Podcast Episode #42: Fibromyalgia, Dexilant, Seasonal Allergies, Essential Oils, Paleo on a Cruise

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1. Alkalinity/Acidity on a Paleo diet [21:14] 2. Fibromyalgia, Dexilant, GERD, Barrett’s esophagus [28:02] 3. Seasonal Allergies [35:40] 4. Essential Oils [41:36] 5. What the what is that ?!? [53:51] 6. Paleo on a cruise ship [57:23]

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 LIZ WOLFE: Hey everyone, I'm Liz Wolfe, nutritional therapy practitioner and the diabolical mind behind CaveGirlEats.com. I'm here with, as usual, Diane Sanfilippo, who is a certified nutrition consultant, holistic nutritionist, CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach. Diane is everything, and she's the scheming and dreaming woman behind BalancedBites.com. Welcome everyone to episode 41, wait, 42. 42 of the Balanced Bites podcast. Remember that the materials and content contained in this podcast are intended as general information only and not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Woo woo! I did that good!

DIANE SANFILIPPO:[laughs] Hello.


DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, it was great.

LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] Thanks.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Oh man, I've been reading some of our iTunes reviews and the handful of people-they get a little tripped out on, I don't know, the tone in our voices that we sound like Valley girls. Did your grandma say that too? And I'm just like, yeah, because we're happy?


DIANE SANFILIPPO:Sorry that we're happy and enjoying life.

LIZ WOLFE: No, that's not it. Because we watch [xxx] and Mean Girls far too much.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Well, listen, I think the way that I explain stuff about nutrition gets so serious sometimes that if somebody mistakes me for an airhead or a Valley girl at some point, well, whatever. [laughs]

LIZ WOLFE: You know what? I think-I really think that the standards are wicked off because listen to this; people have given us you know what, S-H-I-T, for being quote mean or a little too harsh, but let me tell you. Robb and Greg-they get damn prickish and it's necessary, but nobody gives them S-H-I-T about it. I think it's because we're chicks.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I think so. Well, whatever it is, I kind of, you know, I care because I want to put something out that people want to listen to because I don't do this for me. You and I don't do this for each other, like…this is like, we have a lot of things we could be doing.

LIZ WOLFE: I could be watching the Kardashians right now. I'm definitely not doing this for myself.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I know, right? But you know, I do like to see what people like, what they don't like, and just, you know, get a little bit of a feel for it, and you know, by and large, it's mostly…there are probably way more people who actually like just kind of hearing us chit-chat in the beginning. I've got people who said, I kind of don't want them to answer questions. I just want to hang out and listen to them talk. Hey, whatever you want. But, you know, we try and get through a bunch of questions. It's just that we've got a lot of things to talk about…

LIZ WOLFE: We definitely do.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:So I like to…I like to keep updated, too, because I haven't been able to blog in the last several months. Honestly, it's months since I've really put out a blog post and I'll tell you about one that I'm writing for Monday, I think, but, you know, this has been kind of my only outlet in the last few months, so lots of stuff going on.

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah. You know what? I was being silly. I do enjoy this. I really like…I love interacting with people and hearing from people, and I learn a lot just by answering questions, so I'm definitely grateful for the platform, and you know, hopefully, most folks find it advantageous. If not, Jillian Michaels has a podcast.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, totally. [laughs] You can totally-I know. I think it's really funny, like I mean, sure, if you got a review that's less than stellar, you're absolutely welcome to leave it. But it's just funny to me because sometimes people will have complaints about after having listened to a lot of different episodes, and I'm like, why are you listening? Stop doing things you don't like to do. Just go do something else. [laughs] So anyway, well, I've got some stuff to share. Can I get into some of my little updates here?


DIANE SANFILIPPO:First and foremost, my book is done.

LIZ WOLFE: Oh my God [in extreme Valley girlspeak].

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Now are you playing the Valley girl? It was a little bit anticlimactic, I'm not going to lie, because the file. Okay, so this book is like 432 pages, which is ginormous. It's a little smaller than Make It Paleo, which is also ginormous. Make It Paleo is an amazing book. I still like constantly tell people to go get that book even though mine is available for sale. Well, you can't get it in your hands yet. But it's huge, so the file had to get sent apparently in pieces because like the recipe files and all this stuff is like huge. So It's just been like, okay, this part's done and sent. I've been kind of waiting, you know, last night it was 3 in the morning here on the East Coast like when the final, okay, you're done word hit my ears. And it hasn't really like sunk in because I feel like I don't know if every last file went off into printland. I have no idea. Right now I just haven't like had a conversation yet with my publisher, but it was…it was a grueling process, I'll say that, and that's not to be complaining about anything. I am absolutely blessed and lucky and grateful for all of it and super excited, like I just cannot wait to get this thing in my hands and to share it with everyone. But it's been absolutely the hardest 3 weeks of my life, these last 3 weeks just finishing everything up. I've never worked so hard ever. Like ever. [laughs] I never worked that hard in college, definitely not in high school. Never worked that hard at a job. I mean, there's just no way to explain how much of yourself goes into a project like this and when you just really want it to help people and like, gosh, I could have made 6 or 800 pages worth of information, but you just have to cut it off at some point, you know?


DIANE SANFILIPPO:But it's just…like I've cared more about this book than any homework assignment. You know, I used to work a long time for assignments for school, in nutrition school, and yeah, I really cared about that. But just not like this because this is like, you know, tens of thousands of copies, and people are going to be really using this thing, so it's just been a lot of stress, and a lot of pressure, and a lot of really, really late nights, which has been really hard on me and hard on my body. So I'm super excited, but that's done, and I'm finally able to go back to the gym, and I'll probably also put up a post, just like what I'm kind of doing to take care of myself and what this whole thing about like stress and training and not overtraining and what all that means and how to kind of you know read your body and do what you know is right. Because I had this conversation in the gym, at my CrossFit gym, with a couple of other members, more about, you know, physical injuries, not as much like internal state of physical affairs. But just kind of talking to them about what it's like to come back after you're hurt or after you're just stressed to the point where your body is like, it's a mental stress, but the physical toll it takes on your body is so huge that you just cannot, you know, two days later jump back in the gym and think you're going to just crush everything in sight because maybe if you're 20, you can do something like that, but at this point, if I were to just jump back in there and try and RX my workouts and like just crush everything for 20 minutes or whatever, I would just be on the floor. I might even potentially pass out. Like that would be really bad. So anyway, I might write about that because I know a lot of people, the adrenal fatigue podcasts have been really, really popular and people are really interested in just kind of hearing more about like what it's like in real life, and what it feels like and how to deal with it, so that's kind of that story.
I've got a couple of other little things to share, but what's going on with you before I start yapping over here. Do you want to share some nuggets? Are you muted? Did I lose you? Liz?

LIZ WOLFE: Sorry. [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Oh, you were muted.

LIZ WOLFE: I got so bored. I got so bored with what you were saying. I just had to hang things up.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:That's harsh, Liz.

LIZ WOLFE: Sorry. Sorry.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Where were you? What the heck? All right, you were muted.

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, muted and then I took a bite of sardines and I got sardine juice on my hands. [laughs]


LIZ WOLFE: Yeah. Classic.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Classic Liz. Classic Cave Girl.

LIZ WOLFE: Classic Sammy. Classic Sammy. Okay.


LIZ WOLFE: Oh goodness. All right, so did you want to say anything else?

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I have more stuff to say, but I wanted to give you a chance to talk. You-obviously, you were having a sardine party, so…

LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I mean, do you have anything you want to tell people? No, do you want me just-I've got a couple other things here.

LIZ WOLFE: You're rocking it. I've got nothing. Okay.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Well, I'll just keep talking. One thing, Paleo Magazine came in the mail for me, I think, yesterday. It was funny. Somebody commented on the Facebook page that they read my article on FODMAPs in Paleo Magazine, and I was like, I don't think I wrote an article about FODMAPs. [laughs] So it was really kind of funny.

LIZ WOLFE: Did you?

DIANE SANFILIPPO:No, I didn't. But there is an article about FODMAPs in Paleo Magazine, which I think is cool because a lot of people are dealing with like FODMAP intolerance, which basically is a sign of something else being wrong, like either Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or some kind of gut pathogen, typically. We talked about this with Chris Kresser, like it was way back, like episode 8, I think.

LIZ WOLFE: That's forever ago.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:But yeah, I actually in the book did denote on all of the recipes whether or not it had FODMAPs in it and gave as often as I could, an alternate, like if you are FODMAP free, what you should eat instead. I only didn't do that on recipes where it was like a FODMAP ingredient, which typically like for types of carbohydrates, so vegetables and fruits, for example, that people just have trouble digesting, the different types of carbohydrate chains that are potentially tougher for some people. So, or, you know, these pathogens or bacterial overgrowth, are basically feeding on them more often, so it causes some problems, but anyway, I denoted that on the recipes because it's becoming really kind of popular and one of the things I wanted to do was just give people like the alternatives. Let them know there's plenty to eat when you can't eat these other foods, and my Guide to Paleo Foods also has lists with little key marcations on like which foods are FODMAPs, which are nightshades, goitrogenic, all that kind of stuff. So anyway, long story short, Paleo Magazine has Shannon Ford on the cover, who is Mrs. United States, who you and I both met at PaleoFX. Like super sweet.

LIZ WOLFE: Totally.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Loved her. Yeah, she's awesome. And she's actually…I think she was the first person registered for our event down in Florida in Naples, I think.


DIANE SANFILIPPO:At the Naples workshop, so she's just like really, really supportive. Super warm at heart to the Paleo community. She has celiac disease, so she's been a really good spokesperson, not only for celiac and gluten free, but really for the Paleo movement. And I just think she's like a doll, so I'm excited that she's on the cover of Paleo Magazine and that she's really just a voice for us. So my article is on…it's called Mind the Paleo Gap, and it's really about the kind of transition that a lot of people need to take going from sort of a Standard American Diet or even from like a conventional wisdom approach over to Paleo and I think a lot of people who already eat this way: grain, legume, processed, you know, pasteurized dairy free. We forget in time, and you know, you and I don't necessarily forget because we're dealing with a lot of new people all the time. I mean, we're working with clients and we're, you know, in workshops with people who are new to this, but other people, I think, more so even tend to forget that, you know, at one point they didn't know what Paleo was either. And at some point it was new to them. And at some point, it was confusing and seemed ridiculous or crazy to most people. You know, there's very few people that when we first tell them about this, they're like, oh okay, and I'll just stop eating bread right now. Like…

LIZ WOLFE: Mm-hmm.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:It's so, so rare that that happens. And I'm not saying it doesn't, and even if it makes sense to most people, like people will get this logic, like okay, we're supposed to eat whole foods. All right, well, I guess that makes sense, and you know, but I thought grains were whole, and there's all kinds of questions that come up, and I just wanted to kind of put this article out there to bridge that gap a little bit and help people understand number 1, if somebody does just go gluten free, that's a really big freaking deal. Like, I don't at all believe that that's a healthy way to live. That you know, eating refined, you know, corn flour and rice flour is healthy, but it's a big deal and it's a big change, and it at least requires a big lifestyle change, a thought process change. It's a lot of change is the bottom line, and I think sometimes when we expect, you know, perfectionism, we are too dismissive of how important it was for that person to just step outside of what they have been doing for so long and come into, you know, this whole other world of like, there might be another way that's potentially better.
So I just, you know, I think it's really important and that kind of leads into the other thing I just wanted to tell people about is another blog post now that I'm back to blogging, and I will say this: blogging is so much easier than writing for a book because nobody's going to edit my blog posts [laughs] and tell me that this is not grammatically correct. Like, oh!

LIZ WOLFE: I am! You've got me in your life now, girl.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I-I am not a writer. We know this. I'm a talker. That's why we do podcasts because it's so much easier for me to just like talk and tell people what's going on, but so it's fine. I like writing blog posts. So the other one that I'm actually working on was inspired by a conversation I had yesterday at one of my local Lululemon shops. I was wearing a Will WOD for PaleoKits t-shirt. My blue, you know, Steve's Original t-shirt. And I was shopping with one of my good friends and he went to the cash register and paid and whatever, and the cashier wasn't super engaged with him, and he didn't really get a good vibe, and I walked up and she saw my t-shirt. She says, “Oh, are you Paleo?” I was like, that was a funny question. So I'm like, how do I even start to answer that? Like am I Paleo? Like first of all, I-you know, it's a really funny question. It's happened in the gym, too, because whoever listens to this podcast or reads the blog, like of course, a lot of people kind of see myself and you know, maybe ten or twenty other people with some of the, you know, louder voices in the community and some of the leaders, so you know, it's funny because she just-of course, she had no idea who I was, which is totally fine with me. I like being a little bit like anonymous in this whole thing, but whatever. Anyway, long story short-she says the manager of store, you know, went Paleo and is doing it for like two weeks now and is doing really well, and she said she tried it, but she just couldn't do it because she couldn't afford it, and I was like, what do you mean? Like what about it was not affordable? And so, like point number 1 here, before you hear somebody say something and just like respond in an attack, ask more questions because it's important to know what that person means when they say it's not affordable or when they say it's too hard or whatever. But I asked her what she meant and she said, well, you know, getting all like grass-fed meat and organic food and all of that was just really hard because she's working at Lululemon. That's, you know, probably a part-time, not a full time job, and that's an hourly wage. It's not a lot of money. She's a student and whoever taught her about Paleo, you know, kudos for addressing the issue of food quality. Of course, you know, absolutely, 100% I stand behind that. But what she didn't understand was that she could still reap the vast majority of the health benefits of avoiding refined, processed fooDiane Sanfilippo:seed oils, sugar, grains, all that stuff, without ever, ever even worrying about is it, you know, all organic and all pasture-raised, grass-fed, all that stuff. And it kind of made me sad because I was like, wow, you know, like she just was really misinformed and it became a barrier to entry for her. Like she just decided, well, if I can't do this 100% the way the certain person is telling me it's supposed to be done, then A. it's probably not worth it because it won't work, and B. I'm just not going to do it.
And so, like I have this thing about Paleo Perfectionism. Like I just don't believe in Paleo Perfectionism. We are human. I'm not perfect. Nobody I know who teaches about Paleo, writes about Paleo, like nobody who I actually have met does anything close to what any of us could consider perfection because it doesn't exist. Like it's nearly impossible unless you live on your own closed farm and only eat what comes from there. Maybe Joel Salatin has like a perfect Paleo diet or something like that, you know? But long story, short, I just was like, wow, you know, if this is the message that's getting out there and people feel that this is a barrier to entry or any other number of quote unquote hard and fast rules that people make about what we can or cannot eat. If those become a barrier to the person giving up refined foods, avoiding seed oils, giving up all their sugar and sweeteners, at least for the most part, like just changing what they're doing, if that's what gets me away, then that's really sad and we all need to make sure that we're not doing that to people. We're not making it seem impossible. We're not telling them that, you know, their small changes are not enough because for a lot of people, small changes are either enough or they're big enough for right now because when I first learned about not eating gluten, it took me probably a year to finally give it up what I would consider 100%, at least to my knowledge that I'm not eating it. So I just-I think I just have that mindset of like, look, you know, I would love for everybody to just stop eating this stuff tomorrow, you know, and we tell them what to do and they just stop doing it. But it's just not reality and I really want people who are out and there and being advocates for this whole way of eating who maybe aren't, you know, educators on the topic who don't maybe understand how to be coaching people or talking to people. Just have the compassion, ask questions, and be really supportive. And make sure you know what you're talking about. When you kind of give somebody these hard and fast rules, like you just can't be militant about it if you don't really know what you're talking about. Like you think that somebody can't get healthier cutting out refined foods, it's the food that they then buy is not 100% organic, grass-fed, pastured, then you're misinformed and you're not educated to really make those statements, so that's kind of my shtick and I'll be completing that blog post. It won't be too long. I just want to kind of get it off my chest and hopefully, in podcast format and in blog post format will be enough to reach as many people as possible. Steps down off soapbox.

LIZ WOLFE: Cool. To that end, I recently wrote a post entitled “Troubleshooting: is it Paleo?” might be fun for folks to ch3ck out. I kind of talk about being nutrient seekers instead of this kind of orthodox, militant Paleo perfectionism type of community, so…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Cool. Did you use that expression, Paleo perfectionism, in your post? Did I like…

LIZ WOLFE: No, I didn't.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Oh, okay. I was like, did I just like get that from you?

LIZ WOLFE: I was writing more of the idea.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Okay. I didn't-I was like, shoot, did I steal that idea from you? Because I saw your post and I didn't read it yet, but I will read it and I will link to it from my post, too. So that will be good.

LIZ WOLFE: Sweet. I've got some funny graphics in there. You'll like them. All right, so…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I love pictures.

LIZ WOLFE: On to questions.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yes, questions.

LIZ WOLFE: Number one. Okay, so this is from Chi-Chi, and now I can't remember, but who was it in Grease who was the best dancer at St. Bernadette's? That wasn't Chi-Chi, was it?


LIZ WOLFE: Cha-Cha. Okay. Gotcha. All right. So Chi-Chi asks: “I have been wondering lately about alkalinizing the body. If we are eating a diet that has a good deal of acidic food (like meat), should we be worried about eating alkaline foods? I think I have struck a good balance because I do eat a good deal of vegetables and fruits.
I also, as you recommended, started taking my fermented cod liver oil with fresh lemon juice in water every morning (thank you so much for this tip). But I’ve also recently been looking into a filter that alkalinizes the water (and removes fluoride, chlorine, etc). What are your thoughts on this and on alkalinity/acidity in the body?”
Diane, I don't think you have a whole lot on this one.


LIZ WOLFE: I'll jump right in. All right, well, this whole kind of acid-base balance thing kind of hales back to, and this is what I kind of-I think she's kind of referencing that in her question, but the acid-base balance deal deals backs to, I think, the original Paleo Diet book and some of that initial stuff that Loren Cordain, the author of the original Paleo Diet book put out there about making sure that we have a net alkalin environment in our bodies, that we're not excreting too much, I don't know, I think acid. There's not too much of an acid load on the kidneys, something like that. That ties in a little bit to this idea that the body regulates blood pH pretty obsessively and should our body kind of perceive heightened acidity, it will recruit minerals, such as calcium from the skeletal structure to neutralize that acid. So we're looking at minerals as being the alkaliziners in this equation, and I'll get to that. But I really don't have a whole lot to say about this acid-alkaline thing. like it's a nice idea because this idea that veggies are so alkaline just kind of means another argument for veggies, and believe it or not, there's like a whole army of foils who want to extol the value of veggies over the value of meat. Pesky, pesky vegans. Literally though, I had a peek at those like so-called alkaline foods charts and it basically left me, if I were to follow that chart, it basically left me with lemon, watermelon, and chlorella, so right off the gate, I'm just not into it. I know it's a little deeper than that, but you know, get rid of all those animal products and the fat soluble vitamins. We don't need those. All we need is water, air, and yoga apparently. LOL. Anyway. [laughs] So in that vein, I think it's important to know that oxygen is alkaline, and I think we've actually talked about this before, Diane. Hopefully, we didn't actually answer this question before. If we did, we probably did so inadequately and she resubmitted it, but anyway, deep breaths, deep and conscious breathing is good because oxygen is alkaline and you know, there are many other reasons that it's good, but truly, I think it could be an argument for deep, conscious breathing. Anyway, my instinct is to say, no, it's not something to worry about if you're generally eating natural foods from the earth, from nature. And I think that against the backdrop of natural foods from the earth, you'll probably be driven to eat more of what your body needs naturally, whether that be water-rich vegetables or nutrient-dense animal products or whatever. there are times in my life when I gravitate toward veggies more so than meat. I just posted a picture of my-the refrigerator, the contents of my refrigerator on the blog and on my Facebook page, and basically it's full of meat, fermented vegetables, and broth. That's just where I've been lately. I think eventually as my garden hopefully [laughs] begins to flourish and as I start being able to make the time or being willing to make the time to get to the farmers market and all that, I will probably have a lot more veggies in the fridge, but for now I'm just working my way through a ton of broth and a ton of good meat and good liverwurst from U.S. Wellness Meats. Have you had their liverwurst, by the way?

DIANE SANFILIPPO:You know what's silly is that I haven't, and I should have, because I love liverwurst. So that's probably..

LIZ WOLFE: It's really, really good.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I've got to restock on a lot of meats, so yeah, I'll probably get some of that.

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, check that out. I think it's a really good starter that U.S. Wellness Meats liverwurst for people that aren't really quite ready to eat organ meats just legitimately by themselves, it's really well hidden in there, and it's delicious. Anyway, so like I said, there are times when I gravitate more towards veggies, you know, than animal products and I think, you know, that Paul Chek has made the same comments about that before. That at times he'll gravitate towards certain types of foods over others and that's fine. It's cool as long as it's real food. I think that there is an innate body intelligence that we can trust, but anyway, back to the acid-base balance deal and what we used to think. I think it's been pretty well debunked or at least made irrelevant although there is some metabolic science that goes much deeper into the ins and outs of acidosis and different systemic effects on hormone synthesis and stuff like that, and I've already probably butchered that whole field of research. I'm just not qualified to speak on it at all. But I will say that I've heard some cool testimonials from people who are really into the alkaline water thing. I don't think it's necessary. I think if you want to go for it, then that's cool. There may be something to drinking optimized water, but those systems are wicked expensive and if the one you're looking at, Chi-Chi, is not wicked expensive, it's not a legitimate system. I think-I think it's www.radiantlifecatalogue.com is a really good resource for water and air purification stuff. So basically my answer is flat vegan joke, vagueness, ambiguity, deep breaths, buy expensive water filters, if that's your swing-o. And let us know how it goes.


LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] Good?


LIZ WOLFE: All righty, next question. Crystal asks: “My healthy story is a long one, so I’ll keep it brief.” All right. “After about five years of searching for what was wrong with me and taking many medications, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Due to all of the anti-inflammatories prescribed, damage was done and I was diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus. I have been put on a daily dose of Dexilant and was told that I’d have to take it for life. Now I’m trying to change my dietary habits to Paleo and would love to not take pills, what could I ingest naturally that would heal my esophagus and would replace the daily Dexilant? They scared me saying that I’d have to take it forever and if I didn’t, I could end up with esophageal cancer. Thank you for your time. I love your podcast!”
What are your thoughts?

DIANE SANFILIPPO:So a couple of things. Her note here was now I'm trying to change my dietary habits to Paleo. I would say, do it. Absolutely do it. Getting rid of all the grains, refined sugars, I mean, really getting rid of sweeteners will be ideal for you. I have…I just so happen to have a meal plan that covers things like MS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, very different conditions but have some similar underpinnings and similar symptoms, so I give a meal plan for that. It's going to be like there's an app for that. There's a meal plan for that in my book. But the reality issue is that she's got to let the diet work for awhile, and I would give it like 3 full months. You know, your body really needs to lower its inflammatory state and get working. Like what you're doing with the diet is supporting your body in working on dealing with any chronic inflammation and healing itself. Like that's the whole point of nutrition serving as medicine in a sense. You know, let food by thy medicine, so letting your body heal itself. I don't know what will happen with the medication. I can't tell you to stop taking your meds. It's something you'll need to talk to your doctor about, and basically what we hope for is by changing your diet, you no longer feel symptoms that would make you want to take the medication. So that's generally what people find is that over time, they're like, why am I taking this again? I don't even have that pain or discomfort that I had before.
A couple of things that are going on like with reflux or Barrett's esophagus, you know, a lot of times it's dealing with low stomach acid. We've talked about this at length many, many times. If your body is in a state of chronic inflammation, your stress level systemically is very high. Your hydrochloric acid production will be suppressed. This is just how it works. When your body is stressed, you cannot produce as much stomach acid as you would if your body is not stressed. So what that means is, give the diet a shot. Let your body's level of stress decrease. Hopefully your stomach acid will naturally increase, and the reason I say that is that when we're dealing with things like any kind of acid issue when you're given, you know, medication to deal with that, to be kind of a back up to that, we just want to make sure that your body is being supported and creating the fluids that it would normally have. So getting that stress level down. There are some natural things you can do. They seem counter-intuitive when you think that what you're doing is too combat acid, but you have to shift the perspective a little bit. I wouldn't recommend doing these things right away. I would have your diet in place for a minimum of a month before before you get some natural supplements because we don't know how much the diet may do on its own without adding supplementation. So that being said, you know, potentially a month into things, there's a tincture, a liquid tincture called Digestive Bitters. You can get those at most Whole Foods or natural food stores, food co-ops, and potentially online. Digestive bitters, and you kind of take an eyedropper full, maybe in a shot of water, right before you take a -you're going to eat a meal. So maybe like 15 minutes before you're going to eat…we generally will tell people not to drink a lot of water with the meal, so that we keep your stomach acid from diluting. That little shot with the digestive bitters is totally fine. Same goes for something like apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Same thing, a little bit in a shot of water, like even a teaspoon to a tablespoon of like one of those other, more acidic liquids, and the thing is, they're acidic to trigger your stomach, hey, we want more acid. They kind of like give your stomach like an elbow, like, hey. Give your stomach an elbow. But they just kind of like elbow your stomach, like hey, let's start making some acid here. This sounds like a good idea. Typical stomach acid, you know, ramping up by calming your brain down before you eat. Making sure you're in rest and digest mode. Chewing your food really, really well. Potentially avoiding things like raw vegetables, especially like raw cruciferous: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage. Not doing the raw forms of those. More well cooked foods. Soups and stews. Just so that your body is supported and digesting foods better.
So those are kind of all the things that I would say. This whole thing…I actually just had a conversation with my gym owner to this end as well. Sometimes, you know, you get diagnosed with something, and you just like kind of tunnel vision on how do I fix this? Or how do I deal with that? And the reality is, just fixing your body will allow those things to heal themselves. So we just need to support your body where it's at right now. And not focus so much on the destination because this little journey of making better food choices and just supporting your body along the way will heal probably things even beyond what you've written to us about. Like maybe you have headaches and, you know, some other kinds of things going. And all this stuff will come in line when you just start eating better food and not giving your body a chance to consistently be under attack and inflamed as a result. So…that's what I think.

LIZ WOLFE: Cool. I think chewing is so frigging important. That's just one of the things…I didn't use to harp on it as much, as I do-as I do now, but with clients now, I just tell them, when you take a bite, just think to yourself “chew, chew, chew, chew, chew.” Just masticate. So important.


LIZ WOLFE: Don't skip that step. Right.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Yeah, and that's-that's part of the water thing, too. It's like, not only are people drinking…

LIZ WOLFE: Mm-hmm.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:too much water with a meal, but they're drinking it because they're not chewing, and they need to like wash it down, get it down the esophagus, but you have to be chewing. Chewing, you know, this is-this is like a huge chapter of my book, too, where we're just talking about like the whole digestive process and chewing not only starts the digestive enzymes, but has your brain signal to your other digestive organs to start producing enzymes, and it's just so, so important. So…all righty.

LIZ WOLFE: All right. Fun.


LIZ WOLFE: This one is from LaDonna: “Any advice for seasonal allergies? I eat Paleo 100% and still suffer from seasonal allergies.. Drainage which clogs my ear from April-July.. So miserable.” I think that's all we have from LaDonna. No other information.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:No, I didn't…yeah, I don't know if you had anything else.

LIZ WOLFE: All right, so I think we can consider most allergies to pretty much be rooted in an overactive immune system. A lot of these are manifested a long time before we ever see symptoms. So you could have some kind of immune reaction in early childhood, just based on a disturbed intestinal environment or just your internal landscape. I use that word a lot, just what's the terrain? What's the landscape that we're looking at that these foods are interacting with? And this type of reaction can kind of build over many years to become really unbearable at some point, which it sounds like it is become for LaDonna. So if we look at the gut environment, and we look at the landscape, we're probably looking at anything from dysbiosis, which is just a disruption in gut flora, the good bacteria that are supposed to live in there to low stomach acid to just an overall need for digestive healing or immune support, which you can get through the right foods and through a really targeted supplement. Well, not supplement, but supportive protocol using kind of supplemental, I don't, what…looking at this one supplement that I like, it's got some l-glutamine, some Spanish moss, some glutathione, just that kind of stuff. Stuff that a good, qualified practitioner could probably help you with. But really working to heal the gut. This is a really intricate system we have, so it's not always as simple as just eating Paleo, bing bang boom, no more snot.
And you know, also when I hear people say that they eat Paleo, I always wonder, well, what does that mean? There are plenty of people eating quote Paleo that are still not really flooding their systems with any significant amount of nutrients. So we also might want to address that. I think that vitamins, the soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K can really, really powerful immune boosting, immune supportive type of nutrients.
Other than that, we might also want to look at the liver from kind of an Eastern standpoint. I think that can be helpful. Biofeedback may be another thing to try. I've heard good things about that. But I think we really need to get back what is Paleo for LaDonna. What is she eating and how long has she been doing it? Maybe kind of like this last question here where you said, Diane, that just need to give this time. Give this the full go. Really focus on, I don't know. Maybe there's a better term for it, but lately I've been calling it nutrient-loading. Like I'm just really nutrient-seeking right now. I'm getting as many nutrients as I can, just to kind of support some of the more stressful stuff that's going on in my life to make sure I have a good, I don't know, a good nutritional foundation.


LIZ WOLFE: And if LaDonna is eating chicken breast, broccoli, and coconut oil, that might not be enough to really provide full healing. So that's what I have to say on that. Do you have anything?

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Just, I mean, something that you mentioned that kind of is reminding me…I don't know what her lifestyle is like, but if she's a very stressed person, even if she's one of those people like you tend to call them like the very compassionate types of women who sort of takes on everything and everyone else's stress and you know, problems, just depending on the type of person she is and lifestyle, if she's very stressed, this whole leaky gut thing, you know, gut permeability will completely be exacerbated by stress and to the point where not that it doesn't matter what you eat, but it doesn't matter that you're quote unquote 100% Paleo if you're a complete stress case. And I don't know that she is. I'm just kind of making the point because I know there are some people who consider themselves, you know, 100% Paleo, and to do that, they're stress cases. Or they just happen to have that kind of lifestyle or they're that kind of personality, and they will not be able to heal a leaky gut if they're constantly super stressed out. High cortisol, the inflammatory response that we get from the high cortisol output of a stressful state of mind really does kind…I mean, I kind of say it in a way that may or may not be completely accurate to say, but it's kind of like opens up your gut, you know? It increases that gut permeability and that's not what you want, so you know, it really is one of those cases, too, where look at your stress load because if you feel like your food is perfect, we definitely like some supplementation to be able to support your body, but we can't fix the problem with supplements if there's a lifestyle factor getting in the way consistently, so…big one.

LIZ WOLFE: Agreed. Stress is big, And we find that people are stressing their bodies, not just with being stressed out or having too much going on in their lives, but they're stressing their bodies with too much exercise. They're stressing their bodies with bad food. They're stressing their bodies with, you know, watching TV too late at night. I think stress is really kind of that ubiquitous, nefarious, vocabulary intensive thing that's just everywhere. And everybody holds it, one way or the other.


LIZ WOLFE: All right, next question. Essential oils. Meredith says: “Last year, I essentially starved myself to get skinny and ‘healthy’… this was before I realized that food was medicine, and that I had it all wrong. Since then, I’ve been able to cure some pesky issues (my hair isn’t falling out, my skin is not so dry, I’m no longer doubled over with gas) by eating real foods. My immune system seems to be working a bit better too… Yay! Good for me!
Here’s my question. My friend has been extolling the magical powers of essential oils to me; she’s built her ‘medicine’ cabinet up with these oils. I’m trying to decide how much to embrace this. On one hand, my family doesn’t take medicines routinely (if we get headaches, we drink water – sore throat, we try honey), so there’s really no need to stock up on essential oils to replace medicines. But I support eliminating the crutch of over-the-counter medicines. I understand that these oils really get into your blood stream – and can really be medicinal (i.e. toxic?). What’s your thought on the use of essential oils?”
What do you think?

DIANE SANFILIPPO:So I like essential oils. I don't use them to a large extent, just because I'm not super well read on a lot of different kinds, but I definitely, you know, I have one of those friends, too, who's like super into the essential oils and I've definitely learned a bit about them. So I don't have any issue with them. I think, you know, they have some valid, potentially healing properties. I do think some of them need to be used with caution. Oregano oil is one, for example; it's known to be a very potent natural antibiotic. So whenever we're dealing with something like killing gut flora, either when we're doing something in that way, we're killing all of it, good and bad. But I think that something like oil of oregano is very useful, so I like it. I definitely use it. I use it for a very short amount of time. I think the same way when we're using over the counter meds, which you know, obviously I don't generally recommend that for people, it should be done in an acute way. You know, I think if there's anything you're doing chronically, just kind of not that medicinal approach, it's worth questioning. But generally speaking, I think anything sort of herbal, very close to nature, you want to use for some healing or help improve at its source, fair game. Like I think it's very quote unquote Paleo or very traditional or ancestral to use what comes from nature to try and heal ourselves. And Ii think that that was probably, you know, it's one of the ways we discovered the medicinal properties of plants primarily and somewhat of animal foods. Like I know that the fermented cod liver oil, like one of the ways that they talk about it being beneficial to health, they talk about like traditional cultures not knowing how much of X or Y nutrient was in it, but that when they were not feeling great, they would just take more of it because they knew that it was potent and a superfood.
So I kind of feel the same way about the essential oils. I know there's a brand called Young Living Oils that's supposed to be like really good quality. And I would definitely look for like the organic, some kind of higher quality, very potent form. I would be careful about any additives in them, so I would look at the ingredients. But generally, I'm for it. I think we do the best we can to prevent problems by eating a clean diet, and sleeping and all that good stuff, but if there is a problem that crops up, isn't it nice to have a natural remedy and so the way that I tend to use something like oregano oil and just the reason I'm giving this example is because it's the one that I tend to use the most, and by the most, I mean like, once or twice a year. If I do feel a cold coming on pretty strongly, which generally only happens after I've not slept enough and have been traveling, I will take oil of oregano for anywhere from 2 to 5 days. I'll take a couple of drops, maybe a couple of times a day in a shot of water. Or I'll use, like I have a throat spray or a nose spray that's Oregonal, I think is the brand. Very, very strong. And kind of just do that in conjunction with some herbal teas and things like that. And generally, I find that if I have any kind of infection, nose, sore throat, whatever, it doesn't tend to last longer than it would if I had run to the doctor and gotten some antibiotics like I used to do when I was like in my early 20s. I was just like, every time it would happen and it would be many, many times a year, sometimes a sinus infection or whatever, would run and get antibiotics and just destroyed my gut doing that. Whereas now, a couple of days of this more natural remedy, you will find if you overdo, you may get a sort of evacuation everybody out, loose stools, diarrhea-type response because that's what happens when you kill gut bacteria and everything wants to run out of your system. You need to make sure that you're following that stuff up by re-inoculating some good bacteria, eating probiotic foods, eating some starchy carbohydrates, etc. But this is one example, but I do, I think they're worthwhile and I don't know that you need to like get 20 different oils and fill your cabinet, but I think it's worth learning what they do, trying them out, seeing what you think, and then incorporating them, you know, somewhat moderately into your life, if you like how they work for you.
Have you ever used oils like that, Liz, or not really?

LIZ WOLFE: Uh, I have to say not really because I hate when people say this, it's so annoying. But I'm really not sick very often and generally when I am, I, not that you are, you're just a lot more pro-active of a person than I am, but generally when I am, I'm too lazy to go out and get whatever it is, oregano oil. Actually, you know what, I have some now. But I generally just wait it out. But I really do, like you were talking about earlier, the preventive properties of good nutrition, I really think that the cod liver oil and the butter oil, and eating the organ meats, and making sure I'm getting some vitamin K2 has been profoundly impactful on my health, especially as the seasons changed, even with, you know, a good solid whole foods based ancestral diet that I always did get a little bit of a stuffy nose whenever the seasons would change, it didn't really happen this year. But I don't know. I do-I am pretty obsessed with the properties of-I don't know if you call them essential oils. I guess they would be, but for skin care. So I use all kinds of different fun stuff on my face. The stuff from Great Marsh Skin Care. You know, I know very little about essential oils in general, but there are a couple people that I just adore that do: Trina from Primal Life Organics and Amanda from Great Marsh Artisan Skin Care. Both of them put together some amazing stuff. They know all of these cool properties of essential oils and all the things that they can do for the outside, so I definitely am a huge advocate of different oils for skin care. I'm looking at some here that I have from Primal Life Organics, and there is carrot seed oil, and I've got some rose hip stuff, and I don't know. I'm really playing around with the skincare stuff now a whole lot, and I'll definitely actually eventually…I'll tease a little bit of a skin care thing I've got in the works here, but I think essential oils can be really, really great for topical purposes. Do not ever put essential oil or clove oil on your skin. There are some that will absolutely burn your skin off.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Woo, yeah. I bet oregano would.

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, oh yeah.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:That would be gnarly.

LIZ WOLFE: It's gnarly. I had…I put it on there because I was like, oh, this kind of smells like tea tree oil, I'll give it a try. I felt like I needed a little antiseptic oil, and I put that on my…and it literally, it burned my skin off. It was like I had leaned my face against a light bulb.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Wow. Yeah, I like tea tree oil.

LIZ WOLFE: Maybe I have it wrong. Are those essential oils, too? The ones…?

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I don't know. I don't think it's the same. I think the essential oils are more of…it's almost like the equivalent of an extract, like a vanilla extract, but done from plants, so like I think that…I don't know what the process is like, but I think that they extract the oils of things like oregano, rosemary. I mean, it's really every kind of plant they'll get the oils from. They're just super, super potent. I think that some people have even, like I think, you know, they're pretty much food grade. I think some of it is stuff like peppermint oils in recipes. I mean, you use very, very little of it because something that's made of like an extract, peppermint extract or something is diluted in much more oil. So I don't know. It's interesting stuff, but yeah, I think…I don't know. I think, give it a whirl, but not…I don't know. I don't have a…I don't have a case myself for, you know, stocking up on every which way, the way I do with eyeshadow colors, for example.

LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] I really do collect skin care products. I'm so into..it's so kind of…it just runs counter to everything I stand for. You really only need baking soda, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar. But I love like a good blend of skin care oils. I love it.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I'm like obsessed with that balm, that one…

LIZ WOLFE: I know.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:from Green Pastures.

LIZ WOLFE: from Green Pastures.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I love that my face smells totally disgusting right now. I just showered and put some on, and I mean, I absolutely love it. I love that it's like oil, but it's working really well. We're totally on a tangent now from this whole thing, but…

LIZ WOLFE: No, but let's tell people about that. Everybody should go to GreenPasture.org and tell them we sent you because [laughs] I want them to throw us a picnic or something, but for how often we just send…their stuff is amazing, like we just recommend something for everybody. Go get the Beauty Balm. It's like a combination of butter oil, cod liver oil, shea butter, coconut oil. I mean, it is like the bees knees.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I am going to say to the single ladies, do not put this on before you go on a date. I, you know, it's been on my face for like an hour right now, so I don't really smell it anymore, get a little Beauty Balm resistance with the whole like odor. But you know, it does have some cod liver oil in it, so it's not the most patch of daisy smelling thing, but I'm stoked about it.

LIZ WOLFE: You know, I never noticed a bad smell.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:I don't think it smells bad, but it does have that smell to it. Like a little hint of a not-so-whatever alluring potentially if you're on a date thing. You're married, so you might not think about these things.

L; A date. [laughs]


LIZ WOLFE: This is true. Stinky or not stinky, I mean, he's stuck with me. All right, so I think that this..


LIZ WOLFE: will be the last one.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Well, this one, hold on, let me see where we are.

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, we have “what the what?” and then we have…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Wait, let's see. Okay. Well, this one's really quick, so let's do that one quickly and I want to..the other one, I think we can, I can do them quickly and we can wrap up still pretty close to an hour. I just want to get these planned out.
LIZ WOLFE: If I drop off while you're talking, you wrap it up.


LIZ WOLFE: You wrap it up, girl.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Are you on a prepaid phone card over there?

LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] Am I on a prepaid celly?

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Okay, go ahead.

LIZ WOLFE: No, I'm on a very stringent deadline for some grad admissions, so I may drop off, but I will try not to. All right, so this one's from Jennifer. What the what is that?
“Really love your blog and your resource guides! I have been using a coconut spread product by Olivio and have gotten quite addicted to it. It says dairy free, gluten free, soy free” Jennifer, what does the ingredient label say? “So I thought it was a great option for me. However, after reading your blog, I looked at the ingredients” Good girl! “and the last two are questionable – organic canola lecithin (what the what is that?) and organic guar gum. Should I give up this product?”
So the ingredients from online. See I believe Diane dug these up. They are Organic Tropical Oil Blend (Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Sustainable Palm Oil), Filtered Water, sea salt, organic canola lecithin, organic guar gum. I say try the coconut ghee from Wilderness Family Naturals and ditch that stuff. I don't know. I mean, it doesn't look that horrible, but I don't know. Diane, what do you think?

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Okay, I'm going to give my two cents quickly. I definitely like that tip from you because I have been obsessed with Wilderness Family Naturals mayo, like OBSESSED with that stuff. So I like the idea of kind of a smaller producer using really high quality stuff to make something, you know, cool out of it. I can't make a huge case against this product, just based on the ingredients alone. A lot of us, I think, are eating chocolate that contains traces of stuff like soy lecithin. We're doing the guar gum in coconut milk. A lot of us are, and you know, that said, I do have a big thing against the whole like mass-produced factory food, so you know, I think there has to be something about that processing that makes it less than ideal. But I really have no way to prove that. My overall take is you know, the ingredients look mostly okay. Those are definitely not ideal ingredients. You're right to question them. Lecithin is just an emulsifier. Same thing with guar gum, like a texturizer/emulsifier. So you know what they do. Organic canola, I think, is an oxymoron, like I really don't think you can have organic canola. I think it is some kind of modified plant anyway. But it's still a packaged, processed, refined food with additives. I wouldn't make it part of your daily diet, thinking it's the same thing as coconut oil. So I think that coconut ghee sounds really good. I would probably get, you know, a spread that's got the coconut and butter oil in it.

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, it's pretty amazing.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:That's my two…that's my two cents.


DIANE SANFILIPPO:This next one is kind of a long one. Maybe we should save that one, but I really want to talk about it. But I don't know. I think it might be long. Maybe we should just do that last one and save the other one for next week.

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, let's save this long one because it's actually a really good one, and…

DIANE SANFILIPPO:Should we tell them? Should we tell who it is to listen next week for his question?

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, John from Dallas, we're going to answer your question next week. It's a really good one, but I think we have a lot to say about it, and I definitely would like to give a little bit of a fairer shake than we're able to right now.


LIZ WOLFE: So John from Dallas, we'll get to that next week.


LIZ WOLFE: All right, so this last one, I really am excited to answer. It's from my friend Elizabeth from Memphis, and I think it's a great question and really relevant towards anybody that is getting ready to go on vacay. All right: Hi ladies, I have a question about staying Paleo on a cruise ship. I am going on a cruise with my family near the end of July. I’m particularly curious about how Diane kept her diet in check on the Low Carb Cruise in May. I know that she mentioned not being super strict, which I do not intend to be, but I am not going on a gluten-binge either. Thanks for all that you gals do!”
What should she expect? Be civil.

D:So for me, what I mean by not being super-strict, which is kind of mostly…this is kind of my thing all the time is dessert. I did have some cheesecake. I didn't eat the crust on it. I had probably some ice cream here or there. Whatever kinds of…that kind of deal. Like, usually it's dessert. I think it's pretty easy to avoid grains, bread, all of that, if you're very, very sensitive to gluten or if you just really like to keep it strict, ask a lot of questions. If people aren't sure how to answer you, ask them to find out or just avoid that food. I don't know what kind of cruise line you're going on, but we were on the Carnival cruise. There was really delicious Indian food, but interestingly enough, what's typically faced as Indian food is something like Tandoori, which is grilled meat, usually just spices. They happen to toss their Tandoori meats in spices with flour to help it get coated. This is where learning how to cook really helps you learn what kind of questions to ask because you learn techniques that people use in a kitchen. And you almost can't ever know this stuff without doing it yourself to some degree. But ask the questions. You can absolutely do omelet bars. I think I had like some hard boiled eggs here and there. Some omelets. I know a bunch of people on our trip would take butter packets from like a different section of the buffet and walk them over to the omelet bar and ask them to cook their eggs in butter instead of the vegetable oil they were using. Generally, like if you just make the requests politely, you know, just don't be kind of a snarky or obnoxious about things. If you're really polite and just, you know, ask the questions. I don't think it's that hard. But that's kind of the deal if you're at like a buffet. You know, plenty of salad and veggies and plenty of random meats here and there, so really not an issue.
At the restaurants, the same thing. It's the same thing. I always recommend at any restaurants and you know, our ship had different places to go. Just ask the questions. Sometimes, you know, they're used to getting a lot of people on these boats. they know about food allergies. Like they are not-they're very accommodating. It's not like a standard restaurant. You know, cruise ships really want to be accommodating. You might even be able to call ahead and let them know that you want to maintain a gluten free diet at the very least. That was something that Carnival like offered, to just like let them know, and it doesn't mean that they flip the whole world upside down for you, but if they're aware of it, then it'll at least give them a chance to offer you that menu. You could ask them, you know, if there is a special menu. I just don't think it's that hard. I don't think it's any harder than it is anywhere else where you're just not sure what the food is. It does require asking questions and eating meat and vegetables. I would say also, you can bring some things on the boat. I brought olive oil with me. So if you don't want to eat whatever random salad dressing you're unsure of, you can absolutely bring your olive oil. You can bring…I brought frozen butter with me, and there was a refrigerator in my state room, so I had butter in my coffee and had that if I wanted to use it on something. I know it sounds totally wacky, but you know, it's the thing where you would allocate anywhere else. No pun intended on the whole allocation. Liz, do you have any more tips because I know you might have some like just general vacation tips?

LIZ WOLFE: Like vacation's fun. It's a fun time to kind of figure out how you can enrich the whole experience by eating real food. I think it's a little more difficult when you're vacationing within the United States or on a cruise ship, but I imagine the cruise will drop off at different places. Diane, I know you had some cool local cuisine when you were off the boat, so it's fun. We did a whole kind of Primal honeymoon when we were in Greece and I've got a post on that as well. It was fun. We explored all kinds of traditional, local food and traditional local food is almost always legit. That's all I have to say about that.

D:All right. Okay.


DIANE SANFILIPPO:Cool, then that's it. We're wrapping up. Just make sure if you, you know, if you've been listening to the podcast and you love it or if you don't love it, please, you don't need to listen. But if you want to leave a review, just hop on over to iTunes, drop us a review. It just helps to spread the word to other people who are looking for, you know, this kind of information. Definitely feel free to keep submitting questions via the website. There's a link to the podcast right on the website at the top, in the dropdown that says submit a question. So feel free to do that. And I guess in the coming week, we'll probably talk a little bit more about what's inside my book, since it releases August 7th. But it is available for sale currently on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and it will be in bookstores August 7th. Practical Paleo. Woo hoo!

LIZ WOLFE: All right, lady. Peace out.

DIANE SANFILIPPO:All righty. Until next time.

Click here to submit questions.

Diane & Liz

Comments 3

  1. I just wanted to say hi! I love your podcast and found it funny that someone thought you wrote the FODMAP article in the June/July 2012 issue of Paleo Mag, since I am the one who wrote it! 🙂

    Continue the good work!

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