Q & A: July 3rd, 2011

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

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1. Question: Insurance Increase Due to High Cholesterol?

Hello! I have a question about cholesterol. We have been following (loosely)
Nourishing Traditions for the last 8 years or so. My husband had his cholesterol checked in order to get a life insurance policy. They said it was somewhat high and increased the rates. We were not happy with that.

I looked at Mary Enig's information in Eat Fat, Lose Fat and what I could find in NT saying that lower levels are not particularly better levels. (Of course I am not going to convince and insurance company of that.) I couldn't find any actual numbers as to what Mary Enig thinks might be an acceptable range.

My husband is a little concerned. We want to make sure we are doing the best thing. I would not ever consider drugs, but should we try some diet change to bring it down? He is slim, looks great. He is 45 and healthy. Thanks for your help!



Oh, gee whiz! How ridiculous that they want to increase your rates based on that.

Honestly, I would get a different insurance company if there is any way you can do it. I'm turning 43 tomorrow and I just signed up for insurance last month (could finally afford it; I work for myself) and my insurance company never asked me about my cholesterol. I have never had it checked in my life and I don't intend to.

The short answer is: the whole idea of cholesterol levels is a joke. It is really meaningless information since cholesterol numbers are different for everyone. Sometimes it can mean increased inflammation, but it really depends on the individual so you can't just say just because one person's number is “high” that that means anything.

Here are a few very interesting articles that are worth reading:

The Benefits of High Cholesterol
Cholesterol — Friend or Foe?
Dangers of Statin Drugs: What You Haven't Been Told About Popular Cholesterol-Lowering Medicines

Lastly, if you want to try something dietary to lower his cholesterol, read this article:

Nutrition News Roundup: Coconut Oil Lowers Cholesterol, Improves Thyroid Function

It really depends on his numbers. The truth is, his numbers might be absolutely fine as they are. But coconut oil might help.

2. Question: OK to Take Toddler Off Bottle?

Hi Ann Marie,

I have a 26-month-old daughter who has been on the Sally Fallon cow's milk baby formula since a few weeks old. I had problems with my milk supply. We tried and tried to no avail, and breastfeeding was over very quickly for us.

My daughter has thrived on the homemade formula and still loves to drink it. We follow WAP diet principles as closely as possible, but I'm so paranoid about taking her off the bottle in fear that she will not get the proper nutrition. She's starting the toddler, picky eater stage and I'm just worried she's not going to get enough of the nutrients she needs. Would love to hear your thoughts on when to take her off the bottle.

Thank you!

Melody Seidel
Crystal Lake, IL


As you may know, I too, experienced low milk supply (I found out too late that it was because my doctor put me on the birth control pill after my baby was born — grrr!) I made my daughter the homemade raw milk formula until she was almost 2 years old.

I ended up packing away the bottles after I took her to the pediatrician when she was a little over 2 years old and we found out she was slightly anemic. This is a pretty common condition called “milk anemia”. Kate has always loved her bottles and her milk, so getting her off the bottle was critical to making sure her iron levels were normal.

Here are the posts about her anemia and how we resolved it:

My Toddler is Anemic
Update on Kate's Anemia

3. Question: Melatonin OK for Three-Year-Old?

Good evening. I have a question for you. First of all, thanks so much for the Q&A so I have somewhere to turn! My three-year-old has decided that sleep is no longer a requirement and fights me on it each night. I used to put her to bed at 7:30 and she would sleep 12 hours with a 2 hour nap (until about age 2.5).

She just turned three and for the past several weeks she has not been sleeping well. She will not go to sleep until after 10 pm and often won't nap. She may be getting out of the nap stage and removing that may help (I haven't tried it yet though as it's still part of her day at daycare) but I am concerned that even without a nap she still won't go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Assuming there isn't some other explanation (like stress or diet) what are your thoughts on melatonin? And if diet could be a factor what would you suggest adding or removing to help with her sleep?



Ugh… sleep problems — I feel you! My daughter slept fabulously until recently. She's 4 and won't go to bed until 11 pm! Also won't nap (I think she's done with naps).

It's a bad habit we've gotten into — mainly because I'm working too much and she wants to be up with me (I work at home but I'm up late on the computer most nights). I've just hired two virtual assistants so this will be remedied soon!

If I were you, I would first remove the nap and see if that helps. That might solve it. Then again, it might just make things worse. Sleep begets sleep, so often times if a child is sleep-deprived, they sleep even less.

If removing the nap makes things worse, give her the nap again. Also, she may only want to nap a few days a week — let her needs dictate whether or not she needs the nap.

Secondly and really this should be firstly (!), read

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. This is the best book out there on helping kids get the sleep they need. In fact, once I get my new assistants trained, we are getting back on the Weissbluth bandwagon.

As far as melatonin is concerned, that's a good idea and I might also try amino acids. Totally safe to give to kids, according to Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure. However, she recommends tryptophan, not melatonin. Tryptophan converts to serotonin, which converts to melatonin in the evening.

If you find that the other things don't work, try giving her tryptophan (1/2 the adult dose — read
The Mood Cure
to learn about the different kinds and brands) in the afternoon (around 4 pm). That must be coupled with a nutrient-dense traditional foods diet with at least 10 grams of protein at each meal.

Honestly, now that I write that, I realize that part of my problem with Kate is that she is not eating enough protein. Protein is what amino acids are made of, and it can be tough to get picky preschoolers to eat enough protein.

I'm going to start insisting that Kate eat more meat, cheese, beans and other foods with lots of protein, and I'm also going to start giving her more broth every day and putting gelatin caps (I use Bernard Jensen) in her milk (if I can get away with it!). I also made her homemade jello with fruit juice and gelatin caps. You can also add gelatin to yogurt or pudding. It's really great to give them gelatin or gelatin-rich broth becuase it is a protein-sparer, and can replace half the weight of protein (!!).

Thanks for helping me solve my own problem by thinking “out loud” (well on the page anyway). Please report back and let me know how your daughter is doing. I'm definitely going to start boosting the broth and protein in Kate's diet TODAY (and if that doesn't work after a few weeks, I will try giving her a little tryptophan in the afternoons).

4. Question: What to Do About Chapped Lips?

I have noticed that I have been having really chapped lips recently. I eat a real foods diet full of healthy fats and vegetables with very little refined sugar or grains, so I am wondering if it is really food-related? I am living with a family I babyist for and she told me they drink the tap water because they had it tested for lead and it was fine. But now I am wondering if it is related to the water quality. Or maybe I am deficient in some vitamin or mineral… have you heard of any causes of chapped lips that I should consider? Thanks!

Nicole Wheatley


I don't think it is the water (although I personally don't drink unfiltered tap water unless I have to).

There are vitamin deficiencies associated with chapped lips. Have you checked to make sure you are digesting, eliminating and absorbing your food properly? If you don't have constipation, diarrhea, skin problems (acne, eczema, etc.) or other problems, you may be fine.

It might just be that you're not eating enough fat. Here's an interesting thread on a Jenny Craig forum about people saying they are getting chapped lips ever since they started eating Jenny Craig (very low fat).

Try boosting your fat intake and see if that helps. Good fats include: grass-fed butter, cream and ghee, coconut oil, beef tallow, lard, palm oil and olive oil.

5. Question: What to Add When Soaking Grains?

Hi there, Ann Marie, what do you make of this? I'm wondering what traditional societies used to add when soaking grains?

Also what about whey (which is what I use) does that have much calcium in it? (since the creamy milk part has been seperated).


I thought the name Amanda Rose sounded familiar, and sure enough she made some rather controversial postings on your raw dairy article, Will the Real California Happy Cows Please Stand Up? She has an interesting website with lots more on the phytic acid issue plus a great deal more: www.rebuild-from-depression.com



Soaking and sprouting are very important, and whole grains are infinitely preferable to nutrionally void refined grains. I'm eternally grateful to Sally Fallon Morell for writing her seminal book,
Nourishing Traditions,
and making us all aware of how we need to treat grains in order to properly digest and absorb the nutrients they contain. If you think about what she personally contributed to the world, it's nothing short of miraculous. Without Sally, I wonder if all of this information would have just disappeared along with our ancestors.

All cultures soaked and/or sprouted their grains. Wheat and rye and spelt were naturally sprouted in the fields by the dew. Flour was then soaked in buttermilk or clabbered milk (this is where “buttermilk biscuits” comes from) or people used wild yeasts to make sourdough which they used to ferment the flour. Oats were also soaked and so was rice. Corn was soaked in lime water (cal) typically for anywhere from 7-14 days. You can read this article I wrote to learn more: Soaking Grains: A Traditional Practice.

That said, there are some issues with our modern food production that cause problems. It was Ramiel Nagel, author of Cure Tooth Decay, who first opened my eyes to the fact that the oatmeal we buy here in America is pretty much all heat-treated. It's hard to find flaked or rolled oatmeal that has not been heat-treated.

Here's how I am handing the issue of oatmeal: we don't eat it anymore. I have a huge box of Quaker oatmeal I bought from Costco but I don't want to eat it because of this issue of it being heat-treated. I'm going to give it to our housekeeper.

You can of course, add some whole wheat flour (according to Amanda Rose) and this should reduce the phytic acid. That said, I still don't like the idea of eating something heat-treated because I know there is a loss of nutrients.

For that reason, I plan to get an oat flaker (or roller) so I can buy whole, raw oat groats (you can buy them online) and flake them myself, then soak them overnight.

As far as other grains are concerned, brown rice should be soaked. I buy sprouted rice online (see my resources page for where to buy) then soak it using Stephan's method: A New Way to Soak Brown Rice. I do buy brown rice pasta which is not soaked, but we don't eat it very often (maybe once or twice a month).

For bread, we eat sprouted bread (Alvarado Street Bakery) or real sourdough bread. We buy it because we don't eat a lot of bread and I'm too busy lately to make it myself. I also make my own sprouted flour crackers.

6. Question: Benefits of the GAPS diet?


I have some questions regarding the GAPS diet I guess I am just trying to determine whether or not I can start this diet and get enough results to make it worth it or if I should just wait till fall when my husband thinks I should to start with the intro diet. I am so sick of always being tired, not sleeping well, not digesting food well, being constipated and always being on edge with my family, not to mention the itchy bumpy rashes all over my hands and arms and the sudden food allergies I developed about 8 months ago.

On stage one if you have already been eating about 1 cup of cultured veggies per day can you continue or do you need to stop and just drink a small amount of the juice from them like it says.

Can I continue taking a coconut water kefir during stage one, if not where could I reintroduce it?

I am nursing but only twice per day before nap and bed, my son just turned 2 years old so he's not dependent on my milk. Could I still do the intro phase or do I need to stop nursing first? I guess my question is, does it dry up my milk or is it junk from detoxing that my son would get from my milk that is the reason for not doing intro while nursing?

I have not been officially diagnosed by a doctor but I do believe I have chronic fatigue syndrome and systemic candida. Do you think that it is possible to heal these issues on the full GAPS diet? I do not have the full support of my husband at this time to start the into diet but I think I could convince him to do the full GAPS… I know it would obviously be better than nothing but I want to know in your experienced opinion if I could gain enough success from it to maybe subside many of my symptoms until I can start the full version.

How do I know when I am ready to move onto the next phase? Perhaps this is answered in the book, I just have not had enough extra money to buy the book and guide book and have been trying to get as much information as I could online before I am able to purchase it. For example, regarding food allergies, I am allergic to almonds, do I just try them and see if I break out or not quite? With other symptoms such and skin rashes how do I know that it's OK to move on if it clears up since it comes and goes right now anyway?

Thank you SOO much for being willing to answer my questions, I greatly, greatly appreciate it.


By the way, I am currently on a 100% sugar free diet including no fruit, honey…nothing except I do use stevia, I consume no grains or potatoes either. We eat pastured eggs, grass fed beef and other good meats, we use fermented cod liver oil and drink raw goats milk, all that good stuff πŸ™‚


Hi, Bethany, I'll start by saying — and please don't take offense at this — that you may be overthinking this a bit too much and making it more difficult than it needs to be. I say this because if I thought like you do, I would be overwhelmed and would never be able to get started.

I hear from so many people who want to do the GAPS diet but are afraid they won't do it perfectly. I healed myself back in the '90s and I did not even have the GAPS diet. I was FAR from perfect.

So, I guess my point is, please don't worry about being perfect! Perfection is impossible. Just get started!

Now, to answer your specific questions.

On stage 1, it's fine to start with 1 cup per day of the cultured veggies if that is what you are used to — unless you start having “die-off” reactions in which case, cut down or cut back to the liquid — or cut it out entirely and then slowly add it in.

You can try coconut water kefir — but just watch for die-off reactions. The reason Dr. Campbell-McBride is so painstaking about how to get started (this is my opinion anyway) is to help folks avoid die-off reactions. The rule of thumb is to go slow with the probiotics and fermetned foods. If you start feeling crappy or all your symptoms flare up, cut them up and do a SLOW introduction of anything fermented (including fermented cod liver oil).

I think since your son is 2, you could do the intro diet. I am pretty sure the reason Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends the full diet for nursing moms is so you can get enough nutrition and so you are eating enough.

Yes, it is possible to heal these issues on the full diet. If you want to just do the full GAPS diet, it will work. The reason to go intro is the healing is faster.

You are ready to move onto the next phase when you have no diarrhea or constipation.

I really recommend getting the book before you start the diet. See if you can find it at a local library.

Best of luck to you! Please report back and let us know how you are doing.

7. Question: Eating Traditional Foods to Manage Diabetes?

I posted this message to a Traditional Foods board and I got horrible responses about how I am wanting to deprive my son of carbs — I am not. And how I want to not give him insulin, which is not true. Do you have any more information about how to eat TF and manage diabetes type 1?

We have been home from the hospital a week now and I am really struggling to reconcile what I know about nutrition and all that I have been told about how to feed my child. He is 13 and is diagnosed with Type 1 — having to do insulin at every meal and at nighttime.

We have eaten TF for 4+ years now. We eat sprouted grains, raw milk, drink kefir, lots of organic or local veggies, lots of butter and coconut oil… The doctors want my son to eat more carbs than we did otherwise. A typical meal before diagnosis was 25+ carbs, but they are pushing him to eat 75+ carbs for each meal.

As a compromise, we have been averaging 45+ carbs a meal the last week. I do not think the insulin is natural, so I really want to pump up his nutrition otherwise. I could not wait to get him home from the hospital because all he was eating was white bread, pancakes, and milkshakes — no veggies.

The concept was “eat whatever you want and cover it later”… The nutritionist could not believe how we eat — sprouted whole grains, etc. I really did not go into the fact that we eat lots of fats and RAW milk and kefir. Anyone have experience with Type 1 and TF, and any other suggestions for me?


I forgot to add that I have read everything I could find about diabetes on the WAPF website. Thanks for any input.



As you know I am not a doctor so I can't really advise you on how to treat a disease. Sure I can share my ideas and thoughts but it should never be construed as medical advice.

I'm sure you've probably already read it but I would follow Dr. Thomas Cowan's recommendations in this article:

Treating Diabetes: Practical Advice for Combatting a Modern Epidemic

He specifically recommends a diet of 72 grams of carbs per DAY (which would be 24 grams per meal) — and that's for an adult.

I don't personally see the reason for anyone to include grains or sweets in the diet. Sure, you can do it for pleasure, because people like to eat sweet things and breads, but there is no nutritional need for grains or sweeteners. Or fruit for that matter. If you cut down or eliminate grains, sweets and fruits, you should have no problem keeping the carbs down.

You might inquire about working with Dr. Cowan directly. He does phone consultations so you can work with him long-distance.

Maybe others will have comments for you with suggestions.

8. Question: Fermented Food Good for Us if it Contains Toxins?

Hi Ann Marie,

I love your blog and am an avid follower! Thanks for all of your hard work!

I am reading a book called
The Slow Poisoning of America
by John E. Erb and T. Michelle Erb and it brought to my attention that MSG is created in the fermentation process. We have started to eat an increased amount of fermented food over the last year as we have embraced what we are learning through bloggers such as yourself and Weston Price etc.

I have started looking more into MSG apart from what is said in the book and sure enough many websites etc. confirm that MSG is created in the fermentation process: www.msgtruth.org/whatisit.htm.

So… how does this jibe with the belief that fermented food is good for us if it contains this toxin in it?

Your insight is welcome and appreciated!


Mary Jayne


MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a salt from glutamate and used as a flavor enhancer and preservative in many foods. It is a hydrolyzed protein.

There is a difference between MSG (hydrolized protein) and naturally occurring glutamic acid. Bone broth, for example, does contain naturally occurring glutamic acid but that is not the same as hydrolized protein.

Sally Fallon Morell writes:

Why do consumers react to factory-produced MSG and not to naturally occurring glutamic acid found in food? One theory is that the glutamic acid produced by hydrolysis in factories contains many isomers in the right-handed form, whereas natural glutamic acid in meat and meat broths contains only the left-handed form. L-glutamic acid is a precursor to neurotransmitters, but the synthetic form, d-glutamic acid, may stimulate the nervous system in pathological ways. Source

9. Question: Sprouted Grains OK for Babies?

Anne Marie-

I have been searching and have not been able to find any commentary on whether sprouted grains are ok for babies before one year. My little 10-month-old seems to be a bottomless pit! I have reasoned that because sprouted grains and legumes are basically vegetables that they would be easy enough for my baby to digest. Do you know if my reasoning is correct? I have been giving him cooked veggies, fruit, and egg yolk.

I just read in NT this morning that I can start meat now, does that include fish? Also what types of dairy are ok?Just fermented ones right? I try to put mostly coconut oil on his veggies but have also been giving him butter, but I know cream is not as easy as milk to digest.

Sally says small amounts of yogurt and butter milk, how much is too much? What about cheese? What else can I feed him? I am always running out of food or feel like I am giving him the same things every day!

There seems to be a lack of information for food for babies under one. Maybe other babies are not a big of eaters as mine, I don't know.

Thanks Anne Marie!

— Rachael Mae Shaw


It is not a good idea to feed babies grains. They do not produce the enzyme, amylase, so they can't digest them. I waited until Kate was 18 months old to feed her any grains.

The best foods for babies are liver and other organ meats, pastured meats, egg yolks, bone broth, bone marrow, and good fats including grass-fed butter, lard, tallow, coconut oil, and olive oil.

Remember, babies are open to most foods (unlike toddlers and preschoolers) so now is the time to get those organ meats in them! Kate got liver pretty much every day as a baby — and sometimes twice a day. I also fed her duck hearts and beef heart and tongue and bone marrow.

I fed Kate lots of raw, grass-fed butter and cream as well as cheese, yogurt and kefir and sour cream.

Here is what I followed prety much to the letter when Kate was a baby: Nourishing a Growing Baby

10. Question: Cloudy Broth OK? / Health Benefits Sacrificed Using Refined Coconut Oil?


I have two questions please:

1. I boiled the heck out of some broth today (on accident) and now it is very cloudy. Did I ruin it?

2. I like the idea of refined coconut oil. I have been using raw, extra-virgin but it is expensive and sometimes I don't want that flavor. Are any health benefits sacrificed by the refined? And are there any residues left behind by the refining?

Thank you so much and by the way the new brownie recipe you posted was awesome!!!!!!



It's tough to ruin broth. I'm sure it's fine. You don't want to leave broth boiling for a long time — a gentle simmer is what you want. But if you boiled it a little longer than you needed to, I don't think you hurt it.

I use refined, expeller-pressed coconut oil almost exclusively.

Typically expeller-pressed coconut oil is heated during processing (it's not raw). It is also cleaned so there is no coconut taste or smell. It is also generally less expensive. There is some loss in nutrition but it is very minor — you get almost all the same nutritional value of virgin coconut oil. (I'd have to look up the exact vitamins lost but I have got to go tend to my daughter now).

11. Question: How Do You Do It?

I'm really curious but … (and if this is too personal, you totally don't have to answer, but I am really intrigued)… I know you have one daughter. I'm not really sure what you do for a living (for real food)… I know you blog and keep active on FB and cooking… but I know you also homeschool! How do you do it all?

I have a 2-year-old and I would like to homeschool her for a while, but I also work (as a writer and editor and eventually as a life-coach after getting certified). I just feel like homeschooling and raising a kid is a full time job and then some.

And you said you were thinking of having another, right? Or you were going to start trying? I'm in the same boat, but it's a bit daunting because I just got back on my feet (after a year of not sleeping and 2 of nursing, though we're still nursing). And I want to travel to Europe every summer. How often do you guys get to take trips?

Thanks! I'm just really inspired by what you're doing and would love to know more, but I know you're busy so I don't expect an answer right away. Thanks again!

— Darla Bruno


Hi, Darla!

I founded Real Food Media, a blog network, in 2008. I run that in addition to running this blog and teaching online classes. Most of the ads you see on our sites are served by Real Food Media. It's a lot of work but it's the most fun I've ever had and I'm so happy I stuck with it.

Yes, we are planning to have another baby this year. It will be more work but I'm getting things set up so I won't have to work as hard. I lost my two part-time assistants last month so I've been working insane hours (14-16 per day) which is how it was for me in the early days. I'm in the process of training my two new assistants — one is full-time and the other is part-time. I may be hiring one more full-time person — we'll see how it goes. I hire virtual assistants in the Philippines because it is a lot cheaper and so far that has worked really well. Once I get my new assistants trained, life is going to get a lot easier.

Hiring competent people is really my secret to being able to get things done and having a life. We have a part-time housekeeper who comes for 6 hours twice per week. She does all of our housekeeping plus laundry, and she even cooks some of the time. In addition to that, Kate has been going full-time to daycare.

This fall she will transition to homeschooling with me. I'm going to hire a full-time nanny/assistant/housekeeper. I plan to do homeschooling with Kate in the morning (when they are little, it only takes an hour or two per day) and then while I work, the nanny will take Kate and run errands and go to the playground, immersion Spanish classes, art classes, etc.

I also wanted to note that I did sleep-training with Kate so she was sleeping through the night by the time she was about 10 weeks old. So I didn't have years of going without sleep. I have met people from traditional cultures who do not nurse throughout the night as their children get older. They did do extended nursing (to 2 or 3 years old) but they didn't night nurse for an extended period of time. Of course, this is a personal preference. What worked for us was the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.

Also check out Automate My Small Business. I love this podcast and I learn so much from every show! The haven't done one in a while but hopefully they will do one again soon.

I also learned a ton from the book, The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. That is a must-read.

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.

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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

256 thoughts on “Q & A: July 3rd, 2011

  1. I’d like to comment on the MSG part. My husband is highly sensitive (and addicted!!) to commercial MSG. He, however, can have all the free glutamic acid he wants in bone broth, my tomatoes and celery, etc. There is a rather extreme difference between them, and the natural glutamic acid simply does not provoke reactions the way MSG does. If I were the other person, I’d watch for reactions. I have heard there is a minority (a very small one) of people who are sensitive to glutamic acid in all forms. That is not the case for us, thank Goddess. The bone broths are so healing in many different ways and my husband credits them directly with healing his old athletic injuries (being a soccer goalie as a kid).

    1. I can vouch for the same thing. My husband is HIGHLY sensitive to MSG (as an additive), and anything hydrolyzed, etc, but he never ever has problems with real foods that contain even high amounts of glutamic acid. Any exposure to processed foods with MSG makes him quite sick for several days. It’s completely different.

  2. Regarding melatonin for kids, we recently started our 8 yo daughter on melatonin before bed, and it is making a huge difference in her sleep. Thanks for the suggestion about tryptophan. I didn’t know that. Since it is working, I think we will still the the melatonin for a while.

    One thing I read about melatonin is that it can cause vivid dreams. For now that is not a problem for our daughter. But for this reason, I would not give it to my son who struggles with nightmares.

    1. Hi Paisley,

      I have heard that nightmares can be a sign that the gut is not optimal. Is your son doing the GAPS diet?

      1. really??? I guess that makes sense… I routinely have bad dreams, most nights… I am taking some homeopathic stuff for it and it’s helped a little, but it sort of makes sense.. the worse my gut health got the more frequent my bad dreams got. Interesting

        1. We all get nightmares ON the GAPS diet. I thought it was a symptom of detox. My children have trickled into my bedroom since GAPS. I wasn’t feeling very sympathetic then I had a nightmare…

    2. I would be very cautious of giving a young child a powerful hormone like melatonin. In my experience it is very difficult to get off of. The pineal will stop producing it. Usually sunlight during the day, and NO bright artificial light at night will do the trick. And no compact fluorescent bulbs.

  3. The chapped lips can also be a B vitamin deficiency. There was one other thing, besides the low fat, but I will need to go back and find it.

    1. My mother in law has chronic chapped lips and figured out it was a B vit. deficiency but I also think that it has a lot to do with too low fat of a diet as well since she used to be a former vegetarian with me :-/

  4. I have two things to comment on. First melatonin. I have it to my poorly sleeping children for a long time. It worked. They went to sleep sooner and generally stayed asleep. It also lowered their already low cortisol and contributed to their adrenal fatigue. As desperate as I was for sleep and as much as my children desperately needed sleep lowering their already low cortisol further ultimately did more harm to them. Esp my older dd. If you choose to use melatonin get your childs cortisol tested with a saliva test and only use melatonin if their night cortisol is high.

    About gaps and breastfeeding the big issue is detox in your milk. Many of us nursing moms on gaps started on full gaps and after some months and the initial detox is over then did intro. If you do full gaps first usually the intro time is much easier to tolerate. Also plenty of people coming from wap eating have been shocked at the level of die off from eating fermented veggies. Some can continue with large servings while others need to back off to just drops of juice. You won’t know for sure about yourself till you experience it. Proceed with caution.
    I suggest that you start full gaps now and do intro later when you can. I have been on gaps for almost 20 mos and have done intro twice and plan to do it again next month.

    1. Pattyla thanks for your input on this…. I have had some significant detox symptoms since we started eating WAP about 3 months ago when I figured out our vegetarian habits were killing us !! literally…. I did it out of naivete but started taking too many probiotic foods all at one time, coconut kefir and cultured veggies and had flu like symptoms for a few days…. guessing that wasn’t the best thing for my son :-/
      I am glad it sound like I will be able to continue with the fermented veggies on the intro…thanks.

      1. Oh how many days did you do for each stage? I am planning on starting with 5 days each phase as a general rule but obviously being flexible if things don’t digest well…

        1. Stage 1 should only last 1-2 days unless you have diarrhea but then it is hard to say how long to take. It depends a lot on how you do with the food introductions. You really shouldn’t change more than one thing at a time so if you end up having to go very slowly on introducing/increasing a particular food that can really stall your progress. However if you know you have a problem with say eggs and plan to skip them or quickly realize they are a problem and skip them you may go through that stage pretty quickly. I honestly don’t remember how long we spent on intro each time. We have healed egg, and dairy intolerances in both children but it took time. We have also uncovered sensitivities to sulfur in one child (mostly healed now) and oxalates in the other child and me (still working on that one). You really don’t know how you will respond or what you will uncover. Natasha Campbell-McBride recently said that 80% of people will heal on the diet as written. About 20% will need to further tweak the diet find healing.

          1. Thanks for your reply… so if constipation is my problem, not diarrhea then is it still just a few days… guessing I just wait till I have normal stools then move to the next phase…. just wondered if it was a different protocol for the other problem.

            1. It is unlikely that constipation will clear up quickly on intro. It isn’t a reason to not move on with GAPS according to NCM. One thing that is often a big shock to the system is the low fiber nature of the intro diet. For people without enough gut flora (many of us) losing the fiber can lead to constipation even when they didn’t have it before. One member of the yahoo group I am in advocates slowly reducing the fiber in you diet before starting intro so that it isn’t a shock on your system when you do start. Also since you know this is your problem be prepared to do enemas. They aren’t my favorite part of GAPS and when we first started I told my DH that I would never do one no matter what. Well when I realized that I was holding our healing back because of my squeamishness I decided to conquer my fears and do them for myself and my children. Thankfully my children weren’t traumatized but instead were thankful for the relief they brought and enjoyed the one on one time they got with mom (I read them stories during the process, as many as they want). I too was thankful for the relief even if I didn’t enjoy the process and it has moved our healing forward when it was stuck.

              1. Thank you for that… I just read about enemas and really, really didn’t want to do one but I think that especially with the potential for MORE constipation it will probably be in my near future. Did you just use water or what combination of stuff did you use….epsom salt, tea or anything else?

                1. I use water and add probiotics or kefir to the water. Sometimes I do coffee enemas as well for liver cleansing. If you don’t have one I recommend getting a bucket kit. It is much easier and more comfortable than using the disposable ones (you can empty one of those out and use it in a pinch),

                2. Hi Bethany,

                  I know a book called “Ten Days to Optimal Health.” The WAPF recommends this book. It is an excellent book for healing and detoxifying using the WAP way of eating (minus grains and starchy foods) and also enemas.

                  1. I will put that on my list of books to read…. question, when could I have fried chicken skin again once starting gaps? I LOVE it and would almost save all the skin from boiled chicken in the freezer so I can eat it later, but it’s it quite a while I would just use it another way. This might sound crazy but could I take the skin off and put it in the blender with some stock and add it back into the soup once it’s pureed? Is that a good idea? I love skin but not so much unless it’s crispy….thoughts?

                    1. Hi Bethany,

                      You can eat the skin of the chicken anytime. The skin amd bones are very healing to the gut because they contain gelatin and other healing agents. Be sure to purchase pasture raised chicken. You can eat it whatever way you want though it is best to not burn it too much from frying, lol.

                    2. I love blending the skin into the broth. It makes it tastes so creamy. And confession time, it reminds me of Campbells chicken noodle soup flavor from my childhood!

            2. trying eating lot more veggies, this may help. The probiotic makes me constipated. I cheat (i think) and take Dr Shulze formula 1 to get things moving

    2. Pattyla, i’m a nursing mom too. have a 5 month old. any tips from a nursing mom’s perspective on anything nutrition-wise? things that help or hurt milk production? what you did to help your little one get started off right nutritionally? things you wish you knew when getting started?

      1. Look on the GAPS.me site and follow her instructions for introducing solids for your baby when the time comes. Absolutely avoid grains till your babies second molars come in. And really focus on nutrient dense foods for yourself and your baby when the time comes. Organ meats, animal fats, coconut oil, dark leafy greens, fermented foods, fish roe, shell fish, bone marrow, broth, raw dairy if you can tolerate it, esp raw butter, fermented cod liver oil, pastured eggs.
        And avoid at all costs getting dental work done while nursing if it will involve an amalgam filling (either placing it or removing it). Having 2 removed while nursing is one of my greatest regrets. (by a biologic dentist who did everything “right”) My dd was harmed by the toxins that were released into my milk and is still recovering 3 years later and 20 months of GAPS. I was following a low grain, gluten free WAP diet when pg with my second and she was so much healthier, happier and calmer than my first until I got my dental work done.

        1. Pattyla, thanks! this is all so helpful. i’m trying to avoid grains for the baby entirely until we can do them soaked. i don’t really see the nutritional value for introducing them to her in her early years at all.

          right now, i am doing the broth for me, pastured eggs, raw milk, it’s hard to get raw butter, but we use either organic butter or grass fed butter when we can get it. we’re doing regular cod liver oil now, but hope to be able to switch to fermented soon. coconut oil doing internally and externally. we already use it on the baby as a lotion and diaper balm. grass fed beef, pastured chicken meat, especially the darker chicken meat for the extra fat, going to be getting some organ meats for the broth soon.

          we already do low grain and hardly any gluten. we do ezekiel bread and if i have to have tortillas right now, i do spelt.

          and yes, i am avoiding dental work right now.

          1. Hi BlackSheepPrincess,

            I believe Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride stated that it is best to go for the Full GAPS diet first instead of the intro since you are still breastfeeding. During the intro, you body may release a lot of toxins that can go through the breastmilk. It is best to stay with the Full diet until you are done breastfeeding.

    1. That is exactly what I thought when I read her answers to my questions… I am so greatful !! We’re starting on Wednesday as a family !

  5. is eating bone broth and raw milk enough? or should we still be taking a probiotic too? does anyone have a good probiotic to recommend? some are horribly expensive and others don’t seem to work. would love to hear what others are doing out there.

    1. Hi BlackSheepPrincess,

      If you have good gut flora and consume plenty of fermented foods daily, then you don’t really need to supplement with probiotics. If you like to try a probiotic, I would recommend Biokult as it is very potent unlike other probiotics on the market.

      1. Thanks, PinkBrea. I’m still new to all of this. Also working on getting a budget for it all. But starting where I can. Right now, I don’t have a lot of fermented foods going on. I’m not a big veggie person, but maybe through the fermenting, things will change for me. I can tell my digestive system is struggling a bit. I’ve been craving a lot of raw milk lately. Some days, it’s almost the only thing i want to eat, and that has made me curious. I just got done making a chicken bone broth that’s been cooking in the crockpot for two days. Had some this am, and i didn’t even hardly want my usual breakfast, cause all i wanted was the bone broth! so i’m listening to these things my body is telling me and trying to get a bigger picture of what is going on and see what else i can do.

    2. Bone broth won’t have any probiotics, nor does raw milk (I don’t think) unless you do something to introduce them, such as kefir or yogurt. Make your own probiotics. They’re much cheaper and more effective. Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, gingered pickles, kimchi, pickles, ketchup, etc.

      1. If you are otherwise healthy then eating fermented foods is plenty. Those with health issues often (but not always) benefit from a probiotic. There are lots of different ones out there and different people need different ones. My younger dd benefits greatly from biokult but the rest of us don’t. For my older dd it is culturelle. For me and my DH it is primal defense that gives us what we need. We also use custom probiotics and L-reuteri from biogia. Each has it’s benefits. We have also used VSL#3. I will aso mention PB8 as a strong probiotic that used to benefit me. If you are going the fermented food route, esp if you are trying to regain health, be sure to use a variety of fermented foods. Each kind will culture a different mix of beneficial organisms. Just doing one won’t get you that full range. I find cultured foods to be the most fun way to get the beneficial bacteria we need and making new recipes is a fun adventure.

        1. Pattyla, thanks! i’m glad to hear about PB8. It seems to be a good cost effective option until I can afford some of the other probiotics that are recommended. i think i need to figure out what i can do about getting started on some fermented foods. i’m so picky about taste and texture that i am nervous about starting. but you never know till you try. any ideas on a good way to start off on fermented foods? any favorites? i have access to raw milk. would making my own kefir be a good start? is organic miso a good choice? i need some easy ways to get started as i have a 5 month old running around. πŸ˜€

          1. Sauerkraut is really easy to make. I don’t use whey, just salt to ferment it. Kefir is another great probiotic food and very powerful. Be careful since it can bring on lots of die off.
            I’m not familiar enough with miso to say if it is a good choice. I know many love it. One key is getting a variety. Don’t rely on just one fermented food. Also make fermented condiments, like ketchup, salsa, mayo. That is a great way to get some fermented foods at every meal and they often keep longer than other home made versions of the same foods.

            1. PattyLA said what I was going to say — if your gut needs healing you may also need probiotics.

              Raw milk does have probiotics — just not as much as say, kefir (fermented milk).

              1. thanks to you both! i don’t think i can do the sauerkraut. i can’t stand cabbage at all right now. kefir is a good possibility. i’ll need to look up what to do to make it from home. i’ve had store-bought kefir made with pasteurized milk. is there a significant difference in the kefir depending on if it’s made with raw milk or not?

                1. I’ll tell you I don’t really like cabbage and never have. And I was always revolted by the smell of sauerkraut when it was served with school lunches. We never ate it in my home. Turns out I really like sauerkraut! Made the traditional way. Not the stuff that smells revolting. I still don’t like that.

  6. i’m not a big veggie eater. but i am a type O and feel a big demand on my body to eat a lot of protein. but many times i struggle with the high acidity of all the protein. what’s a good way to balance all this out? anyone have any tips?

    1. Hi BlackSheepPrincess,

      You don’t need to worry about the acid-alkaline balance theory. Weston A. Price already explained this issue in his book. He found that some groups subsisted on an almost all meat and fat diet while others had a mostly plant diet. Just follow with what foods your body desires at a certain time. If it is craving more meat, then by all means eat the meat! If your body is craving more fruits and vegetables, then eat those without any resistance. Our bodies are much smarter than we think. Continue to follow your instincts. Your body will let you know if you had enough of meat or vegetables or whatever else it is not craving at the moment. After all, our sense of taste and multiple cravings were given to us for a reason πŸ™‚

      1. One thing that those high animal foods cultures do is eat very high fat. Even higher than the protein if you are measuring by calorie. Fat helps to balance out all that protein and keep you feeling full. Plus it is full of those good fat soluible vitamins you need for optimal health. Muscle meat isn’t all that great compared to fat and organ meats for nutrition. (of course from healthy animals fed an appropriate diet).

        1. Hi Pattyla,

          Yes, fat must be very high in the diet when one is consuming lots of meat. What also needs to be high in the diet is bone broth. Bone broth helps balance out the amino acids in the meats and aids digestion.

          Regarding calories, it is best not to measure them. We will never know how many calories we need as it varys each and every day. Also, our bodies are too complex to just simply count calories. After all, we are not cars nor stoves. Our bodies will let us know how many calories we need through our sense of hunger. Our bodies are infinitely smarter than we think πŸ™‚

          1. Also, native cultures didn’t consume a lot of meat. They were more focused on obtaining the fat of the animal and also their organs.

          2. I wasn’t advocating counting calories. My point was that since fat is nearly twice as calorie dense as meat, volume wise it may not look like you are eating more fat than meat when in fact you are if you look at it in a calorie perspective. My understanding is that most high animal food diets were about 60%fat or more and 40% protein or less when measured by calories. Measured by volume that would be very different though.

          3. question….. eventually when I have gone through GAPS and my digestive system is healthy will eating all that meat NOT cause constipation…. I find if I eat too much meat and cheese (raw goat) I get constipated….is that just because of my strained/injured system do you think? and we eat a lot of fat… LOTS of butter and all the fat off the meat we buy as well as a lot of coconut oil. Just wondering…thanks

            1. After about 13 months on GAPS my lifelong issue with constipation got much better. Now it will be triggered by a high fiber food. I made a flax meal bread and assumed it would clean us all out. My kids seemed to handle it just fine but I got completely stopped up. It took making it twice before I believed it. Now I’m careful about getting too much fiber and rarely constipated. Clearly I’m not fully healed yet but it is so much better! (I am nearly 20 months into GAPS now.) NCM says to avoid high protein dairy if you have a problem with constipation and just do high fat diary. High protein diary is cheese, yogurt, kefir. High fat is butter, sour cream, ghee, and any kind of fermented heavy cream.

              1. darn -it… lol I am a pretty big fan of the homemade goat yogurt and kefir and of course cheese…. bit it’s worth waiting to heat. Thanks for your info I really do appreciate it. Also wondering…. is it absolutely necessary to make ghee instead of just using butter?? I am intimidated by ghee for some reason…I make yogurt, fermented veggies and all kinds of things but for some reason feel like I will screw ghee up and waste the butter πŸ™

                1. If you like kefir wait till you taste kefired heavy cream. Yum! The best reason to make ghee is that you need to be dairy free for 6 weeks but ghee doesn’t count at dairy (since there are no proteins and most people can handle ghee even if they can’t handle dairy). It really isn’t that hard. Google the crock pot method. That is how I make it.

                  1. I will have to try the heavy cream when the time comes. NCM said that you can do a skin test over night, putting yogurt or whatever on your forearm before bed to see if there is a reaction… I could be wrong, but from what I understood, could I do that and if there is no reaction still allow my kids and husband to drink the goat milk yogurt even on intro, I wouldn’t due to my constipation issues… Just wondering as it would make it a lot easier for them… but understand if I can’t. thanks for taking all this time answering my questions by the way

                    1. She has changed her dairy recommendations many times. I think that she still recommends most or all people to be off dairy for 6 weeks to be certain they have no issue with it. She doesn’t consider ghee to be dairy and she may not consider whey to be dairy. She explains it on her website www.gaps.me That should have her most up to date diary recommendations.

                2. Ghee is super easy! I put my butter in a glass Pyrex bowl and melt it in the toaster oven. The top layer is very obvious and easy to skim off, and the small amount of milk sinks to the bottom. The only time-consuming part is scooping out the ghee gently so that you leave the milk at the bottom. You throw out very little.

                3. you have to get the casein out but by the time you get to this part of the intro you will be thrilled to have ghee!

            2. Hi Bethany,

              I would recommend paring meat or cheese with lots of fat, like butter or other good fats. In addition, if you usually eat muscle meats, I would recommend consuming them with animal foods rich in vitamin A, like cod liver oil and butter. Vitamin A is needed to assimilate protein, and muscle meats sadly lack this critical vitamin. It works synergistically with vitamin D and K2, so be sure to consume animals foods rich in those critical vitamins with your main meals, as well. Also, consuming bone broths whenever you consume meats often helps since the gelatin assists in the digestion of the proteins in the meats. In fact, meats were almost always sold with the bones 50 or more years ago. People back then usually cooked the meat with the bones to not only add flavor, but to also aid digestion. Finally, it is also important to include fermented foods with your main meals if they are mostly cooked. Just as with bone broths, fermented foods help with digestion, too. If these strategies don’t seem to work very good, then you may need to check to see if you are digesting fats properly, or if your gut flora is in good condition.

              1. thank you for these suggestions… I grew up where everything was lot fat and my mom was/is basically aneroexic she is SO concerned about the smallest amount of fat she consumed and that was ingrained in me so much… I do LOVE fat though, in all it forms I have discovered in the last few months… there is so much to learn. I have recently started drinking at least 1/2c of broth with every meal since I discovered it aided in digestion about 2 weeks ago, but the increase in fat would help too, thanks. Oh I also have tons of fermented stuff going on, that is a recent development as well.

                  1. everything was lean, all meats and low fat cheeses, fat free ice cream, cookies etc…. but growing up I never really liked meat much and never ate it so my mom would “make” me eat at least two pieces of lunch meat a day….lol. I now realize it is because the meat was super dry, never had any fat or flavor and it was definitely not quality cuts of meat, that is part of the reason I became vegetarian, I didn’t think I liked meat and from the vegetarian books I was reading I didn’t think it was good for me either… the only veggies we ate were canned except for corn and maybe beans and some lettuce in the summer… I literally lived off from cold cereal and skim milk for many years so I know exactly why I have the issues I have, I am just so blessed that the Lord has led me to all of this information about eating REAL food !! I am so thankful ! And for the first time I have confidence that this is really the best way to eat, I always had doubts before and that is why I was a voracious reader always searching, but up until recently I was always reading stuff in the same basic category.

                    1. Wow, Bethany. Praise God!!! What other health issues do you have besides needing to fix your gut? How do you feel when you eat more fat? Do you feel great, nauseous, stuffed, etc.?

                  2. I actually crave fats and love them, I do not think that it’s fats that cause my digestion issues, it’s more proteins I do believe. I feel good after fats.
                    My other issues… I have brain fog, always tired, skin issues, allergic reactions to multiple foods that just started in the last year so I know it’s gut related, sleep issues, mild depression, and a short fuse… thankfully some days are great and I am not always the sad person it sounds like I am above but sometimes it’s all I can do to get through a day and that is with taking a nap, if I can sleep. Thank fully the Lord has allowed me some improvement and I am doing better than a few months ago but I am such a different person than I used to be when I was “healthy” i wasn’t actually healthy it’s just that my issues had not caught up with me yet. Wondering… do you have a personal email I could email you at? If you don’t want to that is totally fine, I understand, I just figure it’s easier than a forum and then I can also ask you questions as I go later on.
                    Re: an earlier question about breastfeeding… I have been on a very clean diet for about 4 months and detoxed a fair amount already (I know not the best with nursing my son but I didn’t know that it was going to happen, was still learning) and I am having so many allergic reaction issues I really, really need to heal my gut, I am tired of random itchy hives popping up here and there, usually my face, neck and ears πŸ™ Plus I know that my son is not anywhere close to weaning, it’s like he’s on crack or something, nursing is probably his favorite activity ever lol.

                    1. Hi Bethany,

                      Wow, a lot to swallow here, lol. You can email me anytime you would like πŸ™‚ My email is PinkBrea35756@aol.com. I would love to help. I will also give you Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s email too once you have emailed me if you like. I think it is best if you had a doctor’s opinion to see whether or not you should be on the intro for the GAPS diet since you are still breastfeeding. Just be aware of the fact that she is a very busy woman, and that she may not email you right away. Do you know any doctors around your area who follows the principles of WAP? If you do, it would be great if you could see them. Since you were previously a vegetarian, I recommend that you read these articles:




                      Also, have you ever drank or ate soy products before?

      2. i’m glad to hear that. sometimes when i eat the protein i crave, i get that acid feeling in my stomach or a heart burn like feeling. it just feels acidic like. i definitely listen to my cravings. it’s getting pretty easy to tell the good ones from any bad. i should looking into the WAP book. i’ve been on the site and followed the diet recommendations during pregnancy, but wasn’t aware there was a book.

        1. Hi BlackSheepPrincess,

          Do you eat enough fat with the protein you consume? Heartburn is usually caused by low stomach acid. Consuming plenty of fat with your meats often helps with the digestive issues.

          1. In order to solve my families heartburn/reflux issues we had to do a couple of months of HCL. It actually teaches your body to make more. Also we have found that if our zinc status drops too low we will get reflux. Zinc is very important for digestion. While we love many high zinc foods (oysters, lamb) we just can’t seem to get enough from our diet right now to keep our zinc status up long term. It is my hope that with further healing we will no longer need to supplement it but in the meantime we do take zinc pills. There is quite a bit written on the WAP site about copper/zinc imbalance and how common it is in our modern world. Also including lots of fermented foods esp sauerkraut since both cabbage and ferments stimulate digestion will help. Apple cider vinegar sipped after a meal that gives you that acid feeling may help it go away. That would be a big clue that your issue is low stomach acid. The more meat you eat the more acid your stomach needs to make.

            1. Hi Pattyla,

              Can eating more organ meats and shellfish and not enough muscle meats make the copper/zinc imbalance worse? Although organ meats are high in zinc, they are also high in copper.

              1. I think that liver can make it worse because it is high copper. I’m not certain about everything else.

            2. thanks, Pattyla. that is so helpful. i had no idea about the zinc. i already do ACV some, but i can up it.

  7. Hey I was put on BCP shortly after giving birth also, had a hard time nursing, and had to quit early, all the time being told that “the pill won’t affect your milk supply.” I was pretty young at the time (early 20s), and didn’t read the literature which CLEARLY states that you should not take BCPs if you are nursing, and that it will affect my milk supply. This is one of several lies I have been told about my health that has driven me away from standard medicine.

    1. Not to mention that BCPs mess with your hormones and can do permanent damage. The fertility awareness method is very effective and not much more work than remembering to take a pill each day.

    2. Yeah I didn’t find out until about a year and a half after my daughter was born and I quit trying to nurse her at about 9 months. It was such a struggle.

      It makes me mad that doctors just believe everything these pharmaceutical companies tell them. It is so irresponsible!

    3. Darn those BCP’s I hated the whole time I was taking them, thankfully it was only about 7months that I was taking them.

  8. Chapped lips can also be a sign that the individual is not breathing through their nose, but through the mouth.

  9. For Charlotte: you might want to read this succinct post on why NOT to use whey for grain soaking: https://purehomemaking.com/2011/05/hot-off-the-press-dairy-is-out-for-soaking-grains

    I add a tsp of fresh-ground rye flour and a tbsp of apple cider vinegar to water with every serving of grain I’m soaking, soak at least overnight but usually 24 hours, and make sure the water is warm (un-chlorinated), and in a warm place.

  10. Ann Marie,

    thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, thanks for shootin’ straight with me too… I agree I over analyze stuff like this…funny thing is this is about the only thing in my life I am a total needle nose over, always worried about doing it ALL right… I was just worried that if I don’t do it by the book I might not get the results and might not heal and didn’t want to take that chance.

    Update since I asked you the questions…… I got the book (there were 13 holds at the library so we just ended up buying it) and My husband is 100% on board and is going to start reading the book this week even !! and we’re starting Wednesday so I am pretty happy you answered my questions this week πŸ™‚

    Wondering about bio-kult… I was taking about 1 1/2c of coconut water kefir a day which I started out slow and got significant die of symptoms from but then they stopped… It was so expensive since we were buying it and so I switched to bio-kult, I started with two didn’t notice anything, then went to 3, same thing and now I have been taking 4 for a number of days and still don’t notice anything, this is on top of having about 3/4-1c of fermented veggies most days. Do I need to take more than 4 capsules… I could be mistaken but from what I read I think I am supposed to take more since there are about 2billion probiotics per capsule and I thought Dr. McBride said to make sure there were 8 billion per capsule…so does that mean I need to take more than 4 bio-kult capsules…. again, sorry to be a needle nose (again), but without feeling any more tired and crappy than I already do everyday I am wondering if I need to up the dose.

    THANKS !!!

    1. You may need to take more but honestly if you weren’t yet doing GAPS, it’s hard to say. If you continue to eat sugar and starches, you may not notice any die-off, even while taking probiotics and eating fermented foods.

      Die-off literally means that the good bacteria are killing off the bad pathogenic bacteria and they are dying off. If you are eating sweets and starches, you are continuing to feed the bad guys, so the good guys can’t get a leg up. It’s like the Crips and the Bloods! You have to starve out the bad guys while feeding the good guys.

      1. Not eating any sweets/sugars not even fruits, no grains or real starchy veggies… so based on not having eaten any of those for at least the last month and not feeling die off symptoms do you think I need to add another capsule…. can you OD on them or not really except for discomfort from the dead bacteria?

        1. The only risk from taking too much probiotic is to your pocketbook. There have been many, many studies done on probiotics and none have ever found a level that is toxic (assuming no allergy to the components of the probiotic). In the GAPS book NCM gives a therapeutic level for biokult. I think it may be 8 pills a day but I don’t remember for sure. I know it is 1-2 pills daily for my 3 year old. She’s the only one taking biokult in our family.

          Also not every probiotic is right for every person. Biokult may not have the right combo for you an your issues.

          1. how on earth do you find out what strains of bacteria you need? Trial and error ? I thought NCM recommended 4 capsules for the therapeutic dose.. if it really is 8 then that explains why I am not having any symptoms… I am going to up it to 6 today for a few days and see how I do on that.

            Do you know is it a lack of bacteria in my gut that makes it so when I eat, not all the time but very often that the food sits in my stomach like a brick, very uncomfortable and I don’t want to eat or drink anything for a long time, like if that happens at breakfast I won’t get hungry until maybe dinner or later. I started drinking broth 2 weeks ago with every meal and that helped immediately and it stopped but this past weekend it started again even when I did drink broth, not every time but i was disappointed to feel that sensation again despite the broth… I started taking some of my husbands HCL and it’s helped a little bit, perhaps I need to take more than 2 pills? Any advice? I don’t notice it with any particular foods… it happens even if all I eat is 2 eggs (buried in butter!!)

            1. It sounds like you have low stomach acid to me. Eating sauerkraut with meals may help. Also try drinking apple cider vinegar. You might also try taking digestive enzymes. HCL comes in different strengths. Usually the recommendation is to take one more pill each meal till you get burning and then back off by one pill and that is your dose. Of course bigger meals with more protein will require more hcl. And I have heard to not take more than 6 pills at a meal no matter if you get burning or not.

              The only way to know what strains are right for you is trial and error. Some claim that various stool tests will tell you what to do but stool tests are notorious for not giving you the whole picture of what is really present in your gut.

          1. The rashes are from way back in October when everything started to go down the crapper with me health wise…. before I was doing anything remotely good for me health wise. So the ones I am struggling with are not die off… but do realize that is a symptom though

            1. sometimes die off shows up as a reoccurence of old symptoms but you definitely know your body better. Also constipation can happen because of lots of dieoff

  11. Darla…. good question !!! I am a mom of two 2, and 4 and I want to start homeschooling my daughter this fall as well but sometimes I wonder how on earth I can get that done, along with everything else I do in a day, plus I am a stay at home mom, I don’t even have a regular job….lol. Perhaps I am not that efficient. Actually it’s because I have some major gut dysbiosis going on and take a nap every day so I can function in the evening, that Lord willing will change VERY soon so I can get my life back and have energy to homeschool my daughter ! As you can tell from her answer Ann Marie is an AMAZING woman, not to mention blessed to have a housekeeper… now that would be sweet !!! πŸ™‚

    1. I’ve been paying for the housekeeper for the past few years. She started the month Kate was born. At first my husband was paying for her to come but then when I went back to work part-time, I started paying so I could make a contribution. I remember when I first started my business, I was paying the housekeeper about 8 times more per hour than I was making!

      It’s worth it though, if you can pay someone else to help you with stuff you don’t want to do or don’t enjoy doing. I really love my work and I hate doing laundry and housework!

  12. Does anyone know why canned coconut milk is not allowed on GAPS? I use a brand that has a BPA free lining wondering if it would be acceptable then?

        1. Hi Bethany,

          A good brand is Native Forest. You can get it online or at your local health food store. It is BPA free, but does contain guar gum. I’m not for sure if guar gum is dangerous. The safest way to get coconut milk to purchase organic whole coconuts and make your own coconut milk. Also, you can make coconut milk out of unsweetened coconut meat.

            1. Hi Ofthec,

              I have no idea if Thai Kitchen is any good. If it contains no additives, sugar, is organic, and BPA-free, then it should be good.

          1. This was not a good brand. It was very watery and has the same additive as Thai kitchen (guar gum). Just FYI, so no one else feels the need to try it and waste their money.

        2. I use one that comes in aseptic boxes from the international food store called AROY-D. It is just coconut and water. It is not organic. I don’t believe there is currently a coconut milk marketed that is organic and additive free in non-bpa cans.

  13. Hi everyone,

    I would like to know what Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride meant by gelatinous meats. Does she mean meats with the bone? I have a hard time finding meat with the bones. They are usually sold separately.

      1. This is what I figured, but didn’t know if there were special kinds of meats that I needed to get. Thanks! πŸ™‚

        1. To the person writing about Type 1 diabetes: I saw a very compelling movie re curing diabetes through a raw foods diet called www.rawforthirty.com
          You might want to check it out.

      2. So is the only “meat” that is gelatinous tongue? I use the knuckle bones and chicken bones for broth but wondering if that is the only “meat”

        1. There is meat on soup bones and knuckle bones. That meat is gelatinous. It isn’t a big yield of meat but there is some.

          1. My interpretation of gelatinous meats would be the fattier, darker (yummier!) meats, such as chicken or duck thighs/legs. They are fattier than breast tissue. Lamb shanks would be fattier than lamb cutlets.

            Does that make sense?

            1. I think that is my favorite kind of meat… I love the dark meat on chicken and am not really a huge fan of breast meat… so I guess it’s the fattier cuts… just bought oxtail and some beef bones for some stock later this week and some beef tongue so I will be getting lots of gelatin this wee πŸ™‚

  14. Is it possible Bethany’s rashes and bumps are from eating so much fermented veggies and she’s already experiencing extreme die off?

    1. Hi Ofthec,

      I believe eating a lot of fermented veggies can definitely cause die-off reactions, like rashes and bumps. Our skin is often the last resort for pushing out toxins when the body is too overwhelmed to eliminate them through the digestive tract.

      1. I have been struggling with the itchy bumps on my skin since October πŸ™ I thought it was ring worm and treated it accordingly but it never fully went away, it would come and go as it pleased. I was a vegetarian back in October, and our diet was TERRIBLE so I know there are a lot of issues with that… but I know that any time I eat sugar (which I have totally given up now in all forms) it would break out like the next day.

        1. Wondering…. NCM says that certain fruits are ok (on intro) as well as raw honey… does anyone know if someone is struggling with candida over growth would it be a bad thing to introduce raw honey and fruits like green apples like she mentions? I don’t really want to try it and find out…. not excited about my hand breaking out πŸ™

          1. Hi Bethany,

            I think Ann Marie did a blog post about candida before. I would type “candida” in the search engine. Candida is usually caused by a lack of beneficial bacteria.

            1. Thanks I will do that…. I have only been a Cheeseslave follower for about 1 month, and I have learned SO much

              1. Your more than welcome, Bethany! Since you were a vegetarian, I recommend this article for you: https://www.westonaprice.org/modern-diseases/metabolic-disorders/591-copper-zinc-imbalance.

                People in the modern world who have been vegetarians for a while tend to have excess copper stores in their bodies.

                1. Erica, my husband asked if there is some sort of sauce like a mustard sauce he can dip his boiled meat into for the GAPS intro diet, he’s fully on board but just asked if there was any sort of dipping sauce I could make and I wasn’t sure but told him I was talking to a lady who would probably know…that’s you. πŸ™‚ Any ideas? Thanks

                  1. Hi Bethany,

                    If you have the book “Nourishing Traditions,” Sally Fallon Morell does have a recipe for mustard. I don’t know of any brands at the moment for mustard. I don’t even know if most in stores are any good as they contain msg, table salt, and other cheap additives. Also, I don’t even know if they are pasteurized, as mustard is naturally a fermented product. I would make mustard at home to be on the safe side. Local farmers may even make mustard, as some do sauerkraut and other fermented condiments. Hope this helps!

                  2. For the start of GAPS intro spices and dried herbs aren’t allowed. Just salt, pepper and fresh herbs. Once you are at the casserole stage you can start introducing them though. You want to eliminate as many variables as possible from the diet so that you can determine if anything is an issue.

                2. Wow thanks for sharing! It’s scary how much of that rings a bell for me. I used to be vegan and have been eating much better for a few years now and now seem to have chronic fatigue. I will look into those supplements and stay away from copper.

                  1. Hi Ofthec,

                    You don’t need to completely stay away from copper. It is still essential. What you want to do is consume foods rich in zinc, like beef and chicken, so that you can get rid of the extra stores of copper safely.

                    The issue is there is a copper-zinc imbalance when an individual goes vegetarian in the modern world. Often times, vegetarians don’t consume enough zinc-rich foods, like eggs. They usually consume foods high in copper compared to zinc, which is quite easy to do when one goes vegetarian.

          2. Many of us on GAPS find that we don’t tolerate any fruits for a long time. That’s ok. Fruit isn’t necessary for a healthy well rounded diet. It is a bonus but doesn’t contain any nutrition that isn’t available in veggies and meats. If your gut is telling you to avoid fruit an honey then do.
            There are some that say that truly raw/unheated honey doesn’t feed candida and is ok for people with diabetes. I find that I can tolerate 1-2 tsp a day of unheated honey if they are mixed into other foods. I eat almost no fruit. I just had 1/4 cup wild blueberries and that will probably be all the fruit I have for the day. My children also don’t eat any fruit and are growing so strong and solid! My older dd was a waif as a young child and now just looks so solid! Friends have made affirming comments on how healthy she now looks. She rarely has honey or fruit of any kind. Meat, veggies, raw dairy, eggs. That is the bulk of her diet. She has overcome much and is thriving now. It is a pleasure to see it in her.

            1. what do you bake with as a sweetener, do you use all the stuff ann marie does, the coconut palm sugar and others she mentions? (I only bake now and then with coconut flour since I am allergic to almonds, for now at least) … right now we’re just using stevia, not my favorite but it works and my kids love everything that I make with it….like right now I make an “ice cream” that consists of raw eggs, coconut milk, raw goat milk yogurt, vanilla stevia and cinnamon…I would rather use some raw honey since I think it would make the icecream some out less solid.

            2. I think it’s interesting what you say about not really eating much fruit/sugar…. since we eliminated it we really have not missed it except in a few things I would probably just used honey for instead… and an occasional seasonal piece of fruit would be nice…

              1. oh my husband and I decided that once we do start eating fruit again we’re going to just eat seasonally, except for anything we pick ourselves and have frozen…that will significantly reduce the amount of fruit we eat compared to what it used to be…no wonder I have candida over growth, lol

          3. You might want to look into www.healingnaturallybybee.com She has a wealth of info and an amazing testimonial page. Basically it’s GAPS with no fruit or honey. I’ve gotten the most healing from this diet but still have a long way to go.

          4. I believe either in the GAPS intro book or the GAPS book the tell you if you are struggling with candida to hold off on anything sweet for longer.

          1. No not yet, but we’ll be starting this week Thursday… we were scheduled to start on Wednesday but I have too much food left in the fridge I need to use up before we start so I don’t waste it…. after reading NCM’s book I realized that we eat very similar to full gaps and so basically WAP style… I am a little discouraged that even eating the way we have I have not had as much healing as I would have liked and still have significant digestive issues, but I guess that just means I have more healing than I first thought that needs to take place.

            Random question… when can I introduce turnips and green peas? two of my daughters absolute favorite veggies so I want to add them to soups and make mashed turnips as soon as I am allowed.

            1. Hi Bethany,

              If they are able to tolerate the turnips and green peas, then I would keep giving it to them if they are at most on the Full GAPS diet. If they are able to tolerate a lot of foods on the Full GAPS diet, then I would not let them do the intro, just the full diet. However, if they do have allergies or other symptoms associated with an imbalance of beneficial gut flora, then I’d let them start from the intro first.

              1. Turnips and green peas are allowed on the intro diet. Peel the turnips esp at first because you it to be low fiber.
                That said most people find it easier to do the full diet for 1-3 months before doing intro. Intro can be a real shock to the system if you have been eating a lot of grains and fiber. Easing into it slowly is often easier to take. You will get die off and healing with the full gaps diet. NCM designed the intro diet later on. It isn’t even included in the first edition of the GAPS book.

                1. I agree. We eased in this time and it went much easier. We just added one GAPS meal per day then two then all three. This definitely helped.

            2. you can have turnips right away but the skin on the peas is a little less digestible so you probably should START with these but can add them in very soon

  15. Sara,

    I recommend reading “a life without bread”. The authors miss the “real food” piece- but they have A LOT of great information regarding carbohydrates, and treating health issues (including diabetes)

    best of luck!

  16. Wow! Thanks for so much info….I will definitely be checking into the sources about being more efficient! I need that so very much!

  17. As far as the Gaps diet…just do it! It gets easier and I have seen MANY blogs where they have success with FULL Gaps! I don’t think I would the intro with the whole family at once…I have read a lot of others that have di\one that abd it was very hard delaling with lots of die off all once!

  18. Sara – I would get a copy of Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars. He is a type 1 diabetic that has successfully managed his blood sugars for decades with a low to moderate carbohydrate diet. It is a great book.

  19. i’m not trying to do full GAPS, but trying to incorporate different pieces of it into lifestyle changes. i find that i better my health that way with lifestyle changes than i do incorporating a rigid protocol over a specific period of time. then the changes to my health are more permanent. that said, there are definite times when protocols over a specific period of time are greatly needed and beneficial.

    1. GAPS is a diet that can and should become a lifestyle. It not only heals the body but it helps prevent disease. Once healed you don’t need to adhere strictly all the time but a GAPS body will always have the risk an if you return to your old way of eating you will return to your old health issues as well.
      Thankfully other than in social situations we feel completely satisfied with our diet. It is disappointing to not be able to share the food of others when at picnics or parties but I wouldn’t go back to that way of eating for anything. Why trade our health for a bite of cake? I can make a cake that doesn’t harm our health and tastes so good people ask me for the recipe. Why would I eat one made from junk?

      1. You are right, Pattyla! I think even the healthiest person who grew up on a 100% traditional diet will have some adverse reactions from the commercial cakes. They are full of toxins.

      2. do you have any tips when being out in social situations? for example, our church has a monthly fellowship meal where all the food is provided. they do not seem to understand why we don’t partake of any of it, there have been comments made that they are trying to put “healthy” choices out for us specifically. they’ve even made suggestions that even if we don’t eat, it would be good to stay for the fellowship. and i would love to stay, but nursing someone so young, it’s been too difficult to pack a full lunch and bring it, and nursing – i can’t justify sitting there watching everyone eat and we just eat lunch later. we’ve already sat through the whole service and that is hard to do already and throws us off schedule with the little one enough. i’m not sure what to say or how to respond to their not understanding. i’m not really trying to avoid the dinners. but it throws up a whole bunch of problems for us. any tips?

        1. Hi BlackSheepPrincess,

          Since it seems that you have a busy schedule, you can just tell them the truth that you have children that are still nursing.

        2. Hmmmm…. since it keeps your baby from napping I would skip them. Explain that once she is older and can stay awake longer without it being a hardship you will be happy to stay for the meals. If you don’t trust the food provided (plenty of people think I can’t beleive it’s not butter is a healthy food) you have two options. Bring food to share or bring food just for your family. We have allergies so it is easy for us to say we are just bringing our own food and people are used to it by now. We have been doing it since my eldest was 2. I’m allergic to corn and that gets me out of so much. Even prewashed lettuce is a problem for me. I don’t dare eat foods I haven’t prepared myself most of the time. It just isn’t worth it to me to be miserable. My sister-in-law is also allergic to corn and she just puts up with it and doesn’t avoid the foods at all. I think she is crazy and she probably thinks I am crazy. I’m not clear if your issue is a food allergy/intolerance one or just wap vs sad one.
          Is this your first baby? I got lots of “advice” and people who tried to tell me how to parent my first. She was highly sensitive and the slightest things would set her off for days. It was simply survival on my part to not accept any invitations to change our routine, esp if it was going to be noisy. With my second baby people left me alone. It turned out that she was much more easy going and I could do more with her in tow. People who only had easy babies just don’t understand if yours is highly sensitive.

          1. yes, it’s our first. i think i got tired of the unsolicited advice in the first 3 mos of pregnancy! i’m someone that is very off mainstream and i research everything. i love questions and advice from those off mainstream, but other than that, i hate the “advice”, lol.

            just because it’s your first doesn’t mean you are a noob at everything parenting-wise. i used to nanny and it’s just a topic i’ve done a lot of study in, years before i even got married. πŸ™‚

        3. I can totally relate… I get so stressed about social/food situations, everybody asking questions and then trying to be nice and provide something healthy which is totally not and the pressure…. I am a pretty easy going quiet person and have a hard time refusing someones kind gesture but thankfully my husband is not like that and does not have any trouble at all lol….my rock. At church pot lucks I try to bring 2 dishes that we can share but that will also be filling enough for all of us and then fill my kids sippys with yogurt or something like that so we’re at least satiated until we get home. Not solution, but I feel for you… and I hate all the “kind” advice you get with your first baby, some of it is good but much of it people just don’t understand you and your baby.

          1. Hi Bethany,

            Make a huge breakfast everytime there is a churh gathering with food. Your whole family will probably not be hunger by lunchtime πŸ™‚

      3. But I though GAPS is supposed to heal you so you can get off of the GAPS diet??? Not that you should go back to eating junk but just more a Weston Price diet…

        1. Hi Ofthec,

          Yes, the GAPS diet is suppose to heal your gut to the point where you are able to tolerate ALL foods, including grains. Dr. Natasha Cambell McBride even stated that you don’t need to stay on this diet for the rest of your life. This diet is for only healing the gut.

  20. is there a recommended reading list of books to get? what does everyone have in their libraries? already mentioned was WAP and the one cheeseslave is recommending on the bone broth challenge, deep nutrition. what others should i be getting?

    1. “Gut and Psychology Syndrome”—- Excellent book for the GAPS diet.
      “Healing Our Children”—– Great book if you have or are planning to have children.
      “Cure Tooth Decay”—- If you or someone you know are prone to tooth decay.

      There’s so many more here: https://www.westonaprice.org/thumbs-up-book-reviews

      1. Cure Tooth Decay is awesome… I learned so, so much from that book. Wondering do you think that we need to reduce/eliminate grains as much as he says to ?? it sounds as though Ramiel does not eat any grains except for occasional properly prepared sour dough bread. Of course after the gut is healed and such…

        1. If your gut is in good condition, you’re not prone to tooth decay, and you consume plenty of animal foods rich in the fat soluble vitamins, then you should be fine.

        2. I think that if you are dealing with tooth decay you need to eliminate grains. And probably will always need to keep them at a bare minimum at most to prevent it from recurring. My opinion is that our bodies have weaknesses and despite healing we will fall back into our same sicknesses if we fall back into our same diets. It doesn’t matter that others can eat that diet and appear healthy. What matters is if you can.

          1. Hi Pattyla,

            Sally Fallon Morell did say that those who grew up on a traditional diet with nutrient dense foods have a much more stronger body than those who were less fortunate, which would be most people in the industrial world. She says that the sturdier ones can eat junk food for a time and not get the horrible side effects of it compared to others who are less well built.

        1. I love Sally Fallon Morrel”s Nourishing Traditions. It contains alot of valuable information aside from all the recipes. I find myself referencing it often. I also love Cure Tooth Decay, Many of the books on the WAP suggested reading list are available at the library! I usually check them out before deciding to purchase.

          1. Hi Tessag,

            I do, too! I trust their hard research, and often look to the WAPF for guidance in what foods and supplements are best to purchase.

        2. There is a book I just finished reading called “real food” by nina planck it’s great, a wonderful intro book for someone new to all this

          1. She’s also got one called something like “real food and baby” something to that effect, it’s specifically geared towards pregnancy, post birth and feeding your baby, lots of good info !

  21. to all: what does everyone think of Bragg’s Aminos? I’m doing the bone broth challenge, and i’ve been adding the Bragg’s Aminos for some additional flavoring. Is there anything wrong with that? besides my meat/bones and the water, i’ve got in the mirepoix, a little sea salt, pepper, the ACV, the juice of a whole lemon and the braggs aminos. then two whole days in the crockpot. i’m about to die from broth happiness. i seriously could live off broth. it’s always been my comfort food. although, i never knew the right way to make it with bones or knew that it could be healthy for you. it was always the number one thing i went to when i didn’t feel good. now with all this info out about bone broths, i’m thinking my body knew this way back when and was trying to tell me something. is it possible to have too much broth in a day? it’s not even noon and i’m ready to go after my third cup.

    1. I have heard that Bragg’s Aminos has some ingredients that are questionable. Perhaps they contain msg, but I’m not for sure.

    2. Also,

      I doubt that you can over consume bone broth. If your body is craving it, then it probably needs it. It is a great replacement for water. However, I’m guessing you are consuming plenty of other foods like meats and eggs as well, correct?

        1. There is something that I use in place of Braggs that is very similar and I have been pleased with it…hoping it’s good. It’s by a company called Coconut Secret and the product is called coconut aminos. Do you know anything about this ann marie?

          1. Of course it is good. The only ingredients are certified organic raw coconut sap and mineral rich sea salt.

        2. is this the naturally occurring MSG? or an added MSG?

          Is this something to where the Bragg’s aminos could be bad for our health as a family? If so, is there a good substitute? The flavor of that is something I truly love to use as a seasoning, but if there’s something better with comparable flavor, i’d love to know about it!

          1. It is added msg. Naturally occuring msg will not usually be a problem unless someone was overly sensitive to it.

            1. I was concerned about the Bragg’s Amino Acids at one time….I emailed the company and what they told me was that MSG is not added, The MSG formed naturally in the product. I didn’t feel comfortable consuming it anyhow so I don’t use it anymore. I believe that it came up because Whole Foods is not sopposed to sell anything containg MSG but they do sell this product.

              1. Hi Tessag,

                Here is an excellent discussion regarding the issue of Bragg’s Amino Acids: https://www.welikeitraw.com/rawfood/2005/06/bragg_liquid_am.html

                  1. Tessag,

                    LOL! That’s what these blogs are here for… to spread some knowledge that we didn’t already know πŸ™‚

          2. Also, msg as an additive is suppose to make any kind of food taste good. I recommend another book caused “Excitotoxins.”

    3. check out https://www.coconutsecret.com/aminos2.html for some coconut aminos that taste really good.

  22. I didn’t know about the chapped lips thing! I have been eating more fat that I used to and I’ve notice I don’t need lip balm as much.. but I still need it sometimes.. now I’ll know what to do!

      1. Coconut oil makes a great chapstick, but not too much or your lips would look too greasy πŸ™‚

        1. I use coconut oil for lip balm, too! My GAPS daughter gets chronic chapped and bleeding lips at the moment, so I only trust coconut oil to go anywhere near her. πŸ™‚

            1. Hey Erica

              No, not a mouth breather. It’s currently winter here (Australia) and she got a little dehyrated with some sniffles a few weeks ago when the lips started cracking. Now she has started a habit of stretching her lips so they crack. :/

              It possibly is compounded by a little die off as we do GAPS eating. We will get there, but for now the coconut oil is a winner! πŸ™‚

              1. Yea, it may be a die-off reaction. Did it start or get worse during the GAPS diet? Yes, coconut oil always helps. You can use it on her lips and for consumption since coconut oil is excellent for the immune system. In fact, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride highly recommends people to consume coconut oil on a regular basis.

                1. We’ve been doing the GAPS diet for only a few months, but it did start whilst “dieting”. πŸ™‚ My daughter likes it on her lips, although not so happy to have coconut oil from a spoon (my 3rd daughter enjoys it from a spoon!), so I’m happy to keep reapplying during the day! πŸ™‚

                  1. Hi Sheridan,

                    You can cook with coconut oil. If she absolutely hates the taste even with cooking then go for the expeller pressed, refined coconut oil that has no taste. Her chapped lips should go away after a while on the GAPS diet.

                    1. Yes, I have cooked with coconut oil for a few years now. The family cope quite well with the virgin coconut oil I use. There are times I’d like less of a flavour for cooking some things, but refined, expeller pressed oil isn’t something I’ve looked into. You guys in the USA have easier access to quality oils like that. I have to do a lot of online shopping here in Australia to find what I am looking for a lot of the time. πŸ™‚

                    2. To all commenting about coconut oil… if you are married there is another fantastic use for coconut oil… in place of KY Jelly… as a lubricant, it works better than anything commercial PLUS it’s anti-fungal/bacterial ! So it’s a win win, oh and it smells nice πŸ™‚ hehe

    1. I stopped using any lip cream or chapstick after increasing my good fat consumption, and my lips never chap anymore. Chapsticks actually cause the chapping they are sold to cure, especially ones made from petrolatum etc. I don’t even bother putting coconut oil on them for the most part, I just eat the oil!

    1. I just ordered 10lbs of pork fat from a local farm to render. I wasn’t sure how much to get. How much to render at one time?

      1. Hi Tessag,

        You can render as much as you like. It is faster though if you do it in small batches. You can have 2 small pots of 5 lbs each of lard. It can take from 4-6 hrs for that amount, depending on what temperature you use.

        1. Is tallow or lard better to use? do you have to render both… I have never purchased either but am going to tomorrow. If it comes in a white solid it means it needs rendering right? Or can you use it as is? Sorry if that sounds like a stupid question all I grew up with was “I can’t believe it’s not butter” and vegetable oil :-/ So i have a lot of learning to do

          1. They are each a bit different. Tallow is a bit harder and makes good pemican. Lard is a bit softer and we prefer the flavor although we don’t hate tallow. Just make sure whatever you get isn’t hydrogonized. The lard sold in stores in boxes that look like butter is usually hydrogenized.

          2. Hi Bethany,

            They are both excellent, healing fats! You can use them both if you like. If it looks like hard coconut oil, then it is already rendered. I would purchase these fats from you local farmer who raises the animals on pasture and gives them their natural feed. Ask the farmer if the pigs are fed soy. If they do, then make sure that it is non-gmo. It is hard to find pig fat from pigs who haven’t been fed soy, just like eggs. Do the best you can. Animal fats are very nourishing to the body, even more so than coconut and palm oils since they contain the fat soluble vitamins.

            Don’t buy these fats from any regular grocery store. They most likely will come from animals that are not treated correctly. Som health food stores and coops sell these fats, but make sure you call the farmer first before you consume those fats. You want animal fats that are raised on pasture.

            1. Thanks for the info, I have a local farmer who does an amazing job with their animals, I am grateful to have found someone who does it right… I also have a different lady I can buy raw goats milk from….blessed !

              1. Hi Bethany,

                You are so lucky that you are able to get raw milk. I live in a state where we have cow share programs. I’m still on the waiting list for one. I usually stick to raw cheese and bone broths for now. I may even just ditto the milk since I get cheese from the spring and summer months, which has a lot higher nutrients.

  23. I have to comment on melatonin. Melatonin is a powerful hormone. And giving a child a hormone that they will become dependent on, makes no sense to me. Let the body develop a natural rhythm. If a child , or any person is exposed to sunlight during the day, and very little artificial light at night (computers, tv etc.) the body will naturally produce melatonin. Make sure there is not a night lite in the bedroom, and if necessary , get blackout drapes for the room. Even a little light prevents the pineal from producing melatonin. Also the new compact fluorescents produce way too much of the blue spectrum of light, which prevents the body from producing melatonin. Make sure she is not sitting near one, and they are not in her bedroom. I am stockpiling incandescents as I have seen many health issues develop from the CFL’s. Soon hopefully we will have full spectrum LED’s at an affordable price.

    1. Do you have any links about the dangers of cfl’s? I’m having arguments with my DH about their use. He replaced all our lights with them and refuses to believe they are harmful. We have two kids who sleep terribly so every little bit helps here.

      1. https://www.greenpasture.org/utility/showArticle/?ObjectID=7279&find=compact%20fluorescents&happ=siteAdministrator

        the above is from the Greenpasture cod liver oil website…… A friends daughter became seriously depressed while going to school in London. When she changed the bulb in her small dorm room, she became the happy healthy child she had always been. It was a CFL.

        1. Wow! Thanks for posting that link. This is something I have not thoughrly reseached. I have actually broken two of these bulbs in my home. I had no idea at the time that they contained mercury. We will be changing out whatever are left in our home VERY soon.

    2. There is also the issue of not having enough serotonin.

      This is why Julia Ross recommends taking tryptophan, not melatonin. Tryptophan converts to serotonin which then converts to melatonin.

      Read The Mood Cure by Julia Ross.

      1. Oh and I should stress that a traditional foods diet with 20-30 grams of protein 3 times per day (10-15 grams 3 x/day for kids) is what Julia Ross recommends. The amino acids are only to be used for a short time, in conjunction with the diet.

      2. Hi Cheeseslave,

        I remember Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride stating that 95% of serotonin is created in the gut. I believe that healing the gut would be the ultimate goal for a person who has trouble sleeping.

    3. You can also try these products to increase your melatonin: https://www.lowbluelights.com/index.asp?
      They are supposed to block out the blue light, which interferes with melatonin production. So you can put on a pair of their glasses and still watch a movie or type on the computer before you go to bed.
      I just bought a book light from them, and I’m not sure if it works yet…the glasses are a bit expensive, but it might be worth a try for your kids. And it’s drug free!!

  24. Regarding the issue with children’s sleeping habits, I did hear of a true story of a baby who couldn’t sleep unless literally all the electrical appliances in the house were unplugged. EMF’s can definitely impact our sleeping habits, especially when one is sleeping next to an electric alarm clock or a cell phone. However, Sally Fallon Morell did say in a podcast that an individual who was previously sensitive to EMF’s became no longer sensitive when they consumed more fat.

    1. Erica, I had never heard that consuming more fat helped with EMF sensitivies. I am a Sally Fallon Morell fan. I will have to look that up. Thanks for posting!

    2. digital alarms near the head are a problem with sleep. they effect the pineal……I have found though , that I am
      am less sensitive to EMF’s since consuming lots of fats.

      1. Hey Tessag,

        Raya has a great testimonial! She is less sensitive to EMF’s when she began consuming more fats πŸ™‚

  25. Can your stomach bloating out several inches be a die-off reaction? I’m actually feeling a huge difference in how i feel in starting to have several cups of broth today – and on the positive side. More energy, better mood, more clarity of thought, etc. But my stomach is bloated out several inches. If not a die-off reaction, any other possibilities of what it could be?

    1. Hi BlackSheepPrincess,

      It can be a die-off reaction. Have you ever been exposed to excess fluoride before, as in through muncipal water or supplements?

      1. excess fluoride? if so, it would be years and years ago. we have drank purified water for years now, as well as have a shower filter for all baths and shower.

        1. most home filters do NOT remove fluoride. and I only know of one shower filter that does. So you could easily have been drinking fluoride for years.

          1. Hi Raya,

            What shower filter eliminates fluoride? Also, I contacted Sally Fallon Morell about this issue and she stated that if you have good skin, you don’t need to worry too much about the fluoride in the shower.

            1. https://omicaorganics.com/index.php/products/omica-shower-filter/

              great shower filter…fluoride chlorine and more

              1. This sounds great except we move all over the world and generally have the shower heads which aren’t attached to the wall. Do they have one that would fit on to the detachable kind?

          2. Raya,

            Also, this would mean that too many people in America have been consuming fluoride in the shower through the skin for years. It is pretty scary when you think of it since over 60% of muncipal water is fluoridated.

        2. Hmm I think this has been happening to me as well. I thought the broth was supposed to help with bloating. I suppose eventually it will.

    2. Yes it can be. The gas in your stomach is made by organisms living there. They give off gas when they digest your foods. I think they may also give off gas when they die. There are other reasons for increased gas like fructose malabsorbtion and parasites. Since yours is triggered by broth it is probably die off. I think it can also be from the natural msg that is in long cooked broths (not sure how long you are cooking yours). A few people are sensitive to that but seem to be able to heal it eventually on the GAPS diet.

    3. I went through this for the first week. I was wondering if I was doing something wrong since most of the GAPS bloggers I’m following keep talking about how they barely notice their digestion anymore it is so smooth. I’m guessing it was die-off as well since it seems to be gone now. Just give it some time, it will get better.

  26. i have a question about MSG. i read on this site that most gelatin contains MSG. i’ve done some research and it looks like all gelatin naturally contains glutamate. most brands of gelatin that i’ve seen contain only gelatin and nothing else. could these still contain MSG even if it’s not on the label?

    1. Hi Ellenp1214,

      This is what the WAPF site has stated:

      “Through the years, more and more food companies have begun to display “No MSG” or “No added MSG” prominently on processed food labels, all while contending that there is no concern about MSG in food. Most of these products do contain MSG in a “hidden” form.”


      I would check the WAPF shopping guide. They recommend certain brands of gelatin that they know are safe.

      1. I love the Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate. It mixes with liquids and does not gel. It’s a great protein powder.

      2. Thanks for the brand recommendations, I am going to buy some tomorrow when I go grocery shopping, I called the health food store in town and they carry the great lakes brand ! woo hoo

  27. Whenever my six year olds lips look dry I let him eat butter or just increase the fat in his meals. Also if you drink a cup of broth it really moistens your lips

  28. Which traditional cultures don’t breastfeed at night? I’m interested in learning more. Is there a book or article about it?

  29. My lips have not been as dry since eating a low carb, higher fat diet. Also I use coconut oil on my lips and that seems to help as well.

  30. Oh- I have only used extra virgin coconut oil for cooking/baking and for my face, lips, hands and occasionallly the rest of my body. I figured the less refined the better.

    1. Hi Karen A.,

      Coconut oil is very stable even at high temperatures. You are still able to use refined coconut oil from good brands that don’t use chemicals to extract the oil. Refined coconut oil is still good to use according to Sally Fallon Morell and others who have looked into the research, as well.

        1. Hi Karen A.,

          Thanks! I was also very skeptical about using refined coconut oil until I looked into it πŸ™‚

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