Q & A: January 1, 2012

Every Sunday, I answer your questions. I’ll answer as many questions as I can each week. If I didn’t answer your question this week, please check back next week.

Welcome to CHEESESLAVE Q & A!

Every Sunday, I answer your questions.  I’ll answer as many questions as I can each week. If I didn’t answer your question this week, please check back next week.

1. Question: How Much Vitamin D Is In Raw Milk?

Hi Ann Marie,

I love your blog and am grateful that you share your knowledge with us.

I’ve been drinking grass-fed raw milk for years but have been unable to find out how much, if any, vitamin D is in raw milk. Some folks say none because it’s not pasteurized and those processors add vitamin D. Other folks say it exceeds that of pasteurized milk, but provide no data. Do you know?

Also, a follow up on one of last week’s questions on masa harina and soaking corn meal. One of the things you said in your answer was, “(2) You can buy organic ground corn flour and soak it in lime water overnight (store the corn flour in the freezer or fridge).” How do you make lime water? Specifically, what kind of lime do you use and what’s the ratio of lime to water to corn flour?



Hi, Sophie,

All milk has vitamin D in it IF it is not skim milk or 2% milk. When you remove the fat, you remove the vitamin D.

Vitamins A, D and K2 are fat-soluble vitamins and they are in the fat. This is one reason we don’t approve of low-fat milk. And that’s why they have to put synthetic vitamins in low-fat milk — because the vitamins are removed when they take the fat out.

This is why I always tell my daughter, “Eat your butter! That’s where the vitamins are!”

That said, how much vitamin D is in the milk depends on whether or not the cows are outdoors in the sunshine. If they are allowed to graze on pasture in the spring and summer months, they will have higher levels of vitamin D in their milk.

Regarding the lime water. It is not really lime we are adding; it’s pickling lime, or “cal”. For directions on how to make lime water, see Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell.

2. Question: Is It Necessary To Soak Popcorn?

Hi Ann Marie,

I’m so glad to have found your site… I’m 17 years old and became interested in traditional foods, and the work of Weston Price after extensive research in the area of nutrition; looking for an answer to the illnesses that have been prevalent in my family (including Type II Diabetes and multiple sclerosis).

Since our family has moved to live near my grandma, we have been cooking traditional foods for her, and her blood sugar levels are no longer in a diabetic range. My family has changed our eating habits dramatically over the past year, and I think of all of the different real-food blogs I follow as my virtual “support team,” as there aren’t a lot of people in my everyday life who are choosing to eat this way, so each new one I find is a welcome discovery!

My question is about popcorn. I know that it is recommended to soak, sprout, or sour-raise all grains, nuts and legumes. Is it necessary and is it possible for popcorn? All of the other grains in our diet are properly prepared, but we have been eating popcorn with plenty of coconut oil and/or butter and hoping for the best.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge with everyone!


Hi, Katherine (that’s my daughter’s name!),

Wow, that is so AWESOME about your grandma! How wonderful!

Popcorn doesn’t need to be soaked. You can’t soak it and still enjoy it — I don’t think it would pop if you soaked it.

It’s not something you want to eat every day, but it’s fine to eat it occasionally — with lots of coconut oil and butter, of course.

3. Question: Raw Milk Cheese OR Grass-fed Cheese?

Hi Ann Marie,

I was recently in the cheese section at Trader Joe’s, debating between a raw milk cheese and a grass-fed cheese. Just wondering which one would be a more nourishing choice?



When I am at TJ’s, I buy the organic grass-fed cheese because I don’t know if the raw milk cheese is grass-fed. You could ask the people at Trader Joe’s and see if they know.

4. Question: Ideas For Treating Hemorrhoids?

Hi Ann Marie,

I enjoy your website very much! You are very informative.

Now, do you have any idea how to treat hemorrhoids? I think mine is internal. It doesn’t bleed every day, but often enough to annoy me. I can pass at least once a day, but sometimes when the stool is too big or too hard, some blood comes together too.

Really appreciate if you could help.



Hi, Carrie,

It’s important to reduce dietary fiber and soak, sprout and ferment all grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. I used to have hemorrhoids and I believe it was because I was eating a lot of unsoaked white flour and other improperly prepared grains. When I ate those things, I was constipated a lot of the time.

Nowadays, I primarily eat soaked/sprouted/fermented whole grains. Occasionally I do eat white flour (like bread when I’m out at a restaurant) but not very often. I notice when I’m traveling and am eating more white flour on a daily basis, I get constipated.

If you have other digestive issues that cause constipation, you’ll need to address those as well. People who have abnormal gut flora (inadequate good gut flora) often have constipation. Eating more fermented foods and taking probiotics really helps. Some people will need to do the GAPS Diet.

5. Question: Suggestions About Acid Reflux?

I saw you mentioned that you had taken Tums quite a bit when you were pregnant.  I have some acid reflux every day and so I am curious about this.  Did you have acid reflux before getting pregnant?  If so, how is it going now?  I really want to do something about mine, which even makes me wheeze and get sore neck muscles at times.  I’m at my wits end.


And I really appreciate all you do to spread the word out there.


I never had acid reflux before I was pregnant. My daughter was breech, and I started having acid reflux near the end of my pregnancy.

Of course, I was not on a WAPF diet at that time (did not know about it). Tums was all I knew to do. I wish I had found WAPF before I got pregnant!

I don’t have any acid reflux anymore.

I recommend drinking lots of kefir, eating homemade (long-fermented) yogurt, and eating other fermented foods to help with acid reflux. You may also want to try taking some good quality probiotics.

My 79-year-old father-in-law had GERD for years and finally got off all of his medication by drinking kefir smoothies every day.

6. Question: Thoughts About Soaking Oats In Coconut Yogurt?

Ann Marie,

I currently suspect that my body is not happy with dairy, and I still want to soak my oats overnight. I have tried soaking it with lemon and vinager, and It is just not appealing to me. I was curious if I could still successfully soak oats overnight in coconut yogurt?

Thank you,


Sure, that would work fine!

7. Question: Suggestions For Supplements, Diet & Exercise?

Hi Ann Marie.

This might be a bit long so I didn’t want to post on FB – but I read your Wheat Belly post the other day and was stunned  – this is me EXACTLY and I’ve known about cortisol and adrenal fatigue for years (though I seem to have forgotten).

I avoid gluten, but haven’t lately. This morning I woke up at 5:30 (much too early for me) just WIDE AWAKE – but with a hungry belly and now my head feels like mush – I am a single mom and have a full day of work ahead of me – and I HATE when this happens. It’s now only 10:30 am and I feel “hungover” and terrible – like the post-cortisol rush. How can I avoid this?

I did start drinking coffee recently – I use organic and mix half caf/half decaf. I know it’s not great for my adrenals, but it’s the only thing getting me through right now! (This is a rough time and probably will be for a few more months until things settle down again.

I also haven’t lost A SINGLE POUND since being pregnant with my daughter (I’m turning forty in January). I’m 170 lbs and 5′ 7″ and my more comfortable weight is about 130. Bleh. I barely eat some days (didn’t have an appetite for about six weeks recently) and I do 30 mins of walking a day. I got fed up.

My chiro says I have toxins that aren’t releasing so fat cells are being stored. I think I need to do some cleansing and liver flushing (drinking olive oil) but I can’t now when I take care of my daughter at night – so I’ve been taking some Chinese Bitters to help increase bile flow and help clear up my liver. I don’t think estrogen breaks down well in my body so I always have a bit of estrogen dominance, which is what I thought created the excess stubborn weight.

What do you recommend in terms of supplements, diet, exercise?

I feel like I just got “ugly” after having my baby – hair has no luster, skin has rosacea or something – and I’m FAT! Bleh. Help????

I also notice that lately I’m hungry constantly but I feel “sick” of food – I don’t even want to eat. I might do green smoothies for a while.



Hi, D,

Gosh, I so relate to you! I had my baby Kate when I was 38. I have been slim my whole life. It was only after I had her that I gained this extra weight that I have not been able to lose. And yes, I know that feeling of feeling “ugly”. I have not felt attractive since I got pregnant.

I also know the feeling of eating almost NOTHING and still not being able to lose an ounce.

And how funny, I was just looking into getting some Chinese Bitters the other day.

Like you, I have estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance, as you know, is a hormonal imbalance in which we have too much estrogen and not enough progesterone.

I wish I could write a long answer to you but honestly, I would have to write a whole book to answer your questions. And I’m still working on this book, as I am still trying to solve these problems myself.

Here’s what I know so far:

The most important thing for healing estrogen dominance is healing the adrenal glands. Adrenals produce a lot of our sex hormones and when our adrenals are exhausted, they can’t produce enough cortisol. When they are exhausted and trying to produce cortisol, they can’t produce enough progesterone. When we have low progestrone, we end up estrogen dominant.

There are a number of ways to support the adrenals. I recommend reading Dr. Wilson’s book on adrenal fatigue. (See the list of books below.)

I’ve been taking my temperature three times a day, and charting the average on graph paper. You can read how to do this on Dr. Rind’s website.

Charting your temperature allows you to see if your diet, supplements and lifestyle changes are working. A jagged graph (with lots of ups and downs) shows adrenal fatigue. My chart is still very jaggy so I know I have a ways to go. Over time, you will see your temps rising and the jagged lines will level out. I’ll write a post about how to chart your temperature soon.

Of course, I’m doing lots of things to help my adrenals and balance my hormones. In addition to a traditional WAPF diet, I’m taking a lot of supplements. Every day I take maca powder, nettle and oatstraw infusion, zinc, magnesium, vitamin C, a multivitamin and a multimineral, adrenal gland capsules, fermented cod liver oil and butter oil. I’ve only been taking all this stuff for a couple months now (and the maca powder and oatstraw/nettle infusion less than a month) so I have to wait and see if it’s working. Again, this is why the chart is helpful.

I read the other day that if your liver is not up to snuff, that can aggravate estrogen dominance, as the liver helps to get rid of the extra estrogen. Which is why Chinese Bitters work. I’m thinking about ordering some. I almost ordered some this morning, but you know how it is when you think, my goodness, how many supplements am I going to order?! LOL! But I really think the Chinese Bitters would be helpful.

I was using progesterone cream for a while but started to get a yeast infection, which means I was using too much (I was using the recommended amount — 20 mg per day). I will go back to the progesterone cream after my period is over because I think it’s probably helpful, but I will use about half as much next time.

Another thing that I really should start doing again is daily coffee enemas. Coffee enemas really help the liver to detox. I was doing it for a while but I need to get back to it. You can google it to learn how to do it.

I’m also doing lunaception. I do notice that it helps me sleep better. We’ll see if it helps with the PMS and regulating my cycle.

If you have any food allergies (i.e. gluten), that could be causing your adrenal exhaustion. I recommend doing a 30-day elimination diet (a la GAPS Intro) to see if you have any food allergies. Oh and skin problems like rosacea are usually a sign of abnormal gut flora.

Also, dental problems can cause adrenal exhaustion. If you have mercury fillings, root canals, or wisdom teeth extractions (I have 2 of those — got all the mercury fillings removed a few years ago) they can cause inflammation due to bacterial infections. Yeah, real fun. I’ve been looking into getting my root canals and wisdom teeth extractions cleaned out. Not cheap but I think it may be the root of the problem. (Sorry, I did not mean to make a root canal pun.)

Did I mention that you should get off the coffee? Try DLPA instead. See my post on how I quit coffee.

Wow. See? I told you I could write a book!

I am going to be writing a lot more posts in the coming months about adrenal exhaustion and estrogen dominance, so I hope you will stay tuned.

In the meantime, I recommend the following books (I have been reading them myself):

Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by Dr. James Wilson

Dr. John Lee’s Hormone Balance Made Simple: The Essential How-to Guide to Symptoms, Dosage, Timing, and More

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM): Premenopause: Balance Your Hormones and Your Life from Thirty to Fifty

Oh, and PS: Skip the green smoothies.

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.