Q & A: June 5, 2011

by Ann Marie Michaels on June 5, 2011

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1. Question: MSG, Corn & Soy Allergies?


I found your site. I am SEVERELY sensitve to MSG and CORN and SOY. There is nothing left to eat. It just happened overnight.

I have no moisturizers. I am wondering if coconut oil and palm oil are hydrolyzed. Anything hydrolyzed turns right into MSG.

I just used Tropical Traditions moisturizer cream and don’t seem to be having a reaction. My first reaction is usually heart pounding.

I’m just wondering if you know or where I can write or e-mail the co to find out if these oils are hydrolyzed. I know I’m spelling wrong. I’m just miserable.

Thank you,


Hi, Mamie,

I’m sorry to hear that you are suffering.

I sincerely doubt that any of the oils from Tropical Traditions are hydrolyzed. Email me back if you have experienced anything different, but I’m guessing you are OK using their lotion.

Food allergies are almost always due to a leaky gut, which is caused by a lack of good bacteria in the digestive tract, caused by everything from antibiotics to the birth control pill to chlorinated water, and a damaged gut caused by soy and unfermented grains, nuts and seeds, which cause a great deal of damage to our intestinal lining.

The good news is, this is reversible.

I strongly recommend that you look into starting on the GAPS Diet. GAPS stands for The Gut and Psychology Syndrome, a book by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride . This diet is powerful — it reverses food allergies and heals conditions from arthritis to asthma to autism.

I would also recommend using natural moisturizers. I use grass-fed ghee as a moisturizer, and plain coconut oil.

Best wishes to you.

Ann Marie

2. Question: Melting Raw Cheese and Butter?

Hi, I have a question for you, which may be kind of stupid… just wondering at what temperature do raw cheese and raw butter stop being considered raw? For example if you melt them are they still considered raw? Or are you destroying stuff at that temp?



There are no stupid questions!

Raw milk butter and cheese is not heated above 104°F or 40°C. Butter melts at 90-95°F or 32-35°C. I am not sure about cheese — it depends on the type of cheese.

When milk is pasteurized, what gets destroyed are beneficial enzymes, milk proteins, vitamins C, B12 and B6, and beneficial bacteria or probiotics.

There are lots of nutrients in butter and cheese that do not get destroyed with heat. The fat-soluble activators, vitamins A, D & K2 are heat-stable.

That said, drinking pasteurized milk is a bad idea. Mainly because of the milk proteins. So for milk, we always drink raw, grass-fed milk (except for the rare occurrence when we are out to eat or traveling and my daughter wants milk). For cheese and butter, I will buy pasteurized but I always try to get grass-fed. In fact, I like to buy large quantities of butter in the spring when the cows are on green grass — and I store it in my freezer.

My general rule of thumb is this: I buy grass-fed, raw milk. I don’t drink pasteurized milk if I can help it. I am fine with pasteurized cheese and butter as long as it is grass-fed.

I really wouldn’t worry about melting butter and cheese — you’re not going to do that much damage. But make sure your milk is raw!

3. Question: Tibicos (Water Kefir) and Candida?

Hi! Could you please tell me if Tibicos would work to get rid of Candida? That is what I am using them for, however my recent research has shown me that they are actually made up of yeast and Candida, of course, is a problem of TOO MUCH yeast. Now I am confused. Thank you!

Louise Duhamel


Everyone has yeast in their gut, but having too much yeast is bad. Candida or yeast overgrowth is a sign of abnormal gut flora. If you have adequate numbers of good bacteria (probiotics), the good guys will keep the yeast in check.

So you don’t really want to “get rid of” candida. You just want to increase your good bacteria in your gut so that you have normal, balanced gut flora. The best way to do this is to eat a variety of naturally fermented foods, including kefir, kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, salsa, pickles, etc.

If you don’t eat fermented foods with every meal, I recommend taking a therapeutic-grade probiotic. Or, ideally, do the probiotics AND the fermented foods. From my personal experience, most probiotics on the market don’t work at all. I have had good luck with Bio-Kult and a few other brands.

Also, I really think dairy kefir is one of the best fermented foods to help heal the gut. It has a lot more strains than say, yogurt. If you can’t do dairy, I recommend making coconut milk kefir. You can eat it just like plain yogurt, eat it with grain-free granola, add it to soups (add it at the end when the soup is not too hot) or add a little honey and make ice cream. If you can eat dairy, just eat kefir — you can add more cream to the kefir to make it thicker and more like sour cream.

4. Question: Verboten Green Smoothies?

Wow — this article has shocked me to the core!


I am making a daily green smoothie with raw spinach and thinking I am doing a good thing for my body. Is raw spinach, kale, etc. really a health concern???



Yes, this is correct. Raw green vegetables like spinach and other leafy greens block minerals like iodine and iron and therefore they are not good for you. It is best to eat cooked spinach, kale, chard, etc. I really love them cooked with bacon grease, lard, or duck fat.

If you are trying to detoxify your body (like while on the GAPS diet) then it is OK to juice leafy greens along with fruits and other vegetables as part of a detoxification protocol for a limited period of time. Otherwise, it is not recommended to consume raw green veggies.

5. Question: The Mood Cure and GAPS?

I read that you recommend reading The Mood Cure which I had already done but dismissed much of it as I am a GAPS fan. I was having trouble reconciling her information which make is sound as if these moods can be fixed by amino acids alone (well, with healthy foods too but not with a GAPS healing diet).

I know that that cannot be true. So how do you put this all together?

I understand a person can do GAPS and aminos but I guess I’m saying can I trust her advice in light of knowing what I know about healing the gut? I’m extremely interested in this because my husband is “bi-polar” and abuses alcohol when he gets depressed. He has been on GAPS for 10 months (for depression as have I) and cheats a whole lot and as the cheating got worse so did his symptoms. No room for error here!

Thanks for all you do!


Actually the diet that Julia Ross recommends in The Mood Cure is very similar to the GAPS Diet, as well as the WAPF diet.

Julia recommends a balanced diet of traditional foods. She recommends eating 20-30 grams of protein at every meal, in the form of meat, dairy, fish and/or nuts, along with good, traditional fats like egg yolks, butter, lard, tallow, coconut oil, and olive oil. She also recommends eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. She only recommends whole grains like brown rice, and she discourages eating white flour and sugar. She counsels people against eating soy.

So you can see that this diet is very similar to the WAPF diet. The GAPS Diet is also similar to this diet — but it is more strict due to the allergies that people have. As you know, there are no grains, starches or sugar (except honey and date sugar) on the GAPS Diet.

Julia does recommend taking amino acids, but only for a short time, for people who need them. And the amino acids are to be taken in conjunction with a traditional food diet. Many people find that they cannot refrain from sugar, starchy foods and junk food, caffeine, alcohol and other drugs. She says these people are lacking the neurotransmitters they need, which is why they reach for the drugs and junk food. Neurotransmitters are made from amino acids, which is why it helps to take them for a period of time.

I don’t know if amino acids are legal on the GAPS diet and I don’t know what Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s position is on them. If it were me personally, I would read Julia Ross’s book and I would consider consulting with her or with another doctor or practitioner who is trained in her methodology. She has been very successful working with alcoholics and people who are bipolar.

6. Question: GAPS Diet, Eczema & Schizophrenia?

Hi Ann Marie,

I am a regular reader of your blog – and I have greatly appreciated some of the things you have written!

I write to you not in hope of receiving answers in medical terms, but because I gather you yourself have experienced healing with food and because I know you are in contact with many people who have experienced healing through food as well — and that you might therefore be able to say whether there is a possibility of healing in the cases I am about to present to you.

I have at this time already tried writing to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, but, understandably, she is too busy with her patients to be able to answer.

I am a young man from Denmark who was introduced to the concept of real food through the work of Sally Fallon and the Weston A. Price Foundation last year, and since then I have educated myself on matters of healing through food, especially in regards to the GAPS Diet. I am now looking to help someone I love, my mother — and if possible, my aunt, whom I will get to in a moment.

I have a mother with a lifelong eczema which continues to be, with varying severity, debilitating. Throughout her life she has been sick with infectious diseases, which have established themselves as latent, chronic disease, regularly showing their ugly faces. My mother is also affected with various allergies, especially to gluten and casein.

After reading Gut and Psychology Syndrome I have been thinking that all of those problems (which, it seems, all have to do with a compromised immune system) stem from a chronic gut dysbiosis.

The medical establishment, however, has been of no help in terms of the eczema (except for steroid topical creams), the infections and the allergies.

My mother has a younger sister who was diagnosed as schizophrenic during adolescence. This has in the succeeding years been joined by diagnoses for depression and anxiety. In the case of my aunt, the medical establishment has only one answer: anti-psychotic drugs, which help control symptoms somewhat, but, of course, does not bring about healing. This has been supplemented with limited attempts at psychotherapy, all to no avail, and my aunt has since been deemed incurable by the establishment.

Of course, it is pretty clear that the possibility of an internal physiologic and biochemical imbalance in the body causing the mental symptoms has not been considered.

I should also mention that all of my mother’s siblings, including my schizophrenic aunt, have skin problems to various degrees.

I cannot help but think that the problems my mother has been living with for many years, as well as those in her family, has to do with what Dr. Natasha speaks about: a gut and psychology/physiology syndrome.

Having knowledge of the intricate connections in the body, including the way gut health relates to health everywhere in the body, makes it very hard for me not to want to help my immediate family.

I have introduced my mother to the theory behind GAPS, and whilst she is hesitant to believe in any healing these days (as a consequence of many unsuccessful tries) it is gradually settling with her that this might, indeed, be able to help. I think just the thought of diseases such as allergies and schizophrenia not being the result of some evil spell, but having to with inner chemistry makes for relief (not because healing imbalanced inner chemistry is easy, of course, but because it longer appears inexplicable).

I truly would like to help my mother as well as her sister heal, but I am a little tentative whether doing the GAPS protocol has the ability to heal
diseases and disorders this old and therefore also severely complicated and deep-rooted in the body — my aunt has been sick with mental symptoms for as long as I can remember (I am 21). Even believing these ailments to be curable, let alone attempting to heal them, seems daunting.

If you can give me any word of advice — of course, here again, I do not expect anything medically specific, but sound, personal advice — I would greatly appreciate it. A word of encouragement — whether you have knowledge of others, dauntingly, attempting to, with the help only of loving families, heal disorders similar to ones I have described.

I want to thank you in advance, Ann Marie.

Best regards,

Aske Tøgern Wissum,
Copenhagen, Denmark,
May 16, 2011


Hi, Aske,

I absolutely do believe that these disorders can be helped by following the GAPS diet. The skin problems are classic with people who have gut dysbiosis, as are mental problems.

Skin problems usually clear up pretty fast on GAPS so I would start there. If you can help your mom with her eczema, it’s likely that her sister will be encouraged enough by this to also do the diet.

It’s not easy to do the diet in the beginning, since it requires a lot of change and you have to do a lot of cooking. So they have to really want to do it.

You may have heard that I am teaching an online cooking class, Reversing Food Allergies. I created it to help people learn how to cook on the GAPS diet, so that may be something you are interested in. The class started in April but it is a self-paced class with lifetime access, so people can join in at any time.

Once you master the basics such as making bone broth, making fermented foods like kefir, yogurt and sauerkrat, making coconut milk and coconut flour, making roast meats and learning to cook fish, it’s quite easy to follow the diet.

7. Question: Probiotic Recommendation?

Hi, you mention taking a strong priobiotic however I didn’t see a name or source — care to elaborate on this? I take PB8 however I think I can do better and I’m looking for a recommendation. Thanks in advance!

Charlotte Polizzo


I take Bio-Kult.

8. Question: GAPS Diet and Back Pain?

Hi Ann Marie,

Here’s another question I’ve been pondering — whenever you get the chance.

I understand how the GAPS diet heals the body by resetting the digestive tract and immune system and removing toxins. I’ve heard people say that it helps alleviate back pain. How does it do this? Is it a matter of inflammation and fixing the way the body repairs tissues?



I had very bad joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis when I had gut dysbiosis in my 20s. By doing a diet similar to GAPS back then, I was able to alleviate all my pain within a few weeks.

Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, a disorder in which the body’s tissues are attacked by its own immune system. Back pain can also be an autoimmune disorder (so can fibromyalgia or other painful, crippling disorders).

As you know, immunity begins in the gut. If we have a “leaky” or damaged gut, our immunity suffers. When our gut is extremely damaged, we end up with an autoimmune disorder, which can manifest in a variety of ways — and the pain is just a symptom.

9. Question: Weight Loss Diet?


You mentioned the non-dairy ice cream you use during the week since you were trying to lose weight. What diet do you follow to lose weight?

I came across your site on one of my nutritional searches. I am looking forward to trying your gluten-free brownie recipe. Thanks for posting. I am gluten-free for the most part.

Thanks for your time!



I am following The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman.

I started in March and I have lost 14 pounds and dropped 2 dress sizes.

I’m pretty happy with my current weight so if I don’t lose the last 10 pounds, it’s OK with me. My husband and I are also trying to conceive so I’m not sure how much longer I’ll do this diet.

Although it is very nutrient-dense — pastured eggs cooked in butter every morning, lots of meat and fish and good, healthy fats, plus lots of fresh and fermented vegetables. I think I’m probably eating better on this diet than I when I wasn’t on it!

10. Question: Storing Flour?

When considering storing would it be not advisable to freeze flour to avoid rancidity because it is thought to damage the phytase content of flour.

Phytase being I believe a beneficial component in battling the effect of the anti-nutrient phytic acid.

If so, would a refrigerator be a better choice?

Thank you for your terrific site.

Chris Curley L.Ac.


I don’t recommend buying whole grain flour that has not been sprouted. Whole grain flour goes rancid and most stores let them sit on the shelf for a long time. It really is best to use freshly ground flour that has been sprouted.

Best: Soak and sprout whole grains, grind your own sprouted flour and use it right away or freeze it.
Second Best: Buy sprouted flour online and store it in the freezer.
Good: Buy whole grain flour as fresh as possible and store in the fridge, then soak or ferment it — but use it as soon as possible.

Right now I buy my sprouted flour online (see my resources page), but I just bought a grain mill and plan to start sprouting and milling my own flour and making sourdough bread at home.

I’m currently doing the 4 Hour Body so I’m not eating a lot of bread — but once I get pregnant, I plan to eat my fill of sourdough with lots of butter and cheese — I love it!

11. Question: Dry Eyes?

I’ve been dealing with severe dry eyes for a few years. I’m wondering if you have any suggestions as to how to remedy this?

I eat a primal diet (similar to Ferriss’s Slow Carb Diet).

Can we have a moment for some Tim Love? My husband and I already owned 2 copies of The Four Hour Work Week in print, plus the audio book on CD, not to mention we both followed his blog. Then he came out with The 4-Hour Body and about put me over the edge. OK enough about that. I take Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil every day and exercise regularly.

My eye doctor used the word “hellacious” to describe the dryness. I prefer to treat things naturally, but I’m pretty desperate at this point! Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!


Dry eyes can be caused by a deficiency of vitamin A.

Here is a list of the best sources of vitamin A (per 100 grams) from the Weston A. Price Foundation website:

* High-vitamin cod liver oil 230,000
* Regular cod liver oil 100,000
* Duck liver 40,000
* Beef liver 35,000
* Goose liver 31,000
* Liverwurst sausage (pork) 28,000
* Lamb liver 25,000

It should be noted that these amounts can vary according to how the animals are fed. Weston Price noted a huge variation in vitamin-A content of butter according to the season. In addition, absorption of vitamin A varies according to the food. Research carried out during the 1940s indicates that vitamin A is more easily absorbed from butter than from other foods.

I wonder if increasing your intake of cod liver oil and liver would help? It’s worth a try.

12. Question: Granola Bar Recipe Redux?

Hi AnnMarie,

I have this recipe for granola bars that my family really likes, and I wanted to share it with you, partly because it’s good, and partly because I was hoping you could help me make it a little healthier.

The recipe is as follows:

–The Glue–
1 10 oz package marshmallows
2/3 c peanut butter
1/4 c corn syrup
2 t vanilla

–Dry Ingredients–
4 c oats
1 c Rice Krispies
1 c mini chocolate chips
1/2 c coconut
1/2 to 1 c seeds
1/2 to 1 c nuts
2 T wheat germ (I omit, as I am GF)
2 T sesame seeds

Mix glue and dry ingredients thoroughly, press in to a 9 x 13 baking pan, bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Currently, I have soaked and I am drying the oatmeal. I am not overly worried about the marshmallows, but I’d like to sub the corn syrup for something else. And if you have alternative ideas for the marshmallows I am definitely open to that. I am going to use Rice Krispies, because they really help lighten up the bar, but perhaps next time I’ll use Rice Chex so I can eat them too. I usually use regular size chocolate chips, because I don’t usually buy the mini ones, and I find that even the large ones melt quite a bit when you put the glue in.



Jill Chapin


I’ll be honest with you — I don’t think this is a very healthy snack. For starters, it’s more of a dessert than a snack. Too sweet!

I think better snacks are hardboiled or deviled eggs, soaked nuts and seeds, cheese, leftover roast meat, or homemade crackers with soaked nut butter.

That said, if you want to make this every once in a while, it would be OK.

The marshmallows are probably made with high fructose corn syrup, which is made from genetically modified corn — a definite avoid. If you want to make a healthier version, you can use my recipe for Homemade Marshmallow Fluff. It’s mostly honey with a little egg white.

Corn syrup should also be avoided. For corn syrup, you can substitute raw honey 1:1.

Commercial peanut butter is high in phytic acid and other anti-nutrients. Here is my recipe for Homemade Peanut Butter, which is soaked and roasted, and made with coconut oil.

Use organic vanilla extract (not the fake vanillin stuff) or you can make Homemade Vanilla Extract.

Oats – soak and dry them, as you are already doing. Ideally, get whole raw groats and flake them at home and then soak them overnight. Almost all store-bought oats are heat-treated which deactivates the phytase, and therefore soaking really does not reduce the phytic acid.

I would definitely skip the Rice Krispies and the Rice Chex — both are made from extruded rice which is toxic. They are also devoid of nutrition. You can substitute soaked nuts or seeds instead.

For the chocolate chips, I’d substitute carob chips, which you can find at the health food store.

Nuts and seeds are fine to use as long as they are soaked and dried.

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Amelia June 5, 2011 at 7:59 AM

#11: I also recommend checking out whether you’re experiencing a mucus deficiency from not getting enough glucose, as mentioned here http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=1077. When the author ate an extremely low-carb diet, he got painfully dry eyes, but they healed when he added back enough starch to his diet (still staying low-carb, but avoiding glucose deficiency). He mentions possible micronutrient deficiencies, too, including vitamin D, which is also provided in good cod liver oil, and also vitamin C.


Christy June 6, 2011 at 1:56 PM


I am doing the GAPS diet right now and I have done the intro very briefly. I have dry eyes as well and I need to go back and do the intro to it again because I did it so quickly that my body did not get a chance to fix everything. The reason I am bringing that up is because the first week on the intro I basically ate a lot of chicken broth and soup as it suggest and my eyes did not bother me, but when I started to go off of it they did bother me again. Whenever my eyes bother me, like when you have the awful sandy feeling in the middle of the night, I do take the fermented cod liver oil and it helps. I am looking forward to going through the entire 6 weeks on the intro to GAPS to see if it completely helps me get rid of the dry eyes. I have missed so much work due to the fact I can’t see after I have had the sandy feeling episodes and it take serveral hours in order for me to even be able to open my eyes. A little less time is lost when I take the cod liver oil. I am not sure if this is the same as what you have, but it is worse in the winter. I was doing the intro to GAPS in the winter and did not have to use my eye drops during that entire week. Doing the intro to GAPS is going to be well worth the effort if I can get rid of my dry eyes.

We will be doing the intro again for the full term in September.

I hope this helps




Erica June 5, 2011 at 8:10 AM

HI Aske Tøgern Wissum,

I believe I read somewhere that schizophrenia was linked with a vitamin D deficiency. Aske Tøgern Wissum, I highly recommend that you have your aunt and mother on the GAPS diet right away with some High Vitamin Cod Liver Oil, preferably the Green Pastures brand. Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride stated that schizophrenia and ezema derive from a gut imbalance. It is best for them to start now on the treatment before they get much worse. Let them know that they NEED to heal their gut in order to treat these health issues.

I believe that there are no other treatments other than a change in diet for them to witness true healing. Since nearly 85% of the immune system is in our gut, I wouldn’t be surprised that the GAPS diet will be able to wipe away the schizophrenia and ezema from their lives. However, it does take time to heal the body depending on the severity of the issue. Be sure to follow the GAPS diet very thoroughly. Include liberally special foods on a daily basis like organ meats, pastured eggs (if tolerated), raw ghee or butter (if tolerated), animal fats, etc. Also, allow then to consume a bowl of bone broth and a fermented food with every meal. Please be sure that they purchase the probiotic Bio-kult so they can begin slowly repopulating the good bacteria in their gut.

They CAN be healed. But, like Ann Marie stated, they must be willing to change their diet to heal the gut.


Soli @ I Believe In Butter June 5, 2011 at 8:32 AM

To Louise, if you haven’t already you may want to look into the Body Ecology Diet, which is specifically designed to cure candidasis (candida overgrowth). It does include a lot of cultured/fermented foods, including milk kefir. Aside from this, butter, and ghee, milk is not allowed on the diet. Water kefir is not allowed in the first stage because it encourages sugar (food for candida) in the body, but they *do* recommend making kefir from water of young coconuts.


Elizabeth Walling June 5, 2011 at 8:55 AM

I wanted to comment that anyone looking into naturally treating depression, alcoholism or schizophrenia might be interested in researching the work of Dr. Abram Hoffer. His work is centered around recognizing food allergies, eating a whole foods diet (he was a fan of Weston A. Price), and using vitamin therapy as needed. Some have seen fantastic results following his recommendations, so I think it’s worth looking into.


Amy Love @ Real Food Whole Health June 5, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Great questions (and answers!) To #11, Lindsay, dry eyes has a lot to do with your essential fatty acid status. I would increase the FCLO and add an essential oil supplement, like Premier Research Labs EFA Oil Blend, make sure you are also using olive oil and possibly other oils on your salads. Mix it up :) It can also be hormone related, but the root cause of that is very often fatty acid imbalance. Here’s an article for more research. http://www.ntptalk.com/articles/nutrition-for-dry-eye-syndrome.php Feel free to contact me if you have more questions about this fatty acid supplementation or possible hormone imbalances.


ginny stebbins June 5, 2011 at 9:03 AM

Thank you Ann Marie,
You answered my question!


Terri June 5, 2011 at 9:08 AM

regarding #12 – I nearly had to laugh and then felt sad regarding this recipe. She said her family really likes it because it is ‘good’. This is a horrific reminder of how the majority of the country eats without the proper knowledge. It is great she was asking how to make it more nutritious and healthy. You did a great job Ann Marie in adjusting the ingredients, but I think she would be better off ditching this recipe altogether. Makes me wonder what her other recipes are like!


Elizabeth Walling June 5, 2011 at 9:45 AM

And you have to wonder how comfortable she’ll be asking for advice in the future after reading comments like this.


Aja June 6, 2011 at 6:43 PM

So true, Elizabeth. But in Terri’s defense, I’d throw out that recipe, too. I think Ann Marie did a very graceful job in adjusting the ingredients. Some of us get a little tunnel-vision-y when we’ve gone so far into trying to correct our own misled, processed diets. Dietary differences have seriously ended some of my friendships/relationships (usu with adamant vegans tho) so it must be really hard providing for a family (like Jill’s husband) that’s resistant to her menu and hard work and care. And after reading Jill’s detailed response, it just goes to show that you can’t make a character judgment from catching someone with a snack.

I mean, I don’t think Terri’s being elitist to look a grocery store and think “where’s the food?” (if that’s even what she does. That’s what I do.) And because I feel that way, I do my best to carry some WAPF pamphlets around with me like a freakin zealot.

Diet may be the new touchiest topic. Hands down, I’ll take finances, politics and religion at the dinner table over dietary debate ANY DAY.


Terri June 6, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Wow, I have received my 20 lashings and wish I could take back my previous comment. I will be more careful in my phrasing if I make any future comments. I made an off handed comment and it wasn’t intended to be personal and I understand how it came across. My heart is in the right place but my words were wrong. Jill, you are doing a wonderful job – most assuredly better than me.

Aja – I DO have a hard time going to the grocery store and I definitely shop differently now then in the past.

I am raising the ‘white flag’ and asking for a truce!


Erica June 7, 2011 at 4:17 AM

Terri, don’t worry about the comment. Sometimes I can say things that can come out the wrong way even though my intention was totally different :)


Jill C June 7, 2011 at 5:07 AM

It’s fine – you know what? ALL of you have hearts in the right place! Terri for standing up for good food, and others for standing in the gap for me. Proof that this is a good place to be!

I am totally with you on the grocery store, but my options are limited here. The weirdest thing I notice is that the grocery store no longer smells like food, it smells like plastic. Even in the produce department where all the food is displayed!

A few years ago on the recommendation of a friend, I purchased organic carrots. When I ate one, I remembered what carrots used to taste like! Food doesn’t have taste anymore. Though in some ways, going to the grocery store is easier than it used to be. There is a lot less walking since I won’t go down most of the aisles.


Erica June 7, 2011 at 5:53 AM

Wow, even the organic carrots had no taste to them? That’s pretty scary. I wonder if it has to do with the quality of the soil. I believe I heard that good soil quality produces tasty and delicious fruits and vegetables. That stinks that even organic produce don’t really have much nutrients in them anymore compared to 50 yrs ago. I would still go for the organic produce though since the commercial ones are even more scarier when it comes to the quality.


Jill C June 7, 2011 at 6:27 AM

No no, sorry. I didn’t communicate well. Organic carrots HAVE taste! They taste like carrots used to! So even though they are root vegetables and not really highly exposed to toxins, they taste better. Or rather, have a taste at all.


Erica June 7, 2011 at 6:30 AM

oh, lol! Yea, that’s totally true that organic carrots do taste better :)


Ellen June 5, 2011 at 11:09 AM

First off, Terri, being judgemental to make yourself feel good will not help anyone.

Second, for Lindsay, I was going to mention a glucose deficiency since the reader is low carb but I see someone else has beaten me to it. I would definitely add in some carbs and see if it clears up.

Third, for Aske, I highly recommend the blog Evolutionary Psychology. The author, Emily, is a psychiatrist that is extremely knowledgeable about nutrition. She’s done many posts on schizophrenia. They can be found here: http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/search?q=schizophrenia


Terri June 5, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Please do not take offense to what I posted. All I was saying is that this is the nature of our world. With continued education and people like Ann Marie to guide us all, we will become much healthier.
I apologize if I came across trying to seem better than others. I did not mean it to sound that way, so please don’t misread my meaning. I am learning along with everyone else.


Jill C June 6, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Actually, Terri, you did “wonder what my other recipes are like”, which is a way of commenting that you don’t think they would be very healthful. In fact, I work very hard to provide nutrient dense food to my sometimes unwilling family. I raise my own meatbirds, and my own hens for eggs. My husband hunts for our red meat (venison) and fishes for our fish, I also buy pork fat to produce my own lard. Though I live in a very cold climate, I do my best to find healthy, whole food that is the best that my budget, knowledge, time and energy will allow. I have subjugated my career and a great deal of “lifestyle” in order to do what I can to provide my family with the best nutrition possible. I doubt that it would have been possible for us to heal our son of autism if we had a poor diet.
In addition, I plan for my dietary education to take a lifetime, so I am not unduly concerned about what I am eating now, just constantly striving for better in the future. I won’t take offense, but that doesn’t mean that you didn’t mean any, it just means that it’s not worth it to me to spend time offended at what was probably an off-handed comment. I don’t believe I am misreading your meaning, because it was pointed directly at me. But I forgive you, as I have certainly been at the giving end of a tongue-lashing rooted in ignorance more than once. :)
Ann-Marie, thank you for these tips. I will try your changes the next time I make these. My husband grew up eating everything from boxes and cans and lots and lots of processed foods. In fact, I have always prided myself on my cooking, but my husband has not always been pleased with it. One day, he wanted me to taste something “delicious” (It was from an Army MRE), and I thought, “Might as well try to figure out what it is he actually likes to eat!”. I tasted it (cheese tortellini in “red” sauce) and said, “EW! It tastes like spaghetti-os!” And he replied, in an excited tone, “YEAH!” You can see it was an uphill climb.
Fortunately, he hasn’t been concerned about our switch to more natural fats, though he complains about our trek to get raw milk (only 17 miles, but in the wrong direction), and the price (only $4 per gall. Actually, he thinks it costs $3), and I hope that as he continues to eat more and more “real” food, that his tastes will change as well, and that bad food will cease to taste good to him, and that he will notice such changes in his health that he will be unwilling to go back and that things like spaghetti-os and packaged ramen can become a thing of the past.


Erica June 6, 2011 at 1:48 PM

You go girl!!!


Jill C June 6, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Thanks Erica, and thanks for sticking up for me. I am really proud of the changes we’ve made as a family, and most especially, me personally, as I have also faced going gluten free, plus a great deal other food issues and allergies, including, but not limited to, corn, MSG, and food dyes. Not to mention battling all manner of MDs, family and civilians about my choice to eat plenty of cholesterol-laden real fats.


Erica June 6, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Of course, Jill! What you are doing to your family is very remarkable, and nothing that you are doing right now is in vain. Your family will pay for it with amazing protection against many illnesses in the future. Just do the best you can in all that you do concerning health and nutrition for you and your family. Don’t stress over anything, but allow God to be your main provider. I know that it is very hard to talk to doctors of mainstream medicine because they don’t really understand traditional diets. Just do the best you can if you must see one. I usually just go for check ups once in a while, but my main doctor is in my refrigerator, lol. Also, are you doing the GAPS diet to get a hold of those allergies?


Amy June 6, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Jill, I don’t even think there’s anything wrong with eating that recipe in it’s original form on occasion. If it’s a daily thing then okay maybe not the best, but if you’re eating it once a month I’m sure it’s fine. It sounds delicious, and it’s still mostly natural foods. A twinkie would be much worse, for example. My personal mantra is the less food obsessed you can be while still maintaining an overall healthy diet, the better. It sounds like you’re doing a great job.


Erin C June 7, 2011 at 5:07 AM

white sugar and marshmallows aren’t natural foods…right?


Jill C June 7, 2011 at 5:14 AM

Interestingly, I put things on a sliding scale. White sugar and marshmallows aren’t natural foods, but they are “more” natural than something like margarine, or diet soda pop. For instance, given limited options, I would drink a regular soda pop before I’d drink a diet one. But I would try to opt for plain iced tea, or water first. The sliding scale works for me when I am at a potluck at church or a restaurant and my food options are limited.


cheeseslave June 6, 2011 at 5:32 PM


LOL! That is so funny about your husband and the spaghetti-os. Those really are disgusting, but I understand how people can get “hooked” on processed foods. You get to a point where that is what you are used to and it tastes good to you.

$4 per gallon for raw milk is DIRT CHEAP! We pay more than double that here in LA.

How long have you been eating this way? I am just curious — I think it does take time with people. My husband is now more on board than ever. He’s even willing to do the GAPS diet now (as of JUST TODAY — woo hoo!). Of course, it only took me 3 1/2 years.


cheeseslave June 6, 2011 at 5:39 PM

By the way, Jill, I want to compliment you on how hard you are working to provide nourishing foods for your family.

None of us are perfect, and I appreciate your honesty. My daughter ate a whole bag of Cheetos this weekend (a snack bag).

I know it is an uphill battle but it IS worth it in the long-run!


Erica June 6, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Oh my goodness!!! A whole bag of cheetos!!! How cute!!! Why not 2 bags, lol!!! :)


Jill C June 6, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Aww thanks!
How long? It’s been about a decade and a half of awakening and transition. I was raised the “healthy” ’80s way – low and fake fat and diet soda. But about 15 years ago I switched to butter, and not too long after that, whole pasteurized milk. Five or six years ago I read an article about how you can predict a person’s risk of obesity by how much pop they drink, and that the risk is higher with diet pop, so I quit drinking pop. Not too long after that I decided I wasn’t going to eat anything that wasn’t food. Stir in a metabolic disorder (PCOS), frequent illnesses (usually ear infections and strep), a bout of mono at the age of 38 (!), a severe vitamin D deficiency, environmental, drug and food allergies, and the guidance of help of my precious mother, who gave me Nourishing Traditions, my first subscription to Wise Traditions, and a visit with an WAPF nutritionist, and I am well on the path to improving my health.
It is an uphill battle, and my husband isn’t totally opposed. The other day I tried cooking his eggs in lard, and he demanded his butter back! He has done some reading and listening to others, and we are seeing a really good chiropractor now, so he’s coming around. But I gotta remember, he once liked spaghetti-os! You can’t force a person to change, or make them change all at once. But gradually, they start to see that some things taste better and other things are gross. Some things satisfy, and other things leave you feeling like you have a hole somewhere.
I recruited another family, and we take turns picking up the milk, so that’s at least some leverage. We’re just on the path like everyone else.
And don’t be hard on Terri – I really don’t want her to feel bad. We’ve all been there after all, and if you haven’t you’re either lying, or under the age of 12.
My son, by the way has completely recovered from autism. He is 17 now, and with a lot of therapy, the best food I knew how to provide, and probably a miracle or two, he will graduate in a year, hopefully have his Boy Scout Eagle badge, and already has plans to join the Army and be a helicopter repairman. Not only has he recovered, he is a totally awesome teenager who is mostly happy and easy to get along with. When he was five he wouldn’t eat his veggies, crossed his arms and declared “You can only feed me cookies, candy and meat!” He is a high protein/fat type, like me, and eats largely protein, some veggies and some carbohydrates and he isn’t shy about it either.


Bethany July 2, 2011 at 6:01 PM

I used to LOVE canned spaghetto-os…. now they taste soo disgusting and fake!! I also used to eat them cold straight from the can…oh how far I have come !


Katie P June 5, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Just a comment on the green smoothies. I really like them too, but found out that raw spinach and others are not best for you, So I steam them, and then puree them, and then freeze them in ice cube trays. That way if I want to add green to my smoothie, I pop in a few spinach or kale cubes that have already been steamed.


Angela June 5, 2011 at 3:31 PM

I love the idea of still having a green smoothie but with presteamed greens!


Alexandra June 6, 2011 at 9:49 AM

This is a great idea – I love my green smoothies, and I didn’t want to give them up.


cheeseslave June 6, 2011 at 10:23 AM

I gotta be honest — I don’t know why people love green smoothies so much. I just don’t get it! What is the appeal?


Alexandra June 8, 2011 at 6:40 AM

Well, I like the green color – it tends to freak the coworkers out. :) Basically, I like that it’s a vehicle to get more greens into me, as I sometimes get very bored with vegetables. The flavor can be hidden by the milk/fruits/sweeter veg, and it’s rather filling. Plus, if I add in some wheatgrass, the B vitamins give me a great pick-me-up in the morning.


Erin C June 6, 2011 at 11:38 AM

What kind of salads do you eat then???????? I eat a spinach salad usually twice a day. I eat cooked greens frequently as well. My mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009 and the doctors all say to eat loads of greens to help prevent it. My husband and I both eat a raw spinach salad every single night with our dinner. It is the only vegetable I can get him to eat usually. He isn’t going to eat slimy greens. What type of leafy salad would be ok?


Erica June 6, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Hi Erin C,

It is a pretty bad idea to consume raw spinach salad on a regular basis. Raw spinach contains antinutrients, like oxalates, that can inhibit the absorption of needed minerals. It is best to cook the spinach as the nutrients in the spinach will be released during the cooking process and easily absorbed.


Amy Love@Real Food Whole Health June 6, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Hey Erin, You can eat leafy greens- like lettuces. Romaine, boston/bibb, red leaf, green leaf, mesclun mix, arugula, watercress. There are tons. Microgreens are great too.

It’s the chard/spinach/kale/beet greens that need to be cooked to neutralize the antinutrients and oxalic acid. Google oxalic acid to read more about its role in kidney stones, etc.

Your mother can have salads as mentioned above, as well as cooked greens. She might benefit by cutting refined and starchy carbs and sugars. That is generally a more focused approach to fending off cancer- and focusing on well-source meats and healthy fats, rather than feedlot animal foods and vegetable oils.


Erin C June 6, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Thanks Amy!


Erin C June 6, 2011 at 12:00 PM

oh…and I’m the one that eats the spinach to prevent cancer. I mean, she does too, sorta…and I am trying to get her to cut her carbs. The only person you can control is yourself, ya know? :)


Amy Love@Real Food Whole Health June 6, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Sure! And you are SO right about that :) But we can educate and we can lead by example and we can INSPIRE!! Just the fact that you are conscious about your choices means that the battle is practically won!


Alexandra June 8, 2011 at 6:41 AM

When I eat a spinach salad, I try to eat it with a hot bacon dressing that wilts the greens and lots of chopped egg. It’s probably still not the best way to eat spinach, but I figure it evens out closer. :)


Bonnie June 5, 2011 at 3:57 PM


In response to the Q/A about water kefir and candida:

I agree with your response, and would like to add something for the benefit of anyone who’s new to managing their candida and gut flora with real foods: too many lactobacilli can produce the same tingling, burning vulvar sensations (and gas, and skin rashes, and so on) as candida overgrowth. So, I notice for instance that 1 BioKult a day is great, but 2 a day will make me a little miserable. Likewise, if I’ve had enough lacto-fermented veggies over a couple of days, it behooves me to skip a day or two of BioKult. AND, if I’m drinking a lil water kefir with breakfast, I skip the BioKult or leave it for later that day. In other words, all these things can help our systems get back into balance, as long as we’re mindful and CONSUME them in balance (not excess). It’s not necessarily a more-is-better thing.

My OB/GYN confirms that an excess of lactobacilli are known to cause these symtoms. It’s NOT something you need to “worry” about, but it’s good to get an idea of the big picture. And I figure it might help (if you find yourself feeling symptomatic) to realize that you might be overcompensating, rather than “doing something wrong” or “not getting any better.” I know it was a journey for me.

Take care.


Miller March 7, 2012 at 7:10 PM

I’m a little late here, but this is absolutely true. I had to (yes, HAD TO) take some antibiotics last year, and got very, very worried about a possible overgrowth of yeast (really, really strong antibiotics). I went probiotic and fermented foods crazy, and when I got a little itchy, I even used yogurt suppositories, and that set me on fire! The doctors did not know what was wrong, and even tried to prescribe some anti-yeast meds(!) which I’m very thankful I didn’t take. Long hours spent on the internet helped me find what was going on, and thank God I did! (for the record, if this happens to you, sitting in a bowl of warm water with a bit of baking soda not only provides instant relief, but will help stop the problem in most cases)


jackie June 5, 2011 at 6:08 PM

i have a question about the GAPS diet. how can it heal the gut if it allows nut consumption? don’t nuts irritate the the gut?


Erica June 5, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Hi Jackie,

Nuts can be irritating to the gut when they aren’t properly prepared. Soaking and dehydrating the nuts will be gentle on the digestive system for people who are not allergic to the nuts. However, overconsumption of nuts is definitely not a good thing either. A balanced, omnivorous diet is the key to healing the gut. We are omnivores that are able to digest properly prepared grains, nuts, plants, etc. Therefore, you are able to consume nuts if tolerated and only in moderation if you are on the GAPS diet.


cheeseslave June 6, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Well said, Erica!


Erica June 6, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Thanks! :)


Starlene June 6, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Hi Jackie, yes, nuts can be irritating to the gut, this is why they are not allowed on Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the introduction part of the GAPS diet so that the gut has a chance to begin healing.


Theresa June 6, 2011 at 6:28 PM

I enjoyed reading the recipe redo. I have struggled with making granola bars at home that didn’t taste like sawdust. Jill, yours sounds really yummy and would make a great occasional treat as is, I think, but the adjusted ingredients may just be the ticket for more often. I am trying hard to rework some of my recipes and haven’t ventured into the sweet treats much and for me it is better to avoid them or I want to eat the whole batch.
In regards to the spinach issue….it is so hard to relearn that not everything is healthy raw! Thanks for the info regarding the greens issue. So much to learn….


Bethany July 2, 2011 at 5:53 PM

I need to make me some kefir !!! I make yogurt but it sounds like kefir would be a better option for adding beneficial bacteria.


Bethany July 2, 2011 at 6:03 PM

re: green smoothies… when I was a vegan, not so long ago, only 3 months I used to drink a green smoothie every single day and sometimes more than twice thinking I was getting maximum nutrition…. that was one of the first things my son ate when he was a baby was some of my green smoothies… it should have been broth or egg yolk or something but not raw greens… at least he’s only 2 and he’s still got LOTS of years of good food ahead of him !!


tessag July 4, 2011 at 8:50 PM

I knew there was a reason not to have green smoothies…I just couldn’t remember.


Pinterest guy March 2, 2013 at 3:55 AM

Exactly what i was looking for, now this just solved my problem


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