How to Chews – a guide on how to choose better food.

There is a mass of information about food: what to eat, what not to eat, when to eat, how much to eat – it can be very overwhelming. The tricky part is that every diet recommendation comes with a reasoning that may not be the best of your body in the long run, and it usually takes several years after a diet become popular for the fallout to start coming to light.

And what happens when you “complete” the diet and reintroduce foods that were not allowed during the diet?

If diets gave long-term results then it would not be a multi-billion (with a “B”)  dollar industry.

But you know what works? Eating real food. The biggest reason is that food is information.

Your body recognizes it.

No matter the food, including sugar and fat, it’s better to give your body the real thing. Food grows how it’s supposed to and kept close to its original form works how it’s supposed to in the body. When food is altered to the point that it does not work how it’s supposed to in the body (eg. Sucralose ie an altered sugar) then it provides the wrong information.

This impacts our body all the way to our genes. Food is information and lends to our internal environment. Our internal (and external) environment determines how our genes express ie mutations and disease vs health.

What we eat is information, not just food. The research of  Bruce Lipton has proven that.

So do we really need hundreds or even tens of diets to choose from?

No. We just need to know “How To Chews” real food. Get a free guide at food.enjoyingbeing.me.

Asking Better Questions About Breast Cancer

The image is of my notes with a pink ribbon sticker from the event next to a note I have stuck to my lap board. I think this is appropriate because to really make a difference in reducing cancer, not just cancer deaths, we have to be as bold and outside of the box as Ayn Rand.

I attended an event at one of my local hospitals. During this event, the hospital staff shared some of the latest things they are doing to improve the outcomes for their breast cancer patients and their families. I have to say, as a Wholistic practitioner, I was happy to see that there was some openness toward incorporating additional support therapies. Yet, I couldn’t help writhing in my seat listening to the MD experts (their statements are in bold, some paraphrased). I know that complaining or objecting is not the best way to seek a better solution so I started taking notes and working on creating some better questions. Hey, I even asked a couple, which is not my norm in situations like that because they tend to be controversial. Hey. I’m working on me too. Let me also say, I believe western medicine has a place in our society, but it’s failed miserably when it comes to chronic conditions.

So here are my notes, thoughts, and questions from that event. I hope it spurs thinking and questions in you too.

Getting a mammogram is part of prevention. Prevention of what? Testing to find an issue is not prevention of the issue because once you find it, it’s already there. What I know of the number range used in blood tests is that they are an indicator of disease, but being within the range does not mean you are healthy. In my early 20s, I had very low cholesterol, HDL and LDL, but it was often within range, sometimes by just a few points, so my doctor did not echo my concern. I eventually learned, on my own, that low cholesterol was connected to anxiety and depression, which I also experiencing. I get it…mammograms are credited with early detection and they increase the survival rate in the general population.

But words matter. Calling screening prevention means that there is nothing else one must do but get tested. Screenings are not preventive of a disease, though they might be preventive of death. Early detection is a better word choice. Understand though that early detection is still not prevention.

Breastfeeding reduces breast cancer risk. Black women are statistically less likely to breastfeed. My guess is this is a socio-economic issue involving income and education. Black women also statistically have a diagnosis in later stages of breast cancer and have higher death rates from breast cancer. I believe this is also socio-economic.

With what is now proven by epigenetics, why are BRCA genes still considered a risk factor and mastectomy is still recommended as the treatment? Genes don’t just malfunction; they express based on the information they receive via their internal and external environment. Our inner environment is influenced by everything from food to emotions. So taking out the breast tissue does not positively change the environment, it only creates another obstacle to normal body function because now the person has lost part of their endocrine system. I don’t see how the traditional western medicine approach fits this because with something like epigenetics because we all have different emotional interpretations for similar life experiences, which affect our internal environments differently. For this, it seems one would benefit from an emotional Coach as well as an MD.

The Radiation Oncologist talked about reducing the previously recommended treatment of 6-7 weeks of radiation to 3-4 weeks. The 3-4 week treatment was started in places like Canada because of their public health system and the number of patients. Other benefits include less tissue damage and patients getting back to some normalcy in their life sooner, all with the same level of health outcome. Which led me to ask, since they both work the same, where did the 6-7 week practice come from? To paraphrase his answer, it became standard treatment because that was the maximum amount of radiation that human tissue can take before it loses its ability to heal from the radiation. This came out of work done by a radiologist in the 1940s and 50s.

Are you freaking kidding me!!!!! For almost 80 years, we’ve been using a recommendation without review or question?!?!? So I don’t go off on a ranting tangent, I’ll just say, “This is why I question EVERYTHING.”

Cancer is defined as an uncontrolled proliferation of cells from the breast. According to mayoclinic.org, “nearly all cancers are capable of producing cysts. Cysts that appear uniform after examination by ultrasound or a computerized tomography (CT) scan are almost always benign and should simply be observed. If the cyst has solid components, it may be benign or malignant and should have further evaluation.”

A cyst is a sac that can contain air, fluid or matter/cells. To me, that shows the body’s ability to deal with its inner environment. by containing these abnormal cells. This also shows the potential danger a mammogram can cause by breaking that cyst. I understand that mammograms can be helpful and please know that the FDA still recommends mammography as the standard for early detection.

I want you to know that there are other options that can find changes in physiology before it becomes something like cancer, when lifestyle changes can more easily reverse inflammatory responses and increase health and vitality. Plus, only a biopsy can determine if it’s really cancer or not. If you choose to have a mammogram, make it an informed choice and not one just by default.

The Nordic Cochrane Center in Denmark, an independent body of researchers says this, “Screening produces patients with breast cancer from among healthy women who would never have developed symptoms of breast cancer. Treatment of these healthy women increases their risk of dying, e.g. from heart disease and cancer. It therefore no longer seems beneficial to attend for breast cancer screening. In fact, by avoiding going to screening, a woman will lower her risk of getting a breast cancer diagnosis. However, despite this, some women might still wish to go to screening.”

Again, make your decision an informed one. You can find the Nordic Cochrane Center’s published research here.

These are some my thoughts on breast cancer. What are yours?

 

Let’s Chat: My Wellness Philosophy

not-born-with-it-dont-keep-it-2

well·ness
ˈwelnis
noun
the state or condition of being in good physical and mental health.

My wellness philosophy is summarized as:
“If we were not born with an ailment or illness, more than likely you don’t have to keep it. Just because your parents had it, you don’t have to make it yours.”

Let me say that I am not a medical professional; but being a medical professional and knowing about wellness do not always go together. What I do have is my own journey from and to wellness. I am also consummate consumer of health information. In my teens, my magazine of choice was Self, not Seventeen. Plus, I grew up in the Caribbean (bush tea anyone?) and I grew up in the Seventh-day Adventist church which has a robust health message.  So here is a little of what I’ve learned.

Our bodies are all connected. I like to say that your head bone is connected to your ankle bone. You see, sometimes we may be experiencing a symptom in one area – say your arm, but the cause of it may be coming from the stomach, spine or even the feet. Sound strange? If your stomach is not digesting properly it can cause a subluxation in your spine (a misalignment or pressure in the area of your spine) which can in turn interrupt the signal to your stomach to properly digest your food; but the problem is not in your stomach, it’s in your spine. The spine issue can come from walking too much in the wrong shoes. However, the next thing is your on a regimen of antacids because you have heartburn but it’s really that your not digesting properly.

There are three main areas of wellness and they all support each other:
– Physical: includes structural elements such as chiropractic care and exercise;
– Nutritional: supports physical and emotional health (vitamins that support body during stress;
– Emotional: it is proven that stress causes physical ailments in our body and happiness can improve your health. (emotions, growth, contribution)
You cannot separate and treat them individually, as traditional medical practice does because they all lean on each other.

For example, a deficiency electrolytes will cause dehydration which in turn makes they mind sluggish which makes us reach for junk food and makes us unable to make the decision to eat foods that help improve you electrolyte balance. Junk food further aids the imbalance in our system and thus we don’t feel the need for water or minerals and thus the cycle continues. But we may notice the brain fog and visit the doctor for that; get a pill which causes more dehydration because drugs leach minerals from our body and so on and and so on. But paying attention to our bodies as a whole and seeking the cause of our ill feelings and learning about how our bodies work will benefit us greatly.

So what about things that are hereditary? I ask, “is it really hereditary?”

There are diseases that are truly hereditary because they are truly genetic and are based on your inherited genes ie. most people that have them are born with them. The more common dis-eases such as diabetes and cancer and not hereditary and are more about lifestyle, than genetics.

The field of Epigenetics has increasing evidence that our gene expression is up to us and doesn’t just happen automatically. Epigenetics is defined as the study of how your genome expresses itself. Your DNA is surrounded by epigenetic tags or the epigenome. The epigenome dynamically responds to the environment. Stress, diet (as a noun, not a verb), behavior, toxins, and other factors regulate gene expression. That means, the way your genes express themselves, especially in illness is based on what you do and how you live. Let me translate that for you; “We don’t have to succumb to many common illness/diseases /syndromes.” That gets me excited!

I shared a little of my health challenge and wellness journey in this Facebook live. Be sure to friend me and join me on Sunday mornings to chat about health and do share the video with someone you love.

Your Brain On Stress by TED-Ed

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned how much I love epigenetics. It is one of the things that give me hope in this world of sickness that surrounds us. We don’t have to succumb to it. Your health is in your hands.

What are some ways you combat ‘bad’ stress?

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