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1: What types of probiotic supplements do you recommend? [13:30}
2: What’s the deal with juicing? (Interesting book: The Beautiful Truth) [16:55] 3: Uses for broth; Wine for cooking? [23:10] 4: Trouble with bowel movements; probiotics? [30:02] 5: Physique model adrenal issues & recovery [43:20] 6: Effects of overtraining, recovery, menstrual issues, excessive hunger & bathroom issues, training plateau [55:34] Click here to download the episode as an MP3.
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LIZ WOLFE: Hey everyone, I’m Liz Wolfe here with Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites, and I guess, Diane, as of now, I am of Balanced Bites as well.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Indeed.
LIZ WOLFE: Indeed. We’ll get to that, anyway. Everybody welcome to episode 31 of the Balanced Bites podcast. Time to get my productivity on. So I’ll begin with our little reminder that the materials and content contained in this podcast are for general information only, and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
So yeah, Diane, do you want announce our special announcement?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Sure, well, if people have been reading the blog, the Balanced Bites blog, they would have seen-when did we do this? Earlier this week we made an announcement that I have officially roped you in to [laughs]
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: to be working with me and, you know, potentially clients that are coming to me for some help and I think we already announced the week before that you’re going to be teaching seminars with me. So I just feel like all I’m doing is continuing to like pull this noose around your neck and make you work with me as much as possible. No, but seriously, I think it’s been, I don’t know, what? 6 months that we’ve been kind of working together on the podcast and I think it just makes sense that rather than maybe having you, you know, do something separately, we just kind of work together. We get a lot of the same kind of questions coming in from people who are looking for coaching and we, you know, just have a lot of projects to collaborate on, so I think it makes the most sense and people can go ahead over to-well, we’ll link to it in the show notes, but I think under the About Us, there’s Meet the Team page, and you guys can read a little bit more about Liz on there, and yeah, I’m just excited. I think you have a lot of really complementary qualities to what, you know, to what I bring to the table. Mostly your, you know, yeah…and you write a lot better than I do, and I’m better at like talking. I’m not better than you at talking. I think I’m just better at talking than writing, which is funny, as I’m writing a book, like pretty much as we speak. [laughs] I’m like, here we go! I’m writing this thing. But I’m actually really excited to have some more updated blog posts and people can kind of keep their eyes out for that with a lot more of Liz’s voice. So I’m excited. [xxx]
LIZ WOLFE: And I’m also…I’m excited to kind of further this ancestral health thing that you and I are really passionate about, just kind of combining the best of Weston A. Price and the Paleo/Primal community. I mean, this is really kind of an overarching thing that kind of applies to…I feel like everybody, so I’m really excited to bring that to bear a ton on the Balanced Bites blog. I know you wrote and you got a lot of stuff up there about that, but I think that’s kind of the direction we’ve taken of late. I’m excited about that.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Definitely, and I think what it’s going to also reflect in pretty heavily besides just the blog posts and I think people who were at PaleoFX or maybe who heard some reports back on that could see that that’s the way that we present information. And along those lines, it’s the perspective that we have. We don’t just have like a Paleo bible somewhere that we follow and give advice from; it’s all very well thought out from a, you know, no pun intended, but like a very balanced perspective just because that’s really, you know, when I named the company, it was like, okay, well, things are going to require a different balance for each person, and we’re kind of both sharing that mentality, and so that’s going to reflect a lot in the workshops that we have coming up. Do you want to tell people a little bit more about that? Or…
LIZ WOLFE: Heck ya I do.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: [laughs]
LIZ WOLFE: Well, I’m super excited to be jumping on board the, you know, traveling Balanced Bites workshop train. You and I have been working really hard to put together a workshop model that’s not only really accessible as well as affordable to people, but also something that provides them with a little more than just kind of a day of note-taking. You know, we want this to be exciting. We want it to be fun. We want to get to know people, and kind of, you know, hear what their concerns are as well as give them as many resources and, you know, products, things to look out for, techniques, different things that we really love, so we’ve just been working our butts off on that. Basically hibernating, getting that ready to go. And we’re ready to take it live here in a couple weeks, so yeah…
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah.
LIZ WOLFE: I think everybody should bring their party pants to the workshops.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: [laughs] Yeah, I’m excited about that, too. What was I going to say? I think one of the things that I definitely want our listeners to know, and you know, I’ve had a ton of people who listen to the podcast who have no association with the gyms where, you know, the seminars have been hosted or the workshops have been hosted, you know, but they listen to the podcast and they just come on in because they want to, you know, see what else is going to happen in the seminar. And you know, the curriculum is a whole separate thing than what you and I are doing on the podcast. A lot of the information obviously crosses over, but I think it’s important for people to know, like, this whole workshop is great if you already know about, you know, Paleo, real food diet. You’re going to still learn a ton. You’ll learn what other people’s questions are. You’ll learn about, you know, how to talk to other people about this stuff potentially. Even just hearing us explain things gives you different ideas. And it’s also…it also has a broad enough perspective that somebody can come in and actually, I love it when people come in who literally have no idea what I’m about to talk about. You know, they’re like, who are these people? This person dragged me here, and I’m, you know, eating my oatmeal before I come to the seminar, and that’s totally cool with me, and I love those people because I feel like, you know, being able to teach people who have no idea what you’re about to say is the best opportunity, so anyway, I just want to make sure that people know that, you know, every sort of level is welcome and will learn something, and absolutely, even if you sort of know a lot of this stuff already, you’ll learn more about how to communicate it to other people. So I think that’s where it’s pretty useful.
LIZ WOLFE: Totally. It’s going to be fun.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Woo hoo!
LIZ WOLFE: Woo hoo! So other than that, you know, I actually…I’m also excited about that people might notice that we are a day later than usual on the podcast. We actually switched to Thursdays, another thing I’m pretty excited about. The first few days of the week are usually, I mean, I feel like for both of us are kind of inundated with business-related goodies, so we thought it be best for our sanity and for the quality of the podcast to move it back just a little bit, to give us a chance to connect on it a little bit more beforehand. Plus, we thought we could compete with Thursday night TV programming, since The Office is pretty much gone to pot lately.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: [laughs] Totally.
LIZ WOLFE: [xxx]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I still watch it because I have the whole Hulu thing going on, but it’s definitely not my favorite. New Girl is my absolute favorite new show, so I’m watching that. If there’s any, you know, really valuable advice you’re getting from this podcast, it’s like go watch New Girl because I literally think I almost pee my pants like 3 times per episode, and I think they’re only like a good 22 minutes. I’m like, whoa, this is pretty serious.
LIZ WOLFE: And they do fit into our lives pretty well, these 22 minute sitcoms.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: And we’ll get to questions here in just a second, but, you know, this is what we like to do.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: And [laughs] I hear from strangers probably, well, I mean as often as I actually leave the house and talk to strangers, which isn’t really that often. I’m pretty much shut in these days, but if I do talk to strangers, they pretty much all tell me that I sound like Zoey Deschanel. Actually, it goes something like this: “You know who you sound like?” “Yes, yes, I do.” [laughs] So anyway.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Now that people know who she is, they all tend to call it out, so I think it’s fun. Obviously, I don’t really hear it, but anyway.
LIZ WOLFE: Say this for me real quick, Diane. Say: “Corky, I have bangs, These are my glasses.” Say that.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: What? [laughs] Wha? No, I…no. I’m not saying that. That’s weird. No.
LIZ WOLFE: Oh my God. I’ve had so much coffee today. I can’t even tell you.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Have you been watching that show? I actually
LIZ WOLFE: Yes, I have been.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I Actually [xxx]. I find myself quoting it. I watch it kind of over and over. That’s a lot of polka dots. [laughs]
LIZ WOLFE: See…[laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Diabolical. Okay, people need to watch that show.
LIZ WOLFE: Oh my God.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: We’re totally boring like at least 5 of the 10 people, you know, who are maybe listening are now like what are they talking about.
LIZ WOLFE: They’re checking out.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Maybe we should talk about some health related things. I know Jimmy Moore’s listening, and he’s like, these girls need to just stop with the silly chatter.
LIZ WOLFE: Get to the point.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: We love you. We love, Jimmy.
LIZ WOLFE: We love you, Jimmy. Yeah.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: So we’re on Thursdays. That was the whole point of all of that. So…yeah.
LIZ WOLFE: We’re on Thursdays! Woo hoo!
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Questions? Maybe questions now.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, okay. So just kind of an overarching thing that I just want to put out there. We do want to answer everyone’s questions individually. We’ve gotten a lot of questions submitted to the podcast and on Facebook pages and stuff like that where, you know, sometimes it’s just difficult for us to get to every single person. So if possible, go through the proper channels, i.e. use the search box on the blog to make sure we haven’t kind of already addressed your question ’cause it’s possible we’ve already put the answer out there, and you won’t have to wait to for it. You can just hop on over, get your answer, and go on with your life. So just make sure to use that handy Google search box on each of our blogs if you need to answer a good question. There’s a podcast archive page with questions listed and, so yeah, just things like…what kind of topics do you think we usually get that are already answered, Diane?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: We’ve gotten a lot of questions about, you know, stubborn weight that won’t come off, you know, just fat loss resistance/weight loss resistance. Tons of questions, which we are going to cover a couple more of these today. We’re definitely focused today on women’s health, you know. A large percentage of our audience are women. But fatigue or suspected adrenal fatigue or exhaustion, which we’re going to cover. Extremely long lists of detailed medical conditions and people looking for help, or even just long, long lists of symptoms and looking for help, and we actually kind of have overarching advice for a lot of this stuff, because when you have long lists of issues like, it’s not, oh, here’s the one thing you need to do. But so…today’s podcast will be good for kind of listening in on that stuff. Lots of questions about constipation or irregular bowel movements or any of that. You know, how to do our jobs as nutritionists. I’ve covered that already on the blog. I get this question via email at least 10 times a week. If you submit the question to me, you’re going to get an auto-responder. I’m sorry, but I literally get that question over and over, and I’ve already written about it, and, you know, I think you and I actually covered it on a podcast, too. So, you know, these are questions that we get a lot. We’ve already answered them in multiple channels. I don’t have a problem reanswering them. I’m absolutely like happy to kind of continue to reiterate the things that we said before, especially if there are different nuances that people have and different kind of angles to things, so I do think it’s valuable, and I think it’s valuable each time to hear the person’s back-story because that’s how maybe how you kind of identify yourself. Oh, that sounds like me. What’s the advice for that person? Maybe I can take some of that to heart. But I just want people to really look through the resources we’ve already provided because, you know, we may not get to your question for over a month, and you may be having some issues that you want to deal with sooner than that, and I would love for you to just, you know, do a little searching around and find some information. So..anyway. We are going to cover a bunch of this stuff again today, but just some overarching topics.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah. And all that said, if you are getting here listening to the podcast with, I don’t know, a stick in your eye or something, don’t wait for us to answer that question. Go get help. [laughs] Contact us one on one. We’ll help you out.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah. Okay. Anyway. Just had to say it. “cause I feel like sometimes people do wait out some really severe health issues that maybe…maybe it’s time to seek out some professional one on one help, whether that’s with us or, you know…
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah.
LIZ WOLFE: A doctor or something like that, so…anyway. All right.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: All right.
LIZ WOLFE: So let’s do a couple of these quick, rapid fire questions. I’ll just…I’ll rapid fire these over to you, Diane, and you just give me your answer. All right.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Okay.
LIZ WOLFE: What’s a good probiotic to take for general digestive health? Is there a certain brand you recommend?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Rapid-fire. Liz, when am I capable of rapid-fire responses?
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Actually, I know who this person is. Her name’s Jen, and I actually asked if she’s eating probiotic foods and she is not, and so a good probiotic for general digestive health, I always recommend food forms. We’ve talked about this a bunch. Fermented vegetables, primarily sauerkraut. If you can’t do cabbage, fermented carrots. You can find those in a lot of health food stores. I found them in New Jersey and here in Pennsylvania. Fermented carrots. And you can make them yourself. Same recipe as my sauerkraut recipe. Use any vegetables you want to ferment them. I would also recommend possibly kombucha. You can also make that yourself. Tons of places you can find information on that.
In terms of brands I recommend for a supplement, I don’t have too many because I really want people to just do the foods first. We don’t know what probiotics to eat, so eating different types of foods to get different types of probiotics in, and I know, Liz, you and I talked about the kombucha thing awhile ago. And I wasn’t really super keep on it, and then I came back around on it, and I’ve been drinking kombucha, just the original, like Synergy brand, plain flavor. And I feel pretty good drinking that, and I eat sauerkraut almost every day, too, so I don’t have too many brands I recommend. Unless you’ve already exhausted the food route. So if you’ve done that, a couple of brands that you might want to try, and one thing to be aware of, is that a lot of them do have some dairy constituents because they tend to be fermented on dairy, so in the same way kind of yogurt and kefir are made, happening kind of in a smaller scale in a probiotic supplement, but New Chapter has some, and I think there’s one that’s focused on immune health that maybe doesn’t have dairy, but New Chapter is one brand. There’s also a brand called Dr. Ohhira’s, which I think you can get sort of generally through either Amazon or some kinds of health food stores. There are also practitioner level lines, which might be stronger, if you’re working with a naturopath or a nutrition consultant, that kind of thing. We can usually access that stuff for you, but it’s hard to say. You know, a probiotic. You may try it. It may work great for you, and it may not work well for somebody else. Everyone’s got a different make-up of gut flora, and things that they’re missing and things that they have present. So, you know, you just have to basically try one. Try it slowly. I wouldn’t take, you know, a whole bunch of it at first. You know, you’ll know, within a couple of days how well it’s working for you or not. And generally people, you know, if you aren’t going to the bathroom regularly, and your eliminations are not looking quote unquote normal, so I can link up to a Bristol Stool Chart to show you what normal eliminations should look like. But if it’s not happening regularly and it’s not a normal elimination, then this might be the answer. So we’re going to talk a little bit more about that, I think, in a question coming up. That’s it.
LIZ WOLFE: Okay, rapid-fire number two…semi-rapid-fire number two. What’s the deal with juicing? I keep hearing about how everyone is juicing because they’ve seen the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Does juicing have a place in a Paleo lifestyle? Can you go overboard on it? And let me tell you my little name for Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. The Juicing Intervention Diet. That says enough of what I think about it. Anyway.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah.
LIZ WOLFE: Go, Diane!
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Well, feel free to chime back in after I rant on. But no, I think…what’s the deal with juicing. So the deal with juicing is just you can get tons of micronutrients from vegetables, hopefully primarily and very little if any fruit, but you’re getting tons of sugar along with the micronutrients and you know, enzymes, which is kind of a big thing that people who do a raw food diet like talk about, you know, living enzymes and living food. But, you know, what’s the deal with it? I don’t know. I guess people feel like they need to go a lot more in, and it can be absolutely a good idea if you feel like you’re not eating enough nutrients. Or if you’re like, first making a switch over and you feel like maybe you’re working at a deficit, maybe you want to get a bunch of, you know, potent anti-oxidants into your body, but that said, I wouldn’t do more than one glass of vegetable juice a day. You really don’t want to overdo that stuff because just like anything else, balance is the key, and too much anti-oxidant material will be negative. You know, we want to be working against inflammatory issues in our body, but we don’t want to, you know, overdose ourselves with anti-oxidants. It’s always about a balance, so, you know, generally eating things in a whole foods form, you’re not going to overdo it. But, you know, juicing is really kind of like the next step from whole food. I mean, we are getting it from whole food. It’s not really a supplement, but it’s sort of that supplemental, whole food thing, sort of like our cod liver oil/butter oil blend. It’s like a whole foods supplement. Kind of the way I see juicing.
You know, one place that juicing can be really beneficial in a therapeutic application, like in cancer recovery or those who might be battling cancer, and this is something that’s covered in…called The Beautiful Truth, I think is the movie. It talks about the Gerson Therapy, which is, you know, high high level of vegetable juices. So…and they also do things like coffee enemas and other things to clean out the system. So it’s not really just about vegetable juices, but, you know, there’s a therapeutic application for this stuff. So the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, I haven’t watched it yet. I know what it’s about…a guy who’s really trying to change his life. He’s eating garbage foods, standard foods, and you know, takes this whole approach of juicing, and yeah, I mean, when you eliminate refined foods, processed foods from your diet, that in and of itself will lay the groundwork for beneficial changes to your health. So from there, if he’s getting a ton of micronutrients from juicing, yeah, that could absolutely have a positive effect. Does that mean that that’s what everyone needs to do to get healthier? No. Does it mean that, you know, making the switch to just kind of a general Paleo diet won’t get you there? No, it doesn’t mean that. So, you know, does it have a place? I think if people want to add some vegetable juice, you know…if you’ve got a CSA box that you can’t get through because you’ve got 40 pounds of kale every week, then maybe juice some of it. But I just wouldn’t…I wouldn’t go out of your way to load up on it. You know, I think it can be, you know, a part of just kind of whatever normal balance you might have. I don’t think it’s a thing to stress out about.
LIZ WOLFE: Can I just say, Diane, that I love your answer to that question.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: [laughs] Thanks. I know that I can…
LIZ WOLFE: Even though it’s not rapid fire at all, but that was…
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Oh, I never am. I don’t know where you came up with that idea. It’s impossible.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]Not going to happen. Okay, so but yeah, that was excellent. So we’ve got those two kind of quick and easy questions out of the way, and I think for the rest of this focus of this podcast, we’re going to kind of take a women’s health perspective here, and you know, dudes, don’t tune out because this does matter to you, too, if you know a woman. If you came from a woman. If you are married or have child-you know, whatever. There’s actually a blog post over at PaleoParents.com about kind of the need for men to kind of understand certain things when it comes to driving the hormonal boat and Paleo eating with women is really kind of funny to read.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, I liked that one.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, it was pretty cool, so this does apply to you, men. So stick around.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: And it’s not actually all…it’s not actually all like, you know, period/pregnancy talk, either.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: It’s just that, you know, we’re kind of honing it on questions from women and questions that we sometimes just get from women, so yeah.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: And actually, the first one isn’t even…if we do this one, I don’t know if we have this one…are we going to do Mallory’s question?
LIZ WOLFE: Oh yeah, we can do that real quick. Because, you know what?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: It’s not really a women’s health question.
LIZ WOLFE: It’s not really a women’s health question, you’re right. But it happens to be a question that I feel like we get from women a lot. So I guess that’s more of the slant of this podcast. Kind of looking at the types of questions that we commonly get from women. Some of these are, you know, women physiology specific, some are not. But they’re all kind of common questions, so anyway. We will start with this one from Mallory. And this all..speaking of the Office, this whole thing…we’ll have to put like a scene of this up in the show notes because I’m thinking of the episode back when Steve Carell was still on the Office, and it was Women’s Appreciation Day, and it’s freaking hilarious, so we might have to have a little fun with that.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: All right. We’ll look for a clip.
LIZ WOLFE: So now we’re at like 25 minutes of the podcast, and still have barely answered any questions.. Jimmy Moore is..
DIANE SANFILIPPO: We did! We answered 2 questions!
LIZ WOLFE: going to talk about..[laughs] All right, so Mallory asks: “Hey ladies, I have been devouring your podcasts and am reading Weston A. Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Fabulous. I really appreciate the female voice and perspective in your work. Girl Power!” Well, see, that’s why we picked this question.
“Anyway I have a question about bone broth…I have been making my own and I love it. But I was wondering, and this kinda sounds silly to ask, but to receive the benefits of bone broth do I need to have it by itself and just drink it or can I fancy it up. I went to culinary school and am so inspired by a rich homemade broth and love turning it into various soups and stews.
Oh…and if I make a stew, thoughts on using red wine for braising or de-glazing in the pan?
I don’t drink but will use wine for cooking.” Thoughts?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: So this one’s pretty straightforward. Most of the benefits of bone broth, you’re not going to lose the benefits of the broth by cooking it further, so use it any way you like. It’ll be just as nutritious now as it is later in different uses. The primary reason you’re drinking the broth is for mineral content, so minerals don’t go anywhere when they’re cooked or when they’re, you know, sitting around longer. That’s one of the reasons why you can continue to cook broth for a really long time and not lose any of the positive effects. So it’s not the same as like the vitamins potentially…any vitamin C that might have been in vegetables that you were using, but you know, bones..we’re really just getting minerals from them, so yeah, absolutely. I don’t really love to just drink broth. I’d rather make it and then use it to make soup or stews, as she’s kind of pointing out. So yeah, go ahead. I’m not sure on some of the other properties of the broth. Like the glycine or some of the gelatin. I don’t think you lose any of that, either. I think that, you know, you can tell that it’s still there. You’ll see that the gelatin content is still there. You know, you keep it frozen. Then you go to use it. You defrost it, then you go to use it and it’s usually pretty gelatinous. So I think you’re good to go there.
And absolutely, like you can even use, you know, keep a small container of broth in the fridge, and the way she’s mentioning, you know, she makes the stew using red wine for braising or de-glazing the pan, you know, you can absolutely just use your bone broth for that. So even on like a daily regular basis, sometimes I’ll be cooking vegetables and just want to de-glaze the pan a little bit, which just means that there’s like kind of overcooked or brown bits that get on the pan and, you know, maybe that’s not…maybe that’s not the best thing to eat. People who are trying to avoid things that are overcooked, but for flavor and from a culinary perspective, we do this. But you have, you know, the heat up and you just put a little bit of liquid in there to release whatever’s on the pan. I think using broth is great in that application or potentially for doing like a light steam sauté on some vegetables, a couple tablespoons of broth and your vegetables can work really well.
Using red wine, you know, in your cooking, I don’t know. I wouldn’t do it every day, but once a week or less doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. I tend to use wine in cooking only if there’s some leftover from like a party or somebody brought wine over. I don’t generally keep wine personally in my house. My parents actually don’t, either. So if we have some laying around, we’ll absolutely use it to cook, and usually whatever’s laying around is just a little bit anyway. I know even here with..I’m with Bill and Hayley again at the Primal Palate, and Hayley just made a really awesome red sauce with meat and red wine because she had some red wine leftover from the BBQ last weekend. So yeah, I think it’s totally fine to use. I just, you know, would do it kind of sparingly. That’s it.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, I just have one thing to say about that. I’ve noticed, like my own experience with making broth. I’m a little better at it now, but it used to be that I would end up with shorter simmer. I would end up with really gelatinous broth, like if I just went and threw some pigs feet and simmered for like 4 hours, it would be this really gelatinous, like gorgeous broth. But if I let it go for too long, it would not kind of gel up, like in the refrigerator. And what I think that actually has to do with is that on these longer simmers, I would actually end up allowing it to boil a little too intensely, simmer a little too intensely, and at that point, I think potentially some of that gelatin, the collagen, whatever that content will break down a little bit, and you can always tell if you put it in the refrigerator overnight, it should gel up. If it doesn’t, it’s no big deal, like you said, you still have the mineral-rich broth, but I think the application of too much heat for too long can break that down, so just make sure that you have it at a gentle simmer, if you’re going to continue to have it going overnight. I think that’s just the only thing you should look out for.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah. I think probably that doesn’t…oh, sorry, go ahead.
LIZ WOLFE: No, I was just going to say, you went to culinary school, like please, give us uses for broth. I mean, that sounds awesome. My buddy Corbin Thomas that I got to meet down at PaleoFX, he’s…I think on Twitter, he’s @PaleoLife365, he, I think, was talking about poaching eggs in broth. I hope I didn’t get the wrong person.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Mmm.
LIZ WOLFE: But I’m pretty sure it was Corbin that said that. It sounded really interesting to me, really savory, so let us know what you do with it. Yeah.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, I think you’re right about the cooking temperature and time. I generally use a Crockpot and usually put it on high until it gets to a boil, and then I put it down to low, so I think it basically kind of keeps it at that temperature, and it doesn’t continue to boil, it just barely simmers. So I think a Crockpot for a long period of time mostly on low, you’ll keep it pretty intact, that collagen. And then one other note on the bone broth. I’ve gotten this question before. I can’t remember where I got it recently, but somebody was asking about the fat that separates out. I generally and I think this is a recommendation from Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions, and you might be able to validate this one for me, but as much as we love fat, I think that after it’s cooked that long in a broth, the fat that separates at the top, I generally just chip that away, after it’s been, you know, frozen or refrigerated. I usually chip that away and get rid of it. I think that’s what Sally Fallon recommends, just because it’s been cooked for so long. I don’t know, if that’s a big deal or not, but I’m also not making broth to get fat from it, so I generally just chip it away and don’t use it, you know. If I’m using the broth right away and it’s still pretty incorporated, I don’t really worry about skimming it. But I think that we generally just want to skim it, so anyway.
LIZ WOLFE: Cool.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, all righty.
LIZ WOLFE: Next question. Should we skip down, or should we start with Emily or…
DIANE SANFILIPPO: No, yeah, let’s do Emily’s question.
K: Okay, cool. All right, got to find it now. Okay, Emily says: “Hi there. My question is about my poop. (Sorry, so gross!)” It’s not gross, Emily, everybody poops. Emily says, “I don’t “go” regularly! I have been eating strict Paleo since September 2011, and I’m feeling great – just not having great success with bowel movements, etc. I’m thinking I’m a little too “go go go,” as in work, etc. I’m always super busy and sometimes stressed if it’s a really busy week. I’m a personal trainer and waitress – so trying to juggle both. I eat meat, veggies, small amounts of fruit (mostly berries), few nuts, lots of coconut products like milk, oil and flakes, and I always have protein at every meal. I eat very ‘clean’ and never ‘cheat,’ so to speak. Last time I did, yes – that made me go to the loo!
I was wondering if you think I should take a probiotic, or any foods I could consume to help my bowel movements. thanks so much in advance. I really hope you can help.” And this is, I feel like a lot of the women that I work with just in my practice, I get this question a lot. And Diane, you really helped me kind of with the way I approach these questions, so I’ll just let you kind of take it away.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, I get this one probably at least weekly, just via the website, it comes onto the Sugar Detox Facebook page, and the Balanced Bites Facebook page all the time, so it’s a very common issue. A very common question. So the first step anyone suffering from some constipation or even like a long transit time, which I’ll tell you how to determine if you have that going on, first steps are always kind of the same, and that always involves, number one, and you know, I think everyone can kind of guess this from the question and what Emily has stated about her own life in the question, but just, number one, ensure you’re engaging in…engaging your parasympathetic nervous system before eating as well as regularly throughout the day, doing some breathing exercises, mental relaxation, those kinds of things. So what that means is, you’re getting your body out of fight or flight mode and into rest and digest mode. You know, simply stepping away from your desk for a walk, petting your, you know, furry friend, like I’ll go pet the cat for a little bit in the other room, go wake him up from his nap, like hey buddy, what’s going on? Just kind of relax a little bit. Or cooking…if you enjoy cooking, like I find cooking to be a very therapeutic thing for me. I just…I really love it. It can really stimulate that shift out of fight or flight and into rest and digest.
So remembering that proper digestion starts in your brain is really critical to get your mindset right and get your body calm, so that all of your digestive functions can run smoothly, no pun intended. It’s really really critical, so, you can think about people who maybe eat a little bit too close to a workout and vomit, or you know, when they try and work out and get a really bad stomachache when they workout. Or you can think about something that startles you or really scares you or really upsets you. You may get the opposite effect where you have to run to the bathroom and your bowels basically just empty. So both of those are examples of a fight or flight mode where food is in the system, close to one of the entry or exit points, and it just wants to get out because your body literally funnels all of its blood flow and activity to different body processes, so if you’re not chilled out, digesting properly, it’s just not going to work, and this is something that’s very, very systemic. People are stressed all the time all day long. You just need to relax. That’s, you know, relaxing and chewing are two of the biggest ways to help your digestive system.
So number two is, hehe, no pun intended. But again, ensure you’re consuming probiotic rich foods, so…
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I was like, oooh, number two!
LIZ WOLFE: Oh my gosh.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I already talked about what these are..raw, fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, which is cabbage. If you can’t do goitrogenic vegetables, which are cabbage, any cruciferous vegetables are, then fermented carrots, kombucha, even stuff like raw, grass-fed milk kefir or yogurt, if you tolerate it, that’s totally fine. Or a supplement. I definitely want people doing the foods first. You’re getting so much more from the foods and they’re generally a lot more effective if you’re not dealing with a lot of other digestive problems…
LIZ WOLFE: Yup.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: So and everyone who’s been eating sauerkraut, you know, on our recommendations has said that. Like yeah, my eliminations have gotten so much better. They’re quick to tell us, so we don’t know what the supplement’s going to do, but we know that food brings a lot more with it than just the probiotic content, so do that first. See what happens. Remember that 80% of the dry weight of your stool is bacteria, so the reason you need the probiotics is that you need bacteria to go to the bathroom. If you were eliminating the foods you ate, you wouldn’t be absorbing anything, so what you’re eliminating is mostly not the food you’re eating. Like you have to think about how that works; the foods you’re eating gets broken down and digested and absorbed. So what you’re eliminating is actually not the food you’re eating. Unless you’re not digesting it properly and you see pieces of it in your stool. So you need to have enough bacteria to be able to eliminate.
So that being said, you need bacteria in your…most of that’s going to be in your large intestine, so that’s after your small intestine, so this stuff has to get through there. Bacteria want to eat soluble fiber, so that’s the flesh of like the sweet potato, even a white potato. Anything that’s like the flesh of the starchy vegetable or fruit, so like bananas or plantains. Those are some fruits that are starchy. Sweet potato, squash, butternut squash, kabocha, acorn squash, all of those are starchy vegetables, so I would recommend that people do at least a half a cup of like mashed starchy vegetables a day if they’re having this issue. Even more, you know, up to a cup or more. Whatever you think you kind of tolerate based on your activity levels, you know, just how you’re feeling in general, what you feel like eating. I mean, I wouldn’t really stress much about it. If you feel like eating two plantains in a day, eat them. See how you do. I don’t know. If it helps you go to the bathroom, that was a good thing. If you’re doing starchy vegetables, it’s definitely a good idea to get them in right after your workout time, so this question wasn’t talking much about that, but it’s a good idea to do it at that point in time. But you know, if I’ve got someone who has issues with eliminating, I usually have them do at least a half a cup, more like a half a cup twice a day. So like morning and evening, getting some of that starchy vegetable in. That’s that question at that point.
And then water. I just like to make sure people are not dehydrated. I don’t think people need to be drinking gallons and gallons of water every day if you’re eating otherwise a very water-rich diet. If you’re eating a lot of fresh foods, you’re getting water constant in your foods. A Standard American Diet rich in grains, processed, refined foods, you know, that’s a very dehydrating kind of diet, so when you make a switch to Paleo, you’re eating a lot of whole foods. You don’t need as much water all the time. That said, if you’re an athlete, you’re depleting water by sweating, make sure you get enough in, and again, if you’re experiencing constipation, you want to make sure you definitely have adequate amounts of water. So, you know, drink extra water. Drink it away from your meals. You don’t want to dilute your stomach acid, so in between meals, just have water around to sip on.
And so when I mentioned kind of early is, you know, just a really common problem and sometimes it’s a problem also of transit time, so you can check out what your transit time, and that means how long it takes a meal that you eat right now, how long it takes to actually be part of what’s eliminated. A lot of times people think, you know, they eat a meal, and the next time they go to the bathroom, that meal just came out. That’s not actually true. So what you can do to test your transit time, following a meal, swallow 2 tablespoons of white sesame seeds whole with some water, a small amount of water, whatever you need to be able to swallow them down. Mark down when you swallowed them, and then mark down when most of them come out in your elimination. 18 to 24 hours is a pretty healthy transit time. Less than that, it’s probably moving too quickly. You may not be absorbing and digesting as much as you should. And more than that, then you might be absorbing too much from your food, extra toxins, things like that. Your body’s not flushing it out quickly enough. I think it’s interesting that sesame seeds are an example of something that we really don’t digest while they’re intact. You know, you’re not going to chew them; you’re just going to swallow them whole. They resist digestion, so they will go in, and come out exactly the same way. That’s what I have.
LIZ WOLFE: That’s fun.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: And generally, this advice works for people within days, if not sooner. Sometimes even just getting in…I had one woman last week literally…she went into her fridge and realized she had a jar of some kind of fermented kraut that she hadn’t opened. She was scared to open it. She’d had it a long time. She was scared to open it because she thought it might be bad. I was like, no, no, it won’t go bad. Like if you’ve got something fermented in there, you stick it in the fridge, it stops fermenting and you’re going to be fine. I think she ate like a half a cup of it, which is more than I generally recommend for regular dosage, but she went to the bathroom pretty quickly after that and was like, super excited, so this stuff can work really, really effectively. And it’s, you know, really simple. It’s just about getting the right foods in.
LIZ WOLFE: Very simple. So I just have a couple little comments there and we’ll move on to the next question. I…along with your comments about when a good time to eat your starches in being post-workout, I do want to just kind of add, and you and I have talked about this, if you can, go sit in a dark corner and just kind of try and meditate just a little bit before you kind of suck down the post-workout carbs. I’ve found it’s really, really helpful. You are not in a parasympathetic, digestive-friendly state immediately post-workout. So you’re kind of balancing two kind of different…two different ideas that can kind of work synergistically, the idea of, you know, being in a sympathetic state and also wanting to go ahead some of those starches. Those two ideas can co-exist, but you…I really think it’s worth trying to, at least transition to into my kind of relaxed, meditative state before you start eating rather than open up your Tupperware container full of sweet potato and start eating while you discuss the workout.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Right, I talk about that a lot.
LIZ WOLFE: Which is really, really important because funnily enough, the most common problem I see out of the athletes that I work with is actually digestive, so interestingly enough, I think that has a lot to do with probably a little bit with the adrenals, but also just the fact that you do require a different state of physiology, a kind of a parasympathetic state in order to digest, and a lot of these athletes are just constantly just on the alert.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah.
LIZ WOLFE: I understand your point about fermented foods. I often tell people to start on the weekend when they’re at home and close to the commode because like you said, these things can work very, very quickly, and that’s pretty much all I wanted to say.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah. Cool, and I think one other point, too, and this was something that didn’t come from one of these questions, but it’s pretty obvious in Emily’s question, and I’ve had it before. Just a client that I worked with who, you know, she was describing when eliminations were harder for her, you know, more difficult for her, and ended up discovering basically though her own explanation to me, that on the weekends, she doesn’t have as much trouble, and during the week, she does. And her job is really stressful, and I was like, well, you just told me what the problem. You know? It’s like, you figured it out, so people don’t think that, you know, this whole like hectic life and stress matters, but it does. Like it…
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Huge. So you know, getting people to chill out, it’s like, you know, people laugh at me a lot because they’re like, well, whatever, you’re your own boss, and yadda yadda yadda, and it’s like, well, yeah, but I chose that. It doesn’t mean that my life isn’t stressful quite often, but, you know, we have to look at what we can eliminate from our lives in terms of stress, so that we can improve our health. Okay. Let me step down off the soapbox before I get back on it for another few minutes.
LIZ WOLFE: Okay, before you get back on it, just the one thing I say for people that really are, just like especially people that work in the medical profession or people that are just up and going, especially coaches, just sit down and take 5 really deep breaths, in your nose, out your mouth. It’s a very relaxing type of just kind of thing to go through. Do that before and after you eat, and then you can get going again, but just try that at the very least. A lot of people don’t have time or opportunity to like, you know, triage the really stressful things in their lives, but at the very least I know we have time to breathe, so do that, you know.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Word.
LIZ WOLFE: All right. Word. So let’s do Angie’s question. I like this one.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: All right.
LIZ WOLFE: Angie: “First, I love your girls’ show. Thanks for always promoting humor and education.” Are you sure you’re talking about our show, Angie?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: [laughs]
LIZ WOLFE: All right, “I am a previous bikini (physique) competitor who recently ended due to overtraining (excessive cardio 1-2hrs day) and undereating (typical bodybuilder diet, same blah foods, low cals etc). I got very lean and only got the results I wanted when doing TONS of cardio to maintain (so stupid).” Angie said that, not me. “but I always bounce back in weight. (even gain more weight post competition)
I have been Paleo for 9 months now – only real change was eliminating starches. was already dairy free. I did Paleo for last show prep and took out all fruit, all starches, and all nuts (no self control LOL). So VLCD and low fat.” So that would be very low carb and low fat. “Solely veggies and meat.
Like many girls, I am now dealing with Adrenal Fatigue/Cortisol issues/hormone imbalances (excess estrogen in lower body). Was doing lots of CrossFit after show, but stopped that! I quit all cardio except sprints and walking, and do yoga 4 times a week now.
How do I rebalance my system/get lean again while staying Paleo?? I am being told by many to add back in carbs/safe starches…” [laughs] Diane, you just did something to the Google Document, and I totally lost my place, shoot.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Sorry.
LIZ WOLFE: That’s all right. Here we go. “Safe starches to bring my stress hormones down, and to add food groups back in? Days I would have JUST meats and veggies ..I would say I was definitely under 40 grams carbohydrates? My body is used to being very low carb and I am afraid to add back in fruit and starches. My body is holding onto weight I feel, and isn’t responsive…help!”
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Oh, okay.
LIZ WOLFE: Your thoughts?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Okay, I have a bunch of thoughts about this one. This one is like, super, super common. A lot of little flags of things in this question. So let me…I do feel like it’s funny. I think a lot of people who write in questions are like quasi-answering their question as they like ramble on with their stream of consciousness. Don’t you think? Like we encourage details in the..
LIZ WOLFE: I do, yeah. I think so too. I don’t know if you can hear my dog, but he also thinks… he agrees with you.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I heard him. I heard him bark.
LIZ WOLFE: That’s it, buddy.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I think it’s funny, and I think it’s a very…I don’t know. I do find this a very female quality that like we go on and on, and we’ve probably heard the answer or suggestion of answers or things to try to our problems, but it’s like we still want to keep asking how to handle it.
So anyway, Angie-I’m glad that she posed the question to us, but I would say adding back starches is a good idea. You know, it sounds like whatever you’ve been doing isn’t really working for you anymore, and there’s really…there’s no real reason to stay very low carb, you know, especially depending on the type of exercise that you’re doing. You know, it can be a useful intervention. I found it very useful for me. I don’t know, you know, how long it would be useful for every person and depending on how much stress your dieting was to your body, now, you know, you may meet people who’ve gone through figure competitions for 10 years, and don’t experience the same issues that you do. Every person has a different starting point, a different capacity, and threshold for what will be too much stress for them. So understand that when we start to compare ourselves to other people in that, we’re missing the whole, you know, the whole point of this individuality thing.
So anyway, you know, what you were doing before was extremely stressful to your body in terms of micronutrient and probably macronutrient deficiencies. Like undereating, probably overexercizing, you know, that really lean with not eating a lot of carbs and not eating a lot of fat, which I think, you know, I’ve seen this before. It’s a cutting type of diet. It’s very effective for aesthetics. It’s not healthy way to be, if you’re not eating much fat, you know, your brain health is at risk at that point. You know, depression tends to set in.
LIZ WOLFE: Isn’t that called “rabbit starvation”?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, I mean, I …
LIZ WOLFE: Is that what we call it?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I mean, I know that this is really common in a figure, you know, competitive world. I have a friend who actually went on this track on the recommendation of someone who had been a figure competitor, and it scares me because people who do things like this stay with it longer than it’s intended to work for, you know? It’s intended to be maybe a 30, 60 day intervention. It’s not intended to be a lifestyle.
LIZ WOLFE: Right.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: It is intended to be a diet. And, you know, in the short term, it can be effective. But the same way, in the short term, something like, you know, a juice fast might be effective. It’s not intended to be a lifestyle that’s to be held onto forever. But we’ve talked about this before. Sometimes you just forget, like you get so used to eating a certain way that you forget. Also, to Angie’s point, you know, she’s afraid to add back fruit and starches. Well, the reality is her body will become insulin resistant by not eating starches and carbohydrates. Like, your body starts to spare that carbohydrate for your brain, so your tissues will become insulin resistant. It’s not a problem clinically. Even if you were to get blood work done, it might read kind of funny. It doesn’t mean you are unhealthy or sick, but you may need to sort of titrate back your carbohydrate intake and this is one of the reasons why people usually do better on something that’s a cyclic low carb diet, so if they are doing something low carb, it’s like 3 days on, 1 day off, 4 days or 5 days on, 2 days off, so that you’re not starving your body of carbohydrates all the time. You are replenishing them, so that your body doesn’t go into this insulin resistant mode in the same way, but if you stay very, very low carb chronically, and then just immediately add them back at a higher level for weeks on end, you probably will gain weight. And some of that may just be water weight, but either way, it may happen and the reality is, you just need to rebalance what you’re doing.
I think a couple of things, though. I would have her add back the starches, you know, maybe do it slowly. It will probably just feel better for your body, and probably less stressful. Just be like, okay, I’m going to have some of this, not a big deal. I wouldn’t recommend staying under 50 grams a day and generally speaking, I’ve said this before, too. Unless you’re counting, it’s really hard to come in that low. like if you’re just free eating vegetables. If you get any starchy vegetables in whatsoever, but even if you’re just free eating regular vegetables to pretty good quantities, 50 grams is usually what you’ll get at a minimum, so I would just make sure she’s not coming in at lower than that. I would make sure she’s getting adequate amounts of fat. It doesn’t mean you have to add tons of it, but you’re kind of making up for a little bit of lost time on not getting fats in. I think, you know, our favorite supplement, the fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend might help out a little bit in getting some of the fat and the fat soluble vitamins that she was probably missing when she wasn’t eating them.
So in terms of the fatigue, cortisol issues, hormone imbalances, getting her food on track is definitely critical. This will probably also…she doesn’t really talk about her sleep here, but chances are, she’s not sleeping well. She may-she may fall asleep easily if she’s exhausted, but it may not be the best quality sleep, but adding starches generally also helps people sleep better, so…
LIZ WOLFE: Mm-hmm.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: You know, I would have her focus on sleep, like it’s her job. You know, really sleeping a ton and resting a ton, so even doing like sprints and walking, yoga 4 days a week, it may be too much, which I don’t know, I think the yoga’s generally fine. I don’t know what kind of yoga it is. Sprints may still be too much for her. Everyone experiences the fatigue issue at different levels. I think we’ve got someone in one of the later questions who had like a really bad fatigue response, so I don’t know at what stage, you know, Angie is at this point. But I wouldn’t do anything intense more than like 2 days a week, and I would keep the rest of it to like walking, yoga, some strength work that’s not up in that, you know, mass range, you know, keep your strength, but don’t look at this as a time to build strength, just look at it as a time to recover your body. Maybe I would get an adrenal test done. If you’re not sure, and you just want to see what’s happening under the hood, and this idea of rest stresses you out. Often it does. Sometimes this kind of person needs a test to say, here’s what’s really happening. I’ve done this with a lot of my one on one clients, like, here’s the test. You told me how you’re feeling, now I’m validating it with this test. Here’s what you need to do. And, you know, generally this stuff can turn around within a couple of months. You just really have to take an active role in your own recovery.
So another recommendation I have too is to get Paul Chek’s book on How to Eat Move and Be Healthy. I’ve seen some people have trouble getting it these days, but it should be on Amazon.com. And in that book, he’s got a list of, most of his nutrition advice is the same as everything we basically teach on whole foods and all of that. I really like his Zone exercises. This is stuff that you can do at home. You go through a checklist of kind of what’s going on with your fatigue and your issues, and then you’ll get a list of some exercises to do. They might involve, you know, just a foam roller and an exercise ball. So really, really basic stuff that you can keep at home, and just do the stuff any time. And what he talks about is working in vs. working out, so you know. We know that working out, exercising is a stressor, which is a negative thing, but we know it has a hormetic effect, which means a negative stressor that actually has a positive effect on your body when done in the right dose in the right duration, right? So, you know, we get stronger from exercise while we’re resting from it. We know that our heart is healthier if we give it a little bit of cardiovascular activity, but if you are already depleted and exhausted, then that hormetic effect is not happening for you. You are basically just…you’re beating a dead horse at that point, you need to do what’s called “working in.” You need to sort of cultivate energy within your body, so that you’re not just constantly making withdrawals from a bank account that’s already at a deficit. So hopefully that makes sense for her. You know, do this stuff. It’ll work. You just need to recover your body and let it kind of bounce back a little bit.
LIZ WOLFE: Man, you are just kicking this podcast in the butt.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I’ve had two cups of bulletproof coffee with grass-fed butter, and yeah, I ate good food today. I had my eggs and bacon and kraut for breakfast, and I had some zucchini noodles and meat sauce for lunch, so…I mean, it’s like 3 in the afternoon. Normally we try and do this thing at random hours and I think I sound pretty good right now.
LIZ WOLFE: It might be a good…Thursday might be a good thing. I’ve been a little under the weather the last couple of days, so I do greatly appreciate you picking up the slack for a good team, girl. Good team.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: [laughs] Yeah, sometimes I’m like, you talk, you…you answer questions.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: This is good, I mean, I don’t know.
LIZ WOLFE: I’m nodding. I’m nodding over here.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Okay.
LIZ WOLFE: I have no capacity for any of these answers today, so uh…I needed the break today.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Okay, let’s do…let’s see where we are. Let me see, how much time do we have? All right, we probably have time for…yeah, I think probably have the time for at least 2…I think the next 3, like the next one’s a long question, but not a super long answer, I think, hopefully, and then a couple more of like quasi-short ones. so we can probably do the next 3.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, let’s do it. Okay, this next one from Lisa: “Hi Diane and Liz, First of all thank you both for the fantastic work that you do to help re-educate people on how to lead happy healthy bacon filled lives!” Awww. “This is a bit of a long one..” I think a lot of people will actually see themselves in this particular question. Okay, she says “I have been Paleo for the last 2.5 years prior to that I was a vegetarian of 13 years (how many 1000′s of times have you heard that transition I wonder?). I was having a lot of skin rashes that Doctors and dermatologists couldn’t explain, 2 fractured feet in the space of 6 months, cystic acne, irregular cycles, digestive issues and prone to depression (no bacon will do that to you!) At this time I was definitely overtraining as well – 6 Metcons + 1 8km run +2 strength training days + a couple of boxing sessions per week…” Holy cow, that’s a lot.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I’m tired. I’m tired just hearing that.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, how many days a week are in her week? I mean, wow.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: [laughs]
LIZ WOLFE: “and normally a hike/ bike ride/ water skiing thrown in on the weekend. My sleep was terrible and averaged 4 ton6 hours per night! Despite all of this I felt pretty good! I trained hard, endurance was good, strength was good, recovery was ok and I was fairly lean but I knew that the way I was eating (and lack of sleep) was not good for my hormones or my overall health, so one sunny Saturday I cleaned out the pantry & fridge of all things non-Paleo and went and bought myself a beautiful chunk of steak to have for dinner! My taste buds haven’t looked back! Once switching to Paleo my acne cleared up and my digestion improved (but is still not great), my blood sugars normalized (but only after eating and staying very low carb), I had better mental cognition and was getting stronger! Improvements all round + I found a new love… devouring every bit of research, book, blog, article I could get my hands on about ancestral health, Paleo diets, autoimmune disease, immunology and ecology!
So I was feeling better and only the occasional un-explainable rash but I started gaining weight admittedly some of it was muscle but a lot of it was fat (I weighed 55kg in 2009 and now I am 68, holding all of my excess fat between my umbilicus and knees). I also started to develop an insatiable hunger and knew that I was eating too much but was ravenously hungry all of the time (I keep hearing it repeated in the Paleo-sphere that it’s hard to overeat fat and protein if the carbs are low, but I think I have ruined that theory!)” Rightly so.
“My cycle was getting worse and somewhere around 58 days was the norm. In January 2011 my new chiropractic physician gave me the wonderful news that I had done a great job at messing up and completely destroying my adrenals. (which I argued because I always have a ton of energy to keep going and going!)” Yes, you do! “His words were “young lady, you are a dopamine addict! You don’t make enough serotonin because you are scraping the bottom of the barrel so you get your highs from training and coffee!” Mmm, maybe he had a point! I got a stern talking to, to tell me to slow down and let my body recover and to kiss the crazy Metcons goodbye for a while!
Well I did listen to him, but a week too late! It was one long metcon that tipped me over the edge! I spent the next 3 days recovering from it! I was completely ruined to the point where I would almost fall asleep while driving so I would have to pull the car over so I didn’t plough into a tree! I had no idea that I was this tired. Over the past 12 months, I have gone back to a strength based program with 1 short Metcon per week + a kettlebell workout but I can’t seem to get to a point where I feel good, strong and energized. So this email doesn’t go for another 10,000 words, I will summarize some of the issues I am still having and would like to fix:
1•Debilitating pain + nausea + hot cold sweats (never had in my life) but cycle is now 28 days
2•I sleep 7 to 8 hours per night but I slip straight into a coma in 28 seconds of going horizontal (not sure if its restorative sleep?)
3•Hungry all of the time even though I stay low-ish carb paleo” Was I just on 3? 1,2,3, 4.
“4•Very hard to lean out and wonder if I have meal timing and portions all wrong
5•Very tired all of the time (feels like I have extremely low blood sugar but when I measure it, it is in the normal range)
6•Massive strength plateaus with training
7•Metcons still beat the crap out of my adrenals
8•Hives from too much sun exposure
9•Bathroom visits are every morning but only if I have coffee (if no coffee then I skip a day and feel bloated and awful)
I just want my strength, power, energy and leanness back, this is so important to me as I am a personal trainer and a Whole9 partner and promote Paleo to all of our clients and I need to be fit and healthy to be able to better promote this lifestyle. Any advice you could offer me would be much appreciated. Sorry for the long winded email. Many thanks.”
This was one where all of that…
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Phew!
LIZ WOLFE: background really added to the question, but that was definitely a lot. Not too much though, good question. A really good question, I think.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, and one of the reasons why I usually like to leave all the details of these is that inevitably people will be nodding along like, yes, this is me, or, you know, what’s in some of the list of her issues or hearing themselves in some of it. So I think it’s valid. They’re long, but that’s okay. And the reality is, I kind of need to hear the whole story and just let people tell their story as it is…
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Because I feel like, as I said before, you know, half the time they…you hear the problem in the question, you know like, you really hear what the issue is. So anyway, you know, kind of first and foremost, if there’s one message that I want to sort of drill into the heads of women who are struggling from the same issues or similar issues is that we really need to be focusing on the health aspect first. Like, just that’s it, point blank. You know, there seems to be a very, very big focus on leanness and performance, and a really big disconnect from the how do you feel part. And this is where the wheels are falling off the wagon. You know, you have that approach. How do you look, feel, and perform and people get that whole how do you look and how do you perform, and they just really forget the how do you feel, and it should be more, how do you feel, perform, and then maybe look at the end, as the priority list, so you know, she’s saying, I just want my strength, power, energy and leanness back. you know, she wants to get something and that mentality is so often this idea of like what more can I do? What else should I be doing? What can I add to help myself, and the reality is, we need to be doing a lot less, and calming things down. I said this before, and it may seem unfortunate as a coach and as a leader, but the reality is that you’ll learn from this experience what many of your clients will also be battling when they come to you, or when they hit a plateau, so you know, understanding that more is not better. More is just more.
So you know, you’ve already been there. You’ve been scraping the bottom of the barrel with the adrenal issues. You need to back off a lot of things, and understand that doing any metabolic conditioning right now is not okay. You know, metcons are still beating the crap out of my adrenals. Stop doing them. Like I’m so serious about this, it’s not even funny. Like, I can’t even…I’ve had clients who don’t want to listen to me, and they don’t succeed because I’m like, you cannot keep doing this. If you are, you know, if you don’t feel like your life was that stressful, if you felt good, but then you hit this exhaustion period, like you don’t have a gauge anymore for what feels good. Like your gauge is off. As this chiropractor said, who’s saying, you know, the exact same thing I’ve been saying, you’re addicted to something that’s coming internally, scraping the bottom of the barrel. Like you thought you felt fine. So whatever gives you the feeling that you think you can make these decisions on your own, like we’ve had that conversation, should I listen to my body or not? This is one of those cases where you should not be listening to your body because your body is not telling you the truth at this point, and that’s just because of that shift in the dopamine. That’s happening, that’s happening for her and that happens really, really often. I mean, I’ve been there myself where I’ve gone to workouts and this is 5 years ago now that I dealt with really bad adrenal exhaustion, but, you know, I’d go to a workout that I normally found really fun and could not smile. Like that’s a bad sign.
So you know, some of the stuff that I had mentioned in one of our previous responses is, you know, adding the starches back in. Everyone, hopefully, we’re coming around on this idea that like low carb is the only way to go. It is totally effective for a lot of people. I have no problems with it. But if it’s not working for you, stop doing it. That’s insanity. Or, you know, or we’re doing things that don’t feel good. Stop doing them. You know, if you’re hungry all the time, I don’t know. I don’t know where that’s coming from, but you know, whatever balance is on your plate might not be right for you. So if you’re feeling hungry all the time, you know, look at the nutrient density of your food. Make sure you are getting adequate into…is she the one who said, you know, she’s ruined the theory about overeating fat and protein? I could…
LIZ WOLFE: yup.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I can eat, I mean, whatever you put in front of me, I don’t think that that whole thing is legit, like, you know, it’s hard to overeat fat and protein. I don’t think it’s hard to overeat pretty much anything, you know?
LIZ WOLFE: I agree.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Maybe that’s…yeah, and like me like food. I make food that tastes really good and I don’t really think that that’s kind of the reality, so, you know, we don’t know how much she’s eating or what she’s eating. Maybe she’s not eating enough. Getting a shift in your mindset from worrying about, you know, overeating to making sure that what you’re eating is nutrient dense and is nourishing your body, so, you know, deep levels of micronutrients status and also adequate food. Like I don’t…I would hate to see her food log showing me 12000, you know, sorry, 1200 calories in a day…12 thousand would be a lot. 1200 calories in a day…
LIZ WOLFE: It’s probably sort of eaten 12 thousand…
DIANE SANFILIPPO: yeah, but like 1200 calories a day, a very busy person, I mean, my guess is going to be if she’s not eating at least 2000 calories a day, that’s a problem. She sounds really active. She might need even more like 2500 or more? Who even knows, you know? I’m just throwing numbers out to give a baseline because I just see a lot of people who could be undereating and that’s not going to help you. If you’re not putting in enough substrate to run on, forget it. So, that’s a really big issue, you know. Falling asleep within 28 seconds of going horizontal, I like that, you know, exact number.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I think she was kind of making a joke right there, but we should be falling asleep within 5 or ten minutes, but if you’re falling asleep, you’re probably, you know, that quickly, that’s exhaustion, passing out, probably too hard core. Strength plateaus. All of the performance measures need to stop being the priority right now. You need to just worry about feeling better. The hives from the sun exposure? That’s, you know, just stress raising cortisol levels raises the inflammation in your gut because it’s going to open up your gut to be more leaky, I mean, this is like a lot of different issues at once. But the whole reality is this list of symptoms and we have this in a lot of questions. Some of which we answer and some of which we haven’t gotten to yet, but when you’ve got this much stuff going on, you have to peel it all back and just come back to, am I doing things that are nourishing for my body that are helping to recover and rebuild a base of energy and strength from, you know, just that whole like body and soul nourishment perspective and just taking care of yourself. That’s kind of it on that.
I think the bathroom business maybe not happening if you don’t have coffee? I already covered what you should be doing to go to the bathroom. For her, it’s going to be a lot of stress. You know, this tells me that her peristalsis isn’t normally…isn’t having the right motility normally, so if you can’t go without coffee, that’s an issue. There’s one other thing I was going to give her on this. I think, you know, my advice for our previous question to Angie pretty much all applies as well to Lisa. I would also definitely recommend the Paul Chek book for her. I think, you know, that’s another crossover. I mean, you and I talk a lot about the Weston A. Price/Paleo crossover, but I think CHEK practitioners have a lot to offer from the whole emotional, spiritual side of things and also how the physical connects with that. So, you know, their nutrition perspective is pretty similar to ours, but I really like their whole movement and body and cultivating energy from within. I like their perspective on that, so I really like the Paul Chek book for that type of approach.
And I know, the one other thing I was going to say is, you know, I’ve had this before with other coaches and when you figure out what you need to do, your ability, as I said, to be able to coach others on it, is so much stronger, and I feel like that’s one of the reasons why..when I talk about fatigue and really scaling things back, like I’ve been there. I know how it feels and I know how crappy it feels to be kind of a Type A, Go go go person who has to scale back. And I even do it now as a much more metered approach. Like if I’m really stressed and I’m working long hours, you know, there are some days I go to the gym, and maybe there’s a 20 minute Metcon on the board, and I just don’t push as hard as I know I could, potentially, because I know I’ve gotten my tank is just not optimal at that time. You know? Or I’ll just do a strength workout. Like you just have to know that when you’re already stressed to a certain point, you can’t keep asking your body to put more out. You have to just add back in, so it’s kind of a lot, but you know, we’ve gone over this a lot of times and I just want to make sure that people are understanding that there’s not like, oh, here’s the one thing you need to take or do to fix this problem. This is an overarching your body is fighting you problem and you need to figure out how to help it.
LIZ WOLFE: I think in this situation and I mean, anybody that feels just a little bit lost after hearing like a stock answer or an answer in a podcast, like, I think it’s worth doing some one-on-one coaching with Lisa in particular. I feel like this getting all these things dialed in and maybe kind of having somebody to check in to ensure she’s kind of applying these principles properly might be good, especially because I feel like a lot of times people with these types of personalities where it’s just Go Go Go, a lot of times they don’t realize that, you know, a few days a week of Max up or kettlebell training and one metcon per week, like that may seem like relaxation to them.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Mm-hmm.
LIZ WOLFE: But it is not. Sometimes they just need to be able to balance those things back and forth. Especially, you know, hearing that like she’s had a little bit of maybe sun poisoning going on, I think she was saying, hives from too much sun exposure. I don’t know. It sounds like to me, that you know, even though we’ve addressed many of these digestive issues in the podcast already, there’s an axis of like low adrenal function, blood sugar problems, weakened pancreatic function, and a lot of these things can lead to excessive appetite if the body’s nutrient starved or maybe there’s a bacterial overgrowth or something like that, but really looking at that set potential sun poisoning, it’s kind of concerning because in my opinion, sometimes that will indicate some fatty acid deficiency, and that goes straight back to the digestive insufficiency issues.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Mm-hmm.
LIZ WOLFE: So it’s possible that in addition to the adrenal problems, that she’s also just blasted her body’s ability to digest appropriately, and that might take, you know, some long term back and forth with a professional or with a friend or with a significant other, just somebody that can help kind of check your activity and check you on these things just to make sure they’re taken care of, but I really, really encourage Lisa, like she seems really motivated to take care of this, and I100% agree that Lisa needs to get this nailed down because it’s important. It’s really important that you get it all figured out now 100%.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, the…it’s a good point, too, about the like the coaching and how helpful that can be because I think, you know, what I see a lot is that people coming to me and probably, it probably happens to you, too, where they know what to eat, but they somehow either can’t make it work or just have taken one perspective and, you know, run with it for however long and forget that there are other approaches to take, even within this concept of, you know, whole Paleo/Weston A. Price oriented foods, like there are a lot of different ways to tailor that. And absolutely that other, you know, outside opinion of how much is too much for you, you know. I think, yeah. I think that’s huge because training 2 days a week might still be too much for you. you know, training 5 days a week might be just fine for somebody else and what kind of training that is, all of that. I mean, it’s huge to get an outside perspective sometimes, so just making sure that you’re not…I mean, I remember when I was training for a half marathon and I mean, it’s such a memorable time for me because it was so excessive in hindsight, and at the time, I would do an hour with the personal trainer, then I’d maybe run for like half an hour on the treadmill, and then I’d go do another class, like a cardio kickboxing class. So we’re adding up to like two and a half-hours of exercise or I would meet a friend and just literally like get on a stationary bike or on a treadmill and just kind of chat with her but still be doing more cardio, and I remember comparing myself to like professional athletes or track Olympians…
LIZ WOLFE: CrossFit games?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: No, I didn’t know about CrossFit at the time, so that wasn’t…no, seriously, that wasn’t even…that never even crossed my mind, but I think Summer Olympics were on at that time, so I was like, well, you know, these guys are training way more hours than me, like this can’t be too much. So you know, good point, you know. Maybe these people are training for the CrossFit Games? You don’t know what the rest of their life is like. They may be coaching however many hours a week, but like, that’s their job to train for the Games. So unless you’re that person, you have to remember your own set of rules and your own context here because you can’t. I mean, in hindsight again, I cannot believe I compared myself to Olympic athletes, thinking, well, I’m not doing that much because they probably train 4 hours a day, so how can 2 hours be that big of a deal? Like seriously, that’s what I thought.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: And adrenal fatigue followed that up, and I don’t even think I took more than a year total of just overtraining to get there, and some people are way farther down the rabbit hole than I was, so you know, you really have to remove yourself sometimes from being able to critically analyze what you’re doing, and I think you’re absolutely right, having someone else look at this for you is often what you need.
LIZ WOLFE: Diane, I think we may need to split this women’s health thing into two podcasts. We’ve got a bunch more questions and we’re at about an hour and 15 at this point. Do you want to do that?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: We are?
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I think there’s just this one more that probably, let me just see, oh no, you’re probably right. There’s probably a good handful that we can bring into the next one. Yeah, we can call it a day. Any other closing thoughts or feelings here?
LIZ WOLFE: No, no thoughts, no feelings. I’m a robot today. I’m a FemBot, so I promise next week I’ll be fully above the weather and ready to shoot from the hip. It’ll be good to go.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Cool.
LIZ WOLFE: All right everybody, thanks for listening, be back with us next week, and have a wonderful day.
Diane & Liz