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Loving God more. Loving others more. Living obediently in Christ.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A-Salt on my health

Today, I am thinking about salt.  I have tried to reduce the amount of salt in my diet.  Eliminating salt is difficult to do when I am tasting my homemade soup and the addition of salt makes the soup taste SO much better.  Months ago, when checking resources of information about salt, I discovered that unrefined salt is better because it has naturally occurring trace minerals which are good for the body.  With the discovery of unrefined salt, I changed over to a brand that was affordable and natural.  However, I still feel convicted about the consumption of salt in my diet.  I think that salt is contributing  to  inflammation in some of my joints that were affected by a serious motor vehicle accident a few years ago.  (The other conviction is caffeine - but I can only stand to face one sacrifice at a time.)

Salt content is out-of-control in processed foods, restaurant foods and kid-targeted foods. The Center for Science in the Public Interest works to improve labeling, among other things, in the effort to provide better information for the unaware consumer.  Here is a link to their website and to an article on salt.

There are several reasons to eliminate added salt from the diet.  The transition away from salt intake - if it is very high - can be unpleasant at first.  Salt deadens the taste buds, so eliminating salt will make the food taste bland at first.  There is encouragement here, however; the taste buds will regain sensitivity after several days of not adding salt.  The natural salt in foods will be enough to enhance the flavor of meals.  There is also an adjustment period for the kidneys when transitioning away from added salt.  Dr. Fuhrman does a great job explaining this in the following video.  Below the video/audio interview, I will highlight some of the damaging effects from adding salt in the diet given by Dr. Fuhrman.

Why it is important to watch salt intake
  • Elevates blood pressure
  • Increases risk of stomach cancer
  • Increases risk of heart attack independent of blood pressure
  • Increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke
  • Deadens the taste buds
I would like to note that Dr. Fuhrman referenced the hemorrhagic stroke "protective" effect of an atherosclerotic brain condition.  I don't believe that he is encouraging atherosclerosis, here.  He is encouraging salt reduction to reduce risk of stoke, especially for folks who are eating a plant based, vascular health-promoting diet. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

natural help for heartburn

America is the heartburn nation.  The pharmaceutical companies have targeted the market with medications to reduce acid or the production of acid in the gut.  But what causes heartburn to begin with?  Why does the medication work for a little while and then a newer, stronger medication is needed to keep the pain in check?

Unless you try an elimination diet, there is no way to  be completely certain of the root cause of heartburn.  The causes can vary, depending on the person.  Food intolerance sand food allergies seem to be surfacing among many individuals as the food industries continue their relentless amending and "refining" of perfectly healthful food.

Some encouragement for heartburn victims - You have a smart body!  Your digestive tract is telling you that you are eating non-edible, food-like substances and that it can't use what you are eating.  Your body is giving you intelligent information in response to what you eat.  The next question for you is: What are you going to do with what your body is saying to you?

"Real change" is the solution to heartburn.  You can't just eliminate, for example, your diet Coke to see if artificial sweeteners are to blame.  You have to read every ingredient that you put in your mouth, from chewing gum to toothpaste in order to eliminate every artificial sweetener you touch.  In fact, the best way to rule out heartburn's cause is to eat a completely plant based, whole food, soy-free diet.  No meat, dairy, cheese, processed food or restaurant food!  You will need to cook your own food.  After a few days, perhaps only 24 hours later, you may notice a decrease in heartburn.  If you choose to add food choices outside of the plant-based spectrum, add only one ingredient per 24 hours in order to evaluate your GI response.  (Be careful that you add only one ingredient and not one processed food item that has 2-20 ingredients).  Keep a log as you do this, noting what food you add and any reactions.   

Possible dietary causes of heartburn
  • Sugar
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Hidden MSG - see below for a list of ingredient names for msg
  • Dairy products
  • Refined wheat flour
  • Animal protein
  • Soy products - very hard to digest unless naturally fermented
  • Soybean oil
  • Artificial sweeteners - note that these are in many OTC antacid medicines
  • Sulfites - usually in the form of additives for preservative purpose 
  • Prescription medications
  • OTC pain relievers
  • Some OTC supplement gel caps or tab coatings
  • Constipation or slow food transit time causing acidic GI tract (see following video)
 Digestion and Colon Care / Removing the Mystery Behind Disease
For more videos giving thorough explanations of healing through nutrition, go to http://amazingdiscoveries.tv/c/93/Removing_the_Mystery_Behind_Disease/

The following video is a "star-McDougaller" from www.drmcdougall.com.  He tells of his experience with heartburn among other health issues and the reversal he experienced after changing to a plant based diet.  His story is encouraging to those who resist the thought of giving up comfort foods.

If you are suffering from heartburn and are looking for some answers, you have just heard them.  You have a choice:  
1. to follow your tongue, eat whatever you want and pay the consequences in your body or 
2. eat the foods that will promote healing, prevent esophageal cancer and give you freedom from the constant battle with heartburn.

Ingredients always containing MSG:
Glutamic acid or Glutamate (E 620)
Monosodium glutamate (E 621)
Monopotassium glutamate (E 622)
Calcium glutamate (E 623)
Monoammonium glutamate (E 624)
Magnesium glutamate (E 625)
Natrium glutamate
Anything “hydrolyzed”
Any “hydrolyzed protein”
Calcium caseinate, Sodium caseinate
Gelatin, Textured protein
Yeast food , Yeast nutrient
Autolyzed yeast, Yeast extract
Vetsin, Ajinomoto

Ingredients often containing or producing MSG:
Bouillon, Broth, Stock
Whey protein
Whey protein isolate or concentrate
Citric acid, Maltodextrin
Barley malt, Malt extract
Pectin, Protease
Soy sauce, Soy sauce extract
Soy protein, Soy protein isolate
Soy protein concentrate
Any “flavors” or “flavoring”
Anything “enzyme modified”
Anything containing “enzymes”
Anything “ultra-pasteurized”
Anything “protein fortified” 
Anything “fermented”

Ingredients that are clues to the presence of MSG:
Disodium 5’-guanylate (E 627)
Disodium 5’-inosinate (E 631)
Disodium 5'-ribonucleotides (E 635)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The controversy of Gardasil

This topic does not specifically target dietary issues, but rather a need to be well informed in order to perform an act of self-defense.  Please consider and weigh the options when faced with a vaccination decision.  The following videos and links barely brush the surface of information available.  Whatever you choose to do, vaccinate or not, do it as a well informed individual.

Dr. Pam Popper: Children's Health, Diet and IQ and Advice about Gardasil

When a mystery illness of 12 New York school girls hit the news, there were many health scenarios posed as possible causes.  Shortly after the EPA and other agencies were called in to investigate and substance abuse eliminated, the story went silent and we have heard nothing of the possible conclusions.  Listen to the news broadcast on the following link as a few "experts" evaluate the mystery illness.  Notice, in the interviews, the comments about the girls having something (known) in common which cannot be revealed (possibly HIPAA compliance).

Some speculate that the vacination of Gardasil could be connected to the NY mystery illness.  The following link is an article regarding the possible connection - but they clearly state that the reader must decide.

And now there is something called, "Post-Gardasil Syndrome"

A quick search on Goggle would give you many personal stories of Gardasil injections gone wrong.  Try a search of "Post-Gardasil Syndrome" if you want to read more.

My question is: Why do doctors push vaccinations?  I have experienced this in my own life.  I refused the Gardasil vaccine for my own daughter (I'm so glad that I did) but had to stand my ground in order to hold to my personal conviction.  The flu vaccine and other adult boosters are a regular, annual "push" from the medical profession.  I question if there is some financial gain, some peer pressure or medical establishment pressure that puts doctors on the offensive to get as many people vaccinated as possible.  The following article helped me to understand the many motives behind doctors who vaccinate their patients.

Dr. Russell Blaylock has done much to educate himself regarding vaccinations with regard to the effects on the nervous system.  In the following video interview, he addresses the Gardasil vaccine.
Dr. Russell Blaylock Exposes the Gardasil, HPV Vaccine Fraud

Monday, December 24, 2012

Does it benefit my life to save my body but lose my soul?

Christmas Day - December 25, 2012

Shall I choose my physical life in pursuit of better health or shall I choose the eternal fate of my soul?  If I must choose only one thing, I will forsake my body - and all else - in favor of the eternal state of my soul.  In speaking of spiritual life, Jesus said (according to the gospel of Mark 8:35-36), "For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?"  There is nothing greater to be gained than to inherit eternal life.  To inherit eternal life is to lay down faith in one's own life (lose your life) and place faith in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, thus allowing His Spirit to dwell inside the soul. To have the Spirit of God dwell in one's soul is to have life and peace.  

The greatest desire of mankind is to know the love of God and to have a relationship with Him.  Unfortunately, many of us do not recognize this need and busily try to meet it with meaningless pursuits.  Two speakers and respected ministers of the gospel of Christ, to whom I enjoy listening, are Francis Chan and David Platt.  Francis Chan presents the choice between believing in or turning away from the loving Creator of your soul in this inspiring video, "Just Stop and Think."  David Platt, in the subsequent clip, speaks about the depth of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.  

Francis Chan - Just Stop and Think

David Platt - Jesus Absorbed the Wrath of God

I love to celebrate the birth of my Savior on Christmas Day, but I cannot celebrate His birth without worshiping Him at the foot of the cross.  It is the entire story of God's plan for my salvation, His loving romance of my heart and the enticing joy of living everyday for Him that gives me peace and fulfillment.  I hope that you, too, can know His great love for you and the transforming power of His presence inside of you.

Have a blessed Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

You have cancer. Yes. Yes, you do.

Cancer?  It's nothing to be upset about.  Cancer cells occur in our bodies all the time.  As the following videos will explain, cells with faulty or damaged DNA (potential cancer cells) are a common occurrence in the composition of tissue cells.  This is why God designed cells to be repaired or to self-destruct.  When cells are lacking vital nutrition, they can't make the necessary repairs and will sometimes forget to flip the "self-destruct" switch.  As the faulty cell continues to live on and to duplicate, a tumor will eventually appear.  Oh, and by the way, damaged cells are at the source of many diseases - not just cancer.  It makes sense to me that sick people can experience renewed health when they provide their bodies' cells with proper nutrition through a plant-based diet.  

The following video is an excellent explanation of what cancer is and how we should change our lives to prevent or reverse it.  Dr. David Servan-Schreiber extended his own life for 19 years, beyond what doctors expected, by changing his diet after he was diagnosed with brain cancer.  For additional reading, go to the following article, "All of Us Have Cancer Cells in Our Bodies."

Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, author of Anti Cancer: A New Way of Life

Underlying causes of cancer - Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS

Why Diet Helps the Cancer Fight - Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS

Friday, December 14, 2012

5 Most Dangerous foods for Kids

The following list has been taken from a book on nutrition for children which I highly recommend:  Disease-Proof Your Child, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

"The Five Most Dangerous Things To Feed Your Child

  1. Butter and cheese - full of saturated fat and fat-delivered chemical pollutants
  2. Potato chips and french fries - rich in trans fat, salt, and carcinogenic acrylamides" (my additional reason added here - also contains blatant or hidden MSG)
  3. "Doughnuts and other trans fat-containing sweets - rich in trans fat, sugar, and other artificial substances
  4. Sausages, hot dogs, and other luncheon meats - contain N-nitroso compounds that are potent carcinogens
  5. Pickled, smoked, or barbequed meats - places you at risk of both stomach cancer and high blood pressure"
Children eating 12 hot dogs or more per month are 9 times more likely to develop leukemia.  Also, children who eat hot dogs one or more times per week are at higher risk of brain cancer.  http://www.preventcancer.com/patients/children/hotdogs.htm

Dr. Joel Fuhrman has a website that is a helpful tool for anyone looking for a change in the direction of health and nutrition.

He has a helpful page addressing nutrition in children and referencing his "Disease-Proof..." book, with which I have supplied our married children.  There is significant evidence that children who are provided with good nutrition from 2 years prior to conception (the mother's nutritional intake) to 10 years of age can live a healthier and disease-free life.  People who have poor nutrition throughout childhood, and beyond, have bodies that can last about 60 years on average.  A poorly nourished child will have to work very hard to maintain his or her health into the adult years.  In fact, the optimum health of an adult who was poorly nourished child can never be fully achieved.

For an excerpt from his Disease-Proof Your Child, see the following link.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mock Tuna Salad - my original!

There is no need to be concerned about refrigeration when you pack this "tuna sandwich" for the road!  Try it in a wrap, on top of salad greens, stuffed in a hollowed green pepper, or eat it plain for a satisfying taste of the sea!  Make the "sauce" a little thinner and mix it in with some cooked macaroni for a cold pasta salad.

Mock Tuna Salad
1 Sweet onion
6-8 stalks celery
3 C cooked garbanzo beans drained
2-4 (according to taste preference) sheets dried Nori seaweed 
     (or use 1/4 C alternative edible seaweed flakes)

2/3 C walnuts
1 T vinegar
1 T raw honey
1 C cooked garbanzo beans
2 tsp prepared mustard (or 1/4 tsp ground mustard seed)
3/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/3 C water

In a food processor, pulse onion and celery until minced or desired consistency for "tuna" salad.  Place in a mixing bowl.  Put 3 C cooked garbanzo beans in processor and pulse until a crumbly consistency, leaving a few beans in 1/2 sized or 1/4 sized pieces.  Place in mixing bowl with celery and onion.  Place seaweed in processor and pulse until broken into very small pieces.  Add to bean mixture and set aside.

For sauce, place walnuts, vinegar, honey, 1 C garbanzo beans, mustard, salt and pepper in processor.  Turn processor on, add 1/3 C water and blend until smooth like humus.  Add additional water if necessary in order to keep "sauce" smooth and blending freely.  Add sauce to bean mixture and stir until "tuna" salad is fully incorporated.  Store in air tight container in the refrigerator.  Flavors will improve with time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Beans take some getting used to, when they have been ignored in the daily diet.  I must say, that I used to blame beans for intestinal problems in the past.  Since changing to a plant-based diet, I now know that my intestinal problems were caused by processed foods, dairy and meat.  

There are some really great benefits from consuming beans.  I encourage everyone to work at including them in their daily dietary routine!  Here are some reasons to eat beans:
  • High in dietary fiber.  Increasing fiber in your diet will keep your intestinal tract clean for good bacteria to live.  It also shortens the duration of time that digested food remains in your GI tract, reducing your risk of colon or colo-rectal cancer.
  • Source of protein.  The number of grams per cup varies within the many varieties of beans.  In general, beans contain between 12-15 grams of protein per cup.  Some soybean preparations contain far more protein.  
  • Rich in minerals.  Beans have folic acid, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum and iron among other great nutrients such as vitamin B1.
  • Fights cancer by lowering IGF-1.  Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is a hormone synthesized by the liver.  It becomes elevated in our blood stream when we eat animal based proteins.    Research has revealed that increased IGF-1 leads to increased growth of existing cancer.  IGF-1 also inhibits cell death, resulting in the further feeding of cancer cells.
  • Affordable source of nutrition.  A plant-based diet does not have to cost more.  In fact, with some strategic planning including beans and legumes, going plant-based can save you a good deal in your grocery budget.  It can also help to save your carbon footprint, if you are into that sort of thing.
  • Easy to cook large quantities and store in freezer.  If you are frustrated by the preparation time for cooking beans from their dry state, just cook up a large quantity when you have the spare time.  Store your cooked beans in freezer style bags and place them in the freezer.  From the freezer, your cooked beans are easy to add to soups, chili and for making humus!
If you are interested in increasing your intake of beans and legumes, experiment with different varieties.  I have found, for example, that I can digest small red beans better than kidney beans.  I also have had trouble digesting garbanzo beans, but periodically tried to eat them in order to see if my digestion would accept them.  One day, I ate some homemade humus and had no troubles.  So don't give up on beans.  There may be a time that you can enjoy a wide variety of them after a period of healing takes place in your gut.  The legumes that are easiest to digest are lentils.  They are super easy to prepare, not requiring soaking or lengthy boiling times to cook.  Just toss a couple hands full into your soup and simmer for 30 minutes! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Support and solidarity

Support is essential to success when a person is sick and he or she wants to try the natural route to healing,   The spouse or a close family or friend can be the true key to making the program for healing work.  In our case, Adam was willing to try eating a plant based diet to see if it would assist healing.  Without understanding the full extent of benefit from unified support, we began the cancer journey by having separate meals.  I cooked for my husband - usually beans salads and vegetables - while I continued to eat red meat and dairy. Once we had listened to the messages of McDougall, Esselstyn, Barnard and Campbell, I was on board to give the plant based diet a try for myself as well as for Adam.  It was then, that my husband's condition really started to turn around toward wellness.  We read all the labels, talked about meal ideas, shopped together with our nutritional needs in mind and spent time sharing the responsibilities in the kitchen.  Working together at health was the key to success for us.  It is too difficult to do alone, unless you already live alone.  In the case of a single person, there is need for another friend or family member to come along side.  Listen to this brotherly support from one of Dr. McDougall's videos.

Solidarity is another important choice in wellness.  When my husband and I finally understood the fact that everything going into our mouths either helped our bodies or hurt our bodies, we chose to stay on track at all times.  Recovered cancer patients can never go back to eating the western diet with meat and dairy.  Any undetected cancer cells, even one cell, would still know what to do when it doubled and quadrupled.  Feeding that cell with sugar, dairy and animal protein could result in cancer returning.  Not once, even for a special occasion, will I put an egg or some butter into a prepared dish and serve it to my husband because we have worked very hard to get to this point in our health!  I won't consider doing that to him, and I choose not to do that to my own health as well.  (However, we eat such a detoxifying diet that I am confident.  Accidentally eating something with animal protein in it would probably have no negative effect in a rare incidence.)

Solidarity works very well for people making big changes together.  The following video is very encouraging.   

Monday, December 10, 2012

AICR Recommendations for Cancer Prevention

Maybe cancer is not an issue for you, but certainly you know someone who has battled cancer.  Here is a good check list of information to help you prevent cancer in your own lifetime. The main cause of cancer is diet and lifestyle.  The time to fight it is NOW! 

To follow the links for these recommendations, click on the individual recommendations or go to the website through the following link.

Recommendations for Cancer Prevention

These ten recommendations for cancer prevention are drawn from theWCRF/AICR Second Expert Report. Each recommendation links to more details.
  1. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
  2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
  3. Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods.
  4. Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
  5. Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
  6. If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day.
  7. Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).
  8. Don't use supplements to protect against cancer.
  9. * It is best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months and then add other liquids and foods.
  10. * After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The protein and fat connection to cancer

This was the video the sent Adam and I off "the deep end", so to speak.  With my background in science (just a bachelor's level) and his experience with cancer (literally), we felt that a plant-based diet made perfect sense.  

Hypothetically speaking, if I hold a stick of butter, animal fat, in my hand, it will not melt.  If I put coconut oil or another plant oil in my hand, it would melt and could be absorbed into my skin.  It made sense to me that plant oils can remain fluid in the blood vessels, can be used for energy and metabolized for the body's benefit.  Animal fat clogs arteries and contributes to elevated bad cholesterol.  Fat also adds unnecessary calories with very low nutrient density.  Most of the fat that Americans consume come from animal fats, trans-fats and refined oils.  There is a great deal of value, however, in the naturally occurring fats of nuts, seeds and foods such as avocado and coconut.

Eating the dangerous fats - animal, trans and refined oils - contributes to heart disease.  In addition, a high intake of dietary fat is thought to contribute to an increase in certain cancers such as breast. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1097-0142(19861015)58:8+%3C1818::AID-CNCR2820581406%3E3.0.CO;2-4/abstract
I believe, however, that if we could all live on our own sustainable farms with grazing animals, we could potentially eat small quantities of meat in our diet.   The healthy, grass-fed animals would provide cancer fighting benefits to our bodies.  However, the source of cancer fighting micro-nutrients is vegetation, so it is completely possible to gain them directly from plant foods.   

Protein (specifically animal source)
T. Collin Campbell, PhD., talks about cancer incidence in people who consume animal protein as well as the protein, casein, found in milk.  Be sure to listen to the last 10 minutes of this video to understand the vast reach of disease causation due to a Western diet high in animal protein.  (FYI: Low fat milk has additional casein added back into it when the fat is removed in order to keep the milk "white" and improve flavor.)

When I finished watching this one for the first time, I threw up my hands and declared that I had surrendered to the facts.  It was a sad time, however, the results of my decision have far out-weighed giving up ice cream.  My husband and I are approaching our healthiest body weight and experiencing renewed health.  When God lead us in this direction, He knew what He was doing for us.  He was answering our prayers.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Vegetarian pancakes - delish!

These pancakes make a hearty side to a winter meal!  Or use them as a bread replacement for packing "to go" nut butter sandwiches.  The oat flour and honey in the recipe gives it a delicious "graham cracker" flavor. This recipe makes a mix that can be stored in a gallon sized bag or jar.  Just make up the desired amount of mix with an equal portion of water.  One cup of mix with 1 cup of water makes about 6 pancakes.

Vegan Pancake mix
7 cups whole wheat flour
1 and 3/4 cups oat flour (oatmeal ground to flour in a blender)
4 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
3 tsp salt
1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil (or oil of choice)

*add cinnamon, ground ginger root or vanilla when mixing pancakes for flavor varieties

Mix in large bowl, "kneading" lumps by hand until mix is a crumbly consistency.  Store in zip lock style bag or air tight storage container.  To make pancakes, combine equal parts of mix with water.    Allow dough to rest for 5 minutes in the mixing bowl.  Cook on a non-stick griddle for best results.  Drop by 1/3 cup and cook on first side until bubbles form around the edges.  Turn and finish until cooked through center.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Before cancer, juicing, and after diet change

Before cancer

Here we are, "topped out" at our largest size and feeling very sick on our SAD diet.  We didn't know how good being healthy could feel.  We didn't know that the food we ate had EVERYTHING to do with our health.  I didn't know that my endless hours of time in the kitchen was completely undoing our health in the name of "homemade, home canned and home grown."  Dairy, butter, cheese, sugar, fruits and vegetables that were canned to "death", meat at every meal and eggs on a regular basis were staple foods for us.  We ate salads. . . . topped with processed croutons full of terrible oils and salt, shredded cheese, and full fat ranch dressing chucked with hidden MSG.  I'm embarrassed that we lived like this and I am very regretful that our kids were subject to our way of eating, too.  I could have offered so much more for our children in order to build their health and to enhance their understanding of "real" and unprocessed foods.

The short story, since the picture above, goes as follows: I became quite sick with increasingly more painful heartburn in spite of medications, and changes in my bowel patterns.  I changed my diet by omitting gluten which resulted in a lot of relief (because processed foods containing gluten usually have hidden MSG).  Adam was soon after diagnosed with colorectal cancer, stage 3.  We jumped on the standard chemotherapy band wagon and did the full battery of "poison, burn and cut.  Then poison some more."  After his surgery, Adam was limited to lying or standing for a couple of months.  He stumbled across documentaries such as: Forks Over Knives, The Gerson Miracle, Burzynski, and Food Inc.  As we watched and listened to reputable physicians who addressed studies proving the healing benefits of eating a plant-based diet, we felt God's hand coaxing us to respond to the information.  We began by juicing vegetables and limiting meat to fish and chicken.  We still consumed dairy for 3-4 months as we transitioned away from the foods that feed cancer and incorporated more fresh, raw fruits and vegetables.  By the end of February 2012, God's hand was firm and we knew that He was calling us to obey His direction by changing our diet to be completely plant-based (the only animal source of food that we consume is raw honey with its cancer fighting benefits).  He has since blessed us with healing.  I no longer take medication for heartburn or allergies.  Adam and I have increased energy levels.  Adam has been cancer free since his surgery in July of 2011 and takes no medications, whatsoever.  His life has been altered by a colostomy, but he says that he feels healthier than he has ever felt.  We give all the credit and glory to God, our Healer, who has guided us toward eating health-promoting foods. We believed that we were completely within God's will through treatments and surgery - even though, now, we would not take the standard route of cancer treatment.  

Have you ever heard of an "alter-other?"  There is another patient of cancer whose circumstances were identical to Adam's, exactly to the method of treatment and chemo medications (the surgery resulted in a permanent colostomy for Adam but his alter-other was reconnected.)  The only extreme difference between them was that Adam changed his diet, the alter-other did not.   Adam is very well and cancer free at this present time.  His alter-other was recently diagnosed with liver cancer.  We are praying or him and looking for opportunities to extend the love of God.

Juicing before plant-based diet

This is a video done in February '12 after juicing for 4 months.  A few days after making this video, we went completely plant based.  It was then that I was able to get off the medications that I used.  We noticed as soon as we eliminated dairy and meat, the extra weight started to come off.  Both of us lost weight quickly for the first few months and are continuing to loose a pound or two a month without counting calories!  When we are hungry, we eat unprocessed, plant-based foods.  When we are full, we are satisfied and we stop eating until the next meal time comes around.  Our focus is health, but the weight loss was a great bonus.

Today, December 5, 2012, we made a video update of our morning juice.  May God use our lives to glorify Him, and maybe we can pass His blessings along to you, too!

Still juicing, after going completely plant based

NOTE (update 11/29/13)  We no longer add iodine to our juice since shortly after this video was taken.  We only used it for a month and stopped.  Supplementing with iodine is important for thyroid function, especially when juicing cruciferous greens.  Talk to your doctor or nutrition professional about what iodine to use.  The only supplements we use at this time are vitamin B12 and (until we can get direct sunlight on our skin) vitamin D.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Vegetable "chili" and variation ideas

A giant bowl of vegetable chili is one of my very favorite meals!  There are so many ways to tweak this recipe, that you could almost make a couple of changes and have a completely different meal!  

  • Eat this on top of a bed of rice for a "Mexican gumbo"
  • Add some mushrooms, some cooked macaroni, and omit the corn for a simple and satisfying vegetable goulash
  • Add some shredded cabbage, dry barley and a little extra water.  Simmer until barley is tender and enjoy a delicious version of cabbage soup! 
Vegetable Chili
3 quarts (12 cups) tomatoes - with skins and seeds or as desired
1-2 sweet peppers, any color, chopped
3 medium sweet onions, chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
4-6 carrots, sliced
2 cups cooked beans - small red, kidney, or other desired bean
2 cups frozen sweet corn
1 T oregano
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 to 2 tsp chili powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp (or more) of cayenne pepper
1 or more tsp salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast - optional
2 T vinegar - this is the "secret sauce"!  Don't omit the vinegar!!!!

Begin by placing the tomatoes in a large 6-8 quart stock pot.  If the tomatoes are in large pieces, use a blender on "pulse" to break them into the desired sized pieces - or puree.  Bring tomatoes to a simmer and add remaining ingredients, stirring until mixed well.  Allow chili to simmer for 30-45 minutes.  Test the vegetables to be sure they are tender and make additions of seasonings to taste.  Refrigerate leftovers.  The chili will keep for more than a week.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pre-biotics and GI health - the 2nd brain

What is a pre-biotic?  A pre-biotic is simply dietary fiber.  Fiber is naturally occurring in the legumes, fruits and vegetables of a nourishing plant-based diet.  The function of dietary fiber is to act as "brushes" in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract).  As the fiber scrapes by the villi of the intestinal wall, sticky debris is removed to expose GI tissue to the current nutrients passing through -thus benefiting nutrient absorption.  

Pre-biotics provide opportunities for pro-biotics.  Good bacteria (which are beneficial to immune protection, digestion of nutrients, production of vitamin K and much more) are allowed the opportunity to adhere to the intestinal lining after it has been "cleaned" by fiber.  These good bacteria, or probiotics, also provide protection against: urinary tract infection, auto-immune diseases, ulcer-causing H. pylori bacteria, and esophageal conditions.  For more information and videos regarding probiotics and their dietary sources, see my October post Vegetable ferments and Probiotics.

The gut has been called the "Second brain".  The intestinal system is known to produce more than 80% of the neurotransmitters which feed the wellness and function of the brain.  Serotonin (90% production coming from the intestine), helps to stabilize the moods and emotions.  Starches in the diet help to stimulate serotonin production, so a cautionary statement is appropriate here.  Consumption of high sugar and refined carbohydrates can increase serotonin production but can also contribute to dangerous fluctuations in blood sugar levels, causing a vicious cycle of addiction.  Sugary and refined carbohydrate foods also are very acidic and contribute to feeding the bad bacteria in the gut which in turn produce negative health effects.   On the other hand, healthy starches, whole grains with their fiber, potatoes and other starchy vegetables are great sources of energy for the body and brain! 

Dr. Pam Popper, Wellness Forum, talks about fiber, probiotics and GI health.

Foods that "bog" down the gut (slow digestion and nutrient absorption)
  • dairy products
  • cheese
  • eggs
  • meat - red meat, poultry, fish
  • high fat foods
  • refined flours
  • low fiber foods
  • soy products
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • sugar