Mattaroni and Cheeseslave

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Ann Marie Michaels of the very popular blog interviewed me last week and the podcast is now up and awaiting to be heard.  My voice is kinda muffled and the thing went on for about a day and a half, but overall was quite an excellent interview.  I hope you enjoyz it.  Plenty in the podcast about the latest topics – like dieting worsening body composition, the reasons to pursue a low omega 6 diet, and the importance of the metabolism.  Thanks Ann Marie and I look forward to more fabulous conversations with you in the future. 

180 Podcast on Cheeseslave


  1. Matt, I listened to the podcast first thing this morning. The combination of you and Ann Marie was irresistable–I just had to see what would be said! You guys covered so much ground, the whole conversation was really interesting to me. The volume was so low for me I had to huddle down in front of my computer speakers to hear it, but it was totaly worth it. :)

    By the way, when you mentioned me and the milk diet, my daughter got all wide-eyed and said, "Mommy, they're talking about you on there!" Thanks for the shout-out, so proud to be mentioned by two of my favorite bloggers.

    I hope that more WAPF folks take the omega-6 warning seriously. I don't like to get obsessed with shunning any food, but I think even on "traditional" foods diet you can easily get far more than is healthy if you're not thinking about it.

  2. Didn't listen yet but wonder how she felt when she learned that lard, one of her favorite fats, was high in omega 6. Guess we should stick to butter, tallow and coconut oil? Will be listening with glee to two of my favorite bloggers :-)

  3. Great podcast. Really wet my appetite for your upcoming show with Jimmy Moore. Been checking my rising body temp and it is hovering around 35.7c or 96 f which is pretty darn low. This has been eating starches again for about a month after nearly 2 years of a Paleo/starvation diet…..

    Hoping this will start rising soon. I have noticed that throughout the day my hands and body generally feel much warmer which is a good sign as I used to suffer from Ice Cold hands all day long pretty much…..

  4. Pregnancy weight gain came up in the podcast and it made me think.

    It seems that you often see women who never had a weight problem gain a lot of weight during pregnancy and have a hard time losing all of it afterward. I used to always tell myself:

    "Oh they just used pregnancy as an excuse to eat too much and to eat too much junk and that's why they gained so much I'll never do that I'll stay real food/low carb during my pregnancy and only gain ~15 easily lost pounds…" etc. etc.

    But of course now I realize that's an oversimplified view of the problem which really has to do with hormones, as Matt says in the podcast. I am hoping to be pregnant before too long and more than anything I want to have a healthy baby with no metabolic problems!

    So what happens that causes otherwise lean women to gain and keep pregnancy weight?? My mother, who had 3 children between 1965 and 1973 (she was 34 when she had me, the last) was skinny before, during and after her pregnancies. All the while eating toast and jam and drinking orange juice, etc.

    What oh what I wonder happens to reset some women's bodies to hold onto more fat after pregnancy? And how the heck can I avoid it?

  5. Gazelle,

    I've had 3 babies with differing patterns for weight loss during/after the pregnancies. My 1st pregnancy was diagnosed gestational diabetic and I was put on insulin very very early. Now I know I would have been better off just avoiding cookies and cake and soft drinks because my pancreas was working, but the insulin I was making was having to fight other pregnancy hormones. I remember my doctor saying something about the placenta works against insulin or something? Sorry I can't remember exactly how all that worked.

    Still, after he was born I could eat whatever I wanted, including cake all day, and was still shedding fat – as long as I kept nursing. Unfortunately I had problems with breastfeeding so I had to give it up after about 6 weeks. And I stopped losing weight.

    Then with my 2nd pregnancy, they diagnosed me again with GD, only this time I refused the insulin and just tried to keep my sugary snacks way down. The baby was born healthy, no sign of diabetes in me or him postpartum. I got to nurse him for about 5 months – and not only did the weight fall off while I was nursing, it continued to slowly come off for the next 2 years until I got pregnant again.

    Now I'm 5 years after having my 3rd baby (difficulties nursing him also, only nursed about 2 months) and still haven't lost the extra weight gained with him. I weigh about 20 lbs more than I did right before I got pregnant with the 3rd, which was probably about 20 lbs overweight in the first place. So I'm sitting at 40-50 lbs over a comfortable weight and hoping that a HED along with PUFA and fructose avoidance is going to heal my metabolism and get rid of the fat around my tummy.

    To summarize what I've observed – pregnancy definitely affects insulin levels, and most likely all of your hormonal interaction and regulation. Breastfeeding helps everybody, mommy and baby (daddy kind of liked it too – now i'm blushing.) Hope that helps. You sound like you'd be a wonderful mommy.

    Oh, and all three boys appear to be fine specimens, so far. The firstborn is going to pass his Dad in height in another year or two. Fortunately I didn't put them on Atkins with me for the last 1.5 years. They eat a HED.

  6. Thanks everybody. Like to hear about those hands warming up Chris. Dare I say, "Warm it up Chris!" (Kris Kross reference)

    As for pregnancy, I assume that most of the weight gain stems from general stresses on the system nutritionally and metabolically. Sure, in the old school they could eat jam and white bread, but nutritional reserves and metabolic rate were both much higher back then. Today it probably takes far more diligence in keeping omega 6 low, eating tons of unrefined food, avoiding excessive exercise, and many of the mistakes that our ancestors would never make when it comes to expecting or nursing mothers.

    Of course the most important thing is to breast feed the lil' tyke, but that is no "sure thing" for losing maternity weight.

    That's my suscpicion on it at least.

    Elizabeth, glad to hear that your daughter thought you were a superstar for a day. You're more of a superstar than she knows.

    And Ann Marie certainly wasn't bummed out about having to eat more brie, butter, whole milk, beef, foie gras, and shellfish – and less peanut butter, vegetable oil, and chicken skin.

  7. Chris, my beginning body temps were between 95 and 95.5 degrees about a month ago. This past week I got two 97 degree readings, I was very excited. So, don't worry, it will go up.

  8. Glad to hear I'm not the only one that still wants to say "I'm about to" or "That's what I was born to do!" after randomly hearing "Warm it up [Kriss]"

  9. Maybe we should make "Warm it Up" the official 180 theme song…. Another thing I have noticed is that exercise can be very detrimental to healing, days on which I do some weights or even intense cardio I feel like crap and my temp drops (hands feel cold later in the day) whereas on days I just do some bodyweight stuff, walking and maybe light cardio I feel great and even get a slight Body Temp boost from the exercise.

    Thanks for the encouragement Vida and Matt. Will definitely keep you guys updated.

  10. that was a great podcast!!

    thats funny how you have been moving all over the place working in different kitchens, thats pretty much my life except working at healthfood stores.

    So… i have been cutting all omega six out, ate the last of my bacon last week, and have been running off saturated fats, starches, and some natural sugars. I am taking on this experiment to see if i can lose the last bit of body fat that is hanging on my lower stomach, and some on my chest…. which i was thinking would be there forever, because of a survival reserve, but its probably omega six store houses… we will see if i can keep eating as much as i want without the omega six and see if i can shed it this year.


  11. Yes Chris. I don't care what people say about high-intensity exercise. I fare better eating ice cream and pizza and NOT doing high-intensity exercise than eating a perfect diet and doing lots of high-intensity exercise. I know there's something to that.

  12. Troy, I think that if you keep all pufas ultra-low (like a couple of grams a day) and keep the carbs higher you will be pleasantly surprised at how the body reacts to it.

  13. Good stuff Matt.

    Refreshing to hear a interview that the interviewee didn't have it all figured out and spitting decrees from a nutritional papacy.

    Kriss Kross, dude first "compact disk" I owned. Can you hang your hat on that?

  14. Does that mean we are related now?

  15. One thing I don't like that you've implied lately is that eating optimally can lead to being obsessed. You have got to keep things in perspective. In the next instance you say it takes a whole lot of work to follow your own dietary recommendations, and may appear rigid. You need to factor in all the variables and then look at what is healthy and then how you're going to follow it. Good quality food is also tasty. You have excellent recipes that are healthy, paying for less cash for the supplies, looks far tastier than Rachel Ray or Martha Stewart, and takes far less time. However, you contradict yourself time and time again. You don't give yourself enough credit on just how convenient this "rigid" diet is. Far less visits to the doctor, less $ being spent on medicinal aid. No matter what your habits are, it takes energy to act them out. Whether they are good habits or bad habits. Your shelves aren't as packed with all of those pointless isolated supplements and medicine. You pay less because you buy directly from the individuals. Organic boxes are healthier and a cheaper alternative to health food stores. Your focus, work ethic, love life, sexual output, are all improved with these healtheir choices.

    Just thought I'd chime in with my two cents.

  16. Your diet is far simpler than you make it out to be. It's easier too because now we get to understand just what we should eat and why. It doesn't hurt that the foods you recommend happen to taste better than what we normally eat. Dairy, eggs, meat, fat, healthy food additives, mashed sweet potatoes, high nutrient foods, macadamia nuts, salt. Delicious. We now know why we should avoid eating low calorie, high omega 6s, low sugar, no unhealthy food additives, no refined foods. You make life a lot easier. You're like the ultimate cook!!!

  17. Excellent podcast, Matt! Two of my favorite health people, chatting – what could be better?

    Daniel Holt – I believe that Matt is keeping things in perspective when he says that ("contradicts himself"). So many of us coming to this blog have many years of food obsession that has caused us much bodily and mental harm. There is a term for the food obsessed (Orthoexia), and it gets plopped right next to all the other eating disorders. He is simply reminding us that while we are trying very hard to eat well and care for ourselves, to not get too lost in the labyrinth of health (again). It's okay to eat crap sometimes if it means bonding with another human being. Sometimes being the key word there. It takes a LOT of effort for us food obsessed folks to not have a mental meltdown each time we have "fun food." The reminder is very welcome, from my perspective.

  18. Why quit a diet once you've healed if it's delicious, makes sense, and works for every aspect of your lifespan. You can eat whatever you want because this food tastes better than the junk food you made before. Maybe you don't have to be as strict, like add in stuff you had to avoid when you healed, but you still follow a great deal of the fundamentals of Matt Stone's teachings.

  19. Sarah – Make fun food delicious tasting food. Raw icecream with unheated honey, choclolate, cinnamon with all natural ingredients. Coconut cheese cake with olive oil. The list goes on. Not to mention that the recipes Matt has are delicious. People don't take in enough calories anyway so there really is nothing fattening about these healthy declicious alternatives.

  20. Daniel, I see where you're coming from but I have to say I agree with Matt. Sometimes it's convenient or enjoyable to eat out or over with friends, and in many cases that means not eating an "optimal" meal. I agree that healthy eating is delicious and completely enjoyable, but sometimes I just want to go a restaurant, sit down and enjoy a burger. Yes, I can make the same thing at home and probably healthier but that's not the point. Allowing people to be "imperfect" in their diet is refreshing and what's more, it's honestly required if you want to relate to real people in any way. Because for most people, eating every single meal day in and day out with optimal natural ingredients is unrealistic and can be very discouraging if someone claims that's what it takes to be healthy. I believe Matt's approach is balanced: overall, move your diet in a positive direction but don't obsess about making every facet of it perfect.

  21. Yes Pipparoni. You and I are totally twins now. We pretty much have been for a while now though.

    Elizabeth and Sarah-
    I'm glad you get the point I'm trying to get across. Sure, we enjoy wonderful homemade foods that are nourishing. Maybe we give some thought to choosing entrees that we know aren't deep fried or covered with vegetable oil or mayonaise when at restaurants. We develop good habits at home doing simple things like switching to coconut oil or keeping most sweets out of the house.

    But the bottom line is that we have to function as members of society, socialize, relax, let our hair down. Being healthy is not a religion. It's just something we do most of the time, enjoying the benefits of better health, but having the best of both worlds – being able to enjoy a restaurant meal, relax, and banish whatever neurosis we might have over the ingredients in that meal.

    I went out for breakfast this morning and had a waffle. An optimal food? No. Will it kill me or have any lasting impact on my health? No. So I enjoyed it.

    Those that do preach about an optimal diet, even if they were right about it being optimal (which they aren't), it is not an optimal mindset or lifestyle, which is what really counts.

  22. i have to totally agree about letting go of the food obsessions and just living while doing the best you can at home and even choosing things at restaurants. before i found this blog i was totally obsessed with how i ate. i had heard the term "orthoexia" and worried that that was me, but no one around me was knowledgeable or even cared so i had no one to talk to about it and would continue to sink deeper into my state of depression and craziness. i had so many "food rules" that my anxiety was through the roof and every time we ate out not only would i be the one to choose the place, but i would get extreme guilt complex b/c inevitably there would be no "optimal" meal and my son would always choose something i wished did not even exist. i actually at one point for about 2 years was what i would say 99% WAPF. everything that came into this house was to WAPF principles 100%. i would snap at anyone who even suggested getting a "treat" or anything not optimal in my mind.

    i thought i was healthy, and while i may have been physically, i definitely was not mentally. i was even like that during my second pregnancy and it went horribly. i was thinking b/c of the way i ate it would be a perfect pregnancy and labor. but i was miserable. and of course the hormones made me crave certain things and i ended up eating all kinds of things i had sworn off.

    so now i am so much more relaxed since i allow myself and family to eat just about everything and anything (well, you know what i mean, no super junk). i feel the best i have in a long time. when i allow myself to get pizza on a weeknight after a very long and tiring day i actually get giddy and feel very happy and have more energy to do the things that get cast off when i worry about what's for dinner. which i would not have felt previously–i would have felt like i was eating the Devil's food, lol. i also feel much more satisfied after a big meal where i don't focus on the elements and eat 3/4 of it, but eat as much as i can and then maybe have dessert.

    i still have issues with food, though, and i'd like to get free of them, but i don't really know how. nor do i have the mental capacity at this point trying to manage 2 kids one being a baby who still thinks it's fun to wake mama up 6 times a night to eat.

  23. Amen Team Smith-

    I too was "perfect" WAPF-style and developed health problems from it that were overcome with pizza of all things. This is not an exaggeration. As soon as I relaxed and began eating pizza like it was going out of style my irritability and indestion went away.

    If I could sum up the whole health movement, it would be that maintaining your health, if you're in pretty good shape, is much easier than it's given credit for. Seems those that try too hard usually end up being the worst off.

    But no matter what, the most important thing is that you feel good and are happy and enjoying your life and your food. If you are not, then it's not worth the time, effort, and struggle.

    Somewhere between the food-obsessed raw paleo person and Don Gorske, who has only eaten food from McDonald's since 1972 with glee and gusto, lies the perfect diet for thriving in the 21st century.

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