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News topic du jour:
1. Functional Medicine Where’s the Beef? [17:57]
I have a double question for the healthy rebellion! My teenage daughter really doesn’t like much meat (I think it’s a texture thing she will eat sloppy joes for some reason like a champ as well as fish we catch in the lake) and I’m having a hard time upping her intake. Is there a decent protein powder I can have her add to her smoothly bowls she’s obsessed with while I keep trying the soups and broths you mentioned to another emailer? The health of our kids is of great concern to me looking at their food choices at school and now that she’s mobile and can go buy her own junk.
I’d also like to find a functional medicine provider in MN for us but it’s daunting whos for real or who’s a fake? My extreme distrust of the main stream medical community as a result of the Vid and my father dying of a massive heart attach after being told he was Soooo Healthy has made it difficult to trust anyone.
2. Weight Loss While On Hyperthyroid Medication [26:26]
Hi Robb, I am a 56 yr old male recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. My doctor has placed me on methimazole 2.5 mg and my numbers look great. The problem is that since being on the medication my weight has gone from 215 to 240 and I am 6’2″ tall. I have read many articles stating that it is hard if not impossible to lose weight while on Methimazole. My PA states it is not the medication, but my thyroid that is piling on the pounds. Do you have any recommendations on what I can do start losing weight? I loved your cleared hot podcast and I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great day.
3. Trouble sleeping with delaying breakfast or eating low carb [29:55]
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on why I have trouble sleeping if I don’t eat first thing in the morning or if I decrease the carbs in my diet.
I’m often not hungry in the morning, but if I skip breakfast or move my first meal to more than about an hour from when I wake up (usually between 6:30 -7:30) I will have significant trouble falling/staying asleep that night. The same thing happens when I shift my diet to include more fat and less carbohydrate as my primary fuel source. I’m a fairly competent food tracker, so I believe I am keeping my calories and protein the same as I make these changes. I’ve also tried (per your inspiration) increasing my salt intake by about 2g sodium/day (above just salting food to taste) when I delay my first meal or decrease carbs, but it has not improved my sleep.
I don’t have a huge need to delay breakfast or shift my diet, but some days higher fat/lower carb just sounds better and I’d like to be able to be more flexible with my diet without losing sleep.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
-I’m a 33 y.o. active woman (I have a pretty physical job as a farmer and work out 3-4x weekly either rock climbing or barbell strength training).
-I’m fairly lean with a body comp I’m happy with (5 ‘8” and 125lbs).
-I don’t think I’m under-eating calories or protein. When I track I seem to maintain on about 2000-2500 kcal and I love protein, typically averaging about 110-140g/daily mostly from meat and greek yogurt. Usually my diet breaks down to about 25% protein, 45% carbs, 30% fat.
-I’ve been eating my own version of paleo/W.A.Price-ish for about 10 years (I include rice and dairy, I don’t eat nuts and seeds.)
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Download transcript here (PDF)
Introduction: It’s time to make your health an act of rebellion. We’re tackling personalized nutrition, metabolic flexibility, resilient aging, and answering your diet and lifestyle questions. This is the only show with a bold end 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. Please consult your licensed and credentialed functional medicine practitioner before embarking on any health, dietary, or fitness change.
Introduction: 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 Plus.
Robb: Howdy wife.
Nicki: Hubs, hubs.
Robb: Howdy, folks.
Nicki: In the house. Welcome back to another episode of the Healthy Rebellion Radio. I believe this is episode 106.
Robb: Brett tries to always have some sort of numerical significance to their episode. If it’s a prime number or some square or cubic or something.
Nicki: No significance that I can come up with. That really it’s to 106. I got nothing.
Robb: 53 times two? It’s about all I’ve got.
Nicki: Let’s see. Let’s see. Well, goodness, we’ve got some of our seeds started. The girls and I, we set up our, we have this little indoor growing lamp set up thing for starting seeds. Some of those warming, I don’t know what you call them. Heating pads for plants.
Robb: They’re heating pads for plants. Yeah.
Nicki: They basically go underneath. So we’ve got-
Robb: They occasionally end up in cat trees also to keep the felines from freezing in the winter.
Nicki: In the garage, yeah. But, we’re getting our seedlings started for the garden. Indoors anyway. Getting them growing now because we have such a short growing season. Maybe one day I’ll get a greenhouse, and we can do-
Robb: I’ll get you a greenhouse.
Nicki: … and we can extend it a little bit because it’s definitely short up here. I’m just trying to … What else is going on, hubs? What else is new?
Robb: We’ve been going to jujitsu. We’re getting some spring, which is nice.
Nicki: We are.
Robb: I navigated the winter better than I thought I would, because we knew that it was going to be … The Kalispell Flathead Valley area technically only gets 120 days of sunshine per year, and that’s straight sunshine so they don’t really count partly cloudy days and all that type of stuff. But, I don’t know if it’s when there was snow on the ground, it was just brighter outside.
Nicki: More reflective light, yeah.
Robb: We’ve talked about that. To the degree we were outside, there was just more reflected light, even if it was overcast. But the past couple of weeks, when it’s been cloudy, I’ve been like, “Damn. Damn.”
Nicki: Just low energy more than anything.
Robb: Low energy. Low energy. Yeah.
Nicki: Yeah. Were looking forward to the summer.
Robb: I will not shed salty tears over that. I will not. Yep.
Nicki: Oh, and I saved $1.50 going to the movies.
Robb: Are you sure you want to share this?
Nicki: Well, I think it’s funny.
Robb: Just to prep people, Nicki’s been on suicide watch after this.
Nicki: No, no, no. Not suicide watch. Just, okay, as many of you know, I started growing my hair. Stopped coloring my hair, gosh, it was November 2019, so before COVID. The timing was great because people couldn’t get into a salon to get their hair colored anyway. We’ve got a lot of gray hair. So, I stopped coloring it.
Robb: And you look hot.
Nicki: It’s fully grown out now. I have no color left in my hair. I’ve been rocking the gray hair for a while now, and anyway, I haven’t been to the movies in ages. One of my friends here invited me to go see a matinee the other day. We went and saw The Infinite Storm, which is very intense. I don’t normally like to be stressed. I don’t like my entertainment to be stressful, and this was-
Robb: Which means we just consume no entertainment whatsoever.
Nicki: … Because most entertainment is stressful. Yeah. Anyway, it was an intense movie. But anyway, go into the theater, and go up to the counter pay. I pay first. It’s some teenage kid behind the counter. A little screen where it shows the fee, and it says, “Senior Day rate, $5.50”. I’m like, “Oh, it’s Senior Day.”
Nicki: It just didn’t occur to me. I just thought that it was the whole day was, I don’t know. I don’t know what I was thinking, clearly. Whatever. So, I paid. My friend pays behind me, and she gets charged $7.00 for the normal adult rate. We walk away and I’m like, “Did he really think I’m the senior? I saved $1.50 because I have gray hair? Is that what really just happened here?”
Nicki: Anyway, so I’ve been-
Robb: And you’ve been on suicide watch.
Nicki: Not suicide watch, but it’s just like, “Okay.”
Robb: It put you into a fugue.
Nicki: I was in a little bit of a fugue.
Robb: It put you into a fugue. Did it cause you to question your decision to color your hair?
Nicki: No, because I have no desire to go back to that. Personally I don’t mind my gray hair. Clearly-
Robb: He didn’t mind your gray hair either, and he didn’t mind saving you $1.50. You just had to embrace it.
Nicki: Yeah. Not only am I not paying to color my hair, but I’m getting some benefits of the senior discount. All righty. I was sad. We do have some stuff coming up in the Healthy Rebellion. I cannot believe it. It’s already, we’re into April.
Robb: Four AM, yeah.
Nicki: And our next 30 day rebel reset is starting here in just about a week, on the 15th, which is next Friday. We’re going to do the kickoff call, and that’s followed by our seven day carb test, which is optional. Then, April 25th, which is a Monday, we begin the 30 day rebel reset.
Nicki: This is our spring reset. We do three of them a year. The next one after that won’t be until September, and so if you’re interested in getting in on that, you’ll want to join. You can go to join.thehealthyrebellion.com. The resets are free with your membership. That’s kicking off here, gosh, in just about a week.
Nicki: Before that though, next Tuesday, April 12, we have our Easter cooking class with Jack Ruston. He does Ruston’s Boneyard. All of his recipes, all of his cooking demos are just absolutely fabulous. Ab fab. If that interests you, be sure to join that. That is also free and will be available inside The Healthy Rebellion. That happens next Tuesday.
Robb: I’ll just throw something out there. There’s a lot of good cooking info between HGTV and Food Network and YouTube, and all that. Jack really crushes stuff. He’s hilarious, and thoughtful, and his stuff is just next level.
Robb: Highly recommend it.
Nicki: Super thankful that he offers up his expertise.
Robb: He was foolish enough to link wagons with The Rebellion.
Nicki: Yes. Okay, I think that’s all of our up front stuff. What do you have for us for news topics today?
Robb: I have a piece from Vanity Fair. The title is, if I can get through there, Ads That Shouldn’t Happen: Inside the Virus Hunting Nonprofit at the Center of the Lab Leak Controversy. Chasing scientific renowned grant dollars and approval from Dr. Anthony Fauci, Peter Daszak transformed the environmental nonprofit eco health alliance into a government funded sponsor of risky cutting edge virus research, in both the US and Wuhan China.
Robb: Drawing on more than 100,000 leaked documents, a Vanity Fair investigation shows how an organization dedicated to preventing the next pandemic found itself suspected of helping to start one. Several reasons why I wanted to pull this one out. One of them is that Vanity Fair is, I think, very reasonably, easily considered a left of center publication, and I’ve just found a bit of a Great Wall of China, within the political divide of who is.
Robb: It seems like you’re betraying your political party in team if you ask certain questions. Either side of the political divide, but I’m going to say in particular with the more left progressive side of things. Even asking the question, “Is there a lab leak? Is that reasonable?” Do you actually work-
Nicki: That was verboten for several months in the-
Robb: I’ll go out. I think it’s very reasonable to say that there is much more energy about banning, canceling, de-platforming coming from that side of the house than the other. That’s one piece to this.
Robb: The other piece, and the flip side of this, this is something that has chapped my ass from the conservative side, when they will call this the “Wuhan virus.” I get on the one hand what they’re saying, but this belies some remarkable ignorance. We, the United States, via the NIH-NIAID funded this god damned research. People will say, “Well it wasn’t us, I wasn’t …” No. We’re all Americans. We are answerable.
Robb: This is where some fucking leadership comes in. We are the country that funded this stuff, and we did this in a really pretty fucked up way in that there was a moratorium on Gain-of-function research because the juice did not appear to be worth the squeeze. I still do not see … Given the rapidity of evolution and how random this shit can turn out, this makes absolutely no sense to me. I do not see how you gain anything in this. It is just so risky, and there have been lots of leaks of lower level pathogens, and occasionally even some higher level pathogens at these different labs, that this just strikes me as so fucking dangerous. So incredibly dangerous.
Robb: Other stuff that’s interesting on this. They paint Fauci in an interesting light here. I’m wondering if the noose of this story is circling up in such a way that now Peter Daszak is going to be one of or the main people holding the bag on this. The Eco Health Alliance is interesting in that they have cobbled together this whole narrative around climate change, social justice topics, and pandemics into this weaponized platform and process. It’s super disingenuine in my opinion, and takes a lot of liberties with reality and it just so happens that these are the people like Daszak, Dr. Fauci, Kristian Andersen.
Robb: These are the people that at the very beginning of the pandemic were screaming, “There’s no way this was a lab leak.” They fucking knew, because they funded the Gain-of-function research. These are also key players in how we responded to all of this. I just can’t even believe that … Firing squad? I don’t know. What else? I had a long list of just thoughts and concerns around this.
Robb: The Eco Health Alliance, the whole history of that organization is dodgy. Peter Daszak’s involvement in this stuff, and their early days communications with Anthony Fauci about Kristian Andersen, saying, “What we’re finding is not consistent with evolutionary theory,” which is basically saying, “This looks like a Gain-of-function story.” Then days afterwards coming out with-
Nicki: The opposite.
Robb: … absolutely the opposite position and then eventually getting caught. Andersen trying to … it’s such a schmarmy shit head. Trying to play this off that he was smarter than everybody else, and then when he really got caught, just canceled his own Twitter platform.
Robb: Still, we’ve mentioned this a couple of times. I don’t want to beat this thing to death. These folks funded, apparently Gain-of-function research in other things, like MERS, which has a known, 30% infection fatality rate. We’re hovering, as COVID plays itself out, the alpha variant was maybe around one to two percent, which is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s … 30% is just crazy. This is why these god damn people should really … Heads should roll the way that heads should have rolled after the 2008 economic meltdown instead of those assholes getting bonuses and bailouts and everything for almost imploding the global economy.
Robb: These folks really need to be held accountable, but it also looks like this stuff goes to the highest levels of government. This is still … Oh, I’ll leave it. I’ll drop that. That chain of thought I was going to go down, but anyway, it’s interesting because it’s coming from a left of center …
Robb: Publication. I think it’s interesting that some folks in that scene are starting to really ask some pretty thorny questions. It’s interesting how they couch all this stuff, and it’s just something that I think all of us should keep an eye on, despite all the other challenges that we’re facing. Like supply chains and the potential around some food shortages and stuff like that. Arguably, the bulk of the problems that we’re facing, although we’ve had a deck stacked against us for quite some time.
Robb: The way that this pandemic was responded to and handled is really the main reason for the pain that we’re all going to experience in potentially the next five to 10 years.
Nicki: Or sooner.
Robb: Well, I’m saying over the next five to 10 years.
Nicki: Oh. Over the next 10.
Robb: I think that the vice that our collective cajones are in is only now just starting to brush up against the first couple of layers of skin. We’ve got a lot of squeeze that could potentially come our way, and this is the seed crystal for all of it.
Nicki: Yeah. It will be interesting to see if there is any-
Robb: Comeuppance with this?
Nicki: … comeuppance or accountability that actually occurs here.
Robb: This is just some stuff that we can’t let our memories get short and we can’t let …
Nicki: We can’t be distracted by people slapping others at the Oscars.
Robb: Yeah. That’s not the newsworthy stuff. We still need to hold some people accountable and figure out what was done. It seems like there was research on MERS. If there was, that shit needs to be destroyed, immediately. There needs to be multi national involvement in establishing that it’s gone. God dammit, we don’t do that again. There is not the upside waiting there.
Robb: It was a lie, and also we need to be vigilant. Again, this is, my platform is I’m really concerned about the way that the climate change, social justice topics and this pandemic in particular has been all wrapped together and weaponized in a way that it is verboten to raise any questions about anything. We will be screwed if we allow stuff like that to happen.
Robb: There’s a few rays of sunlight within that, but there’s more clouds on the horizon, so I’ll just leave it at that. It’s a very well written … The author is Kathryn Eban, and it’s very well written. Again, a different take on this stuff.
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Nicki: Now, we have three questions for you all this week. The first one is from Lisa. It’s a two part question on functional medicine and “Where’s the Beef?” She says, “I have a double question for you all. My teenage daughter really doesn’t like much meat. I think it’s a texture thing, as she will eat sloppy Joes, for some reason like a champ, as well as fish we catch in the lake. But, I’m having a hard time upping her intake. Is there a decent protein powder I can have her add to her smoothie bowls that she’s obsessed with, while I keep trying the soups and broths that you mentioned to another podcast listener?
Nicki: The health of our kids is of great concern to me. Looking at their food choices at school, and now that she’s mobile and can go buy her own junk. I’d also like to find a functional medicine provider in Minnesota for us, but it’s daunting. Who’s for real or who’s a fake? My extreme distrust of the mainstream medical community is as a result of COVID and my father dying of a massive heart attack after he was told he was so healthy. It’s made it difficult for me to trust anyone.”
Robb: Man, so that first part, I mean, any good whey protein isolate is probably one of your better options and we’re assuming that Lisa’s daughter doesn’t have any-
Nicki: Varied issues.
Robb: … Immunogenic issues with dairy. Not everybody does, but some folks do. I’m not super wrapped around the axle of that. Good yogurts, like Greek yogurts and things like that, I think, are really good. Again, assuming dairy tolerance … I will take those and do a tablespoon of fruit preserves and throw that in, and then do a couple of Stevias with it so it ends up having eight or 10 grams of sugar from the fruit preserves. But, it’s really sweet and the flavor really spreads through the whole thing.
Robb: We’ve shown our girls this stuff, and it will be interesting what they do when they too go out on their own and start making their own decisions, but so far, I think it’s gone pretty well. The kids are like, “Where’s the Stevia?” They did some mixed berries this morning and heated them up in the microwave, and they taste pretty good by themselves. But, funny enough, they taste better with sugar or honey or Stevia in it. They sweeten them up a little bit, and they’re like, “Wow, these are amazing.”
Robb: I think a little, simple things like that can certainly help. Then, on the functional medicine doctor-
Nicki: Well, one second before you go there. She eats sloppy Joes. I’m thinking you run with ground beef in as many different ways that you can.
Robb: Right. Exactly.
Nicki: Tacos. You can do tacos with ground beef. We like to do a marinara, so it’s similar, I guess to a sloppy Joe, but different flavor base. Ground beef with marinara sauce and whatever veggies. Carrots, broccoli. Cut it all small and-
Robb: Our kids were digging your meatloaf for a while too and then they just flinged out on it. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s another one.
Nicki: Right. Meatloaf could be a good one. But I’m just thinking, figure out all the things that she might like that-
Nicki: Yeah. Beef stroganoff that has ground beef. And fish. If she likes fish, and I’m not sure if it’s only the stuff that she catches or you guys catch, but you can do lots of things in the fish department too. Eggs.
Robb: We get some mileage out of the wild caught shrimp from Costco. The big bags of that. The kids both like them, so we will destroy a whole bag in a sitting. Sagan is a little more …
Nicki: We’ll do salmon salad. We’ll get the canned wild salmon from Costco, and you can either mix an avocado in that or some mayonnaise.
Robb: Some of Sisson’s mayonnaise.
Nicki: And make a salmon salad that you can either eat with sea snacks, or if she does bread or gluten free bread.
Robb: Have you ever mentioned your salmon tacos?
Nicki: I haven’t made salmon tacos in … It’s been a while.
Robb: But you did that for a long time. Right?
Nicki: I haven’t made that since … I’ve never made it for the kids, so it’s been a long time.
Robb: You haven’t? Oh, I thought you did.
Nicki: Salmon tacos?
Robb: The salmon tortilla, the canned salmon and the …
Nicki: Oh, yeah. Sorry. I totally … I was …
Robb: I was freaking out because I’m like, “Oh, my God. I’m totally fucking losing my mind here.”
Nicki: Growing up, my mom used to make us tuna tacos and so it’s basically making tuna and she would heat up a taco shell, and then put a scoop of tuna in it, and then fold it over. Heat it, and then we would dip it in hot sauce. I do that with girls. I don’t think of it like a taco. I don’t know. You threw me off for some reason, but yes. I can do it with tuna or canned salmon. You just make the tuna salad just like you normally would or use salmon with it, and then just put it in a tortilla and grill it on both sides.
Robb: You do some jalapeno jack cheese in it too.
Robb: Okay. Yeah. Both of us were looking at the other one like, “Where did you come from, idiot?”
Nicki: Because I was picturing grilled salmon, and putting it in a taco shell and I’m like …
Robb: No. No. No.
Nicki: Okay. Hopefully that helps with the food choice stuff for the texture issues. I do think soups and broths are also good as options.
Robb: Our kids love hamburger soup too. I just do some Kettle and Fire bone broth. You can use whatever bone broth you want, and one of the secrets is just getting the, and people will hate this because it has MSG in it. Save your hate email. I don’t care. I love this stuff.
Robb: It’s the chicken bullion cubes, and it just makes the flavor amazing. I’ll put a couple of those in it. A couple of pounds of ground beef that I mix in, and then carrots and green beans and the kids smash that. That’s usually in the rotation at least once a week.
Nicki: In the wintertime anyway.
Robb: In the wintertime. Yep.
Nicki: Okay, functional medicine provider.
Robb: Okay, so on that count, I really, off the top of my head, I did some poking around, and I don’t know specifically. This is just one of these things where, like so many things I think you look at their CV and what they’re up to. Do you like what they’re saying? And then you interview the person. I would ask them some pointed questions, like “What’s your thought on ancestral health?” And “Do you think low carb diets are the one and only way?” I think somebody who is adaptable and flexible and if they tell you no, plant based diet or nothing, then that might be a problem.
Robb: The flip side is if they think a ketogenic diet is the one and only true way to make it to heaven, then that person may not be great either. It’s that degree of inflexibility I think, is itself, kind of challenging. I would put together a list of questions based off of your health needs and your health values. Interview the person and I will say with Telehealth, there’s some interesting options that if there was one good thing about COVID, I think the opportunities around Telehealth have expanded and will probably continue to expand.
Robb: You still need somebody for day-to-day stuff potentially, but there are some of these things like SteadyMD and whatnot that you can find folks that are probably pretty well aligned with you. That may work for a lot of the stuff that you need.
Nicki: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Always asking friends or coworkers. I know it’s hard because you don’t know who is super mainstream medical, and that’s the only way, versus people who that are more into alternative health. But, I think that’s one of the nice things about our jujitsu community, is you get to know people and they’ll say something, and we’re new here too, so it’s like, “Oh, do you anybody whose good with naturopathic medicine?”
Nicki: We just had a friend of ours here mention that she has a great naturopath, and so talking to people can also help ferret out some good references.
Nicki: Okay. Our next question is … Don’t scroll too far. You just scrolled past my question. That’s the last one.
Robb: Did I?
Nicki: Yeah. Go up, go up, go up.
Robb: Oh, goodness.
Nicki: My next question is from Douglas on losing weight while on hyperthyroid medication. Hi, Robb. I am a 56 year old male, recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. My doctor has placed me on methimazole 2.5 milligrams, and my numbers look great. The problem is that since being on the medication, my weight has gone from 215 to 240 pounds, and I’m six foot two inches tall.
Nicki: I have read many articles stating that it is hard if not impossible to lose weight while on methimazole. I’m hoping I’m pronouncing that properly. My PA states that it’s not the medication, but my thyroid that is piling on the pounds. Do you have any recommendations on what I can do to start losing weight? I loved your Cleared Hot podcast and I look forward to hearing from you.
Robb: For sure, something that has happened, going from a hyperthyroid state to a managed thyroid state, your total caloric burn per day just at a basal level, it’s less. It can be significantly less. Some folks with really significant hyperthyroid, it can be virtually impossible for those folks to gain weight. I mean, they eat absolute garbage and the interesting thing there is elevated thyroid can decrease cholesterol and lipoproteins and triglycerides, so you could be eating absolute garbage, and actually look healthy, but you’re running hot and you’re aging a little bit fast.
Robb: You can’t sleep and high heart rate and all the other stuff. I mean, what we’re going to need to do with you is I would pull out the Keto Gains Macro Calculator, and set it for probably on the sedentary side. Use that as a beginning point to figure out your protein and the total calories. I would do some tracking for a while. Make certain you hit that protein goal. You don’t necessarily have to be low carb. You can adjust it for whatever the carb level is that you want. They have tweaked that thing so that if you increase the carbs, it decreases the fat, so it keeps the protein and calories equal, which is super handy.
Robb: But, I would use that as a really good beginning point, and then we’re just going to have to tinker from there. It may be a little bit painful to figure out what your maintenance level is at this point, but probably with some time, your appetite will modify down a little bit. With hyperthyroid, you tend to be really, really hungry, which makes sense, given the total caloric throughput and everything. All of that is going to take some time to adjust.
Robb: Here’s the thing, they say it’s impossible to lose weight on this medication. That’s clearly ridiculous. If we starve you, you’re going to lose weight. We don’t really want to do that. But, we’re going to have to find a caloric intake that works for you, and provides adequate nutrition and a higher protein balance macro from there, approach makes a lot of sense. But, I would actually weigh and measure things for even a week so that you’ve got a baseline and we really know that you’re hitting your caloric targets, and then we can modify from there.
Nicki: Awesome. Okay. Our third and final question this week is from Flannery. She has trouble sleeping with delaying breakfast and eating low carb. She says, “Hi. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on why I have trouble sleeping if I don’t eat first thing in the morning. Or, if I decrease the carbs in my diet. I’m often not hungry in the morning. But, if I skip breakfast or move my first meal to more than about an hour from when I wake up, usually I wake up between 6:30 and 7:30, I will have significant trouble falling and staying asleep that night.
Nicki: The same thing happens when I shift my diet to include more fat and less carbohydrate as my primary fuel source. I’m a fairly competent food tracker, so I believe I am keeping my calories and protein the same as I make these changes. I’ve also tried, per your inspiration, increasing my salt intake by about two grams of sodium per day, above just salting food to taste. When I delay my first meal or decrease carbs, but it has not improved my sleep.
Nicki: I don’t have a huge need to delay breakfast or shift my diet, but some days higher fat, lower carb just sounds better and I’d like to be able to be more flexible with my diet without it impacting my sleep. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks, Flannery.” And she says, “Just some background. I’m a 33 year old active woman. Pretty physical job as a farmer and I work out three to four times a week, either rock climbing or barbell strength training. I’m fairly lean with a body comp I’m happy with. I don’t think I’m under eating calories or protein.” Yeah. Okay. I think that’s probably …
Robb: I’m honestly stumped on this, above and beyond. It seems like Flannery has something that’s working, which is she reported she gets in about 25% protein, 45% carbs, 30% fat. That may just be a really good sweet spot for you. I think that sometimes it’s overplayed, the differences between men and women with regards to their response to nutrient intake. But, there’s absolutely no doubt that women show the deleterious effects of either going too low carb, too low calorie, very, very quickly.
Robb: Then we just have non sex based differences that some people just really notice this stuff. I guess one thought is, I don’t know if she has tinkered with this, but if we have a lower carb, later meal, have you tried just putting more carbs in the evening meal or subsequent meals? That’s the only stuff that I could think of. But, she said that she’s five eight, 125, so clearly, she’s pretty darn lean. You may just be at this level where you’re running hot, and literally lean, and so your body is just not stoked with too much fiddling in that regard.
Robb: But, my main thought here, and Nicki, maybe you’ve got a different idea, is that if you curtail some carbs early in the day, that we do a real dedicated bolus of carbs later at that later meal. There’s all kinds of stuff back and forth on this. Bill Lagakos has been my north star, talking about how people have a tendency to do better with earlier carbohydrate feedings, because we tend to be more insulin sensitive earlier.
Robb: But then, Huberman Lab has talked about how carbs later in the day seem to lend itself to better parasympathetic tone in facilitating sleep. There’s just a lot of options here, but it sounds like you’re pretty dialed into what is and is not working for you. The only advice I have is I guess two things. Either more or less sticking with what you know is working and the other thought is sticking more carbs later in the day.
Nicki: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I’m just thinking about some things that other people in the Rebellion have found helpful when we do our sleep week, is the salt shot. Right before bed.
Robb: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right before bed.
Nicki: I’d be curious to see, if you wanted to tinker with that, if that has a favorable impact for you.
Robb: That’s like a quarter teaspoon, to a half teaspoon of just salt. Minimum amount of water to shwizzle it down.
Nicki: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep. Just before bed. I’m assuming, I mean, it seems like she’s figured out that this really only happens when she delays her breakfast.
Nicki: Or is lower carb, because I’m assuming that the rest of her sleep hygiene components are-
Robb: Is buttoned up.
Nicki: … buttoned up if she’s sleeping well and maintaining sleep all the other nights. Hmm. I’m trying to think if there’s anything else that-
Robb: Just what I’m getting from this is someone whose active, whose lean. Whose doing a lot, and so she may be butting right up against that over reaching, over training because of the physicality of her job because she trains four days a week. I just don’t know if there’s a lot of gristle there to play with.
Nicki: Well, and given that activity level, two grams of sodium a day might not be sufficient-
Robb: We definitely would like to see at least five.
Nicki: … if you’re noticing …
Robb: I was reading that as she was adding two grams.
Nicki: She’s increased it by about two grams.
Robb: In addition to.
Nicki: In addition to salting her food to taste.
Robb: Yeah. Which probably means she’s barely getting three grams per day.
Robb: So that five gram per day, definitely if folks are lower carb, five grams is a bare minimum.
Nicki: Lower carb and very physical.
Robb: Yeah. Yep. That five grams per day is a bare minimum, and it blew my mind looking at what Tyler and Louise do over with their keto gains folks, but I’d seen some small females that are doing 12 grams of sodium that are real active.
Nicki: Super active ladies. Yeah.
Robb: Yeah. They’re lean. They’re lean, they’re active, and that’s the way that they make the lower carb work. That is another thing that could be worth digging into.
Nicki: Mm-hmm (affirmative). But I would try the salt shot first and just see how-
Robb: How that affects her.
Nicki: … that affects things in Flannery. Hopefully some of that is helpful. Let us know.
Nicki: Indeed. Anything else you want to share before we wrap this episode up?
Robb: I don’t think so.
Nicki: You don’t think so? Well, I hope everybody has a fabulous weekend, and upcoming week. If you want to join us in the spring rebel reset. That starts next Friday the 15th. That’s the kickoff call. Your last chance to join would be that Monday, April 25th. If you don’t want to do the seven day carb test and you just want to do the 30 days. You can also join up until Monday, April 25th, and after that, you’ll have to wait until September because we do close these resets. Everybody who signs up by the time we go through it together, we don’t let people come in halfway through because it dilutes the energy. We want to start and go through it together, as a team. If you’d like to get in on that, please go to join.thehealthyrebellion.com, and we’ll see you inside The Rebellion.
Nicki: Be sure to check out our show’s sponsor. DrinkLMNT.com/robb to get all of your LMNT for your electrolyte needs. You can also nominate someone for our Give a Salt program. That’s drinkLMNT.com/giveasalt. Drink, LMNT.com/giveasalt, and we’ll see you all next time.
Robb: Bye everybody.
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Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution and Wired to Eat , is a former research biochemist and one of the world’s leading experts in Paleolithic nutrition. Wolf has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of people around the world via his top ranked iTunes podcast and wildly popular seminar series.