Sunday, May 31, 2020

Homemade Lasagna Recipe

This homemade lasagna recipe is absolute comfort food in a casserole dish.

At some point, we all need some comfort food. Like it or not, food can feel reassuring and relaxing when life goes sideways. If life is throwing you a curveball right now, a good, cheesy, homemade lasagna can be just the thing to help out in that department.



Homemade lasagna is pretty versatile stuff. You can pick so many different veggies and sauces to use! Everything from butternut squash with white sauce (like this butternut squash lasagna) to mixed veggies and red sauce (like this vegetarian lasagna). This recipe leans more towards the traditional meat with veggies and red sauce.

You can substitute beef here if you prefer it. I just personally don’t care for it much, so I don’t use it often. But it’s an easy substitution here in a 1:1 ratio.

The sauce you use should be one you really like. Mini Chef has a favorite marinara sauce, so I usually use that. But any tomato-based sauce will work here. So use what tastes best to you.

The vegetables are interchangeable. I wanted to use mushrooms here, but didn’t have any. No big deal! Have carrots and yellow squash? Switch them out with the zucchini and spinach! No big deal! Almost any veggies you want to add here will be tasty. So use what you have, even if they are canned.

A side view of this Homemade Lasagna Recipe shows the melted cheese oozing over the other ingredients in this single slice.


The trick to making lasagna easy is to look at your lasagna as having three sections. The pasta, the filling and the cheese. Make your cheese blend first and set it aside. The make the filling while the pasta cooks. This order will make things more efficient and keep everything organized. Once your three sections are ready, you’ll be ready to assemble the lasagna.


I always oil my casserole dish and put a layer of noodles down first. This is pretty traditional and keeps your lasagna together from the bottom. But the top layer has some wiggle room.

Always finish things off with a layer of noodles and top that with cheese. That’s a given. But at this point, you have two options…

You can cover the casserole dish with foil that you remove in the last ten minutes of baking for a soft top, or you can leave the foil off for until the last 20 minutes of cooking and then put the foil on at the end just to keep things from getting too brown. This will give you crunchy noodles on top.

I’ve made it both ways and kids usually like the crunch factor. Adults, not so much. The choice is yours.

Remember to subscribe to my free, Gracious Pantry Newsletter to receive all my latest recipes in your inbox! Click here to sign up!


Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry


Homemade Lasagna Recipe

Delicious comfort in a single casserole dish.

Course: Casserole, Pasta

Cuisine: Italian

Yield: 9 servings

Calories: 402 kcal

Author: The Gracious Pantry


Cheese Blend

  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup grated mild cheddar (or mozzarella)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese


  • 9 oz. box lasagna noodles

Meat Filling

  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or beef)
  • 1 cup chopped red onions
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. dried chives
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp. ground rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 1/2 cups marinara (or other tomato based sauce)
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 2 cups packed fresh spinach leaves


Cheese Blend

  1. Mix the three cheese together and set aside.


  1. Set to cook to package directions.

Meat Filling

  1. Brown the meat in the oil with the onions.

  2. Once browned, stir in all the spices and salt.

  3. Lastly, stir in the marinara, zucchini and spinach.

  4. Cook briefly until the spinach is just wilted. Don't overcook the spinach. It's okay if the veggies are not fully cooked at this point. They will finish in the oven.

Final Assembly

  1. Set yourself up so you have all three portions of your lasagna set up assembly style with your casserole dish at the end.

  2. Spray the casserole dish and lay down your first layer of noodles.

  3. Layer on half of the meat filling and top that with a light coat of the cheese. (slightly less than 1/3)

  4. Top with noodles and repeat the last of the meat filling and cheese, again using slightly less than a 1/3 of the cheese blend.

  5. Finish with noodles on top and the rest of the cheese on top.

  6. *See notes above on using foil now or later.

  7. *Again, see notes above on foil for properly finishing off your lasagna.

  8. Remove lasagna from oven and allow to cool a bit before cutting into it.

  9. Serve with a green salad on the side for a complete meal.

Recipe Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition Facts

Homemade Lasagna Recipe

Amount Per Serving (1 serving)

Calories 402 Calories from Fat 153

% Daily Value*

Fat 17g26%

Saturated Fat 8g50%

Cholesterol 64mg21%

Sodium 1121mg49%

Potassium 894mg26%

Carbohydrates 37g12%

Fiber 5g21%

Sugar 7g8%

Protein 30g60%

Vitamin A 1729IU35%

Vitamin C 21mg25%

Calcium 426mg43%

Iron 6mg33%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

from The Gracious Pantry

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Summer Broccoli Salad Recipe

Broccoli is such a versatile vegetable, and it’s fantastic in Summer salads. This salad is simple with a flavorful lemon tahini dressing. Broccoli and the other veggies in this salad are hearty, so the salad will hold up well as leftovers. The beauty of this recipe is getting all of the different
vegetables in one bite since they are chopped very small. While I may find chopping veggies back and forth on a cutting board until very fine a therapeutic and enjoyable experience, many don’t and will want to chop
everything up more quickly! To do so, roughly chop your veggies and
then pulse them in a food processor until they are chopped quite small.

Summer Broccoli Salad Recipe

Serves: 4

Time in the kitchen: 5-10 minutes to prep, and we recommended chilling for 30 minutes before serving to enhance flavor

keto broccoli salad


  • 6 cups finely chopped Broccoli (about 3-4 large broccoli crowns)
  • ½ cup minced red onion
  • ½ lb. chopped red radishes
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Juice from 1 large lemon
  • 5 Tbsp. tahini paste
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 3 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper


Give your broccoli a fine chop using a knife.

keto broccoli salad recipe

Chop your red onion, radishes, and cucumber to be about the same size.

The easiest way to chop it up if you don’t want to do so by hand is to give it a rough chop with a knife, then pulse it in a food processor until you have very small pieces. Combine the broccoli, red onion, radishes, cucumber and parsley in a large bowl.

In another bowl, combine the lemon juice and tahini paste. Mix using a fork or a whisk. Add the water in slowly as you mix. The final result should look like a thin sauce that coats a spoon well.

If it is still too thick, you can add an additional tablespoon of water. Whisk in the Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Olive Oil and garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

keto broccoli salad recipe

Pour the dressing on top of the salad and mix well. Allow the flavors to meld together for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

keto broccoli salad recipe

Nutrition Info (1/4 recipe):

Calories: 277
Fat: 21g
Total Carbs: 18g
Net Carbs: 10g
Protein: 10g


The post Summer Broccoli Salad Recipe appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple

Friday, May 29, 2020

Weekly Link Love – Edition 83

Research of the Week

Diabetic patients taking metformin had lower coronavirus mortality than diabetic patients not taking it.

Increased cardiovascular disease in African-Americans with Covid-19.”

Unsaturated fat intake and deficiencies in calcium and albumin linked to higher coronavirus mortality.

Financial relationships between the leaders of influential US professional medical associations and industry are extensive…”

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 425: Robert Glazer: Host Elle Russ chats with Robert Glazer, founder and CEO of the global performance marketing agency Acceleration Partners.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 62: Laura and Erin talk with Dr. Jade Teta about metabolism and hormones.

Media, Schmedia

Women are not just men with “boobs and tubes.”

Who’s still getting sick in New York?

Interesting Blog Posts

The case for red meat.

Social Notes

Astronaut breakfast.

How to slow down time (seriously).

Everything Else

The human voice contains information about dynamic bodily states.”

ApoE4 gene predicts severity of coronavirus infection (in the UK).

A beautiful video about traditional wool clothing. Best part is how they “shear” the sheep without cutting the wool. Looks so satisfying.

Making CBD from orange peels.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Fascinating article: How loners help species survive.

Interesting result with big implications for hunger: High-carb meal results in initial increase in available energy followed by a drastic crash.

Great turn of phrase: Fructoholism.

Fact I was unaware of: Mice and many other animal models used in studies do not depend on vitamin D for their innate immune circuitry.

My favorite paradox: High-fat dairy linked to better health, again.

Question I’m Asking

How much nature are you getting these days? (get some)

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (May 24 – May 30)

Comment of the Week

“A note about sunglasses: Some folks should be wearing them. For instance, a lot of the fisherman in native tribes would go blind at a fairly early age from staring into the water for long periods of time. The Eskimos had really cool bone sunglasses, with little slits they would use, so they would not go snowblind. After my own daily sun exposure, I’m not averse to putting on my shades.”

– Nicely said, Nocona.


The post Weekly Link Love – Edition 83 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple

Field Day (From a Distance)

Normally around this time of year we’d be heading to end of school picnics and field day. Last year we had a neighborhood potluck cookout with all the kids from our bus stop to celebrate the end of school. This year things are quite different. We have only seen our bus stop neighbors waving from the sidewalk or bike riding in the local church parking lot. The moms got together and brainstormed a way we could have a field day while following all of the social distancing and touch-free guidelines. (Two are doctors, so we had a good planning team!) We came up with a rotating backyard field day. One station per yard, BYO everything, touch free, adults wear masks, no food. Despite all the restrictions, it was so fun!

The boys wore their new matching swimming costumes in case they got a little wet. The rash guards are from Amazon and the striped bottoms are GAP! Both UPF 50.

Be still my heart!

Birch also now has a pair of Natives for summer. They are great!

Field day stations included:

  • Freeze dance
  • Water balloon toss (with sibling or parent – not other kids)
  • Obstacle course (our house!)
  • Water bucket fill challenge (BYO cup per child, no sharing)
  • Sack race (each child had their own sack)
  • Ping pong ball on the spoon carry (one labeled ball and spoon per child)

Here’s the balance beam portion of our course. There were also bases to run, cones to weave through, a trampoline to bounce off, and hurdles to jump over.

The kids had a great time, and the parents did too!

While we would have loved to share a big pot luck meal, that was obviously not an option, so we went to our respective houses and had separate cookouts while the kids yelled across the yards! Our fam had burgers on the grill and kale salad. Plus special ice cream treats!

Here’s to hoping next year’s field day will be back on school grounds.


from Kath Eats Real Food

Colitis, Metabolic Syndrome, Prostate Supplements | THRR031

Make your health an act of rebellion. Join The Healthy Rebellion

Please Subscribe and Review: Apple Podcasts | RSS

This episode is sponsored by our friends at Paleovalley. They make the most powerful, pure vitamin C supplement you can get. Because unlike most C supplements containing synthetic ingredients created in a lab, Paleovalley Essential C Complex is made from 3 of the most potent whole food sources of vitamin C on the planet. Nothing weird. Just food. Check them out at and use code THRR10 for 10% off.

Submit your questions for the podcast here


Show Notes:

Our book Sacred Cow is now officially available for pre-order
The publisher is nervous about the Covid climate, with bookstores being closed, etc. They are being excessively cautious with the print run during this time, so please go ahead and pre-order now.

News topic du jour:
Satellite cells in ageing: use it or lose it

1. Metabolic syndrome – intergenerational effects [8:23]

Tim says:

Hi Robb,

Thanks for all the topics you have addressed on the healthy rebellion radio, it has made navigating the current sickcare environment a lot more manageable with someone like you empowering us all with transparent information.

My question is regarding the intergenerational effects of our chronic disease epidemic.

What do we know about how these conditions related to hyperinsulinemia filter down to our children and our grandkids? Particularly interested in the increasing percentage of linoleic acid in our fatty tissues, is this purely nurture, or is babies tissue makeup somewhat dependent on the diet and lifestyle of the parents?




2. Non-paleo foods and colitis [17:16]

Chris says:

Hi Robb and Nicki,

I’ve had colitis since my late teens (inconsistent bowel movements, blood in stool). My first couple of years dealing with flares, I decided to try a vegan diet and my colitis improved dramatically. However I began to feel horrible and switched a lower carb diet. Felt great.

Now, almost a decade later, I began having flares again (starting at the beginning of 2020) and adding grains and legumes seems to improve the colitis and dramatically reduce my flares. I’m wondering if it’s the fiber that is helping. As you know there is a ton of research supporting higher fiber diets and improving bowel conditions in some people.

The problem is these are high carb foods and both mentally and physically (regarding body comp) I feel much better on lower carb.

Would love your thoughts on this. Any suggestions is appreciated. You guys rock!


3. The urge for sweets when satiated. [23:11]

Erin says:

Hi Robb and Nicki –

I’m stumped by this. I suspect Robb talked about it in Wired to Eat but I kinda want to hear you riff on it a bit in “real life.”

I’m a health coach working with clients on “metabolism stuff,” and one of the cornerstones of my practice has been tagging to the feeling of satiety. By my estimation, eating to satiety is a simple secret weapon for those looking for freedom from hangriness and all the downstream effects that urgent hunger presents. I mentor my clients through this in a very “gettable” way that includes meal composition (prioritizing protein, de-emphasizing carbohydrate) and some circadian meal timing stuff (front-loaded feeding).

Without fail, I hear this, even from some of my very long-term, successful clients –

‘I get that, and I love it, and I *do* eat to satiety, and it feels amazing… but sometimes after I eat, even though I’m totally satiated, I want a little something sweet.’

Sometimes right after eating (dessert). Sometimes a very short while after (an evening snack), when the satiety from supper should still be going strong.

I want to pause to mention that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a little something after a meal if it feels nice and isn’t derailing efforts (i.e. isn’t “waking up the sugar dragon” as the Whole30 puts it). These tiny little treats are probably not that egregious in the grand scheme of an otherwise metabolically supportive eating paradigm, so I’m not worried about them, metabolically. But it flies in the face of my theory that satiety is the cure for snacking, cravings, and unmanageable food urges, and that’s really annoying! Ha.

How could a satiated person still feel a call to reach for something else to munch on?

I know there is a ton of behaviour and psychology at play here too, but I’m more curious about the biochemistry and the neuroregulation of appetite stuff. What am I missing?

Part of me thinks, “Well, you must not have been satiated enough!” But that answer feels too neat and tidy, and I suspect there’s some nuance that I’m incapable of wrapping my head around.

Can you wrap your head around it?

So much gratitude for you both and this awesome educational platform.

– Erin Power


4. Natural supplements for BPH [32:00]

David says:

I’m looking for a safe and effective supplement for BPH that is also safe when I drink beer.

 Life Extension Ultra Prostate Formula


5. Metabolic Inefficiency For Eating More Food [34:38]

Claes says:

Claes (a swedish name.. if you try to pronounce “class” in an posh english accent you’ll hit close to the mark 🙂

Hi guys!

I’ve got a question that I’d love to hear you answer.

Robb – you’ve spoken earlier about some kind of metabolic efficiency that seems to occur when you’ve been eating keto long term. Luis seems to maintain on a very (very!) low calorie diet even though he’s both muscular and active.

Now. I thrive on keto but I also love food. I have no interest in trying to attain this metabolic efficiency, and I’m wondering if there might be any strategies that I could try to use in order to keep my energy demands nice and high. Would cycling between periods when I eat carbs be a way to go or do you have any other ideas?





Download a copy of the transcript here (PDF)

Nicki: It’s time to make your health an act of rebellion. We’re tackling personalized nutrition, metabolic flexibility, resilient aging, and answering and your diet and lifestyle questions. This is the only show with the bold aim to help one million people liberate themselves from the sick care system. You’re listening to The Healthy Rebellion Radio. The contents of this show are for entertainment and educational purposes only, nothing in this podcast should be considered medical advice. Please consult your licensed and credentialed functional medicine practitioner before embarking on any health, dietary, or fitness changes. When Robb gets passionate, he’s been known to use the occasional expletives. If foul language is not your thing, if it gets your britches in a bunch, well, there’s always Disney Plus.

Robb: Howdy wife?

Nicki: Hello.

Robb: Just trying to comb over my comb over.

Nicki: We’re laughing because we always have to readjust our chairs a lot to get both of us in the frame for the videos that we use for-

Robb: Are you calling me fat?

Nicki: Instagram clips. And frequently some random song comes up.

Robb: Like don’t sit so close to me?

Nicki: Don’t sit so close to me.

Robb: I don’t know why people come for the show, but it’s definitely not for our singing.

Nicki: Definitely not for singing. In my next life, I’m going to come back as a singer.

Robb: You could sing, you just need some training. You just kind of start from zero and haven’t really refined stuff yet.

Nicki: I need some training for sure.

Robb: Speaking of training, how’s your jujitsu going?

Nicki: Better, more consistent now. We’ve had a couple of classes down at SPG Texas, which is awesome. And then we’ve been doing more training in the matted area that we’ve set up, so that’s good.

Robb: Pretty good. Heavy site control.

Nicki: Getting there.

Robb: Not calling you fat, just good.

Nicki: I can get heavy.

Robb: You can.

Nicki: I’m not afraid to get heavy. Let’s jump into our show today, enough of the random chitchat.

Robb: Chitchat.

Nicki: Yes. What do you got for a news topic for us?

Robb: Pretty cool paper that Ken Ford shot to me, it’s called Satellite Cells in Aging: Use It or Lose It. It’s a very accessible paper, we’ll have a link to it in the show notes. But it talks about the role of satellite cells in our muscle structures, muscle tissue. And their function is to go in after we’ve done physical activity and to help the repair process. And this whole topic of pro resolving mediators is becoming more and more important. But it’s interesting, there’s this kind of fine line between if you’re too inactive, then the satellite cells just kind of go away and then you lose the ability to recover. And I would go out on a limb and say, if you’re trying to be a CrossFit games competitor, you’re kind of burning through your pool of satellite cells maybe overly aggressively-

Nicki: So it’s a fixed amount that you have when you’re or?

Robb: Kind of. I mean, there’s that whole Hayflick limit, 50 replications and whatnot before we run out of telomeres and then run out of cells. So it’s kind of fixed, but there’s some wiggle room on that. Like ketogenic diet seemed to be HDAC inhibitors, so it slows the telomere degradation. Does that buy you a few more replications? In theory, it should, it might. But there is also some potential around some hyperplasia, like some splitting of the satellite cells. A lot of this stuff is still really murky. I remember in my early power lifting days, it was super controversial the notion that you could have hyperplasia splitting increased number of muscle cells. We know that that can happen in fat cells, but it was thought to be impossible in muscle cells. And then we discovered that you can do it, it’s just modest. It’s not like you can double the number of muscle cells that you have, but the number can increase. And not surprisingly, it’s in response to heavy physical training.

Robb: So there’s kind of a balance in the whole thing. I’m always nervous about balances and middle grounds and all that stuff because people-

Nicki: Everything in moderation.

Robb: Everything in moderation, like what the fuck does that mean? But interestingly though, the pursuit of shifting from a novice to an intermediate strength athlete, the protocols generally involved in that, in my opinion, seem to fit in this middle ground. You look at prelep and charts and the volume and intensity that’s necessary to get an adaptive stimulus, the frequency, the volume, the intensity is right. It appears to be right in kind of a nice sweet spot for maintaining these large motor units, maintaining muscle mass, causing the stimulation of these satellite cells in a way that’s beneficial but not so much that you’re kind of burning the candle at both ends. It’s a great, great paper, very accessible. And we have a link to that in the show notes.

Nicki: Awesome. And let’s move on to our Healthy Rebellion Radio tee shirt winner. Yes, you have. I’ve been staring at it for the last bit you’re talking. Some of us stuck to your stubble, so there. It’s gone now folks.

Robb: It’s not awkward at all.

Nicki: This a review tee shirt winner is from Joey Low 73, he says, “Feisty Robb is awesome. I’ve been a huge fan of Robb for years, and now with Nicki the dynamic on the podcast is even better. The info that Robb and Nicki kick out is indispensable. I’ve been trying to follow Robb’s advice and he does guidance in the diet and exercise arena, and have benefited greatly. I listened to the paleo solution podcast religiously, I’ve sort of read the paleo solution book. I will buy Sacred Cow and probably read it. I’m not much of a reader, LOL, I am a huge listener. Maybe I’ll buy the audio book.”

Robb: The audio book works, thank you.

Nicki: “Anyway, love the podcast, I really appreciate you.” Thanks Joey Low 73 thank you, thank you. Send us an email to with your tee shirt size and your mailing address and we’ll send you a Healthy Rebellion Radio tee shirt. And this episode of The Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by our friends at Paleovalley. They make the most powerful, pure vitamin C supplement you can get. Paleovalley essential C complex is one of the only immune boosting products on the market made from whole food sources of vitamin C that your body can effectively absorb. Paleovalley essential C complex contains three of the most potent sources of vitamin C on the planet, the unripe acerola cherry, the amla berry, and the camu camu berry. And these are three berries that I had never even heard of.

Robb: You’re all kinds of educated.

Nicki: The acerola cherry alone is 120 times more potent than an orange, which is really cool. We’re big fans of all of Paleovalley’s products, and the essential C complex is one of our favorites. And Robb you like to take.

Robb: I use it before bed frequently. There is great research suggesting that vitamin C in that late evening period can help mitigate cortisol production. It’s just part of my sleep hygiene regimen to put in some of the Paleovalley vitamin C. We’ve been sleeping long and well. I’ve been unclear-

Nicki: I don’t know if it’s like partial depression from this current lockdown stuff, but definitely been sleeping well.

Robb: Everybody has been sleeping about an hour longer than normal. But the Paleovalley vitamin C is super helpful for that.

Nicki: And Paleovalley essential C complex is non-GMO, it’s gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free and made with all organic super foods. So you’ll see no fillers or flow agents that you typically find in most supplements, nothing weird just food. Grab some Paleovalley essential C complex by going to and use code THRR10, that stands for The Healthy Rebellion Radio 10, so THRR10 for 10% off your order. And now let’s jump into our questions for today, shall we hubs?

Robb: Indeed, let’s do it.

Nicki: Our first one is from Tim. He’s wondering about metabolic syndrome and intergenerational effects. Hi Robb, thanks for all the topics you’ve addressed on The Healthy Rebellion Radio. It has made navigating the current sick care environment a lot more manageable with someone like you empowering us all with transparent information. My question is regarding the intergenerational effects of our chronic disease epidemic. What do we know about how these conditions related to hyperinsulinemia filter down to our children and our grandkids? Particularly interested in the increasing percentage of linoleic acid in our fatty tissues, is this purely nature or is the baby’s tissues make up somewhat dependent on the diet and lifestyle of the parents?

Robb: Again, one of these questions where it’s comparatively short, but there is a lot going on there. I’ll actually try to tackle this in reverse order. The linoleic acid story, clearly the addition of seed oils to our diet is arguably one of the bigger changes in the last 100 years, like the amount of sugar is a big deal. What was the thing we were just listening to that the grandparent bought one five pound package of sugar for the last multiple years.

Nicki: Peter Attia had a gentleman on his podcast who was talking about fructose, and he was-

Robb: Fructose and cancer.

Nicki: In his own experience as a young kid, his grandmother, they didn’t have a lot of money and they raised all of their food and-

Robb: And he was in rural West Virginia and he said nobody was overweight.

Nicki: And the grandmother would buy a five pound bag of sugar, and that would last several years. And so whenever she made a cake, he explained that the cake tasted more like-

Robb: What we perceive to be a biscuit.

Nicki: What we would expect to be like a biscuit.

Robb: So these are a couple of the things that are really massive changes in 50 years. And I know that some of the evidence-based crowd likes to poo-poo this stuff and it’s just calories in, calories out. And at the end of the day, our calories matter. But these hyper-palatable foods, these foods that are themselves signaling molecules, is it so unreasonable that just a massive shift in the quality and quantity of these different nutrients in a very brief period of time, could that have some untoward effects? That’s the main question I’m having, and I know some people can get a little bit overboard on that. But I think that this is a real issue. The little linoleic acid piece is interesting in that there are cultures that eat lots of seeds and have done so historically. In the area of Texas that we’re in, pecans were a really common feature and they’re fairly high in linoleic acid. And there are other groups that eat almonds and there were other groups that ate acorns and whatnot, and all of them are pretty high in linoleic acid.

Robb: The really important factor there I think is all of the food that usually goes along with that. I would go out on a limb and say that it’s a different experience to get this from acorn meal that you have to blanch and soak and sprout and do all this stuff versus like a Twinkie or a Hoho or something. So I would go out on the limb and say that there’s some differences there. And then also if we have adequate EPA and DHA, this is some stuff that I learned from Mat Lalonde ages ago. If you’re deficient in EPA, DHA that the short chain Omega three and Omega six fats end up having more effect kind of going either pro or anti-inflammatory. And this is where this stuff gets a little bit difficult to unpack. You can look at studies where getting significant amounts of plant derived short chain Omega fats, it looks pro-inflammatory in one study and not particularly pro-inflammatory in another study.

Robb: And some of that may be due to, well, this group of people were actually getting adequate levels of EPA and DHA, and this other group was not. So again, you kind of have to take the dietary factors as a whole. So that’s kind of one piece to the story. And this intergenerational question is really fascinating to me, and I talk about it in several of the talks that I’ve given the longevity talk and then the metabolic flexibility talk, I think I mentioned that. But it’s well understood that things like traumatic events can have multi-generational effects, stress, cortisol, hypervigilant state, impacted insulin sensitivity, that’s been well established both in humans and animals. If you looked at Holocaust survivors and their children and whatnot. So there’s clearly an epigenetic shift that occurs that this really pronounced stress environment seems to set future generations up for kind of anticipating a high stress environment which can set them up for some really difficult times.

Robb: Other layers to this story, which we don’t really have good data on it yet, but think about antibiotics were broadly developed. I think the sulfate drugs were developed in the 1930s and then it wasn’t until maybe the late 40s, early 50s that penicillin based antibiotics really hit the scene. And then we’ve had some iteration from there. But depending on where you live and what the environment was like for you, your parents, your grandparents, you could imagine someone that, say, their family has grown up on an Iowa farm and they’ve maybe only had three generations of people that have been exposed antibiotics and largely haven’t used them or been … Mainly haven’t been exposed to them. Joel Salatin was just on, Joe Rogan was talking about how he will drink out of animal trophies. He doesn’t do the really murky, the old so long as the water’s flowing and everything.

Robb: And he’s done that virtually his whole life, and he literally, he’s like, “I don’t remember when I was sick last, not a cold, not the flu, nothing.” This immune tuning is really, but that’s one side of the thing. But what about this other side of pruning, say like the gut microbiome or the microbiome at large? And if you were to have, say like an inner city population that has lived in Chicago or Detroit or something and you’ve had three, four, five, six generations that have lived in an environment in which they don’t have enough vitamin D, they’ve eaten more processed food and consequently, everybody has been sicker, multiple rounds of antibiotics, maybe getting tonsils removed it, et cetera, et cetera. Again, we don’t have great data on this yet, it’s very preliminary, and it’s a very controversial topic to kind of dig into.

Robb: But it wouldn’t be surprising that there would be some knock on effects to this. And this is something that I think needs to be well appreciated within public health and also personalized medicine is that asking where did your grandparents grow up? Were they on the farm? Did they live in the city? Did they have an auto immune condition? Did they use a lot of antibiotics? Did you as a kid use a lot of antibiotics? And if you go to someone like a naturopath or a functional medicine doctor, they will oftentimes ask these questions. Within conventional medical settings, these questions aren’t really considered. And so they’re not factored into the whole picture. And I know I’m kind of bouncing around here, but it’s a really good question, Tim has a great question.

Robb: I think that as time goes on, we won’t be able to ignore the impact of these kinds of multi-generational effects. At some point, we’ve got to start asking some questions, what are the things that we need to do to mitigate these impacts? It would be nice to have antibiotics as a backstop against dangerous infectious disease, but we need to get much better at doling these things out at the appropriate time. And something like 75 or 80% of antibiotics are used in animal husbandry, and that is leading to antibiotic resistance. That could change things a lot. But yeah, really interesting question and hopefully I touched on some of the potential features of this multi-generational health effect.

Nicki: Our next question is from Chris on non-paleo foods and colitis. Hi Robb and Nicki, I’ve had colitis since my late teens and consistent bowel movements, blood in stool, et cetera. My first couple of years dealing with flares, I decided to try a vegan diet and my colitis improved dramatically. However, I began to feel horrible and switched to a lower carb diet and then felt great. Now, almost a decade later I began having flares again starting at the beginning of 2020 and adding grains and legumes seems to improve the colitis and reduce my flares. I’m wondering if it’s the fiber that is helping. As you know there’s a ton of research supporting higher fiber diets and improving bowel conditions in some people. The problem is these are high carb foods. And both mentally and physically regarding body comp, I feel much better on lower carb. I’d love your thoughts on this, any suggestions are appreciated. You guys rock.

Robb: Man, again, this is one of these just super meaty topics. It would be awesome to get Chris Kresser, Dr. Ruscio, couple of other people to do a case review on this and look at a GI map test and you know it. This is a situation we’re looking at the gut biome could be helpful or interesting. I’ve been really reticent to recommend that to many people because I think the testing is in a very early stage and we don’t really know a lot of what to do about it. But the long and short of it, we see a whole host of different protocols help folks depending on their situation. Going a zero fiber intake is helping a lot of people. This whole carnivore and zero carb deal is helping a good number of people.

Robb: Within the more carbohydrate inclusive approaches, there’s like the auto immune paleo approach, specific carbohydrate diet. There’s three or four different iterations off that FODMAPs and histamine and whatnot. And this is where getting good at kind of the differential diagnosis I guess of what’s going on can be really helpful because what’s going to be great for one person is going to absolutely crush someone else. And just from my own experience for a big chunk of the GI problems that I think I’ve suffered over the last 20 years, a basic shift towards paleo really helped me a lot from the ulcerative colitis that I had. I just kind of had like loose stools and really inconsistent, have never really been on the constipated side of things at all. If I eat salads frequently, I could probably be a heroin addict and have no problem with constipation.

Robb: A couple of things are interesting there. I really whittled down the plant material that I consume and only eat the things that I do well with like artichokes, asparagus, some mushrooms, interestingly tomatoes even though I know some people are very reactive to night shades and tomatoes. Funny enough, I particularly like raw tomatoes. I do fine with those and eat them pretty frequently. So I have worked to keep as much breadth and depth as I can in my diet. Sitting down and eating a green salad now, I finally kind of figured out green salads are bad for me. And I see people that have prepped a green salad, I get like little stomach crampy thing. It’s like, “Whoa, don’t do it man.” So again, this is where you need to get in and tinker and just do-

Nicki: Kind of experiment and see.

Robb: Yeah. Experiment and do what works.

Nicki: I don’t know if Chris is eating a lot of uncooked greens because a lot of folks who have issues with that, if they switched to just mainly cooked greens and then also figuring out which ones you tolerate better than others. So it’s a little bit of an experimentation process.

Robb: But it’s interesting, and this is another one of these things where paleo as kind of a starting point, it’s fantastic. Some people do notice that they’re like, man, I feel better and I poop better when I put some oatmeal in or I do some hominy or something like that. It’s like great. When we’re trying to figure out what to do next, when you look at kind of the industrial food system and what we encountered, the food pyramid. It’s like well, eat eight servings of wheaties or whatever per day to be healthy. And that might work for some folks. But for a lot of folks, it doesn’t. Chris mentioned that he just doesn’t physically feel as good and the body composition isn’t quite as good. I would be really interested to know what his protein intake is and the types.

Nicki: And what are the high carb foods that you’re adding in that you feel are helping with the flares? Because maybe you don’t have to go quite so high carb.

Robb: Or it may be a pretty high protein, reasonably high carb, very modest fat approach might be the way that we could strike some balance here so that we’re getting that anabolic signaling, we’re getting the satiety signaling to deal with the body composition and maybe normalize the blood glucose levels a little bit. And doing some things like eating the protein first, taking a walk after meals, doing some of these mitigating effects. But then again to your point, really looking at how much do you need to be able to affect this better digestion while also improving body composition.

Nicki: Our next question is from Erin regarding the urge for sweets even when satiated. Hi Robb and Nicki, I’m stumped by this. I suspect Robb talked about it in Wired to Eat, but I kind of want to hear you riff on it a bit in real life, IRL. I’m a health coach working with clients on metabolism stuff, and one of the cornerstones of my practice has been tagging to the feeling of satiety. By my estimation, eating to satiety is a simple secret weapon for those looking for freedom from hungriness and all the downstream effects that urgent hunger presents. I mentor my through this in a very gettable way that includes meal composition, prioritizing protein, de-emphasizing carbohydrate and some circadian meal timing stuff like front-loaded feeding. Without fail, I hear this even from some of my longterm successful clients, “I get that and I love it. and I do eat to satiety and it feels amazing, but sometimes after I eat, even though I’m totally satiated, I want a little something sweet.” Sometimes right after eating dessert, sometimes a very short while after an evening snack when the satiety from supper should still be going strong.

Nicki: I want to pause to mention that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a little something after a meal if it feels nice and isn’t derailing your efforts and isn’t waking up the sugar dragon, but these tiny little treats are probably not that egregious in the grand scheme of another wise and metabolically supportive eating paradigms. I’m not worried about them metabolically, but it flies in the face of my theory that satiety is the cure for snacking cravings and unmanageable food urges, and that’s really annoying. How could a satiated person still feel a call to reach for something else to munch on? I know there’s a ton of behavior and psychology at play here too, but I’m more curious about the biochemistry and the neuro regulation of appetite stuff. What am I missing? Part of me thinks, well, you must not have been satiated enough, but that answer feels too neat and tidy. And I suspect there’s some nuance that I’m incapable of wrapping my head around. Can you wrap your head around it? So much gratitude for you both in this awesome educational platform. Erin.

Robb: We could make something up. I don’t know if we can wrap our head around it, do you have any thoughts on this?

Nicki: I’m wondering how much of it might just be boredom. I think a lot of people, you’re full, but you’re home and other people in the house. I feel like especially in this time, there’s a lot of boredom eating going on. And obviously, I don’t know when she submitted this question, it could be pre coronavirus.

Robb: I was thinking something similar and I was also noodling on just the proximity piece. If we have some dark chocolate in the house, I have a piece of dark chocolate after breakfast for crying out loud. If we have it in most meals, I end up doing a little bit. And if we don’t, I go kind of rifle in there and I look around, I’m like, “We don’t have anything,” and then I just go about my business. So I don’t know that I would look at satiety, getting it right doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t want anything. We saw some of this with the man versus food stuff. You will hit satiety eating a chocolate sundae at some point, and this satiety will become so profound that you’ll want to throw up eating more of the chocolate sundae.

Robb: But man, if you can put down a little bit of extra salt to the extra crunchy French fries, all of a sudden you’re able to bypass that society. And that’s really good evolutionary wiring from the perspective of a critter that you still live by its wits out in nature. It’s a very maladaptive process now that we have effectively infinite access to food and not exposed to the elements and whatnot. So I agree that there’s probably a boredom piece there. And I also suspect that it’s just kind of a proximity thing. If you know you’ve got something around, your head is going to go to that.

Nicki: Which is where the don’t keep it in the house-

Robb: Don’t keep it in the house.

Nicki: If they’re able to.

Robb: It would be interesting if you just kind of queried people, like if you could set up effectively the same meal plan two weeks in a row. And one week you had some dark chocolate on hand, and the next week you didn’t. And you knew that for a fact in both scenarios, which one of those do you consistently feel the need for a sweet treat after eating? And I suspect if you just know that you have nothing, there’s just literally no option there other than getting in the car, driving to the store. A fairly onerous process, which we know mitigates the tendency to overeat. It would be really interesting to see if that alone if people self-reported, “Oh yeah, I just didn’t even really want it.” Because your brain just really quickly does a survey. It’s like, “The candy I hid from the kids after Easter, that’s all gone.” You go through your checklist and it’s like, “Okay, the house is empty, we have no options.” So you have no desire for it because it’s not immediately at hand.

Nicki: That’s a good point. If we could set up that kind of experiment where there’s nothing else in the house other than-

Robb: Your basic stuff.

Nicki: Real food, your basic stuff, they eat a great dinner full of protein and good stuff and then the brain knows there’s absolutely nothing else in the house, would the urge still be there?

Robb: Right, right. I know that when we are sold out of chocolate, I just don’t even bother. In the back of my head, I’m like. I know we don’t have anything, so I just don’t even bother going in it, doesn’t really strike me to do it. But if we’ve got some back there, then most meals I’ll go do a little one or two square top off afterwards. And half the time when I do it, I’m kind of like, “I didn’t even really want that.” And then the chewing up of it, I’m like, “This is okay, but it’s not that great.” But I do it anyway, and that’s that proximity and how easy it is. I think we’ve talked about this before. There were some fascinating studies where they looked at peanut M&M consumption, which I don’t know that you could find a more perfect cocaine food than peanut M&M’s.

Robb: But they looked at consumption where folks had a bowl of peanut M&M’s on their desk. And the next scenario was they had a drawer where they had to scoop back, open the drawer. And then the next one they had to walk across the room. It was like an office settings, and it was kind of like the walk of shame, everybody would razz each other because it was this one spot. And if you went there, everybody knew you were going to raid the M&M’s. But just between tabletop versus desk, it cut the consumption by 50%, and then table top versus-

Nicki: Because it wasn’t visible, it’s in your drawer, so you-

Robb: It was just you had to scoot back and open the drawer and scoop down. And so you’re kind of farting around there, you’re not really working where it’s like you could be working or providing the illusion of working while stuffing M&Ms down nonstop because it’s just there. But that little extra bit, that little speed bump of just opening the drawer, reaching your hand down and then you got to shut the drawer because you don’t want people walking by and like, oh, you’re pilfering the thing again. It was interesting. So the drawer cut it by 50%, walking across the room cut it by 90%. So even in that context, just the immediacy is so powerful there.

Nicki: All right. Hopefully that was somewhat helpful, Erin.

Robb: Probably not.

Nicki: All right, it’s time … Oh, I almost spilled my water. It’s time for The Healthy Rebellion Radio trivia. Our episode sponsor, Paleovalley is giving their immunity bundle, which includes essential C complex, turmeric complex, and grass fed beef sticks, and those are tasty folks, to three lucky winners selected at random who answer the following question correctly? I think I know the answer to this, Robb. What is your favorite new bug that you’ve discovered since moving to Texas?

Robb: I got to go with the walking stick, they’re pretty bad ass.

Nicki: They are super cool, and they come in all shapes, well, not shapes but sizes and colors. We’re really seeing there’s-

Robb: They’re greens and oranges.

Nicki: Orange ones and green ones and gray ones.

Robb: And they appear to be eating the aphids off of our rose bushes, which is cool. So yeah, walking stick.

Nicki: Walking stick, okay. All right folks. To play, go to and enter your answer. We will randomly select three people with the correct answer to win Paleovalley’s immunity bundle. The cut-off to answer this week’s trivia and be eligible to win is Thursday June 4th at midnight. Winners will be notified via email, and we’ll also announce winners on Instagram as well. And as always, this is open to residents of the US only. And our fourth question this week is from David. He’s curious about natural supplements for BPH, which is?

Robb: Benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Nicki: Okay. David says I’m looking for a safe and effective supplement for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Did I get it right?

Robb: Yeah.

Nicki: That is also safe when I drink beer. That’s the question. It’s a one liner, this one’s short.

Robb: Nicki, the other day, she was like, “Okay, I’ve got one for you.” And she read this to me and I just started laughing. I’m like, “Sure, let’s do this one.” First, I will go out on a limb and say that of the booze options, beer is probably one of the less good ones for prostate health because of kind of the hoppiness and the estrogenic compounds and all that stuff. But I get it, beer is amazing. Won’t dissuade you from that. But I’ve dug around a fair amount on this and there’s a product from Life Extension research, their ultra prostate formula. It includes a mix of herbs and nutrients that have some good clinical data on addressing the different vectors that can be involved in BPH. And what’s interesting about this situation is for some people testosterone directly is a problem for the kind of increased prostate glow growth. For other people, it’s the dihydrotestosterone, which is a testosterone metabolite, which is really important for hair function. And it’s part of the driver of male pattern baldness and stuff like that. But it’s really critically important for athletic success and sexual function and whatnot.

Robb: But other people, estrogen or other estrogen metabolites can be drivers of BPH. So we don’t really know exactly. We know that there are several things that can be factors. I wouldn’t be surprised if all of them kind of work interchangeably. And so these multi-angled mixes like what the Life Extension folks have put together, it has great clinical backing in reducing the symptomology with BPH, which is basically incomplete urination and needing to wake up in the middle of the night to pee and all that type of stuff. Again, the formula specifically, I don’t know that that one has had clinical trials on it, but the constituents in it, you can find lots of clinical trials on those and then they’ve basically stuck all those together.

Nicki: Okay, cool. Our final question this week is on metabolic inefficiency for eating more food, and it’s from Claes. He says a Swedish name. If you try to pronounce class in a posh English accent, you’ll hit close to the mark. So I’ll say Kloss. Hi guys, I’ve got a question that I’d love to hear you answer. Robb, you’ve spoken earlier about some kind of metabolic efficiency that seems to occur when you’ve been eating keto longterm. Luis seems to maintain on a very, very low calorie diet even though he’s both muscular and active. Now, I thrive on keto, but I also love food. I have no interest in trying to attain this metabolic efficiency. And I’m wondering if there might be any strategies that I could try to use in order to keep my energy demands nice and high. Will cycling between periods when I eat carbs be a way to go or do you have any other ideas?

Robb: Really interesting question. Robb, how do I eat healthy but yet-

Nicki: Eat a lot.

Robb: Eat like a starved hog? This efficiency doesn’t occur with everybody or seemingly it doesn’t. We’ve observed some folks that … Some guys within the keto game scene, they’re about the same size, same muscularity as Luis, and they’re literally twice as much. And some people would say, well, Luis’s metabolism is broken. No, his fucking metabolism is not broken. He is one of these people though that has reached this kind of interesting thermodynamic efficiency where he just doesn’t need that much food comparatively to motor along well. And it’s interesting from a longevity perspective, there’s probably a good element to that because even though I’ve been kind of peeing down the back of calorie restriction and whatnot, there is just kind of a reality that if we don’t overeat, that seems to be good.

Robb: And so overeating for Luis would be eating at the levels that are generally recommended for the populace at large, any given size or activity level or what have you. But that said, there are some people that just seem to need more calories to be able to motor along. And so this is something that you’re not really going to be able to pick. You are going to eat how you eat and you’re either-

Nicki: The lottery for your genetic-

Robb: Yeah. And you’re either going to be lean and healthy or some iteration of not lean and healthy, and that’s just kind of the way it is. One thing that Luis has done is he typically does two meals a day. He will do a pretty robust breakfast. And then he does a pre-workout keto games, coffee, which is coffee, some creatine, some whey protein, a little bit of MCT, a little bit of glucose or dextrose. And that’s his pre-workout meal, and then he eats a big dinner. So even at eating around like 1,700 calories, he does a breakfast and a dinner that’s split between the 1,800 calories, let’s say. It’s a pretty robust meal anyway. And so one of the ways that he has kind of gotten around that because he will admit, he likes to eat big when he eats, but it kind of improved the efficiency of his life. He’s got great performance and body composition from doing all this. And then also when he sits down to eat, it’s a robust meal and he’s totally satisfied and no problems there.

Nicki: I mean, it seems like if Kloss’ body composition is good, choose protein first, low carbohydrate sources of vegetables, berries and that kind of thing to the degree that you can tolerate it. If you’re hungry, eat more protein as long as that’s not affecting your body composition.

Robb: Yeah, yeah. But I’m reading between the lines here, I’m wondering if there’s a little bit of a cookie monster hiding in there or something like that, I don’t know, I don’t know.

Nicki: A keto cookie monster.

Robb: A keto cookie monster. And again, the first time that this really got on my radar was talking with Greg Glassman, the CrossFit founder. And he was talking about people that adapted to the high-fat zone diet. Once they got leaned out, then they started ratcheting the fat up. The protein was kind of low by our standards, and using percentages is always kind of dodgy, but it was like 17% protein, about 65% fat, the remainder carbs. But it wasn’t far off of ketosis. And also people were generally encouraged to eat whole foods and not rely on beer and pretzels and jerky for their zone macros. And what he observed was that people motored along 25 maybe 30% fewer calories than what you would normally think that folks would need. He rightly observed that that was some type of a thermodynamic efficiency and that there might be some … What’s interesting is at that level you’re right in the strike zone with what calorie restriction studies generally put animals on, but it’s in a way that people generally-

Nicki: You’re not starving and wanting to eat your arm off.

Robb: You’re not starving, it’s spontaneous calorie restriction. And one would argue it’s restricted relative to I think eating a nutrient poor, hyper-palatable diet where it’s just very easy to overeat. It’s an interesting question, it’s almost as good as how do I not blow up my prostate while drinking beer?

Nicki: All righty guys.

Robb: That’s why we’re here trying to answer the questions.

Nicki: Let’s see, that is our fifth and final question for this week. Please check out our show sponsor, Paleovalley and grab some essential C complex. Go to and use code THRR10, stands for The Healthy Rebellion Radio, THRR10 for 10% off your order. Share this episode, please leave us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. What else, hubs?

Robb: Sacred Cow is soon to be released. And I know we’ve humped many a knee already.

Nicki: If you haven’t pre-ordered, please do that.

Robb: The reason why … And again, I always feel a little weird, I’m asking you to buy a book for me. And yes, I will benefit from that financially in theory at some point. But the deal is that within the COVID age, bookstores are not open. Amazon is not really handling books the same way that they once did.

Nicki: We need the pre-orders to signal to the publisher for these outlets. These outlets then place an order with the publisher if they’re seeing demand early. And then the publisher will print more books. So that’s what we’re-

Robb: We’re hoping to make the New York Times bestseller list, and when you make these bestseller lists, people disproportionately support the book. The thing is, is if bookstores or Amazon or Barnes & Noble, whoever you’re getting it from, if they run out of books, although they can sell them and kind of hold them in queue, if they’re not delivering them, they don’t count. And so we could go on the list and then fall off, and it’s a bastard to get back on there. And it would make the media that we would get and all the stuff like that really difficult to maintain. So if you have any inclination to get the book, getting it in the pre-order period would really help us it time.

Nicki: Yeah. Thanks folks, and we’ll see you all next week.

Robb: Take care everybody.



Where you can find us:


Submit questions for the podcast:


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.

Learn More


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

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, iBooks


from The Paleo Diet

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Drinking alcohol every night to get through this? Why it’s the worst idea ever.

We are going through a crazy time. Undoubtedly the craziest time in my lifetime.

I’ve been having long, personal conversations with my friends about everything going on, doing what we can to build each other up. And many of them expressed frustration about one thing… 

Ever since the quarantines started they’ve been drinking more alcohol…way more than they normally do. What used to be maybe a weekly (or monthly) occurrence, is seriously becoming an every night of the week habit that is getting out of control. 

They aren’t working, they’re bored and completely stressed out – and turning to booze to make them feel better.

I hate to be a buzzkill, but honestly, I have to say it….

Drinking all the time, especially during this crisis, is one of the worst things you can do right now. You are relying on something that (ironically) is horrible for your health because you are feeling stressed out. There are better ways to handle this situation. 

I know you probably don’t want to hear this, but hear me out. 

Those nightly “Quarantinis” are detrimental to your immune system. 

You’ve heard alcohol is bad for your liver – but that’s not the only organ it’s affecting.

Disrupts healthy gut bacteria…

Drinking too much alcohol disrupts the healthy balance of bacteria your gut. You see, we all have a garden of bacteria living in our intestines (1), which is vitally important to the health of our immune system as a whole (2). The “good” bacteria in your gut helps to keep you healthy (3, 4, 5). When you drink – you create an imbalance in your gut bacteria (6) – which in turn compromises your body’s ability to fight infections (7). 

Further down the line, this can lead to leaky gut syndrome (8) – which creates tiny little holes in our digestive system organs that leak out the good bacteria we need to stay healthy and keep our immune system strong.

Diminishes your immune defenses…

When you drink, certain white blood cells that are your “front-line” of defense against infections essentially get shut down and are only about ¼ as effective as fighting viruses as they usually are (9). It is a major blow to your natural immune defenses.

Impairs nutrient absorption…

Heavy drinking can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies as well, because it impairs your body’s ability to absorb nutrients (10). Without necessary nutrients, you’re more susceptible to infections and won’t be able to heal as quickly. 

Increases risk of respiratory infections…

And if all this isn’t enough, drinking too much alcohol is known to specifically increase the risk of respiratory infections (11), such as pneumonia and ARDS. Knowing what we know so far about COVID-19 and how it affects the respiratory system… do you think those nightly drinks are worth the risk?

It’s not just the alcohol that’s shutting off your immune system. Most alcoholic drinks are filled with unhealthy ingredients that are sabotaging you. 

What’s in your booze (besides booze)?

Ever wonder what makes Bailey’s Irish Cream so deliciously brown, or Blue Curacao so tropically blue? What makes Malibu Rum so sweet, or what gives Captain Morgan its golden hue?

You may never know because ingredient labeling on beer, wine, or liquor in not required by the FDA.

The alcohol industry has lobbied for years against ingredient labels because they don’t want you to know what you’re drinking. As a result, we know more about what’s in a bottle of Windex than we do about the world’s most popular drinks. After we petitioned beer companies (12) to tell us what’s in their beer, the two largest beer manufacturers began listing their ingredients online (13) – but there is still a lot we do not know.

My research for The Food Babe Way uncovered a slew of unlabeled additives (14) and crazy ingredients you’d never guess you were drinking. To give you a recap, this might be lurking in your favorite drink:

  • Artificial Colors
  • BHT
  • BHA
  • Carrageenan
  • Class IV Caramel Color
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Corn Syrup
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Artificial Flavors
  • Natural Flavors
  • Benzoic Acid / Sodium Benzoate
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)
  • Tribromophenol (contaminant found in some wine)
  • Roundup Weedkiller / Pesticides (contaminants found in some beer and wine)

See what’s in these popular drinks… 

NOTE ABOUT WHITE CLAW: White Claw says their full ingredient list is “proprietary” – which means it is a secret. “The alcohol in White Claw Hard Seltzer comes from fermented sugars derived from malted gluten-free grains” – which could mean corn syrup, but who knows? They haven’t responded to an inquiry from my team to clarify this yet. 

Liquors don’t list ingredients, but what are you mixing them with?

The decision to drink alcohol is a personal one. 

I enjoy wine, champagne, and tequila every now and then. When I do, I make the best choices I can. Having alcohol is not a judgment call that any of us should make for others, unless excessive drinking is ruining someone’s health, family, and personal life. The important thing is to be educated about alcohol, what’s in it, how much should be consumed, and whether you feel it’s something you want to have in your lifestyle.

If you are finding yourself drowning your quarantine-sorrows in booze, there are healthier and more effective ways to handle your stress.

So, set down that cocktail and let me show you some strategies that work for me to keep my sanity, which I’m sure could help you as well.

Ways to relieve stress naturally – Without Alcohol:

  • Stop going down the news rathole. The news is overwhelming right now and this can cause a lot of stress. And you know what? Stress is a huge immunity killer! So do yourself a favor and use this time to spend with your loved ones. Play games, watch movies at home, cook together, and take time to relax and de-stress. If you live alone, set up online video chats with your friends and family to stay connected. Limit yourself to checking in with the news once or twice a day to stay informed – and then put it away!
  • Write it all down and practice gratitude: Start jotting down your feelings about all that is happening in the world and how you are personally handling it. Tell your own personal story as if you are writing it for someone else. Expressing yourself in writing is very therapeutic. Research has shown that journaling helps people heal during times of stress and trauma (15). Also write out what you are grateful for each day. There is always much to be thankful for and when you start paying attention to it, magic starts to happen. 
  • Exercise more, and regularly. Stress hormones like cortisol are reduced when you exercise regularly (16) – plus you release endorphins, which are “feel good” brain chemicals that make you feel happy. Even if the gym is closed, you can still do workout videos at home without any special equipment (besides perhaps a wifi connection or a DVD). You can also go for bike rides, jogs, an long walks outdoors. 
  • Start meditating. This a is a majorly effective tool to decrease your stress levels (17), and also reduces your chances of getting sick because chronic stress leads to bodily inflammation, which makes you more susceptible to illness. When you meditate, you calm your mind – and your brain is intimately connected to your organs and the immune system. You don’t need any equipment and there are several free guided meditations available online if meditation is new to you. The practice of yoga is related to this as well and is another great option.
  • Get some sun. When you expose your skin to the sun, you help your body produce more Vitamin D – the “sunshine vitamin”, which supports a happy mood. The simple act of going outdoors has been shown to lower stress and increase well being (18). 
  • Make sleep a priority. This is a never-ending cycle. If you are stressed out, it might keep you up at night. And when you don’t get enough sleep you get cranky and more anxious – leading to MORE stress. Do whatever you can to get more sleep to break this cycle. If anxiety is keeping you up at night, try taking some magnesium or melatonin. Get some sun exposure in the morning to set your internal body clock and increase natural melatonin production at night.
  • Take stress-supporting supplements. Adaptogens such as ashwagandha and maca help to support a happy mood and sleep quality. These may make it easier for you to deal with all the stressors in your life. 
  • Call up a friend or loved one. It’s really important to stay socially connected. It’s been shown that when you have a social support system around you, you are less likely to feel depressed or anxious (19). Sharing good laugh will keep all your spirits up and relieves your stress like none other! I you can, use Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, or some other video sharing app, so you can see each other too! 

What are you doing to relieve stress during this crazy time? Tell me in the comments. Let’s share our ideas and support each other. It’s more important right now than ever! 



P.S. If you know anyone who is drowning their quarantine sorrows in alcohol, please share this post with them. I hope it inspires everyone to try healthier ways to get our stress under control! 


Food Babe Kitchen - Book

Posts may contain affiliate, sponsorship and/or partnership links for products Food Babe has approved and researched herself. If you purchase a product through an affiliate, sponsorship or partnership link, your cost will be the same (or at a discount if a special code is offered) and Food Babe will benefit from the purchase. Your support is crucial because it helps fund this blog and helps us continue to spread the word. Thank you.

from Food Babe