Category Archives: Let Food be Your Medicine

Nutritious Food is focus of Annie Appleseed Conf.

 

 

 

Did you know the seaweed nori, used to make sushi, is a source of Vitamin B12? This is one of the things I learned during the Annie Appleseed Complementary and Alternative Medicine cancer conference March 1-3.

I had spoken on Thursday to a crowd of nearly 200 about creating conditions for thriving, including how to determine your nutritional status. The annual national gathering, in West Palm Beach, Fla., explores both integrative and alternative cancer treatments.

On Friday, an oncologist and a gynecologist searched out my book-signing table. They bought a copy of Thriver Soup.

The next day they came back to my table and purchased a second copy.

Another woman came to my table during Friday’s events and purchased a copy of Thriver Soup. The next day she also came back, telling me she had a large number of cancer books at home, yet Thriver Soup topped them.

The food was incredible—only organic, and mostly fresh, raw and local; no gluten, no dairy, no meat. I have never eaten such healthy food in a hotel or at a conference.

To hear a quick, free version of my talk, come to the Art of Healing: Spring into Wellness Fair  on Saturday, March 17, at 250 East Main St., Batavia, Ohio, 45103. I will speak at 1:45 p.m. I also will be presenting the full talk at 2 p.m.  April 7 during the Victory of Light Festival at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Sprouting beans during winter

The life-giving potential continues increasing, and the earth is always covered with yellow sprouts, the world blooms with Golden Flowers.

Liu Yiming, The Taoist I Ching, Hexagram 16 Joy

The life-giving potential of spring lives all winter in my kitchen. Glass bowls provide nests for tender bean and lentil shoots. My lentil volume increases dramatically when the seeds are sprouted.

See in the photos a bag of beans like the one I started with and the initial eight quarts of sprouted lentils it created; I cooked one of those quarts of lentils, and let the other quart continue growing until I had an additional quart of fresh sprouts.

Sprouting is a key element of my diet. While summer months bring massive piles of local, organic, living greens onto my countertops, winter generally means veggies shipped in from far lands. What could be more nutritious during hibernation season than baby beans? They offer their vibrant riches to whomever accesses them.

Sprouting is easy to do, if you plan ahead and can find organic beans still capable of sprouting. Local health food stores usually have a supply. Just soak one part beans in four parts filtered water for about 12 hours. Rinse, drain, and repeat the rinsing and draining two or three times each day. After a couple of days, depending on the temperature in your home, you will see little white legs growing on these babies. Your nutritional powerhouses are ready for preparation and consumption.

Cook the sprouts as you would any dried bean. My preferred method to reduce intestinal gas formation is to bring the beans to a boil, rinse and drain, then bring to a boil again with a fresh pot of water and cook until tender.

Mung bean sprouts can be eaten raw and are extremely nutritious. I put them in my high-speed blender along with a liquid tonic, such as green tea and homemade kombucha tea. I usually add blanched kale and various other nutritious foods. It’s not exactly a gourmet-tasting slushy, yet I sure like the end results. I’d say the sprouts and greens have something to do with my hair looking so healthy. I’m 56 now and sidestepped the grey hair typical of chemo veterans.

I thank my sprouts and green smoothies.

While the world outside slows down, ices over, and darkens, my digestive system gets a sunny delight every day to keep my cells humming happily.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Here are links for sprouting beans and other ideas:

http://www.sproutingsprouts.com/how-to-sprout-beans/how-to-sprout-beans-including-adzuki-garbanzo-lentil-peas-and-mung-beans (how to sprout beans)

http://www.choosy-beggars.com/index.php/2009/10/16/spinach-and-white-bean-dip/ (bean dip recipe)

http://www.livestrong.com/article/473284-how-to-blanch-kale/ (how to blanch kale)

 

FREE presentations Feb. 24 in Davidson, NC

FREE presentations

Thriving Beyond a Dark Night of the Soul
and
Power up Your Spiritual Vibration with Energized Food

Saturday, Feb. 24
The Nook, 400 North Harbor Place, Suite C
Davidson, NC 28036; 704.896.3111

Join me at 10:30-11:30 am for

Thriving Beyond a Dark Night of the Soul
Your Take-aways
+ Understand what a “dark night of the soul” is
+ Learn how to use it to transform your life
+ Gain 14 healing solutions you can begin using immediately

and from 1-2 pm for

Power up Your Spiritual Vibration with Energized Food
Your Take-aways
+ Discover the spiritual qualities of certain foods.
+ Learn how to find out your nutritional status
+ Consider simple ways to reduce inflammation

Healthy, Decadent Hot Chocolate

Motecuhzoma’s servants “brought him in cups of pure gold a drink made from the cocoa-plant, which they said he took before visiting his wives… I saw them bring in a good fifty large jugs…, all frothed up, of which he would drink a little. They always served it with great reverence.”

Bernal Díaz, Spanish soldier invading the Aztecs

 

The Aztecs gave us cacao, and I am so grateful. There’s nothing quite like a frothy cup of chocolate. Especially as we enter the longest nights of the year in the northern hemisphere. A cup of pure gold made from cocoa can bring light into the depressing darkness.

After I cleaned up my diet in 2005, I tried some commercial hot chocolate once when I could not access my usual chocolate stash. (Confession: Hi, my name is Heidi and I am a chocoholic). To me, it tasted very little of chocolate and mostly of corn syrup.

I never drank it again.

Over the years I have tried various ways of creating a healthy hot chocolate drink. I thought using almond or hazelnut milk would be the cat’s meow. Unfortunately, those “milks” tasted almost nothing like the nuts. I later learned that one company only used four to six almonds for a carton of “almond” milk. The drink largely was made up of fillers. No wonder there was almost no nut flavor to the milk.

I switched to coconut milk until my sister helped me discover that one of the ingredients was titanium dioxide. Who needs that? It’s also an ingredient in sunscreen.

I think I have finally found something that is both healthy and tastes fabulous. A guilt-free chocolate drink. Now that really is the cat’s meow.

My concoction is influenced by my childhood experiences in Germany, when the hazelnut-cocoa spread called Nutella was a special treat. I can now make a raw, vegan warm chocolate drink that is reminiscent of it. I usually have a cup every day and drink it slowly, with reverence.

It makes a nice holiday treat.

Thank you, Motecuhzoma.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Raw, vegan “hot” chocolate

You can modify the recipe, depending on your preferences. Here’s what I do.

Warm up some water. The water temperature needs to be warm enough to dissolve your ingredients yet not so hot that it cooks them. That means a temperature under about 110°.

Pour the water into a mug of raw organic cacao powder, raw organic coconut butter, raw honey, nut flavoring, and a tiny pinch of salt. Mix and enjoy.

Here are the general proportions I use:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 2 or 3 drops hazelnut or almond flavoring
  • Tiny pinch of salt

Adjust to match your preferences. I use coconut butter because it retains the fiber from the fruit. If you do not want to keep everything raw, skip the honey because all its good qualities disappear when it is heated. Substitute something else like xylitol or stevia. If you do not have access to coconut butter, try coconut milk—after reading the label. Or make your own nut milk.

Drink up!

Source:

Descriptions of cacao being served in the palace of the Aztec emperor, http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/maya/chocolate/early-history-of-chocolate

Binding up Broken Bones

Oh, come, Divine Physician, and bind up every broken bone.
Charles H. Spurgeon, C. H. Spurgeon’s Pulpit Prayers

Several of my friends invoked the Divine physician to bind up my broken bones recently through laying-on-of-hands healing techniques. I sustained three fractures in my left hand after falling off a galloping horse in mid-November. I am grateful to energy workers Brecka Burton, Mim Grace, Patricia Garry, Julie Loewenstine, and Laura Dailey.
On Monday the doctor seemed quite impressed with how well my hand was healing. With the type and location of the fractures, he often sees fingers balloon to enormous sizes. Mine never did. Also, the bruising had hardly been noticeable.
Along with the energy healing, I attribute this excellent progression to the following:
– An anti-inflammatory diet so I did not already have a lot of chronic inflammation to make it worse.
– Icing my hand faithfully the first three days after the injury, before I knew I had broken bones.
– Using arnica homeopathic ointment on my hand until I found out the bones were broken. Then I switched to comfrey cream.
– Taking arnica homeopathic pellets.
– Doing exercises several times a day once I was allowed to bend my fingers again.
Part of what inspired me was when my dad, Dr. Charles D. Bright, broke his wrist falling on ice decades earlier. He faithfully followed his recovery routine. He regained more use of his wrist than anyone else the doctor had seen in his practice.
As a writer, I depend on my fingers a great deal. I am grateful for his example and for the healing balm and guidance I received.
This week, a friend told me about a woman we both know who has cancer yet who is not taking care of herself. Her cancer is getting worse. This doesn’t mean if she took better care of herself, the cancer progression would be different. However, I believe self-care is important when our bodies need extra support. Asking for assistance from friends also is a good idea. They usually want to help anyway.
Getting help and doing all we can doesn’t necessarily mean we will get better, yet why not give our bodies every chance we can? It can only assist the Divine physician with binding us up in healing ways.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:
Before taking comfrey for broken bones, read about its uses and precautions here: http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/comfrey

Source:
Charles H. Spurgeon (1834–1892) was an English Particular Baptist preacher. C. H. Spurgeon’s Pulpit Prayers, http://www.spurgeongems.org/chs_prayers.htm

Wrestling a 24-pound Turkey

“Ask and it will be given to you…”

Matthew 7:7, Christian Bible

I have come to believe when we put forth effort in certain directions (though not always), and ask for assistance, the Divine tends to step in and support us. It’s sort of a “God (sometimes) helps those who help themselves” perception.

I’m in my mid-50s and had never, before this year, cooked a whole turkey on my own. Recently my friend Cynthia Wells sold me her freezer so I knew I would have space this Thanksgiving to store leftovers.

I drove to Red Sun Farm in Loveland, Ohio. There, I could see white heirloom turkeys roaming a field of sunshine, and I signed up for a whole gobbler.

Shortly after making my deposit, I got a postcard from La-Z-Boy offering me a free carving set because I had purchased a replacement chair from them. I wasn’t expecting much, but my beautiful new large knife and fork have ceramic handles. I was all set to slice meat with my new poker and sabre.

Or so I thought.

Right before Thanksgiving I drove to the farm to pick up my poultry.
Kind of.
The bird weighed more than 24 pounds. 
Mind you, I had two broken fingers from falling off a galloping horse a few weeks earlier. (With two fingers taped together, I am in training to “Live long and prosper.”) And I’m also not supposed to carry heavy loads because of all my abdominal surgeries, including for uterine sarcoma.

I barely managed to pick up the box anyway and lug it to my Prius trunk.

Thanksgiving morning, I got out the roasting bag and read that it was only for meat up to 24 pounds. My turkey was bigger than that. Still, I managed to clean up and wrestle that weighty gobbler into its bag. And close the tie.

Once in the bag, I had a new problem. My pan was not big enough for a 24+-pound fowl. What to do?

I asked in prayer: Any ideas? You got me this far, please keep it coming.

Ten minutes later the answer popped into my brain. Use aluminum foil to form a basin.

I made the foil fowl bowl and managed to plop my big-bird-in-a-bag onto it. Into the oven it went. Whew.

After it finished baking, my son and I agreed it was too heavy to pull out, so we cut open the bag and left it in the oven. My nice new carving set made slicing so easy.

I felt so supported making this turkey. My freezer now contains bags of organic, free-range meat and multiple jars of deeply nourishing turkey bone broth.

The broth is perfect for making my hearty “thriver soup” with local organic Napa cabbage and onions from Earth-shares CSA in Loveland, fresh local potatoes from Harvest Market in Milford, and Shiloh Farms organic lentils I am sprouting (available through Jungle Jim’s in Eastgate), all in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

It would have been easy for me to assume the idea to put the turkey in an aluminum foil bowl was my idea. I think, however, because so many details had lined up before this request, I was being supported by an idea from the Divine. I gave thanks.

If you ask for information, pay attention to your thoughts. An idea might suddenly arise. It probably will be easy to miss, or dismiss, but if you are paying attention, you might recognize it as a gift and give thanks.

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