Frequently Asked Questions


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. Natural Value brand is BPA-free and also does not contain any guar-gum. I also use Native Forest or Whole Food’s Organic 365 brand.


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 favorites are Honeyville Farms and WellBee. 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. For more information on Almond Flour, Click Here.


Q. Can I substitute coconut flour for the almond flour in 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 Tropical Traditions or 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.

Suggested Reading: Practical Paleo Diane Sanfilippo and The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf and Loren Cordain



Suggested Reading: Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet by Elaine Gloria Gottschall


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!

  • Dodie McNulty

    I HAVE YOUR BOOK -FANTASTIC. Question: Can you use YEAST with Almond Flour bread recipes? I know it is wheat based, but if I can tolerate a wee bit of wheat–wouldn’t the yeast make a better pizza crust and in breads??? I follow the NO GRAINS & feel much better, but also find that a bit of wheat does not bother me. Thank YOU so much…Dodie

    • Against All Grain

      I don’t know, I’ve never tried it, sorry!

  • Catheryne Harsh

    Hi Danielle,
    Your blog is beautiful and encouraging! I have been struggling with Crohn’s and other autoimmune issues for years and am only in my early 20’s. I come from a family of conventional medicine doctors, so my family is freaking out when I tell them I want to get off Remacaid and other meds and treat my condition naturally. Question, I have a professor I trust who raves about raw milk, and I have been using it to make the SCD yogurt. I noticed you occasionally use raw milk products, but it is clearly very controversial. I would love to know your opinion. Some say NO dairy (pasteurized or raw ) as there is a link between MAP bacteria (spread through cows) and Crohn’s, but others swear by the healing abilities of the enzymes in raw milk. I could use an outside opinion as Alabama is very closed to anything of the sort.

    Best wishes to you and your family! Also, my boyfriend saw the cover of your book and he said, “Wow, she looks happy.” I said yeah, you should hear her story. She is better!

  • Angela

    Hi Danielle. Thanks for your fabulous website! My husband gets migraines from almonds – you have suggested substitutes for almond flour but we are wondering if there is a good substitute for almond milk?

    • Against All Grain

      Coconut milk is best

  • Heather

    Hi, Danielle, I love you cookbook, but I have questions about substitutions. I’m having difficulty finding coconut crystals and palm shortening in my small town, even at the natural foods store. Is there anything easier to find that I can substitute for these in your recipes?

  • Lyane

    Just purchased your book; really inspiring as I have been eating grain free for a whiile now. You have given me options for things I did not think I could make any more.

    I made the sandwich bread loved the taste but it did not rise enough to make a sandwich. What did I do wrong? If I double the recipe and book in same size loaf pan, will that work?