Archive for the ‘why’ Category

Ok…so I’m a little hot under the collar.  Hot enough that while I’ve barely kept up with working 4 part-time jobs and homeschooling my children this week, I am still squeezing out time to blog in rebuttal.  Or shall we say rebottomal?  I’d like to keep this nice. :)

I wasn’t going to link the blog in question because I didn’t want to make it seem I had a personal vendetta.  I don’t know this lady.  I have only read a few of her blogs.  I’m sure she’s perfectly nice and knowledgeable and caring.  That is not where my beef is.  I’m looking strictly at the arguments she posted for avoiding almond flour and I disagree.  It is as simple as that.  I decided that if I *didn’t* link the blog I’d be doing the author a disservice by not allowing her words to speak for themselves.  So…because it is late and I’d like to sleep sometime tonight, I’ll dive right in.  I’ll be posting her reasons for avoiding almond flour, followed by my rebuttal.

Reason #1: Almond flour skews perception about quantity.  The author of this blog says she has calculated the number of almonds per cup of almond flour, and that that number is around 90 almonds.

Rebuttal #1: If your argument against almond flour centers on the amount consumed, you might want to weigh it to be sure.  I weighed a cup of almond flour, scooped into my measuring cup with a spoon as I always do.  It was 2.4 ounces.  I weighed 90 almonds.  They were 3.4 ounces.  That would be about 25-30 almonds per ounce.  A half-ounce to an ounce of almonds is considered to be one serving size, depending on your source of data.  Using these numbers, I looked at a few of the recipes I use on a regular basis.  The blueberry streusel muffins I’ve been making lately use 2 cups of almond flour per dozen muffins.  That would be 4.8 ounces per 12 muffins; if each person ate one muffin (which is typical for one serving in our household), each person would ingest .4 ounces of almond flour per muffin.  That is less than the lowest recommendation I’ve seen for a serving size by 20% and would be the equivalent of 10-12 almonds.  I don’t see anything excessive about that.  And really, I don’t feel that eating 2 or even 3 muffins would be excessive at that quantity.

Reason #2: Almond flour is very high in inflammatory PUFAs.  The author of this blog highlights why PUFAs are bad, and then says that they’re only harmful when consumed in excess.

Rebuttal #2: I don’t argue that excessive PUFAs can have negative health consequences, but I think I established above that the levels in an average serving of almond flour are not excessive.  From my personal experience, I can say that I experienced a clinically significant drop in inflammation markers (double the referenced norms to practically zero, per my rheumatologist a few months ago) while consuming almond flour nearly daily over almost two years.  Clearly the PUFAs did not cause an increase in inflammation in my body.

Reason #3: The fats in almond flour aren’t heat stable.  And here she has a valid argument.  Oxidation IS a bad thing, and almond oil will oxidize when exposed to heat.  But her main point is that consuming excessive amounts of almond flour is going to increase this risk to dangerous levels.

Rebuttal #3: This is my purely personal opinion: I don’t think the average person consuming almond flour is consuming enough to make this a serious issue.  And I think any oxidation during the baking process can easily be offset by increasing antioxidant-rich foods in the diet.  I don’t claim to be an expert but I am going to pull the “grad certificate in nutrition right here!” card.  Eating a varied diet is going to go a long way towards keeping balance in the cells of your body.

Reason #4: Almond flour is high in oxalates.  And here she just basically says that almonds have tons of oxalates.

Rebuttal #4: I guess I just got annoyed with this one because it is a generalization.  And again, I’m going to go back to my original rebuttal: the amount of almond flour in a serving of baked goods is not likely to be excessive.  Is the author advocating avoiding spinach, which also contains high levels of oxalates? No.  In fact, she says here that spinach can be part of a balanced diet.  *If* excessive amounts of almond flour and other oxalate-rich foods are being consumed regularly, you might see an issue here.  In the amounts I’ve shown that my family consumes, I’m going to say it is not an issue.

Reason #5: Coconut flour is healthier than almond flour.  Bam!  The author notes that coconut flour has plenty of saturated fats (no argument there) and that you can use less of it than almond flour.  And…that’s it.

Rebuttal #5: I admit it.  This is the one that really got me.  I weighed the coconut flour I would use for 3 of my Cinnamon Bun Muffins  (1/4 cup) and it came out to 1.2 ounces.  Per muffin, that would be .4 ounces…which is the same weight as the almond flour in one of my favorite almond flour muffins.  So let’s compare them, shall we?  You can input the weight of almonds in this calculator and the weight of dry unsweetened coconut here.  Per .4 ounce, almond flour has 3 times the protein, 9 times the calcium, and 3 times the magnesium in this comparison.  You can look at the rest of the nutrients and judge for yourself which flour is healthier.

Conclusion:  The main reason I felt a strong need to rebut the above blog is that I see so much confusion in GAPS/SCD circles about whether or not certain foods are going to kill them or set back their recovery.  Most of the information that is floating around is not based on science – it is based on opinion.  Please, please, please…do some legwork of your own.  Listen to your body.  Use common sense.  Eat as many different types of foods as you can.  Ask questions.  Make sure you are eating enough food to encourage recovery (another of my pet peeves!).  Realize that what is working for someone else may not be best for you.  And if you notice misinformation, do your best to make it right.  GAPS/SCD does work when done correctly and we as a community are doing ourselves a disservice if we let misinformation define us.


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Some days you’re the pigeon..

Complete fiasco.  Catastrophe.  Misery and woe.  Yep…that pretty much sums up our past week.

My oven is not working.  And I broke a slow cooker crock.  And we’re out of propane.  And it’s been cloudy enough I can’t rely on the Sun Oven to cook anything.  Yeah…a baneful week.

I’ve been so busy prepping my Etsy shop that I’ve relied heavily on my menu and daily schedule to make it through the week.  Unfortunately, I had to shift to “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” mode after The Challah Disaster and I pretty much suck at that.  So what started as a brief acknowledgement that the oven was taking longer than usual to heat up turned to alarm when I googled “gas oven won’t light” and realized I had a ticking time bomb 10 feet away.  Then I shifted into “I-can’t-deal-with-this-right-now” mode and tried to pretend nothing was wrong for a few days.  I finally escaped denial and moved into acceptance…meaning I went straight to Craiglist to look for a replacement oven.

Lowest quote for service call + part: $140

Lowest price for used gas oven on Craigslist: $210

Ok.  I have neither of those.  A quick trip to Youtube and Amazon provided me with a generic form of the part I needed for $16.89, and a tutorial on installation for free.

A contractor friend has said he’ll come over and prevent me from blowing anything up if I get into trouble, so I should be good to go when the part gets here next week!

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I don’t feel like posting.  I feel like…eating ice cream and chocolate.  Yep.  That’s what I feel like.  And I’ve probably got another month of feeling like that.  Going a full week without seeing your kids and then turning around and doing it again sucks majorly.  It tends to suck more when your kids don’t want to go and when you don’t know how long they’ll be going for.  August 9 can not come too soon.

In the meantime, I’m going to try not to kill my kefir grains.  I’m going to make at least one big pot of healthy something to eat once a week.  I’m going to watch as many kung fu movies as I can stomach (probably 2).  And I’m going to try to make some money.   (Yay for extra work and eBay!!)

I guess I’ll try to post more often, too…but only if I can say something nice.

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I’ve had “Blog” on my to-do list all week and have successfully avoided it until now.  This week has been a little dumpy with my kids being gone and it being so hot and dry (although we got a teeny tiny sprinkle today!! hooray!!).  I’ve really not felt like doing anything except A) feel sorry for myself or B) try not to feel sorry for myself by jumping into one of ten million projects I’ve had on hold.  Option B has produced two skirts, a blouse, an almost-finished dress, an almost-finished beanbag pouf, and 7 other projects being cut out in preparation for sewing.  I’ve also begun a reacquaintance with Chopin’s Prelude No. 26.  Lovely.  In addition, I made a huge pot of lamb stew that included a cayenne pepper from my garden.  Interestingly enough, while one pepper was a nice addition to a meatloaf, it is overpowering in a pot of stew.  I have had to force myself to down my daily bowl (and yes, there is enough to last through Friday), causing me to dread mealtime and return to Option A.  Then I open the freezer and pull out some Belgian Chocolate ice cream that I talked myself into when I was shopping while suffering from Option A.  Then I think to myself, “How have I sunk so low?  I need to get busy!”  And I do.  A vicious circle, this.

My kids are coming home Friday evening.  I need to plan meals through the weekend but don’t know if they’ll be home after that.  Since I already know what I’ll be eating all week (oh lamb stew…we meet again…and again…) I’ll wait to post a weekend plan until I create something grand.  Before then, I hope to do my anniversary post.  Of course, I had hoped to do that a couple of weeks ago…

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  • make mayonnaise
  • whip those abs, buns, and thighs into shape
  • respond to the gazillion emails waiting in my inbox
  • avoid those Trader Joe’s peppermint creams and peanut butter cups hiding in the freezer
  • stick to the menu plan beyond Tuesday
  • get my kefir grains back on track after hibernation
  • hang all laundry outside on non-rainy days
  • get around to that pedicure that I’ve been meaning to do for over a month now
  • figure out where those ants are coming in
  • go to bed before 11pm

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Camping chaos

I managed to move all my piano students to Wednesdays, and to celebrate I thought we’d go camping Thursday night!  However, I’ve had more than a few kinks thrown into the mix.  First of all, I remembered that we committed to attending a birthday party Friday morning.  That stinks majorly, as we’d need to leave the campground by 9am that day.  Then, I discovered that the air mattress I thought would fit into our camper is much too small so we’d need to wrangle up a mattress somewhere else.  The campground we wanted to stay at was full (of course) so I decided to try one a little closer, but I wanted to look over the site before I reserved a spot.  Since it is not far from my parents’ home, I thought we’d run over to check out the sites (and reserve one if we liked it), then go pick up a mattress and firewood from my parents and pick wild blackberries while we were there.  Then on to pick up milk, pack the magnificent campfire food that I had yet to plan for, and make sure we didn’t forget anything before we took off for the campsite.

Great plan, right?

Today two of my students were unable to come for lessons, and they asked if they could come tomorrow at 10am.  Which is right in the middle of my scouting/blackberry picking/supplies gathering mission.  Urg.

I fear it will be too hot to camp if we hold off any longer so we will probably just go for it if the site is decent, but we may not find out until later in the day.  I think I will have to skip the milk excursion (sorry kefir grains, I’ll make it up to you somehow…) and our food will probably just be sandwiches and granola, but at least we’ll get out to try our hand at camping.

Then again maybe I’ll chicken out and decide to wait until it cools off in September. hehehe

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Okay, so what’s the deal with GAPS and beans?  What exactly is it that makes a certain bean okay and others not okay?  Why not sprouts?  My GAPS book is still out on loan so I can’t look it up in Dr. Campbell McBride’s text.  I don’t recall her going into much detail about the starches in different kinds of beans, however.

I’m starting to look into this and I’ll be posting resources as I go to help me keep track of my readings.

Chickpeas – nutrient content when sprouted


Carbohydrate bioavailability

Interesting first page of paper on starch alterations in hard beans

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