We’re back with Episode 441, Q&A #34!
Submit your own questions for the podcast at: https://robbwolf.com/contact/submit-a-question-for-the-podcast/
Individual question videos are linked in each question title, but if you want to see the complete video for this podcast, be sure to check out our YouTube channel.
1. Are Low Calories OK In Keto? [2:41]
A question maybe for a podcast. We have all heard the stories of people eating very low fat and low calorie diets to lose weight (think Biggest Loser). They later gain the weight back and can no longer eat as much as they used to and maintain as their metabolism is messed up.
I am wondering if there is any science behind a low calorie (800-1000) per day hurting your metabolism? My thinking is if you are getting enough nutrients between food and supplements within the 800 calories – plus you body is “eating” your fat stores – would there not be any negative effects? Would love to hear you thoughts! I was not able to find anything relating to this on the web. I have always tried to stick to a small calorie deficit (eating around 1600-1800 per day). And while successful, lower calories would probably speed up weight loss. I have lost about 60lbs following your plan and still have another 100 to go.
Thanks and love everything you do! Thanks for changing my life!
Keto Masterclass student
2. Weighted Blankets? [11:28]
I’ve been hearing a lot about weighted blankets lately in relation to calming anxiety and improving quality of sleep.
Do you have any experience with these? Any idea if they would be a good sleep hygiene hack for someone who just wants to optimize sleep?
Love the podcast!
Click here to check out the Chilipads I mention in this answer. GAME CHANGER for sleep.
3. Keto and Bowel Movements? [13:26]
My question today is on keto and bowel movements.
I’ve been keto for over five months (thanks to the Keto Masterclass) and paleo for almost 7 years. I love the philosophy of how do you look, feel and perform and have seen improvements in all those categories since first becoming paleo and then keto.
My question is on bowel movements while on keto; what is normal and what is a red flag?
As you have stressed, supplementation with electrolytes is key and I was taking magnesium a little too much; 1 LMNT during the day and Natural Calm before bed. Bowel movements were overly loose and that’s never fun.
I’ve been taking Natural Calm for years and it was a part of my night time routine before starting keto. The over supplementation of magnesium was an unintended consequence.
After watching the magnesium I’ve become more solid but feel bowel movements are less frequent overall. Digestion is slow moving and I feel pressure in my lower abdomen. Not pain, not bloating or anything like that; just some pressure.
The pressure will be there till I eat and things are pushed through.
Is this normal? Am I eating too large of meals? Are there electrolytes I could be missing?
I typically have a large breakfast, a medium lunch and a small dinner. I sometimes fast dinner; it’s just depends on my schedule. Between the satiating nature of keto and the breakfast/lunch, I rarely feel I need anything in the evenings.
Thank-you for all you do. I hope all are settling into your new home and I look forward to future podcasts!
4. City vs Suburbs vs Small Town vs Country? [18:12]
Hi Nicki & Robb,
Since you’re in the middle of moving, I’ve got a question about where I should live. In my last gig, I needed to live in city for work. A suburban house, but with good access to transit and an easy bike ride to work. I’ve recently switched to working remotely, so I’ve got a lot more flexibility and wondering if I might benefit from a different way of life. What are your thoughts on living situations & surrounding built environments and their impacts on health and happiness? For reference, we’re a mid-30s married couple with no kids (but trying) and a dog. Mostly homebodies, but we have friends, family, and a great crossfit box in the city. Lots of options for living in small towns, acreages, hobby farms, near the lake, all within an hour drive of the city. I’ve been a follower for many years and your work has helped me in so many different ways, so thank you!
5. Your Move to Texas? [26:13]
Robb & Nicky,
Welcome to Texas. I moved here 35 years ago and haven’t regretted it. The New Braunfels area is fantastic being in between Austin and San Antonio. So many great attractions whether it’s outdoor recreation, live music, or educational opportunities for your children. No income tax is great as well, however property taxes might be higher than what you are accustomed to.
I know it isn’t a health or nutrition question, but could you talk about your decision to move to Texas and what you hope to accomplish here?
Robb’s poop update during Question 5 [35:24 – 38:34]
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Submit questions for the podcast: https://robbwolf.com/contact/submit-a-question-for-the-podcast/
Download a copy of the transcript here (PDF)
Robb: We’re going.
Nicki: All righty.
Robb: Welcome back folks.
Nicki: Welcome back.
Robb: Another edition of whatever the heck we’re calling this thing at this point. Wife, what’s new?
Nicki: Gosh. We went up and visited John and Kate Welbourn up in Austin, a couple days ago for their power athletes and-
Robb: Block one.
Nicki: Block one methodology course. That was fun.
Robb: Super fun.
Robb: Awesome folks. I gave a little spiel. A little bit around sacred cow. The project that Diana Rogers and I are working on. Both book and film. Although, I have virtually nothing to do with the film. I will appear in it. But, will take no credit for much of anything else beyond that. We did a little bit stuff for Wade’s Army.
Nicki: Yep. The Welbourns are in the middle of their annual fundraising drive for Wade’s Army. Which is a fight against childhood cancer. Specifically, neuroblastoma. Which, is very dear to them. One of Kate’s college friends actually had twins. Once of whom ended up-
Robb: And the Welbourns have twins.
Nicki: The Welbourns have twins as well.
Robb: Virtually the same age. Yeah.
Nicki: Yep. Wade, one of the twins ended up getting neuroblastoma and passed away. This is a big fundraiser for them. Anyway, Wadesarmy.org is where you can learn more about that. It’s something we’ll be talking about a lot here in the next couple months.
Robb: We’re probably going to do some collaborative fundraising stuff with Element-
Robb: And some other things. Big deal. Real near and dear to everybody’s heart around the power athlete community. As well as what we do. Yeah. You’ll hear more about Wade’s Army-
Robb: In the future.
Nicki: Yep. What else? What else? Lots of deer here in our neighborhood.
Nicki: No shortage of deer.
Robb: No deer ticks yet.
Nicki: Hopefully not.
Robb: Knock on wood.
Nicki: Knock on wood.
Robb: I don’t know. We could just jump in.
Nicki: We could. You ready?
Nicki: All right. Let’s see here. Our first question this week is from Leanne. Are low calories okay when in ketosis? “Hi Rob. We have all heard the stories of people eating very low fat, low calorie diets to lose weight. Like in The Biggest Loser. They later gain the weight back. And, can no longer eat as much as they used to and maintain. As their metabolism is messed up. I’m wondering if there’s any science behind a low calorie, 800 to 1000 per day, hurting your metabolism.
Nicki: My thinking is if you’re getting enough nutrients between food and supplements within the 800 calories. Plus, your body is eating your fat stores. Would there not be any negative effects? I’d love to hear your thoughts. I was not able to find anything relating to this on the web. I’ve always tried to stick to a small calorie deficit. Eating around 1600 to 1800 per day. While successfuL, lower calories would probably speed up my weight loss. I’ve lost about sixty pounds following your plan. Still have another hundred to go. Thanks and love everything you do. Thanks for changing my life, Leanne.” She says she’s a keto masterclass student.
Robb: Awesome. Cool. It’s almost like that stuff works. Man, there’s a lot to unpack in this. It’s interesting. I’ll use Luis Villasenor as an example. Really, just all of the keto gains community. Which we’ve learned so much, kind of, observing those guys and hanging out with those folks.
Robb: Luis is very muscular. He’s several inches shorter than I am. But, he’s probably five to ten pounds heavier than I am. Super muscular. Very active. Now involved with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu five days a week, in addition to his strength training. Really motoring along with both of those.
Robb: He probably weighs about 170 maybe 175 pounds. Somewhere in that range. Is quite active. Has eaten a ketogenic diet for twenty plus years. He only eats about 1200 to 1600 calories a day. Which most people would freak out. They’re like, “Oh, my, god. That’s too little.”
Robb: The thing about it that I think is interesting. And, Leanne brings up something that is really important. The rebound dieting is very injurious to the metabolism. Some people in, kind of, the evidence based nutrition space. They point this out rightly. But, they make a solid case.
Robb: A couple of these folks have made the solid case that if you do something find something that you’re going to do permanently. Which is great advice. But, it’s clearly very difficult to do. The tendency is that once somebody has really severely dieted down, although I will lean on the fact that most of the studies being cited here are, kind of the standard high carb, low fat, even though that can work I just wonder if there’s, you know? Kind of a different metabolic in point in that whole story. With regards to stress and all that type of stuff.
Robb: But, it’s- God, I’m thinking fifty different things. I’m trying to pin down the course here. What’s interesting to me is when people follow a nutrient dense, kind of, keto, paleo, type diet. They don’t seem to need as many calories. Like the usual caloric recommendations are not really there.
Robb: I think I’ve mentioned in the past. That ages ago, talking with Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit. He recommended a modification of the zone diet that ended up being a very high fat zone diet type of approach. It was about 65 to 75 percent fat. It’s a little higher in carbohydrate than what you would see in a standard keto recommendation.
Robb: But, also, he was doing this within people that were doing crossfit. It’s kind of, you know? Probably, not that big of a deal to be, you know? For someone my size, I would have been 140, 150 grams protein. Similar amount of carbs. Then whatever fat filled out the rest of that to make 70 percent of calories.
Robb: But, what he noticed is that people were pretty consistently about 25 to 30 percent lower in caloric need than what they were when they were eating a standard, kind of, westernized diet. It’s hard to tell on this stuff. You know? What is going to injure someone versus not injure someone.
Robb: Shameless plug for Element, I think that being on point with electrolytes, particular sodium, is kind of a make or break story. Or, facet of this story. If people are both low calorie, low carb, and deficient in sodium, then that is exacerbating the stress response in the body.
Robb: Could definitely make a case that you need to be on point with the sodium requirements. But, it’s interesting and I still- I’ve got to say that when I first arrived at the ketogains scene. Saw what Tyler and Luis were doing, what folks were achieving in that community. When I looked at the calorie intake levels I was kind of like, “Holy smokes, man.” It was a little intimidating. Again, it’s anecdote.
Robb: We’re going to be doing some pieces talking about anecdote and what we can and can’t learn from that. Maybe, you know? How to catch that in a more productive fashion. But, it- When you see thousands and thousands of people succeeding. Not being broken. Not having their cycles destroyed. Stuff like that. Then you start seeing some trends.
Robb: Granted, it’s not a randomized control trial and all that stuff. There could be some selection bias going on there. But, it- I’m not nearly as concerned about these lower calorie intakes as a lot of other folks are. It seems like, if keto works for you, both from a metabolic level and a performance level, it seems like a good option to, kind of, mitigate those blood sugar highs and lows. Which, I think makes eating a lower calorie intake easier.
Robb: There is, kind of, a reality that if you are consistently fueled off of carbohydrate your body is going to naturally be hungrier more often as we deplete the carbohydrate stores in our body. If you are more consistently fat fueled, even though you will get hungry, it’s a different type of hunger. It’s a different type of frequency with regards to the way that hunger occurs. You could make a case that the lower carb approach to a low calorie diet might by one some head room, or some buffer, with regards to hunger. Which is really going to be key for making this stuff work long term.
Robb: Any thoughts you have on that, or?
Nicki: I don’t think so. You make the point that Luis is eating 1200 to 1600 calories. What do you think about Leanne’s caloric intake?
Robb: It’s hard to know. I don’t know if she’s five foot two.
Robb: I don’t know if it, you know? What her lean body mass is.
Robb: And whatnot. But, the chances are she’s probably in an ideal body state probably smaller and less muscular than Luis. Probably. Because, even though Luis isn’t super tall he’s-
Nicki: Right. Yeah.
Robb: You know? The numbers that she’s citing there they might get adjusted up a little bit once she hits maintenance. But, it’s surprising how a- People even at pretty remarkably high work output in that community are not eating massive amounts of calories. Again, there’s a, I think a certain thermodynamic efficiency.
Robb: This is kind of an interesting thing. I’m glad you mentioned that so I can spin this thing out. Make it even longer there- We’ve talked about this in the past. Earlier. When we launched the keto masterclass. Because, historically there’s been this, kind of, meme within keto, low carb land, specifically. That you can, kind of, eat all the fat and it doesn’t matter. So long as you keep insulin levels low.
Robb: In fact, I could make the case that you need fewer calories on keto. We’ve kind of gone through and made that case elsewhere. But, again, there’s a certain thermodynamic efficiency. There’s a certain satiety element to this whole story. I could actually make the case that you probably require fewer calories on keto than you do on a more mixed diet.
Robb: That is definitely something to keep in mind, which could tweak this stuff. Even though I’m not as starry eyed about caloric restriction and fasting from a longevity perspective, as many people are. I don’t think it’s going to double human average lifespan, stuff like that. There are clearly some benefits to simply not overeating. Which saying simply not overeating is an incredibly not simple thing to do in the modern world. Yeah.
Nicki: Okay. All righty. Let’s see. Our next question is from Steven on weighting blankets. “Robb, I’ve been hearing a lot about weighted blankets lately. In relation to calming anxiety and improving quality of sleep. Do you have any experience with these. Any idea if they would be a good sleep hygiene hack for someone who just wants to optimize sleep. Love the podcast.” I know you love all things hack.
Robb: All things hack. Yes. I have zero experience with the weighted blanket. It makes sense. I’ve heard people mention that they definitely benefit from that. Talking to a really interesting guy, Julian, who is a brilliant strength and conditioning coach. He’s talking, helping to educate me a lot about the different ways that the sympathetic verus parasympathetic nervous system get stimulated.
Robb: There are situations where compression on our skin can stimulate a sympathetic response. Which would, kind of, you know? Jazz us up. Then there’s other situations where it would, kind of, calm us down. This would be something where, hopefully, they have a money back guarantee and you can kick the tires on it.
Nicki: Try it for thirty days.
Robb: Try it. I will do a shameless plug for the Chilipad. Or, it’s going by the Ooler. Or, you can look at Chilipad.com. These are just game changers for sleep.
Nicki: It’s more of a hot cold-
Robb: It’s a hot cold modulator.
Nicki: Aspect. Yeah.
Robb: But, yeah. But, getting the right temperature for when you want to go to bed, ideally, your body temperature drops. But, between you and I, there’s maybe a ten degree temperature difference between what we would like the room to be. Yeah. Yeah. I highly recommend the Chilipad. I mean, a weighted blanket seems cool. You know? Who knows? Maybe it’ll protect you from cosmic rays.
Nicki: Steven, put it on your Christmas list. Put it on your Christmas list then try it out. Then, let us know.
Robb: Yeah. Or, you could re gift it if you’re really good at packaging it back up.
Nicki: Okay. Our next question is on keto and bowel movements. From, Amanda. She says, “Hi. My question today is on keto and bowel movements. I’ve been keto for over five months. Thanks to the keto master class. Paleo for almost seven years. I love the philosophy of how you do, how do you look, feel and perform. I’ve seen improvements in all of those categories since first becoming paleo and then keto. My question is on bowel movements while on keto. What is normal and what is a red flag.
Nicki: As you have stressed supplementation with electrolytes is key. I was taking magnesium a little too much. One Element during the day and Natural Calm before bed. Bowel movements were overly loose. That’s never fun. I’ve been taking Natural Calm for years. It was part of my nighttime routine before starting keto. The over-supplementation of magnesium was an unintended consequence. After watching the magnesium I’ve become more solid. But, feel bowel movements are less frequent overall.
Nicki: Digestion is slow moving. I feel pressure in my lower abdomen. Not pain. Not bloating or anything like that. Just some pressure. The pressure will be there till I eat and things are pushed through. Is this normal? Am I eating too large of meals? Are there electrolytes I could be missing?
Nicki: I typically have a large breakfast. A medium lunch and a smalL dinner. I sometimes fast dinner. It just depends on my schedule. Between the satiating nature of keto and the breakfast, lunch, I rarely feel I need anything in the evenings. Thanks for all you do. I hope you are all settling into your new home and look forward to future podcasts.”
Robb: Man. You know? I noodled on this one a lot. Because, clearly if you have, some sort of, belly discomfort. That’s not a good thing. This is one of the problems that I had with veganism ages ago. Even more recently since I caught this gut bug it- Virtually any plant material. I’ve been able to add a little bit back. Tiny bit of berries. I had a pickle the other day. A fermented pickle, it was amazing. It didn’t send me running to the can.
Robb: But, you know? Your poo consistency is really important. There’s the Bristol stool chart that shows overly formed, improperly formed, and then too loose. All that stuff. I guess, I would bounce between checking out the Bristol stool chart and seeing where things look on that spectrum. Then, also, I don’t- Keto from some people can slow things down. For some people it can speed it up.
Robb: Some of the testing that I did trying- It was a GI map. I’ll do a piece on that. On this whole thing in the future. An ongoing investigation in trying to figure out what’s trying to kill me here. But, what’s interesting is I had a super high methanogen population.
Robb: Which, methanogens, typically slow gastric motility. You would think that I would be, kind of, constipated. I am exactly the opposite. This is where this stuff is really hard to unpack sometimes. Certainly, if the Natural Calm is too loosening, you could certainly shift to something like a magnesium malate. Which is what we use in Element because it’s more absorbable. But, it will have a very, very, mild laxative effect. I don’t know if the meals are too large. Those are certainly things to-
Nicki: To play with.
Robb: To play with. But, you know? We do notice that if people are under-hydrated, under-electrolyted, then that can certainly affect gastric emptying and motility, and whatnot. Those are the places to play. But it, I guess, if we were to put some actionable steps on here I would recommend checking out the source naturals magnesium malate. Three capsules or 600 milligrams of magnesium. Maybe try doing a breakfast, lunch, dinner, with that and see how you do. Ideally we’re able to address this stuff without specific supplementation. But, you know? That seems like a pretty safe place to start. Didn’t really mention what the composition of the diet is. If it, maybe adding more-
Nicki: She’s keto.
Robb: Keto. But-
Nicki: Right, now.
Robb: Keto could be virtually carnivore. All carnivore. Or, it could be a massive amount of kale, broccoli, spinach.
Robb: Increasing vegetable intake could certainly be a thing. Also, increasing raw vegetable intake. Because, it’s a little more difficult to digest. It’s definitely going to tend to move things along. The actionable steps I would tinker with would be, potentially, a magnesium supplement, in magnesium malate. In addition to what she’s doing. Source Naturals is a great company. Then increasing, potentially vegetables in general and raw vegetables in particular. Then, maybe, circle back and let us know how that’s going.
Nicki: Okay. All righty We’ve got a question from Jason.
Robb: We have a couple of philosophical questions-
Robb: In this episode. Yes. Mildly philosophical.
Nicki: This one is, “City versus suburban versus small town versus country life. Hi, Nicki and Robb, since you’re in the middle of moving I’ve got a question about where I should live. In my last gig I needed to live in the city for work. A suburban house but with good access to transit. An easy bike ride to work. I’ve recently switched to working remotely so I’ve got a lot more flexibility and wondering if I might benefit from a different life.
Nicki: What are your thoughts on living situations in surrounding built environments? Their impacts on health and happiness? For reference we’re a mid thirties married couple with no kids. But, trying, and a dog. Mostly homebodies. But, we have friends, family, and a great CrossFit box in the city. Lots of options for living in small towns. Acreages. Hobby farms. Near the lake. All within an hour drive of the city. I’ve been a follower for many years. Your work has helped me in so many ways. Thank you, Jason.”
Robb: Do you want to take a stab with that, or?
Nicki: Gosh. I feel where to live is such a personal thing. I mean, I remember when we were in Chico- Right before we left Chico, I just remember somebody made the comment, “Does your soul sparkle here?” Chico, for sure, my soul was not sparkling. At all. I feel where you live- Different people gravitate towards mountains, ocean, trees. The environment, I think, really does impact happiness and overall wellbeing. But, I think, it’s a pretty individual thing.
Robb: We definitely like sunlight a lot. We were traveling- We’ll get, just unpacking this a little bit. Hopefully, it’s helpful. If not, you can fast forward through all this stuff. Or, just turn the damn thing off. That’s easy enough.
Robb: But, we were in Chico. We had sold the gym. We wanted to get far enough away from the gym that if anything went wrong there was no way possible that we could get drug back into it. We had traveled a fair amount and really liked the New Mexico, Sata Fe area.
Robb: We moved to the outskirts of Santa Fe. It was really beautiful. It was pretty cool. But, we got pregnant right around that time. It was super remote. There were very few people our age having kids. And, because of the, kind of, retiree, artsy scene there, it was Orange County-
Nicki: It was.
Robb: California expensive.
Nicki: For, the, you know? To live anywhere near the downtown area.
Robb: Right. Right.
Nicki: I just don’t- New Mexico is beautifuL.
Robb: Super beautiful.
Nicki: But, it wasn’t- It didn’t click for us.
Nicki: We got pregnant. We decided to move to Reno. Because, my dad had moved there recently. My sister was still in Chico, so she was just over the hill. But, we went to Reno thinking, “Uh. It’s just”-
Robb: It was going to be a two year thing.
Nicki: “We’re just going to have the baby here. Then figure out”-
Robb: No state income tax.
Nicki: “Where we’re going next.”
Robb: Get our feet under us.
Robb: You were a co founder of a tech company at that point. You were, kind of, hot and heavy on that. I was on the tail end of the, you know? The first cycle of the Paleo Solution book. Doing really well and all the drama that we had with CrossFit. And, everything else. I shifted a little bit into a mister mom mode, to some degree. But-
Nicki: But, Reno surprised us. We-
Robb: Yeah. Totally.
Nicki: Didn’t expect to like it the way that we did. We ended up making some phenomenal friendships and really, really, liking it. The thing- Back to your question about city versus suburban. Reno was, you know? Three hundred thousand people. It’s a decent sized city. But, there’s topography. Mountains. You know? You’re close enough to get to trees and a lake. You know? Lake Tahoe. Versus Chico being really, really, flat.
Robb: Quite flat. Quite hot in the summer. The things that we definitely did like about Reno. It was big enough that it had pretty much everything that you needed. But, we were pretty fortunate to live somewhere that we had minimal driving. I mean, super minimal driving. You, in particular, really enjoyed the four season. There’s a legit Fall there. The weather changes. The trees change color. It’s pretty beautifuL. It’s probably not as spectacular as places on the East Coast and whatnot. But, I mean, it was pretty cool. Then, Reno grew a ton.
Nicki: Every where’s growing a ton.
Robb: Every where’s growing a ton. If it’s the least bit nice. People are bailing out of the larger metropolitan areas. Stuff like that. I’ve been, kind of, intrigued about the Texas hill country area for about seven years. We started looking at places like Burney and New Braunfels.
Nicki: Well, let’s not get too far ahead of us. Because, we got a whole question on why we moved to Texas.
Robb: We do, yeah. Yeah.
Nicki: Let’s talk about what- Jason’s questions. He has a lot of options for where he can live. I guess, it really just depends on what you enjoy doing? Where can you , kind of, scratch all of the itches of whatever you like to do for fitness, outdoors stuff.
Robb: How tolerant you are to the transit options that you have. The two things that have, kind of, appealed to me are, kind of, either being a good bit out off the beaten path. But, with some community around. Some people that the kids can play with, stuff like that. Or, when we would do seminars we really liked the Park Slope area of Brooklyn.
Robb: That urban environment that you don’t really need a car. You can roll down stairs. There are shops, restaurants, all that type of stuff. Or, something like a new urban environment. Where there’s stores and things that you could walk to. I could be super drawn to that.
Robb: We now have a horse sized dog which is going to limit our opportunities for doing something like that. But, I personally, could find that pretty appealing. Because of the simplicity. I’m a little bit more of a people person. I get a little bit squirrelly being alone. In the same four walls. Not seeing people
Nicki: To remote.
Robb: To remote.
Nicki: I will say, because you, Jason mentions he’s trying to have kids. Having kids in the middle of nowhere, or- I mean, not that you’re going to be in the middle of nowhere. But, that’s one thing that we didn’t have in Reno when we first had Zoe, was a tight network of friends yet. Because, we had just moved there.
Nicki: When you’re a new mom and you don’t have any female mothers around you to help. It’ no joke.
Robb: It’s no joke. Yeah.
Nicki: I would keep that in mind. Because, if you do get pregnant and you know? You decide to move, kind of, far away from your social network, that could be trying.
Robb: Yeah. It can be really hard.
Nicki: It can be trying.
Robb: Yeah. Yeah.
Nicki: Then also, just for once your kids are older there’s activities that they’re going to want to do or you’re, you know? You don’t want to be too far away from the ability to do things like gymnastics or-
Robb: Swimming or what have you.
Nicki: Swimming, or-
Nicki: You know? Any activities that you might want to do with them. Or, that they might want to tackle.
Nicki: I don’t know, Jason. I think it’s some soul searching time. But, it’s exciting. Because you have- I mean, it’s an enviable position to be in where you can go wherever you want to go.
Robb: Is it, just really quickly though, I could make the case to, kind of, the suburban environment in which you don’t know any of your neighbors. But, yet, they’re, kind of, all up in your junk. Is, kind of, the worst of everything. Because, you’re both isolated. But, not really any space like that.
Robb: That’s my personal, kind of, feel with that.
Robb: Versus in a city you, kind of, have the expectation that you’re stacked on top of each other. But, you have some perks like, maybe, you don’t need a car. Maybe there’s all kinds of super cool stuff within walking distance. I could- What would be cool is having a spot in both places. Or, AirBnB-ing part of the year. Something like that so that you can scratch those itches too. Yeah.
Nicki: Okay. Our final question this week is from Kirk on why we moved to Texas.
Robb: Wonder if it’s Kirk Parsley?
Nicki: I don’t think so.
Nicki: No. 35 years ago. Kirk hasn’t been here that long. Okay. Kirk say, “Welcome to Texas. I moved here 35 years ago and haven’t regretted it. The New area is fantastic being in between Austin and San Antonio. So many great attractions. Whether it’s outdoor recreation, live music, or educational opportunities for your children.
Nicki: No income tax is great as well. However, property taxes might be higher than what you are accustomed to. I know it isn’t a health or nutrition question, but, could you talk about your decision to move to Texas and what you hope to accomplish here?
Robb: Do you want to jump into that?
Nicki: Robb has been working me on a Texas move for seven years. I finally caved.
Robb: The end.
Nicki: The end. Well, that is how it all started. You came out here for a hunting trip. About seven or eight years ago. No, Zoe was already born, I think.
Robb: No. Seven.
Nicki: Seven years ago.
Nicki: And, loved it. It’s, kind of, been in the back of our heads as a, “Maybe one day we might do that.” Kind of thing. I guess, really, the main drivers for this move were, is the kids. We came out here to visit. I have a cousin that moved here to New Braunfels about seven years ago.
Nicki: She’s got four kids that are same age, similar ages as our girls. We came to visit. Walking around there’s rivers, parks, an live music, as Kirk mentions. Reno is great. Were, right now we’re in this spot where we’re dearly missing a lot of our Reno people. How, you know? Just our infrastructure in Reno. Because, obviously, moving is hard. Especially-
Robb: In Wired To Eat, I make that point about sleep, food, movement-
Robb: Right now, we’re meeting people slowly. But, we had some amazing community-
Robb: In Reno. Our Jiu-Jitsu school was amazing. Momentum Martial Arts. Ray, Darian. Our great friends Jason and Rachelle. Just a laundry list of people. Your dad lives there. We had, basically, an adoptive grandmother, Arlee, for the girls. We had some really deep ties there. It’s, we were talking about this the other day. I’ve moved a lot in my life. We’ve moved a fair amount together. I’ve never moved and missed anyone. I miss people a lot on this move for sure. Yeah.
Nicki: Yeah. But, thinking- But, I guess, it was one of our early trips here. We just saw young people out and about. Holding hands, getting ice cream. Just, thinking about our kids growing up. This really feels like a better place for, you know? Just, wholesome, clean fun. Reno is great. There’s a lot of great things to do. Plenty of teenagers navigate it. But, it’s also-
Robb: It was just very different.
Nicki: It’s different. Yeah.
Robb: Yeah. Yeah. The first time that we wend downtown in New Braunfels, like Nicki said. I just noticed there were a bunch of teenagers out. Clearly on dates. There were probably, twelve or fifteen live music venues in the walkable downtown area on a Tuesday night.
Robb: These kids would cruise around. Go get some ice cream. Watch a band. Then go somewhere else. Watch another band. I was, kind of, like, “Oh. Okay. I get that.” Then the, there was Landa Park. Which is a spring fed swimming area in the middle of town. Schlitterbahn, which is the worlds best waterpark, apparently.
Nicki: We went there yesterday, actually.
Robb: Yeah. We spent six hours. We stayed there so long that when the girls finally got in the car they had so much fun that they were so fucking smoked that they were just quiet the rest of the day.
Nicki: They were tired.
Robb: They were so smoked.
Nicki: We wore them out. Yep.
Robb: But, it was awesome.
Nicki: It was fun.
Robb: I was awesome.
Nicki: Went with their cousins. Yeah.
Robb: Yeah. Yeah. They hung out with their cousins.
Nicki: Yeah. That was a good time.
Robb: I guess, some of the other reason’s financial. Reno grew enormously. It was getting more and more expensive to live there. Although, apparently, this area has grown a lot. Appears to continue to be growing. We, kind of, went from one, you know? Kind of, J curve, growth thing to the the earlier phase of probably what is another J curve growth. Financially, it made a lot of sense with regards to housing and quality of life.
Nicki: The income tax thing wasn’t really- We had no income tax in Nevada. That was-
Robb: That was a wash.
Nicki: That was a wash.
Nicki: The property taxes are certainly higher here. Interest rates are low right now. That, kind of, didn’t seem- It currently seems okay-
Robb: Right. Right.
Nicki: As far as that goes. Better airport.
Robb: Way better airport than Reno. Yeah.
Nicki: It’s, kind of, a toss up. Because, the Reno airport was fifteen minutes from our house. It was really easy-
Robb: Once I got up and I sat in my car. It would typically be fifteen, maybe twenty minutes, before I was through security. But, you almost, inevitably needed to do a multi flight.
Nicki: Yeah. It was rare that we had a non stop. If you weren’t-
Nicki: Going to Vegas or Salt Lake City or Denver-
Robb: Yeah. There were-
Nicki: Directly, you know? Then, you had to change planes.
Robb: Twelve direct flights.
Nicki: Whereas, we’re right in the middle of San Antonia and Austin. You can-
Robb: Eighty-five rush flights.
Nicki: Like, “Which airport should I fly out of? Which one has the best route?”
Nicki: “Which one.” You know? That was a piece.
Robb: But, it was an hour and twenty minutes door to through security the couple times-
Nicki: To Austin.
Robb: To Austin.
Robb: From our house.
Robb: Which, isn’t horrible. I know. Lots of people around the world, around the US, in particular, they’re like, “Dude, I drive an hour to go to the bathroom. That’s fine.” That, we were a little bit spoiled in Reno. In that where we lived it, again, it was eight minutes to the airport. It was, when the girls were going to Montessori, it was seven or eight minutes. Ten minutes to get to there. Whole Foods was all of five minutes away. Home Depot was six minutes away-
Nicki: Right. Now Home Depot’s thirty minutes away.
Robb: Thirty-five minutes away. Yeah.
Nicki: Then, the school. You mention educational opportunities. That’s a big one too. We had our girls in a Montessori. We had decided that we weren’t going to continue putting them in that particular Montessori. The public school we were zone for in Reno was not great. The school-
Robb: That was actually a fairly good driver, yeah.
Nicki: That actually kicked off-
Nicki: Our whole, “Where are we going to move.” Was that particular thing.
Robb: Because, we’d looked, and looked, and looked. The places that had good schools were super limited. Because, of the growth around Reno we were going to, kind of, sell our house high. But, we were just going to be buying high too. There wasn’t going to be-
Nicki: For something that would still need a lot of-
Robb: A lot of- Yeah.
Nicki: Yeah. That you weren’t getting what you really wanted-
Nicki: For what you were paying for it.
Nicki: The school thing was a big one. We’ve actually, we moved here. We’re in a great school district. We’re actually homeschooling our children this year. That’s crazy. I know. What are we doing? But we have a great-
Robb: We’ve had a few “What the fuck?” Moments off of that.
Nicki: But we have a great school if we choose to do that.
Robb: To do that. Yeah. But, it’s interesting. Both girls, kind of, unprompted have just said, “Dada, I really like Texas.” I’m like, “Why do you like it?” They’re like, “All the stuff that we’re able to do.” The fact that they’re able to hang out with their cousins. We live on a culs-de-sac that’s, I don’t know. The whole thing is probably half a mile if you went from one part of it to the other. Maybe a quarter mile to a half mile.
Nicki: They can ride their bikes out there.
Robb: They get to ride their bikes. They look at critters. They’ve caught so many bugs. That’s, kind of, hair balled. Because, there’s a good number of things that will kill you around here. In Reno, when Sagan was chasing a frog or a grasshopper she would just run head long into a bush. Dive into it. It really wasn’t a big deal there. Here it’s like, “Hey. There are these things called coral snakes.” Stuff like that. We’re, you know? It’s, that’s a little hair ball. But, both girls have said that they absolutely love it. That’s been cool.
Robb: Because, I know, both you and I, between trying to work from home. Getting shit-canned by Google and Facebook. All the other stuff that we’ve been dealing with. We’ve had, arguably, kind of, some of the highest stress that we’ve had in our whole relationship.
Nicki: Moving across country is stressful.
Robb: Then moving cross country, it’s-
Nicki: Even if you’re excited to do it You’re, it’s fully intentional.
Robb: Yeah. It was a total gut check. I don’t know if people- We mentioned before. But, the movers set our front yard-
Nicki: Yeah. WE’ve already. WE told that story.
Robb: On fire. When we moved. All that stuff.
Robb: It was a grind. But, despite that we’ve tried to keep our shit together as best we can. We’ve been doing Emily Fletcher’s Meditation Deal. Stress less, accomplish more. It’s outstanding. It’s really been a make or break deal. But, despite us being pretty stressed out. Doing the work we need to do. Trying to re jigger all this stuff so that we’re not trapped in this, kind of, Google controlled information monopoly. The girls have been, really, really, happy. It has definitely seemed like a good move for them. Long as I can get my digestive health back to what it was when we first moved here. I’ll be really jazzed.
Nicki: Well. Right. Right. That was a big bonus when you got here the first three weeks.
Robb: Man. I felt so good.
Nicki: You were feeling so great.
Robb: I felt so good. Yeah.
Nicki: Do you want to mention at all what the preliminary findings are of your blood tests?
Robb: Could mention that. We did some blood testing. I am going to do a really thorough breakdown on this and have the tests themselves. But, working with Chris Kresser we’re really trying to rule out anything gnarly like cryptosporidium, you know? Giardia and stuff like that. What came back was a normal range. I forget what the exponent was on this. But, we’ll just stick with the main numbers. A normal range for strep was, at the gut level-
Nicki: Under one.
Robb: Was under one. Mine was nine point eight. Eight to the twenty-third. Something like that. Both of them. It was super high in strep. Which, Chris was like, “Hm. That’s a bummer. Because, it isn’t totally conclusive one way or the other what the real issue is. There definitely is literature that suggested a strep overgrowth can”- Strep isn’t necessarily a pathogenic organism in and of itself. But, it can be opportunistic if other things happen. It can, kind of, come in and take over. Push some stuff out.
Robb: Again, I had, kind of, high methanogen levels. Which, in theory, should make me constipated. But, I am absolutely not. Chris dug in. Apparently if one has had a bout of really terrible food poisoning. Which, I have had my fair share. Traveling a lot and also, I think, just being a little bit prone to that stuff, can set me up for that.
Robb: But, apparently one of the toxins involved in the common food poisoning scenarios looks very similar to a protein in the gut. Once you form antibodies against the toxin then you have effectively set up a autoimmune gut scenario. But, it seems to be specific, mainly, to the small intestine.
Robb: Which, what’s interesting, is that you have an inflammatory response in the gut. Then- This should be a bonus question. “It’s Robb’s poop update.” You-
Nicki: We can separate it out like that.
Robb: We’ll separate it out. You get an inflammatory response in the small intestine. Which then pulls a lot of fluid into there. Then that fast tracks everything through the rest of the gut. That’s actually overriding my methanogen production. At least that’s part of the thought.
Robb: The interesting opportunity is that there are some antibiotics which only are active in the small intestine and actually have been shown to improve microbial diversity in the colon and large intestine. There’s some hope within this whole thing. But, I’m still mainly, kind of torn-
Nicki: You have to do some more testing.
Robb: I have to do some more testing. I’m still- I’m better. I also started doing a peptide that Doc Parsley got me on. I’m only, coming up on a weekend of that. I feel better. But, I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve been sick for a month and I’m starting to feel better.
Nicki: Starting to feel-
Robb: But, it seems, kind of, correlative to me starting this peptide that’s suppose to reduce autoimmune gut issues. I will talk more about that in the future also. But, I guess, dove tailing in. The move to Texas. So far we’ve really liked it. If, all of the people that we love in Reno suddenly moved here that would really help. We are getting to know people.
Robb: In, we’ve gone to Sport Challah, Gainz Bakery. Met some of the folks there. Going to hang out with some of those folks. We’re getting to know people. People are very nice. Very friendly. We’ve enjoyed the singing at large. But, the lack of-
Nicki: Just takes time. I mean-
Nicki: But, we’ve, I mean, we’ve talked about this a lot. It’s just, it takes- I mean, even our move to Reno. It’s two to three years before you-
Robb: Start getting some traction on that.
Nicki: Getting some traction. I mean- But, you know? We’ve got kids. We can be more- Back then we had a newborn. I felt like I definitely wasn’t putting myself out there.
Robb: It was tougher. It was tougher.
Nicki: In the early days of Reno.
Nicki: Which ties into Jason’s question. You know?
Robb: It’s a thing-
Nicki: It’s a thing to keep in mind.
Robb: To keep in mind. Yeah.
Nicki: With a new baby.
Robb: Yeah. Even, not to beat this thing to death. But, maybe, kind of, dove tailing between both of these points. We looked at a couple of different developments in New Braunfels. One of them for me was- It had a super low speed limit. It had maybe two hundred houses total. A hundred and fifty. Something like that.
Nicki: It’s a small development. Yeah.
Robb: Pretty small development. But, it was mellow. People drove slow. There were clearly a lot of families there. But, there were- The place that we actually ended up going to had a community pool. Had some private river access to the Guadeloupe River. Which is awesome. It’s super cool.
Nicki: Guadeloop. The Texans say Gueadeloop.
Robb: As you say it around here.
Nicki: If you want to be on the in you say Guedeloop.
Robb: Well. I’ve never been on the in with anything. But, that’s interesting because we’ve had really cool access to swimming and water. Stuff like that. But, this development is a little less amenable to- The kids can ride around the culs-de-sac. But, this other thing, they literally could have ridden their bikes everywhere-
Robb: In that development. There were lots of kids. You could make the argument that we would have probably gotten to know people faster. All that type of stuff. Yeah>
Nicki: But, we would have-
Robb: But, we would have had much fewer hot-
Nicki: Died with no swimming pool access>
Robb: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Nicki: Okay. I think we have-
Nicki: Fully addressed.
Robb: That was a little bit more of a philosophical what’s going on in our lives kind of thing. If you guys like that fire off some more questions. If you guys hate it, I guess, don’t ask those questions. You know? Again, you can always fast forward through-
Nicki: Any of them. Yep.
Robb: Any of them. But-
Nicki: Let’s see. Anything to mention.
Robb: We are motoring forward on some options around- We’re going to have some new stuff-
Robb: Going out soon.
Nicki: Yup. We’ll let you all know it, about that here in the coming weeks.
Robb: I will be at the Spartan World Championships. So will folks of the-
Nicki: Media fest.
Robb: Media Fest. I’ll be there.
Nicki: Yeah. At the end of this month.
Robb: I am not competing or doing anything. They keep trying to sign me up for the VIP thing. I’m like, “No. Thanks. I did CrossFit when CrossFit wasn’t cool. I’m good. I’m done with that.” But, God bless all of you people who do like going and doing those things. If you’re going to be at the Spartan Media Fest in South Lake Tahoe I will see you there. Anything else?
Robb: Looking down-
Nicki: Think that’s it.
Robb: The road I will be at the Metabolic Health Summit in Long Beach. I think, January. Those are, kind of, the main things on the docket. If you want to follow us Instagram is, kind of, the main thing. At doss Robb Wolf.
Nicki: Submit your questions on the contact page of Robb Wolf dot com.
Robb: We’ll see you guys soon.
Nicki: I think we’ll see you next week.
Robb: Take care.
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Rachael Albanese says
Hi guys! Great podcast! I love hearing about these other “non-nutritional” questions and discussions about where do
people want to live, why, etc. Lifestyle and spirit are a big parts of who we all are and huge contributors to our overall health. It’s what we do outside the kitchen and gym that counts too. So hearing about all things nutrition AND lifestyle habits is a pretty cool combo if you ask me. Keep it up! Loving this path you are both on! Thanks for the GI updates Robb!!