Sep 182015
 

I’ve tried a lot of different things in my journey through the crazy world of health and wellness. It’s hard to capture all of them in my 10 Steps, so here are 10 specific things that I believe were game-changers in my success:

1. I learned how to relax and enjoy life in the least relaxing situation ever. Not easy, but until I figured this out, the rest was just slapping Band-Aids on a seeping wound. Life is risk, we’re all here to learn, and I reached out for help when I needed it. Find what works for you to neutralize emotional chaos.

2. I juice vegetables, not fruits. I want to EAT my fruits to get all the good fiber they bring to the table. Fiber also helps slow down my body’s absorption of fructose, so I can avoid insulin spikes.

In contrast, vegetables usually pack less fructose and more anti-cancer nutrients into every square centimeter, so I juice them to make that goodness even more concentrated. (Note: I only juice organic vegetables, which have less pesticide on them. Why would I want to concentrate pesticides in a cup?)

Side note: When I juice vegetables, I add beets and carrots to my green juice. I believe in a rainbow of flavors — and colors. I believe adding a beet is a huge benefit for me, because it kicks up my liver and helps it work better.

3. I eat a pack of organic red raspberries whenever I can. I used to be a pack-a-day eater. Red raspberries can shut down the type of cancer I had, so I viewed it as cheap insurance, not expensive berries.

4. I eat watercress whenever and wherever I find it. Watercress is hard to find where I live. But whenever I see it, organic or not, at a supermarket or a restaurant, I snap it up and eat it, because I believe it’s the healthiest vegetable on the entire planet.

5. I take organic dandelion root powder. I want to help my liver be the best it can be. So I take half a teaspoon of this wonderful herb daily.

6. I eat flaxseeds. They pack a punch against cancer in different ways than the other foods I eat.

7. I ate button mushrooms and drank green tea almost every day for two years. I read about this trick in Patrick Quillin’s book Beating Cancer with Nutrition. He’s a registered dietician (there are good ones out there! A few…), and he wrote that eating both foods in a single day could reduce the risk of breast cancer by about 90%. I followed this advice religiously for a long time.

8. I filter my water. I didn’t go crazy with a whole-house filter system, because I was renting a New York apartment when first diagnosed with cancer. Instead, I bought an Aquasana countertop water filter for the sink (which I installed in the bathroom since it wouldn’t fit on my kitchen sink – you do what you have to do!) and an Aquasana shower filter. I also bought a Waterwise water distiller and used it for the first year of my recovery.

Travel tip: When traveling, I use a portable filter bottle, and I drink venti green and herbal teas at Starbucks since they triple-filter their water, sometimes with reverse osmosis!

9. I take a great probiotic. After much research, I settled on Garden of Life RAW Probiotics. I love that they use a wild kefir culture to provide a huge variety of different probiotic strains. These probiotics require refrigeration, so I’m careful about where I buy them.

10. I rebound for exercise. I bought a Pure Fun rebounder from Amazon for about $38 and started bouncing. I love trying to touch the ceiling as I jump, but you don’t have to be an acrobat to use this type of mini-trampoline. When I first started, I did “the health bounce,” which just involves standing on the trampoline on the balls of your feet, with feet shoulder width apart, and bouncing without leaving the surface. Why is rebounding so great? It increases lymphatic flow and gets your whole body moving — much like swimming!

What are your personal game-changers for wellness? I’d love to hear about it- send me a message!

Jun 062011
 

Some tempered good news: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled last month that the USDA must produce an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for genetically modified sugar beets, prior to granting them permanent approval for commercial use. A full press release is posted at the Center for Food Safety website.

However, GM sugar beets planted last winter are still in the ground. Moreover, the USDA on April 7 announced a pilot program that could allow agribusiness firms to directly influence the content of Environmental Impact Statements. The Federal Register notice states:

“The pilot project will explore two voluntary mechanisms: (1) A petitioner-submitted environmental report based upon which APHIS would develop an EA or an EIS; and (2) an EA or EIS prepared by a contractor, funded by a cooperative services agreement between the petitioner and APHIS.”

(Note: The “petitioner” is the firm seeking approval for a product.)

So, although the court ruling mandating an EIS seems like progress, the independence of the EIS itself does not seem assured.

In the meantime, until full, independent, objective safety studies are available that counter the limited animal studies showing negative outcomes such as liver and kidney damage, I strongly believe that the best defense against GM foods is to avoid them whenever possible. Buying organic is one way to avoid GM foods, but if that’s not possible, avoidance of processed foods or careful label-reading can help.

No, GM foods are not specifically labeled as such. But the main GM components of the food supply — what I like to call the Four Horsemen of GMOs — are:

  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Cottonseed
  • Canola

That damns a lot of processed foods right there, because they may contain all sorts of derivative products: high-fructose corn syrup, cornstarch, soy lecithin, soybean oil, canola oil, and cottonseed oil are among the most common. If a food package lists any of these ingredients and doesn’t say non-GMO, chances are that it contains GM ingredients.

Other GM products may include papayas, alfalfa sprouts, and, yes, sugar beets. It’s a jungle out there. But there are ways to make a difference.