Friday, December 26, 2014

3 Steps to Beat Cravings and Temptations to Cheat: Holiday Menue Included

I appreciate your friendship and readership, this time of year and all year. So I want to wish
Best Ever Pumpkin Pie- dairy free- GAPS friendly
you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and blessed New Year. It's a time for caring and sharing, and JOY! Allow the good things to shine and patience is the operative word. Be on your best behaviour because you never know who is watching you, and is going to emulate you. Gluten sensitivity runs in families and there are others who have trouble with cravings, not just you. 

Be a leader and change any foods that you traditionally might serve, but are too processed, to real food with blood sugar stabilizing fibre and low fructose and no sugar.(only scant natural sweeteners such as honey and only in small amounts) artisanal agave and maple syrup. And lower the temptations for everyone. "It's Christmas" isn't going to cut it as one sugar filled "cheat" can trigger craving and hormonal changes that can last weeks (because of the changes in the microflora!). 

Here are 3 great practical tips from one of my mentors, Hyla Cass MD, integrative physician, author of "8 Weeks to Vibrant Health,”  These tips will lower your cravings for the wrong foods, especially bad carbohydrates, which will also stabilize your mood and make you happier. 

A 3-Step Formula to Beat Cravings by Dr. Hyla Cass MD (my bold) 

I'll bet you know exactly what you need to do to lose weight and improve your health, but every once in a while (or perhaps often!), something in the pantry calls your name… and you just can't resist.

Does that sound familiar?

Many people blame themselves, thinking cravings are the result of a character flaw or lack of willpower. Sometimes they eat even more to relieve the guilt. I want you to know that cravings are not the result of some kind of psychological shortcoming.

What decades of study, research and thousands of patient cases have shown is this: Cravings are the result of a chemical reaction in the body. (And are preventable)

When we eat, sugar is released into the bloodstream either slowly or quickly . If it’s slow, you'll have a steady, stable blood sugar and a controlled appetite. If it’s quick, your body uses up the fuel faster and your blood sugar spikes. When it drops back down, your body cries out: “I need fuel now!” That’s a craving, and it’s as if you're a puppet on strings with no sense of control.

Compare this to a healthy appetite. A healthy appetite is being hungry for foods you decide to eat as fuel for your body. You choose what, when and how much to eat and then you’re satisfied. There is also a sense of personal fulfillment that comes with a healthy appetite because you're in control.

Let me offer you a simple system to help you defeat cravings and enjoy a healthy, controlled appetite.
1. Add Fiber

To combat cravings you need a steady delivery of fuel coming into the body, and not a sudden surge. How do you bring that about? With fiber.

Eating the right amount of fiber and the right variety at the right times leads to a gradual release of fuel into the bloodstream. That keeps blood sugar levels steady, leaving you with fewer cravings and a more stable feeling of energy.

Blackberries (only organic are recommended) are high in soluble fiber and low in fructose and they are one of the best fruits to add to your morning plate. For insoluble fiber, eat chia seeds (not flax seeds), which are also rich in protein, minerals and calcium.  With lunch and dinner, I recommend adding to the menu healthy carbohydrates, such as (unprocessed, fermented ) beans and legumes (use for guidelines on how to introduce, soak and cook legumes safely in the Gut and Psychology Syndrome scientifically proven way). You'll also want good fats, such as those in fish, seafood (not farmed fish or seafood), raw nuts and seeds.

2. Drop Fructose

Step 2 is to limit your intake of fructose. Fructose is a unique type of sugar because the liver has to do extra work to process it. This causes your blood sugar to drop and cravings to occur.

To decrease your fructose intake, cut down on sodas and candy, and yes, you heard me… fruit. The high amounts of processed fructose in our diets and the toxins we are exposed to, have left our livers less tolerant of good fructose. If you've got cravings, I recommend staying away from fruits such as pears, apples, cherries, blueberries and bananas, including fruit juices, especially in the morning. Have about a quarter cup of blackberries with breakfast instead.

3. Gain Freedom

If you add fiber and drop fructose, the result is freedom. You actually don’t have to do anything at this step! When your blood sugar levels are steady, you don’t fall victim to cravings. Instead of losing control and then grabbing for high-sugar foods to refuel, you'll be able to choose what you eat. You'll enjoy a more balanced mood and energy level and you'll feel more vibrant. Plus, you’ll feel greater self-esteem because you won’t be in a constant battle with yourself and your food.

You don't have to be a victim of cravings. Add a few fiber superheroes to your diet, drop out a few fructose culprits at the right time, and enjoy the freedom of a healthy, controlled appetite. You’ll lose weight and feel better, and that’s just the beginning!

If you have found out you are gluten sensitive, it is important to follow the improved specific carbohydrate diet, called Gut and Psychology Syndrome protocol. Every day. This will promote long term health benefits, in an attempt to gain back 20 healthy years. 

There are lots of festive, GAPS friendly delicious recipes available in books like Breaking the Vicious Cycle, or Eat Well Feel Well  by Kendal Conrad or online.

For a holiday menue, with links for appetizers, crackers, mashed cauliflower (delicious), squash with brussel sprouts and chestnut, and cranberry sauce go to Elana's Pantry's.

For a chicken or turkey gravy go here

For a dessert cheese cake here is Elana's. It is made with yogurt, but not everyone can do yogurt even when fermented 24 hours. Please use only artisanal agave or honey. 

I recommend Best Ever Pumpkin pie because it is dairy free, and it's been family tested and should be called "pumpkin pie that pumpkin haters like".

For a Simple white cake with a dairy free icing try Comfy Belly's recipe. Or with a chocolate icing if you have healed and are at the end of the protocol and are able to do a little chocolate try this white cake dairy free cake.

Or maybe you want to serve a no cook chocolate mousse that tastes great and gives you great fats, lots of fibre and only 1.5 grams of sugar/glycemic load per serving (and it is sweet enough and delicious- I aim for less than 20 glycemic load points a day).

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara

Monday, December 15, 2014

10 Steps to Protect Yourself From The Flu from Awakening Potentials

It's flu season! For some, getting "the flu" creates mild flu symptoms, and for others with an impaired immune system, the flu can be fatal. 

Protect yourself by planning ahead. 

We had many people coming in lately that have suffered from the flu. So, it’s that time of year for us to help you get proactive. The symptoms of flu come on very quickly, so your best bet is to support your immune system before it gets sick. Fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscles ache, headache, fatigue diarrhea and vomiting are the symptoms for the flu. Not something you really want to put yourself through.

10 Steps To Protect Yourself From The Flu

So here are a few things that we at Awakening Potentials recommend you should do to protect and prevent the flu:

Wash your hands frequently
Sneeze into your elbow when the urge arises
Carry and wear a mask when around people who are coughing and sneezing
Drink plenty of water and make sure to rest.
Decrease the sweets (you shouldn't really have any
Get off the carbs and gluten
Eat 5 cups of green vegetables per day
Take the right supplements to help you prevent it
Exercise regularly
Think happy thoughts

Supplements to help strengthen your immune system:
Vitamin D3: helps support immune health.
Muco Coccinum: homeopathic remedy to help prevent flu and to take when first flu symptoms occur.
Citrigen: helps relieve symptoms of flu (you want to take this at first symptoms of flu or cold.)
Super Flavonoids: antioxidant for the maintenance of good health.
Immucore: enhancing the function of macrophages, natural killer cells and T cell.

If you want to read more on Vitamin D3 and how it is an antibiotic, antiviral agent proven to be more effective at preventing "the flu" in scientific studies read what Beyond Celiac has to say. 

US Federal officials from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on December 4th issued a health advisory to doctors. Here is a quote:
"Although the flu shot protects against several strains of the virus, one strain—H3N2—has evolved to the point that just half of patients infected with it would benefit from this year's vaccine."
You may want to keep this in mind and have a plan B where it comes to protecting yourself from "the flu".

To Your Health

Dr. Barbara

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Human Microbiome- Important Concepts for Optimal Health, video by National Public Radio- link fixed

I talk a lot about how our microbiota, the living organisms in and on us, protect us from all sorts of illnesses. Research has found that some probiotics protect us from depression, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, C. Difficile, cancer, vaginal discharge, and so many more things. The microbiota can be damaged by lifestyle choices and the newborn's microbiota is mostly determined by it's mother's lifestyle choices.

Watch this entertaining and informative video (5 minutes, 28 seconds) about gut microbes from National Public Radio (NPR). This is a CRITICAL concept if you want to understand how to move toward optimum health.

You have the power to improve your health enormously, one way is  to grown great microbiota. 
The Gut and Psychology Syndrome book is a practical manual to stop the damage and to recover health. 

To Your Health.
Dr. Barbara

More GMO news; Russia Announces Ban on GMO Imports

As a physician who aims to help people by healing their bowel and microflora, and subsequently reducing inflammation over the whole body, I am frustrated as to how hard it is. 

Even with a pure gluten free diet, so many people have signs of inflammation, malnutrition and bowel malfunction. 

What do I suspect is going on when the person is following a pure true gluten free diet. Well there are lots of food additives that can cause problems such as carrageenan. Drugs can be a hinderance to healing, such as NSAIDs. However, the one prime suspect seems to be GMO in or on vegetables, grains, legumes, and in commercial meats and meat and dairy from animals fed the usual commercial feed with GMO corn and soya. 

Earlier this year, Russia’s plan to stop importing GMOs went into effect. According to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Russia has the means, and the space, to cultivate organic food, and therefore has no need for GMOs.

In a statement, the Vice President of Russia’s National Association for Genetic Safety, Irina Ermakova, asserts:

“It is necessary to ban GMOs, to impose moratorium (on) it for 10 years. While GMOs will be prohibited, we can plan experiments, tests, or maybe even new methods of research could be developed.

It has been proven that not only in Russia, but also in many other countries in the world, GMOs are dangerous. Methods of obtaining the GMOs are not perfect, therefore, at this stage, all GMOs are dangerous.”

Ermakova continues:

“Consumption and use of GMOs obtained in such way can lead to tumors, cancers and obesity among animals. Bio-technologies certainly should be developed, but GMOs should be stopped. We should stop it from spreading.”

Aside from imports, Russia does allow the production and trade of GMO foods within the country. If a certain product contains more than 0.9 percent GMO material, however, it must be labeled by the manufacturer.

Along with Russia, much of the world is fighting against the continued proliferation of genetically modified foods. China has repeatedly refused imports from the United States, due to the potential for GMO contamination, and last summer decided to end its production of GMO corn and rice altogether.

The Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico refused to allow the planting of Roundup Ready soybeans earlier this year. Northern New Zealand is working to ban GMOs, and, Bhutan has announced its plan to become the first fully organic nation on Earth. These are just a few examples among many.

In the United States, we're far from banning GMOs – we’re still working on labeling. Seems we’re a bit behind the times on this front.


To Your Health
Dr. Barbara

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Future of Agriculture: Dr. Thierry Vrain on GMOs, To Speak in Ottawa, Canada, November 22,2014

You are invited to attend the 

Sat Nov 22nd, St Paul U, 9am -5pm 

Featuring Keynote Speakers: 

Dr. Thierry Vrain, ‘The Science of GMO’s’ & 

Mr. Tony Mitra, ‘What You Can Do About GMO’s’ 

who are on the 

Human Health & GE/GMO Cross-Canada Speakers Tour 

New: Local, Organic Lunch Available to Purchase Separately at St Paul U 

$20.00 Keynotes Morning 

& $15.00 Afternoon Panel Discussion 

includes Keynotes, Tom Manley and Experts from COG OSO, COG National, CBAN and COTA 

Win a Free Ticket & T-Shirt by entering the Draw at The Table Restaurant by Nov 18th! 1230 Wellington Rd, Ottawa 

Dr. Thierry Vrain, formerly a head of research science at Agriculture Canada, shares his understanding of why the science behind genetic engineering is flawed -- the assumption that one gene makes one protein has been outdated since 2002 and the actions of foreign proteins in the genome are unpredictable and unknown.

Both his TED talk  "The Gene Revolution" and the interview below are very informative, but just an overview. 

We have proof that there was a 400% increase incidence of gluten sensitivity in those persons who were born around 1930, young service men who donated blood in 1948, blood that was studied by Dr Joseph Murray, Mayo Clinic in 2009. The upswing of the incidence occurred, in North America between 1930 and 1945. As a result of the lifestyle changes such as reduced exposure to "UV B giving" sunlight in daily life,( and the start of global vitamin D deficiency) and serious chemical/environmental changes. 

Vitamin D is the number one protector of the positive reading of genes and low vitamin D influences  "Epigenetics", how genes are expressed. Chemical also change the way genes are expressed. By 1996, most of the population in North America was preprogrammed to be sensitive to any new environmental manipulation.

There are many people blogging and otherwise linking the increased incidence of celiac disease with the introduction of GMOs in 1996. I do believe GMOs with glyphosate, and the use of glyphosate as a "desiccant" contributes to the morbidity, incidence and consequently mortality of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. 

In searching for better health we can only change what we can change!

And we can get more sun exposure and supplement to make sure our vitamin D serum levels are in a health promoting range of 100 -200 nmol/l, or 40-60 ng/ml.

We can lower our exposure to chemicals of all sorts including GMOs. 

Want to learn more about the wider impact GMOs in agriculture, and why all wheat is toxic (and barley, seeds, sugar cane, non organic beets, beans and peas)? Then read todays Healthy Home Economist. Be prepared to cry. Enough said.

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

13 Ways Successful People Stay Productive and In Control: Impossible to Have Health Without Self Control and These Habits.

Don't  'cheat'- it's not worth it!
Who, doing a GAPS diet ( lifestyle low in chemical exposure doesn't      need a lot of focus and energy to keep on track? You may become aware that you have an "addiction" to sugar, or to rice, or to corn chips, or to artificial sweeteners, or to wine or other alcoholic beverages! It is a tug of war between impulse and self control. First, recognize if you are have having trouble with self- control. Recognizing this struggle is the first step to conquering it. Maybe we can find some tips on improving self control from the personal habits of successful people. 

Dr. Travis Bradberry TalentSmart, whose interest is in business performance, has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact).

The hallmark of emotional intelligence is self-control—a skill that unleashes massive productivity by keeping you focused and on track.

Unfortunately, self-control is a difficult skill to rely on. Read his whole article on  13 ways successful people stay productive and in control. If you apply these actions, you will find changing your lifestyle to a "cleaner", low inflammation lifestyle a whole lot easier. Here is an excerpt (my bolds):

  They Meditate

Meditation actually trains your brain to become a self-control machine. Even simple techniques like mindfulness, which involves taking as little as five minutes a day to focus on nothing more than your breathing and your senses, improves your self-awareness and your brain’s ability to resist destructive impulses.(Some people pray as meditation) Give it a try.

They Ride the Wave

Desire and distraction have the tendency to ebb and flow like the tide. When the impulse you need to control is strong, waiting out this wave of desire is usually enough to keep yourself in control. When you feel as if you must give in, the rule of thumb here is to wait at least 10 minutes before succumbing to temptation. You'll often find that the great wave of desire is now little more than a ripple that you have the power to step right over.

They Squash Negative Self-Talk

A big final step in exercising self-control involves stopping negative self-talk in its tracks. The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. When you find yourself believing the negative and pessimistic things your inner voice says, it's time to stop and write them down. Literally stop what you're doing and write down what you're thinking. Once you've taken a moment to slow down the negative momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed in evaluating their veracity.

You can bet that your statements aren’t true any time you use words like “never,” “worst,” “ever,” etc. If your statements still look like facts once they're on paper, take them to a friend or colleague you trust and see if he or she agrees with you. Then the truth will surely come out. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural threat tendency inflating the perceived frequency or severity of an event. Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive new outlook.

Putting These Strategies to Work

The important thing to remember is you have to give these strategies the opportunity to work. This means recognizing the moments where you are struggling with self-control and, rather than giving in to impulse, taking a look at these strategies and giving them a go before you give in.


Travis Bradberry, Ph.D.

Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book,Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world's leading provider of emotional intelligence tests, emotional intelligence training, and emotional intelligence certification, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.

First recognize issues with self control and try on the 13 ways you can improve on it. 
The second step is to always have your reason "why" you are buying back 20 healthy years. ( Celiac and gluten sensitive persons have a 400% increased risk of dying before age 65, especially if you were  born in North America, and that equates to 20 less years life expectancy, and an average of 14 years of chronic illness in your last years.) Undiagnosed and improperly treated gluten sensitivity is a public health issue. (a quote from Dr. Joseph Murray, Mayo Clinic). More on this in another issue. 

PS If you don't know if gluten is affecting your health, or if you suspect, and you want to know, I recommend doing a minimally expensive test, the genetic test from It's a convenient and fast way to cut through the confusion of diagnosis without changing the diet, or the pitfalls of elimination diet for one month (Even trying 100%, one gets exposure to gluten because no one can learn all the sources of gluten in one month of trying an elimination diet, I couldn't!) or the blood tests (50% accurate) or the biopsy (probably only 30% accurate).

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Infographic Shows The Differences Between The Diseases We Donate To, And The Diseases That Kill Us

Julia Belluz created the infographic below to compare how much money is 
donated to fight various disease and how many people in the USA die from
those same diseases for
an article in Vox.

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Delicious, Easy, Never Lumpy Turkey Gravy: GAPS, SCD, Paleo Friendly

Thanksgiving holiday is just around the corner. A great opportunity to count our blessings and to let our loved ones know how much we appreciate them. Even if we can't be together for a meal we can celebrate so many different ways.

If a turkey dinner is in your plans, you will be making it with a gravy. There are no gravy making kits that are safe. 
So how can you do this in GAPS, SCD or Paleo and be safe, without losing any deliciousness?

Here is a GAPS gravy that is easy, delicious and never lumpy. 

I experimented a lot (as I've been teaching, cooking and eating SCD/GAPS since 2005), but found my inspiration from my mother who is an excellent self taught home cook, and Elaine Gottschall and her book Breaking the Vicious Cycle, a book I still use quite often. The aim is to find flavour and thickening. The onions have flavour and they have pectin, which thickens hot fluids without lumps. The reserved vegetables that were roasted under the meat, turkey or chicken, are caramelized and very flavourful. I view the water left behind from boiled vegetables as a secret ingredient for flavour boosting, not something to throw out. The dehydrated vegetables found in "Herbamare" or "Mrs. Dash" are commonly used as a salt substitute because they give flavour without relying on salt, so the end product is lower in salt but just as delicious if not more so. (This is the way to go for those who are looking to lower their salt intake.)

And it is easy, because there are no special ingredients you don't already have in your kitchen. Except maybe the dehydrated herbs and vegetable powder which you can pick up later as an important part of your GAPS, SCD,or Paleo pantry. All you need is a stand or immersion blender. 

Ingredients for stock used in gravy: Start while poultry (or any meat) is roasting.
1 litre or 1 quart of homemade chicken or turkey or vegetable stock
2 large onions with or without poultry giblets

Ingredients for gravy:
Stock with soft cooked onions
Reserved roasted vegetables (onions, carrots, garlic, celery or any herbs) from under the roast 
Roasting pan drippings, reserved
Seasoning from 'Herbamare' or 'Mrs. Dash', NO SUBSTITUTION, to taste, 1-4 tsp, optional
Sea salt and pepper 
Extra filtered or pure water to make up consistency to your liking

While the poultry is roasting I make the stock by cooking the onions. I almost never have homemade turkey or chicken stock available so I try to save all the vegetable water from any veggies I cook on that day or in the few days before. This is something my mother taught me. I may have potato, or cauliflower, or green bean, or celeriac or carrot water for the stock. You need about 1 quart or 1 litre. Add 2 large onions (and giblets if available) and simmer the onions, uncovered until they are very soft, 20 minutes to 2 hours. 

The next step, the making of the gravy takes place in the roasting pan or the pot used to cook the onion, and basically you put all the gravy ingredients listed above in one pan, puree and heat, on top of the stove. 

When the roast is finished cooking it needs to be set aside about 10-15 minutes to rest. Now I loosen every last bit of pan drippings and mix them with the onion/veggie water. You could also use the pan drippings from any vegetables you have roasted as a side dish, such as brussels sprouts, or acorn squash, and put that in too. I usually pour the onion water into the roasting pan but you could pour the drippings into the pot with the onions. Then I add the vegetables that were roasted under the turkey into the same drippings pan, with 1-4 tsp of “Mrs. Dash “ or organic 'Herbamare' (both gluten and carb free) and salt and pepper to taste. You can also use fresh herbs, but I can't vouch that bottled spices are gluten free and may contain MSG without you knowing it. Then I use an immersion blender to puree. It should be smooth and thick. Add water to make the consistency to your liking. 

Heat when ready to serve, so it is hot and at its best. 
If it needs reheating it does not go lumpy or limp. 

I always get good comments on this gravy.  It is has a nice look about it, rich in colour, and thicker than “au jus” and can be almost as thick as wheat flour gravy. It goes nicely over mashed garlic cauliflower or mashed celeriac root, both always a hit around here.

For another version of gravy see Elana's Pantry for her "Herb gravy". 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone 
To Your Health
Dr. Barbara


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Nestlé Sustainability Champion: GM food Not ’Answer’ To Feeding World

My focus to help people maximize their health is to heal the bowel and grow a healthy microbiota, which, in my mind is the root of health. 
Lately I have recognized that my patients and myself included are not attaining a full recovery of a healthy bowel and microbiota in one to two years nor ever, even on a carefully planned program of GAPS, probiotics, vitamin D levels above 120 nmoles/l,proper amounts of good fats in the diet, maximization on the absorption of nutrients, good cholesterol and triglyceride levels, getting rid of chemical exposures of all kinds, detoxing with sauna and maximizing B vitamins.  

This is compared to reports of thousands of people being cured on a Specific Carbohydrate diet (SCD) (first developed in the 50's) by Dr. Haas and Elaine Gottschall) in one to two years. Not so now. 

So I have been searching for the compounding reasons why this may be so. The environment has changed greatly from the 50's.At last count we are exposed to 84,000 new chemicals since the discovery of the first 'never seen on earth' chemical was manufactured in 1854 by Perkins. And we are exposed to natural toxins like lead which has no safe level for humans. Or poorly understood or researched bio-technology products, GMOs being one of them.

Continued bowel inflammation, old, not healing or new damage can be linked to:
- use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, NSAIDS, like ibuprofen
-use of prescription antibiotics.
-low vitamin D serum levels, below 120 nmol/l.
-cheating on gluten even once a month, even invisible amounts such as MSG in a salad dressing or soup, sometimes called natural flavouring. 
-eating oats (I have an upcoming article on why you should never eat oats, not even "gluten free" oats). 
-inhaling polluted air or smog. 
-titanium dioxide used in supplements
-ingestion of GMO containing foods including commercial meat/products causing 65 know human health risks. This link includes the American Academy of Environmental Medicine's position paper on GMO foods. 

With mounting evidence that GMO containing foods damage the bowel and cause a "celiac" like condition with massive malnutrition and sulphur deficiency  the question arises, why don't we have GMO labelling laws and why do we even grow these crops? Scientist from all over the world have been researching these crops and the link to human health for decades and because of the bans in other countries (European Union and Russia to name two jurisdictions), one must think these scientists and governing bodies must use a precautionary principle and have found evidence that does not warrant putting large numbers of people at risk.

Not just people are becoming ill, but also livestock fed GMO grains. Here’s the first paragraph of an article from Organic Connections on the effects of genetically modified feed on pigs. This is not an isolated observation.

“A new, peer-reviewed study has just been released detail­ing adverse effects of genet­i­cally engi­neered (GE) feed on pigs. Center for Food Safety has long advo­cated for more robust safety test­ing prior to intro­duc­ing GE foods into the food sup­ply. Currently, no GE safety test­ing is required in the U.S. The long-term study revealed that pigs fed a GE diet suf­fered higher rates of severe stom­ach inflam­ma­tion and had on aver­age heav­ier uteruses. The find­ings were bio­log­i­cally and sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant and mir­ror what many farm­ers have been report­ing anec­do­tally for years. The study was per­formed over the course of five years by inde­pen­dent researchers in Australia and the U.S.” Read More. The paper: “A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM corn maize diet” by Dr Judy Carman, Howard Vlieger, Dr Larry Ver Steeg,Verlyn Neller, Dr Garth Robinson, Dr Kate Clinch-Jones, Dr Julie Haynes and Dr John Edwards has been published by the Journal of Organic Systems, Vol 8. No 1 (2013) and is available for free download from Or cut an paste into your browser if you are having trouble reading it.

A top Swiss GMO researcher's comments have been recently reported in "Food Navigator" :    

Nestlé sustainability champion: GM food not ’answer’ to feeding world

Genetically modified food is unnecessary to feed the world and the food industry would reap more benefits from using resources more sustainably and employing other techniques. That's the view of Hans Johr, corporate head of sustainable agriculture at Nestlé and honorary president of SAI Platform, a group of top global food and drink manufacturers working to improve supply chain sustainability. ”There are a lot of new breeding technologies today that don't use GM food. You can do a lot of things without GM. GM per se is not a golden bullet, but may be an interesting tool in the box. ”We [Nestlé] have a very simple way of looking at GM: listen to what the consumer wants. If they don't want it in products, you don't put it in them.”
Food Navigator, France: Nestlé sustainability champion: GM food not ’answer’ to feeding world

We the consumer can influence the manufacturers of our food, according to Hans Johr of giant Nestle. We have to become informed consumers and vote with our pocket books. 

Here are two examples of how the people of Germany have said they don't want GMO foods and where they have been listened to.

Firstly the German Grocery association has listened and it has demanded a return to GMO free fed poultry as of January 2015. There is enough non-GMO poultry feed available contrary to the complaints of the producers.

And Secondly, there is a movement among the German Federal states to openly be recognized as GMO free and set standards. From August 2014,GMO Free News for Germany (my bold):

GMO-free regional governments:
9 out of 16 German federal states (among them 3 city states) signed the Charta of Florence and thereby joined the European GMO-Free regions network.......

By the end of August 2014, 212 GMO-free-regions, 343 GMO-free-municipalities and 30.458 GMO-free-farmers, i.e. 1.106.156 ha (2.733.371 acres), were declared in Germany. Definitions, lists and maps can be accessed at the English section of the website GMO-free regions in Germany.

There was no commercial cultivation of GMOs in Germany since 2012 and no deliberate releases since 2013. Lastly, GM potatoes (0.3 ha) and GM sugar beets (0.5 ha) were planted for experimental purposes in 2012.

The commercial cultivation of the GM corn MON 810 has been banned on April 14th 2009. BASF’s genetically modified starch potato “Amflora”, approved on 2nd of March 2010, had its approval withdrawn December 2013 by the EU General Court due to procedural error during the approval procedure. Until then it was grown on 15 ha in 2010 and ultimately on 2 ha in 2011.

Based on German biotech law food manufacturers and –retailers can label their products GMO-free since May 2008. The GMO-free label (“ohne Gentechnik”) is for animal products (meat, eggs and dairy products) derived from animals fed without GM plants. Licensee partners and advocates for a food production without GMOs are organized in the Association Food without Genetic Engineering (VLOG).

(Updated in August 2014 information provided by Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V. (BUND) Friends of the Earth Germany).

As I have said, we need to take responsibility over our own health and become informed about food, natural over chemical, and food supply chains. We can't do this effectively without good labels on our food or supplements informing us whether there is GMO present in the product or not. Without labelling laws we still have choices. We can grow some of our own food, buy real food and the "dirty dozen"  should be avoided or bought as organic, and make your own from scratch or belong to a community organic farm association sometimes called CSA. If it is not clear, I also contact manufacturers about the ingredients of their products (gluten or corn or soy or canola) and the sourcing of their products especially if it is from GMO or not. 

I hope this information helps you in your decision to chose your food wisely, GAPS is best, remove chemicals from your life, add probiotics for the sake of the microbiota, but also to take a look at one of the most common food sources that reverses all the good you are doing, and putting you at risk for 65 known health problems.

I don't see eating a GAPS diet alone overcoming the effects of commonly ingested drugs or chemicals  or GMO products. 

Is eating GMO meat or cheese, or soy or canola worth the risk?

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara

Monday, September 22, 2014

Available Course: Step by Step Healing With GAPS Diet

It is one thing to hear and agree to doing the grain free, sugar free way of eating called GAPS and it is another to do it. I know it is a powerful way to heal so many serious illnesses and it doesn't work if you don't follow it to the letter.

But where to start? Or if you have started you may find that you are having some difficulties. You may find out that the store bought gluten free ice-cream that you eat once a month, is adding to your risk of heart disease and or it is slowing down your recovery from depression, for example. Now what do you do!

For resources, I have recommended-
1. The book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Campbell-McBride. 
2. the web site 
3. GAPS certified (by Dr. Campbell- McBride herself) nutrition therapists in your area, or online, . 

And you have another choice. 
The Weston A. Price Foundation " Wise Traditions" 2014 conference has finished and you can sign up to on demand access to one of four packages of lectures. All include the "Step by Step Healing with GAPS diet". They are priced at US$ 30.00  up to the full conference at US$ 89.00.

Go to this link to see your amazing choices of high quality lectures from beginner to more advanced needs: 

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara

Monday, September 15, 2014

Gluten Sensitivity, Vitamin D, and Cavities

 Worldwide, 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities, according to the World Health Organization. What makes this statistic so concerning is that oral health is essential to general health and quality of life. Something many are unaware about is the connection between gluten sensitivity, vitamin D, and oral health.

A study conducted in 2012, confirmed that gluten causes the body to produce an immune reaction against one of the main proteins responsible for producing enamel on the teeth. The lack of enamel causes excessive cavities, tooth wear and tear, and thus the premature destruction or loss of teeth.

Vitamin D, on the other hand, produces two proteins (cathelicidins and defensins) which have antibacterial effects to fight the bacteria that cause cavities. Vitamin D deficiency is proven to be a cause of tooth decay within clinical trials involving 3,000 children. What Dr. Hujoel found was that an increase in vitamin D levels reduced cavities to 50 percent.

Gluten sensitive people, eating a normal diet with gluten have low vitamin D from many different mechanisms, including their skin has trouble making vitamin D. Eliminating gluten from the diet stops further destruction, but does not in most cases heal. For that you need to heal the gut, and do a GAPS diet.  

In light of this information, I have a few recommendations to improve the quality, mineralization and health of your pearly whites. 

  1. Commit to a GAPS diet, which consists of eating fermented foods, probiotics, and foods high in vitamin D while eliminating grains, dairy, legumes, and sugar. A GAPs diet helps increase the absorption of nutrients, minerals, and fat soluble vitamins, such as vitamins K, D, E, and A. 
  2. Take silica supplements that can be found as liquids, powders, or tablets. 
  3. Drink green and black tea frequently (without any sweeteners, milk, or cream) as it reduces plaque buildup and suppresses bacteria levels in your mouth
  4. Brush your teeth with baking soda with or without peroxide and then rub a small amount of xylitol powder (corn free, made from birch or any hardwood tree on your teeth. Commercial toothpaste contains glycerin, which prevents the mineralization of your teeth.
  5. “Oil Pulling”, an ancient art popularized by Dr. Bruce Fife, involves rinsing your mouth with a few teaspoons of oil. I recommend coconut oil and unpasteurized butter for the oil used, for whiter and healthier teeth!
  6.  Avoid the “dirty dozen” as described by the Environmental Working Group, which include, seed oils, farmed fish, and chemical exposure of all kinds (creams, toothpaste, tap water with fluoride, ‘Raid’, baby shampoo, etc).
  7. Keep your vitamin D serum levels above 100. You will need a blood test to determine your vitamin D level.  

      To Your Health
       Dr. Barbara

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Implications of Low Cholesterol in Depression and Suicide- Dr. Greenblatt, MD

After fatigue, the most common symptom of celiac disease                                                            and gluten sensitivity is probably
depression if one were to include mild depression. Low levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and essential fatty acids (EFAs) are intimately linked to depression. Understanding the consequences of deficiencies in essential fats and cholesterol is important for the effective treatment and response of depression. Whether low cholesterol is drug induced, genetic, or the result of a leaky gut and poor digestive enzyme production or low bile production from chronic gluten ingestion in a gluten sensitive person, low cholesterol impairs optimal brain function and often prevents successful recovery.

Some gluten sensitivity researchers say that if a person has low cholesterol, low triglycerides, or low essential fatty acids on an initial assessment, then that is enough to give the person the diagnosis of gluten sensitivity. I have found 50% of people on initial assessment who end up with positive gluten sensitivity diagnosis, have low levels of each, cholesterol or triglycerides or EFAs. Fixed only when the bowel issues are fixed. (Grain free, dairy free, sugar free way of eating called GAPS ( seems the only way to fix it.)

James M. Greenblatt, M.D.

For the last quarter century, we have been told that cholesterol is dangerous for our health and were advised to avoid it in order to live a healthier life. However, cholesterol is essential in maintaining good mental health. The brain is the most cholesterol-rich organ in the body, and depriving the brain of essential fatty acids and cholesterol can lead to detrimental health problems. Lower levels of cholesterol in the blood are associated with a heightened risk of developing major depressive disorder, as well as an increased risk of death from suicide. A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that depressed men with low total cholesterol levels (less than 165 milligrams per deciliter [mg/dL] or less than 4.14 nmol/l) were seven times more likely to die prematurely from unnatural causes such as suicide and accidents.

Most recently, the continued allegation that cholesterol is dangerous came under scrutiny. A meta-analysis published in the March 2014 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine found that there's not enough evidence supporting the claim that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. After reviewing 72 different studies, researchers did not find that people who ate higher levels of saturated fat had more heart disease than those who ate less. Researchers came to the conclusion that instead of avoiding fats, which are essential to maintaining brain health, scientists are identifying the real villains as sugar and highly processed foods.

Low Cholesterol and Depression

Several studies have linked low cholesterol levels to an increased risk of developing depression. Consider the following examples:
1. 1993 paper published in the Lancet reported, "Among men aged seventy years and older, categorically defined depression was three times more common in the group with low total plasma cholesterol . . . than in those with higher concentrations."
2. 2000 study published in Psychosomatic Medicine, researchers compared cholesterol levels to depressive symptoms in men ranging in age from forty to seventy. They found that men with long-term, low total cholesterol levels "have a higher prevalence of depressive symptoms" compared to those with higher cholesterol levels.
3. Women with low cholesterol levels are also vulnerable to depression.

Of note, the reverse seems true, that more cholesterol is protective of depression. In a 2008 meta-analysis, higher total cholesterol was associated with lower levels of depression. 

Low cholesterol has other serious health implications such as cancer, infertility and lower immune health and you can get more info here and here

If you have high cholesterol and are worried about it causing heart disease, see a balance article here describing how cholesterol levels are not the focus of "heart care'' in the recent guidelines.

If it is hard for you to introduce more saturated fats and give up the poly unsaturated fats because you believe they will lower your rate of heart attacks, then you should watch the gripping movie called Oiling of America. Everyone in your family should see it. 

To Your Health.
Dr. Barbara

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Olive Oil Fraud “Widespread” Warns New Yorker Magazine- But You Can Get The Real Thing. Here is How!

I've been reminded by this article by Fresh Pressed Olive   that I need to dig deeper into how people choose the olive oil they eat, if there is unremitting inflammation. The person may be consuming fake olive oil.

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is probably the number one fake food out there. And the fake stuff has oils that are in the omega 6 category and I recommend reducing the omega 6's in an anti inflammatory diet. Some people may be keeping their omega 6 oil levels up without knowing it when they eat and make foods from just any old EVOO. Here is what I wrote about the evidence for the rampant adulteration of EVOO found in North American stores and some suggestions for finding the real thing. 

Scientists at UC Davis found that 69% of the imported extra virgin olive oils they tested were fake, adulterated, stale, or so subpar that they failed to meet international and USDA standards for being labeled “extra virgin.”

This Is Outrageous!

This [amount of fraud] is an outrageous shame because authentic extra virgin olive oil—the real stuff—is so healthy for you. Medical science has determined that it is one of the healthiest foods you can consume. For example:

Scientific studies have shown that authentic extra-virgin olive oil lowers “bad” cholesterol and cuts your risk of heart disease and stroke. It helps protect against cancer, especially cancer of the breast, prostate, and colon. It’s a godsend for arthritis sufferers because it can cool inflammation and ease joint pain without any side effects.

It has also been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of diabetes, and may even help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. If you want to avoid osteoporosis, it’s outstanding because it enables the calcium in your food to be better absorbed into your bones. Finally, it’s loaded with some of the most powerful disease-fighting antioxidants and polyphenols known to science, which fortify your immune system and help it protect every organ of your body against disease.

Way back in the fourth century BC, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was way ahead of his time. He loved his Greek olive oil and considered it beneficial for over 60 therapeutic uses, hailing it as “the great therapeutic.”

Read the whole article to find out how to avoid the second issue with buying EVOO and that is how to tell when it was bottled. It is best to consume the EVOO by six months of it being bottled. 

There is another three ways to buy authentic EVOO.
One is to check the Consumer Reports which has a list of EVOO products that were found to be authentic, found at the first link above.

The other is to find a source of single estate (family farm) EVOO at your local farmer's market or ethnic shop. You have to ask questions until you are satisfied it is the real thing.

And the other is to look for a bottle with the yellow and red seal symbol with the words............Denominazione D'Origine Protetta which indicates the real EVOO comes from Italy. Or the label Appellation d'origine controlee (AOC) if it comes from France.  Or Denominacion de Origen (DO) if it comes from Spain. More and more stores are carrying these products which have labels that indicate the product has passed strict quality control evaluations and have met clearly defined standards set by the EU and received this protected designation of origin. 

One last word. In the US, there appears to be only one certified label for EVOO and it is for Californian olive oil, so look for the seal with California Olive Oil Council ( COOC). 

After going to all this trouble to find the real extra virgin olive oil, treat it gently to maintain its health benefits. Please don't apply high heat to it. If you are sauteing or frying use an oil like coconut oil that withstands higher heat and does not lose its goodness, and pour some olive oil over the meat, fish, eggs or veges as you are serving it. 

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

WHO- 85% of Adult Cancers are Preventable: Beyond Celiac

We are so busy every day we often forget that we are what we eat and other lifestyle habits. Simple ( but not necessarily easy) changes make a very large difference in our future health.

If you eat inflammatory foods like grains, and you have inflammatory lifestyle habits like smoking or a sedentary life, you will encourage inflammatory responses in your body which include, but is not exclusive of, cancer. 

The Cytokine Research Laboratory published an article entitled "Cancer is a preventable disease that requires major lifestyle changes" which can be summarized by saying reduce inflammation/cytokines with lifestyle changes.  

The WHO has put out a paper declaring 85% of adult cancers of preventable and known risk factors are overweight, obesity, malnutrition and infection, all of which are higher in gluten sensitive persons. Here is an excerpt. 

Cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and oesophagus. In developed countries the main risk factors for cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and oesophagus are alcohol and tobacco, and up to 75% of such cancers are
attributable to these two lifestyle factors (5). Overweight and obesity are established risk factors specifically for adenocarcinoma (but not squamous cell carcinoma) of the oesophagus (6--8). In developing countries, around 60% of cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and oesophagus are thought to be a result of micronutrient deficiencies related to a restricted diet that is low in fruits and vegetables and animal products (5, 9). 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that 85 per cent of adult cancers are entirely avoidable and, of these, around half are related to nutritional deficiencies in the Western diet. A recent government report showed how nearly 70,000 premature deaths could be prevented each year by simply improving the UK's diet.
Another study carried out by Brigham Young University professor Steven Aldana, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, March, 2005, found that a combination of 30 minutes of cardio exercise a day along with a switch to a healthier diet dropped the participants’ health risks for diabetes, cancer, and heart disease dramatically in just 6 weeks.

Let us all be mindful when we choose our food for the day. Planning our lunches that we take to work or making food on Sunday in preparation for the week goes a long way to being healthier.

Walking is great exercise and with a few sprints added in for the cardio and you will help keep the blood flowing rather than stagnating.

Choose your food wisely. More to come on this topic.

Besides eliminating inflammatory foods and lifestyle habits, how can reverse inflammation and encourage anti inflammation?

-Keeping our microbiota healthy by eating and drinking fermented foods (like water Kefir) and supplementing with good probiotics. 
-Eating fish three times a week, and supplementing with fish oils to keep our omega 3 levels as high as possible. 
-avoiding grains and seed oils and other sources of omega 6's, because the average persons levels are too high. 
-Keeping serum homocysteine levels below 8 with B vitamins and Betaine
-Keeping ones serum high sensitivity CRP ( a blood test ordered by your doctor) below 2. 
-flossing your teeth and seeing a biological dentist for assessment and care.
-moderate exercise, slightly more if you need to lose weight.
-keeping your waist/hip ratio below .75 for women and below 1.0 for men and 
-keeping the waist measurement below 30 inches for women and below 35 inches for men.

To Year Health
Dr. Barbara