As some of you already know, I’m a big fan of Robb Wolf.
He’s a very smart guy who knows TONS about eating paleo, making it your lifestyle, and it often seems just about everything else. The blurb on his site says this about him:
“Robb Wolf is a former research biochemist specializing in lipid metabolism. His CV includes research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and graduate work with Prof. Loren Cordain of Colorado State University, author of The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet for Athletes. Robb is a co-founder of the CrossFit NorCal (the 4th CrossFit Affiliate), a review editor for the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, and a co-founder of The Performance Menu.”
A few months ago I ran across his blog and the weekly podcast he had recently begun. I was quickly a fan and tuned in each week to hear him answer 5-8 questions from listeners. The questions seem to vary considerably, but its about a 50/50 split between stuff on reaching fitness goals and things involving chronic health problems.
The information in his podcast could easily fill a book and I have learned a tremendous amount from him. Its impressive how passionate he is about helping people and it shows in the detail he gives each question. Nobody is paying him for this, he willingly shares his knowledge for free – something not many people would do.
A few weeks ago I finally figured out a few questions of my own and posted them on his site. This week he answered them! Here is the link to the podcast:
The Paleolithic Solution Episode 29
And below are the questions I asked. He answers mine first in the podcast so just start at the beginning. The previous podcasts can be downloaded still and are very much worth the time to listen to if you have chronic health concerns, are interested in gym performance, or would like to know more about paleo eating. I hope you all enjoy!
Long time listener, first time caller. 🙂 Nine years ago, mine and my partner’s health plummeted after some prolonged solvent exposure coming over from the neighboring apartment and compounded by a black mold infestation in our apartment. Our health steadily declined for the first several years but in the last three we seem to have leveled off at about 25% functional capacity. It has left us nearly fully housebound, bedridden about 8-10 of our waking hours a day and completely knackered. In my never ending search to find a way back to health for us, we swapped to a strict Paleo lifestyle just over three months ago and have seen a small improvement. We are in our early 30’s, have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and Fibromyalgia. Our allergies are crazy bad to most chemicals which has left us homeless in a tent for the last eight years.
I had a couple of questions about leaky gut, supplement inactive ingredients, and the Now Super Enzymes.
1. I have no doubt our gut is leaky as a sieve and we have been taking aloe, slippery elm, and marshmallow for six months to try and aid this. We use lots of organic coconut oil with our cooking and about a month ago started taking copious amounts of Kirkland fish oil (13.5g/day, we both weigh ~170 and are working up the amount). Two weeks ago we removed all eggs and nuts, have been dairy free since going Paleo. We haven’t been able to afford grass fed meat yet, but do buy hormone and antibiotic free. Any ideals on how long a bad leaky gut problem can take to heal and/or experience greatly reduced inflammation? Anything else that you know of which we could try to do to help speed this up?
2. We have been taking Source Natural’s Pancreatin 8x enzymes for six months and I recently picked up a bottle of the Now Super Enzymes to give them a whirl as they have the HCl the other ones lack. At 2 caps per meal I had a bit of a bad aftertaste which I suspect was the HCl as it reminded me much of smells from chem lab years ago, but no heat. Tried 3 caps for two meals but though there was no heat, it produced a surprising amount of burping, a general sour feeling in my stomach and later my gut, and even more of a bad aftertaste. Any thoughts? Too little, too much?
3. Lastly, our doctor has us on many, many supplements to help with the lack of nutrients our body had been absorbing from our very poor diet. I’m a bit concerned the added ‘inert’ ingredients in the capsules might be tossing a wrench in us trying to remedy the leaky gut. Are there some non-obvious things I should watch out for on the ingredient list?
Thank you very much for all the time and effort both you and Andy put into these podcasts. I have learned an incredible amount of information and feel very strongly that you have already helped my partner and I make healing progress we might otherwise have been much slower to achieve. Also, I attended Butte College for couple years at one point in my travels so hearing you and Andy chatting about Chico always feels like a little piece of home.
Have a beautiful day, Lisa/Sundog :)”
I had very vivid dreams last night of driving to town and going grocery shopping. For most people this surely would have been a pretty mundane dream and rather boring even. For me, its usually the nearest I come to living normally again because most things like this are beyond me at this time.
But apparently they weren’t beyond me today! What an exciting and wondrous day we have had.
It all started with a good night’s sleep – the first in at least a week. We both slept in well this morning and were pleased to see the first warm day without some rain in weeks. Shortly before we got going on breakfast and everything else that begins our day, Ron (Jeremy’s dad) called to see if we needed anything from town.
While Jeremy was chatting away with him on the phone it just suddenly occurred to me that it would be a lot of fun to go in to town with Ron for some fresh produce. I mentioned it to Jeremy who immediately liked the idea and he asked Ron about it because we’d have to keep the trip short and he had plans for several errands.
In one of those moments that makes me really thankful for how cool Ron is about helping us out, Ron spontaneously changed his plans and in less than half a hour we were all piled in his car and off to town!
It was a beautiful day, warm with a lot of sunshine. We went first to the Farmer’s Market where we turned in some paperwork for purchasing a CSA share at a local farm. This is a program many small farms offer of letting you buy a membership that will provide one box of produce a week throughout the summer of all the fresh stuff they are growing. It supports the local farmers, in this case an organic farm, while also letting us diversify our veggies. I was very pleased to see that the produce stocked at the booth was the best looking stuff compared to several other small farms with stands at the market.
Next we popped over to one of Ron’s favorite burrito joints, a new place that has opened in town. Remembering to go with tacos instead of burritos because of corn vs. flour tortillas with wheat/gluten, we got our food to go. It was the first restaurant we had gone into since Jeremy’s mom took us to lunch on the way home from a long distance drive to see a neurologist in 2003. Seven years went by with an amazing amount of speed.
Steak tacos with extra veggies instead of cheese
The trip to the restaurant highlights how odd life has become. It was loud with voices all around me as many people enjoyed their lunches. I found I no longer posses the automatic noise filtering I never knew I had, as it was very hard to focus just on Ron’s speaking – all the voices in the background were just as much in my attention as his was. The air felt very stale and the acoustics of a high ceiling were a bit disorienting.
Even the trip to use their ladies room was strange to me. They share a hallway with a next door cantina and its down this hallway that I found the bathroom. As soon as I stepped into the hallway I was surrounded by familiar smells from just about every bar I’d ever been in and memories of times past flooded in. I found it interesting these odors were comforting and inviting even though usually when suddenly surrounded by strong scents I react with anxiety and concern for my health.
Another thing I’ll share just because of its unusualness. That was the first toilet I had the chance to use since last October. Think about it next time you are using one yourself – months have passed for me without one. Its been seven years since I have used one more than a half dozen times in any give year. As odd as that must seem to you, it was just as odd to me today in using one. This was a first for me as in the past its always still felt normal. Perhaps its the length of time passing or just me having accepted my current state of life more, but it was definitely odd for me.
We made one last stop on the way home – our normal grocery store where Ron buys for us the majority of our organic produce. It was a bit surrealistic there because it was the same store I used to shop at while going to college and working, but it had been heavily remodeled a few years ago and this was my first trip in since. Nothing was recognizable as the old store after I walked through the front doors. The sights and smells were very strange to me as well.
All the soda, candy, chips and just plain junk that I was so used to seeing around me before, it now stood out to me as very odd things to consume. I have eaten quality food for many years. Since going paleo there hasn’t even been anything processed as we cook everything from scratch. None of the brightly colored boxes and giant logos looked like anything editable to me. While in the aisle at the checkout counter I innocently sighed a bit and was revolted by the sweet and cloying taste to the air from all the candy, gum, and mints next to me.
So many things today are so foreign to me now. When I do go into town and am active in normal pursuits there instead of only seeing a doctor, it feels like a different country. Some days a different planet even. I don’t feel entirely the same as everyone around me, in fact I feel fairly different. They all belong to a culture that is not mine now.
I am now part of a tribe of people spread all around the world who share in my hardships and joys, our one joining feature being a deep understanding of living with chronic illness. We are all very different from each other – even our seasons can be completely different with me just going into summer and them going into winter. Yet I feel distinctly more a part of the tribe that has formed on the internet of my fellow chronics than I feel while walking the streets of a town I’ve lived in for most of the last 11 years.
It has been a very interesting day for me and there is only one last thing to share. Today really showed me just how much improvement Jeremy and I have seen since going paleo and starting the b12 shots. We reacted much less to all the stimulus around us regardless of if it was loud sounds (live band at the farmer’s market), crowds of people, scents, perfumes, and lots of walking on cement (normally just on dirt paths in camp). We even had a chance to see improvements in how our bodies handled us skipping breakfast and only grabbing a small, quick snack before leaving. Being active without breakfast would usually have our blood sugar plummeting quickly, but today we did well despite the lack of food until 2 pm.
I am pleased with today and how my body handled it. Its been years since we spontaneously went to town just to have a good time. This speaks volumes for the mental changes taking place along with the physical ones. I deeply believe that part of getting well is mentally wanting to be well and being willing to accept change. It pleases me to see a trip like today because its a very real symbol of how ready we are for change to come to our lives.
I look forwards to taking more trips like today’s as the summer comes upon us!
I had a nice surprise yesterday. My friend Jody Smith over at Ncubator passed the Happiness Award on to me. Thanks for the award Jody, I shall see if I can spread some cheer in kind!
Without further ado – on with the show!
The rules for the Happiness Award:
1.) When you have received this award you must thank the person that awarded you this in the new post.
2.) Name 10 things that make you happy.
3.) Pass this award onto other bloggers and inform the winners.
Rule number 1 – check! Muchas Gracias la Senora Jody… and with many festive hugs!
Rule 2 – As it is my style to be ramble along, this may end up a bit longer than just 10 things. Hope the award doesn’t get revoked for me already breaking the rules! I’m such a rebel! In no order:Being surprised with flowers Jeremy finds and picks because he knows I love getting them.
Little race car, baby bunnies who dart back and forth under our tarps at night because its the only dry place to play.
A hot cup of cocoa made by my sweetie.
Planting onion seeds on May Day that a friend had sent from Australia, despite the customs restrictions against doing so. (no worries, they will not grow well enough to be invasive in the spot I garden)
Having more friends who are in foreign lands than those who are from my own country – no wonder I never fully fit in here!A sun warmed rock to lay topless on and sing off key very loudly while soaking up the heat of a beautiful day.
Hearing the geese circling overhead while trying to figure out which way is North every spring. First gaggle of them was yesterday and it always means summer isn’t far behind!
Cuddling up with Jeremy to watch The Muppets together.
A really good movie that we have saved for a few months until just the right occasion to see it for the first time.
Poking fun at my friend Grant when we instant chat, he’s such a good sport about it! *Poke!*
Finding odd little animals, like salamanders and tree frogs, who make in front of our tent their home for a night before moving on the next day. I love having animals feel safe here for the night.
Watching first the parent birds come to feed at our oat pile in front of the tent and then later the fledgling birds. Mom and Pop have to teach them how to eat and its exciting as they learn not to eat rocks but instead the food.
A hot shower outside while big, fat snowflakes are falling all around me. Along with this is listening to the hush of snowfall and watching it blanket the woods.
Jeremy reading to me every night before bed.
Watching my garden sprout from seed, grow, and then fill our bellies.
Clear nights with many stars.
The rare days when I wake up feeling refreshed and good.
Daydreaming of all the things I will be able to do, because I will be getting well again.
Listening to the birds signing every morning. Also with this would be the owls hooting at night near us and coyotes howling at the moon.
Last for this list and saved for the end because it is the very best – Jeremy. All the wonderful things he does, his love and kindness, and his fight to never give up seeing us through everything that comes our way.
Rule number 3. I’ve had a bit of a hard time deciding who to pass this on to as I know several other bloggers who immediately sprang to mind for this. I will send this award on to Laurel of Dreams at Stake because she never stops fighting and keeps finding ways to pass that strength on to others.
That’s it for this brief… er… wander down the lane of Lisa’s happiness!