Q & A: January 22, 2012

by Ann Marie Michaels on January 22, 2012

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"Yes! Even Goggle Hasn't All The Answers"

Welcome to CHEESESLAVE Q & 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: What Is Your Opinion On Grains?

I’m trying to make sense of the conflicting info out there on grains. On one hand, you have the Wheat Belly (and the like) take on the issue: Wheat is no good. End of story. No matter how it is prepared. Same for other grains but they are especially hard-core on wheat. (And it is wheat that interests me most.)

On the other hand, you have the WAPF side of things: Properly prepared (fermented, soaked, sprouted), grains are good, maybe even necessary for optimal health (as demonstrated by the healthiest cultures he studied).

To further complicate things, the grains available to most of us have been modernized and would not necessarily work out the same through the traditional methods of preparation. On top of that, many of us have been so damaged by years of eating the party line, that we may never be whole again, despite our best efforts at complete healing.

Now, I want to believe the WAPF version. I want it for our budget and I want it for more variety in our diet. I’m willing to go through the effort of healing my family first through GAPS. I’m even willing to buy seed (it is available if you search) for the *not* modernized grains and grow it myself. I wouldn’t have acres of the stuff but enough that I could serve my family a little grain now and then, properly prepared of course. But, if Wheat Belly is correct, there’s no getting by the fact that wheat is wheat is wheat and it will continue to do its damage regardless of “proper preparation”.

But what about those cultures Dr. Weston Price found? If wheat is wheat is wheat, how were they so healthy & free of disease?

Now, I’m a fan of science. Love the stuff. But we all know that science is a fickle ol’ broad, forever changing her mind. Science never conclusively proves anything. However, it’s the best we have. Or is it? Proof, to me, is in the living flesh. Those peoples (from Dr. Weston A. Price’s book) that prepared those grains traditionally, along with eating the other good stuff most of us agree on, were living “proof”.

I keep going ’round and ’round in my mind with this stuff. There are too many if’s and but’s and I’m having a difficult time untangling this particular section of the mess. I’d appreciate hearing your — and anyone’s — thinking/reasoning on this.

Thanks,
Diane

Answer

Excellent question, Diane! This particular debate is one that I am very passionate about. I personally believe wholeheartedly that there is nothing wrong with eating properly prepared grains as part of a healthy diet.

Let me start by saying that I haven’t read Wheat Belly yet but it is on my reading list for the year. So I can’t really respond to the claims made in that book until I read it.

It seems that there are a lot of folks out there lately throwing the baby out with the bath water. Yes, it is true that a lot of us cannot eat grains for a period of time if we have a damaged gut. However, just avoiding grains is not the answer. Even Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome, says that. She says that most of us should be able to eat properly prepared whole grains, as outlined by the Weston A. Price Foundation.

I make it a habit of talking to immigrants. I love to meet people from other countries and learn about how they grew up, what they ate, and what their health was like growing up. I’ll be in a taxi cab or on a street corner or sitting on a plane next to someone who grew up in a small village in Mexico or Hungary or India. They always have perfect facial structure, piano key teeth, never had a cavity and never had to wear braces. Most of them never had their wisdom teeth extracted and have all of their teeth. Often they will tell me that they never got sick when they were growing up — not even a cold. The women never had menstrual cramps or PMS in their home countries.

When I ask them what they ate, it’s always different, depending on which country they came from. But it’s always along the lines of Sally Fallon Morell’s book, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. They always say they ate organ meats. I’ve never met an immigrant from a small village who said he or she did not eat organ meats. (This is my problem with many people’s interpretation with the WAPF diet. I find that many people who follow WAPF gloss over the organ meats and seafood when Dr. Price made it very clear that those were the most nutrient-dense foods that MUST be included in the diet. But that’s a different blog post.)

Immigrants also often say they ate raw dairy (I often hear the phrase, “Still warm from the cow” (or goat). They often say they ate chickens and eggs from their backyard chickens. They ate other animals, too, from rabbits to goats to lizards (my former housekeeper from Honduras spoke fondly of eating iguanas).

Another thing they all seemed to eat was fermented foods. I’ve never met an immigrant who didn’t eat fermented foods. My Slovakian nanny ate naturally-fermented sauerkraut. My former Russian nanny drank kefir and kombucha. My Honduran housekeeper ate cortido (their version of sauerkraut). All the recipes we know and love from Nourishing Traditions.

So you take all of these immigrants from around the world. All of them extremely healthy — even AFTER they moved to the United States and started eating our garbage foods.

I have not met a single one who said they did not eat grains. Not one.

My housekeeper from Honduras and my former nanny from Guatemala talked fondly about how their parents and grandparents used to soak the corn in the “cal” (lime water) for 1-2 weeks. And how they’d make masa and use it for tamales and corn tortillas. My former Russian nanny ate homemade sourdough rye bread almost daily growing up, with sour cream and salmon roe on it. I met two different people from India (one on a plane and one who cut my daughter’s hair once) who were raised as vegetarians. They’d occasionally eat chicken or fish but it was not very often since they were poor. They grew up eating rice, vegetables, beans, different kids of traditional breads, and lots of grass-fed dairy products and eggs. They had absolutely stunningly perfect teeth and bone structure and were vibrantly healthy.

Whether the people I meet ate corn or wheat or rice, they are all healthy. So how do you make sense of that?

To further complicate things, the grains available to most of us have been modernized and would not necessarily work out the same through the traditional methods of preparation.

I am very skeptical about this argument. Yes, I need to read the Wheat Belly book. However, it does not make sense to me that “modernized” grains should be problematic by default. Most of the produce we eat is from modernized and hybridized seeds. Look at all the new varieties of potatoes and tomatoes out there.

On top of that, many of us have been so damaged by years of eating the party line, that we may never be whole again, despite our best efforts at complete healing.

I have heard Dr. Natasha Campbell Mc-Bride say before that she truly believes that most people CAN heal and that there are very few diseases — if ANY — that we can’t heal. I’m paraphrasing her but she said that with great conviction (and the audience applauded).

I very strongly agree with her position. I myself was gluten-intolerant at age 25. I had pain so bad in my knees from arthritis that I would wake up at night, and it was spreading to my fingers and elbows. I had chronic sinus infections, had respiratory allergies, chemical sensitivities, chronic fatigue, etc.

It took me two years to heal. The two most critical things I did were (1) avoiding gluten AND sugar — all forms except fruit and honey and (2) take massive doses of therapeutic-grade probiotics. I healed my gut and after those two years, I was able to eat anything again — including gluten and sugar — with no symptoms whatsoever.

It was important for me to avoid gluten and sugar for a period of time because my gut was so damaged that I could not digest these foods. Once my gut was healed and I had a normal balance of gut flora, I could eat these foods again with no problems.

But what about those cultures Dr. Weston Price found? If wheat is wheat is wheat, how were they so healthy & free of disease?

Exactly!

My position is this: Some people need to heal their gut and do the GAPS (grain-free) diet for a period of time. It shouldn’t take more than a few years for most people for the villi in the intestines to grow back. Most people should be able to eat properly prepared grains again after they heal their gut.

That said, I do not believe it is necessary to go off grains for life — in most cases. Dr. Campbell McBride says that 99% of people can overcome and reverse food allergies. So yes, there is that 1% of people who will need to stay off gluten and maybe even all grains forever. But it is a very small percentage.

I also want to say that while I respect the Paleo lifestyle, I really do not believe it is necessary to go to those extremes in order to be optimally healthy.

2. Question: Would Artisan Bread Dough Count The Same As Soaked Grains?


Hi!

I’m curious about soaking grains. I have the popular Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking, which has great and easy recipes for really wet dough made in a dough bucket. You take the dough out as you knead it (for up to 5 to 14 days, depending on the recipe) and the dough progressively becomes more sour and flavorful. Would an overnight/2 day rise in the refrig “count” as soaked grains? My NT soaked grain recipes all call for some yogurt or whey, so would I need to choose recipes with yogurt, or add some to the recipe? Also, what happens to the phytic acid during soaking?

Thanks!
Carol

Answer

Hi, Carol!

I have three of the books from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day series.

I LOVE the whole concept of no-knead bread and have had fabulous results following their methods in my kitchen. I do not use commercial yeast, though, like they do. I like to use sourdough. Here’s my recipe for No-knead Sourdough Bread.

Sourdough is much more effective at reducing phytic acid than commercial yeast. Plus, why spend the extra money on commercial yeast when you can just keep a sourdough starter going? A sourdough starter will live for many years in your fridge with very infrequent feedings — it only then needs to be activated which takes up to 24 hours.

So, if you are using sourdough with the 5-minute-a-day protocol, I would say YES! It absolutely works to make the flour more digestible and nutritious. If for some reason you can’t use sourdough and need to use commercial yeast, I would use only sprouted flour.

I’m going to be teaching a free webinar in the next couple weeks about the differences between sprouting, soaking and sourdough. If you want to get an email letting you know when the free webinar is, please sign up for my newsletter to be notified:

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I’m also teaching a brand new online cooking class which starts February 15th: Healthy Whole Grains. It’s only $149 (normally $199) through February 14th. Email me at annmarie@realfoodmedia.com for a discount coupon for an additional $50 off and you can get in for only $99.

3. Question: More Information On Fertility Herbs / Thoughts On Clomid?


Hi,

I’ve read some of your posts on fertility herbs, etc. I was wondering if you could list or do a post on everything you are doing! Are you drinking herbal infusions every day? Maca every day? What else?

Also, what are your thoughts on Clomid?

I’m also trying to get pregnant and I’m 41. I’ve been working with a chiropractor and have been taking lots of supplements. I’m now on some progesterone, and I’ve just added herbal infusions. I’m tempted to take Clomid which is what my doctor suggested, but I’m not sure if that’s the right path. I also try to follow a WAPF diet, but organ meats are problematic.

Thanks!
Lori

Answer

I’ve been so lazy with my supplements lately! I am taking maca and the herbal infusions (oatstraw and nettles). And I’m taking the fermented cod liver oil and butter oil blend. However, this past week I’ve fallen off the wagon and haven’t been taking my supplements. Thanks for the reminder!

I’m also using progesterone cream. I don’t need a lot. I took the recommended amount last month and got a mild yeast infection. But I notice that if I don’t take it before bed, I wake up in the night. So I need to use just a little bit every night before bed (during the second half of my cycle anyway).

I am also taking lots of minerals including a multi-mineral supplement and extra zinc and magnesium.

That said, I really think what is helping my hormones the MOST is just eating a lot. I am following Matt Stone’s “High Everything Diet”. See my response below to Question # 4.

I don’t trust Clomid or any fertility drugs. I don’t know much about them but I have read that there is a risk of cancer. Of course, I”m suspicious of all drugs. Maybe we can get people who know more to leave some comments below.

Check out this article about getting pregnant over 40 by herbalist, Susun Weed.

Why do you say organ meats are problematic? They are critical! You should be eating 2-3 ounces of liver once or twice a week. If you can’t stand eating liver, try liverwurst. I love liverwurst sandwiches with butter — or liverwurst on crackers and will happily eat it 2 or 3 times a week for lunch. It’s really good! Or you can take dessicated liver — you can find it on my resources page.

4. Question: Suggestions On Increasing Body Temperature?

I am cold all the time. I am usually the only cold one in the room. I generally eat a traditional diet, but am wondering if you have heard of any specific nutritional deficiencies or foods that I might eat to help with body temperature.

Thanks!

Answer

Low body temperature is a classic sign of low thyroid function.

Have you had your thyroid checked? You can order a hormone panel online at Canary Club.

Another really easy way to tell if your thyroid is not functioning properly is to take your temperature every day. You can either check your basal body temperature before you get out of bed, or you can do like I do and take 3 samples throughout the day according to Dr. Rind’s website. I do it Dr. Rind’s way and take the average of the 3 temps each day.

My temperature has been chronically low for years. But it’s come up a lot, especially in the past six months or so. I also have ups and downs, which is a sign of adrenal exhaustion. However, it is getting a lot better.

I’m now ranging between 98.0 to 98.2 on most days, although it’s still pretty jaggy and I have some ups as high as 98.7 and some downs as low as 97.8.

I’ve noticed the most significant increase in body temperature in the past 3-4 months. It was 3-4 months ago that I increased how much I was eating by about DOUBLE. I used to only eat twice a day, and my meals were pretty small. Now I’m eating 3 big meals, and I will sometimes also eat an afternoon snack and occasionally a bedtime snack. I’m also eating plenty of carbs. I eat eggs and whole wheat toast or eggs and whole wheat waffles for breakfast, usually a sandwich or leftovers for lunch, and dinner is usually meat or fish, whole grains and vegetables (often fermented vegetables). Snacks are usually fruit or cheese and crackers.

Oh and did I mention that I haven’t gained a pound? I guess my body really does need all this food! :-)

I’m also sleeping a lot more and doing everything I can to reduce stress and get more sleep and relaxation. I am doing the kettlebells but only 3 times per week.

This is very much in line with what Matt Stone teaches at 180 Degree Health. His protocol is called the “High Everything Diet” or RRARF, which stands for Rehabilitative Rest & Aggressive Re-Feeding.

Matt writes:

RRARF – Rehabilitative Rest & Aggressive Re-Feeding, is a plan designed to achieve one primary goal above all others – raise that mitochondrial activity. It does this through a combination of lowering cortisol levels, restoring the health of the adrenal glands, raising the hormone leptin, increasing leptin sensitivity, topping off nutritional reserves, and flooding the body with a surplus of energy –- long known to raise body temperature, increase metabolic rate, increase lipolysis (using fat as fuel), etc.

You can peruse Matt’s site or buy one of his e-books. I’ve read a few of them and they are pretty good.

5. Question: Advice On Preventive Measures For Malaria In Regards To Liver Toxicity?


Hello from Central Africa!

We are working on a GAPS diet for healing this year even while overseas. For several years we have lived in a malaria — endemic region. I’ve asked numerous experts for advice on liver toxicity and most people haven’t a clue because they don’t have to deal with malaria.

Aside from all the preventative measures (that we DO take – bed nets, long sleeves, stay indoors, etc.), people here still get malaria, and children often die of it, even with treatment. Among our colleagues there are those who take prophylaxis (like 1 pill weekly) and those who take nothing regularly, get it and treat it as needed (like 5 pills per day for 4 days every 3 months). If you need treatment every 3 months it is more medicine overall. But there are always a few people who “just never get it” or get it only rarely, and there are a million theories about why.

So what I need to know is whether you think it is more toxic for our liver to take a small dose regularly? Or would the quarterly mega-dose of malaria treatment be less harmful in the long term? Other liver-support recommendations, aside from FCLO and milk thistle? I always feel sick using DEET or spraying insecticides. Colleagues have tried garlic, Neem leaf tea and papaya leaf tea and they seemed to work for a while and then not effectively.

Thanks for your thoughts!
Kimberly

Answer

That’s a great question. But unfortunately I have no idea. I would contact a doctor. Maybe a liver specialist. Or better yet, a naturopath who has exeprience in this arena.

The best liver support I know of is a daily coffee enema. You can google for instructions.

6. Question: Opinion On Calcium/Magnesium Dairy Debate?


Hi Ann Marie,

Firstly, thank you so much for your wonderful site. As someone who is interested in introducing raw dairy into my diet, I was wondering if you knew anything about the calcium/magnesium dairy debate. Some critics of dairy say that dairy throws off calcium and magnesium levels in the body due to a very high ratio of calcium to magnesium. I have heard elsewhere, however, that dairy might have a hormone that keeps these levels in balance, although I have never confirmed it in evidence. Do you have any insights into this debate?

Thank you so much for your time,
Jared

Answer

Most of us are deficient in magnesium. Those of us who eat lots of dairy are more deficient. This is because high levels of calcium actually block magnesium.

I personally believe that most people should supplement with magnesium. See my post: Are You Suffering From Magnesium Deficiency?

7. Question: Suggestions For 11-month Old With Severe Food Allergies?


Hello Ann Marie,

I have a friend who is having a rough time with her now 11-month-old. He has been breastfeeding exclusively and shows signs of severe food allergies as he has been reacting with moderate eczema to food that his mother is eating. A bit more history is that the mother has numerous health symptoms (not surprising) that would indicate leaky gut and more. She is not on a complete SAD but it not on a complete whole foods or traditional diet either.

Mom has tried feeding him pureed foods, but he has reacted either with projectile vomiting or rashes or both. She has finally gotten him to gum on pears in a mesh teether, and has recently turned to puffed brown rice cereals. I recommended that she stop the cereal due to its being a processed food and its very high glycemic load.

We were discussing what to do to help her son and while we came up with a few thoughts I wonder what you would recommend. I recommended high quality homemade gelatin and chicken broth.

Any thoughts you may have would be greatly appreciated!
Adrienne

Answer

The issue with rice is not the glycemic load but rather that babies do not produce enough of the enzyme, amylase, to digest grains until after they are a year old at the earliest.

Read more here on Food Renegade: Why Ditch the Infant Cereals?

Also, if he’s a GAPS baby, and he sounds like he is (the mom sounds like she could use GAPS as well), he will not be able digest rice (nor will she) as it is a complex carbohydrate. They need to heal their digestive tracts, and so really the best thing is to do the GAPS Diet, avoid all grains, starches and sugar for a period of time, and take strong probiotics and eat fermented foods.

Homemade chicken broth is definitely in order; it is one of the staple foods of the GAPS Diet.

For more information about the GAPS Diet, please read Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah January 22, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Dr. Sandra Cabot, “The Liver Doctor,” may be able to help Kimberly in Central Africa. I’ve read a couple of her books and they’re wonderful.

http://www.liverdoctor.com

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cheeseslave January 22, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Thank you, that is a great suggestion!

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Kimberly January 23, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Hi Hannah,
Thanks for this idea! I’ll pursue it.

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Kristin January 22, 2012 at 7:52 PM

You got me thinking. I’ve been taking my temp and it’s always low. Usually between 97.6 and 97.9. I know that means I have thyroid issues. But does that mean that my adrenals are fine since there’s no real ups and downs? I’ve been assuming that I also have adrenal problems but taking my temp has me questioning.

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cheeseslave January 22, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Hi, Kristin,

If it’s pretty consistently low with not a lot of ups and downs then yeah it’s probably just thyroid and not adrenal.

Check out Dr. Rind’s site on how to graph your temps for more information:

http://www.drrind.com/therapies/metabolic-temperature-graph

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Julie D. January 22, 2012 at 8:24 PM

My temp is low and I tend to be cold but my thyroid tests normal. I assume it can mean other things.

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cheeseslave January 22, 2012 at 8:41 PM

I’d go by the temperature, not the thyroid test. Dr. Rind says always go by symptoms and not the tests.

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Julie D. January 22, 2012 at 9:44 PM

I don’t have any of the other symptoms. I have seen Dr. Cowan about it. I do have scoliosis and I was told many years ago that my curvature is right at the spot that corresponds to circulation. I wonder if that is true or not.

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Rebecca January 22, 2012 at 8:23 PM

WRT the modern grains thing, I will say that I can’t touch gluten in the US- within 24 hours I have a migraine and swollen achy joints that lasts about 4 days and it’s horrible. In Europe, I can eat croissants every day for 3 weeks, and only start to get achy joints and headaches towards the end of that time. It’s weird. I know that traditionally in Europe they use a lower gluten wheat, but I was under the impression that their industrial food system was as bad as ours here in the US, and that the low gluten wheat had gone out of fashion. *shrug* Either way. I look forward to going home every year so that I can eat croissants for breakfast :).

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cheeseslave January 22, 2012 at 8:42 PM

I really believe that gluten is not the enemy.

If you have trouble digesting gluten, your gut needs healing.

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Laura N. January 23, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Some of us are so badly damaged by gluten that even healing the gut for a long time does nothing for the gluten problem, even as other allergies have disappeared, never to return.

Do I hope to ever have gluten again? Not really; I don’t care much. I just want to stop feeling like I’m going to die when I get an accidental exposure. Things are supposed to improve a little after 3 1/2 years, right?

Has anyone ever truly healed actual Celiac with GAPS? I’m not talking about a passing gluten intolerance problem; I mean the kind of severe, just-shoot-me-now-so-I-can-stop-suffering gluten reactions.

I have had terrible reactions on 3 continents, so it doesn’t appear to matter what variety of wheat it is.

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amy January 22, 2012 at 8:43 PM

It might not just be the gluten. There are other differences in flour between US and Europe. Flour is really regulated in a number of Europe countries (like France) and has to adhere to certain guidelines, plus it doesn’t have the fortified vitamins or dough conditioners added.

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cheeseslave January 22, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Oh that is interesting, Amy.

I had a German friend who was studying over here. Whenever she’d come to the US, her face would break out in zits and gain a bunch of weight. Then she’d go back to Germany for the summer and she’d effortlessly lose the weight and her face would clear up. I told her it was probably the hormones and antibiotics in the meat. She stopped eating meat when she was here in America and guess what, lost weight and her face cleared up. (This was in the early ’90s before I knew about grass-fed and WAPF)

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Amy January 23, 2012 at 6:59 AM

It’s crazy what all the additives and junk in our food does. I’m convinced it’s one reason obesity rates are lower in Europe.

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jeanmarie January 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Wheat in the U.S. really is different from that around the world. Of course, that’s probably changing, but our commercial bakeries use all sorts of additives that at least until recently haven’t been common elsewhere. Additives that speed up the processing somehow, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. I think sourdough is more widely used in Europe than here.

I’m working my way through Wheat Belly (at least it’s on my bedside table!), and I think there’s a lot to it. I think if one has never had a damaged gut or damaged metabolism, and always prepared grains properly, and had no genetic weakness toward gluten, etc, then maybe you’d never have a problem. Most people don’t fit into that.

It should be noted that gluten isn’t by any means the only thing wrong with wheat. Other elements, such as gliadin I believe?, have strong links to mental illness (including schizophrenia) and alcoholism. Again, if all elements in the lifestyle were favorable, maybe only a tiny minority would be affected. But the kinds of wheat we have really are different from the older varieties, and not in the same way that, say, hybrid potatoes or green beans differ from heirloom varieties. It gets pretty technical and I don’t have it all down yet, having read only a little of the book, but I have heard the author speak a few times. He’s pretty convincing. Now, he may be unaware of Weston Price and the proper preparation of grains, but I couldn’t be sure that’s the case. I’ll check the index. I don’t think his insights can be dismissed, however. I suspect that some people need only soak their grains, some need to give it up temporarily (a la GAPS diet), some are probably better off taking it out of the diet. I know that it bloats me and increases cravings for sugar and other carbs (I think that’s part of the gliadin effect, if I remember correctly). Now, I love sourdough bread and sprouted grain breads, I could easily live off bread and butter, but I would be rotund and not too happy.

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Diane January 24, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Just because I’m doing a little more reading this morning, I thought I’d throw these links up here for others who are more interested in the nitty gritties of wheat than any sane person should be:

http://www.kamut.com/en/origin.html
http://www.einkorn.com/einkorn-nutritional-facts/
http://growseed.org/index3.html (Gobs & gobs of info buried in this site if you dig deep enough — on not only ancient wheats but also wheats grown in various parts of the world today.)

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Meredith January 22, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Hello there :) question about thyroid function…what do you think about a normal TSH combined with low temps (unfortunately as low as 96.9 and up to 97.4 – I just started charting my temps again after about 2 years. They were upper 97s to upper 98s two years ago)? Specifically, have you read about having a normal TSH but still having abnormal thyroid function as evidenced by T3 and T4 levels, etc? How would one test adrenal levels – cortisol? One time cortisol draw or do these fluctuate? Finally, I saw that you mentioned having petechiae in the comments on Matt’s blog. ME TOO!! What is up with this? I am not anemic and my platelets are normal. SO weird.

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Lauren January 23, 2012 at 5:58 AM

Check out Chris Kresser’s Low T3 series and more – he knows stuff about stuff, that guy!
There are endocrine symptom charts you can do to narrow down the source of your imbalance to either thyroid, adrenals or hypothalamus (http://drrind.com/therapies/metabolic-symptoms-matrix) and the Healthy Home Economist has a short checklist of adrenal symptoms you could consult (http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/6-little-known-signs-of-adrenal-fatigue/). To test cortisol you’ll want 3 to 4 samples of spit through the day – as Ann Marie says, temps are a good guage too without the hassle. You need to know not only the level but the fluctuations through the day, which is why a one-off test is useless.

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cheeseslave January 23, 2012 at 6:37 AM

Lauren’s right you need to do a test with 3-4 draws of cortisol.

I’ve been reading for years about TSH and most people say it doesn’t tell you anything: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/tsh-why-its-useless/

Yes, I have petechiae and I *swear* it seems to be getting lighter in the past few months. It’s been driving me crazy because I’ve had it for the past few years (since the pregnancy) and it just keeps getting worse. But it seems to be lightening in the past few months and the only thing I can attribute it to is eating a LOT more and I’m also better with my supplements.

I think you are much better off looking at symptoms and charting your temps as Dr. Rind suggests (see link above and Lauren reposted it) than getting tested. Yo can get tested if you want but charting your temps and looking at symptoms is really all you need.

Matt said that the petechiae is caused by low thyroid function. That’s why I am committed not to his High Everything Diet. I’m eating as much as I want every day and not worried about weight gain. My sole intention is to get my temperature up to normal. I know once that happens, I will lose any weight I need to.

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Adrienne @ Whole New Mom January 22, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Hi Ann Marie.

I am Adrienne, the author of the question about the 11 month old. More perplexing info came my way today about this child. Apparently he had green mucousy stools before eating the rice cereal, but now they have firmed up and become regular. Now I don’t know how to convince this mother that they are bad for him. He is now 1 year old. She is obviously very pleased that his bowels have improved. I’d love any thoughts anyone has on this.

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Lauren January 23, 2012 at 6:03 AM

Oh man, you’re hooped. What about encouraging her to stick with rice over (inevitably worse) alternatives for now, and ensuring he’s getting good fats and proteins as well? Good luck. I know how this hurts to watch; I lost a friend over it because she decided she’d rather destroy her child’s insides than learn to read labels and cook.

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cheeseslave January 23, 2012 at 6:39 AM

The rice is the least of the problems, especially if he’s over 1 year old. I’d talk to the mom about probiotics and fermented foods. If she won’t quit with the rice, she may at least be willing to get the good probiotics in which is what he needs more than anything.

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Karen S. January 23, 2012 at 3:37 AM

Four years ago my son and daughter-in-law, his second wife, decided to try to have his vasectomy reversed so they could have a child. After the operation, the doctors didn’t offer much hope because his sperm levels were so low. Our family had been using natural products from Native Remedies (dot) com to relieve anxiety, detox, help our immune systems, etc., and they also offered fertility drops for both women and men. Within a short time of both of them taking the fertility drops, she became pregnant, which astonished not only them but also his surgeon. They now have a 3-yr-old daughter and another baby on the way. Native Remedies is a wonderful company and I trust their products since I’ve used them for years.

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cheeseslave January 23, 2012 at 6:40 AM

I looked at the site — which one is it? The flower essence?

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Karen S. January 23, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Since I’m at work right now, I’m blocked from using the Native Remedies website, but if I’m remembering right, the drops have the word fertility in the name. I’m hoping this helps, but if it doesn’t, I’ll call my daughter-in-law and ask her the name.

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cheeseslave January 23, 2012 at 9:18 AM

There is only one that is drops and it is the flower essence. Thank you!

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Karen S. January 23, 2012 at 4:15 PM

I just got back home to check out the Native Remedies website and there are several fertility products in the drops, or tonics. One is Fertile XX for women and the other is Fertile XY for the men. I’m sorry that I didn’t have the actual names of the products when I wrote my first email.

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Tina January 23, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Anne Marie, about fermented foods – my 3 year old son is on GAPS – still on Intro. He’s a picky eater, but he will eat sauerkraut. How much should I be giving him each meal? Is there a point where its too much? He’s also eating his bone broths 3 times with each meal.

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Diane January 23, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my long, drawn-out question! I’ve come to the same conclusions, or assumptions, I should say, since I have no big $$ labs to do my own studies. I’m currently working on perfecting long-fermented (for days, instead of hours) sourdoughs. I’d hate to be doing all of this experimenting and never be able to eat it!

I do think there might be something about the modern vs. old-time grains, but I’m not yet completely convinced. They’re a whole different animal these days and, just as with GMOs, there must be some effect on how our bodies handle it. Much more reading and experimenting in my own garden & kitchen to do.

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Lori January 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM

I read Wheat Belly and I don’t think he ever talks about fermenting or sprouting wheat. To him it’s just all bad, but I think Ann Marie makes some good points above. I’m battling with Candida, and so all grains are out, but I hate the idea of having a life without them. I wish that the Wheat Belly buy had addressed fermented/sprouted grains. It does seem interesting that based on the responses above wheat in the US is different than wheat in Europe.

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Diane January 24, 2012 at 7:24 AM

He addressed soaking/sprouting/fermenting on his blog in this post: http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2011/11/you-can-put-lipstick-on-a-pig

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Judith January 23, 2012 at 6:43 PM

What about Hashimotos? From everything I have heard (including Dr. K), Hashimoto’s patients cannot have gluten ever again……even if they’ve done the GAPS diet. It is something about the gluten molecules being very similar to the thyroid molecules. But I’ve been wondering if a healed gut could protect the body from that?

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cheeseslave January 23, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Who is Dr. K?

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Judith January 24, 2012 at 5:43 AM

Daris Kharrazian
He wrote ‘Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests are Normal.”
I’m pretty sure WAPF gave him a thumbs up, but I’d have to re-check.

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Judith January 25, 2012 at 1:07 PM

http://www.westonaprice.org/thumbs-up-reviews/why-do-i-still-have-thyroid-symptoms-by-datis-kharrazian

In the third paragraph they state his belief that people with Hashimotos can never have gluten again.

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Jenn Jennings January 25, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Although most of us would assume the wheat folks are consuming should be organic, non-gmo wheat, I think it’s fair to say almost all mass agriculture grains are GMO, which means… Monsanto. So perhaps “wheat belly” is due in part to that as well.

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