Q & A: October 14, 2012

by Ann Marie Michaels on October 14, 2012

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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: Trying to Conceive After 40/Mid-Day Temps Not Great?

I, like you, went on Matt’s RRARF program at about the same time (early this year). My basal temps are beautiful (low of about 98.0 before ov and 98.4 after ov). Yes, I put on about 20 lbs, and that has stayed firm, but I do notice that it’s not all flab.

Anyway, I can’t claim that my mid-day temps are as good. I’m sure they were better than before RRARF (96 to 97), but it is a fact that my temps drop after meals in general. I know I’ve read somewhere what it has to do with, but my question is, what do I have to do to up the temps throughout the day?

I’m in my early forties, and want to conceive, but there is always something that nags me (slow or stepwise temp jumps or drops in the cycle in particular). Should I just try? When are you going to?



Hi, Karla,

Congrats on getting your basal body temperature up! That’s progress!

It can take time to get your body temps up. I know, it’s sucks to put on weight, but sometimes it’s necessary.

For me, it was necessary. I put on 25 pounds since I started RRARFing in January. I then lost 10 pounds since I stopped RRARFing as of June 1st.

But my weight loss has stalled. That said, I’m not focused on losing any weight. Right now I want to have a baby, and the most important thing is that my hormones and my fertility are solid.

So… I RRARFed until my temps were way up. Like 98.6, and steady.

If your temps are not yet up to 98.6 and are not steady, I would keep RRARFing. Eat lots, especially lots of carbs. When I was RRARFing I ate lots of bread, pizza, pasta, potato chips, and ice cream on a daily basis.

Avoid drinking too much water and too many watery foods like soup and watermelon and other fruits. This can make your body temperature drop. If you need to, snack on crackers and salty snacks. Chips are a little too fatty. For a while when I was RRARFing, I kept salted pretzels in the house that I snacked on in between meals to keep my temperature up.

Also, get as much rest as you possibly can. Sleep 10-12 hours per night if you can. That really helped to bring my temps up.

Lastly, avoid exercise while you are RRARFing. I did not exercise at all. I have heard a lot of people say that they couldn’t get their temps up but they refused to stop exercising.

We were super busy in the spring, so our trying to conceive was stalled. For a while I was in Vegas and hubs was traveling back and forth each week to teach in LA. Since we moved back to LA this summer, we have been absurdly busy with our start-up. Now that we are more settled, we are trying again starting this month. My cycles are extremely even and regular and my body temperature is still even and steady at 98.6. My ovulation is perfect. I think we have a good shot.

I’ll keep you posted.

Good luck to you!

2. Question: Help with Tooth Problems?

Hi Ann Marie,

What can I do for my tooth problems? My teeth are chipping, developing grey streaks, have white and hard plaque build-up on the insides of them, and are sensitive to dry air.

Four years ago, I stopped using toothpaste, started using tooth soap, and started taking cod liver oil and butter oil. This change was prompted by a dentist appointment, in which “potential” cavities were discovered. I hadn’t had any cavities in my adult teeth yet, and didn’t want any either.

During the first year, my teeth became greyish yellow and gooey looking, but afterwards cleared up nicely, and have been a lovely ivory color ever since (maybe not as white as I’d like, but still really lovely).

But my lower teeth also developed hard white plaque on the insides, which cannot be removed in any other way than chipping, and this has stayed.

Two years ago, I noticed that my lower front four teeth had chipped all the way across. Although I haven’t noticed any new chipping since then, these teeth have constantly irritated me because they are now sensitive to air—and I read aloud a lot.

Then, two weeks ago, I noticed grey streaks climbing up my top front teeth. I managed to recall three changes I’ve made recently (in the last two months): eating yogurt, eating chocolate (I hadn’t eaten any for eight years), and starting Dianne Craft’s supplement program.

Dianne Craft’s program lasts three months, and involves taking enteric coated acidophilus, grapefruit seed extract, Mineral Rich (a liquid mineral supplement), a vitamin B complex, primrose oil, vitamin E oil (unfortunately, the only capsules I’ve found are made from soybean oil), lecithin granules (I’m going to skip this, and just eat 3 egg yolks a day to avoid more soy), and pycnogenol (pine tree bark). Each week of this program, a supplement is added, and then you continue taking them all until the end. I’m starting the primrose oil and vitamin E oil this week, and I’ll be finished with the program at the end of November.

I have not been regular in taking cod liver oil and butter oil. I probably take CLO four days out of seven, and I’ve only taken butter oil two different years (2009 and 2012), and then I’ve only taken a half dose.

Thanks for reading my long, detailed question. Thanks so much for your blog, and especially your Sunday Q & A!

Melissa B.


Hi, Melissa!

Like you, I used to have chipped teeth that had brown spots. My teeth were also very sensitive to cold. I started eating a Weston Price diet when I found out about it in 2007 about 5 months after my daughter was born.

It took a few years for my teeth to get better but they did. The brown spots (decay) disappeared, the sensitivity went away, and the big chip in my front tooth actually remineralized about 2 1/2 – 3 years in. That blew me away! Also, I have not had a single cavity in the 5 years now that I’ve been eating nutrient-dense foods. I used to get a cavity at least every other year, and sometimes every year. I also had to have a root canal back in 2005. So, needless to say, I’ve really turned a corner with my dental health since I changed my diet.

I have never been super regular about taking cod liver oil and have only taken butter oil here and there. I’m one of those people who will forget to take my cod liver oil and take a few tablespoons once a week. If you forget to take it, it’s OK to take more when you do get around to it.

And I’ll confess, for the past six months or so, I haven’t taken cod liver oil hardly at all. I’ve just been too busy and I forget. I’m getting back on it though — TODAY! 🙂

I think cod liver oil is a great supplement and it’s really the only thing I take these days, other than Iodoral (iodine), and melatonin to help me sleep.

Anyway, back to what I’ve been doing since I changed my diet and healed my teeth. I don’t think toothpaste has much to do with it. I know people say glycerin in toothpaste is bad but it doesn’t seem to have any effect on my teeth. I used Tooth Soap for a while (maybe the first year?) but eventually migrated back to regular fluoride-free toothpaste.

Here are the nutrient-dense foods I typically eat on a daily basis:

Whole raw milk from grass-fed cows — where to buy raw milk
Pasteurized grass-fed butter — where to buy grass-fed butter
Pasteurized grass-fed cheese — where to buy cheese
Pastured (or at least organic) eggs (including yolks) and/or meats —
Sprouted bread, sprouted or soaked brown rice or other grains — where to buy grains
Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, salsa, kombucha, cheese, kefir — where to buy sauerkraut; click here for my salsa recipe; click here for my kombucha recipe; click here for my kefir recipe
Sea salt

I eat less often (not daily but usually 2-5 times per week):

Seafood – I try to buy wild-caught seafood but I don’t worry about it when I eat out. (I do try to eat shellfish as much as possible, as it is more nutrient dense than fish.) — where to buy seafoods
Chicken stock – I will make soup, stew or gravy 1-3 times per week, more in winter — click here for my homemade chicken stock

And less often (maybe 1-4 times per month):
Organ meats, such as liver pate, foie gras, liverwurst, sweetbreads, bone marrow, etc. — where to buy organ meats
Natto – fermented soybeans

I’m not perfect. I also eat my share of chocolate chip cookies (usually the organic cookie dough at the store made with only flour eggs, butter, and sugar), potato chips cooked in olive oil, etc. If I eat out, I eat what I like, including white flour bread or pizza and French fries cooked in soybean oil (although I DID just find a place nearby that serves French fries cooked in beef tallow — hooray!).

I just try to keep good nutrient-dense foods in the house (such as grass-fed butter and whole milk) and I think that makes a huge difference.

For dental health, the most important things to consume are ones that contain fat soluble vitamins, notably Vitamin D and Vitamin K2. Vitamin D is what allows you to use the calcium you absorb and vitamin K2 tells your body where to put it. Without these two fat soluble activators, you can’t use the minerals your body needs to build strong bones and teeth.

The foods highest in K2 are:
Dairy fat (cream, butter & cheese) from grass-fed animals
Organ meats (liver, bone marrow) from grass-fed animals
Egg yolks from pastured chickens or ducks
Fermented foods (kimchi, natto, kefir, sauerkraut)
Fermented cod liver oil — where to buy cod liver oil
Butter oil — where to buy butter oil

The foods highest in D are:
Fats from grass-fed and pastured animals (they have to be outside to absorb vitamin D from the sun) — ESPECIALLY lard or bacon grease from pastured pigs
Fermented cod liver oil
Butter oil

You also need lots of minerals to build bone. Foods especially rich in minerals are bone broth, sea salt, seaweed, and seafood.

If you are eating this way and your teeth are not healing, you may want to look into your digestive health and also thyroid function. A leaky (damaged) gut can cause malabsorption, as can hypothyroidism.

Lastly, it’s really important to decrease stress and get lots of sleep (this also helps thyroid function). Your body builds bone when you are sleeping and not stressed.

Lastly, I’ll say this. Instead of focusing on taking lots of supplements, I try to eat more ice cream (grass-fed, of course) and chili made with bone broth and French fries fried in grass-fed beef tallow. Why torture yourself with a “dietary regimen”? Make it fun and delicious and it will become your lifestyle.

3. Question: Low Thyroid, Eating More Carbs and Weight Gain?

Ann Marie,

After existing on a low carb diet and watching my thyroid get worse and worse for several years, last March I began eating more carbs. I immediately had more energy and temps increased from 95-97 to 97-98.

However, I also increased in weight — packing on 25 lbs very quickly. Now I feel more energetic, but nothing is moving the weight back off!

Being 70 lbs overweight is not acceptable, but I’ve tried low-carb, food restrictions (eating less), and exercising more and nothing seems to move it off.

Any suggestions?

Kathleen K


Hi, Kathleen!

Wow, I can relate. I started eating A LOT more carbs in January of this year. I also put on 25 pounds (then lost 10 this summer after I stopped overeating or RRARFing). But since then I have not lost any.

That said, my body temperature is AWESOME (a steady 98.6 every single day — something I haven’t experienced in forever). This means my thyroid is functioning properly and that makes me very happy, since low thyroid function goes hand in hand with all kinds of chronic illnesses from cancer to heart disease to diabetes. Also, what woman doesn’t want hot, healthy hormones?

I think the extra weight will come off eventually, but I know that this is something that can take years. It too me DECADES to mess up my metabolism and hormones, so why should I expect it to resolve itself in a matter of months? If I go back to dieting and restricting and overexercising, it will put me right back where I was when I started. I’m not willing to go through that. I’d rather be 20-30 pounds overweight for a while with a healthy endocrine system than be at my ideal weight and have low body temperature and messed up hormones.

If it were me, I’d wait to get your body temperature up to 98.6 before you start worrying about trying to lose weight. I did the overeating thing for 5 solid months (January to May) before I decided I could stop. And it was only in May that my body temperature was stable and high.

I say keep RRARfing until you get your body temperature nice and high and steady every day. Then you can worry about losing weight. Once you get your body temp up, you can start lifting weights and getting some exercise. Having more muscle instead of fat on your frame also helps to raise metabolism and you will naturally be able to eat more and not gain weight.

I have just recently started exercising but I’m going really slow with it and mainly doing high-intensity (super slow) weight lifting and am starting to incorporate exercise I enjoy like walking, rollerskating, biking, and swimming.

4. Question: Questions About Homemade Yogurt & Kefir?

Hey Cheeseslave,

I’m reading the book of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride about the GAPS Diet: Gut and Psychology Syndrome. I haven’t finished it yet, hence I have 2 questions.

1. I see that one of the first probiotics to use is homemade yogurt. Do you have a simple recipe for it? Secondly, is it possible to use storebought yogurt (Greek one without sugar)? Is it allowed?

2. When talking about Keifr in the GAPS diet, I only find references to goat milk kefir while can’t find any mention to water kefir? Is this because of sugar? Shouldn’t it be all transformed during the fermentation (for how long)?

Thank you,


Hi, Patel

You cannot use store bought yogurt on the GAPS Diet, at least at first. This is because store bought yogurt is fermented for only a few hours at most. Homemade yogurt needs to be fermented for 24 hours or longer. People who have dairy allergies cannot digest store bought yogurt, but many find that they can digest the 24-hour-cultured homemade yogurt. Same goes for kefir.

My recipe for homemade yogurt (and kefir) is in my class, Reversing Food Allergies.

I will have a Reversing Food Allergies cookbook coming out soon. Click here to join my Reversing Food Allergies mailing list (and get my free e-book) and you will get announcements and discount coupons on the class and the upcoming e-book.

You can certainly try water kefir on the GAPS Diet. It should be fermented longer, until there is no taste of sweetness and it is more tart. Same goes for kombucha.

5. Question: Questions About L-Glutamine

Hi CS!

Quick question regarding supplementing with L-Glutamine.

I read somewhere (can’t find the original source) that exist several studies showing terrific improvements to the gut lining in patients supplementing with L-Glutamine for more than 90 days.

Even in Dr. Campbell-McBride’s book there’s a little reference to L-Glutamine although no specific advice on (and if) how to use it.

Any thoughts?



Yes, I have heard that, too.

Muscle meats, kefir and yogurt and whey are good sources of L-Glutamine. Just following the GAPS Diet should provide plenty.

That said, I have heard Dr. Campbell-McBride say in person that she does use amino acids with her patients at her clinic for those who need it.

Other highly beneficial foods for gut healing are colostrum and bone broth, and gelatin powder.

6. Question: Kinesiology and Amalgam Fillings?

Hello !

I have quite a lot of amalgam fillings in my teeth. I had most of my cavities when I was a kid and stones in my kidneys. I later heard that teeth are the first part of the body to sacrifice in order to protect your kidneys. Who knows..!!

Recently I visited my kinesiologist who made me the muscle test and found out that I was losing most of my strength when touching my amalgam filled teeth. Next month I have an appointment with an holistic dentist to remove them.

What’s your opinion about kinesiology to test the impact of amalgam fillings? Would you suggest to remove them anyway (regardless of the muscle test)? Have you had any amalgam fillings removed? Seen any improvement after the removal?


I had all my amalgam fillings removed, and so did my husband.

I believe it is critical to have these fillings removed (by a qualified holistic dentist who can do it safely) since they outgas every time you chew.

I have had good experiences with kinesiology. I think it’s amazing.

Yes, I’d remove them anyway, regardless of what a muscle test shows. You can google “mercury filling dangers” to learn more.

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