Q & A: January 8, 2012

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.

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: Best Cuts For Marrow, Cartilage & Gelatin? / When Should I Introduce Probiotic Supplements?

Hi Ann Marie,

I have a connection to a meat processor who is willing to supply some parts of pastured animals that would normally be thrown away to go instead to people in my community who want to start GAPS Intro.  I’m thinking especially of the leg bones for marrow, the joints and maybe hooves for cartilage/gelatin, and the organs. What sorts of cuts should  I be asking them to do?

Also, I have a question about when to introduce probiotic supplements during implementation of the Intro diet.  I recall seeing in a recommendation on the book update section of the gapsguide website that you should hold off on introducing Biokult or other probiotic supplement until the end of Stage 3.  (source: gapsguide.wordpress.com/book/book-updates) Have you heard this as well, does it jive with what you have learned?  (This is not to be confused with probiotic foods like kraut juice which Dr Natasha says to introduce right from the beginning on p.146 revised GAPS book.)

Do you know if making dehydrated kale chips neutralizes any of the oxalates, and if so, what dehydrator temperature is optimal?  If not, do  you think it’s best to make plain dehydrated kale and then gently cook  it rather than eating raw-dehydrated?



“I have a connection to a meat processor who is willing to supply some parts of pastured animals that would normally be thrown away…”

Oh, man, those words are music to my ears. I have dreams about those words.

I wonder if you could get the heads. If you could get the head, you could get brains. Heads also have lots and lots of bones.

Leg bones are good, and joints and hooves. Tails are also great. Oxtails have tons of cartilage and they make great stock or soup.

I would just tell him which parts you want (legs, heads tails) and he can figure out which cuts they are. Explain to him that you want the organs, and you want the cuts with the most bones and cartilage for stock.

As far as when to introduce probiotic supplements on the GAPS Diet, you can start them almost from the beginning. If you read that you should start at Stage 3, that sounds about right.

The main thing is not to go too fast with probiotic foods and supplements, to avoid die-off. That said, I think a lot of people on the GAPS Diet don’t do enough probiotics and fermented foods. Go slow, but definitely do LOTS of fermented foods, and I really recommend taking a good probiotic (lots of folks don’t even do that).

On to your last question… “Do you know if making dehydrated kale chips neutralizes any of the oxalates, and if so, what dehydrator temperature is optimal? If not, do  you think it’s best to make plain dehydrated kale and then gently cook  it rather than eating raw-dehydrated?”

Wow, what a good question.

I have made kale chips in the past and I always did it in the oven on the broiler. I think that would be much healthier than dehydrating them. I also add Parmesan cheese to my kale chips — much tastier than plain.

2. Question: Advice On Having Better Iron Levels By The Time I Deliver My Baby?

Hi Ann Marie,

My name is Katie, we have messaged before, where you gave me very helpful advice. You must be very busy, but the evening we talked you took quite a bit of time and it meant a lot to me. So thank you.

Now for my question. I am pregnant with our 5th child, and have a few concerns with this pregnancy. I have needed to go on the GAPS diet for a long time, but
just kept avoiding it. Frankly it just intimidates me. So I kept doing the WAPF way, and sometimes I would soak or sprout my bread and sometimes  I would not, but mostly I followed a traditional diet.

I have discovered that I am severely anemic, among other deficiencies, and now that I am pregnant, any grain or sugar I eat sends me spinning for hours. I just crash and don’t feel good. I am getting as much protein as I can in, and red meat too. In talking with Wardeh from GNOWFGLINS in her monthly Q&A  she pointed out this quote from the GAPS book:

“Most people with abnormal gut flora have various stages of anaemia. It is not surprising. They not only can’t absorb essential for blood vitamins and minerals from food, but their own production of these vitamins is damaged. On top of that people with damaged gut flora often have a particular group of pathogenic bacteria growing in their gut, which are iron-loving bacteria (Actinomyces spp., Mycobacterium spp., pathogenic strains of E.coli, Cornynebacterium spp. and many others). They consume whatever iron the person gets from the diet, leaving that person deficient in iron. Unfortunately, supplementing iron makes these bacteria grow stronger and does not remedy anaemia. Many patients have been prescribed iron tablets by their doctors. However, it takes much more to remedy anaemia than supplementing iron. To have healthy blood the body needs magnesium, copper, manganese, iodine, zinc and many other minerals, a whole host of vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, A, D, folic acid, pantothenic acid and many amino acids. It has been shown in a large number of studies all over the world, that just supplementing iron does not do much for anaemia. It saddens me to see that doctors still prescribe it to anaemic patients giving them a lot of unpleasant digestive side-effects due to encouraging growth of pathogenic iron-loving bacteria and direct negative effect on the cells of the gut lining, which are already inflamed and very sensitive… – from Gut and Psychology Syndrome

by Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD (pages 23 through 24)”

I must have skimmed over that part when I read the book, however this time it got my attention. So I started full GAPS knowing that I can’t do Intro while pregnant. I am about 15 weeks pregnant and I started doing full GAPS about two weeks ago. I am also taking Floradix liquid iron, red raspberry leaf, and nettle (both of which are high in iron).

With these changes, knowing that I can not do intro, do you think that I will actually make much headway in such a short period of time (the goal being better levels of iron by the time I need to deliver my baby)?

I had a really bad experience birthing our 4th child, (home birth) in which I was sent to the hospital for a blood transfusion, I almost died. I really needed to have addressed this sooner I know, but here I am. Any help or advice would be much appreciated.



Oh my gosh, Katie. Wow, I’m so sorry you had such a difficult time birthing your last child. I am glad, though, that you are starting GAPS. That is great news!

If I were you, I’d definitely be doing GAPS (full GAPS) and I’d take a good probiotic, like BioKult. Bone broth is very rich in minerals, so I’d be drinking cups and cups of that every day. You should get at least a cup with each meal, more if possible.

In addition to bone broth, fermented sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables are very rich in vitamins and good bacteria.

When you can, introduce homemade sour cream and homemade yogurt. Until you can have dairy, eat kefired coconut milk yogurt.  You can add it to soups or eat it with homemade GAPS granola for breakfast. (I have the recipe for the granola in my GAPS Diet cooking class — but I don’t think it is on my website yet.)

The food that is richest in vitamins and minerals, hands down, is liver. I would try to eat liver and other organ meats every day. I love liverwurst and liver pate and I eat it at least once a week, sometimes twice or three times a week. In addition to liver, you can eat sweetbreads, kidneys, bone marrow (I add it to soups and stews), heart, tongue, etc.

If you don’t like liver, a good option is shellfish, particularly bivalves such as clams, mussels, and oysters. In fact, clams have more iron than any other food in the world.

You can also take liver supplements — but make sure you take a LOT. A couple small capsules aren’t going to do much for you. The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends that pregnant women get 3-4 ounces of liver once or twice a week. That’s a lot of capsules, but if that’s what you gotta do, that’s what you gotta do.

In addition, I would be taking a LOT of fermented cod liver oil.

I’d also be adding mineral supplements (such as Concentrace) to your filtered water if you are not already. I would also be using magnesium oil topically and in foot baths.

You can find liver supplements, fermented cod liver oil, Concentrace and magnesium oil on my resources page.

If I were you, I’d absolutely find a GAPS Diet practitioner to work with to help you. They have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves to help you improve digestion and maximize nutrient absorption. They can work with you on a one-to-one basis. They can do tests to see what nutrients you are lacking and recommend specific supplements.

I think, based on what you wrote, that you are in a life-threatening situation. I would find someone who can work with you closely. I don’t mean to sound alarming, but I want to say that I think it is very important that you recognize that you need to do whatever it takes to take care of yourself. Money is no object right now. I truly believe your life is at stake. Find the money somehow, even if you have to borrow it — or see if you can barter, and find someone, a good doctor who understands GAPS, who can help you.

Sending you prayers and hugs!

3. Question: Suggestion On What To Do With Oat Groats?

Hi Ann Marie,

I bought oat groats from Bread of Life and did not realize they were groats until they arrived.  I read it as sprouted oats (oatmeal), I do not have an oat flaker, what am I supposed to do with them?  I want oatmeal from them but do not know what to do. I don’t want to buy an oat flaker until I know that I like them and want to continue using them.  Please help, I don’t want them to go to waste, or my money!!  Look forward to hearing from you.



I would google “oat groats recipes” and see what you find. I just did it and right away found this recipe: https://www.rwood.com/Recipes/Oat_Groats.htm

Try it and see if it is good.

If that doesn’t work, consider buying an oat flaker. I really think anyone who eats oats should buy an oat flaker. There is no comparison, nutritionally, between store-bought oats and freshly flaked oats.

I found this Norpro oat flaker on Amazon

for less than $50.

It’s very easy to flake the oats and then all you have to do is soak them for 12-24 hours. This really is the freshest way to eat oats.

4. Question: Does Heating Olive Oil Turn Good Fats Into Trans Fats? / Thoughts On Cooking With Honey?

Hi Ann Marie,

Currently a month an a half into the GAPS diet, finished the intro and moving into the full Diet.

I have two questions about using Olive Oil (organic, extra-virgin, cold-pressed) & Honey (raw). I have been using olive oil for marinating (meats & fish) and sauteing veggies for years… and Dr McBride says that heating olive oil just turns its good fats into trans fats. So basically I can no longer use EVOO the way I have been for years?

Also, all the baking recipes use honey in place of sugar, which I’ve been led to believe that honey should be eaten raw, not heat treated? Why is it OK to cook with? And is it harmful? or am I just losing nutritional benefits?

Thanks if advance for your response.



You can marinate your meats with butter or lard or tallow or coconut oil instead of olive oil. It’s just as easy to do. I rarely use olive oil for cooking. I use olive oil for salad dressing, dips, mayonnaise and ceviche… and that’s about it. I just think the nutritional benefits to fats like butter, ghee, lard, tallow, and coconut oil are so much greater. I like olive oil, but there are so many other fats to play with and enjoy.

Raw honey is good for you as it contains lots of enzymes. However, it’s OK to also cook with honey. It is not harmful. You do lose the enzymes but on the GAPS diet you get plenty of enzymes in the form of soaked nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, fermented vegetables, raw egg yolks, meat and fish, and raw dairy (when tolerated).

5. Question: Alternative Solutions To Treat Ulcerative Colitis?

My dear friend has a soon to be 16-year-old boy who has just been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and has a scheduled colonoscopy on 19th. As a long life foodie I want to advise her to explore alternative solutions. How would you go about it — what should she look into first?

Thank you,
Kim – long time fan!


Hi, Kim,

The GAPS diet is really the best recommendation. I’d have her read the book: Gut and Psychology Syndrome


6. Question: Thoughts On Undigested Food Particles And Lack Of Ovulation?

Ann Marie,

I was wondering if you could help point me in the right direction with a few things I have going on physically.

For the past year or so, I have a fairly regular occurrence of undigested food particles in my stool. At times it is more than others. Obviously, this is not a good thing! Do you know what causes this?

I have been eating a gluten-free diet for the past 6 months, after “self-testing and diagnosing” myself with gluten intolerance. My digestive system has felt much improved without the gluten, but it still feels like I’m missing something. I eat a very healthy, whole-foods diet with lots of good fats, dairy, cheese, eggs, vegetables, etc. etc.

I am not currently taking any probiotics or supplements (I’m a full-time volunteer so budget is limited), but just placed an order with BioKult this morning. Perhaps that will help with the digestion. Any other thoughts or suggestions?

Also, another BIG issue I’m facing, is lack of ovulation. I have not had a period for over two years. This greatly concerns me. Have you come across this kind of thing in any others, and do you have any recommendations for this? I’ve considered getting a blood test done to check mineral levels and such, to see if I’m perhaps missing something that is causing this. I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps my digestive problems may be contributing to the hormonal issue…?

Any advice on these would be great!

Thanks so much! I so enjoy your website.



Undigested food particles are typically caused by a leaky gut. Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome

, says that for many people, avoiding gluten is not enough.

I think getting on Biokult is very wise and I would also recommend doing the GAPS Diet.

Regarding the lack of ovulation, yes, digestive issues do cause hormonal problems. This is very common. Many people who start on the GAPS Diet have adrenal exhaustion and thyroid problems. It makes sense if you think about it. If you have a leaky gut, you’re not absorbing your nutrients. As a result, the organs in the endocrine system are not being nourished like they should.

I’d do the GAPS Diet if I were you.

7. Question: Suggestions For Treating Severe Eczema?


For the past 13 months I have had severe eczema on the bottom and sides of my feet. It got a little better this past summer but is starting to get bad again. The itching is horrible.

Would you recommend upping my Green Pasture FCLO? Cutting out dairy and all grains and beans? I have tried everything from tea tree, jungle salve, Neem oil to Castor to help topically but I know it is internal. Should I cut out dairy first? Any help would be appreciated.

I am doing acupuncture and K-Laser to help with healing but the cracks are very painful and debilitating. Also, I’m in early menopause, average health, some adrenal fatigue.



I guess I sound like a broken record but I would recommend the GAPS Diet. Skin issues like eczema are almost always caused by gut dysbiosis. I think you will see real results with GAPS.

8. Question: Can You Be Addicted To Kombucha?

I drink a lot — maybe 1/2 gallon a day. I brew my own, 5 gallons at a time. I notice on the days I don’t drink it that I have little energy and feel a mild headache. Do you know if there is caffeine in the finished product?

Thanks for all you do, I love your blog!!


There is some caffeine in kombucha. I have read it is about 5 mg per 8 oz serving.

A half a gallon is 64 oz. 64 divided by 8 ounces. 8 x 5 mg equals 40 mg.

So if you are drinking a half gallon of kombucha per day, that’s the equivalent of about a third of a cup of coffee or one cup of black tea.

So that would explain why you are getting a slight headache. Since caffeine is in so many foods, I try to avoid it as much as possible. I’d cut back if it were me. How about substituting some of the kombucha for kefir soda pop or dairy kefir?

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