News topic du jour:
Link to robb’s video about roam free ranch
1. Post workout blood sugar crash [21:11]
Hey guys. Thanks for sanity. I am a grass based organic dairy farmer in Vermont and despite my job primarily being to wake up in a beautiful place and wander around a working landscape trying to figure out how myself and my cows can work within to make it better, I unfortunately spend an hour or more a day in the confines of a skid steer. Fortunately that’s where you come in. Podcasts have been a great way to be productive while remaining sane and learning all sorts of good stuff. I am a first generation dairy farmer which is no small feat. At 47 years old I have built something pretty great but it came with a cost. Many many short nights sleep, an abundance of alcohol and the standard American diet for 20 years led to adrenal fatigue, the awakening and diagnosis of celiac disease and some terrible blood work. Anyway over the last several years I’ve made changes. I’m exceptionally good at being gluten free. I grow all my own food and eat a carnivore/ paleo type diet. Mostly animal based with some fruit, nuts, and kimchi. For the past three years I’ve been lifting weights three days a week. This is where my question comes in. It crushes me. I’m not even working that hard. Maybe ten minutes of walking warm up followed by 45-60 minutes of free and or machine weights. Generally 6-9 different exercises with three sets of 15 reps. I feel a bit dizzy during my session and afterwards I eat protein and maybe a date or little bit of mango because I felt like the dizziness or lightheaded feeling was blood sugar. Not long after that I feel weak and more fatigued than I should for sometimes the remainder of the day. I generally work out after morning chores around 8:30-10:00. My blood work has been good. I am a muscular build 47 year old man. I am 5’9” 200 pounds. I farm, ski, play soccer, hunt and am generally active. I’m Eating Around 2,000 calories A day with 130g protein 50-60g NC and 70-80g fat. Additionally this past couple years of lifting weights I’ve suffered from chesty sensations. Sometimes pain but often just pressure. I caved and let gastro take my gallbladder looking for relief after a diagnosis of biliary dyskinesia. I kind of regret that but don’t notice much difference in my diet other than I haven’t tried to do keto. I am generally in mild ketosis though. Cardiologist says I’m good to go with no heart problems. Primary says it’s anxiety possibly although I wouldn’t characterize myself as an anxious person. Anyway it’s mildly driving me crazy. My life is way less stressful these days. I don’t drink. I get eight hours of good sleep. I sauna. I take cold showers. I eat well. My blood work is good now. It’s just this anxious deal and weight lifting fatigue that is bothering me. I take three LMNTs a day to stay hydrated. Ok that was a lot of information. Hoping you have some thoughts because I’m getting nothing from anyone here. Thanks a million. Check out our farm at www.stonypondfarm.com
2. Salt and obesity (Rick Johnson MD) [28:18]
So I’m in a bit of a conundrum… I have four boxes of LMNT in the pantry and I’ve been drinking it for over a year now. Love it. Crave it. I mountain bike and sometimes I ride just to have an excuse to have some. But… I just heard a podcast with Rick Johnson MD talking about the dangers of salt and it’s relationship to uric acid, the polyol pathway and obesity. I myself have published scientific articles in peer reviewed journals and I know that you can find data to support totally opposing viewpoints… Which is why I’m curious to hear your side on this argument because gosh darn it I don’t want to give up my LMNT. I’ve included a link to a podcast in which he talks about it.
3. Wellness to QAnon pipeline [32:35]
Hey Robb and Nicki,
Your podcast is a wealth of information for health and world views. There’s been a lot of talk on social media lately about the “wellness to QAnon pipeline” and I was wondering if you had a take on it?
It seems to me we are continuing to view lifestyle, diet, religion and political views all as one single entity. If you ascribe to one, you ascribe to all. Where is the nuance? Am I the only one being frustrated by this?
Keep doing what you’re doing! This community keeps me afloat.
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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 Rob 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: Welcome back, folks.
Nicki: To another episode of the Healthy Rebellion Radio. This is episode 138. And I’m chuckling because I just bit my tongue. I was about to say something, but every time I say … Rob and I have been getting into these little, I don’t know, what do we call it? Verbal …
Nicki: Joustings. And then he takes it out on me in Jujitsu.
Robb: Oh no. No. No. No. Let’s back up here a little bit.
Nicki: So I had the-
Robb: We have lots of verbal joustings. Just one day, you super escalated and I said, “I’m going to mash you in side control if you keep that up.” And you poked the bear. And I’m like, “You sure you want to go down this road?” And you did. And what was the result?
Nicki: This was in the holidays when the gym was closed. And we went back to our first class of the New Year and I got put in something called soul stealer multiple times, back to back. Yes, that was fun.
Robb: There’s no shame in pressure-tapping.
Nicki: I pressure-tapped sequentially.
Robb: But there’s a whole lot of joy in dishing pressure taps.
Nicki: Anyway, I’m biting my tongue. I wasn’t going to say what I was … Now I can’t even remember what I was going to say. But anyway, folks, thank you for joining us again for another episode of the Healthy Rebellion Radio. Let’s see. I was just going to give folks an update because I know some people are tracking this, but Stranger Things, we’re just about to start the final episode of season three. And it’s heating up.
Robb: It is.
Nicki: It’s good stuff.
Robb: It makes the hour of cardio go by in a blink of an eye. Yeah. Yeah.
Nicki: In a blur. In a blur. Yeah. Lots of surprising surprises and opportunities for me to scream and shriek.
Robb: Shriek and scream. Yeah.
Nicki: Anyway, I know you wanted to talk about this video that you were a part of, helping to highlight regenerative agriculture here in Western Montana with our friends, John and Brittany at Roam Free Ranch.
Robb: Yeah. They have their fingers in a lot of different pies, and one of them is an outfit called Regen Market, which mainly serves the Bozeman, Big Sky area, but apparently it has reach beyond that within Montana. And what Regen Market attempts to do is to play a distribution role between local food producers and consumers. I could envision a day where just we walk into any given store, and most stores these days will have usually in the produce section, but these are the locally sourced things, even though here in Montana, local oftentimes means Oregon and Washington and stuff like that, which is a little bit of a stretch. But one of the big challenges that local food producers face is just getting the food to people.
Going to farmers’ markets is super inefficient. There is a reality, and this is where I think as we go forward, these notions of what is sustainable aren’t going to make anybody entirely happy. Because there is a reality that the distribution channels that we have in a Costco or a Walmart are shockingly efficient. It’s part of the reason why they occur. And these efficiencies save gas. They save energy. They save prices because you know the way you consolidate the distribution and whatnot. But I think that there is a really strong case to be made for more food to be produced locally and consumed locally.
And we’ve talked a little bit about this with regards to slaughter and processing facilities that the FDA has allowed the big players to basically have a monopoly in those scenarios and whatnot. And that’s a whole other discussion. But Regen Market plays this role of trying to help the consumer interface with the producers and do something good. And so last summer, we went out there, myself. They interviewed me, interviewed John and Brittany, and they put together a really nice vignette talking about the potential of regenerative agriculture. And I got to say, you get so much less hate when you produce something that has bison in it versus cows. It is almost comical.
Nicki: Interesting. Yeah.
Robb: It’s super interesting. And there is something fascinating about that. Cows that we typically use for both meat and dairy, they are from Asiatic areas for the most part, much more acclimatized even after they’ve been selectively bred over hundreds of years now. But they’re much more acclimatized to a wetter environment, a different type of environment, ironically, than what the American bison evolved to endure and to thrive in here in North America.
So there are cases to be made in which bison would arguably be the more appropriate animal, although I think a mix of animals because since the end of the last glacial period, the extinction of megafauna has been just absolutely epic. And there’s a case to be made that a lot of the maintenance around the ecologies that we interface with were missing a lot of animals there. And I think cows can play a role, sheep, goats. It doesn’t have to be Pleistocene animals to plug into this stuff.
Nicki: Do you think that the less hate factor comes into play because bison are … You can’t have them in a feed lot? There’s none of those pictures of the classic PETA stuff against animal husbandry that you get with a cow.
Robb: Could be. Could be.
Nicki: Bison are very wild and very uncontainable in that way.
Robb: They can be shipped. It can and are shipped to centralized processing facilities. John and Brittany largely do field harvest, which I think is smart and appropriate and less stressful for the animals across the board. But I think that there’s interesting pieces to that. The bison is natural, whereas somehow cows aren’t natural, which is silly. It’s funny. There was a vegan woman a good number of years ago, and it’s actually hard to find this meme now, but she had this Twitter post which was, “You can’t be spiritual if you eat meat.” And this got on the radar of several Native American tribes.
And they popped up in her feed and they were like, “Well, we take a little bit of issue with that. We’ve been hunting bison for thousands of years.” And hilarity ensued after that. But there is this green halo around bison, because they’re “natural” because of this connection to Native American peoples. It’s just interesting. You almost never get the hate and vitriol if you present bison within this context of regenerative ag and carbon sequestration and everything. But my God, put cows in that scenario and it’s off to the races.
Nicki: You didn’t get any hate and vitriol, but you did get some-
Robb: I still got shadowing.
Nicki: … some throttling.
Robb: Yeah. Regen Market posted this piece. It’s like a four-minute video, which is long for Instagram, but I don’t have a huge account. But when I do post something, I get really, really good engagement. It tended to just get pretty solid engagement with folks. And I let this thing run for eight hours and I had almost nothing. It was shocking how little engagement I’ve had relative to-
Nicki: Relative to previous posts that were …
Robb: There were nothing sauce compared to this.
Nicki: Yeah. Right.
Robb: This is actually really visually appealing and usually people get pretty fired up about the regenerative ag stuff. I did a separate post basically with a screen capture of the current views and downloads and all that type of stuff. I’m like, “Hey, guys, I don’t pester you all that often, but could you go to my timeline and find this video? And if you feel compelled, please like and share and all that type of stuff.” Within 10 minutes, we had two X what I had gotten over an eight-hour period.”
Nicki: In eight hours. Yeah.
Robb: And then about five minutes later, part of the way that you massaged the algorithm is when somebody posts, if you comment and you like and do all that type of stuff, then it enhances the algorithm because it shows that you’re being engaging and whatnot. It would no longer allow me to like on these things. I could comment on them, but oftentimes I would comment and then the comment would just disappear into the ether. And I would’ve to comment three and four times to get the goddamn thing to stick there. So somebody somewhere really, really didn’t like the fact that we were posting this piece about regenerative ag and the notion, the audacity-
Nicki: Or you could just be a conspiracy theorist, Hubs.
Robb: Well, and we’ll talk a little bit more about that later. And some folks did mention some things that probably throttled the reach a little bit. It was a long video, which can sometimes hamper reach. And it didn’t have captions, which can also hamper reach. Because something like 70 or 80% of videos on Instagram, people don’t even listen to the sound. They just read the captions and everything. So there were possibly some features to that, but it was stunning.
As I woke up today, when I first posted about what I thought was going on, I suspected that we were 10 to 20 X below what we should have, given this cool video and it’s really beautiful and everything. And now this morning, it is at 22 X what it was when I posted it. So there was clearly something going on there, and we do have a question later that brings up these topics of conspiracy theories and whatnot.
And it is interesting because somebody rightfully, and I’m grateful for them pointing out that this was a long video and didn’t have captions, and that can negatively impact the distribution. But we live in a time where if you feel like you might be getting throttled, your immediate thought, and usually the assumption is that you’re being fucked with a little bit. And what is, again, the danger of that? And this applies to me just as truly as it does to everybody else.
If you’re operating with poor, inaccurate information, you make the wrong decisions. So let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that this was 100% attributable to long video, no captions. It clearly was not. I had some of our tech savvy friends look at this stuff and they’re like, “No, there was …” And also, just the fact I couldn’t comment and like stuff, there was clearly something going on there, but I start operating with bad information and then we’re off to the races.
Nicki: We have a paranoid society that is constantly second-guessing and not trusting. Trust is eroded further. It’s been eroding for years now, but that just furthers all of that.
Robb: So we’ll chat more later about that.
Nicki: Cool. All right. News topic for this week.
Robb: So A little bit of COVID stuff popping up. I posted some material on Twitter, or was tagged in some material on Twitter. Basically, just some re-analysis of the risk profile of children versus old folks versus 25-year-old men. And it was a Beni Prasad piece that basically made the case that when risk strata were put forward, and naturally not strata, but just risk analysis, the powers that be made a proclamation that there was no signal here, that there was more risk to the young than the old with the application of the vaccine. And that the vaccine was clearly a win for everybody regardless of age, gender, and all the rest of that stuff.
That looks pretty good when you aggregate all the data together. And was it last show that we talked about aggregating the data? And if you happen to be exactly in the middle of the bell curve, then it may apply to you? But depending on who you are in your individual situation, it may be very, very different. And there seems to be a really powerful signal with this myocarditis in particular with 16 to 25-year-old men. Seems to be something really potent there. And then this topic of kids came up, and this one gentleman posted two points, and one of his points was this issue of long COVID. And because of long COVID, that justified the application of vaccines for young children, like six months old and up, or really any number that you care to think of.
Now, I’ve always been in the position that folks should be allowed to make the risk analysis that makes sense for them. This is my crazy, controversial spot, and I’ve had people say that I’m a grandma killer as a consequence of that and all manner of stuff. But my position has just been that we should have full transparency and really understand what the risk story is. And this long COVID thing is something that gets brought up a lot. And there is now, ironically, a remarkable amount of materials that are popping up saying long COVID is really this big important thing, and man, we should be really concerned about that. And then it’s suggested that the vaccine is a cure against long COVID, which when you really dig into that data, it’s super, super dubious.
Beni Prasad and some other folks have also done some parallel analyses and they’ve made the case that long COVID isn’t real. And it’s not to say that after people get infections, they’re not sick. It’s just, this is a common feature of getting just about any type of virus. And there doesn’t seem to be a signal above and beyond what we would see from influenza or RSV or a host of other things. And this might be one of the reasons why things like chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and stuff like that, that they occur after infection. So this piece is what happens when you compare long COVID to any other virus, a new paper in the JAMA Network, and this is a YouTube video from Beni Prasad.
And it just basically makes the case that whenever you get an infection, you may be sick and not quite right for some nontrivial period of time. And funny enough, when you look into this, age is a factor, metabolic health is a factor, vitamin D is a factor, all the usual suspects. Systemic inflammation. If you have comorbidities, all these things are still the big drivers. If you are generally metabolically healthy, you have adequate vitamin D levels, then your likelihood of developing any type of long-haul syndrome from any type of infection is generally less.
Nicki: It doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods entirely.
Nicki: Because we know people who have been relatively healthy who have had these long COVID symptoms, but it definitely stacks the deck in your favor.
Robb: Yeah. And like we’ve mentioned, I can’t name the person, but we know somebody who eats very, very well, is quite lean and otherwise appears to be metabolically healthy, but has absolute vampire-hour schedule. And this individual really got hammered from COVID.
Nicki: The aftereffects.
Robb: And had some nontrivial aftereffects. Anyway, I think that that’s worth looking at. And I think it’s, again, the folks are so emphatic that they know the absolute right answer to all this stuff. Maybe I present it like I do, but maybe I’m being mealy-mouthed and that I just want the situation to be that we get full transparency in the information, we get full transparency in what the real risk profile looks like. And interestingly, the way that data collection has been occurring, we can’t answer a ton of these questions. And that’s the-
Nicki: All the data is owned by big entities.
Robb: It’s not even that it’s owned. Nobody is even looking at it.
Nicki: Right. Right.
Robb: There’s a-
Nicki: Well, but nobody can. Who has visibility into this data?
Robb: This is current, going-forward data.
Nicki: Gotcha. Okay.
Robb: There was a UK website that was posting morbidity, mortality, stratifying it by age, and they ceased posting that about six months ago because it was really becoming incriminating. And this was a resource that, circling back to the conspiracy theory topic, it could have put all this shit to bed. It’s like, “Nope, Rob, you’re wrong. Beni Prasad, you’re wrong. You’re wrong. You’re wrong. Fauci et al. are a 100% right. Here’s what the data has.” But they’re refusing to even conduct the research on that, which is incriminating in and of itself.
Anyway, I think I lost my thread on that, other than I think this stuff is clearly important. I want COVID to go away, but it’s not quite going away yet because we’ve been fucking with this system in ways that may keep it with us indefinitely. And that’s a whole topic that I will probably do a Substack piece on, looking at the IgG2 versus IgG4 response, these different antibody responses to the vaccine and then the implications that has for the virus.
Robb: Stay tuned for that.
Nicki: And you done there?
Nicki: All righty. The Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by our salty AF electrolyte company, LMNT. Chocolate Medley is still here for a little while longer, so if you haven’t tried it yet, you’ll want to do so before it’s gone. And I want to share three customer reviews with you all today.
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And Carolyn’s point about satisfying that dessert craving and not derailing goals is a really, really big point. And I think a lot of people do it in The Rebellion, and listeners I’m sure as well. It’s like you want something a little sweet, but you’ve had your meal. You’re done eating. And especially if it’s cold outside and you want something cozy. You whip up a little hot mug of Chocolate Salt or Mint Chocolate Salt, and it satisfies whatever that is and you’re good to go.
Anyway, the Chocolate Medley includes 10 Chocolate Mint, 10 Chocolate Caramel, and 10 Chocolate Salt. And you can grab that at drinklmnt.com/robb. That’s drinklmnt.com/robb. Remember, the value bundle is your best value. You buy three boxes, get the fourth box free. Again, that’s drinklmnt.com/robb.
Okay. We have three questions for this episode. The first one is from Tyler, regarding a post-workout blood sugar crash. “Hey, guys.” Excuse me. “Thanks for sanity. I am a grass-based organic dairy farmer in Vermont. And despite my job primarily being to wake up in a beautiful place and wander around a working landscape, trying to figure out how myself and my cows can work within to make it better, I unfortunately spend an hour or more a day in the confines of a skid steer.”
“Fortunately, that’s where you come in. Podcasts have been a great way to be productive while remaining sane and learning all sorts of good stuff. I’m a first-generation dairy farmer, which is no small feat. At 47 years old, I have built something pretty great, but it came with a cost, many, many short-night sleep. An abundance of alcohol in the standard American diet for 20 years led to adrenal fatigue. The awakening and diagnosis of celiac disease and some terrible blood work.”
“Anyway, over the last several years, I’ve made changes. I’m exceptionally good at being gluten free. I grow all my own food and eat a carnivore/paleo type diet. Mostly animal-based, with some fruit, nuts and kimchi. For the past three years, I’ve been lifting weights three days a week, and this is where my question comes in. It crushes me. I’m not even working that hard. Maybe 10 minutes of walking warmup, followed by 45 to 60 minutes of free and/or machine weights.”
“Generally six to nine different exercises with three sets of 15 reps. I feel a bit dizzy during my session and afterwards, I eat protein and maybe a date or a little bit of mango because I felt like the dizziness or light-headed feeling was blood sugar. Not long after that, I feel weak and more fatigued than I should for sometimes the remainder of the day. I generally work out after morning chores, around 8:30 to 10. My blood work has been good.”
“I’m a muscular built 47-year-old man, 5’9, 200 pounds. I farm, ski, play soccer, hunt, and I’m generally active. I’m eating around 2000 calories a day with 130 grams of protein, 50 to 60 grams NC.” Carbs?
Robb: I think carbs. Yeah.
Nicki: Okay. “And 70 to 80 grams of fat. Additionally, this past couple years of lifting weights, I’ve suffered from chesty sensations. Sometimes pain, but often just pressure. I caved and let gastro take my gallbladder, looking for relief after a diagnosis of biliary dyskinesia. I kind of regret that, but don’t notice much difference in my diet other than I haven’t tried to do keto.”
“I’m generally in mild ketosis though. Cardiologist says I’m good to go. No heart problems. Primary says it’s anxiety possibly, although I wouldn’t characterize myself as an anxious person. Anyway, it’s mildly driving me crazy.”
“My life is way less stressful these days. I don’t drink. I get eight hours of good sleep. I sauna. I take cold showers. I eat well. My blood work is good now. It’s just this anxious deal and weightlifting fatigue that is bothering me. I take three LMNTs a day to stay hydrated.” Okay. That was a lot of information. “Hoping you have some thoughts because I’m getting nothing from anyone here. Thanks a million. Check out our farm, Stony Pond. Stonypondfarm.com.” And that is Tyler.
Robb: So you had some thoughts straight out of the gate on this.
Nicki: Straight out of the gate I’m like, “Okay, this is a big guy-“
Robb: A big dude.
Nicki: … “strong guy, active guy, eating 2000 calories a day.” It just seemed like he’s undereating. And then also, the other thing that was glaring at me is, undereating for what his workouts are. Six to nine different exercises with three sets of 15 reps, that’s a lot of volume.
Robb: Lot of volume. I would assume he’s probably getting after it pretty good. Might be more volume than you need. I would really encourage you to check out the Basis New York, Sarah and Grayson Strange. They have a great program and they have a really interesting take on the, maybe need for less volume to be able to get the same amount of work done. But my goodness, I think Tyler should be eating probably closer to 4,000 calories a day, at least.
If you want to be on the low carb side, you can do that. Sounds like you’re probably pretty metabolically healthy, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be super low carb. But aside from the 130 grams protein, I don’t eat that much in a sitting, but the 50 grams of carbs and 70 to 80 grams of fat, that’s almost a meal for me. And I’m just a wee bit of fluff, 160, 165 pounds. So I would really look at dramatically increasing the total caloric intake.
Nicki: Definitely increasing sodium, and it doesn’t have to be all LMNT. Clearly, you can do pickle juice, olives.
Robb: Pickle juice, olives, salami.
Nicki: Home brew.
Robb: But if you want to track everything in chronometer for a week so that you can get a sense of where your real sodium intake is, I doubt you’re hitting three grams of sodium or five grams of sodium per day. Even with the three grams that you’re getting from LMNT, I doubt that you’re getting two grams of additional sodium from your other food. You’re bigger than I am, and Vermont I know can be cold in the winter, but the summers can be quite warm and humid. So I would close to double the sodium, close to double the-
Nicki: Keep up the protein, too. Like 130 grams of protein, I eat that.
Robb: Tyler could almost double everything on here. Yeah.
Nicki: Tyler, I think I eat what you eat. I think I eat as much food as you eat. And I am like how tall? I’m 5’8 and I’m 145 pounds.
Nicki: I’m 5’8, babe. I am 5’8.
Robb: But you’re 6’8 with the Afro. Okay.
Robb: So Tyler, I would double, almost double everything. Let’s say you shoot for 180 grams of protein, maybe 180 grams of carbs if you want to do that, and then maybe shit, 120, 130 grams of fat, somewhere around there, and I think that’s going to put you really close to about 3,500 to 4,000 calories. I would start that. I would really-
Nicki: Make yourself a big jug of home brew to supplement with your LMNT. That way, you can make sure you’re getting at least five grams of sodium a day. But on the three days a week that you’re doing this workout, you probably need more than that.
Robb: Yeah. Without a doubt. That’s a lot to change already. Do that and then hopefully you feel better, hopefully everything’s going well. And then I would circle in and see about checking out the Basis New York programming. They have a program that they offer on TrainHeroic, and there’s other great things like the Power Athlete programs and whatnot, but I don’t know that you need that much volume. Maybe you just enjoy it and that’s totally fine. No harm, no foul there, but I don’t know that you necessarily need that much volume. But I would definitely up the food, up the electrolytes. And then circle back to us and let us know what’s happening with that.
Nicki: Yes, please do. Okay. Our next question is from Laura on salt and obesity, and namely this Rick Johnson MD fellow. Laura says, “So I am in a bit of a conundrum. I have four boxes of LMNT in the pantry and I’ve been drinking it for over a year now. Love it. Crave it. I mountain biking, and sometimes I ride just to have an excuse to have some. But I just heard a podcast with Rick Johnson MD talking about the dangers of salt and its relationship to uric acid, the polyol pathway and obesity.”
“I myself have published scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, and I know that you can find data to support totally opposing viewpoints, which is why I’m curious to hear your side of this argument. Because gosh darn it, I don’t want to give up my LMNT. I’ve included a link to a podcast in which he talks about it.”
Robb: Yeah. And we actually did it. It’s really good information. His information is fantastic. I think the main thing that it points to is that if you’re a hyperinsulinemic, metabolically-not-healthy individual, whether mouse or human, then throwing additional sodium in the mix may not be a great move. And this is something that we’ve talked about a ton when we counsel folks on whether or not they’re a good fit for something like LMNT or just sodium intake in general.
We make the case that if you are insulin-resistant and you have signs of insulin resistance, if you have hypertension, you probably don’t need to supplement sodium. But then also, a low sodium diet doesn’t necessarily fix that problem. We need to reduce typically glycemic load, which allows you to reduce total carbohydrate load. And then when we get to a spot like that, then usually the need for sodium increases.
What’s being suggested within what Rick Johnson is talking about is that the sodium content alone shifts the liver metabolism, basically converting glucose into fructose. I think that this happens under a high caloric flux and a relatively high just general carbohydrate flux. But if you’re eating an ancestral health type diet and you’re … Here’s another piece to this. This is consuming sodium above and beyond what one really needs.
If you’re relatively active and you’re not eating a bunch of processed food, and then all the other extenuating circumstances, heat, humidity, activity, size, on and on and on, your need for sodium may be rather large. This is the thing that we’re finding again and again and again. So this is really a story of ending up in a scenario where you, one is over-consuming calories, over consuming sodium and absolutely bad things happen.
But the flip side of that is that somebody could end up consuming a whole lot of sodium, but that’s the appropriate level for that individual because they’re highly active. They’re lean. They’re metabolically healthy. They don’t tend to retain a ton of sodium.
Nicki: They live in Houston.
Robb: They live in Houston, on and on and on. Or this time of year, the cold people tend to just consume fewer fluids, and that can create a whole difficult scenario in which people are not really consuming enough liquids and electrolytes to accompany the liquids. So Laura, hopefully that helps on that.
I do think that we have an article over at LMNT that talks more about this, but I’ll look around and see if I can find it in the show notes. I think that either myself or Luis did a deeper dive on this, or we did a collaborative piece on this, but it’s really important information. I don’t want to take anything away from Dr. Johnson. I think this is really important stuff, but there’s important context here. It’s not this …
Nicki: Blanket situation.
Robb: Yeah. It’s being put forward as this universal condemnation of sodium intake, absent any thought about the context of, well, how much sodium do you really need?
Nicki: Who is the person?
Robb: Yeah. Who is the person? What are they doing? What are they up to? Yeah.
Nicki: Okay. Good question. All right. We’re going to wrap up with this one, which is an interesting one.
Robb: It’s a doozy.
Nicki: Okay. I’ll just read it and then we can go from here. So this one is from Delainey. “Hey, Robb and Nicki, your podcast is a wealth of information for health and worldviews. There’s been a lot of talk on social media lately about the ‘Wellness to QAnon Pipeline.'” Which is something I had never heard of, that phrase. Anyway, “And I was wondering if you had a take on it. It seems to me we are continuing to view lifestyle, diet, religion, and political views all as one single entity. If you ascribe to one, you ascribe to all. Where is the nuance? Am I the only one being frustrated by this? Keep doing what you’re doing. This community keeps me afloat.”
Robb: So I had not heard this term specifically, the Wellness to QAnon Pipeline. I poked around on that and there’s like one podcast out there from this person that’s putting this thing forward. Basically, the supposition here, and there were some really interesting pieces that came up in the Atlantic, in Time, some pretty in-theory, respectable news sources. God, what was one of the titles? The Ugly History of Fitness and White Supremacy, I think was one of them.
Nicki: There’s been a ton about being fit is toxic masculinity.
Robb: Yeah. Yeah.
Nicki: We shouldn’t strive to be fit. Yeah. Throughout the last two years, there have been a handful.
Robb: It’s really ramping up.
Nicki: Yeah. There’s been several articles in that vein.
Robb: The AMA. I’ve been working on a blog about some of the stuff. The American Medical Association had a position paper that was basically saying that they should do away with BMI, not because BMI is a problematic number, measure, metric. It is. It’s not perfect. It’s got some challenges to it. But because it would damage the doctor-patient relationship, bringing up weight. This is a really controversial topic. And first, I would never shame someone because of their weight or illnesses associated with their weight. I know how difficult this stuff is.
I did diabetic wound care on my dad as he lost a toe, then part of his foot, then all of his foot, then all of his leg below his knee. And, “Dad, could you drink a little less? Could you quit smoking?” And he just couldn’t do it. And could he improve his diet? It’s just hard stuff. So this globally gets presented as this thing that you are going to be 100% for whatever this topic is, whether it’s fat acceptance or whatever, or you’re a white supremacist, bigot, racist, on and on.
And this, I think, goes to Delainey’s point about nuance. You are either 100% in or you are the biggest bastard in the world, end of story, which is bullshit. This is no way to conduct a society.
Nicki: People are individuals with individual circumstances, individual beliefs, individual-
Robb: Imagine if this was legitimately religious doctrine being put forward. Let’s rewind the tape and let’s go inquisition era Christianity, where you’re going to follow all the dictates or we’re going to burn you at the stake. This is that level of insanity. It is pure insanity. People shouldn’t be shamed about their weight and their health circumstance.
But they also shouldn’t be coddled and told that, “Gee whiz, Skipper, everything’s going to be just fine. You’re 5’7 and 400 pounds. Just the orthopedic issues are this monumental thing, what it’s going to do to your back and knees. And if you choose to not do anything, okay, I’m not going to hound and harangue you.” And nobody should necessarily hound and harangue you about that, but it’s disingenuine and it’s a lie to say that these folks are 100% okay and all that type of stuff.
Nicki: So when you’d searched this term, you found one podcast? I’m just wondering how pervasive this is. And maybe our listeners have heard it before or not. Clearly, there are plenty of people who eat well and exercise and train their bodies because they feel better that way and they want to optimize.
Robb: They just don’t want to feel like shit.
Nicki: They don’t want to feel like shit, who are of all spectrums of religion and political persuasion. I don’t fully-
Robb: Right. Well, there is this cross-section, for lack of a better term, and it’ll be triggering, but this woke worldview is in this spot where anybody who aspires to-
Nicki: Like diet culture is? Yeah.
Robb: Diet culture and all this stuff.
Nicki: And if you’re trying to lose any amount of body fat or improve your body composition, then you’re-
Robb: You’re broken.
Nicki: You’re broken because you are ascribing to the magazine ideals of the ’80s or whatever, and you’re trying to be skinny.
Robb: That’s a whole big thing with this stuff, and it’s interesting that it’s gotten tied into white supremacy is fitness. There was this Scientific American piece just the other day that was talking about the disproportionate violence that Black NFL players experience being in the NFL. The NFL is something like 70% African American players, and then some percentage of Hispanic and some percentage of Caucasian players and other nationalities mixed into all that stuff.
But they really got taken to task because it was also … I forget if it was Chile. During the World Cup, Chile got called out. They were like, why does Chile have such underrepresentation of Black players? And it’s like, well, Chile has less than a 1% population of Black individuals. So just statistics. I don’t know if there’s just this massive systemic racism keeping them out of soccer, or maybe it’s a tiny fraction of the population. Stuff like that.
And clearly, this is all really controversial, hot button stuff, but there’s a reality that we’re just lying to people about this stuff and it’s not helping them. It creates all this divisiveness and this gets out there a little bit. I want to talk a little bit about just the QAnon phenomena itself. I’m not honestly super familiar with it, but that there’s these child trafficking cults and satanism, and maybe people wearing lizard suits. And there’s all this other crazy shit with it.
The work that we’ve done with people in the special operations community and whatnot, there is a nontrivial problem with human trafficking. This is a real phenomena and it is terrible. And it’s massive. It is far larger than it ever should be in a modern world like what we have. And there’s a fascinating way of defanging, defaming the significance of this by grafting into the reality that there is human trafficking occurring by putting an outrageous, over-the-top story of satanism, child sacrifice.
Nicki: Lizard suits.
Robb: Lizard suit. This is some classic CIA, Project Mockingbird-type stuff where you take a known topic and then you-
Nicki: Sully it?
Robb: Well, you graft onto it easily dismissible elements. And then the whole thing gets dismissed. So there’s a lot, and maybe this is all conspiracy theory, but there’s a lot going on here where on the one hand, simply being healthy is now racist and bigoted, and broken, and this and that. And it’s associated with all these negative connotations. And then somehow, it’s a pipeline into this Crazyville of QAnon, which there is legitimately a problem around human trafficking. And even being able to talk about that is difficult.
This is one of these topics that it historically hasn’t received great traction within social media. The people who really are at the frontlines of this, where they go out and try to find people who’ve been abducted, Facebook and Instagram and historically Twitter have not been friendly to their plight. That’s weird. And then there was this guy, Andrew Tate, recently, who was giving Greta Thunberg a big hassle. He strikes me as just a huge douchebag, like an absolute douchebag.
But within, somebody figured out that he was in Romania because of a pizza box he had, and they arrested him. And we’re still waiting for the Jeffrey Epstein-like client list. Ghislaine Maxwell has been incarcerated for what? Two years now? And again, this stuff gets out into real crazy conspiracy theory stuff. I don’t know how it’s our purview because we tend to generally talk about health. But to Delainey’s point, again, this stuff has all been mashed and machinated together. And it cuts both ways.
On the one hand, if you want to shut everybody down and you want to make them bad for being healthy and bad for eating the foods that work for their body, and bad for raising responsibly grown, grass-fed animals and stuff, people are wrapping that all into the same package and making people racist and bigoted and dumb and shortsighted and all that stuff.
Nicki: They hate the climate. They hate the earth.
Robb: And to unpack all that and address it, you have to address all the individual pieces, too. This has been one of my complaints about people within the low carb space. There are people who still really enjoy getting invited to New York and LA cocktail parties, and they’re unwilling to acknowledge that the climate change piece has really superseded anything that we’re going to think about on just the FDA food guidelines and whatnot.
But they won’t make a single squeak about this stuff because the circles that they run in are pretty progressive, and they’re just not willing to take the heat. And they’re trying to make this story only about protein, carbs, fat, which I acknowledge, and it’s nice to be able to stay in your lane, but there are folks out there that have just woven this all together. And to unpack it, you got to unweave the whole thing.
Delainey? Yeah, we’ve seen trends of this type of thing. This thing strikes me as a classic PSYOPs, counter … Well, maybe not counter-espionage, but like a disinformation program where you take some elements of truth and then you graft on some elements of ridiculousness and then it nukes the whole concept entirely. And then you just have built into it this really ugly notion in a time that I think we’ve mentioned in previous shows.
It wasn’t that long ago that a general report suggested that 12% of Americans were metabolically healthy. An update after the pandemic and it was only about five years later, we’re down to 7% of Americans are considered metabolically healthy. This is such a disaster waiting to happen. The diabetes problems alone are poised to bankrupt us, and we’re really starting to ramp up into the neurodegenerative disease issues.
And as poor at the end of the day as the treatments for diabetes care are, if you get someone on metformin, if you get them on insulin, if you do some of these other drugs, you can at least kick the can down the road and you can manage this in a classic doctor-patient kind of scenario. This neurodegenerative disease tsunami that’s going to hit, these people need 24/7 nursing care. And we’re talking about millions, tens of millions of North Americans, and this is going to spread around the rest of the world, too, that are going to deal with this issue.
And we, as a society, will need to deal with this issue. And there’s no goddamn way that we can pay for this. There is just not enough resources. There’s not enough people. But Canada’s euthanasia program might be pretty well-placed to deal with all that, but that’s an aside.
Nicki: Well, there you go.
Robb: But this is where the piece I’m working on trying to look at diet culture, I want to believe that the folks who are talking about this stuff are coming from a good place. And I think many of them start there. I think many of them are just frustrated because dietary change is hard. Many of the people who are really outspoken about this stuff, they built a name in the space and then they’ve found that their own adherence to a dietary protocol that can help them to look, feel, and perform well is difficult to maintain.
And so then I think they abandon it and then they vilify it because then somehow, it makes their own difficulties more justifiable. And I feel for them. One of the main reasons that I’m able to stay lean is that my guts are sufficiently fucked up that it’s hard for me to eat enough to even fucking live. That’s one of my tricks to success. Want to be lean as an old guy? Have a digestive system that’s sufficiently broken that you’re on the borderline of starvation half the time.
Nicki: Don’t do that. He jests. This is complete sarcasm.
Robb: I do jest, but it’s like some of my success, perceived success is because I still struggle with a lot of health issues in a direction that just makes overeating almost impossible for me. So I feel for these people. But also, whatever heat we’re going to take for standing up against this, folks are going to start getting named by me and called out and held accountable because we can’t just let this shit go on.
And I’m not going to do it in a mean way, but there needs to be some accountability around this stuff. And we need to be able to have these discussions around these different topics. And I think we need to be able to look at this thing, like the Wellness to QAnon Pipeline, and really honestly unpack this thing. And just simply pushing back against it doesn’t mean that I’m automatically a Qanon subscriber. It means that …
Nicki: It means that there’s absurdity in the claim.
Robb: There’s both some truth and absurdity in the claim. It’s like, do preppery type people like to stand-
Nicki: And just because you ask a question doesn’t mean you’re for the other guy.
Robb: Exactly. Yeah.
Nicki: Just because Elon Musk put out a peace initiative that he saw doesn’t mean that he’s pro Putin. People have the inability to keep the fact that people can have two things in their brain at the same time, and it doesn’t mean that they’re …
Robb: That they’re buying into the-
Nicki: Buying. Exactly.
Robb: Yeah. Yeah. Delainey, I don’t know if any of that helped at all. We probably really will be down to six listeners after tackling this one. But it’s reached a point, and I had a little bit of feedback, and I know I’m jabbering on like an idiot, but I had this Instagram comment. The guy was like, “Robb, you just seem really angry and hateful.” And I was like, “It wounds me a bit that this comes across as hateful. I don’t hate anybody.” I am really angry at a lot of people.
There are people that really, I think, fucked over this community and stabbed us in the back in the COVID, social justice, woke run-up. And there was some really fucked up stuff that happened. Someday I’m going to tell all that story because it’s pretty goddamn ugly, and I am angry and frustrated by a lot of that stuff. But as always, my main concern here is that people are making decisions that I think are going to really hurt them, the world around them.
Nicki: Future generations.
Robb: Future generations. And I might be wrong. And that’s where, “Hey, Robb, I disagree with you. Here’s my 15-bullet-point thesis about where I think you have that stuff wrong.” I’m all about that. I am not about, because I recommend pastured meat as a potential solution to collapsing Middle America economic issues and climate change and different things like that, that somehow that makes me automatically a racist and a bigot, which people have put that forward. That’s not okay. If you’re going to make that thesis, then goddamn it, lay this thing out so that this makes sense for me.
But what it’s been used is a cudgel to shut me up because I’ve been asking mainly … I don’t do a lot of grand proclamations. What I do a lot of is asking questions. And if we reach a point where we can’t ask questions … We just hung out with some friends who escaped the Soviet Union before its collapse. And they were like, “This just feels like what happened there, what’s happening in the United States, this inability to ask questions, this tribalism and whatnot.”
Nicki: Not knowing who you can talk to about certain things.
Robb: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s going to be bad. And so it would be safer for us to really keep our head down, but to whatever degree we have a little bit of influence and I think ability to just be a little bit of a sounding board for folks. Because there are people that we listen to that I’m like, “Okay, I don’t think I’m a crazy person.”
And even though I may be very much in this track that I think the COVID virus was likely lab-origin and it’s been tinkered with by humans, and that the people who funded that gain-of-function research were also the people who were in charge of our response, and there’s probably some ethical problems, and then the vaccine has all kinds of issues with it from start to end, I’m pretty in that camp, but I’m open to being proven wrong. But I’m not open to being told that I’m a racist and bigot for-
Nicki: Just ridiculed. Yeah. Don’t ridicule me. Answer the questions and show us the data.
Robb: If we aren’t allowed to ridicule people because of their weight, then you don’t get to ridicule me because I’ve got some questions and you haven’t provided a compelling enough argument to change my mind yet. Period, full stop. And I’m going to figure out ways to, in a non-hateful way, in a more Mike Rowe way of dirty jobs, address this stuff.
And I think that we all need to tackle it more in this fashion. And we’re going to be talking about some more things. We have, I think, some interesting stuff brewing to try to keep these lanes of inquiry and discussion and transaction open. And we’ll be talking about that more later.
Nicki: Is that all, Hubs?
Robb: Fuck, it better be. I better just shut up and call it done.
Nicki: Call it a day.
Robb: But hey, Delainey, I appreciate the question. It’s not easy stuff. And I would be curious what your thoughts are on what my thoughts were. Do they sound crazy? Was that at all helpful? And the same to all of you, folks. We really appreciate you taking the time to listen and to ask questions and to just participate in this community.
Nicki: Yep. Thank you so much. I think that’s a wrap for this episode. Thank you for joining us. As always, please check out our show sponsor for all your electrolyte needs. You can grab your LMNT at drinklmnt.com/robb. And let’s see. Enjoy your weekend. Get outside. Do something fun, laugh, all that good stuff, and we’ll see you next week.
Robb: Give your spouse a wedgie.
Nicki: Don’t do that. All right, folks.
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