Wednesday, March 31, 2010
"You are in the profession as a calling, not as a business; as a calling which extracts from you at every turn self-sacrifice, devotion, love and tenderness to your fellow-men. Once you get down to a purely business level, your influence is gone and the true light of your life is dimmed. You must work in the missionary spirit, with a breadth of charity that raises you far above the petty jealousies of life" William Osler
William Osler is among the most esteemed and distinguished physicians in the history of medicine. He taught on 3 contries--Canada, United States and England. He was a forerunner in the establishment we know as Johns Hopkins. When he was England, he taught at Oxford. His body of work is beyond reproach. Throughout this blog, I will always refer to Sir William Osler as I believe in his insight of what medicine should be.
For the last two weeks, we have discussed the effects of carbohydrates and food sensitivities/allergies on your gut (your small intestines). The condition can be referred to by many names. Irritable Bowel is the broad category. Other names are colitis, Crohn's disease, diverticulitis and even Candidiasis. In addition to identifying your food sensitivities, which are usually wheat and cow's dairy, it is also important to eliminate gas-producing foods. These include certain beans, cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. You do not want to eliminate all of these vegetables because they contain B12 and folic acid. These are important in maintaining an alkaline diet.
Now you will ask about coffee. This might be one of your addictions which we deal with in the third lifestyle change--after discussing the second lifestyle change, exercise. Caffeine has bowel-stimulating properties, acts like a diuretic and blocks serotonin (the happy hormone) for about 10-12 hours. If you have identified and accepted your carbohydrate/sugar addiction, then you may not want to try to rid yourself of all your addictions at once. You may get frustrated and fail.
You need to take 'baby steps' to increase the fiber in your diet. You need to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables. You could add psyllium husk fiber to your diet. Some start with one teaspoon in water once a day, and every 3 - 4 days increase this amount by another teaspoon in another glass of water. The goal is to have 4 teaspoons in 4 glasses of water.
Yesterday, we talked about some herbs. Peppermint oil, a natural substance from a plant in Europe has been shown to be helpful in relieving intestinal contractions. Buy it in enteric coated capsules or as a tincture. If you use a tincture, then you must remember that all tinctures have some degree of alcohol. I have used Herbal Vitality and HerbPharm products.
The needlepoint (or petit point) bookmark has a beautiful design. After this one, I started designing my own, which I will display in later blog days. I didn't give this to anyone. I sold it on our etsy store-Rick Frat's Big Apple Store. The web site is www.etsy.com/shop/RickFratCreativeDuo
Photo Credit: Rick Byrd
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Do you want self worth?
"Leaving your comfort zone of current patterns and behaviors is a courageous step toward self-growth" KM
March 31, 2010 Wednesday
"Horticultural Therapy is a process through which plants, gardening activities, and the innate closeness we all feel toward Nature are used as vehicles in professionally conducted programs of therapy and rehabilitation" S. Davis
I am not sure I totally agree with the above. Plants are special. Those that grow and cultivate any plant are special also. Below is a list of Plant and Herb books that everyone should consider reading.
1. Natural Healing Therapies - Raje Airey and Jessica Houdret
2. Nature's Aphrodisiacs - Nancy Nickell
3. Plenty - Alisa Smith and JB Mackinnon
4. Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals - Kristen Leigh Ball
5. Plant Spirit Medicine - Eliot Cowan
6. Healthy Aging - Andrew Weil MD
When the gut is inflamed by either a food allergy, yeast, heavy metal toxicity or chronic infections, there are some nutrients and herbs that will heal the gut. The first and foremost to alleviate the bloating and gas is an amino acid called glutamine. It restores the flat rug to the shag rug thus allowing the gut to absorb, make vitamin D and to make the happy hormone, serotonin. The amount of glutamine will vary depending on the severity of the symptoms. I usually recommend 1 gram to 5 grams per day.
Everyone needs a probiotic. These are the good species of bacteria, not only what you get from yogurt, which is lactobacillus. You need a probiotic that has all the species. This isn't your GNC or Vitamin Shop probiotic.
There are many herbs that can alleviate gut issues. One herb, Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) has a strong lemon scent and white flowers. It is used for painful menstruation, headaches and even colds due to viruses. Preparations of Lemon balm are approved for the treatment of digestive tract spasms.
For the irritable bowel patients, I suggest trying Linseed. Directions: Dissolve 15 ml/1 tablespoon of linseeds in 250 ml (8 fluid oz) of warm water and leave overnight. The next morning, strain into a mug and drink the liquid to help with the cramps, bloating and gas. There are many other herbs that I will discuss in the coming months. Other herbs that are wonderful for the gastrointestinal tract are chamomille, ginger and peppermint
The needlepoint above was given to a dear friend and mother-like individual, Barbara. Since my mother passed on 28 years ago, I have adopted, or rather some special women have adopted me as their son. It started with Aunt Mary (my dad's sister), Aunt Mary-Ann (my mom's cousin) and Nancy (Rick's mom) who was actually born on the same day as my mom (July 21st). I met Barbara more than 13 years ago. We have had great times together. She is a Yorkie lover and had, I believe, 6 at one time. Daisy was my favorite and I think hers as well. When Daisy passed on, I made this pillow for her. Now she has Gia.
Photo Credit: Barbara Berkall
Monday, March 29, 2010
"Adorn thyself with simplicity and modesty and with indifference towards the things that lie between virtue and vice. Love Mankind. Follow God."
--Imperator Caesar M Aurelius Antoninus Augustus
It should be the God of your understanding. Usually the above Roman Emperor is abbreviated M Aurelius. There is a collection called the Meditations from which the phrase below is taken: "Accept the things to which fate binds you and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart". This is my Passover and Easter blessings for you all.
Let's discuss some Yeast Free/Gluten Free/Cow's Dairy Free Meal options:
1. A 2 egg vegetable omelet with spinach cooked in olive oil
2. Amaranth flakes (a gluten free grain) with blueberries and goat or almond milk
3. Organic millet or quinoa, (both are gluten free grains) with one cup of goat, almond or unflavored soy milk (rice milk is watery and contains too much sugar). Try adding cinnamon or cardamom for added flavor.
4. Protein Smoothie like Ultra InflamX (1 - 2 scoops) with 1 cup of berries, 1 cup of almond milk and 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed.
5. Buckwheat pancakes (another gluten free grain) with raw honey or pulverized berries on top. Be sure to buy buckwheat flour and make your own pancake batter. Many Buckwheat pancake mixes contain wheat flour.
LUNCH OPTIONS:1. Turkey white meat, 1 cup of spinach salad dressed with lemon or lime juice and 2 teaspoons of flax seed oil
2. Salmon (wild, of course) and a mixed salad, 3 slices of avocado, 2 tablespoons of oil and lemon dressing3. Chicken breast, asparagus or broccoli and 1/2 cup of brown rice (another gluten free grain)
4. Salmon and a spinach salad with olive oil and lime dressing
5. Mixed bean salad (with three types of beans) - check out http://www.fratellonemedical.com/ newsletters
1. Chicken breast sauteed in canola oil, broccoli and cauliflower with garlic and onion for those who like a little spice in their lives
3. Baked talapia, 1 cup of cooked spinach, grilled garlic and onions and 2 teaspoons of olive oil4. 2 cups of mixed green salad (include some endive and fennel) with 5-6 ounces of turkey; lemon and oil as a dressing
5. Thin flank steak (grass fed beef, only once or twice a month) with 1/2 cup of steamed string beans, cup of mixed greens; dijon mustard, oil and lemon as a dressingI only included five options for each meal because I want you to think of others. For example, I could have added Greek yogurt (plain) with blueberries or even Van's waffles for breakfast. What are your thoughts?
The Apple needlepoint above is the other half of the pair given to my brother-in law, Michael. It is hanging next to the peas on yesterday's blog. I love apples for many reasons. The apple (malus domestica) does appear in the Bible many times. I refer to James Duke's book, Medicinal Plants of the Bible. Now why would I read this book or refer to it? It is my belief that always gaining knowledge in any capacity is of utmost importance.
The word apple appears twelve times in the King James Version of the Bible. For example, "Stay with me my flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love" KJV Song of Solomon 2:5; In the New World Translation of the Bible (NWT), there is, "Do you people refresh me with cakes of raisins, sustain me with apples: for I am lovesick." Most authorities say that the apricot or the pomegranate might better be the apple in the Garden of Eden. The Hebrew word tappuah occurs five times in the Bible.
Besides the religious mention of apple, in Norse mythology the goddess Iounn provides apples to the Gods to give them eternal youthfulness. In Greek mythology, there is the mystical or forbidden fruit. Do you remember Hercules, in his 12 labors had to travel to the Garden of Hesperides and pick a golden apple off the Tree of Life?
An apple indirectly was the possible cause of the Trojan War. If you want to read about apples, read the Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan. Realize none of the many varieties of apples today are the real apples of long ago when Johnny Appleseed planted them. Most are now genetically engineered. Can you tell I LOVE APPLES?!
Photo credit: Michael Byrd
March 29, 2010 Monday
"Help me be so clear on who I am that I can generously and unconditionally afford to let other people be who they are too."
It is Monday, so today is a great day to begin a yeast free diet. There are many substitutes. You will NOT be deprived. No one should be deprived. Of course you will miss the sugar, the French or Italian bread, and the creamy Italian dressing on your salad--but it is not the end of the world (yet)!
Let's start with the substitutes for gluten. Gluten free grains include millet, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, teff and even corn (but avoid this if you are allergic to it). These come in certain cereals and breads. Check Whole Foods, Wild Oats and Trader Joe's.
Since alcohol and wine contain yeast and should be avoided, I have some suggestions. It would a good time to cut the alcohol out of the diet. For those who want a glass of wine - try dry white instead of red. Those who drink alcohol must try potato vodka such as Chopin, and avoid grain vodka, like Grey Goose and Absolut.
Your salad dressings should be lime and/or lemon with olive oil. The cheese substitutes can be goat, sheep and soy--NOT Cow's Dairy. You may be saying, "What is left to eat?" There are excellent sources of protein - turkey, fish, chicken, veal etc. Try to avoid red meat. All vegetables are acceptable, except the starchy ones (white potatoes, carrots and winter squash). Instead of butter try to clarify your butter (to to be discussed tomorrow) or use ghee.
Let me list some breakfast foods - millet, Van's gluten free waffles, buckwheat pancakes, natural corn flakes, puffed brown rice and steel cut Irish oatmeal - not Mr. Quaker or instant.
Substitute regular pasta for those made with corn, quinoa, rice (cellophane noodles), artichoke and buckwheat (soba noodles). All tree nuts are acceptable, just no peanuts. All beans are a good source of protein but avoid kidney beans which are yeasty.
The substitutes for cow's milk are rice, coconut, soy, goat, sheep and almond milk. All oils are acceptable except safflower oil.
Tomorrow I will list a full menu for one day with options.
The needlepoint above is of a Magnolia. If you are a follower, you may remember I did a Magnolia framed for Nancy and Fred when I first met them some years ago. I also gave this magnolia to Nancy for her couch. Magnolia is not the state flower of Virginia but of two other states in the south. Virginia is the 10th state to become part of the union. The Virginia state flower American Dogwood, (Cornus florida) was adopted in 1918. It was selected to adopt a feeling of pride and to carry on the history of the Commonwealth.
Photo Credit: Rick Byrd
Any comments on yesterday's needlepoint and its lettering? Please let me know.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
March 28, 2010 Sunday
Saturday, March 27, 2010
March 27, 2010
The last three blog days have been about the anxiety, insomnia and memory changes that can occur when you have either food allergies or yeast affecting your gut. This causes the small intestine not to absorb nutrients, make vitamin D or make serotonin. The lack of serotonin causes all of the brain's issues.
What about the gut? How does the denuded gut/flat rug feel? Well, it is not doing its job so I am sure your gut has Guilt. This nude gut starts to react, which causes bloating, flatulence (gas) and it even changes the way your stool feels. This is caused by you insulting the gut by having simple carbohydrates (breads and cakes). Or possibly the nude gut was caused by you having a food you are allergic to. You didn't know you had a food allergy. The most common food allergies are to gluten (found in barley, rye, wheat, and oats), cow's dairy, soy and peanuts.
Friday, March 26, 2010
March 26 2010 Friday
"I do not want everyone to like me; I should think less of myself if some people did."
Mr. James was an American writer who authored many works including "Daisy Miller", who never married. Now really, what does that tell you? It should tell you that he just didn't get married and preferred bachelorhood, but no. Even in the 1800's there were many whispers--gossip. Gossip is nothing more than character assassination. He was in love with his first cousin, yet some will debate that his erotic letters to young men speak for themselves. Who cares? He was an artistic writer.
Yesterday we discussed how carbohydrates and food allergies cause low vitamin D and low serotonin levels. The low serotonin causes the brain to compensate by increasing epinephrine and GABA, causing anxiety and insomnia respectively. Now how is memory and your ability to concentrate impacted by your dietary lifestyle? Would you ever think that food allergies and consumption of 'white' carbohydrates could affect your brain? The low serotonin level reaching the brain from the flat rug of your intestines will cause a neurotransmitter called dopamine to be decreased. It is almost hand and hand. Low serotonin causing depression will also cause low dopamine. Dopamine is a very important neurotransmitter found to be low in those with Parkinson's disease. Low dopamine causes memory loss and reduced ability to focus and concentrate.
I do not think many individuals would relate a 'poor' diet to depression, anxiety, insomnia and memory loss. I apologize for saying 'poor' diet. You may have a good diet but need some guidance. Less than 15% of people I educate who have a good diet also have depression, anxiety, etc. These are real diseases, and I want you to see how they are related to your diet. Those with a good diet just need what I call 'fine tuning'. This fine tuning could be crucial. Consuming less carbohydrates, you will feel more energy, be more focused and sleep better. This is not a miracle. This is how it works!!
You also must realize that we all are human. No one is perfect. Do not think for one minute that I will pass up Pumpkin pie or Nancy's Southern Pecan pie at Thanksgiving or Christmas. I will not...do not deprive yourself. Just eat smart. Eat in moderation. You may be having the right choices but your portion sizes are too large. This may indicate that you do not eat enough throughout the day--perhaps you skip meals or do not have healthy snacks between meals.
Gifts--what are gifts? Gifts are your children, your partner and your beloved animals to name a few. There are many more gifts. As I approach a significant birthday number, I have time to reflect. I believe that my parents conveyed a message that I was a gift. I didn't realize it when I was young, but the older I got the more I knew that they did their best for me. I would love to pick up the phone right now and ask them but there is no phone wire to heaven. We all have different backgrounds and I do think to an extent we all have dysfunction within our families. Who knows what our parents were going through when we were born-I can only guess there was financial insecurity, not unlike today. If you do not believe you are a gift, start thinking of it now. Our children are gifts, Gracie, my parrot is a gift, our dogs are gifts, Rick is a gift and our parents are gifts.
I love reading so again I do needle craft bookmarks. This is cross stitch. HERBS- why did I do one for herbs. Herbs are nature's medicine. Herbs are beneficial for many diseases. Through this blog I plan to share a lot of information about herbs over the coming months.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
March 25, 2010 Thursday
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
March 24, 2010 Wednesday
"We are the greatest thing that will ever happen to us. You must believe it because it makes life much easier."
Yesterday we discussed the inflammation of your small intestines. Remember the anatomy lesson. Your mouth is where food enters. It travels down your esophagus to your stomach. The stomach acids churn the food and break it down. It enters the first part of the small intestine. A stomach doctor (Gastroenterologist) will study the esophagus and stomach using an endoscope. Also, the same doctor can study your colon (large intestine) through your anus all the way to the beginning of the large intestine (called your cecum). Between where the stomach ends and the large intestines begin is some 14 feet of bowels, called the small intestine. This is where the inflammation begins when you consume too many carbohydrates, and/or have allergies. Both of these will decrease the pH.
The small intestine is responsible for 1. absorption, 2. producing Vitamin D and 3. producing 90% of the happy hormone called serotonin. If your small intestine is inflamed, then none of this will happen. The nice fluffy shag-like villi of the small intestine are flattened or have turned to berber villi. The interior designers love this analogy. Let's concentrate on the low serotonin.
The serotonin is supposed to travel to the brain. When the brain detects that it is only getting a small amount of serotonin, it must start to perform other functions to protect you. One of those functions is to produce more epinephrine or adrenaline. Thus the low serotonin level, which predisposes to depression and "the blues", will now be intensified with feelings of anxiety and stress. This is due to the brain increasing the neurotransmitter epinephrine. Feelings of panic, symptoms of palpitations and sweatiness will start to happen. You might even have a tremor. You are now in the fight/flight mode. Imagine all of this because you are allergic to dairy or continually eat too much bread. Tomorrow we will discuss what other neurotransmitters in the brain compensate for the low serotonin level.
It doesn't matter what we have done in the past. We are here now and living for just today. We all have a past. It would take about two days to listen to mine! Like needle work is woven with wool, threads and cotton, our past is woven with mistakes, successes and learning experiences. We should own our past, not lie about it. Do not dwell on the past but look at it with kindness.
The needlepoint below is an example of the past. When it was given to my aunt, I had not seen her for almost 28 years. Circumstances allowed us to get together. I believe I made my amends. I gave her this pillow for her 75th birthday. Again as circumstances happened, and we did not speak again. Perhaps it was a brief gift that I had to experience. This experience has allowed me to turn around. I have spent too much time being ashamed in the past and being apologetic. I will no longer doubt the beauty and serenity in myself. This is what the flowers represent.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Tuesday March 23, 2010
"Let no one be deluded that a knowledge of the path can be a substitute for putting one foot in front of the other" - M.C. Richards
Who may you ask is M.C. Richards? Ms. Richards was a poet, potter, essayist, translator and a painter. Her most famous book was Centering in Pottery, Poetry and the Person. She was my kind of lady.
I want you to take out your Olympic Rings diagram. Already you have the top right and center ring filled with allergies/carbohydrates and pH, respectively. We now will complete the lower left circle so circles 1 above right, 2 center and 3 lower left will all be connected in a Venn diagram. A Venn diagram is a set of diagrams that show all hypothetically possible logical relations between a finite collection of sets (groups of things). In ours, it is the relationship between carbohydrates, allergies, pH and inflammation. When the carbohydrate intake is high, the pH of the body is acidic and there is inflammation. The other scenario is when there are food allergies present, the pH of the body is acidic and there is inflammation.
The diagram all the way to the right side of the blog is a Venn diagram. I am not great at computer arranging so I will have to ask Rick or Gregory to help. In this diagram DOGS = Carbohydrates/Allergies; HUMANS = pH and LIZARDS = Inflammation. There is a relationship between all three. Later, we will add two more circles - a mirror image of the Venn diagram below. Where is the inflammation? Yikes, it is in the small intestines. This is the area between where the stomach ends and the large intestines begin.
The cross stitch book marker is one of my favorites. I just happened to start doing this pattern. It looks Victorian to my eyes. During the summer, I made at least 20 bookmarks. They were sold in our Green Store in Cherry Grove, Fire Island called Simply Green.
It is available at www.etsy.com/shop/RickFratCreativeDuo
Until tomorrow... more anatomy
Monday, March 22, 2010
March 22, 2010 Monday
"Spirituality is growing in the knowledge that WE do not have all the answers"
Who has the answers? Certainly not all the doctors and scientists. I hope all doctors are the funnels of knowledge to the patients. If optimum energy is available to your body on all levels, including a cellular level, then all your organs and systems will be balanced and efficient.
Take our a piece of paper and draw the five Olympic Rings. Think of the first ring to the left as representing carbohydrates and allergies. It is important to decrease your simple carbohydrates as we talked about previously. Also you MUST have your food allergies tested. Most Americans have dairy and wheat allergies and do not even know it. The allergy testing I am advocating is IgG RAST testing. This is by blood, not a skin test to reveal delayed hypersensitivity. This is the gut reaction to certain foods. Both dairy and wheat are acidic foods. Other foods that drive the pH down are the night shade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers), meats, eggs and high glycemic fruits. Some of these high glycemic fruits are mangos, pineapples and watermelon.
If you eat simple carbohydrates and have allergies, then your pH, which is the middle Olympic Ring, will be low. We need your body pH to be between 6.5 - 8.0. If it is less than 6.5, the body is acidic. Acidic pH propagates disease and can cause disease. Alkaline pH makes the body heal faster and decreases progression of disease.
There is no one single diet that can accommodate everyone's needs. There needs to be a balance. I was discussing this today with someone who has not had animal protein in his diet in a while yet he feels he needs some. He could follow the Blood Typing Diet, be Type O blood and crave meat. He is not Type O blood but meat does make him feel more energetic. I think we as individuals should feel and know what is right for our body. No one can say a double-layered chocolate cake is right for their body. It might fill an emotional need. Perhaps you are ending a relationship, trying to restart a friendship, or even reconnect and get rejected--does this give you the right to make the wrong dietary choice when you know it is not good for you?
The book, The Metabolic Typing Diet, by William Wolcott attempts to do this for you. It is not complicated but can be for the non-scientific individual. You need to customize your own diet by getting some testing done by your health care provider. I believe one of the most important lifestyle changes to be dietary. A dietary lifestyle change can prevent and reverse degenerative disease, strengthen your immune system, achieve and maintain ideal body weight, optimize your physical energy, increase mental clarity, overcome mood swings and enhance athletic performance. This is one of the seven lifestyle changes you need to try the best to your ability. No one is perfect.
Remember: It is progress not perfection.
The needlepoint above was given to me as a gift. I had to add a side to the canvas because it was not symmetrical. The finished canvas was framed. Photo Credit: Rick Byrd. Looking back, did I really need to make it symmetrical? Probably not because life is not symmetrical.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
March 21, 2010 Sunday
I decided to do some breath work. If you want to try it:
Remember the numbers 4-7-8
Inhale fully as you count silently to 4
Hold the breath for a count of 7
Then exhale the breath as you count to 8.
Count slowly, and keep your counts at the same cadence.
I continually do this until I feel relaxed. If you have never tried something like this, then DO IT NOW but only do eight rounds of it and then stop. Next time, you can try more. This practice helps me to truly concentrate and release the negative, limiting or self-defeating beliefs that have been buried in my consciousness. Yes, I even have these moments--whoever states they do not have these kinds of moments is likely not being honest with themselves and others.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
March 20 2010 First Day of Spring - Sun and Flowers
Being the first day of spring, I want to discuss what I believe is the Nutrient of the Decade, Vitamin D. Why not? Today, the first day of spring, the temperature will be about 72 degrees. In medical school I was taught to use vitamin D with caution . We all should know by now that it is a fat soluble vitamin. Increased levels can increase serum calcium levels. It is not only a vitamin. It has been found to be a pro-hormone and can be expressed in the brain, heart, skin, prostate and even the mammary glands. Everyone associates Vitamin D with bone. Prior to new studies, the RDA requirements were only 400-800 mg. Today, the average is 1000-1200 mg.
I have been using more than 2000-5000 for the past decade, and now even more depending on the patient's serum Vitamin D 25 level (calcidiol), which is the correct measurement despite the fact that in medical school we were taught only to measure the Vitamin D1, 25 (calcitrol). The average (optimal) level ranges from 32 - 100 mg/ml depending on the lab. I prefer someone having a level of 50-60 mg/ml. Severely deficient is 0-15 and mildly deficient is 15-31.
You may think you do not like to take supplements so what food source can you get Vitamin D from? 1 tablespoon is equivalent to 1,360/serving--salmon (3oz sockeye) is 794 IU/serving and milk (nonfat, fortified with D) is 115-126 IU/serving. After yesterday's discussion about milk, I would prefer the fish or the cod liver oil. But the easiest way is supplementation in capsule or liquid form.
As a preventive practitioner in all respects, Vitamin D can decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and cancer. When explaining levels of Vitamin D to patients, I state anyone who lives above the imaginary line drawn from Los Angeles east to Columbia, South Carolina needs extra Vitamin D. Yes, in the summer, those of us who sun bathe will get Vitamin D2 which will convert to D3, but in the winter months you should increase your D dosages. However, you may use too much sun block to even get the Vitamin D2 from the sun. You need to walk in the sun three times a week for 15 minutes to get adequate levels if you are using sun block. Remember: not all sunlight Vitamin D2 will convert to D3 unless your small intestines, especially the villi, are free to absorb and make Vitamin D and the good bacteria in the colon are plenty. These good bacteria, like lactobacillus, bifidum, etc. can be taken as probiotics.
Other conditions which predispose someone to a low Vitamin D level, are kidney disease and celiac disease.
Remember this point: Dietary sources of Vitamin D are limited so SUPPLEMENT Vitamin D3.
It is my hope that your 21st century search for serenity is fulfilled in any form of needlework. It is also my hope that you, who live in this technological, mechanical and toxic environment, benefit from the hours you spend with the needle in your hand.
The needlepoint of flowers was a special one. I made it for "Gaga" for her 90th Birthday. Gaga is Rick's grandmother. We celebrated her 90th at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. This grand hotel opened in 1895. It symbolized a dream for the most colorful citizen of that time, Lewis Ginter. It incorporates Renaissance and other forms of architecture. I felt grand walking down the majest 36-step marbled staircase. It appears that David O. Selnick and MGM copied this for Scarlett O'Hara stairs at Tara.
Until her death in May 2005, she drove her car to the Piggly Wiggly, the hair dresser and to get her mail. She died peacefully, sitting on the couch with needlework in hand. She is surely missed by all.
Friday, March 19, 2010
March 19, 2010 Friday
"I am always willing to learn, however I do not always like to be taught."
I received this quote on my phone today from a friend--there are no coincidences. It gave me the inspiration to discuss a person's willingness to learn, including mine. Some seventeen years ago I was willing to try something new. I was willing to learn but it took me some time to be taught. I did it my way and I had to start again after ninety days and do it a different way. Most of us do not want to be taught or "told" about different ways. But I think it best if our minds are like sieves, always open to new ideas.
The idea of lifestyle changes creates fear--again that word fear appears. I could never say that I do not have fear. I do have certain fears. Everyone has at least one fear. They might not even realize the fear they have.
When considering a change in one's dietary lifestyle, there is always a certain amount of resistance. Most people feel they can never go without a piece of Italian or French bread, chocolate ice cream or even a glass of wine. Remember it is only for today. You can start the day over any time you want. But consider this: you may add extra time to your clock when you change your dietary lifestyle. This means you increase your survival by years. Maybe now that doesn't seem like much but it might allow you to see your children and/or grandchildren graduate high school or college and even attend their commitment ceremony.
This is why your consumption of 'white' must change. In my opinion, sugar equals 'white death'. Prior to the industry of processed food in this country, we had very little diabetes and heart disease. It wasn't until Wonder Bread hit the shelves and the food industry began adding more chemicals to food that these diseases began to rise in this country. Very little, if any, heart disease was known in the 1920s. I am sure it was there but infectious disease killed millions (remember the Influenza pan epidemic of 1918).
All disease can be traced to the consumption of some food. High sugar intake will lead to diabetes which will lead to obesity which will lead to Cardiovascular Disease. The same can be said about milk. Read "The Untold Story of Milk". I am not advocating drinking any raw milk but there are studies to support drinking raw milk from certified farmers for certain diseases. Raw milk (unpasteurized) still has all the enzymes in it, unlike the milk most of us purchase today.
I am sure you are still thinking about yesterday's HALT lesson. Was there anything to be learned? Sure: eat balanced meals and snacks in between them. Try to consume less white carbohydrates.
The needlework above is cross-stitch. During this past summer, I decided to do bookmarks. Actually I started doing them some 8-9 years ago. I needed a hobby at that time in my life to boost my self-esteem. It gave me a task and resulted in a finished product. Today, life is about action not reaction.
Although Sir William Osler stated, "Medicine is not taught in the classroom (books) but at the bedside," it is appropriate today that a bookmark reads BOOKS.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
March 18, 2010 Thursday
"Life has its twists and turns, as sometimes we each must learn." PF
Life is like a ball of yarn or skeins of threads.
It has been more than a week since I started blogging. I find it therapeutic. Sometimes I think what I will say and sometimes I don't. This is one of those days. It happens to be a HALT day--this is when you feel funny at about 11am -- 2 to 3 hours after breakfast but especially around 3 or 4pm --3 hours after lunch. These times occur if you consume a high carbohydrate breakfast or lunch. For breakfast, this can be pancakes loaded with syrup, bagel and coffee or even Captain Crunch. Why I thought about Captain Crunch when Lucky Charms was my favorite childhood breakfast cereal, I do not know.
The 4 PM HALT crash is after a sandwich, pizza, etc. for lunch. At either 11am or 4pm, you are edgy. You want something sweet--maybe even a cup of coffee. You are in HALT: HUNGRY, ANGRY, LONELY AND TIRED. Wow, you may say that is clever. I didn't make it up and I cannot and will not take the credit for such a phrase. I learned it, live it and experience it almost every day. The sugar is dropping at about 3-4pm--you might feel sweaty or dizzy if it drops too low or you might be just edgy and want something but you do not know what you want.
This can be seen when you have a 5 hour glucose tolerance test to determine if you have some type of unstable blood sugar. It could be hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) alone, hypoglycemia with normal insulin levels, hypoglycemia with high insulin levels or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar also known as Diabetes Mellitus). Upon listening to a patient's history, I determine if a 5hour glucose tolerance test is needed. A family history of diabetes, mid section abdominal obesity and cravings for sweets are also clues. Increased thirst and increased urination are other clues. For today, think about if you have HALT moments.
The answer to the question asked in the blog "An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away" is cyanide. The apple seeds contain cyanide, that is why you should not eat them.
The needlepoint pillow above is one of my favorites. I bought the original canvas in Charlestown, South Carolina. It was in the window of the store and I fell in love with it. I love turtles. When I was younger I found a box turtle--we named him Freddy. He had beautiful coloring. Aunt Mary found a zoo upstate with a variety of similar turtles. Rick, Gregory and I put in a pond in the "backyard" (how Yonkers-esque!) of the brownstone on East 51st. Gregory and I had the habit (rather addiction) of buying turtles and putting them in the pond thinking they would stay. The apartment building behind the brownstone used to find the turtles and put them in a box and place them politely back in the yard.
Forgot to tell you...you can buy the pillow at www.etsy.com/shop/RickFratCreativeDuo
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
March 16, 2010
"Acting as if - fake it until you make it"
Hopefully you had your breakfast today with some of yesterday's choices. The concept is say no to refined carbohydrates. So the bagel and coffee is not an option. You need to have smaller meals throughout the day - Breakfast-Snack-Lunch-Snack-Dinner-Snack. This is to ensure proper sugar balance. There is no skipping meals either. If you need to have your coffee in the morning you need to have protein first. While we are sleeping our bodies become acidic. We all wake up acidic. If you have coffee first, then the body pH will become more acidic. You need to have protein first before the coffee. Coffee will also deplete serotonin (the happy hormone) for 12 hours. There is always a controversial issue - is coffee good or is it bad? We will save it for another blog date. Coffee does increase both your blood pressure and heart rate. I do know it is no longer the #1 consumed beverage today!
So lets talk about APPLES - this is a healthy snack. In addition to the above saying, it is also said, "To eat an apple going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread." I won't beg for bread unless it is gluten free.
The apple is the member of the Rose family. Apples are rich in phytochemicals. Phytochemicals have been shown to decrease chronic disease, atherosclerosis and even cancer. Apples have a strong antioxidant potential, inhibit cancer cell production and lower cholesterol. The types and amounts of phytochemicals vary between species of plants. Apples detoxify the body, have antiviral properties, can prevent constipation, strengthen gums and reduce cholesterol. Never buy an apple that is not cold, or if it had a dent in it. The best source for apple history is Michael Pollan's first book, Botany of Desire, which I loved. I am no Johnny Appleseed but I learned a lot from the book. Did you ever wonder why a squirrel will not eat the seeds of an apple or why we also should not eat apple seeds? Find out tomorrow.
The above craft work was done in 2001. That is when I first started some form of a hobby. It is a latch hook rug of a basket of apples. I gave it to Aunt Mary and it hangs in her den in New Jersey. I did many latch hook rugs that year and in 2002 moved to needle crafting.
Monday, March 15, 2010
March 15, 2010
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans makes much confusion by stating 'know your fats' or 'consume a variety of nutrient dense foods among the basic food groups'. My job is to educate you on choosing the right foods. Let's start making informed breakfast choices. Breakfast is the most important meal. You should eat breakfast as if you were the Queen of England, lunch like the Prince of Wales, and dinner as if you were a servant in Buckingham Palace. You need to start off with protein for breakfast. This would include either a protein shake with low sugar and low carbohydrates, nut butters on rice cakes and even eggs or an omelette with goat cheese, and a green vegetable. Eggs contain cholesterol but if eaten without toast and home fries, eggs will not increase cholesterol. This is written in The Cholesterol Myths. Other breakfast choices are a plain goat yogurt with blueberries, millet cereal with soy, almond or goat milk.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
"Happiness is not in our circumstances, but in ourselves"
Fish oils have been used for a variety of conditions such as acne, angina, arthritis, glaucoma, hypertension, Meniere's disease, migraines, psoriasis, and Raynaud's disease. The disease entities I commonly use oils for are atherosclerosis and the reduction of cholesterol. Eskimo and Japanese diets are rich with these omega 3 oils. These groups have a lower rate of atherosclerosis. The natural source of fish oils are fish-- particularly salmon. Other fish such as sardines and mackerel are also high in oils. Did you know there is one mammal high in omega 3 oils? I will tell you which one at the end of the blog. The omega 3 oils are used to lower the bad cholesterol (LDL), decrease triglycerides and increase the good cholesterol (HDL). Take 4 grams (4000 mg) of omega oils per day for best benefits.
I was planning on talking about the evils of carbohydrates especially after attending the In Lunch Arts Service Brunch. It was a great event at the GLBT center on West 13th but there were too many carbohydrates offered like french toast,bagels, rolls, danish and even the evil ice cream. No one is perfect, including me, so I had a chocolate ice cream cone.
Above is a needlepoint that I bought originally in San Francisco. Needlepoint is a form of embroidery also known as canvas work, canvas embroidery, petit-point, canvas tapestry, tapestry work or just plain needlepoint. I used a variety of stitches in the three dimensional fish. You will see that there are many many stitches. In the past, the stitches used in canvas were limited in number. Depending on the books you read now there are only a few. However when you look at past books there are many stitches. My goal besides educating you about lifestyle changes is also to get you interested in any form of embroidery. The fish pillow was given to my father at the same time that I gave my Aunt Mary a large latch hook rug of a basket of apples. After my beloved dad passed at Thanksgiving four years ago, my aunt keeps the pillow on her recliner where both my dad and my uncle used to sit.
What mammal has plenty of omega 3 oils? It is the Emu.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
"The path will show itself. The next step shall be revealed. We do not have to know what it is. We will know in time. Let go and trust that."
Who wants to discuss dietary changes on a rainy day? This is a good day to sleep in, lie in bed endlessly and read...or perhaps do your stitchery. Most of us do not want to deny ourselves comfort food on a cold, rainy day.
"Imagine losing weight with a diet that lets you have bacon and eggs for breakfast, heavy cream in your coffee, all the meat you want and maybe a salad." No wonder why Robert C. Atkins MD called it the Diet Revolution. I have the pleasure of looking at a yellow copy of the 1972 printing of a Bantam Book by Robert C. Atkins and Ruth West Herwood. Not only is it the original, first printing but it is signed by the man himself. I had the distinct privilege of working with him as the Director of the Atkins Center for Complimentary Medicine in NYC. We talked and walked daily, did a 12 noon radio show and dined.
Why do I bring this up here? I do not know. Perhaps I am nostalgic or perhaps the world should realize if they do not know that this man is the Father of Low Carbohydrate Lifestyle. On April 12, 1973 this man responded and replied to criticisms of his diet in testimony before the U.S. Senate Select Committee of Nutrition and Human Needs. His formal statement was printed in the first edition on page 299. How many of those committee members alive today realize that he was correct? His diet is the most well known diet. If you google diets there are more than 250 different names of diets. Perhaps the Zone and South Beach Diet are the most common today. There is the Makers Diet. Yet remember this--all diets are derivatives of Dr. Atkins Low Carbohydrate Lifestyle. He was revolutionary. I am proud to have known and treated him as a patient. Everyone thinks they know that a low fat diet is a preventative measure against heart disease. Some studies have proved it and some have not. I do know that Bob and I disagreed on the amount of protein and fat that anyone should consume. We never argued about it--only discussed it theoretically and intellectually.
The needlepoint is of the the crocus. The plural is crocudrd or croci. It is the genus of a perennial flowering plant. Botanically it is placed in the iris family (Iridaceae). I know I did it because Rick loves Irises. Did you know there are 80 species of crocus in a variety of colors?
The only thing for today is to be aware of white carbohydrates and limit their intake--just for today.
Friday, March 12, 2010
"Sharing love and life with others is one of the greatest gifts of all. Take the time to appreciate it and enjoy it."
I think most of us are hesitant about lifestyle changes whether the change is geographic (location), ending or starting a relationship, sending your child to a new school or off to college, or a change in dietary lifestyle. I am certainly like this...any change creates some fear. I know I have been through all of the above. On a daily basis I educate, suggest, advise and treat many people I meet.
Lifestyle changes include dietary, exercise and even addressing addictions. Think about some of the lifestyle changes you would like to make. I know I have. Tale a piece of paper and draw the five Olympic Rings (it is easy since the Winter Games just ended). Put whatever you want in those circles. The first change we will spend time on is a dietary lifestyle change. Over the next several weeks I will ask you to think about what you eat and educate you about the way different foods affect your health. There is a lot to think about, it will take time and we will address only one topic each day. Some of you are more educated than others, but it is often helpful to read about something you already know about from a different perspective.
The canvas pictured above is the famous Hotel del Coronardo in San Diego, CA. Rich in color and heritage, it is a National Historic Landmark. With its ironic red turrets and pearcing horizontal lines, it is truly a site to see. Rick and I celebrated Mother's Day and Fred's 75th Birthday in the hotel. It is more than 120 years old and full of stories to match its history. Eleven US Presidents have visited "The Del". Edward Prince of Wales visited in 1920. Remember he became King Of England in 1936 and abdicate the throne for his love, Ms. Wallis Simpson. Some Like it Hot was filmed there. Can you just see Marilyn on the beach? I would have loved to been there when Charlie Chaplin visited. There is even a ghost who resides there.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
My first day of blogging March 11, 2010