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Archive for May 2013

Turkey Tracks: Giovanna McCarthy’s Birthday

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Turkey Tracks:  May 25, 2013

Giovanna McCarthy’s Birthday

My friend Giovanna has reached the magic age.

She now qualifies for the senior discount at the Belfast Coop.

Monumental!!

We celebrated with tea at Fromviandoux, a wonderful restaurant in Camden, Maine.

Here’s Giovanna taking a picture of the awesome plate of sweets that finished our tea.

Giovanna's birthday, May 2013 2

They asked if there was a celebration when I called for reservations–which is a nice thing to do as it helps them plan.

 

Giovanna's birthday, May 2013

Fromviandoux’s tea selections also include savory platters–cheeses and pate’s for instance.  Also available are many small lunch dishes for those who want something more substantial.  They do a really good job of dealing with my gluten issue.  Everything on this platter is gluten free, for instance.  And they are really good about mixing up crackers and breads with gluten and non-gluten selections so everyone is happy.

Tea is served from Wednesday to Saturday after 2 p.m.  Sunday is a day where many dishes are also served.

Tea at Fromviandoux…

Anything at Fromviandoux…

YES!

 

Written by louisaenright

May 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Interesting Information: Mammograms: Yes or No?

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Interesting Information:  May 25, 2013

Mammograms:  Yes or No?

I don’t get mammograms any more.

I’m more afraid of the danger the smashing of my breasts and the x-rays pose for my body than I am of the fear-mongering that might make me want to get a mammogram.

It’s not that I’m not afraid of getting cancer.  It’s that I don’t think mammograms are useful for either detecting or dealing with breast cancer.

And that’s because for the past five years, I’ve been seeing a lot of information that questions this whole practice.

For instance, the authors of a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (2012; 367:1998-2005) conclude that “nearly one-third of the women who received a diagnosis of breast cancer would never have developed the full-blown disease if left untreated.”  Apparently cancers come and go in our bodies all the time and may be connected to how our bodies deal with and cure illness.

Here’s a further synopsis of this study, taken from The Weston A. Price Foundation’s journal, Wise Traditions (winter 2012, pg. 14)–all of which is available for free online:

Nevertheless, in such cases [seeing possible cancer] patients typically undergo dangerous and invasive procedures such as surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, and chemotherapy.  H. Gilbert Welch, author of the study, speculated that as mammography technology has become more advanced, doctors are discovering breast lesions in such an early stage of development, it is virtually impossible to distinguish them from the benign cell clusters.  Even worse than the false positives is the fact that the mammograms “fail to catch forms of breast cancer that develop rapidly, explaining why the more widespread use of screenings has done so little to curb the rate at which late-stage breast cancer is found.”  According to Welch, “The sad fact is that there’s a subset of women who develop such an aggressive form of cancer it literally can’t be caught early.”  No one is voicing the thought that the mammograms themselves  may be causing these virulent tumors.

In other words, as I’ve read in numerous places elsewhere, mammograms don’t statistically affect the outcome of bona-fide breast cancer.

The same is apparently true for prostate cancer testing.  All the terrible, stressful  procedures don’t affect the outcome of the disease.  John and I often thought that we wished we had never known about the disease, that we had just lived our lives in bliss until some part of the disease made itself felt in a way that we sought out pain relief.

And doctors are still pushing failed dietary practices that cause diabetes (low fat, high carb, no red meat), are concerned with “high” cholesterol figures when that whole line of thought has been debunked, are still suggesting statins for treatment of a non-disease, are still pushing vaccines without adequate science to support them, will give antibiotics that wipe out all your gut flora and fauna at the drop of the hat, etc., etc., etc.  No wonder they have lost, at least, my confidence.

Truth in writing:  I come from a family of doctors and nurses.  They are all good, caring people.  I know a lot of doctors who are good caring people and who were wonderful to us when John was sick.  They are good people caught in a bad system.  Some of them are more willing to buck the system than others.  And am I glad they are there if I’m in a car wreck?  You betcha.  But for ongoing health care–I’ve taken to saying “stay away from them; they will kill you if you let them.”

Let’s call modern medicine what it really is:  an industry.

What I would like to see is a change in the medical paradigm where the focus is on treating disease from a holistic paradigm, not just treating symptoms, which usually means drugs, surgery, radiation, hormones, and chemotherapy.  These protocols are not working well, if at all.

For instance, the MONTH of radiation John had turned out not to have been needed at all (a suspicious spot on an x-ray was not suspicious after all).  Not surprisingly, his PSA began to rise radically.  My own take is that the month of radiation significantly weakened his body, which made him sicker.  The next treatment up in the standards of care was hormone therapy.  But hormones degrade the bones, so guess what?  The cancer showed up  in John’s bones next.  The oncologist also wanted to do chemotherapy, in spite of the fact that statistics clearly showed it would not prolong life.  The best she could do was to say that “it might make you feel better.”  Really?  Flooding your body with a terrible poison every three weeks might make you fell better?  And bless her heart, for she was a caring person and wanted to help, she offered the hope card:  miracles happen, why not you?  And the treatment for degraded bones?  A drug that basically turns bones into cement, which makes them brittle, and which has horrific side effects.  We stopped the cancer ride at the hormone therapy stop.  But how many desperate people don’t stop?

We do not have another mainstream paradigm than these failed standards of care–crafted by Big Pharma and not science.  And doctors who stray from the “standards of care” are penalized or lose their licenses.  That’s how industry works.  Industry does not care about science; it cares about money.  Practitioners within it are, simply, workers.  All freedom has been lost for them.

AND, the amount of $$$$ involved in treating symptoms is, simply, mind boggling, so the industries involved will fight change tooth and toenail.  The only component that can create change is the grassroots understanding of the problem and a consequent refusal to participate in practices that cause harm and do not work.  We have to take the $$$$ out of the mix.  Do you have any idea what a month of useless radiation costs?

Healing disease is going to have to involve cleaning up what’s causing disease (bad food and a degraded habitat).   The notion that we can degrade the world and create a technological fix to the disease that occurs has to be understood as a nonstarter.

Cancer will strike 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of 2 men.  (Or it’s the other way around.)

Contrary to hype, most will not survive to live out their lives.  Five years is not “survival.”

Cancer is a plague.

Isn’t it time for us to insist on cleaning up the mess we have made?

If not for ourselves, for our children and grandchildren.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by louisaenright

May 25, 2013 at 11:43 am

Interesting Information: Fat-Soluble Vitamins Need FAT

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Interesting Information:  May 23, 2013

Fat-Soluble Vitamins Need FAT

Yep!  They need the right kind of FAT to activate best in your body–and that’s a fat low in polyunsaturated fatty acids–which includes most vegetable oils.

You can supplement all you want–with food, with supplements–but if you don’t have enough good dietary FAT, the fat-soluble vitamins don’t go to work.

Chris Masterjohn is the young scientist that The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) is helping to develop.  He has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Connecticut and is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Illinois, studying the interactions between vitamins A, D, and K.  His blog is “The Daily Lipid,” which is supported under the Cholesterol-And-Health.com web site.   So you can see he is following in the footsteps of Dr. Mary Enig, who is an internationally recognized expert on fats and the human body.

Masterjohn is a frequent (and welcome) contributor to WISE TRADITIONS, the quarterly journal of the WAPF.  THe winter 2012 issue has an important Masterjohn article:  “Nutritional Adjuncts to the Fat-Soluble Vitamins,” found at http://www.westonaprice.org/fat-soluble-activators/nutritional-adjuncts-to-the-fat-soluble-vitamins.

This article is important because it illustrates that the current scientific paradigm of studying components of foods in isolation leads us to making really bad decisions.  An illustration would be the recent uproar about one component in red meat studied in isolation.  The result:  red meat might be dangerous to eat.  BUT, BUT, BUT, that component never exists in isolation in red meat.  It operates alongside all the other components, or synergistically.  And, red meat is the ONLY place we get vitamin B12 IN A FORM where our body can use it.  (Aren’t you wondering after all these years of folks trying to demonize red meat WHY?  First it was the fat.  Now it’s an isolated component.  Who is paying for this research anyway?  Where are we dealing with a belief system and where is good science?)

We need a new paradigm.  We need to study how components operate SYNERGISTICALLY , or how they react with each other and need each other to give us the best of what they have to offer.  Masterjohn traces the history of how science tried to understand how the fat-soluble vitamins work by isolating each one.  As a result, researchers did not get to an understanding of the truth of these vitamins.  The result was that people were told they needed more vitamin A.  No, it’s really vitamin D.  And vitamin K only works to help coagulate blood.  The role of vitamin K2 was dismissed entirely as it appears in very small quantities.  (Bigger is not always better.)

Masterjohn writes that the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K2 “interact synergistically to support immune health, provide for adequate growth, support strong bones and teeth, and protect soft tissues from calcification.”

And, said another way:   “We now know that vitamins A and D also cooperate together to regulate the production of certain vitamin K-dependent proteins.  Once vitamin K activates these proteins, they help mineralize bones and teeth, support adequate growth, and protect arteries and other soft tissues from abnormal calcification, and protect against cell death.”

BUT, the synergism is bigger than just these three vitamins:

Magnesiumn is “required for the production of all proteins, including those that interact with vitamins A and D.

Vitamins A and D “support the absorption of zinc and zinc supports the absorption of all the fat-soluble vitamins.”

Many of the proteins involved in vitamin A metabolism and the receptors for both vitamins A and D only function correctly in the presence of zinc.

Dietary fat is necessary for the absorption off at-soluble vitamins.

Nature provided these ingredients for us in nutrient-dense foods.  Trying to obtain them through supplements can drastically throw off how they interact with each other–which means trouble in the body.

Masterjohn argues that we need to eat the right kinds of fat to access the crucially important fat-soluble vitamins:

Human studies show that both the amount and type of fat are important.  For example, one study showed that absorption of beta-carotene from a salad with no added fat was close to zero.  The addition of a lowfat dressing made from canola oil increased absorption, but a high-fat dressing was much more effective.  Canola oil, however, is far from ideal.  Studies in rats show that absorption of carotenoids is much higher with olive oil than with corn oil.

Similarly, studies in humans show that consuming beta-carotene with beef tallow rather than sunflower oil increases the amount we absorb from 11 to 17 percent.

Why is the animal fat a better fat in terms of absorption?  Masterjohn poses that the lower the fats are in polyunsaturated fatty acids, the better they work inside our bodies.  He poses that polyunsaturated fatty acids likely promote the oxidative destruction of fat-soluble vitamins in the intestines before we are able to absorb them.”

Nutrient-dense foods derive from animals:  meat, milk, eggs, REAL cod-liver oil (not the pasteurized kind with vitamins added back), etc.  Yes, plants are important sources of useful components, but our bodies work best with nutrient-dense foods.

Turkey Tracks: Talula Is an Artist

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Turkey Tracks:  May 23, 2013

Talula is An Artist

I really love the fact that my four older grandchildren are exposed to learning how to create art.

I am so glad that their schools recognize how important creative expression is when it takes the form of art created with the hands, with paint and glue and messiness, not just with the heart and mind, such as is true with words.

Talula, though, has been an artist for some time.  She’ll be seven in September, but for years now she has had the practice of getting up early to draw, color, and create.  When she comes to Maine and is “on vacation,” she spends a lot of time making art.  I put up a table for her and try to keep the house supplied with paper, crayons, colored pencils, and so forth.  They all love to make art, but Talula NEEDS to make art.  It’s going to be be really interesting to see where this need to create art takes Talula in the years to come.

I always ask Talula to show me her recent art when I visit her in Charleston.

Here’s the best of what she showed me this last trip:

Talula made “the girl” with rose petals, pine straw, sticks, beans, a ribbon, and pasta.  This girl has a new form from earlier “girls”–she is stockier and does not have the long neck Talula usually draws.

Talula and her art

Here’s maybe a better picture:

Talula's girl

She has two other  motifs I’ve seen her doing for the past few years.  A girl with a pony-tail hairdo and a colorful rainbow.

Talula's girl 2

Here, I think her use of background color–and her patience with putting it all in–is interesting.

This girl can often have a long, skinny neck with bands of color and texture.  I have one of those on my quilt-room wall and would like to make a quilt version of it for her birthday.  (The road to hell is paved with good intentions.)

Here’s the iconic rainbow she does–which I like because, again, it shows she’s not afraid of color.  And, the rainbow is about something that she’s imprinted on herself artistically.  Like the long-necked girl.

Talula's rainbow

She made a rainbow on Tara Derr Webb’s ipad (53 Paper App, which is fabulous) when she heard John had died:

Lula drawing

I have saved it.

Written by louisaenright

May 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Interesting Information: Portland, Oregan, Citizens Reject Fluoride

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Interesting Information:  May 23, 2013

Portland, Oregon, Citizens Reject Fluoride

For the FOURTH time since 1956 Portland, Oregon, citizens have rejected adding fluoride to their water supply.  This time, by a 60-40 percent margin.  And, despite “public health experts” support of the proposal to add fluoride to the water.

Who are these “public experts”?  Are they local doctors?  Are they public health officials?

One thing these “experts” are NOT is people who have read the most recent government report assessing the use of fluoride in the water.  That report raises all kinds of warning flags about putting fluoride in the public water systems.  And they are NOT people who are aware that even the American Dental Association is telling people not to use fluoridated public water in baby formula because the dose is much to great for infants.  There isn’t a geriatric association to warn senior citizens with health issues not to drink fluoridated public water as the dose is likely too great for them.

Let’s step back a moment and remember that “public health experts” who are MDs and those trained as public health officials are NOT scientists.  MDs and dentists are PRACTITIONERS, not scientists.  They are not trained to vet the array of scientific studies about fluoride (or lots of other thorny health issues, like, for instance, vaccines or what to eat).  They know only what they have been taught or have been told.  Give them wrong information, and they are, as much as you and I, caught in a bad information loop that is not based on any reputable science.  And like most people who are working long hours, they do not have time to do extensive, deep research anyway.

Let’s also note that it is absolutely irresponsible for these “public health experts” people to publicly support something like putting fluoride into the water–a dangerous chemical whose dosage cannot be controlled–without first doing RECENT research, which would include AT LEAST looking at the most recent government report, which was done by a panel with the kinds of credentials that ensure that panel members know how to vet the evidence.

SCIENTISTS are, thus, telling us that fluoride in the water is dangerous and that it does not prevent cavities.  The correlation between diet and cavities is stronger than the correlation between fluoride and cavity prevention.  Remember, anyway, that correlation is NOT CAUSATION.  Causation has to be proved, and with fluoride, it NEVER HAS BEEN PROVED.  If you have cavities, you are likely eating too much sugar or have other malabsorption issues going on.  (Remember that all those grains these same “public health experts” have us eating turn right into sugar in your body.)  And, I’m beginning to realize that cavities can actually be healed with a good diet of nutrient-dense foods.  How’s that for a surprise?

There is a good book about fluoride from three scientists who know how to vet the evidence.

Tim Boyd reviewed THE CASE AGAINST FLUORIDE:  HOW HAZARDOUS WASTE ENDED UP IN OUR DRINKING WATER AND THE BAD SCIENCE AND POWERFUL POLITICS THAT KEEP IT THERE, by Paul Connett, PhD, James Beck, MD, PhD, and H.S. Micklem, DPhil, in the spring 2011  WAPF journal, “Wise Traditions.”  Boyd noted the authors’ statement that the pea-sized dab of toothpaste contains as much fluoride as one glass of fluoridated water.  Boyd asked if adults call the Poison Control Center after drinking the recommended eight glasses of
water per day since they would have exceeded EPA’s daily safety dose for fluoride.

Don’t have time to read the book?  That’s ok, because I read it for you.  I have three essays on this blog summarizing the main evidence and the authors’ arguments:  Mainely Tipping Points Essays, Nos. 34, 35, 36.

Here’s the url for the NY Times article about the Portland vote:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/23/us/oregon-fluoride-measure-in-portland-is-defeated.html?_r=1&

GO PORTLAND!!!

Written by louisaenright

May 23, 2013 at 11:42 am

Turkey Tracks: Worms in My Basement

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Turkey Tracks:  May 21, 2013

Worms in My Basement

I have worms in my basement.

Vermiculture Worms.

They eat my garbage.

Actually, they eat the mold my garbage makes at it…ages.

They don’t smell.

They have likes and dislikes.  They are not crazy about citrus.

They live in this box in the utility room:

Worm box

It’s warm in the utility room.  They like warmth.  See the vent holes on the sides of the box.  Screens taped on the inside keep the worms from exploring more of their habitat.

Here’s what the inside of the box looks like:

Worm box inside

You can see they’ve disposed of all their food except for some stray egg shells.

See the black dirt?  The worms make all that dirt.  Worm dirt sells for about $17 a bag.  It’s black gold.

Here’s a close-up of the worms in their black gold:

Worms and their dirt

The chickens LOVE to get a handful of worms thrown to them.

I cover the worms with a layer of shredded paper.  I keep a shredder in the office, and sometimes I shred newspapers if the supply of shredded paper runs low.  I got a decent shredder last year after trying to manage a small, cheap one for some years.  When it broke, I upgraded slightly, and I think that’s been a good trade-off as I’m not putting a whole lot of paper into the waste stream.

The new shredder cross-cuts the paper, which means it dissolves quicker:

Worms, paper shredded fine

Here’s the new shredder and TWO bags of shredded paper–all made with no fuss, no jamming, no cuss words…

Worms, paper shredding

In the summer, I empty the worm bin onto a tarp.  The worms retreat to the bottom of the pile, and I skim off the black gold and put it into the garden.  The chickens LOVE to help with this task.  I round up some worms to go back into the box and feed them and cover them up again.  The rest of the worms go into the veggie garden.  These worms live near the surface, so they don’t survive in a really cold winter.  I think they might winter over in a milder winter however.  At the very least, they aerate the soil and add in protein.

Vermiculture worms are very different from outdoor Maine worms.  Those guys can be as long and as thick as a small snake.  Vermiculture worms are reddish, smaller, and thinner.

I like having worms in the basement on a cold, snowy day when I don’t want to plow through drifts to get to the compost bins that live back of the garage.

Whatever the reason, I like having the worms in the basement.

PS:  there are many web sites about vermiculture.

Written by louisaenright

May 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Interesting Information: Osteoporosis Cure

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Interesting Information:  May 21, 2013

Osteoporosis Cure

I’m behind in my reading and reporting.

Blame it on the inherited ipad where I am playing “Word” with kin, friends, and at least one former highschool classmate.  It will keep my brain active, right?  And it allows me to stay connected in a whole new way, right?  I hope so, as I love language and words and am learning so many new ones.

I finished the winter 2012 WISE TRADITIONS, the journal of The Weston A. Price Foundation, the other day.  There is always such good information in it, and it’s free on-line to any reader.  (I get a hard copy because I write all over the pages taking side notes, making comments, circling important information, and so forth.)  This issue is on the importance of fat-soluble vitamins–and I will write more on that tomorrow.   Remember that I am reading so I can report back to you and if you want to read more, you can follow in my footsteps and go to the texts I surface for you.

A letter called “Geriatric Rickets” caught my eye, written by Philip Ridley of London, UK.  His mother suffered from osteoporosis–a disease he believes (as I do) that is caused by malnutrition from the diet his (and our) health practitioners have been pushing for the past forty years or so–low-fat, high-sugar, high-carb intake.

First, Ridley’s mother stopped taking the osteoporosis drugs “given for free in the U.K. on the National Health Service.”  Ridley notes that

these drugs operate by inhibiting osteoclasts and stimulating osteoblasts.  The former break down old bone cells and the latter build new bone cells.  The problem with meddling in this process is that strong bones require the renewal of old bone cells with new bone cells.  The drugs therefore increase brittleness and they also do nothing about the malnutrition that causes weak bones in the first place.”

Ridley also notes that “women at the final stages of geriatric rickets are given an infusion of these toxic drugs directly into the marrow.  I have heard from families that this is the most painful treatment.”

Ridley’s mother CURED her osteoporosis by eating “bone broths, sourdough bread [fermented foods], butter, soaking of beans and grains, raw grass-fed Guernsey milk, two Royal Blend high-vitamin butter oil and fermented cod liver oil capsules per day, liver and bacon once a week, and an herbal remedy for strong bones.”  Ridley’s mother “had always had grass-fed meat, wild fish, and fresh vegetables, but lacked the fat-soluble vitamins as a result of following the lowfat diet since it was introduced into Britain in 1983, when skimmed milk first came available.”

Ridley and his mother spent “the last decade since her diagnosis waiting for the horrid, inevitable broken hip or back bone.”  But, Ridley reports that her last bone density test showed that she no longer needed to be followed for osteoporosis.  Her diet had healed her bones.

Ridley also notes that the only nutritional supplement  given for osteoporosis in the UK is calcium tablets.  But, calcium given this way “simply calcifies the soft tissues in combination with the low fat diet they promote.”  When people ask Ridley how to strengthen bones he says “eat bones.”

Ridley dams the way doctors and Big Pharma work together to put women on drugs–and what he says is true in America as well:

Geriatric rickets is becoming a silent, worsening epidemic amongst women because the bone density tests kick in for all at around sixty-five years of age, and, much like the cholesterol levels that lead to statin prescriptions, the triggers for bone density treatment are manipulated to catch the greatest number of customers for the drug companies.”

AND:

Doctors in the NHS also get performance-related pay based on the number of women tested and the number of women who test negative who hare placed on the drugs.  Most women nowadays will, as a result of lowfat diets, suffer low bone density, so a vast number of women are now being put on these toxic drugs, yet they could all be saved anguish if we would only call osteoporosis what it is and treat it accordingly.

That would be “geriatric rickets.”

Ridley also notes that “routine bone density tests most likely also cause cancer because they use radiation.”

I could add that when I came to Maine, I had arthritis in my right hip and terrible back pain.  I know my bones are much stronger now as a result of how I eat.  My gums don’t bleed when I go to the dentist.  And I’ve (knock on wood) had no new cavities–a sure sign of malnutrition.  I refuse to get any more bone density tests.  Or, mammograms, for that matter.  And I’m not going to go through the airport x-ray machines any more either.

I also have well water, which means I am no longer getting any fluoride.  For about two years after we came to Maine, I could hardly sleep at night from the pains in my bones.  I was restless and twisted and turned.  I just plain hurt.  I think it was the fluoride coming out of  my bones–and fluoride has been shown to make bones brittle, not strong.  There are a number of essays on this blog addressing the fluoride–which is one of the biggest scams in our lives today.  There isn’t any science behind adding it to the water and a LOT of science showing how dangerous it is.  Anyway, I don’t have these pains any more, and I can feel such an improvement in the health of my bones.

Here’s the whole letter if you want to read it:  http://www.westonaprice.org/letters/letters-winter-2012.