Saturday, 3 March 2018

Skinnytaste Meal Plan (March 5-March 11)

A free 7-day flexible meal plan including breakfast, lunch and dinner and a shopping list. All recipes include calories and Weight Watchers Freestyle Smart Points.

Skinnytaste Meal Plan (March 5-March 11)

Great news, Friday I finished the last of the 140 recipes for my upcoming cookbook, Skinnytaste One and Done, woohoo!! A whole year of recipe testing in my Instant Pot, Skillet, Air Fryer, Slow Cooker, Sheet Pan, etc!! What does that mean? More time to create new recipes here, and maybe even a few vacations.

Back to the meal plan. If you're new to my meal plans, I've been sharing free, 7-day flexible healthy meal plans (you can see my previous meal plans here) that are meant as a guide, with plenty of wiggle room for you to add more food, coffee, beverages, fruits, snacks, dessert, wine, etc. You should aim for around 1500 calories* a day.

There's also a precise, organized grocery list that will make grocery shopping so much easier and much less stressful. Save you money and time. You'll dine out less often, waste less food and you'll have everything you need on hand to help keep you on track.

Lastly, if you're on Facebook join my Skinnytaste Facebook Community where everyone's sharing photos of recipes they are making, you can join here. I'm loving all the ideas everyone's sharing!


Breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday, are designed to serve 1 while dinners and all meals on Saturday and Sunday are designed to serve a family of 4. Some recipes make enough leftovers for two nights or lunch the next day. While we truly believe there is no one size fits all meal plan, we did our best to come up with something that appeals to a wide range of individuals. Everything is Weight Watchers friendly, I included the updated Weight Watcher Freestyle Points for your convenience, feel free to swap out any recipes you wish or just use this for inspiration!

The grocery list is comprehensive and includes everything you need to make all meals on the plan. I've even included brand recommendations of products I love and use often. Cross check your cabinets because many condiments you'll notice I use often, so you may already have a lot of them.

And last, but certainly not least, this meal plan is flexible and realistic. There's plenty of wiggle room for cocktails, healthy snacks, dessert and dinner out. And if necessary, you can move some things around to make it work with your schedule. Please let me know if you're using these plans, this will help me decide if I should continue sharing them!

MONDAY (3/5)
B: Petite Crust-less Quiche (5) with 1 cup cantaloupe (0)
L: Chickpea Egg Salad (2)
D: Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Italian Style (10)
Totals: Freestyle Points 17, Calories 1,007*

B: Petite Crust-less Quiche (5) with 1 cup cantaloupe (0)
L: Chickpea Egg Salad (2)
D: Picadillo (3) with ½ cup brown rice (3) and Quick Cabbage Slaw (2)
Totals: Freestyle Points 15, Calories 1,049*

B: Petite Crust-less Quiche (5) with 1 cup cantaloupe (0)
L: Chickpea Egg Salad (2)
D: Air-Fryer Beef Empanadas (5)* with Fiesta Lime Rice (2)
Totals: Freestyle Points 14, Calories 981*

B: 6 ounces nonfat Greek yogurt (0) with sliced banana (0), 2 tablespoons sliced almonds (2) and 1 teaspoon honey (1)
L: Chickpea Egg Salad (2)
D: Chicken Shiitake and Wild Rice Soup (7) with 2 ounces multi-grain baguette (3)
Totals: Freestyle Points 15, Calories 996*

FRIDAY (3/9)
B: 6 ounces nonfat Greek yogurt (0) with sliced banana (0), 2 tablespoons sliced almonds (2) and 1 teaspoon honey (1)
L: 1 whole wheat pita (4), with ¼ cup hummus (3) and 10 baby carrots (0)
D: Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Bowl (3)
Totals: Freestyle Points 13, Calories 827*

B: Breakfast BLT Salad (4) (recipe x 2)
L: LEFTOVER Chicken Shiitake and Wild Rice Soup (7)
D: Dinner out!
Totals: Freestyle Points 11, Calories 492*

SUNDAY (3/11)
B: Easy Bagel (3) with 2 strips bacon (2), 1 egg (0), 2 tablespoons cheddar (2) and an orange (0)
L: Skinny Buffalo Chicken Strips (1) with 6 baby carrots (0) and 2 tablespoons  Low Fat Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing (1)
D: Ground Turkey with Potatoes and Peas (5) with ½ cup basmati rice (2)
Totals: Freestyle Points 16, Calories 877*

*This is just a guide, women should aim for around 1500 calories per day. Here's a helpful calculator to estimate your calorie needs. I've left plenty of wiggle room for you to add more food such as coffee, beverages, fruits, snacks, dessert, wine, etc.


Original Content: Skinnytaste Meal Plan (March 5-March 11)

Keto and Pregnancy: Is it ok to lose weight?

Hey folks! One of our Keto Masterclass students had a great question related to keto and pregnancy, specifically, is it ok or advisable to lose weight or set cals at a maintenance level. Here is that original question:

Hey Robb, So my husband and I just started the program and then today I found out I am pregnant. I'm going to follow your advice and make sure to track all food to make sure I'm eating enough, but I'm also wondering if it is okay to be in a deficit as I am still 30% body fat. I am hoping to lose a little body fat but maintain a healthy pregnancy weight. Just wondering what you think (or what your wife thinks). I refuse to get fat while pregnant! But I want to use my head and stay healthy.

This is a great question and I did a short video to tackle this:

I reached out to my good friend Lily Nichols RD who has been on the podcast and is a genius with all things pregnancy and gestational diabetes. Here are the links we mentioned in the video:

Real Food for Gestational Diabetes

Real Food for Pregnancy

Episode 269: Lily Nichols—Gestational Diabetes 

Gestational weight gain and pregnancy outcomes in obese women: how much is enough?

Original Content: Keto and Pregnancy: Is it ok to lose weight?

Friday, 2 March 2018

The March Challenge: One Small Change, One Big Impact

By Leo Babauta

We've just started the third month of the year, and with the realization that this year is slipping past us so quickly … I'm issuing a challenge to all of you.

My March Challenge is to pick one small change that will have a big impact on your life. One small change you can do every day. Then do it every single day, at the same time every day.

Small changes can add up to having a huge impact on our lives in a few ways:

  1. They can lead to long-term change, even .
  2. They can be expanded slowly to bigger changes.
  3. Even if they aren't expanded, they can make us feel healthier, more energetic, more mindful or calm, and so on … and that can spread to an impact in all other areas of our lives.
  4. Better finances or health (for example) can lead to less stress, which can lead to us being more present, grounded and sane in our relationships, jobs and responsibilities.

So pick one small change that will have one or more of these effects on your life (or other great effects you might think of). Then commit to doing it every day for this month.

Some examples of small changes with big impacts:

  • Meditation — just 5 minutes of meditation, applied every day, can lead to a lifetime meditation habit (if you take it seriously). This can have incredible benefits in many areas of your life, beyond the 5 minutes of sitting.
  • Pushups — if you do just 10 pushups every day (or whatever level you think would be easy and doable), you'll get stronger over the course of a month. And that might lead to a slow expansion of the exercise habit, so that in April perhaps you add lunges, then bodyweight squats, then chinups … soon you're fit and feeling good all the livelong day.
  • Veggies — add green veggies to one meal a day, and it will have a good effect on your health over the long term. Especially if you expand that to two meals a day, and slowly add veggies so that you're eating 4-5 servings a day. Wow!
  • Writing habit — even just 10 minutes a day of writing can lead to a book, a blog, or maybe a lifetime journaling habit.
  • Declutter or clean — spend 10 minutes decluttering one shelf, one space on your counter or in your closet, and over the course of a month you'll have made a huge dent in your clutter. If you're fairly clutter-free, you can spend a little time cleaning different areas of your house. A clean environment can get you in a great mindset for being focused, calm and present for everything you do.
  • Finances — spending a little time paying bills, cutting costs, working on a budget, or tracking your expenses, even if it's just 10 minutes a day, can have a big long-term effect on your finances. Or maybe you work on increasing your income, getting a side freelancing gig or selling something online, to improve your finances — just a little work each day can make a huge difference.
  • Go for a walk — a daily walk can make you feel better, give you space to think, to breathe, to get away from distractions (don't look at your phone or listen to anything when you walk). You get healthier, enjoy the outdoors. It's like a meditation with exercise benefits.
  • Reach out to people — calling or writing to a few people every day can improve your relationships. Or it might help you with job prospects, increasing your network.
  • Replace negative thinking patterns with gratitude — this can be more difficult because you have to be more aware throughout the day. But when you notice yourself with a resentful or complaining thought pattern, interrupt the process and think about what you're grateful for. Or allow yourself to feel the pain of what you're feeling, without going down the resentful path, choosing gratitude instead. This has a huge effect on your happiness and relationships, not to mention long-term health.
  • Do a small kindness for others — pick a few small acts of kindness and do one a day for a stranger, or pick something small to make a loved one feel loved. It will have a big impact on others and get you out of the narrow self-centered perspective that most of us get stuck in.
  • Sleep & wake a little earlier — I find that shifting my sleep a bit earlier can give me time to meditate, exercise, read or write. All great things!

So are you up for this challenge? Let me know on Twitter, then tell people you know that you're doing it (get them to join you!) and update us all every week. Do a final review at the end of the month — how did it go? What did you learn? What got in the way? What success did you create? (Be sure to set a reminder each week and at the end of the month for these check-ins & reviews.)

Support for the Challenge

If you'd like to do the challenge with me and others, join my Sea Change Program … we're doing it this month, and there are over 20 video courses in Sea Change to support your habit change.

We also have:

  • Weekly check-ins
  • A Facebook group where you can get support
  • A live video webinar with me during the month
  • Accountability groups if you'd like them

Try Sea Change for free for a week.

Original Content: The March Challenge: One Small Change, One Big Impact

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Chickpea Egg Salad

This easy chickpea and egg salad is so simple and delicious for lunch (or breakfast!). It's inexpensive to make, high in protein and fiber and great to make ahead for the week.

This easy chickpea and egg salad is so simple and delicious for lunch (or breakfast!). It's inexpensive to make, high in protein and fiber and great to make ahead for the week.
Chickpea Egg Salad

I'm obsessed with chickpeas, I can literally eat them right out of the can. My husband, on the other hand doesn't share my chickpea love so I usually have them for lunch when he's not around. And now that chickpeas and eggs are zero points on the new Weight Watchers Freestyle program, I love them even more!


Original Content: Chickpea Egg Salad

My Training at 46!!

Hey folks!

I hope y'all are well. The past year has just gone by in a blur and I'm already a month late in getting this yearly training update out. If you are not aware, I started a yearly recap of my training, chow and related topics a number of years ago. You can find the previous installments here:

39, 42, 43, 44, 45 (Had a little drop off after the first kid!!)

Looking back it's interesting to note that not a ton has changed over the years, but the places that have changed have been pretty important. Before we jump in, a few disclaimers/contextual pieces are in order so we have the proper ambiance:

1- This is my story, it's likely different than your story. (but you might find some useful tidbits anyway).

For some reason evolution selected for humans to be tribalistic and quick to slot things into black/white good/bad categories. There is a tendency to look at what other folks are doing, see what we assume to be "success", and then adopt that process like a religious crusade.

This is, without doubt, human nature…but it's something we'd likely do well to get a handle on. My point here is just because what I detail here is working for me, it does not mean it will work for you. Nor should it be held up on some kind of pedestal as "Truth." There MIGHT be some fundamental lessons in this missive and process that may apply to more vs fewer…but I'd be cautious in attaching that kind of gravitas to this.

2- My Goals and "Why?"

Given the amount of information we all have at our disposal, just about ANY advice to do "X" vs "Y" should really be accompanied by the following:

1- Context. Where are ya, what are ya up to?

2- Goals. Where do ya want to go?

Absent context, and really specific context, looking at anything from dietary to financial advice just seems silly. It's "all sail, no ruder." All that considered, I'm going to tell you my context and "why." As you read through the rest of this I'd recommend putting the information through YOUR filter built from context and "why."

My context: 46 YO dad, husband, and "health educator."

My "why": I want to live as long as I can with the caveat that those years are healthy and productive. I want to do this so I can see my kids grow up, hopefully meet some grandkids. I feel like I have some important work to do in the big picture of sustainability and healthcare, I need to be around awhile to make that stuff happen. Mixed into that I want to get as good at Brazilian jiu-jitsu as I can before I take my final dirt nap.

My sense as to a path to all this:

-Avoid chronic degenerative disease (for as long as I can). This means keeping my metabolism as youthful as possible, clinging to enough muscle mass to stave off the ravages of time, remain mobile enough that I can actually get around and do the stuff I want to do.

-Look good enough such that my wife will still sleep with me. 

Ok, with all that out of the way we can get down to the good stuff!


If you have followed previous updates or the podcast you will likely know that I've been tinkering with how to properly fuel my BJJ with something akin to a ketogenic diet. Why am I doing that? I tend to have (for me) fantastic cognition while in ketosis. I don't suffer low blood sugar, if I need to go a day without eating it's no big deal. I HAVE had a bit of challenge maintaining a "low gear" for grappling while following a traditional KD in the 20-30g of carbs per day range. I KNOW some people are able to do this. I also know some folks are at about this level and then adding in 10-20g of glucose source prior to training. I've tinkered with these approaches, but for me I've found something interesting: If I match my carbs to my activity I seem to perform better AND still maintain a mild state of ketosis more often than not. Depending on training volume and intensity I may do 75-150g of carbs, and here is how I chunk that up:

1- A BIG breakfast. In following Bill Lagakos' work   on circadian biology and our tendency to be more insulin sensitive early in the day, I do a morning meal with as much as 1600 cals and perhaps 40-50g of carbs. This is eaten around 7-8am, and as often as I can I try to get out in the sun in and around this time. Even in the winter Reno can be quite sunny. I've posted some photos of sitting on my back porch in nothing more than my skivvies with an ambient temperature of 19*F.

 So long as there is no wind and I'm getting direct sun, it's not too cold. I've always "tried" to get out in the sun as much as possible, but I've become borderline neurotic about it and I've got to say, it's AWESOME. Productivity, happiness…it's all better. I seem to be more carb tolerant and the early food seems to "settle" my high-strung AM self. Reducing cortisol? Initiating parasympathetic response? Not cure, but I feel better. I tend to do BJJ anywhere from 11am-1pm (depends on the day, and I also do my lifting or conditioning at this time if not rolling).

If the session is on the earlier side, I may do a BIG lunch (matching total cals and carbs based on my daily training…it could be another 1600 cal meal) and a very lite dinner. If the session is later (wrapping up at say 2-3pm) I may just fast until dinner and do my chow then (usually dialing carbs down a bit regardless of volume/intensity), or I may do a "supper" right after training and then not much beyond some kimchi or veggies at dinner. If I lived alone or did not have kids, I'd always eat after training and then just fast until the following breakfast. Given that I do have kids and mealtimes are important for the family, I tweak things a bit. In general I'm doing some kind of front loaded intermittent fasting/time restricted feeding most days, but I'm not neurotic about it. If life demands some flexibility, life gets it!

I'm following this process for two reasons:

1- Bill (and others) have made a pretty compelling argument to just try it. There are some reasonable mechanisms for why this might be a smart way to slice and dice my eating (better insulin sensitivity earlier, playing to circadian biology). 

2- I've liked the results.

Now, I know a lot of folks do somewhat the opposite of this process, pushing "breakfast" to noon or later, perhaps back loading carbs to later in the day. Is this "bad?" I really don't know. There are a lot of things to consider here. There is research that suggests folks who eat this way have a relatively blunted insulin sensitivity compared to the earlier feeding.


We do also seem to get some marginal benefit from time restricted feeding, mostly due to just being tough to overeat, but likely some legit upsides beyond this (debatable, but possible).

For social reasons, convenience and a number of other factors, eating cals later in the day may be easier. MUCH easier. If eating early and skipping breakfast creates marital strife and strains family or social bonds, it that really a win?!  When we surveyed many of you, some of the greatest challenges involved social situations and compliance…so anything that makes sticking to a generally whole foods diet easier (vs raiding the junk food aisle of the supermarket) is good. Like I said, if I had a different social context I'd have two meals per day, big breakfast, big lunch, done. As it is I've massively front loaded the calories compared to three squares, and it's debatable how much additional benefit I'd get anyway. I suspect it's pretty small if at all. So, instead of being totally neurotic about my timing, I'm just a bit neurotic and have run with what is both easy and has improved how I look, feel, and perform.

Just a wee-diversion:

I receive a lot of questions about fasting, autophagy etc. It's a fascinating topic and fortunately, there is a lot of research underway. Some research suggests longer fasts (3-5 days) are particularly beneficial for autophagy, which may have a host of health benefits due to cellular recycling. That's awesome exciting stuff…so how often should YOU do 3-5 day fasts? I have no idea. Again, there is a lot of context and nuance here. I have kinda cooked myself in the past doing training and fasting, so it makes me nervous in some ways. Here are some things to consider with regards to health and longevity:

1- Just figuring out how to NOT overeat is likely the biggest win possible. In animal models of calorie restriction the main benefit of CRAN appears to be protection from the typical crappy lab-chow fed to these critters. The analogous story for us is staying out of the snack aisle, eating perhaps 2 meals per day most days. Dodging hyperpalatable foods is not the easiest thing to do, but I could make a case that this will provide 90% of any benefit we'd like to see from diet, almost regardless of macronutrient composition.

2- There are a lot of things that promote autophagy and health that we can do besides fasting. Good sleep, exercise, coffee consumption, and perhaps just a little ketosis and or time restricted feeding ALL enhance autophagy and have some decent literature supporting their healthfulness. I can do these pretty much every day and I don't have to worry about cooking my HPTA axis by trying to exercise and fast. I try to hit BJJ as often as possible, so this just seems to work better for me. Do I ever do longer fasting? Kinda. If I get super busy I may not eat a whole day. Rare, but it happens. I DO tend to fast while traveling, particularly if I have time-zone changes. That fasted state lends itself to establishing a new circadian set-point at the new location. So, a couple times per month you can hear my stomach growling a bit while sitting on an airplane. All in all, this is easy and seems to support my goals. For you, fasting might be a great idea, I'd just keep in mind we can do a lot of things daily that support the mechanisms of what that extended fast theoretically provides.

Before I forget: I weigh about 170lbs, I get ~120-150g of protein most days (occasionally I'll do a super low protein day…maybe 30g…I drop this in randomly and actually like it) 75-150g of carbs (fewer on travel or really sedentary days) and the rest fat (total calorie load can vary more than 1,000 on a sedentary day vs a day when i do 2 hrs of rolling…So I ahve a big range there)

This thing is gearing up to be a book, but there is an important topic peripheral to chow that I need to mention, which is gut health. I suspect some of my carb intolerance has historically been due to some niggling gut issue.

I did extensive testing and got back what looked like mild SIBO (which did not surprise me) and some likely fungal overgrowth (which DID surprise me). I followed some pretty complex protocols to deal with both of these issues, and after a lot of supplements, weird poos and other strange things, my digestion is…better. I've tended to be on the "loose" side of the Bristol stool chart for about 25 years. This is much better. My blood glucose seems to be better, and here is an interesting one: I think my gluten sensitivity is better! Over the past 20 years I've just taken it as granted that I'd get some kind of a gluten cross contamination while eating out, particularly while traveling (which is another reason why I tend to fast while traveling).

Over the past year I have not noticed ONE instance like this. The obvious thing to do is pressure test the system and just grab a cookie or beer and see what happens, but it sucks when I get a gluten dose…If I've "just" managed to get myself healthy enough to not be poisoned while eating out…I'll call that a major win. There is precedent for this in the literature: some kids with celiac were given a fecal transplant. A remarkable number of the kids no longer showed celiac pathology upon gluten challenge

Some gut bacteria CAN degrade gluten to a degree that it is largely benign (or not so nasty.) It may be this is what happened. I'll keep y'all updated as time goes on, but it makes a case for continuing to explore options if you have any health concern. I did not obsess about my wonky gut, but I also did not roll over and accept defeat. As I'm writing this I'm realizing it could be a number of things coming together in a favorable way: more sun, more early sun, improved gut health, more happiness, less stress. The gut protocol could be all, some or none of the changes I've had. Just worth noting.


Back in April of 2017 I hit a pretty serious milestone in my jiu jitsu training by receiving my purple belt. For those not familiar with BJJ this might help with regards to belts and competency: One starts with a white belt, after a period of time advances to blue, then purple, brown, and finally black belt. An analogy that works (in my head anyway) is a blue belt is like an associates degree, purple=Bachelors, brown=Masters, black=doctorate/Phd. The internet being what it, is I'm sure some folks will quibble over some nuance of this story, but I think it's pretty solid and provides some context for folks not in this scene. This was a pretty serious accomplishment for me and it's just a bit odd to wrap my head around. Historically, purple belts are the folks that just beat the dog-piss out of me (kinda). Although not universal, purple belts have always struck me as being REALLY proficient in BJJ while also seeming to be just a bit…cranky. They seem to like to dish out an ass-whooping, whereas brown and black belts seem a bit more content to "play" if given the right energy. Now, I find myself in the position of being one of these quasi-mythical beings and it's just kinda odd.  


I think I've talked a few times about what I get from training BJJ but I've had a few more thoughts on that: I DO love it for the "flow state" that I can attain while rolling and drilling. I tend to be pretty cerebral, so anything that turns the monkey-brain "off" is liberating. Right behind the liberation is a really interesting sense of transparency and accountability. One cannot fake nor BS their way through rolling any more than they could Salsa dancing or speaking a language effectively. Despite the gi or rash-guard, one is pretty neked. This is good for me as it'd be easy to stick with things I have decent competency in..that make me look good. I have a small degree of notoriety for the work I've done, I'm still half decent in the gym…it'd be easy to stick with that stuff so I have  a nice, airtight image. I've seen folks do that, and all kinds of ugly mental states emerge from that process, not the least of which is a super nasty flavor of narcissism. Although I've made incredible improvements in BJJ, I still suck, I will always suck compared to someone somewhere. 

That's a good reminder and constant daily lesson. Mixed into this lesson of humility however, I've also discovered a degree of self confidence and belief that did not exist previously.

Confidence, born of hard work, absent ego (ish), born of love. It's been pretty powerful.

Although I have made physical progress in the past year for sure, I have to say the greatest improvements for me have been mental. I'm thinking about starting a side-blog where I can prattle about some of this stuff, so if this is of interest to you, keep an eye open for that.

I try to train as often as I can. Most weeks this is likely 3x, although it can range from none to 5x in a given week based on work demands, kids, etc. I usually get a few scheduled classes per week, one private (working mainly on takedowns, although that varies), and then I try to organize some open mats with folks who are game to do positional drilling. If there is one thing that has improved my rolling the most it's been the drilling emphasis vs just live rolling after a few reps of "the technique of the day."

My coaches, Scott and Andrew at Guerrilla Jiu-jitsu in Reno, have been incredible…they put an enormous amount of thought and planning into what they do. You can tell when someone has been thinking about curriculum vs showing up, doing an armpit fart as a warm-up and then pulling something out of their backsides.

I continue to get incredible value from Henry Akins Hidden Jiu Jitsu program. It is absolute gold. I have to admit to some degree of trepidation at recommending Henry's work as it is enough of an advantage that I'm not sure I want everyone to know about it! That said, Henry is an amazing guy and the world really does need to get a perspective like his on the art of BJJ. I've also learned that no matter how much I suggest that folks check this material out, most will not and for two goofy reasons:

1- Cost. People will balk at the cost of the online materials and seminars. If you can't afford it, I get it, but how many nights out drinking would it take to get VIP access to his materials? Not many. If you value your time at all you are hard pressed to not make a case for making every training session count. Henry's program can help with that in remarkable ways.

2- People assume they know this material. With very few exceptions, folks DO NOT know this material. It is not magic, but it is a remarkable amount of details and context. folks balk at this all the time and all i can say is "You do not know what you do not know." 

In the next section I'm going to talk about my strength and conditioning to support my general goals, but strength and "cardio" are interesting in the context of learning what I'd call "good" jiujitsu. Good jiujitsu should (ideally) not require huge amounts of strength or conditioning. If I have to exert some kind of maximal force to make something work, I'm not doing it in an efficient way. If I rely on scrambling to stay always ahead of someone, I'm likely missing an opportunity at efficiency. An epiphany I had this year: If I'm training in a way that I could potentially get OUT OF SHAPE doing jiujitsu…I'm likely doing it right. My main training goal should be efficiency, and efficiency to such a degree that the training is barely a stimulus for me.

That's an ideal to shoot for IMO. If you are really focussed on competition jiujitsu this still applies BUT this is where strength and conditioning can fill an interesting gap (I'll get to this in a moment). Efficiency is still something anyone in combatives should strive for as it's something that will not really degrade with time and aging. I don't want to build an engine or game that I need to completely re-jigger every five years as I physically decline. This is in part why I do not have a "cloth dependent" game and my gi vs no-gi games are remarkably similar. An added bonus to this is my fingers and hands are not eff'd up from rolling. If yoou are spending 30 min taping your hands to roll for an hour…yea, you might want to re-evaluate that. 

I'll make an additional case for efficiency by looking at elite Kenyan runnersI don't follow endurance athletics much but one would have to live under a rock to not know these folks are phenomenal distance runners. There appear to be a number of reasons for this success, but perhaps the most important include both anthropometrics and training which facilitate a high degree of efficiency. If one can save energy, or direct that energy in a highly efficient way, it's a remarkable advantage.

One final point that is perhaps worth mentioning: The past year I focussed almost exclusively on defense. Henry made a point at a seminar that if one can develop a solid defense game it opens up attacks, sweeps, etc as you do not really worry about getting in a bad spot. I still get tapped, but it's a good bit of work on the part of the brown and black belts to do this…so I'm now focusing my efforts to get solid in my finishes. This was a really enjoyable way to slice all this up (at least for me) and if your ego can handle it, I think this type of focus can pay big dividends.

I got to spend some time with my dear friend and 3rd degree BJJ black belt, Roy Dean. Roy shot some video of us training, check it out if you'd like:


If you have followed previous updates you will likely recall I've leaned heavily on the Gymnastics Bodies program, as it hits both strength and mobility work at the same time. I've tweaked and modified this over time, largely in response to the demands I face from work and family. The past year I have gone to a remarkably minimalist program that looks like the following:

2 days per week of weights or some kind of gymnastics movements broken up like this:

Day 1- Vertical press/pull (DB press, neutral grip chins for example) and a hinge movement (trap bar dead-lift).

Day 2- Horizontal press/pull (DB press and DB rows for example) and a squatting or lunging movement.

I will get a weight that is fairly challenging for say 5 reps but will only do 2-4 reps in a given set. I'll rest for 5-10 seconds then do another set. I'll keep doing this until I get 24-30 reps on the movement, then I move on. This has been super time efficient with all my "lifting" happening in 15-20 min, including a warmup.  I then focus a good 10-15 min on gymnastics based mobility work.

This has been fantastic for me…I'm not going to set any records doing this but am (for me) reasonably strong, I'm not bored, and like always, the gym work does not negatively impact my jiujitsu. If you are just starting strength training this may not work for you, as a more traditional set/rep scheme with longer rests will almost certainly produce better strength gains, but for me, it works great.

Conditioning has changed a bit in the past year. Because I am working for efficiency in my rolling I've supplemented my 140bpm "cardio" (usually some kind of low intensity circuit) with some anaerobic threshold work (typically on an airdyne or some specific circuits). I think I've built a decent aerobic engine at this point, and I find that the harder intervals both feel good and I recover from them quickly. An important point: Although I am pushing this work harder than in the past, my gym sessions are almost never a max effort. If I know I'll not get to roll a given week then I will get after the conditioning pretty hard. Otherwise, I'm still searching for that "minimum effective dose."

Hows it all working? I feel as good as I can remember, reasonably lean and strong, I can work long hours when I need to…so far, so good.

Work and Life

2018 marks 20 years of tinkering with "The Paleo Diet" and everything surrounding ancestral health. It feels like things have gone by in a blink. Zoe is now 5, Sagan 3…this is crazy stuff! Turning 46, twenty-years in a career path…it was interesting as an exercise in mortality. When the next 20 years elapses, I'm going to be a lot closer to my permanent dirt-nap and I've really been thinking about how to best spend my time, both for my family and for the work I want to do. I remember my parents at this age and they were OLD. I'm grateful that the food and lifestyle choices I've made have helped the aging process, as I really do not feel old. Travel can knacker me, I need to be smart about my training, but there is not much I can't do today that I could do 20 years ago. Conversely, there are many things I CAN do now that I could not previously (that whole skill-set represented by the purple belt).

On the work front I asked a number of you folks what you'd like to see from the podcast and other offerings. There is more information available than ever and I want to make that as worth y'alls time as possible, so I'm bringing back the Q&A portion of the podcast, and to the degree I do interviews it will mainly focus on folks in the cutting edge of research. We have some other projects cooking that are largely inspired by the feedback we had from you folks and I'm excited to roll that out soon.

I had a really interesting development in 2017, and that was joining the Chickasaw Nation in an advisory role for their Unconquered Life Initiative. This is interesting in that it validated my thoughts not only on health, but also insurance, healthcare, community, decentralization, economics, and sustainability. All of these topics are woven together. Hardly anyone is talking about the disparate parts, to say nothing of practical integration of these ideas. I'd not be surprised if when I pen "My training at 66" that I'll still be working with these folks. The reason why is it will be a systems based approach that addresses the problems we face. If I see folks talk about these topics it's usually in a highly reductionist way that mises context and integration. It looks a LOT like how symptoms based medicine progressed in the 20th century. I don't toot my own horn often, but I'm pretty good at synthese and context. Some of the material y'all will see in the months and years to come may challenge you in some uncomfortable ways, but I'd encourage you to hang in, ask questions, and help bring these ideas and programs to fruition. When I first got involved with the paleo diet concept there were perhaps a few hundred people on the planet interested in it. Millions of people now tinker with these concepts, and there are more research studies underway than I believe have been done to date. More on all of this soon.

Thanks for hanging in here with me! I tried to be as thorough as possible, but if I missed anything, please do leave a comment and I'll tackle that.




Original Content: My Training at 46!!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

The Good Ole’ Days When Kids Only Had Type 1 Diabetes…

I really wish this was a headline from The Onion, but alas, it's not. There was a time not that long ago that diabetes in children meant one thing, and that was autoimmune driven Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes used to be called "adult onset diabetes." It's now "for everyone." The news article details how a three year old toddler pulled down the DM2 (diabetes mellitus 2)  diagnosis…there are several sections worth noting:

"Doctors reviewed the child's diet and found the family had poor nutritional habits with uncontrolled calories and fat. Both her weight and body mass index (BMI) were in the top 5 percent of all children her age."

Although it's a nice story to tell that carbs and carbs alone are the cause of DM2, it's not really accurate. Too many calories, which can come from fat OR carbs are clearly the factor here…but it's worth noting in the above paragraph…the medical staff identified too many calories were being consumed (all fine there) but ONLY mention fat as a problem. I PROMISE you this kid was not overeating butter, bacon, nuts, and eggs. I will bet the farm, to the degree fat IS a factor here, it's being carried down the pie-hole on the backbone on refined carbs. The hyper-palatable combination of fat and carbs is tough to turn down and is clearly irresistible to kids. This is also interesting:

"Reversal of type 2 diabetes in children is possible by early screening of obese children, early diagnosis, appropriate therapy and lifestyle modification," Yafi said.

Yes, we can intervene in type 2 diabetes, yes good lifestyle and diet changes can turn this around, but damage has already been done at this point, particularly in a toddler. What epigenetic changes have occurred that will predispose this little girl (and the growing number of kids like her) to everything from neurodegeneration to various forms of cancer? We don't know and we will not know until the costs, both in human and economic terms, have literally crushed us.

The only thing that may perk up the ears of researchers and the medical community may be some kind of class-action process, not dissimilar to what we saw happen with tobacco. It's time to get this story and what we do about it right, our kids deserve better than this.

Original Content: The Good Ole' Days When Kids Only Had Type 1 Diabetes…

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Episode 383 – Q&A with Robb and Nicki!


Hey Folks!

You asked for it, and we delivered. We're back with a Q&A episode!

If you have a question for a future episode, submit them here

Show notes:

1. (4:41) Ketosis and Carbohydrate timing

Ryan says:

Hi Robb. I don't know if this will reach you, but while listening to your podcast and reading your first book, a hundred questions pop into my head. This is one of them. I thought about asking my doctor, but I knew a blank stare and a sweaty forehead would be his answer. So here goes: Does frequency of carb intake play a role in disrupting ketosis? For example, if I am going to eat 150 grams in total of carbohydrates today, will eating all 150 grams of carbs at the same meal knock me out of ketosis for an EQUAL amount of time as eating 15 grams every hour for 10 hours?* My theory is eating 15 grams of carbs an hour for 10 hours will be just enough to keep a person out of ketosis for a longer period of time than eating all 150 grams in one meal while carb-fasting for the rest of the day. I could be wrong, but that's why I'm asking the master. Thank you in advance for any time you can dedicate to the this question. Have a great day.

*Lets assume we are talking about starchy carbohydrates (rice, potatoes, etc.), not leafy green vegetables or other low glycemic vegetables.


Links: Meal frequency and timing in health and disease-PNAS


2. (9:34) Genetics and Keto

Charles says:

Robb mentioned in the Paleo(f)x keto interview that he had some genetics (SNPs) that perhaps made Keto not a great diet for him, yet he gets around it somewhat with some supplementation including with Carnitine. I dabble in Keto and have made lots of progress with my health as a result. I plan to sign up for the Master Class too. I have done genetic testing already with 23 and me. I wonder if Robb could tell me the SNPs to look for to see what kind of genetic fit Keto is for me. I have a feeling I will find out in the Master Class, but would love to hear what Robb has to say or perhaps there is a link to an article or podcast that would do the trick.


Found my fitness genetic interpretation:

FTO gene is called fat mass and obesity-associated protein because it is the gene that is the major genetic risk factor for obesity. This particular genotype, rs17817449(G;T), is associated with a 1.3-fold increased obesity risk. Saturated fat may have a negative effect on blood glucose and insulin levels and increases type 2 diabetes risk in individuals with this genotype.

All sat'd fats the same?? NO.

No one asks why this is:

Sat'd fats increase endotoxemia to some degree:
Dietary oil composition differentially modulates intestinal endotoxin transport and postprandial endotoxemia-Nutrition and metabolism
Sat'd fats also tend to increase Lipoproteins and cholesterol, at least in some people. Is that bad? Maybe, maybe not, #context:

Multiple mechanisms:

1-LPS binding protein

2-Multiple hepatic cells and receptors, including LDL-receptor

3-Small, dense lipoproteins work better for this!!

In total, this FTO mutation is overall beneficial in dealing with endotoxemia dn infection. Consistent with other SNP's I have (celiac potential, mild iron accretion). Shows direct influence of adaptations to agriculture. DAIRY really increases this for me.


3. (16:51) Familial history of cancer and the Ketogenic diet for prevention

Clint says:

Hey Robb-

When I look back into my family history, a boatload of people have had various forms of cancer. We've run the gamut of colon cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, etc… I've listened to quite a few podcasts with Dominic D'Agostino in regards to the ketogenic diet as a tool in the toolbox for combating cancer and lessening the effects of Chemo. I've also heard on various podcasts the use of periodic multi-day fasts to help expunge faulty cells from the body in hopes for cancer prevention. I've been looking into these methods of cancer prevention and wanted your two cents on the matter. I'm 32 years old, 6'2″, 180lbs. I'm an endurance athlete/run coach and compete in races from 5k-100 miles. If, in your opinion, these are good tools in regards to helping keep cancer at bay, at what age should I start implementing them? How would I go about balancing a ketogenic diet and being an endurance athlete w/out completely frying my adrenals? I'm not necessarily against reassessing my performance goals to include goals of health and longevity. It's not like I'm being paid to be an upper-midpack runner.

Thanks for all that you do! Really looking forward to the new book


aka "Run Coach Clint"


Likely sweet spot for IF is 18-24hrs:

Scant evidence of periodic starvation among hunter-gatherers.


4. (24:25) Fasting impact on weight training

Matt says:

when doing longer fasts like 5-7 day should one stop weight training altogether or keep thing business as usual?


5. (26:32) Cycling the carbs: is it supposed to suck

Kate the Great says:

Hey guys, huge fan of the podcast, although I'm only a hundred-some episodes in and trying to catch up. Scroll down for the actual question.

I eat Paleo (duh- how could anyone listen to 100+ hours of Robb Wolf and not eat that way), which means no grains, dairy, legumes, or sugar. I'm also well on my way to converting the metabolically-resistant trifecta of my Baby Boomer mother and father and my Hot Cheeto-loving fiancĂ©– which seems to be the Holy Grail of Paleo living.

I actually "discovered" Paleo when my fiancé and I did a month-long no-sugar challenge. Part of the protocol involved eliminating grains and dairy before adding it back in, and I noticed how much better I felt when ate things besides grain, dairy, and sugar. Turns out there is a name for it. I shortly transitioned into low-carb Paleo, around 50g-65g/day, because I got healthier and felt better simply eating meat, fish, eggs, sardines, avocado and coconut, and low-starch vegetables.

On low-carb Paleo, I started absolutely shredding weight and dropping body fat. 16% to 12% body fat in two weeks- which was very alarming. My body adapts pretty quickly to whatever is thrown at it, and I tend to gain muscle and drop fat easily, but this was definitely unprecedented. After seeing that weight loss, listening through the podcast, and choosing to add in a few more weekly sessions of BJJ and Muay Thai, I figured it would be prudent to add in some high-carb days.

Here's the curve ball: I'm a cop who works the road, but with a balling swing-shift schedule. 4 days on/4 days off, 1:30 PM to 1:00 AM (and we get paid an hour a day to workout). From what I hear, shift work is the devil, but I haven't had any problems with it. Yet.

I started adding in a high-carb (200g) day every 8 days- it falls on my first day off. Carbs come from corn chips or tortillas at a Mexican restaurant, homemade coconut flour pancakes with banana and blueberries, and tons of raw vegetables (like a party-tray of dipping veggies with no dip).

Here's the problem: on high carb days, I feel like BUTT. Bloating, fatigue, rapid heart rate, inability to focus my eyes or even keep them open, crashing and sleeping 14 hours that night, confusion, extreme thirst, muscle cramping, headaches, stuffy nose, and mental fog. On the following day, I am sluggish to wake up, but fine by the afternoon, and absolutely slay workouts. I'm talking adding 20 lbs to previous weeks' lifts, or able to go for hours nonstop in the ring. I love what the high-carb days do for me, but I hate them in the moment.

This crash doesn't seem normal or healthy, and I can't figure out what it's coming from. Is it (1) a possible gluten exposure/cross-contamination? (2) a downer after four days of high-adrenaline work? (3) entirely too much fiber? (4) a combination of all the above? And am I giving myself the diabetes? What is the reason for this crash; is it a necessary part of carb-cycling, and how do I make it stop? I would go back to all low-carb, but I want to stave off further weight loss and pre-empt a hormonal clusterf*ck with the high-intensity workouts, high-stress job, and low-carb.

Trading Card Stats:

+27 YO female

+5'10" 150 lbs., 13% body fat (walked myself down from 200 lbs and 20% body fat as an SEC hammer thrower 5 years ago)

+Literally perfect lab blood work

+BJJ, Muay Thai, long walks on the beach and candlelight dinners during my four days off (no but really, lots of walking with the martial arts those days)

+Olympic lifting and power lifting (working off Rusin's FHT program right now, but historically have designed my own) and running (sprints or middle distance no greater than 3 miles) on work days

+roughly 150g protein, 100g fat, 50g carbs on low carb days; 150g protein, 20-30g fat, 200g carbs on high-carb days

+supplement with Carlson's fish oil, Natural Calm most nights; adaptogenic herbs or tea PRN after a high-stress work day (get shot at or crash the car, etc.)

+7 hours of sleep on work nights, 9 hours of sleep on off nights

+Hormonal girl stuff is fine.


+Health, longevity, mitigate a stressful job

+Maintain excellent PT scores (1.5 mile run, 1-minute pushups, 1-minute sit-ups, 300 meter sprint)

+SWAT tryouts in a year: involves a 24-hour physical endurance and shooting test with 80 lbs. of gear

+Continue to improve in martial arts so I don't get my narrow Paleo butt handed to me on the street by some dude who eats 7-11 hot dogs.

Huge thanks to you and the team. Don't get any ideas or anything, but I can't believe all this is free. Love and support from VA.


6. (31:20) Weight loss–How much is too much?

Jacquelyn says:

About a month ago, I began the sugar elimination Paleo Meal plan. I needed to lose a lot of weight. I have spinal stenosis, severe lumbar arthritis and in the right hip. high blood pressure, prediabetes, Hashimoto's disease, lactose and gluten intolerant, etc. I take medication for the high blood pressure and the Hashimoto's disease. I've been going to the gym for 18 months—working on various muscle groups and doing cardio. I lost NOTHING, but my muscles did firm up—so I lost inches. My doctor and physical therapist were both nagging me to change something to get the weight off. I met with a friend of mine who has a company called: Verri Well. She advised me to do the sugar elimination plan (meat, veggies and fruit each meal). and see how it goes. I did. Within 4 days, the chronic pain I had in my lumbar spine and right hip disappeared. I continued eating meals based on the plan and going to the gym or walking everyday. At the end of a month, I went to my doctor's office for a check in. I lost 35 lbs in the first month. My doctor freaked out saying that it was dangerous for my organs what I was doing. I needed to slow down the weight loss and put peanut butter, bananas back in my diet and lose the citrus fruits. Well, I'm not going to do that because I feel it would hinder my progress. I like the way I'm feeling. My doctor added that my heart and kidneys would not be able to take the rapid weight loss. So, I am asking you for a general opinion. If I am working out everyday, and sticking to a paleo meal plan—Is a weight loss of 35 lbs for the first month unheard of or dangerous for my organs (starting weight was 280lbs)??? If so, what should the amount of pounds be for weight loss? Or does it even matter? I can see my doctor's position if I was anorexic or bulimic. But that is not the case at all. Thank you for reading. I really need your help with this.


Twitter: @RobbWolf
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Facebook: @RobbWolfOnline


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Original Content: Episode 383 – Q&A with Robb and Nicki!