The sun is essential to all of life. I find it interesting that even the sun is now perceived as an enemy. Before the Industrial Revolution, people not a part of the upper class were naturally exposed to the sun throughout their lives. As a result of the Industrial Revolution, we disconnected from nature’s cycles and rhythms. As people began to work through lunch, there was even less of a chance to go outside. Sunlight is essential to our health and well-being. I’d like to add some macrobiotic perspective to sunlight.
There are many ways that the sun is beneficial. For example, the sun rises and evaporates dew which cleans and refreshes all of life; it renews and uplifts the energy both in nature and ourselves. Just from stepping outside on a sunny day, we experience this. There are few dietary sources of vitamin D in a plant-based diet, so our main source of vitamin D is the sun. Vitamin D is essential to our overall health, which includes calcium absorption, nerve and muscle function, reduction of inflammation, and healthy immune response. If we are outside in short sleeves for just 10-20 minutes everyday, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. between the months of May and October, we naturally receive our yearly supply of Vitamin D.
Is the sun the primary cause of skin cancer and melanoma? In my counseling practice, the skin is one of the most important barometers of the condition of someone’s overall health. Specific dietary changes from World War II coincided with a dramatic increase in skin cancers and melanoma, even though people were spending less time in the sun. These changes include the increase in consumption of poultry, tuna and other fatty fish, dairy, eggs, processed sugars (including high fructose corn syrup), tropical and citrus fruits, and poor quality and hydrogenated oils. Dietary changes that damage and weaken the skin in turn change how we are affected by exposure to sunlight. Unhealthy skin is much more easily damaged by exposure to the sun.
The effects of exposure to the sun are very different depending on whether we are in a vertical or horizontal position. A vertical position (standing or sitting upright) activates our metabolism and allows us to use the energy of the sun in the most healthy and beneficial way. When we are in a horizontal position, as in sunbathing, we deactivate our metabolism. Falling asleep in the sun feels similarly to having an overly rich meal. Too much sunbathing is like eating too much rich food. It can also weaken immunity, causing the skin to dry out and age prematurely. Unhealthy skin, and over-exposure to the sun may aid in the development of skin cancer and melanoma.
The skin is very efficient at absorbing anything applied to it, so it is equally important to be aware of the quality of sunscreens and cosmetics. Use high-quality, natural products. If you’re going to be out in the sun for a prolonged period, it is best to wear a hat and cover up. Furthermore, it is best to slowly build up a tolerance to sunlight and reduce the use of sunscreen.
I hope that you enjoy the sunlight this summer, but please use common sense and discretion about how much you sunbathe. In a following entry, I will write about healthy skin, and how to work create it.
Article from the Telegraph UK: “High-Protein Diet ‘as bad for health as smoking'”
To paraphrase T. Colin Campbell, epigenetics controls genetics and food controls epigenetics, or how our genes are turned on or off and express themselves. According to Neal Barnard, M.D. genes are merely a suggestion. This gets to the root of many things, which also offers another powerful testament to ourselves: we are ultimately in control of the switches than can determine health or sickness. This article demonstrates a lot of the confusion created between researchers and doctors within the field of medicine.
A poor diet is more harmful than smoking; more people die of diet-related illness than do from smoking. Everyone now knows that tobacco is highly addictive and has been manufactured to become more addictive overtime, and the same thing can be said for food and food manufacturers. The sad thing is that although health craves health, it works the same way with sickness.
The problem with the article, besides the conflicting reports of analysis between researchers and doctors, was in the conclusion. After all the research about protein, the types of proteins and the types of intakes at different ages within a research population, “British experts agreed that cutting down on red meat had been proven to lower the risk of cancer but said a balanced diet was still the best option,” saying nothing about what constitutes a balanced diet!
Plant-based diets using a variety of cooking methods that include grains, beans and vegetables and other plant-based foods provides the proper balance of minerals, proteins and carbohydrates that we need to operate at optimum health and efficiency. This proper balance of protein within a plant-based diet is suitable for all ages in life, from young to old.
In my last post, I was trying to help others understand about Macrobiotics and disease. The recent news of Angelina Jolie’s preventive double mastectomy concerned me because women look to her and could repeat this procedure. I hope that someday everyone can understand that there is another way to prevent disease, especially breast cancer. I see illness as direction, rather than a static state. Diet and lifestyle lead us towards health or sickness, and as we can see, the modern diet and lifestyle together lead the majority of our population towards sickness. Breast cancer is becoming an epidemic and effecting younger and younger women, and the same is true for diabetes. I believe the answer is our open and flexible approach to Macrobiotics, as a lifestyle, not just a dietary change.
Most people who develop serious illness have already made an attempt to improve their diet and lifestyle, which makes it even more shocking that they end up with disease. I often have the opposite opinion as the mainstream on how behaviors and food contribute to health, and how to prevent problems. Just about all cancer relates to our diet. Cancer may lie in our DNA, but it will not activate or express itself unless we tell it to with our diet and lifestyle. We have the power to increase health IF we know what to do.
Breast cancer is another result of deteriorating health. From my research and experience, I have listed below what factors contribute to illness in the breast.
Irregular menstruation and digestive issues including irregular bowels, indigestion, constipation, and irregular periods. When we have a healthy hormonal balance, we will eliminate effectively through urination and our bowel movements, and women through menstruation. In oriental medicine, our body is seen as complimentary systems. The intestines are complimentary to the lungs (and the breasts). This is the connection between bowel health and breast cancer. Making sure that these two systems eliminate excess promotes a positive direction for breast health.
Emotional and Spiritual Factors:
The heart chakra is our center of emotion. We give and receive feelings from a passionate center in our chest. Too much passion can be dangerous as well as the lack of emotion and the inability to create expression. Both can create stagnation and difficulty connecting to emotions. Many people, especially women, perform their lives under high stress because they do not live a lifestyle that allows for healthy limits of passion. When we operate on stress, we move in the direction of disease, which can manifest in our body as breast cancer. When I think about this spiritually, I think of breast cancer as a disease of excess located in the fourth chakra. Since this is our center of passion, I don’t find it difficult to draw the connection that most of my breast cancer clients tend to over nurture others.
OK- What can we do about it?
Regular meals are crucial to maintain regularity in the body. Try to sit down and eat at regular times. Please stop what you’re doing to allow space for self-reflection. Eating can help us to readjust our minds in the same way that meditation allows us to create space and become more open. Also of immense importance: WALK OUTSIDE. It settles the energy down, balancing both sides of our body, and creating healing vibration through the reproductive and digestive organs. Spiritually, a steady and comfortable walk allows us to eliminate any energy imbalance we harbor inside.
Other tips: Try rolling a ball on the bottom of your foot and walking barefoot through the grass. If you can, take a stroll at the edge of the ocean just where the sand and ocean meet. These habits further allow us to settle our energy down and eliminate what we don’t use.
*Please remember that if you do the right things for health, your body will naturally respond with health. This is where a practical understanding of diet, lifestyle, and health becomes important. Regular meals and walking needs to be an active member is your team of healthcare modalities.
Dr. John McDougall recently posted a blog about Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy. Immediately after reading, I was so inspired to elaborate on some of his ideas. I admire Dr. McDougall because he presents research in understandable terms, but in experience with my clients I have seen that there are other necessary dietary recommendations that he failed to elaborate upon. He is rightfully one of the medical superstars in our popular culture.
I am aligned with him in thinking that although problems such as breast cancer are large and terrifying, and the solution can be far less difficult and far more enjoyable than it seems. My experience, through my business as a healthcare practitioner, is that health is natural. The body wants to be healthy. We need good food, good activity, and a good attitude, but people don’t know what this means. Too much information and too much unqualified instruction exists. I went back and found a testimonial from a client and remembered how much impact concise and correct information can do. After consulting with me about/for her diagnosis of breast cancer, her medical records now conclude she has had an unexplainable disappearance of cancer. This is why Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy concerns me. Woman make these types of decisions to drastically alter their body in order to prevent cancer. But according to the ground breaking research by T. Collin Campbell, there is another option. He proved that nutrition controls the nature of our health.
Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, proves that nutrition controls the way that genes express themselves by demonstrating that diet activates gene markers. In essence, we turn on the cancer genes by eating unhealthful foods. He even discovered an upper limit for animal and dairy protein as well, which is ten percent of the diet. When less than ten percent of the protein in our diet is animal and dairy based, we turn off our cancer genes. The confusion lies in, “What is healthy?” Most people think they are eating well, but they’re not practicing the right behavior to cultivate health.
Some of the foods that most consider harmful, are actually helpful. Traditional soy products such as miso, tofu and tempeh protect against harmful estrogen. Japanese woman have the one of the lowest rates of breast cancer in the world…What do they eat regularly? Tofu and miso soup.
The main culprit that turns on the genes necessary for breast cancer: cow’s dairy. This includes milk, cheese, butter, ice cream and especially yogurt which is so popular theses days. As infants we need our mother’s milk to promote growth, but as adults we’re not trying to grow at a rapid rate. Dairy confuses our system. From your own experience, you can probably relate to how dairy contributes to the severity of skin problems and allergies. When you stop eating dairy within a short time, you feel better.
In macrobiotics, we discuss emotional health as it parallels to nutrition. In my practice, the breast cancer victims have a commonality in that their underlying philosophy is to over nurture others at their own expense. Cancer is a disease of overdevelopment, not deficiency. So, this makes sense that the breast, an organ used for nurturing, would house cancer in over nurturing people. Alarm bells go off in my head when I hear parents say, “I need to do this for my children.” I help them to understand that the most lovable thing they can do it nurture themselves too. I tell them to put on their own oxygen mask FIRST.
People who take the time to nurture themselves through food and lifestyle become happier. I think this is because they experience control over their health.
So here are my suggestions on how gain some control back in preventing and recovering from breast cancer:
- Eat at regular times without skipping meals. Regular meals regulate all the body’s function, including the hormonal system.
- Center your diet on whole grain products, beans, vegetables, soups and other plant based foods. They nourish our body and mind properly on all levels. Humanity evolved through eating grains and plant based foods, why stop now?
- Lastly, eat local foods. Turn off your cancer genes by embracing your natural environment. If you live in a temperate climatic zone, then eat fruits that originate in this zone. For example: apples, peaches, pears, berries and melons.
One sidenote: If you are worried about developing breast cancer, avoid night shades like potatoes and tomatoes because they are highly acidifying. Acid weakens our blood, lymph system, and our ability to absorb nutrients.
Other foods and activity that are particularly helpful:
Eat our two most important grains: brown rice and millet. Try quickly steamed greens like kale, broccoli, and bok choy served with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Eat miso soup every day (even instant miso soup is great if you can’t find real miso easily). And be sure to walk outside. Walking is great for helping the body eradicate upper body complications. All natural and life-related exercise is helpful including gardening, cleaning and yoga. Begin this practice everyday: Rub the wrist, hands and fingers; feet, ankles and toes; face and neck. Use a warm cloth to activate the circulation and improve the movement of lymph. Peripheral stimulation activates lymph, so gently do this on your skin for at least ten minutes a day.
I’ve helped woman gain their health back after breast cancer. If you are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject write
Your Name: Nutrition to Yield breast health.
Please also check out Susan Waxman’s blog for recipes and more information on breast health.
Yet another blog has got my attention. It is amazing how many doctors choose to ignore or disregard current and life-saving research. In this case, the dangers of serious harm caused by early detection for breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.
The end of breast cancer can be in sight with the Strengthening Health Institute taking the lead. It is widely known and accepted that cancer, including breast cancer, is diet related. The combination of diet and varied activity or healthy lifestyle practices is even more powerful. When these factors are combined with an open and positive attitude the results are even better. Give yourself the gift of health and life by attending an Intensive Seminar at the Strengthening Health Institute. Under the direction of Denny and Susan Waxman, you will begin a journey towards health. This is a life-enhancing seminar that will give you the tools and inspiration to create lasting health for you and your family. It is a perfect gift for this time of year.
I just finished reading a blog that was very hard for me to read for so many reasons. It is beyond my belief how many woman suffer from breast cancer with no end in sight. The fact that this situation, despite all of the time and money spent and lives lost, has not improved in 25 years, defies all reason and common sense. My frustration is hard to contain that so few laypeople and medical people alike are willing to look at recent recent research and discoveries that align with our common sense and can reverse this debilitating crisis.
T. Collin Campbell in his groundbreaking book, The China Study, presents his research and discoveries in a clear, readable and concise manner. His research documents every word I say in my book, The Great Life Diet. My book is the practical handbook for applying and implementing Dr. Campbell’s research in your daily life.
According to Dr. Campbell, the consumption of animal and dairy protein are the main cause of our epidemic of degenerative diseases including cancer. His research is compelling. When the combination of animal and dairy protein reaches 10 per cent or more of our diet, cancer genes are turned on. When we decrease the consumption of these foods below 10 percent, these same markers are turned off. Casein, or dairy protein present in cheese, milk and their products is the most harmful. In other words, diet can cause or reverse cancer, all types of cancer, not just breast cancer. The main cause of our epidemic of degenerative diseases is on our dinner plates and most of us just simply choose to ignore this fact. The dietary causes of breast cancer are also within our ability to control.
Health is natural. It is not the result of science or medicine. Health is the natural result of a healthy diet, activity and attitude. A healthy diet is plant based together with good eating habits. Healthy activity means a variety enjoyable and challenging activities. It includes all life related activities, such as walking or carrying things, especially outdoor activities. A healthy attitude is open, curious and full of gratitude.
From the macrobiotic viewpoint, cancer is caused by a chronic imbalance in our diet and activity. Our attitudes and even our view of life affect our daily choices. It is the combination of these factors that can change our direction towards health or sickness. I have used this multifaceted approach of diet, activity and attitude, with my clients over many years with great success.
I think it is time to take a new and open approach to our ever increasing number of health problems. It is time to do the things on a daily basis whether our choice is to include modern medicine or not. A healthier diet and activity together with an open, flexible and appreciative mind will support all areas of our health and life.
It seems common sense to me that food nourishes us on many levels including our mind, and that a healthy body and mind are the prerequisites for developing a strong and effective educational system. There has been a lot in the media recently about how Americans are comparing unfavorably with many other nations in both health and education. There has been a steady decline over the years in these areas. The decline seems to reflect our poor diets and lack of natural outdoor activity. We hear about and can even see the alarming rates of overweight, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. I find our decline painful to watch in so many ways.
Food is energy or spirit. When we eat physical food it breaks down to liquid and then energy. Most of the food we eat goes to nourish our energy on physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual levels, rather than maintenance and repair of our bodies. If this does not make sense to you, try meditating after eating a meal of brown rice, miso soup and sautéed vegetables. Then try the same meditation the next day after eating fried chicken or pizza and a soda. Doesn’t it seem that there would be a difference in these two meditations. Would you even want to or be able to meditate after the fried chicken or pizza meals?
I was a terrible student growing up. I had no interest in school other than recess. I was also a total junk food eater with a steadily declining diet. It was only after I discovered macrobiotics and started to eat a primarily grain, bean and vegetable based diet that I wanted to sit down and read books. As time went on I wanted to know about and study everything! I became a wonderful, self-motivated student on my own. When my body was open to real nourishment, so was my mind. My children are all interested in education, the children of my friends and clients are as well. The common point is healthy foods create a healthy body and mind. Health craves health on every level, diet, activity and education.
The combination of a healthy diet and healthy activity helps us to develop a strong nervous system and a powerful memory that enables us to understand and figure things out. Healthy food gives us this kind of mental clarity. This sounds like a bold statement, however, it is based on my observation of myself, friends and clients over many years. A plant based diet helps us create connections. It naturally encourages us to connect with each other, nature, the environment and most importantly our life dreams.
It is time to realize the connections between body, mind, spirit, society, nature and environment and that the solutions my be right in front of us, on our dinner plates.
I find it interesting that I posted a blog on the wonders of brown rice on February 15 and this Yahoo News story about the dangers of brown rice was published on February 16, 2012. I guess brown rice is in the air and it is my hope that this exposure will lead to many more people cooking and consuming brown rice on a regular basis.
I am not a medical professional or a medical researcher. I am a macrobiotic professional with more than forty years of experience guiding many thousands of my clients on diet and lifestyle to recover and maintain their health. I have observed the power and benefits of the regular consumption of brown rice on the young and old over these forty years. My own children and their children follow these same dietary and lifestyle practices. You can easily observe that each generation following these practices is stronger, brighter, and more vibrant than the one before. This response is based on my personal experience along with my long-time observation and experience with people practicing macrobiotics, and not as a medical professional.
The benefits of proper macrobiotic practice are varied and all-embracing. They include recovery from cancer, allergies, diabetes, high cholesterol, arthritis and weight issues. Many of my clients have also followed my recommendations to successfully overcome infertility, to have healthy pregnancies, and to raise healthy children. Macrobiotic practice can also lead to a more positive attitude towards life in general, better moods, and a renewed or enhanced satisfaction and enjoyment from food.
One of the most common points of macrobiotic practice is the regular or daily consumption of brown rice along with a variety of other grains, grain products, beans and vegetables. Brown rice syrup and other natural sweeteners are also recommended to satisfy sweet cravings. We do not recommend the regular consumption of cereal bars, energy shots or the use of infant formula. On the other hand, we do recommend a mostly plant-based diet based on whole, unrefined, and naturally processed foods. We also encourage people to eat local and seasonal foods when possible.
Most macrobiotic women choose to nurse their children because of the long list of physical, emotional and mental benefits to mother and child. When weaning their babies from breast milk most women tend to move on to homemade grain milk, made from a combination of grains, beans, sesame seeds, and sometimes vegetables. These homemade grain milks are often sweetened to the mild sweetness of breast milk with rice syrup or barley malt. They are used temporarily until the child moves on to more adult consistency foods.
There is a lot of controversy about whether phytic acid is beneficial or harmful in a grain based diet. Phytic acid is found in whole grains, beans, and seeds, including brown rice. Some people think that phytic acid interferes with mineral absorption. I doubt that is true when it is eaten as part of a varied diet together with other mineral sources. I have observed that so many of my clients have increased their bone density from the regular consumption of whole grains, beans, and leafy green vegetables. It may be possible that phytic acid actually gives protection against environmental toxins including heavy metals such as arsenic. It also seems that phytic acid has anti-cancer properties and aids in the regulation of cholesterol and blood sugar.
In order to be careful about arsenic exposure it is best to minimize the consumption of cereal bars, energy shots or the use of infant formula. It is also best to minimize the use of brown rice syrup until we have more information. I will post another blog when I have more information to share. We also recommend using filtered water for both drinking and cooking. The filters we recommend are carbon block water filters that filter out lead, arsenic and other common water contaminates.
I invite everyone and their families to share their personal experiences with the long-time, regular consumption of brown rice together with other whole grains, beans, seeds, and vegetables. Please also share pictures of your children who are born and raised on a varied plant based diet. Let common sense and personal experience prevail to let more and more people know the benefits of this way of eating and living.
I thought that everyone would be interested in this New York Times piece about Kris Carr and the rebuttal that Jeff Silberman wrote.
“Every Cancer Has a Silver Lining”
I was interested to read Mireille Silcoff’s article on Kris Carr in the New York Times magazine (8/14/11) as my wife had recently cured herself of breast cancer through her macrobiotic practice (medically documented) in roughly six months while being counseled by Denny Waxman, one of the foremost authorities on Macrobiotics, who has been counseling people to health for almost 40 years based upon a science that is almost 3,000 years old.
So I found it curious when Ms. Carr said that she “flirted” with Macrobiotics for a year, which by anybody’s standard is a long time to flirt (many people consummate and end relationships in that period of time), and to use the term “freakier” in the same sentence seemed both disingenuous and disrespectful. Rather than giving kudos to an ancient science and those dedicated practitioners who were happy to share this knowledge with her, she invents a “freaky” drink (almond butter, cucumber, romaine, kale, ginger and two pears?) or two as the cherry on top of a macrobiotic pie and sells the whole thing as her own invention.
Ms. Carr didn’t invent a plan from which to deal with her cancer all on her own. She enrolled in a year long program with Denny and Susan Waxman at their Strengthening Health Institute in Philadelphia. Before that she met with the Godfather of Macrobiotics, Michio Kushi, in Boston. She received macrobiotic counseling from Warren Kramer, ate macrobiotic food prepared by Kezia Snyder in New York City for 6 months (often the period of time it takes for the macrobiotic diet to rid the body of disease) and she was treated by Shiatsu practitioners Patrick Riley and David Sergel.
Ms. Carr interviewed and filmed Mr. Waxman on several occasions for her movie,”Crazy, Sexy Cancer”, but did not include any of his segments when he refused to sign a waiver which would prohibit him from any input on how his segments were edited.
While Ms. Carr is selling (very well I might add) her “sexy” cancer, she is doing so on the backs of those dedicated people who shared with her their time, skills, knowledge, wisdom and compassion and who brought her back from the abyss. She should know that gratitude and appreciation are also basic tenants of health and healing.
I consider it no small irony that the first syllable of the word dioxins sounds like die: So potent is this group of more than 100 cancer-causing industrial chemicals that the Environmental Protection Agency is currently considering setting the “safe” daily level for human exposure at seven-tenths of a picogram per kilogram of body weight. (A picogram, FYI, is one-trillionth of a gram.) To put it in perspective: With the much publicized toxic chemical BPA, you could be exposed to 50 million times that amount, and you’d still be within the realm of what’s considered safe.