Balanced Bites Podcast

Balanced Bites Podcast: Episode #14: Healthy Holidays, Diabetes, Supplements & Calories

Diane Sanfilippo Podcast Episodes 2 Comments

Episode #14


Discussion Topics:

  • Keeping the holidays healthy- Thanksgiving dinner, parties, etc.



1. Keeping the holidays healthy- Thanksgiving dinner, parties, etc. [ 12:47] 2. Diabetes (Type 2) and protein consumption [25:50] 3. Paleo success, then weight gain/creep [36:38] 4. Building muscle without supplements, possible? [48:38] 5. Calories in/calories out [54:58]

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LIZ WOLFE: Hey everybody, I'm Liz Wolfe, sidekick to Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites, and welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. Just a little disclaimer, the materials and content contained in this podcast are for general health information only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. So there you go. Diane, are you there? What's going on?

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I'm here, hey.


DIANE SANFILIPPO: Just getting a whole bunch of stuff together for gearing up to start a new Sugar Detox group for December 1st, which I'm kind of excited about. I had a really, really good response and I wasn't sure that people would be psyched about trying to kick some sugar and carb cravings over, you know, between the holidays, but I think people just kind of rolled in from Thanksgiving feeling not so great, and just want to give themselves a few weeks to rest, and I just think it's pretty…pretty brave of all of them to do it before the New Year. You know, the standard where people are like, oh New Year, new habits, and I'm like good for you guys. So very excited about that. Made a bunch of updates to my program guide, so yeah. Just kind of like a little announcement about that. The updates that I made, because there's a bunch of people who bought it probably awhile ago, and anyone who owns it is actually eligible to receive free updates, so they just have to join the emailing list, put their order number just to verify and they can go ahead and get the free updates when I send them, which isn't too too often, but when I do them, they're pretty, you know, pretty substantial. It's not like a typo or one recipe, I try to add a bunch of stuff. But I did separate-there's a guide in the book that's kind of a yes/no foods lists. I know a lot of people just like to hang up a list kind of in their cubicle or in their fridge, and I separated it out for different levels of the program.

I think I mentioned this before that it's not just for people who are Paleo or Primal or grain-free entirely. It's really for anyone, you know, anyone kind of off the street and just looking to make some changes. That's why I have the different levels, so people can kind of check that out and help identify by where-which level they might fall into based on what their current eating habits are, and then add in some modifications. If you're an athlete, or a pregnant or nursing mom, a few Frequently Asked Questions so, yeah. I'm excited about that. I really loved hearing the success stories that people have with just getting, you know, sugar and refined foods out of their diet and making some changes. So have you ever done the Sugar Detox type of deal?

LIZ WOLFE: Have I done your Sugar Detox?

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Well, any. Have you ever like taken 3 weeks not really-I mean, this is whole-food based, so it's not-there's some tweaky rules that seem weird, but it's like a combination of getting your habits changed as well as balancing out not really just taking in added sweeteners. But it's not like absolutely zero, you know, grams of sugar ever in this detox? But have you ever done something to kick that stuff or…?

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, like…and I liked your philosophy on it because, you know, now and then, I'm like, on almost anything you can kind of feel when you're going a little too far in the opposite direction. Like we've talked about coffee a couple times. You know, I'll go. There are times when I look at, you know, my coffee grinder and it's literally crying and hiding in the corner because I've just been working it out way too much. So…and it's the same with sugar. I mean, I'll do some raw milk ice cream and some stuff like that now and then, but sometimes I have to be a little careful with. So I think that's definitely a good idea to kind of press the reset button like that without getting super militant and kind of neurotic about it, just because for me, my primary detox when it comes to food is kind of the emotional.


LIZ WOLFE: I need a little emotional detox now and then, and putting these kind of on-wagon/off-wagon labels on stuff can be a little bit dysregulating for me.


LIZ WOLFE: So yeah, I like your approach to that a lot.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: That's actually a good point, too. A couple of things I wanted to talk about today that you just reminded me of. The idea of being like all or nothing on, you know, whether it's a detox program like this or you know, any kind of like strict Paleo challenge or even just, you know, you put yourself on a track and then you set yourself up sort of for failure in a sense when you make things too strict. The reality is the Sugar Detox-it's pretty strict, but it's also not that strict, in some ways. It's like more strict sort of if you need it to be, which is why it has those different levels. But I was actually talking to our friend, Laura today from Ancestralize Me. We were-just like a few minutes ago, we were having this conversation about, you know, how people have some expectations of maybe having a perfect diet solving everything and you know, she was saying how she'd been listening to a bunch of our podcasts and realizing that a lot of people kind of have that thought that if they just make their food perfect, that everything else will work for them or will sort of fall in line with their health, and I was saying, you know, I really think that a good diet is a by-product of a good lifestyle or positive lifestyle changes because the food is really such a small part, you know what I mean? Like we set up our lives so that we can make good food choices, have good food around, and I think-I think it's like you know, 80% of it is getting your lifestyle arranged and that includes the planning, the thinking, the preparation, and just the education on what you should be eating. But the food itself is like, not that it's a small part what you eat, it's just that actual. you know, now this is what's in front of me, it's sort of the last step, you know? Does that-


DIANE SANFILIPPO: Do you think that that kind of makes sense?

LIZ WOLFE: I do, and I think that's kind of evident in the way I think a lot of people approach this lifestyle, kind of as they get more into it. For example, with me, I kind of naturally transitioned into kind of Paleo-style body care. And I started, you know, kind of shifting my priorities around and wanting to maybe support some small farmers and small like artis-artis–is it arti-SAN-al? or artisanal? Whatever. You know, small producers of almost anything supporting small businesses, so like, you know, that's kind of a tangent, but it's also speaks to the fact that this type of stuff kind of pervades everything else, you know? Everything is really interactive.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Right. Yeah. I just-I think, and I actually got asked this question this week, too, from Jen Sinkler from Experience Life, and you know, you guys will probably be able my full response to her question about like just the concept of a cheat day or something like that, and I just look at it as, you know, this whole-the whole thing is all like one big issue of, you know, how does the person even approach their diet and lifestyle in the first place? Are they trying to live every day as some kind of super strict set of rules that are almost impossible to live by? Or is it..I almost don't even like the 80/20 rule because I feel like again, you've set yourself up with a set percentage of well, I'm not going to do what I know is right this percentage of the time. Like I just think that when you become more realistic about how different things impact your health one way or the other, you just naturally fall into a pattern of something that you find to be sustainable for you. And you know, we're like on a tangent, but it's kind of the same topic. Just this idea that okay, well so if dark chocolate or, you know, you're saying like a small batch, really high quality ice cream, like, I don't consider those things to be cheats. Like I think, we consider that we pick the best form possible of things, and we factor them into our life, and that's kind of it, and like move on from it. I think when you assign the word ‘cheat' to it, there's also a bunch of guilt that gets assigned and when we, you know, start to tap into all those emotional issues around food, I just find that having guilt associated with the food that I'm eating makes all of it worse than whatever it is that I might even, you know, how to enjoy a treat of.


DIANE SANFILIPPO: These kind of…

LIZ WOLFE: You know, a lot of times, I'll have…I mean, if you're going to go into that whole like “cheat/treat” rabbit hole, you know, and partitioning what's quote unquote good and what's quote unquote bad within this kind of like Paleo-acceptable spectrum, you have to also kind of look at your mindset in the same way. So like if you're allowing yourself to kind of slip down these crazy rabbit holes or fall into guilt or fall into on-wagon/off-wagon behavior, like that to me is like a mental cheat. You know what I mean?


LIZ WOLFE: Those things can be just as toxic to you physically as say, you know, a bowl of ice cream.


LIZ WOLFE: So many things are just [xxx 9:41], that you just have to commit to making the best choices possible in an informed manner and move forward, maximize the happiness, and just enjoy your life.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, totally. Yeah, I think that's a really good point, like if you're trying to live in this way where like 80 or 90% of the time you're feeling like holier than thou and I'm working so hard to achieve this level of perfection, but then, you know, there's so much guilt when you do that cheat or you like planning to go off of it, and you have this like crazy thought process around it all the time. I just think, yeah, that gets a little too nutty and it's like, everybody calm down, you know, right? Learn. Exactly what you said. Learn how this stuff works in your body. Like when I kind of teach people about, I don't know, better or worse kind of treat options. Or I like the word “treat” better than “cheat.” I just think that “treat” sounds like a positive thing…


DIANE SANFILIPPO: Maybe it's weird and it gets into too much around like rewarding yourself with food, but I-whatever. I like the idea of enjoying a treat vs. feeling guilty about a cheat. I think that that's kind of more where I would take, but, you know, once you learn, okay, what do these things do in my body, to my body, etc. exactly so you can make an informed decision about, okay, I'm going to eat this. I know that this is sugar. I know sugar is not good for me for all of the following reasons, but you know, from you personally, I know gluten is going to be a hell of a lot worse for my system and probably most people's systems and depending on whatever else is coming in that package with the gluten, you know, can be a lot worse than maybe a sort of Paleo-fied treat once in awhile. So anyway.

Long story short. Sugar Detox, I think it's a great thing. I actually almost like better the people who are coming in who haven't made a lot of changes to their diet yet because it's not a huge challenge for people who already don't eat grains or don't eat dairy potentially. You're cutting out most fruit. There's a bunch of little nitpicky things that are sometimes more like lifestyle oriented than just diet or eating sweets-oriented and sort of yes/no foods. But yeah, I think it's good to try it. I think it's good to discover things about yourself and see how you might feel and just challenge your habits vs. even just the idea of you know, having rules to follow. I think that it's-I think it's about food. I think It's good to change up your habits for a little while. And the 21 day thing, you know, supposedly it takes 21 days to create new habits and so, you know, we kind of dabble in that realm. That was kind of [laughs]…That's what I had on 21 Day Sugar Detox, some sort of ideas around, you know, lifestyle and diet really being more lifestyle than just food choices.


DIANE SANFILIPPO: What about-hey, do you want to talk a little bit about your Thanksgiving dinner? Maybe we can give some people some ideas around, you know, obviously we have some more holidays coming up, parties, and Christmas, Hanukah, whatever other holiday season, and just kind of talk about anything that you guys enjoyed and how you kind of keep it-keep it healthy.

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. We…well, we celebrate Festivus. I don't know if you're familiar, but…

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I think I've heard of it [laughs].

LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] We actually did a full..the Food Lovers Make it Paleo Thanksgiving. So my mom who has gotten really into the whole Paleo/Primal lifestyle over the last few years just stayed up, you know, for 48 hours cooking everything that she could find in that cookbook basically. I mean, we had pumpkin pie with-she actually did a coconut flour crust, which was awesome. We did, let's see, oh, it was so fun.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I like how you started with dessert.

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, exactly. That's all I remember at this point because it was pretty much what I ate the entire next day, but yeah, we did. I had a little bit of kind of green bean casserole modification that to me is even better, and I didn't think it was possible, but it's even better than those little crispy, you know, partially hydrogenated soaked onions that everybody puts on their green bean casserole, so that was really good. And the cool thing, I mean, generally they're approximately the same foods. We pretty much leave out the bread and the processed grain and stuff like that. We try to make it a little bit lower sugar, but what's cool is that usually Thanksgiving in the past has been kind of, hey, let's start a little tailspin for December. You know, it's that priming your system to be completely addicted to everything at the buffet table at the holiday parties for the next month and a half.

But when you kind of try and eat well, and keep it fairly unrefined, I don't know. I really don't feel that drive to do all this holiday eating.


LIZ WOLFE: So drinking, you know, binge drinking, yeah, maybe I'll still do that.


LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] That's about it.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: A little-little grass-fed egg nog or something? [laughs]

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's what I mean, definitely.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Cool, well…is there what?

LIZ WOLFE: Is there tequila in egg nog? No?

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Uh, I don't think so. I think it's rum.

LIZ WOLFE: Oh, I don't know about that.


LIZ WOLFE: That might not work for me.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Maybe you'll have to create a new holiday drink with tequila and blog about that.

LIZ WOLFE: A Paleo holiday cocktail. I can do it. And if anybody else has ideas, please leave them…comment on one of our Facebook pages or something like that because I would like to know.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I'm tasking you with that, but okay, cool. See what you get..see what we can dig up. Yeah, we actually-I don't know-it's like pretty cool every time we have family over for dinner. I do my best to make it pretty much a grain free meal. I mean, the best gift I always give to my mom these days is cooking stuff for the whole family, taking that pressure. And I think that's kind of a good tip for people trying to help their families make some transitions, especially with your parents or, you know, somebody who's hosting a holiday event is to do a bunch of the cooking. Not only will you get to eat something you know is good and you know, grain free kind of healthy deal, but you know, it's a really nice gift and it takes a lot of pressure off of them. So things I made this year were my grain free sausage and apple stuffing, which was a huge hit. My grandma was so completely confused that there were not grains in it, that there was no bread in there. I mean, she's adorable. I posted pictures of her on Facebook and all over the place and it's like literally, almost every time I see her, I have to remind her that I don't eat bread or any other grains for that matter. Even today I took her out to the grocery store, and just buying head cheese at the counter, and she was like, oh, how about if I buy you some of these chocolate cookies? I was like, Grandma, I don't eat cookies, and she's like, really? Oh, okay, how about just a little treat? And I'm like, I have some prosciutto. That was what I was buying as my snack because I was kind of hungry, and I'm like, I have this. Don't worry. You know, I've got it covered. And you know, I just have to remind her all the time, but anyway, she really loved the stuffing. I think the apples really made it for her.

And then what was the other thing that I made? Oh! A cauliflower puree, which was like absolutely the hit. Two things that were completely empty off the table by the time that that sitting of dinner was done. There was like 3 bites of stuffing left for the next day, but the cauliflower was totally gone, and the gravy that we did. I mean, I've always made gravy with pan drippings and basically pureed the pan drippings. So if there's any potato or carrot in there will help thicken it, and this year, I just strained off the drippings from the turkey, put a little bit of extra stock that I made from literally just the neck that came out of the bird, some garlic, and some salt, and a little bit of apple cider vinegar…kind of my standard bone broth recipe, just cooked that up for a couple of hours. And, you know, while the turkey's in the oven, use that and put the flesh of the white potato that we had just baked, some sweet and white potatoes. Put that all into a blender and just let that whir, and it was amazing. And nobody could tell that there wasn't any flour in it. I did add some grass-fed butter and the gravy also, I don't think there was a drop left for the next day. I think my dad was scavenging for some more, and there was nothing, so…just some really common things that people are used to eating with, you know, grains and dairy, and we just kind of sidestepped all of it.

I think the holidays are actually not such a hard time to keep to eating like meat, veggies, some fruit and nuts. I think it's pretty simple. It was probably harder…we had my friends here. We do a party usually after Thanksgiving, sometimes for New Year's, too, where we do like an appetizers party where everyone brings one or two appetizers, or maybe one and one dessert. And that was probably a lot tougher for me than just Thanksgiving dinner because myself and my one other friend who eats pretty much gluten-free all the time. She ends up eating pretty grain free too, but mostly gluten free. She and I were the only ones that brought anything that I could even eat at the party, so out of maybe, you know, ten or so different things that people brought, it was her lettuce wraps, which I kind of helped her with a recipe idea on, which were delicious, and then I made some coconut shrimp and some pureed mango salsa, which was obviously quite delicious, I thought. But yeah, I couldn't really eat anything else. And I ate some chocolate fondue, you know, fruit and some melted down chocolate chips. But that was really it, so that was definitely tougher. I don't know, do you have you have holiday parties really coming up? Or not too much? I don't really have too much here.

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah. There's a couple. The one that I'm a little bit wary of..we've got..I'm a…We're a military family, so I've got the whole squadron Christmas party coming up, which is just, you know, debauchery and everybody just letting loose after what has been probably a pretty tough year for a lot of military members…


LIZ WOLFE: So everybody's going to be letting loose, but there is kind of one thing, and I've been working with a client on this, who just year-round has events to go to all the time. And a really simple strategy for me is just to eat plenty of good fat and protein before you even head out, so you could be good to go conceivably for 6, 8 hours…


LIZ WOLFE: And not feel the drive to indulge. And I'm not saying you don't want to participate in these parties, but if you're not hungry, you're not going to eat. You know?


LIZ WOLFE: So kind of my strategy for this stuff. Generally when I go like to the CrossFit get-togethers and stuff like that, it's not a problem, but the squadron party, it'll be a little bit different, I'm sure. And I'm going to go with a full stomach for sure, you know, both to keep myself from thinking about snacking and also to soak up the copious amounts of liquor I'm planning on drinking.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: [laughs] Oh my gosh. It's so funny because we have all these questions lined up, and I'm like, I've got so many topics that we could just talk about right now. I'm even just thinking about like how keeping your food on track, but drinking too much, like for me, the drinking still even wrecks my digestion the next day and I think that's just alcohol's promotion of leaky gut. Like I don't know if it's a detox process that like we're just lowering our immunity, we're trying to detox that alcohol and digestion is really not the focus, but anyway, maybe we'll save that for another day because we're not going to put the kibosh on some holiday beverages.

Let's [laughs] I'm kind of looking at our clock here. Let's just do a couple of little shoutouts maybe and then we'll see. We have a news piece that I want to talk about. Maybe we'll talk about that next time. And just do a couple of little quick shoutouts. I wanted to just add this stuff in because I think you and I kind of have some friends and some things that we see kind of swirling around the internet that-I don't know. I like to share things with people through all different kinds of avenues.

So we've got our friend Laura Schoenfeld-is that how you say her last name? From Ancestralize Me. People can check her out on Facebook. We'll post a link to her blog on here. She's an awesome up and coming RD student. Is she at UNC-Chapel Hill? Is that where she is, or somewhere around there?

LIZ WOLFE: UNC-Chapel Hill.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, cool. Good. I have a good memory of this stuff. I read this stuff like once, and then hopefully remember it. And I know you hung out with her a bunch at the Weston A. Price Foundation conference, and she and I have been communicating a bunch since then too, and I'm really excited to kind of loop her in on all this stuff we're doing, and kind of drive her into our little nerdy circle and vice versa, and so. I think people should check out what she's doing. She's written some really good blog posts recently, so people can check that out.

And Diana Rodgers is, if you guys aren't familiar with her, her business is called Radiance Nutritional Therapy. She went to the same school that you did, Liz, which I know, now you guys are buds. You guys can check out her blog; again, we'll link to it. She teaches events in the Boston area. I think she teaches at one or two CrossFit gyms up there and she's also a one on one practitioner, so if people need some help. I know she…you know, she really submerges herself in the same kind of studies that we do and I think she's currently pursuing her RD, so lots of stuff going on with her.

And then just another really quick note. My friend Antonio Valladares of Healthy Urban Kitchen-he wrote a nice blog piece called “Cardio Conundrum 2” and it's all about like feeling good and you know, how much people want to just plug away at cardio, and think that that's going to solve their problems, and I know that our listeners probably aren't those people necessarily, but he talked a bunch about thyroid disorders in the post. He likes to really talk about a lot of really controversial things. He does not mince words when he, you know, gives it to people, and he's a holistic practitioner in New York City, so if people are looking for someone to kind of help them out with diet and lifestyle and some training and all that kind of stuff. You can definitely check out his work.

So anyone you want to shout out to or is that kind of good for now?

LIZ WOLFE: No, I'm good. I think I covered everybody.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Cool, We can roll on some questions.

LIZ WOLFE: I hit Laura. We're good.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Laura, who's labeling you as a Jersey girl now, by the way. [laughs]

LIZ WOLFE: I'm learning. I'm learning to be more Jersey. I've got a Bumpit in, actually, right now. I don't leave the house in my Bumpit, but when out, I'll walk around in Snooki…

DIANE SANFILIPPO: How's your tan?

LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] Actually I've found that eating a lot of astaxanthin kind of turns my skin orange, so I'm kind of, you know, intersecting the Paleo/Jerse-ball world by doing that.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: [laughs] Do you think Jerse-ball?

LIZ WOLFE: I did. I said Jerse-ball. Is that okay?


LIZ WOLFE: Whatever. Let's go get this whole thing started. I'm going to questions now.


LIZ WOLFE: Yeah. Questions. All right, question number one from Kim from Boise, Idaho asks: ““I love that you two have stepped into the podcast arena! Great job! In Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution he writes that diabetics should limit their protein consumption to about .8 – 1 gram of protein per kilogram of desired body weight, which would put me at about 47 – 59 grams of protein per day or 7 – 10 oz per day. He says that eating too much protein can raise your blood sugar if you are a diabetic. I have Type 2, I’m not on meds and have lowered my A1C from 11.9 to 5.7 and lowered fasting sugars with diet alone since March of this year and I’m on pretty limited amounts of protein and very limited carbs, less than 30 grams per day. I generally eat about 12 ounces per day.” Wait, 12 ounces of what. I just got lost. Oh, okay. 12 ounces.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I think she's 12 ounces of protein.

L; All right. “What is your opinion on eating this amount of protein? I heard in one of Robb’s podcasts that he recommends 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. I currently weight about 228 and should weigh about 130. I’m 5’4″. Since the end of May, I have lost 68 pounds.”

Kim, that is awesome. Way to go. Totally.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: So just to like to let people know, too, we get questions and then we ask for more details on like what they're eating, so I've seen a bunch of stuff about what she's eating and how she's supplementing, all of that. I don't know that we need more of these details to kind of answer this question now, so I'm just going to kind of get into what my thoughts are.

For Kim…so first of all, she says that she was diagnosed or that she has Type 2 Diabetes, but she's not on any meds now. So I'm not really sure she still even has the diabetes. Like would she still be considered diabetic if she's not on any medication? I mean, Type 2 Diabetes, I mean maybe it's non-insulin dependent. Maybe she's just got some insulin resistance going on, but if you're not on meds, then you know, you're probably regaining metabolic function and I really wouldn't consider yourself. I mean, maybe you were diagnosed with that at a time, but it's not a permanent label that you need to attach to yourself. So I think people try to identify a lot with those diagnoses, but I think if you're not experiencing the same issues that you were before, you may not be Type 2 Diabetic anymore. Again, I'm not here to diagnosis or treat you, but that's just kind of my hunch.

So if your metabolic function is regained from what you've done, I don't know that the issue of too much protein raising your insulin levels is that much of a problem anymore. If you're not trying to sort of chase your blood glucose levels down with exogenous insulin injections or you know, insulin that you're taking. If you're managing blood glucose levels pretty well with your standard diet that you're doing now, I wouldn't worry too much about it, and if you've lost 68 pounds since the end of May, it seems like you're on the right track. I wouldn't really get caught up too much in the details of, this book says this number. This person says this number. Those are guidelines. It's just to give you something to go off of, but your body..your mileage may vary. Your body may work a little bit differently.

It seems like limiting the carbohydrates is working for you. I would, you know, continue with that and see how your blood glucose continues to respond. If you are getting some sort of backlash on it, I mean, I'm going to give you my thoughts on this possible issue. She currently lost…no, she's not having some backlash on this. I've got another woman kind of coming up, I think, with having some issues. So anyway, I think limiting the carbohydrates is probably still good. If you do see that you're stalling out, I would say for a month or more with your limited carbohydrate diet, you may want to increase it a little bit more. But I would just take it really slowly and see how that goes. The thing about protein intake is that even though it does elicit an insulin, it does also elicit a glucagon response, which is going to help you access stored energy that you've got sitting in your body-stored body fat. So if you're not eating the dense protein or you're not eating enough of it, you know, it may be a problem for you. So I really wouldn't-I wouldn't get too hung up on it. You know, the numbers maybe strike, you know, strike the midline of that…it'-Bernstein's maybe half the recommendation of what we've sort of heard Robb Wolf recommend, what I tend to recommend to people. If you're currently at 228, you think you should weigh 130, I mean, if you're even trying for 130 grams of protein a day, good luck. It definitely takes work to eat 130-150 grams of protein, so you know, even if you're getting like around 100, I think those are guidelines that are helpful when people are struggling with sugar and carbohydrates all the time. That when you're hungry and haven't eaten that much protein in that day, eat more protein before you sit down, you know, to a plateful of carbohydrates.

So you just have to see how this works for you. I think you're probably doing a pretty good job of tracking what you're eating, but I mean, I'm guessing, you know, she did tell us she does eat around 3 to 4 ounces of protein for breakfast. Her total for the day comes in around 12 ounces. I don't know. I would try a little bit more and see how that works. Just keep notes about it. Let me see if there was anything else…the other thing I did want to note was if you're concerned about it being too much protein, then take the insulinogenic foods out of the picture, you know. Don't focus on the carbs and the protein. Maybe just add a little more fat to your diet, rather than adding more protein, if you need a little bit of extra satiety or you want the calories. So rather than sort of sticking to more lean meats, get some meats that have a little more fat in them or have a little bit of coconut oil or some grass-fed butter if you do okay with that, and just kind of take the focus away from the protein/carbohydrate debate, and just add a little bit more fat. So that might actually help you. I don't know. What other thoughts do you have on this, Liz?

LIZ WOLFE: Well, you know, I think that part of where Robb's recommendation comes from and I know, when I used to work out over at Coach Rut's place in Kansas City, it was the same for him. But recommending a gram of protein per pound of body weight was more of kind of an elite athletic recovery type of recommendation. And I know-we're not all kind of in that realm because generally for most people, I really do like kind of moderate protein, higher fat, moderate to low carbohydrate diet. Just like what you were kind of saying. And I do think, if most of your protein tends to be fairly lean, then it's definitely good to make sure you've got adequate fat in there because they…I don't know to cite the exact source right off hand, but I'll dig it up for the show notes, but basically that fat is pretty essential as well as vitamin A, which is a fat soluble vitamin, are very important in protein synthesis, like muscle synthesis, so you know that's kind of all over the place, but generally, I think you know, I wouldn't worry too much about that recommendation vs. what you're tending to do because I think the gram of protein per gram of body weight is kind of more of an elite athletic type recommendation that helps enhance recovery, so that's kind of where I fall on that.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: What do you think about the idea and again, we're not trying to diagnose or whatever, this idea that if people's kind of ranges have come back to normal and their metabolic function seems to be coming back to normal. I mean, that idea of sort of having a label on themselves of well, I'm a Type 2 Diabetic. I don't know if that sort of like..I get the idea of just maybe keeping an eye on it, you know? You don't want to push yourself too far because you might have that tendency, but, I mean, do you think when they kind of come out of that situation or…?

LIZ WOLFE: I think that, yeah, I would agree. You can't see me, but I was nodding when you were saying that.


LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, just to throw it in there. I think that we should never identify ourselves in a manner that indicates, kind of a surreptitious way, kind of subconscious way, that we are in any way broken or that we will be broken permanently. So I'm all about kind of separating one's self from one's diagnosis. Obviously, not a doctor, so not trying to you know, place this kind of judgment on Kim at all, or this idea on Kim, but yeah, I mean, both mentally and physically, I think it's okay to kind of accept that separation from a condition. You know what I'm saying. I know that's a little out there.


LIZ WOLFE: But when I was reading this question, that's kind of what I was thinking. Like it does sound like..


LIZ WOLFE: Kim and Diabetes are kind of splitting up here. And I like it.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah. Yeah, and I think we've probably heard about this a lot with other sort of diagnoses that people get. That then they put their condition and the symptoms into remission, and it's like well, do you even still have that condition then? If you no longer show symptoms of it, like I get that you might still be pre-disposed to that if you go back to your old lifestyle, but it's sort of like, well, you had that and then when those, you know, those symptoms went away, you might still have some underlying autoimmunity. Kim might still have some underlying metabolic derangement that is prone to happen or apt to happen if we kind of get derailed again, but I think it is good to just know. Sometimes these states of dis-ease are transient, you know? They-we bring them on by our diet and lifestyle, and we can also make them go away. [laughs] By the same token, so yeah. Keep your thoughts open to that possibility, too. Just letting go of that.

LIZ WOLFE: Definitely.


LIZ WOLFE: Okay, moving on?


LIZ WOLFE: Okay, Karen. This is Karen's question. “I am being made crazy by a trickle weight gain ever since converting to full Paleo / primal a year ago. I am 65 years old. 5 years ago I was 265 pounds, diabetic with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Over 3 years with the help of a weighed and measured food plan I lost 120 pounds. I began experiencing some challenges with maintenance, and while the diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure issues were gone, I still had issues with rashes, dry skin and occasional depression. With the encouragement of my son, a CrossFit trainer, I read Mark Sisson’s book. That was followed by Robb Wolf’s book. Then websites, podcasts and anything else I could find on Paleo. I have become fully committed to the benefits of the ancestral diet.

A year ago I started CrossFit and I am hooked. I have incredible energy and a sense of joy and well being unlike I have ever had in my life. I have been active in AA for over 20 years, and yet today I feel like that addiction is gone along with the addiction to sugar and grain. I keep my carbs around 50-60 a day including 1 square of 99% dark chocolate. But what pisses me off is that through all this I have gone up a pant size and gained 30 pounds, and I am terrified that without figuring this out my weight will continue to trickle up. I have had an ongoing problem with leg cramps at night. I take magnesium and frequently a quinine sulfate tablet before bed–often it helps but not always. I knew exactly when my body converted to fat burning nearly a year ago. Very distinct change in hunger and satiety. I keep thinking am doing everything right–it’s supposed to be easy, isn’t it?

After listening to your podcast with Chris Kresser I began to think about gut health. I drink kefir water in the morning and solids seem to move right through the system. I do wonder there could be something lurking but sure don’t feel symptomatic in any way. Help!”

And I really…if I could just say real quick, this was, for the most, you know, of this question, like super inspiring. Karen, that's so awesome that you lost all that weight. That you're so passionate about this lifestyle and that it's bringing you joy. Like I just feel like that's really what it's all about, and now, you know, she wants to tweak and you know, see if we can help her tweak a little bit, but I did just want to say, like way to go.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Totally. I know. Like I got goose bumps two or three times through this question, like she lost 120 pounds? I just think that's amazing. It takes real, you know, it takes real commitment and dedication, and I think it's-it's really smart when people kind of get to this point, and they're like okay, let me question what else could it be, you know, because I really feel like I'm doing everything right. And you know, we've had that kind of theme amongst our questions that people ask us.

So you know, I have a few ideas, and maybe depending on how long-how long she's been listening, and maybe some of this she's kind of absorbed from other responses on the podcast, but there's usually a few different reasons why people have issues with weight. The first thing I can think of is like, possibly like some hormonal changes for her. You know, at 65, it's hard to know where your hormones are or were. You effect so much positive change to your hormonal regulation when you adopt a better diet and lifestyle and have changed your exercise habits. And maybe that worked for you for a long time, and maybe there's something that's just not balanced now. Or for the last little while, recently, maybe there's just been a different shift. So what works for us for a certain period of time may not always work for us, and I would, you know, I tend to question the lifestyle factors first, then I look at diet, you know, possibly the carbs are not enough for her, if she's doing CrossFit. It's hard to know exactly on that.

And one of the things around the hormone balancing is, you know, how stressful is CrossFit for your body? And I know, a big topic out kind of out there lately is hormesis, this idea of like dose-response. How much sort of a negative or a stress response does it take to go from something that elicits positive sort of strength building? So something like exercise. You know, a certain amount is good. A little more might be neutral, and a little more might be negative, so we don't know, and you know, at different age groups, different capacities, the type of exercise she's doing, you know, I just don't really know what that looks like. So she could be pushing things a little too far. That could also affect her thyroid, so the whole endocrine system could be affected by that, so hormone imbalance is one thing to keep in mind. I don't know, based on what she's saying, if that's something that might be her issue, but it's just one thing to look at.

She's asking specifically about gut health. I think it's a really good possibility. That there's something going on with some-usually we call them “critters” just to be a little gentle about the subject, but you know, what have you been up to in the last year or so? Have you traveled? Have you been very stressed about things to where your HCL stomach acid production would be low, which would diminish your ability to just kill pathogens that are naturally in some foods kind of all the time, that we're constantly kind of killing off with HCL. But if you're is low or your immunity is just low for some reason-stress or some other kind of illness-then that could affect you and you may not feel it longer term, except you know, you may have some kind of pathogen that didn't get killed, so that could definitely be a possibility.

So far we're talking about two things, hormonal imbalances and gut pathogens that both might require some diagnostic testing, so either a naturopath or certified nutrition consultant. Somebody who can do adrenal testing or other hormone testing. Stool testing. You know, I do feel like when you're kind of doing everything right, if you're sleeping well, all of this stuff, there gets to be a point where even as practitioners, we will push every button before we go to do some diagnostic testing and supplement for something. Because we just know, there's so much you can be doing and things that you can stop doing, so long before you realize you might need some extra help outside of yourself.

My last thought on this is you know, she said she's gained 30 pounds and gone up one pant size. From my experience, usually around 10 pounds of weight typically if it's body fat, ten pounds at a time will push you up one size at a time. So if she had gained 30 pounds of body fat, I mean, I don't know how accurate other people might think that is, but I think she would have gone up a lot more than 1 pant size. And she may not be aware that she could be gaining muscle mass. So I don't know what her body composition is like, if she's gaining mass and not also losing fat at a certain rate, you know, again at 65, she may or may not have the hormonal balance to lose fat at a certain rate. But muscle can be very deceptive. I just had a conversation the other day with one of the other women in my gym who was like, she got on the scale and she weighed 150 pounds, and her jaw almost hit the floor. I mean, looking at her, she's maybe 5'6″. I would have guessed her at like, I don't know, 130-135. She said she weighed 150. It's really, really deceptive when you have dense, you know, muscle that you're carrying around, and it's not just, you know, body fat. It typically does get smaller, but maybe, you know, maybe you did gain a little bit of size. I know that when I'm not working out, my waist measurement will shrink. I don't weigh myself often, but I do take measurements just to kind of check in. my waist measurement will shrink at its narrowest point if I'm not training. I just know that the muscles in my core probably atrophy a bit. But if I'm training, that measurement goes up a little bit.

These are just things to get familiar with your body and you know, you may be shifting that around with the exercise you're doing. So those are all my thoughts on it. I don't know. I think that's pretty much-that's pretty much where I would take that. More thoughts from you, Liz?

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, I do. This kind of reminds me of my whole kind of argument that I've been struggling with lately about supplementation because I know a lot of really, you know, Paleo-oriented folks are not real big on supplementation. But I have found, just in the fairly, you know, short time that I've been in practice, that almost everybody can benefit from supplemental hydrochloric acid, at least in the short term. I don't know what we've all done to ourselves over the course of our lives where we've just been either, you know, eating not so well or stressing ourselves out. But for some reason, I just see a lot of indicators of just poor digestion in the hydrochloric acid region.

For her especially for the fact that, you know, she seems to be slightly mineral deficient, maybe just based the fact that she's having some cramps in her legs. I'm guessing probably in her lower legs, just kind of at rest like charley horse. That a lot of times can be symptomatic of some kind of mineral deficiency in magnesium, calcium, potassium, and supplemental HCL can really help draw those things into the body. I'm not-if you know, and I cannot make medical advice, but I'd be really careful with the quinine sulfate tablet because from what I understand that may have kind of fallen from grace a little bit. So you know, maybe check with your licensed practitioner about that. Look at incorporating some supplemental HCL. Maybe even a little bit of a calcium/magnesium complex and kind of see if that doesn't help those cramps a little bit. Yeah, that's kind of my thoughts…

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Bone broth. [laughs]

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, definitely. Get some bone broth in there for the gelatin. That could not hurt. definitely.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: And the mineral content. Like our witches brew. Take some bone broth.

LIZ WOLFE: She's going to need the, you know, the appropriate kind of surrounding factors to make sure your body makes use of those nutrients. So if you don't want to do all that supplementing, yeah, go for the bone broth. Prop up your HCL for a little bit. You don't have to do that forever, but it helps for the short term. You know, there's a-I do like those NOW Foods Super Enzymes that has betaine hydrochloride along with some enzymes and yeah, that's kind of…

DIANE SANFILIPPO: She could also for the stomach acid thing, too, you know, if she wanted a natural approach, I've been recommending this to people, just because people keep asking about it more and more. Pretty easily available either through Amazon or someplace like Whole Foods or health food store would be a liquid tincture of digestive bitters, and people can do that a little..either in a little bit of water, not much before a meal. Just to get the stomach acid production to kind of kick in. So that's definitely a good approach for people who are not really wanting to pop pills as much and just try it and see how that helps a little bit. Maybe to start out. And then kind of go from there. There was something else I was going to mention for her. Hmm. Don't remember now. Yeah. That's it.

LIZ WOLFE: I like this next one. This one makes me excited.


LIZ WOLFE: Julie: ”Can people build muscle through workouts, CrossFit or other strength training without the muscle building supplements I so often I’m find that others are taking?” This is kind of…this makes me laugh because it's kind of almost more of a rant than an actual question, which is why I like it.

” I've heard you can't do it on your own, is this true? and can we have more people honestly display their hard work without the help of muscle in a store-bought container? I’m all about naturally achieving results…” So basically my answer to this question is, yes, people can build muscle through workouts, CrossFit, or other strength training without muscle building supplements. But I guess the question is, do you [laughs] and it's funny because you know, me, I want to be the best version of myself, you know, wherever I can get by natural means, I will probably feel like I have reached the pinnacle of my existence. If that ever happens. I may like raw milk a little bit too much to ever get there, but that would kind of be my pinnacle.

But if you want to be like the Incredible Hulk or Alex Mack or something, then you might actually need to have some radioactive waste spilled on you or you know, get bit by some radio crazy-radioactive spider. I don't know. But I look at some of these gainer supplements. Like I think a lot of what's in them is gar-bage, but you know, some people just want to be more than their physiology allows. I don't find that kind of look very attractive, but I like the functional fitness look, and I think the body kind of middles out wherever it's supposed to be. But if you want to be able to morph into a puddle or a, you know, shoot spider webs from your hands, then you may need to do a little muscle gaining supplement.


LIZ WOLFE: So that's it.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: [laughs] I don't do it myself specifically because I think you need to hear what I'm giggling at…your response. No, I-it's funny because somebody had commented in a review about us being sometimes redundant, but I'm like that's because we agree with each other, you know, and we're reinforcing that, in a way, but I'm like, yes.

But people ask me this question, you know, about supplements or even if there's something like a protein powder, you know, drink, which are supplements to enhance performance in a way. And I just say, what kind of results do you want? Do you want to be superhuman? If you want to be superhuman, you need to put in things that might not be human food or human, you know, supplements that are missing from our basic diet. And I don't know, when I was training just kind of with functional corrective exercise type of trainer who had me doing, you know, a lot of really amazing things before I ever started CrossFit. I definitely was not as-just didn't have the same brute strength that I have now, but was close, and my functional capacity was like huge. I mean, he had me doing a lot of really amazing stuff. He had me taking some creatine and some glutamine at one point to just help build some muscle and to help recovery. And I don't know. I mean, I think it's worth tinkering with some of this stuff, you know. If you want to tinker with some amino acids and things that are pretty natural that are naturally occurring in the diet and just see if they change anything for you, but I do think that when you're eating, you know, a well balanced diet. You're getting a good amount of protein in. You're, you know, getting some healthy Paleo carbs in for recovery. you know, I just think for general health and wellness, strength, capability, all of that, I think you can do just fine on real whole food.
The ability to gain large amounts of muscle in less time as well as losing body fat in less really requires that we sort of address our hormones in a way usually that food can't do. Because whole food, you know, I guess on the…with the exception of sort of too much sugar affecting our blood sugar levels in a-negatively affecting our hormones for things like muscle building and fat loss.
You know, the flip side of that is just eating tons and tons of protein won't always be the answer to building tons of muscle quickly or losing lots of body fat quickly. So it's pretty obvious when something like anabolic steroids or you know, on the one side, or a hormone therapy plan that is something like HCG, and a 500 calorie a day diet. You know, those are things that will quickly affect the body, but is that healthy? Is it positive, and is it what you want to do? And what you want to kind of commit to for your own health's sake? I don't know. I think a lot of what's out there in terms of what we see: pictures of ideal, you know, athletic performance or even just general aesthetics. I think most of us probably not achieve through just food, sleep, and exercise. I think there's a good amount of supplementation going on there.
But I really don't think that's necessary for the average person. I think we just have a lot of pictures of what we think is ideal that are not true to what the human body will do naturally all the time.


DIANE SANFILIPPO: I think it can be quite disillusioning, you know? But…and potentially airbrushed. [laughs]

LIZ WOLFE: Yes, very, very airbrushed. Very.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: You can even airbrush on abs. I mean, if you just get the right 6 pack abs airbrush stencil.

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, I do that every day.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I do that what?

LIZ WOLFE: I do that every day. I airbrush my abs.


LIZ WOLFE: Yeah. Well, actually I just use Sharpie, but I feel like it, you know, feel okay with it.


LIZ WOLFE: Definitely.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Maybe a light brown Sharpie, just kind of like draw. Anyway, so…


DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah. That's what I think.

LIZ WOLFE: Do you want to do another one?

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, let's done one more.

LIZ WOLFE: This is a fairly-I think this will be a fairly quick one. “Hey guys..” Charlotte. Charlotte in NC asks: “Hey guys, love your podcast, thanks for all you do. I have heard you guys say something along the line of leaning out isn’t just about calories in/ calories out. It also has to do with the kind of food you are eating. However you always hear about the “study” where the professor ate nothing but Twinkies on a restricted calorie day and still lost weight. I’m sure the rest of him was a wreck, but he did lose weight. So I was just wondering what you meant by the “it's not just about calories” take. Thanks.”

And if I can point out real quick, as some of you may know, I went to the University of Kansas, and I'm pretty sure that professor went to K State, so I think, you know…I think that may speak for itself a little bit, but I think also Charlotte kind of nailed it. When you extrapolate these behaviors, we get really focused on what happens in the short term: 30, 60, 90 days.


LIZ WOLFE: I restricted calories and lost this much weight over this short period of time, but in a lot of ways this to me looks like what we see with a lot of plant-based diets where you extrapolate these behaviors, whether it's calorie restriction or you know, a less digestible plant-based diet. You extrapolate that over 7, 8,9 years, and you start to see people really falling apart, so that's kind of my thoughts on it. What do you think?

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah. Yeah, I think there's a lot of sort of factors to, you know, the calorie debate. The quality of food issues. So you know, can somebody lose weight by eating few calories, well yeah. Obviously. You know, we've seen it happen, so yes, it can work. I did it, too. You know, I had a low fat diet for awhile, and I lost weight, and I was, you know, eating probably fewer calories than I had been eating. But you know, not only what are the long term effects of that, either metabolically, does your metabolism slow from that? But just, you know, lifestyle-wise, is it something somebody can maintain? What ends up happening in terms of, you know, depriving yourself of calories that maybe you really needed, and you know, if you are doing something where you are cutting calories to lose weight, and then you end up, you know, sort of depleted and you're doing it on Twinkies, where you're so much sugar and bad fats. But, you know, sugar alone just depleting like mineral reserves, vitamin reserves, so that then you kind of have a backlash of total nutrient deficiency where you really need to fill that back up. And when people have sort of this insatiable hunger that sort of rages back after these types of diets, it's your cells that are hungry for nutrition. You know, it's not just my stomach growling, I need to feed myself. It's like, literally my cells are starved for nutrition.

So you know, I just think it's like, you throw common sense out the door when you think for any minute that just limiting calories for a long period is, you know, the end all be all. I don't know. I guess some people have some positives to sort of calorie restricted diets, I don't really know much about that. I think that when we eat more, you know, protein and fat, which maybe we just have that take that a higher carb ratio isn't always what we might promote. We're big fans of fat on this show. But when you eat that way, you might end up eating fewer calories than you did before, just because you're more satisfied. So that's where it's not, you know; maybe if there's an issue of calories in/calories out there out to some degree, but the quality of the calories are possibly what drives the quantity that you then consume because the quality of them is so different. The nutrition involved and whatnot, you know, the satiety involved is so much higher than maybe instead of eating 3000 calories a day of garbage food, you switch to eating 2000 calories a day of nutrient dense food, and so, you know, that's where it's not a calorie is a calorie, but you know, possibly reducing them by that means did work.

It's just a really complex issue. You know, how those calories affect your body, the-it's not just about calories. That's what we mean. How do, you know, 2000 calories of Twinkies every day affect your body differently than 2000 calories of meat, vegetables, good fats, fruit, and nuts. How does that affect your body? And that's really at a much deeper level…that exactly what Liz said. That you cannot see those effects in 30 days all the time. Or even 90 or 120 days, or even possibly a year. You know, we don't know which nutrients you might see the effects of a deficiency in later, so…it just really depends. But I do think that this is an issue of short term vs. long term, for sure.

LIZ WOLFE: I'm with ya. Well, we're just right at an hour.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Cool, and I've got like maybe 2 hours before I'm going to go pick up heavy things and put them back down. I think it's deadlifting day. I'm excited.

LIZ WOLFE: Oh gosh, I deadlifted yesterday.


LIZ WOLFE: I had a little bit of scolding about my form. It wasn't so good. Got to work on that.


LIZ WOLFE: Those heavy deadlifts, you know, even if you don't…even if you don't need to, sometimes my instinct is to just kind of hunch over a little bit…


LIZ WOLFE: And I've got to really watch that. That tendency because it's no bueno, not good. Not good.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, I was going to ask if you were looking up because that's kind of another big one, like people kind of preak their head, like snap their head up thinking they're going to like drive the weight up with their head. And I'm like, ahh, keep your spine aligned. Kind of have to look down in front of you. Anyway. I like heavy deadlifts. I think they're fun.

LIZ WOLFE: They are fun. I like those movements. Well, I think that I will probably spend the next two hours looking at pictures of Ryan Gosling online, so you have fun moving the heavy weights.


LIZ WOLFE: And do that.


LIZ WOLFE: All right, later.


Click here to submit questions.

Diane & Liz

Comments 2

  1. Hi Diane,
    I can’t remember if it was you or Liz who talked about your grain-free stuffing at Thanksgiving in Ep 14, but it sounds interesting and delicious, and I wondered if you could post (a link to) the recipe. My mom’s doctor has just told her she’s pre-diabetic and put her on a low-carb diet, and I’m taking up the challenge of lowering the carb content of our traditional Christmas turkey dinner. She LOVES her bread (and sausage and apple) stuffing, and is willing to take the blood sugar hit from it (in order not to inflict “this diet” on the other dinner guests), but I am sure there is something else we could do that would be both delicious and lower-carb. Can you hook me up?

    Muchas gracias, and keep up the great work; I am really enjoying the podcast.


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