Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Colon Cancer Prevention - Part 2

Yesterday I started a post about colon cancer, and included what studies have found to be causes of the “silent killer”. It is the second most deadly cancer, and my goal today is to help give you ideas on how you might prevent colon cancer through some lifestyle changes. We never appreciate our health until it is gone, so take the information below to heart, and put some thought and reflection into your current lifestyle – are you living to live well?

I utilized a number of sources in pulling together these suggestions – some of it may be old news, some may be new. Here’s to regularity:
1. Fiber Intake  It’s no secret that the American diet lacks fiber. How many of us consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, as recommended? One serving equals one cup of fresh fruit, or a tennis ball sized piece of fresh fruit, or ¼ c. of dried fruit. Blaylock recommends blenderizing your vegetables. I have found that I can toss frozen cauliflower, broccoli or fresh kale and spinach into my vanilla protein shake, with strawberries, and not even taste the “greenies”.

It is recommended to consume 25-35 grams of fiber per day. One source states women can consume on the low end, and men should be on the high end of that figure. I add 12 grams of soluable Fiber Boost to my protein shake each morning, and actually, since I started putting this article together a few weeks ago I am adding in a bit more. Blaylock does state that all fiber supplements are not necessarily beneficial, and one should look for “resistant starches”. He recommends fiber sources from apple, citrus and lentil peas. Apparently, the pectin from these sources and other fruits, when fermented in the colon produce butyrate, which is vital to the health of the cells lining the colon.

2. Probiotics/Prebiotics/Enzymes A number of studies indicate the importance of healthy gut flora in reducing the risk of colon cancer. Unfortunately, when we take anti-biotics we are killing off our good gut flora as well as the bad. Since our body does not replace probiotics we need to supplement to do so, and find a source that includes a robust strain with prebiotics so it can actually pass through the stomach wall and get into the intestines to do its job. In addition to probiotics and prebiotics, digestive enzymes diminish as we age, and it is important to replace them. A lack of enzymes results in esophageal reflux, and an excess of undigested food in the colon, which increases colon cancer risk.

3. Omega 3s – studies have shown that a high intake of Omega 3 fats substantially lowers colon cancer risk. The type of fats we consume have a great impact on our chances of developing cancer. Blaylock’s report states that studies have shown that omega-6 fats (corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower, peanut, and canola oils) dramatically increase the risk of colon cancer, and turn existing cancer cells into very aggressive, metastasizing cancers. Blaylock goes on to state that this is evident in all cancers. Americans consume 50% more Omega 6 than are needed for good health. (Considering that almost all processed foods contain Omega 6 this should not come as a surprise, should it?) I have done some research on the vegan (non-animal) Omega 3 oils in the supplement that I take: flax seed oil, chia seed oil and more...the more I learned about chia seed and its benefits the more impressed I became. What I do know for certain is our Omega 3s helped my husband get off his statin drugs and our joints feel better as well. Omega 3s are necessary for heart, brain, joint health, as well as cancer prevention. It is the single most important supplement you can take in addition to a QUALITY multi-vitamins. (one a day types don't cut it folks!)

4. MODERATE Exercise – walking weight resistance training, raking the leaves and mowing the lawn are all good forms of exercise. Highly aerobic exercise, per doctors Lee and Blaylock, increase the free radicals and peroxidation in your body, and neither doctor recommends it. Aerobic activity increases prolonged increases in metabolism – a process which is a major source of these harmful chemicals. Lee had discussed this in further detail in his book about breast cancer, stating that cancer survivors who compete in triathalons and climb mountains are doing themselves more harm than good.

5. Diet – Avoid processed foods. Learn to read labels – which scream “Good Source of Fiber” only to be laden with refined carbohyrdrates and fats, which are highly inflammatory.  High fructose corn syrup and MSG abounds in processed foods...contributors to cancer and brain and heart related diseases.
Avoid most vegetable oils – known as omega 6 (N-6). These include corn, safflower, soybean, sunflower, peanut and canola. While Omega 6 are needed for health, most people consume 50x more than as needed (common ingredient in processed foods). Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Coconut Oil should be the oils of choice in the “cancer prevention focused kitchen”. If you cook with EVOO sprinkle turmeric and other spices in the oil, and it prevents oxidation. (I like that last tip!)

Avoid these fish – no matter what due to heavy contamination: shark, swordfish, tilefish, and large tuna.

Red meat in moderation – The biggest issue with red meat is the high iron content, which Blaylock labels “a cancer fertilizer”. Iron dramatically increases free radical generation which fuels cancer growth. Note that it is important to avoid supplements with IRON, as we Americans usually don’t have trouble getting enough iron in our diet, but we often have too much. Dr. Graham Colditz of the Washington University School of Medicine, as well as other experts, state to limit red meat to no more than 3, 3 oz. servings per week. So if you go out to dinner on Saturday night and have a 10 oz. sirloin - you have had your week’s consumption of red meat!

6. Metal toxicity – fluoride, aluminum and mercury are three metals that promote cancer, and Dr. Blaylock states they are very toxic to cells, especially brain cells. Black tea, soy milk, processed meats and processed cheese are high sources of aluminum and fluoride in foods. Mercury comes from fish, dental amalgram, and vaccines. I think we’d be surprised to learn of all things we absorb trace metals from, and it is impossible to avoid it 100%. Keep in mind that although the FDA stamps its approval on many things, and manufacturers will state that amounts are too small to be harmful, trace metals in particular are fat soluable. Basically, these toxins build up as they store inside our bodies. For this reason, I really do believe it is beneficial to detoxify at least once every 3 mo. I use SeaSource 7 Day detox which cleanses and removes trace metals from my essential organs, and is gentle as well. If I had cancer, I would be detoxing every month, especially because of the effects of traditional cancer treatment.
For a healthful life it would seem all of the recommendations above would be beneficial life practices to incorporate for a lifestyle of wellness.
To your health!
Rita S.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Colon Cancer Prevention – Part 1

Colon cancer makes me nervous…not only is it coined “the silent killer”, but according to the American Cancer Society it is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. (Moving up from third place in 2007.) Some of my family members have had concerns which keeps this cancer gnawing at the back of my mind. I have been reading quite a bit about this particular cancer, and am taking the stance of prevention for myself.

Dr. Robert Russell of Tufts University School of Medicine states that one half the risk of colon cancer is diet related. Changing one’s diet can significantly reduce the risk. I thought I would share some of the steps I have learned one can take to hopefully avoid Colon Cancer. By the time I finished reading from my various sources, this blog post became so long that I feel I must break it up in to two parts.

So first, some thoughts on causes….

Hormones? In many cases, colon cancer arises from what is known as a polyp, a growth in the colon. I have suspected for a year now that colon cancer could be related to hormones. Afterall, if excess estrogen causes cysts in the ovaries, fibroids in the breast, and enlarged prostrate – all forms of excess cell growth, it makes sense to me that excess estrogen also causes the growth of a polyp. I am still researching this and finding some who substantiate these thoughts, but not finding enough affirmation to say “it is so”. Still, I think it is worth mentioning, because let’s face it…we don’t want those other forms of cancers either, do we? I am a believer in the benefits of using a bio-identical progesterone cream that counters excess estrogen in the body.
UPDATE NOTE OCT. 2011 - In reading Dr. Michael Platt's book - The Miracle of Bio-Identical Hormones, he also concurs and adds colon cancer to the list of cancers in which too much of the estrogen hormone and too little progesterone play a part. I have increased my Prolief progesterone cream usage upon hearing this.
Inflammatory Diet: Dr. Russell Blaylock states, “As with all cancers, chronic inflammation and free radical generation are the ultimate causes.” Those with inflammatory bowel conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease,and Type 2 Diabetes, the latter of which results in high levels of free radicals in the body, have high association with colon cancer risk.”

Lack of Sunshine? Studies show that those who live in the northeastern portion of the U.S. have higher incidence than those who live in the south. Why is this? Vitamin D3 deficiency. Studies show that vitamin D3 inhibits many types of cancer, including colorectal cancers. How do you get your D3 – spend 15 min. a day out in the sun without sunscreen! Tanning bed users beware…it is not the same thing!

Calcium deficiency is another mineral shown to dramatically reduce colon cancer. However, per Dr. Blaylock, don’t replace your water intake with milk (which substantially increases the risk of prostrate cancer, and even heart attacks). The almond milk I drink every morning in my yellow pea, brown rice and cranberry based protein drink contains 45% of the daily recommended allowance for calcium, as compared to 30% for skim milk. Also, a calcium supplement (look for calcium citrate for absorbability) that also contains Vitamin D and Magnesium necessary for the body to utilize the calcium, would be supportive in colon cancer prevention. I was in Costco and noted the highly marketable chocolate chew form of a calcium supplement (geared towards women of course, who usually take a calcium supplement when older) and I noticed that the product did not contain magnesium. So yes, it may taste good, but your body would not be able to make use of the calcium without magnesium present. Most Americans also have a magnesium deficiency, which is a greater problem than we realize.
I have a Calcium Plus product that contains all of these nutrients, and the ORAC value is 10,000! (Which means the actual absorption of the product is phenomenal!
Okay, so now we know we need some sunshine, avoid inflammatory foods (wheat, gluten, and dairy are especially inflammatory), eat vegetables rich in calcium, or supplement, and strive to balance our hormones, either with diet or utilizing bio-identical supplementation (which is not the same as HRT by any means! If you have been reading this blog a while you are aware, and if not, check the topic cloud at the upper right to learn more.) What else can we do to help thwart the “silent killer”? Check the next post for some specifics on prevention.
To your health,
Rita S.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More Benefits of Green Tea

I have shared previously benefits of green tea – you can find those when you search for green tea within my blog. Today may be a partial recap, but Dr. Andrew Weil’s e-news of the day shares five reasons why green tea is his beverage of choice. I thought I would pass along his words of wisdom:
1. Lower cholesterol levels and rates of heart disease.
2. Helps protect against bacterial infections
3. Promotes joint health and stronger bones.
4. Reduces inflammation.
5. Enhances the effects of antibiotics, even against drug-resistant bacteria and super bugs.
Green tea is a potent source of catechins – antioxidants that inhibit cancer cell activity and help boost immunity.
The most common objection I hear about green tea is “I don’t like the taste.” I have to admit, years ago that was my objection as well. When I first tried the Essentials herbal detox tea with milk thistle for liver support, I wasn’t grooving on it right away – because let’s face it, green tea is a far cry from chocolate macadamia nut coffee! But as I sipped the tea I began to enjoy the flavor. Mentally, if you KNOW what you are drinking is going to provide amazing health benefits inside your body, the taste becomes pleasurable. Dear readers, I have said this before and I will repeat myself – our bodies are wired to eating garbage. Mine had been programmed for years to eat the processed, unhealthy choices I was making – I had formed brain triggers to crave these unhealthy foods!
Once you make the decision to eat healthier it has to become a mindset. You don’t try something once, and go “yuck” and quit. LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE! What is going to happen to your body if you continue to drink a diet soda (or more than one) every day? Have you seen that list of aspartame effects I posted a few weeks ago – holy cow! Drinking poison would at least be a quicker and perhaps less painful death!
Where are you headed in your health journey? I see the big picture, do you? Doctor up your tea if you must. I recommend agave nectar over honey for the lower glycemic index, or Stevia - a natural sweetener often found in individual packets. Do not use artificial sweeteners! Freshly squeezed lemon might also make a nice addition to your green tea- don't use the processed stuff in a bottle.
Dr. Russell Blaylock states in his August newsletter, and I firmly believe this is true: “…when God made man, he made plants for use as man’s medicines. When we look closely at how these incredible plant extracts can work on a molecular level, it becomes obvious they were created to work with our cells and tissues, both to protect us and to cure many of our diseases. Evolution simply cannot explain the relationship between man and his environment.”A few weeks ago I saw a video as a part of the Truth Project –Science part 2. There was a powerful computerized animation of how our body is made – DNA, cell structure, molecules – transporters, messengers, connectors – we are truly miraculously made, and not a random creation out of chaos. God created man along with plants and animals, not skyscrapers and pollution. He provided everything we needed to live a life filled with pure, safe and beneficial goodness. As hard as it may seem in this modern day of living, I think it is worthwhile to try and reclaim as much of what God had intended as we possibly can.

To your health!
Rita S.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mark's Daily Apple on Oils

Happy Sunday to everyone. We enjoyed a message filled with love this morning - specifically, God's love for us. We don't have to do anything to earn it. It's absolutely free. I was moved to remember the day our son was born. If you have been there - you know you'd do anything for that baby, including give of your life. That's what God did for us when He sent His son Jesus, to die for our sins. His love is amazing - I hope you know HE is always there for you, even as you may struggle to walk on a journey to regain your health.
Our body's are a temple for the Spirit - and we need to take care of the incredible piece of "machinery" that we are. Like any machine, we need a good oil to keep our parts working prime - such as Omega 3s.
I absolutely love the vegan based Omega 3 I incorporate - it is not only good for my heart, but vital for brain function, clarity, full of anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory for joints, and more. Next to my multi-vitamin, which has an ORAC value of 10,000!! my Omega 3s are an all important part of my regimen.
What about oils? There is much to know. Omega 3s, Omega 6s, Omega 9s - which do we want to consume? All are needed for the machinery inside us to operate efficiently, however, our food industry as a whole has us oversatiated with Omega 6 and 9s. We can thank processed foods for that.
Per Dr. Andrew Weil, our diets completely lack in Omega 3s. Omega-3s are necessary for optimal physical and mental health. Research indicates that the omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish may help reduce the risk and symptoms of a variety of disorders, and can lower triglyceride levels, increase HDL cholesterol, help minimize inflammation and inappropriate blood clotting, and keep blood vessels healthy.
The best sources are wild-caught Alaskan salmon, canned sockeye salmon, sardines, herring and black cod. I recommend two to six servings per week of fish that are high in omega-3s as part of my anti-inflammatory diet.
Per Weil, 3 types of fish to AVOID: large predatory fish - shark, swordfish, white albacore tuna may have high levels of mercury; tilapia - an omega 6 fish vs omega 3, which is an inflammatory oil; farmed salmon (aka Atlantic Salmon).

I admit I am concerned about the quality of ocean life - for Omega 3s to be truly safe of trace metals, mercury, etc. the oil must be highly processed. Which is why I choose vegan for my supplements.
What about use of oils in the kitchen for cooking? If you have not yet subscribed to Mark's Daily Apple blog I highly recommend it. The blog focuses on Primal living and you can get some great recipe ideas. In general, I have agreed with much of what is said regarding food choices. In the post linked here, oils are discussed for cooking in the kitchen, with a high smoke point. There is a lot fo hoopla out there to make you think an oil is really healthy for you and the best for cooking, but keep in mind that if there is a lot of hype, there is more than meets the eye, or the ear in case of what you are told.
I am in complete agreement with Mark's Daily Apple on this discussion of oil choices - check it out here. Remember, we already consume too much Omega 6 in our diets, and not enough Omega 3s.
I admit, I am still amazed by how many HEALTHY EATING cookbooks are still using canola oil. As always, do your own diligence and choose the best option for your individual healthful needs.

To your health!
Rita S.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Purpose Driven Life

This morning as I read scripture from 1 Peter I had a realization. Verses from chapter 5:1-3 read: "Be shepherd's of God's flock that is under your care, watching over them - not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve."
Servitude ...that is truly what my business comes down to. People say to me, "I could never sell." And I think, "well gosh, neither can I!" I have this horrible fear of rejection deep inside. I am sure you can all relate to the fear of rejection, whether it be rejected love, job search rejection, peer rejection...sometimes rejection can consume us.
But there is another entity that can consume us in a powerful way, and that is PASSION and PURPOSE. For most of my life I felt I was searching for this, indeed - I had felt something was "missing". A little more than a year ago a friend offered me the gift of Arbonne. I had no idea what it truly was, and just thought it a great product to get rid of skin tags. But at the same time, a dear friend was dying of prostrate cancer, and both had a commonality - "hormone imbalance". God opened my eyes so I could make the connection.
Knowledge can be powerful...and I set out to learn. I consumed books about hormone imbalance, health and well-being, toxins, physiology - all this "stuff"! What is surprising is that it sinks in to my head, and what's more - it stays there, which is mind-boggling in that I'm pushing 50, and absorbing all this new material as if I were 20 gain. I was never the biology brain in high school, and am certain God has His hand working on my behalf.
God made each of us through divine creation, with machinery inside that is so intricate and connected that it would blow our minds if we truly understood. The miracle that we are was not designed to run on toxic fuel, but on pure and good things from the earth that our Creator has provided. We are humans - we mess things up! In the name of "progress" we are messed up! We make choices, not that different from the "poisonous apple" in the center of the Garden.
It is amazing how God puts people in my path that tell me of their symptoms, or that of a parent, or grandparent. (My husband finds that amazing as well!) My fear tells me to offer sympathy and understanding, and zip my lip. I have to muster my passion to tell them what I have learned that can actually help them, or their loved one, possibly improve their well-being and feel better.
I strongly feel my Purpose is to educate and suggest products and books that can help people feel take control of their health (check the sidebar on the right for helpful links)...the products do not have to come from my company. I can teach people how to shop, and research ingredient labels to watch for the hidden dangers. Some prefer the convenience that my company has done the research for the past 32 years, and I have double checked their work. (LOL) Others become confident in their own ability to read labels - which means I have educated well!
I can only discern that I have, at last, found my life's purpose - to educate and help and serve so that other's do not have to experience what my dearest friend's family went through with cancer. I am not in the business to convince people and sell them on product, but to inform and let them make their own decisions. What it comes down to is that it is not about me, but about them.
Everyone has a RIGHT to go through life feeling great... without prescription drugs and having their insides yanked out. I feel God has taken me on a journey. One that has allowed me to completey turn the clock back and regain my health, and in turn I can teach, help others prevent from going where I was headed, and live life fully as God intended.

To your health, your own journey, and your purpose - God speed!
Rita S.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Choosing a Progesterone Cream

It’s a well-known fact that the quality of products vary in as much as no one person is exactly alike. The less expensive a product is, the more likely it is to have filler ingredients that are cheap for the manufacturer to use, and subsequently provides a sub-par product. Regulations vary …from country to country and continent to continent, with the U.S. being the most lenient when it comes to monitoring products we use every day. The hygiene products you find in stores may abound with formaldehyde producing preservatives, parabens, carncinogens, and xenoestrogenic petro-chemicals.
That being said, today I thought I would share a few tips about what to look for in a progesterone cream. Most likely this “happy hormone” cream can be purchased at your local drugstore. It may not be regulated, and indeed, it could contain ingredients that would actually prohibit the benefits of bio-identical progesterone from the desired effects.
The resources for today’s info comes from a presentation provided to me by an area doctor, Stacey Bean, and from a new e-book I have which is titled “Progesterone & Pregnancy”, written by Catherine P. Rollins of the (This site is a great resource for traditional doctors wanting to learn more about natural approaches for their patients.) For anyone desiring to start a family, I highly recommend this book which sells for less than $10. It is an invaluable source for information on how to have a healthy pregnancy, which starts long before conception. You owe it to yourself and your future baby to have a most pleasant pregnancy and your baby will benefit from healthful steps you have taken prior to God working the miracle inside you. (Consider the price of two lattes and you have just afforded this e-book!) Back to progesterone shopping tips….
  • Creams made in the U.S. should contain micronized progesterone that meets USP (United States Pharmacopiea) standards. (or BP – British Pharmacopoeia if you live in Britain). If not USP, or BP, certified – it would be wise to question the quality.
  • The USP is a standards-setting organization that advances public health by ensuring the quality and consistency of its medicines, and its logo will be found on certified product packaging.
  • Micronization mills the progesterone to a particular size. Basically the smaller the particle size the more absorbent the progesterone is in order to pass through the intercellular spaces of the skin’s strateum corneum (the physical lipid barrier to prevent substances/chemicals from entering the body).
  • The cream itself, that is used as a “carrier” for the progesterone, has to be one formulated for maximum absorbency. Creams containing mineral oil (paraffin) will NOT deliver progesterone to the body because the progesterone is more soluable in the mineral oil and will not penetrate the skin.
  •  For the same reason, creams should contain NO animal products or by-products  (an example would be lanolin derived from sheep), or any petro-chemical based ingredients.
  • Parabens should be avoided as a 2004 study suggests paraben exposure may have negative health effects.
  • Avoid Wild Yam Extract creams. This is not the same as progesterone and can potentially have an estrogenic effect on the body. There is also no proof that the body can convert wild yam diosgenin into progesterone on its own.
  • A container of cream should contain 450-500 mg of progesterone per ounce (28 grams).
  • Percentage of progesterone cream determines how much is administered, i.e. 2% = 20 mg./1 gram; 4% = 40 mg./1 gram, etc.
  • Look for creams that provide their own dispensing systems, as teaspoons vary from kitchen to kitchen and it is best to dose in grams or ounces. Most cream distributors provide their own measuring dispenser, eliminating guesswork.
My personal choice is USP certified Prolief, which administers the cream via a pre-metered pump, and delivers 2%, or 20 mg. per application. I find the pump extremely convenient and quick to use, so no matter how rushed I am in the morning, or how tired I may be at bedtime, it is simple to use. Another benefit to a sealed bottle with an airtight seal is that the progesterone itself maintains potency, and the cream does not oxidize.

If having a cream made at a compounding pharmacy, I would recommend an assurance that the cream does not contain trace heavy metals. One friend of mine used a cream from a compounding pharmacy, and one of her doctors traced some of her issues to metal toxin traces from the bio-identical progesterone cream she was taking. This is why it is so important to do your own due diligence and obtain a potentially life-changing, life-saving cream from a reliable and trusted source.

To your health, and may your life become more balanced!
Rita S.