Sunday, August 3, 2014

What is the Ketogenic Diet & Where Do I Begin?



The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies
Cancer is an obligate glucose metabolizer. Your normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies. Cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility, so when you eliminate carbs, which turn into sugar, you effectively starve the cancer!

The Ketogenic diet has not only been proven effective for cancer, but also for epilepsy, inflammatory disease, infertility, enhanced athletic performance, weight loss, autism, diabetes and heart disease. This diet was designed in 1924 by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic. Despite being highly effective in treating disease, it fell out of fashion due to the surge in pharmecuticals in the 1940s. Since then, numerous studies have been done by different physicians and scientists, such as Dr. Otto Warburg, Dr. Thomas Seyfried and Dr. Domininc D'Agostino, proving the powerful healing ability of Ketosis.
Dr. Otto Warbug won the Nobel Prize in 1931 for his research on cancer. He discovered that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells, cancer cells tend to feed on sugar. More recently, Dr. Thomas Seyfried, has confirmed and proven Dr. Warbug's findings, through his tireless research.
“When we’re dealing with glucose and [cancer] management, we know from a large number of studies that if respiration of the tumor is ineffective, in order to survive, the cells must use an alternative source of energy, which is fermentation. We know that glucose is the primary fuel for fermentation. Fermentation becomes a primary energy-generating process in the tumor cell. By targeting the fuel for that process, we then have the capability of potentially managing the disease.”
Dr.Seyfried’s work confirms that sugar (glucose) is the primary fuel for cancer cells, thus removing glucose from the diet and providing an alternate fuel, such as fat, you can dramatically reduce the rate of growth of cancer. So why can our healthy cells survive on fat alone, but cancer cells cannot? Here is a  great explanation by Dr. Dominic D’Agostino, PhD
"Your normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies (fat metabolized). But cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility. So we can exploit that.” Cancers cells have a “fatal flaw.” 
They do not have the metabolic flexibility that your regular cells do, which means that they cannot adapt to using fat for fuel. Halle-freaking-luiah!  If cancer cells need glucose to thrive, and carbohydrates turn into glucose in your body, then cutting out carbs literally starves the cancer cells and you turn your body into a “fat burning machine.” So lets simplify this; limiting our intake of carbohydrates to non-starchy vegetables and very minimal fruit, increasing our intake of healthy fats, such as organic, pastured meats, pastured eggs, raw dairy products and tropical plants (avocado, coconut, palm oil), then we begin to transition our body into a state of Ketosis, right? Right!
Depending on what type of disease or health challenge you are trying to heal, is what determines how strictly you need to implement the diet. For those with cancer, epilepsy or autism for example, it is very important to drastically reduce the blood glucose level in the body, therefore following a strict protocol of Fat: 90%, protein: 7% and carbohydrates 3%, is effective. You can manage this through measuring your food using this scale. For those who are wanting to loose weight, get pregnant, enhance their physical performance, reverse diabetes or an autoimmune disease, you can be a bit more liberal with your protocol. I would still recommend eliminating most carbohydrates, all grains and sugar (wheat, rice, oats, corn, potatoes, rye, bulgur, etc.) with the exception of vegetables and minimal fruit. It is important to work with a trained health practitioner when implementing a new dietary protocol. 


Below is an example of a day following a nutrient dense, ketogenic diet:

Breakfast: Organic eggs cooked in organic raw butter, pastured bacon and a forkful of homemade sauerkraut or cooked spinach.


Lunch: Wild salmon, roasted with butter and lemon, small salad with pine nuts, avocado, raw cheese and olive oil and; balsamic

Snack: Coconut cream smoothie: 1/2 cup berries, 1 cup full fat coconut cream/milk, 2 TBL coconut oil, 2 TBL nut butter, 3 drops of pure liquid stevia.

Dinner: Taco Bowl: grassfed ground beef cooked in butter, *soaked black beans cooked in homemade broth, organic cream fraiche or sour cream, raw cheddar cheese, avocado, onions and tomatoes chopped.

Dessert: Spoonful of coconut butter (this stuff tastes amazing by the way, and very effective for satisfying sweet cravings and controlling blood sugar spikes)!

DON'T GET OVERWHELMED! Start simple- for example, eliminate all grains and sugars for 1 meal a day for an entire week. Then, the following week, eliminate all grains and sugars for 2 meals a day for 2 weeks. Do the best you can with what you have! 

*Soaked Black Beans: 2 cups black beans, warm filtered water, 2 TBL whey or lemon juice, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 quart of broth, sea salt and pepper. Soak the beans 12-24 hours in water and whey, then drain and rinse. Add the beans to a pot filled with broth, garlic, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Skim the top and reduce to simmer for 6-8 hours. Soaking the beans increases the nutrient density and digestibility of this food. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

EAT YOUR SUNSCREEN!


Okay so please don’t open your bottle of Banana Boat and start sucking it down! In this post we are going to discuss the dangers of sunscreen, the importance of sun and the best ways to protect your skin from a burn. If you know me, you know I have one brown skinned child and one very pale, fair skinned child. I follow the same rule for both-NO SUNSCREEN. Why? Well I am a Vitamin D connoisseur, I love Vitamin D and the best and most economical way to get it is from the sun.
First let me explain that our skin absorbs every toxin we put on it, and it goes directly into our blood stream.  In fact, our body absorbs toxins through our skin, quicker than when we ingest toxins through our food/beverages. Most sunscreens on the market are extremely toxic and far from protective. Did you know that UVA rays are what cause cancer and 95% of sunscreens don’t filter UVA!? UVB is what allows our bodies to make Vitamin D, and ironically the over the counter sunscreens do filter UVB.  Wearing any sunscreen blocks the body’s ability to produce Vitamin D, which is vital for hundreds of reactions in the body including the protection against cancer.

So here is the deal, sunburn is a type of inflammation, and diet has a tremendous impact on inflammation in the body. As such, addressing diet is much more important that just slathering on the sunscreen. Additionally dietary improvements can improve other areas of health as well.  So what can you eat to prevent sunburn?  

Lets look 2 types of foods to prevent sunburn:
#1: Omega 3 Fatty Acids: grass fed meat, wild caught fish, free range chicken, organic pastured eggs. Omega 3 fats prevent inflammation which can cause sunburn. Omega 3 fatty acids also help with redness from sunburn as well as the aging effects of sun. When we are going to be out in the sun for an extended period of time, we double up on our dose of fermented cod liver oil as an anti-inflammatory boost! We take fermented cod liver oil everyday as a part of our routine. Taking it regularly is most effective in protecting against sunburns and any inflammatory disease.



#2 Phyto-Nutrients which are antioxidants: most any type of brightly colored fruits and veggies. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, kiwi, mangoes, beets, red peppers, kale, tomatoes, sweet potatoes. Lets look at the top 3 phyto nutrients…

Lutein, a phyto-nutrient found in deep green and orange fruits and vegetables, protects skin from UV (sun) damage, and also boosts hydration, skin elasticity, and superficial lipids. Kale, spinach, chard, carrots, orange peppers, pumpkin, and other squashes are all good examples of places to find lutein.

Beta-carotene, along with other carotenoids, accumulate in the skin and provide 24-hour protection against sun damage. These carotenoids are also important for vision, immune function, and bone health. They are found in yellow and orange fruits, and dark, leafy greens: squash, sweet potato, carrots, apricots, cantaloupe, spinach, kale, etc.

Lycopenes enhance the use of stored vitamin D and protect the skin from sun damage. Lycopenes are found in red fruits, such as tomatoes, papayas, and watermelon.

The best news is that all of these wonderful foods are immune-boosters, filled with important anti-oxidants and much-needed fiber, and just plain good for you. And, of course, they’re delicious, so you can’t go wrong by including a few servings in your diet every day.

Lets look at 2 types of foods which lead to inflammation, increasing your risk of sunburn:





Excess glucose leads to inflammation. What is glucose you ask? Carbohydrates and sugar turn into glucose in our system. Now don't get me wrong, glucose is very necessary for good health, but not in the quantities that the 'Standard American Diet' promotes.  We should get the majority of our glucose from fresh vegetables and fruits and some properly prepared grains. Grains and sugar are the leading culprits to excess glucose. Look at the above pictures-these are the most commonly consumed meals for most American's-in fact the recommended breakfast by our American Dietetics Association is cereal, toast and orange juice. Other than the very small piece of butter on the toast, that breakfast IS ALL GLUCOSE aka SUGAR which=INFLAMMATION.

We don't wear sunscreen, unless we are out in the direct sunlight for more than 1 hour,  and we don't get sunburns, but that is because first and foremost we follow a very anti-inflammatory diet devoid of excess glucose. However, unless you choose to 'Eat your Sunscreen' you will likely continue to experience sunburns. So rather than taking a dangerous 'band aid' approach, by slathering your kids up in toxins, be preventive, change your diet and soak up that vitamin D! 

Now, if you still feel the need to have sunscreen on hand, here are a few rules to live by: the best sunscreen is a hat and shirt. Cotton clothing provides SPF 15 protection. Use titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which are very natural minerals that just create a physical barrier between your skin and sun. There are a few brands of healthy sunscreen options on the market, devoid of toxins: 

HELICHRYSUM: Click Here


COCONUT OIL:  Click Here(coconut oil can be used as light protection as it is naturally about an SPF 5)

BADGER Sunblock:  Click Here

CALIFORNIA BABY Sunblock: Click Here

ALL TERRAIN Sunblock: Click Here

What to avoid in a sunscreen:
Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate): The sunscreen industry uses vitamin A in its formulations because it is an anti-oxidant that is thought to slow skin aging. However, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) study found that a form of vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, when used in sunscreen and therefore exposed to sunlight may actually speed the development of skin lesions and tumors.
Oxybenzone: Sixty-five percent of non mineral sunscreens on the U.S. market contain oxybenzone. This chemical penetrates your skin in large amounts, potentially triggering allergic reactions. Oxybenzone is also a potential endocrine-disrupting chemical that can cause hormone disruption and cell damage.

Happy 'pinking,' soak up that vitamin D baby!


For more information please check out Dr. Mercola’s site.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Protein Pizza!

This is a very quick and easy homemade pizza recipe. There are two great things about this recipe other than the INCREDIBLE taste:
1) It is nutrient dense, full of healthy protein and fat and devoid of grains and sugar
2) It takes 20 minutes to make (not including the baking time) and any busy momma or full time working super woman has the time to do it! 

This recipe will make 2 medium sized pizzas!



Almond Flour Crust
2 cups blanched almond flour (I prefer Honeyville)
1 tsp. of each: garlic powder, oregano, thyme and herbs de provence
1 tsp. sea salt
2 pastured organic eggs
1 TBL organic cold pressed olive oil
1 cup raw cows milk parmesan (optional)


1) Preheat oven to 350°F
2) In large bowl, mix together flour, herbs, and salt
3) In small bowl, whisk together eggs, cheese and olive oil
4) Add egg mixture to dry ingredients, stir to combine.
5) Collect dough together into a ball.
6) Place a piece of parchment paper on counter and put dough in center. Place another sheet of parchment paper over and roll dough out to desired thickness
7) Remove top sheet of paper and move parchment paper with dough onto a baking sheet
8) Bake crust for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden


                                                                    Sauce: 

1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Hain Safflower as there are no bad oils or hydrogenated oils present)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 TBL freshly chopped garlic
1 tsp dried basil
24 oz of organic tomato sauce (I use Bionature Organic)

1) Combine all ingredients in a blender to combine well and spread with a pastry brush onto the pre-cooked pizza dough.








Toppings:
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 cup of kalamata olives (pitted and sliced in half)
2 cups of fresh spinach
1 lb of crimini mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 cup of fresh basil, finley chopped
1 cup of mozzarella, grated
1 cup of raw cheese, grated

1) Melt 2 TBL organic cultured butter in skillet and add onions
2) Cook onions slowly, stirring occasionally and adding more butter as necessary
3) Add 1 tsp raw honey and continue cooking slowly until brown and caramelized, approximately 15 minutes
4) Sprinkle mozzarella on dough and then add toppings in order desired
5) Top with raw cheddar
6) Put back in oven until cheese is melted about 10 minutes

*For those who have a smoker/grill such as a Traeger, throw the pizza on the Traeger at 400 for 10 minutes and it gives it the most wonderful flavor!

Friday, May 30, 2014

When Medicine is Wrong

I am thankful for our Oncologist, she is kind, communicative and really cares about my son. I am thankful for the research that has gone into childhood cancer treatment, and for the ability to have the option of medicine when it is necessary. I am very thankful for the technology advances in medicine, that played an integral part in diagnosing my son with cancer.  If we had a choice, I am not certain we would have chosen to treat Kicker's cancer with conventional medicine, chemotherapy, etc. However, because we do not have that choice, we are making the most of being in the midst of a very helpful, yet corrupt world of medicine.

The definition of Medicine is “the field of applied science related to the art of healing by diagnosistreatment, and prevention of disease.[1] It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness in human beings.”

Hey-I like that! "the art of healing by diagnosis, treatment and PREVENTION of disease." Watching the hands of a heart surgeon, the intent, focused gaze of a neurologist as he reviews CT scans, the ability to reconstruct limbs, via technology. THAT is art. It is a blessing that we have come so far and have such talented individuals who choose to practice medicine. But when medicine is wrong, our lives are jeopardized and the art of healing is lost. We have become entirely too dependent on medicine to maintain our health. The mentality of 'cut, burn, poison' is widely accepted amongst both physicians and patients. The art of healing by diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease, should primarily look at addressing the underlying cause of the health issue. For example, your gallbladder is acting up? Well, lets just cut it out…you don't need it anyway. WHAT? First of all we DO need that organ to assimilate fat, detox and make babies (God was very intentional in designing our bodies). Lets first attempt to detox the gallbladder and look at a diet and supplemental protocol that will help support healing that organ….ohhhh wait, that won't make any money-diet and supplementation produces zero dollar signs for big pharma and since big pharma funds medical schools (where our physicians get their education) well, addressing the underlying cause of disease just got a whole lot more unlikely.

Priumum non nocere is a Latin phrase that means "first, do no harm." Upon graduation from medical school, the new physicians take an oath, on stage, in front of their peers. It is called the Hippocratic Oath:

HIPPOCRATIC OATH: CLASSICAL VERSION
I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:
To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art—if they desire to learn it—without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else.
I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.
I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.
I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.
Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.
What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about.
If I fulfill this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot.  Translation from the Greek by Ludwig Edelstein. From The Hippocratic Oath: Text, Translation, and Interpretation, by Ludwig Edelstein. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1943.

Interesting eh? First off let me defend physicians by stating that as a culture, we are so unhealthy. We no longer take care of ourselves, therefore we put a huge demand on doctors to make us better-with drugs, surgeries, etc. We absolutely have to take responsibility for the way medicine has changed by putting an end to using it as a ‘band aid’ and instead for only acute situations. It is time that both physicians and patients feel some conviction about addressing the underlying cause of disease. Although I do understand there is reason for physicians to use a knife and occasionally the use of a deadly drug (such as chemotherapy), how much of this oath, is actually upheld today in the practice of medicine? It is almost like we have gone backwards-we FIRST use the knife or FIRST use the deadly drug, and then when NOTHING else works, there is a VERY slim chance that we are forced into looking at the underlying cause of disease through alternative medicine. 

I want to touch on the following statement in the oath: I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment: I have stated before that there has been research done (primarily by Dr. Otto Warburg and most recently Dr. Thomas Seyfried) showing that if you put a patient on a diet that is devoid of any sugar and mostly ketogenic, you can reduce the amount of chemotherapy by upwards of 70%! Yet, you ask most oncologists and they will say, “oh diet has nothing to do with cancer treatment, just let them eat whatever they will eat-a calorie, is a calorie, is a calorie.” Well I beg to differ-lets look at how physicians detect cancer.  A PET scan.  This is the primary tool used in diagnosing cancer.  When you give a PET scan, you inject radio-traced glucose (sugar) into the body and the cancer cells will light up at the uptake of sugar. This is a very effective way of detecting cancer cells, because cancer cells uptake sugar at a rate of 40% more than typical cells. Now, I am sorry, did you say that diet doesn’t affect cancer treatment?!

I will not donate to conventional childhood cancer research, such as American Cancer Society, for example. I encourage all of my friends and family to follow suit. Why? Because those funds go to pharmaceutical companies whom then give a $20,000,000 grant (as an example) to a research group. That pharmaceutical company is not going to be very happy if the research group researches a ‘natural supplement or natural diet’ to cure cancer. They want to see a drug produced that will make them a very large profit.

Do some of those drugs prove effective? Yes, but we have been fighting this cancer war since Nixon declared the official “war on cancer” 40 years ago with the National Cancer Act. And what have we been fighting this war with? Drugs, drugs and more drugs. According to the American Cancer Society, 569,490 people died in the US from cancer in 2010. In 2002, the death toll from cancer was 555,500. The American Cancer Society also declares that , 1 and 2 men and 1 and 3 women will develop cancer in their lifetime. Within 5 years, cancer will be the leading cause of death in America. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that despite the billions of dollars thrown at the cancer industry, we are loosing this war. More people are dying from treatment and not the disease. Daily, pediatric cancer patients are suffering from medicine induced fungal infections, bacterial infections, severely compromised immune systems, organ failure. What good is it if their tumors are shrinking, but their body is too weak to function? I am not asking to completely get rid of medicine, I am asking for a treatment plan designed to heal the body without profit being the priority. I am asking for doctors and patients to consider diet and detox as a foundational part of cancer treatment. We can't play dumb and ignore the evidence that what we are doing is not working. 


Don’t get me wrong-I absolutely believe that childhood cancer research needs more funding. With a dismal 3.8% of all of the funds allocated to cancer research going to pediatrics, we are in desperate need of more funding. HOWEVER, until big pharma puts HEALTH before profit, that funding is going to have to go to private individuals or groups that bust their ass to do their own research for real, healing, less toxic treatments, and hope and pray it is published.  We are praying about starting a non-profit organization where we raise money to allocate scholarships to kids with cancer. Those scholarships will be used towards alternative treatment, supplementation, food, and tools for at home detox.  All of those items are likely outside of someone’s reach because it is not covered by insurance. THAT is the kind of funding we need.  In the meantime, we have to take this responsibility into our own hands. This is why, our family has employed a team of alternative practitioners for Kicker, follow a strict ketogenic diet, practice a very intense regime of detox remedies and immune supplementation-that we have done all the research on.our.own. The irony? Well insurance won’t cover ANY of that because it is considered “preventive.” Wait…wasn’t the definition of medicine “the field of applied science related to the art of healing by diagnosistreatment, and prevention of disease.” This is exactly where medicine goes wrong.