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Hey Laura, which fish is better: wild or farmed?

This is an indirect question brought up by Katie’s comment to my GMO or No? post. Since my family is starting to dabble in pescetarianism, I was curious too.

Which is better for you and/or the environment? Farmed fish or wild fish? Do we have to sacrifice the health of our bodies for the health of the environment?

I started out by reading this Whole Foods Market article on Seafood Sustainability. It has a great FAQ at the end that probably covers everything I’m going to talk about here, so if you only read one thing, read my post of course. But if you read two things, read the Whole Foods article too! ;)

The problem with wild-caught fish
Longlines, dredging,  and drift nets are the...

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Hey Laura, is coconut oil (and other saturated fat) bad for you?

Laura Z. writes:

My daughter and her husband use an awful lot of coconut oil in their home.  She believes that coconut oil is one of the “good oils”, but I am alarmed because when I read the label, all I see is saturated fat—and we all know saturated fat is unhealthy.  So what’s the scoop on coconut oil?  Why is is touted as a health food?  Is there really a good version of saturated fat?  My daughter said I really ought to ask you, and that you would probably know!

Hi Laura! I know your daughter quite well, so let me tell you and our readers a little bit about her eating philosophy. To a certain extent, she adheres to the Weston A. Price way of eating:

Eat whole, unprocessed foods.

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Hey Laura, help me feed my toddler!

Mitzi writes:

You have been a great help so far from my diaper issues to bug lotion. NOW HOW do I get my child (2 years and 3 months old) to eat breakfast? He doesn’t eat anything. He will snack but won’t eat. I have tried just about everything I can think of to give him but am out of ideas.

He will “snack” on toaster strudels but won’t eat them up. He will snack on fruit but nothing that fills his tummy up.

He tends to get grumpy and whiney and will only eat junk food when he is really hungry as that is fast and he knows he likes it. I would like him to not be a picky eater so that I can buy him a bigger variety of food. Veggies would be nice too!

I knew Mitzi has some special...

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Hey Laura, how do I eat healthy on the cheap?

Kristina writes:

Hey Laura!
My husband and I recently decided that we want to lower our food budget, without any loss to our health.  The problem is that it seems like cooking/eating healthfully is always so much more expensive.  Any tips or suggestions?

Then she ups the ante:

My husband will NOT eat leftovers that have to be refrigerated, so making something at the beginning of the week, and just reheating it several times throughout the week doesn’t work for us.

Before you judge, Kristina’s husband is a great guy who definitely pulls his own weight in the kitchen. He’s not just saddling Kristina with his gustatory whims unfairly; he does a lot of cooking himself!

Lowering your...

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Snippets: Hyperactive toddler

Harmony just had a baby and her (still-also-nursing) 2 year old daughter is going a bit crazy in the transition. While a lot of the manic energy and behavioral issues can be explained away by all the upheaval in their home right now, Harmony’s gut feeling is that there is a nutritional element involved as well. Since Harmony’s family eats very clean already (very little refined flours and sugar, small amounts of organic dairy), she asked me to look into what happens to kiddos when they are overdosing on fruit. Here’s what I found and emailed back to her.

The fruit thing you’re probably thinking of is salicylates - naturally occurring chemicals in…pretty much everything. NOT fun to try to...

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Hey Laura, my doctor told me to wean my 18 month old

A friend writes:

So, at my son’s 18 month checkup, my doctor told me that there’s no point in nursing anymore because “don’t you know there’s no nutritional value to him anymore?” I was irritated because I’m pretty sure that’s not water coming out of my boobs! But I don’t have anything to back me up on that and hope you can help. Also, what are the nutritional needs of a toddler anyway? He eats well, but I definitely rely on nursing him to fill in the gaps. What will he need if/when he does wean? By the way, we’re mostly vegan but for an egg here and there.

Allow me to clamber up on my soapbox and rant a bit. It absolutely infuriates me to hear about doctors making offhand comments that...

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Hey Laura, how do I go gluten free?

This question has been at the forefront of quite a few conversations I’ve been having with people over the past couple weeks, so I thought I’d write up a Gluten Free Beginner’s Guide, Laura-style.

*****  Here’s my standard disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Nothing I say here should be used to self-diagnose. If you suspect you have a gluten allergy you need to talk to your doctor. You should also embark on dietary modification adventures with care; talk to a certified nutritionist for help!  *****

I have the privilege of experience with gluten (and much, much more!) elimination diets because I seem to give birth to babies with Multiple Food Protein Intolerances. That means that my breastmilk...

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