FAQ

1. Why don’t you post nutritional information for your recipes?

I don’t encourage calorie counting, because I believe it’s more important to focus on the quality of the food you eat, rather than a self-imposed calorie or macronutrient limit. A cookie made with protein-rich almond flour may have more calories than a 100-calorie package of processed cookies, but I’d much rather eat the higher calorie cookie that’s made with ingredients that my body can recognize and will keep my hormones in balance. This is the philosophy I use when creating all of my recipes, using only real food ingredients. To work with all those numbers would take the enjoyment out of sharing recipes for me!

If using nutrition information is imperative for your own lifestyle, you can calculate the nutrition information for any of my recipes using a free website like Fitday or MyFitnessPal. Simply add in all of the ingredients into the nutrition calculator, and divide by the number of servings!

2. Where did you receive your nutrition training?

I received my nutrition training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. If you have any questions about IIN, please read through my IIN FAQ.

In addition, I’ve also trained in Intelligent Detox Counseling with clinical nutritionist Natalia Rose, and attended the Detox Culinary Institute with chef Doris Choi.

3. Why do you choose to consume goat dairy over cow dairy?

Goat’s milk has a smaller protein molecule, making it significantly easier to digest than cow’s dairy. People who are mildly lactose-intolerant can often tolerate goat’s milk just fine. It also tastes much better, in my opinion!

4. What’s the difference between juicing and blending veggies? Which is better?

Juicing removes the fiber of the vegetables, quickly flooding your body with nutrients, without needing to go through the digestive process. This is thought to give your body a rest, saving your energy to work on other areas of the body. Blending veggies does not remove the fiber, it simply makes it easier to digest by breaking down the veggies before consumption (like “chewing” them for you!).

One option isn’t necessarily “better” than the other–> it completely depends on the person and each individual situation. Personally, I like to drink both!

5. I think I have a Candida issue. What do you recommend for Candida Cleansing?

Many suffer from Candida overgrowth, and there is much debate on the best approach to battle it. In my own experience, I’ve used Natalia Rose’s Detox 4 Women plan. I also recommend reading Breaking the Vicious Cycle, for a different approach to healing digestion, and therefore, also starving yeast. Regardless of the diet you choose, reducing overall sugar intake is a step in the right direction!

You can also see the candida tools I’ve personally tried on my Resources page.

6. I’d like to read more about nutrition, which books do you recommend?

You can find all of my favorite health and nutrition books on my Recommended Reading page. I’ll be sure to keep it updated with all my new favorites!

7. What’s your favorite juicer, blender, spiralizer, etc?

My favorite kitchen tools are listed here.

8. Substitutions.

I receive a LOT of substitution questions, and I don’t always know the answer to them. Grain-free baking is especially tricky, so a “trial and error” approach is usually what works best.

As a general overview, here are a few substitution options:

To replace…

Blanched almond flour: Ground almond meal, or any other ground nut or seed meal should work (i.e. sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans, etc.), though the flavor may be affected with any substitution. Coconut flour will NOT replace any other flour– it’s tricky! Grain-based flours and other gluten-free flours will also NOT work as a substitute for a nut-based flour.

Almond butter or peanut butter: Any other nut butter can be substituted, but since some are oilier than others, results may vary. For those allergic to nuts, sunflower seed butter may be used as a substitute. A word of warning about baking with sunflower seed butter–> when mixed with baking soda, it can turn baked goods GREEN! The results are totally safe to eat, but it can be a shock if you’re not prepared for it.

Sunflower Seed Butter: Any nut butter, such as almond, cashew, or peanut butter, will work as a substitute. Keep in mind that nut you choose may affect the flavor, and oily nuts such as pecans or macadamias may affect the texture.

Butter: Coconut oil or palm shortening can be used interchangeably with butter.

Coconut Oil: Butter or palm shortening can be used interchangeably with coconut oil.

Honey: Pure maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or coconut nectar may be used instead. I don’t recommend using agave, as it’s highly processed and very high in fructose. If you’re looking to avoid sugar all together, I prefer NuNaturals stevia, as it doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste like other stevia products on the market. When baking with stevia, be sure to add extra to taste, as some of the sweetness is removed with heat.

Goat cheese: In most cases, any type of cheese will do. It can also be omitted completely, as in the case of my cauliflower pizza crust, but the results may vary. For a vegan “cheese” flavor, nutritional yeast can be added to many recipes.

Eggs: Flax or chia eggs will work in many cases, especially in cookies. For recipes calling for more than one egg, as in muffins or cakes, the resulting baked goods will NOT rise as well with flax or chia eggs. One mashed banana may also be used in some recipes, and I’ve heard great things about Ener-G egg replacer, but have not tried it myself.

Have more questions? Feel free to contact me!

Comments

  1. Barry says

    So, you say to avoid Agave as it is too processed but I buy raw agave. Still bad? I love that it sweetens without distorting flavor too much.

  2. Barry says

    Thanks for the response. I dug a little deeper and it would seem that one or two might be slightly better than others. At this point I can’t be bothered. I’ll have to give coconut nectar a go because I don’t really like how honey makes coffee taste. Thanks again for the response!

    • says

      Stevia is a great sugar-free option! Some brands can taste bitter, so I recommend using NuNaturals or KAL brands for the best flavor. (The liquid variety blends easily into everything!)

      Sometimes it’s helpful to mix the stevia with other natural sweeteners in recipes that call for honey or maple syrup, to reduce the sugar content without losing the flavor of “real” sugar, too.

  3. Paula says

    Thank you so much for sharing all this amazing information and recipes!
    I was wondering what you thought about coconut yogurt?

    • says

      I think coconut yogurt is a great idea, but the only ones I’ve seen available in stores have added sugars. I usually prefer to buy the “plain” yogurts, and add my own natural sweetener. I’ve made homemade coconut yogurt, though, and it was delicious! (A little more work, though, so I don’t have it very often!)

      • Paula says

        Thank you Megan! I really enjoy your recipes. My 4 year old son and I made the oil free broccoli pesto last night and it was amazing! I couldn’t believe how good it taste, AND couldn’t keep it away from my son! :-)
        Thanks again!

    • says

      I don’t actually track macronutrient ratios myself– that falls into the “calorie counting” realm for me, and I find that sort of tracking and counting to be maddening. While I don’t follow any specific diet or plan, I do like Dr. Fuhrman’s food pyramid. I love how he features veggies as the majority of our calories! :)

  4. Lisa Kann says

    Hi Megan,

    I was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease and I have found your blog to be a life saver. Thank you for all your hard work, it is truly appreciated!

  5. Hannah says

    Hi Megan,
    I have really been loving your site and all you recipes! I am hoping to go into the field of holistic health and I am looking into doing the Institute for Integrative Nutrition after I graduate college. I’ve been trying to figure out what to choose for my major and was wondering if you could tell me what you majored in?

    • says

      Hi Hannah! I wasn’t interested in studying nutrition until after I graduated college, so I studied illustration and graphic design while I was there. I actually still work as a professional illustrator, and just do the health coaching and this blog as a hobby. I’m sure your college has an adviser who can help you pick the best major for your goals! Good luck!

  6. Preslie C says

    hi meghan! i love nuts but many people say that it is good to limit your consumption. do u watch ur nut consumption and what do u think about the whole omega 3 to omega 6 ratio thing lol?

  7. Karla says

    Hi Natasha,

    I am doing a juice detox. All Juice for 30 days, or perhaps even 60. I am on Day 9 today and I feel good, but I’m feeling a little discouraged because I haven’t lost much weight. I am doing this to reboot my body, but I also plan to maintain a total lifestyle change and eat only whole food, micro-nutrient food when I go back to real food. So the goal is physical and spiritual cleansing, but a perk was going to be the weight loss. Can you perhaps tell me why my body might be holding onto the weight currently? I live in Boston, so I anticipate it could be the cold. Or perhaps not enough water? Or not enough juice? Any suggestions of how I can improve would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Kaira,

      Have you done a juice fast before? 30 days is a very ambitious amount of time, if you’re a newbie, and involves quite a bit of information that I wouldn’t be comfortable sharing over the internet. I hope you’ll find a better resource online or in the library to help you have a successful experience!

      Good luck!
      Megan

  8. says

    Hi Megan,

    What’s your opinion on seitan as a meat substitute? I’ve recently started making my own (and, hence, have doubled how often I eat it!). It’s primarily wheat gluten so I hear mixed reviews…thoughts? Thanks in advance!

  9. Joel says

    Hey!

    Im just getting an understanding on the food combining…

    I read that it is not good to consume two types of protien at once (or two types of animal protein at one time). Also, that milk/yogurt should be consumed by itself, and that sweet fruits and acid fruits should not be combined.

    I would love some clarification/help with this.
    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Joel!

      Yes, for the most part, I do believe that eating one protein per meal is best. The simpler, the better! Of course, exceptions can always be made, since this lifestyle has to be not only physically satisfying, but also socially and emotionally fulfilling, to be maintained for the long term.

      For the same reason, I also try not to get too nit-picky when it comes to food combining. There are other food combining charts that are much more complicated than mine, but I’m not willing to over-think everything I consume! This approach is a huge step in the right direction, and if one becomes comfortable with this basic set of rules and feels the need to keep moving forward, the rules can always be more refined as you go. In fact, there are some “mono-eaters” who will only eat one food item per meal, for best digestion! Obviously, that lifestyle is not for a beginner– you don’t want to scare anyone off from making changes for the better!

      Hope that helps!

  10. Angie says

    What do you think about Coconut Sugar? Is it pretty close to sucanut as far as being “healthy”?

    I love your site!

    Thanks!

  11. Erin says

    Hi Megan! Just wondering if you use eggs very often and if so do you have any recipes. I have 7 hens laying right now and need some ideas for myself and my family.
    Thank you kindly

    • says

      Hi Erin! I do eat a lot of eggs, but mostly I eat them simply fried or hard-boiled. A few recipes of mine that include eggs are my Cauliflower Fried Rice, Flourless Zucchini Pie, and Eggplant Lasagna. If you search for them in the little search box on the right-hand side, the recipes will pop right up!

  12. Leah Martell says

    Hi Megan,
    Can you substitute a different ingredient for coconut in your recipes? I’m intolerant to coconut but would love a chance to make your recipes. So many of them look amazing – thanks for creating this website.

    • Megan says

      I can only share and recommend what I’ve tried myself– so any other substitutions will have to be an experiment! Depending on the recipe, I’m sure you can find alternatives to coconut. For coconut oil, real butter is the best choice. I also have plenty of recipes for almond flour, if you prefer using that over coconut flour, but the two are not interchangeable, so I’d recommend starting with an almond flour recipe, rather than trying to find a substitute for coconut flour. Best of luck to you!

  13. Ed Buerger says

    My wife is lactose-intolerant but would like a substitute for sour cream to use in dips. Any ideas?

    • Megan says

      Can your wife tolerate goat’s dairy? Some people with lactose-intolerance can tolerate goat products, so if that’s the case, I always use plain goat’s milk yogurt as a sour cream substitute. (Look for brands with no sugar added, and as few fillers as possible. Capretta is a great brand available at Whole Foods.)

      If goat’s milk isn’t an option, then I’d suggest searching for a “raw sour cream” recipe, maybe one made with blended cashews?

  14. Susan says

    Megan ~ I’m a Type 1 diabetic trying to control glucose levels and insulin use through exercise and a carefully controlled low-carb diet (<40g per day). You have great recipes and they seem generally diabetic-friendly, with some minor substitutions (primarily stevia). I've been baking Lois Lang's almond bread but would prefer something without eggs, if that's even possible. Have you ever made almond bread using flax eggs?

    • Megan says

      I’ve made a banana bread using almond flour and flax eggs: http://detoxinista.com/2012/05/almond-flour-banana-bread-vegan-friendly/ The tricky thing about baking with flax eggs, is that it’s very difficult to achieve a firm, well-cooked middle in any baked goods. Even in my banana bread, the result may have a slightly soggy middle which is challenging to avoid. Since the recipe is vegan, you don’t have to worry about under-cooked eggs, but the texture isn’t appealing to everyone. (I, however, love it!) It’s definitely not something I’d recommend trying when cooking for guests, but it’s fine when you’re only trying to please yourself!

  15. Johanna says

    Hello Megan

    First of all congratulations with the coming baby!
    Due to a tired liver, I had to stop eating animalprotein and so I started a vegan diet. I love your recipes, especially your vegan mac’n cheese, it’s making me very popular at home :)
    I was just wondering how do I get enough protein in my diet, because to much pees easily give my headaches.

    Kind regards from Belgium

    Johanna

  16. Arielle says

    Hi Megan,

    Which kind of gluten-free bread do you reccomend? There are so many options out there, it can be overwhelming trying to decifer the ingredient list?

    Thanks!!

    • Megan says

      So far, I think they’re a good option to throw into my “mix” of workouts. I get bored easily, so I can’t commit to just one program for a whole 9 months, but combined with my Physique 57 and Jackie Warner DVDs, the Pregancy Project has been a fun way to change it up!

  17. Holli says

    I saw someone else also asked this question but I didn’t see an answer. What do you recommend as far as prenatal vitamins?

  18. Laura says

    Do you drink a lot of green tea? Is there something that I should look for when purchasing it? Now that you’re pregnant, do you ever drink it?

  19. Stacy says

    Is the food for life brand brown rice tortillas healthy to eat?

    And for protein powder, what do u recommend d for someone who is allergic to hemp, dairy…. Is nutribiotic healthy, or is that loaded with metals?

    Lastly, what is your consensus on non gmo sprouted tofu? Can it help balance hormone levels (due to the phytoestrogens) or can it make estrogen isssues worse? There is so much misinformation in soy, yet I feel it is because the studies are done on the bad soy (like isolate and tvp), whereas the non gmo organic and sprouted says are mot tested, yet these are what Asian cultures eat everyday
    Thanks a bunch

    • Megan says

      Yes, I think Food for Life makes some great healthy grain-based alternatives. For protein powder, I’m not familiar with the brand you mentioned, but I use this one: http://amzn.to/YBFTrn

      I think organic sprouted tofu is most likely fine on occasion, but I tend to avoid most un-fermented soy products because thyroid conditions run in my family. As always, it’s up to us as individuals to make choices that are appropriate for our own situations, so I can only share my own experience. Hope that helps!

  20. Stacy says

    Thanks so much. Will organic tofu do anything to estrogen levels? (help lower them? Orwould it raise them?)…. It seems no one knows the consensus of their phytoestrogenic properties

  21. Jennifer says

    I recently did a 3-day detox and feel great. I am now transitioning into incorporating more detox foods into my diet and so far, so good. However, I drink quite a bit of green tea (caffeine) and wasn’t sure if that is okay or not. Can you please let me know if that is okay or if I should eliminate it completely? Thanks so much!

  22. melissa says

    I couldn’t find a place to join to get recipes and tips. could you send me a link so I could join? I love a lot of your recipes. i’m on HCG diet and doing really well. i’m looking for recipes during my stabilizing phase. thanks!

  23. Kristy says

    Hi Megan,

    I love your site! Not only is the content excellent, but the layout and design are wonderful as well. I have two questions for you.

    My husband and I have a 3 year old and an almost 1 year old. Since young children’s digestion is a little different from adults, is it ok for them to eat anything we would eat especially regarding detoxifying foods (dandelion leaves, turmeric, daily lemon water, chia/hemp seeds, goji berries, etc.) or are there some foods that we should wait about introducing them to?

    Also, I have done many google searches for healthy cake and frosting recipes for a first birthday and can’t seem to find anything that isn’t loaded with sugar and/or dairy. Do you have any recipes that would be healthy enough for a one year old (who has never eaten dairy)? She also hasn’t had eggs, but I don’t expect to find a recipe for a cake without eggs so this might have to be her first time for that. Trying to make healthy decisions for my children can be so overwhelming at times…it’s such a big responsibility. Thanks for any tips you can give!

  24. Marlane says

    I am beginning gluten free and started using almond flour— but I saw an article about negative effects with it. What is a concern/ just don’t use too often?

  25. Sara Douglas says

    Hi Megan,
    I have some questions regarding anti-nutrients in foods, specifically quinoa. I understand the outer shell of the quinoa seed is a protective cover containing saponins and lectins. How much if any of those compounds are removed during processing? What is the typical amount someone would need to consume in order to suffer from “leaky gut syndrome” as a result of those compounds, gluten, and the ‘jagged edges’ of the quinoa seed which tears up the lining of the intestine?
    On a side note, I love your blog; have made several of the recipes and I look almost daily for new content. Keep posting the awesomeness!!!
    thank you so much,
    Sara

    • Gretchen says

      See the book “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon for a complete answer to this question and instructions. In short, soaking nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes in water 7-24 hours neutralizes anti-nutrients and makes them more digestible.

  26. sasa says

    Hi Megan!
    sorry if you have already mentioned this through your recepies, but when you say CUP of something, nuts for example, that quantity in grams is?
    for someone it is 150gr, or 200gr, or 250gr….
    thank you so much for your help, and recepies, website is great.

    sasa and mirjana

  27. Beth says

    What type of all natural PB do you use? I experimented with Paleo for a while, which did not allow Peanuts or Peanut butter, and I’ve grown to love Almond butter, but sometime I just need PB. Any good suggestions? What are you thoughts on PB2? Thanks, love your blog!

  28. beth says

    A lot of vegan recipes (including your mac and cheese) use nutritional yeast. I have to avoid all yeasts including this one. Is there a substitute that you can suggest or would the recipe be ok to omit it?

  29. Kat says

    I noticed a lot of your recipes use coconut something. Coconut flour, coconut oil (mostly coconut oil) etc. I have tried, so many times, to like coconut, but I *really* dislike coconut in all its forms. Substitute suggestion?

    • Gretchen says

      Expeller pressed coconut oil has no coconut scent or taste. Substitutes are ghee, butter, or palm shortening. Coconut flour recipes can’t easily be converted, because coconut flour is so unusually dense and soaks up more moisture than other flours. Better to find a new recipe not using coconut flour.

  30. Mary says

    I’m confused. If you shouldn’t combine fruits with other foods why are they in some of your recipes, such as the almond butter pancakes having applesauce as an ingredient?
    Thanks!
    Mary

    • Megan says

      Not all of my recipes are perfectly combined, as I think it’s more important to create some realistic “transition foods” to help people transition away from a mainstream diet. Those pancakes, along with many of my other grain-free baked goods, are a perfect option for those who need to avoid gluten and grains, while still tasting as delicious as traditional pancakes!

  31. wyndie says

    hello Megan! Thank you so much for your amazing recipes! I am planning to make your coconut flour pumpkin bars. I was wondering if I could use a pumpkin spice blend instead of the individual spices? If so, how much do you recommend? Thank you!

  32. says

    Hi Megan
    Finding this website has been the best accident of my life and I’m a geezer! I would like to know what your thoughts are on xylitol? I use it daily as a sweetener however I haven’t seen it in any of your recipes.

    Rich B

    PS I included my wife’s website because she also did a great deal of illustration work in the past. PSS Your awesome!!

    • Gretchen says

      Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride recommends avoiding xylitol. She has an advanced degree in nutrition. Rebecca Wood, whole food guru, also does not recommend xylitol. Stevia can be substituted for xylitol, although google a conversion table.

  33. Mjrandall says

    Megan, Your site is really enjoyable. The date energy balls are great but the batches I have made are too oily and I followed the recipe. Have you made them without the oil?

  34. Reader says

    What do you think about soaked chia seeds that are combined with coconut oil ? I know that since its soaked, it cannot be properly combined with the oil but is it ok to still eat both together ? will it impair digestion or anything like that?

  35. Zainab says

    which is better canned coconut milk or the one in carton? I usually but the silk brand and was wondering which one has more nutritions and less fat

  36. maria rivera says

    Hello, I came across your information and have always been interested in food combining. Being of Latin decent, our meals and traditional recipes consists of a rich variety of healthy beans in our repertoire. Many of our meals consist of “rice and beans”, which I’ve always thought to be very healthy! I am Puerto Rican. I noticed that beans are not included in your chart.

  37. rachel kaiser says

    Hi, I am making your frosted sugar cookies and my dough came out super crumbly and not thick and creamy. I’m not sure what I did wrong. I followed your recipe except that I used regular Nature Nate’s pure raw & unfiltered honey instead of RAW honey or maple syrup. Is there anything I can add to make it creamier? Dough tastes great but it is too crumbly to scoop cookies onto a cookie sheet.

    Thanks!

  38. Kristina says

    I am very interested in your recipes but I noticed that a lot of them use almond flour or almond milk, etc. What substitute can I use, since my son has tree nut allergies?

  39. Laura says

    I couldn’t find a where I could sign up to receive your blog in my email in box. Can you please add me to your list.

    Love you web site.

    Thank you,
    Laura

  40. Diane says

    Hello, I am very interested in food combining and have printed your chart, so thank you very much for providing this to your avid visitors.
    I just have one question, why must vegetables be cooked when combining with eggs?
    Appreciate your time in responding.
    Regards,
    Diane from Melbourne, Australia.

  41. Elaine says

    I am making your coconut flour chocolate chip cookies and don’t see how 1/3 cup coconut flour can possibly be correct. The amount is so miniscule. I had to leave what I originally wrote and then I decided not to send this until the recipe and baking were all done and I have to say I am shocked. I can’t believe it worked!! They are tiny but it DID make 12 cookies and they are really good. Thank you so much and especially for proving me wrong. I am impressed!!

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