Welcome to CHEESESLAVE Q & A!
Sorry I'm so late this week. We've been going through a lot of stress in the process of selling our home. Suffice it to say, as soon as I get a little work done, I'm taking a well-deserved bubble bath this afternoon with a New Yorker magazine. Calgon, take me away!
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: Suggestions About Real Food?
It's funny. I came across your page months ago, but never really knew your story until I was doing research today.
Anyway, cut to the chase: my body is really in distress, completely out of whack. To say the least I have hyper functioning nodules in my thyroid, EE, IC, visual migraines & horrible allergies. Just this morning I was diagnosed with a LOT of food allergies via skin prick test by the allergist. I don't want to bore you with too many details.
I came home & cried for a bit, then immediately returned to researching.
I just turned 30, I have three young babies & we are breaking the bank on doctors, specialists, Mayo clinic, Cleveland clinic, authors of medical books etc. etc.
Hearing the words “you need to carry an epi pen with you” today has changed my world. How could I be allergic to so many foods?? Such strong reactions?
Is there any help you can offer me? I am so desperate. My family just can't keep spending money on my health. But I just can't imagine avoiding all these foods forever.
I graduated college with honors. I was a journalism/ business student. I am smart, hard working. I have done a lot of writing, editing, pr, etc. I will give my time & skills in exchange for any help you can provide me.
I've been told to go gluten-free amongst a zillion other theories. I am so overwhelmed and would give anything to feel healthy again & not be afraid of food.
I'm sure it's a long shot to hear back from you (as I know you have a huge following), but it is worth the try.
Please please help me.
I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I hate to hear that you are suffering. I wish I could get back to everyone right away!
I totally feel for you. I went down a very similar road. At 25, I had rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, and chronic allergies and sinus infections.
According to Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, only 1% of food allergies are “true allergies”. She explains that most food allergies are reversible by healing the gut.
I recommend reading this article on Dr. Natasha's website. Here are a couple of excerpts:
A recent public survey in the UK has shown that almost half the population report that they have an “allergy” to some food or foods. However, the official figures for a “true allergy to food” are around 1% of the population in most developed countries.
Many experienced practitioners get disillusioned with most of these tests, as they produce too many false-positives and false-negatives. On top of that they lead to a simple conclusion, that if you remove the “positive” foods out of the diet, it will solve the problem. In some cases, indeed elimination of a trigger food helps. However, in majority the help in not permanent: the patients find, that as they eliminate some foods, they start reacting to other foods, to which they did not seem to react before. The whole process leads to a situation where the person finishes up with virtually nothing left to eat, and every new test finds reactions to new foods. Majority of experienced practitioners come to the same conclusion: the simplistic idea of “just don't eat foods, you are allergic to!” does not address the root of the problem. (Source)
Dr. Campbell McBride is the author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome
which in my opinion is the best book on the subject of how to heal the gut and recover from food allergies and auto-immune disorders.
If I were in your shoes, I would get on the GAPS diet as she outlines in the book. It was by following a very similar diet that I reversed my gluten intolerance, arthritis, and auto-immune problems. Gluten-free or dairy-free is not enough for most people; you have to stop eating all disaccharides and polysaccharides and give your gut a rest so it can heal.
I also teach an online cooking class called Reversing Food Allergies.
There is hope for you! Please keep me posted on your progress. I'm also just about to launch a Reversing Food Allergies Facebook page where you can ask me questions (I get to Facebook much faster than email). Please go here to sign up (you will be one of the first ones on there).
2. Question: How Can I Lease A Cow In California?
Love your website! I was wondering if you had any information on how to go about leasing a cow in Southern California. My sister is an avid Weston A. Price follower and I'd like to surprise her with an ownership share for her birthday.
Any info would help. Thanks a bunch!
Wow, what a fantastic and very thoughtful idea for a gift. What an amazing sister you are!
Since your sister lives in California, a cow share (or lease) is not really necessary. We can buy raw milk in the stores here in California.
Here's an explanation about cow shares from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund website:
Healthy raw milk is available in stores in California, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Mexico. In many other states you can buy milk directly from farmers at the farm. However, in some states, such sales are illegal; a farmer can lose his or her Grade A license and even go to jail for selling consumers unprocessed milk directly. In these states, consumers have been able to obtain raw milk directly from farmers by purchasing a share in a cow, goat or in the whole herd. (Source)
That said, if you still want to find a cow share for your sister, I'd check out the realmilk.com California listings.
3. Question: Question About The 4 Hour Body?
I am just curious as I am not seeing updates anymore if you are still doing the diet. If not, how did you like it? Are you glad you did it? What are you doing now (I have often thought he needs to write another book titled AFTER The 4 Hour Body so we know how to eat now that we are not doing the diet anymore)?
Thanks for asking. I should post another update because I have had a number of people ask.
I am no longer doing the 4 Hour Body. I did it for a couple of months in the spring, and it really helped me lose the extra weight I was carrying. I'm very happy that I did the 4 Hour Body and I would recommend it to anyone.
In May, after I had lost 15 pounds, I went to Europe with my husband for a couple weeks. I did not stay on the diet then. The weight did not come back, so I just stayed off the diet and continued eating like I was. The weight has stayed off.
I really think the biggest problem for me was that I was overeating. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I got in the habit of overeating to stave off nausea in my first trimester. I also got in the habit of eating fast after my daughter was born — when you're busy with kids, you don't take the time to eat slowly. So after I was done nursing and was trying to lose the weight, I had a hard time eating slowly and paying attention to when I was hungry or full.
I'm focused now on trying to get pregnant, so I'm not worried about losing any more weight. I've lost a total of about 15 pounds, which is fine with me. I could stand to lose 5 or 10 more but it's OK with me and like I said, getting my body ready for a baby is the priority now.
After I carry the baby and finish nursing, then I will go back to eating a “Nourishing Traditions“/WAPF diet. If I need to lose weight, I may do the 4 Hour Body for a short period of time to lose the baby weight if need be.
4. Question: Is It OK To Let My Kids Drink Kombucha?
My question is whether it is OK to let my kids drink my kombucha? I've been giving them about 3-4 ounces before meals, but just read that it can cause hyperactivity and more sickness (colds & flu) than the average child would otherwise get. Thanks for any help you can give.
I've never heard that about kombucha causing hyperactivity or colds. Kombucha is a very healthy drink and I think it's great for adults and kids alike. I would just make sure it's fermented long enough so it's not too sugary. If you're worried about them drinking too much, or they don't like it, you can water it down a little or add some fruit juice and do a second ferment.
5. Question: Good Resources For Bone Broth In Seattle?
Dear Anne Marie,
I just noticed on FB that your sister is from Seattle. In you travels there, have you found or do you know of, any good resources for or place to purchase bone broth? I am taking my first trip to Seattle in early August, and we'll be staying in Bellevue.
I'm on a very restricted diet (I should just do full GAPS…) and have homemade bone broth every morning for breakfast (food sensitivities, adrenal fatigue, and chronic Lyme disease). This will be the first time I'm traveling with out being able to transport my breakfast food in over a year and half.
Do you possibly have any ideas of where I could start to look for something that could get me by?
Thank you for your time. It is deeply appreciated!
PS – I've loved your posts on broth lately, they've renewed me! Fish broth is wonderful!!
PPS – THANK YOU for having such a wonderful blog, and being such an amazing, informative advocate for real food. I first started reading your site in 2008, when a friend introduced me to the Weston Price Foundation. I found your blog around then, and have gleaned so much helpful information from you over the last few years.
Check out Meant to Be Foods. I met them at the WAPF Wise Traditions conference in Seattle in 2008. I'm not sure if they're still open since I haven't heard anything about them since then, but their website is still up so I assume they are still in business.
You can also find chicken stock, beef stock or fish stock at Whole Foods or another health food store. Just look for organic and/or free-range. I have bought the frozen fish stock at Whole Foods before.
I'm sure you could just bring a travel-sized immersion liquid heater that would allow you to heat up your broth in your hotel room. You could heat it up and then transfer it to a Thermos. In fact, I think I'm going to buy one of those heaters for my next trip — what a great idea!
Lastly, you can find some restaurants that make their own stock. Just call them up before you go and ask them if they prepare their own stock from scratch, and be sure to ask if they add anything with MSG — tell them you have an allergy.
Enjoy your trip!
6. Question: Safe To Feed My 9-Month Old Son Cod Liver Oil?
I am curious about the safety of feeding my nine month old son cod liver oil. In some of the reviews on Amazon, people mentioned diarrhea, etc. Obviously I do not want to give him anything that would even slightly jeopardize his health/comfort. Please advise.
Also, are there any other supplements, foods (beyond egg yolks, butter, fats) that you recommend for this age. I didn't get to bf as long as I intended and am struggling with what I can do to reinforce his immune system (knowing nothing will compare with bf-ing).
Thank you in advance, and I appreciate all the information you provide on this blog, I don't know where I would be with out it!
I started feeding my daughter cod liver oil when she was 4 months old. I'm not sure which reviews you read on Amazon but if it was fermented cod liver oil, that could cause diarrhea IF the child has abnormal gut flora. It's a fermented food, and when you introduce fermented foods to someone who has an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria, sometimes there can be a “die-off” reaction — especially if you introduce the fermented foods too quickly.
I do recommend using the fermented cod liver oil; I would just go slow. Start with a drop, then work your way up to 1/4 teaspoon.
The only other supplement I would recommend is a strong probiotic. Again, go slow — you can start with 1/8 of a capsule — or even less — and work your way up.
I use Biokult; I think it's one of the best probiotics out there. You can find it on my resources page.
7. Question: Opinion On Anti-Nutrients While Juicing Greens / Drink Recipe For Asthma Sufferers?
I have two questions for you. First, I have been juicing for a number of years and recently found out that some of the greens I have been juicing are anti-nutrients unless they are eaten cooked and with some form of fat. I then started steaming the organic kale, spinach, chard, parsley, dandelions, and collard greens for five minutes before blending them with the rest of the concoction which is quite tasty. I blend the whole thing with a raw egg from the farm. Do you think this solves the problem of the anti-nutrients along with the fat from the egg? The romaine I still eat uncooked.
Second, I saw a recipe somewhere online and I think it was on your site, for a drink that could help asthma sufferers. It included shaved frozen liver and a few other things. If it was here can you guide me to the recipe or if you know from where it came that would be great.
Love your site!! As I am of Eastern European decent, I have been eating chicken or beef bone broth practically every day of my 47 years. I can't live without it.
Thanks in advance for your help.
That's fantastic that you've been eating bone broth every day! Good for you!
I personally don't understand the appeal of green smoothies. I don't think they taste good, they're a lot of work to make and clean up after, and yeah, you have the issues with anti-nutrients.
Traditionally, greens like kale and chard are cooked for a long time. Like in the South, where they slow-cooked greens in bacon fat for hours. I'm not sure if steaming for five minutes is going to do a whole lot.
If it's nutrition you're after, I'd eat more grass-fed butter and cream, egg yolks, shellfish and organ meats. There are a lot more nutrients in these foods than in any green smoothie. If, on the other hand, you're looking to detox, you can do it with juicing. But I'd also make sure you're getting enough fermented foods because what is most important for detoxing is having good gut flora. If you just like smoothies, I think you'd be better off with a kefir smoothie with raw egg yolks (not the whole egg — raw egg white is not good for you) and coconut oil. Lastly, if you like greens, I'd sautee them in bacon fat or lard or other good fat for a long time and eat them that way.
I don't know about a drink that can help asthma sufferers. I know a lot of people who have gotten help with asthma by switching to raw milk. I also know people who have gotten relief by healing their gut and restoring their good gut flora by taking probiotics and eating fermented foods.
8. Question: Thoughts On Metallic Taste From Food?
Hi Ann Marie,
I had my daughter 7 months ago and it completely changed the way I look at food. I happened upon the WAPF website and my sis-in-law told me about your blog so I am new to traditional eating…
I have been eating: FCLO, Kerrygold butter, grass fed beef and cheese, occasional raw milk, kefir, small amounts of kombucha (stopped drinking while preg — now starting up again while BFing) and chicken stock. I also eat sprouted bread from Trader's (not sure if it is still the best option).
This has been a slow change in diet say over the last month. I ran out of Trader Joe's brand (not the best I know) prenatal vitamins (had been taking at least for 2 yrs) and didn't buy any more.
For the last few weeks I have been getting this odd coppery/blood/metallic taste in my mouth. I also have 4 fillings from when I first went to the dentist that are about 25 yrs old! They've never been replaced and I hate the dentist. I caught on to curing tooth decay naturally and am wondering what you think of this weird taste? Could it be from the sudden stop in prenatals? or is it possibly the fillings — since I am now getting better nutrients and my teeth are reacting to the change in diet? I know I am not fully eating traditional foods in every way so I'm not sure if it would be having such a strong impact as to affect my teeth already….
I know you aren't a dentist but I would greatly appreciate any thoughts you
I am not a dentist, so I don't know, but I personally haven't heard of anyone having a metallic taste in the mouth from fillings. I used to have a lot of amalgam fillings in my mouth and I never had a metallic taste.
Medications can also cause a metallic taste in the mouth — not sure if you're on anything but that should be ruled out first.
A metallic taste in your mouth can be a vitamin deficiency. If I were you, I'd get your vitamin D levels checked. I think it could also be vitamin B12 or zinc deficiency.
Since you're nursing, you should try to get more liver, organ meats, and shellfish into your diet. Also, take fermented cod liver oil.
Here's the diet for pregnant and nursing mothers from the Weston A. Price Foundation.
9. Question: Ok For 8-Month Daughter To Occasionally Drink Raw Milk?
I have an 8-month-old daughter who is breastfed and eats solids regularly. On rare occasions I need to leave her with a babysitter for 1/2 a day or more. I don't have enough milk to pump, and I don't want to give her formula (obviously), so I'm wondering if it is OK to give her raw cow's milk (grassfed, organic, of course) for feedings while she's with the babysitter? She'd be eating solids too…so it wouldn't really be that many bottles.
Thanks! I appreciate all the great info on your blog!
I personally did not do this and I do not think it is recommended. When my daughter was your baby's age and I could not pump enough milk, I made the homemade raw milk formula for her. I didn't give her plain raw milk until she was over a year old and even then she still got her formula (until she was almost 2 years old).
I did give her homemade grass-fed kefir or yogurt, chicken or beef broth when she was under a year. That would be a good solution instead of milk during the time she is with a babysitter.
10. Question: Insight On Oxalates?
I know you said to post things on FB, but I didn't want to post all of this there. I just happened to read this article that you posted about oxalates and it turned on a light bulb and now I'm very anxious about finding out if this could be my issue.
Around 3 years ago, I started drinking green smoothies. I used spinach as my greens and mixed in mainly blueberries and strawberries, pineapple here and there.
After a month or two I had what I thought was a urinary tract infection. I got lightheaded one day and had burning pain. The tests kept coming back negative repeatedly and I still had the constant pain. Eventually, it just went away. Along with that started a constant stabbing pain in my lower left side and diarrhea every day and I had an early period (and now they are completely all over the place timing wise).
I went through a battery of testing and was diagnosed with IBS. I've just dealt with it since. I know what I can and cannot eat and through my diet/raw dairy/probiotics, I'm doing okay, but mostly I think I'm getting more used to it than anything. It still is awful and I'm still not normal.
Then I read this article about how oxalates cause vulvodynia and I'm wondering if that was my issue all along. I quit the smoothies a few months after this all began because my stomach couldn't handle a thing. I haven't had one since.
I have done several tests on my yeast levels and all are normal and my beneficial bacteria are all high. I tried cutting out all dairy for 6 months and it didn't help at all and then started on raw dairy and I think it helps some. I also went gluten free 2 years ago (even though my testing said I didn't have any gluten intolerance), but I notice no change whatsoever. I have been following Weston Price's recommendations – taking FCLO, organic grass fed liver, beef, raw dairy, etc.
Anyway, I know you're not a doctor and trust me — I have seen them all. I just didn't know if you happen to have any insight on this at all. When you live with something like this and then to see something ring a bell, it gives you some hope. I'm not sure if just a couple of months of smoothies with spinach in it could do all of this, but it sure seems like more than a coincidence. No one has ever took into account the vulvodynia and just counted that as a coincidence with everything else.
Thank you — I really appreciate any insight you have. A chronic illness is nothing I ever thought I would have. Especially since I'm not even 30 yet and I eat so well.
Of course you know I'm not a doctor and can't really comment on illnesses.
While I am not a fan of green smoothies, I agree that it doesn't seem logical that a couple of months of green smoothies would do this much damage.
I looked up vulvodynia and it says (on Wikipedia) that it can also be caused by an autoimmune disorder or a yeast infection. Both of those things are related to abnormal gut flora, which you surely have if you also have IBS.
So it could be all of the above.
At any rate, I believe the solution for IBS (and possibly the vulvodynia too) is to heal your gut. It's hard to know if you have food allergies if you are only cutting out one thing at a time. It is really critical to do an elimination diet for a period of 3-4 weeks and only eat meat, fish and non-starchy vegetables during that time, and then slowly start reintroducing foods. I really recommend the GAPS diet. Read Gut and Psychology Syndrome
by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
11. Question: Fruit JELL-O From Bone Broth?
I love Jell-O!!! But since starting GAPS we haven't had it in two years… do you know of a way to make fruit jell-o from the bone broth soup? I'm thinking if I make chicken broth without the onions and seasonings that I could possibly add pureed fruit to it? Internet searching hasn't been much help as all the recipies call for powdered broth. We have a couple of freezers with a cow and a pig that I'd like to make good use of.
Lorraine (aka MamaLovey)
Hi, Lorraine, you've probably already seen it but I have posted my recipe for homemade jello. I don't make it from bone broth but rather from gelatin. I hope you enjoy it!
12. Question: Opinion On Pigs Feet?
I saw some skinned pigs feet, about 5-6 inches tall, in the grocery store today. What would they be used for? Are they good for you? I didn't buy them as I am sure they are not grass-fed, but I am curious about them.
Love your blog, it's he best!! This broth challenge has been fun!!
Yes, pig's feet are good for you. You can use them to make boiled pigs' feet or pickled pigs' feet — and eat the meat. You can also use the feet in making stock. I often add ham hocks to beans, soups and stews (the ham hock is the part of the leg that attaches to the foot). Ham hocks, when allowed to simmer for a long time in a pot of beans or stew, render a delicious meat that falls apart and melts in your mouth.
Got a Comment?
I don't claim to have all the answers. And I love hearing from you guys! If you have feedback on any of the above questions and answers, please share your thoughts n the comments below.
Got a Question?
Please submit your questions to questions AT cheeseslave DOT com. I'll answer your questions every Sunday in the order I receive them.
Photo credit: Sirwiseowl on Flickr
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