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I want to encourage you to write a raw food blog or a blog about anything you want to get going on/form a habit with/learn about. Writing this blog over the years helped me find ways to bring more and more raw fruits and veggies into my daily life. Reading books like Eat to Live and journal articles cited here, the comments, it all helped normalize eating for example 2 pints of blueberries in a day (which I did yesterday; one pint was blueberry cereal). Anyway think about it. When I started this blog I really was just starting the rawfood journey only having occasional contact with a rawfoodist friend of ours as my initial inspiration. This blog became a notebook.

Now that our gardens are in full bloom, I see kale is very hardy and came back from last year like it owns the place, even growing between our vegetable garden boxes. Smooth leaf kale varieties are simple to wash. Pluck the leaves toss them into a high speed blender (like a ktech or vitamix) with a can of pineapple (fresh pineapple isn’t sweet enough) and even the pickiest eaters will enjoy drinking in the fresh life of kale.

 

 

Human Biome Research

I don’t know why I think its so exciting to think we have all the gut bacteria friends working together with us like a very huge and very diverse team! Some notes from Discover magazine (Jan/Feb 2013) re: recent research by: NIH’s Human Microbiome Project and MetaHIT

Apparently more than 1,000 species were found, “…each person’s body supports many different microbial ecosystems. The vagina, for example is like a sparsely populated prairie, where as…’The distal gut of a human is one of the densest microbial ecosystems on the planet.’ says Stanford University microbiologist David Relman…” We’re diverse like a rainforest.

“People are very different from one another, but they are consistent with themselves. Two healthy Americans’ microbial communities can differ by as much as 90 percent, but an individual’s distinct ensemble of bugs tends to stay stable over many years…Already doctors are having success treating diseases like colitis with fecal transplants to reestablish gut flora in patients who have received intensive rounds of antibiotics” (Discover magazine, Jan/Feb 2013; p.21).

In case you missed the (MetaHIT organized) conference held in Paris last year:

“…the International Human Microbiome Congress, which we think will remain a landmark event in the field of human microbiome research. Here are a few Take Homme Messages we feel are among the most important elements to remember after the Congress:

  1. Microbiome diversity matters! In the gut, low is less healthy than high!
  2. Large scale quantitative metagenomic studies is what it takes to explore relations between the microbiome and chronic diseases!
  3. Standardized protocols are the key to make the most out of large studies and that’s what the Internationals Human Microbiome Standards project does!”

In this video Stanford and NYU Med. Ctr. researchers discuss their research: ASM Live — Antibiotic Exposure, The Microbiome and Obesity. ASM is the American Society of Microbiology. There is some talk on diet in the said video see minute 14:12; and probiotics ~18:30; interesting points also after ~23:30). I see they’re trying to find where the bacteria are coming from, which is why they are interested in babies and how their biomes get their start.

I’d like to see more research on the notion that eating processed sugar and white flour products creates an aggressively growing population of bacteria that then crave more sugar and make you crave eating more sugar. Is it like a yeast festival that kind of takes over in your gut? Edging out the life of the “good” bacteria that are just kindly waiting for your next salad? lol

Here is an excellent lecture on microbe communication by Dr. Bonnie Bassler at Princeton (starts at 3:30). WOW bacteria have been around for 4 billion years and were the first organisms on earth! Some of our bacteria digest our food, make our vitamins and inform our immune system. Bacteria communicate and chemicals are their words. They do so “bi-lingually” with a kind universally known language among various kinds of bacteria. They can sense when there are plenty of their type around and this helps them know if they have enough to take over an organism. So our intercepting their ability to communicate seems to hold promise. “They eavesdrop, they cheat, they free ride…” lol she’s awesome.

Here are some deets I found on Dr. Pawlak who holds her Ph.D. degree in biochemistry, and has done post-doctoral studies in the fields of immuno-biology, chemistry, genetics and the biochemistry of the brain.

Books (She’s been publishing since the 1990’s on nutrition and brain)

This looks like a site she smoshed together in 2001.

Wasn’t able to find even a single radio interview (much less a video) online for this gal, argh! I may have to go to one of her seminars where she will talk about gut bacteria’s extensive effects on us, see lecture topics for FOOD, MOOD & COGNITION :

  •   Brain Food. How Food and Nutrients Affect Brain Cells.
  •   Dietary Supplements and Cognition (Omega 3, Gingko, Coconut oil, etc.): What Really Works?
  •   Shaping a Better Brain. Food for Thought. Feeding the Brain to Optimize Academic Success.
  •   Western Diet and Cognitive Impairment – Causing Hippocampal Dysfunction. The Insidious Effect of Saturated Fats. Does Sugar Make Us Dumb?
  •   The Hungry Brain. Overeating and Brain Deterioration. Energy Balance, Brain Health and Cognition.
  •   Obesity and Poor Mental Health. Is it What We Eat, or What’s Eating Us? Interactions Between Stress, Sadness and Food Intake. Obesity-Associ-

    ated Brain Inflammation – Promoting Addictive Behaviors?

  •   Food and Mood. The Link Between Junk Food and Depression/Anxiety. The Rise of Mental Health Disorders in Our Youth. Inflammation as the

    Common Denominator?

  •   The Gut as Our 2nd Brain: Your Gut Has a Mind of its Own. Could the Gut be the Center of Many of Our Physical and Psychiatric Ailments? Gut

    Signals That Impact Overeating, Mood and Cognition. Gut Dysfunction, Inflammation and Brain Health.

  •   Our Inner Ecosystem. How Gut Bacteria Shape Our Minds and Bodies. To What Extent Can We Blame Our “Bugs” for Obesity and Depression?
  •   The Gastrointestinal (GI) Barrier: Our Defense Against the External Environment. Leaky Gut Syndrome.
  •   Chronic Stress: How it Impairs Our Intestinal Barrier and Alters Gut Bacteria. Evidence That Gut Bacteria Actually Influence How Well We Respond

    to Stress.

  •   Do All Diseases Begin in the Gut? The Link Between Altered GI Function and Allergy, Inflammatory Diseases, Autoimmune Diseases, Diabetes,

    Arthritis, Autism, ADD/ADHD, Obesity, Eating Disorders, Depression, and Other Chronic Disease States.

  •   The Curse of the Inflammatory Western Diet: Promoting Gut Dysfunction and Toxic Intestinal Bacteria That’s Taking a Toll on Our Health.
  •   America’s Chemical Cuisine: Food Additives, Preservatives, Pesticides, Genetically Modified Foods. What Impact is it Having Our Gut and Brain

    Health? Dangerous Grains: Who Could Benefit From a Gluten Free Diet?

  •   Medications That Cause Digestive Problems (eg., Antibiotics, NSAIDs, etc.).
  •   Dental Health Implications. Impact of Diet, Obesity and Depression on Oral Health.
  •   The WAY to Eat to Improve Gut health, Brain Health, Appetite and Weight Control, Dental Health, Energy, Mood and Cognition. What’s the Secret?
  •   Can We Eat our Way to Happiness? Diet as a Depression Cure. Nutrition for Addiction Recovery.
  •   Food Allergies: How Common Are They Really?
  •   New-Fangled Fibers: Will the Real Fiber Please Stand Up?
  •   Prebiotics and Probiotics: Superfoods or Super Swindle? Probiotics to Treat Depression? The GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Diet. What to Recommend to Our Patients?

Chris’s cancer survivor blog has some interesting info and survivor stories (here is his Youtube Channel link). Below is a short video of his 2012 talk in New York. Below that is a summit on the topic of natural treatments for cancer. I was just interested because I have heard generally about this without having specific resources, so I wanted to note a couple. FYI, I really don’t know anything about this topic; this blog is really my notebook of sorts, a place to plunk things.

 

 

Why is a raw food blogger writing about CVS? What is CVS? Here is NIH’s ideas on it. It’s a complex and rare digestive gig and little is known about it. While I am hesitant to self-disclose I also feel an obligation to get the word out and who knows maybe connect with people who have new solutions. I already participated in one study, sending my genes to California. I have lived with CVS since 1997. It was only in Oct 2011 that I stumbled upon a medical journal article and then other helpful resources, like CVSA (thank you!) that I discovered a name for it.

After acting on recommendations and realizing others, I found that maybe I can eliminate the recurrence from my life (holding my breath here, my last event was July 2011). This, my longest remission, came in spite of it being a high stress time of my life; this makes me think the measures I take are all the more remarkable. There were no new stress reducing habits acquired during this time. I have been doing yoga (3-4) hours a week for 3 years and Mindfulness meditation practice for 9 years.

CVS is a great puzzle at its best. I’m still learning. It seems it may have a neurological component. One gastroenterologist told me it may be as if your digestive system has gone to sleep. That sounded absurd and simplistic at first. Although now, years later, I think this may be a key. Another gastroenterologist, who claimed to be one of the specialists in CVS, told me a trauma can trigger the start of CVS. While I’m not a firefighter I was in a fire once and he felt that event triggered it for me.

Any who, what to do if this is your deal or for anyone you know with this. This is my experience of what is working. Raw simple fruits and vegetables turns out to be one of the keys in eliminating CVS from your life. De-complicate your meals; I have lots of little meals in the day: an ounce of walnuts, or an avocado, that’s a meal; eat 8 ounces of greens with healthy omegas in your dressing, that’s a meal.

Cheese and chocolate are repeatedly advanced as culprits in the literature – these can trigger episodes, and it’s as though by a build up in your system. I think its the casein. Even non-dairy cheese like soy-cheese almost always has casein and soy-cheese definitely contributes to causing an event. So also for example coconut based chocolate is a better option than milk based chocolate. Skipping chocolate all together is the best option.

Casein is the basis for a wood-glue and it is in dairy products (making up 80% of the proteins in cow milk) and basically gunks up your system. Try washing the side of your car with a slice of pizza as Dr. Fuhrman (this link goes to an excellent, dense interview) says. People always say to me then, but I like cheese. You can always juxtapose the experience of your liking to be skinny or healthy or free from disease and suffering caused by obesity. I am starting to think it is possible that Americans just may get rid of cheese the way they did cigarettes. Americans can find their way out of the obesity epidemic. Stephan Guyenet shows 4% of American white men age 40-49 were obese in 1892; in the year 2000 its 25%. Can we get it back down to 4% with all the science and information access we have today? Is there something you can do to help? With ideas for anyone, please leave a comment or do anything you think could be useful.

Moving on, fried anything is terrible for you. I think it belongs to the complicated food problem; use the KISS principle (Keep it Simple Stupid), a lead auto-mechanic once told me that!  Combinations of foods all mixed in a dish seem to be too complicated to work with. When you heat up oil it creates tons of free radicals which oxygen has to carry out of your system. Free radicals are capable of causing mutations in your DNA (Brain Rules, John Medina, p.20). Alcohol also apparently is also not helpful to people with CVS. Interesting aside, apparently alcohol is measurably destructive for your brain (see Daniel Amen’s lecture based on 63,00 brain scans: Change your brain, Change your life). His institute also found the following hurt your brain: obesity, SAD diet, lack of exercise, diabetes)

The key ideas I found online that REALLY helped with CVS: Never eat large evening meals; take CoQ-10 (not sure if that is helping or not, however I have been taking it daily since Oct 2011); if an episode is coming on take very long hot showers (sounds cray cray doesn’t it? It works. And I have no idea why.); take a migraine pill. Deep breath and massage your stomach, try to wake up your digestion kindly and compassionately; don’t go to sleep with an abdominal migraine, instead mindfully stay awake to your experience and fill yourself with oxygen. I use mindfulness practice to bring myself towards the experience; applying mindfulness skills is VERY helpful.

Sorry I just have the one medical journal article citation handy (see below), I believe there is a good one in one of the Nature journals and there are others, just search Pubmed. Take great care of yourself and those around you!

Two Common Mitochondrial DNA Polymorphisms are Highly Associated with Migraine Headache and Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2008.01793.x Cephalalgia July 2009 vol. 29 no. 7 719-728 authors: EA Zaki,
T Freilinger, T Klopstock, EE Baldwin, KRU Heisner, K Adams, M Dichgans, S Wagler and RG Boles; Author Affiliations

Excellent talk, please take a peak, she talks about the vital nutrients for your brain’s mitochondria. Eating tons of greens, sulfer vegetables, and berries helped turned her disease (MS) around. This researcher/doctor promotes dropping gluten and dairy. She has other great talks via YouTube (a great way to listen to the latest scientists – TEDtalks, GoogleTalks, MIT, Yale, Harvard, etc.; you don’t have to spend tons of money or travel to access these great talks – go for it!). Go raw, eat your greens, change your life compassionately. FYI my pause in publishing is due to job change busyness, my passion for eating raw veggies and fruits grows and grows as I see it works!

This quick video clearly and simply animates the impact of free radicals and antioxidants, enjoy:

This one on the Immune Response is great; artsy and sciencey all in one, check it out:

One more very well done, the speaker draws and labels while explaining, see:

Overview of the Immune System

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