Talking About Health with Whole New Mom ~ March 30, 2012

Question Mark

Back with another installment of my Q&A segment.  I’m changing the title for this week – what do you think about it?

The main reason that I started my blog was to be a resource to others.

My family has been through so much regarding food allergies, autism, adrenal fatigue, and more – and we’ve had to made adaptations to our diets numerous times in an attempt to make ourselves healthier.

And we’ve also been through a lot financially–mainly trying to “make it” on a single income (that is well below six figures :-)), with a special needs child, with medical expenses and well . . . things aren’t getting cheaper now, are they?

So as my life went on, I found myself wanting to share with others what I knew and what I had experienced .

But it’s hard to do that with just your mouth.

So Whole New Mom was born.

Recently I’ve been getting more questions in my inbox and on my Facebook page, so I thought I’d give a weekly Q&A-type post a try.

Let’s see how it goes.

My desire is to field questions on any topic (within reason) that you might like to ask:

  • whole foods
  • special diets
  • food allergies
  • substitutions (like for eggs, sweeteners, etc.)
  • budgeting (saving money, inflation…)
  • health topics (autism, adrenal health, heavy metals,….)
  • anything else (within reason, right?)  By the way, my hubby is not a fixit man (but he’s working on it) but he is kind of an expert on some things so feel free to ask away.  If it has to do with whole health in some way and I can’t answer it, maybe he can chime in :-).)

I can’t promise that I’ll know the answer, but I’ll try my best ;-).

And then all of you can just chime in the comments section and we can all help each other out.

So–ready?  Set?  Let’s go!

(Oh–and you can e-mail your questions to me at wholenewmom {at} gmail {dot} com.   Just put “Talking About Health with Whole New Mom” in the Subject area so it catches my eye more quickly!)

From Melissa:

I’m interested in buying some raw almonds without PPO. I live in the Houston area. Do you have any recommendations for my area? I realize you stated you placed your order by 11/30/11. When do you order again?

I looked at justalmonds.com (mentioned in your comments section) and they use the steam processing and are $4.91/lb if you buy 5 lbs or more. They specifically state they do not use PPO. What are your thoughts on the steam processing?

Answer:

Melissa, I am not at all familiar with almond suppliers around the country. I’ve been doing a raw almond order yearly for 3 years now and hope to do again this year.  Typically I have information that goes out around October and we order in November.

This year I am considering other options and contacting other suppliers.  I am also hoping to have companies lined up whom I will recommend to my readers.  I hope to find organic (or close) as well as conventional.

I have contacted Just Almonds and am from what they have told me, their almonds are sproutable.  I am not able to confirm that or deny it, but I have heard that that is the case.

In the very near future, I will be sampling their product and should have a nice deal for all of my readers – so stay tuned!

————-

From Tracey:

Wondering what your thoughts are on the Paleo Diet. I had my son on a GF/CF diet for 10 months and was thinking about trying the Paleo Diet out on our entire family after a visit with friends. Both have gotten to a healthy weight and had their digestive issues resolved since making this change. Anyhow wondered what your thoughts were.”

Answer:

I have a lot of thoughts about the Paleo Diet.  But I haven’t done a lot of reading on it.  I am currently almost completely grain free, but we eat a lot of beans.  I haven’t done enough reading on it to know the reasoning but it seems that those who recommend the diet state that the have anti-nutrients.  I think that if you sprout or soak your beans you are getting rid of a lot of those.  In fact, there are anti-nutrients in basically every food, from what I understand.  Proper preparation can help with it.

I have a post on How to De-Gas Beans that should be a great help, as well as a post on Soaking Grains.

The whole “To Eat Grains or Not Eat Grains” has been getting a lot of press lately.  I know that I, for one, am not doing well on a lot of grains and carbohydrates, but I haven’t formed a complete “philosophy” on the whole thing.

I tend to feel that each person needs to “listen” to his or her own body while following wise practices.  And I am concerned about the amount of carbs that people in our culture eat.  Also, candida is a condition that plagues a lot of people in the West and our heavy carb diet contributes to that.  As a result, I think that it would be good for almost anyone in our culture to limit carbs, if not almost eliminate them for awhile.

But …..all in balance.  I think that eliminating any one group from your diet can prove to be detrimental to one’s health and extreme diets can be hard to stick with.  So perhaps the best thing to do would be to aim for moderation in all things.  Some grains, some protein, and a good amount of veggies.  But with refined foods – that is where I think we would do ourselves a good service to just get away from them.  Make sense :-)?

I think all of this nutrition info is hard to sort through and we need to do our best.  I also think it is easy to eat too few carbs and that that could be a problem as well.

Hope that helps!

———————

From Dawn:

Hi

I just discovered your facebook page the other day, and I have not had a chance to really look at it. I also just found your website today thru a link on your facebook page.  I will definitely have to look around it some more.

You said in your comment  to me that you had some food ideas about fibromyalgia.  YAY!  Thank you!!!  Even with the wealth of info on the internet, I don’t even know where to start and what actually works and what is just a bunch of hooey.

I also have osteoporosis and chronic fatigue, as well as symptoms associated with have a pituitary tumor (which my endocrinologist says is “common” and not many people even know they have one….really???). He also wanted to put me on birth control to straighten out my hormones and adrenals.  I am currently on tramadol and would LOVE to wean myself off, but the pain from the fibro is draining. The endocrinologist also told me that I am not in adrenal fatigue, only because my test results showed that I am at the lowest end of the “normal” range, so he would not treat me for it other than the birth control. I took the birth control for about a week before I realized this was NOT the way I wanted to go. He also told me that the food I eat has nothing to do with how I feel from day to day. HA!  I am no longer seeing him.  That was about 3 yrs ago.  Since then, I have not had any success in finding a healthcare provider who will not just prescribe one more medication.  I have gone to chiropractors and message therapists, who seemed to have helped a little, but it gets spendy….and without being able to work, that isn’t a reasonable option for me.

So, after giving you a little background info, what type of foods can you suggest/recommend for me? Most days the pain is so debilitating that it’s hard to get out of bed. The only way I am able to function from day to day is because of the tramadol.    But like I said, I would LOVE to be able to stop taking all medication.  I know that some certain diets can get a little spendy, so any suggestions that wouldn’t break me would be very appreciated.  I am also a single mom of a 12 yr old son, doing childcare for 2 little girls (one is 3, the other 9 months) three days a week. For a little extra income I crochet and sell hats and other cutesy items J

Answer:

Dawn.  My goodness – I am so sorry to hear all that you are going through. But I will say that your story sounds familiar and fairly similar to mine.  However, I never went on any medications.  I just had my physician telling me that I was “healthy as a horse” when I felt horrible.

I did go to many alternative practitioners, and worked on protocols myself, but wasn’t getting anywhere really until I met Theresa Vernon.  She is a chronic fatigue and adrenal specialist and can work with you long distance.  You can find her contact information by following the link on my adrenal fatigue post.  I am doing so much better and really think that I might have had fibromyalgia.  I never had a real diagnosis, but the fatigue was crushing and I had flu like aching symptoms that made it hard for me to function.  They come every once in awhile now but they are fewer and farther between and pass quite quickly.

As for your diet, I would highly recommend:

1.  Getting off all sugar now and using only sweeteners that don’t affect your blood sugar level.  Those would include (and you can follow the links to see examples and get some good prices.  Actually, a good source for you to save money would be to purchase through Vitacost.  Did you see my recent post on them?  They already have great prices on these items and you can get $10 off your first purchase which is a great deal!

  • stevia extract
  • xylitol
  • erythritol
  • vegetable glycerine
  • sucralose (I am sure a lot of my readers will be surprised to see this recommendation.  I am “on the fence” about this one, but Theresa thinks that the science behing all the controversy is convoluted.  You will have to make your own decision about this, but I will be sharing more about it later.  There is a brand on Amazon that is straight sucralose without the sugar fillers (yes, Splenda is full of sugar.  Stay away from it!)  The brand is called EZ Sweets.

2.  Getting off refined starches.  That means anything white flour.  Eat whole grains only and limit those.  Maybe 3 servings per day if you can handle that.

3. I would make sure that you are getting high quality protein at every meal.

4.  I would avoid high copper foods.  More on this later, but you probably have copper issues.

High copper foods include:

  • liver
  • avocado
  • sunflower seeds

You can read more about adrenal burnout and copper toxicity in this fascinating book by Ann Marie Gittleman:

I know that this all sounds daunting, but I am confident that you can do it and I hope that you will check back in with me and let me know if you have called Theresa and let me know what you think.

I am also looking into essential oils regarding my health issues and am really doing my best to find a company that I can recommend to my readers without reservation.  I think that there might be some real promise for you there as well.  You can read about the beginning of my hunt for the best essential oils company here.

Please hang in there – make the best choices that you can now and gradually you will start feeling better.

Well – that’s it for this segment of Talking About Health with Whole New Mom.  

If something you read here would be of help to someone you know, please share!

Comments

    Speak Your Mind

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  1. Good info. here…Thank you! On the grain issue…I agree there are too many things with wheat especially! An overload, if you will! For me, personally, I am trying to lose the rest of my baby weight. After having 5 kids, my body is different and in the last 10 months, I can tell when I start adding carbs and sugar back in. I find if I give up carbs for a month or two, I lose weight and feel great. I will be adding carbs back in after April, but only brown rice based carbs and other gluten free options, at least as much as is possible.

    A little whole grain is good, but we have way too much in our SAD (standard american diets)… Like you said, every one is different, but I found that really limiting carbs has helped me to lose weight. Not to mention, I had gest. diabetes with the last two pregnancies and my dad and grandfather have type II…I already have 2 precursors, so cutting out a large amount of carbs will definitely help in the future. I only write all of this to see if it is of help to someone else! :)

  2. I just placed an order here: http://homegrownalmonds.com for almonds (they only have one kind left). I bought the non pasteurized but not organic almonds for $6.75/lb wyb 10 lbs and free shipping on the 10 lbs too. Sounds like they try to be pretty careful, so I opted for the non organic. Looking forward to your other sources! How about walnuts too :)

  3. Hi, regarding the almond issue…if you have Trader Joe’s nearby, their raw almonds are steam processed. Not completely raw, but better than PPO. The mgr called their corporate. They also said anything with T. Joe’s name on the pkg was GMO-free (I asked about that one today when I was there.)

  4. Kori Ireland says:

    If Azure Standard delivers near you http://www.azurestandard.com they have Truly Raw almonds which are bought “at the farm gate” and not steamed or sprayed. And they are the crunchiest almonds I’ve ver had! Not already stale like the ones you buy at local grocery stores or steamed ones I’ve ordered online!

  5. Some really interesting and sound advice!

    I am really surprised you ok’d splenda–the chlorine in it alone worries me a lot, but I’ve had personal experience of adverse reaction to it, and know of many other people who have had the same experience–and I am referring to sucralose, not brand-name splenda. I guess it’s a ‘try it and see, and be warned’ case.
    cheers,
    Ela

    • I’m not OK’ing the Splenda for sure. I’m just saying that the practitioner (who is a genius, I must say, and trained with an expert in Chinese Medicine), thinks that the chlorine issue in sucralose is a non-issue. If you think about it this way….there is chlorine in NaCl, right? Salt! I think the issue for all of us needs to be to see how we do with it.

      For example, I just can’t have any glycemic load inducing sweeteners, or anything that feeds candida. Others can. Personally, I think that sweeteners do so much damage to our immune system that they should be removed from everyone’s diet, but I want to give room for those not willing to take that step yet. I, for one, was not until my health hit “rock bottom”.

      Our environment is so messed up that even organic veggies aren’t safe to eat. Think about this – what is organic romaine made up of? — Over 90% water. What kind of water do you think that they water your romaine with on an organic farm? That’s right – tap water. What’s in tap water? Read my post on Water Safety to find out. Hmmm…Better to dehydrate my veggies and rehydrate them w/ Reverse Osmosis water.

      We’re in a pickle and can just do the best we can.

      My practitioner’s main point w/ sucralose is that she is so anti-sugar that she would much rather see folks eat sucralose than sugar and she has worked with some extremely sensitive people, none of whom have had an issue with it. She does, however, think it best to use a variety of sweeteners so that if it turns out that any of them does have a “problem” associated with it then we will at least have “diluted” the problem.

      I hope that clarifies. Time for a post on sweeteners, eh :-)?

      • Thanks, Adrienne–I’m right with you on all the “pickle” we’re in. That’s so interesting that your practitioner hasn’t seen problems with sucralose. I get what you’re saying about NaCl, although of course with sucralose we’re in that nebulous “not natural” territory. My naturopath thinks sucralose is terrible, but that’s probably his experience.

        I’ve been contemplating a post on sweeteners myself, although I’ve been promising a protein powder post for a while and should do that first.

        At one point, I felt pretty sure that everyone should stay away from all sweeteners. Recently, I’ve been thinking that refined sweeteners are the real killer, and that because of the addictiveness of sweets, it would probably be beneficial for everyone to have a furlough of three months of no sweets. After that, though, in great moderation, certain kinds of honey are very beneficial (I used to be a beekeeper, so that’s close to my heart). Also, sugar cane as a whole food is very mineral rich, and even molasses is a great source of many minerals. But I say all that with great caution, because what I mean by “moderation” here is much less quantity than most mainstream eaters would imagine!
        I still prefer stevia and xylitol and erythritol, although I love dried fruits and lucuma powder too, in moderation.
        cheers,
        Ela

        • I think we’re on the same page. I don’t use sucralose personally. I bought some and the bottle is still sitting there. I used some when I was having issues w/ stevia. I personally think we all need to realize that we are on a journey here and seek to sort things out. The water we water our plants with is not natural. Again – not saying to eat sucralose – and maybe that’s why I lost a bunch of subscribers the other day. Oh well…..I can’t worry about everything :-).

          • Agreed–I’ve worried about the water for plants too! We try to catch rainwater and use mostly that, but it’s never enough. I didn’t at all have the impression that you were saying to eat sucralose: I got that you were reporting someone else’s opinion and were aware that it was controversial. Can’t believe you’d lose subscribers over that!

            • Oh, not sure why they left. I was losing a TON every Tuesday on my Traditional Tuesday link up so I switched to allergy Friendly to see how it went. Not sure if that was the right decision. Anyway, I will not compromise, but I do want to give readers what they like. I just lost 8 on that day. Not TONS, but the most I’ve ever lost in a day was 13. Ah well. Take care!

  6. I admire that you don’t compromise. My blog is tiny, but I’ve never looked at the stats and how/when I gain/lose readers. I think it would scare me too much or something. But I guess it’s good input and instant feedback. You always have to bear in mind whether those are your intended readers–maybe it’s for the best for both sides if they don’t stay with you…

    Take care you too!