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!

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  • I ordered your cookbook and made the “real deal choclate chip cookies” and loved them! I am new to the paleo and glutten free lifestyle by choice at age 74. I have always been health conscience and because I have arthritis pain that comes from inflamation, I feel so much better not eating wheat, off all grains for 1 month now. I made the “world famous bread from your cookbook and loved the way it cooks up so fluffy.(A previous attempt to back grainless bread from another cookbook turned out oily and very dense and I couldn’t handle the way it smelled. The one thing that I am wondering is anyone else having a hard time adjusting to the way these breads smell?

  • Your story is so inspiring and your courage and success is awesome. Thank you for writting such a wonderful cookbook!

    I ordered your cookbook and made the “real deal choclate chip cookies” and loved them! I am new to the paleo and glutten free lifestyle by choice at age 74.
    although I have always been health conscience eating lots of fresh salads and less processed foods with sugars. However I have arthritis pain that comes with painful inflamation and read that a wheatless diet might help., I feel so much better not eating wheat, and have been off all grains for 1 month now. I made the “world famous bread from your cookbook and loved the way it cooks up so fluffy and tastes so good.(A previous attempt to bake grainless bread from another cookbook turned out oily and very dense and I couldn’t handle the way it smelled.

    The one thing that I am wondering is anyone else having a hard time adjusting to the way these breads smell?

  • Churchlady320

    Can I navigate this as one intolerant – seriously so – of eggs?

    • Nicolec

      I have recently bought the cookbook and am excited to start cooking/baking. I have been diagnosed with multiple food allergies and have had anaphylactic reactions and now carry an epi pen. I have learned how to successfully substitute many foods in my recipes.. A lot of the recipes in the cookbook use numerous eggs.. Unfortunately, one of my food allergies is to eggs. I know how to substitute one egg with pretty good success, but I’m worried about how to substitute when there are multiple eggs- ie hidden vegi muffins. Any suggestions as I am new to using almond flour. Thank you 🙂

      • Catherine

        Have you tried the flax seed substitution? 1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal with 3 Tablespoons of water. I have tried it many times in muffins, cakes, even meatloaf, all with good results.

      • Alecia

        Have you tried duck eggs? I know a person who can’t eat chicken eggs but has no problem with duck eggs. They have a creamier yolk than chicken eggs, the whites are amazing for making meringues, and you can use them absolutely any way that you would otherwise eat chicken eggs. The only difference is that you cook at a lower temperature than chicken eggs when frying/scrambling/etc, and to hard boil them you boil for 8 minutes, take the pot off the heat, and leave the eggs covered to finish cooking for 20 more minutes.

        If you haven’t tried duck eggs and are interested, you can eat just a tiny morsel to start and see what happens, wait a couple days, try a little more, etc. – the same method by which one might find out if an unfamiliar plant is safe to eat if one is stuck in the wilderness in a survival situation. I think there’s a section on that in the army field manual. Also, genuinely free-ranged birds make much better eggs than anything you can find in the store, regardless of species, so it’s good to know where the eggs come from and how the ladies live. 🙂

  • Mindy

    Hi Danielle, as I am a paleo newbie, could you please recommend some recipe staples to keep in my pantry to avoid frustration and multiple shopping trips? Thank you so much for your wonderful blog!