Q & A: March 4, 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:  Suggestions About Making Meat Stock?

Hi Ann Marie,

I have two questions regarding homemade meat stock.

One: I have never heard of anyone making stock out of pork bones — have you?  I just made some from a fresh ham bone and am planning on using it in some soup today. However, it seems weird to me that I’ve only read about turkey, chicken, beef and fish stocks so far, so I was curious if there was something wrong with stock made from pork bones.

Two: currently I’ve been freezing my homemade stock in 2 cup increments in Ziploc bags, but that does take up valuable freezer space.  I am curious if I can (in my pressure canner) my homemade stock, if the heat would change the stock and make it not as healthy.   I realize stock is heated when I cook it, but to can it in a pressure canner it has to get heated to a very high temperature to make it save to store @ room temp in canning jars.   It would be great to have my stock stored in jars and not frozen, but not at the expense of it’s health benefits.



It is common to make stock with pork bones. There are many cultures that have traditionally eaten pork as a staple food — from Latin Americans, Spanish, to the Chinese and Japanese. In America, prior to 1900, we ate pork more than any other meat. I would guess that pork has traditionally been very popular because it’s easier to raise pigs in your backyard, than say, cattle.

This is probably the same reason that currently, goat is the most common meat eaten worldwide. If everyone had a few goats in their backyard, there’d be no such thing as hunger. Goats will mow the lawn for you, trim your bushes, and provide milk and meat.

Some people choose not to eat pork due to religious reasons — Jews, for example. And for whatever reason, pork was not included in Sally Fallon Morell’s [easyazon-link asin=”0967089735″ locale=”us”]Nourishing Traditions[/easyazon-link]. I’m not sure why.

Sally Fallon Morell is not a fan of pressure cookers and advises against them. I agree that there is something unnatural about heating foods to a high temperature like that.

The traditional way to make stock is to keep it on a back burner all the time. This is the way the chefs do it. If you bring it to a rolling boil periodically, you don’t have to worry about it going bad. Michael Ruhlman says he’s done this for decades “with no ill effects”. See this post: The Great Stock Debate.

I have been living without a chest freezer since we moved to Las Vegas. Here’s how I’ve been managing to keep plenty of homemade stock on hand: I will make a couple batches (usually two at a time in two crock pots) and store them in the fridge in two gallon jars. I leave the layer of fat on top because that actually preserves the stock. When I’m ready to use some stock, I’ll remove the fat layer on one of the jars. The stock keeps longer in the fridge when you leave the fat layer on.

Another thing I have done is to reduce the stock by half or two-thirds, and add a little gelatin powder to it. Stock that is more gelatinous will keep longer in the fridge. And, since it’s reduced, you don’t need as much space in the fridge. You can always add water to it when you want to use it.

2. Question:  Advice About Shingles?

Hi Ann Marie,

Seems like a lot of people are getting shingles around here lately, Co-workers in the daycare center where I work and a few of my relatives. What does one do for shingles? Either to treat it or make it less painful, or speed up recovery time?



I don’t know a whole lot about shingles. I know it’s a virus.

According to WebMD:

Research begun in the 1950s has shown that when we recover from childhood chickenpox infections, the virus that causes the infection, varicella zoster virus, remains latent in nerve cells.
What causes reactivation of the virus is unclear, but as we age, experts believe the immune responses that keep varicella zoster virus dormant in the nerves weaken with age. One in three people will get shingles during their lifetime, and at least half of all people 85 and older have had the ailment.

WebMD also reports:

A new study shows that people with shingles, or herpes zoster infection, are more than four times likely to have a first-degree relative with a history of the condition.
Shingles can affect anyone who has had chickenpox, but older adults and people with a weakened immune system are more likely to develop the condition. Stress, injury, and even exposure to heavy metals may increase your risk.

I am curious about the incidence of shingles among people who were breastfed as children versus those who were not. I know that breastfeeding helps to strengthen the immune system.

You can help build a healthy immune system by consuming plenty of probiotics, fermented foods, and bone broth.  Having adequate vitamin D levels is also really important, and for that reason I recommend daily cod liver oil. Coconut oil and coconut milk are also antiviral.

3. Question:  Clarification On Whey?

Hi Ann Marie!

I’m currently going through your Reversing Food Allergies online course  and started GAPS yesterday.  I’m just on Stage 1, but saw a big contradiction in the GAPS book and was hoping you had some clarification for me me.  It says that Whey is a food to avoid on the entire diet, but in the details of Stage 1, she writes that whey can be very therapeutic.  I know whey has a high amount of lactose, so it didn’t really make sense to me.

Next, can whey be used as a starter for fermenting foods?  At that point, all of the sugars should be gone, correct?  Any insight you have into consuming whey and ways in which it can be would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks a ton for all of your awesome information!

— Deena


Hi, Deena,

Can you point me to the section of the book where Dr. Natasha says whey is to be avoided? I do see that whey is not allowed on her “Foods to Avoid” list, but that is powdered whey, the kind they put in protein drinks. I’m pretty sure whey made from dripping yogurt (fermented for at least 24 hours) is fine, as soon as you are able to tolerate it on the diet. Dr. Natasha recommends that people start introducing fermented dairy pretty early on in the diet.

Yes, whey is a great starter for fermented foods. There are lots of recipes in Sally Fallon Morell’s cookbook, [easyazon-link asin=”0967089735″ locale=”us”]Nourishing Traditions[/easyazon-link]. I also like to add whey to smoothies.

See my post: How to Make Whey.

4. Question:  Recommendations For Struggling With Health Problems?

Hi Ann Marie,

New to your blog but loving it so far. I’m a mom of 2 young kids under the age of 2 and I’m working full-time so I’m struggling with my health problems. I’m finding it hard to find the time to make the approapriate meals and being able to figure out what I’m reacting to at the same time. My youngest is now 9 months and even though I’m working full-time I still breastfeed about 4-5 times a day and I have lost all of my baby weight and than some.

I am now underweight and tired all of the time. I have severe IBS and endometriosis (haven’t got my period back yet though) and have had both of these since I was about 12. I have done the SCD diet which seems to help at first but than all of my symptoms seem to have come back. For the past 2 months I have had a lot of dizzy spells and irritability and of course fatigue even when I sleep thru the night.

I feel as though I’m eating a healthy balanced diet yet I can’t seem to gain weight so I feel weak a lot of the time. I constantly feel like I have a sinus infection (but I don’t) because I have so much pressure in my face and head and I also have been getting really bad headaches.

My symptoms are really all over the place so I’m frustrated as I don’t know what to treat and where to start. I have been eating gluten free for the past 3 months and I have noticed an improvement in my bowels I am also lactose intolerant (so says a doctor) so I don’t consume milk. I drink rice milk and almond milk.

For supplements at the moment I am taking probiotics at night before bed (every second day as every day causes excess gas or so I think). I take digestive enxymes when at meals but thats about all I’m doing with supplements right now. My blood levels came back fine when tested.

I’m wondering if there may be something I may try to alleviate some of my symptoms? I’m wondering if I could be reacting to all of the rice (rice milk, rice pasta, rice cakes) in my diet? Anyway, sorry If I was supposed to stick to one question I guess I have a few of them! Also I just signed up for your Reversing Food Allergies course.



Hi, Christine,

I’m sorry you are going through such a tough time. You can recover, and real food can help tremendously.

Having two kids within two years would be hard on anyone, but it is particularly taxing if you already have health problems. Traditional cultures spaced their children at least 3 years apart, to give the mother time to rebuild her nutritional stores.

If you have a damaged gut (and it sounds like you do), then yes, a lot of rice can be difficult to digest. Especially if you are eating a lot of foods made from rice. When we have gut dysbiosis, we have a tendency to become allergic to foods we eat frequently. This is why so many Americans are allergic to wheat and dairy — these are foods we eat all the time.

I hope you are starting on the GAPS Diet. Great that you are doing probiotics! That is so important. Probably the most important thing.

It is not advised that you do Intro since you are breastfeeding, but I think you will still benefit from cutting out the rice and seeing how you do. Please keep us posted on your recovery.

Hang in there!

5. Question:  GAPS Menu Plan Avaiable?

Dear Ann Marie,

I just signed up for a yearly meal plan.  The recipes look wonderful, however, I am on the GAPS diet and thought I was signing up for a GAPS menu.  I am not complaining because I hope to use these recipes in a year or so if I can get my gut healed.  I am curious as to whether you have a GAPS menu meal plan.

Thanks so much,


Hi, Sharla!

Yes, I will be launching a GAPS meal plan within the next few weeks. I will happily switch you over to the GAPS meal plan. Once it is launched, please email me at annmarie@realfoodmedia.com.

6. Question:  Opinion On Kombucha And Health Benefits?


I really enjoy drinking kombucha and it makes me feel great but recently I heard that it can be dangerous (for liver) and then my kombucha mother got moldy. I threw everything away.

So now I got a new mother from a friend but I wonder if I should continue drinking it or not?

All the best,
Sanja (Croatia)


Hi, Sanja! Awesome to hear that you are in Croatia — I really want to visit there.

Kombucha is extremely healthy. I drink it almost every day. I do not believe it is bad for the liver. It’s full of B vitamins, probiotics and enzymes. I say go for it.

7. Question:  Suggestions For Natural Supplements For Anxiety Of Flying?

Hi Ann Marie,

I am wondering if you or any of your readers have any suggestions for natural supplements or anything that can help ease my anxiety with an upcoming six-hour flight. I typically love flying but it has been several years since I’ve flown and now I’m super anxious about the flight. I think it’s the duration and just feeling trapped that makes me anxious!

As well, since my family and I won’t be eating plane food due to our diet (GAPS) any suggestions on what type of food/drinks to bring?

Thanks so much,


Hi, Lisa!

What a great question.  For anxiety, I recommend the amino acid, GABA. You can find it at any Vitamin Shoppe or health food store. Or you can find it on Amazon: [easyazon-link asin=”B0013OVZAG” locale=”us”]NOW Foods Gaba 750mg[/easyazon-link]. I really like the chewable ones because you can let them rest on your tongue and dissolve and they go to your brain a whole lot faster: [easyazon-link asin=”B000GFSV5A” locale=”us”]Source Naturals GABA Calm, Orange, 120 Tablets[/easyazon-link]. I really love GABA whenever I have stress. (Which is pretty often 😉 )

There are lots of great GAPS snacks you can bring on the plane. Here are some suggestions:

Fresh fruit

Bacon, Egg & Cheese Muffins with Coconut Flour – If you can’t do cheese, leave it out. You can also substitute homemade sausage for the bacon.

If you can tolerate dairy, cheese makes a great snack

I would recommend homemade yogurt, but they usually take that away

Leftover roast chicken, beef or ham

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

Hard-boiled Eggs

Grain-free Crackers

Homemade Peanut Butter

Soaked and dried nuts and seeds

Homemade Beef Jerky

If anyone else has good suggestions for snacks, please post 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.