Balanced Bites Podcast: Episode #10: With Guest Robb Wolf

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Balanced Bites Podcast

Episode #10

Robb Wolf

NYT Bestselling Author of “The Paleo Solution,” Robb Wolf with his trusty writing sidekick, Keystone.

Special guest: Robb Wolf

Topics covered include:

  • myths that are perpetuated about the whys and hows of a Paleo or Primal type of diet
  • a recent article from the NPR blog
  • sustainability and thoughts about the long-term success of the ancestral health movement

Since Robb typically answers questions from listeners, we decided that this was a good time to give him (as well as ourselves) a chance to talk about some other important topics surrounding the movement of which we’ve all become a part.

Note: We rated this episode as explicit due to an F-bomb and possibly one other curse word, but the general subject matter is family-friendly.

Click here to download the episode as an MP3.
Click here to listen in iTunes.
Click here to listen on Stitcher.

LIZ WOLFE:Hi everyone, Liz Wolfe here with Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites. Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. Diane, I literally just like slid into home with a giant quintuple espresso. And so, you’ll have to excuse me . You’ll have to give me a minute just to settle down here. Phew!


LIZ WOLFE:Wooo wooo! How’s it going?

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Well, good. It’s actually funny that you said that. I actually did not have any caffeine-well, no, that’s not true. I didn’t have any coffee today. I just started working on an adrenal protocol for myself. I’m pretty sure it’s no surprise to people that traveling the country and working on all the different projects that we’re kind of always working on can be pretty taxing on the system. So I ran an adrenal test on myself a couple of weeks ago, and what came back was none too surprising, and yeah, so I’m kind of just working on fixing that up. I woke up and had some tea and had some licorice root in there, and took a couple of other whole supplements that are on my protocol that I’ve basically designed for myself, along with talking with some of my other colleagues about it, and just getting out the others. So yeah, so I had some tea. Some strong tea and not coffee. I don’t know. I mean, yeah. Hopefully…

LIZ WOLFE:Yeah, we might give up coffee over here just because we’ve gotten so…I mean, I love coffee, but what I love to do is go get coffee because generally, it’s a nice break from the office, a kind of fun way to start the day, and I tend to kind of like focus well when I’m among people but not actually communicating with them. I don’t know if that’s a-if you like quiet focus, but I tend to focus better when I’m juxtaposed against more of frenetic environment. So I like to go *get* coffee, and it’s just kind of getting a little taxing on the pocketbook.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah. I definitely like that environment, too, and I think people often see me saying that I’m working out of Starbucks, but yeah, so today I’m kind of at home, since we’re going to be chatting on the line here…


DIANE SANFILIPPO:And get the show going. And so…

LIZ WOLFE:Let’s do it.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:We have a special guest today, for people who are listening a couple weeks ago, we had Chris Kresser on, and that was a really fun time. So we just kind of thought we’d grab another friend of ours, and probably a man who needs no introduction from us, at least, not in these parts, Robb Wolf. Robb, are you there?

ROBB WOLF:Theoretically, wherever “there” may be.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:[laughs] We’re all over the country. So we’re like probably 3 entirely different time zones. Cool, well, we wanted to kind of welcome you and bring you on and talk about some stuff other just answering questions the way we all sort of normally do, and just give ourselves and you a chance to talk about something that might be, I don’t know, just a little bit different. A little bit change of pace and just put some different information out there.

ROBB WOLF:I have to say it was tactical error having me on after Chris Kresser. You should always have the better looking, smarter, more dynamic person on later vs. earlier. So you guys dropped the ball on that one. You should have had me on first and then Chris would have been the crowning achievement. So…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:[laughs] We were just…

LIZ WOLFE:Well, you know, we….

DIANE SANFILIPPO:We were just dying to talk about digestion …[laughs] sorry, go ahead.

LIZ WOLFE:I was just going to say we couldn’t get Dr. Oz on, so we settled for Chris and then Robb, so hopefully this will turn out okay.

ROBB WOLF:Okay, I won’t scuttle the whole operation, so….

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I’m kind of excited. I think this will be cool. So, yeah, basically I think probably people around the Paleo community are seeing some things that are being shuffled around about some little news stories that are out there. I thought-Liz kind of had the idea that we want to talk about some media-related, some sustainability issues, and kind of a couple of posts that came around in the last couple days or so. So I kind of threw that out, and I think it’ll be a good conversation.

So the first thing that we kind of wanted to, I don’t know, throw some points out and kind of see what you had to say, Robb, was about this article on NPR. I guess it was an NPR blog post; it wasn’t really a NPR, necessarily generated article about entitled Paleo Diet: Not the Way to a Healthy Future. A very sexy title.

LIZ WOLFE:Wha wha.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:So did you get a chance to look that over?

ROBB WOLF:Yeah, yeah, I definitely did. Looking at that, and my good friend, Dan Pardi, professor of neuroscience/neurophysiology. He did a nice write up on that which I’ve been retweeting that because I was kind of feeling compelled to do, I guess, a counterpoint or whatever. Dan did a really, really good job on that, so I’ve just been kind of tweeting and referring folks to that one. You know, I think even before we jump in on that, you know, what we’re seeing is almost daily and multiple times per day some sort of a media piece about the Paleo diet, sometimes good, sometimes not good. But I definitely think we’re -I think we’re going from a simmer to a boil on this whole evolutionary biology/Paleo diet/Ancestral Health kind of gig. Like we’ve got the Dr. Oz shenanigans brewing right now, and everything, so it’s obviously a hot topic.


ROBB WOLF:And folks are kind of weighing in on it, and it’s an interesting time for me to be in here, for the fact I’ve been beating this drum for almost 15 years now, and having been the nutcase with nobody listening, and now the nutcase with a whole lot of people listening [laughs], It’s just been an interesting thing, so.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, I was actually happy. I think-you probably saw the CBS news-I think it was a local San Francisco piece, or Bay Area piece, like 5 different clips they put up, which actually shed a pretty favorable light on the Paleo diet, and they really did a nice job referring to it more as the Ancestral Health Movement, which I really thought was cool, and I definitely see what you’re talking about with the whole, just the fact that it’s getting exposure, you know. It’s not a bad thing. It’s like that whole “all press is good press” kind of deal.


DIANE SANFILIPPO:So I think-our friend over at put up a nice kind of retaliation, just basically going sort of point for point or point-counterpoint of what the author is talking about. I don’t know. I guess I want to talk about-I know this is stuff that you kind of-sort of beaten a dead horse a little bit on it. But just some of the myths that are out there because what Liz and I are faced with at this point as practitioners who are helping people along are always a matter of educating and there are always new people coming into this community, and we want to make sure that they, you know, A. know what they’re talking about when it comes to like, even if they subscribe to the food. It’s like well, somebody comes in and says “hunter-gatherers died at age 30.” Like, some of these myths that are out there, you know, is there stuff that you would want to tell people about, just the handful that always come up, just to give them that sort of arsenal, kind of a quick high-level of what we can expect. Almost the way like Denise Minger did with her talk at AHS on, well, here’s the stuff the vegetarians always present, and here’s kind of our overarching counterpoint, you know. Would you have something to give people on that?

ROBB WOLF:Gosh, it’s almost no at this point. I equate this and I mentioned it I think in my Framework Matters piece. The fact that we’re in a little bit of a buggered situation here in that-but it-I’ll try to collect my thoughts on this. Nobody wants to hear about this whole Paleo concept, other than the people who care about their health, sustainability, community and that sort of stuff. And if they don’t have a really big pan in the fire that is really, really counter to this whole things, so there are vegetarians for moralist reasons because of religious beliefs, they can’t buy into, you know, this evolutionary biology kind of gig. You know, if we get in and talk about, say like, cell phones and the way that cell phones work, we need to talk about like information theories, we need to talk about radio transmission and reception; we need to talk about GPS satellites. When we get to the GPS satellites, we need to talk about things like the quantum and relativist effects of like gravity wells and so the fact that a satellite is orbiting the earth and we’re lower on the earth, we’ve got relativistic effects that we need to account for, if we’re going to have good GPS satellite functioning. So the way that a cell phone works is fairly complex, but we can build this thing up and we can explain it to people in a very direct manner without getting super technical, but you can get people understanding what goes into a cell phone transmission because we can use chemistry and physics and engineering and all that stuff, and kind of describe the story from brass tacks forward.

When we start talking about this Paleo diet thing, you know, we-say like with the story of the hunter-gatherers didn’t live a long time. This is kind of an armchair response and it clearly illustrates a lack of understanding of the material. Nobody mentions the other side of this, which is when agriculture, you know when people transitioned from hunter-gatherer to agriculturalist, the life expectancy got even shorter. It went from an average of about 30 years down to an average of about 20 years. And that didn’t improve until after the Dark Ages when we started seeing hygiene and some semblance of what we would recognize as public works and public health and stuff like that. We didn’t really see a bump in average lifespan until the 1800-1900s when we had really dedicated sanitation and then the advent of pharmaceuticals/interventions for infectious disease. Then we saw a really big bump forward in total life expectancy. But nobody tells this whole picture, but similar to my analogy-excuse me-with the cell phones, it’s really hard to get in and build a story about our ancestral heritage, both from the nutritional standpoint and the lifestyle and the social and all the rest of that stuff, because we start butting up against these different ideologies which are pretty violently opposed to it, and that’s part of the problem. Like whereas we can roll out a story about, you know, physics and engineering and everything, and talk about cell phones and have a full accounting of that, it’s very, very difficult to do that related to medicine and human health. It’s hard to talk about evolutionary biology without getting pushback from a variety of areas.

One of the areas is just that simply people don’t believe in it. And even the groups of people that have benefitted from a Paleo or Ancestral type diet, you know, a large majority of them don’t even subscribe to the science behind that. Then on the other side of that are the armchair scientists like this gal Barbara King, who I believe who wrote this piece for NPR, apparently she’s some sort of biological anthropologist, but obviously she hasn’t done any of the research or reading in early human evolution to see that we had periods of time where we had very, very high meat consumption and this was pretty consistent with health across a broad spectrum of metrics like that. So it’s kind of a tough sell if you really want some sort of a solid epistemological framework to wrap this stuff up in. And so that’s where I’ve equated this to an urban warfare kind of skirmish sort of gig where we go house to house addressing topic after topic after topic, like it’s kind of a revolving door. Like and you said we have new people entering into the community, and each time there’s new folks entering In the community, it’s the same kind of like you had some sort of direction in a country. You clear the direction, and they just come back and you’ve got to reclear it again.

So we-I’m not really sure what the answer is to that. These answers are good, but even at Denise’s talk at the AHS, I made the point that we’re better off spending time helping people who want help than we are trying to convince people who aren’t going to be convinced.


DIANE SANFILIPPO:And Tom Naughton mentioned a study which was basically that, you know, I think it was a psychology journal. I forget what it is. I should contact him and get exactly what it was. But basically he read this analysis that you can take two different camps, but have them debate and argue, and it doesn’t matter what the material is presented, you’re not going to change anybody’s idea.


ROBB WOLF:It’s just not going to happen. You’ve got some labile group of the population that may be open to changing things, and those are the folks that I get that you can put out some information and that’s where it’s valuable to cite resources and stuff like that on these NPR pieces. Maybe what we should do is maybe crowdsource a patented response that references the key things from Cordain and Stefan Lindberg and Stephan Guyenet. You know, you just carpet-bomb these people with the same patent answer again and again and again. That could be one way that we address this thing: crowdsource a group response and this is, you know, what we cut and paste into the, you know, the comment section of pieces like this. I don’t know what…


ROBB WOLF:Other than we seem to be growing very quickly. You know, like everybody’s traffic is up on websites and blogs and podcasts and all that. So it seems like if we’re just focusing on getting quality information out that helps people, that seems to be probably the most important piece there. But I definitely get that there’s kind of a desire, you know, there’s the sustainability piece which I think we’re going to talk about in it a bit. This is something that we probably need some sort of cogent analysis of all this and provide a resource that people can turn to, so that even if they’re not a scientist, they can at least articulate some of that information.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, I think that the point that you’re making, too, about helping the people that want help, and I think those of us that are out there just kind of educating the masses, You know, we’re trying to do the best we can, as we heard from that Mat LaLonde, not overstate the science, but also really come to the table with the right information, so making sure that we are speaking from an educated place from what the reality is behind the science and not just the whole evolutionary biology, which we love that as a foundation, but also looking at how food works in the body and what we know about that with science today, you know, which is how I like to explain it to people. It’s like, well yeah, we’re using this evolutionary perspective, but then we’re also taking into account what we see happening in current studies. So it’s not just well, cavemen ate it; we’re eating it.

But to the same point, the whole-what was I going to say about this? This is something too that-they’re bringing-every time we see these articles, it’s like the same 5 or 6 points. You know, so having that idea of a collection of counter points, you know, it probably wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. Although we are probably falling on deaf ears most of the time, but I think the sustainability question and having the accurate and best counterpoints to that is really where we can sort of can converge, just like we do on things that Denise mentioned-people can-we’ll put a link to Denise’s talk because we keep talking about it-where she was bringing up this idea that if we’re going up against those who just don’t believe this to be the right way to live, yet those who advocate say a vegetarian or a vegan diet, you know, out of maybe 5 or 6 tenets of a Paleo diet, 4 or 5 of them are identical in a healthy quote unquote vegetarian diet. You know, the absence of meat being the only real change outside of, you know, refined seed oils, sugar, grain products, etc., etc. You know, if we can bring to the table something that brings us together in looking at the whole sustainable agriculture, or sustainable, you know, just farming, and growing animals and looking at how that actually affects the earth and our own health, then I think that would be a better way forward than just continuing to just argue on points like we’re saying, like a matter of religion. Well, we’re not going to change somebody’s mind, and let’s not bother trying. And I don’t set out to have any agenda to do so, either.

But Liz, did you have a couple other questions or some points that you wanted to kind of lead into the sustainability questions, and just your own sort of piqued interest on the topic?

LIZ WOLFE:Yeah, you know the whole sustainability- I like the kind of trifecta Robb you said earlier: health, sustainability, and community. I think Paleo’s kind of got that down, and there’s this amazing opportunity, I think for the movement to kind of move toward responsible environmental stewardship as well as kind of taking it from like a macro to a micro level, like you can look at kind of communities and agriculture and such things the world over, but kind of individualizing it to how can one person take care of themself responsibly, you know, farming, you talked a lot about the liberty garden on your blog, which I thought was so cool. And I just kind of wanted to pick your brain a little bit and maybe talk about where you’re going with that, the idea of individual responsibility in the context of this movement. Is that broad enough for you, Robb?

ROBB WOLF:You know what? Yeah, totally, totally. This is more my point and where I diverge from spending a lot of time arguing about this stuff. I would rather create resources for people to develop a liberty garden system within their community, and then the whole argument becomes a moot point. It doesn’t matter anymore. We basically hid in circles and took over, you know? I mean, that’s kind of more my focus on helping people, and you know, not just on like “well, gee whiz, what’s to do-should I eat high carb or low carb?” You know? And all that sort of stuff, like going beyond that. The sustainability thing is obviously an issue, and even beyond sustainability, like when we lose the ability like feed and water ourselves. Then we are really, really dependent on the machine that is kind of the current state of affairs, and to the degree that I think we can take some of that stuff back-we can decentralized farming and some permaculture, we really kind of wrest some control back in our own lives, the way that we want to eat and if people don’t want to eat that way, that’s cool, but at least for these folks who are more focused on an ancestral lifeway, then we’ve got that option.

And then I think it’s taking personal accountability for the quality of the food we’re eating, the environmental impact, the animal husbandry, you know. I mean, there’s the reality that we’re killing and eating these animals, but it’s being done in a responsible way. And I think it was well illustrated in The Vegetarian Myth that vegetarians and vegans have this kind of rose-colored glasses view of the world that because they’re eating grains, legumes that are raised maybe organically, maybe not, but they think that that’s a bloodless affair, and it’s a lie.


ROBB WOLF:It’s an absolute and total lie. And they get to hide behind the notion of some sort of moral superiority that they’re doing something somehow morally superior . But when you really crunch the numbers, if you equate the life of the mouse equal to a cow, because they’re both mammals, then we’re killing many or more animals doing standard agricultural practices as we would with animal husbandry. And there’s a professor-I forget his name-he’s at the University of Oregon. He did an analysis called The Least Harm Principle, where he basically was looking at how could you feed people the most effectively by killing the least number of animals, and shockingly, it boils down to large herbivores that eat open grassland, nut and fruit trees, and seasonal vegetables basically planted in some sort of a way that reflects the biodynamicism that reflects a particular area. And this is exactly-this is essentially like am Ancestral/Paleo diet.-I just got through reading a fantastic book that Dr. Kurt Harris recommended 1491, which is a kind of the treatment of the Americas prior to Columbus’s landing and it looks like there was a population here in Pre-Columbian times somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3s as large of what it is, and this is all of the Americas, North America to South America. The Americas were full of people, and then Europeans came here and dispersed smallpox-purposefully or inadvertently-and the population was reduced by 95%…


ROBB WOLF:And so a couple hundred years later , it looked like the continent was devoid of people when in fact that wasn’t the case at all. And what we find from some of the more recent anthropology and archeological studies, you had some very robust, stable biodynamic farming that involved roots and shoots and tubers and nuts. You know, like through the American South, there’s tons of like walnuts and pecans and different nut trees, and it looks like an odd profusion of these trees, and it’s odd because it’s actually an ancient orchard, and so, you know, they used to burn the overgrowth to provide fodder for you know, undulates and herbivores, and then they collected the roots and shoots and tubers. Of course, obviously, we had some development of corn at some point, but there was a remarkable biodynamicism that was devoid of an oil economy. It was devoid of a chemical-I don’t want to say chemical-synthetic fertilizer economy. When people say chemical, as a chemist, it makes me nuts because we either have matter or energy, and when it’s matter, it’s fucking chemicals. So I need to be careful of myself on that count.

And so the point here is that we add a fairly advanced technological society that was stable over thousands and thousands of years, that employed a different permaculture technique that don’t work too different from what we’re talking about in the liberty garden kind of permaculture concept, and without the advantage of things like solar energy or smart use of petroleum products and stuff like that. So this notion that we can’t feed people in an effective way in a more ancestral lifeway is just erroneous and it also doesn’t even address the idea, you know there’s more vegetarian/vegan kind of deal, can we feed the planet on that? And I’m kind of leaning towards no. If you look at the resource intensiveness of this type of stuff, it is not biodynamic. It is very resource intensive and there’s all kind of issues also that…

You know, on the sustainability side, if people want to get fired up about sustainability and population and all the rest of that stuff, what they would-the drum they would really start beating is free, open markets, education for women, protection for women’s rights, because when you start educating and protecting women, they self-selectively start having fewer children. And so, when we look at some stuff like that, like the food politics are great, but if you really want to get into something that’s juicy and that we know for a fact produces a slower population growth, you start educating women. So-and you provide opportunities for that. We’ve got all kinds of like despotic regimes around the world that don’t really like the idea of educating and providing equal opportunities for women and stuff like that. That is its own bag of tricks, too. It’s not as easy a thing to have a bunch of women enter the workforce and delay reproductive years and all that; there’s some conundrums associated with that, but if you just want to address population growth, that’s the place to look at it, and then you don’t need some sort of a communist expunging of part of your population every once in awhile when you can’t feed them. People select for education and fewer children , and then things tend to improve. This is what we see in Westernized cultures.

LIZ WOLFE:I think it’s so interesting that-I mean, you can get into all the reasons, the culture reasons. You can read a thousand books about all these things, but what it comes down to is that there is a balance to kind of nature and biology, like you said, self-selecting. I mean, you don’t have to know all of the ins and outs to kind of reap the benefits of living that way, which is really a sweeping generalization of everything you just said, but it strikes me every single time I hear you speak, Robb, or Diane, when you and I talk to each other about this stuff. Like this stuff just is a harmonious thing…


LIZ WOLFE:And it’s people that get in and screw with it. [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Well, I always think it’s funny-sorry, go ahead.

ROBB WOLF:No, no. Go for it. Go for it.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I just always think it’s funny when people kind of-it doesn’t connect with them intellectually because, you know, the whole idea of evolution and you know, a food chain, you know, it’s a very simplified way of looking at it, but to me all of it just makes sense. And I know you say that all the time, too, Robb. Like I remember the first time I came to your seminar, and I was like, yeah, okay. It wasn’t like I didn’t need the rationale and the science, in a way, just for my own curiosity and interest in the deeper underpinnings of how it works in the body, you know, to eat a certain way, for example. But it’s just like, I kind of just can’t understand a person who opposes these things that just seem-, maybe. I don’t know. I don’t know that why that it is, that my mind is so much like, well, this is evolution and science, and that what makes sense, and I guess, you know, if you’ve been brought up potentially with a totally different-maybe it’s a religious thing or whatever it was-I just don’t even understand that whole viewpoint of just kind of disbelief in a sense, so. I’m just kind of not understanding that….

ROBB WOLF:Yeah, yeah.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Sustainable agriculture, raising animals the way they should be raised, and that we’re fortunate that now farmers markets and all this stuff. And you know, what? I actually thought wow, I’m really lucky in California, it’s so easy. But you know what? I’ve been to the East Coast almost half the year in the last year, and it’s actually just as easy there. You know? All it takes is a quick little Google search or Eat Wild search. You find a couple of farms and you’re good to go. And it’s really not as big of a deal as people make it. And this stuff is accessible and how cool is it that we get to actually come face to face and meet our farmers now. We can do that. And I get where people came from abandoning factories’ meat at some point, whatever, 20-30 years ago maybe when vegetarianism was brewing up. I get it, you know. I thought that that was off as well, but I don’t get where people don’t understand where doing things the right way just does make sense and that it’s possible. And that by feeding into that with our own dollars, that’s the way that we vote for that every single day. You know you vote every day when you buy food and eat it, or just, you know, give that person who is perpetuating the right thing, the dollars to go forward, so yeah. Sorry.

ROBB WOLF:You know, Joseph Campbell, an amazing, amazing guy wrote The Power of Myth, did a PBS series, I think it was like late 80s, early 90s. Jeez, you two probably weren’t even born then, but a really amazing…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Uh, really? [laughs]

ROBB WOLF:You guys are whippersnappers. I’m the old fart in here, so you know, one of his treatments of the vegetarian deal is very interesting and I like to quote it occasionally is that “Vegetarianism is the first turning away of man’s place in nature.”


ROBB WOLF:And it you don’t-this is where-and he studied different cultural-different cultures, hunter-gatherer cultures and agrarian cultures, and it wasn’t until you saw the development of agriculture, and cities and differentiation and economic status and stuff like that, that you started seeing vegetarianism kind of being woven into a quasi-religious kind of thing or a full on religious scenario. And not good things typically grew out of that, including the way people are treated, subjugation of women, and you know, all kinds of stuff kind of grew out of that. And we can’t necessarily go back like that hunter-gatherer lifeway specifically, but I think over the course of time, we’ve grown more and more towards egalitarian kind of democratic kind of way of living at least in some of the Westernized democratic countries and stuff like that. But it’s in disdain that the vegetarian crew, and again, in The Vegetarian Myth and I forget the gal’s name, but he-her treatment of this is so much better than I can do, where she had the example of…there was a vegan blog where they were talking about the desire to go out and build a fence that would separate, you know, like in Africa, would separate all the predators from the herbivores.

LIZ WOLFE:Yup, exactly.

ROBB WOLF:And it would create this vegan utopia.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Hey, Robb? Hey, Robb? Robb?


LIZ WOLFE:Diane dropped off.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I had an iPhone fail. I don’t know if we just recorded the last minute.

LIZ WOLFE:Diane, I think we did. I think we did. I was able to select “continue recording,” so I think we can keep chugging on through.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Okay. Sorry to interrupt you. Okay.

ROBB WOLF:Oh, no worries.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I’ll just beat myself up now. Great. Love the new iPhone.

ROBB WOLF:Okay. These folks-I was just going to comment-even Blog Talk Radio is not without its challenges, so hopefully you guys get as much shit for your foibles as what I do on my podcast. But….

LIZ WOLFE:[laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO:That was totally my fault. I hit the button somewhere. Anyway, go ahead.

ROBB WOLF:Okay, okay. Well, quit texting while I’m talking. I can’t be that boring, so….


ROBB WOLF:You know, the basic deal here is that yeah, these people who are all fired up about separating out the lions and tigers and bears from the herbivores, and that this would create some sort of vegan utopia. And these people believed it, you know. Again, this is just one of probably tens of thousands of websites around the internet that talk about this stuff, and, you know, what it was for the gal who wrote the book was just this like dawning of almost horror, that these people really did not understand how biology works. You know? That we’re a part of biology, we’re going to eat something today and tomorrow something’s going to eat us, and that’s the way it works. And not that we should approach that in some sort of callous way, which is, you know, I think the way we do our modern animal husbandry. We can do this in a sustainable and much more reasonable way. And the interesting though is that where the vegetarian deal popped up on the scene, it became as it always does, an either/or thing. You are either vegetarian or not. You know, it’s kind of like you’re either Democrat or Republican. There’s no reasonable middle ground there, and the interesting story with that at least for me is that with the development of this whole Paleo concept, I would have to credit the Paleo deal with 100% putting grass-fed meat on the map. Like grass-fed meat….

LIZ WOLFE:Totally.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:was an absolute- was an aberrant event that was barely hanging on before the Paleo scene hit because the kind of mainstream corn-fed America that just didn’t care at all about any of this stuff, or you had the vegetarians, and it’s interesting that I’ve talked to a lot of vegetarians and vegans who are…I’ll ask them, well, if someone was going to eat meat, wouldn’t it be better that they eat grass-fed meat? The wacky, inevitable response is that they’re off put by the transition to grass-fed meat and sustainable agriculture and stuff like that because it doesn’t look as horrific as the factory farming, and so you’re less likely to get people to just become vegetarians all the way. You know?


ROBB WOLF:People-although occasionally though you’ll find somebody who’s vegetarian or vegan, and they’ll say well, if somebody’s going to eat meat, I would rather see it be grass-fed with some focus on sustainability and stuff like that. I think that’s where, you know, wrapping this Paleo concept into sustainability has been kind of an inevitability because one of the common counterpoints people would bring up was sustainability and food quality and animal care and everything. This was early, early-in the early 2000s when people would talk about this, and I started thinking about it, and I was like, well, then we need to think about sustainable agriculture. And sustainable animal husbandry and doi8ng this stuff in a more reasonable, decentralized way. And I think that that’s all succeeding. I think that we’re seeing remarkable shifts in that direction, and again, it’s happening in a way where we don’t to necessarily go out and convince people or have some type of pissing match back and forth argument. You just create these alternative markets, and then the people who want….You still will need some sort of education on part of that, but if you have education and no market, then you’ve got a dream. If you’ve got education plus a market, then you’ve got a viable alternative and that’s what we got to do, and that’s why I’m somewhat stodgy on the whole thing about, you know, developing complex arguments and stuff like that with people.

I know that like my comments at the AHS ended up pissing some people off, but when I said what I said, but I’ll kind of hang my hat on the results we’ve had thus far and what I expect the results to be when we grow this stuff. If we could get ten times more people doing the liberty garden, ten times more people hitting all our blogs and podcasts and everything, how much more shocking of an impact are we going to have vs. what we have right now, which is pretty damn impressive as it is. So…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I think we dropped off Liz…

LIZ WOLFE:Did I drop off there?

DIANE SANFILIPPO:No, you’re good. You’re there.

LIZ WOLFE:I’m here. Well, I dropped off for a second there, so if I’m interrupting I apologize. [laughs]


LIZ WOLFE:Robb, can you talk about-am I able to ask you a little bit about I, Caveman?

ROBB WOLF:Oh, totally. Yeah, yeah, I’m pretty good to go on that now.

LIZ WOLFE:I want to kind of back up and get into what you were talking about earlier about the…First of all we were kind of discussing how inefficient it is to suppose that we can get the bulk of our calories from-by gathering plants. I think we all understand that to be kind of a false notion there. But when you did the most badass thing I’ve ever seen anybody do in the history of mankind when you took the-what was that? Was it an elk? Is that what it was?


LIZ WOLFE:When you took the elk down with that atl, that was just phenomenal. But what really struck me was your reaction to it when you all were sitting, talking about the day and everything. You were really-you were really emotional about that moment in your life and kind of what it meant to you and what you’ll remember. And just kind of recognizing how at that point, you were a part of this, you know, this biological kind of truth where you’re going to eat one thing and at some point, you’re going to be part of the earth, you know, just like Lierre Keith talked about in her book. And I was hoping you could talk about that a little bit.

ROBB WOLF:Sure. You know, they did a pretty good job editing the show, like I gave some pretty, pretty true to reality presentations. I think I mentioned in my blog some of the things that got nixed, was like I dug a seep well, and they kind of tweaked some stuff on that. And then that piece where I kind of broke down on camera, part of what they cut out of there was that I mentioned that, you know, I wanted to quit so badly, I cannot even describe it. Like I was so tired, so cold, so hungry. And well, you know, hungry doesn’t even…I wasn’t like hungry the way that ,you know, like you get a blood sugar crash or something like that. I was just exhausted and kind of done. And Day 7, I really wanted to quit, and it was just really, thinking about my wife and her dad. Their opinions of me matter more than anybody else’s opinion in the world. They really mean everything to me, and so I was thinking about that, and I really didn’t want to let my wife down and let my father-in-law down. And also, I was just thinking about, you know, what if Nicki and I had kids, and we were living in this tribal situation, and we basically faced 8 days of starvation. You know, I was kind of rattling some of that stuff through my head.

So there was a bunch of other background stuff that got clipped out of there that maybe provides a little bit more texture to the whole thing. But I mean, it was a huge emotional event. You know, it was a huge deal and you know, the interesting thing when the whole thing went down, I’ve only had one piece of bad pushback from this one gal who’s a cartoonist who’s not even a vegetarian, but just [laughs] thought I was some sort of a redneck or something because I killed an elk with atl-atl or something. But even a number of vegetarian and vegan people commented on that. They were like, hey, I wouldn’t have eaten that, but you guys obviously were very emotionally aware and concerned about the whole thing, and you know, it was an eye-opener. I thought that everybody was just a bloodthirsty redneck….


ROBB WOLF:kind of gig. So that was definitely very interesting. You know on the hunted and gathered stuff, I would throw the caveat in there that had we been there in a different environment, had we simply at a lower elevation, I think that we could have put together much more vegetable matter calories than we did at the location that we were. So I think it is reasonable depending on the location that a hunter-gatherer/forager scene could get a significant amount of calories, particularly depending on season. A significant amount of the calories could come from foraged plant material. The location that we were in was literally like a very glacial like area, and there was no plant forage to be had at all. But I do think it was kind of an eye-opener, and all the archeologists and anthropologists that worked on the show-they had a number of PhDs that were kind of consulting on the show-all of them were like, what this kind of is indicates-there’s always this comment-a couple of the folks commented on this-in the NPR piece. Humans only found animal material occasionally. I think somebody said like a couple times a month or something, which just doesn’t match the anthropological records at all. And in fact, depending on what region you’re in, you’re going to die if you don’t get significant amounts of animal material.


ROBB WOLF:And what’s telling to me is that I spent 3 weeks practicing with that atl-atl, and I got to be pretty much the best shot that we had in our group. And over the course of- I went out on two hunting events, one of them that failed and one of them that was successful, and you know, overall what we had was a one-in-eight success rate out of that hunting party kind of gig, and that’s with dragging around a film crew, and they scare off the animals. So you know, for me that was a pretty good eye-opener that we definitely could hunt up a significant amount of our calories. For a ten person group, that 648 pound elk represented, you know, a month and half, maybe almost 2 months of calories, just eating that critter alone. And so when you take that into, you know, context, and then you realize that also when we got ourselves a food source that we would be much more able to go out and procure other food sources because we’re no longer starving.


ROBB WOLF:So then the whole hunter-gatherer economy starts making some sense.

LIZ WOLFE:Definitely. And you definitely just gave that a lot of context, too. Like you said, if you had been in a different location, it would have been an entirely different realm of availability.


LIZ WOLFE:That’s something that I kind of became interested with the Nutritional and Physical Degeneration and just the observations of Dr. Weston A. Price. The extraordinary variability between diets across the world, but none of them included these indust-yeah-they would have been industrial agents of disease, Neolithic agents of disease, so yeah, that’s really interesting in that context.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, it’s funny, too. It’s funny too because you know, obviously those who are pursuing a vegetarian or a vegan diet in the modern world don’t need to work for that food the way you would out in nature. So to say that you can survive or possibly thrive on that type of diet-you’re basically sitting around all day and taking a few steps to a fridge to get a soy burger without having to exert much energy might be able to last a lot longer. But you know, having to be out there foraging and gathering and not having that sustenance from animal food at all would be a totally different concept of ,you know, what is it like to be in a modern world and not have to exert much to eat those foods, so. Just another kind of….

ROBB WOLF:This gets into it totally, and this gets into the more holistic treatment of this stuff, you know, woven into our genes is a need to be active and if you’re not active, you’re broken like on a genetic level. And so, there’s lots and lots of layers to this stuff where it all kind of dovetails together for sure.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Cool. Liz, did you have a couple of other questions here or should we grab a couple?

LIZ WOLFE:You know, just a real quick speaking to kind of the community aspect. I think there’s a lot of cool stuff going on with people talking about the idea of community within these hunter-gatherer populations and also, you know, the way Mark Sisson of late has brought in the idea of play. Robb, do you think that’s kind of a missing link for a lot of people? The activity, the community, the play? I know we talk a lot about food and sleep and those things, but what percentage of the equation do you feel like that kind of third aspect is?

ROBB WOLF:Oh, I think the community is almost everything. That’s where folks get their support networks from. I think that’s so much of the power of the crossing where you’ve got people who are interacting in a kind of a tribal type community. They talk about food, and you know, you get a bunch of exercise done too. I think that that’s, you know, at one point, our activity and our community and our food procurement were not separate entities. We didn’t go to the gym and the grocery store, etc. You know, it was a hunter-gatherer economy was all woven together . And we can’t necessarily replicate that directly, but we can….

I think to the degree that we think things are successful , you know, in different social phenomena typically end up spinning some sort of a dial in our heads and in our genes, which are similar, you know, to what we would have experienced in some sort of a hunter-gatherer sort of a lifeway. And, you know, I think for success in all this stuff, those things are really inseparable. And if you look at the vegetarian/vegan scene, a lot of what goes on there is community and support and all the rest of that. So I think if you’re going to have something as a social phenomena, and you want it to be successful, you can’t separate out those different entities to the degree; you try to weave them in together.

LIZ WOLFE:Definitely.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yep. Yeah, that’s probably been one of the biggest things I’ve learned just even personally over the last year with just kind of what’s happened with my own life, and taking on a lot of work that’s very solitary and finding that without having a community, whether without it being in an office anymore, despite whether or not I even loved everyone I worked with at the time, it was just nice to come in and have that community, in that you have a place and people know you and they know kind of what you’re about, but you’re all kind of learning from each other in some way. And then kind of abandoning that for something that was a choice, but then realizing that kind of just being on your own all the time is just not ideal. It’s definitely one of the biggest reasons why over the last year I’ve learned that you can find community in different places and that’s one of the big things about CrossFit. I know people have their opinions, good and bad about it for different reasons, but absolutely the community aspect for me has been the biggest thing. And what I love is the community who rallies around positive ideas and sort of this idea of, you know, preventative medicine in a sense through fitness and through nutrition. And how cool is it to walk into a place where whether or not everyone or even most of the people eat the way I do? They get it. They know what it’s about. They don’t think I’m crazy, and you know, at this point, obviously, being able to help educate people every single day. Like to me that’s just golden, and I think when people lose sight of the fact that having that community and people who are like-minded, people lose sight of the fact that that’s important, I think that they are really at a loss.

And I love the idea-I think that you had talked about this with Kurt Harris at one point where you’re like, you’re constantly sort of arguing with people, it’s just best to walk away. At a point, you know, like, remove yourself from the situation. Don’t deal with it, and, you know, that’s where I really like this idea of kind of surrounding yourself with like-minded people. It’s been amazing. Even just going to Ancestral Health Symposium, kind of meeting up with some of those other food bloggers, Paleo bloggers and just getting to know people, and just how amazing that’s been. And, you know, we can all kind of come together to just teach more people and kind of spread the word and keep things growing, I guess.

ROBB WOLF:Yeah, I totally agree.


ROBB WOLF:And you know, obviously, I’ve had my ins and out with CrossFit and everything, and what’s fascinating to me or what really reinforces my belief in a decentralized Libertarian information sharing and really people figuring out stuff on their own is that a bunch of problems that I had with the CrossFit Admin/HQ , you know, however you want to call them, is that I had these ideas about food and some training ideas and stuff like that that were at odds with where they wanted to be, and, you know, they’ve tried to control that message, and like push the Zone and say that Paleo’s a religion and all the rest of that sort of stuff that’s unscientific. And despite that top-down, almost like a media or governmental attempt, I really see that CrossFit HQ scene is being virtually indistinguishable from the Dr. Oz scene, from the ADA. They’ve got an agenda and they’re trying to control.

And whereas I feel like what I’m doing, what you guys are doing, I’m putting this information out there and I do the best I can to get the science and to get the empirical evidence right, and sometimes it’s right and sometimes it’s wrong, but the whole thing is basically, you know, here’s what I believe. Give this a shot and see what you guys think. And when you’ve got something like that, then nobody is the arbiter of truth. You’ve got some people with expertise in certain areas. Not everybody has a biochemistry background, so they can’t always like wade through the literature and make heads or tails out of whatever’s going on, so to the degree I’m able to help simplify and clarify some of the science, I’m able to do that. But then at the end of the day, people are able to just experiment with this material and see what works. And so despite the fact that you’ve got a fairly anti-Paleo sentiment out of CrossFit HQ itself, virtually every single gym you go into, I would say 8 out of 10, 9 out of 10, Paleo is like the default thing with like the Zone being kind of second and that not being all that far off from Paleo at the end of the day anyway.

And so it’s telling to me and also inspiring to me because I think if you let-if you push this information out there, you better make sure it’s accurate. And this is where we’ve had some things that have popped up even in the Paleo scene. I’ll call it “BaconGate” where you get some people who will draw some arbitrary lines in the sand, trying to distinguish themselves as having some sort of secret recipe or secret sauce that’s like better, and as soon as you start heading down a direction that’s like, “I’m right, everybody else is wrong” and that’s going to be the way that you develop your bandwidth, you better have all your ducks in a row, and you better know what you’re talking about, because folks are going to come hunting for your head. And so like every single day that I do a blog post, or I do a podcast, I’ve got to balance what I’m saying to make sure that to the best of my ability, this is the shit that I understand and it’s as true as I can understand it, and I guess, do it in a way that isn’t so fraught with ego that people believe or buy in to what I’m up to because it makes sense and it helps them, not because I’m trying to create some sort of an image of having the secret sauce or something like that.

And I think that we’re at a point of sophistication with social networks and all that stuff that people will still do these things. You know, they’ll do these marketing gigs where it’s like, join my inner sanctum and get all the secrets to marketing or nutrition, you know, or whatever, for $29.95. And it’s like, people still buy into that because I think we’re still curious and we wonder maybe there is something secret, but there’s no secrets. Nobody’s got any secret sauce. Occasionally, somebody cooks something up that’ a little bit unique, but at the end of the day, it’s all the same crap and different people have different ways of formulating and recooking this information . Like Diane has done a really good job of taking a lot of the information that I think I’ve spit out at various points and then you’ve taken your own spin on it, and created infographics that present the exact same material in a completely different and much more palatable way, and so it creates an opportunity for people to understand it in a different way. But it’s not-there’s no secrets in any of that.


ROBB WOLF:And so I’m kind of getting far afield in this, but the long and short of that is that again I think that we have some interesting opportunities with the social network scene. You don’t have anywhere to hide in here. If you start spewing a bunch of crap, if you portray yourself as having some sort of uber secret sauce, you better have some data to back it up and you better be able to prove it, or you’re going to get your head handed to you. Even trying to just do shit right, and not do it in kind of a clandestined underhanded way can oftentimes get your goose cooked just because information changes. I’d have to say, I’d throw myself in that. I used to 100% believe that everyone would benefit from a low carb diet. You know, everybody every day, all the time. And now I just-I can’t tell you that with any credibility. It’s obvious that it’s got application for certain people eat certain times and then there’s other points where low carb, you know if you’re a -CrossFit again-if you’re a competitive CrossFit Games person, you’re going to blow up and probably get adrenal fatigue trying to do the whole thing low carb, so.


LIZ WOLFE:That doesn’t make you a flip-flopper, Robb.

ROBB WOLF:It doesn’t make me what?


LIZ WOLFE:[laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO:A flip-flopper.

LIZ WOLFE:Go ahead, Diane.

ROBB WOLF:Oh, a flip-flopper. Thanks.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, that’s one of the things that I know from, you know, kind of day 1 of following your stuff is like cool, this guy is ready to tell people if he was wrong if he is. So I’m like, all right, I’m with you. You know? You were like, we’re not making this our religion. I’m like cool because I wouldn’t want to follow that and you know, I think, to some of the points you’re making, in some ways, nothing any of us are out there sort of teaching is really new. You know what I mean? It’s just a matter of putting our own personal, “I think this” perspective on what I’ve learned and doing the best we can to just educate people and not make it a matter of, you know, if you don’t believe what I have to say, there’s something wrong with you, and you know, I think this is something that you said at your seminar in some way and it really resonated with me. And I say something like this to people, too, where I’m like look, you can believe me but you don’t have to. I can be very convincing and somebody else could come up here and talk to you about veganism and be very convincing. And at the end of the day, I kind of don’t care either way. I just want you to do what you need to do to be healthy and feel good, and I’m giving you the best information I have, and it’s just totally from a, you know, a genuine place of I’m doing the best I can to educate myself and then translate that to other people, in ways that may reach them.

And whether, you know, I get that people like myself and Liz, and obviously thousands of other people can understand what you’re saying, and I know there are a lot of people, too, who listen to your podcast and are saying, “I have no idea what he just said,” and it goes right over their head. At least at some point, there’s a place for all of us to help share this information in a way that we can sort of distill it, yet, I think in any way claiming that this is my way to kind of tell people what to do, like that’s just not the goal at all to be like, well, I’ve decided that these are the rules of how to live and eat, and so, you know, that’s what you should kind of do to be healthy. Anyway, I don’t know even where I’m getting to with this whole point….

LIZ WOLFE:[laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I know…I’ve caught that kind of rambling bug. But I think, you know, as educators, it’s really just our goal to be out there, disseminating as best we can accurate information, and it is something that I also tell a lot of…I do a lot of business coaching with other nutritionists or nutrition coaches who’ve been confused about how to proceed, and make this whole thing into a career. And one of the things that I always, always tell them is don’t be one of those people who’s just out there like regurgitating and spewing information without in some way citing someone who might know more than you do, whether it’s citing someone like yourself, Robb, who’s a biochemist or someone who does some research who can read-read and review…

LIZ WOLFE:Someone who likes to read.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:full-fledged studies. Full-fledged studies. I was a pause. Full-fledged studies. You know, I don’t have access to all that stuff all the time. I can get some of it, but you know, I have to recognize where my responsibility might end and allow that responsibility to be on those who are kind o fin another position. But then recognize that the responsibility I have and Liz has, and you know, those of us who are at a different level here is to make sure that the people who are a little bit more just kind of mainstream are really understanding it in the easiest best way that we can. And just kind of continuing to translate that information without losing sight of accuracy and citation and where we need to cite sources. You know, one of the cool things about Paleo Magazine is that they don’t let us just submit information without actually citing sources, which I actually love because, you know, you can read any women’s health magazine and they’ll tell you, “This is healthy for you. This is bad for you,” you know, without really much behind it at all. Some people are just the blind leading the blind on that. But, yeah, I don’t know. I just think all this stuff is really fun to talk about and it’s fun to kind of be able to just throw our thoughts around. Liz, did you have a couple of other things you wanted to get into? Before we head off…

LIZ WOLFE:Yeah, let’s conclude with a little-Let’s put a bow on this whole thing real quick. And I’d like to ask a little bit, Robb, about activism. Like kind of where we go from here as far as like a movement or what you kind of envision? What I’m kind of wondering is do you think we’re most active with our own individual action, kind of irrespective of politics or doing anything to kind of deliberately push this movement forward, or do we need to get involved? Do we need to start a new political party called “The Jeffersonian Agrarians” or where do you see that kind of-that responsibility, if it exists at all?

ROBB WOLF:Gosh, that’s a biggie. I guess my biggest thing would be the degree you get involved, make sure it’s just something you enjoy doing and that you kind of believe in it…


ROBB WOLF:It kind of fits your wheelhouse. When I was doing the seminar series, I constantly had people reach out to me, and they’re like, “how do I do more? how do I help people?” And I would start talking to them and after digging around a little bit, the person had like-they had a tech background, they’re very introverted, like these people were like sometimes wanting to leave their tech job and open a gym. And after I sort of pumped them for information, it was pretty clear that they would want to kill themselves in quick order. You know, they want to be part of you know, changing things, but you’ve got to be somewhat selective about how you go about doing it, you know, and kind of personality type and the rest of that stuff. So I guess really looking at the things that interest you. If you’re more interested on the sustainable agriculture side, I’d focus on that. If you’ve got a technical background, and you can provide assistance, you know, on a blog of your choice, whether it’s Mark’s blog, or my blog, or Diane’s blog, or whatever, you know. People need to understand different studies and everything, and you can help out in that way. I guess I’m pretty decentralized in that regard, you know. Figure out the stuff that you like and kind of figure out your skill set and roll from there. If you’re just good in the kitchen, then just start cooking a bunch of recipes, and post recipes somewhere and get that information out there, so when people pull out the BS excuse that they don’t know what to cook or don’t know how to cook, you can go,” Oh no, here you go. I’ve got you there.”

And then as far as political party stuff, I don’t know. I mean, I lean pretty heavy towards the whole Libertarian deal and I think there’s probably enough breadth and depth within that scene to probably get going what we want to do. That’s what I registered to vote as, so I kind of-that’s where I throw my camp. But it’s a good question. I don’t know, you know. So it’s- we were on a asintotic growth, like a growth in this whole thing is absolutely exploding, you know, exponential type growth, and so where this is going to go when we have more and more people involved will be very interesting. I think part of the deal is just kind of keeping some true-ing on what kind of constitutes an ancestral diet and lifeway and all of the rest of that stuff. There’s everyday some sort of a product that pops up, like there was something that folks shot me…It was some sort of a meal replacement and they’re like, “This is totally Paleo” and the first ingredient was oat flower and the second ingredient was cane sugar. And I was like…

LIZ WOLFE:Oh, man.

ROBB WOLF:I’m sure it was…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:And it was powder.

ROBB WOLF:And it was a powder and you were supposed to make it into a drink and put like yogurt in it and stuff, and I was like, “Ah, mother of God.” So, I’m sure it’s tasty, but it would give me the trots for a week, and it’s really kind of a swing and a miss. So I guess those are the things that I would…Look at stuff you enjoy doing, and figure out what your skill set is. I can tell you one thing. I’m involved in two hard, like going to happen very, very soon research studies, and I’m on kind of the review board putting together the studies to make sure all our i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed and all that type of stuff, to look very hard at Paleo diets in a controlled metabolic ward setting, and what I’m hoping it can do, when we get ready to do these things, we are going to go and try to get mainstream funding with this. I think that’s probably going to be unlikely that we get it. Hopefully we do. Maybe, but maybe not. But if we don’t get the mainstream funding, then what we’re going to do is basically pass the hat around to the community, and we’re going to say, “Okay, folks, if you’ve got five bucks, give five bucks. if you’ve got five grand, give five grand.” And we’re going to fund these pilot studies that, you know, the mainstream, the USDA and the AMA and all the rest of them aren’t interested in funding because they’ve got no financial tie to it. And so that’s going to be a really significant spot at some point when we have more and more academic institutions that are coming on line that are very, very interested in doing some top-notch, scientific research that is going to put to bed a bunch of these questions about, you know, the Paleo diet.

And I think that probably somewhere in there, we should be doing some sustainability studies and building some relationships with some of the Ag schools that do some sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry and all that. But at the end of the day, all that stuff costs money, and so when it comes time and we start asking folks, “hey, can you donate through this nonprofit that’s associated with just this particular stuff?” Then that’s where absolutely people are going to be able to help. And that time is coming really, really soon.


DIANE SANFILIPPO:I love that idea. I love kind of, yeah, tapping into the community and I think that, you know, I love that, for everything that we all teach, the majority of it is free information. You know, we’re not doing this to sort of-I mean, we obviously need to make a living, but even from the very beginning, we’ve been like, hey, you don’t need to buy my book to learn this just and just do it, and make it work and get healthier. And I think, being able to say, “Hey, guys, you’ve experienced something positive-a change in your life, a change in your health-now do you have five bucks to contribute so that more people can learn about this.” Like to me, that’s totally done with integrity if that comes up. I mean, I’m cool to jump on board with that, absolutely. I don’t know. I just think that sounds like what we kind of need to be doing the rally together.

Anything else you want to kind of tell us about? In terms of stuff that’s coming up for you…any other projects you want to tell people about? I mean, I know obviously, they can hear all about this over on your podcast when it comes to news and updates, but anything else on that front?

ROBB WOLF:We’re getting really close on the final steps of like a legit nutrition certification program that will pop out without third party accreditation at first, but then that will be third party accredited. We’ve got that cooking, and we’re getting close on getting a relationship built with a medical education program that will provide CME-like ACCME-Accredited Continuing Medical Education stuff for healthcare providers, and so that will start providing the background support for like say the Paleo Physicians Network. We’re trying to get in and put some infrastructure in the Paleo Physicians Network to just breathe some life into that, and that will eventually partition into like trainers and coaches and registered dieticians and certified nutritionists, and doctors and nurses and the whole thing. So right now it’s Paleo Physicians Network, but it will…at some point, you’ll be able to search and find people based on locality and profession and all the rest of that jibe, so we’re just pumping some effort into that.

And then we’ve got a really big project brewing that… I’m just going to say that we’ve got a really, really big project brewing that’s probably about 4 to 6 months down the road and that’s going to blow some doors. And I’m not going to say too much what it is or what it’s about, but BIG, BIG, BIG. That’s all I say.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:You’re such a tease.

ROBB WOLF:I got to do what I can. When you have hair like mine, you just do what you can.


L:[ laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO:All right, well, thanks so much for taking time to chat with us today. This was-this was really fun and I just love talking to people, you know, kind of get a little bit of their take on, you know, just different topics. I mean obviously, it’s similar stuff to what you talk about all the time, but just to kind of nudge out some other ideas and opinions, and kind of give people a little bit more of a broad view of kind of what’s on Robb’s mind these days, so thanks!

ROBB WOLF:I was honored being on the show. Can’t turn down the request of the two hot chicks, so my pleasure.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:[laughs] Cool, thanks.

ROBB WOLF:You’re aware, Liz, that there was some sort of an email or something that was going around that folks thought that you were my wife.

LIZ WOLFE:Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

ROBB WOLF:Yup. That was funny.

LIZ WOLFE:I think that may have built my following by, you know, something like a thousand followers. And as soon as you put that rumor to rest, I lost all of them promptly, so…

ROBB WOLF:Awww, I’m sorry. I would have perpetuated it for vanity reasons, if nothing else. So, sorry about that.


LIZ WOLFE:For all those who don’t know, I am not Robb Wolf’s wife. [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, let’s clarify that right now. Cool. All right, well, we’ll catch up with you again soon.

ROBB WOLF:All right, you two. Take care.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:All right, bye.


Click here to submit questions.

Diane & Liz

  • Evan

    Wicked podcast. Keep that chin up Robb. You’re doing great work and 99.9% of the community appreciate the stuffing out of ya. Keep it up brother.

    Diane and Liz, just finding the podcast after you having Chris and Robb on. It’s fantastic! Keep up the great work.

    One question though. Diane you mentioned you are doing an adrenal protocol. I was hoping you could explain that? I’m in a similar situation with my adrenals and am looking for ideas, but not necessarily an exact plan.

    Again, great job! Thanks!

    • admin

      My adrenal protocol and dosing are specific to the results of my salivary ASI test, but I can tell you that it includes the following: sublingual pregnenolone drops, licorice root extract (also in drop/liquid form), an adrenal support vitamin/amino acid/adaptogen blend that is typically only sold via practitioners, as well as phosphorylated serine (similar to phospatidyl serine). I had very low output overall, with slight peaks in the am and pm but had been feeling pretty tired and mentally lethargic literally all day long, from around 12pm-6pm for a very long time. It’s amazing that I made it through school and have been working so functionally for so long, but already in a few days I feel amazingly more lucid and alert. I don’t expect this protocol to be one I maintain for very long, most likely around 3 months with an outside of possibly 6 months. I’ll re-test my adrenals after either one or two months of this protocol and go from there.

      I highly recommend working with a practitioner on this as you can guess what’s happening, but testing really helps a lot to steer the boat for your protocol. I wouldn’t touch any pro-hormones especially without testing first.

      If you wanted to just do a little general adrenal support, Vitamin C, B vitamins and an organic adaptogen blend from a supplement shop/Whole Foods (Gaia makes one: are a good idea.

      I’ll probably blog about this when I start to come through to the other side…

  • Evelyn

    While I understand that it is virtually impossible to convince someone who doesn’t want to be convinced of the science behind an ideology (Paleo for example), I think we should not underestimate the confidence that it can build in an individual to have an answer to these kinds of criticisms that come up from friends, family and acquaintances regarding their choices.

    For instance, my father-in-law cut out an article from the newspaper talking about how terrible raw milk is/”could be” and while I haven’t necessarily convinced him (which wasn’t ever something I tried to do anyway, I just was making my own decision regarding what MY family does) I didn’t feel like I just experienced the HFCS commercial in real life, where I felt dumb for making my own choice and like I had had the wool pulled over my eyes. Instead I felt empowered looking at their graphs which clearly showed that there was much less risk from raw milk anyway (they were comparing the number of outbreaks, which we all know means that there were like 40,000 illnesses related to 2 outbreaks of pasteurized milk for example and 800 illnesses related to 150 outbreaks from raw milk or something, I don’t know exact numbers just making it up but that was the gist of it) because I had heard of these kinds of objections before and had been learning how these kinds of studies are put together to prove one point (talking about the number of outbreaks vs. the number of people affected, for instance) and skew what it appears is being said.

    So, I think this kind of information is invaluable to someone trying to make informed decisions although they should certainly be made aware that the value of “evangelizing” others is rarely much. If someone is looking for answers they may see something they are interested in by watching your approach but going around telling family and friends that they could reverse all sorts of illnesses, etc. by going paleo is probably not the best or wisest use of their time and newly acquired excess of energy 😀

  • Tom

    Great podcast, gang! I thought the subject was awesome, as it’s something I deal with on a daily basis with my classmates and family. I found the comments on people who either don’t get, or “won’t get” the whole evolutionary health model, perhaps due to religious paradigms, worthy of comment. I’m a Christian, and I personally don’t find my beliefs to be in conflict with the concepts that the paleo diet is based on, but some people do. I think a lot of resistance comes from some sort of “all or none” phenomenon not unlike what Robb mentioned, as if belief in Divine creation precludes any sort of deductions to be made from the study of our ancestors. Likewise, a person’s acceptance of the concepts underlying evolution do not automatically equate rejection of a believe in a Diving Being.

    Second to that, it seems to me that most people, religious or otherwise, tend to have a very teleological view of the modern world, assuming that we are forever and always at the pinnacle of technology and understanding of the world, and thus behaviors of yesteryear (or millenia) must somehow be inferior.

    I find the arguments for sustainability to be most intriguing, as it’s one way to sidestep the whole “God OR evolution” thing for a moment, and get people to thing about what’s good for us and the planet right now.

  • Gaby

    Brilliant podcast! Sometimes we get caught in the nutrition and training sides of this lifestyle and forget about our role in the community and environment, thanks a lot for reminding us of this.

  • Irene @ H.E.S.H.

    Great blog! I always learned a lot from you. I hope that you would continue sharing relevant info to the public. Keep up the good work!

  • Chelsea

    What is the show you mentioned Robb was on?

  • Leigh

    Do you have any recs on finding a good practioner? Or one that would work with a client over the phone/internet? I’m in FL currently for school and know of no one down here that is familiar with paleo diet and adrenal testing/protocols. Thanks!

    • admin

      It depends on your specific situation/struggles but I have a small network of colleagues to whom I refer clients regularly. I am not currently taking many new clients personally, but I do run salivary adrenal, stool, and other tests as well in my practice. If you’d like to submit a question to me via the contact page with more details I can see if I have a referral for you.