Balanced Bites Podcast Episode #195 | Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe

Podcast Episode #195: Back pain, bloating, blood donation, ghee, and more!

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1. What’s new for you from Diane & Liz [2:33] 2. This week in the Paleosphere: Back pain and Esther Gokhale [9:55] 3. Shout Out: Bill and Hayley, backyard chickens [14:05]

Listener Questions
4. Abdominal distention and bloating [16:59] 5. Blood and organ donation [26:58] 6. Preparation for liver surgery [33:09] 7. Introducing Hima of Tin Star Foods Ghee [38:39] 8. All about ghee [45:32] [smart_track_player url=”″ title=”#195: Back pain, bloating, blood donation, ghee, and more!” artist=”Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe ” color=”00AEEF” social=”true” social_twitter=”true” social_facebook=”true” social_gplus=”true” ]



Lost Posture:  Why Some Indigenous Cultures May Not Have Back Pain

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Episode #195

Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast with Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe. Diane is a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo, The 21-Day Sugar Detox, and co-author of Mediterranean Paleo Cooking. Liz is a nutritional therapy practitioner, and the best-selling author of Eat the Yolks and The Purely Primal Skincare Guide. Together, Diane and Liz answer your questions, interview leading health and wellness experts, and share their take on modern paleo living with their friendly and balanced approach. Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Liz Wolfe: Hey friends, Liz here, Diane over there. What’s up girl?

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s up?

Liz Wolfe: Balanced Bites podcast. Another one.

Diane Sanfilippo: Here we go, yeah.

Liz Wolfe: They keep happening.

Diane Sanfilippo: Every single week. It just keeps happening. Week after week. Yeah, I don’t know, here we go.

Liz Wolfe: So you’re back from where.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, Pittsburg. We were there for the weekend.

Liz Wolfe: Pittsburg, Pittsburg. What’s that from. Do you know?

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: That thing you do.

Diane Sanfilippo: Darn it! Should we hear from our sponsors, our first one, before we talk about what’s going on?

Liz Wolfe: Yes, absolutely.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok let’s do that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Pete’s Paleo is a friend of the Balanced Bites podcast. They’re bacon is insanely delicious, and sugar free, and their premade paleo meals make your life so much easier when everything is getting busy and getting real food on the table is still a top priority, as it should be. Pete’s paleo is now offering a 30-day gut healing kit containing bone broth, gelatin gummies, instant organic soup packs, and an E-cookbook. It’s the perfect complement to any anti-inflammatory diet. Get yours today at Use code GRABACUPPABROTH to get $25 off; that’s an amazing deal. It’s GRABACUPPABROTH, C-U-P-P-A. And you can grab that code at any time at to just read and make sure you’re typing it in right. You can also use code BALANCEDBITES to get $5 off any of their regular meal plans. Check out today. Pete’s Paleo; bringing fine dining to your cave.

1. What’s new for you from Diane & Liz [2:33]

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, well we did that. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Yes we did.

Diane Sanfilippo: We did that. Oh, so the thing I wanted to update people on right now, the thing that’s new and happening. I’m doing a little shoulder dance thing about it. Is periscope, and you’re going to totally hate this because you’re not…

Liz Wolfe: Not another one. Please, not another one.

Diane Sanfilippo: Social media. I tend to try and be an early adopter with some hesitation generally. When the new iPhones come out, I’m like, eh I’m going to wait a few weeks. I just want to make sure that it’s not all going to implode, you know. I don’t grab the new thing totally immediately, but I try not to wait until everyone’s already doing it, because if it’s going to be a thing for me, it’s going to be a thing for me.

So, Periscope, what it is is an app that’s connected to Twitter, and it allows you to live stream video. It’s actually really cool because if you think about the apps or online programs that we have for live streaming now, you have to set up the whole thing and go through this rigmarole to get the whole thing going. It’s enough for us to connect on Skype sometimes, right. But this is if you have a good internet connection, and I guess it could be your regular connection or wifi, what have you. If you do this internationally, you literally could basically live video; it’s almost like face timing but with anybody who follows you if you want to do that.

So you could take it outside, out the back in your farmstead and talk to the chickens, and it’s wouldn’t have to be just 15 seconds, like you have on…

Liz Wolfe: Why would I talk to my chickens.

Diane Sanfilippo: What? Why would you talk to them?

Liz Wolfe: Why would I talk to my chickens.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know, Bill and Hayley talk to their chickens {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: They’re much better people than I am.

Diane Sanfilippo: Or the goats? You talk to the goats. You definitely talk to the goats.

Liz Wolfe: Maybe a little.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok so anyway, long story short, if you’re on Twitter, I think all you need to do is download the Periscope app. The whole reason I’m saying this is I did, on the drive back from Pittsburg, 3 separate live Q&A calls. It was really fun for me, because you know how I am with Q&A, I’m like, send me into a room with 100 people and I don’t know what I’m supposed to talk about, and they’ll just ask questions and I’m cool.

Liz Wolfe: yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: But if you have something prepared that I’m supposed to talk about, I can’t do that. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yep.

Diane Sanfilippo: So I just kind of flipped it on and we were driving, we were stuck on route 80 driving for a bajillion hours, and I just took a whole bunch of questions live and it was really fun. These people get to engage, they get to comment. They can push this little; I think they tap a heart on the screen so people can tell you they like what you’re saying, I don’t know. I don’t fully understand it yet, but it’s cool. Basically people can interact live through a quick app like that. It can be a short interaction, or you can actually record something a little bit longer.

So what I did was I saved the videos, there’s a way to save it to your own phone, and so for those of you listening now who are like, well I missed that, that kind of sucks {laughs} I did upload them to YouTube. They only save in Periscope for up to 24 hours, so it’s just kind of like this content that comes and goes, but I uploaded them to YouTube, and I’ll continue to save them and reupload them after the fact, so you can catch them if you missed them, which is cool. But if you want to interact and ask your questions live, make sure you’re following me on Twitter, and then whenever I’m going to post the live stream opening it sends a tweet out and says, hey I’m live on Periscope right now. So it’s pretty cool. So there’s that. I got some cool questions, that was kind of fun for me.

Liz Wolfe: I can’t.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Continue podcast because I had to crawl under the covers.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because that whole thing.

Liz Wolfe: I had an introvert attack even thinking about that.

Diane Sanfilippo: The introverts worst nightmare.

Liz Wolfe: Ugh. I’m in the wrong biz.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Podcasting is a good business for introverts.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, podcasting is fine. Making videos and then uploading them when they’re ready is fine. But.

Diane Sanfilippo: It is interesting.

Liz Wolfe: Dang.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, sorry.

Liz Wolfe: I just got on Instagram like…

Diane Sanfilippo: 10 minutes ago?

Liz Wolfe: I swear, 6 months ago.

Diane Sanfilippo: No, it was more than that.

Liz Wolfe: Was it?

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm. You were definitely on Instagram.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Like a year and a half ago at least, when you were here when we were filming videos.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, but I was definitely a late adopter. And I still don’t do Pinterest; my friend has to help me with all my Pinterest.

Diane Sanfilippo: I…

Liz Wolfe: And I took a class on Pinterest.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} you did?

Liz Wolfe: Still can’t do it.

Diane Sanfilippo: what was that like? A class on Pinterest? I don’t know.

Liz Wolfe: It was kind of a waste of time, if I’m being honest.

Diane Sanfilippo: So what’s new over there.

Liz Wolfe: Uh, well. What’s new over here? Oh, baby chicks. We have baby chicks.

Diane Sanfilippo: I saw that.

Liz Wolfe: Super cute. Yeah, so we have buff orphingtons; that’s a type of chicken. We had a couple of them go broody, two of them were unsuccessful, and one of them found a really good spot in a window well and hatched all 3 of her eggs, and they’re just adorable.

Diane Sanfilippo: Aww.

Liz Wolfe: So nature takes its course, how about that.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s cute. So how many chickens do you have total now?

Liz Wolfe: I’m actually not entirely sure.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: We had somewhere between 10 and 15. We might have had a couple; we’ve had a couple… you walk around the homestead and you see an explosion of feathers, and you know something got one.

Diane Sanfilippo: Awww.

Liz Wolfe: So we’ve had a couple of those. We lost two ducks and a chicken, and we’re trying to deal with that now. We actually put out a trap and ended up catching an owl.

Diane Sanfilippo: {gasp}

Liz Wolfe: Although I don’t think it was an owl that was getting the ducks and chickens, because owls come out at night, and ducks and chickens go in at night. It was a very beautiful owl though. We let it go.

Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.

Liz Wolfe: It was lovely. We also had a giant black snake in the chicken coop that we’re hoping is a situation that resolves on its own. Black snakes are actually good. They eat vermin, but you don’t want them in your chicken coop. So, that’s why I think our egg production has gone down a little bit lately; I think we have a snake stealing our eggs.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, blast. Blast.

Liz Wolfe: And the baby monster is being a baby monster. You and I; I had to text you like 15 minutes ago and be like, can you go right now?

Diane Sanfilippo: I was like, no I have to eat.

Liz Wolfe: I have to be done in precisely 47 minutes. Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: You were like, I have to eat something. I just had a meeting.

Diane Sanfilippo: Monday’s are crazy for me. So we’re recording this on Monday, and I am going to be talking to Hima, our friend from Tin Star, a little bit later on in this episode, all about ghee. So we actually have, yeah, we have a little bit shorter Q&A today, but we’re going to have a good episode. I’m excited.

Liz Wolfe: I’m excited for you to talk about ghee, because, you know I’ve been eating it for so long that I forget that some people are still like, whaaat

Diane Sanfilippo: What is that.

Liz Wolfe: Is that weird word. Gu-hee?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: What is that? So that should be good. I think I had a post on it at some point on my website. I’m going to have to dig that out and maybe repost it so folks know what the benefits are, and how it works. And I know you have a recipe for it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Indeed. More of a how-to, I would say, since the ingredient is butter. You know.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, it’s still a recipe in my opinion.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: If you need to tell somebody how to do it and it doesn’t involve opening package and putting in mouth, that’s…

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, it’s basically open package, put in pot and cook.

Liz Wolfe: Turn on pot, stir pot, have pot at this temperature, watch pot.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Yeah, you’re right, you’re right. Ok, it’s a recipe.

Liz Wolfe: Alright, thank you.

2. This week in the Paleosphere: Back pain and Esther Gokhale [9:55]>/b?

Liz Wolfe: Alright, this week in the real food paleosphere. This is an article that I read today. Folks know I’m kind of into the whole alignment, natural movement thing ala Katie Bowman stuff from But there’s another gal out there named Esther Gokhale that Mark Sisson was kind of the person to introduce me to her work. Her stuff is really interesting, almost in the same way Weston A. Price stuff is interesting.

Esther Gokhale basically went and studied remote cultures looking at their posture, and trying to figure out why they don’t have back pain. So basically it was a broad survey of different populations to try and figure out, number one, her own back pain to figure out how to heal it and to do the same for other people. She’s a pretty big deal, I think, in Palo Alto, or wherever it is that she works. She works with lots of famous people. But there was an article on NPR about Why Indigenous Cultures Don’t Have Back Pain, and Gokhale was the feature of the article. It was really interesting, and folks that are kind of alignment nerds will enjoy this type of thing.

It basically was talking about the S-shaped spine of the modern folk, you and me and Bobby McGee.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: And setting that up versus the J-shaped spine that Esther Gokhale observed in these remote cultures. It’s pretty interesting stuff, but what I kind of wanted to tease out of this article, which we’ll link in the blog post for this podcast, what I wanted to tease out was this idea that looking at what healthy people do and emulating that is somehow not scientific. So there’s this quote in the article that says, “Is Gokhale right? Have people in Western cultures somehow forgotten the right way to stand?”

Seems obvious to me, since we don’t really stand, we sit, and when we do stand we’re in pain so we’re probably doing something wrong. Here’s what they said. “Scientists don't know yet, says”, and I’m going to butcher this, “Dr. Praveen Mummaneni, a neurosurgeon at the University of California, San Francisco's Spine Center. Nobody has done a study on traditional cultures to see why some have lower rates of back pain, he says. Nobody has even documented the shape of their spines. “I'd like to go and take X-rays of indigenous populations and compare it to people in the Western world,” he says. “I think that would be helpful.”

So I couldn’t help but laugh at that because to me these observations that Gokhale made were very intuitive, very interesting, and a great starting point for talking about alignment and why we have so many back problems in the modern world. Yet, for some reason, since we haven’t been able to take an X-ray machine to Portugal to see what’s really going on with these people, it’s not good enough. And that’s a huge problem.

I think in a lot of ways with this dietary battle that we’re fighting; we just tell people, hey it makes sense to eat this food that has always been food. Just like it makes sense to move your body the way we’re designed to move our bodies. Emulating people from hundreds of thousands of years ago, because we know that they were healthier than us. And for some reason, people are like, hmm, I don’t think I’m going to give up Oreos until there is a randomized controlled trial that proves the science.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: It just seems ridiculous to me. So, you know, if you have back pain and you want to read up on what Gokhale has to say, do it. I just don’t see the point of taking x-rays of indigenous populations {laughs} to know that she’s on to something there.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Good luck with that, also.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, right. I’m not going to give up gluten, even though I feel so much better without gluten. There’s no science. AKA, I haven’t Googled it yet, you know? It’s just silly.

Diane Sanfilippo: Agreed. There are people out there who, for them, some kind of study is the nail in the coffin, ok I’ll do the thing. But yeah, I don’t think either of us is that type of person.

3. Shout Out: Bill and Hayley, backyard chickens [14:05]

Liz Wolfe: Nope. So who’s our shout out today?

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, today I’m going to shout out our friends Bill and Hayley of Primal Palate, because they have been raising chickens, we were just talking about their chickens a second ago, and their first chicken laid the first egg. I think it’s the chicken Billie Jean; they’ve named them all, so slightly different relationship to their chickens than you have. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Little bit. But that’s ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, totally. Everyone’s got their way with their own chickens.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: But shout out to them for getting their first egg. I think they’re telling folks all about how they’re doing their whole backyard chicken experiment. It is totally different because it is a backyard chicken set up versus, you have a small homestead there, you know.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, everyone’s got a different set up. I think they have a pretty big yard in the suburban area that they live in, so I think it’s probably a little bit bigger of a set up than everyone who is considering backyard chickens might be able to do; however, if you do have a large yard, I think they have about 7 chickens right now. But they were posting also on Periscope, which I mentioned earlier, a whole bunch of chicken Q&A and all kinds of fun stuff. But yeah, if you guys are interested in checking out that journey, you can head over to Primal Palate and look at all their good stuff. So congrats on your first breakfast egg.

Liz Wolfe: They’re doing an awesome job.

Diane Sanfilippo: What?

Liz Wolfe: That’s a big deal, I remember when our first egg; I like dressed it up in little miniature top hats, you know bow tie.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Like a Mr. Potato Head, but an egg?

Liz Wolfe: Totally. Totally. Took pictures, it’s very exciting.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: And they’re doing an awesome job. Quite frankly, if I was as handy as Bill is, I would have built an amazing coop and done all that cool stuff. But basically what I was able to do was hack a hole in a shed and stick a chicken door on it.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: But we do what we can.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, I think they bought a coop, and then he annexed it with a bunch of other cool stuff. But yeah, he has all the talent and all the skills.

Liz Wolfe: He does have all the talent and all the skills. So does Hayley.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know, the two of them. Talent hoarder, I think that’s what I called them. Anyway, shout out to them.

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4. Abdominal distention and bloating [16:59]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, we have some questions today?

Liz Wolfe: We do, we do.

Diane Sanfilippo: Questions.

Liz Wolfe: Alright, questions. This one is from Vanessa. “Hi Diane and Liz. I’ve suffered from extreme abdominal distention and bloating ever since I can remember. There are times when it’s been better, and times when it’s been worse, but it has always been present. Any idea what could be causing it, and how to make it go away?

A bit of history. I had anorexia from about age 12 to 25. I’m 30 now and in recovery, but I’m now struggling with anxiety. I’m aware of the gut/brain connection, and I have no doubt this is a major factor in my symptoms. In fact, I say that the gut is my first brain, not my second. The thing is, I don’t understand how, with all the work I’ve done both physically and psychologically thus far, nothing has made a significant difference. If anything, I’ve become more sensitive to food, and more susceptible to stress.

I’m in great shape, and I’m of a healthy weight now a days, so it isn’t an issue of excess fat or lack of muscle. I’ve been eating low-carb paleo for about a year now; carbs make the problem worse, and have been gluten free for the better part of 10 years. I’ve recently begun a low FODMAP approach, and this has helped a bit. I’m also considering doing the AIP, but obviously with my history, it scares me to take on a more restrictive diet, and I’m not sure if it will do more harm than good.

Typical daily food intake; breakfast blueberry avocado blended to make pudding, black tea blended with 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds and 1 teaspoon of MCT oil. Lunch and dinner some sort of vegetable, usually raw carrots or salad with avocado, or the famous #zucchinicheese, and a protein, meat or fish. I eat liver occasionally. Snacks are homemade sugar free macaroons, made of coconut butter, shredded coconut, Great Lakes collagen, sea salt, sometimes a bit of 85% dark chocolate. I also admittedly have a weakness for a brand of parsnip chips they sell here in Canada called Hard Bite.

I find that I digest raw vegetables better than cooked, so I tend to avoid the latter. Bowel movements are normal, usually twice a day; no straining. Supplements include berberine for suspected SIBO; I have not been tested for this, IntestiNew, renew life brand, Great Lakes collagen, 5-HTP, and I just started taking S. Boulardii. I exercise 6 times a week, power yoga or running and cycling, and sleep 5-6 hours a night; I can hear you yelling at me for this.

Love the pop culture references; keep them coming. Clueless fan for life!”

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} good.

Liz Wolfe: There’s a lot here.

Diane Sanfilippo: Those are references that I get at least.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, there’s a lot going on here. I have a couple of thoughts, and I’m sure you have a couple of thoughts. Do you want to roll yours first?

Liz Wolfe: No, I want you to go first.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so I thought it was funny that she says she digests raw vegetables better than cooked. I don’t know if she’s basing that on her bowel movements; that’s fine, that’s definitely a good way to base it. But if you’re bloated, then I’m not sure you digest them better if it’s causing you bloating. That kind of tells me you might not be.

However, a couple of things that you hinted at here, actually one that you hinted out with suspected SIBO, which is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth for people listening who aren’t sure about that, if you’re eating things, so you’ve got avocado and coconut both throughout the day, those are high FODMAP foods, so what those, obviously you say you’re starting a low FODMAP approach, but avocado and coconut are both higher end FODMAPs. So if you do have SIBO, that would definitely be an issue and I would definitely remove those. However, I think you really need to get tested for that.

I have a whole guide, it’s called Simplifying SIBO, you can hop over to I think if you go to the troubleshooting digestion blog post series, there’s a way to click to get the Simplifying SIBO guide, it’s totally free. It’s like 50 pages, and it gives you all kinds of information so I think that will be really helpful for you. But you really can’t handle treating something without testing to know if you have it first. Except, obviously, the dietary change.

What the dietary change does is it essentially is almost like a test in and of itself. So if you’re finding that removing FODMAPs and eating lower carb feels better, then it could easily be a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Or an alternative hypothesis I have is that it could be a Candida overgrowth, and one of the things that also contributes very easily to mental or emotional imbalances, as you said, something that stemming from the gut, if you have this Candida overgrowth you will definitely have issues with eating too many carbs.

I’m curious, she doesn’t mention fermented foods, or I didn’t catch it. No, I don’t think she mentioned anything, but if you try fermented foods, if you experience any negative reaction to that, it could also be a sign that you’ve got a Candida overgrowth. I would scroll back through some of the podcast episodes. We have one where I interviewed Christa Orecchio, all about Candida, and actually a previous one, if you want to catch another podcast, on SIBO with Dr. Allison Siebecker. Those two would be really great, and you might hear something in those episodes that just kind of clicks with you, and I think that will help direct you a little bit better to figure out what the root cause is. Because I do think very easily it could be either one of those things, a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or a Candida overgrowth that could be promoting this distention, because that’s a very, very common sign of actually both of those issues.

Liz Wolfe: Good.

Diane Sanfilippo: Covered it?

Liz Wolfe: Is it my turn?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, yeah, oh yeah. {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Ok, so here’s what I wanted to add to that. I want to know whether or not she’s going parasympathetic when she eats.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: I think there’s probably a major fight or flight going on here, just given her history with food, probably the stress that she had around it, and this all goes into the gut/brain connection, maybe looking at it from a different place. Maybe not so much your gut bugs, but how your brain communicates with the rest of your body when you eat. So if she’s dealing with the bloating and stuff like that, it’s just possible that her parasympathetic nervous system is just not activated when she’s eating.

What made me think of this was a friend of mine at 20-something allergies, Jennifer, she’s got a great blog if you wanted to go check that out. Something, and this is entirely coming from her, something that she said in a group that we’re in together about activating the parasympathetic nervous system using something like, even an essential oil like patchouli, just for calming. And again, total credit goes to Jennifer because I never thought of that before, the idea of using an essential oil just to make that parasympathetic switch.

So we’re going to talk about this, actually, in the Balanced Bites online workshop that is in progress right now, just how to best digest your food. Right, we talk about that right? Diane? Hello?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes we do, I was muting myself so I didn’t interrupt you. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: You have to mute yourself to keep yourself from interrupting me?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I like that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, with weird noises and drinking and spilling water over here.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. So basically the gist of it is, in order to properly digest your food you have to activate your parasympathetic nervous system. You can do that through deep breathing. Another thing that Jennifer had suggested was actually sitting on the floor to eat. Just whatever helps you relax. Another thing that had been suggested in this thread that we were talking about this from Kate, real food RN, another friend of mine, she was talking about alternate nostril breathing work. And that was the first I’d ever heard of that, but it’s kind of a channel clearing, meditative technique that can also help you switch from sympathetic, which is that fight or flight, to that parasympathetic.

So anyone that has a history of extreme stress around food could very easily be dealing with just flat out being unable to make that switch. And that can lead to problems downstream, we’re talking about SIBO, Candida, all of those types of things also imply a problem with digestion. Sometimes it’s chicken or egg, you don’t always know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: But I would definitely look at that. Because that’s something you can do without having to see a naturopath, without having to take a bunch of supplements and restrict your diet even further, so I would definitely look at that. And thank you to Real Food RN and Jennifer at 20-something allergies for the inspiration on that, definitely check out their stuff.

Diane Sanfilippo: I was going to say too, that’s actually if you have SIBO or Candida overgrowth, either way getting parasympathetic, you’ll need to do that going forward to continue to prevent it if you do have one of those and it ends up that you do a healing protocol but you don’t get that kind of calming effect going while you're eating. It’s a breeding ground for that to come back. I think that’s a really good call.

The other thing I was going to say, too, is have you seen this new app called Head Space? Everyone’s talking about it.

Liz Wolfe: I’ve heard of it.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I’m all about the apps, I guess.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t do apps. I have all the apps that can fit on my home screen right now. I can’t fit anymore.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. They go in folders, too. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I know, but I don’t have any more folders left.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, I see. So the Head Space app, I’m finding it helpful although I’m not great at remembering to do it every day, and I also cheat on it, because {laughs} you’re supposed to sit up in a chair, but sometimes I really want to take a nap and I need to unwind and I’m not easily doing that, so I kind of use it to help me fall asleep, even though it’s not supposed to help you sleep, I’m like, I don’t care, I’m going to get my own benefit from this thing!

But anyway, that will help you absolutely get parasympathetic. So if you like something that’s like a guided meditation type of deal, Head Space is that.

5. Blood and organ donation [26:58]

Liz Wolfe: Very good. Alright, next up. This is from Tracy. “Hi Diane and Liz! First, I just have to say what a huge fan I am of the podcast. I’ve listened to every single episode at least twice, and my sister and I loved seeing you in person in Chicago last fall for the Mediterranean Paleo Cooking book tour. It was by far the most star-struck moment of our lives, and we would not stop talking about the experience to any and everyone. I could go on and on about my love of the podcast forever, so I’ll just jump right into my question.” {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: So cute. I think I remember them, the sisters.

Liz Wolfe: I was like 20 weeks pregnant, I don’t know.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} You’re like, I don’t remember anything that happened in the last 2 years of my life.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t remember anything. Literally in the last at least 2 years, I got nothing.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I’m in fight or flight mode! Alright. “Recently at work, I donated blood at our blood drive, and immediately started thinking about what your perspective may be on blood and organ donations. Donating blood is something I would like to continue doing on a regular basis, as it can help many others, but I wanted to get your thoughts as to whether there were any precautions I should take. I know this concept is a result of modern medicine, but perhaps cavemen lost large quantities of blood at once, too. I felt a little lightheaded after, but overall fine, and I was instructed by the nurse to be sure to eat plenty of iron rich food after, since I lost a lot during the process.

Also, what about receiving blood? Obviously if we find ourselves in a situation where a blood transfusion is required, I’m sure you’d advise to go with this, but just curious on your opinion of the matter? I also know after one receives an organ transplant, he often has to take antirejection medication the rest of his life if certain markers antibodies don’t match that of the donor. But is this something that can be avoided with a nutrient dense diet? Thanks for your insight.” Are you an organ donor, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: Would that be like a check mark on my driver’s license?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, it used to be. I don’t know if it is still. That’s something, we just put together our wills, and they asked us that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh. Well I don’t think I have a will, and also I don’t

Liz Wolfe: {gasp}

Diane Sanfilippo: I know. I should probably do that.

Liz Wolfe: You know who would be so mad at you? Diana Bacon. She’s all about the planning.

Diane Sanfilippo: You obviously know I’m not a planner. I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal. Moment to moment, that’s me.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah .

Diane Sanfilippo: So {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Just leave it all to me.

Diane Sanfilippo: That was an obscure movie quote that maybe somebody will get. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: What did you say, I totally missed it?

Diane Sanfilippo: It was from Pretty Woman. You know, actually I’m not a planner. {laughs} Anyway.

Liz Wolfe: Totally didn’t get that. I’ve never watched that movie straight through.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, I’ve watched it one million times.

Liz Wolfe: I know, there’s something wrong with me.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} So yeah, I’m not really a big planner, so there’s that. So I only have a quick thought on this, in general is that I would not do it anywhere near your period because I think we’re already losing enough blood at that point in time. Especially if you have a heavier flow. So that’s the only thing I could think of that’s not based on anything other than my gut instinct/common sense around your intentionally getting rid of a whole bunch of iron. And so I would kind of try and space it out, maybe perhaps around when you're ovulating so that you’re, you know, around exactly opposite of when your period is. That’s all I can really think of.

Liz Wolfe: Great. And I’m sure there are a million people that thought of a quote from Mean Girls when you…

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh yeah, of course.

Liz Wolfe: Said heavy flow, but I won’t.

Diane Sanfilippo: I can’t even say heavy flow without thinking about it.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. I definitely think that a nutrient dense diet can support the health of transplant recipients, but I definitely don’t think antirejection medication is something that can be avoided with a nutrient dense diet, I wouldn’t even touch that. That’s way, way above my pay grade. But I would definitely say no.

I think what she points out about cavemen losing large quantities of blood at once is very interesting. It’s part of the reason I actually encouraged my husband to donate blood now and then, because we’ve talked about this, I think, in the paleo community before. Men did use to lose more blood, and therefore they lost iron. And iron in the blood, or too much iron, is actually a risk factor for heart disease. So I do like to have my man go and donate blood, and lose a little bit of iron now and then because there’s definitely historical precedent for cavemen going out and getting bloody now and then.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, and I think that was one of the recommendations Chris Kresser made to men who were struggling with iron overload, and symptoms of iron overload, and one of those symptoms, I believe, was fatigue. Which is just such a common, broad stroke symptom of a million different things, but it’s the iron overload is something that not a lot of people would have thought to tie back to that. So that was kind of a big one.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I definitely know that Chris Kresser talked a lot more about blood donation than this whole topic, so if you want to check out his archives of the podcast of, I think it’s called Revolution Health Radio, you can check that out for sure.

Liz Wolfe: What has he not covered?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: He has not covered Mean Girl quotes!

Diane Sanfilippo: He definitely has not.

Liz Wolfe: I’m pretty sure about that.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Or Clueless.

Liz Wolfe: Oh man. Paul Rudd comes to Kansas City all the time, because he’s from here, and he goes to like Children’s Mercy Hospital, and Royals games. He always rolls with this crew of Will Farrell, Rob Riggle, Jason Sudeikis, who’s also from Kansas City, and I think Steve Carrell was here one time. I did not get to meet them.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s amazing.

Liz Wolfe: I was nowhere near them, but it was still awesome.

Diane Sanfilippo: I just, we just started binge watching Parks and Rec, so.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, so good. So now you know what I’m talking about when I say snake juice?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes! And we just saw the episode where Paul Rudd was the one who was running against Leslie. It was amazing.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Oh, he’s so funny. So cute. Hasn’t aged a day since Clueless.

6. Preparation for liver surgery [33:09]

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Alright, last question?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, this is going to have to be the last one, I think.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Liz Wolfe: Prep for liver surgery. This is from Jamie. “My mother-in-law has just been told she needs a liver transplant. She’s been an alcoholic for the last 30 years, and quit drinking cold turkey one month ago when she started having severe health conditions. They will not put her on the transplant list until she’s been alcohol free for at least 6 months. So my question is, what can we do nutritionally in the meantime? I know the doctors will have their protocol, but I’m curious what can be done on our end? I know you’ve talked about extensively about organ meats and how consuming them supports your own organs. Is there anything more than can be done outside the obvious cleaning up her diet, getting her active, and staying off the alcohol. I’ve been listening to your Balanced Bites podcast since episode 88, and follow a pretty clean diet myself. I already have an idea of how to attack things food wise, but I’m just looking for more, something I wouldn’t know about since I have no training. Any advice I would be incredibly grateful.

Additional info; she’s been in declining health for the last several years and has not wanted to change until now. I think she’s finally scared enough to make a change. She had gastric bypass years ago, and never went back to the doctor for her checkups following, nor did she follow the rules of not eating or drinking certain foods. Her diet has predominantly been ice house beer mixed with a little standard American diet. She’s been almost completely inactive, as well. The most exercise she gets is going to the grocery store.

Thanks for all you do, I just love the podcast. Yours is my favorite of all of them; I relate and connect with both of you, so much that it feels like y’all are my friends. I always hope one day you’ll end up in Little Rock,” I’ve been to Little Rock! I love Little Rock. “But if so, I expect this totally awkward moment of me being all, oh hey, that’s my friend, and you looking at me confused; who are you? That’s how much I listen to you two talk. We’re besties, and you don’t even know it. Anyway, thanks in advance even if you never get around to my question.”

Well, we’re getting around to it. Do you have anything? I have a little something.

Diane Sanfilippo: Why don’t I let you get onto this one first.

Liz Wolfe: Alright, well maybe you’ll have some more specific insight, but on this one, I think really, you need to go straight to a holistic practitioner, someone who can do some testing and make sure that whatever it is you do, supplement wise, if you wanted to do some kind of liver support supplemental protocol, that they could actually really make sure you’re taking the right stuff, the right amounts of it, and when you're taking it. Because this is just such a delicate situation. I mean, 30 years of alcoholism, it’s just a really, really hard thing for the body, especially when it gets to this point. I’m totally pro supporting the body with good nutrition like we’ve talked about before, but I really feel like this is one where you work one-on-one with some kind of brilliant naturopath or something like that, because it’s just that touchy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Agreed. I think, she’s saying how this is her mother-in-law and how she’s been eating at this point in time, and everything that Jamie knows about what to do and what to eat is so far from what her mother-in-law has been doing, that I think one of the biggest things is to not stress too much about perfectionism. We talk about that a lot, especially when we’re talking to family and friends, and people who are primed in a position to really make these changes, but also maybe don’t have that same motivation or inclination as we do to be looking for what’s optimal or ideal. I do think it’s important to remember that not expecting perfection is going to be the best way to set yourself up for doing any sort of support for her.

I do think this is kind of one of those good cases for finding replacements for things that she wants to eat that are more nutrient dense forms of those foods. I do think that if she’s having a liver transplant, and she may have issues digesting fats, and trying to get her to eat a whole bunch of ghee, or coconut oil, or all these things that we love typically may or may not work great for her. So I think just kind of being aware of those different things, like what happens when the body doesn’t have a well functioning liver, you know. Go back and read through that section in Practical Paleo about what the liver does and just try and understand that.

I just think that having some patience and being there as support, and being able to come through and cook some meals that are nutrient dense and that are real food, but if it needs to be paleofied pizza, or it needs to be something that makes her feel ok and comforted, and is more of a bridge or a crutch, I wouldn’t stress out about that too much. This is going to be a big challenge. Hopefully it’s a moment for her that’s the light bulb, and a lot of people need to have that rock bottom or light bulb moment where it’s like, ok I really need to pay attention to this. Unfortunately, it’s true that for a lot of people, it takes something that intense and serious and frankly kind of scary for that to be it.

I would just say to have that patience and be supportive with things, and not expect that you’re going to hand her a plate of liver and veggies, and that she’s going to eat that. It’s got to be something that’s approachable for her.

7. Introducing Hima of Tin Star Foods Ghee [38:39]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so I have Hima with me today of Tin Star Foods, Tin Star Ghee.

Hima Pandya: Hello!

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey! Early morning for Hima, over in California, and I’m really excited to talk to you today! We’ve known each other for years now, and I’ve been supporting your ghee company, because when I saw you were getting it going, I was super pumped about it. Why don’t you tell our listeners how you got started making ghee? They’ve been hearing about the product now for a couple of months, and I just thought it would be great to have them hear from you. Obviously we’re going to just talk about ghee in general too. How did you get started?

Hima Pandya: Absolutely! So, good morning everybody, or good afternoon, wherever you are. So the long and short version of this is that I was really sick about 2 years ago. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s and colitis, and I was working just the normal typical I guess every day job. It should have been 9-5, but I was pulling in these 50-60 hour work weeks, and just under a lot of stress to get my work done. I was in consulting, specifically manufacturing and operations. There was just a lot of stuff happening, and I was getting a pretty bad flare and I couldn’t get it under control. I had a very blunt conversation with my GI about if I can’t manage this properly we’re going to have major conversations about colon resection, and alternative fixes for what was going on.

Those words are really scary, they’re not things you want to deal with at the age of 29. So I decided to just do a full on paleo, basically an autoimmune protocol cleanse for a month, and as I was doing research; coming from an Indian background, I was pretty informed on the paleo community as is, because I come from Crossfit, and had been around it for a long time and did a bunch of challenges, but it’s different when you’re using it as medicine and as a supplement to your everyday life.

I was reading more and more about the autoimmune protocol about what we could do, just to fix this. And ghee kept popping up, kept popping up. And I was making it at home pretty sporadically, not very regularly, but as I went through this 30-day process, I made a ton of product. And the reason this time was so interesting was that I wasn’t using just that junky, organic, non-GMO butter. I was trying to educate myself on what is really the best source of butter. And I actually came across one of your older blogs about it, and I was like, ok, I’ve got to find the highest amount of grass-fed content product on the market, and make it at home.

Of course, I forced a couple of friends to do this paleo month with me, and I sent them home with a ton of product, just hey use this as your cooking fats. I think we did lard and ghee for the most part. Both of them came back and were like, Hima, this is awesome. We bought some at the grocery store, we’re not a fan of it, but yours is really good, maybe you should consider making it locally. At that time, I’m like, you’ve got to be kidding me.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Hima Pandya: I have a full time job, I’m teaching yoga, I’ve got just a really full schedule, right now is not the time to do this. And it started spreading. People were telling other people about it, and I was like, ok let me just make a couple of bottles and see if the Crossfit gyms locally are interested in buying it. So I took this really ghetto box of bottles, they were like these 8 ounce mason jars with these horrible stickers, and it sold out really quickly. One Crossfit gym was 10 bottles, and the next one was 20, and then it started. I was getting really amped up and excited about it. So I was going around to all these different boxes in SoCal, and everybody was really interested.

So right around that time, I reached out to you through Facebook, and said, hey I’ve got this product and I don’t know what I’m sitting on, do you mind trying it out?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Hima Pandya: And you’re like, absolutely, send me all the ghee you can! And that’s really where it began.

Diane Sanfilippo: I had no idea how much in the infancy this whole thing was for you at that time.

Hima Pandya: Oh my god.

Diane Sanfilippo: How funny is that?

Hima Pandya: Diane, do you remember, when we started this out, constantly we were having so many issues, because I come from an air space in heavy industrial manufacturing background. So for me to go into food making, while the concepts of manufacturing are still pretty similar, there are a lot of things you don’t know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Hima Pandya: So, just having to educate myself on food safety, and food handling, and packaging for food, and you know, we deal with a very high viscosity oil that’s got a lot of thickness to it. And when it leaks in the summertime, we had these terrible jars that kept gluing themselves shut.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh my gosh.

Hima Pandya: Because the lids were so terrible. Do you remember that?

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t, but it’s not as warm here, so maybe if you sent it to me, it didn’t happen here? I don’t know.

Hima Pandya: Oh my gosh, Diane, for the first three months, every other jar was leaking, they were breaking in transit. We lost so much product, and so much money, and it’s just so funny because looking back, there were moments where I was like, I’m done. I cannot do this anymore, I’ve lost so much money on this product, what the hell am I going to do to get through this? And now I’m laughing about it because, you know, all I needed was a plastic lid. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. This is funny, I mean, this would be really good fodder. We should definitely get you on the Build a Badass Business podcast for a whole episode just about building the business, because I know tons of our listeners here are obviously also entrepreneurs, and I know they love hearing the background about the company and all of that and how things got started. That was only, what, maybe not even two years ago?

Hima Pandya: No, no, no. That was April of last year.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh! Wow.

Hima Pandya: And when I got my first thousand dollars cash in hand, I went immediately to the state and got my tax ID. And we got incorporated; I set up my LLC on July 8, 2014. So we’re not even a year old.

Diane Sanfilippo: Crazy. Amazing.

Hima Pandya: It’s been a whirlwind of just chaos the last year.

8. All about ghee [45:32]

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} In a good way. So, let’s talk about ghee, and why ghee, why is it such a great fat to cook with? I’ve obviously talked about it a bunch on the show for our listeners who have been with us for a long time, but for people who are like, I don’t even know what you’re talking about, what is ghee, why is it great, why should I use it and eat it? Let’s just talk about all that good stuff.

Hima Pandya: Ok. Perfect. So let’s go into the what, first. Ghee is a clarified butter, and traditionally ghee is made from cultured cream. So a little bit of history on this and why it’s so heavily used in Ayurveda, and it’s actually in Indian butter fat. Back in the day, hundreds of years ago, we were taking cream from the cow, and as you know, it has a finite amount of time you can keep it on the counter when you turn it into butter. So, to add some longevity to the product, they would basically pasteurize it at a super high heat for a certain amount of time, and follow this cooking process that we use. It’s very traditional; I’m using an 8 generation old recipe. You process and pasteurize the butter to a certain point, and then you remove all the milk solids, and that includes the lactose and casein in the product. And then what’s left over is a really pure caramelized butter fat.

The reason I say caramelized, is you have to let the milk solids caramelize at the bottom of the pan for it to turn into ghee. We treat the cream specifically with cultures. I think there’s a lot of grey area; not grey area, but a lot of confusion when people see cultured on the bottle, they’re like, is there culture in the ghee, how does that work? So we treat the cream with cultures, it’s one of the very first steps, because what that does is it starts the process of breaking down the lactose enzymes and the protein. So, by the time it turns into butter, they’re a little bit more broken down, and by the time it makes itself into the pot and we pasteurize it, the ghee is 98% free and clear of lactose and casein.

So really, that last and most important step to make it a 100% lactose and casein free product is cooking it for the right amount of time, number one, and number two filtering it properly. If you don’t filter it out all the way, and if you don’t filter it 100%, you can still be ingesting some of that stuff in your product. We use the triple filtration process, we hand filter it, and then we have a patent pending process right now that I had an engineer come in and develop for us, so because of everything we do on this end, we’re able to get lab tested lactose and casein free results. Which means there is no trace amount whatsoever of any of those qualities in our product.

And that’s really important for people who are hypersensitive to dairy that are doing AIP. We’re widely recognized in the paleo and AIP industry, or communities as the house brand. And it’s because we spend so much time focusing on the quality and the cleanliness of our product. So that’s the what.

I think the why is different for everybody. This is a product that can be widely used across a lot of different food lifestyles. So vegetarians use it heavily, obviously in the paleo community, natural eaters that want to get closer to our ancestral table, they’re using it a lot because it’s such a nutrient dense fat.

So when I say nutrient dense, I’m talking about, Weston A. Price talks about high levels of K2. Our product has that because there’s so much grass in the cows diets, and there’s a high level of tonalin CLA, and for vegetarians this is one of the most important things in their diet that they can do for themselves, is eat high quality grass-fed butter or ghee. Because that tonalin CLA is something that’s missing heavily in the vegan and vegetarian diet.

If you’re not going to be getting it from an actual animal protein source, you can get it through ghee. Which is why the vegetarians in India have been able to flourish as long as they can. They’re consuming the right amount of fats and the right kinds of fats to be able to digest the proteins they’re eating. Even though they’re plant based proteins, they’re still better off with the ghee than without.

For the paleo community, I think you can be a little restricted sometimes by the fats we’re allowed to use traditionally. Personally, tallow, I love to fry in it, but I’m not a huge fan of the way it tastes in my food. Lard is great; it’s a very neutral fat. But this ghee adds such a wonderful flavor to your food, and you're getting so much out of it by adding it into your diet. And you’re including these super nutrient dense fats, your skin is looking better, you’re feeling better, you’re feeling better. It’s great for brain productivity, it’s an overall awesome food. I don’t think it’s necessarily dedicated to “only the paleo people” or “on the vegetarians”.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Hima Pandya: Everybody can benefit from this. We’ve multiple times in the history of the company mentioned that we are not a paleo company, we were talking about this earlier, it is just such an awesome product to use if this is your lifestyle, and that’s how you want; I mean, I’m paleo myself. It’s awesome, it tastes really good, it makes everything better.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Yeah, one of the things that I’ve been posting about a bunch. I know a lot of our podcast listeners follow me on Instagram, and I know you’ve shared the pictures, I’m reactive to dairy pretty quickly. I’m actually noticing that it’s definitely more milk and cream than it would be from cheese. It happens from cheese for sure, but it’s definitely less severe. I was actually just using butter in my coffee; I was trying to be low maintenance, and not take my coconut milk with me everywhere. I was like, I’ll just use butter, no big deal. I’m sure it wasn’t grass-fed, I was just getting it at the coffee shop, and actually, this coffee shop in my new neighborhood has a honey butter, I was like, oh yes, I will put that in my coffee. That sounds amazing. And after just two or three days, my face was so exploded, it was crazy. And then of course, eating just a little bit of cheese, to add insult to injury, because cheese is amazing, who doesn’t want to eat cheese.

It really blew up, and actually the picture that I posted wasn’t even probably at the height of it. It’s one of those things where people don’t realize where even just a little bit of dairy, or even just using butter and not using cheese or using milk, it can actually happen from that. The reason I like to tell people to use grass fed butter, like you said it’s a nutrient dense fat. So a lot of the fats that we use, whether it’s on our salads or in cooking, coconut oil for example. I love coconut oil, it’s a great fat to use, it’s not very nutrient dense. It does offer us medium chain triglycerides which are a fantastic, healthy fat. They’re great for promoting fat burning. But in terms of other vitamins, it’s not super nutrient dense. Again, it’s not a bad choice, but if we’re looking at cooking fats, which is one of the reasons I love ghee so much, if you want something that has a good resistance to higher heat, especially when we remove those milk proteins from the butter fat.

If you guys can imagine what’s happening with butter; there is fat in there, right, there’s fat that makes it up, but there’s also protein, as well. And what people react to when they have food allergies or sensitivities, 99.9% of the time, it’s protein. There are some people who react to pure fats, as well. They have different kinds of reactions. But generally, when you look at a food allergy or intolerance, it’s a protein because your body is reacting to the protein. That’s what we have allergies to. So when you remove all of the proteins, and the sugar, that lactose is a milk sugar, we can obviously be reacting to that as well. But I’m pretty sure I’m reacting to all of it {laughs} because I’ve tried a 100% whey protein powder, I don’t do well with that.

But when you look at this, which is just purely the fat; that’s why when it’s melted it’s totally clear, just like, olive oil would be clear, but it’s got that green hue from the polyphenols and all of the amazing properties in olive oil, but same thing with the butter fat. You’re seeing that rich, yellowish orange color and what you’re getting from that are the carotenoids, which actually it’s going to be vitamin A and it’s going to be a better end form of vitamin A.

You were mentioning it’s great obviously for vegetarians who aren’t eating a lot of animal foods, it’s hard to get vitamin A from a lot of places, getting it from cows that are eating grass through this means getting it from ghee, it’s just such a great way to get it. And then back to the skin issue, I just wanted to point out to people, the reason why ghee is so great and specifically, I know that I’m using yours because I trust that it’s free of the lactose and the casein, is that you're getting the nutrients that your skin needs so much to be healthy and clear without the irritants. That vitamin K2, vitamins A and D; vitamin A is so critical for skin healthy, which is why people get medication for their skin, it’s retin A. they’re giving them vitamin A for their skin. You’re also getting K2. I had a facial recently, and they brushed on carotenoid, which is a precursor to vitamin A, and also K2. They were brushing that on my skin face.

Hima Pandya: That’s amazing!

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I was like, oh ok cool. I was like, why do I look like an oompa loompa right now? Because it was orange. But you know, people really need to know it’s that delicate balance between eating the foods that will give you that skin health without getting the irritants. I just think that’s so important for people to know. And it is hard to find nutrient dense fats out there, and I just think ghee is one of those great ones. I use it so, so much. I probably eat at least a couple of tablespoons of the Tin Star ghee every single day. It’s probably the biggest source of calories {laughing} in my diet, if we’re looking at the fat. It’s just one that I love so much, and I love it for that reason.

So that’s all really great information. What else do you want to tell people just about ghee in general; I know you’re someone who definitely; if people don’t have a lot of sensitivities and they just want to clarify their butter because they like the taste of it, or they want to turn it into ghee because they like the taste of it or the fact that it’s more heat resistance. I know you always tell people, go ahead and make it at home, if that’s what works for you.

Hima Pandya: Well that’s a perfect segue into what I wanted to talk about because there is, we recently posted a picture of our lab results, and I think it caused a little bit of a flurry in the paleo community, because people were like, oh my gosh is the product I’m using cultured? The long and short of it is that there is a very specific process to making ghee. And whether you’re making it at home or buying from your supplier, you need to make sure that it is actually truly ghee. There is a big difference between clarified butter and ghee.

Clarified butter, you put it in the pot, and the milk solids start to separate and sink to the bottom. If it is a little murky when you filter it or when your testing it out, it’s not ghee, and it’s not 100% clarified or completely purified, right. So I think a lot of people that make it at home end up pulling it before it’s ready; you should be able to put it into a clear glass, stick your hand behind the glass, and see everything. It’s like looking through a glass of water; that’s how purified and clarified your butter should be when you make ghee.

I think for a lot of people at home, they either wait too long and it burns and chars on the bottom, or it’s not clarified enough. So I think the most important thing is to make sure you're using a candy thermometer if you’re not super experienced in it. You want it to cook at 220 degrees throughout the entire process. Once it hits that boiling point, it needs to stay and remain at 220 degrees, and not fall down or go above that. It’s super important. And filter, filter, filter. If you feel like it’s not filtered enough, then filter it again. Cheesecloth is great. There are a lot of different options you can find just at different food stores. Just find a really fine mesh cheesecloth, or a Turkish towel, or something like that. Something that’s going to be able to contain all of the milk solids.

I think if you’re not super sensitive to lactose and casein, any kind of butter, as long as it’s grass fed, is going to be great to make at home. That’s what we grew up with; we didn’t necessarily use a cultured cream to make our ghee, and it tastes just fine. It will have probably a little bit more of a strong buttery flavor if it’s not cultured, but the nuances in the tastes difference are so small, I don’t think there would be a huge difference, you wouldn’t be able to notice a big difference between the two of them.

And I’m such a huge proponent of make your product at home if you can. At the end of the day, we are prepared food. And we are there for convenience, and we are there for people who really do have difficulty making it at home. It’s not an easy process, it is very labor intensive, and it takes a lot of attention to detail and a lot of practice, and for a lot of people, that’s enough for them to want to purchase the product. That’s why I started making it, because I couldn’t find a quality product that I could purchase ready to go. I went to the Indian stores, and it was just horrible, and I bought the stuff at the grocery stores and it tasted like cardboard. I was just not into it.

So, you know, that was that light bulb moment of, ok, if I’m looking for this there have to be thousands of other people looking for it as well.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Hima Pandya: So that’s really, I mean we talk about building the business, I didn’t create a product without a solution. Or, what is that phrase? They always talk about, don’t build a product that you have to build a solution around. Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Hima Pandya: There was already a huge gap in the community.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Hima Pandya: All I did was hit my product right in there, and it fit beautifully, and it worked really well.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Hima Pandya: It caught on, if you’ve got a good product, and it’s going to sell and people know there’s a need for it, it will sell itself, which is kind of what happened with us. So it is not a cheap product, it is a higher price point because it’s hand crafted and because it’s an artisan, I am personally making each bottle myself right now, and I put a lot of effort into this. My body is kind of falling apart at the end of the day because I’ve got to make all this product.

Diane Sanfilippo: You’ll get everything back. It’s kind of that curve of the entrepreneur and the person who, you know when you’re so passionate about something and bringing something to people and that unfortunately, that’s what happened, I’ve talked about it a million times, when I wrote Practical Paleo, it’s kind of that, I don’t know, it’s sort of that pitfall of doing something to help bring health to so many other people. You know, there are some sacrifices along the way.

But yeah, I’m with you. I think I used to make it myself all the time, and I probably would, if I ran out of yours, I’d probably go to make it again, and then I’d see, I’m sure, that my skin would react more again. It’s been so long since I’ve made it myself, I’ve been using yours for so long now. My skin now, when I’m home, I joke about it, when I’m home it’s so much better, and then when I hit the road and I’m sure I’m exposed to more seed oils or butter is a better option than a lot of what’s out there health wise, so it’s like I get exposure to that. But when I’m home and I’m just here for a few weeks, and then my skin is just looking so much better from using that.

Anyway, I’m really glad we had a chance to talk today, and I just wanted our listeners to get a chance to learn a little bit more about the company, but also about ghee in general, and hopefully you guys learned a whole bunch. Definitely hop over to @TinStarFoods is their Instagram account, and leave some comments, tell Hima what you learned today, let us know what you learned from the show. We love to see what you think of the product; or if you’re making it at home, post some pictures and #BBPodcast and let us know how you’re enjoying ghee.

Hima Pandya: Absolutely. And also, just a shameless plug right now. We adopted a puppy

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s right!

Hima Pandya: Through K-9 Angels Rescue. April is on your team, and we’ve all become super close over the last year, and actually found just the sweetest little boy through the organization. So for the month of June, we are donating $0.75 for every bottle sold, and I know you are going to be matching that so generously, and so for you listeners out there, for every bottle you buy, we’re going to be donating, together, $1.50 per bottle, which is huge, because this organization does so much to help a lot of these dogs. I mean, they’re about to get euthanized and this is their last chance. So the group is doing a lot to help the animal community, and we want to be a part of that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Absolutely, and I know April has told me a bunch of times, Houston is one of those communities where they have such an overpopulation of dogs, as well. And such sweethearts. I love these dogs, and we talked about this before, Liz actually adopted a dog from K-9 Angels, and one of the other women on my team sort of the peripheral of my team, she does some editing for us, Tonja Pizzo, she also adopted a dog from K-9 Angels. It’s just a fantastic organization. So thank you all for the support.

If you don’t want to buy some ghee, you just want to make a donation to K-9 Angels in Houston, feel free to go ahead and do that. They’re a nonprofit organization, but we just want to give a plug for that. I almost forgot, I totally wanted to mention that. So everybody buy it now, it’s a great time.

Hima Pandya: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. Thank you so much, Hima!

Hima Pandya: Thank you Diane. I appreciate it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Have a great rest of your day.

Hima Pandya: Have a good day.

Diane Sanfilippo: Thanks!

Diane Sanfilippo: We’d like to thank Tin Star Foods Ghee for being a proud sponsor of the Balanced Bites podcast. For those of you who aren’t sure what ghee is, it’s clarified butter. So if you’re sensitive to dairy proteins, it’s a really good option. For people who are highly, highly allergic, it maybe for you, it maybe not. I know that Tin Star is certified as casein free as well as lactose free, batches are tested every few months so if you’re very sensitive to that, or you’re on an autoimmune protocol, this could be a great option for you. And if you’re looking for a fantastic cooking fat, ghee is a perfect choice. It has a very high smoke point, and it tastes great with just about any type of food

Tin Star Ghee is what I reach for most when I’m cooking in my own kitchen, and if you’re looking for an alternative to something like coconut oil or other animal fats, definitely check it out. As a special offer for our listeners, you can save 15% off any ghee in your order from using code BALANCEDBITES, so check them out. and grab your Tin Star Foods Ghee.

Liz Wolfe: You can find me, Liz, at You can find Diane at Please join our email lists for free stuff and updates that you won’t find anywhere else on our websites or on Facebook or on the podcast. And, while you’re on the internet, leave us an iTunes review, we’d greatly appreciate it. See you next week.


Comments 2

  1. I’ve had Vanessa’s question on my mind since I listened. I would be curious to see whether some more mechanical approaches would help with her bloat and distention. Namely, I would love to see what going for long walks a few times a week did for her. Walking is a really underrated component of the digestive process, I think. Plus, it has the added benefit of helping with that parasympathetic situation, too, as I wonder if her “power” yoga + cycling + running is helping to feed that fight or flight cycle.

  2. Hello Ladies! Thanks so much for such an informative podcast. Oddly, I only just found you recently, although I’m catching up quickly! This was a great episode, I’m not 100% Paleo but I make ghee for my 9 month old baby boy (as well as my hubba and me;) I actually wrote a blog post recently on it! I’m almost sure I’m not cooking it perfectly, but baby sure likes it in his food! Thanks again and awesome work!

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