Video: Denise Gets Off Coumadin

Never have I raised the ire of more readers as when I did a video with Dr. Kirt Tyson, one of Dr. Gabriel Cousens’ 30 diabetics he treated in the documentary and wellness program Simply Raw. Dr. Tyson told me he is a clearly Type 1 diabetic, who is off insulin except on the occasion he gets a virus, or falls off his raw diet.

Dr. Cousens claims that 83 percent of Type 1 diabetics still have some functioning in their Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, and can therefore heal, regenerate, and improve their situation, some of them even coming off insulin dependence. His program has people eat a raw, plant-based, alkaline diet. People leave with biomarkers radically changed, many of them off insulin, including 100% of the Type II diabetics who did the program.

It sounds crazy to people who’ve bought into the School of Medicine’s endocrinology specialty, who put people on insulin for life and tell them to eat whatever they want.

I am not making a claim about diabetes. Not here, nor in the video that infuriated some people. And I’m not making a claim now, showing you Denise’s story. I’m just letting her tell her story.

I met Denise at a class I taught in San Francisco in April. She won both Grand Prizes, the Blendtec and the 12 Steps course. And she told me how she got off blood thinners and solved her desperate health problems. Check it out here, and then read my comments below.

Some cardiac patients are ordered to take blood thinners by their doctors, and further, they are ordered to never stop taking them. Obviously, disregard for this advice for someone with a history of blood clots is no laughing matter. Don’t go off your blood thinners without competent medical supervision. However, you should always get a second opinion, and often a third. You may wish to find extremely competent practitioners outside those educated exclusively in drug approaches to advise you. They often have other ways to view the situation that consider the multi-faceted whole human organism. Rather than a focus on one body part separate from the whole, and the what-insurance-code-will-pay-for-what-drug approach.

I often have readers taking warfarin (brand name Coumadin) tell me, sorrowfully, that they cannot consume greens because they are taking Coumadin. I cannot advise you whether you can, or cannot, have green smoothies while taking this drug. I do think it’s tragic that people who have a major health problem have to eliminate the most important class of foods—foods that they need even more desperately than everybody else does. It’s because there’s high Vitamin K in greens, which binds to the drug and renders it ineffective, creating increased risk of blood clots.

I will say that I’ve had people on Coumadin tell me (a) that they’re not allowed to drink green smoothies or eat greens, and also (b) that they’re allowed to, but in managed amounts. This leads me to the advice to seek a second opinion, and really study an issue out. Not every doctor knows everything.

The advice to patients taking Coumadin is all over the map, so clearly it’s not as cut-and-dried as some cardiac patients think. Here’s a Mayo Clinic M.D. saying kale, spinach, chard, collard greens are highest in Vitamin K, and to limit Vita K consumption to 90-120 mcg daily.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/warfarin/AN00455

Be informed. Own your own health care. I hope before you get blood clots in the first place, you learn how to utilize nutrition, hydrate, alkalize the body, and exercise, to keep your blood flowing well and your red blood cells robust, with good tension, not sticking together. Or that you take a diagnosis like that, already issued, as a wake-up call to activate your immune system with healthy practices and, if you can, intervene early to avoid a doc ordering Coumadin for you.

I just did darkfield live-blood microscopy last week at Parecelsus al Ronc in the Southern Swiss Alps. I looked at thousands of my own red blood cells, lymphocytes, and platelets under microscope. I also looked at many cancer patients’ blood, to compare. It was fascinating to look at my highly mobile, round, healthy red blood cells that move around and perform their functions independent of each other rather, than clumping together, slowing down functions and impeding oxygen and nutrient exchange. My white blood cell count was healthy and normal, and they were active and mobile.

Then, I looked at slides of very ill patients’ white blood cells, too many of them and too sluggish. Their red blood cells had bacteria attacking them, and one patient had shards of crystals sticking out of her RBC’s after a year of taking the immune suppressant methyltrexate! Absolutely fascinating. (No HIPPA laws in Europe—the clinics let me see LOTS of things U.S. docs would never let me see, even let me go on rounds with patients.)

Holistic healing is the wave of the future. America is going that direction, after a few decades of experimenting with the hope that drugs will make us well. More and more people are realizing the futility of this approach, and are fleeing to places like Paracelsus, where docs are committed to treating the person, rather than treating a tumor or a hardened artery.

Nutrition for pregnant moms, babies, toddlers…..part 1 of 5

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: My baby is breastfeeding, and doing great. But I know I have to make the transition. Besides blending cooked vegetables, what else should I do?

Answer: Please share this blog series with anyone with a baby, or anyone thinking about starting a family.

What I’m about to tell you is worth more than money could buy. I wish I’d had this information before I even conceived my oldest son.

I must make this disclaimer first: My comments should not stand in for competent medical advice. Talk to your naturopathic medical doctor or other qualified, holistic practitioner before implementing these or any other strategies.

In my opinion, the information I want to share with you in this blog series is worth more than the four-year degree I got before going to grad school. I’m crushed that I spent a year feeding my son crap (on the advice of a pediatrician!) before I studied hard (many sources), learned the truth, executed on it, and forever changed my entire family’s future, for the better.

What I’m going to write here is a digest of what I learned during years of intensive study, when my first child was very ill with asthma. He was constantly choking on yellow and green mucous coming out of his nose, which meant it was all over in his head, throat, and throughout his body. No babies or children who have yellow and green mucous are healthy.

The mucous made his tiny body the perfect acidic, sluggish, anaerobic environment for getting every little virus that came down the pike. Which led to more asthma. Which led to more drugs. Which led to more mucous production, along with the dairy and sugar and chemical-added “foods” I fed him. You get the idea?

But I didn’t know that, then. I was a deer in headlights. A young mother with little information. Overweight and struggling with my own major health problems.

I’m even more crushed to think that not only did I lose a year to total ignorance, as I began my career as a mother, but there are women everywhere who would do anything for their kids, but they have no clue about the devastating consequences of following their pediatricians’ nutritional recommendations. And they follow bad counsel from doctors who are untrained in nutrition, for years.

(Mine said to pump my little guy full of pus- and bacteria- and steroid- and antibiotic-tainted milk of another animal. Of course he didn’t call it that. That’s me being sarcastic. He said to feed him lots of milk. And if I couldn’t get enough bottles of milk in him, I should just add a few scoops of artificially colored, sugar-sweetened NESTLE QUIK. When my son’s weight fell precipitously, he said to feed him lots of ICE CREAM.

A grad student I met after one of my lectures in Arizona last year told me she’d interned with that same pediatrician. And she told me he’s still giving people the same awful advice. She said he tells his patients, “Vegetables and fruits are just fiber. All babies need is milk, for strong bones. Lots of it.”)

What happens when we follow standard pediatric advice?

I turned my oldest son from a 8 lbs. 9 oz., 23” healthy newborn, to a Failure to Thrive, barely breathing, blue, constantly ill baby so underweight he fell below the 5th percentile. Following his pediatrician’s advice.

And then I stopped doing what the pediatrician said to do. I stopped buying what the pediatrician was feeding his own family. Baby formula made from dairy, then dairy milk and cheese and popsicles and white bread and chicken nuggets, hot dogs. Peanut butter and jelly. Maybe some cooked veggies now and then, a banana and an apple each day, just to feel better about my parenting.

And when I STOPPED doing what my culture’s parenting standards dictated, and started following true principles in nutrition, all the problems disappeared. My boy became strong, robust, healthy, 6’3”.

He went on to lead the state in RBI’s (runs batted in) his senior year of high school and pitch in the final two games of the state playoffs.

If he doesn’t achieve his destiny, it’s damn well not going to be because I failed him.

What I’m going to write in this blog series is worth many books I’ve read, and lets you just dismiss a lot of the OTHER books and web sites I wasted time on.

Most published nutrition advice is heavily influenced by the industries who created the mentality that there’s a dairy product for every nutritional need, and a drug for every medical problem.

What I’m about to write could mean that your family never uses an antibiotic again. (We haven’t, for over 17 years.) That you use M.D.’s only if you break an arm or get in a car accident. Isn’t that the ideal? Where did we get the idea that we have to lean heavily on doctors, because we’re so often sick, and cannot problem-solve our family’s own minor issues?

My next post reviews breastfeeding versus the alternatives. How long to nurse your baby, and what to do if you can’t.

Depression and Anxiety Nutrition Strategies, part 1 of 3

My friend Shari called me last week. “Guess what. My friend Emily was totally normal, and has been in mental hospitals for 12 years now. They found out a few months ago that it was the MEDS they started her on that made her crazy. She’s been off them for two months and she’s just FINE.”

What a tragedy. Shari continues, ”Twelve years ago, she had two men who wanted to marry her. College-bound. Totally normal. She had everything going for her. But they put her on one drug after another and she was suicidal and psychotic.”

I’m a former mental health professional and have a master’s degree in social work. So let me make this disclaimer: you don’t want to go off your psychotropic drugs without careful supervision. Emily’s experience is not everyone’s experience. I bet her getting off those drugs was careful and gradual. Psychotropics are no laughing matter, and the transition ON or OFF can be scary.

Some of them are class C narcotics, and others are narcotic central nervous system depressants. SSRI’s, the most commonly prescribed, cause sexual dysfunction, increased risk of bone fractures, drowsiness, nausea, weight loss or gain, renal impairment, suicidal thoughts, and other symptoms. And, two meta-analyses of dozens of clinical trials (2008, 2010) for those drugs did not meet the criteria for a “clinically significant effect.”

For people upside down in a mental health crisis, a drug may be a lifesaver. People who want to kill themselves don’t have the wherewithal to sit down and problem-solve the actual life circumstances that seem overwhelming, let alone make major dietary and lifestyle changes.

But is the prescription a lifelong crutch, rather than a temporary sanity-saving measure while you figure out the actual PROBLEM and solve it? That I have an issue with. I know plenty of people who have been on psychotropics for a decade with no effort by them or their doc to solve the problems.

I also take issue with the dispense-it-for-every-little-complaint M.O. of too many docs. It should be a temporary, desperate act, putting someone on these hard-core drugs, while the doc helps get at the core causation. Not a first line of defense at the first sign of trouble!

The following discussion are my thoughts and should not be construed as medical advice. Please see your qualified practitioner for individualized help with depression or anxiety.

Mental health has its roots in biochemistry. And food is the fuel of our biochemistry, of course, causing it stability or instability. Does it not, then, make sense, that food can play a major role in good mental health?

It certainly has, in mine. I was born anxious. Oldest child. Type A. Red personality. Overachieving stereotype. All that stuff.

As a small child, I had stressed- out, sobbing meltdowns if I got a B on my report card or made a mistake in a piano performance. If I let someone down, or if someone didn’t like me.

I have struggled with anxiety my whole life. It is completely managed and no longer costs me sleep or causes any trouble. The past 10 years, it is where I want it. It is a good thing, when it is managed. That is: it fuels my constant drive to build things, learn and grow, help good causes, and GO-GO-GO. My anxiety no longer makes me cry or wrecks my well-being.

The only exception, before I QUIT COLD TURKEY, used to be when I’d eat sugar, or especially corn syrup. Eating something with HFCS in it sets me back for days—I wake up having panic attacks for 5 days after eating a handful of Junior Mints!

Why? Because sugar burns out adrenal glands, and virtually everyone living in the modern age has heavily taxed adrenal glands even WITHOUT sugar.

So let’s talk about things you can do, nutritionally, if you suffer with depression or anxiety. I start a nine-item list in my next blog entry.

 

A FISH STORY: the food, and the oil supplements

The debate over fish, and fish oil, is to me one of the most interesting ones in nutrition in its complexity. We have to ferret out, from the debate, the sophisticated marketing of the fish industry, which capitalized on emerging data 15 years ago that red meat is bad for us. (But fish is good for us, they clamored—and scrambled to provide “data” that this is so.)

Then we must evaluate the sources of fish, in a planet where virtually every waterway is highly contaminated and fish retain mercury at high levels off the coast of every continent. (Canned tuna is one of the most high-mercury foods you can find. I recommend you eliminate it from your diet.)

Then we have to look at farmed fish—even more problematic because they are fed ground-up fish pellets, made of guts and skin and bones. (Also chicken feces and genetically modified corn, soy, and canola oil.) These fish products, then, actually containconcentrated environmental pollutants.

Farmed fish is well documented to be higher in PCBs, dioxins, and other carcinogenic chemicals than wild fish. Most of the fish consumed by humans is now raised in farms. Wild “free range” fish eat plenty of toxins, too—but not concentrated in “fish pellets” like on the farms. Fish in farms are fed chemicals to make them pink rather than their natural grey color, are low in Omega 3’s due to their lack of a natural diet, and are given antibiotics at a higher rate than any other livestock!

And we have to look at the nonsense about fish oil. Does it really prevent heart disease? Everyone accepted this quickly as “settled science” mostly because a few data points were being repeated by so many doctors and so many supplement companies. But now we have 20 years of data and those who look at longitudinal trends know that fish oil has saved us from nothing.

What if a fish died and was floating in the water? Would you eat that fish’s flesh, or squeeze oil from it to eat, even 12 hours later? Of course you wouldn’t. It would be rancid. So says Dr. Brian Clement, N.M.D. and PhD, with whom I spoke in Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale. What if it sat for days, and then you deodorized and purified it, highly refined it, put it in gelatin capsules, and put it into distribution so it sat another several months before you ate it?

You’ve noticed that you burp up rancid fish oil taste for hours after you take yours? Rancid oils are carcinogens. The pharmaceutical companies that produce the vast majority of the fish-oil pills will pacify you by saying, “But we deodorize the oil.” Ah, so they use petroleum products, like coal tar, to mask the rancidity. I ask again, do you want to refine a fish-oil product and cover up the obvious signs that it is putrefied and not appropriate as food?

This is not an effective way to get Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet. Especially when there are perfect plant-food sources that don’t cause you to burp up rancid nasty.

Flax, chia, and hemp seeds are fabulous sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. I recommend having all three on hand. I love sprouted flaxseed to add to green smoothies. (I know of 28 anti-cancer compounds in flax. And this product is sprouted, which increases not only fiber, but also explodes vitamin and mineral content. Flax has 7x more lignans than the next-highest source—these compounds are highly breast-cancer protective.)

You get no fiber in your rancid fish oil caps. I really don’t think it’s a good source for anyone, of Omega 3’s. Save your money and eat some good whole foods instead:  greens have Omega 3’s in small but highly bio-available amounts.

And chia, flax, and hemp are perfect green smoothie ingredients, but I eat them in lots of ways:  roll raw cookies in them or put them in baked products. I love chia drinks from the health food store (one variety of Synergy kombucha is full of it). A spoonful of chia seed at night, chewed well and swallowed, and chased with a big glass of water, will fill up your stomach and get rid of your hunger.

 

Profits of Big Pharma relative to the Fortune 500

I recently misquoted a statistic that stuck in my head a little differently than how I originally read it. Here’s the truth:

In 2002, the combined profits of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies were more than the combined profits than the other 490 companies in the Fortune 500! (This analysis compliments of journalist Randall F. Fitzgerald, published in his book The Hundred-Year Lie.)

(I had said the top 5, and I may have implied a comparison of revenues rather than profits.)

It’s still appalling. One of my frustrations is that many “charities” we give money to are really just funneling even more money into R&D for drug development. It’s certainly expensive to go through clinical trials with a drug. But the companies who can afford to do it stand to make billions on one patented chemical. Dr. Jerry Avorn of Harvard Medical School says, in his book Powerful Medicines,

“There is a comforting shared myth that by the time the FDA approves a new drug, the product has been studied exhaustively and determined to be a worthwhile new addition, and that all its actions in the body, both good and bad, are well defined. In fact none of these assumptions is quite correct. The FDA itself does not study any drugs prior to approval, relying on the company that makes the product to generate that information.”

Dr. Marcia Angell says in her book, The Truth About the Drug Companies, “Is there some way companies can rig clinical trials to make their drugs look better than they are? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Trials can be rigged in a dozen ways and it happens all the time.”

The fox is guarding the henhouse. I don’t give money to the “pink ribbon campaign” or other thinly disguised bankrolling of Big Pharma, to help them make more chemicals that will never cure women of anything.

But thank you to a reader who questioned my statistic about the top pharma companies versus the rest of the Fortune 500.

Kala in Boise PUMPS HER FIST (thank you, whole foods diet!)

Do you know what it’s like to be trapped in a quagmire of health problems that seem insurmountable, requiring lots of pharmaceuticals? I talk to tons of people who describe the life they’ve lost–in my internet world and travels.

Kala in Boise (one of the three readers who put that event together) has been doing 12 Steps to Whole Foods since January and is escaping the ravages of arthritis and Pharma-Hell! She told us her story on this little video: