News topic du jour:
Conclusion: Diets high in seafood, rice, and red meat other than pork and low in refined grains, fried foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, and wheat are leading healthy dietary factors for metabolic health in children. HDS is strongly predictive of CMR factors.
1. What is healthy weight? [10:27]
On THRR045 Chris asked a question about fueling his gymnastics workouts and he mentioned his height and weight, 6’3” and 170 lbs. Robb commented that he (Chris) was too skinny because Robb is 6 inches shorter and weighs the same. This got me thinking about healthy weight. I’m also in the skinny camp and have had trouble most of my life gaining weight. I’m a 38 year old male, 5’11” and 153 pounds. I follow a mostly paleo (with dairy), sometimes keto diet and usually consume around 3000-3500 calories per day. My weight is very stable at this intake level. I consider myself pretty healthy. I workout 6 times per week for about 1 hour each workout, usually broken out to 2-3 aerobic workouts (cycling) and 2-3 strength sessions with 1 rest/recovery day.
So my question is: is my weight unhealthy? Am I too skinny? Should I try to gain weight? If so, how much?
Keep up the excellent podcast. I’m a huge fan!
2. Acid Reflux during fasting? [19:00]
I had a quick question that I thought you might be able to shed some light on. For the last few years (5-6) I’ve used IF for health reasons, as well as losing weight for (non competitive) bodybuilding. In the last few months, I’ve experimented with very long fasting windows (18-24 hours) and would like to work 48-72 hour fasts into my routine every month or two… The problem is, around the 18 hour mark, I tend to get VERY BAD acid reflux. In General, AR is something I’ve struggled with since I started lifting weights. I don’t have a restrictive diet, but do occasionally eat wheat products and partake in alcohol (not around fasting time).
Is this a common problem with IF, is there anything you know of that can help mitigate this? If I kept fasting past 24 hours, do you think it would settle down? Should I completely lay off the wheat and alcohol? It’s making this very difficult.
Thank you and God bless,
3. Long term antibiotic use – Lyme disease [24:01]
Hi Robb & Niki-
Since October of last year, I’ve been plagued with one of the weirdest and most debilitating chronic illnesses I’ve ever experienced. Extreme fatigue, brain fog, body aches, joint pain, extreme dizziness, and just feeling like crap. After 10 doctors visits, tons of blood work, medical procedures, it turns out I have a bad case of Lyme disease. My Lyme literate MD prescribed me an aggressive treatment of doxycycline, metronidazole, hydroxychloroquine, and bactrim to kill the bugs, which disseminated throughout my entire body. We also try ciprofloxacin – but I felt the worst I’ve ever felt on that. Fortunately, she has me on a probiotic rich supplementation and eating lots of fermented foods like Kim chi, Kefir, kraut, etc.
Most of the time during this treatment, I have felt like crap. Exhausted, unable to exercise (I was a fit 30 something guy before this – I did BJJ, lifted weights, ran, biked, etc.), and just feeling crummy. I’m almost done with the antibiotic treatment. Any advice on restoring myself to health & wellness? I’m skin and bones, struggle with walking up a modest hill, and try my darnedest to eat enough food – but often times struggle with nausea and low appetite.
Let me know! Thank you.
4. Women over 40 [32:07]
Hey guys, so I just was listening to your most recent podcast today and want you to know you’re totally appreciated! Ever since reading WIRED TO EAT I am so much more knowledgeable about my body and the foods that make me feel good. And that’s because of you guys…you should be very proud of all you’ve done and all the lives you’ve impacted. Amazing work! So now to my question….
Do you think consumption should decrease for a woman over 40? I’m wondering about total calories, and protein levels, etc. I’ve been mostly paleo since 2014. I had a couple of babies since so my food consumption changed a little during pregnancy and breast feeding. But now I’m back at it and trying to loose some leftover baby weight and oh yeah I just turned 40. I know you usually recommend 1 gram of protein per pound you weigh, but I’m thinking that’s too much now? I workout 4 to 5 times a week; a mix of ashtanga yoga and run/walks (3x ashtanga/2 times run/walk or vice versa)….both activities are pretty rigorous. The rest of the time I’m chasing after my toddlers so I am pretty active. I’m also trying to loose about 40lbs (yeesh). Let me know whatcha think.
Keep up the good work! And stay healthy!
5. Controversy Over Meat [37:52]
Hi – if the science is so clearly in support of ancestral eating patterns or that meat is a health food and not evil, then why are such a huge number of scientists, doctors, and journalists speaking as if the science is clearly settled in the opposite direction? How can there be so much controversy if the science is so settled? I just read Sacred Cow and I am a proponent of ancestral eating and yet just came across yet another article in the Atlantic about Paleo being a fad. I consider myself evidence-driven and I have been compelled by what I have read the science says that justifies an ancestral diet. But I also find it disconcerting that there isn’t more consensus – if the Paleo community has the science then why isn’t everyone else seeing it the same way? The growing plant-based movement has me even more freaked out. How can so many people get the facts so wrong? It makes me wonder what echo chamber I am in.
All hell broke loose in physics some 90 years ago. Quantum theory emerged — partly in heated clashes between Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr. It posed a challenge to the very nature of science, and arguably continues to do so, by severely straining the relationship between theory and the nature of reality.
Becker lingers on the 1927 Solvay Conference in Brussels, where 29 brilliant scientists gathered to discuss the fledgling quantum theory. Here, the disagreements between Bohr, Einstein and others, including Erwin Schrödinger and Louis de Broglie, came to a head. Whereas Bohr proposed that entities (such as electrons) had only probabilities if they weren’t observed, Einstein argued that they had independent reality, prompting his famous claim that “God does not play dice”. Years later, he added a gloss: “What we call science has the sole purpose of determining what is.” Suddenly, scientific realism — the idea that confirmed scientific theories roughly reflect reality — was at stake.
Quantum phenomena were phenomenally baffling to many. First was wave–particle duality, in which light can act as particles and particles such as electrons interfere like light waves. According to Bohr, a system behaves as a wave or a particle depending on context, but you cannot predict which it will do.
But what if a field picks the wrong paradigm? Becker shows how, in the 1950s and 1960s, a handful of physicists dusted off the theories of Einstein and de Broglie and turned them into a fully fledged interpretation capable of shaking up the status quo. David Bohm argued that particles in quantum systems existed whether observed or not, and that they have predictable positions and motions determined by pilot waves. John Bell then showed that Einstein’s concerns about locality and incompleteness in the Copenhagen interpretation were valid. It was he who refuted von Neumann’s proof by revealing that it ruled out only a narrow class of hidden-variables theories.
This episode of The Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by White Oak Pastures. White Oak Pastures is a six-generation, 154-year-old family farm in Bluffton, GA. They pasture-raise 10 species of livestock and practice regenerative agriculture that improves the land. Their cattle and sheep are grassfed, their pork and poultry are pasture-raised and given non-GMO feed. All their meats are raised, slaughtered, and butchered on the farm. They also sell organic vegetables, pasture-raised eggs, honey, pet chews, leather items, tallow goods, and more artisan products that they make on the farm. They are committed to animal welfare, land regeneration, and rural revival. Check them out at http://whiteoakpastures.com/robbwolf and enter code REBEL10 to get 10% off product total ($100 max discount) for first-time customers.
Nicki: It’s time to make your health an act of rebellion. We’re tackling personalized nutrition, metabolic flexibility, resilient aging and answering your diet and lifestyle questions. This is the only show with a bold aim to help one million people liberate themselves from the sick care system. You’re listening to the Healthy Rebellion Radio. The contents of this show are for entertainment and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast should be considered medical advice. Please consult your licensed and credentialed functional medicine practitioner before embarking on any health, dietary or fitness change. Warning, when Robb gets passionate he’s been known to use the occasional expletive. If foul language is not your thing, if it gets your britches in a bunch, well, there’s always Disney+.
Robb: Well aren’t you a salty wee lass today.
Nicki: We’re both a little salty today.
Robb: We’re both a little salty.
Nicki: Decked out in our element salty AF attire.
Robb: We took the dog on a walk yesterday and we saw some neighbors and I could tell that the gal was really perplexed by the shirt.
Nicki: She might not know what AF stands for. They were in their late 60s, early 70s I’d say.
Robb: You’re being ageist.
Nicki: Oh shit. Okay. You’re right. I apologize. I’m not supposed to apologize.
Robb: Yeah. Never show weakness. Just makes it worse. Okay, so what’s new? What’s new with you?
Nicki: Oh goodness. Well-
Robb: Fall has fallen ish in the whole country.
Nicki: Fall, to the degree that the Texas hill country gets a fall. I think it’s fall and we had our first really legitimately cool morning where I could walk outside on the back porch with my coffee and actually had a sweatshirt on. And I was just sitting there like reveling in the cool.
Robb: That’s a good thing.
Nicki: Yeah. Yeah. It’s rare. At least coming off of the blazing heat of the summer.
Robb: At least this area of the hill country. I know places like Houston are just always hot, always humid. The hill country isn’t that humid generally. But it seems like we’ve only been here two years but towards the end of summer, beginning of fall, you still have heat, but then as the weather patterns change a little bit then you get some more moist air in here. And it’s the most-
Nicki: August and September are just bloody hell.
Robb: It sucks. It sucks at that time. It’s so counterintuitive having come from kind of like northern California, Reno. If it’s cloudy, it’s cool. Like just if A then B deal. Whereas, the hottest days here are when it’s overcast like without a doubt. So that’s still is weird. Like you look outside and it’s cloudy and you’re like oh, I might need a sweatshirt and you’re like, no-
Nicki: And you walk out at it’s like you’re walking into an oven.
Robb: Well, like a moist oven.
Robb: Yeah. So that’s what we have going on.
Nicki: We also have a large amount of, I don’t know if it’s a moth or a butterfly.
Robb: Oh, yeah.
Nicki: I can’t remember a time since I was probably a child when you drive down the road and insects are hitting your windshield. And it was all these moths. We went to jiu-jitsu yesterday and it was just like these … It may be the moth-
Robb: The mothpocalypse.
Nicki: I’m not sure what they are but-
Robb: We killed a bunch of them unfortunately.
Nicki: Just huge swarms. Like massive amounts. Like the whole-
Robb: Well, we saw them in the backyard with kids when they were playing with their slack line deal. So yeah.
Nicki: Yeah. So there’s some sort of hatching happening.
Robb: Okay. I’m sure people are fascinated by all that. What else have we got?
Nicki: Let’s see here. We’re just wrapping up sleep week inside the Healthy Rebellion Rebel Reset so that’s all going well. People are getting some good results. I actually wanted to share one. We have a member, Paul, who posted something super cool. He said, “At the start of the reset I had a fasting blood glucose of 151. Today, after a steady decline over the last two weeks” … And his only high carb intake was during the seven day carb test. “Today it was 89.” And he said, “This is more important to me than the three pounds I’ve lost far.
Robb: As well it should be.
Nicki: Yep. So huge progress in fasting blood glucose.
Robb: This again is just kind of testament to how quickly one can restore metabolic health once you start buttoning up food, movement, circadian biology, getting some good community and this stuff that we should have been working on for a long time. Particularly in the age of COVID. Yep. But super cool.
Nicki: Yeah. That was really awesome. Let’s see, what do you got for us for a news topic today?
Robb: So today is … I’ll read the title of the paper. Leading dietary determinants identified using machine learning techniques and a healthy diet score for changes in cardiometabolic risk factors in children, a longitudinal analysis. So this is both super cool and also needs to be taken with a wee grain of salt because this is out of the retrospective epidemiological world which we love to beat upon. It plays to our bias so what the hell? The conclusion from the paper, diets high in seafood, rice and red meat, other than pork interestingly, which had a lot of people up in arms and low in refined grains, fried foods, sugar sweetened beverages and wheat are leading healthy dietary factors for metabolic health in children. And so it’s an interesting study. It’s interesting for the hat tip towards nutrient dense minimally processed foods. I would go out on a limb and say, both pork and wheat didn’t fair well in this scenario because you rarely … People don’t really eat pork chops anymore. It’s usually some sort of pork processed product or something. And wheat … How do people eat-
Nicki: It’s always combined with sugar.
Robb: Yeah. It’s rare that you get some sort of Ezekiel bread or something. This is just not something that’s being studied at scale. And so rice is kind of the only legitimately whole grain that people routinely still consume. People don’t heat hominy, they don’t eat pearled barley. So I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s other stuff hiding out there that could show benefit in the right scenario. But it’s cool just in that it’s not just complete planet of the vegans and it showed that nutrient density was really, really important for the cardiometabolic health of kids. And again, this was largely arrived at via some food frequency questionnaires. But it is in my opinion a bit more robust in that they’re bringing in some of this machine learning to find some signal from the noise. But yeah.
Nicki: And we will link to that in the show notes.
Robb: Well, you will. I won’t. Or I already did. It’s already in there.
Nicki: Okay let’s see here. Our T-shirt winner this week goes to Not Quite Chuck Norris. He says, “Healthy Rebellion Radio has it all. There’s something for everybody in this podcast. Q&A, current health news topics, interviews with other leading health and fitness experts, opportunities to win free stuff and one of my personal favorites, salty talks. Locking Robb in a room with a controversial topic and just seeing how spun out he can get. Robb’s co-host and wife Nicki is icing on the cake. Offers a different perspective and can easily match Robb as long as the topic isn’t Star Wars.” This is true. This is true.
Robb: So true.
Nicki: I’ll own that. “You will greatly appreciate their personable way of delivering valuable health and fitness content in a relaxed, personal and humorous way.” And then lastly he says, “More importantly, the intro music makes me imagine Robb and Nicki all decked out in leather while riding on a motorcycle every time.”
Robb: I can get into that.
Nicki: You used to ride a motorcycle.
Robb: I did. For many a year.
Nicki: Yeah. Yeah. All right, Not Quite Chuck Norris, thank you. That was an awesome review. Send us an email to [email protected] with your T-shirt size and your mailing address and we will send you a Healthy Rebellion Radio T-shirt.
Robb: And for the rest of y’all, get in there and give us some reviews. We’d deeply appreciate it.
Nicki: Yep. Okay. If you are on the hunt for an amazing producer of grass fed and pasture raised meat that have been proven by a third party to improve the soil, White Oak Pastures, the sponsor of today’s episode of The Healthy Rebellion Radio is your farm. White Oak Pastures is a six generation, 154 year old family farm in Bluffton, Georgia. They pasture raise 10 species of livestock and practice regenerative agriculture that improves the land. Their cattle and sheep are grass fed. Their pork and poultry are pasture raised and given non GMO feed. White Oak Pastures meats are raised, slaughtered and butchered right on the farm which is kind of unique. Not all-
Robb: Almost none of them do this.
Nicki: Yeah. So this is a really, really unique thing. They operate two on farm USD inspected abattoirs to process and butcher their meats. They use nose to tail production with the trim, fat, bones, hide, et cetera. They make all kinds of products out of these things. Dog treats, leather products, tallow goods. And their practices and their products are top notch. You can check them out at whiteoakpastures.com/robbwolf and enter code Rebel10 to get 10% off your product total for first time customers. That’s up to a $100 max discount. Again, that’s whiteoakpatures.com/robbwolf. That’s R-O-B-B-W-O-L-F and the code is Rebel10.
Nicki: All right folks, you sent in some questions and hopefully Robb has some answers for you today.
Robb: We’ll make something up. Yeah.
Nicki: Our first one is from Justin. His question is, what is healthy weight? “Greetings. On episode 45, Chris asked a question about fueling his gymnastics workouts and he mentioned his height and weight. Six foot three and 170 pounds. Robb commented that Chris was too skinny because Robb is six inches shorter and weighs the same. This got me thinking about healthy weight. I’m also in the skinny camp and have had trouble most of my life gaining weight. I’m a 38 year old male, 5-11 and 153 pounds. I follow mostly paleo with dairy, sometimes keto diet and usually consume between 3,000 and 3,500 calories per day. My weight is very stable at this intake level. I consider myself pretty healthy. I workout six times per week for about an hour each workout. Usually broken out to two to three aerobic workouts, cycling, and two to three strength sessions with one rest and recovery day. So my question is, is my weight unhealthy? Am I too skinny? Should I try to gain weight and if so, how much? Keep up the excellent podcast, I’m a huge fan. Thank you, Justin.”
Robb: A really good question but a little bit of context needs to be provided with this. Part of the background with the question that Justin is referencing is that the individual was really geeking out on intermittent fasting. So that’s a critical piece to this thing. So he was talking about both some strength training and mainly gymnastics oriented strength training but then also is doing a significant amount of fasting. And I think if we are looking at longterm health and resilience, then I think that … Again, I’ve been making the point that once we hit something that looks like ancestral eating and we’re reasonably lean and we know pretty well what our kind of glycemic tolerance is, the amount and types of carbs that we generally do well with, I’m not super convinced that there is huge upside with much additional fasting. Maybe there is. I’m still … People keep talking about autophagy and everything, even though we have no reasonable assay for what constitutes autophagy to be able to track it. So we’re talking about something with almost religious fervor that we cannot track at all and that’s perplexing to me.
Robb: And I’ve just met people in IRL, in real life, that I look at them, and maybe I’m a dick, but they look like what I see out of the raw vegan camp. Like they’re super skinny, they’re gaunt, there’s dark circles under their eyes. They do not strike me as being real robust. And this is at places like The Metabolic Health Summit and talking to these folks and probing a little bit. And it’s like, “Oh, I just finished a 72 hour fast and I’m going to eat one meal and do another one.” And I’m being a little over the top on it but it was kind of like that. And I asked them, I’m like, “How often do you lift weights?” And it’s like, “Well, I do one super slow session every two weeks because you don’t need that much stimulus.” And it’s kind of like oh, geeze. So Justin, I don’t know what is optimum for you but I would make the case that more emphasis on strength work, particularly maintaining those fast twitch motor units as we age is a really good idea. He’s 38 years old.
Nicki: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Robb: So you’re right in that period of time where you can still gain muscle mass. And for another 10, maybe 15 years, you can gain muscle mass and it’s not to say that you need to become like a competitive body builder. It’s not just that whoever has the most muscle mass wins. There is an inflection point there and I actually have been noodling on doing a little bit of like a regression analysis to figure out maybe on a height versus weight perspective, what would be kind of a good break even point there. But investing significant effort into squatting, dead lifting, pressing, doing mobility work like what you can get from the basis folks, the FRC kinstretch. The joint integrity that goes along with maintaining that muscle mass is just critical. It’s funny, I’ve always known that mobility was important but actually regaining the ability to squat and deadlift at even modest loads is just kind of like oh my god. This is a nonnegotiable feature of this thing. So I don’t know what an optimum weight is for you but I would just make the case that a strong emphasis on resistance training is probably smart.
Robb: This is one of the buggers of gaining weight. It sounds like he’s already eating a lot of food. I don’t know how much more food he would need to eat to really make significant gains. But you could probably with a little bit more strength, focus, some periodization, probably gain five or 10 pounds over the course of a couple of years. I would argue you will probably feel better, you’ll probably look better. You just kind of fill out your clothes a little bit more. When your neighbors need help moving or something then you’re the guy that they call because you can pick up a refrigerator one handed and carry it somewhere and that type of stuff. So you’re just functionally, I think a more robust human being. Do you have any other thoughts around that?
Nicki: So would you keep his two to three cycling workouts in there?
Robb: If he really likes them. You know my thoughts on cycling.
Nicki: I know, you’re not a fan.
Robb: I kind of hate cycling as … It’s terrible for orthopedics. It’s super imbalanced on … If somebody wanted to do something aerobic based, I really like kind of aerobic based circuits. Like you’ve got an airdyne, a rower-
Nicki: Jump rope.
Robb: Yeah, jump rope. And you just kind of daisy chain those together. I think that it is less negatively impactful on our musculature and it just provides a little bit more interesting of a stimulus but if you just love riding your bike then by all means, keep doing it. It’s just we worked with so many cyclists when we had the gym and it was … God, it was really when the Lance Armstrong mania was going on. We had this one guy. A really nice dude. He was fat. Just overweight. He spent hundreds of miles per week on his bike and when we would talk to him about-
Nicki: And he was carb loading to fuel it.
Robb: The carb loading to beat the band.
Nicki: He wasn’t open to changing his nutrition to-
Robb: Even just a qualitative shift. The amount of time he was on the bike, he would have probably benefited from something like keto but I was just like dude, he just ate garbage and had a bunch of shitty blood markers.
Nicki: Has GU and all of this cool trendy cycling stuff.
Robb: And this is me again being a complete jerk, but these folks really fancied themselves as athletes. I’m an athlete. Guy couldn’t squat to a box.
Nicki: Mm-mm (negative). Not even his own body weight to a box.
Robb: Couldn’t hold himself hanging from a bar due to orthopedic issues from being hunched over a bike all the time and he smoked a lot of pot too as I recall which probably didn’t do him a lot of huge favors. It’s just this … I don’t know how I got on to bashing cycling, but fuck it, I’ll just keep going on it. I found these people to be insufferable and finally made a rule. I work with neither vegans nor cyclists and if you’re a vegan cyclist then I have an implicit restraining order against you and you cannot come near the facility because they were just kind of insufferable in a lot-
Nicki: I’m sure there are plenty of cyclists that are not insufferable but for whatever reason the ones that we encountered at our gym in Chico were-
Robb: And Justin is probably like, why the fuck did I waste my time asking this question? But Justin, if you love cycling, do it.
Nicki: Balance it out though with a lot … Make sure your shoulder flexibility is there. Your hips, your hamstrings. If you spend a lot of time on the bike, a lot of the-
Robb: That repetitive activity and the shortened range movement.
Nicki: That postural position that you’re in all the time can affect you. So definitely do some counterbalancing with ideally some kinstretch type work.
Robb: Yes. Save me Tom Cruise. Yes.
Nicki: Moving along. We got a question from Ben on acid reflux during fasting. “Hey Robb. I had a quick question that I thought you might able to shed some light on. For the last few years, five or six or so, I’ve used intermittent fasting for health reasons as well as losing weight for non competitive body building. In the last few months I’ve experimented with very long fasting windows, 18 to 24 hours and would like to work to 48 to 72 hour fasts into my routine every month or two. The problem is, around the 18 hour mark I tend to get very bad, that’s all caps very bad, acid reflux. In general, acid reflux is something I’ve struggled with since I started lifting weights. I don’t have a restrictive diet but do occasionally eat wheat products and partake in alcohol but not around fasting time. Is this a common problem with IF and is there anything you know of that can help mitigate this? If I kept fasting past 24 hours, do you think it would settle down or should I completely lay of the wheat and alcohol? It’s making this very difficult. Thank you, Ben.”
Robb: I’ve honestly never heard of this. Fasting, intermittent fasting generally tends to improve things like this. Not always. Like if people are trying to do like an OMAD, one meal a day type deal then you’re packing in so much food, I think a decent number of people end up with some GI problems from that. It is really perplexing that this happens-
Nicki: At the 18 hour mark.
Robb: Yeah. Like at the 18 hour mark. I would assume it would go away at some point, but it is also … Acid reflux is understood to be a carcinogenic process. You’re damaging the esophagus and you’re doing it repetitiously and it’s the same group of tissue and so those cells are being messed with consistently. I have I think somewhere in the past made the crazy suggestion that if people have GI problems to remove wheat and be somewhat religious about it. That in my mind is kind of like the low hanging fruit. And when I hear people are like, I occasionally eat wheat products, it’s kind of like, give me break man. You eat it all the time. It’s kind of one of these … The world can be broken down into binary processes sometimes. Either folks are kind of aware of that wheat is a problem and they honor that understanding or they think it’s not really a problem and they suffer all kinds of GI upsets, so.
Nicki: I’m curious if you’ve ever taken wheat out of your diet. It might be something to try. Like remove it for 30 days completely. That means like no beer or no soy sauce, any of the sneaky little things where gluten hides. And just see how you feel.
Robb: That would be an easier one to-
Nicki: Also you’re fasting because you want to lose weight, a lot of people find when they remove wheat, it removes a lot of the foods that tend to keep weight on. So you might find that that actually really helps you in your in your weight loss goals as well.
Robb: There’s nothing magic there other than wheat usually goes along with refined food.
Nicki: And it’s easy to overeat because it tastes good and yeah.
Robb: Yeah. So I would tinker with that and I guess it is possible that you could motor through this thing and it would decrease over time but if we know that you’re running yourself into a consistent exposure of a known carcinogen which is stomach acid getting up into your esophagus, that just seems like-
Nicki: I find it interesting that he says, acid reflux is something I’ve struggled with since I started lifting weights. What’s that about?
Robb: Maybe because he’s eating more food to get bigger. I don’t know. This is again … I saw that too and it opened such a Pandora’s box of questions that I kind of glazed over it but that was my assumption. But I mean, I’ve had … Maybe a different deal, but being on a plane and not having good posture like you move and your butt starts hurting and so like slouching ends up being one of the things where I seem to spread more of my body over more surface of the chair and so it doesn’t irritate any one spot that I’ve ended up with some esophageal spasms which I thought might have been a heart attack or something. It in fact was not but it was super uncomfortable. And so I don’t know if maybe something that he’s doing in the course of his strength training is maybe messing with that sphincter in his esophagus which kind of opens things up. I don’t know. Again, this is where some day a call in show will be pretty legit because you can ask some of these follow on questions.
Nicki: All right Ben, ditch the wheat, 30 days, see how you do.
Robb: Give it a shot.
Nicki: And report back. Okay our next question is from Alex. Longterm antibiotic use and Lyme disease. “Hi Robb and Nicki. Since October of last year I’ve been plagued with one of the weirdest and most debilitating chronic illnesses I’ve ever experienced. Extreme fatigue, brain fog, body aches, joint pain, extreme dizziness and just feeling like crap. After 10 doctor’s visits, tons of blood work, medical procedures, it turns out I have a bad case of Lyme disease. My Lyme literate MD prescribed me an aggressive treatment of doxycycline, metronidazole, hydroxychloroquine and bactrim to kill the bugs which disseminated throughout my entire body. We also try ciprofloxicin but I felt the worst I’ve ever felt on that. Fortunately, she has me on a probiotic rich supplementation and eating lots of fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, kraut et cetera. Most of the time during this treatment I felt like crap. Exhausted, unable to exercise. I was a fit 30 something guy before this. I did BJJ, lifted weights, ran, biked, et cetera and just feeling crummy. I’m almost done with the antibiotic treatment. Any advice on restoring myself to health and wellness? I’m skin and bones and struggle with walking up a modest hill and try my darnedest to eat enough food but oftentimes struggle with nausea and low appetite.”
Robb: Yeah. I mean, just the metronidazole alone could make you feel horrible and then you stack all the rest of this stuff on top of that and I’m not surprised that Alex feels like garbage. You just got to do the bet you can while you’re in this story. The doxycycline. So cipro I know for sure … One thing to be aware of, I would definitely check on the antibiotics that you’re using and see if any of those are associated with tendon rupture. Increased potential. I know cipro is. I forget which class of antibiotics really increase this. But you want to be aware of that so that when you start getting back into movement you’re really careful for a good three, four or five months. High reps, lower weight.
Nicki: Nothing explosive.
Robb: Lots of blood flow. Nothing explosive, yeah.
Nicki: No jumping or running.
Robb: We’ve had a couple of friends that went on a round of cipro for like a upper respiratory infection or something like that and then got in and tried pushing a heavy sled and popped their achilles tendon. Avulsed it off the bone. So I would be really careful about that. And then beyond that, some folks might remember, I don’t know, maybe three, four years ago now. Tim Ferriss mentioned me on one of his podcast because he had mentioned in another podcast that he was suffering from Lyme disease. And for ages, like since my biochemistry undergrad when I first learned about the pharmacology of some of these antibiotics that we use, they interrupt bacterial ribosome production. And I was thinking about that and I asked my professor. I’m like, “Hey, aren’t mitochondria technically … Like they are these … They use bacterial ribosomes. This is technically endocytosed bacteria.” And he was like, “Oh, it’s no problem.” And I was like, “That seems like bullshit.” It’s not to say that antibiotics aren’t incredibly beneficial but I just think people under appreciate the trade offs that we sometimes face with things. And so, I kept digging and digging and digging and every once in a while I would do some digging around mitochondrial disfunction and antibiotic use.
Robb: And I didn’t really find anything for a number of years. And then all of a sudden it was just like this mushroom bloom of papers talking about this. Both kind of theoretical review papers and then also more research oriented papers. And it’s a thing. This is one of the things that could be at route to our overall metabolic problems. We have multiple generations of people now that have been exposed to antibiotics and probably had their lives saved. And it’s possible it may have some downsides to it. So one of the things that seems to be beneficial for folks and I think this is something that Tim did. Tim had tinkered with ketogenic diets, but he was kind of in the cyclic ketogenic diet world. He would do like a carb re-feed every seven to 10 days. I recommended just do a good solid basic ketogenic diet and run with that. And I think that he ended up reporting that he felt a ton better. The idea here is that a ketogenic state which can be arrived at by fasting or a low carb diet. A whole host of different directions. But I think a basic modest protein appropriate calorie, even maybe a little bit of a mild calorie deficit, although he said he’s skin and bones so I don’t know that we’d want to do that.
Robb: Appropriate fat, ketogenic state, it causes a reshuffling of cells in general, but mitochondria in particular. And so you get some mitochondrial biogenesis, you get some autophagy in abnormal mitochondria so that we’re kind of shuffling the inappropriate ones or the damaged ones off the playing board basically. So ketogenic diet, sleep, light-
Nicki: Could carnivore work? I mean Tara from Slow Down Farmstead, she has Lyme disease and the thing that’s really helped her is she eats nose to tail carnivore. They raise their own animals and she’s legitimately eating all of the parts.
Robb: We have a good 10 or 20 people in The Healthy Rebellion that are carnivore or carnivore ish because of Lyme or Lyme like longterm complications. And they’ve just kind of settled there. This isn’t where they necessarily desired to be but it’s the thing that ended up fixing most of what they have going on. So keto, carnivore ish, something like that is not a bad place to look. Yeah, yeah.
Nicki: All right Alex. Let us know.
Robb: Yeah, keep us posted.
Nicki: Keep us posted.
Robb: Yeah. And hang in there.
Nicki: All right, it’s time for The Healthy Rebellion Radio trivia. Our episode sponsor, White Oak Pastures, is giving away their beef sample kit again for this episode to one lucky winner. Again, this is one of the best prizes. Two boneless ribeye’s, two filets, three ground beef, three snack sticks, spice herb and original. One winner. We’re going to select you at random, who answers the following question correctly. So Robb, right before we stated this recording today’s episode we got a little derailed. We didn’t start on time. On the time we had it in our schedule to record.
Robb: Oh, don’t hang that over me wife. Don’t hang that over me.
Nicki: Because what did we see out the back? So behind our house, our yard backs up to a ranch fence and there’s like a 300 acre ranch behind us. But the ranch fencing is … You can see through it. It’s just kind of wire. And I’m like, “There’s something back there.” And you had to get your binoculars.
Robb: You say that like I’m-
Nicki: No, no, no. I thought it was a little pig.
Robb: And it was two little pigs.
Nicki: It was two little pigs. And then I walked outside because I was curious, then I thought it was a porcupine because it was like … I could see little hairs on it. And then we got a little closer and two little pigs just darted away.
Robb: They took off. Yep.
Nicki: So the-
Robb: What we saw is two little pigs.
Nicki: Two little pigs. Not three little pigs.
Robb: Not three little pigs.
Nicki: Two little pigs.
Nicki: All right folks. To play, go to robbwolf.com/trivia, enter your answer and we’ll randomly select one person with the correct answer to win the White Oak Pastures beef sample kit. The cutoff to answer this week’s trivia and be eligible to win is Thursday, October 8th at midnight. We’ll notify you via email and we’ll also announce the winner on Instagram and this is open to residents of the US only. And let’s see.
Robb: Two more.
Nicki: Our next question is from Sandra, women over 40. “Hey guys. I was just listening to your most recent podcast today and I want you to know, you’re totally appreciated. Ever since reading Wired to Eat, I’m so much more knowledgeable about my body and the foods that make me feel good and that’s because of you guys. You should be very proud of all you’ve done and the lives you’ve impacted. Amazing work.” There you go.
Robb: Thank you.
Nicki: Thank you. Thanks Sandra. “So now to my question. Do you think consumption should decrease for women over 40? I’m wondering about total calories and protein levels et cetera. I’ve been mostly paleo since 2014. I had a couple of babies since. So my food consumption changed a little during pregnancy and breastfeeding. But now I’m back at it and trying to lose some leftover baby weight. And oh yeah, I just turned 40. I know you usually recommend one gram of protein per pound you weigh, but I’m thinking that’s too much now. I workout four to five times a week. A mix of ashtanga yoga and run/walks. Three ashtanga yoga sessions and two run/walks per week or vice versa. Both activities are pretty rigorous. The rest of the time I’m chasing after my toddlers so I am pretty active. I’m trying to lose about 40 pounds. Let me know what you think.”
Robb: What do you think?
Nicki: Well, Sandra, I would just say that the number one aha moment that we see consistently over and over again when we do these rebel resets inside The healthy Rebellion, mainly from women but men too is, I wasn’t eating enough protein. So the gram per pound of body weight is a must. The women that have actually done that, the results that they get are just staggering. As Robb has mentioned over and over again, protein is the most satiating macro nutrient. So if you focus on getting that protein in, you’re less likely to be snacky or hungry or grab the random thing on the counter or eat the leftover thing thought your toddler didn’t finish. Like you just won’t want it. And that can really, really help manage cravings and just make sure that you’re getting the most nutrition that you need to fuel your activities, but also help you reach your body composition goals.
Robb: The one gram per pound of body weight is a tool that can be used. One gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight. So like you’re saying that you want to lose 40 pounds so maybe you can shave 40 grams off that total or you can do something a little more specific and use the Ketogains macro calculator. It is stunning how consistently men and women, folks that have been in this game for a long time, they’re just like, I will be dammed. I cannot believe how under proteined I was before. And then people get the protein figured out and just magic happens.
Nicki: Especially as we’re aging. I mean, you mentioned being 40. I’ll be 43.
Robb: This is not the time to slow down on protein intake.
Nicki: And it’s like you want to maintain the muscle mass you have. Ideally you’re building more lean muscle as you lean out and train. But yeah, it’s critical to effective aging.
Robb: And I’ll put one thing out there. Ashtanga’s great. Running is great. The thing about that though is it is exactly the same loading day in and day out. And as we age, we begin a process of losing muscle mass. Usually about 30. And if you aren’t stimulating your body in a way where you can cause super compensation to adapt to a stress that you haven’t had before, then we start a pretty predictable linear decline. If we are vigorously strength training, probably two to three days a week, then that decline flattens and it tends to be remarkably flat until you hit about 70 or 80 and then no matter what you’re doing, shit just kind of falls apart on you.
Nicki: But what you can do now between 40 and 70 or 80 is like, build the best-
Robb: Bank account that you can.
Nicki: Bank account of muscle that you can so that then when you hit your later years, you’ve got reserves.
Robb: Yeah. So I would implore you, if you don’t like lifting weights, that’s fine. Figure out a full body circuit routine that takes you 15 minutes and you do it twice a week.
Nicki: If you’ve never lifted weights, like ideally having some kind of a coach or trainer at least in the beginning. The folks Basis Health & Performance have some amazing online programs that take you from beginner to intermediate to advanced. We’ve got one their strength … They helped lead our strength reset that we did inside The Healthy Rebellion community, so that’s available for members. But it’s important stuff.
Robb: It’s critical stuff. Yeah. And the increased muscle mass will help in generally leaning out. And the end goal is that I think we all want to be lean and strong. And again, love ashtanga, love sprints and all that stuff. But it’s the same loading day in, day out, which means it really becomes not really a stimulus. Your body has adapted to that months or years ago. And it’s better than doing nothing, but it really isn’t the type of stimulus that you may think as far as maintaining muscle mass and pushing back on that aging process. And 40 years old for a male or female is not the time to cut back on protein. And naturally by extension, if we get the protein right, we will get the calories more on point.
Nicki: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Cool. All right, we are on to our last question this week from Kristen, controversy over meat. “Hi, if the science is so clearly in support of ancestral eating patterns or that meat is a health food and not evil, then why are such a huge number of scientists, doctors and journalists speaking as if the science is clearly settled in the opposite direction? How can there be so much controversy if the science is so settled? I just read Sacred Cow and I’m a proponent of ancestral eating and yet just came across yet another article in The Atlantic about paleo being a fad. I consider myself evidence driven and I have been compelled by what I have read the science says that justifies an ancestral diet, but I also find it disconcerting that there isn’t more consensus. If the paleo community has the science, then why isn’t everyone else seeing it the same way? The growing plant based movement has me even more freaked out. How can so many people get the facts so wrong? It makes me wonder what echo chamber I am in.
Robb: Ah man. This is a big one. This one’s a lot to unpack. This one may end up being a podcast unto itself. Science isn’t consensus as a beginning point. And this is one of the things that has made me crazy and crazier and crazier as time has gone on. And we just watched The Social Dilemma and we’re going to do probably a salty talk on that so I don’t want to bleed too much of that material into this. But both the media and social media have been complicit in kind of trying to curate what they believe the truth to be and they go to our, I guess established institutions like the American Medical Association’s like well what they say is the truth. The thing is is the truth changes. Our fundamental understanding of science changes all the time. And this is one of the really dangerous things of just doing … It is a religious process to say, well, here’s the consensus and we’re just going to believe that. What science should be is, here is our predictive model, what are your inputs and I’ll tell you predictively what the outputs are going to be. And it’s rarely perfect but you get better and better models and that is really where the rubber should hit the road. And that’s kind of one piece of this.
Robb: I’m going to mention a couple of things that I have observed over the years that are in complete contrast to this notion that like, the accepted dogma today is the thing that we should wholeheartedly believe in. And I’m actually going to mention something just off the top of my head and didn’t put it in the notes but several years ago there was a well done study looking at whether or not knee surgery … What was it? It was like LCL or-
Nicki: Or meniscus. Yeah, meniscus.
Robb: It was meniscus surgery. So the deal was that if your orthopod or physical therapist or whatever determined that say your lateral meniscus had problems, they would get in and shave on it and do stuff and in theory, this was going to improve your outcomes. Well, they did something really interesting where they found people that had been diagnosed with this condition, which is always hard to do. This is where physical medicine is kind of hard to do. Is my meniscus broken exactly the same way that your meniscus? It gets challenging. And are we doing exactly the same intervention? Like it becomes kind of a-
Nicki: Was your surgeon better than my surgeon?
Robb: Yeah. It gets really difficult to figure some of that stuff out. But they did something interesting where they got a large group of folks. Everybody ended up getting their knee cut. So the surface incision to undergo this process was done on everybody. Some people then got the additional surgery. The scope and chewing, in theory, some of the stuff out of there. And some people just had what they called a sham surgery, where it was just like the incision on top. They did some stuff that looked like they were going through the process of chewing the stuff out, did nothing, and then they tracked these people over time and there was no difference between the two groups. And it was interesting, the whole specially health clinic was founded years ago from a group of orthopedic surgeons that started looking at evidence based literature on back surgeries and it was kind of jaw dropping. It was easy to make the case that doing nothing for the vast majority of back pain scenarios was better than doing surgery. At a minimum, the outcomes were generally no better and oftentimes far, far worse doing surgery.
Robb: So they started looking at acupuncture and chiropractics. And so they did everything they possibly could and funny enough one of the most effective things was getting people to lose weight because the additional loading on the spine, particularly the lumbar spine … Dr. Greenwald always has his number. So like, with your knees, every additional pound of weight that you carry puts three pounds of weight on your knees because you’re walking and all that stuff. So 30 additional pounds on your body is like 100 additional pounds every step you take. And so they just found something like if we can just get people to lose weight, that ends up fixing a lot of the stuff. And then there’s inflammation and all these other things to consider. So where is the consensus in that? Doctors and scientists had signed off on this notion that we should be doing knee surgeries. It seemed like a good thing to do in this one scenario. And then when we really studied it from an evidence based perspective, looked like it’s probably not a good idea. Does that mean that there are never scenarios in which a meniscectomy or whatever is called for? Probably not. But it really changed things.
Robb: I’ve got three examples here. One is from a doctor who for ages people assumed that peptic ulcers were caused by spicy food and things like coffee. And so you would go to your doctor and you’d be diagnosed with a peptic ulcer and they’d say cut back on the spicy food and coffee. Maybe it worked but it largely didn’t do a damn thing. Then a researcher was poking around and he did something kind of crazy. He cultured what was around the peptic ulcer in patients with these conditions and he found a bacteria. Helicobacter pylori. He was like, “Huh, I wonder if this thing could be causing these.” So he did some initial research and he published some papers suggesting that peptic ulcers are an infectious condition caused by H pylori. He was ridiculed, laughed off of stages. People acted like he was a pedophile or something. And what he was doing was just presenting a theory. And people being assholes like they are and even scientists being more religious … When I say religious, I’m not beating up religious people. It’s when you put a degree of faith into something that there is literally no justification for. And particularly if we’re heading into this science based arena, there should be some expectation for like, well can you prove-
Nicki: The whole point is like yeah, prove me wrong. Here’s my hypothesis, here’s what I’ve done now can you replicate it? Can you prove me wrong?
Robb: Yeah. And it would have been a much better response from the establishment to be like, well Charlie, that’s a very novel position, what can you do to prove that? And this is where he was like, fuck you assholes. And what he did is he did the classic Koch’s postulate process where he established that he was absent both peptic ulcer disease state and infectious agent H pylori. He then drank a broth that had H pylori in it. He developed a peptic ulcer. He was able to culture the H. pylori out of it, which is stage two of the Koch’s postulate. And then the third part, he took antibiotics and the peptic ulcer went away and you could no longer find H. pylori. And even then people just kind of … Little pissy pants railing over it. But at the end of the day, this is now an accepted feature. Everybody knows that H. pylori is this major factor in a lot of different health considerations. But it wasn’t always. And the consensus originally was that an infectious disease would have no bearing whatsoever on peptic ulcers. And this is only about 15 years ago, so this isn’t a really old scenario on this.
Robb: Another example I really like is a guy, Ignaz Semmelweis, who was a physician in the mid to late 1800s who observed that women who had births in a hospital had infant death and also death of the mother much, much higher than women who had births on the streets in the city they lived in. I think it was in the Czech Republic if I remember correctly. So this was some early epidemiological research that he was doing where he would keep track of okay, this many women were admitted into the hospital, they had this many babies. Of those babies, this many died. Of the mothers, this many died. At this time physicians … We were still very much in our infancy learning about anatomy and physiology. And doctors in between taking care of patients, would spend their extra time in the morgue working on cadavers. So they would go from working on dead bodies to go work on living bodies. And people died in the droves. And not surprisingly now, this was pre germ theory of infectious disease.
Robb: So Semmelweis suggested that if people … He didn’t know what it could be. But again, this is where the arrogance of the current consensus ends up making it like a blind alley for people. But he said, “I don’t know what it is, but there’s some agent that is going from the dead bodies to the living individuals that is infecting them and causing disease.” And so he suggested washing one’s hands with a 10% bleach solution in between cutting on cadavers and delivering babies. And when he did this the death rate plummeted and he was ridiculed to the point that he was run out of town and eventually went insane and died alone. Because he knew he was fucking right. And the powers that be, the consensus was that he was a crackpot. And then years later … It was like 30 or 50 years later that finally the germ theory of … An infectious agent’s germ theory of biology was born and established and validated. And then people are like oh, I guess this guy was right. And so that’s another one that I really like to throw out there.
Robb: If for nothing else, the arrogance that people take to this process of assuming that what we know today is this end state of our knowledge. And this is also … And we’ll probably talk about this in the salty talk we’re going to do about The Social Dilemma. This is one of the major dangers of having media or social media curate what they believe to be the truth. Because the truth is an ever evolving process that should be based on what is your model and how can you predict specific outcomes. And this is kind of the last one here. This is a long ass question but I think it’s really important. And this is from a nature piece, What is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics. This is an article about a book by Adam Becker who’s digging into the early years of when physics fully transitioned from this just kind of classic Newtonian physics paradigm to the inclusion of quantum mechanics, which kind of changed everything.
Robb: “All hell broke loose in physics some 90 years ago. Quantum theory emerged. Partly in heated clashes between Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr. It posed a challenge to the very nature of science and arguable continues to do so today by severely straining the relationship between theory and the nature of reality.” If folks aren’t aware, in Newtonian physics, if I shoot a billiard ball in a particular direction and I know its weight, I know its initial speed, I know its direction, and I know what the coefficient of friction is on the surface that it’s rolling, I can predict with uncanny ability where that things going to finish and a bunch of other characteristics of it. Within quantum mechanics, crazy shit happens. Like if you shine light through a single slit then there’s just light that emerges on the wall behind it. If you shine light through two slits spaced at the appropriate level, you will end up with light and dark bands. So some areas where there is light and some areas where there is no light where you would expect there to be twice as much light. And this was completely counterintuitive. It’s called the dual slit experiment.
Robb: And what it introduced … And this is, again, one of the things that makes me want to throttle people that shoot down anecdote. This was an observation that led to quantum mechanics. Somebody didn’t just sit down and the Planck constant and stuff like that didn’t emerge from some guy smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee and just cooking this shit up. They observed the world around them and then had to back into mathematical descriptions that could be tested that then supported the prediction around the reality.
Robb: Okay. “Becker lingers on the 1927 Solvay Conference in Brussels where 29 brilliant scientists gathered to discuss the fledgling quantum theory. Here, the disagreements between Bohr, Einstein and others, including Erwin Schrödinger and Louis de Broglie, came to a head. Whereas Bohr proposed that the entities such as electrons had only probabilities if they weren’t observed, Einstein argued that they had independent reality, prompting his famous claim that ‘God does not play dice’. Years later, he added a gloss: ‘What we call science has the sole purpose of determining what is.'” And by that, he’s again kind of circling back around that our models should be able to predict reality. “Suddenly a scientific realism, the idea that confirmed scientific theories roughly reflect reality, was at stake.” Because what we had known before no longer squared with the things that we were seeing now within quantum mechanics.
Robb: “Quantum phenomena were phenomenally baffling to many. First, what wave particle duality in which light can behave as particles and waves such as electrons interfere like light waves. According to Bohr, a system behaves like a wave or a particle depending on context, but you cannot predict which it will do.” And can you scroll me up a little bit? And I’m almost done with. People are probably killing themselves.
Robb: But what if a field picks the wrong paradigm? This is, again, from the article. And this is in response. There was a bunch of bickering back and forth between the more Einstein type group that said there’s got to be something a little deeper here that can add to our predictive value. Einstein didn’t believe that god played dice, that the world wasn’t 100% random, that we should be able to have better predictive value. Then other folks were like … And very smart people. Max Planck, Niels Bohr. These paragons of early 20th century physics. These are brilliant people. I always think about the piece in Goodwill Hunting where Will is talking with the math professor and the professor is like, “There’s like three people on the planet that could tell the difference between you and I.” But Will was just light years ahead of where this other guy was. It was kind of like this. Like there’s a bunch of geniuses hen pecking each other trying to figure out the state of reality.
Robb: But okay, what if a field picks the wrong paradigm? “Becker shows how in the 1950s and ’60s a handful of physicists dusted off the theories of Einstein and de Broglie.” Which, Einstein’s original ideas that there should be something more predictable here, that there was a carrier wave that actually underpinned the way that particles functioned, that got jettisoned in favor of a more completely randomized deal. “And they turned them into a fully fledged interpretation capable of shaking up the status quo. David Bohm argued that particles in quantum systems existed whether observed or not and that they have predictable positions and motions determined by pilot waves. John Bell then showed that Einstein’s concerns about locality and incompleteness in the Copenhagen interpretation were valid. It was he who refuted von Neumann’s proof by revealing that it ruled out only a narrow class of hidden-variables theories.”
Robb: I’ve got a link to this thing. It’s a really interesting article. But what was the gal’s name again? Sandra.
Robb: Or no, Kristen. So Kristen, I don’t know if that really gets down to brass tacks of answering why there isn’t this consensus in-
Nicki: And one thing that you didn’t mention though, also at least today, a lot of research is funded by-
Robb: I was just heading there.
Robb: Yeah. In Sacred Cow we mentioned that the whole notion that vegetarianism is a laudable thing came out of the Seventh Day Adventist church. That is where registered dietetics came from is from the Seventh Day Adventists and places like Loma Linda and Johns Hopkins are massively backed and funded by the Seventh Day Adventist church. And they have influence throughout the whole world. And when you dovetail this notion of climate change being tied to dietary practices and the morality that gets woven into it, then it’s a disaster. You have basically, literally religious based underpinnings which are influencing the way that science is conducted. And I think that this is part and parcel for where all of this stuff has kind of driven off a cliff. And I will say this, it’s interesting, there are some people like Layne Norton that have been really critical of paleo and keto and a lot of this stuff is well placed. But here’s a perplexing thing for me. When Layne was on Joe Rogan and I think he was there with Dom D’Agostino and they were talking about keto and just diets at large and everything. Layne mentioned that his professor really impressed upon him that you need to look at all these problems through the lens of evolutionary biology.
Robb: So Layne says he does. Okay. I’ve been waiting for years for Layne to then couch all of this stuff in term, and he thinks that paleo is a ridiculous concept. Okay. Then how do we put evolutionary biology back into the understand of food and human health? If we’re a bunch of idiots and we don’t know the right of what’s going on, then fuck, lay it out for us. Like smartest dude in the room, do us a solid and you delineate the way that evolutionary biology plugs into this whole story. Discordance theory, optimum foraging strategy, protein leverage hypothesis. These are all basic underpinnings of this evolutionary biology concept. I’ve laid out my thoughts on the way that that should play into the world. People like Loren Cordain have. And Loren had some brilliant insights and he had some things that I think he was wrong about that got born out over time. But this is where if evolution via natural selection is the keystone feature of biology, and if medicine is an extension of biology, it’s basically applied physiology and biology, then Darwinian evolution has to be the foundational underpinning of the whole goddamn thing. So you can’t just ignore it.
Robb: And the fact that we are ignoring it largely means that we are really operating at a highly inefficient process here. Like modern communications could not exist without quantum mechanics, without general relativity. Because a satellite above the earth is experiencing a different gravitational effect and that different gravitational effect means that it has a different experience of time. And we have to adjust for the different between our GPS satellite and us on the earth to be able to keep our clocks synchronized because although a tiny different, when you start looking at GPS and being able to know where you are on the planet versus in space, you have to keep all that shit accounted for because quantum mechanics is real and relativity is real. So if it works there, if we’ve been able to figure out … And we have to have a foundational theory of quantum mechanics and relativity to make GPS work, what the fuck have we missed by ignoring this foundational underpinning of evolutionary biology that should be part and parcel with all of medicine?
Robb: And I’m still waiting. Nobody … And I’ve kind of thrown this out there to people kind of obliquely. The Alan Aragons, these smart people, Layne Norton. How do we then weave evolutionary biology back into this story? Because if it’s all bunk, then we need to have a different conversation. And this is kind of the sense that I’m getting from folks. But I don’t think evolution via natural selection is bunk. I think it’s the thing … What was it? Nothing in biology makes sense but through the lens of evolution. That was Theodosius Dobzhansky. And if that’s true, then we need to sit down and have a conversation around this. And if there are some goofy ideas around the way it’s applied or interpreted, fine. Let’s have that discussion. Let’s do good science, but at the same time, let’s not repeat all of the mistakes like ignoring Ignaz Semmelweis, like ignoring what happened in the early stages of quantum mechanics. And what happened to the guy that … There’s another story here. The folks that connected B vitamin deficiency and neural tube defects, they lost their goddamn lab because they were laughed off the scene and then they went from a prestigious university and then ended up in some backwoods. That was the only place that they could be.
Robb: And it was a good 10, 15 years later and people are like, “Oh yeah. B vitamin and folate is important in neural tube defects.” Let’s just not do that again. And also there have been lots of ideas that were wrong and that got proven wrong with a predictive value. But right now we have people in diet and health that are like, “Well, animal products are injurious to you.” Well, there’s a paper that just came out of looking at African nations that are industrializing and they eat more meat and people are living longer and they’re healthier and have fewer nutrient deficiencies. So you can’t ignore that stuff. You’ve got to square this whole thing together. And back to your point, we really do need to recognize when these different research endeavors … People will say that I’m backed by big meat and, I don’t know what else, like big coconut?
Nicki: Big sweet potato.
Robb: Yeah, big sweet potato. So there’s always some stuff to deal with on what the disclosures need to be but at the same time, we have some real problems with the predictive nature of what’s being put forward here. I’ll just close this out with like, I have railed against the notion that people should feed their kids vegan or vegetarian diets. I’m all in on it now. I’m like fuck it. All of you feed your kids … Younger kids the better. Feed them the vegan diet. Feed the mom a vegan diet. Because what’s going to happen is there’s going to be a bunch of fucked up kids. Some of them are going to die. A bunch of them are going to be malnourished and have problems and then we will not be able to hide that anymore. And then it will take something horrible like that to finally put a nail in the coffin of this whole notion that plant based vegan diet is the optimum deal when all that was really seeing is that whenever we move away from highly processed way of eating, things generally get better. And then from there we have a whole lot of nuance as to whether or not you do better with more animal protein or less animal protein.
Robb: But we don’t see anybody do well longterm on no animal protein, particularly absent supplementation. It just doesn’t happen. So that’s a whole thing that needs to be unpacked too. And that’s probably like a 20 minute singular question answer. Yeah.
Nicki: I think that was the longest response to any question. Kristen, thank you for that.
Robb: Yeah. But this is important. It is important stuff and this is one of the … This basic science literacy about the way that things have progressed over time, we just kind of look out at the world and we assume that it’s kind of always been the way that it is and that the assumptions that we make have always been there. I remember when I first learned about the Krebs cycle, the citric acid cycle, you draw this stuff in a circle. It’s like acetoacetate goes to oxalate and it just kind of goes around. And I said to my professor, I’m like, “Don’t you think that the cellular machinery is probably in a ferris wheel or” … What’s the thing with the horses? Merry go round type deal.
Nicki: A merry go round.
Robb: He was like, “That’s preposterous. This just randomly swims in the cellular matrix and it just happens through accidental interaction.” Well, he was wrong. And not to say that it is in fact like machinery that hands one thing off to another to another to another. But it was interesting in talking to this guy, where we were at that point was a lack of information on the topic. So his answer should not have been it doesn’t work that way, it should have been that’s a very interesting idea, how do we test that? But instead, he defaulted to, “Well, our best understand right now is that we haven’t seen anything that supports this and so we opted with this bullshit notion that everything just kind of swims around in the cellular matrix by random.” And the more that we discover, the less and less that that is in fact the way the world is.
Robb: Okay. I could go on and on with this. This is one of my passions. But really good question and hopefully that’s actually helpful.
Nicki: And maybe if you want to kind of go further on it, you could do it as a salty talk down the road.
Robb: Could dig it. We could do a salty talk on this alone. Yeah. That’d be a good one.
Nicki: Yeah. All right everyone, happy Friday. Thanks for joining us. Remember to check out our show sponsor, White Oak Pastures for your pasture raised and grass fed meats. Check them out at whiteoakpastures.com/robbwolf and enter code Rebel10 to get 10% off your product total for first time customers. And share the episode, leave us a review. What else?
Robb: That stuff really matters. Thank you guys when you do that. Like it really does matter.
Nicki: Thank you. Thank you all for listening. Yeah. And we’ll see you next week.
Robb: And hopefully we’ll see you in the rebellion.
Nicki: That’s right.
Robb: Bye everybody.
Submit questions for the podcast: https://robbwolf.com/contact/submit-a-question-for-the-podcast/