Podcast Episode #144: Butter, Exercise & AIP, MCT Oil/Bulletproof Coffee, Sweet Drinks on the 21DSD & Skin Help

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The Balanced Bites Podcast | Episode 144 | Butter, exercise & AIP, MCT oil/Bulletproof coffee, sweet drinks on the 21DSD, and skin helpTopics:
1.  Diane’s updates [3:06] 2.  Liz’s updates [9:21] 3.  Saturated fat article in Time magazine [12:35] 4.  Exercise & the autoimmune protocol  [21:36] 5. The 411 on MCT oil & bulletproof coffee [31:34] 6.  On the 21-Day Sugar Detox, is this sweet-tasting drink ok? [41:25] 7.  Skin help; PCOS, medications, and an impending wedding [44:50]


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Liz Wolfe: Hey everyone! Welcome to episode 144 of the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Liz, and that’s Diane, per usual.

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey!

Liz Wolfe: Hey! And per usual, here is a little word about our sponsors. First up, Pete’s Paleo, bringing fine dining to your cave. If you’d like to make eating paleo a little easier on yourself, check out Pete’s meal plans. The meals are great for those nights when you’re on the run, out of time, and need real food fast. They are also good for the nights when you just want really, really good food because you suck at cooking. That’s my little asterisk I’m inserting in there. And, the special announcement that we made previously that Pete’s Paleo is now offering 21-Day Sugar Detox friendly meals, which is amazing! It will make your life that much easier on the 21-DSD. Check out for all the details on the new 21-Day Sugar Detox and other special diet-friendly meals. Up next, Chameleon Cold-Brew, our favorite organic, fair trade, smooth and rich cold-brewed coffee. We love it iced, warmed up, black, with grass-fed butter, with coconut milk. Whatever your fancy. Chameleon Cold-Brew is available at lots of grocery stores nationwide. Check their website for a store locator, and stay tuned for online ordering to come back. But I keep seeing pictures, it seems like they are in stores…

Diane Sanfilippo: I think, yeah.

Liz Wolfe: All over the place.

Diane Sanfilippo: yeah. And their online ordering may be back.

Liz Wolfe: It would be really easy to find out. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Just go to

Liz Wolfe: Yes. But I can’t run Skype and the internet at the same time, so {laughs}. I can’t check. And finally, our newest sponsor, Rickaroons. Delicious macaroons that are made of high quality ingredients, like coconut, dark chocolate, cacao nibs, and almond butter. They taste amazing. They are perfect to keep on hand when you’re on the go and need a quick bite, or for a great post workout snack. Check them out at, and get 15% off your order with the code podcast. We’ve already seen a lot of people posting to Instagram and telling us how much they love them. Those and CCB and Pete’s Paleo. We’re just all one big happy eating family.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yum.

1. Diane’s updates [3:06]

Liz Wolfe: Yum. Ok, so, should we just jump right into updates? Updates, yours?

Diane Sanfilippo: My updates first?

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m hearing myself.

Liz Wolfe: I can’t hear you twice.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Ok. When you mute yourself I won’t then hear myself, so it will be fine.

Liz Wolfe: OK.

Diane Sanfilippo: OK. Updates, well actually you may need to not mute. I don’t really know, but do you watch Orange is the New Black?

Liz Wolfe: No! Is this going to be a spoiler?

Diane Sanfilippo: No, I would never do that.

Liz Wolfe: OK {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: But you have to go back and watch all of it. So, I didn’t know this when I watched season 1 several months ago that, you know, not only are these Netflix exclusive series, but they release the entire season at once so that you can go ahead and binge watch it, you don’t have to wait. So I remember when I finished the first season, I was like, No! Now I have to watch it week by week when it comes out again. And someone was like, no Diane, that’s not how it works.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: They put out the whole season. They want you to watch it in one weekend. So anyway, hopefully people are not putting out spoilers. I definitely would not do that, but the first night I went to watch one, I took a picture of the Netflix loading screen. I’m pretty sure that that picture on Instagram has now beaten out the Mean Girls pencils pictures. Let’s forget any awesome food or healthy information or tips or any of that stuff that I post on Instagram. It was a Netflix loading sign that I’m pretty sure will now be my most famous Instagram post. So we can put that next to some goats, and there’s what people come to our Instagrams for. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: But, so if you’re not watching, I don’t know. This is not a recommendation to the entire listening audience, because it’s not going to be for everyone. There’s definitely some explicit scenes and things like that, but it’s just gripping. You just can’t wait to see what happens next.

Liz Wolfe: I totally thought that was a comedy.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, there’s definitely some really funny parts. There was a really funny line, I think it was in the third episode about gluten, and it was just hysterical. A whole bunch of people were putting out shareables about it already. It’s really funny, but it’s definitely not just a comedy.

Liz Wolfe: Well, it’s a moo point for me, because I can’t stream Netflix.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: It’s moo. Like a cow’s opinion.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} Ok. Awesome reference. So, ok I have a question for you, before I get into any other updates. When you’re letting your favorite oil for hair do it’s magic, you know, your own hair’s oil.

Liz Wolfe: Uh-huh.

Diane Sanfilippo: Does your hair ever hurt? Like, your head hurt in a certain spot from your ponytail?

Liz Wolfe: Are you wearing a ponytail?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, I mean this happens to be pretty much every single week that I’ll shower and look nice on the weekend, and then by Thursday after a couple of workouts {laughs} and not washing my hair. Because if I’m not going somewhere, I generally don’t wash and style my hair.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: It happens totally, you know. Sporadically.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: But it hurts.

Liz Wolfe: How do you know if you’re doing it sporadically?

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} So it starts to hurt, and I’m like, you know, I would totally let this thing go until the weekend again, except my head and my hair just hurts. So, any advice?

Liz Wolfe: Well, that’s normal. Think about when you leave a Band-Aid on for too long, and the moisture under the Band-Aid, it’s just like, blech, it just gets gross. That’s pretty much what your ponytail is doing. You’ve got to just let it be down.

Diane Sanfilippo: Wear it out?

Liz Wolfe: Wear it down, air it out, dry it out, it’s not the oils, it’s the moisture.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s not? Oh.

Liz Wolfe: It’s the water.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know. Alright. I don’t believe you, but I think it’s the grease. I think my hair is just greasier than yours.

Liz Wolfe: We’ll, are you wearing a tight ponytail?

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, what other kinds of ponytail is there? {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I think it’s just, I don’t know if it’s selection bias, but when you’re not washing your hair for a while, you pull it back in a ponytail, and generally people’s ponytails are kind of in the same spots, and it’s like, dirty hair equals, it’s like an epidemiological study of dirty hair in ponytails. They happen to occur in the same environment at the same time.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} That’s for top knots. Like, big floppy top knot fun.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know what that is.

Diane Sanfilippo: Like, putting a bun on the very top. You wear them all the time!

Liz Wolfe: Like the, oh, the home face lift!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I don’t pull it quite that tight. But, just the big messy bun on top of your… I move the ponytail around. I’ll put it right on the side of my head. I’m just kidding {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: {laughing} Well, yeah, the pulling of the hair into the ponytail, that’s going to make your scalp hurt probably. So take it down and have Scott give you a scalp massage.

Diane Sanfilippo: It looks so gross like this. Anyway. Alright, well I was just curious if there was some kind of way around that. Like cornstarching my head or something like that.

Liz Wolfe: I thought you were going to say cornrows. I was like, yes!

Diane Sanfilippo: Should I do cornrows then?

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Yes!

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. So, those were just the questions I had for you. Updates. I mean, I don’t really want to talk too much about this stuff. Let’s see, new 21-Day Sugar Detox online program will be launching, I think, sometime in July. I think we had to push the schedule back a little bit. So I think it’s going to launch in July. You can definitely jump on board before then and grab the books. There’s going to be a whole bunch of new stuff coming out. And I’m really excited about it, but I just feel like I can’t fully explain it until everything is loaded into the pipeline and ready to launch. So, just stay tuned for details on that. Let’s see, any events? I’m just trying to think. By the time this one airs, I don’t think there will be an event coming up soon. So that’s pretty much it from me. I don’t know. I guess there’s nothing too excited on that front.

Liz Wolfe: OK.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, updates from you?

2. Liz’s updates 9:21

Liz Wolfe: First up, the skin care line that I alluded to. Actually, I didn’t allude to, I spoke about in a previous podcast. I’m having people email me, like, where can I buy your skincare line? Which, is really sweet and wonderful, but it’s not, I mean this is way far off. And of course, I’ll keep everybody updated and the podcast people will be the first to know, but I’m still working on securing funding. I mean, this is way far off. Because I need t be able to…

Diane Sanfilippo: Could this be like a kickstarter thing?

Liz Wolfe: Well, I thought about that. I just don’t know. You know, of course there’s the funding issue, and putting together a business plan and everything like that, but there are just so many things up in the air. I don’t know that I can outline an appropriate business plan for kickstarter right now. You know?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: And you hate to do something and disappoint anybody. So, that’s an option. I don’t know how I feel about it. But this is way, way far off. I’m still setting up meetings, let’s just put it that way. I’m still looking for a source of non-GMO vitamin E.

Diane Sanfilippo: Rainbow sprinkles.

Liz Wolfe: Rainbow sprinkles. I mean, non-GMO, non-soy vitamin E. That’s really tough. Anyway, there’s a ton of stuff in the works. I’ll keep everybody updated, I promise, but you can’t buy it anywhere yet. At this point, it is entirely conceptual. So there you go. Other than that, the audio book of Eat the Yolks, I’ve started working on that. Right at the very, very beginning. I’ve read like one sentence.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: But that’s happening. So if you’ve been waiting for that, don’t wait for it. Just buy the book. But it will be out, I think, at some point this year. So, that’s going. And, what else? We got ducks. We got 2 grown up ducks and 4 little ducks, and we lost one of the little ducks. Which is very sad, but that’s just …

Diane Sanfilippo: What happened?

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Awww.

Liz Wolfe: I’m not entirely sure. I think something very evil came and got it, and it was very sad and very traumatic. And yet another sad reality of homestead life. Now we have the two big ones, and then three little ones that are adorable, and the two bigger ones are laying eggs, so we have duck eggs! Be excited!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} I was waiting for you to comment on my lack of enthusiasm. When it comes to eggs, I think I’m more of a fan of a quail egg just because they’re just so darn cute.

Liz Wolfe: They’re so little!

Diane Sanfilippo: I know! They’re like impossibly small.

Liz Wolfe: How do you eat them?

Diane Sanfilippo: You put them on the little slider. {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: Oh my god.

Diane Sanfilippo: I can’t deal with how cute they are.

Liz Wolfe: They’re so cute, but you can’t even eat them.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know.

Liz Wolfe: It’s like trying to peel a grape.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: It’s terrible. Alright, so that’s it for me. I think now it’s time to talk about some topics.

Diane Sanfilippo: Topics, topics, topics.

3. Saturated fat article in Time magazine [12:35]

Liz Wolfe: Wait, let me start with this one. I just have a little bit to say, and then I want to hear what you say. So, the Time magazine cover that is making the rounds today with the “Eat Butter” headline?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: It’s amazing, it’s great, and of course, I want this information to be in the main stream, but I just have this really crappy feeling of a little sour grapes about it. Because I just think of all the people who devoted their lives to spreading this message, and they can’t even get air time. Like, Mary Enig and Fred Kummerow, and

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Nina Plank. They’ve got to fight to get their message out. Me included, you included, and Time magazine is now making, like beaucoup bucks and internet web traffic clicks because they decided, 30 years later, to take back their original message that they spread in 1984 about cholesterol being toxic, and all the fear mongering that they did about saturated fat when they had no real science to support it because they wanted to be the first to put it in the mainstream. It just kind of ticks me off a little bit. So, good job Time magazine, and meh.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Just, a big fat meh.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I mean, I don’t really have that same feeling, because I’m with you, I get it. Sometimes I’m just like, it’s the nature of the media. They’re going to do that with everything, so I don’t have a personal, I just don’t have any personal feelings about that, because they’ll do that about any topic. Somebody did react, so I posted just a really quick comment about it on Facebook on the Balanced Bites page, and somebody commented, like, well, wait till the pendulum swings the other way, and they tell us, wait this was wrong too! I’m like, yeah, I don’t think that’s going to happen. Also, if it did, it would be canola oil and soybean oil are problematic, sorry we’ve been telling you those were heart healthy for so long. So, I didn’t actually get through this whole article, because I’m one of those people where I don’t like reading things I already know about. I’m like, I want to spend time reading new things and learning new things. So, that’s not to say that an article about a topic I know about might not have some details I didn’t know, just to make sure everyone is clear. {laughs} Anyway. I just wish that was something that was coming out too, where it was not just, hey, saturated fat may not be so bad for you. But, that this other topic would also be uncovered a little bit more. I think that’s where I’m kind of like, alright, when that actually comes out. It’s kind of like, alright, then the media is really being responsible because Dr. Oz reports on whatever he reports on on his, well, “reports”, talks about. Whatever he talks about on his show, but we all know that he’s got advertisers paying for the show, and he can’t say anything that’s going to directly upset the advertisers. And to some degree, the same thing is happening in a magazine. You know? They’ve got advertisers too. If SmartBalance and Benecal and Mazola or any of these companies. I mean, I don’t know that they’re advertising in Time. I’m sure they’re advertising in some food or Women’s Day or those types of magazines, but we have to remember that kind of the same way the government and Monsanto are all in bed together, advertisers and the media are the same way. I worked at a magazine one summer. Granted, it was a fashion magazine. But, getting a really small peek at how that stuff works where, you know, there’s a whole bunch of product sent to the magazine, and somebody was asking, why are they using this Gap T-shirt instead of this nicer Calvin Klein one, and I’m like, well did you notice the 2-page Gap ad in the magazine? This is how it works. They’re not only picking from an editorial perspective on what they like. Same thing with any media outlet. You have to buffer what you’re consuming from that media, with the understanding that they’re being funded by their advertising. So you hope that the media is putting out a fair balanced article.

Liz Wolfe: Ha ha! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Exactly. But it’s not always true, you know what I mean? That’s why, whether you’re getting your news from the television, from a magazine, from a newspaper, the same thing with scientific studies. There’s always a bias. {laughs} There’s humans and money involved, so there will be bias. That’s kind of my little…

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} There’s humans and money involved.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. There’s something to be gained here from so many channels. So anyway, I was glad to see it from the perspective of, you know, yippee, I have a book that sells really well. But it’s called Practical Paleo, and it’s not like the 5 love languages, where people are all intrigued and willing to see what it’s about. It’s called Practical Paleo. So, it doesn’t matter that having a book be on the New York Times list, that’s not going to put it in front of as many millions of people as this cover will. So, I’m definitely one of those people where I’m like, you know what? If that’s the way that it happens, that somebody is able to get through to their mother that getting rid of the SmartBalance is the right thing to do, and eating the butter is ok, and it always has been. Then I’m not really upset about it. You know what I mean? I think there’s good to be had from it, and I think it’s going to help a lot of people communicate the truth to their friends and family, and I think that the, I guess the social proof or the trust or whatever it is that people find in Time magazine, hopefully some of that will carry through, despite the fact that obviously they were wrong 30 years ago. So there’s that.

Liz Wolfe: Mmm. Grunt.

Diane Sanfilippo: #endrant?

Liz Wolfe: #grunt.

Diane Sanfilippo: Grunt. Well, there you go.

Liz Wolfe: There you go. So what did you want to talk about?

Diane Sanfilippo: So there you have it!

Liz Wolfe: There you go.

Diane Sanfilippo: That was it. I mean, that was the only little newsworthy thing that was on my list.

4. [19:05]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, well here’s my topic. Did you see the petition for Beyoncee to fix her daughter’s hair?

Diane Sanfilippo: You have to stop.

Liz Wolfe: This is what the world is coming to. Our pets heads are falling off, I’m losing ducks, and somebody started a petition to change Blue Ivy’s hair.

Diane Sanfilippo: No. I can’t even qualify this, because I just went to, and I’m like, this is supposed to be legit stuff, what?

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I can’t. No. Did not see that, and I’m glad I didn’t.

Liz Wolfe: I hope you never have to. Oh, here’s one more. I posted the liver smoothie to So everybody can go. Everybody that’s been asking me about the raw liver smoothie.

Diane Sanfilippo: I loved your article on the liver. I also loved the liver smoothie shot. Beautiful picture. And I really enjoyed your little welcome video. Hi, I’m Real Food Liz.

Liz Wolfe: Awww, thanks.

Diane Sanfilippo: That was totally cute.

Liz Wolfe: Thanks! That’s been sitting in the queue since January. We have since acquired more, you know, like 16 more animals, another dog, and some plants that are carrots, but.

Diane Sanfilippo: I especially {laughs} I especially like the water mark on your family photos, just in case somebody was going to steal them and be like, see this is me and my husband! Don’t I look so much better since high school! {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: People are that creepy.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s so funny.

Liz Wolfe: I mean, they are literally that creepy. When Skintervention came out, people stole my image from the website and put it on their own YouTube videos.

Diane Sanfilippo: I believe it. I believe it. Oh man. I’m just not that pretty {laughs} so it doesn’t happen to me!

Liz Wolfe: Oh my god.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, let’s answer some questions. Yes?

Liz Wolfe: I’m filing a petition that you bring your bangs back, because I really miss your bangs.

Diane Sanfilippo: I do not miss them one iota.

Liz Wolfe: I was looking at picture of you last night.

Diane Sanfilippo: I can’t stand them, they’re the worst. What? Were you totally stalking me?

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: They were really nice one day when a professional styled them and someone took pictures. And they never looked like that in real life. So, forget that.

Liz Wolfe: Ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: The worst pictures of my life were when I had those bangs. So there you go.

Liz Wolfe: You pulled them off.

Diane Sanfilippo: Nope. They were terrible.

Liz Wolfe: Ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok!

4. How impacting is exercise really when on an autoimmune protocol? [21:36]

Liz Wolfe: Alright. Questions. Close talking about topics, open questions. First up, from Susan. Autoimmune protocol and activity levels; how important to gut healing are they? “My 17–year-old daughter has suffered from eczema since she was a toddler, and she suffers from severe acne, which started in the last couple of years. She did experience relief from the eczema with steroid creams and such, but I don’t like using those types of products. In the last few years, I’ve become more educated about diet and nutrition, and I’ve been trying to get her to eat better. She loves her carbs. She recently had the blood print testing by Immunolabs performed, and found she has “allergies” to several foods she eats often. Eggs, yeast, wheat, vanilla, oranges, mushrooms, cumin, turkey, duck, and more.” Not turkeyduck. Turkey, duck, and more. “Trying to find meals she can eat and enjoy has been a challenge. I recently purchased Practical Paleo, and was excited to see the autoimmune 30-meal plan. This meal plan looks like it will eliminate just about everything her body has a toxic reaction to. She has read through the meal plan, and even though there are some foods, i.e. fish, that she doesn’t like, she’s agreed to completely commit to it for 30 days. Our question is, in the meal plan, it states that intense exercise should be avoided. She’s very active; she has an aerobics class she takes at school every day, and she plays soccer, which includes practice 3 times a week and at least one game per week. Does she need to give up these activities during the 30 days?”

Diane Sanfilippo: Whoo. Well, just one quick note before I talk about the exercise, is that there’s probably some of the proteins that are in the list, I’m sure there’s turkey, there may be duck in the meal plan, I’m not positive. There’s only one duck recipe in the book, but I’m not positive if I put it in there. But you can always swap out proteins. So if it calls for chicken, you could use duck or you could use turkey, and people ask that all the time. The cumin might be in one recipe, there’s a pork tenderloin I know was a cumin recipe, but you can easily eliminate that stuff. So, just kind of a heads up on the foods that she’s coming up as allergic too. And, you know, a note on that is that often if the person is eating that list of foods very often, they will come up on that allergy. Or it’s probably more likely a sensitivity list; she probably doesn’t have a true allergy to them. If she had a true allergy, I think you would probably be dealing with something a little bit more severe, but that can definitely vary too. So, on to the activity level. This is one of the biggest things that comes up when people come to a book signing or a seminar. They’ve got an autoimmune condition, and they’ve made all the nutritional dietary changes, and then they tell me that they’re training for a marathon. And then they tell me that they’re taking X number of classes a week, and doing all these other things. And they’re like, so, my symptoms still aren’t getting better. Or, the condition came out of remission. Or, I’m dealing with these 3 other new things. And the truth here is, if you’re pushing the stress levels in your body beyond what is a good balance for you, then yes it really does matter. Generally, I don’t think highly intense exercise for somebody who is dealing with an autoimmune flare. So, you may have an autoimmune condition that is diagnosed, and you may be a cross fitter, and you may feel like you’re totally healthy. And if you’ve got a good balance in your life, and you’re doing a good job of recovering, and you’re doing a good job of going to classes and not pushing yourself to that 100 or 110%; maybe you know how to buffer yourself and your output so you’re not just crushing yourself every day. Every day is not a competition, truthfully. That’s a huge lesson that people really need to learn about, especially exercise like Crossfit, and I say that as a cross fitter. I go in there, and you guys, I’m really just happy that I showed up most of the time. I do try hard, and I try to get my lifts up there in terms of the weight, but when it comes to metabolic conditioning, if that workout is more than 10 minutes, I pace myself. I just do the workout, but I don’t try and beat any crazy score or just go crazy. I think a lot of people have trouble coming to terms with the fact that that’s ok, because they’re put in a very competitive environment.

So, in this case, she’s taking an aerobics class. I don’t see any good reason to keep taking that while she’s dealing with this really bad skin issue with the eczema. I think if she has soccer that she’s playing, there’s definitely a little bit of an ebb and flow when it comes to soccer. It depends on what her position is in the game. If she’s a halfback, then she’s running up and down the field a lot. If she’s maybe playing defensive position, which is what I used to play so this is how I know, she’s probably not running quite as much as somebody in the middle of the field would be. I don’t know how intense that is for her. I don’t know, does she start? Does she play most of the game? At practice, is it really intense or is it a reasonable level of activity? I would have her cut out the random aerobics class. Doing aerobics for fitness or weight loss, I don’t think it’s something that at this stage would be a priority that I would set. I think the community aspect and maybe the bit of skill development that you get from soccer, if I were to just pick and choose which should stay and which should go and then see how that works for a few weeks or a month? That’s what I would probably do. If she goes ahead and wants to follow the meal plan and take it to the letter, then she would just be walking. I don’t think that somebody who is really struggling should be stressing their body to a high degree. So I think that if soccer practice; you’ve got to ask her, how intense does it get? Are you sprinting a lot, to where your heart rates gets up really high? And that’s the thing where you have to kind of ask her. Maybe she doesn’t. Maybe that doesn’t happen, and so it might not be that big of a deal. The way that I explain it sometimes to people who are at the Crossfit gym or wherever they’re training is, if you feel your heart rate getting to that place where you can really feel your heart pumping pretty intensely, you get to that high cardio output, that’s a very stressful situation for your body. And it’s not a bad stressor if you’re an otherwise healthy person. But if you’re dealing with this type of condition, then I just don’t think it’s the best idea to push that while you’re trying to heal. So that’s what I think about that. I don’t know, Liz, do you have any thoughts on that?

Liz Wolfe: No. No, I was actually on Instagram while you were answering that question. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Were you checking out picture of Orange is the New Black?

Liz Wolfe: I was! I was looking for your picture {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Do you give people any information on just general stress stuff in the Skintervention Guide? Because I know a lot of information on eczema is really covered in there, just skin in general skin health.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, I talk about nutritional health, I talk about the importance of stress relief, but I don’t go into a huge amount of detail. And I’m actually thinking, one of the things I’m geeking out on right now is getting your circadian rhythm in check, which is really difficult for some people, but some people can legitimately make time to do that. But getting that in check is really powerful in helping to orchestrate hormonal balance across the board. And I think that is my new focus of really aggressive stress relief, starting there. That wasn’t really answering your question, but I think they’re related. Especially when you’re a teen, and you’re up really late and you don’t want to get up in the morning. Of course you don’t want to go to bed early, but I think teenage years is really when our circadian rhythm starts to suffer, and I think that really sets the stage for long-term stress, stress reactions, hormonal imbalance, and all of these things. And I’ll talk a little bit more about this in a question that we have later in the podcast.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. Well, I didn’t put this section or chart in Practical Paleo, one thing I really didn’t talk about a ton was stress, and I know we talk about it in the seminar a lot, and it’s something that I will expand upon in the online seminar, but it is this sort of, I don’t know, I have this beaker analogy, but it’s not the best one. But when you look at all the different stressors in your life, you have to kind of see which one is making that beaker that can hold all of the stress, and everyone’s got a different sized beaker, like your capacity for stress may not be the same as the person next to you. But if you’ve got this thing where you’re eye dropping the little droplets of stress {laughs} This is me going back to high school chemistry. But you’re putting those extra drops of exercise stress on top and all of a sudden that beaker overflows those last few drops, it’s just adding on to whatever else may be happening, so I think it’s kind of a good point about the circadian rhythm health, because obviously she’s got something going on at a foundational level that is happening in her system with response to the food. But yeah, I would watch the exercise.

Liz Wolfe: And if you can’t watch the exercise, then make sure that you’re not stressing the body with an unintentional nourishment deficit. If you’re going to exercise, get that good food in as much as possible.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Don’t be underfed.

5. The 411 on MCT oil and bulletproof coffee [31:34]

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Ok. Next one. What’s really up with MCT oil. Or, what’s the 411 on MCT oil? Jill says, “Hi ladies! Thank you so much for the wonderful podcast. I was curious what your opinion is of bulletproof coffee with MCT oil. I’ve tried adding grass-fed butter to a strong cup of coffee and whirling it about in the Vitamix, and I didn’t care for it at all. I’d like to try again, as I’ve found an interesting looking recipe for a morning pick me up involving coffee, one to two cups, MCT oil 1-2 tablespoons, grass-fed butter, 1-2 tablespoons, maca 1 teaspoon, cacao 1 teaspoon, cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon, turmeric 1/8 teaspoon, and cayenne 1/8 teaspoon. I’d like to try it, as I think the cacao and cinnamon might make it more palatable, but I was hoping to get your opinion on MCT oil before I go buying up a whole bottle. What is it, and what do you know of it doing? I appreciate any information you can give me. Thanks again.” So this might be a mini rant, or it might turn into that for me, but I kind of feel like lately, and my opinion has changed on this a little bit. I love coffee with some cream and a pinch of sea salt, maybe a little MCT oil if I was into that, that’s cool. But I feel like this bulletproof coffee thing is becoming the smoothies of the paleo world. Or the juicing of the paleo world, not smoothies. I’m just starting to feel like people are a little too caught up in this morning drink of everything. And backing up a little, MCT oil is just medium-chain triglyceride oil. The medium-chain triglycerides are what we know coconut oil for. It’s a very easily absorbed fatty acid, great for boosting your energy and everything like that. And there are definitely people that absolutely swear by it. I know that Naomi from Picnik Austin, our favorite coffee place in Austin, I think her grandmother saw, and I could be misspeaking, but saw a reversal of dementia just thanks to MCT oil. It’s really powerful fuel and it’s a really great thing. But, it’s health properties are not necessarily applicable to every single person in the entire population of paleo people such that everybody needs to be jumping on this bulletproof coffee train. And thinking that it’s going to provide some, more is better, health properties. So every morning waking up and having this giant cup of liquid with all of these other things thrown in, blending it up, enjoying it, that’s cool, but I just don’t think it’s this magic potion. And some downsides to it potentially would be, first of all, it’s liquid! I’m not big on drinking, drinking, drinking, you know, carrying around a gallon of water with you all day. I’m more about eat whole foods, get the water from the whole foods because those whole foods are also rich in electrolytes, it will help maintain our electrolytic balance, and just drink when you’re thirsty. When you need a little something extra. But I think the way most of us, myself included, I’m speaking from experience, the way we treat our relationship with coffee is as if it doesn’t count for anything. And it is liquid. And the one thing I would worry about, and the reason that I would maybe add like a pinch of salt or maybe a little bit of honey to any of these habitual morning drinks, which I do tend to do when I drink my chameleon cold brew, it’s because you really don’t want to throw off your electrolytic balance. If you’re peeing 5 times every morning, and it’s completely clear, I don’t look at that as a good thing. I really thing we do need to think about what’s in what we’re drinking. And the same goes for when people are juicing so much, and they’re concentrating this more is better feeling, and concentrating all of the potentially problematic properties in the vegetables that they’re juicing. I think the same thing could go for this whole bulletproof coffee thing.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I think MCTs are great, but I don’t necessarily think more is better, and I also think we need to watch the liquids that we’re drinking and how we balance our fluid intake, and be aware that that coffee, that counts as fluid. So I’d add a pinch of sea salt, I’d add some sweetener, which will help the body assimilate the salt, and I could just go on for a really long time, but.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} I think my other thought on this was, like she’s kind of talking about how to make it more palatable. It’s like, if it’s not palatable to you, just don’t worry about it.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s not like, oh everybody should be drinking this! I actually think, the big sort of benefit I see to this whole discussion and sort of swirling of the topic was just, oh, if some place doesn’t have heavy cream I can put butter in my coffee.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: I knew it, probably before this whole thing came up, but it was just kind of a reminder. And to be honest, I think this is something that I had talked about a bunch of my Chekie friends, my CHEK practitioner friends years before, and I know I’ve talked about this on the podcast before, too, that Paul Chek used to always put coconut oil in his coffee instead of cream, or something like that. And so, he was kind of making bulletproof coffee before it was branded, TM bulletproof coffee. So, if you don’t love it, just relax and don’t have it.

Liz Wolfe: Yep.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think MCT oil can be a very therapeutic thing, and I think it’s kind of a cool oil. There’s a lot of folks who are out there kind of selling their version of it; maybe it’s blended. I know my friends Mira and Jason have one that they’ve branded, and it’s kind of cool because you can have a coconut oil that’s liquid because it’s mostly MCT, which is that component of the coconut oil that is the medium chain, so it’s liquid at room temperature, it’s not solid like the saturated fatty acids are, and you can make mayonnaise from it. And I’m like, sweet! I think that’s cool from a culinary point of view, and I think it’s cool from a point of view of, you know, MCT oil tends to burn differently in the body than other fats would, so it’s kind of burned a little bit better as a fuel source, and it’s something that I know body builders have kind of been into for a long time, and folks who have been keen on ketogenic diets for a long time for therapeutic reasons, so there’s lots of cool things about MCT oil, so it’s a cool oil.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I think this is probably a cool way, and an easy way, to get it into your diet, because people weren’t really talking about it before. So that’s all well and good, and if you like it, great. If you are going to try it, I wouldn’t start with 1-2 tablespoons, because that will send you to the bathroom very quickly with a mess, because it’s tough to digest that much MCT oil going from zero to a tablespoon, or especially the 2 tablespoons. I don’t think it’s any kind of magic. I don’t really like the idea of people not eating and drinking that instead for some of the reasons you mentioned and for just the lack of overall nutrition. I think, I don’t know if you’re seeing this as much, but I feel like I just see people under eating a lot.

Liz Wolfe: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Which I’ve said many times, always confuses me {laughs} because I wake up, like, when do we eat? {laughs} Oh man. But anyway, I just don’t think one more thing that takes us away from getting good quality nutrition in is something that we need to freak out about and be all over like a bandwagon.

Liz Wolfe: With women, especially, I think the tendency. You know, we’ve established this before, but the whole morning fast, the bulletproof fast, or whatever in the morning. For men maybe that’s cool, I’m not all that super well-versed on male hormones. But for women, I don’t know that any kind of morning fast is necessarily a good idea, especially if you’re working toward hormonal balance. If you’re doing good and this works for you; great. I have nothing to say about it. If you are seeing miraculous results from anything that you’re doing, keep on going. I have nothing to say about it. But, I think a lot of times, and you know maybe I’ve fallen into this trap too. I’ve used this kind of liquid breakfast and it’s miracle properties almost as a subconscious excuse not to eat breakfast. When I’m stressed and I just don’t want to deal with it, that type of thing. And I don’t think that’s a good mindset. And not to say that that’s Jill’s mindset at all, I think this is a great question, because we’re kind of teasing apart MCT oil versus MCT oil in coffee with maca, grass-fed butter, cacao, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne. Is it palatable, and should I eat it? It’s kind of two separate issues. But, yeah. I mean, drink this, also if you’re going to do this, add a pinch of salt, a little bit of honey, and have a real breakfast with it. With butter on it. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I know. I’m pretty sure the approach is supposed to replace your breakfast, and I just. I don’t know. We’ve talked about fasting a lot, and it is a form of a fast. It’s a modified fast of sorts.

Liz Wolfe: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because you’re not taking in carbohydrate, you’re not taking in protein, you’re just taking in fat, you’re taking in pretty easily digested fat. I just don’t think most people need to be fasting at breakfast anyway. We’re supposed to break the fast? No, I’m kidding.

Liz Wolfe: You guys, it’s called break the fast. Hello?

Diane Sanfilippo: So, yeah. There’s that. {laughs}

6. On the 21-Day Sugar Detox, is this sweet tasting drink ok? [41:25]

Liz Wolfe: Alright.

Diane Sanfilippo: And a sputtery ending to that one!

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Tastes sweet but claims zero sugar, yes or no on the 21DSD? Kara says, “I’m on level 3 of the Sugar Detox and want to know if I can drink this new unsweetened tea product that I found. It’s called Runa, clean energy zero. Ingredients include brewed organic …” {laughs} “guayusa, filtered water, and guayusa leaves, organic lime flavor, natural flavors, and citric acid. For some reason, it tastes a little sweet to me, but has zero carbs and sugars. I found out that the natural flavoring is monk fruit. Others say it’s just the lime flavor. Anyway, it tastes so smooth and would be such a great treat if you think it’s ok. Thank you, and starting to feel great, so thanks for that, too.”

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, well, so this is one of those grey area foods, and inevitably, this is the stuff that people come to me with where I’m like, ok, you really have to use your own internal compass on this stuff, because I definitely won’t be able to put down a ruling on every food product that’s out there, because I probably covered almost all of the real foods that are out there. And so my first and foremost sort of ruling on this item is, well, to turn to page 65 of the 21-Day Sugar Detox book, where it says, “is it a yes food?” and added sweeteners are not allowed, and monk fruit is a sweetener. Monk fruit may be listed as a natural flavor, but it is a sweetener. And so, they may just be using a trace amount so that it doesn’t get listed as sugars. I don’t know what the serving size on your bottle is, but if it’s more than one serving, especially if they cut the serving down and it’s under a gram of sugar, I think, if it’s maybe half a gram they might not have to label it. Don’t quote me on that, I’m not positive, but I know you and I have talked about this, Liz, with trans fats, if it’s less than half a gram, they don’t have to put it on the label.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, this one really gets a no from me. I don’t know when this question was submitted or for how long she went through with it. There are some things that taste a bit sweet that are ok on the Sugar Detox, like licorice root tea. It’s naturally a little bit sweet, but it actually helps to control cortisol levels and to actually prolong how long cortisol levels will stay even. So if you’re drinking it in the morning, it will keep you a little bit energized naturally throughout the day versus something that’s caffeinated, for example. But it’s just a naturally sweet root. So I don’t have a problem with that. But I don’t know, that’s my judgment on it. I wouldn’t have it; I would definitely, generally avoid anything that says natural flavors anyway. Because, you know it’s great to find out what that is if you aren’t sure, I’ve definitely called up the companies and asked them, but monk fruit is known as a sweetener, so that’s kind of what I think. I wouldn’t include it. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Liz Wolfe: Mmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: One more?

7. Skin help; PCOS, medications, and an impending wedding [44:50]

Liz Wolfe: Ok. One more. This is kind of a long one, so it should take us to probably about the end here. Alright, skin health 911. Liz, please help me. Elizabeth says, “hey ladies! First off, I want to thank you both so very, very much for all the information you share in blog, podcast, and book form. Several happy family members have received Practical Paleo and Eat the Yolks from me as gifts, and I’m thrilled to say I’ve signed up for Liz’s latest project, Good Food for Bad Cooks.” Yay! “now for my actual question. As much as my overall health has improved over the past year due to the transition to paleo, there’s one overarching issue that has actually gotten much worse in the last 6 months. The brain fog, chronic constipation, and addiction to bread are gone, but my PCOS is preventing me from living the full, happy life I know is possible. The biggest problems I’m battling is skin issues and non-existent sex drive and infrequent, sporadic periods. I’ve struggled with acne all my life, but a multitude of prescriptions, most recently spironolactone and Veltin, kept my skin so clear that I would routinely receive compliments from complete strangers about it. I feel that I may have jumped the gun on weeding off my medications, but now that I have, my face has morphed into a pepperoni pizza which is so severe that it’s starting to leave scars. I kept telling myself that it would get better if I gave it a little more time, but it’s gotten to the point where I’m back on my medications, which are having no effect, and my dermatologist is recommending Accutane. I’ve also been following the recommendations in the Skintervention Guide to a T the entire time, but have not noticed any improvement. I’ve not been able to find as much info on PCOS on the interweb as much as I would like, but I understand that it’s rooted in hormonal imbalances and/or insulin resistance, which I’ve been trying to correct for the past year to no avail. I should also add that I’m 5 foot tall, 102 pounds, have no body image issues other than the acne, and have excellent fasting blood glucose levels that only spike when I eat highly starchy foods, like white rice and white potatoes. I’m getting married in less than 6 months, and desperately want to not only have clear skin for my wedding, but begin married life as the fertile 30-year-old that I should be. Thank you so much for any suggestions you have for managing PCOS. Additional info, my diet primarily consists of veggies, healthy fats, and pastured beef, chicken, and pork. I drink bone broth regularly, and I’m trying to convince myself to eat more fish. I recently bought a can of sardines after reading Liz’s blog posts, but have yet to work up the courage to try them. I’m entirely gluten-free, and the only dairy I eat is in the form of butter and goat cheese. Treats are kept to a minimum, except when my mom leaves 2 boxes of Bart and Judy’s, the best chocolate chip cookies in the world, AKA GF crack at our house. I had previously been working with a naturopathic doctor who recommended a long list of supplements, including fish oil, probiotics, herbs to support the thyroid and adrenals, TestoQuench, B6, B12 complex, and a two-week rotation of ground flax/pumpkin and sunflower/sesame to help regulate hormones. I’m trying to get more exercise, as I only walk and do yoga currently, and I’m actively working on stress reduction techniques, as well.” There is so much going on here!

Diane Sanfilippo: So much.

Liz Wolfe: So much. I’m going to have to kind of break this down a little bit, and then maybe make some suggestions.

Diane Sanfilippo: Can I have one really quick one?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, go for it.

Diane Sanfilippo: You want me to do it first?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know people feel like it doesn’t matter, but I would ditch the butter and the goat cheese. If you’re having really bad issues with acne, I would just get rid of them. I wouldn’t even do ghee. I would just stick to things like lard and duck fat and any other fats for now, and just see what happens. Because, it’s possible that while you’re trying to get this stuff regulated, it’s just too much for your body to handle, and I would just get rid of all of the dairy. Very strictly. I know it seems crazy, and I don’t think it always has to be that way for forever once you get it figured out, but I do think some of the hormonal implications of dairy can be problematic for your skin when you’re in a situation where you’re out of balance. So there.

Liz Wolfe: Is that what fixed your vampire acne?

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s what flares it up, that’s for sure.

Liz Wolfe: Mm.

Diane Sanfilippo: It happened to Scott, too, this week. Sorry honey, to out you on that, but I looked at his neck and I was like, you got one! He was like, it was the dairy. We had grain-free pizza, but it had some mozzarella on it. I don’t think goat cheese does it to me, but cow dairy definitely does. So anyway.

Liz Wolfe: I do extremely well with dairy, but when I amp up, and here’s another side to that coin. That could definitely be the magic bullet for some people, and for others what I’ve kind of pulled out of my experience the last couple of years is that a high intake of polyunsaturated fat. Even the small amount that is contained in chicken skin and lard and whatnot can actually be a little bit aggravating. It’s not that those foods are inherently problematic, it’s just what I see being most common with people that are dealing with skin issues.

Diane Sanfilippo: I notice that when I travel, I think the vegetables oils that I get exposed to definitely make a difference, too.

Liz Wolfe: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: But that’s what I’m saying, I don’t think that’s causing the problem, but I think that when you’re trying to figure it out, let’s just get rid of the stuff that we know tends to promote it in a huge majority of people, so that was just my quick 2 cents on it. Just, for now.

Liz Wolfe: Very good. So, this one is really complex. I can definitely say that. So we’re talking about, first up she’s had a bunch of improvements, but she’s got PCOS. She was on medication, and then she went off. She’s tried a bunch of stuff and now she’s got 6 months. So she has this small amount of time, and now she’s back on medication and they’re not helping like they used to. So I kind of have to deal with these things separately. So, PCOS just in and of itself, without the potentially condition manipulating and condition worsening inputs of hormonal manipulating medications. So, spiro was one of those, even Accutane would be one of those, just with what it does to the liver. And just a lifetime of potentially hormone manipulating behavior and, who knows, birth control, circadian rhythm disruption, all of these things can contribute to dealing with PCOS. And it’s not uncommon that PCOS is kind of the last thing to resolve, it just seems to hang on there like a, I don’t know, skin tag. It’s just obnoxious and it’s really hard to get rid of.

Diane Sanfilippo: Like a …

Liz Wolfe: Like a what?

Diane Sanfilippo: Like a tick?

Liz Wolfe: Like a tick! Ugh. So, we really just have to go through this component by component. I do want to address the medication thing. One of the things I say in the Skintervention Guide is, if you’re on medications and you want to come off of them, don’t just ditch them right out of the gate. Because, when you’ve been on really aggressive medications, in particular spiro. I don’t know a lot about Veltin. But, those are aggressive medications that do swing your hormonal balance in whatever, they’re aggressively hormonally manipulating is what I’ll say. So, when you have that and you go off of them, even slowly, you can have this kind of wild rebound. And that sucks because when you go back on, you’re in a totally different place hormonally, and they will act on your system in a completely different way. And that’s kind of why I favor the natural approach to skin care and to hormonal balance, because at least that is not masking or forcing your body to do something that it’s not primed to do. And it’s tough to switch from conventional skin care methods and what you’re dermatologist is giving you to natural methods, but the good thing is, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. You can do some of the Skintervention stuff while you work with your doctor to wean yourself off of whatever medications you desire to come off of. And of course, I can’t tell you to do that, but if that’s what you want. For me, I took a long, long time to come off the medications that I had been on. Because it’s this process of slowly peeling away layers while building up your immune system, and building up your gut health, kind of at the same time. So one kind of starts to decrease as the other one increases. So, for anyone listening that’s dealing with a lot of stuff, just keep that in mind. You want to rip off the Band-Aid, and sometimes that works with food, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes that works with skin care, and sometimes it doesn’t. So just keep that in mind.

Now, alright. I just don’t know that I can speak to this time crunch that she’s dealing with, the 6 months until the wedding, because I don’t know what I would do in that situation. I know that Juli, our friend Juli Bauer of PaleOMG who was on the show last week, she wrote about this on her blog. She did Accutane. She was dealing with so much skin BS, and she just got sick of it and she wanted to deal with it, and she went on Accutane. But I do think that takes at least, I don’t know, 6 months to a year, I’m not sure, to work and I can’t tell you what would it look like in the meantime. Accutane is a pretty aggressive and toxic medication with regards to the liver, so I can’t tell you what I would do in that situation. There was a time in my life that I was begging for Accutane, and I can say that I’m glad that I didn’t. But I understand that you want to look good for your wedding, and I get that. But I can’t tell you how long something would take with all of these different things going on. So, coming off the medications, going back on the medications, already having a hormonal condition that you’re dealing with, and how these things might be working together. So anyway, what I’m talking around is, I don’t entirely know. However, at this point, this is when we really, really start investigating. This is when we start seeing what else we can put into place that would enable hormonal balance to manifest naturally. I don’t know whether or not this person got their thyroid and adrenals checked, their hormones checked or whatever. I imagine that she did, because some of these things that the naturopath was putting her on, particularly B6 and B12 are, I’m guessing, were meant to help support progesterone production. I’m not entirely sure. You never really know, sometimes they just kind of type this stuff into a computer program and it spits out the supplement recommendations. So, I’m not sure. But, here’s what I would do. Start accumulating as much information as possible. And the way I would do that is to take your waking temperature every single morning. Hopefully you’re above 97.5, 97.8 most days, and you maybe spike 0.5 degrees at ovulation. But just straight up, ala planning for pregnancy, taking charge of your fertility style, taking your waking temperature every single morning. Start to chart out what your temperature looks like from the first day of your cycle to the first day of a new cycle. See where your temperature spikes and whether or not your temperature is extremely low, so if you’re dealing with a body temperature in the 96s most of the time or the low 97s, there’s probably a problem with metabolism there. That’s kind of warning flag. But you also want to, while you’re doing that, work on getting your circadian rhythms and your cortisol profile in line. So a lot of us are, what’s that called Diane, flip cortisol rhythm, what’s that called?

Diane Sanfilippo: Uhhh…

Liz Wolfe: Inverted cortisol pattern?

Diane Sanfilippo: Tired and wired. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: No. Reverse cortisol profile? I can’t think of what it’s called right now. It’s just completely escaping my mind.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: But that’s going to be probably the most important influence in naturally balancing your hormones. As much as you can, given the inputs of hormonal medications and whatnot. So, going to bed as close to when the sun goes down as you can, and trying to just wake up with the light. Can you hear my rooster outside right now?

Diane Sanfilippo: I cannot.

Liz Wolfe: Ok, good.

Diane Sanfilippo: My hearings not the best, so.

Liz Wolfe: Well, I can hear him, but he’s all the way outside. So, going to bed as the sun goes down. And right now, being that it’s the summer, this is a really, really great time to experiment with that because you have until like 9 p.m. before it really gets dark. So, don’t turn on any lights, maybe use candles if you can. I think Stefani Ruper talked about this in Sexy by Nature, which is another book that you should definitely pick up. And then just winding down and going to sleep and not turning on any lights. And really very quickly, probably within a week, you’ll start waking up at a really reasonable hour, like 5:45, 6 a.m., ready to go, waking up with the light and without an alarm clock, and that’s going to set the stage for hormonal balance throughout the day. I think that’s really, really important. Hopefully, as you do that, you’ll see your waking temperature go up, just little by little, your baseline waking temperature. So, kind of keep track of those things. And all of those things can help push hormonal balance to the place we want it to be, and they can also give us more clues as to what our hormones are doing. So, you’ll be able to see when progesterone kind of starts taking over whether or not you have a short luteal phase, those types of things. And I think that’s really the place to start when you’re just kind of all over the place and dealing with all these potential hormone manipulators. And I really think it will give you the best foundation to be ready for your wedding, or at least to feel good about that. As far as the medications, I’m just not sure. Diane, do you have anything else to say on that? I know I went on for a long time.

Diane Sanfilippo: I do not.

Liz Wolfe: It’s just tough when there are so many different things going on. And I think for most people, that is the case. Most people will say, hey I have PCOS. And that’s it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yep.

Liz Wolfe: But they don’t tell you I’ve had non-existent sex drive, maybe going on Accutane, I was on spiro for a long time. Most people that are this frustrated with their skin have 50 different inputs that are manipulating their hormone balance, and leading to PCOS, leading to acne, and all of these things. You know, the reason, and I forgot to say this earlier, but the reason I want this person to start charting, and start working on the circadian rhythm and getting that cortisol profile to the place it needs to be was her statement that, let’s see, skin issues, nonexistent sex drive, and infrequent, sporadic periods. Boom, right there, I can tell that this is about female hormones. So, all of that is related, and you don’t have to pay for expensive tests to see what your hormones are doing. Your biggest indicators are the chart of waking temperatures, your basal body temperature, and that circadian rhythm. That’s the most holistic thing that you can do right now that’s going to be purposeful, and set a foundation for everything else that you’re trying to do. The only other thing that I would say.

Diane Sanfilippo: There’s more! Oh wait.

Liz Wolfe: There might be more. And there might be contraindications to this, I don’t know. You might want to Google around for maca and potentially Vitex, which is just I think chasteberry. Those can help, but I wouldn’t want you to go on those without talking to; I mean, their just herbs, but I wouldn’t want you to start using those without first talking to your naturopath, making sure that they’re not going to interact with any of your medications. Because I don’t know their mechanism of action, I just know I’ve had good reports on both of them with women who are dealing with hormonal imbalances. But please don’t just go out and buy that stuff. Talk to an herbalist, or talk to your naturopath. Talk to your doctor, and make sure there aren’t any interactions between the medications that you’re on and the herbs. I talked for a long time. I swear, we were on like 35 minutes when I first started talking.

Diane Sanfilippo: No, that was about 10 minutes. That was normal. Maybe 15.

Liz Wolfe: Oh my gosh.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, we’re done. We’re just at about an hour, here.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, we’re done. So, we’ll be back next week. If you’ve been enjoying the podcast, remember to subscribe and help us spread the word by leaving a review in iTunes. As always, you can find Diane at, one L, two P’s, and you can find me at Be sure to join our email lists, where we provide exclusive content to our subscribers that we don’t put anywhere else. Thanks for listening.


Cheers! Diane & Liz  

  • Elizabeth

    In regards to the acne/female hormone question, I have found Vitex to be helpful. I struggled with acne my entire life, and tried multiple antibiotics. I was on accutane back in the early 80’s when it first came out, and again two more times. While it did help initially, the acne always came back and the side effects were awful. I have always been health conscious, but when I went raw vegan my skin was at its worst. Completely cutting out grains and adding more protein and healthy fats, pastured eggs and eventually pastured meat made a huge improvement in my skin. An integrative MD suggested the Vitex to help balance my hormones as I approach menopause (I am 47) and I definitely think that has helped as well.