Question: I am a 16 year old girl who is in the process of converting to a traditional diet. I have been wondering how this might affect me since I am in a peculiar situation. When I was about 12, I got my first period and had it for about a year. It came regularly every month, which is a bit surprising since in the beginning it usually takes time to become regular. well, one month it didn’t come, but I wasn’t concerned. It never came back except for two occasions when I noticed some spotting. Also I am very flat-chested and only fit in a girl’s size sports bra, which is rather bothersome because I have to be careful of open necklines. A year after my menses stopped, I became vegetarian. When I told my doctor (a naturopathic physician, also vegetarian) about my situation, she was puzzled and could offer no explanation. At first she thought it might be because I lacked protein in my diet, but I highly doubt that since, after a year of vegetarianism/almost veganism, I chose to consume meat, dairy, and eggs again, and there has been no change. I am also in need of losing some weight that my body is stubbornly holding onto despite my new lower carb, higher fat diet. I would greatly appreciate it if you could offer me an explanation as to why all this might be, and any advice as to how it might be resolved. - Anika
Answer: Sometimes if the diet isn’t right during puberty, the body will take on a form that is not ideal, and it is very hard to change that after puberty is over. However, I do think high dose cod liver oil would certainly help, especially with the menses. A dose that gives 30,000-50,000 IU vitamin A with 3-5000 vitamin D should be tried. Also would be good to get on some red meat, especially liver. Best, Sally
Question: I’m a 21 year old, African American female and I have been battling my weight for about ten years now. Roughly 10 years ago my family began using extra virgin olive oil as our primary cooking oil (for everything from sauteing to deep frying (only once or twice a year)). I understand that olive oil is supposed to be good for your heart (and your wonderful cookbook book has dissolved any lingering qualms I’ve had about animal and saturated fats) but I suspect that it has caused me to gain weight (and possibly suffer from mild depression). When I use olive oil in my foods I always feel sluggish after meals and tired throughout the entire day. I definitely eat enough calories but I feel as though I somehow cannot access them. The other day I added about 2Tbsp of coconut oil to my tea and had a huge energy rush. In that instant I knew that this was how I was supposed to feel and I suspected that there were other foods which would behave similarly. When I read that the medium chain fatty acids allow the energy to hit my system without following the route that longer chain fatty acids do (like olive oil!) because of their size, I guessed that short chain fatty acids would behave something like the coconut oil. I completely cut olive oil out of my diet (animal fats have good amounts of monos anyway right?). I’ve had increased energy, focus and weight loss. I’ve known about the weight loss benefits of coconut oil for a while now so I’m wondering if you feel that saturated fats (generally speaking) can give people and edge when fighting fat? Have you heard of olive oil causing weight gain and energy issues in others? Do you think my lack of an affinity to olive oil may have anything to do with my African heritage (I understand, however, that the Greek are the most obese among Europeans)? - Rujeko
Answer: This is most interesting and a confirmation of what we say in Eat Fat Lose Fat, that olive oil causes weight gain. Much, much better to cook in animal fats, and also to take coconut oil (best way is to melt it in hot water and drink it like tea.) It is the monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil that tend to accumulate in the fatty tissue. Best, Sally
Question: In Nourishing Traditions Sally says that the starter mixture for sourdough bread takes seven days to make and that it has to go through a frothy, bubbly stage. Mine is frothy and bubbly after three days so does this mean it’s now ready to use for bread and that I should divide it and use one third to make the next batch of starter, or should I keep adding to it until the seven days are up and then use it? - Diane
Sally’s Answer: It has been ages since I made bread, so the only answer I can give is to just try. See what works for you and your climate. There is a good article on bread making at Our Daily Bread. Best, Sally
I. N. Cognito’s Answer: I would suggest that Diane’s sourdough starter, given the froth and bubble, is indeed ready after 3 days, so try it. There are so many variables when dealing with available bacteria. Love, I.N Cognito.
Question: I started taking Solgar dessicated liver supplements in October or November of last year. Around January/February, I started having some odd symptoms — tingling and pins and needles in my hands and heart papitations. My dentist (a WAPF dentist, Dr. Raymond Silkman) suggested in March that I could have heavy metal toxicity. I ordered a urine analysis and found that I have very high levels of arsenic. My husband, however, also did the urine analysis and he does not have high levels of arsenic. So it’s probably not our drinking water (and we have been drinking filtered water since October). I did a little research online and found that there are very high levels of arsenic in the groundwater in Argentina. The Solgar dessicated liver tablets are made from the livers of cattle in Argentina. Is it possible that that I am getting the arsenic from the Solgar dessicated liver tablets? - Ann Marie
Answer: This is most interesting, and the first I have heard of this. The brand I recommend is Carlsons, not Solgar, but I think Carlsons comes from Argentina also. I will do more research on this and get back to you. Best, Sally
About the Author...
Sally Fallon is founding president of the Weston A Price Foundation, a non-profit nutrition education foundation with over 400 local chapters and 9000 members. She is also the founder of A Campaign for Real Milk, which has as its goal universal access to clean raw milk from pasture-fed animals. Author of the best-selling cookbook Nourishing Traditions and also of Eat Fat Lose Fat (Penguin), both with Mary G. Enig, Phd, Sally has a encyclopedic knowledge of modern nutritional science as well as ancient food ways. Her grasp on the work of Weston Price is breath taking and her passion for health freedom, inspiring. In each edition of Nourished Magazine Sally answers your questions about nutrition, health, food and medical politics. Send us an email with your question and we'll put it to her.