Podcast Episode #166: The Cod Liver Oil Debate, “Paleo’ing Harder” & Paleo in College

Diane Sanfilippo Podcast Episodes 8 Comments


1. What’s new for you from Diane & Liz [5:27] 2. Shout Out: Scott Mills and his 2-Minute Fix [13:54] 3. This week in the Paleosphere: The Fermented Cod Liver Oil Debate [15:51] 4. Listener Questions:
* Help with eating at college [28:00] * Doing everything right, and nothing is working; should I “Paleo harder”? [37:29] * What to eat after a stomach bug [48:51] * Sensitivity to yeast, avoid fermented foods? [1:00:40] 5. An interview from our sponsor, Vital Choice’s Randy Hartnell: Selenium and methyl mercury [1:02:43] 6. Liz’s skin care tip of the week: Winter skin care [1:04:36] 7. Diane’s Kitchen tip: Slow cooker applesauce [1:07:34] [smart_track_player url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/balancedbites/BB_Podcast_166_Final.mp3″ color=”00aeef” title=”#166: The Cod Liver Oil Debate, Paleo'ing Harder & Paleo in College” artist=”Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe ” ]


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Liz Wolfe: Hey everyone! Welcome to episode number 166 of the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Liz. And that’s Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey.

Liz Wolfe: And I’m sure you’re used to this whole shtick by now.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: So let’s just jump right into our sponsors. Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice, offering wild and sustainably harvested seafood and other nutrient dense healing foods. Consider them not just for yourself, but for others, because they make a perfect holiday gift. Chose from wild salmon and halibut samplers, smoked salmon samplers, organic food gift packs, and gift certificates. Save yourself the stress of last minute shopping, and select your gift items now. Vital Choice will send to anyone on your list on the date of your choosing.

That’s cool! I didn’t read this ahead of time. {laughs} Orders of $99 or more ship free. This year, give the gift of health from Vital Choice.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that. {laughs} I love food gifts. I’m like, yes, bring me things that I can just consume, and then they don’t take up more space anymore. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I used to do, what was that? {laughs} Not Lloyd and Harry; Harry and David?

Diane Sanfilippo: Harry and David? {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Oh yeah, I used to do that all the time. This year, I’m totally giving the gift of sardines from Vital Choice.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes! And they are offering our listeners 15% off any order using code BALANCEDBITES. So you can actually get 15% off and free shipping when you spend over $99. Which, I think that’s pretty awesome.

Liz Wolfe: Fancy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome gift. You guys, you know, if anyone wants to send me a gift {laughs} there you go. Send me some sardines.

Liz Wolfe: I want gifts.

Diane Sanfilippo: Sardines are perfect stocking stuffer, by the way. I’m just saying. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I would have to agree with that. You know what I’ve noticed, too, about Vital Choice sardines? Is that they don’t taste all that fishy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Even compared to other wild-caught sardines. These are Portuguese sardines, so maybe that has something to do with it, which I love.

Diane Sanfilippo: I actually learned in my interviews with Randy, which we’ve been playing little clips of the interview that I had with him, which was fascinating. He’s a really, really cool guy.

Liz Wolfe: He’s the dude, man.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: He’s the Big Lebowski of seafood.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} He’s been a fisherman for I think over 20 years. We did this interview, and he was totally amped to answer any questions about seafood, really not even about his company, necessarily, he just wanted to answer the questions about the industry, and how things are going with wild-caught fish, and the health factors, and all that. One of the things that he said, which I think folks will hear in one of the clips, I can’t remember which one it airs in, but he said when you get that really fishy taste, I think we talked about this on a previous episode, it’s sometimes when the omega-3s go off, or any of the oils just become a little bit oxidized.

So, I think we notice this when we have oils in the house that go off, or if you have nuts or seeds that kind of don’t smell as fresh or as amazing as they were before; I think brazil nuts are really prone to that. They can smell rancid really easily. But if fish is overly fishy, it’s gone off, and it’s bad. He was saying that the freshness is really what makes a big difference in the unfishyness {laughs} of their sardines, and all of their fish in general, and I think that’s really cool. Of course all fish tastes like fish, but it doesn’t have that pungent kind of off-putting scent that I think a lot of people are just averse to.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: So that was why.

Liz Wolfe: Tastes like chicken! No, it doesn’t taste like chicken, its way better.

Diane Sanfilippo: I like sardines on my salad. I think I might do that today, actually.

Liz Wolfe: Fancy.

Diane Sanfilippo: #Sardinesonasalad.

Liz Wolfe: #NextSponsor, Pete’s Paleo. The 21-Day Sugar Detox is great for your body in so many ways, but it can be difficult for your life as well. Pete’s Paleo makes delicious, seasonal, ready to eat meals that strictly follows the 21DSD program. They’re shipped directly to your door, ready to go. Let Pete’s Paleo help you with your 21DSD success. And don’t forget that their bacon is also 21DSD approved, and sugar-free. Use coupon code 5OFF21DSD, for $5 off 21DSD meals, and 5OFFPETESPALEO, which is a coupon code for $5 off regular Pete’s Paleo meals.

Diane Sanfilippo: And just for anybody who’s not sure about what’s in their regular meals, most of their regular meals are pretty much 21DSD friendly anyway or close to it. They’re all strict paleo, they don’t have sweeteners or anything weird added to them. So if you’re not on a Sugar Detox, and you just want some easy meals to eat and heat up, just have them on a quick week night, something like that, Pete’s Paleo meals are awesome for that.

What’s new for you from Diane & Liz [5:27]

Liz Wolfe: Cool. So what’s happening with you?

Diane Sanfilippo: So I have this little sinus thing going on. {laughs} So I’ve been downing pate. I’ve been eating extra nutrients as much as possible. I made pate last night; I made it from the recipe in Mediterranean Paleo Cooking, and it’s pretty yummy. What else? What’s new with me, I thought definitely lent itself to telling you all the things I’m eating right now {laughs} so.

Liz Wolfe: That’s what we like to talk about.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s pretty much what’s new. In other news, for folks who are coming out to events, I think this episode is going to air on, what month are we in? So it’s November. So the episode we’re recording now will air on November 20th. So if you’re hearing it this morning, and you’re in the Sacramento area, come visit us in Roseville. We’ll be at Barnes and Noble there for the Mediterranean Paleo Cooking tour. Then we’ll be in Los Angeles the next day, Friday, on the 21st, San Diego Saturday the 22nd, and then we’ll pick up again in December for another week of touring through Seattle, Portland, Denver, Houston, and Rochester. So you can check out BalancedBites.com for the details on all of those dates.

That second week, we’ll also have our friend, Brittany Angell with us, and in Denver we’ll also be bringing in Juli Bauer from PaleOMG. So we’re trying to make it a big fun party so you guys can meet all kinds of your favorite authors and bloggers at once. And I think that’s pretty much it. What’s new with you?

Liz Wolfe: Nothing.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Done. Next.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Done. Nothing. Not traveling. Not doing anything except for trying to keep my hands and lips from being completely chapped from being outside.

Diane Sanfilippo: And how do you do that best?

Liz Wolfe: Oh, that’s a good question.

Diane Sanfilippo: Should we save that for your skin care tip?

Liz Wolfe: Maybe we should. That’s a good idea.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Liz Wolfe: We’re going to have a little chat before we move on. Everyone, gather round children. Let’s have a little rap session. Like we used to do at summer camp. I am privy to some of the emails that come through Diane’s website.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Uh-oh.

Liz Wolfe: And, it's my choice to bring this topic up, because an email recently came through, and I’ll read it, regarding our podcast in general.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Uh-oh.

Liz Wolfe: Uh-oh. “So much chit-chat in this interview. Folks are short on time, and want info, ideas, and facts. Please eliminate the comedy club rhetoric.” Which, by the way, if I could find a comedy club that focused on rhetoric, I would be extremely happy. That’s my little aside there. “And live up to the professionalism in your incredible cookbooks, Diana.”

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} That is not my name.

Liz Wolfe: That’s not your name. So, I want to comment on this. Because anyone with cable is not short on time. {laughing} I don’t know if this person has cable, but folks may not be so much short on time as they are in a hurry to get exactly what they want when they want it. And here’s the thing. A book is certainly the place for professionalism, if that’s what you want to pour in your book, a series of very professionalistic things. Although, I obviously managed to slip a lot of dumbassery into my book, interspersed between…

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} the information, “the info, ideas, and facts.” And guess what? I’m an intellectually secure woman. I know personally that you don’t have to be serious to be smart, nor do you have to be serious to be professional. And obviously Diana and I {laughs} appreciate all those who pay for our work by purchasing our books. That means a great deal to us. But here’s the thing; we do this podcast, 1) because it’s a great way to reach people and keep abreast of what folks are wanting to know, and connect with people, and 2) because it’s fun, and it’s an opportunity to get to just let loose a little bit in a less structured format and bring our personalities to bear on all of the really important lifestyle questions that we get.

Because, in my opinion, life is not this series of highly professional interactions. That’s not where we get the most out of things. Life is a series of highly personal interactions, and in my opinion, that’s what we represent here in this free podcast that you are also free to fast forward through the beginning portion of if you don’t like our comedy club rhetoric, which again, I would love to find a comedy club that was rhetoric based. I think the one time I found one I was in England, maybe at the Globe Theater, or something like that. But that might be taking this a little bit too far. But, as much as we want to please everybody, even the more buttoned-up types, by giving everyone exactly what they want served up exactly according to their preference {laughs} it’s just impossible.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: We do have to have that mix of what we enjoy doing, so that we can do it joyfully, and deliver it consistently with great vim and vigor.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} And what the majority of people seem to enjoy is the way we’re doing things now. Many people seem to enjoy getting to know our personalities as much as our viewpoints on the real food lifestyle, as evidenced by the tone and content of so many of the questions that are submitted. So, while I normally wouldn’t be so concerned about a tidbit of negative feedback, because everybody gets that. It can really be chalked up to a difference in personal tastes. But sometimes we do like to remind people that we love your being here, and we love being here, but you don’t have to be here.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: However.

Diane Sanfilippo: We have to be here. You don’t have to be here. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: We have to be here. But, the one thing you do have to do is get Diane’s name right.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: Because otherwise you might end up on the brunt of a 5-minute rant on the podcast.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh my goodness.

Liz Wolfe: PS, I used to be the nice one.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Remember when I was the nice one? {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I know. I was never the nice one. You told me I’m being really nice lately. I don’t know what it is.

Liz Wolfe: Super nice.

Diane Sanfilippo: Super nice? I don’t know. So, alright, I’ll throw in my 2 cents on this, because of course, I have my 2 cents. First things first, if you’ve been listening to the show for a minute, not 3 years, I’m going to definitely recommend, if this is your first episode and you’re like, what is going on, why are they not answering questions, I thought I was going to learn about paleo, whatever. Go back to 150-something episodes. Actually, I mean, probably, how long has it been since we changed the format? It’s maybe been a few months. At least the first 120 or so episodes are a lot more straightforward Q&A. If there’s anything that we bring to the table kind of before or after the Q&A, it’s because we need to connect with people who are out there listening who want to come to live events or want to know what else we’re working on. They’re not listening to this podcast just to know what the answers to some other people’s questions might be, because they might not even write in. They might want to hear that, but there’s a lot of reasons why different people tune into a podcast.

I know for myself, I love hearing the back and forth between two people that I like to follow and listen to, but I also like the meaty part. So I think you just have to recognize that there’s always a balance, and we’re here to share information with people, but we’re also here to kind of updates folks on what’s going on and keep them, as you said, abreast to what’s happening. So that’s kind of it.

We put transcripts with every single episode. We’ve had lots of folks asking about that. There’s a transcript with every episode on my blog; I think they’re on your blog too, so if you just want to read it, or skim for an answer to a question, please check those out. Or you can always just fast forward. There are time stamps on every episode, as well. So you can always just fast forward, right to the questions if you don’t care about any of this other stuff. So there you go.

Liz Wolfe: This means you won’t be directly served with everything you want while sitting at the head table, but you can head up to the buffet, and take what you like.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Alright.

Diane Sanfilippo: Nice.

Shout Out: Scott Mills and his 2-Minute Fix [13:54]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. This weeks’ shout out, I am going to keep this one close to home and give a shout out to my awesome fiancé. Not only for plugging in and starting up a humidifier for me last night before I got into bed, which I thought was the sweetest thing ever. I was like, oh honey! You plugged in the humidifier! {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Honey you baked!

Diane Sanfilippo: It was! Honey you baked! That was what. That’s what I was going for. But I thought it was really sweet, and I was like, aww! But anyway. He started a new video series on YouTube, and it’s called the 2 Minute Fix. This week he posted up one called 2-Minute Fix: Sciatic Nerve Flossing. This video, while it sounds super sciencey and perhaps like it might not be for you, it’s actually for folks who are struggling with any low back pain, sciatica problems, or hamstring “tightness”. A lot of times people think they’re having issues with that tightness in a muscle, but it’s really not necessarily related to that.

I don’t know all the details of this. I do know that his video has almost 6,000 views already on YouTube, and I was like, honey, I don’t think any of my videos have 6000 views {laughs}. People have watched it multiple times, I know April on my team has watched it a few times and started doing it. She’s going to do it for a couple of weeks and report back. People have said they went through it just one time, doing the exercises, and already feel some relief. So, I think that’s really awesome, and I’m super proud of him. He had this idea one day to create these 2-minute videos, or 2-3-ish minute videos, and put them out there, and he started producing them and they’re already helping people. So you can check out the 2-Minute Fix on YouTube. His channel is Plexus Performance Care. We’ll put a link to it right here in the show notes, but you can Google that up or search on YouTube.

This week in the Paleosphere: The Fermented Cod Liver Oil Debate [15:51]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, this week in the real food paleosphere, I’m going to talk a little bit about this fermented cod liver oil debate. I’m sure 99% of folks are not aware that there’s a fermented cod liver oil debate going on. But we’ve had a couple of people ping us about this, and it’s interesting. There’s kind of a he said/she said thing going on, and when you really kind of dig into what’s happening here, it really does come down to which do you like better, and which do you feel helps you the most. But here’s what’s going on. I’ll kind of explain it a little bit. Are you taking notes on what I’m saying, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes, does it sounds like I’m taking notes?

Liz Wolfe: It does.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok good.

Liz Wolfe: Either that or like a mouse is chewing into your microphone.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, I tried to mute myself.

Liz Wolfe: So, here’s what’s going on with the cod liver oil. Folks know that we’ve recommended fermented cod liver oil for a very long time, from one place specifically because the only people that make it, from Green Pasture. Green Pasture, they’re good people, they’re making a great product. They’re making it via means that they have researched very extensively, and they consider traditional.

Now, there is kind of a competing cod liver oil seller that has emerged in the last year or so. Corganic. They sell what they call an extra virgin cod liver oil. Now, there’s. Ok, extra virgin is a term that we use for olive oil. That is an olive oil term. I understand what they’re trying to do with the extra virgin term, but basically the point is it’s not fermented, it’s very much flavorless, odorless. It’s odorless, tasteless, dissolves instantly in liquid, and it’s an excellent product as well.

Basically what’s going on is these two companies are butting heads, and I’ve personally witnessed a little more aggressiveness on the part of one side versus the other, but that’s no big deal. I think both sides are kind of so passionate about their product that they’re kind of just publicly broadcasting how they feel about each other. So the fermented cod liver oil is produced in one specific way, and it makes it kind of stinky, and it makes it kind of gross to take.

This Corganic stuff, which is actually produced by a company in Norway. They’re fabulous people, and actually several years ago, I had heard they were working on a pure, cold pressed wouldn’t be the right term, cold produced, traditionally produced rat fish liver oil. And I was really interested in that, so I actually contacted the company in Norway and purchased, it’s not cheap, purchased some rat fish liver oil. And I absolutely loved it. It was fantastic. It was cost prohibitive for me, but it was amazing. It’s kind of like I love cod liver oil, but I looove fermented skate liver oil. It’s kind of the same thing, I love this company’s cod liver oil, but I love their rat fish liver oil even more.

Anyway, my point is, if you think I haven’t tried it, you’re wrong I’ve tried pretty much everything on the face of the earth at this point. So what’s going on is this company in Norway is just producing cod liver oil differently. They’re not fermenting it. And what the seller, the United States seller of the non-fermented cod liver oil is contending is that you cannot ferment cod livers, because fermenting implies a need for carbohydrates for bacteria to act upon. Really, all they’re doing is rancidifying the cod livers, and people are taking it, and oh my gosh, the whole world is going to explode.

When Green Pasture, the maker of the fermented cod liver oil, talks about fermentation, what I’ve kind of gleaned from observing this very heated debate between the two sides, is that they understand the idea of fermentation technically requiring carbohydrates for bacteria to act upon. What they’re talking about and using the term fermented is the action of bacteria upon the cod livers. I don’t think we need to get into this whole debate about you can and cannot actually ferment. Bacteria acts on everything. So we can just kind of leave it there.

Now, I personally am not fully convinced on some of the other peripheral arguments that are going on between these two camps as far as oxidation products and things like that. And part of the reason I feel that way is because I’ve seen amazing results with the fermented cod liver oil, and so have a lot of people. And I tend to just kind of go on that. When we know it’s a nutrient dense product, when we know people swear by it, when we have personal testimonials of its efficacy, and that’s kind of where the rubber meets the road for me. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with fermented cod liver oil. I’ll continue to recommend it. But I’ll also recommend the Corganic. Because, despite the fact I feel like there’s a little bit of low blows going on here, for no good reason, because both products are excellent, we don’t need to throw stones at the other person to promote our own product. This is me kind of wagging my finger. Both products are excellent. The Corganic is great. I believe the guy started distributing this stuff, or I don’t know if he financed the product or what. I know it’s made in Norway from different folks that I’ve interacted with, a company called Rosita, but he began either producing it or selling it because a lot of folks were sensitive to fermentation products, and fermented cod liver oil. So he felt that he was producing something or selling something that was more pure.

I don’t know that it’s more pure, I think it’s just different. I think it’s definitely worth trying. So you can get it in the states through Corganic.com. You can also go to Rosita’s website and see what else they’ve got, how they produce things, the rat fish liver oil, etc, etc.

So anyway, the point is, I’ve been around the block with both of these products. They’re both excellent. I saw better results with the fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend. That may be because the butter oil was in there; I don’t know. I have no problem tolerating it, and I think they’re both great. I don’t treat cod liver oil like a religion, and I think it would probably behoove most of us to not treat cod liver oil like a religion.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I think that’s kind of the problem here. But there is no bad guy there. There is no, somebody’s doing it wrong and somebody’s doing it right. There’s just two people, two companies doing it differently, and they’re both, in my opinion, doing an excellent job with a lot of knowledge at hand.

Diane Sanfilippo: And for anybody curious, at least where I’m finding it on this Corganic website, the rat fish liver oil is $185 for a 50 mL glass battle, which is pretty tiny bottle I think.

Liz Wolfe: It’s very tiny. Actually it’s tiny enough for a dog to swallow it whole, and you never see it again.

Diane Sanfilippo: Is that what happened?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Stop it!

Liz Wolfe: It was amazing though.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: The rat fish liver oil, I was actually using it as, I mean, they shipped it to me from Norway, so I get the PayPal bill, and there’s a lot of extra zeros on the end.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh my goodness.

Liz Wolfe: Because that’s how they do currency. And it hurt. And I was using it, actually, as a topical treatment.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: On my face, as well as taking it as a supplement, and it was fantastic! But then the dog ate it. So there you go. But it sounds like they’re now selling it through Corganic. Is that what you’re saying?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I just clicked over to their website, and clicked on this little rat fish liver oil. It almost does look like a bottle of a face serum or something.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Is that kind of how small it was?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: It doesn’t sound like something; you know, people always talk about fermented cod liver oil being expensive. This stuff {laughs} you’ve got to be really into experimentation, or perhaps looking for some deep therapeutic effects from it. This website says, they’re tagline is real food for autism, and I think they’re really looking at the neurological support that comes from these oils. I think that’s probably mostly where the case for some of this stuff will be if you’re looking at really investing this kind of money and spending that kind of money on it. Otherwise, you could be eating your sardines, and eating some liver from pastured animals, and getting all this stuff from whole foods, if you don’t need it in these therapeutic doses. That’s really, like you were saying, not to make it a religion. That’s really the true benefit of some of these oils, when you need to invest in them it’s really more for therapeutic interventions.

Liz Wolfe: And I mean, both companies have done independent testing. One company has accused the other of something with independent testing. One has tested the other; there’s kind of a lot of weirdly passive aggressive mudslinging, especially from one side to the other, and it stinks because people are getting wrapped up in the minutia that are not even necessarily proven.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: There’s a lot of conjecture going on. But nobody needs to be afraid to take the fermented cod liver oil. But if you don’t tolerate it, then you don’t tolerate it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: There’s nothing wrong with cabbage, but some people can’t tolerate it.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s right. Especially fermented. And I think we actually have a question about histamines in today’s show, and that’s one of the things there. If you don’t tolerate histamines, then you’re probably not going to tolerate the fermented cod liver oil. It is one of those specifics where, not everything we love or recommend is right or perfect for everyone. I’m with you; I don’t really like when companies are just throwing stones at each other. I don’t think you lift your own company up by pushing another one down. That’s not really my approach to business and life.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Which is a bummer. But that is, like you said, the Corganic company, I think was founded on trying to support the health of autistic children.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: And a lot of children who have digestive issues

Diane Sanfilippo: Yep.

Liz Wolfe: Can’t tolerate the fermentation products. I had a great experience talking directly with Rosita in Norway, that was great. So let’s just all observe. Sit back, observe, do what works for us, and don’t get too worried about this.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. This is kind of the same with people who eat paleo in general; the minute you get so strung out about whatever your doing being the one right way, and everything that you're informed about is the truth and the best, like you said, where it gets to be kind of religious or dogmatic, you will run into trouble. Because someone will question something, and then you will be forced to question something. And this is a perfect case of that. It’s like, if we just kind of chill out, and just observe and see what kind of benefit we can get from everything. Not everybody’s going to be able to afford even getting this other type of oil.

But I think, also, for the people who are listening who maybe haven’t heard us talk about fish oil in general. We have both kind of been anti-fish oil. Not a specific brand, there’s no specific brand that we’re saying this brand is good or bad. But fish oil in general, most of what’s out there that’s produced, I mean, I am definitely not somebody to just go out and recommend a general fish oil, because I think that you don’t know or trust the production. I’ve had some of the top two or three brands out there approach me to recommend their product, and I’ve tried to ask them about the production methods, and they’ve not wanted to answer those questions.

You’ve had long conversations with some of these folks, and that’s a different story, and I think that really speaks highly of the company. I think when we’re looking at these types of products that we’re trying to buy that are these nutrient dense, sort of superfood supplements. I think it’s really critical to ask those right questions, and make sure that if you are trying to get this type of product into your system, that you do get the highest quality possible. You know, you don’t just trust it because lots of people take it or do it. You really kind of do your own digging, and then test it out for yourself.

Listener Questions:
Help with eating at college [28:00]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, on to questions. This first one is from Quinn. “Hey Ladies! I just started listening to the show, and I love it. You guys have helped me to understand more about the true health benefits of paleo eating beyond doing it for aesthetic reasons, and you’re just really fun to listen to.” Listen to that! You’re really fun Diana! “I’m a freshman in college, and I’ve been having a lot of trouble food-wise. Everyone has to have an unlimited meal plan, but basically everything in the dining hall is rice, pasta, and meat that I don’t trust. Luckily, they have a stir fry station where I’m able to get steamed vegetables, but that’s about it. I’ve been able to bring organic meat that a trust from a paleo place back home, and I try to stock up on things at Whole Foods that will last. Also, I don’t have a kitchen, just a microwave.

My main issue is that I can tell that I’m not eating enough, and I have no idea what to do about it. At home, I always cooked for myself, and now my options are extremely limited. Do you have any advice for me? Should I just start eating more of what they have in the dining hall, even if it isn’t paleo at all? I need all the help I can get. Even food suggestions for next time I go grocery shopping would be great. Thank you so much.”

So. Food. Quinn is eating two eggs and three egg-white scramble with chicken sausage for breakfast. Steamed broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, paleo chicken burger or chicken breast for lunch. Epic bar, Larabar, almonds, superfood cereal with buckwheat occasionally for a snack. Dinner is basically the same as lunch. Very rarely have a Hilary’s… can you click away from that… there you go.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Hilary’s eat well veggie burger {laughs} with millet and greens. No gluten, soy, or anything when I get back to campus late. After dinner I have full fat yogurt with Tera’s whey protein powder and chia seeds. Crossfit 5-6 times a week. Sleep 7-9 hours a night, which is impressive for being in college.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: Mostly paleo. Yeah, alright.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well. I have a few ideas. So, Quinn, I saw where her location was, and she does say that she has a Whole Foods nearby. One of the things that I would probably stock up on would be some clean deli meats and that could include things like turkey breast, but it could also be like prosciutto or some well-raised pork products. There’s salami, or pepperoni, things like that that you can get a good hit of calories from, but they will store pretty easily in your fridge, and not take up a lot of space. And if it’s going to be cured pork products, you can probably stick those in your bag and carry them, keep them out of the fridge for a couple of hours, and you’ll be just fine to eat those just kind of walking around campus. That’s something that I travel with pretty frequently, if I don’t know where I’m going to get food. I think it’s probably close to 400 calories in one whole pack of Applegate salami, for example.

So, that’s kind of a good way to get more calories in, and you can just kind of store it. She says she has a microwave, but I know everybody has a mini fridge, also. And if you don’t have a mini fridge, I’m pretty sure you can get one. But that’s kind of my very first instinct on something else you can stock up on.

I do think at the dining hall; I don’t know, she didn’t mention a salad bar or not. That was the thing, I wasn’t paleo way back in the day {laughs} when I was in college, but I was a big salad bar girl. I was always making these huge colorful salads, and I think stocking up your plate on that stuff, or just doing extra of what’s there.

I think if you’re doing the veggies and the protein, but you're not getting enough good fats in, you’re definitely going to be really hungry or just not getting enough calories in general. So if you’re doing these chicken burgers or chicken breasts, if you’re not getting red meat in your diet, and you're missing out on some of those other nutrients, and that could definitely leave you a little bit undernourished.

I would look to, if you can get some well sourced meats as your saying, bring them from home or whatever, and maybe do some of the other types of proteins. So if what’s available typically is white meat protein like chicken, then I would try and get some grass-fed beef or something to that effect. I know Applegate also has a grass-fed beef roast beef that you can get, so that would be another good one to stock up on.

And then keeping some really high quality fats in your dorm room is super easy, you don’t have to refrigerate most of them. The two that come to mind first definitely don’t have to be refrigerated; well, three actually, would be an extra virgin olive oil. And we love Kasandrino’s brand, of course my friend Tony Kasandrino started the company and imports olive oil directly from Greece, and it’s some of the best tasting olive oil you’ll ever have. So super high quality. You can actually get a little travel bottle from a container store. I don’t know if he still sells travel bottles. But you can just stick that in your bag and have 1-2 salads worth of oil with you at all times. I definitely travel with that pretty often.

You can also do coconut oil. You can keep that right in your room. Or coconut butter, or any nut butters that you can tolerate pretty well. The last one would be ghee. You don’t have to just cook with it; I actually think it’s really yummy on a piece of dark chocolate, and slather like a tablespoon of ghee on it, and sprinkle some salt. Pretty yummy, a great way to get in extra calories and lots of nutrients if it’s a grass-fed ghee. So that’s another good option you can definitely stock up on that.

If not at the store, you can also get it online. I think Tin Star Foods is one I really like of ghee. Or next time you're home visiting your family or whatever, you can make some, and just put it in a bunch of jars and bring it back with you. You can just keep that out, it doesn’t have to be refrigerated.

Liz Wolfe: And also, two eggs and three egg white scramble?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I know. I was like, Liz is not happy with that.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, I mean. This doesn’t look…Diane nailed everything, but also, if you want to be fuller for longer, add some extra eggs there. And I don’t know if they let you take food from the dining room.

Diane Sanfilippo: Usually not.

Liz Wolfe: No? Ok. I can’t remember if we could or not when I was in college.

Diane Sanfilippo: Sometimes you can sneak it. We used to take containers with us.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because it’s all you can eat, they don’t want you to eat more than you eat at once, or take more than you can eat at once. But when it was chicken parm night…

Liz Wolfe: They make you have an unlimited meal plan, and you can’t.. yeah ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: On chicken parm night, we used to totally bring a Tupperware, and just keep going through the line, and taking extra servings of chicken parm. Yeah, it was awesome.

Liz Wolfe: And see, you turned out fine.

Diane Sanfilippo: Go orange! {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Ugh. Oh man.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m not even a sports fan at all!

Liz Wolfe: No, you're not, and so it doesn’t count. And there’s still this bitterness from the NCAA men’s basketball championship tournament.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I don’t know anything about that.

Liz Wolfe: That was back when my phone looked like a king size snickers bar.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh amazing!

Liz Wolfe: So funny. Oh so silly.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t think I was even in college then still.

Liz Wolfe: No, I think you were out. That was maybe my freshman year of college.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m so old. I was out of college when you were a freshman, I think.

Liz Wolfe: Ugh.

Diane Sanfilippo: So cute.

Liz Wolfe: It hurts, basketball. But eat all the egg yolks. And also, you can, I know people don’t love the microwave, but you do what you can do. If you can have a microwave in your dorm room, and you can get some pasture raised eggs or whatever, you can actually make scrambled eggs in the microwave. I mean, it’s not ideal.

Diane Sanfilippo: Do you have a tutorial for that?

Liz Wolfe: Put in bowl.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Scramble. Put in microwave for a minute. Mash it around. Put in microwave another minute.

Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I didn’t know that.

Liz Wolfe: You do what you can. I mean, we don’t want Quinn to become; I mean, college is just that prime time where people go a little bit extreme with food one way or the other.

Diane Sanfilippo: For me, it was wings and pizza.

Liz Wolfe: Me too. Wings, pizza, beer.

Diane Sanfilippo: And sandwiches. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Drinking, all of it. And I had a blast {laughs}. But we also had gals on our floor who went the complete opposite. I mean, we had girls that took on habits that for some of them, it’s been 10 years now? More than 10 years? And some of these girls are still struggling with food, based on behaviors they picked up our freshman year of college. Man, that’s a bummer. I mean, there were girls that were struggling with anorexia. I mean, literally trying to be bulimic, and that’s sad. We just don’t want to foster any kind of orthorexia.

So if you’re hungry, grab some rice, load up a salad with nuts, dried fruit, and olive oil, and all kinds of stuff. One of the questions was, should I just start eating more of what they have to offer in the dining hall, even if it isn’t paleo at all? I think, sure. I mean, maybe not pasta, but maybe you could have some more rice. She’s doing some yogurt and things like that. Just don’t worry. Because also getting 8-9 hours of sleep a night, you kidding me? Good job. Good job girlfriend.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. It’s definitely, I think when you kind of know about all the food quality stuff, you end up tripping yourself out a lot when your presented with options that are totally not organic, not pasture raised, you know. You just, you look at it and you're like, ugh. And you have to just take that away. You have to strip it down. We went on the low carb cruise how many times, and you just have to put your “what’s real food” hat, or glasses on, and just be like, ok this is protein, this is vegetables, I’m eating what’s here, I’m finding some decent fat, and I’m not going to freak out about the quality of it all the time. Because if you are keeping it mostly paleo in the dining hall, you’re already limiting yourself so much. Don’t worry that it’s not paleo perfectionism in your protein sources. Just eat the food, and you’ll be ok. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: You’ll be good. Alright.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Doing everything right, and nothing is working; should I paleo harder? [37:29]

Liz Wolfe: Next one. From S. Mr. S. A little Arrested Development joke there for you. “I started a little over a year ago, the way most people do. I read an article here or there, knew someone at work who wouldn’t stop talking about gluten, then downloaded a podcast, signed up for a mailing list, and before I knew it, I was listening to a reading about all things paleo, primal, and otherwise breadless all day long. The information I was getting hit me hard. Everything made sense. Everything I read or heard felt so obvious. ‘Eat real food, prepared mindfully, in your own home, with whole ingredients.’ Duh.

I made the switch quickly and without hesitation, and felt amazing. I was sure that I had found a solution to all my problems. My hormones would balance out, I would lose the unexplainable 40 pounds that showed up on my body one day, uninvited, and refuses to leave. I would become a beacon of health and wellness. I was on my way.

But I was not. The weight hasn’t really changed. Recently I had my thyroid levels tested to see if that’s where the issue was. My doctor called and confirmed my biggest fear; he told me I was fine, and should eat less and exercise more. I cried for hours after that phone call.

I have a healthy diet, about 1600-1700 calories a day of healthy, real food, and I exercise about 4 times a week. Usually 3 days lifting, one yoga class, and some light cardio. I walk every day. Sleep could be better, whose couldn’t? But I try, and most nights I get at least 7 hours. I like wine, but I’ve eliminated the nightly pre-bedtime glasses, and instead have it on the weekends socially. I spend a ton of my limited budget on stocking my home with healthy foods, which I prepare for myself in safe fats. I’ve literally eaten sardines in my car at work.” {laughing}

“I have mason jars of bone broth portioned out in my fridge next to all my Chameleon Cold-Brew. I’m all in. I try really hard to keep a healthy and positive outlook. Paleo is not a weight loss diet, it’s a lifestyle. Real change takes time. Your weight doesn’t define your worth or right to happiness. I’m excited about the improvements I’ve made in strength training. I have some favorite podcasts saved to relisten to when I get overwhelmed.

It’s hard sometimes to feel positively. I can’t help the occasional bad thought. I’d be more valuable, more worth love, happier, if only I was slimmer. I want my big payoff for all my hard work and sacrifice. I’m looking at my FitDay log, and can’t imagine where I could pull more calories out. Where I could fit another workout in my week. Fixing myself has become a single-minded obsession. I want my body back, and I feel at a loss.

My doctor won’t help me, and seems uninterested in my laundry list of symptoms. Weird hair in weird places. The rapid weight gain that won’t budge. Sudden skin issues in my mid-20s. Random bouts of exhaustion when I should feel rested. I’ve listened to every episode and a own all the books. I found a ton of amazing resources via BB, including both of your new podcasts, which I’m enjoying very much. In a desperate moment, I thought I’d write in and ask your opinion on the situation. Should I suck it up and try to live an even cleaner lifestyle? Do I really need to paleo harder? Is there something I’m not thinking of or something I’m not doing? I appreciate your advice and insight.”

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh. Don’t you want to give her a hug?

Liz Wolfe: I do! That’s all I want to do! I just want to give you a hug! Well, I also want to have her sign up for Summer Innanen’s emails, because Summer Innanen is the badass b-ya of body image, and she’s an incredible person, and sometimes it just helps to get to know somebody like that. But I also just want to give this person a huge hug.

I mean we could definitely go through with this, and go, alright, well if something changed suddenly, what else changed? Did you move? Did your environment change? It could have manipulated your gut flora? There’s a million things that could be going on, but that’s not the problem. The problem is difficulty in self-acceptance. I understand the frustration with the body and things that are going on, but it doesn’t start there. You know what I’m saying?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Because for me, at this point in my life, when something goes wonky, even, no matter how frustrating it is, I kind of enjoy the process of figuring it out. It’s not a source of frustration for me anymore. I don’t know how I got to that point. I have no idea.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, so, in talking about this whole body acceptance thing and body love, even if you’re on this journey, or especially when you’re on a journey where you feel like there is something. She is saying that she gained weight inexplicably; she just has no idea how this happened quickly. Has some weird stuff going on for sure; weird hair in weird places, skin issues, and random bouts of exhaustion. There’s a couple of things, I’m going to give you some ideas of some things that could be going on, but what Liz is saying is kind of, while this is happening, you can’t wait until you get to some unknown place to feel good about yourself or love yourself. Because, surprise, surprise, when and if you do get to that place, you’re still going to feel the same way. And I know, because I’ve been there.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I was at a place where, I’ve talked about this so many times, but I feel like it can never be said too many times. I had visible abs, and other parts of my body that maybe a sign of femininity were not so big anymore, and parts of me I was so excited about. My thighs didn’t touch for the first time in my entire life that I can remember. We all know about the thigh gap, and I do not have small thighs. I have strong legs, I have big quads, I have a butt. That is not normal for me, to not have my legs touching. My legs weren’t touching, I had visible abs, and I lost my period. I looked great in the mirror, and people would see me and be like, wow, she’s ripped, and I was unhealthy. I had all these other body image issues that came up at the time.

So, saying that when you get to some place that you anticipate being, you will be happier, it’s not even true. There’s some element, of course, of this, you do the work and your body responds and you feel good about that. And I think that’s legit. I think it can be really frustrating and I would be really frustrated too if I was in that situation where I was making all these changes, and I felt like I’m doing the hard work, and my body’s not responding. And that’s what I want to address in terms of where there could be some potentially clinical things going on that you might want to ask a different doctor about. Perhaps go to a naturopath or functional medicine doctor. You can look on paleo physician’s network or primal docs, and just see if there’s somebody different who can help you.

Just a couple of things she’s explaining sound like some big hormonal imbalances. She did mention that she had, I think there was something about she had recently, she had a lot of trouble after going off of oral birth control, that she had been taking for years, and she gained 40 pounds in 2.5 months, and started experiencing a lot of issues that seemed hormonally charged.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, I totally thought that was a different question, sorry.

Diane Sanfilippo: This was her after the fact information.

Liz Wolfe: Did not read that.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, I think there’s just a lot of strange hormonal stuff going on, and it sounds like you want to get your hormone balance tested, because it could be something like PCOS. Where, I’m not here to diagnose you, but if that’s what’s going on, PCOS shows itself in so many forms. It absolutely shows itself in women who are not even experiencing weight gain. But weight gain that won’t move, and weird hair in weird places, and skin issues, all of that can really be a sign of PCOS. And it can happen for so many reasons.

And she absolutely, from my opinion, does not need to paleo harder. She said she’s 5’7”, her goal is 135 to 140. That’s pretty much what I weigh at 5’4”. So, I think when you have this idea of a number and you’re just throwing it out there, I don’t think that really says much. If you want to be a healthy body fat percentage, whatever that means for your body, that’s one thing. But having this goal weight in mind is just going to make you batty, and probably not support your goals. So I really wouldn’t focus on that.

My last thing is, if she’s 5’7”, and she’s exercising, she said she walks every day, does lifting 3 days, yoga, etc., 1600-1700 calories does not sound like enough food to me. All the time. Maybe there are some days where you’re less active, and that might be enough, and days where you are more active, closer to 2000 is enough. And here’s the sort of paradox; if you don’t eat enough, and your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, it’s going to hold to weight that you don’t want it to hold on to. Because it’s still looking for nutrients, and if you’re not getting enough of that in, then your body will not just kind of chill out and drop any extra body fat.

But absolutely, I don’t see this as anything to look for more places to cut calories or add exercise. That’s not really the issue here. It would be more something that’s kind of under the hood and hormonal, and really working with someone to figure out what’s going on, and absolutely in the meantime not beating yourself up for it, not feeling like you can’t be happy or love yourself right now. I know that’s so hard. That sounds, it sounds impossible, because as I say it, I’m thinking I know when I’ve been in those places, and it happens to me if I gain a few pounds because I don’t work out as much, and I’m more sedentary, and who knows what happens.

And I think at the end of the day, you have to just keep working on that self love and finding ways to not let what you think of other people and the way that you might be judging other people, that’s what ends up having you kind of turn it back and you judge yourself more. And when you stop looking at other people and judging them, and judging their body, and what they look like without knowing their situation, you realize it’s a lot easier to love yourself. Because now you can look at someone who you may in the past have thought, wow, that girl, whoa, she’s got an extra 40 pounds. What if that girl is you, and you wish you could say to the person looking at you that way, and say you have no idea what I’m going through. I think that makes a big difference, and can help everyone who’s listening, who might ever look at other people and say, wow, it looks like she’s put on some weight. You have no idea what that person is going through, so you just need to back off of all that.

Liz Wolfe: By the way, nobody is looking, everybody is just worried about themselves. Nobody is actually looking {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: When somebody looks at somebody else, they’re kind of commenting on what they think of themselves, you know?

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm. Yeah. That’s very true.

Diane Sanfilippo: So there’s that.

Liz Wolfe: Beautifully said.

Diane Sanfilippo: Even with my stuffy nose.

Liz Wolfe: You don’t sound so bad.

Diane Sanfilippo: {Sniffs}

What to eat after a stomach bug [48:51]

Liz Wolfe: Alrighty. Anna says, “Hi Liz and Diane! I’ve recently had an unpleasant night of vomiting, unsure if this was food or virus related, and was wondering if you had any advice for what to eat once the vomiting subsides? In the past, pre-paleo, I would have nibbled on a plain cracker or a piece of toast. But these days, I’m not really sure what would be best to help my stomach get back to normal. Any ideas? Thanks. Anna, New Zealander living in the Czech Republic, just in case you were ever wondering how far flung your podcast is.” That’s awesome.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s so cool. I love that.

Liz Wolfe: Oh the internet. I don’t think, I would say rice crackers or something. If you just need something bland, because you feel like you need to give your body a little bit of energy to run on, I don’t see anything really wrong with some rice crackers or whatever. It’s usually something like that that people want. If I could get people to drink bone broth after a vomiting episode, that would be great! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: But I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I mean, I think there’s probably some Chinese medicine type theories about this, but I’m not sure. Do you know anything about that?

Diane Sanfilippo: Chinese medicine?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I do not.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t either.

Diane Sanfilippo: About vomiting? No.

Liz Wolfe: Just thinking of what kind of herbs and things like that your body might want to replenish with.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know about that. I know ginger is known to help sooth digestion.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: And nausea, as well. Ginger tea could be good. But that’s not a nibble. That’s really a sip. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} That’s not a nibble. I’m reading a little something about Chinese medicine and vomiting.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, fun.

Liz Wolfe: Various unfavorable conditions associated with the environment, food, mental health, or physiological stress can compromise the stomach, etc, etc. Traditional Chinese medicine built it’s understanding of vomiting from the long-term accumulation of clinical observations and treatments. Yadda, yadda, yadda, give me some solutions here. I got nothing.

Diane Sanfilippo: About what else to eat; I’m trying to think what I would eat. Over the years, if my stomach is upset, my body is really like, we’re getting this out. It’s not pleasant or fun. But I do think the rice crackers could be a good idea. I don’t know how many people have that stuff sitting around, though. If you’re kind of eating paleo and you don’t really know that you're about to get sick {laughs}. But you could send someone to the store for that. That might be an ok one. Or some kind of gluten free cereal, or something. I feel like if there’s a case for when that stuff is appropriate, that could be the time? I don’t know.

Liz Wolfe: Agreed. I would like some outside input on this question, for those listening, if you have any fringe crunchy-hippie type thoughts on this type of thing, besides the rice crackers and whatnot.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Please let us know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Or, some other kind of rice toast. Some other kind of gluten free, I don’t know how good that stuff will taste.

Liz Wolfe: Sometimes you just need some energy that doesn’t taste like anything.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think I almost always go for soup. Something my stomach does not have to work hard to digest. So I’m trying to picture what would I want to eat if I had just been sick, I feel like after that, it tends to be mostly liquids. Like coconut water, kombucha, some kind of soup. That’s really where I think I end up going.

Liz Wolfe: So the reason I’m kind of wondering about this Chinese medicine stuff is because {laughs} recently my dog had kind of an episode, and I was just freaking out about it thinking that something was wrong with the food, yadda, yadda, yadda. Anyway, I took him to this amazing holistic veterinary practice outside of Kansas City. And basically, when this happened about a year ago, I had a complete melt down, felt like something I was doing was killing my dog, something I was feeding it, something like that. Took the dog to the conventional vet, they told me he had pancreatitis. Got over it, went to this other vet. Found this holistic vet who is amazing. She basically said that almost anything going on structurally can impact the health of the digestive system, and the function of the digestive system. I was like, of course. Am I an idiot? This makes so much sense. It made no sense that my dog should have pancreatitis based on everything that I know about how we take care of him holistically.

So, we kind of flipped the whole thing around and we started to look at the structural stuff. The yin-yang, whatever. But they were basically recommending some chiropractic treatment, like a little bit of I think warming foods, or something like that, and it worked wonders very quickly. So I just hadn’t thought about the root reason he had some of these issues, and maybe just trying to look elsewhere as to how to replenish the body and also how to prevent that from happening in the future. So that’s kind of why my head is where it’s at with this. It’s got to be more than just toast.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: There’s got to be more to vomiting than toast.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright.

Liz Wolfe: Alright. Good story.


Diane Sanfilippo: Do you want to just do the follow-up from Alexandra before we…

Liz Wolfe: Yes! Oh yeah, I’m excited about this.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think she’s got a question in there, too, but we can probably hit that one pretty quickly.

Liz Wolfe: Anytime you follow up and tell us that we helped you, you can have a second question free.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: Alright. Alexandra says, “Hi ladies. I wrote in about 6 months ago when I was suffering from shingles, and you had some great advice about looking at other stressors in my life; running, work, etc. I have since totally recovered from shingles. My face still has some numb spots, but I think that might be permanent,” which happens.

“in the intervening time, I’ve been trying to sort out some other issues that have been bothering me over the last few years, primarily the 15-20 pounds of weight gain I mentioned in my last question. I went to a nutritionist briefly, and though that relationship did not work out, she did motivate me to get my hormones and thyroid checked. Turns out, I’m hypothyroid. TSH was 6.8 when first tested, and may have been for quite some time. My previous blood work indicates the lowest I’ve ever been was 4.25, which is apparently high these days. I had the full thyroid panel done, and my doctor put me on 50 mg of Synthroid, which has lowered my TSH to a ‘acceptable range’, 2.8 after 6 weeks.

I was also put on Spironolactone for various PMS symptoms. My energy and motivation are up, my moodiness is gone, I’ve lost almost 10 pounds, and I generally just feel great. My question is this; based on these new developments, I’d like to hone my nutrition to support my thyroid. Any tips? I’ve also noticed that my digestion is totally off, and I’m not sure what could have caused the change. I used to be very regular with my BMs, but in the last month have only gone every third day or so, or have had very loose BMs, sometimes almost watery. Any suggestions on how to resolve this?

For the last month, I’ve been on a modified Sugar Detox. No processed sugars, grains, dairy, or legumes, but I have a sweet potato after my workouts, and an apple or two a day. I’ve also eliminated nuts, as they trigger my binge eating. I’ve added in chicken liver to my weekday lunches, and coconut milk to my coffee, and find I have very few cravings that aren’t just eating out of boredom or stress. I’ve finally learned how to identify this, and cope.

I generally have protein and veggies at every meal. I’ve also modified my exercise, so I’m lifting 3 days a week for about an hour, running 3 or 4 days with a total of half my previous weekly mileage, and have a full day off during the weeks. Other than the medications noted above, I take a generic multi.”

So I think the question is, she had a ton of improvement, but she also had some not so good signs, and I think she’s just kind of wondering what’s up. This is really hard for me to comment on, Diane, because Spiro is such a powerful drug. It’s such a powerful hormonal driver, and hormones can also drive your regularity. So, I just can’t say, that’s just one of those things that could be the smoking gun.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. Well, I mean, outside of that, definitely. I don’t think people realize that hormonal imbalance can absolutely affect that. Part of the reason for that is that when our body is processing hormones, as chemical messengers in the body, what they’re doing is they’re being used to send these messages, but when we have a certain level of hormones in our system that we want or don’t want, our liver is actually detoxifying any excess, and we’re eliminating excess of these hormones, like we do need to detoxify some of them.

Especially one of the big things we can be too dominant in as women, which most of you have heard when we talked about this earlier, is estrogen, sometimes from the environment as well. So if this prescription is affecting your hormones at all, then your detoxification can be affected, and that’s absolutely going to affect your digestion. So outside of going through Practical Paleo and looking at how your digestion should work step by step and troubleshooting it in that way, that’s kind of the first step I would say, go through, top to bottom. Are you following all of those instructions and best practices for how your digestion should work. If you’re doing all of that and it’s not working, then yeah, I think if this is a hormonal issue, then you can’t just affect it by, for example, adding probiotics. It won’t necessarily do it.

Liz Wolfe: Right. And that’s, of course, not a doctor, not to say that a prescription is not appropriate or is appropriate, but when we do use prescriptions that change our hormonal balance, whether it’s birth control or Spiro, or whatever, it’s one of those things where you do have to look at, are you pushing a physiology that your body would not have gotten to on its own, or are you supporting the movement of hormones kind of in a manner that would be more natural? And general, Spiro is not one to work with, it’s kind of one to just do. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Push around, yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. And not to say that it’s not right to take it, not whatsoever. It is right for some people. But that can always manipulate your hormonal balance in other vectors, I guess I would say.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I think we just are really quick to assume that anything we take, whether it’s medication or food or even exercise, any inputs that we have, I think we are quick to assume that their affects are isolated, and they’re not.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: We’re a whole system, and so just like a plant, maybe it doesn’t get enough water but it gets plenty of light, or maybe it needs more water or you gave it more water and all of a sudden you didn’t realize that it didn’t need that. You just never know how one input is going to affect the whole system. And some people are a lot more sensitive to that than others. So that could be it.

Diane Sanfilippo: So you know, I was thinking. Instead of doing a hashtag this week, because I know it’s not your favorite {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Oh, yeah. The hashtag.

Diane Sanfilippo: Look, I think people have fun with it. We have some hashtags out there…

Liz Wolfe: I just never remember which one we’re on.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s really not that difficult. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: It’s difficult to me. It’s math.

Diane Sanfilippo: But listen. I think because I mentioned something about this question earlier, and we didn’t actually get to it, I think we should just add one more question, and for those listening who are really just here for the questions.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I think we should back up and take Christina’s question, because it’s another quick one, and then we can do some little tips, and then we’ll wrap up.

Liz Wolfe: Ok. We’ve got to hurry, because I’m getting kicked out of the good internet in like 10 minutes.

Diane Sanfilippo: ok, perfect.

Sensitivity to yeast, avoid fermented foods? [1:00:40]

Liz Wolfe: Alright. Christina says, “If two separate food allergy intolerance tests have shown that I’m sensitive to yeast, does this include fermented foods like kombucha and sauerkraut that I eat to help repair leaky gut? I have Hashimoto’s, leaky gut, and endometriosis, and I’ve been on a paleo gluten-free diet for about 2 years now. I get about 6-7 hours of sleep a night, and take a variety of supplements for my Hashimoto’s and leaky gut, which include HCl, enzymes, folate, fish oil, etc. I drink during the weekend, usually a glass of wine or a kombucha with a splash of tequila.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Or vodka.” {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: The short answer to her question is, yes. {laughs} She just said, you know, if these food allergy intolerance tests are showing that she’s sensitive to yeast, does it include those fermented foods? It does.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I would say more so, I think, the kombucha than the sauerkraut. It kind of depends on I think the type of bacteria or yeast. That’s what is starting the kombucha is a SCOBY, a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. So, that may be a little bit more of an issue than the sauerkraut. But, you also want to just kind of test that, too. I would get rid of the kombucha first, and then see if that really helps things. If you test getting rid of the sauerkraut and you feel a lot better, then that may be the right approach for you.

I know that our friend Hayley, she’s been talking about it a lot on Instagram and wherever, so I’m sure she won’t mind me mentioning this, but she’s been doing a Candida cleanse for quite some time, maybe 5 weeks or so now, and I think her naturopathic doctor has a specific probiotic that they have her on. I want to say it’s Klaire Labs, and I think that’s one that in the past Chris Kresser has recommended to some people. It’s not one that I have a lot of experience with. But I think there may be different types of probiotics for people who are sensitive to yeast versus those who aren’t. So yeah, I would say to definitely get rid of that kombucha at least for now, and go from there. See how it works.

An interview from our sponsor, Vital Choice’s Randy Hartnell: Selenium and methyl mercury [1:02:43]

Diane Sanfilippo: I recently sat down with Randy Hartnell, the president of Vital Choice, to have him answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get about seafood. Here’s a portion of my interview with Randy.

Diane Sanfilippo: So we talked a little bit about mercury in our last conversation, but can you get into some more details on why it’s not the problem that some people think it is, and touch a little bit on selenium and what people need to know about that.

Randy Hartnell: Yeah, that’s a great question, I’m happy to talk about because a lot of people don’t hear this side of the methyl mercury and seafood story. The fact is that every cell in our body requires selenium to function properly, and the reason that methyl mercury can be a problem is that it has an incredibly strong binding affinity with selenium, so you get some methyl mercury in your system, it gets into your cells, binds with the selenium, and takes it out of use, so to speak. That causes toxicity. The thing about seafood, one of the best ocean seafood particularly is one of the best sources of selenium, and virtually every species baring marine mammals and some of the biggest predatory, top of the food chain fish, have way more selenium in them than they do methyl mercury.

So when you eat seafood, yes you're going to be getting trace levels of methyl mercury. It’s always been there, from day 1, methyl mercury has always been in the ocean environment. But, these fish are just tremendous sources of selenium, which is a natural antidote to the methyl mercury.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s awesome information, and I know our listeners, lots of them, are struggling with issues with their thyroid, and knowing that they can get amazing levels of selenium also from seafood is a fantastic tip. Thank you for sharing that.

Randy Hartnell: You bet.

Liz’s skin care tip of the week: winter skin care [1:04:36]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, so we’re going to wrap up the episode with some tips. Many tips. English tips.

Diane Sanfilippo: Do you have a skin care tip for us this week? I think you’ve talked about some cold weather tips in the past, but did you want to talk about something else?

Liz Wolfe: We’re going to talk about lanolin, right?

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, for your lips? I don’t know what you were going to talk about. You tell me.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Well I just did an interview with the lovely Sarah Ramsden, and we talked a ton about winter skin care. She’s up in Canada, so she’s literally there a days they tell us, and she says this in her amazing accent by the way, there are days that we can’t leave the house uncovered, because the cold will burn your skin. It’s like, face covered, eyes sticking out, and that’s it. She’s like, the government tells us when this is happening. Wow.

Diane Sanfilippo: Wow. That’s intense.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. So we talked about how in those circumstances you really do need a protective layer, and a lot of times people will go for something like Vaseline, which I do not recommend petroleum type byproducts on your skin. But, what I would do is use lanolin. So lanolin is basically just a very viscous oil derived from wool. So it’s what gives wool it’s really amazing conditioning properties and its ability to resist water and smells and things like that.

So, you can get lanolin at Whole Foods. It’s incredibly thick, and if you’re having trouble, and standard beeswax based lip balms are not working on the really chapped parts of your lips, or maybe on your hands, you can put a little thin layer of lanolin there, and hopefully it will give you enough protection throughout the day that your chapped skin doesn’t get worse. That type of thing is good to do overnight, as well, during the winter. Just during the day there’s not a lot you can do sometimes, because you really can’t walk around with grease all over your hands. Treating your hands and feet with lanolin at night is a good idea, too. You do not need very much.

Oh, and the other winter skin tip; get a humidifier.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes!

Liz Wolfe: I say that all the time.

Diane Sanfilippo: Love my humidifier.

Liz Wolfe: No; winter skin tip, get a fiancé that will bring your humidifier into your room and set it up for you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Aww. That’s so nice.

Liz Wolfe: Because no matter what, when the air is dry and cold, it’s going to suck moisture from your skin. It’s just a fluid balance thing. So you need to humidify your office and your house, and wherever you can if you're frustrated with your dry skin.

Diane Sanfilippo: Love it.

Liz Wolfe: And, grab the Skintervention Guide for tons of other fabulous tips.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I’m so bad at promoting myself.

Diane Sanfilippo: There were six things I was supposed to mention to people this week, and I’ll say one maybe before we wrap everything up. I’m actually going to talk about it may be with my kitchen tip. Should I roll into it now?

Liz Wolfe: Just do your kitchen tip then! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Isn’t there some kind of sound that’s supposed to happen?

Liz Wolfe: Oh, maybe. Maybe.

Diane Sanfilippo: Let’s pause for the sound.

Liz Wolfe: Ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ready? Pause.

Diane’s Kitchen tip: slow cooker applesauce [1:07:34]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright.

Liz Wolfe: Well what about your kitchen tip?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} We’re such a fail.

Liz Wolfe: I know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so this week’s kitchen tip, brought to you by the Healthy Holiday Recipes eBook. So if you’re on my emailing list, you either yesterday. No, not yesterday. I’m totally confused about what day this is. At some point recently you received my ginormous Healthy Holidays eBook, and in the eBook I included an applesauce recipe that I actually made on the stovetop. But, I want to give you guys a tip for how you can do this in a slow cooker.

So, if you have lots of apples, and apples and oranges, if you have your Harry and David, Larry and Harry, whatever subscription {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Lloyd and Harry.

Diane Sanfilippo: For fruit of the month club. My dad used to always get that. That was like the corporate gift that somebody would always send him. It was crazy. It was like, great, we’re getting a box of oranges every month for the next 6 months. Anyway, apples are definitely in season over the winter. All you need to do to make a really simple applesauce is just peel the apples, chop them up roughly, get rid of the cores, and I would say roughly meaning about 1-inch pieces, so not going too crazy there.

You could do this with probably a minimum of 4 apples, if you have a larger slow cooker, but you can definitely go up to like 8, 10, or 12 apples. Chop them up, throw them in the slow cooker. You might want to put a little bit of water in there, maybe half a cup of water depending on how many apples you have. A bunch of cinnamon, if you want to put some spice in; you can also put a cinnamon stick in there if you want. Really just let it rip on low for about 4 hours or so, and then check it out.

You may need a little more time, it may be done sooner than that, but I don’t think it will take much more than that, and you don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to sit and stir it, you don’t have to puree it, you don’t have to do anything. Those apples will cook right down into a delicious applesauce.

Liz Wolfe: Delicious.

Diane Sanfilippo: Delish! There’s your Good Food for Bad Cooks. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Ugh. GFFBC, man.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah man.

Liz Wolfe: The other day, I heated up some coconut butter.

Diane Sanfilippo: Did you burn it? I think I saw that.

Liz Wolfe: I didn’t just burn it.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I cooked off all the water, because I forgot to turn the burner off. And then the bottom of the jar of coconut butter fused a little bit. Or it cracked off. Like it burnt, and then it cracked off, but I didn’t notice it because you know how the bottom of these mason jars can kind of just split off?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes.

Liz Wolfe: And you don’t always notice. And yeah that happens a lot to me, apparently. And then I moved it, I took it out and moved it to the countertop, and then it kind of just pfft came out the bottom because it had cracked open.

Diane Sanfilippo: It broke.

Liz Wolfe: It broke.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know if everybody knows what you're talking about where you put your coconut butter and simmer it in some water.

Liz Wolfe: To soften it.

Diane Sanfilippo: In a pot, so that it can kind of warm up and soften. Yeah. I used to ruin a lot of pots when I lived in small apartments that were totally not well ventilated. Then I started setting a timer for everything. Even 2 minutes, where I just need something to cook 2 minutes longer, because I’ll get on the internet and then I’m sucked into the vortex of a 30 -minute chat somewhere, then everything has burnt. So now I set a timer for everything {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I think that’s what I need to be doing. I did that yesterday, so hopefully that will make the difference.

Diane Sanfilippo: See? The microwave that was here when we moved in, that is the most useful job that it is. As a timer.

Liz Wolfe: Alright, well that’s it for this week. You can find Diane at http://dianesanfilippo.com, and join me, Liz, at http://realfoodliz.com/. Join our email lists please, for free goodies you don’t find anywhere else on our websites. While you’re on the internet, leave us an iTunes review. See you next week.

Comments 8

  1. Pingback: Podcast Episode #166: The Cod Liver Oil Debate, “Paleoing Harder” and Paleo in College | Paleo Digest

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  3. Re: professionalism and the relaxed format of the show–I love you two. I’ve learned so much from your podcast and your “rhetoric” (especially the dehortatio and hysteron-proteron) are what keeps me coming back every week to listen. You two are awesome. Thanks, Diana and Lin, for all you do.

  4. So, you want post-vomit food ideas? Lucky for you (not me!) our family of five spent the weekend in the vomiting trenches and I can share our recovery plans.

    As soon as I woke the morning after it all hit the fan, I placed an Instacart order (LOVE THEM) and got: high quality, organic apple juice, a whole chicken, russet potatoes, and some apples.

    The first thing I did was wash down a probiotic with some Jun, which is like kombucha but made with green tea and honey so it’s milder and less bubbly.

    For the kiddos, once they kept water down, I let them sip apple juice. It’s got potassium and I worry about electrolyte imbalance.

    I plopped the chicken in a dutch oven and covered it in water. I threw in loads of whole garlic cloves since garlic is antiviral and lots, lots, lots of salt. (More electrolytes.) I let that simmer all morning, then removed the chicken, pulled off the meat, and stuck everything in the fridge because we were nowhere near ready for solid food.

    Then I took more apple juice and my grassfed gelatin and made a “jello” dish. Around noon, that was the first thing the kids ate that was solid. It goes down so easily, gelatin soothes the digestive tract, and we got a little protein.

    That was all we had until around five when I used the stock and the chicken meat to make a soup (I added some onion, more garlic, and carrots – oh, and more salt) at which point I also baked potatoes. The kids nibbled on the baked potatoes (more potassium and I added lots of salt and butter) and sipped on the soup. I also gave them their probiotic at this point, too.

    If I hadn’t had gelatin, I try to keep kuzu root starch in my pantry for tummy upset days. You can make a “pudding” with it. I’ve used apple juice and bone broth to make them before and, like the gelatin, it’s very healing on the gut.

    So there you go! A whole Paleo-ish vomit protocol, courtesy of our family weekend from HELL.

    It’s on another question, but just something else to add for Alexandra … as I understand it, Synthroid has not been deemed “gluten free.” I know more than one person who has experienced issues on it to have those issues clear after opting for a certified GF thyroid med. If gluten causes her GI upset, that could be a contributing issue.

    Love your work, Liz and Diane! Long live the banter!

  5. Speaking of cold weather…. as someone who live in Siberia where the temperatures are sometimes so low they can literally burn your face if you go uncovered… the fat that worked the best was, surprisingly, the goose fat. I don’t remember if we tried others like tallow or lard but goose fat is especially sticky which means it stays on your skin for longer.

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  7. Really enjoyed this episode, they just keep getting better. I am digging the new format. Had no idea there was any controversy about the cod liver oil…really funny. I took the FCLO/butter oil blend (cinnamon wasn’t too bad) for quite awhile with good results for my acne prone skin. I did cut it out for awhile…have been eating more sardines and wanted cut my supplement spending. But thinking of picking it back up again. Was surprisingly easy to get down!

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