Posts Tagged ‘anti-cancer’

Eat foods that closely resemble their form and color when plucked from the dirt, tree, or vine. Think: how did my body evolve to eat food? (this is not a subtle plug for raw food diets, so don’t get excited!) The more processing your  food has undergone, the fewer nutrients are left to help keep your immunity strong. What’s more? Processing often introduces novel proteins & other foods (those that are new and unusual and therefore not known to your body), which increases your exposure to harmful substances. These chemicals are linked to modern chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, obesity, malabsorption, food intolerances, digestive disturbances and more. Bleh! That is definitely not sexy!

For all y’all vegetarians out there, take a look at your fake meats, fake cheeses, fake milks, protein supplements. The ingredients are usually NO BUENO, friends. (Full disclosure: I was a vegetarian for 13 years and developed severe food intolerances largely in thanks to those highly processed fake vegetarian foods.)



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March is ringing in with two very FABULOUS topics: NUTRITION AWARENESS MONTH  and COLORECTAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. These topics are surprisingly related, and it is my intention to help reveal the connections between nutrition and cancer. My girlfriend, Chelle, was diagnosed about three months ago with colorectal cancer, stage III. She is  30 years old. Her nurses are shocked at her story because she has this terrible disease at such a young age. Most people diagnosed with colon cancer are at least 50 or older. Nonetheless, Chelle is strong and spirited, and the nurses who help oversee her chemo love and adore her as though she were their own family member. I join these nurses in being deeply concerned for Chelle – and for others with cancer – and in praying for her full recovery.

This month, let’s explore together some of the many foods and lifestyle factors that prevent cancer. Your feedback is important, so please share your comments and ask your questions! Also, a quick update on the anti-cancer nutrition interview – for personal reasons, Gretchen is no longer available for the interview and I am working on creating the replacement.  I need a little time to work this out. Thank you for your patience and understanding! I guess this is part of my learning curve in creating interviews with experts. My intention is to continue interviewing experts on specific topics of interest to you. Please comment on the topics you are interested in learning so that I can work on delivering valuable subject matters for you! =-)

I want you to view the following video on foods that starve cancer. I’ve watched it several times and it continues to reveal new information each time. Minute 12:01 he discusses what foods to eat. Minute 12:54 shows food list of cancer fighting foods.

Eat to starve cancer

With Love,


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Most of us know someone who is a cancer survivor or is currently fighting this ravaging disease. I’ve taken a strong interest in cancer prevention and survival largely because I’m shocked over and over at how confused many healthcare providers and consumers appear when it comes to cancer and nutrition. I’ve met several people who tell me that their doctors believe there isn’t a connection between nutrition and cancer. Yet some nutrition professionals and researchers argue that the cancer-nutrition connection is almost 100%! When I talk with patients or families, they are often confused about what the connection is, and often consume foods that I think no cancer patient should consume (and these foods are provided by the hospital!). What further confuses patients is that the education around the connection is inconsistent, or even influenced by profit. For example, formulary companies have helped set industry standards to promote weight maintenance among cancer patients. This is achieved with high calorie, high protein supplements – also sold by these companies – and are vigorously promoted in many hospitals.

Interestingly, I’ve heard oncology dietitians emphasize normalizing weight as quickly as possible, which is definitely a different message. Many dietitians promote reducing inflammation, and our diets and body weights are two very effective ways to achieve this.

Often, the advice dietitians might give for anti-cancer nutrition is opposing that which hospitals are promoting. What’s up with that?

While most of us now know that there is a wealth of evidence-based research exposing the links of cancer to nutrition, it is true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In other words, preventing cancer through good nutrition holds more promise than curing cancer through good nutrition.  While I don’t expect MDs and surgeons to provide substantial nutrition education to their oncology patients, I do believe they are practicing responsible medicine by referring their cancer patients to a Registered Dietitian. It is a red flag if your oncologist does not believe that nutrition and cancer are related, as it is a sign that he or she likely lives under a rock in the bottom of the sea. To be fair to yourself and your provider, carefully clarify your MD’s position on nutrition and cancer to ensure you are understanding his or her philosophy. And ask for a dietitian referral if your MD doesn’t offer it initially.

So, what are the best answers for preventing and surviving cancer through nutrition? What does your body weight have to do with cancer? How do we chart the mucky and mischevious rivers, known as “nutrition guidelines”?


Join me as I interview Gretchen Gruender, an expert oncology dietitian at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She works closely with cutting edge oncologists and medical teams, guiding her patients with solid diet and lifeststyle advice. She will guide us along this river, giving us the tour of latest progressive insights behind nutrition and cancer. She will help us to identify the information we really need to know in cancer prevention and survivorship.

Are you interested in this topic? You have an opportunity to involve yourself in the audience. What questions do you have for Gretchen? Please write them in the comment box below, or post them on my Facebook page. I will select some of the questions to ask her on the show, and I will post this interview on my webpage for your review.

Love and Health,


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When all my wisdom teeth were removed, I quickly discovered the agonizing pain of dry sockets. Vicodin left me with a hangover headache that was worse than the dry sockets. In desperate search for a solution, I remembered the old home remedy of using cloves for a toothache. Upon request, my surgeon supplied me with several strips soaked in clove oil and the tools to stuff them into the healing sockets. I used them faithfully to relieve the pain – almost entirely – until the wounds healed. This wasn’t a placebo effect, either. Human subjects have reported less pain when clove oil was used in dentist procedures.

Cloves help your heart, digestion, blood sugar, sexual health, and have deodorizing and anti-cancer effects.

  1. The eugenol found in cloves may inhibit inflammatory progression in human cells, and IV infusions of clove has actually reduced lung cancer.
  2. Folk remedies use it for improving digestion and reducing flatulence. This can be achieved with simple mulled cider or homemade chai tea spiced with clove.
  3. Anti-spasmodic: use in a tea to reduce coughing, or try it topically to treat muscle spasms.
  4. Animal studies have shown that it reduces yeast infections when used topically over the infected area. However, it can also irritate mucus membranes or promote dermatitis, so apply with care. You can purchase it as an oil or salve and apply several times daily. Clove oil is not recommended for internal use for yeast infections.
  5. Clove used in topical cream may help prevent premature ejaculation.
  6. One clove study found that a daily dose of cloves lowered cholesterol while improving insulin performance. This study showed that the daily cloves reduced overall glucose, triglycerides, and LDL (“lousy”) cholesterol levels. It also inhibits lipid peroxidation, which promotes heart disease.
  7. Traditional herbalism includes clove oil as pain reducer for teething babies. Hippiedippiebebe.com shares that you can mix one drop of clove oil with 1-2 Tbsp carrier oil, such as olive or almond, and massage into baby gums. People with sensitive teeth can try making a clove compress or by anointing teeth with the clove-carrier oil mixture. However, use caution, as this could also burn baby or cause allergic reactions. For baby, it’s probably best to stick to commercial remedies containing clove oil that have been tested.
  8. During the Han dynasty, you could only speak to the Emporer after managing your breath by chewing on clove. In Medieval times, cloves effectively masked the odor of improperly preserved foods.
  9. To evaluate its freshness, squeeze the clove with fingers; it will release oils when fresh. Alternatively, drop a few cloves into water. Good ones will float vertically, while older cloves will sink or float on their sides.
  10. Cloves can be added to classic sweets, like pumpkin pie, oatmeal cookies and applesauce. They are traditionally used in combination with other herbs to flavor meats, stews, marinades or pickles.
  11. In this post on Spices Your Oatmeal Craves, I provide my magic blend of several spices, including cloves, so that you can easily shake it over cereal, yogurt, cookies and more.
  12. It is an essential ingredient in garam masala (an Indian classic),  Chinese five-spice (a Chinese staple spice), and in the mulling spices for apple cider.
  13. Use a coffee grinder to grind whole cloves just before combining with other spices (for freshest flavor).

A home remedy using clove and cinnamon topically to reduce pain is provided by David Grotto, RD, LDN, in his book “101 Foods That Could Save Your Life”:

Make  a paste from one-quarter teaspoon clove powder and one teaspoon cinnamon oil. Apply this to the forehead for headaches or to any other painful area. To relieve a toothache, chew on a clove or dip cotton in clove oil and apply it to the painful area.

Have a favorite clove recipe or remedy? Please share it with us!

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As fall ripens and cooler temperatures sweep in, pumpkins begin dotting front porches and fences as we prepare for Halloween.  Decorating and scary-evil pumpkin faces aside, these ancient fruits are a super power against chronic and killer disease.  Pumpkin has proven itself worthy of cancer-fighting powers, specifically in decreasing the risk of prostate, breast, lung, colorectal and gastric cancers.  Despite being a high-carbohydrate fruit, research shows that blood glucose control is improved when participants eat plenty of pumpkin. In studies with rats, the oils found in pumpkin seeds reduce hypertension from advancing. And, the seeds are also wonderful because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which means they are a fantastic means of increasing your daily omega-3 intake. (Read about how to fall in love with omega-3’s here.)

Pumpkins come in all varieties, including white, red, gray, green, blue, striped, and heirlooms, as well as large and small. Their flavors are as dynamic as their appearances. They can take a humble background note in casseroles and soups, or they can proudly hold the center stage with vibrant flavors in main dishes and stand-alone side dishes. By giving yourself the opportunity to explore with these ancient and veritable fruits, you’ll not only excite your eyes and pallette, you’ll also support your immune system, your skin and eye health.

Personally, I enjoy sprinkling a handful of pumpkin seeds over warm cereal (such as cooked millet or oats). I also regularly add them to yogurt parfaits, salads, and rice-bean-veggie dishes, such as kitchari.

Pumpkin is great in soup. Try this adventurous recipe for Pumpkin-Curry-Coconut-Apple Soup from Crescent Dragonwagon in her famed book, “Passionate Vegetarian”. If you are short on time, buy the stock and use a little apple juice in place of water. Just read the ingredients list to avoid using anything with hydrogenated oil, trans-fat, or MSG, please. Buy something with ingredients that you can understand and pronounce, like carrot, potato, celery, etc. You get the idea. Pacific Naturals is a great company that produces organic soups and stocks. (Perhaps one of my upcoming posts should be on ways to easily make your own stock. It’s always cheaper and healthier, and it is faster than you might think!)

Find great pumpkins at farmer’s markets, roadside stands, and pumpkin patches or pumpkin orchards. Remember, save some of your pumpkin seeds for next year. Pumpkins are simply delightful to grow, especially for kids, growing with giant enthusiasm, as if showing you how grateful they are for the opportunity, and require relatively little tending. Start them in the late spring or early summer. Plant raw seeds (not roasted or salted) in healthy soil and in a very sunny location. You can  train the vines to grow up alongside your home and onto your rooftop. Imagine what how cool your rooftop would look if dotted with pumpkins! If you decide to do this, you MUST send me photos, okay? Another important note is that they are up to 90% water, so pumpkins are thirsty fruits  and require a lot of water, and prefer to drink before the hot sun rises (before 11 AM). You can mulch around the pumpkin patch to reduce moisture losses, but you’ll still need to water them every day. Don’t skimp! Here is a charming and thoughtful article on how to grow your own pumpkins next year.  For the more adventurous gardener, try growing an heirloom variety. Follow this link for a free growers guide from a NON-GMO, heirloom seed company. Your prolific pumpkins will provide you with enough product to trade with someone who is growing another crop you didn’t grow this year. Growing will save you money, will nurture positive relationships through sharing and trading, and will sponsor a joyful communion with nature and traditions.

Do you have another pumpkin recipe or growing tip? Please tell us about it in the comments! Help readers to discover the tantalizing ways we can enjoy the exciting world of PUMPKIN!

Love you Pumpkin-Heads,


P.S. If you like this, please share this post with others you love via Facebook, Twitter, and Email!

Other Resources:

Vegan Pumpkin Walnut Bread

Pumpkin Waffles Blog

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Rainier Cherries

Pretty. Sweet. Juicy.  Healthful. Extremely healthful, actually. Doesn’t it seem like Nature makes extra efforts to ensure that her many Earthly species are delivered nourishment beyond what many of us ever imagined? When it comes to pleasure, cherries are winners for packing taste and powerful nutrients into a tiny package. As if you (or anyone) needed another reason to fall in love with succulent cherries, this blog post makes the case for reasons why cherries should top your summertime food charts.

  1. Bing cherries are associated with reduced markers for heart disease in both women and men.
  2. Tart cherries contain anthocyanins that can increase insulin  production in animal models. Cyanidins, also found in cherries, have been linked to reduced weight and blood glucose.
  3. Montmorency cherries may promote sleep because they are abundant in melatonin.
  4. Black and Bing cherries contain cyanidin, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. This translates into protection from gout, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. It also may protect your skin from ultra-violet rays and reduce artherosclerosis.
  5. Research at Michigan State University revealed that about 20 cherries per day may help ward off headaches. Another study found that tart cherry juice drunk post-weight training workout reduced muscle pain and loss of strength.
  6. Numerous studies have helped identify compounds that prevent the formation of carcinogenic substances. Most notably, tart cherries have been identified as helpful in preventing colon cancer.

Beyond including these darling fruits in your diet, the only other thing I could recommend is  to buy them fresh from your local Farmer’s Market. They will be freshly picked and rushed straight to the market, meaning that the nutrients are fresher, more potent, and more delicious. Not only that, but you will be supporting your local farmer and local economy. With nature and your local farmers taking care of you, and you taking care of your local farmer and your health, you will surely feel the satisfaction that leads one to say, “Life really is a bowl of cherries.”

Please share your cherry-riffic thoughts in the comments section below.

To Health, Happiness, & Love,



Additional Resources:

Michigan State University Cherry resources

Selecting, storing, and preparing cherries

Ten ways to enjoy cherries (includes recipes)

More on Cherry Varieties from Leslie Beck, RD

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Yay!! Mike and I just received a kit from Back to the Roots for growing our mushrooms at home. (Back to the Roots is a totally amazing company of two aspiring young chaps who turned to sustainable urban mushroom farming out of innovative experiments growing oyster mushrooms in a fraternity kitchen.) We paid about $20 plus shipping for the super-easy mushroom kit, and there are a lot of simple ways for you to build your own low-cost mushroom kit at home.  Not only are home-grown mushrooms an inexpensive way to enjoy organic mushrooms, it can make an exciting science project for your kids! And what’s even more amazing is that they grow in a very compact space (see photo below).

The mushroom container poses next to the yoga mat. These mushrooms don't need a lot of space for growing!

Mushrooms receive credit for sporting terpenoids, which help boost the immunity and produce anti-tumor and anti-cancer compounds.  Studies show that people who consume a lot of mushrooms show a lower rate of breast and stomach cancers. They also boast numerous antioxidants that aren’t easily destroyed by heat or drying, unlike most fruits and vegetables. And what’s more is that, when exposed to UV lights, mushrooms produce vitamin D!

Raw oyster mushrooms are low in sodium and fat.They are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, phosphorus and copper. It is also a good source of protein, thiamine, vitamin B6, folate, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc and manganese.   You can read more about their nutritional profile at nutritiondata.com. 

For more information all about organic mushrooms, visit http://www.fungusamongus.com. For more information about creating or finding your own mushroom kits, visit http://www.fungi.com/.

Do you have any favorite ways of preparing oyster mushrooms? Please leave them in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!



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