Last week my husband and I celebrated what would have been his mother’s 57th birthday. Having lost both his aunt and his mom to cancer, we are particularly tuned in as to

what we can do
in our power
towards cancer prevention

This blog is dedicated to the memory of Jan.

Replace Commercial Meat with Hormone-free Meat

If there is only one thing you change in your diet for cancer prevention, make it this change.  Animals not raised in the pasture are fed Bovine Growth Hormone. We then ingest these growth hormones which elevates our Insulin Growth Factor (IGF-1), which is an independent risk factor for cancer.  It is highly likely that IGF-1 promotes the transformation of human cells to cancerous forms. IGF-1 is also a growth factor for promoting the progression and invasiveness of cancer cells.
Tip: Choose hormone-free, grass-fed, pastured raised meats (grass-fed burgers are delicious!), wild salmon, cod or halibut or beans as your protein source.

Replace Sugar + Artificial Sweets with Natural Sweets

Cancer loves sugar. Dr. Susan Silberstein, from the Center for Advancement in Cancer, says “We can get a lot of PET scans or eat a lot of sugar if we want to get cancer growing.”  Cancer cells’ uptake of sugar is five times that of normal cells. Excess insulin (as a result of excess sugar) works as a catalyst in promoting cell growth. One way of isolating cancer cells from one another is to starve them of sugar.  Before you reach for your diet soda, know that as you digest the aspartame rich drink, the carcinogen formaldehyde is produced as a by-product.
Tip: Use xylitol (from birch) which is naturally created in our bodies and raises glutathione (antioxidant), stevia (sweet herb), or small amounts of natural sweeteners like grade B maple syrup or palm sugar.  Try Kombucha for a carbonated mildly naturally sweet beverage.

Replace French Fries with Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

When food is cooked at high temperatures (think french fries and potato chips), a chemical called Acrylamide is formed. Acrylamide caused cancer in animals in studies where animals were exposed to acrylamide at high doses.  Not to mention, commercial fats and meats are full of omega-6 fatty acids which we already consume too many of in processed foods, commercial meats and dairy, corn, canola, and soybean oil.  Use omega-3 friendly oil like olive oil.
Tip: Chop sweet potatoes in fry shapes or chip shapes and roast with olive oil and sea salt at 375 for approx. 40 minutes.

Replace “the Bun” with Sprouted Buns or go No Bun

Aside from wheat and gluten being top hidden food allergies for many, there isn’t any nutrition left in refined white flour.  The kicker is that bakery goods and some flours often contain a “dough conditioner” called potassium bromate.  When bromine is absorbed or ingested, it displaces iodine, leading to iodine deficiency which is highly correlated to an increased risk of breast, thyroid, ovary and prostate cancers.  Click here to read more about the Bromide Dominance Theory.
Tip: Try Sprouted buns, gluten-free buns, or go no bun. Craving something starchy? Go for a whole grain like brown rice or quinoa.  Either way, add lots of colorful veggies.

Replace Pesticides with Organic
Back to bromide.  Pesticides (specifically methyl bromide, used mainly on strawberries, predominantly in California) are powerful chemicals that lead to detrimental long-term consequences.
Tip: Buy these “Dirty Dozen” organic – Celery, Peaches, Strawberries, Apples, Blueberries, Nectarines, Bell Peppers, Spinach, Kale, Cherries, Potatoes, Grapes (Imported). Download your own Guide.

Ditch the Soy or Use with Caution
Soy has received lots of attention in the past as an aspiring “health food”.  What is commonly thought of as a main component in Japanese and Chinese food, Asian cuisine on average contains very small, condiment amounts, such as 2 teaspoons per day.  There are a few problems with soy but one major one is that in the US, about 80-90% of our soy is Genetically Modified (GMO). GMO Soy is “roundup ready”, meaning it is  resistant to incredibly dangerous herbicides.  The weeds that the herbicides kill are now becoming resistant to roundup so they are using even more of it. Eating a lot of soy disrupts our endocrine system – preventing ovulation and stimulating the growth of cancer cells.  Hypothyroidism is often a result of eating a lot of soy.
Tip: Choose another protein source or if you can’t do without, chose only organic soy and old fashioned forms such as miso, tempeh, natto, shoyu, tamari, or small amounts of organic tofu. Read The Whole Soy Story by Dr. Kaayla Daniel for more.

Add Antioxidants
One of my professors and an expert on cancer prevention said that free radicals are like sparks in a forest – if you catch them early, you’ll be okay but if they are let to linger, they cause a catastrophe.  We make free radicals all of the time – through breathing, exercise, etc. and if have enough nutrient stores, we have the antioxidants to counteract free radicals.
Tip: Focus on the ACESZ. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Zinc.  Loads of leafy greens, organic red, blue and purple berries, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, apricots, avocados, broccoli, green tea to name a few.

Check your D
There is a growing amount of research correlating Vitamin D deficiency with cancer.  The Life Extension Foundation, Van den Bemd et al (2002), reported that vitamin D not only slows cell cycle, it also induces apoptosis (programmed cell death = a good thing), differentiation, and inhibits angiogenesis.
Tip: Have your D checked. Consider cod liver oil, sardines, oysters, pasture raised eggs, pastured butter, and some sunlight (without getting burnt).

Helayne Waldman, M.S., Ed.D, Bauman College, Introduction to Cancer
Joseph Mercola, DO, Avoid This if you Want to Keep your Thyroid Healthy
Joseph Mercola, DO, Don’t Drink your Milk
Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN, The Whole Soy Story
Life Extension, Disease Prevention and Treatment

Feeling Toxic?

You don’t have to run and hide in a cave after reading this article. Our intention is to bring awareness to what might be off balance and creeping into your life with more toxicity than you’d like.  As holistic nutritionists and health coaches, we can help you

  • identify what might be standing in the way (of living an incredibly happy, healthy, fun and fulfilling life)
  • support your nutrition, health and lifestyle goals (so that you feel and look vibrant and healthy)
  • find your natural weight (after seemingly doing everything “right” yet being stuck above your natural weight due to toxicity or weight loss resistance)
What Is Toxic Food, Lifestyle, and Environment?

“I consider the cleansing and detoxification process to be the missing link in Western nutrition and a key to the health and vitality of our civilization.”
– Elson Haas, M.D.
Detoxification has been a part of ancient medicine for millions of years as a natural way to rejuvenate and clear the body and mind of unwanted toxins. Today’s culture is centered around Toxic Food, Lifestyle and Environment…

Toxic Food: Sugar, HFCS, GMO, refined foods, trans fats, overuse of alcohol, artificial sweeteners, excessive caffeine, food preservatives, additives, hormones, pesticides, antibiotics derived from foods, mercury, too much food in general.

Toxic Lifestyle: Perfectionist mentality, over-exerciser, pulls all-nighters, unhappy at work but works too much, socializes with crowds s/he don’t necessarily enjoy, harbors negativity and festers negative feelings, always on the go, relying on refined carbs, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and/or drugs for a boost.

Toxic Environment:
Mercury toxicity in dental amalgams, some vaccines, large fish (especially tuna), pesticides, cosmetics. Other heavy metals such as aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, copper, chloride, fluoride, and lead.

Three Ramifications from Toxicity

Leaky Gut & Food Allergies:

Our gut has a semi-permeable lining around it.  When toxic food (above list), stress, NSAIDS, and gluten enter our bodies on a regular basis, these factors make our gut more permeable than it should be.  Proteins from certain foods like gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and corn leak out of the gut where they are not supposed to be and our body views them as foreign invaders.  An immune attack is launched and antibodies (IgG) surround the foreign invaders (the proteins that have leaked out). These antibodies accumulate and store themselves at various places in the body including the brain and joints.
Symptoms: A delayed food reaction sets in place and will include a drop in energy, joint pain, headaches, bloating, brain fog, false fat (weight gain and fluid retention), fatigue, moodiness, sinus congestion, acne, eczema, etc.
Do you have these symptoms? Contact Catherine or Contact Kendra to identify hidden food triggers and support leaky gut.

Adrenal Fatigue:
The adrenal glands that sit on top of the kidneys are powerful! They are the control center for healthy body functioning.  During healthy adrenal function, when our bodies experience stress, a brief rise in cortisol levels is normal and expected. It is when cortisol is constantly raised, due to chronic stress, that problems arise.
Symptoms: Cravings for salt, refined carbs, alcohol and feeling “moody” after consuming these foods, irritable, dizzy, heart palpitations, weight flucation, low blood sugar, unhealth skin, acne, chronic infections
Do you have these symptoms?
Contact Catherine or Contact Kendra for nutritional and lifestyle support for your adrenals.

Mercury Toxicity:

Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that can be inhaled with the lungs, absorbed through the skin, and/or ingested in the stomach. Mercury can be found in dental amalgam fillings, fungicides, fish such as tuna, tilefish, mackeral, shark, swordfish, crabs, vaccines including diptheria and tetanus.
Symptoms: Some symptoms include a propensity towards fainting, dizziness, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, tachycardia, anxiety, panic attacks, food allergies, GI issues, eczema and psoriasis, gingivitis. Symptoms can come and go over time and while some people may have stellar detoxification pathways to detox mercury, some genetically do not possess functional pathways.
Do you have these symptoms?
Contact Catherine or Contact Kendra for dentist and doctor referrals as well as nutritional support for detoxifying mercury.

Invest in your health here!

Resources and Further Reading:

Huggins, D.D.S., M.S., Hal.  It’s All In Your Head – The Link Between Mercury Amalgams and Illness. Avery, 1993.
Hyman, M.D., Mark. Mercury: How to Get This Lethal Poison Out of Your Body. The Huffington Post, February 20th, 2010
Hyman, M.D., Mark. The UltraSimple Diet.  New York, NY: Pocket Books, 2007.
The Teleosis Institute, Mercury Contamination and Detoxification

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

3/4 cup raw cacao powder – Part I
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup grade B maple syrup or coconut sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup raw cacao powder – Part II

Step 1: Melt coconut oil in a double saucepan over simmer water.

Step 2: Add raw cacao powder Part I and desired sweetener and stir.

Step 3: Mix eggs, add to the saucepan and stir.

Step 4: Sift raw cacao powder Part II into the mixture and stir.

Step 5: Pour mixture into an 8″ pan and bake 10-12 minutes, or until knife is clean from the outer rim and gooey in the middle. Let cool and enjoy!

Ingredient Tips:

  • Sensitive to Cacao?  Try Carob Powder for an equally delicious treat.
  • Try Unrefined Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions
  • Buy Pastured Eggs from your local Farmers’ Market or local health food store
  • Use Grade B Maple Syrup for the most unrefined version – with fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Try Coconut or Palm Sugar as a natural sweetener for a Lower Glycemic Index
  • Nix the Agave. I used to be an advocate of agave nectar before I recently found out that certain manufacturers are adding High Fructose Corn Syrup (very poor industry regulations!), AND fructose by itself (as in the case of agave nectar) seems to have a damaging effects on the liver. Go for other natural sweeteners instead.

How these Important Nutrients are Essential to our Health

“The exclusive focus on dietary fat has been a distraction in efforts to control obesity.  Conventional wisdom holds that the more fat you eat, the more likely you are to become obese.  However, the evidence does not support the conventional wisdom. Studies conducted in the past three years have found a moderately high-fat diet to be more beneficial in terms of adherence, weight loss, and weight maintenance, while also reducing cardiovascular risk factors” – Dr. Frank Hu, Harvard School of Public Health (citing 16 longterm studies on dietary fat).

If you start to critically look at all the research out there, it starts to become shockingly clear that the food industry has perpetuated an unsubstantiated fat phobia in American society.  We deprive ourselves of good quality fats and yet 97 million Americans were reported to be overweight in 1999.  Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases are on the rise yet we remain fat-free.  Dietary fat deficiency occurs in diets consisting of fat-free foods or the wrong types of fats.  60% of the brain is made of fat, so it is important to ingest fat for proper brain function.
The Cycle…

No Fat or Wrong Fat
leads to
Cell Deprivation for Healthy Function
of Brain, Heart, Hormones, Nerves
leads to
Low Energy, Slow Metabolism
leads to
Dieting Cycle, Weight Gain

The wrong “bad guy”…

Saturated fat has been listed as a “bad guy” for the past 60 years.  This type of fat has been taken out of diets yet there has only been an increase in heart disease and an increase in weight gain.  The true “bad guys” are refined and processed grains and sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup, and the trans fats found in hydrogenated vegetable oils. When there is not a sufficient amount of healthy fat consumption, we crave these refined carbohydrates.

How did we get here?

The “Lipid Hypothesis” grew out of a need for the medical community to make sense out of a steep rise in heart disease from less than 10% of all deaths in 1900 to 30% of all deaths by 1950 (and almost 45% of deaths today).  Before 1920, myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) did not occur so where did this phenomenon come from?

A study published in the journal of American Journal of Physiology in 1954 cited that saturated fats fed to rabbits caused plaque buildup, which then caused heart disease.  The vegetable oil industry jumped on these findings pinning saturated fat as the “bad guy”… when really the type of plaque rabbits develop is totally different than human plaque and the fat that was fed to the rabbits was oxidized (damaged by processing).

Unfortunately, in 1950 we did not listen to Dr. Dudley White, President Eisenhower’s physician, when he noted that

heart disease had increased as the consumption of liquid vegetable oils had increased and the consumption of eggs and traditional fats like butter had declined.

The real key being the “use of margarine quadrupled and the use of vegetable oil tripled between 1900 and 1950 while egg consumption declined by half.”
Politically Incorrect…

Politically the vegetable oil industry worked behind the scenes to endorse these trans fats and condemn saturated fats. “If you’d talk different, you’d get money” was the statement from one brand name snack company executive to Mary Enig, who was one of the pioneers against trans fats, after revealing the amount of trans fats in their products.  It took Mary and her team of scientists over 15 years to prove to the FDA the danger of trans fats (labeling became mandatory in 2006) and her focus on now on freeing saturated fats of being dubbed as bad as trans fats.

Food Focus: Coconut Oil

Until the 1950’s, coconut oil was commonly used until a study falsely concluded that all coconut oil was an artery-clogging fat. Harvard scientists later reviewed this study to find that it was only when the coconut oil was hydrogenated, or harmfully chemically altered to become a trans fat, that these effects occurred.  Coconut has not only been found innocent, but it has proved to be highly beneficial and delicious as a regular fat to use in your diet. While there are serious health risks associated with trans fats, there is no longer the need to be fearful of quality organic saturated fats such as coconut oil, organic butter and ghee.
➢    Metabolism ~ Not only does coconut oil not increase body fat, but a coconut oil-enriched diet decreases white fat stores. Coconut’s medium-chain fats are easily absorbed and burned, stimulating metabolism efficiency.
➢    Antiviral ~ 50% of the fat in coconut is lauric acid, which is antiviral, antibacterial and destroys a wide variety of disease-laden organisms. The antiviral components of lauric acid have proven to be so strong that coconut is now being investigated as a treatment for AIDS.

Further Reading:

  • Dr. Mary Enig, Know Your Fats
  • Dr. Uffe Ravnskov,The Cholesterol Myths
  • Gary Taubes – Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease
  • Sally Fallon – Nourishing Traditions