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News topic du jour:
1. Healing the gut while breastfeeding [11:29]
Any recommendations for healing leaky gut and dysbiosis while breastfeeding? It seems like every protocol notes not ideal for breastfeeding (I am guessing because of potential toxin release in breastmilk). It’s a difficult crossroads – do you eat things that support breastfeeding (fruits, vegetables, some starches) even though they cause digestive issues (bloat, distention, indigestion) and possibly making the situation worse (anemia due to malabsorption, overgrowth, worsening of leaky gut), or do you eliminate and try to heal which may release toxins? What about a carnivore or GAPS style diet, is that too extreme? Wouldn’t healing the gut ultimately provide better nutrition via breastmilk to the baby and provide better gut flora? Not to mention, it’s hard to support a child when you feel so off.
2. Bone Broth and SIBO [14:52]
Hi you two!
I hope you’re both doing well, and enjoying your life down in Texas.
I have one question regarding bone broth. I think that Chris Kresser posted something on Facebook some time ago about bone broth not being something to eat if you have sibo. I can’t find the article now, but while I used to drink bone broth regularly, either as part of a meal, a base for soup, or just as a hot beverage in the morning, I’m now not sure if it’s okay for me. I had a really bad gut infection almost 8 years ago. I started my 1st Whole30 for 100 days about a month later. I lost about 35 lbs., but the weight started coming back on while eating and exercising the same way. The doctor at the time had me tested for sibo. It came back positive, and regardless of the rounds of antibiotics, or the rounds of other supplements after, I’m still testing positive. I stopped drinking bone broth a few months ago, but miss it. I always made sure I had plenty of ball jars of both beef and chicken bone broths in my freezer, but now I’m not sure. Robb, in your opinion and with all of the research you do, should I stay away from bone broth? I haven’t seen you address this before, but it certainly could be that I just missed it.
Thanks very much,
3. Off-Gassing [22:24]
How much should I be concerned about off-gassing in furniture, beds/mattresses, and other household items? Is it something worth taking into account when buying new furniture and stuff?
“As with any building product, if purchasing new carpet, choose a carpet that releases fewer VOC emissions. Request that the carpet is unrolled and aired out in a well-ventilated area (a clean, dry warehouse, for example) for 72 hours before installation. If possible, have carpet installed while the space is unoccupied. Request the use of glues or adhesives that are non-toxic and low VOC. Then allow 72 hours of ventilation before inhabiting the space. Make sure the carpet can be removed later without use of toxic chemicals.”
4. BJJ Safety [29:35]
Hey Robb, I regularly practice BJJ 3-4 times a week and really enjoy it. Recently I read a story about a guy named Sean Entin who apparently had a stroke after suffering a tear in his carotid artery while being choked during a BJJ practice. Looking around the web, I found a fair number of other people who appear to have suffered something similar. I asked my doctor about this and he didn’t know what BJJ was and wasn’t able to really tell me anything. I’m starting to wonder if getting choked over and over is unsafe. I don’t want to quit but I am now very paranoid that something awful is going to happen and its getting hard to get back on the mats. I was just wondering if you had ever heard of this or had any thoughts on whether BJJ was generally safe?
BJJ is safe. The average injury rate is 36.1 per 1000 athlete exposures and it’s the lowest in martial arts. BJJ injury rate is also slightly lower compared to more common sports like football – 37.3 per 1000 athlete exposures.
Most injuries are caused by 3 reasons:
- Tapping too late
- Performing a move which hurts yourself
- Sparring with a guy you should avoid
5. Peepee and Athletes Foot [45:10]
hey allihoopa! (dumb and dumber famous end scene)
this morning i couldnt sleep so i woke up and got behind the keyboard when it dawned on me.. pee in a bowl and soak your toes to help get rid of your athletes foot! cuz why not? so i did.. then i decided to make it my snapchat story, (cuz why not). but then after it was too late, i decided to google if its even effective in the treatment and the first thing that comes up is esentially, no.. no it does not. i guess there isnt enough urea in peepee to make a dent. whoops! now i’m THAT guy.. i wonder though how accurate that article would be considering it was mostly referring to shower peepee. mine was in a bowl and i let it soak for like 20+ minutes. please help me to redeem myself and tell me what i did is effective in the treatment of my filthy disgusting toe jam. ps- love the podcast! been listening since episode 1, and loved both your books, AND you.. i love YOU robb
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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 the 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: How are you?
Nicki: Waiting for you to jump in with the intro line.
Robb: Both of us were. Nobody wanted to step into this pool.
Nicki: Long, awkward pause at the beginning of another episode of The Healthy Rebellion Radio.
Nicki: Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I think this episode is releasing the day after Thanksgiving. I hope everyone had the best Thanksgiving one could have in 2020.
Robb: As in, they didn’t get poisoned by the bird, the house didn’t burn down, and all the rest of it.
Nicki: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Nicki: Obviously we’re recording this in advance of Thanksgiving, but we’re gearing up for a two hound household here. We’re going to be watching a friend’s Ridgeback puppy. I guess she’s still-
Robb: Puppy, puppy. She’s still a puppy.
Nicki: … technically a puppy. She’s seven months old, I think.
Robb: She’s like an adolescent, yeah.
Nicki: Yeah. For a week while they are out of town for Thanksgiving, so it’ll give us a chance to try on the-
Robb: Two-dog household.
Nicki: … two-dog household and see how it goes.
Robb: I think a two-dog household would work great for you. You just will be three women, two dogs, and no husband.
Nicki: I almost had that situation with a one-dog household when I brought home Dutch, but-
Robb: It was a near miss. It was a near miss.
Nicki: Yes. Let’s see here. I’m just going to run through some of our upcoming events inside The Healthy Rebellion. Thursday, December 3rd is our virtual holiday party, so we’re gearing up for that. Then Saturday, December 5th, we are going to … Chef Eva Bee is going to host the Holiday App Board Gone Wild, appetizer board. So that will be another fun event coming up here in a couple weeks. Several live chats, usually weekly inside The Healthy Rebellion. And then we’re going to do something fun the first week of January. We’re going to do a seven-day cold exposure challenge.
Nicki: One of our rebels is going to help us lead that, so that will be a fun one. And then our Rebel Reset will kick off on the 15th of January. So lots of fun stuff happening inside The Healthy Rebellion community. If you haven’t joined yet and you want to take part in any and all of these things, just go to Join.TheHealthyRebellion.com, and we’d love to have you.
Robb: It’s a good time.
Nicki: It’s a good time. Let’s see. Any other housekeeping items, hubs, before you jump into your news topic?
Robb: No. Being the good husband that I am, I’ve done all the housekeeping.
Nicki: Oh my goodness gracious. And you’re not lying.
Robb: Somebody posted in The Rebellion the other day. They were complaining about, she cooked this meal for her husband, and he didn’t like it, and she was like, “Well, what do you want? I don’t really care.” So she cooked something else for him, and then he was nitpicking that. Which you never nitpick my stuff, but I was like, “What is this black magic, females cooking in the house?” And she was like, “Yeah, I have the same notion around males cooking in my house.” So aces in their places.
Nicki: Aces in their places.
Robb: You do A level food, but it is like a bomb has gone off in the kitchen, and it’s one meal, and then we’re done.
Nicki: And it stresses you out.
Robb: It doesn’t … Well, what stresses me out is the impact on the local environment, the floor and the fauna.
Robb: And the time investment would make it-
Nicki: Yeah, you-
Robb: … possibly preclusive to have you cook all the meals.
Nicki: You like things to be very time expedient. And I’m not faulting that. That’s great. And also-
Robb: Oh, trust me, I’ve tried to figure out ways of just making cooking and washing the dishes an escape from the rest of my life, but you only have so much of that to deal with.
Nicki: Maybe we should move along from this topic.
Robb: Maybe we should, yes. Yeah, yeah.
Nicki: What do you have for us for our news topic today?
Robb: Ken Ford shot me this one. Energy requirements are higher during weight loss maintenance in adults consuming a low compared to high carbohydrate diet. And this is one of these super contentious topics in the diet wars. Is there a thermic benefit or a caloric benefit to going low carb? And this study suggest that that may be the case, that it costs us more energy when we go into a low carb diet versus a high carb diet, particularly in the weight loss kind of scenario. The effect size is modest. It’s not like 1,000 calories. And I forget even what the total caloric load was, but non-trivial, it could add up.
Robb: But something that I’ve talked with a lot of folks ranging from Ken Ford to Tyler and Luis and a host of other people, and just observationally, I think that there’s a time course to this. In the beginning, when, say, somebody shifts from a standard American diet to a low carb diet, I do think that there’s kind of this interesting window where it feels like you can eat anything you want, and you still lose weight, and everything just works wonderfully. And it may be that some people maintain something like that long term. But what we’ve noticed is that when people eat a minimally processed, largely whole food based, low glycemic, low diet, their energy needs appear to be less than what the label value would assume.
Robb: I remember the first person who put this on my radar was actually Greg Glassman, and this was ages ago, and he encouraged people to follow a high fat zone type diet, which at the end of the day ends up being 20% protein, 15, 20% carbs, and then the remainder fat, so about 60%. Not quite ketogenic, but when you consider the activity level of folks doing CrossFit type stuff, it probably is intermittently ketogenic. But anyway, he observed that people seemed to run about 20 to 30% fewer calories that what you would normally assume using standard basal metabolic rate calculators and caloric calculators.
Robb: And Tyler and Luis and myself, we’ve just kind of seen that clinically working with people. And oftentimes, when folks arrive, say, over at Ketogains, or when they do one of our resets and we recommend that they put their numbers through one of the approved calculators, they’re kind of shocked by how few the calories are that are recommended for weight loss. But that’s based off what we find is working for people, and we’re not seeing people just getting crushed with thyroid issues and different things, I think in large part because the protein is adequate and the general nutrition is adequate.
Robb: But it’s an interesting topic. And again, these effect sizes are modest, and it’s taken decades to get this study done. I don’t think we will ever see a study that susses out the potential that long term keto adaptation … Well, actually, it wouldn’t be that hard to just put people who are long term keto adapted into a metabolic ward type setting and see what their actual energy costs and needs are. And if there is some truth to that, you should be able to find that. So that actually could be reasonably easily done.
Nicki: Cool. And we will include the link to this paper in the show notes. And as always, the show notes are found at RobbWolf.com, and click on podcasts, and then click on the episode that you are interested in, and you’ll find all the show notes there.
Robb: Well, aren’t you just a helpful little gal.
Nicki: I just realized that some people might not know where to find the show notes.
Robb: Oh, good call. Good call.
Nicki: All right. It’s ready for our T-shirt review winner. This one this week goes to Striking Things. “You’re not alone. When I had enough of being a 250 pound blob in 2013, I started binging a few select podcasts on the paleo template, and I made sure to listen to each one. I might have been listener number seven, but I listened to every episode thanks to cross country drives. Robb’s guidance helped me shed 60 pounds in seven months. Now with the current craziness, I feel so alone in my questions and skepticism until I hear Robb get a little salty, and then I feel less alone and a little more grounded. Quality content from quality people.”
Robb: That’s very nice.
Nicki: Striking Things, thank you so much for your review. Shoot us over an email to [email protected] with your T-shirt size and your mailing address, and we’ll send you a Healthy Rebellion Radio T-shirt.
Nicki: And this episode of The Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by Joovv. Joovv red light therapy devices can help reduce pain and inflammation, improve sleep, help rejuvenate your skin, and boost your libido. Eating a whole, unprocessed diet, prioritizing good sleep, doing smart strength training, and minimizing stress, and getting lots of healthy light with red light therapy like Joovv is key to living an optimal life. Joovv is the leading brand when it comes to red light therapy devices. They pioneered this technology, and they were the first ones to isolate red and near infrared light and make it accessible and affordable for in home use.
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Robb: Yeah. I mean, Joovv is an outstanding product, and we definitely are seeing folks benefit from a whole host of bio immuno modulatory activities, and it’s an exciting time that we have access to stuff like this.
Nicki: Awesome. All righty. Let’s jump into our first question for today. This one comes from Kelly, and the topic is healing the gut while breastfeeding. She asks, “Are there any recommendations for healing leaky gut and dysbiosis while breastfeeding? Seems like every protocol notes not ideal for breastfeeding, and I’m guessing because of potential toxin release in the breast milk. It’s a difficult crossroads. Do you eat things that support breastfeeding, fruits, vegetables, and some starches, even though they cause digestive issues, bloat, distension, and indigestion, and possibly making the situation worse? Anemia due to malabsorption, overgrowth, worsening of leaky gut. Or do you eliminate and try to heal, which may release toxins? What about a carnivore or GAPS style diet? Is that is that too extreme? Wouldn’t healing the gut ultimately provide better nutrition via breast milk to the baby and provide better gut flora? Not to mention, it’s hard to support a child when you feel so off.”
Robb: This is a really good question, and so if we want to go dig around on randomized control trials, I don’t know that we’re going to find much. I tried to find something looking at this even very peripherally. There is not a study that exists where women who were diagnosed, say, with SIBO or something, and are breastfeeding, underwent, say, a GAPS diet and followed a standard American diet to see how things played out. That stuff doesn’t happen. The pregnancy and breastfeeding thing, that ends up being, I wouldn’t say a catch-all, but it’s one of those moments where caution seems to make sense generally, and also it’s a fantastic cover your ass position, because pregnancy and breastfeeding is a pretty powerful-
Nicki: Critical time period.
Robb: … critical time and all that type of stuff. As always, I’m left a little bit flummoxed that improving one’s health is ultimately going to be a problem. And if there is some sort of intestinal permeability … The whole notion of, quote, toxins, we need to be really … What are we talking about there? Endotoxemia from lipopolysaccharide going through the gut and getting into circulation? Is that what we’re concerned about? A potential fungal die off? I guess there’s some things like that. But I don’t see that there would be a problem if someone just made a general shift towards those foods that don’t seem to worsen GI complaints, gas, bloating, discomfort.
Robb: As always, everything pregnancy, breast feeding, Lily Nichols and all of her work. I can’t recommend her enough, and I have all of her books and follow her blog posts pretty closely. She hasn’t specifically addressed this to my knowledge, but those could be some really solid resources to check out.
Nicki: Does Lily have a podcast of her own?
Robb: I’m not totally sure. I know that she goes on other folks’ podcasts, and she may in fact have her own podcast, yeah.
Nicki: She might be one to do a Salty Talk deep dive with.
Nicki: Maybe we can circle back and ask some of these questions.
Robb: Yep. Yep.
Nicki: Okay. Our next question is on bone broth and SIBO from Susanne. She says, “Hi, you two. I hope you’re both doing well and enjoying your life down in Texas. I have one question regarding bone broth. I think that Chris Kresser posted something on Facebook some time ago about bone broth not being something to eat if you have SIBO. I can’t find the article now, but while I used to drink bone broth regularly, either as part of a meal, a base for a soup, or just as a hot beverage in the morning, I’m now not sure if it’s okay for me. I had a really bad gut infection almost eight years ago.”
Nicki: “I started my first Whole30 for 100 days about a month later. I lost about 35 pounds, but the weight started coming back on while eating and exercising the same way. The doctor at the time had me tested for SIBO, and it came back positive. And regardless of the rounds of antibiotics or the rounds of other supplements after, I’m still testing positive. I stopped drinking bone broth a few months ago, but I miss it. I always made sure I had plenty of Ball jars of both beef and chicken bone broths in my freezer, but now I’m not sure. Robb, in your opinion and with all of the research you do, should I stay away from bone broth? I haven’t seen you address this before, but it certainly could be that I just missed it. Thanks very much. Susanne.”
Robb: No, we definitely haven’t tackled this specifically. With our oldest daughter, Zoe, we are seeing what appears to be kind of a histamine intolerance, or what we suspect is a histamine issue. And the kids love making soup, and soup is easy, and so we love doing that, but we’ve also noticed that if she gets one exposure to a really good bone broth based soup, she’s okay. If we do that for dinner, and then also for breakfast, then we start seeing things kind of flare up. And the histamine part is a little bit different than the SIBO, but I was looking back through Aglaee Jacob’s book-
Nicki: Digestive Health.
Robb: … Digestive Health with REAL Foods, which is, again, an outstanding book. And she made this case that the symptoms that pop up, the problems that pop up, oftentimes we will focus on one item, and we’ll say, “Oh, it must have been the bananas, or it must have been this, must have been that.” But it may have been serial exposures to things that kind of pop you up and get you over the top on this stuff. And it’s interesting when you look at the GAPS protocols and different things like that, they oftentimes have recommended bone broth, because of the glycine content and the ability to heal the intestinal wall, and actually addressing that issue.
Robb: But I could also see where some of the constituents in bone broth could potentially feed SIBO, I guess, although that tends to be more of a carbohydrate-driven issue, but it kind of depends. The point to all this is that I don’t know that this needs to be a 100% binary deal, yes or no. It could be a thing where you do bone broth some days, not all days, and then you do it with an eye towards what are the other potential problematic items that are in the mix? And just as an aside, my gut health has improved over time. Moving to Texas has actually been good for it. It generally is better.
Robb: It get much more sun, and the heat and everything seems to be pretty good for it. But I’ve never tested positive for SIBO. I’ve never tested positive for any goddamn thing, any of the gut testing for anything other than ages ago when I was positive for ulcerative colitis, and I’m no longer positive for that. But there’s still clearly something there, and I don’t do well with fiber. I don’t do well with raw fruits and vegetables, particularly if they’re very fibrous. So I’ve kind of migrated towards a bit more of a carnivore-esque type approach.
Robb: But I just throw that out there that the testing is helpful, but it doesn’t always tell us everything. I clearly still have something going on, or maybe it’s just the way that things are. Given that I was on tetracycline from the age of 13 to 21 for acne, and I had a vaginal birth but wasn’t breastfed, you add up all this stuff. My mother had autoimmune and gut issues. I’ve had multiple exposures to Giardia as a baseline, to say nothing of just getting food poisoning while traveling at various points. I don’t know what that baseline is, and I don’t know that any amount of testing … I’ve worked with everybody. I’ve shaken down Ruscio, and Kresser, and other folks that are very smart but less well known than those guys, and we’ve run the full gamut, and nothing diagnostically really pops up. So-
Nicki: I’m wondering, Susanne, how you feel.
Nicki: I know you’re still testing positive, but do you feel significantly better now that you’ve stopped drinking the bone broth, and just in general? Because I’d be curious to know if you’ve noticed an improvement, and then if you reintroduce it, because you haven’t had it for several months now, if you reintroduce it just to see how you feel. To Robb’s point, maybe it’s something that you have once or twice a week if you tolerate it, and if you notice after trying it again that you don’t feel as well, then maybe it’s something that you just leave off.
Robb: Yeah. And on the weight loss side, and I learned this from hanging out with Tyler and Luis. I would get back in and recalculate macros on that, and I would probably use the Ketogains calculator. And it’s not that you have to eat a keto ratio specifically, but man, folks over estimate. The seat of the pants stuff, people overeat on it, and not infrequently. They under eat protein, which then leaves them a little bit snacky, and then they overeat other things. So in addition to all the rest of this stuff, I would really just get in and recalculate macros, and weigh and measure your food for a bit.
Nicki: Really focus on your protein. And I know we’ve said this before, but every single one of our Rebel Resets inside The Healthy Rebellion, when we talk about protein and people actually weight and measure the protein, they are usually-
Robb: Floored by how much they were under eating.
Nicki: … floored by how much more protein they actually need. And then they’re floored again when they realize the difference that it makes in both how they feel and the results that they get.
Robb: Yeah. Yeah. So it’s a lot, but I would honestly tackle this first from Nicki’s recommendation of just how are you generally feeling, and kind of playing to that based around how frequently you might put the bone broth in, and then I would definitely get in and recalculate the macros and make sure that, if the goal is weight loss, that you’re in some sort of a mild caloric deficit, 10%, something like that. And it’s probably going to be less than what you’re eating currently. I’ll just about bet the farm on that. And again, to Nicki’s final point, we never, ever, literally never have folks that we work with or that are part of these resets, that have struggled with weight loss in the past, that were eating adequate protein. Never. Yeah.
Nicki: Okay. Our next question is from Shelly on off-gassing. She says, “How much should I be concerned about off-gassing in furniture, beds, mattresses, and other household items? Is it something worth taking into account when buying new furniture and stuff?”
Robb: I think that this is a legit concern. Depending on where you live and what time of the year, Reno was kind of cool. We did a house remodel, and we tried to do the lowest VOC, volatile organic compound stuff that we could find, but you could still smell it. But we were fortunate in that this all went down at a time of year where we just opened up all of the doors and windows. We had this thing called a whole house fan that is a fan you install up in the ceiling that runs through the attic, and it pulls high volume, low velocity air through the house.
Nicki: Where you open your windows, and so it sounds like an air plane engine.
Robb: And it’s just-
Nicki: Well, it’s not that loud, but it sucks the air from are outside, pulls it through the house up into the attic, and it cools the attic, but it helps get that air flow.
Robb: It massively circulates the air. I suspect that the total volume of air in the house probably turns over once every 30 minutes or something. And if you think about it, if we generally have our doors and windows closed, when do you really turn over the total volume of air in your house? Virtually never. The doors are barely open. God, in Texas, with the bugs here, it’s like a military insertion.
Nicki: That is the negative of living in Texas.
Robb: That is a negative of … It’s like a military insertion. Like, “Okay, kids. Ready? Go. Go, go, go, go.” And you open the doors and try to run out, and you still have 12 flies and mosquitoes fly in.
Nicki: When we have other kids come over and they open the door, and they’re-
Robb: They’re just lolly gagging in the doorway, yeah.
Nicki: … just lolly gagging, and I’m just freaking out because I feel like every single bug is coming in the house.
Robb: Well, then we’re just on bug murdering mode after that.
Robb: So this is something from Lung.com, which is the American Lung Association of … Well, American Lung Association, and it’s talking about indoor air pollutants/carpets. As with any building product, if purchasing new carpet, choose a carpet that releases fewer VOC emissions. Just as an aside, manufacturers really vie for attention on this. It’s like, “Oh, our product is low VOC,” and they have documentation around that. Tends to cost a little bit more, but not always. And this is some additional stuff. Request that the carpet be unrolled and aired out in a well-ventilated area for 72 hours prior to installation.
Robb: I think that might be a big ask for carpet installers, but if you could do it, it might be possible. If possible, have carpet installed while the space is unoccupied. Request the use of glues or adhesives that are nontoxic and low VOC. Then allow 72 hours of ventilation before inhabiting the space. Make sure the carpet can be removed later without use of toxic chemicals, which I’m not too sure about that. The case was made for hardwood floors, tile situations where you could get a natural fiber rug to fill in spaces. I think that stuff’s all great. Our family is in kind of a mode right now where we are deeply, deeply missing having carpet in the living room.
Nicki: We are. It’s so sad.
Robb: We don’t watch a lot of TV, but every once in a while, you just kind of want to flop and watch something-
Nicki: And stretch on the floor.
Robb: … and stretch. And we like to watch some jiu-jitsu videos and everything. And cry me a river, very first world problems, but we just have hardwood. A carpet isn’t that same kind of spongy feeling of being able to stretch out on the floor and just lay down and relax. And so I think it is, under some circumstances, really compelling for just your quality of life and all that. So I think it does make sense to do mitigating strategies. If you get something new, maybe try to do it at a … Again, I don’t know where Shelly lives. If she lives in some really mild climate, she might be able to open the doors and windows at any time.
Robb: And then even though Nicki hates box fans, you go get a couple of cheap box fans and you stick them in the windows, and you set them up in a strategic way where one is blowing in and one is blowing out. And again, you can turn the volume of air over in a space rather quickly. And heck, if you’re a total cheapskate, just leave the price tags on the goddamn things-
Nicki: Oh, jeez.
Robb: … and use them for a couple of days, and then take them back if you don’t feel like you need them, or if you’re like Nicki and you hate the box fan. But I do think that it’s-
Nicki: Box fans have their purpose and their place. The reason why I hated them is because you would always put one in the doorway to our bedroom, and I couldn’t go in and out of the bedroom without tripping over a box fan.
Robb: And why was I doing such a prick move?
Nicki: Because you were trying to pull the air from the living room where the wood stove was and heat up the master bedroom because I was cold. And so, yes, I thank you for that.
Robb: What a bastard. What an absolute bastard. Gosh. Trying to take that too hot living room and normalize that heat into the far too cold bedroom. What an absolute prick.
Nicki: Yeah. Okay.
Robb: So any unattached middle aged females that are looking for someone who cooks, cleans, and other things.
Nicki: And loves box fans.
Robb: And loves box fans, find me over at Tinder at dasrobbwolf.
Nicki: Oh, man. And who doesn’t like dogs.
Robb: I like dogs. I just like other people’s dogs better than our dogs.
Nicki: No. No, no, no.
Robb: Dutch has grown on me.
Nicki: Yeah. Okay. It’s time for The Healthy Rebellion Radio trivia. It’s time to move on.
Robb: Just give up.
Nicki: Today’s trivia sponsor is none other than our electrolyte company, Drink LMNT. And Drink LMNT is giving a box of LMNT Recharge electrolytes to three lucky winners selected at random who answer the following question correctly. Robb, Brave New World or 1984?
Robb: Both of them were prescient, but I got to go with 1984. Got to go with 1984. The one tweak on that is that all the observation and monitoring, we’re actually paying people to do it, ironically. But at the end of the book where the guy is broken and he’s like, “I love you, Big Brother,” I just see that happening day in, day out. So yeah, got to go with 1984.
Nicki: Okay. Folks, that is the answer. It’s depressing, but it is. To play, go to RobbWolf.com/trivia and enter 1984, and we’ll randomly select three people with that answer to win a box of electrolytes from Drink LMNT. The cutoff to answer this week’s trivia and be able to win is Thursday, December 3rd at midnight. Winner will be notified via email, and we’ll also announce the winners on Instagram as well. This is open to residents of the US only.
Nicki: Okay, our fourth question this week is from John on the safety of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. “Hey Robb, I regularly practice BJJ three to four time a week and really enjoy it. Recently, I read a story about a guy named Sean Entin who apparently had a stroke after suffering a tear in his carotid artery while being choked during a BJJ practice. Looking around the web, I found a fair number of other people who appear to have suffered something similar. I asked my doctor about this, and he didn’t know what BJJ was, and wasn’t able to really tell me anything. I’m starting to wonder if getting choked over and over is unsafe. I don’t want to quit, but I am now very paranoid that something awful is going to happen, and it’s getting hard to get back on the mats. I was just wondering if you have ever heard of this or had any thoughts on whether BJJ was generally safe.”
Robb: Yeah, I’ve heard about this in the past. I had not really dug into this, so I’ve got some links here. ESPN did a piece on this. How do I want to tackle this? What’s the guy’s name?
Nicki: Sean Entin.
Robb: Sean Entin. I don’t know anything about this guy, and I’m inferring some stuff from the news piece, which I’ve been interviewed enough that it makes me wonder, after I see what the interviewer writes about our interaction, that I’m wondering if I was there or that person was actually there.
Nicki: Sometimes they’re so out in left field that it’s like-
Robb: That you’re kind of like, did I have a missing 72 hours? Was I abducted by aliens and somebody else conducted this interview? So I want to put that out as a caveat. I don’t know Sean. But here are some things that I kind of dug out of this. Sean was involved with a group of guys who were very early in MMA, and folks trained very hard, very rough. It’s a group of guys that were, and to some degree still are top of the food chain. But again, they’re hard chargers. They train super hard.
Robb: When he was describing what happened, it’s not that he was injured and immediately suffered a stroke. He had some sort of what he would call a weird choke occur, and he didn’t really feel quite right, and then it was three weeks later that he suffered a stroke. So this is still kind of speculative that that was the thing that caused the problem, but I think it’s a pretty good bet.
Robb: But what’s interesting, there were two things when I was reading the news article. One, is he was saying that this was some sort of a modified head and arm choke that was less choke and almost more neck cranky in a way, which I could see that maybe compressing the carotid artery into the bonier structures of the neck. But there’s two things that pop out with this. He said that his arms were wrapped up in such a way that he could not tap, which I find dubious. You can-
Nicki: Could he not talk?
Robb: Well, there you go. You can say, “Tap.” There’s a lot of things to that. And then the other piece to this is that Sean tried to sue the instructor who he was rolling with for negligence or what have you later, and nothing came of that. So all of that just makes it kind of suspicious to me. And so I kept digging around, and when you look at, there’s a website, BJJPassion, which actually cites a bunch of other public health stuff. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is safe. The average injury rate is 3.6 per 1,000 athlete exposures. It’s the lowest in all martial arts.
Nicki: 36. You said 3.6.
Robb: Sorry, 36.1 per 1,000 athlete hours. BJJ injury rate is slightly lower compared to more common sports like football, which is 37 per 1,000 athlete exposures. So in general, jiu-jitsu is a pretty safe sport. And then there was another piece, and I think I’ve got the website, or from there. Go up a little bit, please. Most injuries are caused for three reasons: tapping too late, performing a move which hurts you, like you just shouldn’t have been doing it, or sparring with a person you should otherwise avoid. That last point is something that is pretty important.
Robb: There are folks in virtually any gym for whom you may not be a good fit for them. They may go too far hard, they may go a little too rough, your personalities clash in a way that just doesn’t make sense. Both of us have had folks that we’re like, “Yeah, I’m …” If they ask us to roll, it’s like, “No, I’m good. I’m good.” And there’s no problem with that. If the gym that you are at makes that a problem, then I would find somewhere else to train. And it’s tough because there are people that are just kind of intimidating to roll with where it just sucks getting your ass kicked.
Robb: I just got my brown belt, and there are folks that are white belted, or big and strong and young, and they’re a goddamn handful. It’s rough, and it’s a little bit of an ego check. But that’s part of the beauty that is jiu-jitsu, is you have your ego crushed all the time, and you just have to come back. And like our coach, John Frankl, says, “You’ve got to love jiu-jitsu more than you love winning. If your only focus is winning, then you’re never really going to get that good at it.”
Robb: So this circle back around to the first point that these folks made, is tapping too late. And I can tell pretty early on, and I think that Sean, when this occurred, he had just gotten his blue belt, so he was still newish to the whole thing. But if you have your blue belt, you’ve been in it somewhere between 18 months and four years, so you’re not a complete novice. And this then starts becoming a story of, even if the person is choking you, or it’s specifically because, if the person is choking you or arm barring you or doing whatever in a weird way that you’re like, something’s not right here, then you tap. You tap early, you get done-
Nicki: You tap with your hand, you tap with your feet, and you say tap with your mouth.
Robb: Feet. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Again, even if it’s a head and arm choke, it’s weird, and somehow your hands are pinned, which I don’t really get how that happens. You can say tap. In my opinion, I think that this was a situation where he rode it out way, way, way too long. For myself, I will really explore the edges of when somebody’s trying to get particularly chokes on me, because I feel like there’s more of a margin of error there, versus … We were working some arm bars from mount the other day, and we were doing them without getting off of the person, and they come on shockingly fast, and there is no margin for error.
Robb: And I was tapping before, immediately because I got a little bit of a mild tweak. And it was no fault of the other person, it was just the way that these things come on, and part of the benefit of doing them this way is they come on immediately. There’s just no margin for error. Which, for the person defending, means you don’t get to do a whole lot. With chokes in general, you’ve got more wiggle room. And so I’ll have some scenarios where people are kind of sinking it in, and then I’ll change weight and change posture and see what I can do to deal with that, and that has allowed me, particularly when you do this in drilling scenarios to get better at getting out of this stuff.
Robb: But we were working kind of a clock choke from turtle position the other day, and when Nicki put a couple of them on, I had to tap before she was even done benching it, because I’m like, there is no getting out of this, and so I tapped real early. And again, I don’t want to mischaracterize this Sean Entin guy. I hate it when people don’t know me and they go on and on and on with all these opinions about me, and I just laid a bunch of opinions there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was maybe a little hardheaded, if this was a little bit of a rough training environment, and some ego got involved, and he didn’t tap early.
Robb: I’ve never been choked unconscious because I tap early. There are, in theory, scenarios in which I guess the submission could come on so fast that you don’t have time, but even that … So the final link we have here, it’s a Straight Blast Gym piece from our coach, BJJ Fundamentals Coach John Frankl, Better Connection for Better Chokes. He makes the case that chokes in particular should be so gentle. If you get the proper connection, it should not require hardly any force. And in fact, if you have to really bow down, if you’re struggling … And now, this is a different story. If you’re an MMA fighter or you’re a Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitor, those environments, you kind of get whatever you can get.
Robb: But for 99% of your training, the goal should be to use a nickel’s worth of pressure to finish a rear naked choke or even cross collar chokes and stuff like that. If it’s like you’re doing a max effort pull up or trying to squeeze a foam roller such that it’s going to pop, you’re doing it wrong. You’re not in proper place, you’re not properly connected. And not surprisingly, if you’re in a scenario where your choke applications are dog shit, then if the structures are not lined up the way that they should be, then I could see something get damaged.
Robb: At the end of the day, this is just kind of a personal risk assessment that John’s going to have to take and figure out if he thinks it’s worth it, but in my opinion, if you train with good people, if you don’t let your ego get involved and you tap early, and if there’s a culture of not competency, but mastery such that the goal is to-
Nicki: It’s not to win, it’s for both people to keep improving in jiu-jitsu. Our coach, John Frankl, also has a saying where he says, “The goal of each training practice should be to be able to show up the next day and train again, so not get injured.”
Robb: And that is the singular goal.
Nicki: That’s the singular goal, because if you get injured, you’re out for a significant period of time, whereas if you can just come day after day, week after week, you’re going to continue to make progress. I want to make one other comment relative to … Robb, you mentioned picking and choosing who you train with and who you roll with. When I was at that women’s retreat up at SBG Montana, the question came up, because it’s all women, and frequently in many schools, the men outnumber the women pretty significantly, so as a female, most of the time you’re significantly smaller than the guys, and so you’re frequently getting paired up with bigger dudes.
Nicki: Here in Texas, I regularly roll with guys that are 200 plus pounds and train with them. And Leah Taylor, one of the coaches up there, made a comment that, “It’s like you have your dance card.” And this can apply to men too. You have the people that you know are a good, safe, fun roll. And you have the people who maybe their energy is different, or they’ve got a different style or whatever, and they’re a little more aggressive than you want to be, and they’re just not on your dance card. And it’s okay to say, “No, not today. I don’t want to roll with you today.” Or she actually brought up a pretty interesting suggestion. If someone asks you to roll, let’s say it’s a guy, a big dude who has a high school wrestling background, so you know they’re-
Robb: Full of piss and vinegar.
Nicki: … full of piss and vinegar, they’re strong, and they’ve got all this wrestling history, take downs, whatever. If they ask you to roll, you don’t always have to just spar and regularly roll. You can say, “Gosh, you know what? You’re so great at wrestling. I would really love … Can you work on this one take down with me?” Or, “I’m struggling with this.” You can dictate the terms of it. You can say, “I really want to work on this. Can I work on getting out from mount from you because you’re bigger than me?” Or, “Can I work a submission from mount?”
Nicki: You can take that time which would otherwise be kind of a free rolling thing, and use it to drill something specific for that five minutes or however long that period of time is with a person that’s bigger than you. And if they’re a wrestler or they have this other expertise, you can lean on them. Leah made the point. She was like, “They will be so excited, especially if you’re a female, to teach you something, because that just lights them up and they feel like they’re doing something.”
Robb: And it makes it safer when you conduct things in a … In a format like that, let’s say Nicki’s working with somebody who’s … She wants to work some cross side attacks. And if the person Nicki’s working, and if she gets a submission, then great. If the person gets out, then you reset. And you agree to these terms. “Hey, let me get this two or three times in a row so I just kind of get the feel, and then slowly start ratcheting up the resistance.” You got a five minute round, so you should be able to get plenty of reps on this, so you get your two or three successful things, and like, “Okay, just start ratcheting up a little bit. Don’t kill me, but …”
Robb: So communicate. Tell the person what you need, and then as it progresses, maybe 50% of the time you’re getting it, 50% of the time that person’s getting out, that’s a pretty good ratio. That’s pressure testing your skills, and it removes the kind of hairball elements of live rolling. Apparently Helio Gracie, he rolled into his 90s. He rolled up until maybe a couple weeks before he died, apparently. But in his last maybe 10, 15 years of doing jiu-jitsu, 90, 95% of the training he did was just positional drilling, because it just minimized the kind of hairball effects.
Robb: Everybody knows kind of what’s on the table. If the person gets out or they get a submission, then you reset. And because it’s part of a drill, and you agree, “Oh, I’m going to give you enough so that you succeed sometimes, and then I’m going to try to have you not succeed other times,” then it helps to remove the ego, and it’s not so much a thing like, “Oh, I beat you.” So that’s a great point.
Nicki: John, I hope that gave you some direction and some help. And if you really love it, I would stick with it. I would just try to structure things in a way that you feel safe. Again, a lot of it comes down to the culture of the gym, too. If you’re in a really competitive gym where people are just like, “I tapped him, and I tapped him, and I’m the most badass person in the gym,” then that might not be the best gym for you. And there are gyms out there that focus on technique and efficiency, and it’s fun, it’s play. It’s not all about kicking somebody’s butt all the time.
Robb: And these gyms also produce great competitors when and where that’s appropriate. Good training, good coaching works for everybody, whereas the meat grinder process of only the strong shall survive, it works for the strong, and that’s it.
Nicki: Okay, this last question, I almost didn’t put in here, but it was kind of-
Robb: Part of me is wondering if we’re getting punked on this, but maybe not.
Nicki: I don’t know if we’re getting punked, but it was kind of funny, and so I figured, what the hell? This one is on pee-pee and athlete’s foot. Eric says, “Hey, allihopa. Dumb and Dumber, famous end scene.” He put that in quotations, which is good because I would not have known that that’s what that is from. He says he’s 34, 5’10”, 175 pounds, jacked, tan, with brown eyes.
Robb: Oh, Nicki’s interested now.
Nicki: He says, “This morning I couldn’t sleep, so I woke up and got behind the keyboard when it dawned on me. Pee in a bowl and soak your toes to help get rid of your athlete’s foot, because why not? So I did. Then I decided to make it my Snapchat story, because why not? But then after it was too late, I decided to Google if it’s even effective in the treatment for athlete’s foot, and the first thing that comes up is essentially, no, no it does not. I guess there isn’t enough urea in pee-pee to make a dent. Oops, now I’m that guy. I wonder, though, how accurate that article would be considering it was mostly referring to shower pee-pee. Mine was in a bowl, and I let it soak for 20 plus minutes. Please help me to redeem myself and tell me what I did is effective in the treatment of my filthy, disgusting toe jam. PS, love the podcast. Been listening since episode one, and loved both your books, and love you. I love you, Robb. Kisses.” I don’t know why this made me laugh, so it’s getting air time. Robb?
Robb: I think you should tackle this one. I think you’re all farklempt over the 175, jacked, tan, brown eyes.
Nicki: It’s just like you, except for the blue eyes. You’re not 34 either, but-
Nicki: … neither am I.
Robb: Probably some part of me is 34. I don’t know which part, though. Crazy. It’s not a terrible idea. You have some toe jam weirdness, you want to immerse it in a fluid that is not amenable to the continued survival of said toe jam. There are crazy things like white vinegar, though, that one can buy from the store that are actually used as cleaning products and are not regarded as a biohazard, so I would just lean towards that.
Nicki: And white vinegar is incredibly cheap. It’s like $2.99 for a gallon.
Robb: It’s cheaper than water in some odd way, yeah. So I like the idea. I think that we could probably modify the approach. It may not be as Snapchat-worthy, but unless Nicki has something else, that’s all I’ve got on that one.
Nicki: I have nothing for you. I mean, I struggled with some toenail fungus for a long time, and I ended up doing the actual standard antibiotic, or it wasn’t an antibiotic. What was-
Nicki: Antifungal route. But I didn’t try pee-pee, but I did white vinegar-
Robb: We did the white vinegar.
Nicki: … tea tree oil, oregano oil, every possible-
Robb: You and your pops, though, had a particularly-
Nicki: Vicks VapoRub. Every-
Robb: … tough variety of it, yeah, which the oral antifungal ended up finally getting it. You do have to do some liver monitoring with that. You were totally fine with it.
Nicki: Yeah, and I waited a long, long time because I was super freaked out by that. But finally, it was making me not want to do jiu-jitsu because I was so self conscious about my toenails.
Nicki: So I bit the bullet and did that, and it made it go away, and so I’m glad-
Robb: Nicki lived to tell the tale.
Nicki: … I lived to tell the tale. So you’re talking about athlete’s foot. There’s also over-the-counter athlete’s foot stuff that I think probably works-
Nicki: … reasonably well. Eric, thanks for the laugh, and yeah. White vinegar instead of pee.
Robb: That’s my recommendation.
Nicki: Anything else?
Robb: Mycotoxin-free white vinegar, of course.
Nicki: Yeah, there you go.
Robb: Got to make that shit bulletproof, so yeah. No, that’s it. That’s all I got. I don’t think I got in trouble on this one, so we’ll see.
Nicki: All right. Live to tell the tale.
Nicki: All right, folks. Thank you so much for joining us. Please check out our show sponsor, Joovv, excuse me, for your red light therapy device. That’s J-O-O-V-V, Joovv, and get an exclusive discount on your first order. Go to J-O-V-V dot com slash R-O-B-B. That’s Joovv.com/Robb. And if you use code Robb, apply code Robb to your qualifying order for a special offer. And please share this episode if something in this show helped you. Share it with a friend. It’s easy to do so from your podcast app. Just tap the little share icon.
Robb: Tap that shit.
Nicki: Tap that shit, and tap early, tap often.
Robb: Seems to be the theme.
Nicki: The theme. All right, folks. We’ll see you next time.
Robb: Bye, everybody.
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