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How to use the Undoctored and Wheat Belly Blogs

Member Forum >> Help Desk >> How to use the Undoctored and Wheat Belly Blogs

Bob Niland

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Posted: 12/6/2016 9:31:38 AM
Edited: 9/4/2018 10:34:08 AM (22)

How to use the Undoctored and Wheat Belly Blogs

Edition 2018-09-04

Unless you are a member of one of Dr. Davis’ subscriber forums, such as Undoctored Inner Circle (where you may be viewing this article), your web interactions with him are constrained by the limitations of his blogs, the
UdB: Undoctored Blog ( and
WBB: Wheat Belly Blog (

Here are some tips in FAQ form, based entirely on user trial and error, as an ordinary* reader of the blogs. This applies only to the blogs, and not Wheat Belly on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ or YouTube. I do not follow WB on those sites.

For the benefit of infrequent legacy users, the Wheat Belly Blog changed format in May 2014. The present how-to article was updated to cover what WBB users need to know under the new layout. WordPress itself changed in mid 2018.

Are Video Transcripts Available?

Yes, for most videos posted in 2017 or later. Longer videos, and those with extensive visual content, may not have transcripts. Most of these transcripts are done by me.

Where there isn’t a transcript: for the hearing-impaired and those with platform limitations, the video content that is hosted by YouTube, as seen at YouTube, has optional Closed Captioning, selected by controls at lower right. Note that these subtitles are speech-to-text apparently generated by YouTube, and are well less than fully accurate. Any Vimeo-hosted content appears to lack a CC feature.

The UdB has no search feature at all. The WBB’s own Search engine is a bit weak. It apparently only finds content in post titles and basenote content, and never in user Replies. There is no longer a side list of common topics linked to multiple articles on those topics (which wasn’t comprehensive even in the old format). The FAQ link is still a very short list.

To search the blogs more extensively, use an external search engine, such as
UdB: Google Advanced
WBB: Google Advanced,
In either case, restricting the "site or domain" to or (pre-loaded for the links shown).

To find your own replies later, bookmark them as soon as you post them. If there are few enough Replies on a topic when you do that, note that the URL (aka http link or web shortcut) may change when older replies are shifted off to numbered page links. Your original URL will at least get you to the correct topic. Update the bookmark as needed (as I have to do periodically for various articles I maintain that link to blog comments).

Who Can Post Replies?

Anyone, choosing any user name, but probably requiring a real email address (not visible to other readers).

The user name is published. I would suggest using a reasonably unique user name, so that your prior comments can more easily be found via external search, and so that you aren’t mistaken for someone else when discussing specific situations.

The blog apparently does not check for user name conflicts, so you can accidentally use the same name someone else has used. The blog may check for abusive names, and deliberately spoofing someone else is apt to have consequences.

The email address is not published. The email address is probably vetted (by means other than sending an email). If it’s not from a blacklisted domain, and not specifically blocked due to prior abuse, it’s likely good to go.

What do I put in the “Website” field?

Any Website URL is applied to the published user name. The “Website” field is optional, so leave it blank if you haven’t an obvious use for it. You can change it from Reply to Reply. The following are useful uses:

  • Your Facebook page or personal website (see discussion).
  • Sites and forums compatible with Undoctored and Wheat Belly.
  • A second URL in cases where your response needs to link more than once, and you want to avoid moderation.
  • A commercial website, with some care.

I often used to use it to point to this same article on Wheat Free Forum, and now use it to point to an extended disclosure statement here on UIC.

The Website field is frequently abused by spammers, scammers, trolls, as well as crackers who want to lead readers to malware. This usually results in the link being removed shortly thereafter, but can easily result in the entire reply being deleted, and if the abuse is blatant and obvious; banning. Vacuous reply prose with links to commercial sites get deleted. Almost any kind of reply with links to sites clearly incompatible with Undoctored and Wheat Belly gets deleted. Links to almost any kind of “affiliate” site results in link removal at the very least.

How Do I Get My Avatar to Appear?

If you have a WordPress account, and are using the email address associated with it, the blog will use any avatar you have set up and currently selected.

The blog may or may not also use some social media API, and so by default may depend on:

  • having an account on one of the social media sites shown at WBB page top right (presently Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ or LinkedIn);
  • having an avatar on at least one of those sites;
  • using an email address for WBB comments that matches that used on the social media site that has the avatar; and
  • perhaps also what cookies infect your PC/pad/mobile, or how much the social media site is blabbing about you.

If you don’t have enough of the above to get an avatar to appear, use Gravatar (which creates a free WordPress account). Be aware of a couple of caveats on that:

  1. you’ll have to provide Gravatar with the email address to be matched, and
  2. the avatar is likely to retroactively show up in every comment you’ve ever posted anywhere on the internet linked to that email address.

You might want to create a new email account for the purpose. I can tell you that having a Yahoo account with an avatar, and posting replies using that email address, does not pull in that avatar.

How Can I Start a New Topic?

You can’t. It’s not a forum. If you are interested in addressing the community of Undoctored/Wheat Belly followers, you can:
• join Undoctored Inner Circle, or
• create a free account on Wheat Free Forum.

If you are trying to get Dr. D’s attention, post as a Reply to a suitable topic (but see Locked Threads issue below). For a question, be sure to use an external search first.

And no, there is no published email address for the Dr., other than for media. If any addresses he uses become widely known, he’ll probably have to abandon them.

So how do user posts become basenote topics?

Dr. D. creates a new topic and copies your Reply into it. Here’s a WBB example: (Flash in the Pan Fad Diet?).

What Do I Need to Know About Posting Replies?

  1. Pick a blog
    Base articles are sometimes mirrored on both blogs, so if your comment relates to the article, the choice doesn’t matter. Otherwise, use Wheat Belly Blog for diet-centric issues, and Undoctored Blog for everything else. Although articles may be mirrored on both blogs, comments are not.

    During 2017, the Wheat Belly Blog shifted to ad-supported. The Undoctored blog is not. If the WBB ads (which are somewhat randomly context/user-dependent, can be contrary to the program. If you find them annoying, use an ad-blocker (I use the NoScript extension in FireFox).
  2. Older threads lock soon.
    New Article threads older than X weeks are locked (have no Reply links). I have seen X vary between 2 and 4 weeks, and it was 14 days when this article was last updated. It may be being adjusted based on the volume of new articles, to limit the number of open threads.
  3. Pick a related thread where possible.
    If you have a comment or question unrelated to a currently open thread, just post it on the newest open thread. Blog comment threads can get a bit polluted with off-topic content; can’t be helped.
  4. Post source snippets.
    «I conjecture that…»
    I disagree…

    Replies can get disconnected all too easily, leaving readers wondering what you’re on about. The rendering of the blog for mobile devices apparently doesn’t preserve indents. What you replied to can get deleted, or eaten by a blog bug. In any case, people have to scroll up to ponder what you might have had in mind. So quote some of the source, using "quotes" or some sort of
    ] setoff punctuation or allowed <em>markup</em>.
    See Markup topic for markup supported.
    < less-than, greater-than > (these get eaten)
    I personally use:
    «…» double angle quote marks (Alt+0171, Alt+0187 on Windows)
    These also work:
    “…” Unicode double quote marks (U+201C, U+201D), or
    "…" plain old double
    Unicode single angle quote marks (U+2039, U+203A) also work on the blog, but cannot be represented in this FAQ article on the UIC forum (apparently a bug).
  5. Reply Threading
    In a typical topic thread, there are two kinds of _Reply_ links:
    a. The one at the bottom of the page is for replies to the basenote.
    b. Those under previous Replies are for replying to those replies.

    If there are replies with and without _Reply_ links, those without are at the maximum nesting depth.
  6. Nesting Depth
    The blogs have always limited reply nesting to 5 deep. Those at level 5 had no reply links. To reply to something at the bottom of the level 5 replies, reply to the nearest level 4 reply above. Your reply may not end up directly under what you’re replying to, so quote source snippets.
  7. Security (was: CAPTCHA timeouts)
    Challenge test captcha is no longer used on WBB and there doesn’t seem to be any nesting failure for replies that aren’t posted rapidly.

    The new format seems to be using other heuristics to block ’bot replies. This occasionally seems to block content that seems completely harmless. If I can puzzle it out, I’ll update here.
  8. Moderation
    Various things can cause your post to not appear immediately (to anyone but you and the moderator(s)). I am not a moderator. Of the things that non-abusive posters do, the main cause for moderation is including more than one URL in your reply (even if all such URLs are to the blog itself or other Dr. Davis sites).

    To reference multiple URLs, there are some choices:
    • Put them in a post on another site, such as Wheat Free Forum, and link to that.
    • Use multiple Replies.
    • For just 2 URLs, put one in the “Web Site” field of the dialog. I have tested this and found it to work, but be sure to clear that field on your next post, as your cookies will cause it to be re-populated with the last used URL.
    If you end up in moderation it can take an unpredictable amount of time before the Reply gets reviewed and released.
  9. Abuse
    Spamming, trolling and personal attacks can cause Replies to vanish, and might result in email addresses, or even domains, being banned as well. Egregiously foul language might do it too. Simple complaints or challenging questions about your program results do not get you deleted. I think the blogs hear from pretty much everyone who doesn’t get immediate textbook results.

    On the white hat side, there is no [Abuse] link, nor any other way to notify the WBB moderator(s) of abusive articles, a definite shortcoming of the blog.

    The blog is filtering A LOT of cruft. Some still sneaks through, but it was much more extensive back before the CAPTCHA was implemented in the old format.

    I don’t recommend posting replies to abusive or spammy material that sneaks through the filters. It tends to vanish on its own in 24 hours or so, but any replies posted to it remain, orphaned, floated to the top level of responses, and any new responses to them may also be disconnected and floated to the top, which makes a bit of a mess of things. I report a lot of user ID spam, but very rarely abusive content (my threshold for abuse is a lot higher than Dr. D’s). Even with UID spam, unless the Reply content is content-free (often the case), the usual remedy a moderator will just delete the link from the UID.
  10. Formatting (or rather the lack thereof)
    The Wordpress editing engine appears to convert most entered content to plaintext in some weight of Lato font. Pre-applied bold, italics, font changes, lists, tables, images, etc. all get flattened or deleted. Some HTML markup may be applied in the edit window.

    The text dialog definitely accepts 8-bit western roman characters, and quite a bit of Unicode, which does not appear to be limited by the font in use. It is clearly not limited to code points which have HTML named character entities. The Wordpress engine appears to be doing both fallback and glyph embedding. Unfortunately, you may not know if it supports any random character above code point U+00FF until after you click  [Post Comment]  or  [Share My Comment!] .

    Entering [Enter/Return] ends a paragraph. [Shift[Return]] just forces an end of line. Non-breaking spaces work (Alt+0160 on Windows), as do a great many Unicode characters. If, during edit, a character you type or paste in vanishes, becomes a ? or a box, it’s probably not going to work.

    When rendered, some special characters (typically Unicode emoticons) are sometimes served as a linked graphical image, rather than Unicode code points, and this behavior is not consistent. When a graphic is served, the HTML includes an ALT="X" attribute, where X is the actual Unicode. If you happen to copy a blog comment into a word processor app, use paste-special(text) to avoid a performance and size hit from pasting an <IMG> tag with remote content.

    Proof-read: there is no [Preview] button, much less any [Edit] or [Delete].
  11. Serving
    Thanks to unwanted WordPress “enhancements” during 2018, your comment may not be immediately visible. This also means we no longer see the indication that it went into moderation. Re-load the page some minutes later.

HTML markup supported is described at the bottom of this article.

Can I Expect Dr. Davis to Answer My Question?

Maybe. He only responds to a very small percentage of reader comments, which is not surprising given the amount of time it would take to respond to them all. He does seem to be more likely to respond if the question is on-topic, of general interest, hasn’t been previously addressed on the blog or in the books, or only needs a quick easy answer.

There are a number of regular blog readers who respond to questions that have been addressed before, or are answered in the books, or where the question needs some additional detail to enable an answer. One of those readers is me. When a reader answer handles the matter, it may be the only answer provided.

Dr. Davis is more likely to respond to questions on the UIC Forum. Although a subscription site, you can see entire basenotes, and responses with 250 characters or less. There’s no indication that Dr. Davis ever visits other nutrition or health forums other than those he operates.

A Reply Just Appeared on a Locked Thread, How?

Presumably, something about that reply caused it to get placed in moderation, and it didn’t get released until after the thread closed, and then released.

How Can I Follow Discussions?

The most comprehensive way is to use the blog RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feature. Although neither blog displays icons for these, RSS is available:
UdB: go to Undoctored Blog article feed page E: Entries (Articles) Feed feature
WBB: go to Wheat Belly Blog article feed page E: Entries (Articles) Feed feature
or the
UdB: go to Undoctored Blog comments feed page C: Comments (Replies) Feed feature.
WBB: go to WB Blog article feed page C: Comments (Replies) Feed feature.

You can Subscribe to all changes, Comments, or just new content on a single thread, using whatever RSS features or extensions are available for your browser. I use Live Bookmarks in Firefox to track new Comments on all open threads, for example. The blogs do not appear to have a Push capability enabled.

The  [SIGN UP!]  and  [YES! SIGN ME UP!]  feature at {blog} right (maybe top on mobile) results in Newsletter emails, which are periodic (not instant) include links to new base articles, recipes and other material, but nothing on Blog comments.

If you post a comment (and you do need to post a comment for these), the:
U+2611 BALLOT BOX WITH CHECK Notify me of new posts by email
generates instant emails on new Blog articles, but nothing for new comments.
U+2611 BALLOT BOX WITH CHECK Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
generates an email for each new comment reply on just the current thread, but not new articles.

When you sign up for email notifications (but not RSS), you get an email with a link to confirm it. You get a new one of these on your first response to any thread. This prevents someone from maliciously flooding your email box.

The new article email notifications are sent instantly.

Any of the emails can be cancelled by following an unsubscribe link at the bottom of any recent similar email.

I only see one check box

If the
U+2610 BALLOT BOX Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
is missing, you are on a draft blog page. Don’t post your comment there. It may not be seen by anyone, and you won’t be notified of responses.

Preserve your comment text and repost it on some open thread found from the main blog. These orphan draft pages are being routinely de-linked

I didn’t get a confirmation email. What to do?

In December 2015 through February 2016, that WordPress feature became unreliable for the WBB. I was personally getting a confirmation email less than half the time. It could happen again. When they work, these emails are sent immediately. If you don’t get one (but have previously), just click this link to the WordPress Pending page. Check the boxes for the threads you want to follow and click [Confirm].

If you’ve never gotten a confirmation email, make sure your ISP and/or email client filters aren’t treating WordPress email as spam or junk.

Sorry, comments are closed for this item.

Means the thread closed to comments while you were composing your remarks. I’ve had this happen once.

Use your browser back feature. Copy the comment from the edit window. Post it on an open thread.

No threads open for comments.

If Dr. Davis hasn’t posted or re-posted in 14 days, no posts will be open for comments. Wait a few days.

User Name
December 8, 2016 at 4:06 PM
⇐ this dateline is a permalink

The date line that appears under usernames on replies is a permalink to that specific comment. Right-click/copy, or just click on it and copy it out of the browser’s target dialog.

A link I found to an old blog post or reply is 404 (not found). What happened?

Most commonly, it means that Dr. Davis re-posted an older article (including all of its comments). This changes the base URL of the article, and breaks any links to where it used to be, and any deep links to replies on it. If you can, let the referencing author know about the 404 link. They might be able to update it.

Less frequently, the blog undergoes a complete re-organization, such as in May 2014. This can cause the above problem, and some things may just vanish entirely.

HTML Markup Supported

Very little HTML markup is allowed in Comments by the Wordpress blog engine. Avoid the use the common Latin (ASCII) < (less than) and > (greater than) characters except as the few HTML tags (elements, aka tags) that are known to work. < causes problems even inside HTML attribute quotes, so avoid it except as deliberate markup, or "escaped" as entity &gt;

In particular, do not attempt to quote in <this style>. The blog engine deletes any unsupported content inside the pair, and renders it as <>. Posting an empty <> pair causes the <> to be deleted as well. Using ordinary straight double quotes ("as here") is fine for simple cases. WP converts them to curly quotes (“as here”).

Because the blog has no Preview, Edit or Delete, if you are going to try markup, you really need to be using an independent tool that provides HTML validation, HTML preview and line wrap without line breaks. I don’t plan to expand this into a tutorial. These markups are listed for the benefit of those with some fluency in HTML.

The following HTML elements have been reported to work in comments on Wordpress blogs. I have not tested them on any other WP blogs. I do not know yet know how many Attributes are allowed.

Tags Tested:

<a>, <abbr>, <acronym>, <b>, <blockquote>, <code>, <em>, <i>, <strong>

As <acronym> was officially dropped for HTML5 I’d expect Wordpress to either stop allowing it, or convert it to <abbr> at some point. So use <abbr>.

Although elided after posting, <p> and </p>, and <br> or <br /> may be safely used for proof-read formatting in your HTML editor, as long as
<p> and
<br… start a new line in your raw text.

<address> does not work, although some sources claim it’s supposed to on Wordpress.

HTML Attributes Tested

cite= gets served out, but is metadata only
title= works
id= is stripped out
name= is stripped out
style= is stripped out.

HTML Entities Tested

There’s a good chance that HTML named and numbered (decimal or hex) entities all get served. Numbered entities need a test, and browser support for entities is not universal, especially, I expect, for those that are recently adopted Unicode.

Found to work so far: &bull; (•), &deg; (°), &hellip; (…), &nbsp; ( ), &omega; (ω), &radic; (√), &laquo; («), &raquo; (»), &ldquo; (“), &rdquo; (”), &lt; (<), &gt; (>)

Higher order Unicode characters, however entered, may not be served as-is. They may get served out as <img> SVG’s hosted on the WP site, and tagged with alt="Ü", where Ü is the actual Unicode character you typed in (probably whether as text or HTML Entity markup). No, that doesn’t mean that YOU can use the <img> tag u2639_white_frowning_face

Bob Niland [disclosures] [topics]

* I became a Blog Reply Associate (now just Blog Associate) on the Wheat Belly Blog some years after first authoring this How-To article.

Tags: blog,RSS,Wheat Belly


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Posted: 7/3/2019 9:12:48 AM
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Bob: Might this be changed to a Sticky at the top of this area? References such as these are hard to find if not "stuck" near the top. Thanks for considering.


Bob Niland

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Posted: 7/3/2019 9:52:34 AM
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Reply Content Hidden!

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Join Date: 5/9/2018
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Posted: 7/3/2019 10:30:33 AM
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Thanks, Bob, for the explanation.