Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

Do You Need to Detox?

Cleanses and detoxes seem to be the latest trend. I’m constantly hearing about the latest fad to get rid of toxins and lose weight. After living for over 20 years in Los Angeles I heard them all. Only eat cabbage. Don’t eat broccoli. Drink only sweetened lemon water. All promising to be the miracle cure to all of your woes. Does it sound too good to be true? Then it probably is.

 

So why cleanse? Do you need to do one? Many of my patients who eat organic, plant based, alcohol free, and/or sugar free are less likely to need to support. But unfortunately our planet has become so toxic, that our bodies need added support from time to time.

 

The incidence of chronic disease is ever increasing. What we put into our bodies is important. So is the air we breathe, the clothes we wear, and our homes. We are exposed to poisonous substances all day long. Sorry to sound so negative. But the reality isn’t so pretty.

 

Statistics on Toxin Exposure

 

Chemicals

 

* Less than half of the almost 80,000 chemicals in existence today are tested for safety.

 

* We’re exposed to more than 50,000 chemicals daily.

 

* Your home may contain over 1,000 chemicals.

 

Heavy metals

 

Symptoms of heavy metal poisoning may include

 

*Depression, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, irritability, lack of concentration, memory lapses, and nervousness

 

*Damage to vital organs

 

*Mental retardation, Cerebral palsy, autism, deafness, blindness

 

*Trembling hands, numbness in the hands and feet, loss of muscle coordination

 

Sources of Mercury

 

Silver Fillings

 

• 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.

 

Fish

 

• Vaccines

Mercury is found in any vaccines w/ thimerosal, a preservative.

 

Some illnesses that are becoming all too common

 

Cancer

• Obesity

• Heart disease

• Asthma and allergies

• Digestive issues

• Thyroid disorders

• Infertility

• Chronic fatigue

• Adrenal fatigue

• Skin issues

• Autoimmune diseases such as hypothyroidism, rhuematoid arthritis, lupus, Type I diabetes, and MS.

 

What Can You Eat?

 

 

1. Try to limit your calories to 1200 per day. If exercising, know your limits and listen to your body. Do cleanse for at least 3 days and up to 30 days.

 

2.Eat only whole, plant based foods. Raw as much as possible at least once per day.

 

3.Focus on dark leafy greens at every meal or drink. These include

broccoli, spinach, kale, collard greens, chard, arugula, and watercress.

 

4. Organic only! If your budget is tight, at least avoid the Dirty Dozen.
5.Vegetable broth. Drink this soup throughout the day when hungry.

 

Biehler’s broth

1 lb. cut up green beans
3 celery stalks
4 medium zucchini
2 bunches of parsley
4 cups of water

 

Place ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer
for 10-15 minutes until veggies are tender.
Take off heat and let sit with lid off for 5 minutes.
Puree soup.

Enjoy hot or cold.

 

6. Smoothies daily with unsweetened nut milk. Be sure to include greens such as kale, spinach, or lettuce and healthy fats such as chia seeds.

 

7. Flax, chia, and/ or hemp seeds: 2 tablespoons per day in your salad, on steamed veggies, or in smoothies.

 

8. Juicing 16 to 64 ounces per day, if you have a juicer or access to a juice bar. Include turmeric and ginger in your drinks.

 

9. Raw apple cider vinegar: 2 tablespoons in 8 ounces of water 3 times per day before meals.

 

10.Herbal teas- detox or digestive support teas. One of my favorite brands is Yogi Tea.

 

10. Lemon juice in your water all day, especially first thing in the morning.

 

11. Water: drink a minimum of glasses daily per day.

 

Other Tips

 

* Supplements- milk thistle, coriander

* Epsom Salts

*Eases stress by replenishing magnesium in the body. Magnesium helps produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical.
*Flushes out toxins and heavy metals- 2 cups in your bath every week for just ten minutes

*Relieves cold symptoms
*Relaxes muscles/reduces inflammation- relieves pain/ asthma, treats bruises/sprains.
*Prevents hardening of the arteries
*Makes insulin more effective by balancing magnesium and sulfate levels.

*Epsom salts can also be taken internally with some water for constipation

* Gall bladder cleanse, nightly until no stones

1/2 cups Extra virgin olive oil

4 oz of fresh limes, lemons or grapefruit juice

 

Epsom salt – 4 tablespoons

 

Other Support

 

*Sweat: steam, baths, sauna, and exercise

 

* Massage: to stimulate the lymphatic system

 

Colonics: Most people are constipated or use coffee to get their digestion moving. A buildup of toxins in your large intestine is the result.

 

What to Avoid during a Cleanse (and always)

 

Sugar

• Alcohol & caffeine

• Processed food

• Hydrogenated oil

• Preservatives

• Fried food

• Animal products, especially non-organic

Sodas

• Genetically Modified Foods

 

 

Feeling Sick while Detoxing?

 

If your body is full of toxins that need to be released, you may feel nauseous or even get sick during a cleanse. This is completely normal (unfortunately), especially if it’s your first time. If you do feel sick, take activated charcoal 3-4 times a day on an empty stomach.

 

Feeling very weak? Stop.

 

Please consult a physician before doing a cleanse, especially if you have cancer, are pregnant, are taking medication, have issues with your immune system, or other chronic illness.

 

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Ch Ch Ch Chia

 

Chia-pet

Remember those chia pets that were all the rage in the 70s? How did that happen? I guess that’s what makes things a fad. Pet rocks, Mexican jumping beans, and the best- streaking. FADS from the 70s/early 80s were pretty weird. Well at least chia seeds actually serve a nutritional purpose.

 

Most people don’t realize how amazing these little seeds are.

 

Nutritional Content of Chia Seeds

 

*Iron.  3 times than spinach for strong healthy blood for improved energy

 

*Calcium. 5 times calcium of milk for strong bones and teeth.

 

*Potassium. 2 times potassium of bananas for building muscle.

 

*Protein. 2 times protein of any other seed or grain for muscle strength and energy.

 

*Antioxdants. 3 times antioxidant levels of blueberries for cancer prevention.

 

*Fiber. Twice as much as broccoli for lowering cholesterol, cardiovascular health, stabilizing blood sugar, and constipation.

 

*Omega 3s. Nearly 5 times the omega 3s found in salmon for brain health and balancing hormones.

 

*As an added bonus, chia seeds are considered in Chinese medicine to reduce anxiety, fear, and even panic attacks.

 

 

You can add chia seeds to your morning smoothie. But one of my favorite ways to eat them is my recipe recently featured on The Better Show.

 

Chia Seed Pudding

 

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (or rice or almond)
  • 1/2 cup coconut water or apple juice
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extra
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, blueberries, and/or strawberries
  • ¼ cup of thinly sliced almonds

 

Mix coconut, chia seeds, coconut milk, coconut water, vanilla in a bowl.

Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.

Top with fresh raspberries and almonds.

 

Dig in and enjoy!

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Fiber for Life

 

 

 

Did you know that we’re supposed to get at least 30 grams of fiber a day? The average American eats only 15 grams per day. No wonder everyone is bloated, irregular, and at high risk for heart disease. Also, if you don’t poop, your body reabsorbs toxins it’s trying to flush out. One of the results- Colon cancer is now the third leading type of cancer related deaths in the US.

 

Keep in mind that that fiber is found only in plant foods and never in animal products. No wonder those who consume the Standard American Diet (SAD) are clogged up. We’re supposed to go three times a day. I can tell you most of my patients are lucky, if they go #2 once a day. I’ve seen some cases of once every ten days!

 

Health Benefits of Fiber

• Prevents colon cancer, constipation, colitis, hemorrhoids, gallstones, and varicose veins.

• Lowers cholesterol and helps prevent and manage diabetes.

• Slows the absorption of food. Thus, reducing blood glucose levels and increasing weight loss.

• Removes heavy metals and toxins and reduces the side effects of radiation.

 

Sources of Fiber


Fruits and vegetables- 1 medium size, unless otherwise noted.

 

Apple with skin                           3.0 g

Banana                                         2.0 g

Pear with skin                              4.5 g

Orange                                          2.0 g

Prunes                                           3.0 g

½ cup Brussels sprouts              4.5 g

1 large Carrot                                2.9 g

½ cup Broccoli                            1.5 g

Potato with skin                           4.0 g

1/ 2 cup Corn                               1.5 g

Beets                                             1.85 g

 

All half cup for legumes, grains, nuts and seeds

 

Barley                                   4.0 g

Black beans                        5.5 g

Brown rice                           1.5 g

Garbanzo beans                6.0 g

Green peas                         6.9 g

Hemp seeds                    16.8 g per serving

Kidney beans                     6.5 g

Lentils                                4.5 g

Lima beans                       6.5 g

Oats                                     3.0 g

Pinto beans                       5.9 g

 

Tips

 

As you increase your fiber intake, pay attention to your use of medications and certain minerals- calcium, iron, and zinc. You may need to adjust your medications, especially insulin. If you take a fiber supplement, never take your medications or supplements at the same time.

 

Your body could take a little while to adjust to getting the fiber it needs. So you might be a bit gassy at first. This will pass. Drinking plenty of water and chewing on fennel seed will reduce the toots.

 

See how important it is to get enough fiber? And how easy it is? Stock up on hummus, carrot sticks, and split pea soup, and you’ll be good to go. No pun intended.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Mellow Yellow

 

 

Turmeric. It’s the spice that makes your curry yellow. This little yellow root is a powerhouse of healing properties. So many, in fact, that it would be hard to list them all.

 

Benefits

 

 

* Anti-inflammatory
* Antibiotic
* Skin conditions- eczema, psoriasis, and hives
* Pain reduction
* Metabolism
* Blood detoxifier
* Helps cough and asthma
* Gas & bloating
* Speeds up wound healing
* Heals stomach ulcers
* Prevents cancer
* Gallstones
* Slows progression of Alzheimer’s and MS
* Reduces side effects of chemotherapy
* Lowers cholesterol

 

Fresh is always best. But powdered and capsules will still help. Turmeric can be added to soups, stews, grilled veggies, tofu scramble, and, of course, curry. Juice a small amount with some cucumber, carrots, lemon and lettuce for a delicious, immune boosting treat every morning. You can also make into a paste with aloe vera to reduce itching from bug bites and chicken pox.

 

Isn’t it amazing how the things we have in our kitchen cabinet can keep us healthy? Every time we cook, we have the opportunity to improve our quality of life. Food can really be thy medicine.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

The Big C

 

 

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

 

Avoid


* 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.

 

* Toxins found in beauty and household cleaning products.

 

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.

 

Heather

The Truth About Dairy

 

Another question I get asked a lot: “Don’t you need milk for calcium?” The answer is a big “NO.” On top of dairy not having much calcium compared to many plant foods (see below), a lot of people are allergic/lactose intolerant. This means they can’t access the calcium in dairy anyway and it can make them really sick. Dairy has also been linked to heart disease, prostate cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.

 

The dairy industry paid almost $200 million in the US in 2011 on advertising. So that’s pretty much everyone believes you can only get enough calcium from eating dairy. Marketing. The guys at Mad Men would be proud.

 

A staggering statistic that also disproves this myth- On average, Americans eat the most dairy and have the highest rates of osteoporosis. According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, we eat almost 300 pounds of dairy per year.

 

Besides not having the highest levels of calcium, eating a lot of dairy and animal protein makes your body acidic. To alkalize itself, the body leeches calcium from your bones.

 

Inuits have the highest dietary calcium intake of any other people in the world– above 2000 mg per day from fish bones. Their diet is also the highest in the world in protein- up to 400 g a day mostly from fish and have the highest rate of osteoporosis in the world.  The Bantu of Africa consume an average of 350 mg of calcium a day and have almost no cases of osteoporosis.

 

Still don’t believe me? Look at these numbers.

 

Calcium Sources

In milligrams per 100 gram serving

Butter                                 20
Whole milk                       118
Chickpeas                        150
Collard greens                203
Parsley                              203
Soybeans                         226
Almonds                           234
Sesame seeds                1160

 

In milligrams per 8 oz (1 cup)

Soybean sprouts            50
Alfalfa sprouts               25
Nori                                 1200
Kombu                            2100
Wakame                         3500
Tofu                                350
Quinoa                           80
Kale                                72
Okra                                81
Corn meal                     50
Oats                               40
Carrot juice                  57
Navy beans                  140
Pinto beans                  100
Lima beans                 60
Black beans                 60
Lentils                           50
Hazelnuts                     450
Walnuts                         280
Sunflower seeds          260

 

 

Recommended Daily Allowance

 

* 0-6 months                           200 mg

* 6-12 months                         260 mg

* 1-3 years                               700 mg

* 4-8 years                              1000 mg

* 9-18 years                            1300 mg

* 19-50 years                          1000 mg

* pregnant/lactating               1300 mg

* 51-70 years male                1000 mg

* 51-70 years female             1200 mg

* 70+ years                             1200 mg

 

So as you can see, ‘Milk it does the body good” campaign just isn’t true. Do yourself a favor. Go to your local farmers market this weekend. Try some fresh, green veggies. Buy yourself a juicer and enjoy. Grab a handful of almonds. Eat some hummus. Your bones will thank you.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

 

Note: Oxalic acid, which is found in spinach, rhubarb, chard, and beet greens binds with calcium and reduces its absorption. They should not be considered good sources of calcium.

Got Pain? Acupuncture. It Does the Body Good.

Do you get headaches or migraines? Is there anything worse? Headaches can ruin your quality of life. Not only do they suck, but the medications that ‘fix’ them don’t always work and can have drastic side effects.

 

Has your doctor still not figured out why you have them? “Take a pill” is probably their response.

 

Have they ruled out all these potential causes?

 

* Dehydration- most people are dehydrated
* Hormonal imbalances
* Food allergies
* Stress
* Neck tension & misalignment
* Mercury/heavy metal poisoning
* Adverse reaction to medications
* Tumors
* Head colds and sinus infections
* High blood pressure

 

How Chinese medicine can help

 

Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and proper diet can all relieve or fix any of the above causes. How? Chinese medicine is able to regulate hormonal imbalances, detoxify the body, relieve stress, lower blood pressure, improve the immune system, reduce pain & inflammation, and minimize tumor size & growth. Pretty amazing, right?

 

Have you been living with headaches or migraines for years? It’s time to give Chinese medicine a try.

 

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Balancing Your Hormones Naturally

 

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)
-trans-fats

* 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.

Heather

When Organic Isn’t an Option

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

 

* Peaches

* Apples

* Bell Peppers

* Celery

* Nectarines

* Strawberries

* Cherries

* Pears

* Grapes

* Spinach

* Lettuce

* Potatoes

 

 

The 12 Least Contaminated

 

* Onions

* Avocado

* Sweet Corn

* Pineapples

* Mango

* Asparagus

* Sweet Peas

* Kiwi Fruit

* Bananas

* Cabbage

* Broccoli

* Papaya

Asking your grocer to carry more organic, local options will encourage them to supply the demand.  As the demand grows, more farmers will listen. So when you can’t find all your fruits and veggies or your budget is tight, please choose wisely. Most supermarkets now offer a wide variety of frozen organic options. Frozen would be the next best thing.  Do your best and stay healthy!

Live natural. Live Well.

 

Heather

Radiation- What to Do?!?!?

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.

Sea Vegetables

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.

Miso Soup

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.

Supplements

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.

Heather

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