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Grains are hard to give up? Really? Or sugar, for that matter

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The only reason I can find for that is that grains and/or the combination of grains are addictive. Because I just can't imagine that grains alone taste that good to anyone, maybe neutral, but not so good that they are hard to give up.
Think of wheat in any form: whole kernels, whole wheat flour or white flour. Then think about anything you can make from just wheat and water. Does it really taste that good? Let's even add some salt and some yeast so you can make bread. Does bread alone really taste that great? Or is it really the things that we eat with bread that makes it tasty: butter on top, meat, cheese and veggies to put in the sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly, chocolate spreads, now all that makes the bread sound a lot better. Even just bread dipped in olive oil with garlic is pretty good. But bread by itself or pancakes made just with flour and water taste incredibly bland, something to fill the stomach in a real emergency. So given all the dangers of eating grain, in particular the very high carb content, why not have all the other things that make grains taste good instead: milk, eggs, meat, olive oil, butter, vegetables, even dark chocolate, garlic and herbs.
The same really goes for rice as well. I ate at a Chinese restaurant the other day and the portion were plenty big for two people even without the rice, just meats and veggies and a yummy sauce.
The same actually goes for sugar as well. Sugar by itself is not that great. Just see if you could eat about 5 teaspoons in a row by itself and really enjoy it. But if you add dairy, eggs or nuts and other high-fat items and other flavors it gets interesting. So the same thing applies. How about having all those other things and using a healthier sugar substitute if you must have the sweet taste. For most people sugar alcohols like Xylitol or Eryhritol and also Stevia are better options than sugar. And maybe you will find that the sweetness can be reduced gradually to where very little sweetness will go a long way. At least that has been my experience. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHYGETSFIT 3/14/2013 10:09PM

    For some reason I didn't see this blog. I would agree with you that it's not the grains alone that taste so go it's the toppings or whatever is combined with it that makes it taste good. Oddly enough, I haven't had as much of a problem giving up bread, pasta, etc... as I thought I would.

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TWAYGOH 3/11/2013 5:24PM

    The primary thing about bread for me, that I miss, is the chewy. Yes, all the additives make it tasty, and I agree, it is definitely addictive to me, but I recognize that when I cut it out, I feel better, have more energy, and end up getting more actual nutrients from eating more veggies and real meat. But, I miss the chewy. Which is why i LOVE the flax muffin in a minute recipe. Love it. Gives me that chewy, gives that base to put other things on, and doesn't give me the negative side affects of wheat intake. Beyond all that, it actually does give me nutrients that I need, between the fiber and the protein in the egg.

Comment edited on: 3/11/2013 5:26:41 PM

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LOVESTOWALK49 3/11/2013 4:24PM

    I love bread with or without things on top. Bread is great with oil, jam or butter. Good bread is great without anything. I also love candy. I have no intention of going without bread or sugar. I need the energy.

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HOUNDLOVER1 3/11/2013 2:09PM

you are right that Europeans make some really good bread. I grew up in Germany and had access to it all my life. Still, for me they hold no attraction unless I put stuff on them unless I'm very hungry. There are no many artisanal bakeries in the US that make bread just as good or better tasting than what I grew up on, but still, I would like the crunch, but I can get that from eating things made with nuts.

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ROSEWAND 3/11/2013 2:04PM

    Actually really good bread stands on its own. It
tastes wonderful. My mother's homemade bread
hot out the oven was divine. The little artisan bakery
near my house makes great french baguettes that
need no topping to taste great. Fresh and crusty
on the outside while soft and delicate on the inside.
The baker's uses his mother's sour dough starter
to make his breads. He has wonderful multi-grain
breads as will.

I love bread i.e. really good bread. Always have and
always will. One of the first things one notices in
Europe is how good the breads are. Most
Americans have never had the opportunity to
experience the joys of real bread without conditioners
and additives.

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NAYPOOIE 3/11/2013 12:37PM

    I'm with you 100% on grains, but frankly I find straight sugar to be wonderful. Slightly modified sugar is too (cotton candy, hard candy). i have a horrible sweet tooth.

I'd really like to figure out a way to make a sourdough oopsie.

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JSTETSER 3/11/2013 12:25PM

    You always make me think....
Thank you for this thought provoking post1

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-LINDA_S 3/11/2013 10:37AM

    Funny, I was just kinda missing bread of sorts. Like a really good BLT. No, putting everything between lettuce won't do it for me. Since I don't seem to react to dairy, I think it's time to experiment with oopsie rolls in some different shapes...I just find it hard to imagine how they end up solid enough to put stuff on...

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KICK-SS 3/11/2013 12:16AM

    I have to agree, I think that bread has became the "tool" for so many other things - all of the things you can make with bread... bread puddings, croutons with butter of course, sandwiches, crisp breads, toast, french toast - all of these usually have something on them - jellies, butter, fruit preserves etc. The flour is the vessel for the beginning of so much more - or the flour, if you will - flour to make cakes, cookis and all those things.

If we ate JUST bread, no adornments, no flavorings, so salt, no toppings, etc. - I think it would be much easier to give it up. I used to have a problem when I'd want a sandwich - I had this meat, cheese, lettuce, etc - but just thought I had to have bread to put it over those toppings. I think it would be easier for a lot of people to give up if they would just think of bread as "a ball of dough" - doesn't sound near as appetizing does it?

Once I got used to not eating bread or having bread as a carrier for so many other things, I did a whole lot better... I very seldom eat bread any more. I eat a few 100% whole grain crackers (AkMak) no preservatives or anything in it, I don't just sit and eat them like I used to do with Saltines, Ritz crackers or whatever - they don't have all that much taste all by themselves... don't have thos habit forming chemicals and stuff in them.

I can say I'm about 99% grain free at this point - grains of any kind.

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FLAMENM 3/10/2013 10:35PM

    I actually have tasted great bread. When it's homemade with local artisinal red hard wheat, oh it tastes so good. But not good enough to eat all the time.
I think a lot of grains are used as filler. It takes effort to plan a meal. breads and grains can be a nice filler and tie-together.

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VHALKYRIE 3/10/2013 10:28PM

    People who say that they can't give up bread baffle me. While I believe some of us are more sensitive to grains than others, the abject refusal and resistance is odd. I used to eat Cheerios every day for breakfast, and the other day when I tasted one, I was like, "What was so good about this?" Was I eating it because I liked it, or because it was supposedly endorsed by the American Heart Association? I eat small amounts of bread and starches, but nowhere near the supposed 4-6 servings per day that was the standard dietary recommendation. I eat it occasionally, but if I had to, I absolutely could eliminate it from my diet if it was coming between me and my goals.

Comment edited on: 3/10/2013 10:28:51 PM

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CINDYTW 3/10/2013 10:08PM

  I do struggle with this, because when I eat say, a lettuce wrap for breakfast it does not hold me over as long and isn't as satisfying as a GF breakfast sandwich on a Rudis wholegrain roll. I know it probably isn't best for me, but I feel more satisfied and snack less this way. I am working it out. I KNOW low carb and Paleo are best, but I have had a struggle with it lately.

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WHEAT_ON_TRIAL 3/10/2013 9:49PM

    I would say it hasn't been difficult giving up grains this past week for exactly what you've shared - it's all the other stuff that goes with it that's just as tasty! Went to an Italian restaurant yesterday and had the best spinach salad - goat cheese, chicken, craisins, pumpkin seeds, tossed in olive oil. My husband offered me a bite of his pulled pork sandwich, but I was able to say no and didn't feel like I was missing out because I loved everything else I was eating!

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HOUNDLOVER1 3/10/2013 9:47PM

    Wow, great example Woubbie. emoticon
Lindiemae, I love how you use the word "ingrained" emoticon

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LINDIEMAE 3/10/2013 9:37PM

    REally good blog and really good questions to get us to think why these things are so important in our diets, or food management. They are because they have been ingrained into our psych - via tv adds, other forms of media, and worst of all governments who push to have a serving of so many grains a day without any idea of what they do to people. Infact the only time a politician would get involved would be if it was THEIR loved on that had the health issue. So once something is so ingrained in your head, its really hard to believe that they are the boogy man so to speak. The only grain I intend to eat, and knowingly is corn, the kernal - by its self with seasoning. It has always been my favourite vegetable emoticon and yes I know its a grain, but it will always be a vegetable to me.

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WOUBBIE 3/10/2013 9:34PM

    I had to laugh - today at our spaghetti dinner fundraiser we were serving crusty Italian rolls from a local favorite bakery, Mancini's, and the kitchen workers were snitching them occasionally: to take them back to the oven area to sop up the excess meat sauce that was left on the baking trays on which it was heated! The scouts would come by and beg for some, but then look at me funny if I didn't offer them butter to go with them. XD So much for the great bread!

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A1 and A2 milk - should more cows get tested?

Saturday, March 09, 2013

After reading enough to know that A1 milk can possibly cause type 1 diabetes and heart disease I'm wondering why the US is far behind New Zealand and Australia as far as testing cows. At least bulls that are popular sires should be tested so that dairy farmers have the option to breed cows that carry the A2 genes. The test is now available through UC Davis vet school in the United States and it is fairly inexpensive at $25.00 per cow. For all those who get their milk from small local producers let them know about this option. Whether milk is A1 or A2 is potentially much more important then whether the milk is organic or raw. In the meantime it may be worth it to switch to goat milk, which is always A2.
Here is the website at UC Davis that explains about the testing.


We need to demand healthy, high quality foods from our producers to bring about changes in the food industry.
We have offered to the owners of the dairy we buy from to pay for testing for one of their animals. It is a very small investment that will be worth it very quickly. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILVERWITCH59 3/10/2013 9:16PM

    I have never really liked milk . Thankfully my mom never forced us to drink it. I do like raw milk but it is illegal to buy here. Nothing better then home made goat milk cheese ;)
I believe that the government does not care about our health they only care about money and new and improved way to line their pockets. LOL I here know they would like to put aspartame in milk. WHY?????

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-LINDA_S 3/10/2013 8:33PM

    I've never been all that fond of milk (except maybe with cookies!), but I do love some good cheese, sour cream, heavy cream and especially butter, which I will NOT give up! Being off dairy for over 6 weeks at a time does not seem to have made any difference in anything with me, so I'm not gonna worry too much about it, but if there's really that big a difference in A1 and A2 cows, something should be done to at least identify the types.

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WOUBBIE 3/9/2013 12:59PM

    Dairy producers simply need to turn it into a "benefit" as opposed to a "feature" of their products. If they can find even a shred of evidence that more people can tolerate the A2 product than the A1 then more people will buy more dairy, and A2 in preference to the A1. It's all in the marketing.

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HOUNDLOVER1 3/9/2013 12:49PM

    I've heard the argument that milk is for baby animals before and it does make sense. On the other hand there are people groups that have been drinking milk from domesticated animals like cows, goats, sheep and camels for thousands of years with no ill effects like the ones that seem to be coming from A1 milk.
My daughter has had to deal with acne and neither giving up grains and legumes nor giving up dairy has made any difference in her case. I suspect that there are other factors involved as well.
I do suspect that people who are sensitive to dairy will either dislike it or crave it. For me, having grown up on lots of dairy, I've always loved cheese, yogurt and cream and those were harder for me to give up.
The difficulty I have with almond and coconut products is not just the taste, which does not even come close to dairy for me, but the fact that both are much lower in protein than dairy so I have to consume much more or get my protein from meat and eggs. This is why I'm hoping that A2 dairy will work for me on at least an occasional basis.

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PYNETREE 3/9/2013 8:58AM

    Wow! Thanks for sharing.

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JSTETSER 3/9/2013 6:30AM

    You are so right. I started years ago making small changes to my diet. Every month, my husband and I still make one small change. It's amazing how quickly the changes add up.
Thanks for the info on mild.

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DOVESEYES 3/9/2013 5:36AM

    Some really interesting points here and some great comments.

Thanks for bringing this topic to your blog

Country Living Team


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    Even as a child, when my mother would try to force me to drink my milk, it's good for you, I would resist. I'm not a cow, I would argue, so how is cow milk good for me? I never liked milk at all, but back then in the 70s choices like soy/almond milk did not exist in my area stores, and cereal was our daily breakfast. Eventually I discovered I was lactose intolerant and much later figured out milk and dairy products were causing bad acne. By that time it was much easier to find milk alternatives and I switched several years ago and have never looked back.

I have not done the research but I still maintain cow milk is for cows and there is no inherent reason why humans should be drinking it. Just recently I've seen references to a study that shows cow milk might actually leach calcium from your bones instead of building them like the industry promotes. I haven't read the study yet so I can't comment but I do know there are plenty of other ways to get your calcium, which your body can only absorb in small doses at a time anyway.

My parents, unfortunately, are still convinced that milk is a necessary staple of life.

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LINDIEMAE 3/9/2013 12:29AM

    My daughter would say we live in a chemical world and that you canna avoid all chemicals. I think we can if its done properly. Another though - man is the only animal that purposesly drinks the milk of another animal - read that somewhere, i don't do the regular dairy often enough to worry about it. I drink almond milk, when I need milk. I get it unsweetened. Keep up the research - and remember that the US is a much larger country with vast resources then Australia and New Zealand who are more into protecting their industry because of that, or so I've heard. emoticon

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Still experimenting with dairy - this is hard to figure out

Thursday, March 07, 2013

I'll have to take some more time to go more into detail, but so far I seem to be able to tolerate goat yogurt well, but not goat cheese. I also had a reaction to some restaurant food that I thought I did not react to before. Today, after a bowl of goat yogurt my pulse was lower than it had been in a while, about 78 while driving my car.
There are just too many factors that could make a difference.
Tomorrow I will start serious exercise again so it will be interesting what happens.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILVERWITCH59 3/8/2013 9:02PM

    Do you use fresh goat milk or canned. I hope you find something that works for you :)

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CINDYTW 3/7/2013 11:08AM

  Well, thats something! I can do some goat cheeses better than cow but still isn't the best thing for me. I have been trying to like the dairy substitutes, but it is hard and a lot of them have stuff in there I don't really want to be eating. emoticon

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EXOTEC 3/7/2013 10:54AM

    You might also try the truly non-dairy alternatives -- there are all sorts of "dairy" products made with coconut or almond milk. I LOVE the coconut milk "ice cream" (but note: I grew up thinking sherbet was ice cream -- I *like* the less creamy texture).

I've been seeing a few coupons out there for the So Delicious brand. They make little mini ice cream sandwiches that are about 3-4 bites, and very tasty to my reckoning. Another company makes a short list of ice creams from coconut milk in nice flavors. I can occasionally find yogurts made with either of these "milks." Mostly, the big chain stores don't carry them...although I see they're listed as available on the WalMart webpage (?). I've never seen them in my local, but evidently it's a possibility. I get most of my things of this nature from a local independent which really supports the regional growers and producers. I like to do whatever I can to aid that effort, so I always start there.

If you can't get the goat milk to settle, see if you can find any coconut or almond products.

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JSTETSER 3/7/2013 5:48AM

    I have never tried goat yogurt. I do know that restaurant food and what we buy in the store are two entirely different animals.
Stick with the home foods whenever possible.

Don't look back, you're not going that way.

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CATHYGETSFIT 3/7/2013 3:24AM

    It seems that many things on our journey is worked out by trial and error. I was just talking to another Spark Friend about eating low-carb and she found that eating when she limited her carb intake too much she'd feel woozy and light-headed after long runs. So, for her limiting her carbs to about 200g per day works better. We are all unique in many ways and have to find what works for us. I hope you'll eventually find what works best for you.

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DOVESEYES 3/7/2013 3:00AM

    Trial and error is the only way really isn't as we are all individuals and the outcomes are often unique to us?
There are so many factors that can affect and effect us.

Great to catch up on how it's going

Country Living Team

emoticon emoticon

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Reasons why low-carb diets may not work or not work very well and how to correct that

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

I run into a few people from time to time who tell me that low-carb did not work for them. Many times the reasons are related to things mentioned in this helpful article:


Many other times people have other health issues that keep them from being successful. Common problems are two that I have experienced in the past: hypothyroidism and other allergies that affect how comfortable and energetic one feels.

Another factor that can play a role are existing eating disorders, an unhealthy environment (family not on board, too much stress, too little sleep etc.) . These are all reasons why other steps need to be added to a low-carb diet (or any diet) to be successful.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-LINDA_S 3/8/2013 11:46AM

    Thanks, Birgit! Very informative!

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WHEAT_ON_TRIAL 3/7/2013 9:52PM

    I was tested for thyroid issues last November in trying to rule out what some of my issues have been and was perplexed when they came out negative - but now am trying low carb. So on the bright side, I won't have to deal with hypothyroidism while doing this experiment!

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KELTIC-CARA 3/7/2013 2:47AM

    Great info, thanks for the link


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DOVESEYES 3/7/2013 12:06AM

    Thanks for this blog it really got us talking

Country Living Team

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SILVERWITCH59 3/6/2013 9:14PM

    Thanks for sharing . I have never really thought about anything other then calories in calories out. I believe it is all about moderation emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LINDIEMAE 3/6/2013 9:04PM

    I'll have to read the article, but another issue is having a cheat day - to eat what you gave up, I mean you gave it up for a reason, but you gotta have a cheat day to have it again? I understand that it might be hard not to resist certain foods - but a cheat day ? Planned ? I don't do them.. they can throw my whole food management out the window. Just my 2 cents eh emoticon dinner time, gotta go - cheers

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M77355 3/6/2013 7:03PM

    What a helpful blogpost!

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CATHYGETSFIT 3/6/2013 7:00PM

    Great article! Thanks for posting! I haven't weighed myself so I don't know if the low-carb thing is working or not. But I do feel better for the most part eating fewer carbs and that matters more to me than the weight. I'm still learning how to eat low-carb but I'm doing fairly well overall. Honestly, I wouldn't go back to eating more carbs. I may go over on my carb limit but it's not by too terribly much and like I said, I feel better eating with the low-carb diet.

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SUTERSPACE 3/6/2013 3:11PM

    Low carb diets work for me, I just really LOVE my carbs and found it hard to say no. I've been much better at it lately and the scales show it, YAY.

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EJOY-EVELYN 3/6/2013 12:36PM

    Great article.

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BLUENOSE63 3/6/2013 12:36PM

  Yep I know that a low carb diet would never work for me as I need the glycemin that carbs produce to keep the level normal in my body. Our body has a set Glycemic Index and when you let that amount fall to low, then the body goes into self preservation mode and keeps weight on even though you are exercising. These levels need to be replenished after every exercising session . ...foods like bananas, apples, strawberries, avacadoes etc.

Comment edited on: 3/6/2013 5:12:22 PM

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Read this book or stop drinking milk/eating dairy

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Devil in the Milk: Illness, Health and the Politics of A1 and A2 Milk


This book is not brand-new. It was published in March of 2009 and it is amazing that it has not gotten more reviews or become much better known.
It explains why there are two types of milk, A1 and A2, and why we should only drink A2, but are mostly sold A1 in the grocery store.
Knowing and understanding the difference may make the difference in whether you can tolerate dairy or whether eating dairy causes many health problems, possibly including type 1 diabetes, heart disease, autism and more.
I am only starting to read it but wanted to share the link because many of the reviews are quite helpful to understand the issue.
I am currently experimenting with consuming A2 dairy again and so far it seems to work. More about that in my next blog.

P.S. Any paleo/primal, vegan or low-carb eaters who have read this book, please comment to let me know what you think.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHY_BEACH 3/11/2013 12:15PM

    My grandparents were farmers, we used to have fresh milk every day we visited with them. I had never been a fan of fresh or store bought and with all the information about it hardly ever have any milk, occasionaly on cereal. I DO use coconut and almond milk a lot, but organic or fresh is what I prefer

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SLIMMERKIWI 3/10/2013 1:50AM

    Perhaps this information should be read as well - later information


Comment edited on: 3/10/2013 1:51:00 AM

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CATHYGETSFIT 3/7/2013 3:05AM

    Interesting! I didn't know there was any difference in milk other than whether it's organic or not. I have pretty much given up milk of any kind. I do consume a little bit of half and half but that's it.

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ZEALIA 3/4/2013 7:04AM

    Thank you for the book recommendation!

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KELTIC-CARA 3/4/2013 4:19AM

    I am aware of the difference and just gave up milk all together


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SEEINGCLEARLY53 3/4/2013 2:12AM


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DOVESEYES 3/3/2013 11:19PM

    Milk and dairy don't affect me but Australia has started offering A2 milk.

Back to natural I say.

Country Living Team

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WOUBBIE 3/3/2013 11:10PM

    Another good choice that I'll have to pass on to my sister and niece!

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SPARKCHICA777 3/3/2013 10:45PM

  This is really interesting. I most definitely will read that book :)

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LINDIEMAE 3/3/2013 10:34PM

    Milk and most dairy products are acidic to the bones, Sam Graci writes about this in his book about which I blogged when I first learned I had osteoporosis - while the majority are listed as low acidic, they are also full of unhealthy things controled by the so called Dairy Board or conglomerates that control what milk is sent to market. I'll check out the link ... I know that when purchasing organic, that sometimes the milk destined to be organic can be stored in a non organic tank .. ends it being organic...

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