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This episode is sponsored by Joovv. Joovv is the leading manufacturer of personal, in-home red light therapy devices, with several different sizes and setups. Clinical grade power to help reduce pain, fight inflammation, so you can live a happy healthier life. Check them out at joovv.com/robb and use code ROBB for a free gift with your purchase.
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1. Snacks? [16:35]
I will start by saying, I know I know snacking is not really the best thing to do. But lets be honest, it needs to happen from time to time. Snacking doesnt happen often but I want to be prepared for those days I didnt really get to eat like I wanted to or when I am coaching all day and need a quick bit to carry me.
It seems the only snacks are either meat snacks (jerky and the like), a small number of nuts are ok but as you have written about it is easy to let that get out of control without realizing it. I actually had to stop stocking nuts because it was way too easy to just grab handfuls or too much.
What can I potentially munch on to either hold me over or in those times that snacks are nice like watching a movie with the family?
I have been using Cronometer and it seems like veggies are pushing me over my Carb #s and wanted to see if I should be concerned about that or because it is veggies it is not an issue? I feel good as long as the carbs I consume are from vegetables or similar things. This part still confuses me a bit but might just be old thinking I have to change.
2. Tips for BJJ? [22:49]
Hi Robb and Nicki
Ive been a listener and reader since the very 1st Paleo Solution podcasts and truly appreciate all the info you graciously shared over the years . Forgive me if youve addressed this previously;
I just started BJJ class and wanted your advice, tips and whatever else you could offer a true beginner. Not asking specifics on training or volume, just maybe some things you wish you knew when you were starting . You always have an interesting and informative take on anything you practice.
Thanks for everything,
3. Zone 2 Cardio? [34:45]
Hi Robb love your work and consider you to be the sensible voice in this confusing space of health/training/nutrition/longevity. Sooo, Im hoping you can provide me with a bit of clarity. On a recent podcast, you touched a bit on finding the right balance of strength/endurance and I want you to expand on this a bit. I am a 44 year old female whose primary goal is health and longevity. Years ago, I came across Mark Sissons work and realized I had spent over 20 years doing what he would term chronic cardio including running marathons. I abandoned this approach to focus on strength training with a bit of HIIT and 30 minutes a day of walking. This choice seemed to be confirmed by several in the health space, including the Ketogains approach. Now, however, Im hearing about how important zone 2 cardio is for mitochondrial health this was discussed extensively on Peter Attias podcast with Dr. San Millan. So, now Im wondering how much zone 2 cardio should one be doing and does this amount change if your goal changes (i.e. if your goal is body recomposition vs overall health). How can I maximize strength gains while including cardio in my plan (interference hypothesis?). I have 3 children who are 6 and under plus I work full time so only have about 1 hour a day to devote to exercise.
4. How To Raise Kids? [40:47]
Dear Robb and Nicki,
Greetings from across the pond, from far away Finland.
First, thank you for all that youve done and continue to do. You have influenced my life tremendously, as Im sure you have for the other 5 listeners too. In addition to changing my diet and lifestyle and greatly improving my health in the process, following your lead I also changed careers from engineering to health and wellness coaching, started a paleo blog and podcast and soon Im moving to the countryside with my wife and baby girl. We are building a house there with a small permaculture based food forest also in the works
So thats the possibly creepy copy cat / bromance part, now on to the question.
My wife just gave birth to our first child and Ive been wondering how to raise kids in this modern world. Most of the mainstream advice for raising kids doesnt seem to be very much aligned with our species specific needs. I would like to try and give my children at least some of the experiences their biology craves.
Im not planning to go all Captain Fantastic on my kids, although that might be the best option. So I turn to the great paleo sensei of Texas Hill Country Mr. Robert and the awesome Mother of Wolves, the senseiness Mrs. Nickoletti (Im sorry if I misspelled your names, Im foreign and my England is not so well!)
Im reading the Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff and have looked at some attachment parenting stuff from the Sears. Do you have any ideas, tips or resources you could suggest. How did you / do you tackle this with your kids, if at all?
Ps. Im really looking towards the sustainability book and film you are doing with Diana Rodgers. Thank you for carrying the torch for meat and sustainability. I know its not easy with The Vegans, death threats and all the other craziness.
My sincerest gratitude,
(BTW if you want to give a go in pronouncing my name like a Finn (after I did such a great job with yours!) here it is pronounced by a native https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX8YOnsFjjY (just ignore the Pallasvuo part)
hold onto your kids https://amzn.to/2RMekx7 Gordon Neufeld, Gabor Mate
the whole brain child https://amzn.to/3aJvHY4 Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
5. Smart Sweets? [53:51]
Hi Robb and Nicki! Im fucking addicted to smart sweets, do you know about those little hitters? 3gs of sugar per bag. Smart Sweets make gummy bears, Swedish fish, peach rings, sour patch etc. Ingredients are plant based (except the gummy bears which contain gelatine) and free from sugar alcohols supposedly like, healthy candy?
Love you guys! Long live the Healthy Rebellion One must imagine Sisyphus HEALTHY! <3
P.S. The creator and CEO of Smart Sweets is only like 20 years old.
Nicki: Its time to make your health an act of rebellion. Were tackling personalized nutrition, metabolic flexibility, resilient aging, and answering your diet and lifestyle questions. This is the only show with the bold aim to help one million people liberate themselves from the sick care system. Welcome 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.
Robb: Howdy, wife. How are you?
Nicki: Hubs, Im great.
Robb: You are great, and its a great day for another edition of The Healthy Rebellion Radio.
Nicki: Healthy Rebellion Radio. Yes, indeed. I was just commenting that the birds here in Texas are very chirpy today, exceptionally chirpy, and almost like a tropical type of a I dont remember. We had a lots of birds in Reno, but not this type of chirping.
Robb: Not to this degree. Yes, I agree. Yeah, its kind of cool. It almost feels like Costa Rica or something like that. Yeah.
Robb: So things are good here. When is this one going up, approximately?
Nicki: This episode is going to air on January 31st.
Robb: January 31st, so Straight Blast Gym Texas is motoring forward?
Nicki: Motoring along. Yeah.
Robb: Should the in theory be up and running by that point. We have the amazing John Frankel coming in early February to lay his Jedi tricks upon us. Anything else? I survived my 48th birthday.
Nicki: I dont know. You survived your 40th birthday. Youre going to be at Metabolic Health Summit when this airs.
Robb: When this airs, yeah.
Nicki: Yeah. So thatll be a good time.
Robb: The rebel reset is cranking along. Amazing stuff going on in The Healthy Rebellion.
Nicki: Yeah. We will share some of our takeaways and some of the stuff thats going on when it wraps up here in a couple of weeks.
Robb: Yeah, but its been cool. It is honestly gone far better than I thought it Is this thing really going?
Nicki: Its recording. I see the red thing showing recording.
Robb: Okay. Just want to make sure.
Nicki: So I dont know why. Yeah, I know. That would be a bummer. Thats happened to us before.
Robb: Do a whole show, and then in fact didnt do a whole show. Okay.
Robb: Were just kind of wandering around here.
Nicki: Lets jump right in here. What do you have?
Robb: Do you want me to do my news topic?
Nicki: Yeah, for our news topic today.
Robb: Im going to have a series of these things that are kind of How do I want to say this? Clearly, like the plant-based, and I cant even say plant-based, it is the vegan movement. Plant-based is a horseshit non-sequitur, doesnt tell you anything. Eating a bowl of cornflakes is plant-based. Its just ridiculous. But clearly theres been a massive push by the vegans to so doubt in a number of different arenas. But I mean basically, the health, environmental, and ethical considerations of meat or animal products being included in the food system and in our diets.
Robb: Its completely reasonable to ask questions around this. Im not suggesting that we suppress the investigation of these topics, which ironically is exactly what these folks are trying to do. But there was a piece that was just published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. The title is Backlash Over Meat, and just meat Dietary Recommendations Raises Questions About Corporate Ties to Nutrition Scientists. And so well have a link to this in the show notes, but Im going to read a little bit out of this.
Robb: Its almost unheard of for medical journals to get blow back for studies before the data is published. But thats what happened in the Annals of Internal Medicine last fall as editors were about to post several studies showing that the evidence linking red meat consumption with cardiovascular disease and cancer is too weak to recommend that adults eat less of it.
Robb: So there was huge hoopla over this, and the folks that were preparing to publish this, they had to shut their email inbox down because it was absolutely nuked by people up in arms over this topic. And its-
Nicki: And she said they got, because theyve also published a lot on firearm injury. They got less backlash from the NRA, less vitriolic response from the NRA than they did about this.
Robb: Which think about that in this age of firearms ownership, and gun rights, and whatnot is about as easy to get into a fight as you could imagine. But it was orders of magnitude less gnarly than what these folks had. And so from that, the response came from this organization called the True Health Initiative. The True Health Initiative is a nonprofit founded by Dr. David Katz, and well talk about Im going to do a super thorough unpacking of this piece and another piece where Texas A&M basically calls on Harvard to clean up its act because they are making claims around meat production, environmental issues that are in-
Nicki: Not true.
Robb: Texas A&Ms opinion, completely false. And they build the case around that. Again, I kind of freaked out the other day when we were recording about this is the truth and this isnt the truth. And so I want to be careful around that because its super easy to just jam this thing forward and say, Well, this is the truth. What we shouldnt be able to do is lean back on facts and let that kind of carry the day if we actually agree on the rules of engagement around what facts are.
Robb: But the True Health Initiative, David Katz groups website describes its work as fighting fake facts and combating false stouts to create a world free of preventable disease using the time-honored, evidence-based fundamentals of lifestyle and medicine. That sounds great, but its completely vegan-based. Walter Willett, Frank Hu, and a number of other Harvard nutrition researchers are among the top names in the field serve on the Truth Health Initiative council directors.
Robb: Katz, Willett, and Hu took the rare step of contact. Actually, I want to skip down. What has been most overlooked is that Katz, and the THI, and many of its council members have numerous industry ties themselves. The difference is that their ties are primarily with companies and organizations that stand to profit if people eat less red meat and more plant-based diet. Unlike the beef industry, these entities are surrounded by an aura of health and wellness, although that isnt necessarily evidence-based.
Robb: So it goes on from there. Its really a remarkable piece. Again, Ill dig into this in the future and give my spin on it. And as always, you folks get in and be critical, and try to read between the lines. But what I feel is finally happening is that these folks have seriously overplayed their hand. They have acted with just this impunity that theyre on this righteous crusade, and thats all well and good, so long as you still operate within the bounds of facts and truth.
Robb: Again, I use that term truth with almost a cringe-worthy kind of piece to it because science changes, our understanding of the world changes, all that type of stuff, but the-
Nicki: So truth to what we know today, and then we also always need to be able to ask questions based off of new information that comes to light.
Robb: But as an example, Katz is this guy, and CrossFit did an amazing exposing on this guy, and hes had his peepee spanked pretty well with regards to receiving north of a million dollars kind of personally from some of these big these players that would really benefit from a vegan-based approach. It was very unethical, and there was a fair amount of hoopla around that. CrossFits done an amazing investigative journalistic job around this stuff.
Robb: Ill dig into that more, but I just want to put this on folks radar, even if youre not well steeped enough, I guess in science to be able to analyze this yourself, if you are a coach or a practitioner and youre getting bombarded with this stuff-
Nicki: Were getting all kinds of questions. I mean, JAMA is a very-
Robb: Its as credible as it gets.
Nicki: reputable publication, so its something that you can point people to when they ask you questions, or bring up Game Changers, or any of these other things that are popular.
Robb: Yeah, exactly. Bookmark this stuff.
Robb: Read it, become familiar with it, and be critical of it. Try to figure out, is there another collusion type on the backside of this, but at some point its kind of two entities that are just yelling at each other. One of them is probably more right than the other, and whats emerging, and again this other piece from Texas A&M, which I will probably put in the following podcast show notes, and then Im going to do a big unpacking in both of these. Either in one big piece, or maybe two separate pieces. But its some amazing material. For the folks that have been super confused around this stuff, at a minimum, it makes it pretty clear that there are some seriously unethical behaviors around whats happening here.
Robb: Now, does our animal food production-based industry need reform and improvement? Absolutely. Nobody, Im not saying contrary to that, but whats interesting is with this position thats being put forward, that plant-based or nothing, vegan or nothing, ironically, it almost guarantees that the improvements that should happen in the animal food production system wont happen. It virtually guarantees that these problematic features stay pushed off to the sides. But anyway, I dont want to do a whole podcast on this quite yet. But its really interesting. Its very powerful, and it is interesting that there are some legit cracks in the facade of this notion that the vegan diet is the ultimate diet for sustainability, climate change, health, and all the rest of that.
Robb: Again, as always, its a complex, nuanced topic, but this is where stepping back and just kind of keeping our feet on the ground, and looking at what the literature actually says, and also thinking about a little bit of systems biology and stuff like that, it paints a very different picture than whats being put forward by these people.
Nicki: Alrighty, lets jump over to our podcast review T-shirt winner. We have a review from AMO_Wildcat, and it says, One of six for 10 years now do it for the NorCal margaritas. 10 years strong is one of six listeners, started the paleo solution by loading episode after episode to the old school iPod, listening for hours. You responded personally when I got pregnant in 2011 when I was scared about sugar test results. No problem. Confirmed by OneTouch, and questions on my aunts Huntington disease. This meant a great deal to me. I cant tell you how many bars in the Midwest and the South Ive spread the NorCal margarita to. Thank you for the 10 years, and ready for the next 10 in The Healthy Rebellion.
Nicki: AMO_Wildcat, thank you for your review. Shoot us an email at or to email@example.com with your T-shirt size and your mailing address, and we will send you Healthy Rebellion Radio T-shirt. Robb, why are you laughing? Because you see what my note is?
Robb: I see what the next one is.
Nicki: I have a note here that we did have our first negative review because of the F bombs you dropped in Episode 11. I was thinking about this because we do have the show rated explicit, but I think we might need to do a little addition to the intro that says something like, if youre overly sensitive to F bombs-
Robb: If youre just overly sensitive in general-
Nicki: move right along.
Robb: its probably not a good fit.
Nicki: That, Please be aware, when Robb gets passionate, the F bombs can flow. If F bombs and other expletives make you uncomfortable, this is not the show for you.
Robb: Lets do that.
Nicki: Something like that.
Nicki: Yeah. Okay. I think well have to do that. That way-
Robb: It makes me want to burst into a tirade of cursing right now, so Im just fighting that urge.
Nicki: Hold your tongue. Hold your tongue.
Robb: Yeah. Do I want to degrade. It is amazing though I dont know. Thats what reviews are for. This is your personal value system. Some folks get get off-put by cursing. I do.-
Nicki: If I get off-put by something, I just stop listening to it, or I just scroll past it. I dont even bother taking the time to comment.
Robb: It is an interesting psychological deal. Things that I generally dont agree with, I ignore entirely. The only things that to the tiny degree that I interface online at this point is shit that I like, or I think is good. And so I think that theres kind of an interesting psychological expose on that whole thing. Now, that that said, this is legit stuff where you can provide feedback, and this can provide some lane lines for people to improve things. But also the shows labeled explicit, so fucking come to grips with that. Yeah.
Nicki: Okay. This episode of The Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by Joovv.
Robb: Which episode is this? 14?
Nicki: This is Episode 14.
Robb: Well probably die at number 15.
Nicki: Joovv is the leading manufacturer of personal in-home red light therapy devices with several different sizes and setups. Red light therapy alleviates chronic inflammation by increasing blood flow to the damaged tissues, and its been found in numerous clinical trials to increase the bodys antioxidant defenses. Now, Robb, there are several benefits to red light therapy. One of the primary ones being reduced pain and inflammation, can help with recovery. Youve had some personal experience with this.
Robb: Yeah. I have to say straight out of the gate, I was super skeptical around the efficacy of stuff like this. And then several folks Joovv, and other folks in this arena did something crazy, which was provide solid-
Nicki: Research. Yeah.
Robb: clinical and empirical information around this. I was like, Oh, okay, theres really something here. Theres great mechanisms of causation. There is a small, but growing body of interventional trials that show benefit, and then weve had some friends within particularly the police and military scene, multiple TBIs, all kinds of kind of systemic inflammatory stuff like that, whole crazy HPA axis dysregulation. When these folks use something like Joovv, it dramatically improves their quality of life. And so when you see this empirical finding on the one side, and then a nontrivial and growing body of scientific evidence on the other, its pretty compelling stuff. Yeah.
Nicki: We have one that we, when we were in Reno, when we moved, we gave it to our friend Jason who had a TBI, and had a bunch of inflammation stuff. But when we were in Reno, it also helped a lot when we were having any kind of gray days when we go in there. The girls loved it because they would play this game where their whatever pattern was on the dress or the clothing they were wearing, it would change that. We couldnt get them out of there. It was like, Okay. But yeah, its awesome. Whenever there was any kind of just that general sort of not despondency, thats kind of a harsh word, but when youre just a little bit low from-
Robb: Flat. Yeah.
Nicki: Flat. Flats a better word, from a low light levels, that definitely helped.
Robb: Yeah. Yeah.
Nicki: You can go to joovv.com/Robb to get your clinical grade power to help reduce pain, fight inflammation, so you can live a happier, healthier life. Thats J-O-V-V.com/R-O-B-B, and get a free gift with your purchase when you use code Robb. Are you ready for some questions?
Robb: Lets jump into snacks.
Nicki: Snacks. We have a question on snacks from Steven. He says, Ill start by saying I know, I know snacking is not really the best thing to do, but lets be honest, it needs to happen from time to time. Snacking doesnt happen often, but I want to be prepared for those days I didnt really get to eat like I wanted to, or when Im coaching all day and need a quick bite to carry me quick bit to carry me. It seems like the only snacks are either meat snacks, turkey and the like. A small number of nuts are okay, but as youve written about, its easy to get that out of control without realizing it. Actually, I had to stop stocking nuts because it was way too easy to just grab handfuls or too much. So my question is what can I potentially munch on to either hold me over in those times that snacks are nice, like watching a movie with the family?
Nicki: I have been using chronometer, and it seems like veggies are pushing me over my carb numbers, and I wanted to see if I should be concerned about that, or because its veggies, is it not an issue? I feel good as long as the carbs I consume are from vegetables or similar things. This part still confuses me a bit, but might just be old thinking I have to change.
Robb: Yeah. Lets maybe start at that last part there. Some of the carnivores folks will cringe this, but Ive always looked at the ketogenic diet, low carb level recommendations as its a goal to eat your way out of ketosis by eating low glycemic load veggies, broccoli, kale, spinach, maybe even some carrots and stuff like that. This is the thing again, unless we have a situation in which the person really needs a specific ketone level, like a neurodegenerative disease, or epilepsy, and even in those scenarios, the MCT oil-enriched versions of these diets allow for low-glycemic load intake plus goosing ketosis with some MCT, doing a little intermittent fasting, doing some exercise. All these things can goose ketone levels, if thats a necessary thing.
Robb: Above and beyond that, and again, a hat tip to my carnivore brothers and sisters, I know for some folks the plant material doesnt really work, but for most people, I think that eating a ton of vegetable matter. Some amount of fruit. Like we get a mixed berry thing from Costco.
Nicki: Frozen, yeah.
Robb: And a cup of the mixed berries, once you address the fiber, has like nine grams of effective carbs. Even if youre doing a pretty strict ketogenic diet intervention, like youre doing keto gains, and its like super locked down. You could do three of those. Salud
Nicki: *Sneeze* Excuse me.
Robb: You could do three of those a day and still be under your carb limits. And then at the end of the day, you just have to eat God awful amounts of spinach and celery, and stuff like that. I really personally wouldnt worry about that. That isnt going to be the make or breaker. Again, this is all kind of context-driven. Whats the overall goal here? Are you trying to lean out? Are you trying to gain muscle mass? Are you just trying to live well? If youre just kind of in a maintenance live well scenario, then pulling a page out of Ted Naiman and William Shewfelt book, The PE Diet, try to really emphasize the amount of protein relative to the energy density of the food that youre reading.
Robb: And so that means if you cut up a bunch of carrot sticks and celery, and go to town on that while youre watching movies with the family, its going to be so hard to overdo that. Versus a handful of macadamia nuts or something, which are delicious, and theyre healthy, and thats great. But theres a massive energy density there-
Nicki: Calories. Yeah.
Robb: Its just easy to overeat that. The interesting thing is, I dont really weigh out my protein at this point. I dont even really track my carbs that much. The main thing that I track is-
Nicki: Your fat.
Robb: my fat because the carbs that Im eating, and because of some gut issues, Ive kind of whittled down the number of carbs, and Im doing, were probably going to do some sort of a gut reset within The Healthy Rebellion with Dr. Ruscio at some point. Im hoping that we can I would actually like to add some latitude there, but I eat mainly low-glycemic load carbs. The ones that are a little more intermediate, like the berries. I know exactly I dump it in a bowl, and its within very, very tight parameters on that. But the thing that I can easily overdo would be the nuts. Again, circling back to the question, what are good snacks? Either weigh out the nuts. You do something like the jerky weed-
Nicki: Chicharrnes are a good one.
Robb: Chicharrnes are a really good one.
Nicki: We do those a lot if were watching a movie.
Nicki: And its crunchy, kind of the mouthfeel as well.
Robb: The mouthfeel. Yeah. Thats kind of the only other thing that I could think of. I mean, a little bit of dark chocolate. I dont know. Im kind of flailing on this.
Nicki: Yeah. I mean, you could do things like I mean it depends on how involved you want to make it, but deviled eggs, you could do little appetizery things. We have a friend who makes this amazing spicy Buffalo Keto chicken wing dip thing with celery, and its fabulous. Its got a lot of dairy in it, so if you dont tolerate dairy, it wouldnt be appropriate. But-
Robb: Its amazing. Yeah.
Nicki: But those are more like appetizery things. If youre just sitting watching a movie-
Robb: Well, the girls who lead SeaSnax-
Nicki: SeaSnax are great.
Robb: like the toasted seaweed.
Nicki: Seaweed. Yeah. SeaSnax are great. Well put a little salmon salad in there sometimes.
Nicki: Man, Sally, when we went to dinner at Sallys house, she made SeaSnax with a slice of avocado, and some salmon roe-
Robb: Oh, thats right. And she had a little bit of the roe, and that was-
Nicki: That combination was just divine.
Robb: It was off the rails.
Nicki: It was amazing. Yeah.
Robb: That was really good. That was really good.
Nicki: That was good.
Robb: And it was very satisfying too. It was very good, but it was also rich enough that if you had four or five of them, then it was kind of like, Okay, Im done. Yeah, yeah.
Nicki: Yeah. Yeah. No, those were great.
Nicki: Lets see, our next question is from Mark on Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Hi, Robb and Nicki. Ive been a listener and reader since the very first Paleo Solution Podcast, and truly appreciate all the info you have graciously shared over the years. Forgive me if youve addressed this previously, but I just started BJJ class, and I wanted your advice, tips, and whatever else you could offer a true beginner. Not asking specifics on training or volume, just maybe some things you wish you knew when you were starting. You always have an interesting and informative take on anything you practice. Thanks. Mark.
Robb: Do you want to tackle this because youre motoring towards your blue belt. Youve been doing this for two years.
Nicki: I guess the number one thing that I would say, and so if youre a female, the thing that worked for me, because obviously the Brazilian jiu-jitsu, for many people, or probably not everybody, but for many, especially women, it can be pretty intimidating to think about going into a regular class when you Just like CrossFit, we got this all the time. Theres all these movements that you dont know. In Brazilian jiu-jitsu theres multiple positions. You dont know the names of them. Its like a whole new language.
Robb: So theres all that. Theres a little bit of a burly feel to it.
Nicki: Theres a burly feel to it, and if youve not done martial arts before, youre looking at people. Theres a proximity to other persons that is a very intimidating thing as well.
Robb: And its very different than like TaeKwonDo. Its like youre doing Kata, and youre kicking pads. Its a female. Again, were not dealing with female here, but for everybody, youre potentially stuffing someone between your legs and holding onto them with your crotch basically.
Nicki: Yeah. Theres lots of positions that youre closer to people than you-
Robb: Ever are.
Nicki: will ever be in a normal situation. I guess the number one thing that I would say is find a school if at all possible that has a beginner program. Just like CrossFit because, again, I feel like it would just it helps with confidence. For me, when I started, I started in a womens class. I mean, I did some training with Robb in-
Robb: Peripheral of that.
Nicki: the very beginning. But then I went to a womens class because as a woman, it was easier to wrap my head around that, and I wanted to get a foundation. So I went exclusively to womens classes for the first probably month. And then I started going to the regular class, and Robb was my primary partner in the beginning. I guess another thing to say too, when youre starting, they have this saying in Brazilian jiu-jitsu that like white belts are spastic and we are. Especially in the beginning.
Robb: We were at a seminar and we were literally three minutes into the beginning of the seminar, and Nicki thumbed me in the eye. I thought she had gouged my eyeball.
Nicki: Not on purpose, but-
Robb: Not on purpose, but-
Nicki: again, when youre brand new to the sport, you dont know how to move your body in the right ways, and theres lots going on. Theres also this Jiu-jitsu is supposed to be or is designed to be a sport where regardless of your size, you can do it. Even if a small female is with a very large guy. But in the beginning, when youre just learning this, and you dont know the positions and the movements, you want to use your strength. Thats the natural instinct that comes out. You are using more strength than you should be using, and so then things arms flop out, and you can accidentally hit people and whatnot. Anyway, Robb, knowing this, was pretty careful to not have me roll with a lot of male white belts, just because of the size difference, and just a higher chance of getting injured.
Nicki: Obviously, if you get injured, the lack of being able to train consistently and progress goes out the window. Try to, A, relax. Its not a wrestling match. Youre not there to win anything. Its okay if people if youre You should be tapping all the time anyway, and hopefully, youre not in a spot where youre doing a lot of submission, people arent trying to submit you all the time. It should be drilling-based, ideally in a good school where youre doing lots and lots of drilling. Maybe in the beginning, white belts dont even roll life for a while.
Robb: Straight Blast Gym has a curriculum developed by Travis up in Montana where folks Whats interesting and gratifying about this, it looks a lot like the on-ramp program that you developed for our CrossFit classes, where theres a really thoughtful approach to give people some time to work, harden, and kind of work through the emotional intimidation of doing this whole thing. Its cool that theres some parallel there. And the folks that run Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes that dont have a foundations, or a beginners program, and its really well thought out, and theyre curious why theyre barely have enough people to keep the lights on. That is why. You need to make this thing amenable to beginners.
Nicki: Even as, we just had some friends visiting from Reno, and hes a three-stripe brown belt, and he was sharing that another student that we used to roll with in Reno, who is a blue belt, was having some claustrophobia issues at the in Mount bottom. Hes great. Hes been training for two, three years, and hes a great athlete. Hes great at jiu-jitsu. You get into positions where there is this, not just intimidation factor, but youre like, Holy shit, can I breathe? Am I okay? This is all part of the stuff that you work through. Long story short, ideally find a great school that focuses on foundations, and has a beginner program. Choose your training partners wisely. What else, babe? What would?
Robb: Maybe, thats all amazing stuff.
Nicki: Relax. Be mellow. Tap all the time. Youre not there to prove anything. Your first couple of years, all youre there to do is learn. Okay, gosh, they got me in that. What happened there? How can I do something differently so I dont get in that position again, or they dont submit me that way again? Think of it as a I mean, its a learning experience.
Robb: Right. One of our coaches, Ray Price in Reno, he breaks this down that the job of the white belt is to survive. Thats it. You just survive. And then as you progress through, and itll take a year to two years to get to your blue belt, depending on the way the curriculum flows, and how much you can show up. The role of the blue belt is to escape. This is where folks get so enamored with submission, with winning, that they will oftentimes neglect the fundamentals of survival and escape. And then, they may be able to dish out a little bit hurt on folks here and there, but they have a very incomplete game. Really, once you learn how to escape, and I still get tapped, but I focused exclusively for two on my escape.
Robb: Its pretty hard to put me away now. Folks have to really work at it, and now though, I wouldnt say that I act with impunity, but Im not that worried because I can get out of most things, and its not getting out because Im allowing my shoulder to be hyper-extended or anything. I know what people are trying to do, and I intervene. The interesting thing is that attacks typically require multiple steps. Its rare that its a one step attack, whereas for a defense, I only need Lets say theres three steps to the attack. So long as I intervene in either step one, step two, or step three, the person cant seal the deal on this.
Robb: Again, so long as I get in there and do that, and so a real emphasis on escapes in the beginning, and yeah, learn your submissions, pay attention to that, but get really geeked out about the escapes because then people will have to work harder, and it will make them spazz out, and then they make mistakes, and thats when as you go from blue belt to purple belt, you start consolidating a game, because youre able to dictate the terms instead of having it dictated to you. And then it progresses from there. But yeah, just to reiterate a good school, drilling-based. If you are near a Straight Blast Gym affiliate, would highly recommend that. There are other good schools out there. The folks that do the Gracie Combatives curriculum, very, very good. Its self-defense-oriented. Its very well-structured. You should see old people in there. You should see kids programs. There should be-
Robb: women in there.
Nicki: If its just a competition school, if youre brand new it might not be the best spot because people are in there to typically prove themselves, and its very competition-focused. That might be what you want to do, and if thats the case, then-
Robb: Thats cool though. But I would still recommend finding some place that focuses on the fundamentals. Straight Blast-
Nicki: Is position before submission a Straight Blast Gym saying, or is like a general thing?
Robb: No, its just a saying. Yeah.
Nicki: A saying. Okay.
Robb: Its a very old Gracie family saying.
Nicki: Got you. Okay.
Robb: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Could go on and on about this. But Mark, its awesome that youre jumping into Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I think its one of the most wonderful things in the world, and its similar to CrossFit. Its unfortunate that more folks dont tackle it as a Were homeschooling our girls, and Im working on the math. Nickis working on the phonics, and reading, and writing primarily. You dont start with calculus. You have to start with what is a number, and then addition, and then subtraction, and then multiplication and division, and it layers and builds.
Robb: If folks tackled that physical movement side of martial arts in a more structured way, then it would be safer for people. Itd be more enjoyable. It would be more profitable for the business owners. But I tell you what, its hard as hell to get people to do that. But it also makes the case for finding schools that have some dedicated curriculum, and have a real depth of bench with regards to their coaching staff and the offerings. If they have morning, noon, and night classes, pretty good bed. Its a reasonably well-run program. If the only class they have is like 9:00 PM at night, and its a bunch of like Division One wrestlers in there with MMA dreams, thats going to be a tough place to progress well in.
Robb: No. I jabbered so long my screen went-
Nicki: Your screen went off. Well, mines still alive.
Nicki: Lets see. Our third question this week is from Holly on a Zone 2 cardio. Hi, Robb. Love your work, and consider you to be the sensible voice in this confusing space of health, training, nutrition, and longevity. Im hoping you can provide me with a bit of clarity. On a recent podcast, you touched on finding the right balance of strength and endurance, and I want you to expand on this a bit. I am a 44 year old female whose primary goal is health and longevity. Years ago, I came across Mark Sissons work, and realized I had spent over 20 years doing what he would term chronic cardio, including running marathons.
Nicki: I abandoned this approach to focus on strength training with a bit of high intensity interval training and 30 minutes a day of walking. This choice seemed to be confirmed by several in the health space, including the KetoGains approach. Now, however, Im hearing about how important Zone 2 cardio is for mitochondrial health. This was discussed extensively on Peter Tias podcast with Dr. San Millan. So now, Im wondering how much Zone 2 cardio should one be doing, and does this amount change if your goal changes?
Nicki: For example, if your goal is body recomposition versus overall health, how can I maximize strength gains while including cardio in my plan? Interference hypothesis question. I have three children who are six and under, plus I work full-time, so I only have about one hour a day to devote to exercise.
Robb: Man, thats a hopping schedule. Its interesting. As a baseline, looking at exercise as the place to go to induce a calorie deficit, on that kind of body recomposition side is not really the place to go because as our first question alluded to, or the snack question, its just so easy to overshoot that. Most of the recomposition story happens at the table, the way that were eating. But from there, its weight training is arguably the most important physical activity we should do. If you did nothing else, that would be the thing to do. Even if youre doing full body movements, squats, dead lifts, and particularly, youre doing a little bit of volume there, and some shorter rest periods, you can get a mild kind of Zone 2 cardiac stimulus off that. You can get a little bit of that.
Robb: Swinging some kettlebells can be really good in that regard. I dont know that theres really an optimum here, but I would say that lifting weights in preference to everything else is a good place to go. From there, what Ive tried to do, if the weather is amenable and stuff, just works out in where I would normally go on an Airdyne or something to get a little bit of my Zone 2 cardio, I try to just play tag with the kids. And so I try to weave it into other things. We generally take the dog for a good walk, and I put on a weight vest during that walk, and that gives me some low intensity cardio. I try to drop it into the background instead of carving out a dedicated section for it.
Robb: Jiu-jitsu is really good for that because as a long as my game is fairly relaxed, and Im not under Jasons mount top pressure. Then it tends to be fairly low intensity comparatively. I dont know if I entirely answered that question, but I think that the instinct or the impetus to focus on strength training is sound, so long as the volume and intensity of aerobic activity is not crazy, then that interference pieces is not that significant. Its tough in that, given the limited amount of time to train, one would ideally need to, say, do 30 minutes of strength training, 30 minutes of cardio. Thats not ideal because the cardio does, to some degree blunt the strength training adaptations, but nobodys entirely sure how significant that is.
Robb: My understanding of this concurrent training, you can still get stronger. You can still get better endurance, and to reasonably significant levels, where it becomes critical to separate those is when you need to become more from intermediate to advanced. Then we need to start parsing that stuff out, and separating it, and whatnot. But for general health and fitness, like-
Nicki: And longevity.
Robb: and longevity, and just looking at what body builders have done for like 60 years. They do some strength training, then they do a little bit of cardio. At some points in their cycle, they will drop the cardio because they really want to lean out, or theyre adding muscle mass, or something like that. So they do some emphasis. But above and beyond that, this is And its funny, there was just a paper looking at the deleterious effects of Metformin on muscle mass gain. Whats interesting is Ive kind of suspected that being a problem for ages because Metformin is not used in bodybuilding circles at all. Its just not there.
Robb: Oddly enough, theres no randomized controlled trial on it. But this is where a bunch of people comparing notes, and theyre like, Yeah, Metformin doesnt do anything for my body composition, and I think it looks worse. You have several million people doing that. There is in fact some signal that emerges out of that noise. And so similarly, the fact that bodybuilders will do their strength training session, do their lifting section, and then walk on an incline treadmill at a moderate pace, and do that post-workout, and thats not massively negatively affecting their gains, then I think that theres some sound information to pull from that.
Nicki: Okay. Lets see. Our next question is on how to raise kids from Jaco, and he did send me the little YouTube-
Robb: Oh, nice. Yeah, I saw that with the-
Nicki: pronunciation to how to pronounce his name properly, so thank you Jaco for that. Dear Robb and Nicki, greetings from across the pond from fire away, Finland. First, thank you for all youve done and continued to do. Youve influenced my life tremendously as Im sure you have for the other five listeners too.
Nicki: In addition to changing my diet and lifestyle and greatly improving my health in the process following your lead, I also changed careers from engineering to health and wellness coaching. Started a paleo blog and podcast, and soon Im moving to the countryside with my wife and baby girl. We are building a house there with a small permaculture-based forest, or-
Robb: Good forest.
Nicki: based food forest also in the works. Thats the possibly creepy copycat romance part. Now, onto the question. My wife just gave birth to our first child, and Ive been wondering how to raise kids in this modern world. Most of the mainstream advice for raising kids doesnt seem to be very much aligned with our speciess specific needs. I would like to try and give my children at least some of the experiences their biology craves. Im not planning to go all Captain Fantastic on my kids, although that might be the best option. I turn to the great paleo sensei of Texas Hill country, Mr. Robert, and the awesome mother of wolves, the sensei-ness Mrs. Nicoletti. Im sorry if I misspelled your names. Im foreign and my English is not so well. Youre just perfectly fine.
Robb: Thats far better than our Finish. I guarantee that.
Nicki: Yes, for sure. Im reading the continuum concept by Jean Liedloff, and Ive looked at some attachment parenting stuff from Sears. Do you have any ideas, tips, or resources you could suggest? How do you tackle this with your kids, if at all? PS, Im really looking forward to the sustainability book and film you were doing with Diana Rogers. Thank you for carrying the torch for meeting sustainability. I know its not easy with the vegans, death threats, and all the other craziness.
Robb: Indeed. It is not. I think we mentioned that we just got the manuscript off to the publisher.
Nicki: I dont think you mentioned that.
Robb: I dont know if we did.
Nicki: Yeah, yeah.
Robb: The manuscript has flown to the publisher. We are now getting some of the type set, and layout, and all that stuff, and I-
Nicki: Thats nice. That really good.
Robb: got to say it looks really good. Yeah, Im pretty excited for that.
Nicki: I think there is a July release date.
Robb: Thats what were gunning for.
Nicki: Yeah. Yeah.
Nicki: I think right now its mid July. Thats exciting.
Robb: What do you want to say on raising kids? Like its a big big topic.
Nicki: First of all, lets say that we are by no means experts, and it is a 100% learn as you go experience. It is homeschooling. One of the things when we were in Reno, and the girls were in a school, they were in a Montessori school, you do notice them then the influence of peers on kids, and it can be really positive, and it can also be negative. We did see some negative stuff, like with Zooey, even just in first grade. You asked for tips and resources in alignment with the sacred cal book with you and Diana. I have to say, everybody listening should follow Slow Down Farmstead on Instagram. Tara Couture, she is one of the most amazing voices in this space.
Nicki: They run, and Jaco, youll appreciate this because she has her own They have a farm up in Canada, and raise all of their own food, harvest all of their own animals. Anyway, shes one of the most articulate, and-
Robb: She has two daughters?
Nicki: She has two daughters, and they are, I believe, both in college, or maybe one is a senior in high school. But she recommended a book on her Instagram page, which I purchased, and its called Hold On To Your Kids. Its by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate, and I will put a link to this in the show notes. Im not finished with the book yet, but Tara is one of these people that if she recommends something, I-
Robb: Just done.
Nicki: 100%, Im going to take note and read it. The premise of the book is that kids cant the parents need to be the primary kind of guiding role in your childs life. What can happen when kids typically between I think seven and 13, although I think it can happen earlier, and it can certainly happen later, kids can become peer-oriented. Theres an example, like ducklings, when they hatch, they kind of attach, and follow the thing that moves, the first thing that they see. If the mother duck is not there, and it sees something else, itll start following that thing.
Nicki: Apparently, children are similar, and they have one sort of north star, one thing that they can latch onto. If it becomes their peers, then they look to their peers for everything. How to behave in the world, things to say, whats appropriate, whats not. Because they cant keep both their parents and the peers as two guiding What am I trying to say?
Robb: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Nicki: Two guiding-
Nicki: influences, then anything that the parents try to say becomes there become lots of arguments, and its just this really kind of argumentative kind of thing that takes place.
Robb: Backing up with this, both you and I had been exposed to the idea or the notion that kids are far more influenced by their peers, and that this was a normal process. This book actually kind of upends that notion.
Nicki: Yeah. Because apparently, there was a study in the, I guess, late 80s or early 90s that basically said that the most important thing in how a kid turns out is the quality of their friends. If they have really good peers, really good for friend group, then the kids will tend to turn out far better than those who run with the wrong crowd, or however you want to say it. Which Im sure there is definitely-
Robb: Piece to that.
Nicki: a lot of truth to that. But this book is making the case that we as parents need to be that primary-
Nicki: guiding connection. Im only a third of the way through the book. Thats what Ive read so far, but its a great book. I would definitely recommend that as something to check out. Obviously, your daughter is brand new, so itll be a while before-
Robb: They give a factor. Yeah.
Nicki: shes facing those types of peer interactions. But I think its a great read. And then we also had in The Healthy Rebellion, a gal mention another book that I also purchased and have not finished yet either. But its called The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, and its great as well. Those are the two books, in addition to some homeschooling books that are my kid library right now. When they were little, I know we read books on, it mostly stuff on like-
Robb: Sleep time.
Nicki: Yeah, sleep time.
Robb: like the 90-minute sleep solution, or-
Nicki: Sleep cycle thing.
Robb: something like this. Yeah.
Nicki: I cant remember the exact title to that. But yeah..
Robb: I have a couple of posts, and also did a podcast. If you look Robb Wolf kids paleo, you can kind of see how weve progressed with feeding the kids. We dont shoot for perfection, but we do have some standards in there.
Nicki: Lets also talk a little bit about devices, because this is a thing that is just an unavoidable part of modern life, feels like. We have tried, up to this point, to have no device time at all with the kids.
Robb: By that, like iPhone, iPod.
Nicki: They have iPhone, iPod, that kind of thing. A lot of the public schools in, I think across the country, but in Texas, also in Nevada, theyre moving to Chromebook-based education. Kids are on a screen-
Robb: All day long.
Nicki: all day long. We let our kids watch Saturday morning cartoons. Well do Friday night, sometimes well do movie night as a family. But otherwise, theres not much TV. Now, they got over this past Thanksgiving. A few months ago they were with their cousins, and they got to play a game on iPod called-
Nicki: WildCraft, which is like youre like a Wolf, and youre trying to-
Robb: You hunt.
Robb: Its kind of wacky.
Nicki: You can kill a rabbit. And then you get a mate, and you raise your offspring, and you-
Robb: Its a pretty complex game. Yeah.
Nicki: Its actually kind of cool. We were like, Okay, this isnt, then they really enjoyed it, so we started letting them have, okay, 20 minutes here, 20 minutes there. But we notice that it is like even the most seemingly innocuous game is passively addicting.
Robb: It is massively addicting. It is like cocaine for these kids, which were trying to use in a way to get some other good behavior out of them. Were just trying to, because we homeschool, we do need some structure and some schedule, particularly, because we have to do some work. And so brush teeth, comb hair, clean your room-
Nicki: We do the schooling-
Robb: do the schooling, be-
Nicki: and if youre focused and youre not dragging your heels-
Robb: easy to work with. Yeah.
Nicki: and being poopy pants about-
Robb: It was interesting.
Nicki: having to do your cursive writing, then weve used that as sort of like-
Robb: They like the game so much, that were able to use that as a pretty good lever to be like, Hey, if youre going to be poopy pants today about doing math-
Nicki: Theyre not going to-
Robb: or reading, youre not getting any device time.
Robb: And they kind of, Aye aye, Captain, pretty quick on that, which is interesting.
Nicki: But its still a double-edged sword, and were still not sure how we feel about it because-
Robb: Yeah, because theyre less-
Nicki: theyre still-
Robb: Afterwards. They bicker more, they fight more. Theyre more snappy and reactionary to us.
Nicki: Mainly on the youngest, but-
Nicki: I dont know, Jaco.
Robb: That parts tough.
Nicki: This is a tough thing that were just starting to feel out navigating. We have friends whose kids have We have friends who do zero devices, and just some TV occasionally. And then we have friends whose kids have their own iPod touch with their own music that they can listen to, and the games that they can play. It feels like dangerous territory-
Robb: Well, and its funny because the position that we have is one that pretty much its going to make everybody upset to some degree because the real purist, the fact that they get any screen or device time, then were screwing up on that. And then there will be other people thatll be like, Let kids be kids.
Nicki: Right, yeah.
Robb: Yeah. Its tough, but we just do the best that we can to kind of, I was going to say walk the middle ground, but its not about walking the middle ground. Its about looking at what consequences are. This again is kind of like, am I wired to eat position around like food and whatnot.
Nicki: Weve said that, on days where theyve afterwards have been super cranky or whatnot, weve said, Have you noticed that after you play this, you are more cranky, and youre not as happy, and you and your sister argue more? Trying to make them aware of what youre seeing, and if its over the top, its like, Okay, were not going to have that for a few days. I dont know. Were just starting to deal with some of this, so dont by any means have any answers at all in this department, but something to look forward to, Jaco.
Robb: Its amazing. Though its fun. Its a little scary, a little intimidating. He had a question around the attachment parenting and whatnot. Do you have any thoughts around that? Im honestly not super well steeped in that, so I dont know that I feel qualified to comment one way or the other.
Nicki: Yeah. Ill just say one other, because I feel like hes going to build a house in the countryside and have a permaculture-based food forest. You should also follow on Instagram What is her handle? Jessika Le Corre. Whats her handle?
Robb: Feather Eagle Sky?
Nicki: Feather Eagle Sky. Yeah. Cant believe I forgot that. Feather Eagle Sky. Its Erwan Le Corre, the founder of MovNat, his wife. They have three children that they homeschool, and they travel quite a bit, and they live in the countryside in north of Santa Fe in New Mexico, and just have Theres just so much inspiration with the stuff that she posts. You might find some good stuff there.
Robb: Yeah, for sure. For sure.
Nicki: All righty.
Robb: One more?
Nicki: One more question on SmartSweets from Maisie. Hi Robb and Nicki, I Okay. This is the expletive warning.
Robb: This isnt us. This isnt us.
Nicki: Okay. This is Maisie, its not me. Im fucking addicted to SmartSweets. Do you know about those little hitters? Three grams of sugar per bag. SmartSweets makes gummy bears, Swedish fish, peach ring, sour patch, et cetera. Ingredients are plant-based except the gummy bears, which contain gelatin, and free from sugar alcohols, supposedly like healthy candy. Love you guys. Long live The Healthy Rebellion. One must imagine Sisyphus healthy. PS, the creator and CEO of SmartSweets is only like 20 years old.
Robb: Thats only a little depressing, but I really like them.
Nicki: Yes, we do know about SmartSweets.
Robb: We know
Nicki: Whenever we do something like Easter or Halloween, thats where I first found these guys, we do the boiled eggs, and dye eggs, and stuff like that, but then I also will find candy that is on the better side, the healthiest version that I can find.
Robb: Better than.
Nicki: The better than, and they make a lot of This is a great brand, and stuff where, I mean, the kids love them, you like them. Im not really a candy sour patch, ring person, so Im more of a chocolate person.
Robb: Im not massively, but these things are enjoyable. Theyre really enjoyable, and the kids dont suffer any GI consequences. They dont suffer blood sugar swings, and same deal for me. Im kind of bullish on them. I think theyre pretty legit. Yeah.
Nicki: Yeah. I mean, I dont know. She says shes addicted. I dont know what that means. Are you eating like three bags a day, or?
Robb: Well, at least its not three bags a day of regular sour patch deals.
Nicki: This is true. This is true.
Nicki: We keep them kind of-
Nicki: Yeah, we dont buy this stuff on a weekly basis. Its more like holiday type stuff, or just on occasion. But yeah.
Robb: Im not off-put by them. Yeah, I think theyre pretty smart. This is kind of an example of people wanting some better options. I think that something like it has this prebiotic fiber in it and everything. Again, I have pretty sensitive poopers. So its like generally, if somethings going to mess with me, its going to mess with everybody, and I feel fine with them. Ive said, Okay, Im just going to pressure-test this, and crush a bag, and theres no real consequences. Whereas Ive eaten like a whole bar of some of the Maltitol chocolate or whatever-
Nicki: The sugar-free chocolates.
Robb: Holy fartsville Batman, Im doubled over with cramps from that. And so yeah, I think its a pretty legit-
Nicki: A decent option?
Robb: Option. Yeah.
Nicki: Okay. Thanks, Maisie. That is a wrap for this week. Thanks for joining us. Please check out our show sponsor, Joovv and their full body light therapy solutions at joovv.com/Robb. Thats J-O-O-V-V.com/R-O-B-B, and use code Robb, R-O-B-B to get your free gift with your purchase.
Robb: Please remember to share the episode.
Nicki: Share this episode. Please subscribe. Leave us a review on iTunes, or wherever you go for your podcasting, and come join us in The Health Rebellion. Weve got a lot of really, really great stuff happening over there. If you are subscribed to our email newsletter, then weve started sending our Saturday Roundup that we do in The Healthy Rebellion just to highlight some stuff thats happened throughout the week. Were also sending that out to our email subscribers so they can get a little glimpse into some of the really cool stuff thats going on over there. I think thats it.
Robb: Thank you, guys.
Nicki: Thanks, everyone.
Robb: Thank you, wife.
Nicki: Yeah, thanks, hubs.
Robb: Take care. Bye bye.
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