April 13, 2021

Keto Cardiac Fibrosis, Floating Poo, Parenting Advice | THRR071

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Keto and BHB Question, LMNT and Autoimmune Condition, Floaters, Appendectomy Recovery Diet to get gut health back, Parenting

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Show Notes:

News topic du jour:

The Effects of a 6-Week Controlled, Hypocaloric Ketogenic Diet, With and Without Exogenous Ketone Salts, on Body Composition Responses

1. Keto and BHB Question… [9:48]

Thomas says:

I am a huge fan of your guys’ work and follow your content wherever I can.

I will try to keep this short:

I have been on a ketogenic diet personally for 3+ years, and I have tested myself daily to confirm that I have BHB ketone levels of .4 – 1.2 throughout this timespan.  So, while I’m not quite a ‘ketone-chaser’ :-), I would say have a somewhat vested interest in the topic.

Then I came across this study:


I know they did a rat study here, and the chow is questionable (although they did at least use mostly coconut butter here for the KD arm).  But that said, is the mechanism of β-OHB induced cardiac fibrosis via mitochondrial biogenesis inhibition in cardiomyocytes (and resulting apoptosis increase) plausible in humans?!  Perhaps there is a counter mechanism that mediates this?

Thanks so much in advance for your valued opinion here.  It’s interesting but i’m not sure the mechanism is sound or consistent across the spectrum of metabolic health.  If it were, how would tribes subsisting on mostly animal foods not be observed to have cardiac issues…etc.


2. LMNT and Autoimmune Condition [17:02]

Kimberly says:

I eat a somewhat low carb diet.  I exercise 5 days a week and I have lupus.  I am currently trying LMNT and drinking one a day during my 6 pm workout.  I am finding I am sleeping better!  I am planning on ordering  more, but I wanted to check with my rheumatologist first.  I sent him the info, and his response was:  People ususally get those supplements through their food, and with this addition you may end up with too much of them.  With people with autoimmune disorders I usually err on the side of caution and would say no to any supplements.

What is your opinion on LMNT + autoimmune?


3. Floaters [19:23]

Justin says:

Hi Robb and Nicki,

First of all, thank you for the great podcast. I thoroughly look forward to each episode every week.

My question for you is this: Should my poop float?

I remember hearing or reading somewhere (I can’t find it now) that if my poop is floating in the toilet it means that I am not digesting fats. Is this true?

My poop pretty much always floats. Since I have been paying attention I would guess I have floaters about 95% of the time. I am pretty regular with my bowl movements and don’t typically have any issues with constipation or loose stools. Are the floaters anything to be worried about?

I follow a mostly Keto diet. I get ample protein (about 160g per day) and typically keep my net carbs around 50g, the rest of my roughly 2,500 cals per day obviously coming from fat. This provides me with sufficient energy to fuel my workouts and keep my weight stable. My concern is, if I’m not digesting fats is the keto diet a good fit for me?

I look, feel, and perform well on the keto diet, but would like to try to optimize as much as possible. And I don’t want to be flushing calories down the toilet that could be put to better use.

What are you thoughts?

Thank you,


4. Appendectomy Recovery Diet to get gut health back [25:30]

Mark says:

I just underwent an emergent laparoscopic appendectomy, and was wondering what foods I should eat to restore my gut health. They gave me iv antibiotics after, and it took a couple of days for me to even have a bm after the surgery. While I am now having BMs again they are far from normal. I am frustrated with the conflicting info I am finding on line and it all seems to be biased on the side of plant based diets. Was wondering if you had any recommendations.

5. Parenting [29:50]

Hanna says:

Hi Robb and Nicki,

Hope you are all well! My husband is an avid listener to your podcast, and I love tuning in for topics like your homeschooling experience, etc. I’m hoping you can expound a little on topic that has been on my mind!

My question for you is regarding parenting young children, particularly teen and tween girls. Essentially, what is your family’s take on whether parents apologize to their children? Robb, if you lost your temper, or said something that resulted in hurt feelings for Zoe, for example, how would you handle that situation? If you do apologize, under which circumstances would you do that, and what would you say?

Thanks so much!

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Download a copy of this transcript here (PDF)

Nicki: It’s time to make your health an act of rebellion. We’re tackling personalized nutrition, metabolic flexibility, resilient aging, and answering your diet and lifestyle questions. This is the only show with a bold aim to help one million people liberate themselves from the sick care system. You’re listening to The Healthy Rebellion Radio. Contents of this show are for entertainment and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast should be considered medical advice.

Nicki: Please consult your licensed and credentialed functional medicine practitioner before embarking on any health, dietary, or fitness change. Warning, when Robb gets passionate, he’s been known to use the occasional expletive. If foul language is not your thing, it gets your britches in a bunch, well there’s always Disney Plus.

Robb: Welcome back, wife, and the rebels.

Nicki: Yes, welcome to another episode of The Healthy Rebellion Radio. What’s new hubs?

Robb: You look very Montana.

Nicki: I am wearing my Montana beanie. Actually, it’s my Reno beanie, but I actually got to unearth a bunch of my winter wardrobe that I did keep from Reno, and take to Texas, and never wore, or sparsely wore, scarcely wore, even though it’s starting to warm up actually.

Robb: It was a balmy 54 degrees today.

Nicki: Yeah. Yeah, yeah pretty nice. We had our first week back and Jujitsu, which was super, super cool. I think we’re both suffering from a little bit of …

Robb: Mat foot.

Nicki: … mat foot, so if you’ve been out for a while, the tops of your feet, especially because we were working inside the closed guard, and so the tops of your feet can get a little …

Robb: Abraded.

Nicki: … abraded, and so that’s not fun, but it’ll go away soon.

Robb: Straight Blast Gym, Montana there in Kalispell hatched three new black belts, and they had an epic two, two and a half hour iron man. About 80, 85 people there to welcome these brave souls into the world of being black belts, so I got to participate in that, and that was very cool.

Nicki: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. So far, we’re really, really digging it here. Let’s see here, what do we have going on in the Rebellion? Our book club is underway this week. As we mentioned before, we’re reading The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley, so that is available for The Healthy Rebellion Community members.

Robb: It’s a phenomenal book.

Nicki: We’re really enjoying that. We actually are going to start doing live chats with our book clubs. We haven’t done those previously, but we’ve had some people ask, and so Rachel, who’s leading it, is totally game, so this book, we’re actually going to do some live chats. Normally, we do our live chats as a community. We also do them weekly during a reset, and they’re just a fun kind of free-for-all conversation, kind of real-time chat. Don’t know how else to explain it.

Robb: What do you do during these things?

Nicki: You type frantically and …

Robb: You chat.

Nicki: Try to stay on-thread. Anyways, we’re going to start doing some of those with these book clubs. We’ll see how this goes, and that should be fun. Just as a reminder, the next 30-day Rebel Reset kicks off in just two weeks on Friday the 16th. That’s followed by the optional 7-day carb test, and then the official start date for the 30-day reset itself is Monday, April 26th. All these things are free to members of The Healthy Rebellion community. If you want to join us and get in on the Spring 2021 reset, just go to join.thehealthyrebellion.com. Okay, I think that’s all my announcements. Anything else you have to add?

Robb: I don’t think so.

Nicki: Okay, let’s move on to the news topic today.

Robb: Interesting study, the effects of a six-week controlled hypocaloric ketogenic diet with and without exogenous ketone salts on body composition responses. Basic takeaway here was that you had two calorically matched ketogenic diets. One of them supplemented with ketone salts, one of them not. They were tracking several end points including body composition, and no difference. Even though the group that was receiving the ketone salt had higher overall beta hydroxybutyrate levels, both transiently and more consistently, did not manifest in better body composition end point.

Robb: Ketone bodies are signally molecules. I think they’re really important under different circumstances, but I think that this is another one of these kind of examples that just chasing ketones, absent some context, absent some really important context to do it is just kind of foolish by and large. Some folks that have been pretty well-known within the low-carb, high-fat camp have been really coming around on this. Ted Naiman’s been making some in-roads into these folks, recommending his PE approach, the Protein to Entergy ratio diet.

Robb: It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty God damned good, particularly when you look at how simple it is. Even he will say, “Well, any very simplistic template ends up having some breakdown points,” but man, I’m hard-pressed to think of something that is both as comprehensive and on-point, and as simple as what Ted put together with that. Good stuff. Again, if you’re already kind of high fat in your body composition, all that you need is low carb. It just kind of reinforces that.

Nicki: Okay. All righty, let’s read our T-shirt review winner for this week goes to Lobo Michael. He says, “Love the show. I’ve been a listener since the Holy Cats days and the paleo solution, and this show is one I always look forward to listening to. Robb has helped me stay in the know as it seems. He and Nicki seem to keep themselves in the know as times change, and more things are brought to light. I love the show. Keep it going.” When I read this one, I was like, “You know what? You have not said Holy Cats in a long time.”

Robb: It hasn’t been a Holy Cats type world in a long time.

Nicki: I mean it kind of is a Holy … I guess it’s a Holy shit kind of …

Robb: It’s more of a holy …

Nicki: … kind of world.

Robb: Stop, drop, and roll, yeah.

Nicki: Yeah, okay. Yeah, it just kind of dawned on me because that was when we were doing all the paleo solution seminars. That was just a very common Robby-ism.

Robb: It may come back. We’ll see.

Nicki: It may come back. Okay. Well, Lobo Michael, thanks for your review. Send us an email to hello@robbwolf.com with your T-shirt size and your mailing address, and we’ll send you a Healthy Rebellion Radio T-shirt. The Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by our salty AF electrolyte company, LMNT. Sometimes people say, “L-M-N-T,” but it is actually pronounced Element, and the flavored stick packs are by far the most popular, but I wanted to read a review by a verified buyer, Charles, who details all the ways he uses the Raw unflavored, which you actually use frequently as well.

Nicki: This is what Charles has to say. He says, “LMNT Raw is my favorite so far. Well, actually it’s the only flavor I’ve tried so far. Living the keto lifestyle, I go through water soluble minerals and vitamins quickly. Have many ways I use a Raw LMNT pack. Way number one, with coconut water. Number two, with 8-12 ounces of regular water. Way number three, with 8-12 ounces of water and lime or lemon juice. Number four, with Macadamia milk. Number five, with an apple cider vinegar.”

Robb: It’s probably a fizz bomb.

Nicki: Must be. “Any of the above are part of my morning vitamin regimen, and I usually have a packet of Raw later in the afternoon. The reason I like the Raw is then I can add it to any concoction I choose. I suspect I’ll try the chocolate version sooner or later.” I thought that was pretty cool, and we often mix the Raw with the orange, and raspberry, and kind of have in a giant pitcher, and kind of have that as our go-to supply throughout the day.

Robb: Yeah, and it’s worth mentioning, Nicki is the one that was the brain child behind the Raw when we were considering what formulation to put together.

Nicki: It was one of the first flavors. We launched with citrus salt and Raw.

Robb: Raw. Part of the reason why is that no matter how much information you put in front of the keto, fasting, suppress them toward all cost enthusiasts, that drinking something with a bit of Stevia in it is not going to bump them out of autophagy and all the rest of this stuff.

Nicki: Some people just don’t like the taste of Stevia.

Robb: Don’t like the taste of it, yeah.

Nicki: We knew that there would be …

Robb: There were a host of reasons that no matter what sweetener we used for the flavoring, the flavored versions, it wasn’t going to be right for everybody. You’ve got the Raw unflavored. Flavor it, don’t flavor it.

Nicki: If you’re like Charles, you can make up any number of concoctions.

Robb: It is remarkably good just in regular water. It tastes like kind of a Pellegrino.

Nicki: If you haven’t tried LMNT, you can still try all of the flavors, just for the cost of shipping. You’ll get a sample pack that includes a stick pack of the citrus salt, raspberry, orange, chocolate salt, mango chile, lemon habanero, and the Raw, which you can experiment with in all of the ways Charles mentioned above. To try each flavor, just go to drinklmnt.com/robb, that’s drink L-M-N-T.com/R-O-B-B. Shipping comes to just $5 if you’re in the US. Check it out.

Robb: Cool.

Nicki: Okay. Let’s just into our questions for today. Our first one is from Thomas, and he has a question about a new study that talks about beta hydroxybutyrate. Thomas says, “I’m a huge fan of your work and follow your content whenever I can. I will try to keep this short. I have been on a ketogenic diet personally for over three years, and I’ve tested myself daily to confirm that I have BHB ketone levels of .4 to 1.2 throughout his time span.”

Nicki: “While I’m not quite a ketone chaser, I would say I have a somewhat vested interest in the topic. Then, I came across this study.” He links to an article in Nature, which we’ll include in the show notes. He says, “I know they did a rat study here, and the chow was questionable, although they did use mostly coconut butter here for the ketogenic diet arm, but that said, is the mechanism of beta hydroxybutyrate induced cardiac fibrosis be a mitochondrial biogenesis inhibition in cardiomyocytes, and resulting apoptosis increase plausible in humans?”

Nicki: “Perhaps there is a counter mechanism that mediates this. Thanks so much in advance for your opinion here. It’s interesting, but I’m not sure the mechanism is sound or consistent across the spectrum of metabolic health. If it were, how would tribes subsisting on mostly animal foods not be observed to have cardiac issues etc?”

Robb: Yeah. This is a really interesting article. Clearly, I’m a big fan of low-carb ketogenic diets. I don’t think that they’re the one and only true way, but I think that they’re a really fantastic tool. Can you click on that other link?

Nicki: This one?

Robb: Yeah, it was something that I put in there. Oh okay, so it’s the ketogenic diet extends longevity and health span in adult mice. I have that in the show notes. What’s interesting about that is that every mechanism that they talk about in a deleterious way in this study is usually what is favorably ascribed to calorie restriction, fasting.

Robb: They talk about H-stat inhibition, which is good for preventing the ends of our telomeres, whittling away in the Hayflick limit, inducing apoptosis of cells that have gone through all the cycles that they’re ever going to go through. It talks about sirtuin activation, which is usually associated with favorable aging. It’s really interesting because it’s like everything that you usually associate with good kind of aging end points, and health end points, and the benefits of fasting, and whatnot, they’re like, “Nope. This fucked that up, and it screwed this up.”

Robb: It is literally the only paper that I’ve seen that suggests this, and again, there was this paper that came out of UC Davis. Actually two locations that did very similar, but overlapping ketogenic diet interventions, and they found that even with caloric restriction, the mice lived longer. It’s about 15% average life span increase. The health span increased dramatically. They basically lived very, very well up until very advanced stage and then just died rather quickly, which is kind of the favorable way to go.

Robb: Cognition was better. Strength was better. Coordination was better. I’m really not sure what to make of this. We definitely have to take every data point that arrives in our inbox, and look at it critically. This thing really, it’s like wow, it seems really concerning, but it is also really an outlier relative to everything else that we’ve typically seen. Ketogenic diets are not usually great for mice. You have to really work to get them to be healthy on a ketogenic diet. They have a tendency to overeat, and gain weight, and then things kind of go south, and that’s one of the benefits of the ways that they did these interventions.

Robb: They had some kind of intermittency in the ketogenic intervention. I’m not entirely sure what to make of this paper. I don’t know where the mechanism could go because again, every single mechanism they cite, when you look at other research that looks at this stuff, it’s painting ketosis, and calorie restriction, and a nutrient restriction in a favorable light, but then in this one paper, it appears to be bad, in particular with cardiomyocytes.

Robb: The one thing that I’m noodling on with this is that so many of the conditions that we see from neurodegenerative disease to even certain situations of in-stage metabolic syndrome, and autoimmune disease is that an organism, or the tissues in the organism can end up in an energy crisis scenario, in which it doesn’t get enough energy, and then the tissue dies. This is one of the problems when it’s so interesting. An over-fed individual will experience all kinds of damage due to a hypercaloric load. Then this degree if insulin resistance sets in such that the organism can’t get glucose into say like the neuronal tissue and this is where ketone bodies act as a recovery aid basically.

Robb: They call it energy rescue because it’s providing an alternate substrate that can go around the lack of glycolytic metabolism, so I just don’t know. I wish I had a better answer on this thing. It’s perplexing, but again, it’s kind of like a one-off data point currently. It’s something that I would definitely look at, but I mean there’s great research in ketogenic diets being used in humans for left ventricular hypertrophy where you’re starting to get that abnormal thickening, which really has a lot of linkage to hyperinsulinism and getting favorable outcomes.

Robb: There’s favorable outcomes with chronic kidney disease, and so there’s all these different things where calorie restriction, fasting, the state of ketosis, done in a smart way where you’re not mainlining butter and over-consuming calories, and getting problems from that. It seems to be beneficial. I will say that in general, humans are definitely … You’d be hard-pressed to find a researcher in this area not say that although mice and rats are valuable models in some ways, they’re definitely not as robust under ketosis as humans are, so there is kind of a difference there.

Robb: Even then, the ketogenic interventions that are generally done, if they’re done properly, it’s usually favorable for these rodents. I’m not entirely sure what to make of this thing. It is interesting. It is something we should keep an eye on. Hopefully, these researchers have some follow-up on this, and we can keep tracking this.

Nicki: Okay. Question number two this week is from Kimberly on LMNT in an autoimmune condition. She says, “I eat a somewhat low-carb diet. I exercise five days a week, and I have Lupus. I’m currently trying LMNT and drinking one a day during my 6:00 PM workout. I’m finding I am sleeping better, and I’m planning on ordering more, but I wanted to check with my rheumatologist first. I sent him the info, and his response was, ‘People usually get those supplements through their food, and with this addition, you may end up with too much of them. With people with autoimmune disorders, I usually err on the side of caution, and would say no to any supplements.’ My question is what is your opinion on LMNT and autoimmune?”

Robb: Don’t do LMNT. Just do chicken bouillon cubes. This is kind of …

Nicki: Or pickle juice.

Robb: Or pickle juice.

Nicki: Do the home brew recipes that you can find on the LMNT website, which is just salt and …

Robb: Yeah, definitely don’t purchase a supplement that fixes your problem. Go find a food source of it that fixes your problem. I will say this that it’s interesting that the more that we dig into this, so long as an individual is not hyperinsulinemic, and they’re not in that state of high insulin, high aldosterone that’s causing retention of sodium, and high blood pressure, it’s easier to screw things up getting too little sodium than too much.

Robb: People will say, “What if you took 45 grams?” Okay, yes, you know there’s always this outer edge, and it’s just, I don’t know, maybe I’ve been on the interwebs too long, but yes you can overdo things, but it’s really hard to do. The kidneys, when healthy and otherwise healthy, whole food based diet, if you get too much sodium, within about 20, 25 minutes, the kidneys have largely sorted that out. If you have too little sodium, the kidneys can’t sort that out.

Robb: Then, we end up in this kind of downward spiral where the body will start shedding potassium to try to re-normalize the sodium/potassium balance, and that is actually bad. By all means, don’t use LMNT, just get some chicken bouillon cubes. Do what you need to do to get the sodium levels that make you feel good. Then, it’s not a supplement specifically. It is just making sure that you get the sodium that your body needs.

Nicki: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I like it. Okay, our third question is …

Robb: This is where it gets a little gross.

Nicki: Well, you do talk about poop a lot, or fairly regularly.

Robb: This gets pretty compositional.

Nicki: Okay. Well we can thank Justin for this question on floaters. “Hi Robb and Nicki. First of all thank you for the great podcast. I thoroughly look forward to each episode every week. My question for you is this, should my poop float? I remember hearing or reading somewhere, I can’t find it now, that if my poop is floating in the toilet, it means that I’m not digesting fats. Is this true?

Nicki: My poop pretty much always floats. Since I have been paying attention, I would guess I have floaters about 95% of the time. I’m pretty regular with bowel movements, and don’t typically have any issues with constipation or loose stools. Are the floaters anything to be worried about? I follow a mostly ketogenic diet. I get ample protein, about 160 grams per day. I typically keep my net carbs around 50 grams, and the rest of my roughly 2,500 calories per day are coming from fat.

Nicki: This provides me with sufficient energy to fuel my workouts and keep my weight stable. My concern is if I’m not digesting fat, is the keto diet a good fit for me? I look, feel, and perform well on the keto diet, but I would like to try to optimize as much as possible, and I don’t want to be flushing calories down the toilet that could be put to better use.” I don’t think it’s that gross.

Robb: It’s low.

Nicki: I mean it’s not like detailed about …

Robb: Maybe I’m just visualizing it too much.

Nicki: Yeah. Yeah, I don’t think it’s that gross.

Robb: Well, then you answer it.

Nicki: I don’t have an answer. Is he flushing his fat calories down the toilet?

Robb: I doubt it. I doubt it. If too much fat is not getting digested, you will have steatorrhea where it’s watery, and kind of foul-smelling, and it’s just yellow discharge-y …

Nicki: Now you’re getting gross.

Robb: It’s because I was contemplating what I needed to say to answer this properly, and that’s where it was getting gross. He’s still, if he’s getting 50 grams of net carbs from low carbohydrate sources, then he’s probably still getting plenty of fiber, and that alone can provide floaters. This is another one of these situations where I think that healthy digestion kind of needs to get redefined in this era of all these people doing well on carnivore and carnivore-ish stuff, and finding that they do better on just kind of lower fiber overall.

Robb: We just moved to the Kalispell area, and one of the black belts, John Boone, I was texting him, and we were kind of talking about how … He mentioned, totally unprompted, he’s like, “Yeah, I’ve just been noticing that the closer I get to carnivore, I just feel better. There’s all these kind of weird little digestive issues that seem to resolve, and even kind of like allergy issues and whatnot.”

Robb: Again, I don’t know that carnivore or peri-carnivore is the right thing for everybody, but damn, it’s just kind of surprising. Again, will five years down the road, will we see the wheels fall off the wagon on everybody in this scene the way that you do when people shift to a vegan diet, and then their like B12 deficient and all that. I don’t know. I guess time will tell. I think we have some other examples of people doing it …

Nicki: There a people that have been doing it for decades.

Robb: … quite long, so it’s, yeah 20 years. My guess here is that if we were to do a compositional analysis on these stools, there’s not a massive amount of fat that’s going undigested there. I don’t think he has too much worry there.

Nicki: He looks good. He feels good. His performance is good.

Robb: He performs well. If you’re just pooping well, the Bristol Stool Chart, they’re all reasonably well-formed and all that, you’re great. You’re fantastic.

Nicki: Okay Justin. Nothing to worry about.

Robb: Nothing to fear but fear itself, or something.

Nicki: Yes. Okay, it’s time for The Healthy Rebellion Radio trivia. The Healthy Rebellion Radio sponsored drink LMNT is giving a box of LMNT Recharge electrolytes to three lucky winners, selected at random, who answer the following question correctly.

Robb: You never …

Nicki: I always …

Robb: You always leave the trivia question to me …

Nicki: I leave the trivia link. Then, Robb fills it in, and then I get to be surprised when I get it right in front of me here. “Robb, will you meet your end, due to a bear, or a mountain lion while on a walk in the neighborhood?”

Robb: I’m going to say bear just because our youngest really likes big cats. It would be disturbing for her to know that one of her favorite animals ate her dad, so I’ll say bear.

Nicki: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. That’s why you should be carrying bear spray when you walk.

Robb: Which I will. I will, but I’ll also coat myself with honey, just to make it all interesting.

Nicki: Okay. All right folks, the answer is bear this week. To play, go to robbwolf.com/trivia, and enter your answer.

Robb: At least we think of, when we went to Nicaragua with John Welborne, bear, moose.

Nicki: Oh my gosh. That is a story. We were driving on the Pan-American Highway at like midnight. John was driving, and for those of you who aren’t familiar with John, he was the former 10-year NFL veteran and did Cross-Fit football for a while, and he runs Power Athlete.

Robb: We saw some dodgy shit driving through the Pan American Highway.

Nicki: There are just … I’m surprised we all lived.

Robb: I’m surprised we all came back from that. Bear.

Nicki: A little bit of a … There was a lot of shit on the side of the road. Creatures and people. That was an experience. That was in Nicaragua. Okay. Go to robbwolf.com/trivia, and enter the answer, and we’ll randomly select three people with the correct answer to win a box of electrolytes from LMNT. The cutoff to answer this week’s trivia and be eligible to win is Thursday April 8th at midnight, and winners will be notified by way of email and also on Instagram as well. This is open to residents of the US only.

Nicki: Okay, question four from this week is from Mark, and he wants to know what he can eat after an appendectomy to get his gut health back? Mark says, “I just underwent an emergent laparoscopic appendectomy and was wondering what foods I should eat to restore my gut health. They gave me IV antibiotics afterwards, and it took a couple of days for me to even have a bowel movement after the surgery. While I’m now having regular bowel movements again, they are far from normal. I’m frustrated with the conflicting info I’m finding online, and it all seems to be biased on the side of plant-based diets. I’m wondering if you have any recommendations.”

Robb: Man, this again is where you just kind of I don’t know that there’s a one-size-fits-all. You know, people say, “Eat yogurt for the probiotics.” The interesting thing there is that the bulk of the bacteria in fermented foods don’t really populate the gut. They tune the gut response, so it can be helpful, and then in other people, it can be bad news. I used to eat kimchi by the tanker. Now I can have a little bit of it.

Robb: What I noticed is that a lot of the GI problems I was having previously are lessened when I reduce it, so it’s not that I’ve lost the ability to deal with it, I just actually just rotated it out, and then I noticed things improved. I can have a little bit here and there. It’s okay. Be jiggered if I wouldn’t say look something kind of carnivore-ish. Unless you’ve been eating a ton of fermentable fiber, and that’s kind of where you’ve been, then maybe you start at that side of the equation, and then kind of back-fill from there.

Robb: I was talking with Diana Rogers, and she came across this mix of some potato starch, and some other fibers, and now that I’m mentioning it, I’m going to have to dig it up, and put it in the show notes, but she actually has noticed some really significant improvement in her digestion doing this kind of fiber mix that she does every day. I see people succeed fibers, prebiotics, probiotics, and I see fail on it. This is, again, where Mark’s just going to have to figure out a starting point, and then some elimination process, and then reintroduction and just kind of fiddle with that.

Nicki: If he was to try something, and then when you say fail, do you notice that immediately?

Robb: Maybe like a week. Something like a week, two weeks, something like that.

Nicki: Okay, a week. Run with something like a little bit of time and see if you notice an improvement or if it’s not improving or getting worse, then abort.

Robb: Yes. Yeah. This is a good example too, some folks do really well with something, some people are totally fine with gluten, and then they get exposed to a gut bug or something, and then they can’t do it afterwards. The gut microbiome, it changes. One thing that’s interesting about the whole appendectomy story is it seems like the role of the appendix is to act as a repository of beneficial bacteria for when we do get a gut bug, and the whole intestines are inflamed and everything is crazy, and then it’s kind of a repository of the good stuff.

Robb: What do you do when your repository of the good stuff is gone? I think you look, to the best of your ability, to find those foods that don’t cause the problems. I’m guessing that it’s probably leaning towards loose stool, and probably gas and bloating. The stuff that does that is plant material. I feel like I’m in like this altered state right now because I just never thought I would end up kind of gravitating this direction, and it seems still crazy to me, but it’s funny, when people are experiencing the bulk of these problems, generally this is the area that we look.

Robb: We start looking at plant material. Not typically animal-based material. Dairy can still be irritating to some people, but like with me, I’ve noticed if I reduce my plant intake, then dairy isn’t a problem for me at all, and it’s kind of crazy.

Nicki: Okay. Our fifth and final question this week is from Hannah, and it’s a question on parenting. “Hi Robb and Nicki. I hope you’re well. My husband is an avid listener to your podcast, and I love tuning in for topics like your home schooling experience, etc. I’m hoping you can expound on a topic that’s been on my mind. My question for you is regarding parenting young children, particularly teen and tween girls. Essentially, what is your family’s take on whether parents apologize to their children?

Nicki: Robb, if you lost your temper, or said something that resulted in hurt feelings for Zoe, for example, how would you handle that situation? If you do apologize, under which circumstances would you do that, and what would you say?”

Robb: What’s your observation of that?

Nicki: Yeah, teen and tween. We have six-year-old and an eight-year-old, so we’re a little bit younger than that, but we definitely are in the apology camp, especially if it’s something unfounded, and I think we’ve shared this on the podcast before. Earlier, prior to doing meditation, like if one of the kids got hurt, Robb’s response is anger because he’s …

Robb: Instead of fear hiding. I do linger there.

Nicki: He gets mad at the situation. That comes across to anybody in the room.

Robb: Usually anybody in the state.

Nicki: Since doing meditation, that has gotten much, much better.

Robb: It’s totally changed.

Nicki: There clearly are times when like the kids are … We’ve asked them three times to do …

Robb: I was hoping you were going to pull up what happened like last week when their grandpa had got them both new toys.

Nicki: Yeah, so my dad came to help us unpack, and got them each something that they had been …

Robb: Cool little toys.

Nicki: … looking for. Some Lego for Zoe, and some toothless dragon thing for Sagan, and they proceeded to, obviously they enjoyed them, but then they proceeded to fight over them. Zoe wanted to play with Sagan’s and Sagan didn’t want Zoe to play with it. She wanted to play by herself, and then Zoe … It was just this like bickering, constant like nightmare, and …

Robb: I intervened several times where I’m like, “Hey, if you guys can’t figure out how to get along with this, you’re going to have some consequences.” It would just cycle, and cycle, and so I kind of lost it a bit, and took everything away, and threatened to throw it away. The thing that was really frustrating for me, and this is a little bit of my own childhood stuff. I comparatively was pretty poor. If you got a toy, you took God damned good care of it, and you shared, and you certainly didn’t start fighting and bickering within 20 minutes of getting this awesome new toy.

Robb: I wouldn’t be alive had I conducted myself like that. I came down pretty hard on both kids about this, and in reflection, I chatted with Nicki afterwards, and I’m like, “Was that over the top?” You’re like, “Well, it was appropriate in that it is not cool that these kids are kind of like little shit bags that they just got a cool new toy and they’re fighting over it,” but I put the fear of Robb into them for sure.

Nicki: Yeah, I mean threatening to throw it away, I think, put them over the edge, and Sagan is really interesting because she’s kind of stubborn, and she latches onto like, “That’s such a waste. Grandpa spent money on that, and now that’s like throwing that money in the garbage. I’m just going to sell all my toys.” She drew a picture that she was like giving all of her toys to Zoe, and she was going to sell all of her stuffed animals.

Robb: She takes it so seriously.

Nicki: She was upset because it was her fault. She’s like, “It’s my fault. I was the one being stubborn and not sharing with Zoe, and now Zoe has to be in trouble too.” It was a big …

Robb: It was a big deal.

Nicki: It was a big deal.

Robb: Sagan’s interesting in that she will self-flagellate over something like that. She makes a mistake, and she takes it all in, and so I have to be a little more careful with her because I don’t need to lay it on. Zoe is a brilliant, young girl, but you’ve got to … She’s not our experiential learner. She is. She doesn’t learn through observation. She’s got to hit the brick wall several times.

Robb: he long and short of that is that the next morning I got up, and you could still kind of feel the tension, and I sat them both down, and I said, “Hey, it was not cool what y’all did, fighting over brand new cool toys is not cool, but I went way over the top, and I scared you guys about throwing your toys away, and I’m really, really sorry. I promise I will not do that in the future, but we need to do better in the way that we share our stuff. It’s an incredible opportunity and privilege to have this stuff, in particular because your grandpa got it for you.”

Robb: I did apologize, and I’ve apologized to them on some other things where it was just even you come in and you hear some brawn ensuing, and you start laying down …

Nicki: That’s something that Zoe has … I have to catch myself some too because they’ve spent a lot of time together. Obviously, we home school them, so they’re together a lot, and they do really, really well together, but sometimes I’ll come upon them, and they’ll be having some heated discussion, which sounds like a full-on argument, so my natural inclination is to want to intervene and kind of help them get to a place of resolution.

Nicki: She’ll say, “Mom, Sagan and I are working this out, please.” I’m like, “Okay, I’ll step back, but what it sounds like to me is that I don’t know if you guys are getting to a good spot.”

Robb: Sometimes that’s legit, and sometimes …

Nicki: Sometimes she’s just wanting to keep arguing with her sister, and not have mom intervene.

Robb: It’s that she wants enough free rein to be able to tie the younger sister in some sort of intellectual knot so she gets her way. There’s both sides to that. It exists on both sides, and not, I don’t know, maybe just because it’s a question, other than protein, carbs and fat, I actually enjoy really talking about this, but we definitely apologize. I definitely take huge ownership in if I make a mistake.

Nicki: I think just having the … We say this a lot. We’re human. We get frustrated. We get tired just like you guys, and so we’re sorry for raising our voice. We’re sorry for whatever the thing was, but we kind of explain. Again, they’re young, but they get it. They understand it, and explain where we’re coming from, and usually, does that make sense to you? Yeah, okay. We kind of work from there.

Nicki: I think apologizing, if you feel like you could have handled it better, or you feel like, not that you did something wrong, but you handled something poorly, or you could have handled it better, I see there being no issue with saying as much to your kid. Like, “I’m sorry. Mom screwed up. I didn’t need to raise my voice.”

Robb: A question that I ask them constantly is, is that the best way you could have handled that? Frequently, I don’t know that it’s a daily thing, but it’s not infrequent, where I will say, “I’m sorry. I could have handled that better.” It goes from kind of lower level day-to-day stuff like that up to more conflagellations like this.

Nicki: I think it’s good to do that because it also models for them how they can act if they screw up. Like if a parent is willing to say, “Gosh, I did not handle that well. I’m really sorry. I was over the top,” or whatever. Then, if they find themselves in a situation where they’re in a similar situation, they’ll have the words and the tools to hopefully deal with it accordingly.

Robb: I don’t know if this ties in exactly, but I was listening to The Dark Horse Podcast, and it was when Brett and Heather were talking about the Dr. Seuss cancellation and all that, and they talked about a bunch of stuff. If you’re not following that podcast, you really need to.

Nicki: It’s great.

Robb: I think it is the most important podcast.

Nicki: I really like their inner … They’re two former professors, and they’re married, and so there’s just a great dynamic between them that’s, I don’t know, I find it really interesting.

Robb: It’s super, super interesting. Brett made this point about … They were talking about how important Dr. Seuss is for kids, and the lessons in there, and everything, and how unfortunate this current situation is where six of the Dr. Seuss books are basically not being published anymore, and there’s a lot of stuff there. Were Theodore Geisel alive today, and writing books, he probably wouldn’t write them the way that he did then, but he wasn’t alive today, he was alive then, and it’s kind of reflective of where the guy was, and where that history is and everything.

Robb: Brett made the point that arbitrary rules for kids are super damaging, and what it does is it creates a system to be gained. I think about this with like cursing when I was a kid. Those are bad words, and I’ll wash your mouth out with soap. I would do things like … We lived in Northern California and I would say things like shasta damn. My parents would just like ….

Nicki: Shasta damn.

Robb: They would just like, “You little …” What we’ve done with profanity with our kids is I’ve said you don’t say this stuff in front of your grandparents. When they were going to school, to the Montessori school, you don’t say it at school. You will get in trouble, and there are consequences to this. You don’t use it in polite conversation. You generally don’t do it with your friends. Not everybody … I’ve really tried to not do the like, this is right, this is wrong specifically.

Robb: Do you treat people respectfully? Yes. Do you, if somebody’s trying to hurt or victimize you, do you defend yourself? God fucking damn you, you do. You don’t take that, and I would rather see them turn to fisticuffs than be victimized by somebody. Like when I was a kid, I had this idea that my parents knew everything, and that the government took care … Like there was just something out there taking care of us all.

Robb: Then, I think it was like early 20s, or maybe even late teens, it was like, “Oh, the world is more like a snowball rolling downhill.” There’s virtually no rhyme or reason to it, and civilization just barely hangs on by a thread. It was disturbing and I think had I understood a little bit more about the labile nature of reality earlier, it would have been good for me, and so this is, I think, circles back to some of this where I don’t want my kids to think that I’m flawless, and for there to be a fall.

Robb: We tell them all the time, “I don’t know everything. We live in a really amazing age where we can look a lot of stuff up. It’s less important to know a ton of facts than it is to know how to ask really, really good questions, and then provide critical analysis. We’ll see how it works out. The die isn’t cast yet. There’s still a long, long road to hoe before they’re off on their own, and finding their own way in the world, but I will say it’s probably more work in some ways, like right now, because we don’t just constrain the kids with these arbitrary lane lines, but I think …

Robb: Nicki and I have talked about this, and I know we’re burning a lot of CPU cycles on this particular thing, but I figured out how to beat the system all the time because I really understood the system, whether it was school, or employment, or whatever. I kind of want my kids to understand that. I want them to understand …

Nicki: I do too because I was the opposite. I was the one where if there was a rule, then that was the rule that I had to follow. If I had to … The prerequisites to graduate are do a certain thing, or this list of 20 things, I would do all 20 of those things, whereas Robb is like, “I don’t want to do that one, or that one, or that one, so I’m going to go ask the department chair if I can sub out that for that, and that for that.” He makes his own … When we first me and you were sharing that with me, I was like, “I had no idea you could do that. I thought you just had to do the things, and you’re better for it.”

Robb: I am. Yeah. Yeah. I want my kids to understand that. It’s not that there’s a criminal underpinning to that, but communication skills, to be able to do that you have to actually really understand the way that the thing, the entity works otherwise you don’t even know how to circumvent it.

Nicki: Or have asked the right question to get around it, yeah.

Robb: Or have asked the right questions.

Nicki: It’s not like you got out of it. You just were able to take classes that were more …

Robb: Instead of taking classes that were meaningless for my chemistry degree, I asked for more math, physics, and chemistry in place of these things that were going to be complete waste of my time. It made me a much better chemist. I have never not held a employment position as a chemist that was not typically held only by a PhD.

Robb: Whenever I applied for the job, they’re like, “No, we only take PhDs.” I’d say, “Why don’t you let me do a test with everybody that’s applying, and if I beat all them, then you can pay me 10 or 15% less, and I’ll take their position.” That’s what happened every time because I was fucking good at it because I did those extra things, and I didn’t need to go do a PhD to be able to do that other stuff at a PhD level. I don’t know how we got to that part, but I guess its just kind of this more global thing, and I think being able to say sorry, and admit fault, and own it, and have remorse for a screw up, the kids get that. It’s real.

Robb: They’re like, “Oh, dad feels bad. He fucked up, and that’s okay.” Then, when they make a mistake, it’s like, “You made a mistake. There may be some consequences to it, but we’ll get through it and we’ll go from there.”

Nicki: Mm-hmm (affirmative). All right Hannah. I hope that helps. Yeah. I think that’s a rap for this week. Do you have anything else you want to say for sure?

Robb: Parenting by Robb and Nicki. No. Very, very happy to be in Montana. Really digging this stuff. We both grew up more in the kind of mountainous areas of the world, and just seems to fit better for us, so yeah.

Nicki: All right folks, thanks for listening to another episode of The Healthy Rebellion Radio. Be sure to support our show’s sponsor, and grab your LMNT sample pack just for the cost of shipping. You can do to drinklmnt.com/robb for that. That’s drink L-M-N-T.com/R-O-B-B. Gosh this episode drops on April 2nd. That means our new summer of flavor …

Robb: Should be out.

Nicki: … should be out in just a couple weeks, a couple weeks from episode release day.

Robb: Cool.

Nicki: All right folks. Thank you, and we’ll see you next week.

Robb: Bye everybody.

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