As we are greatly influenced by events in the present moment, this month's newsletter contains more than just a touch of Spain, since Dr. Connie and Dr. Marcel just returned from three weeks in Andalusia and Catalonia.
Think: olive oil -- golden, rich, bursting with flavor-- read on!
In this issue, Dr.Connie muses on nourishment and connection and how the Doctrine of Signatures applies to brain foods; Elijah offer his thoughts on food as medicine; Dr. Marcel rhapsodizes about the health benefits of organic, extra virgin olive oil, how to taste it, and an opportunity to readers of his newsletter to order the most delicious olive oil he's ever tasted.
In the Hernandez Center section, information is presented on the aspirin treatment for breast cancer and when "watchful waiting" in prostate cancer just doesn't work.
Dr. Marcel and Dr. Connie in the Vall de Nuria in the Spanish Pyrenees
Dr. Connie, Dr. Marcel, Dr. Corrine and your care team at Pacific Naturopathic and the Hernandez Center for Adjunctive Cancer Care
Dr. Connie's Musings...
|Dr. Connie muses in the Pyrenees
When we think of food, we most often think of that which is taken in to provide physical sustenance, to sustain life. But
food comes in many forms and provides nourishment to mind and soul as well as body.
I often ask my patients what it is that nourishes them. Sadly, the answer sometimes does not come readily. When the answer does come, it is rarely an edible. People do not respond that they are nourished by almonds or apples or avocados, though these foods are indeed nourishing.
What is it, then, that feeds us, provides energy, promotes growth?
In the seventies, in the Puna District of the Big Island of Hawaii,
we encountered many individuals who aspired to be breatharians. The would be breatharians rightly contended that breath is life, and liberally quoted the statement that "man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." Advanced yogis do and have lived by breath alone, but the great majority of us have not achieved the state in which we might do so.
It is true, however, that we are nourished by breath,
whether by the practice of various forms of pranayama, by the breathing of fresh mountain air, or simply by automatic, unconscious inhalation and exhalation. No breath, no life.
When breath is conscious, the concomitant spiritual connection also feeds us.
Just as we are fed by our connection with the infinite, we are fed by our connection with others, when we are able to perceive it. We are nourished by the presence of others to whom we FEEL connected in our lives.
Connection is key. We are nourished when we have a passionate connection with the work that we do. We are nourished when we are connected to a purpose. We are nourished when we are connected by physical touch. We are nourished when our senses connect us to happy times and positive emotions.
Several days ago, I came home from almost three weeks in Spain feeling nourished. What was it that sustained me, promoted growth, provided energy?
There was the sense of place, some soul memory of having walked those cobbled pathways many times before.
There was the sense of spiritual depth provided by thousand year old mosques and
|Cadaques... we stayed 4 nights
cathedrals. There was the deep silence and earth embrace of the cave homes in which we stayed. There was the light of the sun and the blue Mediterranean waters in a private cove north of Cadaquez.There was the sharing of experience with Dr. Marcel and two dear friends with whom we traveled. There was the fragrance of the olive groves, the sweet aroma of olive pits being burned for bio fuel. There was the exquisite pleasure of the blankets of bubbles and the warmth of the marble slabs and bathing pools of the Arab baths. And, of course, there was the food, most nourishing when prepared by conscious people with whole foods, plated beautifully, and consumed with friends.
What is it that nourishes you?
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Food is Your Best Medicine
In 1965, Henry Bieler, MD, wrote a book titled, Food is Your Best Medicine. While this book is greatly out of date in terms of modern understanding of how food affects the body, I always thought the title to be timeless.
When you come right down to it, food is your best medicine. All day long we have the golden and often missed opportunity to feed our bodies with nourishment that can help to keep us running as healthy as possible. It is like putting the best gas and oil in our cars. And when we do not offer our cars the best fuel and oil possible, after a while, they begin to break down and need costly repairs.
Gas up your body with poor quality food and it will eventually be in need of repair. But unlike the car, one's body may not be so easy to repair if enough damage has been done over an extended period of time through poor nutrition.
It has been established-hopefully-that there is no one diet for everyone. Many modern diets are just fads that come and go-like bell-bottoms, teased up bee hive hairdos (I really hope that one is gone for good), or pet rocks. (I liked bell-bottoms the best personally).
While a few of these so-called "phenomenal" diets that claim they will cure pretty much everything have some good points to them, the majority of them may also attempt to lock you into their personal philosophies that may or may not be something that is truly helpful.
While a good diet based upon solid long-standing principles is great, the concept of flexibility is also needed. Our metabolic needs change on a constant basis, so our requirements for certain foods may change as well. If we live in a four-season climate, then we eat differently during the different seasons, for example.
We may eat differently on the weekend than we do during the workweek. Or if we play sports or go on a vacation, or grow older etc. So the principle of being flexible becomes very important.
Whatever way we look at it, if we take the time to eat well, that is when food can become our best medicine.
* * *
Elijah Free is a healer, specializing in pain elimination of all types, both mechanical and metabolic.
He is a master medical herbalist with numerous specialties, a researcher and product designer for his own label;
Earth Friend Herb Company
Elijah is the author of Apprentice to Angels, and a U.S. patent holder for a formula to eradicate fibromyaligia.
He is the creator of a formula to end PTSD for war veterans and civilians alike. A documentary video may be seen about the healing of PTSD in war veterans.
Elijah has been an associate at Pacific Naturopathic
for over fifteen years.
* * *
To schedule an
appointment with Elijah,
please phone 650-917-1121.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
Pure Liquid Gold
We recently spent almost three weeks in Spain traveling to sacred and historical sites. While there, we drove through miles and miles of lovely olive groves. Extra Virgin (EV) olive oil is a condiment in Spain -- every restaurant has a bottle of extra virgin olive oil on the table. For three nights, we stayed in a lovely B&B on an olive tree farm, where we learned how to distinguish between the various grades of olive oil. Our travels reinforced what we already knew: EV olive oil is not only delicious, it is
liquid gold in terms of health benefits.
EV olive oil is the most important component of the Mediterranean diet and some of the ways olive oil can preserve and improve human health have been firmly established through years of research. Here are a few of the health benefits backed by studies.
* EV olive oil has been proven to protect the cardiovascular system by lowering LDL ("bad"cholesterol) and lowering blood pressure.
* In several large studies conducted in Greece and Spain, EV olive oil has also been associated with a reduced risk of contracting cancer in a number of physical sites, especially helping to prevent breast cancer.
* Another large study
showed that individuals who had moderate to intensive use of EV olive oil had lower odds of cognitive deficit for verbal fluency and visual memory compared to individuals who had never used olive oil. Furthermore, in laboratory experiments with mice, researchers discovered that a compound in EV olive oil helps shuttle the abnormal Alzheimer's disease proteins out of the brain. Alzheimer's disease rates are lower in Mediterranean countries, where consumption of olive oil is higher than anywhere else in the world.
* EV olive oil protects the liver from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress refers to cell damage associated with the chemical reaction between free radicals and other molecules in the body. Put simply, oxidative stress means cell damage.
* Olive oil may help protect from ulcerative colitis and acute pancreatitis.
* Other studies
also found that regular EV olive oil intake helps reduce inflammation, prevent endothelial dysfunction (problems with the inner linings of blood vessels), prevent thrombosis, assist carbohydrate metabolism and combat depression.
How much EV olive oil should we use to have a protective or therapeutic effect?
When looking at the different studies in regards to the protective effect of EV olive oil for various conditions, the amount generally ranges between 25 and 40 grams per day, or about 2-3 tablespoons. We love soaking a tasty, crusty sourdough bread (or gluten free, if you prefer) in EV olive oil. Sometimes adding a bit of salt or balsamic vinegar.
For more on Dr. Marcel's work click
How to Taste Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Ideally, to properly taste olive oil, one should use a small glass cup, preferably made of blue glass and bell-shaped. However, a small brandy sniffer or any glass will work.
The visual aspect of the oil plays a minor role in determining the quality and should not influence your final judgment. For this reason, olive oil is often tasted in blue glass cups that mask the color.
- Take a small cup of oil, cover it with one hand and warm it up in the palm of yourhand of your other hand.
- Remove your hand covering the cup and bring the cup to the base of your nose.
- Inhale 3 separate times, with pauses in between to keep olfactory sensory neurons alert.
- Try to memorize the aromas you experienced during the quick inhalations.
-Put a small amount of oil (8 to 10 drops) in your mouth and let them warm up for a minute or two, so that the volatile compounds evaporate.
-Begin inhaling or "sipping" air in quick, decisive gasps, being careful not to swallow the oil. This technique helps to oxygenize the oil and intensify the aromas.
- Roll the oil around in your mouth until it has covered all of your taste buds. Thanks to the simultaneous heating, oxygenation and rotating, the good and bad qualities of the oil are revealed.
- By this point, the oil should be distributed throughout your oral cavity and in particular across your tongue, from the tip, to the sides, to the back.
- It is important to remember the flavors you experience and in which order. Be sure to consider the tactile characteristics that describe the fluidity, the consistency and the greasiness, and the flavor elements, which can be described as sensations of sweet, bitter, and spicy.
- After you have done this, you can spit out the oil.
Positive attributes of extra virgin olive oil
Almond - f
lavor typical of fresh or dried almond. This is retro-nasal aroma, normally associated with sweet oils.
oil that tastes like tender part of an artichoke.
a characteristic flavor of oil made from green olives. The bitterness should not be too strong; otherwise it would be considered a defect.
delicate flavor of white or yellow flowers.
flavor of the oil that recalls the aroma and flavor of fresh, perfectly ripe fruit. Upon tasting the oil, you can begin to make the distinction between intense and delicate fruitiness. This former is direct, where as the latter is finer and less biting, both directly in the mouth and with regards to the retro-nasal aromas.
Green herbs -
flavor reminiscent of the aroma of freshly cut grass.
Olio verde (Green Oil)
: the classic characteristic of Tuscan oils; great, fruit aromas and bright green color.
characteristic flavor of ripe olives often found in bright yellow-colored oils with round, sweet flavors.
oil that is full and well rounded.
oil is considered sweet if it has a light flavor and delicate aroma.
biting sensation that is characteristic of olive grown at the beginning of the countryside, and that are primarily still green. It is a pleasing aspect typical of oils from Tuscany, Puglia and Sicily. In order for spiciness to be considered a positive aspect of the oil, the sensation should be fleeting.
flavor associated with vegetal or spiced aromas.
Defects of extra virgin olive oil
flavor of oils that were exposed to high temperatures during processing.
oil made from olives taken from the ground and not washed properly before use.
defect caused by poor conservation of the olives, which causes them to ferment and gives the oil a warm, unpleasant flavor.
characteristic aroma of oils made from dry olives.
metal-like flavor caused by the olives coming in contact with metal machinery. The olives take on the flavor of iron.
Mold or Humidity -
flavor that comes from olives that are grown in humid soil, contaminated by natural microorganisms like fungi and yeasts. The flavor can also come from storing the olives in humid environments.
oil that has not been well filtered and remains in contact with sediment can develop an unpleasant odor.
flavor similar to wine or vinegar, normally caused by the fermentation of the olives that produces acetic acid, ethyl acetate and ethanol; can also be cause by tanks containing the oil, if the tanks were washed with vinegar, a fairly common practice.
often found in old oils that have been exposed to the air or heat.
: oil that leave a dirty taste in your mouth after swallowing.
Vegetable water -
flavor cause by prolonged exposure to vegetable water, a natural by-product of making olive oil.
oil made from olives with parasitic infections.
This information taken directly from:
Do You Enjoy Great Olive Oil?
The Best Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil We've Ever Tasted -- ORDER NOW!!!
While in Spain in September/October, we stayed at Casa Olea, a fantastic B&B in an olive tree orchard. The wonderful British owners of the facility are totally ecologically conscious and produce the finest olive oil we ever tasted. We ordered a case of the oil for ourselves.
Dr. Marcel said, "Hey, why don't we see if our patients want any and we can put together a bulk order!"
As you might expect, shipping bottles of olive oil from Spain in thick, glass, cobalt blue bottles doubles the cost of the oil, so it is a bit pricy. We use our Casa Olea oil for salads and on bread and use Trader's Joe's extra virgin olive oil for cooking. but, as we said, we were at the source and the oil is unlike any other we've ever tasted.
The price works out to $25 per 500 mL bottle.
If we get enough people to order 24 bottles, we'll put in an order.
Here is what the owners of Casa Olea
have to say about their olive oil:
* * *
"Limited edition, Autumn Harvest" Extra Virgin Olive Oil"
"Oil from the
100 olive trees on our finca, some of which are 300-plus years old!
"Our crop is the
"first pick" of the olives in the area which, depending on the year and harvest, produces around 2500 kilos of olives, equivalent to approx 500 litres of the finest Spanish olive oil.
"The olives are
cold pressed at our local mill (2km from our finca) on the same day they are picked and then stored in a huge stainless steel, temperature-controlled vat to be bottled on demand for us - thus keeping the oil as fresh as possible. We are proud that our olive oil is
100% Natural as we have never used any fertilizers or pesticides on our land since we bought it back in 2004.
"This exclusive olive oil is limited to only
1770 bottles in total; harvested by hand on slopes of up to 70 degrees,
produced and bottled at source in the village cooperative olive mill, with direct benefit to the local farmers.
"The cobalt blue glass bottle
protects and preserves
the oil best, as high quality olive oils should never be exposed to direct sunlight or heat.
"Andalucia's finest olive oils were highly prized by ancient Rome's emperors and cultured citizens, with a staggering 4 million gallons exported each year from Baética (Andalucia) to the imperial capital.
Made in Andalucia - the gourmet choice for almost 2000 years!"
|Casa Olea B&B and surrounding olive tree orchards.
Where we stayed while we were in Spain a couple of weeks ago.
How to pick olives
"The olive harvest in Andalucia takes place in the winter, from
November to March, depending on the area, weather and olive variety. There are hundreds of
varieties of olives, with the Picudo and Hojiblanca varieties being the first to fruit in this area and producing the stronger, more flavoursome extra virgin olive oil.
"As a general rule - the
earlier in the harvest you pick the olives, the higher the quality of oil produced but with a lower volume; while the later you pick, the more oil you get but it tends to be of a lesser quality. This explains why the "Autumn harvest" is regarded as the
highest quality of all Extra Virgin Olive Oils."
Order by phone from Pacific Naturopathic: 650-917-1121. Sorry, no shipping from our office. Oil must be picked up in our office. Oil must be paid for at time of order. Deadline for orders is October 31st.
$25 per bottle.
Well worth it for the finest olive oil you may ever taste.
The Doctrine of Signatures
In naturopathic school, we learned of the Doctrine of Signatures, a law of nature in botanical medicine. It states that one can determine from the color, shape and texture of the flowers, roots, fruits and leaves, the place the plant grows, or other "signatures", what the plant's purpose is in God's plan.
By the Doctrine of Signatures, we would suppose that walnuts would be very good for the brain. Research supports that supposition. Rich in omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, melatonin, folate, and vitamin E, walnuts are found to increase inferential reasoning in young adults and to enhance cognitive function in aging.
Omega 3 fats are well known to be abundant in wild Alaskan salmon, another brain food. Omega 3's benefit the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of the brain (which is associated with working memory), as well as visual processing and motor control centers. Higher levels of omega 3's have been shown to preserve brain function in aging.
The Doctrine of Signatures:
Walnuts as brain food
Another fat, coconut oil, is a rich source of medium chain triglycerides. MCTs provide ketone bodies to the brain. These ketone bodies help restore and renew neurons and nerve function. 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil will provide a therapeutic level of MCTs, shown to restore function in degenerative neurologic conditions.
Antioxidant rich fruits such as wild blueberries and pomegranates guard against neurologic disease by
reducing oxidative stress. Consumption of blueberries has been found to enhance learning, thinking, and memory. Study participants who consumed 8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily showed increased brain activity during memory and verbal testing and improvement in verbal memory tests.
The Doctrine of Signatures:
Avocado nourishes the womb
Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant with strong anti inflammatory properties. As curcumin can cross the blood brain barrier, it can offer significant benefit as a neuroprotective agent. Curcumin has been shown to inhibit and break up those beta amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Another category of beneficial foods is the flavonoid rich foods. These are foods such as soy (isoflavones); green tea, red wine and dark chocolate (flavanols); berries, grapes, and red wine (anthocyanins).
Flavonoids promote blood flow to the brain, work on neuronal signaling pathways, promote neurogenesis and communication between neurons, and have the potential to enhance memory and learning.
Beets, celery, cabbage, spinach and other leafy greens promote blood flow to the brain through their high concentration of nitrates. Bacteria in the mouth convert the nitrates in the food to nitrites, which open blood vessels and supply blood and oxygen to the brain.
The Doctrine of Signatures:
Carrots feed the eyes
Drawing just from the above foods, (and there are many other brain healthy foods that could be listed), one could create a delicious menu which would be a veritable feast for the brain. And the same foods have been proven beneficial in numerous other conditions.
The words of Hippocrates come to mind. "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."
Find out more about Dr. Connie's work
Breast Thermography at
- foods and breast health -
Several categories of foods promote breast health. One category of foods would be those that are high in iodine. A traditional Japanese diet, rich in seaweed and other seafood, supplies 12.5 mg of iodine/iodide daily. That same dosage taken orally over three months sometimes results in a positive shift in the breast thermal risk rating seen on breast thermography.
Another category of foods would be the cruciferous vegetables, most specifically broccoli (and more specifically, 3 day old broccoli sprouts), that contain DIM (di indole methane). DIM favorably impacts estrogen metabolism, and is an ingredient in many breast health supplements. Another food which has positive effect on estrogen metabolism and breast health is ground flax seeds.
Other foods with positive effect include green tea, curcumin, various mushrooms, and flavonoid rich foods.
Consuming these foods, while decreasing inflammatory foods in a detoxification protocol often results in a decrease in breast thermal risk rating.
Read more about
Pacific Naturopathic Hawaii:
Healthy foods at our Hawaii retreat...
Check Future Openings
(then click on "Calendar")
Imagine yourself walking in a
grazing from the fruit trees!
One of the pleasures of wandering the 3 acres at our Hawaii retreat
is the pleasure of foraging foods.
Fruit salads from freshly picked fruits (avocado, banana, grapefruit, oranges, limes, lemons, star fruit, apples, papayas and more) are nourishing both for their food value, and for the joy of discovering and harvesting them. Likewise, consuming fresh organic lettuce in a lunchtime salad is far more satisfying that picking up an aged head of lettuce at the supermarket. The colors, the texture and the fragrance of these foods undeniably contribute to well being.
At our vacation rental, guests are free to wander and pick,
and wonder at the bounty of nature.
* * *
Isn't it time you treated yourself to a magical experience?
Come, enjoy, rejuvenate and reinvent yourself.
Openings available from May.
The Hernandez Center for Adjunctive Cancer Care
News and Commentary on Cancer Topics
* * * * *
What We Offer
for Adjunctive Cancer Care
Our cancer patients often ask us to give them an estimate of the effectiveness of therapy at the Hernandez Center for Adjunctive Cancer Care. We respond that
our entire focus is on helping our patients stay healthy, upbeat and positive.
intravenous vitamin C), although 'adjunctive' in nature, have powerful documented actions in decreasing inflammation, reducing tumor load and attacking cancer stem cells.
The truth is that the botanical and nutritional therapies we offer
Our mind/body approaches are focused on transformation of experience. And our bodywork approaches helpreduce muscular pain, resolve lymph drainage problems and relieve stress.
The hope we offer is not that of a miraculous cure, although we are definitely open to miracles, but the hope of a life lived to the fullest in dignity and understanding, for however long that may be.
Active Surveillance of Intermediate-Risk Prostate Cancer Associated With Decreased Survival
An analysis of data on 945 patients with prostate cancer that is managed with active surveillance shows differences in outcomes depending on whether the patient was low or intermediate risk at diagnosis.
Compared to patients with low-risk disease, those with intermediate-risk cancer (PSA >10ng/ml or Gleason score 7 or clinical stage T2b/2c) had a nearly four-fold higher chance of dying from prostate cancer within 15 years.
"For low-risk patients with prostate cancer managed with active surveillance, the risk of dying of prostate cancer is low, validating this approach for this group of patients. More research, however, is needed to better characterize those intermediate-risk patients who can safely be monitored on a surveillance program," said D. Andrew Loblaw, MD, a radiation oncologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada.
Active surveillance is a globally recognized standard approach for patients with low-risk prostate cancer and select intermediate-risk patients with prostate cancer. - See more at: http://www.cancernews.com/data/Article/850.asp#sthash.HLi5gQFP.dpuf
Interested in finding out more about the adjunctive cancer treatment at the Hernandez Center?
Please phone us for an appointment at:
Could Aspirin Treat Breast Cancer?
Marcel Hernandez, ND
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) have received a $10 million Breakthrough Award from the Department of Defense's Office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program to
test whether aspirin helps women with breast cancer avoid recurrence and live longer.
"The epidemiological and preclinical evidence* linking aspirin with a positive effect on breast cancer recurrence is very strong, but we need a prospective trial like this one to definitively determine the role of aspirin in the disease," said Michelle Holmes, MD, DrPH, who is an associate professor of Medicine and Epidemiology in the Channing Division of Network Medicine at BWH.
Please phone us at 650-917-1121 for more information about adjunctive cancer therapies
Other I.V. Therapies Offered at Pacific Naturopathic and the Hernandez Center
Corrine Wang, N.D.
Many people have already heard about intravenous vitamin C as a complementary cancer therapy to help stimulate the immune system as well as being directly cytotoxic to cancer cells. We are often using this therapy at the Hernandez Center for our cancer patients. What people may not know is that we also have many other IV therapies that are also very helpful in supporting our cancer patients depending on their symptoms and what they need.
We often give a nutrient IV in between IV vitamin C sessions, which helps to provide more energy and rebuild our patients that may be feeling fatigued or have low blood counts.
We also have other anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer therapies like IV curcumin (turmeric) or IV silibinin (from milk thistle).
Another IV treatment that can help cancer patients from losing more weight or to help them gain weight is an infusion that includes a variety of amino acids.
These are just a few of the protocols we have for our cancer patients. For more information or to set up an appointment, please contact us at the Hernandez Center at (650) 917-1121.
* * *
Dr. Corrine Wang, N.D.
Corrine Wang, N.D.
r. Corrine will return as a regular writer next month
or more information about Dr. Corrine Wang and her mind/body approach to healing, please visit her website at
Jane Hernandez, CCHT
Jane Hernandez will return
as a regular writer next month.
Read more about Jane Hernandez's transformative work
The Hernandez Center
for Adjunctive Cancer Care
2570 W. El Camino Real, Suite 111
Mountain View, CA 94040
650-917-1121 (v) * 650-917-1127 (f)