Q. What disease do you have? How do you manage it and how did you get healthy.
A. Please read my full health transformation post here and then read the follow-up post here.
Q. When you call for coconut milk in a recipe, do you use the can or the carton in the refrigerated section?
A. I always use full-fat coconut milk from the can, unless otherwise noted. The type in the carton is designed to be a beverage and shelf-stable, thus requiring a ton of additives and stripping the good fat and nutrients that come from the whole coconut milk in the can. Native Forest Simple Organic is BPA-free and also does not contain any guar-gum.
Q. What type of almond flour do you use? Is it the same as almond meal?
A. I always use a blanched, finely ground almond flour. My favorite is WellBee's Almond Flour. Bob's Redmill is too coarse and will cause soggy baked goods. Almond meal is different from almond flour as it contains skins and is typically more coarsely ground. I find that almond meal is good for breading things but not good for baked goods.
Q. Can I substitute coconut flour for the almond flour recipes?
A. No, coconut flour is much more absorbent and will call for a different ratio than the almond flour. I suggest you stick to recipes that are developed specially for only using coconut flour.
Q. Can I substitute other nut flours for the almond flour?
A. Yes, as long as they are blanched and very finely ground. I suggest macadamia or cashew flour for the most similar results.
Q. I cannot eat nuts, is there a good alternative to the almond flour in your recipes?
A. Finely ground and sifted sunflower seeds are a great sub and sunflower butter for almond/cashew butter. You will need to cut the baking soda in the recipe by half and add 2x the amount of cream of tarter to add an acidic ingredient to keep it from turning green from the chlorophyl (see this article) So if the recipe calls for 1tsp of baking soda, do 1/2 tsp baking soda + 1 tsp cream of tarter. Alternatively, many find that cassava flour is a good substitute, however, I personally do not tolerate it.
Q. I see cassava flour popping up in a lot of Paleo recipes lately, but you do not use it. Why is that?
A. I have chosen to avoid cassava for now because I find I do not tolerate it well. I'm not exactly sure why I don't digest it well but my guess is because it's very starchy (double the carbs of a sweet potato) which can be problematic for people with gut issues. The root also has relatively high levels of amylose, which can also be difficult to digest.
Q. I notice that you have started using arrowroot powder more frequently than before, why is that? And is it the same thing as tapioca starch?
A. After avoiding arrowroot for many years while my gut was healing, I have found that I can now tolerate it in small amounts. I started using it in an effort to create more nut-free recipes for those who have allergies and are not able to use my almond or cashew based recipes. Tapioca and arrowroot come from two different sources. Tapioca comes from Cassava and I do not tolerate either well. However, tapioca and arrowroot can easily be substituted for one another if you tolerate one over the other better.
Q. What is palm shortening and what is a good substitute?
A. Palm shortening is derived from palm oil and is not hydrogenised, and contains no trans fats. I use palm shortening as a butter substitute in my baked goods recipes. It has a firm texture and a high melting point, creating fluffy and cake-like delights. Be sure to purchase this oil from sustainable and eco-friendly sources, such as Spectrum (labeled Vegetable Shortening). Unsalted grass-fed butter may be used as a substitute if you can tolerate dairy.
Q. Is there a difference between coconut sugar and coconut crystals?
A. Palm sugar, coconut sugar, and coconut crystals can be used interchangeably. They are produced from the sap of the flower buds of the coconut palm tree. They have been used as a traditional sweetener for thousands of years and have a very low glycemic index. You can find it at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, or even Costco. See my favorite brand here.
Q. You talk about SCD a lot. What is it and what is the difference between SCD and Paleo?
A. SCD stands for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Read more about it on the Breaking the Vicious Cycle website. The diets are very similar, but there are some significant differences. I followed the SCD for a couple of years before realizing that I needed to limit certain types of dairy, all legumes, and focus on consuming pasture raised meats.
PALEO - defined as “older or ancient,” the Paleolithic diet models its guidelines based on the way that our assumed ancestors ate; essentially, reverting back to the foods that our bodies were created to consume.
Grass-fed, pasture-raised meats
Nuts and seeds
Healthy oils and fats
Grains (including corn and soy)
Refined or hydrogenated oils
SCD is based on the theory that eliminating most carbohydrates and allowing only specific carbs that require minimal digestion can reduce inflammation and make eating enjoyable for most people with GI disorders.
Cooked vegetables and fruits
Nuts and seeds in moderation
Properly soaked legumes
Processed or canned foods
Q. You say you are Paleo, but I still you see you post recipes and photos using dairy. Is it ok to eat dairy?
A. I believe that there is no 1-fits-all diet and that everyone needs to access where you are at in their healing journey and how your individual body reacts to certain foods. I eliminated dairy for quite a few months before being able to add it back into my diet in moderation. We enjoy goat cheese and raw, organic cow's milk cheese from time to time. I personally cannot tolerate milk or cream in any form and keep the cheese to a 3 times a week maximum.
Q. Can I substitute almond butter or sunbutter for the cashew butter in some of your recipes?
A. Yes, but the texture, color and flavor will all vary.
Q. What type of supplements do you take?
A. I cannot legally provide any medical information, including my supplement list. My naturopath, Dr. Melody Wong, did a series of posts on gut health and naturopathy which you can find overall supplement information. Read those posts by Clicking Here. I strongly suggest finding an ND in your area if you struggle with any intestinal issues and are not seeing full relief from your diet changes.
Q. Where can I hear more of your story?
A. I have appeared on many television shows and podcasts to share more of my story in depth. You can view or hear them here. I also write a lot about my health journey in both of my cookbooks which you can find here.
Don't see your question or the answer you need? Email me and I'll add it to the list!