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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1. Question: Suggestions On A Substitute For Sauerkraut/Cabbage?
Hi Ann Marie!
I look forward to your weekly question and answer posts! Here is one for you. I’m getting ready to do the full 30 Day GAPS intro diet. there is an emphasis on sauerkraut which contains cabbage. Cabbage isn’t recommended for people with thyroid issues. Any other ferments that you would recommend? I make Kombucha and Water Kefir Soda… but not so sure I can use those for the 30 Day Intro. Any suggestions? Thanks!
According to Donna Gates, author of The Body Ecology Diet
Cabbage, kale, or collards, if fermented,(as included in “cultured veggies”) will NOT suppress your thyroid. In fact, they will nourish your thyroid. They are rich in the vitamins and minerals that your thyroid requires. (Source)
We did drink kombucha on the intro diet. I think if you are already used to drinking kombucha or water kefir, it should be fine on intro as long as they are fermented long enough. They should not be sweet at all.
2. Question: Diet Recommendation For Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?
Good morning Ann Marie,
After a lifetime of SAD, including the CW low-fat diet for weight loss, I have been diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. To add insult to injury the only advice my doctor gave me was to eat a low-fat diet and lose weight. I have been doing just that for years and not losing a pound.
My friend eats a WAPF diet and has a perfectly healthy liver and body weight. She’s pointed me toward some articles but I can’t seem to find any definitive diet recommendation for my condition.
To be honest, I’m scared and overwhelmed. I have a life altering condition, need to find a doctor who pays better attention, and there is so much info to weed through I’m lost. Can you point me in the direction of what to do now?
As I always say, I’m not a doctor, so any advice I offer should not be construed as medical advice.
You may have already read this article by Chris Masterjohn: Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.
Masterjohn recommends eating choline-rich foods including eggs and liver. He also suggests avoiding fructose (for example, foods containing high fructose corn syrup) and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAs (these are typically consumed in the form of modern oils (including corn, canola, soybean, sunflower and safflower, which is what you will find in almost all processed/packaged foods and restaurant foods).
So, eat eggs for breakfast every day with extra egg yolks. Eat liver as often as you can — ideally two or three times a week. Take cod liver oil. Eschew all packaged foods and limit eating out. If you do eat out, avoid all fried foods and salad dressings (or smuggle in your own salad dressing).
I also think an excellent thing to do is do daily coffee enemas. I was just listening to the lectures from last year’s Weston A. Price Foundation conference and three different doctors (Dr. Nicholas Gonazales, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, and Dr. Kaayla Daniel) recommended coffee enemas for detoxification and to support liver health. Make sure you use organic coffee with filtered water. You can research online how to do coffee enemas.
3. Question: Can Cold Drinks Impair Digestion?
Hi Ann Marie,
Can cold drinks, like water or raw milk straight out of the refrigerator, impair digestion?
From what I have read, cold drinks do slow down digestion. I do drink raw milk straight out of the fridge and I like herbal iced tea and cold kombucha.
If your digestion is bad, you may want to let liquids come to room temperature before drinking.
4. Question: Suggestions For Some Quick And Easy Meals?
I have a question for you. If you post this on your blog you can shorten it, but I want to give you the full story.
I recently moved 2000 miles across the country to pursue my career. I left behind the city I loved and all of my friends. I’m homesick and miss those friends. At the same time, my boyfriend and I also broke up leaving me absolutely heartbroken.
So, now I’m working, in class or studying a good 50-60 hours every week, and the rest of the time I’m depressed. I’m uninterested in food, uninterested in cooking (not that I’d have time), etc. I can’t sleep at night and I’m just in a major major major funk.
So I need help. I’ve been eating WAP/Primal/real foods – style for several years now, so I know WHAT to do (or would know if I had the capacity to think about it), I just can’t bring myself to do it. I can’t think straight because when I’m not focused on my career and schooling, I’m depressed and crying. I need to find easy foods that will help nourish me and maybe they will get my body and brain back on track. I know how much eating real foods has helped me in the past, and while I don’t think that they are a cure-all, I think it could help, if for nothing else, get me functional again. I don’t at the moment have the time or energy to spend a lot of time in kitchen, so they need to be really easy to make. I also no longer live in a major metro area, so most esoteric foods are out unless they are available in major supermarkets or online.
I’m hopeful that if I can get some much needed nourishment, maybe I’ll have enough energy to start going through the motions and then eventually my emotions will follow. So please, any quick and easy suggestions for foods that can help get my body and mind back on track but don’t involve much prep-work or time in the kitchen?
Heartsick in Idaho
I can imagine how bad you must feel. I wish I could give you a hug through the computer! I went through a few bad breakups when I was younger and it is really difficult.
If I were you, I’d follow Julia Ross’s advice in her book, The Mood Cure.
Take the questionnaire in the book and see how you score. You can start feeling better almost immediately by taking amino acids.
This is how Julia Ross says she helps anorexics and vegans — she gets them kickstarted on amino acids and then they feel better and want to start eating. (Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride says she does the same thing to help people with eating disorders.)
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or feel-good brain chemical, that most of us are lacking. When we don’t have enough serotonin in our brain, we feel depressed and sad and hopeless.
Our body makes serotonin from amino acids, which are derived from protein. Most of us don’t eat enough protein, good fats and other nutrients, and our brains are literally starving. Without proper nutrition, we can’t make the neurotransmitters that make us feel happy, confident and relaxed. This is normally how we should feel — even in the face of stress (like a breakup or a tough schedule at school).
As you start to feel better, try to improve your diet following Julia’s guidelines. She recommends 3 square meals every day with 20-30 grams of protein at each meal. You don’t have to try to be perfect — you can just eat normal every day foods but make sure you are getting adequate nutrition. The idea is to eat adequate protein, good fats like butter and cream and coconut oil, and complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
For example, you can scramble a few eggs in butter for breakfast and have some soaked oatmeal or a banana with them. Or you could have full-fat cottage cheese and berries or a banana. For lunch you can order a big salad with a chicken breast. Dinner can be as simple as a brown rice bowl with meat or seafood. If you tolerate wheat, you can buy whole wheat crackers and eat them with tuna fish or cheese.
If you can’t find raw milk or grass-fed butter, just drink whole milk and real butter. Try to get organic eggs if you can, but regular grocery store eggs are better than nothing. You can hardboil a dozen eggs and keep them in the fridge. Peanut butter is another great source of protein. Try to buy organic peanut butter with no added oils (or just palm oil) but if you can’t find that, get regular peanut butter without added oil (or just palm oil added).
Same goes for cottage cheese and yogurt (both are good sources of protein) — get organic if you can but if not just buy what is available. Get plain full-fat yogurt and sweeten it with a little maple syrup or honey or fruit-sweetened jelly.
If you have other symptoms and suspect food allergies, you may need to cut some of these foods (such as dairy or wheat) out and take probiotics. You may also want to look into doing the GAPS diet.
I have followed Julia’s protocol from The Mood Cure, for a while now and it has completely changed my life.
Please keep me posted and let me know how you are doing. Hugs to you!
5. Question: Carnivora Supplement Safe To Use?
What do you now about Carnivora supplement-
Is it safe for everyday use?
Sorry, this is the first I have heard of it. I have no idea if it’s safe to use. Maybe someone can comment below.
6. Question: Can One Absorb Fluoride Through The Skin When Bathing Or Washing Hands?
Hi Ann Marie,
Can one absorb fluoride through the skin when bathing or washing hands? If so, what can people do about it if they are unable to purchase a full house filtration system?
By the way, here is a great video to show people just how dangerous fluoride truly is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5_KmB9_fao The water pipes covered in holes and chipped paint due to the fluoride acid will make you and anyone who is concerned cringe.
Yes, we do absorb fluoride through the skin when bathing. I wouldn’t worry as much about when you wash your hands but bathing and showering is a concern. However, it is hard to find shower filters that remove fluoride and whole-house filtration systems are expensive. For now, I am just filtering the fluoride from the water we drink and cook with and we use a shower filter in the shower that filters out chlorine and other chemicals, but not fluoride.
7. Question: Opinion On The Necessity And Nutrition Of Muscle Meats?
Hi Ann Marie,
My question today has to do with meat, primarily muscle meats. My husband did not eat any meat other than fish for many years, and was pretty convinced that meat from other animals besides fish was 1) hard to digest and sat in your intestinal tract much longer than vegetables and grains, 2) not a necessary component of a healthy diet, and 3) often contaminated from being raised in factory conditions. I stopped eating other meats besides wild-caught fish myself because of reason #3 for about 4 years before I began the GAPS diet and following WAPF principles last year.
I know organ meats are nutrition powerhouses and are preferable to muscle meats, and I’m working on finding good sources. However, are muscle meats preferable to other forms of nutrition, specifically legumes like lentils and split peas (always soaked/sprouted)? We don’t buy much meat at all (no beef or pork, and chicken parts only for broth) besides canned tuna and clams, and wild-caught frozen fish from Trader Joe’s.
He’s gotten into making ceviche, so a lot of the fish we eat is raw. I read a lot about Primal nutrition, Mark Sisson style, and he advocates so much protein from muscle meats in the diet. However, at home we eat homemade yogurt for breakfast, soup from lentils or split peas or squash for lunch, and then a salad with fish and raw veggies and eggs for dinner. I worry that the daily lentils could be putting some weight on to my hips and thighs and I’d be better off switching to a grass-fed burger patty or something for lunch instead. But, my husband thinks even grass-fed/pastured muscle meats aren’t very nutritious.
What is your opinion on the necessity or nutrition of muscle meats like ground beef or chicken thighs?
Thanks! I value your opinion.
Allison and Tedy
Muscle meats are nowhere near as nutrient-dense as organ meats, but they are still very nutrient-dense compared to other foods (such as fruits and vegetables, for example). In my opinion, muscle meats are a delicious part of a balanced diet.
Grass-fed beef and lamb and pastured chicken and pork are very nutritious. You don’t have to eat meat to be healthy but it definitely won’t hurt. Just make sure you are always eating plenty of fat, and ideally, also bone broth and fermented foods when eating high-protein foods such as muscle meats and legumes.
So, if you want to eat lentil soup, it’s best to make it with bone broth, and then add fermented sauerkraut and sour cream at the table. I also like to add pastured pork sausage to my lentils, or I’ll add a ham hock when I’m cooking the beans.
I think the very best way to eat is a well-rounded, balanced diet that includes a variety of foods and a balance of protein, complex carbohydrates, and fat. I think this is why our mothers and grandmothers always insisted on a well-balanced diet — because that way you’re not lacking anything.
I’m not sure exactly what you’re eating every day but restricting your diet can cause nutrient deficiencies. If you’re not eating enough and/or not getting enough nutrients, your body can slow down metabolically and you may start to gain weight even though you’re not eating much.
I recently discovered that I am low in zinc and magnesium. This was surprising to me because I eat so well. However, I had been skipping meals and not eating enough at each meal. It turns out that being low in zinc can actually cause your appetite to decrease. Then you start eating less, and your body’s metabolism slows down. It’s a vicious cycle!
Magnesium and zinc deficiency are correlated with high cortisol, low adrenal function and weight gain. I just finished reading The Magnesium Miracle this morning and was fascinated to learn how easy it is to become deficient in magnesium. Modern soil is very depleted due to chemical fertilizers, so our food doesn’t contain as much magnesium as it used to. Also, stress and exhausted adrenals require more magnesium. (I also used to drink a lot of wine and coffee which waste magnesium.)
Magnesium helps to reduce stress and supports the adrenal glands, which will help with weight loss around the mid-section (excess cortisol can cause weight gain in the tummy and hips). Good sources of magnesium include: kelp and other sea vegetables, whole grains, soaked nuts and seeds, as well as dandelion and nettles.
I don’t know if you are low in magnesium but if you are not eating whole grains, nuts and seeds and/or superfoods including kelp and other sea vegetables or herbs such as dandelion or nettles, it could be a factor.
8. Question: Clarification On Eating Schedule?
Hi Anne Marie,
I discovered the WAPF at the beginning of July and since then I segued into the GAPS diet a couple of weeks ago in order to heal myself of some digestive issues. My question concerns the 4am to 10am detoxification period that Dr. Campbell-McBride discusses in her book. She says not to eat until 10am. My question is: on what wake-up time is that based? A person that works a late-shift and wakes up at 9:30 only has 30 minutes to go. But someone that awakens at 6:00am each day in order to go to work has to wait all the way until 10am before eating. Could you get clarification on this? I am finding it hard to wait until 10am as I am used to eating at 8am everyday.
Thank you so much for all you do.
This is really a question for Dr. Natasha. You might try emailing her.
However, I would say that I think it depends on the person. If you wake up earlier, you may need to eat earlier, especially if you have issues with blood sugar.
I normally go to bed around 10 pm and wake up around 7 am. I could not wait 3 hours to eat! I’m currently working on recovering from hypoglycemia and I need to eat every 2-3 hours.
I’m going to write a whole post about this because it’s been revolutionary for me in the past week. I used to skip breakfast or lunch almost every day and would typically only eat twice a day. In the past month or two, based on the advice of Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure,
I started eating 3 square meals. With the help of amino acids, I was able to totally eliminate my nighttime cravings for wine, chocolate and carbs. What a miracle!
Just this past week, I read a book called The Cortisol Connection Diet.
Overall, it’s pretty sound advice. He recommends that people eat 3 square meals per day PLUS three snacks. I’ve been doing this and supplementing with zinc (I found out I’m deficient in zinc and also discovered that zinc deficiency can cause appetite suppression) and lo and behold, I’m hungry six times a day! Like I said, I’ll write a longer post about this but I’m just so excited to feel like a normal person again with a real appetite.
The bottom line is, follow your instincts and intuition when on GAPS. Eat when you are hungry.
9. Question: Is Eating Fast Bad For Digestion?
Hi Ann Marie,
Is it bad for digestion to eat fast even if you are a fast chewer? Also, when one eats too fast, are less nutrients absorbed? Or does the food just take longer to digest and absorb?
Yes, it is best to chew food properly to make it easier for the stomach to break down. Eating slower gives your stomach more time to start working on the food.
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.