We’re back with Episode 427, Q&A #20 and more of your best questions!
Submit your own questions for the podcast at: https://robbwolf.com/contact/submit-a-question-for-the-podcast/
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1. Fasting: Minimum Hours? [2:08]
Really appreciate all the work you are doing. You are a huge inspiration to me and hopefully one day, I’ll be able to make as big a difference as you have in people’s lives.
Just a quick question, what’s the minimum number of hours someone should fast if they just want to maintain good health? I typically fast about 12 hours and I have heard you mention that its a good fasting duration in one of your podcasts. Is this enough if I just want good metabolic health?
2. Alcohol While Paleo? [4:30]
I’ve noticed that some nutrition experts detour from their mission of nutritional health seemingly to promote the ingestion of certain alcoholic beverages. In your opinion, why is this done since according to the WHO alcohol is a known carcinogen sometimes leading to esophageal, stomach, breast cancer, etc. Apparently there is “no safe amount” to avoid its’ effects so why is it promoted?
3. Former Smokers: Can Paleo Reverse Damage? [10:02]
Thank you for your wonderful contributions to our collective (and personal) health. Your teachings left a lasting, highly beneficial imprint on by health and on by wellbeing. A part of that was quitting smoking. As a former smoker, what can I do now to minimize the risks of cancer? Since there are millions of former smokers in the U.S. alone, your answers will certainly appeal to a large audience. Thank you so much. All the best
4. Gymnastics Training For Jiu Jitsu? [13:17]
I’m excited that my gym finally got gymnastics rings.
Do you have any free resources for beginners you would recommend? My primary sport is jiu jitsu.
Straight arm strength in particular is tough to come by. Trying to find progressions for those.
Also, I’m curious as to what you like to do for neck and wrist conditioning. Mine are always creaky from grappling.
5. Oil Roasted Almonds [16:36]
First I wanted to say thank you for all the valuable info you provide. You are one of the few voices I fully trust because you always follow the evidence and are willing to change your mindset if the evidence leads you somewhere new.
With that, I have heard you say on the podcast that you eat a lot of blue diamond smokehouse almonds (I love those) and it got me wondering. I have tended to avoid them in favor of the blue diamond almonds that are roasted without any added oil, because the smokehouse say that they may be roasted in canola or other vegetable oil. I was curious your thoughts on this. I tend to totally avoid vegetable/canola oil whenever possible, but I assume the amount of oil you are actually ingesting with these almonds would be low. What are your thoughts? If everything is dialed in and you’re feeling good, do you not worry about the minimal amount you’d be getting from this? Or have you seen evidence that it takes more than this little bit of oil that the almonds would be roasted with to really create a problem?
Thanks in advance for your advice!
Submit questions for the podcast: https://robbwolf.com/contact/submit-a-question-for-the-podcast/
Nicki: Don’t even think about it.
Robb: Well hello there. What’s going on, wife?
Nicki: Oh, not too much.
Robb: You seem a little nervous, you’re a little on edge.
Nicki: Well, I’m protecting my leg because you were just tickling me.
Robb: You have no proof of that.
Nicki: I actually do.
Robb: Oh, okay.
Nicki: The camera was rolling, we’re just saving that for something else, I guess.
Robb: Blink twice for help.
Robb: So, we just got back from [inaudible 00:00:33]. Super cool, awesome people, had a really good time.
Nicki: Even met several of you, who have had your questions answered on the podcast, so that was awesome, super fun.
Robb: Yeah. Met a ton of people who’ve gone through the keto master class. Just a really amazing event, a long event, I’m totally knackered by the end of those, but super cool. Yeah.
Nicki: A lot of fun.
Robb: Definitely. And it was kind cool getting you back in the trenches there, that was fun. You haven’t been in the mix for a while because of the kiddos.
Nicki: I’m like an every other year Paleo FX attendee.
Robb: That’s a good way to do it. That’s not a bad way to do it. And then recharge for two years. Yeah.
Nicki: So, should we jump into this week’s first question?
Nicki: Let’s see, we have a question from Raysha , on the minimum hours for fasting. She says, “Hi Rob, I really appreciate all the work you are doing. You are a huge inspiration, and hopefully one day I’ll be able to make as big a difference as you have in people’s lives. Just a quick question, what’s the minimum number of hours someone should fast, if the just want to maintain good health? I typically fast about 12 hours, and I’ve heard you mention that it’s a good fasting duration in one of your podcast. Is this enough if I just want good metabolic health?”
Robb: Yeah. I mean, a concise answer would be yes, that’s a good spot to be. Again, you know, it’s interesting, the fasting topic, we’ve talked a lot about it, I think we’ll talk about it for the next 10 or 20 years, assuming that we’re still in this, doing this stuff. But it’s a really powerful tool, it’s a cool tool. But like any tool, you wanna use it appropriately, and there are definitely scenarios in which more is not better, with regards to fasting. If somebody is exercising a ton, if they’re under a lot of stress, it may, 12 hours may be plenty.
Robb: And honestly, some of the research, when you really get in and scrape out the vegan centric dogma, and some of the hyperbole, and everything, 12 hours is a decent spread. If you can compress it a little bit more, that’s fine, but there’s definitely scenarios, like a breastfeeding or a nursing mom, a growing child, a hard training athlete, you know, there are scenarios where 12 hours may be the maximum that we wanna tinker with that stuff.
Robb: Everything that we know about, just simply not overeating, and building muscle mass, and all that type of stuff, we know that there’s good benefit there. The extended fasting si speculative at this point, what it means for human health performance, longevity, and whatnot. So, certainly get in and tinker, but don’t overly link your wagon to something that we just don’t know that much about yet.
Nicki: And if you start noticing some adverse effects …
Nicki: Then obviously you’re gonna wanna change something.
Robb: That’s the time to pull the rip cord on that. Yeah. Yeah.
Nicki: Okay. Thanks to Raysha, our next question is from Jay, Jay has a good question. Should I consume alcohol while on paleo? Jay says, “I’ve noticed that some nutrition experts detour from their mission of nutritional health, seemingly to promote the ingestion of certain alcoholic beverages. In your opinion, why is this done? Since according to the World Health Organization, alcohol is a known carcinogen, sometimes leading to esophageal, stomach, breast cancer, etc. Apparently there is no safe amount to avoid its effects, so why is it promoted?”
Robb: That’s a really good question. I kind of struggled with this over the course of time, when we were running the gym, the timing, the place, we were earlobe deep in real estate agents. I mean, just droves of them. Really interesting people, very diverse cross section of folks. And within that scene, the way you carry yourself, the way you look, that all ends up playing into how effective you are at what you do, because there’s a huge social component to building the relationship when somebody’s doing the biggest financial decision, often times, of their life.
Robb: So, we had really good success with these folks, they would lose weight, they would feel better, and they had benefits based around that. But then we also had these folks report, “Hey, I’m having some problems because I’m used to sitting down, and wining and dining people, and building that relationship … “
Nicki: Meeting people, networking over …
Robb: Meeting people, networking …
Nicki: Drinks and dinner.
Robb: Yeah. And there’s just kind of a reality that, I think you’re hard pressed to find very many cultures, there’s a few, that don’t use alcohol as a social lubricant, cohesive element. I would venture to say the bulk of cultures, like alcohol is a feature of the whole story. So, you know, we can get totally wrapped around the axle of, protein, carbs, fat, and circadian biology, and all the stuff. But we always mention the social component, and the community component, we know that an inadequate social connectivity is as negatively impactful on health as a pack a day smoking habit.
Robb: So, you know, it’s a really interesting question though, you know, so I’m ingesting a known carcinogen, to have a social connectivity that maybe …
Nicki: Given me joy, and is fun, and makes life …
Robb: Yeah. And what’s the net win on that? I don’t entirely know. But eve for myself, I honestly am not a huge fan of booze, it’s not my preferred cup of opiates, but it … There’s also kind of a reality that, I already eat differently than most people. It’s changed a lot over the last 20 years, so it’s easier to find community, easier to find folks that don’t look [inaudible 00:06:34] at me if I order a burger without a bun. It’s just not a big deal now, whereas 15, 20 years ago, you were totally a weirdo doing that.
Robb: But if we go hang out with friends, of we have a family gathering or something, like having a glass of wine, putting some element into a NorCal margarita, or something, that’s super nice. It’s just kinda nice to unwind and relax with that.
Robb: So, Jay, I don’t know if that super answers your question, but …
Nicki: I think there’s also a reality that, when you’re trying to get people to start changing their food, and removing a lot of these processed foods, it’s like a baby step sort of thing. SO, if you said, “You’re not gonna eat any grains, no dairy, and no booze.” How many people would even give it a shot? Whereas, if you’re like, you’re gonna cut out the grains, you’re gonna try to eliminate dairy if it … Or at least see if it gives you problems and then maybe reintroduce …
Robb: And on booze …
Nicki: On booze, have a glass of red wine, or a NorCal margarita. And then over time, people just start drinking less anyway, because they notice the effects, and how their body feels with the alcohol, how it affects their sleep …
Robb: But that step wise story is a really important point, which I kind of neglected. Some people can jump in whole hog, and they just cut everything out, other people do better with a stepwise fashion. For a lot of people, if you suggest booze needs to come out of the rotation, they’re like, “Fuck it. I’m done.”
Nicki: I mean, how many people have transformed their health with this ancestral health concept, right? And how many of those wouldn’t have even given it a shot if, in order to do it, it was zero booze?
Robb: So, I don’t know, Jay, if that fully answers the question of the risk reward story of allowing, or recommending booze. But I think that this is a great example of trying to not make perfection the antagonist of good enough. Like, if we’re getting people off of refined carbohydrates, they’re sleeping better, they’re exercising, they feel better, then to your point, it really is true. If they start feeling better in general, what we find, is that people have a drink, maybe two, and then they’re like, “That’s enough.” Because they feel shitty enough from that, that they’re like, “Yeah, I’m totally good.”
Robb: So, interestingly, it does kind of self regulate on the back end of that, if we get the buy in on the front end with all those other things. But if you’re just living like a cockroach, and you just feel like shit all the time, it’s really hard to de-tangle, is it the crappy carbohydrates? Is it the booze? Is it …
Nicki: The lack of sleep.
Robb: The lack of sleep, yeah, because it’s all on top of you. But you start feeling better, and you actually notice the difference when you have booze.
Nicki: Our next question is from Felipe, he says, “Paleo lifestyle is a way of minimizing the occurrence of cancer in former smokers. Hey Rob, thank you for your wonderful contributions to our collective and personal health, your teachings left a lasting and highly beneficial imprint on my health, and on my wellbeing. A part of that was quitting smoking. As a former smoker, what can I do now to minimize the risks of cancer? Since there are millions of former smokers in the US alone, your answers will certainly appeal to a large audience. Thank you so much.”
Robb: So, this is really interesting, and there’s actually a very interesting development of late. Philip Morris, tobacco manufacturer extraordinaire, for a couple of hundred years, I think, they’ve been making tobacco products. They just started offering life insurance for people who quit smoking. There’s all kinds of interesting economic things to be learned from that, but it’s really interesting that the most important thing to do as a smoker, if you wanna minimize your risk of all the associated problems, is to just stop smoking.
Robb: Like, if you just stop smoking, the change that occurs on your risk profile is nothing short of amazing. And then beyond that, circadian biology, I would probably put right at the top of the list, get out in the sun early, get that sun on your skin, appropriate vitamin D levels, go to bed early. That circadian biology piece, I could almost make an argument, is more important on the whole cancer story. I may modify that over time.
Robb: But people get super focused on food, and the food is important. And again, for the cancer story, just not overeating is a huge factor. And then we start iterating beyond that. This is maybe a scenario though, that we could make a case for a couple of three to five day fasts a year, even for the first couple of years. It’s maybe an argument for a 16/eight eating window, and stuff like that.
Robb: But again, all of that stuff, I can’t emphasize it enough, it’s really cool. It’s really interesting, it may end up being the bees knees as we move along. But if we know anything for sure, if we sleep better, if we do some exercise, if we get out in the sun, if we lift some weights, if we don’t overeat, then we’re stacking the deck massively in our favor, we know that for a fact. And then some of these other things, if they’re amenable to your lifestyle, sure, drop them in. Little 16/eight fasting, maybe some extended ketosis, maybe a longer fast a couple of times a year.
Robb: But those things, I would definitely put in the highly speculative category at this point. Not that they’re not valuable, not that we shouldn’t investigate them, but really make sure that you are buttoned up on the things that we know about first, and then we can start iterating from there.
Robb: And I’m stoked that we’ve had influence on what you’ve done. Yeah. I could never get my parents to stop smoking, and that was one of the things that I just begged them to do. So that’s awesome that this has been a part of what’s happened.
Nicki: Our next question is from Duey, on gymnastics and jits. “Hey Rob, I’m excited that my gym finally got gymnastics rings. Do you have any free resources for beginners that you would recommend? My primary sport is jiu jitsu. Straight arm strength, in particular, is tough to come by, trying to find progressions for those. Also, I’m curious as to what you do for neck and wrist conditioning, mine are always creaky from grappling.”
Robb: Tap earlier. So, on the ring strength work, there’s a great book called, Overcoming Gravity, and, huge tome, but really has some slick progressions in it. Very simple. I’ve always like gymnastics bodies. The progressions tend to be a little on the long side, which I think is laudable, because coach Christopher Sommer put a lot of thought into that stuff. But sometimes folks just kinda run aground on that, so I would check out the book, Overcoming Gravity.
Robb: And then on the neck and wrist conditioning, Nicki got me into the Kinstretch stuff, in which we do something called …
Nicki: If you look up, functional range conditioning, I’m sure there’s tons of YouTube videos on it, but you can learn how to do, what’s called CARs, Controlled Articular Rotations. And they have them for the neck, they have a wrist series as well. So, I mean, that something you should do every single day.
Robb: Yeah. Yeah.
Robb: And then, in poking around, you know, classic wrestler bridging, and stuff like that. There’s some information back and forth on whether or not one should do that, if you didn’t develop that skillset as a kid, then maybe it’s not as good. But, you know, doing a basic neck harness in strengthening the neck, inflection, extension, you know, lateral movement. There’s a thing called the iron halo, I believe, something like that, that I’ve been looking at. It’s like 600 bucks though, so it’s kinda pricey, but it looks really good. It sits on your head, and you hook it up to, either a pulley system, or a weights system, and then you can …
Nicki: So, is it like, resisting as you …
Robb: It’s resisting through all these different, you know, ranges of movement. Those things are really helpful. If you have a partner that is willing to help you with things, that can just provide manual resistance with all the different directions, that’s kind of a pain in the ass to do sometimes though, but that’s definitely helpful.
Robb: But then on the wrists, in particular, again, kind of back to the gymnastics bodies, or even some of the stuff from, Overcoming Gravity, like there’s the push ups, where you push up onto the wrist, and on the back of the hands. And you can go from kneeling, in which I push up, and then extend up on the kind of backs of the finger tips, and then lower down.
Robb: So, again, there’s … If you poke around a little bit, there’s some good wrist conditioning stuff. Just getting, either a weighted … a pretty good sized hammer, or a bar with, like the, where you can put weights on one side, and doing the rotation, flexion, extension, like there’s all these different movements you can do with that. It’s really valuable, and really effective, but it’s super simple stuff. You just kind of need to get a little bit of a template, or an idea of some of the things to drop in on that.
Nicki: Let’s see. Our last question for this week is from Cathleen, on oil roasted almonds.
Nicki: “Rob, first, I wanna say thank you for all the valuable info you provide. You’re one of the few voices I fully rust because you always follow the evidence and are willing to change your mindset if the evidence leads you somewhere new. With that, I have heard you say that you eat a lot of Blue Diamond smoke housed almonds, and it got me wondering. I have tended to avoid them, in favor of the Blue Diamond almonds that are roasted without any added oil, because the smoke housed say that they may be roasted in Canola, or other vegetable oil. I was curious your thoughts on this. I tend to totally avoid vegetable and Canola oil wherever possible, but I assume the amount of oil that you are actually ingesting with these almonds would be low. What are your thoughts? IF everything is dialed in, and you’re feeling good, do you not worry about the minimal amount you’d be getting from this? Or, have you seen that it takes more than this little bit of oil that the almonds would be roasted with to really create a problem? Thanks in advance.”
Robb: Man, so one thing, I’m not doing so well with the almonds anymore. But I think that that’s more of an oxalate issue, is I’ve kind of poked around on that ironically, they taste so good. But, yeah, I get some kind of gnarly belly from it. Macadamias are kind of the main nut that I do occasionally, and even that I … Funny enough, I’m eating fewer and fewer vegetable sources, and shifting more and more carnivore, just tinkering with how my gut feels, how my digestion feels. I did like a three week, four week carnivore deal, and I kind of went insane because I just wanted a fucking avocado, and some artichokes, and stuff.
Robb: But eating keto, I never had food cravings, and then when I did that, I really went kind of bananas. But it is funny, I’ve been noticing, I’m kind of gravitating more that direction. I seem to do well with fruit, up to a point. So, it’s interesting, I’m still tinkering with that.
Robb: But that’s not really the question, the question is related to, that fats in here. I don’t know that anybody knows what exactly the safe amount is on these seed oils. There’s not a lot that goes into something like these roasted almonds, it’s a very passing amount. If you are deficient in elongated omega 6 Arachidonic acid, and also, EPA/DHA, then these shorter chain polyunsaturated fats are more of an issue with regards to inflammation.
Robb: But this is one of the things that, you know, it’s like, people will freak out if they go out to eat and, I don’t know, Chipotle, or something like that. You’re on the road, you’re looking for food, you have no other options, and you go into Chipotle or something, and it’s like, “Oh, they use Canola oil.” And it’s like, well, either starve, or eat that one meal. And you’re not having refined grains, presumably, you’re not having sugar, you’re not drinking soda, so, is that really the place to freak out about it?
Robb: And if you have serious health problems, and you notice that you react to that stuff, then I guess that’s a different story. But I’ve historically not been super freaked out about stuff like that. So, it’s interesting. Would I prefer that they use coconut oil on to, or something? Yeah, probably, but coconut oil has a very specific, distinct flavor, so it’s kind of tough in that regard too. So, yeah, I mean, I historically have not been that freaked out about a lot of vegetable oil here.
Robb: I remember when I did … Posted eating some, not sardines, but the oysters.
Nicki: Oysters in cottonseed oil.
Robb: And they were in cottonseed oil. Fuck, man, people lost their minds. And one, you just don’t get that much, there’s not, you know …
Nicki: You weren’t drinking the oil.
Robb: Yeah, I don’t drink the oil, you drain it, you can even rinse it a little bit. But these things are … It’s another thing where people [inaudible 00:19:42] me with all these options for non-cotton seed oil varieties, and that’s great, but the places that we typically shop don’t have those. And it’s just another pain in my ass to, okay, am I gonna order it online, or whatever, and I have them reasonably frequently, but not every single day, so. And again, in the greater mix of life, it’s like, I like them, they taste really good, I think that there’s other healthful benefits to it, and so it’s kind of that cost benefit trade off on that.
Robb: And I don’t know, maybe it’s fucking killing me, and I’m being an idiot with it, but it’s just, I don’t like obsessing over every Goddamn thing that I put in my mouth. Like, I’m super gluten intolerant, I’m not all that good at handling carbs, so I’m already kind of fucking limited, and it’s just kind like, Jesus Christ, I just wanna eat sometimes, you know. And that is …
Robb: Sometimes I’m hesitant to even post what I eat online because again, all the armchair warriors jump in, and everybody’s got a fucking opinion, and they know me better than I know me. But at the same time, what ends up happening when I get in and battle with those dick heads sometimes is that, the people who are watching, I’m learning more and more that it’s not so much about the interaction I’m having with a specific person, it’s everybody else watching.
Robb: And they’re watching somebody that, and I’m very grateful for this and I take it very seriously, someone that they respect with regards to how they approach this stuff. And I’m not obsessive, I’m not neurotic, there’s some things that I don’t have a lot of flexibility on. I’m not gonna, on a daily basis, sit down and eat 100 grams of carbs from rice, because it’s gonna fuck me up, and I’m gonna feel terrible, and I’ll probably die from diabetes with it. But I don’t think I’m gonna die from a little bit of seed oil in almonds, or tinned fish, or something like that. So, that kind of got off in the weeds, but.
Robb: Any other, you have any thoughts on that? I mean, you navigate this stuff pretty well too, just being flexible with what you’re doing, and.
Nicki: I have nothing to add.
Robb: You have nothing to add. Okay. Okay.
Robb: Well, should we thank our show sponsor?
Nicki: Yeah. Thanks to our show sponsor, Element Recharge. You can follow them at @drinkLMNT, on Instagram, Facebook, etc. It’s an electrolyte drink mix, to fuel everything that you’re doing.
Robb: Especially if you’re doing some sort of a low carb, or a ketogenic diet. You need to be on point with your electrolytes, in particular, sodium. So, yeah, it’s super helpful for that.
Nicki: And then, as always, you can submit your questions to robbwolf.com, on the contact page. We love answering your questions, and …
Robb: We have the smartest questions anywhere, because they’re yours.
Nicki: What else?
Robb: I think that’s it for now.
Nicki: Anything else? Is that all?
Nicki: Thanks guys.
Robb: Yeah. Talk to you soon.
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