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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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April 04, 2011

Dear Mark: Carob, Psyllium, Chia Seeds, and Vanilla

By Mark Sisson
94 Comments

I enjoyed answering your questions last week, so let’s do it again today. We’ve got another triad this time, including another question from Hilde. There’s going to be a lot of fiber talk, some fecal discussion, and even a few bits regarding multi-level marketing schemes. I’m also going to discuss the virulent menace that is the vanilla bean.

(Looking back at the title I just wrote, it sounds like the ingredients for a disgusting raw vegan dessert. Some lukewarm thing with the consistency of paste sloppily shoved into the shape of a brownie and sold for six bucks at the farmers’ market. Yum.)

Okay, on to the questions:

Would you consider carob to be a source of protein or classify it as an “Occasional Indulgence”?

Gayla

Technically, carob is a source of protein. And by that, I mean it contains measurable amounts of protein. Is it a good source of protein? Is it a rich and reliable source of protein? Not really. A cup of carob powder contains just 4.76 grams of protein. The same amount of white potato contains around 2 grams of protein. So, it’s a better source than potatoes, but that’s not saying much.

Carob should be okay to eat. I wouldn’t even classify it as an Occasional Indulgence; it’s pretty inoffensive, if entirely unexciting. It is exceedingly high in fiber, though – in a cup of carob powder, 41 of the 91 carbohydrate grams come from insoluble fiber – so anyone with existing or suspected GI disorders like IBS might want to hold off on carob. Or not eat a cup of it at once.

Nutritionally, there’s just not a whole lot to carob. It has a bit of calcium and potassium, but you have to eat a lot to get appreciable amounts of either, and its main claim to fame is as a caffeine-free alternative to cacao that kinda tastes like chocolate. I suppose you could go for carob if you honestly prefer the flavor or can’t tolerate caffeine, but as a source of micronutrients (magnesium, copper, potassium especially) and polyphenols, cacao wins every time. If there’s a carob-flavored dessert you’ve been eyeing, go ahead and try it. The sugar it’s made with may be an issue, but the carob is not.

If you’re worried about carob being a legume or a seed full of antinutrients, don’t. While carob does come in pods filled with seeds which likely employ various self-defense mechanisms, the seeds aren’t what we eat (they do use them for animal feed, however). We eat the slightly sweet seedless pods themselves – dried and usually ground up into flour. Ironically, the germ of the carob seed is loaded with protein, and scientists are exploring the use of carob germ flour as an alternative protein source.

So, if you really want to bulk up (your protein intake, not your stool), I suppose you could wait for carob germ protein powder to hit the market.

Is it o.k. to take psyllium seed hulls and chia seed or does it irritate the intestinal system like grains?

Bonni

I’d definitely avoid psyllium husks. They are the classic stool bulking agents – full of both flora-feeding soluble and colon-rending insoluble fiber. Now, fiber encountered in the wild is fine for healthy people with functioning guts. You eat some plants, maybe a few nuts or seeds, a starchy tuber? You’re gonna take in some fiber. It’s pretty unavoidable. But to go out and intentionally pad your poop stats (girth, viscosity, velocity) with seed husks (not even the seeds; just the dang hulls)? Not advised. Just eat some plant matter if it’s fiber you’re after.

Do you, by any chance, have a relative whose house has suddenly become inundated with cases of Mila Lifemax Miracle Seed?

While I’m generally suspicious of any food involved with multi-level marketing schemes (like all those ridiculous acai power berry juice scams), I’ve briefly written about chia (along with other edible seeds) before. It’s not magical or “lifemax enhancing,” but it is an edible seed with lots of omega-3, albeit substandard ALA. Do I eat them? No; I don’t see the need. Should you? It depends. A few pinches can add tasty crunch to salads or perhaps yogurt, but when you start getting into “three tablespoons” territory – adding it to shakes and taking fistfuls straight to the face, dry – you’re eating lots of oxidizable, vegetable omega-3.

But you were interested in intestinal irritation, right? Loren Cordain got into it with a chia seed hawker who got miffed after Cordain called his research into question. It seems that in one “supportive” study, some markers improved while interleukin-6 (IL-6) and other inflammatory cytokines went up in the chia group, which could indicate increased low-level inflammation normally associated with gut irritation. Furthermore, another study saw a few of its participants drop out of the chia eating group due to gastrointestinal distress. You can go ahead and read the back and forth between Cordain and the other guy yourself. I personally feel Dr. Cordain makes the better case, but you can certainly give chia a shot. I just wouldn’t make it a daily caloric staple – don’t eat meals based on chia seeds (if that’s even possible).

I was wondering if vanilla is healthy. Is it like cinnamon, a healthy addition to my smoothie, or is it more like honey, something I shouldn’t use everyday?

Hilde

Vanilla is safe for daily use. Vanillin, the primary component of vanilla extract, has a ridiculously high LD50 (PDF). You could drink a couple bottles of extract and be totally fine. Don’t do that, because it’s disgusting, but know that you can.

There’s limited evidence of health benefits, mostly in cancer and cardiovascular disease. Pretreating rats with massive doses of vanillic acid (oxidized vanillin) offered protection when the same rats were induced to have myocardial infarctions. Size of infarcts were reduced in the vanillic acid-fed group. In an in vitro study, vanillin induced apoptosis and arrested the cell cycle of human colorectal cancer cells, and some researchers think vanillin could reduce the metastatic potential (ability to spread to other parts of the body) of human cancer cells in vivo, too. That’s a big “may,” though.

Those are studies either using big doses, rodents, or in vitro set-ups. I wouldn’t get caught up in the speculative health benefits, but I would use vanilla liberally if you enjoy the taste and aroma. I know I do. Go for it.

Thanks for the questions. If you’ve got more, send ’em my way!

Anyone get intestinal benefits from chia or psyllium? Anyone a rep for Mila? Did I miss something in my carob coverage? Let me know in the comment section!

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94 Comments on "Dear Mark: Carob, Psyllium, Chia Seeds, and Vanilla"

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Katie @ Wellness Mama
5 years 5 months ago
Glad to know vanilla is approved! I make my own vanilla extract and use it often. Thanks for the links about psyllium and other fiber. I’ve got some relatives who’ve bought into the idea that one needs tremendous amounts of fiber and they take the stuff 3 or more times a day, along with a cabinet full of herbal supplements. The amazing thing is, despite realizing that grains are harmful, they still eat those because “healthy food is more expensive.” I guess they could stop spending all that money on supplements and eat real food, but then again… no one… Read more »
Jules
5 years 5 months ago

Katie, how do you make your vanilla extract? Does it keep for awhile?

Re
2 years 3 months ago

Vanilla Extract: Buy vanilla beans on Amazon. Take bottle of plain vodka and add beans, split and scraped preferrably. Give it a shake every couple of weeks. Ready in a month or two. Keeps indefinitly.

Matt
Matt
5 years 5 months ago

Psyllium pretty much ground my digestive system to a halt. I reckon I would’ve had a similar reaction drinking cement.

Then when you come come to use the loo……..*Boom*

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
5 years 5 months ago

I’m one of those nutty people who really enjoys the taste of carob, but not as a substitute for chocolate. That’s like using tea as a substitute for coffee. Both good and enjoyable, but not the same thing at all.

Dave
Dave
5 years 5 months ago

I was just talking with a co-worker who recently had a Gallbladder attack. She says she now has to avoid all fatty foods. Does the Primal Blueprint have an answer for this?

Kethry
Kethry
5 years 5 months ago
What she needs to do is a liver and gallbladder flush. Look up Andreas Moritz “The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush.” It provides a natural way to flush gallstones out of the body without surgery and painlessly to boot. I’ve done this flush at least 25 times since 2006. It takes some time to set up, but well worth it. One change I would make to Moritz’s instructions – instead of the quart of apple juice a day (shudder!) take two 800 mg malic acid caps a day for two weeks. Same effect with a tiny amount of carbs. Also… Read more »
Dave
Dave
5 years 5 months ago

Thank you, I’ll point her in that direction.

Kaylee99
Kaylee99
5 years 5 months ago

Wish I’d known about this before I had my gallbladder removed. 🙁

Baconlover
Baconlover
5 years 5 months ago

I wish I would’ve been able to get that book for my mother-in-law before she agreed to get her gallbladder removed. Now she has to eat low-fat and boring.

Mariah
Mariah
5 years 5 months ago

No she doesn’t…I had my gallbladder removed last summer, just as I was discovering PB. Now I eat fully primal and full fat and no issues. Your liver just has to adjust to processing the fat at regular intervals vice storing up the compounds for later use. No big deal really. Kinda wish I had given primal a chance instead of listening to the doctor and having one of my god given organs removed…oh well. Live and learn!

Janine
Janine
5 years 5 months ago

I also had my gall bladder removed several years ago and never eat Low Fat but tend to eat a mostly primal diet. Having to eat low fat after gall bladder removal is a myth.

raydawg
raydawg
5 years 5 months ago
I used to get pretty bad GERD like attacks, after having my gallbladder removed (10 yrs ago), more likely not acid reflux, but bile reflux. They came and went, even when first starting on paleo, but now they’re almost completely gone. The docs were useless, they said “eat whatever you like, you’ll be fine.” But if I skipped dinner, I’d wake up coughing up bile, but if I did eat a full dinner, I’d get reflux. So I switched to having a couple of slices of good cheese before sleep and no dinner and that mostly worked. Two months ago,… Read more »
Walter
Walter
5 years 5 months ago

I question this “gallbladder flush” deeply.
I recommend researching this thoroughly as many articles indicate it doesn´t work.
It seems that the “gallstones” excreted are nothing more than artifacts composed of what you actually take in during this treatment. No way they are actual gallstones.
Please look it up. It´s your health after all!

Ellie
Ellie
4 years 23 days ago

Oh the flush works, and it can be dangerous because it works. I’ve done it when symptomatic with gallstones. It works, and I know that not because of “stony” poo but because I lodged a stone and got symptoms of acute pancreatitis. I waited a week, eating almost nothing because of the pain before working up the courage to do the process again. I felt the a “pop” and immediately after my pancreatitis symptoms disappeared.

Kitty
Kitty
5 years 5 months ago

This is good to know since I’m diabetic. where can I get the malic acid caps?
I’ve been told I probably have a fatty liver. would this help?

Reba
2 years 8 months ago
Juicing is good for fatty liver and gall stones. BTW, My doctor refused to look at my frozen gall stones that I bright into him like a kid at”show and tell”? How would he pay for his European VayCay if word got out that flushes work? I still had s diseased GB so it had to go. Still, gallstones start in liver, get stored in gall bladder. So I still pass stones. DMSO,.a super solvent, on skin dissolves them too. Or castor oil rubbed over liver at night. I recentlyread that magnesium chloride (I use Alta brand) is good for… Read more »
dakotaanddarcy
dakotaanddarcy
8 months 21 days ago

I would love to hear peoples comment on how large their stones were. I can see using a home flush for small stones a few centimeters wide. I have a single stone the size of a quarter, I’m trying to avoid passing that till further notice.

What did the stones look like? Gallstones do have a particular look, depending on what they are made up of, they are not all the same.

Ted
Ted
5 years 5 months ago

I remember when health-food stores were loaded with terrible-tasting carob products. That was to keep you from eating anything made with real chocolate, which everyone knew was bad for you!

Another Halocene Human
Another Halocene Human
5 years 5 months ago

Ha ha, me too. When I was a child we frequented the health food store because of my little sister’s cow milk/wheat allergy (she did grow out of it later).

Now the health food store is lined in chocolates because it’s “healthy”. That always gives me a good laugh!

mrdez
mrdez
4 years 9 months ago
I am 80 and a health nut and internet researcher. My brother is allergic to citrus so I researched it. come to find out he may be low in Pantothenic acid, my nose itches, peppers, low in niacin, etc. niacin is powerful stuff. Used by many natural health practitioners, for arthritic, heart disease, mental problems, MS, etc. Niacin has a positive side affect that is scary if you do not know that it’s going to happen. As always, do the research. listen to your body, allergies are telling us something is missing or wrong in what we eat. Excess processed… Read more »
Jen
Jen
1 year 3 months ago

I remember eating carob ice cream, I think it was from Alta Dena dairy, it was yum. I don’t see it in the stores anymore but it would be easy enough just to blend the carob powder into vanilla ice cream. However, I’m staying away from ice cream these days…

melody
melody
5 years 5 months ago

my daughter is very allergic to chocolate so we use carob in smoothies etc, nice to know it’s not too bad.

peggy
peggy
5 years 5 months ago

I was reading along, getting my morning dose of information, when all of a sudden I got >here< "(girth, viscosity, velocity)" & I almost lost my coffee through my nose… with velocity!

oh, & thanks for all the good info

jem
jem
5 years 5 months ago

Anybody remember when Haagen Das(sp) made Carob ice cream. I loved that stuff. They also made honey vanill at that time.
That was in the ’60’s….maybe you had to be in the NE.

madeline
madeline
5 years 5 months ago

Vanilla is added to my coffee, baking & quinoa flake meals. I use chia seeds in berry smoothies/slushies. Those little seeds really do hydrate you. I never tried carobs. (I’ve got drk chocolate lol) Kethy- wished I knew that flush remedy before, I had mine taken out after birth of my son yrs ago.

Jenn
5 years 5 months ago

Chia pudding is essentially a chia-based meal. It’s chia seeds soaked in a flavorful liquid until they expand and take on a tapioca-like consistency. I made it once with homemade raw almond milk, raw coconut flakes, and raw cacao in my brief flirtation with a raw diet. It’s kind of got a vile texture.

Chris @ Get Real Chris
5 years 5 months ago

Very timely post as I was just wondering about carob today. I’m just starting a primal diet…actually today is day one and I really appreciate all the great info on the site.

Dawn
Dawn
5 years 5 months ago

I think carob is super exciting because I am allergic to chocolate *gasp-I know* so it is my go-to substitute. Folks who want to try carob: roasted carob powder doesn’t really taste like chocolate but hey, it looks like it. Experiment by substituting for chocolate in a recipe. Or, for a different taste, try raw carob powder. It’s sweeter and more “caramel” tasting, but it is sort of “gritty” so in shakes and smoothies sometimes the raw kind goes down kinda rough (though roasted is fine).

Suvetar
Suvetar
5 years 5 months ago

Anybody wanting more information about Fiber and its effects on the digestive system I recommend reading Fiber Menace.

I’m glad I did, had tons of problems with hard and inconsistent stools, giving me great pains at the beginning of a menstruation….ALL gone.
He also has a chart on his web site of what doodoo is supposed to look like…can’t help but love this guy:-)

Jane
Jane
4 years 3 months ago

just realised my menstruation loose stools have gone! Another great side effect of Primal life! WOW.. I wonder what else I havent noticed!

Nicole
Nicole
5 years 5 months ago

Wow! Thanks for the info on psyllium husks. I’ve been adding it to my fruit & veg smoothies for a while…until now!

Julie Aguiar
Julie Aguiar
5 years 5 months ago
To all the gallbladder questions out there.. Yes! Do flush, be aware you may hurt yourself …but I saved my own gallbladder, so I consider it worth the risk. I just did the 1 day epsom and lemon/olive oil flush. several times. ick. Prior to learning about the flushing,I was in the ER after not eating for a week (owww!) got scheduled for surgery, and while at work, I was leaning over a chair pressing on my GB and I literally felt something roll under my hand. My ultrasound came up empty, and the DR surmised that I must have… Read more »
Julie Aguiar
Julie Aguiar
5 years 5 months ago

There is also a theory that an area of small intestine near the GB area may be prone to irritation by, say, wheat. Since I increased fat and eliminated grains at the same time, I can’t say for sure…I certainly do not go see a DR these days, as I have no reason to;) So I never had any follow up.

ottercat
ottercat
5 years 5 months ago

Very interesting! maybe i’ll grow some micro-greens with my chia instead…

Peter Ross
5 years 5 months ago

Wow and here I was thinking the chia I was eating was so great for me, apparently not. I think I’ll still eat it in my morning yoghurt though, I like the crunch.

tess
tess
5 years 5 months ago

chia seeds are an important addition to my low-carb bread — only 2 tablespoonfuls go in it, but the texture is greatly enhanced.

John
John
5 years 5 months ago

Care to share your recipe?

tess
tess
5 years 5 months ago
glad to! i hope you have a food processor — makes it very easy. Grease a loaf pan with a generous amount of coconut oil, first, and set oven to 350f. Combine: 2 c. hazelnut flour (or almond) 1 T. xanthan gum 2 T. chia seeds 1/2 t. sea salt 1 t. baking soda 1 packet stevia Pulse the processor a few times, to blend well. Add: 4 eggs 2 t. apple cider vinegar Turn on processor just till homogenous — takes just a few seconds! Turn the batter into the pan, smooth it, and bake 45 min. It’s best… Read more »
John
John
5 years 5 months ago

Thank you! I’ll give it a try tonight, if I can find any chia seeds in the small-ish town I live in.

Kitty
Kitty
5 years 5 months ago

think Flax meal would work in place of the Chia? I have that and I’d love to try a low carb bread.

tess
tess
5 years 5 months ago

Kitty, i’m sure you CAN use flaxseed, but it won’t have the same texture as with chia — the moisture-retention aspect of it is chia’s “magic”. i’ve used hempseed in this recipe before, and it was okay, but i didn’t like it as well.

John
John
5 years 5 months ago

Tess,
Tried your bread last night, without the xanthan gum (which I couldn’t find), and it turned out great! Very soft interior. I enjoyed several slices slathered in butter. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

tess
tess
5 years 5 months ago

glad you liked it, John! this is the best low-carb bread for toasting that i’ve made. if/when you find xanthan gum (or alternatively, Expert Foods’ Not-Starch), you’ll get the chewier texture.

WildGrok
WildGrok
5 years 5 months ago

Hi this is great
Can I replace the almond flour with coconut flour? – thanks in advance

Bev
Bev
4 years 5 months ago

You can also make this with coconut flour…

Kelly
5 years 5 months ago

Thanks for the recipe! My husband misses bread a lot since I’m not buying it anymore (and I do the shopping), so I’ll give this a whirl.

tess
tess
5 years 5 months ago

WildGrok, yes, almond flour was the original ingredient — i just like the hazelnut better, personally.

Kelly, hope it satisfies your needs! i love bread, but know the usual flours aren’t good for me, so sometimes indulge myself with these substitutes.

i can recommend Oopsie Rolls, too — there are so many great paleo foods that taste even better on breads….

tess
tess
5 years 5 months ago

WildGrok, i finally tried making this recipe with coconut flour, and it came out well, if a little small. use 1/2 c. instead of the 2 c. of nut flours.

Matthew Myers
5 years 5 months ago

I was wondering about Chia seeds after all of the hoop-la made about them in “Born to Run” as a miracle food. As usual, a general non-processed, FOOD-based diet seems to be the best way to do things, whether that includes ‘miracle’ seeds or not. 🙂

daniel
daniel
5 years 5 months ago
trackback
5 years 5 months ago

[…] carob, vanilla, chia seed, psyllium husk…whats the deal? […]

Jeremy Priestner
5 years 5 months ago
Mark, I know this completely goes against your nutritional recommendations as well as the paleo mindset, but it has reasonable research support so I wanted to ask your opinion on it. Harvard nutritionist Walter Willet wrote a book (Eat, Live, and Be Healthy) describing a number of studies he conducted on +100,000 participants. Among these, he found that consuming whole grains (i.e. whole wheat bread) was positively linked with decreased hard disease and I believe cholesterol levels as well. Do you think his results were merely due to conclusions being taken from the average population? In this way even though… Read more »
cait
cait
5 years 1 month ago
It’s off topic but still sad that everyone ignored this, I’d like an answer as well. Yea some pro-whole grain studies are BS but are all of them? really? Anyways, I think grok’s argument against studies like that is that people who eat whole wheat bread tend to be healthy in other areas as well, which is where you get the result of the study from (exercise, whole foods, etc). The study would have to have a group of people on EXACTLY the same diet except one group has whole grains and the other does not. And then watch those… Read more »
Primal Toad
5 years 5 months ago

I love the news on vanilla. I have a big bottle in the cabinet but do not use it because I just wasnt sure if it was fine to eat or not. Glad to know I can chug a bottle and be fine – not that I ever would…

I think vanilla is a FANTASTIC addition to smoothies.

Caroleigh
Caroleigh
5 years 5 months ago

So great to see all the other people who have escaped the gall bladder surgery! I had terrible pain and bloating for over a year until i went primal. Tried all of the “right” foods, tons of fiber,etc. Within a week of going primal i had ZERO pain, inflamation, and had lost 10 lbs. I have my life back!!! I’m so thankful for this lifestyle. The family is even joining along.

El
5 years 5 months ago

What form of Vanilla would you support? There is the kind in alcohol, the bean, the kind in Vegetable Glycerine (isn’t that some kind of strange veg-oil?)… what do you think?

Erica
5 years 5 months ago
I’m a Naturopathic Student. I’ll say that I do like chia if, like flax, it’s been soaked in water for a bit to produce that famous mucilage, which is traditionally meant to protect the gut walls. However, that comes from traditional uses, and I’d like to check out the research by Cordain. I also like soaking chia and flax because if it doesn’t absorb the water and start to look like it might sprout, I know it’s a bad batch. Might not be the best of logic, but it proved that the almonds I bought from the bulk food store… Read more »
Mustafa Korkut
5 years 5 months ago

Hi Mark, I heard somewhere that carob augmented ( no idea how much , really) the testosterone hormone, in Turkey we eat it for energy and a better love life 🙂 ( amongst other spices and seeds) I eat it for its aroma , with a small cup of Turkish coffee. Mmmmm 🙂

jem
jem
5 years 5 months ago

I like this!!

Jenny
Jenny
5 years 5 months ago

Hi Mark!
I started out using chia as a smoothie additive to boost my Omega profile (I know better now!), but a very pleasant side effect to my intake has been a significant easing of pain in my knees and other joints. As an aspiring primal mother of three small children, squatting is a necessity and has become almost completely painless since I’ve been eating the chia. If I miss it for two days I can tell a big difference, especially in my knees. Hope this helps!

James
James
5 years 5 months ago

Mark for my digestion, when I eat a strict paleo diet, I find I have to take psyillium husks just to slow down the transit time for digestion in my gut. If I don’t, I end up doing number 2 about six times a day and it is not pleasant. Why is that?

SteverGunn
SteverGunn
5 years 5 months ago

Personally, I use a small amount of Psyllium (the whole seed, not just the hull) ground up in a coffee grinder as a binding agent when I make low-carb bread from flax meal –I know, not exactly MDA endorsed either, but I figure a few tablespoons a month wont kill me.. —

Interestingly, the longer I eat primally, the less I desire bread substitutes. So it’s probably been 4 weeks or more since I’ve eaten that recipe.

Rob
5 years 5 months ago
I experimented with psyllium a while back, to see what effect it might have on my cholesterol. I took 2 Tbsp mixed in 2 cups of water, morning and night. I took it for 3 weeks. My cholesterol went from 250 to 197, and my LDL went from 180 to 129. HDL went up a few points… I had no negative G.I. issues at all, in fact I had a positive effect: Very little need for toilet paper. And no, not because of constipation. The consistency was such that paper was rarely needed. I don’t take it anymore, as the… Read more »
Erica
5 years 5 months ago

Yes fiber in general seems to do a good job of lowering cholesterol, we’ve looked at some studies on both psyllium and oatmeal for that in my botanical medicine class. It is effective, probably even more so for the average non-primal joe.

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[…] Dear Mark: Carob, Psyllium, Chia Seeds, and Vanilla – Mark’s Daily Apple […]

Sarah HI
5 years 5 months ago

I recently did a Nature’s Sunshine cleanse with psyllium as a component. My insides feel raw. I’m actually amazed that that much poo came out of me, which on one hand it’s good to get it all out, but I couldn’t take it any longer. I was in a lot of pain from it. When I go primal, I can’t poop and I feel hungry ten minutes after I eat. I’m sick of not having normal poop and I think I’m a carbaholic 🙁 (Just whining, I guess.)

Kitty
Kitty
5 years 5 months ago

Sarah if you can’t poop on a primal diet I’d suggest you might need more fat in your diet. if you eat enough fat you can eat only meat and fat and still have a daily or twice daily stool, AND by knowing what you ate you can often tell that the food is moving through you in 24 hours or less.

health and fitness
5 years 5 months ago

I used to be more than happy to find this net-site.I wanted to thanks on your time for this excellent read!! I positively having fun with every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post.

Sheila
Sheila
5 years 5 months ago

I understood psyllium to help remove toxins from your body.

FarNorthGirl
FarNorthGirl
5 years 5 months ago

Be careful what “vanilla” you choose, Artificial vanillin is a highly chemically processed flavoring which you will probably want to avoid when you read how it is made. Vanilla extract often has corn syrup or sugar added to it. Even Penzey’s Double Strength Pure Vanilla Extract lists sugar on the label!!!! I like to make extract with 4- 5 vanilla beans cut open and put in a jar with a cup of potato vodka. I shake it once in a while and it is ready in about a month. Alaska Permafrost makes a really good potato vodka.

HealthCrack
HealthCrack
2 years 11 months ago

Can you explain a little more about artificial vanillin being harmful ? I’ve found an artificial vanillin with exactly the same information Mark added about vanillin toxicity, in the link below:
http://www.viacheminc.com/wp-content/uploads/MSDS-Eternal-Pearl-Brand-Vanillin-and-Ethyl-Vanillin.pdf
It says “Oral rat LD50: 1580 mg/kg Investigated as a mutagen, reproductive effector.”, same LD50 dose Mark shared, and they are chemically the same whether it is produced artificially or it is from natural vanilla as far as I can tell.

HealthCrack
HealthCrack
2 years 10 months ago

I’ve found the full process flow chart of the vanillin. Guaiacol and glyoxilic acid enter condensation, its product enters extraction, its byproduct enters guaiacol recycle and its product enters oxidation with a catalyst, its product enters decarboxylation, its product enters extraction, its product enters distillation, its product enters crystallization, its product enters drying, its product enters metal detection, and its product vanillin enters packing.

I’m still not sure if it is harmful.

Tanya
Tanya
5 years 5 months ago

Great post-I have a few questions.

(1) Organic brown sugar- is it really that much better than white refined sugar? I enjoy baking a lot, and I try to bake as healthy as possible so I use whole wheat flour and I substitute sugar for part brown sugar and part Stevia…what other suggestions do you have for making baking healthier? Also, what do you think of Stevia?

Dee
Dee
3 years 10 months ago

First of all if you are using white sugar made in the USA and it doesn’t say CANE sugar or organic then you can be almost 90% certain to be using a GM sugar beet sugar.
I think it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Cheers.

Cindy
Cindy
5 years 5 months ago

I eat psyllium everyday on the advice of my GI doctor. I have Celiac disease and was having issues even after stopping the gluten. I eat fruits and veggies but the psyllium is what keeps things normal for me.

Dr Phil
Dr Phil
5 years 5 months ago

Chia “tapioca” pudding
1 can coconut milk (14 oz)
4 tablespoons chia seeds
dash cinnamon
3-5 drops vanilla
mix in a bowl, no cooking, refrigerate overnight
Serves 4
top with favorite berries
Calories – 280
fat = 21 grams
protein = 5 grams
carbs = 9.5 grams

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[…] than you are eating omega-6 fats, it’s a good idea to ease up on all the fatty fish, flax, chia, and hemp. My sneaking suspicion is that you’re miscalculating something, somewhere. […]

Abi
Abi
4 years 6 months ago

Does anyone make carob candies with melted coconut oil, adding carob powder, mixing, and cooling in the freezer? Yummy.

Robyn
Robyn
4 years 3 months ago
What a relief to read all of these testimonials about fat after gallbladder removed. I started my primal journey April 16 and was really enjoying the results. I had what I thought were panic attacks for the last year and a half – they were weekly prior to primal and I only had 2 since makin the switch. But the one last week landed me in the ER and I wasnt given a choice- I was told my pancreas and gallbladder were both very infected and they had to remove the gallbladder once the pancreas wasn’t so inflamed. So now… Read more »
SophieE
SophieE
4 years 1 month ago

Chia seeds are actually really tasty- not in the dry and boring form but 2/3 of a cup of coconut milk mixed with 3 TBS of chia (yeh you nailed me on the amount but this isn’t a daily affair) and heaps of vanilla turns into like a tiny sago pudding if you leave it out, mixing every so often for an hour… Or only like 15 minutes if you heat the coconut milk first.

So yes, it is entirely possible to have a meal based on chia seeds… In my weaker moments I have done this.

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[…] though I’ve written about chia seeds already on two separate occasions, people keep asking me about them. So, to start with, read those […]

Jon
3 years 11 months ago

I sense a bit of bite in your article today mark! Great read, I’m glad vanilla is safe because I love it. Normally using vanilla bean powder tho, not the extract.

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[…] that since carob is a legume, it is not paleo.  It turns out that carob powder is made from the pod and not the bean of the carob plant and this has opened up a whole new world of chocolate substitutes for me.  And […]

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[…] – Tastes good, smells better. May  have anti-inflammatory effects. Also works well with cinnamon (but not so  much with […]

HealthCrack
HealthCrack
2 years 11 months ago
I was looking for a natural vanilla extract or vanilla a few years ago and I found something titled “Vanilla” in another language with a very low price and since I wasn’t aware that the price would be ridiculously low for what I was looking for, I bought that. And guess what I discovered it was, it was “Eternal Pearl” brand vanillin and it tasted awful. But since I learnt that vanillin was an antioxidant and my mother strongly opposed sending it back, I decided to use it in very small amounts, about 3 milimetres with the back of a… Read more »
HealthCrack
HealthCrack
2 years 11 months ago

Sorry, I’ve forgotten to choose to get notifications of replies. Keep up the good work Mark !

Leasa
Leasa
2 years 6 months ago

No one has mentioned that Chia seeds make fantastic microgreens for salads. I grow baby greens and sprouts during the miserable winters where I live; saves on what I have to purchase, and has plenty of nutrients.

Judy
Judy
2 years 4 months ago

Please give specifics on growing the micro greens. Thanks.

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