Archive for the ‘Going Green’ Category
So you’ve gotten the big C diagnosis. Now what? Whether you decide or not to go with Western treatments- surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation, Chinese medicine and nutrition should be a part of your healing plan.
Chinese medicine can help with any cancer related symptoms and side effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation, including: nausea/vomiting, burns, weakened immunity, stress, anxiety, detoxification, pain, bruising, hair loss, skin issues, hot flashes, fatigue, digestive issues, loss of appetite, and anemia.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Even the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has proven that acupuncture used on cancer patients improved their immune system response. Their studies also showed that acupuncture reduced pain levels in some cancer patients. Clinical trials performed all over the world have determined that acupuncture reduces nausea and vomiting caused by chemo and anesthesia.
What can you do?
Eat & Drink
* Immune boosting- astralgus root, probiotics, lemon, aloe vera, bell pepper, kiwi
* Nausea- ginger, mint, dry crackers, apples
* Calming- beets, radish, carrots, yams, melons
* Detoxifying- dandelion greens, cucumber, kale, beets, seaweed, tumeric, garlic
* Sugar- cancer loves to feed on sugar.
* Dairy- casein, which is a milk protein, encourages tumor growth.
* Non- organic- pesticides and steroids cause and promote cancer.
Most importantly, do what makes you happy. Find support from people who will keep you on track. All experts agree that having a positive outlook on your diagnosis and treatment is vital to recovery.
These tips are meant for prevention as well. Whether or not you’ve gotten diagnosed with cancer, you can use this opportunity to take charge of your health and even come back healthier than ever before.
Live natural. Live well.
I’m writing this article based on a FRED talk I’m giving tonight. I realized 6 minutes isn’t enough to share all of these great tips, so here they are on my site. Have you made any resolutions? Is the thought of committing to them stressing you out? Then this list is perfect for you. Now and throughout the year.
First, I’d like to point out that stress makes you sick. It keeps you awake at night. Makes you crave the bad stuff even more. It even makes you gain weight. I’m not saying don’t put pressure on yourself to do better and more. But setting yourself up for failure and then beating yourself up isn’t going to make you healthier. And definitely not happier.
* Make realistic goals for the year. Make goals that you know you can keep. You know what you’re capable of. If going cold turkey on alcohol, sugar, or coffee or maybe all of the above terrifies you, then don’t do it. Pick one thing you want to give up. Commit to it daily. Set the intention to keep this commitment every morning. For all of you twelve steppers reading this- one day at a time does help. Thinking- “I can never have another pint of ice cream ever again in my entire life” will make the most sane of us go crazy.
* Want it. You’ve got to really, really want it. What ever your goal or commitment is- every cell in your body should crave it. Whether it’s adding a daily yoga practice or giving up meat. People come to me all the time to get over an addiction. Unfortunately, most of them aren’t really ready. They usually do it out of pressure from loved ones. If that’s the case, you might not even last a day. A great example- someone came in to quit smoking a few weeks ago. They called me the day after their first treatment to tell me acupuncture wouldn’t work for them. They had a cigarette on the way home from my office. They hadn’t even gone 2 hours. They still had cigarettes in the car. So of course acupuncture didn’t help. It reduces cravings, detoxes your body quickly, and helps you deal with any emotional stuff that comes up. But you have to be ready to let go. So, if you really want to give something up, don’t have any of it in your home. Throw it away. Give it to a neighbor. Make that commitment.
* Stop buying stuff. Yes, I said it. Stop shopping. Buy only what you need. If you see something you like, wait a week. Stop buying stuff. Yes, I said it. I know that’s considered blasphemy in our culture. But it can be done. Stop shopping. Obviously, uy what you truly need. If you see something you like, wait a week. If you can’t stop thinking about it, then indulge. Give away whatever is in your home that doesn’t inspire you. Go through your closets and cabinets. If you don’t love it or haven’t worn it, it’s time to say goodbye. Many charities will even come pick up for you.
* Eat more plant based, locally grown whole foods. I don’t consider this a diet. It’s a lifestyle. Going to your local farmers market or even having organic produce delivered to your doorstep by a CSA- Community Supported Agriculture. You can find recipes for anything online. Start today. Why not? Your body, the planet, and our fellow earthlings will all thank you.
*Give yourself a treat. I’m not talking about cupcakes or a third cocktail. I’m talking a massage or a day off in the middle of the week. Visit your best friend. Go to your favorite restaurant or yoga class regularly. You deserve it.
* Volunteer. A lot of my readers already do this. There’s nothing more fulfilling than helping others. Whatever your cause. Getting out of your head and giving back will definitely bring more joy in to your life. It helps gain perspective on our own lives. An added benefit is that we end up learning so much. So whatever your passionate about- protecting children, the environment, animals, find a group. Maybe use your expertise to help your favorite cause.
*Consume less caffeine and sugar. They might make you feel great in the moment. But believe me there are consequences. No way around it. The crash can make you cranky, tired, and want more of it. So why not just stay away? I have to say that all that I’ve written, the one on coffee upset the most people. It wasn’t the ones on giving up plastic, meat, or sugar. It was coffee. Luckily, I’ve never had it. But I can relate when it comes to sugar. Especially after all the desserts I had in the last week.
*Nature. Most of us are so busy; we don’t take the time to get outside. Which is really sad for any of my followers living in southern California. We can comfortably be outside 300 days out of the year. Go on a hike. Get to the beach. Or just go to your local park in put your bare feet in the grass.
* Forgive yourself and others. Do a meditation apologizing to yourself and the person. I like this guided meditation to help. Visualize the person you feel has hurt you. Forgive them. Then apologize to them for any harm you may have caused them. Then forgive yourself. Pick one person or event a night. See how the weight has been lifted.
What I want you to end with this thought- what are you wiling to change in 2013?
Live natural. Live Well.
I’ve seen a drastic increase in hormone related illnesses in the last ten years. Unfortunately, no matter how clean our diet is, we can’t completely avoid all pollutants. Just in the last 3 months, I’ve seen 15 new female patients in their 20s. All of them got their first period between the ages of 8 and 10. All of them. This is just one symptom of how all the toxins and pollutants we’re exposed to are damaging all of us.
Some simple steps to minimize your risk
* Minimize or eliminate your consumption of:
-animal products (especially non-organic)
-sugar (real & fake)
* Avoid all plastic, especially in food packaging. See my blog post for more info.
* Do a liver cleanse at least once a year.
* Make sure you get plenty of healthy fats in daily. See my blog post for more info.
* Organic produce as much as possible. See my blog post for more info.
* Put a water filter on your taps and showers.
* Exercise that helps get your blood pumping & de-stressed 3-5 times per week.
* Have your hormones tested. If anything is off, you can naturally treat almost any imbalance.
* Get active. Whatever your political beliefs, we all what safe food, water, and air for ourselves and our children. Contact your state and federal representatives and let them know you vote and you want to see changes.
Live natural. Live well.
I can’t tell you how upset I was to find out my dentist had been putting a known toxin in to my mouth. What?!?! Since I was 4 years old, my poor little body had been intentionally exposed to neuro-toxin. How could he? And all those vaccines I got. How could my pediatrician have done such a thing? What happened to the Hippocratic oath of “Do no harm?”
I first learned about the dangers of mercury and how we can be exposed to it my first year of college. I was grateful that I had already given up eating seafood, so that wasn’t a concern.
Finding all of this out, I got to thinking, “How much mercury HAVE I been exposed to?” I thought I was living a pretty healthy life- organic vegetarian, using green beauty products. (And cheap beer can be vegetarian. Right?) But maybe I was wrong.
I didn’t have any symptoms of mercury poisoning, but I still had my blood tested in grad school for mercury. The levels were high. I immediately had all my silver fillings taken out and still refuse any vaccines. I did a series of liver cleanses to flush out the mercury and any other heavy metals in my system. I now have a clean bill of health. I do a liver cleanse at least once a year to keep healthy.
Luckily, our bodies have the ability to remove this heavy metal through nutritional and herbal support. I already had a diet high in antioxidants, which improves the liver’s function to rid the body of all toxins, including heavy metals. I added a few more healing modalities that support the detoxification process: acupuncture, massage, saunas, a juice fast, and fiber supplements.
Side Effects Of Mercury Poisoning
The presence of mercury is considered toxic at any level, but children are most vulnerable due to their fast growth rates and low body mass.
High concentrations of mercury can result in:
*Depression, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, irritability, lack of concentration, memory lapses, and nervousness
*Mental retardation, Cerebral palsy, autism, deafness, & blindness
*Trembling hands, numbness in the hands and feet, & loss of muscle coordination
Unfortunately, there are very high rates of mercury poisoning in several industries, especially among munitions workers, laboratory technicians, farm workers, and coal burning plant workers.
Apart from exposure to industrial waste and pollution, you might be at risk for mercury poisoning through your amalgam (silver) fillings, eating seafood, and getting vaccines.
Dentists all over the world now refuse to use amalgam fillings, because of the direct link to their use and mercury poisoning. Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Norway have all banned mercury fillings. The World Health Organization has found that the average individual could absorb as much as 120 micrograms of mercury per day from their amalgam fillings, which is considered a toxic dose. Mother’s pass on the mercury in their fillings to the children through their breast milk.
Almost all fish are contaminated as the result of our oceans and streams being polluted by industrial waste. Fish with the highest levels of contamination include: tuna, swordfish, sea bass, oysters, marlin, halibut, pike, walleye, white croaker, largemouth bass, and shark. Pregnant women have been advised for years to avoid canned tuna due to the mercury content and the potential effects on the fetus. Now it’s best to avoid all seafood.
Mercury is also found in any vaccines containing thimerosal, which is a preservative found in many vaccines. It is possible to request vaccines that don’t contain this extremely toxic preservative.
Hopefully, this has you thinking about changing some of your habits. Get your blood tested. Take out those silver fillings. Don’t eat fish. Do a liver cleanse or two.
Once you’ve done a cleanse and flushed out mercury and other heavy metals from your system, it is important to limit exposure from your diet and environment. Try to avoid the following items that can contain mercury: pesticides and fungicides, certain cosmetics, medications, and hair dyes, fluorescent lights, and some solvents.
Live Natural. Live Well.
You want to know what I hear when I recommend buying organic? “It’s so much more expensive!” Patients of mine who don’t live in Southern California also say, “It’s impossible to find in winter.”
When it comes to produce, some non-organic options are safer than others. Please use this list when doing your shopping.
The 12 Most Contaminated, AKA The Dirty Dozen
* Bell Peppers
The 12 Least Contaminated
* Sweet Corn
* Sweet Peas
* Kiwi Fruit
Asking your grocer to carry more organic, local options will encourage them to supply the demand. As the demand grows, more farmers will listen.
Live natural. Live Well.
I’ve had so many patients ask about the potential side effects of radiation hitting the West Coast. This gives me a chance to talk about my favorite subject- FOOD.
Whole Grains & Legumes
Brown rice should be lightly roasted to increase your protection against radiation.
Adzuki beans- little red beans used in soups and stews- are great for improving kidney function, which is necessary for removing toxins.
Other delicious grains to help protect you include: buckwheat, millet, and quinoa.
Most sea vegetables contain a polysaccharide that binds to radioactive strontium and other pollutants. This helps to eliminate them from the body.
Kombu, a common kelp, can be used when cooking beans or vegetables. Add to your soup or salad a few tablespoons of sea vegetables, such as nori (used in sushi rolls), hiziki, alaria, arame, or wakame.
1 or 2 bowls of unpasteurized miso soup every day, preferably prepared with kombu seaweed and root vegetables.
Miso broth with root vegetables (like carrots, beets, yams, onions, turnips and radishes) stimulates digestive enzymes and supports the elimination of pollutants and toxins from the blood.
Eat Your Veggies
Any dark, leafy greens will promote detoxification, including: dandelion, kale, cilantro, and chard. Other veggies to alkaline the body and reduce inflammation are: pumpkin, squash, garlic, avocado, and broccoli.
Root vegetables are a great source of antioxidants and support your kidneys.
Add tumeric- the spice that makes curry yellow- to your veggies to reduce inflammation and support your immune system.
Adding lemon to your filtered water supports the liver’s function to eliminate toxins. It also stimulates your metabolism. Who wouldn’t want that? I recommend drinking lemon water all the time, but especially first thing in the morning to jumpstart your day. No matter what the circumstances.
The Iodide Question
There are many conflicting studies about the benefits and efficacy of taking iodine to protect your thyroid from radiation. So I’m hesitant to say anything about it. I personally think taking a low dose potassium iodide pill is usually safe as long as you don’t have a thyroid condition already. Short-term use should be fine, but please consult your physician first. According to the CDC, a single dose is all you need. Should radioactive iodine remain in the environment for more than 24 hours, another dose might be required. You shouldn’t take any at all unless you know that there is an immediate radiation hazard.
Other Steps to Take
Reishi and Cordyceps mushrooms protects your bone marrow from radiation and other toxins.
Spirulina and chlorella help the liver to flush on toxins, including radiation.
If you don’t like to or don’t know how to cook with tumeric, as suggested above, you can take it as supplement. 2-4 grams per day is should be enough.
Some homeopathic remedies to treat radiation: radium bromatum, uranium nitricum, plutonium nitricum, x-ray and plumbum. Please consult a qualified physician or homeopath before taking.
Taking a bath in Epsom salts, sea salt, bentonite clay, and/or baking soda to support your body’s ability to release toxins.
Acupuncture has long been established as great for detoxification and supporting the thyroid & immune system.
Foods To Avoid
You want to make sure your body can easily eliminate toxins, especially radiation. The healthier you are, the better your organs can do their job. So you want to avoid acidic foods and foods that slow down your body’s ability to detoxify. It is important to avoid coffee, sodas, refined sugars, dairy, and ‘white’ (bread, rice, etc…) and processed foods
All of these tips should be incorporated in to your daily lives, whether or not you’re directly affected by nuclear fall out in Japan. Eating a plant based, alkalizing diet will help protect you from almost any disease or pollution.
Live natural. Live well.
If you’ve been reading my blog or Tweets for a while, you know I’m not a fan of plastic. Well David de Rothschild, founder of Adventure Ecology, has found a way to make plastic work. After being inspired almost four years ago by a United Nations Environment Programme report, de Rothschild had an idea to build the world’s first boat made completely of recycled plastic bottles. David and his crew, heading from San Francisco to Sydney, set sail on “The Plastiki” last week.
The Plastiki, a 60-foot catamaran, is named after the Kon-Tiki – the raft used by Norwegian explorer and writer, Thor Heyerdahl, in his 1947 expedition across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian islands.
The Plastiki is made of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles. She will travel 11,000 nautical miles across the Pacific to both raise awareness about the condition of our oceans as well as to see first hand the impact we people having on the environment.
The Great Eastern Garbage Patch is one of the destinations prior to completing the journey three months later in Sydney. I was lucky enough to be invited to the press’ unveiling a few weeks ago. I met the Plastiki team and was even able to go on board and check her out myself. David de Rothschild’s passion for this project and the environment is obvious. For the past several years his life has been dedicated to saving our planet – even at great risk of his own.
Jo Royle, The Plastiki’s award-winning skipper (hear my interview with her), was super-sweet and very enthusiastic about spreading the message about plastic and other pollutants in our oceans. Jo shared something that really made such an impact on me — and makes no sense to her: The boating industry is responsible for producing incredibly toxic waste, even though their own captains and crews see the effects first hand. Isn’t time to change?
Another super-interesting person (and crew member) I met was Olav Heyerdahl — Thor Heyerdahl’s (Norwegian explorer, writer and Captain of the Kon-Tiki mentioned above) grandson. Olav shared some of his own experiences sailing the world, comparing his journeys to those of his grandfather’s, via diaries and logs meticulously kept by the elder Heyerdahl. Since his grandfather’s travels, the condition of our oceans has changed drastically. Where sharks made it nearly impossible for his grandfather to swim, Olav said he has seen only a few. Where his grandfather was able to eat tuna daily, Olav only had one such, because there just wasn’t any tuna to be caught. Olav, unfortunately, has seen an abundance of trash, especially plastic; his grandfather, however, saw none. In fact, his grandfather never recorded seeing any man-made debris.
Not that I’m an expert on boat building, but my first impression was how sleek she is. Nothing I saw made me think she was built from recycled materials. Actual bottles make up the body of the boat and provide nearly 70% of her buoyancy. The glue, made especially for The Plastiki, is a special mix of cashews and sugar (ok, yum!). The sails are one of the first to be made from recycled plastic and the masts are constructed from aluminum irrigation piping.
Matthew Grey, the expedition coordinator,demonstrated one of the most unique and interesting features of the boat – the on-board bicycle. The bike has a dual purpose: 1) to help prevent loss of muscle mass, and 2) to generate power.
One of my most favorite features was the vegetable garden. As a nutritionist and vegetarian, I thought this was such a great idea. Having on-board access to fresh, organic greens will no doubt help keep everyone healthy.
It took immense effort to make The Plastiki as sustainable as possible and if it’s possible for a boat, it’s no doubt possible for any building or structure. The homes we live in, the cars we drive, the offices we work in can all be made less toxic! The technology is out there. It takes commitment, but as David de Rothschild, his crew and the developing team have proven, it’s possible.
I commend them all on their dedication. David said that one of his goals was to show that it could be done. The Plastiki will definitely inspire other industries to head in the same direction.
Now I ask you, dear readers, how can you raise awareness and have an impact?
Live natural. Live well.
Besides creating the Great Eastern Garbage Patch and polluting our oceans, plastic has been know to cause:
* Brain damage
* Increased fat formation and risk of obesity
* Hyperactivity, increased aggressiveness, and learning impairment
* Auto-immune disorders
* Early puberty, stimulation of mammary gland development, disrupted reproductive cycles, and ovarian dysfunction -I’ve treated girls as young as 7 getting their periods.
* Thyroid disorders
* Stimulation of prostate cancer cells
* Increased prostate size and decreased sperm production
* Increase cancer risk
I know the side effects might seem scary and overwhelming. But doing regular detoxes, getting plenty of clean water, eating nutritious foods, taking the proper supplements can help prevent, eliminate, and reduce any of the above health issues.
I also know, that’s it’s pretty much impossible to avoid using all plastics. I recently interviewed a woman who tried for 2 weeks and failed. A few recommendations to limiting your exposure:
• Storing your food in glass container
• Using cooking oils that are in glass bottles
• Drinking filtered water in metal container
• Do NOT microwave in any plastic. For that matter, don’t microwave at all.
• Using reusable bags when shopping
• And PLEASE recycle!
Please tell your friends, family, and communities this vital information.
Live natural. Live well.
Heather Lounsbury, L.Ac.
Are you thinking of giving up meat? Maybe you just want to cut back? Is it for environmental, health, or ethical reasons? Worried about protein? Or for those of you are already a vegetarian, are sick of the question, “How do you get enough protein?” There is a myth in most Western countries, that you need to eat animal products regularly to get enough protein. You’ll see from the list below, that this is not the case. Cases of protein deficiencies almost exclusively exist in cases of overall malnourishment. What I see more of in my clinic is an iron deficiency, but that occurs just as often in meat eaters as vegetarians and vegans. (More on that in a future blog.)
Practically all vegetarian foods contain some protein, but soybeans are definitely one of the best sources. Soybeans contain all the essential amino acids and surpass all other plant foods in the amount of protein that they can deliver to humans. It is important to stay away from genetically modified soy products. The product must be labeled organic and/or non-GMO to make sure.
All of you reading this should know, that I’m always encourage my patients to healthy, organic, locally grown foods. Becoming a vegetarian is a very personal decision. But if you want to give it a try and have adequate nutritional support, I’m here for you.
Some of the great vegetarian sources of protein
PROTEIN IN GRAINS: Barley, Brown rice, Buckwheat, Millet, Oatmeal, Quinoa, Rye, Wheat germ, Wheat, hard red, Wild rice
VEGETABLE PROTEIN: Artichokes, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Green peas, Green pepper, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard green, Onions, Potatoes, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnip greens, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini
PROTEIN IN FRUITS: Apple, Banana, Cantaloupe, Grape, Grapefruit, Honeydew melon, Orange, Papaya, Peach, Pear, Pineapple, Strawberry, Tangerine, Watermelon
If you want to be absolutely certain that you are getting enough protein, you should eat food combinations which form a complete protein, such as:
* Legumes + seeds
* Legumes + nuts
* Legumes + grains
Chances are you already eat complete proteins without even trying. See how easy it is? Here are some tasty and healthy complete protein combinations:
* Beans on whole grain toast
* Corn and beans
* Hummus and whole wheat pita bread
* Nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, hemp, etc..)on whole grain bread
* Brown rice pasta with beans
* Rice and beans, peas, or lentils
* Split pea soup with whole grain or seeded crackers or bread
* Tortillas with refried beans
* Veggie burgers on whole grain bread
Live natural. Live Well.
I decided on this week’s blog topic after going to an art show put on by my 3-year-old neighbor’s pre-school. Her school created a show with artwork, photography, and poetry (yes poetry!) about saving our planet. It was so special to see what these kids had created, and how inspired they were to save the environment. This cause is also near and dear to my heart.
All the parents and guests seemed very moved by the messages like, “Please stop hurting and polluting Earth.” By the end of the day I had a sinking suspicion that not many of the adults there were actually going to take the action necessary to fulfill the wishes of their children. Here were these wonderful kids creating meaningful statements, and no one was even recycling their water bottles! Many parents had throw-away coffee cups from the nearby coffee shop, and the parking lot was filled with gas guzzlers.
My frustration by this lack of true environmental action has inspired me to do more. I’m not writing this to say I’m any better than those at the exhibit. What if we all had the same courage that these young artists showed in sharing their messages with the world? There are some moments in our lives when we must speak up, and this is one of those moments. Why am I writing about protecting this precious planet on a health care site?
For two reasons:
1. We’re running out of time. If you don’t know what’s happening to our planet in regards to global warming, air and water pollution, and running out of natural resources, please investigate. I recommend a few of many sites out there: www.nrdc.org, Global Green USA.
2. It seems obvious, but how many of us really understand that the state of our environment directly affects our health? The fact is, cancer rates and autoimmune diseases are increasing yearly because the planet is so toxic. This is real. In just ten years of practice, I can see a drastic difference in my patients’ toxicity. And as we get sicker and sicker, what we put in our bodies and homes is hurting the environment more and more.
It’s still important to take some simple steps. See some easy, money saving tips on my “Going Green” page- http://getnaturalgetwell.com/going-green. But it’s not just about reusing a bag or changing a light bulb anymore. Take action. I am dedicated to finding and supporting new solutions to save our planet, but awareness is key. Contact your local representatives to do more. Encourage your neighbors and friends to join you in this effort. Eat organic, local foods. And please, do consider getting rid of your SUV.
Live natural. Live well,