Studies show that diabetes can be prevented and even reversed naturally

Patient filesSeveral years ago when I began my journey to better health through an improved diet, I frequently had the jitters after eating, especially after breakfast.  At the time, I thought it was probably due to too much caffeine.  I had already stopped drinking regular coffee due to the caffeine, but I was still drinking tea every morning.  However, when I cut out the caffeine, I still had the occasional jittery feeling.

Eventually I realized that it wasn’t just the caffeine, although I am still very sensitive to it.  My jittery feelings were caused by a diet too high in sugar and other carbohydrates.  Especially my breakfasts were high carb, usually sweetened cereal (although whole grain) and sweetened tea.  There was very little fat and only a small amount of protein.  Read more here about how I learned what the problem was and how I changed my diet.

The jitters I had after my high carbohydrate breakfasts were were a symptom of poor sugar handling.  Similar diets are causing huge increases in the incidence of diabetes here in the U.S. and in other countries as they adopt our diet.

We need to find effective, natural ways to treat and possibly reverse diabetes.  One in three children born today are likely to develop the disease and over 100 million adults are already suffering from diabetes, insulin resistance, or metabolic syndrome. 1 There are many studies that indicate diet is an important factor in the development of diabetes.  Although most of this research applies primarily to type 2 diabetes, an improved diet can also benefit those with type 1 diabetes.

One recent study found that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced by eating full fat dairy products, including milk, yogurt, butter, and cheese. The factor responsible for the reduction seems to be palmitoleic acid, or trans-palmitoleate, which “is found almost exclusively in naturally-occurring dairy and meat trans fats. . . palmitoleic acid is heart healthy. It also has anti-microbial properties and is a key compound in cell communication.” Participants in the study “with those with the highest levels [of trans-palmitoleate] had half the risk of developing diabetes” compared to those with the lowest levels. 2   People have been told to avoid full fat dairy for decades due to the war on fat, and maybe the lack of trans-palmitoleate in the diet has helped increase the incidence of diabetes.  The healthy natural trans fat in milk products is beneficial; however, the artificial trans fats formed in the process of hydrogenation of oils are not healthy and should be avoided. 2

Additional studies have indicated that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, treated, and even possibly reversed by changes in diet.  Specifically, carbohydrate intake should be reduced significantly.  The recommended limit may vary, but most recommend under 100 grams per day and those should be spread evenly throughout the day not eaten all at once, to avoid sugar spikes.

Dr. Antti Heikkilä recommends a limit of 60 grams of carbohydrates per day.  Dr. Heikkilä has treated thousands of patients with diabetes, “each of whom has reduced their sugar and starch intake and been able to stop taking all of their medications.” Dr. Heikkilä says “Reducing the amount of carbohydrates is the first step. We do not know why reducing the amount of carbohydrates changes the overall metabolism. After a certain limit, there is a dramatic change. In my experience the border is 60 grams of carbohydrates, and in some cases it is a bit less.”  I totally agree with Dr. Heikkilä’s second step: the food we eat should be nutrient-dense and of high quality. Many of the nutrients in our food can “protect the body from the harmful effects of sugar.” 4

Dr. Wolfgang Lutz also recommends limited carbohydrates.  He says “The bad news is that diabetes is clearly a disease of poor sugar metabolism, and sugar (i.e., carbohydrates) is the dietary source of this imbalance.  The good news is that diabetes can be reversed by the reduction of carbohydrates in the diet.”  [emphasis added]  Dr. Lutz recommends limiting carbohydrate intake to 72 grams per day or less.  He points out that today’s diets can be as much as 90% carbohydrates.  He gives these examples: breakfast might be sweetened cereal or toast and jelly with a big glass of fruit juice or coffee with lots of sugar; lunch is a sandwich with a thin slice of lean meat plus chips and dessert; dinner could be a fast food bun-heavy sandwich with lots of french fries, or a thick-crust pizza washed down with lots of soda.  Although he doesn’t mention snacks, people frequently eat chips, candy, sodas and other high-carb foods between meals, all of which add to the carbohydrate load.  Does this sound familiar?  Many people eat like this most, if not all, of the time. 7

I can’t write about this subject without mentioning that gut health is key to the absorption of nutrients.  Even if you are eating nutrient-dense high quality foods, you will not be healthy if your body can’t process the nutrients and make them available to your cells.  One method that has shown great benefit in healing the gut and restoring health is Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s Gut and Psychology Syndrome, popularly known as the GAPS diet.  Find Houston-area certified GAPS consultants here.

Also, many people have reversed health problems, including diabetes, by following a nutrient-dense diet as recommended by the Weston A. Price Foundation.  Read here about how to get started on a traditional, real food diet.

I know I haven’t covered everything there is to know about the subject of diet and its impact on diabetes, but I hope I have encouraged you to do some research to find out if any of these changes could help you.


1 An MD’s Perspective On How To Avoid, Treat And Reverse Diabetes by Russell M. Jaffe, MD, PhD
2 Healthy Trans Fats Slash Diabetes Risk by Margie King
3 trans-Palmitoleic acid, other dairy fat biomarkers, and incident diabetes: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)
4 How To Treat Diabetes Naturally – An MD’s Perspective by Antti Heikkilä, MD
5 Dietary Modification: Low Carbohydrate/Ketogenic [link to a list of studies showing the benefits of a low carbohydrate diet]
6 Peter Attia: What if we’re wrong about diabetes? (video about Dr. Attia’s perspective on diabetes and what causes it)
7 Life Without Bread by Christian B. Allan PhD and Wolfgang Lutz MD

You might also want to read

Sugar Brain Fog
Could You Give Up Sugar?

Posted in Dairy, Diabetes, Diet, Fats, Health, Healthy Fats, Low Carbohydrate, Nutrition, Real Food, Research, Science | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nutty Granola – Grain-free, Paleo and Raw

Paleo Granola with BlueberriesI have always loved granola!  It’s crunchy, fruity, and delicious.  However, the recipe I made many, many years ago had lots of oats, unsoaked nuts & seeds and processed vegetable oil.  So, I stopped eating granola.  Anyway, It isn’t as nutrient dense as my smoothies or eggs & bacon.  But I have to admit I did miss my granola, even though I have NOT missed eating unhealthy boxed cold cereals.

Oats, the common mainstay of granola, need to be soaked and cooked to make them more digestible.  Read more here about why toasted oats in granola are not good for you.  Although some people have had success making granola from soaked and cooked oats, most say it doesn’t make the crunchy granola that I like.  It’s more chewy.

I found several versions of grain-free granola and decided to try making my own.  I took some ideas from each, used soaked and dehydrated nuts and seeds, and other safe, healthy ingredients to make my own granola. I wanted all the nuts and seeds to be soaked and dehydrated and everything to remain raw but digestible.   This recipe makes granola just the way I like it.  It adds variety and satisfaction that I had been missing in my diet.  I am so glad I can enjoy my homemade granola again!

Here’s how I made my healthier version of granola:

Nutty Granola – Grain-free, Paleo and Raw

Bowl of nutty granola


2 cups almonds, soaked and dehydrated
2 cups raw walnuts, soaked and dehydrated
2 cups raw cashews, soaked and dehydrated
2 cups, raw pecans, soaked and dehydrated
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked and dehydrated
1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked and dehydrated
1 cup dehydrated mango chunks (I use Wilderness Family Naturals)
1 cup coconut chips (I use Wilderness Family Naturals)
2 cups organic raisins (I use Woodstock)
1/4 cup coconut oil (I use Tropical Traditions Gold Label)
1/2 cup raw honey, preferably local (I use Gulf Coast Honey Bee Farms)
1 tablespoon organic vanilla
1 tablespoon Ceylon cinnamon (I use Frontier organic)
1 teaspoon sea salt (I use Celtic Sea Salt)


Since I do not have a dehydrator, I buy my nuts and seeds already soaked and dehydrated. I have bought nuts and seeds from both Wilderness Family Naturals and Radiant Life but most of those used in this recipe are from Wilderness Family Naturals.  If you have a dehydrator, here’s a video about how to soak and dehydrate your own raw nuts and seeds.

Combine the coconut oil, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt in a saucepan over very low heat until melted and well mixed. To preserve the enzymes in the honey, it is important that the heat is never hotter than your fingers can safely touch. Coconut oil melts at about 76 degrees Fahrenheit, so the mixture should be easy to mix well before it is too hot to touch.

Chopping nutsMeanwhile chop nuts. You can use a food processor or a blender, but I found that the easiest and for me the best way is to put the nuts, one kind at a time, in a gallon Ziploc bag and pound with a wooden rolling-pin. This method results in the most evenly broken up pieces. Both the food processor and blender seemed to turn a lot of the nuts into dust before all the pieces are broken up.

Mixing bowl of granolaPut all the nuts and seeds in a large bowl. Pour the coconut oil mixture over the nuts and seeds and stir well. I add the coconut oil mixture a little at a time to help distribute it evenly. When well combined, add the mango chunks, coconut chips, and raisins.

Store in airtight glass containers in the refrigerator. I use half-gallon or quart mason jars.

This recipe makes about 4 quarts of grain-free granola.

My favorite way to eat this granola is in a bowl with organic blueberries and raw cream or milk. Oooom good! Delicious and crunchy, just like I like it!

Variations: You can add or substitute other dried fruits such as chopped dates or use other kinds of nuts.  Maple syrup can be used instead of honey.

Posted in Gluten-free, Grain Free, Health, Nutrition, Organic Food, Paleo, Raw Food, Raw Milk | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is Drinking Raw Milk Like Playing Russian Roulette?

Gallon bottle of raw milkAm I playing Russian roulette?  I drink raw milk or raw milk kefir every day.  The FDA and state health department officials frequently compare drinking raw milk with playing Russian roulette. Is drinking raw milk really that dangerous?

Let’s find out . . .

What is Russian Roulette?

According to Wikipedia, Russian roulette is “a potentially lethal game of chance in which a ‘player’ places a single round in a revolver, spins the cylinder, places the muzzle against his head, and pulls the trigger. ‘Russian’ refers to the supposed country of origin, and roulette to the element of risk-taking and the spinning of the revolver’s cylinder being reminiscent of spinning a roulette wheel.”

If the revolver has six chambers, there is a one in six chance of death.  Okay, that’s a one in six or 16.7% chance of death.  Russian roulette involves a high enough risk of death that most people would not willingly take.  I certainly would not!

If the risk of death from Russian roulette is about 16.7%, what is the risk of death from drinking raw milk?

What Is The Risk of Death From Drinking Raw Milk?

What is my chance of dying from drinking raw milk?  Is it anywhere close to Russian roulette’s 16.7% risk?  The CDC claims that there have been two deaths from raw milk over the years, but those two were from eating unregulated Mexican raw milk cheese (whether the cheese was made from raw milk is disputed) not from drinking fluid raw milk.  So what is the real risk of death from drinking raw milk?  Zero %  Yes, based on CDC data, actually there is zero percent risk of death from drinking raw milk!

What Is The Risk of Illness From Drinking Raw Milk?

Well, it’s now apparent that Russian roulette is way off the mark (target?) to describe the actual risk of death from drinking raw milk, but what about the risk of illness?  Does the CDC get closer to the truth with the risk of illness from raw milk?  Unfortunately, the CDC exaggerates (deliberately?) the risk of illness from drinking raw milk by inappropriate comparisons.  Instead of using the number of illnesses from raw milk, the CDC compares ‘outbreaks’ which can consist of as few as two illnesses to thousands of illnesses.  An ‘outbreak’ from raw milk usually affects only a small number of people whereas an ‘outbreak’ from pasteurized milk can include hundreds and even thousands of cases.

When we look at the actual likelihood of an illness from raw milk, here’s what we find, using government data:

Government statistics show us that the rate of illness from raw milk is very low.  According to a 2007 CDC survey, about 3 percent of the US population consumes raw milk; in 2014, this is at least 10 million people.  There are about 50 illnesses associated (but not proven) from raw milk every year. According to the CDC, there are approximately 50 illnesses per year from raw milk. (The majority of these are mild, and this number is probably over-reported.)  Using government data, we can show that the rate of illness from raw milk is .000005 per year.  Thus, there is no reason to single out raw milk as an inherently dangerous food. Many foods allowed on the market have a much greater rate of illness. Response to the Northern Illinois Public Health Consortium, Inc. [source]

Another way to look at the data: if we assume that those 10 million people drinking raw milk are averaging one drink per day, that adds up to about 3.65 billion drinks of raw milk per year. The CDC estimates 50 illnesses from raw milk each year (this number is unsubstantiated and may be overstated). Dividing the number of illnesses by the number of drinks per year yields a 0.00000137% chance of illness from each drink of raw milk.  Even if you calculate the risk per year (of maybe 365 drinks of milk), the risk of getting sick from drinking raw milk is only 0.0005%. Either percentage is well within a margin I call very safe!  And even if these estimates are off by an order of magnitude, the risk is still very small.

Is Drinking Raw Milk Like Playing Russian Roulette?

The risk of death when playing Russian roulette can be one chance in six!

The risk of death from drinking raw milk is zero!

Even the estimated risk of illness (per year) is only one in 200,000 (based on 50 illnesses for 10,000,000 people who drink raw milk).

I don’t see any valid comparison between drinking raw milk and playing Russian roulette!  Do you?  No, I am definitely NOT playing Russian roulette when I drink raw milk!  What I am doing is enjoying the taste and health benefits while supporting my local, family farms.  Drinking raw milk is a win, win for me and my dairy farmer friends!

Will this be the end of using this invalid comparison?  Probably not.  I bet we hear it again.


So why does the FDA bring up the Russian roulette threat so often when there is no basis for it? I think they use it because they can’t use facts that don’t exist.  They must resort to emotional threats and scare tactics–that’s all they have. The FDA’s campaign against raw milk is not really about food safety at all, it is about food freedom and Big Dairy profits!  Banning or hindering the sale of raw milk can put small family dairies out of business, but it does provide substantial support for large dairies, many of which are so unclean that they could never produce safe raw milk.


Response to the Northern Illinois Public Health Consortium, Inc., The Weston A. Price Foundation
Those Pathogens, What You Should Know by Ted Beals MD
CDC Cherry Picks Data to Make Case Against Raw Milk
Majority of dairy-related disease outbreaks linked to raw milk, CDC

Other posts you might want to read

A CDC study carefully selects data and criteria to support anti-raw milk position
Drinking Raw Milk Is Safe – Based on Government Data
John Sheehan, the Man Behind the FDA’s War on Raw Milk
Milk – Why Homogenized, Pasteurized? Follow the Profit!
Way Back When Dairy is being forced out of the Houston market!

Photo credit: Gallon bottle of milk from Paradise Springs Farm (, Victor, Idaho. Photo submitted by Tibby Plasse. Photo by Bob Boulware, Plaid Tractor Designs.

Posted in Access to Real Food, Dairy, Food Freedom, Food Rights, Local Farming, Raw Milk, Raw Milk Safety | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Highlights of Nutrition for Chronic Disease Presentations at the Houston Wise Traditions Conference

Houston Wise Traditions Conference RoomI did not get to attend many of the Saturday speaker tracks because I was greeting people and helping provide information at the Weston A. Price Foundation table.  As co-leader of the Houston-Galveston chapter, I wanted to meet and welcome as many of those attending as possible to let them know how glad we were to have them with us and to be sure they found the correct rooms for their sessions.

However, the number of new attendees was less on Sunday, and I was able to sit in on several excellent talks.  If you were not able to attend the conference or didn’t get to go to these sessions, I want to share with you a few of the highlights from the Sunday sessions.  If you would like to hear all the speakers but could not attend or missed some sessions you wanted to hear, you can purchase recordings of the entire conference.

Catherine Masden ND

Catherine Masden NDCatherine Masden ND and Susan Salce ND were first on the Sunday track for Nutrition for Chronic Disease.  The topic was Dis-Ease to Health: Nutrition, Homeopathy & EFT.  Both Catherine and Susan practice with Natural Health Solutions in Tomball, Texas.  They are naturopathic doctors (ND), nutritional consultants, and master herbalists.  They are members of the National Center of Homeopathy (NCH) and Registered Naturopathic Diplomat (RND).

Catherine discussed the toxins in our environment, especially pesticides, chemicals, and genetically modified organisms.  She recommended following the Environmental Working Group’s shopping guide that lists the  “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” to minimize our intake of poisons.

The subject that seemed to be the most interesting to the audience was Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).  We all were shown how to relieve our stress using a healing tool that is based tapping “established energy meridian points” on the body.  The tapping stimulates acupressure points on the head and upper body to release energy.  We went through the EFT routine twice to evaluate its effect on our stress levels.  We seemed to be much calmer after the tapping.

Dr. Dawn Ewing

Dr. Dawn Ewing NDDr. Ewing is a naturopathic practitioner in Houston, Texas, Executive Director of the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine (IABDM), and author of Let the Tooth Be Known.  She practices at Holistic Health Alternatives in Spring, Texas.  Dr. Ewing was second on the Sunday Nutrition for Chronic Disease track, and her topic was Your Teeth & Gums, A Chronic Disease Risk Factor.  Her early background as a dental hygienist led her into research on health and nutrition as it is associated with dental health.

I learned a lot about tooth disease and how it interacts with our overall health.  For example, there is a correlation between breast cancer and root canals in the teeth associated with the breast on the Dental Meridian Chart.  The subject of dental meridians is fascinating.  Be sure to check out the link to Dr. Ewing’s web page. Dr. Ewing said that 98% of women with breast cancer had a root canal in one of the breast teeth on the same side of the body!  Dr. Ewing also talked about the harmful effects of the mercury vapors released from dental amalgam (the “silver” fillings in teeth).  I have lots of amalgam fillings and was alarmed to know that chewing food and brushing the teeth releases a significant amount of mercury vapor which I then breathe in or swallow.

Kim Schuette CN

Kim Schuette CNKim Schuette is a Certified Nutritionist and Certified GAPS© Instructor, practices nutritional therapy at Biodynamic Wellness in Solana Beach, California.  She offers in-office as well as phone and Skype consultations.  I heard Kim speak at the annual WAPF conference in Atlanta in November 2013.  Her success with nutritional therapy is outstanding.  In Atlanta as well as at our conference she presented several case histories of successful treatment of epilepsy, type 1 diabetes, and bipolar.

In Houston, Kim talked about how the body digests and assimilates nutrients, and especially how permeable intestines (aka, “leaky gut”) causes autoimmune disorders.  She emphasized the problems with the estrogenic activity of soy formula on both boy and girl babies.  She mentioned the importance of using bone broth and/or meat stock for health, a conclusion that I totally agree with.  I drink a cup of bone broth every morning.  She had lots more to say about bone health, osteoporosis, minerals, detoxing, and EMF (electro-magnetic fields).

Sally Fallon Morell

Sally Fallon MorellThe last speaker I will write about is Sally Fallon Morell, the co-founder, president, and inspiration of the Weston A. Price Foundation.  I did not get a chance to hear her talk on Traditional Diets Saturday in Houston; however, I have heard her presentation at a previous annual conference.  She is phenomenal!  I really don’t know how anyone can attend her Traditional Diets presentation without being convinced that good nutrition is essential to good health!

At the Houston conference, I did hear her talk about her own health secrets, a presentation she had only given once before, in Europe.  She emphasized eating three regular meals a day, with no between meal snacks.  Hunger between meals is an indicator that we have not been eating enough healthy fats.  Another of her tips resonates with me.  It’s what I do–either eat with other people or with a good book.  Yes!

Until Next Time

If you were unable to attend our conference last weekend or you were there but want to hear the talks you missed, you can order the conference recordings in several different packages.  Contact Fleetwood Onsite.

The Houston WAPF chapter will be planning and scheduling more meetings to expand on the knowledge we gained at the conference.  If you would like to learn and share with us, join our Meetup group, Houston Real Food Nutrition.  There is no fee to join and you will be notified of all events.

Posted in Diabetes, Diet, Events, Fats, GMOs, Health, Healthy Fats, Houston Real Food Nutrition, Medicine, Nutrition, Real Food, Soy, Traditional Food, WAPF Conference | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nutritious Food is the Focus at the WAPF Nutrition and Health Conference

Sunday Conference LunchWow!  It’s hard to believe it’s over.  We just completed the Houston Regional Wise Traditions Conference sponsored by the Weston A. Price Foundation.  We had been anticipating it for so long, we thought it would never come, but finally it was here and it was exciting!

The people who attended were very enthusiastic and sooo glad they had come.  I was volunteering at the WAPF table for much of the conference, but fortunately I did get to hear some of the speakers.

I will be writing about a lot of the information, tips and hints that I learned as well as the people I talked with and the vendors in the exhibit hall.  However, first I am going to tell you about the food, which, of course, is the focus of good nutrition–eating nutrient-dense, healthy Real Food!

If you haven’t been lucky enough to attend a WAPF conference before, you may not know that most of the meals (the lunches at the regional conferences) are included in the registration and are prepared by the hotel staff using donated food.  My husband and I have attended several national conferences beginning with the one in Chicago in 2009, and we always enjoy the food.

Since our first conference experience in Chicago, we have really looked forward to the food almost as much as for the opportunity to learn nutrition and health information.  The food is always delicious, well prepared, and satisfying, but even more important, we don’t need to be careful what we choose to eat because we know that it is all healthy.

I’m sure you’ve been to conferences or meetings where you either had to avoid some of the food or just throw caution to the winds and eat it anyway, knowing it was mostly junk.  That never happens at a WAPF conference.  Even people who need to be gluten-free can know what is safe to eat, and that all the food has been prepared according to wise traditional methods.

Well, enough about food at other conferences, let’s talk about the food at our Houston conference.  Both Saturday and Sunday lunches were included in the registration.  The donated food came from both local and national providers, and I want to give a huge thanks to all of them for helping us enjoy our conference more by having good healthy food to eat.


Saturday Lunch

Let’s begin with Saturday lunch.  The menu included a mixed green salad donated by Last Organic Outpost, located in Houston’s fifth ward where they teach urban farming.  They donated the greens for the salad both Saturday and Sunday.  The vinaigrette salad dressing was prepared with Olea Estates olive oil.  Olea olive oil is pure extra virgin organic produced on a family farm in Greece.

The main course was organ meat loaf donated by MeatWorks Butchery & Market, a farm and butcher shop where they raise grassfed beef, pastured lamb, pig, and chicken.  The meat loaf was delicious, and we decided it probably had some beef heart along with ground beef and seasoned perfectly.  The meat loaf was accompanied by kale greens from Naturally Nourished and mashed potatoes.  I can only say that the meat, potatoes, and greens were all super delicious, satisfying.  I know I will be repeating delicious too many times, but how many ways are there to say it?

Desserts at all meals were fruits.  Saturday lunch dessert was poached pears with honey goat cheese.  A perfect ending to a tasty lunch.  Here are photos of some of Saturday’s dishes, from left to right–mixed green salad, mashed potatoes, organ meat loaf, and poached pears:

Mixed greens saladMashed PotatoesOrgan Meat LoafPoached Pears with honey goat cheese

Saturday Dinner

Saturday dinner - pulled porkAlthough it was not included in the registration, my husband and I stayed for the Saturday night dinner and showing of the film Farmaggedon. As with the lunch, the dinner was prepared with donated Real Food.  The salad greens were donated by Last Organic Outpost; the dressing was prepared with Olea Estates olive oil; the moist and tasty Puerto Rican BBQ pulled pork was donated by Eden’s Cove Farm in Cedar Creek, Texas; and the delicious fermented beets were donated by Miller’s Organic Farm in Pennsylvania.

Sunday Lunch

You would think it would be difficult to top the food so far; however, Sunday lunch had some special items that were extra delicious.  Sunday lunch began with a mixed greens salad donated by Last Organic Outpost dressed with Olea Estate olive oil vinaigrette.  The main course included vegetable frittata with pastured eggs from Jeremiah Cunningham’s pastured eggs, from Coyote Creek Farm in Elgin, Texas; pork breakfast sausage donated by MeatWorks Butchery & Market; a selection of raw milk cheese from Brazos Valley Cheese near Waco, Texas; liver paté donated by Windy Meadows Family Farm in Campbell, Texas; breakfast potatoes; and delicious Greek olives from Olea Estate.  All the food was delicious and there was nothing left on my plate when I was finished, but the extra, super special items on the Sunday lunch plate were the Windy Meadows paté, raw milk cheese, and the Greek olives. The photos of my Sunday lunch plate show different sides of the same plate of food.  The food was piled up, but I didn’t want you to miss seeing all of the goodies.

The first photo below shows the flavorful pork sausage and the beautiful cheeses from Brazos Valley Cheese, which included horseradish pecan cheddar, brie, and smoked gouda.  Their raw milk cheeses are truly extra special.  The second photo of my Sunday lunch plate shows the salad, fermented beets, and fritatta.  The photo at the top of the post is also of the Sunday lunch and highlights the potatoes, Windy Meadows paté on sourdough, and Olea Greek olives.  A very important part of every meal was refreshing kombucha donated by Houston’s own Kickin’ Kombucha.  I don’t want to forget those who donated food but couldn’t afford to donate enough to get a mention in the program or on the menu.  We appreciated very much all the extras that went along with our meal.  Thanks to all who donated any amount of Real Food!

Sunday Lunch sausage and pateSunday lunch - beets and frittataKickin Kombucha




Attendees–What were your favorite foods?

If you attended the WAPF conference in Houston, I would love to hear how you liked the food and what your favorites were.  Please leave a comment.

Although I have written about this before, some of you may not know that I am one of the volunteer co-leaders of the Houston-Galveston Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. For information about our chapter, go to the chapter website.  If you couldn’t make it to the conference, you can order DVDs of the entire conference through the Fleetwood Onsite.  I plan to leave the linked conference banner on Real Food Houston so that you can easily find the DVDs and recipes.

This post is shared on Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.

Posted in Eggs, Ferments, Health, Healthy Fats, Nutrition, Pastured Eggs, Real Food, Traditional Food, WAPF Conference | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Is Raw Milk Easier to Digest Than Pasteurized Milk?

Raw milk from Healthyway DairyYou have probably heard about a recent study 1 from Stanford University that compared digestion of raw milk to the digestion of pasteurized milk among a small group of people who had been determined to be lactose intolerant.  The study was published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.  There was much media fanfare touting the failures of raw milk to overcome lactose intolerance.  Headlines included Study: Raw milk no help for lactose intolerance, Raw Milk Doesn’t Help Lactose Intolerance, Study Shows, Is Lactose Intolerance Relieved By Raw Milk? Scientists Find These Claims Untrue. As far as I know this is the first and only serious study to compare the digestibility of raw milk to pasteurized and soy milks. Let’s look at what we can learn from the study.

Study Results

The study was conducted by researchers at Stanford University. This is the study’s stated conclusion:

Raw milk failed to reduce lactose malabsorption or lactose intolerance symptoms compared with pasteurized milk among adults positive for lactose malabsorption. These results do not support widespread anecdotal claims that raw milk reduces the symptoms of lactose intolerance. 1

The study does not appear to be biased in favor of pasteurized milk because at least two of the study’s sponsors–the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Raw Milk Institute–certainly were expecting and hoping for a different result.  One of the study’s authors did say that “When I heard that claim it didn’t make sense to me because, regardless of the bacteria, raw milk and pasteurized milk have the same amount of lactose in them . . .” 2

As with most studies, it can be difficult to account for all variables and to find a sample size large enough to produce a definitive result. This study is no exception.  There are several problems that might have caused misleading results.

Study Size

The number of study participants was very small–only sixteen people were selected out of a pool of 440 applicants. The sixteen were chosen based on the results of hydrogen (H2) breath testing.  Although it is the preferred method of testing for lactose intolerance, 3 there are several conditions that can produce incorrect results.

As noted by Mark McAfee, chairman of the board at the Raw Milk Institute, “The study actually shows that the H2 breath test is insufficient to diagnose milk sugar digestion problems in 97 percent of the study applicants. Most people are not overtly lactose intolerant but are better described as pasteurization intolerant, something for which medical science may not have an appropriate test.” 4

Notice that the study rejected 97% of the applicants who thought they had problems digesting milk.  The preferred test may not be adequate for determining difficulty in digesting pasteurized milk.

Hydrogen (H2) Breath Test

The breath test used to select participants is “based on the fact that there is no source for hydrogen gas in humans other than bacterial metabolism of carbohydrates.”  To be accurate the tests “are performed in the fasting state after at least one day of a low fibre diet.” 5

However, the test can produce incorrect results under several conditions:

The hydrogen breath test depends on the presence of hydrogen producing bacteria. However, a considerable proportion of non‐hydrogen producing bacteria, which can yield false negative results, has been observed in some but not all studies. Several other potential sources of error exist, such as carbohydrate malabsorption in chronic pancreatitis and coeliac disease, with false positive tests for SIBO [small intestinal bacterial overgrowth] due to colonic fermentation and gas production, and gastrointestinal motor disorders, where delayed gastric emptying may cause false negative tests and rapid transit through the small bowel will produce false positive breath tests. False positive results may also be due to the oral bacterial flora and if the subject has failed to adhere to a low fibre diet the day before the test. 5

Soy Milk Control

Another problem with the study may be in the use of soy milk as a control, since soy can be difficult to digest.  Unfermented soy foods, including soy milk, contain “powerful protease inhibitors that inhibit our digestive enzymes and overwork the pancreas.” These inhibitors make it difficult for the body to break down soy protein, causing bloating, indigestion, and even constipation. 6 With the known problems digesting unfermented soy, it is difficult to accept the validity of the study when the following results are found:

By day 7 of drinking, lactose intolerance symptoms were equally as severe, whether raw milk or pasteurized milk was consumed. The symptoms reported by people who had consumed either the raw or pasteurized milk were significantly worse than the symptoms reported by the patients who drank soy milk.1 [emphasis added]

Length of Study

Improvements or other changes to digestion may not be discovered in the short period of time this study was conducted. The study consisted of a crossover trial of three periods of eight days each. Each of three groups were randomly given raw milk, pasteurized milk, or soy milk for eight days then switched to another milk, etc. Improvement in beneficial gut bacteria which might result from drinking milk raw probably takes longer than 8 days to become apparent. 4

My Conclusion

The study is interesting and certainly worth additional investigation; however, there are too many unanswered questions and too much room for error to accept these results at face value. Even the study authors admitted that the short period of time and limited number of participants were limitations. 7

With 97% of study applicants rejected, maybe problems digesting pasteurized milk encompass far more than simply lactose intolerance, as suggested by Mark McAfee.  Maybe the H2 breath test isn’t adequate for determining study participants.

In the end, if no further studies are undertaken, you may be the best, and only, judge of whether raw milk is easier for you to digest.  You can try drinking raw milk, starting with a small amount.  If tolerated, you may increase the amount gradually.  I did not grow up drinking raw milk, but I have been drinking it now for over eight years and thoroughly enjoying it. I have had no problems digesting raw milk, but then I did not have problems with the digestion of pasteurized milk either. I just didn’t like the taste of processed milk. Now I enjoy drinking milk again!


1 Effect of Raw Milk on Lactose Intolerance: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study, Annals of Family Medicine, by Sarah Mummah, MPhil, Beibei Oelrich, MD, PhD, Jessica Hope, MSN, NP, Quyen Vu, BAH and Christopher D. Gardner, PhD
2 Claim that raw milk reduces lactose intolerance doesn’t pass smell test, study finds, Stanford School of Medicine
3 Lactose tolerance tests, MedlinePlus
4 Stanford Study on Raw Milk Digestibility: Conflicting Interpretations, the Weston A. Price Foundation
5 Use and abuse of hydrogen breath tests, International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
6 The Whole Soy Story by Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN
7 Raw Milk Not Better for Lactose Intolerance, Daily Rx

This post is shared on Fight Back Friday @FoodRenegade.

Posted in Health, Raw Milk, Real Food, Research | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Co-op Membership Can Really Help the Budget – Introducing Natural Living Food Co-op

Co-op fruit sharesThere is a wonderful resource just south of Houston in League City, Texas!  Natural Living Food Co-op, founded by Lisa Piper in 2005, is a complete food co-op.   I first met Lisa several years ago when she had a table of organic clothing at the Nassau Bay Farmer’s Market at Erma’s Nutrition Center.  I bought a pair of bamboo socks–they were sooo soft.  [Organic clothes is a subject most often overlooked when people talk about going organic, but that's the subject of a future post.]

Well, Lisa has gone way beyond her initial organic clothing offerings.  As she tells it, “Over the years I have tweaked this business and grown from clothing, to alternative health to educational classes. Each part of Natural Living now has a pulse of it’s own and is ever growing and changing.”

Co-op extra produceAs Natural Living has evolved, it has become a full-spectrum food co-op that offers a wide variety of “organic, natural and specialty foods in bulk and at a discount.”

Friday Open Store and Produce Shares

Lisa also operates a store at her home on Friday afternoons from 3 to 7 pm.  I visited LIsa’s Friday open store last week and wanted to share with you what a great resource it is. Her produce co-op offers small and large shares which are ordered online and picked up on Fridays.   The produce is primarily from local area farms and includes both fruits and vegetables.  You must be a co-op member to place bulk orders or buy co-op produce shares; however, the Friday store has a selection of extra fruits and vegetables left over from the co-op shares which you can buy even if you are not a member of the co-op.  I bought some red potatoes and an artichoke (shown in the photo above).

Seeds, beans, and grainsOrganic packaged foodsOne side of Lisa’s Friday store has shelves full of organic beans, seeds, rice, and more, all of which can be measured out for you.  On the other side are packaged organic foods like herbal teas, flour, Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, olive oil, etc.  There is also a large selection of bulk herbs and spices.


Natural Living Bulk Sweeteners

Online Bulk Food Co-op

In addition to produce shares and the Friday store, Natural Living members have a huge selection of bulk items that may be ordered online.  Available bulk foods include dried beans, grains, frozen foods, dried fruits, nuts and nut butters, jams, rice, flour, and much more–it’s a long list! To give you an idea of just how much variety the bulk co-op offers, I took a screenshot of just the list of sweeteners.  Click on the photo to get a larger image that you can actually read.

Natural LIving co-op offers many benefits to members.  The annual cost of membership is currently $30 per year, and the fee is prorated for partial years.  Co-op membership includes:

-Organic produce box shares
-Local organic meats, goats milk, goats cheese, eggs,honey
-Organic bulk non-produce items (dry goods, specialty foods, personal products etc.)
-Newsletter which includes recipes, organic world food news, green tips and more
-Discounts for local businesses
-Notices on healthy cooking classes, nutrition seminars & sustainable community events

Organic clothingHerbs and spicesLisa Piper has many talents, ranging from painting her organic Texas cotton clothing to teaching raw food classes to personal chef services. She is a member of Green co-op America and Go Texan and has written guides on organic clothing and given seminars.

If you live in the area, I highly recommend that you check out Lisa Piper’s Natural Living Food Co-op.  I couldn’t begin to list everything Lisa offers in her co-op.  For more information and a complete list of the foods and services offered, visit the Natural Living website.

Posted in Co-ops, Farmers Markets, Food on a budget, Organic Food, Raw Food, Real Food | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Food Freedom is essential for all of us no matter what kind of food we eat!

Raw Milk FreedomDo you drink raw milk?  Do  you eat pastured meat?  Do you like to get your fruits and vegetables direct from the farm?  Do you want to make your own choices as to which foods you eat?

If any of these are important to you, know that the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) is the only organization that supports and defends your right to choose the foods you want to eat!

Farmers, dairies, consumers, co-ops, and all supporters of food freedom can and should be members of the FTCLDF!

The FTCLDF helps when individuals can’t afford to defend themselves, such as:

  • Paying for expensive litigation to save small farms and their communities
  • Having attorneys answer “farmer 911″ phone calls in the wee hours of the morning
  • Suing the FDA and USDA over unfair small farm regulations

Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution, says

Regardless of what nutritional camp you identify with, food freedom is not only vitally important, it is the unifying thread between all nutritional approaches. Want access to raw dairy? Pastured meat? Non-GMO fruits and vegetables? The only organization that fights for your right to these foods is the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. This is why I not only joined these folks but make my main philanthropic activity focused on FTCLDF. Even though I’m the “Paleo” guy, I believe food freedom trumps any and all nutritional ideologies. If this resonates with you, please support FTCLDF.

Robb Wolf, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, and Sally Fallon Morell are all members of the FTCLDF.  My husband and I are members too!

The FTCLDF has helped Vernon Hershberger, Mark McAfee, Alvin Schlangen, and many more.  Read how they were helped.

The need for legal representation of our food rights is expanding and the FTCLDF needs your help to continue the fight.

The FTCLDF is having its first membership drive and, as a bonus, is offering free gifts if you join before midnight March 28th. Please join today!

Eat the Yolks

One of the great gifts available to new members

When you join you may choose one of these super gifts:

  1. Polyface YOU Workshop with Joel Salatin 3-DVD Set
  2. Cultured Food for Life Book by Donna Schwenk
  3. The Ancestral Table Cookbook by Russ Crandall
  4. Eat the Yolks Book by Liz Wolfe, NTP
  5. The Heirloom Life Gardener Guidebook by Jere & Emilee Gettle
  6. Paleo Ebook Bundle by Robb Wolf

Other benefits of membership in the FTCLDF include 24/7 response to questions and the “possibility of representation in court; the Fund typically pays for all court costs. The Fund is not an insurance company and cannot guarantee representation on all legal matters. Your membership fees and donations help to keep local food sources available and preserve family farms facing unjust enforcement actions.”  My husband and I have called their help line and got immediate response.  You can too!

For more information about the FTCLDF, visit their member page.


Save Your Bacon

Disclosure: I receive no compensation for this promotion. I strongly support Food Freedom and the superb work of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund!

Posted in Access to Good Food, Access to Real Food, Food Freedom, Food Rights, Health Freedom, Raw Milk | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blackberry Cobbler with Crumb Topping

Blackberry Cobbler with Crumb ToppingI found some really fresh, beautiful organic blackberries last week and immediately thought of a fruit pie.  What’s the easiest, quickest way to have fruit pie?  It’s a cobbler, and the quickest topping is a crumb topping.

After some online research into crumb toppings, I decided to upgrade the standard and create my own healthier version.

To start, I reduced the total amount of sugar and also substituted unrefined organic sucanat for the usual processed white sugar.  I added a little maple syrup for flavor. then to avoid the necessity of soaking or fermenting, I used high extraction Einkorn flour rather than white all-purpose.  As always, I used organic ingredients to avoid the poisons sprayed on conventional foods.

I took some photos in case it turned out all right. Well, it was super and quite sweet enough for dessert. I’m glad I had those photos so I could share the recipe with you. I will certainly be making this again, maybe with local blueberries when they’re in season.

Blackberry Cobbler with Crumb Topping

Bowl of blackberry cobblerIngredients

Fruit Filling

4 cups organic blackberries
1/4 cup organic sucanat (I used Rapunzel)
1 tablespoon organic Einkorn flour (I used Jovial)
1 tablespoon organic maple syrup (I used Shady Maple)
1 tablespoon fresh organic lemon juice

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup organic Einkorn flour (I used Jovial)
1/4 cup Organic sucanat (I used Rapunzel)
1/4 cup butter (I used Kerrygold)
dash of cinnamon (I used Frontier organic)
dash of nutmeg (I used Frontier organic)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix filling ingredients together and put into a baking dish.

Combine flour, sucanat, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut in butter–I use a pastry blender–until well combined. Sprinkle the crumb topping over fruit mixture.

Bake about 40 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is slightly browned.

This cobbler was very good slightly warm and even better cold the next day. Although this recipe has much less sugar than typical crumb-topped pies, it is much healthier and is still sweet enough for a satisfying dessert.

It took only about 10 to 15 minutes from washing the fruit until the cobbler was in the oven.

For a grain-free, gluten-free version of this fruit cobbler, try this one on Food Renegade.

Posted in Healthy Fats, Organic Food, Real Food, Recipes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Head to Houston to Find Answers to What Ails You

Today’s post was originally published by Kimberly Hartke on The Healthy Home Economist.  Kimberly highlights some of the exciting features of the upcoming Houston Regional Wise Traditions Conference.

Sally Fallon Morell
Are you struggling with a chronic illness? Does someone in your family have an awful disease and medical science seems to have no answers? The Weston A. Price Foundation is a life raft for people like you. As the leading nutrition education non-profit in the world, WAPF is educating the consumer about the health benefits of farm fresh foods, whole foods and home cooking.Too often in this hectic, fast paced modern world, we are running on fumes. Skipping meals, substituting junk food for the real thing, doping up on energy drinks and other beverages laden with caffeine (a stimulant). Of course, then there’s the binge drinking of alcohol (a depressant), smoking and crazy partying.As we overindulge in these processed foods and unhealthy crutches, our body starts to break down.Our physical and even our mental health is compromised by our lack of proper nutrients, vitamins and minerals vital to human health.

The human body is a powerful machine, but it needs to be appropriately fueled.

Our epidemic of chronic disease, is leading many to return to proper nutrition. More than ever before, minds are open to alternative medicine and its approach to achieving optimal health.

Curious health seekers will have a chance to learn more about nutrition and holistic wellness at the Wise Traditions Regional Conference, March 29-30 in Houston, Texas. The conference is open to the public and attracts health-conscious consumers as well as health professionals, farmers, chefs, and journalists.

>> Click here to learn more <<

The Spring 2014 regional conference will take place at the Marriott South at Houston’s Hobby Airport.

WAPF Houston Regional ConferenceThe Weston A. Price Foundation, is known for its international conference, and now is offering, smaller Regional conferences to feed the growing hunger for healthy dietary wisdom. The non-profit promotes a revival of traditional foods rich in essential nutrients, including meat, eggs, butter and full-fat dairy products.

Julie, a recent attendee to a regional conference had this to say, “It was easy to network at the regional conference. For those living in the area, you can find a nearby source for nutritional foods. The presentations helped me understand the interconnectedness of environment, food, how it’s grown and prepared, and our health. ”

Over the course of the weekend, attendees will have a chance to attend life-changing lectures and cooking demonstrations and visit exhibits showcasing local foods, interesting products and services and local practitioners. Topics of talks include “Myths and Truths about Vegetarian Diets,” “The Vital Fat-Soluble Vitamins” and “Having a Healthy Pregnancy.”

For those who want an in-depth look at the nutrition research of Dr. Weston A. Price, the weekend kicks off with a morning presentation by the foundation’s president, Sally Fallon Morell, titled “Nourishing Traditional Diets: The Key to Vibrant Health.”

The rest of the weekend is packed with presentations led by fascinating speakers including Dr. Dawn Ewing, a Houston naturopathic practitioner and author of Let the Tooth Be Known, which examines the links between oral and systemic health; and Kaayla Daniel, PhD who is also known as the “The Naughty Nutritionist” because of her ability to outrageously and humorously debunk nutritional myths ; and Chris Masterjohn, PhD, the creator of, who demonstrates that cholesterol is not harmful but rather critical to cognitive learning and memory.

Blogger Kelly the Kitchen Kop was a featured speaker at a regional conference last year. She says, “As much as I love the Wise Traditions international conference and all that goes with it, this quaint event felt less rushed.  There was no plane hopping or extra travel expenses to get there.  Sally and other ‘big hitters’ were able to answer questions or chat after their talks.  Many who came were excited to have this option nearby, especially for those for whom the travel expenses OR the time commitment isn’t possible.  It is a great idea to offer these smaller conferences, and I hope they continue to do so in the coming years. “

Houston Regional Wise Traditions full or one-day registrations are available; the registration fee includes admission to the lectures and exhibit hall and a delicious, nutritious lunch each day. In addition, Saturday evening’s events are open to the public. All are welcome to purchase tickets to Saturday evening’s dinner and attend a free film screening, with free-will donations benefitting the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization committed to protecting family farms and artisan food producers from unlawful government interference in the sale of raw milk and other artisan farm foods.

For a complete schedule and registration information, please visit:

Or, contact the conference registrar: 304-724-3006.

About the Author

Kim HartkeKimberly Hartke is the publicist for The Weston A. Price Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nutrition education foundation with the mission of disseminating accurate, science-based information on diet and health. Named after nutrition pioneer Weston A. Price, DDS, author of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, the Washington, DC-based Foundation publishes a quarterly journal for its 15,000 members, supports 572 local chapters worldwide and hosts a yearly international conference.

The Foundation phone number is (202) 363-4394,,

Posted in Access to Real Food, Conferences, Diet, Health, Healthy Fats, Nutrition, Real Food, Traditional Food, WAPF Conference | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment