Friday, March 22, 2019

Chew On This

Somebody is teething. Red cheeks. Literally cups of drool everyday. And chewing on everything! I love our kale teether. It’s very much KERF approved. Get that boy used to chewin’ on greens! After all, he is a tree :mrgreen:


I broke out the coconut butter to make some magic shell on my smoothie last week. So good!! This was a Daily Harvest smoothie with a little granola on top too. The granola is key to make the coconut butter clumps that sink to the bottom. There is nothing quite as good as finding one of those in the bottom of your bowl!

I got the idea to put blueberries on my toast at my sister’s house. Loving this little combo before a workout!

These muffins are coming to a blog post soon, but they were great in bowl form! You know me – I like to eat things in weird ways. So it was totally normal for me to eat muffins in a bowl with toppings. Each bite lasted longer. I prefer eating with utensils anyways.

And to complete the variety of breakfasts – eggs, toast, clementine.


Still loving my tour of French Polynesia. I’ve passed workout #16 in my 24 days of runs, and I’ve crossed the threshold of having to override the workout and slow the pace. Running at a 6-7 going straight up hill (12 incline!) is HARD! Note how red my face is:


Monday’s lunch was an arugula salad with Cava dressing plus green pepper, avocado, cheese, rotisserie chicken, leftover pumpkin cashew sauce and Wheat Thins.

I had some friends for lunch on Tuesday and we made more of the same salads. Dressing, chicken, avocado, peppers, cheese. Wheat Thins on the side! I ate all my good salad toppings at the beginning of the week!


Some of these are from last week, but all were so good! Having a few meals from Plenty has been so amazing for weeknights. Never have I eaten so well since having kids. I hope there comes a time again when I enjoy cooking weeknight dinners – maybe when the boys are old enough to cook with me. I lost my love for cooking when I had my first toddler underfoot. It became so much more stressful. I feel a little guilty ordering from Plenty but at the same time, Della’s mantra is that food is self care. Why shouldn’t we take advantage of such an amazing service during this season of life? Plus now that we have two kids we’re dining out a lot less, so our budget is actually about the same. Having less stress around dinnertime has made us all enjoy eating together more. Nothin’ but good has come out of it.

On Monday night we had fish tacos. Seasoned white fish with diced peppers, cabbage and arugula with a homemade dressing, and an herbed crema. So good!

Before dinner, I took Mazen to soccer practice. Look at that stud!

Testing out my new Love Your Melon beanie! (I had to watch You Tube videos to figure out how to wear it properly!)

On the way home Mazen asked what was for dinner. He wasn’t too keen on the fish tacos I described, but he actually asked for sardines instead. (He loves the novelty of eating a whole fish like a bear.) So here he is eating a sardine and cheese burrito. LOL. My child who won’t even eat a blueberry!

Next up in the Plenty line up was this mushroom + quinoa dish. This is the one with that pumpkin cashew dip on top! I added some peppers, leftover chicken and sour cream too.

We also enjoyed this sausage, sweet potato, kale and apple hash. With quesadillas on the side! (Mazen inspired).

And this was my favorite meal from this week – chicken thighs with roasted veggies and the most delicious cauliflower puree! It tasted like coconut!

Lastly we made this one ourselves – lemony baked salmon with a side salad and rice.

Families who snuggle together….! We were missing our big boy, but look at little Birch looking so grown up watching a movie with us!

The dark days of winter are over. Spring is here! (And I am refusing to acknowledge the snowflake in the forecast…)

Have a great weekend!!

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Episode 420 – Q&A with Robb and Nicki #13


We’re back with Robb and Nicki for Q&A #13. Listen in as we answer some of your submitted questions!

We’ll be switching to doing mostly Q&A episodes from now on, so hope you guys like these!

Show Notes:


1. [1:58] Electrolytes the whole time?

Rob says:

Question for you that I can’t seem to find an answer to anywhere else: do I need to continue to consume the high levels of electrolytes entire time I’m on keto? I am still doing it twice a day drink mix with about 2300mg Na, 350mg Mg, 1200mg K.

2. [4:14] Genetic Testing

Joseph says:

Robb and Nikki

I was wondering which genetic testing brand you recommend.


3. [6:00] FTO Polymorphism

Justin says:

Hi Robb and Nicki!

My wife and I both did our 23andme years ago but just recently ran it through Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s Genome Analysis Tool.

We both have FTO polymorphisms that put us at highest risk of obesity specifically from saturated fat consumption and it looks like high levels of saturated fat by itself even causes insulin dumps with this polymorphism.

I did not even realize this was possible I thought this could only happen with refined carbs. This is something that varies population wide but since we know we in particular have this polymorphism I have some questions about how to tackle this to feed my family of 4 with foods that are right for us.

At current just doing a paleo diet I have lost 40lbs, currently I’m down to 198. I run about 5 miles a week there isn’t a particular goal weight or strength level but for my height (5′-10″) it seems appropriate to be closer to the 160-175 range. Since we’re trying to do this as a family and I have young kids I’m not trying to put anyone on a “diet” just make sure they’re eating good foods when we’re at home where we have the most control of what’s around.

The Paleo template is working very well for us but with this new information I want to make sure we’re optimizing our food choices. My question comes in with foods I thought were very healthy and now I feel like may be healthy or benign for the general population but likely should be avoided by my family for example:

-Coconut oil

-MCT oil

-Pastured Beef (85/15)


-Dark Chocolate

So three questions,

Should we be avoiding the above mentioned foods and shoot for higher levels of mono and poly unsaturated fats mixed with fish/chicken/turkey/93\7 beef?

What is a good target number of saturated fat in a day with this gene polymorphism for an adult to keep insulin levels healthy?

Since cutting those saturated fat levels down is going to cut a lot of calories should we be increasing carbs, mono/poly unsaturated fats, protein or a mix to make up the difference?

Thank you for your time and the work you do,


4. [12:50] Keto Masterclass/Labs

Chris says:

Hi Folks,

As a 38 year old male, I was curious your thoughts on a free T3 and Testosterone plummet on a low carb or ketogenic diet. My thoughts were not enough carbs? Or, because of the appetite suppressant effect of the diet, possibly not enough calories? I know tracking might shed light, but curious if there was an obvious solution and common finding here.

Many Thanks.

PS- all other markers have markedly improved.

5. [19:44] Omega-6 from nuts and avocados

Roberto says:

Hey Robb, just wanted to say that I am a huge fan of your work, and I have been following your podcast and blog since 2011. I really appreciate the research and information you are putting out there. Anyways my question is regarding Omega 6 from healthier sources such as nuts, seeds, egg yolks and avocados. I use to consume a large amount of almonds and Olive oil to maintain my weight but stopped after reading Dr. William Lands work on Omega 6 and Omega 3. I started going down the internet rabbit hole and before you know it I am at a Ray Peat forum where everyone claims any amount of Omega 6 will send you to an early grave! Since I am a follower of popular opinion, I switch most of my fat intake to highly saturated and almost instantly felt worse. After about a year on a high saturated fat diet my glucose was constantly higher, cholesterol levels increased and I looked like shit. I wasn’t as lean anymore and felt sluggish throughout the day.. I am really tempted to switch back to more of a mono/poly fat type diet, but there seems to be so much biochemical evidence against it. Walter Willet, seems to think it is not a problem, but Dr. Lands, Peatarians, Chris Masterjohn, Jaminet, etc., make such good cases. Although one could argue that most studies vilifying Omega 6 are actually showing the negative impacts of industrial seed oils instead of natural sources of Omega 6. Thoughts?

6. [24:58] Question about evolution to Nicki 🙂

KZ says::

Hi Nicki and Robb

Always love to listen to QA podcast, I can’t stop notice how Robb likes to geek out.

So how did you guys actually meet? What was Robb’s pick up line!

I am sure there is story there!




Where you can find us:
Submit questions:



Download a copy of this transcript here (PDF)

Nicki: Are we still calling this the Paleo Solution Podcast?

Robb: Are we rolling?

Nicki: We are rolling.

Robb: We are noodling on a rebrand and part of the reason why we’re noodling on a rebrand is that we’re shifting probably 99.99999% of our stuff to Q&A. The author interview stuff, people generating books like I think we’ve really mapped that experience and folks were okay with it. It’s cool, but what we found is that people have specific questions about their individual needs and that that’s probably the place that we shine the most. Every once in a while if we find somebody that has some really cool stuff, like there are a couple of researchers have some amazing work that they’ve done that I definitely want to interview at some point. So we’ll weave a little bit of that in but mainly we’re shifting this around to a Q&A format and so we are thinking about some sort of rebrand. So we’ll think about that. And I do have my cup of happy.

Nicki: It’s my cup of happy. But you’re using it. That’s okay.

Robb: Well you won’t let me use the cup that I usually use because of what’s on it.

Nicki: All right let’s get going with question number one. It’s a question from Rob. Electrolytes the whole time. Rob says, “Question for you that I can’t seem to find an answer to anywhere else. Do I need to continue to consume the high levels of electrolytes the entire time I’m on keto? I’m still doing it twice a day, drink mix with about 2300 milligrams of sodium, 350 milligrams of magnesium, and 1200 milligrams of potassium.”

Robb: Yeah so in general if you’re on a ketogenic diet, and this is one of the features like if childhood epilepsy, ketogenic diet kind of scenario, they will be on a sodium enriched diet in particular and then try to get the magnesium of potassium as much as possible from dietary sources but the sodium is really the linchpin to that. I will say that over the course of time usually those needs decrease to some degree but there’s just a ton of variability built into that. Somebody on a low card or ketogenic diet needs more sodium. Period. But then anyone who is exercising, exercising in heat and humidity, the american council support medicine guidelines put the sodium needs between seven and ten grams per day for an average size person. So what we’re finding and this is completely self serving because we’re selling LMNT and so yeah it’s a completely self serving statement. But a ton of people are really under supplemented in sodium. And so that’s the longer answer. The short answer is yeah if you’re on a lower carb diet, you’re generally going to need to supplement over the long haul.

Nicki: Especially if you’re training.

Robb: Especially if you’re training or doing any type of. And again heat and humidity. I just got back from doing a training camp, Brazilian jiu jitsu down in Costa Rica. It wasn’t blazing hot but it was 85, 90 degrees non air conditioned facility.

Nicki: Three hours of training at a time.

Robb: Decent humidity three hours. And the folks that were not staying on top of the electrolytes supplementation specifically sodium were having bad cramping issues. And then when they addressed that not only was their cramping decreased but their fatigue and whatnot was improved so. Yeah.

Nicki: All right. Next question is from Joseph on genetic testing. “Rob and Nicki, I was wondering which genetic testing brand you recommend.”

Robb: Man I’m honestly not super well versed in this stuff. I know that 23 and me has been selling our data to like the FBI and CIA or something like that.

Nicki: Is that real?

Robb: Yeah it’s real. It’s a non fake news deal. But I figure at this point I mean just coming back into the country, like they scanned me and like body cavity searched and everything so I don’t know that I can.

Nicki: No escaping anything.

Robb: There’s no escaping. I think just a basic 23 and Me is pretty legit. I think that they generally do a good job and then there’s going to be a question here I think next on FTO polymorphisms. Once you get that basic report out of 23 and Me and it’s kind of cool for the ancestry and stuff like that. Like I’ve connected with some second cousins and some cool stuff like that. But then you can export that data into different platforms like Ronda Patrick’s Found my Fitness, DNA Fit is really quite good also. That one definitely looks more at kind of sports and performance metrics like are you fast or slow twitch. Do you tend to oxidize fatty acid or carbohydrates better. It goes pretty deep on that and does a reasonably good job. So I would start with just 23 and Me. Or if there’s another option out there that they are not selling your information to the government, and you’re into that tin foil hat kind of gig and trying to protect your individual identity and information, then search out one of the others but 23 and Me is just nice API. It’s easy user interface. All that type of stuff. So yeah.

Nicki: All right, so this next question is from Justin on FTO polymorphisms. He says, “Hi Robb and Nicki, my wife and I both did our 23 and Me years ago but just recently ran it through Dr. Ronda Patrick’s genome analysis tool. We both have FTO polymorphisms that put us at highest risk of obesity specifically from saturated fat consumption. And it looks like high levels of saturated fat by itself even caused insulin dumps with this particular polymorphism. I did not even realize this was possible. I thought this could only happen with refined carbs. This is something that varies population wide, but since we know that we in particular have this polymorphism, I have some questions about how to tackle this to feed my family of four with foods that are right for us. Currently we’re just doing a paleo diet and I’ve lost 40 pounds. And I’m down to 198. I run about five miles a week. There isn’t a particular weight or strength level but for my height, 5’10 it seems appropriate to be closer to the 160 to 175 range. Since we’re trying to do this as a family and I have young kids, I’m not trying to put anyone on a diet. Just make sure they’re eating good foods when we’re at home where we have the most control of what’s around.”

Nicki: “The paleo template is working very well for us but with this new information I want to make sure we’re optimizing our food choices. My question comes in with foods I thought were very healthy and now I feel like maybe healthy or benign for the general population but likely should be avoided by my family. For example, coconut oil, MCT oil, pastured beef, pork, dark chocolate. So three questions, should we be avoiding the above mentioned foods and shoot for higher levels of mono and poly unsaturated fats mixed with fish, chicken, turkey, and 93.7% beef? What is a good target number of saturated fat in a day with this gene poly morphism for an adult to keep insulin levels healthy? And finally since cutting those saturated fat levels down is going to cut a lot of calories. Should we be increasing carbs, mono poly unsaturated fats, protein, or mixed make up the difference. Thank you for your time.”

Robb: Holy smokes that’s a lot of stuff to unpack. So the first one should we be avoiding the above mentioned foods. One thing that’s important to take away with this stuff is although so like this FTO polymorphism definitely has some implications for like lipo proteins, the potential saturated fats don’t benefit insulin sensitivity, all of the studies that have been done are still typically within the context of a mixed western diet. Nobody is pumping folks with paleo type foods through this process. So do we get the same gene expression under those circumstances? And I think that that’s a valid question to ask although we do see some folks whether on the low carb side of paleo or straight into keto they have some squirrely stuff happen. Some elevated inflammatory markers. What I would do with this is actually get a baseline of what your lipo proteins and your lipo protein insulin resistant score is and we’ll put a link to that in the show notes. You can get that ordered through specialty health folks that we work with here in Reno.

Robb: But if you are insulin… let me back up with that. Doesn’t really matter where you are. But within that insulin resistance score, the lipo protein insulin resistance score in general lower is better in this regard. So but if you’re already 20 then like cutting it to 10 isn’t really going to be that big of a deal. But if you have an LPIR score of 80 then yeah we want to really look at stuff. But what I would do is get that as a base line so that then any tinkering that you do we actually can know that it’s benefiting you or potentially not benefiting you. You’ve already lost a bunch of weight which we know for a fact regardless of everything else that’s improved your insulin sensitivity. It’s decreased inflammatory markers, like that’s just a guarantee. But if we’re going to do additional tinkering then I would strongly recommend getting that LPRI score as a baseline. And again we’ll plug that into the show notes. I don’t remember off the top of my head so I would use that as a baseline and then all of these recommendations from there the good target for an amount of saturated fat for a day… I wouldn’t even know where to go with that.

Robb: I guess some of the even Cordain backed guidelines are somewhere between like eight to twelve percent of total calories and if you’re reading on the leaner side of the protein spectrum, more fish, more monounsaturated fats. That should be reasonably easy to get and yeah I mean if you are cutting so the third question if you got the saturated fat levels you probably will need to replace those calories to some degree. And just play with that again. Maybe you add some more paleo type carbs. Maybe you add more mono unsaturated fats. I probably about 60% of my calories from almonds right now. Blue Diamond Smokehouse almonds no less because I love the smoky saltiness. But again I would make the case that the tinkering is less important than having a baseline so we can assess what the tinkering does. Because that LPRI score again you will know what your LDL particle count is which is critical in that kind of cardiovascular disease story even though it’s not straightforward and simple at all.

Robb: It will tell you help us your insulin resistance score and then based off of everything that you do then we can assess that. And I think that this is one of the really dangerous things that happens where people say go do this. And it’s like well how are we going to assess whether or not that does anything for us, either good or bad. I’ve always liked how do you look, how do you feel, how do you perform. And then look at bio markers of health and disease. And we’ve been recommending that since like 2007 when we first started going on the road doing things and over the course of time our ability to do that under the hood look at specific bio markers that give us some good feedback has really improved. So the things that you ask Sarah are great questions. I don’t know which one specifically to do. All of them are fair game. Increasing monos, increasing carbs, decreasing the saturated fat levels, the saturated fat in coconut oil will almost certainly provide a different stimulus on that FTO gene versus say like the 85% lean beef. And certainly different than butter and cream.

Robb: So those are all things that you can tinker with and once you have that baseline then we can actually do some good assessment.

Nicki: What effects they’re having.

Robb: Yeah.

Nicki: Okay. Next question is from Chris on keto and labs. “Hey folks, as a 38 year old male I was curious your thoughts on a free T3 and testosterone plummet on a low carb or ketogenic diet. My thoughts are maybe not enough carbs. Or because of the appetite suppressant effect of the diet possibly not enough calories. I know tracking might shed light but curious if there was an obvious solution and common finding here. P.S. all other markers have remarkably improved.”

Robb: Tracking, that’s madness. Why should we know where we are to figure out where we want to go. That’s crazy talk. So you know the drop in T3 and just T3 in general is not surprising on a low carb or ketogenic diet. It may not in some situations we’ve seen that it may be consistent with some clinical problems. But also again self servingly to some degree we’ve noticed that a remarkable amount of the problems that pop up related to low carb and ketogenic diet is whether it looks like kind of hypothyroidism or adrenal fatigue like HPTA axis dis regulation is inadequate sodium and inadequate electrolytes. And then once people address that, three years ago I would have been much more reticent to recommend low carb or ketogenic diet to a various cross sections of people and just working with Tyler and Louise at keto gains. They just don’t experience all these crazy problems that everybody else does because they are neurotic on having appropriate calorie levels so to Chris’s point we don’t want to be low carb and hypo caloric which is why we do actually need to track and that’s why it says keto master class/lab. So if you’re doing the keto master class we tell you to track that damn stuff at least for a while.

Robb: So we do need to establish a baseline but then they are neurotic in tracking electrolyte levels. And I think that that ends up addressing most of the issues. So if we drop carbohydrate intake we don’t need as much thyroid because the thyroid is critical in carbohydrate processing. So whether or not that is manifesting in what we would characterize as like hypothyroidism like being cold, dry brittle nails, dry brittle hair, all that type of stuff. That’s something that we need to keep an eye open for and then similarly with the testosterone levels, we find that a lot of people the testosterone levels may drop but then it appears that the androgen receptor sites improve in efficiency so you may not need as much. So this is again where I would default back to some clinical manifestations like are you still waking up with some wood. Are you frisky? Do you maintain muscle mass? Like all that type of stuff. And for women, kind of the analogous thing. Like is libido okay? Are you feeling fatigued and lethargic? Or do you have good energy and you’re motoring along? But again I wouldn’t immediately ascribe problems to the low carb diet. I would ascribe problems first to potentially having inadequate sodium and electrolyte levels and then kind of going from there.

Robb: And if at the end of all this unwinding and tinkering, the person legitimately is just not functioning as well as they would like on a low carb diet. Like they have clinical manifestations of like low thyroid and low testosterone. Then by all means start reintroducing some carbohydrate into the mix. 50 grams a day is a start. Run with that for a couple of weeks. Maybe add 20 more grams a day. And play with that and usually that addresses things. But again I’ve been surprised and this is why it’s good to have a coach and why I work with Tyler and Louise with my stuff because they’re very knowledgeable with this stuff particularly on the coaching implementation level. I really under valued how important the sodium and electrolyte story was. And when I address that then a bunch of the problems that I had were addressed.

Nicki: But bottom line tracking.

Robb: Tracking.

Nicki: So we know that you’re getting enough calories in the first place like Rob said under eating calories and low carb.

Robb: Low carb plus low calorie is a great mix for breaking someone.

Nicki: And if you’re doing, you didn’t say whether or not you’re doing much training. And if you’re training hard and if you’re not supplementing with sodium that can get you in some hot water.

Robb: And again within all the stuff what is keto so for me throughout the course… and still going to work on my training update for year 47. I still have that in the works but I’ve been noodling on some pieces to that and one of them is that I just kind of naturally periodize my carbohydrate intake throughout the week. So Monday tends to be a pretty low intensity day as far as training. I might make it to the gym and do some low level cardio. I mean literally it’s like 140, 145 beat per minute type stuff. I might lift some weights but it’s low volume, low intensity. So on Mondays I’m pretty low carb. Like probably around 50 grams max for the day because I just don’t need more. Tuesday I coach jiu jitsu but it tends to be a very skinny class and so that day also tends to be pretty low carb. Wednesday I will either lift weights or do some conditioning and it usually is a little bit friskier on that day. It just kind of naturally plays out that day and also Thursday can be a pretty hard day of training. I coach that class but it seems like more people more big people, more crazy people show up for that day.

Robb: So Wednesday I start ratcheting things up, maybe about 75 grams of carbs. On Thursday it will vary as to how much I have based on the training day. But Friday and Saturday are like get after it days. Those are my hard training days and those days the carb intake may hit 120, 150 grams for those days. And then Sunday is kind of recovery day and I actually drop the carbs on that because I find I recover better on the lower carb side of things because it’s not a glycogen issue. It’s kind of a systemic inflammatory issue. So I kind of naturally periodize carbs throughout the week. But I’m still always in ketosis. So even this notion of what a ketogenic diet is, people need to be more flexible with that. And I do find spots where I need more carbs to kind of have that low gear and to not feel kind of systemically blown out afterwards.

Nicki: Okay. Let’s see. Our next question is from Roberto on Omega six from nuts and avocados. “Hey Robb, just wanted to say I’m a huge fan and I’ve been following your podcast and blogs since 2011. I really appreciate the research and information you’re putting out there. Anyways, my question is regarding Omega six from healthier sources such as nuts, seeds, egg yolks, and avocados. I used to consume a large amount of almonds and olive oil to maintain my weight, but stopped after reading Dr. William Land’s work on Omega six and Omega three. I started going down the internet rabbit hole and before you know it I am at Ray Peat’s forum where everyone claims any amount of Omega six will send you to an early grave. Since I am a follower of popular opinion I switched most of my fat intake to highly saturated almost instantly felt worse. After a year on a high saturated diet my glucose was constantly higher, cholesterol levels increased and I looked like shit. I wasn’t as lean anymore and felt sluggish throughout the day. I’m really tempted to switch back to more of a monopoly fat type diet but there seems to be so much biochemical evidence against it.”

Nicki: “Walter Willet seems to think it’s not a problem, but Dr. Lands.” What do you?

Robb: Pedatarian.

Nicki: Pedatarians. Chris Master, Jaminet, et cetera make such good cases although one could argue that most studies vilifying omega six are actually showing the negative impacts of industrial seed oils instead of natural sources of Omega six. What are your thoughts?”

Robb: Man it’s a really good question. And it pops up a lot and Roberto kind of hit it with that I really think that the studies are basically showing that industrial seed oils suck and other sources of Omega six are just really not, how do they say it, person of concerns. A molecule of concern. I talked to Matt Aland about this episode a lot and where this really becomes a big deal is if you have an adequate EPA and DHA as a baseline. Then these issues become a bigger problem. But then beyond that, and you know it’s funny because I vilify epidemiology on the one hand and then jump in and use some epidemiology but consuming nuts and seeds just like whether you’re paleo or vegan or fucking whatever, like nuts and seeds are pretty darn good. I think getting a variety of those and not being really super set in consuming too much of one variety even though I ate a shitload of Blue Diamond Smokehouse almonds. I eat the pants off those things. But I am just so unimpressed with the clinical and this again like we’ve talked a fair enough about labs and John Welbourne has looked at this where if he’s followed more of the super high saturated fat, low polyunsaturated fat intake and he feels like shit.

Robb: His blood values go kind of sideways. His good friend, Tom Inkladon which Inkie is kind of crazy. He’s crazy dude, super smart, but again and again he’s found that people that are really top heavy on the saturated fat like they end up just systemic inflammatory deal and like bad glucose disposal and everything. And so yeah I’m unimpressed with the argument to avoid nuts, seeds.

Nicki: Clearly you’re not feeling good. You’re not looking good. So clearly for you it makes sense to make shift. And try to get to where you’re feeling great in the morning. Your body composition is where you want it to be. Your numbers look good. I mean that in equals one scenario.

Robb: Yes, yeah, yeah. I think that there’s a lot to be said with that and again you know a way that you could get a really nice baseline on this is looking at that LPIR score which provides a marker of systemic inflammation called Glyc A which is so much better than a sea reactive protein. I’m going to have Dr. William Cromwell on. He will be one of the people that will probably interview a serially. Something I’ve noticed like Mike Rousha, there’s just a couple of people that provide so much value for folks when they listen because they’re just fucking on point and people always get something. So instead of a random grab bag, like in the interviews. I’m noodling are going to be more a curated process of people that just consistently provide value to the listeners and are really on point with stuff. So William Cromwell is going to be another person that will come on and talk about specifically why a glyce is so powerful as a marker of systemic inflammation. And again this is something that you can experiment with maybe you take a baseline out of your ray pedian kind of scenario and then alter it for a month, two months.

Robb: And then get a reassessment and I’ll go out on a limb and say that if you’re LPIR score improves, if your insulin sensitivity dramatically improves, if your gylce A improves, if you look, feel, and perform better I’m going to go out on a limb and say that that’s probably a net win all things considered.

Nicki: Okay. Let’s see. We got a question from Casey. A question about evolution to Nicki. “Hi Nicki and Robb, always love to listen to the Q&A podcast and I can’t stop noticing how Robb likes to geed out so how did you guys actually meet? What was Robb’s pick up line? I’m sure there is a story there.

Robb: We’re going to have to fire [inaudible 00:25:20] for letting this one make it in the Q&A.

Nicki: Okay. Let’s see here.

Robb: Do you want me to give the run down on this?

Nicki: How did we actually meet? So I was working in a coffee shop in Chico. Has finished school in San Diego, moved back closer to home to Chico. And the first time I met Robb the door to the coffee shop, the little bell on the door jingled and I looked over and in comes this guy with a tank top on with big muscly arms and.

Robb: Yeah because I’m huge. Just as a reference she was vegan at the time so anybody that had an ass, legs, or the remotest amount of muscle looked like some sort of body builder.

Nicki: So yeah, tank top, muscly arms, and then tapered acid wash jeans.

Robb: The tapered acid wash jeans were standard jeans and they look tapered because again I add ass and quads. And so I actually fill them up instead of just these Popsicle sticks walking around in hemp baggy pants like the rest of the guys you hung out with.

Nicki: So yeah so he comes up to the counter and says, “Do you guys roast your own beans?” So I guess that wasn’t really the pick up line but that was the first sentence.

Robb: Hey I’m just moving here from Seattle, and I literally I drove more or less non stop other than getting gas. I peed in a bottle. Went from Seattle to Chico. Chico was where I did my undergrad and I was moving down there to open a group in the fourth cross fit affiliate gym in the world. And that’s where I met John Frankel. And so the very first human being that I exchanged words with after being out of Chico for nearly seven years. Was my future wife, Nicki. Those are big arms Violetti.

Nicki: He asked if we roast our beans and I said no.

Robb: Well she said no. And then she went back to talking our other misanthropic friends.

Nicki: And then he asked do you know where.

Robb: No I said do you know who else in town roasts their own beans. And she said Cal Java. And then went back to talking to her misanthropic friends. I said do you know where they’re located and she said across the other side of town.

Nicki: Now I was not that big of bitch. Just saying.

Robb: Former clients and former employees would argue with you.

Nicki: Robb’s version of the story. Yeah. So anyway so that was our very first meeting. That summer, and that was like in April. And that summer I kept getting emails from Robert Wolf. I had signed up for this group mailing list because I had done some [inaudible 00:28:03] in San Diego and was wanting to get into it also. And Chico so I started getting these emails all summer long and then one email was talking about the mystery from Seattle coming down to do a big workshop. So I show up at this workshop and Robb is there. And turns out he was co teaching the classes with one of our friends Jeff OG. So started doing [inaudible 00:28:27]. And then I guess I invited you to the first thing, right?

Robb: Nicki invited me to a vegan pot luck which I ate before attending that. And then.

Nicki: So we went to a vegan pot luck.

Robb: And not long after that, maybe about six hours after that Nicki was pretty sure that I was a serial kiler and so you’ll have to meet us in real life and focus more on the rest of the background on that.

Nicki: We won’t go into it right now but.

Robb: You’ll have to play us with some margaritas.

Nicki: It was, I had good intuition based on the circumstances that this was not a normal guy.

Robb: Nicki has commitment phobia.

Nicki: That I should run far far away. And when I told all my close friends they said oh yes run far far away.

Robb: Nicki has commitment phobia.

Nicki: No it has nothing to do with that. There might be a shred of truth to that.

Robb: The commitment phobia was a multiplier applied to some very non deft actions.

Nicki: Not deft is a very smooth way of saying it.

Robb: Yeah.

Nicki: So yeah.

Robb: So yeah there was nothing cool or slick or anything about my MO. Really the thing that I had going for me is in Chico there are about five women for every one to two men. And that’s really the thing that I had going for me. So but yeah KZ if you want the rest of the story, or other people want the rest of the story, couple margaritas and we’ll unpack the rest of the story. But guess sorry that we’ve been gone bit. I’ve been working on two books simultaneously. The first keto book is off to the publisher under the first draft. I’m working with Diana Rogers on a sustainability book which I am going to be riding away on that. So we’ve been pretty pretty hopping.

Nicki: So keto master class students and just anyone in general, we’re turning all of the material in that course into a book and it’s going to be super super cool.

Robb: We have a massive amount of additional information and so for keto master class students if you’re kind of like why wouldn’t I buy this thing. I did… I’ve been thinking about a longevity book for a long time. And I actually took the bulk of what I’ve noodled on putting into a longevity book and put it into that because writing two books at once made me decide I never want to write a damn book again in my life. So it really digs into M tor, fasting, like the pluses and minuses like I don’t want to toot my own horn too much but nobody has dug into that stuff on both the molecular level and also on the kind of macro application level. I haven’t seen anybody do it. So I think it’s going to be a very good book, very practical. But then also for the geeks out there, if you’re kind of like well I’ve checked all this stuff out. Like I put a ton of arterial into the cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, implications of a low carb ketogenic diet and I went really deep on that. And then I also got into M tor, IGF, the pluses and minuses of autophagi and fasting and all that.

Robb: I feel like I did a very thorough treatment on that. Those are in an appendix. So even the flour map of the book is a little bit different. We kind of jump in with the how to and then we cover the more technical science at the end in the appendix. I’m hoping that that will lead to not a massive pissing match with my publisher so hates the science and technical stuff and just wanted everything to be like eight days to paleo lab. And so I’m hoping the fact that the technical stuff is in the back that they’ll kind of give a little sign off on that. It won’t be a shit fight on that. But that’s what we’ve got going on.

Nicki: Yeah. So that’s coming out early next year and then the sustainability book with Diana.

Robb: More like June, July.

Nicki: Summer of next year. So that’s kind of.

Robb: Cool. Yeah. So keep the questions coming in. We’re back in the hot seat to do this. Love the questions and thank you all for your support. We’ll talk to you soon.

Keto Masterclass

The keto diet is one of the most effective ways to shed fat and improve your health. Keto Masterclass helps you start keto right, step-by-step, so that you can be successful long-term.

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Wired-to-Eat-RenderDon’t forget, Wired to Eat is now available!

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from The Paleo Diet

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Real Deal On Keto Body Odor

I’m continuing my crusade of keto mythbusting. Recently, there was keto crotch, then keto bloat, and today I’m returning to one of the O.G. myths—keto body odor. Yes, it seems detractors of the keto diet are hell-bent on making you think your body will become a stinky, bloated mess if you dare to drop your carbs below 50 grams per day…but is it true?

Here’s the spoiler: Yes, people in online keto diet forums occasionally complain about an unpleasant change in body odor when they first go keto. There is no scientific evidence that it actually happens, nor a clear, compelling explanation for why it would. Moreover, the anecdotal (and it’s all anecdotal) evidence suggests that if it does occur, it is rare and temporary. In other words, the whole idea of keto body odor seems to be exaggerated—shocking, I know.  

That said, significant dietary changes can result in other physiological changes that may manifest in a variety of ways. Since nobody wants to be the stinky kid, let’s take this opportunity to look at what might be plausible about keto body odor and what to do if you think you’ve been afflicted.  

What Causes Body Odor?

First, let’s clarify what’s meant by “body odor.” In the medical literature, the term is used in reference to aromas associated with breath, urine, feces, vaginal secretions, sweat (usually from the axilla, or armpits), and general bodily essence as it were. Because it’s such a broad term, the causes are also extremely varied. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to use the term “body odor” to mean aromas from sweat and general bodily funk, since that’s what’s usually meant by keto body odor.

Body odor arises when odorless compounds leave the body through glands in the skin and interact with microbes living on the skin’s surface. The microbes then release chemical compounds—what we actually detect as body odor. Typically, commercial deodorants target both pieces of the equation by using antiperspirants to minimize the excretion of the odor precursors and by creating an unfavorable environment for the microbes living on the skin. There is also a genetic component to how much individuals secrete compounds that cause body odor.

Although a huge industry is built around trying to help people mask their natural odors—and suggesting that body odor is always the result of poor hygiene—bodily scents are actually quite important. Just as other animals do, humans use olfactory cues for recognizing kin, making judgments about others’ personality traits and attractiveness, and even for detecting fertility. Although we rarely recognize it, the data suggests that smell probably factors into all our face-to-face social interactions.

Body odor can also result from illness. Before the use of sophisticated modern disease detection techniques, doctors were taught to use their sniffers as a diagnostic tool. Even today, smell can be an important clue that an individual is unwell. Often these odors emanate from the breath or urine, but certain infectious and metabolic diseases can be associated with distinctive body odors. In addition to perceptible body odor, the human olfactory system can detect infection and sense illness in others, presumably an important means of preventing the spread of communicable disease.

Diet and Body Odor

The whole notion that a keto diet can cause body odor rests on the assumption that how we smell is affected by what we eat. It turns out that there is scant evidence that that is actually the case.

When I’ve taken up the question of keto diet and body odor previously, I noted that there are really only two human studies that speak to this. One small study found that women judged men’s body odor more negatively when they ate a diet that contained red meat compared to when they abstained from red meat. However, the diets differed in other ways as well. In contrast, a different study found that women rated men’s body odor more positively when the men reported eating more fat, meat, and eggs, and more negatively when they ate more carbs. Hmm.  

Besides those two small studies, evidence that diet impacts body odor seems to come primarily from studies on guinea pig urine and meadow voles—not exactly the most compelling in my opinion.

Nevertheless, the common belief persists that certain foods will make you stinky: garlic, onions, cruciferous vegetables, and spicy foods especially. However, there is no evidence that this is actually the case beyond the obvious bad breath and, ahem, flatus that these foods can cause. In fact, the one study I found on the subject reported that garlic counterintuitively improved body odor.

So, Can Keto Make You Stinky?

As you can see, there’s minimal evidence at best linking body odor to diet, and none of it has to do with the keto diet itself. Nevertheless, the belief that keto causes body odor persists…thanks to the few complaints from some in the keto community (and, just maybe, those who have nothing to do with keto but want to cause a stir). While I don’t want to dismiss anecdotal evidence out of hand, I have noticed that once people go keto, their diet is immediately to blame for every weird smell, twitch, or symptom. It’s remarkable really.

In the interest of fairness, let’s look at the explanations that are typically offered for why keto might cause body odor:

Is It the Protein?

The first hypothesis is that keto dieters smell funky because they’re eating a lot more meat. As I already mentioned, there are only two small studies that speak to this, and the findings conflict. The idea at work: protein metabolism yields ammonia as a byproduct (true), which builds up because of eating “too much protein,” resulting in body odor.  

To which I object… First of all, it’s not necessarily true that going keto means eating more meat. My version of a keto diet certainly isn’t a steak-and-bacon fest—I still eat tons of veggies. If anything, my observation is that keto folks by and large remain fearful of eating “too much” protein lest it kick them out of ketosis. (The issue is not nearly so simple as that, as I’ve explained.) In any case, even if you’re eating a good deal of meat, a healthy liver should be able to convert the amount of ammonia generated into urea and send it off to the kidneys to be excreted as urine.

Maybe It’s the “Detoxing”?

Toxins such as environmental pollutants accumulate in adipose tissue, a.k.a. fat cells, and these toxins are then released into the bloodstream when people burn fat. Because the keto diet often results in increased burning of body fat, the theory goes that the body is “detoxing” all these pollutants, and that’s what causes body odor. Detoxing is a controversial subject, and while it is true that some of these toxins can be excreted through the skin, the actual amounts are fairly small (the majority get excreted via urine and feces). Plus, it’s not evident that the toxins that are excreted through the skin cause any particular odor. And wouldn’t any diet that actually does what it’s supposed to—i.e. burn fat—be subject to the same “stinky” detox effect? I think we can safely chuck this claim.

Are Ketones a Cause?

Maybe ketones themselves make you smelly? This one has the most potential validity, as it’s well documented that acetone—one of the three ketone bodies—gets excreted when you’re in ketosis. However, it’s the cause of the familiar keto breath, not body odor per se. I’ve seen no evidence linking acetone to actual body odor.

What To Do About It

Ok, I hear you saying, “Mark, I see that you’re skeptical, but I’m telling you… I stink!” What can you do about it?

Well, since there isn’t a clearcut cause, I can’t give a clearcut answer, but I’ll tell you what the general wisdom says:

First, you can support your body’s own detoxification pathways as I describe here. Your body should be able to do a fine job taking out the garbage—it’s designed to do so and is efficient at it—but hey, why not drink some coffee and throw some broccoli sprouts on your salad. This is a “can’t hurt, might help” situation.

Same thing goes for taking some nice epsom salt baths, another common recommendation. Whether there is any truth to their detoxifying nature, you’ll get a nice dose of transdermal magnesium with a hefty side of relaxation. Throw in some essential oils and olive oil and soak your cares away… hopefully taking some of the b.o. with it.

You can also experiment with eating less protein and more carbs, but I do see potential downsides to both. You definitely don’t want to eat too little protein, since it serves such a vital role in healthy functioning, and you don’t want to add back too many carbs if being in ketosis is your goal. That said, especially with regard to the protein you probably have room to play around, so feel free to experiment if you want. I’m not overly optimistic that this is the answer, but I’m always a fan of finding what works for you.  

Or, take a wait and see approach. Most keto side effects come and go as people become keto-adapted. If your problem is keto breath, not body odor per se, you can try chewing on some fresh herbs or taking chlorophyll supplements, but these will just mask the issue.

Lastly, if it is very noticeable and very bothersome, you can—and probably should—consult your doctor. If you are excreting significant ammonia, which usually happens via the breath, this is a sign of liver or kidney problems that need to be diagnosed asap.

The Bottom Line…

Because switching to a keto diet can initiate a profound metabolic shift, some people might experience side effects. And, sure, it’s conceivable that transient changes to body odor might be one of them. The lack of evidence that body odor is strongly affected by diet (as well as my own experience interacting with the thousands of people in my community who have tried keto) leads me to believe that this is a minor problem at most—and one that most people won’t experience at all. If it’s affecting you, feel free to try to solutions I described above. They might not resolve the problem immediately, but at least they’ll likely have other positive benefits.

Ok, what say you? Are your friends giving you a wide berth now that you’re in ketosis, or are you chalking this up to yet another thing the haters are blowing out of proportion?



Groyecka A, Pisanski K, Sorokowska A, et al. Attractiveness Is Multimodal: Beauty Is Also in the Nose and Ear of the Beholder. Front Psychol. 2017;8:778.

James AG, Austin CJ, Cox DS, Taylor D, Calvert R. Microbiological and biochemical origins of human axillary odour. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2013 Mar;83(3):527-40.

Natsch, A. What Makes Us Smell: The Biochemistry of Body Odour and the Design of New Deodorant Ingredients. CHIMIA Intl J Chem. 2015 Aug;69(7-8):414-420.

The post The Real Deal On Keto Body Odor appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple

The Friday 5 + Sunscreen Giveaway

Hi, friends! I’m hitting publish on this blog post a little early this week. I finished it ahead of schedule, so why not, right? Plus, there’s a fun giveaway below that I know you want to enter! 🙂

I can’t believe the first day of Spring was yesterday. I feel like it snuck up on us! Now, I can’t wait for it to officially feel like spring in Massachusetts! Anyway, here’s this week’s The Friday 5 (on Thursday) where I recap my top 5 favorites from the week. I hope you enjoy them, and I hope you have a great weekend!

1. PRETTYGARDEN Button Neck Fleece Pullover – This pullover is so cozy, not to mention is goes with nearly all of the athleisure wear in my closet. I’ve worn it non-stop lately – to the point where Mal makes comments about just how much it appears in my everyday wardrobe! 🙂 I also love this pullover because it’s only $25 and comes in a handful of colors. If you’re into pullovers like me, check out this post: Affordable Pullovers for Spring.

2. Hakuna Hemp Roast – You all know I love my coffee, and I also love natural remedies to reduce stress and keep me calm. Hemp oil (or CBD) is quite popular right now and can be used by itself, or mixed into various things – like coffee! This coffee will not get you high (it doesn’t contain any THC), but I will say I’ve been enjoy the extra calming effect with my morning and afternoon iced coffee. It also has a nice bold flavor!

3. Brightening Facial Oil – I have combination skin. At certain times of month, it’s oily, but then I get crazy dry patches, especially if I use the Overnight Resurfacing Peel too much. This has been so great in soothing the dry patches. I use it under my moisturizer in the morning, and it works wonders for the unevenness!

The No. 1 Brightening Oil is an Allure Best of Beauty Award winner and one of Beautycounter’s best-selling products. It’s full of Vitamin C and smells like fresh citrus heaven! It’s made with a signature blend of seven natural oils that absorb quickly into the skin and offer antioxidants, protection, and hydration.

Now until March 28, spend $125+ and get a FREE travel size No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil! No, seriously, you want this stuff in your life. It helps with pigmentation and uneven skin tone as well!

4. Scout & Cellars (CLEAN) Wine – A CNC reader sent me some “clean” wine to try, and I couldn’t help but want to pop open this bottle immediately. I mean, cute dog label + cleaner ingredients? Sign me up This Sauv Blanc is light, crisp and perfect for Spring! The amazing thing about Scout & Cellars Wine is that it is clean-crafted, which means it just includes grapes and less than 50ppm of sulfites. Some mass-produced wines on the market have as much as 350ppm of sulfites. No wonder I feel like crap in the morning after only drinking a glass or two! Mass-produced wines can also have added sugar or sweetener concentrate, ferrocyanide, ammonium phosphate, copper sulfate, mega-purple, GMO ingredients, and synthetic pesticides. Yikes! This isn’t to say that I’ll never drink mass-produced wine again. I love to wine our and have drinks with friends, but I will definitely do my best to control the wines that I drink at home!

5. Giving baby and kid products from Beautycounter as gifts – Has anyone else attended one million baby showers recently? Spring is time for ALL the babies, so I’ve gifted Beautycounter to a number of moms-to-be.

Beautycounter is known for their safer, high-performing skincare and makeup, but did you know they have hair and body products, a skincare line for men, as well as baby and kid products? They make the easiest gifts – beautiful packaging + safer products, yes please! These are a few of my favorites that I love to gift:

Speaking of sunscreen… it’s GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

I have 10 samples of Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 to give away. To enter, just leave your full name and mailing address, and I’ll randomly pick 10 winners on Monday morning to receive samples!

Good luck and enjoy your weekend!

Sales from the Week

j.crew Dreamy Pajama Jogger Pant (30% off with code NEWNEW)

Questions of the Day

Have you ever tried any CBD/hemp oil products?

Are you a fan of facial oils? If so, do you have a favorite?

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission from the company if you decide to purchase the product linked to. This compensation helps with expenses to keep CNC up and running. Thank you for your support!

The post The Friday 5 + Sunscreen Giveaway appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

from Carrots 'N' Cake

Aaptiv v. iFit Review

In the past, I have never been one to enjoy home workouts. I much preferred going to the gym to do cardio machines and classes and (of course) socialize! I generally need someone coaching me through a workout or I’m just not going to push myself very hard. I only really did home workouts while traveling or when the weather was particularly bad using YouTube or an old DVD.

Since getting a treadmill and buying a year-long subscription to the audio coaching app Aaptiv, I started to LOVE the convenience of having a machine that could really make me sweat just off of our family room. I bought a set of 15 pound dumbbells for strength days, and I now look forward to my home workouts. The key for me was the treadmill. I can only run so many 5-foot long sprints back and forth across my living room or do so many jumping jacks. On the treadmill I can run really fast and get my heart pumping out of my chest. Even though there is only one direction to go, I feel like there are a million different running workouts. But best of all: I can fit workouts around Birch’s nap schedule and maximize my time.

All of this to say that the combination of a treadmill PLUS the coached workouts from Aaptiv led to me loving home workouts.

You’ve gotten bits and pieces of my home workout changes thus far. Posts about easing back into fitness after having a baby, an update on feeling normal, a nap time circuit workout, my new treadmill review, and a few Aaptiv workout favorites sprinkled in.

As you saw in my treadmill review post, I bought a NordicTrack C 990, which came with a built-in video screen and a free year of iFit. Since buying my treadmill, I have been using both Aaptiv and iFit and loving both for different reasons.  None of this is sponsored by the brands – just me sharing my experience using both!


What is it?

Aaptiv is a subscription-based all-audio app for your phone with over 2,500 workouts. The workouts range from outdoor walks and runs, treadmill workouts of all kinds, strength training with weights or bodyweight, elliptical, cycling, stairclimber, rowing, stretching, yoga, and meditation. The workouts are set to all kinds of music, and the trainers walk you through them, motivating you and telling you exactly what to do. You can filter the workouts to find exactly what you need in the moment like “Strength training // Upper body // Body weight // Pop music // Less than 20 minutes.”

What does it cost?

A monthly subscription is $14.99 (which I think is high!) A year is $99. And if you can find a coupon (they emailed me on!) you can get it for $59.99 like I did.


  • Great searchability. Choose a workout based on what you’re in the mood for in just minutes.
  • Great music!!! The music is loud and prominent.
  • Take it anywhere. No equipment needed. Use it at the gym or at home!
  • HUGE variety of workouts and never-gets-old selection.
  • Save workouts as favorites and do them again and again.
  • I’ve used it for outdoor runs and got a great workout. Usually I just listen to a podcast, which obviously does not lead to a very hard workout (more like an easy jog) so when I put Aaptiv on I run so much faster and harder.


  • You can’t see a history of workouts you’ve completed or rated, so there’s no way to know if you’ve done one before (unless you manually save it to a list.)
  • There is no way to see what’s coming up (which is only a con because it’s a pro on iFit!)
  • You can’t see the playlist in advance. Wish you could!

Why I Love It

Because like a good recipe, it’s more fun to do other people’s workouts. The coaches are so motivating and filled with positive encouragement, quotes, etc. They keep me very entertained! I push myself harder than I would alone. The variety of workouts is great, and I sometimes will string two to three short workouts together to make one long one (like upper body strength, lower body strength, yoga.) Since getting my new treadmill with iFit, I haven’t been using Aaptiv for running anymore, and I use it mostly for strength and bootcamp classes.


What is it?

A subscription-based video app that is used exclusively with iFit compatible cardio machines. Classes are led by coaches who lead the workout, motivation you and automatically adjust your speed and incline, which means there is no cheating! (Although you can override the workout at any time.) There are tons and tons of workouts filmed all over the world in exotic locations plus studio classes that feel like you’re in a boutique studio. You join programs and assign them to a calendar and when you hop on your machine the day’s workout is waiting for you.

What does it cost?

I am pretty sure if you purchase any iFit compatible machine you get a free year. Otherwise it’s $15 a month or $180 a year for a single membership.


  • The automatic changes to your speed and incline are AMAZING. Whether you’re hiking a mountain in Hawaii or running with others in a treadmill studio, it’s so, so great not to have to touch your machine, especially if you’re running fast intervals!
  • I love the screen setup and that you can see a little graph of your incline and speed to know what’s coming up. This is especially helpful on interval days when you need to know how many sprint intervals you have left until you’re done!
  • Many of the workouts are stung together into a series challenge that you do over the course of a few weeks or months. I love that you “get to know” your trainer, what to expect, and don’t have to find a new workout each morning (unless you want to!) Some of the series are in the same location each day and others are all over the world – like “10 Days On Beaches” and you run on a different beach everyday. I’ve been doing the French Polynesia Fast & Fit Series, which is 24 workouts with trainer John Peel that alternates between four kinds of workouts: interval runs, endurance runs, sprints with a bootcamp segment, and hill climb hikes. I love that each day gets a little bit harder, so you really feel like you’re getting faster and stronger. The continuity has made me really look forward to my workout everyday and see what “surprises” John has in store. Like when he took us to a private estate and then he jumped in the pool! (I might do this whole program again sometime I’ve enjoyed it that much!)
  • It sounds like a cheesy pitch to say “you’ll travel all over the world” but it’s TRUE! I really do feel like I’ve spent time in Bora Bora now, and I can tell you all kinds of fun facts about the islands; like Tahiti is where tattoos were invented!
  • The visuals are so pretty, and I took me a long time to figure out how they were recording the workouts because the camera stays SO steady! I accidentally saw a shadow once and there is another person with a camera on his/her head who is following the coach. They use drones and maps, and the quality is awesome.


  • You have to own an iFit compatible machine, so that’s obviously very limiting and cost prohibitive to most.
  • The music is practically non-existent. This hasn’t really been a problem for me because I am working so hard I have my coach as my motivation, but it’s something to note if you have to have beats to get motivated.
  • The iFit library is VERY poorly organized, and it took me a long time to figure out that I had to join a program and then it would add to my calendar. While I have grown to love the fact that my workouts are organized in a calendar, it would be nice if iFit also offered an easy way to search and save workouts to do in the future. From a DM I had with their team, it sounds like that improvement is in the works.
  • I have no idea how my coach decided that a jog for me is 5.0, a run is 6.0, a fast run is 7-7.5 and a sprint is 8.0/8.2 but they nailed it. The speeds are perfectly challenging for me. Which might not be so great if you are slower or faster than me! I don’t think you can change them other than overriding the workout, which takes out the automatic change feature. It would be nice if you could enter in your own levels, but then you might be tempted to make your actual run your sprint so you wouldn’t be as challenged! I’m not sure but it’s something to note.
  • As far as I know, you can only play the workouts on an iFit machine screen or when your phone is connected via Bluetooth. You can’t just play the videos without having a machine, which would be nice for the bootcamp style ones. There are a couple different iFit apps that I downloaded and was disappointed when they didn’t do much and couldn’t play off-machine workouts for me. I guess you have to play the strength workouts through your machine (I could be wrong about that..)

Why I Love It

Never have I been so excited about my workouts every morning! I think a big part of this is the surprise effect of not knowing what to expect each morning combined with the fact that I just love beaches, even virtual ones! I don’t think I’d love it quite so much if the workouts took place in cold, cloudy locations (like Charlottesville – haha!)

Which One Is Best?

I think the answer is easy: get both! But if you don’t have an iFit machine, Aaptiv is awesome! I love them both and use them both for different kinds of workouts, but ultimately I think the iFit experience is the best home workout I’ve ever done. I’ve been using iFit for treadmill running during the week while Birch naps and Aaptiv for outdoor runs, strength, yoga, and workouts on the go! I imagine I’ll use Aaptiv more often for outdoor runs as the weather warms up. Aaptiv has a great free trial so you can try it out first – that’s what got me hooked to start!

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from Kath Eats Real Food