Q & A: June 12, 2011

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

Welcome to CHEESESLAVE Q & A!

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1. Question: Getting Started and Eczema?

Hi! Thanks for your blog. I LOVE it! I have 3 month old twins and I read your archives quite often in the middle of the night while nursing. I found you when I was looking up info on homemade baby formula, which I supplement with. I have 3 questions that are somewhat related:

1. What are the top things you would tell a breastfeeding mom to eat, not eat, or be sure to supplement?

2. What are the first things you would advise someone wanting to begin to eat the way you do. For my family it is a big lifestyle change. We have started in the last year. We buy raw milk, belong to a CSA, avoid foods with corn syrup, buy only wild-caught fish, buy pastured eggs, only buy 100% whole wheat bread… etc. I just started making whey for the baby formula.

I read about soaking beans/grains, fermenting foods, totally avoiding soy, and so many other things on your blog, in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook and other places and I want to do everything, but it seems so hard to make that leap, to make all of these things new habits. So what do you recommend starting with? What is the most important or maybe what things are the easiest to do?

3. Eczema and other skin itchiness — in the last 2 weeks I have broken out with multiple skin issues. Also, I have new born twins and one of the two has really bad oozing eczema all over his head, face and neck. I am breastfeeding and giving them the raw milk formula. Is there anything that you suggest I add or remove from my diet that might help my itchy situation? Might this also help my son? I have not done the elimination diet yet because I was not ready to move to the meat broth formula.

Thank you! I know you are backed up with questions, but Monday is my birthday so I would love it if you could answer one or all of them for me tomorrow, if not thats ok πŸ™‚

-Lindsay

Answer

I'm sorry I wasn't able to get these answers to you before your birthday. I only check the questions email address once a week to do the post so I didn't see that request at the end of your email.

Congratulations to you on getting your family on the right track! I found this diet when my daughter was just a baby and I am grateful every day.

1. It's not easy to narrow a healthy diet down to just 3 important ingredients. It really depends on what you have access to, what's affordable for you, what your what your family enjoys eating.

When Dr. Weston A. Price traveled around the world in the early part of last century, he found optimally healthy people who were eating very different diets. From Swiss villagers to African tribespeople to Eskimos in Alaska, there was not one food that they all had in common.

But they all ate foods that had one thing in common: fat-soluble activators, vitamins A, D, and K2 (which Dr. Price called “activator X”).

Here are some of the sacred foods prized by the people Dr. Weston Price encountered:

Liver (ideally organic, from animals on pasture)
Egg yolks (ideally from chickens outdoors, eating insects)
Butter and cream (from cows eating green grass)
Fish eggs (the most affordable and easily accessible is wild salmon roe)
Cod liver oil (ideally naturally fermented)
Shellfish, particularly mollusks (clams, oysters, mussels, squid)
Healthy fats (Grass-fed butter, cream, beef tallow, lard or pig fat, from pigs allowed to live outdoors, palm oil, and coconut oil)

I would focus on getting all or some of these foods into your diet on a daily basis. If your family won't eat liver, give them lots of grass-fed butter and cream. If they can't do dairy, feed them shellfish such as clams and oysters as often as possible.

I also really recommend reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston Price.

2. When I started eating this way, I focused on improving the things we ate regularly. Since we ate bread and pasta a lot, I switched to sprouted whole grain bread and brown rice pasta. Instead of the organic whole milk and cream we were drinking, we switched to raw milk. We stopped eating cereal altogehter with the exception of soaked oatmeal or homemade granola made from soaked oatmeal, and we started eating eggs and bacon om most mornings.

If I had to drill it down to 3 principles, I would say:

1) Eat sacred foods (listed above) including plenty of healthy fats as often as possible.
2) Avoid/minimize intake of phytic acid and other anti-nutrients in unsoaked/unfermented grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.
3) Eat fermented foods on a daily basis — from fermetned sauerkraut to salsa to sourdough to kombucha, etc.

3. Eczema is primarily caused by a damaged gut. I would definitely do the elimination diet and the GAPS diet. I would switch to the meat broth formula.

2. Question: FDA Food Pyramid and Insurance Companies?

Hi Ann Marie,

Okay, I get why the government's “healthy eating” guidelines are so out of whack — they're being funded heavily by producers of the “foods” they're recommending. But I don't understand why the health insurance companies would also be recommending these same guidelines to the people they insure.

In my mind, they either have to be stupidly clueless, or have an ulterior motive (is there a third option?). I'm pretty sure that the truth about what causes heart disease, diabetes and obesity has been OUT THERE for too long for the claim of stupidly clueless to be possible. That leaves an ulterior motive. But the whole point of a health insurance company is to NOT have to pay out claims, isn't it? If they ENCOURAGE people to eat in a way that makes them sick, aren't they losing money?

I feel like there's something I'm missing here, but I can't figure out what it could possibly be. Just wondering if you had any input that might help
me understand why my health insurance company keeps sending me mail telling
me to eat a diet that is heavy in whole grains/carbohydrates and keep my
saturated fat intake to a minimum, when my experience and years of research
have proven that doing the opposite is what keeps me healthy.

Jennifer

Answer

The simplest way to put this is that most humans on this planet are brainwashed. Most people believe what they are told. We don't learn how to question or think critically in school. We learn to regurgitate facts and figures, but we don't learn how to think outside the box or question authority.

So we grow up and we go work for an insurance company or a doctor's office or the FDA. And we go along with the program. We never question what we're told. This is compounded by advertising and the news and other media — we are bombarded by messages from people who want us to believe what they make money from.

This is the main reason I have decided to homeschool my daughter. I value critical thinking, creativity, and an independent mind above everything else.

3. Question: Dextrose in Stevia?

Hi,

I recently picked up some Stevia at the store and when I brought it home, my husband looked at it and said he wouldn't eat it, because it listed as the ingredients: stevia and dextrose. I hadn't noticed that in the store. Wouldn't something healthy and “natural” not have dextrose added? Did I buy a brand that wasn't actually Stevia on accident? I'm confused.

Thanks!
Kristen

Answer

I looked it up and some stevia brands do use dextrose which is made from corn. Most likely it is GMO corn, so I would avoid any brands of stevia that contain dextrose.

4. Question: How Much Butter Oil/Fermented Cod Liver Oil?

I recently started taking the butter oil/fermented cod liver oil blend from Green Pastures (see sources).

How much should I be taking per day? The bottle says a serving size is 1/2 a teaspoon, but it seems like I've read to take more than that. I am hoping to get pregnant in the near future; does that make a difference in the amount?

On another note, will consistently taking CLO prevent sunburns given the Vitamin D content?

Thanks,
CSS

Answer

According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, adults should take a maintenance dose of cod liver oil that provides about 10,000 IU vitamin A daily, obtained from 2 teaspoons of regular cod liver oil or 1 teaspoon of high-vitamin cod liver oil.

Children (3 months to 12 years) need about half that (5,000 IU of vitamin A).

Pregnant and nursing women should double it (20,000 IU of vitamin A).

Please read this article for more information.

As far as taking cod liver oil to prevent sunburn is concerned, I really think it is the omega 3 fatty acids in cod liver oil (and other foods, including seafood and grass-fed meats and dairy) that help to prevent sunburn. I wrote about it in this post (see the comments too).

5. Question: Flat Sourdough Bread?

Hi, I've made your sourdough bread recipe about 4 times now, but it just won't get above about 2 inches when I cook it so it looks more like a ciabatta (but denser). I've attached a picture. Any ideas on getting it to rise more? πŸ™‚

Thanks.

Lev,
Oakland, CA

Answer

How's your starter? It should be very bubbly. I mean really bubbly. Like a sourdough version of Champagne.

If it is not that active when you back with it, your bread is not going to rise adequately.

If you think your starter is active enough, it could also be that you are not adding enough flour and your dough is too wet. Try adding more flour to your next loaf.

Let me know if that works — feel free to comment below and we can continue to go back and forth until you get it right.

6. Question: Separated Kefir?

Hi –

I tried to make kefir and I don't know if I have done it right.

It has separated – some white stuff at the top – clearish whey in the middle — and white stuff on the bottom.

But it smells super yeasty – like a very yeasty loaf of bread.

When I have bought kefir at the store, I don't remember it smelling like this.

Did I make a mistake?

Thanks –

Jean

Answer

You did not make a mistake. That just means it has fermented long enough (or maybe a bit too long). When the kefir separates like that, it's the kefir's way of saying, “I'm done!”

Just don't ferment it as long next time, or remove some of the kefir grains so it won't ferment as fast.

7. Question: Help with Meat, Time, Money & Family?

I need some help and thought this might be a great place to seek that help. There are a couple things I would love to get your input on. I am trying to regain my health and lose this tire that has settled itself around my midsection. I don't seem to gain weight anywhere but my middle, and I know that's dangerous. I know what to do to eat in a nourishing way, but I keep coming across hurdles and may just need some sense knocked into me.

1. Meat – I have read Nourishing Traditions and many other books in that same field, so I know how very important meat, eggs, bone broth, etc. are to my health. However, I have a very difficult time eating meat. I have been what I will call a semi-vegetarian for most of my life. I do eat meat, but I eat very little. I primarily only eat chicken or turkey and usually only when it is in unrecognizable form (ground turkey in spaghetti sauce, for example). I have real trouble eating beef or pork without gagging. I drive by a slaughterhouse on my way to work every day and think about the animals and how scared they must be and then that just starts a horrible chain of thought… I know it seems silly, but it is a big hurdle for me.

2. Time – I work a full-time job, a part-time job, and go to school full-time. I know I will feel better once I get my eating in shape, but right now I am so exhausted that I usually don't even eat dinner. Monday-Thursday I usually don't even have a full meal because I just don't have time or energy to cook. I usually work from 6am-10pm and then do homework from 10pm to 1am. I do have some breaks in there, but not long enough to really cook anything. I have a crockpot, but my family usually won't eat what I prepare in it. They say it is overcooked (my hubby likes his meat still talking) or lacks flavor. On the weekends, I try to play catch up on both my work and my eating. By the time Friday rolls around, I feel famished (because I haven't eaten much other than fruit or other starches all week…) and I then eat everything I can get my hands on. I know this is awful and I am having a really hard time figuring out solutions.

3. Money – Our grocery budget is extremely limited. We usually have less than $60 to feed three people for two weeks, so we don't buy anything organic or good quality, unfortunately. I feel like I am focusing more on quantity over quality, and it is making us all sick. Just to give you a little more information, I live in a very small townhome with no storage space. Our “pantry” is a coat closet that I converted to have shelves. I could probably store maybe 8-10 jars of food I've canned, but that's about all there is room for. I have a window garden for herbs, but we can't plant anything outdoors because of our neighborhood regulations. I need tips on making that little budget stretch! I did buy into a farm share this year with another family, so we will be getting locally grown, organic produce and 1/2 dozen eggs (from chickens who peck at the dirt in the sunshine!) each week until November.

4. Family – My mother is a nurse and she constantly tells me that since I am overweight, I need to eat fat-free everything (no egg yolks, fat-free milk, fake butter, fat-free cheese, etc.) and I cringe. The fat=free foods give me terrible headaches. I was over at her house yesterday and she bought us take out. I ordered a baked potato with veggie chili (none of that fake meat – they replace the meat with beans) and started to put real butter on it. She stopped me and told me that I shouldn't eat that because I was fat and needed to get the “fake butter” out of the fridge. She won't listen to me when it comes to food because she's losing weight on the fat free diet and I am not. She seems to simply equate health with weight.

I have been reading, researching, and trying to implement these things because I know they're what are best for my family and me, but I keep coming to roadblocks. I would love to hear from your readers and fans ways to help overcome them. I don't like sounding so whiny, but I am really just out of ideas.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. It is truly appreciated.

Melissa Gilbert from sunny South Carolina

Answer

Hi, Melissa,

First let me apologize that it took me so long to answer your questions. Your email somehow got lost in my inbox. I'm so sorry!

1. You don't have to eat meat if you don't like it. There are plenty of healthy people who do not eat meat. That said, I believe you do need to eat animal products. So if you don't want to eat meat, eat lots of grass-fed dairy and eggs, plus healthy fats like butter, cream and coconut oil.

Even if you eat grocery store butter and eggs, that is still a lot more nutritious than the fruits and starches you are eating. (And by the way, fruits and starches are what make you gain weight.)

2. I don't know how you have the time to do ANYTHING if you work full-time plus part-time AND go to school full-time. That sounds crazy! Is there any way you can cut down on your hours?

If not, I would enlist the other family members to help you cook and prepare meals.

I would also find ways to make quick, easy meals that are nutritious. As I said above, even butter and cheese and eggs from the grocery store are better than eating cheap junk processed foods. It's easy to fry eggs in butter in the morning. You can buy huge boxes of oatmeal cheap and soak it overnight, then serve with lots of butter or cream.

If your family complains about your meat in the crockpot, you may need to work on your cooking skills. (Usually browning the meat first helps tremendously, then I like to slow cook it in broth.) Intead of watching TV or doing other activities, make it a family night to learn to cook together. My daughter loves cooking with me.

3. There are a lot of ways to cut down your grocery bill but most require cooking. You can't buy processed, boxed and packaged foods and save money. Buying whole grains, dried beans, and other foods in bulk is a great way to save. I also highly recommend cooking with bone broth — it's very economical if you make it yourself, and it actually extends the protein in food.

If your townhome is too small to store things, you may have to get rid of other things in order to make more room for food storage. You can also get creative with how your order food — maybe go in on a bulk buy with a few friends. Or be creative about how you store the food — find nooks and crannies that have hidden storage – like a shallow box that can be stored under a bed, for example.

You might consider joining with a couple neighbors or friends and sharing a chest freezer. Maybe you know someone who has a garage who can keep a chest freezer. You and a couple other friends could share it and pay a small amount to store your food there. Then you could pick up what you need once a week.

4. This one is an easy one in my book. Stop listening to what other people say. Don't ask for their advice, and if they have unsolicited advice for you, ask them kindly to keep it to themselves. It really is none of their business what you eat!

Maybe our readers will have other ideas for you. Please comment below!

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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.

32 thoughts on “Q & A: June 12, 2011

  1. Lindsay, I had my last child with horrible eczema too and what Ann Marie suggested is right on. The elimination diet and doing GAPS is the best thing to do (I am still trying to figure out how to implement GAPS here as we need it too, just daunting). What our doc had me do when my son was having such reactions was to eliminate dairy , then wheat which ended up being eliminating Gluten (wheat didn’t stop it enough). Seemed to help. That might be the first things to try to get the eczema to get better, but it won’t totally heal the gut, GAPS will help with that. We also don’t eat soy, so that was already out, but those are usually the top 3 allergens. Good luck!!

    Melissa,

    You do have a heavy load!! Stress will make it that much harder to handle doing the changes in a traditional diet and will keep your body from optimal health!! You surely already know that, so see if you can find a bit of time to relax a little and recharge your battery!! What Ann Marie told you was right on!! One thing that helps with the time management of cooking is to set aside some time for weekly food prep. Take a couple of hours on the weekend (or when you can find the time) and prep some healthy snacks (cut up vegetables, some ready to grab cheese, hard-boiled eggs, etc.). If you have it ready to go, you will find that it is much easier to grab something to eat in the morning like a hard boiled egg than go without eating which can really sabotage your health and weight loss. Then prep some items for lunches and dinner. Maybe make a big pot of chili and package it into containers that are easy to heat up (so you can take it with you for lunch or heat it up quickly and throw in a thermos) and that will give you some lunches and some dinners. Get salads all cleaned and prepped in the fridge and make some dressing. Ideas like this will help you eat better, you have to set aside the time but you’d be surprised at how much you can get done if you plan out the meals before you do the shopping and then prep a bunch of the food for the week all at once.

    I love the website www.nourishmd.com which has some great recipes but also they have information on their cooking/planning system called one easy system https://www.nourishmd.com/whats-real/one-easy-system

    Good luck, it sounds like you have the right ideas, and hopefully got some good hints to implement them and reclaim your health!!

    Lisa

    1. Great tips, Lisa! Thank you!

      I should really do that on the weekend with hardboiled eggs.

      And we just got word that Nourish MD is joining Real Food Media — we are very excited to have them on board!

      1. WOOHOO!!!!! Love NourishedMD.com as well!!!!!!!!!!! Real Food Media sure is going to rock! πŸ™‚

      2. No one ever days how much to take of fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend. I wonder if this is considered high vitamin?

  2. Melissa – I wonder if you aren’t suffering from adrenal fatigue. People with weak adrenals tend to gain abdominal weight. They also tend to have a hard time with meats. Dr. Rind has a great article about this on the WAP website.https://www.westonaprice.org/modern-diseases/metabolic-disorders/1658-low-metabolic-energy-therapies
    I myself am battling adrenal fatigue. My waist is where all the fat goes and it is really hard to lose – despite eating a very low carb/sugar diet. Good luck!

    1. Considering how much she is working, I wouldn’t be surprised if she has adrenal fatigue. That makes perfect sense!

      I spent years burning the candle at both ends and I have the belly to show for it.

      I also want to say that giving up coffee was the number one thing I did to help recover from adrenal fatigue. Also hiring virtual assistants! (That’s number two)

  3. Ann Marie,
    Thanks for responding! I am sure you get a lot of email. πŸ™‚ I honestly had never even thought of just getting rid of other stuff to increase food storage space. I mean, things like mis-matched tupperware isn’t really going to work anyway, right?

    I am going to go back and re-read so I don’t miss any good tips!

    Andrea and Lisa, thank you for the links! I will definitely check those out. I know something in my body is definitely off and I am convinced that it is simply nourishment and/or stress related.

    Melissa

    1. Here’s a quick carry-with-you-during-the-day food idea: my hubs has gluten issues–a sandwich will often put him to sleep for the afternoon–so we try to avoid such things for his at-work lunches. He’s an IT guy, rides a desk chair all day, and usually prefers to have something he can snack on at his desk to going elsewhere for lunch. We’ve found that a baggie of mixed nuts (crispy nuts would be even better, but we haven’t gotten to that yet), cubes of good cheese, and maybe cubes of uncured salami keeps his tummy full and gives him good protein to work all day, without being sleep-inducing. And it takes about 1 minute to throw together in the morning, and stays fresh enough all day. Add in some carrot sticks, or maybe a bowl of home made sauerkraut (try this–it is simple, quick, AND cheap. AND yummy–this is coming from someone who hated sauerkraut for 37 years, till I made it myself!), and you have your basics covered nicely, without spending a lot of time or cash.
      I like best to get plain nuts of the various sorts at Costco and mix my own, ’cause the pre-mixed nuts are just too salty. It’s a little pricey that way to get started, but no worse overall, since you don’t usually run out of more than one sort of nut at a time.

  4. Lindsay,
    I switched to traditional foods about 4 years ago, but it wasn’t until I added homemade raw goat milk kefir to my daily diet that my lifelong eczema disappeared. I noticed one winter day that the painful, itchy, embarrassing cuts on my hands had completely healed. The previous winter they looked like they’d been through a paper shredder! Kefir is such a potent healing food. I’d get some grains and give it a try right away, and gear up for GAPS after that. Good luck!
    Beth

  5. WOW, Melissa, I thought my life was tough! You are really doing great work, studying and holding down two jobs and caring for a family and trying to improve your health. Kudos to you.

    I agree with everything Ann Marie said, of course! I’ll just add that if you don’t like meat, it may partly be because, if you haven’t eaten it much, your body isn’t used to digesting it and you may be low in stomach acid (hydrochloric acid). You can try betaine hydrochloride (labelled as ‘betaine Hcl’) capsules at any health food store or from an online discounter such as vitacost.com. Take with water at the start of a meat meal. Start with one or two capsules and slowly work up at each meal. If you feel a burning sensation, cut back by one capsule. You won’t need to take them forever, but they can be very helpful in learning to eat meat again, if that’s what you want to do. Also, switch to celtic sea salt if you can possibly afford it, or Real Salt (from the salt flats near the Great Salt Lake), or the best brand of sea salt you can afford, and don’t be afraid to use it. Sodium chloride is needed for your body to make hydrochloric acid. And sea salt contains trace amounts of various minerals and tastes better than Morton salt.

    I don’t think your sensitivity to animal suffering is silly at all. I feel the same way. If your finances improve and you can afford pastured meats from local ranchers that raise and slaughter their animals humanely, you can feel better about eating them, knowing you’re not contributing to a cruel system.
    Best wishes!

  6. Melissa,

    I know what you mean about #4….the nosy family member, especially a mom! I have found confidence in my decisions based on the amount of information I’ve acquired thanks to great food bloggers such as Ann Marie and highly informed organizations such as the Weston A. Price Foundation.

    It’s true that when it comes down to it, it’s no one’s business what you choose to eat. However, when pressed for an answer, it’s good to have a well thought-out and sure answer. If all else fails, let your mom (or anyone else) know that eating ________ will make you sick. No one can contest how you FEEL after eating the wrong foods. Good luck!

  7. When you are talking about the elimination diet are you referring to the GAPS introduction or the traditional elimination diet that some breastfeeding moms do? I have a 1 month old who is very gassy and I’m trying to figure out what is causing it. I cut out wheat, dairy, corn, nuts (including coconut), beef, soy, shellfish and eggs. I’m thinking the main causes are corn, dairy and gluten as I ended up eating at a festival this weekend (I tired to hold out eating till we got home but I was getting lightheaded) and he got more gassy that night. Then yesterday I had just had enough of stressing about it and sprouted bread with Ghee and some apple crisp made with Spelt flour and Ghee and he’s soooo gassy today πŸ™ I ordered the GAPS diet book but I’m wondering if it is even worth trying without doing the intro since a lot of that diet is based on dairy, nuts/coconut and eggs all of which I’m worried about.

    I’m just sick of worrying about food all the time and wondering if I’m making his tummy even worse every time I eat something! I’m also sick of being hungry all the freakin’ time because I don’t know what to eat.

    1. If you are breastfeeding, it’s recommended to go straight to the full diet and not do the intro diet.

      I don’t recommend a gradual elimination diet. I would do the GAPS full diet — which has no grains, no soy, no dairy, no sugar, and no starches.

      1. Hi Cheeseslave,

        The full GAPS diet does include dairy, from ghee to aged cheeses like cheddar as long as they are tolerated. However, milk is said to be best avoided until one can tolerate it.

  8. It’s so good to hear that you can start small. I have to admit, I’m overwhelmed by all the changes I should make in my diet, and the lack of time I have to implement it all. It’s good to hear we don’t have to start at perfect – even if you know that good-better-best is what everyone does, it’s nice to hear that you can start small. Makes me feel less overwhelmed!

  9. Lindsey- if you have a decent size freezer, then I would recommend soaking dried beans over night in water and either whey, apple cider vinegar, or baking soda. The following morning, rinse the beans well, and then cook (about 2 hours on the stove or about 8 hours in a crock pot). Drain, then freeze in individual portions. Then, you can just pull out a bag/container of pre-cooked beans and just dump them in the crock pot with the makings of chili, or thaw out and use for whatever else you’d use beans in. It’s practically hands free except cleaning the pot or crock and much cheaper (and easier to digest) than canned.

    I also recommend canned sardines, salmon, kippers, clams, and oysters if you can deal with eating them. Sardines and salmon work pretty well in salads or on toast/crackers, and clams and oysters are great for chowders. Simply dice up a potato or two, simmer it in water or a mix of water and chicken stock, dice up and sautee an onion- add that and some minced garlic to the simmering potatoes. Add some seasoning (I like salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and ginger). When the potatoes are soft, add half and half, then add the clams/oysters. Simmer (but don’t boil!) for a few minutes, then add a knob of butter, and serve.

    If you can handle the idea of liver, I suggest adding a bit to your chili. Seriously, if you season your chili well, you won’t taste it, and you’re unlikely to notice the texture if you have enough beans in your chili. If you can, make broth from the liver and some beef bones (water+ACV+bones+liver+crockpot). Both should be cheap at a grocery store. Definitely cheaper than canned broth and much healthier. You can then use the broth as a base for your chili or other soups, and the liver can be crumbled up and put into your chili (if you can’t deal with the thought, a lot of nutrients from the liver will be in the broth, so you can go with that).

    You can also buy a whole chicken, or a bunch of chicken thighs (usually the cheapest cut) and stick them in a crock pot with about an inch of water. You can cook them that way for 6-12 hours, no problem. Then the meat just slides right off the bone- almost mushy. Perfect for basically any chicken dish that doesn’t require a firm fillet. Then, the left over broth can be used for soup, sauces, or to cook rice or beans in.

    Something I like to do for mornings that I don’t want to eat or don’t have time to eat is to take a can of coconut milk and blend it with a half a banana, some nut butter, and a dash of cocoa powder. Then I thin it out a bit with some full fat milk (I usually freeze old bananas and use that). Since half a can gives me a good serving, I usually take an over sized coffee mug, put half a can in each, half a banana in each, and a bit of everything else and blend them both up, and just cover the one and put it back in the fridge for the next day. It helps to have bacon with this (as far as lasting you a few hours), but it’s not necessary if you don’t want it. Coconut milk isn’t uber cheap, but if you alternate this with egg or oatmeal breakfasts, it’s not that expensive either.

    Best of luck to you!

  10. Hi, manish2010, I am not a doctor or nurse so I can’t advise you on what’s safe to take with your fatty liver condition. I can just recommend the book I read to learn about stomach acid, called “Why Stomach Acid Is Good for You: Natural Relief from Heartburn, Indigestion, Reflux & GERD,” by Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., and Lane Lenard, Ph.D.

  11. Melissa, I agree the stress is probably leading to weight gain. Stressing less about food is normally very helpful. Just do the best you can, and try to be as natural as possible. Try to eat a balanced diets of whole foods. I’m like you, I naturally don’t love eating a lot of meat. Cheese is my friend. Bone broths are also very nutritious and cheap, and have valuable protein. They’re easier to stomach than large cuts of meat.

    Ann Marie, I really have to disagree with your statement that “fruits and starches are what make you gain weight.” Really? Funny that they make up the bulk of my diet and I’m a size zero. Hmmm…Asian people, too. How do they stay so skinny on their starch-based diets?

    1. Thanks! It is nice to know I can start small and those changes will help. I love fruits and grains too! πŸ™‚

  12. Melissa, it might comfort you to know that even in the most mainstream slaughterhouse, animals are not frightened. If they are upset in any way, they will be pulled from the line and allowed to relax and calm down. Why? It ruins meat to have an animal upset … so usually they are given a nice treat to munch on and don’t even see it coming. I know we’d all prefer the animals were treated humanely from start to finish, but at least there is that to reassure you.

    Bone broth is good place to start if you’re having trouble eating meat. It has lots of nutrients, but isn’t actual meat. As a bonus, you can get the bones for cheap (say from a farm, where they might have extras) and make a big pot on the weekend to use all week long!

    1. I sincerely hope they are not afraid. I sometimes worry that I may read too many articles or watch too many videos about the horrible things they do to animals. I think I do the same thing with food too though! πŸ™‚

  13. Melissa, I too have an insane work schedule, and am a single mother to 4 teenage boys (who never stop eating. They could eat in their sleep if they could) . Here are the ways I make real food a priority without burning myself out.

    1. Myself and 2 other ladies from the local WAPF chapter each have one assigned day a week to provide a nourishing meal to the other 2 members. Yesterday was my day and I made 3 lasagnas, one for my family and one for each of theirs. I used soaked brown rice lasagna noodles, home canned pasta sauce, and meat and cheeses from a local farm co-op (grass fed). Then on Tuesday and Thursday I get a real food dinner delivered to my door!

    2. I have one afternoon, usually Saturday, where i enlist the help of my 4 apprentices and we cook our buns off all day long. I make huge batches of our favorite foods and freeze them in advance. Take it out of the freezer in the morning and throw it in the oven when you get home and viola!

    3. Base your menu for the month on what is on sale! Canned Salmon came on sale here in May. I bought $75 worth and we are planning our menus around that. Salmon patties, Salmon salads, sandwiches etc…If you stock up on things when they’re on sale, you will have a freezer full and never have to pay full price.

    4. I put my kids to work. They know how to cook probably 70% of what i do. If they want to eat, they will learn πŸ™‚

    5. I eat approximately 3500-4000 calories a day. 60% of which is good fat. I feel that when i eat plenty of fats, it gives my body permission to release extra fat that it has been storing…

    6. I buy 0 convenience foods. I thought this would be WAY more expensive, but actually in the long run we are spending 40% less on food then we did before. We make our own crackers, sauces, broths, yogurt, kefir, etc. The savings really adds up after a while

    7. Start with ONE thing! Don’t feel guilty when you screw up. You have enough stress already, just do the best that you can.

    8. It sounds like you should read Ann Marie’s post on quitting cofffe and I bet you would improve your adrenal response and lost some weight without doing anything else….Not to mention sleep better and feel generally more rested and energetic all day long.

  14. Thanks for the answer to my question….sorry for the delay on my end.
    I am also wondering what temperature you keep the mixed dough at? Mine is currently around 70 degrees.

  15. thanks for the info on eczema, my grandma has it quite badly and this will be good info for her.

  16. Wow, I just realized I should be taking double the amount of FCLO….. I am still nursing my 2yr old son.

  17. lol….my kefir separated once and I threw it out, I did leave it too long, it didn’t taste very good πŸ™

    1. An eczema-like reaction to gluten can take up to a year to respond “enough” according to a new zealand doctor who treated over 600 patients successfully. I have been gluten-free for only 3 months now, and the “eczema” I’ve sufferered with almost my whole adult life (I’m 49 now and have been following the wapf recommendations for over 10 years) is definitely going away! I am quite willing to give it a year if that’s what it takes to know for sure! The condition is called dermatitis herpetiformis.

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