Q & A: October 9, 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.

Submit Your Question

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

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If you have an URGENT question that you can’t wait to get answered, please post it on my Facebook page.  I tend to get on Facebook pretty much daily.  I can’t promise to answer all the questions on Facebook, but I try!  (Note: Please do NOT email me on Facebook — I can’t get through my email on there!)

1. Question: Suggestions For High Blood Pressure And Losing Weight?

Hello- My husband has high blood pressure and is obese. He has lost 30 pounds within the past few months but still has quite a bit to lose. We eat “real” food except he is currently dairy-free as he’s having some digestive issues and we’ve been reading the GAPS book for the digestive issues. Any tips or suggestions?



Congratulations on his weight loss so far! If he has a dairy allergy, he may also be sensitive to gluten or other things. I recommend doing the GAPS Intro Diet to see if he has other allergies. As long as the gut is damaged, there will be inflammation and malabsorption. I’d get him on some good quality probiotics and lots of fermented foods. He also may have hormonal issues. I’d get his adrenals and thyroid tested. The best thing would be to find a holistic doctor or naturopath who can work with him.

2. Question: What Is The Best Way To Consume Meat To Have It Digest Well?

Hi Ann Marie, Raw meat tends to be quite chewy. Does one have to chew it thoroughly in order for it to digest well? Or can one consume small pieces of it without even chewing?

Thanks Ann Marie,


The best cuts of meat to eat raw are ground beef (beef tartare; I like it with raw egg yolk,) and beef tenderloin (carpaccio.) Steak and liver are also very good very lightly seared and rare on the inside.

Some cuts are really not meant to be eaten raw (well you can, but they are very chewy and hard to eat) such as brisket, top and bottom round, and ribs. These are best cooked slow and low — either braised or roasted — until the meat falls apart in your mouth.

3. Question: Do You Know Of Any Practitioners Or Natural Sources For Treating Hashimoto’s?

Hi there ­ thank you so much for putting out an amazing resource! I have a question for you ­ I have a high level of thyroid peroxidase antibodies (Hashimoto’s) and my TSH is outside the functional range. Last year I did GAPS, which seemed to help but after six months of the diet, I felt that I hit the wall and felt shaky and weak after eating so I decided to bring some carbs back (just quinoa, rice and potatoes). I do limit my carb intake.

However, in the last couple of months, my thyroid has gotten sluggish and I have been packing on the pounds, have very little energy and feel weak.

I tried the Eat Fat, Lose Fat diet but the coconut oil before meals made me ill. I’m at the point where I want to kick this autoimmune condition and feel more energy and vibrant. Do you know of any practitioners or natural sources for treating Hashimoto’s?

Thank you so much,


I don’t but maybe someone will comment below. Can you tell us where you live in the comments so people can refer practitioners in your area? (You can also do phone consultations long-distance.)

4. Question: Can You Recommend A Good Crock Pot For Broths And Cooking Meats?

I am just becoming familiar with the Weston Price guidelines. I would like to buy a crock pot for broths and for cooking meats etc. Is there one that you recommend healthwise?



I recommend the Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker.

It is the only one I know of that claims to be lead-free.

5. Question: What Is The Best Way To Heat Raw Milk Without Losing The Benefits? / Can Eating Traditional Fertility Foods Help Boost Estrogen And Regulate The Cycle?

Hi Ann Marie – Still loving the Sunday questions!

This week my first question is about raw milk.  What is the best way to make raw milk into a hot beverage (latte, hot chocolate, steamer) without losing the benefits of the milk being raw.  My local farmers sell only straight whole milk nothing added and nothing taken away, they don’t separate cream, so if I want raw cream I have to skim it myself (I think this may be part of our laws here in GA — raw milk has to be labeled ‘for pet use only’).

Also — regulating your period with fertility foods.  I recently went off the pill and after having a few seemingly regular months, my cycles are very long and I suspect I’m not ovulating regularly.  Can eating traditional fertility foods help to boost estrogen and regulate the cycle?  Do you know of any good natural supplements that can enhance ovulation?  I am calling a local midwife tomorrow to get some medical advice but I want to try real food before any medical interventions are considered.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge!


Enzymes and good bacteria get destroyed when we heat foods above body temperature (technically, 118 degrees). If you warm your milk until the point that it is hot but not so hot that it burns you when you touch it, that is fine. That said, even if you boil it, it’s still not the same thing as pasteurizing it. But I try not to heat my milk too much. If you have a recipe that calls for boiled milk, you could just water down some cream and use that instead. Watered-down cream tastes exactly like milk, and cream is not damaged by boiling or even pasteurizing. It’s the protein molecules in milk that are damaged by pasteurization.

Native Americans believed that when you want to strengthen a part of the body, you should eat that part of the animal. It’s easy to see why eggs and fish eggs are so good for female fertility.  Full-fat dairy foods are also very good for fertility. The Harvard School of Public Health found that women who ate full-fat dairy had a much higher chance of getting pregnant than women who ate low-fat dairy. (Source)

Some of the best fertility foods include: liver and other organ meats, fermented cod liver oil, high-vitamin butter oil, pastured eggs, grass-fed butter, cream, and cheese, seafood and most especially shellfish (and particularly mollusks) and fish eggs (caviar and roe). Bone broth and fermented foods are also very important because they provide minerals and other nutrients and aid digestion and absorption of nutrients.  You don’t have to eat all of these foods — choose the ones that you like and make you feel good and eat

6. Question: Is Expeller-pressed, Refined Coconut Oil OK To Use?

Hi Ann Marie,

I’ve heard that most expeller-pressed, refined coconut oils are made from dried copra. If it is organic and doesn’t use any chemicals or solvents during processing, is it still good to use?

Thank you,


I would not buy coconut oil made from copra. I use expeller-pressed coconut oil almost exclusively and I only buy my coconut oil from companies I trust. See my resources page for trusted sources of coconut oil.

7. Question: Help with Caffeine Addiction on a Budget?

Hello – Thanks for doing this, I love your blog and so does my mom! Sorry I am asking caffeine questions, sounds like a lot of other people are. I am desperate to get a handle on it!

I have fibro, RA, and chronic fatigue. I wake up feeling so wretched and unable to function. After I drink a pot of black tea I become functional but have dreadful inflammation (joint pain) which is obviously very exacerbated by it, and horrendous anxiety. But I feel like I’ll never be able to quit it because I literally can’t get up in the morning without it.

I go put the kettle on, go back to bed, drink it in bed, all the while my twin 3-year-olds are clamoring for me to do stuff. I can’t hardly get up till I drink 3 cups.

Then in the afternoon the fatigue descends once more and only coffee will get me going then. My anxiety is so bad from caffeine all day. My fatigue and brain fog is so bad without it.

Here’s what I have tried:  5HTP. No effect. Tyrosine. Nothing. Same, not much or not enough to make a difference. Taurine. Nope. I’ve been to a naturopath who gave me that stuff. I’ve been reluctant to try The Mood Cure because none of those supplements helped and they cost a fortune.

My diet has been Paleo for over a year. Drink kefir every day. Haven’t tried raw adrenals or Gaps intro. Those were gonna be my next things.

Also my budget is really low right now because I’m on disability and I have 2 kids, so I can maybe afford to try one or 2 supplements per month, not, as it seems The Mood Cure expects you to do, a whole slew of amino acids.

So I guess what I’m asking is what could I do within my budget because I can’t quit it unless I get some energy from somewhere. Should I buy The Mood Cure book if I already know that most amino acids don’t work for me? Can you think of a couple things I could try without spending a lot of money? Please I’m desperate to stop feeling like I’m either in a combat zone (caffeine) or just had all my blood drained by some vampire plus fell off a horse 14 times in a row (how I feel when I wake up).

Thank you!


I’m surprised you thought the amino acids cost a fortune. I think they are very affordable since you don’t have to take them very long. I only stayed on the amino acids for about 3 weeks to kick my coffee addiction. Never needed them again. I spent about a month taking amino acids to kick my addiction to wine and chocolate. Now I am only taking 5HTP (or Tryptophan,) Melatonin, GABA, and Seriphos (all for sleep and relaxation, which helps my adrenals).

It sounds like you have a serious caffeine addiction and it also sounds like your adrenals need healing. Every time you drink coffee, you are really hurting your adrenal glands.

I tried the amino acids at first and like you, I thought they didn’t work for me. But I realized I wasn’t taking enough. Try taking more and see if they work for you. When I was kicking alcohol, I had to DOUBLE the amount of amino acids at first. I also found out I was low in zinc and B vitamins. I added those supplements and I did not need to take as many aminos (Julia Ross explains this in her book).

I would also take something to support your adrenals, such as maca, vitamin C, dessicated adrenal gland. It is very important also to avoid all caffeine, avoid refined sugar and flour, and eat balanced meals with at least 20-30 grams of protein 3 times per day. Never skip a meal — its’ so hard on the adrenals.

Maybe there are some other things you can cut back on to help you pay for the supplements. For example, coffee!

8. Question: Does Bone Broth have Sufficient Calcium For A Growing Toddler?

Hi Anne Marie,

I am mentally preparing to start my family on the GAPS intro diet soon. I would like all six of my children to follow it, including my 19 month old son. I am concerned that he will not be drinking milk for a little while. Does bone broth have sufficient calcium for a growing toddler?

I know it will be temporary (and I know that I can introduce cultured dairy products before milk), but I wanted to see what your take is on this. I know that you cannot dispense medical advice, and in the end, I will just give him milk if I feel he should have it, but you are so much more an expert on this that I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for your website! I have learned so much since I began reading it.



Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride answered this on the GAPSDiet.com website:

There is plenty of calcium in nuts, particularly almonds, meat broth and vegetables.  When fermented dairy are introduced there will be even more calcium in the diet.  Calcium has to be balanced with other minerals, particularly with magnesium.  Supplemental calcium usually causes deficiencies in many other minerals, as it chelates them and does not allow them to be absorbed.  That is why I do not recommend calcium supplements.  When you get calcium from natural foods you get it in combination with many other minerals and other nutrients, which allow the body to use them all appropriately.
Calcium works in opposition to magnesium in the body.  GAPS patients are usually deficient in magnesium.  Supplementing calcium will make that deficiency worse with serious consequences.

9. Question: Information About Selling Lacto-fermented Foods?

Hi Ann Marie,

My brother and I have been lacto fermenting ketchup and salsa (among other things!) for a year now and everyone I have made it for has fallen in love, become addicted and keep requesting more! I would like to start making it and selling it, and have started a business plan and have the business side kinda figured out.

My question is if you might know the legalities around selling lacto-fermented foods or where I could find this information? I have been scouring the FDA and USDA sites and cannot find anything specific about raw whey or fermenting? I am a little worried because of crackdowns on raw milk etc. lately. I live in Long Beach.

If you have any advice or suggestions it would be great!

Thanks so much!



I don’t know anything about this. I would connect with Elena from Culture Club 101. She knows all the ins and outs. If I were you, I’d go visit her and see if she can mentor you. She is a sweetheart and a powerhouse — you’ll love her!

10. Question: Thoughts About Conventional Turkey Farms?

Hi Ann Marie – Another question for you — I keep meaning to send this one and finally remembered!

It’s about conventional turkey farms.  How horrible are they compared with conventional factory chicken farms?  I imagine pretty bad, but possibly not so because the birds most likely live longer than 48 day factory chickens. I don’t think my budget can handle a $75 plus bird for Thanksgiving and I plan to look for a Kosher bird or something that at least doesn’t have nasty additives and ‘broth’ injected into it.

Any insight on “good  – better – best” for turkeys?

Turkey lunch meat is also so convenient and hard to pass up.  One of my local stores has real turkey breast they smoke or roast themselves and slice on the slicer, and that is my preference whenever I go to that store.

Thanks again!


I would imagine conventional turkey farms are just as bad as conventional chicken farms. I order our holiday turkeys from Healthy Family Farms.

I also no longer buy turkey meat. I do eat it on sandwiches if I’m out at a deli or something. But I don’t buy it.

What you want in a turkey is one that lives outdoors, in the sunshine, eating bugs. They should eat only organic feed — no GMO corn and soy. If you can find turkeys that are not fed soy, that’s the very best. (This is true of my local farm, Healthy Family Farms, but it is hard to find.)

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.