Monthly Archives: September 2007

The Power of Food – Excerpt from “Definitive Guide to Cancer” **

As a nation, we are obsessed with food. Fast-food restaurants and their billboards clutter our city streets. Volumes have been written on the topic of food. Newsstands are littered with magazines about it, and there is even an entire television network devoted just to food. We savor it, discuss it, and even plan our lives around it. And we consume a lot of it. In the process, we’ve also managed to supersize our health risks dramatically over the past few decades.

The kind of food eaten has nearly as big an impact on health as the amount — and sometimes more. In fact, much of the malnutrition in the world can be attributed to unhealthy food or consumption of “empty calories” (highly processed foods lacking important vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients). Though it may seem surprising, many obese individuals are actually significantly malnourished.

But foods have both the power to harm and the power to heal. Understanding both sides of the equation is important. Rather than allowing food to have power over you, you can create a winning partnership with it. Proactive cancer prevention shifts the energy, placing emphasis on healthful fresh and whole foods packed with essential nutrients, turning calories into cancer-fighting fuel.

Utilizing foods as powerful tools for cancer prevention requires that you look beyond one of your most basic senses — taste. You need to evaluate food not just on its quick-fix satisfaction factor, but on its nutrient value as well. And as you get accustomed to healthier foods, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that you come to appreciate their flavors more than old, unhealthy standbys — and not just because you know they’re good for you!

Sometimes what we ingest has clear ramifications. If you drink coffee daily, think back to a time when you tried to give it up or had to do without. Remember the headache? Have you ever experienced heartburn after too many pieces of pepperoni pizza or constipation after eating too much cheese? The good news is that this dynamic works both ways. You can prevent ill effects by avoiding certain foods, and even better, you can enhance your health by making certain food choices.

Some foods contain significant nutrients that help keep your body healthy and operating at peak capacity. Eating a healthy diet will give you the fuel you need to maintain an active pace and prevent illnesses, including cancer. While it is true that different people have different dietary needs and that what is healthy for one person may not work as well for another, there are some common denominators. Here are just a few examples of cancer-fighting foods:

– Tomatoes contain the powerful antioxidant lycopene, which supports a strong immune system.
– Whole grains contain lignans that positively influence hormonal activity.
– Citrus fruits contain flavonoids that enhance immunity.
– Soy contains certain sterols that can reduce the development of some cancer cells.
– Broccoli contains sulforaphane and other compounds that stimulate detoxification and immunity.
– Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts, contain indole-3-carbinol, which has been shown to have anticancer properties.
– The peel of an apple contains phenolic compounds that help prevent unhealthy cells from dividing and spreading.
– Kale is high in vitamins A and C, as well as fiber, which are all perfect nutrients to help prevent cancer.
– Garlic contains several key compounds that inhibit the activity of cancer cells and help with detoxification.

Many of these foods share a common characteristic: they are colorful. At mealtime, look closely at your plate. If it is primarily white or beige, you need to add some color. Fruits and vegetables will add that color, as well as a healthy dose of potent anticancer nutrients.

** Sponsored Post.

The above is an excerpt from the book Definitive Guide to Cancer by Lise Alschuler, ND and Karolyn A. Gazella

You can purchase a copy at by clicking here.

Published by Celestial Arts; June 2007;$39.95US; 978-1-58761-280-0
Copyright © 2007 DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CANCER: AN INTEGRATED APPROACH FOR TREATMENT AND HEALING by Lisa Alschuler and Karolyn A. Gazella, published by Celestial Arts

Personal Nutrition Program

Developing a healthy lifestyle takes more than hard work. It takes knowledge. Our nutrition experts have the knowledge and experience to help you achieve your goals.

There are many web sites out there offering nutrition and diet plans, but most of them are nothing more than computer-generated reports. They are not customized, they are not personal, and they will not help you achieve your goals.

Our Nutrition clients receive an in-depth consultation with Theresa Davis MS, RD or Jennifer Schwallie, RD. Theresa and Jen will develop a program based on your specific needs and your lifestyle.

  • Step 1: Analyzing your personal information from the intake form. This process sets the stage for your personalized nutritional plan. No two individuals receive the exact same plan. Factors such as your age, height, weight, sex, goals, and past nutrition history are considered when creating your nutritional plan.
  • Step 2: Calculating unique caloric needs. Basal Metabolic Rate will be calculated, and added to your unique level of activity,
    and on a case by case basis, adjusted for your desired goal (weight loss, health condition, more energy, etc.).
  • Step 3: Analyzing macronutrient needs. The percent of carbohydrate, proteins, and fats, as well as their sources, can have a profound effect on weight loss, and addressing a specific health condition. Your unique needs will be the sole factor in determining such percentages. A sample menu pattern based on this information, and the calculation of step 1, will completely remove all the guess work out of consuming the proper amount of calories. A sample meal pattern will be provided to avoid the  edious task of counting calories.
  • Step 4: Each comprehensive nutritional plan offers 4 weeks of nutritional follow up, to track your progress, answer your questions, and address any problems you may encounter. YOUR participation is vital here. After we provide you with the basics, we need to know how you’re doing; what’s working and what’s not. Therefore, each week you’ll be expected to give your nutrition a progress report including your weight, a food diary, any problems you may have encountered (and successes too!) as well as any nutrition and / or exercise related questions that may come to mind. Your nutritionist will use this information to provide you with specific feedback to help you meet your nutrition goals.

You have the desire. We have the knowledge and experience. Let our experts develop a
Personal Nutrition Plan for you!
If you would like to ask Theresa or Jen a question about the program, please visit our Q&A forum.

The total cost for this unique program including the initial evaluation and 4 weeks of follow-up is $98.95


Successful low carb diet

In the first part of Theresa’s article she lists 3 basic principles of a successful low carb diet.

Chances are you know someone who’s been on a reduced carbohydrate diets, or have even tried one yourself. What drives swarms of people to swear off carbs? For many it’s the love / hate relationship they’ve developed with carbohydrates…they love and crave them, then hate themselves for overeating carbs. Is it possible to develop a truce in the war against carbohydrates? I think so. If you classify yourself as a “carbohydrate addict,” try some of the tips below to make peace with this valuable nutrient.

  1. Limit or eliminate the “junky” carbs.
    Nothing perpetuates carbohydrate cravings like consuming sugary junk foods and savory snack foods. Cut back or eliminate high calorie, high carbohydrate, low nutritional value foods such as sugary soft drinks, candy, cake, cookies, chips, pretzels, beer etc.
  2. Choose NUTRIENT DENSE carbs.
    Instead of the junky carbs, choose NUTRIENT DENSE carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans and low fat milk and yogurt to make up the bulk of your meals and snacks.
  3. Choose HIGH FIBER foods.
    Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts all contain fiber. Consume fruit with skin and avoid overcooking vegetables to optimize fiber intake. Skip the refined starches such as white breads, snack bars, corn and rice based cereals. Instead choose high fiber starches such as whole wheat breads, oatmeal, bran and wheat cereals, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, barley and corn including popcorn, and potatoes with skin. Fiber helps you stay full longer in between meals by slowing digestion, keeping food in your stomach for a longer period of time. Be sure to add fiber to your diet GRADUALLY and to drink plenty of water when consuming a high fiber diet.

Reprinted with permission, Theresa Davis, RD, CN 2005.

IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome, better known as IBS, is one of the most common digestive disorders seen by physicians. Twice as many women suffer from IBS when compared to their male counterparts. IBS is not a life sentence, and most people that have it can lead active and productive lives if they follow the best treatment protocol for their situation.

In IBS, the normal rhythmic contractions of the digestive tract, referred to as peristalsis, become uncoordinated and irregular. This interferes with the normal digestive and elimination process of food and wastes respectively, and can lead to an accumulation of waste material resulting in bloating, distention, constipation, and gas. Symptoms of IBS include alternating constipation and diarrhea, abdominal pain, mucus in the stools, nausea, flatulence, bloating, and cramping. Usually, specific foods trigger symptoms, and pain is relieved after a bowel movement. Even if an individual with IBS is eating regular meals, uncoordinated muscular contractions can result in malabsorption. Nutritionists typically take this into account when designing a nutritional plan for IBS, and include 30% more protein than normal, as well as increased vitamins and minerals, which can become quickly depleted in with chronic diarrhea.

From a diagnostic standpoint, this is a vexing disorder. There are no physical signs of disease in bowel tissue with IBS, and its cause or causes are not well understood. Diagnosis of IBS requires ruling out disorders that can cause similar symptoms, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, and even lactose intolerance.

Many other conditions can be related to IBS, including candidiasis, colon cancer, diabetes, gallbladder disease, malabsorption disorders, pancreatic insufficiency, ulcers, parasitic infection such as amebiasis and giardiasis, fibromyalgia, and most commonly, dietary allergies and intolerances. When presented with a case of IBS, each of these factors must be addressed. When working on a patient with IBS in clinical practice, I find it quite common for a CDSA (comprehensive digestive stool analysis), and an IgG RAST (food allergy test), to come back positive with parasitosis or candidiasis, and several dietary allergies respectively.

From a nutritional perspective, test results and personal history dictate the course of treatment. If dietary allergies and intolerances are identified, they must be eliminated. If an over growth of candida albicans is identified, then that must be treated medically and nutritionally. IBS can even be brought under control in conditions that normally would leave the patient slipping between the cracks of the medical care system. For example, let’s say a patient presents with classic IBS symptoms, has a negative CDSA, maybe 1 food allergy, and no bacterial, parasitic or fungal overgrowth. Lastly, all of the aforementioned associated conditions were ruled out. Instead of jumping on the “it’s all in your head” bandwagon, a trial implementation of gluten and dairy restriction, stress reduction, and targeted supplementation can yield positive results. If all else fails, I turn to a nutritional program called the specific carbohydrate diet that is very effective in most gastrointestinal disorders.

Supplements that may be helpful for IBS include, beneficial bacteria such as acidophilus and bifidus, evening primrose oil, psyllium, glucomannan, peppermint, fennel, B-complex, and aloe vera.

Dietary strategies that are effective include, low fiber diets, high fiber diets, allergen identification and elimination, rotation diets, candida diets, and the specific carbohydrate diet.

While IBS can be a frustrating disorder that interferes with the quality of life, nutritional protocols are available to help one gain control over this frustrating disorder, and return to an active lifestyle.

Glitazones – Avandia diabetes drug

Over 80% of people with diabetes in the United States have the form known as Type 2 . This type of diabetes can generally be treated successfully, at least initially, with oral medication. A major study of Type 2 diabetes published in the early 1990’s from the United Kingdom (the UKPDS study) showed that patients taking oral medication or even insulin itself tended to have worsening of their diabetes control over the years they were studied. Since the time of that study a new class of oral medication known as the ‘glitazones’ has shown promise to prevent what otherwise seemed to be inevitable worsening of diabetes control. Glitazones work differently from other diabetes therapies by entering the cells to the body to make them more sensitive to insulin. Earlier medications appear to act by raising the level of insulin in the blood or effecting glucose (sugar) metabolism. A study of diabetics taking the glitazone, Avandia, (rosiglitazone), revealed that blood sugar control remained constant over 2.5 years of treatment and did not deteriorate as with the other medication types.

Another study in diabetic animals showed that the area of the pancreas responsible for production of insulin was actually improved by Avandia treatment. This would suggest that Avandia could not only prevent the worsening of diabetes control but perhaps prevent diabetes from developing at all. Major studies funded by the maker of Avandia, Glaxo SmithKline and co-promotor Bristol Myers Squibb, are now underway to see whether the onset of diabetes can actually be delayed or prevented with Avandia.

In the meantime, doctors across the country are using Avandia with great success in their patients with diabetes to control blood sugar levels. Avandia can be used by itself or in combination with all other types of oral medications for diabetes treatment. Although the FDA has not yet permitted Glaxo SmithKline to advertise the use of insulin simultaneously with Avandia, most physician experts have used this combination successfully, for years.

Side-effects with Avandia are generally mild and include swelling of the ankles (peripheral edema) or nausea. Blood tests for liver function must be obtained every other month for the first year of Avandia treatment due to the rare possibility of more severe problems such as liver inflammation. Also, individuals with fluid on the lungs, also known as congestive heart failure should not use this drug due to the possible fluid retaining action of Avandia.

As with all medications, only you and your health care provider can decide which treatment is best suited for your particular needs. Be sure to ask about additional information about Avandia treatment for diabetes, or visit

Diet for healthy skin, hair and nails

In order to keep skin, hair and nails healthy, it’s important to take good overall care of yourself. Your external appearance is dependent on the health of the rest of your body. A diet that supports healthy skin, hair, and nails includes high-nutrient, high-water-content foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. These important foods should be consumed every day.

The essential fatty acids found in vegetable oils, seeds, and nuts are also necessary to nourish the skin and keep its texture and vitality strong. Water is another crucial component that carries nutrients throughout the body while flushing out toxins. Good digestion and assimilation are also essential to ensure that the amino acids vital to tissue building and rapid cellular development are available. Antioxidants counteract free-radical damage and help reduce some of the aging effects of smoke and environmental pollution. The following nutrients are essential for healthy skin, hair and nails:

Vitamin A: This antioxidant helps maintain the structural integrity of cells and the healthy functioning of mucous linings. It has been shown to virtually eliminate milder cases of acne as it helps reduce the production of sebum, which clogs pores. Vitamin A along with adequate protein intake generates healthy hair. Look to yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables, liver, and fish liver oil for food sources of vitamin A.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an important antioxidant for the skin. It fights wrinkles and helps the body produce and maintain healthy collagen. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, rose hips, acerola cherries, red and green peppers, broccoli, and bean sprouts.

Zinc: Zinc works with vitamin C to make collagen, an important component of connective tissue. It also supports the tissue-rebuilding actions of vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy skin cells and may be helpful in generating new skin after burns or injury. Nails and hair contain zinc; therefore, this mineral is important for their maintenance. Zinc is found in pecans, pumpkin seeds, whole-wheat flour, rye flour, oat flour, oysters, and red meat.

Vitamin E: This powerful antioxidant helps the body retain moisture and can prevent sun damage. Its cell protection qualities contribute to vitamin E’s prevention of tissue degeneration and premature aging. Vitamin E also promotes the absorption of vitamin A. Although found in cold-pressed wheat germ oil and cold-pressed safflower oil, it is difficult to get therapeutic amounts from foods; therefore, supplementation is essential.

Selenium: This mineral greatly reduces the incidence of UV-induced skin cancer. It may help with dry skin of the scalp (dandruff) and enhances vitamin E absorption. Selenium is found in garlic, onions, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ and Brazil nuts.

Essential Fatty Acids: These include the good omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fats are “essential” because our bodies can’t manufacture them and they must be obtained from foods. Essential fatty acids help hydrate and increase the skin’s moisture content. They also make nails glossier and more flexible, and help hair retain moisture. Flaxseed oil is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

B Complex Vitamins: This group of vitamins is very important for the health of skin and hair. B complex vitamins are helpful for dry or itchy dermatitis, rashes, or cracks at the corners of the mouth. A deficiency can result in various skin problems and hair loss, to name a few. B complex vitamins are found in a wide variety of foods.