Welcome to CHEESESLAVE Q and A!
Every Sunday, I answer your questions. I’ll answer as many questions as I can each week. If I didn’t answer your question this week, please check back next week.
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1. Question: L-arginine and L-citrulline Supplements and Grain-free Carb List?
Hey Ann Marie,
Q #1: I don’t know if you are familiar with the “No More Heart Disease” crowd? If I understand correctly, it is believed that strengthening the endothelium (arterial walls) with nitric oxide will promote cardiovascular and gut health, improving circulation and overall health. It is recommended to supplement with L-arginine and L-citrulline which can be food derived but seems to demand large quantities of said foods (nuts, chicken, beef, seafood for the former, watermelon rind for the latter.)
An acquaintance of mine promoting a product of those supplements thinks that it is difficult/nearly impossible to get the daily amounts from whole foods containing them and still maintain a reasonable diet. Do you have any research/thoughts/recommendations in this area?
I would rather stick to traditional foods that I know and love rather than branch out to a not-great-tasting drink powder. At the same time, I don’t want to ignore the research and results of many, especially since I struggle with good circulation. I know my great-great grandmother used to make watermelon rind preserves, but I’m not sure if that practice goes back far enough in history to be a “traditional” food? Interested to know your opinion.
Q #2: I am of necessity for healing on a grain-free diet. Is there a comprehensive GO-TO list of carbs that I CAN have? I have tried sourdough and it got my temp from 97.8 up to 98.2, unfortunately I still tend toward hyperthyroid (which makes my heart race) and feel like it’s not quite time to add in the grains regularly, though it has been over a year. Still searching for that missing, gut-healing link…
Hi, Sarah, thanks for your question.
I’m not familiar with that book/blog/movement. Well, anyway, I wasn’t until you asked and now I am, so thanks!
I don’t believe that people need to take supplements to avoid heart disease. Heart disease is a modern malady which was very rare prior to the early 20th century, right around the time margarine and modern vegetable oil-based shortenings came into vogue.
I think a healthy, balanded traditional foods diet with good fats (coconut oil, olive oil, butter, lard, tallow) is all you need. I think it’s best to avoid modern vegetable oils (soybean oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, canola oil, and the like). I do recommend cod liver oil as a supplement for extra vitamin D, A and K2, and butter oil if you are not eating sufficient quantities of butter.
Q #2: If you are allergic to grains then you should stay off of them. I recommend working with a practitioner, preferably someone familiar with the GAPS Diet, to help you determine what you should eat.
2. Question: Questions About Corn?
Hi Ann Marie,
This is the second annual Eat Local Challenge for New Orleans. We were unable to find Louisiana field corn, so we opted for some organic field corn from Tropical Traditions. We ordered 5 lbs and enough pickling lime to last a lifetime. I’m going to do the first stage tonight and may let it soak for two weeks.
1. Approximately how many small corn tortillas does one batch (1.5 lbs corn) make?
2. Can I double the recipe or does it have to be adjusted for larger amounts?
3. How do I make the finished product as light as possible? Do I grind the meal finer?
Thanks SO much. As far as I can tell you are the only one on the web to offer this step-by-step directions
Hooray! So exciting that you are making your own corn tortillas!
1. I’m sorry but I don’t know. I’d have to test the recipe again. It also depends on the size of your tortillas.
2. Yes you can double or triple it.
3. Yes grind it as fine as you can.
It is so sad to me that I am the only blog with this recipe. Homemade corn tortillas is such a traditional food! Thanks for bringing it back!
3. Question: Snacks for Mental Ability?
Hi, Ann Marie,
My son is on a quiz team and will be competing in June and July regionally and nationally. One of the other boys on the team has trouble focusing after lunch! He just isn’t as quick with the buzzer. His mom has given him Gatorade and sweets trying to boost his mental ability, but it doesn’t seem to be working for him.
I recommended one of my fermented beverages that I make, but she doesn’t want to try them. I should know this, but do you have any suggestions that she might try for him? I told her I would ask you.
I think they are pretty picky eaters… standard American fare. We appreciate any ideas you may have for us!
Thanks… love your blog.
I’m really sorry it took me so long to answer your question! This has been a hectic summer for me and I’m very behind on the Q & A series.
Anyway, I’m sorry I could not help you out in time. Congrats to your son!
Sure, I think fermented beverages is a great idea. Of course, I love raw milk. That’s my daughter’s drink of choice.
As far as healthy snacks, I would say anything made with coconut oil or butter. The brain is made of fat! Protein is also really good for the brain. So cheese sticks, nuts, homemade granola bars made with butter and coconut oil, that sort of thing.
Best wishes to you and your son and your friend and hers.
4. Question: Parmesan Cheese in Green Containers?
Is the grated Parmesan Cheese in the green containers best to avoid even though they have “all natural” ingredients such as pasteurized cultured milk?
I prefer to buy whole chunks of Parmesan cheese and grate it fresh at the table. It tastes much better! You can buy a microplane grater that makes it really easy to grate. I also like to freeze hunks of Parmesan cheese. When you take them out of the freezer, they crumble very easily — no grating required!
5. Question: Pasteurization vs. Heating Milk?
Hi Ann Marie,
I’m a new fan of your website, it’s awesome. I’m curious about the heating of milk you are using in the recipes.
When you heat it, you are pasteurizing the milk? I’m curious about the enzymes which should help us to digest milk; you are killing them by heat right? If yes, it is harder to digest it then, isn’t it?
Thanks for the answer and wish you nice day,
Heating milk is not the same as pasteurizing it. Pasteurization involves high temperatures.
It doesn’t hurt you to consume pasteurized dairy as long as you drink enough raw milk and eat raw dairy so that you have the good bacteria and can produce the enzymes (lactase) to digest lactose in milk. Sure, raw dairy is ideal, but we can’t always eat everything raw.
If you drink raw milk or eat raw cheese on a regular basis (I drink raw milk every morning in my coffee, for example, and we make raw kefir and raw ice cream), then you should, in time, be able to digest pasteurized milk. That is, assuming you have a healthy gut lining.
If you do not have a healthy gut lining, I recommend following the GAPS diet for a time to heal and rebuild your digestive function.
6. Question: Progress with Matt Stone’s Diet?
Hi Ann Marie,
I know you’ve posted about going back to carbs and following Matt Stone’s plan, I’m just wondering if you will be posting soon about how that has been going for you? I was recently diagnosed with PCOS and want to treat it naturally. The research I’ve done about diet all says to go low carb, but I’ve been low carb for a few years now and my health seems to be getting worse.
Hi, I’m sorry I didn’t post this sooner! Here is the post I just wrote on this topic: Matt Stone’s Diet Recovery: My Experience.
7. Question: Cystitis and Burning with Fermented Cod Liver Oil?
Hi Ann Marie,
I really want to take fermented cod liver oil, but I also have interstitial cystitis and it burns like crazy “down there” when I take it. Do you know what the reason is for that or have any ideas?
I asked the company and they just said to take it with yogurt, which does not help. The roof of my mouth also feels sore after I take it, even though I refrigerate it and try to teeth it off a knife!
I am not a doctor but I would guess that the cystitis burns because of abnormal gut flora. Sounds like die-off to me. (Google “die off”.) I would lay off the fermented cod liver oil or just go a lot slower until your good gut flora builds up and you can handle it. You can buy non-fermented varieties of cod liver oil in the meantime.
8. Question: Sealing Teeth?
My dentist is recommending that I have my 8 year old’s permanent molars sealed. Our diets are much better than the average Americans. We own a dairy cow, so he gets plenty of raw milk and butter, but that’s not to say that he never eats sugar or unsoaked grains. So, I’m just wondering if it might be wise to have them sealed. What are your thoughts?
Thanks so much!
I’m not a dentist so I can’t really comment. I’ve never heard of “sealing” teeth. I can’t imagine why that would be necessary. Seems like a way for your dentist to make money. Healthy teeth should not require any “sealing”. If it were me, I’d avoid it. Maybe you could seek out a holistic dentist who is familiar with WAPF and ask his/her advice?
9. Question: Article on Quitting Coffee?
I know that I read and used your article about how you quit coffee. I can’t locate it, do you have it on file that you could send it to me.
I followed it and it was very successful, I haven’t gone back to drinking coffee, it’s been a year now.
Thank you. I would like to share this with a friend.
10. Question: Russian Black Bread Made with Sourdough?
Hi Ann Marie,
Just want to let you know how much I love your site. It has been so helpful to me to hear all your tips and insight as you work on healing your adrenals and thyroid.
I have been on this same journey as of recently after spending all my college years wondering why I was exhausted all the time and was slowly packing the pounds on my small frame no matter how much I reduced calories and attempted to work out (though I found out through my holistic MD that I had so many vitamin deficiencies that I could not repair my muscles post exercise, so I was basically sore all the time) and have been thrilled to have an excuse to add more carbs back into my diet!
I have a gluten sensitivity but would love to start adding more sourdough/sprouted breads and pastas back into my life as I am an avid baker and have always preferred sourdough anyway! One of my favorite breads is Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for Russian black bread, and it is full of nourishing ingredients.
However, it calls for conventional yeast and I try to avoid that as much as possible — do you have any tips for either substituting the yeast for a sourdough starter or finding a good place in the recipe to soak the flour/ferment the dough?
It would be so great to start adapting some of my favorite recipes from my wide-eyed pre-traditional foods years
Thanks again for all you do!
Oh my goodness, I love black bread! And that looks like a fabulous recipe.
The easiest thing to do would be just use sprouted wheat and sprouted rye flour. I also would not add the extra bran — just use extra sprouted rye in place of that. I’m fine with using commercial yeast if you are using sprouted flour.
One of these days I’ll get around to posting how to convert yeast recipes to sourdough.
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