Friday, December 31, 2010

Bountiful Granola - Homemade and WONDERFUL!

Today for the first time I made homemade granola...and for certain, it will not be the last.  I have been using the Kashi brand as that is about all that is available at our small town grocery store. At nearly $5 a box, topping my probiotic, plain organic yogurt off with granola could get expensive. I haven't had time to go into Madison to buy it bulk from larger grocers, as suggested by friends.

However, I was given a tip that I could buy ingredients for homemade granola in bulk at the Copp's off Century Ave. in Middleton, Wisconsin. Last week I made a point to get there, with a goal of making granola on one of my days off during winter break. I had found a master granola recipe - which basically consisted of rolled oats (not quick oats), brown sugar, a bit of wheat germ and salt...and to that you could add whatever. I added a plethora of healthful foods and tripled the size of the original recipe.

First, I chose to omit the sugars and opted for natural substances to hold my granola together, namely PURE maple syrup (definitely do not mistake Mrs. Butterworth or Log Cabin as healthy choices!), and agave nectar. One can substitute honey if you do not have access to the nectar, which comes from a plant and I discovered at Costco. I also added Arbonne's fiber booster powder as despite all the salads and fruit I eat, I am apparently still low on fiber. Below is a run down of my recipe:

Bountiful Granola - makes approx. 3 quarts

Dry Ingredients – fold together in a large bowl

3-4 cups organic rolled oats
2 cups sliced almonds
1 cup dark flax seed (lighter, if preferred)
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (roasted if preferred, no salt)
¾ cup roasted, no salt sunflower seeds
¾ cup bulgar wheat
½ cup Bergin nut white sesame seed
3 T. Korintje cinnamon
2 T. wheat germ
1 scoop Arbonne Figure 8 Fiber booster (optional)
To add later:2 cups dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, pomegranate, etc)
Bring to simmer on stovetop:
2 T. unsalted butter
½ cup medium amber pure maple syrup (dark amber if available)
¼ cup agave nectar (honey may be substituted)
1 T. water (per the master recipe water will help your granola form clumps)

Fold dry ingredients together. Once butter is melted slowly add wet ingredients to dry mixture, mixing as you go. Place mixture into baking stones (bar pans works best) and pat to flatten out. Bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes. Add dried fruit if desired, bake 10 min. more. Allow to cool, store in airtight containers and use over several weeks. May store in freezer as well.

You may use a metal cookie sheet, as instructed by the original recipe, but be sure to spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray. I love the baking stones as no additional oil needs to be added and my stones were essentially clean once I scraped the granola out once baked.  Also, the original recipe instructs to bake the granola, then add fruit, and bake ten minutes more. Honestly, I missed the part about adding it after the initial baking and mixed in dried fruit right after I folded in the wet ingredients. I used Craisins as I had no raisins on hand, and it seems just fine - not crunchy and over baked.
I also happen to LOVE cinnamon and it is good for you (if I recall correctly it helps control diabetes). I use Korintje cinnamon which I get from Pampered Chef, which is much more potent than other cinnamons we have used. I started with two tablespoons, and decided because my batch was so large, that another was needed for good measure. One can not have too much cinnamon, in my opinion. (LOL)
I added so many wonderful whole foods to my granola that I decided to call it "bountiful granola". It certainly is a good representation of the bounty God provides in order that we may eat healthy and take care of His temple, of which our bodies are. If you decide to make your own granola, or perhaps already do, I would love to hear what your favorite ingredients are. Since I am new to this I will be open for more ideas.
Have a wonderful and healthy new year everyone!
Rita S.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Traditional Chemo - Much Ado about NOTHING!

You probably are not ready to read what I learned about traditional chemotherapy today. I have learned enough to know that if I ever am diagnosed with the big "C" word...I won't be going that route. No chemo, and especially no radiation...the later of which just kills the good cells in "their" attempt to wipe out the bad. Nope...there are alternative methods, and chemo has only had positive response with less than a handful of cancer types, including testicular (which is why Lance Armstrong makes such a good "poster child"), some lymphomas, childhood leukemias and Hodgkins.

Now, to verify what the word "respond" means when an oncologist says, "you have a good chance your tumor will respond"...  Per the National Cancer Institute the official definition of response is a "50 percent decrease, or regression, in tumor size that last 4 weeks".  Isn't it comforting to know that you go through that debilitating and nauseating treatment for a diagnostic such as that? I personally, don't care for the odds, the side effects, and subsequent illnesses from the treatments...i.e. radiation necrosis.

There certainly is a lot of hype about chemo - doctors are all set to push the "chemo button" as soon as the big C is diagnosed...of course that is how they are trained, so one cannot totally blame the doctors for being so one-sided when it comes to cancer treatment. Our friend Marv knew what the treatments would do to him, and he opted for quality of life in his last year. I don't blame him, and have actually learned from him.

Because of the books I am reading, my family may begin to think I am obsessed with cancer, and perhaps I am. Four friends were diagnosed in 2010, two had a scare. There is no doubt cancer is an epidemic with our pension for poor food quality and nutrition, exposure to toxins in our environment and radioactivity from our many gadgets.  My real goal in all this reading is to PREVENT cancer in the first place. And should I, or a loved one ever get that dreaded diagnosis, I will already know the options of treatments available to us. I could not imagine going blindly into a diagnosis, in shell shock and robotic nodding of yes to whatever the doctor recommends.  There is no way you can think clearly once such news is received, and I don't think there are too many people who would say, "hold on doc, I need some time to research this". Simply, we are not wired that way. We panic, freak out and yell, "get that alien form out of me!"

Today I read an inspirational story by a man who was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer and was told nothing could be done. You can read Paul Leverett's story, and others at Cancer Guide: Inspirational Patient Stories.  Paul survived, thanks to alternative treatment by a man the conventional medical community has labeled a quack, Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, who treats patients in Texas.  Thanks to Dr. B Paul's tumor shrunk, and disappeared. Unfortunately, he did end up with complications from the conventional treatment he had undergone first, including radiation necrosis which resulted in official disability.

I have read a number of other most grateful letters from parents, patients who consider themselves cured by alternative treatment. Traditional methods do not even dare use the word "cure" - there are no statistics to side with a cure claim for chemo/radiation. In fact, when a German scientist by the name of Abel was asked to compile cancer treatment statistics in a non-biased manner, having no association with big Pharma or cancer treatment centers, his report is what disclosed the four types of cancer that actually responded favorably to chemotherapy.  The statistics were not favorable for other cancers, however, and his report was banned from the United States. Does that make you wonder, at least a little bit, about why?

My biggest wish this day is to put Suzanne Somers book, KNOCKOUT, into the hands of every person I know, and stand over them until they read it cover to cover. Of course this is not feasible, and unfortunately I realize so few will read this book, which could someday save your life. If Oprah wants to pick a book for her club that is worthy of reading and one that could impact lives, it would be KNOCKOUT. I urge you to see if your library has the book, or pick up a paperback copy for $15 (almost always on sale somewhere).

This book offers real hope, especially for those who have so little from their diagnosis, or who wish to be prepared for when their cancer comes out of remission. For people like me, it is more than an ounce of prevention... it is one more burning log on the fire to take control of my health and continue my journey to purely living.

My word for 2011 ...WELLNESS.  It is my vision, my mantra, and a goal I intend to reach.

God bless,

Sunday, December 26, 2010

"KNOCKOUT" is a MUST read!!

I really did not expect a book about curing cancer to be a fast page turner, but it is! The first 25 pages were incredulous, shocking with reports of what the FDA has done to respected doctors who are curing cancer. Treating them like criminals, holding guns to their foreheads...I could not believe what I was reading! I suspected that big Pharma is akin to the mafia in the world of medicine from reading Dr. John Lee's books...and KNOCKOUT by Suzanne Somers, is additional evidence that points to the corruption in our government and the healthcare system of which so many of us do not question and hold in high regard.

I want to share with you a few paragraphs that open chapter 3, in hopes that it will convince you to get your hands on  "KNOCKOUT- Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer and How To Prevent Getting It In The First Place".  First, I will state that I received this book for Christmas and am not done yet, but already I can tell it is one of those books that I wish for all of the people I care about to read. As a mom I am grateful that Suzanne has put this information together to educate readers on alternatives to conventional cancer treatments, which usually result in poor quality of life and not such a great long term survival rate. As a parent I need to know this stuff...because if either of my children were ever to receive such a horrid diagnosis as cancer, I would at least have this knowledge to make decisions that will benefit my children and give them a fighting chance. Here is an excerpt...

"We all have cancer in us. For most people the cancer stays at bay as long as we remain hormonally balanced, we give our bodies the proper nutrition, rest, excercise and we manage our stress. A hormonally balanced woman is a reproductive woman. Balance occurs when the body makes hormones in the correct ration and amount every day of the month - in a rhythm - the rhythm of life, our cycle.
Each day of the month is important in this cycle, and when you understand how exquisitely we are formed, imagine what chaos is created when we interrupt this beautiful cycle with chemicals that prevent full ovulation. Imagine the chaos when a period is manipulated to accommodate a hot date or a weekend caper.   We all did that. These pills came with no warning. The doctors never told us the dangers.
Why didn't we hear our bodies yelling (screaming) by way of bloating, weight gain and mood swings? How else can the body talk? Symptoms of any kind are the body's language. We were deaf, we couldn't hear, we were not taught to hear, we did not know what to listen for, and now those of us who walked into this blind and trusting, taking these types of contraception, are getting breast cancer in epidemic proportions.
What puzzles me is that no one seems to be upset. No one is pointing the finger. The pharmaceutical companies are taking no responsibility.  What doctor wants to put his hard-earned career on the line by talking? The pharmaceutical companies and their sidekick, the FDA, are certainly not going to say, "Oops!" In fact, the pharmaceutical response is the creation of a new "miracle" birth control pill, one that gives women only four periods a year. Four periods a year! What are we thinking?! Imagine what havoc that creates with the nature inside us. Seems like a perfect cancer set up to me.
And maybe that's the point.  Cancer is BIG business - approximately $200 billion a year!
When it was announced on Larry King's show that I had breast cancer, a friend set me up on a phone call with a person involved in the cancer industry, who asked for anonymity, and confided in me saying, "The truth is, we don't want to find a cure for cancer. It's too big a business."  Cancer is the disease that keeps the hospitals open; it brings an extra $100,000 each  year to oncologists' practices (and this is a modest estimate).
According to Bill Fallon, founder of the Life Extension Institute, chemotherapy bonuses to oncologists are routine.  There is incentive to keep cancer alive and well. The unnecessary drugs are are being given in unprecedented amounts are one culprit, and we patients are ignorant about the game plan because we have gotten used to the quick fix.  It's easier to take a pill or pump ourselves full of chemicals. And as will all of us women who blindly took birth control pills, a day of reckoning arrives - the day you hear the doctor say, "You have cancer.""

Friends, Suzanne is a 9 year out cancer survivor. She has been where so many of us are, were or will be. The information she has provided in KNOCKOUT is intended to educate and help us make wise decisions on behalf or ourselves. We cannot trust the hospitals to do what is right be us, but we can trust them to do what is right for them...which is to push the drugs and treatments that heavily pad their pocketbook. If you have or know ANYONE who has cancer, you owe it to your life, and theirs, to read this book. KNOCKOUT interviews doctors who are treating and curing cancer with non-conventional methods...some via nutrition, supplements and some who mix conventional treatment with alternative treatments.

Sure, I could have waiting until I was done reading this book entirely to give a review, but I felt an urgency to share what I have read thus far. An urgency to share with people I love because this book could save your life. I am sure I will return with  more to say about this book. But don't wait for me. Please get your hands on KNOCKOUT today and prepare yourself to have your mind blown away, and take control of your own fate, don't let doctors decide it for you.
God has created us with all we need to live a healthy life, but we need to learn about the body in which each of us is created in order to take care of it and allow it to heal itself from the illness and disease so prevalent in our world.

Live wisely, and purely,
Rita S.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What I did not know one year ago...

My journey as a new AB consultant has been one that has led me on a path of regained health and well-being. It has been a year of research and study, and what I have learned has greatly impacted my life. I thought I would provide a brief list of some of the things that have been real eye openers for me this year.

What I learned in 2010:
• Hygiene, cosmetics and healthcare products formulated in the U.S. contain many toxins and chemicals (are not FDA regulated), and subsequently produce xenoestrogens in our body. These xenoestrogens are viewed as estrogen by the body, but are not necessarily measured in our bloodstream (instead, are stored in cells), which is why a saliva test panel is needed to accurately measure hormone levels. Lab work done with a blood sample will not accurately measure all estrogen found in the body.

• Per the EPA, 60% of what we put on your skin is absorbed into the bloodstream and organs in 26 seconds.

 • Mineral oil and other petro-chemical derivatives abound in U.S. products, which mask themselves as estrogen in our bodies. As an aside, Israel banned mineral oil from their cosmetics and pesticide use on their produce, and had a 50% drop in breast cancer in ten years. A John Hopkins study also reveals that mineral oil is a major cause of aging skin. Read ingredient labels!

• Petro-chemical toxins are endocrine disruptors, or xenohormones – which basically mean they mimic natural hormones when absorbed by the body.

• Environmental awareness. Chemicals go ON our bodies via skin lotions, make-up, etc.; IN our foods via pesticides, growth hormones, and processing; and SURROUND us with use of air fresheners, fumes in paints, perms, nail polish remover, and through chemicals sprayed on lawns, in and around homes, factories, offices.

• Estrogen dominance (progesterone hormone is too low to balance out estrogen) is the cause of 80% of all breast cancer; not to mention all cancers involving reproductive organs in men and women.

• Other causes of cancer include genetics, radiation, and iatrogenic (hormone replacement, the Pill, prescriptions), stress.

• Conventional doctors often know little about estrogen dominance/hormone imbalance; many being concerned only with estrogen. Synthetic hormones (often prescribed and FDA approved), are proven to cause cancers, heart attack and strokes – and removed from the market too late for those already victim to side effects and disease.

• Progesterone is critical for brain development in the fetus, low levels can lead to infertility, miscarriage (which is at an all-time high in the U.S. due to estrogen dominance). Progesterone is also key in protecting the brain from memory loss, and has been found to help restore function in stroke victims. Progesterone can actually build bone mass, whereas estrogen only prevents further loss of bone mass for osteoporosis patients. Progesterone heals damaged cells.

• Symptoms of estrogen dominance include migraine headaches, depression, night sweats, hot flashes, PMS, hair loss, fibromyalgia, fatigue, sleep disturbances, fibroids and cysts, to name a few.

• Excess estrogen is stored in fat cells, which can mutate into cancer cells as estrogen accumulates. The more fat cells one has, the greater the risk. (Thus Rita’s weight loss quest using Arbonne’s Figure 8 products and diet change, so far equaling loss of 40+ pounds and two sizes since mid-August.)

• White/simple carbs are processed in our bodies much the same as table sugar, causing an insulin surge. Eat whole grains.

• Statin drugs used to lower cholesterol can promote memory loss.

• MSG (monsodium glutamate) is the “silent killer” in our food industry. Studies show it increases rapid brain activity, aka excitotoxicity,w hich is the body’s reaction to excessive amounts of certain amino acids, such as glutamate, aspartate and L-cysteine. It is linked to obesity, multiple sclerosis, vision loss, ADD and ADHD – to name a few.

• A side note – Rita just learned this from her new hair stylist:True dandruff is a combo of oily hair/dry scalp often with scabbing, whereas dry, flaky scalp is most likely caused by drying irritants in shampoo (such as lauryl sodium sulfate). Dandruff shampoos are drying, intended for oily hair. A quality moisturizing shampoo without harsh chemicals can alleviate itchy, flaky scalp. (Many shampoos also contain carcinogens and other harmful chemicals.) Jesse has been using dandruff shampoo since we met. When he ran out and tried the Arbonne shampoo, his “dandruff” disappeared, now we know why.

Rita’s recommended leading list:

 “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Pre-Menopause” by Dr. John Lee, Dr. Jesse Hanley & Virginia Hopkins

 “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause” by Dr. John Lee, Dr. Jesse Hanley & Virginia Hopkins

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer” by Dr. John Lee, Dr. David Zava and Virginia Hopkins

The “What your doctor may not tell you…” series also includes books on prostrate cancer, depression, migraines, hypothyroidism, and more.

Dr.Lee’s Hormone Balance Made Simple: The Essential How-to Guide to Symptoms, Dosage, Timing, and More” by Dr. John Lee and Virginia Hopkins

Natural Hormone Balance for Women”, by Uzzi Reiss, MD OB/GYN

Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer--And How to Prevent Getting It in the First Place by Suzanne Somers

Other sources of study for Rita have included a subscription to
Rita is very pleased to have products that can help people with skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, shingles, rosecea, rashes, acne…to name a few. Products have been proven to reduce scarring, aid in healing of lesions, burns and abrasions. The various lines range from skin care and cosmetics, hygiene to nutrition, weight loss, detoxification and aromatherapy. There are over 400 products, of which the Shimniok family has incorporated many into their daily living – where Rx failed, AB prevailed. If you have a concern with a skin condition or hormone balance, don’t hesitate to contact Rita to learn more.

 Life is not merely living, but living in wellness.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Dandruff? Are you sure??

Tonight I received the best hair cut I have ever had in my life from Wendy Cupp in Waunakee. Not only is she a fellow AB consultant, but a very skilled and knowledgeable hair stylist. I knew, when making an appointment with her, that it would be an educational experience...and I was so right!
Of course we had a discussion about products. I asked her what products she was working into her salon business. I love the AB hair masque, and use it as directions state by putting it on my damp hair while in the shower, let it be for five minutes before rinsing it out. From Wendy I learned that if you put a little of the SeaSource Detox 5in1 Massage oil with the hair masque, apply to slightly damp, clean hair, and wrap your head in saran wrap or plastic grocery bag, with a towel wrap on top of that to create will receive an amazing spa experience for your hair. For anyone experiencing dry scalp - this ultra hydrating/moisturizing treatment will do wonders for dry, itchy scalp, which is often more predominant as we get into the cold winter months.
I shared how my husband had run out of his dandruff shampoo a few months ago, which he has been using since the day we met. Not having any shampoo, he started using the FC5 Moisturizing Shampoo by Arbonne. A few weeks later, he casually asked me if he should let me know when we get low on shampoo so I can reorder. (We've been using the same one bottle of shampoo in our home since end of March...and today, Dec. 6th, we finally started a new one. A little goes a LONG way!) I assured him I already had a new bottle on standby, but why was he asking. I was not aware he had switched over, and he made a casual remark about guessing that he had outgrown the dandruff as he doesn't have it anymore. A light bulb went off in my head... I had long suspected that dandruff shampoos could be drying, and perhaps all he really needed was a better, moisturizing shampoo. Here we have been married 21 years and for the first time in that period my husband no longer has flaky scalp, thanks to FC5 shampoo.
After sharing this story to Wendy, she explained true dandruff, which is a combination of oily hair combined with large, flaky patches of dry skin - the scabs from the patches flake off. Really severe cases are known as "scalp psoraisis". It is these types of cases where Arbonne's Tea Tree Oil Shampoo can benefit someone with severe dandruff. All dandruff shampoos are drying as they are meant to address the problems of the excess oil produced by the sebaceous glands.

If you see a few white flakes of skin on your black sweater, you likely suffer from dry scalp, not dandruff.  Many shampoos have irritants that cause dry scalp. One common ingredient is Sodium Laureth Sulphate...the chemical that makes your shampoo lather up.
Here is an excerpt from another site I found on scalp afflictions:
"What you must know is that several chemicals, especially SLS, strip the natural oils from the skin and even corrode it, along with your eye membranes. Have you also noticed that your hair has been thinning? Well hair follicle damage is another little known but very common symptom of exposure to these chemicals."

If you notice a little dusting of white flakes, or experience a bit of itch, common around the forehead - consider switching to a good quality, chemical-free shampoo like Arbonne's FC5 shampoo and conditioner. My entire family is able to use it, which means we have a lot less clutter in our shower compared to a typical family of four. We have all hair types, and it is even safe for color-treated hair. My hair is very healthy - I love the results with both the shampoo and conditioner.

As we start our new bottle of shampoo, my entire family will be using it day in and day out. I project that one bottle will last the four of us 6 months...not bad for $14 less discount. Let me know if you would like a sample.

Purely living,