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Collard Milk

This is a note to self for a recipe that I want to try out. Basically, eating a high volume of greens is really difficult but that seems to be what’s necessary to get a good calcium: phosphorus ratio without milk so I’ve decided to try out an experimental drink that will approximate 1% milk (based on nutritiondata stats). I’m using collards because they are the highest calcium vegetable but you could use any others as long as you’re getting the right amount of calcium.

For 1/2 gallon:

3.5lbs cooked collard greens

8 tbp maple syrup or 5 tbp and 1 tsp rapadura/sucanat or 8 tbp and 2 tsp molasses or 5 tbp and 2 tsp raw honey [maple syrup or half maple syrup/half molasses is probably best]

5 tbp and 1 tsp gelatin powder

1/4-1/2 tsp salt

Enough water to make a half gallon

Blend all ingredients together and chill. This should have roughly the same macronutrient breakdown as 1% milk with a high calcium:phosphorus ratio and because you added gelatin as the main protein, it should be very anti-inflammatory (however, this may also mean that it will gel). I am thinking molasses would be a good sweetener to use because of its high mineral content and also because the high calcium:phosphorus content of this drink will inhibit absorption of the iron in the molasses. You may also want to add one egg yolk for extra vitamin A and cholesterol.


Filed under: calcium, dairy, Diet, drink, experiment, Peat, , , , , , ,

Dairy Trouble: A Guide

For those of you who are having some trouble with dairy but are unsure as to what may be the cause, here are a few suggestions for ways to pinpoint what’s okay and what isn’t.

Most symptoms are likely to be caused by lactose or casein or both. Casein, however, comes in two forms and so you have to determine whether you react to both or just one of the forms of casein. You may also want to consider the raw versus pasteurized question as some report better tolerance of raw dairy products.


Casein can be either A1 or A2. It has been argued by some that the A1 casein that makes the bulk of the protein in cow’s milk is more allergenic via a weak bond that allows it to give off casomorphins. In any case, A1 is a new variant and A2 is an older variant that less people are reactive to. Most store bought cow’s milk is going to be A1 dominant, Jersey milk will be about half and half and Guernsey will be mostly A2. Other animals have only A2 protein in their milk (including humans). I suggest that to test casein tolerance you first try goat’s milk cheese which will only have A2 casein. If there is no reaction then move on to cow’s milk cheese to see if you have a reaction to A1 casein.


Lactose is the milk sugar that many have difficulty digesting due to a lack of the lactase enzyme. Some allege that raw milk is more digestible since it contains more enzymes. I suggest that once you have dealt with the casein issue that you move on to trying raw goat or cow milk (depending on the results of your casein challenges) to see if you react to lactose.

Raw versus Pasteurized

With dairy products there may be a benefit of consuming raw over pasteurized in the sense that the nutrition will have undergone less denaturing and removal of probiotic bacteria and enzymes. In dairy challenges, I thus recommend trying the raw variant before the pasteurized variant.

High fat dairy (ghee, butter, cream, sour cream, cream cheese) will, in general, have very low levels of both casein and lactose so you may be able to use these without trouble, depending upon how sensitive you are, even if you fail the casein and lactose challenges. According to nutrition data these are the following percentages:

Butter: 1% protein

Heavy Whipping Cream: 3% protein, 3% carbohydrate

Sour cream: 5% protein, 5% carbohydrate

Cream cheese: 7% protein, 5% carbohydrate

As for yogurt, because it has been cultured it may digest more easily than other foods you are reactive to. You’ll just have to test it separately and find out. There are some yogurts and kefirs out there that have no lactose or extremely low lactose so you may seek those out if that is your problem. The average given by nutrition data for macronutrient breakdown is 29% carbohydrates and 24% protein so keep that in mind for more common yogurt products.

Sample Introduction Schedule:

Raw goat cheese

Pasteurized goat cheese

Raw cow cheese

Pasteurized cow cheese

Raw milk

Pasteurized milk


Filed under: casein, cheese, dairy, goat milk, guide, lactose, ,

Doing Ray Peat without Dairy: Some Suggestions

When I first started reading Ray Peat, I was somewhat incredulous at his recommendation to consume so much milk and cheese as well as at his belief that lactose intolerance problems are the result of various hormonal problems as opposed to simply the fact that most people in the world do not have genes for lactase persistence. In any case, even if Ray Peat is correct on all accounts, consuming high amounts of dairy on a healing program when you know it gives you issues sounds like a world of pain. I’ve come up with a few suggestions for those who still want to try Ray Peat’s dairy suggestions without actually consuming dairy.

Why Does Peat Recommend Dairy?

There appear to be three main reasons: dairy has an anti-inflammatory amino acid profile, dairy has pro-thyroid minerals, dairy has a high calcium/phosphorus ratio.

The Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio

There are lots of foods with a high calcium/phosphorus ratio but most of these are vegetables meaning that you’ll have to consume a relatively high volume of them in order to get enough (for 1g of calcium you need about 2-3lbs of collard greens or 19 oranges). You can also get a boost from molasses which has a great ratio and is high in many other minerals including magnesium (look for one low in iron).

Best: Dark leafy greens (especially collard greens, kale), molasses, oranges

Anti-Inflammatory Proteins

I did a look on nutrition data in order to figure out how proteins compared to gelatin in terms of being high in proline, glycine, and alanine as well as which were low in methionine, cystine, and tryptophan. Here is some of what I found:

Low tryptophan: Milk, yogurt, oysters, clams, scallops, cuttlefish, squid

Low cysteine: Milk, yogurt, clams, oysters, snow crabs, cuttlefish

Low methionine: Milk, yogurt, clams, oysters, scallops

High glycine: Pork skin, pork ears, pastrami, crab, cuttlefish, lobster, veal liver, crawfish, scallop

High proline: Laver (seaweed), egg white, casein, beef spleen, tuna, pike, cod, haddock, whitefish, pastrami

High alanine: Ham, beef lungs, shrimp, beef round

Among these proteins, we have a few that are also high in cysteine, tryptophan, or methionine such as egg white (methionine, tryptophan, cystine), tuna (methionine, tryptophan), crustaceans (tryptophan), and dairy (cystine).

Being Pro-Thyroid

There are many pro-thyroid vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, selenium, zinc, copper, and iodine. Many of these are in dairy but they are also abundant in mollusks, crustaceans, liver, egg yolks, and seaweed.

What we can conclude from this is that, as a general rule, mollusks and crustaceans are your best source of protein in terms of amino acid profile and mineral content.

Best: Gelatin, oysters, clams, scallops, squid, octopus, crustaceans, liver, egg yolks, seaweed

To summarize, to get the right calcium/phophorus ratio you should consume dark leafy greens in high volume, oranges, and molasses. To get the right amino acid profile, vitamins, and minerals you should consume gelatin, mollusks, egg yolks, liver, crustaceans, and seaweed.


I forgot to mention the fact that Peat also likes dairy because of the fact that it inhibits iron absorption by its high calcium content. I would suggest that you eat your calcium rich foods together with your proteins for best results (and also with coffee, tea, or cocoa if you like as these also inhibit iron absorption). Egg whites are an interesting case in that they contain phosvitin which helps inhibit iron. It is also interesting to take note of the fact that many of the calcium rich greens (collards, spinach, chard, kale) contain oxalic acid which also inhibits iron absorption. You may also make a homemade calcium supplement by saving the eggshells from hard boiled eggs and grinding them into a fine powder; this powder will be calcium carbonate.

Filed under: calcium, dairy, Diet, Health, Peat, protein, Vitamin A