Podcast Episode #95: Sugar, Oral health, and is an Autoimmune Protocol Enough?
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1. Sugar sugar sugar! [12:55] & [18:20]
2. Best way to use OraWellness product [23:08]
3. Getting my mouth back on track [28:27]
4. FCLO and Chapped lips? [33:21]
5. Following an autoimmune protocol still concerned with thyroid and hormone levels [42:10]
Click here to download this episode as an MP3.
Liz Wolfe: Hey, everyone!
Diane Sanfilippo: Why is that funny?
Liz Wolfe: I don’t know. I’m so punchy from everything off the air, all the Portlandia references. Hey, everybody! Liz and Diane here. Welcome to Balanced Bites Podcast #95.
Diane Sanfilippo: Woohoo!
Liz Wolfe: I’m punchy. What can I say?
Diane Sanfilippo: Ninety-five is kind of freaking me out.
Liz Wolfe: A little bit even more than the fact that I’m about to turn 30 is that fact that we’ve done this for almost a year… two years!
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, shut your face. You’re about to turn 30. The world’s tiniest violin is playing just for you over here. I actually made the finger motion to do that, too.
Liz Wolfe: I’m glad I can’t see you today.
Diane Sanfilippo: My bangs are quite swoopy today.
Liz Wolfe: Are they swoopy? Wow.
Diane Sanfilippo: I always feel like I look like a teenage cartoon character when my bangs are super swoopy, when I flip them to the other side for a change.
Liz Wolfe: Who’s the one from Scooby-Doo that’s not Velma?
Diane Sanfilippo: Aw, shoot.
Liz Wolfe: Somebody right now is screaming into their…
Diane Sanfilippo: Into their car.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: And the cops are driving by, like: That person’s crazy. I’m pulling them over. Oh, man.
Liz Wolfe: Sorry if you get pulled over because of the Balanced Bites Podcast.
Diane Sanfilippo: Somebody commented on the Facebook wall saying that she just caught up with the two of us for the last 3 hours of a long car ride, and I was laughing. I was like: Yeah, I catch up with us, too, when we do this because we pretty much don’t talk all week until we do the podcast, so it’s kind of fun for us to see what’s going on, and when we ask what each other is up to, we’re pretty genuine when we do that because we don’t even know until this.
Liz Wolfe: Pretty much.
Diane Sanfilippo: So what are you up to? What’s happening? Are you tick free? Covered in ticks?
Liz Wolfe: No, I’m not tick free at all, but that’s cool.
Diane Sanfilippo: Are you symbiotic with them by now?
Liz Wolfe: [Laughs]
Diane Sanfilippo: That wasn’t meant to be a joke.
Liz Wolfe: It just reminds me how excited I am that Shark Week is in, like, a month. Because you know how the sharks have little symbiotic wiggly things?
Diane Sanfilippo: I forget what they’re called.
Liz Wolfe: Symbiotic wiggly things, which is a technical term.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, yes.
Liz Wolfe: And by the way, anybody that’s listened to this podcast since the beginning has basically borne witness to the evolution of our friendship, and we’re still friends after 95 episodes.
Diane Sanfilippo: And countless hotel stays before teaching and through teaching as well.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s funny, though. When you say “Shark Week,” I know that you mean Discovery Channel Shark Week or whatever channel it is, but you could use the term Shark Week to refer to some other monthly things that happen. I’ll just throw it out there. I had a friend who used to be like: Oh, it’s Shark Week. I can’t go out. I’m not feeling so good.
Liz Wolfe: Wow.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Liz Wolfe: I hate that in the way that it’s amazing and I hate it —
Diane Sanfilippo: I love it. It’s awesome.
Liz Wolfe: — because I didn’t come up with it.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. It is something you would say. My friend Maureen is epic.
Liz Wolfe: Do you call her Mo?
Diane Sanfilippo: I did not. No, we didn’t call her that.
Liz Wolfe: I’ll call her Mo. Hey, Mo.
Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t think she’s listening.
Liz Wolfe: This is just silly.
Diane Sanfilippo: So what are you up to?
Liz Wolfe: Raising chickens.
Diane Sanfilippo: OK.
Liz Wolfe: We have baby chicks, and they’re so cute. And we have baby guineas, and they’re crazy. And I guess I kind of didn’t see the check box… see, I ordered these little guys from a hatchery nearby.
Diane Sanfilippo: From the Internet?
Liz Wolfe: I ordered babies from the Internet, which generally you’re not supposed to do, but you can do that for baby chicks, and so I guess I didn’t see the check box for a smaller group. I thought you had to order 15 at a time, which is how they come, so I ordered 15 guinea fowl in a straight run, so it’s boys and girls, and then I ordered 15 pullets, 15 sexed Silver Laced Wyandottes, so I have a total of 30.
Diane Sanfilippo: That was all Greek. I have no idea why you just said.
Liz Wolfe: OK, here’s what I just said: I have 30 birds in my laundry room. That’s what I just said. Actually 36, because they gave me extra.
Diane Sanfilippo: My jaw is on the floor.
Liz Wolfe: You want to come over?
Diane Sanfilippo: I didn’t want to come over just when you moved to a farm, so now that there are actual animals on it… I mean, if you’re about to kill them and then it’s dinnertime, maybe.
Liz Wolfe: I was going to say it’s not going to be dinnertime for a while. We got the guineas to take care of the tick problem, but they won’t be ready to eat ticks probably until next year, and that is if I can keep them around because they are notoriously noncommittal.
Diane Sanfilippo: OK, so then you have these chickens that are going to lay eggs. Do you eventually eat those chickens? Is it like: Haha, we kept you alive for so long, and now we’re just going to eat you? Or what happens?
Liz Wolfe: Actually no. We’re building a retirement home on our back acreage for chickens. We’re going to hire some vegans to take care of them.
Diane Sanfilippo: Will only the guinea fowl eat ticks? Or will pretty much any of them eat ticks?
Liz Wolfe: Well, they’ll all eat bugs and ticks, but apparently… I mean, this is what, of course, crunchy hippie people google is “natural tick control.” If you google “natural tick control,” the first thing that pops up is guinea fowl. You have to get guinea fowl.
Diane Sanfilippo: OK.
Liz Wolfe: They have, like, laser vision. It’s crazy.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, that’s cool!
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: This is actually pretty funny. Also, do you eat the guinea fowl at some point?
Liz Wolfe: Guinea fowl are actually often on French menus, and sometimes when you see pheasant on the menu, it’s actually guinea fowl. It’s supposed to be really good.
Diane Sanfilippo: What I’m trying to figure out is if you’re inevitably sticking it to the ticks by letting your chickens eat them and then you eat the chicken, and you’re like: Take that, ticks! Now I’m eating you, suckers!
Liz Wolfe: I was so thinking that. I was so thinking that, and it’s just full circle, right? But then I was thinking, do I really want to eat… Like, we say “pastured chickens,” and it sounds really cute and nice, but what we’re really saying is bug-fed chickens, so it’s like: The cow eats the grass…
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, chickens eat larvae and all little mealworms and gross stuff that’s out there freaking me out. I don’t like bugs.
Liz Wolfe: Black soldier flies. You literally make your own… you fester some kind of garbage, and you allow black soldier flies just to… bubble out.
Diane Sanfilippo: All right. We’ve officially grossed everyone out. So that’s what you’re up to. Anything else that you’re up to? Anything less disgusting?
Liz Wolfe: Well, every time I feed our dirty barn cat, I think of you since you’re a cat person.
Diane Sanfilippo: Really? Because my cat’s a dirty barn cat.
Liz Wolfe: I named it Diane.
Diane Sanfilippo: Shut up.
Liz Wolfe: Well, not before just now, but just now I named our dirty barn cat Diane. I just realized that’s the name I’ve been waiting for.
Diane Sanfilippo: I can’t… I can’t even… all right.
Liz Wolfe: It’s looking better now that I’m feeding it… grain-free.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s mean.
Liz Wolfe: What are you up to, Diane?
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, boy. What am I up to? Well, I had my nails done today.
Liz Wolfe: With toxic nail polish, you toxic person.
Diane Sanfilippo: It is. I actually was explaining this to my mother because she went with me. It was a lovely bonding experience.
Liz Wolfe: Aww. Love her.
Diane Sanfilippo: My mom rolls up with her tuna salad in a container, ready for her manicure, like: I didn’t have time to eat, so I had this put together. I think she got it from the bagel place, but of course, she did not try and eat a bagel in front of me because she knows I would give her a stare-down. Anyway, I do get toxic nail polish. I do. You know what? Not every ounce of thing in my life is toxin-free. That’s true. I’m not perfect. Shocking, I know. I really enjoy having my nails done. It’s the thing that I do every now and thing that makes me really happy. I like looking down at my nails looking all colorful and bright.
Liz Wolfe: You have some patriotic nails right now, right?
Diane Sanfilippo: Heck yeah, I did.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: And also someone on Instagram said after the week is over I can just say they’re Wonder Woman nails because when you look at my hands, it’s like a lady in the front and a gym rat on the other side.
Liz Wolfe: It’s like the nail mullet?
Diane Sanfilippo: It is. It’s the mullet of female hands. I mean, they’re really torn up on the other side.
Liz Wolfe: That’s funny.
Diane Sanfilippo: I like to have them looking cute. So that was today, but I’m working on 21-Day Sugar Detox, getting it finished up. I know some people are a little bit confused about the books that are coming out and where the recipes are going to be. The first book that’s coming out for the Sugar Detox will have the full outline of the program. It’ll have information about sugar in your body and how many carbs I think you maybe should be eating for different types of activity, but it will also have… at this point, it’s close to a hundred recipes. I was only supposed to do, like, 75, but I keep thinking of things that people are really going to want to make and then I put it in there. So the first book will have a ton of recipes. It’ll have meal plans, all that. The second book is only a cookbook, so it’s going to be a cookbook probably with meal plans, but there won’t be any of the program description and all of the FAQs and all of that, so it’s really just kind of a companion cookbook to the main guide. I know people are kind of curious about that. But yeah, I’m just wrapping that up. Hopefully it’ll be about another month or so before it goes off to print, so that’ll be really exciting.
Liz Wolfe: What are you on? Because I want some. I mean, I know it’s not just iced coffee that’s making you get all this stuff done.
Diane Sanfilippo: I have an intern now. I mean, there are probably five people working with me now, so that’s what I’m on is help.
Liz Wolfe: Ugh.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. It’s the best I can do. I can’t keep up with everything. Also, we talk about sleep a ton. I don’t really sleep a lot or very well right now. I’m someone who’s much more prone to anxiety than depression. Not that everyone’s prone to one or the other, but I do think we kind of have our tendencies.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: And I can’t go to sleep when I have stuff on my mind that I need to get done, and if I finally get to sleep, I don’t sleep very long because I wake up, like, I have so much to do.
Liz Wolfe: Wow.
Diane Sanfilippo: So that’s really it. I can’t keep sleeping. It’s really hard for me to sleep.
Liz Wolfe: I’m the opposite. That’s such an interesting thing that you just said because I’m definitely more prone to depression than anxiety. I’m much more prone to just kind of crawl under my rock and want to stay there when I’m overwhelmed rather than getting anxious and overworking.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. It doesn’t mean that my work is always productive, but when I can focus and start to delegate little thing that I don’t personally have to be doing every minute, like filing receipts, things like that, yeah, it really helps. And as soon as I start actually checking things off, like the fact that 95% of the recipes are done for the book, or 90%, I start to feel a lot more accomplished, and then I keep getting more done. It’s good. Whatever it is that you’re focused on at the moment…
Liz Wolfe: Well, I was watching Twilight.
Diane Sanfilippo: See? You’re committed to this whole saga.
Liz Wolfe: Ugh.
Diane Sanfilippo: All right. Enough chit chat?
Liz Wolfe: Enough.
Diane Sanfilippo: We could catch up for a while, but…
Liz Wolfe: Sorry, folks.
Diane Sanfilippo: Let’s answer some questions, shall we?
1. Sugar, Sugar, Sugar [12:47]
Liz Wolfe: If you’re still with us, here are some questions. All right, this one: Sugar, sugar, sugar. Sara says: “How do you get your brain to shut off the craving for sugar? My body isn’t craving, but my mind is always telling me to have something.” This is interesting because a lot of folks don’t make that distinction between a bodily craving and a mental craving, so what are your thoughts on this, Diane?
Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t really know what she means by “my mind is always telling me to have something.” Do you think she means: I’ve been so trained to eat every 2 hours that my brain is telling me I should be eating something?
Liz Wolfe: I think she means, and this is a place I’ve been a million times where you’re full, you know you’re full, and you’re still like: I’m gonna eat that Hail Merry. I’m gonna eat that Hail Merry. I’m gonna eat that Hail Merry.
Diane Sanfilippo: OK. So a couple of things here: How do you shut it off? First of all, you take away the things that are in your house that you can even reach for. Literally, if the stuff isn’t there, it quiets your brain.
Liz Wolfe: Ha!
Diane Sanfilippo: It does! This is my experience.
Liz Wolfe: I used to drive to the donut shop an hour away when there wasn’t stuff in my house.
Diane Sanfilippo: But you don’t do that anymore.
Liz Wolfe: I’ve thought about it.
Diane Sanfilippo: You’re punchy, man.
Liz Wolfe: I know.
Diane Sanfilippo: I need to mute you, I think.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: So a couple of things you can do to actually get your brain and your body to just not have that feeling: One thing is you can take some l-glutamine as a supplement. That will help with sugar cravings, and if it’s a craving of some sort and you don’t think it’s your body saying: I need sugar, but it’s your mind, the glutamine can be helpful. If you’re very stressed out, so your brain is kind of telling you: I want sugar, you might need some more carbs in your diet in general, because if your body does need something and your brain is kind of going off with these messages, making sure you’re not depriving yourself of carbohydrates that you need to be burning. If you’re exercising or if you’re very stressed, your body will be looking to burn glucose as fuel in those situations, so it’s not good to deprive it of that.
And then I think that one other thing you could do is you could take a supplement that’s called Gymnema, and that actually starts to shut off the sweet taste receptors in your mouth. I’m totally lisping over these words with my Invisalign, but I’ve had it out for too long today already. So anyway, you could take some of that, and that might help a little bit.
The thing about the sugar detox program, for example, is that what we do with the program is just sort of take away certain foods as an option. And what’s interesting about it is that it’s almost like what we do with the basic paleo diet in and of itself or paleo approach where for a lot of us over time, we don’t look at certain things as food anymore or as options, right? I go into Starbucks because I want to get an iced coffee or something like that. The pastries that are there, to me, yeah, they look good. I’m human. I used to eat tons of that stuff, but it’s not even something that’s in my scope of, like, what am I going to have today. It’s just off the table, not an option. One of the things that we do with the Sugar Detox program is just take a lot of foods that tend to trigger people off the table as options. If you have things around you that you’re looking at or habits or you go out to eat and you’re like: Well, there’s an option to have this dessert, just taking away as many of those options as possible so that it just becomes a little bit less of an issue. I don’t know. Is there something else that you want to tell her about this?
Liz Wolfe: No. Sometimes it takes time. Just be patient with yourself. When you feel like you have to have everything fixed right now, right now, I think that causes way more of the behavior that we’re trying to stop than would be there if we were just kind of prepared to be patient and expect maybe some bumps in the road and treat them as normal.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, and I think when I keep re-reading this question, I feel like it’s just a soothing mechanism that she’s looking for, like: How do you get your brain to shut off the craving? My body isn’t craving it. My mind is always telling me to have something. At that point… I don’t remember where I first heard this, but it’s like you’re feeding, you’re not eating. You’re trying to feed something that’s empty that’s not really an appetite that’s legitimate or a hunger that’s legitimate. It’s just this: I want something or I don’t want to feel like I can’t have it. I don’t know. I think there’s a lot of psychology at play there. It’s the same thing with the next question. I think these two are related, so they’re both under that whole sugar-sugar question.
Liz Wolfe: Sugar, sugar, sugar.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, from Kate. Do you want to read that one?
2. Binging While on the Sugar Detox [18:21]
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, this one from Kate, she says: “I ate a 21-Day Sugar Detox-friendly dessert that made nine servings. Well, I ate all nine servings. Should I just cut out all dessert altogether because I have a feeling this won’t stop? Also, should I start the detox over?”
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, binging is definitely a bad sign. And one of the things I try and do with the program is give people the benefit of the doubt. To a large degree, a lot of people who are on the program or starting it are coming from eating a lot of highly refined foods: bread and cakes and cookies and all that kind of stuff, and taking away everything you know can be really debilitating, and so if there’s a 21-Day Sugar Detox-friendly dessert that maybe we’re baking some apples with nuts on top or something like that, if you have a tendency to binge, then yes, identify your triggers, and when it happens the first time, identify what that food is that’s triggering you.
I think it’s also important, like what I mentioned in the previous question, identify why it is you feel the need to soothe yourself with food. And I’m not trying to say this as… you know, I don’t know what Kate is like physically. I don’t want people to think that I’m saying this as like I assume somebody is in a place where they’re extremely obese and this is a habit that they have all the time, but it’s something I’m really familiar with because definitely for me, food is a comfort. It’s helpful when you’ve gotten to a place where you eat really healthy foods because even kind of overdoing it on nine servings of a 21-Day Sugar Detox-friendly dessert, which depending on which one it is, it may or may not be that big of a deal sort of calorie wise. It could have been a lot of great nutrition, you know? There could be really great stuff in there. I don’t know which one it was, but the habit that we have of feeling this either sadness or emptiness or deprivation and then going in and having nine servings of something, there’s something else going on there, and in my experience, it’s not really the fault of the dessert when it’s this type of dessert. We’re not putting sweeteners in it. I don’t know which one she had. Maybe it was from some other blogger or whatnot, and maybe it was just a little too indulgent for whatever reason.
Sometimes when we combine things, like salt, sugar, and fat, that would not normally be combined in nature — we talk about this at the seminars sometimes, Liz — but if we find something that’s kind of sweet and kind of fatty together, you just would never really find that in nature. Where you find sweetness in nature would be honey and fruit, and there’s no fat that’s naturally with that, and where you find fat in nature is going to be typically animal fat or things like nuts and seeds, avocado, those things of things, and there’s not also salt and sugar. So when we combine those things, we really do trigger our brain to want to eat more, and that’s something that we know food manufacturers really play on and prey on. There’s a whole book about it now, Salt Sugar Fat, but that can be a trigger.
It’s hard to know where the root cause is coming from, and I think, like what you said, Liz, on the previous one, being patient and taking your time to stop yourself when you feel that you’re doing it. I wouldn’t give yourself a guilt trip. It happened. Move on. Just continue. I wouldn’t start over, but be a little self-critical, and I don’t mean criticize yourself, but look at what the situation was. Look back. OK, last night, what was going on? Did I come home and I was by myself and I was lonely? In the future, maybe I should invite a friend over for dinner and then we each have one serving of this thing and then I put it away and I’m not sitting by myself and I’m not bored and feeling like I’m missing something, because generally when people binge like that, it’s not just, well, your body was craving carbs. It usually has some other sort of psychological background to it. And if it is that your body was craving carbs and you haven’t been eating enough carbohydrate — again, I don’t know what dessert it was — then that’s something you should really be looking at. There are plenty of carbohydrates available on the Sugar Detox program. We’re just not eating tons of sweets. I don’t know if you have any other thoughts on that.
Liz Wolfe: Nope. I think you covered it. Moving on…
3. Best Way to Use OraWellness Product [23:05]
Best way to use OraWellness product. This is from Julie. “I know you use OraWellness for you tooth care.” Diane, are you still using OraWellness?
Diane Sanfilippo: Yes, I am.
Liz Wolfe: Me, too. OK. “My question is do you add it in addition to a regular toothpaste, or do you use it solely? If you do add it to toothpaste, what’s a recommended brand of safe or safer toothpaste? Love your blog and book. Thanks!”
Yeah, you can use OraWellness exclusively if you want to. I love OraWellness, and I’ve been using it for a really long time. It’s my favorite oil-based toothpaste, and I really, really love the Bass brushes that they send along with it. I also use a tongue scraper, and then I’ll do the tooth powder from Primal Life Organics just because I like it and I’m just a little schizophrenic with all these different body care things. I like to try and do a million things at once.
Diane Sanfilippo: Confirmed.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, confirmed. I’m super into clay right now, too, for almost everything. You can use OraWellness all by itself. Or if you kind of want to stretch that out a little bit, you can try some of the Primal Life Organics tooth powder. You can make your own essential oil blend. You can use baking soda and coconut oil. You can do some oil pulling. Redmond Clay has a hydrated clay toothpaste, and this is really good for kids, especially kids who are transitioning away from transitioning away from conventional toothpaste to something different, sometimes you just want to squeeze that tube, and the Redmond Clay-based toothpaste is in just a regular tube that squeezes just like regular toothpaste. It doesn’t lather like that, but it’s pretty close. So again, yeah, you can use the OraWellness on its own, or you can grab a couple other things and use those as well.
Diane Sanfilippo: You know what’s funny? I’m actually sitting here in my office and the Redmond people sent me — it’s just timely — they sent me a bunch of stuff a long time ago when they gave me some samples for us to give out of the salt, but they also sent me clay, so I have their Earthpaste.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, that’s it!
Diane Sanfilippo: OK, so I have that in my hand here. Purified water, food-grade Redmond Clay, xylitol, cinnamon essential oil, Redmond sea salt, and tea tree oil. Yeah, that’s sounds pretty legit if you want a tube.
Liz Wolfe: Speaking of xylitol, I think a lot of folks recognize that as an Atkins-type sweetener. I think it’s a non-calorie sweetener.
Diane Sanfilippo: Sugar alcohol.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, sugar alcohol. We conventionally think of those types of things as feeding bacteria, but what xylitol does or is purported to do is to kind of starve oral bacteria, that bad bacteria. I don’t know, but mine, I think, is peppermint, and I don’t know that that has xylitol in it.
Diane Sanfilippo: No. I think they’re using it to give it a little bit of sweetness because that’s what people are used to.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s my guess, that they’re using it for that. I also have facial mud and first-aid clay and then just a whole jar of bentonite clay.
Liz Wolfe: Love it! I’m going to start talking about… I’m walking into the bathroom right now to see…
Diane Sanfilippo: I hear you.
Liz Wolfe: Oh, you’re right. This one has xylitol in it. Redmond Real Salt, tea tree oil, peppermint essential oil.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, it’s the same one.
Liz Wolfe: Redmond Clay. Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: Earthpaste.
Liz Wolfe: Earthpaste.
Diane Sanfilippo: OK, well, so that’s an option. Well, I currently only really use the OraWellness. Sometimes, like what you were mentioning, I will blend together my own coconut oil, baking soda, and maybe some peroxide and a little bit of some kind of mint essential oil just to get some whitening going. I honestly think I have a genetic tendency to have my teeth be darker. I can brush four times a day or more, as I have been with the Invisalign, and my teeth just don’t stay white. I have no idea what it is, but I look at my grandma and my mom, and their teeth are brown and they don’t drink dark beverages, so I have no idea. I think that is one of those things. But that’s what I do, and we’ll put a link to the OraWellness stuff in the show notes for this podcast. I really like it. I also really like that it’s a small, little bottle to travel with or you can throw it in your purse really easily.
Liz Wolfe: Yes.
Diane Sanfilippo: And I recently ordered, like, three more because with the Invisalign I’m brushing my teeth and the retainers a million times a day. And also recently I put the OraWellness on my electric toothbrush, and it seems to be working just fine.
Liz Wolfe: Interesting.
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s whatever. It’s just the oil. I like that electric toothbrush because I feel like it really cleans well.
Liz Wolfe: You like EMFs in your mouth.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, Liz. Look, if your teeth were perpetually… It’s basically like they’re turning brown every day if I don’t get in there and try and whiten them.
Liz Wolfe: It isn’t that bad.
Diane Sanfilippo: It is that bad.
Liz Wolfe: And also I was kidding about the EMFs. I used the microwave this morning. [Gasp!]
Diane Sanfilippo: [Gasp!]
Liz Wolfe: Oh, my gosh!
Diane Sanfilippo: There’s another mouth question that’s a follow-up kind of.
Liz Wolfe: Oh, yes there is, isn’t there?
Diane Sanfilippo: So do you want to just read that one quickly? It’s pretty similar.
4. Getting My Mouth Back on Track [28:26]
Liz Wolfe: Yes. Getting my mouth back on track. “Love your podcast. It gets me through my afternoons at work. I have a question about mouth health and the paleo diet. I was on the paleo diet for several months, fell off, and now I’m back in the saddle and ready to kick ass again. During my last dental visit, my hygienist made a note that I have more plaque than usual and recommended I come in for cleanings every three months. I really don’t want to pay for all those cleanings, so I’m wondering if you have any advice on getting my mouth back in order. Is there something I should or shouldn’t be eating? I brush and floss in the morning and at night. I drink about two liters of water a day, and I’m on the 21-Day Sugar Detox. Thank you kindly.”
I don’t know if this would be because… I mean, I don’t know how long she was not eating a certain way, so I don’t know if this is a result of some kind of shift in what’s going on metabolically in that interim between paleo and 21-Day Sugar Detox or if she’s just prone to more minerals in her saliva, which I think you were going to say something about that, Diane, but I do too.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, that’s really all I was going to chalk it up to because this is something that I’ve noticed since eating a better diet, a more nutrient-dense diet, and it’s kind of that area right in front of your salivary duct, so under your tongue, kind of shooting saliva out to the back of your front bottom teeth. I will get a lot of buildup there, and I actually have a mini version of the little scraper thing that they have at the dentist’s office. So I’ll floss and I’ll kind of get in there and try and scrape away at it a little bit if it has really built up badly. And with the Invisalign I can see in my mouth where things tend to build up. It’s a really interesting thing. It’s almost like you get this picture of what would be happening on your teeth, but it’s happening right on the trays, so I can see the two or three spots where that buildup happens a little bit more, and a lot of it’s right there. But yeah, I did ask my dentist about that too, and they didn’t really have any other information about it because I told him I really don’t eat a lot of sugar and I don’t eat refined foods. It’s one of those little curious things, and I wonder if some of our listeners maybe have researched it or have done a little more digging on that, too. But yeah, I think it really is just a richer mineral content in the saliva, which is kind of a good thing, and I wonder what the downside of that is. I almost feel like it’s trying to remineralize my teeth. I don’t know.
Liz Wolfe: We need to get a paleo dentist on here.
Diane Sanfilippo: OK. That’ll be our next trick.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, for our next trick. In New Jersey, I was seeing what the Weston A. Price Foundation and some other hippies call biological dentists, which they’re basically just dentists, but they are more holistically oriented. A lot of them will perform safe mercury or amalgam filling removal, stuff like that. And he was hilarious, Dr. Silver, in New Jersey. You guys should go see him because he’s really funny. He called me Kansas. Anyway, so yeah, he just remarked basically that it was just one of those things that some people have and some people don’t, that it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you know if you don’t like feeling sandpaper there with the tip of your tongue, it’s not always your favorite. Incidentally, he also recommended an essential oil blend for brushing, so interesting.
Diane Sanfilippo: That is interesting.
Liz Wolfe: Very. It’s so fascinating, the mineral content of your saliva.
5. Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Chapped Lips? [32:20]
OK, next up. Fermented cod liver oil and chapped lips? This is from Ashley. “Hi, girls! Love your podcast, as everyone does.” Oh, if only. “A question regarding cod liver oil: Every time I try to take it, I end up getting really chapped lips. I have read that too much vitamin A will do that. I don’t seem to be overdosing on vitamin A, not too many organ meats, and I’m only taking 5 mL per day of fermented cod liver oil. Do you have any recommendations? Am I deficient in another vitamin that could be causing a reaction? My recent vitamin D levels were tested at 60. Vitamin K2? I know they’re all synergistic. Thanks so much for your time.”
I think Ashley’s made some pretty incisive observations here. Yeah, my answer would be, sure, that would be something to play around with. Maybe for your next bottle, grab some of the cod liver oil/butter oil blend and see if that mix of K2, vitamin D, and vitamin A offers any help. You could also dial back your dosing of fermented cod liver oil to just a couple times a week or something like that because you’ll still see some benefits from it, but just play with that variable.
The other thing I was going to say is if you have any kind of histamine intolerance or any type of sensitive immune system going on right now, that could be it, too, because it is fermented. There are some natural byproducts generated by the fermentation process that a few people out there can’t tolerate. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad food. For example, coconut has salicylate content, and some people happen to be sensitive to salicylates. Some people just can’t tolerate one thing or another, and it doesn’t mean it’s not a good thing to keep around, but that might be something to look at as well. If she’s willing to eat organ meats, get a little bit of sun, and maybe try some raw dairy or even some ghee from Pure Indian Foods. They have the really good ghee for a little bit of K2. That’d be something to try. Just kind of play around with it a little bit. What do you think, Diane?
Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t think anything in addition to that.
Liz Wolfe: That’s right. But I would be curious as to what happens, so Ashley, please keep in touch on this. And also, as far as testing vitamin D levels, I just don’t know that that test is worth the stake that we put in it, not only because of the way vitamin D acts in the body, depending on where you’re getting it from, if you’re getting it from the sun or if you’re getting it from a supplement, I just think there are a lot of things at work there where we may see vitamin D levels that appear sufficient as measured but may not really be doing what we think they’re doing in the body. It’s just one of those things that I don’t have a whole lot of information to back that up, but that’s kind of my instinct from what I know about vitamin D.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I know there are a lot of people who get really geeked out on numbers, and I know every now and then we’ll talk about certain measures, like triglycerides, which there are certain measures that I like because they do tell us a pretty good story, and they can tell us a story when the person’s body or “symptoms” might not. Triglycerides, for example — I know it sounds like I’m totally off on a tangent, but I’m not. I’ll bring it back.
Liz Wolfe: Oh, God forbid we go on a tangent!
Diane Sanfilippo: But triglycerides, for example, somebody who looks lean, perhaps, but they’re eating a diet that’s not healthful, their triglycerides will tell us that. Sometimes their fasting glucose, but that triglyceride number is really one of those ones where I think I’ve talked about this friend that I had years ago, a coworker who was, like, 25 and looked pretty healthy and fit. She was trim. She wasn’t an athlete or anything, and she ate a lot of carbs and refined foods and garbage carbs, so “carbage,” but her triglycerides were over 200, and that I love because it’s like: OK, you’re not getting fat on your body, but your blood fat is telling you what you’re eating is not OK. And so that’s a really great blood marker because it actually tells us a real story. But vitamin D is one where, like, you might have a receptor problem to where you could have higher levels of vitamin D in your bloodstream that are getting measured, but your actual tissue levels of vitamin D might not be that great, so the effectiveness of that serum or blood level of vitamin D might not actually be that great, and that’s one of the reasons why I don’t get blood work done religiously. I feel like we lose the forest for the trees a lot when we just rely on what the blood markers say and we forget, like, how are you doing? You say that your vitamin D levels are good, but maybe they’re too low for you, or maybe that vitamin D isn’t the right active form that you need because maybe your lips then wouldn’t be chapped. Anyway, that’s what I think about that.
Liz Wolfe: That’s what I think about that.
Diane Sanfilippo: Blood work.
Liz Wolfe: You know, I was raised in a very non-medical household, so I guess I don’t object necessarily to… I feel the same way that you feel about blood work.
Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t object to it.
Liz Wolfe: No.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I don’t object to it, but when we hold onto it so tightly either for positive or negative reasons, I’m like: Hold on. You know?
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, that’s totally my stance, too. And I can’t stand getting in arguments with people that are like: Oh, I had to do this because my blood work showed this. I’m like: No. No, no, no. Big picture, right?
Diane Sanfilippo: Right.
Liz Wolfe: But for me personally, I think I get a little bit of static about this now and then because people what to know what my blood work is, and it’s not that I think it means nothing, but for me personally I just will never do it. And I’m sorry, but it’s not even just because I don’t find it entirely necessary, I don’t think it tells us what I think it does, but for me, just having been raised in a different type of environment, I just will not do it. Unless I’m in the hospital and something’s crazy, I’m not going to ever do that just to see.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Well, when I did it last summer because I felt like I was dying, it did not tell me anything I didn’t know.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: Not one thing. All it did is maybe stroke my ego a little bit about my triglycerides being so fantastic, and my cholesterol was “high” to what a standard 200 would have been high. Like, mine was over 200, but the ratios that I had were great. Everything was what I would’ve expected. Actually my cholesterol was a little bit elevated because I was so stressed.
Liz Wolfe: And that’s not a bad thing!
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s not. It’s what it’s there for. But yeah, I mean, blood work can tell you something when something’s going wrong. It can be interesting. I think it can be most interesting when somebody feels like what’s going on in their body is mysterious to them, but the same thing applies. The same protocol of, like, let’s get this human in better health, the same protocol initially applies, and I’m willing to bet that a minimum of 50% to 75% of the issues can be resolved with what we would consider holistic approaches of sleeping and maybe some basic, basic supplementation to help the body’s systems that we can just look at the person and know. Hey, if you’re not sleeping enough, if you’re not eating right, if your stress levels are out of whack, if you’re running a marathon every weekend — you know, all the basics — you don’t need blood work to tell you that. But the reality is people want the blood work to be the slap in the face of: Oh, OK. Well, my blood work says it, so then maybe I should really do something. Or they want it as the free pass to be like: Well, my cholesterol’s fine and I eat Twinkies every day. It’s like: Really?! Is that what you’re going on? Or, I’m a hundred pounds overweight, but my blood pressure is OK. OK, so is that what we’re doing now? We’re using it as either an excuse to dismiss something that’s very obvious, or we’re using it as finally that one push that’s telling us we need to make a change. And for some people, maybe that’s good. You know what I mean? I think for the people that need that, maybe that’s helpful. But it’s just never been the thing that I like to run on. That’s a serious, serious tangent from chapped lips.
Liz Wolfe: Serious tangent. But we just don’t want the blood work, the vitamin D thing to become the new cholesterol. We started measuring cholesterol in the first place because it was easy and cheap, but it doesn’t tell us what we think it tells us, so I really don’t want the vitamin D measure to become an easy, cheap way to tell ourselves nothing. That’s my feeling on it.
Diane Sanfilippo: We want to do one more really quickly. I think we have just about 5 minutes left.
Liz Wolfe: Yes, this is going to be a 45 or 50-minute-er today.
Diane Sanfilippo: I have a really quick answer for that next one.
6. Following an Autoimmune Protocol, Still Concerned with Thyroid and Hormone Levels [42:10]
Liz Wolfe: Okeydoke . Following an autoimmune protocol, still concerned with thyroid and hormone levels. This is from Heather. “I’ve been paleo for almost five months and I’m loving it. Problem: My thyroid is below normal as well as my hormones. Yikes. I don’t want to be put on any medications long term, and my doctor is telling me to think about it and retest in 6 months. Thyroid has been slowly going down for years. I’m attempting to adopt the autoimmune protocol in hopes of correcting the issues. About 10 years ago, I went on Depo-Provera, but only on it for less than 2 years. Since then, I’ve not had a period except when placed on progesterone twice. Now I’m 2 years without a period. Help! I have days of pure exhaustion. Caffeine-free for 4-ish weeks, and I can’t remember anything unless I write it down ASAP.”
Diane Sanfilippo: OK. I don’t think we need to read all of her stuff. The thing that I want to remind Heather of here, because the thing that really stood out to me is where she said: “Problem: My thyroid is below normal as well as my hormones. I don’t want to be put on any medications long term, and my doctor is telling me to think about it and retest in 6 months.” Before we get into all of the other stuff because I’ve said this a million times, if stress levels and cortisol are out of whack, it’s going to affect your thyroid hormone. If cortisol and thyroid hormone are out of whack, it’s going to affect the rest of your hormones as well, because those are a little bit of overarching sort of governing metabolic hormones versus sex hormones, which are kind of secondary… not in terms of importance, but in terms of survival mode. We need cortisol to be working right. We need to have some thyroid hormone. We don’t need to really be having a regular period or cycle to be alive. We just need that to reproduce, obviously. Again, I’m not saying it’s not important, but in this case… I’ve said this a million times, so she may not realize that this applies to her or she may just not have heard the episodes, we’ve talked about thyroid a lot, but taking a prescription of thyroid hormone because your thyroid is low or not working well, especially if you’re following an autoimmune protocol, if you’re eating well and not over-exercising, which is one of the things that she points out here. She says: “I’m 5’5″ and 112 pounds and is a runner.”
Liz Wolfe: A low-carb runner, too.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, she sounds like she’s at least 10 pounds underweight. That’s my guess. This is just what I know of athletic bodies and shapes. And I’m not passing judgment on her shape, but 112 pounds at 5’5″ is a very thin woman, and so this could be stressful for your body. You might need to gain about 10 pounds at a minimum. At 5’5″, I would tell you somewhere between 125 and 135 sounds like a normal body weight, depending on how athletic you are. So knowing that, if you need thyroid hormone because your body doesn’t make it and you need a prescription for that, remember that prescription is not a medication. It’s a hormone. If your body doesn’t make the hormone, you need the hormone. You need to not feel like: I don’t want to take this! I don’t want to take prescriptions! I don’t want to be one of those people! Because I know that’s the mentality that people have, and that’s not what it is. So if your thyroid is destroyed to the point where it cannot make this hormone anymore, you need to take the hormone. It’s just as simple as that. Now, how much you take, how that’s going to work, obviously you work with your endocrinologist on all of that.
Remembering that very stressed-out systems, if this were my client and she’s running two times weekly, 12 to 16 miles until mid summer and you’re underweight and your thyroid isn’t working, this is the person that I literally want to hold her shoulders and tell her to not run. And I know that people love to run and you get a lot of pleasure from it, and it’s, like, your thing, so then I would say scale that back. Make it a 5- or a 6-mile run twice a week at most. And work on ways to reduce stress for your body because when your body is stressed, your thyroid will work even worse. This is all stuff that is outlined in the meal plan in Practical Paleo for thyroid health. I’m an athlete, too. I don’t want to hear it when someone tells me not to train, but last year when I was pretty much crying every single week at the gym and I was injuring myself every week at the gym and I had a practitioner friend who was like: You really shouldn’t be doing CrossFit right now. I knew what I should be doing and what I shouldn’t be doing, but I wanted to show up there because it was fun for me and those are my people. And I put an email out to a friend of mine who’s a practitioner, and I was like: What should I be doing? Actually it was Robb Wolf. I was like: What should I do? And when he wrote back to me, I was like: That’s what I would’ve told myself. I just didn’t want to listen to myself, that I couldn’t be doing those things. So that’s kind of the tough love. I think she’s in a place where she’s overstressing her body.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s it.
Liz Wolfe: I must agree. Sometimes you just need to hear it from somebody, that’s all.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, so it’s those two things. It’s the stress levels and all of that, and maybe she’s too low-carb. A hundred grams a day if she’s running as much as she is, is probably not enough carbs, especially if you’re on autoimmune protocol. If you’re autoimmune and low-carb, it’s like she’s trying to cut things wherever she can, and that’s not the approach I would take. I might even have her work with someone and enter her food into FitDay.com, for example. How many calories is she eating? She might be completely undereating. It sounds like she probably is.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah. I feel like sometimes with folks, especially people that spend a really long amount of time running, because for me, I walk a lot, but my “workouts” when I lift things, those are really efficient. They don’t take a whole lot of my time up, and I sub that time that I used to spend in spin class and in back-to-back yoga classes and whatnot, I spend that time sleeping. So if you’re wondering what you’re going to do instead of running, lifting, cross-training, doing yoga, and watching Vampire Diaries, sleep!
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, and one of the things that I end up telling people all the time is — well, two things — one, just because you could always: Well, I’ve always run that much. Well, sometimes that’s why you’re in this situation, because it’s been too much for you and you’ve finally hit that wall. That’s one side of it. And the other side of it is that… What was I going to say? I just lost my train of thought.
Liz Wolfe: You need to sleep instead of watching so much Vampire Diaries.
Diane Sanfilippo: I definitely do not watch Vampire Diaries.
Liz Wolfe: Too much Portlandia.
Diane Sanfilippo: When she’s running that much, 12 to 16 miles, I don’t know if that’s each time or one week, but that’s like the fight-or-flight mode for as much time as she’s running. So what you were saying about efficient workouts where it’s like 10 to 20 minutes, the fight-or-flight mode is 10 to 20 minutes versus 2 hours. You know what I mean? So if you’re already in a situation, if you’re having thyroid issues where your body is like: Too much stress, too much stress, too much stress, what you’re piling onto that is a lot of time of more stress. But the other thing I was going to say is for some people, again, it’s just your body hits this limit and what you “used” to be able to do, you cannot do anymore. Or for some people, the truth of the matter might be that you just can’t do it right now. The same way I tell people who do, for example, an autoimmune protocol, if you’re not eating eggs and you’re trying to test and see and you’re so upset about it because you love eggs — or running — you know what? Tell yourself this is for now. This is while I heal and while I figure out what’s wrong with me. Every person has to hit their rock bottom of deciding when you’re at that point where you’re ready to give up the thing that’s probably hurting you. And that’s that.
Liz Wolfe: All right. Well, we’ll stop there for today if you’re OK with that. We have some good ones that are going to come up next week. All right, so that’s it, everybody. We’ll be back next week with more of your questions. Remember, if you’re enjoying the podcasts, including our banter at the beginning, do leave us a review in iTunes. Every single positive review helps. If you don’t like our podcast, please stop listening and don’t leave us a review in iTunes. We love all of you either way. Until next week, you can find Diane at BalancedBites.com. You can find me, Liz, at CaveGirlEats.com. Thanks for listening! We’ll be back next week.
Diane & Liz