Matt Stone’s Diet Recovery: My Experience

by Ann Marie Michaels on August 12, 2012

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Get out of diet free

I’ve gotten a lot of requests to write this post.

Matt Stone’s e-book, Diet Recovery really helped me, and I wanted to share my experience with you all.

Since last fall, I’ve been working to balance my metabolism. I’ve had hormonal issues — notably low thyroid and low adrenal function — since I gave birth to my first child in 2007.

What helped me the most on my journey of hormone rebalancing was an e-book by Matt Stone of 180 Degree Health: Diet Recovery.

After reading that book this past January, I drastically increased my intake of carbohydrates (can you say lots and lots of pancakes, potato chips and hash browns fried in coconut oil?), and focused on getting a lot more sleep. In this post, I’ll share with you what happened, and how reading this book changed my life.

Pregnancy and Nursing are Hard on Your Hormones

I’ve always been thin. I could always eat whatever I wanted; never gained an ounce. Heavy cream, butter, bread, chocolate, pasta, French fries, pizza — it didn’t matter what I ate. I always stayed right in the range of 125-135 pounds. Even with a very sedentary lifetstyle of being on the computer all day and rarely getting any exercise.

It was only after I gave birth to my first child that I noticed that no matter what I did, I could not seem to drop those extra 20 or 30 pounds.

Kate squealing

Sound familiar? Of course it does. I can’t keep track of all the women I know trying to lose that extra baby weight. That’s because pregnancy and nursing wreak havoc on your hormones. That’s becasue stress lowers thyroid and adrenal function.

Don’t get me wrong, having a baby was, hands down, the best experience of my life.

Farmer's Market Day

I’m grateful every single day for my sweet precious child.

Playing the Guitar

It’s the stubborn post-pregnancy weight gain I’m not so crazy about.

Jerry Brunetti and Me

That’s a picture of me in the fall of 2008 (with Jerry Brunetti). I was about 15 pounds over my pre-baby weight then.

I had been eating pretty low carb at that point for about a year (ever since I learned about the Weston A. Price Foundation in the fall of 2007). Not super low carb, but much more low carb than I had ever eaten in my life.

I was fastidiously avoiding grains and sugar, and eating mostly meat, fish, good fats (coconut oil, butter) and vegetables.

All of this in an effort to eat more healthfully and to rid myself of the excess baby fat.

Did it work?

Unfortunately, no.

Low Carb Is Also Hard on the Hormones

Everyone claims that low carb is the way to lose weight. It did not work for me, and there are lots of folks over on Matt Stone’s blog who concur.

I found that I had to eat less and less, and restrict my carbs more and more.

The less I ate and the more I restricted, the less I could eat and the more I had to restrict — otherwise I would gain weight.

Enter Matt Stone

Matt Stone of 180 Degree Health

Matt Stone has this crazy idea that EATING MORE and RESTING MORE helps you, in the long run, heal your hormones and lose weight.

He puts a special emphasis on highly palatable, high-carb foods such as ice cream, bread, pasta, and pizza. Oh, yeah, baby!

His bottom line: EAT THE FOOD. Eat what makes you feel good. Stop restricting, stop counting calories, carbs, fat grams. Just eat the food.


It’s not a lose-weight-quick scheme. It’s a long-term program to nourish yourself, rebalance your hormones, and, in time, naturally lose weight.

According to Matt Stone, the key to healing is nourishing your hormonal glands with nutrition. And plenty of rest.

It made sense to me. There are so many super-restrictive diets out there. Low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie. The next thing you know, you’re eating low-everything.

I’d had enough of all the restricted diets. Because the more I restricted, the worse I felt. If I cheated even just a tiny bit on my diet, I gained weight. And felt even worse about myself.

I was ready for a big change. I was ready to give up dieting and finally get healthy.

So I gave Matt Stone’s Diet Recovery a try in January of this year.

I started eating a lot more, drastically boosted my carbohydrate intake, and focused on sleeping as much as possible. For a while, I was clocking 10-12 hours per night (ahh those were the days).

Hint: The trick is to go to sleep when your kids go down. Don’t stay up and do more work. Just go to bed when they do. I know, easier said than done. We have stuff to do late at night! ;-)

The Results

Did I lose weight? No. I gained weight. Since January, I’ve put on about 20 pounds.


But here’s the thing. My body temperature has soared. I’m up from the low 97s (classic sign of low thyroid function) to a steady 98.6.

I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

Why? Because I want to have another baby. I’m 44. I know, my days are numbered.

But I really think we can pull this off — and Kate can have a baby brother or sister. Sure, I would have liked to have my kids earlier in life, but those were not the cards I was dealt. I did not find my sweet husband until I was in my late 30s (after a bad first marriage).

Conceiving another child is a LOT more challenging when your hormones are not functioning properly. In my mind, getting my thyroid and adrenals up to speed is Job One.

So what? I’m carrying a few extra pounds. If that means I’m healthier (hello, 98.6!) and I can easily conceive another child (knock on wood), for me it’s totally worth it.

Will the weight come off eventually? I think it will.

But even if it doesn’t, there are far more important things to worry about in this lifetime than 20 or 30 extra pounds.

I’d rather be thinking about how to be the best mother I can be to my child, how I can be the best wife to my husband, how to grow a thriving business, planning our next trip to Europe, etc. Worrying about how to restrict my diet so that I can stay a few pounds lighter is not on my bucket list.

Orthorexia is Stressful and Unhealthy

I’m also grateful that I’m not orthorexic anymore. Prior to Matt Stone, I was convinced that grains were bad, potatoes were bad, fruit was bad. Bottom line, I was really difficult to live with. When food gets in the way of happy, healthy relationships, that’s not a good thing. And it’s stressful. (See above re: stress causing damage to the hormones.)

My husband and my daughter are so grateful now that I am much looser and easy about what we eat. Sure, I still try my best to ensure that we eat very nutritious meals as often as possible, but I don’t freak out if we eat not-so-healthy things every once in a while.

We still eat plenty of good, healthy foods — grass-fed meat and dairy, raw milk, lots of seafood, sprouted and soaked whole grains, coconut oil, and yes, we still take our cod liver oil.

We do the best we can but we don’t stress about it. If we go out to eat and have pizza with white flour or French fries cooked in soybean oil, it’s not a big deal. Most of the time we eat really well, so we don’t worry about when we don’t. The 80/20 rule works for us.

Thanks, Matt Stone! Air kiss! I’m so grateful that you helped me find my way to 98.6!

Want to Read More on This Topic?

Click here to read Matt Stone’s e-book, Diet Recovery.

You can also check out my recent blog posts on this topic:

Is It Wheat Belly or Cortisol Belly?
How Intermittent Fasting Caused My Insomnia and Belly Fat
Why I Ditched Low Carb
If You Hate Matt Stone, Don’t Read This Post
Carbohydrates Don’t Cause Insulin Resistance


A number of people have commented wanting to know what health benefits I have experienced since I did Matt Stone’s Diet Recovery.

There are a number of other things that improved in addition to just bringing my body temperature up and keeping it steady. (Which by itself is huge. I have been trying to get my body temperature up above the 97s since 2007 after I had the baby.)

- My libido is much higher (when I was low-carb it was non-existent).
– I have tons of energy — I work 12-16 hours a day right now with no breaks and have energy left over.
– I am not orthorexic anymore. I am much more relaxed. My husband and other family members are so much happier. We still eat well but I don’t get crazy about it.
– I no longer obsess about food. I eat what I want when I want. I don’t feel the need to restrict and binge. Getting off that roller coaster is so liberating.

By the way I just weighed myself for the first time in a month or so. I have lost 5 pounds 7 pounds. (5 pounds was last week when I was having my period and had water weight.) UPDATE: It’s a month later and I’ve now lost 10 pounds since I stopped RRARFing in June.

So now I’m about 10 pounds over what I was after I had the baby — and I was not overweight then. I am 25 pounds over my pre-baby weight. I was on the thin side before I had Kate.

So I’m not sure if I am officially overweight or not — but if I am it’s only 5 or 10 pounds. I think as I start exercising again (I have been very sedentary due to working long hours), the weight will come off in time.


June 22, 2013: It’s almost a year later (10 months) and I have now lost 20 pounds in 10 weeks, and gone from 42% body fat to 21%. I have just 13 more pounds to go to reach my pre-pregnancy weight.

Click here to read how I’m doing it:

How I Lost 10 Pounds in One Month with My FitBit

I’m still eating whatever I want, just less. It varies, but according to my FitBit log, I eat around 35-50% carbs and 40-60% fat, the rest protein. I don’t TRY to do that, though. I just eat what I want, but I stay under the amount I’m allowed to have according to the FitBit.

And I did what Matt said — I waited until I fantasized about exercise to start. Now I can’t wait to get my exercise in every day — I wake up excited to jump on the treadmill desk!

We’re kicking off the FitBit Challenge tomorrow (June 23).

And YES! My body temperature is still a steady 98.6.

What’s Your Experience?

Do you struggle with your weight? Do you have symptoms of low thyroid or low adrenal function? What’s working for you? Please share your comments below.

Photo credit: Get out of diet free by, on Flickr

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{ 322 comments… read them below or add one }

Renee August 12, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Perfect post! To the point, real, and truth! Love it! And I’m loving my higher body temps and less hormonal moods since deciding to just eat the food :) Air kiss to Matt from me too!


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 7:05 PM


It was so great to talk to you about this the other day!!! Hugs!


Donielle @ Naturally Knocked Up August 12, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Yay for higher temps!!! :-) Great job AM! Over the past few weeks I’ve been so busy running errands, playdates at teh park or beach, etc that I haven’t eaten nearly enough – and my temps show it. Down a whole half degree or so!

We did a low-carb diet for a couple of months when we did the SCD diet to help with some digestive issues and I felt like junk. So I started sneaking in other foods when my family wasn’t around. Man was I happy when their problems were fixed and I didn’t have to hide my food anymore!

My hormones do so much better when I eat a mostly whole foods diet, get plenty of sleep (someone tell that to my kids!), and have less stress. So I don’t stress over the “perfect” diet – it just isn’t out there. :-)


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:15 PM


Yeah, I hate low carb! It’s sheer misery for me.

I just like eating like a normal person instead of counting carb grams.


Michael August 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Unfortunately, Matt Stone didn’t work for me. I think I might have parasites which I am desperately trying to get rid of first and then I will give his RRARF another try.


Jen August 12, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Michael, I also have parasites and this way of eating would ruin me. I definitely suggest resolving the parasite issue first.


Aubri August 12, 2012 at 3:51 PM

I was creeping around on Matt’s page and people were talking about parasites being cured from the diet itself. Your body should be able to clean itself out if it has what it needs. I didn’t research much but it was interesting.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:16 PM


From what I have read, an adequate amount of coconut oil on a daily basis will fix any parasite problem.


Sarah August 12, 2012 at 9:15 PM

How much is adequate? Thanks!


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Probably somewhere between 1-3 TBS a day


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Depends on the size/weight of the person


Beth August 13, 2012 at 3:55 AM

A lot of people also have good results with food grade diatomaceous earth. This is actually what a lot of farmers use as a natural dewormer for their animals. I gave this to my whole family in conjunction with coconut oil when my daughter had a case of pinworms and it really does work.


Eric February 23, 2013 at 2:04 AM

Coconut oil and a raw carrot.


Margaret August 12, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I’m curious where you feel GAPS fits into this? I know you often direct people to it, but Mat Stone doesn’t seem to believe in it. I have auto-immune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s), PolyCystic Ovarian syndrome, Candida overgrowth and fibromyalgia. My temps have been up in the last 8 months or so that I have been doing GAPS (or something fairly close to it, 80/20 GAPS/not GAPS). I am overweight (240 lbs at 5’7″), so I can’t imagine gaining 20-30 lbs more, especially since I want to have another baby. It’s just really confusing when I hear awesome things about two programs that are completely opposite/contradictory. Then throw in the whole phytic acid/tooth decay debate with grains and I want to just pull my hair out. Are you still soaking/sourdoughing the grains that you are eating? Thanks for any advice!


Amy Love @ Real Food Whole Health August 12, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Margaret, I was in that very same boat….and it was a combination of GAPS and just plain good REAL FOOD eating, plus adopting a non-toxic lifestyle that helped me. I had to address candida, parasites, and hormonal imbalance including adrenal fatigue and thyroid issues. I’d be happy to visit with you one-on-one if you’d like, just email me. info (at) realfoodwholehealth (dot)com to answer more specific questions to help you find the right path.


jessica graham March 9, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Amy, I hope you dont mind, but i just sent you an email with a few questions :)


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Hi, Margaret

If you are allergic to foods then GAPS is really good — for a period of time. Just try to make sure you don’t eat too low carb. Include lots of fruit and honey on GAPS, and introduce whole soaked grains and other starches when you can.

I don’t think anyone should have to be on GAPS for more than a few years. And starches and dairy and whole soaked grains can be introduced as soon as you are ready for them.


Jenny August 13, 2012 at 11:25 AM

I have PCOS, too, and even on low-carb/grain-free “healing” protocols, my condition worsened. Right now I’m returning to basic traditional foods including moderate intake fats (particularly monounsaturated), nutrient-dense real foods like liver and oily fish, abundant vegetables and a moderate amount of grains, grain-like seeds and pulses and limited portions. I also think with severe cases of PCOS or other conditions, medications or medicinal herbs can support recovery. Further, physical activity plays a huge role in PCOS. So does adequate sleep.


Tara August 12, 2012 at 11:26 AM

The one thing that I want to ask is about your digestive system – I know you did GAPS and had leaky gut – so do you think it was healed and this is why you can eat freely? Also, according to The Fiber Menace fiber will wreak havoc on your digsetive system – are you eating relatively low fiber? I am like you – low adrenals and thyroid and with GAPS/low carb I have put my Hashi’s in remission and lost a ton of weight. My eyebrows have become a little fuller and my mind is sharp. I haven’t done the broth too much lately but eat cod liver and only recently had a little potatoes and rice (did GAPS intro about 6 mths ago) and I am feeling a little more energy. Curious about whether you take synthroid, armour or nothing and if you have any liver issues. After all of what I have been doing, my eyes show some liver issues so trying to reduce stress and eat more (always had this problem although I have almost always been overweight) – and adding in what I suspect is a leptin issue, things are getting better. Now just to hit the gym to tone up as I have a lot of loose flesh after losing 60 lbs – about 10-20 lbs from highschool weight.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:21 PM


I did GAPS a few years ago for a month or two. I healed my digestive system and gluten intolerance back when I was 25 (mid 90s). I’ve been able to eat gluten and sugar ever since.

I do eat relatively low fiber. I do eat sprouted bread.

I’m taking desiccated thyroid — but I just started taking it — and Iodoral. I feel like my thyroid still needs some nourishment.


Melynda Hoffman August 12, 2012 at 6:32 PM

I just stated Idoral. It’s been wonderful!!


AponBondhu August 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Dear CheeseSlave,

How did you reverse gluten intolerance? Please advise.



trish March 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM

yes, how did you reverse the gluten intolerance?
I have horrible mood swings, lethargy, and back pain with gluten!


Kendahl @ Our Nourishing Roots August 12, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Such a great post, and certainly one that I wholeheartedly agree with. Matt has freed me from a lot of unhealthy thought patterns and practices. It’s a process, but I feel like Diet Recovery has gotten me more on track than anything else I have tried (and I have tried a LOT of diets).


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:22 PM


Yes, that’s the biggest thing for me. We can get so crazy about food. I feel very free now. When I found WAPF, I swung all the way on the pendulum. Finding Matt Stone has helped me achieve balance and stay in the middle.


Rayne Tsering August 12, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Wow, just eat the raw Primal diet, and eat all of everything you want — raw meats, dairy, eggs, fruits, veggie juices, raw honey, raw raw raw, and you will have perfect health, and be the perfect weight. Not over, not under. Overweight is a sign that the body is fighting toxins. Eat lots of raw fat, that’s what you need. Read, “We Want To Live” by Aajonus Vonderplantiz. Don’t just google “the primal diet” because most of the jerks that come up don’t know a thing about the real Primal Diet which is a trademark of Aajonus V. and not just “what the cavemen ate” — has nothing to do with that.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:24 PM


Thanks for the suggestion but no thanks! I like the way we are eating now and I don’t feel like it is too extreme. I like going out to restaurants when we want to. I like not worrying so much.

If the Aajonus diet is working for you, keep doing it!


Liz August 12, 2012 at 11:36 AM

I would like some opinions on RRARF for people who are legitimately overweight. I’m sure that my hormones and adrenals can use some help, but I really can’t handle the idea of potentially adding 20 pounds to my 206 pound frame. Any input?


Anneliza August 12, 2012 at 2:11 PM

I wrote a nice detailed response but then the application crashed. Suffice it to say his approach made me worse with going from 190 at 5’3″ to 220 with terrible bloating and edema plus my diabetes became much harder to control. Sorry, I need to be fairly low carb. His theories on reversing diabetes are just that: theory. Besides, Weston. Price’s work shows many different types of food group percentages, there is no perfect one for everyone.”


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:26 PM


Agreed, we are all different. I do think diabetes is probably largely hormonal. Have you had your thyroid checked?


Alive&Well January 1, 2014 at 8:41 PM

You are right Anneliza! Dr George Kosmides wrote “How to cure type 2 diabetes in 90 days” and he can tell you a lot about carbs. He will answer your questions & show you the way if you write him :)


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:25 PM


I just don’t think 20 or 30 pounds is a lot to put on. And I think it’s worth it if you can get your temps up and be healthier.

Being thin (or thinner) with low body temps does not mean you are healthy.


Heather July 15, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Gaining 20-30 pounds if you are a fairly normal weight is fine but I am at 210 pounds. I wish that Matt Stone would have talked in a little more detail about people who are very overweight. I can’t stand the thought of being 250 pounds and 5’5″.
Any advice?


img March 8, 2015 at 10:23 AM

Matt Stone doesn’t seem to know much about dealing with significantly overweight cases. I would be cautious following his advice because of that. His examples feature people of normal weight, at least I have never read a case study of his where he helps someone lose a lot of weight.


deb August 12, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I love you Ann Marie! So happy to see you happy and worrying about food and weight is just a life killer and no fun.. Matt helped me out of that hole too. :-)
See you at Animal! Manga!


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:26 PM

When are we going to Animal? I’m out this week. Next week?


debbie August 12, 2012 at 7:29 PM

next week aug 23rd I think? Have fun :-)


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Sure just let me know! <3


Pattyla August 12, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Well my temp went way up on a very low carb diet. I’m now weaning off my thyroid meds and still very low carb. In fact I felt much worse eating moderate carbs. I’m surprised you haven’t posted your lab test results to show how your hormones are getting better. Have you tested aldosterone? That being off can explain your temps going up and that is very difficult to treat.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:27 PM


I did lab tests a while back and I believe I did post them but haven’t done any recently. The body temperature is good enough for me. I’ll do another lab test when I get around to it — much too busy these days!


nosogirl August 12, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Sorry, I can’t buy into this theory. You’ve basically said that it’s okay to eat whatever you want if it makes you feel better. I suspect that it makes you feel better emotionally rather than physically. And potentially gives you a way to rationalize some of the unhealthy foods you are eating. In the end, it you’re okay with gaining another 20 lbs over the 15 or so extra you said you were already carrying, and you think that your arteries and heart can handle all those carbs and fried foods, that is certainly up to you. I would just prefer that you don’t try and make it sound like adding those pounds and eating the way you are is a really good thing.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:34 PM


You’ve basically said that it’s okay to eat whatever you want if it makes you feel better.

That’s not what I said. We do not eat Frosted Flakes and Pop Tarts for breakfast, candy for lunch, and Doritos for dinner.

We typically eat eggs and sprouted toast with butter for breakfast, a sandwich on sprouted bread for lunch, and dinner is either meat or fish with whole grains and vegetables. We eat lots of grass-fed meat and dairy, wild-caught seafood, properly prepared whole grains, good fats (such as coconut oil) and whole foods. And we take cod liver oil and fermented foods and probiotics.

I don’t think this is what you would call “eating anything”.

I suspect that it makes you feel better emotionally rather than physically. And potentially gives you a way to rationalize some of the unhealthy foods you are eating.

I feel better emotionally AND physically. Like I said, we eat the 80/20 way. 80% of the time, we eat really well. I don’t worry about the times we eat ice cream that is not grass-fed or have some French fries cooked in soybean oil. It is not every day.

In the end, it you’re okay with gaining another 20 lbs over the 15 or so extra you said you were already carrying, and you think that your arteries and heart can handle all those carbs and fried foods, that is certainly up to you.

It’s temporary, I think. It takes time for the body to heal. I’m OK with adding a few extra pounds for a period of time if it is what my body needs.

I’m not worried at all about my arteries. In fact, if you go back and read the work of Broda Barnes who fed his patients desiccated thyroid, not one of them had heart disease. Not a single one.

I would just prefer that you don’t try and make it sound like adding those pounds and eating the way you are is a really good thing.

I am not trying to make it SOUND like it’s a good thing. I really do think it’s a good thing. If you don’t agree, that’s fine with me.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Oh and PS: I don’t have any problems with fried foods. Never have. (Read the blog, look at the recipes.)

We fry our tortilla chips and chicken nuggets etc. in coconut oil at home. I just don’t stress about eating fried foods out at restaurants because it is not every day. 80% of the time, we do it right.


Amy August 13, 2012 at 8:25 AM

This is how people recovering from eating disorders are taught to eat. And it’s also extremely effective for long-term weight maintenance. Tune into your body, listen to what it needs and feed it. It actually results in eating less junk, counter-intuitively. For me, doing this made binges stop, and has resulted in excellent body composition. It took several years. When you’ve been starving (which many dieters also are, even if they’re not anorexic), your body puts on fat quickly, but it does come off if you heal your metabolism.


cheeseslave August 13, 2012 at 8:34 AM


Thank you, you said that much better than I could have.

I think this is the key point:

It took several years.

It’s so crazy how so many of us (especially women) are deathly afraid of an extra 10-20 pounds. And we’re willing to stay in a metabolic diet prison for our whole lives to not risk any extra weight gain.


Beth November 1, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Amy, I think you’re spot on. My husband knew a gal in high school who was anorexic. She had to go to a clinic to be treated for it. They had her eat LOTS of pizza and ice cream.

I gained weight doing RRARF, but so many things are better for me, including my stress levels. Food restriction IS stressful, and it’s hard on the body. So is starvation (which is what happens when a person stops eating the calories he/she needs each day).


Lauren Grosz August 12, 2012 at 1:11 PM

This doesn’t sound like success to me either. There is nothing healthy about extra weight before during or after pregnancy. Women with extra weight, and who put on more than 30 lbs. during pregnancy labor longer than women who were a normal weight to begin with. Chris Kresser just put up some good info about calorie intake. Keeping my fat high, but reducing my calories worked beautifully for me. I’m 5’6 and back to 130 lbs. At 46 I still have great muscle tone and lots more energy than I had when I weighed 147. Also, because I look good naked my libido is higher. I too had tried all myriad of diet protocols and nothing worked until I dialed back my calories. I love this approach. We eat really well, but I don’t have to be a nut about it anymore. Starches, properly prepared grains, even pizza (honestly was never my weakness) make into the pic these days and I can still shimmy into my skinny jeans. I know it sounds superficial, but the real food movement will have trouble gaining a foothold, if our brightest stars look like they’d be better off following Jenny Craig.


debbie August 12, 2012 at 2:29 PM

I don’t know about that 30lb mark… I gained 38 lbs during pregnancy and had a text book perfect vaginal delivery, no drugs, no episiotomy.. dilated one centimeter per hour.. perfect baby girl. And I was 42.


Sara r August 12, 2012 at 5:39 PM

I had a perfect pregnancy and ate mostly traditional and gained 40 pounds. Labor was a whopping 2.5 hours. I think that there are many other factors other than weight gain that effect labor duration. Provider bias being one, and amount of physical exercise being another. Not to mention position of the baby…I could go on and on.


Lauren Grosz August 12, 2012 at 6:29 PM

How long did it take to loose your baby weight and were you an ideal weight to begin with?


debbie August 12, 2012 at 7:31 PM

my baby weight fell off fairly fast. I was 5 ft 6 inches 130 lbs when I got pregnant. Not sure what your point is


Lauren Grosz August 12, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Just curious. Wasn’t at all making a point. Clearly it was a question and asked out of interest. You were slender when you got pregnant. Loosing the weight was probably easy for you. AnnMarie would not enjoy similar benefits based on her body composition at this point in time. That’s all. Gaining above and beyond what a fetus needs to be well developed doesn’t do the mommy any favors. Struggling to loose lots of baby weight is a drag.


Amy August 13, 2012 at 8:28 AM

I’m sure a huge part of it is WHAT people are eating while pregnant. If you gain 30 pounds by eating tons of pastries (which I’ve seen people do), doubt it will help with health or labor ease. Putting on 30 lbs from lots of whole milk, potatoes, liver, etc. results in very different effects.


Sara r. August 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM

I was average weight for my height before that pregna ncy. I am almost 5 months pp and I have 15 pounds left to lose.


Sara August 13, 2012 at 1:11 PM



cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:36 PM


I’m not all the way better yet. Please don’t jump to conclusions and assume that I’m “healed”.

It will take some time for me to normalize. I’m OK with that.

What I’m aiming for is good health. Happy hormones are more important to me than a number on a scale.


Lauren Grosz August 12, 2012 at 10:10 PM

I’m not assuming anything. Sliding into obesity is not healing and I don’t care what your temps are. If you believe it is that is your business. Dean Dwyer says, “Your body is your work of art.” I think he’s right. I have no interest in being skinny-fat. But I’m really over looking at women are age who have let themselves go.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 10:15 PM

@Lauren Grosz

I’m not obese. And I do not believe I’ve let myself go.

If that’s what you think, that’s your opinion. To each his own.

My job right now in my opinion, is not to have a perfect body — but to create a perfect child.


Lauren Grosz August 13, 2012 at 6:45 AM

AnnMarie, you’ve been talking about having a baby for about two years now if memory serves. In fact, I remember reading that you had the entire birth planned around the dates of the WAP conference. Are you not able to conceive? How do you know you need to gain extra weight over the weight you’d already gained with Kate and weren’t able to finish loosing? Who says higher temps accomplished through extra weight equals a perfect baby?


cheeseslave August 13, 2012 at 7:37 AM


I did not have health insurance for a while — it has not been easy to get as a self-employed person who wants maternity coverage. We also made a lot of decisions regarding where we wanted to live (Vegas or here) and about how we are going to grow the company. So we haven’t been trying to conceive for a while. So I don’t think I have any problems conceiving — we haven’t been actively trying all this time.

How do you know you need to gain extra weight over the weight you’d already gained with Kate and weren’t able to finish loosing? Who says higher temps accomplished through extra weight equals a perfect baby?

I guess maybe you haven’t read Matt Stone’s work?

When you go low carb and/or you have a sluggish thyroid gland (low thyroid often happens as a result of going low carb), you put on extra weight, and you gain weight eating less.

Matt’s plan is all about overeating for a period of time to nourish the body and give it a chance to recover and balance your hormones. It’s also about getting over being orthorexic and restricting food.

So it’s not that I gained weight in order to have a healthy baby. I gained weight in order to bring my body temperature up and help heal my hormones. It absolutely worked for me.

I’ll run a hormone test in the near future and see what it says but I’m sure I will have a great report.

There are a number of other things that improved in addition to just bringing my body temperature up and keeping it steady.

– I no longer need reading glasses. I was using reading glasses every day in Dec/Jan. As of April, I never use them.

– The little red dots appearing on my skin are beginning to fade and disappear.

– My libido is much higher (when I was low-carb it was non-existent).

– I have tons of energy — I work 12-16 hours a day right now with no breaks and have energy left over.

– I am not orthorexic anymore. I am much more relaxed. My husband and other family members are so much happier. We still eat well but I don’t get crazy about it.

– I no longer obsess about food. I eat what I want when I want. I don’t feel the need to restrict and binge. Getting off that roller coaster is so liberating.

By the way I just weighed myself for the first time in a month or so. I have lost 5 pounds.

So now I’m 10 pounds over what I was after I had the baby — and I was not overweight then. I am 25 pounds over my pre-baby weight. I was on the thin side before I had Kate.

So I’m not sure if I am officially overweight or not — but if I am it’s only 5 or 10 pounds.

I really do not think this is a big deal, and I do believe the weight will come off, especially as I start being active again. Unfortunately working 12-16 hours right now is a fact of life until we get our revenue up. I did just join the YMCA and I’m looking forward to weight training, yoga, pilates and swimming!

Funny, Matt Stone said 6 months ago that you shouldn’t start exercising until you start looking forward to it and dreaming about it. I thought that would never happen but it finally has!


cheeseslave August 13, 2012 at 7:38 AM

I’m going to post this up in the original post as an update.


Lauren Grosz August 13, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Thank you so much for the very detailed reply. I did Mark Sisson’s recommendations for Primal for 30 days and thought I was going to go bonkers!! Mentally it took a real toll and I gained 5 lbs. It seems to work best for people who have lots and lots of weight to loose. I used to be really jealous of the success first time dieters seem to have instantaneously.

I am a bit familiar with Matt’s work, but am certainly no expert re his recommendations. Of course, it’s understandable that sometimes life happens and delaying a pregnancy makes sense. I just wasn’t clear on why you decided that this was necessary for creating a perfect baby. I appreciate the healing of your hormones clarification.

Clearly, you’ve had many benefits that have you excited about his protocols. Being able to work the number of hours you do with sustained energy is fantastic!!

I guess I just find it quite sad to scroll through the comments and see many recovering orthorexics within the WAP group. Once I discovered those principles I was completely liberated. I’ve had to tweak different things, but I’ve never had to abandon even one of them to have radiant health and wellness. We are a foodie family. I am forever indebted to Sally Fallon Morrell for all she has taught me. Charlotte turned 11 this year and her body composition and bone structure is drastically different than most of her peers. I feel badly for these children.
I completely disagree with the shortsighted mentality of you’re going to die someday. That is what has gotten us into this mess. No kidding, of course we all have to die. But instead of dying the way most people do today, we can simply fall into a very deep sleep in our old age. The human toll and suffering caused by needless illnesses is huge. I lost both of my parents in my mid-thirties. Barring an awful accident this is not something anyone my age should have been familiar with. On the flip side, parents have a responsibility to be alive as long as possible for their children. It is cavalier to be flippant about something as important as our health. One needed be strident and fixated to embrace the wisdom handed to us by Dr. Price.
I really look forward to hearing more about your progress! I have a feeling you’ll have an exciting announcement for us in the near future!


bobcat August 14, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Ann Marie,

For what it’s worth, if I were you, I’d just start trying to conceive now, no matter what your body is up to hormonally. I would like to conceive soon too, and have been worried about thyroid, adrenals, etc…but from what I gather, only the sex hormones will affect a pregnancy? Or am I wrong? Anyone know?

I think a lot of women have messed up thyroid, adrenals, and don’t even know it….yet somehow, healthy babies continue to be born. It seems to me that the real risk to the baby is using older eggs, so might as well prioritize time itself over adrenals, that is what I have concluded. Note that this is my own personal logic. Just start, make sex a priority….maybe being pregnant will even reduce your stress level? For me, waiting-while-wanting a baby and all the while trying for perfect health is more stressful than just having baby-making sex, which is fun and reduces stress.


Susan H. December 31, 2012 at 9:38 AM

I realize that this is an older post, but just read this and wanted to ask a specific question.

You mentioned elk velvet as possibly helping with not need reading glasses. I’ve never heard of elk velvet until now, and it sounds like a beneficial supplement. Do you/can you recommend a particular brand? It’s so hard to know which brands have the ingredients and amounts needed to give positive results without doing harm. Do you mind telling what dosage you took and how often, also, or do you just recommend following the recommended dosage on the bottle?



Amy August 13, 2012 at 8:29 AM

Lauren, you need to read Ancel Keys Starvation study. See what happened to the men after they started eating again. Gaining a lot of weight (and then it started coming off naturally) was indeed part of the healing process.


cheeseslave August 13, 2012 at 8:32 AM


Thanks, I really need to write a post about that!


Lauren Grosz August 13, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Amy, I haven’t seen this study. Though, I don’t know that I’d be much interested in anything Ancel Keyes had to say. I was hardly on a starvation diet. Even though my calories were restricted my fat intake was quite liberal. I’ve never craved processed carbs. I have no fear of eating starches with fat and that worked out quite well for me. I made sure never to loose more than two pounds a week. Adding extra calories is very simple thus ensuring weight loss happens in a predictable smooth way.
Sarah Pope had her friend Paula Jaeger do a series on how she lost 10 lbs. It’s interesting to note her calorie intake.


cheeseslave August 13, 2012 at 10:01 AM


I think Paula Jaeger looks WAY too thin and her diet seems excessively restrictive. If it works for her, great, but I would not want to live like that.


Sarah DJ August 12, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Just wanted to add that I’m 5’4″, was 115 lbs before pregnancy, and put on 65 lbs during pregnancy. I was actively following a high-protein diet and Bradley exercises through the pregnancy, slept through the first 6 hrs of labor, and had my baby 6 hours after waking up in hard labor. You probably didn’t mean to make such a sweeping generalization, so just thought I’d add my stats to the conversation. :-) Appreciated reading your perspective as well, Lauren.


Lauren Grosz August 12, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Sarah, you were really petite. I’m glad things went well for you. :-) But your weight gain during pregnancy lands you in the Kate Hudson Catherine Zeta Jones category. We heard so much about their struggles to loose weight afterwards. Any thoughts on what you might do differently. In fact, Kate Hudson completely changed her eating plan with her most recent pregnancy. Apparently, she just couldn’t go through it all again.


Sarah DJ August 13, 2012 at 6:41 AM

Thankfully I didn’t have the pressure Kate and Catherine have. I don’t keep up on the stars, so I’ll have to see how Kate changed her diet. I focused on being a mommy without any hard exercise, and it took about a year and a half to return to my ideal weight. I have a slight diastasis recti that I am now attacking with T-Tapp. :-)
The only things I would do differently are to go into pregnancy with stronger abs next time (hence the T-Tapp), and I’ve considered doing the Brewer diet instead of just sticking to whole foods. I allowed myself to eat some limited sugar. Definitely didn’t go overboard, but none would be better than some. :-)
After pregnancy I learned that I had an infestation of ascaris roundworm and a very leaky gut with many IgG reactions to what I was eating. I know the parasite could have contributed to the weight gain as well, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens next time now that it’s been resolved.
I think we probably disagree on the importance of temperature relating to hormonal issues and healing, but I’m glad to hear you don’t have issues that way and are able to be fit and have that high libido!

I always enjoy reading the comments on your posts, Anne Marie. :-) We think a lot alike, but I like hearing other perspectives as well.


Ellen August 13, 2012 at 7:35 AM

Following what stars purport to do to lose weight or during their pregnancies would be dangerous IMO. Firstly, they don’t tell the truth usually, have armies of personal trainers, nutritionists, plastic surgeons etc. Secondly, both of the hollywood stars you named smoke cigarettes. So, focusing on weight being the most important health factor is perhaps misguided.

With my 3 pregnancies and all the morning sickness etc I couldn’t imagine also being on a diet as well. I ate what my body craved and although i gained weight (70-50-40 lbs for each – eating raw milk, ice cream, grass-fed meat, milkshakes, fruit, etc), i birthed 3 healthy babies – 2 of which had a very short labor time. And lost the weight afterwards.

I am also not obese or ‘sliding into obesity’ with Matt’s diet (was just at the drs with my daughter and looked at the BMI chart) and my labs which were recently done are all excellent including my fasting glucose.

I think it’s dangerous to focus only on being thin as the biggest indicator of good health. After starting matt stone’s diet, yes i gained weight but i also decreased my thyroid meds and feel about 100% better – better sleep, digestion, energy, etc. The lowest i ever weighed was 105 at 5’5″ and I was extremely unhealthy and starving myself.


Kat March 24, 2013 at 4:35 PM

I fully agree with Ellen’s comments – thin certainly doesn’t equal healthy. If that were the case, runway models and bulimics would be excellent role models. And following “stars” is very dangerous indeed – these are people who make a living through media attention and are generally very psychologically (and often physically) ill.
We need to stop focusing on fad diets, People Magazine and BMI charts and start getting in touch with our own individual needs. That begins by listening to our bodies. Granted, sometimes food cravings can be misleading, but I think that if we pay attention to the way we feel after eating certain foods for a few months our bodies will start to remember, and the cravings will start to diminish. A high quality, non-restrictive, whole foods diet seems like the best thing to aim for from a nutritional standpoint. Then if we glut on junk during those occasional cravings or restaurant outings, it won’t hurt us because our bodies are receiving optimal nourishment from a good foundational diet.


Josefina September 28, 2012 at 11:51 AM

For both my pregnancies I gained 50 lbs (I normally weigh 100-110). The first labor was long, the second was super short. The first I labored in a hospital which was very uncomfortable for someone as private as me. The second I had at home, with only my husband present.


Kathleen K August 12, 2012 at 1:43 PM

I need to loose 50 pounds. I feel MUCH better eating carbs, rather than low carb, but after putting on almost 10 lbs, I’m very nervous about continuing this…..I need to understand how and when the weight will come off. Overeating to pack on the pounds isn’t fixing the problem. Will the pounds really come off?


Katherine J March 12, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Over eating a la Matt Stone is not about losing weight. It is to heal the damage done by being overly restrictive with diet and/or over exercising. It is to help you get your energy back and let your body repair the damage starvation causes.

I think for most people the weight loss comes eventually when their body has healed sufficiently and they have learned to eat to appetite. At some point, their appetite changes to want more healthy foods, less junk and also the increased energy makes them move more. Once the metabolism is healed, eating less and drinking more no longer causes the problems it did with a low metabolism. This doesn’t mean eating too little – after eating more than your body needs for long enough for it to heal you can then reduce calories to lose weight, but still be eating more than you were when restricting and with low metabolism. The hard part is knowing when you’re healed, not jumping to restriction or exercise out of panic over weight gain, but also not continuing to eat too much and do too little once you are healed out of worry that your old symptoms will return. And monitoring your body’s reaction to either exercise or less food. If you get too stressed, energy or temps drop, etc. then rein in what you’ve been doing. Though I suspect that once your metabolism has healed, you just want to move more & maybe eat less.

I think the cases where eating more has sparked instant weight loss are very rare and not the norm.

Unfortunately, I also read that those of us who went low carb are the ones who gain the most weight. Sorry to be the bearer of news. I put on 5lbs the 1st week, then another 5lbs the second week (all very text book so far – and 10lbs supposedly just water weight which will drop off by week 6 -8). Weeks 6 – 8? I’d gained another half a stone. Then every other period, another half a stone – 6 months later I’m 40 lbs ish over where I started. I also wake up without stiffness, aches & pains. I have had lots of energy the past month (barring 3 days when I had a cold). I am moving more, and wanting to exercise like I used to. I’m still eating a bit too much. I’m listening to my bodies cues though, and the past couple of days not eaten extra if my calories were under goals, so I’m hopeful. The biggest thing has been accepting the extra weight, and not being upset about it. I feel better and that’s what matters most. Yes, I’d like to lose some fat as part of moving forward with my health and getting healthier & stronger. But that doesn’t mean I dislike my body. If I have to stay fat to be healthy, so be it. If I can lose fat and get to my old size, e size bigger and feel healthy – that’d be great too.


Susan August 12, 2012 at 2:34 PM

I’m really torn on where I stand regarding this whole matter. On one hand RRARFing for 6 months did bring my temps up, stabilized my periods and my PMS, but on the other hand, I am now a cow.

When I first crashed from zapped adrenals, I was a size 6. When I put on a bit of weight and went to a size 8, I was fine with it. At 5’9, I probably looked a bit better. Within a year, I was up to a 10. Still, I went with it because I could pull it off with my height. But after RRARFing, I am now a 16 -barely. I went shopping to buy some clothes and left in tears. Every sundress I put on looked like a whale in curtains. Every size pants gave me a muffin top, my belly is so big now.

When I first started my adventure with Matt, I initially felt great. I was doing stuff I hadn’t done in years my energy was so high, but that only lasted a couple of weeks. Soon, I was right back to being weak, tired and sore all over. I kept eating however believing it would heal my frazzled adrenals and thyroid issues. But I just never saw the relief I was looking for physically.

I have appreciated that Matt made me calm down about being so anal about what we eat. I got so focused on WAPF that I was psycho about what we could and couldn’t eat. I’m sure my family is happy about that, too. But since we’ve eaten more carbs, my husband has gone up 1 size and my daughter 3.

I don’t know if I will ever be happy with my current size, but that is proabably because I don’t feel well. I rarely leave my house because I am just to weak to do so, But that doesn’t bother me because the last time I saw a friend in the store that I hadn’t seen in a while, he was floored at my size and was kind enought to remind me that I wasn’t even this huge when I had my daughter. Stuff like that is the last thing I want to hear. Especially because I know its true.

Adrenal fatigue has taken 3.5 years of my life now and the person I feel most sorry for is my husband because I don’t act like the girl he married, and I definitely don’t look the the girl he married 13 years ago. So here I am, pushing a size 18. I stopped RRARFing in June and my weight has not budged -even when I cut back the amount of carbs I was consuming. So now I’m overweight and still sick. So much for that experiment!


Melissa August 12, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Are you sure you have adrenal fatigue? Have you been checked for thyroid problems by a reputable specialist?


Amy Love @ Real Food Whole Health August 12, 2012 at 5:43 PM

I am SO sorry to hear about your story. This is exactly what I’ve been fearing with people following this “Eat whatever you want” mentality. Many times that’s how people became sick to begin with. I do not advocate for a very low-carb diet, but sometimes a short term avoiding excess starch and sugar can be very helpful to resetting blood sugar levels- and you CAN NOT address hormonal imbalance if blood sugar levels are dysregulated (up OR down). It is so much more complicated than just the food, calorie counting or food groups…


Melynda Hoffman August 12, 2012 at 6:30 PM

I know lots of people who have babies in their forties! I’ll pray for ya!


Melynda Hoffman August 12, 2012 at 6:36 PM

BTW, I know two in their 50’s as well!


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:59 PM


THANK YOU!!! <3 <3 <3


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 7:03 PM


The biggest thing I felt reading your comment was sadness. You seem to be so hard on yourself.

My husband always me he loves me no matter what. He loves me just the way I am. I know he means it, too. I feel the same way about him. He’s so loveable and so good. It’s his heart and his spirit and his mind I love.

And guess what? You’re going to get old and you’re going to get wrinkled and you’re going to look less attractive. And that should be OK with you and your husband!

And how sad that you run into a friend and the only thing he can think to say to you is how heavy you look. How sad. Couldn’t he say, “Wow, it’s so great to see you and I miss you and what have you been up to lately” or any number of things other than, “wow you’ve gained weight”. If someone said that to me, I don’t think we’d hang out much.

You are worth more than your body shape and size. Body shape and size and appearance is all just temporal. Why not go behind that, on to more important things?


Susan August 12, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Hard to go onto more important things when there are days I am crawling to the toilet because I am so dizzy that I fear falling when I am in the house alone. I literally have been in my house for 3 years now. Even a trip to the store puts me in bed for days. Most days I can’t cook or clean. I feel like a big lump and not just because of my size, but because of the things I can’t do anymore. I’ve missed weddings, graduations, holidays and parties. It doesn’t matter whether I’ve done low carb, no carb or high carb, energy and healing just hasn’t come. I’m beyond frustrated.

Of course I believe my husband loves me no matter what. I just don’t think he figured he would be married to someone who can’t walk across the house by herself anymore by the time she was 47. He probably saw that more in the 70’s range, but certainly not this age! He hasn’t said a word about my weight, but you often wonder what is going on in their little minds!!

Melissa- I was seeing a doctor initially, but had to stop because my husband hasn’t worked in 3 years. Funds are tight and we are losing our home. But believe me, the minute there is any extra cash, I will be pounding on that doctor’s door!!


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 8:19 PM


I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time. I was in that kind of shape (although maybe not as bad) in my 20s. For me, an elimination diet and then going off gluten and sugar for 2 years and taking probiotics worked.

Please don’t give up on yourself. Everybody is different. Do whatever works for you.


Paula August 12, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Susan. I can concur with where you are at. One thing you might really want to consider doing, mainly because it cannot hurt to try, is to add real traditional lacto-fermented veges to every meal. A great many of us have changed over to whey free ferments, ones that are done in a type (there are several kinds) of airlock vessel with only salt and the veges of choice. Minimum time to ferment is 2 weeks, with kraut being best at 4 weeks.
All of my extreme fatigue vanished within 3 days of making this change. Now, all the real food and other “treatments” can actually work, and I feel amazing!

I feel whey is fine to add to ferments to speed up the process if one has no health issues, but if one cannot get better, then it should be vital to make them in a traditional manner. No one has regretted making the change yet.


Beth August 13, 2012 at 4:08 AM

Paula, I really appreciated your helpful suggestion to Susan to make traditional lacto-fermented vegetables a part of every meal. Especially now, with the end-of-summer bounty available at farmers’ markets, you could make up a great variety of ferments. Cabbage, mixed veggies (corn, peppers, beans, onion, etc.), whatever strikes your fancy. You can get pretty inexpensive airlock lids from Pickle Pro that fit on any wide mouth jar (I suggest quart jars).

Susan, you might also look into the work of Julia Ross. Specifically, her book called The Mood Cure and website of the same name and her recently revised edition of The Diet Cure.


bobcat August 14, 2012 at 5:58 PM


Your condition sounds so bad, I think you should just go to a regular MD instead of trying to heal with food. Get your thyroid checked. And if you’ve done that, try a more alternative MD or Naturopath who can do some adrenal or thyroid pills. It just sounds like trying to change your diet isn’t working, would’ve worked by now if it was that simple.

Then if you choose neither or those or if you find no relief, I’d look into energy boosters….like on they have this product called Thyroid Energy by Now (I haven’t taken it, just read the reviews). But don’t take it before getting labwork done, who knows if it will skew the results. Stuff like Rhodiola, small amounts of tyrosine, etc…anything that’ll help. My point is to look beyond food. Good luck!


bobcat August 14, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Also, coffee has helped me a lot, because it also helps your blood pump, etc.


lisa truitt February 14, 2013 at 6:05 AM

If u cant find a doctor to treat you there is a lot of info that can help u self treat at Janie has lots of info on how you can get natural desicated thyroid, including without a script if necessary. Also, there is a lot of good info on nutrition as pertains to hypo or hyperthyroid at Mineral deficiencies are correlated with both particularly iron, copper zinc, selenium and manganese. Interestingly, the symptoms of anemia and hypo are identical. The creator of this site believes there is evidence that these deficiencies predate onset of thyroid symptoms and are a big part of causing them, whereas mainstream medicine considers anemia for example, to be caused by the hypo. is no longer being maintained so you will have to go to the site, look at the links like recommended supplements and then google them to get to them as the links are broken and if you click them nothing happens.


JoAnna August 15, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Have you ever heard of the raw milk “cure” or “diet”? It was widely known and used before the advent of milk pasteurization, even by the founder of the Mayo Clinic. Drinking only raw milk from grass-fed cows (if you can find it and afford it, I know) plus getting lots of rest can “cure” a great many things. I’ve been doing it for going on three weeks and I’m feeling so much better, and losing not just weight but so much inflammation (even within the first week). No more edema in my ankles, my range of motion is much better, etc. And it’s so easy, no cooking, just drink milk. Most people drink about 3 quarts a day, but to be honest, I’m just drinking it whenever I feel I need a boost/get hungry. This is easy to try if you have access to milk. I hope you feel better soon!


JMR August 21, 2012 at 5:36 AM

Susan, I was in as bad a shape as you are a couple years ago. That’s when I changed everything about my lifestyle and, after fruitless visits to dozens of doctors, started self treating medically. I was completely bedridden for 6 months, and very ill for about 3 years, gained 60 lbs while eating a low calorie diet and exercising hours a day in the year prior to becoming unable to stand or sit up. Now, I’m not 100%, but I’m about 85% good and improving constantly. I changed all personal care products to homemade/natural. I began eating WAPF style, did GAPS for a while. I don’t do low carb because it makes me feel horrible, but I eat plenty of fat, carbs, protein and calories now. I self treat my thyroid with T3 meds. I can’t tolerate any T4-containing meds, although I hope to be able to take natural thyroid hormone someday. Many doctors denied I had a thyroid problem based on TSH, FT3 and FT4 tests, but my cardiologist and more specific tests I then ordered myself confirmed I do (TSI, TgAb and TPO Ab, RT3, ultrasound). After I ordered my own tests, neurologists suspected Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy. I treated severe adrenal fatigue (confirmed with 4x saliva test) with hydrocortisone for 2 years. I ordered iron, vit D, B12, mag, electrolyte tests and worked on getting those levels optimal instead of just “okay”. and Naturalthyroidhormonesadrenals Yahoo sites were instrumental in my healing. Changing diet was a critical first step, but I ultimately needed medication, too. Doctors don’t really help with this type of thing, and naturopaths often know only enough to do harm by prescribing the wrong supplements. Do your own research and heal yourself. It is possible. And since I’ve lost 65 lbs, but weight became the least of my concerns as I lay in bed waiting to die.


Amy August 13, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Susan, it sounds like you should probably NOT be doing RRARF. If it works, you should feel better quickly and have it stay that way. Sounds like you definitely have stuff going on that is beyond what RRARF can fix. I hope you can get some medical help.


Michelle August 13, 2012 at 5:03 PM

I am so sorry to hear about your troubles. Can you afford organic virgin coconut oil. I take about 1-1.5 T before each meal. My energy levels are so much better and stable throughout the day and coconut oil can also help with thyroid issues. I do hope you feel better soon!


Heather July 15, 2013 at 2:22 PM

I feel your pain. I too am overweight and nothing seems to work. And to top it off I am having terrible joint pain. But I just heard about a new product called Antabloc which is available at GNC. It seems to help people with all sorts of ailments. you should check it out. Also there is something called that a friend recommended adrenergize by enzymatic therapy. I hope this helps you.


Ellen August 12, 2012 at 2:51 PM

I have been following Matt’s advice since March and my temps are up, even when i exercise (no crashes!). Yes, I did gain weight (20 lbs, recently lost 5lbs) but you put it best Ann-Marie, “I’d rather be thinking about how to be the best mother I can be to my child, how I can be the best wife to my husband, how to grow a thriving business, planning our next trip to Europe, etc. Worrying about how to restrict my diet so that I can stay a few pounds lighter is not on my bucket list.”

I’m certainly more pleasant to be around and finding the right foods that are exactly what my body wants is a very satisfying feeling. I think too that people interpret Matt’s -Eat The Food – as eating only junk food and candy. This is not the case, you eat what your body wants and sometimes candy and ice cream helped me keep my temps up but I now have a freezer full of ice cream and candy in the house that I have no desire for. After my temps were steadily up, I didn’t really crave or need that stuff anymore. I wanted full, satisfying meals over high-calorie snacks. I have lost about 5 lbs without trying at all and i don’t know if I’ll lose anymore and it makes no difference to me. I am not going to waste my time thinking about it. I am healthy, feeling energetic, and in a much better mood.

Also, you’re suggestion, Ann-Marie, to listen to podcasts at night when trying for more sleep has helped me tremendously. The only problem is, i never hear the whole thing ;) Another great post and thanks for the update.

Also, as an anecdotal note to Lauren G, I gained 70 and 50lbs which each of my girls. my labors were very short – almost didn’t make it to the hospital with one — and I was very healthy as were my girls.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:47 PM


Yes! We have bags of candy around here (from b-day party pinatas and such), and loads of ice cream in the freezer. I don’t crave it.

People get way too worked up about all of this. Life is meant to be enjoyed.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:47 PM

PS: I probably eat chocolate less frequently than most people I know on low-carb diets. I think people who are off grains are quite often craving the magnesium.


Amy August 13, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Yup, same with me. Almost never crave desserts, I’m not officially following Matt Stone’s plan or anything, but listen to my body and eat whatever I want, aiming for a balanced diet, 3 meals a day and mostly real, organic foods. If I want something I eat it, and that is a very powerful thing. Yesterday I was craving summer squash.


Kricket August 13, 2012 at 11:35 AM

It’s off topic but I just gotta ask: how do you keep bags of candy in the house with a child present? My 6 y.o. would find that stuff fast and steadily nibble at it until it was all gone. In secret, of course.

Not that she is deprived. We make homemade jello, and she gets homemade ice-cream and popsicles and homemade cookies and what not. She’s not suffering but it’s not like we eat dessert every night either. Still, she’s a sweets monster.


Katherine J March 12, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Ha! Yes, my 6 year old LOVES sweets too. And I don’t restrict her to only home made treats either, she gets plenty of store bought chocolate or sweets, things I don’t crave. She pinches her brother and sisters sweets if hers are all gone! She also eats plenty of good, nourishing foods. She gets really excited about asparagus when we have it. She eats bell peppers like apples – will raid the fridge for them and carrots and loves to munch on a cucumber (not slices). But yeah, bags of sweets don’t last long unless hidden very well.

She has a great body, very lean, with good muscle definition of course, tons of energy. I hope I can get back to eating so intuitively and being my natural size and feeling healthy. It seems that ever since I focused on healthy eating, I’ve created problems with my health. Hope soon, I can eat what I want when I want and feel great and not have to carry around all this extra weight.


Katherine J March 12, 2014 at 5:10 PM

That was meant to read: … good muscle definition and tons of energy, of course.


Brenda W. August 12, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Liz, I’m in the same boat (or was, at least, until I gained 20 lbs since RRARFing). I started in June, so I’ve been at this for over 2 months. I packed on the pounds fairly quickly, as I have a tendency to do anyway when I “go off my diet”. For the most part, I tried to keep my eating fairly healthy but I would/do indulge in some sweet treats 3-4 times per week. My weight gain has flat-lined the past 3 weeks, thankfully, because I just can’t take anymore weight gain. I have noticed since RRARFing that if I stay away from the sweets for a few days, I don’t CRAVE them. Haven’t noticed any difference in temps but mine aren’t terribly low (high 97 – low 98), but still have cold hands and especially feet. One great benefit so far is that my heart palpation/panic attacks are almost non-existent. My anxiety gets so much worse on low-carb.
I’ve been a chronic low-carber for 15 years and I was fatter than ever. Having kids made the problem worse. As Ann-Marie said I would have to cut carbs and calories more and more just to lose weight. With that amount of food, it’s not worth it. I’m hoping this diet rehab will tune my body back so that slow weight loss can be achieved by moderate diet efforts and not having to starve myself like I had to before.
RRARFing has definitely made me less obsessive about food. Phew, what a relief! While gaining weight isn’t fun, not stressing about food at every birthday party, BBQ, luncheon, date night, vacation, has been freeing! This has been the best summer ever! I’m enjoying my family time, creating fun memories, and I’m slowing starting to not give a sh#t who sees me in my swimsuit!


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:48 PM



Phew, what a relief! While gaining weight isn’t fun, not stressing about food at every birthday party, BBQ, luncheon, date night, vacation, has been freeing! This has been the best summer ever! I’m enjoying my family time, creating fun memories, and I’m slowing starting to not give a sh#t who sees me in my swimsuit!


lisa truitt February 14, 2013 at 7:11 AM

Funny! I am not to that place yet. Wouldnt be caught dead in a swim suit, much less let anyone see me in it. But, I have broken free from the need to weigh myself and the obssesing over my weight. Regarding the woman who posted who was bemoaning how she has gained and wears a size 16, I guess she means pants I dont think she says, and taking about how huge a 16 is, anyone who thinks a 16 is huge has been seriously brainwashed. Did you know that decades ago the everage size for a woman was 14 and the average height 5′ 4″? Did you know that for most of her career, Marilyn Monroe was a size 12? I believe during some of it she was even larger. It has gotten to the point where many people think that larger than a four or six at most is huge. The rational seems to be that the closer to zero the better. With each move up in size from zero the anxiety goes up. By size 10 anxiety over weight is already high and by 12-16 it is off the charts. This is really skewed and most dont seem to realize they are being conditioned to see things in this unrealistic, unhealthy, skewed way. They think that their warped perception is based on reality. They have a milder form of anorexia it seems. They dont waste away, but they have the same mental distortions that cause them to starve and restrict and obssess about their size.


Brigit February 14, 2013 at 11:01 AM

I think body weight is a poor indicator of health, but I hear the “Marilyn wore a 14″ argument to defend size rather often. And while true, clothing sizes have gotten larger as we have- manufacturers call it vanity sizing. They know people are more inclined to buy the clothing that reads a smaller size. Even mens’ pants, which are sized by waist measurement, are 2-6″ bigger than the size stated. If Marilyn were alive today, her size 14 of the 50s and 60s would be 6/8 today.

Brigit, RD


Indigo March 17, 2013 at 11:47 PM

I am a size 6 but put a pair of my mom’s overalls on from the 60’s and they were too tight even though they were a size 12.

The numbers have shifted so that what was considered a 12 in the 60’s is more like a 4 in 2013.

Monroe would be a size 4 today (at least in the early part of her career.)


Jen August 12, 2012 at 3:36 PM

I would love to hear about people who have lost weight by RRARFing. I am a fan of the 180 Degree Health facebook page, and everyone always seems to be posting that they are upset they are gaining. I agree there is extreme emotional benefit to not stressing about food, but is that all this diet is really providing? And an increase in temps (which may or may not just be an increase in inflammation). I am not trying to be a brat–I am really curious.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:50 PM


Body temps above 99 would be inflammation (fever). 98.6 is right on the money. Anything lower is indicative of low thyroid function.

Go over to 180 Degree Health and you can comment over there about who has lost weight. I don’t get feedback from Matt’s readers so I don’t know. I do know that it takes some time to lose the weight you initially put on.


Andy August 12, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Wow, 20 lbs is a lot. Hope it works itself off eventually, but I don’t see it as a good thing, regardless of body temperature. Some extra body weight is good, but it’s a fine line.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 4:27 PM


I don’t think 20 pounds is a lot.

I’m not very overweight. I was pretty thin before I got pregnant.

I also think that if you need to put on a little weight while you are recovering hormonal balance, that’s not a bad thing.

I’d much rather have 20-30 extra pounds and a normal body temperature than be thin have low body temperature and messed up hormones.


Alison August 12, 2012 at 8:12 PM

I’ve gained almost 40 lbs RRARFing and i was way too thin to start with. I was down to 106 at 5’3″ i might have weighed that much in about 7th grade….my hair was falling out and I had zero libido and no cycles……My cycles regulated within 2 months of rrarfing to a perfect 28 days and I have NEVER had this much libido ever in my 30 years of life…..THAT alone is worth every single pound. I don’t intend to stay this heavy but the healing process is slow….i grew up dieting on and off and was born to a parent who dieted on and off and I’m finally healing everything related to that…metabolically, psychologically, mentally, physically. I still believe in RRARFing…..


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 9:04 PM


I have NEVER had this much libido ever in my 30 years of life…..THAT alone is worth every single pound. I don’t intend to stay this heavy but the healing process is slow…

I totally agree!!!!!


Alison August 13, 2012 at 6:53 AM

in fact, its safe to say that i had NO libido for my entire adult life after being on birth control pills…..


bobcat August 14, 2012 at 6:05 PM

I thought having excess fat slows your metabolism though? Like the fat itself affects hormone levels, causes your body to actually produce more……was it cortisol? I’ve heard this multiple times, from various sources. See it on Dr. Oz and all that. Then getting rid of the fat itself will speed the metabolism. So whatever you have to eat to have less fat, is good. Sure, you can be thin and still have horrible metabolism, esp if you are thin and don’t eat carbs or don’t eat enough food, but I do think the fat will dampen metabolism.


Pamela P August 12, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Awesome! You are so right. I just wish I could stop worrying about those extra pounds. Some days are better then others that way. Glad that Matt’s method helped you and that you are feeling good.


Nicole August 12, 2012 at 4:15 PM

One thing that comes to mind is maybe this losing weight by rarrfing thing works for men but not for women??? Men naturally have more muscle and the more muscle you have the more you naturally burn fat. Just curious, maybe it worked for Matt but will it work for us ladies??? I can’t really say ‘coz I haven’t read Matt’s work but it sounds like everyone who is rarrfing is just getting bigger??

I have recently found Jon Gabriel who went from being morbidly obese to thin WITHOUT dieting. It is all about a mind shift. His book The Gabriel Method is a brilliant read and I can’t recommend it highly enough. There are lots of testimonies and pictures on his site from people who’ve lost the weight without being one bit obsessive with diet. I really like the way he writes and I already feel freed from my diet obsession. It is a little scary ‘coz you can put on some weight at first until your body realises you’re not in famine anymore (dieting makes your body store fat because it thinks it’s in a famine – this includes long-term low-carb). I highly recommend him, he is so understanding.

Another point is, what really is the ideal weight?????????????????? I’ve never believed the healthy weight-range put out there by the governing medical “experts”. How do we know we’re not trying to live up to some unrealistic extreme that might be right for some people but not all people????


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:51 PM


Yes, I love Jon Gabriel — read his book a few years ago.

Reply August 12, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Nicole, one way to find out if you are carrying extra weight is to calculate your BMI. You can find out how to calculate this by just googling. The ideal weight can very with each person, depending on height especially. In addition, waist size is very important as extra weight around the middle is extremely dangerous so I think you should measure this as well. I concur with the following numbers I have read:
•For men, between 37 and 40 inches is overweight and more than 40 inches is obese.
•For women, 31.5-34.6 inches is overweight and more than 34.6 inches is obese.
These numbers may sound unattainable for some, but they are not. The size of our skeletons underneath our skin hardly varies at all when it comes to the waist area, so these are ideal numbers for everyone.

Extra weight even for a time is never a good thing, on so many levels, for ideal health. I would personally never follow a regimen that caused me to gain excess weight. That would be a clear sign for me that this is not working for my body, but against it.



debbie August 12, 2012 at 7:32 PM

BMI is a poor indicator of body fat. A DEXA scan is one of the few accurate measures.

Reply August 12, 2012 at 7:37 PM

BMI WITH waist measurement consideration is best. As a health conscience person, I would never expose myself to x-rays to assess if I am overweight, so I would have to disagree with you highly on that point. BMI plus waist measurement is something someone can measure at home and know right away if they need to get to work. ;)



cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 8:21 PM


There are lots of thin people who are VERY unhealthy.

Sometimes the body needs to gain a little extra weight to get back to balance.


debbie August 13, 2012 at 10:22 AM
lisa truitt February 14, 2013 at 6:27 AM

BMI is a joke. It takes no account of whether the weight is fat or lean muscle or other lean mass. Celebs who have high muscle mass from working out have been labeled overweight or obese. I think the bmi is a scam used to classify more people as sick so that meds can be pushed just like the ever lowering cholesterol recommendations. The bmi is much more stringent than the older weight and height charts. I would find an older chart and go with that. Better yet I would refuse to weigh myself and focus on building health. I have come to the same conclusion as matt that doing things to restrict for the purpose of forcing the body to a particular weight is harmful and counterproductive jerry rigging in the long run. I am not advocating for gluttony, but for the eating to satiety of healthy foods, and also targeted supplements for healing deranged metabolism and hormones.


Kat March 24, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Agree with Lisa here – BMI is very vague and assumes we all have the same body composition. My mom is a great example. She’s 5’8″ and was told by her doc that she should weigh 140-150lbs. Her frame, however, is large. She’s big-boned and muscular. 180 would be a better aim for her. At 140, she’d likely look like a concentration camp victim.
Then there’s me. I’m 5’7″ and weight 146 lbs. Those who find out I weigh that much are surprised (including the nurse at my doctor’s office). I look more like I weigh 130 or so. I’m slim but my frame is solid and strong – I don’t budge easily! Yet I’ve met women who are nearly my height and weight who are definitely needing to lose some inches. So it really doesn’t apply to many of us.


Heather :) :) :) August 12, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Thank you for this really encouraging post. I’d been following the GAPS diet faithful for months, till my dad landed in the hospital with heart issues…and ever since that it’s been difficult and I’ve felt bad about that…but this encourages me that it’s okay to have the occasional carb etc…

Okay…on to way more im portant stuff, your little baby is ADORABLE, such a cute smile.

…and I really like that image you posted at the top of your blog. Where did you find it? I’d like to share that on my FAcebook page sometime.

Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:51 PM


I found it on Flickr

Feel free to share!


lydia August 12, 2012 at 5:29 PM

I have a few questions – besides your temperature being different what other evidence/proof/tests do you have to prove that you are healing:

Have you had any blood chem tests performed? Checked for insulin resistance?

Are you hypothyroid? Or do you have Hashi’s? If so, have you read the countless reports that indicate that gluten intolerance or celiac’s is also present and therefore gluten needs to be eliminated?

Were you aware that every time gluten is ingested in these cases that the immune system launches an attack, not only against gluten, but also on the thyroid gland. This immune response can last up to 6 months each time it is ingested.

Are you not concerned that weight gain will affect your future attempts and health with pregnancy? What about health issues that come along with such weight gain, such as heart health, imbalanced cholesterol and possible insulin resistance leading to diabetes?

Is a simple temperature reading really the be all end all gauge in indicating you have now become healthy and recovered from thyroid issues? What about your adrenals?

These are all very important and valid concerns that need to be addressed before assuming that what you are saying here has any credibility as well as any validity for others to follow suit.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Hi, Lydia

I’m not trying to “prove” anything. Just sharing my experience.

I will do more hormone tests — just haven’t gotten around to it.

I do believe I am hypothyroid. I am not gluten intolerant. I’ve done lots of sensitivity tests and I do not react to gluten (I know because I was gluten intolerant and cured myself).

Are you not concerned that weight gain will affect your future attempts and health with pregnancy?

I haven’t checked my weight lately but I am not obese. I’m just slightly heavier than normal. But it’s not obesity. I may even be in the normal range. I have not checked.

What about health issues that come along with such weight gain, such as heart health, imbalanced cholesterol and possible insulin resistance leading to diabetes?

Again, I’m not obese.

Please see Dr. Broda Barnes books. As he healed their hypothyroidism, NONE of his patients had diabetes or heart disease. Check it out.

Is a simple temperature reading really the be all end all gauge in indicating you have now become healthy and recovered from thyroid issues? What about your adrenals?

I did not say I was healed. I am still healing.

I think my adrenals are MUCH better. My temps used to swing wildly from low to high from hour to hour. Now I’m pretty much a steady 98.2-98.6.

Thanks for your concern!

Reply August 12, 2012 at 7:30 PM

I know this is your journey and not mine, so regardless of your quest to heal your hormones, etc, you may want to check out what is considered obese. And also overweight. Most people think obese means very very large, and that is not the case. Based on BMI and waist measurement I mentioned above. I have found those are the best guides to go by. It is very important for everyone’s health to maintain an ideal weight range.



cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 8:22 PM


Thanks for your feedback.

I truly believe my body temperature and other symptoms are much more important than numbers on a scale, BMI and waist measurement.


lydia August 13, 2012 at 6:27 AM

You don’t have to be obese to become insulin resistant, just hang out on a high carb diet for awhile and you’ll shoot your blood sugar to pot (blood sugar is FAR more tightly regulated than a body temp is). Anyway, temperature is not a good enough indicator that all is well is really what I am getting at – it concerns me to see this all being promoted because the long term affects of a high carb diet are not pretty.

I know you respect Cate Shannahan’s work, as do many of your readers I am sure – here are some of her thoughts/research;

‘There are likely multiple reasons for low-carb fatigue, and multiple solutions. Bottom line is this: People who run into difficulty from low-carbing are more likely to give up on carb restriction and return to daily intake in excess of 100
-150 grams of carb. That’s not good. Continuing down the road of sugar dependence risks further metabolic distortions that can ultimately lead to auto-immune disease and cancers, and that’s why I encourage people who’ve given up on low carb to reconsider.’ ~ Dr. Cate Shannahan


cheeseslave August 13, 2012 at 8:01 AM

Hi, Lydia!

I do not believe that insulin resistance is caused by carbohydrates. I know this debate is going on right now at AHS.

Please see Chris Kresser’s post explaining his position in favor of starches:


If the argument is that starch is not safe for healthy people, I would say there’s little to no scientific or anthropological evidence to support that idea, and overwhelming evidence opposing it.

There are literally billions of people eating high-starch diets worldwide, and you can find many examples of cultures that consume a large percentage of calories from starch where obesity, metabolic problems and moder, inflammatory disease are rare or nonexistent. These include the Kitava in the Pacific Islands, Tukisenta in the Papa New Guinea Highlands and Okinawans in Japan among others. The Kitavan diet is 69% carb, 21% fat, and 10% protein. The Okinawan diet is even more carb-heavy, at 85% carb, 9% protein and 6% fat. The Tukisenta diet is astonishingly high in carbohydrate: 94.6% according to extensive studies in the 60s and 70s. All of these cultures are fit and lean with low and practically non-existent rates of heart disease and other modern chronic disease.

I do respect Cate Shanahan and her work. I have been talking to her about this issue. I plan to have her on my upcoming podcast show.


lydia August 13, 2012 at 9:50 AM

You don’t believe so ‘eh. That post is not directly addressing what I want to address (and I don’t see you posting you are eating gobs of sweet potatoes, but starches/chips/sugars/bread etc). We can’t assume that adopting an exact diet from another culture traditionally is fit for us today, we are ALL coming from the SAD diet and other factors come into play as well, many of us have become hypoglycemic or insulin resistant before we came to real food and therefore can no longer just eat whatever we want. Blood sugar trumps here it is one of the two most tightly regulated systems in the body – have you used a blood glucose monitor daily to chart your BGL like you have regularly with your temperature?


cheeseslave August 13, 2012 at 9:59 AM


Please see Dr. Weston Price’s book. He studied 2 cultures who ate 50% of their diets as grains — the Swiss and the Scots. Both were optimally healthy.

I had my blood sugar work done when I did my hormones tested a few years ago — no problems whatsoever.

Thanks for your concern!


lydia August 13, 2012 at 10:04 AM

It’s not a once and done kind of thing – a few years ago you weren’t eating the same way and hadn’t gained the weight – it would be very telling to do it now and monitor it daily just as you are with your temps!

We are not coming from the same place at all as the Swiss and the Scots it’s not even comparable to today.


cheeseslave August 13, 2012 at 10:08 AM


I am 10 pounds over what I was then. It’s not like I gained 50 or 100 pounds.

I will have it checked again, just too busy right now.

We are not coming from the same place at all as the Swiss and the Scots it’s not even comparable to today.

What do you mean by this? Dr. Weston Price was always an advocate of whole grains based on his research.


lydia August 13, 2012 at 10:16 AM

You also weren’t eating this amount of carbs (from what I can tell based on what you’ve shared over the years).

You don’t have to go get it checked at the Dr.’s, you simply get a Blood glucose monitor and do it at home just like you do your temp every day. It’s easy!

What I mean is, that the people Price studied were not dealing with metabolic syndrome. YOu and I have come off of the SAD diet, eating high amounts of refined foods and starches/sugars – those people were not. We can’t directly compare our health to theirs and try to emulate exactly what they did and expect the same results – we unfortunately do not have it that easy! So you can bring up all these traditional people groups all you want, it just doesn’t directly help us figure out what we need to do now based on the way things have become.


cheeseslave August 13, 2012 at 10:36 AM

What I mean is, that the people Price studied were not dealing with metabolic syndrome. YOu and I have come off of the SAD diet, eating high amounts of refined foods and starches/sugars – those people were not.

Lydia, I have not eaten that way since 1994. I changed my diet in 1995 and reversed adrenal exhaustion, arthritis, gluten intolerance, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

So maybe you are coming off of a SAD diet, but I have been eating organic/whole grains/very low sugar for over 15 years. The introduction of the WAPF teachings in 2007 upped my game when I learned about healthy fats — at which point I switched from low fat organic milk to full-fat raw, etc. But a diet high in refined carbs and sugar is something I haven’t done since 1994.

We can’t directly compare our health to theirs and try to emulate exactly what they did and expect the same results – we unfortunately do not have it that easy! So you can bring up all these traditional people groups all you want, it just doesn’t directly help us figure out what we need to do now based on the way things have become.

No, we don’t, but Sally Fallon Morell reversed her children’s poor health in one generation. I do believe that it doesn’t have to be hard. If you want to make it hard, that’s your prerogative. It is not the way I choose to do things.

lydia August 13, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I don’t mean just coming off of SAD recently, I mean in general as compared to the people Price studied. You are missing the point. And, I’m not trying to make it difficult at all, I am actually bringing this all up in the comments here because I feel it’s important to view this whole thing from a blood sugar perspective – you would be surprised how many people eating a WAPF diet for years are imbalanced in their blood sugar. Yes, they got healthier in many ways by upping fats and recovered from things after ditching processed foods, but still hung on to endocrine issues because they never got their blood sugar regulated and to do that, you have to cut down on starch. Anyway, I felt it an important point to bring up here and to discuss so others might consider that as well.

Oh and I have seen people actually lose weight from eating a ton of food, myself included, but it was lower in starches………not trying to be snide or anything, but a huge key issue is that overall health and healing of endocrine boils down to managing one’s blood sugar through what foods they consume.

Louise August 14, 2012 at 2:16 PM


Sometimes after coming off low carb for a long time(and limiting your bodies ability to covert t3 requires a recovery of heavy carb consumption to re-balance the body. Those lower in water content are more helpful because of the bodily environment hypothyroidism creates.

Any time you eliminate a macro-nutrient carb, protein, fat, there is going to be a re-adjustment period. And with carbs it is a blood sugar issue that takes time to sort out. Just like if you eliminate fat, you’ll have a bile issue, and protein a low stomach issue. These issues take time, we should not avoid a group or limit based on problems re-introducing.

Unfortunately the nutritional therapy program does not teach about body temp/metabolism (major hole in the curriculum). As I am an NTP too.

Let’s let cheeselave experience her own journey, as she knows her body best.

lydia August 14, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Hi Louise,

My main reason for commenting was because I actually have people come to me confused about what is being promoted here, and people that are frustrated because they’ve tried this path and ended up worse off for the wear. I would too if I gorged on potato chips all the time. Anne Marie is free to go her own way of course and make her own choices, I just am concerned for others since it’s directly affected people I know. I am sure you can appreciate that. Of course no one has to listen to her, but they do, they look up to her and trust her and that concerns me when the advice is to eat without consequence. Believe me, I’m all for food freedom and enjoying my food, but most people these days have to watch what they eat if they want their health back. Me pressing to share my concerns was based on that.

Anyway, I am understanding that it’s hard on the thyroid to be too extreme. I am not advocating removing all carbohydrate sources, just the starchier ones for the most part but not completely and definitely grains since as you know having any type of insulin resistance damages the gut. But what I’ve noticed here with what Anne Marie has been doing for some time is a lot of contradiction and holes, which I won’t go into, but suffice it to say, people notice this and find it frustrating. So my comments are for those people who might be reading. (Note – the 10 reasons why I’m not paleo post – that was not with health in mind, or even considering why there may be benefits to a paleo type of eating. Can you say looking to drive traffic?)

I think there are ways to refeed and deal with metabolism that one does not have to possibly sabotage their blood sugar. I don’t see why the two can’t be worked on simultaneously, in fact I’ve seen that done very successfully. August 17, 2012 at 4:12 AM

@ Lydia, you have some very good points. I totally agree with “you would be surprised how many people eating a WAPF diet for years are imbalanced in their blood sugar. Yes, they got healthier in many ways by upping fats and recovered from things after ditching processed foods, but still hung on to endocrine issues because they never got their blood sugar regulated and to do that, you have to cut down on starch.” This is very true. Grains cause the blood sugar to spike in EVERYONE, and that is so key. Soaking them does not solve this problem. Most Americans are coming from a long line of SAD diets and even if we changed ours when we were in our 20s, we still have the inherited DNA that can cause issues with blood sugar, not to mention those first 20 years of our lives that got our bodies off to an iffy start which can then reappear later as causing problems. Sadly, most of us really need to watch our blood sugar if we want to maintain optimal health and weight, and grains/starch are often ignored in regards to this. Getting off grains helped me finally get to my prepregnancy weight after having four children, and also stopped carb cravings.


Reply August 17, 2012 at 5:09 AM

I should add that even natural sugars like maple syrup and most fruits raise blood sugar as well. And BEANS, which most people do not realize. So it’s not just grains, but grains are often ignored. Overall, a lot of people ignore blood sugar issues when it comes to gaining weight, as they feel they are eating healthy with such natural foods. But those foods, coupled with even whole grains, can suddenly wreak havoc with the blood sugar, that was previously not a problem even. Sometimes it takes the body years to show the affects of this type of eating. I think most Americans are prone to this problem, b/c of the eating habits of our parents/grandparents. It’s in our DNA. Other cultures who do not have negative issue with a rise in blood sugar do not have such a terrible, long lineage of eating bad foods. This is my thinking, anyway, from all I have read, and to me, it makes total sense and I have seen it work in my life. I have diabetics in my family, and I had no blood sugar issues till a few years ago. For me, it’s no grains, no beans, hardly any natural sugars, and yet I also had hormonal issues, but I take iodine and lots of herbs that help balance that out. No weight gain from that protocol, and it works great. There are so many herbs that help balance the hormones.



cheeseslave August 17, 2012 at 7:57 AM


Low thyroid function causes blood sugar disregulation.

So it’s very possible that the vast numbers of folks start out with hypothyroidism (most undiagnosed) and end up diabetic.

Americans ate plenty of grains for hundreds of years and there was no diabetes or obesity epidemic. So how could eating grains suddenly cause an obesity/diabetes epidemic? It is not logical.

Please read Dr. Mark Starr’s book, Hypothyroidism Type 2 The Epidemic for more on how hypothyroidism is widespread and how it impacts our health.

Moreover, it is a fact that a very low carb diet exacerbates hypothyroidism. For the research, see my post (linked to above) about Why I Ditched Low Carb.

So going low carb is not really a good long term solution. Plus it’s super restrictive. If you personally like avoiding grains, that’s cool. But it’s not a good solution for the vast majority for the long-term and, more importantly, it does not solve the underlying problem.


Sarah September 22, 2014 at 10:08 PM

Ummm, actually that’s not quite right. Most people of anglo European descent have been eating a high sugar diet for several generations now and we’re really just seeing the endocrine and health problems peaking now (with children developing T2 diabetes etc etc). Many traditional cultures develop extreme obesity and type 2 diabetes within a single generation of adopting a typical western diet. Generations of healthy eating with plenty of physical activity offered them zero protection.


cheeseslave August 17, 2012 at 7:46 AM


(Note – the 10 reasons why I’m not paleo post – that was not with health in mind, or even considering why there may be benefits to a paleo type of eating. Can you say looking to drive traffic?)

That post was not written to drive traffic. If I wanted to drive more traffic to this blog, I would be writing search-engine optimized posts with long-tail keywords. Those are the types of posts that bring gobs of traffic month after month.

There are not that many paleo folks out there — it’s still a very fringe movement. Try asking the average man on the street if he’s ever heard of “paleo”. Nine times out of 10, people say no.

I wrote that post to give others permission not to eat paleo — because I think the paleo diet is extreme and unnecessarily restrictive. I think GAPS is great if you need to heal, but I don’t think anyone needs to do GAPS or paleo long term.

I think there are ways to refeed and deal with metabolism that one does not have to possibly sabotage their blood sugar. I don’t see why the two can’t be worked on simultaneously, in fact I’ve seen that done very successfully.

Please see this post:


Kat March 24, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Wow, you sound very definitive with your statements. I don’t understand people like you who make it sound like your word is law. If it works for you, great. But don’t assume that a few studies or doctors’ opinions equal such black-and-white statements. We’re all different. Most people I’ve known who have tried the low-carb gluten-free diet, even the more strict ones (so you can’t say they just did it wrong), ended up feeling way worse afterward. And gluten, from what I’ve researched anyhow, doesn’t trigger autoimmune responses except in those with Celiac disease. Not that I would trust most modern hybridized wheat, since it likely contains more gluten than is good for anyone, but regular grains, considering their clean history of use, are getting some seriously unnecessary bad rap by fad-diet zealots these days.


Kat March 24, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Sorry, my reply came out in the wrong spot – it’s meant to counter Lydia’s comments, not Cheeseslave’s ;)


donna harnish August 12, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Hi Ann Marie,
I agree, it sounds so great to be relaxed about food, and enjoy all those yummy carbs. We’ve been WAPFers for 8 years. However, I just found out my 5 year old has several cavities in his molars, which freaks me out (cause: antibiotics at birth?) and I want to try remineralization via improving our diet even more. Our entire family has begun the GAPS diet for this reason. Is it possible to relax about food, and ‘enjoy life’ with this hanging over my head?


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:42 PM


Have you had his thyroid checked as well? Thyroid function can impact digestion negatively.

We eat what we want but we just eat foods that are prepared properly: grass-fed meat and dairy, long-simmered bone broths, naturally fermented foods, soaked whole grains, good fats, etc. You can still eat yummy foods on this diet but they should be prepared correctly most of the time.


lisa truitt February 14, 2013 at 5:22 AM

Dont be freaked out. Do you see big rotten spots on the childs teeth? More often than not, you can barely see anything when dentists say you have a cavity. I am a very distrustful and skeptical person. I think dentists exagerate and make things up to make money. Years ago before I knew better I went to a dentist because I had some dark lines at the gumline on my very back molars. They were nothing, but the dentist put big fillings that had to be replaced with crowns. I wish I had never gone. I dont go to dentist on any regular basis anymore. Cavities they told me I had 10 years ago, but of course could not really see had to take their word for it they existed, have either healed or not gotten any worse as they no problem. I focus on minerals from healthy eating, cal mag supplentation, vitamin d supplementation, celtic and real salt, sea weeds mainly wakame which is very mild and I add it to my families food a lot, and herbs. Herbal infusions of a cup of oatstraw to a coffee pot of water made in your coffee maker, put herbs in pot and let water tricle on them and let steep on burner an hour or three are very good. You can use other herbs like nettle.


Carla August 12, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Would you entertain the possibility of reading Dr. Douglas Graham’s 80/10/10 Diet? I’m losing weight that I’ve never lost before…in my thighs…and best I can tell all systems are working optimally: digestion, adrenals, hormones (period, sex drive), metabolism, mental, emotional.


Laurent August 12, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Carla, I think you have to separate long term to short term benefits. While this system might have short term benefits, check videos of Doug Graham now and 10 years ago. I don’t think any sane person can pretend this man age well. He looks like a 120 old lizard. I fear he might hide many of his health issues because of his public image. Besides, there was no recorded attempt to emulate such diet in human history and we made it until now, that must mean something right?


debbie August 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Thank you Laurent the voice of reason :-) Doug Graham is looking quite frail these days IMO


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Hi, Carla!

I just googled it. Is it a low-fat raw vegan diet?

That would not work for me. Did you read the name of this blog? No way am I ever giving up cheese!

Thanks anyway!


Carla August 13, 2012 at 4:46 AM

Oh yes I am very aware of your blog name Ann Marie. I’ve been following you quite some time now. I think I found you when I was reading/studying from Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma. Since then I have passed through whole food vegetarian & vegan phases, dipping into raw vegan and now mostly low-fat raw vegan. I’ve never felt better, happier, sexier or more liberated.

I gave up eating most cheeses (especially the stringy kinds: mozzarella, cheddar, etc.) before I knew much about food. Trust me, I loved cheese too but it wasn’t worth being bound up, acne riddled and having to get colonics to get the cheese out of my system. Maybe cheese is troubling you, like it did me, more than you think. Have you tried going just 10 days w/o it?

My omnivore friend who just visited for 4 days lots 5 pounds eating with us and never felt hungry. We ate low-fat raw vegan about 75% of the time she was here.

As for Dr. Graham, yes he is lean, yet so strong. He eats low-fat, raw vegan 100% and that’s great for him and the athletes he trains. (PS – Did you know that Serena Williams won her 5th Wimbledon while low-fat raw vegan?) I prefer 80% lfrv. It works well for me and my family. If we lived on the equator, it would be a very natural, normal diet to pick fruit all day long and eat it freely to provide adequate fuel which demands little energy for digestion and to intake nature’s most purified water: inside the fruit.

I’m soon to be 43 and weigh less than before I had my baby 10 years ago. I’m loving it! Not just my size, but the way I feel in my body: very free. Good luck to you Anne Marie. I pray you are able to achieve your baby dreams!!! So exciting!!


Bee September 20, 2012 at 7:39 PM

I agree..Ive tried EVERY way of eating and LFRV has been the key for me…it has been key in keeping my UC and FMS under control…and healed candida.

Oh, and following a low FODMAPs diet has helped a lot too.

I plan to transition to a diet similar to Dr Fuhrman’s E2L diet, once my GI heals enough to tolerate legumes, more veggies, and starches and fats. But right now, my tums seems to do best on fruit-based diet

Carla, I’d love to see a “typical day’s food log” of your 80% lfrv diet! Mind if u post it in a reply?


Laurent August 12, 2012 at 5:45 PM

My take on this, for what it’s worth. After reading Hypothyroidism type 2, that you have read too Ann Marie, I believe diet is not enough. There are just too many hormons disruptors in our world – chemicals, food supply, environmental toxins etc. and our food is not high brix anymore and lack in nutrients. Dr Starr make the point that low temperature are a sure sign that they thyroid doesn’t work the way it should, but that normal temperatures don’t mean everything is fine either. If you are not in your “normal” weight, as programmed by nature, I believe something is still going on. So I think the RRAF + supplementation – dessicated thryroid and maybe for a treatment for the adrenals in some cases – could produce fantastic results with no weight gain. I believe we have, unfortunately, past the point in time where we can heal ourselves with diet only – the gene pool is weaker and the environment is bombarding us with unknown sustances. Just my take on it anyway…


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Hi, Laurent

If you recall in that book and in the books by Dr. Broda Barnes, people don’t get better in a matter of a few months. It can take several months to years to heal from low thyroid.

Give me some time.

Oh, and I am also taking desiccated thyroid and iodine.


Laurent August 12, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Oh I don’t want to put pressure on you Ann Marie! And I see a lot of people targeting the comment you’ve made on your weight, which means we’re all a bit fixated on this lol.
Well if you take the dessicated thryroid I think you’re on the right track. I am myself looking for a good doctor who could prescribe it to me…Not easy to find one.
I haven’t read Barne’s books, but Doctor Starr’s and I must say most example given in pictures on 3 to 6 months periods were impressive. Hope to get there myself too!


jody December 18, 2012 at 4:30 AM

I think you are right on with that whole assessment laurent. just too many toxins at this point.


Joanna August 12, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Great!!! Are you guys actively trying to conceive now??


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:40 PM



I’m super excited after talking to Dr. Dean Howell today. Going to start working with him next month. He does amazing work (neuro cranial restructuring) that greatly impacts the shape of the pelvis. He can actually help the pelvis be wider by the time you deliver.


Joanna August 12, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Woohoo! That is awesome, can’t wait to hear how things go after a while!!!


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:57 PM


Thanks! You know I will keep you posted!


Joy August 12, 2012 at 6:35 PM

As someone who has dealt with an eating disorder, food is never worth your peace of mind. I am so happy that you feel free from the bondage of “being thin”. That is so important because I have news: We are all going to die. No diet will ever change that reality. Life is about the relationships and people in our lives. I love food and am always striving to eat healthier but never at the cost of my joy or peace. Also, dramatic changes never stick. It has taken me over two years to finally incorporate soaked/sprouted/soured grains into my life in a way that did not take away from enjoying cooking and food and relationships. (And I still don’t do it sometimes!) Habits take a lot of time to stick. It’s all about the baby steps. :)


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 6:58 PM


Oh, I could not agree more!

It is bondage. A prison!

We are all going to die. No diet will ever change that reality. Life is about the relationships and people in our lives. I love food and am always striving to eat healthier but never at the cost of my joy or peace.

SO well said!!!!! Bravo!


Charlene August 12, 2012 at 7:22 PM

You look lovely, Ann Marie. If you feel good, have the strength and stamina to live your life in a way that makes you happy, why worry about your weight?

I do feel for those who are so obese they can’t manage daily tasks. Interesting Laurent’s idea that we are so toxic overloaded we can’t heal just with food. WRT obesity maybe the answer is in the gut microbiome. Obese people might benefit from fecal transplants to heal gut dysbiosis and achieve healthy weight. Seems to work with experimental mice.


Janknitz August 12, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Perhaps Matt Stone’s method will work for people who are not seriously insulin resistant, but this is my story:

I have PCOS. I was thin most of my life and ate pretty much what I wanted. But my periods were never regular. I went through three years of infertility treatment, culminating in two IVF procedures just to conceive my first child. During the infertility treatments the weight began to pack on, and after her birth it was out of control.

Eight years later, 200 lbs, miserable, I began a low carb diet. I lost 40 pounds easily. But more importantly, I began regular menses with my first ovulatory period EVER within 30 days of beginning low carb. 6 months later I was shocked to find myself pregnant–I was 41 years old. I had an easy, healthy pregnancy and a quick, easy birth. I increased my carbs during pregnancy, but still moderated them.

For me, low carb definitely corrected life long hormone imbalances.

There are a few videos and podcasts with Dr. Michael Fox, a fertility specialist. Dr. Andres Enefeldt’s blog has the most recent one. Dr. Fox uses a low carb diet with his infertility patients, and pregnancy rates for women with ovulatory issues like PCOS has increased from around 40% with traditional fertility meds to 90% WITHOUT traditional fertility drugs except sometimes the addition of Metformin to help decrease insulin resistance. He also finds that there is less morning sickness (I had NONE) and fewer miscarriages on a low carb diet. If your goal is to conceive, you might want to take a look at what he has to say, particularly if you are having no luck.

I’m not saying your way is wrong, but just that in a position where the biological clock is ticking, you may want to look at this in case your current plan doesn’t work out.


Janknitz August 12, 2012 at 7:29 PM

I should add that i think my thyroid was always an issue. I was always cold, even when pregnant (except hot flashes from heavy fertility drugs) Yet I conceived with no problem while low carbing.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 8:24 PM


My period is super regular and my ovulation is great.

I felt TERRIBLE on low carb and will not go back to it.



Kelsey August 12, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Thanks for this post! It’s a shame people are so hung up on the weight thing. I don’t think it’s healthy to be obese, obviously, but I’m with you – temporary weight gain while your hormones heal is all right with me. I have raised my temps about a half a degree so far (am now in the upper 97s to low 98s) and it’s so exciting! I have gained about 10-15 pounds I think (I don’t weigh myself though), but I was very small beforehand, so this isn’t troublesome to me. My husband has even worse hormone problems than I do (mostly because of a surgery he had 6 years ago), and his temps were in the low 96s when we started following Matt Stone. After a very frustrating few months of his temps not seeming to budge at all (although he was gaining weight, which he wasn’t happy about as he was already overweight), his temps are FINALLY coming up, and we’ve even clocked a few temps over 98! He’s still in the 97s normally, but that is such an improvement. Since we’ve been trying to conceive for 5 years, my main concern is healing our bodies, not worrying about temporary weight gain. I have to say, we don’t eat as well as you do – we’ve been cheating much more than we should, but we’re at a stage for the next couple of months where that is just how it’s going to be, and I’m not stressing about it. Thanks for being so brave about sharing your story!


Kelsey August 12, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Also, I wanted to mention – at first we were focusing on “RRARFing” and eating slightly beyond appetite, but lately we’ve just been focusing on eating low-moisture foods with plenty of salt, and I feel much better doing this. RRARFing was difficult, and I didn’t like stuffing myself, so now I just make sure I eat until I’m satisfied, and I’m eating pretty low-moisture foods. I like the post Matt did recently over at Our Nourishing Roots – I think it’s a good overview of what you should focus on if you’re trying to heal adrenal/hormonal problems.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 8:28 PM


Yes, low water content foods and plenty of salt. People are so afraid of salt these days! But we really need salt!

And I also think most of us don’t get anywhere near enough sleep. 10-12 hours really boosted my temps!


Amy August 13, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Yes! I cringe when I see low-sodium recommendations for everyone (including kids, who absolutely need salt for neurological development). Eating plenty of salt has stopped my blood sugar crashes. I feel a huge positive difference when I eat lots of salt. Unfortunately, most people these days are trying to cut back and probably have no idea that eating lots of salt can have major health benefits for some people.


cheeseslave August 13, 2012 at 9:17 AM


I pretty much ALWAYS have to salt my food at restaurants these days.


Amy August 13, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Me too! I can’t believe other people don’t – the food is bland, but they are afraid to add more salt.


Josefina September 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM

At school here in Sweden, kids don’t get to salt their own food. The food already tastes horribly bland, poor kids. I’m trying to get my son homemade food for lunch, but the school loves fighting me on this.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 8:27 PM


It’s a shame people are so hung up on the weight thing. I don’t think it’s healthy to be obese, obviously, but I’m with you – temporary weight gain while your hormones heal is all right with me.

It’s funny (funny strange not funny haha) how judgemental and worked up people get about it.

I agree with you, obviously.

My husband had the exact same experience. He was in the 95s a few years ago. Since we started adding a lot more carbs this year, he’s in the high 97s and feels better than ever. AND he is no longer reacting to gluten. Hurrah! Bring on the pizza and beer!


Jeanmarie August 12, 2012 at 10:04 PM

I just read an interesting post that you may have seen, Not just why we need to eat fat, but why we need fat on our bodies. It turns out the body stores DHA, so necessary for a baby’s developing brain, in the hips, thighs, buttocks, breasts. Lots of interesting stuff here, in the form of a book review that addresses all sorts of issues about women and weight. Painfully thin is not an ideal to aspire to, especially for women who are going to bear children. (I don’t have that excuse, but I sure have the childbearing hips!) A favorite quote:

“Human women are unusual in the first place by how fatty we are. A slim woman can have a body fat percentage of 30%. A chimpanzee female has a body fat percentage around 5%. In this metric, we are closer to whales or polar bears than other primates. The fat is usually concentrated in the buttocks, breasts, thighs, and hips. Studies have shown that the average man finds fat in these areas particularly attractive.

“What is this fat for? Interestingly, women tend to lose the fat in these areas as they have children even if they gain weight overall and have plenty to eat. The lose correlates to the number of children a woman has. Lassek and Gaulin found that most of this fat seemed to be lost during nursing. During this period, an average woman eats less than she needs and instead seems to use up this lower body fat.

“Why is this happening? It doesn’t make sense that women would be just using this fat to give the baby extra calories, because otherwise they would eat more.

“Turns out that there is something in this fat tissue that the developing infant brain really needs. The human infant brain is unusually large and it’s not just hungry for calories, it’s hungry for fat. In particular it’s hungry for DHA, the immediately usable form of omega-3 fatty acids that has been found to be crucial for optimal infant brain development.”


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Wow, thanks Jeanmarie

I had read that before but I forgot about it.

Such a great quote!

Therefore my extra fat is a good thing — and will make my baby smarter.


Nicole August 12, 2012 at 11:08 PM

Hi Ann-Marie, I meant to say before that I am really happy for you that you are much more relaxed about food, I also feel this way after reading Jon Gabriel and I will never diet again. It has been a god-send! Sweet liberation and I believe it can only be a good thing. Dieting in any form makes our bodies think they are in a famine and therefore they will store fat and losing it will be next to impossible.

Wishing you all the best for all your intentions, God Bless you!


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 11:14 PM


I agree!

We should make a bumper sticker — Life is too short for dieting!


Nicole August 12, 2012 at 11:17 PM

Oh, having said that though, GAPS is an awesome diet for healing, it’s just not meant to be low-carb for too long.


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 11:21 PM



Pam August 12, 2012 at 11:19 PM

When I started RRARFing I was 5′ 1″ and 300lbs. And guess what? I haven’t gained an ounce eating everything I want! In fact, the last time I weighed myself, about two months ago, I was down 9 pounds but I was still eating 3-5 pancakes/waffles, 4 eggs and sausage/bacon for breakfast, 2 or 3 sandwiches for lunch, about 5 pounds of potatoes with all the fatty, dairy fixins’ at dinner, as much ice cream as I could fit in for dessert and then a snack (2 burritoes or a quart of raw milk or 2 bowls of cereal etc) before bed. I have backed off a lot because putting that much food in your body day after day is really hard but I do need to get back to it as stress and sleep deprivation, plus diet are pulling my temps back down. I was up to nearly 98 at the beginning of summer but it’s been a crazy one. I am really looking forward to winter so I can hibernate with my ice cream bowl. :) I found dessicated thyroid at my local health food store but I didn’t get any. Perhaps I should. Thank you for introducing me to Matt Stone! He ROCKS!!!!


cheeseslave August 12, 2012 at 11:22 PM


I am really looking forward to winter so I can hibernate with my ice cream bowl


You go, girl! I’ll go with you!


NOELLE August 14, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I will be honest and say that I don’t know much about re-feeding or whatever it is called. But don’t you only re-feed for about a month or so. By saying you will hibernate with her and eat ice cream all winter is doing her a big disservice. Treats are just that…to be enjoyed once in a to be a staple eaten every day. This is just awful an I couldn’t hold my tongue anymore. It seems as though people are using this diet to gorge themselves on whatever they want. If you overeat, gain weight and then suddenly cut back on calories, of course you will lose weight.


Ellen August 14, 2012 at 2:46 PM

@Noelle – I’m going to agree with you Noelle, you don’t know much about RRARFing. Maybe you should read Matt Stone’s free e-book and look at his website before you criticize and make bold statements. Also, it’s a pretty sad existence when you think a “treat” is only to be enjoyed once and a while! I ate ice cream almost every day for about 2 months straight and i wouldn’t call it “gorging”, I would call it getting my health back. You can say whatever you want about it but I am healthier now than before, when I didn’t eat ice cream – go figure!


Pam August 14, 2012 at 4:55 PM

@ Noelle: I feel sorry for you. Ice cream is not a treat for me so there is no guilt associated with it. I can sit with a half-gallon container and a spoon and thoroughly enjoy every bite. I don’t mentally or physically punish myself because I was “bad”. I do not run for the ice cream when I am sad because there is no emotional reward by eating it. I eat it because it tastes good. I eat half a gallon at a time because I am trying to create a caloric super-abundance so my body will finally get a clue that we are not starving and my life is not in danger. Seriously, turn loose of the reserves already, lol!
The re-feeding protocol is meant to last as long as necessary. Some regain balance in a month, some regain balance in a year. Some re-feed for a period of months, go back to smaller portions, then resume the re-feeding as needed. It depends entirely on what your body needs. Seriously, read the book before scolding AnnMarie for supporting what is making me healthier and soooo much happier then orthorexia.


NOELLE August 14, 2012 at 5:54 PM

First of all, I never said that when I eat a treat I feel guilty and I certainly don’t obsess over food. I will occasionally eat a sweet treat and enjoy ever bit of it; but I don’t do it regularly. Secondly, you are basically assuming that you will need to refeed into winter. How do you know that for sure when winter is months away. I have absolutely no interest in reading what Matt Stone has to say because he has no credentials what-so-ever. And finally, sugar is toxic. 60 minutes just did a great piece on sugar. You are feeling so much happier because as you are eating all that sugar dopamine – the feel-good chemical. On top of that sugar is extremely addictive.;contentBody


NOELLE August 14, 2012 at 5:56 PM

I meant to say dopamine is released.


Ellen August 14, 2012 at 8:33 PM

@Noelle — I don’t understand how you can be so critical of Matt Stone’s approach if you won’t even read his work. He addressed the 60 minutes interview you are talking about back in April —

Also, I think it’s uncalled for when Cheeseslave is sharing her experience, which I myself am very interested in, about how she is feeling much better to just dismiss it out of hand without even reading anything about the approach. Many people, including myself, have benefited from Matt’s advice. It is unconventional which maybe makes it hard to hear? I have seen many “credentialed” professional doctors and they have not done half of what matt’s advice has done for me. My endocrinologist kept increasing my meds (an extremely well qualified endo BTW) but with matt I am decreasing my meds and my bloodwork is excellent. I do not “gorge” on ice cream and potato chips all day as Lydia suggested but include some calorie-dense foods into my daily diet IF I want them. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. Further, if my temps drop b/c of skipping a meal or lack of sleep, having some ice cream or a few Starburst is a quick, easy way to get my temps back up and feel well. I have been hypothyroid for many years and only found out about it when I was having miscarriages 7 years ago. Many doctors had missed it and put me through a lot of unnecessary testing and more miscarriages so credentialed drs don’t really have all the answers and sometimes, not even helpful ones. I eat nutrient-dense foods, eat organic when i can, grass fed meat, humane eggs usually farm fresh, whole grains etc AND i also eat ice cream, homemade pancakes, and occasionally candy. I am feeling extremely well and finally have energy for life besides many other benefits. i have been following matt’s advice for 7 months.
It’s fine if you don’t agree with Matt Stone’s advice or ideas — but how can you know if you don’t read what he has to say? It doesn’t make any sense.

Lastly, another benefit of Matt’s advice is that I no longer label food as treats or non-treats. It all is a “treat” to me b/c I won’t eat anything I don’t like or really want – whether it’s a carrot, nectarine, or ice cream.


cheeseslave August 15, 2012 at 7:45 AM

Lack of credentials is an ad hominem fallacy. Whether or not someone has credentials is immaterial to their argument.


Kat March 24, 2013 at 5:53 PM

@Ellen, well said! I too will trust experience over “credentials”. Especially considering the fact that these so-called experts obtained their degrees from the biased, big-pharma funded regurgitation-fests otherwise known as universities.


Candice August 13, 2012 at 4:52 AM

First of all, love Matt Stone. Love your blog too!
I gave up dieting after reading, Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth. I met Geneen when she came to speak at my school back in 2008- everything she said resonated with me. My reasons for reading her books deal more with emotional/compulsive eating, but my outcome has been the same.
Nothing is off-limits anymore, no food is “bad”. The consequence of this is that I actually eat less b/c I no longer binge. I have actually lost weight (not a lot), but it’s pretty cool since it has been effortless.
It’s amazing how much a mindset it is— eating I mean.
Temperature wise- I have notice my BBT temps are slowly but surely increasing every cycle.


Jill Cruz August 13, 2012 at 6:35 AM

It sounds like you are happy with your results and that is all that counts. Just from reading your post no one can come in and say what you are doing is unhealthy because only you can be the judge of that at this point. Now if your blood work and other testing was posted then people could get a more objective picture of your health but perhaps you don’t want to subject yourself to that.

I do agree with some posters commenting about the weight gain being less than ideal. It seems that you should be able to improve your health without gaining 20 lbs (since you were not underweight to begin). Also I think the post would be more meaningful if you gave a list of improvements in your health. Just the temps is not very convincing. I would never just go on temps to determine overall health.

And as I always have to comment in almost every blog out there, we are not all the same. We do not all have the same needs. That is why low-carb works for some but not others. It is as simple as that and we don’t need all the fuss.

I saw one person posting here that raw vegan worked for her and others posting that low-carb worked for them. And you seem to be happy with your relatively moderate carb, fat, and protein diet. Why can’t we all just get along and admit that our way is not the high way?

Although it does not sound like you are preaching that way, others do.

I do commend you for relaxing in the food department!

Also, I think that the sleep itself may be adding greatly to your healing.

For those who are suffering from adrenal and thyroid issues, sleep is key and diet is key, and managing stress is paramount. But it is very important to get on the right amount and type of thyroid hormone if you do have thyroid issues. Food and sleep are only going to go so far in helping the thyroid.

My take on the matter is: eat well (in the macronutrient ratio that works for you) and get plenty of rest, get on the right meds, fix the gut, deal with toxicity and boost detoxification, and then once you’re really doing well….then consider going off meds. But ONLY with the help of a care provider who knows how to do that. I believe we can fix the thyroid and fix that autoimmune but it takes optimizing every function and usable T3 levels before even attempting.

Even if you don’t care about going off meds, the usable T3 is crucial, the adrenal function is key and many, many, too many, people walk around thinking they are fine when they are not. These are often very subtle weaknesses and I agree with another comment that things like aldosterone are crucial. Electrolytes, estrogen, dhea, orthostatic blood pressure, RT3, etc should all be checked before assuming that function is normal.


cheeseslave August 13, 2012 at 7:22 AM

@Jill Cruz

I just haven’t had time to have my hormones tested. I haven’t even done the vitamin D test I got in the mail (I get one every 6 months) in April. We were out of the country in May, in June and July we were moving, and on top of that, for the past few months, we’ve been working literally 12-16 hours per day (80-90 hour work weeks).

When I did have my hormones tested a few years ago, I was not hypothyroid and they did not recommend medication. I think I am subclinical hypothyroid.


Jill Cruz August 13, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Next time you do have testing get Free T3, Free T4, and Reverse T3. The RT3 will tell you if you are converting the T4 to a usable form of T3. Many people with “normal” TSH and in-range T4 that have hypothyroid symptoms will turn out with high RT3. This means that the body is able to produce adequate T4 but is not able to convert it into T3 in peripheral tissues. This is a functional T3 deficiency. The hypothalamus sees the adequate T4 in the bloodstream and therefore does not “recognize” the deficiency. Therefore TSH does not rise.

This situation is alleviated by proper diet and supplementation, as well as adequate T3 meds. Selenium, iodine, zinc, and B vitamins all help.

As long as usable T3 is insufficient (for whatever reason) then the adrenals will struggle. Supporting the adrenals is important but not enough in a situation like this.


cheeseslave August 13, 2012 at 9:16 AM


Next time you do have testing get Free T3, Free T4, and Reverse T3. The RT3 will tell you if you are converting the T4 to a usable form of T3.

Yep, I had all those tests done.

Thanks for the suggestion!


Jill Cruz August 13, 2012 at 10:22 AM

If you had those tests done and you are subclinical then it would have shown up. But it will be good to redo them because things may have changed. And, few doctors understand how to read those tests. Then there is always pituitary hypothalamus malfunction possibilities.

Considering the diet you are eating, which doesn’t strike me as particularly high carb, and how active you are, it is actually surprising that you have gained weight, imo.


cheeseslave August 13, 2012 at 10:38 AM

I’ll do the tests again when I have time.

I don’t think I’m eating a high carb diet. I’m eating a normal carb diet.

I gained weight because I was OVEREATING. Please refer to Matt Stone’s protocol.

It is so funny to me that people keep saying, “You gained weight because you ate more carbs.” NO! I gained weight because I ate too much!

And I’m very sedentary (computer work 12-16 hours per day).


lisa truitt February 14, 2013 at 8:14 AM

So what if you gained weight! What a bunch of weight obssessed ninnies.people have become. No one has brought up the metaanalyses that have shown that peple in the supposed 10-50 lb overweight range have the lowest all cause mortality rates. A meta analysis is a study analysing a bunch of studies. They show that if you are thinner than this or significantly over it by more than ten pounds your mortality goes up. So the term overweight starts to become less clear. At what point does a person become overweight? Who gets to decide that? There seems to be much more leeway than some would have us think, especially those that make money off of dieting and drug sales and procedures and drs visits. Viewing superthin as attractive is a conditioned thing. In the past much plumper women were seen as more aytractive. I think peoples visceral fears of being an outcast, of being the bullied fat kid in school, all stemming from the contant images and messages that super thin is attractive and plumpness is ugly, is where all this interest and fixation on weight is coming from, and in spite of the fact that people are talking about gains of fourty pounds or less, ten in Anna Maries case. The false health stuff about it just helps make it ok to obssess about weight, but it is really vanity and fear of rejection that drives it.


Bee September 20, 2012 at 7:45 PM

What do u recommend for adrenal fatigue and (possible) HPA dysfunction?

Also, what do u recommend for dysbiosis (klebsiella….any starches bother me, as this pathogen is a starch-loving organism….but fruits are great!)?

Do u recommend digestive enzymes too?


lisa truitt February 14, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Many people dont have the money to spend on all this stuff. Believe it or not, there was a day when medical problems were treated successfully clinically before tests existed. Ive found that they help only minimally. It has been helpful to know that my iron or iodine was low for example. But what I found over time was that once I learned the symptoms of various deficiencies and problems, I can tell quite well what is going by paying attention to my symptoms. This is what treating clinically is all about. You look at detailed medical history and symptoms. I can usually identify minerals that are deficient, and eradicate symptoms by taking the correct mineral or other substance, tweaking diet, etc. very quickly. I have made more progress doing this on my own with only a very small amount of testing that I order myself than with thousands of dollars of doctors and test bills. The info is available to anyone who wants to learn how to read their body like this. In the information age, with the internet, there is no lack of the knowledge needed to do that.


Abigail August 13, 2012 at 7:39 AM

So has it been scientifically proven that low temps hinder one’s ability to get pregnant? I’m curious because my pre-ovulation temps are in the 96 range, post ov will be in the 97 range and yet both times I’ve gotten pregnant on the first try and the second time I even double ovulated and got twins! I am like 15 years younger than you so maybe temps are something that become more crucial as you get older for achieving pregnancy?


cheeseslave August 13, 2012 at 8:05 AM

Yes, low basal body temperature is considered a symptom of infertility.

Low body temperature is a health problem in many other respects. Please read the work of Dr. Mark Starr and Dr. Broda Barnes.


Gabi August 13, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Righto…the goal of GAPS is to heal your gut…GAPS is a healing protocol, not a life diet…people seem to be confused about that? Those of use who have leaky gut and pathogenic flora overgrowth have systemic constitutional malfunctions that must be healed by healing the gut. It’s absolutely essential. But follow the program, which eventually does include fruits and honey, which are NOT low carb…then, in two years-ish, when you’re healed, enjoy a range of Real Foods. After doing GAPS Intro and some major detoxing, I had lost a lot of toxic weight…yay! I needed to. But then, shifting to Full GAPS, adding in some fruits and honey, I instantly gained and fluctuated between 3 and 5 new pounds. So what? I was getting healthy…we’re on our 2nd year of GAPS and we need it…my family’s allergies and malevolent flora are extreme. But they’re getting better!


Gabi August 13, 2012 at 10:22 AM

OOps…this was supposed to go up top after the first question regarding GAPS…I messed up, sorry!


Lively August 13, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Hi Ann Marie,
You are so courageous for opening up this chapter to the public to be discussed! I wish every commenter was forced to read Matt’s work before picking apart your post. You are pretty patient with that!
I feel like people often miss that in RRARFing Matt recommends not eating refined foods (and foods high in omega 6’s) and sugar (that includes fruits) until you are healed. Then, according to him, you should be able to eat “whatever you want” from time to time without gaining tons of weight. It seems that a lot of people take it as an all-out junk food fest. It is far from that, as he clearly says in his book. I know that he also talks about getting over your phobias and eating things that you used to be afraid of before, but it seems as though he gives way more specific guidelines in his initial healing phase than people give him credit for or discuss (even random details like eating the bulk of your food before 2pm, something that is not possible for everyone).
Bravo on your healing journey- I look forward to celebrating the pregnancy news with you!


cheeseslave August 13, 2012 at 10:41 AM


I wish every commenter was forced to read Matt’s work before picking apart your post. You are pretty patient with that!

I agree. It’s frustrating me that people keep saying, “You gained weight because you ate more carbs.”

I DELIBERATELY overate! That’s why I gained!

I ate tons of carbs my whole entire life — not high carb but not low carb. Normal carbs. And I never gained weight. It was only after I had a baby and went low carb that I gained weight.

It’s so funny to me that people say, “Well you didn’t try low carb long enough” or “You didn’t do it right.” If I NEVER gained weight my whole life on a normal carb diet, and I gained weight on LOW CARB, then doesn’t it make sense to give the normal carb diet some more time? It’s only been 7 months after all. And I did gain weight when I puposefully overate, but anyone would.

Since I’ve stopped overeating and am just eating normal amounts of carbs in June, I have lost 5 pounds. If their theory that carbs make you fat were correct, than I shouldn’t have lost any weight since June.


Gabi August 13, 2012 at 11:37 AM

You’re making good points, AnnMarie, both about people needing to read carefully and about the problems with extreme diets. Other than doing a healing protocol, where our bodies need time off certain foods to detox and repair, we really shouldn’t force ourselves into abandoning entire food groups. We should avoid toxic foods (like soy and GMOs), and learn how to properly prepare problematic foods (like fermenting/sprouting grains), but we should be eating a variety of all food types. And we should eat more of the foods that our bodies need to be well, like good fats. I think our obsession with our weight, a misunderstanding of calorie quality, and the fear of food groups causes real problems for people…a tendency to go to extremes and starve the body of something, creating a lot of bounceback weight fluctuation responses and wreaking hormone havoc.


Krista August 13, 2012 at 11:38 AM


I was just reading your post about Paleo diets and there you wrote, “Since I stopped overeating around June 1st, I lost 8 pounds (2 pounds per week) without even trying.” and “I predict that I will continue to lose weight until my body has settled at where it wants to be.”

You gained some weight back since then? That was about a month ago, do you think your body has “settled” already?


Jill Cruz August 14, 2012 at 7:08 AM

I don’t really see anyone here saying that “carbs will make you fat”. What I hear is that people are noticing your weight gain and thinking it is not healthy.

What I see is classic postpartum hypothyroidism and some adrenal fatigue that you may be moving away from. If someone is young and relatively healthy and somewhat active and without any underlying conditions they can surely eat carbohydrates in moderation and not gain weight. Also the word carb entails many foods. Of course eating mounds of white bread and cake is not good for you, whether you gain weight or not.

Matt Stone brings that criticism to himself, imo. I once was sent a link to one of his videos. He was very vague about his recommendations and then he ate a gummy bear. That was enough to steer me away from reading his stuff anymore. I don’t have time.


cheeseslave August 14, 2012 at 9:16 AM


Please read Matt Stone before you criticize his work. If you don’t have time to read what he is staying, then maybe you don’t have time to criticize either.

I don’t really see anyone here saying that “carbs will make you fat”. What I hear is that people are noticing your weight gain and thinking it is not healthy.

Again, read Matt Stone. Read the comment above about how it can take SEVERAL years to restore hormonal balance. Temporary weight gain is part of the plan.


Jill Cruz August 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM

I am not criticizing Matt Stone. I am just imparting my brief encounter with him. Just because I’m not interested in delving further into his work does not mean I’m criticizing him. Why so sensitive?

I also am not saying your weight gain is unhealthy, I am relaying what others have said here. I felt there was that distinction to be made because you seem to think people are saying “don’t eat carbs” but I haven’t seen those comments.

Since your discovery of Matt Stone I have seen several posts about your experiences that almost appear to be inviting controversy. It’s like you are expecting people to criticize you and Matt Stone. It is a curious activity, imo.

I also have noticed that if anyone gives a suggestion that you disagree with you seem to react quite negatively (for example your response to Amanda Rose below) and when someone is agreeing with you, your responses are very rosy. The whole conversation has veered from interesting discussion to something else. I would rather see differing opinions encouraged and a healthy dialogue.


Gabi August 13, 2012 at 11:54 AM

After reading AnnMarie’s testimony and all the comments here, the thing that strikes me is that we all still have so much to learn…and that’s the great thing about this grand adventure of life. Like Jill Cruz pointed out, we’re not all the same…and Laurent mentioned that we are overloaded by our toxic environment. THese are really important points. One of the problems is that we can’t fix one hormone by just targeting a treatment to that hormone. Our hormones work together…the hormone cascade is complex. We are damaging our hormones with our modern lifestyles…the environmental pollutants, the foods, the hectic pace of life, multitasking, lack of sleep, EMFs, etc…it’s really crazy. I really like how Matt (and AnnMarie) emphasize the need for sleep in healing hormones. No matter how we eat, without proper sleep, we just won’t function properly…the majority of cellular renewal and healing takes place while we sleep…it’s no wonder we’re a mess! LOL

I definitely think we experience variations in what has caused our hormones to go awry and what we need to do to heal them. I’ve suffered malfunctioning hormones for years and I used to eat whatever I wanted from all food groups…I never ate low carb. BUT, I never slept well, and I went thru a vegan phase, and after that, I didn’t eat a lot of saturated fats and I still ate lots of soy. So I set myself up for failure. It wasn’t until 10 years ago that I got off the vegan/soy bandwagon and started eating real fats that things improved. But even then, my hormones were crazy. My systemic weaknesses, allergies, etc. had my system overloaded. It’s been a long journey of healing, including foods, herbs, sleep, acupuncture, GAPS, multiple modalities…no quick fixes here. Last year I had another miscarriage and couldn’t get pregnant. This month I found out I am pregnant, and am very excited and hopeful.

I think as a community here, we are sharing the keys to getting and staying well. It certainly involves eating a variety of Real Food, avoiding toxins, reducing stress, increasing sleep, living naturally… To be well requires massive lifestyle overhauls sometimes, and healing takes time. I’m glad for you, AnnMarie…you’re feeling better and you’re happier…that’s huge! Congrats!


Diana August 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

I think I really need to get a consultation with Matt, as my joints cannot handle any extra weight. My joints are not healthy. But my body temps are low, always have been. Always around 36 degrees, while they should be above 37. Never managed that.
My weight gain did not start until my 4th baby, before that I was a pencil. So I really need to figure out what on earth is going on with my body.
Thanks for the post, its good food for thought.


Emily August 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Just curious… A while back you were taking enzymes recommended by Julia Ross through her diet cure book. Are you still doing that and is that a compliment to what you are doing with Matt Stone’s diet recovery program? I enjoy reading your blog but sometimes I get whiplash trying to follow you through your journey and find the takeaways that may apply for me. I heard Julia Ross on a podcast and her enzyme approach just sounded too good to be true.


Emily August 13, 2012 at 2:48 PM

I meant amino acids, not enzymes.


Mari August 13, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Thank you so much for posting this! I am so glad that people in the health blogosphere are finally having a real discussion about what is truly unhealthy: stress (food stress, life stress, physiological stress, etc.) and toxic foods (vegetable oils, GMOs, HFCS). Everything else (macro-nutrient ratios, specific allergies, carb intake) is up to the individual to determine. While of course there is no “one size fits all” plan, one can be sure that stressing the body out with ridiculous dietary guidelines that fail to result in real health gains is absurd and an exercise in futility.
I know because I have been there. I completely wrecked my health and digestion on low-carb paleo and became an insufferable orthorexic. You know it’s bad when you are freaking out over the soy in fermented soy sauce and bemoaning the sugar in kombucha. Holy shit, am I glad I came to my senses and dropped that diet like a bad habit. Of course, I am still trying to recover my period, motility and temperature after tanking my metabolism and adrenals. My recovery is slow going but my health gains have been very encouraging– helped along with lots of fruit, dairy and yummy carbs. And yes, low-carb can work for some, I even think it might be beneficial in the short term, but we have to listen to our bodies. Amenorrhea, constipation, poor sleep, poor recovery from workouts, low body temps– these are all RED FLAGS. The body is a very intelligent organism and will let you know when it is under-nourished. I am floored that so many women are criticizing you for a few measly pounds despite your numerous health gains. Where is the support ladies?! We get enough of this crap from the media– bravo to Ann Marie for coming out in support of real health for herself, not for the fantasy land of “perfect body=perfect health” purported by our culture. Enjoying life, reducing stress, having fun, relaxing about the “ideal human diet”– these are good things. Thanks for sharing your story Cheeseslave! Here is to dietary liberation!
P.S. I do think body temperature is an excellent guideline for health– much more important than the medical world would have you believe. Many renowned endocrinologists and physiologists would agree– Hans Selye, Broda Barnes, Ray Peat all used/use body temperature as the main starting point for determining health status.


Lively August 13, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Well said, Mari- thanks for that!


cheeseslave August 14, 2012 at 7:45 AM

Thanks so much for your comment, Mari!

You know it’s bad when you are freaking out over the soy in fermented soy sauce and bemoaning the sugar in kombucha.

Well said! And I have been there. I avoided kombucha in the past because of the sugar.


Gabi August 13, 2012 at 8:30 PM

OK, question, AnnMarie and everyone. Orthorexic. How are we Real Foodies defining that? I’m really late to the game on this one…I just can’t seem to keep up with all the food news, LOL, and I hadn’t heard the term before reading it here. And, I’m sorry, but it really sounds like the device of the big, bad food industry to make more inroads into vilifying Real Food. I mean, the definition I read on one site was that anyone concerned about eating healthy food was orthorexic…has a MENTAL disorder. That anyone shunning processed foods has a MENTAL disorder. Um, really?!

OK, I don’t believe that food groups are evil (ie carbs are bad, bad, bad), and that any natural food is bad. But I definitely know that the manipulations we’ve done to our soil and food supply have damaged what once were good foods, and that much of what is offered to consumers is not food at all. I absolutely will not eat certain things…fast food, soy, GMOs, HFCS, adulterated dairy…not if you paid me mucho $$. I know it will hurt me and my kids, and that would absolutely steal my joy.

So do I have a mental disorder? I eat and promote Real Food. I’ve lived with the disorders and the suffering of my children as a result of our franken-food world and I won’t say it’s OK to compromise. Monsanto and McDonalds, et al would love to say that makes me sick in the head, but that diagnosis sounds crazy to me.

What’s the consensus here…how are we dealing with this “term?” TIA for input.


Ashley August 14, 2012 at 10:06 AM

This is my question too! Am I orthorexic? I don’t fear any particular food group or real food ingredient, but I’m terrified of “food” containing HFCS, GMOs, pesticide residues, artificial colors, etc. I’m not even worried about the occasional homemade treat using white flour and regular sugar (preferably organic of course!). But my fear of toxic food does interfere with our social life in that I don’t want my family or myself eating most restaurant junk. I do get that what I choose to eat is affecting my life, but do I have to eat things that should never be in our food in the first place to not be considered orthorexic?


Gabi August 14, 2012 at 9:19 PM

@ Ashley, of course I don’t know you and it’s not my place to say if you are anything. I just have a particular peeve with people being labeled constantly. It seems like we live with this culture of “expertism” and we are routinely bombarded with new diagnoses, disorders and labels with which people are classified…and someone always seems to benefit. I find it irksome and irrelevant so much of the time. Just b/c one guy makes some diagnosis based on a particular paradigm of his, doesn’t mean it’s legitimate. Now, maybe he’s come up with a term that some people think really apply to them and they feel it helpful to use that term for themselves. As for me, there is no fear when it comes to food. I have spent the last 15 years working diligently to reverse health problems that I’ve suffered since birth. I know too much to be careless with my choices and those that I make for my kids. When it comes to food, I don’t feel afraid, I feel empowered. I’m not about to ingest poison or damaging fake food, and I’m not going to financially support the companies that sell it. I don’t think that makes me sick in the head…something else might, LOL, but not that! :)


cheeseslave August 17, 2012 at 8:08 AM


I think if one is terrified of foods, it is likely that they are on their way to orthorexia


Heather August 13, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Hi Ann Marie,

Thanks for posting this. This is a refreshing mindset that I would love to embrace. I have been dieting since kindergarten. (Tab soda and the Cabbage Soup diet!). I have continually gained weight on every diet out there to the point that I am now significanly overweight and diabetic. I even gained 10 pounds while training for a 1/2 marathon walk. (Not muscle-clothes got tighter!)

The only plan that ever gave me a glimmer of hope was low carb. That being said, I am also fed up with self-enforced, rigid eating plans while spending hours in the gym-only to remain obese. Its not fun being the odd duck at any social function. A friend even worried that I had an eating disorder due to my rigid eating habits.

When you first wrote of Matt’s plan I was so excited. I jumped in with both feet. I have tried both his HED plan and the milk fast. (mentioned in his diabetes e-book).

Here are my experiences with low carb, the raw milk fast and the HED plan:

First, low carb. I define low-carb as 30g carbs per day. I follow Protein Power by the Eades. Eat meat,eggs, fats and green veggies. Carbs mostly from cream, cheese and veggies. My fasting sugars were about 115-120. When I ate they would rise to an average of 140-150. Unless I ate a “hidden carb” at a restaraunt (ie: sugar in the marinade of an otherwise dry, low carb grilled chicken breast). Hidden carbs would spike me to at least 170. I had moderate energy levels not high but not in a groggy, carb fog either. I *did* experience ups and downs in my energy level as my blood sugars rose or fell with meals. I lost weight steadily but slowly.

Next, the HED plan raised my fasting sugars to about 150. My pants got tight (did not weigh during this time). However, I *did* notice some positive changes with HED. My constant ankle edema lessened dramatically and I had more energy than with low carb or the raw milk fast. I did not have the energy ups and downs like with low carb. My fasting sugars were about 150 and after meals were about 170-185. (Did better with saked beans and legumes than I did with potatoes, sweet potatoes or soaked grains).

Unfortunately, the raw milk fast shot my fasting blood sugars up to an average of 225. Scary. Interestingly, although my sugars were high there were no dramatic changes after meals. No more than about a 5-7 point rise after drinking raw milk. My energy was decent but no better than on low carb. Gained a good amount of weight in my belly. I am now entering week 3 of milk fast and am disappointed that my sugars have been so high as I really wanted this to work for me.

Overall, I felt the best on HED. My energy was up, I felt less depressed and I was very happy to not have to obsess about what I was eating. However, I am worried that I am harming my body with the blood sugars associated with HED. At this point, I am undecided if I should continue to do HED and see if the sugars drop after a full month(I saw no change in 2.5 weeks) or if I should just bite the bullet and low carb until I have lost enough weight to improve my vlood sugar responses and then try to come back to HED. My doctor is pushing me to do the HCG, 500 calorie per day plan. I have learned enough here to tell her to stuff it!
Regardless, I truly appreciate both your blog and 180 Degree Health. I have learned so much!


Jill Cruz August 14, 2012 at 7:21 AM

A lot of the questions about what to eat can easily be answered by some basic testing. If one is healthy and moving along she may not be motivated. But if someone is ill or unable to conceive or lose weight then she is usually more motivated to get into testing.

I favor functional diagnostic nutrition/medicine. We are all unique and this approach helps us figure out our unique weaknesses. Heather, it looks to me like you have an underlying condition that prevents you from losing weight. It could be hormonal or gut issues, or genetic, or a combination. Most health issues usually come down to those three factors. With functional medicine you can get to the root cause of the issue.

Food and lifestyle can only go so far. I have seen this time and again. And I have seen too many people struggle with eating really well and working out and yes, they are keeping up, but the underlying issue is still there. This means they have to work overtime and obsess about everything they put in their mouth, but they still have issues. This is very frustrating and leads to a lot of the comments we’ve seen here on this post. It is mentally exhausting to always worry about what you eat when you still can’t lose weight or have a baby, or whatever.

My philosophy is if a person has done a lot with the food and still hasn’t resolved all the issues then functional testing is in order. Yes, it’s expensive. A good functional medicine doctor will run you at least 2-3,000$ (including testing). But it works.

I use functional testing in my practice and it is great! It has helped me a lot! And I work with a functional doctor and I have seen her bring so many people back. I have seen many of her patients who have seen 20, 30, even 70 doctors for their issues and are still unable to find out what’s wrong. I have seen many people cry and thank her because they finally have their lives back. Yes, these people are really sick when they come to her. Most are unable to work anymore or have any sort of real life. They are desperate. But she also sees people with less severe problems. Anyway, my point is that food and lifestyle are very important but they only go so far.


Amanda Rose August 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM

With health concerns on top of trying to conceive, it seems like your best first strategy is to cut back those work hours as close to zero as possible for the next six months or more and spend a lot of time on the beach (perhaps even exercising there). What you are eating in those six months actually matters less than reducing those extremely bad work hours. In the process, you’ll be making room in your life for the new baby, who is going to suck up many of those 16 hours a day anyway.


cheeseslave August 14, 2012 at 7:40 AM

Amanda, you’ve previously given me this (unasked for) advice before in the comments. You have no idea what my life is like or what my commitments are. Obviously I’d be working less if I could.


Amanda Rose August 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Goodness. Sorry. This is my advice to most people. I didn’t realize I had mentioned it to your before. There are lots of resources out there on cutting back that you could probably apply to whatever your circumstances are.


MontanaRed September 9, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Wow, snap!
I thought it was good advice for someone trying to conceive, Amanda Rose. While most women can’t quit their job and move to the beach for 6 months, reducing stress by cutting back on hours is a great thought.


Nicole August 14, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Oh Ann-Marie, I also wanted to thank you for exposing me to the word orthorexia. This is such perfect timing for me having just read Jon Gabriel. I realise now that I was totally orthorexic and it is just so liberating to be freed from that. I think a lot of the comments here show a lot of fear around food……….stay strong in who you are and what you believe, I think there is a lot of wisdom in what you and many others like you are doing. A year ago I wouldn’t have been able to hear that I was orthorexic but hey, when the student is ready……………….


Andreah August 15, 2012 at 4:18 AM

Thank you for all you do. You have really opened my eyes….now if at this moment I could just shut them and go to dreamland that would be wonderful. You are inspiring.
I am grateful.


Jill Cruz August 15, 2012 at 7:07 AM

I thought it was interesting to see this post on “orthorexia” today on my FB page by Tender Grassfed Meat.


cheeseslave August 15, 2012 at 8:25 AM

I love Stanley but I disagree with this post. I am often dismayed by the frequent orthorexic questions and comments I get from readers.

So many people out there get so crazy about food that they will go to great lengths in order to eat what they consider healthy food — for example, bring food wherever they go. Many will even avoid eating out at restaurants or at family and friends’ gatherings. Some will even go to the extremes of limiting contact with loved ones or even terminating relationships when they can’t come to terms on their beliefs about food.

This is often excessive and it is not healthy. There are some situations where being extremely strict with food is necessary, for example, when one has an autistic child. But for the vast majority of people out there, eating out in restaurants from time to time won’t hurt you and being able to go out with friends or family is an important part of a healthy, happy life.

Eating well should not be a cult.


Jill Cruz August 15, 2012 at 10:13 AM
Gabi August 15, 2012 at 11:14 AM

I see your point, for sure, that people get really bound up and fearful, which is not good, but don’t you think the people desiring to label us all orthorexic are going overboard? Like Stanley said in his post, “If you avoid foods that contain chemicals, preservatives, GMOs, or any toxins, you are mentally ill with this so-called disorder.” Would you agree that we are all orthorexic the way they define it? It really seems to be overkill and a way to delegitimize our efforts to eat Real Food and plan healthy meals for our families.


Gabi August 15, 2012 at 11:19 AM

AnnMarie, I’m certainly not trying to be contentious…I love your posts and I think you do great work. This concept of orthorexia is new to me and I find it confusing and problematic. We all know the “industry” will use whatever tactics necessary to mow down the opposition. I guess I’m asking you, when you say, “I love Stanley but I disagree with this post. I am often dismayed by the frequent orthorexic questions and comments I get from readers,” what specifically did you disagree with? Maybe I read it wrong, but it seems Stanley is pointing out that just because we choose to eat Real Food doesn’t make us “sick” and that’s exactly what the creators or “orthorexia” wants us all to believe…that we are impaired. Am I interpreting incorrectly? Thanks for your thought!


Marie August 15, 2012 at 7:30 AM

I agree mostly as well. I didn’t read all of the comments, but I have the same issue as some below where I already carry way too much weight (270s at 5’3″) and it’s scary to gain weight while you are “healing”. I’m 33. I just went through 3 years of cancer/treatments for lymphoma in my groin area, followed by thyroid cancer and thyroidectomy. If being overweight, hormonally imbalanced with PCOS and low functioning thyroid weren’t enough, now I just had radiation over my reproductive organs…..having a baby naturally seems impossible. I have hope b/c I serve a God who can do the impossible. But those extra few pounds I have gained is a little unnerving. I do allow myself some carbs. I haven’t taken them out completely. One I like them and two it was too strict. But I used to be the person to eat a box of cereal in a day. I haven’t had cereal in almost a year. HUGE!!! I feel much better eating more meat than I used to allow myself when eating “low fat”. One thing I’m curious about though is dry skin and hair. I used to have oily skin and hair, along with lots of excema. When I decrease the carbs, namely wheat, the excema virtually disappeared, but now my skin feels drier as well as my hair. It could be how I clean it. While changing my diet I was also changing the chemicals in my life and switched to no-poo, which worked for a short time, but eventually left my scalp incredibly itchy and seemed to change the texture of my hair. I may have used too much too often. I went back to regular poo, just every other day.

I also don’t chart my temps or check all of that other stuff b/c that’s too stressful too. I want to to see my progress, but I feel like I have such a long road that it seems pointless right now. Looking at the steps suggested, I do everything except regular exercise. I have started doing yoga occasionally, but I get bored easily and don’t have funds to join a class. I need to have an exercise epiphany the way I had my food epiphany. That change happened in a very short time and I was highly motivated. I have a hate/hate relationship with exercise though, and I don’t like that about myself. Thanks for sharing and listening (reading.)


Cassie August 15, 2012 at 7:54 AM

Wow you get a lot of flack for carb posts. You are beautiful!!


cheeseslave August 15, 2012 at 8:18 AM


Yes, I do. It’s kind of incredible to me.


Kricket August 15, 2012 at 8:01 AM

I asked this on the 13th but I am still curious – It’s off topic but I just gotta ask: how do you keep bags of candy in the house with a child present? My 6 y.o. would find that stuff fast and steadily nibble at it until it was all gone. In secret, of course.

Not that she is deprived. We make homemade jello, and she gets homemade ice-cream and popsicles and homemade cookies and what not. She’s not suffering but it’s not like we eat dessert every night either. Still, she’s a sweets monster.


cheeseslave August 15, 2012 at 8:21 AM


Honestly, I think it’s because we don’t make a big deal about sweets. She gets dessert most nights — usually ice cream.

When she gets candy, she eats a few pieces and then forgets about it. Every once in a while she will remember the candy is there and ask for a piece. But I think because we don’t deprive her of sweets or make a big deal out of it, she doesn’t consider it a “forbidden fruit” that she has to sneak in private.


Rachel C August 15, 2012 at 9:42 AM

This is so interesting to me. I know first hand how different people, with different ethnic backgrounds, can have totally different food reactions. For me, my hormones were off for years and years and the only thing that put them back was to cut out gluten/grains/sugar. When I do, pounds drop like magic. I never eat gluten, because it makes me sick, but when I “cheat” on grain-free by eating some of these gluten free breads or lots of sugar, my hormones go RIGHT off. Immediately. And, I get foggy-brained and irritable, and anxious. As soon as I get back on track, all good again, my temperature goes up, all is nice in Me-Land. I had my first baby at 39 years old (we were not ready before then). And, because of my vigilant grain/sugar free diet for 2+ years before that, it only took me 3 months to get pregnant. Before that, I had a few oopsies that didn’t “stick” (kinda hard not to get pregnant at least once before the age of 38) because my hormones were not balanced. My heritage is mainly European descent.
My husband is half Persian, one quarter Native American, and one quarter Irish. Since he is mostly descended from people who eat more high carb, he has no problem with grains or sugar. In fact, the only thing that makes him gain weight is not enough exercise or sleep.


Rachel C August 15, 2012 at 9:43 AM

PS Also I think that our idea of “thin” is just too thin, and being a little healthier is actually being a little heavier. Especially in America.


Suzanne H August 15, 2012 at 3:37 PM

I think you’d like these blog posts:

Her blog and forum is aimed towards those who are trying to recover from an eating disorder or disordered eating (including those who have restricted calories/carbs/fat). She tells women over 25 to eat at least 2500 calories a day (more the better though) until they stop gaining and their other symptoms subside. This is in order to heal their bodies from all the damage they’ve done over their years of restrictive eating and overexercising (usually takes at least nine months). Then they are supposed to eat to hunger, but it should be at least 2500 calories per day.

Also, that what’s considered fat by people isn’t really fat at all. Most will fall into the BMI of 21-27, but there are some who will be over 27 and still be healthy. That’s what the linked articles above are explaining.

It’s so opposite of what others preach now that it’s hard to wrap my mind around it, but I keep finding myself back at the forums and her website, so something’s calling to me apparently.


Jill Cruz August 15, 2012 at 4:04 PM

And in this whole conversation we can bring in the idea that we can control our lives with our thoughts and feelings. In other words, if we think we are going to gain weight we will. If we assume that we can eat whatever we want and expect to stay at our ideal weight, we will.

This type of thinking and feeling is very powerful. And supersedes a lot of the gory details about what we are eating. I personally know that I can eat whatever I want and my weight stays pretty much the same. Do I gorge? Perhaps occasionally. I’ve been known to eat a pint of ice cream in one evening. But it never concerns me. I prefer to live in the moment and enjoy my life. Most of the time I eat an excellent diet because I enjoy doing that.

However, I understand this law and live this way always and not everyone does, so I do not recommend this type of activity to most of my clients. I meet them where they are at…and occasionally I come across a client who is ready for this….


Ian rubin August 15, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Hello my dear. Great post. I’ll take a look at matts stuff soon but being happy and enjoying food with stress and worry is what it’s all about. Glad it’s working well for you. Good luck on the baby making.


cheeseslave August 16, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Thanks, Ian! :-) xoxo


Carlota August 16, 2012 at 5:57 PM

I was a long time LCer and your mention of having to restrict an already restrictive diet is my story! “Oh, the miniscule amount of carbs in cream cheese must be what’s keeping me from losing. Better eliminate that!” I have some serious hormone issues and while I’ll never know if LC is fully to blame, I feel strongly that it was like adding fuel to an already out if control fire.

Reply August 17, 2012 at 5:11 AM

I just have to say my maiden name is Stone and my brother has a son named Matt, so it’s just really weird to see this name all the time, now, in the health news, lol.



gabi August 17, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Some of the commenters here are touching on a really important point…stress ruins your hormones. Malnourishment ruins your hormones. One of the most interesting “stats” I’ve read is how skinny women have a more difficult time getting pregnant. I’m not talking fit, trim women, but really skinny (obesity can impair conception, too). Many pro athletes have a difficult time getting pregnant. Extreme eating is just a bad idea, as well as being exposed to environmental toxins that wreak havoc on our hormones. We aren’t doing ourselves any favors by not nourishing ourselves with all Real Food.

I find it a bit astonishing that AnnMarie is getting so much heat for saying that she’s eating more carbs. She designed an entire series of classes and recipes to help people properly prepare and enjoy grains. Why shouldn’t we? There’s no such thing as an evil food group…it’s all about the quality of the individual foods. Of course, some of us have allergies and need to heal first…but I am looking forward to being able to digest sprouted bagels and kefir-soaked pancakes!! :)

After reading more personal testimonies, I can see how a “fear” of foods is debilitating, and I’m sorry for the trouble it has caused anyone suffering from it. I still have a peeve with the clinical definition of orthorexia and its future ramifications. Correct me if I’m wrong, but from what I’ve read, the medical industry is diagnosing ANYone to have this disorder who chooses to avoid artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, pesticides, genetic modification, unhealthy fat, sugar or added salt. (OK, I’ll give them the salt thing. LOL! Salt, of course, should be added liberally! But only real salt…oh, does that make me crazy?)

According to the definition, Joel Salatin is a sick, sick man. AnnMarie, Sarah and the rest of us should retire our blogs. I apologize for the sarcasm; I’m just trying to make a point. And can we agree that planning meals a day in advance as a “disorder” marker is asinine? I’m not unique…I’m a very busy mom…I can’t shop every day. Meal planning is essential to my shopping list and to making sure my family gets fed. It’s simply good home economics.

But here’s the worst part. The medical industry has taken hold of orthorexia as another “treatable” disorder. Treatable with psychotropic drugs. The final sentence of a mayo clinic web page on orthorexia says, “Orthorexia that features obsessive compulsive behaviors can be effectively treated with medication and cognitive behavioral therapy by a trained therapist.” Again, consider their original definition as stated above. See the problem? And how will they define obsessive compulsive behaviours? Do you see where this is headed? Big pharma execs really do want all Americans on their drugs. I see the kids of Real Foodies as the potential targets with this orthorexia disorder. Little Johnny or Katie will be observed and “evaluated” by teachers and the school nurse, and when it is discovered that the child would choose a carrot stick over a twinkie, or that soda is never served at home, a psychotropic prescription will be issued.

You know what’s ironic? The same people who want to label all of us as suffering from a mental disorder for choosing Real Food are scared of one of the most nourishing foods on the planet…saturated fat! They still follow the false doctrine of “dangerous” saturated fat and “evil” cholesterol. They teach the public to fear fat…that fat is bad. But we’re the ones with the problem?

It seems that this orthorexia thing is targeted at all Real Foodies, and that’s troubling. I think it’s a bad idea to legitimize these labels. Our culture is diagnosis/disorder obsessed. They keep naming things that don’t need names so they can “treat” them. That’s just my 2 cents on this issue. I’m not delegitiming anyone who feels they have an unhealthy fear of foods, I just want to be sure we aren’t throwing out the baby with the bathwater. (For years I had to take all our own food to functions b/c my kids and I have debilitating food allergies.) Ultimately, I think we should work within our community (local and online) to encourage one another to pursue and enjoy Real Food with clarity and peace and joy. That’s what I see happening with these Real Food blogs and the community of commenters.


Heather August 17, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Good points!


cheeseslave August 17, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Even Joel Salatin has been quoted saying that if you can just cook ONE meal at home once per week, you’ll be doing great.

There is nothing wrong with seeking out better foods. But when you get neurotic about it, and become fearful of “bad” foods, and try to be perfect, that’s when it becomes a problem. That’s when it becomes orthorexic.

We’ve been traveling this week visiting with family in Idaho. We’ve been eating out most of the time. Lots of bread, pasta and pizza (white flour).

But we’ve also had grass-fed beef, local trout, grass-fed butter, organic whole milk (not raw, and I don’t know if it’s grass-fed). We’ve eaten factory farm meat, too. When we can find restaurants that have grass-fed/local we go there, but we don’t stress about it when they don’t have that.

I also let my daughter eat candy a couple times this week with her cousins. I don’t let her order soda or even juice at restaurants — but you know what, she always wants milk anyway. But I don’t freak out because it’s not organic or raw or even grass-fed. It’s 2% milk. I just ask them to add a little cream to it so that she gets some good fat.

Today the kids wanted popcorn (for the movies tonight) and they wanted brownies. Instead of buying popcorn at the movies, we went to the local store and bought popcorn, coconut oil and butter. Instead of buying brownies or a brownie box mix, we made brownies from scratch from butter, brown sugar, organic eggs, unsweetened chocolate and white flour.

I think the point is, we do the best we can but we don’t freak out and don’t try to be perfect.


gabi August 18, 2012 at 5:30 PM

I absolutely agree on not freaking out. It’s counterproductive to good health. We may draw our lines in different places as far as how much we’ll compromise, but nobody should be getting ill b/c of their food choices. We had to eat out last week b/c of travels and we ate at the deli of a “natural” food store. We had chicken, frittata, burgers…it wasn’t all the quality I would serve at home, but it didn’t kill us. LOL I don’t see the point in hyperventilating when we make the best choices we can in those circumstances. I just don’t want to be targeted as someone who needs psychotropic drugs b/c I don’t eat industrial food. :)

I hope you enjoy your Idaho trip…we’ve been living in north Idaho for two years since moving from southern CA…culture shock, but an interesting adventure in attempting to homestead! Sun Valley is really a pretty place.

I’ll be curious to hear your take on the local meats…my husband hunts and fishes and I always need to cook our elk with lots of lard b/c it’s such a lean meat…I really, really, really crave fatty meat!! LOL

Enjoy your travels!! :)


gabi August 18, 2012 at 8:07 PM

re: Joel Salatin: I’m not familiar with that quote, I haven’t heard all his interviews; I don’t remember all his documentary quotes. But I have read all his books and the overall message I get from him is that he is working to educate typical Americans to eat better, to understand the impact of their choices, to make the right changes…that could be the context. I don’t want to be presumptuous, of course. But from all he’s written, I’m not going to assume that his advice would be that if you are eating out for all your meals except once a week, you’ll be healthy.

One of his books, Holy Cows and Hog Heaven, focuses extensively on teaching Americans how/why to stop buying/eating industrial food. He has one chapter just about learning to use your kitchen and learning to make your meals from scratch. He also says in that book that he’s been known to eat fast food (not McDonald’s) and that Super Bowl Sunday may involve pizza and soda…but he says those are to be exceptions, never habits. He says that if everyone ate as much candy as he did, the candy industry would go out of business.

I guess the question is how much consumption of anything would qualify as a habit and what amount would be an “exception.” I think 20% of total consumption consisting of junk is too high to be considered an exception. Anyway, good discussion. Thanks for the open dialogue.


JMR August 21, 2012 at 6:08 AM

“But from all he’s written, I’m not going to assume that his advice would be that if you are eating out for all your meals except once a week, you’ll be healthy.”

I believe he means that if you eat all of your meals out, it would be a beneficial first change to start cooking one meal at home. He doesn’t mean that should be all you should do for optimal health, just that you have to start somewhere and starting by going from eating all meals out to cooking all meals at home is unrealistic/overwhelming. Make one small change first.


Laura August 18, 2012 at 6:43 AM

For the past few years I have trying to make sense of all the different ways of eating out there and which one is best for me. It has been a very confusing journey to say the least. I had to start taking medicine for low thyroid and although I feel somewhat better, I am still so overweight (50 lbs) which affects my self image a lot. How do you know which diet is best for you? And I keep reading that if you’re healthy-your body will come to a healthy weight. That has not happened for me. I do like the sound of the 80/20 philosophy. But AM, are you saying you eat white sugar and processed foods? I thought those foods were the ones EVERYONE agreed were no nos. And if yes, do you still feel good? I love sugar and candy and it has always been a big stumbling block for me. Does anyone have any insights?


cheeseslave August 18, 2012 at 8:18 AM


Yes I eat white sugar and processed foods from time to time. And yes, I feel good. Again, I follow 80/20.


gabi August 18, 2012 at 6:15 PM

@Laura: hmmmm…this 80/20 thing is an interesting discussion, and I think could easily become problematic. I understand the current passion some people are sharing for being relieved of a fear of foods. If you’re compromising 20% of the time with things like organic white flour instead of whole wheat, or eating more desserts with your 20% than you normally would, I get it…we allow ourselves some freedom to compromise. If you are in general good health (you don’t have allergies or significant gut troubles), you can get away with more than some of us.

But if you are using this 80/20 rule and 20% of the time you are consuming GMOs (like soy and corn), HFCS, industrial (pasteurized, adulterated, hormone/antibiotic-ladened) milk, and trans fats, then you’re going to end up in trouble. You can’t poison yourself 20% of the time and think you’ll achieve good health, and you really can’t do it to growing children and think they won’t have problems down the road. Read Deep Nutrition on how your genes respond to food. Making your pizza with white flour as one of your 20% meals is a very different thing from eating butterfingers and drinking mountain dew.


Jill Cruz August 19, 2012 at 6:56 AM

I am fundamentally not a fan of 80/20, or any other arbitrary rules for that matter. The #1 rule to follow is “observe your body” (which is not arbitrary, imo). Do what makes you feel good! 80/20 sounds like a potential copout to me. I don’t need some random % floating around in my head. If I want to eat junk, I will.

And we all know that certain foods make some people feel awful while others don’t. I for one, cannot and absolutely will not eat white flour. It makes me feel awful. I also don’t do well with bad oils, ugh! And chocolate makes me wired. So I avoid those things always. Not because of some rule or because of what someone who wrote a book says, but because they make me feel bad. I think it is better to go by that standard than some arbitrary rule.

I have only met one person who never veered from his standards. He is a brilliant man but very uptight. I’m not into that way of living. Instead of thinking, “I’m allowed to veer from my standards 20% of the time”, I prefer to say, “I’m going to eat what I want, when I want”. Most of the time I eat to my standards 99% of the time. When I travel, hey, I’m not going to worry. If I feel like eating ice cream with family or friends, hey, I’m going to enjoy myself. I recommend this to clients too. Unless they have a serious health issue. I think we’ve all agreed that is the time to clamp down.


Jill Cruz August 19, 2012 at 7:04 AM


I recommend you consider 2 very important points:

1. Always observe and respect the signals from your body. Even if what your body is telling you is something you don’t like or you don’t “agree with”.

2. Find the macronutrient ratio that is right for you.
This means that we don’t all have the same needs for protein, fat, and carbs. Weston A. Price did a great job of illustrating this fact. And our needs can vary throughout the day, cyclically, or seasonally. So once you’ve figured out your macronutrient ratio, keep paying attention because it can change.

These two bits of information are very freeing because they allow you to eat in a way that makes YOU feel good. Dietary advice regarding macronutrient ratios that is made without this in mind is practically useless. For example: the idea that low carb is dangerous is only valid if you are not meeting YOUR unique carb needs.

There are people out there who thrive on a diet lower in carbs. I emphasize here that the exact amount of carbs and the form they are delivered in should be carefully considered of course. But always considered with a decent knowledge about how the body works combined with honest observation of your own body.


Jill August 18, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Nice blog! I’ve followed you off and on, but I’m glad I read this. Also I just read a book, “Why Women Need Fat” written by two doctors whose names escape me. Regardless, it talks about how women naturally gain weight after a first pregnancy to insure a healthy and hopefully larger second child. According to them, your first baby paved the way in the birth canal to make way for a larger and therefore more viable baby. A lot of what they also talk about is omega 3s vs omega 6s. I have recently rededicated myself to NOT dieting and just living and being happy with who I am. I decided this a year ago and backtracked with weight watchers. I really felt God whispering in my ear telling me to do what I love and love what I do and stop worrying about all the diet stuff.


Domini August 29, 2012 at 4:27 AM

I love nosing round your blog, love your spirit, your enthusiasm, and the fact you make the time to explore so many topics in so much depth. I also admire the fact that when you make a point you stand by it even when you get some quite aggressive an unkind responses. Also want to say I had to reread the bit where you said you were 44, you look a good 10 years younger!


cheeseslave August 29, 2012 at 9:59 AM


Aw gee thanks!



KL August 29, 2012 at 10:39 AM

I am in the same boat– tried Low Carb and Paleo. Low Carb worked for a while and lost a lot of weight but gained it back. Paleo I was always bloated. I have just started adding soaked sprouted Oat groats and I feel better BUT I am always hungry. I eat a lot and always have some type of fat (usually coconut oil). I am so frustrated!!!


Kim September 8, 2012 at 1:50 PM

When I first read this post, I have to admit, I thought you were nuts! I was right in the middle of paleo zeal and brainwashing. The tipping point was when I was eating a sweet potato (without butter and maple syrup!) and felt guilty. I felt guilty over a sweet potato. It was crazy. Then I freaked out in the supermarket because my husband gave my girls a chip sample that contained…wait a minute…gluten. Yes, the dreaded gluten. I was miserable to live with. I consulted with Matt Stone and it’s been a few days and I’m already feeling warmer. My morning temp is going up and I’m enjoying ice cream, breads and foods I haven’t allowed myself to eat in ten years.
The only downside is the constipation I’ve been experiencing since adding in dairy and grains and a loss of libido (what’s that about?) which seems the opposite of what I’m supposed to experience. Hopefully it will all work out, though. Good luck in the baby department and thanks for paving the way. :)


Mali Korsten September 11, 2012 at 3:25 AM

Hi AnnMarie :)

I found this post very encouraging. I’ve been RRARFing for about 4 months now (after a 4 month stint on GAPS), and have made some great progress. I have gained some weight (from 120 lbs to 135 lbs, at 5’6″) but I feel so much better for it. My weight has stabilized at 135 and I’m not picking up any extra, regardless of how much I eat. My blood pressure has finally come up after being ridiculously low for years and I have more energy. It’s also a much less stressful way of eating, given my job (which requires me to travel and often be away from home at meal times).

That said, I still have a way to go. For some reason, I still cannot get my temperature to stay a steady 98.6. Sometimes I’m bang on (sometimes even a little higher), but usually it’s in the mid-to-high 97s. And if I dare go a day without eating lots, my temps go straight down. I’d love to get to the point where they’re steady and not quite so sensitive, but I’m not really sure what more I can do. Is it just a case of being patient, or are there extra measures I could/should be taking? (I have been taking a natural thyroid supplement with iodine and amino acids, but can’t get hold of desiccated thyroid where I am).

My appetite has SERIOUSLY decreased after 4 months of RRARFing. Did you wait until your temps were steady before you stopped overeating, or do you think it’s possible to still make progress when eating to appetite (but with adequate carbs)? If I need to keep overeating I’ll do it, but I’m wondering if this is still necessary after 4 months.

My pre-RRARF temps were not especially low – they fluctuated a lot (anywhere from 96.2 to 99.3), which I believe to be a sign of adrenal fatigue. This definitely seems to have improved, as the fluctuation is within a much smaller scale these days.

Thanks for all the information, and for pointing us to Matt Stone! Having been a dieter since the age of 11, this approach to food is extremely liberating for me! :)


Mali Korsten September 11, 2012 at 3:27 AM

Sorry, forgot to put the space in “Ann Marie” – apologies!


cheeseslave September 11, 2012 at 2:44 PM


For some reason, I still cannot get my temperature to stay a steady 98.6.

It took me about 5-6 months to get my temps nice and consistently steady at 98.6. I started RRARFing in January and it wasn’t until somewhere around May or June that my temps were consistently at 98.6.

Sometimes I’m bang on (sometimes even a little higher), but usually it’s in the mid-to-high 97s. And if I dare go a day without eating lots, my temps go straight down.

Yes, that used to happen to me, too. If I skipped a meal, my temperature would plummet. Or if I exercised. Sleeping a lot more (12-14 hours per night for a couple months while RRARFing) helped.

I’d love to get to the point where they’re steady and not quite so sensitive, but I’m not really sure what more I can do. Is it just a case of being patient, or are there extra measures I could/should be taking? (I have been taking a natural thyroid supplement with iodine and amino acids, but can’t get hold of desiccated thyroid where I am).

Keep eating a lot, eat lots of carbs, and get as much sleep as humanly possible. Don’t exercise if you can help it! Think of it as a hibernation.

My appetite has SERIOUSLY decreased after 4 months of RRARFing. Did you wait until your temps were steady before you stopped overeating, or do you think it’s possible to still make progress when eating to appetite (but with adequate carbs)? If I need to keep overeating I’ll do it, but I’m wondering if this is still necessary after 4 months.

After about 4 months my appetite decreased too. Around 5 months in, we went on vacation and that made it easier to keep eating. Hard to resist all those fabulous restaurant meals!

I would just say make sure you are eating regularly — don’t skip meals — and eat lots of carbs. Beyond that the most important thing is rest. Do not exercise until your temps are stable, and get as much sleep as you can. I thought I was sleeping plenty at 10 hours a night, but my temps got higher and stayed higher when I started sleeping 12-14 hours per night.

My pre-RRARF temps were not especially low – they fluctuated a lot (anywhere from 96.2 to 99.3), which I believe to be a sign of adrenal fatigue. This definitely seems to have improved, as the fluctuation is within a much smaller scale these days.

Yes I believe that is true. My temps were always really up and down too. That’s why it’s so amazing that they are so consistent now!

Thanks for all the information, and for pointing us to Matt Stone! Having been a dieter since the age of 11, this approach to food is extremely liberating for me! :)

You are welcome! Me, too!


Mali Korsten September 12, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Awesome, thanks so much for the help :) I’ll keep munching those carbs and resting up! Hopefully people will get bored of advising me to exercise more and sleep less (“Too much sleep makes you more tired”.. “You’ll have so much more energy if you just exercise”… etc.)

Do you think that even Pilates once or twice a week is too much in the exercise department? I’m not desperate to exercise, but my back has been playing up and I thought it might help. But I’ll hold off if it’s going to slow down my progress.

Thanks again!


cheeseslave September 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM


Yes if you are trying to get your temps up I would not exercise at all for a period of time.


Staci Cooper October 14, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Ann Marie,
Thank you for all that you write. I have been doing some extensive searching into RRARFing and how that fits with GAPS.
I am currently on GAPS for 1.5 months now(with my family) and have come across Matt Stone and your experience with him. At first I was very confused but after doing more reading on RRARFing and your experience things are beginning to make sense.
How long would you recommend being on GAPS before following Matt’s protocol? I know that I have adrenal and thyroid issues and suffered from eczema and allergies for a long time. You mentioned that you were on GAPS for 2 years to heal your gut. Is the 2 year time frame essential for complete gut healing or will RRARFing do the same thing?
Thanks again for sharing your experience!!!


rpl September 22, 2012 at 5:01 AM

I am sorry- please do not take this as a personal attack, this question is an honest and direct one, not trying to start an argument-
did I read you right, did you say WAPF diet is low carb? Really? Was that a typo & you meant GAPS? I’ve found WAPF to be very high carb- all those sprouted beans and grains… could you clarify? Is there something I’ve missed along the way? We’re currently a WAPF family with stints in GAPS each time we find another allergen (currently- all grains, not just gluten; soy; seafood/ shellfish; celery- no kidding, celery, dairy, although we can have small amounts of cheese) it’s taken a lot of trial and error to find the extent of the allergens we need to avoid, and it hasn’t been easy- lots of sick little tummies.
It’s been such a rocky journey & it’s tough to keep up with WAPF since it’s, in my opinion, so heavy in grains.
AND, I’m a bit envious of you getting to eat out. We’re planning 2 little girls birthdays, both want to go out for their big days. The little one wants to stay at an indoor water park & I’m schlepping 2 crock pots & 4 days worth of food to cook in our room (this is a major luxury for us since I left my job to take care of the aforementioned tiny tummies). The other wants to go to her favorite doll store for lunch for her day & there’s NOTHING on the menu she can eat & they don’t quite understand the whole allergy issue & there’s not enough DGL in the world to make up for a ruined birthday…. positive thoughts?


cheeseslave September 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM


did I read you right, did you say WAPF diet is low carb? Really? Was that a typo & you meant GAPS?

I’m not sure can you point out where I said that?

I’ve found WAPF to be very high carb- all those sprouted beans and grains… could you clarify? Is there something I’ve missed along the way? We’re currently a WAPF family with stints in GAPS each time we find another allergen (currently- all grains, not just gluten; soy; seafood/ shellfish; celery- no kidding, celery, dairy, although we can have small amounts of cheese) it’s taken a lot of trial and error to find the extent of the allergens we need to avoid, and it hasn’t been easy- lots of sick little tummies.
It’s been such a rocky journey & it’s tough to keep up with WAPF since it’s, in my opinion, so heavy in grains.

The WAPF Diet is not heavy in grains. The WAPF Diet is based on the work of Dr. Weston A. Price. He studied a wide variety of people, some who ate whole grains, and others who did not eat any grains. There is no one right way to eat the WAPF Diet. You can eat a diet very low in grains or eat NO grains on the WAPF Diet — or you can include properly prepared (soaked/sprouted) whole grains — it’s up to you.


Kate September 24, 2012 at 1:27 PM


If you recall the 10 Reasons I’m not Palep post, you bashed paleo for being rigid, and yet, this exact thing could be said about it.

“There is no one right way to eat the [PALEO] Diet. You can eat a diet very low in grains or eat NO grains on the [PALEO] Diet.”

This is quite the irony, don’t you think?



cheeseslave September 25, 2012 at 8:23 AM


The vast majority of Paleo folks I know are very anti-grains. Most Paleo folks I know avoid not only grains but also legumes, potatoes, and other starches. They debate on websites about which “safe” starches are OK to eat.

If this blog were a Paleo blog and I ate bread every day, people would never stop pointing that out.

So yeah, I still think Paleo is overly restrictive, especially when you consider that grains were eaten as early as 100,000 years ago – see this article:

By the way, I think it’s totally fine to avoid grains for a period of time as necessary to heal gut issues. I just don’t think it needs to be a lifelong thing for like 99% of the population.


Jaana Kulmala September 28, 2012 at 1:21 AM

Hi Ann Marie!

Nice to meet you, and thanks for sharing your story. I’d love to hear an update how you are feeling now (the update in at the end of the blog post did not tell when it was written). What has changed since the last update?

I’ve been through the same, I got adrenal fatigue some years ago, after following a low carb diet for a long time (6 years). I solved my problems by following The Schwarzbein Principle – the diet Stone has taken his inspiration from. But it took quite a long time to get better and I think some of the damage may never heal – we’ll see.

For one, we don’t have any kids and as I’m turning 36. But I’ve learned to live with that.

I was a regular writer in a local low-carb forum, so in addition to losing my health, I lost my online community who, while still accepted me, did not resonate with me anymore. So, I’m glad I found your blog!

Is there a forum where there would be similar-minded discussion going on?


cheeseslave September 30, 2012 at 10:04 AM


I haven’t weighed myself recently but last time I did I had kept off the 10 pounds I lost over the summer. I haven’t lost any more than that but I have been working 12-16 hours every day since June and haven’t had time to exercise.

The best news: my temperature is a steady 98.6 EVERY DAY.

I think the next step for me is weight training. When you put on more muscle you can eat more because the extra muscle will speed up your metabolism. I also want to be more fit and strong. My job is very sedentary.

I started doing HIT (Body By Science) 3 weeks ago. I just go once a week. I am also thinking about starting to swim, bike and walk again, which I enjoy very much.

I don’t know of any online forums…


tina November 14, 2012 at 5:39 AM

Hi Anne Marie – I just want to tell you that I’m so grateful that I found your blog over a year ago. I’ve learned so much from you about real and traditional foods that I never knew existed!
I have a question about this post – I have been loosely following Matt’s protocol for a few weeks now and my temps have steadily risen from the low 97s. Today when I took my temp, I was at 99.1! Do you have any ideas/speculations why this happened? I’m not ovulating – my period is coming this week most likely and I usually take my temp around the same time each morning.


Gizza January 8, 2013 at 9:29 PM

From what I’ve read about all cultures in the world, whenever the food is available every human will try to eat high-carb (starch and sugar) high-fat and high-salt. And fat normally means saturated, monounsaturated or high omega-3/6 ratio for polyunsaturated. And humans prefer low-protein and fibre diets. There is a reason the phrase “bread and butter” means something you do all the time, your livelihood, something very very common. This is the most natural, and to be honest tastiest diet in the world. High carb and fat combined.


Brigit January 12, 2013 at 12:19 PM


The evidence for eating as you suggest doesn’t really bear out. The foods that animals are biologically wired to crave tend to be the ones that are harder to come by are necessary for survival. (Like salt licks for ruminants.) Since the environment doesn’t contain much of it, the animal evolves a biological drive to eat as much as it can find- we are “programmed” to find the taste appealing to ensure we get enough because it wont be around for long or in quantity. A natural environment is only seasonally high in fruits and starches so we developed the adaptation necessary to store that energy (fat) to get through a cold winter– but when this stuff is unnaturally available in quantity it appears to do more harm than good. People gravitate toward it because before agriculture, eating lots of starch in the Fall made the difference between surviving the Winter or dying of starvation- and those genes haven’t changed to account for the year-’round mega-availability of nutrient-deficient, starchy foods.

Also from the perspective of a dietician, the combination of a high intake of fat and acellular carbohydrate (flours, sugars) produces advanced glycated end products, which are ridiculously inflammatory (and they age the body), and it would be hard for anyone to argue that that is a good thing.

“From what I’ve read about all cultures in the world, whenever the food is available every human will try to eat high-carb (starch and sugar) high-fat and high-salt. And fat normally means saturated, monounsaturated or high omega-3/6 ratio for polyunsaturated. And humans prefer low-protein and fibre diets. There is a reason the phrase “bread and butter” means something you do all the time, your livelihood, something very very common. This is the most natural, and to be honest tastiest diet in the world. High carb and fat combined.”

Brigit, RD


Bee January 12, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Bright…. Then what would u say is the optimal way to eat and the best macronutrient ratio?


Brigit January 18, 2013 at 1:57 PM


The best macronutrient ration is whatever works for your individual biology. There is no “best” that applies to everyone. In my professional opinion, the optimal way to eat is to choose nutrient-dense, whole foods for the bulk of your diet and to save others for occasional treats. When you prioritize foods by nutrient density, the low-density foods like grains, sugars and oils end up at the bottom of the list.

“Then what would u say is the optimal way to eat and the best macronutrient ratio?

Brigit, RD


Juliette Cagnolatti March 17, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Hi, I love your blog, thank you so much. I have been looking for good info in low thyroid and adrenal fatigue and really am a bit overwhelmed on where to start, HELP! I currently take levothyroxine 100 mcg tab. What would you suggest that I do to start healing my thyroid? Adrenal’s? I can’t stand the symptoms I am having, waking up every night and not being able to go back to sleep. Hot flashes at night, rapid heart palpitations at night. Night sweats. I want to fix this problem and not put a band aid on it! Please help….I am desperate.
Thank you ahead of time…..


Laura April 5, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Thanks for an informative post. If you want to hear my story on getting pg (not trying) at 45, you can contact me by email thru my blog. Best of luck to you!


Kate April 23, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Great post. I have been on a mission to balance my hormones to be able to conceive a baby. I am 37 and have PMS and painful periods. We have also been trying to have a baby for about 10 months now and I am getting a bad feeling….so I have been taking cod liver oil, eating whole foods, grass fed meats etc…hopefully that will work!


Jenny April 28, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Telling someone to eat pancakes, ice cream, and pizza to balance hormones or lose weight is insane. Maybe they would feel happier from the sugar high, but put themselves in greater risk of a multitude of inflammatory diseases.


Angela May 3, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Good post. I appreciate the honesty and am glad that you are happier now and more focused on being a great mom and wife instead of being obsessive over food. HOWEVER:

You eat ice cream, french fries, pizza, pasta in unlimited amounts every day? You didn’t talk about portion control or how often you eat such foods, but just because you dump low carb doesn’t mean you need to do buffet style every meal! Calories still count. I agree that low carb isn’t healthy for anyone who isn’t diabetic, but that doesn’t mean you need to abandon all the rules of nutrition. Oh yeah, sugar is never healthy, and fruit, while healthy, can’t be “inhaled”, it still needs to be eaten in moderation. Eat about 1800-2000 calories a day and you should lose weight – low carb or not. There’s nothing magical about low carb diets. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie is a calorie.


Ann Marie Michaels May 23, 2013 at 11:26 AM

You need to read Matt’s books. This is about overeating and resting a lot (RRARF) for a LIMITED period of time just to get your body temp up and normalize your hormones.


Diana May 23, 2013 at 8:35 AM

I’m with Angela and Jenny here. Calories still count. Portion control counts. Some of us find it very hard to control portions when eating pizza, ice cream, etc.

I’m confused. You said that you had gained weight before going on Stone’s “eat for heat” regimen. Then you gained 20 more. Have you lost this excess weight since you wrote this post?

Regarding the “eat for heat” science, there IS none. As you gain weight your body will give off more heat because it has gained mass. This is no discovery. You’ve gotten bigger, that’s all.

And how is checking your temperature frantically any different from being obsessed with the scale?


Ann Marie Michaels May 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM


Regarding the “eat for heat” science, there IS none. As you gain weight your body will give off more heat because it has gained mass. This is no discovery. You’ve gotten bigger, that’s all.

That’s not true. There are plenty of obese people with very low body temperature and a corresponding state of hypothyroidism.


Vivian May 31, 2013 at 12:35 PM

I’ve been RRARFing since January so I’m going on my 6th month now. Recovering from chronic dieting since I was 16 years old, I’m now turning 40 this year. I haven’t had children. Tried every from low fat, vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan, paleo, low gi, cabbage soup, IF, atkins and I was also a supplement addict etc. Went through some kind of crisis last July where my electrolytes went all out of whack and I was hospitalized for low potassium, then for a gastrointestinal illness that gave me diarrhea for almost 2 months, severe panic attacks, extreme dry mouth and eyes, and whole bunch of other stuff. Never figured out what it was but I used meditation to heal myself, cut out all supplements, coffee, alcohol and sugar for awhile until it got worse again. Started RRARF and said eff it, I’m going to eat whatever the hell I want, noticed that I craved salty and sweet foods…which makes sense. My temps went from get this…93 to now a steady normal 98.6. I have gained 30 pounds. Can’t fit into anything but yes, I feel much much better. I’m hoping the weight will drop off soon.


Kristy June 19, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I would absolutely love your advice as I have been following you for some time and love that you know a lot about GAPS and about diet recovery. I am convinced I need the diet recovery protocol for myself. I am at the very lowest weight I should be and my family is on gaps and it has not gone well for me personally. But I am in a dilemma b/c of my son. He has dozens of food sensitivities and we started gaps to heal him. He wasn’t doing terrible before gaps – we ate really healthy and he was pretty healthy. But his list of food sensitivities was growing and he started having more tummy aches, fatigue, etc. We have done full gaps for 3 months and are on week 2 of intro. No dramatic changes for anyone, but my son seems to not be having tummy aches anymore which is good. I am trying to get us through intro as fast as possible. It is really impractical to have the family on 2 separate diets and I just don’t know what to do. I have considered switching us over to diet recovery, hoping that might heal my son. But his temps aren’t too terribly low so would it help him? I feel completely stuck. I don’t know how to move forward for myself if I keep everyone else on GAPS. And I don’t know how to move everyone off of GAPS or if we even should move off of GAPS. Given that you know a lot about both, how would you proceed? I realize I am only giving you a little info, but I would so appreciate any thoughts! Thanks so much!


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Jeff Lebowski September 14, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Thank God for this post and for Mr. Matt Stone!

After a few years on the Low-Carb + Paleo path (I realize that Paleo isn’t necessarily Low-Carb. e.g. Crossfitters), I hit a wall. Then, crashed. For the past six months, I’ve had decreased energy, and, at times, muscle pain and/or weakness. On the weekends, I’ve been sleeping 10-12 hours. Even 10 minutes of walking on a flat terrain is too much and makes me winded.

This is in contrast to my history of a higher fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet with walking, hiking, biking, kettlebells, weight lifting, push-ups, pull-ups, and sprints. As I raised the fat and dropped the total carbs (I’m talking real food. Not the highly-processed carbs…which, thankfully, I don’t crave.), I pushed the exercise further.

My pulse, blood pressure, thyroid values, iron, vitamin D, and other marks are “fine,” according to Doctors. But, clearly, something is broken. I started thinking: “Well, I’m 45…so, maybe I’m just ‘too old’ for this stuff.” But, I don’t really think that’s true. At least, I don’t WANT to believe it.

This post has given me some hope that RRARF might be helpful. Right now, hope is in short supply. I live in a beautiful part of the U.S. amid mountains, waterfalls, lakes, hiking trails, etc., and am seriously bummed that I may miss experiencing much of the beautiful Autumn weather that’s just beginning. Hopefully, at some point, this will have been a giant learning example from which I learned a valuable lesson.

Again, thank you for this post. Also, congratulations on your awesome family. You seem as caring and thoughtful as you are beautiful. I wish your family well.



Nicole September 14, 2013 at 3:35 PM

JL, I highly recommend making an appointment with Matt Stone. I think he can help you. He is actually really lovely to speak wtih, very caring and very helpful. All the best.


Jeff Lebowski September 14, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Hi Nicole,

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I appreciate your feedback on Matt.

After my last post, I went to his website and read some of his articles. I found them interesting and refreshing. I also found myself laughing aloud many times.

Even if Matt were unable to help my fatigue, he would no doubt lift my mood!

Wishing you the best, too.



Stefanie September 30, 2013 at 9:48 PM

I AM SO FRUSTRATED!!! I have spent thousands and eliminated grains, sugar, gluten, certain fruits, legumes, dairy and vegetable oils from my diet. I am on tons of supplements. All of this is for Adrenal Fatigue/ Thyroid Dysfunction/ Low body temp/ “digestive , or gut problems”.

My main concern and symptom is “Brain Fog”… which I understand is caused by inflammatory foods. I’ve mostly taken them out, but it’s impossible to always do so.

So my main questions to you are:

1. Did you experience severe brain fog and fatigue, and do you now feel like it’s gone?

2. What are the main things that you feel raised body temp and about how long did it take to go up?

HELP!!!!! I’m desperate. Thank you for writing this.


Stefanie October 7, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Jeff! That’s so nice of you to take the time to get me that info. Much appreciated. Thank you!!


EliseNJ October 23, 2013 at 5:56 AM

How long did it take you to raise your body temperature to 98.6?


Angie Smith November 3, 2013 at 9:02 PM

I appreciate reading your experience. Thank you!

I have a question for you: It seems to be a common mistake for people to think that Weston A. Price principles include a low-carb diet or avoiding grains. Is it because people just read the WAPF website & skip reading his book, or read the website & ignore the parts that say to round out the diet with properly prepared grains, fruits, etc., or read only the parts of his book that talk about animal-source foods? I’ve been reading his book, and I don’t see anything that promotes a low-carb diet.


Angie November 17, 2013 at 10:03 AM

It sounds like you were probably not getting the right kinds of nutrients on your previous diet. However, switching to a diet of sugar and junk food is not the answer! Sugar and weight gain can both cause hormonal weakness and adrenal fatigue by themselves (, as well as countless other health problems. You would be better to try eating a more balanced diet with lots of healthy protein, fats and some unprocessed carbs. With your current diet you might feel better in the short term, but you are storing up health issues for later….


Phaedra November 17, 2013 at 3:17 PM

I needed to read this.
I am going to look into this Matt Stone person.

I have always been food-weird… Sadly, nearly every woman I know is food-weird. I am small framed 5’2″ and usually hovered at around 125lbs, which, of course, I considered unacceptable, fat, gross, pathetic… I obsessed over the food I ate–not that I always made good choices. I was a daily drinker and often had a late night binge of something nutrient-barren, but otherwise, had only fruit and coffee in the morning, and low carb every other meal. Usually salad. Usually without protien or healthy oils.

Enter stress. I fell in love with an alcoholic, and life went haywire. I stopped drinking, but also stopped sleeping well. I suddenly couldn’t care less about what I ate, and ate an almost super-human amount of potato chips every day. I started drinking tons of sugary pop. I had a nagging feeling of “needing to go back to the healthy diet I used to be committed to.”

My partner is now in recovery. We are happy and I am sleeping well. I am still eating inordinate amounts of potato chips and various sugary junk food, and I weigh 100 pounds. I have been trying to get pregnant for a year, with no success.

Reading this post mae me realize that what I was doing before was NOT committing to a healthy diet! And I look like crap at 100lbs! What I wouldn’t give for that extra 20! My body was probably so nutrient, protien, and carbohydrate starved that such a period of stress annihilated whatever health I had. And, under that stress, I CRAVED carbs….which was actually probably a cry for help from my body! (although sprouted breads would probably have helped more than chips).

Rather than going back to my “healthy” diet of yesteryear, I think I am going to EAT THE FOOD! Add more goodness and work towards a few extra pounds and hopefully a body that can concieve and nurture a baby.


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Amanda Thomas-Harris December 17, 2013 at 8:50 PM

I feel kinda the opposite as far as pregnancy hormones. I’ve always had weight problems. Than more weight problems as I became bulimic in my late teens/early twenties trying to over diet. I tried to always stick with low carb but would end up binging. Than one day I said screw it and I don’t want to be bulimic going between these binges and low carb and purging its all screwing my body up. Well, I quit and just ate moderate carbs basically being careful but still indulging when I needed. Initially I gained about 10lbs than slowly started losing over the next 8 months. At that point I got pregnant and was just as careful but not crazy. After my son I lost a ton of weight and was at my lowest. I now have a healthy relationship with food. I prefer to eat some carbs when Im not pregnant I don’t really care for bread but mainly potatoes as they are my favorite. Plus I’m big into heavy weight training. I’m pregnant again but I’m at the end of it. I’ve hardly gained weight and wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up even lighter than I had with my son! Bodies are a strange thing. To be fair I’m in my late twenties and I do think that helps with pregnancy and weight loss. Still I’m a huge proponent of heavy weight training, moderate to little cardio and whole foods! I won’t do low carb unless I’m cycling my carbs to get lean. I never thought I would have a healthy food relationship again. Dieting is what really screws us all up…


Elizabeth February 24, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Just something worth noting. When you people that are into Matt Stone aware of what core body temperature really is and how it’s measured? It’s very misleading when he talks about measuring your temp under your armpit. I would encourage you all to get a better understanding of body temps before you all blindly follow his advice about overeating. The body temp of 98.6 is not some magical number that we should all aspire to to be perfectly healthy. It was simple a mean temperature of what healthy individuals are expected to have. Furthermore when that value is mentioned it is in reference to core temperature NOT the temperature on your skin. Anal temp is going to be about as close as you can get to core temp. Measuring your armpit temp is considered to be VERY inaccurate for getting an idea of what your core temp is. Particularly bc skin temp actually changes to regulate internal body temp! It is well noted that armpit temp will run considerably lower than core temp. Also the mean core temp of 98.6 was set in the 19th century and the funny part about that is that if there is a time in history when people likely ate close to what Matt Stone suggests as ideal (saturated fats, proteins, high sugar, high carbs) that would be the time! Processed carbs and sugar had been introduced yet people still ate animal fats. I mention this for any argument that this sample group was “unhealthy”. Matt Stone tells you all that there is an epidemic of low body temps and then proceeds to tell you to check your body temp under your armpit. When the results don’t read 98.6 degrees (which they shouldn’t) you all freak out and jump off the Matt Stone bridge.


Cindy July 15, 2014 at 10:39 PM

In Diet Recovery, Matt writes that he doesn’t recommend the armpit temperature reading. He isn’t specific about the temperature goal, says to aim for 98-99 resting temp.


Vivian February 24, 2014 at 12:08 PM

In the end, what really wins is calorie restriction up to to point and exercise unless you are ill with some kind of hormonal imbalance or something else that changes your metabolism. That’s just the way it is…it is what it is, there’s no way around it, you can’t change it, you can take drugs, staple your stomach, Jenny Craig/Weight Watcher/Biggest Loser diet, and all that sad body hating manipulation that the media seems to love to shove in our faces and you will ultimately see that the ones that work the best come down to the basics of calories and exercise. Movement and less eating. Less sitting and less in the tummy. Until you accept that fact, you are pretty much doomed to the body shape you are currently unhappy with, and that’s just reality.

So, the answer is this, seek the exercise you can commit to daily, every single day, any kind of movement will do as long as you enjoy it, and there is something for everybody, even if you absolutely loathe exercise. You can do it high intensity/short bursts (HIIT) or low impact/steady state cardio. For Cheeseslave, she did just that, low impact/steady state cardio plus calorie restriction and her results are fabulous. Eat less and the food that you do eat should nourish your body so you can get by on less. That’s it, that’s the secret. Be happy!


Cindy July 15, 2014 at 10:43 PM

What you describe is not freedom. It’s like a hamster wheel. Also, it’s not working for a huge number of people.


Heidi Black February 26, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Hi I just found your blog because I just heard about Matt Stone and his diet recommendations. Have you read the book Taking Charge of your fertility? It is a way to get or prevent pregnancy through taking temps so I have a question. Are your temps through out your cycle 98.6? If you ovulate your temps should be lower before ovulation and higher after ovulation. For me my temps usually pre ovulation are 97.6 and after ovulation 98.6. So I am curious if your temps get higher then 98.6? Just one aspect that came to mind. I do agree with you on a whole food diet. Thanks


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brother's keeper June 10, 2014 at 9:47 PM

No matter how hard I try to get on 180, I can’t. It never sends me an email. And my junk folder is empty. HELP!! please!


brother's keeper June 10, 2014 at 10:00 PM

There is something here that has possibly not been considered. I didn’t find anything in the article about it. The type of wheat that is being eaten is huge. Go to breadbeckers dot com and see their learning section. She discusses the importance of eating wheat products that have been made from freshly milled wheat and why. Her experience with this type of wheat is amazing.


Tessin Maxwell August 18, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Hi there,
I was wondering if you were applying Matt’s advice during breastfeeding and, if so, what your results were during that time I particular. I am trying to gain the benefits of an increased metabolic rate, but I am breastfeeding my nine month old and have seen no change in my body temps after months of trying to eat more, especially sugar. I have been drinking less but if I cut back too much I get very constipated, I assume because I need extra fluid for breastfeeding. I am afraid I will not see benefits until I am no longer breastfeeding, and that may be years because I will most likely be pregnant again before this guy is done nursing. I have posted on Matt’s website a couple times and have never gotten any feedback, so I was hoping you could give me some insight into the experience as it relates to, and may be inhibited by, breastfeeding and additional pregnancies.
Thanks very much!


Alaina September 16, 2014 at 8:46 PM

Hi, I’m new to your blog and the Matt Stone program. I started last week. Does your temp stay at 98.6 at night and early morning? I wake up and it is around 96.5. After lunch I have been able to get it to about 98 degrees, but by 8pm, it starts to drop to mid/low 97, despite eating the food/snacks he suggests.

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Kristine January 15, 2015 at 6:13 AM

Why cant I read any of the comments?!


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