Balanced Bites Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe

Podcast Episode #216: All About Supplements & Superfoods (Part 1)

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Topics: Balanced Bites Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe
1. What’s new for you from Diane & Liz [3:29] 2. A new thing that I’m into: drinking broth with roasted veggies [14:43] 3. Supplements and superfoods; what’s the difference [16:54] 4. Supplementing with digestive enzymes [20:28] 5. What about MTHFR? [26:08] 6. Best superfood combinations and nutrient competitions to avoid [31:13] 7. Omega-3 supplementation that’s not so costly [43:38] 8. #Treatyoself: Plantain chips with sunbutter [51:29] [smart_track_player url=”″ title=”#216: All About Supplements & Superfoods ” artist=”Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe ” color=”00AEEF” social=”true” social_twitter=”true” social_facebook=”true” social_gplus=”true” ]


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Balance Bites: Episode #216: All About Supplements & Superfoods (Part 1)

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 216.

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 everyone! It’s me, Liz, here with Diane as usual. Hi friend!

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey.

Liz Wolfe: Hey! Pop quiz hot shot; what was the name of the show that Danny Tanner hosted on Full House?

Diane Sanfilippo: …. Wake up! San Francisco.

Liz Wolfe: Precisely.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: You win. And now, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Liz Wolfe: Our podcast sponsorship today comes from Vital Choice, an online purveyor of the world’s best wild seafood delivered right to your door; because juggling a busy life shouldn’t mean you have to forgo healthy meals. At, you’ll find wild Alaskan salmon, halibut, tuna, sable fish, and cod, as well as prawns, crab, and scallops. You’ll also find grass-fed organic Wagyu beef, free range heritage chicken, fresh frozen organic berries, and dark organic chocolates. Make a vital choice by eating the highest quality food you can. Vital Choice; come home to real food.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: That might have been one of my favorite Balanced Bites openings that I’ve ever done.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh. Em. Gee, I think we need to do something like that every week.

Liz Wolfe: I think so too.

Diane Sanfilippo: And, by the way, last week at some point we were walking the dog in the morning, and I’m pretty sure I made a reference to that; Wake up, San Francisco, to Scott. And I don’t know if he got it. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Is that officially where that’s from? Because it’s in my head here, and I’ll go, “Waaaaaake up!” {laughs} And that’s what it’s from, right?

Diane Sanfilippo: I think it is. I mean, I’m sure we watched that show pretty much incessantly. Wasn’t it part of the Friday night lineup? TGIF?

Liz Wolfe: No; yeah, TGIF, but I feel like it was on right when we got home from school.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, that might have been later, from syndication.

Liz Wolfe: So, for bonus points, what was the co-host’s name that Danny Tanner later went on to court and marry, I think. I don’t know. I think they got married.

Diane Sanfilippo: No; didn’t Uncle Jessie marry her?

Liz Wolfe: Oh, no.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I think Uncle Jessie married her.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, Uncle Jessie married Rebecca; but didn’t Danny marry Vickie?

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh.

Liz Wolfe: She had that awesome poofy triangle hair.

Diane Sanfilippo: I though Rebecca was the co-host. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: You know, early 90’s?

Diane Sanfilippo: This episode has taken a very swift downturn.

Liz Wolfe: Whatever. People only listen to this for the opening idiocy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Totally.

1. What’s new for you from Diane & Liz [3:29]

Liz Wolfe: After that it’s just downhill. So what’s up? What’s going on in your world these days?

Diane Sanfilippo: I feel like this is probably the opposite of having a new baby; doing something that’s totally… I think it’s very self centered and very; I don’t know, like do I really have this much time? {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Oh my gosh.

Diane Sanfilippo: But I’m following a meal plan that I did not write. So for people who already follow me on Periscope or Instagram or wherever; all over the interwebs. I talked about it a little bit in a few posts so far, and actually more posts by the time this episode airs, and I’ve obviously talked to you about it, because all of the meal plans that I’ve ever written like in Practical Paleo, even in 21-Day Sugar Detox, they’re all geared towards getting people healthier. And you and I are totally on the same page with that being the 99% of the time goal. It’s not about the last 5, 10, or even 15 pounds, and one of the things that we always talk about on this show is that going paleo, eating real food, eating healthier, following one of those meal plans in my books for example really will get your healthier, and will get your body to a place that it is healthy and it’s not about that last little bit.

Well, we’ve also said this on the show; when it is about that last little bit, that’s probably when you need to follow something that’s a little more customized, a little more stringent. Not necessarily restrictive, but just more; I don’t know, more conscious and more cognizant of exactly what’s coming in. and I know over the last few years, I’ve definitely talked multiple times about the idea of weighing and measuring being a useful tool for a lot of people, even though it can make some people crazy. It can make some people over restrictive.

But for somebody like me who, {laughs} general when left to my own devices, I can eat a lot of food. I’m only 5’4”, and I can easily put down a ton of food. So, I’m at the point where, you know, if you want something to change then you have to change something, and I am at the place where I would like to see what my body composition can do, if I can change it. I’m not looking to do any figure competition {laughs} or any of that, not trying to get super ripped and lean down to 10% body fat or anything crazy like that. Crazy for me, it would be.

I think when my body was at 16-18%, I lost my period. It might have been 16-ish. I don’t know exactly what it was, but this was probably 8-10 years ago. My body was lean, and it wasn’t healthy for me. And that’s definitely not where I’m trying to get to. But in the last few years just consistently have gotten back to a set point that I want to shake up again.

So, I’m following a meal plan written for me by somebody else, and I also think that in all the conversations that we’ve had about habits and how people respond to different expectations, I am kind of unpredictable even for myself {laughs} as to what I’ll respond to. But in this case, having somebody outside of myself, outside of my own expectations to answer to, really does help. The same thing with a personal trainer, when I show up and I need to do whatever they say to do, I’m cool with it. I don’t ask a lot of questions. I just do what I’m asked to do.

So, same thing with the meal planning and meal prep. I was given a totally customized meal plan. It’s not 100% paleo; it’s gluten free to the tune of some white rice and some quinoa that I’m going to try and see how I feel. And if I don’t feel good with those, she’ll readjust it and customize it back to just paleo friendly carbs if that’s what I want. But it’s much higher in carbohydrate than I’d been eating for a while. It’s definitely lower in fat, and higher in protein. So very satiating, lots of food. I feel like all I do is eat, and last night I was practically singing to Scott; all I do is eat {laughs} because I feel like there’s just so much food.

But yeah, that’s it. That’s kind of what’s new and what’s shaking in my world, and it does kind of feel like; this is day 1. This just feels like a lot of eating, but {laughs} we’ll see how it pans out for the next 12 weeks, because that’s how long I’m doing it for. So if anybody wants to come ask questions or see what’s going on, definitely hop on Periscope. That’s the best place to do it. I’m checking in there at least once a day, and answering questions and all that good stuff.

Liz Wolfe: Cool.

Diane Sanfilippo: How about you. What’s new over there?

Liz Wolfe: I can’t feel my face because of Daylight Savings Time. Babies don’t care about Daylight Savings Time. They wake up based on their body rhythms. Ergo…

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, well I’m in the same boat because I’ve been waking up an hour too early, so yeah.

Liz Wolfe: But at least you’ve been waking up.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: It’s not like something is like mom! Mom! My kid can’t talk yet, but you know. Just something…

Diane Sanfilippo: A noise that you imagine would be saying mom?

Liz Wolfe: Yes. So outside anything that I… for some reason, that one. I mean it’s hard enough all of a sudden having to become a 6 a.m. person, but becoming a 4:57 a.m. person?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: That’s not. It’s just; it just doesn’t feel good. I have to remind myself that I will wake up.

Diane Sanfilippo: A 3 and a 4 on the clock; yeah, they’re just ugly hours.

Liz Wolfe: Yes. They’re gross. And especially because once baby goes to bed, I have a few precious hours of having my hands free; and not having them free but poised to catch her before she damages herself doing something. You know? I have hands free, I can sit there and do what I always advise people not to do, which is watch TV late at night. I’ve always been like; oh, switch your TV time to early in the day, so it doesn’t mess with your circadian rhythm so much. Ha ha ha, when baby wakes up at 4:57.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: And we don’t do screen time with said baby, there will be no early morning catching up with the Housewives time. So she goes to bed, and I like to sit with my husband and, it’s terrible, but we’ve just been eating in front of the TV because it just feels so good to do something that you just can’t do with a baby hanging around. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I have no problem with that. I think it sounds extremely enjoyable.

Liz Wolfe: As with many things, I keep saying it’s a short season of life, we’re just getting through it. And it’s super fun, but it’s just, things are a little mucked up. And it probably doesn’t help, just overall health, general stuff. But whatever. We do what we need to do. And we’ve also; well, for a while now, baby is now eating real people food, which is hilarious!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Does she throw it too? Or what’s the story there?

Liz Wolfe: There's been a little bit of throwing. She hasn’t really connected; oh, I dropped this and dog will come eat it and it’s hilarious. But every once in a while, she’ll throw something and the dog will come get it, and she’s like; wow, that was cool. But she hasn’t figured out the repeat action type of thing.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: On that quite yet. So we’ve done some bone marrow, we’ve done some egg yolk, we’ve done some liver. I do a lot of beet sticks, just because she likes to hold them and suck on them, and whatever I kind of want to force into her little body, be it egg yolk or a little bone marrow or a little ghee or something like that, I’ll just kind of put it on the beet stick and she’ll suck it off. Very, very clever on my part. But I’ve been doing the baby-led weaning approach. Because Babies, our friend Rochelle, she has a program called Babies First Foods that was helpful. We’ve modified things a little bit just to suit how we like to do things, but yeah. It’s been quite an adventure. It’s been fun.

So if anybody out there wants to tell me what they started their babies with, on babies first foods and how they did it, whether baby-led weaning; we’re not weaning, it should be baby-led solids. That’s what I should call it. But come over to the Balanced Bites podcast Instagram, or my Instagram, or wherever, and just let me know what you did. I like to hear from other people on that stuff.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know our friends, the Servolds, also do a bottle that has broth in it, and I don’t know what else, but I think that’s obviously much later because they’re little one is much older than your little one.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I was like, oh what’s in that bottle? Not assuming anything, but just I can’t wait to hear what that is.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: She was telling me the concoction. {laughs} I was like, oh. Interesting. She’s like, yeah she loves it. I’m like, great.

Liz Wolfe: I think they did a little of the Weston A. Price homemade formula, which is cool.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know.

Liz Wolfe: Not the homemade formula, but instead of; when she was old enough to have something besides just breast milk.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: I think that was the beverage of choice, some broth and stuff like that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I wonder if the broth version is almost a natural electrolyte type of drink? Like some minerals, and I don’t really know. Anyway.

Liz Wolfe: Sure.

Diane Sanfilippo: I just thought it was funny. Cool. Sounds good.

Liz Wolfe: The; well for us, see Diane here’s a fun little fact about babies; not all of them take bottles. Some of us are chained to our babies 24/7 because the only place they eat from is the breast. Which is actually a good thing because it helps with their palate development, and it does a lot of good stuff for the skull plates and things like that. So, that’s one thing. But we will probably go straight to her drinking out of a cup; from boob to cup, as we transition forward.

Diane Sanfilippo: Like a sippy cup kind of deal?

Liz Wolfe: I think so. You know what, that’s another one. If anyone has any insight on the sippy versus just straight to cup type thing, versus straw or whatever it is. There are so many different opinions out there.

Diane Sanfilippo: I was going to say, I’m sure a cup with just an open top is not going to be recommended by anybody {laughs}.

Liz Wolfe: It could be hilarious, though. It could be quite funny.

Diane Sanfilippo: Could be. Could be.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. So, share insight with me.

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2. A new thing that I’m into: drinking broth with roasted veggies [14:43]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, how about a new thing that we’re into lately?

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so I have one. I actually think I posted this on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, but I don’t think I talked about it yet on the podcast. But I’ve been making, pun intended, perhaps, a super quick soup, where I’m taking roasted root veggies, like potatoes, onions, spices, prepped ahead and then, I feel like I already talked about this on the podcast.

Liz Wolfe: I swear I don’t think you did.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok {laughs}.

Liz Wolfe: It’s ok, it’s ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, you know how we always talk about drinking broth and we want people to get that into their diet a little bit more. Sometimes people don’t want to go the full extent of making the actual soup because that’s a little more involved, but drinking broth on its own is not for everyone; myself included. I really don’t love just drinking broth. I just don’t love it.

So what I did was I roasted some potatoes and onions with salt, pepper, and I think rosemary. I had some of the Primal Palate spices. I just chop them up, roasted them really, really simply. Did nothing special to it, just chop, in the pan, in the oven. And then when I went to heat up the broth on the stovetop the next day, poured the broth into the pot, put a couple of big spoonfuls of these roasted onion and potato mixture, added some salt and pepper and a dash of turmeric, and just heated that up so that then the broth became infused with the roasted potatoes and onions, and really tasted yummy. Scott and I both enjoyed that very much. We like that a lot more than the plain broth, which we had been drinking.

So yeah, that was really it. So I’m kind of into that. I think probably as the weather sustains a slightly more fall-like feeling, then spring. Because you know, we only get two seasons here, which I’m totally fine with. Pretty much spring and fall. But it’s getting to fall now, so I think we’ll probably be doing that a little bit more often.

3. Supplements and superfoods; what’s the difference [16:54]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, should we do some listener questions?

Liz Wolfe: Absolutely. I think we have a special topic today, and that was, questions on supplements and superfoods.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes.

Liz Wolfe: This one; I’m kind of excited about. We haven’t tackled this one in a while, so this should be good. I think before we get started with a lot of these questions; and we had a ton of questions submitted through the Balanced Bites podcast Instagram, which if you haven’t heard, there’s now a Balanced Bites podcast Instagram, so be sure to follow it. We had a ton of questions come in through there, and before we start let’s just differentiate between the two when we’re talking about supplements and superfoods.

A supplement is anything that’s put together by a company that combines nutrients for us that might not necessarily occur in those quantities or those combinations naturally. So, for example, naturally in a superfood. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think we’ll talk about in a little bit a multivitamin supplement called Nutreince in a bit that Diane has taken, and the makers of that supplement, from what I can see, have taken great care to ensure that the nutrients in the multi are packaged in their most absorbable forms and delivered with the minimum of competition from other inhibitive nutrients.

There are also supplements for systemic support, like lecithin to help alleviate tendencies towards mastitis, which I actually dealt with at one point, or supplements that provide digestive support like enzymes or ox bile.

And then a superfood, which Diane and I have always talked about, is basically the best of nature. It’s minimally processed, natural sources of concentrated nutrition. Things like cod liver oil, or ghee, or fish eggs, as an example. So is that a pretty decent platform to start from, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And I think what we’re talking about, too, with the superfoods is, like you were saying; a really concentrated amount of vitamins and minerals kind of per calorie. So it’s, it’s just that really deep nutrition, you know.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Like calorie for calorie, we’re getting way more bang for our buck from superfoods than we are from other things.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Just contrast a serving of liver with a serving of chicken breast. There’s no comparison as far as micronutrients, so yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: That totally makes sense.

Diane Sanfilippo: And also the reason that we’ll always lean towards the superfood versus the supplement when appropriate or when you can get the food from the superfood; it’s that, even though like you said with Nutreince, the anti-competition factor that they’ve built in, it’s just your body will recognize things so differently from a whole food than it will from a supplement that’s created, even if the supplement; like B vitamins. Your body knows B vitamins as B vitamins. It’s fine. To be honest, the natural form versus a synthetic form; it’s not that the vitamin itself is so different, it’s just the synergies that happen within a whole food that we probably don’t even know about. So that’s really why it’s so important to talk about it in those contrasting terms; a supplement versus a superfood.

4. Supplementing with digestive enzymes [20:28]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, this first question is from Linds Mellow. “Should you supplement with digestive enzymes? I often feel like I have sluggish digestion, and have considered adding an enzyme blend before meals. Thoughts?”

I have thoughts. So, I actually had kind of a bad experience with digestive enzymes. Not to demonize digestive enzymes at all, whatsoever, by any means because I know they help a ton of people. But that kind of told me that they weren’t what I needed at that time, and that is really just a lesson in not going whole hog into digestive support with the strongest possible supplements all at once; it can be kind of gnarly.

So, I’ve been saying to start small, and start with one system at a time. If you aren’t sure what specifically is causing your sluggish digestion, and this is actually something we talk about in the BB Master Class, and it’s also a throwback to my nutritional therapy curriculum and a lot of holistic nutrition curriculums, I think. You want to start at the northernmost point of digestive impact, and work your way down. So start with your brain, and ask yourself if you’re eating in a hyper state, do you need to calm down, do you need to sit and breathe so your digestive process can activate? That is a highly underrated way to go.

After that, I would think about supporting stomach acid. Which, if that’s the problem, it can actually kick start endogenous enzyme production, which basically means your body will start producing what you need just all by itself. So if you take care of that, and you’re still dealing with sluggish digestion, then definitely, yeah try some enzymes. That’s just how I would do it personally. You’ll see papain and bromelain in enzyme supplements, and these are derived from papaya and pineapple. So if you’re avoiding GMOs, I think papaya might be a concern there, I’m not entirely sure. But I would say go for what looks like a higher quality supplement with fewer additives other than the enzymes, and you should be good. And I would say start small; don’t hammer your body with all this stuff immediately, because that can feel really gross.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so I have a little bit of experience with this, not only with clients but myself as well. I’m kind of with you; if you take something and it just doesn’t make you feel any better, then that’s a really good sign that you probably didn’t need it. And that’s what happened to me with a digestive enzyme that had HCl in it. So it had hydrochloric acid as well as the enzymes; which, what you were saying Liz, if you can basically get some of the enzymes, it may stimulate the hydrochloric acid or vice versa; if you calm down and can get your hydrochloric acid going a little bit better, it might actually stimulate some of those downstream enzymes.

So, I’ve definitely had that experience. I think my gallbladder; it’s very, very rare, but I’ve had this experience a few times when I’ve traveled. It’s almost always happened after I travel, and I’ve eaten a meal that’s very fatty. Which it’s kind of strange, because I’ve definitely been eating a relatively high fat diet for a while, but something like short ribs or pork belly; something that is just really a super high fat meal has triggered a gallbladder response from me; like a significant amount of nausea. So I tend to travel now with some digestive enzymes, and I do find that that really does help. But I think making sure that you’re paying attention that the enzymes come with HCl in them or not, because not everybody really needs that.

I think the hydrochloric acid can definitely be something that’s extremely off-putting if you take it and you didn’t need it because it’s just going to give you that burning sensation of too much acid. So, I think that’s a really important thing to pay attention to; like you were saying, slowing it down and starting not only with looking at the whole process, which when I look at travel being something that’s obviously very stressful, that’s probably one of the bigger reasons to why my body wasn’t processing that fat well, is that I was probably in a higher stress state. But I think taking it down to that whole process, and then just starting with some really minimal digestive enzymes is probably a good way to go.

But I think if you take it, it’s not really; I don’t think you just want to take it before the meal, I think you want to have a few bites and then take it, because I think that can be too irritating to your stomach, as well as the rest of your system, if you take the enzymes first without any food in your stomach yet.

Liz Wolfe: Alright.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know some people also talk about doing the apple cider vinegar thing as also a first super natural kind of approach, or digestive bitters.

Liz Wolfe: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right? I think we’ve talked about that on the show before.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, we have. And actually ,that reminds me. I talk about different levels of digestive support in the Purely Primal Skin Care Guide, where you start with something kind of low grade and very natural, and then something that’s natural with a little more power, and then after that hitting your body with the supplements. I totally forgot that I did that. Good job me.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I think I outlined that in Practical Paleo, too. We’ve definitely talked about this a lot in probably all of our materials, because it is really important and it is a common question, so I think that Linds Mellow, if you want to review those materials, because I’m sure most of our listeners probably have copies of some of our work, or our books, so just review that stuff again, too.

5. What about MTHFR? [26:08]

Liz Wolfe: Awesome. Alright, this one is from Goose110. “I’d love to know more about MTHFR. Is it something to really be aware of? I tested positive for homozygous C677T and am prepping for baby making. My nutritionist shrugged it off.”

Well, ok. So your nutritionist should at least be able to tell you why she or he is shrugging it off. I understand this can be a little bit controversial. It’s not entirely controversial; it’s actually a very direct issue. If you have the mutation, you need to be especially aware of any supplementation you're doing and that you're using the proper quantities of methylated folate and B vitamins and cofactors.

There’s some talk out there that it’s not so much the mutations themselves, but maybe what would have spurred those mutations to take place. So I mean there’s talk in the nutrition world about how magnesium deficiency is really the underlying issue behind some of these mutations. I don’t know, but I think once you’ve got it, and especially if you’re symptomatic, then you really need to tackle this conscientiously.

Some people have the mutation and it doesn’t seem to be actively causing symptoms, in which case you might be able to slide by just with real food. But if you have symptoms, like for example repeat miscarriage for those who are struggling with fertility, then you definitely need to think about a supplemental plan or something that addresses this. And I really, I think Ben Lynch is a great resource for information on this. He’s at That’s kind of the first place I always send people. He really takes the super duper, proactive, prophylactic approach that some people might not need. But I say, if you’re getting ready to make babies, don’t take this shrug off as gospel. Keep doing your own research.

This is kind of a unique situation where I feel like a lot of what’s coming out on MTHFR in the research community is actually coming to the public pretty quickly. Dr. Lynch is putting stuff out constantly. It’s one of those things where, this is not hidden behind some kind of institutional wall. So, if you are up for continuing to do your own research, I think that would be well worth it.

We’ll talk about this in Baby Making and Beyond, but we’re going to be mostly summarizing and putting together what people need to know in order to seek further information outside our program, because honestly if we got into this, and it’s probably a little bit over my head, the in’s and out’s of it, and beyond that we could create an entire program just in itself about this about the information that’s coming out all the time. So, that’s my opinion. I think this shrug off sounds more to me like, “I don’t know what this is, so it’s probably nothing,” type of thing. That’s my opinion. Do you have anything on this, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: No, but I think you’re probably right. If someone doesn’t know, then they will just shrug it off. I actually liked your note about the information coming to people much more quickly, because there’s no; like the information on cholesterol that we eat not really having the impact that we thought, or even saturated fat on our cholesterol levels in our blood. The fact that that gets so veiled from the public, because there’s a huge; what is it? $3 billion industry around statin drugs. So I think a lot of that research is just very, very guarded, versus research on this stuff where I don’t think there’s a company making some kind of prescription medication or food companies that are trying to block the information getting to people; it’s actually pretty cool that people are getting this information really quickly.

But no, I don’t have any other thoughts on it. I know for people listening in general who have questions or concerns about the MTHFR mutations, there are definitely different types of supplementation that needs to be accounted for, and I’m not an expert on that at all. But obviously the website that you’re pointing them to will be really helpful. But I do think people should take it into their own hands to make sure that they’re taking what they need and not what they don’t. Because if you’re taking something that you don’t need, or it’s the wrong form, it can definitely sort of steer the ship in the wrong direction.

Liz Wolfe: Totes.

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6. Best superfood combinations and nutrient competitions to avoid [31:13]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, this next one is from KerryJM77. “Best superfood combinations and any antinutrient competitions to avoid?” This is quite concise. Do you; I’m kind of hammering through these with my little answers; do you want to do this one first and then I’ll give my take, or do you want me to just launch?

Diane Sanfilippo: I think you can launch in on it.

Liz Wolfe: Ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: I feel like we have some episodes where I launch in and some where you launch in. But I actually have some thoughts on it after you, just kind of on the culinary perspective. So go for it.

Liz Wolfe: Oh yes, I don’t have that perspective. I got a nap this morning because my husband is home for the day, so I am like boom, give it to me! I got it!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I got it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Good, I like it.

Liz Wolfe: Alright. So, ok this is what I had to say. When it comes to superfoods, the cool thing about them is that they’re basically premade combinations of synergistic nutrients. I just don’t think there’s any need to necessarily combine them, and I don’t think they would taste very good altogether. So liver one day, cod liver oil another day. And yes, that is actually; we have some very different perspectives on cod liver oil going into Baby Making and Beyond. We’re still doing a lot of research, but I’ll be excited to share that once we kind of have things nailed down a little bit.

But the liver, cod liver oil, and another day oysters or fish eggs or whatever. I just don’t think superfoods individually need to be eaten every single day together; but rotating them is a great approach, and doing so consistently. In pregnancy and lactation, you’ll certainly need more, and a steady stream, but I’m still not going to ask people to have a breakfast of liver, raw cream, fish eggs, oysters, sardines, and like moringa powder topped with coconut oil and Himalayan salt, and local honey and bee pollen. I just think that is {laughs} way too much to ask.

One issue I’ve done a lot of thinking about recently is this thin line between synergy and competitive inhibition, and sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what might be going on. So for a long time, we thought that cod liver oil was bad because vitamins A and D, we thought they were inhibitive of one another. But now the way we understand is that they’re synergistic, and you actually needs vitamins A, and D, and K2 together with calcium, which occurs with magnesium, and then you need potassium, and all of these things. It appears that they’re synergistic.

And along the same lines; zinc and copper are inhibitive of one another, but it turns out that that’s an important balancing effect. So, that’s just another reason why I really like these whole foods rotating approaches to loading up on nutrients, because you do get them as nature intended, and rotationally so the body gets some of everything but not too much.

I think if you’re talking about chelators; I think I mentioned this on the last podcast. This is interesting; chocolate and coffee and green tea have components that chelate iron, and some people might actually benefit from this effect. Others who are truly iron deficiency anemic might not. I actually noticed recently that I was bruising easily, and I’m on the Google machine, like Dr. Google; breastfeeding, bruising easily, duh-duh-duh-duh-duh. And I just couldn’t figure out what was going on until I realized that I was eating soooo much chocolate. So, so much more chocolate every single day because I was tired, I was hungry, I was nursing around the clock, it was something I could grab. When baby is going through a growth spurt and she’s not happy, it’s like; you’ve got to grab something quick and deal with it.

So, I really think that I was overdosing on iron chelators, and I think that showed up fairly quickly. So I kind of backed off on that, and it got better. So that’s something that I thought was kind of interesting. But other than that, I don’t know. What’s your culinary perspective, Diane, I’m interested in this?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Well I think there are some superfoods that naturally taste good together and that go well together, so while I don’t think people need to freak out about eating them together for any magic, it’s just more what tastes good and what makes sense. So one thing, I think {laughs} you were just saying before about how you were kind of going off on a lot of these answers, but this was definitely a section in our workshop that you used to teach primarily, so I think that’s cool. It’s fine, it’s all good.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: But from a taste perspective; fish, salmon, wild caught salmon, rich in omega-3’s as well as lots of other amazing nutrition, astaxanthin, am I saying that right?

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Lots of other nutrients in that pink, pinkish-red, orangey flesh of the salmon. I think it naturally combines really well with seaweed, so whether that’s raw in something like sushi, or you’re doing a piece of baked or broiled salmon and then you're doing some seaweed; I don’t know if the furikake, it’s like a sprinkling of seaweed and sesame seeds, and that’s the, it’s a mixture I think Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo uses a lot on eggs, because seaweed is that little bit salty and almost briny; you know, it’s the oceany taste. But I think those go really well together in a lot of different applications.

I think sardines and egg yolks work well together in the application of a sardine salad that you might put mayo on, so you’re getting the egg yolks there. That might work really well with the sardines. I think eating eggs; so let’s just say you have some poached eggs or scrambled or something, a little bit of salmon roe or some other type of caviar on top of that; so fish roe actually works really well, and it’s this weird sort of egg on egg action.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: But I think that’s really yummy, and that can work really well. And I’m just kind of bringing them up too for ways to eat them and ways to combine them, and I would love, love, love, love if people would comment over on the Balanced Bites podcast Instagram on this episodes graphic when it goes up; or you can always go back to it if you’re listening after the fact. But let us know if there are some combinations that you have; either of superfoods together, so some of these nutrition powerhouses together, or just a way that you like to eat a superfood that often is off putting in taste.

Now here’s something really interesting; I’m feeling really Alton Brown right now. I just thought of this to say.

Liz Wolfe: I have no idea what that means.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alton Brown.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Food Network. {laughing} We’re so similar, but so different.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s awesome. It’s really good. It makes for very interesting podcast fodder. I think one of the reasons why a lot of superfoods are off putting to people is that deep nutrition. They’re so rich in vitamins and minerals; like liver has that sort of off putting flavor sense to it because it’s so rich with iron. It’s so rich that if we don’t need that much of it, then it might be that much more off putting to us. So I think it’s interesting to realize why that could happen, but I also think that a lot of these foods have just fallen by the wayside in terms of the cultural norms around eating them.

My family; I grew up eating pickled fish and pickled herring and smoked salmon, the whole Jewish spread with bagels and lox and schmear on a Sunday after a holiday, but I think it’s also just, it’s fallen out of cultural favor in terms of; it’s not usually fast, it’s not readily available in high quality forms at every neighborhood grocery store, and I think we just need to start reconsidering adding these things back, and finding ways to make them more palatable, so that we’re used to it and we’re not thinking that they’re so weird.

I think that it’s cool that we have a really big and growing community of people in the paleosphere who, even if we didn’t grow up eating a certain way or if maybe some folks younger than us didn’t grow up eating that way, they’re learning about it now. So maybe we can sort of steer the boat a little bit differently for the next generation. Obviously your kid; our friends’ kids are all eating these superfoods again, at least somewhat of a normal schedule that for the last 20-30 years it just really wasn’t happening. So it can be a really cool impact that we’re having just talking about it and getting it more on the forefront of people’s mind that this stuff needs to find a place in your diet, however you can do it.

And I think if you want to put sardines on a Jackson’s Honest Chip; whatever makes it work for you. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Go for it.

Liz Wolfe: I agree. I like that.

Diane Sanfilippo: They are really good that way.

Liz Wolfe: The Jackson’s Honest Chips?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, I mean Jackson’s Honest Chips are good like if you are hanging from a cliff by one hand, and you’ve got one hand to eat the chips, they’re still good.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, I would keep eating them and let my hand get greasy and then be like, oh shoot I’m going to fall off this cliff, that’s how good they are.

Liz Wolfe: Wow.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t even know what I’m talking about, that makes no sense.

Liz Wolfe: You really rode that analogy out.

Diane Sanfilippo: But yeah, they’re good with a sardine on top. It just was totally random.

Liz Wolfe: I like it.

Diane Sanfilippo: I was just thinking, what’s a weird scenario that you could be in that those chips, you’d still want to eat them. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm. I like that.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know what’s happening.

Liz Wolfe: Or you could be like my friend Kate, from Real Food RN, who does liver and sardine cubes. I mean, if you want to have some fish eggs on top of a slice of raw liver…

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t think I could be like her {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Do it, I mean more power to you. You don’t have to, but. You know, get them in how you're going to get them in.

Diane Sanfilippo: Should we mention or repeat anything on superfoods, just kind of a list of what we consider superfoods? Do you feel like we did that?

Liz Wolfe: I’m trying to think of the ones that we like to tell folks about when we did the in-person workshops. Again, this doesn’t mean you need a ton of superfoods all the time. Like I said, with chocolate, which we consider a really rich source of antioxidants, that’s one you can rotate if you’re trying to avoid chelating any iron in your system. But I know we talked about really good super dark chocolate, we talked about sea vegetables, which are a good source of iodine and other trace minerals; you don’t need a lot, you just need a teeny tiny bit. What else was there? Sunshine.

Diane Sanfilippo: Sunshine for vitamin D, omega-3 rich cold water fatty fish, liver, egg yolks, broth.

Liz Wolfe: Bone marrow.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I think with a lot of these too, it’s not necessarily we can’t always pinpoint all of the nutrition that we’re getting from them. I think broth has become super oddly controversial.

Liz Wolfe: {Laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Like some people are saying you’re not actually getting what you think you’re getting. I’m like, I don’t even know if you all know what we’re getting. But, I think it’s important that we take in these traditional foods for sure.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I think that’s; I feel like that’s kind of it. I’m trying to picture the slide that we had. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I know me too.

Diane Sanfilippo: And think if there’s anything else on there.

Liz Wolfe: I think that was good, I think you got it.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think that was it, and you had said the cod liver oil, which we did talk about cod liver oil at length in a previous episode. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, and I’m learning more too about the cod liver oil stuff every day. We’ll continue to talk about that as needed. But we don’t need to; you’re right, we covered that. We’ll continue to talk about it more as things unfold.

7. Omega-3 supplementation that’s not so costly [43:38]

Liz Wolfe: And this is kind of; this next question is a little bit of a segue into the topic of omega-3 if were’ talking about cod liver oil. This is from Peeta; not PETA like people for the ethical treatment of animals. At least not to my knowledge, that’s not who this is. But this one is on omega-3, and the question is “Omega-3 supplements in a more affordable range other than seafood, for example, for autoimmune paleo. Something that can be purchased worldwide, as the one you general recommend are really expensive in Australia.”

So, I wanted to pop this question into this podcast because I’ve actually been talking quite a bit with Dan from Corganic about the extra virgin cod liver oil, and he’s been such an amazing source of information on the CLO and the nutrients in it, and the processing of cod liver oil. He knows absolutely everything about how this stuff works. And one of the things I really appreciate about Dan is that he’s willing to answer questions in the manner that he did with this one, and I’ll just tell you guys exactly what he had to say.

I asked him about an alternative to the extra virgin cod liver oil; which honestly if I’m going to get somebody started on cod liver oil or recommend a cod liver oil to folks, I want it to be the highest quality humanly possible. And the more I learn about the Rosita extra virgin cod liver oil that Dan also sells and is a big proponent of, the more I kind of like it from a processing standpoint. It’s not just the nutrition inside of it, it’s how they process it. It’s also how it tastes, because it’s very light. This is not meant to be an ad for the EVCLO. But we recommend it for a reason. It’s extremely high quality, and this is one of those things where, if you’re going to take some cod liver oil for DHA, and for vitamins A and D, it should be really high quality. It’s something that you probably want to spend a little bit more money on.

Dan actually went ahead and gave me a little tip for folks if you really, really need to find something a little bit more affordable; here’s what he said. You might consider Nordic Naturals Arctic; not the Arctic D. He said if EVCLO was considered raw milk from a local grass fed farmer, then the Nordic Cod Liver Oil would be analogous to organic pasteurized homogenized milk. Nothing a real foodie would necessarily consume if they had a choice. It is processed with heat and chemicals, but the good news is they don’t add synthetic A and D vitamins, so the levels of A and D are significantly lower because of molecular distillation, but it’s way better that way than taking moderate or high doses of synthetic A and D, which can be toxic or damaging. And we do see that happening, those being added to kind of the less expensive cod liver oils.

So, that would be a way to get natural A and D plus DHA and EPA if you needed to save a little bit of money. But again, Diane and I have said this many times; when you’re looking at a supplement like cod liver oil or a fish oil supplement, which we don’t recommend and Diane maybe you can throw something in on that once I’m done rambling, you want to really go with the highest quality possible. And sadly, there aren’t a whole lot of those out there, partially because the world wide demand for sources of DHA is exploded beyond belief. So I think we’ve really sacrificed quality in most corners of the market for that reason. But yeah, I know the question was about omega-3 supplements, but we actually don’t generally recommend those to folks. I would steer people towards cod liver oil if they need a little bit of supplemental DHA; but again, quality matters.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, on the fish oil tip, I think we talked about fish oil versus fermented cod liver oil or cod liver oil in a bunch of episodes ago; I don’t even know what episode number, it’s been a long time. So I think we very exhaustively covered our sort of arguments against a standard fish oil, and what you alluded to here in terms of processing tends to be sort of the number one reason against it. I don’t personally know of a fish oil company; that doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but just a standard fish oil company that is doing things so well that it’s very obvious that it’s a good healthy choice.

And the reason for that being omega-3 fats are so delicate that any processing that might not be a cold process or something that’s delicate, not happening with any chemicals, that’s just not damaging the fat, I feel like that’s really hard to come by. It’s going to definitely make that oil pretty expensive. I’m sure you’re not going to find it at Costco, as much as I love Costco for a lot of reasons, I don’t know that I would take a very delicate highly susceptible to damage polyunsaturated fat supplement from a source that I’m quite unsure of the quality of it.

So I would rather not take a supplement than take something I’m unsure of when it comes to a polyunsatured fat; because we also know, I think Chris Masterjohn has talked about this a lot, and maybe it even came up in our interview with him, which was probably a couple of years ago now, but you don’t need very much of any of this stuff all the time. We only need almost trace amounts of DHA and EPA or any of the polyunsatured essential fatty acids, whether omega-6 or omega-3. We don’t need that much of it, so I’d rather make sure that what I’m getting is really high quality, and doing that from sardines.

I know she’s saying omega-3 supplements in a more affordable range; the best thing is going to be canned wild sardines. See if you can find a BPA free can, but I think that’s really affordable. I think that’s probably really affordable worldwide. I think that sardines probably sell more popularly outside of this country than they do within it. I don’t know about Australia for sure.

Here’s my other thought; if somebody is looking for omega-3 supplementation, I’m not positive on the price of this but you can look into it; algae based omega-3 will provide end-form useable DHA. So you’re going to get that from things like chlorella and spirulina, and I believe there are ways to get supplements of that as well. I’m not sure if it’s more affordable; it’s definitely the approach that we tend to recommend for folks who don’t eat animal products or who are allergic to them. Interestingly enough, I think one of the reasons why the algae may have the end-form useable DHA is it’s almost, I’m guessing, it’s almost more of an animal than a plant, even though it seems like a plant. I think the way that it probably functions and has much, I don’t know what kind of cellular structure the algae has, but I think that even though it looks like a plant, I think biologically it might act more like an animal. So I think that’s really interesting, and I can’t remember where else I heard more about that.

Liz Wolfe: I feel like maybe you watched X-Men or something.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Who even knows.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know, we’re fading, I can tell. We’re fading fast.

Diane Sanfilippo: I feel like it was a Matt LaLonde thing. Anyway. That’s what I would recommend looking into as an alternative source, although I’m not exactly sure on how much more affordable that would be.

8. #Treatyoself: Plantain chips with sunbutter [51:29]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright Liz, do you have a #treatyoself this week?

Clip: Three words for you; Treat. Yo. Self.

Liz Wolfe: Yes I do. Plantain chips dipped in sunbutter.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ooh.

Liz Wolfe: Oh my gosh, so good. So they’re the plantain chips in that green bag from Natural Grocers; not the sweet plantain chips, but these are basically just a really good crunch.

Diane Sanfilippo: Uh-huh.

Liz Wolfe: And you just dip those in a little sunbutter, and it’s a nice little snack.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mmm. It’s almost like a less sweet version of a banana and peanut butter.

Liz Wolfe: I suppose it is.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Like Ja’mie would say; it’s so random.

Diane Sanfilippo: No idea.

Liz Wolfe: I know it.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Ok. Awesome. Alright tell us something you did to treat yoself this week using #BBPodcast. And if you post a picture to your own Instagram, make sure you tap on your photo and tag Balanced Bites podcast in the photo, so we can make sure we can see it. But we will check out the #BBPodcast as well.

Liz Wolfe: Awesome. Well that will do it for this week. Definitely stay tuned, because we’re going to do part 2 of superfoods and supplements in one of the upcoming episodes. So don’t go too far. You can find me, Liz, at and you can find Diane at Join our email lists for free goodies and updates that you don’t find anywhere else on our website or on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, leave us an iTunes review. See you next week.

Comments 4

  1. The difference between cows and goats as far as their dietary preferences goes is that cows are biologically made up to graze on grass for the majority of their diet. When given the option, they may graze some shrubs and forbs (broad leaf plants). Goats and sheep however are considered “browsers”, where their diet is typically a mix of shrubs, forbs, and grasses (grasses typically make up the smallest percentage of their diet when given the choice). All three are ruminoids (animals that have a rumin), but their diets are very different. If you think about how they have evolved, cows have a large mouth so they can take in large quantities of grass (hard to digest so they need to eat a lot then lay down to ruminate). Goats and sheep have very small mouths, so they can more easily select a perferred plant, aka “browse”.

  2. Hello ladies!!! Just wanted to say LOVE the podcast! Look forward to new episode every Wednesday! Thank you for all the heart work, it is so incredibly informative and full of great content, but yet hilarious and entertaining! So thank you for that!
    I had to comment on Liz’s question re baby’s first food. I have a little 6 month old chunky monkey at home, and I’ve started him on veggies mixed with bone broth, we are doing a bit of both, baby lead weaning ( or baby lead solids 🙂 ) and purées for nutrition and extra calories. And he loves it! We are opting for nutrient rich veggies and organic, ie butternut squash, pumpkin , cauliflower, avocado, all made into a thick soup based on bone broth, and he will get a piece of veggie or a banana for “dessert” .

    A question, how do you make bone marrow for your little one?
    I can’t wait for baby making and beyond!

    Have a great weekend ladies!

  3. Hello ladies!!! Just wanted to say LOVE the podcast! Look forward to a new episode every Thursday!! Thank you for all the hard work, it is so incredibly informative and full of great content, but yet hilarious and entertaining! So thank you for that!
    I had to comment on Liz’s question re baby’s first food. I have a little 6 month old chunky monkey at home, and I’ve started him on veggies mixed with bone broth, we are doing a bit of both, baby lead weaning ( or baby lead solids 🙂 ) and purées for nutrition and extra calories. And he loves it! We are opting for nutrient rich and organic veggies ie butternut squash, pumpkin , cauliflower, avocado, all made into a thick soup based on bone broth, and he will get a piece of veggie or a banana for “dessert” .

    A question, how do you make bone marrow for your little one?
    I can’t wait for baby making and beyond!
    Have a great weekend ladies!

  4. Episode #216 of the Balanced Bites podcast was an absolute delight! Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe, you make such a fantastic team when you dive into nutrition and wellness topics. Your extensive knowledge and impressive credentials instill confidence in the information you share. Your dedication to providing balanced and evidence-based insights is genuinely commendable.

    The part that caught my attention was the discussion on supplements and superfoods. It got me thinking about the potential benefits of sea moss supplements, a topic that’s been making waves lately due to its various health advantages. However, it’s essential to heed the reminder that the podcast isn’t a replacement for professional medical advice. Looking forward to Part 2!

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