Balanced Bites Podcast #145: Kelly Brozyna talks about Autism & Paleo, and Dairy Free Ice Cream

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1. Diane’s updates [3:59]
2. Our guest, Kelly Brozyna [5:29]
3. Dairy Free Ice Cream, sweeteners and thickeners for ice cream [13:12]
4. Ice cream making equipment recommendations [18:50]
5. Kelly’s introduction to paleo [26:42]
6. Autism, gluten, and paleo [41:48]
7. Heavy metal detoxing with the MTHFR mutation [54:24]
8. Experiences with gluten re-exposure [59:48]

The Spunky Coconut
Dairy-Free Ice Cream
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Diane Sanfilippo: Hey everyone! Diane here. Welcome back to episode 144 of the Balanced Bites podcast. I am here, without Liz, but I am not alone. I am here with a fantastic guest, so we’ll be talking to her in just a minute. Well, I’ll be talking to her in just a minute. Before I get into my interview today, I just wanted to remind you about our amazing sponsors. We have Pete’s Paleo, bringing fine dining to your cave. Pete and Sarah Servold who started this company are amazing people, really good friends of ours, and we are so proud to have them as a sponsor. If you’d like to make eating paleo a little easier on yourself, check out their meal plans. They are great for those nights when you’re on the run, out of time, and just want real food fast. Post workout, fantastic. I have a special announcement. I think we’ve probably told you guys about it for a couple of weeks now, but Pete’s Paleo has 21-Day Sugar Detox friendly meal plans, which I am so excited about, because I’ve run this program now for a few years, and I know that as much as I want everyone to be cooking from the 21-Day Sugar Detox guidebook and cookbook, there is always those times when you just wish you had a meal on hand that you could just kind of heat up and not worry about it. They have meal plans for you, so check out for all the details on that. They do have some other special diet-friendly meals, I think they’ve got a couple of other programs in the work, so definitely check that out, even if you’re not doing the Sugar Detox. Up next, Chameleon Cold-Brew, my favorite organic, fair trade, smooth and rich cold-brewed coffee. I get a lot of questions about cold brew, why I like it, what’s the big deal with it. It just tastes really, really good. If you are somebody who ever thought that regular coffee, black coffee, however it’s brewed had that acidic sort of, I don’t know, almost an off-putting taste to it. This cold brew, and specifically what Chameleon Cold-Brew does with their coffee, very, very smooth. You can easily drink it black if you couldn’t maybe drink coffee black before, I think you’ll find that you can drink this easily. It’s definitely not the same as a lot of the other cold brews out there. You just have to try it to see what I’m talking about. I’ve tried some others, definitely don’t buy a cold brew that’s not sold cold. That will be your first sign that it probably won’t taste amazing. Chameleon Cold-Brew, check out their website. I think online ordering may be back, so it’s And I’m not sure if we have a coupon code for them, but if we do, it will be listed right on the podcast show notes, so definitely check that out, and link over to their website to place an order. And, I’ve been rambling for a million years! Finally, our newest sponsor, Rickaroons. They are delicious macaroons that are made of high quality ingredients, like coconut, dark chocolate, cacao nibs, and almond butter. They taste truly amazing. They are perfect to keep on hand if you just need a quick bite, or for a post workout or even a pre-workout snack, or if you have a job that’s kind of up and on the go, really great to keep on you. Check them out at, and get 15% off your order with the code PODCAST. Definitely shoot us a tweet or an Instagram or some kind of note and let us know how you’re enjoying your Rickaroons.
1. Diane’s updates [3:59]
Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s it. Before I get into my interview, one last thing, just to kind of update you guys on some stuff that’s going on around here. Let’s see, today’s episode releases on June 26th, I believe, so I don’t think I have any upcoming events to tell you guys about, but I do want to tell you that if you have not been looped in on the new 21-Day Sugar Detox program that’s all released online, all kinds of information and details on that are going to be at, and you can find out what’s going on with that. If you are somebody who loves having online access to information, that will be a perfect fit for you. The books are totally still available, all the content that’s in the books is still just in the books, but I have a huge base of information, knowledge, expanded information, modification guides, all kinds of stuff to just really help you have the most successful experience that you can have for your 3 weeks, all there. So, check out, and if you’re not on my emailing list, definitely subscribe to that, because everybody on my list is going to get some inside info and probably an inside offer on what’s happening with the new program. So I just wanted to mention that. And I think that’s pretty much it, now that it’s been 4.5 minutes of me chatting to myself with my guest patiently waiting in the wings.
2. Our guest, Kelly Brozyna [5:29]
Diane Sanfilippo: I think I already forgot how to pronounce your name.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: Aye-yai-yai. Well.
Kelly Brozyna: Brozyna.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh! Kelly Brozyna is my guest today, and I think Kelly is just one of those people whenever I see a picture of you anywhere, I just want to smile, because you’re just so filled with light and …
Kelly Brozyna: Aww!
Diane Sanfilippo: There’s this really great energy about you. I remember when we first met last year at PaleoFx, you had Ginger with you, your little one. How old is she now?
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah. She’s going to be 3 in August.
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so she was probably not quite 2, then?
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah, yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: And she was kind of like, everyone was oohing and ahhing and googly over her, I remember that, so she was your little buddy. Welcome!
Kelly Brozyna: It was such a bummer not to bring her. Thank you! Thank you for having me.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, so why don’t you just tell folks a little bit about your background. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Kelly already, her blog is an amazing recipe guide resource, tons of information. It’s the She’s got a couple of books out. As of this week, her newest book has just released, it’s called Dairy Free Ice Cream, 75 recipes made without eggs, gluten, soy, or refined sugar. So you can definitely check that out. We’ll link to it from the post. It’s on Amazon and in bookstores everywhere and all that good stuff. But, why don’t you just tell folks a little bit about, kind of how you got here to writing this kind of book, and a little bit about your story and your background?
Kelly Brozyna: Oh my goodness. Well, the book is Dairy Free Ice Cream because I had to stop eating dairy, and that was about, oh my gosh, I was in my mid-20s, I think, and now I’m 36. About 11 years or so. So, from the time I hit puberty, I had endometriosis, and it was a long, I would say it was a 10 year struggle with that, with my skin and the pain, the cramping and everything. When my husband and it got engaged, I was into the ER quite a bit with cysts, and we didn’t think I was going to be able to have children. There was a lot of talk about hysterectomy and things like that. And my mom had one because she had endometriosis, and my grandmother had one because she had it, and so I was pretty worried. They were talking about doing laparoscopy, which can cause scar tissue and make it hard to get pregnant. So we just decided early on, as soon as we’re married we’re going to try to have children before we lose the chance. So we started in our early 20s, and it took a little while, for someone that age. You know, you would think someone in their early 20s would get pregnant really quickly, but it took me, I think, 9 months the first time to get pregnant. And it wasn’t until, the endometriosis came back between my first 2 pregnancies, and then again after the second one, and I was seeing a naturopath and nutritionist, and she was just really encouraging me to stop eating dairy, and I would plead with her, and I’d be like, no, I’m eating organic dairy! It’s good quality, it’s organic, and back then I didn’t even know what grass-fed was, so I doubt it was grass-fed. And she said, Kelly, even an organic dairy has natural hormones, the animal has natural hormones that all animals have, and your body just can’t handle those added hormones. You just can’t. So, I stopped eating the dairy, and sure enough, my skin cleared up, my endometriosis went away, so that was really the reason behind going dairy free. But I missed all of my favorite dairy things so much, and there wasn’t as much option back then. I mean, I don’t eat it now, so I don’t know how good it is.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: But I still wanted cheesecake, you know? I still wanted yogurt, and now we have coconut milk yogurt, but I still prefer to make my own because I don’t like all the sugar. It’s really easy. I got into raw food cookbooks in the early 2000s or so, mid-2000s, and they make all sorts of cheesecake and yogurt and pie and stuff like that with cashews and coconut oil. So I started making those kinds of recipes, and I was so excited to be able to have that stuff again. But a lot of them were either too sweet for me or too heavily nutty, and I didn’t like certain flavors just didn’t really appeal to me, so I experimented on my own and created all my own recipes that suited me better. So that’s really the reason behind the dairy free ice cream. When I was pregnant with Ginger, who you met at PaleoFx years ago, I was obsessed with ice cream. I don’t know if it was because it was hot, because she’s a summer baby, and I was like, I needed something cool, or what, but I just could not stop eating my homemade dairy free ice cream. And so at some point, I was like, wow, I have a lot of recipes here for dairy free ice cream! And that’s really just how it happened.
Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t think you really need a reason to be obsessed with ice cream! {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: {laughing}
Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, yeah, I think it’s one of those things that pretty much, I don’t know, I don’t really know anybody who doesn’t love ice cream, at whatever their flavor is, or style, or whatever the case may be. I’m looking through your book…
Kelly Brozyna: I guess I; oh thanks.
Diane Sanfilippo: Rum raisin just reminds me of my grandpa; that was his absolute favorite. And we used to get, I think it was Haagen Dazs we used to get. So even as a little girl, I knew there was the “good ice cream”, you know, quote unquote.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughing}
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} And the ones that came in the really big packages weren’t the “good ice cream”.
Kelly Brozyna: Right.
Diane Sanfilippo: But that Haagen Dazs only came in a little pint, you know, so you knew that you were only supposed to have a little bit in this tiny little cup.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughing}
Diane Sanfilippo: So it’s cute looking at this picture, it is just totally reminding me of him.
Kelly Brozyna: Well I became obsessed also with just perfecting it. How to make it less icy with a homemade ice cream maker, you know, it doesn’t freeze as quickly and it doesn’t add as much air as a commercial ice cream maker, so I was really obsessed with, how can I make this really smooth and creamy and have an awesome texture at home without adding a ton of sugar or some kind of creepy ingredients, or whatever.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}
Kelly Brozyna: You know?
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, totally.
Kelly Brozyna: Because some of the dairy free ice cream books that I kind of looked at just to see what they were up to, they would put things like canola oil in it to keep it soft.
Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.
Kelly Brozyna: And to improve the texture, and I was like, oh my gosh! That’s terrible. You know. So, I really wanted to make it really smooth and awesome and kind of developed my own techniques for how to do that without adding a ton of sugar and by making it at home.
3. Dairy Free Ice Cream, sweeteners and thickeners for ice cream [13:12]
Diane Sanfilippo: So I was going to wait until the end of the show to talk about this stuff.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: But I think because we’ve already gotten into it a little bit, we’ll talk about the ice cream now. {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: Ok.
Diane Sanfilippo: Now that it is late June, and I live on the East Coast, so it’s already quite hot.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: And I’m looking through your book, and I notice that you have this, I don’t know if I’d call it, just like a statement about how you are doing it. Like, what you’re doing in terms of how much sugar and sweetener, and how you’re kind of approaching this stuff. I definitely appreciate that your approach is to sweeten it as much as it needs to be sweetened, so that the texture is right and the taste is right.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: But, not to kind of take it beyond that just to whack people’s palates, you know.
Kelly Brozyna: Right!
Diane Sanfilippo: And make them eat tons of sugar and sweeteners and all that. So, what’s kind of the approach there, and what do you usually use to sweeten the ice cream, and why would you use certain things versus other things? Because I am totally not a chemist in the kitchen. I can’t bake to save my life. But I can cook my way out of a nearly empty fridge without a problem. {laughs} So, baking and any of this stuff, no.
Kelly Brozyna: I have to, I mean, I think you’re a good baker.
Diane Sanfilippo: No I’m not. There’s nothing that I’ve baked that’s been actually successful, first time or if I have, it’s probably been with significant help from a friend, like Hayley Mason, who’s like, here’s something to start with Diane. You can go from here, but don’t stray too far, because you can’t just throw things in like you would with your cooking.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughing} Well, ok.
Diane Sanfilippo: So tell me about the sweeteners.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah, I prefer to use dates, because not only are they sweet and natural, as opposed to refined sugar, but also they help thicken, sort of like bananas help thicken. But again, I didn’t want to use bananas in all the recipes, because then everything has a slight banana flavor. So, I really prefer dates. I mean, you could substitute honey in the same equal ratio if you prefer to use that, but dates are really nice because they thicken, also. And I find that a half a cup of dates per pint of ice cream is enough for my palate because we don’t have a very high sugar diet. So that works for me. Some people add a little stevia if they need a little more sweetness, or you could add some more dates if that’s your thing. And, I prefer also to add a little, I call them thickeners, which it’s not exactly a thickener, but that’s what I refer to it as, because it helps with the ice crystals. My favorite is a little gelatin. And I actually discovered that by accident years ago that gelatin was really awesome with helping with the iciness in the ice cream, because I had made a batch of Jell-O that, I don’t know what I did, if I blended it wrong, it just came out awful. It was like, my first Jell-O recipe ever, and I don’t know what I did, but it was disgusting. And I felt so bad throwing it away, you know, I had this guilt, so I threw it in my blender with coconut milk and nut milk, and I was like, oh I’ll just blend it and make some ice cream with it, so that way I don’t have to throw it away. And the ice cream came out so much better with that Jell-O in it, so that’s really how that happened. I only use a tablespoon that I dissolve into a quarter cup of boiling water. And it’s really important that the water is boiling, as you know, because you’re awesome with the gummies and stuff. So you have to really dissolve that gelatin, and then you just add it in last, at the last second, into your blender right before you puree, and it really helps with the texture. Especially if you’re going to take it to the freezer, as opposed to eating it straight out of the machine. So, when you’re definitely going to be storing your ice cream, like overnight, or you’re making it for company, and so you want to put it in the freezer, it’s really helpful to add it I think, because the freezer is adding even more ice crystals when it’s frozen solid like that.
Diane Sanfilippo: And these are all ice creams that; are they pretty much all coming out of an ice cream machine, or are some of them using like a blender or a food processor, and then people just freeze it? We literally, there’s an ice cream machine at my house right now because Caitlin Weeks and her husband Nabil are here working on their cookbook.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah!
Diane Sanfilippo: And I was like, I would not know what to do with this.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: And I’m sort of afraid to have it in my house because of what I might do with it, because I will start throwing things in it to make treats {laughs}. But I’ve never had one before.
Kelly Brozyna: I have a bunch of popsicles and my “peanut butter chocolate ice cream cake”, which I use sun butter, that don’t use an ice cream maker. And I know a lot of people who use my ice cream recipes don’t use an ice cream maker, I just have to recommend it, because it does add air and volume, you know?
Diane Sanfilippo: Right. Right.
Kelly Brozyna: So it really does help improve the ice cream, but I do know that there are people out there who are like, no, I’m just going to freeze it {laughs}.
4. Ice cream making equipment recommendations [18:50]
Diane Sanfilippo: Well let me ask you, too. I know there’s probably, just like food processors and blenders and all that stuff, there’s probably a continuum of quality of ice cream machines. So, is your intro level ice cream machine going to be just fine?
Kelly Brozyna: Oh yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: or do you recommend that people go with one that’s a little…
Kelly Brozyna: Oh, no no no.
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah, I just use the basic, you know, least expensive ice cream machine.
Diane Sanfilippo: Because you probably have like 10 of them going at once while you were working on this book? {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: Well, because my husband says I should use the word frugal.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: I’m so frugal, I’m not cheap, I’m frugal, that I had the same ice cream machine that we got when we were married. It was my parents wedding gift to us. And mind you, we’ve been married for 12, 13…
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: Is this going to be our 13 year anniversary?
Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah, so it’s a really old, I just bought a new one because I broke my machine and I cracked it. Because I used the one that my parents gave us when we got married until last year.
Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.
Kelly Brozyna: So, it was an old model.
Diane Sanfilippo: You also must be a little bit of a magician, because I’m looking at your photos, and I know, as somebody who does this work too, how long it can take to set up a shot, and I’m going to guess that you used some stand-ins until you’re ready to take the picture. That’s going to be my guess.
Kelly Brozyna: I get the picture completely ready.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Kelly Brozyna: Before I bring in the ice cream, yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: And, you know, granted there’s a couple that are a little melty, in a good way, you know?
Kelly Brozyna: Right.
Diane Sanfilippo: And I just want to smush the ice cream right into my face. This rocky road looks ridiculous.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: I just, I can’t eat walnuts, unfortunately, but I would just make that, and I don’t know, I’d put pistachios in it or something because I can actually eat pistachios. But anyway.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: This book, I mean, I think it’s one of those things, too, where sometimes people get, oh, I don’t want to make too many treats, or whatever. But I honestly feel like, if you’re going to make treats, I do think it’s important, this is kind of my stance on the treats things, to make things from really high quality ingredients that are not going to be massive nutrient depleters.
Kelly Brozyna: Uh-huh.
Diane Sanfilippo: You know, you’re using whole dates in a lot of the recipes, which I love that, because you’re getting the fructose from the fruit, but you’re getting the fiber as well, and all the other nutrients that come from the dates, so you’re really not. Eight dates is what you’re saying is in a half-cup.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: So, if you have a pint of ice cream and you share that amongst 2 or 4 people {laughs}, I’m like, a pint, I can probably.
Kelly Brozyna: Right.
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s like a couple, 2 or 4 dates per person, and that’s really what’s happening with the sweetener there. I don’t know.
Kelly Brozyna: Did I say a pint? It’s a quart.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, and that’s in a quart! So that’s even more, right?
Kelly Brozyna: It’s like, I call it, I think, 6 servings, but if you had big servings, it would serve 4.
Diane Sanfilippo: Because I have big servings of most things. {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: Then that would be probably 4 servings, I guess.
Diane Sanfilippo: So it’s a few dates, is kind of the bottom line.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: And I am definitely someone who, you know, I think there are some high quality grass-fed ice creams out there, but If you can’t do dairy, and you want to make something really amazing at home, use these recipes that have been tested. I just would not wing it. Like, for me?
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah. No.
Diane Sanfilippo: Winging it with an ice cream recipe does not seem like a good idea. So, I love that you’ve gone through the trouble of making so many flavors for people. I mean, there’s a salted caramel in here, as I said rum raisin, rocky road. There’s a fried banana, there’s pumpkin. There’s seriously something for everyone. I just, I don’t know, I just think it’s a really beautiful book, and I’m excited for people to get it.
Kelly Brozyna: Thank you!
Diane Sanfilippo: Congratulations! And this is not, by any stretch, your first book, so I do want to point out to people that Kelly has also written the Paleo Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook, which, when I saw that book I also pretty much fell out of my chair. Because I was expecting it to only be desserts, and I was really impressed by your savory chocolate dishes, as well.
Kelly Brozyna: Thanks!
Diane Sanfilippo: We talked about that, I think, really briefly, when I got the book. I just remember telling you how blown away I was.
Kelly Brozyna: Thank you.
Diane Sanfilippo: I’m just really impressed.
Kelly Brozyna: Speaking of your friend Hayley.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: They loved the ribs.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, the chocolate with the chocolate rub.
Kelly Brozyna: The chocolate rubbed ribs, yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh. That whole book, I was seriously like, I just want to eat the book. Can I just tear out, like, can it be scratch and sniff?
Kelly Brozyna: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: I like chocolate.
Kelly Brozyna: But to bring it back to you, people email me and tell me on Facebook and Instagram all the time that they make them without the sweetener for your program.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh really, like the ice creams and things like that?
Kelly Brozyna: In the chocolate book.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, cool.
Kelly Brozyna: There’s certain recipes in there that they can make.
Diane Sanfilippo: I give people a sweetness tolerance that’s so low that they can eat 100% dark chocolate, and they are like, yeah, this is totally delicious! {laughs} And then they eat 80% after, and their like, this is crazy. But it’s really good to retrain your palate.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah!
Diane Sanfilippo: I think it’s great what you’ve done with your recipes, because that’s what I do for the few things that I’ve ever baked. Unless it’s like, one of your recipes where I would say, you know what, I already know that she’s using as little sweetener as possible. And, you have put sweetener in a dessert, unless you’re on a Sugar Detox, for example.
Kelly Brozyna: Right.
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s just like not putting salt in a savory dish.
Kelly Brozyna: Right.
Diane Sanfilippo: It just, it doesn’t bring out every flavor if you don’t have any type of sweetener in there.
Kelly Brozyna: Right.
Diane Sanfilippo: So I do think that having respect for the ingredients and being able to just use that little bit, I like that. Because in a standard recipe that I might come across, I almost always cut the sweetener in half.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: See, this is where the baking goes wrong for me.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: Because I think I can just {laughs} use less.
Kelly Brozyna: Cut the sweetener? Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, but forgetting that there’s a whole texture component that might come from that? Yeah. I’m terrible.
Kelly Brozyna: And the moisture. Because when you cut all that sugar, it’s like leaving out a ton of moisture.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Kelly Brozyna: And I like to use a lot of unsweetened applesauce.
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok!
Kelly Brozyna: To make up for… like, my pound cake, for instance, in the Chocolate Lover’s. I think it uses a quarter of the amount of sugar in a traditional pound cake.
Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.
Kelly Brozyna: And so, it’s a fraction of the sugar, so I make up for it with other liquids.
Diane Sanfilippo: See, I think this is really good for people to know, too, because probably what a lot of us used to do was put the applesauce in instead of the butter, like that was my old…
Kelly Brozyna: No!
Diane Sanfilippo: I used to do that substitution. But I think that’s really great. And I do think that if you’re making a treat, and it’s not a Sugar Detox thing, that you should respect the fact that the sweetener is there for different reasons.
Kelly Brozyna: Does that work? If you use applesauce instead of oil?
Diane Sanfilippo: It does. It definitely changes the texture.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s not as rich, but it’s moist.
Kelly Brozyna: Right.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Oh yeah. You didn’t do that? Where were you when I was like 21, that was kind of the thing to do.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: We’re the same age, too, so I’m like we were experiencing …
Kelly Brozyna: Oh, we are?
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah! We were experiencing the whole “don’t eat fat” media craziness. But maybe you already knew how to bake so. {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: When I didn’t eat fat, I would just… I don’t know. I don’t know what I was eating instead. I do remember being against fat for a while there. But my thing, my mom would always tell me. Because we would buy the box of Duncan Hines cake.
Diane Sanfilippo: Right.
Kelly Brozyna: That’s how you would make cake.
Diane Sanfilippo: You would just the applesauce instead of the oil. That was how I would do it.
Kelly Brozyna: Oooohhh, I see!
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. But don’t do that people.
Kelly Brozyna: No no, no, no no! {laughs} But she told me to add sour cream. So she would be like, yeah, you buy the box of cake and then you add sour cream to it.
Diane Sanfilippo: Like a fat-free sour cream kind of thing?
Kelly Brozyna: Probably.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oye.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: Well that would be delicious.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughing}
5. Kelly’s introduction to paleo [26:42]
Diane Sanfilippo: But anyway. Alright, so, I think we’ve had a really good time talking about ice cream, and I want to make sure that we talk about so many of these other things that I did not know about you at all until we first met and then we kind of got to chatting and then you and I chatted again this year at PaleoFx about you coming onto the podcast, obviously.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: And you have a really amazing story to share with people. I mean, you already shared part of your own personal story with endometriosis, but I’m curious, from there, obviously you went dairy free, but I’m curious how you got over to the paleo thing and grain free, because obviously you’re Chocolate Lover’s book is a paleo, grain free book.
Kelly Brozyna: Right, right.
Diane Sanfilippo: How you made that transition, and then I’d like to talk a little bit more about your family, too.
Kelly Brozyna: Cool. Yeah, actually I told this story because, you know, we were talking about dairy-free ice cream I kind of started with the dairy component and why I had to stop eating dairy. But we actually stopped eating gluten first, so I kind of told it in the wrong order there. But that’s ok.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s ok. {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: {laughing}
Diane Sanfilippo: Well, we have a lot of listeners who, you know, we think grass-fed dairy from well-raised animals is a great healthy food if it works for you.
Kelly Brozyna: Mm-hmm. Right.
Diane Sanfilippo: But if it doesn’t work for you, and you have a perfect example of some ways that people may be experiencing the, “it doesn’t work for me” or the lack of tolerance if your skin is out of control, acne is a huge, huge one. I have an absolute dairy acne response. Like, when I eat the wrong kind of dairy.
Kelly Brozyna: Me too.
Diane Sanfilippo: Or too much, I just break out. And almost every time I travel, I’m always wanting to eat the things that have cheese when I’m not home.
Kelly Brozyna: Right!
Diane Sanfilippo: So when I’m home, my skin is perfect and clear, and then I hit the road.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah! {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: And I’m in front of people, I’m like, oops, now I have all these pimples. But with the endometriosis, I think, for our listeners, we get a lot of questions about hormonal balance. If you’re listening and you’re someone who has asked us about hormonal issues before, and you’re still eating dairy, please. Try eliminating it for a while. At least a month, if not 2 or 3, and see what happens. So anyway, I’ve gotten off track.
Kelly Brozyna: Oh, that’s ok.
Diane Sanfilippo: So you guys were gluten free first, then you went dairy free as well.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah, we got on the gluten free path when our girls, our first 2. Because there’s a big age gap between the second and third. But when the first two were, let’s see, 1 and 3, I think that’s it. No, when Zoe, the oldest, was only 2, that’s when it was. Because between the ages of 1 and 2, our oldest, Zoe, didn’t grow or gain weight. At all.
Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah. From the time she was 1 to 2. Didn’t grow, didn’t gain weight. She looked, as you can imagine, terrible. Terrible. I mean, I remember my in-laws coming to visit us. This was when, we used to live on the East Coast, too, I don’t know if you knew that.
Diane Sanfilippo: I did not.
Kelly Brozyna: Before we moved, yeah. We’re from the East Coast, and we moved to Colorado 7 years ago, and then last year we came out to Southern California. But anyway. So back on the East Coast, when Zoe was between 1 and 2, my mother-in-law and father-in-law would come down, and they of course would want to take all these pictures of the baby. And I remember telling her, please don’t take her picture. I was so embarrassed, and I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. Basically, from the time she started eating, because they really start eating when they’re 1. So as soon as Zoe started eating, what am I giving her? I’m giving her all this bread, and pasta, you know, completely not knowing anything about gluten or celiac disease or anything like that. So that first year was terrible. And she also had, I use air quotes, “behavior problems”, and I use the quotes because as soon as we found out that it was the gluten, all of the behavior problems went away. So, in my mind, it’s not like she was a bad baby, she just was on gluten. We used to say, oh, she was on gluten, and she was crazy. She was violent. She would attack me.
Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.
Kelly Brozyna: Like a little animal, with her claws. She would scratch my face. Literally, I would have claw marks all over my face, and she would scream and run away. The whole time looking horrible. So anyway, when she was 2, we had her tested with EnteroLab, which I’m sure you and your readers all know, and found out that she couldn’t tolerate gluten, or dairy for that matter. She basically transformed almost overnight. At least the behavior transformed practically overnight. And then she began gaining weight and growing within the first month.
Diane Sanfilippo: When you first found out about the gluten, what year was this do you think?
Kelly Brozyna: So, she’s going to be 12, 10 years ago.
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. So, that was 2004.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t think I had even heard of gluten until 2005 or 2006, roughly?
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: What was that like. Because I’m sure, you know, some of our listeners, whether it’s them or a friend of theirs, because a lot of our listeners are very well versed on the whole paleo thing. But maybe they’ve got a friend who were like, hey I want you to listen to this episode and hear what’s going on with this family.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: What was, when you heard gluten, did you even know what it was? Did you know how to find it?
Kelly Brozyna: No. {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: What was the first, ok, what do we do? Brace ourselves. What kind of happened from there? Actually, I lied. I did know what gluten was, because when I worked at Trader Joe’s, which was back in 2002-ish, for a little while, I remember pointing people to a list of gluten free foods. I don’t think I knew what it was, but I had heard of it. So, anyway.
Kelly Brozyna: They had gluten free food?
Diane Sanfilippo: They had a list of gluten free foods, and this was probably 2002 or 2003.
Kelly Brozyna: Wow!
Diane Sanfilippo: Because I was working there while I was in design school, and I was really into nutrition. Go figure. But for the wrong stuff. And I do remember pointing lots of moms whose kids had autism or ADD or some other thing going on where they said, I need to find the gluten free foods. And I was tuned into it a little bit, because I have a lot of friends who work with children with autism. My friends are a bunch of saints, they are amazing people who have patience, and I have so much respect for them.
Kelly Brozyna: And Zoe, just to be clear, Zoe is not my child that has autism. I can get into that in a minute.
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. So, anyway, I had heard of it, so this was, you’re talking about 2004. So what was that like?
Kelly Brozyna: It was like, what am I going to eat? Because I was not about to make separate food. I was not about to have the wheat cabinet and the gluten free cabinet. I was a mom, and I had just had another baby, Ashley, who has autism. She had just been born when we found out that Zoe was having this problem with gluten. So, you know, I was not about to do that. So we took all of the gluten out of the house completely. My husband and I, both the kids, no gluten whatsoever.
Diane Sanfilippo: Did they give you a list from the doctor? Did you research online? How did you know what to do? How did you know what was gluten?
Kelly Brozyna: She told me verbally.
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.
Kelly Brozyna: And I would write it all down frantically. You know, rice, quinoa. I remember she told me to get quinoa, and she might have pronounced it correctly, but she spelled it so that I would write it down right, and I forgot how to pronounce it, and I go to Whole Foods.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Kinoa.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughs} Yeah, yeah! At that point, I wasn’t shopping at Whole Foods yet. And I go in there, and I’m like, where’s the kinoa?
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: And the guy laughed at me. But anyway, yeah, she gave me a list of things that we could have. She kind of eased us into eating more grain free. She had us start with rice and rice pasta, but then as time went on. Because our doctor who helped us, she diagnosed all of us, is a naturopathic doctor. So she was already into integrative medicine and alternative medicine and stuff like that. And as soon as I started baking, or wanting to bake, and wanting to make cookies and treats, she was like, get almond flour. She’s like, just skip the rice flour, all the gluten free flours. Skip that and just go straight to almond and coconut. So, I never really experimented with gluten free grain flours because of her. She was obsessed with coconut, and she told me to read Cooking with Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife, and that was my first cookbook where I was actually making anything from scratch instead of my Duncan Hines box. So, that’s how I got into the kind of flours that I use now. I mean, obviously, the Spunky Coconut, I’m crazy about coconut {laughs}. And she wanted us eating the oil, and drinking coconut milk, and all forms of coconut. So yeah. It was rough at first. I was kind of shocked. I blamed Andy. I was like, oh it’s genetic. Because she said, oh you know, this is genetic. And I look at him, and he has trouble gaining weight, and I was like, it’s you! It’s you! She got it from you! {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: And, so I had him tested after Zoe, and sure enough, he’s gluten intolerant. But, the reason I found out that I’m celiac is after, I don’t know, 6 months of having no gluten in the house, I went out with Ashley’s, one of the baby’s therapist. Which, I’ll get into Ashley in a minute. And she and I had become friends, and sometimes after occupational therapy, Katherine and the baby and I would go across the street to this pizza place and I would get a slice or two of pizza. And I just got so sick. So sick. So I had thought all my celiac symptoms my whole life, I had just always thought they were normal. Like being constipated…
Diane Sanfilippo: Sick, sick how? Yeah, tell us how.
Kelly Brozyna: Oh, so constipated. Like, I don’t know how much you guys talk about this…
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, let’s talk about it.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughs} I would go like once a week.
Diane Sanfilippo: So, if you ate pizza once a week, you would then only go to the bathroom once a week? Have a bowel movement once a week? Or like, what exactly would happen?
Kelly Brozyna: I can’t remember… I think once I had been gluten free, and then I would occasionally have pizza, it was the opposite. I would have diarrhea.
Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.
Kelly Brozyna: But before we took the gluten out, when I was eating it regularly, for about 25 years before I found out I was celiac, I just went once a week. And when I was little, my mom would take me to the doctor, and I remember them always talking about prunes. You know?
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Kelly Brozyna: Every time I went to the doctor, it was like, prunes, prunes. And I remember sitting in the bathroom, eating my prunes and crying, you know.
Diane Sanfilippo: Awww.
Kelly Brozyna: It was just awful. I was so constipated. But yeah, once I took the gluten out, it was kind of the opposite effect, and I would just be running to the bathroom and so bloated. When I’m gluten, within half an hour, I look 6 months pregnant, and it’s very embarrassing. I literally look like I have a beach ball under my shirt, and it hurts so badly I just cry. I lay on the couch crying.
Diane Sanfilippo: So, when you were unaware of the gluten intolerance and what you now know as celiac disease for yourself, you were just, for the first 25 years of your life, maybe would have a bowel movement once a week?
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah. Once a week.
Diane Sanfilippo: This is like, I actually hear this a fair amount from people. Once they decide they want to talk about it.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: I hear it a lot from people. And this is one of the cases for, we don’t like to be crazy zealous about the paleo thing. Sometimes I’ll eat white rice, and there’s sweetener in some things and all of that. But when it comes to gluten or figuring out your food intolerances, if you’re constipated, your doctor may diagnose you with IBS/C, IBS with mostly constipation.
Kelly Brozyna: Uh-huh.
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s a big deal, and people don’t want to pin it on a food that you may not really tolerate well. And there’s a lot of reasons why people do or don’t tolerate certain things. But I honestly feel like people don’t believe that that can be it.
Kelly Brozyna: Oh, it is.
Diane Sanfilippo: Just because they have it now and then. You know what I mean?
Kelly Brozyna: Right.
Diane Sanfilippo: They’re like, oh I’m only eating it once every couple of weeks, is it really a big deal? Well, eliminating is a big deal. You have to go to the bathroom.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: You’re body will just hold onto so many toxins if you’re not actually eliminating.
Kelly Brozyna: Right.
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so. Now, if you have it, if you get an exposure, cramping, bloating, diarrhea, so, yay, fun stuff.
Kelly Brozyna: Right. It hurts. Now, when I get gluten. The last time I got gluten was when I was pregnant with Ginger. And it was a restaurant we went to pretty often, I would say every other week, back when we were in Colorado for six years. And I don’t know what they did to me, or how they accidentally glutened me. But Andy was out of town, he was back in New York on business, and I was in Colorado by myself with the two girls, and pregnant, and I was up all night in tears and so much pain.
Diane Sanfilippo: You think that’s just from cross contamination, or they served you a dish that was marked gluten free but it wasn’t? How much of an exposure are you getting for that kind of response.
Kelly Brozyna: I don’t know. Because, it was a restaurant we went to pretty often, and I don’t know how much it takes.
Diane Sanfilippo: I’m just always curious, you know.
Kelly Brozyna: I wish I did. I wish I had gone back over there, but they would have been closed by the time that I was really in agony.
Diane Sanfilippo: So you talked about Zoe’s “behavior problems” that really totally cleared up when you got rid of these foods.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
6. Autism, gluten, and paleo [41:48]
Diane Sanfilippo: So, what about with Ashley? Let’s talk a little bit about Ashley.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah. It actually transitions well, speaking of constipation, because Ashley has severe autism, either when she is constipated or glutened. So, Ashley began having major symptoms around, I would say around the time she was 1, 1 to 1.5, where really the height of her symptoms; head banging, flapping, shrieking, just high-pitched shrieking. When she shrieked, she would look at the walls as if they were covered in spiders. That’s the only way I know how to describe it. It was like she was freaking out. Freaking out. And she would scream and flap, and she actually didn’t have sentences until she was 4, 4.5. She couldn’t speak in sentences. But yeah, the diet got rid of the screaming, the flapping, the head banging. Pretty much I would say 90% of the symptoms. All the obvious, you know, “behavior” symptoms went away with a gluten free casein free diet. And then, just since then, whenever she is glutened or constipated, it comes back. But the other 10% of the piece with the autism for her has been detoxing. And when she was about 4 or 4.5 was when she first detoxed for the first time, and we had done, I want to say it was a month-long round of chelation. And at the end of it, after the last treatment, she literally woke up the next day in full sentences. Speaking in full sentences.
Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.
Kelly Brozyna: It was insane. I remember writing it down. I think I was typing it, actually. I had my laptop, and it was just faster. She would tell me something, and I would run over and I’m like, is this really happening?
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Kelly Brozyna: Is this a dream?
Diane Sanfilippo: When Ashley detoxed, you mean a heavy metal detox?
Kelly Brozyna: Uh-huh.
Diane Sanfilippo: Because you’re talking about chelation, just so people are kind of aware it’s not like, doing a Sugar Detox.
Kelly Brozyna: Oh, right, sorry!
Diane Sanfilippo: This is different. This is something that’s guided, probably by your naturopath?
Kelly Brozyna: Yes, yes.
Diane Sanfilippo: And something that they’re doing with supplements or some type of clay or something like that. What was she taking, or what kind of things were going on there?
Kelly Brozyna: When she was about 1.5, we started using, in addition to our naturopath, we started using a DAN doctor, and that stands for defeat autism now.
Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.
Kelly Brozyna: And I think actually they don’t really use that anymore, I think it’s just But there’s tons of doctors that go to these conferences, so they’re up to date with all the latest scientific research and stuff to help kids with autism. And our DAN doctor, we started at that time when she was 4 with a DMSA cream. So it’s a prescription, pharmaceutical cream to remove heavy metals. And we did the lowest possible dose. And by doing it transdermally, you’re bypassing the gut, and it’s generally thought of as the least invasive. It’s the mildest most gentlest form of chelation as far as doing it that way. So we were trying to do it as gently as possible. And we would put it on her, I think it was her lower back, a couple of nights, and then take off, I want to say 5 days? I don’t remember. It was like a total of 6 treatments in a month. And, when she had that first dump, they call it her first dump, when she first had her first heavy metal dump at the end of that round of DMSA was when she was able to talk. I should back up, right before we did that first round of chelation, we had done a porphyrin test, and a porphyrin test looks to see if you’re holding heavy metals. Because Ashley has a genetic mutation, which you may have heard of, MTHFR?
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I have. Our listeners may or may not have.
Kelly Brozyna: I can explain what that is.
Diane Sanfilippo: We talked about it before, but maybe not in detail, so yeah. Go ahead and elaborate.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah, she has that genetic mutation, which makes it very difficult for her to detoxify. So we would look at her hair, for instance, for heavy metal, there wouldn’t be any heavy metal in her hair. And you might think, oh that’s great, I don’t have any heavy metal because it’s not in my hair. But actually, for someone with this mutation, like Ashley, she’s actually holding it. It’s not being excreted. So looking at her hair is not an accurate way to determine if she’s holding heavy metals. So she had a porphyrin test, which is I believe a urine test, and it can see if you’re holding heavy metals. And she was. And her doctor, who specializes in treating people with heavy metal toxicity said to me, I’ve never seen a person with this much heavy metal ever in their body.
Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.
Kelly Brozyna: She had never seen, yeah. So, that’s the reason that we really started doing the chelation, because she was holding so much heavy metal. And the MTHFR mutation. It’s funny, I didn’t know it was called that, because she was so young. She was about 2 when we got that test, and I just remember them saying, this means it’s going to be hard for her to detoxify, so you need to be very careful that she eats organic and that you avoid chemicals and toxins and try your hardest in everything. And then it wasn’t until the Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook came out last year, it was the same magazine, Paleo Magazine, Paleo Magazine did an article about the Chocolate Lover’s book, and I had my pie on the cover, and I had an article inside with the recipe for, I think the ribs, actually, the chocolate rubbed ribs and the pie, and I remember I was so excited to get the magazine, and I flipped to my page, and then directly across from my article was an article about MTHFR {laughs}. And I was like, wait, is that what Ashley has? And I started reading it, because I didn’t remember what it was called, and I started jumping up and down, and like yelling at my husband, “Andy! Come here, come here! They’re talking about it.“
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: I was so excited that people were talking about it, that I couldn’t have cared less about my own article because I was so happy that people were talking in Paleo Magazine about that genetic mutation. They say that a lot of people have it, it’s becoming more and more, I think more and more people are getting tested for it.
Diane Sanfilippo: A lot of people too, who have issues with autoimmune conditions, they’re finding that this is something that they’re struggling with. I know, even another blogger friend of ours, Brittany Angel, she’s talked about this too. She has Hashimoto’s, and she has this genetic mutation as well. It’s coming up a lot where people are discovering that they have it.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: And what’s valid about that, or important to understand, is that if you have an autoimmune condition and you’re sort of banging your head against the wall doing “everything right”
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: If you don’t realize that you have this inability to detoxify and you’ve never been tested, or tested the right way, then that’s something that you want to bring up with a naturopath or some kind of functional medicine doctor that can help you through a guided detox where, if your liver actually just does not do the job it’s supposed to do, this is going to be a really big struggle for you. I’ll also mention, if you find that you have a lot of trouble with sugar, if you don’t tolerate carbohydrates well and your body doesn’t detoxify well, anything that keeps your liver from doing its job optimally is going to make everything about your metabolism that much more difficult. It’s going to change everything, whether it’s brain function, gut health, all of it is connected. But I do think sometimes, there are people listening where this is like a light bulb for them. Where they’re like, you know what, that is me. I’ve been trying to figure this out for so long, I don’t know what’s going on, and then they can just find out if they have this genetic mutation and they get some help detoxing and it really starts to open doors for them.
Kelly Brozyna: I would just advise people to be cautious and not to detox too quickly.
Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm. Or on your own.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: I think it’s important to do that with a practitioner.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah. Because Ashley, now that she has gone grain free, it has really helped. We have a theory, and I’ve run this by her doctor, my friend Rena here came up with this theory, and I was like, oh my gosh I bet that’s it! Like you were saying about the liver. I couldn’t understand why now that Ashley’s paleo, why it’s easier for her to detox. In the past, when I would do detoxing with her, it wasn’t as immediate or as big of an effect. I didn’t see the detox; sometimes, I thought, nothing’s happening. You know? Other times it was very obvious that it was. But since going grain free, it’s been much easier for her when I give her supplements or if I give her glutathione, or whatever, for her to eliminate some toxins. Rena’s theory was that it had to do with her liver, because now that she’s not eating any grains, it’s, I don’t know, sort of freed up her liver, I guess, to do more, to be able to do its job. Does that make any sense?
Diane Sanfilippo: It does. I mean, it depends on what form the grains are coming in. But your liver will control metabolism and blood sugar regulation. And so, if it’s trying to deal with blood sugar spikes or dips.
Kelly Brozyna: Ooohh.
Diane Sanfilippo: Which, depending on the grains. I mean, this is kind of like, I’m drawing lines that may or may not be completely direct, but because everything is kind of interconnected. I mean, it’s one of the reasons why I always tell people not to drink alcohol if they’re trying to lose body fat. Because if your liver is the controller of your metabolism, which it’s in control over a lot of things, the first thing it wants to do when you take in alcohol or heavy metals that are in the environment, any kind of toxins, it’s trying to get those out of your blood stream. It’s not safe; it’s dangerous, it’s toxic. That’s why they’re called toxins. So, it’s trying to do that, but if it’s also managing a pretty heavy influx of refined carbohydrates, even grain-free flours.
Kelly Brozyna: Mm-hmm.
Diane Sanfilippo: Or, maybe not grain-free flours, I meant to say gluten-free flours. So like a rice flour, for example, it’s still pretty high in carbs. It’s not that it’s bad for all people. It’s just that if somebody’s liver is already compromised, giving it more work to regulate that blood sugar, probably not the best idea.
Kelly Brozyna: Hmm. Hmmm. And also, I think partly too, it could be that when I was talking to Sarah Ballantyne, we were talking about how nutrient dense the kind of food Ashley eats is, and as I’m sure you know, with detoxing, you have to complete that methylation cycle.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Kelly Brozyna: And to complete the methylation cycle, you can’t be missing any one of those nutrients. And there’s a lot.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Kelly Brozyna: B vitamins, all these nutrients that you need to complete the methylation cycle. And perhaps now that Ashley; well, she’s always been a pretty amazing eater. She’s by far my least picky, thank goodness.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: {laughs} But, you know, such nutrient dense food, I’m sure, is also helping because she has all the nutrients that she needs to do that.
7. Heavy metal detoxing with the MTHFR mutation [54:24]
Diane Sanfilippo: Why don’t we talk a little bit more; I don’t know, I’m trying to see, did you mention the barium?
Kelly Brozyna: Oh my gosh. Yes. So, as an example of how Ashley holds metal, and how hard it is for her to excrete it. When she was a baby, they gave her a barium swallow, which you know is radioactive, like not good for you.
Diane Sanfilippo: Why was she given that?
Kelly Brozyna: Did you say how?
Diane Sanfilippo: Why?
Kelly Brozyna: Oh. They were checking; because it shows up in an x-ray, and they wanted to see if she had, I think it was for acid reflux. To see if she had perforations, or something?
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. I’m just asking why, because there are going to be moms who are like, oh my goodness, my baby had that too, or. You know.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s going to connect dots for people. So, ok. So she had that.
Kelly Brozyna: They do a barium swallow, I think to look for holes. And she had that when she was a baby. And about 2 years ago, when we were detoxing her, we got the test results back and there was a ton of barium. And her doctor at the time, her DAN doctor in Boulder didn’t realize that she had had that or forgot, because Ashley has a 3-inch medical file. I mean, it’s fat. So, she didn’t remember her having that, and asked me, what on earth, where did she get all this barium? And I couldn’t believe, it took probably 7 years to get the barium out. From the time that they gave her the barium swallow, it was like 7 years of holding it.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s crazy.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah!
Diane Sanfilippo: Are they testing; is this a stool test that they’re doing to see what’s coming after the detox process, or what is it that they’re testing?
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah, I think Ashley’s been doing stool tests the past; originally we would do urine tests, but now we’ve switched to stool tests. And hair.
Diane Sanfilippo: This is one of the reasons why when we say it’s important to go to the bathroom. Why constipation is such a problem. Truthfully, because not only is important for your body to be able to detoxify properly, but if you are not eliminating, that’s one of the ways that your body gets rid of toxins.
Kelly Brozyna: Yes.
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s really important for that to be coming out regularly, whether it’s urine, sweat, and obviously importantly, stool, to be eliminated. That is what your body does. People talk about, you know, I know Liz wrote a blog post recently because we’ve talked about this a bazillion times, people ask us over and over, isn’t the liver the storer of toxins, why do we want to eat it? And we have to remind people that the liver is not storing toxins, it’s filtering them. And we’re storing them, perhaps in our body fat, or sometimes in organ tissue, and these detoxifying processes, the liver has to do that job to detoxify it. But it has to get it out somehow.
Kelly Brozyna: Mm-hmm.
Diane Sanfilippo: So whether that’s through your hair, your urine, your stool, or sometimes through your sweat. So, just important to remember that that’s why that’s important.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah. And I think, like I mentioned before, how, when Ashley is constipated, her symptoms of autism come back out.
Diane Sanfilippo: Right.
Kelly Brozyna: And I’m sure that that’s partly to do with it, because when she’s constipated, she’s potentially reabsorbing those toxins.
Diane Sanfilippo: Right. Have, you noticed what triggers her to become constipated, or is it just kind of the flow of maybe what she’s eating or not eating at a certain time.
Kelly Brozyna: I don’t think it has so much to do with her diet right now when she gets constipated as she’s very delayed. So when her autism is kind of doing great, or when she’s kind of symptom free of autism, she’s still very delayed from a head injury. So she, because of her delay, she will not poop on the toilet. And occasionally she does, but it’s something that we’re still. She’s 11; I’m sorry, 9. Mixing up my children. She’s 9, and we’re still struggling with getting her. It’s basically like a toddler. She’s kind of developmentally 2. And so, she still isn’t regularly pooping on the toilet. And I think the older she gets, you know we talk about the squatty potty and how important it is.
Diane Sanfilippo: Right.
Kelly Brozyna: You know, bend your knees. When you’re standing up, it’s really different to poop. So, I think right now, a lot of the problem that we’re dealing with is just the fact that she’s not squatting. That she’s not bending her knees to go to the bathroom. And I think it must get harder as you get older, or at least I’ve noticed with her, because she’s doing everything right as far as diet and… that’s my theory. Is that now, when she’s constipated, it has more to do with her delay and the fact that she’s not using the toilet.
Diane Sanfilippo: Interesting.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
8. Experiences with gluten re-exposure [59:48]
Diane Sanfilippo: So, what happens if she does get an exposure to gluten? Can you talk about that, because I think what’s important here is that you know where to find hidden gluten, you’re very well versed in this stuff, and we probably have folks listening who, you know, it might be new for them, or they might feel like some of us who do this stuff, write recipes or teach about this stuff for a living are somehow perfect at finding hidden gluten.
Kelly Brozyna: I am not perfect. No.
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s really hard, you know, if you leave the house, it’s out there.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: So, do you want to talk about what happens if she gets a reaction, and how you can kind of, just what you do to kind of give yourself the best situation possible to avoid it, too.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah. I mean, I’m only human, and I make mistakes, and a couple of years ago, I think it was 2 summers ago, gradually over the summer, her autism was really resurfacing, and just getting worse. Every day it was worse and worse and worse, to the point where by the end of August, I could barely get through a day because she stopped talking, she was screaming, she was throwing; I had to buy, I bought these rice and bamboo plates, they’re like not breakable. {laughs} It’s sort of like a plastic but not actually plastic plates, but nonbreakable plates and bowls because she was throwing the dishes, and breaking them. Every day, throwing her dish and breaking it.
Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.
Kelly Brozyna: Laying down, you know, she was 7, so this is a big kid to be having a tantrum. A 7-year-old laying down, screaming and kicking and crying on the floor. It was a total nightmare, and Ginger had just been born. She was a baby. So, what did I do. I would kind of walk her. The only thing I could do to calm her was either to drive just around the neighborhood, just drive around, or I would put her in a big stroller and just walk. It was so hot, so I would take an umbrella, and I have the baby in my carrier on my body, and I’m holding the umbrella with one hand, and I’m pushing this stroller with this 7-year-old with the other hand, just laps around the neighborhood to try and calm her down and try and soothe her. But it was a nightmare, and I couldn’t figure out why the autism was coming back. And I was so confident that it was not anything I was giving her. I thought, you know, I’ve been doing this for a long time, surely I haven’t accidentally glutened her. You know, it didn’t even cross my mind that I was accidentally glutening her. I didn’t know what was going on, it was just a nightmare. And my friend Tom Terror, I did a blog post, kind of like, I was so upset and just, I needed the support, and I told my readers, you know, it’s been really hard lately, autism is back in the house, and just kind of put that out there. And Tom called me and he said, I want you to go through all the supplements. Isn’t she taking supplements? I said, yeah, she takes supplements. He’s like, let’s go in the cabinet right now, with me on the phone, and we’re going to go through all of them. And I’m like, Tom, you’ve got to be kidding me. I wouldn’t accidentally gluten her. Well, you can see where this is going.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: I accidentally had been giving her a supplement that I had gotten from my midwife, and it was a supplement she gave me for me, but I don’t think I had actually taken it. I don’t know, whatever. I got it at the midwife, and it was a B-complex, and one of the ingredients had come from gluten.
Diane Sanfilippo: What was it listed as?
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah, it was listed as, I want to say it was listed at wheat germ, or wheat germ oil?
Diane Sanfilippo: Hmm.
Kelly Brozyna: Something. Something like that. But the ingredients were kind of in two columns on the bottle, so I had kind of read one column of the ingredients, and I didn’t turn the bottle all the way around, and I didn’t realize that there were more.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yep. Sometimes it’s sort of the, not quite active inactive, but it’s the fillers that they use to deliver the vitamins.
Kelly Brozyna: Ugghh!
Diane Sanfilippo: In a separate column. So they’ll tell you, this has vitamin B, vitamin this, all the what the actual nutrients you’re looking for.
Kelly Brozyna: Right.
Diane Sanfilippo: And then there’s a separate place on the label where it will talk about, sometimes maltodextrin or different vegetable glycerin, different types of fillers or pill capsules and things like that that they use. That is a really, it’s such a strong reason why people need to audit their supplements. At least once a month if things are going well for them. Because the fillers and binders and ways that they put the supplements together, while for most people they tend to be no big deal, if you’re reacting to one of those, {laughs} I mean, this thing that’s supposed to be making you feel better could be the culprit. So, what happened, how quickly, once you took her off of that, did you see a change?
Kelly Brozyna: Oh my gosh. Within 2 weeks, I would say, she was 50-75% back to normal. Within a month, the severe symptoms were gone, definitely completely gone within a month. But it had another side effect, which I think is more under control now, but it’s still a little bit lingering. She had, because of having that glutening that I had been giving her for months, I had given her that supplement for months. When I took her off of it, the symptoms went away pretty quickly, but she became completely constipated. She just stopped. Stopped going to the bathroom, stopped pooping, and it was severe. I would say she was pooping once a week. And this is with me giving her vitamin C and magnesium and enemas and prunes and prune juice. Like, everything you could think of to help keep you going, and it was that, so that became the new nightmare.
Diane Sanfilippo: Right.
Kelly Brozyna: Was that she could not poop. And it was horrible. And what really saved us, and it took about, I want to say it took a year. It was like a year, or almost, like 10 months, from the time that I got her off of that supplement until I realized that gelatin really helped. And that again was a sort of an accident; it was the summer, and we were making Jell-O, and ice cream, and I noticed that she was eating a lot of it, and was starting to go more often, 2 or 3 times a week while she was eating more gelatin. And I thought, is this a coincidence? I wasn’t really sure, because I had never heard that. And then we moved to California and went on our book tour for the chocolate book, and so I kind of forgot about it, and she wasn’t having a lot of gelatin on the trip, because we were gone for a month, and the whole family went. It was this big, long, really cool road trip. But, during that time I was giving her enemas pretty often to keep her going, because she was still, a year later still having trouble pooping. And, when we came back and got back to California, I remember driving home. I was kind of in a hurry, I was like, I think it’s the gelatin. I think that’s it! {laughs} I was kind of like, gotta get home!
Diane Sanfilippo: Hurry up! Get home! Get Jell-O! {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah {laughing} So, the day we got back, I was like, ok, from this day forward, she’s going to have gelatin every day. And I think I’ve told you before, it’s hard to give her enough broth, bone broth, because she’s 9, but developmentally 2, and she’s, you know, not like an adult that’s going to, ugh, ok, I have to drink this.
Diane Sanfilippo: Right.
Kelly Brozyna: I mean, I enjoy it, and she does enjoy it, but I just can’t get enough of it in her. So I got the Great Lakes, both kinds. I got the kind that’s cold water soluble and the kind that you dissolve to make Jell-O. And I just started giving it to her every day. If it was in Jell-O or ice cream or a smoothie or tea, I mean, we’ve gotten to the point where we put that in everything.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}
Kelly Brozyna: And sure enough, I did a video telling my readers, I think it was about 2 months later, I did a video on my site just telling them how, it was just like a miracle. She was going almost every day the first 2 to 3 months that she was having gelatin every day, she was going like every single day. And it’s kind of trickled off, and there’s a couple of reasons. I mean, she hasn’t had as much gelatin lately, she’s gotten kind of sick and tired of it. Like, she doesn’t want Jell-O, and she really prefers to eat meat and vegetables.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Look what you did!
Kelly Brozyna: What?
Diane Sanfilippo: Look what you did, you raised this kid who really wants to eat meat and vegetables!
Kelly Brozyna: {laughs} I know, my mother-in-law will call her, because she’s on the East Coast ,we’re on the West Coast, and she’ll call when it’s their lunch time, and she’ll say, Ashley what are you eating? And she expects Ashley to be eating pancakes or whatever, smoothies. And Ashley’s like, chicken.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: And she goes, no really, honey, what are you really having? And she’s like, chicken. {laughing}
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: But yeah. She hasn’t been having it every day for I would say the past couple of months, which I think is part of the problem. But also I think, like I said before, with her standing it’s also part of it. But gelatin really helped getting her going again. I don’t know why; I have no idea why it does that.
Diane Sanfilippo: I think there are a bunch of reasons why, and one of them because of some of the amino acids that you’re getting from the gelatin, it could be just kind of helping to heal her gut a bit.
Kelly Brozyna: Uh-huh, uh-huh.
Diane Sanfilippo: Which could all support the detox in general. Again, I might just be drawing.
Kelly Brozyna: In the GI tracts.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I might just be drawing lines between things, but I think that for some people, they don’t react well to it, and some people really do. So, it’s almost like you can’t always say directly why something happens, because even if the B vitamins maybe at first were helping her, but then the supplement, you know, whatever else was in the supplement wasn’t, maybe the B vitamin at first was helping her to detoxify, but then that gluten exposure wasn’t.
Kelly Brozyna: Right.
Diane Sanfilippo: You know? You never know the one reason because of how your body systems kind of interplay and things cascade into one another.
Kelly Brozyna: Right.
Diane Sanfilippo: I just think it’s really important that people kind of pay attention to some of the details, when you feel like you’re trying to get through some tough challenges and figure out what’s going on, whether it’s with you or with your kids. I think it’s always worth digging more in terms of figuring out if there’s a specific thing that they’re tolerating or not. I think it’s always worth having practitioners that you can turn to, and that are really supporting what you’re doing in terms of real, whole foods, and who believe in the fact that there are certain foods that do work for some people and don’t work for others. I think all of that is really important, and you know, if anybody has more questions about what you’ve gone through, I think you have a lot of blog posts on your site, as we mentioned, it’s the, so you guys can definitely check that out. I know Kelly is pretty active on social media. Is there one that you like more than others for people to maybe come and get in touch and ask questions on?
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah. When people write on my Facebook wall and if they have questions about any of the things we’ve talked about, I usually see those. I check that pretty often. I don’t think I ever miss a question on my Spunky Coconut Facebook. That’s a good one.
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so the Spunky Coconut, you can find her pretty easily on Facebook. She has a lot of folks over there. I know she posts tons of recipes and really fun stuff. So, definitely.
Kelly Brozyna: And of course, I talk about all of this. I put up videos, and I’m very open, obviously, about all of our challenges and everything that we’re doing, and our ups and downs and everything. So, don’t be shy.
Diane Sanfilippo: I think it’s important for people to know that those of us who are in the community and have anything that we’re teaching other people, we’re wading through it ourselves, as well, and you do have successes and you have challenges.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: I think it’s important for everyone to share in that. I think it’s important for people not to be critical of each, but just to be there for support, and to help out. And how great is it that you had that friend who said, let’s look at the supplements. Because sometimes people are saying things like, oh it’s probably this or that. And you’re like, I have tried everything.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah. Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: I’m sure there are parents who have gone through the same thing. You know, I think just trust your instinct, too, because maybe it felt like, hey, that seems crazy, but yeah I have been giving her something different lately. Anytime you change something, there’s always a possibility. {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: I just want to remind people to have that kind of mindset, that we’re all here to support.
Kelly Brozyna: Help each other.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, support and be nurturing and not be critical, especially on some of these things that can be really tricky and tough to navigate I think when it comes to kids.
Kelly Brozyna: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: So, I just want to say thank you so much for spending time with me today.
Kelly Brozyna: Thank you!
Diane Sanfilippo: And I want to ask you if there’s anything else you want to tell people? Obviously we talked early on about your new book, Dairy Free Ice Cream, which I’m sure you’re going through a bunch of Dairy Free Ice Cream this summer with all the gelatin that you might be mixing in there, too.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: Anything else you want to tell people?
Kelly Brozyna: We always eat ice cream.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh man. We’re definitely going to try and make some. Maybe I’ll make a video. Hopefully I’ll be successful and not; well, I can’t burn it, so that’s good.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughing}
Diane Sanfilippo: I tried to make biscotti from Beyond Bacon, and I totally burned it. I don’t know if you’ve seen this video…
Kelly Brozyna: OHhhh,
Diane Sanfilippo: You have to watch this video, because I discover why I burned it. I mean, why does anybody burn anything, you cook it for too long or it’s too hot. I mean, that’s why things burn, right? But I discovered the user error. And I was like, this is why I don’t bake, because I screw it up every time.
Kelly Brozyna: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: But anyway, hopefully I will not freezer burn my ice cream. {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: And ovens are so finicky. Even if you, what is it, calibrate it. Even if you get it to be on temperature, it gets back off.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, it was my fault though. {laughs}
Kelly Brozyna: Oh, ok. {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: I left them in like 10 or 15 minutes too long. Yeah. I remember, I was like, I probably should, I feel like this could have done better if I only cooked it 10 minutes instead of another 25 then I read the recipe, all the way to the end, and I was like, I was only supposed to cook it for 10 more minutes. Yeah, it was totally me. The video is hilarious. OK, so Dairy Free Ice Cream they can find anywhere books are sold and on Amazon, of course. They can find it linked through your website. Definitely check Kelly out at
Kelly Brozyna: Thank you so much, Diane.
Diane Sanfilippo: Thank you! And I just want to wrap up, and remind everyone that we’ll be back next week with more questions. And if you’ve been enjoying the podcast, please remember to subscribe in iTunes. It definitely helps us to reach more people and spread the word. Feel free to leave a review there. Definitely welcome you to come leave comments on the blog posts that I have every week at Or, as I’ve been directing folks now, is the URL that you can go to, it will redirect you right to the website, which has been relaunched actually. As of now, it will have been a couple of weeks, so I welcome you to check me out there. Don’t forget, you can find Liz at Be sure to join our emailing lists where we provide exclusive content to our subscribers that we don’t share anywhere else. Thanks for listening. We’ll be back next week, and we’ll catch you then.

Cheers! Diane & Liz  

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