Podcast Episode #114: Hair Loss, Acne, Cooking Fats, Rejuvelac, Zero Impact Living & Dairy

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1.  Liz’s book news [10:16] 2.  Diane’s news [11:26] 3.  I started taking DHEA and now my hair is falling out  [16:17] 4. Strategies for combating acne caused by DHEA or a low-dose hydrocortisone [28:14] 5. Proper storage of fats and oils [35:07] 6. Rejuvelac; yea or nay? [41:28] 7. Zero impact green living and paleo; can they come together? [47:12] 8. Can we talk dairy again? [54:15] [smart_track_player url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/balancedbites/BB_Podcast_114.mp3″ title=”#114: Hair Loss, Acne, Cooking Fats, Rejuvelac, Zero Impact Living & Dairy” artist=”Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe ” color=”00aeef” social=”true” social_twitter=”true” social_facebook=”true” social_gplus=”true” ]

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Balanced Bites Podcast Episode 114 | Listener Q&A | DHEA, Proper Fat Storage, & Dairy Quality

Liz Wolfe: Hey everyone! Welcome to episode 114 of the Balanced Bites podcast. We’re going to have a new intro, going up I think next week. I think we’re going to do like a little, maybe like Kris Cross? Maybe like “jump, jump, Balanced Bites will make ya, jump, jump.”

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: No?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: Not good? I can feel you shaking your head from here.

Diane Sanfilippo: {sighs}

Liz Wolfe: Hey Diane!

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey Liz. Can you hear me?

Liz Wolfe: Perfectly I can hear you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. Because, this is our, like, fourth time trying to record this episode?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I had to drive to a part of the world where there is internet.

Diane Sanfilippo: Instead of “farmternet” which is what I’m going to call it.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Which is your new clever phrase, for what we have out here.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} Or like, the goats are out there, climbing high to put, like, an antenna up somewhere because they like to climb on things.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: So you have goats in trees like holding on to an antenna, hoping to get wifi signal.

Liz Wolfe: That is exactly what happens. Did you see my goat videos yesterday of the goat ballet?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes. I love the goat who, like, puts his head all the way backwards; do they even have real spines?

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} I’m pretty sure they are real spines, but I’m not 100% sure. We haven’t had them that long. We’ll know when it’s time to eat them. I don’t know. That’s terrible.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Those videos weren’t even the more hilarious things they did. It was always right when I turned off the camera.

Diane Sanfilippo: Of course.

Liz Wolfe: Literally, right when I turned off the camera, two of them launched themselves over the 4-1/2 foot tall closed barn door.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: And like, literally tackled me. It was pretty funny.

Diane Sanfilippo: Are they trying to just run at you and hug you? What are they doing?

Liz Wolfe: That’s basically what they do. If you ever come out here, which you never will.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} They will immediately start trying to climb you. If you walk one direction, they will walk while leaning against you. They are very lovey.

Diane Sanfilippo: So basically, their whole ploy is to get you to love them so that you won’t later on eat them {laughs} pretty smart.

Liz Wolfe: Probably. I mean, haven’t you seen Babe and haven’t you read Charlotte’s Web? Isn’t that what animals do?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. That’s what John Durant told me, too, also. You didn’t listen to that episode, I don’t think.

Liz Wolfe: No, I didn’t listen to it. But it makes sense.

Diane Sanfilippo: He said that animals try and be our friends so that we won’t eat them. I’m just kidding, he didn’t actually say that {laughs} but he did say that we…

Liz Wolfe: If he said it, I would believe it.

Diane Sanfilippo: We humanize them, you know, because they do have personalities, and we kind of do it to our household pets, but we don’t eat them, and then we think it’s weird when people eat horses but it’s really not that weird.

Liz Wolfe: Well people in other countries eat cats and dogs.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know. {laughs} I do think it’s a little weird, but.

Liz Wolfe: Well, it feels weird, but the thing is we can make that determination as humans.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yup.

Liz Wolfe: It’s not weird where as we can make those determinations.

Diane Sanfilippo: As I pet Paleo Kitty on my lap, just like Dr. Evil.

Liz Wolfe: I have Paleo Pooch here. We just came back from doggy acupuncture. I’m being serious.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t even know how to respond to that.

Liz Wolfe: I know. It’s crazy. Well, I just figure, before I try it on myself…

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: We’ll try it on the dog. Really.

Diane Sanfilippo: Nice. What’s wrong with him?

Liz Wolfe: Nothing’s wrong with him.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, what’s not wrong with him, but…

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Why is he getting acupuncture?

Liz Wolfe: He doesn’t appear to have a brain of any kind in his giant head. He, well, kind of a long story, but we’re just trying to put a little weight on him. He has had a little bit of pancreatitis stuff going on.

Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know, so for me, you know, visiting the conventional vet, they are really nice people, but to me, it was pretty obvious that they just did some tests and told me whatever the computer spit out, and I wasn’t real sold on what they were telling me on what was going on.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: So I went to a holistic vet who was completely fabulous, and he’s doing amazingly well now, but she wanted to do some acupuncture needles, and I said why not? Why not do it. What I loved about the holistic vet is that we tweaked the food and did all of that first, and went from there, rather than what the other vet just gave us. Like, painkillers, muscle relaxers.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I mean, people think it’s like crazy and hokey that people don’t want to go to conventional doctors, but a lot of times they just, their approach doesn’t really align with your believes, you know, and it’s not just ….

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s probably a little bit easier to do this with your pet, but so often I think folks take direct advice from medical doctors based on fear, you know?

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Like, people are so scared of whatever the prognosis is or the diagnosis that they are just like, ok I’ll do whatever you say because they don’t know about the condition, or they don’t understand, like, the underlying reasons why those things happen, so yeah I think it makes a lot of sense to go to someone who is just going to have that holistic perspective.

Liz Wolfe: I think it’s brave, too, to be a holistic veterinary acupuncture type, I mean fully educated in conventional but going holistic.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: Because, I’ll talk about this a little bit later in one of my answers to these questions, I think we can’t expect as much as we expect from conventional medicine, and we also have to be careful and well informed just as much with holistic treatments because it’s all people trying to know you better than you know yourself in a lot of ways.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And I think probably the big, you know, relating it to the sort of human health thing, I think the big difference is with the holistic point of view, and probably with a naturopathic doctor and all those types of practitioners, it’s a matter of putting some responsibility on you to take care of yourself, or some responsibility on you to take care of your pet, and not leaving it to the doctor to “fix it.” You know what I mean?

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s saying, you know, you have a part to play in this because diet and lifestyle matters, so why don’t we address that, and you know, obviously a lot of our listeners are already kind of doing that, but. Hey, we should probably talk about our sponsors before we go into everything that’s going on around here.

Liz Wolfe: You’re so right! Uh, sponsor number 1, Paleo Treats. Get 15% off when you enter the code BALANCEDBITES at checkout. Try the new Bandito bar. Try the Mustang bar. Keep them in the freezer. Oh my gosh!

Diane Sanfilippo: Try them all. They are delish!

Liz Wolfe: Try them all. Pete’s Paleo, bringing fine dining to your cave. Pete’s Paleo is now offering our listeners a free pound of bacon with the purchase of any meal plan, and that offer is valid through December 31st of this year. And I think you have a little something to say about Chameleon Cold-Brew.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, Chameleon Cold-Brew, one of our sponsors from the very beginning, awesome people, awesome company, awesome product. We still do have a code for them, it’s BALANCEDBITES, I believe it’s 25% off your orders. I just wasn’t sure if that code was still working, I think last week or the week before, but it definitely is, and they’ve been really thrilled with everyone’s response, so thank you everyone going out and either grabbing it in stores or grabbing it online. I’m pretty sure the discount will end up saving you on shipping, like entirely, so really no big deal if you have to go ahead and do that online. So one of the things that I was curious about, people had asked me and I was curious for myself, just, you know, doing my due diligence on ingredients as I do. The mocha flavor of Chameleon Cold-Brew, which is probably my favorite, at this point. Right?

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s amazing. It says natural flavors on the ingredient list, and so I had a conversation yesterday with Steve over at Chameleon, and I asked him, hey, you know, what’s this natural flavors? People in our community are very weary of that term. We know that it can encompass a lot of things, but we also know, those of us that have been kind of researching this stuff, that a lot of companies will write natural flavors, not to hide an unsafe ingredient potentially, but just to keep their trade secret masked.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: So it’s kind of like, you know, they don’t want their competitor just going out and putting exactly what they put in their coffee. Same reason a lot of folks write “spices”, you know.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: For some companies, “spices” can hide things but for a lot of others, you know, it’s to protect their recipe. So, it really is just a coffee, sorry not a coffee, a cocoa extractive, so it’s really just like an extract and it’s not anything sketchy. I did let him know, you know, if there is a way to actually write what it is that we would appreciate the transparency on it, because, you know, at the end of the day that’s what we really value, but I understand the need to maybe just kind of write it in there as natural flavors, so if you were wondering what that is, it’s no big deal. It’s just some cocoa extract, and it’s amazing. I got the top secret inside information on a couple of new flavors that they are developing, and they sound ridiculous! So I can’t wait for those.

Liz Wolfe: OH man.

Diane Sanfilippo: I can’t wait for those! I know! It would not be a good idea for me to air that right now, because, you know, it’s top secret in development, but it sounded really good! {laughs} So.

Liz Wolfe: Oh no.

Diane Sanfilippo: Anyway. Um, what else is going on with you before I get into a litany of things going on over here, and then we try and answer a bunch of questions?

1. Liz’s book news [10:16]

Liz Wolfe: Oh my goodness! We are so close to official announcement about my book!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: This is for real this time! I know I broke some hearts the last time with Modern Cave Girl turning into something…honestly, the cover for Modern Cave Girl was great, the concept was cool, but this book is bigger and better and it did more than I ever thought that I could do. So, for everybody that has just been steadfast in supporting me through the last 2 years of development on this project, I’m so so grateful, and please… I need, I’m completely PR deficient.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I have no idea how to get the word out besides, you know, through you, Diane, you’ve basically… I’ve been sitting your lap for like, 2 years just trying to soak up whatever I can learn.

Diane Sanfilippo: My legs are numb, so, thanks you can get up now.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Sorry!

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m just kidding.

Liz Wolfe: Just, anybody that can help or feels like they can share or help me get the word out, please do so and let me know so I can show you due appreciation, because I’m going to need help to make this as much of a success as I think it really can be. And that’s it for me.

2. Diane’s news [11:26]

Diane Sanfilippo: Word. Ok, let me update everyone on a few things. Quickly, some event updates. I’ve actually got an event this Friday, so if you are tuning in now when this episode goes live, it will be tomorrow. Here in New Jersey, in Clifton. It’s Barnes & Noble. They are doing kind of like a company-wide event day. So I know that Bill and Haley from Primal Palate are actually signing books, also in Pittsburg, so I’ll be over in Clifton 6:30 p.m. probably till like 8 or 8:30? Then, on December 12th, I’m doing another local event in Montclair, New Jersey at the library, so you can check that out. And then January 4th, a full day seminar at my gym in Fairfield at Brazen Athletics. That’s a full day event, myself and Dr. Scott will be teaching that one. And then a whole bunch of book signings coming up that same weekend in Madison, Connecticut, not to be confused with Madison, Wisconsin, and then a bunch of stuff in California in January, so check out the right-hand side bar of Balancedbites.com, or subscribe to my updates on Balanced Bites so you can make sure you are seeing all of the upcoming events, because I have put those now in the top of all of my E-mails. I just, it’s like the most heartbreaking thing, right Liz, when we do an event, and then the next day, somebody is like, Oh I didn’t even know you were here! I’m like, Oh no! I don’t know how to tell you anymore times.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Like, it’s all over Facebook, all over my website, but, you know, if you listen to the podcast it’s probably one of the best ways to stay updated, but if you subscribe to, you know, my E-mail updates, you will definitely stay informed that way.

Liz Wolfe: You’re not going to Wisconsin? {accented} Wisconsin.

Diane Sanfilippo: Not. Not. And then, we, you know, you and I are trying to figure out where we are going to be going for the rest of either book events or seminars and whatnot so people can stay tuned on that. What else? I need to tell people that there is a segment on, it’s called, radioIO, and it’s a show called Be Well Radio, and they’ve got segments from, I think they are taking segments from our podcasts. I’m actually totally ill informed on this whole thing.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: My assistant really, like, does everything. So, all I know is I recorded a whole bunch of spots where I was like, “This is Diane Sanfilippo. You’re listening to radioIO.” I don’t even know what I was saying. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I just like, oh yeah. So.

Liz Wolfe: Just giving it away!

Diane Sanfilippo: I’ll keep you guys updated.

Liz Wolfe: Not even asking questions. Just giving it away.

Diane Sanfilippo: I have no idea. No, it’s like some nationally syndicated radio show, so it’s pretty cool, actually, and it will get the podcast more exposure I think.

Liz Wolfe: Cool.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, so it’s radioIO.com, and we’ll put a link on the show notes. And then, what else? So, my team, while I was busy finishing the cookbook, the 21-Day Sugar Detox Cookbook, my awesome team started to pull together a whole bunch of recipes that I’ve actually already done, either in Practical Paleo or in the Sugar Detox book or on my blog, and made a short list of new recipes for me to make for a healthy holiday, like, cookbook PDF type thing, and so we’re just going to be giving it away. It’s not going to be for sale, because it is largely a whole bunch of recipes that I, you know, already made a while ago. They are not new. But I made pretty much an entire Thanksgiving dinner like this morning {laughs} So, I think I have a few friends who have raised their hands and said I’ll come over tonight and eat, but I have literally a whole turkey thanks to US Wellness Meats, I ordered a turkey and then they sent me 2. And luckily I have a drop freezer, because otherwise I don’t know who in their right mind would have room for 2 like 20+ pound turkeys. Just like, here let me send you an extra turkey! But, they did.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} They knew you had an extra little space.

Diane Sanfilippo: They totally knew. They have me all figured out. So I made turkey and a grain-free stuffing, and sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce, and was shooting those photos this morning, which, I mean, it smells amazing in here {laughs}.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, you sound a little giddy. {laughs} “It smells amazing!”

Diane Sanfilippo: I haven’t even eaten yet. I had some coffee, and I’m literally like, can we finish the podcast so I can go eat thanksgiving dinner for lunch.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: And I have to make the gravy. Oh shoot, I just realized I didn’t make the gravy yet. So anyway, that’s it. Those are all my updates. So look for the healthy holiday recipes coming out soon. Whoop whoop!

Liz Wolfe: Sweet.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: OK. Cool beans.

Diane Sanfilippo: Cool beans.

Liz Wolfe: Cool beans. How does anybody take us seriously? I don’t know.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know.

Liz Wolfe: Uh, ready to launch, here?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, go for it.

3. I started taking DHEA and now my hair is falling out. [16:17]

Liz Wolfe: Cool. Alright, so I’m going to be talking a little bit here at the beginning.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m going to mute myself.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, mute yourself. Go eat some turkey. Um, so the first two questions we have are both related to DHEA. I’m not even going to pronounce what DHEA is, just go look it up. These are two questions related to DHEA; I’m going to take them individually because they are a little bit different. Let’s get started. Alright, this is the first question. “About a month ago, I decided to ditch my primary care physician and try a holistic doctor on for size. PSA, this shoe did not fit. After pinching around on the little fat that I have, he concluded that I have upper arm fat which a sign of low testosterone in women. Um, because I’m a woman and not a dude? And prescribed 10 mg of DHEA per day to increase my levels. He also ordered blood labs to see where exactly my hormones are. After roughly 2 weeks of taking it, I noticed more hair in the shower and on the floor after blow drying, and just chalked it up to stress from work. A week later, my hair is falling out in clumps, and by clumps I mean a crap ton of my hair is falling out each morning and throughout the day. Yes, all caps was necessary, it is that bad. So much so that I’m afraid I’ll not have any hair left if this continues. I’ve discontinued taking the DHEA for a full week so far and have not noticed any improvement. Is there anything I can do to detox my body of this testosterone? What are my options? Please help me. I’m 23 years old, 5’5”, 115 pounds, a great deal of which is muscle. I Crossfit 3-4 times per week, do sprint intervals at least 1 day a week, and foam roll 4-5 days a week. My average day consists of 3-4 eggs, either fried in duck fat or scrambled with bone broth, mushrooms, spinach, shredded carrots, squash, and some type of animal protein for breakfast. For lunch, I usually eat around 6-8 ounces of animal protein with some type of vegetable, usually broccoli or cauliflower. My pre-workout snack is 3 ounces of animal protein, roughly half a cup of broccoli or cauliflower. Post-workout 4-5 ounces of animal protein and a sweet potato with either ghee or grass-fed butter. My meals look fairly similar on days I do not workout except for the pre and post-workout snacks. Dinner on rest days 8 ounces of animal protein and a vegetable. She’s been strict paleo for 8 months. I do sometimes over indulged in soaked almonds, but I’ve been cutting those out of my diet because of increased breakouts, which could also be from the testosterone. I sleep roughly 6-7 hours per night, and I’m working to get better sleep by taking natural calm after my workouts, which usually end around 7 or 8:30 p.m. on days I can’t make it to the earlier class. I take alpha lipoic acid with each main meal, green tea supplement, garlic supplement, and probiotic. I’ve also been taking the cod liver oil/butter oil blend for two days now, and a gelatin supplement for my hair. I’m also prescribed Adderall, which I take only Monday through Friday.”

Alright, there’s a ton going on here. Diane and I have talked a little bit about hair loss in previous podcasts, but I’m going to address this just solely the DHEA part. So, DHEA is basically a hormone precursor. And before we talk about DHEA, I do want to say a few other things. Some of this we were talking about earlier. First, I think there is a movement towards holistic practitioners that is really generating steam because people are clearly dissatisfied with conventional medical care and I think that is awesome. I think it is a recognition of how overburdened our conventional care system is and it is a sign that people are seeking both whole-person care and also looking toward preventative care. However, I do think there is a movement by holistic practitioners to do treatment versus preventative care, and I think sometimes that line gets blurred and we have some problems at some points when treatments are given that maybe aren’t appropriate. Like I said, I think the move towards holistic care is awesome. Obviously, I’m a holistic practitioner, but just like with conventional care, including medical care, not every practitioner is of the highest quality. You’ve got to really vet them, and even then there is a degree of uncertainty and quite frankly the ones that are worth their salt in any care system whether conventional, medical, holistic, whatever, there is a proportion of treatments that are doled out that are simply not going to turn out to be the right treatment for your biology. That is, again, across all types and levels of care, and man, I know how frustrating it is. I really do. So I think we are in that transitional period where we are seeking other methods of care but not quite ready to take the bull by the horns and self-diagnose a little bit. I mean, people use the term “self-diagnose” like it’s a dirty word, which I get that sometimes. Sometimes, especially in the paleo community, you know, we’re really quick to diagnose ourselves with things and it can get a little bit, just harrowing how many people have self-diagnosed with some kind of really serious issue. But I don’t think the term self-diagnose is a dirty word. It’s like, folks don’t like the term because, I don’t know, what? The only person that can identify or investigate our state of health is someone that is not us? I think that is ridiculous. Anyway, I digress. Back to the question. So, first I want to say that Diane, you and I both had training in evaluating fat deposition for clues about hormonal balance, and neither of us use that tool by any means except maybe in isolated circumstances as a potential point of interest. Half the time, I think it tells us nothing, and holistic practitioners should never rely on just one method of evaluation, ever. I would never look at someone’s upper arm fat and immediately “diagnose” a hormonal issue like that. It might be an interesting clue that leads to further testing that could confirm or deny something that is going on, and obviously this practitioner ordered tests, but apparently it sounds like not before doling out DHEA. Like I said, DHEA is a hormonal precursor. It’s meant to drive hormone synthesis, but you can’t administer this stuff without any surefire way of knowing the body is going to use it to build which hormone. So, here we have this problem of dramatic androgenization, probably caused by hammering the body with a hormonal precursor without asking, first off, why hormones are imbalanced in the first place or even finding out whether they are imbalanced in the first place. I say that because the need for estrogen detox support, which is what upper arm area, you know, fatty tissue could possibly in some cases indicate, that is very different from a low testosterone issue. They are not one and the same. The issue could have not been low-T at all, which women need testosterone just not the levels men do. This could have been an issue of over, I always pronounce this word wrong, over-aromatization from testosterone to estrogen.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: Which is a totally different thing than just having low-T. Plus, DHEA is made by the adrenals, so it’s totally reasonable to suspect that adrenal insufficiency is the primary cause of whatever hormonal issue might be a problem, we just don’t know. Rarely is the answer to hammer the body with DHEA, in my opinion. I think a much safer place to start with estrogen excess would be like, diindolylmethane and calcium-D glucarate or something like that. That’s not prescriptive, but just saying, there are other ways to go. Now, this person probably knows all this by now, and it doesn’t solve the problem for her at all, but it is something I think people need to know. So, on to what I would do if this happened to me. If I was convinced this was an androgenization problem, which is fairly often the cause of diffuse hair loss in women, which is just like, the all over the place hair loss, and barring any other issues that might impact hair loss, like hypothyroidism or mineral deficiency, I would start researching potentially, and I say this with great trepidation because I don’t want this person to just run out and grab this stuff and start taking it, because it is clear there is some wild swinging of the hormonal balance going on, but I would potentially start researching saw palmetto, maybe like 300-ish mg per day of a standardized extract. I would not do this without the help of an herbalist or a practitioner, so it may be that she needs to seek out another practitioner or an herbalist to help. This sounds like a delicate situation right now, and with how quickly things swung – swang? I don’t know – in an undesirable direction, I think dealing with manipulating hormones is going to be really touch and go. So that said, keep in mind that Crossfit can have some extreme hormonal impacts of the androgenic variety. That’s just the muscle building stimulus. And if it were me, I’d quite the Crossfit for a while and just walk. You know me, I’m all about the walking, but just to give the body some hormonal rest, respite, while this all gets sorted out. And if anybody out there is an herbalist or specializes in this sort of thing, leave a comment on the blog post, because I kind of feel like I just got expelled from a wind tunnel, and who knows what I’ve just said.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: I have no idea.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m actually surprised, too, that the practitioner directly gave DHEA rather than maybe giving pregnenolone, which is a much more common approach because if you give pregnenolone, which is a precursor even before the DHEA, you allow the body to do with it what it wants to rather than more directly funnel it to the hormone support. So if her real issue is an adrenal issue, by giving pregnenolone you give your body the chance {clears throat} excuse me, the chance to then manufacture

Liz Wolfe: Cortisol if it needs to!

Diane Sanfilippo: Cortisol from that pregnenolone. Exactly.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, I’m actually really surprised at that. It’s not unheard of. It’s definitely not unheard of, and you know, we haven’t looked at her test results, we don’t know the specific reason why, but obviously if that’s not working for you…I mean, honestly, the truth of the matter with any of this stuff is that you don’t always see positive change in a week or two. Sometimes it takes a month or even two months to really see what’s happening. And the thing about hair loss, too, specifically, is that it’s not like, something happened yesterday or last week and now I’m losing my hair. It’s a much more longer term response. Like, I mean I’ve said this before on the podcast, too, but you know with a ton of people I’ve been talking to about hair loss in the past, it’s usually more of a delayed reaction, if that makes sense, to some kind of massive stress, whether that’s any of the reasons you mentioned before, Liz, was the reasons for the stress that it’s usually not…I did this today and tomorrow I’m losing my hair, if that makes sense.

Liz Wolfe: Well we talked about that with me, because at the end of this book process, I mean the real stressful period was probably about 3 months ago.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: And my hair…my hair is falling out. It’s something I’m dealing with now, but it’s not a surprise. I think when you push some kind of crazy androgenization, I think this stuff can happen really quickly, but for the most part, yeah, you’re right.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: It’s not immediate.

Diane Sanfilippo: And the other thing, too, is that it’s, you know, what we were talking about yesterday. It’s like, anytime you are just out of balance, it’s so hard to try and plug in one small thing, like plug in that DHEA, and that will fix the problem.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I just feel like you always want to go further back and, you know, there could also be some dietary levers to pull, there. I mean, it’s one of those things, too, where, you know, what’s your macronutrient balance look like? Are you overdoing it on certain things, should it be rebalanced a little bit. Anyway, yeah I think it can really vary. I’m trying to see, too, we have two of these DHEA questions.

Liz Wolfe: The next one’s a little shorter.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. Yeah, that was kind of my quick thought based on that whole, like, hormone synthesis pathway.

4. Strategies for combating acne caused by DHEA or a low-dose hydrocortisone [28:14]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, let’s do this next one real quick. “Hi Diane and Liz! I look forward to your podcast every week, and I enjoy the mix of science, practical advice, and 90s movie references. Keep being awesome.” You keep being awesome!

Diane Sanfilippo: That was definitely directed at you. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Doubt it. Actually, yeah probably. Just kidding friend! I love you. Alright, here’s the question. “What strategies do you have for combating acne caused by DHEA or low-dose hydrocortisone. I’ve been treated by a naturopath for adrenal fatigue for the past 2 years. I didn’t seem to respond much to glandulars, and I had a modest response to adaptogenic herbs. I started taking DHEA over a year ago, but I had to stop after a week because it seemed to be causing palpitations in addition to terrible acne. I’m now 3 weeks into a 3-month course of hydrocortisone starting at 7.5 mg tapering down to 2.5, and I’m feeling great but my skin looks terrible. My face started looking better once I started taking the much lauded fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend, but I still have breakouts covering my neck, chest, and back. I’m willing to put up with some temporary ugliness to get my energy back, but if you have any nutrition or supplement suggestions to minimize the acne, I’d be forever grateful. A typical day of food consists of eggs, coconut oil, squash, sauerkraut, kombucha, coconut milk, and chia seed pudding, pastured chicken, grass fed beef, bone broth, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, berries, and a small handful of almonds or macadamia nuts. Sleep is at least 8 hours in a dark, cool room. Exercise is daily walking according to my energy level. Medications include Synthroid and Cytomel for post-ablation Graves’ disease, low-dose Naltrexone for autoimmune disease or autoimmune issues, and hydrocortisone. Supplements are Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend, chromium picolinate, Vitanica’s iron extra, 4000 IU vitamin D3, L-glutamine, molybdenum, tested low on a hair analysis, and HCL with meals. Dark chocolate, red wine, grain-free treat every once in a while.”

Ok. So, I just have a little bit to say on this one and then I’ll throw it over to you. Ok, so this one brings up some interesting physiology I think that we didn’t talk about before with regard to the adrenals and the balance of hormones they secrete. The adrenals secrete DHEA, which basically builds things. And as we heard previously, they can drive androgenic hormones. Oftentimes in females, acne is a result of an androgen excess, and I’ve certainly been there. I’ve talked about it before. The adrenals also secrete cortisol which it catabolic; I don’t want to say it’s like a destructive hormone, but it does break things down. So basically, the point is it is a contrast to what DHEA does. So obviously, I honestly don’t know a lot about what’s going on here, because there is a ton going on. But, I would imagine this is all part and parcel to the adrenal insufficiency, especially if she is taking the corticosteroids and feeling better, and especially since she had a mild response to the adaptogens, which I’m always a really big fan of being patient with the adaptogens, like you were saying before Diane, just patience and persistence with it, and I like how this practitioner looks to have stepped up very gradually from glandulars to something a little more potent in the adaptogens before moving up to the other stuff. But anyway. Now we’ve moved on to hydrocortisone, and what I’m thinking here is that maybe hormones are coming back into balance slowly but potentially now we are dealing with the digestive aftermath of the treatment, and all the other treatments ongoing but particularly probably impaired glucose intolerance is probably driving some acne right now. She’s taking chromium, which may be for actually that very reason, but I really just, people know I like the high chromium brewer’s yeast from Lewis Labs, which has chromium and it has selenium and nucleic acid and all kinds of B vitamins, which all are kind of synergistic and utilize together. Unfortunately, they are not making it anymore, so it’s like last chance to get some, but I think it’s definitely worth a try. I just don’t know a whole lot else what to say. There’s so much going on medication-wise, and it sounds like she is on her way, but it’s tough because you don’t want to do any liver support or gut bacteria modification because that can change the way medications are processed, and medications can change liver function and gut bacteria function. So, that’s pretty much all I have to say about this. Curious as to what you think, Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: I do not have notes on this.

Liz Wolfe: Uh-oh.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know.

Liz Wolfe: I just think there’s too much happening to really comment, you know? I totally understand how annoying it is but there are so many things that she’s trying to rebalance with the Synthroid and the Naltrexone and the hydrocortisone and the…how the Naltrexone and the hydrocortisone kind of function in concert with one another, I don’t know. But, really that’s all I got. Try some of that brewer’s yeast. I’m telling you, for a long time I thought the fermented cod liver oil was the number one, you know, top of the mountain supplement for acne issues, but I’m starting to think that this particular brewer’s yeast is right up there with it. The more I look into the chromium, selenium, nucleic acid and all that, it’s just really clear that that stuff is really powerful, especially in the type of acne that is glucose tolerance related. So, that’s what I got.

Diane Sanfilippo: Um, I’m just like not really sure what even the whole root of all of this is.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Like, strategies for combating acne caused by DHEA or a low-dose hydrocortisone. Like, if you are getting acne from this stuff, why is it that you are taking that? Like, it doesn’t seem to be balancing you, it seems to be putting you out of balance. So I’m just not really sure.

Liz Wolfe: But she feels better, so it’s like, she needed cortisol. She was probably burnt out, low cortisol all day.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, but just feeding that stuff in is not obviously solving the problem.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s, you know, it sounds like there definitely is still a huge hormonal imbalance, and sometimes our body adapts and feels better just because of a change, but it’s still… you know, if you are experiencing that kind of severe acne it’s not the right solution, you know, for the long term, whatever it is, you need to keep digging, I think.

Liz Wolfe: I wonder how long she was doing the adaptogens. Does it say up here? No.

Diane Sanfilippo: Nope.

5. Proper storage of fats and oils [35:07]

Liz Wolfe: Well, just some things to note and to think about and dig a little deeper. Alright, moving on. Proper storage of fats and oils. “Practical Paleo discussing cooking oils or fats becoming rancid. I make it a habit of saving the grease or fat from the meat I cook, local and grass-fed of course, and reusing it later. In the process, some of this fat might get used a few times through with new additions to the jar. Additionally, I occasionally pour any leftover coconut oil in there, as well. Is there any danger in reusing high quality cooking fat or oil repeatedly? Should I store or clarify it in a certain way? Thanks for the help. I found the book to be the most user-friendly option on the shelf.”

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, thanks. Um, my thoughts. Actually, I wouldn’t reuse cooking fat. So the way that I would do it is let it cook or render off of the meat initially, then use it one time thereafter. I wouldn’t recommend saving it again. You can definitely pile your mono/saturated fats, so meaning your bacon grease or beef fat/tallow that might render off or some lard. You can pile that stuff into a glass jar or other type of non-porous container, and they are definitely ok on the counter for a few days, maybe a week. Beyond that I’d refrigerate it. The issue isn’t piling more on, the issue to me is the reuse. So, my overall recommendation with this stuff is, with animal fats, when you render it from the meat, strain it, store it in that type of non-porous container; what I mean by that is don’t put it in plastic, don’t put it in paper, you know, and usually let it come to room temperature at least cooling slightly first just so you don’t risk cracking whatever vessel you put it into. Use it once thereafter and then discard it, and store it for no more than a week at room temperature, then probably refrigerate it. You know, there could be some possible contamination with just trace proteins being left in it. This has happened to some people who will go to make clarified butter or ghee and who don’t clarify it completely and store it in their cabinet, especially if it is in spring or summer, and it gets moldy because you haven’t really removed all of the proteins. If you have a pure fat, something like olive oil, obviously you can leave that in the cabinet because there are no proteins that could potentially become rancid. So, that’s kind of my recommendation there. If you are doing something with coconut oil or ghee that you don’t normally store cold, again use them once and discard unless you have a very large excess and you didn’t use them at a high temperature. So, so you are doing some sort of lower heat frying of something in coconut oil, it’s possible that you might be able to save that oil and use it again, but I’m definitely leery of those higher temperature cooking and reusing it. I think that that is where you stand to start damaging those fats more. That’s, you know, the huge reason why fried food is not safe. It’s beyond just the garbage oils that they are fried in, the fact that it’s soybean or canola oil, that the processing of that is so, sort of horrific, in my opinion. It’s not a way that we should be making something into “food” the way that those oils are processed, but it’s even beyond that. Like, even if you were to get canola oil; I know this is going to sound crazy, but even if there were like a canola oil blend in your salad dressing that you didn’t know about, it’s still not as bad as eating food that is fried in the canola oil regularly. And I’m not saying that you get these exposures now and then at a restaurant, it’s not the biggest deal, but that is the reason is that these fats and oils are delicate. So, while the saturate and more monounsaturated animal fats are not as delicate, I still think when you start heating them up to higher temperatures and do that over and over again, I just think you run a risk that is not really worth it, especially when you are kind of doing the best you can with everything else. I just wouldn’t do it. So, that’s kind of my approach. You know, you cook your bacon, the grease comes off, then you use that to cook something else, then that’s it. That’s the last time for that. Because you do have to sort of cook that fat to get that rendered version, you know what I mean? You have to cook down the leaf lard from, you know, cow meat or whatever.

Liz Wolfe: A big hunk of whatever, yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah to make, or you know, to make the tallow or to make the rendered lard, like, you do have to go through that first time sort of cooking it through, and usually it’s not a super high temperature, so I wouldn’t do it again. And then, another note on this. I get this question pretty much every single week, either Facebook or some kind of E-mail question. The fat that renders off of bones or meaty bones when you are making broth and then it rises to the top and then, you know, the next day you see this half-inch layer or so of fat that is on the top of your broth, and I don’t…

Liz Wolfe: Your bra? Your broth.

Diane Sanfilippo: Your bra? Your broth.

Liz Wolfe: I swear, I swear you said that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Stock?

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: There’s a half-inch layer of fat on top of your bra. No.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} sorry.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Um, trying to be serious for like, a minute.

Liz Wolfe: I know. I ruined it.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m always the serious one. No, it’s ok. Um, I don’t recommend keeping that; I recommend discarding it. I’m pretty sure I read that in Nourishing Traditions, and so even though I’m not {laughs} the biggest fan of the author of that book at this point on a personal level, um {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I think I’m pretty sure that’s where I read it originally, and if you’ve cooked that broth for a really long time, and that’s the fat that results, again it’s another one of those like, how was that heated for. And the point of making the broth isn’t to get that fat, so I recommend discarding that. Now, if you’ve cooked grass-fed beef, and it’s great bones, great quality, you’re on a tight budget, you know perhaps that seems wasteful, but I think a better approach would be to roast the bones, or the meaty bones whatever they are, and take whatever renders off from that, and then make the broth or the stock once you’ve already rendered off the fat separately if that make sense so you can keep that fat without cooking it for 12 to 24 hours, which is how long I make broth. So that’s kind of what I would do there. But again, I don’t recommend keeping that fat. It’s been heated up for quite a long time, so I don’t think that’s the best approach.

Liz Wolfe: Ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s it.

6. Rejuvelac; yea or nay? [41:28]

Liz Wolfe: We got another one for you next.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh goody!

Liz Wolfe: Oh goody. Rejuvelac; yea or nay? “Hi ladies! I adore you, but I’ll keep this quick. What do you know about rejuvelac, and is it ok for people trying to avoid gluten? I live in Bangkok and haven’t yet been able to find kombucha, nor the ingredients to make my own, but still working on. But my local CSA offers rejuvelac and I’m wondering if that would be a reasonable alternative. Not many quality probiotics readily accessible here, but I’m trying. Love you so much, and thanks for all your awesomeness.” Thank you for your awesomeness!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I’m confused as to why she’s just not eating kimchi.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know. Maybe the Bangkokians…

Diane Sanfilippo: In Thailand, do they make like a kimchi type of thing?

Liz Wolfe: Maybe they don’t share.

Diane Sanfilippo: I feel like there’s probably some sort of fermented vegetable situation over there, so… I don’t know. That’s just my guess if anyone wants to chime in with what kind of fermented food is over there that we maybe aren’t aware of. Anyway, rejuvelac, I did some digging to figure out what this whole thing was. It’s a fermented tonic, meaning you’re not supposed to drink a ton of it. Small doses, maybe a shot or two sized portion, or maybe like, I don’t know, 4 ounces or so. So similar, you know, kombucha is kind of the say way, right? We drink more of it, but it is sort of a tonic. We don’t drink, like a gallon a day. It’s made from fermenting various type of grain, so you can select a gluten-containing grain, like wheat or barley, or it can be made from non-gluten grains, like quinoa or rice. And it’s sort of similar to kombucha, or even like a vinegar, right, that’s made from a grain. You know, like I’ll use rice vinegar in Asian recipes, and I actually don’t have a problem with that. You know, I think you’re avoiding the proteins when you’re doing that; you’re really just getting that sort of, you know, that fermented result, and I don’t think you’re getting too much of the allergenic portion. But my instinct on this whole thing as like a regular daily beverage, it’s like, why bother? If you are looking for probiotics, there are a lot of other grain free options, and she’s saying she can’t find kombucha, but I think there’s got to be some fermented vegetables or some other option. You know, it seems like a really good option if you only had access to stored silos of grains, you know, so again you are in this situation where there’s not anything fresh growing, and grains are all you have, like I feel like that might be a reason why something like this was developed if all you had were grains and you wanted something with some probiotic content. But, I mean you can easily just make some sauerkraut, or beet kvass, or something using vegetables. And then, you know as sort of a more balanced take on it is, if you are strictly gluten free, which I do recommend for most people, then I would definitely avoid the rejuvelac from any kind of gluten-containing grains, because, you know, I presume you’re not really getting much of the protein in there, but you just never know, and if your sensitivity is pretty severe, then it’s just not worth risking it. If you’re, you know, kind of a foodie, and you’re just curious about this option, try it from buckwheat, rice, or quinoa. I would definitely find out what it’s made from if your, you know, option is in a CSA. Definitely find out what it’s made from. It looks like people will use it sometimes in place of citrus, so it’s got that kind of sour taste when making like a nut-based cheese spread type of thing, so again, like a dairy-free cheese, maybe you’re allergic to citrus. I know it sounds crazy to some people, but I recognize the need for some to replace these flavor profiles, and if you can’t tolerate citrus, if you’re allergic to it, maybe this is another option. And I think, you know, it’s easy to dismiss something entirely for one facet of the way I don’t think it fits into sort of the general structure of what I recommend nutritionally, but with my new-founded expanded nut allergy, I can definitely understand the desire for people to sort of get a, you know, is this really bad for me or can I try it now and then? Sort of thing. It’s something that I’m dealing with with cashews, for example. I seem to be able to tolerate cashews; I don’t have an allergic response to them. I don’t think they are probably the best thing to eat all the time, but in a pinch, like if we’re on the road, and I need a snack and there’s Starbucks, and all they have maybe they have almonds or cashews at the cash register and I just didn’t already carry something with me, I’m going to eat the cashews because I’m allergic to the almonds and, you know, it’s one of those scenarios where, like, is this so horrible for me I should never touch it? Or, you know, can I do it now and then. I think it’s probably not the biggest deal. I would just try and avoid the forms that are coming from gluten. Gluten-containing grains.

Liz Wolfe: I was muted.

Diane Sanfilippo: I was like, umm… is Liz saying something? What’s happening over there? {laughs} Your thoughts?

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} I’m just talking to myself. I have no thoughts. I think you knocked that one out.

Diane Sanfilippo: I hear it just tastes kind of sour lemony, so it sounds like, you know, a really similar flavor profile to something like kombucha. It’s just that you don’t add sugar to ferment it, it’s just fermenting on the carbohydrates that are in the grains, you know, where as tea obviously isn’t really yielding much carbohydrate and you can’t ferment without a carbohydrate, so.

Liz Wolfe: So I kind of want to Google traditional Thai ferments.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. We should ask Jill.

Liz Wolfe: Ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s traditionally fermented in that country. Anyway. At least one more? I think we have time for? Yeah. Maybe two? I think we can do two more.

Liz Wolfe: I think we can do 2.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

7. Zero impact green living and paleo; can they come together? [47:12]

Liz Wolfe: Alright. I liked this question. Zero impact green living and paleo; can they come together. “Hi Diane and Liz! I’m reasonably new to a paleo way of eating and living, and working my way through your podcast from the beginning.” I’m sorry {laughs} that you are doing that. But enjoy. “I’m feeling better than ever since incorporating more protein and animal fats into my diet, and eliminating grains completely, and I attribute much of my motivation to reading Practical Paleo to help me get started. Please forgive me if this topic has been addressed already on the podcast, as I’m only about a third of the way through. As I’ve been listening, a question arose in my mind that I wanted to get you ladies’ take on. While the paleo approach is something I’m still learning about, I’ve been conscious of and actively researching sustainable food and living choices for the last few years. One day, I hope to homestead like Liz. I grow my own produce, make the majority of my home’s cleaning products, and patronize local farmers and our co-op whenever possible.” Ok, real quick. She’s homesteading more than I’m homesteading, just because…

Diane Sanfilippo: I was going to say, she hopes to homestead like you?

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Like me?

Diane Sanfilippo: Or just, like Liz, I hope to homestead one day…. Because Liz

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, exactly, like Liz, “comma” just because we live on 15 acres doesn’t mean we’ve done a whole lot so far. Oh, goats. Ok. “I’m enjoying my readings from various paleo-sphere bloggers, and I’ve noticed that some list companies from which to order paleo foods, and toxin-free body and homecare items from online sources that may, in turn, source ingredients from faraway places. I’m definitely not knocking this choice; I think some of my staples might be more cost-effectively obtained from some of the sources I’m reading about in blogs. I’m paying up to $12 a pound for pastured and grass-fed meats. But the two view-points of my green consciousness are colliding. I suppose I can’t have it all, but I would like to find a happy medium. Am I over thinking this? I guess my question is, how does one reconcile the inherent conflicts of simultaneously being a good steward of personal health, of personal finances, and of the environment at large. I know everyone takes a bit of a different tact when it comes to their green priorities, and it’s nearly impossible to live zero impact in today’s world, but I would like to do my part. What is your philosophy on how paleo living fits into this dilemma? Would love to hear your perspective. Keep up the great work, and thanks for putting so much important information out there.”

I totally get this. I do, and you know, when I was really kind of consumed with the sustainability question, which eventually led us to this whole homesteading journey that we are way behind this person, but what I started thinking about more was self-sufficiency. And I think that is the big question. Is how much can I do for myself, and hopefully if I know how to do something, how good of a job am I doing attempting to educated others to do the same. So, if people weren’t on the internet talking about gardening, homesteading, and self-sufficiency, and getting off the grid at least a little bit, I don’t think I ever would have ended up taking this leap to try and do more things myself. So, I think it’s really important that we’re all doing that, figuring out how we can do things for ourselves or how we can use more of what we get, so we get a side of beef, can we use the tallow and can we use the tallow to moisturize our faces? Or can we, you know, so on and so forth. In also thinking about this and the whole, you know, carbon footprint and all of that, thinking about where we’re sourcing everything, to me, the carbon footprint for conventional meats, for example, stretches so much farther back that getting meat mail order, you know through, like US Wellness like many of us do, or what have you, because when we’re talking about that we’re actually talking about not only, say the factory farming industry, which is incredibly destructive in every sense of the word, to the animals, to the people that are forced to work in slaughter lines all day, every day with no rest, to the impact on the land, to even the impact on air quality, when you are hosing sewage, you know, and mixing it with water into a sewage pit then that’s when you get all this methane off-gassing. It’s the mixing it with water rather than just letting it, you know, sink into the ground and fertilize. So, you’re also talking about the entire crop industry; soybeans, canola, wheat, and cottonseed. You’re talking about those industries, which are supplying, not just the raw materials for grain-based eating, and fast food, and pretty much every product we could possibly make from any of those things. Corn; of course, I skipped corn, but you’re also talking about vegetable oils, and I love to talk about this in our workshops, but how the vegetable oil industry came onto the scene and became larger than life long before the factory farming industry did. The factory farming industry actually was built on the back of the byproducts from the crop oil industry, so you’re tracing that so far back, and I think opting out of that system is like, I swear, 90% of this battle. It’s so much bigger than we realized. Like, we’re not just doing it for our health and because we care about the animals that we eat. We’re doing it; it has a much broader impact than we even know. So, that’s kind of the way I think about things. I also think about, you know, you do have to spend a little bit more money to support the people that are doing things right. So, like Trina, from primal life organics, she and I have had deep discussions about where she sources her essential oils, and the quality, and everything like that, and I’m totally on board with the way she does things. Not everybody does it right, and you have to kind of vet the people that you’re buying from, but I think over time it will get easier. And, as we’re striving for self-sufficiency versus just trying to find somebody else that does it right, maybe some of us will start growing our own herbs and making our own extracts and tinctures. Like, that’s kind of the way I think we need to push things. So, that’s kind of the way I think about these things. And as far as like, financial priorities, I don’t really drink Starbucks anymore; you know there’s a lot of ways you can shift things around. I think our modern luxuries like internet, and whatnot. I mean, what’s the excuse for that, you know what I mean? So, those are my thoughts.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m going to leave that to your thoughts.

Liz Wolfe: Because I was so eloquent?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I mean. In the interest in answering one more question and not just like piling on agreement, you know?

8. Can we talk dairy again? [54:15]

Liz Wolfe: Sweet. Ok, next question. Can we talk dairy again?

Diane Sanfilippo: We can. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, we can. We can always talk dairy. “Hi Liz and Diane! I am new to paleo since a couple of months, and find your blog and podcast a great resource for information and inspiration. I have your book Practical Paleo; it’s such a great book, packed with information and great recipes. Until I read it, I did not understand that gluten and grains in general could have such an effect on your body. I am not celiac, but I now understand that it together with stress is the likely culprit for my allergies and recently diagnosed asthma. I’ve cut out grains from my diet, and I’ve already noticed a difference to my energy levels, and also lost a little bit of weight. I still have asthma and react to some foods, but hopefully that will pass over time.” Well this is just the ideal client, right here.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I tell you what. “There is one area I hope you can elaborate a bit more on, and that is dairy. I know you’ve talked about in several podcasts, but I’m still confused. I understand that refined products such as sugared and/or flavored milk yogurt products are not good for you, and I have not been eating those for years. However, what is your view on full-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese? I’ve picked up that you prefer raw milk products. Would you say that pasteurized milk products are bad for you or are they just not as nutritious as the raw milk? If they are bad, could you explain why that is? In particular, what is the connection to allergies? Thanks so much.”

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. Well, in particular the connection to allergies. I’m just going to start sort of backwards, even though I didn’t write notes backwards {laughs}. Um, if you are experiencing a dairy protein allergy, and people can be reacting to casein, they could be reacting to the lactose, which is actually the milk sugar. It does not necessarily matter what the quality of the dairy is. Now, I’m saying that with a caveat, because you may not react to better quality, better raised dairy. You may be reacting to it because the protein has somewhat changed because of the nature of what the animal was fed. You can’t deny that feeding an animal, you know, a diet that is not natural for it will somehow change the contents of what it delivers in its milk. So, you know, I don’t have structural details on amino acid breakdowns and all of that, but the reality is, for some people, having an intolerance to dairy, the quality of the dairy doesn’t matter. And for some people, the quality of the dairy does matter. For some people, they can do grass fed, and they find that they are sort of more reacting to the fact that it was grain fed, whether it’s the grain proteins they are reacting to, somehow passing through that milk because that wouldn’t surprise me, or it’s just that that different quality, sometimes if it’s non-homogenized they won’t react to it and if it’s homogenized they will, because again that homogenization will change the protein structure. And homogenization is when you take that cream from the top of milk, for example, and get that to be, uh, the fat to be sort of more suspended throughout the milk. So, when you have homogenized milk, those fat particles are distributed throughout, and that’s a mechanical process that has been done. So, let me just kind of give this in a little bit more of a logical order. So, first things first, my view… well, maybe not first thing because I already answered another question. But, my view on full-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, when they come from a good source, I think they are great foods if you tolerate them. So I’ll go through some notes on how to find out if you are not tolerating dairy in a second, but this is pretty much covered in Practical Paleo in terms of food quality, and what I consider to be sort of a hierarchy of how to figure out, you know, what is sort of the best quality of dairy that you can get. Because, again, you know the way I see it, if you are going to keep this stuff in your own home, it should be the best quality you can really get, because then if you’re just out to eat and you just want the cheese that’s on something, it’s not going to be that super high-quality stuff most of the time. So, when it comes to dairy, the way that I say is best to get it would be from a grass-fed source. It will be raw, so that means unpasteurized, and it will also be non-homogenized. And that is something that I didn’t add as a note on my food quality guide but I’m going to say it now, and in an update it will be there. The next step sort of down from that would be either/or. So, if you can get it raw unpasteurized, but maybe it’s not 100% grass-fed. I mean, chances are, if you are able to get raw milk, those cows are not eating grains, or perhaps they’ve been given some grain but not primarily because they will be sick and you won’t be able to get raw milk from a sick cow. So, that’s one of the reasons why I like raw milk, is that your farmer is not going to be serving you raw milk from a cow that was sick. You can’t do that. They wouldn’t be able to sell it. They’d be shut down pretty quickly. So then, if you can get it grass-fed, but not raw. So that’s pretty common across the country in states where raw milk is not allowed. So, in New Jersey, raw milk is not allowed. But we can pretty easily find the grass-fed sources. So, this is one of those things where, to me, if you’re going to buy this dairy and put it in your home on a regular basis, grass-fed for me would be the baseline that would say, ok I feel good about this. This animal ate the right food, had a probably ok lifestyle. Maybe find a place that’s doing it on pasture rather than just feeding grass or hay, but it’s still not the right environment, perhaps. Usually that’s going to also be organic, but if it’s not, that’s a call that you’re going to have to make. And then, sort of the baseline would be commercial organic dairy. I don’t really recommend that for regular consumption. And this is my big problem with most commercial yogurts out there is that they are not coming from cows that have been raised on pasture. So even if you are eating your organic Greek yogurt, I just don’t think it’s a health food. I think that that animal needs to be eating the right feed. The right food for it. So, there are a lot of companies now; I know that there is one that is sort of local to here in New Jersey, but I think they have a wider spread reach. It’s called Maple Hill Creamery. I’ve heard of some people finding it in other parts of the country, so there might be some distributors sending it other places. Maple Hill Creamery, Trader’s Point Creamery, there is Colona I think is one of the brands that Tropical Traditions sells of their grass-fed butter, but you can also find in co-ops, like I found that on in Pittsburg. They have grass-fed cottage cheese and yogurts and all different types of other dairy products. That to me, if you feel good eating dairy, that’s the way that you go if you can’t get raw milk especially, and if you want to be drinking milk at all. I don’t know. Liz, I don’t know if you have another take on this, but for whatever reason, I just feel like… I feel even more compelled to recommend dairy that is only coming from grass-fed cows versus, like, grass-fed beef burgers. Like, if you can’t afford grass-fed beef for some reason ,and you need to buy your conventional beef, I somehow feel that that’s slightly less of an issue than conventional dairy. Is this just like a construct in my own head? Or is this really because…

Liz Wolfe: It’s less of an issue to buy conventional beef than it is to buy convention milk, is that what you said?

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s somehow the way that I see it. Like, I feel like the thing that people are trying to get from dairy is, you know, vitamin A and D.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: We’re trying to get some really good nutrients. And if we’re getting that from a grain-fed cow, we’re not getting it.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, I agree.

Diane Sanfilippo: We’re getting something that’s been, you know, nutrients that they are adding back to that milk. So, not only would it not naturally be there from their diet, you know, they have to eat the…

Liz Wolfe: It’s also a different form.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. They have to eat the carotenoid rich; they have to eat the green grass so that they are able to make vitamin A for us, and vitamin D as well and beyond pasture. I just feel like the reason why we started drinking milk is a moot point when you’re getting commercial pasteurized grain-fed milk.

Liz Wolfe: I agree. Because, we talk about this. Animals concentrate nutrition in their tissues, and that nutrition is based upon what they are eating. And breast milk is a concentration of the concentration.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: So, I agree absolutely.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, and I think it’s not about a perfectionism thing, but it’s one of those things, because dairy is such an optional thing. Like, you don’t have to consume dairy, and so many people are intolerant to it. But, you know, you don’t even have to eat beef if you don’t want to eat beef. You know, maybe you eat lamb. {laughs} “What? He don’t eat meat? That’s ok, I’ll give him lamb.” {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: But, you know, I think that’s really my take as like, again especially if you’re buying it and bringing it into your house, I think doing stuff like goat cheese, probably less problematic for most people because you are able to find goats more often who are, you know, raised on pasture. Anyway, so the other issue I just wanted to cover for people is, you know, ways to know if you are intolerant to dairy. There are a handful of ways. I mean, any signs of systemic inflammation; so the chart in Practical Paleo that is like, literally probably more than 50 signs of systemic inflammation, but anything that is going on. Whether it’s your skin, your energy, headaches, pain in your body, weird pain in your ear that you can’t understand. You know, Liz, people come up to us all the time in seminars, and they are like “I have this weird pain” and I’m like, I don’t know what’s going on with you, but there is inflammation going on somewhere. Um, really, anything. But some of the really specific stuff that happens with dairy particularly is 1,) brain fog can definitely happen. There are some compounds, casomorphins can really just affect the way you are thinking. You can be foggy headed as a result of dairy. For that reason, headaches are a big one, eczema and psoriasis, all different types of skin issues. Acne is a big one with dairy. We know that there are a handful of cultures, some Asian cultures, some African American cultures that just, like, don’t tolerate dairy well. We have different lineage, and just different types of enzymes that we maybe have more abundantly across different heritages, ethnicities, so it’s really common that we’ll see people and just based on their ethnicity we kind of know what they may or may not tolerate better than someone else. And then, congestion, whether it’s just kind of an ongoing nasally, just don’t breathe through your nose very well, or you’re clearing your throat very often. My mom clears her throat every single morning, and she just will not stop with her conventional milk. She does not drink a lot of it, but it’s like… it drives me insane. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Don’t be mean to Marge.

Diane Sanfilippo: You can at least get your parents to do what you want them to do. But you know what, I got her off the soy milk, so then it was like {laughs}. Ugh. They buy organic milk, but you know, that’s not what I recommend. But she clears her throat every morning, and it’s… this is what’s happening. I mean, if that’s happening to you. Also, I used to experience when I was drinking raw milk several years ago, and just had great quality raw milk, but I just constantly felt like I was on the verge of developing a cold. Like, it felt like I was catching a cold, and I was just little, had that tickle in my throat, and I just didn’t really ever develop the cold but it just always felt like that, like just that hint, and then when I stopped eating the raw cheese and drinking the raw milk it went away. And so for me, that was the immune response that was happening. So you just have to really tune into that stuff, and then make the choice thereafter. I don’t tolerate cheese well. I love cheese, and I will sometimes eat soft cheeses when I, you know, go to a restaurant or something like that. But, yeah, it’s not something I have in my house. That’s kind of my take on all of that.

Liz Wolfe: Good job, D’s.

Diane Sanfilippo: Do you have anything else to say? I had somebody tweet me about, like pasteurized milk doesn’t have any less nutrition than raw milk, and, you know, it was always my understand that heat does kill, not only some of the beneficial bacteria in the milk, which I learned from Mark McAfee, the owner of, I think it’s Organic Pastures in California, they sell raw milk.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: But some of those vitamins. I mean, vitamins A and D; they will be damaged by heat, correct? I mean…

Liz Wolfe: Yes. Well, vitamin A is removed, I believe through skimming, and nobody adds that back because all the baggage around vitamin A. I actually talk about that in my book.

Diane Sanfilippo: It used to be vitamin A and D milk. Do you remember that? Like back in the day when they would add?

Liz Wolfe: No, I remember vitamin D milk.

Diane Sanfilippo: I remember them adding vitamin A to milk forever ago, but not recently. It’s only vitamin D now.

Liz Wolfe: No, they don’t do it anymore.

Diane Sanfilippo: But I remember it being vitamin A and D milk. Anyway.

Liz Wolfe: Interesting.

Diane Sanfilippo: Which is like, should just be normal milk when you get it {laughs} like when it’s real. It has those.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, exactly. Well, this is the thing. People are so consumed with what we already know. Like, even if say the nutrients we were looking for in pasteurized milk, vitamins A and D, and you know, whatever. If they are there, ok let’s talk about other nutrients that maybe we’re not recognizing are important or that we don’t even know. There aren’t a whole lot of people looking into this stuff because there aren’t a whole lot of people that care. Mark McAfee, Ron Schmid wrote the Untold Story of Milk, Realmilk.com, which is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, these are the people that are looking into the… I mean, hundreds upon hundreds of constituents in raw milk that are not found in pasteurized milk. And I can’t, you know, I can’t necessarily speak for like vitamin A and D, because maybe in some they are still left behind. I don’t know. Or maybe we’re talking about the ones that are added back. But the other constituents, the ones that people, you know, swear help heal them of allergies or help with digestive problems or whatever, I don’t know what they’re called. But they’re not in pasteurized milk.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think it’s some of the bacteria.

Liz Wolfe: Mmm. Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, that’s what Mark McAfee was talking about, and he was talking about it even more richly in colostrum, which is kind of a first milk. And that you can freeze it, and it will be fine, so people were buying the colostrum but couldn’t really consume it all very quickly because it’s so dense. But you can freeze it and nothing will happen, but heating it is going it damage it.

Liz Wolfe: My husband got a little… he seemed to be getting sick yesterday, and so we do, we have some goat’s milk colostrum. There was that and vitamin C, and a little bit of extra cod liver oil.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yep.

Liz Wolfe: We’ll see what happens. Ok. Is that it?

Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s it.

Liz Wolfe: Alright.

Diane Sanfilippo: Uh, did we need to tell anything else? I think that’s pretty much it. Yeah, that’s good. We’re good.

Liz Wolfe: Alright. We’ll be back next week with more questions. If you’ve been enjoying the podcast, help us spread the word by leaving a review in iTunes. It helps keep the show in front of lots of folks searching there. And we like to read what you do when you listen to the podcast. So, until next week, you can find Diane at http://blog.balancedbites.com/. You can find me, Liz, at http://cavegirleats.com/. Thanks for listening! We’ll be back next week.

Diane & Liz

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