Podcast Episode #50: Canola, Paleo Newbie, Sensitivities, Adrenal Support
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1 Is there such a thing as healthy canola oil? [6:33]
2 New to Paleo… help! [16:40]
3 Coconut cream vs. Dairy? [26:13]
4 Testing for food sensitivities [32:58]
5 Adrenal fatigue with IBS, extra supplements needed? [40:21]
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Nom Nom Paleo
Jen’s Gone Paleo
LIZ WOLFE: Hey everyone, I’m Liz Wolfe. I’m a nutritional therapy practitioner and I’m here with Diane Sanfilippo, who is a certified holistic nutrition consultant and the woman behind Balanced Bites and the new book, Practical Paleo, and the 21 Day Sugar Detox. Welcome to episode 50 of the Balanced Bites podcast. Remember that the materials and content contained in this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You are merely here to observe the train wreck. We just hope we put on a good show for everybody, a la Tosh.0 or Victor Borgia or you know, anybody awesome like that.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: The Real Housewives.
LIZ WOLFE: Or the Real Housewives. [laughs] Yeah, so what’s the-what’s going on? What’s the scuttlebutt, Diane?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Just packing out to head out for the weekend once again, and I’m heading to another farm this weekend. I don’t know how I keep ending up on farms, but…[laughs]
LIZ WOLFE: [in a deep voice] Lucky.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: No, it’s awesome. I’m really excited to go to a friend’s wedding-ish thing, and wishing that I had a pair of Wellies, like probably would have been nice to buy some rubber boots a few weeks ago before Diana’s farm and now this farm, but it’s all good. I will break out some other boots and be just fine.
LIZ WOLFE: I could have loaned you some, but I have big old clown feet.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, I don’t know that we’re the same shoe size.
LIZ WOLFE: Nn-mm.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: And without like 6 to 12 inches shorter than you, so…
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] Then Sunday, which I’m uber excited about, I’m heading back to CrossFit Oregon City…Oregon City, I think that’s how you’re supposed to say it…and visiting with our good friend Jen of Jen’s Gone Paleo and doing a book signing and Q and A from 1 to 3 o’clock at CFOC, so if anyone’s interested, if you’re up in the Portland area, you can definitely come to BalancedBites.com and in the sidebar, there’s an RSVP there, so there’s a few seats left. We did get some limited, a limited number of chairs. I think there’s about 75 people coming at this point, so hopefully we’ll have space for everyone. A very big gym. So and the last person I’ll be seeing this weekend also is Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo. We’re going to hook up for lunch, I think, tomorrow at the Caveman Cart.
LIZ WOLFE: Nice.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: So hopefully -Yeah-we’ll have some really good grub, and I’m excited. I mean, I realized today that I absolutely love this like travel situation right now. As much as it seems very stressful, I’m kind of excited to go somewhere. I miss the city, I guess.
LIZ WOLFE: Oh my gosh. You’re getting the itch.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Isn’t that weird?
LIZ WOLFE: We were so tired after all of the workshops-the spring season, and now it’s like, get…you’re just itching to go.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: You and I will be up for some roadtripping this fall.
LIZ WOLFE: Yup.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Mostly hitting the East Coast, right? So…
LIZ WOLFE: If any of the listeners are interested in seeing the two of us in person [laughs], you can go to BalancedBites.com…
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Well, under the sidebar is probably the best place to kind of…
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, so what are you up to?
LIZ WOLFE: I’m getting ready to go to tomorrow to the Poconos to Trapdoor Camp, which is basically like a CrossFit-fitness oriented getaway. A lot of CrossFitters. I’ll be doing a little bit of nutrition workshopping, bringing all my technology out. Hopefully, I can figure out how it works, since usually that’s your job.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Technology?
LIZ WOLFE: [singing] Technology-I still love technology. If anybody can tell us what that’s from, you get 5 cool points. Other than that, I’m just doing the usual stuff with Steve’s Club, Steve’s Club National Program. Just was named actually to the Board of Directors of the First 20, which is a firefighter’s organization aiming at just at improving the health of firefighters across the board with fitness and health and nutrition initiatives. I’m really excited about that. We’re going to be doing a, basically just kind of marketing program, tracking biomarkers of health with the hospital in Philadelphia, so getting ready to gear up for that. Pretty exciting.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: That sounds awesome. Congrats.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, I’m really excited about it. So other than that, not a whole lot. I really enjoyed-I think a lot of us enjoyed the recent post from Mark’s Daily Apple on the differences on men and women and the way they store and lose fat. You and I are heading to Arizona for the last United States Poliquin Biosignature Practitioner training. We’re going to learn more about the hormonal regulation of body fat and you know, while I know we’re both thrilled to gain more knowledge on the topic, we will not be using it to help women lose what they are much more apt to love once they know exactly how wonderful it is, and I’m talking about thighs and booty. [laughs] So, you know, I’m excited about that. I think that will be cool, and we’ll share that link to Mark’s Daily Apple in the show notes.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Agreed. I, you know, I definitely think it’s going to be cool for us to be there with the mindset that that’s potentially really different. I know that you and I share very similar view on body fat for women. But you know, we can soak up as much information as possible, and I think we’ll still have a lot that we’ll take out and be able to translate…
LIZ WOLFE: Definitely.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: even back to, maybe we’ll download kind of some of our big picture things that we’ve learned through the podcast, maybe right after maybe kind of give people an overview of some of the big takeaways that we had. And I know Charles Poliquin is a super smart dude, like we often see his articles circulating around. I know Robb Wolf sends his articles around a lot, and just other kind of fitness and health oriented people who are into holistic health and a lot of the pre-requisites involved, you know, Chinese medicine-type reading. So I’m really, I’m really excited about that. Kind of our first educational experience together where we’re not teaching, where we get to kind of be the students, and I think this is going to be really fun.
LIZ WOLFE: So does that make us the grasshopper?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yes! I love being the grasshopper.
LIZ WOLFE: Me too.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: The questions?
LIZ WOLFE: Let’s get to the questions. And just so folks know, we’re testing out some new, hopefully improved audio, and I’m just a little bit skittish about it. I’m trying not to talk too loud, so if it sounds like I’m like in a well, I apologize. All right, first question, topic: “Is there such a thing as healthy canola oil?”
“Hello. Can you please help me to understand the controversy of canola oil. I have read all the bad things, such as the refining process and hexane, etc. What about canola oil that is unrefined, organic, cold pressed and non-GMO? Is it considered to be safer or is there something still unhealthy with it? Thank you.”
So I’m going to go on a little rant here. It just doesn’t seem to me that canola oil could be cold-pressed and unrefined. I just feel like by nature, the way we see it in the market, the way it occurs in the market, it takes more than a simple press vs. olive oil. It takes more than a wet rendering, like as with lard, which is really easy to render at home. So here’s the deal, just to give a little bit of context to this whole thing. In the original Paleo diet book, and generally a lot of the questions that we field are from kind of a Paleo diet/Ancestral perspective, so in the original Paleo diet book, and this is like over a decade ago, really when Paleo went more mainstream than it had ever been before, and the author, who I respect immensely was looking at the idea that the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio in ancestral diets was balanced, and that it needed to be balanced in our modern diet. This is the kind of balance we see in grass-fed meats and it’s an imbalance we see in factory farm, grain-fed meat. So from his best understanding at the time, he identified canola oil as potentially beneficial, and you know, maybe it wasn’t even him. Maybe somebody at the publishing company decided that canola oil needed to be in the original Paleo diet book. I don’t know. But canola oil was identified as beneficial because of its “balanced omega-3 to omega-6 profile.”
So the understanding that is kind of mistaken here, and that really has now been corrected, and that we’ve kind of moved on from, is this idea that saturated fat consumption is a danger to the heart. So we have this kind of perfect storm of misunderstandings, and that’s what kind of led to the excessives of canola oil, at least for a time in the Paleo community. And I was guilty of spreading that nonsense. I probably owe a few people an apology. And I mean, I remember telling people that “this is why canola oil’s good because it’s a balanced omega-3 to omega-6.” So canola oil caught on in the whole…in the face of the diet-heart myth of the 1980s-ish.Okay, so that’s the context. And this is the thing. Canola oil’s something like 40% polyunsaturate/55% monounsaturated fat, and 5% saturated fat. So it’s high in that mainstream, politically correct fat, monounsaturated fat. However, that monounsaturated fat was not originally in the original breed of “canola” plant. It was not the same monounsaturate that’s found in olive oil. There are many types of each of those classifications of fat. There are different types of polyunsaturates. There are different types of monounsaturates, and there are different types of saturates. So what we’re looking at with canola oil is an oil that started out really high in erucic acid or erucic, I don’t-I never say it right, but olive oil is naturally high in oleic acid. Now at one point they found that erucic acid was somewhat dangerous, so we now understand that that’s probably attributable to diets that were low in healthy dietary saturated fat, which we need to make proper use of polyunsaturated fats, which are found naturally in food like sardines and nuts. So point is, erucic acid is literally bred out to enable the edible oil industry, and it is an industry to keep promoting it.
So aside from the background, the physical properties of canola oil are relevant as well. We talk about this in our workshops. Any fat that’s liquid at room temperature, in my opinion, unless it has some unique antioxidant properties like sesame oil or olive oil, it should not be heated, ever at all. It’s just too easily damaged. So from almost all of the angles, whether it’s heated or simply exposed to light, it’s vulnerable to oxidative damage. That’s the nature of oils low in stable saturates, and almost all kind of fats that we recognize are a mixture of polyunsaturates, monounsaturates, and saturates, so it’s the nature of oils low in stable saturated fat and lacking in antioxidants. Another term we can wrap up with oxidative damage that folks will recognize is free radicals. People have heard that term. The stuff is just an industrial product with very little nutritional value, even if it was unrefined, organic, cold-pressed and non-GMO, which I don’t know if I trust that. But even so, it would still be pretty useless, I think in the quest for better health. Canola is derived from the rapeseed, which has actually been used for its oil across many centuries. But I’m just-I’m just skeptical to this modern context of what we see in stores being anything close to ancestral or a decent part of a healthy diet, and it’s certainly different from what the modern plant has bred intentionally to be. And I just can’t imagine a few sticks of decent butter could be much more expensive than a bottle of canola oil, either, and butter is packed with fat-soluble vitamins and even butyric acid, which is anti-inflammatory. I’m just going to stop with that. [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Good, I mean, this is really a case against canola oil, and I think what’s cool about kind of the points that you’ve brought up is that it’s really a multi-factorial thing. It’s, you know, perhaps first and foremost that it’s absolutely an industrial food. So it’s kind of like, first strike against it. Industrial foods, I don’t, you know I don’t really care what label you put on it. You can put the organic, non-GMO label on a box of cookies, and it’s still an industrial food. You know, so that’s kind of like just the very first argument there.
The whole thing about the fatty acid profile of canola oil, again, it’s, you know, like you said, it’s the processing, but then the amount of polyunsaturates that are left in it, like we just don’t want to be consuming any isolated polyunsaturates pretty much ever. Like I’m still, you know, I actually asked Chris Kresser about this at the Ancestral Health Symposium with regards to omega-3 and omega-3 supplementation, which I know you and I have like a lot to talk about on this topic, but you know, asking him like what’s really the deal here. And you know, it hasn’t been ever shown that supplementing with very low amounts of polyunsaturates like an omega-3 can be problematic. However, I know, Liz, you and I both share the belief that unless we know where it’s coming from, how it’s processed, how it’s been packaged and stored and shipped, we don’t know if it’s damaged or not, and we both kind of hold the belief I think that…
LIZ WOLFE: Yup.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: damaged polyunsaturates that we’re consuming are worse than consuming none at all, and so, you know, this is a really simple question that she asks, but it’s a very complex answer, and it’s one that’s complex because we really want people to understand why we’re, you know, we’re not actually just flippantly saying canola oil’s bad. There are a lot of reasons why we don’t recommend it. You know, between the type of food it is, the type of PUFA, polyunsaturated fatty acid balance it has, and you know, when I say overall low polyunsaturate intake, that’s something that I reference to Chris Masterjohn. He talked about that on the Low Carb Cruise. He’s talked about it many times before where when we look at ancestral diets, the percentage of polyunsaturate in their diet is very, very low. Maybe it’s 2 to 3 percent total.
LIZ WOLFE: Mm-hmm.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: So you know, the idea of getting this stuff in, it means you’re really…I like to give people the example. Like would you cook with fish oil? Like, you would never cook with fish oil. People know to keep it in their fridge, and, you know, what we’re looking at with canola is that it’s got a pretty high amount of the unsaturates, the polyunsaturates. So it’s a very delicate, very delicate oil, and even if it were unrefined organic cold-pressed, non-GMO, I’m with you. I don’t think that’s possible. I wouldn’t believe it either, and I think there are way too many strikes against that product. And way too many other better fats and oils to be using, specifically what we would call “fats” as you mentioned, something liquid at room temperature we wouldn’t want to use. And that’s generally what’s called an oil. And a fat would be solid at room temperature. And I’ve got guides out the wazoo on this stuff for, you know, fats to be eating or not eating, and fats to be cooking with or not cooking with, so.
LIZ WOLFE: Yup. And just to make a quick point. When you see something non-GMO, it can still be hybridized. It can still be selectively bred to be very, very different from what it started out as. So you may see non-GMO, but I think probably Dr. Davis talks about this a little bit in Wheat Belly, the idea that we’ve been hybridized.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Right.
LIZ WOLFE: And it’s potentially very damaging because of that, so I mean, it’s a very…it’s a well-known fact that the canola plant has been hybridized over time to contain less erucic acid. Just, yeah, not a good deal, so…moving on.
LIZ WOLFE: You got a lot to say on that one.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, a hell of a lot to say. We’ll probably edit some of that out. All right. Next question. “New to Paleo…help!”
“I really need help. I am a mother of 2 boys( 3 and 5) I began the sugar detox one month ago, and now have adopted fully paleo. I am the only one following the diet in my family. My husband and kids still eat well but not paleo. So I am having to adjust my meals on top of cooking for them every day. When I’m hungry, I don’t know what to snack on besides nuts, veggies and/or meat. I feel weird having to cook a steak for myself just for a snack.” Don’t feel weird. Just do it. All right.. “And financially, it is not easy to do so. Until I get the hang of meals and snacking I’m not sure I can bring my family in on the life change. And I want to! I need more ideas. Are too many nuts bad? Do you have ideas, or advice for me? For instance I ate a salad (mixed greens, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber) with tuna and some chicken I had leftover. It did not fill me up. My family ate homemade pizza and it smelled divine. I had none. I feel like I had more than enough fat today with raw walnuts, pecans, avocado, and some olive oil… What do I eat?”
And Diane, I have plenty to say on this, but since I just talked a lot, do you want to jump in first?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Sure. I’ll throw in my two cents and then we can get your quarter. Does that sound good?
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, that sounds great.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: So it definitely sounds like she needs more fat. I think one of the things that happens is people do add a lot of nuts and olive oil, but I know you and I both kind of agree on the saturated fat front, so I would love to see her eating, you know, butter or ghee, if she can’t do the dairy proteins in the butter. For some reason, I think it feels…I don’t know why, but I think it feels more satisfying as well when you are getting fattier cuts of meat than just poring extra fat on the food.
LIZ WOLFE: Mm-hmm.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: It’s kind of all contained there. That’s just one thing I would maybe recommend. But the big thing I think might be useful for her is, you know, this is just one of those situations where I might say, hey Katie, why don’t you enter what you’re eating into FitDay for one day, for two days, for maybe 3 days. You know, FitDay.com is a tracker, like a diet tracker, and that’s not to be overly analytical of what you’re doing to nitpick or to micromanage or biohack, it’s to be aware. And I see it all the time that people tell me, you know, here’s my food log and let’s talk about what’s going on because I still feel like I’m hungry all the time. And then I look at what they’re eating and it’s maybe 2/3rds of what they should be eating for the day.
LIZ WOLFE: Mm-hmm.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: It’s really, really common that people are undereating and, you know, very infrequently does it happen where I’m just very stressed or very busy in a day, and I, you know, realize that gosh, I just didn’t eat that much. But it’s, you know, it is rare because I’m very well aware of how much food I really need to feel satisfied and full and not be hungry all the time. And I think it’s just something that people sometimes aren’t used to when they’re not filling up on things like bread and rice and pasta. Those things often get taken away from the plate and somebody does not always think to add something else back, and you know, depending on how [xxx], you know, if she says how long…began like a month ago and is now Paleo. I don’t know exactly how long ago this question maybe was submitted, but it also often takes a little time to just adapt to a new way of eating. Your body may need a little more food than you will eventually because it just takes time for your body to get used to [xxx] vs. more sugar and carbohydrate. So I think those are things to be aware of. You know, and just so she knows if she does go ahead and enters her information into FitDay to see if you know, okay, what am I eating? Anything less than around 1200 calories a day is really starvation. You need 1200 calories a day just for your body to, you know, be functioning, doing, you know, completing your whole lay in bed. Just laying in bed, you need that many calories just to have your heart beating and you know, your lungs functioning and all of that, so anything less than that definitely not a good place to be. A healthy range, you know, we don’t know how big she is, height, weight, activity level, but a normal woman, anywhere from like 1400 to 2600 calories a day. And that is absolutely the low end of the spectrum. If she’s not active and a very petite person, that might be a good amount of food for her. You know, I’ve definitely had days where I eat about that much, and I’m not a big person, so you know, that’s okay. But understanding that if you’re maybe a little bit taller, a little bit of a bigger person and you’re active, you might eat, 2000, 22, 2400 calories depending on that activity, and you absolutely need to eat to fuel your body to not be hungry. And that goes down to the cellular level. So I know we’ve talked about this a lot in the seminars, but it’s not just about putting food in your belly. The signals that your brain receives of satiety need to be happening on all levels, not just your belly is full, but your cells have received that nutrition that they need from those nutrient dense foods.
LIZ WOLFE: Yes. yes, nutrient dense foods and more of it. And I know she said she was a steak eater, but it’s hard to know exactly how many, like you’re kind of alluding to, how many micronutrients she’s getting with her food. And just in my practice, it seems like once people like really get on that nutrient dense food, once they’re doing the cod liver oil/butter oil blend from Green Pasture, it seems to really help folks kind of regulate their appetite. So overall, definitely there’s a lack of calories here. I mean, that salad is probably something I would put on top of a giant burger or underneath a giant steak. But there may also just generally be a lack of minerals, micronutrients, vitamins A, D, and K2, which are fat soluble vitamins and carried with certain fats that she may be, you know, doesn’t necessarily seem to be getting in appropriate proportions.
As I talked about a little in the last question, in order, and maybe I forgot to talk about it, in order to properly utilize the polyunsaturates, which are actually found in higher proportion in nuts, saturated fat actually appears to be helpful. I feel like saturated fat is kind of like that person that stands in the front of you know, the crew boat. What is that person called? Coxswain or something?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: On a crew boat?
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, like rowing. It’s kind of like that moderator of how these other fats are used and how these nutrients are taken up. I mean, saturated fat just plays so many roles. A good quality olive oil on a salad is great, but other fats like butter, ghee, have vitamins A, K. Lard is really high in vitamin D. Coconut oil is high in a very interesting and very beneficial saturated fat called lauric acid. Chicken thighs could be very good and inexpensive place to start your family. Butter’s fairly inexpensive. And if you can’t bring the family completely into the fold, and this is kind of switching topics here, but I’d get rid of all gluten and buy a big old bag of white rice, and eat it with a ton of butter in place of any other grains that you’re eating. So yeah, shoot me. I said big bag of white rice, but I just think that’s better than wheat. It’s low in that kind of insoluble fiber that can be hard on the digestive system as it’s healing. It’s an affordable step in the right direction, and obviously butter is amazing. It’s nutrient dense, it’s a great thing to lean on when you can’t do everything you want to do right now today.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I think, you know, she’s talked about this also being a little bit hard, just with the family not doing what she’s doing. And I think this is really one of those points as well where you need to start making some tough decisions, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be an argument or a battle potentially with your spouse, but how do you want the household to be? You know, do you want your family to be eating whole, unprocessed nutrient dense foods and this may be an opportunity to get a couple of, you know, Paleo books into the house. Obviously, I would always recommend my book. [laughs] Sara Frogoso has some books that have some tips on family-oriented things and just getting the books around to get your husband and your kids to kind of flip through and look at new recipes and talk about what to eat and, you know, you may not even really need to talk too much about what you’re not eating, just starting eating better meals, even if you mix in some grain free meals a few times a week and just work on that. Because your home is really your haven and as much as you can do to, you know, without too much of an upsizing as possible. As much as you can do to get that to be kind of the safer space for you, where you’re not going to be in the face of things like pizza too often. I think it just makes things more comfortable for everyone. it’s not always easy at first, but the kind of answer that I give to parents is well, who’s in charge of the house? You know, and it may be a tougher thing to deal with your husband. The kids are kind of well, they’re customers. So whatever they do outside the house is one thing, but what they do in your house, you know, you do have control over that, what you buy and what you bring in, so I do also like to challenge people to you know, take the reins and really make the changes you feel are important to make.
LIZ WOLFE: Cool. All right, third question. “Coconut cream vs. Dairy.” Cristina says: “I’ve just discovered your book and I am SO very excited to buy it today!! I have been suffering from and was diagnosed with severe chronic migraines since December of last year with no relief in sight. Since then I’ve given up prescription pain medications, caffeine, alcohol, and rebound causing medications and migraine trigger foods including but not limited to (most) unnatural processed foods, (most) dairy, (most) processed grains. I have begun juicing fruits and vegetables etc. in order to help combat and hopefully diffuse naturally these debilitating migraines. I also want to say that I am on a prescription medication called Topamax for Migraine prevention.
Because of the ‘restrictive’ nature of the migraine preventive ‘diet’- it just seems like a logical next step to begin eating Paleo. I am more than excited to get started.
I love cooking and have come across several recipes for meals that would be Paleo friendly save for a touch of yogurt here or a 1/4 cup of sour cream there. I was wondering if coconut cream could be substituted in dairy’s place? Thank you for your time! I appreciate it so much!”
What do you think, Diane?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Okay, so she’s asking this question but I’m going to get into her health condition a little bit as well.
LIZ WOLFE: Of course.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I just can’t help myself. [laughs] Because somebody else is listening, and they say, well, I have migraines, too, what do I do about that? I don’t know that coconut cream would really be your best bet here in replacing something like yogurt or sour cream. It’s definitely sweet, not really maybe the right texture, but it might be okay to use a full fat coconut milk or even with that somehow in a sweeter dish. but what I’d recommend generally in savory dishes and even in some sweet dishes, depending on what they are is avocado.
LIZ WOLFE: Avocado.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, so in my book, I have a recipe for avo-ziki sauce which is a take on a traditional Greek sauce made with yogurt, which is tzatziki sauce. And it’s a, you know, the fatty, creamy texture of the avocado with the mild flavor that it has, really not much flavor. It can be easily modified with any seasoning, you know, that just replaces the entire fatty, creamy dairy situation altogether, so you can use that in a savory application like that. I have a mooless chocolate mousse, so it’s an avocado-based chocolate mousse that you can create as well because avocado really has that sort of bland, mild flavor. So you can just mask it with a lot of different things, so that’s really the route that I would go, and yes, it’s green, but whatever. [laughs] So yeah, that’s what I would do there.
But I might also recommend, you know, she’s kind of newer to this whole change in diet situation. I know that, you know, I listen to a lot of other podcasts out there that are particularly nerdy, as I like to call them, and I know that a lot of our listeners listen to some of the same podcasts, but I also know that sometimes when we listen to shows that may talk about things that are different levels of our understanding, we may or may not really connect with it fully, so I’ll kind of highlight stuff that Chris Kresser pointed out in one of his podcasts where he talked about migraines, and you can absolutely go look at his Revolution Health Radio show and check out this episode. I’ll see if I can grab a link to it, but if you just look for the topic of migraines, you’ll be able to find it, so he recommends eliminating foods that contain tyromine, arginine, and histamine, and that they can be migraine trigger, so just a quick highlight of some foods that are rich in tyromine: fermented foods, which we often recommend very highly, but if this is your issue, they may not be right for you. So fermented foods, smelly, strong cheeses, bleu cheese, types of alcohol like beer and wine, so obviously we don’t generally recommend beer consumption, but understanding that wine containing sulfates can also be a problem. Brewer’s yeast, which we also recommend for some things, but not for this. Other fermented foods, so any fermented dairy, so that would sort of be your yogurt right there. There’s a reason to avoid it, Sauerkraut, kimchi, sulfur dried fruits. Grapes are high in tyromine. Preserved meats and fish, and then some over the counter cough and cold medications. And then histamine rich foods are things which, it sounds like a lot of spices and some other typically are often problematic foods for people, but the spices on the list are cinnamon, cloves, cocoa, and then there’s some vegetables like tomatoes, spinach, eggplant and avocado, which I just mentioned for replacing your dairy, but it may be something to eliminate for a period of time, and just see if that works for you. But it seems like both the dairy and the avocado could potentially trigger it. So some fruits, like strawberries, bananas, papaya, and tropical fruits: pineapple, mango, and also tangerines and grapefruit. So it’s a big long list. Chris’s podcast also has transcripts, and I think he’s got the whole list on there, so if she really wants to make this list, and see, you know, if I clean up a much more narrow scope of foods for awhile, how will I feel and potentially just eliminating dairy altogether might do it.
Then the last one is arginine, typically found in things like nuts and chocolate. So not a huge list there. But I’d definitely check that out and it’s another preventative measure, and I know Paleo is definitely a big jump if you’re=, you know, just coming off of other types of conventional foods and you’re mostly there, so if just going Paleo and eliminating the dairy brings it all together at step 1, that’s absolutely fine. This other note about the tyromine, histamine, and arginine…just another step further . If you’re not seeing results, this is something else to try, because it may be life-changing to find out what are your trigger foods, and it could be some of those.
LIZ WOLFE: Great answer. Great answer, Diane. I’m going to throw in something just about in general replacing dairy with coconut products. I love coconut. I think it’s amazing in every way. But when you start getting into, and this isn’t even what she asked, but when we start getting into like coconut ice cream or coconut dairy creamer, just remember, coconut has become very trendy. You’re going to start seeing it in a lot of things that are really not so great. Especially, I look at some of these coconut ice creams that you find at Whole Foods. They’re full of like xantham gum and binders and emulsifiers and inulin and other things that I just don’t…I just don’t think it’s a good thing at all. Bill and Hayley, our friends from the Food Lovers Primal Palate, they have some coconut milk ice cream recipes that you could actually make for yourself, but just be really careful when you’re looking at some of these coconut substitutes. Just make sure you’re checking the label.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yes, yes.
LIZ WOLFE: All right, next question: “Testing for Food Sensitivities.” Alina says: “I have purchased the Paleo Summit and there you” She’s talking about you, Diane. “mention food sensitivities but you did not get into details. I was wondering which of the tests are the most accurate to test for food sensitivities. I know of Entero Lab,” And she lists a couple of other labs. “Are any of them good? I would really like to get tested but I hear that the food sensitivity tests are not that accurate.
I have done elimination diet but I have not really discovered anything through this diet. I do not suffer from any digestion problems so maybe that is why I did not notice really any difference being on this diet but still I cannot believe that I am not sensitive to anything. Your help is greatly appreciated.”
DIANE SANFILIPPO: So first off for Alina, let’s just clarify what we mean when we say food sensitivities. So this can mean any level of systemic irritation and then the subsequent inflammation caused by food or foods that are simply not well digested by our specific system. And that does vary from person to person. So that said, you may not feel digestive distress at all, as a result of eating the offending food. So the best way to learn about food sensitivities, if you’re experiencing some sort of pain, discomfort or ill symptom, which I’m not completely sure why you would want to complete those tests, and she doesn’t really list out why she feels like she needs to know, am I sensitive to certain foods? You know, generally, it’s a I have this problem. Right?
LIZ WOLFE: Mm-hmm.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: And you know, it could be food that you’re eating. But she hasn’t listed any problems there, so we don’t what that is. But what I generally tell people to do. You’ve done the elimination, now you need to work through the reintroduction phase, so what we do with the Paleo diet is the first step in what’s called the 4 R protocol, and I’ve talked about this before, but it’s Remove, Repair, Reinoculate, and Reintroduce. So we removed a lot of food with the Paleo diet. We haven’t necessarily repaired the gut lining. We haven’t necessarily reinoculated the beneficial bacteria, and we have not entirely reintroduced foods one by one. So this is all outlined in detail in my book. It’s on the page of All About Digestion. I think it’s the one…The Guide to Leaky Gut. It gives this whole 4R protocol, but what you want to do is to, you know, you may not go through those middle two steps if you’re a generally healthy person. You may just be fine removing foods and then reintroducing them, so what you would do to work through various foods and reintroducing them is begin with the ones you knew tend to be the most problematic or that we know. And this would be, you know, if you’ve been eating a very clean Paleo diet for at least a month, sometimes even, you know, maybe you’re mostly Paleo and then, take two weeks to really clean it up because it only takes about 2 weeks for your gut to really heal, but in order for your systemic inflammation to calm down, it may take longer. That’s why we generally like people to be doing this a lot longer than that. But begin with something like wheat. If you really want to test this, I mean, this is one of those things where I just have no interest in testing it. I don’t see any value to adding those foods back to my life, but I understand that people want to do this. So what you do is you reintroduce that back, say in 30 days you’ve eaten super clean. Day 31, you eat wheat at every meal the next day. Then you don’t eat any of the new food or any other new foods, so you go back to your elimination diet for the next two days. So you give yourself that first day of the reintroduction two more days. And you write down anything you feel. Any sort of symptom. They can be related to digestion, but they can also be symptoms of change of mood, energy, or skin quality, sleep quality, performance, appetite, etc. The list goes on and on. And so, but you know, sort of analogous to this, just from a holistic nutrition perspective might be reintroducing wheat, dairy, soy, other grains if you want. If you’ve tried eliminating eggs, maybe you want to reintroduce eggs and see how you feel. If you really want a super strict elimination diet, you can do an autoimmune protocol. That also removes eggs, nuts and seeds, nightshade vegetables. So again, I don’t really know what her complaint is or issue that she’s trying to discover the cause of with the food sensitivity, but that’s how you do it, and so for anyone who’s trying to decide. Recently I’ve been thinking, maybe I’ll try and see if I’m sensitive to eggs. Just see if I feel anything like when I stop eating them. So what I’ll do is not eat them for 2 weeks and then eat them a whole bunch the next day. And see what happens. If I experience anything. If I get really tired. If I notice, if I just don’t feel right, you know, the way I had been feeling before that.
So I’ll say I’ve not heard much amazing information being shared or reported as a result of food sensitivity testing other than if someone is sensitive to seemingly everything, it just generally means that they have a leaky gut. So it’s not really that helpful, and it’s not going to change much about what you’re doing because you’ll come back with a food sensitivity panel that lists 50 different foods, ten of which you may be highly sensitive to, you know, 30 of which you may be moderately and you know, another 10 that you’re minimally sensitive to. And it’s just not that telling, so I really think that that’s kind of the gold standard is really your own like self-experimentation. See how you feel, and just know that some of these foods, they tend to be causing the systemic inflammation that we talk about so often which really be any sort of issue in your body. Maybe your foot hurts. Maybe you’ve got carpal tunnel. Maybe you had neck pain for a long time. Or you have eczema, seasonal allergies that are very severe. It could be absolutely anything that can change what you change what’s happening in your digestive system because you’re only eating foods that you digest very well.
LIZ WOLFE: Something I would add to that, and if anybody has gone to my website to work with me individually, you’ll see I have kind of a client queue where the next state is where I’m taking my next client, and I have a little link that says “In the meantime, you may want to complete a 21 Day Sugar Detox.” And I have that there because I’ve found that bringing down ongoing problems that people have with just blood sugar regulation. Bringing that insulin response into acceptable parameters using something like the 21 Day Sugar Detox, a lot of times, in conjunction with gut healing, that really helps. I just feel like this kind of constant presence of just insulin and blood sugar dysregulation can really modulate things like food sensitivities. I have no literature on that, but it’s something that I’ve observed in people that are dealing with this. I don’t know if you have any take on that at all, Diane, but…
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I mean, absolutely. It’s one of the sort of sneaky…why the Sugar Detox works so well.
LIZ WOLFE: : Mm-hmm.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: You know, having too much insulin in your system all the time can be inflammatory, so it’s just kind of a no-brainer, but yeah, that’s definitely helpful.
LIZ WOLFE: It kind of drives everything else. All right, next one. “Adrenal fatigue with IBS. Extra supplements needed?” Sage says: “I have recently been diagnosed with pretty severe adrenal fatigue and had a positive ANA test. I also have IBS (I am a hot mess).
I am doing the autoimmune paleo protocol and I am on a supplement regimen prescribed by my D.O. in order to address these issues. I have also taken my foot off the gas with my exercise and basically just walk and do light exercises per Paul Chek’s book.
My question is, though my DO is good and takes a natural, non-Westernized approach, she isn’t exactly paleo. Because I don’t eat any fruit and a limited array of vegetables due to my IBS and those I do eat I typically cook (roast, steam) in order to facilitate digestion, I am wondering if I should consider a basic multivitamin for micronutrients I may not be getting much of like C, etc.
I am taking 500mg of Magnesium and 50,000 IU of D 1 time a wk, and iodine as part of my prescription supplement regimen, but the remainder are specific to my adrenal fatigue and gut health.” What do you think, Diane?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I wonder…I’m curious what else she’s taking.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Well, without knowing what else she’s taking, and being curious about the 50,000 i.u. of vitamin D one time per week, I don’t really know why you’d want to saturate yourself with that just once a week. But anyway. So she’s asking about like vitamin C, which makes a lot of sense. Vitamin C is very rich in things like…well, it’s rich in your adrenal glands.
LIZ WOLFE: Mm-hmm.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: So we know eating the adrenal glands of other animals is a great place to get vitamin C, so when you’re dealing with this issue, that can be one thing to look into, but you can get it from things like lemon and lime juice, cutting them when fresh, squeezing it into water and then drinking that. You know, you do want to get, you know, the vitamins from fruits or vegetables, maybe primarily vegetables that you’re cutting right about when you’re going to eat them because the vitamin C content will drastically drop. Cut into it and let it sit. Really, you know, she’s doing the autoimmune protocol, so she’s not doing things like bell pepper, so bell peppers are really high in vitamin C, but broccoli is also really high in vitamin C. I think cauliflower is high in vitamin C. But if she’s having trouble digesting them, that’s where I kind of turn back to the citrus and just say lemon or lime. Squeeze one whole, you know, lemon or lime into water per day at least, and just drink it.
But she’s interested in entering, you know, her regular food intake, again, it’s something like fixated, like tracking. She may want to try that. I don’t know how amazingly accurate those databases are, but it could be interesting to just see what’s the scope of foods that I’m eating, what are the main nutrients that I’m getting in every day. And then maybe target the stuff that you know you’re not eating. That being said, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have it stored up or that you’re not somehow getting it elsewhere. There are some other types of diagnostic tests like Metrametrix has an organic acids panel. That I think is one where you can find out these things pretty well. Your practitioner should be able to order that for you. It’s a urine test. But I think some targeted supplement ideas are probably pretty good, like the vitamin C. B vitamins can be really helpful. When dealing with adrenal fatigue for that energy, but I also recommend listening to our 3 podcasts on the topic of adrenal fatigue, just to hear even more if you haven’t, and checking out my post on RobbWolf.com because I do list out some other supplement recommendations there. But I am curious what else she’s taking currently, but that’s really it. I don’t love multivitamins because I don’t know that you really need everything that’s in there, so I’m the biggest fan of multivitamins, though they seem more convenient than you know a whole bunch of separate things to take. But not my biggest….I’m not the biggest fan of them.
LIZ WOLFE: If this were me, Diane, and I don’t recommend most people do what I do in my life in general, but if it were me, I would probably do some warm lemon water in the morning with a little bit of sea salt. Salt is also very adrenal supportive. I’d probably order, if I was going to do a B complex, I would probably order the one from Dr. Ron’s. DrRons.com. And I would probably also start taking some glandulars, which you can also get from Dr. Ron’s. We’re not affiliated with Dr. Ron’s in any way, but it’s just another really reputable, really conscientious company that’s producing things right and appropriately, so that’s probably what I would play with, if it were me. But then again, she’s working with a practitioner, and it seems like, you know, she’s working on getting a handle on all of it. I would probably also get a little bit of natural sunlight as often as possible. I’m still kind of doing a little bit of research on the vitamin D thing. There’s some interesting conjecture out there, so that’s probably what I would do if that were me.
And we’re rounding out an hour. Maybe we can save these-the rest of these questions for next week. Tackle things like maintaining a healthy weight, kids and eczema, fuel for running, and improvement or lack of improvement in the face if a dietary change. We’ll tackle all of those next week, if that’s cool with you, D-sizzle.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Sounds great.
LIZ WOLFE: All right, folks. This is the end of Rico and the obscure movie quotes. We will back next week with more of your questions and we are also going to continue working on the listening experience. Hopefully this has been better than our standard call-in procedure. So until next week, you can find Diane at BalancedBites.com and you can find me, Liz, at CaveGirlEats.com or LizWolfeNTP.com. Thanks for listening, everybody. We’ll see you next week.
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Diane & Liz