Robb Wolf – Low Carb Danger, Acne, Meal Timing

Custom Keto Diet

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This episode of The Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by Vital Farms. Eating clean? Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Ghee is lactose-, casein- and gluten-free. Equipping you with the taste of butter and the functionality of a high heat cooking oil—perfect for sautéing your veggies. Visit vitalfarms.com/ghee for a chance to win a year supply of Vital Farms ghee for FREE.

 

Download a copy of the transcript here (PDF)

Show Notes:

News topic du jour:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/23/health/arizona-coronavirus-chloroquine-death/index.html

1. Dealing with fear at this time. [10:46]
Kristine…
Hi Robb. I just wanted to ask you if you are scared right now of this virus for yourself, or Nikki, or the girls? I have never been so terrified and I am physically making myself ill from it. Seems like nobody (except for kids, maybe) is guaranteed to be in danger. I keep thinking me and my husband are going to get sick/hospitalized and there will nobody to take care of our two young daughters. Can you offer me some advice? I have looked to you for years and I don’t know how to get my head right. Thanks

2. Peppers [23:52]
Sergio says:
Hey Rob, maybe im talking to a computer or nobody, but in case it reaches you.

Have people considered the power of red hot chili peppers? Or peppers in general?

The effects largely boosts many defenses as well as giving you notable temperature rise. Could that help to combat Covid?

Also Spirulina.

Don’t wanna make this very long.

Cheers and thanks for your help

3. Low carb/carnivore danger of mucin deficiency [25:58]
Kat says:
Hi Robb and Nicki,

I love your new podcast. I’ve followed your work for a while and I really appreciate how you remain so open minded and non-dogmatic.

Can you please address the issue of some people developing dry eyes and mouths on low carb. I developed Sjogrens Syndrome (when I was still eating plenty of carbs) and it is doing a number on my eyes, mouth (and other mucous membranes), my digestive system and joints. Eating mostly meat is the only thing that controls the stomach pain from my longstanding IBS and more recent Sjogrens. Paul Jaminet cautions against low carb due to what happened to him on it (dry eyes and mouth) and so I am worried I will make my issues even worse if I continue carnivore diet style eating. It’s hard to tell if it is causing any dryness since I am already so dry.

Thanks,
Kat

4. Timing of meals and BJJ training [31:35]
Kris says:
Hi Rob and Nicki,

I’m 46 years old health conscious dad, husband and lawyer. I started BJJ about 10 months ago with my 8 year old son. I’ve got two stripes and am loving the training, very mental. I come from an endurance background, Ironman triathlons, marathons (Boston 3 x) and I ran 24 hours around a track last year for charity to celebrate my 45th birthday. BJJ is a whole new challenge with the mental game. My question, I eat low carb consistently and have been meat focused for the past few months with some vegetables. I intermittent fast most days for 16-18 hours typically skipping breakfast. My BJJ training is usually in the evening from 6:15 until 7:45 pm. For overall health, would you recommend having my last meal at around 4 pm before BJJ training and fasting until the next morning. Or would you recommend having a big breakfast around 11 am, a small snack before BJJ training and an evening meal after training? I love your yearly recap and am an avid listener of your podcast. I hope to one day earn my purple belt in BJJ. I am actually similar to your build, short around 5’6″ but muscular with big legs. I weigh around 160 lbs with 8-10% bodyfat. Loving your podcast and website material. All the best, Kris

5. Acne [35:22]
Erica says:
Hey Robb, I’m not sure if you’ve covered the subject of acne because I am a fairly new listener to your podcast, which I love by the way. I’ve learned so much already. But getting to the point, I am a 17 year old female that has had acne since age 10. I’ve done almost every type of treatment: oral and topical antibiotics, birth control, benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, you name it. Nothing ever seems to help, and if it does, my acne eventually comes back. I don’t want to take antibiotics or birth control because that just screws up your gut microbiome. I am a fairly clean eater (I eat paleo but I have the occasional dessert or junk food), I exercise a lot (I play volleyball and weightlift three days a week), and I get a decent amount of sleep (7-8 hours per night). My acne has thankfully become pretty mild but either way, acne isn’t NORMAL. In your opinion, what are the biggest causes of acne? I’ve heard diet, stress, dehydration, mineral deficiencies, and I’m honestly just so confused. Any advice or insight would be appreciated.

 

Transcript:

Download a copy of the transcript here (PDF)

Robb: Wife, how are you doing?

Nicki: I, like many people am just motorin’ one day at a time.

Robb: Sweet Jesus. There’s a song to that effect.

Nicki: There is a song to that effect. No, you know, honestly all things considered I think we are doing quite well. We’ve got a healthy family, we’ve got many, many, many things to be grateful for and thankful for. We’ve got wonderful people on our team. A healthy rebellion community is just providing tons of connection and community and humor and support during all of this for all of us. Even you and I are, we’re giving but we’re getting so much out of it. In a time like this where the world seems to be kind of …

Robb: Coming unstitched.

Nicki: … coming unstitched it’s been real nice.

Robb: Yeah, and we have one of our moderators, Alison appears to be positive. We’re awaiting the-

Nicki: She’s presumptive positive …

Robb: Yeah, presumptive positive.

Nicki: … and she’s been sharing her story. She started feeling a little off, had a temperature of 99, then 100, than 101. Dry coughs, chest pain, you know, all of the kind of classic symptoms. Called her doctor and he basically said your presumptive positive but we’re not ready to test you or we don’t have tests for you. Then she got a call last night, which we’re recording this a week before this episode will actually come out. We should know by the time this episode is out whether it’s positive or not. She kind of detailed the whole testing experience and what it was like. She’s in Connecticut, so it’s been interesting to watch that and obviously we’re all, you know, fingers crossed she doesn’t have it, but if it does turn out to be coronavirus I hope, you know, she’s, she seems like she’s motoring along pretty well and she’s a strong woman and you know, if anyone can kick it-

Robb: If folks don’t know her, she goes by the Food Asshole on Instagram.

Nicki: On Instagram, yeah. She was actually a Keto Masterclass student and has totally transformed her health and she is a firecracker and everybody loves Alison. We’re rooting for her. Yep, so that’s that.

Nicki: Our news topic today is actually kind of sad and tragic.

Robb: Man, it’s folks are using Chloroquine from-

Nicki: Not a lot, but you know, it’s been making the rounds that Chloroquine is a potential therapy for-

Robb: Could be an adjunctive treatment in this whole story. It seems to change some characteristic of the cellular pH such that the virus may not be able to make it through the ACE channels quite as effectively is my recollection of what the mechanism is. If I’m wrong then the inter webs will crucify me for getting that factoid wrong. But it shows promise. There are papers emerging, so definitely detailing the use coming out of China and there is some information coming out of Italy. It’s been picked up both at the political level and the more media level talking about the potential.

Robb: Then there are some different sources of chemicals like this, like in fish tank additive solutions, which people have ingested and gotten sick and some people have died.

Nicki: Yeah, I think it goes to show that people are really, there’s a lot of fear right now. They’re glomming on to any little thing that they think might help. I don’t think these people were even symptomatic they just … This woman used to have a koi pond and she had this stuff on the shelf and she thought, oh, let me take this and you know, pretty darn sick. People need to take a deep breath.

Robb: Even within this story, when the Chloroquine is being used is when people are sick. It’s unknown whether it would be efficacious at all as a prophylactic agent. I mean it’s kind of a, luckily it’s low scale right now, but it’s something … Don’t take fish tank additives as a potential prophylactic.

Nicki: Yeah, no and it needs to be the pharmaceutical grade one that’s the right, you know, like … Anyway, we didn’t put this link here, but we should probably mention it because it seems like the opposite side of the spectrum in this kind of crazy world we’re living in now. But somebody shared in the health room, actually I think it was Alison that shared a picture. Apparently, there’s this hashtag going around where young kids are doing the COVID challenge, hashtag COVID challenge. There’s a picture of this young kid licking a toilet seat. In fact, he did a contract COVID from licking a toilet seat, or whether it was from the toilet seat or just doing this other shenanigans that he and you know … But this is definitely a crazy time in history on a lot of levels.

Nicki: Let’s see. Anything else you want to say on those topics?

Robb: No, no I wasn’t even sure whether to dig into that because I’m not sure how much more, I mean, do we need to tell people to not drink fish tank additives? But apparently we do.

Nicki: Yeah, hopefully the folks that listen to this show I think are a little bit more sophisticated.

Robb: But they may know people who are not so sophisticated.

Nicki: Right, right. We need to …

Robb: There have been some legit concerns around hoarding even kind of fucked up things like doctors writing massive prescriptions for themself or families. Not all of them, but there’ve been a number of pharmacists that have been kind of ringing this alarm bell that clearly this stuff is getting hoarded. We can’t do that. We need to save this stuff for when people appropriately need it and it needs to be used within the system. But apparently Israel is sending the US like 10 million doses of the Chloroquine. Just chill out, calm down. Don’t do stupid things.

Nicki: Lots of really smart people are working really, really hard to help expand our capacities in a lot of these areas where we’re kind of short right now.

Robb: We had heard one piece suggesting that ventilators have been modified to expand up to four people. Then we just heard yesterday that there may be a hack on it for up to nine people. Which, if we can start doing some things like that then these short falls could start getting bridged. We still need to probably do this onerous social distancing thing and all that for a chunk of time. But yeah, there are a lot of people working very hard on this, so going in licking toilet seats to pressure test the system seems like ill advised behavior right now.

Nicki: Yep, yep.

Robb: If that kid survives he should probably be flogged afterwards.

Nicki: All right, let’s move on to our t-shirt review winner. We’ve got one from slimG and the title is, “Can I have your attention please?” This one caught my attention because I’m slimG makes me think of slim shady. Then, you know, when I was pregnant with Zoe, that M&M song, like I just listened to it non, that was like the song of my Zoe pregnancy.

Robb: It was.

Nicki: May the real slim shady please stand up. Anyway, slimG. Love listening to Robb and Nicki. For someone who has a short attention span, they always seem to keep and hold my attention with this fun and informative Q&A podcast. Keep up the good work. SlimG, thank you for the review and the chuckle. Send us an email to [email protected] with your t-shirt size and your mailing address and we will send you a Healthy Rebellion Radio t-shirt.

Nicki: All right, this episode of the Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by Vital Farms. Vital Farms has been making pasture raised butter for years and believes that great ghee starts with better butter and that all starts with the cows. Pasture raised cows that are raised to graze on actual pastures like cows should be.

Nicki: Rob, one of the best things about Vital Farms ghee, other than that it’s super flavorful and tastes great, is that when you cook with it, it has a really high smoke point.

Robb: This is one of the big features of ghee in addition to the fact that it’s delicious. Yes.

Nicki: Right, and we use it when we’re cooking. We like to do brussel sprouts …

Robb: And get a good sear.

Nicki: … and get a good sear and kind of crispy. They’re not blackened but crispy kind of almost caramelized. Yep. Same thing with sweet potatoes. Sometimes we’ll chop dice them up and do those in a skillet with ghee, as well. It’s also good just to squeeze some ghee directly on top of a baked sweet potato.

Robb: Well, our kids have been known to squeeze it into a spoon and eat it.

Nicki: Sagan in particular. Yeah, so look for a Vital Farms ghee in a squeeze bottle exclusively at Whole Foods Market in original and Himalayan pink salt. You can also visit Vital Farms.com forward slash ghee. That’s Vital Farms.com forward slash g-h-e-e for a chance to win a year supply of Vital Farms ghee for free.

Robb: Now, is that like a years supply for the average person or my consumption level?

Nicki: That is a great question. I don’t have an answer for that. A years supply.

Robb: A years supply. I could eat a lot of ghee in a year.

Nicki: I know you can. All right, today’s question. Our first question is from Christine and it’s around dealing with fear at this time. She says, “Hi Rob. I just wanted to ask you if you are scared right now of this virus for yourself or Nicki or the girls. I’ve never been so terrified and I’m physically making myself ill from it. Seems like nobody, except for kids, maybe, is guaranteed to be out of danger. I keep thinking me and my husband are going to get sick and hospitalized and there’ll be nobody to take care of our two young daughters. Can you offer me some advice? I’ve looked to you for years and I don’t know how to get my head right.”

Robb: First, when I received this it kind of buckled me a little bit. It’s a lot of responsibility to have folks lean on us in this way. I’m nobody special. I don’t have any deep secrets in the world or anything. I take stuff like this really, really seriously and I’m also honored that somebody would reach out like this.

Robb: I replied to Christine and when I did, she said, “You know, I thought about deleting this 100 times because I feel guilty and embarrassed for just being in this state.” But this is what people need to do when they’re hurting. They need to reach out. This can spiral into all kinds of other stuff. We’re hearing of increased rates of child abuse and spousal abuse and all kinds of things like that. We need to really lean on each other. You pointed this out the other day that usually in kind of a crisis scenario, there’s like an isolated group of people that experience it and then people can be supported from outside.

Nicki: Right, like if you go through something really rough, you have somebody die in your life or there’s an accident or something happens, usually you have people in your circle who are there to support you and they’re strong at the time that you’re in need of strength and support. Right now this fear, and this virus is global.

Robb: Everybody’s impacted.

Nicki: Everybody’s impacted, everybody has varying degrees of fear about what’s going on. You don’t have those external kind of support network that’s totally robust and free of their own fear, so it’s a little bit different right now.

Robb: Yeah. Me personally, I’m not afraid too much of this thing. I think if we got it, we are young enough, healthy enough that I think we would navigate it okay. But there’s also reports of people seemingly pretty young and pretty healthy that are…

Nicki: Having a rough go.

Robb: … getting seriously impacted and have a rough go. I’m not licking toilet seats. I’m taking the social distancing thing to heart on a lot of different levels. I don’t know that we want to spin a on this too, too much, but there’s been a fascinating/depressing bifurcation on the interwebs where I’ve received comments from people that are like, “You know, this is all just a huge ruse. Nobody’s even dying in Italy. This is all fake.” I thought that some of the 911 conspiracy stuff was pretty over the top. This just fucking blows that out of the water. People, I look up their profiles and I’m like, okay, you’re a professional somewhere and you think that the totality of what’s happening in Italy is fake.

Robb: Absolutely, this stuff is being politically driven, like manipulated an opportunism occurring. But this is a pretty fucking big deal. I don’t know, getting back to Christine’s thing, I’m not personally that concerned, but at the same time I’m taking safeguards both personally and also for the thought around the system and the impacts on the system. One cool thing that’s been happening within the Healthy Rebellion, like we had somebody reach out to us and their parents live in New Braunfels and I pinged her and I said … Parents are elderly, they’ve had problems getting some food. I pinged her and I’m like, “Hey, I will go, I will either shop for them where they can do a curbside pickup. I pick it up, drop it off.” But in the 18 hours since I received the email and got back to her, they managed to get a delivery. They’re good for now. But this is the power of having legit community. People will fucking take care of each other.

Robb: This is something that I mentioned to Christine, we need to reach out to one another. Let’s say a worst case scenario thing did happen where both she and her husband were sick. Have somebody that’s like, Hey, if we’re kind of laid up, we need some some fall back on this stuff. Do a little bit of contingency planning so that then we can just focus on taking care of our day-to-day. I think some thoughts around that, and you really made a great point about this is the loss of a sense of agency at this time. The ability to make decisions is super stressful. Like loss of agency is arguably like the most stressful thing that people can experience.

Nicki: Well, cause nobody can control this, right? We all feel like we have no control, so then it’s sort of like what can we focus on the things that we do have control over. One of them, and I believe you mentioned this to Christine and we’ve talked about this a lot, but meditation. We have really leaned on what we’ve learned over the last year in our meditation practice during these last three weeks that this has been really, really ramping up. Now is a time if you’re not a meditator, or if you’ve thought like Rob that it was like hippy dippy and or just that you didn’t have time for it. Now is a time, now is a really good time because it can help you be more in the present moment and not thinking about all this stuff that we can’t control.

Nicki: Cause making yourself sick, like if you’re worrying so much that you’re making yourself sick, you could actually get sick. Stress is something that can underlie a lot of things, and so…

Robb: And let me jump in there really quick. People may say, well it’s a really stressful time so I don’t know if I can tackle it right now. You have to tackle it. When you kind of shoehorned me, you’re like, read this page of this book and do this. That was coming up on one year ago today. This was right in the midst of when Google had basically made us disappear from the interwebs

Nicki: And we were starting to consider are we going to move across country like we had, but there were a lot of…

Robb: There was a lot of shit going on.

Nicki: … there was a lot of stuff going on and you were grinding your teeth at night. It was a really stressful period for us. You were being kind of a dick and …

Robb: More so than usual, more so than usual.

Nicki: But it’s really, really helped.

Robb: And I took it to heart and I did it even in a time where I could make all kinds of excuses around like, Oh, I don’t know if I have time. That 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon I should be doing work or something. It’s like, no, I need to do that. Since this thing has been ramping up, I’ve been doing three 15 minute sessions a day and it’s just keeping me together. I should probably do four of them a day, but at some point it’s kind of like, okay, you can’t just meditate the whole time. Although, I told Nikki that if I could find a stash of morphine and just go to sleep for a month and then wake up and be like, okay, what’s the world like now? I would probably sign up for that. The meditation, I can’t emphasize enough. You had mentioned that Emily Fletcher is

Nicki: It’s already

Robb: It’ll be expired by then?

Nicki: It’ll be expired by the time this show is … But I will say, for MDs, RNs, anybody on the front lines, she is giving her a Ziva online course for free. If you are an a doctor, a nurse, anybody in hospital or working on the front lines of this thing, police, military, fire, all of that, this is a great opportunity for you to get ahold of her course. It’s really beautifully done. She did a great job. I love her delivery. She takes you through the whole process in a beautiful way and I can’t recommend it enough.

Robb: And you mentioned something this morning that was really good, too, which is a schedule.

Nicki: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah. Yeah, I mean it’s, a lot of people are working from home so that there is some schedule for some folks, but if you aren’t

Robb: But we’ve worked from home for ages and we never really had a schedule until recently. And that was a massive game changer.

Nicki: Right, so even though all of this stuff is kind of, well, you know, it’s kind of crazy. It’s like, okay, what am I doing at 8:00 and then 9:00 and then 9:30? Maybe it’s like, okay, from 9:00 to 9:30 I’m going to read part of this book, and you just … Then I’m going to do laundry and then I’m going to go scrub the toilet. Whatever it is to keep yourself busy and on a schedule so that life seems reasonably normal and on track and you’re accomplishing things and you feel I’m going to walk. We have members in the Healthy Rebellion who are in Spain and an apartment building and they can’t go outside, so you can walk around your apartment and you can do, you know, lift your knee high and kick your butt and kind of, you know, marching style or whatever, you know. Whatever you can do to move your body and keep to a schedule and connect with other people. FaceTime, Zoom meetings and all that kind of stuff.

Nicki: To your point when we first kicked off, this question is don’t hold it all in. And if you’re just in your house kind of spinning with your spouse or your partner, like who else can you reach out to and share what you’re going through with and talk to. I have one of my best friends growing up, she had to put down her dog of 14 years, two days ago. She lives alone in New York city and it’s very scary there. Now her pal is gone. There’s a lot of, it’s rough, but she reached out to me and I’m so thankful she did. This is where we all get to be there for each other. Reach out to your friends, reach out to your family. And on the flip side, if you have somebody that’s really kind of going over the top fear wise, maybe that’s not the person. If you’re fearful yourself, that’s not the person to reach out to. Like try to find somebody who’s kind of in a little bit of a stronger spot so that we can all bring each other up and not bring each other down.

Nicki: That’s what I got.

Robb: I think that’s good. But, again can’t re-emphasize enough, check out the meditation. There’s a lot of options. We’re big fans of Ziva meditation, stress less, accomplish more and then really sit down and look at a schedule for your day and stick it in your calendar. Like go to bed early. Who was it that said-

Nicki: It was Mary Catherine when she, my friend who lost her dog and she’s like, “I’m trying to minimize my waking hours right now.” I think it’s a fine strategy. Go to bed early and, you know?

Robb: Go to bed early, take care of yourself, get that good sleep. We want to be disciplined. We don’t necessarily need to get all Jocko Welnick on it and wake up at 4:30 in the morning. I think actually sleeping well right now, it’s probably not a bad idea. But, get up and figure out, have a schedule in place that you stick to and if you need to stick it in your calendar so that it alerts you and you’re like, Oh, okay, in 15 minutes I just did 15 minutes of guitar scales or something like that. Great. Then you move on to the next thing.

Robb: It provides continuity to your day and it doesn’t just feel like the same kind of gray miasma that people are reporting. They’re like, the days are going by really fast. But somebody commented the other day, they’re like, “I don’t even know what day of the week it is,” and that’s where you start kind of like …

Nicki: Losing it.

Robb: … losing some contact with reality and it’s not good. Yeah.

Robb: Okay, moving on.

Nicki: Our next question is from Sergio. “Hey Rob, maybe I’m talking to a computer or nobody, but in case it reaches you, have people considered the power of red hot chili peppers or peppers in general? The effects of peppers largely boosts many of the body’s defenses as well as giving you a notable temperature rise. Could that help to combat COVID? Also spirulina. I don’t want to make this very long. Cheers and thanks for your help.”

Robb: Yeah. You know, clearly there’s an almost infinite number of things out there that might be of benefit, but when we look at the … We’ll link to a really good paper that came out of China that details the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and kind of immunological interventions that they used to combat the COVID 19 disease process and neither peppers nor spirulina nor ginger and a host of other things popped up in there.

Robb: That’s not to say that there aren’t potentially other things that we could find that would be of benefit, but I would argue that we should look pretty deeply to the ironically evidence-based literature that has come out of China thus far and really kicked the tires on that. We could certainly look at other molecules and treatment options, but those folks are not dumb. They’ve had multiple rounds of dealing with things like SARS and MERS and so they understand some of the mechanistic underpinnings and what occurs in the cytokine storm. They recommend high dose intravenous vitamin C, the Chloroquine and different interventions. I would focus more on the materials that have been generated to date than necessarily going super far down the rabbit hole on other stuff.

Nicki: Makes sense. All right, our next question is from Cat low-carb carnivore danger of mucin deficiency. “Hi Robb and Nicki, I love your new podcast. I followed your work for awhile and I really appreciate how you remain so open-minded and non dogmatic. Can you please address the issue of some people developing dry eyes and mouths on low carb? I developed Sjogren’s syndrome when I was still eating plenty of carbs and it is doing a number on my eyes, mouth and other mucus membranes. Also, my digestive system and joints. Eating mostly meat is the only thing that controls the stomach pain from my longstanding IBS and more recent Sjogren’s. Paul Jaminet cautions against low-carb due to what happened to him on it, dry eyes and mouth, and so I am worried I will make my issues even worse if I continue carnivore diet style eating. It’s hard to tell if it is causing any dryness since I am already so dry.”

Robb: That’s tough because my mom had Sjogren’s and it’s tough. She was constantly needing to sip on water and had some swallowing issues and stuff like that. But my sense of this, and again, big fan of carnivore, huge fan of Keto. Not always the right intervention for everybody, but the dry mouth experience that folks oftentimes a report I think is a sodium in electrolyte deficiency. I think that really properly addressing that will plug the hole on this problem and allow you to get both the benefit from ostensibly a carnivore or peri carnivore type eating but then not suffer this other downside.

Robb: Because we know for a fact that as we start eating lower carb, we need to kind of prop up the electrolyte intake in general and the sodium intake in particular. I would tinker with just making sure that you hit at least that five grams of sodium per day. Could be even a little bit more than that depending on size and activity level. I would run with that for a period of time, you know, week, two weeks and you should feel better pretty quickly with that. If you don’t, then we need to really start probably mapping like what plant like material, like maybe white rice is okay in this context, or maybe it’s Yuca or green bananas-

Nicki: Like which ones she tolerates.-

Robb: We’re going to have to figure out what carbs are tolerated and start reintroducing those if the sodium doesn’t address the dry mouth problem.

Nicki: Gotcha. Okay, Cat try that and please write us back and let us know …

Robb: Yeah, it’d be great to hear about that.

Nicki: Okay, our next question is from Chris on timing of meals and BJJ training.

Nicki: “Hi, Robb and Nicki. I’m 46 years old, a health conscious dad, husband and lawyer. I started BJJ about 10 months ago with my eight-year-old son. I’ve got two stripes and I’m loving the training, very mental. I come from an endurance background, iron man triathlons, marathons. I’ve done the Boston three times and I ran 24 hours around a track last year for a charity to celebrate my 45th birthday.”

Nicki: 24 hours straight, huh? That sounds terrible.

Robb: Horrible.

Nicki: “BJJ is a whole new challenge with the mental game. My question is that I eat low carb consistently and have been meat focused for the past few months with some vegetables. I intermittent fast most days for 16 to 18 hours, typically skipping breakfast. My BJJ training is usually in the evening from 6:15 until 7:45 PM. For overall health, would you recommend having my last meal meal at around 4:00 PM before BJJ training and fasting until the next morning or would you recommend having a big breakfast around 11:00 AM, a snack before BJJ training and an evening meal after training? I love your yearly recap and I’m an avid listener of your podcast. I hope to one day earn my purple belt in BJJ. I’m actually similar to your build, short around five six but muscular with big legs. I weigh around 160 with eight to 10% body fat. Loving your podcast and website material. All the best, Chris.”

Robb: Great question and man it’s tough. This one comes down to a pretty good chunk of individual preference and how people respond to both their food and the training stimulus. Usually, that evening training it can make it difficult for people to fall asleep. In that context I could make the case for having a meal after the training. The bugger is that also we’re starting to learn the eating later in the evening means that we’re not quite as metabolically set up for success.

Robb: I would play with that. Like you, you certainly can play with both of these and maybe run one for a month, run the other one for a month. But when we look at circadian biology, it seems like eating more calories earlier in the day seems to be of benefit. Doing that whole big breakfast, a modest lunch and then last meal at like 4:00 PM could be a great way to go, so long as we aren’t experiencing sleep problems in the evening. Interestingly, the food can help with the sleep problems because it can be a little bit, you know, parasympathetic stimulating. Although, that’s not 100% thing either because consuming food raises our metabolic …

Nicki: Body temperature.

Robb: … and raises our body temperature …

Nicki: You don’t sleep as well.

Robb: … so it’s harder to fall asleep.

Nicki: If your training session is pretty hard, depending on where you’re training and what type of training you’re doing that late, it can also affect people’s ability to sleep well.

Robb: It’s not an entire, it’s a good question and it’s not a super easy nut to crack. Those are two good options to tinker with and honestly, I don’t know which … This is the reason why it’s taken me 20 plus years to get almost to brown belt in jujitsu because the evening training would just absolutely crush me because I’d stay awake and all that stuff.

Robb: Yeah, I would just tinker with those two schedules and see which one probably works better. If the sleep is a legit problem, you may need to stick a little bit more carbs into the post workout meal and that doesn’t mean a hundred grams carbs, could be like 20 or 30 grams of carbs may help with that whole tryptophan delivering and kind of winding you down.

Nicki: Okay, and our last question this week is from Erica about acne. “Hey Rob, I’m not sure if you’ve covered the subject of acne because I’m a fairly new listener to your podcast, which I love by the way. I’ve learned so much already. But getting to the point, I am a 17-year-old female that has had acne since age 10. I’ve done almost every type of treatment, oral and topical antibiotics, birth control, benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, you name it. Nothing ever seems to help, and if it does, my acne eventually comes back. I don’t want to take antibiotics or birth control because that just screws up your gut microbiome. I’m a fairly clean eater. I eat paleo, but I have the occasional dessert or junk food. I exercise a lot. I play volleyball and weight lift three days a week and I get a decent amount of sleep, seven to eight hours per night. My acne is thankfully become pretty mild, but either way, acne isn’t normal. In your opinion, what are the biggest causes of acne? I’ve heard diet, stress, dehydration, mineral deficiencies and I’m honestly just so confused. Any advice or insight would be appreciated.”

Robb: One thing that I’ve seen for sure that is a problem with acne is dairy. It will vary from person-to-person, but the basic cow dairy, milk and cheese, it will definitely give me acne. Zoe, the other day, like she had, she was kind of on a terror for like three or four days in a row eating cheese. She woke up, she had a big pimple on her chin. I would say dairy is probably like the highest problematic food and you can have pretty infrequent exposure and still have a keep the acne kind of story going.

Robb: I’ve also seen where people will, there’s definitely a gut driven piece to this. Folks will tinker with a new probiotic, they start messing with like sauerkraut or kimchi or something and it will give them acne for a permanent or transient period. So there’s another layer to this beyond the dairy which is just something not quite right in the gut microbiota. This is where maybe looking at Dr. Ruscio’s book could be valuable to get some insights or some protocols into what to do to shore up any potential, you know, gut abnormalities. But kind of those two considerations, something occurring with the gut and then also from a dietary standpoint, dairy I’ve seen just really impact a lot of people.

Nicki: Yeah, and I mean she says she has the occasional dessert or junk food. If you are having that, like try to make those dairy free options. Sugar too, right?

Robb: Sugar will definitely drive it. Like when you look at acne and hyper insulinism then the two are really tied together and this is to some degree what’s thought to be occurring with dairy is that you get both an insulin promoting effect from dairy and then also the IGF-1, IGF-2 is strongly promoted via dairy consumption. Which can be great when you’re trying to make a baby mammal a full size mammal, but once you’re a full size mammal that growth stimulus may not be the best thing in the world for us all the time.

Nicki: Alrighty, that was our last question for the week. Thank you all for tuning in. Remember to check out Vital Farms, the sponsor of today’s episode. Visit Vital Farms.com/ghee for a chance to win a years supply of Vital Farms ghee for free. That’s Vital Farms.com/g-h-e-e. Please share this episode. Share it with your friends. Please subscribe. Leave us a review. What else, babe?

Robb: That’s it. We’d love to see you over at the Healthy Rebellion.

Nicki: We would. We would. All right everyone, stay safe. Do some deep breaths. Learn to meditate. We’re all going to get through it. I’m wearing the sassy hat because as you all know, I’m growing out my hair and it doesn’t always look good in the transition process.

Robb: I disagree. I think you look hotter and hotter every day.

Nicki: Oh, thanks. Yeah, well, hats are my friend right now.

Robb: I like getting laid, so I’m going to keep that story going.

Nicki: All right.

Robb: Seriously, everybody take care.

Nicki: Stay healthy.

Robb: We’re here for you, so we’ll talk to you soon.

Nicki: We’ll see you next week.

Robb: Bye.

Nicki: Bye.

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