Tag Archives: Cancer

U.S. Gov’t: “Cholesterol isn’t bad for us anymore!” Science replies “DUH! What took you so long?!?”

You know, science is a funny thing in that accepted science is always right…until it isn’t anymore.  And when the science on anything is widely accepted, governments and people put a high level of faith into it and make major changes in their lives to align themselves with what science says.

When science is right, that’s a great thing that saves lives!  Take cigarette smoking for Smoking is coolexample.  Until the science caught up with how bad cigarettes are for us, the majority of Americans smoked!  We smoked right next to our kids.  In the car with the windows shut.  At indoor restaurants.  Who remembers smoking on airplanes?!?  It really wasn’t that long ago when all of this was accepted.  And then science caught up.  And well, we all know what happened with that.  In that instance, science saved many lives!

 

But what about when science is widely accepted for many years…decades, even…and then we discover that the science was wrong.  Dead wrong!  Well, depending on the topic of discussion, the results can be absolutely devastating.

 

Let’s take heart disease for example. You may have heard about a scientist named Ancel Keys.  Keys was the father of the “lipid hypothesis”.  Keys conducted a study in the 1950’s that found a major correlation between the amount of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat eaten and heart disease.  His findings were heralded by the US government and scientists everywhere and he became the poster boy for healthy eating.

Keys’ scientific findings would go on to be the foundation of U.S. dietary guidelines for the next 6 decades.  The guidelines stipulated that to protect heart health and prevent heart attacks, we should drastically limit our dietary intake of cholesterol containing foods like eggs as well as foods that contain saturated fat like red meat and coconut oil.  The advice was to replace those otherwise very healthy foods with grains.  In fact, people today STILL fear cholesterol and saturated fat, AND believe that grains are good for heart health because of that study.

 

Ancel Keys - Responsible for MILLIONS of American deaths since the 1950's.

Ancel Keys – Responsible for MILLIONS of American deaths since the 1950’s.

Only one problem though: Keys was wrong.  DEAD WRONG.  And worse: His study was FRAUDULENT!  Yes, you read that correctly.  The US government based over 6 decades of dietary guidelines on a falsified study!

Keys initially studied 22 countries.  The problem was, when he included all 22 countries studied on his graph, the data failed to show any statistically significant correlation between saturated fat, cholesterol intake and heart attacks.  So Keys did what any good, honest and dedicated researcher would do: throw out the data that doesn’t match your hypothesis!

 

Take a moment to watch this short clip from the movie Fathead.  It perfectly explains how we became so phobic of cholesterol and saturated fat (and it’ll give you a chuckle!):

Yes, that’s correct.  Here is a graphic showing Keys’ data and the data that he left out of his study:

Keys' study originally included 22 countries but only the data from 6 countries supported his hypothesis.

Keys’ study originally included 22 countries but only the data from 6 countries supported his hypothesis.

As you can see, the data is really all over the place.  He lied.  He was a criminal!  Yet this man was unbelievably put in charge of American dietary guidelines that would shape the way this country eats for over 6 decades!  And what was the result?

Did these new dietary guidelines reduce heart attacks for Americans?  Nope!  In fact, according to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans.  1 in 4 deaths are caused by it.  about 600,000 people die of heart disease every single year.  That’s more than cancer, and certainly way more than any vaccine preventable diseases which are all the rage now.

What’s more, the last several decades of research have pointed to inflammation, NOT cholesterol and saturated fat, as the number one culprit of heart disease.  In fact, a 2009 study by scientists at UCLA revealed that:

 

 

“75 percent of patients hospitalized for a heart attack had cholesterol levels that would indicate they were not at high risk for a cardiovascular event, according to current national cholesterol guidelines.”
“Specifically, these patients had low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels that met current guidelines, and close to half had LDL levels classified in guidelines as optimal (less than 100 mg/dL).”

 

Wait…what?!?!  I thought LDL cholesterol was the culprit!?!  At least that’s what every cardiologist says.  How could legions of brilliant doctors not know this stuff?  What could possibly be the reason that this information is being suppressed and under-reported by the media?  I’ll leave that part to your imagination.

Fast forward to today, and the influential Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the group that provides the scientific basis for the “Dietary Guidelines” has recently stated “OUR BAD!  dietary cholesterol intake really isn’t bad for you!  OOPS!  Sorry for the millions of deaths caused by our piss-poor advice for the last 6 decades.”

The science behind this has been widely available for at least a decade now.  They just turned the other way and pounded the table to protect their egos and to not have to admit responsibility for killing millions of Americans with piss-poor health advice!

And the irony of it all…they STILL don’t fully have it right!  They are still saying saturated fat is dangerous.  It isn’t.  The science is out there guys.  It’s just not being acknowledged. ‪‎cholesterol and saturated fat‬ don’t cause heart disease!  Sugar‬ and excess carbohydrates do! Oxidized vegetable oils like soybean, canola, and cottonseed oil do!

For the last 60 plus years, our government and the medical community has pounded the table that “the science is irrefutable…cholesterol causes heart disease”. And now after millions of Americans have died based on that faulty science, they are finally saying “our bad…we might have been wrong”.

Dietary cholesterol at worst will account for no more than 25% of a persons total body cholesterol.  The rest is made in the liver.  

Cholesterol isn’t a villain. It’s
one of the most important substances in your body.  So important that your body produces its own and tightly regulates the levels.

How important is cholesterol?
  • Cell Membranes: It forms the lining of every cell in your body. The cell membrane.  Without it your cells wouldn’t even be able to talk to each other.
  • Sex Hormones: Circulating LDL cholesterol (yes the “bad” cholesterol) is responsible for producing Pregnenolone in the body.  “What is pregnenolone” you ask?  Only the master sex hormone.  Your body uses pregnenolone to make DHEA, testosterone and estrogen. Without it we cannot make sex hormones.  Take a guess what that means for someone who is taking statins to lower their LDL cholesterol? 
  • Repairs Cellular Damage: Cholesterol has many vital roles. Another one is to repair the damage that injury or wear and tear does to our cells.  Break a leg, you’ll get swelling in the area.  Your liver will send cholesterol (via LDL particles) to the area of injury to repair the cell damage.  Without it you would not heal!  
  • Vitamin D Synthesis: Cholesterol is needed by the body to produce Vitamin D.  You know, that really important nutrient that prevents cancer and heart disease?  

  • Digestion: Cholesterol is necessary for digestion and is needed in order to produce bile.

 

So, with that in mind, What do you think comes first:

A) cholesterol clogging your arteries?

Or

B) your arteries becoming inflamed and irritated?

The answer is b!  Your arteries become inflamed and less supple from generalized inflammation in your body.  This causes damage to the cells on the lining of the artery.  What is the body’s response?  Send cholesterol (carried by LDL particles) to the site of injury to repair the damaged cells! 

 

Are fires caused by firemen?  It sounds silly, but think about it.  Every time we see fires, we also see firemen.  That’s a correlation.  But is it correct to hypothesize that firemen cause fires from that correlation??  That is exactly what science did for the last 6 decades with cholesterol!

 

Think of the damage in your arteries as a 4-alarm fire and cholesterol as the firemen.  Cholesterol is there to put out the fire.  But the fire keeps raging.  So more and more firefighters with more and more fire trucks keep showing up to fight the good fight and save your life.   

The problem is that when you continue to live a lifestyle that is generally inflammatory to your body, the cholesterol cannot keep up with the chronic damage and the inflammation and never really leaves the artery.  So Cholesterol’s job is never done.  That is how and why cholesterol stays and eventually calcifies in your arteries.

Does that make sense?

So what does this all mean?

1) Cholesterol in and of itself is not the cause of heart disease!  It has been wrongly vilified.

2) Chronic inflammation in your arteries and chronic systemic bodily inflammation is a better predictor of cardiac risk.  Why?  Because take away the inflammation, and you take away the chronic damage to the lining of your arteries, hence you take away the need for cholesterol to stick around to repair damage.  It will just flow through your arteries and be carried back to your liver by HDL particles as it was brilliantly designed to do! 

3) Cholesterol is a poor indicator for your actual risk of cardiac event.

4) Inflammatory markers such as CRP and Homocysteine should be considered when evaluating your risk for heart disease or a cardiac event.  There is also evidence that an enzyme called “Lp-PLA2” is an excellent marker of inflammation inside the arteries (especially for women).  If your doctor recommends you take statin drugs based solely on your cholesterol levels and does not test for these inflammatory markers, you need to fire your doctor and find one who does!

By the way, speaking of statins, if you take them or if you know anyone who takes them, you need to read this study that was just released (not surprisingly without much fan-fare from the media despite it’s literally earth-shattering findings) in February of 2015.

The study found that statin drugs:

  • May be causative in coronary artery calcification (clogging your arteries!).
  • Can function as mitochondrial toxins that impair muscle function in the heart and blood vessels through the depletion of coenzyme Q10 and ‘heme A’.
  • Inhibit the synthesis of vitamin K2 which protects arteries from calcification.
  • Inhibit the biosynthesis of selenium containing proteins, one of which is glutathione peroxidase, our bosies master antioxidant.  An impairment of selenoprotein biosynthesis may be a factor in congestive heart failure, reminiscent of the dilated cardiomyopathies seen with selenium deficiency. Thus, the epidemic of heart failure and atherosclerosis that plagues the modern world may paradoxically be aggravated by the pervasive use of statin drugs.

The study concludes that “current statin treatment guidelines be critically reevaluated.”

The next logical question would be “OK, so inflammation is the underlying cause of heart disease…but what causes inflammation?” 

The answer: every part of living a western lifestyle! Too much of any of the following will cause chronic inflammation in your body:

  • Lack of sleep.
  • Processed foods.
  • Sugar.
  • Omega 6 fatty acids
  • Vegetable oils (soy, canola, cottonseed, etc). They are very unstable and oxidize quickly. Easily one of the greatest sources of inflammation in the western diet hands down.
  • Prescription and OTC medication.
  • Chronic bacterial and viral infections.
  • Bacterial imbalances in your gut (this one is HUGE).
  • Malnutrition, maldigestion, malabsorption of nutrients.
  • Environmental pollutants (air, water, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemicals in household cleaning products, cosmetics, sunscreen, etc)
  • Emotional stress and a lack of coping mechanisms (this one is also HUGE).
  • Alcohol consumption and recreational drug use.  Actually, combining alcohol and Tylenol or any NSAID is a particularly deadly combo.  How many of us do that?  You get hammered and then take a Tylenol before bed to stave off a bad headache in the morning.



Literally every aspect of living a western lifestyle causes inflammation in our bodies.  Lowering your inflammation levels will keep you healthy.  That’s what I focus on with all of my clients. Changing their lifestyle from pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory.

Inflammation is the precursor not just to heart disease but cancer and autoimmune disease as well.  There are genetic components, but like I tell my clients:

Genetics loads the gun, but environment is what pulls the trigger.

You may have a predisposition towards heart disease, cancer, or autoimmunity, but it only expresses itself when your lifestyle leads to the inflammation that causes that gene to express itself.  Think of your genes as a chain that has one or several weak links. The chain is not broken yet, just weak. If you apply pressure to that link it will break and render the chain useless.  But if you don’t apply pressure, the link will remain intact.  In your body, inflammation is what puts pressure on gene expression.   


And there you have it: epigenetics summed up in a few sentences.

Think of how many people you know that have died from heart failure.  All of this could have been prevented if not for the faulty science of the lipid hypothesis, and the government’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge the changing science for the last few decades.  If this makes you angry, GOOD!  It should make you angry!

Please spread the word by sharing this article on your social media feeds and email it to your loved ones.  It’s not too late for many of us!

And, as always, I encourage you to comment below!

Thanks for reading!

PS – Click here to read an incredible article on cholesterol, its many important roles, and a breakdown of the various lipoproteins.

Rick Gold is the President & Founder of Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.  He works with clients locally in South Florida as well as worldwide.  Rick holds a certification in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and is well-versed in the concepts of functional medicine.  He specializes in identifying  and healing the underlying causes of malfunctions in the gut (i.e. leaky gut, SIBO, dysbiosis, acid reflux, IBS, and autoimmune conditions).

Rick used functional lab testing and intensive lifestyle changes to eliminate his health complaints and vastly improve his overall health.  After that, he knew that he had found his calling.  Rick acquired his FDN certification and now helps clients heal themselves in the same fashion with fantastic results.

To schedule a phone consultation with Rick click here: Schedule Now 

See what others are saying about my Amazon Kindle e-book “Guide to Gut Bacteria & Probiotics”: Click here!

Read a FREE preview of my guide to Gut Healing Protocols!: Click here to read the first 9 pages of this guide for FREE before purchasing!

 

New study: “U.S. Healthcare Ranked Dead Last Compared To 10 Other Countries”

US HealthcareHi folks –

An article in Forbes magazine caught my attention recently.  It was titled: 

“U.S. Healthcare Ranked Dead Last Compared To 10 Other Countries”

The US spends more than any other country on healthcare, yet we consistently rank poorly in actual disease incidence and health outcomes compared to other developed nations.

Isn’t it time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture?  The way that conventional medicine and our current healthcare system approaches chronic illness simply does not work.  It never did. No amount of pharmaceutical pills, surgery, chemo, or radiation is going to fix a disease or condition that was caused by lifestyle.

It has been shown over and over scientifically that cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and autoimmune conditions are, often, preventable via lifestyle alteration.  Incidence of Diabetes, in particular, is growing at an astronomical rate.  If nothing is done to turn that ship around, diabetes alone is capable of completely bankrupting our healthcare system.

The only way to approach building this nation’s health back is to acknowledge the causes, and work on eliminating them:

1)    Our food supply: We eat highly processed, nutritionally dead, genetically modified, pesticide-ridden, antibiotic-contaminated, calorie-dense, hydrogenated oil-rich foods.

2)    Our stress levels: As a nation and individually, we are under intense and chronic amounts of emotional stress AND internal stress (see #1 and add heavy metals, bpa, phthalates, and the 80,000 other chemicals that have been introduced into circulation over the last 100 years and that are ubiquitous in every product in our homes).

3)    Our quantity and quality of sleep: We don’t sleep enough.  In fact, our society actually highly regards and rewards hard work at the cost of losing sleep.

4)    Our sedentary lifestyle: We don’t move enough.  Most of us work sedentary jobs and lead sedentary lifestyles

5)    Our lack of coping mechanisms for intense chronic stress: We do not put an onus on implementing daily meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or other techniques that help our bodies recover from the vast amounts of stress they are under.

As long as these 5 conditions persist, we will remain sickly, and no amount of money spent on pharmaceutical drugs will reverse that.

But here’s the cool thing: turning this ship around all starts with you (and me)!  The type of change that we need is a ‘grassroots’ sort of thing.   One person waking up at a time.  Enlightenment.  Sharing of knowledge and information so that people can start making smarter and more informed choices in every facet of their daily lives.  Every day we make literally hundreds of choices (some conscious and others we make automatically without thinking about it, like brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste), and each one of those choices either brings us closer to being healthy or closer to getting sick.  There is really no in-between.

In a capitalist society, there is only one type of vote that counts, and that is how you spend your money.

EVERY time you buy processed junk foods, high-sugar snacks, GMOs, chemical-laden cosmetics, tanning lotions, shampoos, conditioners, and household cleaning products, you are directly or indirectly voting with your dollars and telling the companies who make these products to keep poisoning you with them!

What do you think would happen to Dunkin’ Donuts if every American decided right now that they are not going to buy another chemical and sugar filled doughnut ever again?  Do you think they would keep selling those donuts?  Or do you think they would try to change their business model to sell products that the people want?  The same goes for all fast food chains like McDonald’s, KFC, Burger king, and grocery stores that fill their shelves with processed junk food.  Do you think they would keep selling those products if the public stopped buying them?

So here is how you can help start this health revolution:

1)    Get informed!  Subscribe to my blog if you haven’t already.  Subscribe to others like mine.

2)    Share posts like these with your friends and family.    People share jokes, funny videos, memes, and statuses about game of thrones at the drop of a hat, but for some reason, when it comes to stuff like this, there isn’t enough traction.  And that’s a shame, because social media is a VERY powerful tool for stuff like this!

3)    Vote with your dollars! STOP buying processed junk food.  Buy perishable foods.  Buy organic.  Buy grass-fed meats.  Buy wild-caught fish.  Stay away from GMOs.  Buy only organic cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, toothpaste, household cleaning products.  etc.

Remember, on an individual basis our actions might not move the needle.  But collectively, the power of the masses can literally move mountains!  Just look at the stuff that The Food Babe has been able to do!

That’s all for today, guys.  Stay tuned, because I am in the midst of compiling an intensive, comprehensive guide to everything probiotics and gut bacteria related!  I’ll let you know when that’s complete.

Thanks

Rick

 

Rick Gold, Functional Wellness, FDN Practitioner
Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.

Website: www.GoldFunctionalWellness.com

Book a consult: http://www.snapappointments.com/listing/38C

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GoldFunctionalWellness

Follow me on Twitter: @RickGoldFWP

Email: Rick@GoldFunctionalWellness.com

 

 

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author, unless otherwise noted.  The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author.  Rick is not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian and he does not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.

The key to vibrant health that modern medicine overlooks.

short history of medicineModern medicine has its strong points, especially when we consider how effectively it treats and heals acute, life-threatening injuries or conditions.  If you are badly injured in a car accident, having a heart attack, stroke or other acute symptoms of that nature, EMS, first responders and emergency room staff can literally be the difference between life and death for you.  They are a godsend!  Modern medicine is also adept at early diagnosis of chronic diseases such as CVD and cancer.  

But what does modern medicine do for us to help us build our health and stay healthy to avoid those chronic diseases and to live a long, happy and healthy life?  Let’s take a look at some statistics: 

As a nation, we are sicker than ever. We’re suffering from record levels of autoimmune disorders, cancer, heart disease, alzheimer’s, autism & digestive ailments like GERD & IBS:

 

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING, DESPITE ALL OF THE ADVANCES IN MODERN MEDICINE OVER THE LAST CENTURY? 

 

It is fair to say that if you go to a doctor for treatment these days you are going to experience one or a combination of the following 5 outcomes:

  1. A non-diagnosis – aka they have no clue what is wrong with you and it’s “likely in your head”.  
  2. A diagnosis and prescription drugs.
  3. A diagnosis and surgery.
  4. A diagnosis and chemo.
  5. A diagnosis and radiation.  

Pills, surgery, chemo, radiation.   That is the way modern medicine attacks our health issues today.  Agreed?

I’m not saying that this approach is ALWAYS bad.  sometimes pills are necessary.  Sometimes surgery is necessary (again, especially in acute emergency situations).  However, there are 2 problems with this method:

  1. None of those options seek to discover and eliminate the cause of your symptoms.  They only seek to squash the symptoms.  For instance, if you have chronic sinus infections you’ll be prescribed an antibiotic like augmentin.  It will kill the infection.  But does it find and eliminate the root cause of why your immune system is compromised?  Does it take your diet and lifestyle into account and find out what areas of your body are malfunctioning or out of balance, and create a lifestyle reboot of sorts to help restore balance and function?  Not even close.  Thus, you will just keep getting sicker and sicker as your body continues down the road of malfunction while only addressing symptoms and not the underlying cause.
  2. Pills, chemo, & radiation involve some of the most toxic substances we can put in our bodies.  From heavy metals to many pharmaceutical drugs and chemo/radiation, these toxins serve to further disrupt our bodies’ normal function while alleviating symptoms.  Surgery many times removes body parts that are necessary for optimal bodily function. 

Antibiotics, for instance, kill an infection, but also are known to cause increased intestinal permeability and gut dysbiosis, both of which are intimately connected with onset of autoimmune conditions.  It also leads to food sensitivities, as a widening of the tight junctures in the small intestine that are supposed to keep I digested food particles out of the blood stream are now letting them through.  What follows is an immune reaction and the creation of antibodies against those food particles.  So, kill the infection, destroy the lining of your small intestine, and cause food sensitivities.  Good trade-off?   I don’t think so…

The same goes for prescription AND OTC painkillersstatin drugs, antacids, and immune suppressing drugs.  They all have one key element in common:  They treat the symptoms and ignore the causes.

Symptoms don’t just appear out of nowhere.  Our bodies are brilliant organisms that do a terrific job of shifting and adapting to constant insults and assaults on their cellular function.  Over time, the burden of these chronic insults from diet, lack of sleep, stress, lack of exercise, and the thousands of chemicals, toxic metals, pesticides and preservatives take a toll on our bodies and impairs functionality at the cellular level.  It might take years of functional loss at this level before symptoms ever even appear.  

So, if you are one of those people proudly burning the candle at both ends and bragging to friends and family about how much you are able to take on and how productive you are on such little sleep and with intense stress levels (you know who you are), the message to you is: you are human, and it will catch up to you.  One day, one or more symptoms will smack you over the head like a sledgehammer and you’ll think “woah…what is this?  I am healthy!  One day I’m fine and the next day this?  What gives???”  That’s because your body was silently losing function at the cellular level for years before your symptoms appeared.  And that happened because you weren’t taking care of it properly.  

You had too many holes popping up in your ship and you finally ran out of material to plug the holes!  

 

Plugging leaksAnd now your ship is starting to sink.  Now here is the question:  Do you just need more plugs, or do you want to find out what is causing the holes and eliminate that?  Because the answer to that question is the ultimate determinant between vibrant health and simply surviving for the rest of your life on a cabinet full of pharmaceutical drugs or surgeries.  

This is the type of stuff that I work on with my clients: implementing a total paradigm shift in the way they view their health and especially their symptoms.  Symptoms are not just a nuisance that need to go away.  They are our bodies way of communicating to us that something is malfunctioning and needs our attention.  Once we start viewing symptoms in that way we start to ask “why?”   Why am I feeling this symptom?  What is my body trying to tell me?   And then we can begin our detective work and find the cause.  

And the cause usually has to do with poor diet, poor sleep, poor exercise habits, poor mechanisms or protocols to cope with external and internal stressors, and a lack of properly supporting bodily function through intelligent supplementation.  Unfortunately, this holistic view of the body and lifestyle as a major factor in disease prevention and building health is vastly overlooked by the conventional medical community.

If you are interested in building your overall health, restoring optimal function, energy and vitality to your body, this is where you need to start.  Change your perception of what health is and what symptoms are, and change your life!  

I hope this was helpful and if you have any further interest in this topic you can always fill out the contact form on my site OR schedule a FREE consultation with me.  

Thanks, 

Rick Gold, Functional Wellness, FDN Practitioner
Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.

Website: www.GoldFunctionalWellness.com

Book a consult: http://www.snapappointments.com/listing/38C

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GoldFunctionalWellness

Follow me on Twitter: @RickGoldFWP

Email: Rick@GoldFunctionalWellness.com

 

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author, unless otherwise noted.  The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author.  Rick is not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian and he does not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.

 

Ode to my mother

My mother, Racheline, holding me at the beach.

My mother, Racheline, holding me at the beach.

My mother died of pancreatic cancer.  Leading up to this day, the anniversary of her passing, I thought long and hard about a few things:  How would I feel on this day?  No matter how much time passes, It still feels surreal that she is gone.  I still feel weird when my phone doesn’t ring and I don’t hear her voice on the other side, checking in on me with genuine motherly concern.  And not hearing from her on my birthdays, or holidays.  And to not be able to share the good things that are happening in my life and with her grandson, whom she was so in love with and proud of.  How should I honor her?  Should it be by crying and feeling somber?

I thought long and hard about how I should commemorate this day.  And then it hit me: Since my mother’s cancer diagnosis was ultimately the breaking point for me that gave me the extra push to change careers from wall street hedge fund  recruiter to FDN practitioner, It seems fit to honor her by dedicating a blog post to her memory.  But I have decided not to focus on the bad stuff like how horrible the last few months were for her,  OR the cancer that ultimately took her life.  Those things were not what defined my mother or her life.

My mother’s life was defined by much more than that.  She lived for 73 years.  She was born in Alexandria, Egypt.  She and her family were thrown out of the country by President Nasser.  How many people in generation X do we know that endured something like that?  She moved with her family to France, where she met my father.  They fell in love, moved to Israel, then moved to the US without a penny in their pocket and very little in the form of higher education.  They scraped by and worked several jobs to pay the bills and to provide a house, clothing, schooling, vacations, toys, and entertainment for their three children.

My mother had many flaws (don’t we all?), but today I am going to focus on remembering all of the positive and funny things about her, as well as the lessons I have learned from her that make me the man I am today.

1) She was funny (many times without even knowing it, which is the funniest kind of funny!).  

  • I remember one time we were at my uncle’s house in long island:  It’s a beautiful summer day and the whole family is about to go swimming in the pool.  So, my mother, a huge worrywart who was afraid of her own shadow, yells at me in her thick Arabic accent “Ricky!  Be careful!  If you drown, I’ll KILL YOU!”.

2) She was always the life of the party.

  • Anyone who knew my mom would tell you that.  She was a loud, boisterous, smiley woman who really enjoyed family and friend gatherings and holidays.  She treasured social interactions with the important people in her life.  Even the people who were her customers at CVS (she was a cashier there for over 25 years) were drawn to her and used to wait extra time on her line just to have their daily fun-filled interaction with my mother.  Without ever telling me, she taught me an important lesson: happiness isn’t about accumulating wealth or social status.  It’s about enjoying and savoring every moment you have to spend with the people you love.  It’s about your relationships and keeping the bonds strong.  Here is a picture of her facial expression that defines her personality:
  • IMG_7840

3) She lived (and died) for her children.

  • There wasn’t a day that went by when my mother wasn’t worrying about us.  She spent her entire life struggling to give us a happier and more stable early life experience than she had growing up.  When we were sick, she used to pray out loud to gd to transfer whatever illness we had to her.  She couldn’t stand to see us hurting whether it was physically or emotionally.  We, and her grandchildren, were her life’s work.  She derived her greatest pleasures from seeing us happy and successful.

4) She was a wicked awesome cook!

  • My mom loved food,  and she was great at cooking gourmet French and Arabic dishes.  I can still close my eyes and smell and taste her delicious meat bechamel.  Friends and family who came to eat at our house always knew they were in for a treat.  And, like many Jewish mothers, she pushed food on us like she was a drug dealer, lol.

5) She showed me that incredible bravery can come from the most unexpected people at the most unexpected times.  

  • There is no denying it: my mom was a total scaredy-cat (yes that’s a real word!).  She was afraid of her own shadow.  She rarely went to doctors, even when she wasn’t feeling well, for fear that the doctor would tell her that she would need surgery or that she had some horrible disease.  She instilled fear into all of her children by being insanely over-protective and fearing that we would be kidnapped or killed the moment we walked out of our house.  So you can imagine my surprise when she became the bravest person I have ever known after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Not only did she receive a death sentence from her doctors and need surgery, but she underwent a 13 hour Whipple procedure (one of the most complex and risky surgeries available through modern medicine today).  And she faced it like a champ.  She endured tremendous suffering and knew her death was imminent.  But she stayed strong.  She accepted it.  She left this world with dignity.  And with her family surrounding her at her bedside.  Perhaps it was fitting that her greatest act of courage was to face and accept her own mortality.  Almost as if she fulfilled her challenge here on earth by doing so.

I am proud of my mother, and I am proud to be her son.   Most importantly, wherever she is right now, I want her to know that her death was not in vain.  It was her cancer diagnosis and subsequent suffering that ultimately led me to change careers and to follow my true passion, which was to become a holistic health practitioner and to teach people how to heal themselves and how to live a preventative lifestyle and avoid devastating diagnoses like the one that she received.

Finally, I want to share a very personal message to you about what I learned from my mother’s death:

1) Life is so very short.  Hug  the people you love.  Tell them that you love them every day, and show them with your actions.

2) Don’t hold grudges.  People make mistakes.  Forgive and forget.

3) Be present.  With all of the laptops, smartphones, and tablets in circulation, it’s hard to find someone who isn’t staring at their devices like a zombie.  All the while, life and the world is happening around us, and we are missing it.  Put the phone down and be present when you talk to you wife, husband, parent, sibling, friend, or child.  Be in the moment and enjoy it for everything it can give you.

4) Get grateful. I read an amazing quote the other day: “If you want to feel rich, just think of all the things you have that money can’t buy.”  How true!  Think about your health, your family, your friends, your children, the fact that you are alive and breathing.  There are so many things to be grateful for that if you shift your mindset to thinking this way you won’t even have time to think about the things that you don’t have.  You’ll just be happy!

5) Take care of your body.  It’s the only one you have.  Become an active participant in your personal health.  Don’t just sit back and wait for disease to hit and then pray that doctors and modern medicine will help you.  YOU HAVE THE KEYS to you own health, and those keys are the lifestyle choices you make each and every moment of each and every day.  Stop looking for that magic pill to lose weight and get healthy.  It doesn’t exist.  Pay attention to your diet.  Food is medicine.  Get 8 hours of sleep each night.  Moderate exercise.  Spend time every day counteracting the effects of stressful living with 10-20 minutes of deep meditation.

That’s all for today, guys.  Have a great rest of your week!

Rick

Rick Gold

Rick Gold, Functional Wellness, FDN Practitioner
Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.

Website: www.GoldFunctionalWellness.com

Book a consult: http://www.snapappointments.com/listing/38C

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GoldFunctionalWellness

Follow me on Twitter: @RickGoldFWP

Email: Rick@GoldFunctionalWellness.com

Safer alternatives for healthier living – Kitchen cleaning products

STOP!  Before you read this article:

As you know, this blog is FREE for all to read.  The only thing that I ask for in return is that you, the reader, help me to grow my readership so that I can reach as many people as possible with this vital, life-saving information.

In an exciting development, I have been approached by a large online media company about my blog.  They LOVE my content (which makes me very happy!), and they want to start featuring it to their millions of readers at some point!  However, they won’t do that until I can organically grow my readership to a certain level that qualifies me to blog for their company (which makes me very sad).  It’s a sort of chicken and egg thing!

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I’m pretty big on helping people recognize the little things that they can do to protect their health and the health of their loved ones on a daily basis.  It’s not something that most of us think of often, but every day we are all exposed to a tremendous amount of carcinogenic and endocrine-disrupting food dyes, artificial sugars, household chemicals, toxins, bacteria, molds, and air pollution.  Unfortunately, we can’t get away from everything.  My goal in articles such as this one is to show you a few little things at a time that you can do to keep harmful substances away from you and your family.  Today we will focus on kitchen cleaning products:

Dish-washing liquids, liquid hand soaps, all-purpose and kitchen counter cleaning products.  

Here is a list of the potentially harmful ingredients in Palmolive anti-bacterial dish-washing liquid (a popular brand):

1) Fragrance – What could be so bad about something that makes your dishes and your hands smell like fresh-cut daisies, right?  Well, according to the Enviromental working group (EWG) website, a lot!:

About FRAGRANCE: The word “fragrance” or “parfum” on the product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.”

Pretty steep price to pay for nice smelling hands and dishes, eh?

2) Tetrasoudium EDTA – EWG found evidence that raises concern that this chemical can be toxic to your organs other than reproductive ones.

3) Dyes – well, since the Colgate company doesn’t expound any further other than to say that they add “dyes” to their dish-washing liquid, and there are literally thousands of chemical dyes out there, we can’t say for certain which one they use, nor can we say exactly what the health risks are.  However, generally speaking, there is a litany of evidence that food dyes cause hyperactivity in children.

Folks, there’s gotta be a better way to get your plates clean!  We can’t just blindly fall for the billions of dollars that these companies spend on marketing their products.  “softens your hands while you do dishes!”  Maybe they should add “makes you infertile, cancerous, toxic, causes allergic reactions, your children hyperactive, causes inflammation, and OH…almost forgot: softens your hands while you do dishes!”.

Do you use Cascade or another similar brand to wash your dishes and utensils (which then go into your MOUTH!)?  If so, it’s imperative that you take a look at the product page for cascade on the EWG website, which details each chemical’s ability and propensity to disrupt reproductive and endocrine function, cause cancer, skin irritations, organ toxicity, and allergies just to name a few!

Here are more EWG write-ups on some of the other popular kitchen cleaning products I can think of.  Peruse to your heart’s content:

If that doesn’t scare you out of using synthetic ingredients and chemicals to clean your house, then I don’t know what will.

How often do you hear people talking about someone they know who has cancer in this way: “He/she was totally healthy!  a health nut!  ate healthy, exercised, great shape…and then one day, pow!  cancer…unreal!”.  I hear people talk like this all the time.  It seems that everyone is completely befuddled as to why people get cancer.  The truth is that our bodies are exposed to cancer causing agents every single day at an alarming rate!  There is only so much toxicity that our bodies can handle.

So do yourself and your families a favor and switch to as many all-natural and organic kitchen cleaning products as possible.  Of course, it’s hard to find a really good cleaning product that comes with ZERO risk, but there are products out there that are much more natural and considered to be much safer than what you are probably using in your kitchen right now.

For your convenience, here are some alternatives that you use right now to create a healthier environment in your kitchen starting now.  All of these cleaning products received an “A” from EWG and carry far less health risks (Full disclosure: If you buy any of the products listed in this article by clicking the links I provide to Amazon, you will be buying the products through my Amazon affiliate account.  When you do this, I get a nominal “commission” from Amazon and there is absolutely zero extra cost to you for helping me out. The commissions that I receive from Amazon help me keep this free blog up and running for my readers.  While I do make a nominal commission, I ONLY recommend high quality products that I stand behind and that I would use for myself and my family):

* Seventh Generation Automatic Dishwasher Powder.

* Planet Ultra Dish-washing Liquid.

* Green Shield All-Purpose Cleaner.

* Arm & Hammer Fridge and Freezer Baking Soda.

* Aussan Natural Floor Cleaner Concentrate.

* Dr. Bronners Sal’s Suds Liquid Cleaner. You can clean just about everything in your house with this stuff, worry free.  Shout out to reader Jennifer Williams who uses this product religiously!

With the options above, you should never feel the need to reach for any of the other chemical-ridden, cancer causing products that we all grew up using.

What’s the worst that can happen?  Give them a shot and let me know your thoughts!

I hope that this article helps to make a healthier household environment for everyone who reads it.

Thanks for reading!

Rick

Rick Gold

Rick Gold, Functional Wellness Practitioner
Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.
Website: www.GoldFunctionalWellness.com

Book a consult: http://www.snapappointments.com/listing/38C

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GoldFunctionalWellness

Follow me on Twitter: @RickGoldFWP

e: Rick@GoldFunctionalWellness.com

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author, unless otherwise noted.  The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author.  Rick is not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian and he does not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.

The role of psychology in our food choices.

pain-pleasure

Why do we do what we do, eat what we eat, say what we say, and think what we think? What drives our behavior?  What is the ultimate determining factor of success, health, and happiness?

Several years back, I attended a Tony Robbins “unleash the power within” seminar. It was a powerful experience that delved into human nature and the core answers to those questions. It is the answers to those questions and, perhaps more importantly, our use of the knowledge gleaned from those answers, that ultimately gives us the wisdom to change our destiny.

In the seminar I learned that there are 2 things that drive human behavior at all times:

1) Seeking pleasure
2) Avoidance of pain

That’s it. It’s that simple. And one or both of those can be used to understand our motivations behind literally everything that we do, think, or say. Further, seeking pleasure and avoidance of pain are what have shaped literally every single decision of our lives and ultimately are responsible for how our lives look today.  Are you currently a happy or depressed person?  Fat or skinny?  Healthy or unhealthy?  Rich, poor, or just getting by?  Do you self-sabotage your financial situation, career, health goals, or relationships?  If you trace your steps backwards, you can attribute each one of these outcomes to one or several choices you have made that put you in your current position, and those choices were driven by your either seeking pleasure, avoidance of pain, or both simultaneously.

When we act selflessly, are we really acting selflessly?  Is that even possible?  I say no, it is not.

When we sacrifice for others, our motivations for doing so can ALWAYS ultimately be traced back to 2 things: 1) Sacrificing for others makes us feel good about ourselves, or 2) The pain of feeling like a bad person when we don’t sacrifice for others is too unbearable.

Let’s take giving charity as an example – when we donate to a charity, we are doing a wonderful thing by helping other people in need.  But why do we do it?  If it made you feel absolutely horrible about yourself and you believed that giving charity makes you a bad person, would you still give charity?  Probably not.  The reason why people give charity is because it makes them feel good to do it.  We believe that helping others makes us a good person and that gives us pleasure.  For some people it also makes them feel important and invaluable to others which gives them pleasure.  Others give to charity for the obvious tax breaks they receive for giving.  For some, the thought of not helping people in need while they have the means to do so goes against what they believe makes them a good person.  If that is a core belief for them, then not giving charity will cause great emotional pain.  

So, how can we apply this knowledge to make our lives better and to live a happier existence?  If we can understand what motivates our behaviors, we can begin to change them.

I believe that when it comes to our health, we focus way too much on seeking short-term pleasure, and not enough on avoiding long-term pain.

We regularly indulge in foods like alcohol, iced cream, cookies, cake, soda, candy, gluten, popcorn, GMOs, breaded foods fried in vegetable oils, and synthetic food additives.  We do this because, let’s face it, they are freaking delicious and it gives us tremendous short-term pleasure to eat them.  There is also a significant emotional attachment associated with these foods.  They remind us of our childhood, our parents, cultural traditions, etc.  Eating them brings us back to the good old days of our childhood and makes us feel good emotionally, if only for a fleeting time.  It is that intense short-term pleasure that drives us to eat foods that are literally slowly killing us!

But what if we were able to change our focus with regards to these foods?  What if we train ourselves to focus more on the long-term pain associated with regular consumption of these foods instead of focusing on the short-term, fleeting pleasure we get from eating them?  We would have to use a method that can bring all of the potentially intense future pain that is associated with eating these foods and bring it into the present moment.  And we need to make that pain feel palpable and intense enough so that it is far greater than the short-term pleasure that our brains are looking forward to by ingesting these foods in the moment.

One way to do this is by using the “Dickens Process” (another Tony Robbins exercise.  I thank my close friend Erik Nissani, an emerging life coach, for reminding me about this powerful technique a few weeks back).  If we envision ourselves in the future and imagine what our lives will be like 5, 10, 20, and 30 years from now if we keep regularly eating these foods, we might be able to force a paradigm shift in our relationship to the food choices available to us.

Here is how to use the Dickens Process for dietary choices: each time you feel like you are about to reach for foods that you know are bad for you, ask yourself the following series of questions:

  • If I keep eating this way 5 years into the future: Will I be fat or thin?  What will that do for my self-confidence? How will I feel about myself?  Good or bad?  Will I be happier, or sad?  What kind of example will I be setting for my children?
  • If I keep eating this way 10 years into the future: Will I become one of the many Americans that have type 2 diabetes, having to inject myself with insulin before each meal?  How would that make me feel?  Will I start to develop other conditions or diseases related to unhealthy eating such as heart disease, fatty liver disease, or even cancer?  How will I feel when my doctor orders me to take a boatload of prescription drugs like statins, or drugs to lower blood pressure, or for arthritis for the remainder of my life?  What will the side effects of these drugs do to me?
  • If I keep eating this way 20 years into the future: Will I be younger or older than my true age?  Will I be able to play actively with my kids?  Will I be able to exercise or go on vacations and enjoy myself given all of the complications of the diseases and conditions associated with regularly eating these foods for years?  Will I be happy or sad?  Will I have regret if I am diagnosed with a horrible illness that I probably could have prevented by not eating these foods?
  • If I keep eating this way 30 years into the future: Will I have significantly shortened my life as a result of caving into the short-term pleasure associated with eating these foods?  Will I live to see my grandchildren?  Will I die of a painful disease like cancer?

No one wants to become sick.  No one wants heart disease or cancer.  The problem is that when we are healthy, we don’t think about the possibility of getting sick.  We just like to enjoy ourselves and not think about that stuff.  We only think about disease once it is too late…after we have been diagnosed with something terrible.  I am not saying that I believe we should live our lives in fear!  I am simply saying that we should not live a life of ignorance.  Regularly eating foods that are bad for your health will eventually cause your downfall.

If we are able to consistently focus on the long-term pain rather than the short-term pleasure that is associated with regularly eating these foods, I think the decision of whether to put that morsel into our mouth or not becomes an easy one.

Furthermore, we can make this exercise infinitely more powerful if we can find different ways to gain intense short-term pleasure, other than eating that food.  Here are some ideas:

  • Find a way to celebrate small victories.  Each time you choose to avoid eating food that is bad for your health, pat yourself on the back.  Imagine how that choice is contributing to your long-term health.  Get creative!
  • Think of the positive example that you are setting for your children.  Childhood obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome are skyrocketing!  By your refusal to eat that bad food, you are leading the way for your children and teaching them how to build and maintain their own health!  We all focus so much of our attention on teaching our children manners, or the importance of school and getting good grades.  But when it comes to nutrition and disease prevention, Americans fall way short on educating their children.  With each decision not to eat the bad foods, you literally help shape the future health of your child!
  • Picture yourself as an example of vibrant health 5, 10, 20, and 30 years into your future as a result of minding your health now by using a preventative mindset in your dietary choices.

Psychology is an important part of why we reach for the foods that we eat.  The more I learn, the more I understand that without understanding and changing the psychological motivations behind our food choices, the chances for the success of any healthy eating plan are slim.  We need to change our relationship with food.  One place to start is to focus on the pleasure-pain principle.

I hope that this gives everyone who reads it something to think about, and I welcome comments in the section provided below.  Thanks for reading!  

Rick Gold

Rick Gold, Functional Wellness Practitioner
Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.
Website: www.GoldFunctionalWellness.com

Book a consult: http://www.snapappointments.com/listing/38C

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GoldFunctionalWellness

Follow me on Twitter: @RickGoldFWP

e: Rick@GoldFunctionalWellness.com

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author, unless otherwise noted.  The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author.  Rick is not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietician and he does not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.

The focus needs to shift from more cancer drugs to teaching prevention.

I recently spoke with a woman who was diagnosed with cancer.  She received chemo and surgery. This is a success story (sort of) in that she, by good fortune, detected a deadly cancer growing inside of her and had surgery to remove it before it could take hold.  That part of the story is a great success, and a clear testament to the marvels of modern medicine.

The reason why this was “sort of” a success story is that her story also exemplifies everything that is wrong with modern medicine and the state of healthcare today.  It’s also the reason, despite the trillions spent on pharmaceutical research, that cancer rates have skyrocketed for decades.  This will continue unless we change the way we look at the disease.

I asked her what the doctor advised her to do moving forward to prevent the cancer from returning.

She replied that he told her to just follow-up with 3 ct scans per year for the next 5 years.

OK, but that is merely early detection, not prevention.  Were there any dietary recommendations, or recommended preventive lifestyle changes to build your health?  Did he explain the likely reasons other than genetics behind why the cancer happened in the first place?

“No.  I just need to keep following up with those ct scans.”

Do you see what the problem is here?  If you understand epigenetics, you must understand that

our current healthcare system completely disregards the fact that everything you eat, breathe in, put on your skin, worry about, your activity levels, and the quality and quantity of your sleep has a profound effect on your chances of developing cancer and other deadly diseases. 

 

Our healthcare system has failed this woman because they did not help her to understand the WHY and the HOW:

  • WHY did she get cancer in the first place?
  • HOW can she prevent it from happening again?  

 

The American Institute for Cancer Research recently published a report estimating that “For the 12 most common cancers in the United States, about one third of the cases are preventable through a healthy diet, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight. This translates to about 374,000 preventable cases of cancer per year.”

Her doctors didn’t tell her things like:

  • Cancer feeds on sugar.  Watch Craig B. Thompson, President and CEO of Sloan Kettering explain this:

 

  • Ketogenic diets show great promise for prevention and treatment of cancer.  University of South Florida researcher Dr. Dominic D’Agostino explains: 

  • Another way to prevent her cancer from returning is to lose weight and increase her physical activity:

There are so many things that we can do to drastically lower the chance that we will develop cancer in our lifetime:

  • Decrease our exposure to known cancer-causing chemicals in the household.  Watch this video:

Bottom line: we can raise all the money in the world to fund research geared towards “finding the cure” for cancer, but our focus may be misplaced.

 

THERE IS NO MAGIC PILL TO CURE CANCER, AND SURGERY THAT REMOVES CANCER DOES NOT CHANGE THE ENVIRONMENT IN YOUR BODY THAT MADE IT A FERTILE GROUNDS FOR CANCER GROWTH.

The only answer is to understand why cancer develops in our bodies, and how to prevent it.  Then we need to make the lifestyle changes necessary to prevent it.  Our healthcare system, or should I call it a “sick”care system, is in shambles!  Its only function is to treat disease once it occurs, not to teach people about why it occurs and how to prevent it.

That’s all for now.  Thanks for reading!

 

Rick

Rick Gold, Functional Wellness Practitioner
Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.
Website: www.GoldFunctionalWellness.com

Book a consult: http://www.snapappointments.com/listing/38C

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GoldFunctionalWellness

Follow me on Twitter: @RickGoldFWP

e: Rick@GoldFunctionalWellness.com

 

 

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author, unless otherwise noted.  The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author.  Rick is not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian and he does not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.