Thursday, August 27, 2015

Who Eats Wheat?

The times they are a-changing.

In 2010, following my doctor's advice to the letter, only made me need more drugs, feel worse, and clearly was not working.  This advice: "Eat lean chicken, no red meat, lot's of whole grain bread, use healthy oils like canola."

Eating this way after a lifetime of SAD was no panacea, but it seemed to be good advice. Eventually I realized I needed to make a drastic change. My change: do the exact opposite. I started eating fatty beef, no bread or any grains of any type. "No sugar, oil or wheat" was my mantra. I called it the SOW diet. But quickly learned there was a whole community already eating like this called "Paleo."

Within a month of turning my doc's advice upside down I was off my meds for high blood pressure, high trigs, high cholesterol, and gout attacks.  I was no longer pre-diabetic. I could exercise again.  I lost about 20 pounds..all in one month.

Soon, I read the Perfect Health Diet, Wheat Belly, and a couple other books that cemented my belief that SOW was the root of all evil.  For the last 5 years, I have been free of SOW in my diet. Other things come and go, for instance, I did not eat much fruit and first, fearing all of the fructose (Sugar). It became apparent that fruit is a natural food and need not be avoided. Still, I avoid as much refined sugar as possible, but I do use a goodly amount of honey and will choose a packet of white sugar over Equal.

Then I started getting wise about the gut and increased fiber-rich foods. I still try to be true to the SOW roots of how I eat, though.

Recently Mr. Duck Dodgers, who I have been conspiring with for years now about different health issues, wrote a wonderfully detailed post over at Free the Animal concerning the wrongful maligning of wheat. It's not wheat, per se, he informs us, but the modern invention of refined, enriched wheat that is problematic in a society filled with fast-foods, high calorie treats, and a reliance on refined/processed foods over whole, natural foods.

I poked around Amazon and found a couple of wheat flours that look like the real deal of  whole grain wheat that is unrefined and not enriched. Once things slow down a bit at my house, I'm planning on getting some wheat flour and experimenting with homemade bread, sourdough especially.

How about ya'all?  Anyone thinking that maybe wheat is not so bad as "Paleo" made it out to be?




  1. Maybe, I'm still skeptical of how 'good' wheat is. That being said, I certainly eat it on a semi-regular basis (3x a month perhaps or more?) but try to limit the dose. There certainly MAY be something to good wheat bad wheat theory of course.

    And look at 'ole Clarence Bass. Dude has been eating wheat for awhile. :)

  2. I'm in the same situation as you, adding in wheat in my diet. I include it in the form of sourdough bread made with wholegrains. I really don't think it is as bad as many make it out to be. You can obviously get some crappy wheat products and its not an essential part of a human diet but that doesn't there can't some good things to eating it.

  3. I doubt I will ever again eat bread in a restaurant or buy a loaf at the supermarket. But am eager to make some real bread at home.

    You would not believe how much bread I used to eat. 6-8 slices a day, probably, with more in the form of bagels, cakes, and snacks. Giving up that crap was surely the reason why this tactic worked, I doubt it was ever the wheat's fault.

    Even the Wheat Belly guy, Dr. Davis, realized his bog flaw...removing a major source of fiber. Last year, he started recommending raw potatoes and green bananas to his faithful legions.

    1. Well no wonder you had problems. Just plain over eating. I'm sure you if introduce some decent wheat product in the same way as other things, then it ought to be fine. What about starting with wheat berries instead of bread? That way you get it all and it's easy. No kneading. If wheat berries are okay, then expand the repertoire.

      I am considering adding wheat berries when I have the time to go buy them. But oat groats also contain the same woowoo manganese and copper that wheat does. So maybe redundant to introduce wheat if oats do the same thing.

    2. 100% agree. I was getting about 50% of my calories from an empty food product.

      I would love to fill the house with the smell of baking bread again. Bread needs to be a standalone, healthy food, not a delivery system for the crap I used to call food.

      White toast with margarine...what could be more healthy than that?

      But the reasons used by Davis and even Sisson to make me think wheat itself was deleterious to health were the arguments that zonulin and gliadin were somehow responsible for causing "leaky gut" and that it was the gluten also causing major problems for whatever reason.

      My thinking has shifted a bit, more than likely the zonulin, gliadin, and gluten are perhaps some of the more healthful properties of bread.

      We'll see. I have a feeling that bread just won't be worth the trouble if I have to make it all. But it will be fun to play with. I just think it's a shame that we have made such a mess out of bread, a food that has been, and should be, a decent staple for everyone.

    3. The problem I have goes back to childhood. My grandmother used to make egg noodles, all sorts of pastries because she was truly a maestro. And we ate bread (usually a piece of toast, not marshmallow bread) and when I went to school, a sandwich brought from home. My waist would expand by 4 inches, I'd have strangulated farts and constipation. I think partly it was a low fibre diet at fault. But the bread, noodles and whatnot, played into it somehow as well.

      Once I cut gluten (because my younger daughter has coeliac and she suffered a lot during childhood before we figured it out and it was confirmed) the bloating stopped. So maybe I've got some sort of issue with gluten but not coeliac. Can happen. Who knows. I know barley kills me. Worse than wheat. But am willing to give wheat berries a try although I prefer oat groats. Why fix what's not broken? Curiosity. If I cook wheat berries a couple of times, I'll find out what happens.

      Once in a while I eat 100% rye sourdough bread (I put a little loaf in the freezer and it takes months to consume). Normally I'm eating corn tortillas for breakfast and the cereal of choice is medium grain rice. Even the potatoes are now languishing in the fridge. Maybe bake one tonight.

      I don't even particularly like fermented stuff but have a kimchi pot with cucumber bubbling away. Smells fabulous with garlic and dill. Consumed in moderation.

      The guts feel fine, poops are fabulous. Cooked veggies seem to work best. Raw? Nothing. As Wild Cucumber told me: Old Chinese saying about having the stove cook the food and not the stomach. Which came out wrong grammatically.... okay, in other words, chill out on the raw vegetation. Seems, based on my own observations, cooked veg make for better poops than raw veg.

    4. Pasta! I'd forgotten all about that. Yes, I used to eat a lot of pasta. I don't know that I've ever had any problems with wheat or gluten, just the excess of calories wheat products consumed as an American consumer.

      Macaroni, ramen noodles, spaghetti, lasgna, all that...don't miss it a bit. We do have gluten free spaghetti once a month or so.

      All this talk, I am still on the fence, lol. Wheat products just exemplify the very best (worst?) of processed foods. Designed for maximum shelf-life and to addict you to their tasty goodness without providing much in the way of actual nourishment.

      I think I stand by my initial thought: It's not the wheat, it's how we have over-processed it.

      I just read this on Medical Express: "Many with nonceliac wheat sensitivity have autoimmune diseases"

      Makes me think its all related to the gut more than a problem with wheat itself.

    5. It's funny how we are all different. I LOVE kimchi. I am waiting for my daughter to get back in school so I can drive out to get the scallion kimchi. Bread has no effect on me.

      But raw veggies excite me. I was at Safeway (I'm never at Safeway) in their produce department (why, when I have all of these farmers markets) when I saw the most beautiful radishes and their greens. Holy bagomba! They were on sale for $1. Those radishes will feed three of us for at least 3 days. Raw. Greens salad with sliced radishes. A raw tomato or two. I really like raw veggies.

      We're all different. But I like this site since we all seem to be alike.

    6. Same here. I just cannot get enough raw veggies, especially when from my own garden.

      I the winter, I rarely buy many veggies, though. I make a lot of sauerkraut to get me through winter, and tend to load up on oranges and bananas.

    7. Making bread is the most satisfying thing I know. I'll never understand why people think the kneading part is such a drag, it's a great workout for the hands and very peaceful to do. Put on some good music, get out my nice bowls, my flour, my old teacup that's missing its handle for measuring. I love all the smells and sounds of bread making days.

      We can't eat commercial bread without the bloat etc., but even though I'm using the dreaded commercial flour (half whole wheat half white) with all those Canadian additives, we thrive on this stuff. Not even sourdough, it's yeast raised. Next up, learning to use my new-to-me pasta maker.

      .I'm with you on hardly buying vegetables in winter Tim, I'm about to start fermenting jars and jars of stuff for winter. I had to buy a second fridge just for the ferments! We freeze or dry fruit that we've picked, too. I make jam, but with fruit right off the tree or bush you need less sugar and it's so loaded with natural pectin I don't need to add any.

      In other words, if I make it or we grow it, we can eat anything.Our weight and health are pretty good, too, considering our other bad habits...

    8. Hi!

      I'm having a problem with raw or lightly cooked veggies, after years and years of eating tons of these. I've got some kind of jaw issue - chewing exacerbates this slew of symptoms. Don't want to whine about it - it's just one more thing to deal with.

      I'm wondering about this wheat dextrin in Benefiber. As a baby I apparently had some kind of celiac related condition. They took me off bread and cookies, etc. and apparently I was healthy and lost weight - I'd been a huge baby or toddler or whatever. My mother doesn't remember any of this too well. So, I'm wondering if I should avoid grains altogether? I don't know....


    9. I meant to add that I'm thinking of getting some of the supplements you recommend, Tim. It's hard to know what to try. Thanks for another interesting post for people to share on!

    10. Zonulin is the protein that regulates tight junctions between enterocytes, it is a human protein, not part of wheat.....
      I'm wondering where you read that the glutenins and the gliadins are good for you- I'd like to read that information too - if you could share it??
      Wheat is not a Monsanto GMO'd crop like corn and soybeans. My concern with wheat is that round-up is sprayed on it just prior to harvesting to soften the stems, if my understanding of the process is correct.

    11. Hey Wilbur, you have mentioned that you are in the vicinity of DC. If you are near Annapolis, you might want to try some kimchi from Oksanna's produce farm. The best commercial fermented vegetables I have eaten

    12. Newbie - I don't have the answers. I, too, hate that so much Glyphosate (Roundup) is used in the US.

      Glyphosate is heavily used in wheat production, and found in breads. As long as it is below the maximum residue level set by a governing standard, it is deemed safe for human consumption...this does not make me feel good about it! Please see:

      This practice is used all over the world, I presume.

      Organic wheat should not have any glyphosate on it, I hope.

      I see there are several sources of organic wheat 'berries' on Amazon, such as

      I'm not sure I've seen anything about the gliadins and glutenins being "good" for you, but I do believe their "badness" was overplayed by paleo authors. Many of the same gut leakiness issues also can be attributed to coconut oil, ie. lauric acid.

    13. Wildcucumber - I think you are living proof that people living a healthy lifestyle, close to nature, and who truly care about themselves and what they eat can eat wheat and thrive.

      It's people who rely on modern convenience foods and don't know the difference between nettles and ragweed that are in trouble.

      Removing processed grains from one's food supply is a good start in healthy eating, but it's not the grain's fault. Re-introducing carefully prepared grains will probably benefit most people.

      I've slowly started eating grains after being grain free for 2 years. Teff, oats, buckwheat, quinoa, rice and corn all get eaten now. Prior to my diet revolution, about the only grain I ate was processed wheat and corn. By far, processed wheat was my major daily calorie source, as it is for most Americans.

    14. Tim - And you are living proof that even really stiff health challenges can be overcome. Look at all the antibiotics you were fed, and you healed your gut. That's huge.

      I don't think it is just convenience foods that are the bad guys here, I think it is also the belief that the way back has to be difficult.

      When I work with people the number one task is in helping them to *unlearn* what they have taken as gospel about cleansing toxins, endless rounds of hard to interpret test results, and supplementing what they could actually be getting from real foods. It was my physiotherapist who drummed into me "the body remembers". It actually strives to claw its way back to health no matter what we throw at it. If we give it simple well balanced whole foods, it WILL do the rest.

      I happen to have a passion for wild foods, but I don't think they're necessary.

      My 2 cents.

    15. "It actually strives to claw its way back to health no matter what we throw at it. If we give it simple well balanced whole foods, it WILL do the rest."

      Here, here!

    16. Depends. Were you trying to teach a hyper puppy to find the ball or checking the ears of an elderly dog?

      As to WC's comments, hear, hear,


    17. Elliebelly -

      Thanks for the kimchi reference. I'll try to check them out. I might get lucky and find them at one of the stores nearby. I do like my kimchi. I get mine from Korea Korner somewhat near me. They make it in their back room. They are always amazed to see me buy it and ask "do you like?"

      I visited S Korea once. Amazing food and hospitality. I ate a lot of kimchi, but had not heard about its effects on the bowels. About an hour before my 16-hour flight back to the US I was dying in the bathroom. I wasn't even sure I would be able to board.

    18. Korean Korner Market in MD?


    19. Yes! Something like Randolph Rd and New Hamphire? I know how to get there but don't know the street names. I love their scallion kimchi and their baby radish kimchi. One other too but I forgot its name. Their regular cabbage kimchi is good, but not as outstanding as the others IMO.

      Been there? I haven't been in a while and hope it's still there...

    20. Number 1 Sons is in NOVA but goes to farmers markets and may have a stall in Union Market.
      They have kimchi to pickles.

    21. LOL. This is exactly why I asked Wilbur about MD. I'm enjoying some of their radish kimchi(?) today. Good stuff. We have a couple other good options depending on MD / VA. Sandor Katz will be in the area next month.


  4. Mestemacher bread is available in most grocery stores and appears to be the real deal. Check it out. I'm not affiliated with them in any way.


    1. I would step it up a notch and grind the wheat. Ground wheat can get rancid quickly and freshly ground has so many more nutrients in it. It makes a difference in the flavor also.

    2. Ha! that's the bread I have been eating all along (Metsermacher). Rye and Pumpernickel. Very strange texture, makes GREAT toast. It's in the 'foreign food' aisle between the McCann's steel-cut oats and the Coleman's mustard.

    3. I must add that for those of us with serious weight issues, the obese or formerly obese, bread and grains in general are going to be a problem. We're going to want to woof down a loaf, not a slice or two. It's the nature of the beast. Not sure why, but it's true, even of the real thing.


    4. Debbie - Sure. I'm not on board with any commercial wheat product currently sold, though there may be some. My curiosity now is on the wheat berry does not seem to be the problem. The problem is what the food industry has done to wheat to get us to eat more and more.

      I am happy to never eat wheat again, but I do believe I am going to buy some organic, whole wheat and grind it and make some frikkin' bread. lol

    5. I wasn't talking about commercially produced wheat - I was assuming you'd be eating it the way it was made in the days of Jane Austen. I meant that for most of us who've gone over a line into deranged eating, binging, eating itself is never normal again, no matter the food. (One exception might be animal protein - you really start to feel sick looking at it if you've been over consuming it for a period of time, I discovered). Everything else - forget it. And bread and grains - the good stuff a "normal" person would find tasteless, the type you will make - people like me would have a hard time limiting. I get the feeling you don't consciously limit what you eat, you stop when you're not hungry. If you eat cheese daily, and don't have to wonder if you're eating too much, I have to assume you're a normal eater, that you were even when you were eating a crap diet - you weren't sneaking and binging on the family cookies as a child - so eat bread!

  5. Hey Tim,

    First, I have to say I enjoy reading your blog.

    Now, about paleo, I wrote the following on some other blog:

    '"Paleo" is a gimmick. If you advertise a whole foods diet, you won't trigger people's fantasy, they won't buy it. Call it "paleo", invent some myths, add a few scientific cherry-picked bits and half-truths to make it sound reasonably "backed up by science", and then sell it to the sick mass desperate for a magic pill. Like other fads, this one will eventually pass."

    About wheat: when you realize that this humble seed helped building up entire civilizations, it is a big wonder that we moderns screwed it up so badly and turned it into a caloric filler. We have forgotten our roots! As Roland Deschain would say, "we have forgotten the face of our father" ... No, I never really gave up wheat but since it is hard to get the real deal, I don't eat it every day. But even though my health was worse, it never was that bad and all I had to do to get a better body comp was to work out and reduce refined crap. I never got into the paleo narrative and demonization of grains and legumes. The latter is so absurd, it compromises the relevance of the whole paleo approach. The reason why most people feel better is because they start to eat real foods, reduce calories and work out some more. They don't rely on fillers and odd lab based products that pass for foods nowadays. Just eat like people before the industrial revolution, move your butt and see if you don't feel better!

    1. I never really cared much for the term "paleo" but I think that eating whole foods is where it's at. When I look back to my pre-paleo days, just about everything we ate was from a box. Now, rarely anything is.

  6. Well I don't know. When I started on this journey several years ago, I had been eating almost exclusively whole grains for nearly a decade. Mostly whole wheat pasta and brown rice, along with a fair amount of beans, modest amounts of meat and fish and modest amounts of olive oil. I felt awful. Migraines and headaches out of control, joint pain, insomnia, and acid stomach. I asked myself how can I eat any healthier? That's when I decided to do a complete 180. Started with low carb, then segued into paleo, then PHD, and now basically PHD with a resistant starch and fiber additions ala this website and FTA. When I gave up my "healthy whole grains" my sleep and stomach problems went away in days. We are talking years of insomnia, vanished! I still have headaches, but they are much better. So, I personally am skeptical. Perhaps, as the Duck Dodgers have suggested, the whole grain needs a proper old school sour dough prep. But I'm not going to bother. Never liked sandwiches anyway.

    1. I was in the cafeteria at work this morning ordering eggs. A heavy-set woman in line in front of me ordered an egg croissant, biscuits and gravy (the white kind, made with flour), and then proceeded to put 2 pieces of white bread in the toaster.

      I used to eat the same way.

      There really are no other wheat products other than bread, are there? I guess Cream Of Wheat hot cereal, Wheaties cold cereal, and then pretzels, cookies, cake, and whatnot...all just junk food.

      Oats don't seem to have taken that turn...most oat foods are recognizable as oats, no? Probably because they don't contain gluten and therefore cannot be made all soft and spongy like wheat.

      I must say, I have really started taking a liking to oats. I had a big bowl of cooked oat groats with a bit of honey for dinner the other night. Very filling.

    2. Can oats be eating raw, sprinkled into stuff like potatoes? And do you think about getting adequate protein? Are you concerned about not getting enough complete protein as in animal protein?


    3. For what it's worth, I don't think wheat absolutely needs to be sourdough. The Hunza did quite well on Chapati, and as far as I can tell, it isn't fermented.

      Also, please don't anyone try to eat raw wheat berries. Wheat is supposed to be cooked. Hippocrates even warned against eating raw wheat, here:

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. Debbie, make meusili. Overnight Soak rolled oats in water and some yogurt, in the morning mix in grated apples and almost anything else such as nuts and seeds, other fruit either fresh or dried, cinnamon, honey. Yum!

    6. For what it's worth, Muesli can give some people stomach cramps, particularly if they don't do the proper overnight soak.

      I'll just point out that Muesli is not really an ancestral preparation of anything, as far as I can tell. Muesli was developed around 1900 by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital. He was like the Swiss J.H. Kellogg, but he focussed on raw foods. At the time, dyspepsia/constipation was a problem, and everyone had their own theories. There were a lot of solutions being popularized at the time—though his seem better than most.

      Obviously many people do well on Muesli—it's popular in some parts of Europe—but it's possible that not everyone may have success with Muesli. Some grains really need to be cooked to neutralize offending toxins and of course, some people just happen to be sensitive to the avenins in oats.

    7. It appears that all oats sold in the world for eating, ie. groats, flakes, steel-cut, are actually cooked. If you buy oats for seed or animal food--uncooked. I think that most oats are fine to eat without further cooking, but people may react differently.

  7. I think the main problem with the wheat, is too much bran with out the germ, the main part the germ. this fiber bran is not healthy (PHD) + it's not fermented.

    1. Jaminet says wheat bran is not healthy? Really? Hmmm

  8. Tim

    It's kinda funny to me that I do not eat any wheat or rice beyond the white, processed stuff. For a while, I kept buying it, but had to return the bags because they smelled rancid. I don't think it's mental because I could smell it at random times through the cabinet door. I can't get the stuff past my nose, and the smell turns my stomach.

    I am grateful to DD for raising the fortification issue. I buy flour that is not enriched in any way.

    I also stopped buying bread at stores. I make my own pizza dough, as well as hotdog and burger buns. But I eat bread (or wheat in general) maybe once per week, if that.

    I did sourdough for a while. It was very good. But the care and feeding bored me.

    For anyone new to baking, I suggest looking into the Peter Reinhart "cold fermentation" technique. I've long forgotten the theory behind it, but in practice this means using a lot less yeast in mixing the dough, putting the dough in the refrigerator for 24 or more hours, and then letting the dough warm to room temperature before baking. It works with sourdough too. THIS transformed my homemade breads from okay to wonderfully complex. My family enjoys my hotdog buns all by themselves, with nothing in them. I also find it easier as a prep. Reinhart is generous with his ideas on line, but he has written many books that organize the ideas well.

    1. Once winter sets in and I am house-bound, I will explore all of this. Right now I am trying to clean up my garden and moose season starts next week.

      I'm also thinking that Hi-Maize corn starch will be an addition to any bread I bake for some added RS.

    2. So now I got to thinking about this. If you look into it (it sounds like a great winter project, being housebound and all!), here is a link comparing pizza doughs to fermentation length

      Here's one describing what goes on

      I completely forgot that Reinhart has a book on whole grain breads. I have it, but I never looked at it.

      Bread is considered done when it reaches 190-195 d/F. Would this negate the added RS? I would also look to added seeds and such.

      I forgot, I make an awesome spelt "naan" cooked directly over natural charcoal. Hot work, but worth it.

      You know, baking is such a huge rabbit hole. The funny thing is, that you only need to get close to the hole to make things infinitely better than you could get in any store. I really, really want to try someplace like Tartine. I understand you need a reservation just to buy their bread! I have the book. I don't have the patience.

    3. Now you're talkin'! I do love a good pizza. Gluten free dough just does not make a good pizza crust.

    4. I spent a lot of time learning to make pizza. And a lot of cash. Cold fermentation was as good as I got on the dough.

      The baking part was the hardest. The best pizza I ever made was using a specially designed stone and baking steel for my Weber grill. It was over 900 d/F this day. The first pizza I put in went smooth as silk. It cooked in 90 seconds. Amazing pizza. The second I tried had a tiny piece of cheese hanging over the side. It immediately stuck to the grill. The grill was so hot that I couldn't get close enough to free the pizza from the cheese. It took me a couple of minutes to get things loose, but by that time the pizza was nearly pure char. My third time was similar. I gave up on superheated pizz cooking.

      But I have my oven figured out just right. A pizza stone on the bottom shelf with two cast iron pizza pans on the next shelf up. About an inch between. The top of the pizza is done the same time as the bottom, and it's all crispy. Takes about 8 minutes, but oh well. The top pans radiate heat to the top of the pizza. I've used fireplace bricks, more cast iron, etc., but this is the best setup for my oven.

      A good pizza is an important thing.

    5. Thirty years ago I was thinking of starting a bakery. Made a great bread with about a teaspoon of yeast for 12 loaves. It tookabout 24 hours, with two or three rises. It was fabulous. One day it was snowing so hard i knew i would not be able to deliver my bread to the store once it came out of the oven, so i put the dough out on the porch for another day (there was too much to go in my fridge). When i finally baked it, it was the best bread ever! I guess that was the cold fermentation at work.

    6. You guys are making me hungry! We heat our house with a woodstove, I'm thinking I'm gonna cook a pizza in there somehow. Just need one of those long-handled pizza pans.

    7. We cooked a pizza in our wood burning stove last winter, it was TERRIBLE! We burn pine, and apparently pine is not safe or tasty to cook things in your wood burning stove. So please be aware of this and make sure you research the wood that you are burning. I wish you the best of luck with this.

    8. I have no knowledge of wood burning stoves, but I thought pine was a big no-no for burning in any fire vented through a chimney. Something about buildup in the chimney that can later catch fire? A danger I guess with any wood, but I thought pine was especially problematic.

      Oak and hickory are very good. Apple and cherry would be fantastic. I'd try mesquite at least once, but it would probably suck. Probably not too much of that in Alaska!

    9. We mostly burn birch. I was thinking to get a good hot bed of deep coals, the kind that don't put off any smoke, and cooking on that.

      I should think it would be similar to a 700 degree oven, just guessing. Might be too hot, and will probably get ashes all in the cheese. Cheap thrills on a cold night.

    10. For sure, Tim. LOL! When I was in high school there were a lot of people from Calabria and Abruzezi (however it's spelled)..... Pizza did not have cheese on it. Just a bit of tomato sauce. I guess Napoli pizza is different because when I was in Naples, the best ever pizza on earth came from a shack under the elevated highway. Best ever. There was cheese but not like American pizza which is overloaded with 'stuff'. Thin crust, lots of flavour in the toppings but not a huge thick layer of toppings. Unforgettable. And that was 1969. I guess I've been a foodie forever.

    11. Tim

      One of my favorite things to do is to make a fire in either our indoor or outdoor fireplaces. After everyone has retired and the fire is reduced to glowing coals, I nestle a clay pot of beans in the coals. (There is lots of evaporation, so watch the liquid levels carefully.). I read a book. A couple of hours later, I have the most fantastic beans one can imagine. The thing is, they are incredibly smoky, despite being in a closed container AND using "smokeless" coals. I also grill steaks like this, using a standalone Weber grate propped up on fireplace bricks (not regular ones, which can explode). Again, super smoky.

      I started cooking food directly on the coals. After reading a book by Adam Perry Lang, I realized that ash is not something to avoid necessarily. It imparts flavor. I think a pizza with a light coating of ash would be fantastic.

    12. I usually don't have the kind of fire I think I need until late October, otherwise the Blaze King will chase us out of the house.

      We used to cook over campfires a lot, always loved it and never minded the ash. That reminds me, I bought a nice cast iron dutch oven last year...would be perfect for making beans.

    13. And of course baked potatoes done on the coals are the best food in the world. Oh, sorry, this thread is about wheat. Didn't they used to push the coals aside in the old outdoor ovens and then put the bread in? I'd love to try that. Bread baked in the dutch oven, Tim?

  9. I have started making pizza with Einkorn flour. It is a wet dough and expensive. But since I don't do it very often and it is just two of us eating.

  10. I know bread is a problem for me but am agnostic as to whether it is the gluten that is the problem or some other aspect. Oats are also a problem and I'm cautious about barley though I don't eat it frequently enough or in sufficient quantities to really test it out. I used to make my own whole grain bread but after years of experimentation had to make it 50% white flour in order to make it edible. I also found it needed huge amounts of water compared to making white bread and that I didn't need to leave it rise on more than occasion which was helpful as it was decidedly sloppy and couldn't be kneaded.

    However on reflection I think the idea of using less yeast and then letting it stand in cool temperatures overnight might be something I would like to try.

    This conversation also reminds me of recovering from one of my sickest times. I could tolerate what we called cabin bread - a white flour based heavy biscuit - but not white bread. At the time I attributed it to the yeast, rather than the flour. Who knows?

    Also back in 1972 the first time I made bread I remember letting it rise and be kneaded five times over about 40 hours before I cooked it, including overnight in the fridge. The product was closer to a firm cake than bread and it didn't go stale. I could eat it uncooked (ie not toasted) five days after baking it and it was as good as day 2.

    As regards legumes. I had a time when I was experimenting sprouting them. To start with it was all good, but after 3 weeks they caused terrible gut pain and any legumes cooked or sprouted had to go off the menu for a few years as a result of the consequences. I can eat cooked legumes now but haven't gone back to the sprouts.


    1. Harriet -

      I settled on the same 50% white flour to make things edible, at least in the days when whole wheat didn't smell rancid to me. I was able to do better with white whole wheat (?) but I'm guessing that was some gimmick.

      Cold fermented dough is a different product than the standard stuff. One of the links I posted above says it affects gluten differently. Something to do with how the yeasts interact with the enzymes. I just know that it makes a bread that is just interesting - complex, savory, multifaceted, so on. When I convert standard recipes to cold fermented ones, I tend to use about 1/3 of the yeast. I use instant yeast.

      But baking is an endless quest. I know enough to produce stuff better than I could get commercially. But purists would find fault I'm sure. We enjoy it, and that's what matters to me.

  11. No one seems to mention that wheat has been highly hybridised (not GMO'd yet). If you look at the wheat that was grown over 100 years ago, it was on a long stalk. The wheat produced these days are not higher than about 50 cm. They have been bred for their higher yield (which I assume increases their gluten content).

    So the recommendation has been to go for ancient grains that have not been hybridised to buggary. That is why alternative grains like spelt, kamut, etc are recommended. I can't get Teff in Holland so can't comment on whether that can fall under ancient grains.

    I have experiments with both spelt and kamut, making bread using baking soda instead of yeast and both have a great taste, especially kamut. It has a creamish colour and a lovely nutty taste. I bought the ready milled flour, so I don't know how much of the best part is milled out. The next step for me would be to mill the grains myself. That way I avoid the flour going rancid in storage, and use it super fresh.,%20Kamut.pdf

    Jo tB

  12. Hi guys

    I also believe that the health of the gut / immune system probably has a signficant impact on our ability to digest different types of foods.

    Some interesting reading:

    "Perhaps the best support for this idea comes from a place called Karelia. It’s bisected by the Finno-Russian border. Celiac-associated genes are similarly prevalent on both sides of the border; both populations eat similar amounts of wheat. But celiac disease is almost five times as common on the Finnish side compared with the Russian. The same holds for other immune-mediated diseases, including Type 1 diabetes, allergies and asthma. All occur more frequently in Finland than in Russia.

    WHAT’S the difference? The Russian side is poorer; fecal-oral infections are more common. Russian Karelia, some Finns say, resembles Finland 50 years ago. Evidently, in that environment, these disease-associated genes don’t carry the same liability."

    1. Regarding things that can affect the state of the gut, I read somewhere that early childhood trauma might influence the microbiome, perhaps permanently. I wish i knew where I read that. Does it ring a bell with anybody?

    2. Right, I remember reading this article. So, for the average person trying to recover from the SAD, what are the implications? If one's symptoms of a deranged gut basically constitute some degree of constipation, it's difficult to know exactly what is making things worse. But reading the wheat history article is making me feel I'm missing out on the staff of life!


    3. Any thoughts on digestive enzyme supplementation? A waste of money?

    4. Dandelion root tincture. 6 drops before each meal - no more. Works like a charm.

    5. Ellie - I had one of those stressful childhoods, as did my sister, and yes it absolutely did have a negative effect. We ended up with different sorts of symptoms and handled them in different ways but we both turned the corner.

      I see no reason why the damage has to be permanent, but old wounds do fester in ways we often don't see. So thank you for bringing that up, it speaks to the importance of focussing our attempts at healing to our whole selves, not just our guts.

    6. Cukey, vagus nerve.......right? Parasympathetic suppression by sympathetic overload. Parasympathetic (vagus) is rest and digest. Sympathetic is fight and flight. If you are not allowed to relax and just enjoy the basics of life, then there's some hardwiring changes that happen. Some people have been through so much trauma, they are incapable of diaphragmatic breathing (except during sleep presumably).

    7. Interestingly, my sister's 15 year long "post partum", drug resistant depression vanished when she took up singing lessons. Vagus nerve?

  13. I have used Einkorn to make pizza dough. It is a rather wet dough but rolls out nicely with enough flour and cornmeal to transfer to pizza stone. It's expensive though but I am only making it for two.

    1. I'm planning on using Hi-Maize in the stuff I make, both in the dough, and also to keep things from being sticky.

      There is a link, (non-affiliate!) in the top-right corner for Hi-Maize in 5 pound bags. It's incredible stuff, really. Keeps it's RS even when baked into dough.

  14. To give you an idea of how far wheat has been hybridised. The picture is half way down.

    Or this one of Dr Orville (half way down) holding 2 sheaths of wheat.

    Navillus, Einkorn that's one I forgot to mention, hasn't been over-hybridised.

    Jo tB

    1. I have no doubt that this is actually a big part of the problem. Fast-growing strains of wheat grown on poor soil with lots of chemical help.

      It's such a shame that wheat should be good for us, but the wheat available to the masses, is not. The same can probably be said for lots of the mass-produced foods we eat.

      Einkorn does seem interesting, and something I intend to look at soon.

  15. We have not yet brought wheat back into our house. It will be last. When I do, I'd like it to be truly whole wheat that I grind on the spot to preserve all the vitamins and reduce the oil oxidation. I needed GAPS/SCD/Paleo/Wahls/Wheat Belly to give me the drive and confidence to eat differently and reverse many issues in our family so I am grateful for them, but now we eat according to how our bodies feel and function. These diets got me so far, but now I am forging my own path (and helping my family do the same). Have a great weekend! --Terri F

    1. That's my plan, too. I found a hand-cranked wheat grinder for $50 on Amazon, and also lots of organic wheat berries. I want to see what I can do starting from the basics. I could easily go the rest of my life without eating wheat, but I am not so sure it is the evil thing we've made it out to be.

      I actually gave up fruit of all things at one time (cuz of the sugar, lol). One day, I ate an apple and it made my eyes swell up and throat get itchy. That kind of made me realize that it was stupid to stop eating fruit. No idea what will happen when I do eat wheat again, although, I suspect I have been getting a bit of wheat over the years in things like soy sauce, beer, and restaurant food. We'll see.

      The recommendations for grains according to the USDA are just absurd! They recommend 25% of your diet be from "grain". Now if this was in the form of hand-ground wheat berries and oatmeal, I could agree, but just look at what they consider "grain:"

      USDA My Plate, Grain

      "Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples of grain products."


      "In general, 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or ½ cup of cooked rice, cooked pasta, or cooked cereal can be considered as 1 ounce equivalent from the Grains Group."

      At one point it says, "Most Americans consume enough grains, but few are whole grains. At least half of all the grains eaten should be whole grains. (emphasis theirs)

      This entire category is basically an advertisement for the snackfood and cereal industry.

    2. Amen. To about all you said. I know I say this all the time: I just don't understand how we doctors dropped the ball here. We're not bad people. We're not stupid. Most of us care. But we dropped and keep dropping the ball. Good luck with your experiment. I hope it goes well so eating/not eating it is a choice, not a mandate. I hate mandates. :-)

  16. Tim,
    " Many of the same gut leakiness issues also can be attributed to coconut oil, ie. lauric acid." I have read on the"Google" that coconut oil and lauric acid help with leaky gut. Can you help me out by pointing me toward the opposite thought, please. As maybe I am doing myself a disservice as I make my oats with coconut milk. Plus Bruce Fife, would have you believe that coconut oil cures just about everything.


    1. The term they use in the papers to describe gut leakiness is TER (Transepithelial resistance), and electrical measure of gut lining cells after presenting certain foods.

      This can be used to make a food seem good or bad depending on your choice of words.


      "Additionally, we observed a significant increase in postprandial endotoxemia after a porridge meal mixed with coconut oil (Figure 1). Again, this contradicts data presented by Laugerette et al. [6] in which palm oil, high in saturated fatty acids, had no effect on plasma endotoxin concentrations in mice."

      Other papers note that lauric acid is an antimicrobial compound, so should help with gut problems. I think that in the context of a "healthy gut" most real foods are good for you, but when dysbiosis sets in, all bets are off as to how a particular food will effect you.

      Most of these plant compounds, whether found in wheat or coconut oil, are double-edged swords.

    2. Tim - The term they use in the papers to describe gut leakiness is TER (Transepithelial resistance), and electrical measure of gut lining cells after presenting certain foods.

      Now we're straying into Jack Kruse's territory aren't we? He has some fascinating things to say lately about electrical current in the cells and how the light emitted by bacteria in the gut plays into all of this.

  17. I stand corrected, as this afternoon in a health food store I found both Teff flour and Teff mixed grain breakfast (teff 40%, buckwheat, maize, rice).

    Jo tB

  18. Like probably many others here, ditching grain made a huge impact on my health. Lost 60 lbs, down to 143 at one point. Now at a happy 155, 5'10". No more blood pressure meds, sleep apnea, etc. Prior to the change in diet, I had been avidly trying to create the perfect breads at home. It became almost an obsession. I bought extra fine flour (couldn't find the 00) by the 50lb bag at Sam's. Sponges, 2-3 day ferments, etc. And the perfect pizza crust always eluded me. Then I got tired of all the handwork, so I cheated and bought a Zojirushi bread machine. Pretty awesome. Dump in the dry and wet, press a couple of buttons and that was it. Mix, knead, proof, bake, rest. And it would tell you when it was ready to eat. Then I read Wheat Belly. The bread machine is kinda like Puff the Magic Dragon at this point.
    I don't know that I could handle dabbling with wheat/breads at this stage, as much as I miss them. But pizza remains my favorite food.
    For gluten free pizza crust, I've tried just about every recipe I could find, including the god-awful cauliflower mess. The best I have found is Namaste. I use a quarter of the mix and spread it in a cast iron pan and back in a convection oven at 425. Pre-cook, let cool, then top and bake. I have also had better luck putting the sauce on top of the cheese to keep the integrity of the crust. It's really pretty good. You can hold the crust and the slice stands out straight with no bend. Not an easy feat with most GF crusts. It's still only a once or twice a month treat.
    Best commercial GF pie? Domino's, believe it or not. No on else is even close, at least what I have tried.
    Sorry- bringing up re-introduction of wheat must have triggered something. Appetite.

    1. I can't argue with you there. I can say the same things. I even threw away a perfectly good bread machine a couple years ago because I was tired of looking at the monstrosity that reminded me of how much I used to worship bread.

      We'll get a gluten free pizza a couple times a year when we stumble across one. Most places that cook in a proper pizza oven do a good job with them, I've never had luck at home.

      My all-time favorite pizza mix is from those Chef Boyardee boxes with a bag of crust mix and a can of sauce, the crust is always perfect and the sauce has a great flavor. I have not had one of those in about 5 years, but that would be the type of dough I would like to recreate with real wheat flour and some homemade sauce.

      I watch people at work pigging out on Pizza Hut super-stuffed meat lovers pizza and it just boggles my mind as to how bad that kind of food really is.

      I also have to question the differences between a really good commercial gluten-free dough and a standard wheat dough. Probably equally crappy unless you are truly gluten intolerant. The food industry is a master manipulator. Let's look at Dominoe's GF crust:

      Water, Modified Rice Starch, Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Olive Oil, Potato Flour, Evaporated Cane Sugar, Fresh Yeast, Honey, Avicel, Salt, Calcium Propionate. Note: Avicel functions as a fat replacer in Gluten Free crusts. It is used primarily to help retain moisture so the crust is not too dry and tough

      Anyone know what Avicel is? I don't. never heard of it before this moment, lol.

      Here we go!

      "Discovered accidentally by Dr. O.A. Battista, avicel is a microcrystalline cellulose powder. Available both as a fine powder and a gel, it can be used to replace dry or fat-based ingredients in food preparation and adds no taste, calories, smell, or nutrition to the food. Wood is chemically treated to extract naturally occurring cellulose to create avicel. This purified cellulose can then be used in food preparation, makeup, and sunscreen products.

      Batitsta made his discovery when working to develop a strong rayon tire cord. He thought that if he could break the cellulose into extremely tiny pieces that he would be able to use it to create a strong chord. Using a blender to mix cellulose and water, he hoped the smallest pieces would sink to the bottom after the electric blender had done its work. After a quarter hour rest period, the substance in the blender resembled thick white custard. These were not the results he was expecting, so he continued with further tests.

      Cellulose, found abundantly in grass and trees, has no ill effects on cows, termites, and other consumers. It was tested to see if it could also be used in food for people, and eventually approved as an inert filler in food.

      In gel form, avicel can replace a portion of the fat in food. It works equally well in ice cream and salad dressing, adds no calories, and controls ice crystal growth so frozen items stay smooth and creamy. Salad dressing, sour cream, and other emulsions containing fat retain their glossy appearance and rich flavor. Honey, syrup, sauces, and butter have all been successfully paired with this substance.

      The powdered form of avicel can replace up to half the flour needed to bake a cake or a loaf of bread. It is not soluble in liquid, so it retains its properties in cooking. Blind taste tests showed that tasters could not distinguish the taste of the enhanced food from the regular-recipe food. As a non-food, inert filler, it does not change the flavor or masque any flavors or textures.

      Discovered more than two decades ago, avicel has continued to be a boon in the food industry. Both wet and dry products can be produced with lower calories without sacrificing flavor and texture. The pharmaceutical industry uses it as filler in pills, and it has even made its way into sunscreen and makeup. This product stabilizes spray on sunscreen without diminishing the effectiveness."

    2. Oh gross! An eye opener!

  19. I looked up what the E-number is for permitted use by the European Union:

    E460(i) Microcrystalline cellulose (avicel)
    E460(ii) Cellulose powder

    Cellulose is the most important polysaccharide in wood and all other plants. Commercially obtained from wood.

    Function and features
    Cellulose has many functions. Especially as a thickener, but also as a filler, fiber, anti-caking and emulsifying agent.

    Found in many products

    Acceptable daily intake (ADI) :
    None determined

    Adverse reactions:
    Cellulose is insoluble, but can be partially fermented in the gut. High concentrations give gastrointestinal problemen, such as constipation, diarrhoea, cramping and flatulance. Cannot therefore be used in infant formulaes.

    Diet limitations :
    None. E460 can be used by all religions, vegetarians en vegans

    The standard saying is: E-numbers are code numbers used to identify food additives that have been shown to be safe and officially approved for use in food across the EU.
    They are extensively tested before approval is gained. But they are all individually tested, not several E-numbers tested together, which is a whole different ball-game.

    Do we want to eat lots of cellulose made from wood?

    I translated it from Dutch, hope it sounds OK in English.
    Jo tB

    1. Yes, perfect. Thanks. This is pure and simple a filler designed by the food industry. Probably of no consequence to us at the amounts they use.

      Cellulose is normally thought to not be fermented by humans, but I have seen a few papers that suggest some people have gut flora than can digest cellulose, so this is probably one of those items that may be OK for some and not for others.

      I have not read anything that suggests MCC is a "good prebiotic", in fact it is largely used in placebo arms of studies. Maybe wrongly, but used nonetheless.

      Like I have said many times. The Food Industry has become a master at manipulating foods to appeal to our taste buds and last forever on the shelf. Cellulose is also found in whole grains, fruits, and veggies...I think I would rather get it that way than from a shelf-stable, fat-tasting, low-fat, snack food.

      Thanks for looking that up, Jo!

    2. Tim, this morning it hit me, I had already looked into E 460 when looking at what my diabetes medication content was. Several generic brands of Metformine contain it. You should get quite a dose of E460 when you have to take 1000 mg tablets 3 times a day. Or E461 Methylhydroxprop cellulose (which is derived from E460). Apparently it is also heavily used in supplements. And it is also in many processed products.

      The cellulose can transit the gut wall and enter the blood stream and once there it will be seen as a "foreign matter" and so the immune system will attack it to get rid of it. With the well known consequences.

      As every three months we get different brands of Metformine from the chemist, I had to get a doctor's directive that I needed a specific brand that didnt contain the cellulose.

      Jo tB

    3. Jo - thanks for putting this out for all to see re E460 "Apparently it is also heavily used in supplements. "

      As I have said many times, when you buy supplements you get far more than you bargained for. So if folks are having bad reactions to certain herbs in capsules, it is quite likely to be those fillers, ie foreign matter to the immune system that is the problem.

      Not to mention that the miniscule amounts of whatever herb is supposedly in there is most likely to be the sweepings from the factory floor. So in that way you're getting less than you bargained for.

      Not just a rip off, but a potentially dangerous one.

      Shameless plug time (you don't mind, do you Tim?) - I'm firing up a new little blog about useful, easy to source herbs and how to make your own preparations. Nothing slick or fancy, just what anyone can do it their kitchen and back yard. Come see me there if you're interested:

    4. Oh good, I will go there now. I have always used some herbs for various things, but seeing how herbs have helped me with Lyme disease, I want to know more .

    5. Oooh, get in touch with me Ellie, my contact info is on the blog. I'd be interested if you'd share what you've used for Lyme.

  20. Is microcristalline cellulose ok as a fiber supplement? Anyone tried it? There are tons of weightloss stories, but i am more interested in gut healing. Is it safe?

    As for wheat my tpo antibodies went down from 1000 to 220 after a month of gluten avoidance. But i do have antibodies to gliadin. There's no flour enrichment over here.

  21. I took yesterday 1 g of MCC supplement, thought it's a decent way to up my fiber intake. Feeling so lousy today, dizzy and as if i'm going to vomit. Sleepless night, diarrhea. I eat whole apples with seeds and all, heads of garlic (sometimes a la Wilbur with skins), lots of spicy and "scratchy" stuff, raw beetroots, berries etc. It's just so incredibly strange to react to such a tiny dose of paper. Trying to understand whether it's some kind of initial reaction or what.

    1. I would say it is a lousy fiber supplement. Man-made, wood-derive cellulose. Think about that for a minute. And probably expensive..where can you even buy this stuff?

      If you are eating any fruits and vegetables, chances are you are getting 10-15g of cellulose per day. Cellulose is in every plant, as far as I know. It's the fiber that most people eat, to the exclusion of the fibers we really need...the fermentable inulin, RS, pectin, etc...

      And 1g of MCC is likely not what caused your issues. That is like taking a bite of an apple, cellulose-wise.

      Let the food industry keep their MCC, definitely do not use it as a supplement! If you are in dire need of losing weight, try the potato diet!

    2. It's dirt cheap and available in every drugstore here:) I'm perfectly fine with fruits and veggies, both raw and cooked, so i never expected issues with mcc. And yes, it's mcc that caused the issues, strange as it may seem. My tummy got better after small sourish apples and a bowl of fresh raw carrots, washed but not peeled.

      I'm not losing weight, i'm skinny. Just looking for satiating fibers.

    3. Esha

      I can imagine it is perfectly possible for someone to react "to such a tiny dose of paper". I am often comparing human bodies to plants. We share the environment with the plants, we even have the same microbial enemies and guardian angels. And we also share the signalling system.

      Regarding immunity, our bodies - and plants as well - are trained to watch for the signs that show the presence of a pathogen (Pathogen Associated Molecular Patterns - PAMPs) - think beta glucan signalling presence of fungi. Other type of signals are those showing a cell integrity attacks - for instance something, that should be inside a cell, or intact, is outside or broken, respectively (Danger Associated Molecular Patterns (DAMPS). Cellulose pieces are DAMP. The plant knows it is in danger if its walls are broken, that a pathogen or a herbivore, or another attacker is near and destroying it. It also knows it has to take an action and defend itself, and repair the damage.
      So, it depends a lot how your body is able to perceive such a signal (be it cellulose, arabinoxylan, or pectin) and how it reacts. Some people ignore it, some overreact...

      (danger singals - novel immunity concept by Polly Matzinger)

      Note that even in plant science, not all the relations are understood... here an article:

      Cell wall integrity signaling and innate immunity in plants

      "The cell wall represents a unique challenge for pathogens specializing in plants. Manipulation of the host, delivery of effectors and suppression of defense responses requires intimate contact between parasite and host. Cell wall polysaccharides – cellulose, pectin, and hemicelluloses such as xyloglucan and arabinoxylan – are potentially a major source of carbon but are difficult to access. Depending on their lifestyle, some pathogens extensively degrade cell walls, such as the macerating necrotrophs Erwinia or Botrytis; others puncture it with surgical precision, such as biotrophic fungal and oomycete pathogens during the formation of appressoria. Dissolving and rearranging cell walls is also part of the large-scale host manipulation undertaken by plant parasitic nematodes establishing feeding sites (Gheysen and Mitchum, 2011). It seems obvious that such breaches of cell wall integrity (CWI) should alert the host plant to the presence of invaders. Among the potential warning signs are changes in mechanical properties, interference with cell wall proteins or polysaccharides by the binding of effectors, and release of oligosaccharide fragments with DAMP (danger-associated molecular pattern) activity."

    4. Gemma, thank you for the article! I've just read it, but i think i'll reread it tomorrow to understand better. Feel stupid))

      Btw last autum i couldn't tolerate mushrooms and now i can eat them freely, something changed.

    5. Esha, I only posted the link to that paper to show what I mean, no need to read the whole thing. It was to illustrate that sometimes even tiny bit of something triggers a reaction, not because of feeding this or that microbe, but because of the "information" it contains.

    6. Esha, don't feel stupid, I have the same problem; it's a foreign language. Read enough of these things and you learn how to skim so as to get the gist. I do a lot of highlighting, right click, search google for the term. Even then, yowza.

      And Gemma and Tim are really good about helping out if we really can't wrap our head around something. This is a friendly, helpful place!

    7. This resonates with me. If previously I reacted badly to foods or supplements I always assumed it was because I was either missing microbes to process it or it was feeding a pathogen.

      I recently took 1/2 tsp of baobab for a few days and reaction has been all out of proportion, especially considering the relatively how amounts of fiber I consume a day (including 3 tsp of pectin).

      I've been looking into fasting as a way to reset the immune system and did a 24 hour fast yesterday. Interesting my symptoms moved up and down during the day. I'm doing the same today.

      I've read that 3 plus days can really help, but tbh I don't want to lose any more weight. Gemma if you've any ideas of rebalancing the immune system I'm all ears!

    8. 'How amounts of fiber' = 'high amounts of fiber'

    9. Gemma and wildcucumber, thank you, it's nice here:)

    10. Rob - I know you asked Gemma but I can't help myself here.

      As a former very underweight person I beg you, please don't fast. Your immune system can't do what it should if you're starving the microbiome. Not to mention what fasting does to the organs, blood sugar levels and muscle tissue. Oh and of course bones and teeth.

      There is a certain "high" involved when people fast, but don't be fooled into thinking it's a good thing. That high can trick you and it's a slippery slope from there. Eat real food that your body recognizes, it really does know how to do the rest.

    11. Rob - that's interesting about the effect of baobab. I had similar problems with dandelion root powder and yacon root powder, both high in inulin. My reactions to them made no sense to me because I consumed lots of inulin. At some point, I just decided to put them in my drink and deal with the consequences. Within a few days things were good and they are regular parts of my fiber intake. I don't know if it's cause or coincidence, but I've had regular and perfect stools every single day since (except when I forgot to drink enough water for two days).

    12. Wild cucumber - first, I should appologise - I only asked Gemma because she had been part of the discussion above, but if anyone has any valid comments I'm all ears. Its interesting your comments - I suspected as much certainly regards muscle, hence why I was reluctant to go above 1 day.

      The way I did the fast - last meal on Fri at 6, then didn't eat anything until 6pm sat and consumed my usual food intake plus fibers in 2 hours. Do you think this is still dangerous? I'm not underweight (13 st 6 lb at 5'11"), but have done weight training since 13 (now 35) and don't want to see my hard earned muscle slip away.
      I'd only read positive things re immune system and fasting, but your counter argument certainly gives food for thought.

      Wilbur - I was a little undecided whether to push on but the symptoms were quite severe. I pushed on with the garlic, even though it affects bloating etc, but the baobab appears to provoke my immune system (if I'm reading the signs right). My face, though not painful today is still pretty flared and my shoulders have only just begun to stop cracking (which they had only started since the baobab).
      Maybe I'm just a wuss (though I don't think so!) - but its hard to decipher when pushing might get you through or if it is simply going to continue triggering an immune response. I preserved with fermented dairy for above 2 years and the symptoms only got worse.

      Tbh I'm still pretty concerned that I have some auto immune condition that could be life long - I've seen how one has effected my father and im hell bent on avoiding a similar fate

      Thanks for the comments everyone, at least it doesn't feel like I'm totally on my own!

    13. Rob - gee, don't apologize. And I must have misunderstood, I thought perhaps you were already underweight. I hear from so many people who have recently lost too much weight "for no apparent reason" that I leapt before I looked. IF'ing is probably fine for people of normal weight and metabolism but I look forward to Gemma weighing in.

      By the by, kefir made me miserable. Not at first, but after a while, so I had to give it up in spite of wanting to believe the awfulness would pass.

    14. Rob

      I misunderstood your reaction to baobab. My reaction to dandelion and yacon was limited to diarrhea and gas. Yours sounds like something that I personally would avoid pushing through. That's being cautious, not being a wuss!

      I wonder if it's the mix of antioxidants in baobab? I forgot, but did blueberries or other high antioxidant fruits negatively impact you?

    15. Wilbur, interesting about fruits/berries. I have come to shun more than a once in a while eating of berries/thin skinned fruits such as apples and pears due to sinus/ear pain that follows, even with organic.

    16. Wildcucumber - hopefully the IF will help with the immune system. My experience - I didn't feel great or down from it, a little hungry and slight tiredness at times was all. I think I feel less bloated afterwards, but as I can fluctuate quite a bit, this may just be coincidence.
      Dropping all dairy for me was the start of beginning to function better, I wish I'd done it sooner

      Wilbur - I think you may be right re the antioxidants, as I seem to have some weird reactions. First off I reacted to blueberries as I built the amounts up (only slight though - bit of weird toilet behavior) - but now I have no reaction to 400g per day. However if I eat 3 strawberries, I begin feeling tired and a little brain foggy.
      My plan - I think will be to leave baobab for a considerable amount of time (6 months?) and try again, hopefully if Im right and I manage to sort my immune system further - it will have forgotten the 'tag' against whatever is in baobab.

    17. Rob

      I have recently discussed a similar reaction to baobab with someone else. Baobab appears to be very high in various antioxidants, vit C. calcium, oxalates, fiber, and much more. It seems to be superfood, and given the origins, it probably is.

      So, back to that strange reaction to baobab the other person had, unexpectedly. We have concluded that the reaction was Herx. That is, some pathogens previously having comfortable life (no idea which ones) were finaly killed by this potent food, and the body could not clear it all the debris in time.

      I am no doctor so I can freely say what I want, and it is up to you to decide what to do. So, if I were you, I would take a break (perhaps a day or two) and try it again just to see what happens, 1/2 tsp is low dose enough. Hit, wait, repeat.
      And maybe worth considering gentle herbal support for you liver. Consult with an experienced herbalist :-)

    18. Gemma, does it take 24 hour fasting to boost white blood cells or can 18 hours do? I usually do one 18 to 20 per week. I suppose I could go 24 hours but if I don't have to.....

    19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    20. Gemma - thanks for the advice. I must admit I'm not game for another dose as yet (face still super flakey etc.), but when I decide to have another shot your advice makes sense and I'll definitely try 1 day in isolation to measure the reaction.

      I've been looking at other possible avenues of healing and finding it a little difficult to determine what would be helpful and what is just quackery.
      Has anyone any experience or thoughts on chelation (problem seems to be how to accurately assess heavy metal load of body) or liver flushes?

      Or have I missed any other avenues? I suspect yeast is at least part of the problem, but any prior direct attacks seemed to only make the problem worse. I've no problem with anything living inside me - as long as they are going to benefit all of us in here!

    21. Gab, no idea. So much is happenning during fasting. Stem cell regeneration, regulatory and transfer TRNA flying around, everything goes into survival mode...

      But studies like this (mice/chemotherapy) show that prolonged fasting (PF) (24-72 hours) is more effective.

      Prolonged Fasting Reduces IGF-1/PKA to Promote Hematopoietic-Stem-Cell-Based Regeneration and Reverse Immunosuppression (2014)

      "Because during PF mammalian organisms minimize energy expenditure in part by rapidly reducing the size of a wide range of tissues, organs, and cellular populations including blood cells, the reversal of this effect during refeeding represents one of the most potent strategies to regenerate the hematopoietic and possibly other systems and organs in a coordinated manner. Here, we show that PF causes a major reduction in WBC number, followed, during refeeding, by a coordinated process able to regenerate this immune system deficiency by changes beginning during the fasting period... (...)
      In fact, we show that PF alone causes a 28% decrease WBC number, which is fully reversed after refeeding (Figures 7B and S2F). Even after WBCs are severely suppressed or damaged as a consequence of chemotherapy or aging, cycles of PF are able to restore the normal WBC number and lineage balance, suggesting that the organism may be able to exploit its ability to regenerate the hematopoietic system after periods of starvation, independently of the cause of the deficiency (Figure 7B)."

    22. Rob

      give it a bit longer to recover. I think you will need a bit more then a diet change.

      Ok, everyone over here is on a journey to better health. So, what are your symptoms, what do you normally eat (describe), what do you avoid and why (list, please)?

      P.S. "Attacking" yeasts equals to attacking yourself, given the high homology of (commensal) yeasts and human cells. You must be smarter.

    23. Gemma - Ok, I'll try to be as specific as possible.
      Diet - easy it never changes unless I'm forced to due to travel:
      400g blueberries
      200g garden peas
      4 table spoons of almond butter
      1-2 avocados
      250-500g meat (depending if I've been to gym)
      50g (maybe bit more sometimes) of 100% chocolate
      1 clove crushed garlic
      at least 1 onion - maybe lightly cooked
      alternate veggies (radish, peppers, carrots etc.)

      I was a little undecided about the almonds (I seem to react to other nuts), but because I struggle with most starches (horrendous bloating and worse toilet habits) I've tried to keep my healthy fats higher.

      Foods I avoid - all usual processed junk, anything with simple carbs, a lot of fruit (grapefruit/ oranges/ apples etc. really crank the headaches), eggs seem to worsen symptoms but I can get away with limited amounts if I really want to. Any dairy is a big no-no, as is any bee products (I tried 1 grain of pollen and still got similar reaction) - running to toilet within 1/2 hour of eating.

      Inulin - 6 tsp
      Inulin ORAFTI HP - 6 tsp
      Oatwell (if I can't get oat bran due to travel etc.) - 6 tsp
      Larch Arab - 1 tsp
      PHGG - 1 tsp
      Wheat dextrin - 2 tsp
      Glucomannan - 1 tsp
      Mesquite - 1/2 tsp
      Chianti seeds - 1 tsp
      Psyllium - 1 tsp
      Amla - 1 tsp
      Pectin (for making jam) - 3 tsp
      Grape seeds - 1 tso
      fiberfin - 1 tsp
      dandelion root - 3 tsp

      symptoms - if im having good days (which when not experimenting are becoming more of a normal for me) - mild skin issues just on face & scalp, moderate bloating, poor BMs 2-4 times a day, faint ringing in ear at night.

      on a bad day (only usually if trying new food or supplements) - horrendous skin (itching, painful, flakey as hell - really bright red, raised and sore looking), really bad toilet visits, pains in joints (mainly shoulders, though hips and wrists have been known to crack and click), muscle and tendon aching, feeling tired, struggling to concentrate and headaches. Almost forgot to mention the base drum going off in my left ear, and a itchy bottom.

      Hope I've given enough detail and thanks for trying to help

    24. Rob

      thanks, that should be a typical day I guess (from morning till evening). Which of these foods are for breakfast?

      Can you clarify a bit - what do you usually drink, and what are chianti seeds? (I think you meant chia seeds).

      Do you cook those veggies or not?

      No olive oil?

      Quite a lot of meat... how do you make it?

      No RS... on intention?

      No probiotics?

    25. Gemma - yes that's a full day.
      Breakfast - most of the fibers (though leave 1/2 inulin, 1/2 orafti & 1/2 oatwell until later), 200g blueberries, 100g peas, 2tbsp almond butter and quite a bit of chocolate.

      Drinks - just water (filtered) and green tea, very occasional glass red wine (no reaction from this) and yes I meant chia seeds.

      All veggies are raw except onion sometimes as can be a little too strong.
      No olive oil - though I used to consume large amounts (as in drinking it - this was when I couldn't tolerate many foods at all including chocolate, onions or almonds)

      Meat is generally slow cooked, though sometimes stir fried for quickness. I used to consume a kilo per day - again when other calorie choices were limited. My thoughts are if I could get on board with the starches meat could be dropped further.

      RS - I tried a while ago with very mixed results. Stools improved, but bloating and headaches became intolerable after approx a month. That was quite a while ago though so I have started the fiberfin, with the intention of building up rs2 intake.

      I've tried a number of probiotics including ferments (saukraut, beet kvass etc.) But none seemed to impact except l plantarum (seems to help skin a little) - hence I take these.

      I forgot to mention I take 10000 iu of d3 and 5g of omega 3 from fish oil.

    26. Rob, I don't see any vegetables except for peas. Is that all you can eat? You seem to have a very limited diet. That is what got me into trouble with my digestion. I was diagnosed with Histamine intolerance (bucket overflows if I eat the same foods days on end) after years of searching what was going on. Was it a thyroid question? No. Was it SIBO? No. Was it lactose intolerance? Yes and no. I had a stool test done, and it turns out that I have low stomach acid, low bacteria count, my stomach wall is thin, so my immune system is over-sensitive. Every time I thought I had it sussed I would get a curve-ball thown at me and I was back to square one. I know now, that for me, I have to get a handle on the low stomach acid (the pH is too high, I have to get it lower). It means what I eat doesn't get digested properly which sets a chain reaction in motion, giving me bloating, farting, and for me constipation. (Others suffer from diarrhea instead). When I tried potato starch my constipation got even worse. Any probiotics I took didn't make an iota of difference. Most probably plausible with low stomach acid. The most important thing I have to do is NOT eat the same thing 3 days in a row. If I eat anything high in Histamines (like avocado) my skin starts to itch, so for me that is a good sign that I shouldn't eat that food several days in a row. With histamine intolerance it can take up to 72 hours before the itching starts. So I have started a diary, to note down what I ate and how bad the itching becomes or not. No itching then I can eat that food again in 4 days time.

      Jo tB

    27. Hi Jo,
      We do eat other veg (peppers, shallots, radishes, celery, tomatoes) but these tend to just be for the evening meal. My thinking behind limiting myself is for a couple of reasons:
      - Tim and others seem to show that an unchanging diet seems to aid flora diversity
      - I can't tolerate many of the foods with rs (potatoes, rice, green bananas, chich peas and other beans I've tried) so by sticking to foods I know I can eat helps me to function better with much reduced pain
      - by keeping constant, any experiments are easier to guage.

      I used to have many problems with histamines and in fact eating 1 cube of green and blacks 85% choc (highest % I had at the time) would give me a good headache. Weirdly quercetin which is supposed to help histamine made by symptoms worse.

      I'm pretty sure I'm past that now as the constant amount of choc I eat (plus occasional red wine) gives me no issues.

      Are you able to measure pH or are you going by symptom feedback?

      I've just recently completed a ubiome so hopefully that may highlight some problems.
      Thanks for the input.

    28. I forgot to add the peas are quite a recent addition (month maybe) as I couldn't tolerate those before. Prior to that I was eating raw turnip (rutabaga) but thought the peas would be more beneficial. Maybe I should add the rutabaga back in and reduce my meat consumption

    29. Rob, i'm not in a position to give advice, but this bit sounds familiar.

      "pains in joints (mainly shoulders, though hips and wrists have been known to crack and click), muscle and tendon aching, feeling tired, struggling to concentrate and headaches. Almost forgot to mention the base drum going off in my left ear"

      I had the same on yogurts and oat bran (when trying to get rid of constipation). Resolved after removing the bran. I don't know what it was, maybe the acidosis and overgrowth of lactobacilli.

      Tinnitus was worse after probiotics, vinegars, scratchy fibers. The weaker i got the worse the tinnitus. Raw potato helped a lot, it's a pity you don't tolerate potatoes... Flaxseeds helped.

      My 2 cents, in case it helps.

    30. Rob - Thanks for showing us your journey...lots of people watching you! The only thing on your big list of fibers I'm not a fan of is the pectin, if you are using Sure-Jell or some other type designed for jelly makers, it usually has other ingredients that could mess you up, maybe check the ingredient list or get a pectin supplement designed to be a supplement, or learn to make your own, I'm told it's easy to do.

      Doing what you are doing here kind of puts you out there in unexplored territory. Your goal should be to eventually be able to eat most anything and live a normal life. I think you are doing well to find a simplified diet that supports this goal, and you seem brave enough to try new things, so I think you are on the right path.

      You are getting some good advice from everyone, keep us posted on your progress, please!

    31. Esha - I'm thinking of reducing the oat bran. I don't know that its caused any issues as such, but I picked up on a comment Wilbur had recently about listening to his gut and eating things that made him happy.
      I look forward to eating all my food (normal folks don't believe me - "how can you like eating peas?"), except the oat bran. I've never listened to any prior signals (years ago I'd have craved short bread!), but maybe I should try this one if only shortly.
      I keep hearing mixed things re flaxseeds, but Tim uses them so I think I'll give them a try.

      Tim - thanks re the pectin. The one I use is an unbranded version from eBay and I'm not sure if it contains fillers. I went for this just on price as the ones for apple or grapefruit seem really expensive (based on the small amounts). I think you're right - I'll have to look at making my own.

      I hope if people are watching, then as a minimum they pick up some ideas that may help them. Ideally I hope to join the likes of you and Wilbur and overcome 'incurable' problems.
      I'm definitely sticking around here - you guys have been a life line.

    32. Rob - Watch this very short video of Jack Lalanne on the Larry King Live show. You might consider giving up all red meat for a while and just eating some good fish, there is this whole "thing" about red meat being dangerous for some people, the Neu5Gc molecule can cause big problems for certain people...may be worth a try when you are ready to make a small tweak.

    33. And as an added bonus to Tim's suggestion, if you pick the right type of fish, you could remove the omega 3 supplement on those days.


    34. Rob

      the good thing really is that as you say, you can tolerate more/other foods now that you could not have before.

      I was going to ask the same question: is there any fish, among all that meat? It is summer, you should be getting vit D from the sun, and not from a supplement.

      Someone mentioned a raw potato - have you ever tried to drink raw potato juice? It is healing.

      Or potato ONLY diet for 3-4 days - what would happen?

      If peas work, would mung bean be tolerable as well?

      Have you tried cooked carrot puree? Does cooking your veggies make any difference? Do you eat any broths and soups? Anyway, is there any gelatin in your diet?

      Sauerkraut made no difference, you said elsewhere, should it not perhaps be a reason to keep it?

      I understand the fear of refined sugar, but not all the sugars are the same. Some are smarter... :-) Black molasses?

      Do you use oil pulling?

    35. Tim & Barney - thanks for the suggestion. I read about this a while ago (PHD site I think) - but also listened to Mark Sissons too much - he always seems to push red meats as being really healthful. I see no benefit to continue eating red meat from a healing point of view hence I'll make this change now (as I have no issues with any fish etc.) - plenty of fish with a little chicken/ turkey from now on!

      Gemma - great stuff plenty of suggestions!
      Meat - I'd always gone for the red meats for the additional calories - this has now changed! Unfortunately I'm stuck indoors most of the working week - with little access to even windows, so I think I'll have to stick to supplements.

      I'm away on hols for the next 2 weeks, but I will definitely be systematically trying your suggestions re potatoes (including juice) and try the mung beans.
      I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to try only potatoes for 3-4 days though, I fear the bloat and headaches would be too much.

      Re cooking I always just thought raw would be better hence very little cooking. Do you think cooking could be beneficial in certain circumstances?
      At the very start of my experiments I tried bone broths (home made), but they gave me really bad bloating (don't know about other symptoms as everything was haywire anyway). I could try these at some point again.

      Ferments I suppose was just me being lazy - I will try these again after the hols.

      Black molasses - I will try a small amount and report the findings. I was thinking about yacon root again as this tasted sweeter and Wilbur has mentioned it as being beneficial.

      Oil pulling - I used to do this when my gums were inflamed. Interestingly they always used to get really sore after eating steak.

      Its my bedtime now - up at 5 in the morning!

      Ever so much thanks for all the ideas, makes me feel very happy that there's still plenty of new options and humbled that people have taken the time to try and help

    36. Rob -

      Just to clarify, I like yacon root powder and even dried yacon pieces. I've read that the yacon syrup is often fake and overpriced. My sugar of choice is honey, but black molasses and maple syrup are find too. I get local raw honey made by farmers I like.

      Regarding red meat, I find it interesting that I only eat red meat once or twice per week. Rest of the time is fish, chicken, or pork.

      How much liver do you get? Early on I had an insane craving for liverwurst. Just a little every day, but I was like an addict. Finding liverwurst without preservatives was really hard. I found desiccated liver capsules, and I haven't had the cravings. But I just found some really, really good goat liver. I'm going to try to work that in once per week.

    37. Gemma -

      I'm glad you mentioned gelatin. I've been on the fence about that for a long time. I used to mix gelatin in water and drink, thinking it did me good. The I read that it's just protein, nothing different about it. I do try to eat meats that have more cartilage in them, but I do not know if this benefits me.

      Is there a benefit to gelatin?

    38. Not Gemma but I've read that some of our gut bugs think gelatin is a nice snack. I've also read that cartilage/gelatin is a primary reason our wild carnivore friends have healthy guts without eating a bunch of fiber.


    39. re: cravings - I think it's important to give into many of these cravings for real, wholesome foods. I was the same way with liver early on, I'd eat a pound of calf's liver in one meal, liverwurst daily. Then the cravings subsided. Now I have liver maybe 2 times a month, and while I enjoy it, I don't feel the need to eat large amounts.

      Now, if your craving is for Oreo Cookies, that might not count, lol.

    40. Rob, the Chinese fish monger always tells me that oysters 'good for skin'. I guess it's the zinc. Dietary sources of retinol are also good for skin. But I think you are eating those. Liver.

      Oysters are 'da bomb'. I don't understand why people are 'oh yuk' about oysters. They are serious brain food. Samuel Pepys and Charles Dickens were oyster-aholics. As were others. Manhatten people who came from starvation ate tons of oysters and look what a powerhouse of creativity New York city was.

    41. Oysters are good for another reason too! I have lots of love for oysters.

    42. Sometimes I forget the fact that I eat oysters about 5 days a week. I love them! I usually have a can of smoked oysters for lunch, sometimes sardines.

      My favorite are Crown Prince Oysters in Olive Oil. But I will eat the ones packed in cottonseed oil if I have to.

      I also try to eat a piece of salmon or other fish once or twice a week, and raw sushi a couple times a month.

    43. Rob

      One more suggestion:) Perhaps upping psyllium could be beneficial if there's damage to gut lining. I love it. (You currently take only one teaspoon if i read it right.)

    44. Rob

      regarding cooking versus fresh: I think the safest bet it to have some veggies cooked, some fermented, some fresh (as these are perhaps harder to tolerate first). It is not quite true that cooking destroys everything, just look at tomatoes and lycopene (its concentration actually increases with cooking, when the plant tissue is exposed to heat).

      The same is true for carrots. Heated carrot puree is actually more "healing".

      Gelatin: I did not mean gelatin supplement, but eating meat parts that contain cartilage etc. That is, as you can often hear, eating animals "from nose to tail", not only steaks. Cartilage is a good source of sugars (glycans) and minerals.

      What to say about proper sleeping habits and circadian rhythms, what? :-)

    45. Well I go to bed and the rest of the world keeps ticking!

      I've tried my 1st little experiment today - but thought Tims latest post was perhaps more relevant to it - hence I'll post it there in next couple of minutes

      Thanks again for all the suggestions - I am making notes and will definitely work through these over the coming weeks.

      Regarding liver - I used to eat quite a bit, though have not eaten it in a while. I noticed it used to turn blue if left after cooking (I used to cook it and take it the following day) - don't know if this matters or not? Im going to stick with the no red meat for now - but may have the occasional liver later, especially if cravings kick in (I'm learning to trust!)

      I will have a look into oysters - I think Ive only ate them once!

    46. Gemma - I tried the molasses - 1 small teaspoon (level). My god it was sweet! I tried my best to weigh up how I felt afterwards - perhaps a little wired for a while and mysteriously I began passing wind - almost immediately - weird. But no bloating etc.
      I want to stick at this for at least 2-3 days before changing anything else - do you think 1 tsp is enough?

    47. Yes, Gemma is correct about gelatin. I get the beef joint soup bones. After the broth is done, I stand over the kitchen garbage can and chew off the tendons and cartilage. These bones are good fresh out of the pot. Also it's possible to buy beef tendon from Korean supermarkets. The Koreans make a slow cooked tendon broth. If you pressure cook the tendon, it completely dissolves into stock. Add stuff to it like the Koreans do. I cook the tendons and put them in zippies for freezing. That way, every so often, I'll warm them up and eat them on rice with all the usual banchan suspects.

    48. From what I've seen, most people give up on bone broth because they make it incorrectly and it tastes terrible if you just cook the bones without flavourings.*Always* roast the bones for a bit first, just to brown them, it adds flavour. Add onions, garlic, carrots, spices and some dried shitake mushrooms and it's wonderful stuff. I've never used a pressure cooker but a slow cooker does a great job. If you don't drown it, it really will gel in the fridge. A cup of broth, if sipped every day, is one of the best gut healing foods there is.

      Rob, you mentioned you really don't see the sun during your work day and that you're up very early, too. It sounds like what my husband went through when he worked in IT, he was in the basement of a hospital, it was awful. He had a long commute, too, so doubly stressing. I hope you find lots of outdoor activities on your days off to get some natural light. My sympathies.

    49. I'm not a big eater of soup. Or broth. Just not my thing I guess.

      But I have come to enjoy chewy meat. Chuck steaks cooked medium rare. Goat and lamb leg. Chicken thighs ((daughter takes the legs). I also add a couple of chicken feet or pork trotters to my beans. Pork shoulder.

      I think this is where the advice to eat less fatty meats like chicken breast, filet mignon, pork tenderloin, etc. miss the boat. They are too soft. Chewy is good.

    50. Rob -

      "I want to stick at this for at least 2-3 days before changing anything else - do you think 1 tsp is enough?"

      THIS is where you should be asking your gut. Molasses is rich, full of good stuff. Does it make you happy to think about it? Do you want more right away? Do you want more, but can wait until tomorrow? Maybe every few days? I'd give it a few days at at least a tsp per day just to get your gut used to it, then start asking yourself questions.

    51. Wilbur, some of us come from soup eating cultures. Two meals per day start with soup and it's not necessarily broth based. Lots of different vegetable type soups and even weird things like caraway seed soup with poached eggs in it. Soup is good. It's hydrating and full of flavour so people don't pig out on meat (which was always in relatively short supply, not like in the USA.) French tradition is also soup rich.

      My father used to say that if you start your main meals (not breakfast) with soup, you'll never have weight problems.

    52. My father - 87, still going strong - advises "work hard, eat soup every day and don't take pills!"

    53. Oh stop with the pro-soup brigade. I have nothing against soup. It's just not my thing. Some nice chewy meat, otoh.

    54. Wilbur, gotta watch out. Cukey and I will start banging soup pots with wooden spoons like protesting Quebecoise!

    55. My words, Gab. The Americans forgot how to cook, that's why they are desperate and ask "How to Eat?"...

    56. Gemma! As American... I resemble that comment! ;) But seriously, I am amazed at the amount of people who weren't taught to cook because mom and dad work full time +. I feel really lucky that my parents gardened, we had a small farm for a few years, and my mom made as much from scratch as possible, so then do I. I do like soup, yum.

    57. Wildcucumber - yep your hubby sounds like me - in all through the week with what was yesterday a 3 hour round trip commute. I can't complain though the money is good and not much in way of pressure (only occasionally when deadlines are looming). I try to make up for it. In my younger days leisure time would have been looking round shops trying to find something to buy (anything to bring on more happy feelings - clothes, gadgets etc..)
      Not anymore - I avoid shopping like the plague unless there is something specific we need (most visits to town are just for my hair cutting!).
      Last weekend we found a fairly local farm that allowed you to pick a variety of fruit and veg - so we picked blueberries and blackberries. No rushing, just enjoying being together as a family it was lovely. Sorry - rambling!

      Wilbur - you are right! This listening and trusting is so new to me, I might need to remind myself a little.
      So far today all I've eaten is my fibers and 200g of peas/ 200g blueberries (its now 12.30 here), but I don't really fancy anything else and I'm not hungry. I have slight concerns over calorie intake. I know this has been poo pooed around here before. How many calories would you think you eat? Its such a culture change - I was always forced to eat everything up and I think it gets engrained. 'Eat it all up or you will be hungry'. Aside from fasting I'm not sure I can every remember being hungry.

      One last thing, whilst taking my fibers today I smelled each one. I got a real craving for the grape seed (smelled delicious!) - I would have taken more if I wasn't running a little low. The only one I really didn't fancy was the amla. Do you get this with amla (with it being so bitter)? I wasn't sure whether to stop it?

    58. I wouldn't know how to count my calories! Just take baobab for instance. It has 9 grams of carbs per serving, which I guess is where it figures 35 calories. But 6 g of that is fiber, which is not digested by me. But it is digested by the gut bugs, which produce SCFAs. My body can/does use SCFAs for fuel. Even a SAD diet apparently provides 10% of our energy requirements in SCFAs, and this is apparently correlated with fiber intake. How do I count those 6g of fiber. Or for that matter the other 100+ g I take? I dunno. My caloric intake seems to matter very little to how much I weigh. Or even how much energy I have.

      I have no problems with the amla. I like it. If it's the bitterness, you might try masking it with mesquite powder or Amazing Green Grass (or maybe just spirulina).

    59. Well this trusting and listening to you guts is taking a little getting used to! Before - like I said having it drilled in to finish everything, regardless of if you felt hungry and probably reading too much of the likes of muscle and fitness that would push minimum amounts the body needs - I think I've overeaten. It never dawned on me because ive never really been over weight.

      I'm now eating slowly, consciously thinking what I fancy and stopping as soon as ive had enough. I then don't eat again until I'm hungry.
      I know this will just be common sense to a lot of people (wife keeps saying 'I told you so' - I'm sure it pains her to say it!) - but it wasn't to me. I've not really changed anything food wise at the moment, but I'm letting my gut determine when and how much to eat. Today I've hardly had any meat, fewer blueberries, but more chocolate and peas.
      BMs are much better, head seems clearer and bloating is better.

      I thought because I was eating the right sort of stuff (granted meat was bit high) quantity didn't matter too much. Obviously in my case it does. Hope others may find this useful and possibly something to bear in mind.

    60. Interesting, Rob! To be frank, 400g of this and 200g of that did seem a bit weird :-)

    61. Gemma - I am weird!! I'm just glad Wilbur kept pushing the importance of listening to your gut and eating accordingly (cakes, processed foods etc to be pretty much ignored - and I never crave them anymore). I will happily try anything if I can see it may possibly help. I thought (wrongly!!) that listening to your guts was pretty much a load of mumbo jumbo. Probably because I'd never heard any of the signals before - too much rushing and over ruling by my conscious thoughts.

      Wilbur - I guess the calorie thing perhaps suits the western diet of low fiber. I can't see that applying to me again.
      Re the amla - I'll try slightly lower amounts and see if I can develop a taste for it. I had no problems pushing and eating it before, but I want to try to get away from this. Interestingly when I didn't eat it yesterday I craved much more chocolate. Coincidence? Maybe - or maybe I was craving something to make up for the lack of bitterness.

    62. Rob -

      The listening gets easier with time. It truly is listening, isn't it? Every day I just sort of listen to organize what I want to eat that day. Sounds weird, but it really works. I went on vacation a while back, eating almost exclusively in restaurants and having much less exercise. I weighed the same when I got back home!

      The amla and the chocolate might be about the antioxidants. My big thing was onion and garlic. My opinion is that if your gut says no, then you should listen. But that's me. Maybe try to branch out to other foods with lots of antioxidants.

      A slight change I made related to amla is using triphala instead for my evening fibers. Triphala includes amla and two more things. One of them has a really nice taste that I like a lot. I don't taste the amla anymore, so I don't know if it's bitter.

    63. I have noticed that whenever you eat to a certain target, ie. 1500 calories per day, you are guaranteed to meet or exceed that target. Eating to satiety or 'gut feeling' is maybe difficult to do at first, but it should lead to under-eating most days, comparative to a targeted approach.

    64. Wilbur - thanks for the heads up re triphala - I'm running low on amla so will go for this next time.

      I seem to continue to improve. Last 2 BMs have been pretty perfect. I had a real craving today for potatoes so I ate 2 medium sized ones (slowly - guaging my reactions as I ate) - nothing. If anything bloating went even further down. And boy did they taste good!

      I'm hesitant to start singing from the trees (so many things in the past showed so much promise only to stop working after a while) - but I'm feeling really good!

    65. Tim - my problem wasn't so much trying to aim low - I had the reverse of this. From reading everything to do with health and keeping fit - I 'needed' 1g of protein per 1 pound of my with. Therefore I needed approx 200g of protein. I'd make sure I'd hit these figures (plus other macros) - which resulted in I think - eating too much. Plus every gym rat 'knows' protein needs to come from meat as vegetarian sources don't offer the complete amino acid profile.

      I'm sure this thinking hasn't been the initial cause of my problems (always had loose stools etc for as long as I can remember), but I'm damn sure it hasn't helped one bit.

    66. Here's a "blast from the past" idea, gang ...

      Now don't worry, I'm not suggesting that we become vegetarians but it strikes me that it might be interesting to revisit Frances Moore Lappe's approach right about now.

      For anyone reaching for that elusive amino acid profile, wanting to incorporate whole grains, beans etc. and looking for satiating foods, I assure you, this way of eating has all that. In spades.

      And it's a cheap way to eat!

      I'm embarrassed to admit I still have my copy of "Recipes for a Small Planet", tattered and stained. I see they have a website now too (of course):

    67. I just don't think the typical vegetarian diet is very healthy, you know, the one that basically means SAD with no animal parts.

      I do think a vegetarian diet could be very healthy. I really don't think that "meat" is all that important, but there do seem to be certain vitamins that only come from meat, so I don't see myself ever giving up meat.

      That said, short-term forrays into veganism are probably quite healthy and natural. Or even a mostly vegan diet with a bit of meat.

      I think the proper vegan diet would be full of whole grains, beans, mushrooms, and the like. The vegans I know make tofu the centerpiece of every meal and eat anything in a box so long as it's "vegan approved".

    68. Exactly, Tim, which is why I always liked these particular recipes as a basis for those times we just don't feel like eating meat. They're a far cry from the SAD veganism of today, this is old school stuff! Plenty of ideas for those who are just learning how to cook with beans - or cook, period - which seems to be a lot of folks.

      Just ignore any references to brewers yeast, blech!

    69. Rob, on a personal note, I don't know how anyone can take much amla. I bought the fresh ones and they gave me multiple, crampy pooping adventures. No more amla for me.

      Tim. the biggest problem with vegan or vegetarian is lack of B12. I noticed a while ago that most of the vegans were kind of like, um, space cadets. It's like their mental focus isn't very acute. So if someone decides to go vegan, at least take B12 supps. The brain needs it. And yeah, crap in a bag 'vegan' doesn't cut it. Good vegan and vegetarian cooking is a big job.

      And NO, don't someone write some bullshit that some sort of anything other than meat contains B12 because it doesn't. I'll bitchslap.

      I can't do vegetarian or vegan. After a few days I end up craving animal protein. I can tell when I'm freebasing vegetables that even scrambled duck eggs for breakfast become a must have.

      I honestly don't know what is the appropriate meal plan for a human being, but my ideal is two meals per day, no snacks. Two meals 12 hours apart (approximately). Occasionally a third small meal in the middle of the day but rarely. And I'm hungry for breakfast.

    70. Gabriella

      I use the powdered form of amla. I don't know how it translates to units of fresh fruit, but I use about 2 teaspoons per day. Maybe 3-4 fruits? Maybe less? My environment is too humid for drying I think, so I have no experience with drying.

      It's interesting to me that I used to have trouble eating too much of some things before I fixed my gut. I eat whole pints of blueberries, blackberries, okra, chile peppers, etc. I am initially nervous because of past experiences, but not a single problem.

      I tried vegan for about 3 months back when I had metabolic syndrome. It didn't help for sure, and might have made things worse. I looked at the recipes on the website wild cucumber posted. I talk about the gut bugs telling me what they want, and those recipes made them screech in horror. At first I really didn't understand because the recipes seem fine. They are similar to what I ate as a vegan.

      This is hard to explain. They seem too protein oriented for me now. The beans and chickpeas recipes seem inverted to how I eat. If I eat beans, I probably have equal or better servings of fresh vegetables in the beans. So 1/3 to 1/2 bowl of beans and then the rest of the bowl filled with raw onions, chile peppers, hot sauce, etc. lunch today was about 2 ounces of goat cheese with 3 medium tomatoes, several cherry tomatoes, 1/2 a huge carrot, 1/2 pint of blackberries, and a handful of raspberries.

      The recipes would not satisfy me as a regular way of eating (say, more than once per week) because, I am pretty sure, is that they do not have the right fats for me. I crave meat for its fat and connective tissue. I used to eat chicken breast, pork tenderloin, and the like. Now I eat the fatty grisly cuts. I just finished a chuck eye steak cooked to medium rare. That was chewy. My daughter, who is a carnivore extraordinaire, gave up. I once thought chuck was just for long term cooking.

      So the ideal diet for me - and I'm not pushing it on anyone else - is tough chewy meat with loads of low-protein veggies. I eat beans and such too, but not as a frequent substitute for meat. I don't eat a lot of meat in one sitting. I buy about a little more than a pound for three people, and there are usually leftovers even after I give our two hounds a good sample.

      I think there is a lot of guilt and judgment that doctors and media create, and this screws people up. Meat is bad. Fat is bad. Butter is bad. People have chest days so they can not worry about their food choices. They are tired of feeling guilty so they overeat. Then then feel guilty about their choices, so they undereat. Then they feel deprived and their diet and their wish to stick to it add to the stress they already feel. They break and then overeat. It's a terrible way to live and a terrible way to lose weight. I had 25+ years experience to prove it.

      Ive lost track of where I was trying to go with this. I guess I'm trying to say that we are all different. Maybe it's genes, maybe it's our gut bug composition, or maybe who knows? But there are several of us on this site who are happy with our diets and health, and we are quite different in our approaches. Except that Tim's "how to eat" post seems to capture some of the commonalities.

    71. One thing Gabi and I have been talking about behind the scenes is how expensive some of the other diet plans are. In the work I do, I have to help people find ways of eating that give them the most bang for their food buck - "rice & beans" are a good cheap base to begin from for *some* of the weeks' meals. When the budget is restricted to $50/week and I'm trying to wean them off canned ravioli, I have to look at every possibility. The recipes are not vegan, btw, so at least eggs and cheese (for those who can afford/tolerate) are in there. People who are on a disability pension are especially limited in what they can afford. That's my angle. *Of course* these recipes need augmenting with fresh veg (when available) and fruit (ditto). I want them eating meat, too. Then there's the matter of what some one with say, MS, can prepare with limited mobility or has access to in a food desert.

      Eating well is complicated enough when you can afford it, just learning all this takes a while. Add to that the above issues and it's very difficult. I am literally trying to work out how someone could eat healthily when some of their groceries come from a food bank.

      I don't usually talk about this work I do because it isn't usually relevant. But now that some folks here are trying to incorporate more fibre, I thought I saw an overlap between the two.

    72. Oops, that should read $50/per week for two people.

    73. Exactly. Cukey and I are working on low budget, high fibre, fresh food meals for people on limited budgets. Except for the life of me, $50/week as a single person is the best I can do. It's been quite the challenge at that. This week I went up to $55 but quite a lot of cooked vegetables ended up in the freezer.

      So, onwards.

    74. Wilbur, by comparison to what Cukey and I are doing, your diet is expensive and elitist. People on limited income cannot even dream of eating pints and pints of berries every day. It is entirely out of reality.

      Maybe just for the heck of it, you could take a shot at trying to provide yourself with all the fibre and whatnot you need but do it on a tight budget. That would be interesting how you would cope with the challenges. And yes, I am aware that you don't need to do this. But it would be interesting to get input from you as well. I won't even suggest (yet) that you get yourself a trundle buggy and take the bus. ;)

    75. Would it be possible on such a limited budget, to occasionally buy some meaty bones and make broth, taking out the meat when that has been cooked sufficiently then cooking the bones, and veg trimmings longer. Then reusing the bones one or more times for a lighter but still nutritious broth.

      Also be sure they reuse the bean broth if they cook their own beans. I hate to throw mine out but sometimes have ended up giving it to the chickens. So the other day I just deciced I would find a way to use it all end ended up with dynamite polenta that I made in my instant pot.

      Speaking of which, I know an Instant Pot would be large one time expense , but could save money in the long run. Uses less energy. And very helpful for the sick people with limited mobility or physical energy. Oh and those who are working long hours with little time.

    76. And does anybody know exactly how nutritious the bean broth is? What it contains?

    77. Eating good does not need to be expensive. But I find that people on a limited budget usually end up eating terrible food choices, just because it's cheaper to go to McDonald's and get two Egg McMuffins than it is to buy a package of bacon, a dozen eggs, and some muffins.

      These are the people you see at WalMart dressed in tatters, heavily obese families, with a cart full of potato chips "on sale!". These are the people I would love to help the most.

      Psychologically, these people probably find solace in "eating like kings," having a fridge full of Coke and cupboards full of snacks for the hungry kids.

      I can just imagine the reaction I'd get telling people to give up bread unless they grind wheat and make their own. Or to never eat fast-food again.

      But, for us enlightened ones, I think their are awesome food choices available that are even cheaper than living the American Dream. Beans, rice, or potatoes should probably be the centerpiece of a meal every day. You can buy frozen organic veggies that are cheaper than fresh. And those Sam's Club $5 rotisserie chickens make a great meal, and a great bone broth/soup.

      Well, I'm off to see if I can fill my freezer with moose...I wish everyone had access to wild game, I really think that's "where it's at" in terms of the best meat to eat.

    78. The word elitist is offends me. Anybody who knows me knows I am anti-elitist. You probably meant something different since it's hard to imagine how elitism and diet might be related.

      Anyway, yes, I am very fortunate in my budget. But remember there are two aspects to budgeting: quality and quantity. At a fixed budget, the two are tradeoffs. If one can bring the quantity down one can move the quality up.

      What I was saying about me is that consistently dieting by recipes like those in that book left me fat and cravings lots of foods. Beyond adding fiber, I needed fats. In my personal case, I needed to do the opposite of what many doctors and the media say to get my appetite under control. My quantity is way down. It would be way easier to budget now than before, especially if I blew both my diet and my budget in a moment of uncontrolled eating.

      I should keep track of my budget sometime. A problem is that I live in an expensive area. When I visit other areas, my eyes pop out at the low prices. I went to our local Safeway recently. I saw radishes 10 for $10. The radishes were large with beautiful greens with about 10 radishes in each bunch. I had to ask how much the bunch was. Truthfully, I thought it would be $10 ($1 per radish). That's just the way things are here. I was stunned to find out it was $1. I enjoyed my $1 bunch for 3 days.

      I don't know how this would translate to what you doing, but I develop relationships with people at the markets. Let them know how much I enjoy stuff. I get discounts, free food thrown in my bags, etc. I got a huge bag of onion tops completely free just because people don't buy them and they otherwise go to waste.

      It's a significant issue you and cukey are working on. I'll try to be more mindful of it when I'm out a and about. I often hear that food prices are now the smallest percentage of our budget in history. But the quality of that food is probably the lowest too.

    79. Elliebelly -

      I've done lots of things with bean broth! Use it instead of water/other broth for making rice. If, for instance, you are making pasta fagioli, use the bean both instead of water to cook the pasta. (I've figured out that about 1400 ml of watery liquid) will be nearly completely absorbed by al dente pasta). I wish I could remember some of the others.

      Chicken feet are less expensive than soup bones and pigs feet in my area.

    80. Although beans can be inexpensive, some of the heirloom beans can offer very tasty broths that typical mass market beans do not. I buy mine from Rancho Gordo. I just finished some Rio Zape beans made with chicken feet. I'd give the beans to the chickens before the I'd give them the broth!

      The runner beans are especially filling.

  22. I was a bread-aholic, one piece would lead to 2 or 5. Mom's bread, right out of the oven, thick tough crusty goodness! Depression runs in my family, my sister schizophrenic as a toddler, my first suicidal ideation started around 11 years old... fast forward to now... Gave up wheat/gluten, quite responding to every little stress with suicidal thoughts. Months later, gave up corn and all that worry-wart, hamster in a wheel stress disappeared. Gradually, and due to real life circumstances, my mood began to pale somewhat. Finding all of you on here, RS and learning how to feed my gut microbiome has me bopping around enjoying life even when it gets a bit scary.
    Wheat exposure causes cns symptoms within 15 minutes for me, prin-prick itchy feeling, followed by crawling feeling under my skin, followed by restless legs and inability to get comfortable. Within an hour I start to see the world differently, anxious, agitated, fixating on a stressor or event or word which leads to a very angry and comfrontational inner dialogue. A large wheat exposure will cause some very scary thoughts that set in 3 to 4 days later, and lasts 2 to 3 days. The hardest part is I am still there, I am doing my best to calm myself down, to tell myself it will pass and just don't act on anything, but half of my brain is stuck in a crazy obsessive loop.

    I just had an angry/suspicion filled past few days following exposure to wheat containing hair products at my hair dresser.
    I have not been tested for celiac, but I will not be adding wheat/gluten/corn back in no matter how awesome you make it sound, no matter how much I would love to be able to eat it again. I would have to institutionalize myself for the experiment!

    1. +1 regarding heavy depressions and suicidal thoughts after gluten. Nobody really understands it.

    2. Esha, I have come across references to "celiac brain", which makes sense to me, and would explain why my sister was schizoid from very early onn and why the neuro symptoms show up before the diarrhea from accidental gluten exposure.

      To me, the thoughts that happen are like my self-preservation has been turned off. Driving a car I curiously wonder how fast I would have to drive to not survive running into the pole by the railroad tracks, or how easy it would be to cross the center line of the road into the oncoming semi. No sadness, just overwhelming curiosity like it just be as easy and simple as breathing. No gluten for me please!

    3. My depressions hit long before gut issues. What you describe resembles my strange thoughts when i get terribly afraid to lose sanity and hurt not myself but others. And i feel that i'm frightfully close to losing sanity. When suicidal it's different, i feel utterly, unbearably unhappy, extremely lonely and yearning to leave this world. I open the laptop and google for easiest ways to commit suicide, choose sleeping pills etc. The funniest thing: i can be perfectly normal and cheerful and full of life the next day if gluten is excluded. As if i were a robot and had a special self-annihilation button)

      Several years ago i washed my hair with home-made rye shampoo before bed and it used to give me laughing fits when i laughed and laughed and laughed all night long (as silently as i could manage). Had to stop the shampoo.

      Creepy stuff. Brrr.

    4. Esha, after a couple years gluten/corn free, I really wonder what I would have accompllished in my life had it been removed when I was a kid doubled over in pain on the couch half an hour after eating dinner. My parents just thought I was trying to get out of doing dishes. I was insecure and anxious all the time. Without the effects of gluten, I may have stepped up and done a lot more with my intelligence. Its never too late to start over.

    5. Yes, i can totally relate. Life could have been different... On the brighter side i realize that i was extremely lucky to discover the link between gluten and my lifelong depressions. It's like a second chance (or rather a hope for a second chance) and there are lots of people who never get it. God help us and those like us start over:)

    6. I get to help so many people that are willing to listen and hear me at my work. Most want a pill, an herb, something to fix them.. the magic bullet for anxiety, weightloss, depression, menopause symptoms. I tell them my story and suggest they look to foods, not our supplement aisle, for long term health benefits. Months later, some will come back thanking me, telling me how well they feel, how life has changed.

      That is why I am so happy to have stumbled across Tim and the gang here. My world has opened up so much more, and my knowledge base has expanded. I love the back and forth, experimentation, nothing is set in stone attitude to health and diet. No one is espousing beliefs, but suggesting ideas, options.

  23. AND... I have awesome noodle and pizza crust recipes, super easy and all my gluten eaters love them! Hubby says they are better than the wheat versions.

    1. "AND... I have awesome noodle and pizza crust recipes, "

      Well? We gonna get to see them or what?

    2. Tim, will do later tonight... work gets in the way of my social media life :) I want to give the original sources of the recipes their due head nod, but don't have that info with me.

    3. "Paleo" pasta, adapted from

      1 2/3 cups tapioca starch
      1 cup almond flour
      1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
      2 large eggs
      4 egg yolks

      Process dry ingredients in food processor for 20 seconds. Place in large bowl, make a well. Pour whisked eggs and yolks in well and use a fork to gradually pull flours into the egg. Once combined, dump onto surface powdered with more tapioca starch and knead for 5 minutes, adding more starch as needed. Cut into 3 or 4 pieces, wrapping them in plastic to keep moist while waiting to be rolled. Roll out and cut as you like. I like to make them several hours ahead of time to let them dry, i think they work better that way. For lasagna, i roll out the dough and cut to the size of the pan instead of cutting them like standard lasagna noodles.

    4. Primal pizza crust, adapted from

      2 cups almond flour
      1 cup tapioca starch
      1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
      1 teaspoon oregano
      1/4 teaspoon black pepper
      3 eggs
      1/2 cup milk

      Mix dry ingredients, whisk in eggs and milk. Use oil or parchment paper on cookie sheet, spread to your liking. We like thinner crispy crusts so we get 2 pizzas from this, while the recipe was intended for one thicker crust pizza. Cook crust in 425° F oven for 10 or more minutes, to your liking for doneness. Put toppings on and cook another 10 to 15 minutes.

    5. Excellent! Thank you very much.

    6. You are so very welcome! I think I had altered the noodle recipe 2 years ago to make a pie crust.. possibly switching the salt and eggs for palm shortening and butter, but I didn't write it down so I am not sure. It was a rollable, flakey crust that rivaled wheat crust. If I figure it out, I will post that someday.

  24. Tim, lots of good stuff I think between the recent post you cited and Duck and friends' earlier one about their extensive research into possible issues with iron overload - particularly as related to iron enrichment in flour.
    I was pretty strictly paleo for a couple of years but, unlike a lot of people, never saw more than minor changes in my health or weight. For the last few months I kinda said "screw it" and bailed on healthy eating for a lot of reasons that I don't need to go into here. But I'm ready to come back to reality so I just bought my 5lbs of organic potatoes. (grin)
    BUT, for those times when I am in-between potato cycles, I just found a local bakery that makes wonderful breads with non-enriched whole grain flours. This is the ingredient list for their version of Ezekiel bread: sprouted wheat flour, sprouted spelt flour, wheat berries, water, honey, pearl barley, millet, EV olive oil, pinto beans, kidney beans, northern beans, green lentils, walnuts, sea salt, yeast.
    And so now, I'm also back to eating wheat AND beans all in one delicious slice. (Or maybe two …)
    Oh, and they also make an absolutely incredible sprouted wheat loaf with bits of good dark chocolate and whole blackberries or raspberries too for the occasional treat.

    1. I've never really looked at the whole 'sprouted bread' product line. I'd imagine it's the way to go. I hear people raving about the taste of Ezekial bread. that ingredient list looks very good.


    Changing the subject - although everything is related - does anyone have any thoughts on the recent Cod Liver Oil controversy? This is Chris Masterjohn's post. Chris Kresser has also posted, and Sally Fallon has disowned Dr. Ron Schmidt based on his belief ! that fermented CLO caused his heart failure, the terrifying story of which can be found on his site: I'm wondering if taking CLO long-term , fermented or not, can be detrimental? How can anyone be sure of a healthful dose?

  26. Oh, that was from Debbie. Sorry.

    1. Debbie, as a child I was force fed cod liver oil, because it was an old remedy to prevent rickets (vitamin D deficiency). Yes, force fed because of the foul taste. Even just the smell of it today would send off to the hills. But it never di me any harm. For whole generations it was the only way to get their vitamin D.

      The Japanese are long term users of cod liver oil. Are they all dying of heart attacks? I don't think so. I think the doctor is scare mongering. How long is his "long term" use? 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? How was the rest of the diet? Crap? Then there are multiple other causes that could have given him his heart attack. If he was eating a lot of soy (he wrote a book about it) that could do the trick.

      Jo tB

    2. Jo, the canned cod liver in its own oil from Norway and Iceland is not too bad smell wise. I can appreciate your revulsion though. I buy this stuff sometimes. Freshly opened, it's fine. But if I leave the empty tin in the kitchen sink or don't rinse everything really well afterwards, it starts to stink very fishy.

    3. Actually, this is a respected osteopath who also sells supplements And he was really overdosing on the Cod Liver Oil - for over 30 years. Anyway, I'm just wondering about the way I take supplements not knowing whether they could be doing me some harm, or if they are beneficial at all, or just useless.

    4. Anon/(Debbie?) - I think if you're taking supplements, it's wise to try them one at a time, if you can. Stop taking the others, introduce the new one, assess, you know? If you feel no change at all, it is likely they're inert, and this way if they're doing harm, you'll notice the reaction and know what is causing it. You shouldn't need any more than a few days to a couple of weeks to notice changes. IMHO

  27. Rob, I had a stool analysis done, and my results for the various markers were low:

    pH was 6.6 should be a lot lower. Aopparently this indicates low stomach acid.
    Resident flora count was low. The transient flora count was also low. (I was told that they need a more acidic environment). This was the result even after taking verious courses of probiotics like Prescript Assist.

    For eggs, milk, yeast, casein: IgG was <0,35 - IgG4 was 1.48 (no longer lactose intlerant). 14 years of avoiding dairy, seems to have cured the lactose intolerance.
    But developed others in its place.

    Hazelnuts, almonds, wheat, rye: IgG was 98 - IgG4 was over 100 (through the roof)

    Banana, kiwi, pineapple, apple: IgG was 16.23 - IgG4 was 58.99.

    Mustard, garlic, tomato, paprika: IgG was 12.73 - IgG4 was over 100 (through the roof).

    Mucous lining was thin. Needed building up.

    My therapist/dietician has advised I take Biotics Hydro-Zyme (which contains betaine and pepsine) to stimulate gastric acid production.

    The best thing to take to get the pH down is apple cider vinegar, but I don't handle that very well, so am taking the alternative lemon juice in water.

    and I am concetrating on the '0' items on the very good list in English I found on a Swiss internet site:

    I have never had a headache (thank God). I notice it in my glucose measurements. If I eat an avocado several days running, I notice my glucose rises and stays raised for days on end. Of course, everyone interpreted the results incorrectly and related it to diabetes, and gave me more medications to get my glucose levels down, which didn't help.

    When I looked up low stomach acid, it surprised me the number of signs that I had. Poor digestion leads to malnutrition, which leads to lethargy, brain fod, etc even thinning hair (which has worried me for years).

    Jo tB

  28. I come a bit late to the game.

    I don't see wheat/grain as a problem per se, but I still and always think too much omega-6 isn't good for us. IME it makes me fat, and IMO I think it may cause problems with mitochondrial function. Soemthing about the way we oxidize it although I'm not firing on all cylinders right now so will pass on elucidating it. Sorry if that marginalizes my opinion.

    Anyway, if we're arguing grains from a long-view evolutionary perspective like we are with paleo starch, the grain theory doesn't hold because we didn't evolve eating large amounts of omega-6 foods.

    That said, there was a quote in the post over at FTA that caught my eye: something to the effect of Western Civ was basically built on grains. Whoa! now there's a powerful argument for eating grains if I ever heard it!

    Regardless, right now I think it's semi-poison to make high omega-6 foods the preponderance of starch intake.

    But I do love grains and in fact have been eating steel cut oats for years, and just the other day tried "Scottish Oatmeal". Yummerdoodles! Also I don't freak out and shy away from wheat or other grains, I just don't eat them as a preponderance of my diet.

    Also as I commented the other day at FTA, a piece of toast with coconut butter and jelly on it is a gift from the gawds. Or as Richard says, the doGs. Really. Everyone should be eating coconut butter and jelly.

    1. I read a lot on the importance of having balance ratios of 03:06, modern humans eating a SAD crappy diet often end up eating vastly more 06 and it ends up skewing the lipids that make up our cells. I think that when you stop eating loads of food deep-fried in vegetable oils and give up processed foods containing veg oils, and quit eating margarine and other butter replacements things will normalize.

      I would agree with you that a diet high in Omega 6 oils is "semi-poison", but I am hesitant to recommend limiting certain real, whole foods based on their omega 3,6,9 content. Almonds, for instance, very healthy and high in 06.

      I'd say, eat whatever real, whole foods you like, try to get some oily fish a couple times a week, take a fish oil supplement if you don't eat much fish.

      In the grand scheme of things, "grain" is probably healthiest when it's about 25% of your calories and pure vegetable oil is about 0% of your calories.

      And, I agree that too much "grain" does tend to cause weight-gain issues in a lot of people, so it's important to ensure you are getting quality fiber in your diet if you limit grain.

      Dr. Davis of Wheatbelly and Perlmutter of Grain Brain have both realized the folly of eliminating grain without replacing fiber and both have come out with revised plans that focus on fiber. Davis recommends raw potato, Perlmutter is into "Mexican Yams" and inulin supplments.

      The best thing about grain is the instead of saying "Western civilaztion was built on grains," we should probably be saying, "Western civilization was built on healthy guts!"

      Nice comment, Amy, thanks!

  29. Food for thought:

    1. The other day I was in a Health food store and saw a new to me brand of dairy product and thought I would give the. Sour cream a try since the only ingredients listed were milk, cream, non fat milk, and cultures. All grade A, organic, grass fed.. Tastes okay, but a bit odd. Very thick..very. How did they do that?

      Then I remembered that labels can say milk,but it does not have to be liquid, it can be powdered milk (same goes for eggs). Dried, powdered milk ,or eggs,is not at all the same as dried powdered veggies. I wrote to the company and am waiting for a reply

    2. Commercial milk powders are reported to contain oxysterols (oxidized cholesterol)[11] in higher amounts than in fresh milk (up to 30 μg/g, versus trace amounts in fresh milk).[12] Oxysterols are derivatives of cholesterol that are produced either by free radicals or by enzymes. Some free radicals-derived oxysterols have been suspected of being initiators of atherosclerotic plaques.[13] For comparison, powdered eggs contain even more oxysterols, up to 200 μg/g.[12]