Q & A: November 20, 2011

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.

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If you have a question to submit, please email it to me at questions AT cheeseslave DOT com.

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1. Question: Advice About V@ccinations?

My mom sent me this I suppose to scare me because she disagrees with not v@ccinating. What do you make of this article? Are there a lot of statistical errors? She just told me she had measles as a kid. I asked, “Well if everyone you know had it as a kid what is so scary about it?”

Unv@ccinated Kids Behind Largest U.S. Measles Outbreak in Years – Kids’ Health – Everyday Health

THURSDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) — The largest U.S. outbreak of measles to occur in 15 years — affecting 214 children so far — is likely driven by travelers returning from abroad and by too many unv@ccinated U.S. children, according to new research.

The finding could highlight the dangers of a trend among some U.S. parents to skip the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) v@ccine for their children, out of what many experts call misguided fears over its safety.< Thanks, CM


I had measles and chicken pox when I was a kid. What is the big deal about the measles, mumps or chicken pox? They are not life threatening!

Until the dangers of v@ccinating outweigh the risks, I will not v@ccinate my children.

Click here to watch the trailer for the new film, The Greater Good. I watched it the other week and it’s fantastic. You can buy a copy for just $10. I highly, highly recommend it.

2. Question: Does Putting Kefir In A Blender Harm The Living Bacteria?

Hi! I read somewhere that putting kefir in a blender might harm the living bacteria and render it lifeless. Do you know anything about that?

Thank you so much!


I’ve never heard that before. The bacteria are VERY small so no, running kefir through a blender won’t hurt them. I wouldn’t run your kefir grains through a blender, though!

3. Question: Suggestions For Helping With Dry Skin?

Hi Ann Marie,

I moved from Connecticut (very humid) to western Washington (not humid) about three weeks ago.  My skin has gotten very dry and I seem to be dehydrated, no matter how much water or fluids I’m drinking.  My skin is peeling, and I am not a lotion user by rule because I can’t find any that’s not full of parabens.

I can deal with this until I get regulated and used to the climate, however my scalp is peeling something fierce and it looks icky.  I don’t use shampoo or conditioner and use dissolved baking soda to wash and diluted apple cider vinegar to detangle once a week, but brush my hair every day just to remove the shed hairs. The brushing makes the dry skin worse.

Do you have any suggestions as to what I can use on my scalp, or what I can include in my diet to make my skin not so dry?  I pretty much eat a paleo diet and supplement with a multivitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D and a B complex.



I have a lot to say on this subject since I just moved to Las Vegas from Los Angeles and I’m in the same boat. It took me about a week or so to acclimate to the dry weather. I still noticed some symptoms after the first week but the major ones went away (chronic dehydration, my teeth hurt, my skin was dry, etc.).

The first thing I did was install chlorine shower filters in both bathrooms. Chlorine really dries your skin and hair.

Next I bought a humidifier to make the air less dry in our condo.

Now that I’ve acclimated to the dry weather, I plan to keep the humidifier in the guest room so when people visit, they won’t be uncomfortable. (My daughter got a nose bleed from the dry weather when we first came.)

I also focused on drinking more water, kombucha, herbal tea and other beverages that help keep me hydrated. I eat about 50-60% fat which helps a lot. You can track how much fat you’re eating on FitDay. You may want to boost the amount of fat you’re eating. Put more butter on your vegetables, take spoonfuls of coconut oil or add it to your tea, take cod liver oil.

Speaking of cod liver oil, I really don’t recommend taking fish oil. Almost all fish oils are refined and heat treated. I recommend Green Pasture cod liver oil which is raw and fermented. Also, cod liver oil contains fat soluble activators A, D & K and fish oil does not.  Click here for sources of the cod liver oil I recommend.

Lastly, and this is probably the most important thing, I really recommend using aloe topically.

I just bought some aloe cream (70% aloe) and it has made a huge difference in my skin. Most of my symptoms had gone away EXCEPT I still had very dry, cracked heels. No matter how much I used the pumice stone, they were still so dry and cracked. I really hated the way my dry heels scratched against the bedsheets and whenever I put on socks. I’ve tried all kinds of cream as well as coconut oil on my heels and nothing helped.

One of our Real Food Media sponsors, Stockton Aloe 1, was at the Weston A. Price Foundation conference. My 4-year-old daughter was bitten by a dog the day before the conference and had to get stitches. Thankfully she is OK but she will probably have a scar on her cheek. I was visiting with the folks from Stockton Aloe 1 at their booth and they told me that aloe really helps to prevent scarring. They sold me some of their aloe moisturizing cream (it’s called Youth Derm Ointment) and I started putting it on Kate’s wounds every day. It’s been a week now and she only has one small scab left. I need to post before/after pics. I’m really hoping it will help with the scarring.

I decided to also try putting the Youth Derm Ointment on my heels to see if it would help. Unbelievably, in just one or two days of using the aloe cream, my heels became SUPER soft. They are like baby skin now! I don’t even have to use the pumice stone.

I talked to my stepdad about it and he told me that unlike other lotions, aloe locks in moisture. Aloe also doesn’t clog pores. He said he used it on his tattoos when he got them done and it helped his skin heal fast and helped to keep the color bright.

I’m using the Stockton Aloe 1 cream on my hands and feet every day now. I also read that aloe can help lighten age spots so I’ve been putting it on the backs of my hands and forearms as well — and yes, I’ve noticed a 60-70% reduction in age spots on my hands/forearms in the past few days. I’m also using the cream instead of coconut oil on my face. I also ordered a big jug of the regular aloe which we will be using on our skin as well as consuming (it’s supposed to also be really good for the digestive tract and it is GAPS-legal). Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of their products now that I’ve tried them — they work so well!

Oh, and as I was writing this post I just found out that Kim at the Nourishing Cook had a similar experience to mine when she was at the conference. She’s so psyched about Stockton Aloe 1 that she’s doing a giveaway of their cream. Click here to enter the giveaway.

4. Question: Right Way To Take BioKult? / Is Fermented Cod Liver Oil A Good Enough Source For EFAs?

Hi Ann Marie,

First, thanks for a great blog!

I feel like this may be common knowledge, but I’m a bit confused about some of the supplementation for GAPS.  In the GAPS protocol, it says to take the BioKult probiotic first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, but on the BioKult bottle, it says to take with food.  Do you know when the appropriate time to take it is?

Also, is fermented cod liver oil not a good enough source of EFAs that we need to take an additional EFA supplement as recommended in the GAPS protocol?  And what would butter oil add to this that isn’t already found in these other 2 supplements?



Dr. Campbell McBride says it’s best to take the BioKult first thing in the morning with water.

Some people do need to take additional EFAs in addition to the cod liver oil. You may want to consider working with a GAPS practitioner to determine if you need to supplement with extra EFAs.

5. Question: Is It Too Late for Fermented Cod Liver Oil To Make Teeth Straight?

I have heard that fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend will help with making teeth straight and eliminating the need for braces. Do you know how quickly this will take effect?

I am getting ready to start my kids, my husband, and myself on the FCLO/Butter Oil Blend (I am looking for the best way to order it in our area), and I am curious if I’m too late to have it benefit the straightness of my children’s teeth.

My oldest is almost 7, and has his first wiggly tooth, with his adult tooth coming in close behind (and crooked!). My daughter is 4 and my youngest is 19 months. Just curious if I’ve already missed my window with any or all of my kids. Of course, I still want them to take it for other benefits.



It is not too late. The palate can be widened at any time. However, don’t expect miracles from nutrition alone. Often times it is necessary to use an expander appliance.

My daughter has been taking cod liver oil since she was about 6 months old (when I found out about it). However, her palate is still narrow. The bottom jaw is wide and U shaped but her top jaw is narrow (like her daddy’s). As a result, her teeth don’t line up correctly. I plan to get her fitted for an expander appliance in the spring (I’ll write lots more posts about this in the future). And we will continue with the cod liver oil and butter oil blend.

In addition to the cod liver oil/butter oil, it’s really important to include as many nutrient-dense foods as possible. Focus on the fat-soluble activators A, D & K2. Grass-fed butter, pastured lard and tallow, organ meats.

Update: I no longer recommend fermented cod liver oil. See my posts on the fermented cod liver oil scandal.

Minerals are super important as well. Bone broth and soups, stews and sauces made from bone broth, are a great source of minerals. We are also adding ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops to our water. I would also look into magnesium and zinc supplementation. Without adequate minerals, you can’t utilize the fat soluble activators.

You also want to make sure they are getting plenty of fermented foods (and probiotics if you don’t do a lot of fermented foods) to ensure that they are absorbing all the nutrients they are consuming.

Lastly, you want to avoid phytic acid and other anti-nutrients. These are found in unsoaked/unsprouted whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. These anti-nutrients block mineral absorption. It’s important to properly soak and/or sprout all whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.

6. Question: Help Getting Off Sleep Meds & Antidepressants? / Suggestions For Kitchen Tools And Gadgets?

Help! OK, I got it out of my system. I have two questions for you one of which pertains to my fiance who has been a quadriplegic for the past twelve years. Questions first followed by background information since I would imagine you are pretty busy.

First: How do we go about finding a WAPF friendly MD who can help us ween Jonathan, my fiance, off of his sleep meds and antidepressants? He would like to stop taking those drugs but has been on them for so long and with his disability we have to be extra careful about quitting something without some sort of supervision from a professional. We live in the DFW metroplex in Texas.

Second: I am building our wedding registry right now and I would love to stock my kitchen with the tools/gadgets called for in many real food recipes. Do you have any suggestions?

I’ll keep the background information brief. Jonathan was on a day pass while on active duty stationed at Fort Hood in Waco, TX when he was a passenger in a car accident. He broke his neck in 4 places and bruised his spinal cord. He is a C6 quadriplegic. The past twelve years he has been put on countless antibiotics, antidepressants, and other medications to deal with a variety of infections that quadriplegics are proned too get, i.e. UTI’s, staph, and kidney infections to name a few, plus sleeping aids, meds for leg spams and bladder spams. Jonathan has recently become an advocate for his own health, instead of just blindly trusting the VA doctors and now takes numerous vitamins and supplements.

We have also been moving towards an organic/local real food diet. After we are married in March, I would love to do the GAPS diet but, again with his condition, I would like to have the support of a natruopath or a doctor. Jonathan is actually extremely active and competitive. He has done several triathlons, half marathons, one half iron-man, and many, many 5k’s.

Um…he keeps me busy!! He so desperately wants to be in optimal health but we have lot of junk to weed out and his body no doubt needs to be cleansed from all the junk mixed into the prescriptions that he has taken for over a decade. He has taken so many antibiotics that he has built up a resistance to a LOT of them.

Last time I took him to the emergency room the doctor had use his desk top reference book to find a rare antibiotic to prescribe to him and then I had to drive an hour away from home in order to find a pharmacy to fill it. Any suggestions you could offer to help us find a doctor or natropath that will support our desire to ween him OFF prescription drugs and maintain a WAPF diet would be much appreciated.

Thank you!


I would work with Julia Ross to help him get off the drugs. She will work remotely (although you do have to do one in-office visit in Marin County, CA). Call her office. If you can’t travel to her, she may be able to refer you to someone closer who follows her protocol. She trains people all over the country.

Contratulations on your upcoming wedding! I have lots of suggestions but don’t have time right at the moment to list them all. I really should do a big comprehensive post about this. In the meantime, you can check out my CHEESESLAVE Amazon store to see a lot of my suggestions.

7. Question: Advice On Infant And GAPS-Intro Diet / Thoughts On PVCs And Starting GAPS?

Hi Ann Marie,

I love your blog and I LOVE your Q&As. Thank you so much for doing this. I have two questions that I will explain as briefly as possible.

1. I have a five month old daughter. Unfortunately I did not know about WAPF until she was 2 months old. During my pregnancy, my diet was horrible. During my first trimester my husband was out of work and I went hungry a lot. After that, I ate, but it was a typical low-fat diet. I also took amoxicillin during my first trimester.

My daughter has been exclusively breastfed since she was born. She has always been very fussy, been very hard to feed, and has cradle cap. I eat as nutrient-dense as I can, considering our extremely tight budget. I eat pastured eggs, raw pastured cheese, organic valley butter, coconut oil, frozen wild-caught fish, pastured ground beef, and organic chicken and bacon. I cannot get raw milk in our area or afford the other ingredients to raw milk formula, otherwise I would definitely give her some. I am wondering if there is anything else I can do to help her. I am thinking that when I give her solids I should start her out on the gaps-intro diet to try and undo the damage I did during pregnancy. What do you think?

2. I developed PVCs right before I got pregnant, and they have come and gone since then. Right now they occur very frequently throughout the day. There are no naturopathic or alternative doctors in Great Falls MT (where I live) that I am aware of. I have been communicating with a doctor in MI, and he has told me to take magnesium glycinate and avoid gluten. Nothing is helping. I know you are not a doctor and don’t give medical advice. But you do have a lot of knowledge so I figured I would ask your opinion. I have a sneaking suspicion I should do the GAPS intro diet. Since I am breastfeeding and already tend to have issues with low blood sugar between meals, I don’t know if it’s a good idea right now. What do you think? One funny thing I noticed (on a different note): I always used to eat soaked or sprouted brown rice. For the past two weeks I have eaten white rice instead due to a tight budget, and for the first time since the beginning of my pregnancy I feel full and have less hypoglycemia.

Thank you so much for your time!

I wish you and your family all the best,


My daughter also had cradle cap, colic, and other issues related to gut flora when she was a baby. I gave her Biokult for 2 years.

Check my resources page for sources of Biokult.

If you suspect food allergies, I’d also do GAPS. My daughter did not show any signs of allergies to wheat or dairy.

GAPS is really intuitive so if you feel you need rice, I’d add it.

I have low blood sugar too and right now I’m following Matt Stone’s suggestion of following the RBTI method of making a lemonade of distilled water, fresh lemon juice and a little raw honey and drinking 4 oz every hour throughout the day. I’ll post more about this soon.

You might also want to look into magnesium supplementation.

8. Question: Suggestions For Cleaning Enamel?

I know you have Le Creuset, do you have any suggestions for cleaning the enamel? I have a cheaper brand of enamelware and have problems with it staining. I might ask for some Le Creuset for Cristmas if its not going to stain/be a problem to clean!

Thanks for your help!


I just wash my Le Creuset enameled cast iron with dish soap (I use natural dish soap — not strong detergents) and water and a non-abrasive sponge. I’ve never had any problems with staining.

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.