Category Archives: Nutritional Intervention

A “Whole” New Approach Diet Plan

pearsNo guilt, but if you’re looking for a diet plan, here’s a basic outline for one. You can start it any day of the year. Any hour of each new day. You can take off for your birthday and start the day after. Just eat this way nearly daily, always coming back to it after a day or two or month off, for the rest of your life, and you’ve got a good, successful, healthy diet plan. Tweak it how you want, although keep true to the whole, real food “bones” of the plan.

Health is important. Eating right is important. But most importantly, YOU are important. Eating is a tool to make YOU the BEST YOU! I would be so happy if you started seeing it that way! Please, if you have any questions on what I mean when I write, do ask!

Ready? Let’s go! (Click this link for printable PDF version: Whole New Approach Diet Plan)

The Goal: Take it down to 100% whole, real food that hasn’t been processed.

This is what you’re shooting for here: Pretend you had farms, orchards, and fishing boats all over the world. The food you’re about to buy or cook with should be something you could have grown, picked, gathered, pressed, squeezed or butchered from the abundance of your farm, orchard, or from waterways you travel.

Yes, it’s a real challenge in today’s world to eat this way! You may not need to do this forever to reach your health goals. Or maybe you will need to do this forever to maintain your health goals. But for right now focus on today! Plan for tomorrow.

Loosen up as your waistline and/or health goals allow. Loosen up when it becomes too cumbersome. But keep this as your goal, your vision, your “perfect” plan, so you don’t stray back to eating fast food or too many boxed foods.

Maybe you’ll make exceptions to making your own peanut butter or almond milk. I get it! But I do challenge you to try to eat completely unprocessed foods for a set length of time you determine. It is a real eye-opener!

Yes! You can eat any fresh, unpackaged fruit or vegetable.

Eat them how you want. Raw. Steamed. Poached. Baked. Boiled. They’re on the table. If you have an upset stomach from eating them, pay attention to which ones! Eat less of those. Try them prepared a different way. Or eat another kind.

Some people don’t tolerate certain fruits and vegetables well, but there is PLENTY to choose from! Look up something called “FODMAPS” and see if you can sort out which foods might be causing you abdominal distress. BUT don’t go too crazy with it! It’s your body, and the FODMAP tables are only guidelines.

Yes! You can eat any fresh meat that has not been processed.

Meats that are canned with nothing added can be used occasionally, like canned tuna or salmon. Bacon and cold cut meats are convenient but require caution because they are usually processed with added chemicals or fillers .

Sad face: No refined flours at all.

None. No exceptions. Read labels. Most whole grain products are made with refined flour also.

Another sad face: The goal is no added “sugar” of any kind to the food you buy.

No sugar. No honey. No maple syrup. No dextrose. And definitely no high fructose corn syrup. Buy food items without sweetener, and then, if it tastes “yucky,” sweeten it yourself just to the lowest sweetness you can tolerate. You can control “sugar” (or honey or maple syrup) this way. It’s a difficult rule. You may find yourself making some exceptions, but don’t make many.

No artificial colors added.

I can think of NO reason an artificial color is needed. Many children, especially, are sensitive to food dyes. All food dyes do is muck up the body and brain with no benefit to nutrition. Eliminate them.

No preservatives.

Like eliminating sugar, this is a tough rule. But it’s still important to not allow too many exceptions. Preservatives alter the VITAL gut bacteria that our bodies DEPEND on for health. I cannot stress enough how we must protect our gut bacteria to protect us from all disease states.

No more than 3-5 ingredients that you understand and have access to yourself should be listed in the ingredients for the product.

Do you understand maltodextrin? Or soy protein isolate? Don’t buy that stuff.

Oils and fats should be ones you could make right there on that farm or orchard we talked about at the beginning of the post! Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or butter are oils and fats you could make!

This is a huge, very important topic! Processed oils like Canola oil, soybean oil, and vegetable oil as they are purchased in the supermarket are faulty oils that place a large stress on the body. Liquid oils should have the date they were squeezed from the food they came from (called the pressed date) on them, and they should be simply pressed—not extracted under high heat and processed with deodorizers.

Solid fats should be solid naturally, like butter and coconut oil are. Margarine, Crisco, and hydrogenated fats are liquid fats that have been chemically processed to be solid. Do NOT eat them if you can help it.

Watch for food sensitivities, and be aware that gluten and dairy have lots of pesky proteins which make them top health offenders.

After eliminating processed foods, it’s time to explore if there are sensitivities. Common problematic foods include: eggs, nuts and seeds, grains, dairy, legumes, shellfish. But any food can cause symptoms. Anything you swallow can have side effects, and each person is different.

Closing

Do I eat this way?  It is my gold-standard, but I adapt it differently as life changes and puts me in different stages. This is the eater I’d like to be! But I do not feel guilt when life dictates that I must deviate!

Guilt is just a part of us screaming (or whispering) because it wants us to do the right thing. Guilt doesn’t make us healthy. In about four minutes, my four-year old will wake up and come find me on the computer here, trying to write this post. Guilt will tell me to stop writing now and be a good mother. Guilt will also tell me I’ll never be a writer because I don’t make time for it. My guilt is simply trying to help me do the right thing to find balance in my life. 

I don’t want you to have guilt about your eating. I just want you to do the right thing for your health, your body, and your mind. Usually, the path for that will be clear and you’ll stick to homemade soups and salads and yummy, crunchy nuts day in and day out! But then, there will be moments where eating unhealthy is the healthiest thing to do in that moment for you, like at your birthday or Christmas. Paradoxes like this make life a fun art!

Best wishes for a pattern of LIFELONG real, whole eating! I really want you to succeed in health and vitality in 2019 and onward! I would like for you to feel good and paint, sew, write, sing, or garden. I would like you to travel with your grandkids, bike with your friends, or climb up on the tractor for another season of harvest.

The world needs more real, whole, healthy people–inside and out! Eating is a tool to make you the best you. Are you eating that way?

Terri F

Prostate Cancer Nutrition

I have put together a prostate cancer diet after reading many, many different sources. I have listed the scientific resources that my opinions are pooled from. Doctors and healthcare authorities rely on research studies, and when you discuss changes to your cancer plan with them, it is a good idea to carry the study with you that you’re basing your desire to change your cancer plan on. Most doctors will NOT encourage complementary diets and think they are a waste of patients’ time and fretfulness. But there is research to support intensive dietary intervention, and if this research is put into doctors’ hands, I believe they’ll read it. If a patient brought me a research article (NOT a blog post or a newspaper article, but a REAL medical journal article), I always made time to read it when I was practicing.

Take a look at the diet I constructed and compare it to what’s out there. Read. Read. Read. And if what you eat is no big deal to you and you want to give nutritional intervention a try for prostate cancer, with your doctor’s approval, go for it! If you can, try to eat organic; if you can’t, try to eat organic at least on the foods you eat every day.

I read all comments (that don’t go through to spam) and diligently consider them. If you have a story, refutation, helpful addition, or grammar correction, please comment. Lastly, medical research changes, and as this post “ages,” there will be new diet information on prostate cancer. Do NOT use this post as medical advice!

(Click here for printable PDF version of this post: prostate cancer nutrition)

My Prostate Cancer Nutritional Intervention Plan

1. Eat a total of 8 CUPS (or more) of a combination of vegetables and/or fruits DAILY. Measure the eight cups so you’re not misjudging. Include as part of this the following foods.

  • Eat ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw organic BROCCOLI DAILY. (Substitute Brussels, cauliflower, cabbage, or kale if/when you get disgusted with broccoli.)
  • Eat 1 serving size of CITRUS DAILY, such as grapefruits, lemons, limes, oranges.
  • Eat ½-1 cup of CARROTS DAILY.
  • Eat almost daily: Organic tomato products that have been simmered for a long time (spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, tomato juice) with a little fat (like olive oil). Do not use products in BPA-laden plastic containers or BPA-lined cans. I search for products in glass jars.
  • Also add in some of the following fruits that you like each day: apples, apricots, plums, red raspberries, red grapes, pomegranates, and other colorful fruits.
  • Also add in some of the following vegetables that you like each day: Mushrooms (shiitake, Maitake, Reishi), bell peppers, hot peppers, Brussels, cauliflower, cabbage, red cabbage, kale, spinach, arugula, collards, cabbage, onions, Romaine lettuce, radishes, beets, and other colorful and/or deeply green vegetables.
  • Also rotate through starchier vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, winter squashes (acorn, butternut), and potatoes (simply prepared) for foods which will help fill you up.

2. Eat 1 ounce (roughly ¼ cup or 28 grams) of nuts and/or seeds every day. Choose from sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, black walnuts, English walnuts, sesame seeds, and pine nuts.* (The * means see the postscript notes at the bottom of the post before my references.)

Eat them as is, sprinkle them on salads, toss into stir fry, or grind them fresh into “nut butter.”**  (See notes below.)

My personal favorites for health and cancer are sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, but each nut is special (and I’m not kidding…)—eat ones you enjoy. Also use hemp seeds (for GLA, omega-3, zinc), flax seed (it must be freshly ground PLEASE—I started using my coffee bean grinder for flax), and chia seeds (for omega-3).

3. For meat, eat fish (3-6 ounces provides the vitamin D and omega-3 requirements—or close to it, depending on the fish): wild caught salmon, sardines, cod, herring, trout.**

  • Eliminate or only rarely eat red meat and processed meats (bacon, ham, salami, hot dogs, beef jerky, and cold meat). Do not eat any charred meat.
  • Eliminate or only rarely eat poultry.
  • Eliminate or only rarely eat eggs.

4. Eat ½ cup or more of lentils and/or beans 5-7 days per week. Navy beans and lentils are my personal health favorites but eat what you enjoy. Choose from black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, etc.

5. Soy is unclear to me. It seems okay (beneficial even) for prevention and for early, localized cancer. However, I would avoid soy for high grade prostate cancers until we have further information. Choose minimally processed soy: soybean nuts, edamame, tofu, tempeh. Really research soy yourself and talk with your cancer team (doctors, nutritionists, etc.).

6. Drinks to include and exclude

  • A good quality, organic green tea, even consider matcha green tea daily if tolerated.
  • Water with the juice and pulp of a fresh lemon squeezed into it daily or routinely.
  • Pomegranate juice daily (100% juice, no added sugar), 8 ounces, IF you have MnSOD AA polymorphism***
  • Good quality water. Filtered tap water is usually fine.
  • Coffee seems neutral or even beneficial.
  • Almond milk or soy milk as needed to prepare appealing foods.
  • Eliminate any animal milk products.
  • Eliminate sodas, store-bought juices, and anything in plastic or BPA lined cans.

7. Force yourself to add herbs and spices (and fermented condiments), both fresh and dried, to your food. Any food you can add an herb or spice to, then find a way to do it.

  • Use turmeric daily (best when heated in oil and served with black pepper, so consider using on your vegetables).
  • Use ginger daily.
  • Use fresh garlic, one clove every day, ideally that has been pressed, cut, or diced and allowed to sit for 10 minutes prior to cooking (for development of a beneficial compound called allicin).
  • Hot peppers
  • Cinnamon
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles) that haven’t been pasteurized
  • Other spices as you explore: chives, cloves, cumin, etc. Don’t miss a chance to add a herb or spice.

8. Use high quality oils for dressings, sauces, and cooking. Do not aim necessarily for a low-fat diet, but your diet should be/will be lower in fat than a standard diet by nature of eating more vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and fish.*** Good choices are: high quality, fresh, well-stored olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, red palm oil (for natural forms of vitamin E), rare use of grass-fed butter (for vitamin K2), and/or unrefined sesame oil (for something called GLA).

9. Eat only truly whole grains that you must prepare.**** (Please understand that the kind you pour from a box and put almond milk on does not generally count towards the benefits of truly whole grains. You can’t eat cereal from a box or bag and expect you’re eating a cancer-fighter!) Use your prepared whole grains as an accent to your lentils/beans, vegetables, and fruits. Grains really do make foods fun, in my opinion. But DO NOT fall for processed whole grain products like crackers, most pre-made breads, bagels, cereals in a box/bag, etc. These are good whole grains to choose from:

  • Oatmeal (contain GLA, zinc, and prebiotics)
  • Flax (not really a grain but lots of grain-like benefits)
  • Buckwheat
  • Quinoa
  • Wild rice
  • Brown rice

10. Do NOT eat the following foods (but if you do, then by all means let the guilt go and renew your efforts as needed and as desired—this is your life):

  • Sugar (Spare use of honey or maple syrup is thought to be fine and helps flavor salad dressings, vegetable curries, fruit desserts, etc.)
  • Cereal (NO boxed cereals or granolas that contain sweeteners. 100% completely whole grain or grains/seeds that you grind are thought to be good, so make your own cereals.)
  • Bread (unless you know it is 100% whole grain or unless it is helping you to eat densely nutritious foods—for example, if a toasted slice of bread helps you to eat sardines with avocado, onions, and cilantro, go for it)
  • Meat, particularly red meat, is often correlated with increased cancer. Just avoid it. HOWEVER, if you have an intense craving for it that you can’t overcome, then listen to your body and prepare a good quality red meat dish. (I’ve seen a cancer patient who was craving red meat because she had severe anemia which needed a blood transfusion. Her body told her what she needed. I was a little disappointed that she chose McDonald’s hamburgers as her red meat source.)
  • Dairy (If you can’t leave out dairy, use grass-fed dairy and/or organic cheeses, ideally just as small accents to make your food taste better if you need to.)

11. Supplements: I believe in minimal supplementation and that food should be the source of our supplementation. I like to try to eat so I’m getting vitamin D, vitamin E, selenium, zinc, omega-3, magnesium, etc., through my diet. But, there are certain nutrients that I think are hard to get that could benefit prostate cancer, and those are iodine and vitamin K2. Iodine can come from seafood and seaweed, if a person wants to research those. Vitamin K2 could come from natto (which contains soy and is hard to find in the USA) or from high quality, high fat dairy (which I don’t really think agrees greatly with prostate cancer). These might be two supplements worth discussing with your doctor about supplementation (but PLEASE read and research so you have medical studies IN HAND on these—doctors nearly universally believe we get enough iodine and most have never heard of vitamin K2 yet).

That’s it for now. Best wishes to you, your family, and your life. Remember, I didn’t write this plan for you. It hasn’t been tested or tried and could worsen cancer! So if you want to use any or all of it, you need to talk with your doctor. Please take good care of yourself.

Terri F

Notes:

*I encourage you to grind your own “nut butters” rather than buying them pre-ground. Some stores have places you can grind your own. Nuts and seeds are rich in oils that can be oxidized and damaged by air and light. The fresher the “nut butter,” the better for the body. I would not use peanut products routinely because of the molds they can grow before processing.

** There is a good physician who believes no nuts or seeds should be used in cancer because they have fat. His name is Dean Ornish, MD. He is very well-known and believes in very low fat intake. However, with all the benefits I found for nuts and seeds, with ALL the cancer-fighting components they have, and with the many studies that show that those who eat more nuts have better outcomes, I just can’t exclude them from a cancer diet. BUT, I do think that perhaps the problem with nuts and seeds is the fact that their oils and fats are so easily damaged. Fats and oils work in the cell membrane, and if they’re dysfunctional, our cell membranes won’t work optimally. So I think QUALITY should be stressed for nuts and seeds and their oils. Although I, a humble, independent researcher, disagree with Dr. Ornish, a power-house of knowledge and research, I want you to definitely know and read up on his work. He has a prostate cancer study with successful outcomes on his diet. That would obviously be a better researched and accepted diet than I have printed above!

Besides nuts, Dr. Ornish also eliminates all meat (including fish) and then he supplements omega-3, selenium, vitamin E, and vitamin D. This doesn’t make sense to me. Repeatedly in nutritional medicine, certain supplements are thought to be helpful and end up being detrimental, whereas the foods that contain them don’t seem problematic! I believe that very often (not always), isolated supplementation can pose more harm than benefits. I think it’s better to allow fish and nuts than it is to eliminate them and then supplement back a tiny fraction of what they provide.

***Drinking pomegranate only seems to help if a person has the MnSOD AA polymorphism:

  • Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements (PDQ). Health Professional Version. PDQ Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board. Published online: August 16, 2018.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK83261/#CDR0000719335__162
  • Note: I was able to figure out my MnSOD status (SOD2; rs4880) by using my 23 and Me raw data input into Promethease.

****Grains are like nuts in that they have precious, easily damaged oils. Once they’re ground, their oils will be oxidized and damaged. I suggest eating them whole (like cooked quinoa or brown rice) OR grinding them fresh yourself. I use a coffee grinder and then use the freshly ground grain or seed (flax, buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, etc) to make my own bread or sprinkle on foods.

References:

Note: References have been roughly categorized. However, many references overlap and could appear in other sections as well. Please ask if you have any questions about the references. If you know of another reference that you’ve read that supports or refutes any of this information, great! Please comment on it so I can consider it and add notes or addendums to my diet.

Painting to begin post: Severin Roesen, Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Severin_Roesen_-_Two-Tiered_Still_Life_with_Fruit_and_Sunset_Landscape_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

On eating tons of vegetables and fruits:

  • Nguyen JY, Major JM, et al. Adoption of a Plant-Based Diet by Patients with Recurrent Prostate Cancer. Integrative Cancer Therapies. 2006. 5(3): 214-223.
  • Richman EL, Carroll PR, Chan JM. Vegetable and fruit intake after diagnosis and risk of prostate cancer progression. International Journal of Cancer Journal International du Cancer. 2012; 131(1): 201-210.

On eating tomato products:

  • Chan J et al. Diet after diagnosis and the risk of prostate cancer progression, recurrence, and death. Cancer Causes and Control. 2006; 17:199-208
  • Haseen F et al. Is there a benefit from lycopene supplementation in men with prostate cancer? A systematic review. Prostate Cancer & Prostatic Diseases. 2009; 12:325-33
  • Mroz L. Dietary Advice for Prostate Cancer Patients. Research Gate. 2016. 10.13140/RG.2.1.1539.1125. (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301542461_Dietary_Advice_for_Prostate_Cancer_Patients)

On eating broccoli:

  • Canene-Adams K, Lindshield BL, Wang S, et al. Combinations of Tomato and Broccoli Enhance Antitumor Activity in Dunning R3327-H Prostate Adenocarcinomas. Cancer Res. 2007; 67(2): 836-843.
  • Richman EL, Carroll PR, Chan JM. Vegetable and fruit intake after diagnosis and risk of prostate cancer progression. International Journal of Cancer Journal International du Cancer. 2012; 131(1): 201-210.
  • Kirsh V A,  Peters U, et al.  Prospective Study of Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Risk of Prostate Cancer.   J Natl Cancer Inst 2007;99: 1200-1209.
  • Lassed S,Deus CM,Lourenço N, et al. Diet, Lifestyles, Family History, and Prostate Cancer Incidence in an East Algerian Patient Group. BioMed Research International Volume. 2016. Article ID 5730569.

On eating citrus and the named fruits:

  • Keizman D, Frenkel MA,  et al. Effect of PectaSol-C modified citrus pectin (P-MCP) treatment on PSA dynamics in patients with nonmetastatic, biochemically relapsed prostate cancer: Results of the interim analysis of a prospective phase II study. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2017 35:15_suppl, e16588-e16588. (MY NOTE: Modified citrus pectin is not the same as plain old pectin.)
  • Paller CJ, Pantuck A, Carducci MA. A Review of Pomegranate in Prostate Cancer. Prostate cancer and prostatic diseases. 2017;20(3):265-270.
  • Perez‐Cornago A, Travis RC, Appleby PN, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and prostate cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). International Journal of Cancer. 2017;141(2):287-297. doi:10.1002/ijc.30741.
  • Lodi A, Saha A, et al. Combinatorial treatment with natural compounds in prostate cancer inhibits prostate tumor growth and leads to key modulations of cancer cell metabolism. Precision Oncology. 2017; 1 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41698-017-0024-z

On adding in the specified vegetables, especially carrots:

  • See above references under “eating large amounts of vegetables and fruits.”
  • Patel S, Goyal A. Recent developments in mushrooms as anti-cancer therapeutics: a review. 3 Biotech. 2012;2(1):1-15.
  • Xu X, Cheng Y, Li S. et al. Dietary Carrot Consumption and the Risk of Cancer. Eur J Nutr. 2014. 53: 1615.

On eating nuts:

  • Want W, Yang M, Kenfield SA, et al. Nut consumption and prostate cancer risk and mortality. British Journal of Cancer. 2016. 115: 371–374.
  • Sparccarotella KJ, Kris-Etherton PM, et al. The effect of walnut intake on factors related to prostate and vascular health in older men. Nutrition Journal. 2008. 7:13.
  • [My note: Dietary zinc beneficial but supplement not.] Epstein MM, Kasperzyk JL, Andrén O, Giovannucci EL, Wolk A, Håkansson N, Andersson SO, et al. Dietary zinc and prostate cancer survival in a Swedish cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Mar;93(3):586-93.
  • Richman EL, Kenfield SA, Chavarro JE, et al. Fat Intake After Diagnosis and Risk of Lethal Prostate Cancer and All-Cause Mortality. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(14):1318–1326. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6536
  • Azrad M et al. Flaxseed-derived enterolactone is inversely associated with tumor cell proliferation in men with localized prostate cancer. J Med Food 2013 Apr; 16(4): 357–60.
  • “Flaxseed Supplementation (Not Dietary Fat Restriction) Reduces Prostate Cancer Proliferation Rates in Men Presurgery.”  Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. December 2008 17; 3577.

 On eating fish:

  • Chavarro JE, et al. A 22-y prospective study of Fish intake in relation to prostate cancer incidence and mortality. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008; 88(5):1297-303.
  • Castelló A, Boldo E, et al. Mediterranean Dietary Pattern is Associated with Low Risk of Aggressive Prostate Cancer: MCC-Spain Study. The Journal of Urology, 2018; 199 (2): 430 DOI: 10.1016/j.juro.2017.08.087

On eliminating processed meats and charred meats, eggs, poultry:

  • Zheng W, Lee S-A. Well-done Meat Intake, Heterocyclic Amine Exposure, and Cancer Risk. Nutrition and cancer. 2009;61(4):437-446. doi:10.1080/01635580802710741.
  • Alexander DD, et al. A review and meta-analysis of prospective studies of red and processed meat intake and prostate cancer. Nutrition Journal. 2010; 9:50.2.
  • John EM, et al. Meat consumption, cooking practices, meat mutagens, and risk of prostate cancer. Nutrition and Cancer. 2011; 63(4):525-37.3.
  • Richman EL et al. Egg, red meat, and poultry intake and risk of lethal prostate cancer in the prostate-specific antigen-era: Incidence and survival. Cancer Prevention Research. 2011; 4(12):2110-21.4.
  • Punnen S, et al. Impact of meat consumption, preparation, and mutagens on aggressive prostate cancer. PLoS One. 2011; 6(11):e27711.5.
  • Frattaroli J, et al. (Dean Ornish) Clinical events in prostate cancer lifestyle trial: Results from two years of follow-up. Urology. 2008; 72(6):1319-23.
  • (PDF) Dietary Advice for Prostate Cancer Patients. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301542461_Dietary_Advice_for_Prostate_Cancer_Patients [accessed Jul 25 2018].

On eating lentils:

On eating soy:

  • Yan L, & Spitznagel EL. Soy consumption and prostate cancer risk in men:  a revisit of a meta-analysis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  2009; 89(4):1155-11632.
  • Goetzl MA, et al. Effects of soy phytoestrogens on the prostate.  Prostate Cancer & Prostatic Diseases. 2007; 10(3):216-2233.
  • Kwan W, et al. A phase II trial of a soy beverage for subjects without clinical disease with rising prostate-specifc antigen after radical radiation for prostate cancer. Nutrition & Cancer. 2010; 62(2):198-207
  • Applegate CC, Rowles JL, Ranard KM, Jeon S, Erdman JW. Soy Consumption and the Risk of Prostate Cancer: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2018;10(1):40. doi:10.3390/nu10010040.

On drink choices:

  • Guo Y, Zhi F, Chen P, et al. Green tea and the risk of prostate cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arora. S, ed. Medicine. 2017;96(13):e6426. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000006426.
  • Perez‐Cornago A, Travis RC, Appleby PN, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and prostate cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). International Journal of Cancer. 2017;141(2):287-297. doi:10.1002/ijc.30741.
  • Paller CJ, Pantuck A, Carducci MA. A Review of Pomegranate in Prostate Cancer. Prostate cancer and prostatic diseases. 2017;20(3):265-270. doi:10.1038/pcan.2017.19.
  • Sen A et al. Coffee and tea consumption and risk of prostate cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Int J Cancer. 2018 Jun 26. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31634. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Jiadong Xia, Jie Chen et al. An Up-to-date Meta-analysis of Coffee Consumption and Risk of Prostate Cancer. Urology Journal. 2017; 14(5).

On using herbs and spices:

  • Zheng J, Zhou Y, Li Y, Xu D-P, Li S, Li H-B. Spices for Prevention and Treatment of Cancers. Nutrients. 2016;8(8):495. doi:10.3390/nu8080495.
  • Arunkumar, A., Vijayababu, M.R., Srinivasan, N. et al. Mol Cell Biochem (2006) 288: 107. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11010-006-9126-6
  • Yoon J, Yae, Kim, et al. 2′-Hydroxycinnamaldehyde inhibits cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth by targeting the pyruvate kinase M2. Cancer letters. 2018. 434. 10.1016/j.canlet.2018.07.015.
  • Lodi A, Saha A, et al. Combinatorial treatment with natural compounds in prostate cancer inhibits prostate tumor growth and leads to key modulations of cancer cell metabolism. Precision Oncology. 2017; 1 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41698-017-0024-z

On use of added oils and not necessarily aiming for low fat numbers:

  • Richman EL, Kenfield SA, Chavarro JE, et al. Fat Intake After Diagnosis and Risk of Lethal Prostate Cancer and All-Cause Mortality. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(14):1318–1326. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6536

On eating whole grains:

  • [Flax] Simon JA, et al. The relation of alpha-linolenic acid to the risk of prostate cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009; 89(5):1558S-1564S.
  • (PDF) Dietary Advice for Prostate Cancer Patients. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301542461_Dietary_Advice_for_Prostate_Cancer_Patients [accessed Jul 25 2018].
  • Azrad M et al. Flaxseed-derived enterolactone is inversely associated with tumor cell proliferation in men with localized prostate cancer. J Med Food 2013 Apr; 16(4): 357–60.

On foods to eliminate:

  • Zheng W, Lee S-A. Well-done Meat Intake, Heterocyclic Amine Exposure, and Cancer Risk. Nutrition and cancer. 2009;61(4):437-446. doi:10.1080/01635580802710741.
  • Park S-W, Kim J-Y, Kim Y-S, Lee SJ, Lee SD, Chung MK. A Milk Protein, Casein, as a Proliferation Promoting Factor in Prostate Cancer Cells. The World Journal of Men’s Health. 2014;32(2):76-82. doi:10.5534/wjmh.2014.32.2.76.
  • Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, et al. Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physicians’ Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Oct;74(4):549-54.
  • Rohrmann S, Platz EA, Kavanaugh CJ, et al. Meat and dairy consumption and subsequent risk of prostate cancer in a US cohort study. Cancer Causes Control. 2007 Feb;18(1):41-50.
  • Raimondi S, Mabrouk JB, et al. Diet and prostate cancer risk with specific focus on dairy products and dietary calcium: a case-control study. Prostate. 2010 Jul 1;70(10):1054-65. doi: 10.1002/pros.21139.

On fat intake:

  • Richman EL, Kenfield SA, Chavarro JE, et al. Fat Intake After Diagnosis and Risk of Lethal Prostate Cancer and All-Cause Mortality. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(14):1318–1326. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6536

 

Nutrition for a Gymnast

Ten Nutrients Every Gymnast Needs and How to Get Them

Recently a college gymnastics coach asked me if I knew one of the best in-practice (or in-meet) pick-me-up foods. I made a few naïve, idealistic stabs. “Nope,” he grinned. “Fruit Loops.” I didn’t know whether to cry at my innocence or to promptly squeeze his grin between my right thumb and forefinger, giving him a verbal lashing and the full weight of my academic condescension. I was so frustrated!

Faulty Nutrition Advice

I’m disappointed in the common gymnastics nutrition advice I encounter. It’s worthy of censorship. I don’t want anyone to touch my daughter’s nutrition without her running it by me first. Often the advice encourages exceptionally high carbohydrate counts and very low fat intakes. (How are they ever to absorb the vitamin D and vitamin K2 they need for their bones as grandmas?) Other times it advocates for highly processed cereals and granola bars loaded with sugars. (What nutritional punch does sugar pack?)

What’s a mom to do? Well, I like the gymnast in our family to focus on the nutrients her body needs to make strong bones, to keep muscle cramping to a minimum, and to protect her head in case of a bad fall. We focus on real, whole, and deeply nutritious foods. Focusing on these foods also encourages her immune system to fight off colds, helps keeps her tendons and ligaments well-supplied, and allows her hormonal system to have a chance to function properly.

Doesn’t She Need Carbohydrates?

As far as macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) go, I ask her to try figure out the best carbohydrate to protein to fat ratio for herself– using her hunger, energy, and mental clarity and focus to help guide her. (I firmly believe that each athlete is an individual with unique macronutrient needs. It is not “one-diet-fits-all.”) I explain that carbohydrate foods, although fast-acting, will not stick around very long, but that fats and proteins digest more slowly and can help her feel full longer. She includes carbohydrates for their quick pay-off of energy, and then she plays with the fat and protein amounts to determine the amounts (and kinds) which keep her feeling full– but still energetic and light and springy on her feet (or hands).

Reality Checks and Hard Talks

Food never goes away and our relationship with it really colors our whole life! So, periodically we talk about eating disorders, and I’ll ask her how she’s feeling about what we’re eating. We have talked in the past about the weight of muscle mass versus fat mass (muscle weighs more) and how weight is not a good indicator of health, fitness, or gymnastics capabilities. We talk about avoiding junk food but how to let loose and enjoy them comfortably when we want to.

Since competitive gymnasts often want to stay “little,” we talk about the changing body and the fact that a female gymnast’s skills will ebb and flow, progress and flop, as the physical body changes– and that will just require her to train smarter (to understand the physics of strength, power, vertical jump advantage, and quickness) and show off what a woman can do!

Competitive gymnastics has been suppressing the growth of competitive gymnasts for a long time, and I want none of that garbage for my precious one. I want her to embrace fully what it feels like to be an empowered woman, never afraid of food or eating–or actually of anything or anyone. I want bold, confident, and intelligent-minded women who will leave their sports behind one day but transfer everything they learned into a new path.

Back to Nutrition

Okay. Back to nutrition. I made a chart for our fridge that I thought I’d share on-line here. It’s the table you see above as the image for this post. You can, I hope, pull up the PDF file for clear printing here:

Blog Gymnastics table

Addendum: I have updated the same table you see as the image to read “Ten Nutrients Athletes Can’t Be Without… And How to Eat Them!” That way it can also be printed off for non-gymnast athletes too. For the PDF to this version, click here:

Ten Nutrients Athletes Can’t Be Without and How to Eat Them

I could have added iron, vitamin B12, and folate to this list. But if the foods on this list are eaten, those nutrients are each covered too. Meat has iron and vitamin B12. Beans and green vegetables have folate.

Many experts do recommend supplementing with calcium, vitamin D, and omega 3 fatty acids for gymnasts. Talk to your doctor about that. Since we don’t eat a lot of dairy in our house due to some intolerances, I do rotate through bone supplements for the kids. But please, I prefer that you talk with your doctor about that. I am here to share our story and my thoughts, but you should not use it blindly as medical advice. Instead, use it to further your own research and discussions with your doctor. I love comments and would be happy to hear what you do for your gymnasts, concerns you have about gymnastics nutrition, or constructive discussion on what I have written and composed here in this post. Thanks!

Please, help your gymnast find his or her way to strength, dignity, courage, and long-lasting belief in his or her amazing self-worth as a person, not just an athlete.

Warmest wishes,

Terri F

More Diet Advice to a Friend

You’re “fat” and you’re determined to do something about that. But you’re overwhelmed at the road ahead of you, which you’ve skipped down before, thinking, “This time! This time!” Darn it– that time and that time must have been circular highways, because somehow you ended back here at fat again.

Again. Again. Why is it always again? You’ve lost 8.1256 pounds this month’s go-round, but do you really have what it takes to ditch 50 pounds for FORever?

Forever means like, well, forever. Never stop. Ever. Suddenly, you dip your head, slump your shoulders, let out a deep sigh, and look at the ground. Maybe I can’t do it, you think. Why try?

Why try? Why try? I’ll tell you why. For every ray of sunshine that rises in the morning. For every star in the evening sky. For every smudge on the wall from the hand of your child. For every kiss from your husband. For me writing this post. For you wanting it so badly. For your liver, heart, brain, hormones, ovaries (if you have them) and knees, all weight-sensitive body parts.

Don’t be overwhelmed. You can do this! While it IS all about the long haul, the victory is won in the moment! Every moment presents each of us with the same important question: Will I keep my motivation in this moment? Not, “Will I keep my motivation for a year?” Or, “Can I eat this way for 30 days?” NO. Repeatedly for the rest of our lives the question is, “Will I keep my motivation in THIS moment?” And if you don’t, you truly, really do have the next moment.

Motivational Baloney

That’s great talk, Terri. That’s  motivational. For a moment. Till I fail. Motivational speakers help us for a moment. And only a moment. Everybody knows that.

That’s right. That’s right. That’s 100% true. The only person who can change anything is you. But I believe in you.

My mom once told me, “Terri, I wish I had your self-confidence.” I about fell off of my chair. First, this is the woman who made me most of who I am. Second, I’m not that self-confident. I believe in myself. I believe I can find a way. I don’t give up easily when handed a problem. But when I was on the volleyball end-line serving the game-point serve for the win, I really didn’t want to be there, despite a 98% successful serving percentage. When I started writing about nutrition, I was scared, thinking maybe the die-hard Paleo, Raw Foodists, low-carbers, Mediterranean dieters, or heck, even the food pyramid advocates were right. Doubt assailed, and continues to assail, me like a mad hornet. I have enough self-doubt for about 20 people. (Want some? No, no. That’s not why I’m here. I’m here to show you it can be done, self-doubt and all.)

I’m helping my good friend Annie again with her forever weight loss plan, and I’m sharing things we talk about. I don’t know if I’m “qualified” or not. I’m not a nutritionist or a health coach or even a practicing physician anymore. You should check out everything you read here and not act blindly on any of it, especially health-related stuff. I can’t know the ins and outs of your story. I know I once struggled with bulimia and food addiction. I know obesity runs in my family. I know I’ve gained a new assurance around food, what I eat, and why I eat it with each passing year, and I know it’s required a hard look at my diet, my thought life, my history, my spirituality, and my driving motivation.

I’ve read about obese people losing all their weight and arriving at skinny, only to realize it didn’t provide the peace and security they envisioned. I don’t want that for any of you. This means interior work must be a priority as well as exterior work. I believe we are presented with problems in life to reach wholeness. It’s better than any video game you could ever play or design.

Doubtful and overwhelming thoughts crave full expression, not submersion. 

We’re only as strong as our ability to express our greatest weaknesses and fears. If you want to put obesity behind you, you have to face-to-face encounter your negative feelings. Instead of submerging negative feelings, they MUST be met and offered the light of day. I mean, for crying out loud, they’re there! The way people try to hide things is almost comical, if it wasn’t so sad. Hiding dirty socks under the bed for too long just keeps the room SMELLY!

I beg you to work very hard all day to catch negative emotions and name them. They are the junk food poisoning your brain and keeping you obese, telling you words like:

  • always
  • never
  • failure
  • can’t do it
  • too much
  • overwhelmed
  • stressed
  • weak
  • ugly
  • fat
  • too hard

So remember.

Permanently losing weight comes one choice, each moment at a time. You can change any bad choice now and from this choice onward.

Permanently losing weight requires cleaning up your thought life by identifying your feelings and expressing them fully to yourself. Start this assignment today. Now. (And teach it to your kids and spouse.) How did this article make you feel? Why?

Weight loss itself will NOT bring you happiness. Permanently changing the patterns that keep you on the circular highway of weight loss will.

You are worth it. Your body is worth it. Your kids are worth it. Your spouse is worth it. Your God is worth it. Persist despite your awareness of self-doubt.

I’ll keep sharing ideas that Annie and I discuss as they come up. There are MANY. If permanent weight loss was just moderately hard, you’d have done it a long time ago!

Terri

 

 

Diet Advice to a Friend

I have a friend (distant family member, really) whose weight and eating have led to morbid obesity. She’s a normal woman. With a normal job. And a normal life. But a VERY abnormal weight. She and I have worked together in the past to help her find her way to weight loss and vitality. (This is not an ad. I don’t do consulting. Nothing I say anywhere on this blog should be used as medical advice. I know you know that. NOT medical advice. My friend Annie is under the care of her own physician for overall health.) She did awesome. She rocked health and wellness and could have been a poster woman. Everyone was so proud of her. Then, life kicked her butt with some uninvited and completely undeserved huge life stressors, and eating right and being active fell down the ladder of importance. She and I had to stop corresponding and working on her health and weight due to lifestyle constraints beyond our control, but she knew I cared a lot. Discouragingly, she gained lots of weight back, and embarrassment and shame about her eating and her weight pursued her and closed in for the kill. But I was so happy when she contacted me the other day to see how we can get back to getting her on track again.

 

Since I’ve been busy trying to research select alternative treatments of traumatic brain injury and pancreatic cancer, I haven’t been able to put anything up on the blog. So I asked my friend if I could share some of what we write back and forth as encouragement to others too. She agreed, and my response to her request for my help is below. (Her name has been changed.) If it feels right, I’ll occasionally post snippets of our conversation to hopefully encourage others. She and I both want people to succeed.

 

My dearest Annie,

You can never let me down. I promise. This isn’t about me at all. It’s all about you! This whole thing is a million times over more than being about food and weight, and through it you will transform your food, your life, your inner spirit. That’s what it will take.

A couple of years ago, you moved forward in health and vitality. You’ve fallen down and you’re skinned up. Okay. But now, it’s time to move forward again. I believe the hard times and the face plants come to show us, to help us learn, to carve more deeply into ourselves and what our lives mean to us. What we want them to mean to ourselves and others. I see our bodies as a reflection of our inner state. In your letter, I heard shame, disappointment, and guilt. You’ve had a rough time of it all year. There’s NO doubt! And your eating simply reflected that inner (and outer) chaos.

 
That’s what we’ll do here. We’ll prioritize, organize, take action, and then frequently regroup to assess needs. Here’s some of your list. [I’ve worked with Annie before so I know how she successfully lost weight before. The questions I ask her below wouldn’t apply to everyone, they’re specifically tailored for Annie based on our prior work.]
 
 
You’ve got this! Let’s start working now and develop some goals for the next month, months, and next year. You do very well with directed goals.
 
With love,
 
Terri

Before You Give Up On Your Diet

By NMajik at en.wikipedia (Own work (Original caption: “Source: Self”)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By NMajik at en.wikipedia (Own work (Original caption: “Source: Self”)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This is the last post in my little Specific Carbohydrate Diet series. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is just a real food diet, with some added food tweaks that good observers throughout history have discovered reverse disease and promote healing. It is not the holy grail of diets, although for some patients, it is the cure they were looking for. (You may prefer the word “control” instead of the word “cure,” since these patients will probably never be able to go back to DiGiorno pizza.) I definitely suggest the SCD for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis as a starting point diet because there is research behind it. (See here for a short summary of the evolution of the SCD diet with references.)

When I used a form of SCD for my gastrointestinal issues (not inflammatory bowel disease), I ran into a few issues and the diet stalled for me, even regressed. I don’t give up easily when I think there’s a way to accomplish something, and so I played around with the diet and I read what other people trying the diet were saying. I’ve compiled a little list of things to try if SCD is not working for you.

Remember, nothing here on my site is medical advice and should always be investigated and explored. Talk with your doctor and maybe get a referral to a dietitian for help. This is the internet. Believe nothing. Question everything.

Eliminate “pesky” foods that are allowed on the diet: nuts, peanut butter, eggs, dairy. Foods that we know cause life-threatening allergies can also cause other immune reactions in the body that aren’t nearly so serious. Even though they aren’t life threatening like true allergy, they still can cause bad, uncomfortable immune reactions, especially at the interface of the gut lining (but not limited to the gut lining).

Common food allergens like nuts, peanuts, dairy, and eggs are notorious for more than just anaphylaxis and hives! If you read research studies, you’ll see them coming up again and again for things like migraines, eosinophilic esophagitis, and eczema! I feel like medical doctors only communicate the life-threatening aspect of these foods (which is super important, of course), and ignore their involvement in so many other disease states. So people walk around treating their problems with creams, puffers, and pills, when they could be investigating their diet.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet allows eggs, almonds, nuts, peanut butter, homemade yogurt, cheeses and butter. All good foods! But also all known top allergens that can perpetuate illness in susceptible people.

(Coconut is not necessarily a top 8 common allergen, but I’ve read of many SCD’ers having trouble with it, particularly the flour. I’d add it to the “pesky” list.)

How do you know which “pesky” to take out? Well, you can start with the one you have a sneaky suspicion about. Or you can see if your doctor will order you an IgG blood panel (which has such variable results for people), although you need to know up front that many conventional medical doctors disapprove of them. Or you can eliminate them all, and slowly bring them back in one at a time.

Whatever you do, be smart and make sure you’re getting any nutritional deficits accounted for!

Cut down on baked goods. When people switch to the SCD, they often, understandably, try to recreate the diet they had been eating: muffins, breads, pancakes, and cookies. ALL of these things can be made on the SCD and are super tasty! However, the ingredients for them come from the “pesky” category (almond flour, eggs, butter, and so on), so they really shouldn’t be routine food fare. They also come with a big whop of sugar; yes, I know it’s honey, but fructose in excess has its own negative effects. Baked goods are great as a transition to ease families into eating more real, wholesome foods. If my kids hadn’t had a baked good, I would  have had some runaways.

In any area of the diet you may be lapsing and skimping in, get strict again. Get back to eating only the legal foods with “no exceptions.” It’s so easy to let products back into our kitchens. A little guar gum here. A little BHT there. Some maltodextrin there. Some modified food starch. And then you’ve walked down the slippery slope and fallen. Crash and burn for a few little ingredients that really weren’t even that important to you!

Studies indicate that emulsifiers may cause problems for inflammatory bowel disease, so if you’re struggling, get the “small stuff” back out!

Alternatively, perhaps the idea of “being strict” is sabotaging adhering to the diet well, and adding in a few select real, whole, foods, like rice and/or potato may be helpful in overall adherence to the diet.

Even though certain foods are not allowed on the diet, that doesn’t mean that a person’s body and disease will not tolerate them. Yes, it’s best to adhere to the diet as it is written, but it is VERY likely that adjustments will have to be made. Remember, the diet is not magic. It can’t prophesy exactly what your body will and will not tolerate. If adding in a food that may not be problematic anyhow is the price to pay for keeping on the diet instead of giving up completely, it’s worth a trial! Make sense? (But do talk with your healthcare provider who is overseeing your diet. They might have some other tips they’d like you to try first.)

Elaine Gottschall, the author of the diet, did not intend for The Specific Carbohydrate Diet to be a forever diet. She advocated moving off the diet once symptoms were well-controlled.

Read about FODMAP foods. Foods have natural sugars and molecules that we don’t absorb and that feed our gut bacteria. It’s actually a good thing. But sometimes, guts that are compromised need a break from these too, or else they’ll have painful bloating, gas, diarrhea, and/or constipation.  FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. FODMAP foods can cause pain outside of actual inflammatory disease and would be worth exploring. I have noticed that many people suggest cutting down on fruit if the SCD isn’t working well for you, and I can see where certain fruits will exacerbate a FODMAP condition. Here’s a good site with FODMAP information. Just click on the symbol, and it brings up a nice handout.

Take away the power struggle. When it comes to kids, they MUST understand the diet and their bodies. Kids usually make good decisions when they’re given good information and see the impact of certain foods on their bodies. Make it a point to understand the diet and read the book, then paraphrase it and explain it to your child. Kids need empowered, not controlled. Sometimes our fears lead to a strong need to control, but kids will buck this. Well, at least mine do!

The mind-body idea. We KNOW that there is a BIDIRECTIONAL process between the brain and the gut and conversely, the gut and the brain. It works from the bottom up. And the top down. If you’re ready to take it beyond diet and supplements, maybe it’s time to move inward. Google things like mindfulness and IBD. Or hypnotherapy and IBD. See what you think. This area has definitely piqued my interest. It takes me months and years to write, so you’ll definitely want to read in this area before I get any posts up on it!

Well, that’s it for today. I’m sure there are other tweaks. I think the best tweak is to know you’re going to be okay. Know that nothing can get you, because you’re bigger inside than anything you can comprehend. If you’re on the religious side, know that you’re a spiritual being forever with a human body but fleetingly.

Feel welcome to post any tweaks you’ve found beneficial.

Over.

Terri

 

A Stay-At-Home Mom’s Diet Enters Medical Research

gottschall

 

 

 

When I used to work as a physician, I wondered what it’d be like to stay home with the kids full-time. Some moms would say, “I HAVE to work. My kids drive me crazy.” I always thought to myself that I’d still like to try it and see. Maybe crazy is a state of bliss that I’d like quite a lot.

I did get to stay home, and to my chagrin, I did fall into crazy. Crazy nutrition. At first, I honestly did wonder if I had taken neurotic to its pinnacle, but I kept reading and reading. And over the short four years since I began having any interest in nutrition at all, other than having the best chocolate chip cookie recipe, there have been some major upheavals in medicine regarding nutrition, particularly regarding fat and cholesterol. But I know there will be more.

One upheaval that intrigues me, because I swear real food is pixie dust, is doctors using a real food diet to throw inflammatory bowel disease into remission without medicine. At Seattle Children’s Hospital, researchers are reversing serious cases of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease using the exact same voodoo, or pixie dust (if you prefer), diet that Elaine Gottschall, a stay-at-home mother of two, used in the 1950s to save her 8 year-old daughter’s life from near-terminal ulcerative colitis. The diet, called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), was the last hope that Elaine had for possibly saving her child’s colon, maybe even the child’s life itself. Permanent poop collection bag? Death? How about we try this weird diet.

Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas’s Stodgy, Misinformed Diet

The SCD is not a new diet. It has been around in some form since approximately the 1920s, when Sidney Valentine Haas, MD was using it on his celiac and severely afflicted gastrointestinal patients.  At this time, there was no known celiac disease and gluten connection. Dr. Haas, using close observation skills and taking good patient histories (all things falling into disfavor in today’s medical climate), felt that starchy carbohydrates and table sugar were bad for his patients. So he developed a diet which removed starchy foods and sugar, making it inherently gluten-free and grain free. He found that his patients did fine with fruit, and he strongly encouraged bananas, and he even thought there was something special about the banana.

His “banana” diet was pretty popular and was used to manage celiac disease until the gluten connection was verified. Then, Haas and banana diets fell into disfavor, ridicule even. However, Dr. Haas, a reportedly kindly man who lived into his 90s, never acquiesced that gluten elimination should be the sole treatment of celiac disease. He remained adamantly suspicious that most starchy carbohydrates were problematic and needed removed for a time (not a lifetime). He genuinely believed in his diet, and if you read closely, he is scorned for never succumbing completely to the hypotheses that gluten is the sole problem for celiac patients.

(Now, I don’t know whether he was right or wrong about gluten. I DO KNOW that there are celiacs who follow a STRICT gluten-free diet, never eating away from home, and I know they still have abdominal issues. So, perhaps his intuition is not as laughable as it seems. Perhaps, as time passes and we learn more, we will find facts that make him more right than wrong. I don’t know. History repeatedly shows genius in ridicule, and maybe there’s more to treating celiac than just taking away gluten.)

A Doctor -Shopping, Stay-at-Home Mom
elaine_04

This photo of Elaine Gottschall came from http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.com, the official Breaking the Vicious Cycle and SCD website.

 

The SCD would  have probably stopped right there if it hadn’t been for Big Magic (you really should read the book by this title, very good). Elaine Gottschall (now deceased, 1921-2005) called herself an ordinary, happy, stay-at-home, 1950s’ mom. She had two young daughters. One of her daughters, Judy, began experiencing incapacitating gut issues and was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the tender age of four years old. Little Judy was so sick and malnourished by the time she was 8, she had stunted growth and even her neurological system was shutting down. Elaine and Herb were told their daughter had two options: colon removal or death. Elaine wouldn’t hear it and refused to take death or colectomy (colon removal) as an answer for her daughter if she could do anything about it.

So she did what all desperate patients do (or parents of patients), she doctor shopped. After much doctor shopping and no hope in sight except surgery, an acquaintance of a friend pointed her to an outdated, nearly ancient physician. She finally landed in the arms (figuratively) of our now 92-year-old Dr. Sydney Valentine Haas. He started her daughter Judy on his version of what is now the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Her daughter improved dramatically within days and even more in the months that followed, living a full life, even being able to eat a very diverse diet eventually.

Humiliating Success

Dr. Haas died within two years of meeting the Gottschall family. Would his diet die with him? No. Elaine Gottschall made it her mission to understand that man’s diet, even going back to school and earning degrees in biology, nutritional biochemistry, and cellular biology. If this diet helped Judy live and get her life back, she wanted to know why and share it with the others who were sick. Many times she wanted to give up, but her husband was convicted that the world needed this information that would be lost without Dr. Haas, and he knew Elaine was just the woman to do it.

Herb encouraged Elaine to write a book eventually called Breaking the Vicious Cycle, do health consults, and speak. She functioned at a grassroots level, and she touched thousands of lives, helping people turn their health around with the SCD. But, sadly, she could never break through to medical circles. Her daughter said: “She also wanted the acceptance from–if not approval of–the medical mainstream, which she never got. She was told stories by mothers who said their doctors would refuse to treat their children if they followed her diet…”

Doctors refusing to treat patients if they tried this diet? A diet that has now entered the halls of medical research with initial success? Elaine’s diet brought success to many suffering patients, but the patients’ doctors wouldn’t have it. How could a simple diet help? How could a stay-at-home mom know what she’s talking about? Who was she to challenge medical management?

Because of Elaine’s tenacity and courage (and ability to persist despite medical contempt), people today may have an opportunity to try diet over drugs. Some doctors are listening to patients and trying the SCD in clinical research. (See my last post.)

Elaine, Herb, and Judy (their daughter), thank you.

Closing

The SCD studies are small and sparse, but they’re pretty remarkable, especially in kids, whose healing capacities are always amazing. IF diet makes a difference, then I think Elaine Gottschall is right, the only way it’s going to get to medical doctors is if patients keep showing them. Dr. Suskind’s studies from Seattle are shedding some light, but they’re so small. With just a snap or a new successful medical discovery, his work will be trampled over forever, as Dr. Haas’s almost was.

Did Dr. Haas have it ALL right? No. Did Elaine Gottschall? No. Does the doctor named Natasha Campbell-McBride (who has taken Elaine Gottschall’s work further in her clinical practice, renaming her diet GAPS)? No. Does Dr. Suskind, a researcher using SCD in his studies? No. But continuing to cut out colons and continuing to prescribe immunosuppressants without ever trying significant dietary modification such as the SCD is irresponsible and, to me, unethical. Medical doctors maliciously, scornfully, and condescendingly name-call and ridicule diet theories they don’t agree with like pompous elitists. And guess what! When we do that, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and the public follow along. Then, we end up in a big mess. Like Days of Our Lives. Please stop the division.

You are never too small. You are never too insignificant. You are always enough. Your experience is for you. Your experience is for others. Live boldly with love and compassion.

Even your cooking can change someone’s life.

Ciao.

Terri

Sites and links I followed for information, which should always be verified before you even think about trusting anything…

Frontiers in Celiac Disease, pages 5-7: https://books.google.com/books?id=gqaDD3jkcfYC&pg=PA6&lpg=PA6&dq=haas%27s+banana+diet+celiac+disease&source=bl&ots=pPA2rdAt9_&sig=tgEgHivZWbdeSKX5j1Dajx243Iw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi1xNTukc_RAhVG4IMKHdtmBKo4ChDoAQglMAI#v=onepage&q=haas’s%20banana%20diet%20celiac%20disease&f=false

http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/p/about-the-author/

Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet by Raman Prasad