Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Reversing Diabetes

If you're like me, you likely have believed the conventional wisdom that once a person develops Type 2 diabetes they are stuck with it for life.  This feels to me like a terribly sad life sentence.
So, I've been really encouraged lately to come across the idea that this is not necessarily so!  This reminds me of the saying, "An idea whose time has come...."  For me at least, this idea's time has come.

Yesterday I read an article read it here about 20 foods that reverse diabetes type 2.  I got so excited I ran into my kitchen and started pulling out the ones that I had.  I made my family come view our assembled bounty.

Twenty Foods
I'm adding my own comments about some of these foods.
15 Foods that Reverse Diabetes:  The little bottle is green tea concentrate from  the Body Ecology website.   The big white bottle is coconut oil.
1.     Maple syrup- Wow!  A sweetener that doesn't harm diabetics.  
2.    Tumeric- I get mine in capsules from, the site's supplements store.
3.    Fenugreek-  Oops.  I don't have any fenugreek.  
4.    Omega 3 fatty acids (from fish)- Make sure you get good quality.  They are not all the same.  You might check out the krill oil in mercola's store, or go to this pharmaceutical grade fish oil.  
5.     Dark, raw chocolate- My favorite!  I like the cacao from  Longevity Warehouse.  There are several good choices (powder, paste, nibs, beans).  
6.      Coffee- Unlike most people living in the western hemisphere, we don't have any coffee in our house.  If I were going to begin a coffee habit though, I'd consider how the coffee was sourced and processed.  
7.      Red wine- I don't have this one either, but I bet a lot of you do.  
    8./9./10.         Blueberries- Yea!  We have a "pick your own" blueberry farm near us, so once a year we stock up and I freeze what isn't eaten quickly.  Also, cranberries (not in the summer) and strawberries- yes in my fridge now.  
    11.     Cherries-  None here at the moment. 
    My best cherry memory?  When in college I lived for a summer with a family in Tuscany and tutored their children in English.  They had a small farm behind their house and I was there when the cherry tree fruit was ready to eat.  They were wonderful of course, and I could eat as many as I wanted.  Sandro, their son, climbed up into the tree every day and sat there happily eating cherries.     
    12.  Beans-  Plenty of these.
    13.  Coconut oil-  Yes!  Yes!  If you are "new" to the idea that coconut oil is a healthy food, I encourage you to visit the web site for Tropical Traditions.  I use their  Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil .  If you'd like larger quantities, they have several options.  Here is the link to their 1 gallon pail of coconut oil.  If you order from one of the previous links you will receive their book about the benefits of coconut oil, which also includes recipes.  Or you can order the book, Virgin Coconut Oil from Amazon 
    14./15.  Walnuts and Almonds -  I have these and other nuts.  It's hard to find a source of raw almonds these days. (The store labels that say "raw" really mean "pasteurized".)  I purchased mine as part of a group buy from Green Smoothie Girl.  I also soak my almonds in salt water, then dehydrate them in an Excalibur dehydrator.  This makes them easier to digest, and very yummy. 
    16.  Buckwheat-  Yes, I have this, but I don't enjoy it very much.  I don't do much baking, but I do like to add some buckwheat flour when I make pancakes.
    17.  Cinnamon- Yes.
    18./19.  Green tea and Black tea- Yes and yes.  I mainly drink the green and my husband drinks the black.  I think though if you are adding tons of cane sugar, then the benefits it may have of helping to reverse diabetes would be negated.
    20.  Seaweed- I like to add seaweeds to my winter soups.  They are prized for their rich mineral contents.  One brand that I use is named "Emerald Cove" like this blog.

    For more about reversing diabetes, you can't beat the documentary, Raw for 30 days .  And here is another story of a man who reversed his diabetes after learning that he had the ability to change his life, Marching Against Diabetes.

    Recently, I've been asked what I know about preventing and recovering from cancer, so I'll post about that soon.  Again, what I know is what I learn from other people and from my own experience.  I have a long list of resources on this topic which I've been compiling for years.  Hopefully it will be helpful to someone who reads this blog.


    Friday, July 8, 2011

    A pillow that's not a pain in the neck

    I used to wake up much too often with a "crick" in my neck.  Sometimes I'd wake up in the middle of the night saying "ouch".  I have a long, skinny neck so maybe this happens more often to me than some people, but I know lots of people who have a similar problem.  If I sleep on my back, my neck seems to fall off to the side until muscles spasm.

    I tried a variety of pillows and neck rolls.  I knew that the key was to keep the cervical spine (the part of the spine in the neck) in neutral.  Cervical neck rolls helped a lot towards keeping the curve in the spine neutral, but didn't prevent my neck from rolling to the side when I was sleeping on my back, and didn't help at all when I slept on my side.

    Finally!  I tried a therapeutica pillowI didn't know I could love a pillow so much.  This pillow keeps your neck in neutral whether you sleep on your side or your back.  It also helps reduce snoring and relaxes the TMJ (temporo mandibular joint).  But I love it because it is comfortable and my neck doesn't hurt.  

    When I sleep on my back, my neck has just the right amount of support and my head feels cradled.  When I sleep on my side, I can tell that my neck is in line with the rest of my spine and my shoulder doesn't feel crunched.  It's the perfect pillow for me.

    In my private practice (therapeutic bodywork) I've sold these pillows to clients who had neck pain.  Almost all of them like the pillow.  A couple of people haven't liked them, but usually people become addicted to the pillow.  It is different sleeping on this pillow.  The company recommends allowing a couple of weeks to adjust, but I knew immediately that this was the right pillow for my neck.

    Designed by a chiropractor, this pillow comes in several sizes.  The width of your shoulder determines what size you need.  I am 5'8" (female) and I use the adult medium (or average).  My husband who is 5'10" needs the adult large, but my son who is just short of 6' is more comfortable with the adult medium.  I have sold the pillow to women who are around 5'2" and they need the adult petite (small).  The most common size is the average or medium, but size up or down if you have wider or narrower shoulders.  Men generally have wider shoulders than women of the same height.  

    There is also a child's size and they have travel pillows (yea!) which are a version allowing for the back sleeping position but not the side sleeping position.  They have pillow cases specifically designed for these pillows too. 

    So, if you sometimes wake up with a sore neck from sleeping wrong, take a look at the therapeutica pillow .

     P.S.  David Wolfe made an interesting comment about sleeping with the cervical spine in neutral at the 2011 Longevity Now Conference.  He said that if our head is elevated while sleeping we continue to secrete adrenaline during the night ( to see more go to:  The Power of Sleep .)   Note that this is a several part video.  The part I am referring to is Part 2, but it is all interesting.)

    To your good health


    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Welcome to Emerald Cove! ......and some thoughts on circumcision

     My son just sent this photo from Thailand.  It's not exactly
    emerald...more of a turquoise cove.
    This blog is a place to bring up and discuss topics that fall under the big umbrella of health and wellness.

    I say big umbrella because I view everything as connected- our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual lives are all a part of our wellbeing. And so you can expect to find conversations about a wide range of wellness related subjects.

    While I do have training and experience working in several areas of health and wellness, my approach to this blog is more that of a lay person- a lay person whose passion compels me to continue to ask questions, dig a little deeper and challenge the status quo.                                                                                    
    Some of the topics you can expect to find here over time include cleansing herbs and diets, Chinese tonic herbs, exercise, reviews of books and products, spiritual guides, energy healing, sleep, alternative cancer therapies, longevity, the role of our subconscious in our health, health freedom.  This is an example list of some of the things that I have been studying, in some cases for years, and which are part of my own personal life of health and wellness.                                                                                                                                                                Your comments are valuable.  Our ability to meet at the watering well‚ in such numbers, and talk to each other about what is going on in our personal health journeys and to share resources is an amazing part of the time we live in.  Thank you in advance for your contribution.
                                                                                                                                                                  Years ago I trained and worked as a midwife.   I got to know many newborns, and I experienced from them how deeply and intensely sensitive we are as humans at this stage of life.  Every touch, every sound seemed to affect the new child in a way that caused me to respect their need for gentle and thoughtful care.  During the same time, I came to know several adults who remembered pieces of their own births, and from this came the understanding that we are also conscious of the thoughts,feelings and actions of our fellow humans who are around us near the time of our birth.  

                                                                                                                                                               And so the thought of strapping a newborn down and cutting off a part of his body was inconceivable to me.  Arguments for or against could be made, but my belief in the acuteness of his feeling nature and his right to remain unviolated would always override any argument that could be made in favor of this operation.  I heard many of those arguments on both sides anyway, and recently have looked again at this most common of American surgeries. One new "piece" I learned about recently is that foreskins are sold. Checking into this I found that a company that buys foreskins is located about 5 miles from my house.  Could this financial incentive combined with the fee charged for this quick operation, and the willingness of insurance providers to cover this operation have anything to do with perpetuating this practice?  Hmmm.  How do we feel about this?

    When other mothers have explained to me their reasons for allowing their sons to be circumcised, I was always left with the feeling that their reasons were vague and not well thought out, though imbued with strong feeling.   Ultimately, I have come to believe that social convention is the real reason for parents to choose circumcision in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, which is to me another way of saying that we just haven't bothered to think much about the choice we are making.
                                                                                                                                                                   Now, I do think there is a place for social convention, but I value informed consent more highly.    Social convention is a good enough reason to consider something like circumcision, but not a good enough reason to choose it without thinking further about both the immediate and long term effects.  The list of these possible effects include all the potential consequences of any surgery- pain, shock, emotional trauma psychological impacts of male circumcision, risk of infection and excessive bleeding, maiming and death.  Remember the definition of minor surgery?  It is surgery that happens to someone else.  But once the infant makes it through this gauntlet, I think we have been led to believe that there are no further issues to consider.   There is however a great deal of evidence that removing the foreskin has long lasting implications for the future sexual experience of the male and also future female partners sex as nature intended it (warning: the previous link leads to some literal information and images).  And if this is true, then what additional implications does this have for the intimate relationships between men and women?

    To read more, these two books are insightful, thorough and thoughtful.

    Even just reading the books' descriptions and the readers' reviews will reveal a lot.

    And finally, thank you to my friend Cassandra for pushing me to look at this issue again.