Paleo Nutrition: Chris Kresser Shows You How to Get Healthy

Posted by Jason Ferruggia


Today we have a throwback episode of The Jay Ferruggia Show. This was recorded earlier in 2014, before we officially started the show. As such it was previously only available to listen to if you were a member of The Renegade Strength Club.

But now we’re posting the entire thing here for all of you guys to listen to (or read the full transcript below if you prefer).


Today’s Podcast Topics Include:

  • The importance of optimizing your gut health
  • Can gluten really cause depression?
  • The power of supplemental prebiotics
  • How to optimize your testosterone to cortisol ratio
  • How to naturally clearly up your skin
  • Why you should add fermented foods and resistant starch to your diet
  • The white rice vs. brown rice debate


Listen To The Jay Ferruggia Show

To listen, you can either hit the flash audio player below, or browse the links to find your preferred format …

 Full Transcript

JF: I’m here with Chris Kresser, the author of the brand new book, Your Personal Paleo Code which I think is an absolute must read for everybody listening to this.

He is the go-to man when it comes to nutrition and gut health and it’s just a pleasure to have him.

CK:  Thanks, Jason. Great to be here.

JF: Let’s talk about the importance of optimizing your gut health. 

CK: Yeah, sure. It’s kind of interesting actually 2,500 years ago Hippocrates who is arguably one of the first physicians said that all disease begins in the gut and he somehow knew this over 2,000 years ago and it’s only recently in the last maybe 10, 15 years that modern research has begun to catch up and figure out exactly why that is.

Certainly, most people know that if they have digestive problems, they need to focus on their gut but what fewer people know is that gut health isn’t just about having good digestion.

It also relates to pretty much every system of the body and we now know there are connections between poor gut health and every chronic inflammatory disease that we suffer from obesity and diabetes to heart disease even, some recent interesting research about that to mental and behavioral disorders like depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders in kids particularly, skin conditions like acne and psoriasis and eczema.

Really, there aren’t many modern diseases that don’t have an established connection to gut health at this point. It’s not too much of a stress to say that you’re only as healthy as your gut.

The Gut-Brain Axis

JF: Could you expand on that a little bit more and depression, the inability to deal with stress and what not?

CK: Sure. There’s actually a particularly strong connection between the gut and the brain and it’s referred to as the gut brain axis in the scientific literature and there are a number of ways that it can manifest. As the name suggest, the brain can affect the gut and then the gut can affect the brain.

A few examples would be if you have leaky gut which is this condition where the gut barrier becomes permeable and stuff that is supposed to stay in the gut and never get into the bloodstream actually leaked into the bloodstream and causes all kinds of problems because at the end of the day, that’s what the gut is.

It’s a barrier system. It decides what should get into our body like nutrition, things that we need to fuel cellular processes and make us function properly and then it also decides what should stay out which would be toxins and waste and the problem is when that barrier system breaks down and loses the ability to make that kind of discernment, you start getting stuff that was never supposed to get into the body in there.

Then the other side of that coin is you’re not getting enough of the stuff that’s supposed to get in like the nutrients to fuel our energy and health so what happens is with leaky gut, you get some inflammation.

You get things like endotoxin or lipopolysaccharide which are types of bacteria that exist in the gut. They get into the bloodstream and the body produces inflammation in order to deal with that and then those inflammatory cytokines actually travel through the bloodstream.

They go up into the frame and they suppress the activity of the frontal cortex which is the area of the brain that deals with higher brain function.

The symptoms for that would be all of the symptoms that you would expect with depression and anxiety and other brain or mental behavioral related issues so there’s a very direct connection between what’s happening in the gut and things like depression and anxiety and in fact, there’s a name now for this called the inflammatory cytokine model of depression which is kind of a mouthful but essentially, what it suggests is that there’s a whole segment of depression that is caused mainly by inflammation in the gut by imbalances of neurotransmitters.

JF: You finished there touching about depression and I rarely eat gluten and when I do have a big cheat meal maybe once every couple of months if I go out and eat pancakes and everything, I actually get depressed the next day.

Your-Personal-Paleo-CodeCK: Right, yeah. It can be a really quick response and I worked with a lot of kids who are on the autism spectrum and sometimes kids, when I first start working with them, they’re pretty far along on that spectrum like they don’t have any speech.

They shy away from physical contact and oftentimes, just putting them on a paleo type of diet and then doing some things to fix their gut like dealing with any bacterial overgrowth they have, fixing their intestinal permeability, giving them some fermented foods, bone broth, et cetera, these kids turned into completely different children.

They start to talk. They start to be able to tolerate some physical contact.

It may not completely reverse their condition but they’re almost unrecognizable kids by the time we finished really addressing their gut health so we’re not talking about small changes.

We’re talking about potentially life changing interventions that can affect every system in the body.

JF: Yeah, absolutely.

The Gut & Skin Health

CK: There’s another interesting connection here that some of your listeners might want to hear about which is the gut-skin connection and this is related to the gut-brain.

Actually the entire axis is the gut-brain-skin axis so it’s not just the gut and the brain. It’s the gut, brain and skin that exist in this kind of triangular relationship and so a couple of ways that this manifests would be small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

This is a condition where you have excess bacteria in your small intestine. Normally, you should only have a little bit of bacteria in your small intestine and all the good gut bacteria that I’m sure many of your listeners have heard about are supposed to be in the colon or large intestine.

JF: Chris, is that pretty common?

CK: It’s really common, yeah. I see a lot of my patients.

The reason it’s common is because some of the risk factors for it would include chronic stress which you know a lot of us are dealing with, antibiotic use which people in my generation, I’m almost 40, a lot of us grew up taking antibiotics like they were candy before doctors really knew how dangerous they were. That’s another big risk factor.

A diet full of highly processed or refined foods like flour and sugar and industrial seed oils are another risk factor so basically, the whole modern lifestyle and diet pre-disposes us to SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

What happens is when this bacteria get overgrown in our small intestine, they kind of throw the whole digestive system out of whack and they produce this leaky gut and inflammation and virtually all skin conditions whether you’re talking about acne or psoriasis or eczema are inflammatory in nature.

These inflammatory cytokines that are produced in the gut also would affect the skin and they can manifest as acne, acne vulgaris which is the typical acne on the face or they can manifest in psoriasis and eczema which are kind of like autoimmune skin conditions that happen elsewhere and it’s no surprise to see acne affecting so many teenagers and young people but also a lot of adults now because of all of these modern lifestyle and diet factors that predispose us to developing SIBO.

Actually, I’ve seen one study that showed that over 80% of people with acne had small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and when they corrected that, a substantial number of people got well and didn’t have acne anymore so it’s just another reason to pay a lot of attention to your gut health.

JF: I have two follow up questions on that. One, this just came to me because it’s winter. A lot of are probably dealing with horrible dry skin right now. Is there anything you could speak on that to address that?

CK: Most certainly, there is an environmental influence as you point out like just the dry climate can make that worse but things like coconut oil can be really helpful to apply to the skin when it’s dry.

It’s not only healthy to eat. It’s really healthy to be put on the skin. It’s a good moisturizer and it’s got some antimicrobial compounds in it.

Acne is in part caused by bad bacteria so the antimicrobial compounds in coconut oil can help with that and with the chafing that’s associated with dry skin.

But yeah, dryness of the skin actually can be pathological or can be a sign that things aren’t working as they should be and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis of course involve dry patches on the skin.

So depending on whether we’re we talking about just kind of a mild dryness due to climate or we’re talking about dry patches that are more indicative of a problem, that can be an issue.

A couple of things, just really simple stuff you can do to improve your gut health would be to make sure you’re eating fermented foods so this would be things like sauerkraut.

There are fermented beverages like cambuci that you can buy in a lot of health food stores now. The sauerkraut, you just need to make sure that it’s raw sauerkraut that’s in the refrigerated section of the store like a place like Whole Foods or you can also make it at home.

The type that you maybe just put on your hotdog that you buy in the condiment section actually doesn’t have any live beneficial bacteria in it because it’s been pasteurized so you want the raw sauerkraut in the refrigerated section. If you tolerate dairy products, things like yogurt or kefir can be beneficial.

Then there’s some slightly more exotic fermented beverages and foods like Beet Kvass is one that’s pretty popular and kimchi which is the Korean kind of version of sauerkraut.

There are a lot of options for fermented foods and those have been part of our human diet for richly our entire history because that was the way that we preserve food before we have refrigeration and we’ve really only had that for the past 100 years or so and even…

JF: Chris, you’re not concerned about too much fermented foods?

CK: It is a concern for certain people.

Glad you brought that up they’re minority of people so too much fermented food can be an issue if you have a condition called histamine intolerance because fermented foods contain histamine and if you have an inability to breakdown histamine which is what histamine intolerance is, then too much fermented food can exacerbate that and you get things like facial flushing, hives, headaches, migraine, symptoms like that.

Usually, and I have an article about histamine intolerance on my website which you can Google and check out and if you have a lot of those symptoms, you might want to take it easy but for the majority of people, fermented foods are going to be beneficial so that’s number one.

Number two is to make sure you’re eating fermentable fibers.

The difference here is fermented food contains the beneficial bacteria that you want. Fiber is the food for the beneficial bacteria that’s already in your gut so it’s kind of a substrate that they need to multiply and survive in your gut so these are fibers that you find in starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes or potatoes or plantains or yucca or taro.

They’re in things like Jerusalem artichokes, onions, garlic, soluble fibers in fruit and vegetables, typically the flesh of fruits and vegetables like butternut squash or the insides of apples and pears.

Avocados have quite a bit of soluble fiber so just eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and including …

What if Your Gut is REALLY Messed Up?

JF: If someone has an issue, they’re following the protocol you just mentioned but what if they can’t tolerate those foods?

If their gut blows up like a balloon if they have squash or yam or something like that and it seems like they can only survive on meat. Do you ever completely remove those fibers as well and have someone live on meat and fat?

CK: Right, so that’s typically a sign that something is not right in the gut if you can’t tolerate those foods. I would suspect small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or a parasite or some other type of dysbiosis because normally, we should be able to eat those foods and digest them properly so in those situations, there’s kind of a two-pronged approached.

First is, yeah, you’ll need to stay away from those foods because they’ll just cause a lot of pain and upset if you don’t but in the meantime, you should also be taking steps to improve your gut health so that you can tolerate those foods eventually for a lot of reasons.

One of which we’re talking about now which is feeding our beneficial gut bacteria.

One of the ways that you can do that that you can avoid those foods and still feed your beneficial gut bacteria is to use either supplemental prebiotics so these are capsules or powders that have a prebiotic effect which means they feed the beneficial gut bacteria.

JF: And you sell those on your site?

CK: Yeah, those are on my site and in many other places. It’s kind of tricky though because as you point it out, some people experience a lot of discomfort when they eat those things but they are necessary for long term healing of the gut so you kind of have to do this dance where you start with a really low dose of those things and then you build up very slowly over time and what happens is over time, as you build up your beneficial gut bacteria, it will actually be able to start tolerating those other foods better and then you could start incorporating them in your diet so you have to take kind of a two-pronged approach.

Reintroducing Problem Foods

JF: Do you start someone who can’t eat a sweet potato or squash without blowing up, is there a certain amount of time like 15 days, 30 days to completely remove those and you add in maybe a half of sweet potato, some kind of progression like that?

CK: Yeah. I would say like maybe 30 days of removing them completely and then I would start adding in some prebiotics.

Another thing you might have heard some chatter about in the blog is resistant starch and potato starch.

That’s another type of fiber that really feeds the beneficial gut bacteria selectively and so you can use some unmodified, gluten free potato starch. You can get it at the store and it’s really cheep.

That’s one advantage of it as a supplement and you just mix like a half of teaspoon and some water and you drink it once or twice a day and then you really gradually increase the dose over time and that will, as I said, it will really dramatically improve your beneficial gut bacteria and it actually has some really powerful effects on blood sugar.

I’ve had some patients really drop maybe 10 and even more points in their fasting blood sugar readings from doing resistant starch over a period of a few weeks.

That kind of takes us to another topic if you want to cover it which is the connection between gut health and obesity and metabolic health.

JF: Sure, absolutely. Just real quick on the resistant starch, do you take it down on an empty stomach? Is there a particular time you want to take that?

CK: It doesn’t really matter. It mixes really well with water. I think the most important thing to know about it is if you have any predisposition to having gut issues, you need to start really slowly like some of the doses you’ll see recommended on some websites are like take two to four tablespoons a day.

That could leave you doubled over in pain curled up in a bowl, on the floor for four days if you have irritable bowel syndromes so please do not do that.

Start with a super conservative like a quarter teaspoon. If you don’t notice anything, great. Stick with that for a few days and then gradually increase over time because you’re causing changes in the gut microbiota and that can cause some symptoms if you don’t take it easy.

Gut Health & Metabolic Function

CK: There’s this other fascinating connection with gut health and that’s with weight regulation and metabolic function.

You’ve probably heard of some of these studies in where in mice, they transplant the gut flora from an obese mouse into a lean mouse and then the lean mouse becomes obese just from doing that and then they did the other side of that where they take the gut flora from a lean mouse, transplant into an obese mouse, and then the obese mouse gets lean.

JF: Yeah. That’s mind blowing.

CK: It’s crazy. It’s fascinating research.

I just saw another brand new study came out on Thursday showing that problems with the gut flora intestinal dysbiosis which means overgrowth of bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria is a significant contributor to non-alcoholic fatty liver syndrome which affects one and three people now in our country and then we have a lot of similar research suggesting that gut bacteria can influence metabolic function, insulin resistance, glucose tolerance and therefore affects type two diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

I think that’s one of the reasons why resistant starch can produce a big change in blood sugar because of this connection between the gut bacteria and our metabolic function.

Testosterone & Cortisol

JF: A lot of people have high cortisol, low testosterone and their hormonal function is all out of whack.

Maybe you could talk about how you basically go about addressing that and what are some of the initial steps.

CK: Sure. Yeah, I see people both with high cortisol and low testosterone and with low cortisol and low testosterone and those are just two different aspects of adrenal fatigue.

The adrenals are these little walnut-shaped gland that sit on top of the kidneys and they produce adrenal hormones like cortisol and DHEA.

That whole adrenal system is basically … the easiest way to think of it is like our internal batteries and when we’re under a lot of stress, whether that’s emotional or work related stress, psychological stress or whether it’s physical stress from overtraining for example or having some kind of gut infection or any other chronic diseases and other physical stress on the body, that runs down our internal batteries.

When that happens, the other hormones in the body will be affected because the adrenal hormones are all basically precursors or raw materials for the sex hormones like testosterone.

In this scenario, for a guy, you get a guy who’s really rundown, maybe they’re really stressed out at work and not sleeping well, maybe they’re overtraining or they’re undertraining is another problem of course and their adrenal hormones get really rundown and then the next thing to go down in that cascade would be their testosterone and they develop all the symptoms and low testosterone.

The very first thing is to dial in on nutrition because one of the key stressors that can cause adrenal fatigue is poor nutrition and you want to make sure that you’re sleeping enough. For most people, that means seven to eight hours of sleep at night that we need to function properly.

Then you want to make sure that you’re doing something to manage stress so whatever that is for you, whether it’s deep relaxation or meditation or yoga or spending time outside, it doesn’t really matter how.

It just matters that you do it.

Then you want to make sure that you’re getting the appropriate amount of physical activity.

That means not too little and not too much and that can be hard for those of us who like to train because we like the way that feels and we’re accustomed to it and maybe we were even competitive and participating in some kind of a team situation or training for a competition.

One thing I can say from working with a lot of pretty high level athletes is when you get into that place of being in adrenal fatigue and low testosterone, it can be really beneficial over the long term to take it easy for a little while, take a break, make sure you’re getting enough rest and do some of the things that I just mentioned and that will actually allow you to come back and get back to where you want to be more quickly.

I see a lot of people who never give themselves that opportunity and they just stay kind of stuck in that adrenal fatigue hole and just keep digging it deeper and deeper.


JF: Are there any supplements for performance or for general health that you recommend? And anything else for performance?

CodliveroilcapsulesCK: Sure. For general health, magnesium’s pretty helpful for most people even in a healthy paleo type of diet; magnesium can be a little bit difficult to come by.

You probably heard me talk about cod liver oil particularly fermented cod liver oil.

It’s a great choice for most people because it has fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin D and vitamin K2 which are also not found in many foods especially if you’re not eating organ meats which are pretty much one of the only sources of vitamin A in the diet so fermented cod liver oil, magnesium can be beneficial.

Those are probably the two main ones for just general health other than fermented foods which we already talked about.

For performance, I think it kind of depends on goals and what somebody is looking for but if you are trying to put on muscle and gain mass or increase your performance or improve your recovery.

I don’t think as much in terms of supplementation but I start thinking about macronutrient ratios like you want to make sure that you’re getting a little bit more protein than the average person and you want to make sure that you’re getting enough carbohydrates.

Protein, Carbs & Fat

JF: Do you have specifics on macronutrients?

CK: I would say if you’re trying to gain mass and put on muscle, you want to be up around 20 to 25% of total calories and there’s a big myth in the nutrition world that this “high protein diets” are potentially harmful for your kidney.

I mean there is a kernel of truth which is that if you have a pre-existing kidney issue, then a higher protein diet may actually predispose you to having more kidney problems but there’s been large meta-analysis of lots of individual studies that have found that protein intakes exceeding 25% of calories a day have not been shown to have any harmful impact on people with normal kidney functions so that’s something you don’t really need to worry about.

JF: But at the same time, it’s not the magic that supplement companies would have you believe either.

CK: Exactly. No. It’s not a cure-all … I mean there’s actually an upper limit to the amount of protein that we can deal with, that we can metabolize and that’s usually about 30% of calories for the average person but going back to our discussion on gut health, here’s an interesting thing.

If you have SIBO or some other gut issue like dysbiosis, for you to metabolize protein is going to be compromised somewhat so your upper limit of protein might be lower in that situation than it would be if you didn’t have a gut problem so this is just one example of how things are all connected.

Then for carbohydrate, this is of course a contentious issue and there’s a lot of disagreement about this. I know of some endurance athletes who are able to thrive or seemingly do pretty well on a low carb diet but my experiences working with people is that that’s not the norm.

The norm is that people who are training hard need more carbohydrate.

I would say a minimum of 20% of calories and sometimes up to 30% or even more depending on how much they’re training.

Eating those carbohydrates certainly post workout can be helpful especially if you’re trying to gain mass or improve your weight gain and increasing your overall amount of carbohydrates more like 30% of calories can be helpful too.

Athletes with Gut Health Issues

JF: Chris, that brings up an interesting scenario.

What about if you have someone whose gut health is a wreck, they have SIBO and whatnot but yet they’re also a high performance athlete. I imagine you tell them for 30 days to kind of lay off the high intensity training.

What if that’s not an option? What if they’re always competitive?

CK: Well, there are a few possibilities. Ideally, yeah, you mentioned the ideal scenario is we fix their gut first and so they can get back to their higher intensity activity and improve their performance over the long term but if they’re in …

JF: In an ideal scenario, you would have them just do just minimal, low intensity training.

CK: Minimal training while we’re fixing their gut and that would often require a lower carb approach and then as we ramp the carbs back up and their gut health is better, then they can start ramping the activity level back up.

So that may not be necessarily possible because they’re training for a competition that’s upcoming or something like that so some other options would be like focusing more on single sugar or disaccharide, monosaccharide carbohydrate sources.

This is not something I would recommend over the long term but something like dextrose powder which is just pure glucose could be used or young coconut water, for example, could be used.

These are ways of potentially increasing the carbohydrate intake, fruit and even some fruit juice which again, I definitely don’t recommend over the long term but they’re ways of ramping up carb intake that aren’t going to feed that bacterial overgrowth because those carbs are absorbed so high up in the small intestine that they never get to where the bacteria are so they don’t become a food source for those bacteria.

JF: In general, what is your feeling on powdered carb’s post workout for performance athletes or during training?

CK: In general, I prefer of course for people to get nutrients from food but when you’re talking about a really high level athlete who’s doing super intense training, they should be able to burn through that dextrose pretty quickly and it shouldn’t have a harmful effect over time.

I think in part, it just depends on the individual on how they respond if they feel like they’re able to meet their energy needs with whole food carbs after a workout, then that’s great. If they, for whatever reason, feel like that’s not cutting it, then I’m not necessarily opposed to including more of glycolytic stuff.


Tropical-green-smoothie-2JF: Another thing, when someone has poor digestion and they can’t even digest vegetables that well, they have issues with that, what’s your approach?

Do you have them juice at all or no?

CK: Yes. Again, that’s sort of similar to the other approach where they can’t digest starch, I will pursue a two-pronged approach there.

I’ll have, on the one hand, we’ll be doing things to treat whatever the gut issue is that’s causing that problem because that’s almost always again some issue with dysbiosis or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, parasite, et cetera so we might be using antimicrobial herbs or nutrients to knock back that overgrowth and some probiotics, prebiotics, et cetera.

In the meantime, there are a few ways that you can prepare vegetables to make them more easier to digest because usually, when people are having problems, it’s with the fiber in the vegetables because the gut is inflamed and the fiber can be irritating so what you can do is you can peel vegetables.

So like with carrots, you would peel it. You can peel fruits so you peel the skin off the apple and eat it that way.

Cooking the vegetables until they’re soft definitely helps a lot especially if they’re peeled so you can even cook an apple for example after you peel it and it will be almost like apple sauce.

You can blend vegetables together so if you make a smoothie for example, that might be easier to tolerate than just eating whole fruit or whole vegetables and then as you mentioned, you can do some juicing which removes the fiber entirely. All the pulp is taken out.

You can do some combination of all of those things and then another tip would be to never eat raw fruits and vegetables on an empty stomach if you’re one of these people because there’s no buffer there.

It’s just fiber straight up against the inflamed gut. If you add small amounts of the fruits and vegetables that have been either chopped or minced or blended or whatever to another meal or you’ve eaten already something that’s going to be a little easier on your stomach like some meat and fat, then you can generally tolerate those things a little bit better.

Fiber: What You Need to Know

JF: Could too much fiber be bad and also a lot of people in the general public have the perception that when they remove grains which is the typical paleo recommendation, they’re not going to be getting fiber so could you address those two questions?

CK: Yeah. There are lots of different types of fiber and some types are more beneficial and some types are perhaps less beneficial.

I mentioned earlier that one of the main benefits of fiber is that it feeds our gut flora but that’s not true of all fiber so for example, soluble fibers, most of them do feed our gut flora whereas insoluble fiber which is generally the type of fiber that’s found in grains does not feed our gut flora and studies have shown that large amounts of insoluble fiber particularly grain fiber may actually be harmful.

We get plenty of fiber, plenty of the good types of fiber that feed our beneficial gut bacteria just by eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds and there’s really no requirement for grain fiber in the diet. In fact, we as human beings survive and thrive for two million years and 66,000 generations before grains became a staple in our diet so there’s really no reason that we need them for fiber.

In terms of nutrient density, grains, if you look at modern studies on the nutrient density of foods and by nutrient density, I just mean the concentration of things like vitamins and minerals and proteins, you’ll see that even whole grains much with the highly refined processes grains which most people are eating in this country, even whole grains are relatively toward the bottom of the nutrient density scale.

Pretty much all forms of meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, even things like dark chocolate and herbs and spices are considerably higher on a nutrient density scale than whole grains.

The Bottom Line

JF: Awesome. Well, you definitely shared a ton of amazing information with us today.

Can you talk a little bit about the new book and the book tour and where people can get it and where they could see you?

CK: Sure. The book, as you mentioned, is called Your Personal Paleo Code and the main purpose of the book is to show you how to create your own ideal diet which is based on a paleo diet so it’s not a strict paleo diet book.

We start with the strict paleo diet just as an elimination diet as a way of kind of starting with a clean slate, hitting the reset button on your body, getting you feel better fast, lose weight and even start reversing some chronic disease sometimes but that strict paleo diet I found is too restrictive, unnecessarily restrictive really for many people over the long term.

JF: Hey, Chris. Can I just ask you one question? How long does it typically take to reset someone and get them fixed if they’re coming to you or they’re picking up the book with digestive issues?

CK: Yeah, 30 days is what we typically recommend.

Some people need a little more than that but 30 days is the minimum so in step two, we talk about reintroducing some gray area foods that I think are healthy, that the research shows they’re healthy when they’re well tolerated so this can include full fat dairy.

It can include things like dark chocolate, moderate alcohol consumption and then even some things like white rice and soaked and properly prepared legumes if you want to go in that direction although I don’t think that’s necessary.

We also talked in step two about all the important lifestyle factors that often get ignored like sleep, appropriate physical activity, stress management, spending time outdoors, optimizing sun exposure and even things like cultivating more pleasant connection and bringing more play into your life.

Then in step three, that’s where the real refinement and customization happens so I teach you how to customize your macronutrient ratios based on your particular needs and life circumstances and goals. I teach you how to customize your diet based on your activity level. We talked about meal frequency and timings.

Do you do better with an intermittent fasting approach where you compress all your food intake into an eight-hour window? Do you do better eating several meals and snacks throughout the day?

We talked about paleo super foods like bone broth and fermented foods and sea vegetables and organ meats and why you’d want to eat those.

Your-Personal-Paleo-CodeThen I have 10 bonus chapters on how to treat paleo for common health conditions like digestive disorders, autoimmune disease and hypothyroidism so to learn more about the book, check out and it’s available on all the typical brick and mortar and online retailers.

Then my website is and if you go there, on the side bar, there’s a list of cities and in book tour. I’m about halfway through the tour. Right now, I’m in Boulder, Colorado and I’m going Austin next then I’m going to be along the West Coast from Seattle, Portland, LA, San Diego and back to the Bay Area.

Bonus: White Rice is A-Ok

JF: You did mention one thing that I want to give you one last question was white rice because I know to me, white rice is not paleo.

Well, white rice is my favorite carb from a physique and performance standpoint and so you basically have no problem with white rice when someone’s gut is healthy?

CK: No, I don’t because it’s just starch. All of the things that can be potentially harmful about grains are in the seed, the bran. or the hull of the grain and that’s been removed with white rice and what remains is just starch and humans have been eating starch for two million years and we have the enzymes that are required to break it down.

A little interesting tidbit on white rice is studies have shown that even though on paper, brown rice contains more nutrients than white rice which is why it’s been thought of as being a healthier choice, it’s the whole grain, in fact we absorb more nutrients when we eat white rice.

JF: Wow.

CK: Yeah. The reason for that is that brown rice contains something called phytic acid which inhibits the absorption of the minerals that it contains and so unless you are doing extensive preparation like soaking it in an acid medium like water with some kefir or lemon juice and then rinsing it and doing this whole preparation that a lot of people are not willing to go through, you’re actually not going to absorb as much nutrition from brown rice and it can be potentially hard on the gut if you have gut issues so I think white rice, if you tolerate it is a perfectly fine carbohydrate source.

JF: What about if someone was going through a gut healing protocol, if they alternated sweet potatoes one night and white rice to another?

CK: Yeah, I think white rice is actually one of the easiest foods on your gut and really, really easy to digest and break down unless you have a rice intolerance.

Some people have, just like they have gluten intolerance, they have an intolerance to the proteins in rice and in those cases, of course it wouldn’t be a good idea.

That’s why I always recommend that people start with the basic paleo approach for 30 days and then in step two, you can have white rice back in and if you don’t have any reaction to it, then that would suggest you’re not one of the people that has the intolerance and you can enjoy it safely.

JF: Right. Awesome. Well, like I said Chris, this has been great. Thank you very much and the best of luck for the book tour.

CK: Yeah. It’s been a pleasure, Jason.


Chris Kresser is the author of Your Personal Paleo Code. You can find more information from Chris on his website,