the evolution of the matter.
Thanks for everything. I am now a celiac volunteering on a farm in Italy. Listening to your podcast gives me the strength to resist all the delicious smelling pasta that’s constantly set before me.
Sick after Racing
Hairy Meat Eater Says: Robb, I have done a few endurance competitions (sprint triathlon, half-marathon, and the tough mudder) and it seems like after every one of these events I get sick more specifically I get bronchitis. A background on myself: I’m 26 years old, I float around 155-160 pounds and I’m 5’9. I have been working out and running since 19 years old and I just started Crossfit in May 2011. I usually go to Crossfit 4 days a week and play Ultimate Frisbee every Tuesday.
I just started incorporating the Paleo lifestyle as best I can. I am still in college so its hard for me to afford going organic on the fruits and vegetables and buying grassfed meat. It is especially hard because the town I live in, Columbia, MO only has 2 small markets that cater to organic and locally grown produce and meat and their products are EXPENSIVE. For example I just went to one of the stores yesterday and an organic pineapple was $6.00!
So I feel like I am in good shape and I make sure to let my body rest for 4-5 days before any competition. During the rest days I do a lot of stretching though. And I still manage to get sick after almost every endurance competition. For example I just completed the Tough Mudder on July 23rd in Wisconsin. The course was not very difficult for me I never felt winded or out of breath (we took it easy during the uphills) but I definitely felt my muscles cramp during certain obstacles. So even though I felt great afterwards I ended up with a 102 degree fever, stuffy nose, and a tight feeling in my chest the very next day.
Do you think this was just physical stress that caused this? Maybe being out in the sun all day? And I should note we drove 9 hours the day before the race to get to the Tough Mudder so I wasn’t properly hydrated because I didn’t want to pull over every 45 minutes to take a leak. I figured getting to the hotel at a decent hour (10pm) to get a decent amount of sleep was as important as being hydrated.
What are your thoughts?
Clogged Ears on Paleo
Matt & Stacy Say: Greg, oh wait, I mean Mark. Adam? Andy? No, Josh?
There’s still not a mandatory search function built-in pre-email so hopefully I’ll avoid being the tortured sole ripped apart for asking a question already posed. But, here goes.
A few months ago a popular blogger, who claimed to have been Paleo for over a decade, gave it up with a list of reasons why this person wasn’t feeling their best. Robb’s rebuttal was short, sweet and to the point, from what I recall it went something like, “bollocks, a bunch of crap, no way, eat what you want buddy.”
Where I agree on almost all fronts, I do have one question still ringing in my ear (let’s all take a moment to appreciate the pun). My husband’s and my ears have been clogged since shortly after going Paleo. Coincidentally, his was one of the listed items on this blogger’s complaints.
We assumed it was because we’re working out more and we use ear buds at the gym. We came up with some explanation to ourselves about sweat being trapped in there, etc. However, I haven’t used ear buds at the gym for several weeks because things were starting to sound like they were underwater sometimes and it was really bothering me.
I was hoping lack of ear clogging devices would’ve led to less ear clogging. To my dismay, I’m still singing more off-key than usual, although just as loud. Now that there’s warm weather out the kids are getting embarrassed with the car windows rolled down (don’t worry, it’s teaching them a valuable life lesson about how parents are put here to embarrass them). That’s not so much as a concern for me as is being unable to hear people properly. Not to mention, the fear I have about what might be lurking in our ears to make them not be working.
Lastly, to be clear: the rest of those items on the bloggers list were bullocks. Especially dry skin and allergies; dude, how many testimonials do we need to have about skin and allergies being resolved by a proper Paleo diet?
So, the questions are these:
1) Does Robb have any clue why our ears are clogged?
2) If it’s related to an overproduction of wax, how the hell did Grok get it out? I’d like to not have to drip chemicals into my brain cavity.
3) Does he want to expand on his “bullocks” response to this bloggers’ farewell to Paleo?
Sincerely, your faithful Paleo evangelicals recruiting one child at a time,
Ab Contraction in the Back Squat
Josh Says: Hi Rob, long time no see huh? I apologize if you have already attacked this question because I haven’t listened to all 89 podcasts yet. The question is referring to something I heard from Greg Everett when he was referring to abdominal contraction during the back squat. He seemed to publicly refute the advice I heave received from Kelly Starrett about making the abs “hollow” during the back squat when he said he prefers the abs to be “bulging” or flexed outwards. Do you have a preference or do you see clients who do better with one tactic vs. the other? You probably know my body type already but for the sake of listeners…6’4, 205 lbs, long femurs, short torso, positive ape index of 5 (wingspan is 5 inches longer than height). Cheers.