Podcast Episode #58: News, PCOS, Sleep, Sugar & Calories

Anthony DiSarro Featured, Podcast Episodes 9 Comments

Balanced Bites Podcast

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1. Hypothyroidism or PCOS?[13:22] 2. Adding sugar to “help” diabetes meds?[30:06] 3. Low calories & lack of sleep [37:53] 4. Dairy, autoimmune protocol & CLO/Butter oil blend? [49:44] 5. Probiotic foods options [54:08]

Show notes/links:

PCOS Unlocked Manual by Stefani Ruper
How to Eat, Move & Be Healthy by Paul Chek

Click here to download this episode as an MP3.

The episodes are currently available in iTunes, Stitcher & Blog Talk Radio.

LIZ WOLFE: Hey everyone, I’m Liz Wolfe, I’m a nutritional therapy practitioner and I’m here with Diane Sanfilippo, who is a certified holistic nutrition consultant and the woman behind Balanced Bites and the book Practical Paleo. Remember our disclaimer: the materials and content contained in this podcast are intended as general information only, and not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Welcome to episode 58 of the Balanced Bites podcast.


LIZ WOLFE: I think you do that every time. Yes! 58!

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Somebody opened a bottle of champagne, too.

LIZ WOLFE: Does that happen a lot where you live? [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, it does.

LIZ WOLFE: There’s a lot to celebrate in North Jersey.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: In my life, every weekend’s a celebration. No, I’m kidding. I don’t even really notice weekends. But we’re usually traveling. [laughs]

LIZ WOLFE: Yup, pretty much.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: [sigh] Well, we’re on right now.

LIZ WOLFE: What’cha doin’?

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Well, I got back from Pittsburgh, and I was hanging out with the Food Lovers, as people might guess.

LIZ WOLFE: Per usual.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: who listen to our podcast. Per usual. I was actually there, der, I was actually there, partially to sign books at Penguin Bookshop, which was awesome.

LIZ WOLFE: It just sounds cool. I love penguins.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I think she’s got a small chain of bookstores. The owner was there. She was adorable. Apparently her son has been eating a Paleo diet for at least a few months, and she was just really interested and asking some questions, and it was really cool. My book was on the front table in the store. It’s like this round table, and they had me with 4 huge stacks of it, and then apparently, it’s like the number 4 selling book in their whole store right now, so they have this whole shelf of like their top sellers, and it was there and the little number 4…

LIZ WOLFE: So it’s probably behind…what’s that one? The Plant…The Plant Parade? What is it?

DIANE SANFILIPPO: There were no other nutrition books in the top. I was next to a Kennedy or something. I don’t know what…


DIANE SANFILIPPO: Like, yeah, leave me up there, next to some Kennedy book. I don’t know what it was.

LIZ WOLFE: That’s really something.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I don’t know about random books that are out there besides like 50 Shades of Gray and nutrition books, and I’ve not read 50 Shades of Gray.

LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]


LIZ WOLFE: The last like pop book I read. {sighs] Dang it, I’m going to probably take this part out, but I totally read all 4 Twilight books.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: You’re not going to take it out.

LIZ WOLFE: No, I’m not. I read all of them, probably in about 5 days.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I’m not surprised.

LIZ WOLFE: I’m not either. [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Some horrible book like Something Borrowed or whatever, totally like trashy whatever probably..

LIZ WOLFE: They probably made a movie out of it. That sounds like a movie.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Oh yeah, that was a movie. I read that on the beach live several years ago. Like, fine, I’ll read an entertainment book.

LIZ WOLFE: Entertainment…my-I think I’ve said this before, but the book I brought on my honeymoon was the Vegetarian Myth. [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO: You are equally nerdy because I brought Omnivore’s Dilemma on vacation once. And it was like years and years ago, and that was actually one of my first sort of like super nutrition geek out moments. I was like, yes, I’m reading this book about corn on the beach in Caicos.

LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO: What are you going to make of it, hunh? Step off.

LIZ WOLFE: You win.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: It was great. No, I’m not about winning. Come on.

LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO: We’re both super nerdy. By the way, you just reminded me, talking about Vegetarian Myth, it just made me think of the Whole Soy Story. Saw these books, like we talk about together. My mom was totally flipping through the Weston Price journal that came recently.


DIANE SANFILIPPO: Like, no joke, she turned the page so quickly that I was like, wow, Mom, page turner? What are you reading?

LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO: She’s like, I’m reading about bacon. And she said, this is a really good article. I’m like, uh hunh, what are you learning? And she’s like telling me, she’s like, I guess this is everything you always tell me. I’m like, yeah.

LIZ WOLFE: Isn’t that funny?

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, it’s cool, but it’s funny. So anyway…what else? So I was hanging out down in Pittsburgh, and I don’t know, it was really fun to give back at least a tiny bit to Bill and Hayley. Most people know, I pretty much shacked up with them for about a month to 6 weeks while I was working on my book in their little house there.

LIZ WOLFE: Great [xxx]


LIZ WOLFE: You hussy.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, and Hayley like kind of helped me with cooking a lot of the recipes and Bill was shooting all the pictures, and so, you know, those two really like halfway put their lives on hold to just help me out with my book, so I could at least return the favor for a small, small portion of their book. And I wish I was there for more of it, but we had an awesome time cooking, cooking, prepping, shooting an entire like Chinese food takeout themed menu for their new book. It’s called Gather: The Art of Paleo Entertaining.

LIZ WOLFE: Oh my gosh.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, so let me say that after 3 years of probably zero Chinese food, I was actually in tears eating grain free General Tso’s Chicken. Like, epic status for this chicken. It was that good. Like holy jeez, the entire meal, I was like, ph my gosh, this is amazing.

LIZ WOLFE: I used to get in tears over like Henhouse General Tso’s Chicken. So I can’t even imagine.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: It’s amazing, and you know, made from simple ingredients, whatever. The whole menu is awesome, and I’m just like stoked for people to get it. My parents were like, what is that? That looks amazing. I’m like, yes, you’re totally going to make this. What else can I tell you about that? Oh, what was the most fun though was like, we had some leftovers and we threw them into Chinese food containers to take home, and like later that night, you know, we were up kind of late and doing work and whatnot, and we were sitting around eating, you know, Paleo-fied Chinese food out of to-go containers. I was like, this is awesome! [laughs]

LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] We’re normal!

DIANE SANFILIPPO: It was like, gosh, I haven’t done this in so long. And it was really fun to be like, what’s up? We’re eating with chopsticks out of this little paper container, but it was like, awesome quality food, and didn’t leave me feeling like I needed to drink 4 gallons of water and then like roll over and pass out. [laughs]


DIANE SANFILIPPO: So anyway, that’s the long story short on that, but awesome weekend and I’m super excited. Of course, I got to have like a total sneak peak of Gather and it’s going to be an awesome, awesome book for people to use for menu planning for events and holidays and obviously different types of gatherings, but you know, menus that are planned altogether and it’s just a beautiful book, of course.

LIZ WOLFE: Of course.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, so what else? We’re headed to Rochester this weekend. Or Rochester, as some people call it.

LIZ WOLFE: Mr. Rochester.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: So last call on tickets for that one. It’s a pretty full event, but I think there’s still some seats left, so if people are kind of waiting and hesitating, go and grab a ticket, and we’ll see you there. Then I’m off to Sothern California and Texas for sort of a whirlwind book signing event tour. Hitting San Diego, Los Angeles, Dallas, Ft. Worth, San Antonio, and Austin. Whew! It’s going to be really fun, though. I’m excited. And just to remind people like, it’s not a “come to this event and I sign books, and that’s it.” Not that that would be anything wrong with that. But it’s a whole hour of sort of, you know, I do an introduction, especially because some events where I’m doing, people just don’t know anything about the Paleo diet, so I just kind of give a brief overview, and then I take questions, and you know, it’s almost like a mini-seminar. A lot of people have come and said, you know what? If you can’t get to a seminar, it’s kind of the next best thing. So you know, definitely come, bring a friend, bring, you know, family, whoever. You know, anyone who’s interested or even not interested in learning some more. You know, they’ll come away with some answers to questions and just feel like they kind of gotten a lot from it. So obviously, I sign books there as well, but it’s kind of like a little mini, hour long seminar.
What about you? What’s going on? In Liz world?

LIZ WOLFE: Oh, well, in my little world, we have a houseguest that…here’s my little commentary on marriage. It’s the best thing ever especially when you’re married to my husband. He made me a t-bone steak tonight. But after the t-bone steak, which was incredible, he goes “uh, so Joey’s coming into town tonight.” [laughs] “And I forgot to tell you.”

DIANE SANFILIPPO: That’s why he made the t-bone steak.

LIZ WOLFE: That’s why he made the t-bone steak.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Forget flowers for Paleo girls. Cook them a steak, and then tell them you’re sorry. [laughs]

LIZ WOLFE: Exactly. So I’m not mad. Joey is hilarious and awesome and totally cool, so it should be fun, but it’s definitely unexpected, and luckily, I cleared my calendar for the next couple of days, so…he’s like fun Bobby, from Friends, except for without the complete disaster side. He’s just like, he comes in and brings fun. It’ll be good times. Other than that, oh, here I wanted to tell everybody about Trapdoor Athletics. It’s a local, local CrossFit affiliate, fitness affiliate in the Philadelphia area, and they are awesome. They’re having an Eat Primal Excursion on November 3rd, which sounds absolutely freaking amazing. And I just wanted to share it with everybody. For anybody that may be inter6ested in going, but what they’re doing is they’re taking a group out to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to visit Country Meadows, which is an Amish farm. Everybody will have a private tour of the farm. They’ll get to talk about different cuts of meats and then everybody gets to buy grass-fed, GMO-free, humanely raised beef, chicken, pork, lamb, whatever’s available right from the farm, which is really cool. And then after that, this is so awesome. They’re planning a 3 hour hands-on cooking workshop with a local cooking school. They’ll be making primal and paleo friendly foods, talking about some of our favorites, Diane, like bone broth, liver, ghee, as well as other Paleo friendly, seasonal dishes, and then, but wait! There’s more! They’re doing a whole full-on Paleo meal. Every participant gets a cookbook with the day’s recipes, a monogrammed apron, tons of good stuff. I so wish I could go, but I’ll be out of town, so everybody else has to go for me. And I’ve worked with Trapdoor before on their summer camp a few months back. We did some nutrition stuff, and it was just really awesome. A really engaged, passionate group of people. So we’ll link to that in the show notes. And they’re offering a discount, a $20 discount, to our listeners. So the discount code is just balancedbites, one word, no caps. So again, we’ll put that link in the show notes and you can go to Trapdoorathletics.com to check it out.
Other news…so my book cover is up on Amazon. And prior to that, it has been a placeholder cover, which was a cartoon Cave Girl, kind of an incarnation of my Cave Girl logo. And I had no idea anybody knew that I was writing a book. I haven’t really talked about it. It’s just kind of been sitting there on Amazon, but apparently, a lot of people have actually pre-ordered it, and I just want to say thank you to everybody that did that, and I’m so sorry. You probably just got the notification today that the book is actually coming out in the Spring. Cover changed, all kinds of confusion, and you know, just uproar around here, but…so thank you, everyone, for buying my book. It will be out in the Spring, and just sit tight. I promise it will be worth the wait. The book is called The Modern Cave Girl. Sorry, just Modern Cave Girl. And it’s on Amazon, so if anybody wants to check it out…


LIZ WOLFE: Woo hoo! Tell everybody about it. It should be pretty cool.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I’m excited to read it.

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, that’s what I’m hoping for.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I’m excited to have a book that one of my friends has created that I can throw like 5 of in my purse to make people read because my book, Bill and Hayley’s book. It’s like, I’m lucky if I can carry one copy of that.

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, you have to have a rolly suitcase for those. Yeah, that doesn’t work. Other than that, I do want to tell, and we’ll recommend this a couple times during this podcast, Stefani Ruper has released her PCOS Guide, which I’m pretty sure is a definitive, you know, most cogent, like coherent, comprehensive guide to PCOS that is out there at this point. Stefani is amazing. We’ll link to the guide in the show notes as well. But everybody look for that. I think that’s it. All right, let’s just jump into these questions 20 minutes later.


LIZ WOLFE: All right, first question. Hypothyroidism or PCOS. Vanessa says: “Hi Liz and Diane! I love your show and have listened to it since its very first episode.” Thanks, Vanessa. “I’m writing because I desperately need your help. Let me give you a bit of background on my situation. I’m 26 years old, and originally American but live in London. I have done Paleo/Primal for a month at a time, two times in my life (Sept 2011 and July 2012), with great success. For whatever reason (I blame severe sugar addiction) after one month I fell off the wagon and went back to my Standard American Diet ways. Back in May of this year, I stopped taking birth control as they were messing with my hormones. I had taken birth control since I was 16 at the recommendation of my doctor because of severe acne. Throughout those years, I switched birth control pill brands probably 15 times. Recently they made my breasts shrink a full cup size and my hair starting falling out and… I also wanted to stop to get pregnant. While monitoring my cycle closely since July, I still have not become pregnant. Even worse, my hair has been falling out even more and thinning, and my skin is literally covered in acne all over my face, chest, jaw, and neck. It is affecting my confidence and happiness so much that I find myself slipping into depression. I am also an anxious, stressed out individual and just handed in my notice at work as I couldn’t deal with the stress of it anymore. I find myself, often in the evenings, with a shaky feeling and often my heart is racing even though my environment is calm.
Can you recommend a holistic health practitioner for me to get diagnosed in the UK? The NHS here has ignored my issues and when my generic blood work came back ‘normal’ they just told me to go away basically. I have not had my hormone levels tested but desperately want to find someone who can look at my situation and help me get past it. Personally I have a suspicion it is either hypothyroidism or PCOS. Please, please help.
One other side note, my boyfriend clearly has a serious gluten intolerance which is why I wanted us to stop eating gluten. He has constant sinus infections, relies on nasal sprays and has some eczema-like rash on his forehead, nose, chest and back. He has lived with this for years *shakes head*.” That’s an aside. “If you have any advice for him too as we are trying to have a baby, I’d really appreciate it.
On a typical day I eat for breakfast: eggs, bacon, spinach, and tea. Sometimes a flavored soy latte, but I am trying to cut back on coffee as I get really jittery. Lunch is normally a Thai curry or soup, a piece of fruit, sometimes chocolate. Snack is some almonds or brazil nuts. I drink lots of herbal teas throughout the day, sometimes coffee with soy milk. Dinner is some cut of meat, vegetables, starchy veg or sometimes a grain (such as polenta or rice). Dessert is where I fall off the wagon. I might have five cookies or a bar of chocolate or ice cream. Sometimes gummies. Once the sugar touches my lips, I can’t stop.
I sleep 8+ hours a night. I’ve always been a good sleeper, never had problems. I get tired at 9:30 or 10pm, sleep at 10:30/11, wake up at 7:30am. I am often lethargic throughout the day and would love a nap at 3-4pm, but I work full-time.
Exercise is almost non-existent. Lately I’ve been trying to do more calming breathing exercises, short yoga sessions and just started to do interval sprinting on the weekend with my partner. I live in London so I walk about 25 minutes each way to and from work, quickly. I also try to get out and walk during my lunch break, even if just for 10-30 minutes.
As for skin care, I have tried the oil cleansing method but I believe this problem is so internal no amount of gentle external cleansing is helping. Sometimes I use tea tree oil. Sometimes I use a strong acne gel when I can’t take the pain of the pustules. My skin is VERY oily, my hair is also very oily on my scalp and my scalp has become itchy. I shower daily and shampoo daily. I try not to as I know it is very bad for my hair (which is also quite brittle), but otherwise it looks too greasy at the end of Day 2.”
And I think this is it for her question. Diane, I know you have some stuff to say on this, so I’ll just say my piece and move on. I think there’s a huge issue of consistency here on many different fronts. I also think it may be worth looking at the quality of her water. I’m not super familiar with the situation in London, but from what we learned at Charles Poliquin’s Biosignature Practitioner Training, there may be some problems with not only the water, but also the soil quality in that region. Other than that, she makes a really great observation that no amount of external cleansing, however amazing that is, can fix a nutritional or systemic problem. That’s actually about-that’s probably a full two-thirds of my upcoming skincare guide, healing digestion and getting the right foods in is a huge part of the battle, and you simply can’t ignore it. So that’s about what I had to say from there, Diane. I know you have some notes, and I’d also recommend Vanessa checks out Stefani’s PCOS guide that we just talked about at the beginning.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, so there’s a lot going on here. You know, this is…well, let me just kind of address things in some sort of order. Her main question was actually whether or not we have a recommendation for a practitioner in London who can help her, and to that, I’d really say let’s sort of crowdsource this. Like I don’t have somebody just off hand that I would say, hey, call this person or email this person. I don’t know if the Paleo Physician’s Network or Primal Docs have any kind of international representation. I’m presuming that they do, but I’d definitely look there. And then hopefully we can get a couple of people to maybe comment on the blog post for this podcast over on my website on BalancedBites.com and just let us know if you’ve got someone in London that you think is a great, sort of holistic practitioner, can do some hormone testing and that kind of thing.
That said, I do know that there are some qualified practitioners who work remotely, a couple in the San Francisco area come to mind, who work specifically with female hormonal issues quite regularly, and I’ve mentioned Mary Vance before. She’s a nutrition consultant, colleague of mine, and then Dr. Dan Kalish might also be a good option. Again, I’m not positive on like what would sort of happen in terms of lab work and that kind of stuff internationally, but I know both do a lot of the foundational diagnostic testing, hormone testing, you know, just kind of analyzing all of that, and I know that also Dr. Kalish is a great resource for even more advanced issues, so if you’re feeling like you’re already ready to just deal with something a little more advanced. Obviously, working with him would be a little bit more expensive. And I don’t know if Julia Ross’s clinic, which is also in California, a bit north of San Francisco, I don’t know if her clinic works with patients remotely, but if they do, that may be a good resource.
So her name is Julia Ross, R-O-S-S. She’s the author of the Diet Cure and the Mood Cure, and I’d also recommend checking out that book, the Mood Cure. It could also help with some, like brain chemistry rebalancing. It sounds like she’s dealing with some ups and downs and sort of altered adrenal profile with her energy levels, like at night, kind of like the racing heart and all of that. You know, she may find some amino acid therapy quite beneficial, maybe like amino acids, vitamin, nutrient combination to help with some of the physical stress, and like one combination I know is often pretty helpful, and there’s another podcast I would recommend listening to for some dosage information. I just don’t have it at my fingertips right now, and I know it’s important to keep the ratios intact on this, but a combination of the amino acid l-tyrosine with 5-htp and vitamin B6 can really help to get your head kind of in a good place, get your head clear, work on kind of controlling issues of cravings and appetite control, and it’s really been effective. I’ve actually used it a couple of times myself intermittently just, you know, when I felt like my brain was` just out of whack after, mostly after the stress of the book, and found it really effective. So I’d recommend listening to a podcast with Sean Croxton and Dr. Dan Kalish about neurotransmitter status and he, Dr. Kalish, actually does list out some sort of prescriptive quantities of how to balance those nutrients.
But my other gut instinct with Vanessa. She’s one of those people who sounds like she really needs a super strict sort of blood sugar regulation/sugar detox protocol for anywhere from like 30 to 90days to get her body to reset. So this means clean from sugar, even from fruit. Getting insulin levels really under control is critical for this type of hormonal imbalance, and you know, anytime she’s tasting something sweet, it’s a slippery slope, is what she’s saying, and for me, you know, what I see with people dealing with that all the time is that it’s both psychological , you know, kind of whatever emotional stuff is going on, and physiological. So you know, you have the emotional triggers that tell you to eat the sugar, but then you know, that insulin spike and the crash and the taste of the sugar all just drive you to eat more sugar. And you know, a lot of times people ask me, well, is it okay to have something sweet after dinner? And I’m like, well, how does that work for you? You know, can you eat the one or two squares of dark chocolate or does one piece of something sweet mean you dive head first into the entire bag of whatever it is, and it sounds like the latter is happening for Vanessa. So that’s a person where I would say, you know what? Zero sounds like it’s a healthy amount for you at this point. You know, there’s no issue with eating meat, fat, and vegetables and not taking in a ton of carbohydrates. It’s not going to cause any problems and it will probably help regulate, you know, the mood imbalances. Potentially not in the very short term, the first week or two might be a little bit tricky, but over time it definitely will and the hormonal dysregulation that can result from sugar addiction is so…it’s just so varied from person to person, so you know, you’ve got some people who are eating tons of sugar and carbs and have perfect skin and you know, don’t seem to have hormonal imbalances, or seem like they have perfect health from the outside. And that doesn’t mean they do from the inside, but some of us are just not that lucky. You know, for some people, small amounts of sugar just set things off, whether it’s hormonal imbalances, whether it’s, you know, potentially some gut dysbiosis that triggers the skin issues even further.
I mean there’s so many things that contribute to hormonal imbalances. You know, not the least of which is stress. You know, I think Vanessa knows what she needs to do about the sugar. It’s really a matter of just making the choice and being like, you know what? I’m worth making this decision every day, you know, one meal at a time, this is what I’m eating. I’m winning this battle against sugar and it’s just not…it’s just not something that you look at as like well, I can just have one little bit because you know that you can’t. You know, if you’re that person, you need to draw the line for yourself. And you know, if you’re not ready for that, you’re not ready for it. But knowing that that’s what needs to happen, I think is really important. And if there’s one thing I know for sure about female hormone regulation, it’s that getting sugar cravings and sugar intake under control is always, always, always beneficial and will yield some form of noticeable result, usually within a month. You know, not saying it will cure everything, but this is one of those cases, and I think I’ve got these notes for someone else later, you know, we have some similar questions today, but this is one of those times when doing like a really low carb Paleo diet is a good idea. You know? I don’t think everyone needs to do that all the time, but for an intervention, you know, and really low carb is like 30 to 50 grams a day from just regular vegetables, not even necessarily starchy stuff. She’s not really super active. So that can reset things really, really well. You know? And that’s an intervention for a short period of time.
I’d also recommend Paul Chek’s book, How to Eat, Move, and Be Healthy. So again, she was really asking for, you know, doctor or holistic sort of practitioner recommendation, but of course, there’s going to be an interim of time before she finds somebody, I think, so Paul Chek’s book, How to Eat, Move, and Be Healthy, I’ve talked about it a million times on the show before, but I think it’s a really good sort of manual, and actually, one of the reasons why I kind of designed and laid out my book the way I did is I liked how his book was made to be kind of like a useful textbook. You know, it’s like, great to share information, but put it in a useable format where you kind of take some quizzes about your diet and lifestyle. You find where in your life is sort of the biggest issue. So like Liz mentioned something about the water. You know, maybe you find out that environmental toxins are a huge issue for you because you’re asking and answering questions that you’ve never really addressed before. So I think that that book might be really useful. It’ll also give you some ideas about types of exercises to do for the type of stress that you’re under. And stress management’s going to be a huge part of controlling hormone regulation. You know, being a super stressed out person is just going to push all of your hormones in the wrong direction, and that’s kind of a casual way of putting it, but there’s…we’ve already said a lot for her at this point, I think. Yeah, I’m hoping that we can kind of get someone to chime in with a practitioner recommendation as well.

LIZ WOLFE: That’s like hitting gold, though, you know? A lot of us come to this lifestyle because we need to figure out a way to be our own practitioner because…


LIZ WOLFE: nobody out there can handle it. So so many things that you just said, there’s a ton of opportunity out there for her to start being her own practitioner and just own, stand in her power, you know, which sounds really cheesy but you do have the power to be your own practitioner. There are a lot of forces in the world telling us that we don’t know what’s right for us, but most cases we do.


LIZ WOLFE: And I also want to point out that the past tense of dive is dived. Isn’t that awesome?


LIZ WOLFE: No, you didn’t…you said, you just said dive.


LIZ WOLFE: But it made me remember from…

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I was like, what did I say?

LIZ WOLFE: my education…

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I actually really like your point, be your own practitioner, and I think…I actually think it’s really important to sort of do everything that you know needs to be done before you’re seeking out some of these practitioners. Like, just for example, and I don’t think he’s taking patients right now, but like I know Chris Kresser’s waiting list has been huge. You and I both have waiting lists, and it’s kind of like, it’s not that it’s for nothing to come to us without having tried some things before, but the reality is, if you know you’re addicted to sugar, work on a sugar detox. Work on getting off of the sugar.


DIANE SANFILIPPO: You don’t need to pay someone hundreds of dollars an hour to tell you to do that. And some people do. I’m not trying to kind of put down somebody who might need a coach, just a food coach, you know. Like we’ve got people to help just kind of guide your meals and all that kind of stuff, but the reality is, if you know you need to get off of sugar, and you’re not doing it yet, going to a practitioner and sort of like, you know, dumping out all of the issues, it’s kind of like, work on those things first because that’s free. You know, you don’t need to spend all the money on it. I think, you know, I have a lot of supplements that I recommend in the Sugar Detox book. I have supplements that I recommend in the Blood Sugar Regulation plan of Practical Paleo. That, you know, that’s stuff that if you go to a practitioner and you’re addicted to sugar and you’re having issues, they’re going to recommend most of that stuff to you in some way or another, and maybe, you know, it’s a little more hand holding and you know, dosages and whatnot, but the reality is, you really can do a lot of this yourself, and I think it’s super powerful to get a little bit of information and then try something. You know, try it with intention, you know, for a full month, maybe 60 days or 90 days and say, here are the things that I’m changing, let me see what happens. Because, you know, if you don’t give yourself that concerted effort, you almost just don’t know what can change, and so much of what we do as practitioners is, you know, we’re changing your food, but we’re giving you so many, so much information in this podcast week after week about what we would tell people to do, and it’s kind of like, give it a whirl, you know? Try it out. This information is free at this point.

LIZ WOLFE: All righty.


LIZ WOLFE: Next question. “Add sugar to a healthy meal in order to take my meds?” Question mark, exclamation point. Oh, what are those called? That’s a grammatical device.


LIZ WOLFE: What are those called? Oh, that’s going to bug me.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: You and the words.

LIZ WOLFE: I know. All right, Minisa says: “I was diagnosed with the antibodies for Type 1 Diabetes last year at the age of 35 (A1C ranging between 6.5-7.2 over the last year). I have been told by my doctor that I am considered pre-diabetic since I am currently still producing insulin. My doctor has me on Byetta 10, typically a Type 2 diabetes medication, because there is some research that shows it has helped to save cells that produce insulin that my body is killing off (autoimmune disorder). Because I am Type 1, have no other health concerns and live a healthy lifestyle he hasn’t recommended any nutritional restrictions or guidelines. When I asked what I can do to avoid taking medication- specifically mentioning nutrition and diet- I was essentially told that there was nothing I could do except wait for my body to stop insulin production; therefore I should get used to the idea of having to inject insulin. At my last appointment I told him I was concerned because the Byetta was requiring me to eat more sugar in order to prevent having lows after meals. For example if I took my medication and then ate a typical dinner- chicken breast, salad, quinoa- I would have blood sugar levels below 60 which would send me in a binge for grapes, juice, or ice cream trying to get it back up. That didn’t make sense to me – add sugar to a “healthy” meal in order to take my meds?! He said I could go off Byetta, but it may speed up my dependence on insulin. At that same appointment he asked me to think about taking insulin so that I can get use to injecting myself with it, but I told him I wanted to wait because I’m worried it will down-regulate my own production of insulin. Additionally, I’m convinced there is something I can do besides taking drugs.
I am trying to educate myself about the disease. There is so much out there — it’s overwhelming, and not much points to nutrition when it comes to Type 1. I was excited to learn about Robb Wolf’s work when I came across your podcast and am currently reading Practical Paleo.
I have LOTS of questions, but my immediate question is: Should I stop taking Byetta (and slow release insulin) while starting my 30 days of Paleo? Also what other general advice/suggestions can you give me concerning my condition as it relates to your expertise?
Appreciate and value any input you can provide.”
Diane, I have to make a quick note before you get into this. We’ve-the previous question, talking a little bit about soy? I was remiss in not mentioning…


LIZ WOLFE: Ditch the soy. I’m sure there are people like screaming into their…


LIZ WOLFE: podcasting devices right now, like that was a major miss. But just throwing that out there while it’s on the top of my head…


LIZ WOLFE: And now go for it.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I made a note about that and forgot to say something, too.

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah. All right, so your thoughts.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, sometimes we forget to say that because we like assume people are all going Paleo. My thoughts on this whole diabetes situation. So just a reminder, you know, you gave our whole disclaimer in the beginning, but you know, we’re not diagnosing or treating or, you know, we’re not even here to make recommendations about what people can or should be doing with their medications. So, just getting that out of the way…that said, you know, her intuition about, you know, how her body’s using sugar and insulin are, in my mind, spot on. Like, the less sugar and carbohydrate you’re eating, you know, the less insulin your body is demanding. Even the quinoa, which, you know, that would get kicked out, despite seeming like a lower “sugar” food, it’s still a dense source of carbs that require insulin for its assimilation. So, this is something where, you know, I recommend she follows the notes for Blood Sugar Regulation in the meal plans in my book. Generally eating a very low carb diet, as I mentioned in the, you know, previous answer, I might put her around like 50 to 75 grams a day, you know, per day, as a max. Even lower if she wanted to, or if she just wasn’t very active, to around 30.You know, that’s super low carb. See how you feel at that, and the reality is, if you’re not producing much insulin, but you still have some, you just have to see how you feel with this. If you’re finding that you need to eat sugar to account for what a medication is doing to your body, that’s not a good sign. I would never tell somebody that they should eat sugar to make a medication feel normal.
So now all that being said, you know, making a big assumption here that she’s got a glucometer, is testing both her, you know, fasting morning glucose, maybe some postprandial or post-meal numbers. if not, tune into last week’s podcast on how to do that. You really need to know what your blood glucose is, what it’s doing, how it’s responding to things to be able to know how well your body is working. Like how much your body is still responding or not. The thing with Type I diabetes, but this is likely a Type 1.5 as what kind of the new name is. It’s the adult-onset/autoimmune diabetes. Not the same as Type 1 or even Type 2, which Type 2 is like, you know, diet/lifestyle contributed to, primarily. So it’s that you still may have some insulin production, as you mentioned, and if you want to keep from needing too much exogenous insulin from injections, you really need to keep the carb intake down. It’s sort of like, it’s just this no-brainer, that if you’re trying to use less insulin, you eat fewer carbs. So this is where I’m saying, another sort of do this intervention. Do the super low carb plan. See how you feel. It may take some time to adjust, but, you know, I’d be willing to bet that in a few weeks tops, you’ll be feeling more energetic, things will make more sense to you about how your body is working in a way that will help you make the right call with regards to the meds and your insulin, you know, and talking to your doctor about it. And alternatively, perhaps find a new endocrinologist who’s not kind of giving this…kind of whacked out approach. And it’s a really common approach that we see like with even Type I, where they’re telling, you know, kids or young adults how much insulin to take and then how much carb to eat to like eat up as many carbs as they’re accounting for with the insulin, and it’s just a really poor approach. It’s impossible to say an exact protocol for every diabetic because they respond very differently, but every diabetic that I’ve worked with, a low carb approach feels awesome for them. And they’re shocked at how little insulin they’re using. They’re shocked at how much better when they’re using less insulin because the whole deal here is high insulin does not make you feel good. Like you feel tired, lethargic, you just want to be sleeping if your insulin is high, and there’s just no reason to, if your body’s not making it anymore, try and demand more of it from injections. We can very effectively run in a fat-adapted state, burning fat for fuel primarily, so one of those cases where she may find that the intervention of, you know, the low carb feels good, or that it feels good for forever. You know, we just don’t know. But that’s what I would go with, and I would look for a new endocrinologist.

LIZ WOLFE: Diane, it’s called an interrobang. That’s what it’s called.


LIZ WOLFE: The thing with the question mark and the exclamation point. It’s called an interrobang.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Oh, I’m like, what? [laughs] Wow.


DIANE SANFILIPPO: That’s interesting.

LIZ WOLFE: Isn’t it? Okay. Next question. “Low calories equals lack of sleep” Astrid says: “I’m having trouble getting enough calories in. At least, that’s what I think. (Yeah, I know… I didn’t believe it either, until I started logging my food.) I eat 3 square meals a day, sometimes an additional evening snack. I always eat when I’m hungry until I’m totally satisfied. At noon, I sometimes eat without being hungry, just because of scheduling. I have to put my lunch somewhere between my meetings…I have to put my lunch somewhere” I’m assuming this I have to eat my lunch somewhere “between my meetings and other work related stuff; there is not so much flexibility during that particular time of the day.
First of all, I don’t quite know how many calories one is supposed to consume in a day. There are various informations out there, most of them somewhat silly proposals colored by the low-fat generations.
I’m 156cm, 58 kg (128lb). I’m suffering from sleep-maintenance insomnia, and wake up usually somewhere between 3 to 6 hours after I went to bed. My mind is racing, and even if I stay in bed for a couple of hours, I can’t fall back to sleep again. I’ve also tried to get up for a snack, hoping that this would put me back to sleep, didn’t work either. I’ve tried starchy carbs as well as fruit as well as fats in form of coconut oil or homemade chocolate without sweetener, at time I even had a whole “breakfast” including eggs and meat.
I’m also not hungry when I wake up, I mostly wake up because I have to pee. I usually stop drinking anything 2 hours before I go to bed, but that’s not helping either. Being desperate, I started logging my food (which I hate).” Me too. “First I thought, that I’d probably would have to get more carbs in during the day. But that didn’t help either! One night I ate a gigantic amount of homemade chocolate, and slept through the night like a baby, waking up about 9 hours after I fell asleep. That’s what I’m looking for on a regular basis!
Anyhow, sorry for rambling on. I just figure the more information you get, the better the chance for you to answer my question in a way that fixes my problem. I’ve also put on some weight from all that sleeplessness, mostly around my waist, some on thighs and butt as well. I guess that’s from cortisol.
After that chocolate experiment, which I’ve successfully repeated (for science, not for pleasure!), I think that the insomnia is caused by too low calorie intake. Food tracking showed approximately 1600 calories per day. I think I should probably get 2100 or something like that. (See below for a typical day.)
Also, I’d like to try a rather ketogenic approach, but I seem to have trouble getting enough fat in the mix. I’d be thankful for any tips you could offer me. I’m already drowning all my veggies/meats/eggs in fat, still the ratios are not where I’d like them to be. I usually get too much protein and too little fat.
I’d like to get all my calories from nutrient dense foods. The chocolate path, however delicious it might be, is not exactly what I’m looking for. I’m eating 100% Paleo.. No dairy (apart from grass fed butter and ghee), no grains what so ever, no legumes, virtually no nuts and fruit (sometimes a few berries from my strawberry bushes). I don’t tolerate any of those things. I’m also under some digestive stress, mainly bloating/flatulence.
Thanks to both of you.”
Breakfast: eggs, ghee, Brussels sprouts, red bell pepper, homemade liverwurst. Bad ass. Lunch is avocado, tuna in a can, tomato, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, extra virgin olive oil. Dinner is kraut, ox tail, Brussels sprouts, ghee, broth. That’s about 1700 calories. Okay, I think that’s…I think we’ve read most of what’s relevant. Sleep is bad, 4 to 5 hours per night. Sleeping according to sleep, sugar and survival, no TV, etc., before bed. Usually reading a half an hour in bed before going to sleep. No overhead light at least one hour before bed. I’ve tried snacks close to bedtime as well, didn’t help. Exercise: I’m walking to work, office job 5 days a week, about 10 kilometers each day. Lifting weights one to two times a week for about 15 minutes.
Dang this metric system, Diane.
Supplements: I’ve started the following…

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Math is not your game, hunh?

LIZ WOLFE: It’s so not my game. My husband’s getting like his second masters with something with numbers in it, and I want nothing to do with it. Nothing.
Supplements: I’ve started the following protocol three weeks ago after reading The Diet Cure and Mood Cure. L-glutamine for gut repair. L-tyrosine, what is that? What’s that next one, Diane?


LIZ WOLFE: I don’t know what that is.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, where is she? I’m in a different place in the document.



LIZ WOLFE: DLTA, stopped all caffeine. 5-htp, l-tryptophan, and GABA. I also took 3 milligrams of melatonin for a couple days, didn’t help the sleep situation either. I took NOW Foods Super Enzymes until the bottle was empty yesterday and a probiotic supplement until about a week ago. Now I substitute with water kefir and/or kombucha as well as fermented foods on a daily basis. Green Pasture Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil is on the way. I took it before as well. Vitamin B complex because I was on metformin for 3 months until 4 weeks ago to treat PCOS, which apparently is not really PCOS, but some other hormonal imbalance. I haven’t had a period since I went off the Pill a year and a half ago.”
So my thoughts on this, Diane, are, well, first of all, calories in a day, in my opinion, should be enough to maintain a healthy weight at which you menstruate, sleep well, and are able to enjoy your life. And that’s just baseline. I mean, there’s obviously variation in there, but if that’s kind of what I had to shoot for, it’s thought to put a number on things because everybody is so different. I pretty much take whatever the conventional wisdom says probably though, and add a third, at least. And you know, this isn’t cute, but I’ve known to just take tablespoons of various fats just for the heck of it. I mean, you’ve seen me do it. You’ve done it. Well sourced red palm oil, ghee, coconut oil, I mean, you name it. I’ll just…I’ll take it down, just for the sake of, I don’t know, time and nourishment. I did actually also observe my friend Lee doing that today as well, so I feel a lot less alone right now. Like I know you and I are weird, but apparently there are other weird people out there too.


LIZ WOLFE: No way. So getting more calories at least in this situation is really just a matter of finding the willingness to do some things outside your personal norm. Now if she was eating an incredible amount of food and somehow losing weight or still feeling like intake was inadequate, that would probably be a different story. And I’d be a lot more inclined to just take a long, hard look at digestion, which that still might actually be useful here, just to be sure hunger isn’t being blunted because, for example, stomach acid is low. I did see that she took NOW Foods Super Enzymes, but I don’t think I saw that she was taking any betaine hydrochloride. If she needs to support her stomach acid, that can actually make a huge difference with regards to, all the way down the line, all the way down to neurotransmitters. When you’re digesting protein appropriately and well, it can kind of change the whole landscape.
Now this chocolate experiment is really intriguing to me. There could be a few things going on. First, yeah, it could definitely be a calorie thing, if you’re eating super dark chocolate with, you know, delicious cocoa butter or some kind of really nourishing fats. But it could also be some kind of magnesium deficiency rectifying effect. Dark chocolate especially or cocoa in particular is fairly high in magnesium. And this isn’t some like hokey, holistic thing either. This is actually pretty well understood, well known. There’s some evidence that magnesium deficiency is an underlying factor in depression and kind of, you know, less physical, more emotional type stuff. Anybody who was at the Weston A. Price Foundation conference last year in Dallas will remember [laughs] We called him, Laura Schoenfeld and I called him Magnesium Guy. He’s this quirky older gentleman who lined up after literally every single speaker to comment on how, how the importance of magnesium, and how important it is. I mean, I can’t even describe it, it was pretty funny. But he was talking about how important magnesium is to whatever problem, issue, perspective, etc. had been discussed in that presentation. This went on for 3 days. It was pretty hilarious, but the guy had a point. So I’m pretty into like magnesium and sulfur and CoQ10 right now. Anyway, so I’m getting off topic.
But so here I’d actually probably look in addition to shoring up calories in general, at where the magnesium is coming from, where the calcium is coming from, and if you’re getting enough. And as an adjunct to that, where is the vitamin D coming from? This is kind of a trinity of nutrients that’s really powerful at optimizing sleep. And it’s really a step ahead of melatonin because what calcium does is it aids your body in utilizing tryptophan, which is what is converted into serotonin, which then cascades into melatonin.
The only other notes I have is I’ve heard of some folks having success with sleep maintenance, insomnia, and St. John’s Wort, but I really don’t know enough about St. John’s Wort to speak on it at all. So anyone that does want to implement that should definitely talk to someone who does know before they do that. I really couldn’t recommend anything against the backdrop of supplements she already has going. I wouldn’t mess with that. I mean, I really can’t remember the whats and the whys of the Mood Cure recommendations. Diane, do you have any thoughts on that?

DIANE SANFILIPPO: First of all, I love the nutrients I’m into lately commentary.

LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I’m really into CoQ10 right now.

LIZ WOLFE: I am really into CoQ10 right now. [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Sorry, I think it’s really funny. Like this is really how we talk.

LIZ WOLFE: It is. It is.


LIZ WOLFE: We get excited, text messages in the middle of the night.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: But, no, I’m…No, I don’t really have too much…too much else. I did want to just note for people who are curious about the DLPA. It’s DL-Phenylanine. It’s an amino acid.


DIANE SANFILIPPO: The L-phenylaline form is sometimes used for treatment of depression. The D form can possibly prevent the breakdown of your brain’s natural painkillers. So some people who are dealing with chronic pain are obviously brain chemistry imbalances might be using the DLPA, so that was kind of…it made sense along some of the other amino acids she was talking about. The l-tyrosine, the 5-htp, etc.
No, I don’t really have too much else there, I think. When it comes to the…when it comes to the sleep issue, I don’t know. I often just tell people like, eating some starchy food with some protein before bed, and if she’s not getting enough calories in, then that’s going to help push her, but that also can help some of what she was doing with the amino acid therapy. Can help get some tryptophan over the blood brain barrier into the brain to do the starch with the protein. But it does not sound like very much food. Just 1700 or 1200 calories doesn’t really sound like that much food, so you know, maybe just upping that a little is going to feel better. I mean, I don’t like to micromanage calories all the time, but it’s kind of like, I know a lot of people undereat and just aren’t really feeling great from it, so…that’s it.


DIANE SANFILIPPO: I’m like, are you muted? What’s going on?

LIZ WOLFE: Nope. I’m definitely here. All right, next up. “Avoiding dairy okay to take FCLO?” I love that…most people listening probably know exactly what FCLO is.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: And we’ve also caused a shortage.

LIZ WOLFE: Yes, yes, we have. I actually got yelled at today about that. Right in the same hour as I got recognized at Target while I was buying granny panties, and that’s a true story. [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO: We can’t be friends anymore. Why are you buying granny panties?

LIZ WOLFE: ‘Cause I’m married, jeez. [laughs] They weren’t that bad. They’re just, you know, they’re like, I don’t know.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Let’s not talk about your underwear on the podcast.

LIZ WOLFE: Let’s not talk about my…yeah.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Except when they’re like attached to the leg of your pants in the hole. [laughs]

LIZ WOLFE: Is that one we need to recount? Just so everybody knows what we’re talking about. I definitely…[laughs] I can’t. You tell it.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: I don’t even know the story. You’re going to have to be a loyal podcast listener to know it or you’re on the outside of this inside joke.

LIZ WOLFE: Oh my goodness. All right, onto this question.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Onto the question.

LIZ WOLFE: So here’s the question. “I know you recommend the Green Pasture’s fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend. If doing an autoimmune protocol or avoiding dairy, do you see any implications with taking the blend rather than just the pure fermented cod liver? Is there any reason to think the butter oil blend can cause issues to those testing for dairy sensitivities?”
If anybody is new to this podcast and they just heard us talk about taking pure fermented cod liver, can you imagine? I mean, they’ve already switched the thing off.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: They’re headed for the hills.

LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, deleted. So I think this one is fairly easily answered. No, take the fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend. I just don’t…I just have not seen any compelling evidence against…even ghee, which is just clarified butter on even a dairy sensitive, autoimmune protocol, whatever, this butter oil is processed such that there are absolutely no dairy proteins whatsoever. So I say just take it, unless you want to play around with it, and you take it out, that’s cool, but I have absolutely no worries about that.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, I’m not concerned about it. I have heard some people saying like they noticed some things that are different while taking it, and I’m like, well, if you, you know, if you’re taking it, and you don’t feel great, take it out for 2 weeks, see if you notice anything. If not, take it. You know? It’s not a, you know, for an autoimmune protocol, I don’t know. I mean, I think you’re probably getting more good than bad in that protocol. This is one of the things too, it’s like total tangent here, but I know that like Terry Wahl’s’ protocol for MS includes a ton of different types of vegetables that I might tell somebody to avoid…

LIZ WOLFE: Mm-hmm.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: But for whatever reason, I think that like super dosing your food, that like in a way that’s super nutrient dense, almost like outweighs some of the potentially negative or like potentially, you know, potential downsides of any of these like food form nutrients. So I don’t know. I haven’t heard…I have a lot of people on autoimmune Paleo protocols, like following my work, and the book and all that stuff, and I haven’t heard more than 1 or 2 out of hundreds or even thousands of people say they notice anything, any kind of downside to taking that. So you know, if you take it, and it’s not working for you, I’m sure you’ll have a friend who listens to the podcast who will buy it from you. I’ll buy it.

LIZ WOLFE: I’ll take it. All right. Are we out of time?


LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, we’re pretty much out of time. We’ll save this one because it’s fairly long for the next…


LIZ WOLFE: For the next one.


LIZ WOLFE: Unless…let’s answer this one about probiotics real quick, and that will be perfect right on time.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Okay, and then we can let people know what this other…well, we’ll save this one. Okay.

LIZ WOLFE: And then after this, I’m going to go hang out with Joey because I just remembered in our wedding present which he sent to us before the wedding, he put in a card that said, I apologize in advance for everything that I’m going to do. [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO: [laughs] That’s awesome.

LIZ WOLFE: So, so awesome. All right. So last question. “Options for probiotics.” Amy says: “After reading Practical Paleo and analyzing my family’s poop…” Awesome. “I am convinced that we need to use a Probiotic regularly. I have started my first batch of raw sauerkraut, but I know that will take 2 weeks to ferment. Can you provide further guidance on other available sources of probiotics? My kids love yogurt, but I’ve been trying to avoid that because of the HFCS/lack of full-fat dairy issues. Is store-bought sauerkraut OK? Is there any form of store-bought yogurt that would be acceptable? What are some other options for probiotics?
Love your information, and your insight! Thank you.”

DIANE SANFILIPPO: All righty, well, let’s go through the list here. In terms of yogurt, excuse me, Traders Point Creamery, I think is the name of the brand. It’s a grass-fed, full fat milk yogurt. It’s sold nationwide. I don’t believe it’s made from, you know, raw milk, but I think with yogurt, it’s probably okay to be getting the grass-fed, full fat. I’m pretty sure you can get it at Whole Foods all over. I don’t know where else, but you can look at their website and find, you know, what stores it’s in. I would also recommend looking for a local source of yogurt. If your family tolerates dairy well, I know like in the San Francisco Bay Area we had a brand called St. Benoit, I think that’s how you pronounce it. I don’t speak French. I know a lot of people in the workshop locations we’ve gone to, the attendees have said there are local farms selling yogurt and that’s kind of like, look, if you’re not going to make it yourself, if there’s somewhere you can get it locally, ideally grass-fed, etc. So I’m cool with yogurt if you tolerate it. Like I tried eating yogurt again. I tried that, the Trader’s Point Creamery version for myself, knowing it was a pretty good form, and I just don’t tolerate it. It doesn’t work for me. But it’s kind of a bummer. Whatever. It happens.
So store bought kraut is just…it’s just okay. Like, most of the national brands aren’t that great, in my opinion. There are some local brands, like Farmhouse Kraut, again in San Francisco, sort of Santa Clara Bay area, and others like Real Pickles that I found in the New Jersey/Pennsylvania area that are making, you know, different, different ferments, not just kraut. They’re doing beets and carrots and things like that, which is great if you can’t do the cabbage for some reason. And I’m sure there’s a lot of other brands that are regionally available and what I like to call the hippie co-ops, which are places I frequent in every city possible. just avoid the grain and bean bins at those places. But they’re usually full of fermented goodies, like all over the place. So if you’re doing store-bought, make sure it’s cold, make sure it says somewhere that it’s unpasteurized or raw. Bubbie’s is one brand that’s pretty easy to find. There’s definitely….they’re definitely at Whole Foods as well. There’s another brand that’s sold at Whole Foods, I know. It’s in a bag, usually near the meat department. We actually-in Pittsburgh, we actually pointed somebody to it just the other day. This woman’s like, do you sell sauerkraut? We’re like, we know where the sauerkraut is.

LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO: So this brand that’s in a bag, it’s often near the meat department. I think it’s raw. And I think it’s probably a little bit more affordable than the Bubbie’s. I just haven’t tried it, so I hesitate a little on recommendations of things I haven’t tried, but I think Hayley’s had it. Hayley Mason. She said she liked it, so she can try that one for kraut. And again, looking for like, local, regional brands. Checking out your farmers markets-there could be some people making kraut. If you’ve got any like…I don’t know where she’s from. If there’s any Amish near you, they usually have some sauerkraut at the farmers market.
What else? I’m enjoying my newly formed romance with kombucha. More and more as time goes on.

LIZ WOLFE: Yes, oh my gosh.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Now I’m home brewing it. It’s about a 2 week process as well between sort of the first and second stages, but you can keep rebrewing it. It makes a lot pretty easily. I think that’s probably pretty easy for the kids as well. I’m not really worried about alcohol content in there. Mine does not seem alcoholic at all to me, and I would know because like I’m a total lightweight. So the first time I drank kombucha like 6 years ago, I completely got a buzz. I was like, whoa!

LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO: But that was a…but that was before GT’s had to change their formula. Anywho, I would recommend trying to get a scoby and kind of get that going. I know Jill over at First Comes Health has been blogging about the process and some recipes. So that said, I do still buy Synergy brand, and some other local brands of kombucha regularly and especially when I’m the road, which obviously, you, Liz…you and I kind of have that regular Whole Foods run.


DIANE SANFILIPPO: Grab our kombucha and some hard-boiled eggs and charcuterie.

LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Anyway, even with all the travel I’ve done in the last year and the stress of writing the book, which I’ve said before, was just barely this side of flattening me out completely, I haven’t been sick in over a year. Like totally knock on wood, but I 100% credit the gut flora I’ve rebuilt after like years of antibiotics with all the probiotic foods I’ve been eating in the last couple of years, and I think it’s really important to vary them as much as you can. Like I would love to eat yogurt if I tolerated it, but I don’t, so I’m doing as many of the other things as possible. And that’s really what I recommend, and try fermenting some different stuff at home. I know Bill and Hayley at the Food Lovers Kitchen have a fermented pickles recipe, and there’s probably going to more of that stuff kind of cropping up over the coming year, so…any more notes on that one, Liz?

LIZ WOLFE: I think you have to be really careful with non-food based probiotics, if you’re actually doing therapeutic probiotics, like in a capsule or in a, you know, that you buy from the refrigerated section at Whole Foods. I do like BioKult, but I think it’s great to get them from food, especially home fermented food that has that unique bacterial imprint from your personal environment. I think that’s excellent. And that’s about all I got.

DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, probiotic supplements can be really tricky, and there’s too much to say about that, like right now, but I’ve really found that most people are doing well with the foods. Like they’re feeling good, their digestion’s working well, and I just think it’s the best way to get it.


DIANE SANFILIPPO: The most natural, the most, you know, what we would have been doing, so…

LIZ WOLFE: Fermented foods have a long history in our human, I don’t know…in our human history. It’s pretty cool stuff. Every culture has one. It’s really, it’s really interesting stuff.
All right, so in closing. That’s it. In closing, that is the end. We’ll be back next week with more questions. Until then, you can find Diane at BalancedBites.com. You can find me, Liz, at CaveGirlEats.com or at LizWolfeNTP.com. That’s my professional alter-ego. Thanks for listening. We’ll be back next week.

Diane & Liz

  • Jason

    I too have had issues not getting enough calories. I’m 6’4″ and 185lbs and I struggle to get to 2000 calories per day. I feel like I’m chowing down at lunch and dinner. My breakfast is pretty basic though. It’s coffee with 1 tbsp of full fat coconut milk and a homemade nut/dried fruit/coconut oil bar.

    I’m just not sure if calorie count is a concern or not. I feel good, I sleep good and my workouts haven’t been affected. I’m also maintaining my weight. All of this would lead me to believe that my current intake is good to go.

    It just sounds low based on my size and activity levels. Some have recommended I hit 3300 calories per day. I’d likely explode if I attempted that.

  • Beth

    I previously had the exact same problem, and I attributed it to needing to pee also, but it was not. I read Nora Gegaudas “Primal Body Primal Mind” and decided to go ketogenic/very low carb. I did this for about 6 months and woke up like clockwork at 3am every morning. I had no idea going so low carb caused my sleep and digestion issues as well, until I started reincorporating sweet potatoes and fruit back into my diet. Once I did begin eating carbs again I began sleeping through the night and have NEVER woken up at 3am since, where as, it used to be like clock work. I hear alot about people having sleep and constipation issues while on a low carb paleo diet, and I think some people just need more carbs, esp. women. The science and all makes sense to be low carb, but I would highly recommend getting some safe starches in your diet and you may see some immediate improvement. If not, you can go back to what you are doing easily. Good luck!

  • http://www.tuitnutrition.com Amy B.

    Great podcast as always, ladies!

    Just wanted to add something for Vanessa (from question #1)…

    You sound so on edge and at the end of your rope, I just want to give you a hug and let you calm down for a bit!

    Please, *please* consider holding off on trying to get pregnant until you’ve healed your own body! The in-utero environment is responsible for *so many* things down the line with respect to a baby’s health — including how they deal with stress. If mama’s constantly stressed out and anxious (and possibly not even absorbing all the wonderful nutrients from her great diet because of digestive/assimilation issues *due to* feeling stressed out), you could very possibly “program” your baby from the get-go to have disproportionate responses to stressors throughout life.

    Also, remember that pregnancy can be extremely taxing on your body. if your health is not as robust as it can be entering into pregnancy, how do you think you’ll fare as baby grows inside you and “saps” more and more nutrients from your own body? You’re only 26 years old. You have LOADS of time. Please consider taking 6 months — if not a full year — to really focus on bringing *yourself* to a better place, both physically and emotionally, before trying to conceive.

    I know, I know…we could argue that *plenty* of women out there with completely whacked-out health problems get pregnant all the time, but let’s ask ourselves — are their babies healthy? Are they born with healthy digestive tracts, strong immune systems, and pleasant dispositions. Unfortunately, I think we know the answer to those questions.

    You will get *one* chance to help this baby reach his/her genetic potential from minute one. Don’t rush the process. You know what they say on airplanes in the talk about the oxygen masks: secure *your own mask first* before helping others. You’ve got to take care of *yourself* before you’ll be of any help to someone else.

    One last thing — you mentioned you stopped taking birth control in May and have been trying to conceive since July. After 10 years on BC (not to mention switching brands 15 times!!), that is a drop in the bucket. It’s no time at all, really. Your hormones are probably going to take a while to come back to balance. In fact, if you can look at this “holistically,” with all the issues you mentioned in your question, your not conceiving so far might be your body’s way of telling you that right now is just *not* the time for you. Our bodies know best. Yours might be saying that you need to secure your own mask for a while, know what I mean? You need to build a healthy, robust Vanessa before trying to build a healthy, robust baby. Don’t underestimate the importance of *mom’s* health and well-being in determining the same in her baby.

    I hope that isn’t harsh. I don’t mean it to be. I just think so many women out there have no idea of the influence of their own health (and MINDSET/emotional/psychological balance) on that of their baby.

  • Christina

    I am enjoying your cook book Diane. But, I wondered why grass fed beef is “tougher”. I cooked the stuffed cabbage recipe and the meat was really tough, and it was still red on the inside?? Also, when I make the bone broths everyone complains that the smell is overpowering and makes them sick to their stomach? I have tried different herbs/spices, even plain and into the crockpot. I don’t understand? Just wondered if you can help with this please? I am desperate. I need the bone broth as part of the protocol to help my digestive system heal. Thank you!

    • Barbara

      I agree with you Christina.mim in Oz and the grass fed is redder and tougher? I tried the bone broth, not marrow bone though and it stunk.
      My gut is just settling from an overdose of seeds and berries and salads. I can’t take the bone broth S it smells like dog food.

  • Alison

    For Vanessa:

    Recommendations for docs who are good with thyroid conditions in the UK can be found at:



    Hope that helps! I’d also recommend looking through stopthethyroidmadness.com . If you want to order tests yourself, they have links to some sites that allow you to do that in the UK.

  • Astrid

    First of all, thank you so much for answering my question during the podcast. I thought I would give a quick update on how things are going.

    After reading Art and Science of Low Carb Living/Performance as well as following up on Jimmy Moores ketosis n=1 experiment, I (maybe, only time will tell) figured out my problem. I think that I’m just on that weird borderline carb intake level, which prevents me from being keto-adapted. But on the other hand, carbs are not high enough to get me through the night, so I get an adrenalin hit in the middle of the night, which kicks my body into gluconeogenesis (because my brain is not adapting to using ketons).

    Long story short, I dropt carb levels down (currently only eating leavy greens and a little portion of fermented carrots [most likely the carb count of those decreases during the fermentation process]) and also decreased the amount of protein I’m eating.

    I’m one and a half weeks into my keto-adaptation phase, not quite there yet though. I measure my blood keton levels every morning. Sometimes they are as high as 1.8, on other days they are rather low at about 0.4. I hope that I’ll be in the 1.5+ range by the end of the second week.

    My current macro-nutrient ratio is something like < 30g carb, 75g protein, literally tons and tons of fat. I just had to make the effort to get over my(low-fat-brainwashed)self, and now I'm eating coconut butter by the spoon full straight out of the jar. Also I add quite a chunk of butter to everything I cook. (We have the most amazing alpine pasture butter around here, you'd love it.)

    Calories are up over 2000kcal and I stopped weighing and measuring a couple of days ago. That just drove me totally nuts, I always start to obsess with it each time I do, in quite an unhealthy way.

    Sleep increased already pretty noticeable, I now sleep well every other day. In between I still have those 4-6 hours of sleep nights, but since I get about 8 hours of sleep during the other nights, that so much easier to handle.

    Beth, thank you for your comment. I bought Nora's book quite a while ago, didn't have the time to read it yet, though. I listened to her podcast though, and I'm quite familiar with the idea. It pretty much the Phinney/Volek approach.
    I too thought that I would need more carbs, especially after listening to and reading from Stefani Ruper. I tried it, but it just wasn't for me. I pushed my carbs to 150-200g at times and felt lousy. There seem to be lots of people, who're doing better with higher carb intake. I'm just not one of them. For me, literally everything gets worse.

    Some additional notes to the things mentioned during the podcast:

    @ Magnesium: According to my last lab test, my magnesium levels are "high normal". However, since the ranges used with lab tests are known to be somewhat unrealistic, I started taking some natural calm again, which I had sitting around.
    I took it before for a while, but it didn't really change things. Additionally I've got horrible bloating every time I took it. Probably it's the particular form of magnesium that's used in this brand, I know that there are different options.
    However, currently I'm not having the same problem when taking it. Maybe it's because of the more ketogenic diet, maybe something completely different, I don't know.

    @DPLA is typically used for patients suffering from chronic pain (which I don't). The major sign that one is deficient is "tearing up easily". Boy… I always just thought I would be particularly emotional. Sometimes I literally could cry during commercials! Taking DPLA makes a huge difference for me.

    @HCI: Now foods super enzyme does contain 200mg Betaine HCl per tablet, and I took 3-4 tablets with each meal. By the way, I never experienced that warm feeling from taking those. I don't encounter Miss Show-Off in my bathroom though, so things seem to work okay! 😀
    I've switched brands and am taking Betaine HCl Pepsin and Digestive Enzymes Ultra from PURE encapsulations now. It's a bit of a struggle to get my hands on those, because you need a practitioner product code to be able to order those. (European practitioners are not quite there yet, educationally.)

    Alright, that was quite extensive.

    For now I'll stick with the ketogenic approach, and once my body is keto-adapted I'll see what's going to happen. Hopefully everything is going to change for the better. Maybe all that butter even helps with my hormonal disorder (Why Women need Fat is also in that pile of books to be read on my desk).

    Again, Diane and Liz, thanks for everything you do. It really is appreciated!

  • jake3_14

    For Vanessa — Are the services of Dr. John Briffa within your reach?

  • Joelleen

    PCOS/Hypothyroidism: I recently read a tip for finding a doc that might be helpful. A blog suggested calling local compounding pharmacies and asking the pharmacist what doctors she/he recommended for the problem. It was concerning hypothyroidism. The thought was that a doctor who uses a compounding pharmacy to individualize meds for thyroid patients is more likely to be one who listens to patients and evaluates them holistically. I followed the advice and have an appointment with a holistic doctor (Springfield, MO, USA) who sounds really good. I explained the reason for calling to the pharmacist and she sounded very confident in her referral. When I called the doctor, he answered the phone and took about 15 minutes talking to me about my symptoms and what he does. So far, I’m pretty happy about just that.

    Another person is Bryan Walsh. He does some online consulting. He’s a naturopathic physician and writes some articles for a company called precision nutrition. Some of his articles are really good. Here’s a link
    I feel like I should put a warning here ,though. The precision nutrition site is great, but not paleo. Tons of good info, but their food suggestions often include a lot of dairy. I’ve switched to paleo in the last few months and noticed dairy as being the biggest contributor to my acne. I’m 29 and ALWAYS had acne that I could not get rid of. No dairy and my acne improved dramatically in about 3 weeks. I’d say it’s 80% better than before.

    God bless – I hope you get through this time! I can relate to a lot of what you’ve had to say. Giving up added sugar/sweetners, gluten, and dairy have been huge in improving things for me. I’m not there yet, but on my way. We’ll both get better eventually!