News topic du jour:
1. Bariatric Bypass RNY 2004 is Carnivore Safe to Follow with 18:6 Fasting [17:07]
Hello Mr Wolf,
I am a 68 year old female, 167 lbs, on no medications who unfortunately had Bariatric surgery back in 2004.
Since 2018 I started Keto to lose a regain of 52 lbs which I had been been trying to lose since 2011 by following Weight Watchers, many times!!
After researching Ketogenic in January 2018 I became a lot smarter in knowing that the SAD way of eating was so wrong.
I have recently transitioned over to Carnivore but have concerns on ratios of Protein to Fat. I do know being a Bariatric patient Protein is priority over Fats. I eat 2 meals a day, lunch (11:00am) & dinner (5 or 5:30pm). By 6 or 6:30pm my Fasting starts. With my pouch only able to hold so much food I’m all over the board with my Protein & Fats. Fill up so fast. My carbs are easily 5 or less everyday (spices). No dairy other than butter at this time (testing elimination) I feel satiated but I think that is from eating to many fats. Bulletproof coffee each day. Have last 2 days eliminated this. Don’t snack never feel the need. If you could please just give me imput if carnivore is for me along with fasting or should I go back to eating Keto w 20 Total carbs or less. I did start to have many binges in past year eating Keto (sugar addict big time) . Carnivore after getting body adjusted no massive binges at all.
Hope you can give me some insight Mr Wolf to my confusion. I do know there are many people that have these weight loss surgeries. I just wished I had known about Keto, LCHF, Carnivore back in 2004 weighing at 313 lbs I would have said NO to this drastic, irreversible surgery.
2. Early Puberty [22:58]
Hi Robb and Nicki:
I’ve been keeping up with your books and podcasts since 2013, right around the time my daughter was born.
In a recent visit, my Mom pulled a classic mother-in-law move and horrified my wife with a genetic fun fact – that she had her first period at 9 years old. She implied that recent moodiness might not be attributed to the boatload of sweet tea and candy that they had just showered the child in, but rather hormones.
The only time I’ve ever been of average height was middle school, when I hit puberty a little bit early (11 or 12). I’m 5’4” now. I also went bald very early, around 18.
My daughter arrived 6 weeks early and also lost baby teeth before everyone in her daycare.
My wife Janet hit puberty at 14, as did her Mom.
As a family, we’re about 80/20 paleo – we’ve almost completely eliminated gluten, sugar, and other junk food from the kiddo’s diet, with occasional weekly exceptions – her two favorite foods, by a landslide, are steak and broccoli. And her after-school program is Taekwondo, so she stays active. She’s struggled a little with constipation and we give her a dash of miralax each morning, which seems to keep that in check. She takes a multivitamin and during covid, we’ve added vitamin D to the mix, since she’s been in-person for quite a while now.
In terms of other items of interest, we have confirmed Celiac on Janet’s side of the family (her maternal grandmother). And my Mom had Pica as a kid (eating dirt/sand due to a mineral deficiency) and she has continued to have hormonal challenges throughout adulthood.
Curious if this is 100% genetic roulette or if there is anything that we can do to slow the potential early onset of puberty via smart food choices. We’ll also be discussing with her pediatrician but would love your insight going into that conversation.
Happy to provide additional details, I realize this might be a hodge-podge of arbitrarily selected clues.
PS – LMNT is my go-to drink after the Saturday long run. Doing 8+ miles in Charleston humidity results in salt rapidly exiting my body via sweat, so LMNT keeps me from having headaches and needing long naps afterward.
3. Group B Strep in Pregnancy and Rebuilding Gut After IV Penecillin [30:05]
I’m pregnant with my second kiddo and tested positive for Group B Strep. My doula has recommended following hospital policy and doing the IV penicillin during labor. She knows many parents that have tried to fight it and the result was an even longer hospital stay and a more likely (unnecessary) NICU stay for baby. What can I do for me and baby before and after birth to prepare and repopulate our microbiome? Probiotics, fermented foods? We plan on breastfeeding.
4. Not Losing Fat [37:23]
Hi Robb and Nicki! I love your podcast and value the balanced approach that you take to health advice, which is why I’m reaching out to you today. After a long 8 months of testing, I was diagnosed with pituitary inflammation and 3 large nodules on my thyroid. My thyroid levels always still test in the ‘normal’ range. Over the last few years I have tried every ‘diet’ out there to lose weight. 2 years ago, I finally had some success with the If It Fits Your Macros way of eating, but it still took a whole year to lose 20 lbs. Then all progress halted. I felt uncomfortable with this way of eating because of all the highly processed foods they pushed/allowed. I started my own research and discovered carnivore. I dabbled with this a bit last year and have been committed to this way of eating since January of this year. My inflammation is down since starting. I eat eggs, some dairy, all kinds of meat and the occasional low carb fruit or veggie. I have not lost any fat since starting to eat like this. I fully realize that my focus should be on healing my body, and it is, especially in light of my recent diagnosis. However, I still would like to shed fat (my weight # is not as much of a concern to me as I know I carry a lot of muscle). It’s so confusing with so many differing opinions out there, so my questions are these: Should I eliminate dairy? Why would it be that I was able to shed fat while eating crappy carbs? Is this an indication that perhaps I need more carbs for my body type? Or is it simply going to take some time to heal my body so it will release the fat?
For the record, I am mid 40s, lift heavy 5 days per week (and compete in power lifting when covid allows), am not on any medications. I try to keep to the following macros: Calories – 1550, net carbs – 5% (18 gr), protein – 40% (155 gr), fat – 55% (95 gr). I weigh 195 lbs but am roughly 40% fat. When I was doing IIFYM, calories were the same. Macros were 40/30/30.
5. Poo Frequency? [44:31]
How often is optimal to go #2 in a day? Is once enough, or should it be after every meal? Is there a cutoff between too often and not enough?
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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 a bold aim to help one million people liberate themselves from the sick care system. You’re listening to the Healthy Rebellion Radio.
Nicki: 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: Top of the morning there, missy.
Nicki: Oh, we’re going Irish?
Robb: Oh, you want to drive, right?
Nicki: We’re going Irish accent today?
Robb: Sure, why not?
Robb: It’s the Irish Spring.
Nicki: That was actually kind of funny. You know what it makes me think of?
Robb: Are you pregnant again?
Nicki: No. You know what it makes me think of? Whenever-
Robb: Man, that was an emphatic no. Why are you certain you’re not pregnant?
Nicki: I’m just certain. Whenever anybody mentions Irish Spring, it makes me think of keeping deer away, because that’s a tactic. Who was I talking to? Somebody… This was years ago.
Robb: This was back in Reno, yeah.
Nicki: Yeah, and she said that the way they keep deer away is they take pantyhose and put bars of Irish Spring soap and suspend pantyhose with Irish Spring around.
Robb: That sounds terrifying in and of itself, so yeah. That sounds like some sort of horror movie setup, so I would stay the fuck away from that, too.
Nicki: I think it also helps deter ants.
Robb: Yes, yeah. You’re supposed to grate it up.
Nicki: Yeah, little shavings of Irish Spring. Okay, that was-
Robb: Hi, folks, welcome-
Nicki: … an interesting tangent.
Robb: … to the Healthy Rebellion Radio. We have nothing worthwhile to offer here.
Nicki: Yeah, yeah. Let’s see. I just wanted to share a little bit about our weekend last weekend. On Saturday, the girls and I competed in the Gorilla Cup, which is a jiu-jitsu tournament here in Montana that it’s like an… What do you call it?
Nicki: Intra-school competition, so just the Straight Blast Gym affiliates here locally.
Robb: Bozeman, Missoula.
Nicki: Missoula, Whitefish, and Kalispell.
Robb: And Bigfork.
Nicki: And Bigfork, yep. And that was just such a great experience. Leading into it, Sagan wanted to do it, Zoe was like, “I’m not doing it, I don’t want to do it.” And then a couple weeks out, she was like, “Okay, yeah, I think I’ll do it.” And so just the experience of walking your kids through the nerves and, “Mom, I feel so nervous. I don’t know if I want to do it anymore.” It’s like, “That’s a normal feeling. This is something that we feel as humans when we’re about to do something that’s unfamiliar or that we haven’t done before.” And so anyway, it was just really cool to… That’s the first time the girls have ever competed in anything, so it was just kind of a cool experience to go through that.
Robb: And both of them were excited to get back to training.
Nicki: And we were so proud of them. They did great. None of us won. There was only one other woman in my weight class and belt, and she tapped me. And the girls both lost from points, but just the-
Robb: Zoe’s second match was fucking legit, though. She got put into closed guard on this kid, and he tried to sweep her every way from Sunday. Zoe was doing… It was some beautiful jiu-jitsu. Her balance and weight distribution and recognizing when this kid was trying to sweep her. And we haven’t done a lot on guard breaks with her, so she had a limited Rolodex of options to do with that, but holy shit, it was good jiu-jitsu. It was just beautiful. And I think my face was so glowing, when she came off the mat, her face started glowing because she could see, I was like, “That was awesome jiu-jitsu.” Yeah, it was cool. It was very cool.
Nicki: Yeah, it was a super great experience. And then also, before the whole thing started, Travis Davison, who is the founder, he and his wife, Kisa, of SBG Montana, he gave a little speech, and he was asking the crowd, “How many people have been to a jiu-jitsu tournament before?” Or, “How many people this is their first time spectating a jiu-jitsu tournament?” And it was most of the crowd, and so he was very clear to say, “This is not like a wrestling tournament. You don’t yell.” Because I’ve been to one wrestling tournament, probably more than one, but with my nephew, and they’re brutal. The-
Robb: Well, the parents get down there and start sideline coaching. And if the kid doesn’t win, then they’re a piece of shit, and-
Nicki: Then they berate them, and, “You’re a piece…” Yeah. You hear the worst shit come out of parents’ mouths at wrestling tournaments.
Robb: And shockingly, lots of kids decide that that stuff isn’t all that much fun. And so it’s-
Nicki: Right. But Travis was very careful. It was such a great opening-
Robb: One of the great things he said, “After the first round of matches, 50% of everybody here will have lost one match.” And that’s just-
Nicki: “And many of you will lose your second match, and that’s just how it is.”
Robb: “And that’s just the way it is, and there will be tears, and you will let them cry, and you won’t provide excuses.”
Nicki: And he said, “Don’t make excuses for your kid. When they come off the mat, don’t say, ‘Oh, you lost because he was a little bigger than you, or he has a little better technique.’ Your kids are going to be making plenty of excuses for themselves. Don’t make any excuses for your kids. Just tell them how proud you are of them, and…” Anyway, it was a wonderful, wonderful experience. And the girls are excited to do it again, which I took as a huge win.
Robb: Yeah. Yeah. Because could have been like, “I’m not doing jiu-jitsu every again.”
Nicki: Right. Right. Yeah. So that was fun. Let’s see. What else do we want to share? We’re in the middle of our 30-day Rebel Reset, and going into our-
Robb: Week three.
Nicki: … week three movement, and people are doing great. It’s a lot of fun. Lots of wins. And I will be sure to share more of that as the week goes on. There was one other thing that I wanted to share, that it’s escaping me now. But we’ve got a really great lineup coming up. We’ve got this reset. We’re wrapping up the Rebel Book Club, that we’re on The Unthinkable.
Nicki: We’ve got a great new fun book coming up for the summer, which I think is perfect for the summer and people wanting to be outdoors. It’s going to be The Natural Navigator by Tristan Gooley. Excuse me. One of our rebels, Collin, is going to be leading that, so super excited for that, learning how to read the signs in nature and in the environment to navigate.
Robb: And this stuff’s legit. It’s not woo. It’s really legit stuff, yeah.
Nicki: Yeah. Yeah. So excited for that. A lot of good interviews coming up, exclusive interviews to The Healthy Rebellion, some live chats, of course. Actually, we have one right after we record this show.
Robb: A couple of one-week challenges.
Nicki: Some one-week challenges that we’ll share as we get closer.
Robb: We don’t want to bomb people during the summer, or at least northern latitude summer, but give them a little bit of something to keep them engaged, keep them motoring forward. Yeah.
Nicki: Yeah, so looking forward to… Oh, and we did finally see our bald eagle-
Robb: Yes, we did. We did.
Nicki: … yesterday. And we got it on camera. We shared a photo in The Healthy Rebellion. I realize that I need a better… I cannot take pictures of eagles with my iPhone. It just does not come out, especially if they’re at any distance. You zoom in, and you can barely see it, and it was very frustrating. So yeah, we’re going to figure out what kind of-
Robb: Some options around that.
Nicki: … option we need for that. I think, is that your phone beeping? Sorry.
Robb: No, that’s your computer.
Nicki: Okay. Let’s move on. What do we have next?
Robb: Is that it?
Robb: We’ve got this outline here.
Nicki: Okay. Yep, it’s time for our news topic.
Robb: Origin of COVID, Following the Clues. This is a piece from-
Nicki: This piece has been making the rounds, and I’d be surprised if most of you haven’t seen it yet. But if you haven’t, it’s definitely a very worthwhile read. Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan? And it was a Medium piece that I think has since been republished elsewhere, but by Nicholas Wade.
Robb: And just for a little bit of background, Nicholas Wade has been a science writer for 50 years, has written I believe a couple of New York Times bestselling books more in the evolutionary biology realm. He was the New York Times science editor for 30 years. So this is not some fucking-
Nicki: Great journalism chops, yeah.
Robb: … conspiracy theorist. In an age where there is so little that I would call journalism, and I’ve been on the journalistic cross-examining deal where it’s just like, let’s go find the two most extreme positions, and somehow this denotes balance or something. No. There’s nothing to that. Journalism is ferreting out a story and then-
Nicki: Providing the details-
Robb: … providing the details, and-
Nicki: … and letting your reader make their own conclusions.
Robb: Exactly. And that’s what he does in this. And it’s very, very damning. And it lays out the case that in all likelihood, the virus’ primary origin was a lab leak.
Nicki: It’s not conclusive either way, but that there are a lot of-
Robb: No, it kind of is. There is not hard, factual evidence yet, but when you look at things like the furin cleft-
Nicki: Cleavage sites.
Robb: … cleavage site, that is completely novel to coronaviruses. Some of the coding that is used within the coronavirus is specific to… There are redundancies in the coding for different amino acids and proteins, and so two of the same letter pair will encode for the same amino acid. Some of that coding is more typical to be found in humans, and some is more typical to be found in mice. Everything is human, human, human, which is completely… And there’s lots of other things, including pretty damning implications around where the funding came from, who provided the funding, what the oversight was.
Robb: And lo and behold, it ends up being a lot of the same people that are telling us, “There’s nothing to see here. It is preposterous that there is some sort of a lab origin story to this.” And I have to admit, very early in this whole process, I kind of shot down the notion of lab leak, in part because nobody at that point knew one way or the other, and a lot of the people suggesting lab leak were going all kinds of other additional levels, “Oh, this had to have been done on purpose. It’s specifically a bio weapon.”
Robb: And it was some of the same lunatic fringe people that were suggesting that 5G was a transmission vector for COVID. So I kind of dismissed all this stuff out of hand, if for no other reason to, in my own mind, and here’s a logical failure on my part, to provide some sort of balance around this. It wasn’t about balance. It was about finding what the fucking facts are. But this thing does an amazing job of ferreting that out. And if the implications in this thing are accurate, it’s big. There’s going to be a lot of shit to unpack.
Nicki: There’s a lot of answers that the people of the world deserve.
Robb: Yeah. Yeah. So I’ll leave it at that. And I mean, you’ll do what you want, but the reading and noodling on the implications of this piece, I would put as kind of a-
Nicki: On your must read list, if you haven’t yet.
Robb: … must do from a civic responsibility perspective. Because if this thing is a product of lab leak, and if it occurred in a lab leak because of gain-of-function research, and we’re already being told, “Oh, by the way, guys, be prepared. This is going to happen again.” People like Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci have both said this.
Robb: It’s like, well, why the fuck is it going to happen again, and why did it happen the first time? And did any of you people have anything to do with this? And maybe we should not be funding gain-of-function research, and maybe there shouldn’t be loopholes for the government to provide gain-of-function research through these nefarious processes, which is very well detailed in here.
Nicki: It’s all spelled out in the thing.
Robb: It’s detailed. Yeah. So I would beg you to give this a read, whatever side of this story you happen to fall on, because it behooves us all to really clearly understand what the ideology is of this SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Nicki: Yes. Okay. We’re going to move on to our T-shirt review winner this week. It goes to P-D-C-S-T-E-R, which I think is podcaster without most of the vowels. He or she says, “I really appreciate Robb and Nicki. Wish the podcast were longer for even more good content, a good balance of required information you don’t get elsewhere, and conversational info that feels like a chat with friends.” Which is cool.
Robb: Pretty cool.
Nicki: P-D-C-S-T-E-R, thank you for your review. Send us 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. And this episode and every episode of The Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by our salty AF electrolyte company, Drink LMNT. And LMNT has been used by a whole host of people for everything from helping mitigate low carb keto flu, and to a host of performance-related efforts.
Nicki: And we had a customer send in a message over the weekend that I wanted to share. This is from Shawn. And he competed in something called the Mass Extinction Elimination Endurance Challenge in Fort Mill, South Carolina. So it’s like a last-man-standing event. You run around a 1.15 mile loop, and you try to get as many as you can get in.
Robb: Well, and it goes squirrelly from there. The first lap had a 16-minute time limit. After that, each lap’s time limit decreases by nine seconds.
Nicki: You have to run each subsequent lap faster than the first.
Robb: And you have to run it faster and faster.
Nicki: Yeah. And he ran for nine hours. But anyway, he sent in a message. He said, “Hey Robb and the LMNT team, I just wanted to let you know that through using LMNT, I was able not only to get first place, but to set a course record last weekend in my last-man-standing ultra marathon. I was able to crank out 50 miles in a race that each lap had to be faster than the last. It was a hot day in South Carolina, so I used approximately 10 packs of LMNT throughout.” That was-
Nicki: … crazy. And we had a little internal Slack challenge talking about… I think Tyler was like-
Robb: How many of us would poop our pants, and-
Nicki: … “If I ever say I’m going to sign up to run 50 miles, just know that I’ve been abducted by aliens, and do away with me.” And then he was like, “Actually, I think I could do it. You just got to start out really slow,” which was really funny. But anyway, Shawn, super proud of your accomplishment, and thank you for the shout-out.
Robb: Stoked LMNT could play a part in that. Yeah.
Nicki: And for y’all listening, if you haven’t tried LMNT yet, you can get your LMNT electrolytes at DrinkLMNT.com/Robb. Again, that’s Drink L-M-N-T dot com slash R-O-B-B.
Nicki: Okay. Are you ready for questions?
Robb: Let’s do it.
Nicki: I also want to just throw out there, too, folks, if you have questions and you want to submit them, how you do that is you go to RobbWolf.com, go to the contact page, and there’s a dropdown where you can choose podcast question, and then you type in your question, and then maybe we’ll answer it.
Nicki: Okay, our first question today is from Judy. She had a bariatric bypass in 2004, and she says, “Hello, Mr. Wolf. I’m a 68-year-old female, 167 pounds, and on no medications, who unfortunately had bariatric surgery back in 2004. Since 2018, I started keto to lose a regain of the 52 pounds, which I had been trying to lose since 2011 by following Weight Watchers many times. After researching ketogenic diet in 2018, I became a lot smarter in knowing that the standard American diet way of eating was so wrong.”
Nicki: “I’ve recently transitioned over to carnivore, but I have concerns on ratios of protein to fat. I do know that being a bariatric patient, protein is a priority over fats. I eat too meals a day, lunch at 11:00 AM and dinner at 5:00 or 5:30. By 6:00 or 6:30 PM, my fasting starts. With my pouch only able to hold so much food, I’m all over the board with my protein and fats. I fill up so fast. My carbs are easily five or less every day, and basically spices. No dairy other than butter at this time, because I’m testing the elimination of that.”
Nicki: “I feel satiated, but I think that is from eating too many fats. I have a Bulletproof coffee each day, and for the last two days, I’ve eliminated this. I don’t snack. I never feel the need. But if you could, please let me know if carnivore is for me along with fasting, or should I go back to eating keto with 20 grams of carbs or less? I did start to have many binges in the past year eating keto, because I’m a big time sugar addict.”
Nicki: “Carnivore, after getting my body adjusted, I have no massive binges at all. I hope you can give me some insight. I know there are many people that have these weight loss surgeries. I just wish I had known about keto, low carb, high fat, and carnivore back in 2004 when I was weighing 313 pounds. I would have said no to this drastic, irreversible surgery. Thank you. Judy.”
Robb: Judy, this is interesting stuff, and man, I’ve noodled on this a lot. I’m not entirely sure the specific way to go into this. Given the bariatric surgery, and she alludes to this, she’s already in a very limited capacity to eat, which is kind of, in theory, part of the idea with this. But she’s kind of reduced this, to my mind, a bit of a false dichotomy. It’s either carnivore, 16/8 intermittent fasting, or shift back to keto.
Robb: And part of my question is, why do you have to do the intermittent fasting specifically? Usually, smaller, more frequent meals are a little bit better with the bariatric surgery. High protein meals are still going to remain satiating. We get more nutrient density out of that. Definitely, every calorie counts under this bariatric surgery scenario. And we want to get adequate nutrition to avoid nutrient deficiencies and whatnot.
Robb: Many, many, many people would be very, very concerned about carnivore as a standalone in that nutrient deficiency story. Four or five years down range looking at this stuff, I’m less concerned than what I used to be, although I have to admit, it’s still kind of concerning. It’s like, oh man, I don’t know. It’s interesting that whatever version of keto she was following was kind of stimulating some sort of sugar stuff, but this is kind of the beauty and simplicity of something like carnivore for some people.
Robb: And at the end of the day… God, it’s just funny. I just hear the Alan Aragons and the Layne Nortons just losing their fucking minds over this. But it’s also, Judy’s describing a path of success, and she’s trying to further iterate on this stuff. And so I have to admit, it sounds crazy even to me. It’s kind of like, stop, turn around, do something different. But what do you do at this point? She’s already embarked so much on this stuff.
Robb: Anyway, I would just reevaluate, why do you have to do the 16/8 intermittent fasting? She eats lunch at 11:00 AM. Why not a breakfast? Why not a lunch? Why not a dinner? That seems completely reasonable. Stick more to the protein-centric stuff. I think that ditching the Bulletproof coffee probably makes a lot of sense. If you’re get down to a significant degree of leanness and you’re like, “Okay, I need to re-add some easy fast,” then maybe we do that. But in this period trying to lean out, I think that it makes perfect sense to have more frequent feeding and to also kind of minimize, not minimize, but moderate the amount of fat that you’re consuming.
Nicki: It’s interesting-
Robb: Did I hit everything on that?
Nicki: Yeah. It’s interesting that with the 20 grams of carbs, she was finding herself kind of slipping back into that sugar addict mode. I guess my question would be, what were the carb choices there that led to that? Because it seems like if people are choosing more dense vegetable sources, assuming you tolerate veggies, it’s kind of difficult for that to flip you over into the sugar-
Robb: Yeah, and it’s a good question. Was it dirty keto, like Quest cookies and stuff like that? Which for some people just don’t work. For some people, they do. Yeah.
Nicki: So that is an option. If she wanted to incorporate more vegetable matter into her diet, just go for stuff that’s really low glycemic and-
Robb: Yeah. Yeah.
Robb: And it’d be great to hear back from Judy. This is kind of a fascinating thing, and yeah. I debated on whether or not we were going to comment on this one at all, because it’s kind of controversial stuff, so yeah.
Nicki: Okay, our next question is from Greg. He has a question on early puberty. “Hi Robb and Nicki. I’ve been keeping up with your books and podcast since 2013, right around the time my daughter was born. In a recent visit, my mom pulled a classic mother-in-law move and horrified my wife with a genetic fun fact, that she had her first period at nine years old. She implied that the recent moodiness of my daughter might not be attributed to the boatload of sweet tea and candy that they had just showered the child in, but rather hormones.”
Nicki: “The only time I’ve ever been of average height was middle school, when I hit puberty a little bit early at 11 or 12. I’m five foot four now. I also went to bed,” or sorry, “I also went bald very early, around 18. My daughter arrived six weeks early and also lost baby teeth before everyone in her daycare. My wife, Janet, hit puberty at 14, as did her mom. As a family, we’re about 80/20 paleo. We’ve almost completely eliminated gluten, sugar, and other junk food from the kiddo’s diet, with occasional weekly exceptions.”
Nicki: “Her two favorite foods, by a landslide, are steak and broccoli. Her after school program is Taekwondo, so she stays active. She struggled a little with constipation, and we give her a dash of MiraLAX each morning, which seems to keep that in check. She takes a multivitamin, and during COVID, we’d added vitamin D to the mix, since she’s been in person for quite a while now. In terms of other items of interest, we have confirmed celiac on Janet’s side of the family. Her maternal grandmother and my mom had pica as a kid, eating dirt and sand due to a mineral deficiency, and she has continued to have hormonal challenges throughout adulthood.”
Nicki: “I’m curious if this is 100% genetic roulette, or if there is anything that we can do to slow the potential early onset of puberty via smart food choices. We’ll also be discussing this with her pediatrician, but I’d love to know your insight going into that conversation.” And then he says, “Happy to provide additional details. I realize this might be a hodgepodge of arbitrarily selected clues.”
Robb: Yeah. And I provided a link here. Evolutionary fitness as a function of pubertal age in 22 subsistence-based traditional societies. So it’s kind of a review of both hunter-gatherer, horticulturalist, foraging societies and average age of puberty, which is a nontrivial thing to figure out, because it’s like, do you just gauge developing breasts, pubic hair, male genitalia… So they spend a fair amount of time explaining that this is very imprecise stuff, because they’re not tracking hormones and whatnot.
Robb: But this paper, in addition to others, kind of paints this picture that in general, puberty tended to happen a bit later, relatively, in these kind of pre-industrialized societies. Anywhere from 12 to 17 was more the norm. And if you poke around this stuff, there has been a trend as societies Westernize, as societies eat more calories, specifically, and then maybe it’s more carbs, maybe it’s just calories in general, but as societies eat more calories in general earlier, then we tend to see earlier onset of puberty.
Robb: More noticeable in the girls than the boys, and maybe just more socially impactful, because it changes so many things here. So it’s interesting. If we want to go another layer deeper on this, average time between births for hunter-gatherers is estimated to be about four and a half years, and there’s a lot of thoughts around that. The moms tended to breastfeed, which provided some degree of prophylactic protection around getting pregnant again.
Robb: But also, even though this hunter-gatherer type diet was very nutritious, it was not overfed. And then when we start seeing scenarios in which people are legitimately overfed, then even breastfeeding can override this… I don’t know how to couch it these days. Everybody wants to cancel you for… Is breastfeeding protection from becoming pregnant again? I guess it minimizes the likelihood of that happening.
Robb: But if an individual has high enough insulin levels and enough growth factors, then it will override that process. So it’s interesting. If we want to kind of ride this edge of reproductive capacity, you want to be well-nutritioned, but you don’t want to be overfed. And so there you got it. And so there’s decision… Everything that looks not so paleo-ish or even so developing country carb-ish, like if you’re eating pearled barley and white rice and stuff like that, it’s probably not that big of a deal. You start getting some ice cream, you start getting consistent pizza and everything. And I think the potential for that is-
Nicki: How much of it do you think is dairy?
Robb: It’s hard to tell, because dairy is a really potent growth promoter. And it’s worth mentioning on that front, my good friend Pedro Bastos has done a deep dive on this. And traditional cultures would obtain dairy at very specific times of the year when the hormonal profile in the dairy was what we would consider to be less injurious. There was less estrogen, there was less insulin-like growth factor, a high tendency to process the dairy via fermentation and do some other things that kind of mitigated some of these really potent growth-promoting elements.
Robb: And so I mean, we know for a fact that on the acne side of things, dairy is just a major, major player. It tends to be highly immunogenic, particularly the modern A1 beef strains and whatnot, whereas there’s the A2 in goats and camels and sheep and more heritage breeds of beef. So there might be something to that, too. Certainly it’s an easy source of calories. What is dairy’s function? To take-
Nicki: To make baby mammals and make them-
Robb: … small mammals into large mammals.
Nicki: … big mammals.
Robb: Yeah. And it fucking does a great job. So if you’re just stomping on the accelerator of growth factors, that’s got to have some implications going down the road. So yeah, it’s interesting. I don’t know if I entirely answered that, but I mean, to some degree, there is a genetic component to this, but it is very, in my opinion, and when you read the research, it’s not just an opinion. This seems well-supported. As diets industrialize, as total caloric load increases, then we tend to see earlier puberty.
Nicki: Okay. Moving on to question three from Rochelle. She is curious about group B strep in pregnancy and rebuilding gut after IV penicillin. She says, “Hi Robb. I’m pregnant with my second kiddo and tested positive for group B strep. My doula has recommended following hospital policy and doing the IV penicillin during labor. She knows many parents that have tried to fight it, and the result was an even longer hospital stay and a more likely and unnecessary NICU stay for the baby. What can I do for me and baby before and after birth to prepare and repopulate our microbiome? Probiotics, fermented foods? We do plan on breastfeeding.”
Robb: You know, we’ve talked about this a bit previously, and it’s interesting. I think within paleo land, it’s almost this scarlet A when you’re a parent and you have to undergo antibiotics for yourself or your child, or you and your child. It’s like, “Oh my God, I failed.” And I think we operated for a long time without the understanding that lots and lots of antibiotics could have some negative long-term consequences, but I think also, people get really wrapped around the axle of like, “Oh my God, I’m setting my kid up for failure, and I’ve failed as a parent.” There’s still a reality, antibiotics save people’s lives in the droves, so we need a little-
Robb: … perspective. I want to back up, and just let’s be goddamn grateful that we have antibiotics, that they still work, and we don’t live in a post-antibiotic world, because that world would be horrible. So just as a baseline. From there, the kind of funny thing, though, is that I’m not entirely sure what to do to repopulate the microbiome. If you just get a bad case of food poisoning, it’s going to dramatically alter the microbiome, and you didn’t go through antibiotics with that.
Robb: There are some products like Seed and some other really good probiotics that are out there. Dr. Ruscio’s products seem to be really good, the combination of lactobacilli probiotics, the soil-based microorganisms, and then also the Saccharomyces boulardii seems to be an interesting three-pronged approach. I don’t know how much of any of that is doing anything, though. Again, so much of this kind of boils down to the clinical manifestations. Do you guys have loose stools? Is there thrush because of an imbalance or what have you?
Robb: Some people do great on fermented foods, other people don’t. Some people do great taking probiotics, other folks don’t. So I think you generally mitigate your stress levels, sleep as well as you can, try to get outside as much as you possibly can. It’s interesting. Zoe’s got a little bit of nut allergy stuff, not super bad. It’s mainly GI related currently. If we serially feed her eggs, that can be a little bit of a problem. And we moved to a farm. They had chicken shit all over them. They played in the dirt. They ate mud pies. And she had one round-
Nicki: She’s had two rounds of antibiotics.
Robb: She had two rounds of antibiotics.
Nicki: … for bladder infection.
Robb: Right. But I mean, I don’t know what else we could have done. And it certainly was not a hyper clean environment, and it certainly wasn’t a hyper organized environment. And still, something popped up. What I think anybody would consider the… And it’s one of these things where, well, via the hygiene hypothesis and when you look at Westernized versus non-Westernized societies, it’s like, well, these nut allergies don’t tap in in the non-Westernized societies, and the egg intolerance, and this and that.
Robb: I don’t know what else we could have done. They’ve eaten sauerkraut. They’ve eaten kimchi. Again, they ate dirt pies out in the pasture. They played with chickens and goats and cats and dogs and horses. They’ve done gymnastics, they’ve done jiu-jitsu. So-
Nicki: They’ve had plenty of germs.
Robb: … they’ve had plenty of fucking germs, and there’s still some kind of non-optimal stuff that has occurred. And so that’s what it is, so if she has some nuts, they are not almonds. If we have eggs, it’s not every day. And you do some stuff like that. I don’t know if I’m totally driving this off the boat, but I guess just wanting to provide a little bit more framework on this, where you can do seemingly all the right shit, and it doesn’t always turn out exactly the way you wanted.
Robb: And then ironically, also, other people will not do a single goddamn thing right, and everything comes up roses. And that’s just kind of the way the world is sometimes. Chris Kresser had a really great piece along that line, which is, “You can do everything right, and it’s not going to 100% fix everything. And sometimes you can seemingly get away with doing everything wrong, at least for some period of time.” So I just want to throw that out there. It’s like, yes, we should always continue to work. Yes, we should always-
Robb: … tinker and fiddle and everything. But also, mitigate expectations a little bit. It’s like, if it all goes great, awesome. If it doesn’t, keep fiddling, keep looking. Don’t just give up. Don’t just roll your fleshy underbelly up to life and give up. But also, don’t self-flagellate and beat yourself because, “Oh, I could have done this, or I could have…” Yeah, we could have done all kinds of things, and maybe it would have mattered, and maybe it wouldn’t. So yeah.
Nicki: All right. It’s time for The Healthy Rebellion Radio trivia. Our Healthy Rebellion Radio sponsor, Drink LMNT, is giving a box of LMNT Recharge electrolytes to three lucky winners selected at random who answer the following question correctly. Robb, one of our listeners submitted a trivia question and wanted to know what your favorite flavor of ice cream is.
Robb: It’s ironic that this is sponsored by LMNT and that my favorite Rebel ice cream flavor is salted caramel.
Robb: Which one would you have predicted?
Nicki: The triple chocolate.
Robb: I mean, I eat all of them. And when you put three or four different flavors in a bowl and you can do your hyper palatable mix, it’s like, oh, a little triple chocolate and a little bit of salted caramel.
Nicki: Salted caramel.
Robb: Little triple chocolate and a little bit of peanut butter fudge.
Nicki: There you go.
Robb: It’s pretty goddamn good. Yeah.
Nicki: All right. The answer is our salted caramel Rebel.
Nicki: To play, go to RobbWolf.com/trivia and enter your answer, and we’ll randomly select three people with the correct answer to win a box of electrolytes from Drink LMNT. The cutoff to answer this week’s trivia and be eligible to win is Thursday, May 20th at midnight, and winners will be notified via email and also on Instagram. This is open to residents of the US only. Now for our fourth question. This one is from Jackie, and she’s not losing fat.
Nicki: “Hi Robb and Nicki, I love your podcast and value the balanced approach that you take to health advice, which is why I’m reaching out to you today. After a long eight months of testing, I was diagnosed with pituitary inflammation and three large nodules on my thyroid. My thyroid levels always still test in the normal range. Over the last few years, I have tried every diet out there to lost weight. Two years ago, I finally had some success with the If It Fits Your Macros way of eating, but it still took a whole year to lose 20 pounds.”
Nicki: “Then all progress halted. I felt uncomfortable with this way of eating because of all the highly processed foods that they pushed and allowed. I started my own research and discovered carnivore. I dabbled with this a bit last year and have been committed to this way of eating since January of this year. My inflammation is down since starting. I eat eggs, some dairy, all kinds of meat, and the occasional low carb fruit or veggie. I have not lost any fat since starting to eat like this.”
Nicki: “I fully realize that my focus should be on healing my body, and it is, especially in light of my recent diagnosis. However, I still would like to shed fat. My weight number is not as much of a concern to me, as I know I carry a lot of muscle. It’s so confusing with so many differing opinions out there, so my questions are there. Should I eliminate dairy? Why would it be that I was able to shed fat while eating crappy carbs? Is this an indication that perhaps I need more carbs for my body type, or is it simply going to take some time to heal my body so it will release the fat?”
Nicki: “For the record, I am in my mid-40s. I lift heavy five days a week, compete in power lifting when COVID allows. I’m not on any medications. I try to keep the following macros, calories 1,550, net carbs at 5%, which is 18 grams, protein at 40%, which is 155 grams, and fat at 55%, which is 95 grams. I weigh 195 pounds, but I’m roughly 40% fat. When I was doing If It Fits Your Macros, calories were the same, and my macros were 40/30/30.”
Robb: I don’t even know where to go with this one.
Nicki: Well, the thing that sticks out to me is she’s giving us percentages here.
Robb: Well, she is, but there is also the gram breakdown.
Nicki: Right, which is under what her… Do you think-
Robb: Yeah, so 155 grams of protein, and she’s 195 pounds, and she’s claiming a 40% body fat level. So her lean body mass-
Nicki: Okay, so her lean body mass, gotcha.
Robb: … at 24, it’s 80… It’s significantly less than that. Man, this is another one where some of these things, unless I’m actually sitting down looking at the person, able to ask follow on questions, it’s really hard to dig this stuff out. Why can you lose weight on garbage-y… A couple of things to this. One, if the If It Fits Your Macros thing was working, it doesn’t mean that you have to eat garbage carbs. You could make better carb choices. And even the people in those communities will say that, although they tend to revel in, “I ate ice cream and cheesecake, and I stayed under my caloric and macro counts, and so I’m good to go.” And-
Nicki: I do think… So one of her questions is, “Should I eliminate dairy?” A lot of people who are stuck at a particular weight or find themselves in a plateau scenario find that when they do eliminate dairy, things budge. So I think that’s a great starting point.
Robb: And it mainly is due to the fact that they end up overeating. And so I don’t know… Maybe she is weighing and measuring her food with the same consistency that she was doing before, but I suspect not, and so it starts becoming more seat of the pants, and there is kind of a reality that meat is great for you. Dairy products can be fantastic for you. They’re also very calorically dense, and so-
Nicki: It’s really easy to overeat.
Robb: … it’s easy to overeat.
Nicki: You’re having a slice of cheese with your salami, and then you have three more slices of cheese with your salami, and then you’re-
Robb: You’ve done-
Nicki: … significantly over what your-
Robb: Yeah. Yeah, you can blow your-
Nicki: … allotment is, yeah.
Robb: Yeah. I mean, on that thyroid front, when I hear thyroid numbers are within normal ranges, I always get a little bit finicky about that, because, is that conventional medicine look, or is this more of a functional medicine look? The functional medicine look is much more detailed, and we’re looking at reverse T3 and a bunch of other factors there to see if we really have adequate thyroid activity.
Robb: That said, most people will report clinical problems if they have low thyroid, like they’re cold, and poor circulation, maybe foggy-headed, different things like that. So I don’t know, but I mean, it’s something that I always kind of like, “Okay, you’ve got nodules on your thyroid. Maybe there’s something a little bit amiss there.” But I really honestly, this isn’t going to be very sexy, but I think that this is probably down to a situation where the attention to detail of monitoring this kind of carnivore-esque thing is not on par with what was occurring with the If It Fits Your Macros, and extra calories are sneaking in.
Robb: If that’s not the case, then maybe the dairy is the thing. But even in that scenario, I think that the dairy mainly represents this very easy way to overeat. It just tastes good, it goes well with everything, it makes everything taste better. And I mean, we give some amount of cheese and whatnot to our kids in part because it facilitates them eating everything else. It’s kind of like this mechanism for increasing their food intake. So that’s my main thing on this, is two things, I guess.
Robb: You could revisit your If It Fits Your Macros approach and just eat good quality carbs, and pick whatever it is that you want to work from that. That was working, and there’s no goddamn reason why it needs to be garbage carbs. That was working. Maybe go back to that. Or we really do need to weigh and measure this kind of peri-carnivore-esque thing. We need the same degree of diligence weighing and measuring all that stuff, and make sure that we’re not overshooting things. And within that story, the dairy can really be an easy place that we overeat.
Nicki: And then the other just standard things of paying attention to stress and sleep.
Robb: Sleep, and yeah.
Nicki: Because those can be kind of… Everybody tends to focus on the food or the exercise, but those two things, like if your sleep is consistently impaired, it’s going to make it harder for you to lean out.
Robb: I like it.
Nicki: Okay. Fifth question, and of course it’s about poo. This one’s from Carla. She wants to know, “How often is it optimal to go number two in a day? Is once enough, or should it be after every meal? Is there a cutoff between too often and not enough?”
Robb: Man, this varies a lot. If you eat a lot more plant material, you’re going to go more frequently, maybe like three times a day or even a little bit more than that. If you eat less plant material, it might be once a day or once every other day. Like Shawn Baker, I still eat some nuts, I still eat a little bit of fruit and whatnot. I think Shawn Baker says he goes like once every three days or something like that, because he’s purely carnivore.
Robb: And again, it’s so funny. I’m just kind of imagining, again, the Alan Aragons and the Layne Nortons looking over the fence listening to this shit, and they’re like, “This is batshit fucking crazy.” And part of me wants to say it is, and then part of me is like, people are doing this stuff, and they seem, by all appearances, to be healthier and clinically better, and motoring along well. So I-
Nicki: Not just well. Some people are reversing significant disease.
Nicki: And they are glowing now, where they were visibly sick before.
Robb: Well, and like the Shawn guy that set this record used some LMNT, but he also is carnivore. And he won a race that-
Nicki: Took him nine hours. He ran for nine hours.
Robb: … he ran for nine fucking hours. And it’s like, wow. Oh, man. So the long and short on the poo stuff, it really kind of varies. I would look a little bit more at the Bristol Stool Chart. Is it well-formed? The sinker or floater thing doesn’t really matter that much, but it’s like, if you are really constipated, that’s a problem. If you are loose stools, that’s a problem. Either way on this spectrum, the poo should be pretty well-formed. It shouldn’t require wrapping toilet paper all the way up to your arm like you’re a mummy to wipe your ass because it’s gone everywhere. That’s a problem. And it also shouldn’t require the Jaws of Life to chisel a-
Nicki: A poo stone.
Robb: … coprolite out of your backside to go poo. But there is a spectrum on this. I go personally maybe once a day, sometimes twice depending on how much plant material I’ve had. Coffee will definitely get things moving along, so that’s another factor. If I didn’t drink a cup of coffee in the morning, I don’t know, maybe I would only go once a day or something. I don’t know.
Nicki: Carla, no definitive answers there, but just pay attention-
Robb: Just look at what they look like, yeah.
Nicki: … to the consistency. Yeah.
Nicki: All right. That was our fifth, and we had to end on the poo.
Robb: We did have to end on the poo. Yeah.
Nicki: All right. Thanks everyone for joining us yet again. Be sure to check out our show sponsor, LMNT, for all your electrolyte needs. You can find them at DrinkLMNT.com. That’s Drink L-M-N-T dot com slash R-O-B-B. What else, hubs?
Robb: I think that’s it.
Nicki: That’s it. All right, folks. Have a wonderful weekend or week, whenever you are listening to this, and we’ll see you next time.
Robb: Bye everybody.
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