Category Archives: Let Food be Your Medicine

How to Reduce the Pleading of Your Bone Marrow

“whisper of blood, and the pleading of bone marrow”

Knut Hamsun (1859–1952)

Knut Hamsun, awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920, urged writers to describe the “whisper of blood, and the pleading of bone marrow.”

I’m a writer, and I understand the pleading of bone marrow at the physical level. And I worked to reduce that pleading during 42 days of chemotherapy spread over two years.

Some cancer patients live on maintenance chemotherapy, which involves receiving bone marrow stimulants like Neupogen or Neulasta after each infusion to keep white blood cell counts up.

One patient who had Neulasta for dozens of cycles was told she had widespread bone metastases. Upon further investigation, those studying her situation agreed that what appeared to be metastasis in the bones was actually not cancer, but the long-term effects of the marrow stimulant.

The shots cause bone pain and are extremely expensive. When long-term use of these shots causes serious damage, why not try adding some safe integrative therapies that strengthen the body to avoid the shots?

I was offered the shots after each cycle, yet I turned them down because I wanted to try natural means for keeping my white cell counts up. It’s necessary to have white blood cells to prevent infection. If levels drop too low then chemotherapy is postponed, which can create its own set of problems.

I did not want the bone pain and the enormous additional stress it would add to my body on top of the chemo. Rather, I wanted to strengthen and support my body.

I used diet (lots of carrots, cooked mushrooms, and bone broth), acupressure, visualization, and Emotional Freedom Technique.

I ended up needing only one shot one time to raise my white cell counts.

No one has studied whether what I did could work or not, and no one will because there’s no money to be had. Alternatively, no one will ever try to prove they don’t work, again because there is no money to be gained. I don’t think any of the things I did worked on its own. I think it was a healthy dose of each process done faithfully that made it possible for my body to produce enough white blood cells to get me through two years of aggressive chemotherapy with only one shot.

Did my processes work to keep my white cell counts up? It appears, based on the fact patients are routinely given the shots because they are not expected to keep their white cell counts up, that it probably did. I don’t know anyone else who has been able to avoid those shots (I’d love to hear from anyone who has!).

As always, discuss with your oncologist before passing up the shots. My blood counts were closely monitored. It took a big commitment on my part to work at these processes every day. For me, it was worth it.

What is your life worth? What is your health worth? Are you willing to try safe integrative therapies to give your body every single fighting chance you can? There are so many things that can be done that have not been scientifically proven, but if they are safe and you discuss them with your doctor, they just might give your body the edge it needs. Sometimes it takes it all to turn the corner. It did for me. And that doesn’t mean it will happen for everyone, because we are all different.

But I was not going to sit back and let the doctors and only scientific studies determine what I would and would not do. If I had done that, I know I would have died at least six years ago.

I chose to do everything medical and everything safe that I could.

And it worked for me. Maybe it will work for others. That is my hope, because often with this disease, we are without real hope. I want the suffering to stop. I want the pleading of bone marrow to stop. And so I share what I did.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Vince Lasorso at Whatever Works Wellness Center in Cincinnati created the “Bone Marrow Healing” CD I used during treatment, and occasionally now when I feel a cold coming on. The visualization involves feeling—not seeing—one’s bones lighting up. I highly recommend it.

More information on what I did to support my body during chemotherapy can be found in Thriver Soup.

Sources:

Knut Hamsun, “Fra det ubevidste Sjæleliv,” Samtiden, September 1890

New Videos: ABCs of Creating Conditions for Healing

Create conditions for radical Healing in your life. Find simple solutions by updating your attitudes, behaviors, and making major life choices to influence cancer and other dis-ease outcomes. If you have cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s, or other “incurable” dis-eases, find relief and personal healing by using these concepts.

I was told to get my affairs in order after two years of conventional treatment for highly aggressive end-stage sarcoma. Yet against all odds, I have enjoyed radical remission since 2011, free of evidence of cancer and free of cancer treatment. Find out what I discovered about changing attitudes, behaviors, and making major life choices that can assist you with turning the corner and thriving.

This short series comes in 4 brief parts and is posted on youtube.

Part 1: How I healed from highly aggressive end-stage cancer.

Part 2: How you can change attitudes to stop being a victim, stop worrying, and let go of resentments.

Part 3: How you can change behaviors such as knowing your nutritional stats and improving it; a sample spiritual practice that gets you out of your head; and how to manage difficult emotions.

Part 4: Putting it together with making major life choices to heal your life, which can help your body rebalance and heal itself.

Please enjoy and share, and let me know about speaking engagements where I can share this important message.

Many thanks to Jim Gray, with Gray Solutions, for creating this new video for Thriver Soup!

How Nutritious are Your Eggs?

  1. You should not wantonly climb in trees to look for nests and destroy eggs. 98. You should not use cages to trap birds and [other] animals.

One Hundred and Eighty Precepts

These Daoist sayings are hard. I can understand not wantonly destroying eggs, but not using cages to trap birds and other animals? We wouldn’t have farms without them. Some would argue that would be a good practice, but for people who believe they need eggs and meat, the way to follow this with limited land resources would be to pasture-raise our farm animals. This is expensive and uses a lot of land, raising the price of eggs and meat.

I used to buy my eggs from a discount store at a discount price. The poor hens, most likely trapped in battery cages, probably never saw sunlight or moved outside of their tiny cells. (In a 2014 report, 95% of U.S. eggs came from hens trapped in battery cages.) What a miserable existence. I found the shells overly easy to crack open. They reminded me of the egg breakage I’d read about among wild birds. These fowl are experiencing losses in breeding success due to contamination by post-1945 “residues of synthetic organic chemicals used as pesticides and in industry.”

As I learned, I moved to slightly costlier eggs.

One day my son cut his finger and bled profusely. I remembered reading that eggshell membranes can be used to temporarily stop excessive bleeding. I grabbed an egg and struggled to get a little bit of the membrane out of the bottom of the shell. I got only a small crumpled piece out, and put it on his little cut.

The cut immediately stopped bleeding. We were both stunned.

I then looked up more information on those membranes. They can be used to

  • treat wounds to prevent scar tissue;
  • reduce the effects of osteoarthritis;
  • improve health of skin, hair, and nails.

That was the end of cheap eggs for me. I began buying my eggs from local farmers, and when they weren’t available, got organic eggs from the supermarket. I immediately noticed a difference when cracking the eggs—the shells were tougher to break open.

But how to separate the membrane from the shell? I tried a few methods, none of which worked very well. The membranes were slick, tore easily, and took forever to separate from the shells.

Okay, so maybe the problem, again, was with the eggs themselves. So I moved to the most expensive eggs—organic, free-range, certified humane (raised and handled), and no synthetic pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics.

Viola! The membrane, tough and gauzy, pulled right off in large pieces. So easy! And to me it meant the membrane must be full of nutrients, especially collagen. I wanted those nutrients.

 

[Watch the 1-minute video here.]

I clean the membranes and drop them into my Vitamix to blend with greens for my smoothies.

To me, it’s worth the extra expense to get high-quality eggs, not only because I am prone to osteoarthritis, but also because as a survivor of highly aggressive end-stage sarcoma, nutrition is extremely important to me. I want to maintain my cancer remission! Healthy eating can only help, in my opinion.

Plus I’d rather get the membrane from eggs I cracked, so I know the source, than something that has been put through a chemical or other process, and then who knows the quality of the membrane anyway. Probably not from the healthiest eggs.

And another benefit. I clean and dehydrate the shells, crush them with a mortar and pestle, then add lemon or lime juice and have my own calcium supplement.

I am happy to follow the Daoist precept to avoid at least the battery cages and go with free-range, organically fed, humanely treated hens. Happy hens make good eggs, which please me.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

For the healthiest eggs, look for free-range or pasture-raised organic eggs that are not treated with hormones or antibiotics.

Sources:

One Hundred and Eighty Precepts, http://fore.yale.edu/religion/daoism/texts/

“An estimated 95% of all eggs in the United States are produced in conventional cage systems, sometimes called battery cages.… According to UEP, conventional cage systems typically provide each laying hen an average of 67 square inches of floor space. In some egg operations, hens have less space.” https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/47ce/d140eac346b2b8d59781291411dd60148bfe.pdf

Contamination, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273074182_Changes_Attributable_to_Pesticides_in_Egg_Breakage_Frequency_and_Eggshell_Thickness_in_Some_British_Birds

What’s in eggshell membrane: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggshell_membrane, http://eggmem.org/en/about/

Treating wounds: http://eggmem.org/en/about/page1.php

Treating arthritis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697588/

Improving health of skin, hair, and nails: http://eggmem.org/en/about/page3.php

Readers Respond: Dairy in Europe vs US

The light circled his head and shot into the sky, rising toward the fat full moon that hung over the chimney of Caspar’s little house. The light rose higher, and the voice called, “Come with us … there’s plenty of cheese.”

Caspar’s mouth began to water. “What have I to lose?” he asked, so he began to follow that light…

“The Boy Who Loved Cheese,” as told by Amy Friedman

 

In this Dutch folktale, a boy can’t stop eating cheese… until fairies force him to eat more than he can stomach.

I understand his love for cheese. I indulged in dairy for a month in Europe without any of my usual digestive issues. Last week’s Thriver Soup blog about dairy evoked several thoughtful responses, which I would like to share.

One reader in Norway wrote, “I don’t know why you can eat European dairy products, but not American ones.

“But I know that Norwegian cows are not ‘happier’ than American ones. Norwegian cows get power fodder, they rarely leave their stable, they are bred to give as much milk as possible. They would die without their special fodder, because so many nutrients go into the milk that the cow would be depleted and even die without it.

“I am quite sure that the same is the case for most European cows, except the few that are explicitly kept organically.

“Sheep and goats get to run around more freely in Norway because they are not milked. The downside: they are in danger for being eaten by wolves. And many of them are slaughtered in fall.

“So, sorry, but Europe is not quite as romantic as your blog suggests…”

So what is different about European dairy and United States dairy that enables me to eat it?

A reader from Ecuador offered some ideas about the differences. “The dairy thing in the U.S. is really toxic, I think. As you know, growth hormones, antibiotics, bleaching agents…who the heck knows? Here in Ecuador we buy milk and creme which are an ivory color. No stuffy noses anymore! All of the agricultural products are grown on small family farms. I feel so nutriented! We can even buy some organic products!”

Whatever the difference is, for cancer patients, dairy is still a product perhaps best limited or even eliminated from the diet. Robert Cohen, the NotMilkMan, writes, “Eighty percent of milk protein is casein and most people react negatively to casein, but there is a type of casein some cows produce which does not cause the traditional problem. Those other 20% of milk proteins include a protein hormone (insulin-like growth factor-1) which has been identified as the KEY factor in the growth and proliferation of every type of human cancer. As a human cancer begins its growth it is silent and painless. When the tumor becomes large enough, it becomes its own endocrine gland, secreting internally an abundance of IGF-1 which promotes its growth as it metastasizes.”

Perhaps it’s a good thing Caspar decided to limit his cheese intake.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

If you want to limit or eliminate dairy, there are lots of great substitutes on the market. My current favorite is organic coconut butter diluted with water when I want something with a milky or creamy consistency. What is your favorite non-dairy substitute?

Source:

http://www.uexpress.com/tell-me-a-story/2009/4/26/the-boy-who-loved-cheese-a

Dairy in Europe vs US

“Straightway after the rime dripped, there sprang from it the cow called Auðumla; four streams of milk ran from her udders, and she nourished Ymir.”

The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson

 

The giant Ymir, the first creature to come into being according to Norse creation mythology, was nourished by milk from the primeval cow called Auðumbla.

A dozen years ago I stopped receiving nourishment from milk, cheese, cream, and yogurt. When I tried them, I was rewarded with a belly ache, hot flashes, and constipation.

I had heard that people who experienced difficulty with dairy in the United States didn’t have issues in Europe.

When I went to Norway recently, I decided to give dairy another try.

No issues. No belly ache, no hot flashes, no constipation.

So I gorged on dairy for weeks—cheese, yogurt, cream, skyr… but I easily resisted the codfish-flavored ice cream.

I asked around. How come I can digest dairy in northern Europe but can’t in the United States?

Some people said the livestock graze on the mountainsides, eating the herbs and flowers while basking in sunlight.

I did see goats traipsing on mountains and sheep dashing across roads.

My son is sure it’s all in my head. Maybe so. But if I were a cow given the choice of being locked up all my life in a tiny space indoors, or being allowed to roam the countryside, I’d be far happier roaming. Which would make my body chemistry healthier, and my milk sweeter and more nourishing.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

If you have trouble digesting dairy in the United States, perhaps seek out dairy imported from Europe. There also might be something to the idea that dairy with the A2 protein works for some people who have a history of difficulty digesting dairy.

http://www.nbcnews.com/better/diet-fitness/can-new-milk-brand-buoy-dairy-industry-n339586

Sources

Brodeur, Arthur Gilchrist (tr.) (1916). The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson. New York: The American-Scandinavian Foundation.

Misleading Labels—The Skinny on Sugar

Note: I am largely off the internet at the moment. Guests have graciously offered blog posts that I believe will be of interest. Today’s post is by Chef Lori Pierce (Lula) of Cincinnati, OH. Sugar causes inflammation, so reducing sugar intake can potentially reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation has been directly linked to several types of cancer. Here Lula helps with understanding sugar on food labels. Lula has contributed to recipe development for companies such as Kraft, Nestle, Unilever and McCormick. Check out her blog here: http://lulasforlunch.com/blog/

By Chef Lori Pierce (Lula)

Reduced Sugar, Low Sugar, No Sugar Added … Which of these terms is regulated by the FDA? Only “Reduced Sugar.” This means the product has to contain 25% less sugar than its original form.

The other two are basically meaningless. For example, “no sugar added” could be on a honey label and be legal. What’s important to know is how many grams of sugar (which comes in these myriad names: anything ending in “ose” such as sucrose, dextrose, fructose, maltose, as well as honey, syrup, molasses, evaporated cane juice, nectar, corn sweetener, etc.) are in a portion. Recommended daily intake of added sugar runs around 6 teaspoons, or 24 grams. So… 4 grams = 1 teaspoon.

Sugar in all its forms will be on the food label in grams. So now that you know the math, look for those grams and calculate just how sweet you’re gonna be.

Image source: https://tinyurl.com/yca2oo8f

July 4 Picnic Tips from Chef Lula

Note: I am largely off the internet at the moment. Guests have graciously offered blog posts that I believe will be of interest. Today’s post is by Chef Lori Pierce (Lula) of Cincinnati, OH. With July 4 gatherings on the horizon, she offers these tips for enhancing your picnics. Lula has contributed to recipe development for companies such as Kraft, Nestle, Unilever and McCormick. Check out her blog here: http://lulasforlunch.com/blog/

By Chef Lori Pierce (Lula)

How to Pick a Pineapple

How do you pick a pineapple in a store? I always pluck out a center leaf – if it comes out quite easily the pineapple is ripe. Now that I’ve let the cat out of the bag, though, I guess everyone else will do the same and when I get there, maybe that’s not such a good test anymore. So, I’ll smell it at the stem end. The stronger and sweeter it smells (it should reek of pineapple), the riper it is. If you need a pineapple and they are all giving off only faint smells, buy one and let it sit on the counter for a couple of days ‘till the aroma develops. Then slice into that juicy bad boy.

How to Keep Your Guacamole Green 

I hate it when my beautiful avocado stuff starts to turn dull and brown. Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering has to make a pretty large volume upon occasion and sometimes it has to sit in the fridge for a couple of days – and there’s just not enough acid in the recipe to keep it in the “Kermit” family, so… I cover the surface with a thin film of water. The guac is dense enough (and fatty enough) that it won’t absorb the water – so when I’m ready to use it I just tilt the container and pour the water off and voila! it’s just as vibrant as when I made it.

IGF-I, the Key Factor in Cancer Growth

Note: I am largely off the internet at the moment. Guests have graciously offered blog posts that I believe will be of interest. Today’s post is by Robert Cohen, the NOTMilkMan. He heard my interview on the CBS NYC station’s Bob Salter Show and called me to connect. I love his sense of humor, though this post is scientific in nature.

By Robert Cohen

There are hundreds of millions of different proteins in nature, and only one hormone that is identical between any two species.  That powerful growth hormone is insulin-like growth factor, or IGF-I.  IGF-I survives digestion and has been identified as the key factor in breast cancer’s growth.

Women between the ages of 25 and 65 have been successfully targeted by the marketing representatives of the dairy industry’s milk promotion board. What the dairy industry neglects to advertise is the fact that cow’s milk contains a IGF- I.

If you believe that breast feeding “works” to protect lactoferrins and immunoglobulins from digestion (and benefit the nursing infant), you must also recognize that milk is a hormonal delivery system.  By drinking cow’s milk, one delivers IGF-I in a bioactive form to the body’s cells.

When IGF-I from cow’s milk alights upon an existing cancer…

“Human Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) and bovine IGF-I are identical. Both contain 70 amino acids in the identical sequence.”
– SCIENCE

“IGF-I is critically involved in the aberrant growth of human breast cancer cells.”
– Journal of the National Institute of Health

“Estrogen regulation of IGF-I in breast cancer cells would support the hypothesis that IGF-I has a regulatory function in breast cancer.”
– Molecular Cell Endocrinology

“IGF-I is a potent growth factor for cellular proliferation in the human breast carcinoma cell line.”
– Journal of Cellular Physiology

“Insulin-like growth factors are key factors for breast cancer growth.”
– Journal of Cellular Physiology

“IGF-I produces a 10-fold increase in RNA levels of cancer cells.  IGF-I appears to be a critical component in cellular proliferation.”
– Experimental Cellular Research

“IGF-I plays a major role in human breast cancer cell growth.”
European Journal of Cancer

“IGF-I has been identified as a key factor in breast cancer.”
The Lancet

“Serum IGF-I levels increased significantly in milk drinkers, an increase of about 10% above baseline but was unchanged in the control group.”
Journal of the American Dietetic Association

“IGF-1 accelerates the growth of breast cancer cells.”
SCIENCE

“Poor absorption of lactose may more than double the risk of ovarian cancer in women.”
– American Journal of Epidemiology

“Galactose is linked both to ovarian cancer and infertility…women who consume dairy products on a regular basis, have triple the risk of ovarian cancer than other women.”
– The Lancet

“Interest in the role of the IGF axis in growth control and carcinogenesis has recently been increased by the finding of elevated serum (IGF-I) levels in association with three of the most prevalent cancers in the United States: prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer. IGFs serve as endocrine, autocrine, and paracrine stimulators of mitogenesis, survival, and cellular transformation.”
– Journal of Cellular Physiology

“IGF-I reacts in a synergistic manner with estrogen, and plays a role in the growth and proliferation of ovarian cancer.”
– Journal of Clinical Endocrinology

For more, please visit http://notmilk.com/drharris.html

See also http://notmilk.com/drlarsen.html

Sugarplums Dancing in my Bowl

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, / While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads

“A Visit from St. Nicholas,” by either Henry Livingston Jr. or Clement Moore

 

The children in this poem dreamed of sugarplums. What are sugarplums? I was amazed to learn in May that they were growing in my front yard.

In June 2016, I watched each morning as a robin picked all the little fruit from my serviceberry tree. During this past May, I read about these edible, nutritious delicacies. They have many names, including June, Saskatoon, prairie, shadbush, and pigeon berries, along with wild plum and chuckley pear.

And sugarplum.

This summer birds squawked nearby each morning as I picked the berries while red, because the fruit would not last long enough on the shrub to turn a darker shade.

They are shaped like small blueberries yet are more related to the apple family. Their mildly sweet, almondish flavor contribute plenty of fiber, protein, antioxidants, and nutrients to my breakfast.

They go great with diluted coconut butter, chia seeds, and soaked/dehydrated raw pecans. Maybe this coming Christmas, long after these berries are consumed, I’ll be dreaming of sugarplums dancing in my breakfast bowl.

Thriver Soup Ingredient

More than 50,000 plants species—and possibly more than 80,000–on our planet are edible. Only about 3,000 of these species are regularly used as food. 103 species make up 90 percent of our plant food supply.

That’s paltry.

By expanding the types of foods we eat, we can expand the nutrients available to us. Perhaps check out #WholeFoods, #JungleJim’s, and some farmers’ markets this summer to discover some new tastes and textures.

Sources:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/26719/mystery-behind-worlds-most-famous-christmas-poem

Nutritional resource: http://saskatoonberryinstitute.org/saskatoons/

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=101333

https://www.quora.com/How-many-different-plants-do-humans-eat

The ABCs of Creating Conditions for Healing

Please join me

Sunday, May 7, 1-3 pm
250 East Main Street, Batavia, OH  45103

Your Take-aways

+ Consider how to transform attitudes to support healing
+ Learn how to reconstruct behaviors and make better choices to support your body’s efforts to create health
+ Gain your own insights through a guided visualization that will involve exploring any dis-eased part of the body

Feedback:

Thanks for a most thought-provoking talk. I’ve done little else but think since we were together. Who am I? What matters most to me? What do I hope to be when I grow up? How big is my part in the scheme of things?… The talk was a wonderful thing for me.

The ABCs of healing was eye-opening and can help with my health issues.

Beautiful, heartfelt, easy. I gained an understanding of the power of healing through all modalities.