Food Intolerances vs. Sensitivities, and Carbs & Keto

Podcast Episode #354: Food Intolerances vs. Sensitivities, and Carbs & Keto

Diane Sanfilippo Featured, Paleo and Primal, Podcast Episodes Leave a Comment

Food Intolerances vs. Sensitivities, and Carbs & KetoTopics

  1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:03]
    1. Diane's keto book plans
    2. Balanced Bites Master Class
    3. Emily Schromm's Body Awareness Project
    4. Balanced Bites Podcast Facebook Group
    5. Liz on Modern Mamas podcast
    6. Liz's swim lesson choice
    7. Liz's Lifetime Fitness experience
  2. What we ate for dinner last night [15:40]
  3. Food intolerances versus sensitivities [19:28]
  4. Carbs and the keto diet [29:09]
  5. Favorite summer treat [46:52]

Subscribe to  

Balanced Bites Master Class

The episodes are also available in iTunes, Spotify & Stitcher.

 Show sponsors:
NTA | Podcast Sponsor | Balanced Bites Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo





Food Intolerances vs. Sensitivities, and Carbs & Keto Food Intolerances vs. Sensitivities, and Carbs & Keto Food Intolerances vs. Sensitivities, and Carbs & Keto Food Intolerances vs. Sensitivities, and Carbs & Keto

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 354.

Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane; a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo and the new 21-Day Sugar Detox Daily Guide. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids.

Liz Wolfe: I’m Liz; a nutritional therapy practitioner, and author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Eat the Yolks; The Purely Primal Skincare Guide; and the online program Baby Making and Beyond. I live on a lake in the mystical land of the Midwest, outside of Kansas City.

We’re the co-creators of the Balanced Bites Master Class, and we’ve been bringing you this award-winning podcast for more than 6 years. We’re here to share our take on modern healthy living, answer your questions, and chat with leading health and wellness experts. Enjoy this week’s episode, and submit your questions at or watch the Balanced Bites podcast Instagram account for our weekly calls for questions. You can ask us anything in the comments.

Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants (including me; I’m an NTP), emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal.

The NTA’s nutritional therapy practitioner program and new fully online nutritional therapy consultant program empower graduates with the education and skills needed to launch a successful, fulfilling career in holistic nutrition. To learn lots more about the NTA’s nutritional therapy programs, and to check out their free Nutritional Therapy 101 course, go to There are workshops in the US, Canada, and Australia, so chances are you’ll be able to find a venue that works for you.

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:03]

Liz Wolfe: Ok. Hi Diane!

Diane Sanfilippo: Hi.

Liz Wolfe: Hey buddy. What’s happening over by the Bay?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Hey, buddy!

Liz Wolfe: Hey buddy.

Diane Sanfilippo: I feel like you used to say that all the time. What’s happening? Lot’s is happening. Lots of things going on. Do you think I should talk about writing a new book on this episode?

Liz Wolfe: Yes!

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Liz Wolfe: Just to tell everybody about it, and to make me feel inadequate.

Diane Sanfilippo: No, no, no.

Liz Wolfe: I mean motivated.

Diane Sanfilippo: You created a new human life.

Liz Wolfe: That was like 3 years ago, Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} As far as I’m concerned, you get to ride that one for the next 15.

Liz Wolfe: Ok, fair enough.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, I’m just saying. So I’m writing a new book. And it’s been kind of brewing and percolating almost since before I wrote my last book, the 21-Day Sugar Detox Daily Guide. Because the topic of keto, as we know, has been a really hot, popular topic. And what some folks may not realize is that I was actually eating keto when I wrote Practical Paleo. What? Mind blown.

Interestingly enough, when I was writing Practical Paleo and all the recipes for it, I got to a point where I think I was finished with most of the recipes and I looked at them and thought; “I really don’t have many carbs in here.” And it was because I wasn’t eating them. So went back and added some sweet potatoes. I remember the sweet potato coins, and there was a butternut squash and grilled pineapple recipe. A couple of others that I had to sort of add in after the fact. And then in the new addition, I definitely added more. I had some potatoes and things like that. But in the original book, I really didn’t have a lot. Because I wasn’t eating a lot of carbs.

So, now with this new influx of folks who are interested. And additional, a lot of folks who go through the 21-Day Sugar Detox finish it, and want to know where to go next. And a lot of folks are grabbing Practical Paleo, but a lot are very curious about keto. And the reality is, there’s tons of information out there. Tons of books.

But I have my own take on it. And my own experience. And what I want to share with people in terms of a direction, and the wisdom that I’ll impart on how to approach it from a really healthy, balanced, sane way. Whether that’s going to be a dietary intervention for a short period of time, or how to look at it as a longer-term approach. Kind of the way we’ve talked about paleo for the last however many years. We’ve felt the same way about it.

I don’t think you have to be somebody who is full tilt 100%; I eat this way all the time in order to well-educate someone else on the tenants. The basic tenants. And sort of how to approach it. So all that being said; I’m writing a book. And it will be centered around a keto way of eating. More details to come. But I’ll definitely be chatting a little bit more about that, in places like my Instagram stories. Maybe taking some polls. Asking for your feedback and questions. I know we’ve had tons of questions to the podcast, and we’ll talk about one of them today, which I love. And so yeah, I’m definitely happy to illuminate more topics around keto that I think are relevant and important to talk about that. So there’s that.

I went back and looked at some records I was keeping of food logs; I have food logs back to, I don’t know, September 2010 when I was first dabbling with keto. Which is really interesting to look at. I discovered that we didn’t know what cauliflower rice was back then {laughs} because I know you remember when we all first started eating cauliflower mash. And you were like; no. Not a thing.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Don’t give me that instead of potatoes. But there was a time when a lot of us eating strict paleo really didn’t; we never riced cauliflower until; I don’t know who was the very first to do it.

Liz Wolfe: We never riced what?

Diane Sanfilippo: Cauliflower.

Liz Wolfe: Cauli-flower? This is another regional difference that you and I have. Mayonnaise; mayonnaise. Cauliflower; cauliflower.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s fine. It’s all fine.

Liz Wolfe: Anyway.

Diane Sanfilippo: OK, anyway. So there’s that. More to come on that. I’m not sharing more details around the title or any of that at this point. But I will soon. Other updates; the Master Class is actually closing. The enrollment is closing; I believe it will be tomorrow as of the airing of this episode. There’s always a chance, sometimes, that we have an extra day or two if some people are kind of squeaking in and just barely missed it.

But if you're listening to this, and it’s Thursday; tomorrow is likely your last chance to enroll. So definitely don’t wait. Because it won’t open again for about another year. We always relook at the timing of things to just make sure we can be with you guys on live calls that we’re doing, and that it looks like a good time for people to do it. There’s that.

And then a super quick note; The Body Awareness Project. I know, Liz, you and I have both been a part of that with Emily Schromm. You can check it out online; Body Awareness Project. But I’m going to be chatting with Emily a bit coming up here. We’re going to be sharing information on adrenal health. So I’m really excited about that, because I think there’s a ton that everyone can learn from on adrenal health. So that will be part two of the Body Awareness Project. Part one was all about skin. Part two is going to be all about adrenal health.

What is going on over by the lake?

Liz Wolfe: Oh, you know. Just the normal retirement community living for us over here.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: All the normal stuff. Before I talk about that; in concert with what you were saying about the Master Class and business type stuff. I want to remind everybody to join the Balanced Bites podcast Facebook group. We’ve talked about it in previous episodes. But that’s a really great way to have some good discussion about some of the topics that we talk about on the podcast. And to interact with like-minded people. And of course to submit questions. Just yet another way to communicate with us. So make sure you join. You can just search Facebook for that; is that right, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: OK, cool. Alright. So personal stuff. I just recently did the Modern Mamas podcast once again. I think that’s the fourth time I’ve been on the Modern Mamas podcast. Jess and Laura have become really good friends of mine. They’re wonderful, wonderful people. And we talked about some; it was weird. It was weird. I shared some stuff just about my motherhood journey that I had not shared previously. And it was interesting because it just kind of came out of my mouth, and I didn’t feel weird and I didn’t have that strange discomfort or protective instinct over the information that I have in the past, just because I really feel like I’ve made some progress with that in therapy. And things like that. And we talk about it all in the Modern Mamas podcast.

So if you're a parent, or you are parent-curious. Or you're just curious about my personal life. {laughs} Go listen to the episode of the Modern Mamas podcast. It was their one-year anniversary.

Diane Sanfilippo: Everybody has stopped listening to this now, and they’re clicking over to that.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Bye!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: So the other thing that I wanted to talk about, is I’ve been asked a lot lately, because we moved to a lake, about the swim lessons that we chose for my kid. It’s really, really important to me that she has a good foundation in swimming and all of that. And way back before we lived at this lake, and before we were even thinking about it, I had toyed around with different types of swimming lessons. And it was kind of a tough decision for me. I was looking at ISR; which is I believe infant swim rescue. It’s a really, really intense training. It’s not like they’re very; sometimes aggressive in talking about this. But they’re very, “We’re not blowing bubbles and singing songs. We are teaching self-rescue. We’re teaching children as young as 6 months old to basically be able to float. And not drown.”

I had felt like the approach; I was scared of it. I was really scared of the ISR approach. I was scared that it was going to be traumatic, and I just didn’t think it was right for us at the time. Plus it’s 10 minutes a day for quite a few days in a row to really develop these skills. And they track things like your kid’s urine output. It’s really, really intense. Because the kids are really kind of thrown.

Diane Sanfilippo: Do they also put them on a keto diet? {laughing} They’re tracking their urine.

Liz Wolfe: Right?! It’s pretty serious stuff.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s crazy.

Liz Wolfe: And it’s a little scary. But at the time, we lived like an hour away from the closest lesson. I didn’t think I could drive an hour for a 10 minute less. All of that stuff. So we enrolled in Emler swim school, which has been wonderful. We’ve been in for about a year. It’s every week for a year. It’s indoor. It’s a saltwater pool. And they’ve been great. And my kid is actually getting pretty good in the water.

However; I would certainly not say that she would be able to rescue herself if something happened and she fell in. Who knows. All of these things that happen even under complete supervision. So my thought now, is; Gosh. If we ever had another one, I would probably go ahead and do the ISR. Just wanting my kid to have those…

Diane Sanfilippo: You mean another kid?

Liz Wolfe: No. Well I can’t go back and do it with the first one. At this point, we’re bought into the other approach. Maybe I could, but I think we’re on a track now and we’re just going to continue with it. But I think it would be good for a child. Especially one that’s going to be around water for any length of time when they’re very young. Not to just love the water. Because it can be a little scary.

My kid, now, she loves the water. She does not have a healthy fear of the water at all. She wants to jump in. She wants to take off her water wings, and things like that. And while she can hold her breath for like 8 seconds, and swim and kick, which is amazing. She cannot turn over and float and wait to be rescued. So I think we would probably do ISR if we had the chance to do it again. And then from there, we would probably continue doing a weekly lesson like with Emler Swim School or something like that. So that’s my take on swim lessons at this point.

Diane Sanfilippo: Also, I have a burning question. Do you French braid her hair?

Liz Wolfe: Yes!

Diane Sanfilippo: This is a skill that; I know it’s going to sound weird. But you don’t strike me as a crafty type. So the fact that you can double French braid your kids’ hair definitely is surprising to me. In the most delightful way. I’m like; Liz, look at this with your little! It just seems very crafty, you know what I mean?

Liz Wolfe: What’s funny is I’m actually quite good, or I was as a youngster, at art. And creative type pursuits. I really liked being good at that stuff. I was in a bunch of young kid’s art show type things. It’s kind of crazy. From the time I was in kindergarten all the way through middle and high school.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that.

Liz Wolfe: But I just didn’t cultivate that. It’s funny, my dad’s the same way. He has some really good artistic talents, but he just never cultivated them. So I do like stuff like that.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love it. I’ve just always known you as such a words person, and a writer. So for whatever reason in my mind, those things are so separate. But I love seeing that. It’s the cutest thing.

Liz Wolfe: That is interesting. I always liked actually writing by hand. That’s kind of where those two things come together. Where I liked making words in script, and things like that. So I think they maybe kind of connected there, and I just kind of went one direction versus the other. But I do like crafting and drawing and whatnot. So what else did I want to talk about?

Oh, really quick note. I have also been sharing my exercise snippets. Some of the things I’ve been doing at Lifetime Fitness. Which, by the way, I’ve gotten so much feedback from people who actually work at Lifetime Fitness or know someone who works at Lifetime Fitness, and what’s really fun to hear is how much people like the company. I’m like; yay! I love that I’m loving this gym and that other people…

Diane Sanfilippo: I have a friend who works for them, too.

Liz Wolfe: It’s awesome. It’s awesome to hear. And I’m loving the experience that I’m having. And the trainer that I have, Nick is great. I’ve been tagging him on my Instagram videos, if anybody wants to start following him. He’s excellent. He’s really well-rounded trainer.

But I want people to know that I didn’t just walk in one day and start doing overhead squats. I wasn’t like, “I need to get back in the gym.” And go in and start kicking my own butt. I worked probably with a trainer on corrective exercise and mobility for several months before I was ever ready to hold a bar over my head. It’s been that long, and my movement patterns. Especially; guys, breastfeeding moms who spend two years slumped over their kid breastfeeding; it’s serious business to get that mobility back. I was working on just scap and shoulder mobility for quite some time. I even went to physical therapy to get me moving properly so I could actually build a foundation.

So I’m having a lot of fun getting back in the gym and doing some fun stuff. But I really gave myself a ton of grace during that process. And built up slowly with very few expectations, other than I would show up. So just so folks know.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love it.

2. What we ate for dinner last night [15:40]

Liz Wolfe: Alright. Next up. What we ate for dinner last night.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ooh.

Liz Wolfe: This is a good question. I ate Indian food. It was a Friday night. We’re recording now on a Saturday. So Friday night, my husband and I were like; “What kind of really yummy, yummy food do we want to get?” Since we can’t go out or do anything. Since we’re parents.

Diane Sanfilippo: What did you have? I want to know what you had.

Liz Wolfe: Oh. The plain old usual; tikka masala and korma. Nothing really out there.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love chicken tikka masala. I don’t think I know what’s in korma? Do you?

Liz Wolfe: I got vegetable korma. I believe it’s…

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s the sauce.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know. It’s all the things.

Diane Sanfilippo: OK.

Liz Wolfe: I read something really interesting about Indian food once, where it’s this combination of all these flavors that would be considered not combinable by some people. And you put them all together and it just activates ever one of your senses. It’s so good.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mmm. Sounds like the equivalent of mole.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, I love mole too. Love it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Where it’s like a million ingredients, and it just has this amazing umami flavor. Ok, so last night; yesterday, as you said, was Friday. Scott and I were both starting to feel weirdly under the weather. Our house was really clean, because our housekeepers came to clean. And we did not want to cook. So like you, we ordered in. And we had Thai food. So I had some red curry last night. And it was delicious. And it was really spicy. And that’s totally what I wanted, to try and help clear my sinuses a bit. So that’s a different one. We both did not eat homecooked food. So interesting.

Liz Wolfe: Well.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s what happens on a Friday night sometimes.

Liz Wolfe: Cue the mass defection of people that think we eat all paleo all the time. I don’t think we have that many folks left. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: No, I don’t think so. And actually, if you need to be gluten free, you can do that really easily in both Indian food and Thai food. Dairy is tough to avoid with Indian food, I find. Not impossible, but tough if you want to enjoy some of those yummy, creamy sauces. But with Thai food, really easy to do dairy free. There’s not dairy in most of that. A little tough to avoid sugar, I think. I think they do sometimes add some sweetener to some curry. It’s hard to know. But it was delicious.

Liz Wolfe: So where do you go in San Francisco for your Thai food?

Diane Sanfilippo: We actually just order from a place that’s very, very close. It’s called Lemon Grass.

Liz Wolfe: We’ve got one of those!

Diane Sanfilippo: Very original name for a Thai food place. {laughs} But they literally deliver; I’m not kidding, it must be 15 minutes. Because they’re about 6 blocks away. And we don’t order anything that I think has to be cooked to order. I think they kind of have a giant thing of chicken curry or whatever it is. So yeah. It’s very, very fast.

Liz Wolfe: We go to India Palace on 87th street and Overland Park. Best korma in the city. Lovely, lovely.

Diane Sanfilippo: Good to know.

Liz Wolfe: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice wild seafood and organics. The leading source of high quality, sustainably sourced seafood and a certified B corporation. Spring has sprung, and it’s time for light but powerful paleo-friendly fare. Like omega-3 rich wild seafood and delicious grass-fed meat. For something easy on the go, grab one of their pocket-sized tins of sardines, or some salmon or bison jerky. They’ve got our favorite wild salmon and shellfish; plus salmon burgers, dogs, bacon, and even organic bone broths. Check it all out at

3. Food intolerances versus sensitivities [19:28]

Liz Wolfe: Alright. So today we’re going to answer a couple of questions focusing on digestion, and then one on keto and carbs.

First question, “How do you know if you have an intolerance; lack of enzymes; or sensitivity; immune/inflammation issues? I have an autoimmune disease; Hashimoto’s, and following an autoimmune protocol diet. But I do eat eggs. I have a lot of inflammation and sometimes have itchy scalp and bumps if I eat foods I know I’m sensitive to. But I also respond well to digestive enzymes. Should I use enzymes consistently? Is this an intolerance? I’ve been on a mineral plan and gut healing plan for six months now. Any advice would be appreciated.”

So, my thoughts on this was just; right at first, it might not really matter whether this is intolerance or a sensitivity. You just kind of go with what works. Boosting one; boosting your ability to digest via digestive enzymes might improve the other. So you can kind of address both the best that you can. And just kind of keep track of whether you're able to actually kind of hand it off to your body eventually, or if you need a little bit more deliberate care.

I think that anybody in this type of situation needs overall tactics for improving the whole digestive cascade. This is a huge part of what we tackle in the Master Class. Come take the Master Class, guys. If you’ve got a digestive thing, or if you’ve got a food thing. Whatever it is; come learn about how the body processes food. From top to bottom; literally bottom. It is so fascinating. And understanding how the whole cascade works, and how you can make things that are going on a little farther along in the process work better by editing what you're doing at the beginning of the process. It’s just amazing to learn all of this stuff. So come join us for that if you're trying to figure stuff out.

As far as eggs; I think we know they’re kind of an offender in aggravating autoimmunity. And so that’s something; you don’t know until you take them out. And for a decent period of time, as well. I love the nutrients in eggs, so hopefully you're eating a well-rounded diet. Which includes things like liver, because eggs are rich in vitamin A and choline, and so is liver. Liver is also rich in some of the fatty acids that actually control the inflammatory pathways. There’s one called arachidonic acid, which is beneficial when it’s in balance with your omega-3 anti-inflammatory fatty acids. So that’s really important, as well; get that liver in there.

But I also want to point something else out. And this is relatively new to me, but it has been extremely interesting, the research that’s out there. The connection between autoimmune disease and trauma; I’m not saying that everybody that has autoimmune disease has some trauma that they’re not aware of. But we know specifically from the scientific literature that things like PTSD in soldiers is associated with autoimmune diagnoses. And that’s incredibly interesting to me.

And this isn’t the first that doctors and scientists have talked about just the general connection between autoimmune disease, the physical manifestation of trauma. So this is something that’s being actively connected in the scientific literature. I think it’s well worth looking at. If you have any kind of puzzling condition, or any kind of autoimmunity. Particularly chronic pain. You could go back to; if you're interested in the chronic pain discussion, you could go back to our podcast with Dr. David Hanscom, who wrote the book Back in Control.

You could also go have a look at a book like The Body Keeps the Score. Which was a wonderful book about this topic, the way trauma manifests. Trauma can be anything. We think about soldiers in war, and PTSD. Absolutely. But it also is a matter of, how we process our own life experiences. And something that’s traumatic for one person maybe would not be for another. But whatever it is, just working through it. Whether that’s with a therapist or recognizing it. Maybe reading a book like The Body Keeps the Score. Helps you understand a little bit better how these things are related.

The cool thing about The Body Keeps the Score is that it’s heavy in the why, but it’s also extremely dense in the how to take care of it. And those things are not going to be super surprising to you. They’re going to be things like therapy, yoga, things like that. So you can even skim certain parts of it to learn a little bit about that.

I think this is why we find that people need more than just an AIP diet. This is just a theme that just keeps happening and happening. That type of thing can only get you so far. And then we really need to be working on the other stuff, as well. And we also know; Diane and I, just from our experience in this realm, how much your mental state affects your digestive process.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, totally. A couple of things I want to piggy back on there. One was; in mentioning the class. The reason why we mention the class is that even if you know some or most of the information that we might teach, we definitely dive deeper in the class. But the other cool thing is that it’s basically giving you a time and space to actually focus on working on those things. And a workbook to go through it. And people who are with you in the journey.

So a lot of us hear about; here’s how the digestive process should work. Here’s ways to kind of support ourselves in that. But it’s very rare to get a time and a space to say; “ok. Now I’m going to focus on this for myself. I'm going to commit to doing that. Here’s week one, two, three. Etc.” Anyway. Just throwing that out there about the class itself. Which, you can do this totally on your own, if you want to. But I think if you're wanting that extra help, be aware of that.

As a side note, the loving diet. We had Jessica Flanagan on this show, at least once, if not more, talking about approaches to autoimmune ways of eating. When and if that is the end all, be all. I think when she’s talking about a consistent level of inflammation or issues digesting different foods. To your point, Liz, a lot of times there is just work to be done that’s not going to happen on the plate. Whether that is with your digestive process, and it’s partially the rest and digest. Being in the appropriate mental state to digest food and physical state to digest food. Or it’s just something much, much deeper. As you said; something like a trauma that has not fully been healed.

Unfortunately, the type of physical stress that manifests from a mental or emotional stressor that’s kind of buried is almost impossible to measure. So that’s why I think it’s impossible to measure, and it’s impossible to broadly quantify across a large group of people. And that’s kind of saying measure in a different way. But the reality is, no two traumas are the same. Even if they seem similar on paper. If that makes sense.

So like a death in the family of somebody very close to you. An experience that you fully thought was going to go one way, and went totally another and was traumatizing in that way. All different things can affect people differently. And even one experience in your family may affect you differently than it affects a twin sister, for example.

So, I just always want to emphasize how important that is to figure out what’s going on with our emotional state. Because we can keep hammering at these physical fixes. And I have just seen it over and over again. Not only in the work that we do. But over the years I’ve had a lot of friends who were not personal trainers so much as corrective exercise specialists. And I know Liz, your trainer works a little bit in this. But even on this deeper level of corrective movement and getting into how a lot of folks end up releasing emotional trauma when finding ways to correct movement patterns. And I know that seems crazy, but this is where you can dig into chakras and where all these traumas have affected us in different ways emotionally that affect us directly physically.

Anyway, there’s all of that. And on the very practical side of things; I agree with you that if somebody is taking enzymes and that works for you, I wouldn’t really stress too much about; “Oh, should I not be doing that all the time.” I definitely find that I do better if I am taking some digestive enzymes. That’s something that I knew for a long time, and kind of got away from. And definitely feel better doing it. I don’t have a problem with that in terms of helping my body out. I think there are various reasons why we may not be producing everything optimally.

And unless and until you get all of that sorted “perfectly”; which is almost impossible to do. I think it’s totally relevant and fair and valid and not anything you should feel guilty about to be taking digestive enzymes, if that’s what works for you. And maybe in the longer term you’ll find that you don’t need them. But if you do I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think it’s ok to kind of lean on that for support.

4. Carbs and the keto diet [29:09]

Liz Wolfe: OK, this next one ties into the many things that we were discussing earlier about carbs and keto. “Hi Diane! I’ve really appreciated learning from you through your cookbook and your podcast. I’ve become so much healthier within the past year, and a lot of my journey was spurred on by learning from you. A year ago, I was stressed and not taking care of myself, and my health was suffering. I felt like I’d hit a low, but it forced me to make changes. I started to learn how to take care of myself from a holistic perspective. I started eating paleo more consistently. Doing stress relieving yoga every morning. Gratefulness journaling. Affirmations. Visualization journaling. More intentional healthy friendships. Healthy boundaries. Reading. Listening to books and podcasts. Some meditation practice. Some healthier spiritual guidance.”

Ok, this is an aside, but wow! {laughs} That’s awesome.

“I spent time intentionally investing in so many aspects of my life. And I just feel so much better now. I’m so thankful. I learned more about keto and IF (intermittent fasting) through your podcast, and wanted to give that a try. I was strict, and lost 40 pounds really quickly. I needed to lose it. Then I lost another 10 pounds more slowly. I look and feel great. I have more energy. My mood is stabilized. I’m not constantly thinking about the next time I can eat. Etc., etc.

So now I’m holding steady around 137 pounds, 5 feet 5. I’d be happy to stay here a while, or drop another 10 pounds more slowly. I have two young kids. Do not really exercise much beyond yoga every morning. Hopefully I’ll be able to add more exercise in with time. I need help figuring out how to make keto work for me more long-term. I think with my family history, low-carb is what I’ll need to maintain long-term in order to stay at a healthy weight and avoid diabetes. I’m having a tendency to be either super strict on keto; and then when I know special occasions are coming up I’ll kind of go crazy and binge eat junk food since I’m “off” keto then. I feel like; oh, here’s my chance to eat all the yummy food I’ve been abstaining from! I feel like crap when I do this, physically, and I gain a lot of weight in those few days. I try not to guilt trip myself; I just let it go and recommit myself and move on. Then lose the weight through strict keto an intermittent fasting.

I’ve appreciated your balanced approach with life and diet, so what advice can you give here? How can I make keto work in my life? I feel like you have to be super strict with keto for it to work. And I’ve been able to abstain when I’m committed and on the keto train. But I’d like to be able to indulge for special occasions here and there, and not throw in the towel and binge eat. But if I eat just a bite, I feel like I’ve ruined my keto streak. Especially considering some experts say it takes so long to actually get into ketosis anyway. Plus, I think when I do indulge a little, biologically I’m more tempted to take another bite, and then another, because of what that first bite did to my blood sugar. I’ve not had a history with eating disorders, but sometimes honestly I feel tempted to purge after my junk food binge sessions. Though I have not done so. I feel like it’s easier to just completely abstain, but I don’t feel like I can live my whole life like that. I want to enjoy my life, and my culture some, too. How can I find a healthy balance in this?

Can you also speak on how healthy keto can be long term? Specifically, I wonder about getting enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Thanks so much.”

I am very curious what you're going to say, my dear.

Diane Sanfilippo: This is such a great question. This is kind of exactly why; we could not have picked a better question. What’s her name; Angela asking this one. Because so much of this is why I realized sharing what I have to say about this is important and valid, for people to have a resource in a book. But I’ll share a lot of my thoughts right now.

A few things. She’s asking a bunch of questions, or addressing a bunch of topics in this whole situation/question. So, I’ll work backwards. The last thing she was asking about was getting enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals. And I will address this in the book. I am going to look at breaking down a day, and kind of seeing where you're landing with different vitamins and minerals, etc.

You really can do well on keto by following more of an approach that we’ve been talking about for years. A real food sort of paleo approach. And I don’t have a problem with people including dairy; especially really high-quality stuff. But I think where people can go very astray with keto is that if you're taking the approach of; “It has no carbs, so I’ll eat it.” Versus, “It’s a healthy, whole, real food and it happens to not have a lot of carbs.” Or it doesn’t have a high amount of net carbs; meaning what you get when you subtract out the fiber from the carb content. Because we really don’t digest and absorb fiber for the most part. It’s actually sweeping through our digestive system.

You can do really, really well by including lots of different vegetables. Obviously, these are mostly non-starchy vegetables. And including things like lemon juice and lime juice; rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the things that is usually pretty apparent in carb-rich foods or in non-animal foods, with the exception of adrenal glands of some animals. So for example, if you were doing a carnivore diet, it would be really difficult to get vitamin C unless you were eating adrenal glands. But with a general, healthy, keto diet, where you're eating bell peppers. Bell peppers raw are such a great way to do that. I know not everybody can eat them. Just depending on if you have different restrictions. If you can’t do nightshades, etc.

But bell peppers are such an excellent source of vitamin C. And we can eat them raw pretty easily. And getting vitamin C in the raw format is definitely ideal, because it’s a water-soluble vitamin. It tends to decrease in something like broccoli, for example, where as you will get more of it and keep more of it in a raw bell pepper. So just a side not there. And it doesn’t need to come from fruit if you're not eating more sugar.

And I do think that someone who has a family history of type 2 diabetes, and you're trying to avoid that, and you feel good eating this way. I think there is a healthy, balanced way to do it. Where it’s overall not going to make you crazy.

So to the question about; how do I do this long-term and not go off the rails? First things first. You’ve been doing this a while. But remember, it’s still relatively new to you in terms of your overall life. So even if you’ve been doing this for a year, assuming you're at least 30 years old; that’s one out of 30 years that you’ve worked on creating this new way of eating. And so it is really difficult to say, “Ok. This is how I eat. And what might be presented to me at a party is something I’m not going to indulge in.”

And I will say; I’m sure that a lot of our listeners can vouch for this. Over time, eating a certain way. I do think that you’ll find this experience you’re having where you’ll feel really junky, honestly if you do that a couple of times, you teach yourself what you do and don’t want anymore. And I’ve definitely had this experience. And it actually just happened recently. I was out for a friend’s birthday. We were at a bar; which I drank an unsweetened iced tea. Not a Long Island ice tea, because I really just; I’m not a big fan of alcohol these days for myself, at all. And that was just a choice I made. It was like; I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. I just didn’t want it.

Somebody brought gluten free cookies to the bar for her birthday, because she eats gluten free. And I was looking at them, and they looked really good. And I was like; you know what? I don’t even want that. Because I know for me, if I eat one I’ll want more than one because I’m an Abstainer. And I know also that it will be gone in 30 seconds, and I’ll wish that I had another one. It’s just not a good situation for me.

I didn’t feel any kind of emotional stress or trauma around choosing not to eat the cookie. It takes, I think, sometimes years to undo these patterns and habits that we have around somehow feeling this FOMO; fear of missing out about a cookie. Maybe there will be a time where you’ll have it, and maybe there will be a time where you won’t.

But I think giving yourself a little grace around how long it might take you, and how many times you may need to go through this experience of; I’m at the party and I have the food and then I feel this way as a result. And then how many times will you go through that until you decide; actually, I can predict how I’m going to feel after I eat this, physically and emotionally. So instead of wanting it, I actually don’t want it.

And that I think is a really big turning point. Where the food loses this emotional power that it currently has over you. And I don’t think that you need to feel guilty or shameful about having that experience in the moments when you have it. Because we’ve lived so much of our lives with that as a normal food. A normal thing to do. It’s part of our culture, and part of how we celebrate. With sweets and all of these foods.

Because the reality is; unfortunately, those are maligned to what our bodies really want. And it’s a very tricky landscape to navigate when cookies, and cakes, and brownies, and booze, and sugary things are how we celebrate. So it takes a long time, I think, to separate those things. And I also don’t think that in the long-term; I’ve talked about this with the sugar detox. Never having a cookie is the solution. However; in those moments, I think you will have to go through it many times before you figure out what works for you. Whether it’s “I don’t actually want that anymore.” Or, “I know myself. And I know that if I have one, I’ll want more. So I’m just going to say no to it right now. If I decide another day that I want it, I’ll have it and see what happens.

So there’s one side of it. That’s the emotional side. Then the physical side of things. She’s talking about how long it can take to get back into ketosis. And how physically horrible she kind of feels after this indulgent period. So one of the things that happens when you're eating low carb for an extended period of time; and we’ve talked about this with the gestational diabetes test many times over. Where we know women are eating lower carb, or even paleo and not really trying to eat super low carb. They just are naturally. Your body is sort of downregulating how efficiently it will process glucose as it hits your blood stream. And that’s not for a pathological or disease-oriented reason. It’s because as you don’t need to be clearing sugar as much from the blood stream, your body is just not going to be as primed to do so.

So what happens when you're eating lower carb for a long period of time is that if you inundate your blood stream with tons of carbs and tons of sugar, you actually can be in this slightly insulin-resistant state at that time. Meaning those carbs are going to be harder for you to process after eating keto for a long time than they might have been before. So does that mean that you want to be eating carb all the time so that you avoid that? Maybe. Maybe this is something where you want to work in more of a cyclic approach to what you're doing. Maybe you work in something where one day a week, you're having a meal that does have some more carbs.

Or maybe you're doing; you're not really doing much physical activity right now that would demand carbohydrate. So I wouldn’t recommend using it as a replenishment. But maybe you want to find a way to balance that out over time. Or, perhaps for you, planning out. Because it sounds like, as an Abstainer, you also get this bit of; I’m going to call it Abstainer Rebellion. We talk about Gretchen Rubin’s work with Obliger Rebellion, where after so long of a period of time of doing what people expect of you. I think Abstainers, we can get this way too. Where we’re rebelling against our own abstaining.

But I guess it’s just basically when you dip your toe in something, and you know that you can’t really say no, because it becomes all or nothing. I think if you're struggling with the emotional side of it, recognizing that giving yourself that time period of saying; “Ok. Why don’t I just, one day a week, have one meal or two meals that do include some carbs.” So it doesn’t feel like as much of this crazy restriction.

And I personally think that for a long-term approach, especially for someone like Angela. Who is saying she really doesn’t have that much more weight that she wants to lose to be healthy. I think that finding a way to balance this is a better long-term approach. And I would liken this to what a lot of us have done with the paleo diet. Where we say; if you want to have some gluten free toast now and then, and that feels good for you. If you create too many constructs, and religious dogma around “but I can’t have that to be paleo” That’s just setting you up for failure.

So in this longer-term approach to keto, or low-carb as a lifestyle, I think if you give yourself those, as an Abstainer, I think this works well. Give yourself those time periods of, ok this day. And I don’t think of it as a cheat day. I just think of it as a window of; this is a little bit of more flexibility. And I feel like, as an Abstainer personally, if I know there’s some flexibility, I’m actually much more apt to not want it in this weird way. If you're not telling me I can’t have it, then it doesn’t bother me as much. It really is a choice.

So there’s a lot to unpack there. I think everyone responds differently to these kinds of situations. But physically speaking, there are some implications of loading yourself up on carbs. If you’ve been eating super low carb for a long time. However, I will say that this is going to be different for everyone. Not everybody’s body is the same. What you're gaining in “weight” in those few days is likely just water weight. Because your body is taking in the carbohydrate, and you will be able to retain water much more easily when you do that over that period of time. Unless you're eating many, many calories more than you normally would. It’s virtually impossible to actually gain that much body fat. Multiple pounds of body fat within a couple of days. That’s just not going to be happening.

But your body will bounce back. You’ll be a little bit more metabolically flexible over time as you're eating lower carb, if you find a way to balance getting some other quality carbs in now and then. Once a week, every couple of weeks, something like that. Where you're not going off the rails and eating a bunch of junk food. But I think that’s something that you honestly have to figure out over a longer period of time how this will work for you in the long term. Because ultimately, one person’s set of rules of “Hey, this is what I found works for me!” Is just not going to be what works for everyone. And I wouldn’t feel guilty or badly about the fact that you're having these moments where you’ve binged. Learn from it. Reflect on it. Be like; ok, how did that feel? Do I want to feel that way again? And that’s ultimately up to you and how you approach it. There is no keto police who are going to come knock at your door and be like; you did it wrong. It’s really just up to you to kind of decide again the next day. As you’ve said.

Liz Wolfe: Fascinating.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Very, very well said. You know that my interest in keto at this moment is very low, so I’m kind of in listening mode right now. Because I recognize I probably have some knee-jerk reactions to it. Maybe just because of the way I see people clamor around it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes.

Liz Wolfe: So I’m in listening mode. And that was all very, very interesting.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m not somebody; I’m similar to you in that way where I know there are so many people who are clamoring around it that inherently as a rebel, I’m like; everyone just calm down. That’s how we’ve been talking about this, for I would say the last year or so. Maybe.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Probably more than that.

Diane Sanfilippo: With the keto. At least. Where we’ve just seen such a big influx to it, that we’ve been feeling like we need to continually swing the pendulum the other way. And really balance out the conversation so that everyone doesn’t feel like keto is the only way to eat for health and everyone just bounced from paleo to keto. But, I do think that noticing our own place in this world of actually sharing a balanced approach, I’m glad that I wrote Practical Paleo. And I’m glad that I then wasn’t eating strict militant paleo for that long, so that I could give people that approach.

And that’s the same way I feel about keto. Where I’m like great. I’ll teach you about it. But I’m also going to teach you the flip side, if that makes sense. Or explain to you when and how either it’s not working for you, or you maybe want to not do it anymore. I’m going to be talking about that in the book. Because I did a talk many years ago on the low carb cruise where I said how to know if keto is not working for you. And I think it’s valid for people to understand both sides of it. And not take it as with paleo. Where as now it’s your religion. It’s a way of eating, it’s not more than that.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Equip Foods. Dr. Anthony Gustin and his teams have created lines of supplements that are super clean and effective, no matter what your dietary needs. I’ve been blending their complete collagen into my matcha lately every day. Not only does each scoop have a boost of protein, but there is no added flavor, and the texture is great. heck them out at and use the code BALANCED for 20% off all Equip Foods and Perfect Keto, their sister product site.

5. Favorite Summer treat [46:52]

Liz Wolfe: Alright. Let’s wrap it up by talking about our favorite summer treat. What’s your favorite summer treat, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: I was trying to think about this. Because as many of you may know, in San Francisco, we kind of don’t get summer here. So I have one that I love. And I’ve talked about this on the podcast before. But I love frozen cherries that are just a bit defrosted. So you kind of dump them out into your cup or your bowl and let them sit for a few minutes while you do something else. Or you get distracted by a shiny object.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Which happens to me. Side note; often my husband will pour himself a glass of water and then just leave it in the other room and go do something. I’m like; honey, did you want this water?

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} He’s like; oh, I got distracted. I’m like, ok. Hi honey! He’s listening to this. But yeah, I love frozen cherries that are a big defrosted. You can also pour a little coconut milk over them, and sometimes it freezes like magic shell style. I know I’ve talked about this on the podcast before. But that’s definitely one of my favorites. It might not sound that fun to everyone. But I like it. What about you?

Liz Wolfe: That reminds me of my favorite. This has been my favorite since I was a kid. Straight up frozen grapes. So good.

Diane Sanfilippo: we’re into the frozen fruit. I like frozen grapes, too. Frozen peaches. Everything you have in the freezer for a smoothie. Just take it out of the freezer and eat it out of a bowl.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I love frozen grapes. That’s a great way. You know how sometimes they sell grapes in a 10-pound bag.

Liz Wolfe: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: And you're thinking; how am I ever going to eat all of these? Just throw them in the freezer before you get to them all.

Liz Wolfe: So good.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah that’s a good one.

Liz Wolfe: But the problem with that is slightly defrosted frozen grapes are not good. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Not good. No.

Liz Wolfe: You’ve got to eat them straight out of the freezer.

Diane Sanfilippo: Small portions.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Alright, that’s it for this week. You can find me, Liz, at and you can find Diane at Join our email lists for free goodies and updates that you don’t find anywhere else on our website or on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, leave us an iTunes review. See you next week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *