Dr. Paul, carnivore diet leader, author of The Carnivore Code, host of the Fundamental Health podcast, is back for show #3!
As regular listeners know, Paul makes an extremely compelling argument for a nutrient-dense, nose-to-tail, animal-based diet. Paul’s message has hit me extremely hard and compelled me to reconsider the widely-held belief that colorful plant foods form the foundation of a healthy human diet. I proclaim that I have made a permanent shift in dietary habits and philosophy. I no longer go looking for plants to consume in the name of health (this includes my previous go-to meals of salads and steamed vegetables) and I make a concerted effort to increase my intake of the world’s most nutrient-dense foods: organ meats and organ supplements, oily, cold water fish, grass-fed steak, pastured eggs and so forth (learn more with my Carnivore Scores chart).
In our previous two shows, Paul explained the rationale for minimizing or avoiding plants in detail. In this show, we learn more about Paul’s background, including living an adventurous, vagabond lifestyle for six years (thru-hiking the 2,700-mile Pacific Crest Trail in 105 days!) before commencing his extensive medical training (Paul is a board-certified psychiatrist and Functional Medicine doc.) Paul’s book, The Carnivore Code, has been extremely well-received as it delivers comprehensive scientific rationale for the seemingly strange carnivore premise–that plants are not necessary and can quite possibly be harmful. One interesting counter opinion to the argument that plants supply awesome antioxidants is that you can achieve the same effect through environmental stressors such as cold exposure, high-intensity workouts, and fasting. Wherever you stand on the carnivore premise (or where experts you listen to stand), it’s virtually undisputed that the body operates most efficiently in a fasted state: internal antioxidant production (particularly the “master antioxidant” glutathione), autophagy (the natural internal cellular detoxification process) and immune function are all optimized when you are in a fasted state. Consequently, the intended benefits of drinking a big green smoothie filled with high antioxidant plant foods (kale, celery, beets, spinach…) is eclipsed by not consuming anything.
If you’ve never heard Paul before, this show will give you plenty of great insights and entice you to learn more about a nose-to-tail animal-based diet. I contend that I’m not highly sensitive to natural plant toxins, and have less urgency to eliminate them. But the point we emphasize in the conversation is that we all may benefit from aspiring to ascend from kicking ass at Level 5 to reaching Level 7 or Level 9. We have collectively come to believe that things like gas, bloating, transient abdominal pain, and imperfections with elimination are “normal” and expected. Challenging these notions and doing personal experimentation with your diet can be really valuable, as it has been for more. Paul’s on the quest to kick ass of course, and you’ll learn about his recent integration of significant amounts of raw honey in his diet in pursuit of better athletic performance and recovery, electrolyte balance, and to hone insulin sensitivity.
You’ll also learn about the lifestyle habits of the Hadza in Tanzania, and the overall emphasis on animal foods seen in hunter-gatherer populations across the globe. Paul is headed to Africa in 2021 to study and live amongst tribal peoples!
The nose to tail carnivore diet is very powerful. Brad is convinced that it is the most nutritious diet on the planet. [01:34]
Paul changed his goal of becoming a doctor when he realized how much Western medicine focuses on the symptom instead of looking for the root cause. [05:41]
If you are not thriving on a paleo diet or other diets, you may not realize that plant toxins could be affecting you negatively. [09:58]
We often don’t know what we are capable of as far as maintaining a healthy body. [12:07]
Do we need to accept a decline into decrepitude? [15:43]
Paul’s journey to where he is now covers the world of travel and learning. [16:36]
While hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, Paul realized that simplicity is all we really need. [22:46]
When you are taught that certain things are good for you, your body craves them even though they might not be good for you. [26:30]
For a lot of people who have inflamed guts or issues, more fiber and more vegetables make them worse. [39:10]
Raw organs are very nutritious however the capsules with desiccated organs are more portable and have more nutrients. [44:34]
There is this question of strategic inclusion of carbohydrates into the diet for performance and recovery purposes. [48:32]
We’ve elevated vegetables and greens as Gods! [57:22]
Dr. Paul Saladino is going to Africa to study the Hadza and other indigenous people. [01:04:58]
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Brad (1m 34s): Hey listeners. It’s my pleasure to welcome Dr. Paul. Saladino back to the show for the third time and what a treat because this guy always brings the heat and his message advocating for the nose to tail animal based carnivore diet is so powerful. It’s made a profound impact on my life and my dietary habits. I feel like I’ve made a permanent shift in favor of emphasizing the nutrient dense animal foods of the planet. And I no longer go looking for my big piles of produce or giant salads in the name of eating healthy. He got into my head back in early 2019, we talked in detail about his rationale and his scientific basis for eliminating plants or at least minimizing them and emphasizing the animal foods. Brad (2m 26s): And that was it. The further, and the more you listen to this guy, the more you’re convinced that the Hunter gatherer human diet is based on the most nutritious foods on the planet, the animal foods. So Paul will offer some tidbits here and there during this show for the carnivore rationale. But we also get to know the person a little bit more here on his third appearance. And he talks about his background, including his six year stint of vagabond lifestyles, walking the Pacific crest trail and adventuring and traveling world, and how that framed his mindset and his disposition today, including his radical position, his willingness to counter and challenge conventional wisdom and not play by the rules, push the rules, push the boundaries. Brad (3m 14s): And he makes such a great contribution to the ancestral health movement in general. He’s got a lot of stuff going on. His book, The Carnivore Code has been very well-received and it’s a very detailed read about this whole world of carnivore eating. He’s got a nose to tail animal organ supplement line called Heart and Soil. So together we are promoting the wonderful world of freeze dried animal organ supplements. We’ll talk a little bit about that. You’ll learn about his interest in the modern day, Hunter gatherers, the Hadza in Tanzania and his plans to go to Africa in 2021 for an extended period of time to live amongst these primitive peoples and learn from them. Brad (3m 57s): And Oh boy, well, we have fascinating subjects to discuss when he returns, but what I also love about Paul is he does not pull any punches, man. He’s a straight shooter and I was making a conciliatory reference to the Esselstyn. My main man, rip Esselstyn. Who’s been a podcast guest and a leader in the plant based diet community, along with his father, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, and Paul did not let that one slip. He came right back and said, look, this science is flawed. I’m here to say that it’s wrong. And you know what? We got to have people out there sticking their necks out with a lot of power and reference and confidence behind their message. It compels you to listen carefully, even if it’s something that’s in conflict with your long standing beliefs about healthy eating and healthy living. Brad (4m 44s): So here you go. Fasten your seatbelts for Dr. Paul Saladino author of the carnivore code host of The Functional Health podcast and purveyor of the heart and soil supplement line. Here we go, Dr. Paul, Saladino on for the third time. What a tremendous honor. And I love connecting with you, man. I’m so sorry. We’re not in person. One of the reasons is we have the, the, the, the age of social distancing. You’ve had so much commentary. I want people to go over to Fundamental Health and hear what you have to say about COVID in the quarantining, but now it’s because you’re all the way over in Texas and your life has just been on this amazing escalated journey since we first connected a couple of years ago. Brad (5m 27s): So I want to start by hearing, I mean, dude, you were, what, two, something years ago you were finishing up residency in Seattle, Washington, and now it’s like a whirlwind. So take us through that and what, you know, what insights have occurred. Paul (5m 41s): Oh man, it’s always good to see you, Brad. Thanks for having me back on, brother. This is a pleasure. I don’t know, man. You know, I’ll tell you what. So before medical school, I was a PA I was a physician assistant in cardiology and there’s this when I was, I used to run a lot, then did running and I don’t really do a lot of distance running a lot now. I’ve gotten into sprinting, which you’ll appreciate. So I do a hundred meters and my goal is to do 100 meters less than 15 seconds. So I’m pretty fricking slow. I don’t, I don’t know if I’m actually that’s slow, but I’m pretty slow as a sprinter, but I love it. So I was doing distance running and I’ll never forget. I was out on a run one time and I knew I was going to medical school because I worked as a physician assistant in cardiology for four years. Paul (6m 23s): And it was really, really quickly during that, that experience that I thought this is not my path. Western medicine is just focused on the symptom. And though there are a lot of intelligent well-intentioned physicians. They’re just giving medications. We’re not trying to find the root cause. And I’ve joked with people that I’m sort of like an engineer who went to medical school. I’m like an engineer, surfer, back- country skier. p Want to be a Mountaineer who went to medical school accidentally twice. So the engineering side of my brain says, what causes, what causes this? What causes atherosclerosis? The formation of plaque in the arteries? What causes people to get sick? And I knew that I had to go back to medical school because I wanted more autonomy to be able to try and affect those paradigms. Paul (7m 4s): And I was on this run and there’s a modest Yahoo song. He’s not so popular anymore, but I dunno if this is a poem or something that he, that he is reciting, or these are his lyrics. But I remember my intention as I was on the run and this may sound cheesy, but it’s true. It’s the lyrics that I really like are I’m the arrow, you’re my bow, you know, shoot me forth and I will go. And it was just this kind of intention as I was running really just between me and the universe, like, Hey, like launch me wherever you want. And that’s kind of been my perspective throughout the journey. And I apologize if that’s overly woo, but you know, that’s kinda how I feel about it. Like I just, I kind of put it out there for the universe. Paul (7m 44s): I grew up Catholic and religious and I don’t really consider myself super religious now, but respect all religious traditions. But from a universal spiritual perspective, I’ve always been curious, like, what are we doing here? We’re on a planet. I love seeing the stars. Cause it reminds me we’re on a planet hurdling through the universe and there’s something bigger than us I believe. And so my intention has always just been like, Hey, launch me, you know, where am I going? What is my intention? I just want to do good work in the world by being an arrow. That’s some force that’s bigger than me that might exist. Or maybe my brain is just making it up. It’s sort of pulling back the bow and just launching me. And, you know, I went to medical school and then I went to residency and somewhere in there, you know, I kinda got pulled back on this bow and just fricking release then who knows where this arrow is going to go. Paul (8m 28s): But that’s really what it’s been like over the last few years for me, I just feel like an arrow that’s been shot forth. And I’m just trying to, trying to hit the target, you know, trying to try and do it as truthfully and as intentionally as I possibly can, you know, from a place of honesty and authenticity. But you know, most of your listeners will know if they’ve heard my story or heard me on other episodes of your podcast that I’m interested in diet. I’m interested in nutrition. I’m interested in the things that make humans sick and what makes us kick a lot of ass. And I had my own issues in residency. I had eczema that was recurrent despite eating a really well-intentioned paleolithic diet. That is great for a lot of people, but didn’t work for me. And so I kind of kept digging, you know, it was like I had done the archeology and said, yeah, paleo diet makes sense. Paul (9m 14s): I don’t think humans ate a lot of grains evolutionarily. I don’t think humans ate a lot of beans evolutionarily and I’m not sure dairy works for everybody. It does for some people, but it doesn’t work for everybody. So that makes sense. But you know, that wasn’t far enough. I had to keep excavating. And so the next discussions as we’ve talked about in the past for, Hey, are our plants really good for us because everybody tells us that they’re the bees knees and that they’re this magical thing. And you know, I I’ve taken a stance. That’s completely diametrically opposed to that and said, I don’t think plants are really that necessary or good for humans. People can refer to our previous podcast if they want to know more about that. But that’s been an interesting journey to kind of challenge these widely held sacrosanct notions that, that we need plants for fiber or polyphenols or plant chemicals. Paul (9m 58s): And e taken the opposite stance and said, Hey, I think humans should eat an animal based diet that really recapitulates, that really mirrors what our ancestors ate. And if you look at the anthropology and you look at hunter gatherer tribes today, they don’t really eat vegetables. They don’t, we can get into this. They don’t eat kale or spinach or the equivalent in Africa. They don’t eat a lot of leafy greens. They don’t eat a lot of seeds and if they do, they’re detoxifying the heck out of them. So, you know, that’s, that’s been my path. It’s been this journey to say to people, you know, some people are probably thriving on a paleo diet. Some people might be thriving on other diets that are intentional, but if you’re not realize the plant toxins could be affecting you negatively. Paul (10m 40s): And that the more animal foods, especially animal foods eaten from nose to tail eating all the organs. However, you can get them is going to give you a lot of unique nutrients. And, and then if you want to eat plants, understand, which are more or less toxic and yeah, it’s been a it’s been an amazing ride. Yeah. When we talked two years ago, I was finishing residency at the University of Washington. I’ve maintained a virtual practice with clients, but most of my work has been podcasting. And I wrote a book and just trying to get the message out as much as I can and affect as many lives positively in an authentic way, be, you know, be the straightest arrow. Brad (11m 18s): The straightest arrow with a little ICBM device on it, because obviously you’re driving me in the direction. You’re not just getting bounced around as a medical professional. You’re, you’re taking it to the next level and, and jumping from one, one pod to the next. And I appreciate you advancing this conversation. And for me, if nothing else, it’s been an exercise in critical thinking and maintaining an open mind. And when I first heard you and Dr. Sean Baker and the others talking about this alternative idea, that was so foreign to everything that we thought was common ground. It, you know, it was a beautiful experience to realize that, especially when you get deep into the science and we can go back to the other shows and, and reference that, or all the other stuff you’ve talked about, your very, very detailed book. Brad (12m 5s): It makes a lot of sense. And particularly the things that stand out to me are this idea of kicking ass and, and Dr. Saladino wants you to kick ass. And I have to ask myself, well, you know, what level ass am I kicking? Am I at level five level seven or level nine? And the truth is I have no freaking idea because I don’t have a reference point to what level nine is. If I’m sitting at level five and that’s why we want to be on this exploration journey that you convey so well in your own life, as well as your message. Paul (12m 36s): Yeah. I think that that’s an important point, Brad. That often we don’t even know what we’re capable of. And that’s, that’s almost passe to say that, but a lot of people are kind of going through their lives, thinking that their, their achy joints or their knee or their back, or their, their recurrent skin rash or their acne or their insomnia or their poor libido, or the 20 extra pounds of weight are just aging. Quote, unquote, you’re just getting normal is normal, right? And you see it around you, you go to your doctor and your doctor is 20 pounds overweight and has some, you know, flakiness of the skin of his face, or, you know, doesn’t look great. And you’re like, well, that’s just how humans age. And maybe I had my heyday in my twenties or in high school, but I’m just a rusted old car. Paul (13m 19s): And I think that’s baloney because I really believe that we are meant to be vital long into our lives. And you’re a great example of that. Mark Sissoh is a great example of that. There are so many examples of that indigenous hunter gatherers are a great example of that. If we look at the morbidity or the sort of the vitality, the health span of indigenous peoples, the more indigenous they are, the less westernized they be common. We can talk about what that means. The more vital they are. And they have, what’s called squaring of the morbidity curve. You know, modern westernized humans have this inexorable decline toward decrepitude. Our line just goes down from left to right gradually, you know, you’re kind of a flat line until you’re at 25 or 30. Paul (13m 60s): And then it just drops. Like, you know, it’s like a, it’s like an easy blue or green ski slope that goes straight down. And you know, what happens in a hunter gatheres if we’re looking at the morbidity, like their actual vitality there, they’re more of just a flat line. And then they drop off like a real cliff at the end, in the last few weeks of their life, but they’re vital into old age. And that’s, that’s always been my goal personally, a lot of this is, is generated or is, is rooted in my own personal desire to be able to kick a lot of ass until I’m 80 years old. Because I mean, I’m 43 now. I, I got started late, you know, after medical, after college, I took six years off and just traveled the world. I used to ski bum and I was in, I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. Paul (14m 40s): Then I went to PA school and then I went to medical school. So I’m like 10 years behind all my colleagues. So I’ve got to be at least 10 years more vital than our average, 43 year old. And I want to be serving on 80. So a lot of this is driven by a selfish desire to think I want my body to be at nine or 10 out of 10. And if, if, if we accept this decrepitude as normal, we’re never going to get there. So that’s why self experimentation is so valuable. Elimination diets are valuable, and then what’s cool if you will kind of wake up and they go, man, I didn’t even know I could feel this good. I didn’t even know that morning headache didn’t need to be there. I didn’t even know. I could think this clearly, or I could lose the weight or that I’d want to, you know, have sex with my partner this much or whatever. Paul (15m 21s): And that’s, what’s really cool to see people achieve a bigger potential by aligning themselves more with an ancestral perspective. Really the Holy grail in my opinion, is what is the species appropriate diet for humans and what is a species appropriate lifestyle for us? Because if we can align those things, we will, we will thrive. And so that’s where, that’s what we’re all after man. It’s, it’s a fun journey. Brad (15m 43s): I think that’s the quote of the month inexorable decline into decrepitude. I’m shaking when I just recite that because it’s so scary and I think whatever motivates us, but I admit that I’m motivated by the fear of, you know, experiencing that decline. And I want to fight that battle as hard as I can and, and be open to experimentation in the case of where, where we started that little, that little riff there, but six years, I didn’t realize that. And I want to know, like, there’s a lot of young people that take a year or two or maybe three years off, but how did it extend that far and kind of, how did that shape the rest of your journey and, you know, linger on and how you live your life today? Paul (16m 28s): Well, I don’t do anything half-ass so I figure if you’re going to do it, Brad (16m 31s): go take some time off, take some time off man, some time off. Paul (16m 36s): And you know, honestly, during those six years, the majority of the time, I never thought I was going to go back to graduate school of any type. It was just, you know, I was so burned out from college. I studied super hard in college and I just want to do this travel. And it just kept, it was just more, it was just more adventure around every turn. It was, you know, I started out in Maine and then I went to Southern California, taught outdoor education. And I heard about this thing called the Pacific Crest Trail. And then I went to New Zealand, the next that, that winter to avoid the, the winter in the United States. And I hiked around New Zealand. Then I came back and it was like, I’m going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. So I through hike the whole thing, and then it was just adventure after adventure. Then I moved to Telluride Colorado. And at that point I was like, I don’t know how to ski, but I’m in Telluride, Colorado for the winter. Paul (17m 19s): So I might as well learn how to ski. And then thus began, you know, a love affair with skiing and being in the mountains and wild places. So I started out Telemark skiing and then eventually did Alpine skiing and went back to New Zealand to Alpine ski and then came back and lived in Jackson Hole. And, you know, all the while, I mean, I don’t have a trust fund. I’m just living on the money that I’m making waiting tables. So it was just living hand to mouth. And there were a lot of funny stories. And a lot of times I was, you know, in a bunk room with my friends or, you know, renting out. I remember when I was in Jackson, I literally lived in a garage for a little while. I thought it was the best thing ever. You know, I could spend $200 a month to live in the garage as my bedroom. Paul (17m 59s): And, you know, those are the kinds of things that I was always after. In Telluride, Colorado, we had a, we had a low cost housing that I think was six or $700 a month and it was two bedrooms. And we put four people inbedrooms because the upstairs loft had a bunch of crawl spaces or a bunch of kind of like open space. And we figured out that we could just cut the drywall away to make a door. And so people were literally living in the walls, you know, in Telluride, Colorado, there were four of us. And we all had our own bedroom because two of the guys were upstairs living like inside, like an unfinished, you know, there’s like nothing, it’s just bare studs and drywall. And they were happy as clams to pay $200 a month to rent out a, you know, a drywall room in Telluride. Paul (18m 44s): So that was my life for years. And I think it just, it just shaped my interest in work-life balance. And just getting to have that much exploration, I think makes you maybe that maybe that’s a part of why I’m an, I like questioning the status quo or I have this iconic classic vein within me, but, you know, I just got to, I got to live Footloose and fancy free for a long time and have a lot of adventures. And, you know, probably I got in trouble a lot, like in nature and almost died. And I think it’s important for humans to have those real experiences and experience danger and death or close to it and consequence and changes you as a human. And I think coming out of that and going to PA school is like crazy, right? Paul (19m 27s): It’s like night and day, but it just, it just probably has made me this, this rule breaker throughout the rest of my career. Which is a good thing because medicine rewards rule followers, you have to be very good at memorizing and very good at regurgitating. And so somehow I am the anomaly that made it through the system. I may be a little bit conspiratorial with this statement, but I kind of think I’m the person that Western medicine didn’t want to get into medical school. Like they don’t want me to have an MD, but I do. I’m very disruptive. And that’s my goal actually is to be, to be even more disruptive to Western medicine and as much as I can and to question the things that need to be questioned. Paul (20m 6s): And a lot of that probably grew out of swimming, flooded rivers in New Zealand and, you know, falling down muddy ravines while I was there or all kinds of adventures I had getting caught in avalanches in Jackson Hole or, you know, these things that happened during those six years, that just made me think like, wow, there’s a lot of life out there to live. And you know, you don’t always have to play by the rules. Brad (20m 29s): Yeah. And I guess you don’t have to obsess about this tiny little world and this tiny little problem that you’re in. Like you’re, you’re struggling in a certain class in PA school, but you freaking walk the Pacific Crest Trail and it kind of gives you a perspective. I feel the same way for about, about my athletic experience, which was so dramatically different than something going on on my computer screen that I could get worked up about. But wait a second. I, you know, I rode down mountain passes at a high rate of speed risking my life. And so, yeah, it’s a, it’s a nice perspective to have than in that linear path that we’re all kind of falling when we’re in the institutional setting of, of grade school and high school and even in college and especially the, the medical training is so, so regimented. Brad (21m 12s): It has to be. Paul (21m 14s): Yeah. I mean, I, I think my only regret living in Austin is that there’s not better stars here at night because it’s a city and there’s light pollution, but I love looking at the stars even when I can see them a little bit. I was out at Roam Ranch in Fredericksburg here, which is a farm doing regenerative agriculture is out there with the folks from force of nature, which is an amazing regenerative meat company. And as I was driving home on Saturday night, I was looking at the stars and they’re just, they’re big and bright, which is they are in Texas. And you know, it’s just, they’re so clarifying. And that’s something I always forget. And I always need to remind myself about like, Oh yeah, don’t get too stressed. You’re going to die. You know, like we’re all gonna die. We’re all just little ants on this rock, hurtling through the universe, you know, with stars surrounding us. Paul (21m 60s): And there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of perspective that’s easy to lose when I get caught up in this digital world too. And I’m like, not enough people liked my Instagram post or, you know, why are people not engaging with my content? Or Brad (22m 11s): you have detractors Paul, there, Paul (22m 14s): you have haters. Imagine that. Or, you know, after going on Rogan, like all these people want to debate me now. And they want to, you know, they want to argue with my ideas and it’s like, ah, screw them. You know, like there’s bigger, there’s bigger fish to fry. And I’m a human being, having an experience on the planet earth, which is really profoundly beautiful. And yeah, that’s one of my goals in the future is to get back to that. Cause the last two years have been kind of a rocket ship ride. And I certainly haven’t spent enough time in the wilderness. I spent some. But not enough. Brad (22m 43s): Well, this PCT experience, just to go back for a second, you said the term through hike, does that mean hiking it straight through? And are you talking about the full length from, I believe it goes from Canada to the Mexican border, like it’s a couple thousand miles or something. How long has Paul (22m 60s): 2,700 miles? 106 days. I was on it. Yeah. I hiked from Mexico to Canada in 106 days. That’s fast. We were averaging. Yeah. We averaged a good amount per day. We took a couple of rest days, but once you get there and if you have the right footwear, which was just sneakers and a lightweight pack, you can hike 30 miles a day. No problem. Brad (23m 21s): Wow. Paul (23m 22s): Yeah. Brad (23m 23s): And then when you get off the mountain range, like somewhere past Mount Whitney, you’re walking through the desert for, for a spell, right? Paul (23m 30s): Well the desert’s before Mount Whitney. So you started at the border of Mexico and California and then you go, okay. Yeah, you go North. Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. I was going, you want to go South to North, North to South is much harder seasonally. So you go South to North. Some people do go North to South, but I went South to North and you go through like the San Jacinto is a San Bernardino. Then you go through the Mojave and then you go through, you know, the Sierra and you know yeah. All the wilderness areas down there. Brad (23m 58s): So that’s pretty awesome athletic effort. I mean, did you get tired at any point or feel like bailing or taking a week off or something? Paul (24m 8s): No, you know, Brad, I haven’t talked about it much, but humans are meant to walk. We’re really good at walking and you know, the first few days you get kind of chafed and in unmentionable areas and your feet swell up over the first few weeks, I think by the end of the trail, I had size 13 shoes, you know, and I’m 5’9″, 5’10”. So I had these really big clown feet by the end and my feet got really big, maybe size 12, 13. But the, the coolest thing was that this was one of the most joyous times in my life. There was really never a day that I, that I didn’t want to be there. It’s just so simple. What we need to be happy as humans. It was, I love the simplicity of the existence. And I think that actually, it’s something that’s kind of stuck with me though. Paul (24m 51s): I forget it often. I think that the more simple we can make our life, the happier we become, all I had to do every day was stay warm, preferably mostly dry. And you had food. And so you just got to walk every day. All you had to do was walk and in our culture in 2020, I mean, this was 20 years ago. I did this Brad. So I was 23. This was 2000 and or 22. And you know, I was to our culture today. We would say, that’s incredibly boring. Well, that’s good medicine. Boredom is good medicine. But at that time of my life, it wasn’t boring at all. It was every day was a new horizon. Every day was new wilderness that I got to explore. Paul (25m 31s): And how cool is that? I mean, I just got to see mountain after landscape just every day, felt like an adventure and you mail yourself food along the way. We had 27 resupplies and yeah, you always have food. You don’t always have good food, but you always have like the next day. And it just was so simple. And this is kind of, you can imagine this is probably something like the way we lived for the last 4 million years. Right? We lived in small groups of people that knew each other that were tribes. We were semi-nomadic. We moved around a little bit here and there. We hunted animals. We, we stayed warm and dry. We protected each other. We supported each other. And that was it. That was like all we had to do. Paul (26m 11s): And, and if we got an animal we celebrated and that was, that was the bounty of the universe. And if, if there was, if there weren’t any animals, we, we prayed for, you know, some sort of, you know, nature to provide for us. And, but throughout it all, we were just living a life that was so simple. And there weren’t any, there were no complicated stressors. It was just day to day exploring the wilderness, being out there with people. And it was joyous. I mean, there was never a day that I got bored. There was never a day I wanted to get off. And in fact, the one other thing that I’ve talked about a little bit and talk about this in the book is that I never got sick of animal foods but I got sick of many different plant foods. Paul (26m 52s): So later on, after I finished the Pacific crest trail and when I was a PA for a little bit, I was actually a vegan and I got really into wheat grass. And I’ll never forget coming home from a run one day and grinding my own wheat grass, and wheat grass juice, and just looking at it and nearly vomiting going, ” I never want to drink that again in my life.” It’s like the human body understands that there are toxic alkaloids in wheat grass. And these alkaloids just built up in my system and body just gave me this kick in the nuts and said, stop eating that shit. And the same thing kind of happened on the Pacific Crest Trail. Before the trail. I was probably in a vegetarian mode and I was brainwashed and I was 23 and the thinking meat was bad for me. Paul (27m 32s): So the foods that I had prepared were a lot of dried fruit and grains. I’d made this porridge for myself and my buddy Broxton, who I hiked it with out of wheat and oats and millet, the best grains I could think of. And we were going to have this oats every morning for breakfast. And I’ll tell you by this, probably by the end of the first month, after 30 days in a row that porridge, every morning I threw it out. I never wanted to eat it again. I was so sick of flax seeds and oats and millet and buckwheat and, and just, I was like, this is garbage. I don’t want to eat these grains anymore. And granted, I wasn’t fermenting the grains. I was just soaking them overnight. But the grains had that type of a reaction for me. Paul (28m 12s): I got sick of peanut butter. I don’t eat peanut butter anymore, but most people would think, Oh, peanut butter is amazing. I’ll never get sick of butter. Right. I got sick of peanut butter in about the same amount of time, totally sick of peanut butter. I got sick of dates. I got sick of every plant food that I had brought, but things like cheese and meat and jerky never got old. And the only mistake I made was I didn’t bring enough of them. And this was 20 years ago. I had no idea about organs. Nobody was making desiccated organs or anything like that. Like, you know, like, like we make it hard and soil or any of this kind of stuff. So there were no desiccated organs. There was no liver and I didn’t have any jerky, but every re supply, I would, I would eat a hamburger or three because meat was inevitably what I wanted in that experience. Paul (29m 3s): And I got so sick of all the plant foods that I thought were going to be good for me. And so, you know, inevitably the food kind of took a left turn and I ended up eating junk food toward the end because it was all, it sounded good. I ate things like pop tarts. And I remember eating just bread with cream cheese on it at the end, which is just calories. I had no idea where my life was going to go, but I never got sick of animal foods. And if I’ve often thought about this and some people have asked me, how would you hike the Pacific Crest Trail now? And I know exactly how I would do it. You know, you can make jerky and give yourself fresh meat at resupplies and you could bring desiccated organs and you could bring liver jerky. And then I would bring some carbohydrates in the form of honey. And I would bring something like tallow for fat. Paul (29m 45s): And the simplest diet would be pretty much like, you know, many indigenous tribes in Africa now, meat, organs, fat and honey or seasonal fruit. And that’s, that’s it, that’s all you need. So it’s an interesting experience, and an experiment thought experiment, thinking like, what would you eat on that simple path? Brad (30m 3s): Wow. I mean, from your psychiatry training, I wonder if there’s a, a scientific rationale that you got sick of this stuff because of the nutrient deficiencies or in the case of wheat grass. I mean, I felt that way when I took my first shot of wheat grass, but I kept doing it because I’ve been told it’s so good for me, but it smells and tastes disgusting and you can, you can taste it on your, on your skin or you can smell it on your skin as soon as you ingest it. And the whole thing is just all in the name of health, rather than the, the intuitive sense that this is a nourishing food. Paul (30m 39s): Yeah. We, I mean, at the beginning of my transition to an animal based diet, a carnivore diet over two years ago, I looked at my fridge and there was tons of spoiled broccoli and kale. I was like, I just don’t. I mean, I’ve been, I’ve been forcing myself to eat it for, for years thinking I know it’s good for me. And I would put it in a pan and saute it with olive oil and then put some salt on it. And really probably what I liked was olive oil and salt. And then the, the kale was just a vehicle. And by cooking it, I detoxified it somewhat. But yeah, I mean, I looked at my fridge and I would just buy kale and it would just go bad. And then I would buy kale and it would go bad and I would buy broccoli and would go back. I don’t even want to eat this stuff anymore. And that was the beginning of just thinking, why am I even doing this? Paul (31m 21s): Why am I even eating these foods? And now we know that there’s anti-nutrients and there are defense chemicals in those foods. Now on the Pacific Crest Trail, I had no killer broccoli, but I can guarantee you that it, within less time than a month, I would have been like, this is garbage. Get this stuff out of here. I would not have wanted to eat that either. So yeah, I think that the body has not even on a psychiatric basis, just on a, just on a fundamental, like nutritional basis. We have defenses and things built in that if you’re eating the same thing every day, and these toxins are accumulating, your body’s going to say, get out of this. You know, it’s not doing that. Brad (31m 57s): Well, I don’t know if I shared with this, with this before, but when you and Ben Greenfield got deep into my head back then in early, I think it was early 2019, I’ve always enjoyed salads. It was the centerpiece of my diet. For years and years, I did a great job creating this beautiful, colorful salad with all the dressings and the accoutrements, the nuts, and maybe some pomegranates. And it was this beautiful work of art that would be photographed for a book cover. But then I started to second guess the rationale for eating it and whether it was in fact healthy and necessary. And as soon as I did that, my affinity for salads went away and I’d look at the bowl or I’d look at the plate of steamed broccoli. Brad (32m 41s): And I would raise my hand my whole life and say, sure, I love broccoli. As a little kid, I ate the good stuff. I was no trouble for my parents, but something happened psychologically. And I realized that I associated my desire or my pleasure for the food, because it was good for me. And the same for eating some junk food. You know, I don’t like it because I know it’s not good for me as a huge part of the reason that I don’t like it. And so that was a real mindblower because then I think maybe I took a step forward in escalation of my intuitive ability to, to nourish my body optimally rather than just, you know, falling in line with what people are telling me what to do, and then convincing myself it’s tasty because it’s good for me, if that makes sense. Paul (33m 27s): Absolutely. I mean, people can do this experiment. I don’t think anyone will, will actually do it, but eat it, eat it, you know, eat, eat exclusively animal foods for 30 days or eat just kale for 30 days. So you could eat, you could eat, you could say just, I’m just gonna eat ribeye steaks. And I don’t advocate for this kind of an animal-based diet, because I want people to get the unique nutrients and organs, but you could eat just rib-eyes steaks for 30 days. And you probably come out of that in 30 days and be like, yeah, this still tastes good. How was my experience on the Pacific Crest Trail? Just eat kale for 30 days. And I guarantee you by the second or third day, I’ll be like, this is garbage. What the hell am I doing? Paul (34m 8s): Like, I don’t want to eat this anymore. It’s no good. And I think that we’ve created this false, we’re really false value for these plants foods through variety. And we’ve, we’ve put, you know, dressings on them and we’ve put things on them to change the flavor. And the dressing is usually what is more nutritious than the kale or the dressing is, is, is more flavorful than the kale, you know? And people think like, Oh, I love spinach. And it’s like, ah, I don’t think you really love spinach. I don’t think you really like raw broccoli and you could steam it and detoxify it somewhat. But I mean, how many people eat raw broccoli with nothing on it, right? You could eat a steak with nothing on it. No problem. But you’re going to get sick of that stuff really quickly. Paul (34m 48s): But we have this fake amount of variety as humans in 2020, I could go out to Roam Ranch like I did, and hunt deer. So I could eat deer meat every day. Right. And there are Buffalo there that are raised there, but Buffalo are also, they’re also native to the United States. So in the past, I could have gone out on the plains and hunted a buffalo or hunted a deer. I could have had meat every single day. If I were a good hunter and shared it with my tribe. Well, we go to the grocery store and we see this vast array of plant foods that never would have existed in Texas, right? There’s no cabbage growing wild in Texas. There’s no kale or broccoli or any of these edible plants in Texas. Paul (35m 28s): And there’s not even a lot of this fruit. You know, I went into the story of the day and Whole Foods, and I’m an advocate for seasonal fruit. There’s cherries from Chile. You know, these aren’t cherries in December in Texas or really anywhere other than she lays. So we’ve created this environment where we can get this false sense of the value of plant foods with a falsely created context around variability. There’s no way you’re going to get wild kohlrabi in Texas. In fact, there’s very few animal plant foods here at all. Maybe you’re going to get a little bit of prickly pear or this or that, but you’re just never going to get the variety that people expect to see in a grocery store. I mean, you know, if Whole Foods run out, run, it runs out of radishes or maybe they run out of, you know, something else like people are gonna be like, where are the radishes? Paul (36m 13s): And it’s like, but there’s the radishes in Texas. Like nobody grows though that doesn’t grow wild here. And so if you look around you, there’s a wide variety of animal foods that humans don’t get sick of eating everywhere, no matter what your latitude is at. But the plant foods are very limited and there’s only a certain number of edible plant foods anywhere on the planet that we would have had access to. And I think we would have, would have had very clear signals. Like it’s just not good for you. You know, this is not something that you want to be eating every day when it comes to the roots, the stems, the leaves of the seeds, the grains, the nuts, the beans, all these types of things. Brad (36m 50s): Well, we’ve also been indoctrinated to the importance of microbiome diversity and making sure that we consume this huge array of colorful plants that we can find at Whole Foods and wherever else. And you make a good case counter to that, that the, and I think our man, Brian, the film maker, when we had those long talks with you and Sisson in LA, and I think we were driving home and he offered up this insight, which was great. He said, you know, there’s a rain forest. That’s very diverse ecosystem, but a desert is just as diverse and just as healthy and vibrant, even though there’s, you know, a lack of plant diversity, but you know, the case for eating a whole shit ton of different foods, you’ve said that really well, that there’s, there’s no, there’s no guarantee that that’s healthy and it could be challenging, especially for the different genotypes and things of that nature. Paul (37m 42s): Yeah. And if you really look at the research, so on my podcast, Fundamental Health, I’m going to have another conversation with Lucy Mailing, I’ve had a previous conversation with her and you know, in my book, I talk about this and she thinks about the guide a lot. She’s a PhD researcher. And you know, we’ve, we’ve shared this all the time, Brad, and I could do a screen share. Now, I don’t know if you’re gonna use a video, but there are so many, there are so many studies now that show that the increased amount of fiber in the human diet does absolutely diddly squat for the alpha diversity of the guts. And, and though the Hadza and other indigenous cultures have been hailed for their widely diverse microbiome, their diets are not that diverse. Paul (38m 24s): They eat basically five foods, you know, and this has been documented anthropologically and confirmed by people. I know who’ve been there. They love honey. They meet an organs. . They’ll eat seasonal berries. They’ll baobob fruit, which is a tree in Africa. And they might eat some tubers. But that’s it like that’s, that’s not that many different types of foods. They don’t, they don’t have a wide variety of color. There’s not that much colorful in their diet and the actual controlled studies, giving people more fiber doesn’t change the alpha diversity one bit and removing fiber doesn’t change the alpha diversity. I haven’t had fiber in my diet in two and a half years. And if you look at the alpha diversity that I’ve tested on myself, it’s totally fine. It’s it’s I think I was 94th percentile. Paul (39m 5s): So very diverse. And I’ve seen it over and over it. Diversity is not about a wide variety of plant foods. That notion is insidious. And it drives me bonkers because it’s just fricking wrong, man. It’s just wrong. You don’t need that. And I mean, you know, my gut is not inflamed. I’ve tested my gut. There’s no inflammatory markers. I poop every day. And it’s beautiful. Sometimes I send you photos, you know, and screen-share yeah. Screens, let me screen share a picture of my poop from this morning. And you know, how would you like, how would anybody say my gut is inflamed? I don’t eat any fiber and I haven’t in a long time. So this notion of fiber and gut microbiota is just completely false. And as you rightly point out for a lot of people who have inflamed guts or issues, more fiber and more vegetables make them worse. Paul (39m 51s): So what are we doing again? It’s this dogmatic notion that’s just being forced fed to us literally and figuratively that you need more fiber. The answer to your health is more fiber, more fiber, more fiber. For a lot of people that just makes them far more. It makes them more pain, more gas, more bloating, more constipation, more bleeding, more difficulty passing stool. And you’re thinking this isn’t working for me. You’d be amazed at how well people do on like zero fiber diets. It’s beautiful. It’s amazing. You don’t fart anymore. I can remember when I was a vegan man, it was so hard to be around humans because I always farted. And whether I was in a shared office as a PA or I was in a movie theater, or I was sitting on a girl’s couch or sitting in my ca., You know, my, my salvation was those thick couch cushions that had, that had give to them because you could fart into those cushions and it would store your fart and it, you know, somebody would smell it. Paul (40m 48s): The problem is that when you get up, it kind of releases part of your fart, but you just get up real quickly and you walk away. Right. But my car kind of smelled like an old stale fart. And this is, I mean, people are grossed out by it and they’re like, you know, you might think, Oh, this guy’s crazy, but it’s true. I mean, I just farted all the time. And after I moved away and went to medical school, I heard from people that I worked with when I was a vegan PA, that it was impossible to be in the office family because it just smelled so far all the time. Brad (41m 17s): Years later at the reunion, they can. Now the truth comes out about Dr. Paul. Paul (41m 21s): Yeah, that’s true. And you know, it’s funny because some of these vegan proponents will, will, will claim that we should embrace this, embrace your 25 flatulations per day. This means you’re healthy, just bounce around and fart and love your farts. And it’s like, yeah, I don’t think so because there’s a completely other side of that. And it’s being able to be everywhere you want to be and never farting. It makes dating or having a partner sleeping in the same bed with someone way easier. Brad (41m 49s): I think the listeners are now either laughing because they have a good sense of humor. And if they’re not laughing, it’s because it’s hitting too close to home. For me. I remember one of my epiphany is this is right around the time when you guys mess with my head permanently. And I was talking to a really health-conscious athletic friend of mine about our morning green smoothies, that I’d kind of hooked him up and sent him the proper YouTube videos to see all the raw produce going into the blender. And he said, I was complaining because I reliably would get a bloated stomach for several hours after drinking this wonderful green concoction. And he said, Oh, well, yeah, I do too. But of course it’s worth it because it’s so healthy. Brad (42m 30s): And his comment stopped me dead in my tracks because I’m thinking if something’s healthy for you, should you have transient abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and you know, long-term with our elimination practices, should they be a troublesome part of our life? Or it should be ordinary routine thing where, and, and, you know, that was my experience with carnivores. Like, how did you feel? Well, in terms of elimination, I felt nothing. There was no drama. There was no difficulty. And that’s, you know, the new normal, going back to that level five level seven level nine. I didn’t think anything of farting once in a while, or having the occasional day or three days where your stomach’s not right. But I believe that’s all due to this effort. Brad (43m 12s): That’s gone down the wrong path to get our fiber and get our plant diversity and all these things that could be, could be traumatizing. Paul (43m 19s): I think it is. I mean, Joe, you said that when I was on the podcast with him, he said, I used to eat doing green smoothies. And I used to think they were so valuable for me. And then I would just have this massive shit or whatever he say, you know, he would just evacuate and it’s like, that’s just not good. Brad (43m 35s): Right, man, Paul (43m 36s): It’s not what you’re supposed to do. You’re not supposed to drink a green smoothie and then crap your brains out healthy. And that’s the notions that I’m challenging. And if we think about all this, why are we even, why are we eating all these greens in the first place? And you could say, Oh, vitamins and minerals, but then you can look at, Oh man, nose to tail, get organs in your diet, either through regular fresh organs or desiccated organ’s supplements, you know, like, like, like we make it hard in soil or whatever, and, you know, get these organs in your diet and you’re going to get all the nutrients you’re going to get in kale and more, and they’re more bioavailable. There’s no nutrients found in kale or spinach or broccoli that you can’t get in bigger quantities that are more bioavailable, generally speaking in animal foods. Paul (44m 21s): And that’s, that’s a crazy realization. Like just eat some food and liver or spleen or pancreas with your meat, you would get it all. And then yeah, crap yourself. It’s just, it’s not complex. Brad (44m 33s): I want to talk about your interest in the Hadza and your, your plans to go study in Africa. But I think it’s time for a little commercial because it comes, it comes to mind that these, these desiccated, organ, organ supplements that we’re so fond of, you know, I have my Male Optimization Formula with organs and you have your wonderful new line of Heart and Soil. Are we losing anything in comparison to eating the actual organ freshly or freshly raw in the case of how you train me to eat liver? And I’m asking, because I know in the vitamin scene, which I’ve been in for so long when you’re extracting something in a laboratory and you’re taking it from its original source and grounding and into a powder, you are definitely losing something from eating the original source. Brad (45m 19s): But in the case of this, you know, this freeze dried desiccated organ, it seems to me, this might be as, as pure as you can get to where it’s, you know, like for like comparison to eating a slice of raw liver. Paul (45m 30s): It’s as close as you can get. It’s definitely safer than eating raw liver because none of the, none of the microorganisms are going to survive. Desiccation this freeze drying process where you sort of dehydrate something at a very low temperature by lowering the pressure. So it’s safer than eating raw. I think definitely raw is going to give you more nutrients. But then again, RA is going to result in some food poisoning sometimes too. And so if you cook your organs, you’re definitely going to lose nutrients. So I’m going to say desiccation freeze. Drying is definitely better than cooked organs. So if somebody is going to take liver and like put the liver in a crock pot or put the liver in a pan and fry the liver through and through. Paul (46m 11s): So it’s not even pink in the middle, you’re better off eating desiccated. organ’s in my opinion, because they’re going to preserve more of the nutrients. But yeah, I mean, certainly fresh and rare or raw is better than desiccated, but that’s, the gated is pretty darn good and definitely pretty safe, totally safe. And it’s so much more portable. It’s difficult for me to get raw liver to Puerto Rico or wherever I’m going sometimes. So the desiccated organ’s make it easier to top of a mountain. You don’t have to bring a glass things like my raw liver in it, whatever. So it’s easier. It’s portable, it’s safer. I think it’s the best option for a lot of people. Certainly if you want to eat raw organ’s you can, there is always a question of contamination and food quality. You gotta be careful with that. Paul (46m 53s): As you move through it, there are reports of food poisoning based on just not quality organs. But yeah, I mean, you’re going to lose a little bit, but freeze drying is going to preserve as much as possible. Brad (47m 3s): Oh, gee, I’m going for the, the grass fed raw liver. And when you slice it up for me raw at my mom’s house in LA, it was great. It tasted better than the, the attempt I make to cook it. So I’m wondering if it’s frozen. If I, if I freeze it plenty and then I thaw it just enough to slice it, is that minimizing my risk of contamination? Or am I still just rolling the dice because you need to cook it too. Do those things live in the freezer too. Paul (47m 31s): Some of them can. Yeah. I said that to me, when you first had me try some of that raw liver, raw liver is pretty rare for anyone to get sick on. Honestly, like it’s not, it’s not common to get sick from raw liver, but it happens occasionally, you know, depending on the organ Brad (47m 49s): Worth the risk, I’d say, as opposed to risking a lifetime of green smoothies and bumping your stomach out for five hours. Paul (47m 57s): Yeah. I mean, you know, the, the other, the, the middle ground is blanching where you can just boil bone broth and then throw the organ in, which is going to kill anything that’s on top on the outside, but leave the inside pretty rare. So there’s blanching, but you know, frankly, a lot of people don’t want to eat organs cause they don’t like the taste of liver. And how many people have eaten a spleen? I mean, I ate a spleen today and how many people are gonna need a testicle or, you know, all these valuable organs, maybe people will eat heart, but you know, there’s a lot of organ’s that are difficult people to eat. Brad (48m 28s): Let me ask you about your recent emphasis on including honey in the diet. I think there was, I forget what show you’re on. There was a debate is honey a plant food or an animal food? And you’re, you’re saying it’s, it’s totally carnivore? But nevertheless we know you’re very athletic. You’re trying to, you know, pursue these goals. You’re burning a lot of energy every day. And so there is this question of strategic inclusion of carbohydrate into the diet for performance and recovery purposes, if nothing else. And you seem to rank honey high up there as your choice. And tell me how you’ve experimented with that and integrated it over the last couple of years, or whenever this started going on? Paul (49m 8s): Yeah, honey gate, the honey controversy. Brad (49m 11s): There’s a lot of controversy and people just don’t want to leave you alone, man. Paul (49m 18s): I should call my podcast just like Controversial Health there’s controversial health podcasts. So yeah, I, after a year and a half, a little more than a year and a half of being fully animal-based with quote zero carb. There are some carbohydrates in liver, but zero carb additional. I noticed that I was getting some muscle cramps and when I would go to like rock climb and I would point my foot for a hole that was really precise, or I would, I was getting palpitations at night too with my heart. And I thought, this is, this is too much like I I’m gonna reincorporate some carbohydrates. I think those electrolyte deficiencies are connected with carbohydrate avoidance and evolutionarily. I think lower carbohydrate would have been a seasonal thing, right? Paul (49m 60s): There’s seasons when you get honey there’s seasons, when you get fruit and there’s seasons, when you get lower carb, I don’t think we would’ve gotten more than a season on a very low carb diet or a ketogenic diet. So, you know, this was kind of one of these things that you learn in the process and you grow through it. And the first carbohydrate that I incorporated was honey, because I thought, well, you can make an argument that honey is from bees. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of plant defense chemicals in there. Or if there are, the bees are potentially fermenting them out or that he talks defied from the bees honey is a very complex food that we don’t fully understand chemically, but honey was great for me, Brad. There were a number of months that I wore a continuous glucose monitor from neutral sense. Paul (50m 39s): And you could see my blood sugar bump a little bit, but overall my glycemic variability stayed very low. And then later in the year I tested my fasting insulin, my C-PAP tide and they were rock bottom. My fasting insulin was less than three. My C-peptide was 0.4, five. So clearly I was remaining insulin sensitive, even with the inclusion of around a hundred plus grams of carbohydrates in the form of honey exclusively per day. So then I thought, let me try some other carbohydrates. And I included some squash and immediately some eczema came back for me on my hip where I get it right? So that’s happened twice to me now. So for whatever reason, my body doesn’t play well with lectins and squash. And though I would consider squash for some people to be a less toxic plan food doesn’t work for me. Paul (51m 23s): This is the message of the, the idea that plant foods are not always going to play well with every human and we shouldn’t be dogmatic about believing. They’re absolutely essential. Then I played around with white rice for a little bit and white rice is okay, but it didn’t really impress me. It, it, you know, it might spike your blood sugar a little lower than honey, but at the same time it was, it didn’t really have a satiety point, easy to over-consume. My concerns is white rice, or generally that it’s just not, it’s a grain. It’s going to have some lectins. It could bother some people it’s hard to get white rice. That’s very low in arsenic. It’s much lower than brown rice in arsenic, but there are some mycotoxins and some arsenic in rice. So it’s probably the least toxic grain for a lot of people if they want to have some carbohydrates. Paul (52m 6s): And amylose, especially if you pressure cook it. But I kinda, I kinda left rice in, in the past for now. I experimented with sweet potato. I burped for the next seven hours. Didn’t really feel great with sweet potato sweet potatoes are kind of high in oxalates. I experimented with fruit and whether my gut flora has shifted or what multiple experiments with multiple days of fruit kind of left me feeling bloated and gassy and you know, not satiated and kind of, there’s a feeling that I get when I eat fruit, where I just want to keep eating more and more and more. And it doesn’t, I don’t get the same sort of satiety point. You know, I eat two meals a day. I love two meals a day. I eat my second meal of the day early in the day. Paul (52m 47s): It’s now 5:30 in Texas. I eat my dinner at 3:30 today PM. And that’s it. And I don’t, I’m not going to think about food for the rest of the day. And when I eat fruit, I start thinking about food a little bit more between meals, which is strange because I like the fact that with honey or other carbohydrates, even with rice, it was better. I didn’t think about food between meals, but with, with, with the rice or excuse me with the fruit. I was thinking about it more so fruit. Maybe, maybe it wasn’t seasonal or whatever, but the fruit didn’t really play well with me there. So I experimented with carbs. Overall, the take home for me was humans do good with some, you don’t need a whole lot more. Paul (53m 27s): I’ve I’ve heard this adage from other people that you maybe think about starting with 70 to 100 grams a day. And if you’re doing massive amounts of workouts, you earn your carbohydrates above that. If you’re doing Brad, Brad Kearns, you know, speed golfing or whatever, or you’re, if you’re doing CrossFit, like some of our friends or you’re doing whatever, then, then maybe more carbohydrates are going to be beneficial. But for me, you know, most days I’ll go to the track and run six one hundreds, or I’ll do a couple of sets of front squats or, you know, I don’t feel like I need many more than 70 to 100 grams of carbohydrates a day. The inclusion has been an improvement for me, psychologically, physically electrolyte balance wise. Paul (54m 8s): But I think that people can do that on their own and kind of see what they, what they prefer. Now. I’m not a huge fan of high fructose corn syrup. I’m not a huge fan of Pepsi or Coke, or, you know, we, because of the lectins people always ask, what about, Oh, it’s not a huge fan of oats, lots of, lots of phytic acid and lectins and notes. So, you know, I think you gotta be careful and we’ve got a cookbook coming out in 2022. The publishing game is strange right now, but we’ll have a whole spectrum. And at the Heart and Soil website, depending when this podcast comes firstname.lastname@example.org, we will have a, an infographic that kind of goes over how to construct an animal based diet that has a full spectrum of plant toxicity for people. Paul (54m 54s): That’ll make it easy to see kind of how I visualize this. Brad (54m 57s): And do you think there’s a great deal of individuality where some people can just thrive on those raw leafy greens and the ones that are highest on the score of plant toxins and they report, you know, exceptional health and kicking ass level nine, or do you think that pretty much everyone is, can benefit from doing some testing and restricting of these things that you argue, compellingly, whatever benefits they offer? We can certainly access through redundant pathways, like cold exposure and doing a six times one hundreds at the, in the UT stadium with a, the key that you have to the, to the big, Paul (55m 36s): I wish I did. Brad, let me know if you know anybody. Yeah. I, I don’t think that kale is going to be good for anybody, but I do think there is genetic variability in terms of dairy, squash, berries, sweet potatoes, things that are a little more in line with what our ancestors might’ve eaten. I think knots are generally going to cause digestive issues for everyone because they have digestive enzyme inhibitors. And I think beans are going to be problematic for most people for the same reason. So, you know, within this dietary construction that we’ll put on the website shortly, th there there’s a spectrum of plant toxicity. And I talk about this in my book, The Carnivore Code as well. Like, you know, I think if you think about it from a spectrum of a plant leaves and stems and a lot of roots and seeds, which has seeds, nuts, grains and legumes are defended. Paul (56m 22s): If your animal goes eating things, the plant is going to die. Generally plants are okay with you eating the fruit. So I think a lot of people are going to do better than me with seasonal fruit. Some, some tubers or some roots are not as toxic as others. Some roots are very toxic, like cassava, unless you process it very carefully, but you know, some roots like sweet potato people can do well with, I wouldn’t do white potato because it’s in the nightshade family and has a lot of potential immunologic triggering issues for, for that one. But I think that generally, if you, if you think about animal base, the way that I conceptualize this and to try to communicate it is that you want to focus on animal foods and nose to tail getting either fresh or desiccated organs with all their unique nutrients and then maybe 20% of your diet as the least toxic plant foods, which is primarily sweet fruit, not sweet fruit, which would be things like avocado, squash, olives, these are fruit, but they’re not sweet. Paul (57m 17s): And then maybe tubers for some people, maybe rice, for some people, maybe honey is the best one for people, but those would be the least toxic quote, plant foods I can think of. And you know, it’s cool. I’m going to Africa. And I want to talk about, we can talk about the Hadza. And I was talking to one of the women who’s organizing it the other day and she’s been there a lot. And I asked her, I’m gonna have her on my podcast. What was the most surprising thing that she’d experienced in like the last few years of spending time in Africa? And she said, you know, they don’t really eat many parts of plants. And I didn’t expect that. They don’t eat the leaves. And I thought, yeah, I didn’t expect that. I didn’t, I wasn’t expecting them to eat leaves either. So it surprised her. Paul (57m 57s): It wasn’t surprising to me. She said they basically eat meat and organs and some source of carbohydrate, which could be a starch. They might have a fermented grain. They might have a, a root, or they might have honey when they can get it or some fruit, but they’re generally eating meat and organs and some sorts of carbohydrate. They don’t do vegetables. Quote-unquote vegetables are a westernized construct. They’re not eaten by indigenous people throughout the world. Like they realize like, why would I eat a leaf? There’s no calories, it’s bitter. And it generally just makes me have to shit like that. Doesn’t make a lot of sense. But now we’ve, we’ve raised leaves to the head of the Pantheon. Paul (58m 38s): You know, I mean, think about everything we think that’s most valuable for humans.It would be kale, spinach, and chard and broccoli, which is just the same plant as kale is flowering. Yeah. So it’s very interesting that we’ve elevated these false gods, like a pagan, God, it’s like biblical, you know, God is going to come down from the mountain and smash our, our fake gods. Brad (58m 59s): But do you think this is driven by a profit incentive marketing machine? Or are there other elements like misinterpretation of the science or what have you, and, you know, I love how you emphasize that concept of redundant pathways, where we can see extremely bright and well thought out, Rhonda Patrick, arguing that you consume broccoli seeds and they’re full of nutrition and antioxidant benefits, but then an easy counter to that is to jump in a cold tub and you don’t have all the, the package insert, you call it with the side effects of taking something that does indeed can be quantified. It’s giving you a health boost at, at great expense or too much expense, I guess your argument is? Paul (59m 44s): Yeah. I mean, there are lots of ways to activate NRF too, which is the system that sulfloraphane and brassicas activate, and there are ways that have side effects where you eat broccoli sprouts because the compounds, the isothiocyanates and broccoli are not friendly for humans. You could also activate NRF two by smoking a cigarette, drinking alcohol ingesting, lead, or mercury, or by jumping in a cold plunge. So you tell me which has more side effects and less side effects. Well, the cold plunge doesn’t really have side effects cause you’re not ingesting something. This is something I talked about, the juxtaposition of what I would call molecular versus environmental hormesis and environmental hermetics work through the same pathways. Paul (1h 0m 26s): They just don’t have the side effects. Right. They don’t have the package insert side effects like putting a molecule does in your body. So yeah, that’s my counter to Rhonda Patrick. Is why do that? Why do you eat sulfloraphane and negatively affect the absorption of iodine level of your thyroid among other negative effects of isothiocyanates like sulforaphane, or just live your life in a cool way, you know, go on a sauna, go on a cold lunch or exercise. Imagine that exercise creates oxidative stress, which activates NRF two. So yeah, there’s no reason they’re all, they’re kind of redundant benefits with these harmful side effects from plants and this is all wrong and it gets repeated imperative, infinitely ad nauseum. Paul (1h 1m 6s): But you know, to your, to your original question, I guess what we’re thinking about here is, you know, how we move forward in the best way and how we balance all these things and how we avoid the toxins in the best way while also getting the nutrients that we’re supposed to get. So yeah, I think it’s, there’s, there’s better ways to do it, you know, in our environment with environmental hormesis and, and that, that makes a whole lot more sense to me. The Hadza just don’t eat these things. You know, to your original question. It’s like, it’s, I think kale must have a good publicist or, I mean, like, I don’t even know if kale is a lucrative thing. Kale is a motto crop. Paul (1h 1m 47s): So maybe there’s a bunch of farmers who decided we can grow a shitload of kale. And kale is a very hardy plant. Let’s convince American consumers that kale is good for them. I don’t know if that’s what’s going on. I definitely think it’s misinterpretation of studies. That’s epidemiology that are associational, but yeah, somehow over the last couple of decades, vegetables have gotten a really good publicist and there’s not a lot of good data there. I mean, you can look at tons of interventional studies where they give people more vegetables and another group, less vegetables or no vegetables, and they don’t any difference in the markers of oxidative stress or DNA damage. There’s to say the vegetables are protective for humans is very shaky statement. Paul (1h 2m 29s): You know, looking at interventional quote, real studies and noxious epidemiology. Brad (1h 2m 34s): It seems to me that any departure from the sorry, ass, average state of the standard American diet is going to bring a miracle healing. And so Dean Ornish and my main man, my good friend, Rip Esselstyn, who’s a big leader of the plant-based movement. You’re going to bump into him on the street one day in Austin. Paul (1h 2m 54s): He won’t return my calls, Brad (1h 2m 58s): But you know, these people are smart. They’re well-meaning they have the science behind them, but I feel like there’s that other element of you’re taking, it’s like a, it’s like a physiology study taking a bunch of unfit subjects and training them. And let’s say a shitty manner. They’re still going to all get massively more fit than sitting on the couch for six weeks or however long the study lasts and same with, you know, the great work that Dr Esselstyn as done at the Cleveland clinic reversing heart disease and people that were ticking time bombs, and guess what they happened to eat something It wasn’t fast food. They fed them a bunch of kale, broccoli, fruit, vegetables. And of course they’re going to thrive, but you know, we’re going back. And I think, you know, my, my favorite thing is, is you’re trying to take us from kicking ass level five to level nine. Brad (1h 3m 44s): And, you know, we don’t even know what’s in store for us unless we do some testing and experimenting. Paul (1h 3m 50s): Yeah. You know, I think that for the Esselstyns to claim reversal of atherosclerosis is very questionable. That really, I mean, you know, you know, rich dad didn’t really even publish his, it was like a case series of 18 people. It was very poorly done. Shoddy science it’s been questioned. Why deadly, widely Dean Ornish’s angiograms widely question for the degree of atherosclerosis reversal. Even by vegans. Now there are some vegans in the space who are coming out and saying, this is kind of bullshit. Like we’re looking stupid by claiming that a vegan diet reverses atherosclerosis. Paul (1h 4m 32s): Now I believe that the atherosclerotic progression can be reversed or halted. But those studies that have been done on vegan diets are very suspect. Very, very suspect. Yeah. In the scientific community. There’s a lot of questioning about even the veracity of that. It’s really it’s controversial right now. Yeah. It’s not, it’s not for sure at all. So angiograms very sketchy way to do that. Brad (1h 4m 58s): The Controversial Health podcast with Paul Saladino, besides that everything’s great from the other, other side of the coin. So what are you going to do in Africa? What’s your ambition going over there? Paul (1h 5m 9s): So I’m going in February for three to 10 weeks who knows. And the beginning of the, and I’m just leaving it open the beginning of this trip, I’m going to spend time with the Hadza, mostly going to spend time with the Detoga, the Chaga, the Mussai, maybe the Blacksmith. And I want to see how they live. I want to go hunting with them. I want to talk to them around the campfire and see what they think of the universe, what foods they prioritize, how they live, how healthy they are, how they, they’re not, there’s a number of these tribe members who have become somewhat westernized. So I’m interested to see that transition and what those foods have done and what they think. And if they’re, if they’re doing better or worse with westernization and really just to absorb everything I can to, you know, you can read about it in a paper that says they value honey, and they eat nose to tail that you bailed out in the berries. Paul (1h 5m 59s): And I can talk to you a little bit, been there that say, yeah, that’s exactly what they do. But when I see it firsthand and I want to eat, honey, you know, I want to eat honey out of a tree, out of a Baobob tree that has larva in it and I want to eat Bush pig and I want to eat the organs with them. And yeah, I want to do it all. I just want to have an immersive experience and understand really the last living remnants of how humans might have lived 60 or 100,000 years ago, or even 200,000 years ago, as homosapiens were on this, you know, moving away from homo erectus and, and just really gather that and hopefully create connections so that I can go back regularly. But yeah, I wanna, I wanna live, I love being in wild spaces. Paul (1h 6m 41s): And so I’m gonna try not to get schistosomiasis or other, you know, waterborne diseases. I’m going to try not to get other parasites, but try not to get malaria or bitten by a snake. But I just want to be in wild spaces and spend time with people who are living in a more simple way and see what they prioritize and see what we can learn for them because it’s cool. I mean, everyone I’ve talked to is telling me the things that are right in line with what I suspected. So I’m going to go do the experiment for myself and confirm the hypothesis, which is that, Hey, humans, don’t really like vegetables. Vegetables are a fairy tale. We don’t need to eat kale and broccoli and spinach, and you don’t really need to eat nuts and seeds and grains and legumes to be healthy. And in fact, most people are going to be way better without those some plan food. Paul (1h 7m 22s): Sure. But think about the least toxic plant foods. And I like, you know, I want to ask them, why do you eat this? Why don’t you eat that? How do you prepare this? Why do you ferment this? Brad (1h 7m 32s): You know, so I’m excited for the, for the Westernized, ones that have been polluted. You have to bring them some Heart and Soil capsules. It’s only fair if they’ve been given Cliff Bars by the, and sodas by the other researchers, we’ve got to get those guys some fair trading going on. Paul (1h 7m 47s): Maybe I will. It’ll be. I mean, how ironic would that be? If I’m bringing them desiccatedg organ’s from New Zealand and a capsule and they live in fricking Brad (1h 7m 55s): Africa where they can just go hunting. But, you know, I, I said, I had my friend Eric on the podcast, who’s been going to visit the hardware for the last 10 years. And he told me the story of a woman who was obese, who was markedly obese and the tribe. And he kind of looks over at her and kind of saunters up to the chief and asks him subtly as politely as he can, like what’s going on with what’s going on with her, you know? And, and the chief says, Oh, she’s been spending time with the missionaries in the city. Paul (1h 8m 20s): And what are the missionaries feed them? Well, the missionaries happened to arrive while Eric was there and they arrive with wheat flour, corn flour, and ugali, which is corn meal and vegetable oil seed oils. So you can enter the Hadza tribe in Africa, but there’s your experiment. You know, you’re going to question what it is about westernized processing of foods that makes people fat and unhealthy. It’s, it’s it, you know, it’s at least one or all of these three wheat flour, corn flour, and seed oils. And you know, if you eat more like a hot day or you’d more like these tribes and you eat less like a missionary, you’ll probably do better because I don’t think humans are that much different. Paul (1h 9m 2s): Right? There’s a species appropriate diet. And you asked some really good questions earlier. I don’t think there’s a lot of humans. I don’t think that really humans are adapted to wheat flour, corn flour, and seed oils. Big surprise. Right? Brad (1h 9m 15s): Oh, man, that sounds exciting. I appreciate your time so much, Dr. Paul Saladino host of the Fundamental Health podcast until the, until the name’s changed and author of the fabulous Carnivore Code. I know it’s been really well received during the reprinting stages. And I think we can go grab that. Now we can learn more at heartandsoil.co and I encourage everyone listening to go in deeper with this guy, man, he’s on a mission. I could see another book coming out of your Africa trip too. Paul (1h 9m 41s): That would be amazing. We’ll see, like I said, there’s a cookbook in 2022 because publisher doesn’t want to release until January and we can’t get it out for this January. So for your news, read new year’s resolutions in 2022, we’re have, we’ll have a, we’ll have a nose to tail cookbook for you. But in the meantime, we will have that animal based diet infographic very soon at heartandsoil.co. And yeah, I would love to write another book after this Africa experience. If I’m called to, as you know, books are a pain in the butts. So there are a lot of work, a lot of work, Brad (1h 10m 10s): so you better go buy it after all this time and energy. Thank you so much, Dr. Paul, great to connect again and good luck to you with all the travels and the doings over there and in his new base of Austin, Texas. Paul (1h 10m 24s): Thanks brother. Thanks for listening!