Inflammation Relief, Red Light Therapy, Loose Stools and Edema | THRR032
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1. NOT COVID-19; INSTEAD, POO & EDEMA [10:46]
Robb, Nicki—good afternoon!
Currently, I follow an intermittent-fasting, carnivore diet 85% of 71% of the time—that is, five times a week, my diet is comprised of loads of water and coffee, along with steak, bacon, chicken, eggs, whey protein shakes with a greens formula, Quest bars, and nuts; the other two days, I will eat whatever my heart pleases, which includes tacos, nachos, burgers, fries, beer, and occasionally, a few DQ Blizzards (the s’mores blizzard is back, so I have to indulge). Usually, my fasts are broken from 5:00PM-9:00PM. Honestly, this “diet” is one I have adhered to the most because of its flexibility and routine, allowing me to stay relatively lean and strong, without any major complications. However, recently, I have begun to have strange bowel movements—file this under TMI—where I have have Jeff Daniels-in-Dumb & Dumber-style poops. They are loose, watery, and dark brown to black. However, during the days I “go off the rails” with diet, my poops are “normal,” in that they are solid and brown. I would love to seek assistance from an MD, but without health insurance, I am hoping to get some feedback from you. At my age, 31, with two daughters, my health and vitality is becoming increasingly more important, and I will change any variables to my diet that is suggested—I just do not know where to begin. Add vegetables? Add fruit? Ditch bacon? You tell me!
Also, if you have the time and would like to answer a secondary question, I am curious why I get weird edema around my ankles after these meals that are high in carbohydrates.
Here may be a helpful understanding of me and my health:
I have a history of melanoma that penetrated a pocket of lymph nodes in my neck (later removed), along with a family history of PVD, CVD, and heart attacks.
I am 6’0, 215 pounds. I resistance train 5-7 times per week, and do cardiorespiratory conditioning several times per week as well.
Anyway, if you answer or don’t, I love the content you put out and applaud your constant effort to get sick people healthy.
2. Red Light Therapy [18:29]
Hi Robb & Nikki! I’ve been an avid listener since your Paleo Solution Podcast and I’m enjoying the change up on The Healthy Rebellion. My question regards Red Light Therapy. Can I simply replace the lamps in my bedroom with red light bulbs to wind down improve sleep as I read before I shut the lights or do I have to get a red light therapy device to reap the benefits? I learned a few years ago how vital good quality sleep is and I’m always trying to improve things here & there when I can. *Note, I do wear blue blocking glasses every night (the intense orange ones i’m embarrassed for anyone to see excepts for my fiance, cats, and dog.) Thanks!
3. Autoimmune reactions and the severe form of COVID19 [20:28]
Hello Robb, Nicki & co
This is a question for the Healthy Rebellion podcast, hope it reaches you through this route.
The core lethal symptoms of the severe form of COVID19 seem to stem from drastic inflammation and overboard immune reactions in the lungs, correct?
Who gets these severe symptoms and why is a mystery so far, altho many known underlying medical conditions seem to correlate.
”Mysterious” inflammation and disproportionate/mis-directed immune reactions. Doesn’t that sound eerily familiar? Anecdotes also seem to report a lessening of symptoms earlier in the day – after a night-time of fasting – and aggrevated symptoms towards the evening – after a day-time of eating, and we all know what people typically eat.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Do you think lectin-driven autoimmune reactions could be contributing to the severe symptoms some COVID19 patients are struggling with?
Thank you for the great work you do,
4. Nutrition for Special Warfare Training [28:37]
I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible with as much detail, wish me luck.
I’ve been listening to you for 7/8 years now and I remember the Paleo Solution Podcast where you talked about working with Naval Special Warfare a few times so this is where my question stems from. I’m in the process of joining Air Force Special Warefare and in order to get in, there is a Physical Abilities Stamina Test (PAST). I’m 29, 5’10”, 184 with roughly 16-18% body fat currently. This is by design, I generally function better at 175 but I’d like to go into training with some extra body fat. My issue is that my strength has always been gaining strength but I’m a hard gainer when it comes to stamina so I’ve been running quite a bit. I’m doing a higher fat day on endurance days and supplementing carbs in on harder training days.
To make a long question short, would you do anything different that you think could assist my progress?
Regardless of if I hear from you or not, I appreciate the work you and Nicki do and I’ll continue to listen.
5. Quick Inflammation relief [33:15]
Thanks for all your help. You have been helping me with diet and lifestyle for over 10 years now. My question is what is your recommendation for the quickest way to recover when one goes off the rails.
Some background. I’m a 41 year old male and follow a low carb paleo. I also take 2000mg of fish oil a day. While I try stay fairly strict I sometimes have too much to drink and eat a gluten laden pizza or worse. This leaves my joints sore and inflexible for a few days which probably means a high level of inflamation. After 3-4 days the joint pain goes away but I was wondering if there was a protocol you would recommend that would get me back on track faster. My goal isn’t to cheat more but get back to the gym quicker when I happen to.
Thanks for all you do.
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 a sick care system. You’re listening to The Healthy Rebellion Radio. The contents of this show are for entertainment and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast should be considered medical advice. Please consult your licensed and credentialed functional medicine practitioner before embarking on any health, dietary, or fitness change. Warning, when Robb gets passionate, he’s been known to use the occasional expletive. If foul language is not your thing, if it gets your britches in a bunch, well, there’s always Disney+.
Robb: Are we live?
Nicki: We are live.
Robb: How you doing, wife?
Nicki: I desperately wish that I could push a big red reset button on 2020.
Robb: Yeah, I’ve dreamt of, I was saying, a two month long Valium binger, and just come to. Okay, let’s look at what the aftermath is. Now it’s looking like two months would not be remotely long enough.
Nicki: There’s that meme circling around where there’s a group of aliens all lined up. They’re like, “Fuck, we’re up next. I’m nervous.”
Robb: Hey, not to make light of everything that’s going on, but there’s definitely been, clearly, a lot of shit. I’m not even sure what to say, and that’s part of the problem these days. We’re in this spot where having any type of commentary on much of anything will get you hung up to dry, so it’s kind of a tough scene. Nicki and I have been talking a lot, and I was just kind of reflecting. I don’t want this to be a woe is me type deal, but about a year ago, we figured out that, apparently, our work is dangerous enough that Facebook, and Google, and other entities needed to take enough of an interest in it to kind of remove it from easy access around the world. We had to do a pretty significant pivot to contend with that. Either that, or roll over and die.
Robb: So we launched The Healthy Rebellion, changed the podcast, all that type of stuff. That’s all well and good, but you layer that, and COVID, and then the social unrest, and the horrible events of George Floyd’s death. It’s a lot. It’s just a lot. I know there are lots of people that have it way worse. I feel like I’m a pretty resilient person, but it’s fucking a lot.
Nicki: It’s a lot for everybody. I mean, I think the COVID stuff, in particular, and then everybody being housebound and alone, not having the normal social connectivity that humans needs and thrive on. Then all of the stuff from this past week. I think people are pretty soul weary.
Robb: Possibly, some of the response, the really significant response, is due in part. People are scared. People are frustrated from the COVID deal and all the stuff that was going on with that. Then we have a flash point event.
Nicki: Well, this is The Healthy Rebellion Radio, so let’s-
Robb: Focus on health and rebellion?
Nicki: Let’s focus on some health here. What do we got for our news topic today?
Robb: A pretty interesting paper: hippocampal-dependent appetite control is impaired by experimental exposure to a Western style diet. It’s a cool paper, because it talks about the extensive literature that’s been done in animal models, where exposing different critters to what we would call a Western style diet, a highly processed diet, increases our likelihood of overeating. It dramatically alters their hippocampal functioning, so they have a tendency to have all kinds of interesting kind of neurological consequences, but we’ve never really experimented with this in humans. It’s worthwhile acknowledging that, because there’s so many studies, and particularly things that are picked up by the media, that are the studies done in animals. Although that may be informative, humans are not mice. It doesn’t always work out the same way.
Robb: They did an interesting study where they took some young, otherwise seemingly healthy college students, and divided them up and fed some of them a highly processed Westernized diet. It’s interesting, because they really focus on saturated fat, and also sugar. It’s ironic. It’s kind of within the context of just eating enormously processed food. Again, I’m in this camp that some people probably shouldn’t eat all of the saturated fat. There are some people that see an elevation in lipoproteins and all that type of stuff. It’s kind of fascinating, the kind of singular focus there.
Robb: What they found quickly, within a matter of days, was that the hippocampal functioning in these folks that were on the experimental Western style diet deteriorated terribly. Their cognitive function deteriorated, their creativity, their mental recall, and their tendency to overeat, and their predilection towards picking worse and worse food worsened. It happened in just days. This is another one of these. I don’t want to say nail in the coffin for the real recalcitrant evidence based folks, but, at this point, justifying the consumption of processed food in any way, shape, or form just seems problematic. I know that that seems extreme or over the top.
Robb: From dietetic standpoints, it’s like that’s just going to contribute to disordered eating. One, that’s all bullshit. The disordered eating happens from eating this fucked up broken food system product. Effects are shockingly pronounced. They’re almost immediate. It’s just kind of another data point that hopefully people can start looking at. One, it really plays to the point that we made in Wired to Eat, that the brain has a significant role to play in the whole neuro-regulation of appetite and health overall. Holy smokes, you have so many tabs open. You couldn’t use your one tab before we pressed play on this.
Nicki: You’re not supposed to look at that. You’re not supposed to announce that, either.
Robb: Well, I hear your computer spinning up. It’s starting to melt down because of all the processing going on.
Robb: Anyway, again, not to beat this thing into the ground. It’s one of these things that, if you have somebody that is really going out of their way to justify having a little bit of processed food is no big deal, that may be true, but people don’t just have a little bit. The effects, depending on the person, the situation, are profound and immediate. It’s something that we really need to pay attention to. It’s unpopular, because in fitness figure circles where people are pretty neurotic about their food, and they weigh and measure everything, they can eat kind of shitty food and figure out a way to navigate it, at least for some time. In the general population, where we’re just being crippled with metabolic disease, which, again, we’ve talked about innumerable times, at this point.
Robb: COVID just accelerated a process that was already well underway. We need to lean on research like this one to better understand what we need to do, which is to shift towards a largely whole, unprocessed food diet. We need to align incentives from the food production system to public policy, if the public is going to comment on food at all. Nobody knows what the fuck is up with any of this stuff. Really, from a credible scientific perspective, we don’t have any legs to stand on with any of it. The government probably shouldn’t be in the business of making any type of dietary recommendations.
Nicki: Aren’t they getting ready to approve the next round?
Robb: Yeah. In the next round, the data that was being reviewed, there was not a single paper looking at low carb diets in that thing. They were uniformly excluded. Actually, I think that that’s wrong. There was one paper that was included. It was written by vegetarians and vegans, and it completely shat upon the notion of low carb diets.
Nicki: It’ll be interesting what types of recommendations come out this next round.
Robb: It won’t be super surprising. It’ll be great for Monsanto though.
Nicki: Oh, goodness. All right, it’s time for our Healthy Rebellion Radio t-shirt winner. This one goes to Nkopp52, N-K-O-P-P 52. “Great topics and excellent perspectives. Robb and Nicki provide great content and a refreshingly honest perspective in a very PC world. I appreciate that you aren’t afraid to challenge the system and uncover ways that we can take our health into our own hands. Keep up the good work.” Nkopp52, thank you for your review. Send us an email to email@example.com. Include your t-shirt size and your mailing address, and we will send you a Healthy Rebellion Radio t-shirt.
Robb: Then put that thing on, and snap a picture, and stick it on social media, and tag us.
Nicki: There we go. There we go. This episode of The Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by Athletic Greens. Athletic Greens is an ultimate daily all in one health drink with 75 vitamins, minerals, and whole food sourced ingredients, and includes prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, adaptogens, super foods, and more. Athletic Greens is trusted by some of the worlds top performers, entrepreneurs, athletes, and Olympians. It’s super easy to use. Just scoop and mix it with water. As we’ve shared before, it’s also great for kids. We like to put it in smoothies for the girls. We often make popsicles, sometimes blending in some fresh fruit, strawberries, blueberries, et cetera. They turn out a little on the green side because of the Athletic Greens.
Robb: Those are eat outside only.
Nicki: Yeah, we always eat them outside, but they’re tasty. They have a special offer for our Healthy Rebellion Radio listeners. Go to AthleticGreens.com/Wolf, and you’ll get 20 free travel packs with your first purchase.
Nicki: All right, Robby. You ready for question one?
Robb: Let’s do it.
Nicki: Okay. This one is from Levi. He says, “Not COVID-19. Instead, poo and edema.” He says, “Robb and Nicki, good afternoon. Currently I follow an intermittent fasting carnivore diet, 85% of 71% of the time. That is, five times a week, my diet.” Five times. That probably is five days. “Five days a week, my diet is comprised of loads of water and coffee, along with steak, bacon, chicken, eggs, whey protein shakes with a greens formula, Quest bars, and nuts. The other two days, I will eat whatever my heart pleases, which includes tacos, nachos, burgers, fries, beer, and occasionally a few Dairy Queen Blizzards. The s’mores Blizzard is back, so I have to indulge. Usually, my fasts are broken from 5 pm to 9 pm. Honestly, this diet is one I have adhered to the most because of its flexibility in routine, allowing me to stay relatively lean and strong without any major complications. However, recently I’ve begun to have strange bowel movements. File this under TMI.”
Robb: There’s no TMI on The Healthy Rebellion.
Nicki: “Where I have Jeff Daniels’ in Dumb and Dumber style poops.” That was a pretty funny movie. “They are loose, watery, and dark brown to black. However, during the days I go off the rails with diet, my poops are normal, in that they are solid and brown. I would love to seek assistance from an MD, but without health insurance, I’m hoping to get some feedback from you. At my age of 31, with two daughters, my health and vitality is becoming increasingly more important, and I will change any variables to my diet that you suggest. I just do not know where to begin. Should I add vegetables? Should I add fruit? Should I ditch bacon? You tell me.” Let’s start with that question. He did sneak in a second one.
Robb: Well, he has a little bit down. Why I get weird edema from my ankles on-
Nicki: Yeah. He says, “If you have the time and would like to answer a secondary question, I’m curious why I get weird edema around my ankles after these meals that are high in carbohydrates.”
Robb: That’s the easier one to answer. Which is, undoubtedly, we’re getting a pretty pronounced elevation in insulin. When insulin goes up, aldosterone goes up. We retain more sodium. Probably getting a decent amount of sodium as part of all this processed food, so the combo of elevated insulin and high sodium intake, you’ll balloon up like a tick. That’s kind of part one. It is interesting that, clearly, something is happening with the gut microbiome. It’s just bouncing back and forth between Dairy Queen Blizzards and carnivore just seems like a rough go. I thought and thought and thought about this. We have a somewhat question a little bit later here. This seems like kind of a self flagellating process. I get that maybe it’s a-
Nicki: It’s kind of liberating, because you have-
Robb: There’s some flexibility.
Nicki: You can have your cheat or indulge in the things that you are missing out the other five days of the week.
Robb: Yeah, but clearly he can’t. There’s kind of a gnarly consequence associated with this.
Nicki: Right. There’s a consequence.
Robb: What, he said he’s 31?
Nicki: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Robb: Yeah, you’re a fucking spring chicken there, Levi. You’re still really young, comparatively. This shit doesn’t get better as you get older. It gets worse. On the health insurance side, I would recommend investigating a medi-share, just as an aside, because it could be a really interesting option for your family. I’m honestly at kind of a loss for what to recommend here. I mean-
Nicki: I’m curious, Levi, if you’ve ever gone longer than five days doing sort of the carnivore-esque style of eating, and if your stools have normalized. I’m wondering if the back and forth is sort of part of it. It would be really interesting for you to do a 30 day experiment, and not go off the rails and do the nachos and beer and whatnot. Instead, stick to the protein. I’m reading here. He says, “Whey shakes with the greens formula.”
Robb: You know, when Rogan did a carnivore experiment, the first two or three weeks of the one month experiment, he had terrible diarrhea. Then everything normalized. He was like, “Oh, I’m pooping better than I’ve ever pooped, and I feel great.” This is just a really profound ping pong back and forth. I don’t know if this directly applies, but within ketogenic diet circles, there’s standard ketogenic diet, targeted ketogenic diet, cyclical ketogenic diet. Cyclical ketogenic diet looks really fascinating, because it seems like it’s the best of all worlds. Some days you eat high fat. Some days you eat high carb. It just doesn’t really work that well for the vast majority of people. I mean, I felt terrible on it. The main problem was the carb load days. Tyler and Louise have tinkered with this shit ad nauseam, with thousands and thousands of people. The cyclic approach just doesn’t really work all that well. People spin off. They feel terrible.
Robb: I think there was some pretty good research that suggested when you follow kind of the two day carb load model, you don’t get back into ketosis and legitimate fat burning until day five, so you have two days of fat burning. You’re just in this screwed metabolic state, I feel like. It’s being in that inner tidal zone. If you’re surfing, you want to be on the beach, or you want to be out in the water. You don’t want to be getting pounded by the surf there in the rocks. This is exactly what’s going on there. This just feels like that.
Nicki: I feel like there’s other. If you wanted to go off the rails, there’s some great low carb ice creams, Rebel, Mammoth. There’s some good options out there that aren’t going to have the same sugar load that a Dairy Queen Blizzard is going to have. Beer, you could try ciders. I’m just thinking about the gluten in here, too, if-
Robb: It is interesting. He’s claiming that it’s on these hookers and cocaine days that his digestion is better.
Nicki: Right, that his digestion is better.
Robb: Yet he’s bloating up like a tick. Again, there’s clearly some sort of an electrolyte deal here. The GI tract responds really powerfully to changes in food, and electrolytes are a big factor there. I don’t have a ton of advice here, other than I would just try to kind of pick a little bit more modest of a path through the forest. You have a great point. Maybe going a little more carnivore-esque for a month, and see if things normalize. If they don’t, then maybe that’s just not a good fit. Do a more moderate carb, lower fat day to day approach. Then, when you do your kick your heels up stuff, maybe that’s not as big of a deal. I would definitely track A1C, probably once every six months, at a minimum. If you could get your LPIR score checked, I wouldn’t-
Nicki: There could be stuff going on under the hood other than just what’s happening in the toilet.
Robb: Yeah. Yes. Well said. Well said.
Nicki: Levi, try some of that. Maybe try going 30 days without the fries, beer, and Dairy Queen, and just do the carnivore shtick, more or less, for 30 days. Then write back in and let us know if you’ve noticed any improvements.
Nicki: Well, let’s see. Our next question is from Simone on red light therapy. “Hi, Robb and Nicki. I’ve been an avid listener since your Paleo Solution Podcast, and I’m enjoying the change up on The Healthy Rebellion. My question regards red light therapy. Can I simply replace the lamps in my bedroom with red light bulbs to wind down, to improve sleep, as I read before I shut the lights, or do I have to get a red light therapy device to reap the benefits? I learned a few years ago how vital good quality sleep is, and I’m always trying to improve things here and there, when I can. Note: I do wear blue blocking glasses every night, the intense orange ones that I’m embarrassed for anyone to see, except for my fiancé, cats, and dog. Thanks.”
Robb: So, there’s kind of two things going on here. We have just kind of the background light that we’re exposed to and how that can influence our sleep. I think doing blue blockers, doing the cat house red light deal, is not a bad idea. That can certainly facilitate things. That’s more looking at the-
Nicki: Sleep hygiene characteristics of kind of your ritual before bed and kind of winding down.
Robb: Sleep hygiene characteristics, versus red light therapy. These specific red light wavelengths that are kind of technically lasers, even though they’re diodes and whatnot, more like Joovv or something like that. Those seem to have some other benefits. They’re two completely different things, both of them potentially good, but we’re really in a tentative domain.
Nicki: The red light therapy, you get a lot of recovery benefits, and immune system benefits, tissue repair, and that kind of thing. If you’re just wanting to kind of improve the time before bed so that you increase the quality of your sleep, the red light bulb is probably fine. Then the red light therapy, specifically, kind of tackles some other things.
Nicki: We have a question from Matt on autoimmune reactions in the severe form of COVID-19. “Hello Robb and Nicki. This is a question for The Health Rebellion Podcast. The core lethal symptoms of the severe form of COVID-19 seem to stem from drastic inflammation and overboard immune reactions in the lungs, correct?”
Nicki: “Who gets these severe symptoms, and why is it a mystery so far, although many known underlying medical conditions seem to correlate? Mysterious, inflammation, and disproportionate misdirected immune reactions. Doesn’t that sound eerily familiar? Anecdotes also seem to report a lessening of symptoms earlier in the day after a night time of fasting, and aggravated symptoms toward the evening after a day time of eating. We all know what people typically eat. Do you see where I’m going with this? Do you think lectin driven autoimmune reactions could be contributing to the severe symptoms some COVID-19 patients are struggling with? Thanks for the work you do. Matt in Finland.”
Robb: So, I put in a link to a piece that Chris Kresser shot me. Could COVID-19 cause longterm chronic fatigue illness in some patients? It seems to be. It may, or probably is. In addition to the chronic or the acute phase, which can potentially be fatal, then we have some considerations for some people on this chronic side. It’s interesting. We had some. As a baseline, and I guess more directly answering this question, I don’t know that lectins specifically are the problematic feature here. I don’t know if tomatoes, or even wheat, are the thing that’s really pushing this thing over. This is totally anecdotal. Although, there was a paper that kind of alluded to this.
Robb: I was having a discussion with Sybil in The Healthy Rebellion. Sybil has a PHD in immunology. We both observed that we’ve known people, and we’ve heard of some reports that folks that are immunocompromised, they have an autoimmune disease and they’re on immunosuppressant drugs. You would think that COVID would be remarkably dangerous for them. In fact, these people end up navigating a COVID infection pretty well. It’s kind of a little bit of a head twister, because you’re worried about the fact that their immune system maybe can’t clear the virus. Really, Matt’s kind of hit the nail on the head. The really dangerous feature here is when we get this cytokine storm, and the really massively overactive immune response. That is ultimately what kills people or makes people very sick. It’s interesting. When you look at autoimmune conditions, and these conditions being managed on more of a pharmaceutical side, you have some immune suppression that maybe is suppressing the overactive immune response.
Robb: When we look at people who have type two diabetes, hypertension, those people almost certainly have chronic inflammatory issues. This is some of the underlying features that they have. They also are not on any type of an immuno suppressing regimen, so they’re kind of hyper inflamed. Their blood glucose levels are already high. One of the features of COVID is that people get worse blood glucose levels and poor blood glucose management. It’s interesting. Chronic degenerative disease manifests different ways in different people. The way we manage those things, clearly, can be different. The people who really seem to be faring the worst are the folks that are in this kind of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, peri-diabetes, hypertension-
Nicki: Heart disease.
Robb: Heart disease. Kidney disease being a really big factor. I think that that’s more the direction that we’re looking in this. Again, it’s very early. It’s largely anecdotal. It’s interesting that it seems that some people with autoimmune conditions, like someone who contracts HIV, for example, and they’re immunocompromised already. They’re going to have a hell of a time dealing with that. It’s going to be really, really difficult. Whereas, it’s not looking to be quite the same with the COVID deal. Although, from day to day, you can catch it on a surface.
Nicki: Now you can’t.
Robb: One day-
Nicki: It lives for 24 hours on a surface. Now it’s 20 minutes.
Robb: It lives 72 hours, and then, no, you can’t. This stuff just flip flops all the way around, which is a large part of why I’ve just abandoned trying to comment on it, because reasonably credible sources just make completely disparate claims around topics like this. It would be a full time job for a whole research institute to just stay on top of what the claims are, and then really did in. Okay, well what does the data really support? I’ve just kind of defaulted to, what can we do to make ourselves as resilient as possible and try to avoid this, wholesale.
Nicki: All right. It’s time for The Healthy Rebellion Radio trivia. Our episode sponsor, Athletic Greens, is giving a one month supply of Athletic Greens to two lucky winners, selected at random, who answer the following question correctly. Robb, what is the most recent book you’ve read?
Robb: The Mandibles.
Nicki: The Mandibles. In fact, you’ve read that book twice now.
Nicki: On your Kindle, so I can’t really borrow it. I had to order myself a print copy.
Robb: You could.
Nicki: Because I’m sort of an anti-Kindle person.
Robb: Because having every printed material in the world at your fingertips is just a terrible idea.
Nicki: I just like holding books and flipping pages. You know?
Robb: I don’t mind that, too, but when I get the hankering to read a book, I like to do it.
Nicki: Anyway, I started it two days ago, and I’m already hooked. It’s quite good.
Robb: It’s phenomenal. It details a family in the near future, who-
Robb: 2029. 2029 to 2049.
Nicki: 2029 to 2049.
Robb: It traces their trajectory through the United States losing global reserve currency status, which doesn’t really sound that interesting, but it is both hilarious and terrifying. The interesting thing is Lionel Shriver, who is the author of this book. It just does a masterful job of unpacking basic economics, fiat currency. It you’re a fan of that stuff, if you followed The Controversial Truth and did our book club, read The Creature from Jekyll Island, stuff like that. There’s just some hilarious and also just tragic stuff that she unpacks in this thing. It’s one of the rare books that I’ve turned around and read a second time. I don’t do that a whole lot.
Nicki: And you were cursing yourself, because you-
Robb: I kept staying up-
Nicki: You kept staying up way too late.
Robb: Way, way too late.
Nicki: You would be super tired the next day. You’re like, “Dammit, I should’ve put the book down, babe.”
Robb: Yeah, it’s that good.
Nicki: It’s that good.
Robb: It would keep me awake. The Mandibles, highly recommend it if you need a good read. Although, I got to say, reading it during pandemic times-
Nicki: Might not be the best.
Robb: Wasn’t the most relaxing thing, because I’m like, fuck, pandemic and economic implosion? Basically, the dollar doing what Weimar Germany currency did, and the absolute chaos that ensues from that. It’s a great read.
Nicki: All right, folks. To play, go to RobbWolf.com/Trivia, and enter the answer. We’ll randomly select two people with the correct answer to win a one month supply of Athletic Greens. The cut off to answer this week’s trivia and be eligible to win is Thursday, June 11th at midnight. We’re already in June. This is so crazy. The year is flying by.
Robb: The year’s halfway done, but it can’t be done soon enough.
Nicki: It can’t be done soon enough. This is true. Winners will be notified via email, and we’ll announce the winners on Instagram as well. This is open to residents of the U.S. only.
Nicki: All right, we’ve got a question from Rich on nutrition for special warfare training. “Robb, I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible, with as much detail. Wish me luck. I’ve been listening to you for seven or eight years now, and I remember the Paleo Solution Podcast where you talked about working with Naval Special Warfare a few times, so this is where my question stems from. I’m in the process of joining Air Force Special Warfare. In order to get in, there is a physical ability stamina test. I’m 29, 5’10”, 184 pounds, with roughly 16-18% body fat currently. This is by design. I generally function better at 175 pounds, but I’d like to go into training with some extra body fat. My issue is that my strength has always been gaining strength, but I’m a hard gainer with it comes to stamina, so I’ve been running quite a bit. I’m doing a higher fat day on endurance days, and supplementing carbs in on harder training days. To make a long question short, would you do anything different that you would think that would assist my progress? I appreciate the work you do.”
Robb: You know, I think Rich is pretty on point here. One of the things that stands out is going in with a little extra body fat is not a bad idea. Our friends that are in the Seal community, guys that show up for BUDS that are super lean oftentimes don’t do that well, because it’s so much stress. Even if you really endeavor to eat when you get a chance to eat, you’re usually kind of hypo-caloric. This cumulative stress is just kind of a bad deal. When I did the Caveman show, I gained about 10 pounds extra going into that.
Nicki: And you lost all of it plus 18 more.
Robb: I lost 18, because I just knew we were going to starve. God bless the people that were on the show with me, but some of them were like, I quit eating four days ago so my stomach would shrink.
Nicki: I wanted to make my stomach smaller.
Robb: Ah, fuck, man. The world is doomed. I think Rich is on point with these things. Understanding the difference between a selection process versus day to day training is really important. That was a lot of what I talked about in the Naval Special Warfare program is that the selection is so hard there. It becomes such a badge of honor within the community that every day kind of gets approached like a selection process, which can’t always, always do that. I think that that understanding is much more broad within those communities now. One thought here. He’s mentioning that he’s good at gaining strength, not so good at gaining stamina.
Robb: Reminds me of our good friend Dr. Kirk Parsley. Kirk was a Seal. He also had the Texas high school 100 meter dash record for a number of years. Kirk’s kind of a big, muscular guy, and very fast twitch. He barely made the running splits every single time within BUDS and Seal qualification training. You just really need to log the miles, and get in the time, and become uber, uber efficient at your movement. Getting a running coach to make sure that your running efficiency is on point. I know within BUDS selection, there’s both running and swimming. I assume that the running, and the probably calisthenics, and maybe some O course type stuff. Being really, really specific in your training. Train to the tests and get super efficient. Be well rest. Go into that well rested, well fed.
Robb: If Rich is really kind of fast twitch dominant, I don’t know that trying to goose things in a keto adaptation one day here and there is really going to him any favors. Just kind of a 40, 30, 30 zone-esque type ratio might be the best thing going, because you’ll be able to eat plenty of calories. You have good food options. Avoid inflammatory foods as much as possible so that you’re stacking the deck on recovery.
Nicki: So you recover.
Robb: If he’s really twitch and we’re needing significant endurance, the best way to kind of goose that fat adaptation is, honestly, in my opinion, more on the training side. Lots of volume. Appropriate intensity in the things that you’re going to be tested on.
Nicki: Our final question this week is on quick inflammation relief. It’s from Kyle. “Hey, Robb. Thanks for all your help. You’ve been helping with me diet and lifestyle for over 10 years now. My question is, what is your recommendation for the quickest way to recover when one goes off the rails? Some background: I’m a 41 year old male and follow a low carb paleo diet. I also take 2,000 milligrams of fish oil a day. While I try to stay fairly strict, I sometimes have too much to drink and eat a gluten laden pizza or worse. This leaves my joints sore and inflexible for a few days, which probably means a high level of inflammation. After three to four days, the joint pain goes away, but I was wondering if there was a protocol you would recommend that would get me back on track faster. My goal isn’t to cheat more, but to get back to the gym quicker when I happen to. Thanks for all you do.”
Robb: This one, too. We pull these questions down and we try to have kind of an interesting mix. Sometimes there might be a little bit of a thread to them. This is similar to our first question in some ways. I was noodling on this. I remember being in Edmonton, Canada, at the bar that invented the Harvey Wallbanger and a couple of other drinks. I was hanging out with Greg Glassman, and Dave Castro, and bunch of other people. We got absolutely shit faced at this place. Then we got up the next day, and we had to do a seminar. We had to do a workout. I asked Greg. I was like, “Coach, do you regret drinking last night?” He was basically like, “Robby, if you’re going to do it, just fucking embrace it.” You know? I respected that, but it also hurt badly enough that I just don’t do that stuff all that often.
Robb: Kyle, we could recommend some things. Maybe you take some turmeric in addition to when you do these benders, or you just kind of do it day to day. There’s Zyflamend, which is seemingly a pretty good anti-inflammatory that might help with this stuff. There’s just kind of a reality. There’s a price to be paid for certain things.
Nicki: I wonder what he’s drinking, too. If it’s beer, people tend to feel there’s more inflammation.
Nicki: Versus maybe a NorCal Margarita or some vodka. Maybe look at that, and then-
Robb: There’s ways of mitigating that. Again, it’s one of these things where, not all places, but most places, you can get a gluten free pizza. If you’re not as reactive as I am, even if it’s cooked, they use the same pizza scraper thing to get it in and out of the oven. I need a fresh one. I’m the unique snowflake deal, but most people aren’t that reactive. If you just opted for a gluten free pizza, and instead of doing beer, you did a vodka and diet tonic, and stuff like that.
Nicki: Or maybe they have wings at this place, if it’s not strictly a pizza place. I don’t know. I don’t know how frequently you’re doing this, but three to four days of joint pain sounds pretty rough.
Robb: Pretty rough. Pretty rough.
Nicki: That’s just what you feel. There’s other stuff going on in your body.
Robb: Again, he’s 41 years old. Not a spring chicken.
Nicki: It’s going to get worse.
Robb: It’s going to get worse. This is the time to, really. I like what you’re saying. There’s mitigating strategies, and I think look at that. I very much do similar things. There’s also just kind of this reality that if you play, you pay. There’s sometimes not an easy fucking way out of this stuff. If you wat to abuse your body, by all means, do it, but it’s going to suck on the back end of that. That was something that I realized, that I’m not going to get absolutely shit faced drunk the night before I need to do my second of three days of training and educating people at a crossfit gig. You know, Kyle, I’m not trying to be a dick. I’m honored that you’ve been following us for a long time, but there’s some of this stuff that it’s kind of like, hey guys, I don’t have any money because I’ve spent more than I earn. Well, there’s a very direct solution to that. We need to get your spending online or, I guess, take on a second job. You’re going to suffer one way or another. You just decide how you’re going to suffer.
Robb: I like the notion of mitigating strategies. Other than that, you either decide to embrace it, or there might be some other. In addition to the dietary mitigating strategies, maybe some cricumin helps, maybe some Zyflamend, or something like that helps. This is just some of that stuff that you have to look yourself in the mirror and be like, how do I want to fucking live? What do I want to take away from this day?
Nicki: Maybe right now, at 41, it’s three to four days of joint pain, but maybe five years from now it’s two weeks of joint pain. You’ve got to-
Robb: This is the stuff that-
Nicki: Or maybe it kicks into something more serious.
Robb: Autoimmune disease or something like that. These are canaries in the coal mine. I don’t know. Figuring out ways of navigating this so that it doesn’t super negatively affect you makes a lot of sense to me. Then you have other people that maybe are just tougher constitution. Greg Glassman, he will light it up on occasion. He kind of suffer the consequences, and he’s okay with that.
Nicki: That was our last question this week.
Nicki: Thanks everyone. Be sure to check out the special offer from our show’s sponsor, Athletic Greens. You can go to AthleticGreens.com/Wolf, and get 20 free travel packs with your first purchase. We hope that everyone is staying safe. Hug your loved ones, because it’s kind of a rough time.
Robb: Yeah, and if you want to come hang out with us over at The Healthy Rebellion, it’s a good group of people. We try to keep it apolitical, but also we have some tough conversations over there. People are respectful, and we don’t have an algorithm pitting us at each other’s throats.
Nicki: Each other’s throats. Yep.
Robb: We have some rules of engagement around decorum, and friendliness, and stuff like that. At the end of the day, if two folks agree to disagree, then that’s just fine. The process of engaging, and talking, and trying to find common ground, but sometimes there’s just not common ground. Sometimes people are just coming at a position from entirely different perspectives, and we also have to honor that, too.
Nicki: All right, folks. We’ll see y’all next week.
Robb: Take care. Bye, bye.
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