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  • What is gluten?
    Gluten is a protein found in certain grains (ex. wheat) that is very high in lectins and causes symptoms of indigestion and inflammation in a large percentage of people.
  • Why can't I eat gluten?
    Because of your autoimmune inflammation. Gluten and other lectins are a key trigger to this condition. As this condition improves you may be able to re-introduce some gluten containing foods to your diet.
  • I am new to the SKM and am not fully understanding the diet
    Don't worry, this is a learning process. Your 1-month Protocol includes 3 follow-up appointments in which Sadie and your assigned SKM manager will guide you through your diet, answering questions and making all the necessary adjustments.
  • Can I simply buy “gluten free” products?
    Gluten is one of thousands of lectins. Lectins are plant proteins that are especially inflammatory to many people. Many gluten-free foods are free of this 1 type of lectin, but heavy in other very inflammatory lectins such as corn flour, oat flour, brown rice flour. For this reason, we ask that you read ingredient lists carefully (especially when following a low lectin protocol) as many gluten-free breads may still have problematic ingredients.
  • How do I know what foods contain gluten?
    Please refer to the list of permissible grains and starches first to make sure that anything you buy contains only those ingredients. Carefully read labels and ingredients looking for anything that contains wheat in any form. Examples of gluten:
  • Why can I eat sourdough bread, but not other forms of gluten?
    Some of our clients, depending on their case, may be able to eat some slow-fermented white bread without issues. While it does have gluten, the fermentation process in sourdough bread works as a predigestion of the gluten, making it much easier to digest than other types of gluten containing foods. Sourdough means the dough went through a long-slow fermentation process that helps to break down gluten and produces a mildly sour flavor in the bread once it's baked.
  • What are lectins?
    Lectins (or L-type lectins) are a family of sugar-binding proteins found in all plants and seeds. They adhere to cellular membranes and are highly associated with autoimmune disorders and could be a hidden cause for weight gain and health complications, even if you follow a healthy diet.
  • Why can't I eat Lectins?
    There are literally thousands of lectins and it would be impossible to avoid them completely, still many people with chronic inflammation can get great benefits by minimizing the concentration of lectins. This is done by avoiding especially high lectin foods such as: incorrectly prepared whole grains and beans, soy and corn fed meats. People with a dysfunctional immune system can often benefit from a low lectin diet because optimal health is based on optimal cellular communication, and lectins interfere and complicate this communication.
  • Why can I eat tortillas if I´m on a low lectin diet, when corn is one of the foods I should stay away from?
    We allow our clients within Mexico to eat tortillas when on a low lectin diet, because it is a stable food. In Mexico all corn tortillas, sopes, etc. are made with a process of nixtamalization (soaking corn in alkaline lime water) before cooking. This breaks down the lectins and makes corn tortillas much less inflammatory than many other whole grain products.
  • Can I eat store bought tortillas?
    If you live within Mexico all tortillas (whether handmade or from a tortillería) go through a nixtamalization process and can be eaten by all our clients. If you´re going for store bought tortillas, carefully read ingredients to confirm that they do not use soy or other ingredients or grains from your “Do Not Eat” list of foods.
  • Does the protocol suggest that initially I have no oil at all? Or can I have a minimal amount of oil, such as ghee, avocado oil, and/or olive oil?
    Our protocols suggest that during the first month of your diet you cook with very little fat/oils. The goal is to cleanse the digestive system until it can digest more fat without complications. You can slowly incorporate recommended fats to your diet by preparing your meals with small amounts of ghee, coconut oil, avocado oil or bacon fat, whichever one you prefer. In other words: Yes, you can start using a minimal amount of ghee, avocado oil, or coconut oil to cook. Remember we only use olive oil raw/cold - we never use it to cook. A minimal amount of olive oil can be added to a salad or over steamed vegetables, etc. Depending on how you feel and your digestion, you can slowly increase the amount of the recommended fats as the days go by.
  • What is vegetable oil?
    Vegetable oil is a polyunsaturated cooking oil which is highly processed through heat and refinement in order to become shelf stable. These oils can trigger an inflammatory immune response because of their processing and should be avoided as much as possible. You can find vegetable oil under any of the following names: safflower oil, canola oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, soy oil, cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil. We suggest you read ingredients carefully.
  • Why is vegetable oil bad for me?
    Because it's highly processed, it's not considered a food that your body can easily recognize and use. Instead of using it for nutrients, the body tries to eliminate it as soon as possible, causing an autoimmune reaction and inflammation.
  • How do I know if a product contains vegetable oil?
    You can find vegetable oil under any of the following names: oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil, canola oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, soy oil, cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil. (Ex: sardines in oil, the oil is vegetable oil). We suggest you read ingredients carefully.
  • What oils are safe to cook with?
    Ghee, coconut oil, avocado oil and lard (if you can find good quality).
  • What is the difference between regular butter and Ghee or high-quality butter?
    All butter is ok to use as long as they contain no vegetable oil (read the label carefully). Even so, the best butter is from 100% grass-fed cows because it´s highly concentrated in fat-soluble vitamins such as Vit A, D, E, and K2. Butter is not an ideal fat for cooking because the milk solids in the butter can burn easily, while ghee, which is clarified butter, can be used for higher temperature cooking without burning. Here is a link to a ghee recipe:
  • Why can I eat butter but not other dairy products?
    Because butter has much less lactose, and most importantly milk protein, which can be more inflammatory than other dairy products.
  • Why can I have goat milk/cheese but not other forms of dairy?
    The protein in goat's/sheep's milk and dairy is much less inflammatory than that found in cow's milk.
  • Why is soy bad for me?
    Soy is one of the most potent lectins, but lectins are only one of the problems of soy. It is also full of other anti-nutrients such as phytic acid, which binds to minerals and can lead to nutrient absorption problems. The other important thing about soy is that it is a phytoestrogen that can contribute to hormone imbalance and inflammation in both men and women.
  • How do I know if a product contains soy?
    Please read ingredients carefully. Here is a link with examples of other names used for soy:
  • Why is soy lecithin bad for me?
    Soy lecithin is used as an emulsifier in chocolate because it is a cheap substitute for cocoa butter. Many people react to soy regardless of the quantity, it is for this reason that we recommend that it is avoided entirely, including as ingredients in supplements and chocolate.
  • I cannot find peeled almonds. Can I eat almonds with the skins? If not how do I peel them?
    No, we do not recommend eating unpeeled almonds. The skin of the almond is where lectins tend to concentrate. To peel, you can soak almonds overnight (put them in a bowl and cover them in water). The following morning the skin can be easily removed.
  • Why would I feel dizzy when I begin the diet?
    Dizziness is most likely a symptom of insulin going down or of low blood sugar. If someone has had elevated blood insulin for a long time, if it starts to go down quickly, this can cause headaches and dizziness. If, on the other hand, you have a tendency towards low blood sugar, implementing the dietary changes can destabilize your blood sugar. The recommendation in either of these cases is, during the beginning of your diet, make sure you are eating a sufficient amount of recommended starches throughout the day.
  • Why do insulin levels affect weight loss?
    Insulin is actually a storage hormone. When insulin levels are elevated it tells your body to store excess sugar as fats specifically around the midsection.
  • Is there a way to get more fiber into my diet, besides supplements?
    Your body will get the fiber it needs from vegetables (remember that it's always better to eat them cooked, or in case you want to eat a salad, prepare it with a mix of cooked and raw veggies from your "What to eat list"). There are other sources or alternatives to fiber we can recommend depending on your specific case and needs.
  • Why do I feel constipated after having begun the diet?
    The diet changes the population of the bacteria in the intestine dramatically. Anyone who makes noticeable dietary changes, as we do in this work, goes through a period of adjustment where the population of flora in the intestine adapts to the new diet. Constipation is usually due to a transitional period that may cause a deficiency in the population of the bacteria that mobilizes the intestine. As their numbers increase, by continuing and being consistent with the diet, this should normalize. Meanwhile, we use interventions like Triphala, psyllium, extra doses of magnesium, and even extras doses of Vitamin C as support to make bowel movements more complete.
  • Why is it important to have at least one bowel movement a day?
    Having at least one bowel movement a day is one of the body's most basic forms of detoxification. Constipation causes this system to back up, which causes fermentation in the intestine, a reduction in nutrient absorption, and inflammation. If constipation is not resolved it can lead to a wide range of health issues from depression to hormone imbalance. Having less than one bowel movement a day is considered constipation.
  • How much Triphala can I take for constipation?
    3 capsules before bed if you haven't had a BM all day. If you´ve had a BM but it didn't feel complete you can take 2 before bed. If you've had normal BM you don't need to take any.
  • How do I take Psyllium when recommended by the SKM?
    Start with 2 teaspoons a day, and very slowly work up to 2 tablespoons daily. You can take half the dose with breakfast and the other half with lunch. If you choose to take your psyllium all at once (either with breakfast or lunch) do so with a bit more liquid.
  • What is Psyllium, and what are its benefits?
    Psyllium is the husk of a plant that is very high in soluble fiber. When Psyllium comes in contact with liquid, it forms a gel that is an excellent prebiotic which feeds the good bacteria in the intestine (flora) and also helps with constipation. But what we like the most about Psyllium is its capacity to help detox hormones in the body, especially estrogen, which can cause all kinds of health problems in both men and women. This soluble fiber helps to bind with extra hormones and expel it from the body with the stools.
  • I have been taking Psyllium for a few days and haven't seen any change yet. Why?
    The most likely reason is you are not ingesting enough. If this is your case, to see optimal effects, you need to increase the dose. Nonetheless, if you do this rapidly it can cause digestive discomfort and gas. Begin by taking 1 teaspoon of Psyllium in the morning and slowly increase the daily dose until you've reached 2 tablespoons a day. Most people need to reach the total dose gradually to avoid discomfort caused by going up too quickly. Especially if you take Psyllium, you must drink a minimum of 2 liters of water daily - not including any broth or tea you may be drinking - for it to work appropriately (water can also help optimize bowel movements). Psyllium absorbs part of the water in your intestines, so if you do not hydrate appropriately it won't have the desired effect and can even cause backup. NOTE: Take into consideration that it can take a week to 10 days to notice a difference when taking Psyllium.
  • Since I began taking Psyllium I have more gases. What do you recommend?
    Everybody is different. Certain people may need a longer adjustment period. If you have more gas when beginning to take Psyllium, this is nothing to worry about, it only means you need to go down to half the dose and then work up from there, once you feel well. You can increase your dose as slowly as ¼ teaspoon a day. If you increase your Psyllium intake too quickly it can cause gas or an upset stomach. Begin by taking 1 teaspoon in the morning and everyday go up very slowly until you've reached 2 tablespoons a day.Especially if you take Psyllium, you must drink a minimum of 2 liters of water daily - not including any broth or tea you may be drinking - for it to work appropriately (water can also help optimize bowel movements). Psyllium absorbs part of the water in your intestines, so if you do not hydrate appropriately it won't have the desired effect and can even cause backup.
  • Why is bone broth and/or collagen often suggested in the SKM?
    Homemade bone broth made from high-quality meat, as well as the collagen we recommend, are highly anti-inflammatory. They help to seal the lining of the intestine (healing “leaky gut”) and strengthens hydrochloric acid (stomach acid), essential for digestion, nutrient absorption, and optimal immune function.
  • I read that once you begin taking collagen, you shouldn´t stop because it reduces your body's natural collagen production. Do you recommend taking it long term?
    Collagen is and has always been very important to ensure a healthy diet. We recommend taking it long term because it's a particularly valuable form of protein that helps digestion, skin, teeth, hair, etc. Our bodies produce a certain amount of collagen naturally, but the amount tends to diminish with time and depending on age. Supplementing with collagen does not reduce your body's collagen production, therefore it is safe and beneficial to take long term.
  • Should I take collagen at a certain time of day (when I feel something specific, like low energy. etc.), or is it simply enough to take the suggested daily amount?
    Taking the amount recommended in your packet is enough. Collagen has many benefits (not affected by the time of day it 's taken, or if done during meals or not). Collagen helps reduce systemic inflammation, optimize nutrient absorption and also helps seal intestinal lining in people with leaky gut syndrome. If you take collagen during meals (ex. added to soups) this will improve your digestion. If you take it between meals (as a snack, ex. added to broth or to cooked apples with ghee) this will help you stabilize your insulin levels and reduce symptoms of systemic imbalance (ex: reduce hunger or cravings between meals, low energy, etc). You can have collagen at any time of day.
  • What alternatives to good sources of collagen, other than powdered collagen and bone broth do you recommend?
    Gelatine is a good option. Another excellent way to ingest collagen is preparing meals with chicken on its bone and eating the meat directly from the bone (although this would not replace the suggested daily amount). Ideally, you should drink 2 cups of homemade broth (naturally enriched with high-quality collagen, prepared with beef bone, chicken legs, or fish head), or take 2 spoonfuls of powdered collagen a day in drinks (tea, coffee, etc) or soups (do not ingest both spoonfuls of collagen at once, rather in 2 parts throughout the day). Marine-based collagen is also a good option.
  • Do I need to have protein with every meal, including my snacks?
    It is not necessary to have protein in all of your meals. Breakfast and lunch are the most important meals in which you need to include some kind of protein. At dinner, you can have a little to no protein. Remember both your collagen and broth (indicated in your daily diet) also count as protein and they also work great as snacks.
  • My stools float, my doctor suggests testing for food sensitivity to see if this could be inflaming the gut lining.
    We find that stool floating is extremely common and something that usually resolves itself with the method. We wouldn't suggest doing food sensitivity testing once in an SKM program, to give our highly anti-inflammatory diet the chance to solve the floating stools, inflammation, and absorption issues without adding external elements that could cause confusion.
  • What foods count as carbs?
    When we refer to carbs we´re typically referring to foods that contain a concentration of starch, such as rice, sweet potato, rice pasta, etc. (please refer to the list of approved starches in your packet). Cooked carrots and beets contain more sugar, so they are counted as carbohydrates. Fruits, especially sweeter fruits, count as carbs as well (such as mango, banana, grapes).
  • What is a portion of carbs?
    This generally varies between a ½ cup and 1.5 cups depending on the meal and the person. Please refer to your packet to see your personal recommendation.
  • Does food prepared with almond flour, tapioca flour, or coconut flour (ex. pancakes or crepes)
    In this case, only Tapioca flour is a carb. Coconut flour counts as a fiber that would not count in your carbohydrate total. And almond flour is protein and fat. A recipe with these ingredients is not particularly high in carbs, but rather high in protein
  • Why do I have to eat more carbs at night and less in the morning? What are the benefits behind carb cycling?
    We suggest more carbs at night to help balance the nervous system before bed. If we have more starch in our meal at night, it will help to relax and encourage sleep by increasing serotonin (a hormone of relaxation). The reason we practice carb cycling is to optimize the function of the thyroid and adrenal glands while reinforcing the natural circadian rhythm by minimizing cortisol and stimulating serotonin production during the night.
  • Am I going to gain or lose weight when practicing carb cycling?
    Women's weight gain is related to their hormones and particularly the health of their glands. So balancing stress responses and optimizing sleep is actually more important for long term weight optimization than diet.
  • What can I do if I do not want to lose weight while practicing carb cycling?
    If you don't want to lose weight, increase the amounts of carbohydrates you eat in each meal (still sticking to the carb cycling suggestions). Also, make sure to eat a carbohydrate with each snack (ex: 1 mushroom taco with avocado or your cup of broth with white rice, etc.)
  • If I practice Carb Cycling does this mean I can only eat carbs at night?
    No, you need to balance each meal with the recommended amounts of protein, vegetables, good fats and add the starches as suggested in the carb cycling.
  • Why do you recommend coconut oil pulling to keep the immune system elevated?
    Oil pulling reduces the concentration of pathogens that live in the mouth that are not disrupted by brushing and flossing alone. Pulling coconut oil through the teeth is an effective and non-inflammatory way to reduce these populations. With less need for white blood cell activity in the mouth, the body's immune function can work in a more balanced and efficient way.
  • Why does oil pulling help elevate albumin levels, and what relation does this have with my immune system?
    Albumin is one of the measures of total protein in the blood. If your body is producing an excess of white blood cells to defend you against pathogens, your albumin levels will be low. When albumin levels are optimal, as close to 5 as possible, it's a very accurate indicator that your immune system is functioning efficiently. Low albumin levels are a simple indicator of an overworked immune system.
  • What is the difference between cooked and raw vegetables? Why does SKM recommend I only eat cooked veggies?
    The fiber in cooked veggies is easier to digest and less likely to scratch the intestinal lining, for those with a history of inflammation. People with compromised digestion should cook their veggies to increase nutrient absorption.
  • What does the water with lime and a pinch of salt in the morning do for me? Why does the SKM recommend it?
    This is a gentle and effective way to detoxify the liver daily. The citric acid of the lemon helps to break up and clear crystals that collect in the kidney and bladder, which are a common source of inflammation. The vitamin C from the lemon is diuretic and helps our body detox and reduce bloating from water retention. Lemon is alkaline and when we drink lemon water in the morning it helps to clear acid that tends to collect in the joints and body during phases of deep sleep during night. This must be done first thing in the morning because if we already have protein in our stomach we won't be able to clear the acid as effectively.
  • Should I be taking an Omega 3?
    We give our clients very specific recommendations of what supplements to take and when to take them. Omega 3 can be valuable but it also, among other things, has blood thinning qualities that can combine badly with certain medications and conditions. For this reason we ask that our clients confirm with us before starting any supplements. Our prefered form of Omega 3, for those recommended to take this supplement, is Krill Oil because it is potent and much less likely to have problems of oxidation like most of the other fish oils available on the market.
  • Why can I eat Prosciutto but not other types of sausages such as ham or hotdogs?
    Many sausages (hams, hotdogs, etc.) contain preservatives and other added ingredients that cause systemic inflammation and/or hormonal imbalances. For this reason we only recommend eating Prosciutto or certain artesanal organic sausages you may find locally. Prosciutto is on our list of allowed foods (as is smoked salmon) because they are cured proteins, not cooked ones. This allows them to have a higher concentration of protein enzymes which facilitate protein digestion. On the other hand, it's less likely that Prosciutto (and smoked salmon) contain artificial colours and preservatives, which are highly inflammatory for people with compromised or sensitive digestion.
  • Can I eat canned tuna?
    In the case of tuna fish, if bought canned it must be in water, not oil, and you must make sure it DOES NOT CONTAIN SOY. Even so, tuna fish must be eaten occasionally, since it has a very high concentration of heavy metals and is not recommended to be eaten on a regular basis.
  • Why does my diet not include portion sizes? Can I eat as much as I want as long as the ingredients are allowed in my diet?
    Portions will vary depending on each client. It won't be the same for everyone. One of the portions that most commonly need to be controlled is carbs. Most clients must begin with ½ cup of carbs in 2 out of 3 meals a day. Those that need to gain weight will have larger servings. If you have doubts about your portions, please contact your SKM Client Manager.
  • My diet doesn't include specifications regarding alcohol consumption (it only mentions I can't drink beer). What about other types of alcohol, such as wine, tequila, etc?
    We recommend that, especially during the first month of work with us, you do not drink alcohol. If you´ re going to drink it should be a small amount and no more than 2 times a week to avoid a spike in estrogen and a hormonal imbalance. (ex. 1 glass of dry red or white wine or 1 tequila shot - NO COCKTAILS).
  • I have high cholesterol and I feel I should have less fat in my diet. I see the snacks you recommend include a lot of fat. This seems counterintuitive.
    Optimizing your body fat and your weight is based on hormone balance. There is a lot of misinformation regarding fat, but while working with us you´ll learn the optimal sources and ways to eat fat that is ideal for you.
  • I enjoy doing intense exercise (ex: running, cycling, etc.) while dieting. Can I do this while in a SKM program?
    That will depend on your symptoms and other factors. Intense exercise can spike hormones and create problems for certain clients. For this reason we will give you specific recommendations regarding exercise.
  • What type of exercise can I do while on my month long protocol or if I have high insulin or glucose levels?
    We recommend a version of circuit or burst training for all our clients that can be adapted to your level of fitness and other factors. This type of training helps to stimulate growth hormone which is good for muscle mass and fat burning. It also limits the spiking of cortisol, which can cause weight gain and surges of adrenaline that are not beneficial.
  • Why do we recommend eating fat/protein with fruit?
    Most people need to optimize the stability of their blood sugar (or glucose). This is the reason why we suggest that, when eating fruit (from the allowed list), this is done with some sort of fat or protein. Fat/protein obligates sugar to go into the bloodstream a bit more gradually and makes you feel satisfied for a longer period of time, minimizing spikes in glucose or insulin. Why? Sugar molecules are physically very small, and therefore pass into the bloodstream quickly. Protein and fat molecules are bigger. When we eat something with a small molecule together with something with a big molecule, this acts as a break (regulating the speed) and makes sugar enter the bloodstream at a slower pace and over a longer period of time. Fiber, fat and protein help slow down the entry of sweet into the bloodstream. As an example, fruit juice vs natural fruit: fruit juice is something we never recommend because it's all the sugar without the fiber you would get from eating a whole/fresh fruit. This creates a situation in which there's a rush of sugar entering our bloodstream at a rapid pace.
  • Why is collagen anti inflammatory?
    Collagen is highly anti-inflammatory because it´s a kind of protein that creates a gel that lays down a mucosal lining in the intestine. Most of us (due to food choices, age, or both) have some sort of chronic inflammation or irritation in the intestinal lining. When we incorporate collagen regularly we are feeding the mucosal lining of the intestine and sealing it´s permeability to minimize immediate symptoms of inflammation, as well as reducing the inflammatory autoimmune cycle created by intestinal permeability.
  • Why do we recommend having some sort of protein/collagen before 45 minutes after having woken up?
    The most stressful time for anyone with elevated insulin is the 8 hours they fast when sleeping. What we do with the first intake of collagen in the morning is breaking that fast as quickly as possible to stabilize insulin.
  • Why to look out for, and avoid, Folic Acid in supplements and ingredients?
    Folic Acid is a chemical form of folate that uses the same receptors as natural folate. Problems related to folate, such as inflammation, are quite common amongst our clients and when someone is supplementing with the right type of folate (such as Methylfolate) but are also getting folic acid through other supplements or as an additive in foods, this may dramatically limit their capacity to absorb the correct folate.
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